Tag Archives: chauvinism

Imran Khan Fails in Sindh

By: Zafar Imam

Contrary to many media reports influenced by Imran-o-Phobia, PTI Jalsa in Hyderabad was a plain failure.

Imran Khan – the emerging Tea Partier of Pakistan- held a public meeting (so-called Tsunami) in Hyderabad on 22 June, 2012 which was not more than a small tide. It ran-over to coast, smashed and died. Here I am writing an eye witness account, because I was present in the SRTC ground where it was held.

This event started very late, after 8 p.m. in evening. Before Imran Khan, PTI’s other main leaders took to stage to address the crowd. His was the last speech, which he delivered round about 9.00 pm.

There was a huge deployment of Police and rangers. Barbed wires covered most of the surrounding area. All the nearby shops and hotels were ordered to shut off their business. It felt like he is not a man opposing the Government, but a man enjoying all official protocols and security arrangements which normally an in-government politician would enjoy. SRTC ground is on the same road a few kilometers ahead where Hyderabad cantonment falls. All security arrangements, official level protocol and strategic location of the event near Hyderabad cantonment did not surprise me. Today every Tom, Dick and Harry down the street knows that he is the new found darling of Pakistani establishment.

Most of the crowd was hired. Yes, hired. They belonged to backward areas like Tharparkar and local Muzhiks of nearby towns, who were loaded into buses and driven to SRTC ground in Hyderabad. Anybody visiting the ground from backside would know this truth. Crowd was cunningly arranged in a manner that those belonging to city and looking well-dressed ‘Jazbaati Nojwans’ (angry young men) were programmed to be present in front rows, and those belonging to backward areas, seemingly hired, were programmed to sit in back benches. This sitting arrangement was designed to dodge rolling cameras, which would focus front rows most of the time and will show blurred image of backward rows, such that the ground would seem filled with crowd and cast an impression of ‘Tsunami. Most of the fans of PTI flocking into Imran Khan’s public gatherings are usually his cricket fans too. He had already achieved status of a cricket celebrity in Pakistan before entering politics. Till date, people know him more as a cricketer than a politician. This identity crisis is a challenge for Imran Khan which will ultimately give him tough time in upcoming elections.

As soon as Imran Khan started his speech, people became restless because they were only waiting to see him and by now they had seen him. Finish. They had not gone there to listen to his speech; but for fun. Anybody present in middle of the ground could easily take this feeling with him that people were not listening to him; instead they were talking loudly, crying and whistling. One could hardly listen to what he was saying.

Just after about 8 minutes of his speech, people were seen flocking out of the ground. Groups of 30, 40 people during his speech started to leave ground.

And why?

Because celebrity had finally appeared and it was worth nothing more than his mere appearance.

Within 15 to 20 minutes, ground was almost half empty! Ghosh! Imran Khan failed in Hyderabad. And Hyderabad is political and cultural center of Sindh. We could easily deduce that Imran Khan failed in Sindh. Just 20 minutes after he had started speech, ground was short of crowd and he had to complete his speech in haste. Quickly after that lights were shut off, SRTC ground and nearby roads fell dead silent. It ended so quickly, so rapidly. Hardly 5-8 thousand people were present in the ground against the claims of PTI.

Sindh is different; it has no room for such neo-conservative Pakistani patriotic chauvinism.

Observations before Jalsa

Before this event I had visited nearby areas of SRTC ground at daytime. I snapped some photographs and talked to people to know how they’ll respond to Imran Khan’s Jalsa at night?

In nearby streets and neighborhood where wall posters were affixed and banners were hanged, people showed a silent dissent with Imran Khan. I knew it from torn wall posters and banners in nearby areas. Clearly, people did not want him here. Generally in Sindh, people leave political posters, wallpapers and banners hanged wherever they are. This was a clear message that people already recognize him as a phantom of establishment.

This so-called ‘Tsunami’ was a failed scene of a small tide dying away. Sindh is more politically aware in this regard because it knows who is for them and who is not for them. It recognizes Talibans in guise of Imran Khan; it knows who is who and what is what. Neo-conservative, revivalist, patriotic chauvinist brand of politics has to face very tough time in Sindh.

Courtesy: http://zafarimam.wordpress.com/2012/06/23/imran-khan-fails-in-sindh/

Racism in Pakistan

By: Tarek Fatah

Zardari, after all is a Sindhi, from a people most upper class Punjabis think off as backward, lazy, illiterate serfs who are unpatriotic and thus not deserving to be at the helm of affairs. This Punjabi elite cannot get over the fact, the man they hated, from a people they despised, has ended up as the president of the country, and that too without their blessing.

Pakistan is a multi-national and multi-lingual country of diverse peoples that wraps itself in the banner of Islam. However, its elites practice neither Islam nor recognize diversity.

On the contrary, the dominant ruling elites, the Punjabi upper middle class, civil and military officers, as well as the landed aristocracy have ruled the nation for over 60 years with a sense of entitlement that bristles with racism and chauvinism.

One would have thought the Punjabi ruling classes would have learnt a lesson in 1971 after their colonialist policies in then East Pakistan destroyed the country. However, instead of facing the truth, it seems this sense of entitlement and colonial attitude has been reinforced and passed on to the next generation.

Continue reading Racism in Pakistan

Pakistan : Punjab ’s highhandedness on Sindh’s water

London, UK, (PR) : World Sindhi Congress (WSC) strongly condemns the highhandedness of Punjab govt with regards to water of river Indus. Despite, calls from three provincial assemblies, the members of water body IRSA, political and civil society organisations, thousands of demonstrations, strikes, hunger strikes of people of Sindh, the upper riparian jingoists are determined to overrun the overwhelming case of Sindh over waters of river Indus. The case of Sindh over water has been proven again and again on the basis of international law, historical rights and the water treatise, still Punjab govt is adamant to carry out its illegal domination and use of waters of river Indus. The current crisis has resulted from allowing illegally water to flow in Chashma-Jehlam Link Canal and Thal canal for irrigation, while people of Sindh do not have water to drink. Punjab has stored water in Mangla Dam for autumn cultivation while Sindh’s fertile lands are fast becoming a lifeless desert. The man-made water crisis is threatening the extinction of a civilisation that flourished for thousands of years. The current arrogant chauvinism of Punjab govt has taken the conflict and crisis to a new height. The entire Sindh is burning.

WSC humbly requests all the political parties of Sindh, NGOs, and civil society organisations to take a united stand, leaving all differences behind, on this issue of bare survival.

WSC to take the case of people of Sindh for their survival against the criminal onslaught of upper riparian province on their rightful waters to all relevant international venues including United Nations, UNPFII (United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues) and Environmental and Water NGOs. WSC is also seriously exploring all the possibilities to take this case to the International Court of Justice in Hague, The Netherland.

July 11, 2010

Book review – Harvest Will Come (New Book by Iqbal Tareen)

A new book by an American of Sindhi-Pakistani origin is published. The book contains selected articles, correspondence and speeches of Mr. Tareen, who is a noted human rights, and political rights activist.  Mr. Tareen is former President of Sindhi Association of North America (SANA) and founder President of Jeeay Sindh Students Federation (JSSF) (1960-70s). Mr. Tareen is current president of Washington based civic group called “Forum for Democracy and Justice in Pakistan” The book contains Mr. Tareen’s vision for Pakistan and Sindh, socio-economic and Political challenges that country and province face.

It also contains correspondence between him and Mohtarma Shaheed Benazir Bhutto, his few letters to US administration including Secretary of State, Chairman Senate Foreign Relations Committee and now VP Joe Biden, his speeches to different protest demonstration outside White House on democracy issues in Pakistan. The Book also reflects on his association with politicians of Sindh late GM Syed and Rasool Bux Palijo.

Book provides Writer’s excellent reflections on Sindh and his vision under several articles such as :

1. Sindh on the Threshold of 21th Century,

2. Sindh in the Eye of Terror,

3. Sindh Vision 2020,

4. US Sindhis Demand equity in Indus Commission,

5. 11 Guardians of Indus,

6. Chauvinism lurking out of Punjab,

7. Sindh is mother of Pakistan,

8. Government warned against division of Sindh

And the master piece of the book is valuable, thoughtful and beautiful article “Harvest will come” the title of the book, which is an excellent & refreshing analysis of change in modern history specially since 1820 to latest, how world has moved forward over the years, and writer believes “No matter how hard they try they cannot deny you dreams and hope. They might have stolen the day but tomorrow belongs to you.

Have faith, the harvest will come.

The Book is useful for those who have interest in Sindh’s Political issues, democracy in Pakistan and its American connections, also how does enlightened Pakistani Diaspora thinks of its own country.

For Contact Author Iqbal Tareen at iqbal.tareen@gmail.com