Tag Archives: Community

Muslims responsible for bringing bad name to their community: Maulana Mehmood Madani

BIJNOR (UP): Muslims themselves are responsible for bringing a bad name to the community and creating the “Islam’s image of terror”, Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind general secretary Maulana Mehmood Madani today said and called for spreading education in the community to change this.

“If Muslims for coming 20 years decide their agenda for education and pledge to educate their children even if they have to go without a meal, then those who hate Muslims will be forced to change their opinion,” he said.
Addressing a function in Kirtanpur here, he said that a section of people from the community have spoiled its image.

“We are not following the right path. It is not the enemies but a section from within the community which is responsible for creating this image of terror,” the secretary said.

Read more » The Times of India
See more » http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Muslims-responsible-for-bringing-bad-name-to-their-community-Maulana-Mehmood-Madani/articleshow/46645501.cms

Bradford synagogue saved by city’s Muslims

Faced with closure a year ago, today Bradford’s synagogue’s future is bright, a model of cross-cultural co-operation

By , theguardian.com

It was around this time last year that the trustees of Bradford‘s final remaining synagogue faced a tough choice. The roof of the Grade II-listed Moorish building was leaking; there was serious damage to the eastern wall, where the ark held the Torah scrolls; and there was no way the modest subscriptions paid annually by the temple’s 45 members could cover the cost.

Rudi Leavor, the synagogue’s 87-year-old chairman, reluctantly proposed the nuclear option: to sell the beautiful 132-year-old building, forcing the congregation to go 10 miles to Leeds to worship.

It was a terrible proposition, coming just after the city’s only Orthodox synagogue had shut its doors in November 2012, unable to regularly gather 10 men for the Minyan, the quorum of 10 Jewish male adults required for certain religious obligations.

But rather than close, Bradford Reform Synagogue’s future is brighter than ever after the intervention of Bradford’s Muslim community, which according to the 2011 census outnumbers the city’s Jews by 129,041 to 299.

A fundraising effort – led by the secretary of a nearby mosque, together with the owner of a popular curry house and a local textile magnate – has secured the long-term future of the synagogue and forged a friendship between Bradfordian followers of Islam and Judaism. All things being well, by Christmas the first tranche of £103,000 of lottery money will have reached the synagogue’s bank account after some of Bradford’s most influential Muslims helped Leavor and other Jews to mount a bid.

Read more » The Guardian
http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2013/dec/20/bradford-synagogue-saved-muslims-jews

Sindhis are Secular Sufi Humanist Nation & civilized community on Earth

sindh youth“As I grow older. I’m enjoying my Sindhiness more. Discovering that Sindhis aren’t really very worried about whether they are Hindus or Muslims came as a bonus (I wish we’d had some Christian and Zorastrian and Jewish Sindhi too). A community that values its cultural equity and treats religion as a personal affair has to be one of the most civilized communities on earth!Rajiv Badlani in Sindhi Reflections, a book by Lata Jagtiani.

Courtesy: Via Facebook

Plight of Sindhi community in Pak to be raised on international level – India – DNA

Alliance of Global Sindhi Association chairman Dr Dayal Meshri on Friday said that the association would raise the plight of Sindhi community residing in Pakistan.

He was in the city for taking stock of preparations for the upcoming Global Sindhi Convention to be held later this year.

Meshri said, “They will lobby to highlight the issues related to atrocities against Sindhis in Pakistan at international forum.”

Asked about how this matter a bilateral one between India and Pakistan, could be raised at the international level, the association head said that the small population residing in Pakistan should get due attention at the global platform.

He added that demand would be made for making available basic amenities to the Sindhi community members, who migrate to India from Pakistan.

Continue reading Plight of Sindhi community in Pak to be raised on international level – India – DNA

Pakistan: Sikh MPA takes oath

Stand out parliamentarians: First Sikh MPA since partition takes oath

By Ali Usman

LAHORE: Saturday marked a historic milestone for the Sikh community in the province. A Sikh representative, for the first time since 1947, took oath as a member of the provincial assembly in Punjab at its first session.

He was nominated on a seat reserved for minorities on a Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) ticket.

Sardar Ramesh Singh Arora walked into the assembly hall wearing a traditional white shalwar kamees and an orange turban. Several parliamentarians and assembly officials shook hands with him and welcomed him. Several of his family and friends were there to support him as well.

“As the first Sikh to have taken oath as a parliamentarian in the Punjab Assembly since 1947, I am absolutely delighted to be part of this august house. The position certainly comes with a lot of responsibility. I will not only be representing my own community but all the minorities in the province,” Arora told The Express Tribune after taking the oath.

Read more » The Express Tribune
http://tribune.com.pk/story/557678/stand-out-parliamentarians-first-sikh-mpa-since-partition-takes-oath/

The fading soul of Pakistan’s diversity – By Zeba T.Hashmi

Around the Lahore Central Railway Station, narrow alleys are like a maze, with hotels and restaurants for passengers coming in from across the country. The visitors from Cholistan were staying in one such building. Their common attire said nothing about their significance. The assertiveness is in their eyes spoke of the hardships they face in the middle of the uninhabited deserts. Through the music they make, they bring their world to life with songs of love, mysticism and sad partings.

A group of singers from the Bheel community were my hosts in one of the rundown hotels where they were staying. A few moments after I entered the room and greeted them, there was music all around, the sadness of the room shattered by the elaborate melodies they made from the stringed Yaktara and the colorful Raanti instruments. Such was the beauty I found in that tiny, unfamiliar room that came to life with music and lively stories, in spite of interruptions by the hotel manager who kept asking us to tone it down.

The members of the Hindu Bheel community are mostly landless, and they are known for their melodies and beautiful traditional musical instruments, ornamented by elaborately embroidered bright colored fabrics. They make their stringed instruments with animal hides and wood, hollowed pipes that are magic for the ear. They are known for their distinctive voice quality and the art of story-telling. Their women wear glass bangles all over their arms and wear colorful Cholis and Ghagharas.

Continue reading The fading soul of Pakistan’s diversity – By Zeba T.Hashmi

Canada – Calgary Sindhi Community celebrated Shah Latif Day

By: Mashhood Qazi, Calgary

Calgarian Sindhis met over lunch last month where a vast majority of friends attended the program along with their families. We celebrated this program with a theme of ‘Latif Day’ and encouraged our youth to speak about sufi poet Shah. The objective was to have our kids understand Sindh’s heritage and the life of our great poet of peace, Shah Latif. This gesture was very well praised by all the attendees. The beauty of this program was the enthusiastic attendees who spared no single minute but to get involved in our traditional Katchehri.

Courtesy: SANA list + Sindhi e-lists, February 14, 2013.

Talking to Radio Pakistan, Asma Jahangir said it makes no sense if only judges have to appoint judges

Prominent jurists give expert opinion on Judicial Commission for appointment of judges

They were speaking in Radio Pakistan’s programme ‘Naey Ufaq’‚ which was aired on Saturday night.

Prominent jurists have opined that composition of the Judicial Commission for appointment of judges was not complete and therefore‚ appointments so made are open to question.

Taking part in Radio Pakistan’s programme ‘Naey Ufaq’‚ on Saturday night‚ former Law Minister and senior jurist Khalid Ranjha said there would be nothing wrong with the proceedings of the Commission if someone from the existing members does not attend its meeting. However‚ as Pakistan Bar Council has not as yet nominated its member to the Commission‚ therefore‚ appointments done by it would not be in line with the spirit of the Constitution.

Another senior legal brain Latif Afridi also subscribed to this point of view and said an incomplete Commission should not conduct its proceedings for appointment of judges.

Former President of Supreme Court Bar Association Asma Jehangir said input from the legal community should also be included while making nominations for appointment of judges. She said it makes no sense if only judges have to appoint judges as the process may also result induction of people with questionable competence or background. ….

Courtesy: http://www.radio.gov.pk/newsdetail-36946

Hollywood Celebrities Blanca Blanco and John Savage support Sindh & Sindhi community

It’s an honor to be here. Thank you Sufi. I was very pleased when we met Sufi Sindhi and when he talked about his organization I thought it was very impressive because we need people like him that encourage helping others. I think that it was for us, very important to be here. I wanted to come and talk to you about my documentary because it relates a lot to the Sindhi community in the sense that I grew up in Mexico and we experienced poverty and there was an increase in the lack of jobs and women didn’t have rights. So as a kid I would keep track of all my experiences and I wanted to do something when I got older, either a documentary or a book or a movie. I thought when I’m older I’ll be able to do that. So I’m going to show you the documentary and when I’m done I can continue talking about that.

I grew up in Washington State. We moved from Mexico and we crossed the border. Now we are all citizens. I was a citizen, but I couldn’t cross the border by myself. I know that this is something that is happening in the Sindhi community. They are migrating to India because they want a better future. I can relate to this organization and the community. So let’s show the video and then we can continue.

Continue reading Hollywood Celebrities Blanca Blanco and John Savage support Sindh & Sindhi community

SANA-Toronto announces Protest against SPLG Law.

As per decisions of ec meeting of SANA Toronto chapter held on October 10, 2012 regarding the issue of controversial, apartheid and discriminatory SPLG law, it was decided to arrange a community gathering in a one week time to protest against this black Law and formulate a joint strategy .

Ec believes that every step forward should be with the consent of all membership of SANA along with community and ec is working towards finalizing the details of this protest meeting before inviting the community for participation in the event.

Ec hopes that all of us men & women along with our family will join this protest meeting to show our resolve to oppose all such black laws like SPLGO/SPLGB and defend our motherland Sindh with all peaceful means.

Sindhi community mourns the tragic death of three saints

By: Himanshu Bhatt

SURAT: The Sindhi community of the city mourned the tragic deaths of three saints in a road accident in Rajasthan on Wednesday morning.

As a mark of respect to the saints, the Sindhi community observed a total bandh in the Sindhi-dominated area of Ramnagar in Rander on Wednesday. Saint Ashoklal alias Ashok Prakash, 56, saint Rajuram alias Raj Prakash, 40 of Surat and saint Kishorilal alias Kishore Prakash, 40 died in the road accident at Jaipur-Kisangarh Express Highway No-8 when the car in which they were travelling from Vadodara to Jaipur to attend a wedding ceremony, rammed into a truck.

Continue reading Sindhi community mourns the tragic death of three saints

MPA wants Christian girl released, blasphemy law abolished

KARACHI, Aug 24: MPA Saleem Khursheed Khokhar, who represents the Christian community in the Sindh Assembly, has called for the immediate release of a Christian girl arrested recently near Islamabad. She was accused of desecrating the Quran and charged under the blasphemy law.

Speaking at a press conference at the Karachi Press Club on Friday, Mr Khokhar appealed to the government to abolish the blasphemy law, claiming that it was being misused to settle personal scores and victimise the minorities.

Continue reading MPA wants Christian girl released, blasphemy law abolished

Anwar Memon: A Leader and Friend of Sindhi Community

By: Khalid Hashmani

All those who knew Anwar Memon are truly saddened by his untimely departure from among us. May God rest his soul in peace and give us all enough strength to bear the loss of this great friend of Sindhi community!

I have personally known Anwar Memon for more than 55 years. Being a friend and admirer, I always looked Anwar with respect since our days at the Government High School in Hyderabad. Anwar’s impersonation of SaeeN Bashir Qureshi (who was a great teacher with the high hopes that his lethargic students who would one day become scholars of Persian) was legendary in our school. No matter how much down one felt, hearing Anwar impersonate SaeeN Bashir Qureshi made us forget all your sorrows and filled us with laughter and smiles. As the fate would have it, I followed him to Cadet College Petaro in 1960. There, apart from sharing common bond as having our homes in the same city (Hyderabad), we also became roommates in his final year at Petaro (1963) and came to know a lot of good and some not-so-good things about each other. In Petaro, Anwar belonged to the Jinnah House for first few years and then joined the newly created Shah Abdul Latif House. He was considered by most cadets as a leader without stripes. Although he was not an appointed section/House leader, he commanded more respect of all the cadets than most of other cadets who had formal stripes. After passing the Intermediate Examination from Cadet College Petaro, Anwar joined Sindh University Engineering College [now called Mehran University of Engineering and Technology (MUET)] in Jamshoro. I after passing the same examination from Petaro joined another Engineering college in Karachi, Sindh. But as we were meant to meet again, I transferred to Sindh University Engineering College in late 1965, where Anwar had been elected as the President of Student Union. He was very influential and highly respected by both students and faculty. He was instrumental in helping me in couple of troublesome situations. After receiving Bachelor’s degree, Anwar landed a very prestigious job with one of the leading Petroleum Company and was envy of many of his colleagues and friends.

Continue reading Anwar Memon: A Leader and Friend of Sindhi Community

“Intolerance is accepted-even rewarded in Pakistan’s mainstream media”

By Lauren Frayer

As Pakistan’s media has expanded in recent years, there’s been a rise in Islamic preachers with popular TV call-in talk shows. And they’ve had their share of scandal. One famous TV host fled the country after embezzlement allegations. Others are accused of spewing hate speech.

That’s the case for Pakistan’s most popular televangelist, Aamir Liaquat, who’s just been rehired by the country’s top TV channel despite accusations that he provoked deadly attacks in 2008.

Liaquat, 41, is once again the face of Pakistan’s biggest and richest private TV station, Geo TV. He also appears in commercials for everything from cooking oil to an Islamic bank. During the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, he’s been broadcasting live 11 hours a day — while fasting — and drawing record ratings.

“I say peace be with you, from the deepest core of my heart, with all sincerity and respect,” he says warmly to viewers.

But the beaming TV personality has not always sounded so benign.

Four years ago, Liaquat did an hourlong special on a religious sect known as the Ahmadis. They consider themselves Muslim. But under a constitutional amendment in Pakistan, they are banned from calling themselves Muslim.

They believe in the Prophet Muhammad. But they also believe in Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, a 19th-century figure they believe was the messiah. Many Muslims call that blasphemy. On live TV in 2008, Liaquat condemned the Ahmadis’ messiah. “He was like a dead body in terms of morality and character,” Liaquat said. “He never spoke the truth and never kept his promises. He was a coward. His speech and writings make me vomit.” Then he sat nodding in approval while a guest mullah said people like the Ahmadis’ messiah should be killed. “Anyone who claims to be a prophet is an infidel, and deserves to be murdered,” Maulana Muhammad Ameen said.

A Surge In Targeted Killings

Since that broadcast, violence has left hundreds of Ahmadis dead. Ahmadi Najm’s husband — a pediatrician with his own clinic — was one of them. “It was the 17th of August, 2010,” Najm recalls. “He was closing his clinic, and had just started his car, and they came — some unknown people. They fired. At the spot, he was dead. He got about 30 bullets in his chest.” The 33-year-old widow speaks from a safe house in Karachi, where Ahmadis hide during bouts of violence against them. Behind a padlocked door, Najm and her three children huddle together. Her baby girl was just 2 1/2 months old when her father was killed.

Continue reading “Intolerance is accepted-even rewarded in Pakistan’s mainstream media”

The painful plight of native Sindhi Hindu community – Forced migration of native children of Sindh

By: Iqbal Tareen

The painful plight of native Sindhi Hindu community, which has been under systematic onslaught of government agencies, criminal groups, decadent sardari system and violent clan groups in Sindh. Decades of religious extremism; collapse of judiciary and law enforcement agencies; criminalization and commercialization of political parties in the country especially in Sindh has created an environment where various religious, gender, and ethnic minority groups are thrown under serious vulnerability.

Although it is an unequivocal responsibility of State to safeguard life and property of every citizen but it does not relieve other individuals, groups, and institutions from their moral obligation to fight social injustice and discrimination.

In times when even advanced nations are actively alluring global talent, the most peaceful, law abiding, hardworking, highly skilled and entrepreneurial native children of Sindh are being forced to leave their

motherland just because they happen to be part of a very successful but defenseless community.

We could easily blame others but ultimate responsibility rests with us at the individual and collective level. By sitting on the sidelines or not doing enough we have allowed uprooting of hundreds and thousands of our

best and brightest native brothers and sisters. Unforgiveable failings of human rights and Sindh rights organizations compounded by our individual dereliction of moral duty have created a severe moral crisis of our collective consciousness.

At personal level, I feel guilty of my failure to bring this issue to the front burner of a public discourse within North American Diaspora. Having said that, I am not ready to lose my faith in the basic goodness of human

beings. Together we can still prevent further perpetration of this collective crime against a peaceful community in Sindh.

I hope members of Pakistani media, civil society and Pakistani Diaspora organizations will follow lead in exposing those individuals and groups who are behind religious cleansing of minority groups in Pakistan.

I assure you of my personal efforts in solidarity with the just and moral cause of our Sindhi Hindu brothers and sisters in Pakistan.

About – The writer is a President of Silver Lining International, author of books, rights activist and former president of Sindhi Association of North America.

Courtesy: Sindhi e-lists/ e-groups, August 12-13, 2012.

The New Sindhis in India

The New Sindhis

By: Shefalee Vasudev, New Delhi

What mental cues do most people associate with Sindhis? It’s either a comical sidekick in a film, a smarmy merchant type or girls in mini skirts and designer bags whose filthy rich fathers run business empires in “Bambai” and Dubai. If the Sindhi stereotypes still prevail or if Sindhi curry and papad is all there is to know about the community’s cuisine, there’s good reason. Being rendered stateless after Partition also led to Indian Sindhis becoming somewhat rootless. But the younger generation wants to change that, without wearing lament on their lapel. Meet the new Sindhis.

Hanee Tindwani, 31, gave up her job as a radio jockey to become a teacher at the Vision Sindhu Children Academy in Ahmedabad, where Sindhi culture is being resurrected. Or take celebrated folk singer Dushyant Ahuja. He consciously steers clear of mass entertainment and sings Sindhi ghazals and folk songs for select audiences in India and abroad to draw attention to the poetic heritage of his community. Writer Vimmi Sadarangani, a Jaipur Literature Festival regular and historian Nandita Bhavnani, who does research on the Sindhi cultural connection between Pakistan and India, are both prominent names among the new Sindhis.

Continue reading The New Sindhis in India

Hindu teen girl kidnapped in Pakistan

A 14-year-old Hindu girl has been kidnapped from Pakistan’s Sindh province, triggering widespread concern among the minority community members and reports of their apparent exodus.

The teenage girl, Manisha Kumari, was kidnapped from Jacobabad in Sindh, which has a sizeable Hindu population, on Tuesday, Pakistan Hindu Council president Jethanand Doonger Mal Kohistani said today.

“Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah has taken notice of the matter and asked provincial Minority Affairs Minister Mohan Lal to visit Jacobabad to look into the issue,” Kohistani told . The kidnapping of the girl from Jacobabad and the abduction of 11 Hindu traders from Balochistan and Sindh provinces over the past few months has added to the community’s concerns, Kohistani said.

There is sadness among Hindus as the law and order situation is deteriorating. Even Muslims have been affected by the deteriorating situation, it is not just the Hindus,” he said. Though TV news channels claimed several Hindu families from Jacobabad had decided to migrate to India because of forced conversions, extortion and kidnapping, Kohistani and Human Rights Commission of Pakistan activist Amarnath Motumal said there was no evidence to substantiate these reports.

Continue reading Hindu teen girl kidnapped in Pakistan

Toronto Sun – Pakistani Consulate General official in Toronto recalled over sex assault allegation

Pakistani consular official recalled over sex assault allegation

By Maryam Shah, Toronto Sun

TORONTO – An official with the Consulate General of Pakistan in Toronto has been recalled following an inquiry into a sexual assault allegation.

The married father of two allegedly assaulted a female passport applicant inside the North York consulate in February.

Toronto Police were not called to investigate the matter. Consular officials conducted their own investigation which wrapped up late last month.

After collecting statements from both sides, the investigative committee declared the man was “totally unfit” for government service.

The committee “held the accused guilty of trying to use his position to coax the victim into a locked room with malicious intentions of molesting/physically assaulting her,” said a consular report obtained by the Toronto Sun.

The June 23 report shows that the allegation was reported on Feb. 12 by a “respected community member.” The consular official allegedly took the victim “into an isolated locked room.”

The victim is identified as a Pakistani-Canadian woman from Thorncliffe. The report states that the employee was in charge of MRP (machine-readable passport) processing.

The only people aware of the allegation were the accused, the victim, and committee members.

“Inquiry officers were told to type notes themselves to keep the inquiry confined within the four walls of the office,” reads the report, signed by acting consul general Imran Ali.

The document also states that the woman “did not go to Toronto law enforcement authorities on our assurances that we would hold an impartial inquiry and the culprit would be brought to justice.”

Sources confirmed no attempt was made to stop the woman from going to Toronto Police when the allegation first came to light.

The report also states that the RCMP was informed about the inquiry “to pre-empt embarrassment” if the victim later contacted the authorities. It later acknowledged the possible “negative consequences” if the victim contacted Canadian law enforcement or media.

Continue reading Toronto Sun – Pakistani Consulate General official in Toronto recalled over sex assault allegation

PAKISTAN: A Hindu girl was forced to convert to Islam and is now missing – the judge and police have sided with the perpetrators

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information that a 14-year-old girl, from the Hindu religious minority community was abducted by gangsters and forcibly converted to Islam. When a police case was filed against the abductors the girl was produced before a Magistrate’s Court by the gangsters to record a statement that she has embraced Islam as her religion. The irony of the judicial process is that the judicial magistrate has accepted her subsequent marriage as legal in spite of the Pakistan law which does not allow the marriage of girls before the age of 16 years. Her age was forged from 14 to 18 by the police and perpetrators before the judicial magistrate who had never asked for evidence about her age.

The father of the victim received information from the police that girl has been shifted to the tribal areas of the Pakistan, close to Afghanistan border for nefarious designs.

The police took five days to file the First Information Report (FIR) providing good time to the perpetrators to manage a forced marriage. The three young sisters, their mother and one brother of the victim were terminated from the employment from the same factory where their sister was employed because the parents of the victim had mentioned the registration number of the car of the factory in which their daughter was abducted. ….

Read more » Asia Human Rights Commission

http://www.humanrights.asia/news/urgent-appeals/AHRC-UAC-115-2012

Hope fades away for Hazaras of Pakistan

The Hazaras are being systematically killed because they are anti-Taliban

“At least 60 people belonging to Hazara community living in Quetta have been killed in targeted attacks, including suicide, remote-controlled and timer device bombings and firing,” says a report published in this newspaper, following a brutal attack on Shia pilgrims belonging to the Hazara community.

Thursday’s bomb attack in the Hazarganji area on the outskirts of the provincial capital of Balochistan was not the first such attack of the year. Not even the first of the month. The Hazara community has been targeted, with great impunity, by outlawed militant organisations on at least six occasions in the current year. While all attacks have claimed precious lives, one of worst attacks against the community came last September, when a bus carrying Hazara passengers was stopped by assailants heavily armed with rocket launchers and Kalashnikovs. They identified Hazara men, took them off the bus and slaughtered them one by one within half a kilometre from a security check post. A similar incident was repeated a few days later in Akhtarabad area of Quetta.  Some unconfirmed reports say “over 800 Hazaras have been killed in 24 incidents of mass-murder and 131 targeted ambushes since 2001.”

Murderous motives

Responsibility for most of these attacks has been claimed by outlawed group Lashkar-i-Jhangvi, who have gone as far in their hate preach as declaring the community “wajib-ul-qatl” or deserving of death in their edicts handed out in the Balochistan province. Moreover, the community has been warned that its settlements in Hazara Town and on Alamdar Road will be transformed into graveyards as the war against them continues, according to a column published in this newspaper.

The killings have received mixed reactions and analyses from government officials, politicians and Hazara community leaders. Some blame security forces and intelligence agencies for the killings. Others point the fingers at the sectarian fanatics, Taliban and land mafia while some people even suggest a complex amalgam of all the aforementioned factors.

Role of security forces

While there is little doubt that all the attacks have been unprovoked and unidirectional without any apprehensions for many years, for Hazaras, the failure of security forces to protect their community remains an unanswered question.

Continue reading Hope fades away for Hazaras of Pakistan

Sindh Advocacy Campaign 2012 @ Capitol Hill Washington, DC

The Sindhi American Political Action Committee (SAPAC) has diligently worked through recognizing the issues of the Sindh in Pakistan. Through our best efforts, we have organized a Two-day Advocacy Campaign, September 11th-12th 2012 at the Capitol Hill for the Sindhis in Pakistan.

These two days encompass raising awareness regarding the discrimination and torture faced by the Sindhis in Pakistan, which is one of the pressing issues in Pakistan. In addition, it is essential to understand that the Sindh community is dealing with inhumane living conditions.

We would like to send out our sincere request for participation in our Sindhi Advocacy Campaign on September 11th through 12th, 2012 9am-6pm, at the Capitol Hill. The Two-day Advocacy will focus on the issues of enforced disappearances, marginalization of the religious minority (especially Sindhi Hindus), and mistreatment of women in Sindh, Pakistan. On the Hill we will be meeting with 435 members of the house and 100 senators from Congress.

Your support by attending the Sindhi Advocacy Campaign 2012, would be deeply appreciated and help uplift our mission of amending justice to the Sindhi’s in Pakistan.

Courtesy: Sindhi e-lists/ e-groups, June 15, 2012

Must read: ‘The path of isolation’ – by Asma Jahangir

PAKISTAN remains in the dog house of the international community mainly because its rulers refuse to accept that violence and conflict within the country are escalating and have serious ramifications for the entire region.

Pakistan’s friends fear a severe economic meltdown and there are widespread concerns over continuing corruption which has also partly impaired governance.

Amazingly, while militant non-state actors are knocking down our doors and have successfully solidified their networks, our civil institutions are busy rubbing each others’ noses in the dirt — perhaps for sound reasons but the rubbing is excessive.

Constant political bickering keeps policymakers, the media, the judiciary and the public distracted from the risks we face.

Corruption is rife in all governments and institutions. Sadly, selective investigations often remain inconclusive. Ironically, most of those accused of corruption brazenly say they have been singled out, rather than plead innocence and prove it too.

Continue reading Must read: ‘The path of isolation’ – by Asma Jahangir

Social terrorism: religious vendetta against Ahmadis

By Faiza Mirza

Religious persecution of people from Ahmadiyya community is not a new development in Pakistan. Ahmadis have long been marginalised from the time when they were declared non-Muslims in the amendment introduced in 1973’s Constitution. Since then, they have been facing the wrath of many Muslims who have fundamental views and refuse to trade, dine and even sit with them.

Whether it is about banning a certain juice brand, expelling Ahmadi students from universities or failure to recognise the only Pakistani Nobel Laureate, the hatred fuelled by religious clerics knows no boundaries.

Academic institutions remain an arena of conflicting views, hence often turning into another platform for religious fundamentalists to brainwash impressionable minds.

The University of Sargodha, which is in close proximity to Rabwah, is one of a very few universities which houses and educates students from Ahmadiyya community. The university has reportedly been a congenial institute where administration and management support students from different beliefs and schools of thought. However, ubiquity of miscreants, who use religion for their political interests, has contaminated the otherwise pleasant environment.

Continue reading Social terrorism: religious vendetta against Ahmadis

SAPAC efforts for Rinkal Case

March 30, 2012 – SAPAC, Washington, DC: On 24th February, 2012 , a young Hindu girl named Rinkel Kumari was abducted from her home in a small village in Sindh, Pakistan. It was a full twelve hours before her family discovered where she was. Rinkel, aged 19, had been forced to change her religion to Islam and to marry a young man named Naveed Shah. Her parents immediately filled a first information report and brought her case before a civil judge. The court house was surrounded by thugs and supporters of the Pakistani Peoples’ Party Member of the National Assembly (PPP MNA) who was assisting Naveed. Under tremendous pressure, and obvious duress, Rinkel testified that she had married and converted to Islam of her own will. The judge released her into Naveed’s custody. Unsatisfied with the verdict, the Hindu community in Sindh rallied together to demand justice for Rinkel and other Hindu girls who had faced the same fate.

Continue reading SAPAC efforts for Rinkal Case

Dialogue only on Freedom Agenda, Pakistan is an Occupier, Intervention Continuing Since 1948! Hyrbeyar Marri & Khan Kalat

By Archen Baloch 30/03/2012

Baloch national leader Waja HyrBeyar Marri said that there would be no dialogue on anything except freedom, speaking in a private TV program, the patriotic Baloch leader said that foreign interference in Balochistan started the day one when Pakistan occupied it! Pakistan is the occupier! On a desperate remark of the anchorperson that Zardari would not give you

Freedom, HyrBeyar said that they would knock every door of international community for support, and pledge that every Baloch would work hard to regain the freedom!

HyrBeyar Marri, exiled in London, said that the name of Islam is manipulated to serve morbid interests. He said that the attitude of Punjabi elite has never been friendly, he added that Pakistani oligarch has always plundered and looted Balochistan.

Read more » http://www.twitlonger.com/show/gnsdep

Pakistan – Minister for Inter faith harmony says around 100 forced conversions of girls from minority communities

Harmony minister speaks out: Gill wants tougher legislation against forced conversion

By Qaiser Butt

ISLAMABAD: The minister for national harmony has alleged that about 100 non-Muslims, mostly Hindus girls, were forced to convert to Islam in recent months. The minister, Akram Masih Gill, told The Express Tribune that stronger legislation was required to protect minorities from forced conversions. ….

Read more » The Express Tribune

I.A. Rehman on forced conversions – THE Hindu community, particularly in Sindh, has been in the grip of strong feelings of grief, anger and insecurity Unless its grievances are speedily addressed Pakistan stands to suffer incalculable harm in both material and moral terms

Unwelcome conversions

By I.A Rehman

THE Hindu community, particularly in Sindh, has been in the grip of strong feelings of grief, anger and insecurity for several weeks. Unless its grievances are speedily addressed Pakistan stands to suffer incalculable harm in both material and moral terms.

The issue of Hindu girls’ conversion to Islam and marriage to Muslim men, both transitions alleged to be forced and often after abduction, is not new. Indeed, it has always been high on the Hindu citizens’ list of complaints. What is new is the scale and intensity of their reaction and the large number of their appeals for justice. It seems three recent cases involving Rinkal Kumari, Lata Kumari and Aasha Kumari have unleashed the Hindu community’s long-brewing fears of loss of its religious and cultural identities.

The three cases are not identical in detail. Dr Murli Lal Karira, who belonged to Jacobabad and practised medicine at Suhbatpur, in Jafarabad district, was reported to have been abducted while travelling homeward. Some days later, his niece, Aasha Kumari Karira, who was taking lessons at a Jacobabad beauty parlour, did not return home after her work hours, and was believed to have been abducted. Her whereabouts are unknown.

Dr Lata Kumari, the 29-year old daughter of a medical practitioner from Jacobabad and employed at one of Karachi’s premier medical institutions, was reported to have married a young Muslim man after converting to Islam. Her father alleged that her conversion and marriage took place under coercion after abduction and he moved the high court for redress. The lady denies these allegations. She came to the court when her husband applied for bail before arrest.

The brother of Rinkal Kumari (18) says she was abducted by unknown persons, allegedly backed by an influential MNA. Her family had difficulty in filing an FIR. The next day she and the young man she was said to have married after conversion to Islam were presented in a court at Mirpur Mathelo, while her family had been told to go to a court in Ghotki. The family was not allowed to see her. It is said that she told the magistrate she wanted to go with her family but the latter reportedly expressed his inability to allow a Muslim girl to go to a non-Muslim house and sent her to a Darul Aman. Subsequently she is said to have modified her statement.

One suspects that these cases have provoked an unusual wave of protest because unlike the poor and voiceless victims in earlier cases of forced conversion-marriage affairs, the women now involved come of socially noteworthy families who have some access to electronic means of communication.

Several non-Muslim citizens have argued that these women have been, or are being, forced to accept conversion and marriage under threats of dire consequences to their families if they refuse to surrender.

The state of the common Hindu citizens’ mind is reflected in the e-mail Rinkal Kumari’s brother addressed to the chief justice of Pakistan (copied to the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan). He says that Rinkal’s abductors have told her that “if she wants to save her parents’ life she should choose to convert [change] her religion and marry [an] unknown guy…. And yesterday [the] judge ordered that [the] girl wants to change her religion and want[s] to marry …Naveed…. [The] judge even didn’t allow [the] girl to meet … her parents or anybody from her family. There were 500-700 people in [the] courtroom all with guns and there was nobody from [the] girl’s family…. Now hundred[s] of people will take advantage of [the] 18-year-old girl and after that they will sell her to somebody”. Nobody with a reasonably sound heart will fail to be moved by the feelings of anguish and despair oozing from these words.

These cases raise several questions of a fundamental nature.

Continue reading I.A. Rehman on forced conversions – THE Hindu community, particularly in Sindh, has been in the grip of strong feelings of grief, anger and insecurity Unless its grievances are speedily addressed Pakistan stands to suffer incalculable harm in both material and moral terms

Judicial Jinn (genie) – By Waris Husain

My father told me that when he was growing up in a remote village in Pakistan, his community wholeheartedly believed in jinn (genies), and he would see them often as a child. He left his village at a young age to attend school in the city, where he was able to interact with people outside his small native community and develop independent ideas.

Upon his return to the village, all the jinn of his childhood vanished, even though the people of his community who spent their lives in the village still saw them. This is the story of Pakistan’s Courts, which are viewed by average citizens as genies that magically appear to solve unsolvable problems. However, those who have “ventured outside the village” know that there are no judicial genies, just human judges who are liable to make mistakes. This means that the Court must create standards to limit its own powers, lest it become a jinn the people can’t put back in the lamp.

Jinn are described as “smokeless fire,” possessing superhuman powers including the ability to travel expansive distances unimaginable by man. In some stories, the jinn grants three wishes to an individual, allowing the wisher to accrue untold power and wealth. These supernatural abilities distinguish jinn from humans, as jinn possess a greater power to control their environment or reality.

Lately, the media has depicted politicians as weak humans, while assigning a mystic ability to the Court to unilaterally “do justice” in the country.

Continue reading Judicial Jinn (genie) – By Waris Husain

Honorable Congressman Brad Sherman’s Letter to President Zardari on Rinkel issue

By Munawar Laghari, SAPAC

Please join me and Sufi Secular Sindhis in appreciating Honorable Congressman Brad Sherman who sent a letter to President Asif Ali Zardari about Rinkel’s issue and issues facing Hindu community in Pakistan.

Read more » Congressman Brad Sherman Letter to President » http://lockerz.com/s/192156333