Tag Archives: dispute

Defying China, U.S. bombers fly into East China Sea zone

By Phil Stewart and David Alexander | Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Two unarmed U.S. B-52 bombers on a training mission flew over disputed islands in the East China Sea without informing Beijing, defying China’s declaration of a new airspace defense zone and raising the stakes in a territorial standoff.

The flight did not prompt a response from China, the Pentagon said, and the White House urged Beijing on Tuesday to resolve its dispute with Japan over the islands diplomatically, without resorting to “threats or inflammatory language.”

China published coordinates for an East China Sea Air Defense Identification Zone over the weekend and warned it would take “defensive emergency measures” against aircraft that failed to identify themselves properly in the airspace.

The zone covers the skies over islands at the heart of a territorial dispute that China has with close U.S. ally Japan.

“The policy announced by the Chinese over the weekend is unnecessarily inflammatory,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters in California, where President Barack Obama is traveling.

“These are the kinds of differences that should not be addressed with threats or inflammatory language, but rather can and should be resolved diplomatically,” he said.

Two U.S. B-52 bombers carried out the flight, part of a long-planned exercise, on Monday night EST, a U.S. military official said.

The lumbering bombers appeared to send a message that the United States was not trying to hide its intentions and showed that China, so far at least, was unable or unwilling to defend the zone.

Read more » Reuters
http://ca.news.yahoo.com/u-aircraft-fly-over-east-china-sea-without-172248256.html

Kashmir is a Lost Case for Pakistan

By Saeed Qureshi

India and Pakistan have been dueling with each other since 1947 for accession or occupation of Kashmir. Both are stuck up on the line of control ever since and presumably would remain so in the future as well. The Kashmiri nation, ethnically different from the people of Pakistan and India cannot travel across the artificial border.

India makes a legal case for her occupation of Kashmir by citing the agreement reached with the Dogra monarch Hari Singh ruling Kashmir at the time of partition. Pakistan’s claim on Kashmir is based upon the partition formula stipulating that the majority of the religious population would be basic criterion for a state to join either India or Pakistan.

In simple terms it means Muslims majority areas to join Pakistan and the Hindus majority areas with India. India’s claim for annexation of Kashmir is based upon the then monarch of Kashmir Hari Singh’s hasty accession to India.

Because of the unrelenting insurgency and continuous internal unrest in the Indian occupied part of Kashmir, India started deploying security forces through 1990s under the Armed Forces Special Powers Act ( AFSPA) that continue to remain camped on the Indian side of Kashmir ever since. Lately their number has reached 700,000. This is the highest number of armed forces deployment by any country in the post world war in the disputed territories.

The stationing of such massive military presence is a counterpoise to the Pakistan much smaller military deployment in Pakistan’s controlled Kashmir. The deployment of Indian military and para military forces is aimed at suppressing any riots and internal liberation movements launched by the freedom fighters from time to time. The Indian army has been accused of gross human right violation and perpetration of civilian casualties.

Continue reading Kashmir is a Lost Case for Pakistan

The way ahead – By Najam Sethi

In India at least half a dozen chief justices in the past have been accused of corrupt practices or conduct unbecoming a judge of high stature. However, none has ever been dragged to the dock. But matters are very different in Pakistan where the chief justice and the Supreme Court are battling for their credibility and independence because of the misdemeanours of the son of the chief justice. There is bitter discord in state and society. The fear is that if the political fallout isn’t quickly contained, the military might be tempted to step into the fray.

Riaz Malik has presented credible evidence of footing the bills of Arsalan Chaudhry, the son of the CJP, for more than Rs 34 crore in the last three years for favours promised but not fulfilled in cases of property disputes relating to Mr Malik’s business empire pending before his father in the SC. He claims he was blackmailed by Arsalan Chaudhry to cough up or face hard times in the court before his father. Arsalan says he was entrapped in order to influence his father. In the event, Arsalan took favours from Mr Malik but his father didn’t return the compliment, which raises the question of who was blackmailing whom and who gained and who lost from this unholy transaction.

Continue reading The way ahead – By Najam Sethi

Obama Increases Pakistan Drone Strikes as Relations Sour

By Indira A.R. Lakshmanan

President Barack Obama has ordered a sharp increase in drone strikes against suspected terrorists in Pakistan in recent months, anticipating the CIA may soon need to halt such operations in Pakistan’s territory, two U.S. officials said.

His decision reflects mounting U.S. frustration with Pakistan over a growing list of disputes — mirrored by Pakistani grievances with the U.S. — that have soured relations and weakened security cooperation. The U.S. is withholding at least $3 billion in reimbursements for counterinsurgency operations and security-related funding, according to congressional aides and Pakistani officials.

“We are reaching the limits of our patience, and for that reason it’s extremely important that Pakistan take action” to crack down on armed groups based there that attack American and coalition forces in Afghanistan, U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said yesterday in Kabul. ….

Read more » Bloomberg

In India the Army Chief is disowned by the Supreme Court

Age row: ‘Graceful’ end to dispute with the government, says Army Chief

By Nitin Gokhale, A Vaidyanathan and Sidharth Pandey

New Delhi: The Army chief’s decision to take the government to court over his age turns out to have been a huge miscalculation. The Supreme Court today sided with the government, forcing General VK Singh to withdraw his petition by lunch time. His lawyer said the dispute ended “gracefully” and restored “the honour and integrity” of the chief. Many dismiss that assessment as heavily spin-doctored, and say General Singh may quit before his term expires at the end of May.

Read more at: http://www.ndtv.com/article/india/age-row-graceful-end-to-dispute-with-the-government-says-army-chief-175282&cp

Rape, mutilation: Pakistan’s tribal justice for women

By Rebecca Conway

MULTAN,(Reuters) – On April 14, two men entered Asma Firdous’ home, cut off six of her fingers, slashed her arms and lips and then sliced off her nose. Before leaving the house, the men locked their 28-year-old victim inside.

Asma, from impoverished Kohaur Junobi village in Pakistan’s south, was mutilated because her husband was involved in a dispute with his relatives, and they wanted revenge.

Her fate is familiar in parts of Pakistan’s remote and feudal agricultural belts, where women are often used as bargaining chips in family feuds, and where the level of violence they face is increasing in frequency and brutality.

At the hospital in nearby Multan town, Asma’s shocked parents sat quietly by her bedside and struggled to explain what the future holds for their now disfigured daughter.

“I don’t know what will happen to her when she leaves here,” Asma’s father, Ghulam Mustafa, said, in a dilapidated ward heavy with the smell of antiseptic and blood, where other women, doused with acid or kerosene by relatives or fellow villagers, awaiting an equally uncertain future.

Asked if Asma will return to her husband, her father remains silent.

Pakistan is the world’s third-most dangerous country for women, after Afghanistan and the Democratic Republic of Congo, based on a survey conducted by the Thomson Reuters Foundation (link.reuters.com/jet92s)

Read more → Reuters

Woman stoned, shot dead in the name of ‘honour’

MARDAN: A woman was stoned and shot to death in the name of honour allegedly by her husband and over a dozen other men in a village on Tuesday.

Police said they had found the body of Shazia in nearby hills.

“The body was in a bad shape as the woman was first pelted with stones and then fired at,” said Mohammad Tahir, an official at the Rustam police station.

Bairoch village, a remote area sharing the border with Buner district, is extremely backward and its people are known for violence.

He said police teams visited different places to arrest the accused, who were 13 in number. Some of the accused were anti-social elements, he added.

Noor Jehan, mother of the deceased, told police that her daughter was married to Mohammad Saeed. She said her daughter was residing with her in Barikot area of Swat after developing differences with her husband. Two days ago her son-in-law asked her to come to Bairoch to attend a local jirga for settling the dispute. When they visited the village, Saeed and over a dozen other people took hold of Shazia and declared that she would be stoned to death, she said.

Noor Jehan said she saved her life after escaping, but her daughter was killed.

Courtesy: → DAWN.COM

China’s riot town: ‘No one else is listening’

By Eunice Yoon, CNN

The authorities here are obviously nervous. My crew and I are sitting in a local government building being questioned by six propaganda officials.

One of them is scribbling down our credentials in a worn pocket-sized notebook. My producer, Steven Jiang, is talking non-stop to one officer who looks especially nonplussed.

We traveled to the manufacturing town of Xintang to investigate why thousands of migrant workers suddenly took to the streets just a week ago.

We knew the unrest was triggered by what appeared to be a minor event — a pregnant migrant worker and her husband got in a scuffle with city officials and she ended up falling on the ground.

However, the ferocity by which this dispute exploded in a massive conflagration, pitting thousands of enraged workers against hundreds of riot police, took many by surprise.

The unrest seems to belie the image of China as a bustling economy going from strength to strength, enriching the lives of millions across the country, especially in the industrial south. But the problem is many people feel they are not getting their fair share of the rapid growth. …

Read more: → CNN

Controversial Kalabagh Dam will hurt the interests of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Sindh and Pakistan as well

A Case Against Kalabagh Dam: Aziz Narejo

Filling in the Dots: Why PILDAT is Reviving Kalabagh Debate: Introductory Note by Kamran Shafi

Kalabagh Dam is a very bad idea indeed. If ONLY for the reason that 3 out of 4 federating units of this blessed country have rejected it.

I am familiar enough with the Mardan-Nowshera-Charsadda area well enough to know that when without this monstrosity there is water standing along the roads just three feet below the level of the road there has to be a big problem of water-logging already.

I can only hope that sense prevails and that our already frayed federation is not damaged further.

We also must ask the question WHY an organisation whose goal is “to strengthen and sustain democracy and democratic institutions” in this poor country should re-raise a hugely contentious issue like the Kalabagh Dam? Which has been DEMOCRATICALLY rejected by three-fourths of the country.

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A case Against Kalabagh Dam – by Aziz Narejo

A recent seminar in Karachi organized by an NGO, PILDAT has again brought the issue of Kalabagh Dam to the fore. Especially an irrational and unscrupulous statement at the seminar by IRSA chairman (from Punjab) has flared up the emotions among the stakeholders.

Actually he is not alone in this. There is a certain lobby in Pakistan, which continues to insist on the construction of Kalabagh Dam on Indus River ignoring the fierce opposition from the provinces of Khyber- Pakhtoonkhwa and Sindh …

Read more : Indus Herald

Blasphemy allegations: Another Christian family on the run

… a group of men led by Muhammad Sameer, a member of a religious organisation keen on raising its sectarian profile, forced their way into the house and started slapping Zahira, said another of her brothers, Sohail. “Other men and women from the neighbourhood started gathering at the house too and they beat up my sister and mother. They were the only people in the house,” he said.

We tried our best to get her to confess her crime,” Sameer told The Express Tribune. As a member of the religious organisation, he said he could not tolerate any derogatory remarks about the Holy Prophet (pbuh).

Sameer added that he was very proud of his wife’s performance during the mob beating. “She beat Zahira more than anyone else. Her hand is so swollen that she hasn’t been able to make rotis since the day of the incident. I’ve been getting my meals from a restaurant,” he said. …

LAHORE: Two Christian women were beaten and publically humiliated by an angry mob over apparently frivolous blasphemy allegations and they and their family are now in hiding for fear of being killed, The Express Tribune has learnt.

“None of our relatives is ready to let us stay with them. They fear the wrath of the extremists, particularly after the assassination of Salmaan Taseer,” a male member of the family said over the phone from an undisclosed location.

The family and a non-governmental organisation that is helping them asked that their identities not be revealed, lest it put them in further danger. The names mentioned here are fictitious. …

Read more : The Express Tribune

Canada calls BSF anti-human, violent unit

CNN-IBN

New Delhi: The Canadian High Commission has rejected an immigration application of an Indian for working in the Border Security Force which the Canadian authority says, is a notorious force that is engaged in systematic attacks on civilians.

Fateh Singh Pandher, a retired jawan from the BSF, had applied to travel to Canada along with his family. But the Canada High Commission here refused to give permission to travel to Canada.

Continue reading Canada calls BSF anti-human, violent unit

Kalabagh dam : they want to control the water of Sindh for Punjab

Hypocrisy

By: M. Khan Sial, Karachi

Some of our friends belonging to Punjab are bent upon proving that havoc brought out by recent surplus flood water in the country, could have been averted if the controversial Kalabagh dam in Punjab existed and release of fresh water in sea to check sea intrusion is wastage. This is technically wrong contention as nowhere in the world surplus flood water are deposited in normal dams like Kalabagh due to their technicalities. Further, if any effort is made to control sudden spate of flood water, it did not succeed as spate of high flood water washed out the whole dam. Further superb floods come after 22 years in Pakistan. If we presume the water of flood is absorbed in proposed Kalabagh dam, should we wait for 22 years to fill the dam after spending billions of rupees on its construction and maintenance?

Further, the experts in various seminars have expressed their views that site of controversial Kalabagh dam is in earthquake zone and also underground range of salt mines existed there. Since some people want to control the water of Sindh for Punjab, they are trying to spread misinformation. Sometimes, they call it release of water in sea as wastage despite in the 74 deltas of the world, fresh water is released to push sea water back. It is very unfortunate pro-Kalabagh dam lobby belonging to Punjab, are claiming they are only well-wishers of rest three provinces and also of the country whereas people of three provinces are not well wishers of their own provinces or country.

What hypocrisy! Such people are unable to tell why they remained mum on untimely demise of Indus delta? Why “Water Accord – 1991” after its signing on it and passing 19 years, was not implemented in letter and spirit? Internationally recognised IUCN has recommended release of 35MAF water downstream Kotri but mighty Punjab is not allowing this resulting in mass migration in the area and ruination of eco-system, increase of poverty and dangerous sea intrusion.

Continue reading Kalabagh dam : they want to control the water of Sindh for Punjab

Kalabagh dam : Unable to understand why they see the world only with the eyes of Punjab?

Violation of oath

By Mohammad Khan Sial, Karachi

I was amazed to read the letter of — of Lahore (July 28) entitled: “Violation of oath…high treason” claiming that Prime Minister’s oath has been violated by saying: “Kalabagh dam has become victim of politics”.

I am unable to understand why people like — see the world only with the eyes of Punjab? Dr Bhatti must know who after taking oath compelled ‘majority’ of our population to get separation from ‘minority’? Who despite utilizing natural resources of Balochistan for 60 years, pushed the people of Balochistan to further backwardness and utilized their resources on the basis of un-justified population being sole criteria for distribution of natural resources, for the benefit of Punjab? Who did not allow to release at least 10MAF water downstream Kotri in Sindh after passing 19 years to signing on “Water Accord – 1991”?

Who was responsible for sea intrusion inundating 2.6 million acres of land in Sindh due to non-implementation of the said Accord? Who is responsible for untimely mass destruction of Indus delta? Who is compelling people of Sindh to live 80 per cent below the internationally recognised dateline of poverty despite Sindh is meeting 75% gas and 59% oil requirements but its people are still poor? want to tell Dr Bhatti, let us start from Balochistan and later Sindh to know who in the various governments discriminated the two provinces by violating the oath? Why people like Dr Bhatti are not worried about rest of Pakistan except Punjab. Perhaps such people think Sindh, Balochistan and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa are not parts of Pakistan? Very sad.

Courtesy: THE FRONTIER POST, Saturday 31, 2010

http://www.thefrontierpost.com/News.aspx?ncat=le&nid=1855&ad=31-07-201

Pakistan: Kalabagh dam threatens livelihood of millions

by Ray Fulcher

GREEN LEFT

… construction of a massive dam in 2016 on the Indus river at Kalabagh, near the border between the Punjab and North West Frontier provinces. Opponents of the World Bank-funded dam project see it as another grab for water by the Punjabi ruling elite, which dominates federal politics in Pakistan.

The government claims that the dam is necessary for Pakistan’s economic development, that it will provide 3600 megawatts of hydroelectric power and 35,000 jobs.

Musharraf has said that the dam project will proceed against any opposition and that the federal and Punjabi governments will topple any provincial government that opposes the project. Of Pakistan’s four provinces, three provincial parliaments — North West Frontier (NWFP), Sindh and Balochistan — have passed resolutions opposing the dam.

On December 31, four progressive parties in Punjab united to protest against the proposed dam. The rally, held in Lahore, was charged by police, and activists of the four parties — the National Workers Party, the Labour Party Pakistan (LPP), the Pakistan Mazdoor Mehaz and the Mazdoor Kissan Party — were beaten.

Farooq Tariq, an organiser of the rally and national secretary of the LPP told Green Left Weekly by phone: “The LPP opposes the dam because it will deny Sindh its share of water and turn it into a desert. We oppose the construction of big dams on environmental grounds. Furthermore, this dam will benefit the Punjab ruling class and will add to the exploitation of Sindh. All provinces except the Punjab have repeatedly opposed the construction of this dam. This democratic verdict should be taken as a referendum and the dam abandoned.

Continue reading Pakistan: Kalabagh dam threatens livelihood of millions

Ayodhya Verdict: Musings of a Now Hardened Agnostic – By Yoginder Sikand

As neither a Hindu nor a Muslim, but, rather, now a hardened agnostic who suspects there is an invisible force behind the universe but is fully distrustful of all religions, I could not be bothered in the least if a temple or a mosque or a profane structure—or, indeed, nothing at all—is now to occupy the disputed spot in Ayodhya. As far as I know, the force that I want to believe exists and pervades the entire universe and beyond is supremely indifferent to who the new owners of the contested spot are to be. This force knows no distinction of religion, caste, nationality, gender, sexual orientation, and so on and so forth. For all I care, you can smear your head with ash and fall flat in front of the toy-like idols that now stand on the disputed spot and mumble mantras in incomprehensible Sanskrit, or you can don a skull-cap and bend and bow while muttering phrases in Arabic of which you understand not a word if the mosque that once stood on the spot is reconstructed. The universal force I sort of suspect exists is, I know, supremely unaffected by what you do on that measly bit of earth. …

Read more >> indianmuslimobsever

China’s Discreet Hold on Pakistan’s Northern Borderlands

By SELIG S. HARRISON

While the world focuses on the flood-ravaged Indus River valley, a quiet geopolitical crisis is unfolding in the Himalayan borderlands of northern Pakistan, where Islamabad is handing over de facto control of the strategic Gilgit-Baltistan region in the northwest corner of disputed Kashmir to China.

The entire Pakistan-occupied western portion of Kashmir stretching from Gilgit in the north to Azad (Free) Kashmir in the south is closed to the world, in contrast to the media access that India permits in the eastern part, where it is combating a Pakistan-backed insurgency. But reports from a variety of foreign intelligence sources, Pakistani journalists and Pakistani human rights workers reveal two important new developments in Gilgit-Baltistan: a simmering rebellion against Pakistani rule and the influx of an estimated 7,000 to 11,000 soldiers of the People’s Liberation Army.

China wants a grip on the region to assure unfettered road and rail access to the Gulf through Pakistan. It takes 16 to 25 days for Chinese oil tankers to reach the Gulf. When high-speed rail and road links through Gilgit and Baltistan are completed, China will be able to transport cargo from Eastern China to the new Chinese-built Pakistani naval bases at Gwadar, Pasni and Ormara, just east of the Gulf, within 48 hours.

Many of the P.L.A. soldiers entering Gilgit-Baltistan are expected to work on the railroad. Some are extending the Karakoram Highway, built to link China’s Sinkiang Province with Pakistan. Others are working on dams, expressways and other projects.

Read more >> The New York Times

Appeal to Ban Ki-moon

I am a senior citizen and writer from Pakistan – an active member of United Nations and hereby appeal to your honour drawing your immediate personal attention towards an important matter meant to safeguard a vital part suffering from environmental & human disaster which is imminent in the shape of untimely sad demise of Indus delta – once the sixth largest in the world.

Unfortunately, our elected President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gillani in addition to previous army dictator and racist General (r) Musharraf and previous elected Prime Minister M. Nawaz Sharif all were obviously not interested to save the Indus delta from unnatural death. Nevertheless, the former Prime Minister Ms Benazir Bhutto had announced decision of her govt for proposed Port at Keti Bunder to save the delta but her government’s successor M. Nawaz not only abandoned the project but shifted the money of Project, for construction of the Motor Highway (Lahore-Rawalpindi) in his native province, Punjab.

The United Nations and all international Commissions on Human Rights are fully aware about the environmental and human disaster throughout the world and striving hard to safeguard affected areas. On the contrary, our rulers are bent upon to destroy the delta by neglecting its basic requirements of survival in order to retain their political gains in Punjab. Sorry to say they have, obviously, no concern to the unnatural sad demise of Indus delta and its extensive formidable affects on the people of Sindh.

No regular release of fresh water for several years despite at least 10MAF downstream Kotri guaranteed in “Water Accord – 1991” to save the delta, with pending survey to determine exact amount of water for release, were not allowed to implement even after 19 years the Accord was signed, resulting in mass migration of one million people from the delta, tremendous increase in poverty and unemployment, ruination of eco-system including flora and fauna, degradation of land, formidable sea intrusion resulting in inundating of 2.6 million acres of land, considerable reduction in export of sea food and much more.

After a long period of 15 years signing the Accord, the federal government conducted a study in 2005 through International Panel of Experts (IPEs) that recommended 25MAF for the released annually downstream Kotri whereas IUCN – an international reputed organisation, separately conducted survey which recommended 35MAF water release downstream Kotri but nothing implemented yet.

The Sindh Government in its official briefing to the visiting Senate Committee on Water headed by Senator Lashkari Raisani a few months ago said: “If the situation remained unchanged, centuries-old historical city of Thatta and Badin in Sindh would disappear within next 20 years whereas sea intrusion is inundating 80 acres of land per day.”

Nevertheless, Punjab still wants to build controversial Kalabagh dam despite three out of four provincial assemblies have already passed about 10 resolutions against its construction. The dam is bound to turn Sindh into desert despite the fact about 1500 dams have been decommissioned through out world, to protect the environment. As per new definition of the Indus delta, 80 per cent of present of Sindh covered as delta area, therefore, the ruination of the delta would also ruin the whole Sindh.

It is requested to your honour and also all Commissions on Human Rights to immediately intervene and concentrate their efforts to save Indus delta from man-made environmental & human disaster for which our present and future generations would not forgive us for centuries to come.

Mohammad Khan Sial,

Karachi, Sindh

Courtesy:>> Statesmam , 21-08-2010

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More on Kalabagh dam >> BBC urdu

Kalabagh dam would have caused more flooding: Expert

KBD would have caused more flooding: expert

* Former IRSA chief says dam is not a flood-control project

* ANP says dam would have done immense harm to KP, Sindh

By Iqbal Khattak

PESHAWAR: The Kalabagh Dam – had it been built – would have caused flooding rather than averting it, a former chairman of the Indus River System Authority (IRSA) said on Wednesday, while responding to Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani’s recent statement about the dam.

“The dam’s effect on floods would have been contrary to what the prime minister claimed,” said Fatehullah Khan Gandapur, who headed IRSA from 1993 to 1998.

The KP leadership has criticised the PM’s statement, and Information Minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain termed the project “a dead horse”. “Kalabagh dam is not a flood-control project,” Gandapur said while talking to Daily Times on Wednesday. [August 11, 2010] “It is a run-of-the-river project and its design has to be changed if we want to make it a flood-control project,” he said.

Gandapur said the dam’s construction would have caused reverse flow in the Kabul River, submerging Nowshera district and water-logging the entire Peshawar valley. “Consultants have called the dam’s design a failure,” he said.

The Awami National Party is in no mood to compromise on its position over the dam. “Their (pro-dam elements) philosophy is to let the whole of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa drown,” senior ANP leader Senator Haji Adeel said. “Why doesn’t Islamabad look at other feasible projects instead of only eyeing the Kalabagh Dam, which aims to destroy two provinces?” he asked. “There are other projects that, if undertaken, will help you avoid flood and destruction,” he said. “Had the Kalabagh Dam been built, it would have sunk Akora Khattak and Jehangira towns in Nowshera district and its effects would also have been felt in Pabbi town,” Adeel said.

“Why don’t you build dams from where the water is coming?” he asked, adding that Basha Dam would be able to store 800,000 cusecs and Munda Dam 300,000 cusecs of water.

Courtesy: DAILY TIMES, August 12, 2010

A letter against Kalabagh dam

Floods and Kalabagh Dam

by MUNAWAR HASSAN, Islamabad

Sir: I can recall Prime Minister (PM) Gilani’s first speech in parliament, when he categorically rejected the construction of the Kalabagh Dam. Later, it was observed that he appeared very political about the subject. Raja Pervaiz Ashraf also refused to reject the scheme. Now PM Gilani has come up with an even more surprising stance that the destruction caused by the floods could have been averted had the dam been in place. It is baffling to see that the PM thinks that the amount of floodwater is just six million acre feet (MAF), which is the capacity of the Kalabagh Dam. The volume of floodwater runs up to 1.2 million cusecs (more than 100 MAF). What does PM Gilani propose for the rest of the 94 MAF of water? Moreover, the disaster would have aggravated if the water had flown upstream due to the dam on the Indus River. In addition, to collect water from a flood (which is a rare occurrence in Pakistan), the country’s leadership is prepared to destroy the Indus delta permanently. I humbly request the PM to avoid making such statements in public that perplex the people rather than giving them courage to face the calamity.

Courtesy: DAILY TIMES, August 12, 2010

Kashmiris: Not crushed, merely ignored

by Tariq Ali

A Kashmiri lawyer rang me last week in an agitated state. Had I heard about the latest tragedies in Kashmir? I had not. He was stunned. So was I when he told me in detail what had been taking place there over the last three weeks. As far as I could see, none of the British daily papers or TV news bulletins had covered the story; after I met him I rescued two emails from Kashmir informing me of the horrors from my spam box. I was truly shamed. The next day I scoured the press again. Nothing. The only story in the Guardian from the paper’s Delhi correspondent – a full half-page – was headlined: ‘Model’s death brings new claims of dark side to India’s fashion industry’. Accompanying the story was a fetching photograph of the ill-fated woman. The deaths of (at that point) 11 young men between the ages of 15 and 27, shot by Indian security forces in Kashmir, weren’t mentioned. Later I discovered that a short report had appeared in the New York Times on 28 June and one the day after in the Guardian; there has been no substantial follow-up. When it comes to reporting crimes committed by states considered friendly to the West, atrocity fatigue rapidly kicks in. A few facts have begun to percolate through, but they are likely to be read in Europe and the US as just another example of Muslims causing trouble, with the Indian security forces merely doing their duty, if in a high-handed fashion. The failure to report on the deaths in Kashmir contrasts strangely with the overheated coverage of even the most minor unrest in Tibet, leave alone Tehran.

Read more >> London Review

via – Globestan

A proposal for federation

Many recurrences of theft of Sindh’s share of irrigation water happened at various times due to Punjab’s jurisdiction over it.

– MOHAMMAD KHAN SIAL, KARACHI

This has been happening since long and against hue and cry by members of Parliament from Sindh who protested several times. Sindh never gets its due share of water in full when it is released by Punjab’s jurisdiction, mainly due to the following three reasons; (1) Seepage (2) Evaporation (3) Installation of hundreds of powerful illegal ‘water-lift machines’ installed on both banks of River Indus between Taunsa and Sindh’s border on a distance of about 80 kilometres. The water of Sindh is being stolen by landlords of Punjab obviously in connivance with officers of the Punjab Irrigation Department and WAPDA. In the past, a few Irrigation Officers from Sindh were deputed to the canals of Punjab to deter theft of the water meant for Sindh but their efforts were foiled or Punjabi Irrigation Officers bribed them.

In return for the ‘favours’ they received in Lahore, they were compelled to send fake figures of water flow to Sindh government from Punjab which were provided to them by the Punjab Irrigation Department. These figures were obviously unauthentic and fake. If the stake-holders of the federation want to resolve this problem on a permanent basis, I suggest the Indus River System Authority (IRSA) should be told to strictly ensure that Sindh’s share of irrigation water is delivered at Guddu in Sindh instead of Taunsa in Punjab. I hope the federal Ministry for Water & Power as well as IRSA would take this decision with consent of the all concerned to resolve the problem once for all.

Courtesy: The Nation, July 21, 2010

International Rivers: Bhasha Dam Project

Since Kalabagh Dam issue have been put to sleep [not to rest], here is a new crisis for Sindh, now you have to take on our “friends” in NWFP, besides Punjab.

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Diamer-Bhasha Dam

The new government of Pakistan is considering another big dam project. The Diamer-Bhasha Dam on the Indus River in northern Pakistan comes with an astounding price tag of over US$8.5 billion. The 200-square-kilomete r reservoir would flood 100 kilometers of the Karakoram highway, and the villages and farms of over 35,000 people would disappear. Tens of thousands of thousand-year old rock carvings would vanish. The project, after an eight-year construction period, would provide 4500 MW of electricity for the national grid, but it would not address the far more pressing issue that half of Pakistan’s population (around 80 million people) have no electricity access whatsoever. Diamer-Bhasha is a costly project that would only benefit industries and wealthy Pakistanis.

Continue reading International Rivers: Bhasha Dam Project

Where do we seek justice for destruction of Indus Delta?

by: Khalid Hashmani, McLean, Virginia

.. Indus Delta Development Program (DDP) has several articles on how Sindh’s delta region is getting destroyed systematically by the greediness of one upper riparian province. The article “The green postures of Indus Delta are turning into desert and lifeless” traces the prosperity of this area from Kalhora rule to the destructive transformation of this area since 1947. During Kalhora era, 170 Million Acre Feet (MAF) of water used to flow into the delta compared to 5-6 MAF that is being allowed now.

An article published in the Daily news on April 10, 2010 says “… Indus delta was dying and at least 35 MAF water flow was required downstream Kotri on permanent basis for its restoration, otherwise the delta would completely vanish and the sea would erode the coastal land”.

Continue reading Where do we seek justice for destruction of Indus Delta?

Ayaz Latif Palijo blames PPP government handing over the control of waters of Indus to Punjab to prolong its rule

Sindh-Punjab water dispute: AT calls for appointment of international commission

DAWN

HYDERABAD, May 24: Awami Tehrik leaders have called for appointment of an international commission to solve decades-old dispute over water share in Indus and other rivers between Sindh and Punjab.

Addressing a demonstration and sit-in outside the press club here on Monday in protest against acute shortage of water in the province, AT president Ayaz Latif Palijo, Hakeem Zangejo, Ms Rozina Bhutto and Nazeer Memon called for releasing 35 MAF water downstream Kotri barrage and compensation to Sindh for “theft of its share in water”.

Continue reading Ayaz Latif Palijo blames PPP government handing over the control of waters of Indus to Punjab to prolong its rule

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

Punjab – Sindh : Troubled waters

Sindh

Editorial : Troubled waters

With both the Punjab and Sindh holding firm on their stance over the controversial opening of the Chashma-Jhelum link canal, which has led the member of the Indus River System Authority (Irsa) from Sindh and the federation to ready their resignations, the prime minister has been forced to intervene. He will be attempting to pour oil over the churning waters. But even as he does so, there seems to be a realisation that the structure of Irsa may need to be altered to prevent the periodic tidal waves that erupt and threaten to cause a great deal of damage.The orders issued by the member from the Punjab, who is also acting chairman of the authority, would serve the interests of his province but damage those of Sindh by reducing flow down the Indus. To rub salt into wounds, the Punjab has now sought additional water through the canal. There is quite evidently an element of selfishness in the way water is demanded by each province, heedless of the needs of others. The battles between the Punjab and Sindh represent nothing new. But if we look at the matter realistically and dispassionately, it seems almost inevitable that this will happen. The Punjab, as the majority province, has not been known for its sensitivity to the concerns of others. And hence the current acrimony on this issue, with the smaller provinces clearly feeling discriminated against.

Read more >>- The Express Tribune

Indus river : No one bothers about water problem: Abbasi

By Mohammad Hussain Khan

HYDERABAD, Nov 7: Eminent water expert and former chairman of the Technical Committee on Water Resources A.N.G Abbasi has said his report on water should be buried once and for all as no one seems to be ready to implement it.

Continue reading Indus river : No one bothers about water problem: Abbasi