Tag Archives: Indian

Arriving in Pakistan on August 15, an Indian recounts his visit

BY VASANT DAVÉ

As dawn broke on 15th August, India’s Independence Day, I landed at the Lahore airport. A few hours earlier, Pakistan had celebrated its Independence Day, and the entire place was bedecked with green flags carrying the crescent.

One could sense hope and excitement in the atmosphere even at that early hour.

I reached the immigration counter, preparing myself to be grilled by an officer, whom I imagined would be looking like a headmaster about to discipline an errant school boy. My feet came to an abrupt halt. Behind the desk sat a young lady wearing a black hijab.

She shattered my perception that most Pakistani women were burqa-clad, like the ones we see in Bhopal and Lucknow.

I handed my passport, both my cataract-operated eyes keen to watch how her comely face would look when she twitched her nose – that’s just what a bearded co-passenger had once done upon spotting the logo of the three lions on my passport.

She leafed through it, stamped it, and returned it with a smile, “Happy Independence Day to you, Sir.” Her words shattered my second perception: That every Pakistani was as hostile to India as those elderly Pakistani guests in our TV debates. In the following three days, I came to understand the people of Pakistan even further, and discovered that basically, we are more alike than different. The average Pakistani has the same anxieties as we do in India – price hikes, children’s safety and education, the impact of saas-bahu TV serials on our family life, and a deep concern for the future.

Also read: Crossing borders: Why every Indian should visit Pakistan

My tryst with Pakistan had commenced on a rainy June morning, when I opened the Facebook page of my novel, and out popped a message from a stranger – Dr Shahid Ahmad Rajput, Professor at COMSATS Institute in Islamabad.

He informed me about an international conference, referred me to his Facebook wall, and asked if I would be interested in participating. He also added, “I’m intrigued by the title Trade winds to Meluhha.”

Trade winds to Meluhha is my novel, set in the ancient Indus Valley Civilisation and Mesopotamia.

Read more » DAWN
See more » http://www.dawn.com/news/1208023/

Story of a Pakistani communist

A significant volume about the history of the Left movement in Pakistan

In 1956 A.B.A Haleem, then vice chancellor of Karachi University, declared Jamal Naqvi as an “undesirable element” depriving him of the chance to get a job in Karachi. At this stage, Mirza Abid Abbas, husband of Mrs Naqvi’s sister who had a private college in Hyderabad, Sindh, rescued him. Mirza Abid’s sons — Athar Abbas (Major General and former director ISPR), Mazhar Abbas, Zafar Abbas, Azhar Abbas (all journalists) and Anwar Abbas — were tutored and trained by Jamaluddin Naqvi.

Jamaluddin Naqvi (known as Jamal Naqvi) joined the Karachi-Sindh group of Communist Party of Pakistan (CPP) in the mid 1950s, assumed all important posts in the party, and later ran his own faction of the party like a sole rider till late 1980s when he left the CPP on ideological grounds.

His autobiographical account has been published recently under the title Leaving the Left Behind, which is self-explanatory. If someone wants to know more, he can read the subtitle “An autobiographical tale of political disillusionment that took the life’s momentum away from the myopic politics of the Right and the Left to the enlightened concept of Right and Wrong”.

In a scenario where there is no archival record of the left, either in the form of official statements/documents or memoirs (Dada Amir Haider Khan’s biography being an exception), how can one evaluate our common progressive past politics? This is where the value of this book lies. Jamal has not made any disclosures or revelations in the book. Those who have met him during the last decade or so know this wellLike a bold and courageous political worker, he didn’t hide his change of heart.

When prominent Indian Bengali communist Mohit Sen penned his autobiographical account A Traveller and the Road: A Journey of an Indian Communist [2003], he too faced outright condemnation from the CPI rank and file; yet his book is considered a pioneering effort in unfolding the myth of the Indian left.

Unfortunately, there is a narrow space for rethinking or revisiting the past politics and ideologies among the South Asian left which is said to be dogmatic. We love to live in a black and white world; there is no room for gray areas especially for those who want to move away from their previous ideological positions. When someone changes his position, we treat him as a zandiq (heretic). So Jamal is another zandiq among reds.

Ironically, Jamal gave his whole life and career to progressive thoughts and spent many years in prison but when he amended his thoughts, he was discarded. These memoirs are the only way to revisit the past and to analyse the history of the left movement in Pakistan.

Continue reading Story of a Pakistani communist

Indian and Pakistani troops swap gifts at LoC on Prophet’s birthday

LoC gets a sweet exchange as Indian and Pakistani troops swap gifts on Prophet’s birthday

By Mail Today Bureau

Indian and Pakistani troops exchanged sweets and gifts to celebrate the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad on the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir on Tuesday.

Indian and Pakistani troops on Tuesday exchanged sweets and gifts in Kargil and Uri sectors in an effort to restore normalcy along the LoC, a Srinagar-based defence spokesman said.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/indiahome/indianews/article-2539467/LoC-gets-sweet-exchange-Indian-Pakistani-troops-swap-gifts-Prophets-birthday.html#ixzz2qPja4N3F

India hits back, row with U.S. hots up

By Sandeep Dikshit

Withdraws some privileges in retaliation for arrest of Indian deputy consul

India on Tuesday set in motion an array of retaliatory steps against U.S. diplomats based across the country for the manner of arrest of an Indian diplomat in New York, signalling the escalation of an unprecedented bilateral row.

The government asked all U.S. consular officers to turn in their identity cards and the entire American diplomatic corps their airport passes while senior Congress leaders snubbed a visiting U.S. Congressional delegation for the second straight day by refusing to meet it.

The government also ordered the Delhi Police to remove concrete barricades on public land and roads that have existed for years around the U.S. embassy, sought salary details and bank accounts of all Indian staff employed at the missions and stopped all import clearances for the U.S. embassy, especially for liquor.

Read more » The Hindu
http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/india-hits-back-row-with-us-hots-up/article5469325.ece

Why China Is Wary Of India?

by John Lee

In a recent security conference in Washington, a Chinese delegate caused an awkward silence among the congenial group at a post-event drinks session when he stated that India was “an undisciplined country where the plague and leprosy still exist. How a big, dirty country like that can rise so quickly amazed us”.

It is this Chinese sentiment of disdain and also grudging admiration that explains much of Beijing’s attitude towards New Delhi. Indeed, one needs to go beyond strategic and military competition to understand the depth of rivalry between Asia’s two rising giants.

China shares land borders with 14 countries. Over the past 30 years, it has made concerted attempts to improve relationships with all of them by settling border disputes. In the case of Russia, China granted significant concessions in order to improve its relationship with Moscow. But the one exception is India.

Outstanding disputes such as the one over the Switzerland-sized area of Arunachal Pradesh continue to bedevil relations. China’s militarisation of the Tibetan plateau — including placing a third of its nuclear arsenal in that region — is a direct challenge to Indian sensibilities. Indeed, India is the only country not formally covered by China’s ‘no first use’ nuclear policy.

Add to these the growing naval rivalry in the Indian Ocean that is driven by resource competition and insecurity and we have what Chinese leaders openly admit to be a “very difficult relationship” with India. These factors point to the persistence of the India-China rivalry.

But they do not fully explain why Beijing has made little effort to work towards settlement of these disputes with New Delhi, as it has with its other land-based neighbours. A more complete explanation needs to take into account the non-material factors behind China’s strategic rivalry with India.

The first factor is one of shock and surprise at India’s continued rise. Until the late 1990s, people at the highest levels in China were dismissing India’s prospects. It was only early this century that China abandoned viewing India through the lens of the 1962 war when Indian forces were decimated and New Delhi humiliated. Because Indian national scars and weaknesses are there for all to see, little is hidden or explained away. China met India’s re-emergence initially with disbelief, then with disdain, and now with wariness. Beijing does not react calmly to strategic surprises and its gruff response to Indian ambitions in Asia is evidence that Beijing is yet to determine a grand strategic response to India’s re-emergence.

Continue reading Why China Is Wary Of India?

Indo-Pak: An Indian retailer formally opens its first shop in Pakistan

Indo PakFlagship Indian retailer opens in Pakistan

By AFP

SINDH – KARACHI: Raymond, an Indian suiting and fabrics conglomerate, will on Friday formally open its first shop in Pakistan, where business leaders welcomed it as a step towards closer trade ties between the two countries.

NexSource Pakistan, which acquired the rights to sell Raymond suiting in Clifton, one of the most upscale neighbourhoods in business capital Karachi, said it was a major acquisition.

“They wanted to bring Raymond to Pakistan and we offered to be their partner,” said one of its directors, Najmus Saqib.

Nexsource say they expect to reap good business after an aggressive advertising campaign in a city whose wealthier residents are sartorially obsessed and where fashion is a key driver of business.

“People are crazy about clothing and dressing, and they already know Raymond,” Saqib said. “We just have to let them know that it is here.”

NexSource executive Saqib said he believed the enormous Indian market represented massive business opportunities for Pakistan.

Read more » DAWN
http://dawn.com/news/1019784/flagship-indian-retailer-opens-in-pakistan

Delhi University council orders sociology department to ‘swap Marx for Indian thinkers’

By Neha Pushkarna

Delhi University’s academic council (AC) on Tuesday cleared the new curricula for history and sociology, but not without stipulations.

The members found the sociology syllabus to be leaning towards “left ideology” and a bit dense for undergraduate students.

The AC has asked the sociology department to review the syllabus and make the suggested changes within the next three months.

The department has been asked to cut down on the number of papers on Marx and introduce Indian social thinkers in the content. The two courses had been pending because of “noncooperation” from teachers.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/indiahome/indianews/article-2332298/Delhi-University-council-orders-sociology-department-swap-Marx-Indian-thinkers.html#ixzz2UiUsWope

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Pakistani prisoner attacked in Indian jail dies: hospital official

NEW DELHI: Sanaullah Haq, the Pakistani prisoner who was attacked in an India prison in Jammu last week, died in the Chandigarh Hospital on Thursday, DawnNews reported.

Read more » DAWN
http://beta.dawn.com/news/812842/pakistani-prisoner-attacked-in-indian-jail-dies-hospital-official

Chinese Troops Set Up Post 10km Inside Ladakh – India Times

By IndiaTimes

NEW DELHI: In yet another deep incursion into Indian territory, Chinese troops apparently made inroads into the Daulat Beg Oldi (DBO) sector of eastern Ladakh and erected a tented post there this week.

Indian Army officials were, however, not too perturbed about the incursion, holding that it was a common occurrence. “In that area, patrols do have a face-off every now and then due to differing perceptions of where the Line of Actual Control lies. We resolve it through existing consultative border mechanisms,” said a senior officer.

As per reports, a platoon-strength contingent of about 50 troops of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) came 10 km inside Indian territory in Burthe in the DBO sector, which is at an altitude of about 17,000 feet, on the night of April 15.

Troops from Indo-Tibetan Border Police(ITBP), which mans that stretch of the border, have also established a camp approximately 300 metres opposite the location, the sources said.

ITBP has asked for a flag meeting with the Chinese side but there has been no response till now.

The Ladakh Scouts, an infantry regiment of the Indian Army that specializes in mountain warfare, has also moved towards the area where the situation was described as tense.

DBO, located in northernmost Ladakh, is an historic camp site and located on an ancient trade route connecting Ladakh to Yarkand in Xinjiang, China. IAF has in recent years activated advanced landing grounds at DBO and two other places in eastern Ladakh as part of the policy to build military infrastructure along the LAC, in a belated move to counter strategic moves by China in the region.

Courtesy: India Times
http://www.indiatimes.com/news/india/chinese-troops-set-up-post-10km-inside-ladakh-73150.html

Beheading soldiers is not a Pakistani monopoly. Karan Thapar in the Hindustan Times when the Indian Army too beheaded Pakistan soldiers and displayed their heads as trophies.

The lines of control

By Karan Thapar

The beheading of an Indian soldier on the LoC and the mutilation of another were undoubtedly unacceptable and unpardonable. This was barbaric behaviour. The anger and revulsion it’s provoked is understandable. There’s no denying that. However, there’s one question we need to ask but mainly failed to raise. Have we ever been guilty of similar behaviour ourselves?

From what I can tell the answer seems to be yes. On the 10th, The Hindu reported that last year, during a skirmish at Karnah, “Indian Special Forces responded by attacking a Pakistani forward post, killing several soldiers, and by the account of one military official which The Hindu could not corroborate independently, beheaded two.”

What makes this claim credible is that it’s reported by military sources who not only ought to know but would not denigrate the reputation of Indian soldiers.

Alas, there’s more evidence. This time from eye-witnesses.

In her ‘Confessions of a War Reporter’, published in June 2001 by Himal, a well-known Nepalese magazine, Barkha Dutt recounted how she witnessed a decapitated Pakistani soldier’s head at Kargil. This is what she wrote: “I had to look three times to make sure I was seeing right … “Look again,” said the army colonel, in a tone that betrayed suppressed excitement. This time, I finally saw. It was a head, the disembodied face of a slain soldier nailed onto a tree. “The boys got it as a gift for the brigade,” said the colonel, softly, but proudly.”

Harinder Baweja, the editor (Investigation) of this paper, witnessed something similar. This is the account from her book A Soldier’s Diary, Kargil — The Inside Story: “The experiences of 18 Garhwal show another side of the war … one of them took out his knife and slit the head of a Pakistani soldier in one stroke. The head was sent to Brigade Headquarters at Drass and pinned to a tree trunk … the enemy head, a grisly trophy, became an exhibition piece. Major General Puri came down from Mughalpura to see it. Other officers dropped in to Brigade Headquarters to take a look. So did some journalists … it was there pinned on the tree for anyone who could bear to look at it.”

Continue reading Beheading soldiers is not a Pakistani monopoly. Karan Thapar in the Hindustan Times when the Indian Army too beheaded Pakistan soldiers and displayed their heads as trophies.

Wreaking vengeance — Mir Mohammad Ali Talpur

The European colonists who took over Minnesota were cold-bloodedly ruthless and brutal in defence of their transgressions against the real masters of the land

Every year, since 2005, some motivated Dakota Indians make a 300-mile trek on horseback in frigid winter temperatures to revive the memory of the 1862 travesty of justice when 38 of their ancestors were executed at Mankato in the biggest mass hanging in US history. To mark the sesquicentennial anniversary, this year’s ride began on December 10 in Crow Creek, South Dakota, the reservation the Dakota were exiled to from Minnesota, and ended on December 26 in Mankato. These hangings had followed kangaroo-court convictions of 303 Sioux Indians. Some trials of the thousands who surrendered after the defeat in the Dakota War of 1862, aka the Sioux Uprising, or Little Crow’s War, lasted less than five minutes. This public mass execution was on a single scaffold platform and the dead were buried en masse in a trench that was reopened that night and bodies distributed among the doctors.

When Minnesota became a state on May 11, 1858, the Dakota Indian bands’ representatives led by Little Crow the Sioux chief travelled to Washington, DC to negotiate the implementation of treaties. Instead, the northern half of the reservation along the Minnesota River was also taken and Pipestone quarry rights abolished. The Indian land was divided into townships and plots for settlement. Logging and agriculture eliminated surrounding forests and prairies and interrupted the Dakotan’s annual cycle of farming, hunting, fishing and gathering wild rice. Uncontrolled settler hunting dramatically reduced bison, elk, whitetail deer and bear, decreasing Dakota meat supply and reducing their furs’ sale. The Dakota Indians became increasingly discontented over their loss of land, non-payment of annuities, past broken treaties, food shortages and famines following crop failures.

Continue reading Wreaking vengeance — Mir Mohammad Ali Talpur

Inquilab zindabad!

By:Kunwar Khuldune Shahid

How is Bhagat Singh more Indian than Pakistani?

Revolutionaries never die; definitely not until what they strived for is achieved. They can also reincarnate when liberation is threatened by incarceration. The cause they fought for can wake up again, the struggle they gave birth to can be born again, the noise they generated can resonate again, the slogans they chanted can reverberate again – if recent events are anything to go by, Lahore should echo with “Inquilab zindabad!” again.

Bhagat Singh’s revolution could reawaken 81 years after the British hanged him in Lahore. The indirect skirmishes between the Tehreek Hurmat-e-Rasool (THK) led fundamentalists and the Dilkash Lahore Committee, over renaming Fawwara Chowk (or Shadman Chowk) back to its pre-partition name of ‘Bhagat Singh Chowk’, is a throwback to the clash between suppression and freedom that the man gave his life for. Apparently dying for the sake of the independence of this country and its people isn’t reason enough for the square – where he was hanged on 23 March, 1931, aged 23 – to be named after the freedom fighter himself. It is a pity that people and groups, who now have the luxury to openly express themselves – something that they didn’t have back then –, choose their expression to oppose tributes to those very personalities that made this freedom possible, owing to their religious identity.

Continue reading Inquilab zindabad!

Indian Supreme Court’s poignant footnote in Kasab Judgment

From Indian Kanoon:

“[45] It is reported that it was at the Taj Mahal Hotel ballroom that, on February 20, 1918, at her eighteenth birthday party, Ruttie had accepted Mr Jinnah’s hand in marriage while the band was playing the Chopin tune, So Deep is the Night. It is also reported that both Mr. Jinnah, the creator of Pakistan, and Mrs. Sarojini Naidu, the President of the Indian National Congress, often held court at Taj Mahal Hotel.

Mr. Jinnah also had an intimate connection with Mazgaon, where the bomb planted by two terrorists in a taxi exploded, killing three (3) and wounding nineteen (19) people. It is reported that Mr. Jinnah devoted Thursday afternoons to visiting the grave of his wife Ruttie at the Khoja Shiite Isna’ashri Cemetry, situated at Mazgaon, Mumbai.

One wonders what Quaid-e-Azam would have thought of the terrorist attack on his favourite city in the subcontinent and especially on Taj Mahal Hotel, with which he had a personal relationship of a very intimate kind.”

Read more » Pak Tea House

http://pakteahouse.net/2012/08/30/indian-supreme-courts-poignant-footnote-in-kasab-judgment/

Former Indian minister handed a 28-year sentence for her role in the bloody anti-Muslim massacre of 2002 in Gujarat, India

Former Indian minister handed 28-year sentence for her role in bloody 2002 riots

By: Stephanie Nolen

New Delhi — The Globe and Mail – A Gujarat court today handed down harsh sentences to 32 people for their role in bloody riots in which some 2,000 people, mostly Muslims, were killed in 2002. As the convicts were led from the court, one weeping woman stood out in a crowd of people wailing and clutching at the hands of relatives. Mayaben Surendrabhai Kodnani, sentenced to 28 years for murder and conspiracy to murder, is a former cabinet minister in the state government.

She is also a woman – and a physician, an obstetrician-gynaecologist who once had a thriving practice delivering babies at an Ahmedabad maternity hospital she founded. She held the position of Minister of Women and Child Development in the Gujarat government. She came to court to hear her fate in a silk saree and a string of pearls.

Continue reading Former Indian minister handed a 28-year sentence for her role in the bloody anti-Muslim massacre of 2002 in Gujarat, India

Eye Opener: An Indian-American Visits Pakistan

By: Mahanth S. Joishy

Many of us travel for business or leisure. But few ever take a trip that dramatically shatters their entire worldview of a country and a people in one fell swoop. I was lucky enough to have returned from just such a trip: a week-long sojourn in Pakistan.

It was a true eye-opener, and a thoroughly enjoyable one at that. Many of the assumptions and feelings I had held toward the country for nearly 30 years were challenged and exposed as wrong and even ignorant outright.

Continue reading Eye Opener: An Indian-American Visits Pakistan

President Zardari has pardoned Indian prisoner Sarabjit Singh

Pak commutes death sentence of Sarabjit

Islamabad: In a major breakthrough in the Indo-Pakistan relations, President Asif Ali Zardari has pardoned Indian prisoner Sarabjit Singh, converting his death sentence to life imprisonment.

According to news reports Tuesday, the alleged Indian spy will be released from the jail in the country following the orders.

Reports further said that the Law Ministry of Pakistan had sent proposal for the release of Sarabjit to the Interior Ministry.

Sarabjit, an Indian national, was jailed in Pakistan for as long as 22 years after he was convicted of being a spy. The decision by the Pakistani President came after the prisoner sent his fifth mercy plea seeking clemency.

Reacting to the move by the neighbouring country, Indian External Affairs Minister S M Krishna thanked the Pakistan President for the gesture. …..

Read more » Saach

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Surjit not Sarabjit Singh, clarifies president’s spokesman

ISLAMABAD: The government in an unusual way late on Tuesday took a u-turn on release of Indian prisoner Sarabjit Singh, convicted of spying charges, said release orders were signed for “Surjit Singh” and not for “Sarabjit Sigh”, DawnNews reported.

Presidential Spokesman Senator Farhatullah Babar, in a statement given to an Indian media outlet, has clarified that the prisoner, whose death sentence was converted to life imprisonment, was actually “Surjit Singh” and not “Sarabjit Singh.”

“I think there is some confusion ….

Read more » DAWN.COM

Nawaz Sharif calls for Pakistan to unilaterally abolish visas for Indians

Pakistan should unilaterally abolish visa regime with India, says Nawaz Sharif

LAHORE: Main opposition PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif has said that Pakistan should unilaterally abolish the visa regime with India immediately as people-to-people contacts can accelerate the bilateral peace process.

Sharif urged the government of Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani to “step forward and take the initiative of abolishing the visa regime” to facilitate the people of both countries.

He made the remarks during an interactive session with an Indian trade delegation at his residence in Lahore last night.

“Pakistan should move ahead with the decision of abolishing the visa regime unilaterally even if India hesitates to reciprocate the initiative at this point in time.

“I believe India will be forced to follow suit once Pakistan breaks this barrier. In my opinion, this step can go miles in bringing these two nuclear powers closer,” Sharif said.  …

Read more » The Economic Times

Via – Twitter

President Zardari orders immediate release of Indian fisherman Cancer sufferer Samat Lakshman Bambhaniya from Jail

Islamabad: Just hours after Pakistani scientist Dr Khalil Chishty walked out of the Ajmer Jail after being granted bail by the Supreme Court, Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari has ordered the immediate release of an Indian fisherman.

Samat Lakshman Bambhaniya has been lodged at a jail in Karachi for over a year now and is suffering from cancer.

“I had taken up Bambhaniya’s case with the President and Prime Minister and would like to see that he gets home as quickly as possible,” leading Pakistani rights activist Ansar Burney told PTI. Bambhaniya belongs to the Dandi village in Gujarat.

“Fishermen of both countries are frequently arrested because some times while fishing, they unintentionally enter each other’s territory and get caught,” Mr Burney said.

“These fishermen have to suffer for so many years in the jails of Pakistan or India. They are illiterate and innocent,” he added. ….

Read more » NDTV

Tribute to Comrade Sobho Gianchandani

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

Read more » ChagataiKhan

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

Waking up to the war in Balochistan – BBC

Attitudes are hardening in Pakistan’s restive Balochistan province against the government, but the state is now belatedly reaching out to the Baloch separatists. Writer Ahmed Rashid considers whether after years of civil war, talks could end the bloodshed.

It took an obscure United States congressman holding a controversial hearing in Washington on the civil war in Balochistan to awaken the conscience of the Pakistani government, military and public.

For years the civil war in Balochistan has either been forgotten by most Pakistanis or depicted as the forces of law and order battling Baloch tribesmen, who are described as “Indian agents”.

Just a few weeks ago, Interior Minister Rehman Malik even hinted that Israel and the US were supporting the Baloch separatists, while the army had totally ”Indianised” the Baloch problem.

On 23 February, Mr Malik did an about-face, saying that the government was withdrawing all cases against Baloch leaders living in exile and asking them to return home for talks. ”I will receive them in person,” he told journalists.

Don’t expect Baloch leaders to turn the other cheek at Mr Malik’s sudden shift – the Baloch have seen too many such U-turns before.

Brahamdagh Bugti, head of the separatist Baloch Republican Party and living in exile in Geneva, remains sceptical.

His grandfather Sardar Akbar Bugti, the head of the Bugti tribe, was killed in 2006 on the orders of former President Pervez Musharraf in a massive aerial bombardment, while his sister Zamur Domki and her 12-year old daughter were gunned down in Karachi in broad daylight just in late January – allegedly by government agents.

He told journalists last week: ”I have seen this all before… I am not an optimist.” Nevertheless, for the first time in years his face appeared on every Pakistani TV channel as he and other Baloch leaders gave interviews.

Broken promises

Continue reading Waking up to the war in Balochistan – BBC

In Unstable Fields

Comment by Omar Ali

The writer is a former Secretary of the Indian intelligence agency RAW (an agency no more capable than other arms of the Indian government, but thought in Pakistan to possess superhuman powers and very beautiful female agents who trap Pakistani patriots, or so we hope).  His views on things to come..

To read the article » In unstable fields by Vikram Sood » CLICK HERE

Via » Brown Pundits

India is likely a dangerous place for women

Visualizing Violence Against Indian Women

By

(Via SepiaMutiny Newsfeed):  A Malayali civil engineer and  former software developer, Shemeer Padinzjharedil, came to a conclusion that many BPs have already done through deduction: India is likely a dangerous place for women relative to the Western world.  Inspired to debunk the results of a Thompson-Reuters poll of gender ‘experts’ perception of danger to women, where three of the five worst offenders were south asian countries, Shemeer thought the reported statistics would paint a different picture.  Given the survey  combined questions about statistics with reporting bias problems (sexual assault, trafficking, non-sexual assault) and factors (cultural and religious) for which one could combine statistics about which I would be more comfortable citing (maternal mortality, female literacy and other health stats), he faced a difficult task.  Given that the solid numbers are unambiguous, Shemeer decided against deconstructing this picture and sought, instead, to flesh it out with self-reporting by building a site where anyone can report violence: www.maps4aid.com  The site is in it’s infancy but you can already see some trends: centers of population and urbanized areas report the most violence regardless of the category.  A second site, blogs4aid, has handy bar graph breaking it out by state.  For 2010 you may find a few surprises:

Read more » Brown Pundits

India Vs Pakistan – In Pakistan courts goes to the army cheif!

Indian army chief goes to court.

Indian army chief; being humiliated or humiliating himself?

By Omar Ali

The Indian army chief is in the news with a controversy about his date of birth. And as is usually the case when controversy reaches the public, other matters have also reached the press. In this case, an application to get a better plot of land in Haryana.

The fact that the defence ministry and the Haryana government have turned down his demands has generated interest in Pakistan, where the army chief is the one who issues orders and the defence ministry and the department of urban lands execute said orders. To many in Pakistan this is a sign of how different things are in India. Different in a good way. …

Read more » Brown Pundits

PAKISTAN: Army is silent on the disappearance of Captain 33 years ago

ASIAN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSIONUrgent Appeal Case: AHRC-UAC-250-2011

21 December 2011 – The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information that an army officer of the rank of Captain was sent on a secret mission to Kashmir in 1979 and since then his whereabouts are unknown. The missing officer, who was identified as Mr. Ishtiaq Ali Khan Qaimkhani, told his wife before leaving that if he does not return from the mission within two years then she should contact General Headquarter (GHQ) of the army and the office will provide all his detail. Since 1981 his wife has been trying to get the information from the military and government but has yet to learn as to whether he is dead or alive. She has written many letters to the President, Prime Minister, Chief of Army Staff and Chief Justice of Pakistan but no one has replied to her or conducted an inquiry into the disappearance of the Captain.

Continue reading PAKISTAN: Army is silent on the disappearance of Captain 33 years ago

Tu Hindu Banega Na Musalmaan Banega

Mohammed Rafi – Tu Hindu Banega Na Musalmaan Banega – Dhool Ka Phool [1959]

“Dhool Ka Phool” [1959] is an Indian Hindi film directed by Yash Chopra. Starring Rajendra Kumar, Mala Sinha, Manmohan Krishna and Nanda. Music is by N. Datta [Narayan Datta] and lyrics by Sahir Ludhianvi …

» YouTube

The unspeakable horrors of Delhi, 1947

by Sohail Hashmi

Excerpt;

…. Read this book if you want to understand where we went wrong and to see the fault lines, to see how we need a secular state and not sarv dharm sambhav. Read this book also if you want to understand the falsity of the self image that we have created of ourselves and of our nation, but read it most importantly to understand the fragility of the premise upon which is built the idea of India and the need to protect and nurture this premise and to make it real. Because this premise is India and it is people like Anis Kidwai that made it possible.

(First published in The Book Review, Vol XXXV, Number 8-9 August September 2011.)

To read compete article » KAFILA

Tribute to Jagjit Singh

‘Jagjit Singh was a great human being and friend’

– IP Singh

JALANDHAR: His alma mater, the city where he spent his youthful days and old friends were at loss of words while grappling with the news of demise of Ghazal singer Jagjit Singh. If his alma mater DAV College held a ‘shok sabha’ to remember and pay tributes to one of its most illustrious and famous alumni, his old friends shared the cherished memories of “good old days”.

“He was a great singer and much greater human being and friend,” said Iqbal Singh, Lt governor of Puduchery, an old co-actor in dramas and a fellow musician.

Read more » Times of India

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Courtesy» Duniya Tv News (Khari Baat Luqman ke Saath – 10th October 2011)

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Kashmir: A troubled paradise

– As a child growing up after India’s partition, Kashmir to me was always a part of India. Only in middle school did I begin to realize that it was considered “disputed territory” by much of the world, the sentiment being especially fierce in neighboring Pakistan. The map of India that we studied in school showed Indian Kashmir as a larger territory than what was actually under Indian control. Parts of it in the north and the west were in reality, within China and Pakistan. The scenic northernmost state, a popular destination for summer tourism and the backdrop of many a puerile romantic song & dance number of made-in-Bombay movies, was not a very urgent topic of discussion for the general Indian public. Kashmir for most Indians, evoked benign, pretty images of apple, apricot and walnut orchards, chinar trees, shimmering lakes, snow capped mountains, houseboats, fine pashmina shawls, lacquered papier mache ornaments and the valley’s light skinned aloof inhabitants.

Later in my teen years I began to understand that Kashmir was not the placid paradise we had imagined as children. Its politics were complicated and its population sharply divided on the state’s rightful status – part of India, part of Pakistan or a wholly independent/ autonomous entity. The difference of opinion fell across religious lines. Kashmiri Hindus wished to remain with India and the majority Muslim population of the state did not. Even then, things were mostly quiet and free of turmoil. There were quite a few Kashmiri students in my school. Many had ancestral homes and relatives in Kashmir and they visited there regularly during summer breaks. Those friends were all Hindus. Come to think of it, I did not know a single Kashmiri Muslim on a personal level until I was in college. There were Muslim traders and merchants who came down to major Indian cities bearing expensive and much coveted Kashmiri merchandise such as saffron, dried fruit, nuts and embroidered woollens, but they did not reside in the plains permanently and their children did not attend our schools. The first Kashmiri Muslim I came to know well was Agha Shahid Ali, a graduate student a few years ahead of me in Delhi University who later became a lecturer of English at my college as also a poet of some renown. It was Ali who first revealed to me that most Kashmiri Muslims did not identify themselves as Indians and many felt a greater emotional and cultural allegiance with Pakistan. An equal number wanted an autonomous state with a very loose federation with India for economic reasons. The Indian government spent large sums of money to subsidize the state’s economy and prohibited non-Kashmiris from buying land there while also meddling in local politics. Kashmiris became increasingly suspicious of the central government’s motives and the rift with India widened both politically and culturally.

Despite tensions and uncertainties, Kashmir never experienced the sectarian violence that had racked the eastern and western wings of India around partition time. Even when India and Pakistan fought several wars over their disagreement surrounding the region, Kashmir itself remained relatively free of communal strife for many decades after India’s independence. The uneasy calm ended in the late 1980s and early ’90s when the Kashmir valley became a battle ground for armed insurgents trained in Pakistan and the Indian military forces. The conflict caused a communal rift among long time residents and resulted in a mass exodus (some say expulsion) of Kashmiri Hindus from their homes. Those tensions remain to this day laced with bitterness on both sides.

I had never visited Kashmir when I lived in India. By the time the political upheaval unfolded in the 1990s, I had already left and had been living abroad for a decade. Kashmir’s troubles and deteriorating political situation were not something I paid close attention to until the Kargil War erupted in 1999. It became clear then that Kashmir had become an intractable problem for India. I am still not sure how I feel about the situation. What can India gain by holding on to a territory whose residents do not want to be a part of India? Can India protect regions like Ladakh and Jammu in the vicinity which identify firmly with the rest of India? What would happen if India does decide to vacate the valley and stops spending money to placate the population and maintain the large presence of its armed forces? Would Kashmir valley remain “independent” or will some other country like China or Pakistan march in and establish control even closer to other Indian states? How does one balance the interests of Kashmiris and the rest of India? Is peace ever possible when the citizenry perceives the government as an “occupying force?” Most confusing of all, will Kashmiri Hindus be permitted go back to the homes they abandoned out of fear and panic? And even if it was possible, would they ever want to return to a place that had cut all ties to India? ….

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