Tag Archives: Indonesia

Anand Krishna Addresses The World Tolerance Conference 2017, Purwakarta, West Java, Indonesia

Courtesy: YouTube

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Joggi thee maan murliyoon wajjayaan – by Swami Anand Krishna

Joggi thee maan murliyoon wajjayaan,
جوڳي ٿي مان مُرليون وڄايان
Ggoliyaan pahinjay Punhal khhy.
ڳوليان پنهنجي پنهل کي
Saami thee maan murliyoon wajjayaan,
سامي ٿي مان مُرليون وڄايان
Ggoliyaan pahinjay Punhal khhy.
ڳوليان پنهنجي پنهل کي
Punhal aahay hin des mein,
پنهل آهي هن ديس ۾
Ggoliyaan payie pardes mein.
ڳوليان پئي پرديس ۾
Sukal wann saawa thiyaa,
سڪل وڻ ساوا ٿيا
Aayaa baadal wo Allah.
آيا بادل وو الله
by Swami Anand Krishna
سوامي آنند ڪرشنا

Courtesy: Sawami Anand Krishna

Sindhi Soofi Mehfil at Baali, Indonesia – by Swami Anand Krishna

Muhinjo daaroo dawa tuhinjo deedaar aa;
منهنجو دارو دوا تنهنجو ديدار آ
A glimpse of Yours, O beloved is the medicine and wine that can cure me;
Ddekhhaarann Tabeeban khhy bekaar aa;
ڏيکارڻ طبيبن کي بيڪار آ
There is no use to seek the advice of doctors;
Duwaa kaan theendi muhinjay dard jee;
دوا ڪا نه ٿيندي منهنجي درد جي
No medicine can possibly cure my illness;
Hakiman khhy kahirree Khabar marz jee;
حڪيمن کي ڪهڙي خبر مرض جي
What the doctors know about my illness;
Ta kahirray marz jee beemaari aa;
ته ڪهڙي مرض جي بيماري آ
How will doctors know about my pain (illness);
Chariyo thee nachaan tho tuhinjay dar aggiyaan;
چريو ٿي نچان ٿو تنهنجي در اڳيان
Like a mad person, I dance infornt of your door;
Patang jiyaan pachaan tho tuhinjay dil aggiyaan;
پتنگ جيان پچان ٿو تنهنجي دل اڳيان
Like a moth, I burn infront the falme of your heart;
Chhini toon ta chhin, moonkhhay chhijjnno na aa;
ڇني تون ته ڇن، مونکي ڇڄڻو نه آ
Even if you break with me, I shall never ever break you;
Wajjaai kaa tuo ahirri dhankaar aa;
وڄائي ڪا تو اهڙي ڌنڪار آ
How melodious is your song and flute;
Paray tokhha dilbar jay rahanno na aa!
پَري توکان دلبر جي رهڻو نه آ
What ever happens, I am not going  to stay far from you, O my beloved!
Thiyul zindagaani jo ikraar aa;
ٿيل زندگاني جو اقرار آ
I am committed to you for this entire life.

Courtesy: Anand Ashram Foundation + youtube

Today in history: Half a million Communists massacred in Indonesia

by: SPECIAL TO PEOPLESWORLD.ORG

Fifty years ago, the Indonesian killings of an estimated more than 500,000 people in an anti-communist purge had risen to its height. The massacre, following a failed coup of the 30 September Movement, led the country into a “New Order” and the elimination of the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI) as a political force. The upheavals led to the downfall of President Sukarno and the commencement of Suharto’s 30-year presidency.

Read more » People’s World
See more » http://peoplesworld.org/today-in-history-half-a-million-communists-massacred-in-indonesia/

China clinches first overseas bullet train deal with Indonesia

After years of intense lobbying with several countries, including India, in an effort to sell its high-speed rail technology, China has finally bagged its first ever overseas bullet train project signing a USD 5.5 billion deal with Indonesia.

The two countries inked an agreement in Jakarta yesterday to launch a joint venture for a high-speed rail linking the Indonesian capital with Bandung, the capital of West Java “in a breakthrough deal,” state-run Global Times reported.

Speaking at the signing ceremony, Chinese Ambassador Xie Feng said the high-speed rail would be China’s first overseas project entirely using Chinese technology and the largest investment value ever.

“The high-speed railway connecting Jakarta and Bandung has resulted from the agreement of both countries’ leaders upon the need to synergise strategies to attain higher growth,” he said.

The USD 5.5 billion project to build the 150 km high speed rail will be conducted on a business-to-business basis, in which the Indonesian side controls 60 per cent of the joint venture’s stake, while the Chinese partner controls the remaining 40 per cent share.

Read more » The Hindu
See more » http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/china-clinches-first-overseas-bullet-train-deal-with-indonesia/article7774265.ece

Sindhis of Chile

Sindhis and Hindus in Chile

By Saaz Aggarwal, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

Punta Arenas, Chile, is one of the southern-most cities in the world. There was a time when every ship crossing from the Atlantic to the Pacific through the Straits of Magellan or around Cabo de Hornos (Cape Horn) halted there.

Navigating giant waves, deadly currents, Antarctic blizzards and icebergs, the journeys took months. Arriving at Punta Arenas, the storm-battered, scurvy-ridden sailors would stumble out of their cramped quarters in relief. The town thrived.

We flew in more than a hundred years after the Panama Canal had changed things for Punta Arenas. At the Hotel Cabo de Hornos, we bumped into someone from our plane who had stayed over to catch his (once-a-week) flight to the Falkland Islands. Paul, from the South Atlantic Research Institute, told us that there was a post office nearby where Robert Scott, the early Antarctic explorer, had posted letters and packets.

These days too, this historic town is a base for Antarctic expeditions. The less adventurous can catch the tourist boat to a nearby island thickly populated by penguins. Punta Arenas, like much of Chile, nestles between wooded slopes on one side and a lavish seafront on the other. Like other Chilean cities, it has well-maintained public spaces that sport sculptures of different types: traditional European, contemporary and aboriginal. Its cemetery is said to be exceptionally beautiful and historic. We saw none of these, however, having come with the specific purpose of meeting the Sindhi families of this town.

I first saw the name Punta Arenas on a map in a book by the French scholar Claude Markovits, The Global World of Indian Merchants – 1750-1947: Traders of Sindh from Bukhara to Panama.

The map marks places around the world which had branches of trading firms headquartered in Hyderabad, Sindh, between 1890 and 1940. I felt surprised and impressed to see that it included about a dozen places in South America. How had Sindhis got so far away from home so long ago?

Invited to meals at the homes of the Sindhi families of Punta Arenas to be told their stories, it felt like I was eleven and invited to Harry Potter’s birthday party.

The first evening, Chile was playing arch-rival Bolivia in the Copa America, and I was learning how, one day in 1907, a Sindhi merchant, Harumal, came ashore. As the fascinating story proceeded, raucous cries rang out and vehicles revved loudly on the streets outside. Chile had won, 5-0.

The account of how Harumal opened his first store; how it got handed over to someone else; what happened during the First World War and then the Second; how Partition affected the Sindhis of Punta Arenas, will form part of Sindhi Tapestry, the ‘companion volume’ to my first book, Sind: Stories from a Vanished Homeland.

So far away from India, and with their home here for more than a hundred years, the Sindhis of Punta Arenas still speak Sindhi and eat Sindhi food. Like other diasporic Sindhis, they have an international network. Three household help I saw in the homes of these Chilean Sindhis were from, respectively, Nigeria, Indonesia and Burma.

The homes were lavish and decorated like those of fabled Oriental potentates, thick with curios and mirrors and objets d’art.

On Sunday morning, we attended satsang in the Hindu temple of Punta Arenas, which occupies prime real estate on the seafront. It was a moving service, conducted in both Sindhi and Spanish.

Like in other Sindhi mandars around the world, many world religions are represented here. It was once an essential characteristic of Sindh that spirituality and the inner life were revered beyond human classification. And then, it became an irony of history that the Hindus of Sind turned out to set such store by their own religion that they were forced into exile from a beloved homeland on account of it.

In 1947, these doughty people lost more than their homeland and their possessions. In their determination to move on and make the best of what they were left with, they lost their past too. In an extreme endorsement of this easily verified fact, someone in Punta Arenas told me, “I really learnt a lot today. I never even knew that Mohenjo Daro was
in Sindh!”

Yet another thing that suffered a blow was the Sindhi brand identity. In new lands, and with the urgency of feeding their families, trading was a way to make a respectable living. Competing as they were with cartels entrenched for decades, and obliged to trade on lower margins to get a foot in the door, they were branded early on as ‘cheats’.

The early resentment in Bombay produced Bollywood caricatures of wealthy and villainous businessmen speaking in thick Sindhi accents, and widespread aphorisms of the “If you meet a Sindhi and a snake, whom should you kill first?”

In 1947, when the Hindus of Sindh dispersed and sought new homes, many settled in Bombay. However, an early foundation had been established for the diaspora by the pioneering Sindhi entrepreneurial community, the Bhaibands, who had their kothis in the Shahibazar locality of Hyderabad, Sindh. As mapped by Markovits, they had branches all over the world, particularly dense in South East Asia and Africa, and even South America. This gave a base to the displaced ones. Families sent their young sons out to these outposts. They worked hard, deprived themselves, sent money home, and (some sooner than others) started their own businesses which, over the years, grew and grew. Often enough, they were displaced yet again by global politics and economics. In the 1950s, events in Vietnam sent them out to Thailand and Laos. In the 1960s, their stronghold in Indonesia loosened and Hong Kong opened up. In the early 1970s, Africa became hostile. The story went on.

It was something that happened in Chile in the mid-1970s that took today’s Sindhi population there. A government leaning to Communism was violently overthrown by the military dictator Augusto Pinochet. The new government began to nurture the Chilean economy with policies formulated by a group of young US-educated economists wryly referred to as the Chicago Boys. One of the initiatives was the Iquique free trade zone. In came the Sindhis.

Continue reading Sindhis of Chile

Eruption near supervolcano? Mount Sinabung could rain down hell

An Indonesian volcano near an ancient volcano that once nearly destroyed humankind is getting ready to erupt. At the moment, it’s throwing smoke high into the sky.

Sinabung volcano in Northern Sumatra, Indonesia, is only 35 kilometers from the Toba volcano whose super-eruption, according to scientists, put mankind on the brink of extinction almost 70,000 years ago by causing a “nuclear winter,” which could have lasted several years

Read more » RT
See more » http://rt.com/news/266341-sinabung-volcano-eruption-indonesia/

Domestic mass murder on a large scale is always the work of the state, at the hands of its own soldiery, police and gangsters, and/or ideological mobilization of allied civilian groups.

Benedict R. Anderson: Reflections on the 1965 Massacre in Indonesia and its Legacy

The Asia-Pacific Journal, Vol. 11, Issue 15, No. 4, April 15, 2013 [http://japanfocus.org/-Benedict-Anderson/3929]

Impunity and Reenactment: Reflections on the 1965 Massacre in Indonesia and its Legacy

Benedict R. Anderson

Domestic mass murder on a large scale is always the work of the state, at the hands of its own soldiery, police and gangsters, and/or ideological mobilization of allied civilian groups. The worst cases in the post-World War 11 era – Guatemala, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Sudan, Bosnia, Rwanda, Liberia, China, East Pakistan, East Timor, and Indonesia – show much the same bloody manipulations. It is equally the case that the killer regimes do not announce publicly the huge numbers killed, and rarely boast about the massacres, let alone the tortures that usually accompany them. They like to create a set of public euphemisms endlessly circulated through state-controlled mass media. In the age of the UN, to which almost all nation-states belong,in the time of Amnesty International and its uncountable NGO children and grandchildren, in the epoch of globalization and the internet, there are naturally worries about ‘face,’ interventions, embargos, ostracism, and UN-ish investigations. No less important are domestic considerations. National militaries are supposed heroically to defend the nation against foreign enemies, not slaughter their fellow-citizens. Police are supposed to uphold the law. Above all, there is need for political ‘stability,’ one element ofwhich is that killing should not get out of control, and that amateur civilian killers should be quietly assured that ‘it’s over’ and that no one will be punished.

Continue reading Domestic mass murder on a large scale is always the work of the state, at the hands of its own soldiery, police and gangsters, and/or ideological mobilization of allied civilian groups.

Pakistan: Where the Population Bomb is Exploding

by Wendell Cox

In much the developed, as well as developing world, population growth is slowing. Not so in Pakistan according to reported preliminary results of the 2011 Pakistan census. Here population is growing much faster than had been projected. Pakistan’s population stood at 197.4 million in 2011, an increase of 62.7 million from the last census in 1998 (Note 1). The new population is 20 million more than had been forecast in United Nations documents. Some of the additional growth is due to refugees fleeing Afghanistan, but this would not be enough to account for the majority of the under-projection error.

Pakistan: Moving Up the League Tables

As a result, Pakistan has passed Brazil and become the world’s 5th most populous nation, following China, India, the United States and Indonesia. Pakistan’s 11 year growth rate is estimated at 34.2 percent, nearly double that of second ranking Mexico, at 18.2 percent, where the birth rate (as indicated by the total fertility rate) is projected to drop to under replacement rate by the end of the decade. Perhaps most significantly, Pakistan’s growth rate is more than double the rates of India (15.9 percent) and Bangladesh (14.1 percent),which have long had reputations for strong growth (Table and Figure 1). At this growth rate, Pakistan could become the world’s fourth most populous nation by 2030, passing Indonesia. …

Read more » New Geography
http://www.newgeography.com/content/002940-pakistan-where-population-bomb-exploding

India Worst Country for Women, Canada the Best

U.S. Ranks No. 6 in Best And Worst Countries For Women

By: Anushay Hossain

Canada is the best place to be a woman, and India is the worst according to a new poll by Thomson Reuters Foundation. The legal news service launched a global poll of experts this week ranking countries for women in the G20, putting the US, which “polarised opinion due to issues surrounding reproductive rights and affordable healthcare,” in sixth place.

Access to healthcare and policies that advocate gender equality are amongst the factors that places Canada at the top of the poll, while issues such as child marriage and female infanticide drag India down to the very bottom. Germany, Britain, Australia and France joined Canada in the top five. Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, South Africa and Mexico led by India rounded up nations at the bottom of the list. Released on the heals of the G20 Summit in Mexico on June 18, the survey analyzes how women are faring in G20 countries, the largest economies in the world. ….

Read more  » Forbes

Military-Owned Businesses Pose Unique Corruption Risks

By Samuel Rubenfeld

Businesses owned by militaries around the world pose unique corruption risks to the sectors in which they operate, a new report found.

The report, released Thursday by Transparency International’s U.K. Defence and Security Programme, looks at how military-owned businesses are structured, what the inherent corruption risks are for these firms, and why and how the countries have made reforms to their military-owned companies.

“Once the military begins to engage in economic activities, it is often difficult to end such practices. In most situations, corruption becomes rampant and a major problem which (sic) harms the state and the national economy as well,” the report said.

Introducing a profit motive into the military increases the chance for distraction, the report said. Looking at case studies in China, Indonesia, Turkey and Pakistan, the report found that distraction often leads to outright graft, and in the more extreme cases that manifests itself in the form of embezzlement of state funds, tax fraud and even brutal coercive practices on workers. …..

Read more : The Wall Street Journal

Why Muslim states fail

By Khaled Ahmed

States released from colonial rule in the 20th century have by and large not done well. Today, most of them are either failing or failed states. Only a few have reached the finishing line of liberal democracy with a survivable economic model beyond the 21st century. Most of the Muslim states are included in the failing postcolonial model. Dictators with mental bipolar disorder — historically mistaken for charisma — who aimed to achieve romantic goals have crumbled, leaving in their wake equally romantic mobs of youths demanding what they presume is liberal democracy.

After Saddam Hussein, Iraq is in disarray; after Hosni Mubarak, Egypt is teetering; Libya promises nothing better. And after Musharraf, Pakistan’s democracy is dysfunctional. Among Muslims, only the market state in the Gulf may survive. In the Far East, too, it is the market state that looks like marching on. Muslim Indonesia and Malaysia may survive if they don’t exterminate their entrepreneur Chinese minorities under the spur of Islam. In Europe, when the dictator quits, civilisation takes over and the state survives. No such thing happens in the Muslim world. The premodern seduction of the Muslim mind prevents return to democracy. The blasphemy law is more powerful than any democratic constitution. …

Read more » The Express Tribune

Vanishing Sindhis!

by Khalid Hashmani, McLean

I share the following appeal from Mr. Mekan Vandiyar on “Vanishing Sindhis!”. Please share your comments and suggestions to mekan39@yahoo.com

My own comment is that Sindhis in Sindh, Sindhis in India and Sindhis living elsewhere should not be disheartened as there are encouraging signs that Sindhis all over the world can even say today “here is a Sindhi girl / boy from the Globe”. I do not have much insight into the notion that Sindhis in India can win a separate province, however, I feel that the harsh barriers that have kept Sindhis in India and Sindhis in Sindh, Pakistan away from each other will soon vanish and all Sindhis will also be be able to say “”here is a Sindhi girl / boy who loves Sindh as much as their new homeland“.

A recent announcement by the Indian and Pakistani government that they are normalizing business and economic relations and giving each other the “most favorite trading partner” status is one of those signs. The Sindhis from all over the world should not only encourage but also organize and participate in events that welcome every Sindhi regardless of where they live now. For example, the Sindhi Association of North America (SANA) whose members predominantly consist of those who migrated from Sindh (Pakistan) into the USA has been in the forefront of inviting prominent educationalists, political leaders, and writers who now live in India. It is time that all other Sindhi associations also follow this practice to bridge the gaps that may exist between various Sindhi communities.

Lastly, I assure Mr. Vandiyar that Sindhis in Sindh are more than ever determined to protect and advance Sindhi language, Sindhi heritage, Sindh culture of peace, and Sindhi identity. They are and will continue provide all their support to Sindhis in India or elsewhere in the world in their efforts to protect their and advance their Sindhi language, Sindhi heritage, Sindh culture, and Sindhi identity.

Continue reading Vanishing Sindhis!

SINDH & SINDHIS – CRISIS IN ISLAMIC WORLD

London – The World Sindhi Congress AGM and International Conference “SINDH & SINDHIS – CRISIS THE ISLAMIC WORLD” was held in Sindh House & Conway Hall, London, on 18th – 19th June 2011. The conference was held in the background of increasing conflict, violence, bloodshed and unnecessary loss of innocent lives. The world is going through a historic change, and there is an unprecedented ‘Crisis in the Islamic World’ partly because of the misunderstanding and religious & cultural difference and partly because of the slowness in adapting the change and progression. As a result we are witnessing war in Iraq, Iran, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Syria, Yemen and not to mention Bahrain, Indonesia, Philipines, Nigeria, Sudan, India, Afghanistan & Pakistan.

The delegates discussed the ongoing issue of ‘Kala Bagh Dam’ resulting from the intransigence and arrogance of Punjab, violating all the treaties and accords, along with other important issues of economic collapse, unemployment, settlement of illegal immigrants, military colonisation and victimisation of Sindhis by the security forces.

Continue reading SINDH & SINDHIS – CRISIS IN ISLAMIC WORLD

Sovereignty: rights and responsibilities

by Dr Manzur Ejaz

Excerpt:

Having been embarrassed by the Abbottabad operation, the military’s position was seemingly weaker and they wanted to regain their previous status by using the media to spread anti-American sentiments amongst the people and parliament.

Nawaz Sharif torpedoed the sovereignty ship that the Pakistan military had launched under the stewardship of Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) chief, Lieutenant-General Shuja Pasha. ….

…. However, Pakistan lives on a different planet by allowing or tolerating the Taliban and other jihadi groups that are involved in harmful activities against many other nations, including Afghanistan, the US, and Pakistan itself. A television talk-show host on one of the most watched programmes listed all the violent suicide bombings of a decade in the world. He pointed out that all the perpetrators of these violent acts were nabbed from Pakistan. Pakistan may boast about having handed over these criminals to the world but why were these terrorists found in Pakistan, instead of war-torn Afghanistan?

That is what makes the world suspicious about our state’s security policy run by the military and the ISI. If you look at the data from an outsider’s eye that every bomber is found in Pakistan, what will you conclude? Therefore, if Pakistan takes its case of breach of its sovereignty by the US to the UN, who will listen to it? Conversely, if Afghanistan, the US, Europe, India, Indonesia and many other countries take a similar case to the world forums, what would be the outcome? You can well imagine.

The military, backed by the weak PPP-PML-Q government, can create an illusion of sovereignty in Pakistani minds but the world is much larger than Pakistan and every outsider that counts is suspicious. If the US stops drone attacks and forgets about Mullah Omar or Ayman al-Zawahiri, can Pakistan assure the world that it can cleanse its territory of religious crusaders? And, unless that is done, the world is not going to respect Pakistan’s sovereignty. Probably, it can be done only if the military accepts the supremacy of civilian democratic governments as demanded by Nawaz Sharif. Yes, of course, the democratic governments have to be strong, but that is only a sufficient condition; the necessary condition is that the military gets out of foreign policy-making and other pivotal decisions of the state.

To read complete article : Wichaar

Pakistan has been playing us all for suckers

Britain is spending millions bolstering Pakistan, but it is a nation in thrall to radical Islam and is using its instability to blackmail the West

by Christina Lamb

When David Cameron announced £650m in education aid for Pakistan last week, I guess the same thought occurred to many British people as it did to me: why are we doing this?

While we are slashing our social services and making our children pay hefty university fees, why should we be giving all this money to a country that has reduced its education budget to 1.5% of GDP while spending several times as much on defence? A country where only 1.7m of a population of 180m pay tax? A country that is stepping up its production of nuclear weapons so much that its arsenal will soon outnumber Britain’s? A country so corrupt that when its embassy in Washington held an auction to raise money for flood victims, and a phone rang, one Pakistani said loudly: “That’s the president calling for his cut”? A country which has so alienated powerful friends in America that they now want to abandon it?

As someone who has spent almost as much time in Pakistan as in Britain over the past 24 years, I feel particularly conflicted, as I have long argued we should be investing more in education there.

That there is a crisis in Pakistan’s education system is beyond doubt. A report out last month by the Pakistan education taskforce, a non-partisan body, shows that at least 7m children are not in school. Indeed, one-tenth of the world’s children not in school are in Pakistan. The first time I went to Pakistan in 1987 I was astonished to see that while billions of pounds’ worth of weapons from the West were going to Pakistan’s intelligence service to distribute to the Afghan mujaheddin, there was nothing for schools.

The Saudis filled the gap by opening religious schools, some of which became breeding grounds for militants and trained the Taliban. Cameron hopes that investing in secular education will provide Pakistan’s children with an alternative to radicalism and reduce the flow of young men who want to come and bomb the West.

“I would struggle to find a country that it is more in Britain’s interests to see progress and succeed than Pakistan,” he said. “If Pakistan is a success, we will have a good friend to trade with and deal with in the future … If we fail, we will have all the problems of migration and extremism that we don’t want to see.”

As the sixth most populous country, with an arsenal of between 100 and 120 nuclear weapons, as the base of both Osama Bin Laden and the Taliban leadership, and as homeland to a large population in Britain, Pakistan is far more important to our security than Afghanistan. But after spending two weeks travelling in Pakistan last month, I feel the situation has gone far beyond anything that a long-term strategy of building schools and training teachers can hope to restrain.

The Pakistani crisis has reached the point where Washington — its paymaster to the tune of billions of dollars over the past 10 years — is being urged to tear up the strategic alliance underpinning the war in Afghanistan.

Dana Rohrabacher, a Republican congressman from California who sits on the House foreign affairs committee and has been dealing with Pakistan since working in the Reagan White House, says he now realises “they were playing us for suckers all along”.

“I used to be Pakistan’s best friend on the Hill but I now consider Pakistan to be an unfriendly country to the US,” he said. “Pakistan has literally been getting away with murder and when you tie that with the realisation that they went ahead and used their scarce resources to build nuclear weapons, it is perhaps the most frightening of all the things that have been going on over the last few years.

“We were snookered. For a long time we bought into this vision that Pakistan’s military was a moderate force and we were supporting moderates by supporting the military. In fact the military is in alliance with radical militants. Just because they shave their beards and look western they fooled a lot of people.”

Christine Fair, assistant professor at the centre for peace and security studies at Georgetown University in Washington, is equally scathing. “Pakistan’s development strategy is to rent out its strategic scariness and not pay taxes itself,” she said. “We should let them fail.”The Pakistani crisis has reached the point where Washington is being urged to tear up the strategic alliance underpinning the war in Afghanistan

Pakistan’s prime minister, Yousuf Gilani, comes from one of Punjab’s largest land-owning families. Watching Cameron sign over the £650m, he said: “I think the root cause of terrorism and extremism is illiteracy. Therefore we are giving a lot of importance to education.”

If that were the case one might expect Lahore University of Management Sciences, one of the most elite universities in the country, to be a bastion of liberalism. Yet in the physics department Pervez Hoodbhoy, professor of nuclear physics, sits with his head in his hands staring out at a sea of burqas. “People used to imagine there was only a lunatic fringe in Pakistan society of these ultra-religious people,” he said. “Now we’re learning that this is not a fringe but a majority.”

What brought this home to him was the murder earlier this year of Salman Taseer, the half-British governor of Punjab who had called for the pardoning of a Christian woman sentenced to death under the blasphemy law. The woman, Aasia Bibi, had been convicted after a mullah had accused her of impugning Islam when she shouted at two girls who refused to drink water after she had touched it because they said it was unclean.

Taseer had been a key figure in Pakistan’s politics for decades and had suffered prison and torture, yet when he said the Aasia case showed the law needed reforming, he was vilified by the mullahs and the media. In January he was shot 27 times by one of his own guards. His murderer, Mumtaz Qadri, became a hero, showered with rose petals by lawyers when he appeared in public.

After the killing, Hoodbhoy was asked to take part in a televised debate at the Islamabad Press Club in front of students. His fellow panellists were Farid Piracha, spokesman for the country’s biggest religious party, Jamaat-e-Islami, and Maulana Sialvi, a supposed moderate mullah from the Barelvi sect. Both began by saying that the governor brought the killing on himself, as “he who blasphemes his prophet shall be killed”. The students clapped.

Hoodbhoy then took the microphone. “Even as the mullahs frothed and screamed I managed to say that the culture of religious extremism was resulting in a bloodbath in which the majority of victims were Muslims; that non-Muslims were fleeing Pakistan. I said I’m not an Islamic scholar but I know there are Muslim countries that don’t think the Koran says blasphemy carries the death sentence, such as Indonesia, Malaysia and Egypt.

“I didn’t get a single clap. When I directly addressed Sialvi and said you have Salman Taseer’s blood on your hands, he looked at them and exclaimed: how I wish I had done it! He got thunderous applause.”

Afterwards, “I came back and wanted to dig a hole in the ground,” he said. “I can’t figure out why this country has gone so mad. I’ve seen my department change and change and change. There wasn’t one burqa-clad woman in the 1980s but today the non-hijabi, non-burqa student is an exception. As for the male students, they all come in turbans and beards with these fierce looks on their faces.”

Yet, he points out, these students are the super-elite, paying high fees to attend the university: “It’s nothing to do with causes normally associated with radicalism; it’s that the mullah is allowed complete freedom to spread the message of hate and liberals are bunkering down. Those who speak out are gone and the government has abdicated its responsibility and doesn’t even pretend to protect life and property.”

Raza Rumi, a young development worker and artist who blogs regularly, agrees. As we sat in a lively coffee bar in Lahore that could have been in the West until the lights went off in one of the frequent power cuts, he said: “Radicalism in Pakistan isn’t equated with poverty and backwardness — we’re seeing more radicalisation of the urban middle and upper class. I look at my own extended family. When I was growing up, maybe one or two people had a beard. Last time I went to a family wedding I was shell-shocked. All these uncles and aunts who were regular Pakistanis watching cricket and Indian movies now all have beards or are in hijabs.

“I think we’re in an existential crisis. The moderate political parties have taken a back seat and chickened out as they just want to protect their positions. What is Pakistan’s identity? Is it an Islamist identity as defined by Salman Taseer’s murder, ISI [the intelligence service], the jihadists? Is that really what we want to be?”

He does not know how much longer he will write about such things. “I’ve been getting repeated emails that I should leave the country or shut up,” he said.

When I left the cafe I was followed for the rest of the day by a small yellow car.

Courtesy: thesundaytimes.co.uk

‘China ready to go to war to safeguard national interests’

Beijing: Terming US attempts to woo India and other neighbours of China as “unbearable”, an article in a Communist party magazine has said that Beijing must send a “clear signal” to these countries that it is ready to go to war to safeguard its national interests.

The article published in the Qiushi Journal, the official publication of the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC) said China must adhere to a basic strategic principle of not initiating war but being ready to counterattack.

“We must send a clear signal to our neighbouring countries that we don’t fear war, and we are prepared at any time to go to war to safeguard our national interests,” the article said, suggesting an aggressive strategy to counter emerging US alliances in the region.

“Throughout the history of the new China (since 1949), peace in China has never been gained by giving in, only through war. Safeguarding national interests is never achieved by mere negotiations, but by war,” it said.

The piece said countries like Japan, India, Vietnam, Australia, the Philippines, Indonesia, and Korea are trying to join the anti-China group because they either had a war or a conflict of interest with China. …

Read more : ZeeNews

MOEN JO DARO – SINDH

by Chandiramani

Ruins of Moen jo daro : 25 kms. Away from Larkana city in Sindh .. It was inhabited in 2000 B.C , abandoned in 1700 B.C and rediscovered in 1920 ‘ Around 5OOOO people stayed there at one time. Maybe more.

It was probably abandoned due to the floods as river Indus (Sindhu) changes its course very often Declared as Unesco world heritage site, Unesco 1n 1997 gave U.S $1O million for restoration and strengthening the base of the city .

5 artistic seals prove the extent of progress achieved in 2OOO B.C itself . The dancing girl denotes self confidence.

Wayang Kulit of Indonesia bears a lot of similarity to it. Scholars must do research on this similarity .

The priest or the king shows power and dignity and quite a few statues of goddesses were also found at the site.

Shiva was worshipped in this area is proved by phallus shaped stone objects in Moen jo Daro.

Moen jo daro had an excellent drainage system, planned wide roads, two storied houses – made of baked mud. There were also huge granaries for storage.

A great public bath has also been found at Moen Jo Daro with steps going down to a pond. Elliptical disc was found recently which may have been used fork eeping holy water . Pieces of charcoal were found at Moen jo Daro. This will help us to pin point the age of the site. According to latest reports on google all the ancient sites are eroding due to goverment neglect and public aphathy.

It is very heartening to know that Tata’s Fundemental Institute of Research which is highly respected all over the world, is undertaking a research on Moen jo Daro to find out if the city was laid as per astronomical placements of stars at that time like is the case with Borobudut, the largest Budhhist Complex in the world ( In Indonesia ). and Angkor Vat in Cambodia. Moen Jo Daro is a few hours drive from Karachi – Sindh.

According to Makarand Khatavkar who also conducted a lot of research on Moen Jo daro, the layout of the ancient Moen Jo Daro is astonishing and so are the seals.

Some streets in Moen Jo Daro were 33 feel broad, and had markets on both sides. At Moen jo Daro , there is a 5OOO year old well and the workers were drinking water from it.

Another very striking point was that no weapons of war were found at Moen Jo Daro.

Now about the script;: The Indus script has been known for the last century but until today it has not been deciphered.

However the studies by TIFR scientists and other world institutes suggest that Indus people wrote in a literary style and the script may have been written close to spoken languages like Tamil and Sanskrit .. The linguistic structure of the Indus (Sindhu) script suggests this .. Now the efforts are on to understand the grammatical structure of the script.

Are these humans or evils?

. The good Muslims of Indonesia

By omar

Watch this video while sitting down and not eating…

There is nothing particularly “islamic” about this kind of mob violence. Remember Gujrat in 2002. Or Delhi in 1984. And the restriction of such mob justice to third world hellholes is relatively recent. Look at highly civilized Germany in 1938. Or America South of the Manson-Nixon line anytime before 1970 or so. …

Read more : BrownPundits

Sindhyat means unity through diversity

. Sindhyat

by Govind Chandiramani, India

Lots of Sindhis write about Sindhyat from time to time in different parts of the world. They write beautifully well, show the articles to their friends, who praise them. Afterwords they forget about it. But have we gone deep enough to understand Sindhyat? For understanding it, one has to go to the most ancient records available.

1. What are the oldest monuments still existing which provide us proof of the great civilisation we had in the past? .The answer is Moen jo Daro , Mehrgarh, Kot Diji etc.

What steps have we taken to preserve it? On the google , one comes across reports of neglect and chaos in Moen jo Daro. Our 25OO B.C monument. If Mohan jo Daro is neglected like this, what about places like Kot Diji and Mehrgarh? All these ancient proofs of our civilisation should be protected.

It is very heartening to know that Tata’s Institute of Research which is highly respected all over the world, is undertaking research on Moen jo Daro to find out if the city was laid as per astronomical placements of stars at that time. They have appointed a team of 4 experts. I can send the information to anyone who is really interested.

Continue reading Sindhyat means unity through diversity

India and its Muslims get a thumbs up from US

WASHINGTON: In a rousing endorsement of the secular and nationalistic nature of India and its Muslim population, the United States has recognized and appreciated that a “vast majority” of them remain committed to the Indian state and seek to participate in mainstream politics and economic life, thus cutting down scope for recruitment by extremist organizations.
In an extensive commentary about India’s 150 million plus Muslims (the second largest in the world after Indonesia, former US envoy to New Delhi David Mulford recorded in a cable (released by WikiLeaks) that “India’s vibrant democracy, inclusive culture and growing economy have made it easier for Muslim youth to find a place in the mainstream, reduced the pool of potential recruits, and the space in which Islamic extremist organizations can operate.”
Read more:  THE TIMES OF INDIA

US Consulate Karachi celebrates Sindh Cultural Day 2010

William Martin

Consul General Karachi William Martin supports Sindh Cultural Day, December 4th, 2010. Honorable William Martin delivers a message for the occasion & even he can speak in Sindhi. Ms. Andie of U.S. Consulate is also a great woman. She has great regards for Sindh & Sindhi language. She learned Sindhi language during her posting in Karachi like she knew Bhasha Indonesia.

The history of Ajrak goes back to 5000 years.. It had been used by King priest, the symbol of Indus valley Civilization. The people of Sindh are the Guardian of the culture,the customs and the rituals of Sindhu-Sarswati (Indus) civilization.