By IQBAL JAFAR
No two countries in the world are so close in their experience as a young nation and yet so far apart in their political compulsions as Israel and Pakistan.
To a lesser degree of uniqueness, these two countries have much to do with the questions of war and peace in the vast landmass from the Nile Valley to the Indus Valley, that once was a cradle of civilization, and could next be its graveyard. What happens in these two countries and between them and their neighbors should be of great interest for the international community.
Born only a few months apart, both on a Friday, Israel and Pakistan share an incredibly long list of other remarkable, even uncanny, commonalities.
Consider: both were carved out of a British colony; both were created in the name of religion by leaders who were secularists at heart; both were born as geographical oddities, Israel in three blocs and Pakistan in two; both saw large-scale exodus and immigration in the first year of their existence; both got involved in territorial disputes with their neighbors immediately after birth; both have borders that have yet to stabilize after more than six decades of existence.
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Sourcing Haidarabad – By: Kanak Mani Dixit
Even though PIA Flight 269 was bound from Kathmandu to Karachi, I was excited to visit the Sindhi Hyderabad. For too long, the Deccan city and capital of Andhra, with its IT glamour, had wrested the limelight from its humbler counterpart. Lo! Even the screen indicating the Pakistani Airbus’s flight-path showed the Deccan Hyderabad, but not the city by the Indus to which I was bound.
From the Karachi airport, ‘Haidarabad’, as it is properly pronounced, is a two-and-a-half-hour drive through the rolling desert along the M9 motorway. The city is reached after descending a plateau and crossing a rivulet – in actuality, the great River Indus in its emaciated present-day avatar. There, a traveller crosses eastward, over a bridge that seems too long for a flow this miniscule, even though it is supposed to be the consolidated flow of all six tributaries upstream. India has tapped the three eastern rivers under the auspices of the Indus River Treaty, and Pakistani Punjab takes copious draughts from the remaining three.
The inhabitants of Sindh seem impelled by the force of history to speak of their great past – the great Indus civilisation and its archaeological remains, the conquests of Iskandar, the rise of the Sindhi language, Buddhism, Sufism and the arrival of Islam. Those were the times when the Indus flowed with strength, and contrasts with a beleaguered present are unavoidable. With the river nearly gone, Sindhis seek to preserve their pride in the Ajrak block-printed shawls that are presented to visitors, and in the vibrant Sindhi press that challenges Urdu as the language of political discourse.
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PRESS RELEASE: 25 September 2009
WSC ORGANISES A BRIEFING AT THE HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL IN GENEVA
World Sindhi Congress, a leading Sindhi organisation working for the cause of human rights Of Sindh and Sindhis, organised a briefing during the 12th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva on 18th September 2009. The title of the briefing was “Self Determination of Sindh and Balochistan – A Strategy for Regional Peace”.
The briefing was facilitated by Interfaith International, which has a special consultative status with the United Nations ECOSOC (Economic and Social Council). The briefing was very successful in attracting wider audience representing nations from Europe, Asia, Africa and America . The representatives of many renowned NGOs, European Union and UN Human Rights Council were also present.
The panel who dealt with various aspects of the issue included Charles Graves, Haleem Bhatti, Ghansham Das, Hidayat Bhutto, Noordin Mengal, Suraiya Makhdoom, Abdul Hamid Khan and Lakhu Luhana.
Dr Charles Graves, Secretary General Interfaith International, presided over the briefing and introduced the context of the briefing. He said that Sindhis are an ancient nation who has been subjected to enormous suffering under various regimes in Pakistan and face many problems. He said in Balochistan gross violations of human rights have continued to occur particularly due to ongoing military operation.
Continue reading WORLD SINDHI CONGRESS – A BRIEFING AT THE HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL IN GENEVA ABOUT SINDH