Courtesy: Aljazeera » Nicole Johnston
Courtesy: Aljazeera » Nicole Johnston
Distinguished anchor of Rawal TV, Tahir Aslam Gora, discusses the current negotiations of Government of Pakistan & Taliban, with Arshad Mahmood an astute political commentator in Bilatakalluf (Straight Talk). The language of the talk show is Hindi (urdu).
By DR ALI AKBAR DHAKAN, Karachi, Sindh
On the top hill of Margalla mountain at the sight of Pir Suhawa, a Restaurant namely M O N A L has been established and opened in the night only by a highly influential retired Government servant. It is at the height of about 4000 feet and situated at the distance of about 20 kms fom Islam abad city where MNAs, SENATORS, MINISTERS, High graded bureaucrats, Contractors of big contracts, Business people, Ambassadors and Foreighners etc are residing having many resources and unaccountable money. They want to spend their money and resources lavishly on eating and entertainment visiting such dangerous heights in the darkness of the nights if not daily but usually on alternate nights along with their friends, family members, guests coming from other big cities and also foreighn countries. At night the position of the hotel area becomes very dangerous for lives of the visitors due to traffic jams, small and big vehicles in huge number and also countless huge number of people of young,middle and old age level male and female gentry. Up to 2am the people come and eat the dinner in the heavy rush to the extent that the tables for sitting purpose remain so busy that people coming late have to wait for their turn even mostly for hours and stand in big rows. The number of such tables for the visitors must be more than a thousand accomodating at least more than five thousand visitors.The items of edibles ordered by the hosts are so of lavish and expensive quantity that every group leaves about half of items or they order for packing the rest food for drivers or for their family members.The bill for each table must be about more than Rs ten thousand and total receipts of the hotel must be for about more than one crore per night.Now many questions arise from such lavish habits. Some are as under: (1) why such hotels and restaurants have been allowed at such dangerous places (2) why not such lavish activity taxed to discourage lavish expenditures (3) There is no security arrangement so it is very risky to visit such places in the nights. The concerned departments particularly the FBR,Home ministry, CDA and others may consider these points and take necessary steps to save the Pakistani nation from the self destructive activities.
Received via email – email@example.com
ISLAMABAD: An armed man demanding the establishment of Islamic rule in Pakistan opened fire in the heavily policed heart of Islamabad on Thursday after slipping past the capital’s many checkpoints.
Security has been tight in Islamabad after police received an alert about possible attacks by militants operating from the tribal areas on Pakistan’s lawless border with Afghanistan.
As night fell, the unidentified man drove a black vehicle into the tightly guarded centre of Islamabad, stopped within a stone’s throw from the president’s official residence and opened fire in the air.
The gunman is said to have a Kalashnikov in his possession along with a submachine gun. A woman and two children are also reported to be in the car with him.
“I am against vulgarity and immorality. My associates have taken up positions in the whole of Pakistan,” he told a local TV channel.
Hundreds of onlookers gathered in the central Jinnah Avenue as night fell and periodic gunshots rang out in the air.
Checkpoints and police armed with assault rifles dot many major access points in Islamabad, where attacks have become rare in recent years.
Security has been tightened further in past weeks, particularly in the city centre where most government buildings and diplomatic missions are located.
Although he appeared to act on his own and seemed confused in his demands, it was unclear how the man, armed with at least two automatic rifles, managed to paralyse the city centre and cause a standoff with police including anti-terrorist units.
Police and other officials are speaking with the man in order to defuse the situation. So far he has refused to lay down his weapons.
The gunman has also threatened to target Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
This is a developing story and will be updated accordingly
by Ayaz Amir
With the announcement of a Taliban address in Doha, Qatar, and the Americans welcoming this development, the window for military action in our Waziristan has finally slammed shut. The army wasn’t about to launch any operation – no fear of that – but even the tantalising possibility that at some point in the future vacillation would give way to decisive action now evaporates.
The scales have shifted. With the Americans engaging, however fruitlessly, with the Taliban in Doha, the Pakistan Army is in no position (psychologically) to undertake any kind of military operation in North Waziristan. The army can play around with the status quo in that embattled region – huffing and puffing and losing more officers and men to Taliban ambushes, six of our soldiers killed in an ambush this Wednesday – but the status quo, rail against it as we might, has come to stay.
Time was on the side of the Taliban, as it always is on the side of any force engaged in irregular warfare. And the Pakistan Army and a confused nation, their thinking split down the middle, have missed the bus. For us that is the significance of the Taliban gaining, at long last, virtual American diplomatic recognition – which is what this latest development amounts to.
A triumph for Mullah Omar and a problem for us, because Mullah Omar’s resurgent emirate, waiting patiently for the Americans to depart, now extends, like a dagger, into Pakistan – in the form of Hakeemullah’s Waziristan.
Let us not lose heart too much. This is not history being rewritten, only history being reversed. The kingdom of Kabul once held sway over the territories constituting our north-west frontier. Maharajah Ranjit Singh (sorry for bringing up his name again) pushed the Afghans back and the British inherited Ranjit Singh’s kingdom. That is how the new state of Pakistan came into possession of those frontier lands.
But through an historical process, starting with the Soviet intervention in Afghanistan in 1979 and leading up to the American invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, Pakistan’s control over those territories stands immeasurably weakened.
Strange the workings of history – our military geniuses under Gen Zia sought strategic depth in Afghanistan. It is the Taliban and Al-Qaeda which have acquired strategic depth in Pakistan.
The Americans are about to talk to the Taliban not to get them to lay down their arms and ship them to the Solomon Islands, but as a face-saving exercise. They want to exit Afghanistan sans too much humiliation. In so many words they are telling the Taliban, look we are getting out; make our departure easier. That’s it, if only we could read the writing on the wall.
Hamid Karzai has more sense than we do. Look at his anger: he knows he’s been used and the Americans, for all their tall talk, are about to talk, if not cut a deal, with his sworn enemies. And he’s frothing at the mouth, without this having the slightest effect on his paymasters.
At least Karzai knows what is what. We get used like a box of tissues again – the first time under Zia, the second time now – and still think we are ‘stakeholders’ in the Afghan game. There’s no end to our talent for make-believe, even as the tide of history is being reversed.
The next prime minister Mian Nawaz Sharif has promised to stand together with the West in taking on the forces of terrorism, hours after voting finished in the country’s historic general election.
During a close-fought campaign Nawaz Sharif had promised to end drone strikes and review the country’s relationship with America. As he publicly claimed victory in the poll, the two-time prime minister sought to reassure Western governments and said he would not pull back on the fight against al-Qaeda and the Taliban.
“I have experience of working with US counterparts and will be very happy to further work with them,” he told The Sunday Telegraph.
“What is most important is that we must never allow our soil to be used by anyone to create problems with any country in this world.”
ISLAMABAD: Lawmakers in the Upper House of the Parliament Thursday demanded action against former President General (retd) Pervez Musharraf for his crimes against constitution, democracy, political leadership and the nation.
They also demanded from the caretaker interior minister to inform the House how he escaped from the court to his residence and “why a former General could not be arrested if the elected prime ministers of the country can be sent to jails.”
Speaking on points of order, the senators claimed that double standard existed in the country in violation of the Constitution which considers every Pakistani equal before the law.
“We have been talking of the rule of law and independence of judiciary. But, today we have seen that it is easy to send an elected prime minister to jail but a former General and military dictator cannot be arrested,” remarked senior PPPP Senator Raza Rabbani.
“In Pervez Musharraf’s case it is test of time. When the court had ordered to arrest him, then why he was not arrested. It’s a question mark,” Rabbani added.
He charged Pervez Musharraf of involvement in the abetment of killing of Benazir Bhutto and Nawab Akbar Bugti, abrogating the constitution and house arresting the judges of superior judiciary.
“Musharraf is a usurper who twice abrogated the Constitution. He was announced to be arrested but he safely fled in connivance with state institutions. The caretaker government was responsible to arrest him and the interior minister should inform the House why the government had not fulfilled its obligations,” Rabbani said.
PPPP Senator Farhatullah Babar said he does not hold caretaker government responsible for his escape. “I have been looking the state apparatus very closely. There are two laws and double standards in the country. If we could not mend it over the time how we can hold the caretakers responsible for these double standards.”
India asks Pakistan to seek NoCs for projects in GB, AJK
ISLAMABAD: India has asked Pakistan to get no objection certificates (NoCs) from New Delhi for building all the hydropower projects being completed in Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) and AJK involving funding of international donor agencies.
India has also asked Pakistan to provide detailed information about all hydropower projects being built in Gilgit-Baltistan with the funding of these international donors.
This has been communicated to Pakistan in the latest correspondence in which India has again declared Gilgit-Baltistan as its integral part. ….
…… Pakistan has to become secularized to survive as a multi-religious state. Otherwise, the plan is clear. It is to become a Sunni Jihadi state. And everyone else has to live under those rules, or will face their wrath.
The army and the police cannot control these people while supporting and using their ideology. They cannot give up that ideology until they suppress/forget/ignore the dream of a pure Islamic state and its international jihadi armies.
They lack the will and the ability. The will more than the ability.
Courtesy: Brown Pundits
Initiated by an Aman ki Asha supporter in New Delhi, this global event on Sunday, Jan. 27 is taking place in different cities at different times around the world. It invites Indians and Pakistanis and those who want peace between the two countries, to come together in their respective cities. The purpose of the vigils is to urge the governments to continue the dialogue, and not give in to the war hype being created by some sections of sections of society. The vigil statement is online at this link (text below)
Confirmed venues and times so far:
Bradford: 2-3 pm, Student Central, J.B. Priestly Library, University of Bradford, U.K.
Cambridge, MA: 4.30-5.30 pm, Harvard Square Pit (fb event link)
Islamabad: 6 pm, Press Club, F-6/4. Contact 0344-5469738 and 0300-9880397
Karachi: 5.30 pm, Karachi Press Club
Lahore: 6 pm, Lahore Press Club, Shimla Pihari (fb event link)
Los Angeles – 5 pm, in front of UCLA
Mumbai: 7 pm, Gateway of India
New Delhi: 5.30 pm, Gandhi Peace Foundation, email firstname.lastname@example.org
New York: 5 PM at Union Square near Mahatma Gandhi’s statue
Shahdadkot- 5 pm, Press Club
Toronto: 5 pm, 365 Bloor St. East, Toronto (outside Indian Consulate) (fb event link)
Washington DC: 6 pm, Chutney Restaurant, Springfield, VA
Kansas City: 5:30-7:30 at Kababesh Grill, Overland Park
Courtesy: via Facebook
An influential Pakistani preacher and thousands of his supporters have reached Islamabad on Monday as part of a “long march” against corruption.
Tahirul Qadri, a preacher who returned to Pakistan from Canada last month, is leading a call for electoral reforms.
He left the city of Lahore on Sunday with thousands of supporters, and reached Islamabad late on Monday, where he addressed crowds near parliament.
The authorities accuse him of trying to postpone elections due by May.
The cleric wants the military and judiciary to be involved in installing a caretaker government to oversee the forthcoming elections.
The government is due to disband in March, and elections must then be held within six weeks.
Addressing tens of thousands of supporters in the capital late on Monday night, Mr Qadri called for provincial assemblies to make way for a caretaker administration.
He wants measures put in place to prevent corrupt people or criminals from standing for elected office.
“Morally, your government and your assemblies have ended tonight,” he said from behind bullet-proof glass on a stage erected on Jinnah Avenue, less than a mile from Pakistan’s parliament.
“I will give [the government] a deadline until tomorrow to dissolve the federal parliament and provincial assemblies. After that, the people’s assembly here will take their own decision.”
Earlier, his black chauffeur-driven car was showered with pink rose petals as it approached the stage in Pakistan’s main city.
By the time his procession reached Islamabad, an estimated 10,000 people had joined the slow-moving convoy of cars, buses and trucks – more crowds were waiting in Islamabad to greet the cleric.
An extra 15,000 police had been deployed on the streets and many parts of the capital were sealed off.
Authorities in the capital had warned that Mr Qadri and his supporters would not be allowed into the city centre. The government had warned that militants may target the marchers.
Mr Qadri’s flamboyant preaching style and expensive television campaigns have raised his profile in Pakistan in recent weeks.
But there has also been widespread speculation that he is backed by Pakistan’s powerful military, and is being used to reassert the army’s control over Pakistani politics.
By: Malik Siraj Akbar, Editor in Chief, ‘The Baloch Hal’
A Pakistani Muslim scholar with Canadian nationality has announced to transform Islamabad into “the world’s biggest Tahrir Square” on January 14th ahead of this year’s upcoming general elections. Dr. Tahir-ul-Qadri, a cogent public speaker, has made an abrupt but a robust comeback in Pakistan’s politics after spending nearly five years in Canada. Qadri, previously an unpopular politician but still a cleric with a large following of religious disciples, is asking for electoral reforms prior to the next polls.
There are two fundamental problems with Qadri’s demand.
First, he has given an absolutely unrealistic ultimatum of mere two weeks to the ruling Pakistan People’s Party (P.P.P.) to carry out vague electoral reforms, for example to ensure the election of ‘honest people’ to the parliament. In order to conduct these reforms, Dr. Qadri, while citing the Article 254 of the Pakistani constitution, justifies the postponement of the general elections which are expected to take place in May. The mainstream political parties, such as the P.P.P. and the Pakistan Muslim League of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, want to go for elections without any interruptions soon after the completion of the current term of the parliament because they oppose any kind of derailment of the democratic process.
Second, Dr. Qadri is asking for representation for the powerful Pakistani military and the politically active judiciary in the interim government, a demand that clearly clashes with the very spirit of democracy.
By Agha H Amin
Pakistan today stands in the eye of the storm and every act of Islamic extremism can be traced to Pakistan or persons of Pakistani origin. Resultantly a battle of ideas has started in Pakistan about ascertaining the true role of Mr Jinnah and his political ideas.
The political use of religion was started after 1857 by Muslim aristocracy of United Provinces of Agra and Oudh and Punjab once they saw that Muslims were under threat of being reduced to zero because of introduction of competitive examinations and European style political representation.Thus the origins of Muslim politics in India in the period 1858-1947 was safeguarding the class interests of Muslim aristocracy and middle class in Punjab and UP.
The All India Muslim League founded in 1906 was a Bengali Muslim heavy effort but immediately hijacked by UP Muslims and its headquarters shifted to UP.The All India Muslim League remained UP Muslim dominated to such an extent that in Lucknow Pact in absence of many Punjabis or Bengalis the All India Muslim League agreed to surrender Muslim majority in Punjab to partity and Muslim majority in Bengal to minority.A direct result of Lucknow Pact was the Unionist Party in Punjab ,formed because Muslims of Punjab needed to be in partnership with Hindus and Sikhs without which they could not form a government.Similarly the Bengali Muslims suffered all along till 1946 because of Lucknow Pact and were forced to be manipulated by Hindu blackmail in Bengal politics.Chaudhry Khaliquzzaman did call Lucknow Pact a faux pas.
Mr Jinnah the founder of Pakistan was not known to be a religious man till 1937 at least when his All India Muslim League was literally routed in Muslim majority provinces of India getting just (7,319,445) the League got only 321,772 Muslim votes out of a total Muslim votes of 7,319,445 a mere 4.4 percent. In Punjab the League won just 2 seats out of 84 , in Bengal 39 out of 117,in NWFP none .Even in Muslim minority provinces the Muslim League was not Muslims first choice except Bombay where it won 20 out of 29 seats.
The Second World War brought the Congress in conflict with British and the Congress resigned from its ministries.The Lahore Resolution of 1940 was a strategic response of Mr Jinnah to counter the congress.It dove tailed with British war effort which Mr Jinnah supported and it countered the Congress which again suited the British.
The higher class and the middle class Muslims in UP , Punjab , Bengal and Sindh saw it as an opportunity to eliminate the Hindus and Sikhs from political , economic and employment competition.It is well known that some 25 % of Hindu money lenders were in Punjab and the vast majority of Muslim landlords in Punjab and Sindh were in debt to these money lenders.This factor prompted many Punjabi Muslim members of the Unionist Party to change loyalties to the Muslim League in 1940-46.
The Muslim feudal and educated classes of Punjab and UP saw Pakistan as a place where they would dominate the politics ,the business, the jobs and thus be the successors of British,The Bengali and Sindhi position was very low in the Muslim League hierarchy dominated till 1936 by UP Muslims and by Punjabi Muslims in partnership with UP Muslims after 1938.
It is a well known fact that Islam was used as a central mobilizing slogan in the elections of 1946 in Punjab,Sindh and Bengal.Mr Jinnah may have been a totally secular man but the campaign of 1946 did create a religious picture of Pakistan.
And now the class aspect of Pakistan. Who voted in 1946 Elections for Muslim League or Congress. Most of the people, particularly, women and lower class people, had no voting rights. These elections were based on the extremely restricted franchise of the 1919 Act, and the total number of votes cast was only 586,647, representing almost exclusively the propertied classes.Stanley Wolpert notes that just 5 % of Indias population voted in 1946 Elections.
Those who could understand and feel were bitter about the Punjab massacres and Hafeez Jullundhuri thus expressed his disgust :–
Qaafloay lut gayay barbad ho gayay to kia hua
Mutmain hain Qaflas salaar apnay kam say
The aftermath of Pakistan and its chequered political history proves many contradictions .
NEW DELHI: Press Council of India (India) chairperson justice Markandey Katju today said that the only solution to the Kashmir problem is reunification of India and Pakistan under a strong and “modern-minded” government which will not tolerate bigotry.
“The cause of the Kashmir problem is the partition of India on a totally bogus basis – the two nation theory, that Hindus and Muslims are separate nations….I don’t recognise Pakistan as a legitimate country because the whole basis is the two nation theory and I don’t accept the two nation theory,” he said.
The goals of Pakistani Americans in US politics may not align with those of Islamabad
By Dr Manzur Ejaz
Most of the correspondents of Pakistani news networks in Washington and New York were unable to understand why the anchors and commentators back home were not accepting what they were seeing on the ground – that Obama was winning the elections. The analysts back home had wishfully concluded that Mitt Romney would win, and that was what they wanted to hear. The US presidential election has shown that Pakistani opinion makers are in a state of denial. The expatriates are coming around to this reality and disagree with the views back home. Such diverging views may result in a change that may not be to Islamabad’s liking.
By: Sharon Behn
ISLAMABAD, PAKISTAN — Afghan forces say they are ready to retaliate against Pakistan for cross-border shelling along the country’s northeastern border. Analysts in both countries are extremely concerned about what the situation means for the future of the region.
Afghanistan Defense Minister General Bismillah Mohammadi said that if diplomacy fails to stop Pakistan’s alleged shelling of Afghan soil, his forces are ready to react accordingly.
“Afghan forces,” he said, “are ready to sacrifice their lives and properties to defend their homeland,” said Mohammadi.
Trouble at Durand Line ….
Read more » VOA
What was supposed to be a day for Pakistanis to show their love, respect and reverence of the Holy Prophet (pbuh), instead turned out to be a day of murder, arson, looting and much mayhem. The government may have thought that by declaring September 21 “Youm-e-Ishq-e-Rasool”, it may have grabbed the initiative from the religious and conservative elements and that the protests and outrage may perhaps have channelled into one single day. However, the events of the past two days, in particular Friday, suggest that this was a grave miscalculation. The decision seems to have only galvanised and emboldened those elements in society who believe that by burning public and private property, destroying cars and injuring and killing innocent passers-by, they are somehow expressing their love for the Holy Prophet (pbuh). To many of those who we saw burning public and private property on our television screens on Friday, the government’s holiday announcement translated into a licence to do as they saw fit, and in most cases, this was to damage and destroy whatever they could find at arm’s reach.
NEW DELHI, Aug 25: Asserting that judges should not govern the country or evolve policies, the chief justice of India said on Saturday he wondered what would happen if the executive refused to comply with the judiciary’s directives.
Justice S.H. Kapadia asked judges if they would invoke contempt proceedings against government officials for not complying with their decisions and disapproved a recent Supreme Court judgment which said “right to sleep” was also a fundamental right.
“Judges should not govern this country. We need to go by strict principle. Whenever you lay down a law, it should not interfere with governance. We are not accountable to people.
Islamabad—United Nations has decided to send a delegation to Pakistan for reviewing the situation in Balochistan. Foreign office has been informed in this regard. The UN authorities has written a letter to foreign ministry mentioning that seven-member UN delegation would visit Pakistan from September 10 to 20 to review the situation in Balochisatan.
KARACHI, Aug 24: MPA Saleem Khursheed Khokhar, who represents the Christian community in the Sindh Assembly, has called for the immediate release of a Christian girl arrested recently near Islamabad. She was accused of desecrating the Quran and charged under the blasphemy law.
Speaking at a press conference at the Karachi Press Club on Friday, Mr Khokhar appealed to the government to abolish the blasphemy law, claiming that it was being misused to settle personal scores and victimise the minorities.
By Jamie Weinstein, Senior Editor
Recently removed Pakistan Ambassador to the United States Husain Haqqani urged the American government to take a tougher line on his home country in a remarkably candid speech Wednesday afternoon.
“Pakistan ends up behaving like Syria while wanting to be treated like Israel,” Haqqani told several dozens journalists, think tankers, opinion makers and government officials at a luncheon in Washington held by the Center for the National Interest.
“And the behavior change is not going to come unless and until there is behavior change on your part. So you should stop the meddling. … You have to stop going in and seeing all our politicians and thinking they are all your friends and trying to influence. Make Pakistanis realize that America has an interest in Pakistan, but you know what, America respects Pakistani opinion. Show respect for Pakistani public opinion. And if Pakistanis don’t want to be your friends, you don’t want to be their friends, thank you very much.”
Haqqani, who recently returned to the United States to become director of the Center of International Relations at Boston University, was removed as Pakistani ambassador late last year after facing charges that he sought U.S. help to prevent a military coup in Pakistan in the wake of the American raid that killed Osama bin Laden. Haqqani, who returned to Pakistan to face the charges against him at some personal risk, maintains the charges are baseless.
But Haqqani’s essential argument at the luncheon was that America and Pakistan should no longer put up the pretense that they are allies. Haqqani said that it is unrealistic to believe that “endless discussions and chats and what I call the class of narratives will somehow, some day produce a change of thinking either in Washington” or Islamabad.
The U.S. isn’t going to be convinced to treat India as an enemy for Pakistan’s sake and Pakistan won’t be convinced to give up its nuclear weapons or end its support for jihadi groups it sees as strategically beneficial for “regional influence” because America wants it to, he said.
By: Dr. Ahmed H. Makhdoom
He gave his life so that our Sindhrree can live and breathe. On 9th August, every year, the valleys and fields, hills and mountains, cities and towns, hovels and villages, rivers and lakes and every leaf of every tree and each pebble of the sacred Land of Sindh screams for one of the valiant, verdant, veritable and venerable son of Sindh, Nazir Abbasi, who was so brutally snatched away from the warm embrace of our sanctimonious Mother, Sindh, by the savages and barbarians!
آھِين شانَ شَعۇرَ سِين؍ جانِبَ تۇن جيڏو؍
مۈنتي ڪَرِ مُنھِنجا پِرِين؍ تَھِ تَسي تيڏو؍
اِيھو ڪامِلُ ڪَمُ ڪيڏو؍ جي نَوازِين نِگاھَ سِين؍
“Aaheen shaana shauura seen, jaaniba tuun jeiddo,
Muun tei kari, munhjaa pireen! Tahi tasei teiddo,
Eeyo kaamilu kamu keiddo, jei nawazeemi nigaaha seen.”
(Bhittai: Sur Barwo: 2/1)
“With Glory and Grace, O Loved One! Thee Supremely Lofty!
For Thine Blessings, O Beloved! Likewise, do make me thirsty!
Perfect is Thy Magnificence, sanctify me with Thy Magnanimity!
(Bhittai: Translated by Ahmed Makhdoom)
It was sometime in early 1970s that there was a “Clash of Principles,” between my dearly beloved father and myself. That ‘clash’ resulted in myself moving out of the house of my father in Karachi and take up a rental little house in Latifabad, Hyderabad. Here in the peaceful surroundings of this wonderful Housing Society, myself , my mother, two younger sisters and a younger brother made our abode for a couple of years.
My mother was old, frail and her health was not better condition and my kid sister, Masna, was there to take care of her. My other younger sister Suraiya and brother Zahid were studying in Sindh University and as an eldest in the family, I had this privilege, duty, responsibility and honour to take care of them.
By 1970, I had already become a ‘veteran’ fighter for the rights of Sindh, Sindhis, Sindhi students and progressive Forces, who ignited the fire of Sindhyata and Sindhiness in the 1960s. Be it the Army Dictatorship of Ayub Khan, or Sindhi Language, or discriminatory policies and practices against Sindhi students, or One Unit, we were out on streets, agitating and protesting non-violently, peacefully against all forms of bias, discriminations, perjuries, torture, torment and tyranny suffered by the sweet, innocent, simple children of beautiful Mother Sindh! We were all the time, rounded up by the savage Authorities and thrust into inhuman prisons along with the criminals, rapists and murders. We were under constant scrutiny and gaze of the wily, wretched Army and Police.
By 1970, many of those valiant sons and daughters of Sindh, my dear colleagues, my dear friends, my fellow travellers on the Path of Freedom, my buddies soldiering for Sindh Rights, after achieving their objectives, more or less – breaking up ONE UNIT, getting Sindhi language recognised as a National Language, getting rid of the dictator Ayub Khan and supporting to success Z.A. Bhutto and his new fledgling Political Party – were married with few children and having to support large combined families of siblings and relatives. We were busy eking out a living supporting our children, siblings and many family members and relatives.
I was a young Merchant Navy Officer at that time and had to leave home for few months to make a living on board foreign-going cargo vessels. During my absence, Suraiya and Zahid took care of the family and some of my dear friends kept our house replenished with groceries and all other needs, requirements to keep the family alive and comfortable.
During my visits home, after months of sailing, I used to meet not just my own friends but also those of my younger siblings, Suraiya and Zahid, who were both actively involved in student politics, nationalist, socialist and other issues affecting Sindh and Sindh people. Regularly, friends of my activist siblings, came visiting me at our home for ‘aashirwaad,’ as an elder and guidance and advice, if any.
Being veterans of countless struggles for Sindh, Democracy, Language, Socialism, Sindhyata, we were always sought by the young Freedom Fighters, who had taken our place to continue the struggle for the enlightenment and emancipation of our motherland, our fatherland! We continued meeting these valiant new soldiers of Sindhiness, sharing our experiences with them, advising them, guiding them and just encouraging them to move on, march on, never to look back and to STAND UP and BE COUNTED!
One sweaty hot morning of scorching Summer of Sindh, Zahid, my younger brother, brought with him a young man, handsome-looking and with an aura of wisdom and greatness surrounding his personality. I was mesmerised by his effervescent and humble demeanour and extremely enamoured by his extraordinary knowledge of the principles and precepts of Socialism, Communism and Sindhi Nationalism and firmly well-informed and well-read about the icons and leaders of each of these ‘isms,’ – like Lenin, Mao, Castro, Che Guevara, Hyder Bux Jatoi, Ustad Bukhari, G.M. Syed and others.
Since then, we met few times, had memorable kutchehries, discussions and shared our views and ideas. Sometimes, we were also joined by Jam Saqi and few other veritable and venerable icons of universal peace, co-existence, Sindhyata and Sindhiness.
This young man was Nazir Abbasi, whom, at a first glance, I found him to be so very much in love with Sindh, Putthheeya Ughaarraa (shirtless) Sindhi peasants, farmers, kurrmees, and so passionately involve with the fight for the rights of workers, fishermen, labourers and students. He was absolutely in control with what he was professing, planning, and practicing!
Nazir Abbasi continued pushing forward and pursuing relentlessly, ardently and intrepidly for the rights of Sindh and Sindhi downtrodden and suffering masses. He devoted his entire life, sacrificing family and friends, for his noble CAUSE and he enjoyed every moment of his serious involvement in his mission, until the last day of his celebrated life!
By Farrukh Khan Pitafi
Balochistan has become the ultimate test of our national conscience. The province has been betrayed by everyone including the Pakistani state, the successive provincial governments, the sardars and even the insurgents. The case of insurgents, the dissidents or sarmachars as they are often called, is the most instructive as their betrayal to their people is not widely recognised. They have repeatedly asked their Baloch brethren to die for an independence that would take them from one slavery to another. If you have any doubts, take a look at the plight of the Baloch in the neighbouring countries. The resource-rich region is far behind in human development making it a conspicuous prey for all ambitious forces in the region. That means that the province’s opportunistic elite, right now working closely with Islamabad, might get richer but the lot of the poor Baloch will not ameliorate even if the province wins independence. Meanwhile, more blood is being spilled every moment in Balochistan.
And the state’s role has been no less obnoxious. General (retd) Pervez Musharraf and his toadies managed to transform their personal dislikes into a campaign against the Baloch people. Since then, the state has not only killed its own citizens but also gathered a motley crowd of opportunists and sycophants around it that does its best to retard the prospects of peace. This class has two subsets. The one governing the province is corrupt and totally divorced from ground realities and the other, without any substantial following, resorts to aiding and abetting the alleged kidnappings and extrajudicial killings in the province. Together they have blinded the state apparatus.
Debate begins on whether DG ISI, MI can be booked
By: Ahmad Noorani
ISLAMABAD: For the first time in country’s history, the Punjab Police have registered an FIR against the chiefs of the Inter Services Intelligence (IsI) and Military intelligence in a missing person’s case in compliance with the Islamabad High Court orders.
The Punjab police action has sparked a new debate as to whether police can book chiefs of major intelligence agencies of the country.According to details, one Naveed Butt, spokesman of banned Hizbul Tehrir was allegedly picked up by the agencies on May 11, 2012, outside his home in Lahore in area of Liaqatabad Police Station. Saadia Rahat, a lawyer and wife of Naveed Butt, moved the Islamabad High Court (IHC) against abduction of her husband and also moved an application in the Police Station concerned.
On May 14, 2012, the IHC ordered the Punjab Police to recover the missing person and act under the law. However, Naveed was not recovered and on June 26, 2012, the Punjab Police registered an FIR based on the application of Naveed’s wife.
The FIR is captioned: ‘FIR against DG ISI, Deputy Director ISI, Lahore, DG MI, Rawalpindi, Deputy Director MI, Lahore,” and numbered 566/12 PS Liaqtabad, Lahore. Some experts say that an FIR could not be registered against the intelligence chiefs of the country while others disagree with this view.
After registration of the FIR, the Punjab Police immediately took action against the SHO Rana Khursheed of the police station concerned and made the concerned SP, Athar Waheed, an OSD, considered to be a punishment in bureaucratic parlance.
Raja Irshad, senior lawyer, who represented the ISI in many cases, when approached by The News, said that registering of FIR against the DG ISI and DG MI is a ‘wrongful and ‘illegal act’.
Read more: Let Us Build Pakistan (LUBP)
Via – Twitter
By: Khaled Ahmed
Pakistan’s gradual alienation from democracy and its irreducible secular conditionality is owed to the growth of the idea of Islamic governance, today showcased by the Taliban
Pakistan follows the rest of the Muslim world in thinking about the state. There was a time when it was normal for a Pakistani to say that he was a Pakistani first; now he says he is a Muslim first, little realising that he was negating the modern state. Most of the states in the Muslim world began as modern states but are now on the brink of choosing a pre-modern order that is stranger to democracy. Egypt that leads the Muslims of the world intellectually now manifests the following symptoms:
Democracy as ‘tyranny of the majority’:
1) On the role of religion in government, 61 percent of Egyptians chose Saudi Arabia as the preferred model.
2) Asked whether Egypt’s laws should strictly adhere to the Quran, 60 percent said yes while 32 percent said it should follow the values and principles of Islam and only six percent said laws should not be influenced by the teachings of the Quran.
3) The survey found that 61 percent of Egyptians want to diplomatically de-recognise Israel, while only 32 percent think it should be recognised. The feeling against Israel has surged among the youth.
Another poll found that 52 percent of Pakistanis too wanted sharia and desired an increased role of religion in their lives. Pakistan’s wealth is in the hands of a conservative elite which controls the media. Once upon a time the state TV was extreme in its Islamic tilt; now PTV is moderate compared to the ‘free’ TV channels numbering nearly 80. A new book Radicalisation in Pakistan by Muhammad Amir Rana & Safdar Sial (Narratives 2012) tells us on the basis polls that 87 percent of the journalists think that radical elements ‘have an effect’ on the media. You don’t have to read John Stuart Mill to conclude that Muslims demand democracy to impose ‘the tyranny of the majority’ on their societies.
Urdu and conservatism:
Conservatism in traditionally tolerant Muslim societies has morphed into fundamentalism threatening enough to cause three categories of Muslims to shut up: secularists, liberals and the moderate. The nation in Pakistan is weaning itself from the bilingual ambience of the past despite an increasing trend in the private sector to employ persons proficient in the use of English language.
Urdu is the vehicle of Islamist view. Pakistan is moving towards the status of a single-language country because of the ouster of English-language TV channels. Most graduates from universities are less able to use English and tend to be conservative if not Islamist in their aggressive rejection of secularists and moderates. This trend is shockingly clear in the social media. Some analysts are frank enough to say that the youth that dominates the social media – facebook, youtube, twitter, etc – will threaten the modern state in the Muslim world.
Radical assault on social media:
At the end of her lecture, Bushra Gohar, central vice president of the Awami National Party in Pakistan, asserted her belief that Pakistan isn’t necessarily in a bad way; it’s just misunderstood. Terrorism, religious extremism and volatile tribal areas contribute to its reputation as a perpetual war ground. Gohar shares her unique experience as a woman politician in Pakistan to try to brighten the dark clouds that hang over her country.
Courtesy: Chautauqua Institution
ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Monday rejected the federation’s request of a full court to hear the petitions against the recently passed contempt of court law, DawnNews reported.
A five-judge bench of the apex court comprising Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, Justice Shakirullah Jan, Justice Khilji Arif Hussain, Justice Jawad S Khawaja and Justice Tassadduq Hussain Jilani heard the petitions against the new law.
By Zia Khan
ISLAMABAD: Leaders of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) have begun to advise party chief Nawaz Sharif against blind support for judicial activism.
The main opposition party has sided with the higher judiciary in the standoff between the government and the apex court, which has begun to reach a crucial point once again – however, recent developments have led to a reconsideration among the PML-N’s hierarchy.
PML-N insiders told The Express Tribune that several central party leaders had cautioned Nawaz to be calculated in his backing for the judiciary, warning of a slippery slope. “A significant number of people in the party feel the judiciary in its decisions recently, and [Chief Justice] Iftikhar Chaudhry in his statements, have crossed certain red lines. This is not a good omen for the democratic system,” said an official. ….
Read more » The Express Tribune