Tag Archives: Jhelum

The Alafis in Sindh

By Salman Rashid

he Alafi tribe of western Hejaz were among the earlier converts to Islam. Since before 680 CE, a large body of them frequently travelled back and forth between their country and Makran. Now, Makran at that time seems to have been very much like modern day Fata. Though part of the kingdom of Sindh under Raja Chach, it appears to have been only loosely held with a substantial foreign element running wild in the country.

In 684, when Abdul Malik bin Marwan took over as caliph, his deputy in Iraq, Hujaj bin Yusuf, appointed one Saeed of the family Kilabi to Makran. The man was entrusted with collecting money from this country as well as neighbouring regions wherever he could exercise pressure.

Somewhere in Kirman on his way east, Saeed met with one Safahwi Hamami. The Chachnama is not explicit about this man, but gives the understanding that while he had “no army under (him)”, he was nevertheless a man of significant social standing. The man may, therefore, have been a merchant.

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Cleric sentenced to death in blasphemy case

By Nabeel Anwar Dhakku

CHAKWAL: A ‘blasphemy’ accused was sentenced to death and also to 10 years’ imprisonment on Monday, sources told Dawn.

Soofi Mohammad Ishaq of Talagang town had been facing the charge since 2009.

On Monday, an Additional Sessions Judge of Jhelum sentenced him to death and 10 years’ imprisonment and fined him Rs200,000.

Soofi Mohammad Ishaq was settled in United States where he worked as a cleric. He returned to Talagang in 2009 and was given a warm welcome by hundreds of his disciples. His followers also kissed his feet, but some people objected to the act of “bowing down before Ishaq” and later accused his followers of branding him a prophet.

Later, Ishaq’s rivals launched a campaign against him and a young man named Asadullah, allegedly at the behest of his Deobandi mentors, lodged a complaint at the Talagang police station. He accused Ishaq of committing blasphemy.

Police booked Ishaq under sections 295A and 295C of the Pakistan Penal Code and his case was heard by Chakwal’s Additional Sessions Judge Sajid Awan.

After completion of hearing, the judge set a date for announcing the judgment, but later he wrote a letter to the Lahore High Court’s Rawalpindi bench, informing it that he could not announce the verdict because of security risks. “Judge Sajid Awan pleaded to the LHC that as he is deputed in Chakwal, he cannot announce the verdict because of security risks and, therefore, the case should be referred to another district,” said Advocate Chaudhry Mehmood Akhtar, the counsel of the accused.

The LHC referred the case to Jhelum’s district and sessions judge, who marked the case to his subordinate Additional Sessions Judge Chaudhry Mumtaz Hussain, who announced the verdict on Friday.

Informed sources told Dawn that Soofi Ishaq had been appointed Gaddi Nasheen of the shrine of Pir Fazal Shah. This, according to sources, infuriated complainant Asadullah, who belonged to Pir Fazal Shah’s family, and he used the opportunity to register the blasphemy case against Ishaq.

“My client pleaded to the court that he cannot even think of committing blasphemy.” He told the court that he believed that the holy prophet (peace be upon him) was the last Messnger of Allah,” Advocate Chaudhry Akhtar Mehmood said.

When contacted by Dawn, Asadullah claimed to have seen followers of Ishaq bowing their heads before him and heard them chanting slogans of “Yaa Rasool Allah”. When asked why other religious leaders did not move against Ishaq, he said: “I was the first to see the way Ishaq’s followers behaved and I recorded it on my camera. And Allah has given me the courage to move against the blasphemer.”

AT activists protest against reopening of C-J canal

HYDERABAD, July 21: Activists of the Awami Tehreek staged a sit-in for six hours on the National Highway at Hatri bypass here on Wednesday in protest against reopening of the Chashma-Jhelum link canal, release of water into Greater Thal canal, proposed construction of Bhasha-Diamar dam and tribal. A large number of men, women and children, raised slogans against what they called a theft of Indus water.

Speaking on the occasion, chief of the Awami Tahreek Rasool Bux Palijo said that Sindh was the creator of Pakistan but it was being pushed against the wall. He said Sindh was passing through the worst phase of its history and alleged that the government wanted to destroy the province.

The government was following an international conspiracy against the country, Mr Palijo said and added that rulers had always acted against the interests of the country under the dictates of foreign powers. He expressed solidarity with all the oppressed nations of the world. …

Read more >> DAWN

Punjab – Sindh : Troubled waters

Sindh

Editorial : Troubled waters

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

Read more >>- The Express Tribune

Punjab’s guarantees on Kalabagh are only “show-piece”?

Need for consensus on dams

BY: MOHAMMAD KHAN SIAL, Karachi, Sindh

DAWN

This is apropos of Khursheed Anwer’s letter “Consensus on dam” (June 18) which states: “Sindh has been guaranteed 2.2maf additional water from the Kalabagh dam, what more consensus do the politicians want?”

It appears that the writer has not been to the depth of the problem. In the “Water Appropriation Accord 1991”, at least a release of 10maf water for downstream Kotri was also guaranteed but was never implemented even after the passing of 20 years. So what is the use of guarantees when they were never implemented in letter and spirit but only worked as “show-pieces”?

The controversial Chashma-Jhelum Link Canal in Punjab was the original Flood Canal, but many times Punjab has released water unilaterally despite a severe deficit of water in Sindh. During the deficit, Punjab has taken its full share of water multiple times by force. This can be seen in the AGN Abbasi Report.

Had the water been released downstream Kotri, sea intrusion would not have inundated 2.4 million acres of valuable land in Sindh. According to the Sindh government, almost 80m acres of land are inundated by sea intrusion. The government of Sindh firmly believes that if the situation remains the same, the historical city of Thatta and also Badin would disappear within 20 years. This is all because the “Water Accord – 1991” which was accepted by Sindh with reservations was not implemented in letter and spirit.

Recently, the NFC Award, announced with consensus, showed that even guarantees given in the Constitution were not sufficient. The same happened when the Thar coal, which was a provincial subject, was taken up by the Centre against the constitution and a notification was also issued but after much hue and cry from Sindh, it was rolled back.

I suggest that those who are sincere supporters of the dam should first demand the following:

1. At least 10maf should be released downstream Kotri as envisaged in “The Water Accord – 1991”.

2. Sindh must be given its due share of water at Guddu.

3. The Flood Canal, i.e. the Chashma–Jhelum Link Canal, must be closed permanently except for the availability of excess water during floods.

4. The controversial Wapda must be dismembered as it had twisted facts and figures to support Punjab. Three out of four provinces are not happy with its performance and the prime minister called it a “white elephant” like Zulfikar Ali Bhutto had once did.

5. All efforts must be made to save the Indus Delta as its ruination is bound to have environmental repercussions on Sindh. Only implementation of the Water Accord–1991 will guarantee this.

6. Punjab must admit the theft it committed on Sindh water and must pay compensation for it.

Sunday, 20 Jun, 2010

Courtesy:- http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/letters-to-the-editor/need-for-consensus-on-dams-060