Tag Archives: Karachi

Karachi Mayor’s glory – Pride and excitement turned into shame and an outrage

by Iqbal Tareen, Herndon, VA, USA
November 12, 2008: When I turned on GEO TV yesterday, I was excited and proud to know that a Pakistani mayor, Syed Mustafa Kamal was recognized as Number 2 best mayor of the world. Usually I am little skeptical about such CLAIMS but when I saw our Prime Minister issuing congratulations and the entire Pakistani media celebrating this accomplishment I was filled with joy and pride.

Continue reading Karachi Mayor’s glory – Pride and excitement turned into shame and an outrage

Status of Karachi

A Letter to Editor Dawn

By ABDUL KHALIQUE JUNEJO

THIS is apropos of Bina Shah’s article, ‘Who owns Karachi?’ (Sept 14). Earlier she had come on the columns of this paper with another question, ‘Who is a Sindhi?”

I fail to comprehend what compels her to bring under dispute such settled issues and put question mark over the future of a people who carry a glorious past of more than 5,000 years. Is she doing this with some objective in mind or out of sheer ignorance and/or innocence? She herself says: “I learned more about Karachi from Mr Yousif Dadabhoy’s letter than I have from all my years living in the city, to be honest”.

Honestly speaking, if she really wants to get answers to such important and serious questions, she should open the pages of history books, know more about the process of immigration, natural and unnatural, throughout the world and understand the political and economic interests/motives of the different power players therein.

She considers the city nazim of Karachi ‘forward-thinking and progressive’ and is very much impressed by his ‘My City My Responsibility’ programme, according to which “anyone can come forward and register himself or herself as a city owner. All one has to do is volunteer two hours of time per week doing something in the interest of the city”.

Her one question comes to mind immediately: is this the way of owning cities in the world, particularly the US to which Ms Shah refers so often? Can I go, whenever it suits me, to New York, Paris or London and become its owner by getting my name registered after doing two-hour work in the interest of the city?

And if giving two-hour time can make anyone the owner of Karachi, then what will happen to those who gave sweat and blood to build this city and have spent many generations here? The current nazim has initiated another programme, also called ‘Hamara Karachi, an annual festival, for the last few years. Here people from as far as Kolkata, Hyderabad Deccan and Mumbai are included but no Sindhi is invited.

The writer compares the ‘golden years’ of 40s and 50s of the ‘gem of Karachi’ with ‘today’s Karachi of guns, drugs, crime and filth’ with a sense of sadness.

I would only like to add here, for her knowledge, that this difference, in the exposure of Karachi, is the result of unlimited, uncontrolled, unregulated and free-for-all influx of people from different parts of the world facilitated by such policies as pursued by the sitting mayor.

Ms Shah has fallen prey to the tendency, nowadays being promoted by certain groups, of using such terms as carry serious repercussions for the unity and integrity of Sindh. For example, ‘urban Sindh’ ( and rural Sindh). Through this description the idea being promoted is that the urban Sindh belongs to non-Sindhis ( immigrants)and the native Sindhis occupy the rural Sindh.

The most important part of Ms Shah’s article is the one mentioning plans for picking Thatto as an option (alternative to Karachi)for ‘the disinfranchised population of the old goths of Karachi, as well as a restive interior youth who want to move from the rural to the urban areas of Sindh’.

Here a two-pronged policy is being pursued: ‘old villages’ are being uprooted and the people of ‘interior’ denied entry into the life of Karachi, while people from outside Sindh are being facilitated settlement in Karachi.

Courtesy & Thanks: Daily Dawn
http://dawn.com/2008/10/01/letted.htm

Pakistan: Seminar on Military Action in FATA Reality, Myths and Implications

Pakistan is at war from within and without… The US is attacking our borders. The Pakistan Military is engaged in a relentless operation. 2,000 civilians have died in the last year alone. About 800,000 have been displaced in the Northern areas.

Why is this happening? Who is responsible? What is the real story? What can ordinary citizens do to end this violence?

Continue reading Pakistan: Seminar on Military Action in FATA Reality, Myths and Implications

“The Sindh Story” A Great Account on Sindh by Dada Kewal Malkani

By Zulfiqar Halepoto, Hyderabad

Karachi: Queen of the East

“It is a book which should find a place in every Sindhi home.” Shaikh Ayaz

Mushtaq Talpur shared an interesting and thrilling link to me, which is sent to him by Iftikhar Soomro. This is about a book “The Sindh Story” written by Dada Kewal Malkani, a renowned journalist, scholar and professor of Indian History. Book is dedicated to “the sacred memory of Shaheed Allah Bux Soomro & Bhagat Kanwar Ram”. Foreword is written by Dada Ram Jethmalani.

I believe that this book must have gone through by lots of friends but for me it was an amazing account.

Though the entire book is a must read account but four chapters are incredible “Sindhu is Devine” “Karachi: Queen of the East” “I am a Sindhi- Gandhi” and “Alexander’s Waterloo in Sindh”

On Karachi I must suggest to you all that you should also read our friend Gul Hasan Kalmati’s Encyclopedia like new book on Karachi “Karachi: Marvi of Sindh”

Content of the book “The Sindh Story” is very inspiring:-

Cover

Preface to Reprint

Preface

Foreword

Sindhu is Divine

Sindhu Mata

The Immortal “Mound of the Dead”

Alexander’s Waterloo in Sindh

Truth about Dahir Sen

“Jhoolay Lal”

Karachi: Queen of the East

From Brahmo Samaj to RSS

Freedom Movement in Sindh

“I am a Sindhi” — Gandhi

Thrown to the Wolves

Jiye Sindh

Allah Alone Knows

Sindhi Society and Culture

Shah, Sachal and Swami

The Sindhi Revival

Appendix: G M Syed’s Visit

Bibliography

How Sindh will survive economically, politically, and culturally in the next 100 years

By Khalid Hashmani, McLean, Virginia, USA

The article of New York Times pertains to extremely important development that could impact how Sindh survives economically, politically and culturally in next 100 years. Any thoughtless support or irrational opposition to the upcoming actions of the federal or provincial governments could be harmful to the interests of Sindh. In the immediate future, educated Sindhis should get prepared to collect data, analyze data, and take well thought-out and rational actions to safeguard long-term interests of Sindh. The news about the sale of substantial interests in the Qadirpur Gas field in Sindh and other assets of Sindh (the second largest Gas field Pakistan) has been in industry publications for couple of weeks. The following provides links and brief extracts from those news items:

Continue reading How Sindh will survive economically, politically, and culturally in the next 100 years

Fatima Bhutto in Jaipur, India

The pink city

‘Asalam alaikum, Namaste, welcome to the Pink City’ came the voice on the phone line. I had traveled to Jaipur, the heart of Rajasthan in India, to speak at a literary festival and after a long drive from Delhi I was met by a kind and welcoming voice.

India to speak on Pakistan

and to be a conduit for a message other than what we see reported on our country every day — hate. I wanted to speak for what a majority of Pakistanis truly want, inside our borders and outside, peace.

Our countries, India and Pakistan

, are sister nations. We are one half of each genetically and physically. We have, like siblings, more in common than we appreciate and our differences, though vast, are not impossible to overcome. They are barely visible.

In Pakistan, we greet brothers with a hand on the heart or a palm cupped towards to sky. ‘Adab’ we say, respect. Or salam, peace. In India

, friends and strangers alike are met with two hands pressed together at the base of the heart. Namaste in Sanskrit, a joining of the fingers and skin, recognizes a counter divine. I bow to you it means.

The first time I visited India as an adult, I was with one of my best friends Sabeen. Sabeen is as close to a sister as I could get. We lost our fathers together and we became friends through a shared pain and burning desire to see justice in our lifetimes. It’s fitting that we travelled to India two years ago. Sabeen is the ultimate Bollywood devotee. She is not afraid to admit it either. I’m wobbly on that front. I’m difficult and stubborn, Sabeen is temperate and forgiving. I’m veg, she’s non-veg. You get my point here. It was in the passion of bargaining for some trinket or the other that Sabeen huffed at a merchant and said ‘Come on bhai, we’re from Pakistan’. I stared at her in horror. Why was she trying to get us maimed? I shot her angry eyes and clenched my face; surely she would realize that flouting our Pakistani-ness might not be the best way to endear us to our neighbours across the border. I was so wrong. The minute our nationality, our connection, had been revealed the shopkeeper fell over with friendship. He waived the price altogether. It was a small token, but it was as you do with siblings. ‘Welcome’ he said to us. ‘I have family in Karachi

‘ he said next.

There are plenty of tales just like this. When the 2005 earthquake ravaged much of our Northern regions, we were not the only ones to be hit; there were victims on the Indian side too. The Pakistan India People’s Forum for Peace and Democracy, whose founding members include Dr Mubashir Hasan, a pioneer and Pakistani treasure, and the brave civil rights activist and journalist Teesta Setalvad initiated joint relief. The Pakistan chapter sent relief aid to the Indian victims of the quake and the Indians sent relief to our devastated and destroyed. The forum is a joining of people’s movements, of their aspirations and dreams for a peaceful future between our two countries. They have come together on resolutions ranging from demilitarization, Kashmir

, and religious intolerance in both countries. Speaking in the early weeks of 2004, Dr Mubashir Hasan outlined fourteen steps for peace the forum advocated to Islamabad and New Delhi:

‘Commit to partnership, equality and mutual respect’

‘Commit to resolving political and other differences through peaceful and democratic means’

‘Recognize the difficulty of modifying historical and public stances on the issue. Understand the imperative of finding and acceptable solutions…strive towards reconciliation and rapprochement’

There is no reconciliation without truth (that’s a direct note to you venal supporters of the mercenary National Reconciliation Ordinance). And here it is — there is more fortune in peace between our two countries than war will ever bring us. We must build bridges between our people, not bombs.

On the drive from Delhi to Jaipur, the only thing that broke the interminable voyage were fields of sarson, yellow buds alive with colour, just like we have in Lahore. Papaya plantations marked a patch of land between the green and yellow of the grassland. I thought of Sindh’s mangoes. I have a sweet tooth myself. India’s batsmen, Pakistan’s bowlers — can you think of a mightier team? Take that, West Indies.

I was accompanied on this most recent trip by another dear friend, Laleh — you may remember her as the Indian who shopped quite liberally on a road trip through the interior of Sindh. I ate Rajasthani thali with Laleh and felt the insides of my head sear with heat from the pepper of the food. We travelled by taxi in the day and passed on one side the pink stucco bricks of Rajput palaces and on the other a crimson red communist flag, sickle and cell flapping in the wind at a traffic light. We didn’t compete over our countries, playing the usual one-upmanship of nation states; instead we traded stories both familiar and unusual about our two homes. I told Laleh about Kot Diji, the fort we had missed on her last trip to Pakistan, and she told me about the Ajanta Alora Caves

, the site we could visit on my next trip to her country.

In all journeys away from our loved ones we discover certain truths. I love Pakistan. I am proud to be a citizen of this country and to be counted among the millions who call this home. That is not my truth, that I’ve always known. On my last night in the pink city, I was watching television. The US Secretary of Defence was ready to send ground troops into Pakistan the headline blared. At that point, our differences became pointless. It was no longer us against each other; there were larger threats now. Siblings, though stymied by rivalries at times and shadowed by each other’s ghosts, are still siblings. They have to protect each other in order to survive. We can’t help our pasts, but we have an amazing opportunity to push for radical change in our futures.

Courtesy- The News, 2/3/2008

Sindh: Gorakh Hill Station

Sindh’s cold mountain resort in cold storage

Gorakh Hill Station: The one place Karachi can escape to in the summers has been ignored despite its fantastic tourism potential

By Razzak Abro

JOHI: As Karachi sweltered in the summer’s heat, it was a cool night at Gorakh Hill in district Dadu, which is otherwise known for its cooking 40-degree plus temperatures.

It was the weekend and a group of people, including journalists, had gathered at the hill station for a festival organized by ActionAid and local NGO Village Shadabad Welfare Organization. Those who knew about Gorakh had brought warm clothes, especially the people from the surrounding areas, who even brought blankets for the night’s stay at the proposed summer resort located at the Khirthar mountains at a height of 5,866 feet.

But some of the guests from Karachi, Hyderabad and other parts of the province were caught by surprise. “I did not expect such cold weather here during the hot summer,” exclaimed Asghar Azad, a journalist from Karachi. He was one of the 100-strong group a majority of which were visiting the site for the first time. Over two hundred local people turned up as well. The hosts had arranged 4-wheel jeeps to the hilltop but the old ones spluttered out and it was only the locals who managed to complete the trek on motorcycle. An elderly gentleman in his 60s made it before us city folks. According to guests Muhammad Nawaz and Nabi Bux they had to drag the bikes up at some points, much to their misery.

PPI reported that hardly 15 km of a narrow strip, with sharp and steep turnings, has so far been built contrary to the claims of the previous government that 53km of road had been completed.

PPI reported that WAPDA has completed its work of erecting poles, installing cables from the foothills to the top where a transformer could also be seen but it needs to be activated. Moreover, the Gorakh Hill Development Authority (GHDA) has laid a water supply line and the boosting stations are under-construction in addition to a single-room police check post at Khawal pass, 15km below Gorakh peak.

A two-room rest house, built during late Abdullah Shah’s government, was in a dilapidated condition, and the only addition made by previous coalition government was a two-room rest house made from fiber at another peak.

According to the revised PC-I, approved on February 24, 2003, the cost of Gorakh Hill Station project was Rs 198.269 million including the construction of roads, bridges and a water supply scheme. The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) had approved the project and the Sindh Government had started the work on the 53km road strip from Wahi Pandhi, a small town at the foothills to Gorakh peak. Later, the federal government agreed to share 30 percent of the cost of the entire project.

The strip would have 10 viewpoints and would have a 10-bed emergency hospital, waterfalls, a filter plant, security posts, horse and camel riding tracks, cable cars and chair lifts.

The then prime minister Mir Zafarullah Jamali had also visited Wahi Pandhi road and had directed the Sindh government to initiate an inquiry into the matter, which still was pending.

The topography of Gorakh peak is 1,340 acres in Sindh and 1,000 acres in Balochistan. The weather in summer is very pleasant, with moderate temperatures during the day, dropping to slightly chilly at night. In winter, however, the temperature goes down to almost -8 to -12 degrees centigrade. Being the highest peak in a region, the hill offers a beautiful view of a valley from the top. The area is surrounded by arid mountains with small green pastures at certain points. During the rainy season, one can see various streams of water flowing throughout the area.

Due to bad road conditions, the 53km distance takes about 5 hours. The track is not dangerous but since it has a few sharp turns at some places, visitors get trapped at certain turns where work has not been carried.

There is no communication system in case any tourist is trapped there. No landline or mobile phone works beyond Wahi Pandhi. But somebody told PPI that the V-PTCL Wireless Phone works there.

Courtesy – Daily Times – Site Edition, Thursday, May 29, 2008

THE CONDITION OF SINDHI LANGUAGE IN PRIVATE SCHOOLS OF KARACHI

By Dr Ali Akbar Dhakan, Karachi

1. According to the Sindh Assembly Act, the Sindhi language is to be taught as a compulsory subject according to the Text Book for each class (from i to viii), published by the Sindh Text Book Board.
2. Each book consists of about 30-35 lessons with necessary exercises to be accomplished by the teacher after completion of the reading of the lesson. All the lessons contained in all the prescribed books are about the (a) life sketches of various personalities and their contribution to the human beings, literature, culture, religion or ethics etc.(b) Pakistan (c) Islam (d)Tourism (e) Different aspects of social sciences, technical sciences, commerce, economics etc.
3. According to the strength of each school, about at least 5 teachers are required to be appointed as Sindhi language teacher with necessary knowledge and qualification of Sindhi language.
4.But it is sorry to say and grief to point out that the Sindhi subject is being allowed to be taught just as a formality and not as a compulsory subject with an objective to learn the language in an appropriate academic and literate sense.
5. Only one or two teachers are appointed to teach this subject to a huge number of students in each school.
6. The syllabus or course of each class is prescribed by each school not in accordance with the book directed by the Sindh Text Book Board but teachers are directed in writing to teach only four lessons out of 30-35 lessons contained in the Text Books.
7. Only two periods a week of 45 minutes each are fixed for teaching Sindhi language. In this way the teachers are unable to teach the boys the basic knowledge of Sindhi Language.
8. From the policy and practice of the Private Schools, it has been clear that Sindhi language is being taught just as a formality and not as a compulsory subject.
9. It is therefore a good time to look into this fraud being committed with the Sindhi language and residents of Sindh people but teaching the other languages full-fledged time as well as the strength of teachers is made available.
10. The Education Minister of Sindh is requested to take up this matter and necessary guidelines/ instructions/ directives may be issued from time to time so that the subject of Sindhi language may be taught in accordance with the Act of Sindh Province for the benefit of the people of Sindh and
Pakistan.
11. In this regard, it is suggested that the Sindhi Language Authority, Audit and Inspection Departments of Education Department of Sindh province may be assigned the job of Vigilance and inspection for necessary correction and improvement in the Education of Sindhi language with in the Sindh province.

World Peace Rallies and Seminars Against Nuclear Arms in Sindh

Pakistan Peace Coalition is organizing a Torch-light Peace Rally from Hyderabad Press Club to Hyder Chowk on May 27, 2008 at 6.00pm to 8.00pm. The objective of the Rally is to voice against nuclear Arms especially in South Asia. Peasants, labourers, Youth, Women, Social and Political Activists will assemble peacefully under the banner “BREAD, NOT BOMB”.

Pakistan Peace Coalition has already organized seminars in Karachi on May 11, 2008 (May 11, the day when India experienced atomic explosion) and Khairpur May 18, 2008 (as series of activities).

On May 27, the day before Pakistan joined the Nuclear Arms’ Race, PPC will organize Torch-Light Rally In Hyderabad. All Peace loving citizens are invited to join The Rally.

May 22, 2008

100km long Industrial Zone between Karachi and Hyderabad

Karachi, May 14, 2008 (Asia Pulse Data Source via COMTEX) — — Sindh Minister for Industries and Commerce, Rauf Siddiqui has suggested establishing 100km long industrial zone at the land lying between Karachi and Hyderabad.

Speaking at the Business & Industry, Trade Convention organized by his ministry at a local hotel in Karachi on Tuesday evening, Rauf Siddiqui said that Sindh government was preparing a report identifying the problems being faced by the industrialists to resolve them.

He said that a seven-member committee was also being constituted to recommend suggestions for promoting industrialization in Sindh province.

He said that plots in allocated land for industrial purpose by Sindh government would be handed over to those industrialists, who would deposit half of its total price.

He said that ban on land utilization in Karachi badly harmed industrialization in the city.

Minister said that to eliminate rising unemployment in the country and strengthening local economy, we had to convince foreign investors including from European Union, Japan, China, Korea and other countries to invest in Pakistan.

Dr Junaid Ahmed, Advisor to Finance Ministry said that about 55,000 MW electricity could be generated through available resources in Ghharo.

He said that Thar and Lakhra coal resources were also major source to generate thousands of MW electricity.

He said that industrialization could not be promoted without setting up more industrial zones in country like Korangi, Landhi, SITE and North Karachi industrial zones.

He called up on government to establish Pak-China, Pak-Korea, Pak-Iran, Pak-Arab Economic Zones, in which industrialists from these countries could be provided opportunities to invest here. He said that with printing over packed Pakistani food items the words like Hilal Food and Made in Islamic Republic of Pakistan; billions of rupees could be earned from Islamic countries market. He said that more than 50 percent of our fruits and vegetables go waste due to non-presence of proper processing system to convert them into juices and exporting to other countries.

He said that Sindh government should pay heed to setting up agro-based industry in interior Sindh.

Larkana District Nazim, Muhammad Bux Narejo criticized Sindh government for concentrating industrialization only in Karachi and ignoring other cities of this province for many decades. He said that only in 1947, Sindh government allocated 12,00 acres of land in Hyderabad for industrialization purpose after allocating 4,000 acres in Karachi for same target. He regretted that many governments had ignored interior Sindh in this regard and concentrated to promote industrialization only in one city Karachi.

He said that billions of rupees were spent by different governments in industrial zones like Korangi, Landhi, North Karachi but other cities of province were not considered for industrialization to eradicate crime, poverty and unemployment. He said that we are ready to provide all possible facilities to investors, who intend to invest in agro-based industry in Larkana. He urged Sindh government to distribute thousands acres land lying near Moen jo Daro Airport Larkana to investors free of cost who could provide guarantee to invest there.

He said that Sindh government should not only patronize industrialization process in Karachi but also pay heed to interior Sindh in this connection.

Noted Industrialist Zubair Motiwala said that industrial sector in Sindh was not getting sufficient growth due to the unresolved issues being faced by the industrialists here. He said that investors were heading to Punjab province owing to higher cost of land in Karachi. He said that Sindh government should offer tax holiday to industrialists to promote industrialization here.

He stressed to establish vocational training institutes in collaboration with private sector.

Iftikhar Ahmed Sheikh, Acting President Karachi Chamber of Commerce & Industry said that improving infrastructure including roads, water, electricity and gas could also promote industrialization.

Mian Zahid said that economy depended on both agricultural development and industrial development. He said that our farmer could provide us more crops if he would be provided prices of his crops as per international rates.

He said that five to six year banking financing on six percent mark up in raising building structure and purchasing machinery could promote industrialization.

Haji Muhammad Yaqub, President Hyderabad Chambers of Commerce & Industry said that Sindh government never paid heed to interior Sindh as it paid to Karachi for industrialization. He called on government to allot plots to investors, which were allocated for industrialization in Hyderabad so that they could start their investment there. He said that Sindh government should arrange investment in agro-based industry in interior Sindh in order to bring prosperity here. He said that poor law and orders were also a major hurdle in industrialization.

Shakil Mukhtar, representative Sukkur Chamber of Commerce & Industry said that government had allocated 46 acres of land in Rohri, 50 in Sukkur and in Nawabshah for setting up industrial zones but not paid heed to create atmosphere of industrialization, resultantly these lands were still lying unused.

He demanded a water filter plant for Sukkur SITE Area. Dr Mirza Ikhtiar Baig said that private sector should be allowed to establish industrial zones like SITE, Korangi and others. Sheikh Fazl-e-Jalil, Chairman Korangi Association of Trade and Industry said that many industrial units were set on fire soon after the assassination of Ms Benazir Bhutto. He said that investment could not be attracted here without improving law and order. Muhammad Nisar Shahwani, Chairman SITE Industry Association said that India was generating 48,000 MW electricity through wind power. He said that monopoly of KESC on electricity distribution should be ended as it was affecting industry.

Masood Naqi, former president Korangi Association of Trade and Industry said that billions of rupees could be earned through investing in agro-based, sea food based and livestock based industries in Sindh province.

Sindh Minister for Information Technology, Raza Haroon said that within two years people could lodge their online FIR report to Sindh police after completion of E-Policing Project. At the end, the KCCI leaders presented gold medal to minister Rauf Siddiqui.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Courtesy: TradingMarkets.com

source: http://www.tradingmarkets.com/.site/news/Stock%20News/1559532/

12th May a black day

by Aziz Narejo, TX, USA

Lawyers, political groups, human rights activists and pro-democracy elements will be observing black day tomorrow to condemn the terrorism on the day a year ago to block the Chief Justice, Mr. Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhary’s visit to Karachi at the bidding of military dictator Pervez Musharraf.

The fascist group’s violence that day had resulted in a large number of casualties and huge loss to properties. It was a brutal attack on the lawyers, journalists, political activists and general public to stop them from welcoming the CJ and to hamper their struggle for non partisan independence of judiciary, freedom of media, democracy and rule of law.

It is essential that all of us join in to observe the black day and demand that all culprits who launched a reign of terror on the people must be brought to justice. There should be no compromise with the criminals if we don’t want death to principles, justice and fairness. (May 11, 2007)

May 11, 2009

MQM got big share in Sindh cabinet

Sindh: Karachi- PPP and MQM power-sharing formula under which the MQM will join the Sindh Government with 13 ministers, one adviser and one special assistant. With the induction of the MQM ministers, the strength of the Sindh cabinet would reach 38, including four advisers.

Addressing a press conference at the Chief Minister’s House, Senior Minister Pir Mazhar-ul-Haq, who led the PPP negotiating team, said: “For us ministries have no importance. It is the spirit of reconciliation that matters most.” The deputy convener of the MQM Coordination Committee, Dr. Farooq Sattar, who said: “Our basic objective of power sharing is to have friendly and good relations with the PPP and continue the process of national reconciliation.” The portfolios allotted to MQM ministers include: health, industries and commerce, information, technology, environment and alternate energy, sports, youth affairs, rural development, public health engineering, Auqaf, bureau of supply and prices and human rights. Two portfolios are yet to be decided.

May 04, 2008

Problems being faced by Sindhi People

Dr Ali Akbar M. Dhakan, Karachi

People of Sindh not only prayed for ppp success but sacrificed their every thing for the support of PPP on account of Shaheeds of Bhutto Family who all gave their lives for Pakistan.

They thought Democracy is the best revenge to be taken from the Dictators and their stooges. All doors of employment, prosperity and well-being were closed for Sindhi people. Sindhi people therefore felt themselves orphans and destitute till the PPP got success in general elections and formed Government in the centre and Sindh Province. It is why they work for and pray for PPP success because PPP leaders or Ministers belonging to Punjab and other Provinces even MQM Ministers do not support or extend their symphathies and help to Sindhi people. Sindhi people visit to PPP Ministers for help and support. PPP is the only source of help and sympathy for people of Sindh. This time only two federal Ministers have been taken from rural Sindh i.e. Khurshid Shah and Syed Naveed Qamar but all the rest belong to the Punjab who neither contact Sindhi people nor oblige them. Therefore this time, Sindhi people are worried as to when their genuine works will be done and who will support or show sympathy with them for getting them their constitutional rights and justice done to them in lieu of the injustice done. Would the PPP leaders give their attention towards difficulties and problems being faced by People of Sindh?

April 26, 2010

Praiseworthy decision: Hindu Gymkhana to be restored to Hindhu community

Hindu Gymkhana to be handed over to Hindu community: a good decision by Sindh government

Sindh Culture and Tourism Minister Sassui Palijo has said that the Hindu Gymkhana will be handed over to the Hindu community after getting it vacated from the National Academy of Performing Arts, which will be shifted to some other place.

http://thenews. jang.com. pk/daily_ detail.asp? id=107408

http://dawn. com/2008/04/18/local12. htm

It is a good decision and one hopes that it would really happen and would not remain just a public relation statement. Sindh government needs to take immediate and comprehensive measures to preserve the national heritage of Sindh and put an end to occupation of historic buildings.

It may be recalled that the previous government had handed over the historic building to Zia Mohiuddin ignoring the protests by the Hindu community and others.

Here is a letter by this scribe published in daily Dawn on 6 September, 2004 on the subject:

http://www.dawn. com/2004/09/06/letted. htm#2

Hindu Gymkhana

A report in a Sindhi daily (Aug 30) says some influential people are trying to take over the historical Hindu Gymkhana building in Karachi. According to the report, some people had acquired two rooms in the building some time back for establishing a dance and music centre.

Now they are trying to occupy the whole building and the provincial culture department is said to have sent a summary in this regard to the chief minister for approval.

According to the report, the city landmark spread over 8,400 sq meters was built in 1927. A noted Shikarpur architect Agha Ahmed Hussain had prepared the design and Seth Ram Gopaldas Mehta was the man behind the project.

After independence, the building housed the offices of the Federal Public Service Commission. It was vacated when the capital was moved to Islamabad in the 1960s.

The Sindh culture Department took the building under its control in 1993 and proclaimed it a heritage site. The department planned to establish a College of Art and Design at the site following the example of the Lahore Arts College . A sum of Rs4.05 million was sanctioned. No one knows the fate of the proposal.

It is a matter of great concern that historical and archaeological sites are being ignored. Many a building has deteriorated, been occupied by people, demolished or desecrated one way or the other.

The government had some time back announced plans to vacate the Pucca Qila, Hyderabad , and restore the great archeological site as a befitting national monument with a museum inside. Nobody knows the fate of that announcement either.

One appeals to the governor, the CM, the chief secretary and other concerned people to show some respect to historical buildings and national heritage sites and take measures to protect and preserve them.

Source – Courtesy: Aziz Narejo, Sindhi-elists/ e-grousps, April 18, 2008

DEMOCRACY IN PAKISTAN

Iqbal Tareen’s speech in front of White House, Washington, DC on June 3, 2007.

Mr. Tareen, presented profile of forces, which are the constant threat to freedoms and democracy. He said regimented, small, clandestine, narrowly focused, and power-hungry extremist forces, which can’t ordinarily capture power without disruptive and chaotic conditions will always be found working against establishment of democracy.

These forces are eager to collaborate with military and bureaucracy (Nation’s most powerful institutions) to act as a conduit creating desired conditions to overthrow elected governments. Under representative governance, these forces remain hyper-active, distasteful, and demeaning to elected governments and are quick to unite with dictatorships to backdoor into power.

Although smaller in numbers but these forces are usually concentrated in population clusters and are located in large cities or in strategically important geographic locations. Through the power of disruption these forces can lock-down major industrial cities thus wreaking a massive logistic and economic havoc on any nation.

Mr. Tareen categorically pointed to MQM and religious extremist groups, which play out this role in Pakistan. He said “MQM was created by Zia-ul-Haq as a counter balancing force against influence of Pakistan Peoples Party. Its one-point agenda was and remains to dilute constituencies of all pro-democracy forces especially the one of Pakistan Peoples Party in province of Sindh”

He said “Arming of MQM and its enforcement terrorism against peaceful citizens of major cities of Sindh ensured suppression of any uprising that might have occurred after the execution of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. MQM was nurtured and groomed by General Aslam Beg, financed by moneys of notorious dons and bankers, and graduated into power by General Musharraf”

He reminded all those who were present in the rally how supporters of dictatorship distributed sweets and candies at the death of first Pakistani democracy under Z. A. Bhutto. It also distributed sweets celebrating fall of 2nd democracy under Benazir Bhutto, and it organized Nimaz-e-Shukranas when 3rd democracy under Mian Nawaz Sharif was ousted.

He challenged everyone present to prove if MQM had ever mobilized mass opinion against any dictatorship in Pakistan. He said that “As a matter of fact MQM has remained permanently embedded into Pakistani dictatorships”

Mr. Tareen said that MQM AND DEMOCRACY IN PAKISTAN ARE MUTUALLY EXCLUSIVE. ONE CAN’T SURVIVE WITHOUT FALL OF THE OTHER.

Expanding on his thoughts, he said “Whenever there is a representative government in Pakistan, MQM demeans and rejects rule of democracy as a rule of Choudhries, Khans, Sardars, and “Waderas”. If you look into MQM’s track record, it has always teamed up with the worst kind of Choudhries, Sardars, Khans and Waderas when serving their client dictators”

He said that “May 12th Massacre” saw a glimpse of a new kind of lord, which is most ferocious and merciless than Pakistani nation has ever seen. He called them “Shaderas” who planned, executed, condoned, and praised the May 12th Massacre in Karachi. Explaining the term coined by Mr. Tareen, he said Shaderas are new breed of city (Shahar) waderas. On May 12th, MQM Shaderas declared exclusivity on city of Karachi. They declared Karachi as their “Jaagir” by denying right of entry to Pakistan’s Chief Justice and hundreds and thousands of his supporters.

Describing a historic irony, Mr. Tareen said “Before rise of MQM, citizens of Karachi stood like a rock facing dictatorship of Ayub Khan. Today Karachi has been placed on the wrong side of history. Not by choice but by terror. Karachi deserves freedom from fear and tyranny. Witnessing Aaj TV and GEO trashed by street scavengers; when we see Pakistan’s oldest and leading newspaper Dawn poured in blood; when we see opposing members of the media coming under MQM-Musharraf fire, we know Karachi is yearning for freedom”

Addressing citizens of Karachi in Urdu, he said “Karachi, we can hear you loud and clear. Your calling for rescue from ransom and intimidation has touched millions of hearts in Pakistan and around the world. Once again you want to lead the nation to a new dawn of freedom from fear, tyranny and dictatorship. You want to join millions of your brothers and sisters in this holy struggle to restore individual and collective dignity in Pakistan”

He continued addressing in Urdu and said “My brothers and sister of Karachi, the moment has arrived to break your silence. Break away from the chains to claim your rightful place in history. Just remember MQM  and democracy in Pakistan are mutually exclusive. There is only MQM between you and your freedom”

Addressing President Bush and facing White House he said “Mr. President you know this era will end and it will end soon. The new dawn will bring democracy and freedom to 160 million Pakistanis. It is up to you to decide whether you want to side with weak dictator or 160 Million Pakistanis? He added “Siding with the people you can seal US-Pakistani friendship until eternity”

BENAZIR’S ASSASSINATION : A VIEW FROM SINDH

By: Abdul Khaliq Junejo

Benazir Bhutto’s assassination was, without any saying, a gruesome, ghastly, hideous and horrible act of highest magnitude that shook the entire country. Yet it was not totally incomprehensible.

Apprehensions about such cowardice attack and fears about her life were felt and shown not only within the country but throughout the world and not only in the media but by the administrative authorities and intelligence organs of the governments most powerful and most friendly to Pakistan. These fears came closest to be turned into reality on the day of her return from exile in Karachi when about 150 of her supporters including her bodyguards were killed. Still it was allowed to happen, makes it more intriguing.

Benazir Bhutto was, no doubt, the head of country’s biggest party and Pakistan’s Politician of international stature. But it is equally beyond doubt that Sindhis had an special relationship and an extraordinary attachment with her. A very large number of Sindhi people loved her without caring for gain or loss and without making her accountable for her deeds of commission or omission. They thought her defender of their rights and carrier of their hopes and aspirations. The killers seem to be inept, coward and short-sighted. For cheap gains and shoddy interests they have committed a crime consequences of which they are enabled to imagine and incapable to comprehend. By killing BB they have not only robbed People’s Party workers of their inspiring force but deprived Pakistan of a genuine political leader, who had on her back not only a political legacy but a hard-fought political struggle also. Most of all they have committed the brutal murder of hopes, aspirations and dreams of millions of Sindhi People.

And the way government responded to this tragedy of highest magnitude was just rubbish. While whole country was reeling under the ensuing shock, grief and anger, the state handed over this all important matter to a lower grade contract employee whose non-serious and changing-on- daily basis attitude was an insult to the assassinated leader and tantamount to rubbing salt into the wounds of her mourners.

When injured-to the-core Sindhis came on the roads to express their inner feelings of shock, grief and anguish, they were called criminals and hundreds of cases were registered against hundreds of thousands of them. I, being a political opponent of Benazir Bhutto and the PPP, say with sure that the people flooding the roads from Karachi to Kashmore on the evening of 27th December, 2007 were not only the PPP Workers but the majority of them were common Sindhis, who felt their hearts broken. And I say with confidence and responsibility that their reaction was instant and natural. No power on earth can motivate and mobilize millions of people in a matter of few minutes as was the case after the breaking of news of BB’s assassination. Also I would say that while registering their protest Sindhi people acted with political maturity. Considering the state responsible for the destruction of their dreams, they targeted their anger at government apparatus

being careful to avoid human casualties. Scores of trollers were burnt but not a single person was hurt. Dozens of train bogies were put to torch but only after making sure that each and every passenger was safely taken out. Not only that but Sindhi People, even in this traumatic situation, did not lose their traditional hospitality and hosted thousands of passengers, including men, women and children in their homes for days and made arrangements for their safe return to their homes.

However, on second and third day some criminal elements did intrude taking advantage of the volatile situation. But then it is a well-known fact that criminals, at least in this part of the world, operate under the shadow of government agencies. In this case, the absence of law enforcing agencies from the sites of loot and theft adequately prove the point. In any case, when you encroach upon all the freedoms and close all the avenues of legal and peaceful protest and the very leaders through whom people express their will are killed blatantly, then people take on any path they find available.

It is an admitted fact that on the eve of her return to Pakistan from exile, Ms. Benazir Bhutto had written a letter to the head of state mentioning therein names of certain persons whom she felt her life threatened from. All of them were related to the state in one way or the other. Again immediately after the first attempt on her life at Karachi on 18th October 2007, she sent an email to CNN’s Wolf Blitzer through her representative Mark Seigel in which she mentioned “I have been made to feel insecure by his (Musharaf’s) minions” and that if anything happened to her, “I would hold (President Pervez) Musharaf responsible”. Now since she has been assassinated these writings stand as her dying declarations which put the responsibility on state functionaries. And the way government (mis) handled the post-assassination scenario from washing away of the incident site to the contradictory statements of different state functionaries (upto the highest

level) about the cause of and the people behind the murder, strengthen the view that state, at least some part of it, is involved in the matter. But if, for the sake of argument, we accept that the killing shots were fired by militants, as per claim of the government, even then the over-all responsibility of this earth-shacking incident comes on the state because it is the state which, by its role character, throughout the 60 years of its life, has time and again made the people believe that the solution to all the issues and disputes lies in the gun-power. The collective will of Bengali people (1971) was reciprocated by sending tanks to the streets of Dhaka, the political decision of Baloch people (1948 and 1970s) was changed with the force of the cannon and Sindhi people demanding restoration of 1973 constitution were showered with bombs and bullets. Nawab Akber Bugti and Balach Marri were killed when they voiced the Balochs’ demand for ownership of their resources.

Before that Pakistan’s first elected Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto was murdered at the behest of military junta.

Many questions that have been simmering in the hearts and minds of the people of Sindh, and also Balochistan, regarding the formation and functioning of the State for quite some time, have flared up with the firing at Liaqat Bagh. Whenever Bengali, Baloch, Sindh and Pakhtoon nationalists were targeted, they were labeled secessionists and foreign agents. But the people’s party and its leadership has always aligned with the politics of strong centre and taken pride in combating nationalist movements. Then why leaders of this party have been targeted? While killing Akber Bugti and Balach Marri, it was charged that they were making demands out of the constitution. Since the 1973 constitution gives control of ports, oil, gas, coal and other natural resources to the centre, so calling for province’s authority over them was tantamount to treason. Come to the contest between Benazir Bhutto and the establishment, the position is altogether different. On the

one side Benazir’s whole political life revolves around 1973 constitution; struggling for its restoration when the uniform in power and trying to strengthen it while herself in power. On the other side General Pervez Musharaf seized the seat of power by defying and destroying 1973 constitution and continues his rule by continuously distorting and deforming this ‘sacred’ document. Still he is the champion of ‘first of all Pakistan’ and ‘she’ is the loser paying with her life. Isn’t it an astonishing scenario? People, specially those from Sindh, are asking what are the decisive factors in Pakistan power politics and what are the common factors between Baloch nationalists and BB to bring them to the common fate? And the answer are very clear and very simple. There is nothing common between Baloch nationalists and Benezir Bhutto but the fact that both belonged to the oppressed nationalities and the main difference between Benezir Bhutto and Pervez Musharaf was that she wanted

to run the country with the will of the people as per 1973 constitution while he likes to rule the country with the power of the gun as per his personal will and whim.

Due to its oppressive, exploitative and anti-people character and colonial-like behaviour, most Sindhi people had already lost faith in the State. However some of them, being part of an agricultural society, had pinned their hopes for better future in the person of Benezir Bhutto. On 27th December 2007 these hopes were murdered on the streets of Rawalpindi, the twin-city of country’s capital. So the people of Sindh have stopped looking towards the State. They have absolutely no expectations, neither they see any positive change coming from within the State.

They are now looking towards the democratic, progressive and rational people of the country for change in this situation of hopelessness. And certainly this change would have to come from outside the prevailing system. And to begin with this process of change in a manner that attracts the confidence of Sindhi people, determination of some fundamental questions would be necessary. It would have to be decided, once for all, whether this country will be ruled with the will of the people or with the power of the gun. Another issue of pre-eminence is to recognize and re-affirm that people of all the federating units inherit the same status and enjoy equal rights.

Keeping in view the speed of events, time will be the most important factor.

March 02, 2008

Mir Murtaza Bhutto and Fatima Bhutto

mirandfatima.jpg – Mir Murtaza Bhutto

(September 18, 1954- September 20, 1996)

Murtaza Bhtto, the elder son of Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, was a revolutionary. Bhutto campaigned as an independent in the 1993 elections, winning a seat in the assembly governing the Sindh province. In 1996, he accused police of unfairly targeting his organization. Several hours after the conference, he was shot and killed along with six supporters during an altercation with the police. Murtaza was killed by police in 1996 in Karachi, during the premiership of his sister, Benazir Bhutto.

Fatima Bhutto (born 29 May 1982) is a young poet, writer and columnist who came to fame after the appearance of her first book, a collection of poems, titled Whispers of the Desert. Fatima was only 15 years old when the collection was published.

She is now a columnist for The News in Pakistan. She received notable coverage for her second book. Fatima is the daughter of the Shaheed Murtaza Bhutto. She is the grand-daughter of former Prime Minister, Z.A. Bhutto. Fatima is not known to be very active political worker. She is however far more active as a political writer and spares no body in criticism. Fatima’s style of writing resembles that of “Arab News” jovial writer Jehad Khazin. Her writings reflect some Pan-arabism , Liberalism and a lot of multi-directional political sides.

Oct. 18 Tragedy: Blame the Victim – Distorted Minds, Distorted Views

Oct. 18 Tragedy: Blame the Victim for the Crime: Distorted Minds, Distorted Views

By Aziz Narejo, TX

It is shocking to see the emails and statements blaming Benazir Bhutto for the October 18 tragedy in Karachi . The accusations are absurd and outrageous but unfortunately they are not uncommon or unheard of in Pakistan . On the contrary, that is exactly what one expects in the country where military and undemocratic rule over the time has distorted the politics, polluted the minds and created an unnatural atmosphere.

Wasn’t it the military dictator Musharraf who blamed the rape victims to invite the violation of their bodies and souls to seek immigration to Western countries? (By the way, he made that wild and shameful accusation as the cases of Mai Mukhtaran and the Sui rape victim Dr Mrs. Khalid were getting wide publicity in the world media. I think it would be the first duty of any future civilian set up to open the Sui rape case and prosecute the rapist for his crime and Musharraf for unlawfully absolving the criminal and obstructing the course of justice).

Similarly the Chief Justice of Pakistan was blamed for 12th May Karachi massacre while the real culprits, the terrorists and Musharraf’s brothers in arms have conveniently been kept off the hook.

And now they are blaming Benazir Bhutto for the October 18 tragedy! It is bizarre to blame Benazir for an attack on herself and her own rally causing death and pain to her supporters and denying herself an opportunity to lead and address the biggest ever gathering of people in Pakistan.

This is the prime example of distorted polity in Pakistan. Will we ever change?

26/10/2007

What is happening with Lawyers and Judges in Karachi

Few days ago some an ethnic organization’s activists surrounded Sindh High court.

Two lawyers have been murdered in Karachi in recent days.

Few days ago, some unidentified people did chalking on the walls of SHC and banners against the Chief Justice, Sindh High court at main entrance get of Sindh High court near Sindh secretariat and Sindh Assembly building. Same day at the night some unidentified people had opened fire and on city court. Now City Court’s Secretary and four Lawyers have arrested when they were coming to Sindh High Court.

10/11/2007

For BBC Report, click here

http://www.bbc.co.uk/urdu/pakistan/story/2007/10/071001_karachi_tense_sq.shtml