Tag Archives: Nationalist

Brave son of Sindh Dr. Khalid Mehmood Soomro gunned down in Sukkur by the terorrists

The Brave son of Sindh, although a leader of religious party but with a touch of Sindhi tolerance, Dr. Khalid Mehmood Soomro of Jami’at-e-Ulema-i-Islam (JUI) was gunned down yesterday by the unknown assailants who drove to his place of stay in a white car, and opened fires on him. Soomro’s role in defending and protecting the rights of Sindh is unforgettable. In his last speech he said that he would prefer to accept martyrdom but not allow anyone to exploit the resources of Sindh. Almost whole of Sindh was closed down in protest and mourn. All Sindhi nationalist parties, Pakistan People Party (PPP), Awami National Party (ANP) and Mutahida Qomi Movement (MQM) condemned his murder. Soomro played a major role against Kalabagh Dam, conspiracies of division of Sindh and other issues. Maulana Fazaul Rehman said Pakistani state was responsible for his murder. Thousands attended his funeral prayer in Larkana.
News Courtesy: Daily Kawish Read News in Sindhi Daily Awami Awaz, 30 November, 2014 + Rights and Movements
Read more » http://rightsupdate.blogspot.in/2014/11/brave-son-of-sindh-dr-khalid-mehmood.html

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JSMM leader Munir Choliani found dead in Sindh

LARKANO: A nationalist party leader Munir Choliani was found murdered on Friday, Geo News reported.

Police said that some unknown persons have murdered Munir Choliani near Sunn. The body of the deceased has been shifted to Warah. Munir Choliani had left for Hyderabad from Warah last night. Munir Choliani is said to be the central leader of Jeay Sindh Muttahida Mahaz (JSMM).

Courtesy: The News
http://www.thenews.com.pk/article-149280-JSMM-leader-Munir-Choliani-found-dead-in-Sindh/

 

Three Sindhi nationalists were killed on Independence Day in police encounter – many young people remain missing after arrest

Urgent Appeal Case: AHRC-UAC-112-2013 – The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information that on the 66 celebration of the Independence Day of Pakistan, three more Sindh nationalists were gunned downed in a fake encounter in Karachi and many young Sindhi activists were arrested from different districts of Sindh province and their whereabouts are unknown.

Read more » ASIAN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION
http://www.humanrights.asia/news/urgent-appeals/AHRC-UAC-112-2013/?searchterm=afzal+panhwar

Analysis of gruesome murders of Secular Sindhi Nationalist Leaders and biggest-ever peaceful rally of Freedom March by the people of Sindh

Must watch analysis of gruesome murders of liberal and secular Sindhi Nationalist leaders of Maqsood Qureshi and Saleman Wadhu and the biggest-ever, 5 million peaceful rally of Freedom march by the people of Sindh. The language of the video clip is in Sindhi language. Discussion by Naseer Memon and Moeson Baber.

Courtesy: Sindhi Tv channel Aawaz Tv

PAKISTAN: A Sindh nationalist and political activist killed by law enforcement agencies after severe torture

By: ASIAN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information that officers of the law enforcement agencies abducted a young activist who was tortured to death in illegal detention. After the incident officers of these agencies threw the tortured and bullet riddled death body near the Bharia Road City Railway Station of District Naushero Feroz of Sindh Province. They also scattered some weapons near his dead body to give the appearance that his death was due to an encounter as well as to make him look like a terrorist.

The agencies officers then started intimidating the victim’s brothers not to reveal the incident and were also warned not to register a case against them. They were told that many false cases would be registered against them.

CASE NARRATIVE: Mr. Sahib Khan Ghoto (40), a resident of village Jalal Ghoto, Taluka and District Ghotki, Province Sindh was tortured to death in the custody of  law enforcement agencies during his illegal detention of three days. (warning to the reader: the photo of the deceased victim is graphic and may not be suitable for all viewers: http://www.humanrights.asia/news/urgent-appeals/images/2014/ahrc-uac-021-2014.01). Sahib Khan, son of Mr. Dhani Bux was a political activist, nationalist and central member of the Executive Committee of Shehri Etihad (Citizens Unity) Ghotki. Shehri Etihad is a organization working in Ghotki for the people and in this organization all Non- Governmental Organizations, political parties and the civil societies of the Ghotki District are collectively working together.He was also the president of Jiye Sindh MutthahidaMahaz (JSSM) a nationalist party,Ghotki District.

Read more » Asian Human Right Commission
http://www.humanrights.asia/news/urgent-appeals/AHRC-UAC-021-2014

Transition: Sindhi nationalist Ali Hassan Chandio dies

By Sohail Khattak

KARACHI: Ali Hassan Chandio, a Sindhi nationalist and Chairman Sindh National Movement (SNM), passed away after prolonged illness at the South City Hospital on Wednesday night. He was suffering from kidney problems coupled with diabetes.

According to his friend Asad Chandio, Hassan started his political life from Democratic Student Federation (DSF) and also remained active in the Movement for the Restoration of Democracy (MRD) during which he was sent to prison where he was subjected to lashing. Ali Hassan was considered the youngest prisoner of conscience in Pakistan.

Continue reading Transition: Sindhi nationalist Ali Hassan Chandio dies

Repeating Balochistan in Sindh

By Naseer Memon

The recent spate of violence in Sindh attained yet another traumatic dimension when the brutalised bodies of two young students were found in Dadu district. In a typical Balochistan-styled episode, both activists of a nationalist party, Amir Khahawar and Sajjad Markhand, were picked up in Larkano a few days ago and their tortured bodies were later found on the roadside.

National media, being too occupied with election mania, ignored the incident but the grisly news made rounds on Sindhi television channels. In a similar incident, another political activist, Muzaffar Bhutto, was found dead after a protracted disappearance and four other activists were killed near Sanghar in broad daylight.

The recent incidents triggered a wave of violence, protests and a paralysing strike in large parts of the province. Kidnapping and dumping lacerated and mutilated bodies of political activists turned Balochistan into a vortex of violence and now, the same mistake is being repeated in a relatively sedate province. Similar incidents snowballed a political conflict into a secessionist movement in Balochistan.

The province has been made an open cemetery of political workers and yet, the insurgency has refused to subside. Past insurgencies in Balochistan were mostly confined to a few tribes and their areas, but this time, ceaseless killings have propelled the insurgency and bestowed it with broader ownership of lower and middle class people. An inept policy of using gun power to handle political conflict has not only sullied the country’s image in the international community but fuelled a fire that has become difficult to douse.

A nationalist movement in Sindh started in the early 1970s when GM Syed initiated the Jeay Sindh movement in the aftermath of the debacle of Bangladesh. However, a discrete identity of this movement has been its peaceful demeanour in consonance with GM Syed’s philosophy of non-violence and peaceful coexistence. As a result of that, nationalist parties and splinter groups of Jeay Sindh, in spite of having serious political disagreements, never resorted to mass violence. On April 25, GM Syed’s death anniversary was observed where about half a dozen groups of the Jeay Sindh movement held separate parallel gatherings in Sann and no untoward incident was reported.

Continue reading Repeating Balochistan in Sindh

Changes in Sindh

By Rauf Nizamani

THE perception about Sindhi nationalist politics is that it’s secular, progressive, anti-establishment and left-oriented. Is this view still valid?

In recent decades, many changes have occurred in the politics of the province. Though the political parties still claim to be fighting for the interests of Sindh and its people, is that true? Is their primary motive still the fight against feudal and tribal lords, landlords and the religious orthodoxy? Does securing rights for the downtrodden, especially peasants, remain part of their struggle for national rights as was the case in the past?

Continue reading Changes in Sindh

Rift in leadership of Balochistan nationalist movement. Bothers Mehran & Hyrbyar Marri split over Freedom Charter

By: Murtaza Ali Shah

LONDON: A year after Baloch leader Hyrbyair Marri presented the ‘Freedom Charter’ for consultations to unite the Baloch nationalists on a single platform, key Baloch stakeholders have either opposed the document or expressed reservations about it.

Exiled leaders Mehran Baloch, Hyrbyar’s younger brother and Balochistan’s representative in the United Nations, Brahumdagh Bugti, self-exiled leader of the Balochistan Republican Party, Khan of Kalat Mir Suleman Dawood and Balochistan National Party (BNP) leader Akhtar Mengal have publicly distanced themselves from the ‘Freedom Charter’ and have alleged that the points in the charter are unrealistic and don’t correspond to the ground realities of the Baloch struggle.

Continue reading Rift in leadership of Balochistan nationalist movement. Bothers Mehran & Hyrbyar Marri split over Freedom Charter

Sindh nationalist parties to observe Nov 30 as ‘black day’

By Hassan Siddiqui

Karachi: The nationalist parties of Sindh have announced to observe PPP’s formation day (November 30) as ‘black day’ and lodge protest during the president’s address in Sindh Assembly.

Awami National Party, Functional League and opposition parties have agreed to support the protest. Moreover, chief PML-N, Nawaz Sharif has phoned Chairman Sindh Bachayo Committee (Safe Sindh Committee), Jalal Mehmood Shah and assured him of complete support on the issue.

The protest of nationalist parties seems to be against the controversial local government ordinance in the province.

Courtesy: The News Tribe

http://www.thenewstribe.com/2012/11/26/sindh-nationalist-parties-to-observe-nov-30-as-black-day/

Excerpt of Naseer Memon oped published in Sindhi Daily Kawish on the issue of controversail local govt. law

Creation of Metropolitan Corporations

· Government will create Divisional Head Quarter of Karachi, Hyderabad , Sukkur, Larkano and Mirpurkhas as Metropolitan Corporations But Karachi Metropolitan will be consist of five districts [Note: only Karachi is different from all other Metropolitan all other metro will be consists of only one district while Karachi five]

According to 1998 census MQM has only majority in two districts out of five. If Karachi Metro consists of five District Councils then MQM can have control on only two district councils and they cannot even win mayor ship of Karachi Metro! So MQM knowingly using this Ordinance created Karachi Metro based on five districts instead of 18 towns.

· Union Council boundaries with in the Metro area cannot stretch into any Talku or town

Please note that this doesn’t apply to Town boundaries, there are 5 districts and 18 towns are in Karachi. 18 towns were created in dictator Gen. Musharaf period gerrymandering so that MQM elect their Mayor. It was not possible before since out five districts MQM can only elect two districts only.

This also shows that Karachi is different from other Metro areas.

· Through this ordinance Mayor and Chairman have authority to remove encroachment and maintain peace using Criminal Procedure Code 109, 133, 143, 144 and 145 under the Police act of 1861 and under section 30A-34B. Also they have section 144 under their authority.

Using this authority MQM Bulldoze any Sindhi area, do not allow any political rally and activity, remove any flood relief camps etc.

· Using their financial resources councils have authority to create any new department

Obviously only Karachi and Hyderabad has revenue to create any new department. We already had seen how MQM created city police by recruiting its entire party worker. Rest assured how will these departments server the city.

· Using this ordinance Deputy Commissioner office becomes irrelevant and all the powers are transferred to Chief Officer, who reports to Metro Government. Only revenue matters left to DC office but Karachi will be different again.

Now you can imagine how MQM will utilize Chief Officer Office.

· Financial grant of Metro based on its financial needs, revenue potential and revenue generation

In other words since Karachi and Hyderabad generate most the revenue hence they need more money and rest of Sindh will go to hell. There is no parity for poverty which considers in federal divisible pool.

· Using this Ordinance there are many departments moved to Metro area but most consequential are primary education and fisheries

If Karachi metro can regulate primary education it means the small number of Sindhi medium school running will be closed and there will be no new sindhi medium school will open. Also fisheries department transferred to Karachi Metro mean they will regulate all the harbors where majority of Balochs and Sindhi currently works. They will also not allow any new fishermen housing society in future.

· Military dictator Gen. Musharaf police Ordinance only reactivated in Karachi only, rest of Sindh will still in 1861 act

Courtesy: Sindhi daily Kawish, 05 October, 2012

Via – World Sindh Congress (WSC) facebook wall.

A Tribute to Valiant Son of Sindh: Nazir Abbasi Shaheed

“He Gave His Life, So That Mother Sindh Can Live”

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؍

(شاھ ڀِٽائيؒ)

“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!

Continue reading A Tribute to Valiant Son of Sindh: Nazir Abbasi Shaheed

The real reason for the rot – Mir Mohammad Ali Talpur

There is absolutely no challenge to what the army does or has done in the past and this too is a natural corollary of the genesis of this state

Nations are products of long historical and evolutionary processes; most present nation states evolved thus. But when states are formed on an artificial basis of contrived nationhood or on the basis of religion, as was the case with Pakistan, Israel and Yugoslavia, they of necessity turn into fascist states, dominated by a militarist ideology. Serb-dominated Yugoslavia denied rights to other nationalities and eventually imploded. Pakistan by claiming to be the legatee of the glory of Islam burdened itself with heavy historical baggage, but then it could not have done otherwise as it was that claim that it wanted to justify its artificial existence with. Consequently, Pakistani rulers in keeping with its elite’s interests curtailed national rights of different nationalities, and forced them to rally under the banner of religion and to accept its ideology by upholding their brand of Pakistani nationalism.

The Baloch, Bengalis, Sindhis and to a certain extent, the Pashtuns resented and resisted this imposition in varying degrees. The Bengalis having had the advantage of distance and a sympathetic neighbour went their separate way in 1971, while the Baloch after an initial period of freedom have borne the brunt of military operations because of their refusal to accept the artificially imposed ideology of a Muslim nation and have so far thwarted the attempts to crush their determination for a separate entity status. The Sindhis, at first taken in by state-sponsored ideology, gradually realised that their interests did not coincide and have resisted it though erratically at best since.

Continue reading The real reason for the rot – Mir Mohammad Ali Talpur

Balochistan: middle-class rebellion

Dr. Allah Nazar

By: Mahvish Ahmad

QUETTA: The state sees them as unruly men serving power-hungry sardars, but the six 20-something Baloch Student Organisation-Azad (BSO-Azad) members sitting cross-legged on the floor of their dorm room come across as more diligent than unruly, and more revolutionary than submissive.

As active sympathisers of a rebellion calling for outright independence, they embody a new kind of Baloch freedom fighter – or sarmachar.

And a new kind of victim of the kill-and-dump policy practised, they claim, by the Frontier Core (FC) and intelligence agencies.

These six young men are urbanised, middle-class, educated, and typically allied as equals rather than serving as underlings to the separatist Bugti and Marri sardars of Balochistan.

“We are united in our call for an independent Balochistan. And we have sacrificed our lives for our cause. Ninety-five members of BSO-Azad have been picked up, tortured and brutally murdered by the establishment. Many of them were students at educational institutions like Balochistan University,” says Khalid, an office-holder in BSO-Azad.

Malik Siraj Akbar, the editor of the online newspaper, Baloch Hal, which has been banned in Pakistan, agrees. “Today’s Baloch movement is headed not solely by […] tribal chiefs, but [by] educated middle class youth,” says Malik in the introduction to his book, “The Redefined Dimensions of the Baloch Nationalist Movement”.

Continue reading Balochistan: middle-class rebellion

Sindhi nationalist leader Muzaffar Bhutto’s body found in Hyderabad

HYDERABAD: After 45 days of mysterious death of chairman, Jeay Sindh Qaumi Mahaz (JSQM) Bashir Khan Qureshi, the bullet riddled body of another nationalist leader Muzaffar Bhutto was found in the outskirts of Hyderabad on Tuesday. Bhutto was central secretary general of Jeay Sindh Muttahida Mahaz (JSMM) which is headed by Shafi Burfat.

His body was found stuffed in a gunny bag near Bukhari village in the limits of Hatri police station near Hyderabad.

Muzaffar Bhutto was among missing persons of Sindh, as he was kidnapped on February 25, 2011 from national highway near Saeedabad town.

The family members had been staging demonstrations for recovery of Bhutto while petition had also been filed in the apex court of Sindh. The slain leader has left a widow Saima Bhutto, two sons and a daughter.

The body of slain JSMM leader was brought to civil hospital Hyderabad late last night by some people who disappeared after leaving the body. Later, the relatives identified the body on Tuesday. The body of Muzaffar Bhutto was later sent to Sehwan, his hometown, where he would be laid to rest.

The reports of death of Muzaffar Bhutto sparked reaction in different cities and towns of Sindh. In Qasimabad,Hyderabadand Kotri, the activists of JSMM resorted to aerial firing after which the hops and other businesses were closed.

In Dokri town three people sustained injuries when the enraged people started firing. One of the injured Muhammad Zada succumbed to injuries at the hospital. The Larkana town was also completely shut after the reports of Bhutto’s death reached. The aerial firing was also reported from different areas.

Reports from Nawabshah said all the commercial activities came to standstill in Nawabshah, Sakrand and Qazi Ahmed towns where the aerial firing created panic.

The JSMM workers alleged that secret agencies were involved in killing of their leader. Meanwhile, Zain Bhutto, vice chairman, JSMM, condemned the murder of Muzaffar Bhutto and Dr Niaz Kalani, acting chairman, Jeay Sindh Qaumi Mahaz, has announced strike in Sindh on Wednesday to condemn the murder of nationalist leader.

Courtesy: DAWN.COM
R
ead more » http://dawn.com/2012/05/22/sindhi-nationalist-leader-muzaffar-bhuttos-body-found-in-hyderabad/
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New York Times – How Pakistan Lets Terrorism Fester – By HUSAIN HAQQANI

ON the anniversary of Osama bin Laden’s death last week, Pakistan was the only Muslim country in which hundreds of demonstrators gathered to show solidarity with the dead terrorist figurehead.

Yet rather than asking tough questions about how Bin Laden had managed to live unmolested in Pakistan for years, the Pakistani Supreme Court instead chose to punish the prime minister, Yousaf Raza Gilani, by charging him with contempt for failing to carry out the court’s own partisan agenda in this case, pressuring the Swiss government to reopen a decades-old corruption investigation of President Asif Ali Zardari. (Never mind that Swiss officials say they are unlikely to revisit the charges.)

In handing down the decision, one justice chose to paraphrase the Lebanese poet Khalil Gibran. He held forth in a long appeal to religious-nationalist sentiment that began with the line, “Pity the nation that achieves nationhood in the name of a religion but pays little heed to truth, righteousness and accountability, which are the essence of every religion.”

That a Supreme Court justice would cite poetry instead of law while sentencing an elected leader on questionable charges reflects Pakistan’s deep state of denial about its true national priorities at a time when the country is threatened by religious extremism and terrorism.

Today, Pakistan is polarized between those who envision a modern, pluralist country and those who condone violence against minorities and terrorism in the name of Islam. Many are caught in the middle; they support the pluralist vision but dislike the politicians espousing it.

Meanwhile, an elephant in the room remains. We still don’t know who enabled Bin Laden to live freely in Pakistan. Documents found on computers in his compound offer no direct evidence of support from Pakistan’s government, army or intelligence services. But even if Bin Laden relied on a private support network, our courts should be focused on identifying, arresting and prosecuting the individuals who helped him. Unfortunately, their priorities seem to lie elsewhere.

In Pakistan, most of the debate about Bin Laden has centered on how and why America violated Pakistan’s sovereignty by unilaterally carrying out an operation to kill him. There has been little discussion about whether the presence of the world’s most-wanted terrorist in a garrison town filled with army officers was itself a threat to the sovereignty and security of Pakistan.

Pakistanis are right to see themselves as victims of terrorism and to be offended by American unilateralism in dealing with it. Last year alone, 4,447 people were killed in 476 major terrorist attacks. Over the last decade, thousands of soldiers and law enforcement officers have died fighting terrorists – both homegrown, and those inspired by Al Qaeda’s nihilist ideology.

But if anything, the reaction should be to gear up and fight jihadist ideology and those who perpetrate terrorist acts in its name; they remain the gravest threat to Pakistan’s stability. Instead, our national discourse has been hijacked by those seeking to deflect attention from militant Islamic extremism.

The national mind-set that condones this sort of extremism was cultivated and encouraged under the military dictatorships of Gen. Mohammad Zia ul-Haq from 1977 to 1988 and Gen. Pervez Musharraf from 1999 to 2008. A whole generation of Pakistanis has grown up with textbooks that conflate Pakistani nationalism with Islamist exclusivism.

Anti-Western sentiment and a sense of collective victimhood were cultivated as a substitute for serious debate on social or economic policy. Militant groups were given free rein, originally with American support, to resist the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, and later became an instrument of Pakistani regional influence there and in Indian-occupied Kashmir.

Pakistan’s return to democracy, after the elections of 2008, offered hope. But the elected government has since been hobbled by domestic political infighting and judicial activism on every issue except extremism and terrorism.

Before Mr. Musharraf was ousted, a populist lawyers’ movement successfully challenged his firing of Supreme Court justices. The lawyers’ willingness to confront Mr. Musharraf in his last days raised hopes of a new era. But over the last four years, the Court has spent most of its energy trying to dislodge the government by insisting on reopening cases of alleged corruption from the 1990s. During the same period, no significant terrorist leader has been convicted, and many have been set free by judges who overtly sympathize with their ideology.

This has happened because the lawyers’ movement split into two factions after Mr. Musharraf’s fall: those emphasizing the rule of law and those seeking to use the judiciary as a rival to elected leaders.

Asma Jahangir, who helped lead the lawyers’ movement, has become a critic of the courts, accusing them of overstepping their constitutional mandate and falling under the influence of the security establishment. And Aitzaz Ahsan, who represented the Supreme Court’s chief justice during the lawyers’ showdown with Mr. Musharraf, is now Prime Minister Gilani’s lawyer in the contempt-of-court case – a clear indication of the political realignment that has taken place.

Meanwhile, Pakistan’s raucous media, whose hard-won freedom is crucial for the success of democracy, has done little to help generate support for eliminating extremism and fighting terrorism. The Supreme Court, conservative opposition parties and the news media insist that confronting alleged incompetence and corruption in the current government is more important than turning Pakistan away from Islamist radicalism.

Continue reading New York Times – How Pakistan Lets Terrorism Fester – By HUSAIN HAQQANI

Nationalist Leader of Sindh Bashir Qureshi was poisoned to death: medical board

Bashir Qureshi was poisoned to death: medical board

By: Khurshid Abbasi

KARACHI: Late chairman of the Jeay Sindh Qaumi Mahaz (JSQM) Bashir Khan Qureshi was poisoned to death, the medical board set up by the Sindh government has declared, The News learnt on Wednesday.

The medical board has handed over its detailed report to the Sindh government. Dr Qayyum Rajpar, member of the 15-member medical board, told The News that it had been verified that JSQM chief Bashir Khan Khan Qureshi was poisoned to death.

According to sources, provincial Interior Minister Manzoor Wassan would give details about the report in a press conference today (Thursday). The government has started further investigations after this report.

Courtesy: The News

http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-13-14025-Bashir-Qureshi-was-poisoned-to-death-medical-board

Honorable U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon: Investigate the death of Bashir Khan Qureshi

Why This Is Important

Bashir Khan Qureshi, former chief of the Sindhi Nationalist group Jeay Sindh Qaumi Mahaz (JSQM) died suddenly and mysteriously on April 7, 2012 .

It is being claimed that he died of cardiac arrest, although he did not have any previous such history, and was otherwise in excellent health. As a result, many suspect that foul play was involved in his death.

News of his mysterious death follows a recent rush of killings of Sindhi nationalist leaders in Pakistan. Mr. Qureshi was imprisoned several times during his lifetime for his work as a Sindhi nationalist.

No Pakistani investigation is likely to have credibility with the people of Pakistan, in particular with the Sindhis who were strong supporters of Mr. Qureshi. Therefore, it will be necessary that an independent UN prosecutor be appointed to carry out an investigation of the death of Bashir Khan Qureshi.

To Sign the petition » Change.Org

http://www.change.org/petitions/honorable-u-n-secretary-general-ban-ki-moon-investigate-the-death-of-bashir-khan-qureshi

The general, the dog & the flasher

MRD activist shot dead by military troops in Moro, Sindh, September 1983. –Photo Courtesy: BBC

By: Nadeem F. Paracha

The MRD Movement in 1983 was one of the biggest uprisings against the Ziaul Haq dictatorship. In Sindh it almost tipped over and become a full-fledged armed insurgency against the state.

Sindh, September, 1983. The agitation by the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) led Movement for the Restoration of Democracy (MRD) is whirling out of control, not only for the reactionary dictatorship of General Ziaul Haq but for the MRD leadership as well.

Ever since MRD announced the beginning of a nationwide movement against the Zia regime (August 14, 1983), the Pakistani province of Sindh is in great turmoil.

Sindh’s capital Karachi is witnessing court arrests and protest rallies on a daily basis by labour and trade unionists, student leaders and anti-Zia politicians.

But it is the central and northern parts of the province that are in the grip of serious violence. The MRD movement here has taken the shape of a Sindhi uprising bordering on a Sindhi nationalist insurgency against the Pakistan Army.

Faced with a volley of questions (mainly by foreign journalists) regarding his military regime’s challenged legitimacy in Sindh, Zia decides to prove that ‘only a handful of troublemakers’ are involved in the violence taking place against his government in the troubled province.

So, the grinning general (after issuing a fresh round of curbs on the already restricted local media outlets), announces that he will take a whirlwind tour of Sindh to attest that he is as popular there as he (thinks) he is in the Punjab.

So off he flies in his big shiny military aircraft (C-130) with some of his ministers, military cronies and his favorite batch of journalists to Karachi. He is however, aware that BBC Radio has imbedded a host of reporters in Sindh who are covering the MRD movement.

The reporting is largely being done for the BBC Radio’s Urdu service that a majority of Pakistanis have been listening to – especially ever since Zia (a migrant, conservative Punjabi general) toppled the government of the country’s first popularly elected prime minister, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto (a well-to-do but populist Sindhi who was equally well-liked in the Punjab).

A disturbing photo of one of the first public floggings ordered by General Ziaul Haq’s military courts.
Hundreds of student leaders, trade union activists, journalists and petty criminals were flogged between 1978 and 1981.
Here, floggers with lethal leather sticks in their hands are seen stepping on a sentenced man’s back after delivering a flogging ordered by a military court.

Zia’s plane lands in Karachi. From here he plans to fly to Hyderabad with his posse. Joining him here is a crew from the state-controlled Pakistan Television (PTV) that will cover the general’s ‘successful tour of Sindh.’

The rallies being taken out against him by leftist students, journalists, trade unionists, women rights groups and politicians in Karachi don’t bother him.

Most of the country’s senior anti-Zia leadership has already been put behind bars, while the second tier leadership of agitating student outfits, trade and journalist unions and anti-Zia political parties ‘are being made an example of’ by being publically flogged.

MRD was formed in 1981 as a PPP-led alliance to agitate against the Zia dictatorship and to force him to end military rule and hold elections. The alliance’s core parties were: Pakistan Peoples Party; Pakistan Democratic Party; Pakistan Mazdoor Kissan Party; Pakistan National Party; National Awami Party; Qaumi Mahaz Azadi Party; and Jamiat Ulema Islam.

It was also being supported by Jamiat Ulema Pakistan, as well as by various left-wing Sindhi nationalist parties, progressive student organisations, trade unions and women’s rights groups.

Zia, after arriving in Karachi, briefly talks to a select group of journalists and reiterates his views about the situation in Sindh, insisting all was well, and that the MRD movement was the work of a handful of politicians who were working against Islam, Pakistan and the country’s armed forces.

He sounds confident about the success of his visit to the troubled spots of the Sindh province. This confidence was not only built upon what he was hearing from the sycophants that he’d gathered around him in the shape of ministers, military personnel, religious leaders and advisors.

Continue reading The general, the dog & the flasher

Bashir Qureshi: “Such is my Love for Mother Sindh, Other Beloveds all Forgotten”

By: Dr. Ahmed Makhdoom

Extremely saddened and shocked to learn about the passing-away of one of the most cherished, loved and illustrious son of Sindh, Saaeen Bashir Khan Qureshi.

The glorious ship of our motherland, Sindh, was so ably, bravely, passionately and fervently and, of-course, single-handedly, steered and guided by the indomitable, invincible and indefatigable will and leadership of Bashir Qureshi, the ardent believer and follower of the great Sindhi leader, Saaeen G.M. Syed’s legacy, and philosophy. Now, Sindh is left alone, bewildered, broken, shocked and in extreme pain and anguish.

Each and every time that I had an honour and privilege to visit my beloved Motherland on an annual pilgrimage, I was always blessed, illuminated and enriched by the few serene and tranquil moments that I had spent with Bashir Qureshi at his house at Gulshan-e-Hadeed, Karachi, Sindh just a walking distance from my brother’s house, where I used to stay.

We talked about Sindh, nothing but Sindh, because Sindh was his passion, the struggle for Free, Sovereign and Independent Sindh was his mission and the guiding of Sindh to take its historically-proclaimed rightful place amongst the community of the nations of the world was his vision as he always used to recite, with great gusto and fervour as well as tears in his eyes, this couplet of Saaeen Ustad Bukhari:

“Sindhu saan ahrree jindu jarree, jo mbiyaa dil waaraa wisree w1yaa,

Jiyei Sindhu sadaaeen jiyei, mbiyaa sabhu naaraa wisree wiyaa.” (Ustad Bukhari)

“Such is my love for Mother Sindh, Other beloveds all forgotten, ‘Long live, forever live, dearest Sindh!’ Yes, other slogans all forgotten.” (Ustad Bukhari: Translated by Ahmed Makhdoom)

Bashir Khan Qureshi was a leader par excellence and a human being extraordinaire. Personally, he was a wonderful friend and a very generous and hospitable carer and comforter to his guests at his home. As Chairman of Jeay Sindh Qaumi Mahaz (JSQM), (the Long Live Sindh National Front), he carried himself with great sense of responsibility and immaculate character.

I will sadly miss his inspiring company during my next and subsequent pilgrimages to my Motherland! The glorious land of Sindh and the generous and gregarious Sindhis will miss his wise helmsman-ship, courage, enthusiasm, patriotism and charismatic leadership.

Bashir Qureshi joined the movement for the liberation of Sindh from the ignominious chains of slavery brutally tightened around the neck of Sindh by the Punjab-dominated Pakistan in 1976 when he was just 17 years old. This movement known as Jeay Sindh Qaumi Mahaz (JSQM) – Long Live Sindh National Front – was founded by the Great Helmsman of Sindh, G.M. Syed. As an ordinary worker and member of this Front, Bashir carried out his duties and responsibilities with great zeal and patriotic ideals, fervour and ardour, enthusiasm and exuberance and with remarkable energy and prowess.

During the 1980s, Saaeen G.M. Syed was jailed, even though he was old and feeble, and Bashir through has sagacity and love for Syed and Sindh organised many protest rallies and hunger strikes, where he was always in the forefront. After the passing-away of Saaeen G.M. Syed, the baton of leadership was passed over to Bashir Khan Qureshi, who performed his duties as a successor of the great Syed with so much bravado and competence, earnestness and eagerness and with complete reverence and loyalty to his Motherland, Sindh. During his Long March for the Freedom of Sindh he was threatened by the Pakistani Security establishment, shot at by the heartless and senseless Pakistani Armed Forces and savagely jailed for several years by the dictatorial Punjab-dominated Secret Service and Intelligence agencies of the failing state.

And, despite all brutalities and animal-like behaviour of Pakistani vile and arrogant authorities, Saaeen Bashir never lost his patience, calm-nature and candour. He mobilised Sindhi masses to carry out peaceful, non-violent Gandhi-like protests on the streets of cities, town and villages of Sindh from Karachi to Kashmore, many times bringing the heavily-armed savage Pakistani civil and martial authorities down onto their knees. He vociferously demanded the economical, linguistic, cultural, political and hereditary rights for the hapless, helpless and long-suffering people of Sindh.

Continue reading Bashir Qureshi: “Such is my Love for Mother Sindh, Other Beloveds all Forgotten”

Mysterious death of Bashir Khan Qureshi‏ was preceded by deaths of several Sindhi nationalist leaders

 

By Khalid Hashmani

On the heal of recent rush of killings of Sindhi nationalist leaders comes the news of mysterious death of Bashir Khan Qureshi. He was the chief of the Jeay Sindh Qaumi Mahaz (JSQM) founded by SaeeN G. M. Syed, the legendary father of modern Sindhi nationalism. This alarming situation is either going scare many non-political Sindhis away from nationalism or embolden many non-political Sindhis to join the Sindhi nationalist movement.

Many recent press statements mentioned score of Sindhi nationalist leaders having been killed allegedly by security forces. These statements say that in 2011 alone such killings included that of Zulfiqar Kolachi, Aijaz Solangi, Sirai Qurban Khuhawr, Roplo Choliani, Nadir Bugti, Noorullah Tunio, Haji Abubakar, and Abdul Ganai Mirbahar.

Born on August 10, 1957, Bashir Khan was short of his 57th birthday, when he suddenly died of cardiac arrest. Apparently, he was in good health and many suspect a foul play in his sudden death. Just two weeks ago, he held a very successful rally on March 23, 2012 in Karachi. The rally was called as “Freedom Rally”. Many of the JSQM supporters that their party was gaining unprecedented popularity in Sindh and was becoming a formidable political force in Sindhi areas of Karachi.

Mr. Qureshi entered politics during his student days when in 1976; he joined Jeay Sindh Students Federation. He loved talking about the political philosophy of G. M. Syed and articulated the vision of G. M. Syed about independent Sindh in a forceful manner. He was elected to many positions within the Jeay Sindh Students Federation and became its President. In 1995, he was elected as Deputy Organizer of the newly formed Sindh Quami Mahaz and became its chairman in 1998.

Continue reading Mysterious death of Bashir Khan Qureshi‏ was preceded by deaths of several Sindhi nationalist leaders

Bashir Qureshi – it is the cause, and not the death, that makes the martyr

(Desk News/ Analysis) Our dear friend, our guide, and great leader Chairman Jeay Sindh Qaumi Mahaz (JSQM), Bashir Qureshi passed away and left the Sindhi nation crying behind. The people of Sindh wish he could have lived many more years to lead the nation towards a prosperous and developed Sindh.

The flooding of tweets and comments at social media and e-mails at Sindhi e-lists suspect that he has been poisoned because only a few days ago on the 23rd of March 2012 through the successful Freedom March/ rally in Karachi, he caused the deep security establishment of the country to lose its sleep forever. Many suspect he was martyred as Shah Nawaz Bhutto was martyred and his death was not his natural death. According to the statement of JSQM General Secretary Asif Baladi, “Bashir Qureshi didn’t have any heart-related disease. We see a conspiracy behind his sudden death.”  But as the regime being involved, chances of a fair investigation are less than slim.

Bashir Qureshi  was a great human being and a leader. He was a true disciple of Saeen GM Syed. He was a down to earth and a very caring and humble person. He was actually the continuation of the struggle of G.M. Syed for the independence of Sindh. Therefore, the deep security establishment could not digest his party’s successful freedom march in the capital of Sindh, Karachi; thus the establishment played its dirty role to remove him from the scene and as a result Sindh had lost her valuable son. On Facebook his party workers express that they will continue resistance against the slavery of the deep state and they will continue to go forward with his path of freedom of Sindh.

Napoleon had said, “It is the cause, and not the death, that makes the martyr.” Basheer Khan Qureshi fought for a noble cause. He is a martyr. And, martyrs never die.

Courtesy: Sindhi e-lists/ e-groups, twitter, social media, April 6, 2012.

Saparatist Sindhi nationalist leader & JSQM chairman Bashir Qureshi passes away

By: Amar Guriro

KARACHI – SINDH: Rrenowned Sindhi nationalist leader, chairman Jeay Sindh Qaumi Mahaz (JSQM) Bashir Kahn Qureshi has died on late Friday night. He was 54.

Qureshi was on his way to a small village Dari Magsi in Sakrand, district Benazirabad (Nawabshah) at the time.

Urdu television channels reported quoting initial reports that he died of fatal cardiac arrest, but despite several attempts the cause of the death was not confirmed.

Qureshi was a brave leader and spent all his life spreading the message of Great Leader Saeen G. M. Syed throughout Sindh and also struggling for Independent Sindhudesh.

In his last mammoth rally of an estimation of 0.7 million people chanting slogans of “Na Khapae na khapae, Pakistan Na Khapae” (We don’t want Pakistan) on M.A Jinnah Road of provincial capital city of Karachi-Sindh, he demanded international powers to help Sindhis to get their independent country—the Sindhudesh.

Political analysts are of the view that Qureshi’s death is great loose of nationalists who wants their independent country, the Sindhudesh.

Continue reading Saparatist Sindhi nationalist leader & JSQM chairman Bashir Qureshi passes away

Betraying the 1940 spirit?

The Pakistan Resolution promised to safeguard the rights of the Muslim minorities living in the Muslim-majority provinces of British India; it sought independence and sovereignty for those provinces outside the independent Indian Union.

However, the struggle took a new turn after the creation of Pakistan, when Bengali, Pashtun, and subsequently Sindhi and Baloch nationalist movements rose to press for provincial autonomy. Later, a powerful federation embracing the idea of the ideological state also led to alienating the country’s religious minorities. Many have come to live in fear because discrimination against them has been given legal cover, in effect, depriving them of equal rights. Here, leaders from various political parties speak of their respective party’s stance on the issues that haunt Pakistan’s minorities, and on ways to redress the problem…

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Mir Hasil Bizenjo, National Party

National party is secular, democratic & secular. We do not believe in minorities, all citizens are equal & must not be discriminated against on the basis of caste, creed or religion. It is matter of great concern for us that the state discriminate against own people in the name of religion.

We have to fight against this constitutionally by making Pakistan a secular state. National party has protested in each & every case of discrimination against Hindus & Christian. Hindus in Balochistan are being victimised by religious groups & criminals. Religious fundamentalism is a major threat to non-Muslim communities, against which political parties & civil society must rise. The solution is a strong, secular & democratic Pakistan.

Courtesy: http://www.dawn.com/2012/03/23/betraying-the-1940-spirit.html

Tribute to Comrade Sobho Gianchandani

Sobho Gianchandani is a prominent Sindhi revolutionary who remains a source of inspiration for many generations of Sindhi activists, writers and social reformers. Mr. Gianchandani, known lovingly as Comrade Sobho, has been associated with many political  and campaign groups, including the Indian National Congress and Khudai Khidmatgar and is the founder of many progressive, democratic and nationalist campaigns in Sindh. After the partition, Pakistani authorities pressured himlike millions of other Sindhi Hindus — to leave Sindh and migrate to India, but Sobho refused, and in consequence he was forbidden to travel abroad until 1998. Sobho was imprisoned for more than a year during the British rule, and after the partition, he fell under the wrath of Pakistani establishment and has many jail sentences to his credit, including one in 1971 for opposing military sponsored genocide in Bangladesh. Comrade Sobho and G. M. Syed were close associates and comrades in different aspects of the Sindhi rights movement. The G. M. Syed Memorial Lifetime Achievement Award is bestowed on Mr. Gianchandani in appreciation of his life-long struggle for emancipation for Sindhis and other oppressed peoples of South Asia and in recognition of his grass-roots efforts to promote tolerance, justice, communal harmony and peace. …..

Read more » ChagataiKhan

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More » THE MAN FROM MOEN–JO-DARO – Interview with Comrade Sobho Gianchandani

Balochistan: Silence of the courts

By Yunas Samad

Balochistan has been burning in the background for sometime, but what made Congress — to the embarrassment of the State Department and the Government of Pakistan — take up this issue now? Some say this was just a stunt but there is a growing frustration in Washington that Pakistan is double-dealing with the US; taking substantial aid dollars and then pursuing a strategy in Afghanistan which is costing lives of US soldiers. American troops have now been in Afghanistan longer than the Vietnam War, and there is considerable unhappiness with Pakistan for the grief it has caused them and an increasing desire, in some quarters, to hit back.

What is interesting is that for the first time, the international community is now reflecting on the possibility of an independent Balochistan, is being sold to them as a package, which would break-up Iran and Pakistan and give over Gwadar as a facility for the US fleet. Let’s be clear that this is a minority view; it is more of an attempt to embarrass Pakistan, but such developments can generate their own momentum and with time become a reality. Who would have thought that South Sudan or East Timor would become independent states? But those who live by the sword die by the sword and, this could easily be applied to countries.

Pakistan of all countries should be familiar with this theme after resorting to military force to deny the Bangladeshi people their democratic rights. Military solutions to political problems results in disaster and invite foreign intervention and we are repeating these mistakes again in Balochistan. Failure to resolve the human rights situation is creating opportunities for foreign intervention. From the extrajudicial execution of Akbar Bugti to the deaths of activists (1,100 according to Human Rights Watch and 10,000 according to Baloch activists) and their torture and disappearances are — in eyes of those critical of Pakistan, evidence of — crimes against humanity. Pakistani generals were fortunate that they weren’t dragged into an international court and prosecuted for war crimes after the Bangladesh civil war, mainly because such bodies could not function during the Cold War. However, in the unipolar world of today, we have seen Ratko Mladic of the former Republic of Yugoslavia, President of Liberia, Charles Taylor and Nuon Chea, of the Khmer Rouge all end up in court to get their comeuppance.

Our political leaders are in a huddle, trying to figure out how to respond to the crisis in Balochistan; idle resolutions condemning foreign interference are being passed but our judiciary remains inactive and silent on this issue. It is tragic that our activist judges have not seen the abuse of fundamental rights in Balochistan to be given priority, particularly since the Baloch disappearance case was an important reason for the clash between former General Pervez Musharraf and Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry. Why cases about presidential corruption are considered more important than cases of extrajudicial killings, torture and disappearances beats me? It only resonates with the Baloch nationalist argument that they are not treated like Pakistani citizens and hence, want independence, even if it means becoming a satellite of the US. The best possible response to the Congressional hearing is for the judiciary to demonstrate that it actively safeguards the fundamental rights of all the citizens of Pakistan.

The judiciary needs to investigate the killing of Akbar Bugti and if necessary charge Musharraf, reopen the case on disappearances and threaten contempt charges against the agencies for ignoring their orders. The Supreme Court cannot sit idle and ignore these issues by risking greater foreign interference in the matter. It needs to demonstrate to the Baloch people and the world that they are, in fact, citizens of Pakistan and their rights are protected.

Courtesy: The Express Tribune, March 8th, 2012.

Human Rights Commission of Pakistan requests your urgent intervention in the situation – Abduction of Two Sindhi Nationalist Leaders

URGENT APPEAL HRCP – Abduction of Two Sindhi Nationalist Leaders

Human Rights Commission of Pakistan requests your urgent intervention in the following situation

Description of the situation: On Monday night March 5, 2012 Dr. Mir Alam Marree, Senior Vice-Chairman Jeay Sindh Qomi Mahaz (JSQM) and Mr. Umer Teewano alias Raja Dahar were sitting at a restaurant opposite Rajputana Hospital,Gulshan-e-Sajad, in the jurisdiction Bhittai Nagar, Police Station, Hyderabad, Sindh Pakistan.

According to the eye witnesses they were picked up by plain cloth men belonging to law enforcing agencies who came in four vehicles including a police mobile. Before taking them away they were hit by the rifles butts.

Ms. Ghazal Maree D/O Mir Alam Maree told HRCP that on Monday at 7.30 pm her father talked with her but after twenty minutes when she called back her fathers’ cell phone was switched off. There was no FIR against her father.

Action requested – Please write to the authorities in Pakistan urging them:

1. To disclose the whereabouts of two Sindhi nationalist leaders and reason for their arrest.

2. To release the detainees immediately if they are not to be charged with a cognizable criminal offense.

3. To allow the families of the detainee to meet them.

4. They should be provided lawyers access.

5. To protect them from torture and other ill-treatment while they are in detention.

We express our deep concern on the abduction of Dr. Mir Alam Muree, Senior Vice-Chairman Jeay Sindh Qomi Mahaz(JSQM) and Mr. Umer Teewano alias Raja Dahar by law enforcement agencies.

We demand that they must not be tortured.

We urge that they are dealt with according to law.

We urge that if there was no case against them they should be immediately released.

We urge to provide them all kind of medical facilities.

We demand that their families should be allowed to meet them

We demand that they should be allowed to meet lawyers of their choice.

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More details » Daily Times

Pakistan – As always, too late

The ignored Baloch

By: Aziz-ud-Din Ahmad

As always, too little too late

Rehman Malik has announced the withdrawal of cases against the Baloch militant leaders driven to the mountains or forced into exile by what they call the brutality of the security forces. Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani wants to convene an All Parties Conference on Balochistan.

Had these cases been withdrawn four years back and a genuine reconciliation process initiated, this could have led to talks and arrested the situation from reaching a point of no return.

There was enough goodwill in Balochistan for the PPP-led government when it took over in 2008. There were also hopes that parliament would act forcefully and the courts would exert their authority to end the atrocities initiated by the Musharraf regime.

The PPP government simply failed to pursue the peace process meaningfully. Instead, it willingly agreed to follow the policy being pursued under Musharraf. This meant continuing the military-cum-FC operations in Balochistan that displaced thousands of people, allowing forced disappearances and the torture, killing and dumping of the disfigured corpses on roadside.

In June 2008, Senator Sanauallah Baloch who had returned from exile after the restoration of democracy resigned from the House after a speech that moved the entire Senate. Soon after Baloch leaders rejected the move by the government for an All Parties Conference. They instead demanded direct talks on issues highlighted by leaders like Akhtar Mengal that included end to operations in the province, tracing persons forcibly taken away and the ownership of Balochistabn’s resources by the Balochis.

Month after month, there were peaceful protests all over Balochistan to press for their demands. There were calls by nationalist parties for shutter down closures, hunger strikes, and hoisting of black flags. Baloch representatives in parliament underlined the dangers if no measures were taken to improve the situation. Year after year, the government continued to look the other way.

Raisani complained of being powerless and accused FC of running a parallel government that was harming the process of reconciliation. Gilani, however, failed to take any notice as the federal government had decided to follow the policy formulated under Musharraf. It was willing, as before, to bribe the tribal leaders in the provincial assembly and offer crumbs to the population. It was not willing to concede what Baloch considered their rights.

Continue reading Pakistan – As always, too late

Wonderful article by Haider Nizamani – States do let go of territories

In an op-ed titled “Be strong, not hard”, published in these pages on February 21, Ejaz Haider problematises conflict in Balochistan and offers suggestions to Islamabad on how to tackle the crisis in the troubled province. The premise of his argument is on the assumption that all states are alike when it comes to dealing with people wanting to secede from them. He puts it unequivocally in following words: “Balochistan is indeed Pakistan’s internal issue. Those who want Balochistan to secede from Pakistan will get the state’s full reply. That too, given how states behave, is a foregone conclusion. Hell, states don’t even let go of disputed territories and care even less about whether or not people in those territories want to live with them.”

Historical and empirical evidence of the late 20th and early 21st centuries, fortunately, does not validate Ejaz Haider’s claim. States do care if people living in their jurisdictions want to stay under existing arrangements or not. Contrary to Ejaz Haider’s claim, states do let go of people and territories through peaceful means.

I will cite three cases where the states in question have behaved peacefully while dealing with political actors who have championed the cause of independence from them. My argument, therefore, is that not all states are alike and the outcomes of independence movements vary significantly.

Let us look at the former Czechoslovakia, a state where leaders peacefully decided in 1992 to split into two countries — Czech Republic and Slovakia. In 1989, Vaclav Havel’s Civic Forum led the peaceful movement against the communist regime. This movement because of its ability to affect political change through nonviolent means got the title of the Velvet Revolution. Viladimir Meciar’s Movement for a Democratic Slovakia emerged as a leading party in Slovakia demanding greater autonomy for the region. Unable to get along in a federation, the Czech and Slovak leaders passed the law on December 27, 1992 to go their separate ways. Three years into the Velvet Revolution, Czech and Slovakia opted for the velvet divorce.

The Quebec sovereignty movement in Canada is another case where the central government has chosen to deal with the demand for sovereignty through peaceful means. The Parti Quebecois (PQ), pro-sovereignty party in Canada’s second most populous province, was in power in the 1990s. The PQ held a referendum in the province in 1995 asking people if they would like to form an independent country. The PQ lost the referendum by a razor-thin margin of less than one per cent. The Canadian government, at no point, had indicated or implied the use of force to suppress the Quebec separatists.

Continue reading Wonderful article by Haider Nizamani – States do let go of territories