Tag Archives: ordinance

Sindh Assembly withdraws controversial, apartheid, notorious black law SPLGO 2012

Sindh Assembly adopts bill to withdraw SPLGO 2012

KARACHI – SINDH: The Sindh Assembly has adopted a bill to withdraw the Sindh Peoples Local Government Ordinance (SPLGO) 2012 and reinstate the local government act of 1979, Geo News reported. The bill, pertaining to the withdrawal of SPLGO 2012 and restoration of the Local Government Act 1979, was presented by Sindh Law Minister Ayaz Soomro amidst protest from Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM) MPA’s. Later, the MQM members staged a walk out from the provincial assembly in protest against withdrawal of the local government ordinance 2012.

Courtesy: The News
http://www.thenews.com.pk/article-89024-Sindh-Assembly-restores-Local-Government-Act-of-1979–

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/

What is to be done for Sindh?

By: Shahab Usto

These days a very interesting discourse is going on among the Sindhi intelligentsia and public intellectuals as regards the need and creation of an alternative political platform/forum to fill in a potential gap that is supposedly to be left by the ‘dwindling popularity’ and ‘mass appeal’ of the PPP. This is primarily a courtesy to the controversial and ‘perfidious’ Sindh Peoples Local Government Ordinance 2012 (SPLGO) and the ruling party’s failures on its socio-economic and governance-related score card.

One can sum up the gamut of the discourse in three possible questions:

. Is there any other political alternative available, or which can be created, to replace the PPP in Sindh? If yes then, then the next question that arises is:

. What are the other possible players who can play a pivotal role in the creation of an alternative leadership?

. A related question has also cropped up as to whether the people of Sindh throw their weight behind the PML-F, NPP et al to get rid of the divisive SPGLO?

.Is there any other political alternative available, or which can be created, to replace the PPP in Sindh?

Obviously, the immediate answer that comes in the mind is, of course, the Sindh nationalist parties. After all, it is their moment of truth. The people are probably for the first time clearly resentful of the PPP’s policy of ‘appeasing’ the MQM. Sindhi nationalism is finally speaking out whether through the media, intelligentsia, political workers, academia and men in the street. The long-awaited train has finally pulled up in the nationalists’ terminal. Whether they board it, or leave its cozy compartments to be occupied by the recently pro-establishment-turned-Sindhi-nationalists parties, is yet to be seen.

Continue reading What is to be done for Sindh?

SANA Toronto Briefs Imran Khan (PTI Chief) on SPLGA

By: Khalid Hashmani

Although I believe that the manifesto of PTI and certain statements of Imran Khan that he has made in the past have elements that hurt Sindh & Sindhi interests, the courageous step by SANA GTA chapter deserves thanks and praises. The PPP is taking Sindhi support as granted and is bartering away Sindhi interests for their short-term gain to remain in power at all costs. This initiative of SANA GTA chapter reflects the sentiment that Sindhis will neither forget nor forgive those who betray our trust.

In the whole scheme of things and as policies of PTI (as expressed in it’s manifesto and the statements of PTI leaders) that favor the building large dams, having one national language, and more centralization at the cost of provinces, Imran Khan’s party is not a natural partner of Sindhis. Nevertheless, meeting of Toronto Sindhis with Imran Khan yells PPP that since they have put Sindh & Sindhi Rights on an auction block, Sindhis will work with traditional adversaries to block PPP from further sell-out of Sindh Rights.

Thank you Abdul-Razzaq Khushk, Jam Muneer, Rajesh Rathi, Vishnu Lohano, Aijaz Kolachi, Naeem Khatree & other friends for their bold step.

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SINDHI ASSOCIATION OF NORTH AMERICA (Toronto Chapter)

Memorandum: October 25, 2012

To: Mr. Imran Khan, Chairman Pakistan Tehreek-E-Insaf.

Regarding: SINDH NEEDS YOUR SUPPORT IN THE STRUGGLE AGAINST SPLGA2012.

Dear Sir,

We, Sindhi speaking immigrants from Pakistan living in North America feel that PPP has violated the mandate of the people of Sindh by Passing this divisive and very controversial, black Law called “SPLGA 2012.

We want to bring following facts in your kind consideration & perusal.

· Under Article 137 of the Constitution, Sindh Assembly has no power to transfer the executive authority of the Provincial Government to any other authority, but PPP did not care and still passed this act.

· Since there is triangle of the powers under the constitution, one organ of the state, particularly a legislative organ cannot snatch executive authority from the provincial government.

· Under Section 14(5) Mayer has been empowered to establish any office or activity which power even the Federal Government does not possess.

· Under Schedule 1, the Metropolitan Corporations will have 43 departments with their own administration that is equal to all departments of Sindh government, hence state with in state has been created.

· Mayer had been made supreme as under Section 23, Mayor could only be removed by two third majority when the Chief Minister & Prime minister can be removed by simple majority of the house.

· Section 109 pertains to preventive detention, 133 and 143 to public nuisances, section 144 to ban any sort of activity including freedom of movement given in this act, Mayer will silence freedom of expression & assembly , which is against the spirit of democracy & will be the cause of silencing the voice of opponents.

· Under section 145, Mayor has been empowered to attach a property of any citizen in case of dispute over title of the property, which will legitimize bulldozing all of properties & seizing them for the city, hence making the way for one party rule in karachi.

· Metropolitan corporations will have their own taxes, plus property tax as well as right over the finances of the Provincial Government but they will not be answerable to provincial government.

· The administration headed by Mayor will be all resourceful and powerful whereas the administration working under Chief Minister will be nominal, weak and toothless having no authority whatsoever.

· Section 8 of the SPLG Act, 2012, creates a single Metropolitan Corporation by abolishing five districts.

· District Council, Karachi which comprised of 70% of the rural areas of Karachi has been done away with, thus dealing a severe blow to Sindhi and Balochi,Pashtun,panjabi,Katchi population of Karachi.

· Mayer will be elected indirectly on the basis of fraudulent electoral system and will belong to a particular ethnic community not forming majority of the population in Karachi.

· Under Section 9, eighteen towns have been created without respecting the boundaries of the revenue districts as for the rest of sindh & a dual system has been created to benefit MQM.

· The town boundaries, at present, run across district boundaries only in Karachi to favor MQM, whereas in other districts of Sindh, town or Talukas are the part and parcel of the same district.

· Thus a dual system has been enforced which gives complete control to one ethnic community in Karachi at the cost of others. In Karachi, 18 towns have been created in such a way as to make minority population as a majority to benefit MQM.

· This is also a violation of Supreme Court of Pakistan orders which has already held that constituencies in Karachi may be demarcated afresh giving representation to all communities living there.

· In the name of decentralization, Karachi has been completely centralized eliminating the representation of indigenous and other communities by handing over them to the terrorist Party of the city.

All conscious & patriot people & civil society along with all nationalist parties of Sindh are on the roads and struggling against this treacherous act of PPP through which they have handed over absolute powers to MQM and has thus laid the foundations of “State with in state” and muted the voice of all other nationalities.

We urge you to raise your voice against this black law at all forums & Media and support people of Sindh against this betrayal, tyranny & arrogance of PPP in Sindh.

Best Regards,

Abdul Razzak Khushk

President, SANA,Toronto.

Betrayals from within – Analysis by Mohammad Ali Mahar

What the ruling party has achieved through the SPLG bill is not clear except for a few more days in power and the wrath of the common Sindhi

In the 14th century, Chanesar Soomro, a disgruntled elder brother of the king of Sindh, Dodo Soomro, invited Alauddin Khilji to invade Sindh in order to help him seize the throne from Dodo. The elders, despite Chanesar being older, elected Dodo as the king. The story has it that the elders went to Chanesar first and when they informed him that he was being enthroned, Chanesar making a grave error of judgment said to them, “Wait until I consult with my mother.” Sindh being a patriarchal society then as it is now, the elders, saying that one who could not make his own decisions, having to rely on his womenfolk’s wisdom, cannot be a capable king, rejected him instantaneously and crowned Dodo.

Chanesar contacted Allaudin Khilji to help him gain the throne, which he thought was his by right. In return, he is said to have offered Khilji his sister, Baghi Bai’s hand. Khilji accepted the offer and invaded Sindh. When Khilji attacked Sindh, Dodo encountered him head on and died valiantly defending his land. After Dodo, his only sister, Baghi Bai, hiding her face in a turban, led the battle and was martyred in the battlefield. To this day, Sindhis do not name their sons Chanesar. Dodo as well as Baghi Bai are still alive in the Sindhis’ hearts, while Chanesar has become a cuss word. Being called ‘Chanesar’ is one of the biggest insults to a Sindhi. Shaikh Ayaz, eulogising Dodo, wrote in his famous ballad, Dodo Soomro’s Death, “Doda tunhinjo Saah ta weendo, Dharti jo wesaah na weendo” (Dodo, by sacrificing your life, you will renew this soil’s faith in her sons).

For centuries now, hardly has there been a period when the Sindhi nation has seen one full year of solace. Right from the days when the Aryans invaded the land and drove the indigenous people out — even though Bhagwan Das Gidwani, in his magnum opus, Return of the Aryans, says that it was not an invasion but a homecoming for the Aryans, who had left the Indus land earlier — never has there been much peace in this unfortunate land. Sindh has suffered as much at the hands of foreign invaders as it has from the ingrate lot eating from its fruits and drinking from its waters, but harming it for their petty interests.

While the history of Sindh is full of epic deeds of its heroes who laid down their lives for the honour of their motherland, there has been no dearth of traitors, who either sold their motherland for power, money, or both. And, while the Sindhi nation sings the praises of its valiant sons, it never forgets its traitors.

The honourable members of the Sindh Assembly, by passing the Sindh People’s Local Government Order, 2012 (SPLGO-2012), have reminded me of a number of incidents from the history of Sindh. But I will delve into one instance, for not only does it perfectly fit the paradigm here but refreshes the memories of a time when a similar decision was imposed on the people of Sindh and how the Sindhi people reacted to it.

On September 11, 1954, Muhammad Ayub Khuhro, the uncle of the current speaker of the Sindh Assembly, Honourable Nisar Khuhro, facilitated the passage of the One Unit bill in the Sindh Assembly. Previously, Chief Minister Abdul Satter Pirzada’s government had been dismissed when he, considering the scheme to be detrimental to Sindh’s interests, had refused to get the bill passed through the assembly. An unelected Ayub Khuhro, who had been unceremoniously dismissed on the charges of corruption and maladministration previously, had to be reinstalled as the chief minister of the province when he agreed to toe the line of the central government and get the bill passed. The One Unit bill did pass even though the Khuhro government had to abduct the speaker of the house, Mir Ghulam Ali Khan Talpur, who had refused to get the bill admitted and passed by the assembly. How Ayub Khuhro is remembered in Sindh to this day is no secret and the fact was acknowledged not very long ago by the honourable speaker, Nisar Ahmed Khuhro himself.

What the ruling party has achieved through the SPLG bill is not clear except for a few more days in power and the wrath of the common Sindhi. What is certain, however, is that they have lost all the credibility their party enjoyed in the eyes of the Sindhi people, which had taken Mr Bhutto and Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto decades to build, forever. Sindhi people feel that with Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto and Benazir Bhutto gone; this party does not represent Sindh’s people and has failed to protect the interests of Sindh.

If there is one person who has come out to be the real hero through this whole game, it is Pir Sahab Pagaro. Sindhis feel that they owe him not only their respect but their votes in the coming elections. Sindhis hardly forget their true sons and never forgive those who betray them. The elections of 1988 proved that. The next elections are not far and the results will demonstrate the fact.

The Sindhi nation also bows its head in gratitude, offering respects to the two honourable lady representatives of Sindhis, Marvi Rashdi and Nusrat Seher Abbasi who opposed the bill. They have become legends. The entire Sindhi nation feels proud of them. They will be sung for centuries in the Sindhi folk poetry.

After the passage of the hated SPLGO 2012, it remains to be seen whether the Sindhi PPP representative will ever be able to read Shah again with the same pride as they recited the poetry in their election speeches before.

Continue reading Betrayals from within – Analysis by Mohammad Ali Mahar

Sindhis in UK demand to revoke Sindh local bodies law

LONDON: The 24th International Conference on Sindh organised by World Sindhi Congress has called on the PPP government to revoke the controversial Sindh People’s Local Government Ordinance (SPLGO) as it’s a conspiracy against Sindh. The conference warned that actions of the PPP government had harmed Sindhis and had given too much influence to Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM).

The speakers said MQM is the sole beneficiary of this ordinance and allows the party to “rule Karachi and Hyderabad without any challenges”. The conference was attended by a large number of delegates from Sindh, UK, US, India and Europe. A keynote speech by Baloch leader Sardar Akhtar Mengal was the special feature of the moot.

The speakers advised all Sindhi nationalist parties to make Karachi centre of their political activities and believe in mass mobilisation of people. Sardar Akhtar Mengal said Sindhis gave huge mandate to PPP but in return it betrayed them and the recent local bodies act is the latest example. He said Sindhis should think beyond PPP.

Dr Lakhu Luhano said it was unprecedented time for Sindhi people in terms of danger and threat that never has existed to this level in the entire history of Sindh. Syed Jalal Shah said ground realities are very tough for Sindhis and called for a “fight back to repeal the act and take this struggle to wider demands of Sindhis”.

Hidayat Bhutto said Sindhis joined Pakistan based on the 1940 Resolution which clearly said, “Federating units shall be sovereign and independent” but that has not happened. “Since 1947, Sindh’s rights are being violated, its water is being diverted, its natural resources are used without any compensation and now its integrity is at stake,” he said.

Continue reading Sindhis in UK demand to revoke Sindh local bodies law

Urdu speaking Sindhis also reject the controversial & apartheid Sindh local govt. law

Dr. S. Akhtar Ehtisham, a veteran progressive activists, intellectual & writer rejects “splgo.”

By: Dr. S. Akhtar Ehtisham

…. What is happening is truly tragic and I do not believe it even helps ‘Mohajirs’. It helps MQM fascist ranks and is aimed at garnering Mohajir vote for PPP which is facing a great challenge from Imran aka Taliban Khan.

I was in Sindh when MQM was launched. Altaf met G.M. Syed many times. An understanding was reportedly reached, but was vetoed by Zia, whose creation MQM was. .’Nationalist’ Sindhis and MQM wallahs opposed it too. I was told this by Zaidi Sahib, the political guru of Altaf.-forget the first name, it may have been Ijlal. Altaf also met Pir Pagara, but that is neither here or there.

Fahmida Riaz, an intellectual, writer & poet rejects “splgo.’

When Mohajirs fled India, they were heartily welcomed by Sindhis. My uncle, a member of the communist party, worked as a teacher in Jacobabad. He was a poet too and sported the title Jacobabadi. My other uncle worked in railways and worked in villages like Haibat Shaheed.

In the early years mohajirs and Sindhis had started intermarrying.

But Pakistan was ruled by the Mohajir-Punjabi civil servants (out of 83, one Bengali and no Pathan, Baluch or Sindhi. 82 nearly equally divided between Punjabis and Mohajirs) developed a love-hate relationship and looked down upon every one else-Bengali/Baloch/Pathan and Sindhi. Mind you ordinary Punjabis and mohajirs were in nearly as bad a shape as the others.

It is an impasse. The only way out is for Sindhis, other ethnicities and Mohajirs to get together.

I understand Mohjirs are not in actual numerical majority in Karachi or Hyderabad. A considerable number of people hate MQM. They together with Sindhis, Pashtoons and Baluchs may be able to outvote Altaf followers.

A United Front would have to be launched.

There is a problem though. Sindhis would find it hard to oppose PPP and it requires political sophistication to support one party in general elections and another in local ones.

About the Author – Dr. S. Akhtar Ehtisham is a veteran progressive activists & intellectual who was one of the members of the University of Karachi Students who participated in the meeting of NSF in Karachi, Sindh in 1955 when the process of takeover of NSF by progressive students started. Later he moved to Dow Medical College and participated actively in left-wing students’ politics. He is also author of a book titled “A medical Doctor Looks at Life on Three Continents”

Courtesy: Pakistani e-lists/ e-groups, 21 Oct. 2012

Iqbal Tareen’s Interview with AwazTV on controversial & black “SPLGO.”

Iqbal Tareen is an author of “Harvest will come – Embracing diverse Pakistani heritage”, President of Silver Lining International, Inc., Chief organizer of “Democracy, Individual and Collective Human Rights, Education and Skills Development, Fight against Hepatitis in Pakistan”, former president of Sindhi Association of North America (SANA) & and founder president of Jeay Sindh Student Federation (JSSF). The language of the interview is Sindhi.

Courtesy: Awaz Tv

Why is this revenge imposed on poor people of Sindh who elected those who said that the democracy is the best revenge?

By: Khalid Hashmani

The article of Mehtab Akber Rashdi, in Sindhi daily Awamiawaz, published on Oct. 08, 2012 definitely explains the pain and frustration being felt by Sindhis all over the world. The following are some of the key points from her article for those who cannot read Sindhi:

1. The ordinance in its final form came out of the Sindh Governor House in the late hours of the night of October 1st with only one day’s notice, the assembly of Sindh passed it within minutes and imposed on the people of Sindh.

2. Some had long suspected that the incompetent leadership of PPP would barter away something big to prolong their rule. But, nothing of this proportion and so harmful to Sindh was ever expected.

3. Indeed, generations of Sindhis will remember this revenge imposed on poor people of Sindh who elected those who said that the democracy is the best revenge.

4. Remembering Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, Benazir Bhutto, and Murtaza Bhutto, Ms Rashdai recites the following poem of Shah Abdul Latif:

ويا مور مري، هنج نه رهيو هيڪڙو،

وطن ٿيو وري ڪوڙن ڪائنرن جو

Gone are the principled and sincere heroes and just leaders!

Our homeland is now is in hands of selfish and unjust hoarders!

5. Instead of feeling ashamed of their actions, they shamelessly say that they had the democratic mandate to take these decisions. How can these people abuse the trust of simple, selfless and trusting Sindhi marrooars who trusted them to protect their rights and their future!

6. Once again, Sindhis have been shackled under another black law by their own representatives. Now is not the time to talk to them but to awaken men and women of Sindh to assess the damage that has been done to their future.

7. History is the witness that those betrayed Sindh ultimately fell in the list of traitors and no amount of effort in rehabilitating them.

8. The author assails the provisions that hand-over 41 of 43 provincial powers to mayors and how can one expect that equal rights will be enjoyed by every one Sindh.

I myself don’t understand as to why the PPP government that helped in restoring some provincial powers through the 18th amendment would turn around and give back most of those subjects to mayors. Do they know the consequences of what they are doing?

Bartering away Sindh Rights to remain in power is a wound that would never heal!

By: Khalid Hashmani

It is an unimaginable tragedy that the political party that Sindhis overwhelmingly voted for has turned around and stuck the most devastating dagger in the heart of Sindh. Sindhis in Sindh and else where in the world are feeling deeply betrayed and hurt by this action of PPP. They are not likely to forget and forgive this betrayal by a political party that had pledged protect and advance Sindhi rights.

I feel embarrassed to have urged my family and friends back home to vote for PPP in the last elections. I feel ashamed to have pleaded with others on this forum to give PPP some more time to deliver on their commitments when others were expressing disappointment with the PPP after few months of their government.

I must admit that I had never expected that PPP will be the main architect of laying foundations for the dismemberment of Sindh and strengthening a system that denies equal rights to Sindhis in large cities of Sindh. I know of no example where a political party so bluntly and stupidly bartered away the aspirations and rights of those who gave their 100% support.

Two other examples come to mind from Sindh’s past history – Chanesar’s support of Alla-uddin Khilji’s attack on Sindh so that he will become ruler of Sindh and the act of Sindhi members in Sindh’s Parliament in supporting the creation of one unit. History is the witness that in both cases the unjust actions and changes were ultimately defeated. Dodo Soomro gave his life and left example of sacrifice and love for Sindh for generations to come and the annulment of “one unit” within few years.

I have a belief that like “one unit”, this forced imposition of unnatural, artificial, rejected, controversial dual system that creates two governance system in Sindh will too see the same fate. Sindhis must not accept this unpatriotic division of Sindh and must continue the struggle to have one uniform system governance in Sindh. The struggle for reversion must be continued as we did against “one unit”.

We must urge our families and friends never to vote for any political party or group that has supported or will support this artificial dual system. We must encourage and foster a movement that will result reversion of this unjust division in near future.

Sindhi writers, intellectuals reject SPLGO 2012 – SAMA TV

KARACHI: Sindhi writers, poets, intellectuals, artists, civil society members, journalists and political activists staged a protest against Sindh People’s Local Government Ordinance (SPLGO) 2012 outside Karachi Press Club on Saturday.

A large number of the writers gathered here and chanted slogans against the ordinance, rejecting the dual system in one province.

Sindh Assembly Members, PML-F leaders Nusrat Sahar and Marvi Rashdi also participated in the protest and said that the ordinance was illegal and exposed PPP of betraying Sindh and its people.

The participants included Agha Salim, Fehmida Riaz, Amar Sindhu, Arfana Malah, Jami Chandio, Aijaz Mangi, G.N.Muhgal, Zulfiqar Halepoto, Inam Sheikh and others. They said that the act was aimed to create a state within state in the province. Courtesy: SAMAA TV

http://samaa.tv/newsdetail.aspx?ID=54853&CID=1

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More details » BBC

Protest against new LG law: Sindh Nationalists plan to block all highways on 16th

(Dawn) HYDERABAD, Oct 5: Awami Tehrik president Ayaz Latif Palijo has said activists of his party will block all highways in Sindh on Oct 16 to lodge a strong protest against adoption of the Sindh People’s Local Government Act by the Sindh Assembly and killings of four activists of nationalist parties by police during ongoing agitation against the LG law.

Mr Palijo said at a news conference at the press club here on Friday that his party supported all public meetings to be held by the Sindh Bachayo Committee on Oct 10, 12 and 19.

“I appeal to all nationalists and opposition parties having members in the Sindh Assembly to launch a ‘court arrest’ movement and bring a long march of one million people to the Sindh Assembly building and turn it into Tahrir Square,” he said.

“We had proposed in the Oct 3 meeting of the SBC in Karachi a long march from Kashmore to Karachi or from Mirpurkhas to Karachi or a ‘court arrest’ movement but the meeting could not reach a consensus on the proposal,” he said.

People were agitating against the bill and expecting political parties to play an effective role by launching a decisive struggle, he said.

Continue reading Protest against new LG law: Sindh Nationalists plan to block all highways on 16th

Resistance in Sindh

After legislating over the highly controversial and popularly rejected local government bill, which according to majority population of Sindh is a virtual attempt to divide Sindh, has caused an abrupt resistance movement in the province.

Four activists have been killed so far by the police in the streets or through torture at police station. Hundreds of activists are detained. Street battles have been reported in the various towns including the Nawabshah, the hometown of president Zardari.

Almost all cities and towns are protesting every day. On October 1, 2012, whole province was on the strike, and thereafter, strike has lasted for fifth day in many towns until October 5, 20012. On October 4, thousands of the people blocked the national highway for six hours. The highway connects rest of the country with major ports of Pakistan in Karachi.

The people’s resistance started on October 1, when Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and Mutahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) jointly legislated over highly controversial and popularly rejected Sindh Local Government Ordinance 2012.

Read more » Links of selected news and articles on ongoing people’s resistance movement against local government act and for Right to Rule their Historical Motherland

Protests against local govt law in Sindh enter second day

The Awami National Party (ANP) and National Party had earlier announced their separation from the provincial government last month in protest against the issuance of the new local government ordinance.

KARACHI- SINDH: Protests in interior Sindh entered their second day on Tuesday against a new local government law passed by the Sindh Assembly the previous day.

According to reports, protesters torched several cars while a wild goose chase ensued between police and the protesters at some locations. Sindhi nationalist parties had called for a strike when the Chief Minister of Sindh, Syed Qaim Ali Shah announced the bill to be presented for approval by the provincial assembly. The Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N) had also supported the call for the strike.

One person was killed Monday in the violence that occurred during the strike in Nawabshah, where the Sindh Bachayo Committee appealed for a strike. The activists of nationalist parties continued to stage demonstrations on Tuesday at various locations in Nawabshah.

Nawabshah – which is also the hometown of PPP chairman President Asif Ali Zardari – witnessed the most intense protests during the province-wide strike call, which seemed to have little effect on Karachi.

Continue reading Protests against local govt law in Sindh enter second day

Sindh observing strike

Several towns of Sindh observing strike

KARACHI-SINDH: Several towns of Sindh Monday went on a strike on the call of Jeay Sindh Qaumi Mahaz (JSQM) in protest against the FIR of its former chairman Bashir Ahmad Quraishi’s murder not being registered besides the Local Bodies Ordinance, Geo News reported.

Complete shutter down is being observed in Tando Mohammad Khan, while traffic on the roads is thin. Dadu, Khairpur, Jamshoro and Mirpurkhas are also on strike, as the shops are closed and the roads giving a deserted look.

Sindh University, Mehran University and Liaquat Medical University in Jamshoro besides all the educational institutions have joined the strike call, as the classes remained suspended. …

Read more: The News

http://www.thenews.com.pk/article-69790-Several-towns-of-Sindh-observing-strike

Nationalists urge Sindh govt to bury the new LG ordinance

HYDERABAD / SUKKUR: The nationalists claimed that they would continue to protest against the new local government ordinance till the government rescinds it.

According to the chairperson of the Sindh Taraqi Pasand Party (STPP), Dr Qadir Magsi, they planned to stage sit-ins every Wednesday till the ordinance is ‘buried’.

Leaders of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (Functional), Awami Tehreek (AT), Jeay Sindh Qaumi Mahaz (JSQM), Sindh National Movement and Awami Jamhoori Party met at the Hyderabad Bypass for a four-hour long sit-in. Protesters blocked the National and Indus Highways in Matiari, Shaheed Benazirabad and Sehwan. They also carried placards and burnt tyres in Hyderabad and Mirpurkhas.

There will be bloodshed if the Sindh Assembly votes in favour of the ordinance,” said Magsi. “The Sindhis are prepared to bleed to save their province from being divided. The ordinance is a conspiracy to divide Sindh.” JSQM’s Aakash Mallah chanted a slogan made famous by Hosh Muhammad Sheedi, a military general from the Talpur dynasty who died fighting the British Raj in 1843, “we will die, but we will not give you Sindh.”

In Sukkur

Workers of Sindh United Party, STTP, JSQM, Jeay Sindh Tehreek and other nationalists blocked the National Highway and major roads leading into cities. The Shah Hussain Bypass near Khairpur and Kandhkot was also blocked. In Daharki, hundreds of nationalists and workers of the PML-N carried placards and chanted slogans against the government. They were led by STPP’s Jam Fatah, PML-N’s Hafiz Mohammad Sadiq Samejo and Jeay Sindh Qaumi Mahaz’s Dr Niaz Kalani. The protesters burnt tyres and blocked the traffic flow for three hours.

Continue reading Nationalists urge Sindh govt to bury the new LG ordinance

Sindh nationalists observe strike against local govt ordinance

By: A B Arisar

UMERKOT: Strike was observed on Wednesday in different districts of Sindh, on the call of Sindh Bachayo Commitee, to protest against People’s Local Government Ordinance.

The Sindh Bachayo Committee (SBC) includes all the nationalist parties of Sindh; Sindh Taraqi Pasand Party, Awami Tehreek, Jeay Sindh Qaumi Mahaz, Sindh United Party are part of it.

Public transport remained thin in Mirpurkhas, Umerkot, Sanghar , Hyderabad and Tharparkar districts. Rallies were taken out by nationalists in Mithi, Naukot, Sanghar, Khipro, Mirpurkhas and other districts and its cities.

In Mithi a rally was taken out from press club to Kashmir Chowk, Ghansham Malhi of Sindh Taraqi Pasand Party led the rally, protestors also observed sit-in at Gulan je mori Naukot, Wango mor on Badin- Mithi road and blocked vehicular traffic for three hours.

Continue reading Sindh nationalists observe strike against local govt ordinance

JOINT PRESS RELEASE BY MAJOR SINDHI DIASPORA ORGANIZATIONS IN SUPPORT OF SINDH NATIONALIST PARTIES UNIFIED DECLARATION OF 13th SEPTEMBER 2012.

Press release: We the undersigned Sindhi Diaspora Organizations (SDOs) that represent the most educated, progressive and economically stable section of Sindh Civil Society and who continue to maintain deep and robust socio-economic and political relations with Sindh

REJECT outright the recently promulgated Sindh Governor Ordinances that attempt to divide Sindh .

This thievery , gerrymandering and trickery by the MQM aided by PPP through obscure back room dealings between the MQM and the PPP in blatant disrespect of the recent parliamenatry decision taken by the Sindh National Assembly restoring the Comissionerate system to Sindh as a whole, STANDS condemned by ALL Sindhis at home and abroad.

We the Diaspora members of the Sindhi nation , who are forced to live abroad due to lack of opportunities and freedoms in our own resource rich motherland will defy all and any attempts to introduce Military Rule or Civil Government Rule through Ordinances or Armed Threats

We , the Sindhi nation will never allow our homeland to be divided politically, administratively, geographically or militarily.

Sindhi Association of North America, SANA

World Sindhi Institute, WSI, USA-Canada,

World Sindhi Congress, WSC, UK-USA, Europe

Sindhi Sangat of Middle East.

Powerful and successful shutter down strike in Sindh against imposing of controversial, undemocratic, black, repressive, discriminatory & apartheid “Local government ordinance”

SINDH – KARACHI : Sindh activist parties had called shutter down strike on September 13 (Thursday) against the imposing of former dictator Musharraf’s undemocratic, black, repressive & discriminatory 2001 local government system on Sindh in the name of “People’s Local Government Ordinance 2012”.

By today’s powerful shutter down strike people of Sindh have given a shut up call to all those whose job is to loot and plunder by opposing people’s interests. After this powerful shutter down strike, the people of Sindh have actually written off their political future.

Source: Twitter, Facebook, Sindh e-groups/ e-lists

For more details » KTN News

http://ktntv.tv/ktnnews/news/13-09-2012/59147.html

Who wants to divide Sindh?

By: Zulfiqar Shah

Sindh is on the verge of widespread political violence due to newly announced local government ordinance. The situation can possibly be disastrous for the future political course of Pakistan and might even have disastrous impact on South Asia and the rest of the world.

SINDH IS undergoing an unending and nerve taking process of political standoffs since the creation of Pakistan, and therefore, has been continuously struggling since last six decades over the rights, sovereignty, security, and interests of the province and its indigenous underdeveloped majority population.

The recent issue of Sindhi-Hindu exodus is still waiting to be concluded positively, yet rise of another issue of People’s Local Government Ordinance (PLGO) promulgated by the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and Mutahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) may possibly open a new chapter of popular movement and possibly a slight degree of violence in Sindh. The dilemma of the issue is the violation of citizen’s right to information by the government through avoiding to public the text of the ordinance; however some features of the ordinance have been made public by the provincial information minister.

Continue reading Who wants to divide Sindh?

Karachi to Islamabad Mohabbat-e-Sindh Train March and Sit-in of Sindhis ahead Parliament house Islamabad.

By: Kalavanti Raja

In continuity of several Mohabat-e-Sindh Rallies in all the districts of Sindh including Karachi, Dynamic Leader Rasool Bux Palijo led Awami Tahreek launched 03 days Mohabat-e-Sindh Train March started from Karachi with message of love to all people of Pakistan, awareness of Sindh issues and received warm welcome at every railway station.

And ended with mammoth sit-in ahead parliament house Islamabad to protect against anti Sindh and anti people planning and projects by present Government like 22nd May Massacre, Target Killings in Karachi, Water Shortage, Creation of Zulfiqarabad, Division of Sindh, Forced Conversion & Kidnappings of Minorities, Sindh local bodies Ordinance’ 12, Honour Killings, Unemployment, Inflation and Corruption.

Continue reading Karachi to Islamabad Mohabbat-e-Sindh Train March and Sit-in of Sindhis ahead Parliament house Islamabad.

Allies shut doors to reconciliation

By: Ramzan Chandio

SINDH : KARACHI – Differences among the ruling allies further widened as many provincial ministers, advisers and special assistants on Saturday submitted their resignations at the CM’s Secretariat to protest the PPP’s solo flight of promulgating the ‘Sindh Peoples Local Government Ordinance (SPLGO) 2012’, which has not been made public so far.

Moreover, Federal Minister Khuda Bux Rajar, the PML-F’s representative in the federal cabinet, also tendered his resignation, which was sent to President Asif Ali Zardari for his approval.

On the other hand, Pir Pagaro, the chief of PML-F and spiritual leader of Hurs, announced not to reverse the decision to quit the PPP government, saying re-joining the ruling coalition was not an option.

The development came despite the fact that Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah on late Friday night contacted the leadership of PML-F, PML-Q and NPP and assured them of removing their reservations on the new local government law in the Sindh Assembly. But according to sources, Pir Pagara ignored the phone call of the chief minister and instructed the ministers and advisers of his party to submit their resignations immediately.

Talking to media after a meeting with ANP Sindh chief Senator Shahi Syed, who met with him at his residence Raja House, Pir Pagara said the decision to quit the PPP government was final, adding that the re-joining the ruling coalition was out of question.

Shahi Syed said he would not meet with the chief minister or his ministers as the PPP’s provincial leadership lacked powers, adding that any meeting with Qaim Ali Shah was wastage of time.

Continue reading Allies shut doors to reconciliation

NO TO DIVISION OF SINDH

Sindh Bachayo Committee & other Parties Declaration

People of Sindh will never accept such a draconian law and resist it with full might and force.

A representative meeting of Sindh bachayo committee was held here today with Sayed Jalal Mehmood Shah, convener of the SBC in chair.

The meeting took stock of the situation arising out of present Local Government issue and deliberated on its sinister effects on the unity and harmony of Sindh.

The meeting was of the opinion that PPP Government second attempt to bring about new Local Government law in the province amounted to sabotaging the unity of Sindh and relegating the status of Sindh to a post office.

It said that last year on August 5, same effort was made to divide Sindh administratively and deprive it of its authority but same was foiled by the Sindh Bachayo Committee by its historic protest and strike on 13th August 2011.

It said that the PPP government has again attacked the unity of Sindh by issuing extra constitutional and illegal ordinance in the darkness of night. Such an action was akin to declaring martial law because martial laws have been dedared in the darkness of night.

Continue reading NO TO DIVISION OF SINDH

Mohabbat-e-Sindh Train March – Sept 6, 2012

PPP has surrendered again, Police, Revenue and other imp subjects will be given to MQM Mayors.

Lets join hands, Awami Tahreek and Sindhiyani Tahreek will start a Mohabbat-e-Sindh Train March on 6th Sept 2012 against Restoration of Musharaf-MQM Local Govt Ord, Zulfiqarabad, Water-Shortage, Unemployment, Crimes, Price-hike and Load-Shedding. Plz join and support.

Train March Schedule: Stop—– Arrival—— Departure-

KARACHI CANT 08:00:00 am, LANDHI- 08:29:00– 08:31:00, JUNGSHAHI- 09:19:00– 09:21:00, JHIMPIR- 09:46:00– 09:46:00, KOTRI JN- 10:35:00– 10:37:00, HYDERABAD JN- 10:50:00– 11:00:00, TANDO ADAM JN- 11:58:00– 12:00:00 SHAHDADPUR- 12:17:00– 12:19:00, NAWABSHAH JN- 12:50:00– 12:52:00, PAD IDAN JN- 13:40:00– 13:42:00, BHIRIA ROAD- 13:55:00– 13:57:00, MAHRABPUR JN- 14:21:00– 14:23:00, SETHARJA- 14:39:00– 14:41:00, RANIPUR RIYASAT- 14:56:00– 14:58:00, GAMBAT- 15:16:00– 15:18:00, KHAIRPUR- 15:50:00– 15:52:00, ROHRI JN- 16:30:00– 16:55:00, PANO AKIL- 17:23:00– 17:25:00, GHOTKI- 17:51:00– 17:53:00, MIRPUR MATHELO- 18:20:00– 18:22:00, DAHARKI- 18:38:00– 18:40:00, SADIKABAD- 19:25:00– 19:27:00, RAHIM YAR KHAN- 19:57:00– 19:59:00, KHANPUR JN- 20:52:00– 21:00:00, LIAQUATPUR- 21:33:00– 21:35:00, DERA NAWAB SAHIB- 22:06:00– 22:08:00, SAMASATA JN- 22:50:00– 22:52:00, BAHAWALPUR- 23:07:00– 23:11:00, SHUJABAD- 00:11:00– 00:13:00, MULTAN CANT- 00:50:00– 00:58:00, KHANEWAL JN- 01:45:00– 02:10:00, CHICHAWATNI- 03:32:00– 03:34:00, SAHIWAL- 04:22:00– 04:27:00, OKARA- 04:53:00– 04:55:00, PATTOKI- 05:29:00– 05:31:00, KOT RADHA KISHN- 05:58:00– 06:00:00, RAIWIND JN- 06:40:00– 06:42:00, KOT LAKHPAT- 07:21:00– 07:23:00, LAHORE JN- 08:00:00– 08:30:00, GUJRANWALA- 09:28:00– 09:33:00, WAZIRABAD JN- 10:10:00– 10:12:00, GUJRAT- 10:28:00– 10:30:00, LALA MUSA JN- 10:35:00– 11:00:00, KHARIAN CANT- 11:13:00– 11:18:00, JHELUM- 11:40:00– 11:42:00, GUJAR KHAN- 13:10:00– 13:12:00, CHAK LALA- 14:02:00– 14:04:00, RAWALPINDI- 14:15:00– 14:40:00

11 Christian nurses are poisoned in Pakistan for daring to drink tea during the month of Ramzan

Christian Nurses poisoned to Punish drinking tea during Muslims Ramadan in Pakistan

Karachi: July 30, 2012. (PCP) Christian staff nurses of Civil Hospital Karachi were poisoned as punishment to drink tea in their Hostel rooms during Holy Month of Ramadan being observed these days by Muslim majority community of Pakistan.

Among Eleven (11) poisoned Christian nurses (3) were rushed to Intensive Care Unit ICU of Civil Hospital Karachi were remaining (8) are being treated in emergency ward.

Civil Hospital Karachi is under ministry of health of Sindh government where Christian medico staff was in majority till 1985.

Staff Nurses Rita, Anila and Rafia were in serious condition in ICU ward of CHK while staff nurse Rita was later transferred on life saving equipment.

There are reports that FIR have been registered against unknown person on poisoning Christian nurses in Aram Bagh Police Station of Karachi and non was arrested so far.

According to Ramadan Ordinance of Provincial Sindh Government, to eat in Public places is prohibited and restaurants and vendors will remain closed during timing of Ramadan.

The Ramadan Ordinance is not imposed on Five Star Hotels in Sindh Province and allows minority community individuals to take meals in indoor facilities.

After independence of Pakistan in 1947, all restaurants have to put curtain on their doors where Muslim and other religious communities were free to dine and smoke during Holy Month of Ramadan but laws of total ban or closure were made after Islamization of Pakistan during Zia-ul-Haq rule.

The poisoning incident of 11 Christian nurses have spread wave of fear among religious minorities of Pakistan and rising extremism in society.

Courtesy: Pakistan Christian Post

http://www.pakistanchristianpost.com/headlinenewsd.php?hnewsid=3656

Via – Twitter

Democracy or dictatorship?

Democracy or dictatorship?: Resolute Gilani paves way for govt resolution

By Qamar Zaman / Zia Khan

ISLAMABAD: Steady nerves and a pointed address.

The premier remained composed on Friday, despite a raring opposition and potentially wavering allies in the face of a deepening row with the military and the judiciary – and the government also managed to introduce a highly-anticipated resolution in the house.

The resolution was moved, symbolically enough, by the PPP’s thus far most steadfast ally, Awami National Party (ANP) chief Asfandyar Wali Khan, amid a protest from opposition benches.

Before the resolution, addressing a special session of the National Assembly, Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani said he would prefer going to the people over begging for the opposition’s support for a fresh vote of confidence in parliament.

“I do not need a vote of confidence,” Gilani said, adding that he was elected prime minister unanimously.

The session, it was widely believed, had been convened in the wake of the Supreme Court warning President Asif Ali Zardari and the prime minister of disqualification over the non-implementation of the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) verdict.

But the prime minister snubbed the notion that his government was afraid of the NRO at the get-go.

“We have not come for the NRO. We do not need your support to be saved from the military and have not come for a clash of institutions. We have also not come to be shaheeds (martyrs),” the premier said, responding to the leader of the opposition’s query seeking a justification for the ‘emergency session.’

“Somebody should tell us the reason for convening this session and what you are afraid of,” the leader of the opposition, Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, had said earlier.

We have to decide whether there should be democracy or dictatorship in the country … democracy should not be punished for our mistakes”. ….

Read more » The Express Tribune

Going abroad under a deal by Nawaz Shrif was also NRO, says Malik

Malik makes Nawaz-Musharraf deal public

ISLAMABAD: Interior Minister Rehman Malik on Tuesday distributed the copies of pardon agreement between former President Pervez Musharraf and PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif, DawnNews reported. The agreement was signed by Nawaz Sharif, Shahbaz Sharif, Abbas Sharif and Husain Nawaz.

Speaking to media representatives, the minister said that political parties other than Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) took more advantage of the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO). “Only five people of PPP benefitted from NRO,” he added.

He said that the ordinance was cleared by the cabinet of former prime minister Shaukat Aziz and was approved by the army. Malik asked the PML-N chief to explain his links with the central character of memeogate scandal Mansoor Ijaz.

The minister indicated that his life was in danger and he was playing with fire. “Contact my son Barrister Ali to get all proofs and documents if I am killed,” he added. Malik said that he has handed over evidences against so many people including Nawaz Sharif to his son.

Courtesy: DAWN.COM

The Jamat-e-Islami, and rape

A viral video of Ameer Jamat-e-Islami (JI) Munawwar Hassan defending the silence over the rape of women and condoning imprisonment of female rape victims if they fail to produce four male witnesses in accordance with the Hudood Ordinance, has deeply outraged many sane people in Pakistan.

According to Hassan, if a woman cannot produce four male witnesses present at the time of her rape, she be imprisoned based on Hudood Ordinance and Shariah Law. This, he claims is in the best interest of women who are raped so if she fails to produce the witnesses she ought to refrain from filing an FIR altogether.

According to Hassan, somehow, it is in the best interest of the society for a woman to stay silent after being raped, while the perpetrator roams free. ….

Read more » The Express Tribune Blogs

Pak society is “effectively cannibalizing itself” due to dehumanization of Ahmadis

Ahmadis: The lightning rod that attracts the most hatred

Pakistani Ahmadis today live in constant fear and humiliation. So much so, the hatred has permeated into each and every slice of society and the oppressors have become more vocal and aggressive.– Illutration by Faraz Aamer Khan

By Zofeen T. Ebrahim, DAWN.COM

A month after ten Ahmadi students were expelled from two schools in the village of Dharinwala, in Faisalabad district, all have been put back to school, not in there old ones, but in two schools in Hafizabad, thanks to Khalil Ahmad, father and grandfather of four students who were among those expelled.

“I managed to get all of them enrolled in two schools in the nearby city of Hafizabad,” he said talking to Dawn.com over phone from his village.

But it’s not been easy. Most parents of the expelled children are too poor, so Ahmed volunteered to pay for their admissions, their books and stationery. And that is not all. He, with the help of his two sons, makes sure they drop and pick all of them on a motorbike, doing turns.

In one school, the principal knows he has given admission to Ahmadi students but the educator believes faith should not come in the way of those seeking education. “In the other the principal has not been told,” Ahmed revealed.

Sadly, all during this episode, the government has remained a quiet bystander, as always.

It is not the first time that students have been expelled from an educational institution in Punjab because of their religious affiliations, remarked Bushra Gohar, a parliamentarian belonging to the secular Awami National Party.  According to Gohar, her party members had condemned the expulsion of students belonging to the Ahmadiyya community each time on the floor of the house. “However, a protest or condemnation from the parties leading in the Punjab has not been forthcoming,” she said.

For far too long, Pakistani students belonging to this minority community have been facing various forms of discrimination based on their faith.

“This tidal wave against the Ahmadiyya education shows no sign of ebbing,” Saleemuddin, the spokesperson of the Ahmaddiya Jammat, told Dawn.com.

He said after 1984, when the government promulgated the anti Ahmadiyya ordinance, both the government and the clerics have been trying their utmost to punish them in various ways.

“Ahmadi lecturers were posted away to distant locations and some were not allowed to teach. Ahmadi principals and headmasters were replaced. Ahmadi students were deprived admission in professional colleges. They were refused accommodation in attached hostels. They suffered attacks by extremist elements on campuses.”

According to the Asian Human Rights Commission, the Islami Jamiat Talaba, the student wing of the Islami Jamiat has been tasked to cleanse the educational institutions, including universities and professional colleges of Ahmadi students.

Hasan Ahmed, who was among the 23 students who were expelled from Punjab Medical College, in Faisalabad, back in 2008, can never forget the stressful event and how “night after night, for over a month” he kept stressing over the events that turned his settled student life all topsy-turvy.

“I knew it happened to others, so was not completely caught unawares,” Hasan acknowledged. He is at present completing his house job in Lahore, keeping an “ultra busy schedule”.

Eventually all were re-instated in some college or another. “After months of waiting, just before exam, my friend was sent to Bahawalpur while I went off to a distant place of Rahimyar Khan in a college of lower merit,” narrated Hasan.

After a gargantuan effort, he was finally allowed to appear in exams from Lahore and then got admitted to Allama Iqbal Medical College, in Lahore.

“To be in a state of flux was the worst part of this episode specially since exams were approaching and I didn’t know which place I was to appear from,” said Hasan.

He expressed that till the identity of an Ahmadi remains undisclosed “he remains safe”.

But that is sadly not the case if you are living in Pakistan. People are culturally nosy and want to know your cast and sect. “Eventually they end up finding that you are an Ahmadi. Once they know, you can feel a change of attitude and it just takes a mischief maker to exploit others’ feelings against you,” said Hasan.

Till Hina Akram’s faith remained unknown to her teacher in Faislabad’s National Textile University, she was considered a star student. But after it became known she belonged to the Ahmadiyya community, she faced so much faith-based harassment that she had to quit studies.

“I was told to convert to Islam,” said Hina, who was studying in the sixth semester of her BSc.

“I was handed some anti-Ahmadiyya literature to read, offered a refuge in Muslim home. But when she told the teacher she was an Ahmadi by choice he called her an infidel and warned her of severe consequences.

“You will face such a fire of animosity in the campus that not even the vice chancellor will be able to help you,” he threatened her.

True to his word, a hate campaign was initiated and a social boycott began. Out of college, she is desperately trying to go abroad. Her fate remains in balance.

But it’s not just the education aspect where the anti-Ahmadiyya lobby is hitting, said Saleemuddin. Since 1984, some 208 faith-based killings have taken place. The persecution against the community has surged following the May 28, 2010 massacre of 94 members of the community in Lahore.

After the four million Ahmadis were officially declared non-Muslims in 1984 by the state, they cannot call themselves Muslims or go to mosques. They cannot be overheard praising Prophet Mohammad. To add insult to injury, every Pakistani who claims to be a Muslim and owns a passport has declared that he or she considers them to be non-Muslims and their leader an imposter prophet.

Pakistani Ahmadis today live in constant fear and humiliation. So much so, the hatred has permeated into each and every slice of society and the oppressors have become more vocal and aggressive.

“The extremist elements are getting more and more powerful because of Saudi-US influence and the government’s policy of appeasement,” said I.A. Rehman, General Secretary Human Rights Commission of Pakistan.

“The Ahmadis are already the worst persecuted minority in our country – and things for them appear to be growing worse as hatred and intolerance spread,” Kamila Hyat, a journalist and a rights activist echoed the same sentiments. “The lack of enforcement of laws to prevent the preaching of hatred adds to the problem,” she added.

Saleemuddin said by allowing the extremist clerics to hold anti-Ahmadiyya rallies and conferences, the government is adding fuel to this venom. “People are openly instigated to kill us in the name of Islam,” he said.

“Violence and the advance of bigotry, prejudice and hate against minorities have never really been met with the resolve needed to remove impunity from the social equation in Pakistan,” Sherry Rehman, a legislator belonging to the ruling Pakistan People’s Party, agreed.
Instead, she told Dawn.com what is seen is an “expansion in the space for religious and sectarian apartheids, which has led now to heinous acts of brutality and exclusion of many, particularly Ahmadis.”

She warned: “This is a dangerous trend that conflates national identity with religion.”

Perhaps that is one reason why Pervez Hoodbhoy expresses: “Today, when religion has become so central in matters of the state, they [Ahmadis] do not stand a chance in Pakistan of getting rights, respect, and dignity. The overdose of religion given to young Pakistanis in their schools and homes means that nothing matters more than which religion and sect you belong to. Ahmadis are the lightning rod that attracts more hatred than any other sect.”

For its part rights groups like the Human Rights Watch (HRW) and the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) say they have “repeatedly” raised the issue of “state tolerated persecution”.

“We are urging authorities to intervene in each case,” said Rehman. “But the situation is getting worse day by day.

Terming it “abhorrent and self defeating” when society allows “for the dehumanization of Ahmadis or Christians or the Shia for that matter, it is effectively cannibalizing itself,” said Ali Dayan Hasan, Pakistan director of HRW.

“The federal government expresses regret at incidents but has made clear its unwillingness to repeal or amend discriminatory laws,” said HRW spokesperson.

Given the current intolerance, the fate of the new generation of Pakistani Ahmadis looks “quite bleak” said Rehman.

Even Hoodbhoy said: “For years, Ahmadis, Hindus, and Christians have been desperately seeking to flee Pakistan. They would be foolish to want to stay,” said Hoodbhoy.

This fails to dampen young Hasan’s spirits. He thinks the future looks “brighter than ever before”.

“Even if the situation is made worse in Pakistan, this does not mean the future is not bright. It’s a matter of time before we start getting equal rights in this country.

Often when they get together, the young Ahmadis discuss the “bitter realities” they have to face as Pakistanis.

“But we don’t want to leave our country at the juncture that it is at,” said a patriotic Hasan. This is because the contribution of the Ahmadi community towards building of Pakistan has been immense,” he said with conviction.

He said recently their leader urged all Ahmadis of the world to “fast once a week and pray” especially for the prosperity of Pakistan.”

Zofeen T. Ebrahim is a freelance journalist.

Courtesy » DAWN.COM

Sindhis should rethink their priorities before it is too late!

by Khalid Hashmani, McLean, Virginia

The Sindhi political analysts and thinkers in Sindh continue to provide further insight into thinking of educated and middle class Sindhis who live in Sindh. These should help Sindhi Diaspora to better understand the ground realities in order to chalk out their actions about their supporting role in awakening of Sindhi society. Indeed, only the determined resolve and courageous actions by masses of Sindh would bring about enough changes to thwart the ill designs of internal and external anti-Sindh forces. Yesterday, I have shared my review on Naseer Memon’s article published in Sindhi daily Kawish on August 13, 2011 under the title “PPP’s recent decision to revive Local Government Ordinance 2001 is violation of its own manifesto‏”. Today, I am reviewing an article by Zulfiqar Halepoto that was published yesterday (13 August 2011) in Sindhi daily Awami Awaz. I am currently reviewing Jami Chandio’s article “PPP & a New Sindh” that was published in Sindhi daily Ibrat on 13-14th August, 2011. The purpose of these reviews is to provide a compilation of what Sindhis in Sindh so that Diaspora Sindhis can assess the need and formulate their actions in support of Sindh interests.

Zulfiqar Halepoto articulates the need for “paradigm shift” in Sindh where one political party has been looked upon as the only capable force that can protect their interests and Sindh’s integrity. Where once PPP leaders were honored and welcomed in their communities, most Sindhis are angry and hold PPP responsible for many of their problems.

According to Zulfiqar Halepoto, people of Sindh overwhelmingly voted for PPP in 2008 with the following four expectations:

1. The government of Sindh will be formed without the participation of those that had ruled Sindh for the several years in immediate past. During that time, the Sindhi interests suffered the most as the regimes became oblivious of the collective interests of Sindh and focused on only their personal gains. Sindhis expected PPP to adhere to its pledge not to share power with MQM and dissipate impression that in order to have peace and prosperity of the people of Sindh, MQM must be made a part of the government.

2. The PPP government will find the killers of Shaheed Benazir Bhutto and bring them to justice.

3. The PPP government will bring about the required constitutional and administrative changes that the dictatorial regime had brought to weaken native Sindhis and allow only one ethnic group to control Sindh’s larger cities.

4. The governance in Sindh that had suffered greatly in the last 12 years under the regimes that violated Sindhi Rights on all fronts will end. Sindh’s government would be an example of an exemplary governance in Pakistan ensuring welfare of all those who live in Sindh.

Unfortunately, the government of PPP has gone even beyond the status quo and has made sufferings of Sindhis much worse. Sindhis often express that they are now lost and wonder who will protect their interests? PPP thinks that Sindh vote bank is in their pocket and they are not afraid of any backlash from their actions that regularize injustices of previous regimes and further compromising on Sindhi Rights. Like the previous regime headed by a Sindh Chief Minister, PPP too has surrendered its power to MQM whose discriminatory policies against all groups of Sindh not only continues unabated but has worsened. There is an increasing feeling among the people of Sindh that PPP has become part of problem and looking at it as a solution provider is a big mistake!? Most Sindhis think it would be far easier to wedge struggle against a dictator and racist political parties without PPP’s presence.

It would seem to me that PPP had been, at minimum, a silent partners of those who do not wish Sindh & Sindhi identity to survive in Pakistan. These forces want Sindhis should leave their mother tongue and centuries old culture of peace & communal harmoney and to adapt the language of minority as their first language.

Sindhis are angry with PPP and with themselves for misplacing their trust and hopes in PPP. Sindhis do not understand why a PPP which won 90 seats in Sindh would forget their voters within a span of less than three years. Sindhis are disappointed that on the pretext of saving their regime at the center, they have been continually ignoring aspirations and hopes of Sindhis. Instead of creating more opportunities for Sindhis, doors for Sindhis continue to shut, particularly in those areas where they are controlled by MQM. People of Sindh can no longer tolerate this situation and a determined movement towards forming a genuine unity of Sindh on the point that “protection of interests of Sindh is their first priority” is fast spreading among Sindhis living in villages, towns, and cities.

President Asif Zardari has played Sindh as “Sindh card” whenever his rule faced a threat from opposition and the Pakistani security establishment. The “Sindhi Topi Day” was also a part of that gimmickry. It is said that most people in Pakistan think that regardless of what happens, Sindhis will continue to support PPP? This myth is now to great extent shattered as people of Sindh are able to see through the politics of exploitation of Sindhis by internal and external forces. Some non-Sindhi Pakistanis are noticing that a change is brewing among Sindh. Sindhis are now condemning the decisions of PPP that are counter to the interests of Sindh. They are also realizing that Sindhis are not against the integrity of Pakistan and that main demand is to secure equitable rights in Pakistan and preserve their identity, culture, and language.

The anger of Sindh is lost on other political parties in Pakistan as most are now taking steps to seek support of Sindhis. Awami National Party, Jamat-e-Islami, and Sunni Tahrik are now supporting Sindhi demand for cancellation of former dictator Musharraf’s undemocratic, black, repressive, & discriminatory Local Government Ordinance. MQM is staying silent about the demands of Sindhis. On other side, Sindhis have notice support of Pir Pagaro on this issue. However, Sindhis have not forgiven for his pro-Kala Bagh stand and his support of General Musharraf’s policies that hurt the interests of Sindh.

The Sindhi nationalist parties are remain divided. Although most Sindhis respect those nationalist parties for their their stand on the interests of Sindh, some of these political parties are likely to keep themselves away from the upcoming elections. Their divergent views including the separatist leaning of some have kept their voter bank constrained.

Zulfiqar Halepoto urges Sindhis to look at all aspects of this complicated situation, weigh all options before jumping on any bandwagon. Sindhis should think and formulate strategy, long-term plans and be ready to effectively respond to any tactical challenges. One should look at the success of Pakhoons, who have more than one credible options for exercising their vote. Without a fundamental change in the political landscape of Sindh, Sindhis still only have two serious options – Muslim League and PPP. The Sindh chapters of these two parties are dominated by anti-Sindh waderas, who together with MQM and anti-Sindhi business owners will continue to damage the interests of Sindh.

It is imperative that Sindh nationalist parties create a formidable political party or group that will become a credible second alternative for Sindhis. If this is achieved, it will be an important paradigm jump for Sindhis that will likely bring about a positive development for not only Sindh but also for Pakistan.

Courtesy: → Sindh e-lists/ e-groups, August 14, 2011.