The basic source of irrigation for Pakistan agriculture is the Indus River. Water resources are becoming shorter due to the irregular flow of water in the Indus River. To overcome the problem of water shortage and to meet the water demands of rising populations, the Punjab and the federal governments are in favor of constructing more dams in order to store the water which is being wasted otherwise. On the contrary, the Sindh holds the point that the construction of dams such as KBD and Bhasha dam would deprived them of their due shares from IBIS. There has been a distrust regarding water sharing between the two provinces.
Indus re-enters India after two centuries, feeds Little Rann, Nal Sarovar
The Indus or Sindhu, a major river flowing through Pakistan around which the great Indus Valley Civilisation flourished, may have shifted course after an earthquake in 1819, but recent satellite images show the river has re-entered India feeding a lake near Ahmedabad known as Nal Sarovar.
The discovery has been made by Rohan Thakkar, a postgraduate student of climate change working on the water bodies of Gujarat.
The development will hugely benefit the water-starved Kutch region as well as the Bhal region adjoining Ahmedabad district.
Speaking to Mail Today, Rohan said he spoke to his father about it after detecting that water from a river in Pakistan was flowing into the Rann of Kutch. Further examination of the satellite images showed the water was flowing from the Indus.
Rohan’s father Dr P. S. Thakkar, who is a satellite archaeologist with the Indian Space Research Organisation, said the river started flowing into India last year when the Indus river basin was heavily flooded. “Heavy rains had left the river basin along with the Mancher, Hemal and Kalri lakes inundated and people breached several canal heads,” Thakkar said.
The burned-out buildings dotted the landscape of Pakistan’s Taliban-controlled Swat Valley as veteran Canadian aid worker David Morley drove the bumpy roads with a local aid worker more than three years ago.
“This used to be a boys’ school, that used to be a girls’ school, that used to be a clinic,” Morley recalled his Pakistani colleague telling him.
“What’s he going to be thinking today?”
‘I think it is beyond our comprehension why somebody would target children’ -Prime Minister Stephen Harper
Morley, the head of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in Canada, did not mince words Tuesday as news emerged of the suicide attack that killed at least 141 people — the vast majority of them children — at a school in Peshawar, the Pakistani city abutting the Khyber Pass leading to Afghanistan.
“This is a crime against humanity and it’s against civilized norms because we want to nurture and care for our children,” Morley said in an interview.
“We want them to learn and educate, and this is heinous act against all of those norms.”
The attack sparked similar condemnation in Canada and abroad. Many viewed it as a new low in the behaviour of Taliban terrorists, who took responsibility for the attack.
Students ranging from Grade 1 through Grade 10 accounted for most of the dead. They were killed along with their seven attackers, all of whom were wearing explosive suicide vests. Another 121 students and three staff members were injured.
Harper offers condolences
Prime Minister Stephen Harper offered his condolences to the families of the victims. It’s hard enough to understand the motives that underlie a terrorist attack, he said, but even more so when the targets are innocent children.
Minister of Foreign Affairs John Baird has condemned the attack on the school, which he called cowardly and sinister. (Hasan Jamali/Associated Press)
“It’s hard for any of us, as rational and compassionate people, to understand terrorism — to understand why people would want, in the name of some political cause, to simply terrorize, hurt kill innocent people, whole sections of society,” Harper told a news conference in Quebec City.
“But I think it is beyond our comprehension why somebody would target children. As a father, your heart just breaks when you see that kind of thing.”
Read more » CBC
Learn more » http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/canada-condemns-sinister-terrorist-attack-on-pakistani-school-1.2874900
LONDON: Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) chief Altaf Hussain terming all demands of Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) chief Dr Tahirul Qadri as ‘valid’, has said that it would be in the country’s interest if the government voluntarily stepped down to avoid any bloodshed, DawnNews reported.
Talking about the anti-government sit-ins being held in the federal capital city and a possible government reaction, Hussain said that the government should consider the safety of women and children, participating in the sit-ins.
He further cited that the ‘third force’ would have to intervene, if Tahirul Qardi did not step back voluntarily.
ISLAMABAD: Besieged Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has been assured by military that there will be no coup, but in return he must “share space with the army”, according to a government source who was privy to recent talks between the two sides.
Last week, as tens of thousands of protesters advanced on the federal capital to demand his resignation, Sharif dispatched two emissaries to consult with the army chief.
He wanted to know if the military was quietly engineering the twin protest movements by cricket star-turned-politician Imran Khan and activist cleric Tahirul Qadri, or if, perhaps, it was preparing to stage a coup.
According to a government insider with a first-hand account of the meeting, Sharif’s envoys returned with good news and bad: there will be no coup but if he wants his government to survive, from now on it will have to share space with the army.
The army’s media wing declined to comment.
Thousands of protesters marched to parliament on Tuesday, using a crane and bolt cutters to force their way past barricades of shipping containers, as riot police and paramilitaries watched on after being told not to intervene.
Military spokesman General Asim Bajwa tweeted a reminder to protesters to respect government institutions and called for a “meaningful dialogue” to resolve the crisis.
Even if, as seems likely, the Khan and Qadri protests eventually fizzle out due to a lack of overt support from the military, the prime minister will emerge weakened from political crisis.
Sharif may have to be subservient to the generals on issues he wanted to handle himself — from the fight against Taliban to relations with India and Pakistan’s role in neighbouring, post-Nato Afghanistan.
“The biggest loser will be Nawaz, cut down to size both by puny political rivals and the powerful army,” said a government minister who asked not to be named.
“From this moment on, he’ll always be looking over his shoulder.”
A year ago, few would have predicted that Sharif would be in such trouble: back then, he had just swept to power for a third time in a milestone poll that marked the first transition from one elected government to another.
But in the months that followed, Sharif — who had crossed swords with the army in the past — moved to enhance the clout of the civilian government in a country that has been ruled by the military for more than half of its history.
He irked the generals by putting former military head Pervez Musharraf, who had ended Sharif’s last stint as prime minister in a 1999 coup, on trial for treason.
Sharif is also said to have opposed a military offensive to crush Taliban insurgents and sought reconciliation with India.
Sources in Sharif’s government said that with civilian-military relations in such bad shape, Sharif suspected that the street protests to unseat him were being manipulated from behind the scenes by the army.
He also feared that if the agitations turned violent, the army would exploit the situation to seize power for itself.
The shrine, visit by hundreds of devotees each day, has been partially damaged in the fire, authorities in Kohlu district said.
Kohlu deputy commissioner Ejaz Haider said some unknown persons had entered the shrine on Saturday and set it afire.
“But because people of the area gathered quickly and put out the fire the shrine was saved but a big portion has been damaged,” Haider said.
Five suspects have been arrested in connection with the case, he added.
Towaq Ali Mast – popularly known as Mast Twakali – was born in 1828. He spread the message of love for the humanity through his poetry.
The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan and other militant groups, which consider going to shrines as un-islamic, have in the past targeted them.
The participants of the long march from Karachi to Islamabad for the recovery of Baloch missing persons are facing threats from the notorious intelligence agency. The marchers have been threatened not to enter Punjab province otherwise they would face serious consequences.
by Anwar Iqbal
WASHINGTON: The United States never thought of consulting Pakistan before raiding the Osama bin Laden compound in Abbottabad because it feared that the ISI was protecting him, writes former US Defence Secretary Robert Gates.
By Ayaz Amir
“Consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds” – Emerson
Some time ago, when the weather was still a bit hot, I was bemoaning some of the things gifted to us by the Raj – such as our preference for certain types of fiery liquids. And I had said that if we had been colonised by, say, the French or the Portuguese our tastes in these matters would have been different.
That was then. Now that the weather is turning a bit cold, although winter has yet to set in fully, I have to confess that I was wrong. May the furies forgive my wrongheadedness. For the cold season namby-pamby liquids just won’t do and the only thing permissible is that part of our inheritance which is now a national habit with us.
Railways we have managed to destroy, with a thoroughness that must command admiration. The canal system still functions but it could do with a whole lot of improvement. There are so many other things which are rundown. But the particular inheritance I refer to – and please forgive me for not being more specific, on account of our self-censorship laws, the censorship that we impose on ourselves and on which editors are always so keen – survives in all its pomp and glory. Behind closed doors of course but its very surreptitiousness gives it an added zest.
When Pakistanis who can afford this kind of entertainment – their number, Allah be praised, not small – gather in the winter season their choice is only one, Pakistan’s unofficial national drink still the same. May it always be like this.
The barbarians may be at the gates – some of us would say they are very much within the gates – but we should cherish what we still have. Three years back on a visit to Kabul, and staying at the Intercontinental Hotel – once a place of great magnificence, now gone to ruin – helpful souls from the embassy suggested that of the stuff that may have been consumed at night – to ward off the cold of course, the month being December–-the empty bottles should not be left in the rooms.
Why I Love Pakistan (March 23, 2013)
Following is the text of the keynote address I delivered at the Pakistan Day banquet of the Pakistan Association of America, Troy, Michigan, March 23, 2013. – Ethan Casey
There’s a question I get asked almost invariably, whenever I speak in public about a country I’ve known and loved for almost twenty years: Why Pakistan? I don’t think I can fully or satisfactorily answer that question, but this talk will be an attempt at least to acknowledge and address it.
The people who ask the question – Why Pakistan? – often phrase it as, “Why did you first go to Pakistan?” There are specific, contingent answers I can give to that version of the question. Most specifically, I first went to Pakistan in early 1995 because a fourteen-year-old Pakistani Christian boy, Salamat Masih, and his uncle were on trial for blasphemy, and the newspaper I was writing for at the time, the South China Morning Post of Hong Kong, wanted me to write about it. More broadly, I had become interested in the horrible and chronically disputed situation in Kashmir, I had already spent many weeks on the ground in the Kashmir Valley itself and several months in India, and I felt both a desire and a duty to spend time in Pakistan, in order to elicit and appreciate the Pakistani point of view on Kashmir. These were identifiable, proximate starting points for what has become my lifelong friendship with Pakistan.
I don’t think that’s what most people who ask mean by the question, though. Implied in it are a few other questions: Why do you care about Pakistan? Why do you look at and write about Pakistan so differently from so many other Americans? Why in the world would you go to a country with such a bad reputation? Why do you keep going back?
These questions are more interesting, and my books are attempts to offer full, proper answers to them. In fact, it’s not an exaggeration to say that it has taken me the effort of writing two full books, just to begin answering the questions for myself.
Which is to say that I can’t really explain my enduring interest in, and love for, Pakistan, but I can narrate it. I once told a New York literary agent that I had written a book about Pakistan. He responded by asking me: “What’s your argument?” I’m sure the agent considered himself savvy, but his question betrayed the fact that he looked at Pakistan the same tiresome way most members of the American political and publishing establishment do: not as a country and a society in its own right, but as a problem or challenge for America to deal with, about which it’s necessary for any writer to have an argument. Not only do I refuse to see Pakistan that way; I genuinely don’t see it that way. I don’t claim to know or understand Pakistan completely. But by the same token, I don’t know or understand my own wife or mother or father or brother completely. But I love my wife and parents and brother, and my own country, as well as I humanly can, despite their faults and flaws, as I know they also love me despite mine. My love for Pakistan is similar: human, based on flawed and partial knowledge and understanding, but honest and genuine. I was so surprised by the literary agent’s question – “What’s your argument?” – that I could scarcely blurt out my answer, which was and is: “I’m not making an argument; I’m telling a story.”
Hyderbad: “You Strike & We will Strike back”.
The message of ‘21/2 Hyderabad serial terror attack’
By Feroze Mithiborwala
The strategic& political target of the terror attack, is the historic 2-day Strike of the Working classes, where more than 12 core or 120 million workers both from the organized & unorganized sectors participated & brought India to a halt.
This working class strike surmounted all calculations due to the scale at which the enraged working classes participated. This strike has shaken up the corporate-political elite & that is why they have struck back with a serial terror attack, where now more than 15 citizens have died & 50 grievously injured. The terror attack was orchestrated in Dilsukh Nagar, where there is a busy market & many cinema halls.
If the working class unrest takes the proportions which we witness in many nations across the world such as Greece & Spain, the ruling elite will witness a massive crisis, due to the growing burdens of price-rise, decreasing wages, increasing scams, spiraling inflation, the growing insecurity of the peasantry, workers& laboring classes, as well as the ever-widening rich-poor divide.
Crimes against humanity in Sindh and Pakistan
Pakistani Foreign Minister Hina Rabani Khar has presented a rosy human rights report in the periodical human rights review session of the United Nations in Geneva, which is an attempt to hide underway crimes against humanity in the country.
SHE HAS claimed remarkable achievements regarding rights regime in Pakistan. Her report and talk at Geneva gives an impression that Pakistan has undergone a huge transformation during last four years similar to a revolution in the governance, rights regime, and legal framework.
The realities in Pakistan are entirely opposite to that report. If an analysis of last four years in Sindh province alone is carried regarding the Hindus exodus and ethnic cleansing, involuntarily disappearances, extra-judicial killings, and ethnically discriminative legislations, the intensity of the violations as well as denial of the rights under various treaties and declarations of United Nations will no doubt prove to be the crime against humanity.
Hindu Exodus and other forms of ethnic cleansing in Sindh
Thousands of Sindhi Hindus have been forced to quit Sindh, Pakistan, who have refuge or settled in the various countries mostly in India. Nearly 8000 Hindus from Sanghar district of Sindh, Pakistan have sought asylum in Rajasthan state of India during October 2012. The other form of ethnic cleansing is the target killings of ethnic Sindhi, Baloch, and Pashtun in Karachi city, which is aimed to resist these peoples settlement and force the existing population to migrate from city. The state support to an ethnic violence-making group through administrative decisions and legislative initiatives is an established reality of violating the various international treaties and declarations, which are rectified by Pakistan.
In this regards, the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide’ in Article II reads:
“….genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such: a. killing members of the group; b. causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; c. deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part…
According to the Article III of the convention, genocide; conspiracy to commit genocide; direct and public incitement to commit genocide; attempt to commit genocide; and complicity in genocide are punishable crimes. The article IV of the treaty clearly mentions, “Persons committing genocide or any of the other acts enumerated in article III shall be punished, whether they are constitutionally responsible rulers, public officials or private individuals.”
Iqbal Haider Former Chairman Human Rights Commission of Pakistan in an exclusive interview with Noor ul Arfeen Siddiqui in fresh episode of Hot Seat on Aaj News.
PESHAWAR: A blast near the Malik Market outside the Sheri mosque in Matani, Peshawar destroyed at least 10 shops in the locality, partially damaging the mosque, an eye witnesses said. Express News reported that six people were killed and at least 18 were injured including few children due to the blast.
The blast site is located around 100 yards away from the Matani police station. The injured have been shifted to the Lady Reading Hospital, Express News reported.
The eyewitness told The Express Tribune that a huge explosion was heard near the market after which he saw bodies scattered in the area. Ambulances were rushed to the area immediately as additional number of police personnel made way to the spot.
So far no official version about the attack was available.
However, a senior police official confirmed the explosion in Matani, a village on the outskirts of Peshawar city, close to the Khyber Agency and FR Darra Adamkhel.
The area has been a clash point for militants and peace militias for years. This is a developing story and will be updated accordingly.
VIEW : To do or not to — Mehr Tarar
How will we learn to differentiate between an outright insult to our religion and an inadvertent slip where the doer does not even know what the action implies?
I write because I feel. This is the only medium through which I can express with some coherence what I want to say. Words have a tremendous power, bigger than many of us realise, but words only affect when they carry an expression of what you truly believe, what you feel a level deeper than the superfluous, and when your belief and feeling strengthen into the knowledge that it all must be conveyed; if not to all, to some. If not to some, maybe to even one person, whom you may touch, one way or the other, subliminally, or if you are lucky, startle like an alarm going off at 4:00 am when you are finally asleep, after hours of insomnia. Words, for me, would never be a mere structuring of alphabets, painstakingly coerced together, to compile an essay that you force yourself to write, to meet a deadline, to score an A, to fill your weekly slot in a newspaper. I write because I love to write. I write because I am a firm believer of the potency of the right text hitting the right chord at the right time. I write because when there is too much chaos around me, the orderliness of keys placed side by side on my keyboard allows me the calm to figure out how I can give voice to my outrage. I write when there are moments to celebrate, goodness to value, and achievements to celebrate. As I write today, I wish there were noble things to write about instead of the stark randomness of madness that seems to permeate our collective consciousness as a nation. I wish.
By: Cyril Almeida
IT began with the flag. A strip of white slapped on, but separate and away from the sea of green — the problem was there from the very outset: one group cast aside from the rest.
A more prescient mind would have thought to put the white in the middle, enscon-ced in a sea of green, a symbolic embrace of the other.
But why blame the flag?
It began with the founding theory.
A country created for Muslims but not in the name of Islam. Try selling that distinction to your average Pakistani in 2012. 1947 was another country and it still found few takers.
Pakistan’s dirty little secret isn’t its treatment of non-Muslims or Shias or the sundry other groups who find themselves in the cross-hairs of the rabid and the religious. Pakistan’s dirty little secret is that everyone is a minority.
It begins with Muslim and non-Muslim: 97 per cent and the hapless and helpless three. But soon enough, the sectarian divide kicks in: Shia and Sunni. There’s another 20 per cent erased from the majority.
Next, the intra-Sunni divisions: Hanafi and the Ahl-e-Hadith. Seventy per cent of Pakistan may be Hanafi, five per cent Ahl-e-Hadith.
Then the intra-intra-Sunni divisions: Hanafis split between the growing Deobandis and the more static Barelvis.
And finally, within the 40 per cent or so that comprise Barelvis in Pakistan, there’s the different orders: the numerous Chishtis, the more conservative Naqshbandis and the microscopic Qadris.
In Pakistan, there is no majority.
There’s the terror that every minority lives in: non-Muslim from Muslim, Shia from Sunni, Barelvi from Wahabi, secular Sunni from rabid Barelvi — the future is now and it is bleak.
Some mourn the passing of Jinnah’s vision and seek solace in his Aug 11 speech. But there never was an Aug 11 version of Pakistan: it was stillborn, killed off by the religious right as soon as it was articulated.
NEW DELHI, Aug 25: Asserting that judges should not govern the country or evolve policies, the chief justice of India said on Saturday he wondered what would happen if the executive refused to comply with the judiciary’s directives.
Justice S.H. Kapadia asked judges if they would invoke contempt proceedings against government officials for not complying with their decisions and disapproved a recent Supreme Court judgment which said “right to sleep” was also a fundamental right.
“Judges should not govern this country. We need to go by strict principle. Whenever you lay down a law, it should not interfere with governance. We are not accountable to people.
Islamabad—United Nations has decided to send a delegation to Pakistan for reviewing the situation in Balochistan. Foreign office has been informed in this regard. The UN authorities has written a letter to foreign ministry mentioning that seven-member UN delegation would visit Pakistan from September 10 to 20 to review the situation in Balochisatan.
Courtesy: YouTube » via – Twitter
TTP leader says Jinnah was a apostate or blasphemer (kaffir), the Prophet sanctioned killing of women and children in war.
By IQBAL JAFAR
No two countries in the world are so close in their experience as a young nation and yet so far apart in their political compulsions as Israel and Pakistan.
To a lesser degree of uniqueness, these two countries have much to do with the questions of war and peace in the vast landmass from the Nile Valley to the Indus Valley, that once was a cradle of civilization, and could next be its graveyard. What happens in these two countries and between them and their neighbors should be of great interest for the international community.
Born only a few months apart, both on a Friday, Israel and Pakistan share an incredibly long list of other remarkable, even uncanny, commonalities.
Consider: both were carved out of a British colony; both were created in the name of religion by leaders who were secularists at heart; both were born as geographical oddities, Israel in three blocs and Pakistan in two; both saw large-scale exodus and immigration in the first year of their existence; both got involved in territorial disputes with their neighbors immediately after birth; both have borders that have yet to stabilize after more than six decades of existence.
By: Shamshad Ahmad
Looking at the dynamics of contemporary international relations, one is reminded of the ancient Chinese curse, “May you live in interesting times,” which could perhaps never have been more relevant than to our times at this critical juncture. We are passing through interesting and critical times which according to the so-called predictions of the Nostradamus Code could also be categorised as “time of troubles.” These are indeed times of trouble. More so for the world’s Muslims now representing more than one fourth of humanity.
Kill a human being who does not share your faith and voila, as per your religious gurus, you have earned the title of ‘ghazi’
My 12-year-old son is a Muslim. He knows the Namaz, reads the Quran with a teacher, and recites the Kalima before going to sleep. He understands the basic concepts and has no problem lowering the sound of TV when one is saying prayers, or when asked to put the Quran in a clean, protected space. Asked why he does all these things, his answer would be simple: “My mom taught me to.” My 12-year-old is a Muslim simply because I am a Muslim. His faith is not something he was born with, and all he knows is imbibed through parental influence. The only thing noteworthy is his perception about the world: how unfair some things are, how people unleash cruelty on one another. His unfaltering empathy, his profound concern for people are things probably no one taught him. When I tell him about painful events, there is no recoiling in unease; there is merely a rapid fluttering of eyelashes, a telltale sign of an attempt to hide his tears, this time about the 11-year-old Christian girl who is the latest victim of Muslim ruthlessness.
GENEVA: An influential Christian Church organisation will hold an international conference in Geneva next month on Pakistan’s blasphemy law, after an 11-year-old Pakistani Christian girl was detained on accusations of defaming Islam.
Religious and secular groups worldwide have protested over the arrest last week of Rifta Masih, accused by Muslim neighbours of burning verses from the Quran, Islam’s holy book.
The World Council of Churches (WCC) said the conference was intended to give a global platform to religious minorities in Pakistan “who are victimised in the name of its controversial blasphemy law” in cases which had brought death penalties and “mob-instigated violence.”
It will be addressed by representatives of the minorities: Hindus, Buddhists, Christians, dissenting Islamic sects – including Ahmadis and Shias, and by civil society groups defending them. The WCC said officials from the United Nations, where special human rights investigators on religious freedom have often criticised Pakistan’s blasphemy law, would also attend.
Ahmadis in Rawalpindi had no place to offer Eid prayers: Spokesperson
The Ahmadis living in Rawalpindi were not allowed to offer Eid prayers on August 20 at their main place of worship, Ewan e Tawheed, said a press release on Wednesday.
The spokesperson of Jama’at Ahmadiyya Pakistan, Saleemuddin, said that “the government and local administration has violated Article 20 of the Constitution after stopping Ahmadis from congregating for Eid prayers. The Article 20 ensures every citizen to freely perform religious duties.”
Saleemuddin, in the press release, stressed that the Ahmadis would never compromise or accept any pressure on their fundamental right to worship.
“This is not only a denial of religious freedom but is also depriving the Ahmadis of an annual ritual where worship goes with social activity,” the press release added.
According to a tweet by Saleemuddin, the order to stop Ahmadis from praying at their place of worship was issued by senior district officials.
Courtesy: The Express Tribune
via – Twitter
Pakistan’s musician Taimur Laal on massacres of liberals in the “Land of the Pure” by the “guardians of the Religion of Peace!?” Laal’s video on the trials, tribulations, and sacrifices of the people of Pakistan in the struggle against extremism in our society. Religio-fascists! how do you claim that the battle is over in which we have not even taken the very first step! You can crush All of us. But you can not stop the spring.
Poet: Faiz Ahmed Faiz. Directed by Dr. Taimur Rahman.
Courtesy: Laal » YouTube
US presses Pakistan for offensive against tribal region militants amid tensions over continuing unmanned aircraft strikes
By: Associated Press
A missile launched from a US drone struck a suspected militant hideout in a tribal region in northern Pakistan where allies of a powerful warlord were gathered Saturday, killing five of his supporters, Pakistani officials said.
The strike in North Waziristan against allies of Hafiz Gul Bahadur, a militant commander whose forces frequently target US and other Nato troops in neighboring Afghanistan, comes amid speculation over whether Pakistan will launch an operation against militants in the tribal region. ….
Read more » guardian.co.uk
The bright expressive colours used by long-distance truck drivers across Pakistan have inspired a new fashion range.
AFP – KARACHI — A bomb struck a bus taking Shiite Muslims to a protest rally in Pakistan’s city of Karachi on Friday, killing one man and wounding 11 others, police said.
The attack came one day after 20 Shiites were hauled out of vehicles in the northwest and shot dead by gunmen dressed in military fatigues.
“A low-intensity bomb planted near a bus stand in Gulistan-e-Jauhar neighbourhood exploded and hit a car and a bus,” senior police official Shahid Hayat told AFP.
“The bomb killed a man in the car and injured 11 others, most of whom were bus passengers,” Hayat said.
The bus was carrying around 40 Shiites to a rally marking solidarity with the Palestinians and to demonstrate against Thursday’s sectarian killings.
By Omer Kamal bin Farooq
To begin with, I absolutely loathe generals in uniform running countries. No matter how incompetent the politicians are, how relevant the doctrine of necessity is and how much of a messiah the man in the boots is, there is something very corrupt and amoral about the whole thing.
I remember watching Ziaul Haq’s martial law speech for the first time as a teenager during the peak of the lawyers’ movements. As a child who grew up in Musharraf’s martial law, I, for the first time, was discovering terms like ‘judicial independence’, ‘supremacy of the constitution’, and the ‘primacy of democracy‘. I was caught up in the romance of all that.
Then I saw his speech in which he shamelessly went on about how “Mr Bhutto’s” government has been brought to an end, assemblies dissolved and ministers removed.
What flabbergasted me was how could a man say all this in one sentence and never stutter for once. How could he tell his “aziz humwatno” (dear countrymen) that they are inconsequential and their elected institutions and people are nothing more than fragile toys left to the whims of a badly brought up child?
But he did all this, never being weighed down by the burden of his own words. Heck, he even talked about the constitution in the last part of the sentence. So the constitution, head of the government, provincial and national assemblies, ministers and governors, all went in the same sentence and the man did not even show a modicum of remorse. Despite this, we all know who was hanged in the wee hours of the morning and who got the much celebrated state funeral only fitting for a national hero.
A lot has changed in the last five years since I saw the video of his speech. The lawyers are upholding the law by banning Ahmadi-owned soft drinks and showering cold-blooded murderers with rose petals. Even judicial activism has been harbouring on the fringes of judicial martial law, but one thing has remained constant; my disgust for what Zia has done to my country and what he stood for.