Tag Archives: Pakistan

Officers to learn Sindhi

By: Porf. Gul Agha

Police Chiefs and all other bureaucrats in Sindh should be appointed by the Government of Sindh and should be residents of Sindh. They serve the Sindh. Moreover, officials in Sindh must be fluent in speaking, reading and writing the official language of Sindh, namely Sindhi. Even the British required their officers to learn Sindhi if they served in Sindh. The current set up treats Sindh as a colony of an unenlightened country.

Courtesy: Sindhi e-lists/e-groups, April 13, 2008

DEMOCRACY IN PAKISTAN

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Meet the ‘new’ Asif Zardari

By Karan Thapar

NEW DELHI- Most people, I believe, grow to fill the responsibility placed on them. Promotions are, therefore, an act of faith. But that said and done I’m flabbergasted by the change in Asif Zardari. He’s literally become a different person.

The Asif I remember was a jovial tease, informal, chatty, fond of the good life and determined not to be boring or even serious. We first met the night after his wedding. “Benazir has told me all about you,” he said with mock gravity. “I’m on my best behaviour!” He then spent the evening pulling my leg and, frequently, his wife’s too. Weeks after Benazir first became prime minister we were together on her special flight from Islamabad to Karachi. It was an aged propeller plane which flew at a sedate speed. Sitting in the prime ministerial drawing room at the front, Asif looked at his watch. We’d been traveling for nearly two hours. “If you’d stuck to PIA not only would you have arrived but you’d be in the hotel pool by now!” I protested I wasn’t in a hurry. “Yeah? Let’s see if you return with us!” I didn’t. The Asif I meet two weeks ago was very different. Now the adjectives I would use are measured, emollient and deliberately self-effacing. Of course, he’s still charming, chatty and can’t resist teasing but there’s new gravitas, a consciousness of responsibility and a convincing sense of wisdom. Consider two examples. I pointed out that Nawaz Sharif would keep the PPP-led government unstable. Benazir’s reply would have been defensive. Asif chose to turn my question on its head. “And I welcome that,” he said. “I need people to keep me in check.”

“You need to be kept in check?” I asked, puzzled. “Power is a tricky thing,” he responded. “What better can I ask for than my own ally should check me?”

It was a winning answer but also utterly unexpected. How many politicians on the brink of power welcome the prospect of being kept uncertain and unstable? Even if he didn’t mean it, it was the perfect thing to say. However, it wasn’t just fluent cleverness that made Asif so engagingly different. He also showed vision and courage. When I asked about Kashmir and the role it has played separating. India and Pakistan, Asif, in a simple heartfelt reply, reversed Pakistan’s stand.

Let’s put Kashmir aside for a wiser generation to sort out, he said. Let’s not be hostage to the UN resolutions, he added. Let’s get on with the rest of the relationship and once we’ve learnt live and love each other then tackle Kashmir. Stunned, I made Asif repeat this three times. Not once did he use the opportunity to resile. Each time he re-affirmed what he’d said.

Finally, I asked: “Can you carry your countrymen? Can you handle the backlash this would provoke?”

Asif’s reply was simple. There were no flourishes or braggadocio. “That’s the test of leadership,” and he left it at that.

I can’t predict what sort of government the PPP under Asif Zardari will give Pakistan. I can’t even state Asif won’t change this position. Politicians often do and Asif has faced flak from the Jamaat at home and the Hurriayat in Kashmir. But I do know that Asif did not get carried away. This was not indiscretion or impetuousness. He meant what he said and, what’s more, he meant to say it.

In fact, when I asked if Dr. Manmohan Singh chooses to invite the new PM what the response would be, Asif said not only would the prime minister come but so too Nawaz Sharif, Asfandyar Wali Khan, Fazlur Rehman, Altaf Hussain and Asif Himself. A new Pakistan would seek to be friend India.

I’m therefore full of hope. And whilst I accept hope can easily be dashed, I would say there’s need to encourage this one. That’s the challenge facing our government. How do we assist Asif Zardari without embarrassing or undermining him?

Courtesy: Hindustan Times

Jeay Sindh Mahaz (JSM) paid tribute to Punjab for its leading role for the independence of judiciary

HYDERABAD, March 10: National congress of the Jeay Sindh Mahaz held in Radhan, Dadu district, on Sunday paid tribute to the Punjab for its leading role in the struggle for independence of judiciary and said that it was for the first time that the Punjab had risen against dictatorship.

It observed that during the February 18 elections, the people of Sindh had unanimously voted against the Musharraf government due to his dictatorial and anti-Sindh polices.

It said that it was now the responsibility of elected members of the assemblies to come up to expectations of the masses and ameliorate their lot.

The congress called upon the new government to discard the Kalabagh dam project and announce a judicious National Finance Commission award according to international principles.

It demanded abolition of local bodies system, saying that it was a ‘conspiracy against national unity and development of Sindh.’

Announcing support to lawyers’ struggle, it called for reinstatement of sacked judges of superior judiciary.

The congress introduced some amendments to the JSM constitution and manifesto and observed two-minute silence on the death of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto.

The congress was presided over by JSM convener Abdul Khaliq Junejo. Noted intellectual comrade Rochi Ram attended the congress as an observer. In his speech, he said that true democracy would remain a misnomer unless the constitution of the country was made secular.

Courtesy: Sindhi e-lists/ e-groups, March 12, 2008

Scholarships for higher studies in South Korean Universities

All of those who have passed Bachelor’s/Master’s course and now wishing to continue your studies further in MS /PhD course then please come forward, South Korean universities are waiting for you.

As South Korean high-tech research institutes and universities are now emerging with the implementation of latest and advanced technologies. An imaginative research work is going on rapidly for becoming future’s hub of engineering research and technologies. It is now policy of all the high-tech research institutes, Universities along with the Government to increase the number of foreign students. Many students from Punjab and NWFP have tried to search those institutes/universities for getting scholarships and they succeed and now they are studying here with the total support of universities but unfortunately no one from Sindh has tried to avail these opportunities.

This is my request indeed I emphasize that Please search universities, appropriate Labs and forward your documents along with resume and research proposal to the concerned professors and If you were accepted by professor then write to universities international cooperation offices or professor to bear your living expenses along with tuition and dormitory fees in shape of scholarship or any other package. I am sure if you guys seriously and sincerely tried you will definitely avail that chance.

Courtesy:  Sindhi e-lists/e-groups, March 09, 2008

Bombay Presidency, Sindh & Sindhis

USA, TX: The president of the Sindhi Association of North America, Aziz Narejo has been invited to speak at an international seminar at the University of Mumbai. The seminar is being organized by the Department of Sindhi, University of Mumbai, at the Vidyanagari Campus on 11th March on ‘Bombay Presidency, Sindh & Sindhis’. Mr. Narejo is invited to present a paper on ‘Bombay Presidency, Sindh & Sindhis, Political Implications’.

March 07, 2008

4th March – A Day to renew pledges for Sindhi Rights

By Khalid Hashmani

Today is March 4th, a day to celebrate Sindhiat, Sindhi language and Sindhi struggle. Exactly, forty one (41) years ago, the last generation of Sindhis refused to give up on their rights by sacrificing their blood on this day of 1967. The legacy of their resolve and commitment has taken unto a new meaning.

Today, is the day when the the next generation of Sindhis should be renewing their vow to keep the light of Sindhiat alive for ever. Sindh has survived many troubles and cruelties.

Today, we must:

Remember the great student movement of late 1960’s which never gave up on their motherland.

Remember the journalists and staff of the Sindhi newspaper who sacrificed their jobs but did not bow to the rulers who wanted them to stop writing against the Kala Bagh and other dreadful dams on the River Indus.

Remember the Sindhi sons and daughters who lost their lives and underwent torture, imprisonment and other cruelties for betterment of Sindh and Pakistan. Several sons Of Sindh including Dr. Safdar Sarki remains behind bars.

Pledge to re-energize Sindhi struggle for their rights, justice, and control over their natural resources.

Our struggle has survived so far because all succeeding generations continue to fight any and all injustices. The new generation of Sindhis must show the same resolve.

For the last five thousand years, Sindh has seen many cruel invaders and many peaceful migrants who, in their own way, have tried to destroy or enrich Sindhi civilization. Sindh’s history clearly shows that those who came in peace, contributed not only to the civilization of Sindh but left an ever lasting mark of their culture on it. But, those who came in violence, ultimately perished leaving nothing tangible to appreciate or remember.

Today Sindh too is the home of many people of diverse cultures. It is up to these newcomers to realize that only by joining the rich and all encompassing culture of Sindh, they will enrich themselves from the peaceful and sufi nature of it and make it more richer. If they choose the politics of confrontation and cruelty in their deeds such as denying water to the inhabitants of Sindh or imposing their culture on peaceful Sindhis, they too will perish without leaving any significant mark on the civilization.

Let Sindh live for ever! let Sindhi language foster for ever! Let other languages and cultures of Sindh enrich and add their beauty to Sindh’s culture and language!

Courtesy: Sindhi e-lists/ e-groups, March 4, 2008

Road to Riches for Sindhis

By: Ali Nawaz Memon

We have been fighting for FAIRNESS IN FEDERATION of Pakistan. It means that we Sindhis have been asking for our share of riches or wealth of Pakistan. Of course no body listens to us. When I raised that question again during a seminar last weekend in Washington, I annoyed many non-Sindhi friends. They saw it as Punjabi and Muhajir bashing.

We must continue our struggle to make Sindh and Sindhis prosperous through political and collective means. However, personal struggle is the key for success. If we want to be rich, we must become familiar with ROAD TO RICHES.

As a practitioner of economic development, when I look around, I see many rich people. Who is rich? From point of view of Sindhis or average Pakistanis, some one who has assets of about one million dollars, is plenty rich. It does not mean that some one has a million dollars in bank account. It means that value of his home, cars, other investments is about one million dollars.

How did average American get rich, that is a long story. Let us focus on relatively rich Sindhis only in USA and Sindh.

Some are born rich. They inherit lands and business from family. Some have become rich through corrupt means of bribery and dishonesty. But let us focus on self made people who have traveled honest and hard road to riches.

I think blessing of Creator has to be there. After that, I see following characteristics of relatively rich friends:

1. They were good students in schools and colleges. If you are not a good student today, you have to start studying harder and become a better student. You can improve yourself any time.

2. They chose professions which had demand in the society– doctor, engineer, accountant, banker, business etc. People must need your expertise and service. They must be willing to pay for your service. You cannot become rich if your education and expertise is not in demand.

3. Not only they got degrees, but they learned and mastered their subjects. Every person with medical degree does not become rich. But if you have studied enough and become a good doctor, you have a good chance of success.

4. They entered professional field. Being competent and good in their field, they got jobs and learned more on jobs.

5. They struggled and got advanced degrees or education in Pakistan or abroad. Foreign education was not essential but helped a lot since they got higher and more specialized education. Many good professionals have become rich enough with pure Pakistani education.

6. They saved some money every month and invested it for purchase of home, land, business etc. The savings and additional income that it generates is very important towards becoming rich. As an example, a deposit of one lakh rupees in a Pakistani bank can get you about one thousand rupees per month for rest of your life.

Courtesy: Sindhi e-lists/e-groups, Feb 26, 2008

This is first time that the pro-people parties have captured power in Islamabad

PPP, ML-N, ANP & Expectations of Oppressed Masses

By Ayaz Latif Palijo Advocate

Our major issues can only be solved by implementing 1940 resolution, but in the mean time we can forge the unity between lower middle / middle class Sindhis, Balochs and other nations of Pakistan. Musharraf government, since assuming reins of power, has been trying to convert Sindhis and Balochs minorities in their homelands, but at the same time it is also betraying the interests of poor Pakhtun and common Punjabi, and their resentment has been reflected through election results of Punjab and Pakhtun Khawah.

I have also gone through the mails of Khalid Hashmnai and Aftab Qazi sahib, we all appreciate their commitment and sincerity, but when some of our friends & civil society groups in Sindh suggest that instead of making an alliance with allies of Musharaf, PPP should join hands with ML-N, ANP,Baloch Nationalists & Lawyers, they want legitimacy and acceptance of PPP

govt for next 5 years. In past some of our oversees friends & intellectuals twice endorsed PPP’s polices of joining hands with Ghulam Ishaq Khan, Aslam Beg, JUI, MQM, Hamid Nasir Chattha, Manzoor Watoo, FATA MNAs etc, with a justification that let them form the govt, tiny issues would be solved latter. The outcome of this ad-hoc policy was witnessed by all of us in 1990

and 1996.

This time half of the PPP seats in NA have been given by people of Punjab and if once again PPP would repeat the same mistakes and if assemblies are dissolved it would be nearly impossible for PPP to get the same results from Punjab, because the civil society and majority of People of Punjab are not only committed to the restoration of independent judiciary they are opponents of the terrorism in Karachi.

PPP and Pakistan have been made to travel this well worn path many times in past 20 years. This is first time that the pro-people parties have captured power in Islamabad through relatively fair elections (off course except Karachi, Hyderabad, Thar, Balochistan and some areas of Central Punjab). The General’s regime is trying to bring doubts and hostility in the political

community through its puppets like Shaikh Rasheed, Arbab Raheem, Chodhri Prervez Ilhai etc and if we keep getting dictations from Musharaf and his team we will push Pakistan into a bigger disaster then 1970 and 1977.

Prior to assassination of Shaheed BB the govt after sidelining the two major mainstream political parties, planning to hold utterly fake elections but the entire scenario changed on 27th December and thereafter People of Sindh, Civil Society of Punjab, European Union, Common Wealth, General Kiani and other main stakeholders refused to support Musharaf’s plan of rigging.

Resultantly we all not only witnessed the well deserved success of PPP and Nawaz League but welcomed it considering it as result of our eight years long joint anti Musharaf struggle. Lets take advantage of it, lets not waste this historic opportunity, if we stand firm, if we think beyond personal and party interests we can force Musharaf to resign, we can get the genuine provincial autonomy and we can have a prosperous Pakistan based on principles of equality, peace and justice.

I second Aziz Narejo, Raza Rabbani, Dr. Manzoor Aijaz, Nafees Sidiqui, Akhtiar Beg, Raza Abidi, Aitzaz Ahsan, Asma Jahangeer, Ayaz Amir, Imran Khan, Mian Nawaz Sharif, Siddiq ul Faruq, Dr. Farzana Bari and others that alliance with Musharaf’s team would not only be a betrayal of the vote of the people, it will ruin the aspirations of the people who want to see a real change. I think that this is high time when the liberal and democratic forces should concentrate on strategic polices instead of ad-hoc tactics.

Here I would like to bring into your notice that after several bomb blasts and operation in FATA and Wazirastan thousands of people of tribal areas are

shifting to Lahore, Mulan, Karachi, Sukkur, Mirpurkhas, Nawabshah, Faisalabad and Hyderabad, this would not only bring an alarming demographic change but may introduce a wave of violence and extremism in relatively

peaceful Punjab and Sindh. Lets pre-empt these threats, lets strengthen our political and cultural bonds with liberal, democratic Punjabi, Seraiki and Pakhtun masses and with peace-loving and unbiased patriotic Urdu speaking Sindhis like Wajeehudin Ahmed, Anees Haroon, Sabeehudin Ahmed, Rasheed Rizvi, Iqbal Haider, Adeeb Rizwi, Ameer Hani Muslim, Naeem Qureshi, Khilji

Arif Husssain, Maqbool Baqar, Rahat Saeed, Sarmad Jalal Usmani, Rashid Rabani, Nafees Siddiqui, Musheer Alam, Zahida Hina, Anwe Zaheer, Mujahid Barelvi, Sadiqa Salahudin and others.

In the mean time our Sindhi and Baloch friends should seriously think: how to bring their rural masses up and how to replace feudals, Peers and tribal heads from their national political scene with committed middle class, how to reverse the past 8 years anti-people decisions of Musharaf regime, how to apprise the developed world specially USA, UK, India, China and European Union, about their genuine grievances, how to strengthen bonds with oppressed people of other provinces Pakistan.

Feb 23, 2008

Courtesy: Sindhi e-lists/e-groups.

BENAZIR’S ASSASSINATION : A VIEW FROM SINDH

By: Abdul Khaliq Junejo

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

March 02, 2008

Democracy is the best Revenge

The whole country, especially Sindh, is in deep shock and mourning over the tragic death of Pakistan’s finest daughter, Muhtarma Benazir Bhutto, and there is a widespread anguish and soul searching among the democratic and progressive people of Pakistan about the destructive role of military establishment and agencies in politics of the country, the complicity of Pervez Musharraf and his allies in demolishing the democratic institutions, and in fact the very future of the state itself.

The targeted killing of Muhtarma Benazir Bhutto has raised fundamental questions about the future of basic human rights, rule of law, freedom of speech, democracy and national integration in Pakistan. The regime’s authoritarian and dictatorial rule has turned this democratic and peaceful country in to a state of anarchy and chaos.

The whole civil society of the country expresses grave concern on the above situation and feels that there should be a joint strategy for a joint and final struggle to bring this country back to the rails of democracy and people.

In this regard a National Solidarity Mission comprised of 30 civil society leaders, human rights activists, lawyers, journalists and concerned citizens of Balochistan, Pakhtoonkhua, Punjab, Seraiki Wasaib, Azad Kashmir and Northern Areas is visiting Sindh to condole the death of Muhtarma Benazir Bhutto and express their solidarity with the people of Sindh.

To address these grave questions and concerns and to welcome the friends of “National Solidarity Mission” Sindh Democratic Forum (SDF) is organizing a reception in their honour and a discussion will also be held on the following topic “Democracy is the best Revenge”

On Monday, 31st January 2008 @ 12 A.M sharp @ House # A/15, Latifabad # 03, Hyderabad. You are cordially invited to attend the session.

On Sunday January 27 Launch of the Mission at Shah Latif Community Center, Islamabad with a group of Sindh Graduates Association (SGA) 11:30 Islamabad.

On Tuesday January 29 Meetings with civil society groups, political leaders, academia, media at Hotel Press Inn, Larkana at 1430 hours, Larkana

On Wednesday January 30, Meetings with civil society groups, political leaders, academia, media at Agha Jee Hall, Shahani Maohalla, Dadu at 1300 hours

On Thursday January 31, Reception by SDF and meeting with civil society groups, political leaders, academia, media at House # A/15, Latifabad # 3, Hyderabad at 1200 hrs, Hyderabad

On Friday February 1, Meetings with civil society groups, political leaders, academia, media at Press Club Nawabshah at 1400 hrs, Nawabshah

On Saturday February 2 Concluding tour Press Conference at Sukkur Press Club, Sukkur/ Khairpur.

On Sunday February 3, Press conference at Press Club

January 26, 2008

Before Assassins Struck Dec. 27, Pakistan’s Ex-Premier Kept Up Frenetic Pace but Also Found Time for a Prayer

Bhutto’s Last Day, in Keeping With Her Driven Life

Before Assassins Struck Dec. 27, Pakistan’s Ex-Premier Kept Up Frenetic Pace but Also Found Time for a Prayer

By Griff Witte and Emily Wax

RAWALPINDI, Pakistan — Gripping the podium with both hands, Benazir Bhutto spoke in a shout that filled the cavernous park and echoed into the streets beyond.

“Wake up, my brothers!” she implored, her trademark white shawl slipping off her head to her shoulders. “This country faces great dangers. This is your country! My country! We have to save it.”

When the former Pakistani prime minister had finished speaking, she descended from the stage and paused. She then turned, waved and kept on walking.

Inside the park, a crowd of thousands was still cheering. Outside, a pair of assassins lay in wait.

In the hours before they struck on Dec. 27, Bhutto’s day had unfolded typically — for her and for Pakistan. The pace was frenetic, the stakes were high, and the issues were familiar: extremism and democracy, militancy and the military.

Since her return from exile more than two months earlier, Bhutto had been in nearly constant motion, trying to outflank her political opponents and hoping desperately to stay one step ahead of the sniper’s bullet that, she told friends, was “always waiting for me.”

If she succeeded, she believed the reward would be a storybook comeback. She would return to her old job, and to the realm of world leaders, after eight years as a glamorous sidelight in the salons of London, New York and Washington. The country, meanwhile, would return to democracy after its own eight-year drought under military rule. It would also turn the tide against extremism, beating back the growing threat posed by the Taliban and al-Qaeda.

But the odds, for her and for Pakistan, were long.

On the day she was killed, Bhutto was pressing ahead on two main fronts. The first was to get the message out that she believed President Pervez Musharraf’s allies planned to rig the elections scheduled for Jan. 8. On the agenda for the day was a meeting with election observers from the European Union and another with two U.S. lawmakers — Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) and Rep. Patrick J. Kennedy (D-R.I.). At the latter meeting, scheduled for the evening, she intended to hand over a dossier of evidence that she said supported claims her party had been making for weeks that the elections would be fixed by means of ghost polling stations, voter intimidation and other irregularities.

The second front was terrorism. Bhutto met for 45 minutes that day with Afghan President Hamid Karzai, and the two shared their concerns about the growing danger of extremism. More than perhaps any other Pakistani politician, Bhutto had been fixated on the problem both in public and in private. She spoke about it constantly.

For her, the threat was personal. She knew there were people out to get her. And on Dec. 27, there was reason for special concern.

The day before, in the northwestern city of Peshawar, a young man carrying explosives had been detained outside the site of her rally. The man told police he had been to a wedding just before he arrived to hear Bhutto’s speech and had not had time to dispose of some leftover celebratory dynamite. Police did not believe him.

That night, Bhutto’s husband, Asif Ali Zardari, called from Dubai in the United Arab Emirates to say he was nervous. He wanted her to stop attending the rallies and let him go in her place, sources said. She refused.

But by next morning, she was having doubts. She was due to hold a rally that afternoon in Rawalpindi, and the city made her nervous, friends said.

For one thing, it was the home of a military she had distrusted her entire life. For another, her father — former prime minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto — had died there, hanged in 1979 by the man who had overthrown him, Gen. Mohammed Zia ul-Haq. And Pakistan’s first prime minister, Liaquat Ali Khan, had been assassinated in 1951 in the very park where her rally was to take place.

For Bhutto, who could be superstitious, those were bad omens.

More came later in the day. In the afternoon, former prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s supporters had been gathering on a street corner in Rawalpindi when a sharpshooter began firing from a nearby rooftop. Four Sharif activists were killed. Five others were injured. Sharif’s party quickly blamed Musharraf’s allies, alleging in interviews that they believed the attack marked the beginning of a campaign of political violence designed to scare opponents away from the polls.

But whatever her reservations, Bhutto decided to go ahead with her rally.

In the early afternoon, she huddled with her inner circle at her Islamabad home, eating a lunch of potato curry and chapati bread, said Babar Awan, a top official in Bhutto’s Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) who had been at her side for two weeks.

Her aides were anxious, thinking ahead to the rally. But she was calm.

“She kept telling me to relax and eat,” Awan said.

The agenda for the lunch was to review the prepared text of her speech. Bhutto seemed intent on not rushing, enjoying the moment.

“She was so overly satisfied that day, so overly confident and full of jubilance,” Awan said. “She looked so beautiful that day, in all the ways that a woman like her — bright, energetic, bursting with ideas and hope — could look beautiful.”

At one point, Bhutto brought her notes for her speech to the large picture window overlooking the mountains and read them there quietly. “I call on my homeland of Pakistan to come out and fight for Pakistan’s future,” Awan said her notes read. “I’m not afraid. We cannot be afraid.”

She then prayed.

Around 3:45 p.m., Bhutto and her entourage of top party officials left in two cars for Rawalpindi.

After suicide bombers attacked her homecoming reception in Karachi on Oct. 18, killing more than 140 people, Bhutto had considered abandoning public rallies. Instead she would tape her messages and deliver them on radio or television.

That plan soon fizzled, however. Mass rallies are central to Pakistan’s political culture. For her party to have a chance, she believed, she could not forgo them.

When the time came for Bhutto to address the Rawalpindi crowd, she set her notes aside and spoke spontaneously. People who had been following her career for years said it was the most passionate they had ever seen her.

“Her speech was beautiful,” said Kamran Nazir, 19, a student and PPP activist. “It was about saving Pakistan. It was about having hope, no matter what.”

Just before dusk, Nazir followed Bhutto out to the park gates. As the crowd surged around her vehicle, he saw her head rise from the sunroof, and he saw her hand begin to wave.

Advisers had warned Bhutto not to come out of her bulletproof sport-utility vehicle on the way in and out of rallies. But she insisted.

“She said, ‘The people come with a lot of expectations and love. I can’t resist that. I need to reply,’ ” said Farzana Raja, a top PPP official who was with her that day.

The crowd — chanting “Long live Bhutto!” — was making her happy. But it was worrying Mohammad Qayyam, a local police constable who was trying to clear a path for Bhutto’s SUV while scanning the crowd for threats.

Like nearly everyone else there that day, he didn’t see the man in the sunglasses walk up to Bhutto’s vehicle and fire three shots from a handgun at close range. Nor did he see a second man, his head wrapped in a scarf, who blew himself up moments later.

All he remembers is seeing the bodies, dozens of them, suddenly scattered along the ground.

Qayyam passed out, waking up later at Rawalpindi General Hospital, the same hospital where Bhutto had been taken for emergency surgery.

Outside the operating room, a group of PPP leaders joined hands and prayed. “Please, God, let our leader be okay,” they said. “Please, God, let her survive this.”

After about 40 minutes, Awan saw a doctor, Muhammad Mussadiq Khan, who told him the surgery was still going on. Somehow, Awan didn’t believe it.

“Put me straight,” he said.

The doctor repeated what he’d said.

“That’s not true,” Awan said. “Put me straight.”

Then the doctor delivered the news that, within minutes, would reach around the globe.

“It’s all over. We did everything we could. She didn’t make it,” he said. “Benazir Bhutto has expired.”

Wednesday, January 16, 2008; A10

Courtesy: WashingtonPost

Source – http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/01/15/AR2008011503304.html?hpid=topnews

A Joke!

– Contributed by: Mohammad Khan Sial

Sindh sent a prime minister to Punjab, they returned his dead body -Liaquat Ali Khan.

Sindh sent a prime minister to Punjab, they returned his dead body – Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto

Sindh sent a prime minister to Punjab, they returned his dead body – Shaheed Benazir Bhutto

Sindh sent a dead body to Punjab, they made him caretaker prime minister – Mohammadmian Soomro.!!

Courtesy: SindhWeek.Com

via – Sindhi e-lists/ e-groups, Jan 12 – 17, 2008

Our beloved leader Shaheed Benazir Bhutto

What is next in store for Sindhis and what could we do fight to secure Justice

By Khalid Hashmani, McLean, Virginia

Today’s 14th day since our beloved leader Benazir Bhutto was brutally murdered by the combined evil forces that appear to run Pakistan now days. These evil forces want to perpetuate their hegemony over Sindhis and other tolerant and forward-looking people of Pakistan and eliminate any one who oppose their dictatorship. With very little representation in the key decision-making institutions, Benazir Bhutto offered Sindhis the only hope for getting fairness and justice peacefully. Now that she has been taken away from us by those who want to enslave Sindhis, we must not only fight for justice for us but also for her.

The question that we need to seriously ponder is what is next in store for Sindhis and what could we do fight to secure Justice for Shaheed Benazir Bhutto and us? Engaging in e-mail discussions, praising and/or criticizing other Sindhi groups is one thing, but the need of the hour is to sincerely pledge and devote ourselves to secure fairness and justice for all Sindhis and other downtrodden people of Pakistan.

Benazir’s own blood family and political family (PPP) have left no doubt that they do not expect any justice for her from any investigations and inquiries being conducted by the present Pakistan government. They are demanding that UN must conduct an inquiry into the question as to who killed her and who had the motivation and opportunity to murder her. The global community in general and Sindhis in particular, have also taken initiatives to pursue UN to become a venue for justice for Benazir. An online petition appealing to UN to conduct an investigation has been signed by almost 8,000 persons with hundreds more signing it each day. Several friends have issued statements that in this critical hour, every Sindhi must join PPP and make it the platform of choice for their struggle to achieve fairness and justice. I can understand it that this is an “election time” and the Sindhi leaders of the PPP feel that it would not be prudent to specifically demand fairness and justice for Sindhis openly in the same way as ANP is fighting for the rights of Pashtuns in NWFP and Baloch nationalist parties doing the rights of Baluch. However, PPP’s Sindhi leaders must realize that the reaction of Sindhi masses over the loss of their only hope (benazir Bhutto) to achieve fairness and justice peacefully clearly shows that they are totally unhappy with the injustices they have been suffering at the hands of the present and some past Pakistani governments. The Sindhi leaders of PPP must recognize that after the elections, Sindhis masses would insist PPP to openly talk about Sindhi plight and forcefully fight for their rights. To get a sense of the deep sadness of Sindhis, read the excepts reproduced below from the Wall Street Journal photo gallery about reaction of Sindhis after hearing the news about the shahdat of Benazir Bhutto. By the same token, Sindhi masses and opinion influencers has to realize that there is nothing enemies of Sindhis would like than see Sindhis move away from PPP and become disunited in many groups.

In my view, the following are some of the practical actions and steps that we Sindhis must take in the immediate future:

* Keep the unity as a focal point and FULLY support vigils, protest marches, and other form of demonstrations that demand justice for Benazir Bhutto and others.

* PPP leadership must recognize that Benazir Bhutto was leader of all Sindhis and should not insist that any grievance or protest should solely be channeled through the PPP platform. On the contrary PPP leadership should encourage their party members to join any protest, demonstrations, and acts of grievances for Benazir Bhutto regardless of who organizes them.

* Organize a massive hunger strike in front of the UN office and in front of other key institutions in Europe, USA, Pakistan , and other countries to demand UN investigation of Benazir Bhutto’s killing and in the plight of Sindhis and Baluch.

* Raise funds to place full-page appeals in world-class newspapers demanding demand UN investigation of Benazir Bhutto’s killing and in the plight of Sindhis and Baluch.

* Create a central committee of overseas  to coordinate activities and actions to demand UN investigation of Benazir Bhutto’s killing and in the plight of Sindhis and Baluch.

* Formulate fouus groups in all major cities and towns and hold weekly sessions to formulate plans and take actions to demand UN investigation of Benazir Bhutto’s killing and in the plight of Sindhis and Baluch.

Are we ready to take some practical and pragamatic actions to secure justice and fairness for Benazir Bhutto and Sindhi masses or must we continue to limit expressing our frustration through e-mails and statements?

If there are any volunteers to provide help by contiibuting towards newspapers ads and joining in peaceful protests and hunger strikes in front of the UN office and in front of other key institutions in Europe, USA, Pakistan , and other countries to demand UN investigation of Benazir Bhutto’s killing and in the plight of Sindhis, Balochs and other oppressed Pakistanis.

Nov. 01, 2008

Assasination of Ms Bhutto: A letter to Transparency International

To: Chairman,

Transparency International

The Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and the people of Pakistan and the free world are shocked at the tragic assassination of former Prime Minister Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto. We strongly condemn this cowardly and barbaric act of terrorism by the forces of evil against the forces of democracy and moderation in Pakistan. Mohtarma Bhutto was a courageous and dedicated leader, who was the vanguard of democracy in Pakistan. She struggled against the forces of extremism and terrorism, and believed in liberty and freedom for all. She visualized a moderate, pluralistic, democratic and prosperous Pakistan.

The PPP rejects the inquiry being conducted by the Musharraf regime into the assassination of Mohtarma Bhutto and calls upon world leaders, civil society, and human rights bodies to urge the regime in Pakistan to let foreign experts conduct an independent investigation of the tragic incident, preferably under the auspices of the United Nations by a UN prosecutor, as conducted in the assassination case of the Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Harriri.

The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) has already recognized that former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto’s assassination has implications for international security by calling a special session of the UNSC and condemning the assassination.

“The Security Council condemns in the strongest terms the terrorist suicide attack by extremists that occurred in Rawalpindi, Pakistan, on 27 December 2007, causing the death of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto and numerous other causalities, ” said Italy’s U.N. Ambassador Marcello Spatafora as he read out a statement in council chambers in his current capacity as president of the council. He also said the Council also “expresses its deep sympathy and condolences to the victims of this heinous act of terrorism and their families, and to the people and the government of Pakistan.”

In addition to calling on Pakistanis to “exercise restraint and maintain stability” in the aftermath of the attack, the council also reiterated its call to bring the perpetrators, organizers, financiers and sponsors of the attack to justice. The council in their statement also reaffirmed the need to combat “by all means” threats to international peace and security caused by such terrorist acts. “The Security Council reiterates its determination to combat all forms of terrorism, in accordance with its responsibilities under the Charter of the United Nations,” the statement also said.

Two months before her assassination, Mohtarma Bhutto wrote to Mark Siegel, her U.S. spokesman, lobbyist and friend, saying that if she were killed, General Musharraf would bear some of the blame. “Just wanted u to know if it does in addition to the names in my letter to Musharaf of October 16th, I would hold Musharaf responsible. I have been made to feel insecure by his minions and there is no way what is happening in terms of stopping me from taking private cars or using tinted windows or giving jammers or four police mobiles to cover all sides could happen without him.” as reported by CNN. Siegel forwarded that e-mail to CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, with instructions he not report on it unless Bhutto was killed.

Mohtarma Bhutto in a secret email to Foreign Secretary David Miliband written weeks before her death had claimed three senior allies of Pakistan’s General Musharraf were out to kill her, as reported in Daily Mail of December 30, 2007. Astonishingly, one of them is a leading intelligence officer who was officially responsible for protecting Ms Bhutto from an assassination. The second is a prominent Pakistani figure. The third is a well known chief minister in Pakistan who is a long-standing opponent of Ms Bhutto. Ms Bhutto told Mr Miliband she was convinced that the three were determined to assassinate her on her return to the country and pleaded with him to put pressure on the Pakistan government to stop them.

Earlier, in an interview with the French magazine Paris Match, she said that “I know exactly who wants to kill me. It is reminiscent of the former regime of General Zia who are today behind the extremism and the fanaticism.”

Mohtarma Bhutto wanted to hire British and American security experts to protect her, The Sunday Telegraph revealed on December 31, 2007. But the plans collapsed because General Musharraf refused to allow the foreign contractors to operate in Pakistan, according to senior aides. “She asked to bring in trained security personnel from abroad,” said Mark Siegel. “In fact she and her husband repeatedly tried to get visas for such protection, but they were denied by the government of Pakistan.”

The PPP and calls upon world leaders, civil society, and human rights bodies to urge the regime in Pakistan to let foreign experts conduct an independent investigation of the tragic incident, preferably under the auspices of the United Nations by a UN prosecutor as performed in the assassination case of the Lebanese Prime Minister Harriri.

Sincerely,

Ali Nawaz Memon

Senior Financial and Institutional Development Consultant

Good Governance Support Group

Jan 8, 2008

Assassination of BB: Causes, Ramifications and Challenges

Resolutions Passed by the Civil Society Forum on “Assassination of Shaheed BB: Causes, Ramifications and Challenges” 6th Jan 2008, @ Press Club Hyderabad

Center for Peace and Civil Society (CPCS) organized a civil society forum on “the Assassination of Shaheed Benazir Bhutto: causes, ramifications and Challenges” at Press Club Hyderabad. Retired Justice Wajeehudin presided the conference, Rasool Bux Palijo was chief guest and Executive Director CPCS Jami Chandio facilitated the conference as host. Those who participated and spoke in the program included Yousaf Masti Khan, Advocate Akhtar Hussain, Rahat Saeed, Anees Haroon, Dr Rajab Memon, Mazhar-ul- Haq Siddiue, Barrister Zamir Ghumro, Kachkol Ali, Usman balouch, Ishaq Tunio, Amar Sindhu, kausar S Khan, Dr Ali Ahmed Rind, Inam Shaikh, Taj Joyo, Hussain Bux Thebo, Afzal Gujar, Dr Nazir Shaikh and others.

The forum unanimously passed the following resolutions:

We the writers, intellectuals, journalists, political and social activists, political parties and civil society organizations strongly condemn the criminal act of assassination of Shaheed Benazir Bhutto and express our solidarity with her family, party and the people.

We strongly feel that the assassination of shaheed Benazir Bhutto has caused a great political and emotional loss for the people of Pakistan in general and the people of Sindh in particular. In a country where the federation does not exist in true sense and structure, where the contract among the constituent federating units has already become abstract and obsolete, where politics has been criminalized and terrorized through state sponsorship, where intra-state conflicts are widening the gap among the provinces, where civil military conflict has started posing serious threats to the integrity of state, where secular forces are already harassed and democratic institutions are being virtually wiped out ; the assassination of Benazir Bhutto is indeed a great tragedy and irreversible loss.

Due to the heinous crimes committed by the ruling class and the establishment, the latter is loosing its rationale and emerging as a failed state on the political map of today’s world. We believe that:

* · Pakistan was established on the basis of 1940 Lahore resolution and the resolution clearly says that all the constituent federating units would be autonomous and sovereign but the ruling class and establishment have betrayed the contract and usurped the economic, political, social, cultural and emotional rights of oppressed nationalities and the people of Pakistan, thus negating and rendering totally irrelevant the above moral, social and legal foundation of Pakistan.

* · The ruling class and the establishment under the aegis of world imperialism interests of world imperialism virtually sold the country and turned into a neo colony from the every first days of the establishment of Pakistan and made its internal and external policy sub servient to the evil anti people interests of world imperialism.

* · In his famous 11th August speech the founder of Pakistan Mr. Jinnah clearly said that Pakistan would not be a theocratic state but on the contrary theocracy and fanatic militancy had been patronized and deeply rooted by the state and establishment over the years and decades which has maligned the image of the country through out the world as a nursery of terrorism.

* The military establishment has virtually conquered the state of Pakistan. It leaves no space for people and political forces. They do politics, run industries and business enterprises; create fake political parties, pseudo politicians, control parliament, judiciary and media. They have taken over every business of state and economy except doing their own professional work for which they are being heavily paid since decades at the cost of extreme poverty and under development. The military establishment has thus turned Pakistan into a militarized state and society.

We strongly assert and affirm that this country was established for the people and not for the usurpers of the rights and resources of the people of oppressed nationalities in particular and those of the people of entire Pakistan .

* We unanimously demand that the judiciary should be restored to Nov 2 position and an independent and credible inquiry commission be appointed under the guidance of Court in order to unmask the real culprits behind this horrendous and heinous criminal act.

* Pervez Musharaf has become a security risk for the country and the people of Pakistan . He has turned Pakistan into foreign and military occupied territory. We strongly demand that Pervez Musharf should immediately resign and a new credible interim government and independent election commission should be formed before the elections.

* Military should have no role and stake in politics and public life. The size of armed forces should be downsized and the armed forces should have roughly and reasonably equal representation from all the respective provinces. All Revenue and labor laws,

* Pakistan can only be saved and the intra-state conflicts could only be resolved if the foundations of federation be laid on the basis of 1940 resolution and structural equality among all the federating units. Federal Government should have only three subjects like foreign policy, defense, and currency where as all the rest of the subjects should be given to the respective provinces. Concurrent list should be abolished. Till this is done the 1973 constitution should immediately be restored.

* Thousands of political leaders and workers from, Balochistan, Sindh, Punjab and NWFP are detained illegally by the powers that be, they should be immediately released. All the lawyers, political workers and civil society leaders including president Pakistan bar Council Barrister Aitzaz Ahsan, Akhtar Mengal, Dr Safdar Sarki and others should immediately be released. After the assassination of Shaheed Benazir Bhutto thousands of political workers have been arrested and a large number of bogus cases have been registered against political workers especially in Sindh to curb and depress the people’s voice against the Musharaf regime.

* Pakistan has become structurally imbalanced federation after the separation of East Pakistan. The ruling class of one province dominates all the state institutions and enjoys absolute majority in the parliament against all three provinces that has emerged as a major source of conflict in Pakistan. Till the state of Pakistan is properly established on its original socio-political foundation based on the 1940 Lahore resolution, the interim solution should be to make senate more empowered where all provinces should have equal numerical representation. The members of senate should be directly elected and the passage of budget and money bills and all federal appointments like judges of supreme court , chief election commissioner, members and chairman of federal public service commission , ambassadors, heads of autonomous bodies and corporations, Governors, and chiefs of armed forces should be made after the scrutiny and approval of the senate.

* Water conflict has become key source of conflict in Pakistan. Sindh is the lower riparian of River Indus and all its tributaries. The constitution of Pakistan and international law confers inalienable rights to the lower riparian. Sindh has been opposing further cuts on Indus in the names of dams, canals and barrages to store divert and steal waters of Indus River and its tributaries without the concurrence of lower riparian. Ongoing illegal construction of Greater Thal canal should be stopped and all mega projects of large dams on upstream should be shelved.

* The 1990 census should be accepted and on the basis of those results fresh census should be conducted by clamping curfew in the whole country and counting heads where ever they are on that particular day. This will eliminate duplicate counting and the anomaly of awarding major share of NFC funds to one dominating province.

* The NFC award should be decided on the following basis:

o Index of infra structure in each province

o Human Development index and ratio of poverty in the provinces

o Level of per capita income of a province in comparison to that of the other provinces

o revenue generation capacity of each province

o Burden of legal and illegal immigrants on each province.

* All the indigenous languages of Pakistan like Punjabi, Sindhi, Pushto, Balochi, Siraiki, Hindko and others should be given the status of national and official languages like that given in India and Urdu and English be made the languages of communication.

Discrimination

By M. Saleem

Pakistan Muslim League (Q) has set up relief offices for the affected people of recent violations after December 27th, 2007. They have mentioned all the communities like Punjabi, Muhajirs etc, they have not mentioned Sindhis.

It is clear discrimination against Sindhis. Discrimination was in places since long but it was under table. Now it has been very clear and official discrimination against Sindhis. You can find these advertisements on Jung news paper.

Courtesy: Sindhi e-lists/ e-groups, 05/01/2008

BBC: Thousands who protested Benazir’s assassination Arrested in Sindh

The BBC has carried a news that thousands of people who were protesting Benazir Bhutto’s assassination have been arrested in rural Sindh. Those arrested include several party officials and candidates in upcoming election. It looks like that government is targeting PPP and its workers. They are trying hurt and bruise PPP since they do not courage to face them in elections.

For full story, go to BBC, click here:

Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/urdu/pakistan/story/2007/12/071231_sindh_rioting_firs.shtml

Salam Benazir Bhutto

By Javed Larik

An other wound in the soul of nation. No body will take her place. She is martyr (Shaheed). Daughter of Shaheed became shaheed. She fulfilled her promise and laid down her life for the people. Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto must be proud of (Benazir Shaheed) Pinki.

She proved to be his continuation even up to her last breath. She certainly knew the cost of being among the people. None could separate her from people. None could intimidate her. Oh the daughter of east, oh the daughter of land, Oh MARVI MALIR JEE we salute you. SALAM BENAZIR you will rule the hearts we will never forget you.

DO NOT BURN SINDH

By: Ali Nawaz Memon

MY HEART IS BURSTING. MY TEARS ARE NOT STOPPING. I HAVE LOST A GREAT LEADER…. I EXPECTED MOHTARAMA BENAZIR BHUTTO TO SOLVE OUR NATIONAL AND SINDHI PROBLEMS. SHE HAD PERSONALLY PROMISED ME TO FOCUS ON UNEMPLOYMENT ISSUE. WE WERE PLANNING CREATION OF NEW MINISTRY FOCUSING ON UNEMPLOYMENT ALONE.

NOW I AM HEARING THAT PEOPLE ARE BURNING SINDH.  BANKS, COURTS, ELECTION OFFICES, FIRE TRUCKS, AND PRIVATE PROPERTY ARE BEING BURNT IN LARKANA, JACOBABAD AND OTHER TOWNS OF SINDH. PROPERTY OF EVEN PPP WORKERS IS BEING BURNT. SOME BODY IS TAKING ADVANTAGE AND USING SHAHADAT OF MOHTARAMA TO SET US BACK FURTHER.

PLEASE DO NOT BURN ASSETS OF SINDH. WE NEED TO BUILD SINDH. DO NOT BURN IT. I APPEAL TO ALL WORKERS TO PROTECT PEOPLE AND ASSETS OF SINDH.

Courtesy: Sindhi e-lists/ e-groups, 27/12/2007

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information

Benazir Bhutto assassinated by bombing in Rawalpindi

RAWALPINDI, Pakistan – Pakistan opposition leader Benazir Bhutto was assassinated Thursday in a suicide bombing that also killed at least 20 others at a campaign rally, a party aide and a military official said.

“At 6:16 p.m. she expired,” said Wasif Ali Khan, a member of Bhutto’s party who was at Rawalpindi General Hospital where she was taken after the attack.

A senior military official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to comment, confirmed that Bhutto had died.

Her supporters at the hospital began chanting “Dog, Musharraf, dog,” referring to Pakistan’s president Pervez Musharraf. Some of them smashed the glass door at the main entrance of the emergency unit, others burst into tears.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP’s earlier story is below.

RAWALPINDI, Pakistan (AP) — Pakistani opposition leader Benazir Bhutto was assassinated Thursday in a suicide bombing that also killed at least 20 others at a campaign rally, a party aide and a military official said.

Source of News:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20071227/ap_on_re_as/pakistan

Pro-Democracy Groups succeed in getting restrictions on US Aid tied to democratic reforms in Pakistan

by Khalid Hashmani, McLean, Virginia

Those Pakistanis and their friends who stand for real democracy and non-partisan & independent judiciary would be pleased to know that yesterday US Congress passed a bill that puts pressure on General Musharraf and his cronies for real democracy.

The following are the key points from the recently passed bill that is expected to be signed by President W. Bush.

* Congress withheld $50 million until Secretary of State can certify that democratic rights and independent judiciary has been restored in Pakistan. The areas include are freedom of assembly and expression, releasing political detainees, ending harassment and detention of journalists, human rights defenders and government critics, and restoring an independent judiciary.

* Approved US Administration’ s earlier decision to deliver $200 million annual cash payment through USAID (and hopefully directly to Civil Society organizations) instead of direct payment to the Pakistan government. These funds will be directed to specific projects for the direct benefit of Pakistani people.

* Withheld a part of $250million military aid to counter-terrorism and law enforcement activities. According to newspaper accounts suggest that the language of the bill is such that it will make it difficult that money to acquire F-16 jets and naval equipment.

The Pakistan Embassy in Washington DC, which has very little representation of Sindhis and Baluchis, expressed unhappiness over these changes. According to a newspaper, one ironic comment from an embassy official said that “the government of Pakistan and the people of Pakistan were not happy with such conditionality. ” As if Pakistani people are very happy with the status quo and the destruction of independent judiciary. The details can be read in all leading newspapers including Washington Post at:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/12/19/AR20071219 02502.html

21 December, 2007


Civil society agenda & action plan

By Aziz Narejo, TX

It is true that an overwhelming majority of the civil society wants an end to the military rule and military intervention in civilian affairs. It wants the military to do its lawful duties and not to indulge in politics. It wants non-partisan judiciary. It also wants a non-partisan free press, rule of law, respect for human rights and an unfettered democracy.

It is also true that the stand taken by the majority of the higher judiciary led by the Chief Justice of Pakistan, Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry, a remarkable movement by the lawyers, a just struggle by the media men and women and the increasing awareness and activism among the masses have greatly strengthened the civil society. It is finally finding its feet and wants to be reckoned with but it still has a long way to go before it can play its due role.

In the present fateful situation a heavy responsibility lies on the shoulders of the civil society leadership, especially when the dictator has donned civvies (wolf in sheep’s skin) and is playing a farce in the name of elections. Soon we may have a civilian government working under the dictator and he may try to derail the lawyers and journalists’ movement.

To defeat the dictator’s schemes and to fulfill aspirations of all sections of the society including the common men and women, there is a great need for the civil society to come together, take a joint stand and launch a well-organized and coordinated movement. It is the duty of each and every citizen to participate in such a struggle.

I am writing this as an ordinary citizen to call upon the leaders of the civil society in Pakistan to help bring the civil society leadership on one platform. I request them to host a conference of the forward looking and progressive pro democracy elements to:

1. Discuss and possibly set a brief agenda for the civil society.

2. Prepare an action plan for a struggle to end military intervention in civilian affairs, establish democracy, rule of law and non-partisan of judiciary and media, reach a just contract between the federating units and make sure the supremacy of the will of the people and the parliament.

Why?

1. It is the most catastrophic and the saddest tragedy that Pakistan was hijacked at the time of its birth by the people and the forces that imposed centralism, denied the core principles outlined in the “1940 Pakistan Resolution”, rejected the inherent rights of the minorities in a state and paved the way for a few in the elite to control the destiny of the country. These forces were soon joined by the military establishment that eventually took over the apparatus and started dictating every one else.

2. The country has been under continued military domination for at least half a century now, at times under direct military rule and at other times under military dominated rule. It is interesting to see that the country has suffered the most when it had been under the direct military rule. It explains the ability and the competency of the military establishment.

3. The long military domination of the society has established the principle of “might is right”; it has polluted the minds of the people specially our youth, hastened the degeneration and retardation of the society, nurtured insanity and corruption, created a class of opportunists and collaborators and bolstered the feudalism in the country.

4. The uninterrupted 13-year military rule under Ayub and Yahya ended in the dismemberment of the country while the next military ruler Zia mutilated, disfigured and dismantled all the civilian institutions, nurtured extremism, sectarianism, terrorism, racism, use of force and left behind such deep scars that may never heal.

5. The present military ruler is no different from his predecessors and seems to be pushing the country and the people over the cliff and finishing off the job left behind by the earlier dictators.

His actions against judiciary, lawyers, media and other civil society activists are the most condemnable. Today the country is burning and an overwhelming majority of the people is outraged at his actions.

What to do?

It is the time that the civil society takes a stand and saves the people and the country from an imminent catastrophe. It is the duty of all the civilians to speak up and act. The things can’t be left to just the politicians and the political parties because:

1. The political parties have been severely weakened by the years of military domination of the society, which has subverted the political and civilian institutions.

2. It is simply beyond the much-hampered capabilities of any single political party or even an alliance of several parties to take on the might of the military establishment that it has acquired after the continuous domination of all spheres of political and economic activities in the country.

3. There is a gulf of mistrust among the politicians and between the masses and the politicians. The politicians lack credibility and stand divided and can not agree to a joint stand on their own.

In such a situation, it will help if a conference is called by independent civil society leadership. It may succeed in bringing all the pro democracy leadership together and agree to a joint action plan.

Such a conference should help and compliment the political parties and not compete with them and shouldn’t seek in any way to form a new or even an umbrella organization. It should strengthen the political parties and all other civilian institutions and organs.

We must understand that the fight is very important and at a very crucial stage. It is not the sole responsibility of the political parties to take up the fight. All the civilians, civil society organizations and institutions have to chip in and have to strengthen the political parties and other civilian institutions.

When?

Such a conference should be held as soon as possible. I hope the civil society leadership would take an immediate action on this appeal.

27/12/2007

Has the Left left Pakistan?

By: Haider K. Nizamani, Canada

INDIA’S West Bengal and Pakistan’s Punjab are comparable provinces in terms of population. About 80 million people live in each.

Since 1977, the people of West Bengal have voted Communist Party Marxist (CPM)-led coalitions into office. It would be preposterous to imagine communists forming the provincial government in our Punjab after the January elections. The Left simply does not matter when it comes to Pakistan’s political chessboard.

Is there any Left left in Pakistan? What happened to it as an organised entity? What about the ideas it championed? Are the issues that provided the Left rationale for action resolved in today’s Pakistani society? Should we mourn or celebrate the death of the Left?

The fate of the Left in Pakistan from the very beginning was bound-up with the machinations of Cold War politics and the way Pakistan’s ruling elite firmly aligned itself with the West in that conflict. The role of the Left in the country varied in each decade of Pakistan’s history up-to the 1990s. This brief run-down on the changing fortunes and misfortunes of the Pakistani Left since independence is offered here in the spirit of initiating discussion on this issue. The overview is confined to the present day Pakistan which until 1971 had less than half of the country’s population.

What do we mean by the Left in Pakistani context? For this article it refers to self-identified Leftist parties and individuals who question the existing social property relations and the international order associated with them. Marxism in some form remained its intellectual inspiration.

The Left identified itself with the cause of economically exploited urban and rural classes of the country. The state was seen as a custodian of the interests of absentee landlords and the big capital at home and world capitalism led by the United States at the global level. At the time of independence, the Communist Party of Pakistan (CPP), an offshoot of the Communist Party of India (CPI), became the organisational base to coordinate efforts to dismantle what it viewed as prevailing unequal and unjust socio-political order.

The CPI had lent its support to the Muslim League’s demand of Pakistan invoking the principle of national self-determination. That support, however, did not translate into a congenial working atmosphere for the CPP in the newly created state. Faiz Ahmed Faiz’s poem Subh-e-Azadi (Freedom’s dawn) succinctly summarised the 1950s for the Left in Pakistan. He called it ‘the night-bitten dawn.’ In March of 1951 several high ranking military officers, including Major General Akbar Khan, and their civilian cohorts were arrested for allegedly planning the overthrow of the government to install a pro-Moscow regime.

The Rawalpindi Conspiracy, as it is commonly known, was used as a ruse to suppress dissent and punish those individuals who were identified with the Left. It was also used to strengthen pro-West officers within the higher echelons of the armed forces. The subsequent witch-hunt led to the arrest of Faiz Ahmed Faiz and Syed Sajjad Zaheer, who had relocated to Pakistan in order to lead the CPP, and other intellectuals and trade unionists associated with the Left. And this, in Ayesha Jalal’s words turned Pakistan ‘into a veritable intellectual wasteland’.

The Pakistani Left, in term of organisational capacity, was in disarray during the 1960s. Consolation for this weakness came in the shape of issues which dominated the political discourse in the late 1960s. Spin-doctors of the Ayub regime organised celebrations under the banner of ‘the decade of development. ‘ All that ordinary West Pakistanis saw was growing disparity and pauperisation. Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, who had jumped the Ayubian boat, and the Pakistani left joined hands to express popular sentiments in the slogan of ‘roti, kapra, aur makan’ (bread, clothing, and housing). These were quintessential Left issues added by call for an independent, which meant less pro-American, foreign policy.

The 1970s started with the revolution of rising expectations which swiftly slid into the revolution of rising resentments and disillusionment. The political honeymoon between Bhutto and the Left didn’t last long. Imperatives of strengthening his hold on power compelled Bhutto to cozy up to Pakistan’s traditional power bases. The Left did not have the organisational capacity to match Bhutto’s populist polemics. In marked contrast with the 1970 elections where agenda revolved around roti, kapra, aur makan; the agenda of the 1977 elections was largely shaped by the clergy questioning Bhutto’s Islamic credentials. The Left had waned from the political horizon.

Then came General Ziaul Haq and his penchant to turn Pakistan into Islam’s fortress. The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan resulted in what Fred Halliday calls ‘the second cold war’ with Zia teaming up with Ronald Reagan to bleed the Soviets. Support for the Mujahideen was matched by repression at home. Intelligence and police forces actively hunted down Leftists, often on trumped up or trivial charges. As a result, university teachers, students, journalists, and assorted other activists with actual or imagined connections with communism were more likely to be found behind bars during much of the 1980s.

The tenacity with which some of these individuals faced the Zia regime made up for their lack of organisational capacity and intellectual depth. When most of these towering individuals were released by 1987 their mystique evaporated as they struggled for political anchorage in changed Pakistan.

The collapse of the Soviet Union dealt the ideological and psychological blow to the Left for which it was least prepared. The folksy Marxism it subscribed to viewed Soviet Union as infallible. The West celebrated the end of the Cold War as the ‘end of history’ where capitalism and liberal democracy had triumphed as the organising principle for political communities.

Formal political space in Pakistan was now occupied by centrist and right of the centre parties. Where did the Left go in the 1990s? Individuals belonging to the Left ran helter-skelter and most of them eventually ended up in two fields; media, both print and electronic; and mainly externally funded non-government organisations (NGOs) working in areas of education, health, micro-credit, and women’s empowerment.

The remunerative edge of the NGO sector means it is more appealing. But the changed ideological milieu has made erstwhile opponents of capital into means of spreading its reach in far flung corners of society in the name of micro-credit. Whereas in the past the Left spoke of classes and contradictions the new jargon is centred on community and cooperation.

Anti-imperialism and the struggle for equitable and just order at home went hand-in-hand in the traditional leftist agenda. In today’s Pakistan the plank of anti-imperialism is occupied by overly-simplistic anti-Americanism as championed by assorted religious parties and individuals like Imran Khan. Concern for an equitable and just socio-political order is conspicuously absent from the current political discourse.

With the Left nowhere to be seen in the formal political arena, Pakistan’s political discourse revolves around phrases like ‘extremism versus moderation’ both of which leave the fundamental structures of the society untouched. ‘The night-bitten dawn’ Faiz lamented half-a-century back has indeed lasted for a long time and shows no signs of ending.

The writer can be reached at hnizamani@hotmail.com

Courtesy: Daily Dawn, Dec. 4, 2007

Is the left wing struggle divided on ethnic lines?

By Shakeel Nizamani, Calgary, Alberta

After the fall of Soviet Union, many left-wing workers (accustom to comparing themselves as KHAHORI of SHAH) who used to convince simple folks by telling the fairy tales of flowing rivers of milk and honey in communist countries became so demoralized that either they became MULLAH or MAWALI and some even are basking under the sun of their former arch enemy-U.S.A.

Though some old guards sticking to their guns and believe that Marxism is still relevant and prophesy that it will make a come back.

Some Sindhi left-wing nationalists do see these Pakistan left-wing ideologues as usurper. Is the left wing struggle is also divided on ethnic lines?

05/12/2007

Back to Square One

By Khalid Hashmani, McLean, Virginia

The 1983 history (MRD Movement) appears to be repeating itself. Some players are different, other players are the same but the establishment once again succeeds in their plan to deny the justice to Sindhis and other exploited groups of Pakistan. Supreme Court justices are gone, press and media has been clamped down, Baloch are dying, and the same machinery is busy in churning lies and propaganda against PPP only because the party is still the number one choice in Sindh and Baluchistan.

In addition to the full page advertisement in the Pakistani newspapers about fictitious letter by Benazir Bhutto to Peter Galbraith, who did not even work for National Democratic Institute for International Affairs in 1990, I have received venomous e-mails whose aim is to malign PPP and divide people. One in particular titled “Price Per Jialas” used baseless allegations and a lot of innuendo. It has sentences such as “stampeding bigwigs of PPP literally driving over the dead and injured party workers/Jialas in their luxury cars”, “Ms. Bhutto returned to Dubai. Her husband picked her up from the airport in their Bentley luxury-car. A single Bentley costs at least $264,000” and “Ms. Bhutto owns a pink family villa fringed by palm trees in an upscale Emirates Hills Dubai) neighborhood overlooking a lake and with a view to a golf course. Average price for a villa in Emirates Hills is said to be $6,000,000.” were clearly aimed at discrediting Benazir and part of the conspiracy create an environment where PPP can be declared as having lost elections.

The hurried elections under the emergency rule, whose nomination date starts today are all designed to defeat the true ballot box choice and ensure that the same unrepresentative groups continue to rule Pakistan and continue to deny due rights of the Sindhis and the people of Pakistan.

Alas, our jihad remains limited to declaring “enemies” of our “enemies” as true friends and joining hands with those who pursue the path of fundamentalism and want to strengthen military even further using resources of Sindh and Baluchistan.

I think the time has come for us to call spade a spade and leave the delusional world of securing justice through democracy and elections. This is not going to happen as the establishment controls are not easily breakable. It about time that we take an inward look at our strengths and weaknesses and formulate a strategy on how we would be able to protect Sindhi identity, political rights and culture in years to come!

22/11/2007