Tag Archives: Peace

Bhagat Kanwar

SINDH : Ruk Station and Bhaggat Kanwar are synonyms. The place where this legend and icon of religious harmony of Ahansa and peace was murdered 1939. On Tuesday, 16th Feb, 2009 at 5 PM the Chairperson Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, HRCP, Asma Jahangir is coming to Ruk station to pay him tribute. A candle light vigil, sufi music and sufi whirl has been arranged. Organisers; Munir Memon (The Democrats), Yousif Sindhi (Sindhi Adabi Sangat), Bhadur Rind( Qazi Faiz Mohammed Foundation)

Courtesy: Sindhi e-lists/ e-groups, Thu, February 11, 2010

“Forum For Rights, Justice & Peace” launched in Sindh

Members of civil society, writers, journalists & social activists of Sindh launched a “Forum For Rights, Justice & Peace.” In a meeting of civil society activists, writers, journalists & social activists of Sindh at INDUS HOTEL Hyderabad “Forum For Rights, Justice & Peace”(FRJP) have been launched. Following office bearers were elected. 1 Dr. Gulzar Ali Jumani, President. 2 Abdul Wahab Munshey, Senior Vice President. 3 Dr.Agha Taj, Vice President. 4 Haji Mohd Shafi Khatari,Vice President. 5 Mukhtair Ali Abbasi,General Sectary. 6 Maqsood Ahmed Memon, Deputy General Sectary. 7 Ghulam Hyder Babal, joint Sectary. 8 Prof: Shahabubddin Mughal, Press Sectary. 9 Ramesh Kumar Ghupta, Cultural Sectary. 10 Aijaz Shaikh, Office Sectary. 11 Dr. Shams Siddique, Treasurer.

The main working Focus of Forum will be: (1) Peace (2) Justices (3) Education (4) Health (5) Freedom Of Media.

Aman Ittehad – Solidarity Day Celebrated Enthusiastically

Report by ‘We Journalists’

We Journalists, an effective voice of media people, human rights activists, environmentalists and political thinkers, organized a cultural activity on the occasion of Aman Ittehad – Solidarity Day, jointly with CPCS, Women Action Forum (WAF) and Saranga Literary Society on Friday, January 1, 2010 at Hyderabad Press Club. The event with concise introductory speeches, poetry recitation and lyrical music attracted a large number of people ranging from civil society, literature, journalists and teachers to intellectuals to share their little contribution to promote love, peace and harmony in the society.

Continue reading Aman Ittehad – Solidarity Day Celebrated Enthusiastically

Clinton Says India Can Outgrow China, If…

Washington : Former US president Bill Clinton has said India has the potential to outgrow China if it makes peace with Pakistan. This peace between the two countries could lead to a more modern Afghanistan and contribute to a world wide draw down of nuclear weapons, he said speaking at the Indian Institute of Technology’s Global Conference 2009 in Chicago last Saturday. In turn this could even indirectly influence a reduction of conflict in the Middle East, Clinton said when asked how India could play a more significant role in the UN and G 20 in the future. If you [India] did not have to rise defence spending 20 percent a per year and these countries could be working together I think you will grow faster than China,” he said adding, I think this idea that the Chinese are going to dominate the 21st century is not necessarily true.

Continue reading Clinton Says India Can Outgrow China, If…

Sindh Conference Held in London Linking Sindh to the World Peace

LONDON – October 4, 2009, Press release: …the presence of a sovereign Sindh could create a new path to democracy and a new method of counteracting pan-Islamic forces. This was the consensus view at the 21st International Conference of the World Sindhi Congress (WSC), a human rights advocacy group for Sindh and Sindhis, held in London on 3rd October 2009.

Several distinguished scholars and activists from Sindh, Balochistan, India, Canada, the USA and the UK gathered to present speeches on the theme of ‘Sovereignty of Sindh for World Peace.” Prominent speakers included, Mr. Sana Baloch, ex-Senator of Pakistan, Mr. Harbiyar Marri, Dr. Naseer Dashti, Isar Kalyani, Humera Rehman, Munawar Laghari and Noorudin Mengal. Along with speeches, a book reading session by Ms Alice Alibina, the writer of a new book ‘Empires of Indus,’ and a Sindhi soul music session were all part of the full-day Conference…

Universal message of peace and brotherhood

By Surjit Singh Flora
Beliefs of Guru Nanak Dev Ji
God is one, – All human beings are equal, –Women are equal to men in all respects.
“There is no Hindu, there is no Muslim” (in Punjabi, “n k hind, n k musluman“). All are human beings.

Continue reading Universal message of peace and brotherhood

A New Trend among Sindhi writers

Responding to a posting “A New Trend among Sindhi writers”

By Iqbal Tareen

Washington DC- April 4, 2009 – Your posting triggered an avalanche of thoughts and concerns that I would like to share with you and other readers. In my new book “Harvest will come” there is an article titled “Battle between Millat and Umma”. The moral of that article is that Pakistani state has come to the crossroad where its existence hinges upon separating religion from state and state from religion. What goes on in Waziristan, Qandhar, or Quetta has a direct bearing on fate and future of Sindhi nation no matter how hard we pretend otherwise. The last eight years of Bush-Cheney administration only added more fuel to the fire.

The extreme rightist forces are pushing the envelope to forge the ugliest regional “One Unit” Sindhis have ever seen. Unfortunately many of our writers and political activists have dire difficulty seeing “Beyond the end of nose “.

Political acumen is becoming a rarest commodity. Many of us are lost in the symptoms whereas the earth underneath us is being pulled by the Islamic extremist in more subtle ways than many political icons can notice. Same old forces that have plundered the nation for decades have their foot on Taliban peddle.

If our people have to lose individual dignity and freedoms they will be better off living under Hitler’s rule rather than under a rule of fanatic Taliban or Al-Qaeda. At some point you could reason with anyone who values life on earth but how can you negotiate with the one who feels that the life on earth is actually an outcome of punishment and curse. They are actually in a big hurry to get back to the skies.

I see a lot of “Thy shall not do what your opponent does” syndrome creeping into towering Sindhi intellectuals, writers, and political activists. Because MQM has taken a stand against Taliban, Sindhis seem to be shying away from taking a moral stand against it. Over the centuries Sindhis have rejected extreme religious dictates and have embraced Sufism as a core value. So have majority of people living in Pakistan. It is the unholy alliance of neoliberal and extreme

Islamists who are united not for the love of the people of Pakistan but for the hate of America. Hate can drive ones ego but it feeds on the soul.

We know MQM wants to take advantage of Taliban issue to position itself as the only political entity in Pakistan that has the appetite and will to confront Islamic extremism. It is a very smart and effective marketing and positioning strategy. They are also leveraging this opportunity to get rid of a huge Pushtoon population from Karachi and its surroundings, which MQM considers to be a major threat to its power and influence.

We know every Pushtoon is not a terrorist and every terrorist is not a Pushtoon. We have missed another opportunity to team up with progressive Pushtoon, Baloch, Sindhi, Punjabi, and Urdu speaking population of Karachi, Hyderabad and inner cities to drive a point that Sindhi people are true and natural allies of freedom-loving nations in the

world. On the contrary I read in papers that Mr. Arisar has issued a warning to Pushtoon population in Sindh to leave the province. If that is true, he needs to quit smoking what he is. This kind of mindset will lead to subsequent illusionary ideas demanding expulsion of Baloch population next and so on…

I am not suggesting that managing these issues is a cake walk. What I am saying is that it will require a political spine to take moral stands on critical issues of our times.

I hope Sindhis will take charge of their destiny instead of being the captives of an evil conquest.

Courtesy: Sindhi e-lists/ e-groups, April 4, 2009.

Opinion: Why don’t we support the great struggle of lawyers?

by: Sabir Hussain

Today most of “intellectuals”, “columnist” “professors”, “and all who have love & sympathy for Sindh & Sindhi nation, demanding from those who struggled for independence of judiciary, to raise issues of Sindh before Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Choudhery in order to prove their struggle justified, but none of them have dare to raise voice on crucial issues of Sindh (like issue of water, NFC, resource, Jobs, Education, peace & justice in every subject, karo kari & wadera shahi, problems of jobs & admission for sindhies in colleges & universities of Karachi, and many more) in front of elected “SINDHI PRESIDENT” whose party is elected by votes of Sindhi people & whom for Sindh & sindhi people have given sacrifices in every age…

These leaders of Sindh who always got power because of the votes & sacrifices of Sindhi people have made life miserable of Sindh, peoples of Sindh are forced to sell their beloved child because there is no water even for KAFN DAFN, number of Sindhi women killed in the name of KARO KARI, there are no roads, no shelter, no food, no jobs for sindhi people, few agents & mafia is destroying education of Sindh since last 30 years in the Universities of Sindh, day by day sindhi people have been murdered socially, politically, economically but these MNAs, MPA, WADERAS and President have never wanted to arrest those people, the heart of Sindh Karachi is no go area for Sindhi people, there is no jobs and admission for Sindhi students in Karachi but these sold agents parliamentarian have done nothing against this illegal & horrors acts.

And even these columnists, journalists, have never even

written on these issues, they have not protest against these issues in front of the government of PPP.

In above said status Quo if Chief Justice wants to build independent judiciary  to provide justice & peace to the people of Sindh & Pakistan than what is wrong with it? If he refused to follow illegal actions & orders of a Dictator than what sin has he committed? And when he has taken sueo moto actions against following criminal acts than what illegal & unethical act has Choudhery done?

Remember that:

1)He took against action Federal Minister of PPP Hazar Khan Bijarani as he had done illegal act of SANG CHATTI and sold five younger innocent girls of a poor people.

2)He took actions against the administration of a hospital when a poor non Muslim farmer women dead on the road during her pregnancy because the administration of Hospital refused to admit her.

3)He took action against Qasimabad police as they arrested two younger innocent children.

4)He took action against illegal & unconstitutional sell of Steel Mill, as it was national assets of Sindh,

5)He took action against missing persons,

6)He took action against a police officer on murdered of poor labourer Rasool Bux Birohi

7)He took against Zamindar Abdul Rehman Mari as he murdered the whole family of a farmer Mano Bheel.

These and other positive and legal actions taken by CJ

Iftikhar, without any greedness, he did not differentiate that he is sindhi so he should not provide justice, or any other thing.

I think there is game played by the agencies to keep away

Sindhi people from great struggle of Judiciary, this struggled was done by every Pakistani without any fear & force only to see law & order in the country, every one wants independent judiciary and independent courts in Pakistan.

Now as for as issues of Sindh & Sindhi people concerned

so we don’t forget that every sindhi must play their role and ask elected MNAs, MPA and president to do justice with Sindhi on every issue, we should demand from this PPP Govt to make clear, legal & fair policies on main issues of Sindh, I am regret to say that still PPP Govt has not any clear policy against issues like Education, Water, NFC, Kala Bagh Dam, natural resource, if they have than

must announce to whole Sindhi nation that how they are going to resolve these burning issue.

In last I will say that please don’t misguide whole nation, and don’t irritate them by telling kiddy stories. Focus on struggle to resolve crucial and burning issues of Sindh and demand from your elected members & Govt to be fair with Sindh and do justice with sindhi nation & prove yourself as real son of great soil.

21 March, 2009

Pakistan India Peace: Join us in Sindh Assembly Event

pak-india-flagReport by: Zulfiqar Halepoto, zhalepoto@yahoo.com
Honourbale Speaker of Sindh Assembly, Nisar Ahmed Khuhro is leading an event of signature campaign in Sindh Asssembly building, Karachi. Please join us at 3 pm sharp on Saturday, January 17th, 2009.

Joint Signature Campaign by Citizens of India and Pakistan Against Terrorism, War Posturing and To Promote Cooperation and Peace From 8th January 2009 to 8th February 2009 (To be submitted to the Prime Minister of India and the President of Pakistan with Copies to important political functionaries and media houses of both countries.)

Peace is the only way out

By Kuldip Nayar, India

Courtesy and Thanks: Daily Dawn, Dec. 12, 2008
The assassinated Benazir Bhutto told me in London a few months before returning to Pakistan that she would have “a borderless subcontinent”

It is a shame that only 13 out of 760 MPs were present recently to pay tribute to the watch and ward personnel shot dead on Dec 13 in the 2001 attack on the Indian parliament. I was then a member of the Rajya Sabha. The house had finished question hour and some members had called it a day. I was one of them.

Continue reading Peace is the only way out

How to TackleTerrorism- By Maulana Wahiduddin Khan

Maulana Wahiduddin Khan on Tackling Terrorism

Please note: Maulana Wahiduddin Khan is a Delhi-based Islamic scholar. He can be contacted on info@cpsglobal.org.

It is given in the Quran in these words: ‘Peace is the best’. (4:128)

Sufis have adopted this formula of Quran, which they call: Sulh-e-kul. It means ‘Peace with all’.

There is a verse in the Quran: ‘Don’t be extremist in your religion’. (4: 171)

A Quranic verse says that: ‘Whoever killed one single innocent human being should be looked upon as though he had killed all mankind (5:32),’

Terrorism is an international menace. Everyone condemns it but the question is: How to cope with terrorism? I would like to give the answer to this question in brief. First of all, we have to define what is terrorism. In Islam, only one kind of war is permissible, that is defensive war. This holds true only when the war becomes a necessity.

Continue reading How to TackleTerrorism- By Maulana Wahiduddin Khan

People’s unity and solidarity: The people of India and Pakistan – indeed, South Asia as a whole – wish to live together in peace

ACTION FOR A PROGRESSIVE PAKISTAN invites you to a PEACE AND SOLIDARITY VIGIL IN UNION SQUARE

Please join us for a silent candle-light vigil to commemorate the victims of the recent attacks in Mumbai and elsewhere in South Asia. As victims of terror ourselves, we stand in solidarity with the innocent people of Mumbai and India in calling for peace and stability in our countries and in the region. We call on the governments of India and Pakistan to work together to eliminate this violence, and to restore normalcy to the lives of ordinary Indians and Pakistanis, who are the real victims of these continuing attacks. The people of India and Pakistan – indeed, South Asia as a whole – wish to live together in peace. Please join us in putting forth this message of people’s unity and solidarity.

When: Saturday, December 13th, 4:00 pm, Where: Union Square NORTH (16th Street) – across the street from Barnes and Noble. Please bring a candle.

Cosponsored by Coney Island Avenue Project and Concerned Academics of Pakistan
CONTACT: Madiha at 917.922.9836 – progpak@gmail.com

Terrorism should not be allowed to derail the peace process between India and Pakistan

India-Pakistan Peace Vigil for Mumbai; Dec. 6 in San Francisco

A group of concerned South Asian Americans — Pakistanis and Indians — are organizing a peace rally on December 6th at San Francisco City Hall to condemn the recent Mumbai Terror attack and call for both Pakistan and India to work together in promoting peace, justice, and prosperity in the region.

December 04, 2008

Pakistan India Peoples’ Forum for Peace and Democracy: A candle lit vigil

Pakistan India Peoples’ Forum for Peace and Democracy (PIPFPD) & Peace Karachi is holding a candle lit vigil for Peace against Mumbai & Karachi Carnage at Karachi Press Club on December 04, 2008, 5: pm at Karachi Press club. Please join vigil and say no to war and every kind of Hatred.

Real target of Mumbai terrorists is to destroy Pakistani peace bid

by Tarek Fatah

Only time will tell whether these Islamists succeed or whether the good people of India–Hindus and Muslims –can see through this provocation and embrace the hand of friendship extended by Zardari.

The mayhem in Mumbai had barely subsided when I received the first e-mail suggesting the terrorist attacks had been carried out by agents of Mossad–Israel’s military intelligence- -masquerading as Islamic terrorists to give Muslims a bad name. Alex James of Toronto forwarded a news item claiming, “India’s Internal Security Police are now holding and questioning an identified Israeli Mossad agent, who had been in communication with some of the alleged terrorists in India two weeks before the BLACK OP attacks took place.”

As ridiculous as this may sound, chances are countless Muslims are deluding themselves into believing that it is not their co-religionists who are responsible for the savagery let loose on India, but some hidden hand that is part of a U.S.-Zionist conspiracy against Islam.

If there was an intelligence agency whose fingerprints can be spotted all over the crime scene, it appears to be Islamist rogue elements from the .., hell-bent on disrupting a marked improvement in India’s relations with neighbouring Pakistan. For two decades, the ISI has been the de facto government in Pakistan, toppling regimes, aiding the Taliban, giving cover to al-Qaeda fugitives and running a business empire worth billions of dollars.

In July, the new democratically elected government in Islamabad led by Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) attempted to bring the ISI under civilian control, but under threat of a military coup, had to perform a humiliating about-face within 24 hours.

Then last Sunday, Pakistan’s foreign minister announced the political wing of the ISI that was responsible for rigging elections and blackmailing politicians had been disbanded, saying, “The ISI is a precious national institution and wants to focus on counterterrorism activities.” It seems the foreign minister had spoken too soon. Within hours of his announcement, the BBC reported that an unnamed senior security official had contradicted the statement.

While the ISI-PPP tussle for control of the country’s intelligence network was going on behind the scenes, on Tuesday, the president of Pakistan, Asif Zardari, threw a bombshell that caught the Pakistan military establishment off guard. Speaking to an Indian TV audience, Zardari announced a strategic shift in Pakistan’s nuclear policy. He startled a cheering Indian audience, saying Pakistan had adopted a “no-first-strike” nuclear-war policy. This apparently did not go down well within Pakistan’s military establishment that has ruled the country for decades using the “Indian bogey” to starve the nation of much-needed development investment in order to put the huge military machine on a permanent war footing with no war in sight. Immediately, the military commentators denounced Zardari.

Zardari also borrowed a quote from his late wife, who once said there’s a “little bit of India in every Pakistani and a little bit of Pakistan” in every Indian. “I do not know whether it is the Indian or the Pakistani in me that is talking to you today,” Zardari said.

While most Pakistanis welcomed the new air of peace and friendship, the country’s religious right was upset.

Just a month ago, the founder of one of Pakistan’s most feared armed Islamist groups had accused Zardari of being too dovish toward India, and criticized him for referring to militants in Indian-held Kashmir as “terrorists.” Hafiz Mohammad Saeed, founder of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT),a major militant group fighting in Indian Kashmir, described Zardari’s comments as “a clear violation and digression from the consistent policy of Pakistan.”Then Wednesday, the so-called “Deccan Mujahedeen” struck against India with the clear aim of triggering a Hindu backlash against the country’s minority Muslims, with the obvious danger to Pakistan-India relations.

Most security commentators agree the Deccan Mujahedeen is merely a tag of convenience and that behind this well-planned terror attack lies the secret hands of the LeT. The same LeT that had warned Zardari to desist from warming up to India.

Only time will tell whether these Islamists succeed or whether the good people of India–Hindus and Muslims –can see through this provocation and embrace the hand of friendship extended by Zardari.

In the meantime, Muslims around the world will also have to decide whether to enter the 21st century and distance themselves from the doctrine of armed jihad, or embrace these haters of joy and peace.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Tarek Fatah is author of Chasing A Mirage: The Tragic illusion of an Islamic State (Wiley).

Courtesy : The Calgary Herald

Source – http://www.canada.com/calgaryherald/news/theeditorialpage/story.html?id=6e142936-e33f-4e0a-9bb0-4d4b183daa7c

Joining hands for peace- Free India and Pakistan from the agencies!

Free India and Pakistan from the divisive roles of the agencies, read what the grandson of Mahatma Gandhi says.

By Raj Mohan Gandhi

– Daily DAWN, July 22, 2008

MANY in India have been troubled over the charge publicly levelled by a senior official that Pakistan’s agencies planned the bombing of the Indian embassy in Kabul, and over suggestions that Indian agencies should consider retaliating in like fashion against locations in Pakistan where hits against Indian targets are allegedly planned.

If New Delhi had found evidence of the ISI’s role in the destructive act in Kabul, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee should have confronted their Pakistani counterparts with it.

If the evidence was confirmed, the Indian premier should have solemnly presented it to the Pakistani and Indian peoples, and to the world.

Given the power and secrecy of the subcontinent’s intelligence agencies, anything, it is true, can occur. Yet if extremist pro-Taliban groups in Afghanistan and in Pakistan’s tribal areas have on numberless occasions targeted Pakistani leaders and its security forces for supporting the US-led war on terror, the Indian embassy in Kabul would also be a natural target for them.

Apart from the fact that Indian backing for the war against terror has been unambiguous and well known, India’s role in the reconstruction of Afghanistan’s infrastructure also invites the Taliban’s hostility.

Therefore assertions in New Delhi (or Kabul) that a Pakistani agency rather than one of Afghanistan’s Taliban-related extremist groups attacked the embassy have to be backed by solid evidence.

And if the ISI or sections of it are indeed in cahoots with the Taliban, it is the people of Pakistan who should worry the most and devise steps necessary to break the unholy alliance. In the struggle against the threats of extremism and terrorism, the people of Pakistan are the Indian people’s natural partners, and a key constituency for Indian leaders perturbed by the threats.In fact the Kabul incident should trigger a much-needed partnership between the people of Pakistan and the people of India.

Pakistanis should demand from Islamabad the truth about the charge that an intelligence agency was involved, and Indians should likewise ask New Delhi how its agencies quickly reached the conclusion that not pro-Taliban extremists but the ISI was responsible.People on both sides of the India-Pakistan border (and on both sides of the Pakistan-Afghanistan border) have the right to know the facts about the embassy bombing, for their security is at stake. And if security agencies are engaged in dirty work or in disinformation, then the peoples of Pakistan and India must jointly take up the daunting yet inescapable task of putting the agencies in their place.To take our countries back from the agencies may well be the need of the hour.

Ministers are our servants, and the agencies our servants’ mazdoors. Of course servants too are always entitled to respect, and to appreciation when they do their job well. I for one refuse to endorse the assessment of some of India’s Pakistan-watchers that elected leaders will prove worse than the military in dealing with extremism.

The late Bhutto’s powerfully articulated rejection of extremism is a strong legacy that is shared, as far as I can see, across the spectrum of mainline Pakistani politics, by PML and ANP leaders as by the PPP.

However, for figuring out effective ways of addressing grievances and defeating extremism and terrorism these politicians may need to consult more closely with one another across party, provincial and ethnic divides, and also with military and security experts.Perhaps intellectuals on both sides of the Pak-India border should prepare an updated manifesto for the subcontinent.

Some items on such a manifesto are obvious: mutual respect, including unreserved respect for the other nation’s independence; an equally unequivocal rejection of violence, whether direct or indirect, open or concealed, for solving internal, bilateral or international disputes; a clear rejection of the clash-of-civilisations theory; a solution for Kashmir acceptable to Kashmiris and to India and Pakistan; and a commitment to minority rights in both countries.

Also critical to such a manifesto, yet not so obvious in our dazzlingly globalised world, is a commitment to search for subcontinental and regional solutions instead of looking to global powers or a superpower for interventions.

The US and China are formidable countries, and both India and Pakistan have tried to build relationships with them. Given the history of India-Pakistan mistrust, such relationships have seemed attractive.Yet geography is stronger than history.

Oceans and mountains remain large impediments even in the 21st century. For years India and Pakistan have tried to involve distant powers in their dealings with each other, with poor results. It is time to put the subcontinent first. Whether we like it or not, geography mandates coexistence. We can decide to enjoy what cannot be helped and seek to profit from it.This does not mean that Pakistan should give up on its China links, or that India should turn its back on Afghanistan or on India-US relations.

What it does mean is that India-Afghanistan or India-US links should not grow at Pakistan’s expense, or Pakistan-China links at India’s cost. It also means that our peoples should be vigilant against inviting external conflicts to the soil of the subcontinent.We should acknowledge, in both India and Pakistan, not only the divisive roles of the agencies but also the hegemonic character of our societies.

The arrogance of the high-born, the high-placed and the man with the stick is known to both countries. While Pakistan may not formally accept caste hierarchies the way India continues to do (despite progressive laws and the emerging political power of the so-called lower or ‘untouchable’ castes), Pakistani society seems to tolerate armed elites and private jails.In India and Pakistan alike, muscle-power or gun-power is celebrated in posters and movies. In real-life interactions between the citizen and the policeman or the government functionary, the citizen usually comes off second best in both countries.

Correcting this equation, and honouring the listening policeman or politician rather than the macho one, has to be part of our subcontinental manifesto.

If despite disasters and misgovernance our economies have grown, the credit should above all go to the subcontinent’s hard-working and enterprising people. Our countries are on the move because of what our ‘common’ people grow, create, repair or remit, and the millions of vehicles they skilfully drive on hazardous roads.Should we be betting on the subcontinent’s civil society, on the sanity and energy of our peoples?

Though not permanent, hates and fears can after all continue for long, especially when politicians feed those fears and hates instead of working on education and healthcare. Still it may be a good idea to bet on our peoples and on their willingness to become partners. Better to bet thus and lose than concede that mutual destruction is the subcontinent’s destiny.

Joining hands for peace

Source: http://southasiatimes.blogspot.com/2008/07/joining-hands-for-peace.html

Peaceful thoughts & the positive energy Sindhis can contribute to the world

Sindhis would be glad to send peace delegations everywhere to sing songs of love and unite people of the world

By: Prof. Gul Agha

Sindhis are worried about water, food, environmental protection, wildlife protection, pollution, language erosion, cultural destruction, etc . They wish to .., everyone well (kafir momin jo bhalo). But now they have their own basic survival to worry about.

Last week at the University of Illinois, USA, we had a sufi ttolo of mangarnhaara who sang Shah Latif’s raarno, Hamalu fakiiru kaafii, played chungu, biinuun, Sindhi saraangii. The audience was black, white, Asian; Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Atheist, Christian.. Everyone was relaxed and thought peaceful thoughts. This is the positive energy Sindhis can contribute. Sindhis would be glad to send peace delegations with sufi fakirs everywhere to sing songs of love and unite people. That is the best we can do.

What they call “public opinion” is what.. who control Pakistani media think, not what the poor haarii (peasant) in Sindh thinks. The elite minds are agitated by fasaadii jihadi mentality and show a total lack of concern for poverty, contempt for indigenous languages and cultures, and obsession with imperialist colonialist era of caliphs and kings. The less President Zardari pays attention to this, the more he can focus on real problems (not that he has much de facto control or power, otherwise we could say good-bye to the … and are destroying Sindhi language and culture by imposing foreign language .. and alien militant ideology).

October 08, 2010

Fatima Bhutto in Jaipur, India

The pink city

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

India to speak on Pakistan

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

Our countries, India and Pakistan

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

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

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

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

‘ he said next.

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

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

‘Commit to partnership, equality and mutual respect’

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Courtesy- The News, 2/3/2008

World Peace Rallies and Seminars Against Nuclear Arms in Sindh

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

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

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

May 22, 2008