Tag Archives: People

SANA flood relief event in Houston, TX Oct 23, 2010

Sindhi Association of North America (SANA) is sponsoring a flood relief dinner in Houston, TX on October 23rd, 7pm at a hall at the NE corner of Dairy Ashford and Bissonnet. Anyone, everyone is welcome to participate. Houston Mayor Annise D. Parker has confirmed to attend the event. A local restaurant is to provide food for 500-700 participants free of cost. Pledges already received for $45,000.00. Will be a great event.
Just to share information with you that SANA has already collected more than US$75,000.00. It has spent some of the funds for the flood relief efforts while the organization is in the planning stage for utilizing more funds for long term projects to help flood affected people.

An approach to win equal rights for Sindhis in Pakistan

Preamble – “Leading towards Peace & Progress – Indus Peoples Forum (IPF)
Traversing through the yeras of history Sindh maintained its existence as an independent state even when invaders were ruling the large part of sub-continent. It maintained this status as recent as British Raj that merged Sindh into Bombay presidency in 1840s. Sindh played pivotal role in the struggle for Pakistan. Sindh Assembly was first in the sub-continent to adopt a resolution in favor of Pakistan in 1940. Sindhis wanted a Pakistan as envisioned in Resolution of 1940 and pinned their hopes in the new country.

However all the hopes were shattered with the passage of time. During initial years, vested interest forces took over the reins of power. Civil and military bureaucracy aligned with opportunist political forces to rule the country. These elements dominated all sorts of decision-making and alienated majority of people from the mainstream of the country. East Bengal, Sindh, Balochistan and NWFP (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa) were denied of their due share in federation. Bengalis parted their way after a bloody battle in 1971, Balochis faced a series of armed operations and Pakhtuns are struggling for their historic identity and rights. Whereas Sindh has been facing ceaseless stream of tyranny and injustice.

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Racism in Pakistan

By: Tarek Fatah

Zardari, after all is a Sindhi, from a people most upper class Punjabis think off as backward, lazy, illiterate serfs who are unpatriotic and thus not deserving to be at the helm of affairs. This Punjabi elite cannot get over the fact, the man they hated, from a people they despised, has ended up as the president of the country, and that too without their blessing.

Pakistan is a multi-national and multi-lingual country of diverse peoples that wraps itself in the banner of Islam. However, its elites practice neither Islam nor recognize diversity.

On the contrary, the dominant ruling elites, the Punjabi upper middle class, civil and military officers, as well as the landed aristocracy have ruled the nation for over 60 years with a sense of entitlement that bristles with racism and chauvinism.

One would have thought the Punjabi ruling classes would have learnt a lesson in 1971 after their colonialist policies in then East Pakistan destroyed the country. However, instead of facing the truth, it seems this sense of entitlement and colonial attitude has been reinforced and passed on to the next generation.

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ROLE OF BANKS TO HELP THE FLOOD AFFECTED PEOPLE IN PAKISTAN

by Dr Ali Akbar Dhakan, Karachi, Sindh

Since denationalization, liberalization and privatization of banks in Pakistan mostly 1980s, the private banks and foreign banks have earned Trillions of Rupees as profit yearly. At present there are 4 bank in public sector, 4 specialized banks, 25 private local banks, 7 foreign banks, 8 development financial institution and 7 micro finance banks.Since their start, they have earned not less than about 20 billion each every year. If we see their performance they have done no service for the common people of Pakistan .They have earned their profit for their owners (Seths ) and they keep that money in foreign countries for their future safety and children and families to live abroad with luxuries and lavish expenditures .In the days of tragedy and calamities throughout the country Pakistan, they must have felt their utmost duties and responsibilities to bring back all the money kept by them in the foreign countries and donate at least rupees 2 billion each bank to rehabilitate and accommodate our devastated people who are bravely facing with the hardships and odd times in the floods.

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Floods : everybody has failed the people

by Aziz Narejo, Tx

Everybody has failed the flood-affected people. The government has not been able to comprehend the severity of the situation. It has neither made any preparations nor mobilized resources to face the calamity.

The opposition, the nationalist parties and the civil society activists are nowhere to be seen. Another bigger failure are the NGOs. Everybody, including this scribe, other expatriates and their organizations have utterly failed the people. It is pathetic.

UN says it is a bigger catastrophe than the tsunami. But why it has not started a campaign 1/10th as big for flood affected people in this case?

August 10, 2010

Prem Chand: His Death Was a National Tragedy; How His Coffin Was Treated a National Disgrace – My head hangs in shame

Prem Chand: His Death Was a National Tragedy; How His Coffin Was Treated a National Disgrace

Amongst the 152 who died in last Wednesday’s tragic crash of Air Blue flight were six members of the Youth Parliament. All death in this tragedy were sad. The death of these talented youth with aspirations of building a better Pakistan was no exception. Maybe it was tragedy compounded. But the story of one of them is sadder even than the others – and because of what happened to him after he died!

This is the story of Prem Chand, a bright young social worker from Sanghar (Sindh), one of the members of Youth Parliament, and one of those who died on the ill-fated AirBlue flight 202. His death – like the death of everyone on that flight – was a matter of national tragedy; the treatment of his dead body a matter of national disgrace.

According to news reports in The News and The Express Tribune young Prem Chand’s coffin was marked “Kafir” – a word that literally means ‘infidel’ or ‘non-believer’ but is mostly used as a serious slur in Pakistan. Literally labeling someone’s coffin as “Kafir” and not even giving them the respect to list their religion by its proper name, is a shameful and disgusting way to disrespect the last remains of anyone. All the more so the last remains of a patriotic Pakistani who was on that plane solely to represent Pakistan and to seek to be a better Pakistani – he was on his way to the ‘session’ of the Youth Parliament!

Read more >> PAKISTANIAT

FROM ARCHIVES – THE CASE OF KARACHI – KARACHI CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT INDIGENOUS PEOPLE OF SINDH

A minority should not rule Sindh says former Chief Justice of Supreme Court of Pakistan

KARACHI- SINDH:  (Sep 17, 2007) A minority wants to rule the majority, as far as the problem of Karachi in particular and Sindh in general is concerned, argued former Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice (retired) Sajjad Ali Shah, while cautioning that earlier Bangladesh had separated because a minority wanted to rule a majority. “Karachi can’t live without Sindh.”

Justice Sajjad Ali Shah was one of the 22 old residents of Karachi who were invited by the Karachi Shehri Ittehad to speak on ‘The Case of Karachi’ at a local hotel Sunday. Illahi Bux Soomro, Justice Rashid A Rizvi and Hussain Haroon also offered input.

Justice Sajjad Ali Shah suggested that the number of seats in the National Assembly should be the same all the provinces, a policy that would address a sense of deprivation such as that Balochistan is feeling while it has reached “a point of separation”. “The doctrine of necessity should be abolished for ever and the work of secret agencies should be under the fold of the law,” he added.

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A talk in Toronto on The National Question in Pakistan.

Dr. Haider Nizamani (PhD, University of British Columbia) has taught courses on various aspects of the politics of South Asia, the developing world and global issues. His writings have appeared in several academic journals. He is visiting research fellow at the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) in Islamabad. Dr. Nizamani regularly contributes articles on topical issues in Pakistan – including the national question on which he is very knowledgeable – to the op-ed pages of Dawn, the country’s oldest and largest circulation English newspaper.

Sunday, July 18, (2.30 – 5 p.m.) North York Central Library, Room 1 (5120 Yonge Street, Toronto, ON, M2N 5N9

Organized by: Committee of Progressive Pakistan-Canadians and South Asian People’s Forum, Endorsed by: Family of the Heart, Pashtun Peace Forum, Left Institute.

The Tragedy with the ORIGINAL owners of Sindh

The Tragedy of Sindh!!!

On the Globe of this earth, Sindh is the territory with the rich culture, identity, and language but after the partition of subcontinent, it is discriminated, dishonored, and behaved within not good way possible by almost all the governments of this country.

This discrimination can be shown in the recent event of refusing the issuing of CNICs (identity cards) for indigenous people like BHEEL, KOLHI, DALT, JOGI, and OODE [The ORIGINAL owners of Mother Sindh]. These people are the REAL sons of soil, since before 2000 to 3000 years ago. They are even more real, more original, more Sindhi than any MIR, PIR, SYED, .., and ALL other migrated and settled in Sindh.

Today, thousands of illegal immigrants have the domicile of Sindh, WITHOUT even knowing anything about the culture, tradition, language, history of Sindh. HOWEVER! The REAL and TRUE SONS of Sindh are DENIED an IDENTITY CARD FOR THEIR OWN LAND!? They should STOP this Racism, Discrimination, and Cruelty.

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Dams upriver hurting people living downstream

VOICES FROM MEKONG

By – ACHARA ASHAYAGACHAT

When 42-year-old Zhang Chun Shan, a Chinese farmer-cum-activist , told a public forum in Bangkok this week that he was unaware of the negative impact his great nation’s hydropower projects have caused to neighbouring countries downstream, a hundred participants understood him.

“I feel sorry for you; the downstream communities have problems with their fisheries and floods [after the dam construction] but we upstream people face the problems of soil erosion and villagers’ relocation,” said Mr Zhang, director of Lijiang City Environmental Volunteer Organisation.
The forum, entitled “Mekong Mainstream Dams: Voices Across Borders” was held last week at Chulalongkorn University.
How could the Chinese people know of the suffering of people in other countries? They do not even know about the hardships of their compatriots. “Because the local and central governments never tell anyone how we – communities affected by dams – are suffering,” mourned Mr Zhang, who comes from Yunnan province.
Niwat Roykeow, a former headmaster of Chiang Khong School in Chiang Rai province, accused the Chinese dams – Manwan, Dachaoshan and Jinghong – of causing the heaviest floods in Chiang Saen in four decades last August.
“At least three districts have yet to recoup the financial loss of 85 million baht, not to mention the heartbreak of being fooled by authorities that dams help prevent flooding, serve agriculture and produce electricity, ” said the 47-year-old Niwat.
He called on China to take responsibility for the suffering of the downstream people and urged the lower-Mekong governments to be more collaborative with their own people in seeking compensation from the upstream nation.
China expert Vorasakdi Mahatdhanobol from Chulalongkorn University said that if China wants to rise gracefully and in a sustainable manner, Beijing needs to conduct an impartial study of its dams’ impact on the riparian countries and release it publicly.
But the Mekong River Commission’s (MRC) chief executive officer Jeremy Bird argued that the MRC’s own study showed that the Chinese dams did not contribute to the flood; it was a natural event.
Montha Achariyakul, a community organiser in Bo Keo, Pongsali and Luang Prabang in Laos, said the Lao people did not believe rainfall was the cause.
“Headmen in northern Lao provinces warned their villagers that China would release more water from their dams. Despite the alert, a thousand households and their rice and corn fields were damaged,” said Ms Montha.
Montree Chantawong, from Thai People’s Network for Mekong, added that the MRC River Monitoring website still showed a “green sign” for Chiang Saen and Chiang Khong during the week of August 11-14 even though the area was inundated at that time.
The two-day seminar was not meant to talk about the already-built dams or to point the finger at any particular agency, but to raise awareness and plead for policy-makers at all levels, national and regional, and among international organisations as well as the private sector, to pay more attention to the voices of the people living along the river.
Participants were trying to forge a more concrete solidarity in order to hold future projects accountable to the people. Those projects are now at their doorstep.
Over the next few years, Laos is said to be constructing at least seven dams with a total electricity generating capacity of 7,470 megawatts, while another two Thai-Lao projects will see a total of 3,409mw dams. Cambodia will have a 980mw dam in Stung Treng and another 2,600mw dam in Sambor.
Investors from China, Thailand, Malaysia, Russia and Vietnam are reportedly involved in the projects at Pak Beng, Luang Prabang, Xayaburi, Xanakham, Lat Sua, Don Sahong in Laos, and at Pak Chom and Ban Koum along the Thai-Lao border, and two provinces in Cambodia.
The seminar also saw a strong argument regarding the impact on fish stocks in the world’s seventh largest river, if more dams were to be built mid- and downstream of the Mekong.
“The issue is not about what will happen to the fish, but to the people whose livelihood relies heavily on fishery along this river,” said Chris Barlow, from the MRC Fisheries Programme.
The Mekong has the world’s largest inland fishery with 1.5-3 million tonnes a year. In 2000 it was 2.6 million tonnes, said Mr Barlow, adding that the real fishery economy was estimated at US$2-3,000 million per annum.
The MRC fish expert noted that reservoir fisheries could not compensate for lost river fisheries and aquaculture could not be a full replacement for captured fishery due to the added costs and different beneficiaries.
Professor Philip Hirsch from the Australian Mekong Resource Centre said that unless the 1995 agreement that created the MRC was revised to include civil society voices and concerns into the government-dominate d process, future relations between the MRC and civil society would remain an unfruitful dispute.
Apart from the agreement amendment, the colossal task is to accommodate China’s entry into the sub-regional body, noted Mr Hirsch.
So the MRC, NGOs and other players needed to find ways to overcome the lack of meaningful engagement that has marked the past 13 years, he said.
Jonathan Conford of Oxfam Australia, took the Asian Development Bank to task for failing to live up to its pledges of poverty alleviation, environmental conservation and sustainability.
At the ADB’s annual meeting early this year, president Haruhido Kuroda listed as priorities in the ADB’s new long-term strategic commitment, more of the same agenda – infrastructure development, regional integration, private facilitation – all under the banner of inclusive growth, said Mr Conford.
But the weight of accumulating evidence in the Mekong Region, he said, is pointing to the need for a fundamental rethink of the GMS orthodoxies around infrastructure, growth and poverty alleviation.
“Sixteen years of accelerated infrastructure development and natural resource extraction have led to irrevocable damage to the region’s ecological systems and hugely growing disparities between the rich and the poor and between ethnic groups,” the Australian activist said.
Dr Sombath Somporn, the 2005 Ramon Magsaysay award recipient for community leadership, said Laos may consider itself as a battery of the region by supplying electricity to Southeast Asia, but for how long can it sustain this?
“We need to re-educate the young people that water and light are interlinked; if we use water unwisely or energy unwisely we will have none left. We should not consume till everything depletes.”
Dr Sombath also called for more corporate responsibility in implementing hydropower projects.
“Shareholders and board members of concerned agencies including the Mekong River Commission, and the Asian Development Bank should be held accountable to their noble pledges to fight against climate change. Stopping building or supporting construction of the non-EIA-checked dams is one way to help prevent global warming,” he said.
He suggested that maybe it was time for ecological degradation to be accounted into the monetary cost of carrying out a project.
Courtesy and Thanks: Bangkokpost.com
http://www.bangkokpost.com/141108_News/14Nov2008_news21.php

Corruption in Pakistan hurts common People and Breeds Extremism

By Khalid Hashmani

The Transparency International has ranked Pakistan 139th among 180 countries in its 2009 Corruption Perception Index (CPI) issued in November 2009 (http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/2009/nov/17/corruption-index-transparency-international#data). Pakistan’s 2009 vs. 2008 score further reduced by 0.1 (2.4 vs. 2.5). A recent World Bank report lists corruption and lack of transparency as the two core reasons that hamper Pakistan’s drive for development. However, these indices do not convey the terrible pain and sufferings that the brutal practice of corruption has caused to common people of Pakistan.

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Poor People in Resource Rich Sindh!

Khalid Hashmani

By: Khalid Hashmani, USA
About the author: Khalid Hashmani is a veteran human rights activist in Washington DC. He is the founding President of Sindhi Association of North America (SANA) and Chief coordinator of Sindhi Excellence Team (SET) that participates in advocacy activities on behalf of rural Sindhis. He can be reached at khashmani@hotmail.com
Rich with Oil and Gas but most backward area in Asia, the province of Sindh is the largest producer of oil and gas in Pakistan and yet it suffers one of the worst poverty levels in Asia. It produces 71 per cent of gas and 61 per cent of oil production in Pakistan. The daily production of oil and gas in Sindh is about 67,140 barrels and 3.99 billion cubic feet respectively. Yet most reports by organizations such as the World Bank call the rural areas of Sindh as most under-developed and deprived. A New York Times book review of a titled “A New Deal in Pakistan” by William Dalrymple (http://www.nybooks. com/articles/ 21194) says the following about Sindh:
“.. in fact, it is one of the most backward areas in all of Asia. Whatever index of development you choose to dwell on-literacy, health care provision, daily income, or numbers living below the poverty line-rural Sindh comes bumping along close to the bottom”.
Over-Centralization in Pakistan denies provincial rights
The plight of Sindh is due to over-centralization and exploitative policies of the central Pakistani government. The central government of Pakistan has usurped all revenue and income resources of the country including almost all forms of taxes and income earned from natural resources such as oil, gas, and coal.

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Why not try to do something to build bridges!

“We thought, why not try to do something to build bridges between people who see each others as oppositessays Ronni Abergel, co-founder who conceived the idea after his friend was stabbed by a stranger. The program, launched in Denmark in 2000, was his way of breaching the divide between people. Says Abergel: If we felt more at ease in our neighbourhood or schools we would have more life quality, all of us.”