Tag Archives: prespective

Federal Challenges to Polity: Sindh Perspective

jamichandioBy Jami Chandio

Since its inception in 1947, Pakistan has been faced with a crisis of federalism. Early decisions to centralize power deprived smaller provinces of their most pressing demands for joining the new state: increased national/provincial autonomy and the devolution of power. For six decades, the promise of federalism has eroded under the weight of unfettered military rule, imbalanced and undemocratic state structures, and the domination of all federal institutions by Punjab. With outside attention trained on Islamic insurgency, observers are missing the most crucial dynamic in Pakistani politics, that of declining inter-provincial harmony. The specter of separatist movements once again haunts Pakistan, which has been on the verge of becoming a failed state. To survive these existing crises, Pakistan must adopt further transformative constitutional reforms that limit the reach of the center to the fields of defense, foreign policy, currency and other inter-provincial matters. By restoring a balance of power both between the executive and legislative branches and between the center and the provinces, Pakistan can move a pivotal step closer to substantive democracy, participatory federalism and sustainable political stability.

Once partition was completed, the initial promises of autonomy and devolution of power went unfulfilled by Pakistan’s ruling elite. Critical decisions taken by the center concerning the ratification of constitutions and governing documents, the elevation of Urdu language, and the amalgamation of the provinces of west Pakistan into the One-Unit scheme in 1955 deprived the provinces of the authority and position in the federation they expected upon joining the union. Federalism was bankrupted purposively, culminating in the ‘liberation’ of East Pakistan and the subjugation of the smaller provinces to the ruling Punjab-Urdu speaking nexus.

Continue reading Federal Challenges to Polity: Sindh Perspective


Russia amid changing perspective of Afghanistan

By Zulfiqar Shah

…. A similar situation is also prevailing in Pakistan, where dominancy of ethnic Punjabi in association with Urdu-speaking privileged community has perverted society in name of Islamization so that Punjab may carry on its colonization of Sindh, Baluchistan, and KP in Pakistan. It is also important to note here that in so many manners, if the chemistry of statecraft Pakistan is not changed, the issue of Afghanistan will never get resolved. Mostly because, the exclusive and non-representative security establishment of Pakistan devises it’s foreign policy, which ultimately is dominated by ethnic Punjabis and their junior partner Urdu speaking bureaucracy. Therefore, it is also essential to find the Afghan destabilization strings within the single ethnic dominated and non-pluralistic state chemistry in Pakistan. In the long term perspective, it is therefore would become unavoidable that after an optimum level stability in Afghanistan, a much needed state-chemistry change of Pakistan will also be needed. Until and unless Pakistan is not made free from ethnic Punjabi-cum Urdu and Salafi minority dominancy, there are no signs of major policy change of Pakistan towards the stability of Central-South Asian region.

Read more » Russian International Affairs Council

Pakistan Aid Withdrawl

After the US suspension of over $800 million in military aid to Pakistan, the Pakistani military has said that the action will not interfere with their ability to fight terrorism, but it still seems like a big move on the part of the Obama administration.

The Newsy video analyzes the story by comparing reports from different media outlets side-by-side. It’s a lot of information compacted into a brief video that gives viewers quick, diverse perspectives on global issues.

To watch video news analysis of the story → newsy.com

Canada’s National Post columnist, Lawrence Solomon advocates the breakup of Pakistan

Lawrence Solomon: Pakistan would work better in pieces

by: Lawrence Solomon

Pakistan would be a more stable and peaceful place if its four component nations were unstitched from one another

Since Osama bin Laden was found living unmolested in a Pakistani military town, debate has raged over how to deal with this duplicitous, faction-ridden country. Should the United States and others in the West continue to provide Pakistan with billions in foreign aid, in the hopes of currying at least some influence among elements of the Pakistani leadership? Or should we get tough, and declare it to be the state sponsor of terrorism that it is, knowing this course of action could cripple our efforts to fight the Taliban in Afghanistan and drive Pakistan further into the Chinese sphere of influence?

Neither course would be satisfactory and neither should be adopted. Instead, the West should recognize that the muddle it faces stems from Pakistan’s internal contradictions. This is not one cohesive country but four entirely distinct nations, having little in common save their animosity toward one another, a predominantly Muslim faith and Britain’s decision to confine them within the same borders in partitioning the Indian subcontinent more than a half century ago. The West’s only sensible course of action today is to unstitch the British patchwork, let the major nations within Pakistan choose their future, and negotiate coherently with new national administrations that don’t have impossibly conflicted mandates.

Continue reading Canada’s National Post columnist, Lawrence Solomon advocates the breakup of Pakistan

Freedom is ‘God’s gift to humanity’


As people’s insurrections spread in the Arab world, it might be useful for those watching the mayhem gather pace to take time out from television and reach for some historical perspective.

There is no substitute for such perspective to put in context the Arab drama unfolding before our eyes. And like a play of several acts, it will have many scene changes before the curtain eventually comes down.

From North Africa to the Persian Gulf, Arab regimes are trembling. Some will fall and others will change colours to barely survive.

The Libyan thug Moammar Gadhafi did not imagine his thugocracy could so quickly unravel. He might meet the fate of Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu, executed by his rebellious soldiers, or that of Saddam Hussein, with a noose around his neck.

But as the drama unfolds, three things will increasingly stand out.

First, former president George W. Bush, despite those who ridiculed him, was right in insisting, “Freedom is not America’s gift to the world; it is God’s gift to all humanity.” …

Read more : TORONTO SUN

India is a corporate, Hindu state: Arundhati

– Karan Thapar , CNN-IBN

Hello and welcome to Devil’s Advocate. At the end of a week when the Maoists have been on the front pages practically every day, we present a completely different perspective to that of the government’s. My guest today is an author, essayist and Booker Prize winner, Arundhati Roy.

Karan Thapar: I want to talk to you about how you view the Maoists and how you think the government should respond, but first, how do you view the recent hostage taking in Bihar where four policemen were kidnapped and kept kidnapped for eight days, and one of them – Lukas Tete – murdered?

Arundhati Roy: I don’t think there is anything revolutionary about killing a person that is in custody. I have made a statement where I said it was as bad as the police killing Azad, as they did, in a fake encounter in Andhra. But, I actually shy away from this atrocity-based analysis that’s coming out of our TV screens these days because a part of it is meant for you to lose the big picture about what is this war about, who wants the war? Who needs the war? …

Read more >> IBNLive

One Sindh – Two Perspectives

Washington Sindhi Sham with Jami Chandio and Sardar Shah

by Khalid Hashmani, McLean, Virginia, USA

Once again, Sindhis of Washington DC were fortunate to spend a delicious evening with two visitors of Sindh. The gracious host of the evening was  Iqbal Tareen and the two the visitors included a well-known writer and political thinker Jamie Chandio and inspiring poet Sardar Shah. The popularity of the event could be gauged by the fact several people came to meet Jami and Sardar in spite of the fact that Tuesday (July 13) was not only a week day but the rain and lightening made driving conditions rather harsh. One could see that Jamie had made many friends in Washington DC since last year he lived here for several months doing research and analysis sponsored by the National Endowment for Democracy (NED).

One Sindh and Two Perspectives

As usual the Sindhi katchahery (heart-to-heart chit-chat) moved from one topic to another. The optimism of Jami that Sindhis were gaining ground in every city and town surprised many. He stated that the use of Sindhi language and pride in Sindhi culture was on upswing. He said even though the present government has yet to deliver on its promises to Sindhis, the discriminatory policies of Musharraf had ended. This was rather a surprise to some including me as our observations were that there was a immense shortage of Sindhi-medium schools in large cities of Sindh such as Karachi, Hyderabad, and even in Larkano. The fast take over by private school systems such Citizen Foundation of education has made Urdu and English as primary medium-of-instruction in large cities and towns of Sindh while leaving the Sindhi language on backbenches. Another topic of discussion centered on contributions and political mistakes of G. M. Syed and Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto. The contribution of G. M. Syed through his writings primarily through his books had played a major role in the awakening of Sindhis to realize that they were a distinct nation were lauded at the gathering. His political mistakes, particularly the warmth he showed to the dictator General Zia ul Haq and formation of MQM was criticized. Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto was remembered as some one who inspired and awakened common Sindhi and Pakistani men and women to become conscious of their potential. But, then he was also criticized for not accepting Awami League’s majority in elections that ultimately led to the separation of East Pakistan (now Bangladesh).

He made us feel poverty and sorrows of Sindhis

However, the epic poem by Sardar Shah that he wrote about the simplicities and complexities of Sindh after some one had asked him where he had come from became the highlight of the evening. Sardar literally took us through the valleys, hills, and deserts of Sindh; he introduced us to poets, writers, farmers, waderas, students and small shopkeepers of the home-land; he made us walk through rain, sunshine, floods, droughts, and disappearing mangroves of Indus delta; he made us feel the poverty, sorrows and exploitation of Sindhis; and finally took us to the journey of determination, inspiration, and hopes of his people.

Indeed, it was an evening of Sindhiat that kept me awake long after we left the katchahery and said good by to our Sindhi visitors.

Courtesy: Sindhi e-lists/ e-groups, July 18, 2010.

Court ban on Shrif brothers- A Sindhi prespective

A sad day for justice and democracy in Pakistan

by Khalid Hashmani, McLean

It is indeed a sad day for democracy and justice in Pakistan. Even though the policies of PML-N in general and Nawaz Sharif in particular have been anti-Sindhi and anti-provincial autonomy, the recent actions by the controversial judges of the Pakistan Supreme Court and subsequent imposition of Governor’s rule in Punjab should be unfit.

Taking one step forward to restore democracy and justice in Pakistan and two steps back does not bode well for the future of Pakistan. The same politics of agitation and supressing opposition of yester years continues to prevail, bringing Pakistan one step closer to becoming a failed state.

Feb 26, 2009