Tag Archives: promote

ANALYSIS: JI did it again! – Farhat Taj

The media blatantly distorts facts to produce and promote narratives, discourses and arguments that concur with the security establishment’s policies. The authors of the JI report seem to make no attempt to cross check the media reports with information on the ground

Some time back, an Islamabad-based think tank, Jinnah Institute (JI), published a report, ‘Pakistan, the United States and the End Game in Afghanistan: Perceptions of Pakistan’s Foreign Policy Elite’. This report was criticised by some writers in the media for its justification of Pakistan’s security policy vis-à-vis Afghanistan. The well-known pro-military establishment journalists tried hard to defend the report. In the process, they exposed their own pro-establishment biases, in addition to have failed to address the valid objections on the report raised by the critics.

Now, the JI has come out with another report, ‘Extremism Watch: Mapping Conflict Trends in Pakistan 2010-2011’. The key reason why the report is misplaced is that it is mainly based on — as stated in its methodology (pg 6) — reports from English and Urdu media in Pakistan. But most of the Pakistani English and Urdu media is neither independent nor abides by any professional or ethical standards in reporting on matters that are the exclusive domain of Pakistan’s military establishment, such as policies about Afghanistan and India. These policies are closely interwoven with religious extremism and terrorism in Pakistan, the issues that this JI report seeks to look into. The media blatantly distorts facts to produce and promote narratives, discourses and arguments that concur with the security establishment’s policies. The authors of the JI report seem to make no attempt to cross check the media reports with information on the ground.

To elaborate my point, I will comment on one of the essays in the JI report, ‘Turning the Schools to Stones’, to highlight its bias. What the writer of this essay is saying about the bombing of schools in the Pashtun areas — FATA, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and even in Afghanistan — is this.

Read more » Daily Times

via – Twitter

Pakistan, courts Islamometer

Islamo-meter in the courts…and Anjuman Shahzadi

By Omar Ali

Back in the 1980, General Zia was “Islamizing” Pakistan, primarily by having several thousand people flogged (mostly for political offences..including a barber in,if i remember correctly, Faisalabad, for putting up Zia’s picture as one of the available hairstyles). I happened to chat with Sharif Sabir Sahib, an observant, reasonably orthodox Muslim (known as “Molvi Sharif Sabir”) and a great scholar of Punjabi (who also taught Persian). I asked him what he thought of this Islamization? He said “son, take an islamo-meter to the district court. The day it registers an even slightly positive reading, I will personally wash Zia’s feet with rose water”. Of course, both of us knew this was a safe bet.

Osama Sameer surveys how things look in the district courts today, further down the winding road that is taking us away from British India and towards Pakistan, fortress of Islam.

I am not posting this to help “the world understand us better”. How “the world” understands us is the least of our problems. Frankly (and I hope this does not strike anyone as rude) that is the sort of bullshit that buffoon Musharraf was known for. The idea that “the world” has misunderstood our lovable self. That if we can somehow “promote our soft image” (this was a phrase Mushie used several thousand times) and show the world that we paint trucks, we pray in petrol stations, we walk half naked down catwalks, then all will be well. I think this whole shtick is meaningless in the larger scheme of things. The world that matters (the people who start wars, sell oil, buy countries) doesnt care about any of that and neither do most Pakistanis. All of that is neither problem nor solution. Even the s0-called “ideology of Pakistan” (which i attack at every opportunity and Samosa and Riaz Haq sahib will defend till they have something more urgent to do) is a problem mostly because taking it seriously causes other, more real problems. If we can confine it to schoolbooks (preferably grade 5 and below) we can safely ignore it.

btw, If the world wants to understand ”moderate Islamic Pakistani” closer to street level, here is a Pakistani Mujra (an art form slightly older than catwalk modelling) by Anjuman Shahzadi, complete with “Hajji brothers” logo proudly displayed in the background (Hajji means someone who has been for Haj to Mecca). She died last year, apparently of infection and diabetes. Who knows.

She could be incredibly crude:

Read more » Brown Pundits

International Mother Language Day 21 February

By

It seems the founding fathers of Pakistan never really imagined a place for a Bengali speaking, large Hindu minority province. This is because the TNT demanded a full divorce from all that was Hindu. Such was the force of the ideology, there was even an effort to make Bengali arabicized and de-sanskritized!!

Bengali muslims were at the forefront of the partition movement but giving up Bengali was a bridge too far for them.

In the course of the Pakistani government’s occupation of Bangladesh (is there a better word though there were benighted efforts to improve “East Pakistan” it seemed an occupation stroke colonisation) to “Arabify” & “DeSanskritise” Bangla or Bengali (I don’t know which is appropriate to refer to in the English language I prefer using Persian over Farsi, Gypsy over Romany, Eskimo over can’t remember what oh yes Inuit, etc etc) it inadvertently sparked off a global movement to preserve “mother languages” (the usage of the word mother language reminds of me of the elegant song ….

Read more » Brown Pundits

New vibes in Sindh politics

By Haider Nizamani

PROPRIETORS of media houses dabbling in politics has a long history in South Asia. The power and propaganda nexus is nothing new.

What is somewhat different is the mushrooming of television channels creating new forms of this nexus. Understanding the multifaceted dynamics of this interaction is a relatively unexplored area for the social scientist in Pakistan.

The new kid on Sindh’s political block is Ali Qazi. His family owns the most popular, hence the most powerful, media house of the Sindhi language. Daily Kawish, its flagship newspaper, probably sells more copies than the combined circulation of all its competitors.

Kawish Television Network (KTN) runs a dedicated 24/7 news and current affairs channel and two other channels. Kawish and KTN are household names for the Sindhi reading and viewing public.

Ali Qazi’s recent foray into politics climaxed on Jan 22 in a public meeting in Bhit Shah, a small town in central Sindh where the shrine of the venerated Sindhi poet Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai is located.

English-language dailies treated this rally as a page three news item whereas the largest circulated Sindhi daily, Kawish, went into overdrive to cover the event and published plenty of Op-Eds before and after the rally.

The public meeting was preceded by a month-long campaign of 187 smaller meetings Ali Qazi and his associates held all over Sindh. The purpose? To convince the Sindhi masses to seek change on the lines Mr Qazi is proposing.

What does Mr Qazi’s entrance into politics signify and symbolise? Will he be as successful in politics as he has been in establishing a mammoth media house? Will his politics benefit from his media empire or will the latter suffer due to his politics? Is this a case of conflict of interest? His ambitious entry into politics throws up all these questions.

The Qazis of Hyderabad are no strangers to media and politics. Daily Ibrat, owned by this family, for a long time had the lion’s share of the Sindhi newspaper market. Its current owner, Qazi Asad Abid, has been a member of the National Assembly. His sister, Dr Fehmida Mirza, is the speaker of the National Assembly. Their father, Qazi Abid, was a member of the provincial and national legislatures and held various ministerial portfolios.

Ali Qazi is the nephew of Qazi Abid. In the 1990s, Ali Qazi and his brothers started their own daily, Kawish, which over the years not only challenged the dominance of Ibrat but eventually replaced it as the largest circulated Sindhi newspaper. Ali Qazi, until recently, steered clear of party politics and focused on building his media house. For the past few years, he has championed causes such as the celebration of Sindhi cultural days through his popular print and electronic media outlets. He makes regular, some would say excessive, appearances as an expert and anchor on current affairs programmes on his television channel, KTN.

He uses Op-Ed space in daily Kawish with impunity to share his thoughts with the readers. In these columns he started to float the idea that the Sindhi public aspires for change that mainstream political parties are either unwilling or incapable of providing.

He claims to have become the epitome of the change he has been seeking, thus the name of his group ‘Tabdeeli Pasand (change-oriented). The main ill afflicting Sindh, according to Mr Qazi, is the bhotaar culture. Roughly translated it means the politics of patronage. The answer lies in replacing it with a system based on merit, good governance and transparency.

In the prelude to his Bhit Shah show of Jan 22, the Op-Ed write-ups in Kawish went overboard in portraying Ali Qazi as the saviour Sindh has been waiting for. Contrary to the anticipated announcement of launching his own political party at the Bhit Shah public meeting, Ali Qazi chose to defer that move and stuck to criticising the politics of patronage in Sindh.

As he weighs his options, here are some advantages he enjoys and disadvantages he is likely to encounter should he decide to establish a new political party.

Among his three advantages, the most important is of having access to a well-oiled and sophisticated print and electronic media. He has an edge over any other new entrant in this regard as far as Sindh is concerned.

If the current trend is any indication then he has no compunction in using the KTN-Kawish combo to promote his viewpoint.

Secondly, politics in Pakistan is becoming an expensive undertaking and Ali Qazi has deep pockets to sustain his political venture.

Lastly, lack of effective performance by mainstream parties has created widespread anti-politics sentiment amongst various sections of the middle classes. Imran Khan is exploiting it in Punjab and Ali Qazi is attempting to do the same in Sindh.

The launch of a party by Ali Qazi on his suggested lines will face following hurdles. Firstly, since he owns the most powerful media house in Sindh, his competitors will not give the desired coverage to Ali Qazi’s party. In fact, if the KTN-Kawish combo chooses to become blatantly partisan in promoting Ali Qazi this may provide his competitors an opening to create healthy competition for Sindh viewers.

Left-of-centre politics in Sindh has organisations such as the Awami Tehrik of Rasool Bux Palijo with a political history spanning over several decades over which it has created a reasonably organised party cadre. Assorted Sindhi nationalist parties are a divided lot but they have a collective legacy of creating a secular ethos in Sindhi politics.

Above all, Ali Qazi will have to challenge the PPP’s mighty emotional and electoral support base in Sindh. The PPP has jealously guarded its vote-bank in Sindh for four decades and in the process has weathered many challenges. It has unmatched expertise in constituency-based politics backed up by the Bhutto charisma. Ali Qazi has remained careful in not naming the PPP as the culprit.

If Ali Qazi wants to be an alternative to the PPP in Sindh then he will have to confront the most popular party head-on. If not then his dream of being a change-seeker backed up by his media empire will serve as valuable pressure on PPP politicians to pay closer attention to the kind of issues Ali Qazi is raising.

The writer is a Canada-based academic. He can be reached at, hnizamani@hotmail.com

Courtesy: DAWN.COM

http://www.dawn.com/2012/01/31/new-vibes-in-sindh-politics.html

Sesame Street to promote tolerance in volatile Pakistan

Sebastian Abbot

Sesame Street is coming to Pakistan but not as generations of Americans know it.

LAHORE, PAKISTAN – The TV show has a new cast of local characters led by a vivacious six-year-old girl named Rani who loves cricket and traditional Pakistani music. Her sidekick, Munna, is a five-year-old boy obsessed with numbers and banging away on Pakistani bongo drums, or tabla.

The U.S. is bankrolling the initiative with $20-million, hoping it will improve education in a country where one-third of primary school-age children are not in class. Washington also hopes the program will increase tolerance at a time when the influence of radical views is growing.

“One of the key goals of the show in Pakistan is to increase tolerance toward groups like women and ethnic minorities,” said Larry Dolan, who was the head education officer for the U.S. Agency for International Development in Pakistan until very recently.

The show, which started filming last week and will air at the end of November, was jointly developed by Sesame Workshop, the creator of the American series, and Rafi Peer Theatre Workshop, a group in the Pakistani city of Lahore that has been staging puppet shows for more than three decades.

The American version of Sesame Street first aired in 1969, and the U.S. government has worked with the company since then to produce shows in about 20 foreign countries, including Muslim nations such as Bangladesh and Indonesia.

Perhaps nowhere else are the stakes as high as in Pakistan. The United States is worried that growing radicalization could one day destabilize the nuclear-armed country. Washington has committed to spend $7.5-billion in civilian aid in Pakistan over five years, despite accusations that the country is aiding insurgents in neighbouring Afghanistan. ……

Read more » THE GLOBE AND MAIL

Help promote Sindhi, Siraiki and other languages!

The National Foreign Language Center (NFLC) at the University of Maryland is a research institute dedicated to promoting communication within the United States in languages other than English. We are currently working on a project that provides adult language learners with interactive online tools to reinforce their foreign language skills. We focus on less commonly taught languages. We are currently looking for several individuals to help us launch projects in the following languages (Parsio-Arabic script): Brahvi, Hindko (Southern), Punjabi (Western), Pothohari, Sindhi, Siraiki.

Minimum Requirements: Native, or near-native, proficiency in the target language

English proficiency: Ability to conduct Internet research and submit Word documents and/or audio files

Desired Qualifications: Knowledge of ILR scale of language proficiency

Specifically, we need educated native speakers of these languages (or individuals with equivalent proficiency levels) to review online activities and cultural notes for online foreign language learning modules for their native language using software we provide. In addition, we are looking for speakers to find authentic reading and audio passages, to record audio files, and to perform various editing tasks in these languages.

The work is part-time, contractual, and most of the work can be done from your home computer. All candidates must have permission to work in the United States.

If you are interested in working with us, or if you know a qualified candidate who would be interested in working with us, please contact the NFLC via email at recruitment@nflc.org. Submit your current resume and include the language(s) you speak in the subject line. Thank you!

Amy Menjivar

Program Coordinator, National Foreign Language Center

University of Maryland

amenjivar@nflc.org

http://www.nflc.org

Courtesy: Sindhi e-lists/ e-groups, 16 Sept 2011

An international seminar, ‘Global Sindhis & World Peace’ was held at Mumbai University

MUMBAI UNIVERSITY HOSTS AN INTERNATIONAL SEMINAR

India – Mumbai: “Un-assuming nature and persistence of Dr. Baldev Matlani compels people like us to say yes, whenever he invites us to such literary events”, said Mr. Nanik Rupani, Chairman, Priyadarshni Academy. He further emphasized the importance of organizing such seminars to keep the flame of Sindhi language, burning forever.

Continue reading An international seminar, ‘Global Sindhis & World Peace’ was held at Mumbai University

Let peace win at Mohali

By Shahid Nadeem

Pakistani cricket fans are on their way to Chandigarh to cheer their team in the mother of all matches taking place at the Punjab Cricket Association stadium in Mohali.

Among them are Pakistani peace activists who will be joined by their Indian counterparts to promote peace. Pakistani cricket fans would have crossed the border without obtaining no objection certificates from Rehman Malik and by passing the Indian government’s newly introduced stringent visa policy. While stepping over the imaginary border line, they will surely notice the well-built, tough-looking border security jawans from both sides, who behind their thick, oiled moustaches, may be hiding their desire to join the cricket caravan. Back home, people will be taking half day off, even if the government doesn’t announce it. The tyre-burning mobs may suspend their ‘noble’ campaign and Karachi’s target-killers may give themselves a much-needed break for the day. Cricketing hero-turned-playboy-turned-The Avenger, has already instructed his Tehrik-i-Dharna brigade to schedule the anti-Nato sit-in well after the World Cup final. …

via – Siasat.pk – Read more : The Express Tribune

One Woman’s Jihad

by Yoginder Sikand

Excerpt:

Zehra Cyclewala is a leading figure in the reformist movement against the tyranny of Syedna Burhanuddin, the head-priest (dai-e mutlaq) of the Daudi Bohra Ismaili Shia sect. Here, in a conversation with Yoginder Sikand, she relates the story of her decades-long personal struggle against priestly tyranny.

The Syedna turns 100 this month, and massive celebrations are being organized by his followers across the world to project him as a popular and pious leader. Zehra’s life tells a different story, however.

My name is Zehra Cyclewala. I am 55 years old, and have lived in Surat for most of my life. I was born in an orthodox, lower middle-class Dawoodi Bohra family. My parents had five children, and I was the youngest child. In the mid-1980s, soon after I completed my education—I did my graduation in Commerce—I joined the Saif Cooperative Society in Surat, a bank established in the 1960s by a group of Bohra traders. It was inaugurated by the Bohra head priest Syedna Burhanuddin himself, and enjoyed his blessings. I started work there as a clerk, and, gradually, rose to become its manager.

From the very beginning, the Saif Cooperative Society gave and took interest. The Syedna naturally knew of this, and he had no problem with it, although some Muslims believe that even bank interest is forbidden or haraam in Islam. However, two years after I joined the bank, the Syedna issued a fatwa claiming that bank interest was forbidden, and demanded that the Bohras working in our bank leave their jobs at once. All the staff of the bank was Bohras at that time. Because the Bohras believe the word of the Syedna to be almost like divinely-inspired law, they hurriedly complied with his order and quit their jobs. I was the only one to refuse. After all, I thought, when, from the time the bank was established till the Syedna had issued this fatwa, the bank had been giving and taking interest, and the Syedna knew about this all along, how come he had suddenly decided or realized that such interest was haraam? The Syedna himself had inaugurated the bank, and when he did so he had no problem with it dealing in interest. There was something fishy in this fatwa, I felt.

Despite enormous pressure to leave the job, I refused. I lived with my mother, Fuliben Taherali, in Surat, and was the sole source of her support, because my father had died when I was 20. I simply could not do without this job. So, despite the Syedna’s order, I stuck on. The District Cooperative Society Board appointed a non-Bohra administrator—a man called Mr. Daru—to run the bank, and I worked under him. My defiance of the Syedna’s orders was not liked by the Bohras of Surat, and soon complaints about me reached the Syedna’s religious establishment—the Kothar. …

I appeal to the Government, political parties, intellectuals and social activists, and to people in general to see through this charade of the Syedna and his cronies, who have been twisting Islam in order to promote their own interests. I ask them to stop supporting and patronizing these men. …

Read more : Wichaar

Sindh saves the day

by Nadeem F. Paracha

Plans are afoot to build the world’s first ever international Sufi university near Bhit Shah in Sindh.

The main purpose of the institution would be to promote interfaith and intercultural education to tackle extremism in the country.

Such a thought and project could only have come about in Sindh. Especially in the context of what Pakistan has beengoing through in the last many years. …

Read more : blog.Dawn

SINDHI & URDU are the most beautiful and melodious languages of South Asia

SINDHI & URDU are the most beautiful and melodious languages of South Asia (sub-continent). Please don’t let them die. Do learn Siraiki, Punjabi, Balochi, Pashto, Brohvi, English and other languages but keep Sindhi and Urdu along.

Sindhi is the language of Shah, Sachal, Sami, Ayaz, love, peace and tolerance and Urdu is the language of Khusro, Mir and Galib. Learning different languages are skills. Sindhi language, Sindhi literature and rich Sindhi heritage are a treasure not only for our coming generations but for the world too. It is the moral responsibility of all to protect and promote Sindhi language and Sindhi culture and keep it alive for the global peace.

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