Tag Archives: Return

Draconian & Apartheid LG ordinance backlash: Sindhi poet to return his Tamgha-e-Imtiaz in protest

LG ordinance backlash: Sindhi poet to return his Tamgha-e-Imtiaz in protest

By Sarfaraz Memon

SUKKUR: Poet, writer and research scholar Dr Dur Mohammad Pathan, expressing his disappointment over the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) performance, announced on Sunday that he will return his Presidential Tamgha-e-Imtiaz.

Talking to the media, he blamed the PPP and Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) for ‘trying to harm the integrity and solidarity of Sindh’, which he said could not be tolerated. He was referring to the controversial local government ordinance. Pathan added that despite opposition from all over Sindh, PPP not only encouraged the Sindh governor to promulgate the ‘black ordinance’, but passed it in a record half hour.

Continue reading Draconian & Apartheid LG ordinance backlash: Sindhi poet to return his Tamgha-e-Imtiaz in protest

Forced conversion of Hindus in Pakistan jolts US out of slumber

By Chidanand Rajghatta

WASHINGTON: Pakistan’s state-endorsed discrimination, and in some cases extermination, of its minorities has finally caught the eye of Washington lawmakers. Coming on the heels of support in Congress for a Baloch homeland in the face of Islamabad’s depredations in the region, a US Congressman has zeroed in on the abduction and forced religious conversion of Hindus in the country highlighted by the case of Rinkel Kumari.

In a sharply-worded letter to Pakistan’s President Asif Ali Zardari, Congressman Brad Sherman urged him to take action to ensure the return of Rinkel Kumari to her family, pursuant to reports that she had been abducted with the help of a Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) lawmaker. In a case that has been widely reported in the liberal Pakistani media, Rinkel, who was abducted on February 24, was forced to marry one Naveed Shah and convert to Islam.

She was subsequently produced before a civil judge twice, but she was reportedly coerced into claiming that she had converted on her own will, even as her family was denied access to her in kangaroo court proceedings that revealed in video clips to be led by a frenzied mob of zealots, including armed followers of the Pakistani lawmaker. According to Pakistani civil liberties activists in Washington DC, Rinkel was allegedly threatened while in police custody that if she did not change her statement, she and her family would be killed.

”Rinkel Kumari’s case is just one case of abduction and forced religious conversion in Pakistan,” Congressman Sherman said in the letter to Zardari, citing the Asian Human Rights commission figure of 20-25 kidnappings and forced conversions of Hindu girls in Sindh every month. ”I urge you to take all necessary steps to bring an end to this practice and other harassment of Hindus in Pakistan.”

The Rinkel Kumari case was brought to the attention of US lawmakers not by Hindu activists but by the Sindhi American Political Action Committee (SAPAC), a lobby group that, like the Baloch groups, is increasingly asserting the secular and syncretic identity of Pakistan’s Sindhi community in the face of growing Islamization in the country. Sapac activists are telling US lawmakers that state sponsored discrimination against minority groups in Pakistan is rampant and is causing Hindus to migrate out of Pakistan in droves.

Hindus, who constituted more than 15 per cent of Pakistan’s population soon after Partition, have now dwindled to less than two per cent, mostly in some districts of Sindh. There have been several reports in recent months of Hindu families seeking to migrate to India in the face of growing radical Islamization of Pakistan, including abduction and forcible conversions, but it is the first time that Washington, which literally slept over Pakistan’s genocide of Bengalis in 1970-71, is paying attention to the issue.

US interest in the Rinkel Kumari case comes close on the heels of sudden support in Congress for Baloch self-determination, an effort led by California lawmaker Dana Rohrabacher. That effort has rattled Islamabad to the extent that it has told American interlocutors that Pakistan-US ties will be deeply affected if Washington interfered in Balochistan, even though the Obama administration has clarified that support for an independent Balochistan is confined to the Hill, where lawmakers are free to introduce any legislation they deem appropriate. That in turn resulted in Sherry Rehman, Pakistan’s ambassador to the U.S.,, writing to House Speaker John Boehner, expressing deep concern over Congressional action on Balochistan.

Courtesy: TOI

Pakistan – As always, too late

The ignored Baloch

By: Aziz-ud-Din Ahmad

As always, too little too late

Rehman Malik has announced the withdrawal of cases against the Baloch militant leaders driven to the mountains or forced into exile by what they call the brutality of the security forces. Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani wants to convene an All Parties Conference on Balochistan.

Had these cases been withdrawn four years back and a genuine reconciliation process initiated, this could have led to talks and arrested the situation from reaching a point of no return.

There was enough goodwill in Balochistan for the PPP-led government when it took over in 2008. There were also hopes that parliament would act forcefully and the courts would exert their authority to end the atrocities initiated by the Musharraf regime.

The PPP government simply failed to pursue the peace process meaningfully. Instead, it willingly agreed to follow the policy being pursued under Musharraf. This meant continuing the military-cum-FC operations in Balochistan that displaced thousands of people, allowing forced disappearances and the torture, killing and dumping of the disfigured corpses on roadside.

In June 2008, Senator Sanauallah Baloch who had returned from exile after the restoration of democracy resigned from the House after a speech that moved the entire Senate. Soon after Baloch leaders rejected the move by the government for an All Parties Conference. They instead demanded direct talks on issues highlighted by leaders like Akhtar Mengal that included end to operations in the province, tracing persons forcibly taken away and the ownership of Balochistabn’s resources by the Balochis.

Month after month, there were peaceful protests all over Balochistan to press for their demands. There were calls by nationalist parties for shutter down closures, hunger strikes, and hoisting of black flags. Baloch representatives in parliament underlined the dangers if no measures were taken to improve the situation. Year after year, the government continued to look the other way.

Raisani complained of being powerless and accused FC of running a parallel government that was harming the process of reconciliation. Gilani, however, failed to take any notice as the federal government had decided to follow the policy formulated under Musharraf. It was willing, as before, to bribe the tribal leaders in the provincial assembly and offer crumbs to the population. It was not willing to concede what Baloch considered their rights.

Continue reading Pakistan – As always, too late

PAKISTAN – The Islamic university where girls were raped

Today a news article in Dawn revealed the shocking case of female students and staff members forced to offer sexual favours in return for grades and demands of their immediate superiors.

I do not believe that this news is “shocking” because such cases are a rarity. In fact I believe that such cases probably proliferate throughout educational institutions, or indeed in any institution where men are in a position to extract sexual favours. This case is shocking because of the International Islamic University Islamabad’s indifference to these cases and its efforts to cover it up. Further, they have tried to justify their actions by claiming that they hushed up these allegations to protect the parents of female students and the reputation of the institution.

So what exactly has happened?

Continue reading PAKISTAN – The Islamic university where girls were raped

ISI chief meets a serial coup-maker, guilty of massive human rights abuses and former dictator Musharraf, tells him not to return to Pakistan.

– ISI chief secretly meets Musharraf in Dubai: sources

ISLAMABAD: Lt General Ahmed Shuja Pasha, the chief of the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI), held a secret meeting with former President General (retired) Pervez Musharraf in Dubai advising him not to visit Pakistan, sources told DawnNews on Monday.

“General Pasha, who has remained very close to the former president, held a meeting with him (Musharraf) in Dubai and advised him not to return to the country as the situation is not conducive for his return,” said an insider while requesting anonymity from this correspondent.

The Senate on Monday also passed a resolution demanding the arrest of the former military ruler on his return. Interior Minister Rehman Malik also announced that Musharraf would be arrested the day he landed in Pakistan.

The sources claim that Pasha strictly advised Musharraf to not to return.

It is yet not clear whether the meeting was held on the directions of the ruling Pakistan People’s Party government or if it was a private meeting. However the sources insist that it was a private meeting between the two.

The sources also claim that Pasha enjoys a long history of relations with the former dictator.

In 2008, during the last year of Musharraf as president, Pasha was appointed to the key posting of Director General (DG) of Military Operations Directorate. Later General Kayani, after becoming the chief of Army Staff, promoted him as Lt Gen and appointed him the chief of the ISI.

Currently two important cases against Pervez Musharraf have been registered in Pakistan. An Anti Terrorists Court (ATC) in Rawalpindi has already declared Musharraf a proclaimed offender in the Benazir Bhutto murder case. Musharraf was also nominated in Akbar Bugti’s murder case in Balochistan.

The sources also claim that Musharraf, after meeting with the ISI Chief, called a meeting of his party on January 25th for revisiting his decision to return to Pakistan.

Courtesy: DAWN.COM

PPP Needs To Re-evaluate It’s Policies

By Aziz Narejo

Zardari may return, with broken wings, powerless & as a mere figurehead like Fazal Elahi Chaudhry or Rafiq Tarar; he may even resign as party co-chairperson or become inactive in that position & let Bilawal become more active. But will that be a solution to the problems Pakistan or PPP face? I don’t think so. Much more needs to be done. Some heads have to roll & some basic re-evaluation of PPP policies have to take place. People like Faryal, Babar, Rehman and many more must go. People like Aitzaz & Rabbani should be brought in. Corruption, nepotism must be checked.

Most important is to go back to Benazir Bhutto’s policies and stand since her meeting with MNS in Jeddah & later signing of CoD in London, UK. Their written & unwritten agreements must be followed. PPP must change its attitude towards judiciary. It should distance itself from pro-Musharraf parties & try to work with PML-N. It is the need of the hour that PPP & PML-N join hands at this moment to foil the conspiracies hatched by anti-democracy forces. ….

Read more » Indus Herald

Rs30m demanded for Taseer’s son release

– By: Jam Sajjad Hussain

LAHORE – Commander Arif of Tehrik Taliban Pakistan (TTP) is holding the fate of Shahbaz Taseer, son of slain Governor Punjab Salman Taseer, demanding Rs 30 million as ransom money for his safe return, The Nation has learnt reliably.

Shahbaz Taseer, has been hidden somewhere in the provincial capital since his abduction, whereas his cell phone is being used by his abductors from Razmak, which is one of the three sub-divisions of North Waziristan Agency. ….

Read more → The Nation

THINKING ALOUD: The return of extreme ignorance and evil

THINKING ALOUD: The return of jahiliyah – Razi Azmi

With the known ‘infidels’ out of the way, religious fundamentalists needed new enemies to keep their fires stoked and their hateful hunger satiated. So they turned on themselves, creating a whole new set of heretics, apostates, blasphemers and infidels

At a time when enlightenment is seeping through the Islamic heartland in the Middle East, jahiliyah (stubborn arrogance) is taking Pakistan by the throat. If the founder of the country, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, were alive today, he would live in fear, like the millions of others who share his secular ideology.

Murderous thugs control the country in the name of Islam, from Khyber to Karachi and from Lahore to Lasbela. This is no accident; it has been a long time coming. The chain of actual events and the process of constitutional and mental regression that have led to this can be traced back to Pakistan’s beginnings.

Intolerance and bigotry first began to creep rather innocuously into Pakistan’s body politic with the passage of the Objectives Resolution under Liaquat Ali Khan. It gathered pace under Zulfikar Ali Bhutto’s politically expedient concessions to the Islamists. Ziaul Haq’s constitutional amendments and propaganda on the pretext of Islamisation turned it into a fearsome juggernaut. …

Read more : Daily Times