Tag Archives: rise

U.K. recession linked to suicides

U.K. recession linked to 1,000 suicides in new study

By: Kate Kelland, Reuters

LONDON- A painful British economic recession and rising unemployment may have driven more than 1,000 people in England to commit suicide, according to a scientific study published on Wednesday.

The study, a so-called time-trend analysis which compared the actual number of suicides with those expected if pre-recession trends had continued, reflects findings elsewhere in Europe where suicides are also on the rise. …

Read more » thestar.com

What happens when organized crime takes office? The rise of the mafia states

Mafia States – Organized Crime Takes Office

By Moisés Naím

The Rise of the Mezzanine Rulers

Michael Crawford and Jami Miscik

Governments across the Middle East and South Asia are increasingly losing power to substate actors that are inserting themselves at a mezzanine level of rule between the government and the people. Western policymakers must address the problem systematically, at both a political and a legal level, rather than continue to pursue reactive and disjointed measures on a case-by-case basis.

Continue reading What happens when organized crime takes office? The rise of the mafia states

Tensions rise in Sindh after Jinnahupur/ Mohajir Suba/ Refugees province rhetoric

Tensions rise after Mohajir Suba rhetoric, Nationalists demand action against patrons of division, Ten nationalist parties warn taking action if govt. fails

Urdu-speaking people should not support evil design

Sindh’s nationalist parties on Sunday demanded of the government to take stern action against those responsible for organizing rallies, putting up billboards and banners and graffiti in different parts of Karachi, Hyderabad and Sukkur for carving out a new province out of Sindh.

Leaders of almost ten nationalist parties also warned that Sindhi people would themselves take action against such people if the government failed in stopping them.

The parties included Sindh National Movement, Jeay Sindh Tehreek, Awami Jamhori Party, Sindh United Party, Awami Tehreek, Jeay Sindh Qaumi Mahaz, Sindh National Party, Jeay Sindh Mahaz, Sindh Dost Democratic Party and Karachi Sindh Shehri Ittehad.

The leaders warned of serious consequences if any attempt was made to divide the province or to carve out another province out of Sindh.

They said Urdu-speaking community should not support any evil design of dividing Sindh adding they (Urdu-speaking people) are their brothers but if they continue to demand a separate homeland here or support anti-Sindh elements, they are advised and warned to leave Sindh.

Another report adds: They said that a conspiracy was being hatched for the last couple of months. “We did not take any action fearing bloodshed but enough is enough. We are peaceful people but know how to fight for our motherland,” said Ameer Bhanbhro.

“Our elders welcomed Mohajirs at the time of partition and Urdu-speaking people enjoy all kinds of rights and privileges in Sindh today. They were elected as Nazims in major cities and are members of the national and provincial assemblies and governors as well. On the contrary, Sindhis are not given entry in the educational institutions and are denied jobs in Karachi,” said Elahi Bux Bikik.

It merits mentioning that Sindh Taraqi Pasand Party (STPP) on Saturday issued a 72-hour ultimatum to the Sindh government to remove the wall chalking, posters, banners and posters carrying maps of Mohajir Suba (Refugees Province) from all parts of Sindh. In case of failure, the party declared to its workers would do it in every city from Karachi to Larkano.

Courtesy: The Point

http://www.thepoint.com.pk/sindh355.php

Pakistan’s leading intellectual, Prof. Parvez Hoodbhoy on the rise of jihadi terrorism and its acceptance in Pakistan

Courtesy: News Click In » via – Twitter (TF’s tweet)

Al Qaeda and its apologists in Pakistan

Al Qaeda and its apologists

By Raza Rumi

The new al Qaeda chief, Ayman al-Zawahiri in his new video statement has urged the people of Pakistan to overthrow the “corrupt” government in Islamabad. Interestingly, he has also asked the people to rise against the Pakistan Army, which has been fighting a battle against some extremist groups in the north west of the country. Al Qaeda has been making such desperate calls for a decade now. But the worrying part is that the message — or its operative part — has gained currency in many middle class Pakistanis. Despite the crackdown, Hizbut Tahreer (HuT) continues to operate like several other militant groups. The extent of its advocacy for overthrowing the generals and the politicians is such that a HuT affiliated senior army official is on trial these days.

But these trials and military interventions are pointless when Islamabad, virtually a security zone, displays HuT posters and stickers almost everywhere. Why are the activists not tracked down and why do the government and the all-powerful intelligence agencies allow proliferation of such propaganda? A partial explanation is that elements of the state are also steeped in this a similar mindset. It is an established fact that the composition of the officers’ corps in the army and civilian bureaucracy is overwhelmingly middle class.

In his latest statement, again al-Zawahiri has mentioned the 70-year-old American aid worker Dr Warren Weinstein, who was kidnapped in August 2011 from Lahore. The message from al Qaeda is that Weinstein will not be released until their demands are met. Among others, a key demand is the release of Aafia Siddiqui, a Pakistani scientist sentenced by the US courts and currently languishing in an American prison. Ms Aafia’s story is still incomplete and there are competing claims over her role in perpetrating ‘terrorism’ as well as her innocence. ….

Read more » The Express Tribune

Kidnapping Of Hindu Girls On The Rise In Pakistan

KARACHI – Lata Kumar, a medical student on her way to college, was kidnapped earlier this week by unidentified persons from a busy Karachi street in the upmarket Defence Housing Area. In February in a similar incident, Rinkle Kumari was abducted in Mirpur Mathelo, a small town in rural Sindh. Both women, Hindus by faith, are feared to have been converted to Islam and married off.

The rise in the number of reports of Hindu girls being kidnapped or made to convert to Islam has sparked concern from the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP).

At the launch of its report on minorities in Pakistan titled ‘Perils of Faith’ earlier this month,the HRCP’s Amarnath Motumal said minor girls and married women are kidnapped and then converted to Islam.

“They kidnap girls who are younger than 15 but they say they are adults and that the girls have accepted Islam and been married of their own free will,” he said. He also pointed out that no one is supporting the Hindu community on the issue. “We are Pakistanis first, and then Hindu. We earn enough and have food to eat but this conversion issue is not acceptable, it has discouraged Hindus in Pakistan.”

HRCP chief Zohra Yusuf noted that the “situation of religious minorities in Pakistan has grown worse over the last year. The government has not taken steps which could improve the status of minorities.”

“Minorities are not considered equal citizens in Pakistan. Some incidents that happened in 2011 have increased their vulnerability”, she said, citing the assassinations of former Punjab governor Salmaan Taseer and former federal minister for minorities affairs, Shahbaz Bhatti.

In front of the Karachi Press Club on Sunday, members of the minority communities, including Hindus, Christians and Sikhs protested. “Give us our Rinkle back. Give us the daughter of Sindh back,” demanded the relatives of the 17-year-old girl.

Courtesy: http://thelinkpaper.ca/?p=14962

President Back in Pakistan as Tensions With Army Rise

Pakistani Crisis Prompts Leader to Race Home

By ERIC SCHMITT and SALMAN MASOOD

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — A tense showdown between Pakistan’s powerful army and its besieged civilian government brought President Asif Ali Zardari hurrying back from Dubai early on Monday, after weeks of growing concerns by his supporters that the military has been moving to strengthen its role in the country’s governance.

Pushed by the army, a Pakistani Supreme Court hearing set to begin on Monday will investigate whether Mr. Zardari’s government was behind an unsigned memorandum that surfaced in October, purportedly asking the Obama administration’s help to curb the military’s influence and avert a possible coup in the wake of the American raid that killed Osama bin Laden in May.

The case has brought tensions between Pakistan’s military and its civilian leaders to perhaps its highest pitch since Mr. Zardari was elected three years ago. And it may also complicate America’s efforts to bring its relationship with Pakistan out of crisis after the Bin Laden raid and American airstrikes last month that killed 26 on the Pakistani side of the border with Afghanistan. That roiling period of dispute has also strengthened the military’s hand in the country’s affairs.

“The military and civilian leadership are on a collision course,” said Talat Masood, a political analyst and retired lieutenant general.  ….

Read more » The New York Times

Afghan gunfight: Kabul police battle insurgents

– Afghan and international security forces have been battling a multi-pronged attack by insurgents targeting the US embassy, Nato headquarters and police buildings in Kabul.

Police are still exchanging fire with at least one gunman holed up in an unfinished high-rise building overlooking the diplomatic quarter. Six people have been killed and 16 injured, Kabul’s police chief said.

The Taliban said they were behind the violence.

At least one attacker remains on one of the upper floors of the building, says the BBC’s Quentin Sommerville, in Kabul.

Afghan intelligence officials are already going through the lower floors, gathering evidence about the way the attack was planned and carried out.

Two of them told the BBC they found rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs), heavy machine guns and hand grenades, as well as biscuits and energy drinks.

“They had planned a long battle,” one official said.

Counter-terrorism officials said they recovered three mobile phone Sim cards from the bodies of attackers killed earlier in the day. The records showed the numbers had been used for calls to and from Pakistan, they told the BBC.

Read more → BBC

General Ziaul Haq and General Musharraf, facilitated the rise of the MQM into a party. It also permitted the MQM to use an almost fascist methodology to establish itself as the prime voice in Karachi, Sindh

Karachi’s karma – by Shahzad Chaudhry

Both General Ziaul Haq and General Musharraf, for different reasons, facilitated the rise of the MQM into a greatly robust party. It also permitted the MQM to use an almost fascist ideological and operational methodology to establish itself as the prime voice in Karachi

Does it have anything to do with Karachi’s avatar? We are aware of how and when Karachi as a fishing village was first founded, and then its march with times to its present status as the only metropolis in Pakistan. But where did it go wrong? Not in its serene but playful presence as a destination of choice between Europe and Asia. Nor, one hopes, in its free spirit as the only city of lights in Pakistan till lights went out from every home under the current regimen of managed power outages, including in Karachi. It is now a city of ghastly shadows and ghoulish killing. Where once cabarets ruled, now drips blood. And the perpetrators are its own. …

Read more → Daily Times

Climate Change: Question of Protecting Mangroves Forests in Pakistan

By Jamil Junejo

Sea level rise is one of horrifying offshoots of the climate change. It has risen reportedly by 1.7 mm/year in the 20th Century, globally. Since 1993, the rate has accelerated to 3.1mm/year. Such sea level rise has been posing serious threats to human settlements especially in coastal areas. Cyclones and Tsunamis coupled with the sea level rise will prove more disastrous due to increased height and intensity of the tides. Mangroves forests are the natural shield to avert a heavy loss by the possible heightened waves, cyclone and Tsunami.

Continue reading Climate Change: Question of Protecting Mangroves Forests in Pakistan

U.S.-Pakistani Tensions Rise After Bin Laden Raid

Tensions Rise as U.S. Officials Press Pakistan for Answers

By STEVEN LEE MYERS and JANE PERLEZ

WASHINGTON — Tensions between the American and Pakistani governments intensified sharply on Tuesday as senior Obama administration officials demanded answers to how Osama bin Laden managed to hide in Pakistan, and the Pakistani government issued a defiant statement calling the raid that killed the Al Qaeda leader “an unauthorized unilateral action.”

John O. Brennan, the top White House counterterrorism adviser, said there were many questions about how the sprawling compound “was able to be there for so many years with Bin Laden resident there and it didn’t come to the attention of the local authorities.”

“We need to understand what sort of support network that Bin Laden might have had in place,” Mr. Brennan said during an interview with ABC on Tuesday.

The suspicions have intensified efforts by some members of Congress to scale back American aid to Pakistan, or cut it entirely, as lawmakers described Pakistan as a duplicitous ally undeserving of the billions of dollars it receives each year from Washington.

Still, Obama administration officials and some members of Congress seemed determined to avoid the kind of break in relations ….

Read more : The New York Times

Were we really tolerant before the jihadis? – Dr Manzur Ejaz

Whether led by mature middle-class people or otherwise, the extremist religious movements draw most of their following from the new urbanite classes. In most cases, they have become the source of religious violence

Pakistanis must ask a central question: were we really tolerant people before Zia’s Islamisation or we were only naively indolent, prone to be violent at any moment? It is a common belief in Pakistan that when Zia, alongside the US, created violent jihadi organisations, they created hysteria in the public with narrow-mindedness ruling and people killing for frivolous reasons. Two questions come to mind about this explanation. One, were we really consciously ever a tolerant society for the jihadis to destroy? And two, how can we use this explanation to explain the parallel rise of extremist political Hinduism in India?

While talking about the killing fields that jihadis have created, we forget that the carnage of 1947 in Punjab cost more lives than the total number of people killed by jihadi violence in the last 20 years in Pakistan. Everyone blames the people of ‘other religions’ for the 1947 tragedy but, wherever Muslims were in overwhelming majority, they killed Sikhs and Hindus. Conversely, they faced the same treatment in areas where they were a minority. Amrita Pritam rightly said, “Aaj sabhay Kaidoo hu gaiy, husan ishaq de chor” (Today, everyone has turned into a villain, enemy of love). What happened in 1947 is closely linked to what is happening now and what occurred in east Punjab’s Khalistan Movement, which claimed hundreds of thousands of lives.

Most of the 1947 killings were concentrated in the rural areas; there were some in urban centres but they were limited. Most of the stories I have heard from Punjabi Hindus and Sikhs migrating from Pakistan indicate that the urban non-Muslims did not lose their family members while the stories from the rural areas are horror tales. One of my maternal uncles was killed in a village in Gurdaspur but at the same time none of the two neighbouring village’s Sikhs were spared — entire villages were murdered. How can so-called innocent rural people become murderous?

It can be argued that from the second to third centuries, the way the Gupta dynasty established self-sufficient but desolate and isolated village communities contributed to the religious violence of 1947, and even presently. When the Maurya Dynasty’s state ownership of entire land and manufacturing became unsustainable, it was replaced by self-sufficient village communities. Every community was required by the king’s law to have all kinds of artisans who were given a little land, residential and agricultural, and fixed shares of peasant produce. Consequently, the village communities had no need or desire to interact with other communities or reach beyond their own. Only a few traders and vendors were the link between the village and the rest of the world. The vendor, or vanjara in Punjabi, became a hero in folk songs because he was the only link with the outside world.

Due to the total absence of interaction and exchange of thought with the rest of the world, the village communities became lonesome entities. Mental horizons shrank and one generation of people was replaced with an identical next one. The village was considered a homeland or country whose honour was to be protected. This is why, during inter-village festivals, people would carry weapons as the possibility of war between the people of different villages was very real.

In eastern Punjab, some village communities were comprised of people of all religions but, when the British colonised western Punjab through an irrigation system, the village communities were established exclusively on religious basis. Therefore, another layer of separation was put in place where people of one religion became aliens for the other. The British education system did not mitigate such a separation because of the imposition of Urdu and denial of Punjabi identity. As a result, Sikhs limited themselves to the Gurmukhi script and Muslims to the Persian script. This was another fundamental divide created by the British. In Sindh, where Sindhi was made the official language and everyone used the same script, inter-religious hostility was a little less and did not lead to carnage in 1947. In the urban centres of Punjab where, despite furious religious political divides, the interaction between people was much better and the level of violence was also lower in 1947. ….

Read more : Wichaar

Pakistan : A great deal of ruin in a nation

Excerpt:

Why Islam took a violent and intolerant turn in Pakistan, and where it might lead

“TYPICAL Blackwater operative,” says a senior military officer, gesturing towards a muscular Westerner with a shaven head and tattoos, striding through the lobby of Islamabad’s Marriott Hotel. Pakistanis believe their country is thick with Americans working for private security companies contracted to the Central Intelligence Agency; and indeed, the physique of some of the guests at the Marriott hardly suggests desk-bound jobs.

Pakistan is not a country for those of a nervous disposition. Even the Marriott lacks the comforting familiarity of the standard international hotel, for the place was blown up in 2008 by a lorry loaded with explosives. The main entrance is no longer accessible from the road; guards check under the bonnets of approaching cars, and guests are dropped off at a screening centre a long walk away.

Some 30,000 people have been killed in the past four years in terrorism, sectarianism and army attacks on the terrorists. The number of attacks in Pakistan’s heartland is on the rise, and Pakistani terrorists have gone global in their ambitions. This year there have been unprecedented displays of fundamentalist religious and anti-Western feeling. All this might be expected in Somalia or Yemen, but not in a country of great sophistication which boasts an elite educated at Oxbridge and the Ivy League, which produces brilliant novelists, artists and scientists, and is armed with nuclear weapons. …

…. The future would look brighter if there were much resistance to the extremists from political leaders. But, because of either fear or opportunism, there isn’t. The failure of virtually the entire political establishment to stand up for Mr Taseer suggests fear; the electioneering tour that the law minister of Punjab took with a leader of Sipah-e-Sahaba last year suggests opportunism. “The Punjab government is hobnobbing with the terrorists,” says the security officer. “This is part of the problem.” A state increasingly under the influence of extremists is not a pleasant idea.

It may come out all right. After all, Pakistan has been in decline for many years, and has not tumbled into the abyss. But countries tend to crumble slowly. As Adam Smith said, “There is a great deal of ruin in a nation.” The process could be reversed; but for that to happen, somebody in power would have to try.

To read full article : Economist

Are America’s Best Days Behind Us?

By Fareed Zakaria

I am an American, not by accident of birth but by choice. I voted with my feet and became an American because I love this country and think it is exceptional. But when I look at the world today and the strong winds of technological change and global competition, it makes me nervous. Perhaps most unsettling is the fact that while these forces gather strength, Americans seem unable to grasp the magnitude of the challenges that face us. Despite the hyped talk of China’s rise, most Americans operate on the assumption that the U.S. is still No. 1.

But is it? …

Read more: Time.com

When Gen. Zia imposed Arabic

by Dr. Masood Ashraf

The role of national languages in defining and articulating national identities is a hackneyed subject, but, somehow, the privileging of learning a sacred language has not been explored much in the debates on nationalism. In this brief article, I intend to draw attention to the rise of Arabic studies in Pakistan and its long-term consequences for the Pakistani public sphere.

In his 1983 book Imagined Communities, Benedict Anderson provides three major causes for the waning of the pre-national empires and the rise of modern nation-states. One of the reasons, according to Anderson, was the rise of vernacular languages in place of what were considered the sacred languages, Latin and Arabic included. I have long maintained that Anderson misses the point as he only looks at the official use of these languages and not about the symbolic aspects of their power. In case of Arabic, for example, while it never was the official language of Muslim India, it still remains a language that wields immense symbolic power. …

Read more : ViewPoint

US policy in Egypt: potential and pitfalls – Dr Mohammad Taqi

Frank Wisner and his ilk are dead wrong, as the only opportunity Hosni Mubarak has is to write his own political obituary. On the other hand, history has afforded Barack Obama a chance to write his legacy — at least as far as the Arab world is concerned. He must avoid being on the wrong side of history.

Whenever there is any political turbulence in the world, especially in Muslim countries, planners in the US become jumpy and draw parallels to Ruhollah Khomeini’s rise to power. They simply do not wish to be caught off guard again

Revolutions, historically, have remained a geostrategic forecaster’s nightmare. For starters, revolutions are difficult to define and identify. What may appear, prima facie, to be a revolution in the making, may stop short of achieving any significant change. Unless a popular socio-political movement results in fundamental transformations in a society’s state and class structures and relationships, it may not qualify as a revolution.

Read more : Daily Times

Has Pakistan passed the tipping point of religious extremism?

Salman Taseer murder: Is Pakistan past tipping point?

By M Ilyas Khan BBC News, Islamabad

Has Pakistan passed the tipping point of religious extremism?

This question has agitated many minds around the world since the governor of Punjab province, Salman Taseer, was murdered by his own bodyguard on Tuesday. …

Read more : BBC