For more than 2000 years, the Chinese political system has been built around a highly sophisticated centralized bureaucracy, which has run what has always been a vast society through top-down methods. What China never developed was a rule of law, that is, an independent legal institution that would limit the discretion of the government, or democratic accountability. What the Chinese substituted for formal checks on power was a bureaucracy bound by rules and customs which made its behavior reasonably predictable, and a Confucian moral system that educated leaders to look to public interests rather than their own aggrandizement. This system is, in essence, the same one that is operating today, with the Chinese Communist Party taking the role of Emperor.
Evidently, the state of Pakistan is rotten when its former Chief of the Army Staff, who does not stop touting himself as a true patriot, prima facie, violated the constitutional oath he undertook. It is not just Mirza Aslam Beg whose nefarious involvement in politics has been the subject of discussion in the courts and TV channels but countless others in Pakistan who have been upto similar transgressions and getting away with them.
After the death of Gen Ziaul Haq in 1988, military rule only changed its clothes. It survived and flourished for a decade until the Emperor threw off his civilian façade and took over in 1999 through a proper coup d’etat citing the same old excuse of saving the country. The history of 1988-1999 is yet to be written for it has remained hostage to the obfuscations of a political class created by the army itself and its loyalist intellectuals who rule the media and are found in Pakistan’s moribund academia as well.
Sobho Gianchandani is a prominent Sindhi revolutionary who remains a source of inspiration for many generations of Sindhi activists, writers and social reformers. Mr. Gianchandani, known lovingly as Comrade Sobho, has been associated with many political and campaign groups, including the Indian National Congress and Khudai Khidmatgar and is the founder of many progressive, democratic and nationalist campaigns in Sindh. After the partition, Pakistani authorities pressured him – like millions of other Sindhi Hindus — to leave Sindh and migrate to India, but Sobho refused, and in consequence he was forbidden to travel abroad until 1998. Sobho was imprisoned for more than a year during the British rule, and after the partition, he fell under the wrath of Pakistani establishment and has many jail sentences to his credit, including one in 1971 for opposing military sponsored genocide in Bangladesh. Comrade Sobho and G. M. Syed were close associates and comrades in different aspects of the Sindhi rights movement. The G. M. Syed Memorial Lifetime Achievement Award is bestowed on Mr. Gianchandani in appreciation of his life-long struggle for emancipation for Sindhis and other oppressed peoples of South Asia and in recognition of his grass-roots efforts to promote tolerance, justice, communal harmony and peace. …..
Read more » ChagataiKhan
London: The barbarism of Pakistani security agencies in Balochistan continues to infuriate the Baloch people. A Human Rights Watch report titled “We can Torture, Kill, or Keep You for Years’: Enforced Disappearances by Pakistan Security Forces in Balochistan” exposes the fact that Pakistani agencies are responsible for widespread disappearances of Baloch political activists. The 32-page report slams Pakistan authorities for taking people into custody and then denying all responsibility or knowledge of their fate or whereabouts. The rights group investigated several cases in which uniformed personnel of the Frontier Corps, an Interior Ministry paramilitary force, and the police were involved in abducting Baloch nationalists.
Courtesy: South Asia News » YouTube
SINDH – Karachi, Feb 11, 2011: The civil society in Pakistan expressed grave concern over the events in Maldives where an elected government was ousted in a coup following political unrest in the country. The government of the now toppled President Mohamed Nasheed came to power after the 2008 elections ended 30 years of autocratic rule (by Maumoon Abdul Gayoom).
The political turmoil in Maldives and the unlawful overthrow of an elected government in the country remains a matter of grave concern for the South Asian neighbours and the partners of Maldives since the event may have a far ranging impact on the direction and the future of democracy in the region. The coup d’état is a condemnable act and all South Asian states and civil societies must join forces against this undemocratic move by the security forces of Maldives. At least two countries in South Asia – Pakistan and Bangladesh that have faced martial laws and coups in the past know very well how people suffer when democracy is brought down. Not only did the military rule in these two countries compromised political and administrative institutions, it took these countries several decades back in terms of economic and social development.
By Iqbal Tareen
President Obama just sent his budget plan to Congress. It would ensure that the top 1% pays their fair share.
As President Obama said in his State of the Union:
“Tax reform should follow the Buffett rule: If you make more than $1 million a year, you should not pay less than 30 percent in taxes… In fact, if you’re earning a million dollars a year, you shouldn’t get special tax subsidies or deductions…
Now, you can call this class warfare all you want. But asking a billionaire to pay at least as much as his secretary in taxes? Most Americans would call that common sense.”
Sign our petition to stand behind President Obama’s budget to end special tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires.
SIGN THE PETITION: http://dccc.org/Budget
Baloch politicians and leaders share their vision of self-determination and freedom from Pakistani rule.
By Al Jazeera
In the rugged mountains of southwest Pakistan lies the country’s largest province of Balochistan. Far from the bustling cities of Lahore, Karachi and Islamabad, this remote region has been the battleground for a 60-year-long insurgency by the Baloch ethnic minority.
“The Baloch people now live in a state of war. Every day, they face injustice. The army and intelligence agents kidnap our young, and we know nothing about them for years. The Baloch people live in a state of war. We will not accept any offers until we regain control over this land. They burn down our homes and then ask us for peace? We are not stupid.” – Baloch Khan, Baloch rebel leader
The ongoing conflict is often called Pakistan’s dirty war, because of the rising numbers of people who have disappeared or have been killed on both sides.
But the uprising against Pakistan’s government has received little attention worldwide, in part because most eyes have been focused on the fight against the Taliban and al-Qaeda in other areas of Pakistan. …
Read more » al Jazeera
LAHORE: Former president of the Supreme Court Bar Association Asma Jahangir condemned the judiciary on Wednesday, saying it has always approved military rules in the past.
She said if judges wanted a hand in politics, they should contest elections. Talking to reporters at the Lahore High Court, she said that Parliament, not judiciary, was the supreme body in the country.
The judiciary should not consider itself as all knowledgeable, Asma said, while expressing her reservations over many decisions of the Supreme Court.
The judiciary also disregards decisions of Parliament, she said, while pointing out the annulment of the parliamentary committee’s decisions on judges’ appointment.
She further expressed her inability to understand the SC’s January 10 judgment on the NRO non-implementation case. She said that while the NRO was a complicated issue, she never favoured it.
Asma regretted that state institutions were being politicised and added that no institution was clean.
ASMA JEHANGIR, Pakistan’s leading lawyer, former President Supreme Court Bar Association of Pakistan and former United Nations Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion says she did not trust the commission formed by the Supreme Court to investigate the memo-scandal, alleging that the Supreme Court judges were under the [military] establishment’s influence. She says, ISI fear forced former Ambassador Husain Haqqani to stay at PM House. She said Supreme Court’s job to support citizens, uphold Constitution & fundamental rights not “national security”. The language of the interview is urdu (Hindi).
A Statement from the Asian Human Rights Commission
AHRC-STM-213-2011 (12-23-2011): The Prime Minister has accused the Pakistan army of hatching conspiracies against the elected parliament and government. The PM, in an address to the National Assembly session, has hinted that conspiracies are being hatched to ‘pack up the elected government’ pointing at the army and making a strong assertion that parliament is the highest of all the state organs. He declared that all the state organs, including the military, are answerable to the parliament and the government would not allow anyone to claim to be state within a state.
Prime Minister Gillani’s speech was the outcome of the statements submitted in the Supreme Court by the Chief of Army Staff and the chief of the ISI, the inter services intelligence agency, in the case of the ‘Memo Gate Scandal’ wherein the former Ambassador to the US was implicated by a Pakistani-American businessman for writing a memo to former chief of the US army to use his offices to stop the Pakistani Army and ISI making a coup against the civilian government. Through the memo the Pakistani-American businessman was also accusing that President of Pakistan, Mr. Asif Zardari, being a boss of the Ambassador was involved in writing a letter against his own military top brass.
– The very fact that these banned organisations are still working so openly in our society, without any fear or even a slight concern for the rule of law and state authority, makes evident the will of the authorities to tackle extremism
Generally throughout the entire history of Pakistan, the defence budget has been continuously increasing. Particularly in the last decade the budget allocated to defence expenditures has witnessed enormous growth, from $ 2.5 billion in 1999 to around $ 5 billion in 2011. The reason cited by defence experts is the various external and internal threats, especially evolving after 9/11 and the initiation of the war on terror. The finance for this growing expenditure is supported through the earnings of the citizens of Pakistan. Let me make it clear to everyone that here I am not making a case against the budget allocated to the security of the country, as security is the foremost issue for Pakistan nowadays. My concern is that if the people of Pakistan are contributing for the defence budget and are willing to sacrifice the financial requirements of other sectors for safeguarding the country, then they also have the right to know what policies are being employed by the security apparatus for this purpose.
Pakistan has been outsourcing its defence activities to civilians or non-military groups since the outset. Starting from the war in Kashmir immediately after independence, during the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, the Kashmir movement and finally in the current war on terror where tribal lashkars (militias) are being formed to battle militancy. Numerous platforms have been invented in various eras according to requirements, whether it is the Pak-Afghan Council, Muttahida Jihad Council or the latest talk of the town, the Pakistan Defence Council (PDC). This last mentioned amalgamation of right-wing mainstream political parties and banned militant outfits has received colossal limelight in the aftermath of the NATO attack. The recent rally held in Lahore on December 18 by the PDC was attended by thousands and was under the very symbol synonymous with the sovereignty of the country. The rally was not only attended by mainstream political figures but also the leaders of banned terrorist organisations. Ijazul Haq, Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, General Hamid Gul and Syed Munawar Hasan shared the stage with Hafiz Saeed, head of Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD). The reason for the sudden rise of these organisations is very simple. As I mentioned in my previous article, these militant outfits are pouncing on the opportunity to exploit the sentiments of the already enraged citizens for their own vested agenda to regain their foothold. ….
Read more » Daily Times
…. Perhaps the only reason why the army has not stepped in is that its credibility, too, is on very shaky ground, especially after the US raid hunting down Osama bin Laden.
However, what is clear is that civilian rule, in spite of the groundswell of public support, has not been able to strike roots. The problem, as always, lies in the weakness of its political leadership.
Vaclav Havel, Czech leader and playwright, dies at 75
Vaclav Havel, the Czech Republic’s first president after the Velvet Revolution against communist rule, has died at the age of 75. ….
Read more » BBC
There is an item titled “Shah Mehmood Qureshi Jaa Kujh Anokha Taarikhi Hawala” “شاهه محمود قريشي جا ڪجهه انوکا تاريخي حوالا” written by Farooq Bijarani from Tagwani, Kandhkot, published in Sindhi daily newspaper and posted on Sindhi e-lists/ e-groups, if true then would be an alarming development. That article quotes a statement by the Vice Chairman of Tehreek-e-Insaf Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi as saying at a public gathering in Ghotki that he is like Mahmood Ghaznavi, who is on mission to break the Somnath Mandar in Sindh. Those familiar with the history of Sindh know the historical account of cruelties that Mahmood Ghaznavi bestowed on Sindh on his way back to his home country after destroying the Somnath Mandar in Gujrat. He slaughtered many Sindhis and burned the capital city of Sindh.
Makhdoom sahib also said that there now lives a Pharaoh in Sindh (probably referring to his old mentor President Asif Zardari) and that he is coming to free the people of Sindh from his slavery. The article asks: Are we Sindhis so gullible or helpless that we need some one from Multan or Mianwalli to free us from the slavery of a Pharaoh? Replying this question, the author says “We Sindhis are neither slaves nor sleeping that we would allow a Pharaoh to rule us.
I agree with the author that every one has the right to present their views but they should think before they open their lips. They should be aware of the true history before comparing themselves to historical figures.
Courtesy: Sindhi e-lists/ e-groups, December 14, 2011.
Military Reform in Pakistan: Will the Army Allow Politicians to Rule?
EVENTS – November 2011 – AEI, Twelfth Floor, 1150 Seventeenth Street, NW, Washington, DC 20036
Post-Event Summary – Pakistan’s deep state, the military establishment and Inter-Services Intelligence are playing a double game with the United States and do not appear to have any intention of handing over power to the civilian government, a panel of experts concluded Wednesday at the American Enterprise Institute. Kamran Shafi of Pakistan’s Express Tribune drove home the distinction between Pakistan and the military-run “deep state.” He stressed that a vast majority of Pakistanis are against the concepts of jihad and nuclear proliferation and argued that the U.S. needs to engage the civilian government rather than the military establishment. The U.S. has failed to craft a Pakistan policy consistent with American goals in Afghanistan, asserted Georgetown University’s Christine Fair. Despite evidence that Pakistan has undermined U.S. interests and acted as a U.S. enemy, she said, Washington continues to placate the military establishment, undermining U.S. leverage. Eli Lake of Newsweek and The Daily Beast argued that the U.S. does have a strategy in Pakistan: funding, through the CIA, an alternative “deep state” within the Pakistani military that is sympathetic to U.S. goals and willing to collaborate on the fight against al-Qaida. The U.S. cannot disengage with Pakistan, emphasized AEI’s Thomas Donnelly. He argued that Washington needs to both recognize the fundamental difference in U.S.-Pakistan relations and develop a new set of carrots and sticks to incentivize Pakistan’s power brokers to act in line with U.S. interests. All panelists asserted South Asia’s vital importance to U.S. national security interests and argued for continued engagement, noting that there are no short-term solutions to the conundrum Pakistan presents. — Kanishk Mishra
Read more » American Enterprise Institute (AEI)
By Khaled Ahmed
States released from colonial rule in the 20th century have by and large not done well. Today, most of them are either failing or failed states. Only a few have reached the finishing line of liberal democracy with a survivable economic model beyond the 21st century. Most of the Muslim states are included in the failing postcolonial model. Dictators with mental bipolar disorder — historically mistaken for charisma — who aimed to achieve romantic goals have crumbled, leaving in their wake equally romantic mobs of youths demanding what they presume is liberal democracy.
After Saddam Hussein, Iraq is in disarray; after Hosni Mubarak, Egypt is teetering; Libya promises nothing better. And after Musharraf, Pakistan’s democracy is dysfunctional. Among Muslims, only the market state in the Gulf may survive. In the Far East, too, it is the market state that looks like marching on. Muslim Indonesia and Malaysia may survive if they don’t exterminate their entrepreneur Chinese minorities under the spur of Islam. In Europe, when the dictator quits, civilisation takes over and the state survives. No such thing happens in the Muslim world. The premodern seduction of the Muslim mind prevents return to democracy. The blasphemy law is more powerful than any democratic constitution. …
Read more » The Express Tribune
By: Dr. Rajab Ali Memon, Secretary General, Sindh Taraqi Pasand Party – STP
We condemn the brutal murder of 4 Sindhi Hindu doctors in Shikarpur district by the criminals. The STP, being a strong advocate of secular politics, rejects the intolerance towards all religious minorities and the Sindhi Hindus in particular; since they are being continuously and systematically targeted & extorted by various agencies, dacoits, religious fanatics, and feudal/ tribal/ spiritual lords all over Sindh. We appeal all progressive elements in Pakistan to join us in condemning the rule of jungle, especially in the northern districts of Sindh; and the systematic genocide of Sindhi Hindus to compel them to leave Sindh and settle in India. We believe that the Sindhi Hindus are an integral part of Sindhi nation and equal citizens of Sindh & Pakistan. Hence, it is the foremost responsibility of the State as well as the Government (s) of Sindh & Pakistan to provide them guarantees of Life, Liberty and Property.
Courtesy » Sindhi e-lists/ e-groups, November 8, 2011.
by Louisa Lim
What goes on inside China’s leadership is usually played out behind the closed oxblood doors of the compound where the top leaders live. This year, though, a political debate has sprung out in the open — and it has leaders and constituents considering how to move forward politically.
This ideological debate comes as China gears up for a once-in-a-decade political transition. The country’s future top leaders seem almost certain, with Xi Jinping in line for president and Li Keqiang on track for premier. Horse-trading is under way for other leadership positions, however, sparking a debate that could define China’s future.
The Chongqing Model: Equal Slices
In recent months, the streets of the city of Chongqing have been ringing with song. These are not spontaneous outbreaks; they’re government-mandated sessions, requiring employees to “sing the red,” patriotic songs praising China.
This is a leftist vision of China’s future, with powerful echoes of its Maoist past.
It’s the brainchild of Bo Xilai, Chongqing’s party secretary and the son of a revolutionary elder, Bo Yibo, one of the “eight immortals” of Communist China. Bo Xilai has taken a three-pronged approach by “smashing the black,” or attacking corruption and organized crime, with what some say is a disregard for the rule of law. His approach also includes putting in place measures to help those left behind by China’s economic boom.
“The government intervenes to correct the shortcomings of the market economy,” says Yang Fan, a conservative-leaning scholar at China University of Political Science and Law and co-author of a book about the Chongqing model.
“There are projects to improve people’s livelihood by letting migrant workers come to the city, by building them cheap rental places and allowing them to sell their land to come to the city,” he says.
This is where it comes to what’s been dubbed “cake theory.” If the cake is China’s economy, the Chongqing model concentrates on dividing the cake more equally.
The Market-Driven Guangdong Model
The competing vision, based in the province of Guangdong, focuses on making the cake bigger first, not dividing it. In economic terms, the Guangdong model is a more market-driven approach, pushing forward development ahead of addressing inequality.
“The Guangdong model aims to solve the concerns of the middle class,” says Qiu Feng, a liberal academic from the Unirule Institute of Economics. “It’s about building society and rule of law. It wants to give the middle class institutionalized channels to take part in the political process. Its basic thought is co-opting the middle class.”
He says the “Happy Guangdong” approach is aimed not at those left behind, but at those who have profited from the economic boom.
Guangdong’s party secretary, Wang Yang, has criticized the Chongqing model, saying people need to study and review Communist Party history, “rather than just singing of its brilliance.” In political terms, he’s throwing down the gauntlet at his rival, Bo Xilai.
Finding A Way Forward
Both these politicians are fighting for a place — and influence — inside the holiest of holies: the Politburo Standing Committee. This comes against a background of criticism of the current leadership from a surprising quarter.
“The bureaucracy is corrupt. Power has been marketized. Governance has been industrialized,” says Zhang Musheng, a consummate insider. “Local governments are becoming riddled with gangsters.”
Zhang’s father was secretary to China’s Premier Zhou Enlai. This makes him what’s known as a “princeling.” He’s attended a number of meetings held by children of former leaders, where criticism of the current leadership has been aired.
Despite their grievances, they came to one conclusion.
“China’s such a complicated society. Right now, it can’t leave the Communist Party. So the Communist Party must reform and improve,” Zhang says. “Although it’s criticized, right now there is no social force which can replace the Communist Party.”
Those are the key questions: how to reform or even if the Communist Party can reach consensus over which model it follows. ….
Read more » NPR
– Let the Taliban rule Karachi
By Asad Munir
Those who support the Taliban also think that when the Americans leave, the Taliban will give up their arms and return to a normal peaceful life. They should see a recent video uploaded on YouTube. It is titled “Takfiri Molvi” (http://youtu.be/C_uYiQxTTf8) and shows a Pakistani Taliban leader calling the Quaid-i-Azam ‘Kafir-i-Azam’. This man also says that army troops have been declared apostates; he calls the Imam of the Kaaba “gumrah” and justifies kidnapping for ransom by saying that this is allowed under jihad. He refers to a kidnapped person as “aseer-e-ghaneemat”. Lootings of banks is also permitted, by calling the loot as “mal-e-ghaneemat” and the killing of women and children is justified by saying that this happens during a war.
The Taliban leader then goes on to call most Pakistanis “apostates” and hence this justifies their killing as a religious obligation. He says quite clearly that the Taliban will continue their jihad till the enforcement of Shariah in Pakistan and will kill all those who oppose them.
The Taliban’s agenda has been clearly spelt out in this video. They want to impose Shariah in this country, through the use of force. And they are armed, trained and capable of accomplishing this mission, if they have support from the people. They will neither lay down arms nor end their terrorist activities, even with the withdrawal of US forces and people who think that they will are naïve or living in a state of denial.
So to consider them as “our own people” and to initiate dialogue with them is not going to stop them from carrying on with their activities. I would wish good luck to all those who want to negotiate peace with the likes of Mullah Fazlullah, Hakeemullah Mehsud, Faqir Muhammad, Hafiz Gul Bahadur, Qari Hussian and others.
And as for those media anchors who consider the Taliban important for lasting peace in Afghanistan, why don’t they consider allowing the Taliban to set up a government in, say, Karachi?
To read complete article » The Express Tribune
By Shamsul Islam
FAISALABAD: At least 10 students, including seven girls, and a female teacher were expelled from Chenab Public School and Muslim Public School, Dharanwali area of Hafizabad, for being Ahmadis.
“It is extremely unfortunate that my daughters are being deprived of the most basic and fundamental human right such as education … all because of religious intolerance,” Khalil Ahmad, whose three daughters were expelled, told The Express Tribune. “I have no alternative to ensure that their education continues,” he added.
What about the constitutional provisions which ensure equal rights for all? What about the rule of law that says no discrimination can be made on the basis of faith, race, cast and creed, he questions. …
Read more » The Express Tribune
After military might, religion is the greatest alibi to defy the rule of law in Pakistan.
One of the most precious achievements of human civilization is the value of rule of law, as against the rule of man, ideology or faith. Herein is implied an inherent regard for the life and liberty of each person, his right to profess and practice any religion; in sum his right to live a life of his choice. It is as simple as that – that as against man, ideology and faith, rule of law is tolerant and accommodative of all creeds and all cultures, i.e. to all the individual differences of mind and body found in human beings. It looks upon each and every person as by birth endowed with certain inalienable rights, treats him as equal and without any discrimination; it provides equal protection of law to all; it gives every person right to be prosecuted under due process of law and prove himself innocent. That bestows the rule of law with an over-riding status. …
Read more → asinstitute
by Zulfiqar Halepoto
The situation is getting worst day by day in Sindh. This will affect other parts of Pakistan and ultimately whole nation and the entire country will suffer.
Conservative ‘constituents’ BOX politics of PPP and MQM is not helping Sindh to lead Pakistan’s journey towards a prosperous land, full of resources (natural and human) and opportunities on merit with rule of law and constitutionalism. The political rift is dividing the citizens of Sindh on ethnic lines and peace loving and progressive people are afraid.
On the other hand ‘ACTION REPLY OF HUMAN DISASTER’ has destroyed billions of rupees agriculture, crops and food supply in 12 fertile districts of Sindh. Around 100 people are died in couple of days. Thousands of families are displaced. Children and women are the worst victim of the fresh wave of FTAL rain. Livestock and food supply are vanished. People are living measurable lives in camps. Political heat has over shadowed this human catastrophic situation.
Where is the government? Where is the state? Nobody is there to take notice. Government stopped INGOS and UN systems to intervene in the recent disaster relief actions. Government has no capacity to deal with the science of disaster.
Another bad news is that in two years time 600 Sindhi Hindu families have migrated from upper Sindh to India, Dubai, Hong Kong, Malaysia, and Singapore due to every day deteriorating law and order situation in rural Sindh. People are victim of terrorists in Karachi and other urban towns peaceful citizens of rural areas are victim of kidnapping, Bhatakhoree and forced conversation of their women to other religions.
All anti-Sindh feudal who are destroying the landscape of ‘diversity and plurality’ are now part of PPP government under so-called reconciliation. These feudal and tribal chiefs initiate tribal clashed and instigate their tribesmen to kill innocent people and they maintain their fiefdoms. There is no rule of law. They all are beyond any accountability because they are supported by agencies too to destroy Sindh’s progressive political base. Sindhi Hindu families are also victim of this culture.
Some districts of upper Sindh have become ‘NO GO AREAS’ for innocent citizens. So-called progressive and learned PPP leaders are shamefully kept silent on these crimes. Sindh is about to collapse on all political, economic and social fronts.
I wonder, even the greatest sacrifice of Benazir Bhutto didn’t inspire the rulers to change the CULTURE. I don’t know who is going to stop all this menace in Sindh, which is heating the whole country.
Courtesy: Sindhi e-lists/ e-groups, September 3, 2011.
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
By the CNN Wire Staff
Tripoli, Libya (CNN) — The 42-year rule of Moammar Gadhafi appeared on the verge of collapse early Monday, with rebel supporters packing the same Tripoli square where regime loyalists had congregated for months.
These celebrations were in response to rebel inroads into the capital and news that Two of Moammar Gadhafi’s sons — Saif al-Islam and Saadi — have been arrested by opposition forces. Jumma Ibrahim, a rebel spokesman based in Libya’s western mountain region, said both were captured in Tripoli.
There was no immediate reaction from Libyan government officials to these claims. CNN could not confirm the arrests, and there was no documentation provided by the rebels to verify the report.
International Criminal Court chief prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo also said Saif Gadhafi had been arrested and would be sought by court “for his participation in crimes against humanity (affecting) the Libyan people.” …
Read more → CNN
– Rapprochement is possible
By Abrar Kazi & Zulfiqar Halepoto
ONCE again, differences between the PPP and MQM have translated into a Sindhi-Mohajir confrontation. In fact, the reasons for this are inherent in the politics of both parties.
The politics of PPP which it calls ‘the politics of reconciliation’ is in fact politics without principles that negates its manifesto. For example, the party promised to undo the Musharraf-era division of Hyderabad district and the clubbing together of Karachi’s five districts, which Benazir Bhutto criticised as an administrative division imposed by a dictator. But the promise was never fulfilled.
The PPP’s major fault is, however, to take the support of Sindhis for granted. It has failed to recognise that the Sindhi people’s love for their motherland transcends party lines, all sacrifices rendered by the PPP or any other party notwithstanding, and that their unity of thought on major issues is phenomenal.
The MQM’s politics appears to be based on the ethnic sentiments of its voters, which when exploited, have the damaging effect of causing dislike for those who do not speak Urdu. The journey from ‘Mohajir’ to ‘Muttahida’ was considered a policy shift towards the integration of MQM supporters with the rest of Sindh. But it turned out to be more a change of strategy than of heart.
Such politics tend to paint all Urdu-speaking people with the same brush although most are progressive and liberal and desire peace and integration. Pakistan’s security establishment, the guardians of the ‘ideological and geographical frontiers’ of the country, have contributed their own bit to this confrontation so that the province has reached its present status of seemingly insurmountable problems.
Consciously or unconsciously, a large segment of the Urdu-speaking intelligentsia, civil society and media have either kept quiet or are perceived as supporting such an ethnic viewpoint thereby increasing the rift. Pervez Musharraf’s dictatorship further widened the gulf through deliberate design to give control of Sindh’s urban centres to the MQM as independent administrative units through the district government system. The LGO 2001 appeared to dovetail with the thinking of those who supported the idea of a Mohajir province in Sindh. This resulted in causing suspicion among Sindhis, who despite the numerous merits of the local government system, rejected the change as an attempt to divide Sindh.
Sindhis voted for the PPP and its manifesto which promised to undo all Musharraf’s actions including the local government system of 2001. Since then, there have been incessant demands for the promised actions.
One point must be noted here. Since 1988, the MQM and the PPP have shared power in Sindh three times. Without going into the deeper factors, the general acceptance of the power-sharing by the masses is indicative that by and large the voters and also the people are fundamentally in favour of coexistence between the Sindh- and Urdu-speaking-sindhis of the province.
Another point worth noting is that the ‘Sindh card’ often played by the PPP whenever it has been in trouble is in effect dead from this point on.
Rather than acting on people’s aspirations, the PPP government has resorted to unprincipled politics, refusing to understand the larger issues involved in the present controversy and thus further aggravating the Sindhi-Urdu (Mohajir) divide.
The angry reaction of Sindhis against the PPP and MQM must be seen against this backdrop. It is not about a few nationalist leaders, intellectuals and members of civil society agitating the people. Neither is it about the present district government controversy. It is the pent-up frustration and anger of many decades of authoritarian and military rule in Pakistan, especially in Sindh. It is about what is seen as the plunder of Sindh’s resources without corresponding benefits to Sindh.
It is about the ownership of two prosperous cities of Sindh, established and developed by a competent and dedicated mercantile and cosmopolitan Sindhi Hindu and Muslim class that flourished much before Pakistan came into existence. It is about the humiliation of seeing a provincial assembly passing a resolution to in effect put a ban on Sindhis getting admission in public-sector professional institutions and employment in the multinational companies. It is also about the frustration at the unending cycle of blood on the streets.This constant confrontation between Sindhis and Mohajirs (urdu-speaking-sindhis0 is a source of great loss to Pakistan and still greater loss to Sindh. Despite being secular and progressive, Sindh lags behind in terms of economic and social development because of the albatross of PPP and MQM policies. Sindh is a prosperous and resource-rich province. It is also a land of secular and liberal people who have given strong political leadership to Pakistan from Jinnah to Benazir Bhutto.
It presented the incumbent PPP government an unmatched opportunity to correct all the wrongs done to the country by the civil and military establishment of Pakistan. A strong democratic and plural society, could have been created to tackle terrorism, the sectarian and ethnic divide and violence in politics but the opportunity was lost by the PPP. The MQM’s alignment with the security establishment further damaged the cause.
There is still hope though. The present revolt against the PPP indicates that Sindhis can reject their own elected government if they fear a division of the province. This raises the opportunity for progressive Urdu-speaking Sindhis to join hands with the Sindhis to make the province an ideal homeland setting an example of peaceful coexistence and democracy.
By: Ali Nawaz Memon
President Zardari is afraid of MQM, he is sure that MQM can destablize his rule and he thinks people of Sindh are nothing. I have a feeling that even some of his ministers and members of federal and Sindh national assembly members do not agree with his thinking. But they are powerless before him. He has given them power single handily. They know that he can take away their power. May God forgive me for saying this, but, unfortunately, these PPP ministers and assemblymen do not see any other power in Sindh above President Zardari and MQM.
13th August 2011 strike may be an eye opener for President Zardari. People of Sindh and even some other groups have stood up against Zardari-MQM power. But “one day” strike is not going to mean anything. It has to be Tahrir square type of continuous action.
Then may be members of Sindh assembly will refuse to eat crow and change the former dictator Musharraf’s undemocratic, repressive, & discriminatory local bodies law and restore the previous status of Hyderabad and Karachi as districts West, East, South, North, Ibrahim Haidery, Lyari and Malir.
Please note: The writer is an author of “Sindh Development Thoughts” and he is also a chairman of Sindh Development Institute.
Courtesy: → Sindhi e-lists/ e-groups, August 14, 2011.
– Potters’ wares – by Mir Mohammad Ali Talpur
Watayo Faqir is to Sindh what Mullah Naseerudin is to Turkey, Afghanistan and Central Asia. Once someone informed Watayo that his mother had gone crazy and was writhing in the dust in the city centre; knowing his mother acted oddly at times he was nonetheless surprised. Reaching home he inquired; she replied that having seen a rupee coin in the path and thinking that if she picks it up someone would claim it, the best way was to act crazy and pocket it without anyone suspecting. Watayo said, “I knew my mother would not be all that crazy without a very good reason.”
What the PPP leadership terms as the policy of reconciliation is in fact a policy of capitulation for preserving their narrow personal short-term interests and has nothing to do with the welfare or benefit of the people in general and Sindhis in particular. But then nothing better can be expected from people whose politics are based on self-interest.
National interest and preservation of democracy is mendaciously bandied about as the reason behind the vacillations, oscillations, dithering and capitulation of the PPP, which would shame even the most brazen politician of any country, to appease the MQM. The sole purpose behind these brazen transmogrifications is the self-interest of the elite of these two parties who do not even bother to ask their colleagues’ opinions. Syed Zafar Ali Shah, Taj Haider and Nabeel Gabol have come out openly against this ludicrous pantomime. Naturally, no one from the MQM wants to end up in a gunny bag so there has not been a squeak from anyone; any way why would the victors complain?
The resentment amongst the people of Sindh is palpable and their anger at the PPP’s capitulation was expressed by the success of the strike called by the nationalist parties on August 8 and 13. Even PPP members have taken to the streets against the latest capitulation. This pusillanimous and chronic backtracking has made them an object of ridicule and derision for common people because those who forge and implement these preposterous decisions live in inaccessible mansions away from the grubby masses. This habitual volte-face along with the carefree attitude towards the views and problems of workers is isolating the PPP from whatever support that has survived.
– The MQM is a different entity; it is ruled from London and only absolute submission is the rule — dissenters are meted out horrible punishments. It is a party that is based on terror, oiled by terror and thrives on terror. This is how this organisation is run and there is no other way for its survival. A quote by George MacDonald (1824-1905), a Scottish poet and author, fits to a T all fascist organisations and individuals. He says, “A beast does not know that he is a beast, and the nearer a man gets to being a beast, the less he knows it.”
The terrorism perpetrated after Zulfiqar Mirza’s statement left a trail of destruction in its wake because the call to teach him a lesson resulted in a score killed and properties and vehicles destroyed. This carnage was one of the sequels of the May 12 incident; there have been quite a few follow up episodes of that successful run of the show by the MQM during the Musharraf era. Oddly, no one is ready to blame the real culprits in Karachi.
The much flaunted powerbase and mandate have been acquired by sowing terror. All elections are massively rigged and manipulated and all parties practice it in places where they can cow the election staff. The MQM always boasts of a mind-boggling number of votes cast in their constituencies and this they do through fraudulently stuffing ballot boxes. The number of votes that the MQM claims cannot physically be cast in the limited time period and the cumbersome procedure that is required to cast a single vote. This rigging is done to lay claim to being the majority’s representative. This comes in handy to intimidate others into submission through threats. A heavy and unhindered presence of international observers during the elections could expose this mandate farce any day. …
Read more → Daily Times
In his statement, President of Sindh United party, Jalal Mehmood Shah Grandson of G. M. Syed, condemned those who burned the bundles of Jang newspaper & attacks tv chennel on the issue of private Tv channel who aired a program against the unity of Sindh. He said his party supports Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftakhar Choudhry, who was unable to function and was vulnerable to danger by MQM on May 12, 2007 carnage in Karachi. He said some forces are conspiring against Sindhi and urdu speakers and they are trying to divide Sindhi and urdu speaking Sindhis from each other.
Courtesy: → (Geo News, Bulletin 9pm – 30th July 2011)
Courtesy 2 → Sindhi daily Aawamiawaz
I read the news while exploring the internet on my iPad, sitting at the airport on my way back home from our annual APPNA conference. The news said, “Shadab Qadri, the leader of Sunni Tehreek, said the politician’s daughter, Shehrbano Taseer, 21, must stop speaking out against blasphemy laws.” He said,
”We read the statement of the slain governor’s daughter in a newspaper. She should refrain from issuing such statements and must remember her father’s fate,”
I had just met Sherherbano Taseer a day before I read the news. She was invited to the APPNA conference to speak about the radicalization of Pakistani society. One thing I noticed about her was that she really does not say a word against blasphemy laws. All she keeps on saying is that these laws are being misused to settle personal scores against each other in Pakistan. Many intellectuals living in USA have seen and experienced the freedom of speech, and criticize the law itself. And of course, then we have our real religious scholars who tell you to not kill anyone using our Prophet (pbuh)’s name since it gives the Prophet pbuh a bad name.
One almost want to blame the religion for turning people in to crazy killers. This is what I did initially. But then the Sialkot incident happened in which the whole village got together and tortured two young boys to death. They were shown on TV. Over and over again. Villagers had iron rods. They pushed iron rods in to young boys’ eyes. They removed Mugheez’s pants to hit on his sensitive parts, so it would hurt more. They literally crushed those boys and they made their faces unrecognizable pieces of minced meat.
Then the incident happened in which almost six Pakistani rangers got together and shot a young unarmed boy, and then let him bleed to death. Ah, the site of fresh flowing blood! Nothing better and exciting! And then of course the incident in Multan happened, in which a group of students beat a journalist to death while “protesting” for their rights of some sort.
Religion really was not involved in all these incidents mentioned above. I know what has happened to Pakistan. You would know too if you watched a movie called “The Crazies”.
If you have not seen the movie, please rent it tonight and watch it. In the movie, a virus was dropped over a town as a biochemical weapon. Whoever got infected with that virus became a crazy killer for no reason. People started killing their own families after getting infected with that virus. They loved the sight of fresh flowing red blood. They enjoyed stabbing iron rods through the living humans, just like the village people did to Mugheez and Muneeb.
Seems to me that a virus has infected people of Pakistan too in to being “The Crazies”.
And government and judiciary is incompetent. It’s the lack of rule of law. There is absolute anarchy in Pakistan and no one gets punished for their crimes. Law is unable to punish the killers. Rulers are unable to punish the killers. Shazia Masih’s killer, who tortured her to death, was found “not guilty”.
Muslims who burnt the Christians alive in Gojra were released due to the lack of evidence and witnesses. So, really, there is no reason for people to stop their behavior. I am surprised that killings are limited to only a few a week and people are not looting and killing each other constantly like they did during partition. And like they showed in the movie “The Crazies”
Once Crazies get infected with a virus like that, there is no way to stop them. They have to kill and be killed. It has to happen. Roads have to be red with blood. I would advise my younger Pakistani sister Shehrbano to stay away from the crazies though. Once Taseers and Asias are not there, Qadris would go after each other, and there would be nothing left but fresh flowing blood and shattered pieces of fresh human meat.
Shazia Nawaz MBBS, MD. (Allama Iqbal medical college , Lahore, Session 1998). Practicing medicine in USA now. A blogger, a columnist, a You Tube talk show host. Wants justice and equality for all.