San Francisco (RPRN) 06/08/15 — Thousands of North American Sikhs converged in downtown San Francisco to commemorate the 31st year of Indian Army’s invasion of Golden Temple in which thousands of Sikh pilgrims were massacred.
A highly visible stage at the San Francisco City Hall carried the larger than life portrait of slain Sikh separatist leader Sant Bhindranwle, while the speakers paid homage to the perennial chief of Damdami Taksal who headed the movement for independent Sikh country, “Khalistan”.
The “Sovereignty Rally” attended by more ten thousand Sikhs, was organized by the management committees of Gurudwaras across California.
Bringing the city of San Francisco to a halt, admirers and followers of Bhindranwale marched through the streets chanting slogans demanding referendum in the Indian occupied State of Punjab. Wearing T-shirts with pictures of slain separatist leader, Sikh youths were carrying placards for “Referendum 2020”.
Sikhs For Justice (SFJ) an international human rights group is advocating for holding of referendum in the year 2020 to create separate Sikh country.
Pointing to the growing popularity of campaign for Sikh Referendum, attorney Gurpatwant Singh Pannun legal advisor to SFJ stated that Sant Bhindranwale represented the community’s aspirations for independence and was not a terrorist as portrayed by the Indian government.
“History is a witness that in more than 300 years Sikh community was never an aggressor and only laid lives defending its right to peaceful existence”, added attorney Pannun.
What lies at the bottom of the controversy between the disgruntled Sikhs and Indian Government is the Explanation II to Article 25 of the constitution of India which labels Sikhs as Hindus. Offended by the constitutional assault on independent status of Sikhism, Bhindranwale initially lead the movement for abolition of Article 25 which ultimately culminated in demanding cession of Punjab, the historical homeland of Sikhs, from India.
News courtesy: RushPrNews
Read more » http://rushprnews.com/2015/06/08/demand-for-independence-of-punjab-echoes-in-san-francisco
Western separatism is an old theme in Alberta, but Peter Zeihan is bringing it back into the spotlight.
Zeihan’s new book is mostly about the United States and its place in the world, but he’s dedicated an entire chapter to Alberta.
It’s there that he lays out the economic case for why Wild Rose Country should bid farewell to Confederation [Canada] and join the United States.
“Alberta as a U.S. state would not simply be rich — the richest in the Union, in fact — but would have a vibrantly well-financed and diverse economy that would put its former (and a lot of its new-found) countrymen to shame,” writes the American author in The Accidental Superpower.
”Alberta as a U.S. state would not simply be rich — the richest in the Union, in fact — but would have a vibrantly well-financed and diverse economy.’ – Peter Zeihan, The Accidental Superpower
He argues that demographics are another reason why Alberta should jump ship.”Alberta produces more energy than the rest of Canada put together, their primary export market is the United States and a merger would eliminate everything from tax liabilities to foreign currency fluctuations,” said Zeihan.
Zeihan says the province is a lot younger than the rest of Canada and as a wave of baby boomers starts to retire, the rest of the country will become increasingly dependent on Alberta.
“As the price of that retiree bulge rises, and it’s already pushing the Canadian budget to the limit, there is really only one place that Canadians can tax to fund their retiree system that they have promised their citizens. And that is Alberta,” said Zeihan.
Zeihan says if Alberta ever did choose to go out on its own, he suspects Canada’s second richest province — Saskatchewan — would follow.
Read more » http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/peter-zeihan-says-alberta-would-be-better-off-as-51st-u-s-state-1.2998453
Ukraine crisis: Turchynov warns of ‘separatism’ risk
Ukraine’s interim President Olexander Turchynov has warned of the dangers of separatism following the ousting of President Viktor Yanukovych. His comments came amid continuing opposition in Ukraine’s Russian-speaking regions to the new administration in Kiev.
The MRD Movement in 1983 was one of the biggest uprisings against the Ziaul Haq dictatorship. In Sindh it almost tipped over and become a full-fledged armed insurgency against the state.
Sindh, September, 1983. The agitation by the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) led Movement for the Restoration of Democracy (MRD) is whirling out of control, not only for the reactionary dictatorship of General Ziaul Haq but for the MRD leadership as well.
Ever since MRD announced the beginning of a nationwide movement against the Zia regime (August 14, 1983), the Pakistani province of Sindh is in great turmoil.
Sindh’s capital Karachi is witnessing court arrests and protest rallies on a daily basis by labour and trade unionists, student leaders and anti-Zia politicians.
But it is the central and northern parts of the province that are in the grip of serious violence. The MRD movement here has taken the shape of a Sindhi uprising bordering on a Sindhi nationalist insurgency against the Pakistan Army.
Faced with a volley of questions (mainly by foreign journalists) regarding his military regime’s challenged legitimacy in Sindh, Zia decides to prove that ‘only a handful of troublemakers’ are involved in the violence taking place against his government in the troubled province.
So, the grinning general (after issuing a fresh round of curbs on the already restricted local media outlets), announces that he will take a whirlwind tour of Sindh to attest that he is as popular there as he (thinks) he is in the Punjab.
So off he flies in his big shiny military aircraft (C-130) with some of his ministers, military cronies and his favorite batch of journalists to Karachi. He is however, aware that BBC Radio has imbedded a host of reporters in Sindh who are covering the MRD movement.
The reporting is largely being done for the BBC Radio’s Urdu service that a majority of Pakistanis have been listening to – especially ever since Zia (a migrant, conservative Punjabi general) toppled the government of the country’s first popularly elected prime minister, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto (a well-to-do but populist Sindhi who was equally well-liked in the Punjab).
Zia’s plane lands in Karachi. From here he plans to fly to Hyderabad with his posse. Joining him here is a crew from the state-controlled Pakistan Television (PTV) that will cover the general’s ‘successful tour of Sindh.’
The rallies being taken out against him by leftist students, journalists, trade unionists, women rights groups and politicians in Karachi don’t bother him.
Most of the country’s senior anti-Zia leadership has already been put behind bars, while the second tier leadership of agitating student outfits, trade and journalist unions and anti-Zia political parties ‘are being made an example of’ by being publically flogged.
MRD was formed in 1981 as a PPP-led alliance to agitate against the Zia dictatorship and to force him to end military rule and hold elections. The alliance’s core parties were: Pakistan Peoples Party; Pakistan Democratic Party; Pakistan Mazdoor Kissan Party; Pakistan National Party; National Awami Party; Qaumi Mahaz Azadi Party; and Jamiat Ulema Islam.
It was also being supported by Jamiat Ulema Pakistan, as well as by various left-wing Sindhi nationalist parties, progressive student organisations, trade unions and women’s rights groups.
Zia, after arriving in Karachi, briefly talks to a select group of journalists and reiterates his views about the situation in Sindh, insisting all was well, and that the MRD movement was the work of a handful of politicians who were working against Islam, Pakistan and the country’s armed forces.
He sounds confident about the success of his visit to the troubled spots of the Sindh province. This confidence was not only built upon what he was hearing from the sycophants that he’d gathered around him in the shape of ministers, military personnel, religious leaders and advisors.
Matters are coming to a head in Pakistan. The deadlock in US-Pak relations over resumption of NATO supplies is veering towards confrontation. And the confrontation between parliament-government and supreme court-opposition is edging towards a clash. The net losers are fated to be Pakistan’s fledgling democracy and stumbling economy.
Pakistan’s Parliamentary Committee for National Security has failed to forge a consensus on terms and conditions for dealing with America. The PMLN-JUI opposition is in no mood to allow the Zardari government any significant space for negotiation. COAS General Ashfaq Kayani is also reluctant to weigh in unambiguously with his stance. As such, no one wants to take responsibility for any new dishonourable “deal” with the US in an election year overflowing with angry anti-Americanism. The danger is that in any lengthy default mode, the US might get desperate and take unilateral action regardless of Pakistan’ s concern. That would compel Pakistan to resist, plunging the two into certain diplomatic and possible military conflict. This would hurt Pakistan more than the US because Islamabad is friendless, dependent on the West for trade and aid, and already bleeding internally from multiple cuts inflicted by terrorism, sectarianism, separatism, inflation, devaluation, unemployment, etc. Indeed, the worst-case scenario for the US is a disorderly and swift retreat from Afghanistan while the worst-case scenario for Pakistan is an agonizing implosion as a sanctioned and failing state.
I have vowed to write article after article with a call to action. This one has a very simple one: awareness.
Take some time out to read the news reports and Op-eds on Balochistan. That way, at the very least, you will not be shocked or surprised when the bombs start going off in your city, and you learn that we are in for another war that has (on the face of it) no end.
Wake up and talk about it.
To understand the war in Balochistan, read these articles:
When people all over Pakistan will be celebrating Eid-ul-Azha, the people of Balochistan will be mourning their loved ones. The responsibility for this lies with the Pakistan military, its intelligence agencies and the Frontier Corps (FC). The entire nation should be ashamed of the brutalities unleashed by the military against its own people in Balochistan. Javed Naseer Rind, a young journalist, was abducted in September and his tortured, bullet-riddled body was found the other day in the province. More than a dozen Baloch, including women, were killed last week in less than 24 hours during a military campaign in Balochistan; the same week when the FC was placed under the provincial government of Balochistan. The fifth military operation of our history is underway against the people of Balochistan but it seems that the rest of Pakistan remains oblivious to it. The apathy of the government and the nation is something that has further alienated the Baloch from the Pakistani state. Thus a new wave of separatism has found resonance in Balochistan. The lessons from 1971 have not been learnt.
BADIN: Jeay Sindh Mutehida Mahaz, an ultra nationalist group among all Jeay Sindh outfits, observed hunger strike here on Friday against their missing workers who, according to them have been picked up by secret agencies and were forcibly disappeared since long. ….
…. It may be mentioned here that scores of political workers belonging to nationalist parties of Sindh and Balochistan have been missing since long. The case of missing persons is being heard in Supreme Court of Pakistan. In Balochistan, the dead bodies of missing political workers have been found from various places. The action against nationalist party’s workers of Sindh and Balochistan have been causing anger among the nationalist parties to the extent that almost all groups of Jeay Sindh movement are working for independence of Sindh from Pakistan. The chairman of JSMM Shafi Burfat is being sought by police in cases of bomb blasts and anti Pakistan activities but since last 15 years he has gone underground.
by Omar Ali Most countries that exist above the banana-republic level of existence have an identifiable (even if always contested and malleable) national narrative that most (though not all) members of the ruling elite share and to which they contribute. Pakistan is clearly not a banana-republic; it is a populous country with a deep (if not very competent) administration, a very lively political scene, a very large army, the world’s fastest growing nuclear arsenal and a very significant, even if underdeveloped, economy. But when it comes to the national narrative, Pakistan is sui-generis. The “deep state” has promoted a narrative of Muslim separatism, India-hatred and Islamic revival that has gradually grown into such a dangerous concoction that even BFFs China and Saudi Arabia are quietly suggesting that we take another look at things.
The official “story of Pakistan” may not appear to be more superficial or contradictory than the propaganda narratives of many other nations, but a unique element is the fact that it is not a superficial distillation of a more nuanced and deeper narrative, it is ONLY superficial ; when you look behind the school textbook level, there is no there there. What you see is what you get. The two-nation theory and the creation of Pakistan in 712 AD by the Arab invader Mohammed Bin Qasim and its completion by the intrepid team of Allama Iqbal and Mohammed Ali Jinnah in the face of British and Hindu connivance is the story in middle school textbooks and it turns out that it is also the story in universities and think tanks (this is not imply that no serious work is done in universities; of course it is, but the story of Pakistan does not seem to have a logical relationship with this serious work).