Tag Archives: Sherman

Congressman Sherman Discusses ISIS on MSNBC

Congressman Brad Sherman discusses options for dealing with ISIS with host Jose Diaz-Balart on MSNBC

Courtesy: MSNBC

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Sindhi population under attack by Pak govt bodies: US lawmakers

Brad ShermanWashington: With the popularity of the United States inside Pakistan at an all-time low, an influential American lawmaker has asked the State Department to make efforts to reach out directly to the country’s population, in particular the Sindhis.

“Pakistan is a nuclear-armed Islamic state on the front line of several conflicts with so many extremist groups.

Pakistan is a pressing international problem for us. My hope is that you are reaching out to the Pakistani people not just in Urdu, which is the politically correct language that the government and the ISI in Pakistan would have you use, but also in the other languages, particularly Sindhi,” Congressman Brad Sherman, said during a Congressional hearing Thursday.

Sherman alleged that the people of Sindhi, predominantly those who speak Sindhi language, have been under attack by governmental bodies.

“That’s why the government of Pakistan would just as soon you not use that language. They’re so helpful in so many ways that perhaps you might want to ignore their advice,” he said.

“The US must reach out to Sindh, where the Sindhi language is spoken by more people than Urdu,” Sherman said in his remarks at the hearing of the Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Trade Subcommittee of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

Courtesy: The Indian Express

 http://www.indianexpress.com/news/sindhi-population-under-attack-by-pak-govt-bodies-us-lawmakers/983254/

Congressman Sherman raised VOA-Sindhi with Secretary of state John Kerry

Washington: Hon. Congressman Brad Sherman continues to advocate on behalf of Sindhis across the world. At House Committee on Foreign Affairs Hearing, Congressman Sherman spoke with Secretary John Kerry about the need for a Sindhi Voice of America program. You can hear his remarks here starting at the 0:26 mark. SAPAC is immensely grateful for Congressman Sherman’s dedication to the Sindhi people.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vmHjTaWo63o&feature=youtu.be

Courtesy: Sindhi e-lists/ e-groups, April 18, 2013.

Honorable Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney joins the Congressional Sindh Caucus

Previously two speeches one by Congresmen Brad Sherman and Adam Schif were circulated on You Tube. FW below is the speech by Honorable Congresswoman Carolyn Meloney during the SAPAC 3rd Annual Celebration, September 12, 2012. Congresswoman Melony has also joined the Congressional Sindh Caucus.Thanks to the efforts of Dr. A.W. Bhatti and Munawar Laghari. A many more news of SAPAC will be shared on You Tube. Congratulations to the SAPAC staff for their hard work and dedication.

Honorable Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney SAPAC 3rd Annual Celebration September 12, 2012

Continue reading Honorable Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney joins the Congressional Sindh Caucus

Hon. Congressman Brad Sherman’s Speech on Sindh

Hello, I’m Brad Sherman from California’s best named city, Sherman Oaks. It’s a pleasure to be with you. In 1951, my grandfather worked for the United Nations International Labor Commission. He was a specialist in technical education and he arrived in Sindh. And he said the same words I’m going to say to you here tonight, Sindhee Marhun Khay Salahm Ayn Bhaleekahr. I want to thank my friend Sufi Munawar for inviting me here, but also for doing so much in such a short time to bring the issues of Sindh and the Sindhi people to the attention of the United States Congress. These are issues that some of you have followed for decades, but didn’t have traction in Congress. Sufi came, we now have a Sindhi Caucus. We now have a Congresswoman in the Sindhi Caucus. And you will see Congress focusing on these issues. With me here is my foreign policy advisor and chief of staff, Don McDonald. My California chief of staff, Matt Debaumay. And my expert on the Middle East, Siamak Kordestani.

Continue reading Hon. Congressman Brad Sherman’s Speech on Sindh

SAPAC applauds Honorable Congressman Brad Sherman for his efforts

Washington, D.C: [press release] The Sindhi American Political Action Committee applauds the efforts of Honorable Congressman Brad Sherman for Sindh and Sindhis. The Hearing at Capitol Hill on ” The State Department’s center for strategies counter terrorism communications: Mission, operations and Impact” on August 2nd, 2012.

“The US must reach out to Sindh, where the Sindhi language is spoken by more people than Urdu,” Sherman said in his remarks at the hearing of the terrorism, non-proliferation, and trade subcommittee of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

Congressman Brad Sherman’s continuous efforts and support for Sindhis and Sindh are unforgettable. He is the founder and Co-Chairman of Congressional Sindh Caucus. He initiated the efforts for VOA program in Sindhi language.

He will be keynote speaker and special guest at SAPAC’s upcoming 3rd Annual Celebration on September 12th, 2012 in Washington, DC.

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

Baluchistan hearing – Congressman Sherman Speaks on the Importance of U.S. Outreach to Sindhi and Baluch people

A hearing in the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations on February 8, 2012, Congressman Brad Sherman (D-CA) spoke on U.S.-Pakistan relations and the importance of U.S. outreach to the Sindhi and Baluch people.

» YouTube

Join Sindhi Americans (SAPAC’s) Dinner Dedicated to 2011 Flood Victims

– Four members of Congress to speak at SAPAC’s Second Anniversary Banquet Dinner

Washington, D.C., Sept. 13, 2011 – Congressman Brad Sherman and Congressman Dan Burton, co-chairs of the Congressional Sindh Caucus, Congressman Adam Schiff, first member of the Congressional Sindh Caucus, and Senator Robert Menendez will be special guest speakers at the Sindhi American Political Action Committee (SAPAC) Second Anniversary Banquet Dinner, dedicated to victims of the 2011 floods in Sindh, at the Phoenix Park Hotel in Washington D.C. at 7:00 P.M. on October 13, 2011. Other special guest speakers will include Dr. Gul Agha, professor at the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign, and Dr. Harold Gould, visiting scholar at the Center for South Asian Studies at the University of Virginia.

SAPAC’s Second Anniversary Banquet Dinner will bring Sindhi Americans throughout the nation together to discuss topics relating to Sindhi Americans and issues within the Sindh region. Topics will include the state of U.S. relations with Pakistan, countering militancy through indigenous Sufi beliefs, Sindhi language programming on the Voice of America, Advancement of Women’s health and education in Sindh, Protecting religious minorities from state persecution and terrorism, recent flooding in Sindh, and the history, journey and present status of African Sindhis.

Dinner for the event is $75 per guest with all proceeds going directly to SAPAC and its continuing efforts on behalf of advancing the cause of Sindhis. If interested in attending, please RSVP by September 19th to Mr. Munawar Laghari, SAPAC Executive Director, by phone at (202) 496-5300 or by e-mail at sapac.sindh@gmail.com. Space is limited.

Federal Law requires that all contributions to SAPAC must be from United States citizens or permanent residents only. Contributions from Federal Employees are strictly prohibited. We cannot accept corporate or business checks.

Pakistan Intellectual Forum hails US Congressmen for approving funds for Sindhi language programming

PIF hails US Congressmen for approving funds for Sindhi language programming

ISLAMABAD, July 27 (APP): Islamabad-based Sindhi writers, intellectuals and broadcasters have hailed the US Congressmen for their unanimous consent to the Amendment to Foreign Affairs bill for Sindhi language Programing. In a literary meeting held here in a local hotel under the auspices of Pakistan Intellectual Forum (PIF) Islamabad chapter on Wednesday, the writers expressed profound thanks to the US Congress’s Foreign Affairs Committee that has approved the funds made available to the Voice of America, $1.5 million be used only for Sindhi language programming. On July 21, Congressman Brad Sherman (D-CA) offered an amendment to the Foreign Relations Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012.

On behalf of the people of Sindh, we the Islamabad-based intellectuals, writers, poets, researcher and linguists would like to express our sincere gratitude to the Congressman Brad Sherman and others for their tribute to the Sindhi language and unanimous consent to the amendment” said Hashim Abro of Pakistan Intellectual Forum ( PIF), Islamabad.

Hashim Abro said that this historic amendment reflects America’s unshakable commitment to promote one of the richest languages of the world which has produced a plethora of poets and proponents of harmony, peace and tolerance.

Above all, it is the language of sanctity, sagacity, intellect, newness, dynamism, depth and humility. Sindhis are born sufis and moderate. These are global citizens and treat humanity as “One Family” and who keep the humanity above all religions because they believe that to love an to be loved, to respect and to be respected is the key concern of all religions.

Dr. Hyder Sindhi said that the Sindhis in Sindh, Balochistan, and in other parts of the Pakistan and the globe regard Brad Sherman and other Congressmen not only as their well-wishers and promoters of Sindhi language but “Messiah’ for their language.The people of Sindh and Sindhi diaspora will always remain indebted to them throughout the ages.

Dr. Khadim Hussain Soomro, a noted researcher on peace and harmony said, “The Sindhis are truly grateful to the US Congressman, particularly, Brad Sherman and Mr. Rohrabacher, for this lofty move. We can say only a big “Thank You’ to US Congressman for their momentous move and futuristic vision”.

Around two hundred writers, intellectuals, broadcasters, social and human rights activists, lawyers and others attended the meeting and all of them were all appreciative of this noble gesture of US Congressman.

Courtesy: → Associated Press Of Pakistan

Sherman Amendment to Foreign Affairs bill for Sindhi Language Programming

In a House Foreign Affairs Committee markup on July 21, 2011, Congressman Brad Sherman (D-CA) offered an amendment to the Foreign Relations Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012. The amendment required that, of the funds made available to Voice of America, $1.5 million be used only for Sindhi language programming.

Foreign Affairs Committee – Unofficial Transcript

July 21st, 2011

Chairwoman Ros-Lehtinen: Mr. Sherman hold on a second before we recognize you. I think we may have to tinker with your amendment a little bit.

Congressman Sherman: I would ask unanimous consent to amend my amendment to read as follows and this is inspired by Mr. Rohrabacher. Of the funds authorized to be appropriated to the Broadcasting Board of Governors, one and a half million, big discount here, is authorized to be appropriated only for Sindhi language communication. Such funds may not be used for any other purpose. Do I have unanimous consent?

Chairwoman Ros-Lehtinen: Without objection the amendment has been amended and approved. So we are on the Mr. Sherman amendment as amended. The gentleman is recognized for 5 minutes to explain his amendment.

Congressman Sherman: For many years the Pakistani government has focused Pakistan on just using one language, …, when in fact Sindhi is spoken by tens of millions of people. We need to reach out to the people of the Sindh province and others who speak the Sindhi language. For the most part these are people who profess a moderate form of Islam and yet they are not hearing from us in their native language. There is probably no country more important to us in our efforts against terrorism and extremism than is Pakistan. We cannot just reach the Pakistani people in the Urdu language. We cannot ignore the southern third of the country. I have received reports from Voice of America that they could begin communicating in the Sindh language if they were to devote one and half million dollars to this. Now I would think that in their three quarters of a billion dollar budget, that they could find the funds necessary to do what might be the most important part of our Voice of America efforts and that is to reach out to the people of Pakistan.

I would also comment that if I can secure support for this amendment it will not only be the last amendment I offer today but this will be the last speech I give today in this room.

There are many things the Voice of America does but the fact that the country that is probably most important to us from a national security perspective at this time, we are broadcasting only in one language and we are ignoring the southern third of the country. I think a million and half dollars a year to correct that is a good decision for this committee and this congress to make and with that I yield back.

Chairwoman Ros-Lehtinen: Thank you Mr. Sherman. Based on the fact that you are a level, intelligent person who is trustworthy as a boy scout it seems like a very good amendment and I do not see any opposition from our side and we are prepared to accept the amendment. So with that, hearing no further request for recognition, the question occurs on the Sherman amendment. All those in favor say, “Aye”, all opposed, “No”. In the opinion of the chair the Ayes have it and the amendment is agreed to.

Source: Sindhi e-lists/ e-groups, July 22, 2011. → YouTube

The success of the Sindh Caucus in US Congress

by Khalid Hashmani, McLean, Virginia

…. I feel proud that the Sindhis have chosen non-violent and democratic methods to promote their rights instead of going on the path of armed struggle like our Baloch brothers and sisters. …

…. Congressman Brad Sherman organized the first ever congressional hearing on the enormous loss suffered by Sindhis in recent floods and wrote formal letters to US Aid officials and the Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. He urged them to ensure that the US aid also reached the flood victims in Sindh. At the urging of a Sindhi-American supporter, he confronted the Pakistani Ambassador in USA about why so few native Sindhis were employed at the Pakistani Embassy in the USA. He publicly acknowledged that he never received a satisfactory answer to this question from Pakistani ambassador.

Less than two weeks ago, Congressman Dan Burton wrote to the President of Pakistan expressing concern about the enforced disappearances and other forms of unlawful detention focusing on the disappearance of Mr. Muzaffar Bhutto. The letter says “… I and my congressional colleagues are hearing more and more stories, particular centering on alleged human rights violations against Baloch and Sindh ethnic peoples, including numerous women and children.” …..

Congressman Sherman writes to Secretary Clinton for Support to Sindh

Congressman Sherman writes to Secretary Clinton on Unique Challenges Faced by the Sindh Province

by Khalid Hashmani, McLean, Virginia, USA

Thanks to the efforts by Sindhi-American Political Action Committee (SAPAC), last week Congressman Brad Sherman wrote a letter to the U.S. Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton on the unique challenges faced by flood victims in Sindh.  Following are the excerpts :

” …… However, I remain concerned that U.S. assistance will not reach those who need it most. Reports of corruption arose in the aftermath of 2005 earthquake in Kashmir. Many survivors continued to await internationally-funded Pakistani assistance to rebuild their homes more than one year after the earthquake. We must ensure that all assistance reaches those most severely impacted by this disaster in as timely and efficient manner as possible.”

“The widespread devastation wrought by this disaster cannot be overstated. Further, the populations impacted are spread throughout multiple provinces, including the Sindh, the Punjab, and Balochistan. On August 10th, estimates from the Sindh alone included almost 1.4 million people and 2,534 villages affected by the floods. As of August 17, one week later, 176,000 homeless families in the Sindh had yet to receive temporary shelter materials. Over this past year, through communications with the Sindhi-American community, I have learned of the unique challenges faced by the Sindh. The flooding was further exacerbated these challenges. I urge you to ensure that U.S. efforts reach all affected Pakistanis and particularly those in the Sindh.

Please join me in thanking the leaders of SAPAC for their efforts to get the concerns of Sindhi flood victims to be visible to the highest leadership of the United States.