Tag Archives: ST

Forced conversions: As leftists protest, ST takes offence

By Sameer Mandhro / Z Ali

KARACHI / HYDERABAD: Supporters of the leftist coalition group, the Sindh Progressive Committee, had a run-in with the Barelvi religious-political party Sunni Tehreek at the Hyderabad Press Club on Tuesday, resulting in the police hauling in almost two dozen activists.

The Sunni Tehreek had been protesting the recent spate of violence in Karachi and had wrapped up the event. The Sindh Progressive Committee (SPC), which comprises the Workers Party, Labour Party, Communist Party, Jeay Sindh Mahaz, National Party, Awami Party and Watan Dost Inquilaabi Party, held a protest outside the press club against forced conversions and religious extremism.

The fight reportedly started as the Sunni Tehreek supporters alleged that attendees at the SPC’s event had beaten up a man who had stopped them from chanting slogans that they alleged were against religion.

Sunni Tehreek’s protestors went back to the press club and the fight forced SPC event attendees to hide inside the club as the Sunni Tehreek men threw stones and chanted slogans against them. While some female SPC leaders including Professor Arfana Mallah and Sindh University lecturer and activist Amar Sindhu managed to escape, the police cordoned off the area around the press club and rescued the rest. While they had assumed the police would release them, they were sent to the Cantonment Police Station.

The Sunni Tehreek’s Abid Qadri alleged that the SPC had “attacked our man first” and “used abusive language”. Arfana Mallah said their protest was peaceful but they had been attacked by the Sunni Tehreek, who brought “weapons, stones and sticks” and “forced us not to chant slogans”.

According to the police, 23 men from the Sindh Progressive Committee were arrested. The Sunni Tehreek’s Hyderabad General Secretary Muhammad Yaseen Qadri registered a First Information Report (FIR) under sections 148, 147 and 149. Even though the FIR mentions 60 people, only three are mentioned by name – Comrade Iqbal, Allah Bux and Bakhshal Thallo. The Sunni Tehreek and SPC have both claimed their supporters were injured.

At the SPC’s protest in Karachi, activists demanded that Rinkle Kumari and Asha Kumari, the two women who have drawn attention to the rise of Hindu conversions in Sindh, be handed over to their parents. They chanted slogans against landlords, clerics, army generals and extremists and asked that the government separate religion from matters of the state.

Speakers included Yousuf Masti Khan, Nasir Mansoor, Jan Muhammad Buledi, Usman Baloch, Mehnaz Rehman, Comrade Iqbal and Abdul Khaliq Junejo. “We don’t support a state that promotes religious extremism and stifles the environment for other religions. Every man is free in this country and has the right to move freely and perform his religious rituals,” said Usman Baloch.

Courtesy: The Express Tribune, April 18th, 2012.

http://tribune.com.pk/story/366193/forced-conversions-as-leftists-protest-st-takes-offence/

Defend Occupy Toronto from Eviction!

ALL OUT TO DEFEND OCCUPY TORONTO! NO POLICE VIOLENCE! STOP THE EVICTIONS!

The Toronto Police have served eviction notices to Occupy Toronto protesters at St. James Park (Jarvis St. and King St.), ordering them to vacate the park between 12 midnight tonight and 5 a.m. tomorrow and threatening to remove them. Removal in the wee hours of the night means the police want to act without witnesses, increasing the threat of violence against peaceful protestors at Occupy Toronto.

The message of the Occupy Toronto protesters, representing the views of the majority of people in Canada, is a sharp critique of the inequalities, suffering and corruption of the capitalist system and advocates a more just society.

The camp is an expression of the right to free assembly and free speech.

We call on all those who care for democracy, civil rights, and the right to dissent, to go to the Occupy Toronto site at St. James park (Jarvis and King) and to stand in solidarity with the camp and its ideals, and to prevent a government attack on peaceful protesters.

The OFL is mobilizing a mass picket, linking arms around the site, at 11 pm tonight. President Sid Ryan notes that in London last night, the cops waited until supporters went home and then moved against the Occupy site around 1 am.

Comrades and friends should start going to the park whenever they can, and those who can, should also go to the 11 pm rally ..

If you cannot go to the site, phone your city councillor and the Mayor to demand they stop the eviction, and stop security officials from forcibly removing peaceful protestors from the site. Call your MP and MPP, call the talk shows, make your voice heard.

CP24 is running a poll asking the public if they support the eviction or not. Go to http://www.cp24.com to vote.

Unity and Solidarity Can Win!

Toronto Committee and Provincial Executive, Communist Party of Canada (Ontario)

The spirit of SANA

by Dr Manzur Ejaz

Sincere and honest lovers of a people’s Pakistan should learn something: teach the national languages in other provinces as soon as possible. Sindhi and Punjabi are sister languages and their teaching in both provinces will further the cause of unity.

In its annual convention in St Louis, Missouri, on July 2-3, the Sindhi Association of North America (SANA) proved that it is the only authentic community organisation of expatriate Pakistanis in the US and Canada. Though smaller in size than other dominant Pakistani ethnic groups living in North America, SANA delivers a genuine community gathering for all ages and genders to those whose roots are/were in the Sindhi homeland, culture and language. Being a rare secular Pakistani organisation, SANA is also unique in catering to Hindu Sindhis who live all across India as well. This way it provides a real platform for person-to-person contacts between two brothers, India and Pakistan, who have chosen to remain at odds for real or imaginary mutual fears.

In one of its main sessions on the current political conditions in Pakistan it was shown, maybe for the first time, that if people of different nationalities are encouraged and enabled to communicate in their own mother tongues, they come closer faster. On the contrary, if unity is sought through an enforced artificially created concept of a nation, based on religion and a national language spoken by a tiny minority, hostility, misunderstandings and mutual hatred develops. ….

Read more → WICHAAR.COM

27th Annual SANA Convention (2011) – Building Sindhi Community in North America and reaching out to others

By Khalid Hashmani

I have attended more than twenty SANA conventions out of total 27 SANA conventions held so far. The latest being the one that was held in St. Louis, Missouri. It started on Friday, July 1, 2011 (Canada Day) and concluded on Monday, July 4, 2011 (American Independence Day). Although in many aspects, all conventions are the same as they attract many attendees who come from several parts of the world, each convention leaves a unique mark on the history of SANA. Like conventions of previous years, this year’s convention too had marathon debates on various topics, issues, challenges and opportunities. The uniqueness about this year’s Convention was its focus on the building of Sindhi community in North America and reaching out to other communities.

Continue reading 27th Annual SANA Convention (2011) – Building Sindhi Community in North America and reaching out to others

Sindh known a Center of Peace and Tolerance is now ruled by Armed Gangs

by Khalid Hashmani, McLean

Although every one is shocked by the daring attack by Taliban on a Naval Air base in Karachi, an article in DAWN titled “Armed gangs outnumber police in Karachi” provides eye-opening statistics about other armed groups (http://www.dawn.com/2011/05/23/armed-gangs-outnumber-police-in-karachi.html in the same city.  According to the newspaper this assessment is by an American official. The article The following are some key data quoted in the article:

1. Sunni Tehreek (ST), organized itself on the lines of MQM and created a very strong armed group that is organized in small teams with commanders in many parts of Karachi. The article says that “it is disproportionately powerful because of the influx of MQM-H gunmen.”

2. There are several areas in Karachi where police would not enter and ISI folks show reluctance to go to those areas.

3. MQM is the largest such armed group with 10,000 active armed personnel and another 25,000 organized as a reserve force.

4. MQM-H has very strong armed presence in Landhi and Korangi.

5. The report says that although traditional PPP has avoided having any armed wing in Karachi, a significant number of licensed and unlicensed licenses are being being obtained by PPP workers and its armed presence in Karachi will soon rival to that of MQM.

6. The Awami National Party (ANP) has a large cache of personal weapons and soon Karachi will become the “the largest Pashtun city in the world.” The report further says that the “hard-line’ Pashtuns in the Sohrab Goth neighborhood.”

It is a very dark assessment that if true does not bode well for the future of  Sindh and it’s capital city of Karachi.