Tag Archives: Subcontinent

SOUTH ASIA: India is not Pakistan

A Statement from the Asian Human Rights Commission – AHRC-STM-183-2011,

November 29, 2011 – The Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958 (AFSPA) is a subject of severe criticism by human rights activists and jurists in India and across the world. The alarming number of human rights abuses committed by the security agencies deployed in regions where AFSPA is currently put to use is depressing proof to the draconian nature of this law. Many lives lost already – estimated to be more than 4000 since the Act came into force in 1958 – to this the Act underscores the non-compatibility of this law to the notion of democracy. The statutory impunity provided in the Act and the extreme nature of force, that could be used arbitrarily on mere suspicion, empowering a soldier to shoot to kill with no fear of prosecution which is used without restraint till today, proves that this law has not only failed, but would not by any stretch of imagination be of use to curb armed secessionist militancy in the country. Yet, the Indian Army is now entangled in a browbeating debacle with the civilian government in the state of Jammu and Kashmir and the state’s legislature concerning the withdrawal of this law from certain parts of the state. The army’s attempt is to continue enjoying the despicable impunity this law provides therefore unbecomingly benefiting from it.

Continue reading SOUTH ASIA: India is not Pakistan

‘Sindhi culture is on a ventilator’

By Mohammed Wajihuddin

Satyanand is a young patriot who just cannot tolerate the British Raj any longer. Responding to the Mahatma’s call for satyagraha, he scales up the flagpole at a government office one day and tries to pull down the Union Jack. The young revolutionary faces the wrath of the white cops, and the lathi blows he gets on his head send him into a coma.

The country subsequently gets its freedom at midnight, but, to borrow poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz’s famous description, the dawn, accompanied as it is by the horrors of Partition, is sooty and dark. Like millions on both sides of the Radcliffe line, Satyanand’s family gets uprooted. Still in a coma, he is brought to Mumbai where his wife and son work hard to build life anew. Forty years later, Satyanand gets his senses back. But much water has flowed under the bridge since his family left its beloved “Sindhu desh”. Sindh is now part of Pakistan, and nobody in Satyanand’s neighbourhood speaks Sindhi, his mother tongue. Few among his fellow Sindhis care to know that they trace their roots back to the basin of the mighty ancient Indus river which cradled a great civilization.

This, in sum, is the message of “Haath Na Lagaye” (“Don’t Touch Me”), a Sindhi film released last month, which articulates the collective dilemma of a community which lost more than a geographical area many summers ago. It depicts, albeit in the genre of comedy, the identity crisis Sindhis in India suffer from. Deprived of the patronage of a state, the biggest victim, as the film powerfully hammers in, is the Sindhi language and culture.

“Hindus from Sindh, after losing their land, fought bravely and prospered. But the Sindhi language in India is on a ventilator, gasping for breath,” rues T Manwani, the film’s writer-director. “We want a landless Sindhi state with a budget which will protect our language and culture.” Manwani isn’t alone in his concerns. The one-million-strong Sindhi community in Mumbai and its neighbouring Sindhi hub, Ulhasnagar, are equally pained at the erosion of the Sindhi language, culture and ethos.

“Sindhi medium schools downed shutters a decade ago. The new generation isn’t keen on learning the language,” says Subhadra Anand. As former principal of the RD National College, Anand made the learning of Sindhi mandatory for those students who came through the minority quota. However, she admits, this rule is not followed in many of the 24 educational institutions run by Hyderabad Sindh National Collegiate Board, the umbrella body of Sindhis’ educational initiative in Mumbai.

If few learn Sindhi, fewer speak it. Playwright-poet Anju Makhija, though not fluent in Sindhi herself, is acutely aware of the great cultural loss the community is witnessing. And she doesn’t blame indifferent youngsters alone. “The many moneybags in the community who have bankrolled hospitals and housing colonies must share the blame, as they seldom loosen their purse strings to promote Sindhi culture,” says Makhija, who has translated iconic Sindhi saint-poet Shah Abdul Latif into English with the help of a Sindhi scholar. “Building hospitals and colleges is good and necessary, but these rich Sindhis have done precious little to preserve Sindhi culture.”

Sindhis’ art scene is bleak also because it attracts very few buyers. “Whether you write books, stage plays, make films or cut albums in Sindhi, you are destined to lose money,” says singer Ghanshyam Bhaswani who crooned the evergreen “Itni shakti hamein dena daata…” for “Ankush”. Bhaswani, like many others, also blames the void on the lack of a Sindhi channel in India. “There are three channels in Sindhi in Pakistan, but we don’t have a single one here. How can we expect Sindhi to flourish?” he asks.

There are, however, optimists who believe that Sindhi will survive the tides of time. Baldev Matlani, head of the Sindhi department at Mumbai University, is one such. “Every year, we get 15 to 20 students for the Masters course,” says the academic who has supervised the publication of several tomes, including a history of Sindh, through his department. “Many may not know it but Sindhi is alive and kicking in literature.”

That may be a trifle over-optimistic, say community members. But if not a reality, it’s certainly a fervent wish for the future.

Courtesy » TOI

Sindh and Its Sindhiyat – By Geet Chainani, M.D.

Sindh, the land of Sufis, the hope and ultimate destination of my quest!

The time I’ve spent in Sindh, Pakistan over the last year and a half has been life changing. It’s taught me much about the history of South Asia, the cultural heritage of Sindh,  our Sindhi brothers and sisters, the dynamics of the Muhajir- Sindhi relationship among a few things. But I believe these to be the more obvious lessons that every second generation removed Sindhi Indian American would also search for when they visit.

There’s been a deeper and much more personal journey involved for me as well: a spiritual one. I came to the land of Sufis to find myself with the hope to find my God as the grand triumph and ultimate destination of my quest.

I’ve learnt that I’m still learning and still looking. On this journey I’ve found beautiful hidden messages that I’ve read in books or inscribed on the walls of temples and Sufi durgahs:

Vasudeva Kutumbakam”

“Ekam sat viprah bahuda vedanti.”

“Satyam amritasya putrah”

To give pleasure to a single heart by a single kind act is better than bowing your head in prayer a thousand times. -Shaykh Sa’di

*

I believe not in the outer religion,

I live ever in love.

Say Amen! When love comes to you.

Love is neither with the infidels nor with the faithful.

– Sachal Sarmast

*

If you are seeking Allah,

Then keep clear of religious formalities.

Those who have seen Allah

Are away from all religions!

Those who do not see Allah here,

How will they see Him beyond?

– Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai

My time in Sindh surrounded by Sindhi Muslims has shown me the other side of Sindh’s story and another side of Sufi Islam. The stories of the Sindhi who provided their Hindu counterparts their homes to hide out in during the violence that broke out, the Muslims that bid a final farewell to their Hindu friends with tears in their eyes, the Sindhis who still hold those memories close to their hearts and feel the loss of the Sindhi Hindus as something Sindh never recovered from.

On November 7, 2011 three Hindus were killed in Shikarpur district of Sindh, Pakistan. As many of you already know, I worked in Shikarpur at the start of my time in Sindh. I still maintain close contact with my co-workers. A member of my family also sits on the board of a Hindu association of Sindh. Here’s what I must say, as it is the other side of the truth that exists.

Immediately following the killings the religious (Hindu in this case) spokesperson jumped on the bandwagon to claim religious bias as a cause of the killing.  I turned to my personal network in Shikarpur for answers: there had been an election recently in which the Hindu community had supported the ruling party which won due to the large number of Hindu votes they received. The opposing party didn’t take their loss lightly and instead decided to teach a lesson to the opposite party. The end result of which was the death of the three Sindhi Hindu of whom only one was a doctor. Religious bias was not the reason for their death, politics was. Anyone who follows politics closely shouldnt be shocked to learn of the ways in which politicians use religion as a political strategy. As they say, ” The road to hell is paved with good intentions.”

What followed next was an absolute uproar within the Sindhi community and an alternate backlash against the government for their inadequate response and towards Sindh warning all Sindhis that this type of violence and is anti Sindhiyat and will not be tolerated by the residents of Sindh. They further emphasized that Sindh is the land of Sufis and believes in living in a tolerant society. Unfortunately, I was unable to attend as I was in Islamabad on official business. A young activist was kind enough to send me pictures.

Following the killings thousands of Pakistanis, both Hindu and Muslim, gathered publically across Pakistan to stand against the death of the three victims and the inaccurate message of intolerance it displayed. There was also a hunger strike that followed.

Sayings in books thousands of years old that we claim as ours aren’t good enough. It is far more necessary to put those words to action and there is no better time than now. Hate only breeds hate. History is meant to learn from not to regurgitate. It’s wrong to paint today’s canvas with yesterday’s paint. When you reach into the paint jar you may end up with dried out, useless paint. This is perhaps why they say one should not live today in the past of yesterday.

No one is saying that the sentiments of the Hindu Sindhis are wrong. Anger for being removed from motherland and from  sacred river Sindhu is justified. But another truth follows suit: there’s a time for anger and then there’s a time to let go, to change and to move on.

Tides must turn. Peace must prevail.

Only then will their be prosperity in South Asia again.

Praying for peace

Reference reading:

http://www.thenews.com.pk/TodaysPrintDetail.aspx?ID=76954&Cat=2

http://www.thehansindia.info/News/Article.asp?category=1&subCategory=4&ContentId=17528

http://www.demotix.com/news/924585/civil-society-protest-against-killing-hindu-doctors

http://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2011/11/protest-against-killing-of-hindus/

Be the change you want to see in the world.” – Mohandas Gandhi

To find out more or to support our work in Sindh, Pakistan please visit our website at www.thelifebridge.us

The dream of a new start in Pakistan

By Omar Ali

The rise of Imran Khan and memogate have enthused those who dream of a “reformed” democracy under the guiding hand of the army.

A few days ago, I was planning to write about Imran Khan. Pakistan’s most successful cricket captain and philanthropist had been trying to add “successful politician” to his resume since 1996, but after many years in the political wilderness he finally seemed to make a breakthrough with his large public meeting in Lahore. Pakistan’s educated youth, in particular, appeared to be very excited about a politician for the first time in their young lives. But they were not alone; even the ageing British Marxist, Tariq Ali, threw caution to the winds and announced that Mr. Khan’s gathering was a sign that the “Arab Spring” had finally made it to Pakistan and was even larger than the huge rallies of Benazir Bhutto and her father in days gone by. Comrade Tariq seemed to have forgotten that the Arab Spring had come to Pakistan many decades before it belatedly reached the Arab world and never mind the size of the rally, which bore no comparison to Benazir’s historic 1986 rally. But, Tariq Ali’s flights of fancy notwithstanding, the rally was clearly large and the arrival of Mr. Khan as a politician with crowd support was a major event.

But then President Asif Ali Zardari called his U.S. ambassador Hussain Haqqani to return to Pakistan to explain his role in “memogate,” the still mysterious affair in which he apparently gave international fixer Mansoor Ijaz a memo that was passed on to Admiral Mullen. It is not yet clear who was behind the memo and what he hoped to accomplish; did the Zardari regime really fear a coup at a time when the army was on the back-foot and faced real public humiliation in Pakistan in May 2011? And if it did, why pick this circuitous route to look for American help? And how would a regime that is unable to control the army and fears a coup be able to turn around and completely defang the same army with U.S. help a few days later? Is there more to the story? We don’t know, and may never know, but the story is not over yet.

Both stories may even be related; there are suggestions that Mr. Khan’s sudden rise is not just spontaneous combustion but involves some help from “the agencies.” Circumstantial evidence in favour of this suspicion includes the obvious sympathy he is receiving from pro-military websites and the fact that his extremely “liberal” and reasonable interview with Karan Thapar has not ignited any firestorm of protest in the “Paknationalist” community — a community generally quick to jump on anyone who talks of improved relations with India or admits that we do have militants and that they do need to be eliminated. Memogate is even more obviously a story about the civilian-military divide in Pakistan and it is no secret that it is the army that is asking for his removal. Is this then the proverbial perfect storm that will sweep away the current civilian dispensation and replace it with that old favourite of the army and the middle class: a “caretaker government” that will rid us of “corrupt politicians” and “unpatriotic elements” and make Pakistan the China of South Asia?

I have no way of knowing if the time is nigh, but the dream of a new start is not a figment of my imagination. The military and its favourite intellectuals (and large sections of the middle class) seem to be in a permanent state of anticipation of the day when the military will sweep away this sorry scheme of things and then we will have order and progress. If pressed about the nature of the system that will replace the current system, the naïve foot soldiers may think of the late lamented (and mostly imaginary) caliphate if they are on the Islamist side of the fence; or of “reformed” and real democracy, the kind that does not elect Altaf Hussains and Asif Zardaris, if they are on the smaller westernised liberal side of the fence. But the army’s own house intellectuals are more likely to point to China. That the history of China and the ruling communist party has no resemblance to GHQ’s own history of inept and retrograde interference in Pakistani politics is something that is never brought up; apparently this time, the GHQ will start where the Chinese are today, having conveniently skipped an intervening century of mass movements, civil wars and revolutions, not to speak of 4000 years of civilisation and culture.

Of course, the system as it exists is unnatural. Either the army has to be brought to heel under an elected civilian regime or civilians have to be pushed aside for a more efficient form of military rule (even if it is in the garb of a civilian “caretaker regime”). The current “neither fish nor fowl” system will have to evolve in one direction or the other, or crises like memogate will continue to erupt. Since most people think the army has the upper hand, the second outcome appears more likely to them. It could be that Mr. Khan offers them the chance to have their cake and eat it too; he is genuinely popular and if his party wins the elections and comes to power, the army may have the regime it wants in a more legitimate manner. But this middle-class dream outcome also seems unlikely. It is hard to see how the PTI can win a majority in a genuine election. And with no plan beyond simplistic patriotic slogans, any such regime will soon face the same problems as the one it replaces.

That brings us to the second prediction: the current atmosphere of crisis will continue unabated no matter what arrangements are made by the army. The really critical problem in Pakistan is not “corrupt politicians.” In that respect, we are little different from India, Indonesia or many other countries not thought to be in terminal existential crisis. The real problem is that an overpopulated third world postcolonial state has not yet settled even the most fundamental issues about the nature of the state and its institutions. The “hard” version of the two-nation theory and its associated Islamism have helped to create a constituency for millenarian Islamist fantasies. And 20 years of training militants for “asymmetric warfare” against India has created an armed force and a safe haven for that force. These two streams have mingled to the point where the state faces civil war against its own creations. It is also a war for which the deep state lacks an adequate narrative, having spent decades nurturing a virulent anti-Indian and Islamist ideology that glorifies the very people they are now forced to fight. But fight them it must because its own interests lie with globalised capitalism, not militants. They may imagine they can again direct the war outwards to Afghanistan and Kashmir, but the militants have other ideas, and will not go quietly into the night. Even if they did, the legitimacy of the 1973 constitution and its institutions within the elite remains low and so the crisis of governance would continue.

So, after this doom and gloom, a faint “positive” prediction: There are better than even chances that eventually the deep state will be compelled to claw its way past all these problems to defeat the militants, make peace with India and establish a straightforward near-secular democratic system to run the country. All of that may look less than the paradise many Pakistanis are waiting for, but it’s what the world has to offer at this point in history and it is unlikely that the intellectual resources of GHQ will somehow produce an alternative that the rest of the world has not yet found. It will not be pretty, but it will be done.

Or they will fail, with unpredictable dire consequences for their own people and the region. Either way, India would do well to help positive trends and resist negative ones without losing sight of the big picture. I think Manmohan Singh realises that, I hope others do too.

Continue reading The dream of a new start in Pakistan

Beyond Borders, a journey of friendship between India and Pakistan by Shariq Ali

The village was small and the entire community was tied together like a family, with common cultural values and traditions evolved over hundreds, if not thousands of years. They were farmers and knew very well as to how to work in the fields and love and sing together, but had poor understanding of the political realities of their times.

One day, they saw the sunset as one community but at the dawn, realized that the village is divided by an invisible line created not by Hindus and Muslims, but by few British advisors called Radcliffe commission. And so was the territory of 88 million people of the subcontinent. ….

Read more » ValueVersity

Can India Rescue Pakistan? – a peace conversation in Goa

Seven ways India can rescue Pakistan

Editor’s Note: Firstpost editors Sandip Roy and Lakshmi Chaudhry report on the ultimate celebrity conference. A five star line up of authors, intellectuals, biz tycoons, actors, politicians and more have gathered at the Grand Hyatt in Goa as part of Thinkfest. Co-organized by Tehelka and Newsweek, this haute version of TED brings together an eclectic and intriguing range of A-list names, from Nobel peace prize winning Leymah Gbowee to Omar Abdullah to author Siddharth Muherjee to Arvind Kejriwal. Here are their reports on some of the most interesting conversations.

Pervez Hoodbhoy: Former Pakistani President Pervez Musharaff offered him the Sitara-i-Imtiaz, the third highest honour in the State of Pakistan, but Dr Pervez Hoodbhoy, 61, refused it. A Pakistani scientist, essayist, and political-defence analyst, Hoodbhoy is a professor of nuclear physics and heads the physics department at Quaid-e-Azam University. A strong and avid supporter of nuclear disarmament, non-nuclear proliferation and the peaceful use of nuclear technology in Pakistan. ….

Read more » FirstPost

No mention of the Munabao-Khokrapar trade option in India-Pak trade talks!?

Normal trade ties with India from February

By Jawed Naqvi

NEW DELHI: India and Pakistan agreed on Tuesday to resume normal trade ties in February, paving the way to end decades of political mistrust and military rivalry.

“We have turned the corner,” Pakistan’s Commerce Secretary Zafar Mehmood told reporters at a joint news conference with his Indian counterpart Rahul Khullar. “We are talking of a complete normalisation roadmap.”

Mr Mehmood said in a separate TV interview that Pakistan’s decision to accord India a most favoured nation (MFN) status would be conveyed officially to the world trade body before February. Misgivings about the move among ‘stakeholders’ in Pakistan who fear open trade with India would be allayed by then, he said. …

Read more » DAWN.COM

Zero Tolerance for Religious Extremism in Sindh – Hundreds March against Murders of Hindus

Hyderabad: Hundreds of protesters marched in Hyderabad city against the murder of three Hindus in Shikarpur on the call of Joint Action Committee for Peace and Justice. The protest march began from the Besant Hall, a 20th century Theosophical Society icon of Sindh under the slogan of “Fill the Besant Hall against Religious Intolerance.”

The marchers that walked on in various roads of the down town for a few hours culminated into congregations in front of Hyderabad Press Club. The prominent of which were Punhal Sariyo (Sindh Harri Porhiyat Council), Zulfiqar Shah (Institute for Social Movements), Rasool Bux Palejo (Awami Tehreek), Amar Sindhu (Women Action Forum), Mustafa Baloch (Strengthening Participatory Organization), Dr. Ashothama (Human Rights Commission of Pakistan), Jabar Bhatti (Indus Institute for Research and Education), Mahesh Kumar (We Journalist, Pakistan), Jaffer Memon (Hyderabad Press Club), Iqbal Mallah, Shehnaz Shidi (South Asia Partnerships Pakistan), Akash Mallah (Jeay Sindh Qaumi Mahaz) Noor Nabi Rahoojo and Vishno Mal(Awami Jamhoori Party), Jan Mohammad Junejo (Sindh Tarraqi Pasand Party), Nawaz Khan Zaunr (Jeay Sindh Mahaz), Seher Rizvi (Sindh United Party), Hafeez Kumbhar, Noor Mohammad Bajeer (Civil Society Support Program), Parveen Magsi (Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum), Kashif Bajeer (SPARC), Taj marri (Awami Party), Zahid Messo (Bhandar Sangat), Ikhtyar Tunio (SDPD Nawabsha), Rahmatullah Truk (VISWA – Matyari), Advocate Sajjad Chandio, Advocate Inderjit Luhano, Abass Khoso (IRADO) and others.

A declaration was read out and was unanimously carried by the participants. The resolution is as under:

Continue reading Zero Tolerance for Religious Extremism in Sindh – Hundreds March against Murders of Hindus

The brutal murder of three Sindhi doctors of the Sindhi-Hindu community is a crime against the very fabric of the Sindhi Society which has been the symbol of religious tolerance in the entire sub-continent.

The World Sindhi Institute (WSI) Condemns the Murder of the members of Sindhi Hindu Community

PRESS RELEASE (November 11, 2011)- Board members of the World Sindhi Institute in a joint statement strongly condemn the brutal murder of the three Sindhi doctors of Sindhi Hindu community in Chak town of Shikarpur, calling it a crime against the very fabric of the Sindhi Society which has been the symbol of religious tolerance in the entire sub-continent.

The members showed their deep concern over the growing intolerance in Pakistan where both legal system and social environment are increasingly becoming hostile to the minorities, leaving them helpless and vulnerable.

Echoing the sentiments of civil society in Pakistan, the WSI demanded a speedy justice to the families of victims and appealed to both federal and provincial government to play their due role in furthering the cause of peace, religious tolerance, and Human Rights in Pakistan. They further demanded the complete abolition of Blasphemy-law, which has become a tool in the hands of those who want to radicalize the society and silence all voices of reason.

WSI appeals to all political parties, representatives of civil society, legal community, networks of journalist, and enlighten individuals in Pakistan to join hands to defeat this fresh wave of violence against minorities and run a sustained campaign for the protection of human rights in Sindh and the rest of Pakistan.

The constructive approach shown by Pakistan and India at a meeting between their prime ministers in Maldives

Pakistan-India cooperation win-win for region: US

By APP

WASHINGTON: Applauding the constructive approach shown by Pakistan and India at a meeting between their prime ministers in Maldives on Thursday, the United States has said cooperation between the two regional powers would be a win-win for the entire region. …

Read more » The Express Tribune

Indian Muslims feel secure under secularism

by Farooq Sulehria

“Secularism is not about lifestyle, it is about ideology and thought. Some of the most liberal souls in South Asia have practiced the worst kind of fundamentalist politics, using their positions to sow the seeds of conservative thought,” says Seema Mustafa. A leading Indian journalist, peace activist and public intellectual, Seema Mustafa also contributes for Viewpoint. In an interview, she discusses different aspects of secularism in the Muslim world. Read on:

Why has secularism not taken root in the Muslim world? If Islam and secularism are incompatible?

Islam and secularism are totally compatible, as is any religion practiced in its true sense. Syria, Libya and Iraq earlier did try to develop as secular states keeping religion out of politics. Last month I was in Syria and in a long conversation, the Grand Mufti in Damascus made it very clear that there was no room for religion in politics, that organizations like the Muslim Brotherhood were unacceptable so long as they insisted on mixing the two, and that the secular character of the Syrian state would not be compromised. …

Read more » ViewPoint

Systematic Genocide of Sindhi Hindus

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.

Forced Convergence and Killing of Hindus in Pakistan

– By Zulfiqar Halepoto, on behalf of the entire team of Sindh Democratic Forum (SDF)

We strongly condemn the brutal murder of 4 Sindhi Hindu doctors in their clinic in Chak town close to district Shikarpur, Sindh, Pakistan. Shikarpur by armed men of Bhayo tribe, a beradari. The head of Bhayo beradari is district president of PPP. First they tried to kidnap Sindhi Hindu girls and tried to forcibly convert them into Islam and when the Sindhi Hindu community took strong notice then the Bhayo tribe people did an ambush at the clinic and Dr Ashok, Dr Naresh, Dr Ajeet and Dr Satia Paul were killed by armed assailants while working in their clinic even on Eid day.

This is an inhuman, immoral and illegal brutality against those who serve the people as doctors and savors. This act is a black dot on the face of secular, progressive and tolerant identity of Sindhi society.

This is not the first time such an incident has taken place where members of Sindhi Hindu community have been targeted. What is of concern is that the law enforcement agencies tend to support the criminals involved in such acts.

Religious minorities, vulnerable groups and women are the victim of an ANTI-HUMAN mindset comprised of local feudals, tribal chief, religious extremists and local agencies. They collaborate with each other to weaken the state writ and to develop their own hegemony.

Their being in power have collapsed the entire law and order and justice systems and paralyzed the administrative institutions to demonstrate their duties. And subsequently there is no state writ in these areas. We appeal to the government, political parties and civil society to take notice of this brutality and religious fascism and specially government to make arrangements to protect the citizens.

First we appeal to President Asif Ali Zardari to immediately suspend PPP district Shikarpur president so-called sardar Bhayo, orders must immediately be issued to arrest him and all other culprits, who are exploiting local administration. We appeal Chief Justice of Pakistan to take Suo Motto of the targeting of Hindus in parts of Sindh.

Courtesy » Sindhi e-lists/ e-groups, November 8, 2011.

Three Sindhi Hindu doctors gunned down on Eid, Sindh observes mourning

Three Hindu doctors gunned down on Eid, Sindh observes mourning

By AFP / Express

Excerpt;

…. Sindh observes 3-day mourning

A three-day mourning is being observed in Sukkur and adjoining areas against the murder of three Hindu doctors in Shikarpur district, reported Express 24/7 on Tuesday.

Following the incident, the SHO of Chak police station was suspended while the head constable was arrested on the directives of SP Shikarpur Junaid Shaikh.

Ten people were also arrested in different raids on the directives of President Asif Ali Zardari and Sindh Home Minister Manzoor Wassan; however, no case has been registered so far. ….

Read more » The Express Tribune

Shameful act against humanity: Three Sindhi Hindus killed in Pakistan

Three Hindus killed in Pakistan

Islamabad: Three members of the minority Hindu community were killed when unidentified persons attacked a village in Sindh province of southern Pakistan on Monday, officials said.

Another Hindu was seriously injured in the attack at Taluka Chak in Shikarpur district.

President Asif Ali Zardari took “serious note” of the attack on members of the Hindu community and directed authorities to immediately arrest those responsible and bring them to justice.

Zardari had sought an immediate report on the incident, presidential spokesman Farhatullah Babar said. Zardari instructed Ramesh Lal, a Hindu parliamentarian from Sindh, to go to the village and convey his condolences to the bereaved families.

The President said it was the “moral and legal responsibility of the government to protect members of the minority community against vandalism and atrocities”.

Babar quoted Zardari as saying that the “law would take its course and the culprits will not go unpunished“.

Courtesy » ZeeNews

Pakistan’s revolutionary youth join hands in the struggle: Meeting to form All-Pakistan Progressive Youth Alliance

– by Adam Pal

Events of the Arab Revolution and the movements across Europe and USA have once again vindicated the Marxist positions about the role of youth. It was the youth who initiated these revolutions and movements. Subcontinent and Pakistan have a rich history of the revolutionary role played by the youth. As the “best barometer of society”, the revolutionary youth of Pakistan have realized the need to join hands in their common struggle against oppression, unemployment, fundamentalism, discrimination, costly education and capitalism. …

Read more » Marxist.com

Pakistan was founded on Massive deception says Tarek Fatah

Pakistan was founded on Massive decption says Tarek Fatah. In 1971 war, Bangladeshi authorities claim that 3 million people were killed, while the Hamoodur Rahman Commission, an official Pakistan Government investigation, put the figure as low as 26,000 civilian casualties. The international media and reference books in English have also published figures which vary greatly from 200,000 to 3,000,000 for Bangladesh as a whole. A further eight to ten million people fled the country to seek safety in India.

Courtesy: » TVO » YouTube

 

Vanishing Sindhis!

by Khalid Hashmani, McLean

I share the following appeal from Mr. Mekan Vandiyar on “Vanishing Sindhis!”. Please share your comments and suggestions to mekan39@yahoo.com

My own comment is that Sindhis in Sindh, Sindhis in India and Sindhis living elsewhere should not be disheartened as there are encouraging signs that Sindhis all over the world can even say today “here is a Sindhi girl / boy from the Globe”. I do not have much insight into the notion that Sindhis in India can win a separate province, however, I feel that the harsh barriers that have kept Sindhis in India and Sindhis in Sindh, Pakistan away from each other will soon vanish and all Sindhis will also be be able to say “”here is a Sindhi girl / boy who loves Sindh as much as their new homeland“.

A recent announcement by the Indian and Pakistani government that they are normalizing business and economic relations and giving each other the “most favorite trading partner” status is one of those signs. The Sindhis from all over the world should not only encourage but also organize and participate in events that welcome every Sindhi regardless of where they live now. For example, the Sindhi Association of North America (SANA) whose members predominantly consist of those who migrated from Sindh (Pakistan) into the USA has been in the forefront of inviting prominent educationalists, political leaders, and writers who now live in India. It is time that all other Sindhi associations also follow this practice to bridge the gaps that may exist between various Sindhi communities.

Lastly, I assure Mr. Vandiyar that Sindhis in Sindh are more than ever determined to protect and advance Sindhi language, Sindhi heritage, Sindh culture of peace, and Sindhi identity. They are and will continue provide all their support to Sindhis in India or elsewhere in the world in their efforts to protect their and advance their Sindhi language, Sindhi heritage, Sindh culture, and Sindhi identity.

Continue reading Vanishing Sindhis!

The unspeakable horrors of Delhi, 1947

by Sohail Hashmi

Excerpt;

…. Read this book if you want to understand where we went wrong and to see the fault lines, to see how we need a secular state and not sarv dharm sambhav. Read this book also if you want to understand the falsity of the self image that we have created of ourselves and of our nation, but read it most importantly to understand the fragility of the premise upon which is built the idea of India and the need to protect and nurture this premise and to make it real. Because this premise is India and it is people like Anis Kidwai that made it possible.

(First published in The Book Review, Vol XXXV, Number 8-9 August September 2011.)

To read compete article » KAFILA

Tribute to Jagjit Singh

‘Jagjit Singh was a great human being and friend’

– IP Singh

JALANDHAR: His alma mater, the city where he spent his youthful days and old friends were at loss of words while grappling with the news of demise of Ghazal singer Jagjit Singh. If his alma mater DAV College held a ‘shok sabha’ to remember and pay tributes to one of its most illustrious and famous alumni, his old friends shared the cherished memories of “good old days”.

“He was a great singer and much greater human being and friend,” said Iqbal Singh, Lt governor of Puduchery, an old co-actor in dramas and a fellow musician.

Read more » Times of India

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Courtesy» Duniya Tv News (Khari Baat Luqman ke Saath – 10th October 2011)

via » ZemTv → YouTube

China is not eager to jump in Afpak conflict

– Analysis: China to keep Pakistan embrace at arm’s length

By Sui-Lee Wee

BEIJING: (Reuters) – Pakistan, facing a crisis with the United States, has leaned closely to longtime partner China, offering its “all-weather friendship” with Beijing as an alternative to Washington.

But Pakistan will be disappointed if it hopes to replace American patronage with the same from China.

While China does not welcome the U.S. presence near its border, it wants stability on its western flank and believes an abrupt withdrawal of Washington’s support for Pakistan could imperil that. It also does not want to upset warming relations with India by getting mired in subcontinent security tension.

Maintaining that delicate balance, China will continue supporting economic cooperation with Pakistan but go slow on defense cooperation. While outwardly all smiles and warm pledges of friendship, China will quietly keep things at arms length.

“I think they see what’s going on in the U.S.-Pakistan front at the moment as reason to tread very carefully,” said Andrew Small, a researcher at the German Marshall Fund think-tank in Brussels who studies China-Pakistan ties and often visits both countries.

“They are taking extra care to make sure that what’s going on in the relationship is correctly understood, not reflecting any willingness to rush in or fill the gap or exploit differences.”

Pakistan’s brittle relationship with the United States, its major donor, has turned openly rancorous. Washington accused Pakistan’s powerful ISI spy agency of directly backing the Afghan Taliban-allied Haqqani network and of providing support for a September 13 attack on the U.S. mission in Kabul. ….

Read more → Reuters

The dead begin to speak up in India

Kashmir is one of two war zones in India from which no news must come. But those in unmarked graves will not be silenced

by Arundhati Roy

At about 3am, on 23 September, within hours of his arrival at the Delhi airport, the US radio-journalist David Barsamian was deported. This dangerous man, who produces independent, free-to-air programmes for public radio, has been visiting India for 40 years, doing such dangerous things as learning Urdu and playing the sitar.

Barsamian has published book-length interviews with public intellectuals such as Edward Said, Noam Chomsky, Howard Zinn, Ejaz Ahmed and Tariq Ali (he even makes an appearance as a young, bell-bottom-wearing interviewer in Peter Wintonick’s documentary film on Chomsky and Edward Herman’s book Manufacturing Consent).

On his more recent trips to India he has done a series of radio interviews with activists, academics, film-makers, journalists and writers (including me). Barsamian’s work has taken him to Turkey, Iran, Syria, Lebanon and Pakistan. He has never been deported from any of these countries. So why does the world’s largest democracy feel so threatened by this lone, sitar-playing, Urdu-speaking, left-leaning, radio producer? Here is how Barsamian himself explains it:

“It’s all about Kashmir. I’ve done work on Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal, Narmada dams, farmer suicides, the Gujarat pogrom, and the Binayak Sen case. But it’s Kashmir that is at the heart of the Indian state’s concerns. The official narrative must not be contested.” ….

Read more → guardian.co.uk

The world is focused on Pak as a potential problem, some of India’s politician are trying to prove “we are stupid too, dear world” …

India deports radio broadcaster David Barsamian upon arrival at Delhi airport

by Shivam Vij

David Barsamian, founder director of Alternative Radio, and independent radio legend, was deported on arrival from New Delhi airport in the early hours of Sept 23. Details are awaited since David is probably still on the plane back. But between his arrival sometime after midnight, and his being “put back” on a flight at 3am, David was able to only make a quick call to his ‘home’ here in Delhi, to the family of his longtime sitar guru, Debu Chaudhuri.

At this point it can only be speculation, but since David has been visiting India almost every year since the early 1970s, one can guess that his attention to the Kashmir issue could well be the reason. On a recent trip to Kashmir he did a series of interviews and local events.

Less than a year ago, American academic Richard Shapiro was similarly deported upon arrival from the Indira Gandhi International airport. His crime, presumably, was an article on two on the human rights situation in Kashmir. Earlier this month, the journalist David Devadas was assaulted by the Jammu and Kashmir police.

India’s intolerance to dissent on Kashmir is not limited to foreigners. In May this year, Delhi-based journalist and human rights activist Gautam Navlakha was sent back to Delhi from Srinagar airport. Academic and activist Angana Chatterji has been threatened to not visit Kashmir. The J&K police had assaulted the noted Kashmiri human right defender Parvez Imroz in 2008. The media in Kashmir is tightly controlled by the state and press freedom is a matter of daily negotiation with the state.

Nation-states who deny access to foreign journalists, writers and academics – such as North Korea, Myanmar, China and Iran – usually have things to hide. What is it that India has to hide in Kashmir? I thought ‘peace’ was ‘returning’. ….

Read more → KALIFA

via → crdp, September 23, 2011.

More details → BBC urdu

Sindhi Sammellan in Ahmedabad 2011

18th International Sindhi Sammelan, 16th, 17th, & 18th Dec 2011.

Once in a lifetime opportunity to meet the entire world wide community in the beautiful environment of Ahmedabad. It’s all going to be happening from 16th – 18th December 2011.

It is my honour and privilege to welcome you to the 18th International Sindhi Sammelan 2011. This mega event is hosted by Sindhi Council of India – A Global Umbrella Organisation of Sindhis of India in collaboration with Alliance of Sindhi Associations of Americas Inc., which had organized seventeen Sammelans in USA, UK, Mumbai, Singapore, Jakarta, Barbados etc, since 1992.

Sindhis have blazed their success trail in many regions of the world as entrepreneurs and professionals. However, in the process of adapting to their new homes, many Sindhis have lost touch with their roots of the language, literature, culture, cuisine, traditions and rituals of their ancestral homeland.

The objective of the conference is rekindle the spirit of Sindhiyat, the linguistic and cultural bond between Sindhis that transcends geographical distances, through this Sammelan & it’s cultural programs related to sindhi traditions.

We have invited scholors from India and all over the World to present delibrations on Sindhyat. You may enroll as delegate. Refer the details in brochure / Registration form.

I sincerely desire your participation on this memorable event.

AMAR DOULATANI

Chairman, 18th International Sindhi Sammelan 2011

National President Sindhi Council of India

Director, Alliance of Sindhi Associations of Americas, Inc

Courtesy: → http://sindhisammelanabad2011.org/

Feel-good facts for bad feeling Pakistanis

– by Nadeem F. Paracha

Furry Factoid #1: Muslims walked on the moon centuries before the Americans did.

How ironic it is that for decades Muslim children have been taught that it was an American astronaut, Neil Armstrong, who was the first man to walk on the moon (in 1969).

Though Armstrong did walk on the moon, he was NOT the first man to do so. Surprised? Of course you are, because after all we have been taught history written by biased Orientalists.

We have forgotten that it was actually a Muslim warrior, Muhammad Bin Qasim, who was the first man to walk on the moon. And he did so in the 8th century AD!

Just before he conquered Sindh in the subcontinent, Qasim was a young camel expert and amateur astronomer (all before he turned five). At age 15, he succeeded in breeding a special kind of Arab camel that could run faster than the speed of light and also fly.

Qasim then told the governor of Baghdad that he was ready to conquer not only the whole world but the moon too. However, the governor was a tad short-sighted and wanted him to stick to just conquering Sindh.

Qasim blasted his camel and men towards Sindh, but overshot it by, say, a few million miles, and ended up on the surface of the moon.

Being a wily astronomer, he had also invented the world’s first ever astronaut suit and helmet made from, yup, you guessed it, camel skin and bones.

Nevertheless, finding the moon to be a somewhat boring place with little gravity and all and absolutely no date palms, Qasim shot back and this time finally landed in Sindh. Unfortunately his camel died on impact and was buried in what is today Hyderabad in the Qasim Islamic Republic of Pakistan.

After Qasim’s death (from rotten vegetarian food that he was given by Sindh’s scheming Hindus), Muslims lost all the know-how and technology invented by Captain Qasim.

Then in 1960, American CIA agents masquerading as archeologists, dug up the remains of Qasim’s camel in Hyderabad and used its skeleton to build the very rocket (Apollo 11) that took Armstrong to the moon.

Captain Qasim’s miraculous feat was all but forgotten in the mist of Orientalist history, Western propaganda and some bad hip-hop music. Shame. ….

Read more → DAWN.COM

Discussion – Was Pakistan created on a fake ideology by Dr Farooq Haider Maudoodi

Hasn’t the “Two Nation” theory proved wrong on 16 December 1971, the day Pakistan split. Hasn’t it proved that Muslims of West Pakistan could not even live with the Muslims of East Pakistan. Wasn’t the “Two Nation” theory just an excuse created by Muslim feudal class to come into power. The language of the talk show is urdu (Hindi).

Courtesy: → Express News Tv (Pakistani talk show “Frontline with Kamran Shahid”) → YouTube

Veena Malik: India is where I make money

By Omar

Interestingly (or perhaps not so interestingly), she is likely to be attacked by right wing nuts in India as well. Irreligious and non-conformist Pakistanis who become too comfortable in India have not always been welcomed by the Hindu right (Adnan Sami, Fehmida Riaz, etc).

Poet Fehmida Riaz was hounded out of Pakistan in the 1980s and found shelter in India for 7 years, but was sometimes attacked by right wing Hindus there as a Pakistani agent (in Pakistan she was subsequently fired for being an “Indian agent”, though of course it was actually because she was a Benazir appointee and Benazir had been dismissed from office by the deep state). She wrote a nice little poem about finding an almost mirror image fatwa-happy nationalism in India:

Naya Bharat (New India)

Tum bilkul hum jaisey nikley

ab tak Kahan chupay thay bhai

Voh moorkhta, voh ghaamarpan

jis mai hum nay sadi gawaee

Aakhir pahunchi duar tumhaarey

Aray badhai bahut badhai

You turned out to be just like us; Similarly stupid, wallowing in the past, You’ve reached the same doorstep at last. Congratulations, many congratulations.

Afreyt dharm ka naach rahaa hai

Qaim Hindu raj karo gay

Saarey ultey kaj karogay

apna chaman taraj karogay

Tum bhee baithey karogey sochaa

Kaun hai Hindu, kaun naheen hai

Tum Bhi Karo gay Fatway Jari

Ek jaap saa kartey jao

Barham Bar Yehi Dohrao

Kitna veer mahaan tha Bharat

Kitna Alishaan tha Bharat”

You will establish “Hindu raj”, you too will ruin your own garden. You too will sit deep in thought and ponder, Who is Hindu, who is not. You too will issue Fatwas Keep repeating the mantra like a parrot, India was the land of the brave”, India was so magnificent

(translated by Khushwant Singh, with some correction by me in the second part)

Courtesy: → BrownPundits