Tag Archives: Thar

Only Sindhis have rights over Thar Coal

– Khalid Hashmani, McLean, Virginia

A news item under title “Only Sindhis have rights over Thar Coal” in Sindhi interestingly is published in web magazine “WICHAAR”. This magazine, although focused on the promotion of Punjabi and culture, has been remarkable in promoting Sindhi language and bringing Sindhi and Punjabi communities closer to each other. THe news item describes a recent demonstration in Hyderabad Sindh in which demonstrations strongly criticized federal government’s action to take over the management of huge coal deposits in Thar area of Sindh. The demonstrations also demanded that ownership of all natural resources found in Sindh including oil, gas, and coal belong to the people of Sindh.

The full article can be accessed at following link:

http://www.wichaar.com/news/199/ARTICLE/7785/2008-07-28.html

Mama Vishon – The living legend of Sindh

Mama Vishon an ever green personality of Thar. Mama Vishon apparently is some how smaller in height but is taller than mount Karonjhar. No doubt he is the living legend of not only Thar but whole of Sindh.

To read more about him, please click here to visit BBC urdu website.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/urdu/pakistan/2009/08/090815_mama_vishon_sen.shtml

Rain brings smiles to Thar Desert in Sindh

Rain brings smiles to Thar Desert people after three years of successive drought.

By: Gulab Rai,Islamkot, Thar, Sindh

From the first week of July 09 heavy rains have been falling on the whole of Thar Desert in Sindh province of Pakistan. Soon after the rainfall people have started ploughing their land and sowing seeds of traditional crops of bajra (millet) and guwar (cluster beans) in all the four talukas of Thar.

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Eroding Religious Harmony

By Salam Dharejo, Sindh

Umarkot, the birthplace of Moghul Emperor Akbar and a city of large Hindu population, is one of the few towns in Pakistan where religious festivals such as Holi and Diwali are celebrated by both Hindus and Muslims. Holi and Diwali are considered to be a particularly Hindi festival. However both Hindu and Muslim residents of Umarkot unite to celebrate these festivals to express communal solidarity and their particular village identity in spite of religious differences. No matter whether they are Hindus or Muslims, residents of Umarkot primarly identify with each other as members of the same village. Thus during such festivals, they dance in the streets and exchange sweets. A desert town splashes colors and celebrates with each other.

Continue reading Eroding Religious Harmony

Drought Situation in Tharparkar District of Sindh Pakistan

By: Gulab Rai, Islamkot –Thar. Sindh

July 18, sindh2009

Severe drought has occurred in the Thar desert of Sindh Arid Zone. Failure of monsoon observed in all the talukas of district Tharparkar of Sindh reeling under drought during this year (up to September 12, 2008), only 58.1 mm of rain has fallen in 75% area of Thar desert This is only 20% of the normal rainfall, which is 300 mm. However, it is too little and too late for many crops in the area and it resulted in severe shortage of food, fodder and water.

Continue reading Drought Situation in Tharparkar District of Sindh Pakistan

Usman Deeplai: a valiant reformer

by Manzoor H.Qureshi, Karachi, Sindh
The writer can be reached at: mh.kureshi@yahoo.com
Courtesy and Thanks: The letters to the Editor, Daily Dawn, Karachi- 7.1.2009
“The greatest are the men who master our mind by the force of truth, and not those who enslave them by violence, that we owe our reverence” “Voltaire”
This old age maxim of 18th Century French thinker befits perfectly on a name like Muhammad Usman Deeplai whose ten re-printed books were launched recently at Shaikh Ayaz Auditorium of the Faculty of Arts, University of Sindh as reported by dawn (November 23). While speaking at the occasion the Provincial Minister for Education Pir Mazharul Haq rightly said that Late Usman Deeplai was a legend Sindh has produced. His entire life is nothing but ceaseless fight for the betterment of the society and uplift of the poor from the influence of nefarious designs of vested privileged class through the sword of his pen.

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How Sindh will survive economically, politically, and culturally in the next 100 years

By Khalid Hashmani, McLean, Virginia, USA

The article of New York Times pertains to extremely important development that could impact how Sindh survives economically, politically and culturally in next 100 years. Any thoughtless support or irrational opposition to the upcoming actions of the federal or provincial governments could be harmful to the interests of Sindh. In the immediate future, educated Sindhis should get prepared to collect data, analyze data, and take well thought-out and rational actions to safeguard long-term interests of Sindh. The news about the sale of substantial interests in the Qadirpur Gas field in Sindh and other assets of Sindh (the second largest Gas field Pakistan) has been in industry publications for couple of weeks. The following provides links and brief extracts from those news items:

Continue reading How Sindh will survive economically, politically, and culturally in the next 100 years

Thar coal take over: How Sindh govt. is playing fiddle

By Aziz Narejo

Contrary to Sindh government’s statements in the press that it is opposed to the establishment of Thar Coal Authority, it has actually become an accomplice to the take over of Thar coal, a precious Sindh resource, by the federal government. It has surpassed the duly established Sindh Coal Authority through an act of Sindh Assembly and has established Thar Coal & Energy Board giving away more powers to the federal government than even the Thar Coal Authority had.

This is unacceptable and all should raise voice against this robbery of an invaluable Sindh resources. ..

Courtesy: Sindhi e-lists/ e-groups.

Illegal Take-over of Sindh Coal Authority by Federal Government

By Khalid Hashmani

WE condemn the illegal action of the current government to transfer the control of coal resources from the Sindh government to the federal government. This action is undemocratic, anti-people and violation of the principle of provincial autonomy. I demand that the government immediately cancel the announcement and announce a new provincial coal authority with majority representation of Sindhis including a representative from the local area and only one representative from the federal government.

I am drafting an online petition to press on the demand for a new Coal Authority that will be circulated soon. I hope that every Sindhi and other patriotic Pakistani will sign it.

Courtesy: Sindhi e-lists/ e-groups.

Sindh Thar Coal Reserves; Ownership; Centre-Sindh rift; Assets equivalent 400 billion barrel of oil

ISLAMABAD, PAK: The dispute between the Pakistan People’s Party-led governments in Sindh and at the centre has resurfaced once again over the constitutional ownership of the 5th largest coal reserves in the world. In a recent communique with the central government, the Sindh government has raised serious objections on the announcement made by the federal water and power minister to hold an international conference on coal energy in Islamabad during the month of June to attract foreign investment. Sources terming it a first conventional dispute between provincial and federal governments run by PPP on the ownership of natural resources.

May 11/08

Jamshoro – The spirit of Sindh

By: Niilofur Farrukh

FOR someone who was born and brought up in Karachi, I must confess the cultural distance between the metropolis and the hinterland exists not just in miles. The inhabitants of the city, especially as young and brash as Karachi, have built a hybrid identity from the experience of constant change, chaos and cultural interface.

Meanwhile, the people of the interior of Sindh, steeped in the folklore and poetry of its Sufis, zealously guard the purity of their language and interpret life through the prism of conventions shaped by ancient history.

What Pakistan, a county that brought together heterogeneous people from all over South Asia, has needed since its inception is an education policy to unify cultures through knowledge and respect for pluralism. While this dream of the founding fathers is forgotten in the midst of political volatility and confrontation, opportunities for reconciliation and an understanding of Pakistan’s diverse traditions are lost.

As someone who was born in the decade that followed Partition, I grew up without the language skills to understand Bhitai and Bulleh Shah. It took a study of world cultures to feel the need to seek what was so close to me at Moenjodaro, Harappa, Sukkur, Taxila, Kohistan, Thar and Sibi.

A recent opportunity to visit Jamshoro, where I was invited to participate in the First International Art Seminar hosted by the Institute of Art and Design, Sindh University, led to three days of enriching dialogue.

To experience both intellectuals and fakir singers quoting Shah Latif’s verse like a mantra, almost like a verbal and musical talisman not unlike the black thread that is rubbed on the ‘sacred’ instruments of the mendicants at the shrine of the great saint, it took the urban cynic in me some time to understand how deeply woven in the social and cultural fabric is the Sufi message. No theoretical text or debate can convey the intrinsic connection with a timeless philosophy that expresses the concerns of the people in a language that resonates in them.

A renewed optimism among the students and faculty at the Institute of Art and Design seems to have come with the new building that the department recently got after years of struggle. With it appeared a desire to build a bridge between received knowledge and the dynamic ideas of the new century.

The seminar seemed to set the tone for this change by creating space for debate and discussion on a wide range of issues that confront artists as national and international scholars read their papers.

The exchange with poets, writers, scholars, artists and journalists on the artist’s role in society, however fundamental, was important in a society that exists on so many planes of social awareness. The multiple viewpoints presented by the participants communicated how art has moved from the linear thought process of modernism to a lateral embrace of visual culture which recognises context as a critical force.

It was refreshing to see the inclusion of two papers based on the field research of archeologists who are putting together fragments of the history of development of the image and its significance in prehistoric times. Dr Salim claimed the flint tools created from quartz in the Potohar Plateau were one of the earliest creative acts as the maker used his intelligence to select the material and then perfected a technique to craft its serrated edge.

Information on rock carving and cave drawings presented by Dr Ihsan Ali concentrated on the iconography of early man in Pakistan that art historians cannot ignore. The same was true of Dr Misbah Rasheed’s study on the hybrid symbolic imagery of the ceramic mosaic murals at the Lahore Fort that has yet to be studied in-depth and included in the art history curriculum which continues to be predominantly eurocentric.

Dr Ejaz Ikram’s thought-provoking talk focused on the crisis of beauty in the world created by the de-linking of art from intuition, intellect and spirituality that were once responsible for the meditative harmony of Islamic art. According to him, since beauty rests not in innovation but the truth, he urged artists not to abandon tradition but to perfect it if they wanted to rediscover beauty.

Presenting an opposing view was the talk on European design presented by ceramist Maliha Paracha. She highlighted innovative ceramics by the Dutch company Droog that has gained worldwide reputation for its unusual and unpredictable designs that do not compromise functionality.

The artists’ perspective at the seminar, among others, came from Sheherezade, the country’s pioneer potter. With her exquisite visuals, she elaborated on the influence of historical and cultural Lahore on her personal and professional life. The labyrinth of the walled city, Mughal minars that dominate the skyline and the timeless skill of artisans that creates traditional pottery all combined to give her a sense of identity which, along with a global interface, has helped her develop a contemporary vocabulary which has won her global recognition.

This brings to my mind the renowned artist Mona Hartoum whose art is unique to her life. Hartoum, a Palestinian who grew up as a refugee in Lebanon, was stranded in London for a long period due to the war in Lebanon before she decided to pursue her art education in the UK. The trauma of displacement made her restless. According to her, she finds it difficult to stay in one place for too long. This angst is evoked in her work as ideas are translated through material to convey anxiety and restlessness.

Centrality of context was a common thread that ran through the papers. The message for the new entrants in the art community seemed to be that as they learned what constituted art in the studio, and while learning theory, they would also have to remember that the most powerful expression and strongest voice come from lived experience.

In the soul of Jamshoro dwell many untold stories, both ancient and modern. Artists just need to discover them.

Coutesy: Daily Dawn

Source – http://www.dawn.com/2008/04/16/op.htm#3