Tag Archives: village

Pakistan: Bhagat Singh Shaheed’s village selected for preservation

Faisalabad: Bhagat Singh Shaheed native village Banga in Faisalabad is been selected for preservation and has been declared as historical sites by Faisalabad district coordination officers Noorul Amin Mengal. Mr Mengal had earlier named Shadman Fawara Chouck as Bhagat Singh Chouck in 2012 while he was DCO Lahore, Along with Bhagat Singh village, the villages of Sir Ganga Ram, Mirza Jutt and Ahmad Khan Kharal, the other freedom fighters and historical personalities, have also been declared as historical place.

Source – via Facebook

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An “honor killing” – Kohistan video: Four women killed

Kohistan video scandal: Four women killed

KOHISTAN: Four women, who were sentenced to death in Kohistan for singing and dancing at a wedding, are reportedly killed, Geo News reported.

Muhamamd Afzal, brother of one of the convicted men, has claimed that four women have been murdered.

Four women and two men had been sentenced to death in Kohistan for singing and dancing at a wedding.

Clerics had issued a decree after a mobile phone video emerged of the six enjoying in a remote village in the mountainous district of Kohistan. ….

Read more » Geo Tv News

Daily Times – Reminding the village idiot – Mir Mohammad Ali Talpur

Ironically, the situation in Balochistan is already more akin to an emergency rule than to a democratic one

Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry’s pronouncement that “the Constitution will take its course if the prime minister fails to take steps with immediate effect to resolve the crisis in Balochistan,” warning that imposition of emergency could be one of the options to restore sanity to the province has sparked a wave of consternation among the Baloch people. He further said, “All major political players should keep in mind that non-implementation of the Constitution had led to imposition of martial law more than once,” and added, “Why don’t we implement the Constitution before the army imposes martial law.” The Baloch are trying to fathom the real reason behind this ominous threat, which seems to be aimed at them — who are the victims of atrocities and a slow-track genocide — and not at the ‘establishment’ and its departments who are the perpetrators; obviously, this is tantamount to urging the state to impose an ‘emergency’ in Balochistan.

There is an anecdote in Sindh that most of the inhabitants of a village were going off for an extended stay at a neighbouring village for a wedding ceremony and the village idiot was the only one staying behind. As the villagers prepared to leave the village, the elders, hoping to advise the village idiot about his conduct during their absence told him, “Now, don’t you set the village on fire while we are away.” The village idiot gleefully clapped his hands and said, “Gosh! This possibility had simply escaped my mind, thank you for reminding me!” This is what this statement has served to do; it has reminded the ‘village idiot’ that he has forgotten the possibility of setting the village on fire, i.e. step up repression by suspending whatever sham fundamental rights exist in Balochistan.

The Chief Justice’s statement has puzzled even leading legal minds. Renowned jurist Justice (retd) Fakharuddin G Ibrahim expressed his surprise over the remarks, and questioning the judiciary’s powers in this regard said, “Only the executive has the authority to declare an emergency. What powers do you have? I don’t know in which direction things are moving.” Consternation among the Baloch arises from the ominous direction that these hearings about ‘missing persons’ have taken. The hearings are aimed ostensibly at the recovery of missing persons, but could be used to give the agencies authorisation to commit atrocities under an emergency. Instead of addressing their problems, the option of suspending rights is being used; but then what one can expect of a state that is interested in Balochistan simply for its resources.

Continue reading Daily Times – Reminding the village idiot – Mir Mohammad Ali Talpur

Judicial Jinn (genie) – By Waris Husain

My father told me that when he was growing up in a remote village in Pakistan, his community wholeheartedly believed in jinn (genies), and he would see them often as a child. He left his village at a young age to attend school in the city, where he was able to interact with people outside his small native community and develop independent ideas.

Upon his return to the village, all the jinn of his childhood vanished, even though the people of his community who spent their lives in the village still saw them. This is the story of Pakistan’s Courts, which are viewed by average citizens as genies that magically appear to solve unsolvable problems. However, those who have “ventured outside the village” know that there are no judicial genies, just human judges who are liable to make mistakes. This means that the Court must create standards to limit its own powers, lest it become a jinn the people can’t put back in the lamp.

Jinn are described as “smokeless fire,” possessing superhuman powers including the ability to travel expansive distances unimaginable by man. In some stories, the jinn grants three wishes to an individual, allowing the wisher to accrue untold power and wealth. These supernatural abilities distinguish jinn from humans, as jinn possess a greater power to control their environment or reality.

Lately, the media has depicted politicians as weak humans, while assigning a mystic ability to the Court to unilaterally “do justice” in the country.

Continue reading Judicial Jinn (genie) – By Waris Husain

14 blasts rock Sindh railway track

KARACHI/HYDERABAD: Lengths of railway track were blown up in Bin Qasim, Nawabshah, Hyderabad, and Pud Eidan, Khairpur and Ghotki somewhere before and after dawn stopping the up and down traffic, Geo News reported Saturday.

According to police, two blasts were heard before they found out a sizable part of the main track, going through Long Khan Kairio village area of Nawabshah, has been damaged.

Later, a couple of similar blasts were also reported from Qasimabad area of Hyderabad, where 1-2 feet long rail tracks came off in the wake of explosions. To boot, blasts near Latifabad area also reportedly damaged the rails taking the tally to four in Hyderabad alone that too within hours.

Moreover, culprits, also targeted rails near Pud Eaidan area using the same modus operandi i.e. two IEDs planted close by detonating one after another.

Reports of a similar sabotage also came from Kotri, Ghotki and Bin Qasim.

All the up and down trains have been stopped to safety. Railway sources told that Zakaria and Fareed Express were stopped at Sadiqabad.

Fortunately no passenger/cargo train was anywhere near the blast sites, otherwise major casualties could have been the outcome of these perpetrations.

Police have condoned off the site to launch an investigation as well as search for probable explosive devices or the culprits hiding nearby.

Courtesy: The News

http://www.thenews.com.pk/article-36919-14-blasts-rock-Sindh-railway-track

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More details » Voice of America

http://www.voanews.com/urdu/news/pakistan-rail-blasts-140395433.html#.T0kN7WG9-7o.facebook

India – The Parso Gidwani Center for Sindhi Studies.

By Gul Agha

Saaiin Parso Gidwani had a bhuungo constructed in a small village Kutch and stayed there. His love of Sindh was legendary. I went to visit Saaiin Parso Gidwani in 2000 in Kutch but he had gone for treatment to Mumbai they said. Some time after I returned to the US, he wrote to me and very kindly sent a copy of his book on the Sindhi language. “The Parso Gidwani Centre of Sindhi Studies was created in 2011 in memory of the Ethnolinguist Parso J. Gidwani (1937-2004) who was a pioneer in the field of ethnology and linguistics related to the Sindhi world. The PGCSS results from a cooperation between Dr Michel Boivin, Centre for South Asian Studies, Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (Paris, France) and Dr Charu Gidwani, R. K. Talreja College (Ulhasnagar, India). The Centre is a first step towards realizing Parso Gidwani’s wish for an Institute for Sindhi Studies. Its policy is framed by an Advisory Board whose members are scholars of international fame. The PGCSS is an integrated approach to Sindhi Studies with perspectives on Sindhi History, Culture, Literature and Language.”

Via » above article adopted from Gul Agha’s facebook page.

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

Pak society is “effectively cannibalizing itself” due to dehumanization of Ahmadis

Ahmadis: The lightning rod that attracts the most hatred

Pakistani Ahmadis today live in constant fear and humiliation. So much so, the hatred has permeated into each and every slice of society and the oppressors have become more vocal and aggressive.– Illutration by Faraz Aamer Khan

By Zofeen T. Ebrahim, DAWN.COM

A month after ten Ahmadi students were expelled from two schools in the village of Dharinwala, in Faisalabad district, all have been put back to school, not in there old ones, but in two schools in Hafizabad, thanks to Khalil Ahmad, father and grandfather of four students who were among those expelled.

“I managed to get all of them enrolled in two schools in the nearby city of Hafizabad,” he said talking to Dawn.com over phone from his village.

But it’s not been easy. Most parents of the expelled children are too poor, so Ahmed volunteered to pay for their admissions, their books and stationery. And that is not all. He, with the help of his two sons, makes sure they drop and pick all of them on a motorbike, doing turns.

In one school, the principal knows he has given admission to Ahmadi students but the educator believes faith should not come in the way of those seeking education. “In the other the principal has not been told,” Ahmed revealed.

Sadly, all during this episode, the government has remained a quiet bystander, as always.

It is not the first time that students have been expelled from an educational institution in Punjab because of their religious affiliations, remarked Bushra Gohar, a parliamentarian belonging to the secular Awami National Party.  According to Gohar, her party members had condemned the expulsion of students belonging to the Ahmadiyya community each time on the floor of the house. “However, a protest or condemnation from the parties leading in the Punjab has not been forthcoming,” she said.

For far too long, Pakistani students belonging to this minority community have been facing various forms of discrimination based on their faith.

“This tidal wave against the Ahmadiyya education shows no sign of ebbing,” Saleemuddin, the spokesperson of the Ahmaddiya Jammat, told Dawn.com.

He said after 1984, when the government promulgated the anti Ahmadiyya ordinance, both the government and the clerics have been trying their utmost to punish them in various ways.

“Ahmadi lecturers were posted away to distant locations and some were not allowed to teach. Ahmadi principals and headmasters were replaced. Ahmadi students were deprived admission in professional colleges. They were refused accommodation in attached hostels. They suffered attacks by extremist elements on campuses.”

According to the Asian Human Rights Commission, the Islami Jamiat Talaba, the student wing of the Islami Jamiat has been tasked to cleanse the educational institutions, including universities and professional colleges of Ahmadi students.

Hasan Ahmed, who was among the 23 students who were expelled from Punjab Medical College, in Faisalabad, back in 2008, can never forget the stressful event and how “night after night, for over a month” he kept stressing over the events that turned his settled student life all topsy-turvy.

“I knew it happened to others, so was not completely caught unawares,” Hasan acknowledged. He is at present completing his house job in Lahore, keeping an “ultra busy schedule”.

Eventually all were re-instated in some college or another. “After months of waiting, just before exam, my friend was sent to Bahawalpur while I went off to a distant place of Rahimyar Khan in a college of lower merit,” narrated Hasan.

After a gargantuan effort, he was finally allowed to appear in exams from Lahore and then got admitted to Allama Iqbal Medical College, in Lahore.

“To be in a state of flux was the worst part of this episode specially since exams were approaching and I didn’t know which place I was to appear from,” said Hasan.

He expressed that till the identity of an Ahmadi remains undisclosed “he remains safe”.

But that is sadly not the case if you are living in Pakistan. People are culturally nosy and want to know your cast and sect. “Eventually they end up finding that you are an Ahmadi. Once they know, you can feel a change of attitude and it just takes a mischief maker to exploit others’ feelings against you,” said Hasan.

Till Hina Akram’s faith remained unknown to her teacher in Faislabad’s National Textile University, she was considered a star student. But after it became known she belonged to the Ahmadiyya community, she faced so much faith-based harassment that she had to quit studies.

“I was told to convert to Islam,” said Hina, who was studying in the sixth semester of her BSc.

“I was handed some anti-Ahmadiyya literature to read, offered a refuge in Muslim home. But when she told the teacher she was an Ahmadi by choice he called her an infidel and warned her of severe consequences.

“You will face such a fire of animosity in the campus that not even the vice chancellor will be able to help you,” he threatened her.

True to his word, a hate campaign was initiated and a social boycott began. Out of college, she is desperately trying to go abroad. Her fate remains in balance.

But it’s not just the education aspect where the anti-Ahmadiyya lobby is hitting, said Saleemuddin. Since 1984, some 208 faith-based killings have taken place. The persecution against the community has surged following the May 28, 2010 massacre of 94 members of the community in Lahore.

After the four million Ahmadis were officially declared non-Muslims in 1984 by the state, they cannot call themselves Muslims or go to mosques. They cannot be overheard praising Prophet Mohammad. To add insult to injury, every Pakistani who claims to be a Muslim and owns a passport has declared that he or she considers them to be non-Muslims and their leader an imposter prophet.

Pakistani Ahmadis today live in constant fear and humiliation. So much so, the hatred has permeated into each and every slice of society and the oppressors have become more vocal and aggressive.

“The extremist elements are getting more and more powerful because of Saudi-US influence and the government’s policy of appeasement,” said I.A. Rehman, General Secretary Human Rights Commission of Pakistan.

“The Ahmadis are already the worst persecuted minority in our country – and things for them appear to be growing worse as hatred and intolerance spread,” Kamila Hyat, a journalist and a rights activist echoed the same sentiments. “The lack of enforcement of laws to prevent the preaching of hatred adds to the problem,” she added.

Saleemuddin said by allowing the extremist clerics to hold anti-Ahmadiyya rallies and conferences, the government is adding fuel to this venom. “People are openly instigated to kill us in the name of Islam,” he said.

“Violence and the advance of bigotry, prejudice and hate against minorities have never really been met with the resolve needed to remove impunity from the social equation in Pakistan,” Sherry Rehman, a legislator belonging to the ruling Pakistan People’s Party, agreed.
Instead, she told Dawn.com what is seen is an “expansion in the space for religious and sectarian apartheids, which has led now to heinous acts of brutality and exclusion of many, particularly Ahmadis.”

She warned: “This is a dangerous trend that conflates national identity with religion.”

Perhaps that is one reason why Pervez Hoodbhoy expresses: “Today, when religion has become so central in matters of the state, they [Ahmadis] do not stand a chance in Pakistan of getting rights, respect, and dignity. The overdose of religion given to young Pakistanis in their schools and homes means that nothing matters more than which religion and sect you belong to. Ahmadis are the lightning rod that attracts more hatred than any other sect.”

For its part rights groups like the Human Rights Watch (HRW) and the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) say they have “repeatedly” raised the issue of “state tolerated persecution”.

“We are urging authorities to intervene in each case,” said Rehman. “But the situation is getting worse day by day.

Terming it “abhorrent and self defeating” when society allows “for the dehumanization of Ahmadis or Christians or the Shia for that matter, it is effectively cannibalizing itself,” said Ali Dayan Hasan, Pakistan director of HRW.

“The federal government expresses regret at incidents but has made clear its unwillingness to repeal or amend discriminatory laws,” said HRW spokesperson.

Given the current intolerance, the fate of the new generation of Pakistani Ahmadis looks “quite bleak” said Rehman.

Even Hoodbhoy said: “For years, Ahmadis, Hindus, and Christians have been desperately seeking to flee Pakistan. They would be foolish to want to stay,” said Hoodbhoy.

This fails to dampen young Hasan’s spirits. He thinks the future looks “brighter than ever before”.

“Even if the situation is made worse in Pakistan, this does not mean the future is not bright. It’s a matter of time before we start getting equal rights in this country.

Often when they get together, the young Ahmadis discuss the “bitter realities” they have to face as Pakistanis.

“But we don’t want to leave our country at the juncture that it is at,” said a patriotic Hasan. This is because the contribution of the Ahmadi community towards building of Pakistan has been immense,” he said with conviction.

He said recently their leader urged all Ahmadis of the world to “fast once a week and pray” especially for the prosperity of Pakistan.”

Zofeen T. Ebrahim is a freelance journalist.

Courtesy » DAWN.COM

Occupy Islamabad!

For decades, we have heard, and chanted, slogans against the evils of capitalism. We have witnessed the monopolization of multinational corporates and intensifying ratio of starvation, growing side by side. We have seen so many wars, imposed in the name of peace. We have heard enough lies about the people’s struggle and their achievements of the past. We have watched the world transforming into a global village of miseries, poverty, bloodshed, hunger and oppression. Now, the masses, all over the world, seem to realize the root cause of all the miseries: exploitation of man’s labour by man. Capitalism is failing. The world is changing!

It is a historical moment for us. The advocates of free-market economy are shaken by the series of protests that, starting from the New York City, have captured the hundreds of cities all over the world. These protests represent the awakening class-consciousness of the masses that has culminated in the Occupy Wall Street Movement. These occupy activists have gathered to change the existing economic inequality of the system. They have always been taught that Marx was wrong in his critique of capitalism. They have realized the empirical evidence of the opposite.

Karl Marx, in the 19th century, had explained the inevitable presence of exploitation as an essential ingredient of capitalism. The German social scientist had proved that, in any society, the exploitation takes place when a few people own all the means of production and the majority, who doesn’t own anything, is bound to sell its labour to that minor class which accumulates private property. While, the state functions to protect that unequal distribution of wealth, assuring the widening class-differences.

The NY Post has referred the Occupy Movement as the New York’s ‘Marxist Epicenter’. It has countered the myth, propagated by the media, that the occupy activists are a breed of bored, hippie-like folks who are doing some adventurism to seek attention. According to their report, the flags depicting revolutionary icons can be seen everywhere, showing their ideological commitment. Moreover, the ‘occupiers’ openly refer to each other as ‘comrade’, a term used by the left-wing worldwide, meaning ‘friend’ or ‘ally’. Their literature openly declares Socialism as a cure of all the prevailing problems.

At this historical moment, the Pakistan’s left is reorganizing like their counterparts of the West. We have a long history of youth’s struggle against the dark military regimes. From the Democratic Students Federation’s front ‘Red Guards’ to the Lawyer’s movement, our young activists have always stood for the people’s cause. Continuing their legacy of internationalism, Pakistan’s left parties have decided to start anti-capitalist camps, initiating from Lahore, not only for the solidarity for the Occupy Wall Street movement, but also as a continuous struggle to change our indigenous problems. We need to realize the importance of this revolutionary wave. We need to be in the flow. For how long the people will continue to suffer and dream for a better society? The time has come to make those dreams an existing reality. The time has come to reject all the confused liberators. The time has come to chant, ‘Occupy Islamabad!’

But, unfortunately, the state is not the only thing to occupy, in our case. We are aware that Pakistan suffers from multiple complex issues. We don’t only have the corrupt feudal political families and their huge palaces to occupy; we have millions of minds to occupy which are burning in the flames of religious fanaticism. We have to occupy the rising sectarian mindset of the people. We have to occupy the religious rage to assure peaceful coexistence of everyone. We have to occupy the narcissistic prism and replace it with rationality and realism. We have to occupy the filth of the society and the filth within. And we, the people, can do that! We can do that because we are the 99 percent!

Courtesy» The Express Tribune

Senior Haqqani Militant (Afghan citizen/ cousin of Siraj Haqqani) killed in drone strike in Miranshah

Suspected US Drone Strike Kills Senior Haqqani Militant

by VOA

Pakistani intelligence officials say a U.S. drone strike in northwest Pakistan has killed a senior member of the militant Haqqani network.

Thursday’s attack in North Waziristan reportedly killed Jalil Haqqani, a logistics coordinator for the al-Qaida-linked group. At least three other militants were also killed when an unmanned aircraft fired missiles at a compound in the Dande Darpa Khel village near the region’s main town, Miran Shah.

Officials say Jalil was very close to Sirajuddin Haqqani, the leader of the militant network, which is reportedly based in North Waziristan.

Hours later, Pakistani officials say a second drone strike on Thursday killed six militants in the South Waziristan tribal region near the Afghan border.

The attacks occurred as the U.S. special representative to Pakistan and Afghanistan, Marc Grossman, held talks with Pakistani leaders in Islamabad.

Grossman told reporters that he and Pakistani Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar talked about the future and how to continue the ongoing dialogue between Pakistan and the United States. He said they agreed to continue to find “issues that we share with Pakistan – and there are many – and act jointly on them.” …

Read more »  Voice of America

Rape, mutilation: Pakistan’s tribal justice for women

By Rebecca Conway

MULTAN,(Reuters) – On April 14, two men entered Asma Firdous’ home, cut off six of her fingers, slashed her arms and lips and then sliced off her nose. Before leaving the house, the men locked their 28-year-old victim inside.

Asma, from impoverished Kohaur Junobi village in Pakistan’s south, was mutilated because her husband was involved in a dispute with his relatives, and they wanted revenge.

Her fate is familiar in parts of Pakistan’s remote and feudal agricultural belts, where women are often used as bargaining chips in family feuds, and where the level of violence they face is increasing in frequency and brutality.

At the hospital in nearby Multan town, Asma’s shocked parents sat quietly by her bedside and struggled to explain what the future holds for their now disfigured daughter.

“I don’t know what will happen to her when she leaves here,” Asma’s father, Ghulam Mustafa, said, in a dilapidated ward heavy with the smell of antiseptic and blood, where other women, doused with acid or kerosene by relatives or fellow villagers, awaiting an equally uncertain future.

Asked if Asma will return to her husband, her father remains silent.

Pakistan is the world’s third-most dangerous country for women, after Afghanistan and the Democratic Republic of Congo, based on a survey conducted by the Thomson Reuters Foundation (link.reuters.com/jet92s)

Read more → Reuters

In Islamic Republic of Pakistan, donkey convicted as adulteress; shot dead. Donkey’s lover in hiding

– Donkey declared ‘Kari’ killed

SUKKUR: Incredible though it may sound, a donkey was declared ‘Kari’ and shot dead here in a remote area on Monday. The Jirga imposed 110,000 rupees fine on the alleged ‘Karo’.

The reports said that in Village Ghahi Khan Jatoi, a villager Ghazi Khan alias Malang shot dead his donkey on being ‘Kari’ with Sikandar Ali alias Deedo. He attempted to kill Sikander too but the alleged Karo managed to escape and surrendered himself to an influential person of the area.

Sources said the influential person summoned both the parties and imposed 110,000 rupees fine on the Karo. They said Sikander and his family were forced to pay Rs 50,000 on the spot and the remaining amount in two installments.

The sources added that the alleged Karo pleaded innocence at the Jirga, but the Jirga members paid no attention to it. Sikander’s family said he paid Rs 50,000 to save his life otherwise he would have been killed.

Courtesy: The News

Sindhi Katchis and Sindhi-Gujrati Memons: Con ‘census’ among the forgotten

Katchis and Gujrati Memons: Con ‘census’ among the forgotten

By GN Mughal

KARACHI: It was almost as if GM Syed – the symbol of Sindhi nationalism – was reborn in Old Karachi, undoubtedly a new phenomenon for a decidedly cosmopolitan city.

Many in the audience felt that what they had seen and heard at the event was a foretaste of a new wave of nationalism, a blend of new and old Sindhis, which would overwhelm the provincial metropolis in the coming days.

The occasion was a seminar on ‘Census and old communities of Karachi’, held at Lohar-wadha Jamaatkhana, Lyari earlier this month.

This event had two unique features. Firstly, a large number of Katchis, Gujrati Memons and people belonging to other local communities of Karachi had gathered on one platform. Secondly, for the first time ever, the entire first-ranking leadership of Sindhi nationalists along with the Pakistan Peoples Party leaders of the area were there as well.

It all started a month ago when the Katchi Rabita Committee (KRC) invited some journalists of Sindhi dailies for a cup of tea at the Jamaatkhana to bitterly express being disowned not only by the Sindhi nationalists but by Sindhis at large, despite the fact that “they were Sindhis and old Karachi’ites.

They called themselves the “forgotten Sindhis”. The Katchi community also complained that they had been voting for PPP candidates in every election, but after coming to power the PPP government never lifted a finger to pull them out of the bottomless pit into which they had fallen because of the continuous neglect by successive governments.

Continue reading Sindhi Katchis and Sindhi-Gujrati Memons: Con ‘census’ among the forgotten

Woman stoned, shot dead in the name of ‘honour’

MARDAN: A woman was stoned and shot to death in the name of honour allegedly by her husband and over a dozen other men in a village on Tuesday.

Police said they had found the body of Shazia in nearby hills.

“The body was in a bad shape as the woman was first pelted with stones and then fired at,” said Mohammad Tahir, an official at the Rustam police station.

Bairoch village, a remote area sharing the border with Buner district, is extremely backward and its people are known for violence.

He said police teams visited different places to arrest the accused, who were 13 in number. Some of the accused were anti-social elements, he added.

Noor Jehan, mother of the deceased, told police that her daughter was married to Mohammad Saeed. She said her daughter was residing with her in Barikot area of Swat after developing differences with her husband. Two days ago her son-in-law asked her to come to Bairoch to attend a local jirga for settling the dispute. When they visited the village, Saeed and over a dozen other people took hold of Shazia and declared that she would be stoned to death, she said.

Noor Jehan said she saved her life after escaping, but her daughter was killed.

Courtesy: → DAWN.COM

They dragged her out, tore up her clothes and forced her to walk naked on the street

Woman paraded naked in village north of Islamabad

ISLAMABAD: A woman was forcibly paraded naked through a village after her sons were accused of sleeping with a married neighbour who became pregnant, police said Tuesday.

The incident happened after neighbour Mohammad Salman grew suspicious that the woman’s sons slept with his wife in Neelor Bala village, 100 kilometres north of Islamabad, said police official Akhtar Nawaz. …

Read more: DAWN.COM

Democracy starts from home

– Democracy is the best revenge. Really?

Dr. Shazia Nawaz

I say a lot of things too. For example I say, “Going out in the sun can give you skin cancer.” But then I do not go out in the sun. I also say, “Daily cooking by women is a sheer waste of their time.” You guessed it right. I do not waste my time on cooking.

Clearly Pakistan People’s Party is not like me. They say that democracy is the best revenge, but do not have democracy right within their party. It is not only PPP, it is also Muslim league. Is Nawaz Sharif ever going to retire from being the party chairman? Should not there be a time limit for holding the position within the party? For our political parties, it’s not democracy, but it is dynasty. The child of a party leader is picked as a next party leader automatically. And that appointment is done happily. No questions asked.

When it comes to PPP, seems to me that the more you pretend to be in love with Bhuttos, the bigger leader you are considered in the party. Why such hero worship? Was Bhutto not just another man? Same goes for Jinnah and for our very own Allama Iqbal. Interestingly, we are very big on following the “ideology” of these leaders. Has Pakistan stopped producing brilliant minds?

Why do we have to follow the “ideology” of people who lived almost half a century ago? When we are not living in the same old world anymore, why follow the same old ideology? There is always a fight among liberals and conservatives about the “true ideology” of Jinnah. He wanted a Muslim state. No, he wanted a secular state for Muslims. Why does it matter so much anymore what Jinnah wanted? Has Pakistan stopped producing brilliant minds at all now that we cannot come up with new ideas to lead our country? If Jinnah said it, it is ALWAYS right. He cannot be wrong, questioned, or criticized. Same goes for our national poet Allama Iqbal (RA). Youth seems to follow blindly what our great poet said almost a hundred years ago. Things that he said when British ruled the world are not valid in today’s world anymore, where we do not have dynasties anymore, well, except for in PPP. Iqbal’s poetry was for oppressed people of India and Pakistan. Iqbal’s message was for that time.

Now the world has become a global village. Sadly, Iqbal missed out on the biggest invention of mankind, the internet.
Coming back to PPP, don’t get me wrong, Bilawal is adorable. And he knows how to give a speech. If you have not already, please watch the video in which he literally almost lifts his head off his neck saying, ‘ Sar chahe-yay, sar dain gay hum (if you need our heads, we will give you our heads)” I personally think that PPP has given enough heads already. Rest of those heads should stay exactly where they belong. On those rich necks.

Bilawal did not grow up in Pakistan. That might not make him less of a Pakistani though. Bilawal is very smart. He has good genes. But then, is it all about being good? Of course not. It is about being the best. When you pick someone to rule and lead your nation, you want the best person for the job. Was Zardari the best person for the job? Sure, he’s good. But did he compete with others to prove that he was the best person for the job? It is not a dynasty. It is democracy. Bilawal has to prove that he is the best person for the job. Sure, he is learning politics from his seniors as Farah Naz Isphahani said in her article recently. Just like kings taught their kids how to rule a country. The world has rejected kings’ rules. Now handsome kings are only good for watching and marrying. And for selling stuff in their name. Yes, I just bought the similar ring that Prince William gave to Kate. Of course mine is not nearly as expensive.

Continue reading Democracy starts from home

Hari Haqdaar

Comrade Hyder Bux Jatoi (حيدر بخش جتوئي) (1970 – 1901) was a revolutionary, leftist, peasant leader in Sindh, Pakistan. He is known by his supporters as “Baba-e-Sindh”. He was also a Sindhi writer and poet. He was for many years the president of the Sindh Hari Committee (Sindh Peasants Committee), a constituent member of the National Awami Party.

Early life (According article of Nadeem Wagan) Hyder Bakhsh Jatoi who was born on October 7, 1901 in Bakhodero village near Moen-jo-Daro in Larkano district. Deprived in infancy of motherly care and love, he was brought up by his father and aunts. Being a handsome child he was liked by all, particularly by the womenfolk of the family.

Soon after, on completing his primary school, the young lad joined the Sindh Madarsah School at Larkano, where he showed his brilliance by topping the list of successful examinees every year. He topped the Sindh vernacular final examination in 1918 among candidates from all over Sindh and then won his first position in Sindh at the matriculation examination from the Bombay University in 1923.

He studied at the D. J. Science College, Karachi, and remained a resident boarder in Metharam Hostel attached to the college. He graduated in 1927 with honours in literature and won distinction in Persian from the Bombay University.

Courtesy: Wikipedia

“Burqa got a befitting French kiss” – by Marvi Sirmed

Before reading this argument on recent Burqa-ban by France, you need to know who I am. Raised in an orthodox Muslim Deobandi family, I’ve been educated in Pakistan’s Punjab where urban middle class used to be too sensitive about purdah in 1980s and 90s – the decades when I went to school and then university. Being first generation migrated out of the village in a big city, my father was a part of purdah sensitive educated middle class professional class. But my mother, raised and educated in a secular and Sufist Sindh, fought against Burqa throughout her life in order to save me from this ‘curse’ as she would put it.

Mom succeeded in this battle to the best of my luck and now no one expects her or me in Burqa or purdah in general. …

Read more : Let Us Build Pakistan

Were we really tolerant before the jihadis? – Dr Manzur Ejaz

Whether led by mature middle-class people or otherwise, the extremist religious movements draw most of their following from the new urbanite classes. In most cases, they have become the source of religious violence

Pakistanis must ask a central question: were we really tolerant people before Zia’s Islamisation or we were only naively indolent, prone to be violent at any moment? It is a common belief in Pakistan that when Zia, alongside the US, created violent jihadi organisations, they created hysteria in the public with narrow-mindedness ruling and people killing for frivolous reasons. Two questions come to mind about this explanation. One, were we really consciously ever a tolerant society for the jihadis to destroy? And two, how can we use this explanation to explain the parallel rise of extremist political Hinduism in India?

While talking about the killing fields that jihadis have created, we forget that the carnage of 1947 in Punjab cost more lives than the total number of people killed by jihadi violence in the last 20 years in Pakistan. Everyone blames the people of ‘other religions’ for the 1947 tragedy but, wherever Muslims were in overwhelming majority, they killed Sikhs and Hindus. Conversely, they faced the same treatment in areas where they were a minority. Amrita Pritam rightly said, “Aaj sabhay Kaidoo hu gaiy, husan ishaq de chor” (Today, everyone has turned into a villain, enemy of love). What happened in 1947 is closely linked to what is happening now and what occurred in east Punjab’s Khalistan Movement, which claimed hundreds of thousands of lives.

Most of the 1947 killings were concentrated in the rural areas; there were some in urban centres but they were limited. Most of the stories I have heard from Punjabi Hindus and Sikhs migrating from Pakistan indicate that the urban non-Muslims did not lose their family members while the stories from the rural areas are horror tales. One of my maternal uncles was killed in a village in Gurdaspur but at the same time none of the two neighbouring village’s Sikhs were spared — entire villages were murdered. How can so-called innocent rural people become murderous?

It can be argued that from the second to third centuries, the way the Gupta dynasty established self-sufficient but desolate and isolated village communities contributed to the religious violence of 1947, and even presently. When the Maurya Dynasty’s state ownership of entire land and manufacturing became unsustainable, it was replaced by self-sufficient village communities. Every community was required by the king’s law to have all kinds of artisans who were given a little land, residential and agricultural, and fixed shares of peasant produce. Consequently, the village communities had no need or desire to interact with other communities or reach beyond their own. Only a few traders and vendors were the link between the village and the rest of the world. The vendor, or vanjara in Punjabi, became a hero in folk songs because he was the only link with the outside world.

Due to the total absence of interaction and exchange of thought with the rest of the world, the village communities became lonesome entities. Mental horizons shrank and one generation of people was replaced with an identical next one. The village was considered a homeland or country whose honour was to be protected. This is why, during inter-village festivals, people would carry weapons as the possibility of war between the people of different villages was very real.

In eastern Punjab, some village communities were comprised of people of all religions but, when the British colonised western Punjab through an irrigation system, the village communities were established exclusively on religious basis. Therefore, another layer of separation was put in place where people of one religion became aliens for the other. The British education system did not mitigate such a separation because of the imposition of Urdu and denial of Punjabi identity. As a result, Sikhs limited themselves to the Gurmukhi script and Muslims to the Persian script. This was another fundamental divide created by the British. In Sindh, where Sindhi was made the official language and everyone used the same script, inter-religious hostility was a little less and did not lead to carnage in 1947. In the urban centres of Punjab where, despite furious religious political divides, the interaction between people was much better and the level of violence was also lower in 1947. ….

Read more : Wichaar

Renowned Sindhi historian Dr. Nabi Bux Baloch passes away

HYDERABAD: Renowned historian and research scholar of Sindh and Pakistan, Dr. Nabi Bux Baloch passed away on Wednesday. He was 94. He was born on December 16, 1917, in Jaffer Khan Laghari village, Taluka Sinjhoro, Sanghar District. He was scholar of Sindhi, Persian, Arabic and Urdu languages. He was author of a number of books on Sindh history, and about 42 volumes on Sindhi Folklore. He also compiled and published Sindhi dictionary in five volumes. Moreover, he compiled Sindhi-to-Urdu, Urdu-to-Sindhi dictionaries co-authored with Dr. Ghulam Mustafa Khan. He has compiled works of Classical Sindhi poets including Shah Inayat, Qadi Qadan, Khalifo Nabibakhsh, Hamal Faqir and compiled works of Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai in ten volumes. He rose to the positions of the first Dean of Education Department and Vice-Chancellor of University of Sindh. He also worked as first Chairman of Sindhi Language Authority and Chairman of Allama I.I. Kazi Chair. His works in Sindhi Language has been published by Sindh Moti Manik Tanzeem Hyderabad and Institute of Sindhology, University of Sindh.

Bomb goes off two days too early

By Faraz Khan / Saba Imtiaz

KARACHI: A bomb explosion inside a house in Ibrahim Hyderi fishing village on Saturday killed one suspected terrorist. Several other suspects were also arrested from the site.

The police claimed that the terrorists belong to a nationalist party and were preparing bombs to damage railway tracks in the city.  …

Read more : The Express Tribune

Four arrested after Bangladesh girl ‘lashed to death’

By Anbarasan Ethirajan

Four people including a Muslim cleric have been arrested in Bangladesh in connection with the death of 14-year-old girl who was publicly lashed.

The teenager was accused of having an affair with a married man, police say, and the punishment was given under Islamic Sharia law.

Hena Begum’s family members said a village court consisting of elders and clerics passed the sentence.

She was alleged to have had the affair with her cousin and received 80 lashes. …

Read more : BBC News, Dhaka

Home remains a distant dream for many flood-displaced Pakistanis

KAMBER SHADADKOT DISTRICT, Pakistan, November 18 (UNHCR) – When floods swept through their village in southern Pakistan’s Sindh province earlier this year, Mumtaz Ali and his pregnant wife lost their seven-year-old son. Weeks later, a weakened Zulekha gave birth, but the baby died soon afterwards.

On top of these tragic losses, the floods have destroyed the tenant farmer’s crops, costing him 150,000 Pakistani rupees (US$1,800). “My landlord will ask for money, but the rice crop was destroyed,” he said: “I will bear the brunt.”

And the family’s ordeal shows no sign of easing in the near future because winter is approaching and their village in Sindh’s Kamber Shadadkot district remains underwater. …

Read more : UNHCR