Tag Archives: voice

Scheduled castes give voice to woes

SADIQABAD – Arjun Das Advocate, chairman of Pakistan Meghwar Council, has regretted that the representative of a caste having only 3,500 votes is present in the National Assembly but the scheduled castes which have 1.4 million votes has no representative in the assembly on the 10 seats reserved for minorities in Pakistan.

Likewise in Sindh province, 75 percent people of the minority belonged to the scheduled castes while their no representative is present in the Sindh Assembly and the same situation was in the Senate, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly and the Balochistan Assembly. He said that it was proved that the process of getting representatives from the minorities in the assemblies was non-democratic, discriminatory and unjust. Therefore, he demanded, the method should be changed immediately. He also said that the communities’ members belonged to their respective parties and they do not represent the public thus they had no courage to raise a voice for the communities’ welfare nor they could heel their wounds by solving their problems.

Continue reading Scheduled castes give voice to woes

Naheed Akhtar to perform after two decades

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LAHORE, May 31: Famous for her voice range and often credited for her versatility, yore years’ playback singer Naheed Akhtar will perform after 22 years at Alhamra Art Centre, The Mall, on June 8.

The singer, who gave up professional singing in 1991, will be awarded Alhamra Excellence Award on the occasion.

She used to be a household name from the 70s to the 90s. Famous TV host and actress Ayesha Sana will interview Ms Akhtar at the evening while Hamid Ali Khan, Shabnam Majeed and Saima Jahan will sing the popular film songs sung by the singer.

Videos of her film songs and those she sang on television will also be screened. There will also be a few performances on some of her songs by film and TV artistes.

A number of known film artistes, music composers, lyrists and other guests are invited to the occasion.

The credit for bringing to stage Akhtar after so many years directly goes to the council for its officials made repeated requests to the singer for a public appearance.

LAC Deputy Director Zulfiqar Ali Zulfi told Dawn that after repeated requests the singer finally got convinced for a public appearance and a performance.

He said since Akhtar belonged to the league of such singers who were thoroughly professional therefore she had several meetings with Alhamra officials to finalise the list of songs to be sung and performed. He said: “These days she is doing rehearsals for the songs she is going to sing at the evening.”

Ms Akhtar was discovered by veteran musician M Ashraf in the mid-70s and replaced Runa Laila. Her debut film was ‘Nanha Farishta’ in 1974 and that year she sang songs in the film Shama also.

As a singer, she was brilliant in fast tracks, sad songs and ghazals as well.

Melodies such as ‘Piyar Kabhi Karna Na’ and ‘Yeh Aaj Mujko Kia Hua, and ‘Kisi Meherbaan Nay Aa Ke Meri Zindigi Saja Dee’ gave her immense popularity. The song ‘Meherbaan’ was a huge landmark in her singing.

Courtesy: DAWN
http://dawn.com/2013/06/01/naheed-akhtar-to-perform-after-two-decades/

SANA is a secular voice of North American Sindhis

President of Sindhi Association of North America (SANA) Jamil Daudi said in his statement; SANA is a secular organization to its core, in the true sense of the word, meaning that it doesn’t believe in the discrimination on the basis of one’s faith or lack of faith whatever the case may be. SANA, like Sindh, belongs to all the peace loving Sindhis no matter what religion or faith they believe in.

He said, I would request all the members of SANA and all the SANA-list members to please follow the spirit of Sindh, i.e., tolerance for each other and for all the fellow members of the organization, and all human beings at large. Let’s join hands to do good, as Sindhi, we believe in making the world a safer place to live in & spread love & peace.

Courtesy: Sindhi e-lists/ e-groups, February 25, 2013.

IVBMP and BHRC to hold a joint protest on International Day against Disappearances

Canada (Vancouver): International Voice for Baloch Missing Persons and Baloch Human Rights Council of Canada are jointly holding protests on the International Day against Disappearances.

The main aim of the protest is to bring world attention to the unending enforced disappearances and “the kill and dump” policy of Pakistan. Along with this, the safe release of Zakir Majeed Baloch and the rest of all Baloch missing persons will be highlighted on the International Day of Disappearances.

Zakir Majeed Baloch is the senior vice chairman of Baloch Student Organization – Azad. He was abducted on June 8, 2009 by Pakistani Intelligence agencies since his whereabouts are still unknown.

According to the Voice for Baloch Missing Persons about 14,000 Baloch have been victims of enforced disappearance in the hands of Pakistan’s security agencies and 500 have been extra judicially killed and targeted. Majority of victims were in custody of Pakistani security forces. They were inhumanely tortured, mutilated and decomposed bodies were dumped in the remote areas and on the road side across Balochistan. Some of the inhumanely tortured victim’s bodies were unrecognisable only their remaining skeletons were found.

Continue reading IVBMP and BHRC to hold a joint protest on International Day against Disappearances

The laughing warrior

By: Nadeem F. Paracha

Born in 1956, Fauzia Wahab was enjoying a fiery career as a passionate human rights worker and one of the most prominent voices of reason in the often chaotic, judgmental and fiercely patriarchal world of Pakistani politics and sociology, when her life was cut short on June 17, 2012.

Belonging to Pakistan’s largest political outfit, the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), Fauzia’s fame was nothing like that of former PPP Chairperson, late Benazir Bhutto, and nor was she known so well outside of Pakistan like the country’s other famous women activists and democrats like Benazir or Asma Jahangir.

Fauzia’s fame was largely local, rooted deep in whatever that is left of the tradition of progressive politics and liberalism in the country’s urban middle-classes – a tradition that was triggered by the rise of the PPP in the late 1960s and gave large sections of the Pakistani middle-classes a left-leaning and almost revolutionary dimension.

Although Fauzia was in school when leftist student organisations and trade, labour and journalist unions rose to successfully challenge the rule of Pakistan’s first military dictator, Ayub Khan, in the late 1960s, she was quick to join politics when she entered college in 1972 and then the Karachi University in 1975.

A glimpse into her career as a student politician can be an insightful exercise to understand the kind of a charisma she possessed that continued to make her stand out without requiring her to be a leading political figure or an ideologue.

A PPP colleague of hers once described Fauzia as a smiling rebel who had a natural knack of balancing her traditional side with her rebellious streak without looking or sounding contradictory or confused.

The same colleague (who was talking to me late last year in an informal chat), thought that Fauzia’s first act of rebellion was actually against her own ethnic background.

Coming from an educated Urdu-speaking family settled in Karachi, Fauzia did not automatically support the Jamat-e-Islami (JI) or the Jamiat Ulema Pakistan (JUP) like most Urdu-speakers of Sindh and its capital, Karachi, did till the late 1970s.

Instead, when she joined college, she at once jumped into the ranks of leftist and progressive student groups, but without waving Mao’s Red Book or Marx’s Das Kapital.

Another colleague of hers who was with her in a progressive student group at Karachi University and then later joined the Mutahidda Qaumi Movement (MQM), told me that Fauzia was always more interested in solving the problems of the students and challenging those who used faith to impose their politics than she was in leftist theory.

It was this attitude of hers that placed her in the leading ranks of the Progressive Students Alliance at the Karachi University – an alliance comprising of various left-wing, liberal and Sindhi, Baloch and Pashtun student groups.

But battling opposing student groups, especially those on the right, through student union elections and campaigning, was where it all started and ended for Fauzia – in 1978 she met and married another passionate progressive student politician, Wahab Siddiqui, who soon went on to become an accomplished journalist.

After marriage, Fauzia gladly became a housewife, raising her children and supporting her husband’s career as a journalist. But her love for politics, the liberal ideals that had driven her as a student and her romance for Karachi remained intact.

Some early recruits of the MQM claim that Fauzia almost joined the MQM when it suddenly rose to become Karachi’s leading party in the late 1980s. Though this was never mentioned by Fauzia herself, it is however true that she eventually became a kind of a pioneer of a little known but important strain in the workings of the PPP in Karachi, Sindh.

I can vouch for this because I, as an active member of the PPP’s student-wing, the PSF (in the 1980s), too got involved in what Fauzia would ultimately represent within the PPP as a Karachiite.

When Benazir returned to Pakistan from exile in 1986 and then went on to become the country’s first woman prime minister in 1988, she at once recognised the importance of having the MQM as a ‘natural ideological partner’ and a party that could keep governments afloat with the seats that it was able to win in Karachi and Hyderabad.

I was at the Karachi University in 1989 when Benazir constituted a team of Sindhi and Urdu-speaking members of the PPP to negotiate a coalition deal with MQM chief Altaf Hussain. I remember how this policy created a kind of a rift within the ranks of the PSF in Karachi.

One faction was totally against Benazir’s move, while the other faction saw it as a way to unite secular forces so they could reclaim the political space they had lost to the ‘reactionaries’ and religionists during Ziaul Haq’s dictatorship.

Though a Punjabi from my father’s side, I was born and bred in Karachi. So I decided to side with the latter group and was ultimately ‘expelled’ from the university by the former faction.

Of course, the coalition collapsed and dozens of students lost their lives in the deadly clashes that followed between the PSF and MQM’s student-wing the APMSO.

However, even while an operation was underway against MQM militants under the second Benazir regime (1993-96), I am witness to the fact that Benazir’s idea of creating a bridge (made up of ideological similarities as well as pragmatism) between Karachi chapters of the PPP and MQM was very much alive.

And here is where Fauzia came in. After the tragic sudden death of her husband in 1993, Fauzia found herself returning to politics. Her husband had played an active role as a journalist against the Zia dictatorship and this drew the attention of Benazir who made Fauzia the Information Secretary of the PPP’s women’s wing in Sindh.

An articulate and educated person from a respected Urdu-speaking middle-class family, Fauzia was to become that bridge between the PPP and Urdu-speakers in Karachi. Later on, Fauzia, along with another prominent PPP Karachite, Faisal Raza Abidi, would play a prominent role in helping Asif Ali Zardari strike a coalition with the MQM after the 2008 elections.

Though a passionate Karachite and proud of her ethnic background, Fauzia was first and foremost a Pakistani who wanted to use the platform of a large political party to continue raising human rights issues, especially those related to women.

Fauzia became a close confidant of Benazir Bhutto. Throughout the 1990s and early 2000s, Fauzia was the person Benazir banked on to continue building links between the PPP and Urdu-speakers in Karachi as well as being one of the faces in the PPP the MQM was most comfortable with.

But it wasn’t until during the Musharraf dictatorship that Fauzia was thrown into the limelight of Pakistani politics. Being made an MNA during the 2002 elections, she played an active political role against the Musharraf regime.

This was also due to the eruption of privately owned TV news channels in the country. Fauzia became a prominent fixture in most political talk shows, passionately criticising the Musharraf regime and articulating her party’s understanding of the situation.

After Benazir’s shocking assassination in 2007, Fauzia managed to survive the PPP’s new chairperson Asif Ali Zardari’s changes within the party structure. In fact she became an even more prominent figure in the party.

Along with Faisal Raza Abidi and Qamar Zaman Kaira, Fauzia became one of the fiercest defenders of the PPP regime’s polices in the electronic media. But unlike many other politicians who also became regular fixtures on TV talk shows, Fauzia retained a cheerful witty attitude.

However, she wasn’t only about defending her party’s regime. Along with famous human rights activist and lawyer, Asma Jahangir, Fauzia was one of the few prominent Pakistani women who never held back while lambasting crimes of hate committed by religious nuts and terrorists.

She openly condemned the murder of Punjab Governor, Salman Taseer, by a crackpot who wrongly accused Taseer of committing blasphemy. She was threatened by a number of fanatical clerics and their supporters for this.

Fauzia continued highlighting the threat to Pakistanis, especially women and those belonging to minority religions, faced from radical religious groups. She continued to remain a target of the abuse and menacing threats that came her way from religious outfits.

But she marched on, still holding her balanced mantle that seamlessly mixed passionate oratory with reason and hearty wit.

Continue reading The laughing warrior

Pakistani Christians, Hindus, Sindhis and Shias Protest Against the Chief Justice of Pakistan in London

London: Lunch-time on the 28th of May 2012 the Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Chaudhry received a vocal reception at the hands of the protesters gathered outside the award giving ceremony of the International Council of Jurists (ICJ). Ironically Justice Chaudhry is himself the vice president of ICJ.

Zee News reported, “Pakistan’s Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry ha[s] been awarded the prestigious International Jurists Award 2012. Justice Chaudhry received the award from Lord Phillips, President of the Supreme Court of the UK, for his “unique and tremendous contribution in the field of administration of justice and for the tireless and fearless endeavours towards administration of justice in Pakistan against all odds.”

Shortly before Justice Chaudhry received the award, two persons barged into the auditorium at the Hotel Court House raising slogans against killings of Shias in Pakistan.”

While outside a large demonstration by Sindhi, Hindu, Christian, Muslim and Human Rights organizations was taking place against forced conversions of Hindu and Christian girls in Pakistan. The protesters were chanting loud slogans against Justice Chaudhry ’s role in handing over the Hindu girls to their Muslim ‘husbands’ whereas their families allege that all three girls were abducted on the orders of the influential custodian of a Muslim shrine Mian Abdul Haq-Member National Assembly for the ruling PPP.

Christian groups pointed out the lack of justice in Pakistani courts for scores of victims languishing in jails under trumped-up charges under Pakistan’s infamous blasphemy laws which carry the punishment of death penalty. The protesters were allowed to speak to the organizers of the event. ….

Read more » Global Christian Voice

http://globalchristianvoice.wordpress.com/2012/05/31/pakistani-christians-hindus-sindhis-and-shias-protest-against-the-chief-justice-of-pakistan-in-london/

How Long Can Sindh ‘n Sindhis Endure?”

By: Ahmed Makhdoom

Bashir Khan Qureshi, the roaring and raging voice of Sindh, the versatile leader of Sindh, the brave and courageous person, the humble and loving human being is no more with us! He fought for Sindh, he agitated for the rights of downtrodden Sindhis, he vociferously, vehemently and valiantly declared Independence and Freedom for Sindh and, sadly, he paid the ultimate price – the martyrdom.

جي تُون وِڙھٞندي تہ مَا رِيو ويندين؍

سَڄي سِـنڌُ تان وارِيو ويندين؍

دودا؍ تُنھِنجو ساھُ ثہ وِيندو؍

پَرَ قومَ جو ويساھُ نہ وِيندو؍

(شيخ اياز)

“Je tuun wirrhandein ta maaryo weindein,

Sacjee Sindhu taan waaryo weindeinn;

Dodaa, tuhinjo saah ta weendo,

Para qoma jo weisaahu na weendo!”

(Shaikh Ayaz)

“Fight, and sure to die on field art thee,

Sacrificed for Sindh, thy life admirable be;

Oh Dodo, breathe thy last will certainly thee,

Never shall diminish Nation’s trust in thee!”

(Shaikh Ayaz: Translated by Ahmed Makhdoom)

How long can the sacred and sentient land of Sindh continue to be desecrated, demeaned and debased? How long can the effervescent and exuberant children of Mother Sindh keep on being poisoned, murdered and butchered? How long can Sindhis keep on tolerating the savagery against their Motherland? How long would the peace-loving Nation of Sindh continue to witness the ethnic cleansing and genocide being perpetrated against them ruthlessly by the demonic forces of evil?

How long Sindhis will continue to turn the other cheek when their language and culture, values and way of life, history and heritage are systematically being punched, punctured and pulverized by the uncivilized marauders, tyrants and terrorists of deep dark forces? How long peace loving Sindhis continue being taken for a ride in the caravan of fraud, deceit and duplicity by the looters, liars and loafers?

Yes, how long might the Sindh and Sindhis continue to endure with patience? How long will Sindhis keep on suffering in acute pain and anguish? Till the Sindhis in Sindh have become extinct? Till the Sindhi language and Sindhi culture of peace, values and way of life, history and heritage has been deleted, destroyed and dumped by the deep dark forces of the security establishemnt?

Continue reading How Long Can Sindh ‘n Sindhis Endure?”

Kidnapped, Forced to Convert to Islam and Married to a Muslim – Sad Story of Rinkle Kumari

A friend on Facebook had status which said (Translated from Sindhi): “Mian Mithoo can harass a helpless, poor girl to say whatever he likes! Let us give this Pir of Bharchundi (alone) to the men of Bal Thackeray and he would convert (to Hinduism) in no time! (sic)”

Sindh has been known for its Sufi culture which has kept pushing the extremism off its borders. It has in it several shrines, religious harmony, coexistence and tolerance, not to mention the centuries-old civilization, Mohen-jo-Darro. Sindhis have always claimed to have secularism and Sufism to be present as if in their gene and, thus, they wouldn’t ever side with religious intolerance and extremism.

Well, this is true to a great extent since we can see that where Pakistan has seen surge in extremism throughout the post-9/11 period, Sindh has remained comparatively more peaceful and, especially, incidents of extremist activities have been equal to none. There definitely was an incidence of burning NATO oil tankers in Shikarpur, Sindh, but the same was condemned by the Sindhi nationalist parties attributing the incidence to the agencies trying to tarnish the soft image of Sindh; in fact, there were massive protests against the blazing up of the oil tankers throughout the land.

Sindh has been home to many religions, all coexisting peacefully. However, there have been certain incidents which would reveal the nature of the ‘rare’.

One such event which took place on the unfortunate day of November 02, 1939, which blotted the humane face of Sindh, was when a saintly Sufi singer and poet of humble and peace-loving nature, Bhagat Kunwar Ram was murdered at Rukk Station, Sukkur (Sindh) in the name of religion – for being a Hindu.

The person booked as the major perpetrator in the murder was Mian Abdur-Rahim of Bharchundi Dargah, a religious center in a small village of the same name. Bhrarchundi Dargah is famous for spreading hatred against the Hindus, and converting them to Islam forcibly for years now.

Thus, to many in Sindh, this news did not come as a surprise, but it did disturb them to come out on roads and protest against the Pirs of Bharchundi — what happened was that Rinkle Kumari, a Hindu teenage girl, was kidnapped on February 24, 2012, forced to convert to Islam and, subsequently, marry a Muslim boy, Naveed Shah (a Punjabi settler). And the person involved is none else than a Pir of Bharchundi Dargah, Mian Abdul Haq (popularly known as Mian Mithoo), the son of Mian Abdur-Rehman, the major perpetrator in the case of Bhagat Kunwar Ram’s murder in the past. Mian Mithoo also happens to be an MNA of the Pakistan People’s Party, the ruling party.

Continue reading Kidnapped, Forced to Convert to Islam and Married to a Muslim – Sad Story of Rinkle Kumari

Army, not a mafia! – Chaudhry Nisar, the leader of the opposition, fiercely criticized the killing of missing citizens in the custody of a spy agency asked Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Kayani to protect the honour and goodwill of the Pakistan Army

Ch. Nisar

Rein in agencies, Nisar asks Gilani, Kayani

ISLAMABAD – Strongly criticising the role of agencies in the missing persons’ case, Leader of Opposition in the National Assembly Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan on Thursday asked Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani and Army chief Gen Ashfaq Kayani to rein-in the intelligence agencies.

Responding to Nisar’s fierce criticism of the killing of four people who were in the custody of a spy agency and his demand of constitution of a court of inquiry by the government, Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani said a committee of the House could be constituted to look into the matter, but he proposed that as the matter was sub-judice, the court’s verdict should be awaited.

Gilani said all state institutions should work under their constitutional ambit and all institutions were answerable to parliament. He said the government would respect the Supreme Court’s order in the missing persons’ case. Speaking on a point of order earlier, Nisar announced that he would go to the Supreme Court on the next hearing of the missing persons’ case to express solidarity with the families whose relatives had been illegally abducted and killed by spy agencies.

He said a secret agency had dumped the tortured corpses of four people who it had abducted upon their acquittal from a court of law. Nisar also asked Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Kayani to protect the honour and goodwill of the Pakistan Army and take notice of such incidents.

“This is a national army, not a mafiaGeneral Kayani must stop such things which tarnish the army’s image,” he said.

PML-N MNAs chanted slogans ofshame, shame” over the killing of missing persons. Nisar added that it was a moral and constitutional obligation of all members of the parliament to raise voice in parliament for missing persons and against the atrocities of secret agencies and to appear in the Supreme Court to express solidarity with the families of the missing persons. “Whenever the government feels threats from agencies, the prime minister wastes no time in pointing out a state within the state, but in this case no government functionary has come forward to speak in favour of common citizens,” he said, asking the prime minister to rein in secret agencies and bring their heads before parliament so that lawmakers could hold them accountable.

Courtesy: Pakistan Today

http://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2012/02/rein-in-agencies-nisar-asks-gilani-kayani/

History & Sindh – Black Mirror – By: Dr Mubarak Ali

Past present: Black mirror

History often helps in analysing the present day issues by reflecting on past events. Generally, this approach is adopted in a society where there is dictatorship, censorship and legal restrictions to express discontent in regard to government policies. The method is effective in creating political consciousness by comparing the present with the consequences of bad governance and disillusionment of the past.

After the independence[?] of Pakistan, the army and the bureaucracy emerged as powerful state institutions. In the absence of a constitution, the two institutions were unaccountable to any authority. Bureaucracy followed in the footsteps of the colonial model, treating people with arrogance and contempt. A strong centre allowed it to rule over the provinces unchecked. The provinces, including the former East Pakistan, greatly suffered because of this.

Sindh chose to raise its voice against the oppressive attitude of the bureaucracy and a strong centre. Despite the grand, national narratives which justified the creation of a new country, Sindh responded by presenting its problems and grievances by citing historical suffering of its people.

During the reign of Shahjahan, Yusuf Mirak, a historian, wrote the book Tarikh-i-Mazhar-i-Shahjahani. The idea was to bring to Shahjahan’s notice the corruption and repressive attitude of the Mughal officials in Sindh. As they were far from the centre, their crimes were neither reported to the emperor nor were they held accountable for their misdeeds.

Mirak minutely described their vices and crimes and how the people [Sindhis] were treated inhumanly by them. He hoped that his endeavours might alleviate the suffering of the people when the emperor took action against errant officials. However, Mirak could not present the book to the emperor but his documentation became a part of history.

When the Persian text of the book was published by Sindhi Adabi Board, its introduction was written by Husamuddin Rashdi who pointed out the cruelty, brutality, arrogance and contempt of the Mughal officials for the common man. Accountable to none, they had fearlessly carried on with their misdeeds.

Today, one can find similarities between those Mughal officials and Pakistani [civil & military] bureaucrats of the present day. In the past Sindh endured the repercussions of maladministration and exploitation in pretty much the same way as the common man today suffers in silence. But one can learn from the past and analyse the present to avoid mistakes.

The history of Sindh shows two types of invaders. The first example is of invaders like the Arabs and the Tarkhans who defeated the local rulers, assumed the status of the ruling classes and treated the local population as inferior. The second type was of invaders like Nadir Shah and Ahmad Shah Abdali who returned home after looting and plundering. The rulers of Sindh defended the country but sometimes compromised with the invaders. Those who defended it were vanquished and discredited by history, and their role was not recognised.

G. M. Syed in his tract Sindh jo Surma made attempt to rehabilitate them. According to him, Raja Dahir who defended Sindh against the Arabs was a hero while Muhammad Bin Qasim was an agent of the Umayyad imperialism who attacked Sindh to expand the empire and to exploit Sindh’s resources.

Decades later, in 1947, a large number of immigrants arrived from across the border and settled in Sindh. This was seen by Sindhi nationalists as an attempt to endanger the purity of the Sindhi culture. In 1960, agricultural land was generously allotted to army officers and bureaucrats. Throughout the evolving circumstances in Sindh, the philosophy of Syed’s book is the protection and preservation of the rights of Sindhis with the same spirit with which the heroes of the past sacrificed their lives for the honour of their country [Sindh].

Continue reading History & Sindh – Black Mirror – By: Dr Mubarak Ali

Terror and Death at Home Are Caught in F.B.I. Tape

Hoping to hear evidence of terrorist activities, the Federal Bureau of Investigation planted listening devices in the tiny apartment of a Palestinian-American more than two years ago. What the F.B.I. taped were the screams of a teen-age girl being stabbed to death.

Now, a jury that heard the tape-recorded voice of the 16-year-old pleading in vain for her life has convicted her parents of murder and recommended that they be put to death.

The jury deliberated more than four hours Saturday before asking for the death penalty against Zein Isa and his wife, Maria. On Friday, the jurors had convicted them in the death of their daughter Tina, the father for stabbing her and the mother for holding her down.

The girl’s screams and moans as she begged her parents not to kill her were captured by devices secretly planted in the apartment by Federal agents who were looking into possible illegal activities by Mr. Isa on behalf of the Palestine Liberation Organization. Cultures and Generations Clash Instead of international intrigue, the tapes captured a sometimes chilling, sometimes heartbreaking family drama involving clashes of cultures — Mr. Isa was born in Palestine and his wife in Brazil — and the parents’ attempts to control their daughter who, it seems, wanted to be an American teen-ager. …

Read more » The New York Times

Baloch blood on our hands : DAILY TIMES EDITORIAL

Finally the Federal Ministry of Human Rights has woken up to the woes of the people of Balochistan and taken notice of the rising number of deaths in the province. The human rights ministry has decided to form a task force that will probe human rights violations in Pakistan’s largest province. A report was earlier compiled by the interior ministry’s Crisis Management Cell (CMC). According to this report, Rs 900 million has been spent by deploying 17 regular units and paramilitary troops to put an end to rising violence in Balochistan. This is astonishing considering that the money is being spent on the same forces that the Baloch people hold responsible for their miseries. A military operation is going on in the province and the ‘kill and dump’ policy being pursued by the military and its intelligence agencies is no secret. Various NGOs and human rights organisations, both local and international, have documented this in their reports. The human rights ministry’s task force needs to take into account how deploying more paramilitary troops is part of the problem, not part of the solution, to the ongoing crisis in Balochistan. Although it is not in the hands of the federal and/or the provincial governments to end the military operation since they do not call the shots when it comes to the military’s policies, it is pertinent for the human rights ministry to act according to its nomenclature by persuading GHQ that its policies in Balochistan are hurting the federation.

Killing innocent Baloch whose only fault is to ask for their basic and just rights is criminal. Thousands of Baloch are missing. Tortured and bullet-riddled bodies of Baloch missing persons are found every other day in the province. Under these circumstances, pursuing a repressive policy is not just the height of injustice but also a threat to the country’s unity. The military made the same mistake in East Pakistan. Instead of learning from past mistakes, our military keeps making new and more senseless mistakes.

The need of the hour is to stop the military operation at once. The Frontier Corps (FC) has terrorised the Baloch for many years now. It is time to stop their brutal activities. Kidnapping, torturing and murdering our own Baloch brethren is not something that can be allowed to take place. Baloch insurgents have taken up arms in frustration. The calls for ‘freedom’ are a result of the FC’s ‘kill and dump’ policy.

Trying to solve the crisis in Balochistan through military means is a disaster waiting to happen. This is the fifth military operation in Balochistan. The last four operations only alienated the Baloch further and this one could well be the last nail in the federation’s coffin. A political solution is the only way out of this quagmire. Talking to the Baloch leadership — those in the mountains and those in exile — can bring peace pack. The democratically elected civilian government may be weak but it should not sweep this issue under the carpet because in the end, the blood of the Baloch will be on the hands of the whole Pakistani nation that silently watched this massacre and did not raise its voice. Let us not bloody our hands any further; let us raise our hands for justice instead.

Courtesy » Daily Times

A massive demonstration of Occupy Toronto and all its supporters will take place Saturday at 2 pm, starting from St. James Park (Jarvis and King)

We are asking everyone to come out and demonstrate Saturday, to bring friends, relatives, workmates, and everyone who cares about democracy and the objectives of the Occupy Movement, which is to oppose the gross wealth being accumulated by the rich and powerful 1% at the expense of the 99% – the rest of the population whose wages and incomes have fallen dramatically, many of whom are unemployed and under-employed, many of whom are poor and very poor, and many more who are youth and whose lives and futures have been dramatically altered by the insatiable greed of the most powerful corporations and the richest people in the world.

Join the rally at the corner of Jarvis and King at 1:30 pm, Saturday, to march & distribute People’s Voice, and our statement in support of the Occupy movement.

Please RSVP to erowley@live.ca to help, or for more info.

Comradely and in Solidarity!

Liz Rowley

SDF condemns attacks on Sindhi daily Kawish

Sindh Democratic forum (SDF) condemns the targeting and harassment of Kawish group of newspapers and Channels, its journalists, employees and distributors. SDF feels that it as infringement of the freedom of the Press and right to free expression and access to correct information.

We have seen that over the last week acts of violence against the daily Kawish have been mounting in the province. Violence against the management and journalists of the beleaguered newspaper is unacceptable and the conspiracy to curb the Press freedom in Pakistan will be fought by the civil society.

SDF further resolved that press is the mirror of society and Sindhi press, as an integral part of Sindhi civil society have contributed a lot to protect the rights of the people and land and exposed the enemies of the people of Sindh. In this regard Kawish group has played an unprecedented role in highlighting Sindh’s case at all levels and SDF terms this attack on the group as an attack on the vibrant and dynamic voice of Sindhi society.

They have also highlighted the issues of all downtrodden, vulnerable and marginalized people of the other federating units of Pakistan and the region and even the whole world.

SDF has seen that from the ban on government advertisement to the level of burning of newspaper bundles are parts of systematic attacks to stop the voice of marginalized and vulnerable people of the province. SDF demands that PPP regime whose entire state machinery was otherwise active in violating the human rights of Sindhi people should at least take tangible and visible steps to protect Press freedom by providing security to Kawish against attacks from hooligans.

Steve Jobs

” Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” – (Steve Jobs)

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

PIF hails US Congressmen for approving funds for Sindhi language programming

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Courtesy: → Associated Press Of Pakistan

London Demonstration against Killings of Sindh’s patriot leaders

London – (Press release) : “World Sindhi Congress (WSC), Baloch Human Rights Council (BHRC) UK and International Voice for Missing Baloch Persons (IVFMBP) have announced a joint protest rally against the abductions and killings of Sindhi and Baloch people.

Heinous crimes by agencies on Sindhi and Baloch people are widespread and increasing day by day. Recently, on 21st April Sirai Qurban Khuhwar, and Roplo Choliani, prominent workers of Jeay Sindh were first wounded in firing by agencies on their car and then their bodies were set on fire by pouring petrol on them. In last four months alone more than one hundred mutilated bodies of Baloch political leaders and activists have been thrown. WSC requests human rights activists and peace loving people to join in the protest rally to raise their voice against killings, abductions and torture and show solidarity with the genuine cause of Sindhi and Baloch people. The rally will be held in front of 10 Downing Street on 1st May 2011 from 2 – 4pm. At the end of the rally a memorandum will be presented to British Prime Minster Rt. Hon. David Cameron to request him to press upon government to stop these gross violations of human rights against the people of Sindh and Balochistan people.

Sindhi Sangat Seminar – if we all come together, we can make miracles happen!!

Sindhi Sangat Seminar In Mumbai on 30th April

Mumbai: Calling all dedicated Sindhis … All those who want to do something to save their identity… Here is the right opportunity for you… We invest our time & money in so many things – do we treat this important?

We like Hindi and English dramas, dances, music and movies – have we realized such milestones are achieved by Sindhis also in our language but only a handful know about this. Do we realize that our culture is dying out to great extent? Do we know the people behind our rich Sindhi heritage and culture?

A platform to VOICE YOUR ideas Sindhi Sangat invites all young and ‘not so young’ individuals to come and discuss their ideas. Sindhis are dynamic and practical… If we all come together, we can make miracles happen!!

This is a get together of like minded, proud Sindhis will be held in Mumbai on 30th April 2011 at 5 pm. Entry by Invitation Only. You will be informed about more details of the event via email / sms / phone.

A meaningful contribution is what we are looking for from every individual who is a true Sindhi at heart! Contribution is not in monetary terms.

Courtesy: Sindhi e-lists/ e-groups, April 22, 2011

Debate on HEC Devolution

by Dr Azhar A. Shah

In the context of present debate on the devolution of HEC when we present some facts and figures to support our arguments in favor of devolution; most of the opponents of the devolution have come up to negate these facts not by counter arguments and supporting evidence but by labeling it as a campaign for regionalism and provincialism. They issue directives to us to be Pakistani and stop this debate! To them, being Pakistani means surrendering the right to present our point of view on a matter which is directly related to the very field that we are an important stakeholders of!.

I think it is this attitude of opposing any argument/voice in favor of limited regional autonomy (decentralization, devolution, delegation, provinces’ rights ), which is guaranteed by the constitution of our country, that would further enhances the gaps between provinces and regions. We must learn to respect each other by considering all of us as equal citizens, as equal Pakistanis and providing every one a chance to participate in the debate with equal dignity without questioning her/his level of Pakistaniat! It seems a very mean thing to remind a person of his nationality (Pakistaniat) while she/he is debating a point in terms of academic discourse! Every one understands that not all the participants in the debate could be right. We could be wrong! But it doesn’t imply that we don’t think as Pakistanis!.

If I am showcasing the weaknesses, the faults, the troubles, the unfairness, the inequality of our system of our organizations, it is meant to be noted for correction, it is meant to be noted for improvement, it is meant to be noted for progress. We should get rid of that old feudo-military mindset that represses the ideas, that represses the creativity, and that considers every opponent ideas as enemy number one.

That said, I would present an example of how regional voice and concerns are being encouraged, supported and responded by the civilized societies of the world . Please respect the ancient civilization of our ingeniousness ancestors and refrain from further turning of our present society into militant society!

Courtesy: Sindhi e-lists/ e-groups, April 14, 2011

Would GEO and Express TV disclose how much money they get from Americans?

By Farrukh Siddiqui
Editor, State of Pakistan blog
One of the objectives of Kerry-Lugar aid bill for aid to Pakistan is to “support for promotion of a responsible, capable,and independent media.”
According to this RT TV broadcast of March 10, 2010, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2UQCki_nC9c ,  the US government planned to spend $50 million on this objective. According to another report  dated Feb. 27, 2010 by the examiner , “the Obama administration plans to spend nearly $50 million on Pakistani media this year to reverse anti-American sentiments and raise awareness of projects aimed at improving quality of life, confirms a Washington insider. “
The history of collaboration between the agencies of the US government and some “ independent “ Pakistani media organizations is old. But more recently it was GEO TV that went public with jointly produced programs with Voice of America.
The following press release  dated Nov. 13, 2005 ( http://islamabad.usembassy.gov/pakistan/h05111301.html) of the US Embassy in Islmamabad is self-explanatory:
VOA Launches Urdu TV For Pakistan

11/13/2005 Washington, D.C. – The Voice of America (VOA) will launch Beyond the Headlines-its new television program in Urdu-on Monday, Nov. 14. The half-hour program will air on GEO TV in Pakistan at 7:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and on selected international satellites, including AsiaSat (Virtual Channel 409) and IOR (Virtual Channel 420). …..

Read more : http://www.yousufnazar.com/?p=1219

Ae Ishq hamein Barbaad Na kar (Nayyara Noor)

Wo sunta to main kehta, mujhe kuch aur kehna tha, wo pal bhar ko jo ruk jata, mujhe kuch aur kehna tha. kamai zindagi bhar ki, usi k naam to kar di, mujhe kuch aur karna tha, mujhe kuch aur kehna tha. kahan us ne suni meri, suni b un-suni kar di, usay maloom tha itna, mujhe kuch aur kehna tha. meray dil main jo dar aya, koi mujh main b dar aya, waheen ik rabta toota, mujhe kuch aur kehna tha. rawan tha piyar NUS NUS main, bohat qurbat thi apis main, usay kuch aur sun-ana tha, mujhe kuch aur kehna tha. ghalat fehmi ne baton ko barha dala younhi warna, kaha kuch tha,wo kuch samjha, mujhe kuch aur kehna tha.

You Tube

Stop Extrajudicial Killings and Enforced Disappearances in Balochistan

To: UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and US Ambassador to Pakistan Cameron Munter

Started by: crisis balochistan

crisisbalochistan.com in cooperation with Baloch human rights groups, International Voice for Baloch Missing Persons and Baloch Human Rights Council

Photo: Qambar Chakar Baloch, extrajudically killed January 5, 2011

TO: US Ambassador to Pakistan Cameron Munter, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and others*

WE THE UNDERSIGNED wish to bring to the attention of the World Community the continuing plight of Baloch Citizens living within Pakistan. …

To sign the petition, click here

Religion has made Pakistan a schizophrenic society: Ayaz Amir

In a time when obscurantists and terrorists have tried to silence our voices and strike off the heads of those who dared oppose them, Taseer spoke without fear, condemning the blasphemy law and those who stood in its defence, despite the very real threat of violent retribution.

Source Link – You Tube

The birth of the Taliban!

by Shiraz Paracha

I was a journalist in Pakistan between 1986 and 1998. Also, in the 1990s, I hosted and managed a talk show, ‘Awami Forum’ that was produced at PTV Peshawar studios. Once I invited Hamid Mir on our show, it was probably his first appearance on such a TV program. He was not very confident and said something that surprised the other guests on the Show….

To read full article, click here or following link;

Courtesy: http://criticalppp.org/lubp/archives/12347