Tag Archives: Washigton

Waking up to the war in Balochistan – BBC

Attitudes are hardening in Pakistan’s restive Balochistan province against the government, but the state is now belatedly reaching out to the Baloch separatists. Writer Ahmed Rashid considers whether after years of civil war, talks could end the bloodshed.

It took an obscure United States congressman holding a controversial hearing in Washington on the civil war in Balochistan to awaken the conscience of the Pakistani government, military and public.

For years the civil war in Balochistan has either been forgotten by most Pakistanis or depicted as the forces of law and order battling Baloch tribesmen, who are described as “Indian agents”.

Just a few weeks ago, Interior Minister Rehman Malik even hinted that Israel and the US were supporting the Baloch separatists, while the army had totally ”Indianised” the Baloch problem.

On 23 February, Mr Malik did an about-face, saying that the government was withdrawing all cases against Baloch leaders living in exile and asking them to return home for talks. ”I will receive them in person,” he told journalists.

Don’t expect Baloch leaders to turn the other cheek at Mr Malik’s sudden shift – the Baloch have seen too many such U-turns before.

Brahamdagh Bugti, head of the separatist Baloch Republican Party and living in exile in Geneva, remains sceptical.

His grandfather Sardar Akbar Bugti, the head of the Bugti tribe, was killed in 2006 on the orders of former President Pervez Musharraf in a massive aerial bombardment, while his sister Zamur Domki and her 12-year old daughter were gunned down in Karachi in broad daylight just in late January – allegedly by government agents.

He told journalists last week: ”I have seen this all before… I am not an optimist.” Nevertheless, for the first time in years his face appeared on every Pakistani TV channel as he and other Baloch leaders gave interviews.

Broken promises

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‘China ready to go to war to safeguard national interests’

Beijing: Terming US attempts to woo India and other neighbours of China as “unbearable”, an article in a Communist party magazine has said that Beijing must send a “clear signal” to these countries that it is ready to go to war to safeguard its national interests.

The article published in the Qiushi Journal, the official publication of the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC) said China must adhere to a basic strategic principle of not initiating war but being ready to counterattack.

“We must send a clear signal to our neighbouring countries that we don’t fear war, and we are prepared at any time to go to war to safeguard our national interests,” the article said, suggesting an aggressive strategy to counter emerging US alliances in the region.

“Throughout the history of the new China (since 1949), peace in China has never been gained by giving in, only through war. Safeguarding national interests is never achieved by mere negotiations, but by war,” it said.

The piece said countries like Japan, India, Vietnam, Australia, the Philippines, Indonesia, and Korea are trying to join the anti-China group because they either had a war or a conflict of interest with China. …

Read more : ZeeNews

Sindhi Gathering in Washington

By Khalid Hashmani

A Sindhi Sham with focus on Sindhi Rights was graciously hosted by Mrs. Nasreen and Mr. Iqbal Tareen at their residence on Sunday, January 9, 2011. The main purpose of the get-together was to meet a visiting young Sindhi leader Mr. Nizam Nizamani and exchange views on Sindhi affairs. However, the discussion soon turned into taking a candid look at the state of Sindhi Rights and potential solutions for resolving issues faced by Sindhis. The discussion group included Mr. Sohail Ansari, Mrs. Ayesha Babar, Mr. Aleem Brohi, Mr. Khalid Hashmani, Mr. Nizam Nizamani, Mr. Zahid Makhdoom, Mr. Ali Nawaz Memon, Mrs. Nazli Siddiki, Mr. Shafique Siddiki, Mrs. Nasreen Tareen and Mr. Iqbal Tareen. The session lasted several hours and resulted in some tangible recommendations – mainly that all Sindhi groups and political parties should formulate a minimum tangible agenda on which every one is in agreement and diligently work together until those goals are achieved. A synopsis of the meeting, organized by the main topics discussed at the meeting is shared below with the hope that Sindhis all over the world will have similar sessions in the cities, towns, and villages where they live so that a unified campaign can emerge to further the cause of Sindhi Rights. …

Strengths and Weaknesses of Sindhis

Some of the participants were of the views that Sindhis are a much stronger and organized nation than perceived by some. They gave the example of total shut-down of Sindh for several days after the assassination of Benazir Bhutto as an evidence that Sindhis are much stronger and willing to show force. Another example provided was that Sindhi political parties were able to organize large gatherings attended by hundreds of thousands of people in Karachi, Sindh was a sign of emerging organization and strength of Sindhis. The fact that there were six (6) Sindhi television channels, several FM radio stations broadcasting in Sindhi, and scores of Sindhi newspapers and magazines demonstrates clearly that Sindhis are successfully protecting and advancing their culture and heritage.

The counter point of view was that the Sindhis were not organized and had neither leadership nor direction. The strong reaction of Sindhis after the state murder of Benazir Bhutto was rather an exception prompted by emotions, and not an evidence that the reaction was well-calculated, well-articulated. … They gave an example that in spite of hundreds of thousands of Sindhis living in the core central areas of Karachi, Sindhis do not have a single Sindhi-medium school. … Another example they gave was that many leaders of key political parties live in Qasimabad area of Hyderabad and yet the area has no civic services. There is no sanitation system. All garbage is simply piled up in front of houses on the main streets of Qasimabad. How are these leaders going to help us to achieve Sindhi Rights when they cannot even organize people of one small area to create a rudimentary system that keeps streets of Qasimabad clean and safe?

Courtesy: Sindhi e-lists/ e-groups, January 15, 2011.

Public Enemy No. 1 : Pakistan’s homegrown extremists displace Americans

By Arnaud de Borchgrave

Courtesy: Washington Post

Pakistan is still producing an estimated 10,000 potential jihadis a year out of 500,000 graduates from Pakistan’s 11,000 madrassas – young gung-ho boys, mostly 16-year-olds, who finish 10 years of Koranic cramming and can then recite the holy book by heart in Arabic. That means 114 suras (chapters), 6,247 ayats (verses) or 78,000 words. A true-green jihadi believes the enemies of Islam (principally the United States, India and Israel) are on a crusade to push back the frontiers of Islam and deprive the Muslim world of its principal means of defense – Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal.

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WSI International Seminar in Washington DC – Sindhi Rights and US-Pakistan Partnership Law

khalidhashmani
by: Khalid Hashmani

Washington DC – The World Sindhi Institute (WSI) (www.worldsindhi.org) organized an International Seminar in Washington DC on November 13, 2009. The topic of the seminar was “US-Pakistan Relations in the Back-Drop Of Kerry-Lugar Bill” and held at the Middle East Institute. The panelists included Ambassador Wendy Chamberlin, Dr. Stephen P. Cohen Cohen, and Zahid Makhdoom. The session was moderated by Mr. Sohail Ansari, General Secretary of WSI. Several prominent Americans and Canadians of Sindhi, Baloch, and Pathan origin attended this highly interactive and candid session.

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