Saturday, March 16, 2013
RACHEEL RAZAGENEVA, Switzerland — Here at the 22nd session of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC), the two most talked-about countries are Iran and Pakistan. My particular interest is in Pakistan, the troubled country of my birth. If there was ever any question about problems there, a side-session on human rights violations in Pakistan just about covered everything. This was sponsored by two non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that have “observer status” at the UN. The panel of experts was convened because for decades there has been lack of co-operation by the Pakistan government about the breadth and scope of its human rights violations to the extent that Pakistan has contravened almost every resolution that it has signed on human rights. The chair of the panel recommended an independent inquiry and urged NGOs to pressure the Pakistani government to acknowledge their problems. He mentioned that at the October 2012 session at the UN, Pakistan rejected the suggestion that there were executions taking place in Baluchistan. The panel presented reports starting with Imam Al-Salman from Bahrain, who highlighted the persecution of shias in Pakistan. He said, “Unless the international community takes a strong stance and supports human rights in Pakistan, there will be no change. Change is linked not only to the government but to civil society — Pakistani masses need to be educated about how to treat minorities.” SYSTEMATICALLY TARGETED Dr. Rubina Greenwood from the world Sindhi Congress presented a report on the terrible plight of indigenous Sindhi Hindus in Pakistan, who have been systematically targeted because they are lower class; their women raped, abducted and forced to convert. Police, judiciary and government are part of the problem that is growing by the day, forcing thousands to leave their homes and take refuge in India. A Baluchi spoke about ongoing atrocities against his people, saying that these are state-sponsored because the state is based on an ideology of religious fundamentalism that is also taught in schools. Dr. Iftikhar Ayaz presented the case for the Ahmadiyyas who have been treated as sub-humans in Pakistan. It was horrifying to hear that they can’t even practise Islam as their faith and are not allowed to vote unless they revoke their allegiance to their leader. A speaker from the floor mentioned how specific items like acid burnings of women had been brought up at the last Universal Periodic Review and Pakistan agreed to implement laws to prevent such crimes. Later it was found that the law was only good in one province! WESTERN IMPORTS A Pakistani in the audience responded by saying that the extremists are imported by the U.S.A. and the West. He said Pakistan is going through a difficult stage, that you can’t blame the state for non-state actors and that the terrorism against Baluchis and other minorities is not the responsibility of the state. A positive aspect of this panel is that they identified the problems and now are looking at the international community and the UNHRC to ensure that Pakistan stops contravening international law and revises the legal system to protect women and minorities, while also abrogating the dreaded Blasphemy and Apostasy laws.
A very grateful nation is observing today(3/17/13) the ninety-third birth anniversary of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the Father of the Nation. One can only recall with a sense of great loss that his life, dedicated so comprehensively to the well-being of the people and the country, was cut short prematurely and most tragically in a hail of bullets in August 15, 1975 when he was only 55. Bangabandhu was born in a remote village at Tungipra in the former greater Faridpur district on March 17, 1920 . But early in his life he broke out of his rural confines to establish himself first as a student leader of the Muslim League in the 1940s .But although he distinguished himself as a leader in the movement for Pakistan, his disillusionment with the concept of Pakistan was almost an immediate development soon after the establishment of that state. He dissociated from the Muslim League and was an important figure in the Awami Muslim League which he helped to create. He was disenchanted due to the undeserved overlordship exercised over his people by the then West Pakistan based ruling elite. The Language Movement in 1952 only added to his passion to break the fetters of his people especially in the cultural sense at that time. Bangabandhu was a front-ranking figure in the Awami League before the 1954 provincial elections; by that time the party had changed its name to be called the Awami League. Although his political mentors in the Awami League at that time were not seen as completely divorced from the aims and ideals of a united Pakistan, Bangabhandhu and a group close to him in the party were seen more transparently adopting Bengali nationalism ardently as their true philosophy marking their difference from the older leadership. This was clearly manifested later when Bangabhandhu took charge of the Awami League completely and unfurled his six-point movement for the full autonomy of East Pakistan. Then came the general elections of 1970 when Bangabandhu’s Awami League won nearly all the seats in then East Pakistan. But the then Pakistani military junta, headed by Yahya Khan, decided to ignore the reality and unleashed barbaric brutality to suppress the movement in East Pakistan for freedom on March 25, 1971. But prior to this Bangabandhu had veritably gone through the motions of declaring Bangladesh’s independence in an epic address to his people at Dhaka’s then Race Course ground on March 7. Today Bangladesh is paying homage to a titanic figure who is perceived by the people as the “greatest Bengali of all times.”
Los Angeles TimesThe gang rape of a 39-year-old Swiss tourist while on a camping trip with her husband has further ratcheted up the spotlight on sexual violence in India. The woman, who had been cycling with her husband in impoverished Madhya Pradesh state in central India, was attacked by at least seven men while the couple were camping for the night, police said Saturday. The assailants also robbed the couple of $180 and a cellphone. The attack comes at a sensitive time for India. Not only does it involve a foreign visitor at a time of economic difficulty as the nation tries to expand its tourism trade. It also follows on the heels of a high-profile rape case in New Delhi involving a 23-year-old physiotherapy student who died after being sexually assaulted in mid-December on a bus. One of the five men charged in the December attack hanged himself in his jail cell Monday. A sixth accused in the case will be tried in juvenile court. The brutality of that case has sparked soul-searching, fear, outrage over politicians and apathetic police, India's creaky legal system and a social system that frequently treats women as second-class citizens. A United Nations report released last week ranks India 132 among 187 nations in gender equality, behind rival and neighbor Pakistan. "We are deeply shocked by this tragic incident suffered by a Swiss citizen and her partner in India," the Swiss Foreign Ministry in Bern said in a statement. The ministry said it hoped the attackers would be "swiftly identified and would appear before a court to answer for their actions." The couple were on their way to Agra to see the Taj Mahal when they stopped Friday night to set up a tent in a forested area, local news reports said. The trip reportedly involved cycling from Mumbai to New Delhi on a three-month tourist visa. The attackers, who wielded sticks, also tied up and beat the woman's husband. The woman was admitted to a hospital for medical tests, authorities said, and has since been released. Police inspector R.K.S. Gurjar said that no arrests had been made but 25 to 30 men had been detained for interrogation. According to statistics compiled by the National Crime Records Bureau, a woman is raped every 22 minutes in India, although charity groups say most incidents go unreported given police insensitivity and fears of being stigmatized in the sexually conservative nation. In 1990, India's reported conviction rate in rape cases was 41%. That declined to 30% by 2000, even as the number of rape cases increased more than eight-fold between 1971 and 2011.
Women are "the slaves of this age," according to an Egyptian politician who took a stand against the country's Muslim Brotherhood to back a UN declaration on violence against women. Mervat Tallawy, who headed the Egyptian delegation at a United Nations conference that ended late Friday, said that despite the hard-fought declaration, secured after two weeks of tense negotiations, more help must be given to women in the Middle East. Tallawy stunned many at the UN Commission on the Status of Women -- marked by blocking tactics by conservative Muslim and Roman Catholic states -- by backing the document that set global standards to combat violence against women. Despite growing human rights, wealth and other progress, Tallawy told reporters after the landmark accord was approved that there is still too much discrimination. "Women are the slaves of this age. This is unacceptable and particularly in our region," Tallawy said. Tallawy, a diplomat turned politician and head of Egypt's National Women's Council, said "international solidarity is needed for women's empowerment and preventing this regressive mood whether in the developing countries or developed, in the Middle East in particular." The Muslim Brotherhood, from which President Mohamed Morsi hails, said this week that the proposed UN document "undermines Islamic ethics" and "would lead to the complete disintegration of society." Tallawy said there is "a global wave of conservatism, of repression against women. And this paper is a message that if we can get together, hold power together, we can be a strong wave against this conservatism." When asked about the Muslim Brotherhood's opposition, the official said she had already challenged Morsi in his office about Egypt's constitution. "I believe in women's cause. I don't take money from the government, I work voluntarily. If they want to kick me out they can, but I will not change my belief in women." The UN declaration broke new ground by stating that violence against women could not be justified by "any custom, tradition or religious consideration." This had infuriated Iran and other conservative Muslim states. But Western nations had to tone down their demands for references to gay rights and sexual health rights to secure the accord after two weeks of tense negotiations. The United States and others said there should have been an acknowledgement that lesbian women also deserve equal rights. "I was really afraid that we would not have an agreement," Norway's Gender Equality Minister Inga Marte Thorkildsen told AFP. Scandinavian nations took a tough stance at the conference calling for an aggressive document. "I am very happy that it was possible to isolate some of the most reactionary groups, including the Vatican and Iran." Thorkildsen was upset however that gender identity and sexual orientation was not included in the declaration. "That was impossible and I think that it is sad that so many countries don't want to protect their own inhabitants from violence just because they have a different sexual orientation or gender identity. I find that unacceptable." The minister said her concern now would be how countries apply the statement. The United Nations has called for concrete action to apply the commitments. "It will vary to what extent the different countries will implement the different parts and that is worrying," said Thorkildsen. The minister said there also had to be action to prevent a weakening of women's rights already achieved and highlighted "backlashes after the Arab Spring" to back comments made by Tallawy. "There are too many forces who don't accept that women have the exact same rights as men. We have to fight in the future," said Thorkildsen.
BY: Lal KhanAlthough the Islamic parties have been politically weak with a limited social base, their hold on society is aided by their links to the different institutions of the state The burning down of 178 houses on the night of March 8 and 9 in Joseph Colony, a Christian neighbourhood near Badami Bagh in the heart of Lahore is yet another fanatical incident that reflects the malaise afflicting Pakistani society. A vigilante mob carried out this act of savagery on the pretext of allegedly blasphemous remarks made by a Christian youth in a drunken fracas with a Muslim friend. Attacks on Christians and other religious minorities have become a regular feature in today’s Pakistan. The blasphemy and other draconian laws imposed by the vicious Zia dictatorship are not only used to settle personal scores but in most cases they are used for extortion of property and money. The Lahore arson attack is hardly any different if one goes by media reports. Behind the attack on Joseph Colony, as per media reports, are land-grabbing mafias. Religion has become a major enterprise and one of the most profitable businesses. Mosques, madrassas and other religious institutions such as shrines, have mushroomed in the last three decades. Many phony business deals are struck on spaces allotted to mosque and madrassa networks. The cost of building and running these networks is estimated in billions of rupees across the country. There is, in fact, cutthroat competition between various religious sects to control mosques. This is one explanation for the burgeoning of sectarian formations. As conflicts over control of religio-businesses enterprises become acute, there emerge more splits and sects. Every new sect offers an even more draconian interpretation of religion, fomenting further antagonism and hatred. Here is a typical pattern: a mosque, a madrassa or a shrine spring up almost overnight over a prime property location. Next, shops are built on the adjoining areas and are rented out at exorbitant prices. Religious inviolability masks the real sources of the funds used to build these institutions and cover their running costs. There is no auditing or accountability whatsoever. Apart from drug cartels and other dubious sources, religious enterprises also draw petro-dollars. In the 1960s and the 1970s, the US imperialism sponsored, funded and nurtured Islamic fundamentalism through the CIA to crush the left and the workers’ movement that challenged capitalism and imperialist interests. Some religious sects are still being sponsored by western imperialism. But the major patrons now are Iran and Saudi Arabia. Not only the state agencies but also rich individuals from these countries invest in these sectarian outfits for their own vested interests. US imperialism launched the dollar jihad through these fundamentalists in Afghanistan against the left-wing government of the People’s Democratic Party of Afghanistan in the late 1970s. These terrorists were trained and funded by the CIA through the Pakistani and Saudi intelligence agencies. The brutal dictatorship of General Ziaul Haq was supported by US imperialism. This despotic regime not only instigated the reactionary insurgency in Afghanistan but also used brute force in the name of religion to impose its tyrannical rule. The Islamisation Zia enforced in the state and society affected large layers of the petit bourgeois. The bureaucratic caste in the state, especially in the middle layers, was indoctrinated with this venomous reaction. This mindset still prevails in sections of the judiciary, police, administration and army. The decisions of the judiciary, actions of the police and the handling of such cases by the administration are biased and show clear religious prejudices against religious minorities and different sects of Islam. Although the Islamic parties have been politically weak with a limited social base, their hold on society is aided by their links to the different institutions of the state. These state agencies in exchange use these bigots to perpetuate violence and bloodshed both externally and domestically to further their own agendas. With the intensification of the crisis of the socio-economic system there is a rapid escalation of a bloody mayhem and chaos in society. The reactionary mullahs of the various Islamic sects spew out venomous hatred from their pulpits. The shrill of the loudspeakers from these mosques makes life an agony for the sick and those who need to concentrate on their studies. They whip up their support by inciting hatred on a sectarian and religious basis. The religious minorities who are generally from the oppressed classes are easy targets for these bigots. In several instances small businessmen and property dealers use these mullahs to issue fatwas and accuse those whom they want to extort. This process is going on at all levels of society. With the intensification of the economic crisis and vast misery that is worsening with the passage of time there is widespread frustration amongst the masses. The primitive layers of society become fodder for the Islamic fanaticism. They become part of the mobs that carry out these pogroms against the Christians and other oppressed religious minorities, while the liberal and secular intelligentsia and politicians call for tolerance and secularism in society that is suffering and in decay. In a country that was created in the name of religion to talk about a secular state and society is a contradiction in itself. But the real issue is that the Pakistani ruling class has failed to carry out the tasks of the bourgeois, or the national democratic revolution including the task of separating religion from the state. Due to their historical belatedness and economic submission to imperialism they have failed to develop a modern industrialised society. As the crisis worsens, and there are growing challenges from the working classes to the reactionary elite and its state, this bourgeoisie and their state uses religion and Islamic fundamentalists to undermine the class struggle. These Islamic terrorists in return use this position to accumulate wealth and become part of the elite themselves. Like fascism, fundamentalist terror is the distilled essence of a rotting capitalism. It is a vicious cycle that has made the lives of the masses miserable and agonising. The rising pogroms and Islamic obscurantism poses the stark and harrowing threat of barbarism, especially with a temporary lull in the class struggle and the inertia of the mass movement. It is not only a danger to the minorities but the existence of civilisation itself. This menace of religious neo-fascism is intrinsically linked and enmeshed with the prevalent system in its terminal decay. The so-called secular liberals and nationalist bourgeoisie are economically, socially, technologically and financially so much debilitated and rotten that they cannot fight or eradicate this black reaction. Without the revolutionary overthrow of the system this tumor that breeds upon the society cannot be salvaged. The writer is the editor of Asian Marxist Review and International Secretary of Pakistan Trade Union Defence Campaign.
http://ahmadiyyatimes.blogspot.comIndian Government ruled out granting refugee status to Pakistani Hindu immigrants who have crossed over to India to escape persecution there. "At the moment, we cannot grant them refugee status," Minister of State for Home Mullappally Ramachandran said replying to a discussion on a private members' resolution in the Lok Sabha. He, however, said no Pakistani national, whose application for long-term visa was under consideration of government, would be deported to Pakistan. The Minister also listed a number of steps taken by the government since 1955 to address matters related to persons displaced from Pakistan. The resolution on 'Formulation of an Action Plan to Rehabilitate Persons Displaced from Pakistan', moved by Arjun Ram Meghwal (BJP), was negatived after being put to voice vote. As per convention, a member withdraws the resolution after the reply by the Minister. Meghwal insisted that his conscience did not permit him to follow the convention as he was not satisfied with the Minister's reply. Meghwal said the government had not given any assurance on issues raised by him including conducting a survey of Pakistani nationals residing in Rajasthan, Gujarat and Indore and alleged ill-treatment of minorities in Pakistan, including Hindu, Christian, Ahmadiyya Muslim and Parsi communities. He also wanted the government to take care of Pakistani Hindus, numbering more than 17,000, who have taken refuge at private-run transit camps in Jodhpur.
By ROD NORDLAND The continued presence of American Special Operations troops in Wardak Province, against the wishes of the Afghan government, brought demonstrators to the capital on Saturday and provoked a strongly worded denunciation from Muslim clerics. President Hamid Karzai had given the Americans until March 10 to remove all Special Operations troops from the province, after complaints about night raids in which victims disappeared. American forces are still there, and the top American commander, Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr., said that despite the public demands by President Karzai, “he has not issued a directive to the force, and he realizes that we’re working this as quickly as we can.” He was referring to a long-term plan to hand over authority to Afghan officials. American officials have confirmed that no withdrawal of the Special Operations troops is now under way. On Saturday, the influential Ulema Council, whose members are appointed by President Karzai and represent all of the country’s Islamic clerics, issued a threatening statement demanding the withdrawal from Wardak as well as a transfer of the American-controlled prison at Bagram to Afghan control. “If the Americans once again do not honor their commitments and keep on disobeying, then this will be considered as an occupation, and they may expect to see a reaction to their action,” the statement said. It referred to American forces in Afghanistan as “infidels,” echoing language used by the Taliban. Also on Saturday, 300 demonstrators from Wardak Province staged a noisy but peaceful demonstration calling for Mr. Karzai’s order to be obeyed. Some were apparently relatives of people who disappeared in raids by Afghans who work alongside the Americans in Wardak, and they carried photographs of nine people who had disappeared after one of the night operations. “We want our missing men, dead or alive,” one young man screamed over a megaphone. A joint investigation by the Afghan government and the American-led coalition was begun to determine the fate of those nine, but has offered no evidence yet about what happened. Wardak Province is the western gateway to Kabul, but insurgents hold sway in many remote areas. There is little presence of regular American military units, so Special Operations troops, with Afghan special forces units, carry out the bulk of counterinsurgency efforts there. Western officials have said the insurgents in the area where the disputed episodes took place were fighters with Hizb-i-Islami. The group long ago splintered into two factions, one of militant insurgents fighting the government, and the other a political party that supports it. The governor of Wardak Province, Abdul Majid Khogyani, who has lobbied intensively with President Karzai to win the pullout of American Special Operations forces from Wardak, is said to be close to that party. “This is all about Afghan politics, and Hizb-i-Islami trying to get the pressure off,” said one Western official, speaking on the condition of anonymity. Asked by reporters on March 10, the day Mr. Karzai had set for all Special Operations forces to leave Wardak, if that was going to happen, General Dunford said only, “There are plans to develop a long-term security plan in conjunction with Afghan security forces to transition Wardak in a responsible, deliberate way.” General Dunford said on March 10 that after Mr. Karzai had issued his demand, he had met with him, “I told him I will work very closely with your security forces to develop a transition plan for Wardak Province.” Early the next day, on Monday, an Afghan police officer opened fire on American Special Operations troops and Afghan forces in Wardak, killing two Americans. Then on Wednesday, citing disputes with the Afghans over Wardak, Bagram prison and recent “inflammatory” comments from Mr. Karzai, General Dunford issued an unusual advisory to top commanders warning them to be on alert for reaction that might be provoked by the comments. Mr. Karzai has not made any further remarks on the subject, although he held an “Open Jirga” with elders in which he touched on both the Wardak and Bagram issues on Thursday. A full transcript was not available, but in excerpts issued by his press office, Mr. Karzai was quoted in a relatively conciliatory vein: “The president called relations between Afghanistan and America complicated and said that the recent problems in relations, such as lack of clarity in the fight against terrorism, complete transfer of Bagram prison to Afghan sovereignty, continuation of civilian casualties and lack of respect to national sovereignty of Afghanistan have caused problems between the two countries.” But Mr. Karzai, according to his press office, also praised the role of the United States in Afghanistan. “He called America a friend and a strategic ally,” the statement said. The Ulema Council then issued its broadside on Saturday, saying, among other things, “As the Koran says: Almighty Allah has never paved the road for infidels to rule and govern Muslims.” Mr. Karzai’s press office issued a statement saying that the Afghan president spoke Saturday with the United States Secretary of Defense, Chuck Hagel, who asked Mr. Karzai for another week to complete the handover of Bagram Prison to the Afghans. George Little, the Pentagon spokesman, described the conversation this way, “They agreed to use the next week to conduct intensive work with a view to concluding an agreement that fully recognizes Afghan sovereignty and our mutual interests in security of the Afghan people and our respective forces.”
http://www.mashaalradio.orgزه شاعر یا لیکوال نه یم چې د غني خان د فکر او فن په اړه د نړۍ د سترو پوهانو حوالې ولیکم او په تاسو د هغه د فني عظمت او شخصیت د ښکلاګانو ننداره وکړم. دا نه زما کار دی او نه زما د وس خبره ده. زه د غني خان میئن یم او د یو میئن په حیث د هغه سره د خپلې مینې د څرګندونې جراءت کول غواړم. د غني خان سره لیدل او د هغه خبرې اوریدل زما خوب وو. هغه ما په ټي وي لیدلی وو، او هغه ما د هغه دور د انقلابي ځوانانو په سندرو کې محسوس کړی وو، زما کاکا جي فضل غني غني د فلسفي غني خان معتقد او نیزدې دوست وو او چې کله به هم له ملګرو سره ناست وو ، د غني خان د ژوند خوندورې کیسې به یې کولې چې ټولو به ترې ډیر خوند اخیسته. کاکا جي به د غني خان د ذهانت او خپلې خاورې سره د مینې کیسې کولې او ویل به یې غني خان د پښتو ادب د شلمۍ پیړۍ شخصیت دی ، ځکه چې غني خان په وړومبي ځل د پښتنو په ټولنیز ژوند د وهمونو د راخور څادر د شلولو هڅه کړې او پښتنو ته یې د ژوند د بیلابیلو رنګونو د ښودلو سره سره هغوی ته د مهذبې نړۍ سره د تګ چل هم ښودلی دی. هم په دغه نوم په غني خان د کاکا جي مقاله وروستو خپره شوه او د غني خان مینه والو خوښه کړه. دا د ۱۹۹۰ م کال کیسه ده، زه د اووم یا اتم جماعت طالب علم وم. د خپلې مور سره هشنغر ته د ماماګانو کور ته تللی وم، زما د نیکه مور په حق رسیدلې وه او د غمرازۍ لپاره ډیر خلک راغلي ول، د تنګي د نصرت زو په بازار کې له نورو هلکانو سره ولاړ وم، چې په دې کې یو موټر راغلی ، ډرائیور ترې راکوز شو، د وروستي سیټ دروازه یې خلاصه کړه او د یو ډیر ښایسته او خنده رویه مشر په راکوزیدو کې د هغه سره مرسته کوله . دا غني خان وو، د خلکو او ولس غني خان .... ډرائیور ورته همسا سمه کړه، د خواؤ شا دکانونو کې ناست خلکو د ډیرې خوشحالۍ نه رامنډې کړې ، غني خان یې د دواړو لاسونو نه ونیولو، او د غمرازۍ د ځایې پر لور په مزه مزه روان شو. کاکا جي هم ورته راورسید، ما اوریده چې ورته یې ویل ــــ ؛ بابا زه ستاسو په راتلو ډیر خوشاله یم خو ولي خان هم راغلی وو، تاسو ناجوړه هم یې ولې مو تکلیف کولو ؛، غني خان ورته موسکی شو او ورته یې وویل ــــ کمعقله ولي خان به پخپل ځای راغلی وو او زه پخپل ځای راغلی یم . په هغه ورځ ما غني خان په وړومبي ځل ولید، او اوس مې هم د هغه له معنا او بې نیازۍ ډکه مسکا د زړه او ذهن په دنیا کې لکه د سپرلي د باد خوره ده. د نورو زلمو په شان زه هم د غني خان د فکر او تخیل د رنګونو نه په وړومبي ځل د سردار علي ټکر او ګلزارعالم د سندرو او غزلو له لارې خبر شوی وم. وروستو ما غني خان ولوست او د هغه په طنز و مزاح او ټوکو ټکالو کې مې د لیوني فلسفي له خپلې خاورې او خلکو سره د مینې او د بدلون د یو داسې خواهش څړیکې محسوسه کړې چې د مزاحمت ټول دیوالونه یې په شا تمبول او د یو روښانه او خپلواکه سباون د بنیاد تیږه یې کیښودله. دا د عمر یوه جذباتي برخه وه، د خوبونو د لیدلو او بیا د هغې د رښتیا کولو لپاره د هلو ځلو دور وو، د لیونتوب دور وو. غني خان د عمر په دغه مست او لیوني دور کې زما د عمر ډیر زلمي د پوهې او شعور سره اشنا کړي ول. غني خان د ژوند په هغه مسلو خبره کول غوښتل په کومو خبره کول چې د کلي د ملا په نیزد کفر او الحاد وو. غني خان د روایت تسلسل هم وو او له روایته بغاوت هم، غني خان د خپلې خاورې د لرغوني او سیکولر تاریخ میئن وو خو د پښتنو په ټولنه کې د خورو وهمونو او تیارو د لرې کولو لپاره د رڼا استازی هم وو. غني، غني وو! د ژوند دریاب ته بله کومه غاړه شته او که نه؟ تقدیر اسماني او نه بدلیدونکې دی او که نه د انسان زیار او زړه یې بدلولای شي؟ ولې پښتون د ټوپک له ډزه زیات د ملا له چوفه وېریږي؟ ژوند تپوس دی او که جواب؟ سجده تش سرلګول دي او که نه ځان خاورې کول دي؟ نشه ګناه ده او که د مستۍ د میو جام د یار پښو کې کېښودل دی؟ مذهب د زړه او روح تسلیمېدو ته وایي او که نه خیام په زور د کعبې طوافونو له بوتلل دي؟ پښتانه ولې نشه د باچایانو او خوی خصلت د غلامانو لري؟ دا او ددې په رنګ بلها تپو سونه وو چې غني خان راپورته کول او د خپل ژور فکر، مطالعې، مشاهدې او مینې په رنګونو او د خپل روح په بې قرارۍ کې یې ورته ځوابونه پیدا کول. زړه مې واچوه په تال کې ، د ملا په پښو مې کېښود ما وې دا مې صدقه ده دا چې څومره زه پوهیږم په طهه او په یاسین دا چې څومره ښکته تلای شي په سجده زما جبین داچې څومره اخلي نور دا زما خاکي وجود داچې څومره زما ژبه شي څکلی انګبین ملا مخ زما نه واړوو وې دا څه دي ستا تالي کې نه پولاؤ دی نه فیرني ده نه حلوه نه فالوده ده وې یې شرع ظاهر ګوري او ظاهره ته فاسق یې دا درب سره د مینې تا راخیستې څه قیصه ده یره یره د قهار نه دایمان لویه حصه ده دجنون او د جانان ستا څه مهمله فلسفه ده د غني خان سره د اظهار ډیرې لارې وی، هغه یو کل وقتي ارټسټ وو، شاعري او مجسمه سازي دوه لویې لارې وې چې هغه په ډیره استادۍ او هنر په کار راوستې او د خپل هنر څرګندونه یې دومره په اخلاص کوله چې له یوه کروندګره د پوهنتون تر استاذه ټولو خوښوله او الهام یې ترې اخیستۍ. هم دغه وجه ده چې غني خان د پښتنو د شلمۍ صدۍ د ادبي او کلتوري تاریخ تر ټولو زوروه او قوي حواله ده چې د فکر رنګونه یې د نړیوال ادب په اسمان لکه د هغه ستورو پړکېږي چې بې لارې شوې کاروانونو ته د منزل لاره هم ښیي او د مزل معنا هم. ما مرګي ته شروع کړې د ژوندون د خیشت قیصه ده دجنون او د جانان دا څه عجبه فلسفه ده خیشت: ښایسته، ښکلی. چاپ شریکول :
Prime Minister, Raja Pervaiz Ashraf on Saturday delivered his farewell address to the nation, a couple of hours before the dissolution of National Assembly on completion of its five-year term.The outgoing PM praised the armed forces and law enforcement agencies for their valor with which they defended the national frontiers and established the government's writ in terror infested parts of the country. "Pakistan's interest precedes all other considerations," he asserted.
By DECLAN WALSH Pakistan’s fragile democracy reached a milestone on Saturday when the government stepped down at the end of its five-year term, setting the stage for elections due to take place by mid-May. The action was a first in a country where the powerful military has regularly ousted civilian governments, either directly through coups or indirectly through constitutional maneuvers, and it offered hope that the parliamentary system was maturing. Still, a faltering economy and widespread militant violence have left many Pakistanis grumbling about the lack of tangible dividends from democracy, and the governing Pakistan Peoples Party, whose governance record has faced stiff criticism, will face a strong challenge from the opposition leader, the former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. A peaceful transfer of power would be a political victory of sorts for President Asif Ali Zardari, who has confounded regular predictions of the demise of his government over the past five years. A good showing by his party may help him win re-election when his terms expires next September. (Pakistan’s president is indirectly elected by the national and regional assemblies). Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf was due to address the nation by television on Saturday night, when he will announce the date of the vote — expected for early May — and may announce the head of a caretaker administration to run the country in the interim. Recent polls indicate that the party of Mr. Sharif, who was ousted in a military coup in 1999, is the favorite to win the vote. A Gallup poll in February gave his party 27 percent support, with the Pakistan Peoples Party running a distant second. Since analysts say he is unlikely to muster an outright majority, a range of ethnic, regional and religious parties could hold the balance of power in determining a coalition government. Other personalities and factors are also expected to play a role. The cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan, who has campaigned heavily against corruption and in opposition to American drone strikes, hopes to eat into Mr. Sharif’s support base in Punjab Province, which accounts for over half of the 272 elected seats in Parliament. The former military ruler, Gen. Pervez Musharraf, has vowed to return from exile on March 24 to contest the election, even though he faces criminal prosecution in court cases related to his rule between 1999 and 2008. And Muhammad Tahir-ul Qadri, a charismatic preacher who led thousands of supporters into central Islamabad for a protracted sit-in last January, says he will help ensure the integrity of the election. In a crucial development, the army chief, Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, has emphasized that he fully supports the elections, and there are few indications that the military is backing any one party. “The military is apparently standing aloof and letting the battle be fought among politicians, which is a rare thing and a healthy one,” said Ahmed Bilal Mehboob, of the Pakistan Institute of Legislative Development and Transparency. The often stormy relationship between Pakistan and the United States has been relatively placid in recent months, although widespread public hostility toward Washington may be mobilized for political gain. Last week, Mr. Zardari and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran held a ceremony to commemorate the start of construction in Pakistan of a gas pipeline between the two countries, which has been bitterly opposed by the Obama administration and could, if completed, lead to economic sanctions against Pakistan. Analysts, however, say the pipeline will take years to complete, and the ceremony may have been dictated by political considerations. “Perceived or real defiance of American power is perceived to be a plus in Pakistan,” Mr. Mehboob said. The political system last week was gripped by speculation about the identity of the caretaker prime minister, who will lead an interim administration in the prelude to the elections. The government and opposition were deadlocked over the nomination of the caretaker prime minister on Saturday.
http://www.southasianmedia.netThe most critical elections in Pakistan's history are taking place amid an orgy of killings - minority groups, civilians and military personnel have all been targeted by a variety of extremists, writes Ahmed Rashid. With the number of targeted assassinations of leading politicians expected to increase by the time of the elections in the second week of May, there are no signs that the government or the army are prepared for a deterioration of security. The sense of instability is not made any better by the worsening economic crisis. An average of 10 to 20 people a day are being killed in the major cities - Karachi, Quetta, Lahore and Peshawar - as the country is gripped by violence. On a bad day as many as 100 people can be killed by suicide or car bombs. Intolerance unchecked Those suffering most are the minority Shia population, who are being targeted by Sunni extremists. On 9 March, Christians were attacked and their homes ransacked in a poor locality of Lahore by a rampaging mob. Pakistan endured one of its worst days of violence on 10 January when 115 people were killed - including 93 Shias belonging to the Hazara ethnic group in Quetta. A month later on 16 February another 84 were killed and 200 wounded in a similar massacre in the city. For days Shia Hazaras refused to bury their dead and many prepared to leave Pakistan for ever. The plight of some Hindus, Sikhs, Christians, Ahmedis and Shias has forced many to flee the country as intolerance unchecked by the government escalates. On 3 March another 50 Shias were killed and over 100 wounded in a massive truck bomb that exploded in a Shia locality of Karachi. Pakistani Shia naval officers and Shia doctors have likewise been killed. Last year more than 400 Shias were killed in Pakistan by Sunni hardliners. Already more than 200 Shias have been killed in the first two months of 2013. The killings are being carried out by Lashkar-e-Jhangvi - a Sunni militant group which has already been declared a terrorist organisation. But the government's only reaction so far has been to place its former leader Malik Ishaq under house arrest. He has been arrested and freed several times before. Test of democracy It appears to many Pakistanis that the militants are more powerful than the army or the government. Yet these elections are critical, for it will be the first time in Pakistan's history that an elected government will hand over power to another elected government. It will be the biggest test of Pakistan's democracy, but at the same time none of the major political parties is prepared to take on the extremists. Karachi is dissolving into chaos. It is not only besmirched by the Shia killings, but also by a vicious, multi-sided turf war between ethnic and sectarian groups, mafias and land grabbers. Almost every day some part of the sprawling metropolis is shut down because of gunfire, murders or citizens' protests. On 13 March one of the country's top aid workers - Karachi-based sanitation expert Parveen Rehman - was shot and killed in the city. According to the independent Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP), at least 2,284 people died in violence in Karachi in 2012. Meanwhile, journalists continue to be targeted across the country - two were killed within 72 hours in early March. In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province the Taliban carries on bombing civilians in Peshawar and attacking army posts in the mountains. The militants have launched multiple suicide bombers against police stations in populated areas. On 28 February militants in the north-western tribal areas bombed four boys' schools in the Mohmand agency - bringing to more than 100 the number of schools they have destroyed in the tribal areas since 2011. In Balochistan a separatist insurgency claims more lives every day. Not surprisingly there are serious doubts as to how elections will take place in many areas where there is no law and order. The army has made it clear that it cannot deploy at every polling station and the police appear to be demoralised and unwilling to ensure law and order in many parts of the country. Electioneering will be muted and large gatherings will be impossible because of the fear of suicide bombings. HRCP head IA Rehman has pointed out that half of the National Assembly seats fall in "the fear zone" where voters will be too scared to turn out in sufficient numbers or candidates may withdraw. In other areas candidates may seek endorsement from the extremists to avoid getting killed. Moreover, according to the constitution, the government must resign by mid-March and dissolve the national and provincial parliaments. It must nominate a caretaker government and a prime minister to oversee the elections. But such an interim government will be weak and will not be mandated to go after the extremists. Covert support People are asking why the army does not do more. Army chief General Pervez Kayani says the civilian law enforcement authorities controlled by the Pakistan People's Party (PPP) government needs to carry out its tasks more efficiently. Gen Kayani says that the army will only act if it is requested to do so by the government - something the PPP is loathe to do because it will show abject weakness just before the elections. The PPP-led government has over the years allowed the extremists to flourish by refusing to go after them. Other political parties have given them refuge and covert support. Almost all the extremist groups have a home in Punjab province, run by the opposition Pakistan Muslim League (PML). It has had no scruples about forging electoral alliances with religious groups known for extremist views. If the PML comes to power on the back of such alliances, it will be even more unlikely to crack down on them. Meanwhile, the Asian Development Bank has warned that Pakistan faces a severe balance of payments crisis and would need to borrow at least US $9bn (£6bn) from the IMF before the year is out. The country's foreign exchange reserves have fallen to cover only two months of imports. Ultimately elections will take place. So it behoves all parties - the army, the politicians, the police and the media - to ensure that violence is reduced so that the vote is as free and fair as is possible. But even that looks like a long shot at the moment.
http://www.smh.com.auDespite worsening security, a moribund economy, and national crises in food and power, Pakistan's parliament has - for the first time in the country's 66-year history - completed a full term. Parliament will be officially dissolved on Saturday before elections in early May. Yasmeen Rehman, a representative of the ruling Pakistan People's Party, told a near-empty parliament on its final sitting day: ''I pray that Allah gives us success and that democracy should continue and the next parliament should also complete its term.'' Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari has not yet announced an election date, though May 8, 9 or 10 is expected. Advertisement Nor has a caretaker administration, which should be running the country within days, yet been named. Though wholly procedural in nature, the dissolution of the national assembly and transition to an election is a milestone for Pakistan, where the military has seized power three times in coups and ruled for around half the country's existence. ''If the elections are held, as expected, in early May, and there is a transition to a new government, if there is political continuity from one government to another, that will be a great achievement for Pakistan given the country's troubled political history,'' political analyst Hasan Askari Rizvi said. He said peaceful elections, too, would be a defeat for insurgent forces, which still wreak havoc across the country, particularly in the north-west. ''Pakistan is facing terrorism, but if these elections can be held peacefully, it is a defeat for terrorism and shows Pakistan is able to pursue a democratic path. If elections are not held, it will show that Pakistan is hostage to terrorism.'' Most are predicting the election will be fought between Pakistan's two major parties, the Pakistan People's Party and the Pakistan Muslim League (N), led by former prime minister Nawaz Sharif. But neither party is forecast to win a majority and will need to bring smaller parties into the government to take power. Former cricketer Imran Khan, who has predicted a ''tsunami'' of support for his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (Movement for Justice), is expected to run third, and could have a hand in forming a coalition. The PPP released its manifesto this week, promising to increase wages and improve welfare payments and healthcare for the poor. But the party's five years in government have been dominated by corruption scandals, the Supreme Court's sacking of prime minister Yousaf Raza Gillani, who was succeeded by Raja Pervez Ashraf, and an inability to arrest the rise in food prices, contain terrorism or end chronic power shortages. The Muslim League (N) has made similar election pledges, particularly around wages and energy, but also wants to provide a house to every family through public-private partnership.
The Frontier PostThis must be a matter of pride for the 180 million people of Pakistan that their 13th National Assembly set a record for completing its mandatory 650 sittings in five years on Tuesday, four days ahead of the five-year tenure. This is also something unusual for the national Parliament to have successfully avoided unconstitutional interventions it has witnessed at least four times since 1958 leaving scars which still are posing problems in democratic dispensation and a smooth political process. The outgoing NA, which is set to be dissolved on Saturday, held its first session on March 17, 2008 when the members took oath. In its 650 sittings, the lower house passed 126 bills including some important legislation which called for the rights for women and children, reinstatement of sacked employees and election laws. But restoration of the basic framework of 1973 Constitution's of federal parliamentary democracy through the Eighteenth, Nineteenth and Twentieth constitutional amendments, remains its most distinguished achievements. This process saw many powers of the president, particularly that of dissolving the National Assembly, returning to parliament to set a very healthy democratic tradition. Another hallmark of the Parliament was to resolve the long standing question of provincial autonomy and settling the outstanding issue of provincial royalties. The National Assembly also adopted 80 resolutions on various issues of national and international importance. These resolutions addressed issues like drone attacks, killing of polio workers, targeting the Christian community at Gojra and Lahore's Badami Bagh, emancipating women from domestic violence and their harassment at workplace and public places and transport to name a few. The National Assembly held in-camera sessions in which the country's top army generals briefed parliamentarians on the Abbottabad Operation in which US Navy SEALs killed al Qaeda chief Osama Bin Laden. Another milestone the parliament achieved was the formulating a national security policy in October 2008 after a two-week long joint sitting in which top military and civil intelligence officers gave an in-camera briefing. The President of Pakistan addressed the joint sitting of parliament for a record five times and thus fulfilled a constitutional obligation. What the Parliament could not achieve during its tenure was curbing terrorism mainly because there was a lack of coordination between and among various intelligence agencies. The menace of militancy and extremism not only persists but has now expanded to many other territories, especially FATA. It has already taken a heavy toll of national life. It could also not overcome power and gas shortage, a crisis inherited from the predecessor Musharraf regime. Besides, it failed to legislate for the much touted National Accountability Commission to replace the notorious National Accountability Bureau as an institutionalized process of accountability. The Parliament also presided over staggering economic decline and worsening security over the last five years. Parliament could also not succeed in carving out the Bahawalpur Janoobi Punjab province, the fifth federal unit of Pakistan though the Senate approved the bill by a two-thirds majority. The National Assembly was addressed twice by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and once by Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao. It also witnessed two prime ministers, Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani and Raja Pervez Ashraf. It lost eight members, including the minister for minorities affairs Shahbaz Bhatti who was murdered in firing incident in Islamabad. Other members who lost their lives during the five-year tenure include Merhun Nisa Afridi, Taj Muhammad Jamali, Fauzia Wahab, Azim Daultana, JamYousuf, Niaz Muhammad Khan and Abdul Mateen Khan. The resounding success of Parliament and completing its term for the first time may be attributed to the wheeling dealing abilities of President Asif Ali Zardari's to keep the coalition intact, the army chief of staff's determination to keep himself and his men out of politics and the opposition's unwillingness to force early elections. So far so good, but the Parliament has left the all-important question of continuity of establishing a strong democracy to the next government. Although, the president has not given dates for the next parliamentary elections, the Election Commission of Pakistan has proposed these might be held between May 6 and 9. The coming elections are vital for the country for certain extraneous reasons also; one of being the future of this region after United States completes pull-out from Afghanistan by the end of 2014.
Radio PakistanPPP-Parliamentarians has announced its election manifesto with special focus on a 7-point agenda pledging to fulfill basic needs of the poor folk. The manifesto was released by the party President Makhdoom Amin Fahim at a press conference in Islamabad on Thursday evening. Former Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani‚ Information Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira‚ Minister for Defence Naveed Qamar and Minister of State for Information Syed Sumsam Bukhari were also present on the occasion. The manifesto pledges to increase minimum wage to 18‚000 rupees per month by 2018 and enhance cash monthly grant under Benazir Income Support Programme from 1000 to 2000 rupees. The manifesto pledges to create of a new province in South Punjab through necessary constitutional measures. It further pledges that under the new NFC Award‚ Sindh will get special grant for Karachi‚ being mega port and economic hub of the country. A mother and childcare programme would be launched to ensure healthcare for them through vouchers and cash transfers. The manifesto commits to eradicate polio by 2018 and taking its coverage to 100 percent. Enhanced security cover would be provided to health workers. As per Constitutional requirements‚ the manifesto promises universal primary enrolment by 2018 and 10‚000 higher education and technical vocation scholarships for FATA and Balochistan. Labour representatives will get 4 seats in National Assembly and 2 seats in each Provincial Assembly through legislation. There will be renewed focus on housing and the poor will be given priority for low cost housing schemes to be launched through public-private partnership. The party proposes to launch a youth employment initiative called 'Peoples Employment Programme'. Farmers will be supported by charging flat rate for electricity for tube wells and providing cheaper inputs. Special Economic Zones would be established to promote industrialization and create job opportunities. The manifesto also pledges addition of 12‚000 MW of cheaper electricity by way of hydel‚ coal‚ gas and renewable energy by the end of next term of the Government. National Commission on Minorities will be given statutory status and religious properties would be given protection. The manifesto committed to build city-to-town and farm-to-market roads through public-private partnership. It said the Party will ensure sustainable and responsible use of national resources to protect environment and provide water security through efficient water resource management. The manifesto proposed 7 core priorities that will protect and empower the people of Pakistan. The party will initiate key programme in first 100 days at the federal and provincial levels to implement these core priorities. These priorities include ensuring basic needs‚ empowerment of all citizens‚ equitable and inclusive growth‚ infrastructure for the future. Answering a question‚ Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani said the present government has implemented more than 85 percent of its previous Party manifesto and Charter of Democracy. He described it as a big achievement. To a question‚ Information Minister said the prudent policies of the government gave food security to the country. He said the government provided jobs to hundreds of people and regularised the services of contract and daily wages employees. Syed Naveed Qamar to a question said the PPP government gave shares to the workers in the privatization process.
Following is the text of "Core Priorities" of the PPPP Manifesto:"Pakistan Peoples Party Parliamentarians: Towards a progressive‚just and progressive Pakistan" "Roti‚Kapra aur Makan‚ Ilm‚Sehat sab ko Kaam‚Dehshat Sey Mehfooz Awam‚ Ooncha Ho Jamhoor Ka Naam". This nation faced a grave crisis five years ago when Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto was assassinated by enemies of Pakistan and democracy. Five years later‚ the PPP have laid foundations for a sustainable ‚accountable and robust democracy in Pakistan. As we take Pakistan into its first constitutional transfer of power through elections‚we resolve to take Pakistan into a future based on social justice‚ peace and prosperity for all. The PPPP manifesto stated that during our term "we preserved and strengthened the federation by building a new social contract between the provinces and the centre. We build consensus and reconciliation to strengthened the democratic system. For the first time in history‚ the President‚ Asif Ali Zardari‚ voluntarily gave away his own powers to the head of Parliament‚ empowering the people and the parliament." The PPPP-led government freed all political prisoners‚ including judges and instead of pursuing the politics of revenge‚ pursued politics of reconciliation. We gave Pakistan its first non-partisan‚ non-politicized social safety net for the poor and vulnerable. Despite hardship of conflict and violence and the full brunt of natural disasters that killed our people‚ swamped our crop‚ our homes and our livestock‚ we resettled a record number of people‚ in the millions‚ stricken by conflict and disaster. We put the agricultural sector back on its feet and made Pakistan a wheat exporter again. From the bubble economy we inherited‚ based on consumer credit‚ stock market speculation‚ property markups‚ non-transparent privatization‚ zero investment in energy security and inflation in double digits‚ that exposed the people to local and international shocks‚ we brought down inflation to single digits‚ built up Pakistan's exports to unprecedented levels‚ and attracted the highest flow of remittances in Pakistan's history. Our manifesto is based on ground realities in Pakistan. We make no promises for which we cannot find resources. We believe that national security is premised on human security first. Anyone governing Pakistan in the next ten years of a global recession and regional security upheavals will also have to make tough fiscal‚ economic‚ security and governance decisions.