Monday, July 2, 2018

Pakistan - #PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Addressing to Public Rally in #Badin. 02-07-2018


The civil society activists held a demonstration in front of Saudi Consulate in Karachi to register protest against the Saudi-led military aggression on Yemen.

Carrying placards, the protesters were raising slogans demanding an immediate stop to unilaterally imposed Saudi-led coalition’s war on Yemen.
They also handed over a memorandum of their demands to the Saudi consulate officials. Through memorandum, they demanded Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to stop unjustifiable war on Yemen forthwith.
They condemned the crimes against humanity perpetrated in Yemen by the aggressors that gave birth to humanitarian crisis as thousands of Yemenis were killed or injured and surviving Yemenis suffer from displacement, hunger, unemployment, poverty, malnutrition, epidemics and lack of education, etc.
They demanded that Pakistan government should officially lodge protest against Saudi-led aggression on Yemen. They demanded UN to shoulder its responsibility to stop war on Yemen. They condemned all those Muslim governments who remain silent against Saudi-led war on Yemen.
Civil Progressive Alliance organized the demonstration that was largely attended by its supporters.

#Pakistan - #PPP does not believe in the politics of violence: Bilawal Bhutto

Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, while campaigning for the forthcoming elections on Monday, said that he would now himself resolve issues of the people.
Speaking to supporters in Gharo city of Thatta district, the PPP chief said that they had presented their manifesto, noting that the party initiated revolutionary programmes like Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP).
“PPP has always served the people and now I will myself resolve public issues,” he vowed.
“We will provide food cards to masses, through which they will get subsidised food.”
Bilawal told the participants that he needed their support and urged them to “become his arms.”
“I want to change the fate of the country, and if the people are with us, then no one can stop us,” he said.
The Bhutto scion said that eliminating hunger was part of their manifesto. “We will open food centres in every area, which will be run by women.”
Undeterred by a mob attack on his caravan a day earlier during his electoral rally in Karachi’s Lyari neighbourhood, Bilawal hit the city’s roads once again earlyMonday.
“PPP does not believe in the politics of violence,” the PPP chairman said, as he stepped out of his car en route to interior Sindh to address supporters.
“My warm welcome in Lyari did not go down well with opposing parties,” he added.
Speaking to supporters in Quaidabad, the Bhutto scion said that stones were pelted at his rally on Sunday under a conspiracy.
The PPP chairman is due to visit Sujawal, Badin, Tando Mohammad Khan and Hyderabad districts today.
After Sindh, Bilawal will campaign in southern Punjab and then on to the rest of the country.
detailed travel log of the PPP chief is yet to be issued by the party.

Gul Bukhari - Abducted Pakistani writer decries 'intimidation' ahead of polls

Drazen Jorgic
A Pakistani writer and activist says she fears for her life after being briefly abducted from a military cantonment in the city of Lahore on June 5, an incident that triggered national outrage and saw fingers pointed at the powerful armed forces.
Gul Bukhari, a harsh critic of the military and its alleged meddling in politics, said there was an atmosphere of “fear and intimidation” in the media and politics in the run-up to Pakistan’s July 25 general election. “I feel very insecure. I have restricted my son’s movement. I worry every time my husband or I go out,” Bukhari said, adding that she now often sends live updates on her whereabouts via WhatsApp to a friends and family group.
The military has denied playing any role in Bukhari’s disappearance. “We have nothing to do with it,” said army spokesman Major General Asif Ghafoor days afterwards. He added that the incident should be investigated.
Ghafoor’s office did not respond to Reuters’ requests for comment about accusations the army was stifling the media.
Since Bukhari’s abduction there have been mounting complaints from media houses and journalists about being muzzled by threats of physical and financial retribution against those who cross “red lines” in reporting about the military. Bukhari declined to go into details of her ordeal, in which she was dragged from her car and hooded before assailants dropped her back at her house four hours later. But she told Reuters her abduction could be “viewed within that context” of intimidation ahead of this month’s election. She said she has asked the police to offer her security but none has been provided. When contacted by Reuters, police had no immediate comment.
After Bukhari’s disappearance, many blamed the military. A driver who was transporting her to a Waqt TV studio at the time told colleagues afterwards that men in army uniforms stood guard while others in plainclothes dragged her from the car.
Bukhari, a dual Pakistani-British national, credits her release to swift coverage by international media outlets and a ferocious social media backlash inside Pakistan, which saw politicians and rights activists across the political spectrum voice their outrage about her disappearance on Twitter.
She said her abduction had nonetheless sent a message that “nobody is untouchable, no one is immune” ahead of polls.
“It was very audacious, it was very visible,” she said. “If there was a sense of fear, now it is complete. Now there is not just sense of fear, it’s panic.” A day before Bukhari’s abduction, Major General Ghafoor told a news conference that the military was aware of those making or re-tweeting “anti-state” comments on social media. He then displayed a web-chart with names and pictures of many prominent journalists and TV personalities. Bukhari was not on the list.
Other activists and media outlets say they feel targeted for criticizing the military. Dawn, the leading English-language newspaper which angered the army in May by publishing an interview with ousted Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, says its deliveries have since been blocked in what it calls a “wide-ranging and seemingly coordinated” assault on the publication and its finances.
Waqass Goraya, who alleges he was tortured when he and four other bloggers were abducted for several weeks last year, accused military intelligence agents of going to his family home and threatening his parents.
“They are targeting my parents to deliver a message to me that I may be safe abroad but my family in Pakistan is not,” said Goraya, who fled Pakistan last year.
The military did not comment on Goraya’s allegations or the disruption to Dawn’s distribution.
Goraya and Bukhari, both active Twitter users, say they are also the targets of a co-ordinated trolling campaign on social media.
“The first thing I do in the morning, and sometimes last thing at night, is block and mute (on Twitter),” Bukhari said. “There is sexual abuse, threats of murder.”
Bukhari, who writes a column in the Nation newspaper, has frequently defended Sharif’s government and on social media championed a Pashtun-led rights movement that has staged nationwide rallies in protest at heavy-handed tactics in the army’s campaign against Islamist militants. Since her abduction, Bukhari has continued to tweet to her 80,500 followers about widespread allegations of military interference in politics.
“My voice has become a little different, but the content is the same,” she said.

#Pakistan - OP-ED - Looming environmental disaster

A system based on private profit is incapable of handling an energy delivery programme where the interests of society as a whole and those of future generations are a priority.

Alarm bells of a looming environmental disaster have been sounding in Pakistan as well as the rest of the world. Pakistan’s water scarcity is fast reaching life-threatening conditions in Karachi, Balochistan and several other parts of the country. In megacities the sharply rising heat islands during heat waves in Karachi, the rise of scorching temperatures in Peshawar after the felling of trees and clouds of smog in Lahore’s winters are all catastrophes being brought about by the greed and lust of a tiny ruling elite and its system, abusing the environment for plunder.
Lack of health care, education, employment, nutrition and basic human needs are pulverising human existence. Environmental degradation is not on the agenda of Pakistan’s ruling elite. The present election campaign of moneyed politics is devoid of any solutions for these burning issues afflicting torment on the lives of the vast majority of the populace. These masters of our destiny have maliciously obviated the real issues through their financial control of media, intelligentsia and those who set up the social mind-set in society prevailing during periods of stagnation.
Their system of ruler ship has lost the capacity to improve human life and develop society, and they know it. However, the ongoing environmental crisis is a worldwide phenomenon. Even the most advanced capitalist countries cannot do much to avert this disaster. Pakistan’s rotten capitalism has no chance of tackling it even minimally. The environment knows no boundaries. Hence the solution of this catastrophe has to be fought for and carried out on a worldwide level. This is only possible on the basis of class struggle. Just like the environment, the toiling classes transcend nation states.
US President Donald Trump recently took off the mask of the previous imperialist leaders. He exposed the hypocritical, false gestures to resolve this daunting threat to mankind. He has ditched the Paris and other accords on climate change. In any case, these wouldn’t have made much of a difference. In its epoch of capitalism’s terminal decay, it’s fast becoming dangerous for civilisation’s existence. The environmental harms of capitalism do not simply result from greed and lack of effective environmental regulation or indifference, though these undoubtedly exacerbate the situation. Environmental destruction is inherent to its functioning.
Pollution of the atmosphere, oceans, fresh waters, and land, the disruption of ecosystems and loss of biodiversity are not an auxiliary to the running of a globalised capitalist economy. There can be no ‘green’ or ‘environmentally benign’ capitalism, just as there can be no socially and economically humane capitalism. Industrial pollution, consumption related waste, carbon and other ‘greenhouse’ gas emissions, pilferage of natural resources and intensive ‘industrialised’ agriculture are its inevitable consequences. These harmful environmental effects are treated as ‘externalities’ — somebody else’s problem. For much of capitalism’s history, the consequences of its environmental aspects were not readily apparent but now, at the start of the 21st century, they cannot be ignored, despite being often camouflaged.
Atmospheric pollution and global warming, due mainly to gross overuse of fossil fuels, has reached a stage where even professional government and corporate liars admit that a world catastrophe involving the destruction of whole countries and populations is now inevitable, unless overall emissions are reduced by at least 80 percent from their 1990 levels. Yet capitalism’s drive for profits and resultant demand for energy is intensifying ‘unconventional’ or ‘extreme’ energy production such a star sands, hydraulic fracturing and coal seam gasification, and aggravating environmental damage further.
Global climate change presents a real and instantaneous threat to the lives billions. It seems likely that several crucial ‘tipping points’ have already been crossed which will now — whatever inadequate responses are cobbled together — will inevitably result in a significant rise in sea level, and possibly irreversible changes in weather patterns and climate regimes.
To implement humane and rational plans for the human race the combined knowledge, initiative, skill, imagination and enthusiasm of the countless millions of people who have no material interest in profiteering — the working class — is indispensable
The problem does not lie in technology, but in the ability or inability of the economic and social system to manage it. A system based on private profit is incapable of handling an energy delivery programme where the interests of society as a whole and those of future generations are a priority. Addressing realistically the needs of both energy production and demand along with climate change reduction will require, however, massive investment and planning with (re-)nationalisations, under social ownership in a workers democracy.
Food production is largely divorced from the human need for sustenance, and driven almost entirely by profit. There is enough food produced, and enough land available for agricultural production, to feed the world’s population. The contrast of food surplus and massive waste in the rich developed world, and shortage and famine in the ‘underdeveloped’ world reveals capitalism’s character of exacerbating inequality.
Marx elaborated the contradiction of food production with workings of the capitalist system. “All progress in capitalistic agriculture is a progress, not only of robbing the labourer, but of robbing the soil; all progress in increasing the fertility of the soil for a given time, is a progress towards ruining the lasting sources of that fertility.” (Capital Vol-I). Increase in agricultural productivity since the World War II has outstripped increases in productivity in every area but at the cost of the destruction of whole societies driving millions from the land into poverty and precariousness in the squalor of shantytowns on the edges of megacities in the ex-colonial world.
However, the system of private ownership and profiteering cannot even secure human survival. To implement humane and rational plans for the human race the combined knowledge, initiative, skill, imagination and enthusiasm of the countless millions of people who have no material interest in profiteering — the working class — is indispensable. The capitalist system and class now threatens the future of humanity. The great achievements of bourgeois science have been perverted into pseudo-science and outright superstition. Capitalism’s rationalisation of its catastrophic environmental consequences is propagated as the folly of the masses in over-consuming and over-reproducing. In reality, it is the wastefulness, destructiveness and venality of capitalism itself. Capitalism is now fighting all that is progressive in modern dialectical and materialist science. The warning of Fredrick Engels to human kind, more than a hundred years ago, ‘socialism or barbarism’ — perhaps now could be put, as ‘socialism or barbarism and the earth’s destruction.’ This is now the harrowing future of humanity under capitalism.