In sync with summer: Uphill to Gorakh

Breathtaking natural beauty with snow covered peaks, lush green alpine meadows, barren mountains and rolling hills, forests, irrigated plains, rivers, deserts and coastal areas — our country has it all. There are distinctive historical monuments and hot spots for recreation, research and eco-tourism due to abundance of wonderful flora and fauna. Such areas attract a large number of people by virtue of their sheer natural beauty and aesthetic value especially to beat the scorching heat in summer. Why bother with visa hassles and pay exorbitant airfare when Pakistan is home to a variety of holiday destinations …

Gorakh Hill Station

Snowfall in Sindh — sounds more like fantasy but no, there’s one place in Sindh where it really snows in winter, to the extent that in 2008 the mountains got entirely covered with a layer of snow. Continue reading

JSQM’s ‘Freedom March’ in Karachi

Meanwhile in Pakistan, the natives (Sindhis) of the largest revenue-generating province, Sindh, of Pakistan took to the arteries of Karachi to demand independence from Pakistan. They alleged that Pakistan was not acknowledging their culture and historical status of a ‘nation’, whose roots are in the Mohen-jo-Daro, the ancient civilization.

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JSQM’s Freedom March to Demand Independence for Sindh

It was not long ago that a bill was tabled in the US Congress in support of giving Balochistan – the land of the Baloch – the right to self-determination against their ‘forced accession’ into Pakistan on March 27, 1948. The day is still mourned as a Black Day throughout the Baloch land, including parts of the provincial capital, Quetta.

In the year 1971, the erstwhile East Pakistan had already witnessed a bloody independence war with Pakistan, which culminated in the creation of the country now known as Bangladesh – it was a real bloody war since hundreds of thousands of people were massacred in this ‘genocide’ to crush the Bengali freedom-fighters.

In the present times, however, it is not just Balochistan which has the separatist sentiments, but Sindh under the leadership of Mr. G.M. Syed, has also been fighting for independence soon after the creation of Pakistan. Continue reading

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

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 incident of burning NATO oil tankers in Shikarpur, Sindh, but the same was condemned by the Sindhi nationalist parties attributing the incident 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. Continue reading

Noam Chomsky Condemns Enforced Disappearances in Sindh and Balochistan

So, the situation of genocide of the Baloch has reached to the point where a bill has been tabled in the US which supports the ‘independence’ of Balochistan! Those fighting the Pakistani state for ‘freedom’ are looking forward to a practical response against the bill and waiting for the action in this regard.

This, however, is not a joke – a bill in the US House of Representatives does not immediately give independence to Balochistan – and may have quite severe repercussions on the land of the Baloch.

Pakistani state has always been blamed to protect on permanent basis the Punjabi interests and exploit the southern units of the ‘federation’ – Sindh and Balochistan – and has been fought back by the Sindhi and Baloch nationalists. How the Punjab started grabbing the country’s reigns was such loud that the first person to present the Pakistan Resolution in the Sindh Assembly, Saeen GM Syed, started campaigning against the exploitation of Sindh which, after the massacre of the Benglis in the then-East Pakistan resulting in the independent Bangladesh, turned into a strong movement of independence of Sindh. The slogan of Jeay Sindh turned out to be Jeay Sindhudesh referring to the proposed independent Sindh to be named, Sindhudesh.

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Pakistan: Osama’s Death – Different Perspectives

The post first appeared on Global Voices (found here!) on May 03, 2011 and is a part of its special coverage, The Death of Osama Bin Laden. It is also available in 繁體中文, Français, Italiano, Español, and 简体中文.

Osama Bin Laden, the iconic figure of religious extremism-based terrorism, is dead – finally! Operation Geronimo ended his life yesterday, in an event which will surely leave its marks on history of the world, and politics, in general. The news literally gripped the world media so much that it was hard to find other news being reported on television channels.

In the wake of Bin Laden’s presence in Pakistan, Pakistan’s image as a haven for terrorists has, perhaps, been reinforced. However, the liberal class of urban Pakistanis have always welcomed any move to eradicate extremist elements from the country. Continue reading

Terrorism in Pakistan: What is missing in the strategy?

The city of Karachi was, literally, rocked by the tremors triggered by thebiggest blast of the city’s history on November 11, 2010. It was an attack on the Criminal Investigation Department’s centre, later on, owned by none else than the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan.

The blast was preceded by a transient phase of firing on the spot which, now we know, was actually a battle between the security forces personnel and the attackers. After putting the security personnel to sleep, a truck heavily loaded with explosives slammed into the CID building leaving it almost flattened. And where the blast instigated a wave of shudders encircling its circumference of many kilometers and smashing glasses of buildings to pieces, I wonder if it could also reach to the noticeably protected buildings of the nearby CM House and the US Consulate, not to mention the five star hotels dotted around. Continue reading

Map of Johi (Dadu) — my hometown!

Following is the map of Johi (Dadu), my hometown. I love it … I’m extremely emotionally attached to it.. Especially when I’m in a cruel city like Karachi, I miss peace and harmony and life free from every type of fear — of bombs, cell snatching, firing, and all!

Had I not been in pursuit of a career, I would have spent my entire life there enjoying life comparatively closer to nature..
I miss many things related to JOHI.. my friends, my parents, other simple people who are also special not that they’ve remained a part of my life, but, because they live in Johi.. I’ve always reminisced about my care-free school days and charming college life with people here.. Somtimes I feel like running to go to Johi and, at least, get a glimpse of my beloved town!!
We, the Sindhi people, are truly emotional about people who are somehow attached to us and about our land, in particular, and our desh, our Sindh, in general..
This reminds one of Shah’s lines:

”سڄڻ ۽ ساڻيهه، ڪنهن اڻاسيءَ وسرن،

حيف تنينءَ کي هوءِ، وطن جن وساريو!“