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Pakistan Link The Largest Circulated Pakistani-American Newspaper in North America

Friday, April 11, 2014

VOL. 24/15 - 11 Jumadal-ukhra 1435 H PAGE 4

Free Speech and Religious Sentiments Defense Minister Asserts Parliament’s Sovereignty Islamabad: A day after the army

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Dr Ghulam Nabi Fai Visits Northern California

Army Will Preserve Its Honor at All Costs

Pakistan Raises $2Bn through Euro Bonds

For news, updated round the clock, visit

www.PakistanLink.com Implications of ISAF Drawdown Reviewed

chief made a statement at Ghazi base vowing to preserve the dignity of the military, Defense Minister Khawaja Asif declared the supremacy of the Parliament over other institutions in the National Assembly on Tuesday. “Parliament is a supreme organ of the state and it would preserve its dignity besides having a respect for all other institutions,” he said, claiming the parliament could hold other institutions accountable. Minister for Railways Khawaja Saad Rafiq clarified that the media had wrongly linked the army chief ’s speech with the defense minister’s and termed the army chief ’s statement as “purely professional”. On Tuesday, the lower house of the parliament accepted a motion to constitute a special committee to probe the allegation of non-payment of taxes by a number of parliamentarians and report the matter within 90 days. Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Member of National Assembly (MNA) Asad Umar moved the motion. The treasury benches also backed the resolution and constitution of the 10-member committee to investigate the matter. The

Islamabad: Pakistan on Wednesday sold $2 billion worth of five- and 10-year bonds in its first international sale since 2007, finance ministry officials said. The cash-strapped nation marketed $1 billion of five-year notes at a yield of 7.25 per cent and $1 billion of 10-year securities at 8.25 per cent, said an official requesting not to be named as the figures would not be officially released until Thursday. According to the Wall Street Journal, almost two-thirds of the bonds went to US-based money Speaking at the United States Institute of Peace in Washington, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar managers. claimed multilateral donors and investors have reposed confidence in Pakistan’s economy With the bond issuance, Pakistan joins a chalk up GDP growth rate demonstration of mas- after the sale of the bonds number of other countries to four per cent this year sive response to Pakistani on Wednesday, strengthraising cash from yield- and hopes to further raise sovereign paper is unprec- ening the Pakistani rupee. The sale will also boost hungry investors. De- it to six percent in the near edented. “The multilateral reserves and help Pakistan mand for the bonds shows future. Finance Minister donors and international meet International Monsigns of improvement in Pakistan’s economy and Ishaq Dar speaking at markets have reposed tre- etary Fund (IMF) condithe investors’ hunger for the US Institute of Peace mendous confidence in tions. According to the during his visit to Wash- Pakistan’s economic fuhigher returns. Ministry of Finance, The Pakistani gov- ington, commented on ture.” The market rallied MARKET, P29 ernment is looking to the Eurobond that the

Rawalpindi: On a day when a

Sajid Javid Appointed as UK’s Culture Minister

Maradona Invited to Promote Football after Rio Triumph

24 Die in UBA Terror Attack in Islamabad

London: British Prime Minister

where he congratulated each player for their performance at the Street Child Football World Cup in Brazil last week. On the occasion he announced that he had invited football legend Diego Maradona to visit Pakistan and promote football in the country. Bakhtawar Bhutto Zardari, MNA Faryal Talpur, Jameel Soomro, Sherry Rehman, Qadir Patel, Sharmila Faruqi also attended the event. Bilawal Bhutto Zardari assured the young players that the PPP will bring revolutionary policies to

PARLIAMENT, P29

David Cameron appointed former banker Sajid Javid as the country’s new culture minister. He replaces Maria Miller who resigned earlier on Wednesday over an expenses scandal. Since last year Javid has served as financial secretary to the Treasury. Cameron said on Twitter that lawmaker Nicky Morgan will step up to the financial secretary post at the Treasury, key to the government’s relationship with the financial services industry, from her current role as economic secretary. Javid, the son of a Bristol bus driver, worked for Chase Manhattan Bank and Deutsche Bank before starting his career in politics. He was elected as a member of SAJID, P29

Sherry Rehman, Bakhtawar Bhutto, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and the triumphant football team

Karachi: Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) patron-

in-chief Bilawal Bhutto Zardari hosted the Paki-

stan Street Child Football team at Bilawal House

MARADONA, P29

Periodical postage paid at Newport Beach, CA and additional mailing offices

bomb killed 22 people in Islamabad and the peace process in danger of running aground again, the military’s top brass undertook a comprehensive review of the external and internal security situation of the country. According to an official release from the Inter-services Public Relations (ISPR) on Wednesday, the Corps Commanders conference was held at the General Headquarters on Wednesday with army chief General Raheel Sharif in chair. The meeting reviewed the prevailing external and internal security situation in the country, especially along the Western border. The issue of drawdown of International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) from Afghanistan and its subsequent implications on the security situation was also discussed. The forum comprehensively reviewed the army’s large scale involvement in security, development and rehabilitation works in various parts of the country. General Sharif also took the opportunity to commend the troops for implementing extra security measures along the

IMPLICATIONS, P29

Islamabad: The United Baloch Army (UBA) has claimed responsibility for the deadly terrorist attack in Sabzi Mandi area of the capital city that killed at least 24 people and wounded more than 115 on Wednesday. Speaking to media representatives over telephone, spokesman for UBA Mureed Baloch said the rebel Baloch group had carried out the attack in retaliation to the military’s ongoing operation in Balochistan’s Kalat district. “We carried out the attack in Islamabad in response to the military operation against us and we will launch more such attacks in other cities,” he said. The United Baloch Army had also claimed responsibility for the deadly train attack in Sibi on ATTACK, P29


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n By Dr Syed Amir

A

Bethesda, MD

lmost a decade ago, the famed British writer and historian William Dalrymple, in an essay in The New York Times Review of Books, observed that a battle was in progress among Indians and expatriates on one side and right-wing Hindu fundamentalists on the other about reinterpreting ancient Indian history. And, instead of remaining a polemical exercise, confined to halls of superior learning, it had morphed into “the subject of political rallies and mob riots.”

Historically, the discourse has been driven by two rival factions, the liberal and enlightened who would like to see the country remain an inclusive, pluralistic and tolerant society, consistent with its long traditions, and Hindu fundamentalists who perceived Hindu culture and religion as the overwhelming, dominant narrative. Progressively, passages in text books that emphasized India’s cultural diversity, syncretism and inclusiveness have been removed under pressure from proponents of Hindutva (Hinduness), who threaten to cleanse all books of the material that in their judgment denigrates Hinduism. In his dissertation, Dalrymple cited several cases of violent protests, specifically ones which erupted in 2004 at the prestigious Oriental Research Institute in Pune, in the Indian state of Maharashtra, against a book, Shivaji: Hindu King in Islamic India, authored by James Laine, a professor at Manchester College in Minnesota. Laine had suggested that the guerrillas Maratha leader (1627-1680), greatly revered by many Hindus, might have been the biological child of his guardian, Dadaji Konddev, not his legal father, since Shivaji’s parents had lived apart most of their lives. The implication that Shivaji might have been an illegitimate child touched off violent protests. Dalrymple described the angry scene at Pune: “The militants overturned the library shelves and for the next few hours, kicked around the books and danced on them, damaging 18,000 volumes.” In the face of mounting agitation, Laine was forced to apologize and the book was withdrawn in India by the publishers, Oxford University Press. Most liberal newspapers in India, however, denounced the withdrawal, characterizing it as capitulation to zealots and Talibanization of India, reminiscent of de-

n By Dr Aslam Abdullah

W

Las Vegas, NV

hat was always feared has now been confirmed. The Babari Masjid was not demolished by the fringe of a hateful, fanatic and crazy mob but by a welltrained, militant group of terrorists who were coached by none other than former members of Indian army, police and intelligence.

The sting operation that revealed this best known secret for over two decades concludes that the culprits behind the destruction were the

Conflict between Free Speech and Religious Sentiments

molition of the Bamiyan Buddhists statues in Afghanistan in 2001 by the Taliban. The influential newspaper, The Indian Express, commented, “We cannot have the mob write our history for us.” Protests against a book once again erupted last month in India and among Indians abroad. Penguin Books, India, was forced to withdraw the book, Hindus, an Alternative History, authored by Wendy Doniger, a highly respected American scholar of Hinduism and history of religion at the University of Chicago. The move has revived memories of the withdrawal of the Laine’s book almost a decade ago. Doniger’s voluminous, 700page book deals with Hindu phi-

publishers opted not to pursue the case, withdrawing all unsold copies of the book. The capitulation by the publishers spawned strong reaction. Some famous writers and artists in India and abroad expressed concern about the gratuitous application of the blasphemy laws to restrict freedom of expression of writers and artists. Most prominent among them is Arundhati Roy, the intrepid writer who won international fame and recognition for her novel, “The God of Small Things.” In an open letter, she expressed her shock at the decision made by Penguin Books, India. Some national newspapers also expressed disapproval at the censorship. The Times

Penguin Books, India, was forced to withdraw the book, Hindus, an Alternative History, authored by Wendy Doniger, a highly respected American scholar of Hinduism and history of religion at the University of Chicago. The move has revived memories of the withdrawal of the Laine’s book almost a decade ago losophy, mythology, Gods and Goddesses; but, somewhat unexpectedly, it also has chapters relating to religious dialogue and tolerance under the Mughal rulers and the reforms instituted during the British Raj. It was originally released in 2009 by Penguin Books, received some excellent reviews from international literary magazines and soon climbed to the best seller list. However, there has been a simmering campaign against the book ever since its release. Recently, a retired Indian school teacher, Mr Dinanath Batra, brought a suite against it, supported by Hindu conservative religious organizations, contending that it violated India’s blasphemy laws that made it a crime to offend the religious sensibilities of any person. The court agreed and the

of India, in its editorial on Feb. 13, 2014, wrote: “Withdrawal of Doniger book highlights sway of Taliban-like forces in India. If we go down the path of hurt sentiments and incentivizing professional offence takers, we will soon have no defense left against the radicalism tearing Pakistan apart.” What exactly is the objection of the right-wing Hindu organizations against the book? The author, Doniger, is a celebrated scholar of the Hindu religion, holds double doctorate degrees in Sanskrit and Indian studies from Harvard and Oxford Universities. She has written a number of books about Hinduism, translated Sanskrit texts, and has also evoked ineluctable controversy. In an op-ed piece in the New York Times (March 6, 2014), under the

The Conspirators Rashtriya Swayam Sewak Sangh, Shiva Sena, the BJP, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and all other constituents of Hindutva in India and the USA. It was a plot that was carried out with precision with the knowledge of the chief minister of the state of Uttra Pradesh and the Prime Minister of India. India’s intelligence agencies knew about it, and the military intelligence was aware of it. Yet ,none could act in defense of India’s constitution that guarantees the protection of places of worship of all faiths. The story of the demolition of the Babri Masjid is the story of a group of terrorists who under the

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garb of religion, wearing the cloak of Hindu nationalism, promotes fascism. It is this group that is now knocking at the gates of India’s parliament and is aspirant to lead the country in the future. Those who plotted or were part of the demolition are among those who are contesting as candidates for India’s highest legislative body under the cloak of secularism and development. Who knows how many more plots these groups and individuals have been involved in since the independence of India from British Raj? Who knows how far these outfits have penetrated India’s political, bu-

OPINION title, Banned in Bangalore, she responds to the controversy swirling around her book. Her detractors claim, she explained, that the book was written with missionary-like zeal and had excessive erotic overtones, designed to reflect Hinduism in a poor light. Doniger propounds the thesis that Hinduism, as presented today, is a sanitized adaptation of the authentic Hinduism which British scholars and Victorian protestant missionaries in colonial India crafted in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. They were profoundly uncomfortable with esoteric polytheism and erotic sculptures and proceeded to synthesize their own version of the religion, referred to as Sanatana Dharma. It was heavily drawn from Sanskrit texts and based on transcendental philosophy and established ancient practices such as meditation. In this endeavor, according to Doniger, they found willing partners: liberal, westernized Hindu elites, who adopted it enthusiastically. She argues that “the poems and songs that imagine the god as lover, like the exquisite statues of goddesses, are a vital part of the religion of those who did not cave under the colonial scorn.” She maintains that she is resurrecting the authentic version that is grounded into many traditions and folk practices of India. The controversy in India raises a delicate question with universal application: what is the appropriate balance between the freedom of expression of writers, poets and practitioners of the fine arts, and the rights of the public to be protected from material offensive to their religious beliefs. The answer varies according to countries and societies. It would be hypocritical to pretend that the problem of blasphemy is peculiar to India. Pakistan, in particular, has seen numerous cases where the blasphemy law has been egregiously abused and public anger aroused by false rumors. Minority communities have been the primary targets of such irrational rage, many of whom were killed or driven out of their homes. Experience has shown that violent demonstrations against a book are often of immense benefit to the author, as the free publicity generated drives up book sales astronomically. The world-wide protests against the disreputable book, Satanic Verses, by Salman Rushdie and the Fatwa delivered by Ayatollah Khomeini, made the book an instant best seller, making the author a multimillionaire and bringing him fame and recognition. It is most unlikely that any of it would have happened in the absence of reaucratic, educational, financial and technological CONSPIRATORS, P10

Views and opinions expressed by authors and cont r i but or s in articles, letters, opinion pieces, reports, advertisements, etc appearing in Pakistan Link and Urdu Link are their own. The paper neither shares nor endorses them and thus should not be held responsible for the views/opinions of the writers & advertisers.


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OPINION

P6 – PAKISTAN LINK – APRIL 11, 2014 n By Dr Adil Najam

N

Lahore

Idiots

o. I am not trying to insult your intelligence. Merely to provoke it. Yes. The headline is designed entirely to excite your attention. No. There is no intention to be rude. If I come across as such, let me apologize at the very outset. Yes. I do hope that the headline has agitated your interest. Enough for you to read on. Enough to be open to some introspection.

‘Idiot’ has always been a word of rebuke, reproach and rebuff. But it has not always meant what it has now come to mean. In some ways, it meant much worse. In other ways, it meant much more. Ancient Greeks would have used the word idiot to describe someone who was “not interested in politics.” Wait. Before the jokes come flowing in, please recall that in Athenian Greece politics did not mean what it has come to mean today. More on that later. According to Webster’s Word Histories (1989), the word idiot comes from Greek, idiotes, through Latin idiota, and then middle French, idiote. It derives from the original Greek root idios which means pertaining to one’s own self, private, peculiar, self-focused, separate. The words ‘idiom’ or ‘idiosyncratic’, for example, derive from similar roots. In Athenian democracy an idiotes was a person not active in – or not capable of being active in – public affairs. From this flowed the idea of an idiot as an ‘ignorant person’ and later evolved into our modern sensibility of an idiot as an insult to someone’s intelligence. True to Athenian arrogance, it was even then a disparaging and derogatory label. As, in fact, was the idea of the ‘common man’ – ‘common’ precisely because they were focused on individual gain and not the societal good. The importance of this ancient etymology to a contemporary understanding of democracy and citizenship is explored by Walter C Parker – a professor of education at the University of Washington – in his 2003 book, Teaching Democracy. Writing about the role of education, curriculum and schools in inculcating citizenship, he makes a persuasive case for reclaiming the original meaning of the slur. To Parker, the Athenian idiot was a person “who paid no attention to public affairs and engaged only in self-interested or private pursuits, never mind the public interest – the civic space and the common good.” He quotes Christopher Berry

in The Idea of a Democratic Community (1989): “If a man’s conduct and discourse ceased to be politic it became idiotic – self-centered, unregardful of his neighbor’s need, inconsequent in itself, as in the case of a rudderless ship, and without consequence therefore in his neighbor’s eyes.” This role of idiocy in a democratic polity (politikos) achieves meaning when contrasted with polites, the citizen.

We jeer. We sneer. We cheer. We shout. We cry. We laugh. We plead. We beat our chests. We stand tall in pride. We hang our heads in shame. We unmask the villains. We belittle the clowns. We cut down every hero. We talk. We talk. We talk. We talk. We do exactly what tamashbeen are supposed to do. We may not be idiots, but we are not citizens. Not yet The idiot, in this formulation, is the self-centered individual for whom the goal is private gain; who is uninterested in and uncaring of the common good; unwilling to become and incapable of being a public actor. The idiot, therefore, stands in opposition to the citizen. Central to this concept of democracy is the notion that it is the ‘public’ interest (as in, of the collective, of society) and not the passions of the ‘common man’ (as in, of the individual) lie at the

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core of the democratic pólis. It is not difficult to understand why the term idiot was deemed demeaning in its original intent nor how it has evolved to its current declaim of defame. However, ancient Greece would have seen their idiot as no less an idiot than ours. Aristotle, in one of his most famous quotations, is already defining the idiot – one not interested in the common good – as being less than human: “Man is by nature a social animal; an individual who is unsocial naturally and not accidentally is either beneath our notice or more than human. Society is something that precedes the individual. Anyone who either cannot lead the common life or is so self-sufficient as not to need to, and therefore does not partake of society, is either a beast or a god.” Of course, Aristotle left open the possibility of the idiot being a god. And many an idiot has been known to believe that he is just that. Thucydides, in his History of the Peloponnesian War, is much more blunt in his elevation of the citizen and condemnation of those not interested in politics; the idiots. He has Pericles declare in a funeral oration: “We do not say that a man who takes no interest in politics is a man who minds his own business; we say that he has no business here at all.” Walter Parker reminds us that Athenian philosophers laid such importance on the cultivation of citizenship – and this is of particular relevance to Pakistan – because the idiot is possibly suicidal and certainly self-defeating to the society he is part of. Idiots are idiots precisely because they forget that the freedoms and the prosperity that they seek to enjoy individually can come only from nurturing the collective common good of society. Where there are many idiots, there cannot be a clear sense of the collective common good. And herein lies our moment of introspection: Are we citizens? Or are we idiots? Of course, Pakistan has no dearth of people interested in politics. But interest alone does not make a citizen. Action does. Citizenship is not a spectator sport. Nor is politics. Yet, our interest in politics is too often the interest of a spectator, not of an actor. Indeed, what is idiotic – in every sense of the word – is the spectacle of politics as a grand farce – a theatre of the absurd – that is forever unfolding before us on our television screens, on twitter, in our drawing room and khokha conversations. The spectacle that we so enjoy is more the stuff to put on display at a Roman Colosseum than at the Athenian Lyceum. Even more idiotic – in that suicidal and self-defeating way – is to berate this political spectacle without realizing that

IDIOTS, P29


OPINION

APRIL 11, 2014 – PAKISTAN LINK – P7

n By Dr Mohammad Taqi

A

Florida

rising star of the Urdu electronic media, a reputable English language journalist and a very dear friend, Raza Rumi, narrowly escaped a hail of terrorist bullets last week. One cannot thank the good Lord enough for that. His driver Muhammad Mustafa died of the 11 gunshots sustained in the barrage while his guard remains seriously wounded.

Raza is an enlightened person and a balanced analyst who can only be described as a polite, gracious and unassuming man. More importantly, he is someone whom both friends and foes can reason with. The dreaded news, downplayed by most television channels except the Express News that Raza works for, was profoundly disturbing but not surprising. Raza had told me just 24 hours before the attack that apparently hit lists have been prepared and he has been told that his name is also on one of them. It was heartening to see Raza take to the airwaves within hours to speak about the deadly assault with a resolute eloquence; his true grit was truly inspiring. He even penned an op-ed the next day, asking what exactly his fault was. I think Raza should know his fault, which to me is: chipping away at the obscurantist narrative in a language that most Pakistanis can understand — Urdu. Raza has not said anything that he has not written about before in English but to challenge the jihadist gospel in Urdu is what really gets under their skin. Urdu, television and nonconformist views are a surefire combination to attract the wrath of both state and non-state actors in Pakistan. Raza has not blamed anyone for the hit but does he need to? It cannot be the liberals. When was the last time a liberal — ridiculously called ‘liberal fascist’ by

Hooked on Jihadism jihadist media — shot and killed anyone in Pakistan? Preparing hit lists and eliminating intellectual opponents has been a domain of the jihadist enterprise sired by the state itself. The Pakistani state has generously shared a monopoly over violence with the jihadists for as long as one can remember. And it is not about to change any time soon. A delegation of the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) met Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif after Friday’s assault and reported, “We came away impressed with their intent to come to grips with attacks on journalists in Pakistan. As we worked our way down our list of recommendations we found the government was already on the way to addressing many of them, and often planning solutions similar to those we were recommending. It is our duty to remain skeptical, but we left with an entirely different feeling from the Sharif meeting than when we had met with President Asif Zardari in May 2011 or with Interior Minister Aftab Sherpao in July 2006.” I have absolutely no reason to share the CPJ’s optimism based on a meeting or two. One must indeed be deeply skeptical about the CPJ giving a clean bill of health to an administration when some of those journalists, who literally are marked men, tell one, “The government is not interested in doing much.” The CPJ ought to be more careful in choosing its words. It is dealing with a state and society that have a record of impunity against journalists, with over 40 killed in a decade. What behooves the CPJ is due diligence, not undue and premature praise. The signs are that the Pakistani state remains hooked and high on jihadism. From meddling in the Middle East at the behest of its Arab patrons to continuing to stoke the fire in Afghanistan, the Pakistani militaryintelligence-jihadi complex is not inclined

to correct its course in the near to midterm. From the Pakistani government’s statement endorsing the Saudi bid for regime change in Syria to turning a blind eye to, if not actively dispatching the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi and Taliban jihadists to achieve that goal, Pakistan’s role is plain dubious. The PML-N leadership

The CPJ’s optimism notwithstanding, the Pakistani state is unlikely to kick its jihadist drug habit. The space for those citizens, especially media persons who do not conform, will continue to shrink. Raza Rumi, and others like him, will be left to fend for themselves seems intent on returning personal favors received from the Saudi monarchy by shoving Pakistan into another pernicious conflict that it can surely do without. In a departure from condemning foreign powers without naming names, the Af-

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ghan intelligence service — the NDS — has directly blamed Pakistan for the recent massacre by the Taliban in Kabul’s Serena Hotel, in which an AFP journalist, Sardar Ahmad, was also killed along with his wife and two children. Afghanistan said that the “NDS investigations and findings after the tragic incident reveal that Pakistani intelligence services were involved in planning this heinous attack”. The so-called spectacular attacks that have un-leashed death in major Afghan cities over the past decade have invariably been traced to jihadist terrorists holed up on Pakistani soil but Pakistan has never even slapped their wrist. On the contrary, operations to weed out the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) were tweaked or postponed to avoid disrupting the deadly business of the good Taliban. We have argued in this space that the TTP and the Afghan jihadists have always been joined at the hip and, along with Punjab-based jihadists, they are different shades of the regional al Qaeda spectrum. The Pakistani state, unfortunately, does not plan to cut this Gordian knot of jihadism that it has tied over four decades. The military-intelligence-jihadist complex may actually be getting its ducks in a row for the next round of death and destruction in the region. Kashmir-oriented jihadists like Masud Azhar are being resurrected to undermine improving ties with India. The election of the new ameer (head) of the Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), Mr Sirajul Haq seems like the second coming of his jihadist mentor the late Qazi Hussain Ahmed. Mr Ahmed was an intellectual lightweight compared to his JI predecessors, who was promoted out of turn largely due to his ethnic Pashtun background and connections to the Afghan jihadists to boost the jihad next door. Under Mr Ahmed’s tutelage, Mr Haq led the JI’s student wing, Islami Jamiate-Talaba (IJT) from 1988 to 1991 when IJT members were dispatched to wage war in Khost and Jalalabad. I was at JIHADISM, P8


OPINION

P8 – PAKISTAN LINK – APRIL 11, 2014 n By Syed Kamran Hashmi

A

Westfield, IN

s a rule, travelling abroad is a safe and pleasurable endeavor, especially if the tourist is a young, westbound, Pakistani male who is on his own.

First, it is important to know that the Pakistani definition of the west is a little different and by no means can it be confused with a geographical position nor can it be referred to an imaginary place where the sun sets. For us, the west can be anywhere in the world, even in paradise, as long as it has the abundance of the four infamous Ws: women, wine and more wine and more women. So, for this visitor, we can assume that by heading in the ‘right’ direction, he intends to have the time of his life, or the time he intends to have in his afterlife. Let us now focus on the measures he has undertaken to achieve his targets. We can agree that his first and foremost objective should be to protect himself — mostly from Pakistanis. As usual, our advice to every Pakistani who intends to stay safe is this: as soon as you plan to leave the motherland you should do everything and anything to ‘look different’. The purpose behind adopting some radical changes to your looks is to hide your nationality, which, in turn, guarantees your safety. You can dye your hair red (please avoid henna; it reveals more about you than it conceals), golden or purple and use colored contact lenses. Trying ‘fair and

How to Protect Yourself while Traveling lovely’ for the first time (officially) even when you are a male is not a bad idea — it can bring a special shine to your skin even if it does not lighten it up. Similarly, facial bleach can also help regardless of your gender since, at least for a few days, it can bring down the tone of your skin by a couple of shades. If you have a Deobandi-style beard, which means a long untrimmed stubble hanging below your waistline without a mustache, then I must say, you have to pick one of the two choices: you may want to change your destination to the Middle East or it has to go. At the very least, it needs to be converted into a Saudi-style beard, which is mostly known in Pakistan as the ‘French cut’ or ‘goatee’. On the other hand, if you are a typical chauvinistic Pakistani male who keeps a big, black oily and curvy mustache spread across half of your face as the marker of your manhood, then I must apologize to you yet again because it has to be erased urgently too. No decent male carries such a ‘bootilicious’ thing on top of their mouth nowadays. Trust me, a typical mustache can relay a big clue about your identity, even more than the odor of the mustard oil on your hair and much more than the scent of fried cumin from your clothes or the fresh breeze of sautéed onions from your mouth when you speak. After concealing your identity, the second part of this two-pronged strategy to ensure your safety is to stay away from all Pakistanis all the time once you are out of the country.

A single moment of negligence can be fatal if you falter. We understand

As usual, our advice to every Pakistani who intends to stay safe is this: as soon as you plan to leave the motherland you should do everything and anything to ‘look different’. The purpose behind adopting some radical changes to your looks is to hide your nationality, which, in turn, guarantees your safety that in a land where no one speaks your language, you will be attracted

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to a person who looks like you — disheveled, untidy, brown, fat and ugly — hoping to make conversation. However, ‘research’ has consistently shown that he is going to be far more dangerous for you than anyone else in the world, even more than the ‘Jews’. So, if you have not taken the first step to move towards him yet, then hold back and think about the devastating consequences: loss of money, time, energy, maybe even safety, or all of them. If you do not have a choice and you absolutely have to make conversation with another Pakistani, then please try to make it as short as possible because the longer you are going to stay with your country fellow, the higher are your chances of future problems. The measures that you have to undertake before this conversation are as follows: never give your true name, correct telephone number or the real city of your origin. Although I know it is hard to hide your ethnicity, be it Punjabi, Pashtun or Bihari, still there is no harm in trying to conceal that as well. Additionally, for your own safety do not disclose your profession, your marital status, number of children, the profession of your father or the city where your parents currently live. These are little clues that people gather to complete the sketch before they pounce on you. Furthermore, make sure that during a three minute conversation you have mentioned your close association with some influential politicians, well-known generals and high-ranking bureau-

crats even if it is not true. Your connections or even the suspicion of your connections will make the other person think twice before he tries to scam you with his tricks. The only exception to these rules is that the Pakistani you are planning to talk is not a man. In that case, you can freely and unabashedly share your personal information, including your phone number, address, profession and career achievements. You can try to engage in a conversation for as long as you wish or she wishes to continue. Just show her your charms, the charms of a Pakistani man when he tries to be funny, pretends to be an intellectual and acts like a liberal when he is in fact none of them. The point is that you do whatever it takes to continue your ‘friendship’ with her for a long time, way beyond your short acquaintance at the airport. She needs to experience the company of a Pakistani man in her life to realize how crooked a man can be and how difficult life can be with him. JIHADISM FROM P7

Peshawar University at the time when the IJT, under Mr Sirajul Haq, was recruiting boys on campuses for ‘jihad and martyrdom’ in Afghanistan. Mr Haq’s elevation dovetails with the scheme of things wherein the Taliban are being legitimized at home. The CPJ’s optimism notwithstanding, the Pakistani state is unlikely to kick its jihadist drug habit. The space for those citizens, especially media persons who do not conform, will continue to shrink. Raza Rumi, and others like him, will be left to fend for themselves.


OPINION

APRIL 11, 2014 – PAKISTAN LINK – P9

n By Dr Ghulam M. Haniff

U

St. Cloud, Minnesota

p until a few years ago it was widely believed that men would seek all the coveted positions in the society and women would be stuck with being

house-wives and domestics. Not any longer. Females have increasingly begun to go to universities and men had to adjust to the changing times. The professionalization of world culture is changing the dynamics in the global marketplace and women are playing their role in it. Even in the Muslim World changes are overtly visible and professional role of women is increasingly taken seriously. More universities are being built as another generation of young people decides to go to college. Among these substantial numbers are females and they are competing for jobs in the economy at all the levels. Beyond that women are also offering several volunteer activities, or semi-volunteer, to get established in society and render services to the nation. One of these took place some years ago in the country of Bangladesh where such services are eagerly sought. One of the things that the Muslim women did was to organize themselves to render services to the United Nations and form the United Nations Peacekeeping Forces. Their intention was to use these services for bringing peace to the country of Bangladesh where several recent mob rule situations have gotten out of hand. In an obtuse manner women hope to use their organization as an instrument of peace. They have already declared to take the organization for peacekeeping purposes at the international level if the occasion arises. All over the world Muslim women are doing something grand to make a name for themselves as well as for the community of those who practice Islam. Muslim women are increasingly becoming proficient in medicine, engineering and information technology - the skills which are

n By Riaz Haq

P

CA

rime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has scored a convincing victory over his opponents in the latest municipal polls in Turkey. His Justice and Development Party (AKP) has won 44% of all the votes, well ahead of the 29% for the opposition People’s Republican Party (CHP) which was founded as a secular party by Mutafa Kemal Ataturk, the father of modern Turkey.

The results of these municipal elections are being seen as a national referendum on Erdogan’s 11-year rule after massive street protests by the Opposition against his rule amid a slew of corruption allegations which have threatened to tarnish his reputation. The accusations, taking the form of leaked recordings of conversations mostly featuring the prime minister that were anonymously posted online, prompted Erdogan to crack down on social media and journalists, according to the Washington Post. Erdogan has accused his former ally Fethullah Gülen and his Gülen movement of orchestrating the corruption investigations against him and related media leaks as a “foreign conspiracy” against his rule. Gülen lives in self-imposed exile in Pennsylvania and his followers have occupied positions in the police and the judiciary and are said to be leading the corruption investigation. The New York Times has recently reported that Mr Erdogan’s “power struggle with Mr Gulen has upended Turkish politics, historically defined by the divisions between the secular and religious, by exposing a new fault line between two Islamist traditions that once united to push the military from politics through a series of sensational, and highly contentious, trials”.

It’s a Women’s World

very much in demand the world over. The day is not far off when women would be running the society. Culture, perhaps it would be more cogent to say that our culture, has been keeping women behind through contrived laws.

emancipator. In performance women often outdo men and some permanently stay at the top of the social pyramid. At this point in time women are filling their quota of positions in many parts of Muslim societies though they are largely confined to education.

Even in the Muslim World changes are overtly visible and professional role of women is increasingly taken seriously. More universities are being built as another generation of young people decides to go to college. Among these substantial numbers are females and they are competing for jobs at all the levels These were created in the medieval times but have remained through subterfuge through the power of nobility ever since. Men have contributed a lot towards the oppression of women. As noted earlier, times are beginning to change. This all came about barely a century ago when the female of the species began to increasingly look towards education as their

At the time of this writing women have achieved greatly by the standards of the patriarchal values of the Muslims. In a few decades women are quite likely to be running the society. The women of Bangladesh mentioned earlier are already contributing towards their national efforts. Another group of women got together in Pakistan to organize at the village

Will Pak-Turk School Stay Open in Pakistan?

Gülen movement runs a large network of schools around the world, including a

ish Fethullah Gulen. In a recent television interview, Erdogan said he was in touch

“Over the past decade scores of charter schools have popped up all over the US, all sharing some common features. Most of them are high-achieving academically, they stress math and science, and one more thing: they’re founded and largely run by immigrants from Turkey who are carrying out the teachings of a Turkish Islamic cleric: Fethullah Gulen” number of successful Pak-Turk schools in Pakistan. Mr Erdogan is pursuing closure of Gulen schools around the world to pun-

with Pakistani officials to shut down PakTurk Schools. In his TV interview, Erdoğan said the only topic of a recent meeting with

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level for the purpose of combating the curse of the militants’ philosophy. Their efforts are just getting off the ground and people are beginning to pay attention. Women have organized into a small force of sixteen and judge grievances brought against them. Altogether, they act as judges to provide the final judgment in all cases brought against women. They enjoy the final say. Women have come up with several new ideas in complete compliance with the Shariah law and even men have agreed with them. They have come up with t ideas for the benefit of the nation. The leaders and the people of the land find their initiative admirable. They are willing to serve as the role model for other nations if they are asked to do so. One of the things that becomes very obvious is their sense of mastering the entire range of Islamic values which affect women’s compliance with Shariah. The village council consists exclusively of women and is seen as a positive force for bringing change to a region. This innovative idea is now confined to North Waziristan, situated between Pakistan and Afghanistan. This area has been dominated with relentless violence. Its most noteworthy victim was the school-girl, Malala Yusufzai. Women have a good chance of becoming experts by gaining literacy in the language of the Qur’an. By doing this they will change the entire society and usher the ability to read and write to the average village women. That would be a tremendous boost to the culture of the region. Today, it may be inconceivable to us that such a change would occur but time is on our side and the next generation would be more involved in change than the present one. Yet, another change, the third one, is in the offing and it also involves Muslim women. These are also the women of Islam from the Middle East, Central Asia, Pakistan and elsewhere. Their work is to provide literacy and bring change. This movement began in Central Asia, spread to some parts of the Middle East, and is likely to gain momentum in Pakistan. Their aim is to destroy the Taliban culture and confront those who spoke on behalf of their pernicious ideology. Shahbaz Sharif was the activities of these schools in Pakistan. There are 18 Gülen-affiliated schools in Pakistan under the name Pak-Turk schools, according to Turkey’s Hurriyet Daily News. Gulen has tens of thousands of American children attending his schools. In a CBS 60 Minutes segment last year, here’s how correspondent Leslie Stahl described Gulen schools in the United States: “Over the past decade scores of charter schools have popped up all over the US, all sharing some common features. Most of them are highachieving academically, they stress math and science, and one more thing: they’re founded and largely run by immigrants from Turkey who are carrying out the teachings of a Turkish Islamic cleric: Fethullah Gulen”. CBS report said Gulen schools in the United States have 20,000 students enrolled with 30,000 more on the waiting list. The growing popularity of Turkish charter schools has drawn suspicion and criticism of various groups in the United States. Erdoğan has also spoken to US President Barack Obama about his concerns over the activities of Fethullah Gulen. “I told Obama [during a recent phone conversation] that the person who is responsible for the unrest in Turkey lives in your country, in Pennsylvania. I told him this clearly. I said, ‘I expect what’s necessary [to be done].’ You have to take the necessary stance if someone threatens my country’s security,” Erdoğan said during an interview on private broadcaster ATV late March 6. “[Obama] looked at it positively. ‘We got the message,’ he said”. Gulen schools have a good reputation. They are serving a large student population all over the world. My hope is that they will continue to get the education they need and deserve. A way out would be to transfer the management of such schools and keep them operating to deliver quality education.


OPINION

P10 – PAKISTAN LINK – APRIL 11, 2014 n By Mohammad Ashraf Chaudhry

Pittsburgh , CA

Consider the figures about Muslims; 1.3 billion and growing; every fifth or sixth person on this planet a Muslim; 55 states and one of them nuclear; about 25 million living permanently in the West and making a great impact on social, political and economic life”, says Prof. Akbar Ahmed, and adds, “The 21st Century will be the century of Islam. Muslim civilization will be central to understanding where we will be moving in the future. Anyone wanting to make sense of living in the twenty-first century, will need to understand Islam”. These are pleasant words, but bold assertions. Do they really reflect the ground realities that Muslims are confronting Muslims? This is somewhat debatable.

And I fear they do not. In the words of one American columnist, “No part of the world is more hopelessly and systematically and stubbornly misunderstood by us (the West) than that complex of religion, culture and geography known as Islam”. And this is true for no fault of the West; it is so because of our own failure to explain the true teachings and spirit of Islam. In the words of Dr Muzammal Siddiqui, “People learn from what they see, and people will know the truth about Islam not from principles, but from practices of the Muslims”. Muslims are a monologous community that talks only to its own people and keeps believing that others will know about their religion by observing them talking. Once a follower asked the Prophet, “What is religion?”. And his answer is the solution to Muslim problems, “One’s regard and conduct towards others”. Even in the performance of rituals, the figures paint not so rosy a picture. According to Zogby International Polls, just 49% visit an Islamic center once a week; only 19% make some of the five daily prayers; a paltry 5% admit going only for Eid prayers. 10% boldly admit that they have never prayed in their life. To a question like how deeply have you been involved in the activities of an Islamic center, just 19% said they were involved, and 28% admitted they have never been involved at all. Figures speak for themselves. Michael Wolfe who made the film, “The Legacy of the Prophet” is right when he says, “Audience is the name of the game… the more people see you, the more they will realize that we are caring people. We need to be seen and heard” everywhere. In the words of Prof. Ali Minai of Cincinnati, “If we believe that our faith is compatible with progressive humanist ideals, then we must express ourselves, not as apologists of Islam to the West, but as proponents of new possibilities for Islam. The time has come for us to do so now.” Islam is our best moral guide and its education is our spiritual health insurance. This can happen only if we truly understand our religion and practice it in our lives. Cherry picking in Islam, i.e. choosing the easy parts and neglecting those that demand sacrifice and effort is not going to take us anywhere. Alhamd-o-Lillah, there are more than 1209 Islamic centers and over 250 full time Muslim schools in America, though Muslims are less than 1% of the total American population. In France though being 8% to 9% of the population, they just have three Muslim schools. Muslims are ideally placed here in America, and they are high achievers too. 67% of them hold a four-year college degree, and 66% of them make over 60K per year. One in every ten Muslim households has a doctor and 22% of them are professional engineers. Unlike the Muslims in Europe , they are not concentrated in highly visible enclaves of poverty. Be it Jackson Heights, or Dearborn, not even one is found begging on the streets or in the subways as they are found in Brussels . They are extremely diverse as they hail from many parts of the globe; they speak numerous languages and practice several versions of Islam freely, and yet they are not as much divided as they are in the countries of

Muslim American Parents: New Roles, New Challenges

their origin. There is nothing that may breed in them a sense of disaffection, or any feelings of extremism. They love America like anybody else. Their community is poverty-free; is crime-free and being educated and well-placed is highly instrumental in the economic and social growth of this country. They are not marginalized, like they are in Europe; here they do not have to fight for their daughters’ right to wear a Hijab. In the words of Dr Muzammal Siddiqui, “Despite the rising Islomophobia, this is still the best country to do work and research in any field, including Islamic Studies”, and he is right. The negative perceptions about Islam can only be corrected through dialogue and through interfaith meetings. The best thing that Muslims can do is to make sure that people are portraying an accurate image of Islam, and not a distorted one. An effective Islamic center, and an educated, broad-minded and visionary leadership can play this role very well. If spring brings flowers and fragrance, it

were the parents?” Parents in Islam are held religiously responsible for raising their kids as good human beings, as men of character and conscience. The fact of the matter is that most of our teens exist in a state of near isolation. First we ignore them, and then they ignore us. If we love them, we got to love them a little louder. The relationship now demands total transparency. We got to find time to read their school papers; we got to know the kind of music they listen, and the movies they watch; the friends they move with. When we buy them their first bike, we know the law that we got to get them the helmet too. Likewise, as parents we got to know the world our children live in. Mostly it is we who make the world they live in. Life is not a video game that you may fry eggs or cook the meals in the kitchen while your kid watches ‘The born killers’. It is our duty to know if he/she was in the library, or what research paper he/she has been working on; if he/she has been lately in great anger, depres-

In the words of Dr Timothy Savage of MIT, “The first time the West and Islam came in direct contact, what resulted in the West was the First Renaissance. The 2nd direct contact of Islam with the West is taking place now, and we hope it brings about the second Renaissance”, and renaissance means the revival of learning; of reason; of broad-mindedness; of tolerance; and revival of an era of co-existence in peace and love. It is my faith that the true face of Islam after a very long period will emerge, not from an Islamic country, but from the United States of America also brings Pauline which makes noses itchy and eyes watery. America too like spring has its share of cultural allergy. It has its own parameters of culture and freedom. The good thing is that it does not impose them on others. We should not assume that our kids will never be affected by its cultural allergy because they have the vaccination of Islam. Islam is a religion of logic and common sense. It tells us that the youth is vulnerable. Our children move in the company of kids like Luke Woodham who some years ago first killed his mother and then in school killed three more; our kids may be befriending a Mitchel Johnson or an Andrew Golden who in Jonesboro set off a fire alarm just to draw the school mates outside only to shoot them. Our children may be moving in the company of students like Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold who in 1999 killed 14 fellow students and one teacher because over time “they had become angry at the world”. Our children are not very special. They could have been one of them, or even one of those extremists who in the name of religion, become tools in the hands of terrorists and extremists. All parents of the young people involved in the London blasts, or those held in the recently discovered plan to blow off planes, asserted that their children were the nicest human beings. The question asked now in case of such a tragedy would be: “Where

sion, or somewhat withdrawn, all this must be in our knowledge. By the time your child is through the elementary school he/she has already watched 8,000 murders, according to a study conducted in 1999. There has been 300% increase in the teen suicides since 60’s; and 1,000% increase in depression. Your child stays alone over 3.5 hours a day and watches TV 28 hours a week, which is 4 hours a day. 31% children, including yours and mine, know someone who carries a gun. So tragic things do not happen like a Tsunami. They leave a trace behind them. Children love to reason and argue before they accept a point of view. Muslims progressed 800 years ago because of this habit. Scholars like Ibn Sina, Ibn Rushd and Ibn Khuld understood that knowledge alone could lead one to true Faith. Questioning helps us to decipher Allah’s Truth and His Signs. We should not get scared by their questioning. “An hour’s reflection is better than a year’s worship,” said our Noble Prophet. “Even better than reading the Qur’an”, asked the puzzled followers. “And, can the Qur’an be useful without knowledge”, was the Prophet’s answer. Now, we can embroil ourselves and our children in such questions as: is the birthday celebration a bidah? Can we pray in an aeroplane or a moving car? Is it all right to read the Qur’an in English? Is it permissible for a

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boy or girl to socialize in the center? Is it OK to donate money earned by selling alcohol? Is Hijab a part of Islam or culture? Can a woman pray in the main hall where men pray? Are doritos and chips haram because they contain enzymes? These may be valid questions, but do they rank higher to another kind of questions that are being posed to us and our youth every day? Does Islam promote extremism? Are Muslims envious of the wealth of the West? Do Muslims hate the West because it stands for freedom and strength? Does the Qur’an sanctify violence? Are Islamic values incompatible with Western values? Does Islam suppress freedom of speech? Muslims are hypocritical because they talk of peace and indulge in terrorism? Does Islam glorify suicidal acts? Do Muslims have four wives? Does Islam allow the beating of wives? Why Islam is against dating? Do young Muslims in Islam have a choice in the selection of their spouses? Does Islam support gender inequality? And many more. The choice is yours. A good Islamic center will educate its members on these topics in the light of the Qur’an and Sunnah, proving that Islam is as progressive, dynamic and pragmatic as any religion, and even more because it came last of all. This Islamic center has the distinction of talking to the youth on such important issues every week of the month. We live in a pluralistic society, so we must build friendly and healthy relations with people of other faiths. We must build bridges. We must make a schedule to visit churches, synagogues and other civic organizations with a view to improving our understanding of other religions. What really can put Islam in danger is not the presence of enzymes in doritos, and our arguing endlessly on it; but the wrong propagation of its true teachings, and the ignorance of our children about Islam and its true face. Self-criticism should not remain a taboo with us. We must be bold enough to recognize our failures. We are good at making money and performing well at schools; are we good at living Islam too? In the words of Dr Timothy Savage of MIT, “The first time the West and Islam came in direct contact, what resulted in the West was the First Renaissance. The 2nd direct contact of Islam with the West is taking place now, and we hope it brings about the second Renaissance”, and renaissance means the revival of learning; of reason; of broadmindedness; of tolerance; and revival of an era of co-existence in peace and love. It is my faith that the true face of Islam after a very long period will emerge, not from an Islamic country, but from the United States of America. An effective Islamic center is thus pivotal in promoting the much needed understanding about Islam. And in the interest of justice and positive change, the West also needs to understand Islam with an open mind. Islamophobic statements and actions punish and victimize the entire global community of Muslims for the actions of a few, and hinder efforts of people like us to provide a true and moderate voice, and promote mutual understanding and peace in the world, says ISNA. In this mixedup and messed-up world of ours, the urgent need is for dialogue, not to win an argument, but to win the hearts. Islamic centers are destined to play this role, and so they must without any further delay. CONSPIRATORS FROM P4

sectors? Who knows how many intelligence officers and military personnel and political officials owe their loyalty to these groups? The RSS has a network of over 100,000 relief organizations and over thousands of militant boot camps and no one knows with precision how many of its members have become part of India’s law enforcement agencies. The sting operation revelation also gives us a sad picture of India’s law enforcement agencies that failed miserably either to investigate the criminals and conspirators or to bring out charges against them. It also speaks volumes of the hateful ideology that the RSS has used to poison the minds of its members about Islam, Christianity and other faiths. The CONSPIRATORS, P29


PAKISTAN

APRIL 11, 2014 – PAKISTAN LINK – P11

Army Will Preserve Its Honor at All Costs: General Raheel

Danger of “Pakistan Getting Caught in a Saudi-Iranian Turf War”

Gen Sharif paid glowing tributes to the sacrifices of the SSG soldiers and officers and acknowledged their tremendous success while fighting against terrorists

Pakistan’s Adviser for National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz (R) speaks with Saudi Foreign Minister, Prince Saud al-Faisal, during a joint press conference

Islamabad: Pakistan’s military will

Islamabad: Pakistan’s main op-

protect its dignity “at all costs”, the army chief said on Monday in an apparent show of irritation over the treason trial of former army chief and president Pervez Musharraf. Such talk from the army chief, General Raheel Sharif, the most powerful figure in Pakistan, is likely to raise concern about political intervention by the army, which would set back hopes for the development of democracy and civilian rule. Last month, a Pakistani court indicted Musharraf on five counts of treason over his suspension of the constitution and imposition of emergency rule in 2007, when he was trying to extend his rule. Musharraf, who first seized power as army chief in a 1999 coup and later became president as well, faces the death penalty if convicted.

He has pleaded not guilty. The case again Musharraf highlights the competition for influence between Pakistan’s three power centers: an increasingly assertive judiciary, the fledgling civilian government and the powerful military, which has ruled Pakistan for more than half of its 67-year-history. Musharraf ’s indictment has broken an unwritten rule that the top ranks of the military are untouchable. “The Pakistan army looks at all institutions with respect,” Sharif said on a visit to a military base in response to questions from soldiers about recent criticism of the army, including, a military source said, one about the trial. “But it will also preserve its own dignity and institutional pride at all costs.” Sharif, speaking at a base in

Tarbela, about 70 km (44 miles) northwest of the capital, Islamabad, did not elaborate. But the criticism he referred to in his statement is most likely related to the treason trial of former army chief and president Pervez Musharraf. It was earlier reported that General Raheel had advised the government to let Musharraf go abroad for his medical treatment and to look after his ailing mother. During his visit to the SSG headquarters, the army chief said Pakistan Army has contributed immensely towards national security and nation building and will continue to deliver on its mission. “The army never has and never will shy away from rendering any sacrifice in ensuring a formidable defense and security of the motherland,” he was quoted as saying in the ISPR press release.

Imran Defuses Crisis within Party Islamabad: The infighting in the

Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa witnessed a drop scene on Friday. An estranged 13-member group of PTI’s provincial lawmakers met party chairman Imran Khan at his residence and reportedly got an assurance that he would try to allay their concerns. In return, the group expressed its complete trust in the leadership and vowed to work within the party discipline. “Party chairman Imran Khan not only patiently listened to our reservations, but also found them genuine and promised to take every possible measure for their timely redress,” Imtiaz Shahid, the group’s leader, told Dawn. He said the reservations were mainly about the poor performance of the provincial ministries, notably in the health and education departments. “The entire world is focusing on our provincial government and party, but unfortunately so far our performance leaves a lot to be desired.” When asked about reported allegations of corruption against some PTI ministers, Mr Shahid, who is Deputy Speaker of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly, sidestepped the question, saying many issues had come under discussion.

He insisted that the party was united under the leadership of Mr Khan and the differences were only regarding governance issues in the provincial government. He denied that he and his colleagues had threatened to resign from the party as well as the assembly. However, a senior party leader said some of the estranged members were not happy over the recent distribution of cabinet portfolios. The PTI chairman told reporters before the meeting that he would listen to complaints of the lawmakers, but “would prefer dissolution of the KP Assembly and go for new elections instead of getting blackmailed”.

A press release said the meeting was held in a relaxed and friendly manner and the legislators made clear that they were not after any office and had no demands. They expressed concern about corruption and shortcomings in the functioning of the provincial government. The chairman told them that the PTI had zero tolerance for corruption and if they had any proof they should immediately bring it to his notice so that he could act immediately. Their other concerns were also noted and they were reassured the issues would be examined and duly addressed. The MPAs made it clear that they had only offered resignations to the chairman, which could be used in case they were wrong. Imran Khan listened patiently to them and said he would hold monthly meetings with the provincial legislators. He said the ministers’ performance would be evaluated after every three months and anyone not delivering would be replaced. The chairman stressed that the party would not be blackmailed into compromising on its principles. The meeting ended with the legislators expressing their trust in the chairman and their commitment to PTI’s ideology.

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position party is demanding a transparent discussion in parliament over the origins of $1.5 billion paid into the country’s coffers in March, and what the government agreed to in exchange for the funds. The money is widely believed to have come from Saudi Arabia -- a donation aimed at cementing a new and potentially controversial security deal with the nuclear armed South Asian country. Pakistan’s liquid foreign currency reserves unexpectedly swelled to about $9.5 billion dollars in early March. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif ’s government has refused to name the country which provided the funds, saying only that it came from a “friendly Islamic country” to support Pakistan’s weak economy. Officials at Pakistan’s central bank confirmed that the money came from Saudi Arabia, and the government’s opponents want a full explanation. Sharif ’s refusal to be more transparent on the terms of the Saudi cash infusion has only fueled skepticism over the motives behind it. Defense experts note Pakistan’s long security relationship with Saudi Arabia, which in the past has seen Islamabad deploy troops to the kingdom. “In the 1980s, Pakistani troops served in places like Tabuk (in Saudi Arabia) and the (Pakistani) troops served in Saudi uniforms. That deployment was part of Pakistan’s defense agreement with Saudi Arabia,” explains defense analyst Farooq Hameed Khan, a retired Brigadier in the Pakistani army. “There is nothing new about Pakistan having a defense agreement with Saudi Arabia which involves Pakistani troops serving there.” Khan says the current scandal springs from reports which circulated last month suggesting a new agreement between the two countries is focused on Pakistan helping the Saudis bolster the opposition fighting forces in Syria, and -- either in tandem or by default -- shoring up Sunni Muslim ally Saudi Arabia in its regional standoff with Shiite-majority Iran. The problem is that Iran is Paki-

stan’s neighbor, and also a nation with which Islamabad has enjoyed relatively cordial relations. “The danger now is of Pakistan getting caught in a SaudiIranian turf war,” one opposition lawmaker, who didn’t want to be named, told CBS News. Khursheed Shah, leader of the opposition Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) in the lower house of parliament, known as the National Assembly, says it is an issue he and his fellow lawmakers “need to discuss,” adding that in his party’s view, “Pakistan should not provide weapons or troops (to Saudi Arabia).” Though Shah gave the Prime Minister the benefit of the doubt, accepting a statement from Sharif insisting the money is not tied to any commitment to send troops to oil-rich Saudi, other PPP members and some diplomats in the region remain unconvinced. The concerns are driven by more than three decades of uncomfortable relations between Saudi Arabia, where the ruling family and vast majority of residents are Sunni, and Iran, where the ruling clerics and vast majority of residents are of the Shiite sect. The two powerful countries have sought to increase their influence in the region, including in Pakistan and Afghanistan, in part by pouring huge sums of money into all levels of society, from government right down to local Islamic organizations of the same sectarian leaning. And while the money from Saudi “may help boost Pakistan’s finances in the short term,” respected Pakistani security and political analyst Hasan Askari Rizvi says it “carries the risk of dividing Pakistan internally.” An estimated 20 to 30 percent of Pakistan’s total population (of about 200 million) is Shiite Muslim. Almost all other Pakistanis belong to the Sunni sect -- only one or two percent of the population is non-Muslim. “This is a very, very delicate situation for Pakistan,” said the Western diplomat in Islamabad. “It would be very difficult for the Pakistani government to remain friends with Saudi Arabia and Iran at the same time.” - Courtesy CBS


PAKISTAN

P12 – PAKISTAN LINK – APRIL 11, 2014

Modi Avoids Inflammatory Rhetoric about Pakistan

Delhi: The BJP manifesto just re-

leased leaves some room for its prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi in the conduct of India’s relations with Pakistan, one of the most challenging accounts of the nation’s foreign policy. By avoiding inflammatory rhetoric on Pakistan in the manifesto, the BJP has sought to dampen the speculation around the world that Modi’s leadership of India will lead to an inevitable confrontation with Pakistan. For the moment, it would be unwise to assess Modi’s approach to Pakistan by using the traditional metrics of India’s domestic political discourse. After all, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, a leader of the ‘Hindu nationalist’ BJP traveled to Pakistan twice in his six-year tenure as prime minister. Dr Manmohan Singh of the “secular” Congress Party could not get himself do that journey even once in his ten long years as the PM. If the Congress party has selfimposed constraints on its Pakistan policy, the BJP allows a bit of flexibility to the prospective Modi government. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s diplomacy towards Pakistan in the second term of the UPA has been weighed down by the terror attack on Mumbai at the end of November 2008. Over the last few years, he struggled to strike a balance between the need to get the plotters of the attack to justice and the unavoidable imperative of engaging Pakistan. The Congress Party’s manifesto highlighted this dilemma by stating that it will “calibrate the dialogue” with Islamabad to the “delivery on accountability for 26/11 as well as dismantling of the infrastructure of terrorism on Pakistani soil”. The BJP certainly refers to increasing terror attacks in India by “Pakistan backed terror groups” and affirms “zero tolerance towards terrorism”. At the same time, it asserts that India “will pursue friendly relations” in the neighborhood. It also insisted that “where required we will not hesitate from taking strong stand and steps”, without elaborating on what they might be. The BJP also argued that peace in the region “is essential for South Asia’s growth and development. This broad framework, of course, lets Modi, if he indeed becomes the next prime minister, to make a fresh start with Pakistan on the nature and terms of a future dialogue. That of course has never been easy, especially when it comes to the connection between cross-border terrorism and dialogue with Pakistan.

Across the border in Pakistan there are competing views about Modi. His negative image as a ‘Hindu extremist’ and a ‘Muslim-baiter’, some argue, would significantly limit the freedom of the civilian leaders in Pakistan to embark on purposeful dialogue with Modi.

Pakistan Hopes Successful Afghan Election Will Improve Ties Islamabad: While congratulating Af-

ghan authorities on successfully holding Saturday’s presidential and provincial council elections, officials and political observers in Pakistan hope the development will help improve their usually uneasy bilateral relations. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif says he hopes the Afghan elections will be “instrumental in creating unity and harmony among the war-torn people” of Afghanistan. An official statement released in Islamabad quotes him as promising to work in collaboration with the new leadership in Kabul for regional peace and stability. Before Saturday’s polls, Pakistan and Afghan security forces closed all border crossings and deployed additional troops to beef up security on the mostly porous border between the two countries. Sharif has said the election in brotherly Afghanistan would prove to be a historic moment for its people in their democratic journey. As he put it, making decisions through ballot boxes by the Afghan people reflects their determination and keen interest for adopting democratic culture. Pakistan Senate Defense Committee Chairman Mushahid Hussain says the Pakistani government adhered to a policy of non-interference in the Afghan election process and that the principal Afghan presidential candidates avoided Pakistan-bashing during campaign rallies. The opposition senator says he is hopeful the outcome of the democratic process in Afghanistan will prove to be “a major leap-forward” for bilateral relations. He says “this is a great opportunity for Pakistan.” “A new leadership would be in place very soon in Kabul, a new leadership which has popular legitimacy, which has the support of the international community and mind you that this leadership during the entire election campaign did not target Pakistan, in fact they had positive feelings about Pakistan,” he said. “So, I think we should build upon this goodwill, build upon this positive environment and ensure that peace in Afghanistan and stability in Afghanistan is inextricably intertwined with peace, security and stability in Pakistan.”

Pakistan Deserves Fair Treatment by US Media: Mushahid

Islamabad:

Senate Defense Committee Chairman Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed has said that the Pakistani people have shown resilience in the war against terrorism, sacrificing much more than any other country. Besides Pakistan’s democratic transformation, with multiple power centers and political pluralism, deserves fair and better treatment in the US media. He was talking to a delegation of American journalists, currently visiting Islamabad under the US-Pakistan Journalist Exchange Program, offered by the East-West Center, Honolulu. Senator Mushahid said that the problems faced by the US after 9/11 were due to the wrong policies of Washington, particularly an ‘ideological foreign policy’ that included the unwarranted invasion and occupation of Iraq, the rejection of Saudi Arabia’s Middle East peace plan and placing Iran on the so-called ‘Axis of Evil’, even though Tehran cooperated with the US both in Afghanistan and Iraq. “Such wrong policies fuelled anti-Americanism,” he added. In the context of upcoming NATO forces withdrawal from Afghanistan, he stated that the biggest problem in US policy had been confusion and contradictions, as sometimes the United States requested Pakistan to arrange talks with the Afghan Taliban, while on other occasions, Washington wanted Pakistan ‘to take on the same Afghan Taliban’, adding that for ‘regrettably for the most part, American policy towards Afghanistan and Pakistan had been outsourced to the generals in the Pentagon and the ... CIA”. Senator Mushahid, while warmly welcoming the visit of American journalists, suggested that American strength lies not in military might but in its “Soft Power”, mentioning such areas as enrollment of foreign students in the US educational institutions, cultural and academic exchanges, media fellowships and scholarships, innovations in science and technology, charity work, development aid and providing leadership in ideas, issues and initiatives. The senator also praised US President Barrack Obama for the landmark nuclear agreement with Iran and his policy of avoiding a military conflict in Syria and other Middle Eastern countries. Talking about the US-Pakistan Journalist Exchange Program, the American journalists informed that the journalistic exchange, offered by East-West Center, provides media of both sides an opportunity to gain firsthand information to better understand the perspective and public opinions. The journalists thanked Senator Mushahid for the frank, open and on-the-record discussion which, according to them, will be very beneficial to bring new insights on bilateral relationship and gain a better understanding of regional dynamics, historical context, and ground realities that affect both countries.

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New JI Leader Raises Worries for Some

Peshawar: The election of KP Se-

nior Minister Sirajul Haq as the new JI chief has created apprehensions among many as the JI leadership shifted from urbanized scholarly figures to a comparatively younger member hailing from a remote district who physically participated in war against Soviet forces in Afghanistan in the 1980s. Founded by Syed Abul Ala Maududi, a scholar, theologian and socio-political philosopher in Lahore in 1941, JI was considered as an urban-based and educated middle class party having roots in big cities like Karachi and Lahore. Political analysts say that JI – which was led by Qazi Hussain Ahmad who belonged to a small town of Nowshera district for 22 years, more than Maulana Maududi – has changed the Jamaat from a mainstream party to a regional entity. Prof Ijaz Khattak, who teaches at the University of Peshawar’s International Relations Department, says there is a visible change in the character of the JI, which had sufficient vote bank and street power in Karachi and Lahore. “JI, which was dominated by the urban based educated middle class, has now been confined to a small mountainous district like Lower Dir and has been taken over by Pakhtuns,” he observed, adding that the feudal class which has its own mentality and thinking has also made inroads in JI. “It was expected that Syed Munawar Hassan will galvanize the party in urban areas, but he failed and election of Sirajul Haq strengthened this argument that Jamaat has been restricted to Lower Dir,” said Dr Khattak. Late Qazi Hussain who was elected JI chief in 1987 is considered the longest serving chief of Jamaat who relinquished office in April 2009. He was succeeded by Munawar Hassan. Insiders said that during his two-decade tenure as Jamaat chief, late Qazi Hussain had relaxed and simplified the process of getting the status of ‘Rukn’ (member of Jamaat having the vote right). The ‘Rukn’ can cast vote in the election of emir or chief of the party. They said that a large number of people from KP and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas were given the status of ‘Rukn’ of Jamaat during Qazi’s era. Initially, they said that it took three to four years for a person to become ‘Rukn’ of JI. “There are two factors which played a major role in the victory of Sirajul Haq against Munawar Hassan and Liaquat Baloch, another stalwart of JI from Lahore. First, a significant number of Pakhtuns has become ‘Ar-

akeen’ or members and second, Mr Haq is more popular among young ‘Arakeen’ than Mr Hassan and Mr Baloch,” said one analyst, who once was an active member of Jamaat. He believed that 60 per cent of all the ‘Arakeen’ were young. JI provincial information secretary Israrullah advocate said that the number of ‘Arakeen’ was approximately 31,000 of which about 8,000 belonged to the KP and Fata. Females also have the right to vote. “This impression is wrong that Pakhtuns have voted for Sirajul Haq,” he said and maintained that under the party constitution candidates could neither make a lobby nor run a campaign for themselves. Another analyst said that Sirajul Haq was a very good orator and that was why he was more popular among the JI workers than other leaders. Mohammad Riaz, Islamabadbased political analyst, said that the election of Sirajul Haq was an indication that JI was on the verge of decline both politically and academically as aggressive group had dominated the moderate circles in the party. Maulana Maududi was a scholar and had command over different subjects, Mr Riaz opined, adding that the late Maulana had formed JI to provide common platform to all schools of thought. Before his election Sirajul Haq was senior deputy emir of the party and had also served as provincial chief of JI. He opposes co-education and supports a separate assembly for female lawmakers in the province. He had also served as head of Islami Jamiat Talba, a student wing of JI. His close associates and rivals said that Sirajul Haq had actively participated in the Afghan war when the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan in 1979. Senator Zahid Khan of Awami National Party associates election of new JI chief with the changing geostrategic scenario across the Durand Line. He said that when the Afghan war was at its peak Qazi Hussain Ahmad was elected JI chief and he was given a task in Afghanistan. After five years, he said, another Pakhtun was elected JI emir, which he termed very worrisome. “This is not a coincidence and deliberately another Pakhtun has been elected Jamaat chief at a time when the situation is changing in Afghanistan. “His election is not in the interest of the region,” remarked Zahid Khan who also belongs to Lower Dir. He said: “I know Siraj since he was associated with Hizbe-i-Islami chief Gulbadin Hikmatyar whose group is still very active in Kunar province of Afghanistan.” He said that the JI and HI shared the same ideology and the Jamaat would again play an active role in Afghanistan.


PAKISTAN

APRIL 11, 2014 – PAKISTAN LINK – P13

Pakistan Protection Bill Passed as Opposition Stages Walkout

Nine-Month Baby No More among Murder Suspects

from the clutches of terrorism and extremism.”

PPO Termed a Draconian Law

Islamabad: Amidst much uproar and protests, the Protection of Pakistan Bill was approved on late Monday evening in the National Assembly, DawnNews reported. The government refused all amendments suggested by the Opposition. The minute Pakistan Protection Bill 2013 was presented in the upper house; chaos ensued and eventually resulted in a boycott. Opposition leaders gathered around the dais and protested against the bill. Some opposition members also tore down copies of the bill. Jamiat-e-Ulema-e-Islam – Fazl (JUI-F) showed its support with the opposition and also joined in the walk-out. Calling it a ‘black law’, the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) slammed the Bill and said it will backfire. Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaaf leader Shah Mehmood Qureshi said the bill was accepted without taking into account the opposition to it. “The government bulldozed the process of legislation. With this bill, it is getting limitless powers,” he said. MQM leader Farooq Sattar said that the Prime Minister and the Home Minister had assured them of consultation on the bill. “However, the opposite happened and we were not

allowed to suggest amendments,” he said. The JUI-F called the new bill an ‘extra-constitutional’ and slammed it. According to the contents of the Bill, the law will ensure that trail of cases against terrorists are expedited. A joint team will investigate terrorism cases and special courts will be set up to deal with them. Under the bill, any person who is convicted of a crime can be kept in any prison in the country. Minister for State and Frontier Regions Abdul Qadir Baloch on Monday called for a protective law to save the country from terrorism and sectarian violence. “The country is bleeding. We need to protect lives and property of our people and this needs a protective law,” he said. “Even today they are opposing the bill knowing well that this wave of terrorism has claimed the lives of 40,000 Pakistanis.” “We are not enacting a law to kill the people. The country is bleeding and the government desires to protect innocent people from the tyranny of extremists,” he added. The minister said, “Today people are talking of separate countries and we are opposing a law meant for securing the country and its people

Islamabad: Some of the speakers at an event here on Monday rejected the Protection of Pakistan Ordinance (PPO) as a draconian law, saying in its present shape the law gave powers to security agencies to infringe on the fundamental rights of the citizens guaranteed under the constitution. During the panel discussion on “Protection of Pakistan Ordinance (PPO): its legal implications, effect on human rights and how far will it help the state fight terror”, the speakers said the PPO was inconsistent with the established law of the land. Athar Minallah Advocate, while terming the law draconian, said it was perhaps meant to regularize enforced disappearances. He pointed out that under the Ordinance a person could be arrested on the mere suspicion that he might commit a scheduled offence and that too without any warrant. He said once a person is detained and the investigation cannot be completed within 24 hours, the investigating officer on his production before a special judicial magistrate can get authorization of detention for up to three months. He said the most disturbing offence under the law was that even if the civil society organized a protest demonstration against load-shedding, the protesters can be fired upon on the suspicion that they might damage the state property. He was of the view that if implemented without suitable amendments the law would deteriorate existing conditions instead of bringing about any improvement. PPO, P29

Opposition to React if Sons of Gilani, Taseer Not Released: Shah Islamabad: Leader of the Opposi-

tion in the National Assembly Khursheed Shah on Monday warned that if the government failed to secure the release of Ali Haider Gilani and Shahbaz Taseer, then the opposition would react, DawnNews reported Speaking to media representatives in an informal meeting in the Parliament House, Shah said it was imperative to take the military into confidence regarding the release of prisoners, even though the decision was to be taken by the government and not the army. He also expressed the fear that granting a free peace zone to the Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Khursheed Shah addresses the media in Islamabad Taliban was dangerous. He said the Taliban had man- ban Pakistan, adding that both sides and the incumbent premier should aged to get many of their prisoners should negotiate from a position of now return the favor. He said the opposition supreleased, but not a single person equality. Shah said the PPP was not ported the federal government on held in Taliban captivity has been against talks between the govern- talks with the Taliban for lasting freed. The senior Pakistan Peoples ment and the TTP, adding that the peace in the country, but peace Party (PPP) leader warned that if former should not hold the opposi- didn’t seem to be visible the government failed to secure tion responsible in case the mediaThe opposition leader said the the release of Ali Haider Gilani and tion failed. government had not held consultaShahbaz Taseer, then the opposition He claimed that in December tions over the Pakistan Protection would react. 2000, Musharraf, who at the time Ordinance, adding that the ordiShah demanded of the govern- was the chief executive of the coun- nance would be opposed in case any ment to apprise political parties of try, had facilitated the granting of a contact was made. details of talks with Tehreek-i-Tali- presidential pardon to Nawaz Sharif

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A photograph taken on Thursday shows a lawyer taking thumb impression of ninemonth-old Mohammad Musa on a bail bond

Lahore: Muslim Town police discharged

on Saturday nine-month-old Mohammad Musa from a case of attempted murder lodged by the Sui Northern Gas Pipelines. The case had been registered against members of a family and dozens of other inhabitants of Muslim Town after they allegedly attacked a bailiff and raiding team of the SNGPL after it went there to arrest people involved in gas theft. Musa had already been granted a confirmed pre-arrest bail by a sessions court against surety bonds of Rs50,000. Talking to Dawn, SSP Abdul Rab confirmed deletion of the baby’s name from the FIR. He said the controversy was a result of misunderstanding as the list of the accused provided to police by the gas company’s raiding team made no mention of their ages. Baby Mohammad Musa along with his father and other family members was booked for throwing rocks at gas company officials in the working-class Ahata Thanedaran neighborhood on February 1, the family’s lawyer Chaudhry Irfan Sadiq told AFP Friday. Inspector Kashif Muhammad, who attended the alleged crime scene and has since been suspended, wrote in his report that it was a case of attempted murder. Appearing in a packed court room with others accused in the case on Thursday, Musa was seen crying as his grandfather Muhammad Yasin held him on his shoulder. Yasin later fed him milk from a bottle while fielding questions from reporters. “Everyone in the court was saying ‘How can such a small child be implicated in any case’? What kind of police do we have?” the 50-year-old laborer asked. The charge is in direct contradiction with Pakistan’s minimum age of criminal responsibility, which was raised from seven to 12 years in 2013 except in terrorism cases. Yasin accused the police of fabricating the charges because they were colluding with a rival party who wanted to see the accused evicted from their land and had obtained an order to remove their gas connections. “The police and gas company officials came without any notice and started removing gas meters from houses. Residents started protesting and blocked the road but ended the protest when senior police officers arrived in the area and assured them that no injustice would be done. “But later we found out that cases have been filed against us,” he added. Judge Rafaqat Ali Qamar ordered the inspector to be suspended and granted the child bail, though he will have to

appear at the next hearing on April 12. But Sadiq, the lawyer, said the charges against the child should have been dropped. “The court should have simply referred the minor’s case to the High Court to drop the charges against the innocent child and acquit him from the case,” Sadiq told AFP. “This case also exposes the incompetence of our police force and the way they are operating,” he added. Feisal Naqvi, a supreme court lawyer told AFP the naming of family members in police reports was a common tactic employed by complainants in order to exert pressure on parties with whom they were involved in a dispute. He said: “It’s not common for babies to be accused but it is common for other family members to be accused,” he said. “What happens then is that vendettas are going on so everyone gets picked up and gets chucked in jail,” he added. Shoaib Suddle, a retired police chief, added that the system operates via ‘first information reports’ that date back to British colonial times, which give too much weight to allegations made by accusers. “The moment they are able to file a complaint, accusers expect that without any evidence people should be locked up and the investigation should follow, whereas the world over it is the other way around,” Suddle said.

FC Kills 30 Suspected Militants in Balochistan Quetta: Frontier Corps claimed to have

killed more than 30 militants in Balochistan’s Kalat and Khuzdar districts on Monday, according to an official. Khan Wasey, the spokesperson for FC, a para-military force, told Dawn. com the forces launched an operation against suspected militants in Kalat district’s Parodh area. “So far more than 30 miscreants have been killed in the operation”, Wasey said, adding that the forces “also destroyed six vehicles of the miscreants”. The spokesperson disclosed that ten security personnel sustained injuries during the operation. The FC spokesman claimed that the targeted miscreants were involved in recent attacks on passenger trains, security forces and other vital installations in different parts of the province. Security forces also claimed to have recovered rocket launchers, hand grenades, hand-held bombs and other arms and ammunition from the possessions of militants. “There is an intense firing between forces and miscreants”, Wasey said.


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APRIL 11, 2014 – PAKISTAN LINK – P15

Pakistani Innovation Project Wins Top Prize in Global Contest

Islamabad: A government driven

innovation in Pakistan has won the top prize at the ‘Making All Voices Count’s Global Innovation Competition’. The Bahawalpur Service Delivery Unit (BSDU) emerged as the winner of the competition led by Imran Baloch, the District Coordination Officer (DCO) of Punjab’s Bahawalpur district, and Asim Fayaz. The project aims to improve service delivery in under-resourced, conflict areas with lack of data-driven performance management systems. “Our initiative, by enabling monitors to report through smart phones and by simply ringing parents, saw teacher and student attendance increase from 78 per cent to 92 per cent,” explained Baloch at the Global Innovation Gala where the ten selected finalists made their final pitch. The Pakistani project emerged as the winner among a total of 196 entries submitted from across the world. Following an online voting system, 31 semifinalists were drawn from the top 27 voted ideas along with 4 wildcards. A £65,000 (pounds) grant was awarded to the winning team. “Technology was an enabler in this process; not the end result. We want to use this £65,000

Photo shows winners Imran Baloch and Asim Fayaz receiving the £65,000 grant at the ceremony

grant to extend our initiative into health, livestock, and agriculture,” added Baloch. Dr. Sheila Ochugboju, the chair of the jury, explained, “This performance management system [BSDU] has three components: it’s results based, focuses on inclusion, and uses tested technology. In addition, this is a model that can be replicated outside of Pakistan.” The jury comprised of experts in information systems and governance. It shortlisted 10 finalists from eight countries: Kenya, Indonesia, South Africa, Pakistan, Ghana, Bangladesh,

Tanzania and Mozambique. The two runner-ups, a team from South Africa and another from Indonesia, each received a £35,000 grant plus expert mentorship over a six-month period. The Global Innovation Competition recognizes and rewards creative and cutting-edge innovations that enhance government transparency and accountability. It is part of Making All Voices Count, which is backed by the Department for International Development (DFID), US Agency for International Development (USAID), Omidyar Network (ON) and other funders.

Dhoni Arranges Final’s Ticket for Pakistani Fan Mirpur: There is one thing about Mahendra Singh Dhoni that even his staunch critics will applaud. Whether he is on or off the field, he loves to walk the talk. So, when he declared that the hostility associated with an India-Pakistan encounter is long over, Dhoni meant it and his latest act has proved it. The Indian captain on Saturday arranged a complimentary pass for a die-hard Pakistani cricket fan Mohammed Bashir, who came all the way from Chicago to support his team. Although Pakistan were knocked out in the group stage, Bashir has stayed back

to watch India play the finals and now has become a “diehard Dhoni fan” having interacted with the Indian captain. “I was watching India’s training session yesterday but I didn’t have any tickets. Dhoni is familiar with my face as

he has seen me before at the Champions Trophy’s IndoPak game in Birmingham. I told him that I don’t have a ticket to watch the finals”. “Dhoni then called some ‘Kaka’ (trainer Ramesh Mane or ‘Mane Kaka’) and told him to arrange for my ticket. Kaka promptly gave me a complimentary pass. I am completely moved by his gesture,” the new “Chacha Pakistani” told PTI on Sunday. He was over the moon after Dhoni also briefly interacted with him. “He (Dhoni) asked about me and I told him that I am settled in Chicago. Since DHONI, P29

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Imran Snubs Election Commission Members Islamabad: It came as a surprise to many when Pakistan Tehreeke-Insaaf Chairman Imran Khan, after meeting Acting Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Justice Nasirul Mulk on April 4, refused to meet other members of the electoral body. Sources in the Election Commission Pakistan (ECP) told The Express Tribune that it came as a blow for everyone when Imran only held an hour-long meeting with the CEC and did not meet the other members of the body despite their availability. “After the 18th Amendment, the CEC’s powers have been shifted across the ECP which comprises five members, and matters are decided with consensus,” sources added. When contacted, PTI Vice President Hamid Khan said Imran did not meet the other ECP members because they were ‘dishonest’. “I was also present with Imran Khan during the meeting but we have made it clear that the conduct of ECP’s members was dubious in the last general elections and despite our applications the former CEC, Fakhruddin G Ebrahim, did not take notice of the illegal activities in Sindh and Punjab,” he added. In compliance with the Supreme Court order, the ECP has submitted a report regarding the

deployment of federal government employees at polling stations during the May 11 elections. The apex court on February 11 had sought an explanation from the ECP on a complaint filed by the PTI regarding an alleged non-compliance with the court’s guidelines to borrow employees from the federal government as polling staff for the elections in view of the court’s June 8, 2012 order in the Workers Party case. Giving details of deployment, a senior official told The Express Tribune that less than one per cent of federal government’s employees had performed election duty in K-P and Balochistan. “Only 175 federal government employees were deployed in Balochistan while 220 officials were deployed in K-P,” he added. Regarding the commission’s report, Hamid Khan said the report proved the ECP did not comply with the apex court’s judgment in the Workers Party case. “Though I had filed an application before the ECP to hire services of officials from the railways and WAPDA in 13 constituencies of Lahore but the commission did not accept our request in this regard”. The apex court will resume hearing of the PTI chairman’s petition regarding the verification of thumb impression in four constituencies on Thursday (April 17).


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APRIL 11, 2014 – PAKISTAN LINK – P19

Friday, April 11, 2014

VOL. 24/15 PAGE 20

Forum Airs Youth Voices on Growing up Muslim

11 Jumadal-ukhra 1435 H

PAGE PAGE23 17

egum PAGE 20

Technologist Umar Saif in Silicon Valley

Remembering Zulfikar Ali Bhutto

For news, updated round the clock, visit

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Warm Pakistani-American Gathering Launches Ambassador Ahmed’s Project

Kosar Aftab and her husband Aftab Qureshi of the World Bank graciously hosted a dinner and launch event for Ambassador Akbar Ahmed, the Ibn Khaldun Chair of Islamic Studies at American University and former Pakistani Ambassador to the UK, in their McLean, Va. home on Sunday, March 24

n By Patrick Burnett American University Washington, DC

W

arm company, kebabs and jalebi set the mood for a launch of Ambassador Akbar Ahmed’s latest book project, “Journey into Europe.”

Kosar Aftab and her husband Aftab Qureshi of the World Bank graciously hosted a dinner and launch event for Ambassador Akbar Ahmed, the Ibn Khaldun Chair of Islamic Studies at American University and the former Pakistani Ambassador to the UK, in their McLean, Va. home on Sunday, March 24, attracting a diverse crowd of Pakistani-Americans, IndianAmericans, and other prominent members of the DC and Northern Virginia community. An evening of mingling amongst this accomplished crowd representing such prominent organizations as the World Bank and the Embassies of Pakistan and India in Washington provided an incredible window into the life and vigor that defines the Pakistani-American and Indian-American communities. However, the august company was not the only highlight of this celebration; this evening was a chance

to pause and take a moment to celebrate Ambassador Ahmed’s accomplishments and his work to build bridges on an international scale. “[Ambassador Ahmed] is an iconic figure throughout my beloved motherland Pakistan, and the Embassy in DC supports him fully,” said Commodore Adnan Ahmed, naval attaché to the Embassy of Pakistan, who went on to celebrate Ambassador Ahmed’s interfaith work and projects bridging Islam and the West. Commodore Ahmed has long been a dedicated supporter of Ambassador Ahmed’s work and his team, bringing a very personal context to the crowd. Mr. Qureshi certainly made a very wise choice in asking Commodore Ahmed to make the introductions. Ambassador Ahmed’s latest project is diving into the centurieslong ties Islam has held with European society, focusing on such historical bridges as the interfaith political system and society of Andalusia, Spain. This study will be the fourth part of his award-winning quartet of books with Brookings Press, which include Journey into Islam Journey into America, and The Thistle and the Drone, studies that have been celebrated by scholars and American foreign policy and

defense officials alike. Numerous prominent academics and members of the interfaith community have endorsed Ambassador Ahmed’s upcoming work. Dr Edward Kessler, the founder and director of the Woolf Institute, writes, “Akbar and his team have the ability to come up with honest and forward-thinking comparative perspectives of modern global society even, perhaps especially, if they are uncomfortable and shatter stereotypes.” Jonathan Benthall, the former director of the Royal Anthropological Institute, also writes, “Professor Ahmed has an impressive track record in producing substantial outputs as a result of his research, carried out with great energy both in the field and in libraries, and he is also highly regarded internationally as a courageous independent thinker on all issues relating to Islam.” During remarks on the latest project and its importance for humanity and civilizational advancement, Ahmed went on to honor his team, stating, “Never ever doubt the next generation,” going on to discuss his team’s commitment to “the American values of patriotism, compassion and humanism” in their work and their everyday lives.

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Ambassador Ahmed’s chief of staff, Harrison Akins, also opened the evening by discussing the impact of the trilogy and our methodology, stating, “It’s been a tremendous honor to work with Ambassador Ahmed on his series of important studies, which have had such a major impact, not only in policy circles in Washington, DC, but also in building bridges between different faiths and cultures across the world—something so desperately needed today.” Frankie Martin, senior researcher for Ambassador Ahmed who holds a special place on the team as the most senior member, further commented, “The research team is like a family, and Ambassador Ahmed is our father figure.” Journey into Europe will be the fourth project on which Frankie has assisted Ambassador Ahmed, making him the only team member to have played an active role in producing the entire quartet. Frankie’s comments definitely said it all on what it means to be a part of this enthusiastic research team. As the youngest member of the team, I felt very honored being asked to briefly speak and close the presentation. But even more so, I felt very honored to be amongst

such wonderful people celebrating the work of a man who truly lives by what he preaches and uses his keen intellect and energy to make the world a place of greater understanding and compassion through knowledge. Not only was the evening my first time speaking as a representative of the research team, but also, as a young American from Ohio, my first time in a Pakistani home. I was immediately blown away by the tremendous hospitality and warmth with which I was received. I felt so honored by compliments and best wishes from the attendees on our work, but even more so, I felt at home with the ladies’ kind, motherly insistence that the team and I get in the front of the line for the buffet-style dinner so that we would all have enough food to eat. It was like being at my own family gatherings and hearing my grandma ensure the grandkids all have more than enough food to eat. The food was remarkable in and of itself too—including the Kosars’ spectacular eggplant dip, kebabs, pilau rice, and jalebi, amongst many others in a smorgasbord of Pakistani cuisine. Food really is the best way to the heart.

PROJECT, P26


COMMUNITY

P20 – PAKISTAN LINK – APRIL 11, 2014

Forum Highlights Youth Voices on Growing up Muslim

Pakistani Technologist Umar Saif in Silicon Valley

n By Peter Schurmann

n By Riaz Haq

San Francisco, CA: There are a quar-

mar Saif was invited by the Organization of Pakistani-American Entrepreneurs (OPEN) to an event Monday at the Palo Alto offices of Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pitman Law Firm in Silicon Valley to talk about the state of technology in Pakistan. The event was appropriately titled: “Presenting Umar-The Force Behind Plan 09- Pakistan’s Leading Incubator For Startups”

ter million Muslims living in the Bay Area, and nearly half of them are under the age of 35. Many describe an intense personal and spiritual struggle as they look to reconcile their faith with the mainstream of American society. These young Muslims are the face of American Islam in the 21st century, and yet their stories are rarely heard. “I prayed five times a day, fasted on occasion and went on Hajj [pilgrimage],” said Omar Raza, who is 16 and a student at Averroes High School in Fremont, the Bay Area’s first Islamic high school. The son of Pakistani immigrants, Raza did these things “because my parents told me to. I never questioned them.” It was in ninth grade, he says, that he first began looking for answers. “I went through this stage … I was trying to find my purpose.” Raza delved into Islamic history and theology, which deepened his relationship to the daily rites he had observed since childhood. In that process he also came to see himself in a clearer light. “I realized my identity was in my heart,” he said. Raza joined a panel of speakers who shared their experiences growing up Muslim at a forum in San Francisco on March 26 and sponsored by several Bay Area community foundations and One Nation Bay Area, a consortium of Muslimled community organizations. Organized by New America Media, the event put a spotlight on the voices of young Muslim Americans in the Bay Area. For many on the panel, antiMuslim sentiment is a near daily experience. Hatem Bazian is the co-author of a landmark study looking at the Bay Area Muslim community and commissioned by One Nation Bay Area with support from the San Francisco Foundation, the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, the Marin Community Foundation, and Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy. Citing the survey of more than 1,100 Bay Area Muslims, Bazian told the audience that 60 percent of respondents had reported experiencing Islamaphobia at some point. “Many now see it as part of being Muslim,” he said. Other findings reveal a highly engaged civic community with nearly two-thirds of respondents saying they had done volunteer work in the past year. That compares to just 20 percent for the general population. There is also a high degree of ethnic and social diversity among Bay Area Muslims. Just under a third are of South Asian origin, followed by 23 percent Arab and 17 percent Afghan. Other groups include African Americans, Asians and Iranians. In terms of socio-economic status, South Asians represented the highest wage earners on average, while Afghans tended to see higher rates of poverty. “The income gap is clear,” said Farid Senzai, who co-authored the study and described it as the “first glimpse of a community we have little data about.” But as NAM Executive Director Sandy Close remarked, youth voices

U (L to R) Omar Raza, Abass Darab and Ahlaam Abdulgalil shared their stories at the Growing Up Muslim forum in San Francisco

were largely absent. Wednesday’s forum was an effort to help fill that void, she explained, and to “explore a landscape that felt completely invisible.” Like Raza, 21-year-old Afghan American Abass Darab said as a child he observed Islamic religious rites, but added, “There was no substance or meaning behind it.” After high school, the Virginia native relocated to Berkeley, Calif. where he enrolled in Zaytuna College, the country’s first Muslim liberal arts school. As Darab sees it, there are two major issues confronting young Muslim Americans: marriage and gender relations. Pointing to recent statistics that show divorce rates as high as 50 percent among Muslim families, he faults the rigid separation of the sexes as being partly to blame. “We really don’t know each

in a Jew or Christian’s home.” Baba promptly pulled her children out of the school. For Dawood Yasin, coordinator of student life at Zaytuna College, these issues typify the challenge and opportunity that Muslim youth here face. Yasin, an African American convert, spent 10 years living and studying in the Middle East, including in the Syrian capital of Damascus. “Separating culture from religion is of the utmost importance” for this generation, he said, explaining that in many Islamic societies practices that fall under the banner of religion are in fact rooted more in culture and are not found in scripture. “Being in the US creates an incredible opportunity for these things not to happen here,” he noted. Yasin also points to the growing institutionalization of Islam in

Veronica Hernandez of San Mateo (right) said when she converted to Islam there were few people around to help her learn “how to be a Muslim”

other,” he said, adding he’d like to see more co-ed institutions where Muslim men and women can meet while still “grounded in Islamic principles.” Other issues that came up in the day’s discussion included questions around gay rights and Islamic extremism. Ahlaam Abdulgalil, part Yemeni and part Somali, recalled her experience joining the girls high school basketball team in her hometown of Bridgeport, Connecticut. The perception then was that most of the players were lesbian, and so her parents quickly pulled her from the team. “I believe in love,” stressed Abdulgalil, adding however that in Islam “being gay is forbidden.” Local journalist and public radio host Hana Baba said she sees extremism in gender rules. Baba, a native of Sudan, related an experience she had with her daughters, who came home quoting the teacher at a religious school they attended, who said “mothers love sons more than daughters,” and that “Muslims should never spend the night

the country, a theme picked up by Senzai, who said that the number of mosques in the Bay Area has grown from just three in 1985 to 84 today. “There are even organic mosques,” he said. But despite the flourishing of these and other institutions, Senzai said there is still “no broad vision” for the community as a whole, and that women in particular are proving to be the “site of confrontation” over what it means to be Muslim in America. One of those women is Veronica Hernandez. A Bay Area native of Irish, Italian and Mexican heritage, Hernandez’ brother initially drew her to the religion. “I remember watching him pray,” she said. “I knew and felt there was great meaning in life … I’m still searching for that.” But Hernandez, whose Filipino husband is also a convert, said when she became Muslim there was no one around to help answer the one driving question she and others in the community face: “Ok, how do I be a Muslim?”

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Umar Saif is just 35 years old and his name is already synonymous with technology in Pakistan. He was named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum in 2010, selected as one of top 35 young innovators in the world by MIT Technology Review in 2011, and received a Google faculty research award in 2011. Saif got his PhD in computer science from England’s University of Cambridge at 22. Then he joined Massachusetts Institute of Technology to do post-doctoral research. He worked at the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory where he was part of the core team that developed system technologies for the $50 million Project Oxygen. Saif now wears multiple hats in Pakistan; he is an associate professor at Lahore University of Management Science (LUMS); he works for the Punjab government as the head of Punjab Information Technology Board (PITB); he is the founder of Plan 9, a government-financed tech startup incubator in Lahore. He says there is a possibility that he might soon move to Islamabad to work for the federal government as its Chief Technology Officer. PITB’s work in Pakistani Punjab under Saif has been described in a recent World Bank report as “unprecedented in the public sector in developing countries”. The objective of these efforts is to reduce corruption, increase productivity and improve service delivery in both private and public sectors. Saif said other provincial governments, particularly KPK’s PTI-led govt., are now asking for his advice and help for similar projects in their provinces. After a brief introduction by OPEN’s Riaz Karamali, Saif started his presentation by talking about his work on SMSall messaging platform and how it has been used by relief workers, protest movements, political campaigns and social activists in the country. In particular, he mentioned Imran Khan’s PTI’s extensive use of his platform as a tool to organize the party’s election campaign last year. The featured speaker then briefly described a couple of companies in Plan 9 incubator: Groopic and Tunacode. Both of these companies are in a Silicon Valley Immersion Program funded by Google. He said Plan 9 offers facilities such as free office space on the 9th floor in Arfa Karim IT Park, a modern building in Lahore. In addition, there are monthly stipends to each

team member, laptops, uninterrupted power supply, internet connectivity, mentoring, training workshops, legal advice, channels for funding opportunities, connection with potential customers, etc. Saif sought the help of his Silicon Valley audience in promoting technology. In the ensuing discussion, a number of audience members pointed out some of the work that Saif was unaware of. I mentioned a Forbes story in its current issue that talks about Pakistan as one of a dozen countries where Sequoia Capital funded companies’ founders were born. Fireeye and OpenSilicon are two such Sequoia-funded companies. OpenSilicon has a design center in Pakistan. Rehan Jalil, a Pakistani-born Silicon Valley entrepreneur who graduated from NED University of Engineering and Technology, has a development center in Karachi for his latest cloud security startup Elastica. Wichorus, Jalil’s earlier startup later acquired by Tellabs for $150 million, also employed engineers in Karachi. Idris Kothari’s Vertical Systems Inc. (VSI), a hospitality IT company, does most of its engineering work in Karachi, Pakistan. Sajid Sohail of Jadoo TV, who was in the audience, pointed out that his company employs 100 engineers in Pakistan to do the development work for his streaming TV box and network that delivers Urdu channels. Muhammad Irfan, CEO of Whizz Systems, said he too has engineering offices in Pakistan. As the meeting came to a close, there was broad agreement that Silicon Valley Pakistani Americans can and should do more to help promote technology in Pakistan. Muhammad Irfan of Whizz Systems suggested setting up a basic legal framework and a transparent process to fund young companies in Pakistan through a Pakistani-Americans’ angel network.


COMMUNITY

APRIL 11, 2014 – PAKISTAN LINK – P21

Kashmiri-American Leader Ghulam Nabi Fai Visits Northern California

After greeting everyone, Dr Fai explained the relevance of the Kashmir issue today. He went back at length into history and pointed out how American Presidents and other high officials starting from President Harry Truman to President Barack Obama (over 60 years of time has passed) have been both involved and concerned about a place 10,000 miles away from this country

n By Ras H. Siddiqui

S

yed Ghulam Nabi Fai or “Dr Fai” as he is known by many people across the world visited Northern California recently and addressed gatherings in the San Francisco Bay Area, Monterey and Sacramento. This writer was able to hear his address at a get-together at the Kabob and Chutney Restaurant in California’s Capital on Wednesday, March 26, 2014, an event jointly put together by the American Muslim Alliance (AMA) and The Pakistan-American Democratic Forum (PADF) whose leader Dr Agha Saeed was very much present there.

Dr Fai was recently released early from a minimum security facility after being sentenced for activities related to the KashmiriAmerican Council (KAC). The details of the case are widely available on the internet and will not be discussed here, but the organizers of his visit had introduced him both as “The Most Distinguished KashmiriAmerican Thinker” and “The Recently Released Political Prisoner”, a voice of an oppressed people. One is well aware that post-9/11 America has had little patience for Muslims seeking political or even humanitarian justice worldwide. The damage that the attacks on the Twin Towers in New York and the

New York: Burka Avenger, a Paki-

stani animated series about female empowerment, was among the international programs honored last Wednesday at the annual Peabody Awards, the oldest and one of the top honors in broadcasting. Other winners were Danish political drama “Borgen” and a Philippine television network’s coverage of November’s Typhoon Haiyan that killed more than 6,000 people. The Peabody Awards recognize the best in television, radio, internet broadcasting, producing organizations and individuals. A record 46 awards were handed out this year.

Pentagon in 2001 have done to the Palestinian and Kashmiri cause still lingers. But neither of these issues has been resolved or gone away. Millions of people associated with them continue to suffer. And where there is continued suffering there cannot be peace, with a potential for violence never far away. Speakers at the Sacramento event included Hazem Kira, Talat Sattar and Muhammad Salim Akhtar. They presented words of welcome and introduced both Dr Saeed and Dr Fai. For the purpose of this report we will focus on Dr Fai’s speech and what he had to say. One knows that it is risky to even write about issues such as Kashmir these days but since Dr Fai not only writes, talks and breathes Kashmir he lives it, and one can see that his passion for the cause of his people has not diminished. After greeting everyone, Dr Fai explained the relevance of the Kashmir issue today. He went back at length into history and pointed out how American Presidents and other high officials starting from President Harry Truman to President Barack Obama (over 60 years of time has passed) have been both involved and concerned about a place 10,000 miles away from this country. The Kashmir issue has been brought up at the UN in a resolution co-sponsored by Britain, France and China.

President Kennedy involved himself in the problem in 1962 and President Clinton called it the most dangerous place on earth. President Obama has been on record at least five times on a willingness to facilitate an understanding on the issue between India and Pakistan while keeping in mind the wishes of the Kashmiri people. “You should not be apprehensive about talking of Kashmir,” said Dr Fai. He said that the issue of Kashmir was not terrorism. He added that even the judge that sent him to prison said that his work was about bringing peace (between India, Pakistan and in Kashmir). He added that the movement since 2008 has been non-violent and a more recent “Million Man March” in Srinagar brought out more than a million people with no guns in sight. Earlier that week in Monterey, California Dr Fai had presented eight points to ponder over that would create the necessary harmony for peace in Kashmir and the region. Dr Fai elaborated on these eight points as: “(i) The rights of all members of minorities in Jammu and Kashmir should be protected at all costs; (ii) All those persons who have been displaced from Jammu and Kashmir since 1947 should be encouraged to return;( iii) The members of the Pandit community displaced in the recent past should be facilitated to return and their

rehabilitation guaranteed; (iv) The ‘Armed Forces Special Powers Act’ (AFSPA) should be repealed as recommended by the leadership of civil society of India, like Justice Rajiner Sachar and Ambassador Kuldip Nayar; (v)The bunkers from villages and towns need to be dismantled; (vi) The release of political prisoners would go a long way to hasten the progress of peace and reconciliation in the region; (vii) The Kashmiris should be integral component of the ongoing peace process as they are the primary stake holders. They should be inclusive in the peace process with India and Pakistan as it will facilitate permanent, durable and honorable settlement of the Kashmir dispute, and (viii) The leadership of both India Pakistan must recognize that there can be no settlement, negotiated or otherwise, without the active and full participation of the people of Jammu and Kashmir living on both sides of the Cease-fire Line, including the Kashmiri diaspora.” In Sacramento speaking on what should be done in America today, Dr Fai said that young people in this country need to step forward, get involved and hold seminars on Kashmir, especially on college campuses. He also called for increasing the awareness of the Kashmir issue within the strong inter-faith dialog taking place in America. And last but not least, he called on Muslims

‘Burka Avenger’ Wins US Award

The winners will be honored at a ceremony in New York on May 19. Netflix political thriller “House of Cards” and jail house comedy-drama “Orange Is the New Black”, along with a trio of HBO documentaries, headlined the American winners. Public broadcaster PBS won 12 awards, including one for “League of Denial: The NFL’s Concussion Crisis” about football’s long-term health risks and “Broadway Musicals: A Jewish Legacy”, which examined the Jewish roots of American musical theater.

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to raise their hands in prayer for people suffering in the region. During the Question & Answer session that followed Dr Fai’s speech, one was reminded of a major event that once took place during the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Summit in 1998, where the late Nelson Mandela surprised everyone, including the Indian Premier, by publicly calling for the need of resolving the Kashmir issue (and offering NAM’s help). On the great man’s recent passing, the mainstream Indian media chose not to bring up that point as they waxed eloquent about his many achievements including the ending of apartheid in South Africa. In conclusion, one finds that Syed Ghulam Nabi Fai is as committed as ever to the cause of Kashmir in spite of his recent incarceration. He remains a man of integrity and sincerity in many eyes, one who has had to work in an environment akin to a cesspool where he was certainly not in the running for a popularity contest. His quest is, and always has been, for Kashmiri “Azadi” (freedom) and for that he is up against many powerful forces. And we do know that there is no bigger irritant in the international diplomatic arena today than an unarmed man who keeps bringing up unpopular truths (unfortunately), and especially when everyone knows that he is right! “House of Cards”, which was the first online-streaming show to win an Emmy award, was praised for Netflix’s unique approach of releasing all the season’s episodes at once. “Netflix took binge viewing to a new level and obliterated the idea that a hit TV show needs a slot in prime time,” the Peabody panel said. Netflix’s “Orange Is the New Black”, about a bisexual woman reunited with her ex-lover in prison, was lauded for its “complex, riveting character study rich in insights about femininity, race, power, and the politics, inside and outside prison walls, of mass incarceration”.


COMMUNITY

P22 – PAKISTAN LINK – APRIL 11, 2014

Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) Organizes Memorable Convention on ‘Muhammad (SAW): Mercy to Mankind’

They came from near, they came from far: Washington DC, Chicago, New York, Rhode Island, Massachusetts and, of course, Connecticut

n By Tahir Ali Hartford, CT: It was a cold day in March and you could almost feel the chill at the bone level, yet thousands of Muslims trickled down to the Hartford Convention Center to attend ICNA’s – North East Convention – first of its kind. They came from near they came from far: Washington DC, Chicago, New York, Rhode Island, Massachusetts and, of course, Connecticut. ICNA-North East Wing President, Waqar Haider in his welcome speech said that it took nearly six months of preparation and planning to get the event of this magnitude successfully implemented, “and all this is ninety-nine percent volunteerbased. Everyone you see wearing a volunteer tag on their coat, is really a badge of honor.” Naeem Baig, President of ICNA, highlighted the theme of the convention, ‘Muhammad(SAW): Mercy to Mankind.’ Naeem observed that the Prophet Muhammad(SAW) is our role model, we should emulate him as much as we can. We should extend our services to humanity, deal with hunger and poverty, and get involved with social issues. We Muslim Americans are generally resourceful and hence we need to give back to the society. “Prophet Muhammad, through his service to mankind uplifted hearts and minds and guided souls.” To this effect Naeem stated that the 40 chapters of ICNA around the United States are fully engaged with the American community and working on various fronts, like providing Women Shelters in 12 states, ‘Back to School’ project in all states and other humane efforts. To elaborate on the March 22 convention he quoted from the ICNA brochure: “It puts you in front of renowned scholars with solutions designed specifically to address the issues American Muslims are facing today.” Align all that with the invited renowned scholars of Islam and speakers, the theme of the two-day convention – and suddenly you have a recipe for success, empowerment, solutions and a great model to follow: Muhammad

(SAW), the Ameen for his flawless character and a ‘Walking Qur’an’ for his knowledge, depth and practice. Imam Shuaib Webb, sticking to the theme, started with the Quranic verse from al-ambiya: ‘We did not send you but a mercy to mankind. ‘ The Imam reflecting on his student days, said that when he was sitting with one of his teachers of Hadith, “I remember he said, ‘Before we start I’ve to give you a Hadith first, this is the first Hadith any beginner should learn from his or her sheikh‘ and then he narrated the Hadith, ‘The merciful ones; the Merciful is merciful to them.‘ The Imam in making his point said that this was the first Hadith a student seeking sincere knowledge is taught - to be merciful. “The scholarly tradition embodied this mercy, and interesting enough the chain of this narration started from Iraq, to Damascus, to Egypt, to the Hejaz, to India, back to Egypt, back to the Hejaz and now to America – Allah O Akhbar.” The Imam characterized the task of Prophet Muhammad as the bringer of glad tidings (Basheer) and the warner (Nazeer) - a rahma to mankind. “He is the warner, perhaps the greatest type of mercy that can be exercised is to save someone from sin, to bring someone out of the doldrums of vice, to take someone from Shirk to Tauheed.” He further added, “When Rustam of Persia asked the Bedouin why had he come, he replied, ‘We came to bring people from the worship of creation to worship of the creator.’ ” Imam gave an example of Rahma as responsibility - how the Prophet dealt with the person who did rukuh in a doorway, He told the man, ‘May Allah reward you for your enthusiasm, but don’t do it again.’ Basheer and Nazeer. Speaking in current form of communications, the Imam said, “The Prophet did not make a blog about it ‘messed up guy who prayed at doorway.’” Imam concluded that “Rahma sits between irresponsible liberalism and irrational conservatism. He found it very problematic when people make fun of conservative Muslims, the Nikabis, making fun of

a person with a big beard, or wearing ankle high pants. “When they are all following valid opinions” Imam Shuaib Webb hoped that moving forward as communities, as masajids, as institutions, “we need to recognize that Rahma means to embrace the larger community as it is, neither should make fun of the other.” Suhaib Webb is a contemporary American-Muslim educator, activist, and lecturer. His work bridges classical and contemporary Islamic thought, addressing issues of cultural, social and political relevance to Muslims in the West. He reverted to Islam in 1992. Qasim Mazhar has been involved in Islamic youth work with several organizations all over the country for more than 10 years, and currently is the National Coordinator of Young Muslims. He shared his thoughts on ‘Why Muslims love the Prophet’. He started by saying, “Love requires action. The legacy that the Prophet(SAW) left us is: a legacy of helping other people. Live the life of Prophet Muhammad(SAW) – His life was filled with action, not rhetoric.” Qasim mentioned the five golden words that Hazrat Khadija used in convincing Prophet Muhammad (SAW) after he had received the first revelation, that why he was really the chosen messenger: 1)“You are the one who maintains family ties”, 2) “You are the one who takes care of the poor and needy”, 3)”When-

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ever you speak you always speak the truth”, 4)”When you find them in stress or calamity you elevate them”, and lastly, 5) “You honor the guest when you have a guest over.” “And that is why we love our prophet Muhammad(SAW),” Qasim concluded. Abdool Rahman Khan, originally from the Caribbean, is a graduate of the Islamic University faculty of Shari’ah (Islamic Jurisprudence) specializing in Islamic Inheritance. He is also the chairman of the Shari’ah Council of ICNA – argued that the Prophet was a messenger of peace, the history and his Seerat shows how he brought peace to the rest of the world, “and yet the media distorts his image.” The Sheikh mentioned the culture of distortion and hatred that was propelled by Salman Rushdie, and others, including a Danish cartoonist. “But the cartoonist took Shahada –what changed his mind?” the Sheikh asked, “nothing but the reality and the truth – which he and others like him received after they started to read about Islam and the messenger.” Abdul Nasir Jangda, the founder and director of Qalam Institute, carried on with the theme that regardless of what others say about the Prophet (SAW), he was defended by Allah. He was told not to pay attention to the people like (Abu Lahab) – Lahab is not the majority. Abdul Nasir gave an account that the Prophet

was asked to stand up and deliver to the people – when very little Qur’an was revealed, “Before you deal with people you should open their mind and heart.” Which can actually be construed as the universal message. There were many breakout session where other scholars like Sheikh Uthman, the Imam of the Worcester Islamic Center, talked about the Prophet(SAW) in the light of his attributes: The Truthful and the Trustworthy. Imam Taymullah reflected upon the physical characteristics of the Prophet(SAW), whereas Ustad Baajor walked through the mannerism and dealings of the Prophet(SAW). On an another panel, Dr Saud Anwar, the first Muslim Mayor in Connecticut of South Windsor, talked about the leadership qualities of the Prophet(SAW); Sr. Suzy Ismail, author of the book 9 to 5 gave a speech on the charter of Medina, and the exemplary justice of the Prophet(SAW); Sr. Malika Rushdan explained how the Prophet(SAW) conducted Dawah through Social Services. Sisters also enjoyed a lively panel discussion walking the “Illuminated Path” led by Sisters Farhana Mateen, Sobie Saleem, Huma Shams and Sumaira Afzal. Dr Mokhtar Maghraoui is one of the most well-renowned scholars in North America. Originally from Algeria he is best known for his ICNA, P26


COMMENTARY

I

n By Tariq Mahmud

t was a laidback April morning with a distinct eeriness pervading the air. Huddled with a few colleagues, I was sitting in a compound close to the civil courts at Chunian in the district of Kasur. Someone, completely befuddled barged in, looked around breathlessly, and broke the shocking news, “Bhutto sahab ko phansi hogayee.” The news chilled us to our spines and we were rendered speechless, staring at one another with stony eyes. This had been expected and yet, there was a sense of disbelief.

The murder trial of Muhammad Ahmed Khan had come to an end. The case was exceptional in many ways: it was not tried at the court of original jurisdiction, with the appellate forum, the Lahore High Court, arrogating this jurisdiction. The bench trying the case was headed by the chief justice, who was accused by the defense of having possessed malice against the person standing trial, but he disregarded the objection. The split verdict drew a wedge between the judges belonging to Punjab and the rest of the country. As we heard the sad news, we got hold of a transistor. There was a brief and terse account of Bhutto’s execution and his burial at Garhi Khuda Bakhsh. Begum Nusrat Bhutto and her children were denied their right to be present at the funeral. An eventful era of Pakistan’s history had reached its finale. A trail of events started eddying in my mind — ZAB’s meteoric rise, his controversial role in the East Pakistan debacle and assumption of

APRIL 11, 2014 – PAKISTAN LINK – P23

Remembering ZAB

Left: Bhutto addresses a public rally. Right: His dead body is brought home for butrial

power after the country’s break-up, all fell in place to complete the picture. From here onwards, he picked up the pieces, made strenuous efforts to retrieve the areas occupied by India during the 1971 war as well

emerged as a man of consensus, giving the country a document, which is still the rallying point for this highly-polarized nation. ZAB was a people’s man and thrived amongst the milling crowds.

famine-stricken expanses of Thar. He possessed an empathetic chord and a hands-on approach to problems. As an under-training officer, I recall a petition of an old man that was marked for the deputy

ZAB was a people’s man and thrived amongst the milling crowds. He was everywhere when the chips were down: in the earthquake-hit areas of Bisham in the Northern Areas to the collapse of a high-rise building in Karachi, from the flood-ravaged areas of Shujabad to the famine-stricken expanses of Thar as brought back prisoners of war, rallied the Muslim world around and set a domestic agenda of reforms, which though, highly controversial, could not be ignored. While framing the 1973 Constitution, he

He was everywhere when the chips were down: in the earthquake-hit areas of Bisham in the Northern Areas to the collapse of a high-rise building in Karachi, from the floodravaged areas of Shujabad to the

commissioner with a handwritten note in the margin by the prime minister: “Relieve his agony, he is running around from pillar to post.” The old man did get what he wanted, while many of us in our early years

of service enjoyed the idiomatic directives of ZAB. Ziaul Haq’s government wanted to get as much evidence as possible to indict ZAB. A white paper was brought out to catalogue malpractices of his rule. When it came to his financial probity, there was mention of an installation of an air conditioning plant at state expense at 70 Clifton, Karachi. The residence had been declared the prime minister’s camp office. The same document, however, added that at a subsequent stage, ZAB paid for the amount at depreciated cost as worked out by the cabinet division. Compare this act with the brazen conduct of many of his successors. It seemed that there was no other plausible case to tighten the noose around him than to try him in the murder case. There was a downside to ZAB’s eventful era. Dissension and differences were an anathema to his working style. The treatment meted out to nationalists in erstwhile NWFP and in Balochistan left deep scars. His governance smacked of authoritarian rule. The Defense of Pakistan Rule (DPR) was often invoked on flimsy pretexts. The shoddy manner in which senior leaders like JA Rahim, Meraj Muhammad Khan, Mir Rasul Bakhsh Talpur, Mukhtar Rana and Malik Suleman were treated is the sad story of our politics. Despite these grey areas, ZAB was indeed a larger than life figure: a towering personality, but like a hero from a Greek tragedy, one who possessed fatal flaws. (The writer is a public policy analyst and a former interior secretary. Courtesy The Express Tribune)

Congress to Unemployed: Maybe You Should Move to the Ukraine n By George Ellison

F

Washington, DC

ewer than 30 days after masked Russian troops rolled their way into the Ukraine under false pretenses, the US Congress moved with lightning quickness to pass a $1 billion aid package for the troubled Eastern European country. Members on both sides of the partisan aisle, while a little shaky on the details, agree that it won’t be the last of the money. Hoping to save geopolitical face in the wake of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s masterful jump shot over international law, the US is promising a fresh wave of economic and military support to tip regional scales back its way.

Back home and more than three full months later, more than 2.2 million Americans are barely getting by after most of their extended unemployment benefits were abruptly cut over the Christmas break. In fact, Congress and the president skipped town for restful, holiday vacations soon after. Hopes of a post-New Year’s Day resolution were dashed by stalls and foot-dragging in the Senate, which is finally taking a vote this week. But, an unsympathetic House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) is signaling that he’s not interested in bringing it to the floor for a vote. The $9.6 billion needed to restart the program, including retroactive benefits for those who’ve lost out, is simply too much of a burden on the federal deficit and state unemploy-

ment insurance agencies. “We have always said that we’re willing to look at extending emergency unemployment benefits again, if Democrats can come up with a plan that is fiscally responsible, and gets to the root of the problem by helping to create more private-sector jobs,” complained Boehner earlier on this month. “Frankly, a better use of the Senate’s time would be taking up and passing the dozens of House-passed jobs bills still awaiting action.” Translated: It’s not passing anytime soon, which not only means steady increases in the number of Americans without benefits but also governing malfeasance shaking the very foundation of unemployment insurance as we know it.

The bolt of legislative energy needed to keep a distant nation of 50 million (Ukraine) from defaulting on its debt was there. But ask lawmakers to apply a similar sense of urgency to the plight of 50 million Americans living below the poverty line and you get assorted reasons not to. It’s not only 2.2 million jobless Americans—that’s just the tip of a growing poverty infection eating away at the nation’s social fabric. Complimenting an insanity of detachment is the steady musical of racial dog whistles in which the destitute are either wholly blamed for their circumstances or the uninsured are viewed as “illiterate” and “less sophisticated.” A larger point here is how little of a priority the poor and jobless are to Congress. The American people

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were not clamoring about the steps of Capitol Hill begging legislators for a Ukrainian aid package. Only 27 percent, according to a YouGov poll (pdf), supported economic aid to Ukraine. Yet, even a Fox News poll showed that 69 percent of Americans support the notion of unemployment insurance for at least one year. Another YouGov poll showed 62 percent supporting renewal of jobless benefits (although the fact that anywhere from 30 percent to 40 percent don’t seem to care is worrisome). But, ultimately, it’s about who holds enough influence and clout in Washington to determine which way the policy wind blows. Jobless Americans seeking an end to legislative impasse just don’t have the

$1 million to drop on Capitol Hill lobbyists—like the Ukrainians did just last year as partisan conflict in Kiev bubbled. Less than 1 percent of the 12,000 or more groups peddling interests in Washington actually lobby for the poor. And when it comes to the bottom 98 percent, they barely made enough political contributions to match the wealthiest campaign donor throughout the entire election cycle. As political scientist Larry Bartels puts it in his recent book Unequal Democracy, “[the poor have] no discernible impact on the behavior of their elected representatives.” And it doesn’t help that lazy, one-track-minded news producers obsessed with events 5,000 miles away only give—at best—footnote coverage to the ongoing crisis of jobless Americans right in their own backyard. After Ukraine, it’s been the Malaysian Airlines mystery chewing up more time in the network and cable ratings war, with news about the fight over unemployment insurance perhaps a mention in the screen ticker. Sure, these are important geopolitical happenings, which deserve our attention. But elected officials are making a risky gamble with social instability and havoc when they decide to tune out their struggling constituents. (Charles D. Ellison is a veteran political strategist and frequent contributor to The Root. He is also Washington correspondent for the Philadelphia Tribune and chief political correspondent for Uptown magazine. New America Media)


COMMENTARY

P24 – PAKISTAN LINK – APRIL 11, 2014

US Businesses Should Take Advantage of the H-1B Visa before Costs Rise n By Umar Akbar Ahmed, Esq.

D

id you know the H-1B visa, a popular route for US companies to hire foreigners for specialty positions, has the added benefit of ensuring American companies can remain globally competitive, thereby improving the US economy and creating more jobs for the US workforce?

Savvy companies have long taken advantage of the unique benefits offered by the H-1B, but the process as it stands now may be about to be shaken up, so take note. There has been a lot of talk on Capitol Hill recently about introducing legislation that would increase the cost of obtaining an H-1B visa for US companies, an unpopular move causing a rush to obtain visas before costs go up. Many foreign officials are also unhappy with this new proposed legislation. Indian officials, for example, have threatened to retaliate economically against US interests if the proposed legislation becomes law. Large portions of H-1B visas are issued to foreign workers from South and East Asia. According to USCIS figures, approximately 58 percent of all H-1B petitions approved in fiscal year 2011 were for workers born in India. The H-1B visa is very popular with both US businesses and foreign nationals because it is available for six years in three-year increments and can be obtained for a longer period under certain circumstances. Further, this visa is one of the few “dual intent” visas. That is, it facili-

n By Almas Akhtar

tates the process by which you can obtain a green card, without interference. When the foreign nationals pick up their visa at the US Embassy or Consulate, for example, they can tell the US officer that they intend to emigrate to the US, and this will not trigger a denial of their visa, unlike with other visas such as the B1/B2 tourist or F-1 student visas. The H-1B visa also offers some other positive flexibility. While an employer may not “bench” a H-1B visa holder due to lack of work, an H-1B visa carries a part time employment option, unlike other visa holders such as F-1 student visa holders who are required to study full time. Therefore, a foreign national who cannot afford to, or otherwise wishes not to study full time, could study and work part time on an H-1B visa. Additionally, an employer who is only looking to fill a part-time specialized position can utilize the H-1B option. Furthermore, if an H-1B visa holder wishes to change jobs, they must have a petition filed for them by the new employer; however, the H-1B visa holder can transfer their H-1B visa without waiting for a new visa to become available. Additionally, an H-1B visa holder is eligible to bring their immediate family members such as their spouse and children under age 21 to the US through the H-4 visa. Requirements In order to obtain an H-1B visa, a US employer must sponsor the foreign national. A foreign national can have more than one US employer petition for their H-1B if they seek employment in multiple jobs. The employer must be looking

that employing foreign nationals will not adversely affect the working conditions of other US workers, and that the foreign worker will be paid prevailing wages, among other protections. The visa thus ensures fair standards and competitiveness, helping to bolster our economy.

to fill a vacancy in a specialty occupation that normally requires a fouryear bachelor’s or higher degree or its equivalent. Specialty occupations have included computer professionals, graphic designers, accountants, economists, medical technologists, social workers, acupuncturists, chiropractors, dieticians, orthopedists, pharmacists, physicians, electronic specialists, engineers, mechanical engineers, chefs, fashion designers, film and video directors, general managers, librarians, technical publications writer, teachers in public primary and secondary schools, colleges or seminaries, and lawyers. The

range is wide, appealing to a diverse spectrum of businesses. The foreign national must also possess a four-year US bachelor’s or higher degree, licensure or certification in a field that is required for the specialty occupation. Equivalency in foreign education and/or in work experience can count as a substitute. In determining equivalency, USCIS generally uses the “three to one rule”; three years of work experience makes up for each year the applicant lacks in the educational requirement. The H-1B visa comes with protections, known as the Labor Condition Application (LCA) to ensure

H-1B Visa Cap and When to Apply Under the law there is a limit on how many H-1B visas are issued annually, calculated each fiscal year: 65,000 standard visas and another 20,000 visas for those with a US master’s or higher degree. However, higher education institutions, nonprofit research organizations, government research organizations, and certain other businesses and individuals are exempt from the numerical cap. The fiscal year starts in October, and the earliest USCIS accepts H-1B applications is six months before the start date of the fiscal year, which this year is Tuesday, April 1, 2014. It is important to take note of this date because in the past the entire quota has been known to run out on or near to the first day that USCIS starts accepting applications. (Note: This feature is intended only as a forum for general information and discussion. Any information provided is not in the nature of legal representation and is not intended to establish any attorneyclient relationship. Any information provided should not be relied upon without consulting an attorney to discuss the specific facts relevant to your situation. Umar Akbar Ahmed, Esq. is an attorney in Washington, DC. For more information visit: www.UmarLaw.com)

His desire had always been to create a movie studio in Michigan that would develop, film and distribute motion pictures and other entertainment. And in 2009, he started Exxodus Pictures in Detroit, Michigan. But more than just a talented movie director, Ajmal is also a wonderful human being who likes to

give back to the community and encourages youngsters to strive for their dreams. Many events were organized in Michigan and across North America on the first weekend of April, 2014 in order to promote his movie Jinn. When I asked him if he had any message for our younger generation he said, “I believe this is a pivotal moment for people like me whose background is quite unique in the American landscape. Generally speaking, Pakistanis, Indians and other South Asians as well as Arabs are very under-represented in the media here. It’s not enough to have a few actors on TV and in the movies, we must also share our stories and add to the American landscape. Jinn represents one of those ideas which can add to the social consciousness as well as prove to the Western world that we are a large and powerful demographic that needs to be catered to.” So, if this is a concept that you believe in or at least are interested in, ask everyone you know to come out and watch Jinn in theatres. This is your chance to support a mainstream motion picture that tells your story. This is the mythology that you grew up with, a mythology that binds together people who believe in it and most of all, this is a sincere effort on the part of the creators to begin a new type of dialogue – one that we are part of and that we can give back to.

Jinn: Bringing a Bit of Pakistan to American Cinema

A

ccording to Islamic mythology, the Arabic word jinn refers to a class of spirits, lower than angels who are capable of appearing in human and animal forms, and influencing humankind towards good and evil.

Stories about the existence of angels in the human world seem to have captured our imagination, washing away evidence of a third race, created by fire which we call jinn. But as much as we fantasize about the existence of these ‘other worldly’ creations, do we really believe in them? Jinn also happens to be the name of the new supernatural thriller by the Pakistani American movie director, Ajmal Zaheer Ahmad, released on April 4, 2014 in theatres across North America. The opening excerpt from the movie talks about jinn – ‘the third kind of creation’. “In the beginning, three were created… man made of clay, angels made of light and a third… made of fire.” The movie’s cast includes Ray Park, Faran Tahir, William Atherton, Dominic Rains and Serinda Swan. Shawn (Dominic) and Jasmine (Serinda) are a happy, newly married couple until their perfect life is torn apart by a cryptic message warning them of a curse on Shawn’s family for generations, and that he and his wife are now in danger. Shawn, who lost his parent as a

child, doesn’t pay heed to these revelations from his past until strange things begin to happen. Scared and unable to explain these happenings, he turns to Gabriel (Ray Park), Father Westhoff (William Atherton) and Ali (Faran Tahir). And in the process, he discovers that there is far more to this world than he had ever thought. The movie will also feature the FireBreather, a car designed by Ajmal himself, which was created for the sole purpose of this film. It is the first of its kind; designed and manufactured to be sold to the general public. Ajmal, the director, was born and raised in West Bloomfield, Michigan to immigrant parents who migrated from Pakistan in the early 1980s. He has written and directed Jinn in an attempt to introduce the accurate mythological concept of their existence to the Western audience. He attended Detroit Country Day prep school in Southfield, Michigan and his teachers still remember him as a cheerful, fun-lov- Photo: IMDb ing student with immaculate manners. Mrs Reimer recalls him fondly, fornia for film, television and com“He drew funny cartoons for all the mercials, and his credits include the teachers in the teachers’ lounge.” NBC series The Pretender and DunAjmal was accepted in the pres- geons and Dragons from New Line tigious Art Center College of Design Cinema as well as numerous music in Pasadena, California when he was videos for artists including Dr Dre 17 years old, with the distinct honor and Fatboy Slim. His directorial deof being the youngest student ac- but came in 2000 when he created cepted by the college. He began his a commercial for Apple Computers career as a concept designer in Cali- called Apple Core.

www.PakistanLink.com


SPORTS SPORTS

APRIL 11, 2014 – PAKISTAN LINK – P25

APRIL 11, 2014 - PAKISTAN LINK

Pakistan Wins Bronze Medal in The Street Ashraf Confirms 'Big Four' Offer Was Made Child Football World Cup 2014

RIO DE JANEIRO: Pakistan impressed several footballing fans across the globe as the Street Child Football World Cup took place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Right before the actual FIFA World Cup 2014, a Street Child Football World Cup took place in Brazil. After getting rid of the drugaddictive life on the streets of Karachi, the Pakistani kids were taken to Brazil in order to represent their country. To the surprise of many critics, the Pakistani football team managed to perform phenomenally. Their first match was against their political rivals, India, who were beaten 13-0 in the competition. This helped Pakistan reach the top of their particular group. Later, they were able to beat the likes of Kenya and drew the game against USA to reach the quarter-final stage of the competition. Philippines were next in line to become the targets of Pakistan Shaheens. The 1-1 draw took the match to penalties, where Pakistan

KARACHI: Players of Street Children Football Team, witnessing the Sindh Assembly Session during their visit to the assembly upon return after taking 3rd position in Street Children Football World Cup.

managed to win the match in order to reach the semi-final stage of the competition. The semi-final game took place against Burundi. Despite being 3-1 up against their opposition, they lost

the match 4-3 and then qualified to play for the third position. USA were their opponents once again and after drawing the match, Pakistan managed to win on penalties to bring the bronze medal home. J

LAHORE: Reacting to claims by Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman Najam Sethi that his predecessor spurned an offer by India to join the so-called 'Big Three', Zaka Ashraf confirmed an offer was floated at one stage but was never a firm commitment. "They did offer us to join the group," said Ashraf. "But when I went to attend the International Cricket Council [ICC] meeting in February, India stepped back from their offer. They claimed that two other members of the body Australia and England - are not ready to admit Pakistan as a fourth member." Pakistan's Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif sacked Ashraf two days after the 'Big Three' reforms for a major reorganisation of the game's administration were approved. Thereafter, he reappointed Sethi, who himself was suspended by the Islamabad High Court in January over alleged irregularities in his appointment.

The PCB was initially one of three countries who opposed the revamp of the ICC approved by members in February. The move handed the majority of the powers and revenues to the 'Big Three' of the game - India, Australia and England. Pakistan and Sri Lanka abstained from voting on the reforms, but since then, Sri Lanka have hinted they will sign the draft. Ashraf said India's assurances were never made in writing. "Whatever India offered us were not on paper and we could not have taken those verbal assurances," Ashraf told reporters. India have not played a full bilateral series with Pakistan since the 2008 terror attacks on Mumbai. Pakistan toured India for a brief limited-over series in December 2012January 2013. The ICC meeting is set to discuss the legal perspectives of the proposed governance model.J

Najam Sethi To Push For India Series KARACHI: Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman Najam Sethi will attend an International Cricket Council (ICC) meeting in Dubai this week, where he is expected to give the PCB's stance over the 'Big Three' proposal. The PCB is the only board left to accept the plan by the 'Big Three', comprising Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and Cricket Australia, for ICC's revamp. The PCB, along with Sri Lanka

Cricket (SLC), abstained from voting in the Singapore meeting, but the latter board decided to support the plan in the weeks that followed. The ICC meeting, set to discuss the proposed ICC governance model, is scheduled to be held from April 8 to April 10. Sethi is likely to hold a series of extensive talks on the sidelines of the ICC meeting. The PCB chief's main task during these meetings will be to secure a bilateral series with India. "My main aim is to revive crick-

“We are alone while all the other nine boards are on the same side. We will have to see how to negotiate with the Big Three,” said PCB Chairman

et ties with India," said Sethi, ahead of the meeting. "Deals have been finalised with other boards for series till 2020, except for India. We need to play with them because it will help us generate money to run our cricketing affairs." He added that the PCB was in isolation and their vote would not make much of a difference. "We are alone while all the other nine boards are on the same side. We will have to see how to negotiate with the Big Three." However, recent reports have suggested that the PCB is likely to back the revamp plan. Meanwhile, Sethi lamented that the PCB wasted a chance to become part of the big boards. "We were offered to be a part of Big Four. I started that discussion, but unfortunately the board [in my absence] did not follow up on the offer." 'Malik, Kamran selection proved wrong' Sethi felt that the selection of former captain Shoaib Malik and Kamran Akmal in the World Twenty20 proved wrong. However, he insisted that there was no grouping in the team. "There is complete unity in the team, whether it is under Misbahul Haq or under [former T20 captain] Mohammad Hafeez," he said. "All players, including Shahid Afridi, back their captains." J

Former Chief of PCB Zaka Ashraf talking to media.

Malinga Over the Moon With World Twenty20 Success MIRPUR: Lasith Malinga found himself trusted with the Sri Lankan captaincy midway through the World Twenty20 and emerged with the trophy in his arms recently, after three heady weeks in Bangladesh. Having previously lost two finals, Sri Lanka entered the tournament under the leadership of 24-year-old Dinesh Chandimal, who was slapped with a one-match suspension after the team's second slow over-rate offence in 12 months. While Malinga stepped in as

stand-in skipper, Chandimal's replacement Lahiru Thirimanne grabbed his chance with both hands, prompting the selectors to continue with the arrangement even after the regular T20 skipper's suspension ended. Malinga's leadership inexperience was more than offset by the presence of three former skippers - Mahela Jayawardene, Kumar Sangakkara and Tillakaratne Dilshan - and the current Test and 50-overs captain, Angelo Mathews, who were always willing to help him out. J

Meg Lanning's On Top of The World But Her Payment Scale is Decidedly More Down To Earth DHAKA: SHE'S 22, captain of Australia, quite possibly the best batter in the world - and if she plays her cards right, Meg Lanning might just earn four per cent of Michael Clarke's salary. Lanning confirmed her place atop the female cricketing tree with a sensational ICC World T20 tournament in which she led her country to an unprecedented third-straight title. The trophy was sealed with victory in the final against England, with Lanning once again starring for Australia with a brutal yet effortless 44 off 30 balls. That capped a sensational couple of weeks for the right-hander in which she was the top run-scorer in

the tournament with 257 runs at a strike rate of 158.64 - easily the best strike rate for any player that scored over 60 runs. Unsurprisingly, Lanning is now

a clear leader in the ICC player rankings for Twenty20 cricket, moving well ahead of English veterans Charlotte Edwards and Sarah Taylor. She also sits fourth in the batting rankings for one-day internationals. There are no official rankings for women's Test cricket given the dearth of games in that format - Lanning has played just two Tests, but 41 T20 internationals and 28 ODIs. The cherry on top for Lanning was the century she hit against Ireland in Bangladesh - the first time an Australian woman reached triple figures in a T20 international. Her 126 off just 65 balls was also the highest ever score in women's Twenty20 cricket. J

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MIRPUR: The Sri Lankan team lifts the World T20 trophy, India v Sri Lanka, final, World T20.


COMMENTARY

P26 – PAKISTAN LINK – APRIL 11, 2014

Investment Strategies for Those with Money to Invest n By Saghir Aslam Irvine, CA

(The following information is provided solely to educate the Muslim community about investing and financial planning. It is hoped that the ummah will benefit from this effort through greater financial empowerment, enabling the community to live in security and dignity and fulfill their religious and moral obligations towards charitable activities) While there are many individuals who have plenty of money to invest, more than a few hesitate to do so because they are unsure of exactly how or where to invest their money. And while it may seem a logical conclusion that the more money you have the more complicated your investment picture becomes, that is not necessarily the case. Financial investment strategies can still be broken down into simple, easy-to-understand terms. Asset Allocation — One of the most important elements of a successful financial strategy is proper asset allocation. This refers to the mix of investments you have in your portfolio, and it’s important to keep a good balance of different types of investments — like stocks, bonds and cash, for example — diversified across a range of industry groups or sectors. Your ultimate financial objectives, the amount of time you have to invest and your own risk tolerance should all be taken into consideration as you decide exactly how to divide up your funds and where to invest them. Although asset allocation will diversify your portfolio, it will not protect against fluctuating prices or uncertain rePROJECT FROM P19

Just to add to the hearty hospitality, the Kosars’ young grandson was able to join the celebration too. We could all hear him playing with his toys in the background of the discussion, which served not to distract but rather to lighten the evening and comfort with the feeling of a true family gathering. The evening also provided a window for me into the PakistaniAmerican community, and the care and warmth with which the members treat one another. Seeing such accomplished individuals as Commodore Ahmed and Mr Qureshi greet Ambassador Ahmed with the embraces and jokes of the type only long-lost brothers could share showed the deep ties and relationships that the Pakistani community kindles amongst itself. Watching the lively friendships and conversations amongst Pakistanis, Indians and Americans alike, all brought together for this cause of advancing peace through research, served too as a reminder of the common humanity that channels through all of us in spite of larger conflicts and disagreements. Americans of all political persuasions and understandings of Islam enjoyed a meal directly alongside their dear Pakistani friends, and the Pakistanis all welcomed their Indian friends with open arms during the evening—images one would not expect given conventional stereotypes. In any case, the enthusiasm

turns. Equity Investment Strategies — When investing in stocks, a good rule of thumb is to diversify your stock portfolio across a number of sectors; you may also want to overweight industry sectors whose stocks you believe are likely to benefit from the current outlook for the economy. Once you have identified these sectors, you can begin to select specific stocks from within them. You may want to consider stocks that pay dividends, which can give your investment an added boost. Another benefit of these stocks is that you can usually reinvest the dividends you earn directly into the purchase of more stock, and many investment firms even have programs that allow you to do so at no cost. Another good idea is to select companies that have a solid foundation and have the potential to continue to grow over the long term. While it’s not easy to predict the future, the advice of a Financial Advisor and a little research of your own should enable you to identify companies that have the qualities necessary to meet your long-term objectives. Fixed-Income Investment Strategies — When you buy a bond,

of our hosts and fellow guests during this wonderful evening further convinced me of the gravity of our project and the support of our fellow Americans of all backgrounds. As Begum Kosar Aftab exclaimed, “I think what you all are doing is great. I wish I could do more.” It is this sort of support that drives all of us on the team to keep journeying into what brings our common humanity together. Next stop: Europe. (Patrick Burnett is Research Assistant to Amb. Akbar Ahmed, the Ibn Khaldun Chair of Islamic Studies at American University, Washington DC) ICNA FROM P22

enlightening retreats and seminars empowering Muslims on their spiritual quest. He kept his audience young and old engaged in a workshop on Self-Development. A session geared toward the youth had Kaiser Aslam talk about peer pressure. Kaiser made a good analogy of peer pressure - the Facebook. “Why do you want to post everything on Facebook? If you get married it has to be posted on the Facebook,” Kaiser asked, “you are really not married if it’s not on the Facebook.” “Is it because you want to see how many likes you get?” This is social pressure, Kaiser added, when you should be only thinking about: “Our status is what it is in front of Allah.”

you are usually promised the return of your principal as long as you keep it until maturity. In addition, you earn interest on your money before the bond matures. There are a wide variety of fixed-income products available. Some can be tax-advantaged, and many generally afford you a fixed rate of return. Estate Investment Planning — Regardless of your age, an estate plan is a valuable tool that can help preserve your estate in the unexpected event of your incapacitation or even death. It can also ensure your assets are properly managed, according to your wishes, for your heirs. Proper estate planning can even help reduce federal estate taxes for your heirs, so they can more fully enjoy the benefits of the money you have left to them. While this is just a simple overview of some of the many financial opportunities available to you, it’s important to begin your financial strategy right away. Talk to a Financial Advisor to find out more about the ways you can tailor your asset management strategies to help you enjoy your money now and in the future. (Saghir A. Aslam only explains strategies and formulas that he has been using. He is merely providing information, and NO ADVICE is given. Mr. Aslam does not endorse or recommend any broker, brokerage firm, or any investment at all, or does he suggest that anyone will earn a profit when or if they purchase stocks, bonds or any other investments. All stocks or investment vehicles mentioned are for illustrative purposes only. Mr. Aslam is not an attorney, accountant, real estate broker, stockbroker, investment advisor, or certified financial planner. Mr. Aslam does not have anything for sale.) Imam Omar Suleiman was born and raised in America; Imam Omar’s character has won the love of both young and mature audiences. His topic was well chosen, and as it suggested he tried to bridge the gap between generations. “Before you pound on your uncles and aunts – they are the ones who built the Mosques, when there were no conventions, emails to exchange ideas. The Youth of Sahaba understood what their parents had. Elders deserve a level of respect – do not compromise that respect. Elders also have to validate – if youth are not invited to the village they will burn it down for the warmth.” Omer said metaphorically, “Reason with them – speak their language – validate them.” People stayed late to hear Sh. Yusuf Estes speak. The Priest was raised in a strong Christian home, he was educated in Texas, became successful in music business, owning stores, TV shows and used his talents to promote faith in God, while doing some preaching from the Bible. In 1991 he tried to convert a Muslim from Egypt, but he found the true facts about real Islam and instead became a Muslim. And now the Sheikh is busy preaching Islam. His website and TV show “Guide US TV”– banner rather sums it up nicely: “Worship the Creator, Not the Creation.” He told me that Imam Shuaib came to him and told him that ‘you were there when I took the ICNA, P29

www.PakistanLink.com

Exchange Rates for Currency Notes* Countries

USA S.Arabia UK Japan Euro UAE

Selling Rs.

Buying Rs.

100.00 26.65 165.70 0.9600 137.00 27.25

100.20 26.85 165.90 0.9700 137.20 27.45

(*April 8, 2014)

U.S. VISA AVAILABILITY IN APRIL 2014

For Pakistan, Bangla Desh & India Compiled by: Hasan Chishti

FAMILY SPONSORED PREFERENCES

Pakistan/Bangla Desh

1st Unmarried sons & daughters of U.S. Citizens

India

Feb., 22, 2007

Feb., 22, 2007

2-A Spouses and unmarried children of permanent residents

Sept., 8, 2013

Sept., 8, 2013

2-B Unmarried sons & daughters (21 years of age or older) of permanent residents

Oct., 22, 2006

Oct., 22, 2006

July 15, 2003

July 15, 2003

Nov, 22, 2001

Nov., 22 , 2001

1st Priority workers

Current

Current

2nd Members of the professions holding advanced degree or persons of exceptional ability

Current

Nov. 15, 2004

3rd Skilled workers Other workers

Oct., 1, 2012 Oct. 1, 2012

Sept, 15, 2003 Sept. 15, 2003

4th Certain special immigrants Certain religious workers

Current Current

Current Current

Current

Current

rd

3

Married sons & daughters of U.S. citizens

4th Brothers & sisters of adult U.S citizens EMPLOYMENT BASED CATEGORY

5th Employment creation Targeted Employment Areas/ Regional Centers and Pilot Programs UNLIMITED FAMILY-BASED

Immediate Relatives of U.S. Citizens (IR): The spouse, widow(er) and unmarried children under 21 of a U.S. citizen, and the parent of a U.S. citizen who is 21 or older. Returning Residents (SB): Immigrants who lived in the United States previously as lawful permanent residents and are returning to live in the U.S. after a temporary visit of more than one year abroad.


RELIGION

APRIL 11, 2014 – PAKISTAN LINK – P27

Muraqabat Allah – Observing Allah

n By Dr Muzammil H. Siddiqi

I

From the translation by Muhammad Asad (Leopold Weiss)

n whatever situation you may be and whatever part of the Qur’an you are reciting, whatever work you are doing, We witness you when you are engaged in it. Not even the weight of a speck of dust in the earth or sky escapes your Lord, nor anything lesser or greater: it is all written in a clear record. (Yunus 10:61)

Luqman said, “My son, if even something of the weight of a mustard seed were hidden in a rock or anywhere in the heavens or earth, Allah will bring it (to light), for He is all subtle and all aware. (Luqman 31:16) Abdullah ibn Dinar said that he went for a journey to Makkah with ‘Umar – may Allah be pleased with both of them. They stopped at some place. They saw a young shepherd with a flock of sheep. He came down from a hill. ‘Umar wanted to test the honesty of this shepherd. He said to him, “Sell me one of your sheep.” The shepherd said, “I am a slave working for someone. These sheep are not mine they belong to my master.” ‘Umar said, “Tell your master that a wolf attacked and ate one of the sheep.” The shepherd replied, “Fa’ayn Allah? So where is Allah or what about Allah?” ‘Umar could not hold his tears when he heard this answer from the shepherd. He kept repeating “Fa’ayn Allah?” When he came back to Madinah, he sent someone to find out who was the master of this shepherd. He purchased the shepherd and freed him. He said to him, “This word freed you in this life and I hope it will free you in the Hereafter.” (Al-Ghazali, Ihya’ vol. 4, p. 396) A believer must always keep in mind this question, “Where is Allah?” Allah is not far away; Allah is not at a distance. Allah is not unaware of what we do. Allah knows

Gems from the Holy Qur’an (Recently, a media talk show host, well known for his anti-Muslim bias, saw it fit to make scornful remarks against the Qur’an on TV. In these columns, selections from this Holy Book will be published, so that unacquainted readers of the Pakistan Link may be able to judge for themselves. Translator’s notes will be added and identified where necessary.) Chapter 7, Verses 155 – 157

everything and He sees everything. The more we have this faith in our hearts and minds, the more we shall do the right things and the more we shall be at peace with us and with others.

Allah is Infinite, Transcendent. Our eyes cannot catch Him, but He catches the eyes. (AlAn’am 6:103). Muraqabtullah is basically the same as ‘Ihsan.’ It is the excellence of faith. In a long Hadith known as Hadith

lah will say, ….You thought that Allah did not know about much of what you were doing, so it was your thought that you held about your Lord that led to your ruin and you became the

A believer must always keep in mind this question, “Where is Allah?” Allah is not far away; Allah is not at a distance. Allah is not unaware of what we do. Allah knows everything and He sees everything. The more we have this faith in our hearts and minds, the more we shall do the right things and the more we shall be at peace with us and with others The ‘Ulama’ call this “muraqabatullah.” This means keeping Allah always in mind, actually it means ‘observing Allah.’ To observe Allah does not mean that you see Him physically or Allah appears to you in person. Our belief is that

Jibril, the Prophet explained about Ihsan: He was asked “What is Ihsan? He said, ‘That you worship Allah as though you are seeing Him, though you see Him not yet He sees you.” (al-Bukhari, Hadith no. 48) Mu ra q a batullah or keeping Allah always in mind saves us from lies, hypocrisy and sins. It keeps us aware that whatever we do, whether in public or private, is known to Allah and Allah sees it. When people lose this consciousness then they do not care about what they say and what they do and this leads them to corruption. On the Day of Judgment Al-

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losers. (Fussilat 41:22-23) Muraqabatullah is a beautiful experience. It fills a person with peace and tranquility; it gives comfort at the time of pain and difficulties. It gives strength and assurance and it makes life beautiful. It keeps on the right path and saves from a lot of troubles. Ibn ‘Abbas – may Allah be pleased with him- said that I was riding behind the Prophet –peace be upon him- one day. He said to me, “Young man, I am teaching you some important words, ‘Keep Allah in your mind, He shall protect you. Keep Allah in your mind, you will find Him in front of you. When you need something, ask Allah. When you need help, seek help from Allah. Know this that if all the people gather together to benefit you with anything they cannot do that except with what Allah has written for you; and if they gather together to harm you they cannot do that except with what Allah has written for you. The pens are lifted and books are dried. (Al-Tirmidhi)

And Moses chose out of his people seventy men to come [and pray for forgiveness] at a time set by Us. Then, when violent trembling seized them, he prayed: “O my Sustainer! Hadst thou so willed, Thou wouldst have destroyed them ere this, and me [with them]. Wilt thou destroy us for what the weak-minded among us have done. [All] this is but a trial from Thee, whereby Thou allowest to go astray whom Thou willest, and guidest aright whom Thou willest. Thou art near unto us: grant us, then, forgiveness and have mercy on us – for Thou art the best of all forgivers! And ordain thou for us what is good in this world as well as in the life to come: behold, unto thee have we come in repentance!” [God] answered: “With My chastisement do I afflict whom I will – but my grace overspreads everything: and so I shall confer it on those who are conscious of Me and spend in charity, and who believe in our messages – those who shall follow the [last] apostle, the unlettered Prophet whom they shall find described in the Torah that is with them, and [later on] in the Gospel: [the Prophet] who will enjoin upon them the doing of what is right and forbid them the doing of what is wrong, and make lawful to them the good things of life and forbid them the bad things, and lift from them their burdens and the shackles that were upon them [aforetime]. Those, therefore, who shall believe in him, and honor him, and succour him, and follow the light that has been bestowed from on high through him – it is they that shall attain a happy state”. Chapter 7, Verses 175 – 177 And tell them what happens to him to whom We vouchsafe Our messages and who then discards them: Satan catches up with him, and he strays, like so many others, into grievous error. Now had We so willed, We could indeed have exalted him by means of [those] messages: but he always clung to the earth and followed but his own desires. Thus, his parable is that of an [excited] dog: if thou approach him threateningly, he will pant with his tongue lolling; and if thou leave him alone, he will pant with his tongue lolling. Such is the parable of those who are bent on giving the lie to Our messages. Tell [them], then, this story, s that they might take thought. Evil is the example of people who are bent on giving the lie to Our messages: for it is against their own selves that they are sinning! _______


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PAKISTAN IDIOTS FROM P6

we are ourselves not just part of the plot, but its central subject. Citizenship will come with the realization that we are central actors in the pólis. Citizenship is not merely the right to vote. It is the duty to participate. The pólis is served by the politician, but it must be constructed by the citizen. It is no surprise that in a society as divided, as untrusting and as unforgiving as ours, there is no common project. No Socrates to teach us. No Pericles to motivate us. No agreement on what is the common good. No desire to create a common civic space. No belief that one can be created. Citizens do not thrive in such a society. Partisans do. Turn on your television, scroll down your Twitter feed, join a conversation in your drawing room or at a khokha. You shall find them in plenty. You may yourself be one. This is not a complaint. After all, where the pursuit of politics reduces to individual aggrandizement, all that remains in the common core is a shared sense of disdain, distrust and distance. But let us not fool ourselves. It is not just the politicians who are motivated by individual interests. We are frustrated by politics precisely because we, too, seek only individual gains from collective democracy. Yes, our political ranks are full of charlatans, shoubdabaz; but that is because we are all spectators still, tamashbeen. We jeer. We sneer. We cheer. We shout. We cry. We laugh. We plead. We beat our chests. We stand tall in pride. We hang our heads in shame. We unmask the villains. We belittle the clowns. We cut down every hero. We talk. We talk. We talk. We talk. We do exactly what tamashbeen are supposed to do. We may not be idiots, but we are not citizens. Not yet. PPO FROM P13

“The real issue is to have the rule of law and build civil institutions. Civil liberties must be protected,” he remarked. He, however, expressed the hope that the parliament would review the hastily-drafted piece of legislation and introduce amendments to it, making it acceptable before its passage. He said a person used to seek his help in a case without revealing his identity. He later disclosed his identity as Adnan Rasheed - a high-profile prisoner in Bannu jail. Mr Athar expressed his surprise over the easy access to mobile phones in jails by criminals. Former ambassador Ashraf Jehangir Qazi observed that the law appeared to be politically motivated. “The civil society must oppose it even at this stage,” he remarked. Ejaz Haider said people caught with explosives were released on bail. He said this all happened because there was no protection for judges. “You are destined to live in a world which is going to be intrusive,” he observed. Pointing out that the urban centers were replete with soft targets, he said it was time to stop criticism and discuss a workable strategy. Another speaker observed that the recipe tried in the 90s was being tried again. He said it had become fashionable to try to fix all problems by amending the laws. DHONI FROM P15

I was standing there for a long time, he told someone to give me fruits. I am a Pakistan fan but for today, I am a Dhoni fan. Also I have another India connection. I am Hyderabad’s

son-in-law as my wife hails from the region,” a proud Bashir said flaunting his final match pass. During Pakistan’s matches, Bashir, who would be in his early 50s, could be seen wearing a giant sized kurta in the design of his national flag. He has also been a big hit among the local fans after supporting Bangladesh during one of their matches. Bashir runs a Mughlai restaurant in Chicago named “Ghareeb Nawaz” which specializes in biryani. He is mad about cricket and will also be travelling to Australia and New Zealand next year for the 50-over World Cup. “I have booked tickets for all the Pakistan matches. Those cost around 20 dollars save the Indo-Pak match ticket. It cost me around 80 dollars but never mind, it’s an India-Pakistan match, I would have bought it had it cost even more,” Bashir said. CONSPIRATORS FROM P10

RSS is founded on the notion that without subduing Islam and making Muslims and Christians ineffective, Hindu upper castes cannot fulfill their dream of establishing a kingdom of gods on earth that would ensure their domination in all aspects of Indian life. Muslims and Christians, in the analysis of RSS, were bad for Hinduism. They both forced millions of Hindus to convert to their faith, they both were responsible for the murder and rape of Hindu men and women. They both engaged in systematic annihilation of Hindu civilization. The Hidutva forces believe that in order to reassert their identity, the Muslims have to be systematically uprooted from places where they have created their own pockets of influence. In order to gain ascendency in India’s politics, the Hindu nationalist forces are inciting Hindu masses and creating conditions that provoke ordinary members of their community against Muslims and Christians. During the planning for the demolition of the Babri Masjid, the leadership of the Hindutva was unanimous in creating conditions that would inflict pain and death upon Hindus leading to their strong retaliation against Muslims. Who knows if the so-called fake encounters the police has plotted were cooked in the BJP and RSS kitchen? Who knows if the so-called Indian Mujahideen have the blessings of the RSS or other Hindu groups? Who knows how many more plots are being hatched? The response of Muslim leadership to this and many similar challenges like these is that of an intellectually challenged person. Unable to identify their objectives and defend their interests, their leadership act is in a sectarian, factional and selfish manner ignoring the basic principles of stewardship. Like a rudderless ship they are floating at the mercy of waves without defining their own interests. Their leadership probably thinks that by raising a few emotional slogans here and there they would be able to overcome the challenges. What they do not realize is that they are confronted with a group that is organized, dynamic and constantly planning for the annihilation of Muslims. So myopic is the Muslim intellectual leadership that many of its stalwarts have already accepted the leadership of the Hindutva forces without looking at the implications of their action for their community and the country. The response of Muslim intellectuals is even more painful. They argue that the BJP does not offer that

APRIL 11, 2014 – PAKISTAN LINK – P29 big of a danger that people perceive it to offer. These people refuse to learn from history. The BJP is not only a political organization but a political wing of the world’s most organized dangerous ideological group that believes in the racial superiority, religious purity and social ascendency of a group of people bound together with a 5,000- year history. The demolition of the Babri Masjid and the emerging details of the conspiracy to demolish it prove that once again and offers a clear warning to Muslims and India that if not checked and controlled, this group is capable of causing the worst holocaust that humans have yet to witness. ICNA FROM P26

Shahada 19 years ago”. The sheikh was a celebrity, he never had a moment of his own, is constantly flanked by his admirers who wanted a Kodak moment with him, or a selfie as we say nowadays. The Sheikh appeared a little disappointed with the Muslim community – we need to be supportive of each other. He quoted President Washington’s word, “If we don’t hang together, we will hang together.” Ahmed Mazumder, originally from Bangladesh, has never missed an ICNA convention. “The biggest thrill I get is to meet people, and see so many Muslims united for a purpose.” Ahmed is also credited for all the photos embedded in this article. Waqar Haider was very pleased to see over 5000 people attend the convention, and over 120 vendors forming the Bazaar. But all this is possible if you have a great team and good team work. “We all do this for the sake of Allah” We see the cold day and we know of the colder night before us. The families clinging together to keep warm. Maybe there was something warm about this cold weather, families coming together therefore derivatively aligning to the theme of the convention – togetherness. PARLIAMENT FROM P1

motion says that the committee should consist of not more than 10 members belonging to major political parties. SAJID FROM P1

parliament in 2010. His father, Abdul, a bus driver, came to the UK from Pakistan in 1961, reportedly with just £1 in his pocket, according to the BBC website. The self-made millionaire , who is considered a rising star in the Conservative Party, is a devotee of Margaret Thatcher and has been tipped as a potential future leader. MARADONA FROM P1

promote sports activities across the country as sports are gradually becoming one of the signs of a healthy nation. He also announced a Rs100,000 award for each player. ARRIVAL: Fifteen-year-old Abdul Raziq, Pakistan’s key

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striker in the Street Child World Cup 2014, has not had time to catch his breath after a fourteen-and-ahalf hour flight from Rio de Janeiro to Karachi. “This all seems like a dream,” Raziq said, speaking with The Express Tribune after his team’s return from Rio, their bronze medals in hand after defeating the US 3-2 on Sunday. Airport officials ferried Raziq and eight other team members, coach Abdul Rashid and Azad Foundation official Itfan Maqbool through the domestic arrivals gate, rather than the international gates, in order to make it pass a crush of politicians, representatives and workers of political parties, members of sports organizations and excited supporters. The boys’ families tried to catch a glimpse of them at the airport. “I just want to hold my son now,” said Aziza, mother of team member Meher Ali. “My elder son saw Meher at the airport, but I haven’t seen him yet,” she fretted. “I’m a little worried for him as well, he looked uncomfortable on TV.” Raziq, who scored eight goals against defending champions India, says the team miss the friends they made during the tournament in Brazil but are overwhelmed by the welcome they have received at home. “We never thought we’d come back to this,” Raziq said. “We haven’t slept yet, we’ve been meeting people and we are on our way to give a television interview now.” Around 230 children from 19 countries participated in the tournament, where Team Pakistan competed for the first time and made it to the semifinals. The Pakistani Street Child Football team won the bronze medal in the 2014 Street Child World Cup and was placed third after defeating the United States team. Bilawal said the Sindh government should make efforts to promote sports activities and provide more opportunities to talented players. MARKET FROM P1

the five-year bonds were distributed across all major geographic regions with 59% going to US investors, 19% to UK investors, 10% to investors in mainland Europe, 10% to investors in Asia and 2% to investors elsewhere. Fund managers took 84% of the five year issue, banks took 8%, hedge funds took 7%, and insurance

companies and pension funds got 1%. The Finance Ministry said that the ten-year bonds were distributed 61% to US investors, 21% to UK investors, 12% to investors in mainland Europe, 5% to investors in Asia and the Middle East and 1% to investors in other regions. Fund managers took 86% of the ten-year issue, hedge funds took 9%, banks took 4%, and insurance companies and pension funds took 1%. Two Pakistani teams had held the road shows. A team headed by the Finance Minister Ishaq Dar visited Dubai, London and New York and another team headed by the Finance Secretary Dr Waqar Masood visited Singapore, Hong Kong, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Boston. IMPLICATIONS FROM P1

Pak-Afghan border to assist Afghanistan during the presidential elections. According to Express News, the forum also discussed the ongoing peace talks between the government and the Tehreek-i-Taliban (TTP). The commanders also aired their views about the TTP holding prisoners. ATTACK FROM P1

Tuesday. At least 17 people, two women and four children among them, were burned to death and over 45 were injured in a powerful explosion in a carriage of a Rawalpindi-bound train at the Sibi station on Tuesday. The Frontier Corps (FC) began an operation against insurgents early Monday in the Kalat district, around 300 kilometers southwest of Quetta in which 40 insurgents were killed. More than 160 people have been killed in attacks since the start of the peace process.

Musharraf to Shift to PNS Shifa Karachi: Former president Pervez

Musharraf will be shifted to PNS Shifa Karachi for his treatment. Special arrangements have been made at Shifa for the former president’s treatment and security. A special team of doctors has also been constituted for his treatment. Banners have been displayed outside the hospital to stop the movement of irrelevant people. The maintenance and repair of the CCU of the hospital has been completed and no one is allowed to go near it.


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APRIL 11, 2014 - PAKISTAN LINK

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APRIL 11, 2014 – PAKISTAN LINK – P31

O

ne of my favourite dramas has turned into a battle between two wives but even with the clichéd scenes and dialogues, I still love the recent developments in 'Shukk'. My sympathies are with Sehrish, who not only made a mistake by not trusting her husband but has had to pay dearly for it. Ehtishaam never tried to sort things out with her, instead he went running to the very woman his wife accused him of having an affair with and ended up marrying her! Now what I don't understand is whether Sehrish is right in her stance that Shaam married Sanya purely out of sympathy or is he truly in love with her. If he really was in love with Sanya, he should have come to Sehrish and told her what he wanted when she trotted back into his house. Sanya is another sly character. She was playing the victim card pretty well but now she is plain annoying with her constant threats of leaving with Rumi and her constant moaning about how bad she feels about the whole situation. If she had a conscience, she would never have wooed a married man. Ehtishaam is not any different from all the other Pakistani male leads. He is not capable of making his own decisions, has an inflated ego and doesn't have a clue about who he is really in love with. He went off and married Sanya happily but couldn't gather the courage to break the news to his first wife. When he did break it due to Sanya's constant bickering, he didn't have the guts to leave her. He cannot keep two wives at the same time but is still unsure about which one to let go of! On Sanya's repeated demand, he told his wife he wanted a divorce. Cue, a meltdown by Sehrish and Shaam pleads with her to calm down and 'be normal'. At the same time the door bell rang and there came Shamim Hilali, Ehtishaam's mother, and found out about the whole situation. The hero might be a typical one but the mother-in-law isn't. She is on her bari bahu's side. Ehtishaam was acting like just

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another 'jaahil mard' and his mother stepped in to make him realise that. There were quite a few acts in between the battle to win Ehtishaam. Sehrish was doing her good wife role by providing him with breakfast in bed. She even played the damsel in distress card by saying she saw someone in the house and that she was scared to be alone in her

room. Expect some more ploys now that the saas and bahu are a team. Next week's promos showed Ehtishaam's mother breaking the 'good' news that Sehrish was pregnant. I wonder if this is true or not and how Sanya will react to this. Either way, this will give Sehrish some more time to save what remains of her marriage. Courtesy Mag


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