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Pakistan Link

VOL. 24/41 - 16 Dhul-Hijjah 1435 H PAGE 4

Walking in the Footprints of Sir Syed Ahmad Khan Nawaz Summons National Security Council Meeting Islamabad: Prime Minister Nawaz

Sharif has called a meeting of his top security advisers on October 10 as the death toll from the worst clashes in more than a year in the contested region of Kashmir climbed to at least 14. The meeting, which will be held at 10am, will discuss matters pertaining to the continued clashes along the Line of Control (LoC) and the working boundary in Sialkot area as well as progress in the ongoing Operation Zarb-e-Azb in North Waziristan. But the focus is likely to be on the border clashes, which threaten to escalate. Sharif ’s administration hasn’t had direct contact with India’s government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi since the shooting began, Sartaj Aziz, Pakistan’s adviser on foreign affairs, said on Wednesday. Pakistan will decide its next course of action after the meeting, he said. “At this point, we are monitoring the situation and analyzing it,” Aziz said. Ten Pakistani civilians have MEETING, P29

Indian Hackers Deface PPP Website Karachi: The official website of the

Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) was defaced Wednesday by a team of Indian hackers, slamming PPP patronin-chief Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari for his recent statement on Kashmir. A group calling themselves the ‘Indian Hackers Online Squad’ replaced the website’s homepage with messages ridiculing Bilawal for his comments, and claiming that “will never get Kashmir”. “To Citizens of Pakistan, Pakistan’s Army, Pakistan Peoples Party and Specially Mr. Bilawal Bhutto . Without any Violence Let Me tell you that Pakistan will never Get Kashmir. This is the Truth. You Have to Accept it,” said the message left by the hackers on the PPP official website. Last month, Bilawal was reported to have said that party would get back entire Kashmir for his country. “I will take back Kashmir, all of it, and I will not leave behind a single inch of it because, like the


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Mushahid Presents Peace Plan for Siachen

Pakistan Urges India to Show Restraint

India-Pakistan Clashes Escalate

The fire exchanges, which had been termed as the worst violation of a 2003 ceasefire, claimed lives of more than 20 civilians on both sides. Above: A Pakistani woman points to bullet holes in the wall of her home caused by shells fired by Indian troops at the Dhamala border village

Dhamala/Srinagar: Five civilians were killed and thousands took refuge in camps in the disputed region of Kashmir on Wednesday after some of the most intense fighting between nuclear-armed neighbors Pakistan and India in a decade.

More than nine Pakistani and eight Indian civilians have been killed since fighting erupted more than a week ago in the mostly Muslim Himalayan region. Kashmir is claimed by both countries and has been a major focus of tension in South Asia.

Each side has accused the other of targeting civilians and unprovoked violations of a border truce that has largely held since 2003. While exchanges of sporadic fire are common along the de facto CLASHES, P29

US Pledges Support for Diamer Basha Dam Washington, DC: The United States on Wednesday pledged support for Pakistan’s massive $14 billion 4500MW Diamer Basha Dam project, as top officials and private business leaders explored investment prospects, amid exponential energy needs of the critical partner nation. Both the US officials including USAID Administrator Dr Rajiv Shah and US Special Representative Dan Feldman and Finance Minister Senator Ishaq Dar and Minister for Water, Power and Defense Khawaja Muhammad Asif highlighted tremendous opportunities for investors in the transformational power generation and water storage project. The officials spoke at a joint platform that

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Pakistan Seeks UN Help over Ceasefire Violations Islamabad: Pakistan said United Nations observers will visit its disputed border with India after the deadliest incident between the nuclear-armed neighbours in more than a year. Both sides blamed each other for opening fire around midnight Monday that killed five Indians and four Pakistanis, including civilians. Sartaj Aziz, Pakistan’s adviser on foreign affairs, said Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif ’s received “no cooperation from the Indian side,” while India’s home minister Rajnath Singh demanded Pakistan end the violence in comments to reporters in New Delhi on Monday. The latest bloodshed in Kashmir, a region the two nations have fought over for more than six decades, may further hinder efforts to mend relations between the two-nuclear armed neighbours. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s administration cancelled talks between foreign secretaries in August after Pakistan held talks with UN, P29

Australia Wins First ODI Comfortably Dubai: Steven Smith scored a maid-

Besides producing 4500 MW of power, the dam will provide four million acre of water for irrigation, save millions from flash flooding, boost other hydro projects and extend the life of the Tarbela Dam by 30 years

brought together senior leaders and experts and business leaders at the US Chamber of Commerce at a meeting co-hosted by the US Agency for In-

ternational Development and the US-Pakistan Business Council. Ambassador to US Jalil Abbas Jilani and US Ambassador in Islamabad Richard Olson

participated in the daylong conference, spread over several sessions. Pakistan needs 10 thousand megawatts US, P29

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

en one day hundred while paceman Mitchell Johnson took three wickets to help Australia beat Pakistan by 93 runs in the first day-night international on Tuesday. Smith, who had never scored a half-century in one-day games before, managed a sedate 118-ball 101 to guide Australia to a challenging 255-8 before bowlers exposed Pakistan’s fragile batting to bowl them out for 162 in 36.3 overs at Sharjah Stadium. Johnson (3-24) combined with off-spinners Glenn Maxwell (2-29) and Nathan Lyon (2-33) bowled with venom and guile to derail Pakistan’s chase for Australia’s 1-0 lead in the three-match series. Only Umar Akmal 46 and Sarfraz Ahmed (34) offered some resistance in a poor batting display. Pakistan lost opener Ahmed Shahzad early for four but makeshift opener Ahmed and Asad Shafiq (13) put on 50 for the




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Walking in the Footprints of Sir Sayyid Ahmad Khan n By Dr Amineh Hoti


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Lahore, Pakistan

alking in the footprints of one of the greatest educationist reformers in South Asia was a huge intellectual gift for me. I am on the project, led by Professor Akbar Ahmed, called “Journey into Europe” and, therefore, I stayed in London’s Goodenough Club – I was in the same building in which Sir Sayyid Ahmad Khan had once lived (my stay was doubly meaningful to me as Sir Sayyid Ahmad Khan is my relative from my father’s side). Visitors to Mecklenburgh Square can see the plaque on the building honoring his stay and those who have access to the building can see his portrait in the corridor as you enter.

Single-handedly, Sir Sayyid Ahmad Khan (1817 – 1898) led the Muslims of the Subcontinent towards a modern Muslim identity. Inspired by his visit to the University of Cambridge in England, he set up a University for Muslims in Aligarh. From this institution came leaders, prime ministers, policy makers, historians, scientists and so forth. In the colonial time when there was deep suspicion of “the Other” especially after the bloodbath of 1857 when Muslims were being persecuted, some Muslims were distancing themselves from all that was foreign, especially British education, Sir Sayyid Ahmad Khan encouraged Muslims to progress and not to hold back but to educate themselves, learn English, and develop better relations with the other in order to create deeper understanding and better communication. The idea of Pakistan came from Aligarh – the majority of the people in the Muslim League party that moved the motion for the creation of Pakistan were from Aligarh. “Of humanity’s meanest traits, prejudice is the worst” In Tahzib-al-Akhlaq (meaning “Social Reform” or “Moral Reform”), a journal he founded and led, Sir Sayyid Ahmad Khan wrote articles calling for the people of the Subcontinent, especially the Muslims, to leave behind blind imitations of culture and use reason and logic to lead more meaningful and thoughtful lives. He argued that if the people of the Subcontinent (Muslims and Hindus) continued to progress asymmetrically with some following old traditions and superstitions and some progressing then this would be like the example of a disabled

person with one eye. But if both religious “communities advanced side by side” and developed together with the vision and thought to move forward through knowledge and education then they would be, in his own words, like a beautiful bride: religion, he argued (and I agree) is not so that we begin to hate “the Other”, but that we look at perceived others as our brothers and sis-

“We need to be unfaltering in our faith, but refrain from prejudice. All mankind are our brothers, thus it is obligatory for us to love them, care for them, develop friendship with them as it is our primary duty” ters (after all we, humankind, are all the children of Adam and Eve/Bibi Hawa and, therefore, kin to each other). (See Selected Essays by Sir Sayyid Ahmed Khan Translated from Urdu by John W. Wilder, 2006). In Sir Sayyid’s words from Taasub, from the first edition of Tahzib al Akhlaq, “We need to be unfaltering in our faith, but refrain from prejudice. All mankind are our brothers, thus it is obligatory for us to love them,

care for them, develop friendship with them as it is our primary duty.” “Of humanity’s meanest traits, prejudice is the worst. Prejudice spoils good deeds. Those who have religious prejudice, the characteristics of human excellence, are utterly lacking in justice and fairness.” Although, I wholeheartedly agree with Sir Sayyid Ahmad Khan’s vision of infusing selfconfidence and a positive attitude towards others and self in the people of what was “the Subcontinent”, I would also add that our local indigenous identity is highly valuable: we must learn to celebrate diversity while maintaining a sense of clarity in our unique identity within our South Asian Pakistani context. The Centre for Dialogue and Action (CD&A) at FCC in Pakistan, of which I, humbly, have the privilege of being the founding Executive Director, has successfully taught its first pilot “Diversity Course” and just begun its second cycle of courses under the direction of a hard-working CD&A team – one of the classes taught by Professor Sikandar Hayat focuses the students’ attention on the inclusive tolerant vision of Pakistan’s founding fathers, including Sir Sayyid Ahmad Khan and the Quaid-i-Azam. These leaders had a vision of a modern Muslim society with rights for every citizen regardless of race or religion and above all the respect for law and order; considering the chaos of so much of the Muslim world it is a vision worth reminding the world of. Leaders and teachers need to remind students and the public of the alternative model— of tolerance, of strength and progress through peace-education which every citizen of Pakistan deserves in order to progress as good citizens of Pakistan and of the global world. Sir Sayyid Ahmad Khan and the Quaid were clearly educated men of vision and above all they were great bridge-builders between different peoples and nations. This Journey into Europe project as well as the CD&A’s Diversity Courses at FCC are different examples of how, through research and teaching, we can explore and encourage people in the modern world to live side by side more peacefully. It is rich fieldwork material for teachers and students of peace-building courses and it is a valuable alternative for a world in which the cacophonous voices of hate and anger are unacceptably far too loud. (Dr Amineh Hoti is the director of the Centre for Dialogue and Action at FC College in Lahore. For details on the project Journey into Europe, please see

International Year of Light & Renaissance of Science n By Sameen Ahmed Khan Engineering Department Salalah College of Technology Sultanate of Oman

2015 has been declared as the International Year of Light and Lightbased Technologies (IYL 2015). A decision to this effect was taken on 20 December 2013 during the 71st Plenary Meeting of the United Nations General Assembly. The IYL2015 partnership, formed in 2010, is a cross-disciplinary educational and outreach project with more than 100 partners from over 85 countries, in association with the UNESCO International Basic Sciences Program. The text of the resolution, which was adopted as part of a more general agenda item on science and technology for development, stated: “Applications of light science and technology are vital for existing and future advances in medicine, energy, information and communications, fiber-optics, astronomy, architecture, archaeology, entertainment and culture.” At the very basic level light provides us vision. On the most fundamental level through photosynthesis (mostly in the green leaves of the plants), light is necessary for the exis-

tence of life itself. In the human skin, the sunlight induces the synthesis of the essential Vitamin D. The science of light is applied in the technological field known as photonics, and this theme addresses the important ways that photonic devices impact on areas such as medicine, communications and energy. Light is more than just science and technology. The IYL-2015 will create a forum for scientists and engineers and all others inspired by light, to interact both with each other and with the public so as to learn in detail about the nature of light and its many applications. The year 2015 commemorates a remarkable series of important milestones in the history of the physics of light. A number of major scientific anniversaries will be celebrated in 2015, starting with the early work on optics by the Islamic scholar Ibn Al-Haytham in 1015. The notion of light as a wave proposed by Fresnel in 1815, the electromagnetic theory of light propagation proposed by Maxwell in 1865, Einstein’s theory of the photoelectric effect in 1905, Einstein’s embedding of light in cosmology through general relativity in 1915, the discovery of the cosmic microwave background by Penzias and

Wilson in 1965, and Charles Kao’s achievements in 1965 relating to the transmission of light in fibers for optical communication. Electron spin or optics was initiated by Jagannathan, Mukunda, Simon and Sudarshan in 1989/1990 (Electron optics or charged-particle beam optics has a very close analogy with light optics) giving birth to the quantum theory of charged-particle beam optics. The year 2015 represents over a millennium since the publication of great works on optics by medieval Arab scholars during the Golden Islamic Age. I would like to point out the role of Medieval Arab contributions to science (optics in particular), which paved the way for scientific awakening in Europe. Between the middle of the eight and the thirteenth centuries, the intellectual activity in the Arab world went through two stages in tandem: translations accompanied with original and ground-breaking contributions. Both the stages enjoyed an official patronage. Ancient science and philosophy preserved in the Sanskrit, Pahlavi, Syriac and Greek languages would have been lost forever had the scholars centred around Baghdad during the 8th-12th centuries not

translated them into Arabic. These works were later translated from Arabic to European languages. For instance, one of the books by Ibn al-Haytham (965-1039, known as Alhacen/Alhazen) on optics, Kitabl al-Manazir (written in 984) was translated into Latin in 1270 as Opticae Thesaurus. Many prominent European scientists, including Roger Bacon (1214-1292), Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519), Johannes Kepler (1571-1630), René Descartes (15961650), Isaac Newton SCIENCE, P29

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The London Plan

n By Syed Kamran Hashmi


Westfield, IN

et us start our discussion with a simple fact: spy agencies cannot reveal the details of their operations to the public. It would be like shooting on their foot, if they did, wouldn’t it? Their profession demands that they work in the shadows, stay well below the radars of public attention and do everything in their means to avoid media scrutiny.

In the National security states like Pakistan though, where intelligence agencies already have tremendous control on state machinery, this rule of secrecy is sometimes compromised. That should not be a surprise. With the best of intentions, they rear their head above the ground under arduous circumstances to maintain public appeal, to cast fear in the hearts of the nonconformists and to uphold the general narrative of ‘virtuous us’ versus the ‘evil enemy.’ Portrayed as an evil yet powerful character, according to the agencies, the enemy is eager to wipe us off the face of the earth. Is it our unfaltering faith that scares him who knows it all too well that being the true believers, we are destined to lead the Human Race? He may just want to steal all our wealth as we are rich (at least on papers and in natural resources)! And intends to keep us weak and vulnerable so that our potential to rule the world can be thwarted. Can you share the list of our

current enemies? Probably not, since that is a mystery. All I can assure you is that the process is dynamic. It is not a single entry ticket that once proclaimed you will always stay in that red list. For all practical purposes, consider it to be a two-way street. Remember the English proverb: Today’s enemy is tomorrow’s friend. Yes, just like that. Once we settle the issues, we ‘un-enemy’ the enemy, same as we un-friend friends on the facebook. Simple, isn’t it? Moving to the next step: how do we spot our foes? There are no fixed guidelines. However, we can provide some basic rules. First, bear in mind that not all enemies are foreign. Most of them are in fact local. Second, whether it is a Supreme Court judge or a bureaucrat, a police officer or a nuclear scientist, an advocate or a practicing physician, professional excellence does not matter. And the last, the enemy does not have to be a single individual at all. It can be a sovereign state, an organization, a civilization or merely an idea. What matters is that once the decisions are made to take the combatant down be it the Prime Minister, a Federal minister or a human rights activist, there must be tools available at the behest of the agencies to make it possible. Simply put, it is this absolute control on that list which makes the agencies powerful and intimidating, even more powerful than controlling the state apparatus. It provides them the moral authority to censure you without being concerned about

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a push back. It gives them the power, way beyond their legal jurisdiction, rendering them as untouchables, to go after anyone, even when they are sleeping with the enemy themselves. Perhaps you are thinking that I am exaggerating or being too accusatory about the people who have nothing else but the betterment of Pakistan, the ones who put their lives in the harm’s way to protect us. Sure, you have every right to disagree with me and you must. Just do me a favor: consider opposing them once on a national issue. Trust me, soon you will realize that they have launched a war against you, declaring you as an enemy of the state. Or raise your voice against their policies on a public forum and you will discover your new identity propagated as a paid foreign agent working only to weaken the defense

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of Pakistan. If it is your first mistake, this will be the perfect time to take a U turn and back off, if you will. However, if you are a politician, a political activist or a repeat offender who has not yet learnt the lesson and insist on defying their authority, then you must get ready to face a Tsunami, a huge destructive waive is on your way. Soon, they will fling themselves into a full blown war to quell your obduracy targeting in at least two out of five areas of potential vulnerability: patriotism, faith, ethnicity, family, personal character and financial corruption. If you are a female, they would most likely hurl abuses on your personal character and faith; if you are a male then financial corruption and patriotism takes the precedence. All those who have been burnt

OPINION understand these games well and recognize the standard operation procedures (SOP). The show, for them has been played before, its script written, the cast selected, the actors identified, the climax revealed. Out of nowhere, they reckon a certain group of unpopular and corrupt politicians who have lost the elections one day will start banging the drums on issues like corruption, nepotism, law and order or social injustice; nowadays the most popular slogans being the election reforms, the unjust electoral system and the claims of rigging. Once activated, a part of media will also reinforce these assertions. A flood of information will reach their tables revealing new scandals on daily basis. After that, columns, programs, blogs and social media updates, everyone will zoom in on those issue creating a storm that may even destabilize the foundations of the democracy. Few days into it, new political alliances form under their supervision. The same old King’s League comes into action again, divided in to two halves, first with the revolution and the other with the Azadi (independence) March. To further substantiate the deal, meetings are arranged between the partners. People who used to make tall claims of transparency, honesty and truthfulness, will be talking more about strategy, secrecy and political moves from now on. Those who were calling each other foreign agents will now pay tribute to each other as revolutionaries. This, you guessed it right, is called the London Plan, a plan made to create a crisis when the country needed stability.



n By Dr Mohammad Taqi Florida The Army and Democracy: Military Politics in Pakistan Author: Aqil Shah Publisher: Harvard University Press Pages: 416

The initial attempt to dislodge the elected government of the Pakistan Muslim LeagueNawaz (PML-N) through street protests orchestrated by elements of the security establishment via their political proxies has fizzled out. Prime Minister (PM) Nawaz Sharif owes his and the democratic dispensation’s survival in large part to timely intervention by parliament, especially the opposition parties. Professor Aqil Shah’s latest book, The Army and Democracy, notes that the elected government of Muslim League Prime Minister Khwaja Nazimuddin was not that lucky in 1953. The then army chief, General Ayub Khan, hobnobbed with Governor General Ghulam Mohammad to dislodge PM Nazimuddin, who, like the current incumbent, had a majority in parliament. Shah notes: “In defense of the viceregal coup, Ayub deployed his troops at key points in the country and the threat of military action was used to preempt the legislative assembly from convening an emergency session.” The author uses the term “civil-military coalition” for the civilian collaborators working with their uniformed masters to exercise “tutelage over the cabinet and parliament”. There would not be a better time to read Professor Shah’s wonderfully nuanced, well-referenced and yet fast-paced book than after the recent almost two-month-long “civil-military coalition” attempt to impose its will on an elected PM and parliament. Professor Shah notes that the Nazimuddin cabinet was “considering a nowar declaration offer by Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru” that would have reduced military expenditure and was also contemplating conceding majority to East Pakistan in the na-

How to Guard the Guardians? tional legislature, to the chagrin of the military. The eventual 1954 dismissal of the Nazimuddin government pushed the “constituent assembly — especially its majority Bengali members — to curtail the extraordinary powers of the viceregal executive”. The constituent assembly replaced and reduced the governor general with a figurehead president in a draft constitutional bill as well as accepted Bengali as a national language alongside Urdu. The assembly was dissolved by Governor General Ghulam Muhammad at the behest of the military before the constitution could be approved. The half-paralyzed Ghulam Muhammad, propped up by the army, installed a “cabinet of talents” — the subsequently favored term being technocrats — that included Major General Iskander Mirza and General Ayub Khan, as interior and defense ministers, respectively. This oligarchy then coercively imposed the notorious One Unit Scheme, establishing the hegemony of Punjab over the other provinces. A new constituent assembly was indirectly elected in 1955 and produced the first Pakistani constitution in 1956, but that further curtailed presidential powers including the power to dissolve parliament, recognized Urdu and Bengali as the national languages and provided for parliamentary parity between East and West Pakistan. Professor Shah notes that General Ayub Khan called the 1956 constitution “a document of despair... which by distributing powers between the president, prime minister and his cabinet, and the provinces had destroyed the focal point of power and left no one in a position of control.” General Ayub Khan decided to appropriate power in a direct coup d’état two and a half years later. Fast-forward to the 2008-2014 period and not a thing seems to have changed in the military mindset. The tensions brewing between the military and PM Nawaz Sharif, including the trial of General Pervez Musharraf, are palpable but the security establishment has actually been getting increasingly annoyed at the civilians

chipping away at its monopoly since the return to democracy in 2008. Comparing the events of the 1950s and the causes the civilian leadership took up with the recent two civilian dispensations makes it clear that the military is miffed not just at events, but the process. The former president, Asif Ali Zardari, divesting his office of the infamous power to dissolve parliament, the 18th constitutional amendment, abolishing the concurrent list, devolution of powers to the provinces and the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) ultimately handing on the prime ministerial baton to the current incumbents have all rubbed the security establishment the wrong way. PM Nawaz Sharif talking peace with India and somewhat reticently with Afghanistan, holding Musharraf ’s feet to the legal fire and finally saying a flat out “no”, any minus-one formula then really got under the junta’s skin. Professor Aqil Shah has excelled in showing that, since the fateful invasion of Kashmir in October 1947, the military has become increasingly

politicized and distant, unlike the Indian army, from the professional apolitical ethos both had inherited from the British army. He has noted that under the ruse of correcting “political distortions the military institution has moved from a position of political tutelage to that of political control” and oscillated back. The interventions, including coup d’états, were dismissed as individual acts but have been the result of a consistent institutional thinking that anointed itself as the sole arbiter of what the national interest is and how to go about defending it. The institution has always stood behind coup makers, indicating that subversive action perhaps was in line with institutional aspirations. Judicial and political collaborators notwithstanding, the appetite to overthrow democracy remains a direct function of the military keeping its corporate interests first and foremost. Professor Shah accurately writes that “as a corporate organization, the military seeks to enhance internal control and limit external interference”, which it does with virtual impunity, something that “clearly limits the scope for establishment of civilian supremacy over the armed forces”. In conclusion to his seven chapter, impeccably worded and information packed book, Professor Aqil Shah reiterates his original question: who will guard the guardians in a transitional democracy like current Pakistan, and how? Professor Shah, a forceful proponent of civilian supremacy, believes that the Pakistani military has not internalized democratic norms and, in fact, harbors disdain for constitutional democracy to the extent that “its acceptance of democracy (in the post- Ziaul Haq phase) was tactical rather than the result of any commitment to democratic norms.” He writes that, during the Musharraf era, “the higher officer corps’ professional socialization, spearheaded by the National Defense University, stressed an activist, governing role for the military” to establish a “true democracy”. The author is leery of the army’s “authoritarian inclinations, including the right to veto the policies and initiatives of the GUARDIANS, P29


P8 – PAKISTAN LINK – OCTOBER 10, 2014 n By Dr Muhammad Tahir-Ul Qadri


Islamabad, Pakistan

akistan’s founder, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, spoke of his vision for a state in which “we could live and breathe as free men and which we could develop according to our own lights and culture and where principles of Islamic social justice could find free play.” Sadly, his dream was never realized. Pakistan remains a place where freedom and social justice are as unattainable for the masses as basic needs like food, clean water and education. My country continues to sink in various global ratings — of poverty, women’s rights and education. We have the second highest number of children — more than five million — not in school, and the World Economic Forum ranked Pakistan as one of the most dangerous countries on the planet, behind only Yemen and Libya: At least 40,000 people have died in terrorist attacks over the last 15 years, yet Pakistan has a dismal record of prosecuting and convicting terrorism suspects. The situation is simply unsustainable. Things must change. On June 17, soon after I announced that I was returning from Canada to Pakistan to campaign for a peaceful popular revolution, the Punjab authorities sent the provincial police to remove security barriers outside my house. (These had been placed there four years earlier on the orders of the Lahore High Court, following threats to my life after I wrote “The Fatwa on

Give Pakistan back

Suicide Bombings and Terrorism,” a treatise that disputes the ideology of Al Qaeda and demonstrates that terrorism is un-Islamic.) When my supporters resisted this action, the police opened fire, killing 14 campaign workers and wounding 80. The brutal and indiscriminate way that the police shot at my workers, which I also regard as tantamount to an assassination attempt on my family, was reported by independent television channels. A judicial commission ordered by the chief minister of Punjab, Shahbaz Sharif, who is a brother of Pakistan’s prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, found that senior members of the administration were responsible for the attack. The prime minister himself, as well as his brother, have been named as murder suspects. As yet, however, no one has been held to account. But this is Pakistan, a country where there is one law for the rich and powerful, another for the poor and vulnerable; where rigged elections have replaced one dynasty of kleptocrats with another. As the United States Department of State reported, Pakistan’s elite is steeped in corruption and nepotism. Accused of kickbacks on infrastructure projects, defaulting on unsecured loans, large-scale tax evasion and myriad other schemes, the Sharif brothers were convicted in 2000 of misappropriating tens of millions of dollars. People may wonder why I took my party’s protest to the

streets, rather than contesting last year’s elections. The answer is simply that change will never come through the present system. As has been widely reported, the elections of 2013 were mired in fraud; we have now had an official admission of irregularities and intimidation. The extent of vote-rigging has been debated on the floor of Parliament itself. The resulting government runs with a fake mandate, serves only its wealthy stakeholders and completely fails to represent the common people of Pakistan. The only way forward is a peaceful revolution. I am an avid proponent of democracy. I opposed theocracy, martial law and any form of despotic rule. I want constitutional, political, judicial and electoral reforms that would deliver a true participatory democracy. My struggle for this democratic revolution is supported neither by any

foreign power, nor by the Pakistani military. I advocate for transparency and stringent accountability for all those in public office to eliminate corruption. I want the devolution of political, financial, administrative and judicial powers to the grassroots by establishing a new system of local government, and land reform that will transfer ownership from the illegal and feudal landowners to working people. I would subsidize basic necessities for the poor funded by a systematic clampdown on corruption, and would negotiate for the return of officials’ ill-gotten gains held in Swiss bank accounts. Pakistan’s security situation is grave. I would tackle our epidemic of violent extremism by setting up thousands of peace centers throughout the country, to curb the madrassa culture and promote peace and interfaith harmony. I want legislation to guarantee equal

rights for minorities, as well as for women, children and the poor. It was for this program that we marched last month by the thousands to Islamabad and established a huge sit-in outside Parliament. I appreciate Imran Khan and his Tehreek-e-Insaf party for their protest, which coincided with ours. Our political aims differ but we stand united in our wish to see the end of Mr Sharif ’s government. Our cause includes Sunnis, Shiites, Christians, Hindus and Sikhs, men, women and children, people from every corner of Pakistan and every social stratum. We demand the resignation of the prime minister, the dissolution of all national and provincial assemblies, and the formation of a national government of untainted parties and clean politicians to implement democratic reform. Those who accuse me of “derailing democracy” are those with a stake in this plutocratic, feudal system. Those who accuse me of abandoning the Constitution are people who themselves have no moral, legal or constitutional authority to govern. They have forfeited their mandate by their failure to provide the social justice, equality and security to the people. That is why I advocate peaceful change, without arms or bloodshed, to restore the rights of every citizen. (Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul Qadri, a Muslim scholar, is the chairman of Pakistan Awami Tehrik, a pro-reform political party, and the founder of Minhaj-ul-Qur’an International, an Islamic welfare organization)

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OPINION n By Dr Basheer Ahmed Khan


Garden Grove, CA

espite its claim of adherence to Judeo-Christian tradition the Western world is Greco-Roman in its style, substance and spirit. It is therefore essential that the Muslim world which is at conflict with it understands the history of Western Civilization. Otherwise the two will continue to consider each other as demonic civilizations out to destroy the other to the glee of the proponents of the “Clash of Civilizations”. There are three misconceptions which need to be dispelled to foster a cordial dialogue between the two. Firstly it is wrong to believe that the Greco-Roman civilization is heathen and hedonistic with no divine spark. Secondly it is wrong to believe that metaphysical and moral imperatives attributed to divine are deficient on intellectual gauge and therefore should be rejected. Thirdly it is wrong to assume that the Muslim countries are not a part of the Greco-Roman mosaic after centuries of interaction and colonization by Europe, and therefore they should be treated differently for the acts of a few miscreants. The fact that the Abrahamic civilization in its early days interacted with the pagan civilization of Egypt in a spirit of harmony and symbiosis is evident from the fact that Joseph and Moses (peace be upon both of them), who were both biblical and Qur’anic figures, were sheltered in the palace of Pharaoh as treasury secretary (Ch 12 V55), and prince (Ch 28 V9) respectively in which capacity they contributed to the progress of this civilization. The same Egyptian Civilization sent Hagar AS earlier as its tribute to Abraham (Al Badaya) from whose progeny emerged the final prophet Muhammad (PBUH). By the time Muhammad SA was anointed as prophet, the Egyptian Civilization had merged with the Greco- Roman tradition to form the nidus of modern day Western civilization. The Egypt of those days sent Maria RA as tribute to Muhammad SA in response to his letter to the Vicegerent of Egypt Muqawqas (Ar Raheeq al Makhtoom). Civilizational relations are much akin to individual relations. When individuals are honest to each other the relationship prospers; when they become selfish and self-centered it turns into hostility. The same happened between followers of Abrahamic faiths and the Greco-Roman Civilization. When the religious people challenged the echelons of power on their misdeeds, and the state tried to manipulate and subdue religion for its own agenda then religion and state entered into a hostile relationship. Religion, which is centered on the sovereignty of God, explained this conflict as the design of God to check one with the other (Ch2

n By Humaira Masihuddin


Islamabad, Pakistan

he pedigree of discourse on “Peace” is very impressive. In fact scholars and philosophers have dwelled upon this essential notion for thousands of years. From Aristotle to Buddha to Eleanor Roosevelt , Nelson Mandela and Quaid e Azam , every great person has contributed to this notion with deep observations and great words. Civilizations have come and gone and made their contribution to the collective history of mankind in all dimensions including peace.

Today I would like to examine the discourse that emanates from the world of Islam to enrich and embellish this great concept and tradition and also offer ways and means by which the Islamic concepts can be rekindled in the hearts and minds of people around the world. But first of all, the question I would like to ask is: Have the Quran and Sunnah got anything to offer to this great and lofty notion, the notion of peace and peaceful coexistence, and if there is such a contribution, how manifest and solid is it? It is common knowledge that the Qur’an and the practice of the Prophet (SAW) called Sunnah are the fountainheads of Islamic Law. Before we examine these two I would like to


Socrates and Luqman the Wise (Part I) V251). Under this pretext we put all the burden of our evil deeds on God and religion to escape incrimination and to avoid the responsibility of self-correction. When Abraham (PBUH) had reached the ultimate reality of God through his inquisitive genius, Greco-Roman civilization was also struggling to reach the truth in its own ways. At the time when Abraham (PBUH) had realized that there is a creator with infinite knowledge and power (Ch6 V74-79), Greco-Roman civilization also believed in Zeus with the same attributes which the people of faith attributed to God. The Greco-Romans in their tradition of understanding and explaining things through semantics and logic clipped the sovereignty of Zeus and made it a ceremonial god so that they could assert their sovereignty over people with or without his name. With pantheon of various gods adorning the temples, Greco-Roman kings remained sovereign to act according to their will under justification of their own philosophical arguments and logic. As the Greek society was undergoing metamorphosis to its maturity through intellectual endeavor, the sophists through their sophistry and sophistication gave justification to even the worse cause espoused by the kings and desired by evil elements of society. Elites who were able to avail of the services of these sophists enjoyed their lifestyle at the expense of others. This behavior of the elite and the “intellectuals” was hurting the society by being in conflict with the factual reality on which this universe operates. Centuries of this indulgence had brought the Greek society into decay. Socrates was born in such an environment in Greece in 470 BC to put the society on a moral track and to revitalize it. Those who did not want to restrain their freedom under the belief of an Omnipotent, Omnipresent and Omniscient God, wanted to explain our life and its purpose in philosophical terms to suit their preferences and prejudices. The plethora of concepts generated by these philosophers was so complex that a philosopher was sarcastically defined as a blind person who was trying to find a black ant on a black stone in a dark room. This was the euphemism to describe the futility of search of infinite truth by the finite minds. To complicate things further these prehistoric philosophical concepts which were transferred from generation to generation through oral tradition, fresh interpretation, and selfish manipulation became an enigma even for the “experts”. Bertrand Russell disentangled this cobweb of complex ideas and explained the history of Western philosophy in a lucid way. About the ones that he could not explain he was candid

to concede, “If I have failed to make Aristotle’s theory of universals clear, that is because it is not clear”. The names and the concepts that were revered under a shadow of mystery are laid bare in about eight hundred pages of his monumental work “The History of Western Philosophy”. The genuineness of a person is judged by the causes he espouses and opposes and the group of people who support and oppose him. Mr Russell’s opposition of the use of the atom bomb on Japan and his incisive criticism of everything loathsome in the history of human civilization have made him a hero for all those who wanted to see the march of civilization on

Mr Russell contends that if we have to believe in what Plato has mentioned about Socrates as true then Socrates is a perfect Orphic saint in the dualism of heavenly soul and earthly body. His indifference to death is the final proof of the mastery of his soul over his body a forward course by learning from the mistakes of the past. He also has a powerful group of opponents who are forces of status quo ante. Bertrand Russell’s “History of Western Civilization” is a remarkable book to understand the highs and lows of Western civilization both per-se and during its interaction with other civilization. There is a small essay in it about Socrates. As I was reading it a thought came to my mind. Could Socrates described in this essay by his student Plato be the same Luqman the wise mentioned in the Qur’an? Qur’an describes Luqman as a man of wisdom who had reached the reality of God through his wisdom. I was more in-

Symbolic References to “Peace” in Classic Islamic Discourse

underscore the fact that the meaning of the very word Islam is intrinsically related to peace, and the word Iman (translated as belief), is derived from the word ‘amn’ which interestingly means security. I would like to quote 3 verses from the Qur’an which have very interesting implications for the concept , description and strategy for the attainment of Peace; 1 But if the enemy incline towards peace, do thou (also) incline towards peace, and trust in God: for He is One that hears and knows (all things). 8:61 2 “And good and evil deeds are not alike. Repel evil with good. And he who is your enemy will become your dearest friend.” (41:33-34) 3 The worshippers of the All-Merciful are they who tread gently upon the earth, and when the ignorant address them, they reply, “Peace!” 25:63 When we look at the Sunnah we find that the life of the Prophet (SAW) is replete with stories of peace-making, peace overtures and peaceful coexistence; some of the amazing highlight and landmark incidents of his life pertain to his single-minded pursuit of Peace. In his life before prophet-hood, there is

only one prominent public foray that the Prophet (SAW) ventured into. Historians say, when the Prophet was 35 years old, the Makkans decided to rebuild the ancient temple called the Kaaba, located in the center of Makkah. And as the time came near for the placing of the venerated Black Stone (Hajr-e-Aswad), said

Centuries before the Geneva Conventions, Muhammad (SAW) elucidated the rules of engagement. His followers were told, “Don’t forget that Islam is a mission of peace and love. Don’t destroy fruit trees or fertile fields in your paths. Be just and spare the feelings of the vanquished” to be of divine origin, a feud broke out as each tribe wanted that the honor of placing the Black Stone should fall in its lot. An agreement was reached that the first person to enter the Haram would decide the dispute. It so happened that Muhammad (SAW) was the first person to en-

clined to this thought in view of the fact that the Qur’an being the book of complete truth had always given credit to where it belonged and criticized where criticism was due. It appreciated the Pharaoh of Joseph’s time and criticized his wife (Ch12 V54 & 28-29). It appreciated the wife of Pharaoh of Moses time and criticized the contemporary pharaoh (Ch10 V83 & Ch66 V11). Correcting the serious allegation made against God of Israel in Deuteronomy Ch 20 V 16-17, the Qur’an says: Our command to Children of Israel was that they should enter the Promised Land prostrating and seeking forgiveness; dwell in it and eat from its produce, but the transgressors changed our command and were punished for it (Ch 9 V 161-62). In consonance with this spirit of an impartial arbiter if Qur’an mentions Socrates as Luqman it is appropriate. As we read the various exegesis about the chapter on Luqman (Ch31 V 12-19), we learn that he was an African slave who was given wisdom by God. Nonetheless, the well read Arabs did have a record of authoritative statements attributed to Luqman, and one such was appreciated by Nabi SA when it was presented to him by Savaid bin Samith RA of Medina. Medina being on the route of trade with Byzantine Empire, it is not unlikely that the truth-seeking people of Medina brought this document from there. To the contrary the authenticity of “Fable de Luqman” which is now available is doubted because of its poor language and content (Tafheem Ul Qur’an). Shabbeer Ahmed Usmani in his exegesis on the Chapter of Luqman writes: Luqman recognized the truth through pure intellect which prophets received through revelation. Mr Russell contends that if we have to believe in what Plato has mentioned about Socrates as true then Socrates is a perfect Orphic saint in the dualism of heavenly soul and earthly body. His indifference to death is the final proof of the mastery of his soul over his body. At the same time he is not an orthodox Orphic; it is only the fundamental doctrines of Orphism that he accepts and not the superstitious and ceremonies of purification (HOWP). Looking at the way that the universal message of Islam based on Knowledge was made a sectarian religion, and the Orphic ceremonies of penance and purification became the sum and substance of Islam, goes to say that we not only misinterpreted the real teachings of Islam during the rule of Umayyad and Abbasid Dynasty, but we also destroyed the link between the Abrahamic faiths and Greco-Roman civilization either deliberately or because of constraints on scholarship. Insha’Allah, I will try to establish this link between the intellectual searches of Socrates and the revealed teachings and Abrahamic faith to prove that intellectual endeavors and faith are not in contradiction with each other but are complementary, provided both are pure.

ter the Haram, much to the satisfaction of the crowd gathered, as he had already acquired the titles of the Honest and the Trustworthy. The Prophet (SAW) came up with a brilliant plan in which he placed the stone in the middle of a sheet, and asked representatives from all the tribes, that is all the stakeholders, to lift the sheet, while he himself placed the stone in the walls of the Kaaba. This was the lone and solitary public interaction he had. The Arabs of those days were known for starting tribal wars on the smallest of pretexts. This then was symbolic of the kind of solutions for mankind that Islam would offer, that perhaps the Prophet himself may not have been aware of at that time, but this quality of problem-solving and peace-making was something which was intrinsically a part of his personality, and which stayed with him till the day he passed away. It is well known in history how the Prophet, at the age of 40, was conferred prophet-hood and ensued then, 23 years of preaching in the face of extreme hostility and opposition. These 23 tumultuous years saw him as persecuted, ridiculed, a fugitive and a victorious leader of mammoth proportions but during all these times of changing tide the one thing that did not change was his essential character (A man determined to bring peace and harmony). A British author, RVC Bodley, in his book DISCOURSE, P10



The Islamic State and the Soul of Islam

n By Mohsin Mohi-Ud Din UN AOC Fellow Fulbright Fellow and Academic on Muslim-Western Relations and Governance- South Asia, MENA


s the US ramps up military action against terrorists in Iraq and Syria, an emerging narrative is calling for ‘soul searching’ in Muslim communities and the ‘Muslim World’. As a Muslim myself, I find this trend nauseating and worrisome.

‘The war against the terrorist outfit ISIS is a symbolic battle for the soul of Islam,’ say some cable news hosts and self-appointed experts of the Middle East. ‘The fight against ISIS will also require soul searching within Muslim communities,’ say others. And so it goes that the flood-gates for scape-goating an entire religious community have opened. As a result, Muslim women and men all over the world, who have been fighting for cultural dialogue and equality every day, remain marginalized. Also at risk of marginalization are two momentous events in Islam -- the Hajj and Eid-ul Adha -- in which millions of Muslims gather to celebrate harmony and pray for peace. These global events are representative of Muslim communities, not the actions of terrorists. Why do I care about this and why should you? The battles against terrorists such as the Islamic State and the centuries-old tension between Sunnis and Shias are not symbolic of the ‘soul of a religion’. Instead, these sectarian and politically fueled schisms are symbolic of the battles for the soul of humanity, pluralism and peace. That means all

of us... you and I have a role to play. This is a lot less convenient for you, the media and me because it is a battle that involves dialogue among Muslims from different communities, global citizens from non-Muslim communities and most importantly, leaders of the religious and political elites across the world. Any other narrative is a distraction from what is really at stake: our collective humanity. Repeating the same mistakes One of the greatest barriers to cultural dialogue and inter-cultural understanding -- which in turn feeds ineffective foreign policies and social distortions -- has been the presentation of Islam as living within a monolithic ‘Muslim World’. So long as we are talking about ISIS and the Middle East, nothing from the Middle East can ever be singularly representative of Islam, other than the holy cities of Mecca, Medina and Jerusalem. The Middle East represents a small portion of Muslim communities with two out of three Muslims being in Asia. Cultures’ continuous colonization of spirituality enables varying degrees of minority rights and pluralism from region to region. For instance, a cleric in a Sunni mosque in DC is likely to interpret and preach things differently from clerics in Amman or Riyadh. To put it simply, there is no such thing as a singular ‘Muslim World’. The laws and practices of places such as Pakistan, Iran, Saudi Arabia contrast greatly with Indonesia, Malaysia, Turkey, Morocco and other nations.

While the differences are many, the religion’s unifying essence can be found in the five pillars of Islam: proclaiming that there is one God and that Muhammad is His messenger; fasting; daily prayer; charity; and performing the Hajj pilgrimage if you are healthy and financially able. Sectarianism is not innate to Islam Historians have consistently documented how the Sunni/Shiite split was predominately political in nature -- relating to disagreements on who would succeed Prophet Muhammad as leader of the small Muslim community at the time. Indeed the origins of the Sunni/Shiite split were violent and tragic. The extremism of today capitalizes on the political roots of this tragedy with one political end in mind: power. Despite the current disturbing landscape, history exhibits examples in which Shias and Sunnis lived peacefully together for long periods of time. Lessons can be taken from the political and social environment of such periods of peace. Origins and redrawing the soul The actions and spiritual guidance of the majority of the world’s 1 billion Muslims are in no way dictated by the repressive, political opportunists of ISIS, nor Saudi Arabia and Iran for that matter. To put it simply: not my religion, nor its soul, can be redrawn by one man, one terrorist group, one country and the political games of one region. What are ‘we’ fighting for? What we are really talking

about here when we speak of the tragic violence befalling the Middle East is the soul of humanity. Our collective humanity needs to do some soul searching when it comes to invading countries on false pretenses, when it comes to climate inaction, discrimination against minorities and women, and allowing dictators to gas their own people with impunity. Be it with the Buddhist monks and Rohingya in Myanmar, the Christians and Muslims in the Central African Republic, or the Israelis and Palestinians, people of all creeds and geographies have a role to play for global peace and development today. Of course, there are important social-political issues within individual Muslim communities that need to be resolved, particularly when it comes to freedom of expression, gender equality and minority rights. But these issues vary by country and socio-political environments. The trajectory of these battles will be determined by the dialogue -- or lack of it -- happening at people’s dinner tables, classrooms, voting halls, mosques and local media. Even before global events such as the Arab Spring, Muslims from all regions have been on the front lines of opening spaces for debate and cultural understanding. I have seen this personally in my interactions with youth activists across Muslim societies as part of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations Fellows. I found myself in rooms filled with passionate Arab intellectuals, artists and entrepreneurs who

echoed the desire for progress and development but who also believe in realizing such goals as part of an evolution, not a revolution. Amidst the haze of false narratives, these important, soft battles being waged by Muslim women and men are complex and subsequently underreported. Messengers in the news and policy makers should refocus the narrative, being that the soul of any religion is not man-made. On the contrary, political conditions have molded the fragmented, highly sectarian world we live in today, in places like Iraq, Syria, Pakistan, CAR and Myanmar. It’s time we as a humanity look in the mirror and do some soul searching, not just the so-called ‘Muslim World’. If there were a soul, here it lives... Our humanity -- I’d like to think -- has its essence in the extraordinary-ordinary examples for love and hope that live far from the hungry eye of media-hype and convenient false narratives. This week, millions of Muslims -- from varying races, ethnicities and sects -- descended on Mount Arafat near Mecca as part of fulfilling the Hajj pilgrimage. Here, people of all colors exhibited humility and prayed for forgiveness, mercy and peace. Millions more around the world celebrated the second of Islam’s holy days, Eid-ul Adha. If there is such a thing as a soul for Islam, it is in the strength, humility, kindness and unity of women and men displayed each year during the Hajj, Ramadan and Eid. (Views are my own and are not representative of any organization) - The Huffington Post

Flood Devastation in Kashmir Valley n By Naveed Khan


Pleasanton, CA

want to draw the attention of Pakistan Link readers to the fact that the unprecedented devastation owing to floods in Indian-Occupied Kashmir is partly because of the climate change and mostly due to the abuse of the land in the Kashmir valley.

Since 1989, India has maintained about 1 million military/paramilitary forces in the valley. They have cut trees, sliced mountains to build garrisons, cantonments, roads to accommodate and facilitate movement of that large force in the valley that has a population of just over 6 million. These troops do not belong to the Kashmir valley, they have abused the land DISCOURSE FROM P9

The Messenger, offers a very interesting insight into the Prophet’s Personality. He says, “I doubt whether any man whose external conditions changed so much ever changed himself so less to meet them.” Let us zoom forward to the 6th year of migration. The Prophet (SAW) had left Makkah after facing dreadful persecution and an assassination attempt, and had moved to Madinah, where he had been engaged by the Makkans in three battles already, and now the 6th year of his migration was upon him. A very strange proposal came from the Makkans during a pilgrimage trip to Makkah when the pilgrims were in Hudaibiya . The most humiliating terms of a peace treaty were offered to him. The makkans proposed: If someone from the Makkans breaks ranks and joins the Muslims, he must be returned back to the Makkans. But if someone

and damaged its eco-system.

from the Muslims defected to join the Makkans, he would not be returned. Much to the great chagrin of his companions, Muhammad (SAW) agreed to these unjust terms, in the name of peace, so much so that when the Makkans demanded the removal of the suffix “Rasulullah” (Prophet of God), from the treaty, he agreed to that as well, erasing it with his own hands, as his companion Ali expressed his inability to do so. Thomas Merton rightly says, “Peace demands the most heroic labor and the most difficult sacrifice. It demands greater heroism than war.” Four years after the same peace armistice was breached by the Makkans, the Prophet decided to march on Makkah. The world has not seen such a commander, and such a conquest. The Prophet divided the army into four battalions to enter Makkah from four sides. The march-

Similarly, the Union Government of

ers marched in glorious formations into the city which had persecuted many of them. At one point, a commander Saad ibn ubaida commented, “Today is the day of slaughter, a day when the inviolable shall be violated. The day of God’s abasement of Quraish.” Not appreciative of this undue passion, The Prophet, the everloving peacemaker, asked this commander to hand over the flag to his son Qays who was of a relatively mild temperament and said, “This is a day of mercy, the day on which God has exalted Quraish.” History narrates that he himself, the conqueror of Makkah, entered the city in the humble position of prostration, as he prostrated on his camel in all humility in front of God, a perfect servant of Allah. Centuries before the Geneva Conventions, Muhammad (SAW) elucidated the rules of engagement.

India has aggressively pushed pilgrimage by Hindu Yatris to the caves of Amaranath and Vishnoo Devi. This has added to the burden. Land had to be allotted to accommodate thousands of Yatris and they leave a colossal amount of debris and waste. Close to 1 million people visit Amarnath caves for pilgrimage (Yatra) every year. It is an environmental disaster. The presence of Indian military, coupled with large number of Yatris, has caused serious disruption to the sustainability of the valley. If the Kashmir valley has to be saved, then India has to rethink its policies about the number of troops and curtail or stop pilgrimage. Kashmir has to restore itself, otherwise I see more devastating floods in the future.

His followers were told, “Don’t forget that Islam is a mission of peace and love. Don’t destroy fruit trees or fertile fields in your paths. Be just and spare the feelings of the vanquished.” At this point in time, I would like to move from the hard historical facts to some of the mystical aspects of peace present in the Prophet’s personality. It has always intrigued me that his mother’s name was Amina, which comes from the word Amn, peace and security. His foster mother’s name was Halima - “the patient and forbearing”. These two traits dominate his personality like no other traits. He surprises us at every turning point in his life. His conduct stupefies the reader of his biographies, as this incident, that took place during the conquest of Makkah. When he was venturing on the most important mission of his life, he saw a dog who had just given birth to a litter of puppies. Even

at that time, in the midst of such an important mission, he commanded a soldier to stand by the vulnerable dog, lest the army ended up harming her and her puppies. Is it surprising then, that this great man, at the citing of every new moon prayed to God that may God bring this moon in security and faith, peace and submission. His message was always universal. He admonished his followers in the following words: “Never desire war and aggression. Always ask God for security and peace. But when peace is threatened, Heaven is beneath the shadow of swords.” One of the mightiest sayings of the Prophet expounding mankind as one is: “All creation is the family of God. The one who serves his family the best is the best loved by God.” (The author is a lawyer and criminology consultant based in Islamabad)



Bilawal Asks Altaf to Keep His “Namaloom Afraad” in Check on October 18

“Regardless of whether I’m alone or have thousands to back me up, I am marching towards Quaid-i-Azam’s Mazar on October 18... let’s see who tries to stop me,” Bilawal said in a self-assured tone

Karachi: Addressing a gathering of PPP workers, Bilawal had said that MQM chief Altaf Hussain should keep his ‘namaloom afraad’ in check, adding that if anyone was targeted at PPP’s public meeting on October 18, then he would turn to the London Metropolitan police. Namaloom afraad — which in English translates to unknown persons — is a colloquial term for miscreants. Not even sparing Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan in his fiery speech, Bilawal said that the cricketer-turned politician should learn politics from the Bhutto clan, just like the latter would seek help from him on cricket if needed. “Politics is not a game, Khan sahib,” the PPP leader said in a derisive tone, while addressing a gathering of PPP workers. Bilawal also claimed that the next prime minister would be someone from the Bhutto clan. He added

that the Bhutto enigma was still very much alive in peoples’ hearts. The PPP patron-in-chief said Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, who was the longest-serving premier, was not elected because he was a pir but because he was also a Bhutto. Responding to the recent debate about his entry into politics, the Bhutto scion said that some forces did not want to see him enter the political arena. He said everyone had the right to pursue politics, adding that he would launch his career “for the sake of democracy, reconciliation and for rendering sacrifices”. “Regardless of whether I’m alone or have thousands to back me up, I am marching towards Quaid-iAzam’s Mazar on October 18... let’s see who tries to stop me,” he said in a self-assured tone. PPP had chosen a somber date, October 18 for his formal entry into the political arena. Seven years ago, on that date, a huge rally had greeted

Benazir Bhutto at Karachi airport on her return from self-exile and was taking her home when terrorists struck her convoy, killing and wounding hundreds. She survived the attack, only to be killed even more violently in Rawalpindi 10 weeks later. Bilawal had earlier offered Eid prayers at Bilawal House in Karachi. The PPP patron-in-chief has resumed political activities after a break of almost one year. While the Bhutto scion had earlier distanced himself from politics, in an interview with BBC earlier this year, nearly 26-year-old Bilawal said the assassination of his mother in 2007 had changed things. His initial foray in politics corresponded in December 2012 was in correspondence with Benazir’s fifth death anniversary, He recently announced his decision to take part in the 2018 general elections from late Benazir Bhutto’s seat of Ratedero in Larkana.

Zardari Refuses to Take on PML-N Lahore: Pakistan Peoples Party Co-Chairman Asif Ali

Zardari has rejected some party leaders’ suggestion that the party should abandon its support to the PML-N as it was affecting its popularity in Punjab. Mr Zardari said he was at present more interested in protecting democracy than party politics because the nation was going through testing times. “We are supporting the PML-N to protect the democratic system. I don’t agree that our policy of reconciliation is damaging the PPP, particularly in Punjab,” he told the party’s office-bearers from southern Punjab and Lahore at a meeting in Bilawal House on Saturday. Some of the participants had expressed concern over the PPP’s policy of “overtly” supporting the PML-N government. A participant told Dawn that some officebearers spoke their mind freely before Mr Zardari, saying the party’s reconciliation policy was costing it dearly in Punjab. “The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf is filling the vacuum left by the PPP. We are conceding space to the PTI. We should start openly taking on the PML-N government and its leadership on issues of public importance and play the role of an active opposition,” an office-bearer was quoted as saying. Mr Zardari listened to their concerns, but told the office-bearers: “This is no time for such politics. The PPP will not compromise on democracy and supremacy of the constitution and parliament.” He said he would visit other parts of Punjab soon to strengthen the PPP in the province. It was no more a stronghold of the PML-N as people were ready to take to

MQM Rabita Committee Slams Bilawal’s Comment

Hitting out at the PPP, Haider Abbas Rizvi said the party had lost its popularity, except in rural Sindh. “People in large numbers are walking away from PPP,” he claimed

Karachi: MQM’s Rabita Committee

convened an emergency meeting on Monday after PPP patron-in-chief Bilawal Bhutto Zardari lashed out at MQM chief Altaf Hussain, asking him to control his “namaloom afraad“. “Bilawal was reading his statement from a piece of paper, therefore we will take this as part of PPP’s stated policy,” MQM leader Haider Abbas Rizvi said. “It was not a slip of tongue,” Rizvi said, adding that the statement made by Bilawal is an open threat to Altaf. He went on to describe the statements made by Bilawal as those “filled with hatred and based on discrimination.” “The Rabita Committee has taken serious notice and legal angles have been considered,” he went on to add. The MQM leader further added that the party would take this matter to the Sindh Assembly, National Assembly and Senate to demand answers from the PPP. “What is the meaning of this threat to Altaf Hussain? The reason for these [threats] will be determined on the floor of the Sindh Assembly,” he reiterated.

“We will convey our concerns to the MET police and we will contact the UK government for the safety of Altaf,” he said. Further, he said, Bilawal’s address will be evaluated in a constitutional, legal and political manner. “During the last 35 years, a multitude of individuals had tried to make things difficult for Altaf Hussain, but history is witness that such elements have found themselves in difficulty instead,” Rizvi said. The MQM leader added that the Rabta committee will be convened after three days of Eid to announce the party’s course of action. Rizvi said the landowning class of Sindh is apprehensive over Altaf ’s stance on setting up new administrative units in the province but no amount of threats would stop them from pursuing their goal. “Provinces based on administrative structure is Pakistan’s future,” the MQM leader said. Hitting out at the PPP, Rizvi said the party had lost its popularity, except in rural Sindh. “People in large numbers are walking away from PPP,” he said.

PPP Diehards Worried to See Zardari in ‘Losers’ Company’ Gujrat: Some diehard PPP work-

the streets in protest against its policies, he agreed with the workers. Mr Zaradri deplored the defection of Malik Aamir Dogar, secretary general of the PPP’s south Punjab chapter. “The late father of Mr Dogar had told him that he should never quit the PPP, but he did not follow his advice,” he said. Mr Dogar had refused to accept PPP ticket for byelections in the NA-149 constituency (Multan) scheduled for Oct 16. He is contesting the polls as an independent candidate with the PTI’s support. His main rival is veteran politician Javed Hashmi, who has the backing of the PML-N. In an apparent reference to Imran Khan and ZARDARI, P26

ers apprehend that despite expressing a firm resolve to reclaim Punjab, the party leadership was still in the company of those who were largely responsible for its routing in the most populated province of the country during the last election. They were commenting on the meetings the PPP co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari was reportedly holding with the ‘party workers’ at Bilawal House in Lahore. Fakhar Mushtaq Pagganwala, whose family had an old association with the PPP, asked if all those former provincial and federal ministers and former lawmakers (who were surrounding Mr Zardari) were so good or devoted to the party’s cause and the public, why

the party suffered its worst defeat in Punjab in 2013 polls. He advised the PPP co chairman to also take out time and meet with the actual Jiyalas (diehards) instead of having a chit chat with the so-called workers being chosen by those encircling him at the Lahore Bilawal House. The Pagganwalas have been part and parcel of the PPP since its foundation. Both Asghar Pagganwala and Mushtaq Pagganwala had been the party’s district presidents (Mr Mushtaq had been in the office for 19 years). Fakhar Mushtaq Pagganwala had also served as the PPP’s district secretary general for five years till 2011, while his wife Sameena Pagganwala had been an MNA and parliamentary secretary in the party’s previous government.



Anti-India Protests Erupt across Kashmir on Eid Day

Residents of Indian-held Kashmir and Indian police clash in Srinagar on October 6

Srinagar: Anti-India protests erupted Monday across India-held Kashmir during celebrations marking the festival of Eidul-Azha that were subdued due to flooding that devastated much of the region. Hundreds of people rallied against India’s control over the disputed Himalayan region, hurling rocks and bricks at law enforcement officers, who retaliated by swinging batons and firing tear gas into the crowds. With many in Kashmir still reeling from floods last month that killed at least 281 people and caused an estimated $17 billion in damage to homes, shops and infrastructure, this year’s Eid celebrations were restrained, with locals forgoing the fireworks and parties considered a hallmark of the festival. Few vendors were selling toys, and fewer animals were sacrificed. Even in areas unaffected by the

flooding, many chose to keep Eid prayers low key in memory of those who died in the floods. “I have never seen this widespread sadness on an occasion like Eid in my entire life,” said 80-yearold Gulam Mohammed. “This flood has also swept away happiness. “ Retired teacher Mohammed Ismail, 65, agreed that “everyone is in a stupor. Tragedy has silenced Kashmiris. “While anti-India protests are somewhat common during Eid celebrations in the mostly Muslim region, which is also claimed by Pakistan, many Kashmiris have grown increasingly angry over perceived neglect by India in helping the region to recover from the floods. “What celebration? We’ve lost everything,” said Rouf Ahmed, a hotelier in Srinagar, the main city in India-held Kashmir. “I don’t know

how long we’ll have to be in this state now. “ While the floodwaters have mostly receded, some low-lying areas of Srinagar and other places are still inundated with now-putrid water four weeks later. Tens of thousands of people are still staying in makeshift tent camps, while garbage continues to pile up on the side of the roads. Clashes broke out in Srinagar on Monday after police used razor wire to block off the central business district of Lalchok, where traders and some separatist leaders wanted to offer Eid prayers after the area was badly devastated by the floods. Before the planned prayer meeting, a large banner was hung across a major street reading “Wake up, Kashmir is crying for help. “ Police refused to allow the prayer meeting, however, saying there was no tradition of celebrating Eid in Lalchok. Police arrested a Kashmiri separatist leader, Yasin Malik, for allegedly organizing the meeting. Another leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq urged strength and perseverance in addressing tens of thousands of people at Srinagar’s largest congregation. “We have faced difficulties, but we don’t have to give up,” he said. “We have to trust in a compassionate God. He will help us in our rise again.“ As the prayers ended, the crowd turned to protesting India’s control over the region, chanting “Go India, go back” and “We want freedom. “

Mushahid Presents Peace Plan for Siachen Islamabad: The Chairman of the Sen-

ate Defense Committee, Mr Mushahid Hussain, said on Wednesday that India and Pakistan should no longer treat Siachen as an issue of national security but should regard it as one promoting human security and protecting environment to face the consequences of climate change. Talking to reporters in Parliament House, Mr Hussain, accompanied by members of the committee who had returned from a visit to Siachen on Tuesday, said: “The pointless Siachen dispute has caused a needless waste of human lives, money and material in the name of national security over the past three decades,” He presented a three-point peace plan for the Siachen region. It suggests demilitarization of the region with the withdrawal of armed forces of Pakistan and India. The second point of the plan is conversion of Siachen into a peace park where tourism and expeditions could be encouraged under the auspices of the United Nations Environmental Progr¬am and World Tourism Organization. The third point calls for collaboration between Pakistan and India to prepare a joint strategy for preserving the environment in the Siachen region whose impact will be felt by 1/5th of humanity living in South Asia. “We should learn a lesson about the futility of the conflict in Siachen from the Gyari tragedy, which resulted in the loss of 140 precious lives,” Senator Hussain said. He also talked about efforts for

peace in Siachen which were sabotaged on three occasions by the Indian military establishment when the Indian army chiefs overruled the political leadership of their country to sabotage any possible peace agreement on the region. “In June 1989, the then Indian prime minister Rajiv Gandhi had agreed with his Pakistani counterpart Benazir Bhutto to an agreement on Siachen but the then Indian army chief, General V. N. Sharma, opposed it and the agreement could not materialize,” he said. “On June 13, 2005, the then Indian prime minister Dr Manmohan Singh declared that Siachen was a ‘mountain of peace’ and announced that it would be converted into a symbol of peace from a point of conflict. But General J. J. Singh, the then chief of army staff of India, openly opposed the move citing security concerns and saying it was not in national interest. “The third such occasion was on the eve of the 13th round of talks on Siachen between defense ministries of Pakistan and India in June 2012 when the then Indian army chief, General V. K. Singh, publicly rejected Pakistan’s proposals for peace on Siachen as unrealistic and thus undermined the possibility of a peace agreement before the talks.”

Senator Hussain said the three events had been mentioned in a recently published book, “The Accidental Prime Minister” by Sanjaya Barua, press secretary to prime minister Singh. The members of the Defense Committee praised the sacrifices rendered by valiant troops deployed in Siachen and said they were defending the motherland despite an extremely difficult situation in the world’s most difficult terrain and highest battlefield. They said the troops were a role model and a source of inspiration for the nation and had the support of the parliament. Senator Hussain said the environment of Siachen region had adversely been affected by Indian occupation, adding that one of the key factors contributing to the environmental degradation was the cutting and melting of ice with the use of chemicals to construct military barracks. In reply to a question, he said time for a change (in the perceptions about Siachen) had come. “The 21st century is Asian century and time has come for India and Pakistan to collaborate in the areas of environment, climate change and global warming. We should approach issues with a big heart and take pride in each other’s achievements as Asians.” To emphasize his point, he congratulated India on its achievement in the Mars mission and said India should also take pride in Pakistan’s achievements in the fields of science, technology, IT, arts, literature and culture. “Some of the best brains and talented professionals live in South Asia and we can learn from each other,” he said.

Nine Killed, 33 Injured as Pakistan, India Trade Fire across Border on Monday

A file photo of the Line of Control between Pakistan and India

Rawalpindi: Nine people were killed and 33 injured as Pakistan and India traded fire across the Sialkot border on Monday. Four civilians were killed while three sustained injuries when Indian Border Security Force (BSF) opened fire near the Sialkot working boundary, ISPR said in a statement. The dead included Salima Bibi, 10-year-old Adeel Ahmed, four-yearold Hamad Ahmed from Dhamala village and 65-year-old Abdul Razzak from Tulsipur village. The latest violation of ceasefire also injured 70-year-old Mohammad Ishaq from Tulsipur village, 72-yearold Mohammad Rashim from Dhamala village and 10-year-old Kashif from Harpal village. ISPR also said there was firing from the Indian side in Nakial, Karela, Kot Kettera, Hot Spring and Jandrot sectors. No casualty was reported in these areas. According to ISPR, Pakistan Rangers effectively responded to the ‘unprovoked firing’ by BSF. Besides, unprovoked Indian firing in Charwa sector on late Monday destroyed 10 houses, while attacks in Harpal sector killed 13 domestic animals. Kashmiris flee as violence escalates: Tens of thousands of villagers fled their homes in Kashmir on Monday, as Indian and Pakistani troops bombarded each other with gunfire and mortar. “First we heard gunshots,” said Akshit Kumar, a resident of Arnia, a

town in Indian-administered Kashmir. “But as the shelling started, that’s when we decided to flee.” On the Indian side, officials were evacuating tens of thousands of people from Arnia and nearby villages to underground bunkers and government shelters. A man said he was sleeping on the lawn outside his home on the outskirts of Arnia when a mortar shell landed and exploded on a nearby house, killing his neighbor and wounding five other people. “There is panic,” said Jammu’s top administrator, Shantmanu, who goes by one name. “We’re trying to give them a sense of security and temporary shelters. “Many saw the chaos as part of what’s become a predictable cycle of violence in a region riven by decadesold animosities. A similar outburst of crossborder violence in August led about 15,000 villagers to flee temporarily. Police told AFP that Pakistan Rangers fired mortar shells at villages and border posts in Indian Kashmir, killing five villagers and injuring at least 30 more. Casualties in Indian Kashmir occurred when shells landed near a bus stand and houses in the Arnia sector of the southern Jammu region, police director general K Rajendra told AFP. “The firing started (Sunday) night. It’s continuing intermittently,” Rajendra told AFP.

Pakistan Urges India to Show Restraint, Condemns LoC Deaths

Islamabad: Pakistan on Monday lodged

a strong protest with the government of India through diplomatic channels and called upon Delhi to restrain its forces from “constant violation of the ceasefire”. “This was the sixth violation, occurring on a daily basis since October 1… Indian Forces violated [the ceasefire] from Akhnur, Dawar, Gulmerg, Jammu, Dawar and lastly, from Charwah Sectors,” spokesperson for the Foreign Office Tasneem Aslam said in a statement. Aslam said Pakistan strongly condemns the Indian Security Forces’

unprovoked firing, which violated the ceasefire at the working boundary at the Charwah sector. “The firing started at midnight and continued till morning. The Indian violation in complete disregard of the sacred occasion of Eid-ul-Azha, caused shahadat of four innocent citizens and injuries to three others,” the spokesperson said. She added that two children and a woman in the village Dharmala as well as one 60-year-old man in Tulsipur were among the casualties while two civilians in Dharmala and a child in village Harpal were injured. “It is deeply saddening that Indian Security Forces’ act of aggression deprived a number of families from celebrating Eid,” she said. “The government of Pakistan offers its condolences to the bereaved families and the victims. Our heart goes out to the affected families,” the spokesperson added.



Two Prime Ministers, Two Different Receptions

COAS Spends Eid with Troops in Waziristan, PM with Narowal Flood Victims

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and General Raheel Sharif offer prayers . -File photo

Narowal: Chief of Army Staff

General Raheel Sharif spent Eidul Azha with soldiers fighting terrorists in North Waziristan, while Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif visited Narowal to meet flood victims, Express News reported on Monday. General Raheel Sharif offered Eid prayers in Wana and later visited Miramshah. DG ISPR Asim Bajwa, in a tweet, said the army chief also visited a camp of internally displaced persons in Bakakhel and pledged continued support to them. The army chief later visited an

internally displaced persons (IDP) camp in Bannu where he said the army will work for maximum relief and rehabilitation. Further, he announced a Fata youth package which will induct 14,000 men from Fata in the army, and 1,000 people will be inducted in the first six months. Gen Raheel also announced free education facilities for 1,500 children in Fata which will be provided in army schools and colleges. PM visit: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif inspected the damage done by the recent floods and appreciated Punjab government’s

efforts in dealing with the catastrophe. He also announced compensation for the damage caused by the floods. “Every house that has been damaged will be compensated for,” he said, adding that measures would be taken to prevent such damage in the future. He reiterated that the government would work hard to make such projects possible and eradicate poverty from across the country. Ahsan Iqbal accompanied the prime minister on his visit to the flood-hit region.

The Economics of Eid-ul-Adha in Pakistan

n By Mariam Khan t is that time of the year when kids are forcefully sent to school because they are too occupied with the services they have to offer to their sacrificial animals. Yes, it is the month of Zil Hijjah in which Muslims perform Hajj, the annual pilgrimage to Mecca followed by the grand festival of Eid-ul-Adha or Bakra (goat) Eid as it is commonly known in the local jargon.


In Pakistan, as the days to Eid-ul-Adha draw near, the craze of buying animals for sacrifice intensifies. Streets, lanes, alleys are filled by the young as well as the old bragging about the uniqueness of their animals, despite the stench of animal waste that lingers in the air. Roadsides are filled with makeshift tents which are used by individuals to keep their animals in them. Cattle, goats, sheep and camels are offered on the three days of Eid in the memory of Prophet Abraham and the sacrifice he offered making it an obligation on adult Muslims who can afford it. An individual who does not want to buy a whole animal can opt for a share in the desired animal of choice that different organizations offer. To say the season of Eid hikes up the economic activity around the country wouldn’t be wrong. With cattle ranging from Rs. 50,000 to Rs.40,00,000 (approximately $500-$40,000) and goats varying from Rs. 15,000 to Rs. 200,000 ($150-$2000), the market does offer a wide scale to the customers belonging to any strata of the society. Those who have powerful bargaining skills can get great animals at a reasonable price. However, many a times, deals are made which empty the pockets of the buyers. With moos emanating from all corners of a cattle market, along with goats tangling their horns with their irate mates, one needs to be vigilant not only to escape a charged up animal which might simply emerge from any direction, but also from pickpockets who are on a constant lookout to rob customers’ valuables. From the province of Punjab, cattle come from Sahiwal, Bhakkar, Bhawalpur while Sindh has Nawabshah and Mir Pur Khas as the breeding grounds for fine quality cattle. Sibi, also in Sindh is popular for its bullocks which are known for their distinct color and built. Transporting these animals from these small cities to city centers and hubs and from there to the customers’ house around the nation boosts the transport business. While the buyers try to prevent from slipping in the cow dung, kiosks offering fodder are a common sight in these markets with haystacks piled up at intervals. Purchasers spend heavy amounts on animal jewelry which is

an attraction to the kids to make their personal animal stand out from the rest with its tinkling bells. On the day of Eid, each neighborhood is on the hunt for butchers who roam around in all their glory, well the need of the Eid hours does allow them to be treated royally. While they demand huge sums of money on the first day, many families prefer sacrificing their animals on the second and third day when the rates are reasonable. The municipal corporations in the larger cities have a tedious task to collect offal from outside houses, street corners and even vast spaces of public property where animals are sacrificed. Compared to the previous years when the stench enveloped neighborhoods even days after the festival had ended, municipal services have lately improved. The leather and soap industries also thrive during this season. Animal hides are collected in large quantities mostly by political party workers who move around different areas collecting animal skins. Along with them are some small and large scale NGOs who lay their hands on as many leftover hides as they can. Call it a celebration which kids anticipate for or be it an occasion which brings profit to the dairy farming sector, Pakistan and its citizens enjoy to their fullest from the delectable dishes prepared on these days to the late night tours which families make from one block to the other witnessing unique animals within each community. Not to forget, the selfie fad also applies to taking a selfie with an animal one owns. However, caution is advised- what if the four-legged creature is tired of this craze? - The Huffington Post

n By Shahid Javed Burki


here is a good reason, which will soon become apparent, why I begin this article with a long quote from a story in The New York Times. It covered the reception the Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, received at an event organized by the large Indian diaspora in the US. “They wore his face on their chests, waved it on posters, chanted his name and quoted his slogans, 19,000 fans drawn to a single star. His image stared down from the big screen at Madison Square Garden and emerged on canvas in a live speed-painting onstage. And when the man himself emerged, the capacity crowd on Sunday, September 28, in New York’s most storied arena roared as one. ‘Modi! Modi! Modi!’ the audience chanted, drowning out the announcer’s attempt to introduce the man who needed no introduction: Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India, whom 19,000 people had travelled from around the country and Canada to see speak on his first visit to the United States since being elected in May… The event was broadcast live around the world and watched in ‘super Modi’ parties across the United States.” Pakistan’s prime minister was also in New York at the same time for the opening session of the UN General Assembly. The large Pakistani diaspora in the US made no attempt to project their country by suitably greeting the Pakistani leader. Instead, there was a crowd waiting for him outside the UN that shouted “go Nawaz go”. These two very different receptions speak volumes about the political situations in the two countries and how they are perceived by the world outside. Nawaz Sharif ’s reception was obviously the consequence of his political troubles at home. He was faced with the demand from two different groups, the PTI and the PAT, to resign his office. These different treatments of the two visiting South Asian prime ministers reminds me of the question I was asked by LK Advani when I visited him years ago at his home in New Delhi. Advani asked me about the way the Pakistani expatriate community wrote about their country. “A lot of this writing is very negative and I find that puzzling,” he said to me. “If you read our newspapers, you would have seen that we don’t spare each other in domestic discourse. But outside

the country, we see ourselves as the nation’s ambassadors, protecting our image and advancing our reputation.” That, he thought, was not the case with the Pakistanis living outside their country. One extremely negative consequence of the 2014 protest movements in Pakistan is to increase its isolation. Ever since the country came to be identified as one of the world’s most dangerous places, it has been shunned by foreign visitors, investors and airlines. It is worth noting that while speaking at the Madison Square Garden, Modi asked each of the three mil-

The large Pakistani diaspora in US made no attempt to project their country by suitably greeting their Prime Minister lion or so members of the Indian community in the US to encourage at least 10 American friends to visit what was once their homeland. This will mean an additional 30 million tourists to India, which would make a large contribution to the Indian economy. The Indian prime minister was correct in underscoring that tourism creates the kinds of jobs his country needs the most. Tourists would want to eat local food prepared by local cooks; hire taxis and rickshaws to visit local sites; and buy locally produced goods. Tourism, in other words, would bring employment for the relatively less well-to-do, creating the kind of jobs that would not be done by large firms making large investments in large projects. Asking the Indian diaspora to produce tens of millions of additional visitors to their former homeland, would not produce the kinds of number the prime minister had in mind. But his suggestion had an impact of the type he may not have expected. It gave a strong message to Indians in the US to promote the attractive side of their homeland by giving the right impression to their American friends. By having the ‘Modi story’ picked up by major newspapers in the US, the prime minister did a lot of good to his country. The opposite was the case with the reception given to Prime Minister Sharif. (The writer is a former caretaker finance minister and served as vice-president at the World Bank )





Operation Zarb-e-Azb will Continue in Winter

Islamabad: Pakistani military will

continue targeting militants in North Waziristan Agency during upcoming winters, a senior security official said on Sunday, dispelling an impression that the harsh weather may force military authorities to halt Operation Zarb-e-Azb which has been ongoing since mid-June. “Conducting operation in winters is certainly a challenge for the security forces but it is also a challenge for militants,” the official told The Express Tribune. He asked to remain anonymous because of the sensitivity of the issue. Speaking about the winter strategy, he made it clear that the military would continue to ‘strangulate terrorists’ irrespective of weather conditions. “We will not let terrorists off the hook,” he insisted. His assessment came amid concerns that actions against terrorists could be slowed down due to the impending unfriendly winter in the rugged terrain of North Waziristan. The military official was of the view that security forces could not risk “slowing down or temporarily suspending” Operation Zarb-e-Azb. “Terrorists have been already on the run and we will not give them any chance to regroup,” he added. Operation Zarb-e-Azb, the codename for the full-scale offensive in North Waziristan, began on June 15 after months of painstaking efforts by the government to strike a peace deal with the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and its affiliates. So far the military claims to have killed over 1,100 terrorists in the operation, which is seen as the

beginning of the end of militancy that has killed and maimed thousands of lives – mostly innocent civilians – over the past 10 years or so. The military also claims to have cleared major towns of North Waziristan, including Miramshah, Mirali, Boya, Degan, and area up to Dattakhel. Clearance of pockets of resistance between MiramshahMirali in villages Momin Gul Ziarat, Darpakhel, Tappi, Spalga and south of the Tochi River is under way. Operation ‘Zarb-e-Azb’ has left over 1 million tribesmen homeless and compelled them to find refuge in makeshift camps in Bannu district and elsewhere in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. When asked about the possibility of allowing Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) to return to their homes in the areas cleared by secu-

rity forces, the official said a strategy was being evolved in this regard. “One option is to allow the IDPs to return once the entire agency is cleared of terrorists. But it depends on how the situation evolves on the ground,” the official added. Regarding a possible timeframe, the official said it was not possible to give a definite deadline for the completion of the operation due to ‘strategic reasons.’ Given the ground situation, it appears the operation will continue in the foreseeable future. In order to preclude possible blowback of the Waziristan operation in major towns, as many as 2,274 intelligence-led counterintelligence operations were carried out across the country. At least 41 terrorists were killed in these operations.

Drone Strike Kills Eight, Wounds Six in N. Waziristan Peshawar: In the second attack within 24

hours, an unmanned drone killed eight persons and wounded six others in Shawal District of North Waziristan tribal region on Monday. Intelligence sources say the drone targeted the residence of a Taliban commander, Habib, and left at least eight suspected militants dead and about 6 others injured in the district, which stretches across both North and South Waziristan tribal regions. The strike destroyed the compound which is situated in Mangroti area near the Pak-Afghan border region and appeared to be a transit point for militants across the border. The details and confirmation of Habib’s

death could not be independently verified since the media’s access is severely restricted in the troubled region. North Waziristan is among Pakistan’s seven tribal districts near the Afghan border which are rife with homegrown insurgents and are the strongholds of Taliban and Al Qaeda operatives, among others. Earlier on Sunday, a drone strike had killed five people in the Kand Ghar area of South Waziristan’s Shawal district. Pakistan’s military in mid-June had launched an all-out operation, named ‘Zarbi-Azb’, against Taliban militants in the region which is still underway.

‘14,000 Fata Men to Join Pakistan Army’ Rawalpindi: The military chief

on Monday announced an uplift scheme for the residents of the volatile Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), promising induction in army ranks as well as education and employment opportunities. An Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) statement quoted the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Raheel Sharif as saying that the policy titled ‘Fata Youth Package’ will induct into the army 14,000 men from the region over the course of the next five years. The total strength of the military’s active troops is over 500,000. According to the ISPR, the package also entails free education to 1,500 Fata children through army public schools and colleges in all cantonments, with reserved seats for Fata students in military cadet colleges on a yearly basis. The army will also work to enhance technical skills among the Fata youth through technical training institutes, adding that arrangements are already being worked out for their overseas employment, the statement said. The troubled mountainous area has been a hideout for years for militants of all stripes — including al-Qaeda and the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan - as well as foreign fighters. General Raheel spent the first half of Eid-ul-Azha offering prayers with troops at Wana and later flew to Miranshah to meet the troops participating in the ongoing operation Zarb-i-Azb in North Waziristan. He

later proceeded to Bannu, where displaced Fata residents have been living since mid-June. He expressed satisfaction over the outcome of the operation thus far. “With this level of determination shown by the army and the people of Pakistan, there is no doubt that we will root out the cancer of terrorism from our country forever,” the ISPR statement quoted the army chief as saying.

Pakistani Taliban Loyal to Mullah Omar only Islamabad: Rejecting media reports

that the group has declared allegiance to the Islamic State, Pakistani Taliban said on Sunday that they have declared allegiance only to Mullah Mohammad Omar, the Afghan Taliban supremo. “We are loyal to Ameer-ul-Momineen (Mullah Omar) and the question does not arise to withdraw from his allegiance,” Shahidullah Shahid, spokesperson for Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) said. Clarifying his earlier reported comments about allegiance to the Islamic State, Shahid said the TTP had only commended the group. “We had only praised the Islamic State and advised them to set aside differences and show unity,” the TTP spokesperson told The Express Tribune in a late Sunday email.






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Sacramento Raises Funds for Flood Victims

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MGYW’s 2014 Annual Fundraising Banquet

MGYW has recently entered into an MOU with Pakistan Foreign Office Women’s Association (PFOWA) for providing educational grants to bright young daughters of low-income foreign office employees

n By Farhana Mohamed, PhD Pictures by Anwar Khawaja, Ruby Faruqi, and Ambreen Mohamed


ince 2000, MGYW (Pakistani American Forum - Merit Grants for Young Women) has been successfully providing educational opportunities to young Pakistani women belonging to families making $2 to $3 per day and residing in urban slums or remote rural areas. According to UNICEF, youth literacy rate is Pakistan is about 70% with only 66% (70% of boys and 62% of girls) net primary school attendance. Overall, gender literacy gap is as high as 30% and MGYW is striving to fill this gap. MGYW does not build new schools but reaches all four provinces of Pakistan individually as well as by collaborating with well-known NGOs or with local community leaders. MGYW’s 1014 annual fundraising banquet was held recently in Southern California. The program was emceed by Sana Kamdar and assisted by Hera Kamdar - both young ladies are doctors and actively involved with local and global charities. Sana Kamdar

started the program with thanking program sponsors, acknowledging the MGYW board members, and introducing Qari Tariq Fattani for Qur’anic recitation. For the last 16 years, Qari Fattani has performed Qirat on almost all major TV channels of Pakistan. After a soulful recitation by Qari Fattani, MGYW Vice President Zille Huma introduced the Chief Guest, Consul General Tasawar Khan. Consul General Khan commended the MGYW Board Directors who are also very active members of the community. He mentioned that while there are several US organizations doing great work here and in Pakistan, he feels especially happy to support those who promote education. Statistically, he said, there are 18% women in the US Congress compared to 22% in Pakistan’s National Assembly. However, since 60 out of 67 Pak parliamentarians were inducted on reserved seats,real empowerment will be realized when all 67 women are directly elected. He also quoted Nelson Mandela: “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” The MGYW Board member Dr Farhana Mohamed followed

with her presentation highlighting MGYW’s accomplishments. Some of the significant projects which she described included Haripur Transportation, Pindi/Sagri District Graduation Incentive, Karachi Gift Pack, and Laboratory/ Library setup at HSAF School, Kot Shera, Punjab. She also mentioned that MGYW has recently entered into an MOU with Pakistan Foreign Office Women’s Association (PFOWA) for providing educational grants to bright young daughters of low-income foreign office employees. She then introduced talented and youthful Mrs Iffat Tasawar Khan. In addition to raising four children, social and philanthropic work has been her passion for 25 years through active membership in diplomatic social welfare organizations, especially

PFOWA. Iffat Khan briefly described many praiseworthy activities of PFOWA in bringing social and educational improvements to lives of many deserving foreign office employees. She appreciated MGYW’s initiative and hoped in future many more PFOWA girls will benefit from MGYW grants. The fundraising segment was conducted by Shaista Khan and Dr Bina Kamdar. They successfully and passionately motivated the guests who made generous donations toward various MGYW projects spread throughout Pakistan. The event also included free raffle drawings on fabulous items donated by the Kamdar family. The musical entertainment segment was emceed by Ashraf Ali who passionately sang a favorite

national song accompanied by the MGYW Board and Chief Guests on the stage. Arshad Ali and Shazia Ali gave enchanting musical performances throughout the evening. The program was memorable in all aspects and the MGYW Board Members who put tremendous effort included Tasneem Afzal, Sufia Altaf, Shaheen Awan, Iram Iqbal, Bina Kamdar, Shaista Khan, Farhana Mohamed, and Zille Huma Zaman. The Board is grateful to the event sponsors (Pakistan Link, Safeer-e-Pakistan, Infinity Care, and Islamic Relief USA), generous donors, and volunteers for their support. The Link readers can visit MGYW website ( or the Facebook (www.facebook. com/pafmgyw) for more information. Tax-deductible donations are always welcome.



Sir Syed Day Lecture and Dinner Celebration by the Aligarh Alumni Association of Washington DC

The dinner and lecture, held in the elegant setting of the Argyle Country Club in Silver Spring, attracted more than a hundred guests drawn from a cross section of the Washington area South Asians with a taste for, and an interest in, studies of poetry, literature and the Urdu language

n By Drs Syed Amir and Zafar Iqbal Pictures by Dr Rafat Husain


ir Syed Ahmad Khan, the 19th century social reformer, educationalist and scholar who revolutionized the thinking and mindset of Indian Muslims mired in the glories of a bygone era and unwilling to acquire Western education and knowledge, has been an admired figure for over a century. As the founder of the Muhammadan Anglo-Oriental (MAO) College in 1875 that, in 1920, evolved into Aligarh Muslim University, his contributions to the cause of education and the improvement of the status of Muslims of India are universally recognized. The Aligarh Alumni Association of Washington DC (AAA) has instituted an annual lecture in his honor to which distinguished scholars have been invited previously to deliver the keynote address.

This year, AAA celebrated the Sir Syed Day function on Sunday, September 28, the day following the annual Mushaira. Both events had assumed special significance as they marked the 40th anniversary of the birth of the AAA in the Washington area. Professor Gopi Chand Narang, the former Chairman of the elite Sahitya Akademi of India, and well-known literary figure and recipient of many prestigious awards, including Padma Bhushan, was invited to be the special guest. The theme of his talk was “How Sir Syed and Ghalib Promoted Traditions of Enlightenment.” The dinner and lecture, held in the elegant setting of the Argyle Country Club in Silver Spring, attracted more than a hundred guests drawn from a cross section of the Washington area South Asians with a taste for and an interest in studies of poetry, literature and the Urdu language. In addition to poets, who had participated in mushaira the night before (Imdad Hussaini, Iqbal

Ashhar, Naseer Torabi, Noreen Talat Arroba, Popular Meeruthi, Rashmi Sanan, Razi Raziuddin, Shahzad Rizvi, and Sabiha Saba), the audience included office holders of the University of Karachi Alumni Association, the Hyderabad Association of Greater Washington, Global Organization of People of Indian Origin, the Pakistan Association, Ambassador Islam Siddiqui, Mr Ashfaq Hussain from Toronto, Mr Bharat Bhargava, Professor Hamida Chopra, and Professor Narang’s extended family members. Poet Manzar Bhopali could not attend the dinner due to some unavoidable conflict. The meeting was opened with the Aligarh Tarana recited by a team of young volunteers led by Mr Masood Farshori, secretary of the AAA, who also welcomed the guests. The president of the Association, Dr Fazal Khan, in his brief remarks traced the history of the Association over four decades and its ongoing charitable work. Dr A.

Abdullah, a prominent member of the AAA, then introduced Professor Narang, enumerating his contributions to the classical Urdu literature, scholarship, and advancement of the genre of literary criticism in Urdu. The AAA honored Professor Narang with a plaque citing his extensive “contributions to Urdu literature, poetry and literary criticism.” In his hour-long speech, sprinkled with insightful anecdotes about poets and Sufis of yore, Professor Narang traced the career trajectory of Sir Syed Ahmad Khan, starting from his anguish at the demoralized state of Muslims in the post-1857 period to his progression into a social reformer and exponent of enlightenment and religious reformation. Professor Narang emphasized the power of love that is a universal theme in Urdu poetry and permeates the message of Sufi poets, such as Sultan Bahu (1630-1691) and Bulleh Shah (1680-1757). Although Sir Syed was young-

er than Mirza Ghalib (1797-1869) by some twenty years, they interacted but not always on cordial terms. Professor Narang related the story of Sir Syed requesting Mirza Ghalib to write a foreword for his translation of Abul Fazal’s scholarly work, A’in Akbari, expecting him to produce a laudatory piece. Instead of praise, Ghalib in his foreword chastised him for wasting time on an archaic work and ignoring the needs of modern times. Sir Syed, unhappy, did not use the write up, but it did influence his thinking and made him aware that Indians, especially Muslims, had to change their attitudes and practices in keeping with the time if they were to progress. Professor Narang emphasized that the dominant themes in the lives of both Sir Syed and Mirza Ghalib were the promotion and dissemination of intellectual and religious enlightenment. The evening ended with a standing ovation for the keynote speaker.

This Is the Time to Support Moina Shaiq for Fremont School Board

It is for the community to demonstrate that Moina Shaiq matters to it by helping to fund her campaign and by volunteering to walk with her to get out the vote

n By Ras H. Siddiqui


remont, California resident of 32 years, Moina Shaiq is running for a seat on the Fremont School Board in the local elections this November. Moina’s campaign is getting a great deal of local support and endorsements from prominent area residents and political figures (plus her husband who is supporting her 110%). And one can attribute this support to her many years of community service already performed. She has already served on the Alameda County Human Rights Commission, the Washington Hos-

pital Foundation, Fremont Historical Architectural Review Board, actively participated in the Fremont 50th Anniversary Celebration and the TriCity Interfaith Council. With all this experience, she is certainly not entering this race without establishing her credentials first. On Sunday, September 21st, her campaign was given a boost as an afternoon fundraiser was held for at the Chandni Restaurant in Newark where her friends and supporters gathered to listen to her and to help in carrying her campaign forward. Prominent personalities amongst this group were Assemblymember Bill Quirk, former Fremont Mayor Gus Morrison,

Dr Agha Saeed (AMA), retired City council member Judy Zlatnik and a real moving force in her campaign, Janice Gebhardt. After a customary invocation by Dr Rajabally, Hazem Kira showed a video presentation of Dr Saeed that highlighted the need for activism and called for fairness in a world traumatized by colonialism which needs to be confronted by avenues available within the democratic process. Former Mayor Gus Morrison in a short speech said that we want a better life for our children. He advised everyone to please write a check to Moina’s campaign which cannot run without resources. (Checks should be

written Payable to “Moina Shaiq for Fremont School Board 2014” can be sent to the following address: 918 Boar Circle Fremont, CA 94539). Readers are encouraged to visit Moina’s campaign website for more information at to get details about her candidacy. State Assemblymember Bill Quirk has not only endorsed Moina but he was himself present here to introduce her. He described her as a “very special person”, one who is the right one for this job. He also said that she was a very visible reminder of the diversity of the region. Moina Shaiq, in her short speech, highlighted the importance of educa-

tion and her own experience in raising four children and in meeting their educational needs. She said that Fremont was faced with aging schools, limited space for children going to these schools impacted by area’s rapid population growth, school safety, the problem of bullying, and mental health support needs (to name a few here). She described her long years of community involvement which have prepared her to run for this office. She especially stressed that she was not running for this office on the basis of her national origin or religion but as an American. She said that we are here in America permanently now; this MOINA, P29



Sacramento Community Raises Funds for Pakistan Flood Victims

Let us hope that other cities across America can learn from this example and pitch in too because the need is great and the resources available are very limited

n By Ras H. Siddiqui


t may not be in the headlines these days because politics has overtaken other important news from Islamabad, but once again hundreds of thousands of people in both Kashmir and Pakistan have been heavily impacted by recent floods. Losses have been colossal and there is a growing need for help in all forms which the government there cannot address alone. So the burden naturally falls on the Pakistani expatriate community which just has to find the space between this grim reality of suffering and the shenanigans of the political elite in a poor country. And since Sacramento, California and its surroundings have possibly the oldest “Pakistanis” in the United States today (the ancestors of some families here arrived over 100 years ago), it is only befitting that members of this community and the Muslims here took the


first step to help flood victims at a gathering at the SALAM Community Center on September 27th.

Hosted by the Pakistani American Association of Sacramento and the American Muslim Voice Foundation, this effort also had the blessings of CAIR (SV), the Muslim Mosque Association and Consulate General of Pakistan LA. Close to 300 people participated in this fundraising evening, including many women and children. Coordinated by a dedicated team from the local community (too many to be named here) one is happy to note that it received support from non-Pakistani individuals and groups as well. Khalid Saeed, the President of American Muslim Voice (AMV) Foundation ,was the emcee for this event. Introducing the program Khalid stressed that we have to care for each other and that we were all gathered here because we care. He invited a young lady from the community for the Qur’anic recitation to start the formalities. Soon after,

CAIR-LA Recognized as “Chapter of the Year”

his week, CAIR-LA received the 2014 Chapter of the Year Award at CAIR National’s 20th Anniversary Banquet in Washington DC!

Every year, the 27 chapters of CAIR across the nation vote for who they believe best exemplifies CAIR’s vision to be a leading advocate for justice and mutual understanding. Among the basis of CAIR-LA’s recognition was the establishment of the Immigration Rights’ Center earlier this year, offering immigration relief services and the unprecedented Muslim Gamechangers Network program, a social justice training program for high school youth. “We are honored that our fel-

he returned to give a brief overview of the two organizations spearheading this effort, AMV and the Pakistani American Association of Sacramento (PAAS), whose President Bashir Choudhry was invited first to address the gathering. Bashir Sahib asked everyone to bow their heads and say a prayer for those affected by this tragedy. He said that it was his moral obligation to help here and this was a commitment that he had made. He welcomed everyone present who had gathered for a humanitarian cause. “Donate generously,” he said. Khalid Saeed returned and introduced some of the local AMV office-bearers and volunteers present. Sacramento AMV Chapter President Asif Sattar next took the opportunity to address the gathering. Sattar Sahib reminded everyone that around Eid season, besides the joy, it is our duty to help people in need. He asked everyone how the people made homeless by the floods will celebrate their Eid? He said that NGOs play an increas-

Your Voice Was Heard in Sacramento


his week, the California chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-CA) welcomed Governor Jerry Brown’s signing of Senate Bill 828 (SB 828) into law.

low CAIR chapters voted CAIRLA as the Chapter of the Year.” said CAIR-LA Executive Director, Hussam Ayloush. “It is a great inspiration to work with such dedicated community leaders and activists.”

SB 828 was authored by Senators Ted Lieu (D-28) and Joel Anderson (D-36), and will prohibit state agencies from providing assistance to federal agencies or employees in collecting electronically stored data or metadata. This past April, nearly 200 Muslims from across California advocated for the passage of the bill at the third annual Muslim Day at the Capitol. SEE: California Muslims VOICE, P29

ingly important role in providing relief in Pakistan. Local luminary Javaid Akhtar also took the opportunity to share some of his personal experiences while growing up in a flood-hit community. Some housekeeping rules were announced next. Checks could be written directly to the Helping Hand USA, Islamic Relief USA, Bilquis Edhi Foundation, Imran Khan Foundation, Pakistan NDMA and AMV. Separate arrangements were made to pay for Eid Qurbani via some of the NGOs too. To offer spiritual inspiration, Downtown Sacramento Muslim Mosque Imam Mumtaz Qasmi next offered many words of inspiration and a great deal to think about. He explained in detail as to what Islam says about helping others in need. He said that we all live in relative affluence in America, and that true Muslims want a similar quality of life for others and not double standards. “You have two weeks of food in your home. They have nothing,” he said.


Dinner and fundraising continued. Some community kids even donated the money they had saved for video games for flood relief in Pakistan. The fundraising was conducted by Sheikh Monzer Taleb who enthusiastically encouraged everyone to be generous. A closing Dua by Woodland Mosque Imam, Aamir Hussain, ended the event. In closing, approximately $60,000 was raised to help the flood-impacted people in Pakistan. The Muslim and Pakistani community in the Sacramento region need to be congratulated for their generosity towards the victims of this calamity. Let us hope that other cities across America can learn from this example and pitch in too because the need is great and resources available are very limited. This community of ours still has a generous heart. One individual who could not make it to the event dropped off his substantial contribution at my home because he knew I would be going there. Thanks!

Open Mosque Day on October 18-19

he Shura Council is pleased to announce that more than 25 Mosques will be participating in this year’s Open Mosque Day, says an announcement. It adds: We encourage the community to avail of this opportunity and invite your friends of all faith traditions to visit a neighborhood Mosque. In response to the demand from our interfaith friends, this year Open Mosque Day will be observed for two days on Saturday Oct 18th and Sunday Oct 19th.

• We ask Muslims to download the Open Mosque Day flyer and share it with your friends and neighbors. • We request our interfaith friends and groups to spread the word

to your congregations and communities. • We request all places of worship to call us at (714) 373-6473, if you would like to have a free Open Mosque Day poster for your community.




n By Ziauddin Sardar

hen Malcolm X visited Mecca in 1964, he was enchanted. He found the city “as ancient as time itself,” and wrote that the partly constructed extension to the Sacred Mosque “will surpass the architectural beauty of India’s Taj Mahal.”

Fifty years on, no one could possibly describe Mecca as ancient, or associate beauty with Islam’s holiest city. Pilgrims performing the hajj this week will search in vain for Mecca’s history. The dominant architectural site in the city is not the Sacred Mosque, where the Kaaba, the symbolic focus of Muslims everywhere, is. It is the obnoxious Makkah Royal Clock Tower hotel, which, at 1,972 feet, is among the world’s tallest buildings. It is part of a mammoth development of skyscrapers that includes luxury shopping malls and hotels catering to the superrich. The skyline is no longer dominated by the rugged outline of encircling peaks. Ancient mountains have been flattened. The city is now surrounded by the brutalism of rectangular steel and concrete structures — an amalgam of Disneyland and Las Vegas. The “guardians” of the Holy City, the rulers of Saudi Arabia and the clerics, have a deep hatred of history. They want everything to look brand-new. Meanwhile, the sites are expanding to accommodate the rising number of pilgrims, up to almost three million today from 200,000 in the 1960s. The initial phase of Mecca’s destruction began in the mid-1970s, and I was there to witness it. Innumerable ancient buildings, including the Bilal mosque, dating from the time of the Prophet Muhammad, were bulldozed. The old Ottoman houses, with their elegant mashrabiyas — latticework windows — and elaborately carved doors, were replaced with hideous modern ones. Within a few years, Mecca was transformed into a “modern” city with large multilane roads, spaghetti junctions, gaudy hotels and shopping malls. The few remaining buildings and sites of religious and cultural significance were erased more recently. The Makkah Royal Clock Tower, completed in 2012, was built on the graves of an estimated 400 sites of cultural and historical significance, including the

The Destruction of History

city’s few remaining millennium-old buildings. Bulldozers arrived in the middle of the night, displacing families that had lived there for centuries. The complex stands on top of Ajyad Fortress, built around 1780, to protect Mecca from bandits and invaders. The house

prophet’s companions. Built by a succession of Ottoman sultans, the columns date from the early 16th century. And yet plans are afoot to demolish them, along with the whole of the interior of the Sacred Mosque, and to replace it with an ultramodern doughnut-shaped

The house of Khadijah, the first wife of the Prophet Muhammad, has been turned into a block of toilets. The Makkah Hilton is built over the house of Abu Bakr, the closest companion of the prophet and the first caliph of Khadijah, the first wife of the Prophet Muhammad, has been turned into a block of toilets. The Makkah Hilton is built over the house of Abu Bakr, the closest companion of the prophet and the first caliph. Mecca over the Years: Apart from the Kaaba itself, only the inner core of the Sacred Mosque retains a fragment of history. It consists of intricately carved marble columns, adorned with calligraphy of the names of the

building. The only other building of religious significance in the city is the house where the Prophet Muhammad lived. During most of the Saudi era it was used first as a cattle market, then turned into a library, which is not open to the people. But even this is too much for the radical Saudi clerics who have repeatedly called for its demolition. The clerics fear that, once inside, pilgrims would pray to the

prophet, rather than to God — an unpardonable sin. It is only a matter of time before it is razed and turned, probably, into a parking lot. The cultural devastation of Mecca has radically transformed the city. Unlike Baghdad, Damascus and Cairo, Mecca was never a great intellectual and cultural center of Islam. But it was always a pluralistic city where debate among different Muslim sects and schools of thought was not unusual. Now it has been reduced to a monolithic religious entity where only one, ahistoric, literal interpretation of Islam is permitted, and where all other sects, outside of the Salafist brand of Saudi Islam, are regarded as false. Indeed, zealots frequently threaten pilgrims of different sects. Last year, a group of Shiite pilgrims from Michigan were attacked with knives by extremists, and in August, a coalition of American Muslim groups wrote to the State Department asking for protection during this year’s hajj. The erasure of Meccan history has had a tremendous impact on the hajj itself. The word “hajj” means effort. It is through the effort of traveling to Mecca, walking from one ritual site to another, finding and engaging with people from different cultures and sects, and soaking in the history of Islam that the pilgrims acquired knowledge as well as spiritual fulfillment. Today, hajj is a packaged tour, where you move, tied to your group, from hotel to hotel, and seldom encounter people of different cultures and ethnicities. Drained of history and religious and cultural plurality, hajj is no longer a transforming, oncein-a-lifetime spiritual experience. It has been reduced to a mundane exercise in rituals and shopping. Mecca is a microcosm of the Muslim world. What happens to, and in the city, has a profound effect on Muslims everywhere. The spiritual heart of Islam is an ultramodern, monolithic enclave, where difference is not tolerated, history has no meaning, and consumerism is paramount. It is hardly surprising then that literalism, and the murderous interpretations of Islam associated with it, have become so dominant in Muslim lands. (Ziauddin Sardar is the editor of the quarterly Critical Muslim and the author of “Mecca: The Sacred City.” - The New York Times)

TV-Smashing Army Chief Seen Keeping Pakistan PM on Edge n By Faseeh Mangi and Kamran Haider


board a private bus heading to the funeral of a Pakistani army instructor, Raheel Sharif fumed as a small television set showed provocative dancers. Finally he took matters into his own hands.

“He stood, smashed the screen with some object and shouted ‘Don’t you guys have any decency? Families are sitting here and you screened such rubbish,’” Simon Sharaf, a former roommate of Sharif who witnessed the exchange back in 1993, said in an interview in Rawalpindi, home to the military’s headquarters.“Nobody dared to move or say anything.” Two decades later, Raheel Sharif is keeping Pakistan’s civilian leaders on edge as army chief even as he refrains from seizing power in a country with a long history of military rule. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who was ousted in a 1999 coup and isn’t related to the army chief, has seen his authority diminish in recent months as the military’s has risen. The standoff is increasing Raheel Sharif ’s influence over government policies, particularly how to handle often terse relations with neighboring countries as the US begins reducing its troop presence in Afghanistan. Nawaz Sharif ’s moves

to seek peace talks with nucleararmed India and Taliban militants operating along the Afghan border are indefinitely stalled. “Eventually there will be a negotiated outcome -- brokered by the military -- that keeps the government in power, offers some concessions to the protesters, and above all makes the military even stronger than it has been,” Michael Kugelman, an Asia analyst at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, said by e-mail of the political impasse. “The military will likely take over the India and Afghanistan portfolios, jeopardizing --unfortunately -- the progress the civilians have made toward rapprochement with both of those countries.” Power Broker : Nawaz Sharif bypassed two more senior generals last year when he appointed Raheel Sharif, who was seen as an apolitical choice that would enhance civilian control of the armed forces. Tensions slowly rose as the government sought talks with Taliban militants and brought treason charges against former military ruler Pervez Musharraf, who had ousted Nawaz Sharif in 1999. Now, after six weeks of protests led by opposition leader Imran Khan, Raheel Sharif has asserted the army’s role as power broker. In mid- August, Khan and religious cleric Muham-

mad Tahir-ul-Qadri moved past police lines into a restricted zone and set up camp in parliament. Nawaz Sharif then held meetings with Raheel Sharif to help resolve the impasse. ‘Building Himself ’: Raheel Sharif met separately with Khan, Qadri, Nawaz Sharif and his brother Shahbaz Sharif, who leads Pakistan’s state of Punjab. Nawaz Sharif later told parliament he never asked Raheel Sharif to mediate a solution, prompting Khan to file a lawsuit with the Supreme Court seeking the prime minister’s disqualifica-

tion for lying. “Raheel Sharif has shown significant restraint at events that in the past may have provoked a coup,” Oliver Coleman, an analyst at Maplecroft, a UK-based global risk forecasting company, said in emailed comments. The opposition Pakistan Peoples Party is seeking closed-door talks between political parties and the military, which has ruled the nuclear-armed country for about half its history. Amid the protests, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s administration scrapped the first

formal talks planned with Pakistan in two years after its envoy sought to meet Kashmiri separatist groups. The army has also continued a fight against Islamic militants on the border with Afghanistan, where the Taliban are seeking to regain power as the US withdraws troops over the next few years. Fighting Militants: “Sharif is building himself up,” Ayesha Siddiqa, author of Military Inc., a book about Pakistan’s armed forces, said by phone from Islamabad, referring to the army chief. “Maximum manipulation ensures civil institutions remain weak and cannot challenge the military.” Raheel Sharif, 58, was born in Quetta on the Afghan border in a military family. He and his brothers followed in the footsteps of his father, a major. One of his brothers, Mumtaz Sharif, is a captain, while elder brother Major Shabbir Sharif was killed in 1971 while battling Indian soldiers during one of three wars between the neighboring countries. After earning a degree from the Royal College of Defense Studies in the UK, Raheel Sharif started as infantry officer and later oversaw the army’s training operations. At one point he was a military instructor at the Pakistan Military Academy in Abbottabad, near where Osama bin Laden was hiding before he was killed in 2011. - Bloomberg News



Silicon Valley Congressional Candidate Ro Khanna Talks to Pakistan Link


as Siddiqui (RS) interviewed San Francisco Bay Area Candidate for US Congress Ro Khanna (RK) for Pakistan Link. He is running against longtime incumbent Congressman Mike Honda in Silicon Valley. Here we discuss various issues, some specifically important to the Muslim community:

RS: Since we are conducting this interview mainly for a South-Asian news outlet let us get to the personal question first. What can you tell us about your family life and your educational background? RK: I have been very inspired by my grandfather who spent several years in jail for his contributions to Gandhi’s independence movement. He was born in Lahore and moved to India after partition. His stories have driven me to do my part in serving the public good and in standing up for human rights around the world. My father immigrated here in the 1960’s to study engineering and my mother came in the 1970’s. She worked as a substitute schoolteacher. My parents instilled in me a value for education. I went to the University of Chicago and took out student loans to earn a law degree from Yale. After graduating from Yale, I did a clerkship for a federal judge in Arkansas and then moved out to Silicon Valley. RS: What do you think about the “Top Two” candidates running for office idea? Both you and your opponent in California’s 17th District are Democrats so there is little or no ideological divide (Democrat vs. Republican) here. What makes you the better candidate? RK: I’m running for Congress because Silicon Valley needs a Congressman who will bring a different approach to governing – someone who will build bipartisan coalitions to get things done. Someone who will lead on issues, not follow. Someone who will be engaged and show up in the community. Congressman Honda has not delivered in his fourteen years in office. RS: Frankly, I did not want to make this interview harder than it needs to be, but for many of us in the immigrant community, 14-year incumbent Congressman Mike Honda has been a long-time friend. That includes the Muslim community here as well. How do you think that you will be able to safeguard our concerns better than Mike? RK: My parents are immigrants, and I have been a forceful advocate for commonsense immigration reform. I live in Silicon Valley where the global is local. There is no question that Rep. Honda has been a strong advocate for the Asian American community. But he has not been effective in delivering. I will always be an accessible and outspoken voice for the Muslim community and I’ve put actions behind my words that show it. RS: There has been profiling of Muslims in this country and a number of hate crimes committed against them and the Sikh community specifically. These are topics important for many other people of color as well. Can you share some of your thoughts on this subject of protection of minorities here? RK: This is personal to me. I know what it’s like to be raised by immigrants and to be one of the only Indian-American students at my school. In 2005, I challenged Rep. Tom Lantos because I was opposed to the disastrous Iraq War and overreaches in the Patriot Act. I spoke out forcefully against the profiling of Muslims and Sikhs. In this election, I have criticized the NSA overreach and unconstitutional racial profiling. I will always be


n By Christa Case Bryant

ast week Mariam al-Mansouri, a F-16 pilot from the United Arab Emirates, was introduced to the world. Smiling out from under her helmet and hijab after launching air strikes in Syria, part of a US-led campaign against Islamic State, her image went viral.

For some Americans, she was a sort of Katharine Hepburn meets Amelia Earhart who had shattered prevalent stereotypes of Arab women. A popular Internet meme reads: “hey ISIS. you were bombed by a woman. have a nice day.” Her mission has aroused considerable “you go girl” sentiment in the Arab world as well, from Twitter to newspaper editorials. “This woman has overcome obstacles and challenges with her determination and capability,” mused @BoZayed_9399, whose Twitter handle uses a Gulf term for father, suggesting he has roots in the region. Another tweet mockingly contrasted her feat with a Saudi sheikh’s opposition to women driving a car, saying it would damage their ovaries. Tweet But her role in an American bombing campaign in a Muslim country also caused tremors along another fault line: the conflict between so-called moderate and more fundamentalist schools of Islamic thought in the Middle East. On one side of the fault line, Ms Mansouri is depicted as a traitor to Arabs struggling to overthrow evil dictators. On the other, she’s an arche-

a strong advocate for legislation against hate crimes, standing up for civil liberties, closing Guantanamo, and opposing racial profiling. I will never compromise or remain silent in the face of racial discrimination. RS: Having worked in the Obama administration, could you tell us how you will utilize that experience for the benefit of the people in your district in case you win in November? RK: When I served in the Commerce Department I traveled across the country meeting with manufacturers of all sizes. I gained an understanding not only of their challenges but also of the competitive advantages that America has in manufacturing and exporting. When I returned home to Fremont I wrote a book called Entrepreneurial Nation. It’s all about how to keep the best

I’m running for Congress because Silicon Valley needs a Congressman who will bring a different approach to governing – someone who will build bipartisan coalitions to get things done. Someone who will lead on issues, not follow. Someone who will be engaged and show up in the community jobs and opportunities right here in America. Now I’m putting some of that experience to work as a lecturer in economics at Stanford University. We need more people in Congress who understand how the economy works and will reach across the aisle to get things done. RS: You have scored some very important endorsements especially from the mainstream media newspapers including the San Jose Mercury News and some major politicians as well. The technology leaders supporting you include some high-profile Muslims. The list is long and shows like both the mainstream and the South-Asian “Who’s Who”. What do you attribute this support to?

RK: The people supporting me recognize that the 21st century brings great challenges, but also incredible opportunities. Unfortunately, Congressman Honda is not getting the job done. In the San Jose Mercury News’ endorsement, they said that he was “irrelevant” on the most pressing technology and privacy issues and that he is “not effective in influencing policy”. I’ve presented a competition vision in this election and people are responding very positively.. RS: Working Americans of this generation are competing in a global marketplace today. What measures would you support in Washington that would help protect our jobs and wages in this country? RK: A strong middle class has always been the cornerstone of our nation’s success. Unfortunately, middle class families are struggling today due to stagnating or decreasing incomes coupled with growing costs of housing, education, and health care – problems exacerbated by misguided government policies. Hardworking parents shouldn’t have to choose between supporting their children and retiring with dignity. America’s GDP has expanded the most when the middle class was steadily growing; conversely, a shrinking middle class holds back economic growth and increases our budget deficits. My commitment to working men and women is one of the driving forces behind my decision to enter public service. I stood side-by-side with working families when the National United Motor Manufacturing, Inc. (NUMMI) plant was closing down, marched and advocated for better working conditions with Justice for Janitors, and supported local, statewide, and national efforts to raise the minimum wage. This fight is not just about fairness – it’s about economic opportunity and competitiveness. We are a stronger nation when we have the right workplace policies, and as a member of Congress, growing the middle class will always be my priority. RS: Let us look at a scenario where the President of the United States calls for a vote in Congress asking for “Boots on the ground” in a foreign country. What would convince you to vote “Yes” on this call? RK: The only case where we should commit American troops is when there is an imminent threat to American lives. In that case I believe that Congress should vote on the authorization of force. That is the system of checks and balances that our Founding Fathers created. But it relies on members of Congress having the courage to take a position instead of sitting on the sidelines and ducking the tough decisions. RS: What motivates you the most in this run for office? RK: I believe that California’s 17th district – the heart of Silicon Valley – is the most consequential district in the country. Silicon Valley is the global innovation hub. The technology created here has changed the world time and time again. But dynamic changes in our global economy are leaving people behind. The debate in Congress has grown stale and we have no strategy to expand opportunity and create good paying jobs for the middle class. I have the unique experience, manufacturing expertise, and record of delivering that is necessary to address our most difficult challenges. Ultimately, people in this district deserve someone who will work as hard as them. That’s what I’m offering in this election. RS: Thank You.

Female F-16 Pilot Stirs Debate in Muslim World

type of Arab society advancing into the future, in contrast to the backward-looking caliphate declared by IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. “This is a symbol of the eternal conflict be-

tween modernity and backwardness, between goodness and evil,” wrote Egyptian-born scholar Mamoun Fandy in an Asharq al-Awsat column titled, “Mariam and al-Baghdadi … heaven and

earth.” (Arabic) Others stand aghast at the fact that a pretty woman has so blithely killed fellow Arabs, and is being championed in the West for doing so. “I ask God that you suffer exactly the pain that you caused to everyone whom you killed, sooner than later,” tweeted @missprestige888. Tweet Ibrahim Abu Marasa, who identifies himself as a Palestinian web designer in Gaza, voiced frustration that Mansouri – who he refers to pejoratively – has captured such global attention when the “slaughter” of close to 200,000 Syrians and the “massacre” of more than 2,100 Palestinians in Gaza this summer failed to galvanize Westerners or their armies. “The people of Arab nations whose armies work to help America and kill Muslims, don’t they feel ashamed of themselves? Don’t they feel like mice?” he tweeted. Mice, with their little hideouts and penchant for stealing crumbs and cheese, are seen here as lacking dignity, courage, and self-reliance. But perhaps the most vivid imagery came from @mohalwber, who spoke of Mansouri as a lioness igniting a fire for the sake of her country, not only referring to revving up her F-16 but also evoking an age-old symbol of protection in desert cultures. Debate over everything from the role of women to differing interpretations of Islam has stoked that fire further, but maybe that is better than sitting in the darkness of silent complacency. Courtesy The Christian Science Monitor



Scotland Referendum: If They Can Have It, Why Can’t Kashmiris? n By Sehrish Butt


Karachi, Pakistan

oday, on September 18, Scots will decide whether they want to stay with the Great Britain or opt for independence. This is a big day, not only for Scotland but for the entire world as this referendum will seal the fate of the United Kingdom.

It’ll be a great setback for the UK if they lose in the referendum, as David Cameron expressed on Twitter. The Scots are very happy about this step, as people are seen waiting excitedly for the voting to begin. Many people have taken to the streets to show their support for the referendum. However, where Scotland celebrates this step, many English still condemn it. They are against this division and it also reflects badly on Cameron’s government. Those who oppose this referendum have expressed their views aptly on Twitter. Currently, Scotland has its own separate legal and education system, with defense, security and taxation remaining with England. Although the Scots have been trying to get independence for quite some time now, with the Scottish National Party hinting towards a separation on the pretence that

Scotland was economically powerfully enough to sustain itself on its own, the final nail in the coffin was drawn with the 2010 elections when the Conservative Party won. The Conservative Party is not very popular in Scotland and, as a result, Alex Salmond, minister for the Scottish devolved parliament, declared his intentions to hold a referendum; this step was supported by many Scots. The English government, after receiving

an overwhelming majority of prounion opinion polls, decided to go ahead with the plebiscite, believing that the end results would be in favor of a unified Britain. However, the new polls hint more towards an independent Scotland, which is a worrisome issue for England. This news made me think about Kashmir, about its people who have suffered for so long and I desperately wished for them to have a similar opportunity to ex-

press themselves and cherish their right to choose. Sure, the Scots and the Kashmiris do not face the same problems, and England doesn’t have its army occupying Scotland, as it is in the case of Kashmir with Pakistan and India. However, as a state that wishes to be independent, and where a major section of the society wants to have a referendum in their land, I believe that Kashmir should be given a chance as well.

The Kashmir dispute has been a chord of contention between Pakistan and India since 1947 and even though a referendum was planned, according to United Nations resolution on January 5, 1949, it never got implemented. It’s been a long time since we have observed turbulence in Kashmir. But news of innocent people getting killed in riots is not any different than that of people getting killed in Gaza. I still remember how Pakistan Television (PTV) used to show documentaries of atrocious killings in Kashmir after the nine o’clock news – as a kid, for me, it was very scary. I promised myself that I won’t go to Kashmir as I thought there was no love or justice there. But now, after visiting Kashmir and experiencing its serenity, I feel saddened to see the people in the terrible state that they are. It is unfortunate to see them bear the brunt of a power struggle between two nations. I wish Scotland best of luck for whatever they decide and vote for. It shall be accepted by the rest of the world and will set an example for countries suffering disputes – it will highlight the need for accepting the acquiescence of people, because that is the beauty of a true democracy. Let’s hope that Scotland’s win will pave the way for Kashmiris to finally have a shot at a referendum.

Status Insanity: Why the iPhone Is the Perfect Status Symbol n By Sandip Roy


New America Media CA

n India the iPhone makes your life complicated before it makes it simpler.

A friend got an iPhone because she could not call Uber cabs on her Blackberry. That solved a pressing problem -- how to call a cab if she’s out for drinks and it’s rather late. Unfortunately now she is terrified she will leave her über-expensive golden phone in the cab in a tipsy haze. So she has to plan her social life very carefully. If there is any prospect of drinks on the horizon, she leaves her iPhone safely at home thereby defeating the whole point of getting it in the first place. Smartphone, indeed. I don’t have an iPhone and have never had one but it does not mean I will never get one. I have not avoided the iPhone because I disapprove of Apple’s labor practices in China or any such high-minded reason. I do own a Mac and love it. And I have a Blackberry which I have no particular love for, and is not cheap either, but I stick with out of sheer inertia. I am just a bit of a status symbol Luddite. By the time I finally get something cool it’s already well past its coolness expiry date. Some people are just not early adopters. Oh, the iPhone is on Version 6? Where has the time flown! I also refuse to use up my precious Internet bandwidth in India to watch the iPhone and iEverythingElse launch in far-off San Francisco, live on my Safari browser. What other status symbol inspires that kind of insanity? I just don’t get it. Why are so many people watching the launch of a product that most of

us cannot even afford, though Apple sales did go up 400 percent in India after it initiated its installment and buyback schemes? It goes without saying that the iPhone is a status symbol. But it’s a revolutionary status symbol. Unlike that Birkin bag, it’s a status symbol with really cool whiz bang upgradeable features. That makes it a status symbol that actually does something instead of just sitting there, being a status symbol. And while we might have to bluff as we pretend to appreciate the finer points of 15-year-old single malts versus 18-year-old single malts, everyone can actually enjoy an iPhone, if not for its features, then just for its sheer aesthetics. “It’s not a status symbol to me,” says a friend who wants one. “It’s just quite nice-looking like the iPad. And it takes slow motion videos.” In fact, Apple has made aesthetics a status symbol in itself. “A Blackberry is far easier for office work,” admits a new iPhone user a bit sheepishly. But the iPhone is way prettier. “You flaunt an iPhone, but you don’t flaunt an Android,” the VP of a digital media company wisely told Bloomberg explaining why Apple could get away with pushing its older models in India counting on our appetite for brand “cachet at affordable prices”. “Affordable” of course being a relative term here. Best of all, this is a status symbol you can carry everywhere. You do not have to awkwardly try to insert it into a conversation -- like the name of the club you belong to or the American business school your child attends or the car you drive. You can just fish it out of your pocket and look at the time. Or like my friend, the new iPhone user, post a picture on Facebook and coyly say,

“Because I can now take selfies.” That is classy.

You do not have to awkwardly try to insert it into a conversation -- like the name of the club you belong to or the American business school your child attends or the car you drive. You can just fish it out of your pocket and look at the time. Or like my friend, the new iPhone user, post a picture on Facebook and coyly say, “Because I can now take selfies.” That is classy That’s what makes it a godsend for a status-obsessed society like In-

dia. It fuses what has become the ordinary Indian necessity aka a mobile phone with high-end luxury and in a way, strips it of any consumer vanity guilt in a country where as stories constantly remind us that two-thirds of the population lives on less than $2 a day. If you routinely post photos of yourself on Facebook flying firstclass on international flights you are an insufferable show-off. But if you post photos with your new iPhone you are just on the cutting edge. It’s a status symbol that you can always justify -- Ineed that Uber app, I want to shoot Hyperlapse videos, I have to take Instagram photos. Of course, now you can take selfies and Instagram photos on other smartphones too (except my rotten Blackberry). But the iPhone gives you that discreet extra stamp of authentication that smugly sets you apart. No wonder in China, after the iPhone skyrocketed as a status symbol, a lucrative new side business emerged according toMinyanville. com: the selling of fake “has logged in via iPhone” signatures for users of the massively popular instant messaging program Tencent QQ.

In China, writes Josh Wolonick, an iPhone transcends mere luxury becoming “symbol of wealth, but also of ability and of a kind of Western independence that is taking hold, along with capitalism, in the People’s Republic of China.” And those fake iPhone signatures “allow China’s working class to share, however minutely, in the prestige of China’s new American status symbol.” All this is happening in a society where I actually use the phone far less as a phone. Most people who need to get a hold of me email, text, WhatsApp or BBM messenger. Eight out of 10 times when my phone actually rings, it’s someone trying to sell me life insurance. And I ignore it. Soon we might come to an age where we wonder why an iPhone is even called a phone -- just as some once wondered why a floppy disk was called floppy. Technology was supposed to be in the service of man. But when in a world of Google Glass and Apple’s Watch, technology becomes a status symbol and it quickly turns into an extension of our egos. The ‘i’ in iPhone is now the operative letter. And soon we will have the cool new Watch with its dizzying array of icons and ability to tap-communicate with your Watch-ed loved one across the room. As comedian Ellen DeGeneres quipped: “So excited for the Apple Watch. For centuries, we’ve checked the time by looking at our phones. Having it on your wrist? Genius.” There’s irony somewhere in this but until Apple comes up with a product called iRony, and livestreams its launch we won’t get it. (Sandip Roy is a writer and cultural editor for Firstpost, where the original version of the above essay first appeared)



Muhammad Hafeez Out of Australia T20, ODIs Through Injury

DUBAI: Pakistan's preparations for the series against Australia received a

big jolt ahead of their one-off Twenty20 match recently when all-

rounder Muhammad Hafeez was ruled out after injuring his left hand during a practice game. The all-rounder split the webbing between the thumb and index finger of his left hand during a practice game recently in Sharjah. Team manager Moin Khan confirmed Hafeez's unavailability. "Unfortunately Hafeez is out of the limited-overs series (ODIs and T20)." Moin added that the U19 opener Sami Aslam and veteran spinner Zulfiqar Babar have been asked to stay back. Aslam will make his debut in the ODIs, while Babar might also feature in the 50-over format. "Hafeez has played a key role and losing him is disappointing. But you can't underestimate youngsters and I am very confident," said Shahid Afridi. "Both teams are balanced and a good game” Afridi added. The first of the three ODIs is to be played in Sharjah on October 7, followed by games in Dubai and Abu Dhabi on October 10 and October 12 respectively. J

Taekwondo Adds to Pak's Asiad Woes KARACHI: Pakistan's Ghanzanfar Ali missed out on the chance to bag the bronze medal after losing the quarter-final to South Korea's Taehun Kim 13-1 at the -54kg taekwondo men's event at the Ganghwa Dolmens Gymnasium recently. Ghazanfar had performed well in the matches leading up to the qualifiers when he defeated Philippines' John Paul Lizardo 14-12, but failed to impress in the quarter-final, losing to Kim without any significant resistance. Meanwhile, in the women's taekwondo event, Najia Rasool impressed on her debut at the Asian Games but was unable to stop Brunei Darusalam's Nurulain binte Muhammad Jaafar's attack as she lost 3-2 in the round of 16 of the 73kg event. "I'm very happy with our female athletes Najia and Asia Batool," Pakistan Taekwondo Federation (PTF) President Wasim Ahmed told The Express Tribune. "I want to encourage women, especially because it was the first time in the history of our country that they competed at the Asian Games' taekwondo event. "Najia was extremely impres-

sive, although she lost the fight but the margin was very small. Given that these athletes only prepared for the Games just a month before their events, it's a good performance from both the men and women." The squad also included Arsalan Asad Khan in the -63kg competition and Atief Arshad Archibald in the 80 kg event. "They all competed but it's also about the luck and the draws. Our draws were tough," Ahmed added. Ahmed felt the accomplishments of the athletes are all the more commendable due to their lack of preparation and the level of the opponents they faced. "We are proud of them because Asian Games are the biggest event in taekwondo, after the Olympics, and countries like Iran, China, Chinese Taipei are fielding Olympians in the Games," he said. "Our athletes competed internationally after two years." Meanwhile, Pakistan's karatekas also failed to win their matches as Muhammad Kashif lost to Philippines' Ramon Antonino Franco 9-1 in the -55kg men's competition, while Kulsoom Hazara also lost to Iran's Pegah Zangenehkarkooti 1-0 in the -68 kg event. J

Defeat in Final Comes With a Silver Lining KARACHI: "It is time to make a comeback in the world of hockey and give our nation a gift," were the words of Pakistan goalkeeper Imran Butt before the Asian Games men's hockey final. On Thursday afternoon, after India and Pakistan, two bitter and unyielding rivals, were tied 1-1 at the end of normal time, the 26-yearold goalie knew that it was time to deliver on his promise. Just two days before, Pakistan had emerged triumphant from a similar situation against Malaysia in the semi-finals and the title defence was a very achievable reality. As per the new rules, a player now has to dribble into the 'D' from the 23-yard line and find a way past the goalkeeper. However, at the Seonhak Hockey Stadium, during those crucial seconds in the shootout, it was India's goalkeeper

Sreejesh Parattu Raveendran who came up trumps, and in those allimportant few moments, he stood as tall as a giant in front of his goal. Inaccuracy, pressure and a lack of confidence and composure ultimately led to Pakistan's downfall as they slumped to a 4-2 defeat on penalties. Sreejesh charged at the Pakistan penalty-takers to narrow down the angles, using his stick to sweep the ball away and even putting his body on the line when needed. He was down one moment to prevent the shots, up the next to stop the flicks. The nation waited for Butt's promised gift, but it never arrived. In the previous five matches, Pakistan had remained unbeaten, thanks largely to a newfound sense of belief instilled by new coach Shehnaz Sheikh. The coach egged the team on from the sidelines; supporting, giving tips, telling them the

weaknesses of their opponents and motivating them when it mattered most. It was not only the wins that impressed, but also the manner in which they were won. The goals flew in throughout the tournament. Ten players out of the 16-man squad scored. In total, Pakistan netted 27 times in the tournament, second only to South Korea, who scored 28. The captain, Muhammad Imran, led from the front with six, and Umar Bhutta's five made him the leading field-goal taker. After a series of continuous disappointments and let-downs, the hockey team's performances were finally good enough to warrant a successful defence of the Asian Games gold, and that feeling grew with every passing game. In the end, it was not to be, but the doom and gloom surrounding Pakistan hockey may now finally end. J

Pakistan's Ghazanfar Ali (L) competes against South Korea's Taehun Kim (R) during their men's -54kg quarter-final taekwondo bout at Ganghwa Dolmens Gymnasium during the 17th Asian Games in Incheon.

Sri Lanka End Gold Medal in Incheon Taking Responsibility: Waqar, Afridi Want INCHEON:Drought Sri Lanka won their first seal further gold for South Korea Asian Games gold medal for 12 years while there were also victories for Young Talent to Fill Ajmal's Shoes with a 68-run win over Afghanistan in Otgondalai Dorjnyambuu of

DUBAI: Pakistan cricket team coach Waqar Younis urged his bowlers to step up and fill the considerable void that has been left behind by ace spinner Saeed Ajmal's suspension when they face Australia in the home limited overs and Test series. Ajmal, ranked number one in oneday cricket, was suspended last month after his bowling action was found illegal following an assessment in a biomechanical laboratory in Australia. Ajmal has been a huge success in the T20 format, having taken 85 wickets in 63 matches; the highest by any bowler in the format. The wily spinner had previously missed only three T20 matches out of the 66 that Pakistan have played since his debut in 2009. However, that number is now sure to increase and Waqar believes Pakistan will have to live with the fact that Ajmal is not available in the short-term. ''Ajmal has been a world beater for the last seven years and he has been at the top of his game but we have to live with it and we have to find some new boys and make sure the youngsters deliver," said Waqar in a press conference. Pakistan have included left-arm spinner

Raza Hasan to replace Ajmal and also have an exciting leg-spinning allrounder in Saad Nasim, who will be hoping to make his debut recently. "In a way it is an opportunity for

young players like Hasan, or some other spinners we might bring into the Test squad, and also the responsibility of some of the senior bowlers to step up and perform," said Waqar. J

the men's cricket recently. Having posted a modest score of 133 from 19.1 overs, Sri Lanka had little problem in tearing through the Afghanistan line-up, reducing them to 65 all out from 17.4 overs to seal the title at the Yeonhui Cricket Ground. "This is a great feeling, because this is our first gold medal since 2002," Sri Lanka captain Lahiru Thirimanne said. "These type of tournaments are good for our young emerging players. This will be a good platform for them. "I think we'll win gold in the next Asian Games as well." There was more success for host nation South Korea in Incheon as their men's basketball team replicated the feat of the women by winning gold, holding off Iran to secure the crown with a 79-77 victory. Action in the Boxing was dominated by Kazakhstan, who saw six fighters claim gold on the final day of action in the ring, Ilyas Suleimenov, Daniyar Yeleussinov, Zhanibek Alimkhanuly, Adilbek Niyazymbetov, Anton Pinchuk and Ivan Dychko all tasting glory. Shin Jong-hun and Lim Hyunchul won their respective bouts for

Mongolia and Thailand's Wuttichai Masuk. China concluded matters in the Munhak Park Tae-hwan Aquatics Centre by completing a clean sweep of all the Games' diving gold medals as Qiu Bo won the men's 10-metre platform and He Zi triumphed in the women's 3m springboard. There was more glory for the medal table leaders in the modern pentathlon with wins in the men's team event and in the men's individual, the latter coming courtesy of a fine performance from Guo Jianli. Gold in the men's doubles and women's doubles table tennis also went to China, although North Korea were triumphant in the mixed doubles, ensuring their 11th gold of the games. Iran emerged victorious in the men's volleyball final, beating Japan 28-26 23-25 25-19 25-19, however, their men's and women's kabaddi teams both fell short in gold medal matches with India. Ali Hasan Mahboob made it a marathon double for Bahrain with his third consecutive Asian Games success in the men's race a day after Eunice Jepkirui Kirwa had taken gold in women's event. J



What Is 401K? How to Get Best Results n By Saghir Aslam Rawalpindi, Pakistan (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) Those who seek advice do better for their future. People who get professional advice about their 401(k)s save more and have a better chance of meeting their goals. Yet few people seek out that help. For instance, 74 percent of people who had professional help knew how much money they should have stashed in their 401(k) plans by the time they stop working. Financial professionals aside, most workers were also ignoring the free tools made available to them: Sixty-Four percent of savers said their plans offer a retirement income calculator, but only 38 percent used it. Similarly, 59 percent of participants had access to tools that could help them figure out how much income their current savings would provide once they were in retirement, but only 37 percent used them. People spend twice as much time shopping for a new car or planning a

vacation as they do researching their 401(k) options. And even when they have the options of getting help with those decisions, they rarely take advantage of it. That is despite the fact that 70 percent of them said they would feel more confident about their decisions if they could get financial help. Only 39 percent said they were comfortable making those decisions on their own. We need to spend more time planning doing your research and home work. Pay you late and you will have wonderful, enjoying your grandchildren and great-grand-children if you now spend time planning most important part of your life which many do not. Yes we do have time we need to plan. Planning at young age when you first starts working will bring you happy results. Today all information is available on the web. Best is to discuss with professional and get advice, it will be the best money spent. There are many options available you must study research beside what is best for you. In addition to saving more, people who get advice with their 401(k) s are also more diversified. People

Pakistan Floods

with guidance invest mutual funds, compared with for people who don’t get advice. They are also more likely to stay the course and avoid portfolio changes when markets are volatile, this is key. So what would it take for people to ask for help? Not surprisingly, the biggest life change by far the one that pushed them to think seriously about saving – was getting close to retirement. Other major life events such as starting a new job, getting married or having a child, barely had an impact. But many advisers say that those are the kinds of events that should be encouraging people to revisit their retirement plans and be sure they are on a path to meet their goals. People should be maximizing the level of advice and guidance every step along the way rather than waiting until the last five years, when it really could be too late. (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.)

Donate online at: Donate by Phone: 866.244.3292 Mail Checks Payable to: Hidaya Foundation PO Box 5481 Santa Clara, CA 95056

Donate Zakat & Sadaqah for flood affected families.

Hidaya Foundation 866.2.HIDAYA | Hidaya Foundation is a non-profit 501 (c)(3) charitable organization with Tax ID # 77-0502583

Exchange Rates for Currency Notes* Countries USA S.Arabia UK Japan Euro UAE


Dr Tahirul Qadri, Mr Zardari said: “Those fostering anarchy will not succeed. The country cannot afford the politics of sit-ins. Dialogue, and not street politics, is a solution to all problems.” He said it was not good to put one’s own or the party’s interest above the country’s . “They criticize our children who are Pakistani citizens though theirs are foreign nationals,” he said in a veiled reference to Imran Khan. He said Bilawal Bhutto Zardari had decided to address a rally to be held in Karachi on Oct 18 to observe the seventh anniversary of the Karsaz tragedy. PPP workers from across the country will participate. “Except the PPP which had a rich history of political struggle and sacrifices, all other ZARDARI, P29

Selling Rs. 102.5 27.33 166.63 0.9376 130.11 27.91

Buying Rs. 102.7 27.38 166.95 0.9394 130.37 27.96

(*September 30, 2014)

US VISA AVAILABILITY IN OCTOBER, 2014 For Pakistan, Bangladesh & India Compiled by Hasan Chishti FAMILY SPONSORED PREFERENCES


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

May 22, 2007

May 22, 2007

2-A Spouses and unmarried children of permanent residents

Feb., 1, 2013

Feb., 1, 2013

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

Nov., 1, 2007

Nov., 1, 2007

Married sons & daughters of US citizens Dec., 1, 2003

Dec., 1, 2003



4th Brothers & sisters of adult U.S. citizens

Jan. 22, 2002


Jan. 22, 2002



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


May 1, 2009

3rd Skilled workers Other workers

Oct., 1, 2011 Oct., 1, 2011

Nov. 15, 2003 Nov. 15, 2003

4th Certain special immigrants Certain religious workers

Current Current

5th Employment creation Targeted Employment Areas/ Regional Centers and Pilot Programs



Current Current Current

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.



Issues and Questions

Zakat, Umra, Settlement Money in Car Accidents

Gems from the Holy Qur’an

n By Dr Muzammil H. Siddiqi


. Is it allowed to give Zakat money to a Muslim who is very poor but is not very religious? He does not offer prayers regularly, nor does he observe fasting in Ramadan.

A. Primarily the Zakat is to help the poor and needy Muslims. It can also be given to “those whose hearts are to be reconciled to Islam” (Surah al-Tawbah 9:60) This means that even a non-Muslim can receive some Zakat, if there is a hope that he/she can be guided to the truth of Islam. Similarly, if you think that by giving Zakat, you can win the heart of a misguided Muslim and bring him back to Islam, then Zakat can be given to him. According to some jurists such people also come in the category of “mu’allafutul qulub”. You help him with Zakat and remind him to follow his religion. Perhaps by this good treatment he will come back to Islam. Very often we Muslims give da’wah to others, but we do not take care of their physical and financial needs. Poverty sometimes pushes people to neglect their faith. The Prophet - peace be upon him - called some poverty “an evil that sometime make people forget Allah” (faqran munsiyan, see alTirmidhi, Hadith no. 2228). However, we should also be careful in giving Zakat. We should not give Zakat to anyone who may use it to indulge in sins or to rebel against Allah and His deen. Q. Is it Halal to receive settlement money from a car accident in which one is injured? A. Yes, it is permissible to make claim and to receive settlement money for personal injury or property loss due to auto accidents. One can make a claim against the person who caused the injury or against his/her insurance company. However, it is Haram to make false claims and/or to exaggerate the loss in order to collect more money. A Muslim has to be honest whether dealing with Muslims or non-Muslims. Q. Do I have to pay Zakat on my profit sharing that I have not

From the translation by Muhammad Asad (Leopold Weiss) (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.)

withdrawn? I have earned this profit sharing for the last five years in certificates, not in the form of money. A. If these certificates are cashable and you have the option to cash them any time, then they are like cash and you have to pay Zakat on them, provided their value reaches the Nisab of Zakat. You should pay Zakat on them for all the past five years also. The ratio of Zakat will be 2.5%. Q. I have a loan of $115,000 on my home which I am servicing monthly. I have some cash and jewelry worth over $10,000. If I just look at the cash and jewelry, I have to pay Zakat. If I consider the home loan, then I am under a debt of around $110,000. Is Zakat obligatory on me in this situation? A. If you pay off your $10,000 cash towards your loan, then there is no Zakat on you. But if you keep the cash with you and pay a small monthly amount towards your loan, then you have to pay the Zakat on your cash savings. For long-term loans, which require a small payment through installments, only the amount of the monthly or yearly installments can be deducted. Zakat should be paid then on any balance in savings after paying the monthly payments.

Q. What is the concept of ‘Umra? How did it start, and what is its purpose? A. The word ‘umrah means visiting or attending. ‘Umra is an act of worship. It is mentioned in the Qur’an. Allah says, “Perform the Hajj and ‘Umra for Allah… (alBaqarah 2:196) The Prophet - peace be upon him - performed the ‘Umra after the treaty of Hudaibiyah and he explained to people how to do it. It is to enter the city of Makkah with Ihram with the intention of ‘Umrah and then to perform Tawaf around the Ka’bah and Sa’y between the mountains of Safa and Marwa. This was the ancient practice from the time of Prophet Ibrahim - peace be upon him. Its purpose is to allow Muslims to visit the city of Makkah during the year whenever possible. It is to keep the Ka’bah visited not only during the Hajj but to keep it visited throughout the year by Muslims. According to Muslim jurists, those who can afford, it is obligatory upon them to make at least one ‘Umra in their life, either with or before Hajj or any other time during the year. Q. My brother used to work in the Middle East. He was very well off then. When he came back to Pakistan, he invested the money he saved, but unfortunately it was all lost because of business failure. He is now working somewhere but has very low income to support his family. Some people say that he is not eligible for Zakat due to the fact that he has his own house and all necessities of life like TV, refrigerator, telephone, etc., at his home. Keep in mind that all this was bought when he was work-

ing in the Middle East. Is he eligible for Zakat? Should he sell his household things to support his family? Please advise. A. The Shari’ah has allowed Zakat for the Fuqara’ and Masakin (see Surah al-Tawbah 9:60). According to jurists Fuqara’ are those who do not have anything and Masakin are those who have some things, but they are not sufficient for their needs. In Surah al-Kahf, Allah called a group of people Masakin (plural of Miskin) although they owned a boat. See al-Kahf 18:79. The Shari’ah also considers the changed conditions of time and place. The needs of people change according to the standards of time and place. The living standards of the people have changed very much now. What was considered a luxury at one time is now a necessity. Thus TV, refrigerator or telephone are now common things in many households. A person is not considered rich if he has these things. Thus if a person has these things, but his income is not sufficient for his basic expenses, he is eligible for Zakat. Q. My question is in regard to women shaving parts of their body, such as the legs and underarms. Clearly these parts of the body are not seen in public, but it may be more pleasurable to the husband and the woman herself if they are maintained. What is the current Islamic ruling on this practice? A. According to several Ahadith of the Prophet - peace be upon him - it is a Sunnah for both men and women to remove the underarms and pubic hairs. As far as removing the hairs from legs are concerned, there is no ruling about it in the Qur’an and Sunnah. The basic thing in matters (other than the acts of worship) is that everything is permissible, unless it is forbidden. If a woman wants to remove the hair from her legs for herself or for her spouse, it is not prohibited for her to do so. But if she does this to show her legs in public, then her sin will be double. Her one sin will be for showing the part of the body that she is forbidden to show and the second sin will be for removing her hair with this wrong intention.

About the translator: Muhammad Asad, Leopold Weiss, was born in Livow, Austria (later Poland) in 1900, and at the age of 22 made his first visit to the Middle East. He later became an outstanding foreign correspondent for the Franfurter Zeitung, and after his conversion to Islam travelled and worked throughout the Muslim world, from North Africa to as far East as Afghanistan, India and Pakistan. After years of devoted study he became one of the leading Muslim scholars of our age. His translation of the Holy Qur’an is one of the most lucid and well-referenced works in this category. Chapter 17, Verses 89-93 For, indeed, many facets have We given in this Qur’an to every kind of lesson [designed] for [the benefit of] mankind! However, most men are unwilling to accept anything but blasphemy – and so they say: “[O Muhammad,] we shall not believe thee till thou cause a spring to gush forth for us from the earth, or thou have a garden of date-palms and vines and cause rivers to gush forth in their midst in a sudden rush, or thou cause the skies to fall down upon us in smithereens, as thou hast threatened, or [till] thou bring God and the angels face to face before us, or thou have a house made of gold, or thou ascend to heaven – but nay, we would not [even] believe in thy ascension unless thou bring down to us [from heaven] a writing which we [ourselves] could read! Say thou, [O Prophet:] “Limitless in His glory is my Sustainer! [ 1 ] Am I, then, aught but a mortal man, an apostle.” Chapter 17, Verses 105-106 And as a guide towards the truth have We bestowed this [revelation] from on high; with this very truth has it come down [unto thee, O Prophet]: for We have sent thee but as a herald of glad tidings and a warner, [bearing] a discourse which We have gradually unfolded, so that thou might read it out to mankind in stages, seeing that We have bestowed it from on high step by step, as [one] revelation. Translator’s Notes [ 1 ] I.e., “miracles are in the power of God alone”. ________________



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democratically elected governments.” He is on the dot to say that “the military has gone from governorship back to guardianship”, but I am afraid that the push for a swing back to a governorship role has not quite died down. Professor Aqil Shah gives a series of very timely policy prescriptions to balance the civil-military equation in favor of the former, making his work urgent reading for Pakistan watchers and Pakistani politicians alike. (The reviewer can be reached at and he tweets @ mazdaki) SCIENCE FROM P4

(1643-1727), and many others benefited from his theories in optics and other fields. During 2000 to 2005, the scientific community worldwide published about 3.5 million research papers. Of these, Europe’s share was 37 percent followed by USA with 34 percent, and Asia/Pacific 22 percent. Other parts of the globe - representing 70 to 80 percent of the world’s population living largely in developing countries - have contributed less than 7 percent of these scientific papers. The Muslim Ummah constitutes about one-fifth of mankind and exceeds the population of the USA, European Union and Japan combined. But the Muslim countries make up a very small fraction of global scientific resources. The entire Muslim world produces only 500 PhDs in all sciences every year; in contrast, the UK alone produces 3,000. In 1999, the USA produced 1,600 PhDs in the subject of Physics alone. The Ummah has a very proud scientific past. From 750 CE to 1100 CE, Ummah had an absolute ascendancy in all fields of knowledge - from Astronomy to Zoology. This period was marked by the presence of Centers of Advanced Studies (Baitul-Hikmas), where Muslims made multi-disciplinary contributions to humanity and the Islamic civilization. The Europeans, then living in dark ages, flocked to these world-class centres to acquire knowledge. From 15th century onwards we progressively lost out. This period of decline paradoxically coincides with the great Empires of Islam: Osmani in Turkey, Sufvi in Iran, and Mughal in India. By about 1500 this decline was complete. There is a great urgency to create centres of higher education throughout the Muslim world. Recent years have been marked with a growth in the number of universities in the Muslim countries, but not at the required pace. The picture of the scientific resources is grim but we can still catch up and lead once again. Each country must allocate at least 1-2% of its GNP (gross national product) for Research & Development (R&D). Besides, they should spend over 5.0% on education. We need to strive to create a Commonwealth of Sciences for Islamic Countries. Light science is one of the most accessible themes to promote crossdisciplinary education. The IYL-2015 is a time to recognize the Arab pioneers of optics and science in general. Importantly, it is also a time to reflect on the decline of science in the Arab and Muslim world. It is an excellent opportunity to address the theme of the renaissance of science in the Muslim countries. ZARDARI FROM P 26

political parties are a product of the establishment,” Mr Zardari asserted. Some participants complained

OCTOBER 10, 2014 – PAKISTAN LINK – P29 that Mr Zardari’s political secretary Rukhsana Bangash did not allow them to meet him. He said he would look into the matter. Prominent among the participants were former prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and PPP leaders Qamar Zaman Kaira, Sherry Rehman, Sardar Latif Khosa, Makhdoom Shahabuddin, Samina Ghurki, Shaukat Basra and Faisal Mir. Talking to reporters after the meeting, Mr Gilani said the PMLN could not fulfill its promises. “Protests and sit-ins are part of the democratic process and an objection cannot be raised to them.” Had the PML-N government adopted the Zardari style of politics, it would not have faced the problems it was confronted with, he said. Mr Gilani said the PPP had raised its voice against rigging soon after last year’s general elections but nobody supported it. “We want to uphold the supremacy of democracy, not of the government or a person,” he said and demanded that local body polls be held in the country. VOICE FROM P21

Lobby Lawmakers “The federal government’s dragnet collection of millions of phone records and metadata is very troubling,” said CAIR-Sacramento Valley Executive Director Basim Elkarra.”We are happy to see California leading the way in pushing back against the unconstitutional data collection by the NSA and ensuring the observance of the Fourth Amendment, as a basic principle of this nation’s founding and democratic values.” MOINA FROM P20

is our home, and we intend to be buried here someday. Judy Zlatnik and Dr Islam Siddiqui offered their words of support and Dr Rajabally conducted the short fundraiser. Moina’s Campaign Manager Janice Gebhardt offered more details about the effort which is entering its final and most critical phase. There are five candidates for two positions and one of them is an incumbent. Moina now also has the endorsement of Tom Torlakson, State Superintendent of Public Instruction. This is the time to support Moina Shaiq for Fremont School Board because she has demonstrated over many years that the community matters to her. Now it is for the community to demonstrate that she matters to it, by helping to fund her campaign and by volunteering to walk with her to get out the vote. MEETING FROM P1

been killed and at least 40 wounded in three days of fighting, according to a Pakistan military official who asked not to be identified because he was not authorized to speak with the media. The US State Department urged India and Pakistan to address the latest flare-up in violence through negotiations. “Our policy on Kashmir has not changed,” Jen Psaki, a State Department spokeswoman, told reporters. “We still believe that the pace, scope and character of India and Pakistan’s dialog on Kashmir is for those two countries to determine.” CLASHES FROM P1

border dividing the region, the number of civilian deaths is unusual. Two Indian civilians were killed

on Wednesday and three Pakistani civilians died overnight, authorities said Wednesday morning. “We are all concerned and want an early solution to it (the fighting),” India’s Air Chief Arup Raha told reporters. “We don’t want to let the issue become serious.” Some 18,000 Indian civilians have fled their homes in the lowlands around Jammu to escape the fighting, taking refuge in schools and relief camps.”If India and Pakistan troops have hostility, let them fight. What have we done to them?” said Gharo Devi, 50, in Arnia, where five civilians were killed on Monday. “We left our homes in the dead of night and are living here in this school in a wretched condition. We have no food. We want end of the firing so that we can return home.” Pakistani villagers echoed their complaints, with many saying they were walking away from the border each night to sleep in far-off fields. “I feel like my heart will burst with each (mortar) blast,” said Wazir Bibi, 65, in the Pakistani village of Dhamala. A number of houses in Dhamala were hit by mortar rounds and Pakistani Major General Khan Tahir Javed Khan said the number of mortar rounds and bullets fired had surged in recent weeks. “It is the most intense in decades,” Khan said of the fighting. “My message to them would be please de-escalate.” “This unrest is a logical consequence of worsening political relations between India and Pakistan,” said Michael Kugelman, Senior Program Associate for South and Southeast Asia at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. UN FROM P1

separatists in the region. “The greatest concern here is that civilians are being targeted, which we have not seen in maybe 13 or 14 years,” said C. Uday Bhaskar, a fellow with the Delhi-based Society for Policy Studies. “India’s response has been more robust and more intense than what was received, a real stamp of the Modi government, resulting in greater casualties on the other side.” Pakistan today summoned the United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan to mediate an end to the violence. Until then, Sharif had been exercising restraint in hopes that India would give peace a chance, Aziz said in a statement on Tuesday. “Unfortunately, all our efforts to secure peace, tranquility on the line of control and the working boundary have elicited no cooperation from the Indian side,” Aziz said. “UNMOGIP must also be enabled to play its due role in monitoring ceasefire. HACKERS FROM P1

other provinces, it belongs to Pakistan,” he was quoted as saying. B i l a w a l ’s statement was not taken well on the other side of the border. A spokesperson for India’s Ministry

of External Affairs had responded by terming Bilawal’s comment “far from reality which takes us back into the past century”. Update: Undeterred by reaction from the Indian side, Bilawal later posted a message on Twitter in what appeared to be a response to the hacking of the website. “My 2 statements have robbed Hindustan of its sleep. This is just the beginning. Wait and see what happens next. Kashmir will become Pakistan!” he said. US FROM P1

of power to meet its rapidly growing domestic, industrial and agrarian requirements. The materialization of the Diamer Basha Dam will be a giant step in that quest. Besides producing 4500MW of power, the dam wilprovide four million acre of water for irrigation, save millions from flash flooding, boost other hydro projects and contribute vitally to extending the life of the Tarbela Dam by 30 years. The Obama administration officials assured the investors of effective results, citing results from US-financed energy up-gradation projects in Pakistan. “We know that success can take hold,” Dr Shah said in reference to completion of small projects and addition to power generation capacity of large dams. Daniel Feldman said the US and Pakistan have a wide-ranging strategic partnership and that Washington is in for a long-term economic and investment relationship with Pakistan, particularly in the energy field. “Investment in the Diamer Basha Dam is the smartest choice for Pakistan,” Feldman remarked, reiterating the White House and Secretary John Kerry’s commitment to back economic and energy security of Pakistan. Senator Ishaq Dar said that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif ’s government is committed to encouraging foreign investment in various sectors of the economy and is crystal clear that the country needs both the Dasu and Basha dams. He said the government’s resolve to bolster the national economy was evident from a series of macro-economic positive indicators that Islamabad has achieved in a short period of time and that building the Diamer Basha Dam is one of the top national priorities. He apprised the meeting of government’s robust economic agenda, saying Islamabad has stemmed the economic downslide it inherited and now exports, GDP

rate, remittances, revenue collection and industrial growth, have all registered marked growth. Despite demonstrations in Islamabad, the rupee has been fairly staying at stable exchange rate, while inflation has also been checked, he added. Senator Dar said the government has paid off circular debt it had inherited from the previous administration and also expanded development spending to Rs 525 billion. Khawaja Asif said Washington’s support for the vital Diamer Basha Dam will cement the relationship between the two countries. CRICKET FROM P1

second wicket before Pakistan lost three wickets for just four runs. Akmal and Fawad Alam (seven) were all at sea against some vicious spin from Lyon as runs were hard to come by. As the pressure built up Alam fell to Glenn Maxwell while Shahid Afridi made just five before holing out off Sean Abbott. Allrounder Anwar Ali made just eight before being caught by Brad Haddin off Johnson to cap a good return for the bowler. Australian captain George Bailey praised Smith and Johnson. “I think we were 15-20 runs short with the bat but Smith did very well and then there was an outstanding effort with the ball,” said Bailey. Misbah was left fretting another poor batting performance by his team. “The kind of batting performance we have had, we need to do a lot of things to improve,” said Misbah. “Nobody is getting scores right from the top. That is a big worry for us. We need to come to the next game with a positive attitude.”






s movie buffs anticipate two major feature films this Eid ul Azha, Team Na Maloom Afraad says it is unfazed about competing at the box office with Operation 021 - the spy action thriller starring ace actor Shaan Shahid. Speaking at a promotional tour at the Institute of Business Management (IoBM) on Tuesday, the Na Maloom Afraad makers appeared nonchalant when asked if they feared their comedy flick would be overshadowed by the much hyped action film. Dismissing the star power of

the Lollywood offspring, producer Fizza Ali Meerza said the litmus test of films is high production value - not just the inclusion of big celebrities. "Shaan did seven films last year," director Nabeel Qureshi said, addressing an audience that comprised students and teachers. "How many of those have you all heard of?" No one seemed to have

an answer. Earlier, however, Nadeem Mandviwalla of Mandviwalla Entertainment had said O21 will do "far better". "O21 has what Na Maloon Afraad does not - star power. People will come to watch Shaan, he'll take the film forward," Mandviwalla had said while talking to Dawn. Actor Urwa Hocaine smiles during an interactive session of Na Maloom Afraad's team with the students of IoBM. - Photo by Muhammad Haseeb Halai Speaking at Institute of

Business Management (IoBM), Qureshi rejected the perception that 021's same day release would affect Na Maloom Afraad's prospects. The director said the simultaneous release of two major local films on Eid was a positive sign for Pakistan's film industry. "For the revival of our cinema, people should extend their support for both the films," he said.

Along with Na Maloom Afraad and 021, Hrithik Roshan and Katrina Kaif's Bang Bang is also scheduled for release on the same day, taking competition for the Eid holiday another notch higher. To this, Nabeel said, "We should support our cinema and prove that we are no less than anyone...let's bang the Bang Bang!" Director Nabeel Qureshi answers a question related to the production of Na Maloom Afraad. Photo by Muhammad Haseeb Halai Criticising the government, he added that, "Pakistan should ban foreign films during festivals to encourage local films. This happens everywhere in the world." Later, the Institute of Business Management (IoBM) auditorium echoed with cheers led by charged students as popular TV show hostturned-actor Fahad Mustafa walked in with Urwa Hocaine and Mohsin Abbas Haider. Mustafa thanked the crowd for the warm welcome, terming it one sign of a thriving film industry. In response to a question about whether he would ever look to Bollywood for a project, Mustafa joked, "Get me a gig there?" much to the amusement of his fans. He added that actors are unfortunately compelled to leave Pakistan for perceived greener pastures. "Everyone asks me when I am

going to India. It's not us [actors] but the people who compel us to pursue Bollywood films, as the people have made it their benchmark," Mustafa lamented. Coutesy Dawn



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