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Pakistan Link

VOL. 24/45 - 14 Muharram 1436 H

Friday, November 7, 2014

A British Pakistani Teenager’s Voyage of Discovery ‘No Mercy’ for Those behind Murder of Christian Couple Islamabad:

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has strongly condemned the brutal murder of a Christian couple in Kot Radha Kishan and termed it “an unacceptable crime”. “A responsible state cannot tolerate mob rule and public lynching with impunity,” Prime Minister Nawaz said on Wednesday. “I have directed Punjab Chief Minister to show no mercy and the law should take its course to punish those who are responsible for this act,” the premier remarked. The Prime Minister said Pakistani state has to act pro-actively to protect its minorities from violence and injustice and to promote interfaith harmony among various religions. According to police, an enraged mob had beaten a Christian couple to death and burnt their bodies in a brick kiln where they worked for allegedly desecrating a copy of the Holy Qur’an.

Pakistan Vaults into Third Position in Test Rankings Abu Dhabi: Pakistan has vaulted into third position in the Reliance ICC Test Team Rankings, its best Test ranking in seven years, following the conclusion of its series against Australia in Abu Dhabi. Pakistan, which defeated Australia for its first series win in 20 years, has leapfrogged England, Sri Lanka and India into third position after the feat earned it seven ratings points. This is Pakistan’s best Test rankings since it claimed third position in January 2007 following the series in South Africa, which the home side won 2-1. In contrast, Australia has retained second position on the Test table, but, after conceding six ratings points, the gap with number-one ranked South Africa has opened to seven ratings points. Australia had entered the series in second position on 123

Sindh Chief Minister Not to Be Replaced: PPP

Fazl’s Remarks against Women Censured

No ‘Proxy Forces’ Operating from Pakistan

Prime Minister’s Adviser on National Security and Foreign Affairs, Sartaj Aziz - File photo

Islamabad: Pakistan on

Wednesday summoned US Ambassador Richard Olson to the Foreign Office to convey concerns over a recent Pentagon

US & Canada $1.00





The Largest Circulated Pakistani-American Newspaper in North America

report alleging that terrorists operate against India and Afghanistan from sanctuaries inside Pakistan. The country’s protest

over what the Foreign Office called “unwarranted comments” was conveyed by the Prime Minister’s Adviser on National Security and Foreign Affairs, Sartaj Aziz to the US

ambassador at the Foreign Ministry. “Pakistan has taken serious exception to comments contained in the US FORCES, P29

Ashura Observed Peacefully & with Due Solemnity

For news, updated round the clock, visit

Pakistan, India Spar over Kashmir at UN New York: Pakistan and India were involved in yet another verbal duel over Jammu and Kashmir after an Indian delegate protested over ‘unsolicited comment’ about the decadesold dispute by a Pakistani diplomat in a UN General Assembly panel. “Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India,” Indian delegate Mayank Joshi claimed, while reacting to a statement made by Pakistani diplomat Diyar Khan in the 193-member Third Committee calling for a settlement of the Kashmir dispute in accordance with UN resolutions. The Pakistani delegate said, “It is regrettable that decades after the adoption of these resolutions, the people of Jammu and Kashmir remain deprived of their fundamental right to self-determination. They continue to face widespread repression and human rights violations, which have been documented by independent international human rights organizations.”Self-determination did not lapse with the passage of time,” the Pakistani delegate said. Nor could it be set aside by charges of terrorism.

First Pakistani-American GM in Major League Baseball n By Riaz Haq

A view of the mourning procession in Islamabad on Monday

Islamabad: Amid strict

security measures the main ninth Muharram procession was held in the federal capital on Monday. The mourners first

attended Majlis-i-Aza and then brought out the procession from Markazi Imambargah in G-6 sector which passed through G-6/1-2, Melody Market

and Polyclinic before culminating at the Imambargah. The participants of the majlis and those who entered the procession

had to pass through three to four security cordons where walkthrough gates, manned by Islamabad police and volunteers, ASHURA, P29

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

Los Angeles, CA: Major League Baseball’s Los Angeles Dodgers franchise will name PakistaniAmerican Farhan Zaidi, an MIT and Berkeleyeducated economist, as their next General Manager, baseball sources confirmed to Tuesday night. The news will be officially announced later this week. Currently, Zaidi is an Assistant GM with Oakland A’s where he has provided statistical analysis for evaluating players available on the freeagent and trade markets, as well as the draft, according to Los Angeles Times. He played a major role in the Athletics’ signing of Yoenis Cespedes in 2012. He also assisted GM, P29



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Scotland Referendum: An Eye-Witness Account & Lessons for Pakistan n By Mohammad Ashraf Chaudhry


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Human life will never be understood unless its highest aspirations are taken into account. Growth, self-self-actualization, the striving toward health, the quest for identity and anatomy, the yearning for excellence….must by now be accepted beyond question as a widespread and perhaps universal human tendency …”

- Maslow, 1954, Motivation and Personality I had attended a short Summer Course in 1978 at the University of Edinburgh, and had walked for hours on Edinburgh’s famous Princess Street. My memory was still fresh of the overlooking Edinburgh Castle, containing the relics of Tipu Sultan, famously his sword, and tiger-heads and his apparel and hood, placed next to the portrait of General Baird, to whom they were presented as a victory trophy, and Maj. General Campbell after whom the city of Campbellpur, now Attock, was named; its Mound with its famous Gardens and the Floral Clock whose moving hands and face get replanted with real flowers and ivy every year; its imposing marble statue of Allan Ramsay, the famous Scottish painter; its 200- feet high monument of Scotland’s Naseem Hijazi, Sir Walter Scott, who romanticized Scottish history, and produced works like Ivanhoe, Rob Roy and Lady of the Lake etc.; its most valued monument of Scotland’s most famous son, Adam Smith (17231790), the father of modern Economics, and of course at the corner, the presence of tall and beautiful Scottish Episcopal Church. The over-riding motive for revisiting Edinburgh after 36 years, however, was not due to a fit of nostalgia; but it was of a different nature, and was for a different reason. Being sick and tired of watching the distorted face of democracy in Pakistan, and the theatrical moves and tactics of the political leaders, dharnas and the assemblage of zombie-like crowds as a mark of popularity and show of strength and without which they, somehow, tend to feel that democracy is incomplete, I was earnestly interested through this visit to Edinburgh to watch with my own eyes the reaction and response of the people of Great Britain at the time of the dismemberment of the country - a country where democracy was not born, but where it was nurtured and groomed. As far back as in 1977, as a student at the University of Exeter, I had often wondered why one of my teachers, a Scot, in his lectures would invariably pass some subtle, bitter and suggestively negative remarks at the very mention of Westminster or London. For people like me, the English, the Scots, the Welsh and the Irish, they all were of the same piece, or at least they appeared so. I always wondered, “What is the problem with the Scots?” Now I was close to getting the answer. So on the 17th of September, 2014, just a night before the famous Scotland Referendum, I was there along with my wife and a relative and his wife. Inwardly, I was scared because I thought it was not very wise of us to be here. Accustomed to witnessing road-blockades; dharnas, riots, leading to arsenal acts and looting, I apprehended a strong reaction in either case of the result of the referendum. The Scots could go crazy on winning independence after 307 years; and the Eng-

lish could go mad on seeing their Great Britain being divided under their watch. In either case, it is always the minority under such circumstances that bears the brunt of both: jubilation or anger. My relatives, both UK residents, assured me that no such thing was likely to happen. And it did not. I saw democracy coming full circle there. Total 100% acceptance of results; a gracious step-down by the Scottish leader, Mr Alex Salmond. The referendum was, according to Mr James Cusick, a correspondent, “Mr Alex Salmon’s final battle. His shock resignation marks the career-end of one of Scotland and Britain’s most remarkable and committed politicians.” In Pakistan, politicians are found in great rush, first to go for elections, be it before time, and then to reject its results. No one called Mr Alex Salmond a secessionist, a divider, a hate-monger, a “ghaddar”. A tinge of deeper pain, however, was visible as was apparent from his disappointment after months of soaring expectations. “It would have destroyed other would-be-kings”, but not in his case. He said, “Let us not dwell on the distance we have fallen short, let us dwell on the distance we have travelled and have confidence the movement is abroad in Scotland that will take this nation forward.” By nation he certainly meant, Scotland. Just a night before the referendum he was heard urging to decide “with a clear head and a clear conscience...”,and warning voters not to “let this opportunity slip through our fingers.” He reminded them, “We are the land of Adam Smith, who said that no society can flourish and be happy if too many of its people do not benefit from its wealth.” Mr David Cameron, leaving out the emotional use of language said, “ I yield to no one in my patriotic pride of being Scottish,” insisting that no one should be condemned as less patriotic if they vote No. Somehow the theory of a “Dark Star” was brought in. Amusedly as a student of literature I relished its application for political purposes. A dark star is a sun so dense that its gravitational field overpowers light itself, sucking in every ray that attempts to escape its surface. Mr Alex Salmond, who was spearheading the movement for Independence for Scotland made effective use of it. He quoted a professor named Tony Travers, who had said, “London is the dark star of the economy, inexorably sucking in resources, people, and energy. Nobody quite knows how to control it.” This virtually supplied to me the answer why the Scots, if not all, but quite a few wanted independence. The desire for an independent Scotland clearly lacked any feelings of “Scottishness”, patriotism, or narrow nationalism, the usual wherewithal. There were reasons of a different consideration. People in every country do not want to be left out, or disconnected. It

is natural for them to have a say in the decisions that relate to them; they want some degree of control over their future and they demand that the principle of equality, stability, an equal chance to pursue ones dreams and to succeed is guaranteed to them by the State. To an outsider like me, the Scots appeared to be enjoying more, or rather much more than was their due as per their population. Scotland has its own parliament, England does not; Scotland has power over environment; over education; over health-care, and after 2016 it would have the right to levy income taxes as well. Laws affecting England are enacted in the House of Commons in Westminster, which includes members from Scotland and North Ireland and Wales. Scotland has also been pledged in the last moment a promise of more autonomy through a controversial formula according to which Scotland will get

Political institutions are of two kinds according to them: “Extractive” institutions in which a “small” group of individuals do their best to exploit ( such as in Pakistan), or the “Inclusive” institutions in which “many” people are included in the process of governing, hence the exploitation process is either attenuated or absent. According to them, “You cannot get your economics right if you don’t get your politics right…” And they are not very wrong 20% more than England. Already some in England, like Mr James Gray, a conservative member were heard saying, “It is like feeding an addiction… the rights of the 53 million people of England have been subordinated to the shouting of 5.3 million Scots”. And that is from where the real threat to the unity of the United Kingdom of Britain will emanate. Mr Cameron, soon after the result of the referendum, was found re-tracking himself and saying, “The millions of voices of England also must be heard.” But there was certainly a good amount of dignity, grace and respect, even when the politicians differed diametrically. The choice of language and words was a feast to the ears. They smiled and encountered each other. David Cameron, the incumbent PM, even on the fall of his most formidable foe said, “Alex is a politician of huge talent and passion… while we disagree profoundly about his goal of a separated Scotland … I respect and admire his huge contribution to politics and public service.” That is true democracy. Alistair Darling, who headed the Better Together campaign, was quick to say, “Alex Salmond is a formidable political figure. He transformed SNP (Scotland National Party) into a party of government and delivered their referendum on independence which they had craved

so long.” Ed Miliband described Mr Salmond as “formidable”, while Johann Lomont Labor’s Scottish leader, said, he was “an immense figure in Scottish political history.” I heard very carefully chosen words by all the politicians before and after the referendum. Instantly, I was reminded of what was happening in Pakistan. 70-day dharnas by two politicians, blocking the way to the Supreme Court, to the Parliament, to the Cabinet Division, and engaged in a new genre of diction, which Hajrah Mumtaz, a Pakistan columnist, describes as “idioms of speech and behavior that cannot be called anything other than downright crass”. An Oxford alumni, Imran Khan, called the PM, “buzdil, besharam, and jhoota”, and a title-hungry Sheikh-ul-Islam just loads his address with threats and ultimatums. Hajrah Mumtaz is right when she says, “Pakistan has for a very long time, if not always, resembled more closely a barfight than a group of men and women working out the future course of a country.” “With every clod of mud, the quality of discourse worsens,” she writes. During the campaign for the Union and for an independent Scotland, some wonderful exchange of phrases came to be heard. Mr Brown, the former PM and a Scot , himself said in Glasgow, “Be silent no more… this is our Scotland. Scotland does not belong to the Scottish National Party. It does not belong to the Yes campaign…. This is not their flag, their country, their culture, their streets…We fought and won a war against fascism together?. There is not a cemetery in Europe that does not have Scots, English, Welsh and Irish lined side by side”. In order to save the Unity, David Cameron even went overboard in giving more cookies to the Scot s than they could anticipate. After the results in a column, Mr Mark Steel writes, “I bet David Cameron regrets panicking about what the result was going to be now. By 5am he (on Thursday, September 18), must have been screaming, “Oh s***, how much power have I offered them?” Just two days before the referendum it seemed he was about to say, “All right Scotland, you can have full independence, but only if you vote against independence.” Alistair Darling looked as if he would go on Channel 4 News to announce, “Look, vote NO and I’ll get you a puppy”. David Brown in the words of Mark Steel “blurted out promises of extra powers, with no thought behind them at all, such as, “Vote NO and if you like you can be part of Brazil.” So there was humor, and zest, but no character assassination, no meanness, no debasement of human beings. But the Scots decided in a very cool-headed manner when they rejected independence, may be for the time being, but they did nudge it towards a more decentralized, LESSONS, P22

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




Lack of Standards in Medical Care

n By Syed Kamran Hashmi


Westfield, IN

renched in corruption and shrouded with incompetence, District Headquarter Hospitals (DHQ) are supposed to provide ‘advanced’ medical care to the rural communities. Yet, they lack both the equipment and human resources to serve their purpose.

Earlier this year, after a roadside accident, Zafar Iqbal Jhagra, a prominent leader of Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PMLN), too, had to receive initial treatment at a DHQ. He had sustained a head injury. Being an influential person, he was transferred to Islamabad after the initial workup, and from there to London to get specialized care (as expected). Since the available information sheds little light on it, I am not sure about the quality of care he received in the DHQ. But, without a specialized team of neurosurgeons, latest CT scanners, dedicated operation theaters and the trained ancillary staff, it is not hard to figure out specially if he had required an urgent craniotomy (brain surgery). Just imagine his progress had he not been moved to England. Nevertheless, we pray for his uneventful recovery hoping to welcome him back in active politics as the secretary general of PML-N. No doubt he is a well groomed and polite person, a dedicated democrat and an asset to his party. May be after his experience he will take personal interest in improving the condition of these

facilities. As sad as it is, lack of resources represent only one part of the story. What is more disappointing is that when you believe you deserve a better quality of care in a private university hospital, you still receive suboptimal treatment. It holds true despite the size of your medical bills which may run in hundreds of thousands of rupees and the number of consultations obtained for expert opinions. Muhammad Raheel, a 33-year-old private contractor, squirmed back to life after going through a similar experience. He was admitted in the Agha Khan Hospital few months ago with Acute Renal (kidney) Failure, a life-threatening condition that may lead to long-term requirement for dialysis. Yes, I am referring to the most reputable institution in Pakistan, the leading medical center which will charge you your lifetime savings if you are admitted there for few days. Before he got sick, Raheel promised himself to lose weight. Determined to melt the extra fat, he followed an intense plan with more than ninety minutes of exercise every day. On top of that, he selfprescribed some over-the-counter protein supplements, a common practice among youngsters. Notwithstanding their claims as being safe, we know these ‘nutrients’ may still inflict damage to the kidneys even when they are authentic and not counterfeited by a local manufacturer. Under pressure from his workout in the simmering heat of Karachi or as a side effect of medi-

F m

cines, his muscles broke down releasing toxic chemicals into the blood. These enzymes, when spilled in low amount, are excreted with no problem through the kidneys out of the body. However, if their number crosses a certain threshold, the filtering tubules get clogged up and stop working. This condition in medical terms is called Rhabdomyolysis which can lead to the abrupt shutdown of the kidneys requiring dialysis. However, patient receives aggressive treatment, dialysis can be avoided. All one has to do is to provide vigorous and urgent intravenous hydration to the patient. Some authorities recommend up to two to three liters of saline pushed through a drip every hour in the initial period. Raheel, however, was not fortunate enough. Can you imagine that instead of getting five to ten bags in the first twelve hours, he just re-


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ceived one liter after being treated in the emergency room for hours and evaluated by a medical specialist in the hospital? I talked to the resident (trainee) physician myself to convince him about the urgency of the matter. But, nothing could I say that would persuade him to change the management. That too was not surprising as we realize in Pakistan that physicians do not pay heed to the family requests. In response to a question from the patient, they get defensive, rude or personal, as if their authority has been challenged. Not only that, they do not share the pertinent medical information with the patients either, brushing off the family’s concerns by embarrassing them: “Well, we know, and we do not expect you to understand how the body works.” Anyway, his kidney functions

OPINION deteriorated without appropriate care. Over the next twenty-four hours, he just received one more liter of saline instead of multiple infusions and had to go for dialysis the following morning. Once discharged, his bill for not getting the treatment in forty-eight hours was a resounding six figure, an enormous amount that only few people can afford for a short stay in the hospital. Lady luck being on his side, Raheel was young with no other comorbidities. As a result, after few sessions of hemodialysis he did not require anymore. The absence of any preexisting health condition also enabled him to go back to work in a few weeks. We do not know how much damage to his kidneys is reversible and how much will be permanent. We also do not know that ten years down the road at the age of forty-five if he would require permanent dialysis. Only, time will tell. I know I have picked a simple case with positive outcome. My point is not to malign a hospital, rather to indicate far bigger problems overlooked by the society. First, even when we go to the advanced medical centers and get the opinion of renowned specialists, the system does not ensure internationally recognized standard of care. Second, the certifying agency does not hold the practitioners responsible at all. Like any other department, accountability does not exist in medicine too, even when doctors show criminal negligence. And third, the last, the hospitals do not guarantee the rights of the patients to voice their concerns. The medical profession just shuts them up.

OPINION n By Dr Mohammad Taqi



alochistan gushes blood and there seems no imminent desire by Pakistani civilian or military leaders to stem that bleeding. In yet another round of brutality, eight dirt-poor people from the beleaguered Shia Hazara community of Quetta were singled out for their faith, identified by their unmistakably mongoloid facial features and slaughtered by the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) terrorists who had hopped on to the bus carrying them.

The killers managed to escape in a rather gingerly manner and have not been arrested as yet. In fact, not a single terrorist has been punished to date in the murders of well over 500 Hazaras killed in attacks since 2008 or, for that matter, in the genocidal killings of the Pakistani Shia underway since at least 2007. Ironically, the LeJ lynchpin, Malik Ishaq, the man charged for inciting, planning and/or executing dozens of attacks on Shias, was freed by the Pakistani courts in March 2014, for lack of evidence. The impunity with which the anti-Shia death squads, invariably of a virulently mutated Deobandi denomination, operate in Balochistan smacks not of state failure but the complicity of elements within the state. It is simply not possible for any terrorist group to plan, train, rehearse and execute these barbaric attacks and then disappear into thin air after the assault without the Pakistan’s ubiquitous intelligence apparatus not knowing. Balochistan has been under


Balochistan: Murders Most Foul the military’s heel since 2004 when the former dictator, General Pervez Musharraf, launched a military operation that quickly turned into a dirty war against the Baloch separatists. The whole province is teeming with uniformed men and the spooks and their touts. Quetta, as I have noted before, is a garrison city with a relatively simple grid and is home to the Pakistan army’s XII Corps, the InterServices Intelligence’s (ISI’s) regional headquarters, the Balochistan Frontier Corps, a major army selection and recruitment center, the army’s prestigious Command and Staff College and the Pakistan air force base, Samungli. Add to this the presence of the Afghan Taliban’s Quetta Shura, which the Pakistani establishment guards to the extent that Balochistan and especially Quetta are a no-go area for foreign, especially US, diplomats and officials. Foreign journalists are either not allowed into Balochistan lest they snoop around the Quetta Shura or, when permitted, they are persistently followed and hounded by intelligence operatives and, in worst cases, beaten up like the New York Times correspondent and author Carlotta Gall was. Still, a few years ago, LeJ operatives Usman Saifullah Kurd and Dawood Badini, who had admitted killing and masterminding the killings of the Shia Hazaras and Shafiq Rind of the anti-nationalist Baloch Mussalah Difaee Tanzeem (BMDT) were sprung from prison through what appeared to be an inside job. The overlap between the anti-Shia Hazara and anti-Baloch nationalist groups

is more than coincidental. The security establishment continues to play a deadly game in Balochistan to counter the Baloch separatists. The key component of this game plan apparently is deploying the jihadist proxies to neutralize the Baloch militants as well as to pry away the initiative from the latter’s secular leadership. It is

the LeJ and the BMDT, share extreme Deobandism as their creed in which the Shia and, for that matter, anyone that they declare heretics are liable to be murdered. The obscure group Lashkar-e-Khurasan (LeK), which is essentially a conglomerate of the LeJ and JuL, slaughtered seven Baloch Zikris after attacking their zikrkhana

The Hazaras in Quetta are killed because of their Shia faith; their facial features and forced ghettoization do make it easy to pick them out. It is not an issue of social integration or ethno-chauvinism simply a replay of the Pakistani state’s policy to counter and contain the real and imagined Pashtun nationalist movement for (an independent) Pashtunistan. The immunity and impunity that anti-Shia jihadists enjoy is a quid pro quo for their anti-Baloch nationalist ‘services’. The evolving, merging and/ or overlapping groups such as the Jundullah successor Jaish-al-Adl (JA),

(worship place) on August 28, 2014 in Awaran. The unmistakable sign of the deep state’s complicity came when the state tried to manipulate the funeral of the revered Baloch nationalist leader Nawab Khair Bux Marri this past June. The deep state’s operatives colluded with a disgruntled son of the late Nawab, Jangez Marri, and imposed Ramzan Mengal, the Balochistan chief of the LeJ’s politi-

cal face, the Ahle-Sunnat-wal-Jamat (ASWJ), to lead the great nationalist leader’s funeral prayers. The Baloch nationalist cadres, especially their ladies, who by that time had realized what was going on, had to wrestle away Nawab Marri’s coffin and, ultimately, wrapped it in their national flag and buried him. Both Nawab Marri’s family, including his other son, Nawabzada Mehran Marri, and the Balochistan Students Organization-Azaad, had in written statements squarely blamed state operatives for trying to hijack the nationalist leader’s funeral and imposing sectarian bigots on the Baloch. The Pakistani security establishment’s myopia and its recklessness are simply unbelievable. It just had its fingers burned trying to stoke the jihadist pyres in Afghanistan when the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) turned on it. After the Zarb-e-Azb operation has gotten underway in North Waziristan, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) has repeated ad nauseum that the armed forces are dismantling the colossal terrorist infrastructure there. Just months ago they were unwilling to concede that there ever was any problem in North Waziristan let alone the existence of such a humongous network and logistical bases. There is absolutely no doubt that the security establishment’s current policy in Balochistan will also come back to bite it just as its misadventure in Afghanistan has done. Unfortunately, it is the common people and foot soldiers that end up bearing the brunt of the disastrous footsie that the Pakistani establishment keeps playing with the jihadists who are in it for doctrinal reasons above all. MURDERS, P29


P8 – PAKISTAN LINK – NOVEMBER 7, 2014 n By Salam Al-Marayati and Maher Hathout


Muslim communities in the West,” wrote Graham Fuller and Ian Lesser in 1995 (“The Geopolitics of Islam and the West”), “are more likely to exert influence on their countries and cultures of origin rather than receive influences from them; over time they may have a substantive effect on the perceptions of secularization and minority rights in the Middle East.” This shift—from the American Muslim community being perceived as foreign and an extension of the Middle East and South Asia to American Muslims instead influencing the East—is the direction in which Muslims are heading. Rampant authoritarianism in the Muslim world and the regression of Muslim religious establishments funded by the same autocratic governments currently make Islamic reform unlikely in the region. American Muslims can significantly contribute to the revival of Islam and restore human dignity as a central principle of the faith. From despotic regimes to religious extremism, authoritarianism in the Middle East and South Asia has devastated modern Islamic thought over the last few centuries. American Muslims have the freedom and the intellectual capacity to create positive change for Islamic reform. There are 1.5 billion Muslims in the world, and their religion needs to be relevant for all of their lives. All religions and man-made

Let Islamic Reform Start in America

philosophies go through reform and renewal. We Muslims must liberate ourselves from the shackles of dogmatic traditions such as sectarianism, tribalism, chauvinism and theocracy, all of which contradict Islamic ethics based in the Qur’an and the authenticated traditions of the Prophet Mohammed. The areas that need immediate attention for Islamic reform are: promoting good governance; protecting the rights of religious minorities and women; and marginalizing the ideology of compulsion. There was more discourse on the penal code and jurisprudence centuries ago, at the peak of Islamic civilization, when leaders focused on the spirit of the Islamic law, rather than on the absolute letter of the law. For example, within two decades after the Qur’anic revelation was complete in 632, the punishment for theft was suspended by Omar ibn al Khattab, the second successor to the Prophet, when the economy deteriorated and poverty was endemic. In this case, along with many others, a leader suspended a conditional Qur’anic instruction because of new circumstances. That thinking is needed now more than ever. As is well known, the human rights of women and religious minorities are violated in many Muslim countries. Communities that don’t align with the ideology of the ruling power live in inhumane and oppressive conditions. In 2002 religious police in Saudi Arabia

prevented girls from escaping a burning school in Mecca and 15 female students died. These men, members of the Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice, would not allow the girls to escape the building because their head scarves were not

life, and this can only happen in an environment of freedom and futuristic thinking. There is no Islamic ethics or morality achieved by religious police. This Saudi religious police force, similar to those in Iran and throughout South Asia, is a bas-

There was more discourse on the penal code and jurisprudence centuries ago, at the peak of Islamic civilization, when leaders focused on the spirit of the Islamic law, rather than on the absolute letter of the law completely covering their hair. This meant a rule trumped the protection of life, one of the five goals of Islamic law, the others being freedom of expression, freedom of religion, rights of family, and rights of property. The five goals are called the Maqaasid of Islamic law and are unanimously accepted by Islamic jurists. The Maqaasid need to be given new

tardization of a very important Islamic concept—Maslaha, or public interest. The verse in the Qur’an related to Maslaha refers to the promotion of social benefit, defined by the Maqaasid and known by the people as human decency, and the prevention of public harm. Religious policing is rooted in the ideology of compulsion. It is a distortion of that valuable understanding

of public interest in any nation’s jurisprudence or executive authority. American Muslims have looked to the Middle East for religious authority, for spiritual direction and, at times, for political priorities. We must end this practice by declaring that any country or group claiming to be Islamic must uphold the most important principle in Islam, protecting life rather than destroying it. Any country that kills its own people, persecutes religious minorities and subjugates women is anathema to American Muslims. They can call themselves angels, but they cannot camouflage their evil under a religious veneer. Islam liberated us from the shackles of religious tyranny, and we will struggle to liberate ourselves by declaring our independence from the tyrants and clerics who have usurped authority and religion in claiming sovereignty over Muslims world-wide. (Dr Al-Marayati is president and Dr Hathout is senior adviser of the Muslim Public Affairs Council. - Courtesy The Wall Street Journal) SURVIVORS FROM P11

happened approximately 600 meters from the sitting area. “I fell on the road and was unable to stand up for some time after that. The blast was deafening. I can still hear a faint buzz in my ear. I think my hearing is impaired.” She said that she had survived because she was walking towards the second check-post where her vehicle was parked. It was around 450 meters away from the site of the attack, she said.

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Kashmir beyond Platitudes: The Responsibility to Protect n By Dr Ghulam Nabi Fai


Washington, DC

h let the sun beat down upon my face, stars to fill my dream / I am a traveler of both time and space, to be where I have been / To sit with elders of the gentle race, this world has seldom seen / They talk of days for which they sit and wait and all will be revealed.... --Lyrics by Jimmy Page from the song Kashmir, performed by Led Zeppelin

Why, after 67 years of dispute, is the question of Kashmir, land of the “gentle race,” still lurking in the shadows of international relations, still unresolved, despite its seemingly relative unimportance to global interests in matters of resources and international trade? Reasons for the conflict over Kashmir are argued among contenders on a number of points, more often than not to serve globalist interests rather than the fundamental needs or desires of the Kashmiris themselves. Why, after 67 years, the problem continues to fester is the challenge those who talk of peace, stability, and democratic rights must sooner or later confront. The most pertinent evidence of that conflict is that India has in recent years had as many as 700,000 military and paramilitary forces stationed on a piece of land no larger than the state of Tennessee. By comparison, during the height of the Iraq war, in October 2007, US troop strength was only a little over 166,000. Iraq compares in size to the state of California. Obviously, the number of troops stationed in Kashmir is highly significant. There is no war taking place there. There is no imminent external threat of a foreign invader, with troops amassed at its border. Why so many troops? India frequently justifies its military presence, first, by asserting that Kashmir is an ‘integral part’ of India, and, second, that Pakistan, just across the border, is a threat. Both are nuclear-armed, and cross-border skirmishes occur periodically among a handful of troops stationed along the UN-established Cease-fire Line. However, to whatever extent such a threat exists, such an enormous volume of troops is well beyond whatever need there might be to resist such incursions. The best way to make sure that there is no such infiltration is to let the United Nations be allowed to monitor the Cease-fire Line. “The barrier itself consists of double-row of fencing and concertina wire eight to twelve feet (2.4–3.7 m) in height, and is electrified and connected to a network of motion sensors, thermal imaging devices, lighting systems and alarms. They act as ‘fast alert signals’ to the Indian troops who can be alerted and ambush the infiltrators trying to sneak in. The small stretch of land between the rows of fencing is mined with thousands of landmines.” - Wikipedia The truth is that the people of Kashmir themselves have always been hostile to the presence of India’s troops on their soil and have resisted to such oppression, and over hundred thousand Kashmiris have died within the past 22 years alone. Longstanding agreements in place have in fact afforded the Kashmiri people the right to determine their own destiny. What we have, then, is a case of a large country bullying a small nation into submission in violation of not only their right to sovereignty but international agreements and two dozen UN resolutions giving them the right to determine their own political fate. The purpose of so many troops stationed in this small country is for no other purpose but blatant oppression. Their presences make Kashmir the largest army concentration anywhere in the world. You would think that the international community would be up in arms over such abuse, particularly in view of the fact that the Kashmiris have shown an iron determination to resist tens of thousands of killings, and thousands of rapes, disappearances and torture inflicted upon the population at the hands of these foreign occupiers.

In a more idealistic mood and swept up in the rhetoric of election campaigning, on October 30, 2008, on the eve of his election, President Barack Obama did, in one his rare moments of candor on the issue, address the problems of Kashmir. “We should probably try to facilitate a better understanding between Pakistan and India,” he announced, “and try to resolve the Kashmir crisis.” It wasn’t long after Obama’s newly anointed status, however, that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was in New Delhi shuffling cards, engaging in toasts, and making deals on Boeing aircraft. Little more, if anything, was ever said about Kashmir. Trade between India and the US has since become a $100 billion dollar business, with growth estimated in the near term as high as $500 billion. Given such platitudes, while American foreign policy is supposed to be grounded on moral values, democratic ideals and universal principles, it would appear that wherever the crowd of commercial interests get VIP status, such ideals and principles are easily set aside, relegated to the back of the room, where it’s standing room only. Money talks; ideals walk. Situation ethics is the name of the play.

of Ukraine as they develop their democracy and economy,” he said. “We will reinforce our NATO allies, and uphold our commitment to collective defense. We will impose a cost on Russia for aggression, and counter falsehoods with the truth.” So while the US imposes sanctions on Russia for interfering in stability and peace in a country more than 5,000 miles away which is of no strategic pertinence to American safety or freedoms, it engages in trade with India and says nothing about India’s failure to enforce “international norms” where it is apparently inconvenient to do so. India’s transgressions in Kashmir are clearly far more relevant to the issue of international norms, given their history, than anything now occurring in Eastern Europe. If, in Indian Prime Minister Modi’s address to the same United Nations forum in September 2014, he proposed that “We should put aside our differences and mount a concerted international effort to combat terrorism and extremism,” then perhaps he ought to look rather carefully into the mirror of his own country’s actions in Kashmir. He went so far as to say, “As

“The barrier itself consists of double-row of fencing and concertina wire eight to twelve feet (2.4–3.7 m) in height, and is electrified and connected to a network of motion sensors, thermal imaging devices, lighting systems and alarms. They act as ‘fast alert signals’ to the Indian troops who can be alerted and ambush the infiltrators trying to sneak in. The small stretch of land between the rows of fencing is mined with thousands of landmines.” - Wikipedia It is quite conspicuous that the world powers feel awkward and unequipped to intervene in any international conflict because the country concerned is too powerful and does not listen to morals and ethics when everyone has his wallet on the table. In addition, India’s refusal to accept international assistance for the recent flood seems to shut the door on any kind of international dialogue regarding Kashmir. The Kashmiris are shut in, and the outside world out. Doesn’t the world community recognize such double standards? How is international credibility and trust engendered by such behavior? For whom does this bell toll but for last vestiges of all that we hold dear, while the corrupt and cynical become more emboldened, and does it not sow the seeds of hatred and deeper more lasting conflict among those who suffer because of it? “Bigger nations should not be able to bully smaller ones... people should be able to choose their own future,” President Barack Obama said, when he spoke to the United Nations General Assembly on September 24, 2014. “Too often, “ he added, “we have failed to enforce international norms when it’s inconvenient to do so.” It would have been nice if he had mentioned Kashmir in the same breath. However, speeches by a US President on foreign policy usually engage issues that are relative to immediate concerns and objectives, and he seemed much more interested in pointing fingers at Russia for supporting the separatist fight in Ukraine and the need to impose sanctions. “America and our allies will support the people

a symbol of this effort, I urge you to adopt the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism....We should work together to ensure that all countries observe international rules and norms.” A grand statement, to be sure, but it has little credibility in the face of persistent policies by India against the defenseless people of Kashmir. Nevertheless, we accept Prime Minister Modi’s challenge, “Our efforts must begin here – in the United Nations.” The point of departure for resolving Kashmir dispute has to be the same - to go back, yes, back to the United Nations which has prescribed the resolution of the Kashmir problem through a democratic method of a free and fair plebiscite. Perhaps the Prime Minister might indeed demonstrate his sincerity by also withdrawing troops from Kashmir. The presence of such a large number inevitably provokes unnecessary incidents of violence which further enflames the populace, serves as an excuse for lockdowns and curfews that last days at a time, and makes absolutely no sense at all, particularly now that the country has been deeply burdened with unimaginable social and economic losses as a result of the worst flood that Kashmir has ever experienced in its recorded history. The soldiers stood by, equipped with substantial resources, making selective rescue operations, and left the Kashmiris -- many just teenagers in small makeshift rafts -- to fend for themselves. And how do the world powers, the US among them, justify the inclusion of India as a permanent member of the UN Security Council when all the world sees that it is in violation of the UN’s own charter? This makes the mock-

ery of the international obligations. On the other side of this coin, we have Pakistan, which also controls one-third of Kashmir. The two countries have traded barbs and bullets over possession of this land for over six decades. Mr Nawaz Sharif, the Prime Ministry of Pakistan articulated his country’s policy on September 26, 2014 during his speech at the United Nations: “The core issue of Jammu and Kashmir has to be resolved. This is the responsibility of the international community. We cannot draw a veil on the issue of Kashmir, until it is addressed in accordance with the wishes of the people of Jammu and Kashmir.” But his advisor, Mr Sartaj Aziz was extremely cautious and reluctant even to accept this principle policy of Pakistan. He was unenthusiastic and apathetic when he said on September 28, 2014, that the timing of a meeting between Hurriyat leaders and Pakistani High Commissioner Abdul Basit was “probably not right.” The problem apparently was that talks on a broader level between India and Pakistan had not been initiated, and that setting such an agenda with the Kashmiri resistance movement was premature. He was equally apologetic and repentant by saying, “I think if the request (from India) had come earlier.....then probably it could have been reconsidered.” Obviously, if Pakistan wants to be taken seriously by the world powers, then she has to have a strategic vision and unified approach for the Kashmir dispute. Its policy must be based on solid foundation and not on a shaky one. Isn’t it also time that Mr Ban Ki-Moon, the Secretary General of the United Nations, brings the situation in Kashmir to the attention of the Security Council under the provision of Article 99 of the United Nations Charter. It is here in the region of South Asia that the two nuclear powers have been eyeball to eyeball for the last four weeks? The Article 99 authorizes the Secretary General to ‘bring to the attention of the Security Council any matter which in his opinion may threaten the maintenance of international peace and security’. Indeed, the United Nations doctrine of the principle of ‘responsibility to protect,’ the international understanding to intervene to stop atrocities from taking place, was adopted at the 2005 World Summit. All the heads of State and government at the 2005 World Summit, without reservation, committed to the doctrine, and subsequent unanimous adoptions of General Assembly and Security Council resolutions reaffirmed the principle. “Sometimes known as ‘R2P’ – the doctrine holds States responsible for shielding their own populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing, and related crimes against humanity, requiring the international community to step in if this obligation is not met. Ms Vannina Maestracci, spokesperson of Ban Ki-Moon, the Secretary General of the United Nations said on October 9, 2014 that the Secretary General “encourages the governments of India and Pakistan to resolve all differences through dialogue and to engage constructively to find a long-term solution for peace and stability in Kashmir.” “Encouragement” to India and Pakistan through numerous resolutions have been taking place for the last 67 years. Perhaps it is time that the authority entrusted to the United Nations be taken a little more seriously. Lastly, the world powers and the saner elements in both India and Pakistan need to realize that the bilateral talks between India and Pakistan have always remained barren. And trilateral dialogue between Governments of India, Pakistan and the leadership of Kashmir -- without any precondition from any side -- is the only way to resolve the issue of Kashmir once and for all. Participation of Kashmiri leadership in the dialogue process is the sine qua non that will help to achieve lasting peace and tranquility in the region of South Asia. (The author is Secretary General of World Kashmir Awareness -



Muslims of Europe: A British Pakistani Teenager’s Voyage of Discovery

Left to right: Journey into Europe team with Grand Mufti of Bosnia and Herzegovina with author on right. Director National Library, Sarajevo, with team. Imam and wife in modern German mosque

n By Mina Hoti


Islamabad, Pakistan

rowing up as a Muslim, even in a beautiful and peaceful town like Cambridge in the UK, I was aware of the negative images of Muslims. Sensationalist news headlines told me Islam was a terrorist threat: schools in Birmingham were preaching Islamic, non-British values as a Trojan horse, British Muslims were going to fight for the terrorist state ISIS, and, as one result, the United Kingdom Independent Party had won the most seats in the European Union assembly with their policy of anti-immigration. At school I learnt that European history was ethnically white and religiously Christian. However, my travel with Ambassador Akbar Ahmed, my grandfather, and his team of scholars on their international research project, Journey into Europe: Islam, Immigration, and Empire, challenged these very ideas of Islam in Europe. It revealed a hidden past, one where Muslims played a progressive role and coexisted peacefully alongside Christians and Jews. From the Muslims in Spain (711-1492) which is seen as the Golden Age of Europe, to the Ottoman Empire, to present day Europe, Muslims have been very much a part of European society. There were many highlights of the research trip. I was constantly kept busy taking notes, filming, editing, or conducting research interviews. It was a grueling trip. My grandfather had half-joked: “You are my granddaughter and I love you very much. But as an intern on this project, you will have to prove your worth and pull your weight like every member of the team so that we both feel proud of your contribution.” This I suppose is what Americans call “tough love.” Here are some highlights of my trip. By the time the team reached Germany, I came to realize that immigration was a vital part of European history. From the early Germanic


tribes to the Holy Roman Empire, Germany was a state with constantly changing borders. It was only with the recent concept of the nation state that borders and immigration have become such a big issue. Germany is a country with a history of positive revolutionary thinking (for example, Martin Luther’s Protestantism, Goethe, Schopenhauer and so forth) but also of tragic genocide (the Holocaust). Even in the nineteenth century, prominent German historical figures like Goethe respected and wrote about Islam. In fact, Goethe dedicated an entire poem in honor of the Holy Prophet of Islam. His love for the Persian poet Hafez was legendary. As we traveled from Berlin, to Cologne, Heidelberg and Munich, viewing the different landscapes and people in Germany, I felt there was much to learn from its history, and the honesty and discipline of its people. In Munich, we woke one morning before dawn on Eid day. After a drive through the misty forests of the German Alps, we arrived at the bright and unconventional looking minaret of the Penzberg Mosque. As the sun came out, the very spacious and modern mosque flooded with Muslims from all over the world, including Germany. After Eid prayers were said, men and women wished each other a “Happy Eid” and sons gave their mothers flowers in celebration. We sat down in the sunny library of the mosque, to talk to Nermina Idris, the wife of Imam Benyamin Idris. Nermina was from Bosnia and told us how she was forced to leave her country when it was attacked in 1992. This was a good introduction to Bosnia, our next stop. Let me first mention the extraordinary impact Allama Iqbal has had in Germany. There is a road named after him in Heidelberg and there are monuments in parks honoring him in Heidelberg and Munich. The house he lived in in Heidelberg has a plaque recording the time he was there. With my Pakistani background, I felt that he was a true ambassador between Europe and the Muslim world. In Bosnia, as we drove from the

Minaret of modern German mosque

Anah Hoti, 4, with her drawing of historic Cordoba mosque in Andalusia

airport in Sarajevo, past buildings covered with bullet holes—you could see the ghost of war still hanging over the city. The city of Sarajevo was under siege between 1992 and 1995, making it the longest siege of a capital city in modern history. The Army of the Republic of Serbia was stationed on the hills surrounding the city, armed with

snipers and tanks under the instruction of president Karadzic who declared “Sarajevo will be a karakazan, a black cauldron, where 300,000 Muslims will die”. The majority Bosniak population, who are ethnically European but also Muslim, had been subjected to persecution and extermination in their own country. Water supplies were cut off from the city, forcing children to run through the streets, dodging snipers to collect water from the United Nations station for their families. Across one street, a large cloth sheet was put up to block the view of the snipers and allow people to leave their houses. Nermina Idris explained to us how her Serb neighbors and friends suddenly turned against them in support of the Serbian army. However, there were still many Serb Bosnian and Croat Bosnian soldiers who died fighting to free Sarajevo. Despite all the conflict suffered by Bosnia in the past twenty years, the Bosnian people and the city of Sarajevo itself was a great symbol of hope. Even the city’s architecture made this evident, as a ‘meeting place of cultures’; it consists of tall AustroHungarian buildings surrounding a beautiful Ottoman market place. It is a city where both church bells and the Azaan (five-times-a-day) can be heard. The Bosnian people reflect great humility and forgiveness and yet are so strong in their religious and cultural identity. In the midst of a history of ethnic cleansing and tensions between communities, Father Nikica Zujica at the Franciscan monastery in Fojnica, several hours from Sarajevo by road, was also a symbol of hope for me. He talked about the Imam as his good friend and was one of the few people to speak of both Christianity and Islam as different, yet equally credible religions. Despite the conflict they had faced in the past, Father Nikica Zujica based his views on his personal encounters, not just on a certain portrayal of history. Even during the siege of Sarajevo there are several examples of enormously heroic actions. Ambassa-

dor Jakob Finci, head of the Bosnian Jewish community, used his neutrality and bravery to counter Karadzic’s statement by helping 3,000 people escape Sarajevo. Along with his charity, Benevolencija (meaning benevolence from an Al Andalusian root), which was made up of Serbs, Croats, Muslims and Jews, Finci was able to get medical supplies and humanitarian aid to the population. Benevolencija ended up providing the population with 40% of their medical needs. In conclusion, I discovered on this journey that Islam is not a terrorist religion, nor is it new to Europe. It has existed in Europe for over a thousand years, from 711 in Spain to now, 2014. Similarly, from what I have learnt traveling around Europe and what I have experienced as a British Muslim myself, I can confirm that Muslim identity and European identity are very compatible. Muslims want to live in peace and share in the prosperity, they want to contribute to their host societies, and they believe in all the fundamental values that define Europe —democracy, human rights, and civil liberties. Despite the stereotype of a confused European Muslim, a dual identity, for me, is in no way a lack of identity; it is simply an enriched one. It has always been hard for me to understand how one can swear unconditional allegiance to a group of people while disregarding universal human values and morals, whether that be a Serb who turns against their Bosniak neighbor or a German against their Jewish friend. If one is able to wholeheartedly accept both of their identities, instead of mindless loyalty governing their decisions, they are able to start to see the other as a human being, transcending nationality, religion and race. Perhaps that was the greatest lesson that I learned on this project to understand Muslims in Europe. (Mina Hoti is an intern on the Journey into Europe: Islam, Immigration, and Empire research and film project and currently working at Al Jazeera, Islamabad)

Rehabilitation or Retribution? Tackling Violent Extremism in America

lobal terrorism has created concerns for governments around the world regarding their citizens traveling to countries such as Iraq and Syria to fight with groups like ISIS. According to FBI Director James Comey, only dozens of Americans have gone abroad to join the fight with ISIS whereas those traveling from Europe number in the thousands. Focusing on access to social services, including mental health services, education and employment opportunities serves both as an intervention and prevention approach to tackling countering violent extremism head-on. Issues like mental health services,

employment and other social service resources need to be invested in, especially for immigrant communities. The growing concerns and questions regarding young people traveling abroad to fight with terrorist groups is what to do with them once they return to their home countries. “Some of the foreign fighters may not return as terrorists to their respective countries, but all of them will have been exposed to an environment of sustained radicalization and violence with unknowable but worrying consequences,” wrote Richard Barrett of the Soufan Group’s report, Foreign Fighters in Syria. The notion of simply locking up returning foreign fighters without re-

habilitating them is now being questioned in Aarhus, Denmark where 30 individuals traveled to fight with ISIS and other extremist groups. Much like the (I)ntervention aspect of MPAC’s PIE model in our Safe Spaces Initiative, the Danes are approaching dealing with returning fighters like “wayward youths rather than terrorism suspects, because that’s the way most of them started out.” The idea behind this town’s approach is to provide psychological counseling, job opportunities and access to schools and universities -- akin to the at-risk youth approach to gang violence and intervention. Essentially, these individuals being given a second chance can be the strongest

mouthpiece against extremism and work as productive members in their society. Why is it that we are witnessing more European than American Muslims falling prey to the extremist message and becoming foreign fighters? When it comes to dealing with social integration, American Muslims have an easier time than European Muslims especially due to the diverse nature of Americans as a whole. In fact, American Muslims comprise the most diverse faith group in the country. Diversity actually helps the integration process for American Muslims whereas by contrast, European REHABILITATION, P29



Sixty Die in Terrorist Attack Near Wagah Border

Relatives gather around the bodies of blast victims after the suicide bomb attack near the Wagah border

Lahore: A suicide bomber detonat-

ed explosives near a Pakistani paramilitary checkpoint near the country’s eastern border with India on Sunday, killing at least 60 people in the deadliest attack to hit the country in several months, police and government officers said. The explosion hit near the checkpoint at the Wagah border crossing as hundreds of people were returning from a military parade on the outskirts of Lahore, provincial police chief Mushtaq Sukhera said. Both the Pakistani and the Indian military conduct daily parades and flag-flying ceremonies on their respective sides of the border. The events draw crowds of hundreds, a number that would rise into the thousands on a weekend like Sunday. The death toll was likely to rise because over 100 people were wounded, with several in critical condition, Sukhera said. Police are investigating the bombing, and had intelligence reports in advance that there could be such a blast in the city, he added. Another Lahore officer, Haider Ashraf, said some paramilitary troops were among the dead and wounded. The paramilitary forces’ provincial Director General Tahir Javed said three soldiers died. Dr Khurram Shahzad at private Ghurki Trust hospital said that there were 10 women and seven children among the dead, and eight members

of a single family. He said several of them had multiple critical wounds. Live TV footage on private Pakistani news channels showed people drenched in blood and crying in pain as they were evacuated to hospitals. At the hospitals, relatives of the dead cried and beat their chests and heads. “My brothers, my two brothers,” private Geo News TV showed a man wailing. “They both are dead.” All the officers said they did not know what the target could have been. Javed, the paramilitary official, said the bomber exploded hardly 500 meters away from the checkpoint manned by the paramilitary troops. Security has been increased in all major Pakistani cities to thwart possible attacks on minority Shiite Muslims observing Ashura, a 10-day ritual to commemorate the death of Hazrat Imam Hussain, the grandson of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). TTP splinter groups claim responsibility: Jamatul Ahrar, a splinter group of the Pakistani Taliban, claimed responsibility for the attack. Pakistani Taliban are made up of several local militant groups. Ahrar was set up some months ago by half a dozen militant commanders who previously worked for the outfit but had developed differences with its chief. Its spokesman, Ahsanullah Ahsan, said the suicide attack was part of the militants’ war against the gov-

ernment and their attempts to enforce their version of Islamic law in the country. “We will continue such attacks,” he told an Associated Press reporter by phone from an undisclosed location. “We will continue such attacks in the future,” Ehsan said. “Some other groups have claimed responsibility of this attack, but these claims are baseless. We will soon release the video of this attack,” he said. “This attack is revenge for the killing of innocent people in North Waziristan,” the banned militant group’s spokesman said. Earlier Jundullah, another outlawed group which was behind a suicide bombing that killed at least 78 Christians at a church in Peshawar last September, had also claimed responsibility for the Wagah border attack. The spokesman of the splinter group of the TTP Ahmed Marwat via telephone said that the attack is a reaction to military operation Zarbi-Azb and Waziristan operation. Jundullah and the much larger Pakistani Taliban are among loosely aligned militant groups that frequently share personnel, tactics and agendas. Claims for specific incidents are often hard to verify. The group has claimed various attacks including the October 23 attack on Maulana Fazlur Rehman in Quetta .

Lahore: The national flag had just been lowered and people were queuing up to leave the arena. “[Just then] I heard a deafening blast and there was dense smoke everywhere. I passed out,” said Raza, one of those injured in Sunday’s suicide attack at the Wagah border. “When I came to, there were bodies everywhere and people groaning and crying,” he said. Raza was put in an ambulance and brought to Ghurki Trust Hospital. “I didn’t see a flash or the person who blew himself up. Just a very loud bang and the ground beneath me slipped from under my feet,” he said. Raza was around 550 meters away from where the blast had occurred. Shafiq Wahgah, who often came to see the parade and flag-lowering

ceremony, said the area was filled with smoke. He ran outside to see what had happened but only saw bodies and people screaming and writhing in pain. “It was a suicide attack. The terrorist couldn’t enter the area where people watch the parade so he detonated his vest near the Rangers’ check-post.” He said he initially thought that some gas cylinders at the shops near the arena had blown up. “There has never been any terrorist activity in this area before,” he said. Ghurki Trust Hospital witnessed several heartbreaking scenes on Sunday. Eight members of a family, who had travelled from Samundari to see the parade, died in the blast. They included three women and two chil-

dren. “We were visiting our relatives in Lahore,” one of the family members said. “They brought us to Wagah border for the flag-hoisting ceremony and parade. We didn’t know it was death that brought us here.” Another family lost five of its members in the attack. Tanzeela Bibi said her two brothers, their wives and another relative had gone to Wagha border to watch the parade. “I was home and didn’t know about the attack. One of our neighbors told me and I ran to Mayo Hospital where I found out that they had died.” Shabana, who was present at the site of the attack, said it happened only a few minutes before sunset. People were returning home after their prayers. She said it

Survivors Recount Moments of Horror


Despite Threats, Pakistan Goes on with Ceremony at Wagah

Just before dusk, people gathered at the parade ground on the border crossing, some chanting “death to terrorists” and “long live Pakistan”

Lahore: Some of those killed in the

suicide terrorist attack at the Wagah border post on Sunday were laid to rest on Monday amid vows that the nation would not surrender to the terrorists. Meanwhile, on once again proving that Pakistan is one of the most resilient nations of the world, around 2,000 men, women and children reached Wagah Joint Checkpost (JCP) on the Indian border on Monday evening to witness the retreat ceremony and pay tribute to the victims of Sunday’s suicide bombing. Just before dusk, people gathered at the parade ground on the border crossing, some chanting “death to terrorists” and “long live Pakistan”. On the Indian side, there were only a handful of spectators. The colourful show, where border guards in elaborate uniforms goose-step, shake hands brusquely across the borderline and scowl aggressively at each other, proceeded as usual amid heightened security. Earlier, it was announced that the ceremony will be very simple and no civilian would be allowed to enter the pavilion area of the JCP; however, keeping in view the valour and emotions of the people, the decision was reviewed and people were allowed to witness the ceremony. Lahore Corps Commander Lt Gen Naveed Zaman, Pakistan Rangers Punjab Director General Khan Tahir Javed Khan, CIA Superintendent of Police Umar Virk were among a large number of people, including women and children, who witnessed the ceremony. The emotionally charged cowed showed its commitment to brace and brave any terrorist activity and made a resolve to not to bow before the pressure of terrorists. The presence of citizens also reflected the kind of the unprecedented support Pakistan Army holds in the ongoing Operation Zarb-e-Azb against terrorists in North Waziristan Agency. Speaking on this occasion, Lt Gen Zaman said that the blast occurred on this (Pakistani) side of the border; however, the fear was on the other side where no one was present except a few media persons.

He condemned the cowardly act of terrorists and condoled with the families of victims of the suicide blast. Lt Gen Zaman said that such cowardly acts of terrorists could not frighten the nation. “We will not bow before terrorists and this ceremony has proved that Pakistan will never step back and compromise out of panic and fear of such activities. The bomb blast failed to lower the morale of our nation,” he added. Earlier, the retreat ceremony was held with great enthusiasm and zeal while special tributes were paid to the martyrs of Sunday’s bomb blast. The Rangers personnel opened the JCP for people from all walks of life after taking back their Sunday’s decision made soon after the blast regarding closure of the area for three days and observing the ceremony with simplicity. Funeral of Rangers Lance Naik Muhammad Shabbir who embraced martyrdom in the terrorist attack took place at Wagah border crossing after the flag-lowering ceremony. He was laid to rest with full military honours on Monday in his native village Baran Durree, which lies on the outskirts of Mandi city. The funeral prayers of the martyred Rangers personnel were offered at the Rangers Headquarter on Sunday night and their bodies were sent to their respective hometowns for burial. The martyred personnel include Inspector Rizwan, Lance Naik Shabir and Sultan who were deputed at the security barrier near Wagah border crossing. The bodies of nine members of a family who lost their lives in the bombing reached their hometown of Sumandari. The Batapur Police Station has registered the FIR (First Information Report) against the unidentified person who blew himself up near the Wagah border. People cheered Punjab Rangers personnel during the ceremony and kept on with slogans of ‘Jeevay Jeevay Pakistan’ (long live Pakistan). Pakistan army also extended its praise to the Punjab Rangers for holding the flag lowering ceremony despite looming threats.



Strict Security Measures across Country for Ashura

Surveillance cameras, special-purpose police vehicle with night vision facilities, and Wi-Fi-equipped police escort monitored the Ashura procession all the way

Karachi: Elaborate security ar-

rangements were made on the eve of Ashura across the country. Cellphone services were partially suspended and pillion riding banned. Owners of licensed arms were prohibited from carrying or displaying weapons. All four provinces had recommended to the federal government to direct cellular companies to shut mobile services on the 9th and 10th of Muharram, as security agencies believed cellphones could be used by terrorists in the planning and execution of nefarious activities. Accepting the demand of the Sindh government, the federal government decided to close the mobile phone service in Karachi, Hyderabad and Sukkur districts. The service remained closed in Karachi from 6am to 10pm on 9th and 10th of Muharram. Sindh home secretary Dr Niaz Ali Abbasi told Dawn that in Hyderabad and Sukkur, the phone service would remain close from 11am to 7pm during the days. More than 20,000 policemen in uniform and plain clothes and Rangers personnel were deployed to protect the main processions. They were backed by round-the-clock surveillance by over 1,200 closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras. Security personnel scanned and sealed the areas along the procession route. Although the Muharram processions have not witnessed any major attack since December 2009 when dozens of mourners fell prey to the Ashura bombing, the authorities believed the sporadic attacks on participants in Majalis this year

and consistent killings on sectarian grounds do not allow the law enforcement agency to take the threat lightly. Rawalpindi and Islamabad: Unprecedented levels of security were put in place in the twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad. Army troops and Rangers assisted the police of both the cities to ensure peace. Surveillance cameras, a specialpurpose police vehicle with night vision facilities and Wi-Fi-equipped police escort monitored the Ashura procession all the way. In line with the Punjab home department’s instructions, special vehicles with the ability to jam explosive and remote controlled time devices patrolled the route of the Ashura procession. Cellphone jammers were also installed along the routes of the Ashura processions. Three layers of security were in place in Rawalpindi, with all link roads along the route of procession sealed off by shipping containers and razor wire and nobody was allowed to join the procession without a security check. Entry of over 100 firebrand clerics from Shia and Sunni sects had been banned in the two cities to prevent them from inciting sectarian hatred during Muharram. In Rawalpindi, the hotbed of sectarian turmoil, more than 200 cases were registered on the charge of violating the ban on the use of loud speakers. RPO Laleka, however, denied that any cleric had been detained by the district administration or arrested by the police on the eve of Ashura. “All clerics are co-operating with police in maintaining peace,” he


Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (Pims) was put on high alert to deal with any untoward situation. As many as 250 beds were available during the high alert. Peshawar and DI Khan: The entry points of Saddar Bazaar in Peshawar were sealed and heavy contingents of law enforcers were deployed to keep watch on the movement of people. The main of procession of 9th Muharram was taken out from Imambargah Hussainia Hall, located in Saddar Bazaar. Saddar Bazaar remained closed on Monday and area residents were advised to avoid movement and keep their security cards with them in case of an emergency. An official said that closed circuit television cameras were installed at prominent places that were thoroughly monitored by the law enforcers to take prompt steps in case of any untoward incident. Frontier Constabulary personnel were on standby to backup policemen in performing security duties while members of Mukhtar Force, Imamia Scouts, Wahdat Scouts and Hussaini Scouts helped police in checking the participants of the procession. In Dera Ismail Khan, police chalked out a security plan to ensure peace and religious harmony in Muharam, particularly during Ashura. Talking to Dawn on Sunday, DIG Abdul Ghafoor Afridi said the district was included in the list of the most sensitive areas during Muharram and police were fully alert to thwart any untoward incident.

“We Are One and the Followers of Imam Husain” Islamabad: President Mamnoon Hussain urged the nation to promote love, peace, tolerance and brotherhood by shunning mutual differences as taught by Imam Husain. “This is the only course towards deliverance from crises and achieving peace and prosperity of Pakistan. The best method to pay tribute to Imam Husain is to follow and promote his teachings,” said the president in his message to the nation on Yaum-i-Ashur observed on Tuesday. He said the nation must ponder as to what were the forces which had been posing a threat to Pakistan and wanted to disrupt national unity to fulfill their design. He said Muharram was among the most revered months, adding that it used to be observed with respect even before

the advent of Islam. The president said Yaum-i-Ashur reminded all Muslims the unmatchable sacrifices rendered by Hazrat Imam Husain and the incident of Karbala when he along with his 72 companions was martyred. He said that the incident of Karbala also taught us to render all out sacrifices for achieving the noble causes. “The very act of sacrifice has been titled as Uswa-i-Shabbiri that teaches us steadfastness for supremacy of the truth,” he said. Mr Mamnoon said that by following Hazrat Imam Husain’s teachings, the nation must set aside all biases and interests to promote Islamic and democratic values. “We must also vow to act for country’s progress and prosperity and not to avoid any step for elimination of terror-

ism and extremist mindset.” He prayed to Allah for Pakistan’s peace, progress and prosperity and inculcation of Yaum-i-Ashur’s real message of sacrifice in our lives. PM’s call to nation: In his message, Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif urged the nation to ensure a peaceful Muharram, especially Yaum-i-Ashur. He asked the nation to support the government in its efforts to maintain peace and law and order in the country. He also directed the law-enforcement agencies to ensure complete protection of the lives and properties of people. “We are proud to be Muslims. We are one and the followers of Imam Husain and we are proud over the great sacrifices [rendered] at Karbala,” he added. FOLLOWERS, P13

Sindh Chief Minister Not to Be Replaced: PPP

Karachi: The Pakistan Peoples Par-

ty (PPP) on Sunday denied news reports regarding an in-house change in Sindh and the possibility of Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah being replaced by another party stalwart. A section of the media had reported that the Sindh chief minister is being replaced. Spokesperson of PPP, Senator Farhatullah Babar termed the news item as speculative, based on conjecture and not rooted in reality. He said that there are no plans in the Party to bring about any change in the leadership of the House in the Sindh Provincial Assembly. Khursheed slams former Sindh CMs: Leader of the Opposi¬tion in the National Assembly Syed Khursheed Ahmed Shah has criticized four former chief ministers of Sindh for planning a strong alliance against the provincial government, saying that all of them had ruled over Sindh and had failed to set things right. Speaking to the media at his residence on Sunday night, Mr Shah said Dr Arbab Ghulam Rahim, Liaqat Ali Jatoi, Syed Ghous Ali Shah and Mumtaz Ali Bhutto had failed to resolve any issue during their respective terms in the office of the chief minister but now they were getting together to destabilize the PPP government claiming that they were eligible to resolve all issues being faced by the people of Sindh. In reply to a question, Mr Shah said this was up to the Muttahida Qaumi Movement as to when it would return to the PPP-led coalition. Mr Shah said that the federal government was considering his proposal to reduce a government’s tenure to four years though the PPP and PML-N both believed that every legitimate government should be allowed to complete its pre-set tenure.

Regarding sit-ins in Islamabad, Mr Shah said he did not know if Qaumi Awami Tehreek (QAT) leader Dr Tahirul Qadri ended his party’s sit-in under any deal. He observed that it was ended while several thousand of his supporters were still ready to continue the protest. However, he added, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan was not ready to end his protest when his supporters had left the sit-in venue. He said he was trying his best to bring the govt.-PTI dialogue back on track, adding that a good politician is always ready to show flexibility to resolve a problem through talks. Regarding the recent reduction in the POL prices, Mr Shah said they should be reduced further and the electricity tariff should also come down as hydel power did not depend on fuel, and fuel-based energy generation had become cheaper. He also opposed moves to privatize the Oil and Gas Development Corporation arguing that it was a profit-making institution that had earned a profit of Rs135 billion this year.

Trade on Wagah-Attari Route to ‘Normalize Soon’

Trucks loaded with export goods are seen stranded at Wagah

Lahore: Condemning the Wagah

suicide attack in strongest terms, the business community has expressed its optimism that bilateral trade through the land route will shortly return to normal. Soon after the Sunday blast, there were reports that the land route trade between Pakistan and India through trucks could remain suspended for a couple of days because of the incident. Some 10 Pakistani trucks crossed over to Attari (India) but no Indian vehicle carrying trade goods reached Wagha on Monday, a Pakistani Customs official disclosed. The official said 120 or so truckloads of cement, gypsum and dry fruits cross over to Attari on a daily

basis, while the number of vehicles bringing Indian tomatoes, ginger, garlic, soybean extraction and cotton yarn ranges between 200-250. Reiterating the business community’s stance with regard to developing a joint mechanism by traders of both sides to counter moves that could affect the peace process and ultimately the bilateral trade, SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry Vice Chairman Iftikhar Malik said efforts were underway to normalize trade at the earliest. “This is important as suspension of trade between Pakistan and India affects the whole South Asian region,” said Malik. Lahore Chamber of TRADE, P29



China Eagerly Awaits Nawaz’s Visit

During the visit, the two countries would sign important agreements to enhance bilateral cooperation

Beijing: China Assistant

Foreign Minister Liu Jianchao said on Monday that the Chinese leadership was eager to receive Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif who is due to visit China shortly. During his visit, the two countries would sign important agreements to enhance bilateral cooperation. “These agreements would further expand and deepen relations between Pakistan and China,” he said while talking to Pakistan’s Parliamentary delegation led by Parliamentary Secretary on Finance and Economic Affairs Rana Muhammad Afzal. He said Pakistan was a trust-worthy friend and therefore China always gives it priority in its foreign policy. “Whatever the situation evolves we will remain committed to maintain strategic partnership with Pakistan,” he


Liu expressed the confidence that the SinoPakistan friendship would be passed on to the upcoming generations as this friendship has become a gene which would be preserved for generations to come. On Pak-India relations, he said that China strongly supported improvement in relations of the two nieghbors and said China is ready to help resolve outstanding issues between Pakistan and India through dialogue. “We strongly support improvement in relations between Pakistan and India. We appreciate Pakistan’s efforts for normalization. We hope both sides would put aside their differences and come to the negotiating table to resolve their outstanding issues,” said Liu. “The Chinese president’s visit was delayed to enable Pakistan concen-

trate on domestic affairs. We are hopeful that the visit of Chinese president would materialize on new dates,” he hoped. He informed that the Chinese president would soon visit Pakistan on agreed dates. Strongly denouncing the suicide attack near Wahag Border and loss of precious lives, Liu hoped that Pakistan would soon overcome the menace of terrorism. Both Pakistan and China are facing the threat of terrorism and China has received great support from Pakistan in eliminating the terrorist elements on its soil. “We are thankful to Pakistan for their valued support against the ETIM. China will also support Pakistan’s efforts against the scourge of terrorism,” he promised. Commenting on the Afghan situation he said that Afghanistan is

an important neighbor of Pakistan, China and his government is closely monitoring the developments following the recent elections in Afghanistan. Welcoming the formation of a national unity government in Afghanistan, he said. “We also recently hosted newly elected Afghan president and during his stay the two sides exchanged views to bring peace and normalcy in Afghanistan.” He said that China supported the peace and reconciliation process in Afghanistan and added, “Pakistan has a special influence in Afghanistan and therefore we look forward to a positive role of Pakistan for durable peace and stability in Afghanistan. Peace in Afghanistan is in the interest of all countries and we will strengthen cooperation to push for peace and stability in the country.” Emphasizing the importance of Pak-China Economic Corridor, the Chinese assistant foreign minister said that the corridor would greatly help boost regional development. He said the corridor aimed at facilitating better connectivity between the neighbors. China seeks to build relations with all South Asian countries. “We aim at promoting development in culture, education, media and other sectors with South Asian countries. We hope that Pakistan will support this process,” he said.

‘Security of Sikh Pilgrims to Be Ensured at All Costs’ Lahore: Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) Chairman Siddiqul Farooq has said he will personally ensure the safety and security of over 2,000 Sikh pilgrims, who are scheduled to arrive in the city via Wagah Railway Station on Nov 4 for the three-day birth anniversary celebrations of Guru Nanak. “[The suicide attack at Wagah] looks like a security lapse and I will ensure this does not happen again, particularly when over 2,000 Sikh pilgrims arrive at Wagah Railway Station. I have also telephoned Railways Minister Khawaja Saad Rafique to get the trains checked, which will bring all the pilgrims here,” he told reporters at the border. Expressing grief over the incident, Farooq said it was possible that the target was the main ceremony area where a large crowd had gathered. “The suicide bomber was stopped at the second of two checkposts leading to the ceremony area where he blew himself up,” he explained. The incident could be a reaction to the army’s Operation Zarbi-Azb in North Waziristan. When asked how the incident took place despite an intelligence report of a young suicide bomber having entered Lahore on Sunday, Farooq said law enforcement agencies were doing their best to avoid any untoward incident. But when a

A group of Sikh pilgrims alight from train on arrival in Pakistan

large crowd gathers somewhere no one expects a terrorist entering from somewhere. “It was possible that the terrorist reached the spot through the fields nearby,” he added. The ETPB chairman told Dawn he would soon talk to Indian authorities regarding security arrangements for the Sikh pilgrims. “I don’t believe that the incident could result in the cancellation of the Sikh celebrations. I would contact Indian authorities and assure them of best security and logistic arrangements for the pilgrims during their stay in Pakistan,” he added. He further informed the pil-

grims would visit Nankana Sahib, Hassan Abdal and other cities to visit temples of their religious and spiritual leaders. Meanwhile, Punjab Law Minister Mujtaba Shujaur Rehman claimed the suicide bomber managed to cross four security check-posts on GT Road. Two of the four posts had been set up after a threat reported by intelligence agencies on Sunday morning. The minister said the target of the bomber was the flag-lowering ceremony. According to preliminary reports of the Punjab Home Department, 10 to 15kg of explosives were used in the suicide bombing.

Fazl’s Remarks Censured

Islamabad: Pakistan Tehreek-e-

Insaf leader Dr Shireen Mazari on Sunday criticized female members of the National Assembly who kept mum over Maulana Fazlur Rehman’s anti-women remarks. Addressing a press conference, she said that the Maulana was getting a heart attack as PTI was giving rights to women. She accused the Jamiat Ulemai-Islam Fazl chief of using dirty language against women. Mazari said that the Maulana should know that women make up 51 percent of the population of Pakistan. Petroleum prices: Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf chief Imran Khan, on Thursday, claimed credit for the reduction in petroleum prices. He said the protests outside parliament had forced the government’s hand and demanded that prices should be decreased by another Rs5.

In addition, he lashed out at Sardar Ayaz Sadiq and vowed to approach the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to challenge his assessment. Mr Khan, who has previously derided the commission for being partisan and y has organized several protests against the ECP in the past, said, “Ayaz Sadiq, you are still in office due to a stay order. You have no authority to accept or reject our resignations.” On Wednesday, the speaker had written to the ECP to express his inability to verify PTI legislators’ intention to quit the assembly. Addressing party followers from his container on D-Chowk on Friday night, he said he was not ready to accept Mr Sadiq as the speaker. He claimed that the government was trying to “buy the loyalties” of PTI members of the national and provincial assemblies.

Bureaucrats Defy Ban on Foreign Visits Islamabad: Although Prime Min-

ister Nawaz Sharif has imposed a fresh ban on foreign visits by government officials, the government seems willing to relax the restriction in the case of certain bureaucrats, who have proceeded abroad on trips paid for by the exchequer over the past few days. In 2013, the PML-N had imposed a similar ban on foreign visits by government officials during its first days in office. But despite the restriction, several government officials travelled abroad officially. On October 27, a fresh circular re-imposed the ban as part of austerity measures to cut government spending on non-development heads. Sources in the Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation (PTDC) told Dawn that Managing Director Chaudhry Kabir left for China for a week-long official visit a day after the PM promulgated the fresh ban. Mr Kabir’s trip to China was paid for by funds generated by the Flashman’s Hotel in Rawalpindi, which is a PTDC concern. The corporation is bearing an expenditure of over Rs500,000 to cover the MD’s travel expenses at a time when employees of the cash-strapped department have not been receiving their monthly salaries on time. Another senior PTDC official, acting Manager Publicity & Promotion Rana Mukhtar, also proceeded to China on October

28. The two officials’ visits, though unconnected, may have to do with recent government efforts to privatize the fledgling corporation. Another senior government official, Arshad Mirza, who is an additional secretary at the petroleum ministry, recently returned from an official visit to the US. These violations of rules did not come as a surprise to many observers, who say that the PM’s own multi-million dollar trips abroad have already put an immense burden on the national kitty. Indeed, the PM’s visits in three months to Turkey, the United States, the United Kingdom, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Afghanistan have so far cost the government around Rs168 million. The Lahore High Court is currently hearing a petition challenging the PM’s foreign tours. FOLLOWERS FROM P12

The prime minister said that the incident of Karbala gave the Ummah a lesson to renew its pledge to offer sublime sacrifices by always upholding the supreme values of righteousness and truth. “With such yearning and passion, we have to prepare ourselves and each member of the nation to offer every sacrifice on the path of righteousness and truth, so that as a nation, we can remain steadfast on our path to real destination,” he stressed. He said Imam Husain’s struggle reminded us to stand against every dictator and the system of injustice





Flooding Could Add to Pakistan’s Water Shortage, Experts Warn

Flood victims sit by a damaged road as they look over floodwaters in Muzzafargarh, Punjab, September 15, 2014

Islamabad: In an ironic twist to Pak-

istan’s struggles with extreme weather, experts warn that the increasingly frequent and intense flooding in the country could lead to catastrophic water shortages. The problem, climate and water experts say, is a growing lack of groundwater. Groundwater resources that used to supply Pakistan’s growing population with water for agriculture, drinking and sanitation, are depleting rapidly. Such underground reserves usually are replenished naturally by rain and melting snow. But experts warn that the short, intense rainfall that is becoming common during Pakistan’s monsoon season between June and September results in more runoff, giving the water less time to percolate into the ground. Scientists at the Pakistan Meteorological Department say weak and moderate rainfall provides the most groundwater recharge – but unfortunately that type of weather is becoming a rarity. “The frequency and intensity of extreme rainfall events are very likely to escalate and their increasing trend is already quite visible in different parts of Pakistan,” said Ghulam Rasul, a senior weather scientist and climatologist at the meteorological department. “Because of the high intensity rainfall on steep, sloped land areas in the country’s northwestern and northeastern parts, groundwater recharge is minimal,” he said. Pakistan already suffers from worsening water shortages. In December 2013, the World Resources Institute ranked Pakistan among the

36 most water-stressed countries in the world. A recent report by the Planning Commission of Pakistan, based on data from the Water and Power Development Authority of Pakistan, shows that in 1951 per capita water availability in Pakistan was 5,650 cubic meters. By 2010, that figure had plunged to 1,000 cubic meters and is expected to further fall to 800 cubic meters by 2025, when Pakistan’s population is expected to hit 221 million, the report said. If groundwater depletion continues at its current rate the country could be headed for widespread water poverty. According to Siddiq Ahmed Khan, country head of Water-Aid UK’s Pakistan Chapter, any decline in the groundwater recharge could have a severe impact on water available for drinking, sanitation and hygiene in a country where over 1.2 million people die every year from water-borne diseases such as diarrhea, malaria, and typhoid. “The persistent deterioration of surface and groundwater sources, on which people rely for their livelihoods, drinking, sanitation and daily domestic needs, means that water and sanitation pressures will simply grow from bad to worse,” he said. While erratic rainfall patterns are exacerbating Pakistan’s groundwater shortage, extreme weather is not solely to blame. Nearly 1.1 million agricultural wells in the country are “among the major causes of the rapidly depleting groundwater levels,” said Muhammad Javed, deputy director of Pakistan’s Irrigation Research Institute.

Spreading urbanization also means more pavement and less chance for water to percolate into the ground, said Daanish Mustafa, professor of water-resources geography and environmental management at King’s College London who co-authored the 2013 report “Understanding Pakistan’s water-security nexus”. According to Pakistan Water Gateway, a non-governmental waterresearch portal, groundwater levels in the country are dropping by three feet annually. Using the sprawling city of Lahore in northeastern Pakistan as an example, the Gateway notes that 20 years ago water used to be extracted from a depth of between 20 and 40 feet. Today, wells must reach 800 feet to get sufficient amounts of useable water. Since the cost of pumping groundwater increases as the water table goes down, Pakistanis are being forced to use more expensive and poorer quality groundwater, the experts say. “This scenario calls for efforts to check groundwater depletion,” said Pervaiz Amir, water-policy expert and country director of the Pakistan Water Partnership, a chapter of the Genevabased Global Water Partnership. Solutions: But the flooding that is exacerbating the problem could become part of the solution, Amir said, if floodwaters are captured in “new small- and medium-sized water storage reservoirs in villages, towns and around urban centers.” Such reservoirs could make up for lost groundwater, with captured rainwater used to supplement underground aquifers and irrigate farms, watermanagement experts say. Measures including slowing urbanization, improving water governance, promoting watersaving technology to farmers and industry, and rainwater harvesting could also help, Amir said.

Keeping the Tradition of Niaz Alive

Undeterred by the attack on a haleem party earlier, volunteers all over the city on Monday night cook food to distribute as niaz on Ashura

n By Shazia Hasan Karachi:

“What happened in Orangi on Sunday is sad but that doesn’t mean that we should stop giving niaz during Muharram. Life and death are in the hands of God,” said Rizwan Iqbal, who stood near several boiling haleem cauldrons in Saddar on Monday night. “Is the wood moist? Why is all this smoke?” someone called out from behind him and another volunteer came forward to check the heat and pull out a few logs in order to lower the fire under the cauldrons. The haleem is cooked every year on the 9th and 10th of Muharram to be distributed for free in the name of God. As in several neighborhoods all over the city, and even the country for that matter, many people are involved in the practice.

“As little children, we used to go around the neighborhood with a chador spread out for donations for our sabeel from where we used to offer refreshments to passers-by. Now we go around collecting for the Ashura haleem,” the young man smiled and said. “There are various people in the neighborhood who always donate. Some shop owners and other business owners here also give us money for the purpose. That with our own efforts has made it possible for us to prepare a dozen cauldrons of haleem today. The cook of a hotel nearby is supervising the cooking as we assist him,” his friend Saquib Javed said. The men were paying Rs900 rent per cauldron and the wood they said they bought in Lines Area for NIAZ, P29






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By Saleem Qazi


ehmood Bhatti is the first designer of Pakistani origin to earn international fame and recognition in the glamorous world of fashion. His trailblazing achievements have inspired many Pakistanis to join the fashion industry. It goes to the credit of Mehmood Bhatti to have organized the first ever internationally acclaimed fashion show in the history of Pakistan, in Karachi in 1996, where French models were seen walking the ramp. So, it wouldn't be wrong to suggest that Pakistan's fashion fraternity owes a lot to him. But now the designer has decided to push fashion behind him and use his talent, energy and passion in serving the people of Pakistan. Mehmood Bhatti, born into a middle class family, moved to France in 1978 when Pakistan was under military rule. He arrived in France as an ambitious young man with big dreams. Initially he faced

many hardships. But later due to his sheer hard work he ended up buying the very shop that he first worked at and began his successful journey as an entrepreneur, forming his fashion house by the name of 'Bhatti International'. This was the first time a Pakistani had made a name for himself in Paris and that too on such a large scale. His ability to endure during tough times and his amiable disposition earned him a respectable name in the French capital. He has also received the highest civil award of the country, Sitara-e-Imtiaz, on 23rd March 2004 at an event. Discussing the fashion industry, Bhatti states, "For a mid-level fashion house or designer, the fashion world is at a dead end. Two reasons for this spring to mind: the rising inflation and a host of copy-cat designers. The minute a design becomes successful countries like Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and China duplicate it and flood the markets. This is the reason that mid-level fashion houses see a cut-back in


demand for their designs. If consumers can get their hands on a cheaper product that may be a copy but is almost identical in quality, why will they waste money on a more expensive original? Hence, the fashion industry in France and the world over has suffered setbacks. "Bhatti International is also losing business. I have been incurring losses for the past four to five years. A number of other fashion houses have shut down as well. I want to sell the trade mark rights to my fashion label, Bhatti International. I have been in talks with a few buyers and hope to sell my fashion house by end of this year. I can shut it down completely like the others but I don't want to do that. But I do want to say goodbye to the industry itself. It has given me respect, money and fame and I therefore want to leave it respectably," he explains.

According to Bhatti, "Apart from the fashion industry, I have invested in other ventures in France and Pakistan. If it hadn't been for my other investments, I would have been heartbroken and distraught after the grave losses this industry has suffered. I will try my utmost to keep the name of my fashion house and my country afloat." Talking about the future, Bhatti intends to spend most of 2015 in Pakistan. "I have set up a hospital in Lahore which is running very smoothly and successfully. It is operated by a team of specialists. I plan to start a medical university and a nursing training centre for which I have already purchased a piece of land. The initial paperwork regarding the set-up of these two organizations is complete and the construction will begin in 2015. Although fashion and medicine are very different spheres of life, I hope to gain as much success in the

latter as I did in the former." Regarding the current sociopolitical situation in Pakistan, Bhatti is of the view that it has become a topic for bad press around the world. "The word 'Pakistan' and the Pakistani passport have lost their worth. Pakistan is known as a failed state due to the increasing number of terror attacks in different cities of the country. Even the countries that were considered backward in terms of progress as compared to Pakistan have moved ahead of us, and it makes my heart bleed for my nation. "The constant threat of terrorism in our country has affected investments. I am Pakistan's honorary consular in France for investment and whenever I encourage people to invest in Pakistan they respond with surprise at the fact that I am asking them to invest under such grave circumstances." And yet, despite the volatile situation in Pakistan, Bhatti is willing to put all his money in his home country. "Whatever money I will or have invested will not be borrowed from any bank. I owe it to my country to give something back to it. Pakistanis living abroad love Pakistan immensely, perhaps more so than those who live in Pakistan. As expats they constantly worry about the country. They want to do something to improve the conditions here. If the lawlessness and corruption is checked there are many Pakistanis living abroad who will invest heavily in Pakistan. And we would not need investment from anywhere else. We need to gain the trust of expats by making the justice system of this country viable," he adds. Mehmood Bhatti hopes that people will educate themselves, develop a will to work hard, and learn as many skills as possible so that they can positively contribute to our society. "Our political leaders also need to have a more serious attitude in order to improve their country's socio-political situation. They need to develop policies geared for the welfare of the people. Both short-term and long-term plans need to be formulated that can steer this country back onto the road of progress and prosperity. The word 'Pakistan' seems to be losing its respect. If we do not work towards improving things in order to better our image abroad we will be alienated from the rest of the world," concludes Bhatti. Courtesy The News


Community Link


Friday, November 7, 2014

VOL. 24/45 PAGE 20


egum PAGE 21

A Befitting Tribute to Mayor Thomas M. Menino

14 Muharram 1436 H

Zinda Bhaag to Be Screened at UCLA on November 13

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The Rat-boys of Karalabad by Zulfiqar Rashid

Urdu Academy Pays Tribute to Ibn-e-Insha

n By Abdus Sattar Ghazali


he Urdu Academy of North America dedicated its October 19, 2014 literary event to the life and work of an eminent Urdu poet and columnist - Ibn-e-Insha - who was born on June 15, 1927 as Sher Muhammad Khan but was known in the literary world as Ibn-e-Insha.

The event was held at the Chandni Restaurant, Newark, CA. A prominent Bay Area poet Arshad Rashid was MC of the literary event which attracted Urdu lovers from far and near. At the outset, Tashie Zaheer, President of the Urdu Academy, welcomed the guests and invited Prof. Aftab Ahmed to preside over the literary event. Like Dr Mahmood Tahir, poet Arshad Rashid presented a well-researched paper on the life and work of Ibn-e-Insha. As usual, a number of Urdu enthusiasts presented Ibn-e-Insha’s poetry.

They included Irshad Khan, Tasadduq Hussain Attari, Moeez Khan, Javaid Umerani, Ishaq Nagpurwala, Syed Aleem, Zeeshan Abbasi, Tashie Zaheer, Moheen Khalil, Abdus Sattar Ggazali, Zafar Khan, Talat Khan, Suhab Hamdani, Ismat Kamal and Hameeda Bano. Zeeshan Abbasi and Atia moved the audience with their presentation of Insha’s most popular poem, Inshaji Uttho, Ab Kooch Karo. Sohab Hamdani stole the show by her eloquent presentation of Ibn-eInsha’s humorous newspaper columns. It is very difficult to keep the listeners engaged in prose presentations but Sohab mesmerized the audience with her articulate and very expressive style of prose presentation. Ibn-e-Insha’s poetry has a distinctive diction laced with language reminiscent of Amir Khusro in its use of words and construction that is usually heard in the more earthy dialects of the Hin-

di- Urdu complex of languages, and his forms and poetic style is an influence on the younger generation. Ibn-e-Insha travelled extensively. Some of the places that he visited included Japan, Philippines, China, Hong Kong, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, India, Afghanistan, Iran, Turkey, France, UK and US. Insha spent much of his time in Karachi. He is considered to be one of the foremost humorists in Urdu literature

with four books of humorous prose. His other works include a number of travelogues recorded with a distinguished touch of humor. Ibn-e-Insha was also a remarkable poet. Three collections of his poetry have been published. He is considered as one of the most versatile poets and writers of his generation. His most famous ghazal “Insha Ji Uttho” sung by Amanat Ali was an instant hit.

Ibne Isha died of blood cancer on January 11, 1978 in London and was buried in Karachi. There were two sessions of the program. In the first session, Ibn-e-Insha’s poetry was recited while in the second session his humorous column were presented. At the end, Tashie Zaheer thanked Syed Sarwat and Mrs Munza Sarwat for promoting the cause of Urdu in the Bay Area by patronizing the Urdu Academy literary events.



Interfaith Coalition to Protect Religious Minorities in Arab Countries


n By C. Naseer Ahmad

n an effort to stem violence and intolerance, a group of US Muslim and Christian Organizations have formed a coalition to protect religious minorities in Arab countries. Their goal is also to promote peaceful coexistence.

The All Dulles Area Muslims Society’s website stated: “On the evening of Wednesday, October 21, 2014 the ADAMS Center had the honor of hosting the visit of His Eminence Theodosius (Atallah) Hanna, Archbishop of Sebastia Orthodox Church Patriarchate of Jerusalem. While at the Center, H.E. Archbishop Theodosius met with leaders of the Muslim community, and with some of our Interfaith Peace Corp partners. After Isha, the last prayer of the day, His Eminence spoke to ADAMS community members presenting a message of Peace and fellowship.” This interfaith coalition effort in late October 2014 was led by the Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation whose mission is to maintain and support the presence of Christians in the Holy Land. Leaders of major Muslim and Christian organizations, religious leaders and activists met to form the coalition. The coalition’s goal is to defend and protect indigenous Christians and other religious minorities in Arab countries. It aims to restore the historical coexistence of Muslim and Christians and preserving the presence of Christians and other religious groups as part of the fabric of Arab and Muslim civilization. According to the Holy Land Christian Ecumenical “the coalition

Leaders of major Muslim and Christian organizations, religious leaders and activists met to form the interfaith coalition

will work with all concerned organizations and individuals around the world to challenge stereotypes of Arabs of all backgrounds and to show that Christians and Muslims are united in working toward the common goals of peace and justice.” Two conferences are planned in the near future. The first conference is to be held in Washington in early 2015, followed by a second conference in an Arab country. The coalition’s leadership committee includes the Very Reverend Joseph Rahal, pastor of the St. George Orthodox Church, the Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese; Syed Moktadir, President, ADAMS; Dr. Sayyid M. Syeed, National Director of the Office of Interfaith & Community Alliances, Islamic Society of North America (ISNA); Nihad Awad, National Executive Director, Council on American-Islamic Rela-

tions (CAIR); Bassel Korkor, Legal Officer, Syrian Christians for Peace; Haris Tarin, Director of the Washington, DC Office, Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC); Salam Al Marayati, President, Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC); and Kamal Nawash, President, Free Muslims Coalition. Sir Rateb Y. Rabie, President of the Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation, was elected as Chair. The coalition is reaching out to any organizations, leaders and religious institutions in pursuit of its mission. The Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation website states that it “is very excited to be given the honor of leading the effort to have Christians and Muslims work for peace, justice and the common good.” “Reach Out International and

the Pakistani Christian communities around the world welcome and support this Muslim-Christian Coalition, and we shall support the work of this brand new organization in all its endeavors,” said Sam Mall, Founder and Executive Director, Reach Out International Inc. USA/ Pakistan. ADAMS was formed in 1983 by a small group of families in Herndon and Reston, Virginia to serve the local Muslim population. Over the past three decades, the ADAMS Center has become a hub of activity and has grown into one of the largest Muslim communities in the Washington DC area. According to ADAMS officials, “Our greatest pride is in education, community and youth development, and service. We organize a variety of educational and social activities and gatherings that provide the children,

A Befitting Tribute to Mayor Thomas M. Menino n By Tahir Ali Boston: Thousands of people from

Boston and surrounding towns braved the weather and descended on Faneuil Hall to pay their respect to Thomas M. Menino, Boston’s longest-serving mayor. I missed the train by a few seconds in Westboro, so we raced to the next stop in Southboro hoping to catch it there but also missed that by a fraction of a minute. Seeing my resolve my family decided to drive me to Faneuil Hall despite the NorEaster storm warning. Because of the overwhelming turnout, members of the Menino family were taking turns in greeting the well-wishers. Menino’s brotherin-law and his son were thanking whoever came in to pay respect on behalf of his sister, Angela Menino. Some of us felt even more obligated to attend just for the simple reason that Tom Menino was very instrumental in the establishment of the Islamic and Cultural Center (ISBCC). Boston lost a legend, but we also lost a great friend of the Muslim community. The letter of condolences from Worcester Islamic Centers (WIC and ISGW), Wayland and others echoed much of the same sentiments and remarks released by ISBCC: “He stood up for all of our communities, including our Boston-Muslim community. When the forces of darkness tried to slander the ISBCC and prevent its construc-

tion, he stood by us, even when many had given up. Thank you, Mayor Menino, your legacy shall remain Boston Strong.” My interview with Boston Globe revolved on the establishment of ISBCC. Similarly, I confided with Ally Donnelly of New England Cable News (NECN), and told her that my wife, daughter and I am here to show our gratitude. Ally was impressed that we came out all the way from Westboro in this snowy weather. “In way I am glad the weather is bad, because that proves whoever is here - including us - is really here for the Mayor.” A Portuguese woman standing in line next to me couldn’t express her feelings for she did not speak English, but her eyes welled up with tears as she attempted to talk about

the mayor. William and Caron Cambell were pleased to be there. They summed up their reasons for weathering the storm, “He had no aspirations and he made Boston a world class city. He was the man of the neighborhood, “ William told me, “Tom was so popular that no one ran against him in re-elections.” Earlier, Secretary of State and former Senator John Kerry paid his respect. Senators and others did the same. Hillary Clinton campaigning for Senator Jeanne Shaheen and Governor Maggie Hassan in Nashua took advantage of the proximity and paid respect to Tom Menino. Vice President Joe Biden was scheduled to attend the private funeral service on Monday November 3rd at the “Most Precious Blood”

Church in Hyde Park where Tom Menino was baptized. It is unclear if President Obama will attend, nevertheless, we concur and resound with President Obama - “Bold, bighearted, and Boston strong, Tom was the embodiment of the city he loved.” The “USPS” pledge of “Neither rain, nor snow, nor sleet, nor hail shall keep the postmen from their appointed rounds” apparently took a new meaning when the same motto applied to the people who came to Faneuil Hall to pay respect to a legend. We pray for the entire Menino family that they overcome this loss speedily and take solace in the thought that the people of Boston, Massachusetts and the nation remember the family in their prayers.

youth, and families with wonderful opportunities to learn and grow as brothers and sisters in faith. The ADAMS Center also believes in interfaith collaboration and as a result, we host and participate in several interdenominational programs and activities throughout the Washington, DC metropolitan area.” SUICIDE FROM P22

in its uncommon aspiration to male gentleness. There is a brutal assault in front of our eyes on this sublime tehzeeb developed over millennia by a small group of murderous thugs whose show of bravery lies in slitting the throats of young children and old women alike. I appeal to you, the young women in this room today. Your passion, your energy, your brilliance, your innovation, your sheer force of will, has the power to sweep changes in the world overnight. Seize the moment and start by fostering values of freedom for all, education for all, equal opportunities for all, tolerance of all, and above all, love for all. I want to leave you with a message in the powerful words of my dear friend Fahmida Riaz. Lehroun ki tarah ubhray ho tum Iss mulk kay gahray saagar say Aur goonj utha hay arsh e bareen Pur josh dhamaktay narron say! Inkaar farouzan hay jiss mein Ta umr tardaptay rahnay ka Aflaas ghutan aur ranj o sitam Khamoushi say sab sahnay ka Kuch log tumhay samjhaingay Wu tum ko khauf dilayangay Jo hay wu bhi kho sakta hay Iss raah mein rahzan hain itnay Kuch aur yahaan ho sakta hay Kuch aur tu aksar hota hay Tum jiss lamhay mein zinda ho Yay lamha tum say zinda hay Yay waqt naheen phir aayay ga Tum apni karni kar guzro Jo hoga dekha jayay ga!! (You have arisen like a giant wave From the depth of the ocean And the Heavens are ringing With your loud protestations Cries which are rejecting outright A lifetime of anguish and suffering Poverty, oppression, grief and torture Some will try to counsel you They will try to scare you Even what you have now can be lost forever There are so many robbers on this path SUICIDE, P29



Zanbeel Art’s LA/Islam Arts Initiative 2014 Program

The opening reception on November 1, 2014 at Seyhoun Gallery, West Hollywood, was well attended, insightful and inspirational. Pakistan Consul General, Tasawar Khan, graced the occasion, in addition to representatives from the Department of Cultural Affairs, Los Angeles, LAPD Liaison and LA/IAI partner galleries

The practice of art as it incorporates beauty is essential in creating a peacefully and uniquely coalescent conversation.” Zanbeel Art is a non-profit organization based in Los Angeles that creates a platform for crosscultural exchange through education and the creative arts. Their current exhibition, In Search of the Dot that Created the Circle: Geometry in Nature is part of the Los Angeles / Islam Arts Initiative (LA/IAI).

The innovative LA initiative brings together nearly 30 cultural institutions throughout Los Angeles to tell various stories of traditional and contemporary art from multiple Islamic regions and their significant global diasporas. The event is presented by several institutions: the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs with major support from the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art, the National Endowment for the Arts, the California Community Foundation, the California Institute of the Arts, and the Barnsdall Park Foundation. LA/ IAI is the first wide-scale citywide initiative on Islamic arts in Los Angeles. In Search of the Dot that Created the Circle: Geometry in Nature investigates the universal and transformative nature of geometry in Islamic art. This engaging exhibition, curated by Amina Ahmed and Santiago Navila, explores the discipline through the practice of teachers and alumni of The Prince’s School of Traditional Arts (PSTA). Together with their students from both East and West, the Geometry in Nature exhibition includes the work of master geometricians, Dr Keith Critchlow and Paul Marchant, whose examples in particular trace the dynamic manifestation of geometry in Islamic art. They demonstrate the timeless and universal aspects of a discipline that is both profoundly symbolic and is the essential underlying principle that permeates all living things. The exhibition journeys through this universal tradition to see how this process was revived and is continued today. In conjunction with the

exhibition, Zanbeel Art’s program for LA/IAI includes two educational workshops bringing students from inner-city schools to the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery, as well as the Seyhoun Gallery, in which the exhibition is currently being displayed. A two-week preview of the exhibition will be shown at Seyhoun Gallery, November 1st through 13th. The finalized exhibition will show at CB1 Gallery’s new Downtown location, opening January 25th and running throughout February. Participating artists include: Keith Critchlow, Paul Marchant, Emma Clark in association with Petherick Urquhart & Hunt, Simon Tretheway, Parveen Zuberi, Lisa deLong, Tom Bree, Katya Nosyreva, Susana Marin, Shafon Miah, Kayo Kimura, Adam Williamson, Sama Mara & Lee Westwood, Natasha Mann, and, Leila Dear. The opening reception on November 1, 2014 at Seyhoun Gallery, West Hollywood, was well attended, insightful and inspirational. Pakistan Consul General, Tasawar Khan, graced the occasion, in addition to representatives from the Department of Cultural Affairs, Los Angeles, LAPD Liaison and LA/IAI partner galleries. Ahmed and Navila described the essence of their detailed vision. Ahmed spoke on the vitality of beauty, art, and, education; quoting from a 2007 speech by HRH Prince Gazi bin Mohammad of Jordan in an essay written by Emma Clark, “Sacred art is to do with beauty, and beauty is a universal language. Beauty can break down barriers better than interfaith dialogue ….The revival of traditional Islamic art has been the best messenger and the best barrier breaker between Islam and the West. Because, people come and they say ‘This is beautiful’; it’s not beautiful because its Islamic—it’s just beautiful, it’s universal. And so people come away from traditional Islamic art with a positive image of a civilization and even a love for Islamic civilization”. Zanbeel Art strives to encourage dialogue and understanding between diverse communities in Los

Angeles. “It is absolutely imperative for Pakistani Americans to reach out to the diverse communities of Los Angeles at this juncture when the media often projects the myopic violent aspect of South Asians and Muslims,” said Fatima Sultan Khan, Director of the non-profit. Zanbeel Art is driven by this passion and commitment to build bridges with multiple tiers of diverse communities. Through its art exhibitions, book launches, youth art, and school programs Zanbeel Art promotes learning, understanding, and the hope for peace in future generations. Zanbeel Art is a non-profit 501 (c) (3) that aims to provide a platform for the transnational cultural dialogue and for the sharing of ideas by means of educational programs and festivals in Visual Art, History, Literature, Film, and Music. Zanbeel Art brings exposure to established and emerging multinational South Asian artists. Our vision is to inspire and enrich marginalized communities and students of low socioeconomic schools in the United States and South Asia. The programs extend beyond cultural boundaries by fostering an understanding of what brings us together and what it is that separates us. This inclusive platform nurtures a disparate society by giving it a voice through the arts. To support these programs in any way or to make a donation please visit Zanbeel Art is a 501 c 3 organization and your donation is fully tax deductible. Past activities by the organization illustrate its commitment and focus within the community of Los Angeles:


Los Angeles based Scott Clarkson a photographer/lawyer visited Pakistan and Afghanistan a number of times and has taken a million photographs. A series of his photographs were displayed at various Zanbeel Art exhibitions.


Zanbeel partnered with Santa Monica Art Walk in 2009 and more than 3000 people saw stun-

ning Flight of the Falcons by Farooq Yousufzai. In addition artworks of 20 South Asian and American artists were displayed.


Youth Art Exhibition in Dec 2012 curated by Sadaf Ahmed and Raeesa Tar: The Youth voice was loud and clear, they projected in their art, post-9/11 fear, consumerism, religious divide, most of all a yearning for peace.


Book Launches and Author Talks: Ethan Casey, alive and well in Pakistan, launched his book at the South Asian American Art Festival along with Kamran Pasha, Anila Ali, Stephen Huyler, and Marcella Nesom Sirhandi.


Zanbeel facilitated a donation of “Morphing” in 2011, to the Department of Cultural Affairs Los Angeles. The painting was purchased by Mrs Amina Adaya, a resident of Santa Monica and donated to DCA. Morphing a 9’x9’ painting by Karachi-based artist Asad Hussain depicted a colored child with golden wings taking flight, an ICON of Los Angeles. The painting is hanging at DCA LA 201 Figueroa St. Los Angeles, Floor 14. Olga Garray commented, “This is how diverse communities build bridges of understanding via art”.


Partnered with the Citizens Archive of Pakistan, founded by filmmaker and journalist Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy (Saving Face, Children of the Taliban), to implement a creative exchange using letters, collages, and videos between 5th Graders in Los Angeles, California with their counterparts in Karachi, Pakistan.


Cheryl Maletta, Trujillo a Board member of Zanbeel Art, has designed South Asian Art and Literacy for Youth -- a nine-week course on South Asian culture, which encourages students to become citizens of the world. Activities are focused on developing skills needed to live and work effectively in culturally and politically diverse societies. Students who participate

in the South Asian Art and Literacy for Youth have seen a significant growth in their test scores, confidence, and understanding of the South Asian regions. - By Leila Shauk Edited by Flecha del Atardecer

Pakistani Film Zinda Bhaag to Be Screened at UCLA


creening of Pakistani film Zinda Bhaag will take place on Thursday, November 13, 2014, between 6pm - 9:30pm

at UCLA’s Kinsey Pavilion 1200B. It has been sponsored by UCLA Center of India and South Asia, UCLA Department of Cinema and Media Studies, Pakistan Consulate General of Los Angeles, Pakistani Arts Council, and UCLA Pakistani Students Union. The film screening will be followed by a discussion with the directors - Meenu Gaur and Farjad Nabi. Refreshments will be served at 6pm. Screening is free and open to the public. Directions: From Lot 2 North, head on Hilgard Ave toward Westholme Ave, turn left onto Westholme Ave, Kinsey will be on the right. “Get out if you Can” is both the translation of Zinda Bhaag and the credo by which its characters live. Pakistan’s first official Oscar entry in 50 years depicts life in Lahore. Three friends Khaldi, Chitta and Tambi literally beg, borrow, and steal to get by in their everyday lives while they look westward for something more than mere existence. The potential costs of this dream are financial servitude, legal minefields, and emotional and physical danger. The journey that unfolds through the story of this film gives us a glimpse of the everyday lives of many young men and women in Pakistan.


n By Azra Raza

Our Collective Spiritual Suicide


n May 24 of this year, the Dow Medical College (Karachi) Graduate Association of North America (DOGANA) held a function in Philadelphia honoring the “Women of Dow”. My sister Azra is a Dow alumna and was presented with an award for “Distinguished Services in the Field of Research and Clinical Medicine”. She was also invited to be the Keynote Speaker at the ceremony. She has kindly allowed me to publish some of her powerful remarks on that occasion. — S. Abbas Raza

A moment comes, which comes seldom in one’s life, when staying silent and uncritical is tantamount to suicide. That moment for us is here, now. Today, instead of telling a few light hearted stories of our innocent days at Dow, with jokes and poetry, I want to take the road less traveled by, and speak about the painful truth piercing at the heart of every one of us. Today, you have bestowed upon me a fantastic award and I am humbled by this, but frankly, at the same time, I feel greatly saddened to be lauded for my achievements while inside I feel like an imposter, a phony, a fraud. How can we be celebrating knowing full well that while we are congratulating each other and carrying home awards, our fellow doctors in Pakistan are being forced to carry guns with their stethoscopes? With these very achievements, if I were to be in Karachi today, I would be in danger of receiving a barrage of bullets from a Ghazi’s AK47 who could gun me down in broad daylight in a public function and walk off without being apprehended. Why? Because I am not just a doctor. I am a Shia doctor. There. Now I have said it and committed the crime of voicing the unspeakable. I know, I know. We are not supposed to criticize anything while we are standing on foreign soil because this will further weaken the Umma and play right into the hands of the foreigners with vested interests. How long are we going to hide behind such cowardly, delusional shields? How long are we going to continue to bury our heads in the sand and distract ourselves through award ceremonies while our beloved country is being slashed and burned? Where is the outrage? What are we afraid of? Yay kis azaab say khaif mera qabeela hay Kay khoon mal kay bhi chahroun ka rang peela hay Yay kaisay zehr ki baarish hui hay abkay baras Kay meray saaray gulaboun ka rang Neela hay (What calamity is my tribe so afraid of That despite the blood splattered on their faces, they remain pale What poison has rained from the sky this year That even my roses have turned blue?) My friends, genocides do not start with guns and gas chambers. They start with words. Words of hate directed at LESSONS FROM P4

American-style democracy. The Scottish economy is mainly sustained by whisky sales; tourism; financial services (major banks, insurance companies, and financial institutions are based there); but they are also pushed to go alone by another money-spinner, the North Sea Oil and Gas resources, which is very crucial to jobs and revenues. Scotland can remain thriving, vibrant and prosperous if oil and gas keep oozing out of the sea. After all, Russia, Venezuela and Norway, besides the Middle East and even Bahrain and Qatar all have oil-based prosperity. But how long? According to the BBC, 38% fall in oil revenues is expected by the year 201718, and this fall is consistent. In Sterling Pounds, now with the oil revenue, a Scot pockets 26,424 a year, without oil revenue, his income would fall to 20,571; while currently in England, a person takes home 22,336 pounds per year, and without oil income from Scotland, he would take home 20,873. This would severely impact their social programs, free or subsidized higher education, national health services; pensions and jobs. Freedom is a cherished goal, but sometimes, its desire overrides all other considerations. In the past 20 years, only four countries have secured independence: Timor-Leste, Montenegro, Kosovo and South Sudan. More than 100 sub-national jurisdictions, including Scotland, Catalonia, Quebec, Palestine, Kashmir, are lined up. The case scenario is different in respect to each one of them. Quebecers voted No two times willingly; Scotland did that last month on 18th of September. Pales-

groups which dehumanize them to such an extent that any and all cruelties are justified. My friends, today, there is a similar poisonous atmosphere being created in Pakistan. It is not just the Shia doctors being slaughtered mercilessly. There is a countrywide invasion by the lethal disease of intolerance and religious persecution. The terrorists are killing minorities and targeting outspoken members of the community. Need I name Malala Yusufzai, Raza Rumi, Hamid Mir? Therefore, it is inaccurate and dishonest to present this as some sort of a sectarian issue. This is the systematic murder of targeted individuals by a small murderous group. But the state whose job it is to protect the people is complicit through its inaction. How many more doctors and lawyers, women and children have to be gunned down without a single individual being apprehended for these barbaric crimes? There is no controversy about who is responsible for these killings. The perpetrators proclaim it proudly from the rooftops. What level of genocide is needed for us to wake up to reality, six million? When are we going to realize that we are ALL guilty of being Neros playing the fiddle while Pakistan burns? You may be wondering why I am harping on the killing of doctors while not even mentioning the others equally brutally assaulted like Hindus, Christians, Ahmadis, and thousands of moderate, liberal Sunnis who have been the victims of equally deadly cruelties. You would be perfectly justified because truly it is a matter of survival for all of us. The reason I am concentrating on doctors is only because we are a doctors association and our fellow professionals are being singled out in front of our eyes for the final solution. Let us start by speaking out on their behalf. Here is the writing on the wall: the minorities, the moderates and professionals being targeted are not a small fringe community; they make up a substantial number of Pakistanis and are represented in every segment of society starting with the founder of the nation, and the only Nobel Laureate we have had. They are deeply woven into the fabric of the state. Their elimination through a final solution is simply not a realistic option because they are entirely capable of armed rebellion. Their continued persecution will eventually lead to retaliation and civil war with ensuing mayhem the likes of which has not been seen since the partition of the subcontinent because: Jinn kay jabroun pay apnoun ka khoun lag gaya Zulm ki sab hadein paatnay aaien gay (Beasts who have tasted the blood of their own kind Will return to cross every limit of brutality) When I told my daughter Sheherzad about what I am going to say in this ceremony, she was scared to death for my safety. She wanted to come and stand by me. I felt deeply, deeply ashamed thinking what kind of a reputation have we acquired that a nineteen-year-old offers to be a human shield for her

tinian State exists on paper but awaits recognition; Kashmiris remain unattended and unheard. The Kurds are getting close to having it. Full sovereignty comes with full responsibility, and it must be supported by resources. Some territories have set up independence commissions and have often rejected independence by huge margins. In other cases, a majority vote in favor of independence was secured, but not enough to overcome constitutional thresholds, such as in Nevis, points out Mr. Godfrey Baldacchino, a professor of Sociology at the University of Malta. People must be given a chance of self-determination. Suppression of this right is anathema to peace and prosperity. The brand of democracy that Pakistan uses is unique, and it needs to be patented. Ashfaq Ahmed, the short-story writer, writes about a man who saw an elephant tethered to a shaky wooden peg. The huge animal, known for his ponderous strength and size, circled incessantly around this fragile peg, never ever trying to free itself. Annoyed at the elephant’s resignation to his state of slavishness and to a willing acceptance of bondage, this man approached the owner of the elephant, and asked him bluntly, “Why on earth this mass of flesh called elephant not make a tiny effort to break away from this unstable stake? Does he not love freedom?”. The owner replied, “It would never make such a silly effort, because it is tied and conditioned to an idea; the idea that he is forbidden to move away from this place”. “No rope or chain on earth can keep this animal in bondage except the strength of an idea”. Islamabad during the last 70 days

of dharnas witnessed the slavish bondage of hundreds and thousands of men and women. They stayed there in sunshine and rain because their leader/s had tied them to an ideology. Husbands brought their wives against their will to this place and kept them nailed to an ideology based on personality cult.” Today the Sheikh of Islam was heard, telling them , ”Now you are allowed to go home”. And they went home. Can democracy stand a chance of prospering in such a regimented and will-ness environment? I doubt. The desire for freedom is, no doubt, innate because it is an integral part of human nature. Only a small portion of people get locked physically in prisons; most end up being locked in the mental prisons of their desires, dreams and wants and needs. That is the reason that whenever individuals or countries are asked to choose between staying together, or going alone more often than not, whatever the consequences, people or countries choose to go free. Referendum is a crude way of deciding complex issues though a rhetorical question, entailing a Yes/No answer. Some call it, “The Direct Democracy”. General Zia tricked the nation in 1984 by phrasing a question vaguely. In the last 84 instances of referendum, about 62 have favored for freedom, and out of which some 49 countries now are members of the UN. The 18th Amendment in Pakistan in 2010 transferred lots of powers and revenues to the provinces in order to transfer powers to the provinces, but were they able to handle and utilize those powers and revenues effectively is a big question mark.


mother in the midst of Philadelphia? I am not saying that her fears are real. I am simply pointing out the fact that the lunatic fringe of Pakistan that is shamelessly killing without being held accountable has soiled the reputation of all of us. Can you imagine being ashamed of claiming that you are a Muslim in America? No, we do it proudly, as we should. But my daughter is scared that among my very own people, I can be hurt or black-listed for speaking out against the killing of innocent doctors and against the persecution of religious minorities. You attend Mushairas because you love listening to incredibly beautiful, romantic, inspiring verses. What do you think Mustafa Zaidi meant when he said: Mein kis kay haathoun pay apna lahoo talaash karoun? Tamam sheher nay pahnay huay hain dastanay (On whose hands should I search for my blood? The entire city is wearing gloves) Please. I beg you. Let us take off these gloves. It is all of us, the successful doctors who represent the top 1% of the intelligentsia of Pakistan who have a duty to speak out in favor of free speech and tolerance, in favor of providing the best education for our girls and ensuring equal opportunities to the boys and girls of every background. We are living in America. Let us take a page from their history as an example. It is the black police officers who stand on the streets to protect the rights of Ku Klux Klan members to hold their rallies where they burn the effigies of black figures and take oaths to wipe out the Negro from their pure white land. This is how freedom of speech is protected and defended by an enlightened society. By definition, every one of you in this room is enlightened and roshan khayaal because you are the crème de la crème of Pakistani high society. I urge you to pledge action today. This is an evening to celebrate women, so I want to end by addressing the young women in the room. First of all, if you are at all interested in science or medicine, whether you are in high school or an undergraduate, I want to invite you with a warm welcome to come and spend some time in my research program at Columbia University. Come and spend a few weeks or a few months and watch firsthand how cutting edge genomics research is unraveling the astonishing beauty and profound mysteries entwined in the DNA of a cell and observe what can happen when such exquisite splendor is co-opted by the malignant invasion of cancer. An equally grotesque cancer of intolerance and hate has invaded Pakistan; there is just no use in closing our eyes or looking the other way in denial. You are the inheritors of a deeply poetic, courtly culture inspired by grand poetry, exhilarating music, elaborate customs and noble traditions, a culture known not only for its sublime poetic achievements, but also for its high ideals of decency and civility. One of the many ways in which this is manifested in our tehzeeb is SUICIDE, P20

140 people died in Punjab due to an adverse reaction to a lifesaving medicine given to patients by the Punjab Institute of Cardiology recently. According to one estimate, some 25,000 patients were given this medicine. The Chief Minister stated categorically that the registration of drugs and their pricing and licensing mechanisms were being controlled by the federal drug regulatory agency even after the enactment of the 18th Amendment. The federal government, in turn, blamed the Punjab government for irresponsible behavior in handling patients at the cardiology institute. The case was closed because the blames were taken as valid arguments. Thousands of people in Sindh, Tharparkar, died due to hunger and starvation though the food grain was there, lying locked up in the warehouses. Devolution in Pakistan is a ploy to having access to revenues, without sharing responsibility that ought to have come with it. Local body elections can never see the light of day in Pakistan because what then is left for the members of the National Assembly and of the Provincial Assembly to do. They are heard saying, “We do not get elected to supervise the construction of ‘Naalis’ and ‘Streets’”. It is the Development Fund that matters. Prior to 1980, France was the most centralized country in the world, now it is not. Devolution comes with a price too. The movie, Braveheart, was made not in Scotland, though its theme related to it, but it was filmed in Ireland because Ireland provided some 1,700 soldiers to the maker of the movie on cheap rates. Rigid tax laws of Scotland, just as property rights in India become a big bottleneck

in the way of the Federal government, and in the way of foreign investors when it comes to undertaking some projects. Pakistan cannot build any dam because it stands hijacked by the clueless and block-headed provincial and regional leaders. Modi in India will hear a lot of music as PM, because he would reap the “Karma” of state autonomy he enjoyed in Gujrat. Devolution never works effectively in countries where the jurisdiction powers of the Central and of the States and Provinces are not made crystal clear to the members, or where the Federal Institutions, like the Judiciary, Army, Executive and the Parliament are not strong, and they cannot have their decisions implemented. America learnt it after the Civil War and after the loss of half a million lives. It, now, works clearly in all the fifty states. When the Federal comes, the States just watch. The bitterness among the Scot s came to surface more clearly during the rules of Margaret Thatcher, a conservative PM. The Scots by trend are liberal; and the English by nature are conservative. The Scots lost their industrial bases; their jobs shifted to other European countries due to globalization. Frustration thus emerged, and the SNP got a cause to extoll. In developing countries Devolution is thought of as a solution to appease the elite in states and provinces; or to dampen the regional, racial, ethnic or religious rifts, particularly in countries where multiethnic societies reside, such as Sri Lanka, Indonesia, India or Pakistan. It occurred in Finland, Spain, Italy and Canada, and it is working there to some LESSONS, P29



Obama’s Puzzling Unpopularity

n By Nayyer Ali MD


ith the midterm elections upon us, the Democrats running in competitive races have had one missing partner, President Obama. He has remained off the campaign trails, though he has been raising money at fundraisers. The reason for this is quite simple: his approval ratings are pretty low, with most polls putting him around 42% give or take. This is better than George W. Bush in 2006, but by then Bush had lost most of America between the Iraq fiasco and the botched response to the flooding of New Orleans in 2005.

Obama won reelection relatively easily over Romney, and was the first Democrat to win over 50% of the popular vote in two elections since Roosevelt. So why is he fairing so poorly now? Objectively speaking, the country is doing reasonably well. Since the economy bottomed at the end of 2009, we have added 9 million jobs to the economy, and more people are working now than before the Great Recession began. Osama bin Laden is dead, and the US has managed to get out of two unpopular wars. The budget deficit has shrunk dramatically, and health care cost increases have slowed substantially. The Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), despite website troubles initially, has been very successful, and its major provisions are supported by most Americans. The stock market has more than doubled in value, and the auto industry has come roaring back. Corporate profits are at an all time high. Even the housing market has finally rebounded, with the vast sea of foreclosures finally crossed, and house prices rising for the last several years. Given all that, Obama should have approval ratings in the 50s, and be an asset rather


than a liability on the campaign trail. So why is he unpopular? Obama has managed to hold onto his base voters, mostly minorities and liberals in general. But there are several factors that have cost him support among moderate white voters, and perhaps some Latinos. For Latinos, there remains the unfulfilled

tion, but he won’t do that until the midterm elections, including any runoffs in Louisiana or Georgia, are over with. I suspect he will do something similar to what he did for undocumented residents who arrived as children, namely to remove the threat of deportation and make it legal for them to work in the

We are set for gridlock, regardless of whether we end up with 48 or 50 or 52 Democratic Senators. At this point the Democrats have 46 safe Senate seats. There are 9 states that are too close to call, and the Democrats have to win 4 to keep control. Obama’s life will be a bit easier with the Democrats still in charge, but either way not much will change promise of acting on the 10 million undocumented residents living in the US. Obama was able to create a compromise that passed the Senate last year with significant Republican support, but the House Republicans have refused to even allow a vote on the Senate bill, and it is basically dead. Obama is making noises about taking some sort of executive ac-

US. He will probably restrict it to those who arrived here more than a few years ago, but that would be the vast bulk of those in question. Such a move will drive the Republicans completely nuts, but there won’t be much they can do about it. However, since he can’t tip his hand, there are a number of Latinos who are disappointed so far in Obama and have lost

confidence in him. Another element holding Obama back is the weakness of the recovery. While 9 million jobs have been added since 2009, about 8 million were lost in the Great Recession, and we are therefore short about 6 years of normal job growth. At full employment, there would be another 6 million Americans working. This army of unemployed has kept a lid on wages, while corporate profits have soared, so for most Americans it still doesn’t feel like prosperity. Finally, world events have been unfavorable. The chaos in the Middle East, the rise of ISIS and the beheading of American journalists, give many an uneasy feeling. Putin’s bullying of Ukraine makes Obama look bad, though in reality Ukraine has slipped out of Russia’s orbit and Putin has been the real loser now struggling to salvage some scraps. The midterms ultimately will not decide much. The Democrats have no chance of winning the House, and with Obama still in power, even a Republican Senate can’t do much over Obama’s objections. We are set for gridlock, regardless of whether we end up with 48 or 50 or 52 Democratic Senators. At this point the Democrats have 46 safe Senate seats. There are 9 states that are too close to call, and the Democrats have to win 4 to keep control. Obama’s life will be a bit easier with the Democrats still in charge, but either way not much will change. The ultimate verdict on Obama is going to be more positive. He will act on the undocumented after the election, cementing Latino affection for his Presidency, and the recent panics about Ebola and ISIS will fade. Meanwhile, the economy is finally pulling into faster gear, and I expect another 7 million jobs will be created before Obama leaves office, a number that will finally bring a genuine sense of prosperity back to the majority of Americans. Obama will go down in history as one of the more significant and successful Presidents.

The Rat-boys of Karalabad, a New Book by Zulfiqar Rashid

ccording to the author, while this new book is a work of fiction, it is based on personal experiences of the author. He observed some of the events during the time he spent in Pakistan, and other experiences are from his own life.

The book deals with difficult social issues such as child abuse, deification of humans, and the corrupting of religion for personal gain. The author provided the following synopsis of the book: “After learning that his parents are not only alive but living only a few hours away in the city, Omar, the heir to the ancient shrine of Karalabad, decides to meet them, risking his very life as he sneaks from under the watchful eye of Pir Sahib, the holy man with a black, evil heart, who at one time Omar thought was his father. While Omar has some fond memories of his childhood, his life takes a drastic turn when he runs into a ‘Rat-boy’ – one of the many mysteries of the shrine. Through this unplanned encounter, Pir Sahib rips the veil of innocence from Omar’s eyes, accelerating his training and vividly showing Omar that to disobey is to court death. After living through heart-wrenching loss, and being forced to commit unspeakable acts of terror and cruelty, when Omar stands face-to-face with his real parents, he knows he must find any means possible to run away from his life of lies. But even when he does the unimaginable with the help of the lovely Zarina, can he really escape the brutal grasp of the three hundred-year history of the shrine?” The book was published in July 2013, and had had numerous positive reviews. It is available on amazon. com and itunes.

A sampling of reviews: “The Rat-boys of Karalabad is a must-read for fans of Khaled Hosseini’s The Kite Runner…As I made my way through the suspenseful pages of Rashid’ s book, I wondered at some point whether or not readers were meant to feel empathy for Pir Sahib, who, if tradition was followed, was also kidnapped by his predecessor. Rashid simply replied, “I certainly don’t. He’s the villain.” April 28, 2014, Jenny Platt, “Life in LA” “This is one of the most eyeopening books I’ve ever had the pleasure to read. Brilliantly and beautifully written, the story is of a young boy being groomed to become the next Pir Sahib of a religious shrine. By turns poignant, horrifying, infuriating, but ultimately redemptive, the book let me into a world I didn’t know existed. Filled with insight into Pakistani culture, it educates as it entertains. In the tradition of Khaled Hosseini, this one is better.” January 2013, Susan Malone, Developmental Editor “The reader briefly steps into a different world, one so corrupt and inhumane you scarcely think it could possibly exist, yet it does. The life of child beggars is brought to light in this book along with the industry they support. Children are kidnapped at a very young age and then have their head and limbs tightly bound, leaving them disfigured and brain-damaged – rat-like in appearance. Even though the story itself is fiction, it is based on the children of Southeast Asia who are intentionally disfigured in order that people will feel sorry for them and give them money.” April 08, 2014, “War or Terror

News” “I do like a good story - a plot has to keep my interest and The Rat Boys

of Karalabad has a well-paced plot. The setting has to be as powerful and the characters this one was. I think

perhaps there could’ve been some even more evocative description of the plot - it’s an evocative place with a colorful and vibrant setting so maybe more could’ve been made of that. For me, I have to feel for (or against) the characters and The Rat Boys’ protagonist was carefully created such that I wanted him to ‘win’. I liked him and his ‘friends’ and I came to despise his ‘enemies’, the book’s antagonists. It was that emotion and hope for the protagonist that kept me reading quickly. I was quickly enchanted by the story and its characters such that I was reading well into the small hours. If you enjoyed The Kite Runner, I strongly recommend this book to you.” January 14, 2014, Ryan, Amazon Reviewer “In Zulfiqar Rashi’s debut novel, life takes place in a barren part of the palace of a high ranking official. Within the palace walls is all one could possibly need. The man who calls the palace home, opens his doors to feed anyone who wants to come. They ask for help in healing. He is like their lord, a father and a healer. His rosary beads in hand, his calm manner of speaking to those who come to him, believe in him, believe they need him…Well written, this book keeps your interest and keeps you wondering what’s going to happen next. The kindness of Omar is what keeps the smile in one’s heart as you read on. Thank you, Omar. Pick up a copy and enjoy. Wisdom, greed, joy, love, family. Isn’t that what fuels the world?” July 13, 2013, Judy Petersen, Authorlink Press “Book Spotlight: Looking for an interesting read that will immerse you in a little known world far away? “The Rat-Boys of Karalabad” is a unique

and at times harrowing fictionalized account of a culture that allows for the exploitation of children. The Ratboys of Karalabad’ is author Zulfiqar Rashid’s first novel. Like any good story it has universal themes like a loss of innocence, search for self, and coming to terms with the past. The protagonist (Omar) is an appealing character, and I can see this book easily being made into a film at some point.” April 03, 2014 “Monsters & Critics” “New Book, ‘The Rat-boys of Karalabad,’ Shines a Light on Pakistan’s Begging Industry. In the new novel “The Rat-boys of Karalabad,” Pakistan native Zulfiqar Rashid looks at Southeast Asia’s begging industry through the eyes of a child destined to inherit the position of “saint” at a religious shrine. The story is fiction, but the shrines across the region, and the purposefully disfigured child beggars forced to work at them, are very real, Rashid says.” August 27, 2013, About the author: Zulfiqar Rashid was born in Pakistan, and now resides in Southern California. As a regular contributor to various newspapers, Rashid has written extensively, recounting his travels to Pakistan, and about major figures in the Pakistani artistic and cultural scene. Rashid is also an accomplished artist and calligrapher, whose art has been featured in the San Diego Union Tribune. His works have been exhibited at galleries in San Diego, Del Mar, and La Jolla, as well as the San Diego Art Institute and the San Diego Port Authority’s “I Madonnari” festival. For more information, visit http://



Dr Ahmed Ali Barqi Aazmi: A Man of Great Humility and Formidable Talent n By Dr Shahzad Rizvi


Silver Spring, Maryland

met Dr A.A. Barqi, of all places, on the social media – on Facebook. If I’m not mistaken, Muslim Saleem Sahib, another leading poet of our time, catalyzed this meeting. Dr Barqi publishes his poems on Facebook regularly. As I began to read them, I found them very enjoyable.

There are two reasons for this: first, his poems are unique expressions of his sentiments; and second, they coalesce traditional and modern approaches to poetry-writing in Urdu literature. When I had the opportunity to meet Dr Barqi in Delhi at the Ghalib Academy, my views of him as a poet and a person were jelled. I found him personable, a man of great humility, with formidable talent – all the building blocks of greatness. It has been observed that many of the great poets of Urdu have created a niche for themselves. For instance, you can always recognize Mir’s poetry even without his name being attached to it. It contains pessimism, pathos, sadness. On the contrary, Sauda seems to be in command of his destiny and no one can shake him—his confidence is like the Rock of Gibraltar. In other words, many greats of Urdu literature have a realm, a domain, from which they rarely

stray. Dr Barqi, however, defies that tradition; his extensive body of work may make occasional— and beautiful—forays into the domains once ruled by great poets of the Urdu tradition, where his poems honor their work and make him one with them, but then he gracefully withdraws, reentering his own unique territory. He writes in a way that defies simple categorization or description. Poetry, while it is a vehicle of a poet’s very personal sentiments and feelings, also necessarily reflects the times in which it is written. For a long time, Urdu poetry was suspended, like a fly in amber, in an endless reiteration of certain themes: the lover and the beloved, the preacher and the tavern-keeper. The poet was constrained by these thematic limitations. The Progressive Writers’ Movement changed all that, freeing poets to write on social and political issues. Some went so far as to utterly reject the traditional subjects, considering them taboo. This was a revolution that changed the literary vista of Urdu. As you read Dr Barqi’s poems in his recently-published collection, Roohe Sukhan, it becomes evident that he has absorbed this modern thematic freedom and taken the opportunity to bring his poetic sensibility to bear on a wide variety of topics and themes. In the 21st century, this technological age, young people are often more knowledgeable about technology than their elders,

which inverts traditional social dynamics. Dr Barqi is aware of

presses his bafflement about the confusing events of our times.

It is also indubitable that he is rendering a great service to Urdu when that language is at a crossroads, fighting for its identity. He is like a beacon, showing new paths to poets of succeeding generations this problem. In humility, he ex-

He says: Hain yeh afkar pareshan

mazhare soz darun – gardishe halaat par main tabsira kaise karun. He, however, is pioneering a new kind of poetry which is just right for the times. Sometimes he joins hands with Iqbal and, like that poetic master, exhorts us to raise our self-respect to great heights. Recalling Iqbal’s well-known lines, Khudi ko kar baland itna…, Dr barqi writes: Raah apne lyay bay khof-o-khatar paida kar – jo kisi dar pay na jhukta ho voh sar paida kar. Later in the same poem, he assumes the role of a leader and reformer of society as he writes: Hai agar rah tarqqi main tiri yeh hayal – azme mhokam hai tau deewar main dar paida kar. As a fellow poet and creative writer—a novelist—I do not often turn my hand to literary criticism, but I feel confident that the fame of Dr Barqi will increase with time, as it did with Ghalib and Iqbal. I look eagerly forward to reading his new poems, and I enjoy them immensely. It is also indubitable that he is rendering a great service to Urdu when that language is at a crossroads, fighting for its identity. He is like a beacon, showing new paths to poets of succeeding generations. He is slowly and steadily bringing about a revolution in Urdu poetry. I regard myself as fortunate to know him, and enriched by reading his creations. My feelings can be expressed by Dr Barqi’s excellent couplet: “Barqi ki jo hasrat thi dil hi main rahi uske – kuch usne kaha hota, kuch main ne kaha hota.”

Four Lessons I Learned from Selling My Company: The Importance of Teamwork n By Shaz Amin


arlier this year, I was kept up countless sweat-drenching nights facing one of the most important decisions of my life – the type of decision that would impact my future, as well as the future of those who depended on me, my family.

Blue Track Media was MY baby, my first company. I took all the risk of starting it from nothing and gave up a significant part of my life to see it transform into something. How could I just let it go after all these years? What if things don’t work out with them? What if I lose everything I worked so hard on? These were just a few of the questions that kept me up at night as I pondered if selling Blue Track Media, the company I started out of high school, was the right decision to make. I never started this company with the thought of an exit in mind, so when the opportunity came up suddenly, it was nerveracking. I was very reluctant, but my mentor and now partner Rudy Karsan offered me a wise analogy. He told me: “Imagine you’re a running back with no offensive line. Sure, you’re breaking tackles and scoring touchdowns. But now imagine you had an amazing offensive line. How many touchdowns would you score then?” That sealed the deal, and over the course of the last few months, I’ve learned anew the importance of having a team. Teamwork is an invaluable aspect of being successful. Alone you

can only get so far, but with a team, the possibilities are endless. I first learned how important teamwork was playing high school basketball (those who know me know that my love for basketball is anything but subtle) and have grown to appreciate what a remarkable asset teamwork can be. Take Miami Heat superstar LeBron James, for example. Many people think LeBron should be able to do everything by himself, but the fact of the matter is, he only started winning championships when he had a solid team around him. Surrounding yourself with talented people who support and challenge you is what takes your “game” to the next level. “No matter how good you are, you can’t win and you can’t get to the highest without playing with your teammates and for your teammates,” explains LeBron. “I learned this when I was a 9-year-old and it is still with me today.” Accountability Before, I could do whatever I wanted without thinking twice. I could make rash decisions and not be held accountable for them since failure can easily be forgotten or swept under the rug, an unattractive trait in the business world. But now, I have real teammates, and real teammates hold you accountable for your actions. I’ve noticed that accountability makes me a better decision-maker and an even better leader because letting my team down is the last thing I want to do. A Sense of Relief When I first started Blue Track Media, I would go to sleep at night in fear that I would wake up one day and

lose it all. It was the worst 6 years of sleep I ever got. However, now I get much better sleep knowing that with every obstacle I face, I have a team which I can rely on and trust to have my back. There is no more “I.” Now it’s “we.” We succeed together, we fail together. The Heat wouldn’t be the 2013 NBA champions if LeBron didn’t have

ally dominate the court. Shoulder to Lean On Before, when I had an issue I would ask the only person I’d ever asked for help – myself. I always took it upon myself to solve it because that’s all I had. I never had anyone by my side who had been going through the same business and/or personal prob-

Many people think LeBron should be able to do everything by himself, but the fact of the matter is, he only started winning championships when he had a solid team around him. Surrounding yourself with talented people who support and challenge you is what takes your “game” to the next level Ray Allen by his side. Even before Ray’s big shot that saved the Heat from losing against the San Antonio Spurs in game six, Ray made LeBron’s job easier by spreading the floor, opening up driving lanes and, most of all, passing lanes for LeBron. Ray’s presence as a competent teammate was enough to give LeBron the edge he needed to re-

lems that I was going through to lean on. Without choosing to sell my company, I would have never in a million years understood how invaluable the advice that I receive from my team at Karlani Capital really is. Some people pay $500 an hour for executive coaches to help them through the obstacles I face every day. I pay nothing. All I do

is pick up the phone or shoot an email and I have some sort of favorable response within the hour. A Second Family I am a firm believer that in order for you to succeed, your job has to feel more like a hobby than actual work. And having a team of people that you work with -- and enjoy the company of – makes your job a whole lot more fun. Your co-workers become your family, and are a staple in your life. At Karlani, we laugh and joke around with one another as if we’ve known each other forever. We play card games and foosball for hours and hours because all of us are so competitive that we don’t want to lose. I respect every one of my teammates and know that the same level of respect is given back. They all come together with me to celebrate my successes as well as stick with me through all my failures. That’s what a real family does, and I’m happy to be a part of it. I sold my company just before summer, but I already feel like I have learned a lot. My “game” has been taken to the next level and it keeps improving every month. So, my advice to all you aspiring entrepreneurs – don’t go it alone. Build a strong team, instead. You’ll be a smarter person and a better leader for it. (Shahzil (Shaz) Amin started his first company, Blue Track Media while he was still in high school, and started his second company Plugged Inc. (premium audio brand) when he was in college. Earlier this year, he sold Blue Track Media to a North East NY-based venture capital firm, Karlani Capital, and is now its managing partner. Shahzil has been featured in publications like Forbes and Business Insider.)




Pakistan's Spinners Sign Off on Australia's Humiliation

ABU DHABI: Pakistan's players pose with the trophy after completing a 2-0 whitewash, Pakistan v Australia, 2nd Test, 5th day.

ABU DHABI: Twenty years of Pakistan defeats at Australian hands were erased in little more than 20 minutes. The last five wickets belonging to Michael Clarke's befuddled team tumbled for eight runs in 46 balls after lunch, rather summing up the gulf between the two sides in a series Australia had expected to win. Instead it was Misbah-ul-Haq's team that was triumphant, not just beating Australia but totally obliterating them. The Abu Dhabi result was Pakistan's biggest ever victory margin by runs. In terms of average differential this series had the widest margin in all Test series yet played. Australia have the Ashes, but that's all. The final spoils were rightly shared by Zulfiqar Babar and Yasir Shah, the little-known spin duo which did not merely cover for Saeed Ajmal's absence but took advantage of it. Australia spent most of the preceding six months preparing for mystery offspin and doosras, even hiring Muttiah Muralitharan. Instead they were flummoxed by classical left-arm orthodox and legspin.

Other garlands were rightfully saved for Younis Khan, the prolific and cultured runmaker who built the wall Australia's bowlers were never anywhere near tearing down. Then there was the captain Misbah, who showed total composure throughout the series before giving free rein to his skills with the equal-fastest Test century of all time. Above all else, Australia's display demonstrated how they will be illegitimate contenders for the title of best team in the world until they can find a way to thrive on the slow, low and turning pitches set-up to blunt their speedy brand of the game in Asia and elsewhere. Clarke in particular must wear a share of blame for the result, as he failed completely to set a batting example for less experienced team-mates. For most of the morning Steven Smith and Mitchell Marsh at least showed some evidence of learning how to cope with these climes, too late to change the series but perhaps an attempt to salvage some vestige of self-respect. Smith used his feet smartly and

also defended stoutly in a fine display, but he lost the assistance of Marsh when the allrounder glanced Mohammad Hafeez straight to leg slip. Marsh had played doggedly and well, but he will regret not either leaving or hitting out harder at a delivery that was short and down the leg side. That ended a stand of 107 over more than two hours, and brought the pained Brad Haddin to the middle, still favouring his right shoulder after jarring and bruising it heavily on the first day of the Test. Haddin winced repeatedly when playing the ball but showed great determination in doing so, and Smith cuffed a pair of boundaries in the final over of the morning to reach the cusp of a fighting century. But two balls into the afternoon he became yet another batsman to play presumptuously for spin where none existed, pinned in front by a Yasir delivery that skidded on. Haddin, Mitchell Johnson, Mitchell Starc and Nathan Lyon melted away within minutes, allowing Pakistan to celebrate. It's been a while. J


New Zealand Ready for Pakistan Challenge: Bond

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES: New Zealand bowling coach Shane Bond on Saturday said the team was looking forward to pitting their wits against the in-form Pakistani spin attack in the forthcoming three match test series. Pakistan are currently in a strong position to beat Australia 2-0 in the ongoing test series thanks largely to the effectiveness of their spinners. Bond admitted Pakistan will be a tough opponent on the dry pitches of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) which will help slow bowlers. "I think this is a really good challenge for us," Bond told reporters. "It has been a good last year for us and Pakistan are also playing well. This is going to be real good measure of us as a team and so we are looking forward to it," added the former bowling ace. The Black Caps will start the tour with a three-day warm-up game against Pakistan 'A' in Sharjah on Monday. The first Test starts in Abu Dhabi on November 9. Bond had played 18 Tests in which he took 87 wickets and 82 oneday games, taking 147 wickets, for New Zealand. On Saturday he admitted that Pakistan were playing well. "Pakistan as a team have been difficult for a long time. They are in their own conditions though they are not in Pakistan," said the 39-year-old.

"So Pakistan in these kind of conditions are very tough and there are extra young players coming through we have seen. "We are coming in fresh and Pakistan will have played two Test matches and this will see them play five in a row." The second Test between Pakistan and New Zealand will be played in Dubai from November 17 followed by the third in Sharjah from November 26. But Bond warned that Australia were a different team from the New Zealanders. "They are a different team to us," said Bond, who became only the second New Zealander to take a hat-trick against the Australians in a one day match in January 2007.J

No Report Filed on Shoaib Malik's Action: PCB LAHORE: Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has said recently that no report has been filed by any umpire or match referee regarding the bowling action of all-rounder Shoaib Malik, during the ongoing domestic Quaid-i-Azam Trophy matches. They also stated that the media reports in this connection are totally baseless. "We have not received any report on Shoaib Malik's bowling action from any umpire or referee during the Quaid Trophy," a PCB spokesman said. "We have investigated the news appearing in the media and found them baseless." Meanwhile, Shoaib Malik himself had stated on Friday that he was completely focused on making a return to

the Pakistan team. He is hoping to make it for the World Cup 2015, and has been making utmost efforts to find a place in the team. The Pakistani international also added that the news about his bowling action is baseless. He further said that he is regularly playing four-day games and will not hesitate to play for club and league matches. Pakistan tour New Zealand next and the all-rounder added that he would be thrilled if the selectors considered him for the upcoming New Zealand series. "If given a chance against the Kiwis in either the ODIs or the Tests, I assure the selectors that I will not disappoint them and will prove that I have enough cricket left in me," he said. J

BCCI Demands $42m in Damages From WICB

NEW DELHI: Calling West Indies' pull-out midway into the India tour a "monumental disaster", the BCCI has slapped a US$41.97m damages claim on the WICB. The BCCI also suspended bilateral relations with the WICB till the dispute was resolved, and threatened legal action if the West Indies board didn't respond within 15 days. Scheduled to play five ODIs, a Twenty20 and three Tests, the West Indies players pulled out of the series after the fourth ODI in Dharamsala on October 17. They cited the failure of West Indies Players' Association (WIPA) and WICB to respond convincingly to their questions related to the memorandum of understanding and collective bargaining agreement signed by the two parties in September. In a a stern four-page letter addressed to WICB president Dave Cameron, a copy of which is in possession of ESPNcricinfo, BCCI secretary Sanjay Patel on Friday indicated that if the WICB failed to respond within 15 days about how it intended to compensate the losses in "accept-

able terms", the BCCI would initiate legal proceedings. "Pending resolutions of all disputes the BCCI suspends all bilateral cricketing relations with the WICB," Patel's letter stated. Patel's missive arrived even as Cameron and senior WICB officials were engaged in meetings with players and WIPA in Trinidad to resolve the dispute. The meeting was facilitated by Prime Minister of St Vincent, Ralph Gonsalves, who helped resolve the dispute between Chris Gayle and the WICB three years ago. As soon as Dwayne Bravo, the West Indies ODI captain, said that the players would be forced to take extreme steps unless they got clear answers from WIPA and WICB regarding the new MoU/CBE, Patel said the BCCI understood the seriousness of the issue and attempted to avert the debacle. Patel pointed out that Bravo and his team-mates continued to play till the fourth ODI only because of the intervention by him and the other senior BCCI officials.

The damages claim made by the BCCI against the WICB could bring the West Indies down to its knees.

Patel stressed that the consequences of the West Indies pullout were "multi-fold and crippling" to the Indian board. "The BCCI is faced with huge revenue losses, a loss of reputation and is at risk of losing valuable commercial partners," Patel wrote. "The consequences of cancellation of a committed home Tour during the biggest festival season Diwali in India is a monumental disaster for the BCCI. It is during this season that our partners derive the most value from their rights. "Our broadcaster had committed to its advertisers during this season and on account of your actions, is facing a severe crisis the effects of which are felt by the BCCI. The BCCI holds the WICB responsible and liable for all such consequences and intends to enforce its rights to seek compensation from the WICB to the fullest extent permissible in law." Patel demanded a written assurance from the WICB explaining how it intended to pay damages claimed by BCCI and warned a failure would mean further sanctions. J



Avoid Stocks Hitting to 52-Week Lows 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) People love a bargain and so do I. As a matter of fact, I am a big sucker for them. Be it in apparel or food items, I love a bargain. But I have disciplined myself not to apply the same for the stock market, as it does not work. In the stock market, buying cheap-looking merchandise often fetches less than you paid. A new share-price low flashes one of the clearest signs of danger. The company has fallen to a new low point in the eyes of the market. Chances are, something is seriously wrong. Such stocks usually head lower. Each day, newspapers and Web sites whet our appetite for such dubious bargains by displaying the 52-week low for thousands of stocks. Why bother with such junky merchandise? If a stock sinks to a 52-week low, that often marks the start of further declines. And stock market downtrendslike bad habits-are hard to break. When it comes to share-price behavior, hunt for stocks moving toward

new highs that boost high Relative Price Strength Ratings. Time your buys as target stocks emerge from sound price bases. Be ready to sell if a stock falls more than 7% to 8% below your purchase price. Avoid stocks in downtrends, evidenced by low RS scores. For your stop losses you need to use your own judgment for each company. For example, the percentage of drop will be higher for internet stocks and lower for blue chips and different for small caps. Each stock is on its own merit. Let me share with you old historical example several years ago 1997. Read below the story and decline of Reebok International shares. This should be very good learning experience for all of us and there are some other examples. Reebok International shares demonstrate how chasing a stock making new lows can leave you in the dust. On Dec. 5, 1997, the athletic show maker’s stock sank on heavy volume to a 52week low of 33 7/8. As is often the case, a new price low often precedes bad news. Later in December, Reebok management warned of earnings trouble. When the

company finally reported the OctoberDecember quarter, its per-share earning shrank 9% from year-ago levels. That marked Reebok’s first profit decline in four quarters. At 33 7/8, the stock was marked down 55% from its February 1997 high, a tempting “bargain” to bottom fishers. But Reebok shares slid lower in each of the next eight weeks of trade. Reebok’s stock bottomed in January 1998 and recovered some ground. In May of that year, Chairman and CEO Paul Fireman told shareholders that the firm’s short-term prospects remained dim but stressed that Reebok’s new DMX shoe-cushioning technology “will drive our renaissance.” Investors are still waiting for the rebirth. Reebok has seen profits shrink in six of the past seven quarters. In the other quarter, Reebok lost money. Reebok now trades just below 12, 78% off its February 1997 high. Rigorous statistical study bears out the Reebok example. Consider the below three examples to prove the point. In the stock market the stocks hitting new highs will ultimately give better results. It has been proven over and over again. One theoretical portfolio was rebalanced each year to stay in stocks with the best price performance in the preceding year. It yielded an average compound annual return of 14.3% and turned $10,000 into $4.1 million. Another portfolio was indexed to the broad market. Its compound annual return of 13.2% turned $10,000 into $2.7 million. The third rotated once a year into stocks with the worst prior-year performance. It produced a piddling annual return of 3.3%. That would have changed $10,000 into about $43,000. (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, nor 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.)

Medical Assistance for the poor & neglected

Hidaya Foundation supports patients suffering from contagious diseases as well as various other ailments and provides them access to doctors, lab tests, medicines and follow-up visits. In addition, assistance is given to patients who need surgeries in the localities where Hidaya operates. In addition, Hidaya provides medical equipment and supplies, as well as cash to charitable hospitals for patient treatment and medicines.

Donate, and may Allah (SWT) give you good health.

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

Buying Rs. 102.80 27.40 164.42 0.9401 129.55 27.99

Selling Rs.

103.00 27.45 164.74 0.9419 129.80 28.04

(*November 3, 2014)

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



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

June 8, 2007

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

Jan., 1, 2008

Jan., 1, 2008

June 8, 2007

3rd Married sons & daughters of US citizens Dec., 8, 2003

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

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


Feb., 15, 2005

June 1, 2012 June 1, 2012

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Current Current

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Skilled workers Other workers

4th Certain special immigrants Certain religious workers 5th Employment creation Targeted Employment Areas/ Regional Centers and Pilot Programs



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



Mercy and Sanctity of Life

Gems from the Holy Qur’an

n By Dr Muzammil H. Siddiqi


ercy and kindness are very important characters. They save the people and make them progress and flourish. When any people lose the characters of mercy and kindness they suffer and the world suffers with them. All religions have taught mercy in one way or other. In the Bible we read in the Old Testament:

He has told you, O human being, what is good, and what the Lord require from you: to do justice, to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. (Micah 6:8) And in the New Testament, Jesus – peace be upon him - is reported to have said: Blessed are those who show mercy, for they will receive mercy. (Matthew 5:7) The Qur’an is full of teachings about mercy. Allah’s most repeated names in the Qur’an are Al-Rahman and al-Rahim (the most Merciful, the most Compassionate). He sent His last Prophet Muhammad as Rahmatul lil-‘Alamin (Mercy for the worlds, al-Anbiya’ 21:107) and the believers are described in the Qur’an as Ruhama’ bainahum (merciful among themselves, al-Fath 48:29) There is a Hadith known as “Almusalsal alawlawiya”. Many scholars of Hadith, when they begin to teach Hadith, start with this Hadith: ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umr said that the Prophet – peace be upon himsaid, “Those who are merciful, the Most Merciful shall have mercy on them. Be merciful towards those on this earth; the One in Heaven shall have mercy on you.” (Al-Tirmidhi 1847) Explaining this Hadith, Imam Al-Tibi, a scholar of Hadith, said: “The Prophet spoke in general term to include all types of creatures. It means that mercy should be towards the righteous and unrighteous, towards the human and animals, towards the beasts and birds.” (Mirqat al-Masabih, Hadith 4969) One of the most important aspects of mercy is the respect of human life. Every human being’s life should be respected and every hu-

man being should be treated with dignity and honor. The Qur’an says again and again, … Do not take the life that Allah has made sacred, except by right (justice and law). This is what He commands you to do: perhaps you will use your reason. (Al-An’am 6:151) On account of this, We decreed to the Children of Israel that if anyone kills a person — unless in retribution for murder or spreading corruption in the land — it is as if he kills all mankind, while if any saves a life it is as if he saves the lives of all mankind. Our messengers came to them with clear signs, but many of them continued to commit excesses in the land. (Al-Ma’idah 5:32) Do not take life, which Allah has made sacred, except by right: if anyone is killed wrongfully, We have given authority to the defender of his rights, but he should not be excessive in taking life, for he is already aided [by Allah]. (Al-Isra’

17:33) The Prophet – peace be upon him - emphasized this throughout his life. During the Farewell Pilgrimage, only a few days before his departure from this world, in his parting speech, he said: O people, verily your blood, your property and your honor are sanctified, until you meet your Lord, as sanctified as is this day of yours, this month of yours and this city of yours. Verily you shall soon meet your Lord and He shall ask you about your actions. (Al-Bukhari, Hadith 66) It is a tragic fact that today most of the people, whether Jews, Christians or Muslims have lost the sense of sanctity of life and mercy to each other. There are millions of abortions taking place every year in the world. Thousands and thousands of innocent human beings are killed without any justification. Recent reports say that during the last 10 years US and Coalition Forces killed about half million Iraqis. Un-piloted drones have been dropping bombs and have killed thousands of innocent men, women and children in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen and this is still going on. Daily killings are going on in Palestine, Kashmir and Burma. In many Muslim countries such as Libya, Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, Yemen, etc. there are hundreds

of people being targeted and killed by car bombs and other weapons of violence and murder. Some recent visitors of some Muslim countries have reported that the situation is so horrible in some major cities that almost all those who can afford have armed guards in front of their homes, offices, shops and factories. The newspapers are full of news of daily killings and murders. Religious leaders whether Muslims, Jews, Christians, Hindus or Buddhists are mostly mum and silent; do not say anything, except when their own people are being targeted. Everybody is blaming the others and calling others violent, extremists and terrorists. Some religious leaders, like politicians, justify and giving sanctions for killings. This is the most horrible situation. There should be a worldwide call for the sanctity of human life, for justice and mercy. The Prophet – peace be upon him- warned us that the killing and murders will come when people will become oppressors and greedy: Keep away from oppression, because oppression will be darkness on the Day of Resurrection. Keep away from greed because it destroyed the people before you. It made them spill their blood and make legitimate the things that were forbidden to them. (Muslim, Hadith 4681) The Qur’an tells us: If only there had been, among the generations before your time, people with a remnant of good sense, to forbid corruption on the earth! We saved only a few of them, while the unjust pursued the enjoyment of plenty, and persisted in sin. Your Lord would not destroy any town without cause if its people were acting righteously. (Hud 11:116-117)__ (Khutbah at ISOC – Dhul Hijjah 20, 1434/ October 25, 2013)

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.) 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 19, Verses 16 - 26 And call to mind, through this divine writ, Mary. Lo! She withdrew from her family to an eastern place and kept herself in seclusion from them, whereupon We sent her Our angel of revelation, who appeared to her in the shape of a well-made human being. She exclaimed: “Verily I seek refuge from thee with the Most Gracious! [Approach me not] if thou art conscious of Him!” [The angel] answered: “I am but a messenger of they Sustainer, [who says,] ‘I shall bestow upon thee the gift of a son endowed with purity.’ ” Said she; “How can I have a son when no man has ever touched me? – for, never have I been a loose woman!” [The angel] answered: “Thus it is; [but] thy Sustainer says, ‘This is easy for Me; and [thou shalt have a son,] so that We might make him a symbol unto mankind and an act of grace from Us.’ ” And it was a thing decreed [by God]: and in time she conceived him, and then she withdrew with him to a far off place. And [when] the throes of childbirth drove her to the trunk of a palm-tree, she exclaimed: “Oh, would that I had died ere this, and had become a thing forgotten, utterly forgotten!” Thereupon [a voice] called out to her from beneath that [palm tree]: “Grieve not! Thy Sustainer has provided a rivulet [running] beneath thee; and shake the trunk of the palm-tree towards thee; it will drop fresh, ripe dates upon thee. Eat, then, and drink, and let thine eye be gladdened! And if thou shouldst see any human being, convey this unto him: ‘Behold, abstinence from speech have I vowed unto the Most Gracious; hence, I may not speak today to any mortal!’ ”



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Matrimonial Link We are looking for a suitable match for our sister. Born in Karachi, Pakistan, in 1986. Cast UP, India, Urdu Speaking, Sunni -Hanafi - Deobandi. Fair complexion, height 5’-2” - Master’s Degree Holder, Canadian Citizen. Contact phone # (647) 779-1765. We are looking for a suitable match for our 35 year old MD daughter. She is born/raised/ educated in USA. Works as a clinical faculty at a prestigious university on East Coast. She is slim, fair complexioned and moderately religious. Never married. Serious inquiries from US residents only. Please contact us with personal, professional and family details in full confidence at

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Urdu-speaking sunni Muslim parents seeking compatible match for their US born daughter, 25, 5’7”, slim/fair, 4 year college graduate, professional. Applicant must be educated and professional with sound family background & religious/ cultural values. Reply at Sunni Muslim, Urduspeaking, Indian parents, from religious family, seek alliance for their daughter Pharm.D from USA, 5’-3’’, 38 years, performed Hajj/Umrah, never married, good natured, beautiful, seeking educated professional from similar background. Pediatric Pharmacist in a prestigious hospital in Maryland. Contact: 91- 7498662856 -or- 443-858-2605(MD)

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Muslims generally comprise of one or two dominant groups. According to Pew Research Center, the diverse nature of Muslims breeds tolerance. Pew found that most American Muslims think that their faith is open to multiple interpretations making social integration much easier. While diversity, higher income and higher education levels all contribute to an easier integration narrative, our co-religionists in Europe do not experience the same easy path. In Denmark for example, Muslim immigrants experience higher levels of unemployment -- especially among the youth -- compared to their fellow Danes of other faiths. Furthermore, Muslims in Europe generally tend to live in marginalized ghettoes with bad housing and road conditions leading to a harder time for integration. The longer governments and communities ignore these resources and access to mental health services, employment and education opportunities, the easier it becomes for young people to feel disenfranchised and even disconnected from their societies. In the context of dealing with extremism and violence, prevention is defined as dealing with the problem by “nipping it in the bud” through efforts that focus on developing communities. It is like taking care of oneself and being healthy so one doesn’t get sick. Should an individual or individuals fall prey to the disease of extremism, then intervention efforts should focus on rehabilitation rather than simple retribution. - MPAC MURDERS FROM P7

The Hazaras in Quetta are killed because of their Shia faith; their facial features and forced ghettoization do make it easy to pick them out. It is not an issue of social integration or ethno-chauvinism. The jihadists, for example, have no problem coopting different looking and alien sounding Chechens and Uzbeks. The systematic, relentless targeted killings of the socially well-integrated Shia communities from Peshawar to Karachi, indicates that the jihadist agenda is a sectarian purge. Shakespeare was spot on when he wrote: “Murder most foul, as in the best it is. But this most foul, strange and unnatural.” All murders are horrible but the murders in Balochistan, whether of the Shia Hazara, Baloch Zikris or the Baloch separatists, are especially heinous, grotesque and unnatural as elements of the state stand by idly or, worse, protect and egg on the killers. The civilian law enforcement agencies can only do so much with political weaklings at the helm in the province and the Center. The jihadist terrorism against the Shia, Baloch and the minorities will continue unabated unless the security establishment rethinks its catastrophic policy, which it most likely will not. (The writer can be reached at and he tweets @ mazdaki) LESSONS FROM P22

extent. In countries like Pakistan, it would not because the quality of leaders at the provincial and even national level is very poor; because the spirit of accountability and responsibility is totally absent; because the judicial system is terribly flawed, is tedious and is ridden with corruption; because feudalism and elitism is prospering. According to Acemoglu and Robinson as they lay out in their wonderful

NOVEMBER 7, 2014 – PAKISTAN LINK – P29 book, “Why Nations Fail?”, “Some nations fail and others succeed is not due to their economic policies, their geography, culture, or value systems, but rather due to Institutions, and more precisely the political Institutions that determine economic institutions”. Political institutions are of two kinds according to them: “Extractive” institutions in which a “small” group of individuals do their best to exploit ( such as in Pakistan), or the “Inclusive” institutions in which “many” people are included in the process of governing, hence the exploitation process is either attenuated or absent. According to them, “You cannot get your economics right if you don’t get your politics right…” And they are not very wrong. TRADE FROM P12

Commerce and Industry (LCCI) President Ejaz Mumtaz said traders on both sides were worried about the situation after the terrorist attack. “Such gruesome acts affect Pakistan’s economy badly. It is high time the private sector on both sides of the border should came forward and protected bilateral trade,” said Mumtaz. Pakistan and India trade goods through Wagha-Attari route to the tune of Rs300 billion annually, according to estimates. NIAZ FROM P15

about Rs700 per 40kg. “The total expenditure is about Rs150,000,” said Iqbal. “When the haleem is ready, the imam of Memon Masjid, the nearby mosque, will come over to offer Fateha in the morning after which we will start distributing the niaz, Inshallah!” said Javed. Meanwhile although it is said that haleem is the most common niaz offered during Muharram - as it is in the tradition of Hazrat Imam Hussain, who is said to have mixed all the food available with various people at Karbala to make a sort of kichhra (rice and lentils dish) - not all prepare haleem today. Kamran Quraishi and his family and friends were making preparations for a spicy beef biryani. “Well, we thought that biryani is easier to prepare than haleem so we have been cooking and giving away biryani each year for some 22 years now,” said the gentleman, who had just finished peeling potatoes with a few kids for some 19 cauldrons of the rice dish before tossing them into a big steel tub full of water. A big fat bull stood tied to a streetlight pole at the end of the street. “That’s where the beef is coming from,” Mr Quraishi gestured towards the animal which at the moment was getting a lot of loving attention from the children around it. The biryani cook who introduced himself as Lal Mohammad had been specially called in from Lyari. “We’ll slaughter the bull at around 11pm tonight and the biryani should be ready around noon tomorrow,” the cook said. “Our total expenditure is around Rs125,000 and we didn’t have to go door to door for donations as we do this from our own pocket,” Quraishi said. All the men busy preparing the food and supervising said that they belonged to the Sunni sect. “Well, usually it is the Sunnis doing all this roadside niaz as most Shias are too busy in their religious activities and majalis. “But what we cook is offered to everyone never mind what sect

he or she belongs to. We also have a couple of Hindu neighbors and several Christian families here who simply relish our biryani,” pointed out Quraishi. Asked if anyone around had decided to give up the idea of cooking niaz after the cracker attack on a haleem party in Orangi Town on Sunday that left some 17 people wounded, Quraishi only shook his head. “Leave alone this, you cannot do anything in life if you are deterred or scared by such little efforts of illwill by a bunch of cowards.” - Courtesy Dawn SUICIDE FROM P20

Something else can happen ‘Something else’ frequently happens But this moment in which you are alive Is alive because of you This time will never come again Do what you have to do We will deal with whatever comes later) Translations from Urdu by Azra Raza. FORCES FROM P1

Department of Defense report sent to the US Congress under the title ‘Progress Towards Security and Stability in Afghanistan’,” Foreign Office spokesperson Tasneem Aslam said. The spokesperson claimed that despite Pakistan’s cooperation with the US in areas of mutual interest, the recently released report also carries “unsubstantiated allegations” of the existence of terrorist sanctuaries in Pakistan or that proxy forces are operating against Afghanistan and India from inside Pakistan. Ambassador Olson was told that such allegations were of particular concern at this point when the Pakistani government had launched a comprehensive operation against militants in tribal North Waziristan region bordering Afghanistan. The Pakistani military launched the all-out offensive dubbed ‘Operation Zarbi-Azb’ against local and foreign militants in the remote tribal region in June, which has also been a long-running demand from Washington and its allied forces in Afghanistan. Operation Zarb-i-Azb has been broadly welcomed internationally as well as in Washington, the US envoy was told. The operation has successfully eliminated terrorist hideouts and is directed against all militants without any distinction. Pakistan hopes that the issues will be seen in their correct perspective, the US envoy was told. The Pentagon report earlier submitted to the US Congress accuses Pakistan of using militants who launch attacks on Afghanistan from sanctuaries in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) and Balochistan. “Taliban attacks in Afghanistan launched from sanctuaries in Pakistan remain a serious problem. These sanctuaries exist primarily in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and Baluchistan,” says the report. The report which runs into more than 100 pages also accuses Pakistan of being

involved in a proxy war waged against India to offset the latter’s military superiority. “Afghan- and Indian-focused militants continue to operate from Pakistan territory to the detriment of Afghan and regional stability. Pakistan uses these proxy forces to hedge against the loss of influence in Afghanistan and to counter India’s superior military.” “These relationships run counter to Pakistan’s public commitment to support Afghan-led reconciliation. Such groups continue to act as the primary irritant in Afghan-Pakistan bilateral relations,” it adds. Referring to a recent attack on the Indian consulate in Afghanistan’s Herat province which took place three days before India’s new Prime Minister Narendra Modi took oath, the report holds militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) responsible for the attack.Then Afghan President Hamid Karzai had said that he was informed by western intelligence agencies that the attack was carried out by the LeT. The accusation was rejected by the LeT. ASHURA FROM P1

were placed. A large number of people, including women and children, walked barefoot to show their respect. Due to heightened security, entry of food items into the procession was restricted. However, residents of G-6 sector and various social organisations had set up ‘Sabeel’, where tea and other edible items were offered to the participants of the procession. At the procession, the mourners beat their chest and flagellated themselves. ASHURA: Ashura was observed on Tuesday with solemnity to pay homage to Hazrat Imam Husain and other martyrs of Karbala amid strict security to protect mourners against any terrorist attack. Apart from the security measures, local administrations placed hospitals and ambulance services on high alert.The governments of the four provinces, AJK and Gilgit Baltistan, with the help of the center, took adequate measures to ensure public security on the day. The Punjab police conducted raids in several cities and arrested a number of suspects. A similar action was taken by the Sindh police after recent targeted attacks in Mirpurkhas and Karachi. Apart from police, Rangers and Frontier Corps personnel were deployed in many cities on the routes of Ashura processions, while the army was on standby in Quetta, Karachi, Sukkur, Lahore, Rawalpindi,

Peshawar, Parachinar, Kohat and D.I. Khan and AJK and Gilgit BaltisGM FROM P1

on arbitration cases and worked with the coaching staff to analyze scouting reports. Zaidi was born in Canada to a Pakistani father. He grew up mostly in the Philippines, where he played Little League, and is one of few Muslims in baseball today. Speaking to The Los Angeles Times, Zaidi said his interest in the analytic side of the game started to develop when he was in grade school and read “The Bill James Baseball Abstract”. “I bought that book each year and I basically carried it around with me everywhere,” Zaidi said. “Then I think the bookstore realized there was only one customer for the book and they stopped carrying it.” Farhan Zaidi’s new gig as GM of LA Dodgers is yet another sign that Pakistani Americans are beginning to make their mark in sports and entertainment fields in America. Marvel Entertainment has recently introduced a new Ms. Marvel, a 16-year-old Pakistani-American superhero named Kamala Khan. A Pakistani-American Kumail Nanjiani is starring in HBO comedy on Silicon Valley. Another name is triple-Oscar-winning CGI wizard Mir Zafar Ali. Shahid Khan, a Pakistani-American businessman, became the first non-white owner of an NFL team two years ago. It’s good to see Pakistani-Americans entering occupations other than the more traditional professions like engineering and medicine. RANKINGS FROM P1

ratings points, while Pakistan started in sixth position on 96 ratings points. As the rankings system is weighted to reflect this difference, the 2-0 series results means Pakistan has benefitted and Australia has suffered. Pakistan will now take on New Zealand in a three-Test series, which starts on 9 November in Abu Dhabi, while Australia will lock horns with India in a four-Test series, which begins in Brisbane on 4 December. As per a January 2012 decision of the ICC Board, which was aimed at promoting Test cricket, US$1.34 million will be distributed amongst the sides that claim the top four positions at the annual cut-off date of 1 April 2015. With 2015 being the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 year, an event that will be staged from 14 February to 29 March, the cut-off date for 2015 will be 7 January, when the final scheduled Tests finish in Sydney and Wellington.





akistani actor, Reema Khan has been presented with the America Abroad Media (AAM)'s 2014 Partner Award for her role in the series Reema Khan's America, local media reported. In partnership with AAM in 2013, Reema starred in the Pakistani television series Reema Khan's America, a series which follows the 43-year-old actor as she set out to discover her new country through the eyes of a Pakistani, testing stereotypes about life in the US and exploring what it means to be an American. At the awards ceremony organised by AAM on Thursday, Reema appealed to the Indian government to allow the release of Pakistani films in the country, saying it would pave the way for cultural exchange and help develop both film industries. "For the last couple of years, Indian films are being released in Pakistani theatres, which is wonderful. Now I am expecting the government of India to allow the release of Pakistani films in Indian theatres," Reema told Press Trust of India. "Through films, audiences of the two countries can be brought together. They can carry a very strong message. They can understand the traditions, values and cultural system which has developed in Pakistan." Reema also praised Bollywood actor Aamir Khan, who had been honoured with the AAM award last year for highlighting social issues in his popular television serial, Satyamev Jayate. "Being a celebrity, he is doing such a wonderful job. I really appreciate his efforts

and his work as an anchor of Satyamev Jayate," Reema said. Co-chaired by former US National Security Advisor Gen (rtd) Michael Hayden, the AAM also felicitated Oscar-nominated director Paul Greengrass, wellknown Saudi journalist Turki Aldakhil and documentary film organisation, Impact Partners.

Having appeared in over 200 films, Reema made her film debut with Bulandi in 1990. In 2006, she made her debut as a director and producer with Koi Tujh Sa Kahan, which won the Best Film award at the Lux Style Awards. Reema also won two awards for Best Actress and Best Director. Courtesy Dawn



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