VOL. 23/41 - 6 Dhul-hijjah 1434 H PAGE 9
Jefferson’s Qur’an: How Islam Shaped the Founders Cases against Zardari Can’t Be Reopened Islamabad: The Swiss authorities, who were contacted by the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government to reopen the pending graft cases against former president Asif Ali Zardari, said on Tuesday that the time limit to do so has passed, Express News reported. “The cases are time-barred,” said Express News correspondent Muhammad Bilal, adding that Switzerland has its own policies and rules for such requests. In April 2010, Swiss attorney general Daniel Zappelli had stated that since Zardari as President enjoyed immunity under international law, Swiss courts could not entertain any requests to reopen the cases against him. In their latest response, the Swiss authorities reiterated that the time to re-open the graft cases worth $60 million against Zardari had passed. ZARDARI, P29
Musharraf Preparing to Leave Country: Lawyer Islamabad: General (Retd.)Pervez Musharraf can leave the country and fly to Dubai following a decision by a court to grant him bail ending his house arrest, his lawyer said on Wednesday. “The jail staff present at his house will pack up and leave as soon as they get the orders from the lower court,” Ahmed Raza Kasuri, who heads the Musharraf defense team, told Reuters. “Musharraf can fly to Dubai tomorrow once these legal formalities are completed.” Earlier in the day, Musharraf was granted bail by the Supreme Court in the murder case of Baloch chieftain, Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti. His bail was set at two surety bonds worth one million rupees each. On September 27, the SC had refused to grant bail to Musharraf in this case. Musharraf has now been granted bail in three major cases against him, including one relating to the assassination of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto. MUSHARRAF, P29
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Kayani Calls It a Day, to Retire in November
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NAB Presses for Reopening of References against Sharif Brothers Islamabad: Prime Min-
ister Nawaz Sharif and members of his family are likely to face proceedings in corruption references as an Accountability Court of Rawalpindi again took up on Tuesday an application filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) for re-opening of references against the Sharif family. In October 2011 the NAB initiated the process for resuming the trial of the Sharif family in three corruption references and filed an application before the court. But the Lahore High Court (LHC)’s Rawalpindi bench on Oct 18 of that year restrained the court
Eid Al-Adha Will Be on Tuesday, October 15 Anaheim, CA: The Shura Council is
from proceeding against the Sharif family after Nawaz Sharif and his relatives filed a petition seeking quashing of the refer-
ences. The restraining order is still effective and the court on a number of occasions has adjourned
the hearing in response to the NAB application. On Tuesday, the court again adjourned SHARIFS, P29
pleased to announce that Eid al-Adha will be celebrated on Tuesday, the 15th of October, a day after the Wuquf of Arafah. Eid al Adha commemorates the sacred timings and places of Hajj such as the city of Makkah, Mina, Muzdalifah and Arafat and in solidarity with millions of Hujjaj, says a press release. It adds: The Islamic Shura Council, extends its most warm wishes to the Muslims performing Hajj and prays for their safe return. We also pray for the unity and peace in the communities and encourage everyone to avail this season of sacrifice by fasting on the day of Arafat and remain active in any and all undertakings that promote justice, compassion and peace for all people.
Pakistan Develops Search Engine for Free Online Courses
TTP to Reciprocate Govt.’s ‘Serious’ Talk Initiatives
the Hussain Ebrahim Jamal (HEJ) Institute of Chemistry would launch the integrated platform for the best available free online courses like MIT open courseware, Coursera, Udacity, Khan Academy, Virtual University of Pakistan and others next month. Dr Rahman said that the lack of a trained faculty was a major hurdle in educating the masses, especially in the developing world. He added that by joining hands with the world’s top varsities such as MIT and Harvard to deliver excellent academic material would greatly help Pakistan and other developing countries. According to the former HEC chairman, Pakistan will be the only country to have brought together the great wealth of educational material from around
Islamabad: Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) leader Hakimullah Mehsud said on Wednesday that the government had not followed up on the decision of talks made in the September All Parties Conference; however, if any such effort is made, a government jirga would be welcomed and provided full security. In a rare television interview, the TTP leader told the BBC that the government should have made the peace talks announcement and called a jirga, as per convention, instead of handing over responsibilities to the media. Mehsud said that the Taliban were ready for peace talks and if serious attempts at negotiations were made, the Taliban would reciprocate. “If a jirga nominated by the government comes to us, we will ensure its security,” he said, adding that the TTP was not going to start negotiating with the government through the media. “We don’t want to talk through the media. Neither do we want to
Dr Atta-ur-Rehman presents a shield to Pakistan’s eminent cosmologist and mathematician Dr Asghar Qadir at the Second National Conference on Space Sciences at the Karachi University
Karachi: Pakistan will
become the first country to offer top-quality education on an integrated online platform that will include free online courses from hundreds of top uni-
versities around the world, claimed Dr Prof Attaur-Rahman, the former chairman of the Higher Education Commission, at the Second National Conference on Space Sci-
ence on Monday. Speaking to Dawn on the sidelines of the first day of the conference, he said that a search engine for the purpose had been developed. He added that
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Nawaz Sharif’s No-Risk Indian Gambit
awaz Sharif & Co. has just left New York at the conclusion of a weeklong yatra in the backdrop of the UN General Assembly’s annual get-together that routinely draws heavyweights of the global arena.
There was nothing unusual as far as the grand safari’s logic was concerned. It’s engraved on the ‘must-do’ list of a Pakistani leader to show himself up at the GA’s annual conclave. That’s what most world leaders do, au rigueur, to let all and sundry know they belong to the grand league of movers-andshakers. However, for a Pakistani leader—especially one presumed to have secured a categorical, if not ‘heavy,’ mandate at the national polls—it’s regarded a totem of his importance to travel to New York in style. In Pakistani parlance that translates as in-the-company-of dozens-if-notscores-of factotums and hangers-on. So, there, too, it wasn’t unusual for NS descending on Manhattan with a large retinue of minions. After all, it adds gravitas to public appearances if a leader struts on the UN stage accompanied by choc-full of courtesans. What does it matter that such royal regalia and trappings of a week-long sojourn in upscale Manhattan’s world-class hotels would be hard to justify against a paltry 20-minute GA address. That, too, from a country mired up to its eyeballs in economic morass of epic proportions, and with its worthless currency in a free-fall, vis-à-vis the dollar and other hard currencies. But NS’ week-long sojourn, too, had a perfect and plausible justification. Manmohan Singh wasn’t available for a one-on-one until September 29. So NS had no choice but to prolong his own stay until that meeting materialised. The confab with Manmohan had become the icing on the cake for the NY yatra once it became unambiguously certain that President Obama wouldn’t be receiving him for an audience. Had that come through, that really would have been the icing on the cake. Nothing matters more for a Pakistani leader—of any stripes or color—than a tete-a-tete with the White House supremo. Nawaz has, undoubtedly, set his sights on mending fences with India as a major initiative of his third term in power. He may see poetic justice in it. He was hounded out of power by a Bonapartist General Musharraf largely because Nawaz had embarked—a few months earlier—on his ‘bus-diplomacy’ with his then Indian opposite-number, Atal Bihari Vajpayee. In fitness of things, therefore, NS sees his overtures to Manmohan as a continuum of his old policy. He’s, in a sense, picking up the thread from the point where it was snatched out of his hands by a power-grabbing and lustful Musharraf. Manmohan had initially reciprocated to Nawaz’ gambit with a heartening and encouraging warmth. Sending his special emissary to Lahore to congratulate NS on his electoral victory—quick on its heels—was Manmohan’s way to assure NS that the two were almost
on the same page in their desire to bury the bitter past and turn a new leaf in their countries’ relations. But while NS may still exude vigour and grim determination to pursue his cherished goal of IndiaPakistan détente, Manmohan seems to be running out of steam. The Indians—never at a loss to put all the blame of loss of momentum exclusively on Pakistan—are, as usual pointing the finger at Islamabad. They are beefing up their brief against Pakistan on its government’s alleged complicity in the recent violations of the 2003 Line of Control (LOC) between the two neighbours in disputed Jammu and Kashmir. These were no ordinary violations; they drew some blood, too, more on the Indian side than Pakistan’s. That makes it so much easier for the selfrighteous Indians to blame Pakistan for failing to check the so-called ‘export-of-terror’ across the LOC from the Pakistan side. Manmohan Singh kept himself close to this you-are-the-culpritPakistan script in his GA address and called Pakistan “the epicenter” of terrorism in the region. It wasn’t an ordinary accusation. It was huge, and it was explicit. It could have easily been the catalyst to unnerve NS and forced him out of the planned meeting with Manmohan. But the fact that NS remained unruffled by Manmohan’s no-holdsbarred and frontal salvo against Pakistan underlines the keenness of his desire to forge ahead on his peace initiative. He deserves to be given full credit for keeping his nerves cool and not letting raw sentimentality cause a detour in his march to erect a new milestone of peace with India. Patience is always a virtue and becomes a true blessing when deployed to pierce the resistance and reluctance of an obdurate party that India is in the prevailing ground reality. It’s an interesting—if also curious—trading of places between the leaders of India and Pakistan that can be seen in limelight at this juncture of their bilateral relations. Manmohan Singh, in office for almost a full decade, is now as good as a lame-duck leader. India is close to entering the home stretch of general elections, due next spring. The tidings aren’t good for Manmohan or the coalition he has been leading the past five years. Political pundits don’t give it even a reasonable chance of getting past the finish line as victor once again. BJP, its main rival and challenger is on a roll and is expected to eliminate the current clap-trap of power in Delhi. So, Manmohan doesn’t have much incentive to gamble on mend-
ed relations with Pakistan with fewer chips in his hand. He’s weak and vulnerable already and would be, understandably, chary to be seen as making concessions to Pakistan; and that, too, a Pakistan which has been routinely demonised in the Indian news media as a terrorist-friendly haven an a cockpit of intrigues and conspiracies against India. Manmohan’s annoying reiteration of Kashmir being an “integral part” of India in his GA speech was nothing but pandering to the hawks back home in India on an issue that instantly drums up raw emotions on both sides of the Divide. Of course NS is no novice to the game and can understand that his opposite number is far from being a free agent in NS’ own class. That’s the role reversal in the IndiaPakistan equation referred to above. For a change that must delight every pundit on India-Pakistan equation, Nawaz is his own master and supremely confident in matters of foreign policy. Indians might still suspect that he has to watch his flanks and look across his shoulder at the king-maker Pakistani military establishment—the theme was repeated by Foreign Minister Salman Khurshid of India in his CNN interview recorded after the Nawaz-Manmohan meeting—when it comes to relations with India. But that’s a false allegation. The establishment Indian media may go on parroting this old line, but the Pakistan military brass is no longer an obstacle to mending fences with India. It may even surprise some Pakistanis that the military and NS are on the same page on relations with India. NS is holding a strong hand, also on the basis of the fact that the extended term in office of General Kayani is coming to an end, and it’s highly unlikely that he’d get another lease in office. Nawaz is in a unique position to shuffle the deck of cards and have generals of his choice and taste in key positions. He could never have dreamed that he’d be in a position of such strength so early in his third term in power. By all indications, therefore, NS has little or nothing to lose by soldering on, vis-à-vis India despite obvious constraints of Manmohan and limitations foreshadowed by circumstances. For him it’s a winwin situation. He would lose nothing if he runs out of a partner on the Indian side. There would be no deficit in his brief if—a few months down the road—he has a Hawkish Narendra Modi to deal with. The odium for failure to build on the momentum that the latest meeting between NS and Manmohan in New York would be, squarely, on Modi
or whoever succeeds Manmohan. There would be no burden crushing down on Nawaz. It was, perhaps, this awareness and understanding that propelled Nawaz to raise the Jammu and Kashmir issue in his GA address that clearly got the Indian tails up. They couldn’t have expected that Nawaz—portrayed in the Indian media as desperate for his meeting with Manmohan—would have the gall to dust up an issue that those in power in Islamabad before him had deliberately left on the back burner. The breakfast meeting on September 29 was never, from the start, expected to achieve much and lived up to its script. It was all a goodygoody media photo-op, and just that. The body language, on both sides, didn’t emit much warmth or exuberance, either. But mutual expression of good intent for the present and pious intent for peace in the future was still some accomplishment of sorts. Trust deficit on both sides is huge. It has accretion of decades on it. So only the naïve would entertain wishful ideas for a rush job to melt the glacier-thick ice between the two South Asian neighbours, which can’t seem to shrug off the deadly habit of taking the best of intent with a pinch of salt. And yet there is no reason to stop dreaming for a new dawn breaking on the horizon. Hope is a great equaliser. Tail Piece: What’s all this nonsense that a prominent television anchor of Pakistan has tried to stick on NS. Nawaz had hosted two television anchors—one each from India and Pakistan—at breakfast, exclusively, before his meeting with Manmohan. In the course of it, he tried to make light of Manmohan Singh’s complaint to Obama about Pakistan being allegedly soft on terrorist groups operating from its soil. Nawaz, not known for his sense of humour likened Manmohan’s saveme-uncle grouse to a village woman spoiling for a fight. The Pakistani anchor tried to put a mischievous spin on NS’ innocuous remark. To his relief, it was the Indian anchor— the well-known Barkha Dutt of NDTV—who dismissed it as an offthe-cuff banter of no consequence. But the episode still has a lesson for the Pakistanis: they must watch out for this new, and impetuous, breed of tele-journalists and anchors who think they have earned the right to doctor public opinion in the direction they want. (The writer is a former ambassador and career diplomat)
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P6 – PAKISTAN LINK – OCTOBER 11, 2013 n By Dr Akbar Ahmed
American University Washington, DC
s the world’s focus remains on the unfolding events in Syria and the Middle East, history was made for South Asia as Nawaz Sharif and Manmohan Singh, the Prime Ministers of Pakistan and India, respectively, met while attending the United Nations General Assembly in New York City. Given the history of these two countries even a routine meeting at that level is reason to rejoice.
To most Americans, these two nuclear powers have a history of a difficult and often violent relationship, having fought three wars with one another over the disputed region of Kashmir. President Bill Clinton referred to this region as “the most dangerous place in the world.” This perpetuates the stereotype that India and Pakistan are two nations standing a constant level of readiness for war with one another. The reality is far more complex. There are a number of areas of cultural cooperation and even synthesis between Indians and Pakistanis. An excellent example of this which created pride in the South Asian community of Washington DC was the performance last week of my play Noor at the Katzen Arts Center at American University with an all Indian, Pakistani, and Afghan cast and an Indian director. With Indians and Pakistanis having recently exchanged gunfire across the Line of Control in which lives were lost, and Afghans and Pakistanis blaming each other for the violence in their areas, the production of Noor became a symbol of South Asians being able to work together in a spirit of harmony and unity. Noor tells the story of three young Muslim men who are faced with the kidnapping of their younger sister, Noor, by unidentified soldiers during Ramadan. As the brothers
Finding Peace through Art grapple with how to rescue Noor while preserving their honor, they undergo the same crisis within Muslim society that is occurring throughout the world as literalism, mysticism, and modernity clash. This play is an exploration of the different reactions of the three brothers, all drawing from their interpretations of Islam, and their attempts to bring Noor home. Amidst the national and political turmoil today, it is the disruption of the family itself which proves the most shattering. If we descend below the surface of this near global violence and examine the lives of the nuclear family, we will find mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, merely trying to survive with their dignity and honor intact. As Daoud, one of the three brothers, reminds us in the play, “There may be mercy for the dead; there is none left for the living.” Noor is about of one those families; a family struggling to keep itself and their faith intact while dealing with corrupt bureaucrats and an unjust system seemingly imploding on itself. This family could be found in Kabul, Karachi, Baghdad, or Damascus, in any urban center undergoing this chaos. This viewpoint gives us an insight into the lives of ordinary people in order to make the “other” comprehensible. The cast were so successful in embodying the Muslim characters and their struggles today that after one performance a Pakistani journalist asked Sridhar Mirajkar, from south India and playing Daoud, if he was from Karachi. The distinguished director Manjula Kumar, who is also a director at the Smithsonian Institute, took on the play with passion and commitment. Earlier she had staged my play The Trial of Dara Shikoh. Pakistanis were well represented. Ali Imran, the APP journalist, was convincing as a Sufi Sheikh and Mossadaq Chughtai, a well-known community leader,
hosted a reception for the entire production afterwards. Ali’s powerful dialogue in which he explains that God is Noor or Light and embraces all with His love was a reminder of the universal message of Islam. The performances were sold out events and prominent academics, State Department
The performances were sold out events and prominent academics, State Department officials and leaders of the interfaith community were spotted in the audience officials and leaders of the interfaith community were spotted in the audience. The panelists included Imam Talib Shareef, who
heads the oldest mosque in Washington DC, the Reverend Carol Flett who represents the Bishop of Washington’s interfaith initiative, Dr Abderrahim Foukara, Washington Bureau Chief for Al Jazeera Arabic, Ari Roth Director of Theater J and Dr Rosa Jalal, the wife of the Indonesian Ambassador. This same spirit of brotherhood and dialogue can be found in the 2012 performance of Noor in northern Iraq at the American University of Sulaimani, directed by the American professor Peter Friedrich – who was at hand as moderator of a panel after the play in Washington DC. Despite the turbulent history of this war-torn region, a young Kurd in the play, Mahdi Murad, wrote to me not with bitterness or anger but with love in his heart: “As I am writing you this e-mail, my eyes are full of tears…if you could have seen the audience, you would have known that almost everyone lost someone very close to them in a war. I say a war because there have been many of them since the day we were born. However, none of us have had the opportunity to cry for the people we have lost. We, Kurds and Arabs in the ‘Noor’ cast, are joining hands together to shed the light of the life of every single person of our country. We gather together to shed our last tears to the sad events our people have experienced so far. We cried for all these things, but most of all, we cried for every Noor in every home, wherever she was.” In this message, Mahdi reflects the ultimate message of the play, the Sufi saying suhl-i-kul or “peace with all”—peace across borders, religions, sects, communities, and within families. Daniel Futterman, the hero of the film A Mighty Heart and Academy Awardnominated screenwriter, wrote of Noor: “Listen in rapture to the voices of modern Islam. I am in awe of this tremendous, important work.” (Professor Akbar Ahmed is the Ibn Khaldun Chair of Islamic Studies at American University and the author of The Thistle and the Drone: How America’s War on Terror Became a Global War on Tribal Islam, Brookings 2013)
OCTOBER 11, 2013 – PAKISTAN LINK – P7
n By Dr Mohammad Taqi
eshawar — one of the oldest living cities on earth — is the heart of the Pashtun lands from Kandahar to Khyber and the Qissa Khwani bazar is the heart of this city. My hapless city was stabbed through its very heart when the jihadist terror struck again this past weekend, leaving at least 40 dead — 17 from one family — and scores maimed. Site of this bombing, apparently carried out through a remote-controlled device, is barely a mile from the All Saints Church where 100 Christians were martyred just days ago. It is but a few furlongs from where the lion of Peshawar, Bashir Ahmed Bilour, was slain in another bombing. The upright police officers Malik Sa’ad and Khan Raziq were martyred in a bombing not too far from this spot. Well, yet another sorrowful chapter has been added to the endless tale of blood and tears that the Qissa Khwani — the storytellers’ — bazar has been telling for years now. But as the Khyber-Pukhtunkhwa bleeds and grieves, its ruling party the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) has a different story to tell and a heinous theory to sell. The PTI spokespersons claim that the recent string of terrorist atrocities has not been committed by the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). They blame unknown foreign elements for unleashing this dance of death on the Khyber-Pukhtunkhwa province to undermine the so-called peace talks that the PTI champions. They assert that there are ‘fake’ Taliban within the TTP who have been put up to this by the Afghan-US-Indo-Zionist combine. They even discard the vicious Mullah ‘FM Radio’ Fazlullah’s own admission that he ordered the hit against the martyred General Sanaullah Khan Niazi, claiming that Fazlullah is not ‘TTP proper’. PTI’s Chief Minister Pervez Khattak has blamed even the media for somehow triggering the bombings! Another absolutely rubbish idea peddled by the Khyber-Pukhtunkhwa’s Information Minister Shah Farman is that the present mayhem in that province is somehow related to the bombings that took place there in the 1970s-80s and were blamed on the nationalist and communist governments of Afghanistan then. Never mind the political context then and now and that just the recent church bombing killed more people than all explosions of the 1970-80s put together. Not to be outdone by his lieutenants, the PTI chief Imran Khan demanded the TTP be allowed to open its office in mainland Pakistan to conduct talks. Implied in this demand is some form of immunity for at least those TTP members who would
Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaaf: The TTP’s Sinn Féin
run this shop. While some in the PTI disowned Mr Khan’s outrageous demand and comparison to the Afghan Taliban’s office in Qatar — note that it was not in Kabul or Kandahar — most of his
The fact is that British did not directly negotiate with the IRA but with its political wing Sinn Féin. While there is nothing common between the savages of TTP and a modern nationalist IRA, in Mr Khan and the PTI, Hakeemullah Mehsud may still have found his Sinn Féin party stood by him. The PTI’s vigorous defense of the brutal and criminal TTP, absolving it of any fault, makes the PTI look like the political face of the jihadist outfit and Mr Khan its opening batsman. The original proposal to talk directly to the TTP yet again — despite its past history of signing and flouting scores of talks and agreements — is getting nowhere due to the continued jihadist terrorism. The recent All Parties Conference (APC) declaration, which had disastrously elevated the TTP to the ‘stake holder’ level, is virtually dead now. It may be time for the Pakistani state to negotiate with the PTI not the TTP.
The PTI is particularly fond of citing the British handling of the IRA insurgency as a template for talks with the TTP. The fact is that British did not directly negotiate with the IRA but with its political wing Sinn Féin. While there is nothing common between the savages of TTP and a modern nationalist IRA, in Mr Khan and the PTI, Hakeemullah Mehsud may still have found his Sinn Féin. Let the PTI make clear the nuts and bolts of what it is demanding on behalf of the TTP. The PTI leaders are already putting up a grotesque defense of the TTP’s brutalities daily; let them now serve officially as the banned outfit’s emissaries and guarantors. It would also obviate the need for a TTP office. The fact is that the PTI is providing the TTP prized ideological and political space as well as a tremendous amount of time to hone their machetes. Mr Khan and his confidants are actually mainstreaming a savage group that rejects the Pakistani state and its constitution and anything that is modern. Mark my words, the TTP is no Provisional IRA; it will eventually go after even Mr Khan when they have no use left for him. For now he is serving them well by muddying the waters enough to delay any operation against them. The TTP has no intention to enter a meaningful dialogue, not now, not ever. If the TTP were to accept Mr Nawaz Sharif ’s naively stated conditions of dropping their guns and upholding the constitution before the talks, there would be no need for talks at all — as the TTP spokesman has already pointed out. But Mr Sharif seems quite content so long as the terrorist pyres burn down the Pashtun homes while the Punjab — his home province — is safe. Using the Pashtun lands as a buffer is neither new nor a foolproof policy and Mr Sharif will discover that soon — most likely in his present term. Both the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz and PTI invoke their recent electoral mandate to deliver peace as the carte blanche to give the TTP whatever they wish. They cannot be more wrong. These parties won an election not a referendum to pawn away the Pashtun lands to whomever they wish. The APC declaration is at best a political statement, not a constitutional one. It is not worth the paper it is written on, no matter what Mr Khan says. The APC declaration’s only significance now is that Mr Khan is using it to delay or thwart any military action against the TTP. The TTP may have the guns but it is their political face — the PTI — that is holding the Pakistani state hostage. This paralysis of the state, however, is untenable and must be upended with a robust action against the terrorist TTP and its affiliates. The Pakistan army has said that it can inflict a befitting response on the terrorists. It is time perhaps to take the army up on its word. The venue to chalk out course of such action must be the parliament, where the TTP’s Sinn Féin is represented too, not another APC.
P8 – PAKISTAN LINK – OCTOBER 11, 2013 n By Syed Kamran Hashmi Westfield, IN
f the length of beard is an indicator of faith and complexion of skin a marker of beauty, then a complete and irrefutable supremacy over your wife is the benchmark of marital stability in Pakistan. In fact, we are led to believe that only a dominant male can be the ‘legitimate’ head of a family; and only under his guidance society can inculcate ‘decent’ moral values and indoctrinate an honorable code of ethics in its next generation. Under this misapprehension, even our educated urban middle class women, who should understand the dynamics of a modern society and resist such a unilateral approach, have started to conform to this viewpoint under religious pretext. And many times, they cause a lot more problems in the wellbeing and freedom of their daughters and sisters than authoritative men, a sad yet incontestable reality. Who can doubt that Pakistan, in these circumstances, is one of those countries where the disparity between the two genders is enormous? Here, the idea of women’s rights may not only seem foreign (Western), it can, and certainly would, also be labeled as a ‘US conspiracy,’ or a ‘cultural attack’ to destroy the social fabric of our society. Nonetheless, if we agree that women’s rights is a problem in our
Women’s Rights: A Western Conspiracy? society, then we would also realize that the seeds of injustice for her lay in our complex family structure, where it is walled in layers of morality, religion, social taboos and local traditions. For instance, think of a young couple that lives in a joint family. As a husband, it is disgraceful and a marker of his flawed upbringing that he pays heed to his wife’s concerns in front of his friends or family. It belittles his manliness and humiliates his honor among them; however, it is perfectly fine to cheat on her. In certain situations, the family and friends may even encourage him to pursuit extramarital ‘help’ in order to ‘teach’ her a lesson, a lesson that just establishes the fact that he is a ‘man,’ a special breed of homo sapiens who possess an inherent privilege to break his vows anytime and cannot be displeased at all. Watching a movie with the spouse in a theatre, eating out in a restaurant or planning a vacation together can be considered boring and ‘unromantic’ activities, according to our social norms. But, listening to a ‘live song’ in the red light area with friends under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or both is considered ‘romantic.’ If by mistake, under her ‘spell’, instead of the influence of drugs, he chooses the former and plans to go out with her, he will come under fire for being pusillanimous. His family including his parents will be furious, thinking that he is breaking all the rules of a
normal conjugal life and making the fatal mistake of falling in love with a ‘witch’. Reason? Through their experience, they know it perfectly well
Who can doubt that Pakistan, in these circumstances, is one of those countries where the disparity between the two genders is enormous? that he can only be obedient to one master at a time and they cannot relinquish their position (of strength) in her favor! Many times, he is the only bread earner in the family, as she is not allowed to work even with a professional education, and cannot share the financial responsibility with him. It gives him special privileges to have an affair at work with one, two or more girls, with a potential to get married to them
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(if needed). When his relationship with his spouse passes through a rough patch, which is normal in every relationship, it is obligatory for
him to have a way out. As we know without the ability to have such an outlet for the flow of emotions, depression can take over and he can seriously think of reconciliation with her, which is unacceptable. She cooks, cleans and looks after the whole family (minus herself). This is some real hard work with zero salary, zero benefits and zero appreciation. Maybe, it is the most under-appreciated job in the world with no time off and ab-
solutely no breaks. On the other hand, he, after coming back from half-day of work and half of flirtation, is hopelessly tired. He needs to watch television, cocooned in his bed, undisturbed and undistracted, for hours, as if he is going to change the course of the history all alone by watching the cable news programs. At the same time, he must be fed fully and immediately. Once all these things have been taken care of, he is still upset with the children, mad at his wife and unhappy with the rest of the world for not being good enough. If he is a person with some psychological instability then it puts his spouse’s life in real danger, a red flag for the law enforcement agencies. Out of his insecurities, he can blame her of infidelity anytime. True or not, just the accusation or many times even the suspicion in itself, is an unforgivable sin, much bigger than him being literally unfaithful to her. The reason is simple: in case of his unfaithfulness, she can always opt in favor of family, the children and her own financial protection. But, if she has really pursued such a dangerous ‘option,’ the stakes are much higher, his honor has been jeopardized. He cannot live with disgrace — a form of not being impotent — and have to take care of the embarrassing situation. He needs to get her out of his life after being insulted and tortured to get ready to bring someone new, young and more faithful into his wedlock. (The writer is a freelance columnist. He tweets at @KaamranHashmi and can be reached at email@example.com)
OPINION n By R. B. Bernstein
ne of the nastiest aspects of modern culture wars is the controversy raging over the place of Islam and Muslims in Western society. Too many Americans say things about Islam and Muslims that would horrify and offend them if they heard such things said about Christianity or Judaism, Christians or Jews. Unfortunately, those people won’t open Denise A. Spellberg’s Thomas Jefferson’s Qur’an: Islam and the Founders. This enlightening book might cause them to rethink what they’re saying.
Thomas Jefferson’s Qur’an examines the intersection during the nation’s founding era of two contentious themes in the culture wars—the relationship of Islam to America, and the proper relationship between church and state. The story that it tells ought to be familiar to most Americans, and is familiar to historians of the nation’s founding. And yet, by using Islam as her book’s touchstone, Spellberg brings illuminating freshness to an oft-told tale. Spellberg, associate professor of history and Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Texas at Austin, seeks to understand the role of Islam in the American struggle to protect religious liberty. She asks how Muslims and their religion fit into eighteenth-century Americans’ models of religious freedom. While conceding that many Americans in that era viewed Islam with suspicion, classifying Muslims as dangerous and unworthy of inclusion within the American experiment, she also shows that such leading figures as Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and George Washington spurned exclusionary arguments, arguing that America should be open to Muslim citizens, office-holders, and even presidents. Spellberg’s point is that, contrary to those today who would dismiss Islam and Muslims as essentially and irretrievably alien to the American experiment and its religious mix, key figures in the era of the nation’s founding argued that that American church-state calculus both could and should make room for Islam and for believing Muslims. As Spellberg argues with compelling force, the conventional understanding of defining religion’s role in the nation’s public life has at its core a sharp divide between acceptable beliefs (members of most Protestant Christian denominations) and the unacceptable “other.” Many Protestant Americans, for example, disdained the Roman Catholic Church because of their memories of the bitter religious wars of the Protestant Reformation. Further, Pennsylvania’s constitution and laws allowed voting, sitting on juries, and holding office only to those who professed a belief in the divine inspiration of the Old and New Testaments. By contrast, Thomas Jefferson, a central figure in Spellberg’s book, had a strong, lifelong commitment to religious liberty. Jefferson rejected toleration, the alternative perspective and one embraced by John Locke and John Adams, as grounded on the idea that a religious majority has a right to impose its will on a religious minority, but chooses to be tolerant for reasons of benevolence. Religious liberty, Jefferson argued, denies the majority any right to coerce a dissenting minority, even one hostile to religion. Jefferson rejected using government power to coerce religious belief and practice because it would create a nation of tyrants and hypocrites, as it is impossible to force someone to believe against the promptings of his conscience. Jefferson embraced religious liberty and separation of church and state to protect the individual human mind and the secular political realm from the corrupting alliance of church and state. His political ally James Madison, echoing Roger Williams, the seventeenth-century Baptist religious leader and founder of Rhode Island, added that separation of church and state also would protect the garden of the church from a corrupting alliance with the
OCTOBER 11, 2013 – PAKISTAN LINK – P9
Thomas Jefferson’s Qur’an: How Islam Shaped the Founders
Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast
wilderness of the secular world. Ranged against separation was a view of church-state relations teaching that government could accommodate religion and need not be neutral between the cause of religion in general and that of irreligion or atheism. Adherents of this view included Samuel Adams, Roger Sherman, and Patrick Henry. The ongoing struggle between these two points of view has shaped and continues to shape American religious history and the law of church and state under the US Constitution. Spellberg adds to this familiar story
characters of his pathbreaking satirical novel The Persian Letters, which presented European laws, institutions, manners, and morals from an “outsider” Muslim perspective. Yet many Europeans and Americans, seeing Muslims as perennial adversaries of Christianity from the Crusades, insisted that Muslims had no claim to religious liberty because of their supposed hostility to the idea of liberty. Turning from a general overview to focus on Jefferson, Spellberg devotes the core of her book to examining his seemingly antithetical views with regard to Islam and its believers. Though Jefferson
alliance against the Barbary states as unrealistic and who rejected the inclusion of Muslims within an evolving American definition of religious freedom. Probably more Americans distrusted Islam and Muslims than made room for them in the American experiment. Jefferson and Adams were far from the only Americans who differed about Islam and the status of believing Muslims in America. As Spellberg points out, during the ratification controversy of 1787-1788, the proposed US Constitution’s ban on religious tests for holding federal office (Article VI, clause 1) became a lightning-rod of criticism, with opponents of the Constitution charging that that ban would enable “a Jew, Turk, or infidel” to become president. Nor did these political controversies rage only among those conventionally identified as leading “founding fathers.” A key leader of the Baptist denomination, John Leland, not only backed Jefferson’s and Madison’s campaign against religious establishments in Virginia and on the national stage, but also sided with them on the question of Muslims becoming part of the American experiment. Recognizing that the Baptists faced discrimination and denunciation from more established sects of Protestant Christianity, and taking that experience to heart, Leland opposed discrimination against those who were not part of that favored range of Protestant sects and denominations – including Muslims. The story at the core of Spellberg’s book privileges her chosen focus on liberty and inclusion while downplaying her account of religious suspicion and bigotry during the American founding. Probably more Americans distrusted Islam and Muslims than made room for them in the American experiment. This paradox poses the sharp question whether we should give weight to a probable numerical majority or to an enlightened minority in assessing constitutional interpretation during the nation’s founding. Spellberg might have framed her book just as plausibly as a tale of conflicting political, constitutional, and religious visions – with the battle between them as pointed and bitter then as it is now. Nonetheless, one of the most valuable aspects of Thomas Jefferson’s Qur’an is its compelling, formidably documented case that Americans divided on this question in the founding period, as they do today, and that the case for inclusion is far stronger, in substance and in the authority of those embracing it, than the case for exclusion. Stressing the need to remember the enlightened approach to who gets the benefit of the American experiment’s protections of religious liberty, Spellberg’s book is essential reading in these troubled times. - The Daily Beast
Historical Parallels? well a valuable and unfamiliar twist, introducing Islam as a focal-point of American thought and argument. Were Muslims to be excluded from America? Was Islam antithetical to American ideas of religious freedom and openness of citizenship?
was a harsh critic of Islam as a religion (as he was of all Abrahamic religions) and of the hostage-taking and ransom-seeking practices of Muslim states in the Mediterranean (the “Barbary Pirates,” against whom he unsuccessfully tried to organize a Euro-
What role did Islam have in shaping the Founders’ views on religion? A new book argues that to understand the debate over church and state, we need to look to their views on Muslims, writes R.B. Bernstein Spellberg begins her answers to these questions by analyzing Europeans’ and Americans’ negative and positive images of Islam between the mid-sixteenth century and the eighteenth century. For example, the French jurist and philosophe Charles Louis Secondat, baron de Montesquieu, made Muslim diplomats the viewpoint
American naval alliance), he also was a staunch advocate of religious freedom even for those falling outside the conventional spectrum of Protestant Christian believers, including Catholics, Jews, and Muslims. Jefferson’s views differed from those of his friend and diplomatic colleague John Adams, who dismissed Jefferson’s quest for an
n By Dr Ismat Kamal
wo police constables were beaten to death by a mob in Islamabad, and the informant severely injured, after they had shot to death a drug peddler (The Nation, Pakistan, September 12, 2013). This lawlessness sadly reminds me of the last days of Nawab Wajid Ali Shah of Avadh, as portrayed in the satirical play “Mirza Jangee” by the famous playwright Azeem Baig Chughtai. In the play, the chief judge sentenced two people to death. Outside the court house, the police escort lets them go scot free on payment of a bribe of 8 annas each. The Nawab’s advisers told him not to use the big cannons Akbari and Hyderi against the invading British forces, because his pet pigeons had laid eggs in the cannon shell. For the chief judge, read Chief Justice, for the invading British forces, read the Taliban.
P10 – PAKISTAN LINK – OCTOBER 11, 2013 n By Dr Haider Mehdi
Islamabad’s Myopic View of New Delhi
elf-denial of fundamental ground realities has become a political and morally bankrupt dilemma for Pakistan’s foreign policy establishment in Islamabad in its political discourse towards India. Islamabad wants the warm embrace of an everlasting political romance with New Delhi, a non-realistic dream in itself, without realizing that “it takes two to tango.” How long are we going to act as imbeciles chasing a mirage that only exists in the imaginativeness of our own mind’s eye?
Who would not want to live in friendship and peace with one’s neighbors? But what if the neighbor throws bricks at your rooftop every day? St. Augustine’s tale of a pirate is instructive in this context: In the “City of God,” St. Augustine tells the story of a pirate captured by Alexander the Great. The Emperor angrily demanded of him, “How dare you molest the seas?” to which the pirate replied, “How dare you molest the whole world? Because I do it with a small boat, I am called a pirate and a thief. You, with a great navy, molest the world and are called an emperor.” St. Augustine thought the pirate’s answer was “elegant and excellent.” (quoted by Noam Chomsky in Pirates and Emperors) Metaphorically speaking, the fact of the matter is that India is big; it ought to behave like a “Big Brother” but it does not. Pakistan is small and it ought to act as a respectful sibling consistent with the Subcontinent’s culture of tolerance and peaceful coexistence. But “Big Brother’s” belligerence, self-centeredness and “all the pie is mine” attitude has turned the sibling into a rowdy “rebel”. For the last six decades the “rebel” has been demanding “Big Brother’s” wholehearted loving and fair attention that the “Big Brother” is incapable of giving because of its intrinsic, genetic and historical cognitive development. It claims that the entire playing field is its domain irrespective of the sibling’s legitimate rights and fairness expected of “Big Brother’s” moral conduct. It is in the context of this mindset that the concept of “Akund Bah-
rat” lives on in Indian minds even today. So let us not, on the urgings of others, indulge in self-denial: India and Pakistan are two neighbors in emotional, strategic and psychological warfare, throwing bricks at each other for the last six decades – and will continue to do for the foreseeable future. Let us face facts, come to terms with historical realities and call a spade a spade. Islamabad’s recent one-sided flawed peace initiative to India is making a mockery of this nation. It is obvious that the Pakistani Prime Minister’s response to Indian PM Manmohan Singh’s brutal outburst at the UN lacks political conviction, much less a strategic direction. Of course, appeals to political stability and peace among the two nations are nothing new – but that is pure rhetoric. Consider the verbal assaults that Manmohan Singh directed at Pakistan in response to Sharif ’s appeal for peaceful co-existence between the two nations: “Addressing the UN General Assembly, Singh said he shared Sharif ’s hopes for better relations but warned that Pakistan must no longer be ‘the epicenter of terrorism in our region’.” “ ‘For progress to be made, it is imperative that the territory of Pakistan and the areas under its control are not utilized for aiding or abetting terrorism,’ Singh said. ‘It is equally
important that the terrorists machinery that draws its sustenance for Pakistan be shut down,’ he said.” In his meeting with the US President, the Indian Prime Minister bitterly lambasted Pakistan. Singh also told reporters, “I look forward to the meeting with Nawaz Sharif even though the expectations have to be toned down given the terror arm which is still active in our subcontinent.” It is absolutely clear that the “reconciliation” comments at the end of the Sharif-Singh meeting were made at the urging of the US, which has been pursuing its own geo-political and economic interests by promoting Indian’s hegemony in the region, and possibly in entire South-East Asia and beyond, as a US strategic partner in its China-Russia “containment policy”. Also the reconciliation announcement at the end of the meeting was utterly meaningless public diplomacy rhetoric for public consumption and for the political purposes of both Pakistani Prime Minister and his counterpart in India. In addition, Pakistani political leaders’ endless focus on an “Indian Connection” as the epicenter of its foreign policy success is also a diplomatic demand that the US and the IMF have imposed as a pre-condition to financial assistance. Because of its own domestic and political leader-
Obamacare & the Politics of Deceit
ship weaknesses, Pakistan is being held hostage to the whims and dictates of others. In Islamabad, it is time to rethink our situation, ourselves and our relationship with others. Islamabad needs to fully comprehend that specific actions are followed by specific consequences. Islamabad needs to understand that politics, nationbuilding and managing complex present-day societies internally and dealing constructively with a complicated external world is not a political game aimed only at ascendency to political power. Leadership in Islamabad is answerable to this nation’s citizens and is failing and flawed in many of its political diplomatic initiatives so far, including that of its “India Connection”. I have already written in one of my previous articles some time ago that a full-scale or a limited war between Pakistan and India is not a possibility anymore. We are both nuclear powers. Nuclear deterrence and mutual destruction is a guarantee against an all-out war. India will not venture, irrespectively of its rhetoric as psychological warfare, into a limited military conflict because it knows Pakistan has superiority in tactical small-range nuclear military hardware that could inflict humiliation on any of its enemy’s adventures. So what are India’s options: covert
n By Azher Quader
n By Naveed Khan
Executive Director Community Builders Council (CBC) Chicago, IL
n spite of all the misinformation floating in the air, our country today took a giant step in removing one of the major barriers that had obstructed millions of our citizens from accessing health care for decades. With the opening of the Health Care Exchanges across the country, Obamacare (ACA) heralded the end of denials for pre-existing conditions, lifetime caps, and limitless liability. The dark days of financial ruin and bankruptcy from falling sick that for so long had haunted us can no longer threaten us. So many of our youth who were forced to purchase expensive plans to remain enrolled at their colleges can breathe
easy too, because they now have cheaper options available to them. The politics of deceit upon which special interests make their living notwithstanding, this piece of legislation we predict, will go down in the nation’s history books as one that was most wanted and most beneficial for most people. To be sure there will be wrinkles to be ironed out, there will be glitches to be fixed, so what? That
is the nature of any plan with such far reaching implications when it gets adopted and seeks to be implemented. Those who claim they need to delay it for another year should answer where have they been for all these years? If the endless debates of the past have shown us anything, it has been the arrogance and the indifference of the few whose belief it was that health care in America should remain the privilege of OBAMACARE, P29
actions to destabilize Pakistan internally if it wishes to choose so – Ironically, it is doing so at the moment. So what are Pakistan’s options? Islamabad needs to ensure Pakistan’s military input in its foreign policy initiative towards India. It needs to strengthen the ISI role as a powerful counter-insurgency instrument of its foreign-policy-making process. Islamabad needs to go on a global diplomatic offensive to highlight Indian covert activities within Pakistan and its state terrorism in held Kashmir. My argument here is not to suggest a total diplomatic or political disengagement with India or a political discourse leading to an escalation of conflict between two nations. What I am saying here is “hold the bull by its horns” and then go forward in pursuit of goals common to the interests of both nations. Be realistic in your approach – stop being illusionistic, be determined, be firm – do whatever is necessary without being complacent to other’s demands and dictates. Islamabad needs to follow an independent foreign policy (I am aware of the domestic problematics in this respect – but that is a separate issue to be addressed intensively). It is worth noting that the incumbent Pakistani Prime Minister has not always been so conceptually and strategically narrow-minded, at least rhetorically, on this particular issue. In 1997, Nawaz Sharif was able to bring Pak-Indian relationships to an equitable balance-of-power level. Now Islamabad wants to inspire a total pro-Pakistan strategic response from India without realizing and acknowledging the fact that this is not the strategic foreign policy vision of India in 2013. Today’s India is demanding regional hegemony in partnership with the US and is claiming global eminence as a regional super-power. It is not 1997 – that was a long time ago. New ground realities demand new approaches to our relationship with India. Are we willing to be a satellite state to Indian hegemony? So far, Islamabad’s myopic view of New Delhi appears to be in that direction! Will the Pakistani nation accept it? I do not think so – do you? (The writer is UAE-based academic, policy analyst, conflict resolution expert and author of several books on Pakistan and foreign policy issues. He holds a doctorate and a masters degree from Columbia University in New York.)
he conclusion is that both PM Manmohan Singh and FM Salman Khursheed simply cannot deliver on foreign relations with neighbors because most Indians do not simply trust them. Looking at the events of last one week vis-a-vis India-Pakistan relationship, it is clear that both PM Manmohan Singh and Foreign Minister Salman Khursheed are insecure.
The statements they made showed they are trying to prove their loyalty to extremist elements back home rather than engage in a process of reconciliation. India must never have a minority community member as PM, FM or Defense Minister. They simply do not have the trust of the majority. The irony is that India’s relationship with two big
neighbors - China and Pakistan deteriorated after Manmohan Singh became PM and they declined even further after Salman Khursheed assumed the portfolio of foreign minister. Any reconciliation gesture made by these two leaders is viewed with mistrust, skepticism and even antagonism at home. Manmohan Singh was severely castigated by his own Congress party for adopting a reconciliatory attitude at the 2009 Sharam-Al-Sheikh Summit with the then Pakistan PM Gilani. The Summit declaration was considered a positive start, a breakthrough; however, no progress was made because it was blocked by the Indian military, intelligence agencies and the Hindu hardliners who really call the shots when it comes to relationship with Pakistan and China. Similarly, India has concluded many agreements with
OCTOBER 11, 2013 – PAKISTAN LINK – P11
Kayani Calls It a Day
Islamabad: Prime Min-
ister Nawaz Sharif had one less worry by Sunday evening. Unexpectedly, a press release from the Inter Services Public Relations, the media wing of the armed forces in general and the army in particular, landed in various media houses and inboxes without any fanfare. The short statement was of great significance as it contained a message from Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani that he would retire in November when his second three-year tenure ended. This short and simple press release made it clear that now Prime Minister Sharif would have to choose from new contenders, instead of weighing the pros and cons of experience versus fresh blood. He had taken over as the COAS in 2007 — when then COAS and president Pervez Musharraf was compelled to give up his army post in the face of great political opposition and turmoil. And though Kayani’s tenure ended in 2010, then prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani gave him a three-year extension, a decision that had even then attracted controversy and criticism. The ISPR statement made no bones about the fact that it was prompted by the speculation that had engulfed the country for days. “For quite some time, my current responsibilities and likely future plans have been debated in the media with all sorts of rumors and speculations doing the rounds. “The subject of being entrusted with new duties has also come up in several reports. I am grateful to the political leadership and the nation for reposing their trust in me and Pakistan Army at this important juncture of our national history. However, I share the general opinion that institutions and traditions are stronger than individuals and must take precedence.” And having acknowledged the importance of institutions, he ended by saying, “My tenure ends on 29th November 2013. On that day I will retire.” It was an unusual announcement as rarely do army chiefs in Pakistan announce their intention to hang up their uniform weeks before d-day. But clearly the COAS had realized the harm the random speculation was causing.
SPECUL ATIONS: It is noteworthy that the announcement came from the COAS himself and not the government. The latter simply reacted to the news on television channels when its members were asked to comment on the development. For days now, Islamabad had been witness to speculations that like the PPP government that came earlier Sharif too had succumbed to pressure (be it military or American) and agreed to give Kayani an extension. The rationale for this was no different from the one presented in 2010 — continuation of policies and a stable environment which was needed as the Americans withdrew from Afghanistan and Pakistan battled militancy. The speculations became feverish after news stories by two international media outlets — one reported that Kayani was going to be elevated to the position of Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee at the end of his tenure. A second story in Wall Street Journal appeared to be even more damaging - citing unnamed military and civilian officials, it had claimed that Kayani was lobbying to keep a defense role. It said he had pressed for a further one or two years in the same position but that this was difficult for the government to accept. The story further reported that he was prepared to accept a revamped Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee job or to become an adviser to the government. “He could also be placated with the job of ambassador to the US,” the report said. At the same time, the news channels too were discussing the issue. Many a talk show in recent days had discussed the possibility of an ex-
tension and the possible replacement. And many retired military officers who were not averse to appearing in the shows and discussing the issue pointed out time and again that such discussions about the appointment of the army chief were not appropriate. Though Prime Minister Sharif had not responded to the speculation, he had not helped matters when he refused to rule out an extension during an interview to the Wall Street Journal in New York in September. This refusal along with the speculation had led to allegations that Sharif too yielded to the fears of a ‘devil he did not know’ as well as American pressure. In fact, for long there had also been speculation that the PML-N government was keeping the post of ambassador to the US vacant because it wanted Kayani to fill the post. A senior military official when contacted said there was no veracity in the reports that the army chief, after his retirement, would either become national security adviser or be appointed as Pakistan’s ambassador to the United States. “He will not accept any office,” he said. However, despite the speculations that focused on his extension, there were also signs that another extension would perhaps be not palatable. Those who had criticized the earlier extension were more vocal this time around. In addition there was the fact that Kayani’s second term had not been as smooth as his first. Having taken over after Musharraf, the first three years had been seen as rather successful — under the new COAS who was seen to be focused on his professional duties, the chain smoking and ‘thinking’ general had been praised for military
operations that checked militancy and reducing the military footprint in politics. However, the next three years brought a reversal of fortunes so to say. The military’s reluctance to take the battle to North Waziristan; the ‘discovery’ of Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad; ‘Memogate’ affair and rumors of corruption with regards to family members, all led to allegations that Kayani too was interfering in politics and that the army was still maintaining its links with Afghan Taliban and hence reluctant to eliminate their Pakistani counterparts who were attacking Pakistan. The most damaging was the US raid in May 2011 that took out Bin Laden. It led to allegations that ranged from the one that the military was complicit in keeping the world’s most wanted man hidden in Pakistan to the most gracious one that called the army so incompetent that it failed to notice that he was hiding in a cantonment town. In addition, the two extensions given to DG ISI Shuja Pasha and Kayani’s own extension were reported to have caused resentment within the rank and file — after 10 years of having Musharraf blocked the promotions to the top, Kayani was now seen as guilty of the same charge. This is one reason, critics allege, Pasha was retired earlier this year instead of being given another extension. Kayani came to the limelight in October 2007 when he was promoted as a four-star General and appointed as Vice Chief of the Army Staff. On Nov 28, he became the Army Chief. He is the only COAS to have held the position of Director General Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) before climbing to the top most position.
Focus Shifts to Prime Minister’s Office
Islamabad: Now that Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani has made it clear that he will go home at the end of November, all the focus will shift to the prime minister’s office which is expected to announce the new Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee and the new COAS. In the meantime speculations will continue and the rumor mills will keep working. Already there have been reports that a summary listing the top choices has been sent to the prime minister; however, this has not been confirmed by the government. But some clarity may emerge once the new CJCSC is announced in the coming days as General Khalid Shamim Wynne, the current CJCSC, retires on Oct 8. If the principle of seniority is applied and the army continues its domination over this post, Chief of Logistics Staff Lt General Haroon Aslam is the senior most after Gen-
eral Kayani and will be elevated to the post. His name has been mentioned by some as the next CJCSC. But there have also been discussions about introducing more fairness to the issue and rotating this post among the three services. There are also reports that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is keen to do this — if this is the case then Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Asif Sandila is reported to be sitting pretty. But if the position is retained by the army, the convention demands that the three senior most names are sent to the prime minister for him to make a choice. If this convention is adhered to, the three names Mr Sharif will be considering are: Lt General Rashad Mehmood, Chief of General Staff; Lt General Raheel Sharif, Inspector General Training and Evaluation; and Lt General Tariq Khan, Corps Commander Mangla.
PM’s Style of Governance Irks Party Members
Islamabad: Some in the ruling
party openly, and some discreetly, have begun expressing concerns over concentration of powers in the Prime Minister Office. Sources in the PML-N have told Dawn that there’s considerable resentment in the party against what they call the prime minister’s overreliance on bureaucracy. The sources said that even some ministers had protested over lack of control of their ministries. According to them, the PM Office not only keeps close tabs on all ministries but also intervenes in their routine affairs. “The federal cabinet exists only on paper; on the ground every government department is being micromanaged through bureaucrats, both serving and retired,” said a senior PML-N leader. Ministers are not even allowed to hire personal secretaries of their choice. A minister had a ‘shouting match’ with a senior cabinet colleague over the matter and threatened to quit the portfolio if his demand for a secretary of choice wasn’t accepted. Similarly, ministers have been barred from appointing and transferring staff in their departments without prior approval of the PM Office. The prime minister recently turned down requests from two ministers for transfer of their secretaries.
“By all means, it’s a highly centralized government and the PM Office is at the center of all powers. The concept of decentralization of power and collective responsibility, which forms the core of the parliamentary form of government, doesn’t exist here,” said another PML-N leader. He confirmed that ministers were not allowed to run their ministries independently. During cabinet meetings, he said, the ministers dare not ask any question, what to talk of offering views that differed from those of the premier. According to him, this is the sole reason why ministers don’t take interest in attending the proceedings of parliament and answering questions. During the last National Assembly session, the treasury benches were assailed by the opposition for ministers’ absence from the house. “Why should ministers go to the house and set themselves up for tough questions when they can hardly do anything worthwhile in their ministries?” argued the party leader. At the moment, the prime minister is holding portfolios of important ministries like foreign affairs, defense, communications and law. Meanwhile, the PML-N leadership is known for running highly centralized governments. From 2008 to 2013, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif single-handedly ran the provincial government. However, this time he has shared some of his powers with his son Hamza Shahbaz. On the other hand, the chief minister is sharing the burden of his elder brother at the center. He regularly attends meetings of the water and power ministry and the planning division. Besides the PM Office, Shahbaz Sharif also keeps tabs on the federal departments. A federal government official confirmed that bureaucrats had been instructed to regularly send progress reports on federal government departments to the chief minister. The prime minister’s tendency to prefer bureaucrats over STYLE, P29
P12 – PAKISTAN LINK – OCTOBER 11, 2013
Pakistan Moves Closer to Clinch Spot at CERN Islamabad: Pakistan on Friday
moved a step closer to becoming an associate member of the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), the largest particle physics laboratory in the world. According to scientists at the National Centre for Physics (NCP) which has been collaborating with CERN since 2000, the CERN Council unanimously approved in principle Pakistan’s name for the process of achieving associate membership at a meeting on September 17. The final approval for associate membership depends upon the report of a CERN “fact-finding mission” which will visit Pakistan in February 2014, said Dr Hafeez Hoorani, who is the Director Research at NCP. The Council’s approval marks the culmination of a process that was initiated by Pakistani scientists in 2008 and has witnessed scientific lobbying, political delays and even a diplomatic campaign by the Pakistani Foreign Office. It also signals the beginning of a process that could potentially lead to Pakistan’s associate membership by the end of 2014. Located on the Franco-Swiss border near Geneva, Switzerland, CERN conducts some of the most complex scientific experiments of all-time in a bid to understand the structure of the universe. It is the birthplace of the World Wide Web and is home to the world’s largest particle accelerator, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). Pakistan is already contributing to CERN projects including designing detection technology and providing personnel support for the LHC’s maintenance. Associate membership could take the level of
collaboration up a notch. Hoorani, who also works as a Senior Physicist on the Compact Muon Solenoid detector project at CERN, said the membership would allow Pakistan to send more students to CERN for research. “If we try to send students for research work at CERN now, we have to put up a request,” he said. “With the associate membership, we will get a student quota of say around 15 students so it will be our right and we won’t have to beg.” The membership would also allow Pakistan to become a part of any CERN projects — a right the country could exercise based on its national interests. Pakistani industry would also be able to apply on a preferential basis for any tenders issued by CERN, NCP scientists said. Back in June when talks of Pakistan’s associate membership became public, Pakistani physicist Dr Pervez Hoodbhoy had told The Express Tribune that Pakistan’s “modest” collaboration is more about equipment manufacture than phys-
“In no way does this (collaboration) mean that we are on par with China, India, the European countries or the United States,” Hoodbhoy had said, but he had appreciated that it would allow Pakistani students a window into the world of advanced scientific experiments. The CERN Council consists of 20 member states — all European countries — which are represented by two members each, a scientist and a diplomat. According to NCP scientists, the diplomats were reluctant when Pakistan’s associate membership application came up this year. CERN has three associate members at present: Serbia, Israel and Ukraine. Responding to a question, Hoorani said Pakistan has also beaten regional neighbor India to the membership process. Following the approval from the Council, a four-member CERN team led by Director for Research and Computing, Sergio Bertolluci, will visit Pakistan in 2014, he said.
Lahore Human Chain Demonstrates Nation’s Resolve to Protect Christians
The Muslim and Christian communities came together during last Sunday’s mass in a rare show of solidarity in Lahore
Lahore: The Muslim and Christian
communities came together during last Sunday’s mass in a rare show of solidarity in Lahore. Hand in hand as many as 200300 people formed a human chain outside the St Anthony’s Church adjacent to the District Police Lines at the Empress Road, in a show of solidarity with the victims of the Peshawar church attack two weeks back, which resulted in over 100 deaths. The twin suicide attack on All Saints Church occurred after the Sunday mass ended and is believed to be the country’s deadliest attack on Christians. Standing in the small courtyard of St Anthony’s Church, as Mufti Mo-
hammad Farooq delivered a sermon quoting verses of the Holy Qur’an that preached tolerance and respect for other beliefs, Father Nasir Gulfam stepped right next to him after having conducted a two-hour Sunday service inside the church. The two men stood shoulder to shoulder, hand in hand, as part of the human chain that was formed outside the church not just as a show of solidarity but also to send out a message, ‘One Nation, One Blood’. As part of an attempt to sensitize the public at large, the human chain was the second such event after a similar had been organized in Karachi last week outside the St Patrick’s Cathedral by an organization called Pakistan For All – a collective of citizens concerned
about the growing attacks on minorities. “Well the terrorists showed us what they do on Sundays. Here we are showing them what we do on Sundays. We unite,” said Mohammad Jibran Nasir, the organizer who made calls for the event on social media. Flying in from Karachi for the human chain, Nasir and his group are out to advocate the need for interfaith harmony. “I see no reason why our politicians and our leaders should not come out of their houses, leave the luxury of their secure homes and stand in solidarity with the common man”, he said. As the service concluded inside the church, the courtyard echoed with slogans of ‘Dehshut gardee murdabaad’ and ‘Muslim Maseehi ittehad zindabaad’ as members of the Sunday service emerged. Led by Taimur Rahman, activist and member of the music band Laal, the congregation in the courtyard proceeded with sermons and chanting as the crowd increased in number. Later, the congregation moved onto the street where they chanted slogans and formed the human chain, as police cordoned off the roads leading to the church to allow for the congregation to move. Mariam Tariq who was attending the service along with her daughter also joined the chain. “We have lost so many of our loved ones over the past few years” said Tariq as she broke into tears.
Pak Envoy Assails ‘Pakistan Bashing’ by Indian Media Hyderabad (Deccan): Pakistan High Commissioner to India Salman Bashir on Sunday took a swipe at Indian media, saying ‘Pakistan bashing’ had become its ‘favorite pastime’. “Fortunately, in Pakistan this is not the case. Our media doesn’t extensively report negative about India. But, in India some of them (media channels) made a good business out of it. It certainly does not help our relationship,” Mr Bashir told reporters here while debunking reports about Pakistani infiltration in Keran sector of India-held Kashmir. “Friendship (between India and Pakistan) can only flourish if it is cultivated and nurtured in the hearts and the minds of people. So by poisoning their hearts and minds, you are killing the soil on which it is sought to be based,” he said. “Twisted reports (by media) prove to be a big disservice not only to our friendship, peace and future of peoples but they also hold us back from friendship and realizing our potential as nation states. “True friendship comes from hearts. This is where this sort of negativity dampens it. Hope the (Indian) media doesn’t just go by sensational reporting but also tries to take the essence and the spirit of good things that both countries have,” he added. The envoy said he would endorse a proposal for setting up a Pakistani visa facilitation center in Hyderabad. “We need the government of India’s approval for that,” he said. Rahnuma-e-Deccan editor-inchief Syed Vicaruddin, who hosted lunch in honor of the high commissioner, said he would take up the issue with External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid. Mr Vicaruddin also requested the Pakistani envoy to take steps for introducing at least a weekly direct flight between Hyderabad and Karachi.
PIA Plane Catches Fire after Takeoff in Karachi
Karachi: The engine of a PIA plane
caught fire soon after takeoff from Karachi’s Jinnah International Airport on late Sunday Night. The Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) plane PK 213 had taken off from Jinnah Airport and was en route to Dubai, when one of its engines caught fire. The engine caught fire five minutes after takeoff, reports suggest. The plane did not make an emergency landing according to officials. Over 50 passengers were on the plane when the incident took place. They were all reported to have been unhurt. Several residents in Korangi and nearby areas heard a loud noise as the plane was in flight overhead. Emergency had been declared at the airport following the incident.
PAKISTAN Queen Invites Malala to Buckingham Palace
London: Britain’s Queen Eliza-
beth has invited Malala Yousafzai to Buckingham Palace, The Sunday Times reported. The invitation comes amidst speculation that Malala will be named the youngest winner of the Nobel Peace Prize this week. The report stated that the Queen was impressed by Malala’s bravery and inquired about her health from the Pakistan High Commissioner in the United Kingdom. Malala was shot by the Taliban in Swat for campaigning for girls’ schooling. She was recently given the RAW in WAR Anna Politkovskaya Award and is also among the favorites for the Nobel Peace Prize, which will be announced on October 11. Nobel Prize: Malala and a Japanese author who writes about alienation and a fractured modern world are tipped as Nobel Prize winners ahead of the annual awards. She is a favorite for the peace prize among experts and betting agencies. “I have Malala Yousafzai on top,” Kristian Berg Harpviken, director of Oslo-based peace research institute PRIO, told reporters. “The EU (European Union) got the prize last year and the EU prize was poorly understood and fundamentally questioned in many quarters.” One obstacle could be her age. Tawakkol Karman, a Yemeni human rights activist and youngest winner to date, was 32 when she received the prize and some experts argue the prize would overburden such a young woman.
Zil-Haj Moon Sighted in Pakistan Karachi: The Zil-Haj moon was
sighted in Pakistan, according to an announcement of the Central Ruet-i-Hilal Committee chairman Mufti Muneebur Rehman on Sunday. Eidul Adha will be celebrated in Pakistan on October 16, 2013. Talking to media at Met Office here after chairing a moonsighting meeting, he said credible evidences as per Sharia were received from different cities of the country regarding the sighting of the Zil-Haj moon to facilitate the announcement of the commencement of the month of ZilHaj.
OCTOBER 11, 2013 – PAKISTAN LINK – P13
Crackdown Brings Apparent Lull in Karachi Violence
Karachi: Rampant violence has
terrorized Karachi, Pakistan’s biggest city and economic heartbeat, in recent years, but a recent security crackdown seems to have brought a lull in the bloodshed. Kidnappings for ransom, sectarian attacks and gang warfare had spiraled since 2008, terrifying the city’s 18 million inhabitants and prompting tens of thousands of businessmen to flee to the safety of Punjab province. The city claimed a grisly record last year as 2,124 people were murdered on its streets, according to the Citizens-Police Liaison Committee (CPLC), the highest number since records began nearly 20 years ago. “The merciless killings have turned this ‘bride of cities’ into a city of ghosts and darkness,” said Tauseef Ahmed Khan, a political analyst, referring to Karachi’s Persian nickname. But an operation by police and paramilitary government Rangers in the city’s tangled maze of teeming streets, launched early September on the orders of the central government, seems to be having some positive effect. The CPLC said that in September 155 killings were reported — down from 280 in August. With a total of 2,058 murders up to the end of September 2013 it is on course to beat last year’s record, but the crackdown appears to have at least slowed the killings. Aftab Chunar, the head of the autopsy department of the city’s largest state-run Civil Hospital, told AFP that before the operation he was receiving 16 to 18 bodies a day. Now the figure has dropped to three or four. On the streets, there is relief. A 45-year-old bank worker, Aziz Rana said, “After a long time there is a feel of normalcy in the city. Now it seems that criminals are on the run and I pray that the good old times return to the city.” Under the military rule of general Pervez Musharraf, the murder rate hit a low of just 76 killings in 2003 before rising to 777 in 2008, when he was ousted. The figure shot up from 2010 onwards as criminal gangs backed by rival political parties grew in power and sectarian and ethnic violence swelled. Amir Ahmed Shaikh, until recently the police chief of southern Karachi, the worst affected part of the city, said gangsters backed by political clout had held Karachi to ransom. Trader flight: Extortion became a hugely lucrative source of earnings for the gangs, with one intelligence official telling AFP around $14 million a month was extorted in Karachi. Traders and businessmen are the ideal prey for the extortionists, and many have fled the city, which accounts for more than 40 per cent of Pakistan’s GDP. “Some 40,000 to 45,000 traders and shopkeepers have migrated from Karachi to the Punjab province as their properties and lives both are not safe and secured here,” said Atiq Mir, chairman of Karachi Traders Alliance, a representative body of the city’s small to medium traders. The crackdown has seen Rangers use powerful motorbikes to chase suspects down the narrow, twisting
streets which remained off-limits in previous missions using heavy vehicles. Hundreds of alleged target killers, extortionists and gangsters have been arrested since the start of the operation, Rangers and police say. Fateh Mohammad Burfat, professor of sociology and criminology at the state-run Karachi University, said the crackdown seemed to be working. “Peace seems to have returned to the city and the common man, after a long time, has breathed a sigh of relief ever since the operation began,” he told AFP. It is the neutrality of the operation which is key to its success and so far the police and rangers are executing the operation indiscriminately and with objectivity. Others are not convinced the lull will last. Making arrests is one thing, but getting convictions in Pakistan’s sclerotic legal system is another. Police say more needs to be done to protect witnesses, currently too scared of reprisals to give evidence. Tauseef Ahmed Khan, a professor at Federal Urdu University in Karachi and a prominent newspaper columnist, said the real proof of the operation’s effectiveness would come with the holy month of Muharram, due to start in early November. “It seems artificial to me though there are some vital signs as they have arrested criminals even-handed,” professor Tauseef Ahmed Khan said. But one would like to see how the month of Muharram passes and it would be a good litmus test of the ongoing operation. Muharram, which culminates with Ashura, the holiest day in the Shia Muslim calendar when the faithful march to mourn the seventhcentury killing of Imam Hussein, is frequently a flashpoint for sectarian
Afghan Taliban Financing Militants in Pakistan: TTP
Somewhere in Waziristan: The Af-
ghan Taliban are financially supporting the Pakistani militants and providing them sanctuary in Afghanistan, a spokesman for the Pakistani Taliban has claimed. The disclosure, which the spokesman made on Saturday in an interview with a small group of reporters, is meaningful because Pakistan has long been accused of pursuing a policy of differentiating between the Afghan and Pakistan Taliban as so-called ‘good’ and ‘bad’ militants --- even though Islamabad denies this distinction. “The Afghan Taliban are our jihadi brothers,” said Shahidullah Shahid in an interview in Waziristan, the Taliban’s main tribal sanctuary in Pakistan along the Afghan border. “In the beginning, we were helping them, but now they are strong enough and they don’t need our help, but they are now supporting us financially.” The Afghan Taliban were also providing sanctuary to a prominent Pakistani commander, Mullah Fazlullah, in eastern Afghanistan’s Kunar province, said Shahid. The Pakistani Taliban have financed many of their attacks through a combination of kidnapping for ransom cases, extortion and bank robberies. But Shahid’s comments indicate these sources of financing do not always provide the funds they need. Shahid reiterated the Taliban’s view that peace talks would not succeed unless the government released all militant prisoners and withdrew the army from the tribal region. He also demanded an end to US drone strikes
Terror Group Sees Islamabad as a Lucrative City for Extortions Islamabad: For the last couple of years, the capital city has seen an alarming increase in extortion cases. Unable to trace the culprits, the police say an outlawed terror group is behind the crime. The banned Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has a hand in all the small and big extortion incidents. The terror outfit is involved in extorting money from rich people directly and indirectly, a police officer told Dawn on condition of anonymity. He added that the TTP was found directly involved in targeting big businessmen, traders and professionals, especially doctors. But these cases were not so rampant. The disturbing factor is that the TTP was also indirectly encouraging small groups to collect extortions and share the money with it. This racket of splinter groups has widened its activities across the city but most of the cases are not reported to the police on time, he said. The TTP started getting extortions after its traditional source of foreign funding was either plugged or reduced. In the early days, militant groups in Pakistan and Afghanistan used to receive funds from abroad. Though the militant groups still receive funds from other countries, they are not sufficient to carry out terror activities. This has forced them to look for other sources of income inside the country, with extortion, kidnapping for ransom and bank robberies being the most lucrative of them. It was in September 2012 when the police arrested three people in the capital city and unearthed the TTP’s direct involvement in receiving extortions. The network had demanded Rs 6 million as extortion from a trader in the Blue Area. During investigation, the accused disclosed that they collected extortions from traders and transferred the money to Manchester, UK, through Hundi for onward delivery to the terror network. In June this year, traders of Sabzi Mandi informed the police that a group of Afghan nationals was forcing extortions from them, but when the police registered a case, the group escaped from the area. During investigation of the case, it was revealed in August that some people in Khana Pul, Sihala and Mandi Mor areas also collected millions of rupees every month and diverted them to militant outfits, the officer added. The second direct involvement of the TTP in extortion came to light when a business center in Sihala was attacked a week back. This was the second attack on the center since July 26. On June 17, Mohammad Raja Asif, the owner of the center, received a telephone call in which the caller threatened him to pay Rs100 million. Later, he continued receiving similar calls from different local and Afghan numbers. On July 26, his business center was attacked with hand grenades in which his office was damaged.
The next day – July 27 – he received another call from an Afghanistanbased number and the caller told him that the attack was the result of his failure to pay the extortion sum. The caller again threatened him to pay the Rs100 million. After this, the businessman approached the Sihala police who registered a case but failed to trace the calls. Then, on September 30, two motorcycle riders pulled up outside the center and lobbed two hand grenades into the building. Besides damaging the center, the attack also left a security guard injured. However, the police denied the occurrence of the incident as it left them red-faced because of their failure to trace and arrest the extortionists after being informed about the threat. The bomb disposal squad reported that the hand grenades were made locally. When contacted, Sub-Inspector Mohammad Hanif, the investigating officer of the first attack, said the culprits were still at large. There is no detail of the local and Afghan numbers used by the extortionists, he added. The police approached the local mobile service providers and an intelligence agency to get details of the numbers and the locations from where the calls had been made, the SI said. Even though they could not help investigators reach the callers, the police maintained that the culprits belonged to a terror group. An IT (information technology) expert in the capital police told Dawn that legally Afghan SIM (subscriber’s identification module) can be operated on roaming in Pakistan if the Afghan mobile service provider has any agreement with a local mobile company. But investigations into various terrorism, kidnapping for ransom and extortion cases have showed that militants were using numbers with the help of grey traffic – illegal exchanges – which worked through the Internet. As a result, the details of the numbers under their use and their locations always remained untraceable, the expert said. Another senior police officer close to the investigation told Dawn that keeping in view other extortion cases, the police believed that the TTP was behind the threatening calls made to Mr Asif. He said the Taliban either used to drop letters at the residences of their targets or called them for extortion. The police have found some leads which show that the calls made to Mr Asif were made from the tribal areas. He said it appeared the callers were affiliated with the militant group. The police officer said majority of extortion cases remained unreported. It is only in some cases, especially in which terrorists issue threats to the victims, when police are approached, he added. In the case of Mr Asif, the police only came to know about the extortion calls when his business center was attacked, he claimed.
targeting militants in the tribal region. “Yes, we are terrorists, but we are against the system of the infidels,” said Shahid. “We will fight up to our last drop of blood to impose Sharia (Islamic) law in the country.”
The interview took place in a guestroom attached to a mud house. The Taliban requested that the reporters refrain from revealing exactly where in Waziristan the house was located.
P14 – PAKISTAN LINK – OCTOBER 11, 2013
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OCTOBER 11, 2013 – PAKISTAN LINK – P15
PTI Claims Shock Win in PP-72, PML-N Bags PP-240 Seat
Delay in Talks with Taliban to Create Complications Peshawar: Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam
PTI’s candidate for PP-72 Sheikh Khurram Shahzad celebrates victory with his supporters after winning the PP-72 by-election in Faisalabad on Monday
Faisalabad: Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf
(PTI) candidate Sheikh Khurram Shehzad won the by-election in PP-72 Faisalabad-XXII, defeating favorite Khawaja Liaquat of ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) on Monday. According to unofficial results, Shehzad secured 23,972 votes while his rival Liaquat could manage to get only 18,256 votes. Khwaja Liaquat, elder brother of the recently disqualified MPA Khwaja Mohammad Islam, was considered favorite to win the Monday’s by-poll. His brother had been disqualified by the Supreme Court on July 18 when the Higher Education Commission (HEC) submitted a report to the court declaring his academic degree fake. Meanwhile, PML-N’s candidate
Shamoona Ambreen Qaisrani won the provincial assembly seat PP-240 in the Dera Ghazi Khan by-poll. According to unofficial results, Qaisrani secured 47,467 votes while her rival independent candidate Khawaja Dawood Sulemani bagged 19,569 votes. PP-240 was a Qaisrani Baloch tribe-dominated constituency located on the boundary of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provinces. Chief of the tribe, Mir Badshah Qaisrani, had been the traditional and unbeatable contestant for the seat. Qaisrani had been with the PML-N as an MPA most of his political career. However, after developing differences with the party high-ups, he joined the JUI-F and won the seat in the May 11 general elections. He was later disqualified in a fake degree case.
Saudi, Pakistani Films in Oscars Foreign Long List Los Angeles: Saudi Arabia’s first ever
candidate for the foreign language Oscar is among 76 movies on the Academy Award long-list announced Monday, while Pakistan has entered its first film in five decades. The long list, which has a record number of movies up for Oscars glory, was initially expected to be announced last Friday, but was held up as Academy bigwigs checked that all of them meet the eligibility criteria, industry journal Variety reported. The Saudi entry, “Wadjda” by Haifaa al-Mansour, is an avowedly feminist movie about a young girl’s quest to own a bicycle
in the ultra-conservative Muslim kingdom where women are deprived of many rights, among them driving. Directed by Saudi Arabia’s first female filmmaker and shot entirely in the Gulf state, the film won best Arabic feature award at the Dubai Film Festival last year and picked up an award in Cannes in March. For Pakistan, “Zinda Bhaag” (“Flee Alive”) is the first Oscar entry for over 50 years. It is a comedy-thriller about three young men trying to escape the drudgery of their everyday lives through unconventional means.
chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman has said that the government and the Taliban have established contacts, but an agenda for formal talks is yet to be worked out. Talking to journalists after addressing a seminar on Sunday, he urged the government to initiate a formal dialogue with the Taliban to end militancy. “Delay in talks will create complications,” he warned. When asked about his planned visit to Kabul, Maulana Fazl said he would meet Afghan President Hamid Karzai because he could not meet him during his recent visit to Islamabad. The Afghan president, he added, had formally invited him to visit Kabul. “People-to-people contacts between the two countries are good for peace in the region,” he said. At the seminar, the Maulana said Islam was a religion of moderation and could not be enforced at gunpoint. “Islam teaches moderation and Sharia cannot be implemented by force.” He alleged that the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government had been handed over to non-governmental organizations for making policies and running its affairs. “The forces which handed over the KP government to ‘immature people’ are ignorant of sensitivities in the province.” About the KP government, he said it had become a provincial NGO. He also alleged that JUI-F’s mandate had been stolen in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and his party did not accept the election results. He accused ‘some elements’ of trying to undermine the religious sen-
Nawaz in No Hurry to Announce Key Military Appointments Islamabad: Despite a clear mes-
sage sent by the outgoing Army chief and another top military post now vacant, it seems the prime minister will take his time in announcing the names of the successors. According to a statement issued by the PM House on Monday, the government would “keep the interests of the country supreme” while appointing the new Chief of Army Staff (COAS) and Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (CJCSC). The spokesperson to the prime minister quoted him as saying that his government was fully cognizant of its constitutional obligations in this regard. In an unexpected press release issued by the ISPR on Sunday, Army Chief Gen Ashfaq Pervez Kayani publicly announced that he was not seeking extensions in any capacity, despite several rumors doing the round. “My tenure ends on
29th November 2013. On that day I will retire,” he said, in an apparent effort to quell speculation that he may be seeking an extension. The post of the CJCSC also fell vacant after the military bade CJCSC General Khalid Shameem Wynne farewell after 42 years of service. At a special ceremony held here at Joint Staff Headquarters and attended by all services chiefs and senior officers, a smartly turned out joint services guard presented salute to the outgoing chairman. In a statement issued today, Sharif said that while expectations regarding announcement of the successor to the outgoing CJCSC before October 8 were reasonable, the issue needed comprehensive consideration due to the fact that the office of the COAS was also falling vacant on November 29. The spokesperson said the prime minister had decided to announce the names for both the appointments at the same time.
timents of the people of the province. Seminaries, he said, were also NGOs but they did not follow foreign agenda and worked to promote Islamic thought and culture. Maulana Fazl said he criticized the PTI because of its poli-
cies and not because of any personal grudge. “The constitution says the government will promote Islamic teachings, but what is happening in the country is quite contrary to what the constitution says,” he claimed.
P16 – PAKISTAN LINK – OCTOBER 11, 2013
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Community Link Friday, October 11, 2013
VOL. 23/41 PAGE 20
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The Mark of Delhi, Daagh Dehlvi, Remembered
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Reza Aslan at ISF Dinner in Silicon Valley
Numan Brings Transactional Expertise to OC
For news, updated round the
Noor, a Unifying Work & Dramatic Exposition of Intense Feelings n By Karim Raza MA (English), MA (Econ.) MPA, MBA, LLB
oor (The Light) is a complex drama with intertwined themes and sub-themes; yet in its narration, monologues and dialogues the power of simple, direct speech is captivating sustaining the audience enthusiasm and receptivity from the beginning of the play to the end.
The play Noor, an existential expose of a grave and a highly charged reality of the post-9/11 juxtaposed with the message of ‘peace, harmony and compassion’, could only be created by a playwright of eminence and a person of wide and deep experience as Dr. Akbar Ahmed endowed with a scintillating mind, keen observation, uncompromising commitment to realistic portrayals, a deep understanding of the conflicts faced by ordinary Muslim families in the wake of 9/11, an honest human perspective, an impelling impartiality in portraying of and in commenting on all religious communities, a mastery in the art and craft of presenting a real life drama that manifests the reality of life through real life characters in flesh and blood identifiable and realizable as ordinary humans genuine in appearance, outlook and perception. The production of the play and the performance of the characters in Noor is a marvel ignited, embedded and sustained by Ms Manjula Kumar, a producer and a director, par excellence. In the nuances of the portrayals of the characters by the actors you can see, sense and feel the insightful perception of each character’s essential role by the director and her precisely perfect orchestration of moves and gestures of the actors with the delivery and intonation of the dialogue they enunciate and verbalize. I fully agree with Daniel Futterman, actor (Daniel Pearl, A Mighty Heart) and Academy Award-nominated screenwriter who rightly remarked that “I am in awe of this tremendous, important work.” In my own evaluation as well Noor is decidedly a tremendous and important work. It is a very complex work of dramatic exposition of the intense feelings of depravation and the consequent compulsion to avenge incarnated in the character of the radical-extremist brother Daoud. Juxtaposed to Daoud’s radicalism is a belief in mercy and compassion incarnated in the mystic being of the Sufi-Muslim brother Abdullah whose name means ‘the servant of Allah’. Vengeance versus compassion is the core issue that the two antagonistic brothers are propounding both claiming to be the true adherent of Islam. In the Shakespearean vein the two points of views are presented through powerful dialogues and monologues imbued
Playwright Dr Akbar Ahmed (third from left) with his Pakistani-Indian-Afghan international cast
with poetic expressions and shuddering utterances like “There may be mercy for the dead. There is none left for the living”. A valuable service to humanity is done with the creation and staging of Noor. Noor undoubtedly will help the Western World understand the agony and the torments ordinary Muslim families are going through in the wake of 9/11. The message here is that the Muslims are not monolithic. Diversity has always existed. Even within a family different shades of Islamic beliefs have subsisted. The successful dramatic depiction and presentation of that Muslim diversity is the key element of this play. It is aimed at awakening the Western observers to the reality of the diversity in the interpretation of the Islamic take on issues that exist in the Muslim household and in the Muslim communities. Here, in this play, you see one sister and three brothers interpreting Islam differently. Noor, the sister, is an outspoken
liberal with firm faith in Islam and is focused on promoting human rights and women’s equality with men regardless of race and faith. Despite being kidnapped and going through the saga of escaping her captors she has the undaunted courage to stand against the evil with the spirit to fight the foul. Abdullah is a Sufi Muslim mystic for whom Islam is compassion, love and tolerance. Prayers and supplication to God is his Islamic Sufi mantra. Even the raid and search conducted by the soldiers hurting him and his family and insulting his faith does not deviate Abdullah from his commitment to compassion and tolerance. Ali is a liberal Westernized Muslim for whom the creed of justice is supreme. He puts his faith in the law of the land for ensuring human rights and sanctity of personal integrity. Appealing to the custodians of law and order to redress grievances and gain justice is his modus operandi. Daoud, on the other hand, is a highly
charged radical for whom any injustice done to Muslims justifies a menacing violent terroristic response. Vengeance is this third brother’s creed. The irony embedded in his character is that by training and profession he is a doctor, a healer but the burning anger has put his mind and heart on fire. His gestures are menacing, his threats are dreadful and yet he cries and professes his love for his brothers, sister and father. One of the underlying messages of the play is that the Muslims need to project the compassion and tolerance of Abdullah more so that the West does not view Daoud as representing the true version of Islam. Dr Akbar Ahmed, the creator of Noor, is the Ibn Khaldun Chair of Islamic Studies at American University. He is an eminent author, poet and playwright. He has dedicated his life to the building of bridges between Muslims and non-Muslims through his uniquely distinctive multimedia approach. His play Noor is a powerful dramatic presentation of his commitment to this cause. Among his artistic creations is the acclaimed movie Jinnah, bringing to life the person, the issues and the times of the founding father of Pakistan. Dr Ahmed has also been Pakistan’s High Commissioner (Ambassador) to the United Kingdom. M. Manjula Kumar, who so ably directed Noor is a Director at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, DC. She is a highly accomplished and experienced director with numerous plays and movies to her credit. She is also an eminent actor. In addition to acting she is a dedicated social activist whose activism has influenced as well as caused many positive changes. Both symbolically and significantly the cast was selected from among the actors with ethnic background of the countries which are at odds with each other, namely India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and America. This cast created a big impact by demonstrating unity through their harmonious interaction conveying the message of peace, understanding and love in a meaningful contrast to their respective countries’ myopic self-destructive stances. In September of this year Noor was staged in Washington, DC to the capacity crowds every night. The audience of the who-is-who included intellectuals, opinion makers and a large number of the interfaith groups as well as persons of all political stripes and. ethnicity. There is a strong demand from various avenues to stage the play in several other states in America and Canada as well as to take it to Pakistan and India. (The reviewer is Mr Karim Raza, a multi-disciplinary scholar and writer who has been a university professor, a senior civil servant, a banker, a lawyer and an international consultant.)
P20 – PAKISTAN LINK – OCTOBER 11, 2013
The Mark of Delhi: Daagh Dehlvi
A unique event was held in Daagh Dehlvi’s honor at the ICC in Milpitas, California on September 8th by one of San Francisco Bay Area’s leading Urdu luminaries, Mrs Hamida Banu-Chopra. It was sponsored by Computers & Structures Inc.
By Ras H. Siddiqui
e lived amongst the affluent but also led a life of hardship, and this cycle was repeated more than once in his life but in the end Nawab Mirza Khan would become the last of great classical Urdu poets of the Delhi School, from an era which began with the grandmaster of them all, Mirza Asadullah Khan Ghalib and his contemporary Sheikh Muhammad Ibrahim Zauq. Mirza Khan’s nom de plume or Takhallus, Daagh Dehlvi, in its literal sense would translate to the “Stained or tainted one from Delhi” but since we are in the realm of poetry here one can take some liberties to translate this penname from Urdu into English (an often difficult if not impossible task) so he becomes the Mark of Delhi for this writing.
Born in that city in the year 1831, Daagh died in Hyderabad (Deccan) in 1905 (rumor has it that he left this world on Valentine’s Day) leaving behind a rich legacy of ghazals and other writings inclusive of many mahavara’s (proverbs) making some of his work even more treasured. A unique event was held in Daagh Dehlvi’s honor at the ICC in Milpitas, California on September 8th under the title of Gulzar-eDaagh organized by one of the San Francisco Bay Area’s leading Urdu luminaries Mrs Hamida Banu-Chopra and sponsored by Computers & Structures Inc. (CSI’s Ashraf Habibullah was present in the audience here). A gulzar (garden) of Daagh’s work was presented at this venue during which close to 200 enthusiasts of Urdu and Hindi inhaled his poetic fragrance. And for someone who had left this world over a century ago, he lived once again at the ICC for over two hours and even taught us a thing
or two about life during this brief period. Hamida Sahiba started the proceedings with a brief welcome and invited Khawaja Aftab Ali to the stage to preside over the event. Incidentally Khawaja Sahib happens to belong to the khandaan of another great poet by the name of Hali so his sadarat of this mehfil was due to both knowledge and lineage. The first person to recite Daagh Dehlvi’s work was Amjad Noorani which included some matters of the heart and loss of life’s luggage. Anshuman Chandra, a student of Urdu, thanked both the ICC and his “ustad” or teacher Hamida for her guidance before presenting two of the poet’s ghazals which included couplets on betraying the self (Kiy Kiya Fareb Dil Ko Deye). And he was followed by Mrs Atiya Hai who used her convincing vocals to delve into the hopelessness of love ever present in some of Daagh’s verses. Mrs.Hamida Banu-Chopra next presented an interesting biographic window into Daagh Dehlvi’s life. The poet tragically lost his father at a very young age and was fortunate that his mother remarried into the family of the Mughal rulers giving him an opportunity to spend a few years growing up in the Lal Qila (Red Fort) in Delhi. Things went well till the 1857 war of independence (aka Mutiny) after which Bahadur Shah Zafar, the last Mughal Emperor of India, lost his throne and was exiled. The Royal family or what was left of it struggled and his stepfather too soon passed away, forcing Nawab Mirza Khan (Daagh) to find refuge like many others in Rampur State (whose rulers incidentally did not act against the British in 1857). Later in life the poet left to reside in Hyderabad in the south where his success as a man of Urdu poetry and literature was sealed. His biggest contribution to Urdu
was the legacy he left within thousands of his students who became active all over India (including present day Pakistan). Drawing inspiration from Daagh poets like Jigar Moradabadi and the two Bekhud’s, he inspired another great poet known today as Allama Iqbal (even though the two never met). An interesting anecdote on Daagh shared by Hamida Sahiba here (on a lighter side) was his reply to another poet who complained to him and asked why his own poetry just didn’t have the attractive spirit that Daagh possessed. “Have you ever romanced a courtesan?” was the question-answer-hint he received in reply from Daagh Dehlvi. Deepti Warrier next recited two of the poet’s works in tarrannum or song-like fashion in which she romanticized about names and about the one who taught others how to romance. And not to be left out Anil Chopra, whose well-known civil engineering skills sometimes have to take a back seat to support his wife Hamida’s lifelong romance with Urdu, presented his own views on the poet’s work and life! Dr Muhammad Saleem Malik followed
up with a wonderful synopsis of Daagh Dehlvi’s life leaving many in the audience literally amazed. He was followed by Ravi who used the poet’s pulling of arrows out of chests and paths less travelled to entertain everyone. Dr Salman Siddique also presented two ghazals of Daagh, as the Sadr of the event Khawaja Aftab Ali next enlightened us further on the poet’s work before Anupama dazzled us with her fine voice about memories (Yaadain) and amazement. Hamida Sahiba came back to formally close the program. She thanked Ashraf Habibullah of CSI for making this program possible and everyone else for their participation. The Mark of Delhi or Daagh Dehlvi may not be alive today but his many contributions to the Urdu language live on. That people from as far away as the Defense Language Institute (DLI) in Monterey and California’s Capital City of Sacramento came to attend this program in the San Francisco Bay Area serves as a testimony to works of both the enthusiasts of the Urdu language like Hamida Sahiba and the poetic genius of Daagh Dehlvi.
Numan J. Siddiqi Brings Transactional Expertise to Orange County
Irvine, CA: Brown Rudnick LLP is pleased to announce that Numan J. Siddiqi has joined the firm’s Orange County office as a partner in the Corporate group, says a press release. Prior to joining Brown Rudnick, Mr. Siddiqi was a shareholder at Stradling Yocca Carlson & Rauth, P.C. Mr Siddiqi has a diverse corporate practice that includes public and private securities offerings of debt and equity, venture capital transactions, mergers and acquisitions, and secured loan transactions. He represents public and private companies, advising on formation and organizational structure, as well
as day-to-day matters such as executive compensation, stock incentive plans, licensing agreements, development and distribution transactions, strategic alliances and securities filing compliance. “We are delighted to welcome Numan to the Firm,” said Joseph F. Ryan, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Brown Rudnick. “Our Orange County office, formally Rus, Miliband & Smith, has long been recognized for its excellence in complex commercial litigation, representing clients in high profile matters across the state. One of our goals when combining with Rus, Miliband & Smith was to develop
a strong corporate and life sciences presence in Orange County, and
Numan is our first corporate addition to that office. Numan has tremendous experiences and capabilities, and will provide our clients there with sophisticated corporate expertise.” Ron Rus, head of Brown Rudnick’s Orange County office, added, “Numan is a well known and highly regarded corporate and transactional attorney in Southern California. He will be an important asset to the firm and will greatly enhance our ability to service the varied needs of our clients.” “This is an exciting time to be joining the Orange County office,” said Mr. Siddiqi. “I was impressed
by Brown Rudnick’s broad platform of legal and industry specializations and strong international practice, as well as the collegiality that exists in its partnership firm wide. I look forward to contributing to the growth of the Orange County office and becoming part of the firm’s team of top notch legal advisers.” Mr. Siddiqi received his B.A., with honors from the University of California, Davis and his J.D. from the University of California, Berkeley. He is the son of Dr Muzammil H. Siddiqi, well-known and highly respected Religious Director of the Islamic Society of Orange County (ISOC).
OCTOBER 11, 2013 – PAKISTAN LINK – P21
Reza Aslan at ISF Dinner in Silicon Valley
n By Riaz Haq
slamic Scholarship Fund’s annual dinner and fundraiser drew over 300 attendees and raised nearly $100,000 in Silicon Valley on Saturday October 5, 2013. Best-selling author Reza Aslan was the keynote speaker. The event was co-sponsored by several major organizations including Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), Human Development Foundation (HDF), Zaytuna College, Shia Association of Bay Area (SABA), Islamic Society of East Bay (ISEB), South Bay Islamic Association (SBIA) and United Muslims of America (UMA).
The mission of the Islamic Scholarship Fund (ISF) is to improve the understanding and acceptance of Islam and those who practice it by increasing Muslim American representation in the professions that influence public policy and public opinion. The fund offers scholarships for Muslim students to encourage and career-building in professions which help shape public opinion and public policy in the United States. After a brief introduction to Islamic Scholarship Fund by ISF president Hamed Razapour, the attendees were served dinner and treated to a popular one-woman monologue, Dirty Paki Lingerie, by Aizzah Fatima, a Pakistani-American actor and playwright who previous-
Left: Reza Aslan (left) with Ejaz Naqvi. Right: Marium Turab, Ejaz Naqvi, Riaz Haq, and Hamed Rezapour
ly worked for Google as an engineer. She played a couple of characters to offer a glimpse of some of the reallife situations faced by first-generation Muslim immigrants and their off-springs. The first character she played was that of a mom working the phone speaking in her native accent to find a suitable husband for her daughter, followed by her funny portrayal of the American-born daughter dealing with the cultural divide faced by the children of firstgeneration Muslim immigrants. Dr Reza Aslan’s keynote was in the form of Q&A with ISF board member Dr Ejaz Naqvi. It was mainly focused on Aslan’s recent bestseller book “Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth” which generated and benefited from a lot
of controversy surrounding the author’s interview aired on Fox News. The interview soon went viral in the social media and the book sales soared. Iranian born Aslan who grew up in the United States explained that his parents were Muslim but not particularly religious. His interest in Jesus began as a teenager when he became a devout Christian but reverted to Islam a few years later. As he studied Jesus, he realized that Jesus is not really a historical figure. Most of what the world believes about Jesus comes from the New Testament. The only reference to Jesus that Aslan found outside the New Testament is by Jewish historian Flavius Josephus who mentioned “James, the brother of Jesus, the one
Shura Council Delegation Visits Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange
delegation, led by Dr Muzammil Siddiqi, the Chairman of the Islamic Shura Council, paid a visit to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange and met with Bishop Kevin Vann. Both leaders reaffirmed their solidarity and commitment to foster peace and harmony across both communities. They attributed hate and ignorance as the underlying reasons for the inhumane crimes committed by some misguided people in different parts of the world. Dr Siddiqi, on behalf of the Islamic Shura Council, and Bishop Vann,
on behalf of the Diocese of Orange, mutually agreed to jointly convene a quarterly round table for the clergy and lay leaders to further deepen their relations. This initiative will be in addition to the ongoing annual Muslim-Catholic dialog that Shura Council jointly hosts with the US Conference of Catholic Bishops. Dr Siddiqi also extended an invitation to the Bishop to speak at the Shura Council annual conference on March 1, 2014. The Bishop appreciated the idea of Open Mosque Day and assured his and the Diocese’s full support and also volunteered to visit the Islamic Society
of Orange County on Oct 27th to celebrate this important educational event. The Bishop also applauded the Executive Director for being a faithful witness and for walking 126 miles in the pilgrimage that called for reforming the broken US immigration system as well as a promoting pathway to citizenship. The meeting was also attended by Fr. Al Baca, Interfaith Officer and Mr Ryan Lilyengren, Communications Director of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange and Imams Sohail Mulla (ISOC) and Said Seddouk (ICSGV) and Br Shakeel Syed, Executive Director of the Shura Council.
CAIR-CA Welcomes Gov. Brown Signing TRUST Act into Law Anaheim, CA:
The California chapter of the Council on AmericanIslamic Relations (CAIR-CA) has applauded Governor Jerry Brown’s efforts to support immigrant rights by signing the TRUST Act (AB 4) into law this past Saturday. The law, sponsored by Assembly Member Tom Ammiano (D-San Francisco), limits the state’s compliance with Secure Communities, an embattled program that allows the
Department of Homeland Security to access fingerprints taken by local police, to screen detained individuals for immigration status checks, and to request that law enforcement agencies hold them if they are believed to be undocumented. The program has resulted in thousands of unfair, costly detentions of immigrants in local jails for deportation purposes. “This law is a major step for-
ward toward comprehensive immigration reform,” said CAIR-Greater Los Angeles Area Executive Director Hussam Ayloush. “There must be a sense of trust between communities and their local law enforcement agencies, and this law will help rebuild that trust.” Additionally, the governor signed several other key immigrant rights bills over the weekend.
they call messiah”. Aslan said that there was strong rivalry between James, Jesus’s brother and close companion, and Paul, who is credited with much of what the Christians believe about who Jesus was. Aslan said Paul never met Jesus and yet his descriptions of Jesus have been the main source of what is in the New Testament. It was Paul, not James, who saw Jesus as divine rather than human, according to Aslan. Responding to a question about how Americans perceive Islam, Aslan said, “No one in America believes that all 1.5 billion Christians have a single interpretation of Christianity, yet they seem to expect that all 1.5 billion Muslims have one common understanding of Islam”.
When asked why he wrote a book about Jesus and not Prophet Mohammad, Aslan said, “I did write a book about Prophet Mohammad. It’s a best seller titled ‘No god but God’ “. Reza Aslan is very articulate, telegenic and knowledgeable. He is an effective advocate for interfaith harmony in the face of vicious attacks of various hate groups against American Muslims since 9/11. I found his performance in TV debates surrounding bigoted opposition to “Ground Zero Mosque” to be particularly impressive. It would be great for interfaith harmony in America if the Islamic Scholarship Fund (ISF) can help produce many more Reza Aslans among American Muslims.
Meeting with US Customs and TSA Officials to Discuss Hajj Travel Anaheim, CA: Each year thousands
of Muslim-Americans perform their Hajj pilgrimage and use Los Angeles International Airport as their airport of choice. The pilgrims start leaving for Hajj around late September and start returning around mid October. To ensure a pleasant travel experience, the Shura Council met with both the US Customs and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) at the Los Angeles International Airport to discuss this year’s Hajj travel arrangements. Referring to a Hajj document developed by the Shura Council specifically for the US Customs and TSA, the Chairman of the Shura Council, Dr Muzammil Siddiqi said, “Reciprocal education and awareness is foundational to make travel experiences most enjoyable and least stressful.” Bruce Mulraney, Section Chief for US Customs at the Los Angeles International Airport, thanked the Shura Council for offering educational resources and expertise for the past several years and for helping them serve Muslim pilgrims appropriately.
Mr Mulraney encouraged the Muslim pilgrims to also avail of several useful documents from the US Customs, such as “Know Before You Go” or the “Top 10 Traveler Tips”. The TSA was also informed about the specifics of Hajj travel and an informational package about Hajj related issues was also provided to them. The Shura Council was reassured by the TSA representatives - Mr Jason Pantages, Assistant Field Director and Ms Danielle Bean, Customer Service Manager for the TSA for its gender-specific policy related to secondary searches - and suggested that travelers may avail their useful 3-1-1 program and also encouraged the community to report any untoward incident to TSA’s round-the-clock Command Center at (310) 242-2939. International travelers coming into Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) can also call on the US Customs Passenger Services Manager at (310) 665-4545 or the LAX International Terminal Watch Commander (310) 568-7547 to report complaints or compliments.
Apply for ‘Fast Fwd’ Forum at MPAC Convention
his year, the Muslim Public Affairs Council is once again staging a national search called “Fast Fwd: The Ideas Shaping Our Future,” to bring together a remarkable line-up of innovators and change agents who are tackling some of our community and our country’s greatest challenges and whose efforts are making a real impact. This exciting forum will serve as
the centerpiece of MPAC’s upcoming 13th annual convention, which will focus on the theme “25 Years on the Road Less Traveled,” on Saturday, Dec. 14, in Long Beach, CA. Last year, five talented young American Muslims inspired and moved convention attendees on a range of issues, from sexual assault to media engagement to community organizing to research to
P22 – PAKISTAN LINK – OCTOBER 11, 2013
Pakistan Ready for South Africa: Misbah
LAHORE: Pakistan captain Misbah-ul Haq said recently his side was ready to take on the mighty South Africans, despite missing an opener and enduring a wretched recent run of form. The sides meet for a two-Test series in the United Arab Emirates starting next week, with Pakistan coming off the back of an embarrassing drawn series against minnows Zimbabwe.
South Africa, rated number one Test team in the world, whitewashed Pakistan 3-0 at home earlier in the year, but Misbah insisted his men would rise to the challenge. "Our preparations and moral are good," the 39-year-old skipper said as the team left for the UAE. "We have to forget the past and play competitive cricket in this tough series." Pakistan have won only one of their last eight Tests, with their bats-
men letting them down repeatedly. They go into the series with just one specialist opener in the 12-man squad as regular Mohammad Hafeez was dropped after scoring just 102 in his last five Tests. 'No doubt Hafeez is a senior player but because he is out of form it was difficult for him (to get into the team) but I am sure others are also capable to do well," said Misbah. Misbah said a three-day practice match between Pakistan 'A' and a South Africa XI, starting in Sharjah on Tuesday, would give them the chance to identify a replacement. "We will use a regular opener, there will be no makeshift arrangements and I am sure that we will find another opener from the three-day match," said Misbah. With the experienced Hafeez, Imran Farhat and Taufeeq Umar left out, it is a fresh-faced Pakistan top order that will take on the might of South Africa's four-man pace attack. The selected opener Khurram Manzoor has played only nine Tests while two other candidates for the second opening berth -- Ahmed Shehzad and Shan Masood -- have yet to make their Test debuts. J
OCTOBER 11, â€“ PAKISTAN LINK â€“LINK P23 OCTOBER 11,2013 2013 - PAKISTAN
Pakistan Win IBSF World Team Snooker
LAHORE: Pakistan star cueists M Asif and M Sajjad brought the country's snooker to new heights as they beat Iran 5-3 to clinch the inaugural IBSF World Team Snooker Championship title at Carlow, Ireland. According to information made available here, reigning IBSF World and 6-Reds Asian Snooker champion M Asif and former Asian No 2 M Sajjad fought back from 0-3 to topple Iranian duo of Amir Sarkosh and Soheil Vehidi after an interesting tussle in the final. This was Pakistan's third major title in the last 10 months thanks to an outstanding show by M Asif and fellow team-mate M Sajjad. Asif won the IBSF World title in Sofia, Bulgaria last December and 6-Reds Asian Championship in Doha, Qatar in August. Sarkosh and Vahedi got off to
great start by securing a commanding 3-0 lead including a break of 50 in the first and 58 in the second frame. However, Pakistani pair of Asif and Sajjad showed great fighting qualities under pressure and a brilliant break of 83 gave them confidence. Both Asif and Sajjad showed dazzling potting on a green baize with masterly dipping of the multicolored balls to make their Iran opponent mere a spectator and they conjured up the next four frames in row to carve out (3370(50), 18-68(58), 9-74, 8820(83), 67-11(50), 87-15, 7543(51), 58-35) victory. After a handsome break of 83 in the fourth frame they added the breaks of 50 in the fifth and 51 in 7th frame. Earlier in the semi-finals, Pakistan defeated Ireland and Iran beat Wales to qualify for the final. J
Top Order Keeps South Africans Solid SHARJAH: Half-centuries from Alviro Petersen, Hashim Amla and Jacques Kallis gave South Africa's core decent batting practice in their warm-up match against Pakistan A in Sharjah. Petersen and Amla saw off a testing period early on to build a strong partnership before both retired out. Kallis scored at a brisk rate, despite the hot and humid conditions, while AB de Villiers was more circumspect in his approach as both batsmen remained undefeated at the interval. That left Graeme Smith as the only member of the line-up who did not maximise the limited preparation
time ahead of next week's first Test. Smith, on his return to the national side after ankle injury, was out lbw in the seventh over to seamer Ehsan Adil after being dropped for just one in the slips a few overs before. South Africa were 8 for 1 when Amla went in to bat and he and Petersen had to contend with some disciplined lines from Ehsan Adil, Imran Khan and Aizaz Cheema. Both he and Petersen were patient early on before being allowed to score more freely after lunch. The pair approached their halfcenturies with a selection of creative strokes. Amla favoured the cut through point while Petersen drove
well. Both retired shortly after reaching the milestone. Kallis began his innings in a hurry, with pinpoint drives down the ground. He scored quickly, especially against the spinners, who did not trouble South Africa as Pakistan A may have hoped. Yasir Shah offered little threat but the other legspinner Usman Qadir, the 20-year old son of Abdul Qadir, found sizable turn. The South African batsmen, however, did not struggle too much against him. With Faf du Plessis and JP Duminy still to bat, South Africa will want to give their lower middle-order a work out in the final session. J
Sharapova Withdraws From Season Finale ST PETERSBURG: Maria Sharapova on Monday withdrew from the season-ending WTA Championships in Istanbul because of a right shoulder injury that has dogged her since before the US Open, The Women's Tennis Association (WTA) announced. The 26-year-old Russian -presently number three in the world - had had to withdraw from the US Open on the eve of the tournament because of the injury and owing to a previous hip problem has played just one match since a second round exit at Wimbledon in June. "I am very disappointed that I will not be able to play in the WTA Championships this
year," said Sharapova, whose turbulent season has also been marked by her splitting with Jimmy Connors after just three weeks as her coach. "The fans in Istanbul have welcomed us each year with such intense passion and warmth, I will sincerely miss the energy and excitement they brought to the year-end tournament. "I want to thank Istanbul for being a tremendous host and hope to play in Turkey sometime in the future." While the crowd-pulling Russian won't be there the WTA also announced that three further players had qualified for the tournament which takes place from October 22-27.
The trio are Czech Republic's Petra Kvitova, winner of two titles this season, Italy's Sara Errani, who has won one of her four finals this campaign, and Serbia's Jelena Jankovic, who ended a three year title drought when she won in Bogota. They join the already qualified Serena Williams, Victoria Azarenka, Agnieszka Radwanska and Chinese star Li Na. The WTA Championships features the top eight singles players and the top four doubles pairings competing for a record $6 million in prize money and is being hosted in Istanbul for a third successive year. J
Plagued by shoulder injury, Maria Sharapova withdraws from the WTA Championships.
South Africa Target Uncertain Top Order LAHORE: Mohammad Hafeez's omission from the Pakistan Test squad has given South Africa a clear indication of where to draw the battle lines for the two-match series. With Khurram Manzoor set to occupy one opening spot, and the other yet to be decided but likely to be filled with a less experienced batsman than Hafeez, South Africa's seamers are targeting Pakistan's fragility at the top. "Our pace attack against their opening batters will be important to set up the series for us," South Africa's coach Russell Domingo said ahead of the first training session in Dubai. "Hafeez's form has been a bit of a concern for them for a period of time. But he is a quality bowler and a quality batsmen and we are not displeased that he is unlikely to play a part." Despite conditions expected to suit spinners more than quicks, Domingo said the fast men will be tasked with putting Pakistan under pressure from the get-go, by exploiting what appears to be their most obvious weakness. Domingo said Test achievements were built on strong first-wicket stands and if South Africa can prevent Pakistan from establishing one, it will set them up in pushing for victory. "If you look at South Africa's Test cricket, it has been successful because of the way the openers have gone about their business," Domingo said. "Its the most important partnership in any format. If you think of great Test sides, like Australia had Hayden and Langer, that's the kind of thing you need." Domingo also played down talk of raging turners, saying he was ready should the groundstaff
prepare something different. "We've been involved in series where we want a certain type of wicket and we don't get it, so it's difficult to pre-empt," he said. The practice pitch at the Sharjah Cricket Ground told a different story. Imran Tahir and JP Duminy spent a significant amount of time
Mohammad Hafeez's axing has left a vacancy at the top of Pakistan's batting order
bowling and both found substantial turn. And Pakistan certainly seem to be expecting spin. Without Hafeez to add to the bowling options, they have Zulfiqar Babar, who will be hopeful of a first Test cap, and who could be their surprise package. "We'll need to have an in depth look at him and do some analysis," Domingo said. "He has obviously got a lot of experience but we need to sit down and do our homework." J
P24 – PAKISTAN LINK – OCTOBER 11, 2013 n By Nayyer Ali MD or the first time in years, Israel and the Palestinians resumed negotiations over their conflict. The catalyst this time was US mediation, primarily intense diplomacy by Secretary of State John Kerry. He apparently was able to coax enough out of the Israelis to get the Palestinians to talk without Israel agreeing to a freeze of its illegal settlement building in occupied territory.
The early signs are not good. A leaked version of Israel’s offer to the Palestinians was basically a rehash of the “one and a half state solution” which Israel has offered countless times. Instead of accepting two fully sovereign and equal states living side by side, the Israelis keep demanding they get to keep their settlements, they want to keep soldiers stationed in Palestine, they want to control Palestine’s border with Jordan, and they want to even have control of the airspace. This is ridiculous on its face and shows how totally unserious the Israelis are. Their attitude of entitlement is amazing. They want the Palestinians to accept Israel and then negotiate over how much of the occupied territories they get to keep. The Palestinians are making an historic compromise by giving up their claim to 77% of Palestine that is now Israel, they will accept a real state on the last 23%, but Israel wants to slice and dice that up too. Israelis complain there is no Palestinian partner willing to accept a reasonable offer, and the evidence they provide for that is that the Palestinians will not accept all these outrageously unreasonable of-
n By Dr Adil Najam
n 1961, political philosopher Hannah Arendt – one of the most original thinkers of the 20th century – travelled to Jerusalem as a reporter for The New Yorker to cover the trial of Adolf Eichmann, a senior Nazi official in the Gestapo who played a leading role in organizing the Holocaust. Arendt’s dispatches later became the very controversial and even more influential book, Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil. The slim volume – and most importantly the concept embodied in its subtitle – went on to become a seminal philosophical artefact of our times. The book was much debated by political theorists, Holocaust historians, and activists; particularly in the context of the substance of the Eichmann trial. However, the central – and harrowing – insight that the term ‘banality of evil’ sheds into the nature of evil, and of its perpetrators, resonates well beyond that context. Including, maybe especially, today’s Pakistan. Those who have ever wondered how a seemingly ‘ordinary’ person could possibly undertake deeds of unspeakable horror – and how equally ‘normal’ people can claim to rationalize, if not defend, the mind-numbing senselessness of the patently evil – would do well to read Arendt’s treatise. In choosing the word ‘banal’ she is not suggesting that the deeds were in any way
Still Seeking a Palestinian State
But there are four major trends going on that will eventually push Israel into making a serious offer and getting out of the West Bank entirely. The first and most obvious is demographic. Palestinians have had higher absolute numbers of births than Jews since about 1982 if one includes Gaza, the West Bank, and Israel combined. At this point the total populations of the two groups is about even at around 5.5 million each. But under the age of 20, Palestinians make up 60% of the total. Israel maintains its Jewish dominance through a mix of discriminatory practices against the 1.2 million Palestinians in Israel that have citizenship in Israel, and outright apartheid practiced against the rest of the Palestinians, who live a stateless existence in which their property, freedom, and very lives can be taken at the whim of the Israeli army with absolutely no recourse. At least black South Africans had citizenship under apartheid and could get a passport. It doesn’t take a math expert to realize the trend lines are very unfavorable for Israeli Jews to continue to subjugate the Palestinians. The Palestinians have endured two generations under brutal conditions, in just one more they will make up 65% of the population, and the game will be up. The second major trend is Iran’s continued attempt to develop nuclear weapons capability. The Iranians are pursuing that for their own security, they saw that Iraq without the bomb got invaded, while North Korea with a bomb is left alone. While Iran’s previous President would indulge in inflammatory rhetoric about Israel, the
new President is rather milder, even tweeting Israelis a happy New Year on RoshHashanah. But real power in Iran rests with Ayatollah Khamenei. From the Israeli perspective, a nuclear Iran could make Zionism very problematic. If the purpose of Zionism was to pro-
threat of Iran lifted. The third major trend is growing global revulsion towards Israel’s apartheid treatment of the Palestinians. The latest move is a proposal by the European Union to boycott all goods produced by Israeli Jewish settlements
For the first time in years, Israel and the Palestinians resumed negotiations over their conflict. The catalyst this time was US mediation, primarily intense diplomacy by Secretary of State John Kerry vide Jews a safe place to live in an antiSemitic world, it becomes ironic that Israel is the most dangerous place to be for Jews once Iran has the bomb. The fear Israeli leaders have is that would cause an exodus of educated secular English-speaking Jews to the West, depopulating Israel of its backbone and leaving it non-viable. Only a peace deal with the Palestinians will give the Israelis the legitimacy they want with the broader Muslim world and get the
(and as just an obvious proof of discriminatory nature of Israel, despite the fact that Palestinians make up almost 20% of Israel’s population, not a single Palestinian-Israeli is allowed to live in an Israeli settlement, they are for Jewish Israelis only). On some American campuses there are calls to support the BDS movement which calls for a campaign of boycott, divestment, and sanctions against Israel until it complies with international law. Promi-
The Banality of Outrage
‘commonplace’ or ‘trivial.’ She is arguing, instead, that the evil of Eichmann’s actions – as a top administrator in the Nazi death camps – was made even more terrible because he had trained himself to see them as no more than the merely routine. “The lesson that this long course in human wickedness has taught us”, Hannah Arendt points out, is “the lesson of the fearsome, word-andthought-defying banality of evil.” Arendt saw certain “ludicrousness” in Eichmann standing in the dock. She reports that “the deeds were monstrous, but the doer … neither demonic nor monstrous.” As he ranted in his defense, she found him “neither perverted nor sadistic” and without “any diabolical or demonic profundity.” Indeed, her most chilling realization was that he was “terribly and terrifyingly normal.” Characterized by, more than any other thing, his own “sheer thoughtlessness.” That is the essence of the banality of evil. The idea that great evil can be perpetuated not only by fanatical sociopaths but also by ordinary people who so conform to a corrupt premise that they view their actions as entirely ordinary, entirely defensible, even sensible. Banality is terrifying precisely because it emanates from the inability to recognize, acknowledge and confront evil for what it is. All of this is eerily relevant to today’s Pakistan. The church massacre in Peshawar is only the latest reminder in a string of reminders that evil lives in our midst. But also, and maybe even more excruciating, is the realization of a certain banality
that is most evident in the discourse that sprouts as routinely and as predictably as the evil itself. Bombings. Killings. Bloodshed. All have become routine. And routinised. Commonplace. Banal. Or, as Hannah Arendt may have put it, “terribly and terrifyingly normal.” Out of desperation more than analysis, we often call these acts, “thoughtless.” And in more profound ways than we may imagine, that is exactly what they are: devoid of – starved of – critical thought. The banality is as self-evident in the discourse of those who commit this evil, as it is in the lamentations of those who purport to understand its context. And the realization that other ‘ordinary’ people – in many ways as ‘ordinary’ as ourselves – will not see the injustice that is so very obvious to us pierces the heart as much as the injustice itself. The only recourse one has, then, is grief. And, outrage. In Pakistan, the predictability of senseless acts of violence is matched only by the predictability of outrage. It is a lie that we remain silent. As big a lie as the one about Muslims never speaking out about atrocities by other Muslims. Maybe it was once true, but it has not been true for a long time now. Because we have had so many unfortunate opportunities, we have perfected our rituals of outrage: editorials, TV talk shows, social media, political condemnations. But outrage in a divided society is also divided. We are all outraged by these events, but very differently outraged. We do not rush to embrace and comfort each other in our
times of tribulation. We scream out in pain. Mostly, we scream at each other. We point fingers. We score points. We jab partisan barbs. Nearly always we get into verbal bouts. Sometimes, into fist-fights. Our outrage has become cliché-ridden. As predictable, as commonplace, as those acts of violence themselves. There is, to coin a phrase, a certain banality in our outrage. To suggest that there is a banality of outrage is not to suggest that it is not sincere. Far from it. Our hurt is real each time we are hit. Our tears are real. The hurt does not lessen over time. The tears never stop streaming. The trail of tragedy is too long to recount, but this is not a pain you get used to. Our banality of outrage emanates from the futility of outrage. Hannah Arendt would have been the first to recognize that outrage has political potence. Ours does not. The banality of our outrage emanates not just from the fact that it has become predictable and commonplace. Our outrage is banal, because it is politically impotent. It does not lead to action – neither political, nor societal. This impotence of outrage makes us more enraged, but it does not make our outrage any more effective. Hence, the banality of outrage. This banality of outrage also has its farcical moments. Well-meaning, but farcical nonetheless. One such ritual is the all-too-predictable discussion on ‘whodunit’ that triggers off as soon as a bomb goes off. We become voyeuristically glued to any signs of rumor or news on who will take responsibility for that terrorist
COMMENTARY nent intellectuals and entertainers are refusing to go to Israel, the latest example is that of Stephen Hawking. Last year, the UN General Assembly voted overwhelmingly to recognize Palestine as a state, with only the US and Canada among the major nations voting no. This growing international hostility and isolation will gradually increase. What happens when the EU slaps serious sanctions on Israel? How long will they be able to hold out before economic hardship causes a significant number of Jews to emigrate? The last major trend is the increasing interest Obama has in resolving this dispute. Right-wing Jews, both in Israel and the US, have long distrusted Obama, and felt he harbored a negative view of Israel. The truth is Obama is Israel’s best friend, but the kind that is willing to do an intervention, not simply enable their alcoholism like George W. Bush did. Obama knows that Israel’s long term best interest lies in settling with Palestinians, which is also in America’s interest. He has been able to get the two parties back to talking. The question is how much more is he willing to do? How much pressure will he exert on Netanyahu to make a real offer? I wonder if it might be possible that Obama could use the freedom of being a lame duck to deal a wild card from the deck. If he told Netanyahu privately that Israel has until 2016 to reach a deal with the Palestinians he could back that up with a real threat. All he would need to say is that after the November 2016 elections, when Hilary Clinton has comfortably won but while Obama still has 70 days left in office, Obama will allow the Palestinians to come to the UN Security Council for statehood recognition, and the US will not veto it. attack. As if we do not know? As if knowing the answer would make a difference in our view of whoever takes responsibility? As if we are ever able to bring those who do claim responsibility to justice? In a functional polity, tragedy leads to outrage, outrage leads to introspection, introspection to action. In our case, the tragedies come so fast and furious and the very fabric of society is so tattered that there is no time for introspection and no political stomach for action. Our outrage, therefore, is catharsis at best; venomous vomiting at worst. If we sound cynical, there is much reason to be so. If we lunge at each other’s throats, it is because we are a divided society. If we sound exhausted in our grief, it is because we are. But most of all, our outrage seems banal because we do not believe that outrage will lead to action, let alone change. Indeed, there seems to be a pervasive certainty that it will not. That, more than all else, explains our banality of outrage. But our outrage need not necessarily be banal. Hannah Ardent’s answer to the problems posed by the banality of evil was ‘thoughtfulness’. Not just thinking, but critical thinking. She suggested that there is “a strange interdependence between thoughtlessness and evil” and wondered if “the activity of thinking as such… could ‘condition’ men against evildoing.” She was referring, I would like to believe, to education in the truest and deepest sense as the answer to the problem of ‘evil’. If, indeed, our banality of outrage is real, its answer lies in action. Outrage is wasted if it does not
OCTOBER 11, 2013 – PAKISTAN LINK – P25
Heathcliff in My Rear-view Mirror
n By Dr Zafar M. Iqbal TCCI, Chicago, IL
consider myself very fortunate growing up with and around books. My family had a fairly large collection, a good part of which survived my liberal, random ‘sharing’ with friends and others for years. ‘Loaned’ books are seldom returned, but if at all, more likely at a rate lower than ‘loaned’ money, as some of us have learned.
When my parents moved to the US over three decades ago, this collection as it was then, was donated to a local library in India that acknowledged the gift by dedicating one of its wings in their name. It had a lot of classic English literature, my father’s major focus, including a complete set of books by the Bronte sisters. One of my early and lasting favorites has been ‘Wuthering Heights’ by Emily B., her only book published in 1848, a year before her death at 30 due to tuberculosis. It still haunts me -- more so since my visit a few years ago with a British friend to the Bronte Parsonage in Haworth, West Yorkshire (west of Leeds, south of Keighley, near Bradford). I finally got to see and ‘experience’ the foreboding Yorkshire moors and surrounding terrain in which the book was set in the mid-19th century England. No one could have ordered a more fitting weather that afternoon -- dreary, wet and windy, right out of the pages of the book itself, with the ‘spirit’ of sisters all around. After I slipped on a wet slab of concrete around the parsonage, my friend discouraged me from exploring the area any further. But surveying the moors for any glimpse of Heathcliff and Catherine, I did get drenched though. I cannot forget the day or that night when I ran a nasty temperature. Emily Bronte portrays the central character, Heathcliff, as a “Lascar” and a “darkskinned gipsy” -- an inscrutable alien in the 19th century Yorkshire. Found as a homeless boy in Liverpool, Mr Earnshaw decides to adopt him, and brings him to the Yorkshire moors about 70 miles north-northeast. There, Heathcliff (name given by Mr Earnshaw) is constantly subjected to physical and emotional abuse by Mr Earnshaw’s real son, Hindley, who feels sidelined by the adoptee. The abuse gets only worse after Mr Earnshaw’s death. Later, Heathcliff goes away somewhere unspecified, makes his money, and returns as part of the landed gentry but continues to be a much-maligned anomaly in that part of England. Right from the first page to his death in his bed, Emily Bronte studiously describes Heathcliff as a rough-hewn, insensitive misfit, quick
n By Momal S. Iqbal, Esq.
Los Angeles, CA
undreds of thousands of people from around the world each year, in an effort to better their lives and gain a stronger academic foundation, come to the United States as students to attend school on the F-1 visa. However, many are unaware of the requirements to maintain valid F-1 status, leading to serious and unforeseen immigration consequences for many hard working students. Furthermore, thousands of students have been lured to the United States by fraudulent universities which promise students immediate employment authorization, online courses, and assistance with job placement after graduation. The rise of these fraudulent universities has caused stricter enforcement of the F-1 visa by the Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). This article is intended to help students navigate the common pitfalls associated with the F-1 visa and help aspiring students recognize red flags associated with prospective schools.
to take offense at the slightest hint. When Mr Lockwood, his new tenant at Thrushcross Grange, comes over to pay a courtesy visit, Heathcliff rudely interrupts him just to emphasize his ownership of that place. More of this kind of behavior and attitude follows in various situations throughout the book. On Emily’s description of Heathcliff, I offer a few comments here, with some historical context : The word ‘Lascar’ is derived from Persian, ‘Lushker’, originally meaning a military camp or army, and later used for sailors and militiamen from the Indian subcontinent employed on European ships. This practice started as early as 1490s, when Vasco da Gama was the first to sail from Portugal to Malabar, southwestern coast of India, now Kerala. Nearby Goa became a Portuguese colony soon after, and remained so before the Indian government took it over after independence in 1947. In the 16th and 17 centuries, Portuguese ships employed a large number of lascars from the subcontinent. When the British East India Company, an international trading enterprise formed in 1600, reached India, the British ships employed Indian lascars (mainly from Bengal, Assam and Gujrath). On these ships, they were also brought in increasingly numbers to British ports where some of them married British girls (there were no legal restrictions against such marriages) and raised families in and around the dock area settlements. According to some estimates, by early 1800s, there were about 10,000 Indian lascars living in Britain. By mid-1800, 3,000 to 12,000 lascars arrived annually in Britain, a trend that continued through the rest of 19th century. At the beginning of WWI, more than 50,000 lascars lived in Britain. Michael Herbert Fisher in his 2006 book, “Counterflows to Colonialism” [ISBN 817824-154-4] and in his later work on the same subject, gives a comprehensive picture of ‘lascar’ history in Britain. Many cities in India had British cantonments or army areas. For instance, Secunderabad, twin city of Hyderabad, was one that some old Hyderabadis used to call “Lushker.” It was in a Secunderabad hospital, KEM (King Edward VII Memorial) , I was born, less than a mile from my mother’s ancestral home. Digressing further, it is also the same hospital where Sir Ronald Ross did some crucial research on the life cycle of malaria parasite in Anopheles mosquito, for which he received a Nobel in Medicine/Physiology (1902). This
hospital was re-named in 1958 as Gandhi Hospital. Heathcliff was found in a lascar settlement in Liverpool, and Emily Bronte, aware of the presence of such families living in the country, probably expanded on the folklore to create Heathcliff. Heathcliff, described as a ‘dark-skinned gipsy’, also seems to conform to another historical caricature. Isabel Fonesca’s book, “Bury Me Standing: the Gypsies and Their Journey” (1995) [ISBN 0-679-73743-X], is the result of her spending four years with gypsy communities (or Roma, a term they prefer) from Albania to Poland. It is an excellent rendition of the stories of a people “on the brink,” who left India 1,000 years ago and inched their way westward, “tired of being stereotyped or marginalized” and perpetually misunderstood across the world. Book’s title comes from a Roma proverb describing their plight: “Bury me standing. I’ve been on my knees all my life” [in Romany, “Prohasar man opre pirende --- sa muro djiben In this book, Fonesca describes Roma/ gypsy culture and customs, the prejudices they faced in different countries they lived, and the influences they had on their ways. Even Romany language has words and phrases from Hindi/Urdu, Persian, Armenian, and
Avoiding Pitfalls with the F-1 Student Visa
In January 2011, Tri-Valley University in Pleasanton, California was shut down for fraud associated with the F-1 visa program. As a result, thousands of foreign students, mostly from South Asia, were stripped of their student status, and many were placed in proceedings to be removed from the United States. Then in August of 2011 ICE authorities raided University of Northern Virginia leaving approximately two thousand F-1 students in limbo. The growing number of these private, for profit, and usually unaccredited universities are presenting a real threat to the legitimacy of the F-1 program. Many students are misled by universities into thinking that they are complying with immigration laws. Therefore, it is important for students and their parents to arm themselves with the knowledge to ensure they are not being taken advantage of and recognize when to ask questions to protect themselves. The United States has monitored the presence of international students and exchange visitors since World War II. After the First World Trade Center bombing in 1993,
which involved a foreign student that had overstayed his student visa, there was a push to create an electronic tracking system that would provide better and timelier information regarding foreign students in the United States. This eventually led to the creation of the Student Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS), a web-based system that provides real-time, up-to-date information on F, M and J non-immigrants. SEVP, a component of ICE, manages SEVIS, and is responsible for certifying all schools for nonimmigrant student admission. SEVP also monitors certified schools to ensure school compliance with SEVIS reporting and recordkeeping regulations. Each SEVP-certified school must appoint at least one Designated School Official (DSO). This person serves as a link between F-1 students and SEVP, and plays a central role in ensuring students at their school maintain valid status while in the United States. Problem schools often have DSOs that give bad advice to F-1 students on a number of issues. Therefore, students should
other Eastern European languages/dialects, along with a few from Arabic, reflecting years of migration across the world. These nomadic communities, still present in some parts of India and referred to as “bunjaray” or “lumbaday. Generally, they are street musicians and performers with some not-always-favorable reputation. According to Fonesca and other sources, the Gypsy diaspora worldwide is about 12 million, two-thirds (or about 8 million) of them now mainly in Eastern Europe, forming the largest minority on the continent. Vaclav Havel (1936 – 2011), a playwright, poet and essayist who was also the last president of Czechoslovakia and the first president of Czech Republic, once said, “the Gypsies are a litmus test not of democracy but of a civilized society.” In addition to the Jews, the Roma were also a minority persecuted by the Nazis before and during WWII. For instance, Fonesca cites a semi-official commentary on the Nurenberg laws: “In Europe generally only Jews and Gypsies are carriers of alien blood.” Fonesca brings up a shocking incidence (with picture) in Oberwart, Austria, where four Romas were killed in a pipe bomb explosion when one Roma tried to remove a sign that read, “Gypsies Go Back to India.” This occurred in February, 1995, in a part of Austria (Burgenland) where Roma people have been settled for more than 300 years. This reflects the persistent level of intolerance against Romas in parts of Europe, nearly seven decades after their persecution supposedly was over with the end of WWII. Those interested in Roma history, culture and folklore would find Fonesca’s book quite illuminating. On another personal aside, in the late1970s, I went to Budapest, Hungary, to present two papers in a WHO/International Agency of Research on Cancer conference. After the conference, the attendees were treated to dinner and entertainment. The entertainment was by a traditional group of Roma musicians and dancers that looked more like my longlost uncles and aunts. They, for some reason, dragged me on to the stage more than few times as a convenient though rather embarrassed partner. There, an international group of colleagues got to witness my ‘performance’ on another, perhaps more lively, stage. We tend to defer to the British writers to portray their former colonies and ‘subjects’ during the Raj as they prefer, but I wonder how can such a portrayal not reduce Heathcliff to a stereotypic caricature ‘profiling’ unless that’s what Emily Bronte wanted the readers to conjure up.
be aware of situations to avoid to ensure they do not fall out of status. The following are common issues to be aware of that can jeopardize a student’s F-1 status. 1. Curricular Practical Training (CPT) One of the prevailing problems our office has seen in recent requests for evidence (RFE), usually when a F-1 student is trying to obtain work authorization for OPT or a change of status to another nonimmigrant status (such as a H-1b), involves improper CPT. CPT is alternative work/study, internship, cooperative education, or any other type of required internship that is offered by sponsoring employers through cooperative agreements with a school. The DSO may authorize a student to participate in CPT if it is an integral part of an established curriculum and the student has completed one full academic year of full-time study. CPT is an “integral part of an established curriculum” when it is a requirement of the program or, if it is not required (which is usually the case), the student must receive credit for the training by en-
rolling in it as a class. An exception to the one academic year requirement is provided for students enrolled in a graduate program that requires immediate participation in CPT. A student may begin curricular practical training only after receiving his or her Form I-20 with the DSO endorsement. Please also note that once a student has completed 12 months of full-time CPT, he or she becomes ineligible for optional practical training (OPT) at that educational level. So it is important for students to keep track of how many months they are using CPT to ensure they preserve the ability to participate in OPT down the road. Students should try to ensure that their CPT employer and the school have a cooperative agreement with each other and request a copy of the agreement for the student’s own records. Many RFE’s regularly request these agreements. Additionally, request and keep offer letters from CPT employers that describe the location and duties of the position, the dates of proposed employment, and whether the CPT is full-time or part-time. 2. Physical Presence in Class Another common issue VISA, P26
P26 – PAKISTAN LINK – OCTOBER 11, 2013
Investing: How to Get Started
n By Saghir Aslam
struments. However, if you have assets that can be converted easily to cash (like money-market funds or stocks), you may want to invest longer-term in search of higher return potential. Similarly, you should calculate an annual household budget by adding up all of your income for the year (salary, interest and dividends on investments, distributions from pension or profit-sharing plans, alimony) and then subtracting your regular, essential expenses (such as mortgage or rent payments, food, utilities and clothing). The balance is the amount you have to spend on personal uses, such as vacations and gifts, or to invest. 3. Understand your tolerance for risk. Most investments have some measure of inherent risk. If you have sufficient assets and income, you might be willing to accept greater risk in exchange for a potentially larger gain. However, if you cannot afford to risk your investment principal, you probably should consider lower-risk investments — which, while relatively safe, usually do not earn high returns. 4. Understand your investment. Before you invest, you should understand how the investment works. If, for example, you are thinking about buying the common stock of a company, take the time to learn about the company and the industry (or industries) in which it operates by reading the company’s annual report or analysts’ research reports about the company. A mutual fund may seem to be a
simple investment because your money will be managed by professionals. However, you should know such things as the fund’s short- and long-term performance compared with that of other funds. The fund’s investment objective and strategy (what the fund invests in — stocks, government bonds, municipal bonds, etc.), and the fund’s charges, expenses and risks. These, and other questions on the investment company, are answered in the fund’s prospectus, which can be obtained from your financial professional. Read and consider it carefully before investing. 5. Seek professional advice. As briefly outlined above, there are many things you should know before you invest. An experienced financial advisor can help you — from setting financial goals and understanding various investments to monitoring the success of your account. As with your investments, be sure you understand how a Financial Advisor will charge for services, and select an advisor who is comfortable with your objectives. Some advisors work only with aggressive, high-risk investors, while other advisors are well suited to long-term, security-conscious investors. If you take the time to understand your financial situation, set reasonable goals and work with a qualified Financial Advisor, your experience with investing has a better chance of success. (Saghir A. Aslam only explains strategies and formulas that he has been using. He is merely providing information, and NO ADVICE is given. Mr. Aslam does not endorse or recommend any broker, brokerage firm, or any investment at all, or does he suggest that anyone will earn a profit when or if they purchase stocks, bonds or any other investments. All stocks or investment vehicles mentioned are for illustrative purposes only. Mr. Aslam is not an attorney, accountant, real estate broker, stockbroker, investment advisor, or certified financial planner. Mr. Aslam does not have anything for sale.)
Due to the heightened scrutiny on the physical attendance of classes, students should be especially weary of schools that try to recruit foreign students with programs that emphasis online courses. Avoid taking classes where the instructor is not physically in the room with the students; live streamlining classes over the internet; or the generic online courses where students can complete coursework on their own schedules. 3. Maintaining a Full Course of Study Students need to ensure they are taking a full course load, unless they receive authorization from the DSO. The DSO may authorize a reduced course load for circumstances such as a student’s initial difficulty with English, medical conditions, and if fewer courses are needed to complete the program in the student’s final term. Failure to obtain authorization from the DSO will leave a student out of status. The issues outlined in this article are only a few of the ways a
student can fall out of F-1 status. Students need to stay vigilant about maintain lawful status and avoid falling prey to scams, especially as the number of fraudulent schools are increasing. Ask questions if things sound “too good to be true;” do not blindly follow the advice of friends and colleagues; research the university that you plan to attend and ensure it is accredited. When in doubt contact the DSO official at the university, an immigration attorney, or even SEVP. International students make significant contributions to the academic environment and the U.S. economy. We hope this article helps highlight how to avoid some of the common problems associated with the F-1 visa so students can focus on being students. (Momal Iqbal| Global Immigration Partners, Inc. | Attorney at law| MSI@gotcherlaw.com Momal has been practicing immigration law since 2008. Prior to becoming a private immigration attorney, she served as an Assistant Chief Counsel for the US Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Global Immigration Partners is a family-owned and operated immigration law firm which specializes in employment-based nonimmigrant and immigrant visas. Please visit us at http://imminfo.com for more information on US Immigration issues)
(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) To the novice investor, the increasing number of investment choices available can seem confusing. Most Financial Advisors, however, agree that you should follow a few basic steps when just getting started with investing: 1. Determine your financial objectives. There are many reasons for investing. Some of the most common are earning more current income; building your net worth; saving for a home, college education for your children, or your retirement; and reducing your tax burden. Each of these objectives suggests different investment strategies and different types of investments. For example, if you want more current income, you might do better with a fixed-income investment, such as a bond, rather than a growth-company stock that offers longterm potential but may fluctuate more than a bond. 2. Understand your current financial position. Calculate your net worth by adding up all of your assets (such as the value of your home, personal property, investments, bank accounts and pension or profit-sharing plans) and then subtracting your liabilities (money you owe for such things as mortgages, car loans, credit-card debt and other bills). If most of your assets are in real estate (which is true for many people), you may need to convert your investments to cash in an emergency. Therefore, you may not want to invest in long-term inVISA FROM P25
that could result in a violation of F-1 status is taking “virtual,” “online,” or classes that do not require the student to be in the same physical location as the instructor. This is commonly the case with schools flagged by ICE for F-1 violations. Under the regulations, no more than the equivalent of one class that does not exceed three credits is allowed per academic term if the class is taken online or through distance education. This includes classes where the instructor is not present and conducting the class through Skype or some other virtual method. When dealing with a physical presence issue, students should limit their online coursework or at the very least ensure some type of physical participation in the form of periodic in-person meetings with the instructor or a final presentation/ report requiring physical presence as a requirement of the course. Recently, RFEs have been requesting evidence demonstrating the student lives within a commutable distance from the educational institution so they can physically attend classes. Consequently, students should try to keep records of signed residential leases, affidavits from roommates, mail addressed to the student at the residential address, bus passes, airline tickets, etc., to show they live in a commutable distance from the school and have physically attended classes.
Clean Drinking Water
408.244.3282 | www.hidaya.org 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
106.96 28.52 171.98 1.1034 145.05 29.12
Buying Rs. 104.43 27.83 167.91 1.0767 141.61 27.84
(*Source: Dawn, October 9, 2013)
U.S. VISA AVAILABILITY IN OCTOBER 2013 For Pakistan, Bangla Desh & India Compiled by: Hasan Chishti FAMILY SPONSORED PREFERENCE Pakistan/Bangla Desh 1st Unmarried sons & daughters of U.S. Citizens
Oct., 1, 2006
India Oct., 1, 2006
2-A Spouses and unmarried children of permanent residents
Sept., 8, 2013
Sept., 8, 2013
2-B Unmarried sons & daughters (21 years of age or older) of permanent residents
March 1, 2006
March 1, 2006
3rd Married sons & daughters of U.S. citizens
Jan. 22, 2003
Jan. 22, 2003
4th Brothers & sisters of adult U.S citizens
August 8, 2001
August 8 , 2001
EMPLOYMENT BASED CATEGORY 1st Priority workers
2nd Members of the professions holding advanced degree or persons of exceptional ability
June 15, 2008
3rd Skilled workers Other workers
July 1, 2010 July 1, 2010
Sept. 22, 2003 Sept. 22, 2003
4th Certain special immigrants Certain religious workers
5th Employment creation Targeted Employment Areas/ Regional centers 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.
OCTOBER 11, 2013 – PAKISTAN LINK – P27
Gems from the Holy Qur’an
Issues and Questions
Questions of Life and Death
From the translation by Muhammad Asad (Leopold Weiss)
n By Dr Muzammil H. Siddiqi
About the translator:
or take life - which Allah has made sacred - except for just cause. And if anyone is slain wrongfully, We have given his heir authority (to demand Qisas or to forgive): but let him not exceed bounds in the matter of taking life; for he is helped (by the law). (Al-Isra’ 17:33)
Say: “Come, I will rehearse what Allah has (really) prohibited you from”: join not anything as equal with Him; be good to your parents; kill not your children on a plea of want - We provide sustenance for you and for them - come not nigh to shameful deeds, whether open or secret; take not life, which Allah hath made sacred, except by way of justice and law: thus does He command you, that you may learn wisdom. (Al-An’am 6:151) Islam considers human life sacred. Life is to be protected and promoted as much as possible. Since the Florida woman Terri Shiavo’s case came in the news, there is a lot of discussion on the issue of life and death. It is important for us as Muslims to understand our position and also to prepare ourselves in case we or our dear ones confront such a situation. There are a number of important questions: 1. What is the Islamic position on euthanasia? 2. Is it permissible to prolong life artificially and at what point it is allowed for doctors to “pull the plug”? 3. In case of dispute who makes the final decision: doctors, parents, spouse, children or government? 4. When does the death occur? 5. How important it is for us Muslims to prepare a will explaining our position in this matter? 1. Euthanasia or “Mercy Killing”: There is no provision in Islam for killing oneself or another person to reduce his/ her physical or emotional pain or suffering from sickness or injury. It is the duty of the doctors, patients’ relatives, and the state to take care of the sick and to do their best to reduce the pain and suffering of the sick, but they are not allowed under any circumstances to kill the sick person. The sick person also should
Muhammad Asad, Leopold Weiss, was born of Jewish parents 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 years of devoted study 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, dedicated to li-qawmin yatafakkaroo (people who think).
patiently endure the pain and should pray to Allah. Faith and patience bring both comfort and blessings in this life and in the eternal life. If, however, a number of medical experts determine that a patient is in a terminal condition, there is no hope for his/ her recovery and all medications have become useless, then it is permissible for them, through a collective decision, to stop the medication. Under no condition it is permissible to induce death. As long as a person is alive, it is his/her right to be fed. Medical experts and relatives should not withhold nutrition from a living person. They should do their best to provide him/her with necessary nutrition by whatever method it is possible. 2. Prolonging life artificially: The Shari’ah favors life and emphasizes that life should be protected as much as it is possible. According to the Qur’an “saving one life is like saving the whole humanity” (Al-Ma’idah 5:32). Thus the Shari’ah scholars are in favor of using all methods, including artificial resuscitation to protect life. If a patient is placed on life support and the doctors see no improvement in the patient’s conditions, and the doctors indicate that artificial resuscitation
has become useless, then with due consideration and care and by collective decision of medical experts, family members and religious scholars, it would be permissible to decide to switch
As long as a person is alive, it is his/ her right to be fed. Medical experts and relatives should not withhold nutrition from a living person. They should do their best to provide him/ her with necessary nutrition by whatever method it is possible off the life support machine and to allow nature to take its course. 3. In case of dispute who makes the final decision, Shari’ah would prefer a consensus and collective decision in this matter. The decision should be made with compassion and by bringing all the family members together by explaining the whole situation and con-
sequences. It is better that courts should not interfere in this matter unless there is a suspicion that, for example, the doctor belongs to an organ transplant group or the family member is interested in the inheritance or bequeath or anyone in the team is accused of professional misconduct. It is better to make error and save life rather than err and lose life. 4. When is a person dead? Muslim medical experts have defined death in the following way: An individual is considered dead in one of the following two situations: A) Complete irreversible cessation of respiratory and cardiovascular systems. B) Complete irreversible cessation of the functions of the brain including the brain stem. This should be confirmed by the accepted medical standards. In case of brain death it is required to have the presence of a reliable medical specialist well experienced in the clinical diagnosis of brain and brain stem death and the various implications of such diagnosis. 5. Preparing the will: The Prophet - peace be upon him urged all Muslims to prepare their will. It is always good to have an Islamic will. The way the situation is changing and the increasing involvement of the governments and courts in this matter, makes it even more urgent and necessary that we carefully think how to prepare our Islamic will, not only for the distribution of inheritance, but also for our medical treatment in case of coma or other complications and also our proper Islamic burial. May Allah keep us on the right path and save us from difficulties in this life and in the life to come. Ameen.
Chapter 2, Al-Baqarah (The Cow), Verse 114 Hence, who could be more wicked than those who bar the mention of God’s name from [any of] His houses of worship and strive for their ruin, [although] they have no right to enter them save in fear of God?1 For them in this world, there is ignominy in store; and for them, in the life to come, awesome suffering. Chapter 2, Verses, Al-Baqarah (The Cow), Verses 115-116 And God’s is the east and the west: and wherever you turn, there is God’s countenance. Behold God is infinite, all knowing. And yet some people assert, “God has taken unto Himself a son!” Limitless is he in his glory!2 Chapter 2, Al-Baqarah (The Cow), Verse 124 And [remember this:] when his Sustainer tried Abraham by [His] commandments and the latter fulfilled them, He said: “Behold, I shall make thee a leader of men”. Abraham asked: “And [wilt thou make leaders] of my offspring as well?” [God] answered: “My covenant does not embrace evilgoers”.3 _________________________ Translator’s Notes 1 It is one of the fundamental principles of Islam that every religion which has belief in God as its focal point must be accorded full respect, however much one may disagree with its particular tenets. Thus, the Muslims are under an obligation to honor and protect any house of worship dedicated to God, whether it be a mosque or a church or a synagogue; and any attempt to prevent the followers of another faith from worshipping God according to their own lights is condemned by the Qur’an as a sacrilege. A striking illustration of this principle is forthcoming from the Prophet’s treatment of the deputation from Christian Najran in the year 10H. They were given free access to the Prophet’s mosque, and with his full consent celebrated their religious rites there, although their adoration of Jesus as “the son of God” and of Mary as “the Mother of God” was fundamentally at variance with Islamic beliefs. 2 I.e., far from any imperfection such as would be implied in the necessity (or logical possibility) of having any “progeny” either in a literal or a metaphorical sense. (In the original text) the expression “subhaana” - applied exclusively to God - connotes His utter remoteness from any imperfection and any similarity, however GEMS, P29
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PAKISTAN OUTRAGE FROM P24
outlead to action. Maybe a dose of ‘thoughtfulness’ will also help in structuring our own outrage. The belief that nothing will happen needs to give way to the resolve that something must. The way ahead in linking action and words in outrage is pointed, again, by Hannah Arendt in her other book The Human Condition: “Of all the activities necessary and present in human communities, only two were deemed to be political and to constitute what Aristotle called the bios politikos, names action (praxis) and speech (lexis), out of which rises the realm of human affairs.” Lexis without praxis, is a recipe for the banality of outrage. OBAMACARE FROM P10
the employed and the old and not the right of citizenship. The spiraling costs of healthcare had brought our economy to the brink of financial ruin when we saw some of our biggest and best companies run into bankruptcies. The stories of ordinary people unable to receive health care when they needed it the most have been commonplace and tragic. To those who claim we need to delay Obamacare further because it is bad for the economy, we ask where is the evidence? Since its inception we have seen savings from allowing our youth to remain on their parent’s plans as well as giving our seniors reimbursements for their prescription drug purchases. By opening up access for the many uninsured to get covered, we will reduce the practice of the indiscriminate yet inevitable use of Emergency Rooms, the most expensive sites in our health care’s delivery system. By including free prevention services in the coverage of Obamacare we will embark upon a sensible approach towards promoting healthier life styles and healthier outcomes. With all these benefits to boot why would we choose to wait for another year? Yet the politics of deceit would have us believe that is the path of prudence. When all else fails Washington throws a tantrum and shuts down the store. But elsewhere in the country the market places are open and humming with activity. For the people can spot a bargain when they see one and they are busy shopping. If you are in the market, here are a few websites which provide useful information and help with enrolment: http://getcoveredillinois.gov/ IlHealthExchange www.Healthcare.gov http://schakowsky.house.gov http://kff.org/ Happy shopping! RECONCILIATION FROM P10
Bangladesh to settle territorial disputes, on water sharing from common rivers, and they have been blocked by the regional parties and Hindu nationalists. A good opportunity to begin the process of peace and reconciliation was wasted at the United Nations by the reckless and uncompromising attitude of both the Indian leaders. One wonders if the tough, unsubstantiated argument was meant for Pakistan or the world or to pander to Hindu extremists at home? STYLE FROM P11
politicians is also evident in the appointment of his advisers and special assistants. Three of his four advisers and special assistants —
OCTOBER 11, 2013 – PAKISTAN LINK – P29 Tariq Fatemi, Sartaj Aziz and Khawaja Zaheer — are former bureaucrats. Only Sardar Sanaullah Zehri, who has been appointed as special assistant to the prime minister and enjoys the status of a federal minister, is a politician. However, Mr Zehri’s is a totally different story. Mr Zehri was a strong candidate for the post of chief minister of Balochistan, which eventually went to Dr Abdul Malik Baloch of the National Party. The prime minister rewarded Mr Zehri with the status of federal minister only to placate him, according to the sources. Since general elections, many senior party members have been sidelined. PML-N’s Secretary General Iqbal Zafar Jhagra is still waiting for some important assignment. Initially, there were reports that he would be made governor of his home province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. If a senior member of the PML-N is to be believed, Mr Jhagra even finds difficulty in holding a meeting with the prime minister, who is the party’s president. “What message are we sending to the party’s rank and file who remained loyal to the party leadership during Gen [Pervez] Musharraf ’s rule?” a party leader asked. He criticized the present lot of prime minister’s advisers who were deliberately not allowing genuine party workers to go near the PM Office. The PML-N leader also recalled how the party loyalists were ignored when the prime minister picked former British lawmaker Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar as the Punjab governor. Earlier, Rana Iqbal was tipped as governor, but he was made speaker of the Punjab assembly instead. Former Sindh chief minister Syed Ghous Ali Shah, who went through difficult times during the Musharraf regime, met a similar fate. Mr Shah resigned as president of the party’s Sindh chapter in August, after the party refused to accommodate him in the federal government. “Once in power, the party workers expect respect from their leadership, both in terms of reward and recognition. But that’s missing from our government,” said the party source. Worse still, no sincere effort was made to address Mr Shah’s grievances, he added. GEMS FROM P27
tenuous, with any created being or thing. 3 This passage, read in conjunction with the two preceding verses, refutes the contention of the children of Israel that they are “God’s chosen people”. The Qur’an makes it clear that the exalted status of Abraham was not something that would automatically confer a comparable status on his physical descendants, and certainly not on the sinners amongst them. CAIR FROM P21
SEE: Trust Act Signed in California to Limit Deportation Program (Huffington Post) The TRUST Act was one of two bills that California Muslims advocated for at CAIR-CA’s secondannual Muslim Day at the Capitol (MDAC) earlier this year in Sacramento. At the daylong event, more than 150 California Muslims urged their lawmakers to support civil rights for all by passing the TRUST
CAIR-CA has historically supported the Trust Act, and has worked alongside immigrant rights’ groups to advocate for its passage. At its first-ever MDAC program in 2012, California Muslims advocated for the TRUST Act, then known as SB 1081. That bill passed both houses, but was subsequently vetoed by Governor Brown. This year’s compromise version of the bill gives law enforcement much more leeway to respond to immigration “detainer” requests, while setting a minimum standard to ensure that those with most low-level, non-violent offenses are not wastefully held for deportation purposes. CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
tion process. The Swiss authorities have now written back stating the cases can’t reopened,” said Bilal. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is expected to be notified of the response and will chalk out the next course of action after consulting with his legal team. SHARIFS FROM P1
the proceedings till November 6 after NAB’s prosecutor Khurram Ijaz told it that the LHC had yet to vacate the stay order. After the Supreme Court judgment of Dec 16, 2009, which declared the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) void ab initio and ordered the NAB to revive corruption references, the bureau’s prosecution filed the application in an accountability court in 2010. But the court deferred hearing on the application because it was not signed by the NAB chairman due to his unavailability. On Dec 3 last year, the LHC bench reserved judgment on petitions of the Sharif family requesting it to quash the corruption references pertaining to Ittefaq Foundries, the Raiwind assets of the family and Hudaibia Paper Mills. The references have been pending in the court since 2000. MUSHARRAF FROM P1
His lawyer said the ruling meant he was a “free man”. But he is likely to remain under heavy guard at his villa on the edge of Islamabad, where he has been under house arrest since April, because of serious threats to his life. “Pervez Musharraf is a free man now after getting bail in the Bugti case,” said Qamar Afzal, another counsel for the former president. Akbar Bugti was killed in 2006 in a military operation in Balochistan and a case was registered later in 2009 against Musharraf. ENGINE FROM P1
MPAC FROM P21
youth identity. This year, we’re excited to introduce you to another batch of innovators who are shaping the future of our community and our country through a variety of fields, including grassroots organizing, technology, youth activism and leadership, intellectual reform, arts and culture, and public service. his is your chance to be one of five people selected to share your story of working to make your vision for change a reality. Click here to learn more about “Fast Fwd: The Ideas Shaping Our Future” and apply online today. All entries are due by Friday, Oct. 25, 2013. If you know someone with a vision for the future who is working to make that vision a reality, share this information with them. They just may be selected to present at MPAC’s Convention. ZARDARI FROM P1
“S ecret ar y Law Ministry oversaw the entire procedure and the communica-
the world on one single platform. Some 60 research presentations and papers will be presented at the two-day event organized by the Institute of Planetary Astrophysics (ISPA), University of Karachi, to celebrate the ‘World Space Week 2013’. The first day of the two-day conference brought together scholars and experts from Pakistan Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (Suparco), Ghulam Ishaq Khan Institute of Engineering Science and Technology, Institute of Space Technology, ISPA and other institutes. The official topic of this year’s
Space Week celebrations is “Exploring Mars, Discovering Earth”. In an interesting presentation, Salman Zubair from the Department of Geography, Karachi University, shared his findings about road designs and accidents, which according to him, could be curbed by using the help of satellite imagery and Geographical Information System. He urged road planners to consider mass awareness about the new road facilities and GIS planning while designing major roads. TTP FROM P1
listen to the government’s conditions through the media nor do we want to present our conditions via media.” With many believing that the 2014 US withdrawal from Afghanistan could deflate the militant movements, Mehsud said that the situation in drawdown will not have any effect on Pakistani Taliban and they will continue to carry out their activities. “We carry our fight in Pakistan for two reasons. One reason is that Pakistan is friends with America and at the behest of Americ, Pakistan has killed ulema and destroyed madrassas,” he said. Headded the other reason for the fight against Pakistan was the prevalent “non-Islamic” system in the country. The TTP leader also reiterated that if America agreed to stop drone strikes, the Taliban would also stop their fight. He said that that they were aware of the appeals of ulema who want them to stop the war. “But in the case of us ending the war, we also want a stop to drone strikes. If drone strikes are stopped, we will be ready to stop our jihad.” Blasts: The TTP leader, who carries a $5 million bounty on his head, disowned the recent blasts in public places. “Other agencies are involved in that.” “The purpose of the blasts is to misguide the people against Taliban, so that the people who support us can stop doing so.” Mehsud said that the TTP members have distanced themselves from such blasts before and will do so again. Criticizing the government for not being able to take any substantial step towards peace talks, the TTP chief said they would not hold dialogue through the media.“We don’t wish to negotiate with the media…. neither do we wish to hear the government’s preconditions through the media nor do we want to put our precondition in front of it,” said Mehsud. Mehsud said the Pakistani Taliban will carry on demanding implementation of Shariah laws in the country even after the 2014 withdrawal.
ENTERTAINMENT & LIFESTYLE
OCTOBER 11, 2013 - PAKISTAN LINK
P30 â€“ PAKISTAN LINK â€“ OCTOBER 11, 2013
enjoyed making it". Nadeem M. Mandviwalla of Mandviwalla Entertainment, the co-distributor and exhibitor of the movie states, "It is heartening to see people like Dr. Hassan Rana and Bilal Lashari showing interest in making films and doing a commendable job in raising the bar for Pakistani film industry."
fter consistent delays, it appears that "Waar", an action-drama directed by Bilal Lashari will finally see the light of day sooner, than later. According to a press release from ARY Films and Mandviwalla Entertainment the release date has finally been announced for Eid al-Adha. Described as "Pakistan's biggest budgeted", at USD $2million "Waar", releasing under Mind Works Media ban-
ner, written and produced by Dr. Hassan Waqas Rana, stars Shaan Shahid as a dejected elite who may be Pakistan's last line of defense against the deadly mercenary played by Shamoon Abbasi. The movie is Mr. Lashari's directorial debut and stars Hamza Ali Abbasi, Aisha Khan, Ali Azmat, Misha Shafi, Kamaran Lashari and Nadeem Abbas Rana. I am a perfectionist by nature
and have been fine-tuning several aspects of the movie to make it a truly worth watching experience for the audience. My team and I have put our tears, blood and sweat in this movie to create a masterpiece and an entertaining piece of art. We have raised the bar of everything in this movie from cinematography to shooting to aesthetics and we hope that the audience will enjoy watching this movie just as much as we
Production of high quality and interesting movies such as "Waar" will surely become the game changer for Pakistan's film industry and will provide the much needed impetus for more talented people to take risks by making movies on different topics rather than mainstream love stories. Courtesy Dawn
OCTOBER 11, 2013 – PAKISTAN LINK – P31
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