PMA condemns colleague’s murder | Dr Baqir Shah

The Pakistan Medical Association, Karachi has strongly condemned the brutal murder of Dr. Baqir Shah, Police Surgeon, Quetta… The reason for his killing is obvious: that he was the key witness of the Kharotabad incident. He had conducted the post-mortem examination of the victims and had given the factual version that the victims had died due to the indiscriminate firing of the LEAs and not due to an explosion… PMA condemns colleague’s murder | Dr Baqir Shah.

The ‘Bulbul-e-Kashmir’ sings for Indo-Pak peace

This personal blog post is dedicated to an inspiring couple in Mumbai and to the editor who introduced us: May our tribe increase.

Enduring ties: Seema Sehgal at PIPFPD, Karachi, 2003, with me and my daughter Maha. Photo by Ved Bhasin.

I met Seema Sehgal in Karachi, in December 2003 at the 6th Joint Convention of the Pakistan India Forum for Peace and Democracy (PIPFPD). Ved Bhasin, the respected Editor of The Kashmir Times, Jammu, introduced us. “Seema,” he said, “is known as the Bulbul-e-Kashmir (Nightingale of Kashmir).”

Ved Bhasin: Shukriya

The petite and unassuming Mumbai-based ghazal singer from Jammu has none of the airs one might expect from a performer of her calibre. She is not only an amazing artist, but she also has a deep and abiding interest in Urdu poetry and in Indo-Pak peace. When relations plummeted between the two countries following the nuclear tests of May 1998, Seema dedicated her new album ‘Sarhad’ to peace between the India and Pakistan. Continue reading

Baloch Hal Editorial: War Against Baloch Doctors

It is an outrage and a violation of freedom of expression that Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) continues to block Baloch Hal in Pakistan at a time when this voice needs to be heard across the country now, more than ever.  Reproduced below, BH editorial pegged on the target killing of Dr Baqir Shah (emphasis added):

Editorial: War Against Baloch Doctors

Balochistan: Doctors sit in protest at the murder of their colleagues. Photo: Baloch Hal

The late police surgeon was somewhat an easy target for terrorists for a host of reasons. His situation could enable any murderer to immediately vanish in thin air because of the circumstances that shrouded the late doctor. He gained enormous national and international media attention after conducting the postmortem of five foreigners who were killed on May 17 in what is now remembered as the infamous and tragic Kharotabad incident. Continue reading

HRW response to ‘Memogate’: a litmus test for all actors – particularly judiciary and army

Dec 30, 2011, Human Rights Watch press statement received today: “As the “Memogate” case proceeds, all arms of the state must act within their constitutionally determined ambit and in aid of legitimate civilian rule. In this context, justice must both be done and be seen to be done. Pakistan desperately needs a full democratic cycle and a peaceful transfer of power from one civilian administration to another. Should this process be derailed, the constitutional safeguards and legal rights protections created since 2008 may suffer irreparable damage.  Continue reading

Who Was Dr. Baqir Shah?

Since the Pakistan Telecommunications Authority (PTA) continues to block Baloch Hal in Pakistan, I’m posting these news items from their website here. The saga of Pakistan’s ‘enlightenment’ martyrs continues…

Who Was Dr. Baqir Shah?

The Baloch Hal News

QUETTA: Dr. Baqir Shah, a police surgeon, had conducted the postmortem of the five foreigners, including three women who were brutally killed by the firing of security forces in Kharotabad area on May 17 this year. He had come up with a report that the victims were killed by the bullets that contradicted to the claims of security forces that the foreigners were killed due to explosion Continue reading

An Open Letter To Marvi Sirmed

An Open Letter To Marvi Sirmed by Usmann Rana. Thanks for speaking up.

People for peace: 8th PIPFPD Joint Convention, Allahabad

PIPFPD 7th Joint Convention, New Delhi 2005: Pakistani ghazal queen Farida Khanum with then Indian Foreign Secretary Shyam Saran at a reception at Hyderabad House. Photo: Beena Sarwar

My curtain raiser on the Eighth Pakistan-India People’s Forum for Peace and Democracy (PIPFPD) Joint Convention being held in Allahabad, India, Dec 29, 2011-Jan 1, 2012 (slightly shorter version published as an op-ed in The News). When the name was being decided, the Indians insisted that Pakistan should Continue reading

Four years on…

Benazir Bhutto on her arrival in Karachi in Oct, 2007. Photo: Beena Sarwar

It’s four years since those pistol shots and bomb blast in Pindi’s Liaquat Bagh ended the life of Pakistan’s most promising politician and hope for democracy. There is no one to replace Benazir Bhutto but her legacy lives on in many ways. This is the first legitimately elected government ever in Pakistan to remain in office for as long as it has – and it will be the first to complete its tenure if allowed to do so and hand over power to the next elected government. This political process is essential to move Pakistan out of a quagmire that has taken decades to push us into. There are no quick fixes, no magic wands that can change things overnight. What’s important is the process and at least that is under way – thanks to Benazir Bhutto.

Thanks to YouTube, archival footage is now available to remind us of her legacy. Continue reading

Thrilled to be named ‘Best Blog from a Journalist’ at the Pakistan Blog Awards 2011

Thrilled to receive the Best Blog from a Journalist at the Second Annual Pakistan Blog Awards 2011. Thanks to all those who voted and helped make it possible :) Congratulations to all the other winners. Note: There are many other blogs from Pakistan that could have been in the running but didn’t nominate themselves. One expects there will be more and more competition as the Blog Awards become better known and more established.

Another pot of rumours ruined by facts…

Also see Pakistan Media Watch about the dangers of speculation and rumour being presented as truth: “…there is a petition before the Supreme Court that is based on media reports that selectively summarise a foreign media report that paraphrases the speculation of unidentified people. As a result, the people’s perception of events may have been manipulated, and what they believe is reality may actually be a carefully designed version of reality that better serves a political end.” Complete article at: Media, Rumours and ‘Public Importance

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