HRW statement; and Indian citizens on abduction of Shahbaz Taseer


Shocked to learn of the abduction of slain Governor Punjab Salmaan Taseer’s son Shahbaz this morning, in Lahore reportedly by four gunmen as the younger Taseer headed to his office. I join all those calling on the government, police and administration to ensure his speedy and safe recovery, and arrest and prosecution of the culprits – see statements below by Human Rights Watch, and a press release by concerned Indian citizens: Continue reading

Left and nationalist parties rally and declaration on Sindh situation

Yusuf Mastikhan

“SEVEN PROGRESSIVE AND NATIONALIST PARTIES HAVE RESOLVED TO STRUGGLE AGAINST THE WELL PLANNED ETHNIC AND LINGUAL MAYHEM IN KARACHI BY ARMED TERRORIST GROUPS SUPPORTED BY PARTIES IN POWER. TO OPPOSE THIS A RALLY IS BEING ORGANIZED ON SATURDAY THE 27TH AUGUST AT 3PM FROM REGAL CHOWK TO PRESS CLUB, YOU ARE REQUESTED TO PARTICIPATE WITH YOUR FRIENDS, THANK YOU”, says an email from progressive leftist activist Yousuf Mustikhan. See below for the declaration of these parties on the Sindh Situation Continue reading

Urgent appeal to support flood affectees in Pakistan

Villagers struggle to save their livestock, Badin, 2011. Photo: courtesy Dawn

Over a million people have been displaced by current floods in Pakistan. Please read the urgent appeal below from friend Abdulrahman (aka AR or Abbey), Founder & Coordinator, SA Relief, aiming to provide flood affected people at a camp in Badin with cooked meals for the next 15 days (email pkfloods@sarelief.com). Just 25 USD will feed a family of four for one week. Read on, and please help: Continue reading

Tareque Masud, Mishuk Munier killed in road crash :((

Mishuk Munier at The Real News (photo TRN)

Catherine, Tareque and Nishad (Daily Star)

Shocked and grieved beyond words at this tragic news about the road accident that killed prominent Bangladeshi filmmaker Tareque Masud (The Clay Bird)  and television journalist Mishuk Munier who helped start The Real News. Mishuk’s father Prof. Munier Chowdhury of Dhaka University was “perhaps the greatest dramatist and public speaker we ever had,” Bangladeshi journalist Afsan Chowdhury once told me. “That was in 1970 and i was in the first year  of college. Prof. Chowdhury was picked up by the Jamaatis and disappeared, his body was never found”. Tareque’s wife Catherine (my classmate in college) is severely injured and in hospital. Their Nishad is a toddler, barely a year and a half old. My heart goes out to her and to the families of those killed. Here’s a link to the report of the accident in The Star, Bangladesh. TRN’s obit of Mishuk here, and The Daily Star report today ‘Fate puts a full stop‘.

Pakistani journalists: standing tall – my article in EPW

Pakistani journalists: standing tall

Journalists in Pakistan walk a tightrope between the military and the militants, risking their lives as never before to get the truth into the public domain. They have always had to tiptoe around directly challenging the concepts upheld by the security establishment. But as a Pakistani writer and filmmaker writes, the media in Pakistan is still standing.

By: Beena Sarwar 

Economic and Political Weekly, India | Vol XLVI No.29 July 16, 2011 | PDF | Text below

Continue reading

Indian pilot’s daughter writes a deeply touching reply to Pakistani pilot who shot her father’s plane down

Qais Hussain with his damaged aircraft during the 1965 war.

Thanks to Naveed Riaz in Lahore for the email that formed the basis of my report on Qais Hussain’s condolence note to Farida Singh, daughter of the Indian pilot whose plane he shot down during the 1965 war. Here’s another note Mr Riaz just sent to his email list: 

This profoundly humane episode continues to move ahead with Indian and Pakistani news channels and media bringing it increasingly to the fore today after Beena Sarwar in Karachi broke the story in Pakistan’s leading daily The News (Aman ki Asha).

Mrs Farida Singh, daughter of the deceased pilot of the Indian plane Jahangir “Jangoo” Engineer replied today to Qais’s letter of condolence four days earlier – see below (NDTV’s coverage this evening at this link). Beena’s article and Qais’s condolence letter here) Continue reading

Protests against Police Brutality in Karachi, Islamabad, Lahore

Call for Protest Rally against the brutal attack on Nairang Gallery, Lahore  and its curator and staff by SHO Shadman Police Station Rana Zulfiqar – Please also see facebook event THREE Protests against Police Brutality in Karachi, Islamabad and Lahore  

Artists, art critics and gallerists and civil society members will demonstrate in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad on August 13, 2011 (details below) to show solidarity with Nairang Gallery, Lahore, which was attacked on August 2, 2011 and register their protest against the reprehensible behavior of the police. They will demand a public apology by SHO Rana Zulfiqar and his dismissal from the police force for beating the curator and staff of Nairang Gallery. All concerned citizens must unite to stop police violence against citizens. Continue reading

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