Ongoing worldwide protests against “missing” bloggers

lhr-wom

Lahore protest. Photo: Khalid Mahmood

January 15, 2017 marks just over two weeks since the professor, poet and activist Salman Haider was abducted from Islamabad, followed soon after by more such “disappearances”. Human rights activists around the world are demanding that Pakistan produce the missing bloggers and end the climate of fear being created. Disappearing activists is not a new tactic, as Pervez Hoodbhoy reminds us – been happening with alarming regularity in Balochistan. But these abductions happened in Punjab. Meanwhile, the propaganda machinery of the dirty tricks brigade (#DTBPk) is out in full force painting as ‘blasphemers’ and ‘traitors’ the missing bloggers and those supporting them – which in the context of Pakistan is a clear incitement to violence and vigilante action. Below: photographs from some of the protests – Peshawar, Toba Tek Singh, Islamabad, Lahore, Karachi, Dallas TX and London, England.  Continue reading

Advertisements

Pushing forward the cart that says “Educate Pakistan!”

My piece about the TCF fundraiser in Boston last weekend, published in The News on Sunday, May 15, 2016

Adil Najam, Nargis Mavalvala-Ateed Riaz-Beena Sarwar

Adil Najam, Nargis Mavalvala, Ateed Riaz at the speakers table. Photo: Beena Sarwar

Pitching in for education in Pakistan from Boston and beyond

Beena Sarwar

The Citizens’ Foundation is doing an amazing job, and I’m honoured to be here,” said Nergis Mavalvala, giving the keynote address at the sold-out Third Annual The Citizen’s Foundation (TCF) Boston Fundraiser on Saturday, 7 May, 2016.

Propelled to celebrity status by her role in the recent breakthrough on gravitational waves predicted by Einstein, the Pakistani-American astrophysicist at MIT added, “TCF is fantastic – give generously”. Continue reading

The ‘good’ Taliban strike again

Alamdar Road, Quetta: Shia Hazara protestors sitting with coffins in the freezing cold.

Alamdar Road, Quetta (file photo): Shia Hazara protestors with coffins of those killed in a 2012 attack sit in the freezing cold to demand government action. #NeverForget

Another attack at a Shia Imambargah in Peshawar. More loss of innocent lives as the “good” Taliban strike again. The Pakistan military machine goes after the “bad” ones, while those who kill Shias and Ahmadis are allowed to function as they further outdated foreign policy objectives re India / Kashmir and Afghanistan. (see Pakistan Must Discard its ‘Good Taliban, Bad Taliban’ Narrative)

Pakistanis will keep protesting, the perpetrators will keep attacking. Continue reading

India, Pakistan: Build on goodwill, not hate

A student in Chennai prays for those killed in Peshawar. Schools across India held a two-minute silence on Wednesday. Photo: R. Senthil Kumar/ PTI

A student in Chennai prays for those killed in Peshawar. Schools across India held a two-minute silence on Wednesday. Photo: R. Senthil Kumar/ PTI

I wrote this for The News on Sunday’s Jan 11, 2015 issue:

Build on goodwill, not hate

In the wake of escalation of tensions between India and Pakistan, people on both sides of the border continue to express solidarity through peace initiatives

In an unprecedented and heart-warming gesture from India to Pakistan, Indian Prime Minister Modi requested schools in his country to observe a two-minute silence to commemorate the children and teachers killed in the horrific attack on the Army Public School in Peshawar on Dec 16, 2014.

In another unprecedented, spontaneous show of solidarity, Indians began tweeting with the hashtag #IndiaWithPakistan, started by Indian columnist Tehseen Poonawala who tweets from the handle @tehseenp. …  [Read more]

 

Once more for the Spinal Beetle and Southasia connectivity

Spinal Beetle with its Nepali eyes arrives in Pakistan

Here’s the latest report of the Southasian journey undertaken recently by my friend, civil rights activist, writer and journalist (editor Himal SouthasianKanak Mani Dixit, his wife Shanta (a teacher) and son Eelum (an actor, and yes, his name derives from ‘ilm’ which means knowledge, named by his dada, Kanak’s father who is a prominent writer).

Eelum, Kanak and Shanta Dixit: A great drive

The family started their 1100-mile odyssey in Kathmandu, Nepal, ending in Peshawar, Pakistan, to raise funds and awareness about the need for spinal injury rehabilitation. Those who have been following this issue would know that Kanak injured his spine in a trekking accident a decade ago. He survived, making a near miraculous recovery, and started the Spinal Centre Nepal in 2002, inaugurated by the late Sir Edmund Hillary. The coverage they’ve got on this journey has helped publicize their drive tremendously but the required funds have not arrived, and they are well short of their target. This is a personal appeal. Please donate what you can for this important cause. And do read this riveting account of their journey, includes important insights and information… Continue reading

Update and info: The Great Nepal-India-Pakistan Spinal Beetle Fund-raising Drive

The President graciously comes down to meet the people who came to see the Beetle off / SpinalNepal fb page

Nepal President Ram Baran Yadav flagged off the Spinal Beetle on its journey this morning. Great photos here. Below: the press note with planned itinerary and local contacts in India and Pakistan:

After his near miraculous recovery from a spinal  injury in 2001, Kanak Mani Dixit, a prominent journalist and civil rights  activist in Kathmandu started Nepal’s first Spinal Injury Rehabilitation  Centre, together with friends and family. The Centre, inaugurated by the late  Sir Edmund Hillary in 2002, runs entirely on private funding. It now needs to increase its service from 38 beds to 51. “The Great Nepal-India-Pakistan  Spinal Beetle Fund-raising Drive” (1100 miles)  – and all for a good cause – is being made on a 1973  Volkswagen Beetle, raising funds at USD 100 per mile. Continue reading

The Great Nepal-India-Pakistan Spinal Beetle Rally: A SouthAsian fundraising drive (literally)

A small car with a big task

Calling all those interested in post-disaster care, spinal injury, Southasian connectivity, people-to-people contact, VW Beetles…! 

Kanak Mani Dixit, a journalist (Editor of Himal Southasian) and civil rights activist, made a near-miraculous recovery from a spinal injury received during a trekking accident in Nepal.

Kanak being arrested at a pro-democracy rally in Nepal, 2006. Photo by Shehab Uddin

Being Kanak, he threw his considerable energy and vision to launch a Spinal Injury Rehabilitation Centre in Nepal, inaugurated in 2002 by none other than the late, great Sir Edmund Hillary (facebook page SpinalNepal; twitter: @spinalnepal).

Kanak’s latest attempt to raise funds for the project as well as build linkages with like-minded institutions in Southasia is: The Great Nepal-India-Pakistan Spinal Beetle Rally
A fundraising drive across SouthAsia for spinal injury rehabilitation
USD 100 per mile, a journey of 1100 miles
Starting Nov 4, 2011: Kathmandu-Lucknow-Delhi-Amritsar-Lahore-Rawalpindi-Peshawar

Details >>… Continue reading

%d bloggers like this: