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Posts tagged with: Karachi

Sindh Assembly honors Michael Jackson with a Minute of Silence

PAKISTAN-POLITICS-ASSEMBLY-SINDHAs I write this blog post I have been at a loss of words, I was shocked to read at the PKKH website that today [Saturday 27th June] the Sindh Assembly kicked off its session with a minutes silence in honor of Michael Jackson, yes you read that one correct ‘the moonwalking maestro – Jacko’ was honored with a minutes worth of silence, the logic, the rationality behind sending this message from our official public offices truly befuddles the daylights out of me

PKKH: Just when you think our so called ‘elected representatives’ can’t embarrass us anymore, they tend to prove us wrong. The Sindh Assembly this morning held a minute’s silence for Michael Jackson’s sad demise.

This news comes in close proximity to the controversy where the Presidency has allegedly removed the picture of the founding father of Pakistan, Quaid-e-Azam Mohammed Ali Jinnah and replaced it with the various Bhutto-Zardari portraits
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We are the Twenty20 World Cup Champions !!!

Britain Cricket Twenty20 World Cup

Little words can express the happiness with which I celebrate the fact that Pakistan are the World Champions of the Twenty20 world cup. To have defeated Sri Lanka with a comfortable margin of eight wickets and many balls to spare. Pakistan erupted with a roar of celebrations heard not only in Pakistan but practically every corner of the world where Pakistanis were watching this match.

This victory in my opinion was not only a sporting victory but a godsend for a nation which has been bogged down for months of uncertainty and choas, if anything, the 11 players won it to revive the ailing heartbeat of an entire Pakistani nation, for which we shall be forever grateful.
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Peaceful Anti-War Protestors, Harrassed & Arrested

People’s Resistance, a civil society coalition of students, professional and ordinary citizens strongly condemns police violence and arrest of peaceful anti-war protestors in Quaidabad, Karachi today, on grounds that the right to peaceful dissent has been violated.

The march had been organized by The Jang Mukhalif Committee comprising several local groups that have been protesting this operation since August 2008. The committee included the Bajaur Committee of Peoples Resistance, Labor Party Pakistan, International Socialists, Swat Quami Ittehad, Anjumani-i-Buner, and many neighbourhood groups.

At 6:15pm a disproportionately large police force, several hundred in number, baton-charged the protestors and even the cart-pullers and other people present in Quaidabad and later near Gul Ahmed Chowrangi. Fifteen protestors were arrested and shifted to the Shah Latif Police Station and Quaidabad Police Chowki. Panic spread in the area.

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War is welcome, IDPs aren’t

Guest Blog by Kazim Aizaz Alam

IDPs scrambling for foodViolence has gripped Karachi once again. People are scared and all markets are closed in major parts of Karachi as I write these lines. The MQM is up in arms against the Pakhtuns as its alleged goondas on Saturday burnt [*] a woman and a girl alive in an act of arson besides shooting (and killing) a man while he was driving a car. All mini buses (or Mazdas, as we call them) in the city are owned by Pakhtuns and they become ‘soft targets’ once the hooligans receive a go-ahead signal from their Markaz. This time round the ‘excuse’ for violence is that internally displaced persons are coming to Karachi.

Ironically the MQM is the most vocal supporter of the military operation in the Malakand division — yet it is sternly opposing the establishment of IDP camps in Karachi. The operation has already made over 2.5 million people homeless but the crusaders against Talibanisation can’t let go of their Mohajir chauvinism. Besides the MQM and Sindhi nationalist parties, the Punjab government too has said that it will not welcome any Swati refugees. The MQM first raised a hue and cry about inhumanities of the Taliban and called for an indiscriminate military operation in the populous region, and now when hundreds and thousands of people are helpless, homeless and penniless; all it could offer was a ‘grand’ cheque of one million rupees for the Prime Minister’s Relief Fund.
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AKU succumbs to Urban Militants

Guest post by Naeem Sadiq

Illegally Parked Car at Agha Khan HospitalAKU was once perceived as a disciplined, professional and caring hospital. It followed rules, provided excellent health care services and even operated a good patient welfare scheme. We were proud of the great hospital built by Prince Karim Aga Khan in the middle of the town.

The AKU has gradually chosen to bid farewell to its founding principles and make compromises, more so when it comes to dealing with the powerful and influential urban militants.

AKU rules clearly require that weapons shall not be brought inside the hospital and vehicles shall be parked only at the designated parking places. There are two guards who are full time on duty to make sure that the vehicles move off and do not park in front of the private ward pick and drop area. The rule is uniformly applied to all citizens. However it is conveniently waived off for ministers, unregistered vehicles and for those who come accompanied by weapon carrying goons.
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Arundhati Roy at Karachi Press Club

Arundhati Roy speaks at the Karachi Press Club on Friday at the Womens Action Forum Seminar titled Women to Reclaim Public Space


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Imran Khan banned from Sindh again for the 4th time

Imran Khan was scheduled to arrive in Karachi today aboard a PIA flight from Lahore – but it seems that the Sindh Government feels that he is unwelcome. Protests by PTI workers are being held on Shahrah-e-Faisal and the members are heading towards Karachi Press Club to show their protests.

The question is that why should not a citizens of Pakistan be not allowed to visit other cities?

Might he be right when he accused the government to say its not a government but a mafia


Why is the entire Ruling Elite scared of Imran Khan?

Ruling Elite is not scared of Imran Khan but they are scared of the symbol that Imran khan is carrying; what is this symbol? Let\’s dig into it.

Ruling Elite has ruled us for sixty odd years but they were never so scared from anyone on this earth so far. Even they sold very successfully “roti, kapra aur makan” but still they are scared. Even they sold “kitab” but still they are scared. Even they sold “oppressed ones” but still they are scared.

Ruling Elite sold “Kashmir jihad” but still they are scared. They sold “Afghan jihad” but still they are scared. They sold “enlightened moderation” but still they are scared. They sold “war on terror” but still they are scared.

Ruling Elite exploited ethnicity, sect & bread-n-butter too and did it very successfully, then why they are scared of Imran Khan, who has nothing to sell that, can attract a specific group of people. Then why the whole Ruling Elite is against Imran Khan.
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National Bloggers Conference Update

Today marked a historic event in the Pakistani Blogosphere, where the Sindh Ministry of IT sponsored a full fledged conference on blogging. The event was hosted at a local hotel in Karachi and was attended by a large audience and had some excellent presentations by a few well known bloggers in Pakistan. The Chief Guest was Federal Minister Dr. Farooq Sattar and was graced by Ardershir Cowasjee a prominent columnist whilst Mr. Raza Haroon, Sindh Minister of IT played host.

The event was extensively Live Blogged and the updates can be seen here & here

The highlight of the evening was the recognition of Umema Adil who completed her MCP [Microsoft Certified Professional] certification at the tender age of 11, she was presented with a laptop from the Minister and a heavy wrapped gift [?] from Cisco. The event was moderated by Rabia Garib and Barrister Ali Chishti and it kicked off with a short introduction and welcome address by the Sindh Minsiter of IT, followed by a number of presentation by fellow bloggers like Jehan Ara, Ammar Yasir, Farhan Chawla, Raja Islam, Ramla Akhtar, Ammar [Urdu Blogger] and myself.
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Press Conference at KPC against the Vandalism @ Arts Council [4:30pm] | Shanaakht

shanaakht festival

Press Conference at Karachi Press Club

Vandalism @ ArtsCouncil
Karachi Press Club, 4:30pm – TODAY (Mon 13 April 09)

BE THERE !

You need to do ALL of the following:

  1. Come to the Press Conference at Karachi Press Club (KPC) at 4:30 pm, sit in the audience and watch the panel reading out the Statement (petition) and explaining: what is wrong with attacking a public space, to journalists and the public.
  2. Sign petition, and ask people to sign petition: Inquiry into Vandalism at Arts Council Khi 08Apr’09
  3. Join, and ask poeple to Join the googlegroup CultureSOS

Statement on behalf of Concerned Citizens of Pakistan | Shanaakht Festival

Sign the petition condemning the violence at the against the violence at the Shanaakht Festival

shanaakht festivalThis great city of Karachi was the venue of the 2nd Shanaakht Festival held at the Arts Council, Karachi. Over 1000 exhibits of Art were received and featured at this Festival and it was open to the general public. On the first day [i.e. 8-4-2009] of the 2nd Shanaakht Festival, a small group of individuals entered the Arts Council, Karachi, disrupted the Festival and vandalized the exhibition at the Festival. The disruption and vandalism of the Exhibition was done on the ground that one of the exhibits was objectionable and disrespectful of Shaheed Benazir Bhutto. It is important to note that these people never approached the organizers to launch a complaint or for the removal of the exhibit that they found objectionable. It is also been reported in the ‘The News’ on 10-4-2009 that a F.I.R. has also been initiated against the organizer of the Festival and artist of the objectionable exhibit.

Without defending the said exhibit of art and without deliberating on the issue as to whether the exhibit of art was objectionable and disrespectful or not, we respect the point of view of all persons who found the exhibit objectionable and disrespectable and we sympathize with them for their emotional distress. We also respect the right of all persons to peacefully protest and criticize any exhibit or piece of art which they deem objectionable. What we are concerned and disturbed about are the actions of some people, whatsoever the grounds maybe, who disrupted and vandalized the exhibition and endangered the life and security of the citizens present. What we are further perturbed about is the use of the criminal law against persons who have a different point of view.
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Crystal Bags Exhibition

Sadiqa Awab Crystal BagsWell this post is a marketing plug for an exhibition by my wife Sadiqa.

She is scheduled to display her exclusive collection of evening bags ranging from over sized clutches to beautifully embellished Swarovski crystal bags including a collection of some stunning feather laced bags tomorrow.

Date: Saturday April 11th 2009
Location: Nina Lotia’s Salon on Zamzama
Time: 12:00noon to 8:00pm
Facebook Event: Crystal Bags by Sadiqa Awab

If any of you are interested do drop by and have a peek. I must also share with you the photoshoot that Amean J did for her bags, they are truly amazing.


Open letter to Sindh Minister for Culture | Shanaakht Festival

by Khawer Amir Khan shared via Facebook Note on his profile

Open letter to Ms. Sassui Palijo, Sindh Minister for Culture

shanaakht festivalMadam Minister,

I write this open letter to you with a heavy heart. Workers of your party have betrayed the message of Benazir Bhutto, who very recently gave her life but refused to be silenced. No person with a moral compass would question her courage in standing up to the forces of obscurantism and regression.

When her janisar and jiyalas behaved like stormtroopers and destroyed art at a festival that was meant to be about the identity of Pakistanis, they called into question their own understanding of Ms. Bhutto’s sacrifice.

It has been said by many, both supporters of your party and common citizens, that the organizers and curators of the festival are somehow to blame for provoking the sentiments of the people. It is being said that art is fine, but the festival is no place for politics. This proposition not only ignores the rich heritage of festivals as an articulation of resistance, the festivals born of the French revolution come to mind, but also completely ignores the fact that both the “objectionable art” and the festival concerned Pakistan’s identity. Hundreds died because of Ms. Bhutto’s refusal to be silenced, should be blame her then? You will join me in an empathic NO! Only the forces of regression and hate are to be blamed.
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The image that led to the ransacking of the Shanakht Festival

The controversial image of the Shanaakht Festival has been taken down from this post due to repeated insistence of the organizers as they continue to receive threats from various sources, so in light of the seriousness of the issue I must condemn these instigators but take down these images for the sake of public safety. I pray that the entire team of organizers come out of this crisis and rejuvenate Pakistan all over again

Yesterday a group of Peoples Student Federation ransacked the Shanakht Festival at the Art Council over an image of Benazir Bhutto sitting on lap of Zia-ul-Haq.

Looking at the picture I was appalled at the audacity of the artist to have photoshopped such an image practically insulting the political leaders in the picture not to account for the emotions of the people attached to them. In my opinion it is akin to a political blasphemy, granted there could be some artistic license, but one would be a tad bit careful in displaying nudity in Pakistan merely for the sake that it may irk some emotional reactions. I believe this image was in bad taste but at the same time I must also condemn the ransacking and believe this issue could have be sorted amicable and peacefully.

Having digested the events of yesterday – the Shanakht festival is back on schedule — without the image!!

UPDATE: This image has been taken from a Facebook group that was objecting to the ransacking of the Shanakht Festival by PSF – Pressure has been coming from many sources asking us to take this image off “so that the government can allow the festival to continue”, but my position is that I find this image utterly objectionable – I hold the organizers of Shanakht, the artist group which collected these images and definitely the artist who photoshopped it in the first place responsible for a major blunder. The image was on display the entire day yesterday and was bound to be made public sooner or later and it was bound to spark a full blown controversy even later. This is my peaceful way of registering a protest, taking the image offline [as requested by many people] will definitely not be a solution


Em[POWER] Project: Karachi – Needs your Vote to win $50,000

They have recently entered the Dell Social Innovation Competition to hopefully win the Grand prize of $50,000 for Project Karachi. These funds would greatly help with start-up costs for materials and such to help them succeed to bring this bounty for Karachi They need your VOTE

Here are the steps that will help them win!

  1. First, go to this website – http://www.dellsocialinnovationcompetition.com
  2. Then, click the Register Now button and make a new account. Be sure that you check the “I agree…” button.
  3. Next, in the “Search Ideas” box type in em[Power] to get to our project.
  4. Once you’re there read the short summary of our goals and please click the Promote Button with the arrow on it to add ten points to our idea

That is the least you can do to support a creative project for Karachi and also Pakistan

Join the effort to rally more votes for Em[POWER] help them spread the word

To read more you can Download EmPower Project Karachi PDF Document