The Baloch HalWith the recently launched magazine, Dazguhaar (female friend), Balochi literary journalism entered into a new phase. It is the first female touch in the realm of Balochi literary journalism and the latter had to await the former for around six decades. Prior to this magazine, the entire episode of Balochi literary journalism was dominated by male editors and contributors. Female writers were barely visible in literary journals. Most probably they were hesitant to be a part of such a male-dominated literary world. Dazguhaar is launched by Shaheena Shaheen a student and co-founder-cum-chairperson of Dazguhaar Chagirdi Demrawi Dewaan, an organization aimed at arousing awareness and sense of responsibility among women about their critical role in the society. As the team of Dazguhaar is inexperienced and novice in the parched land of Balochi literary journalism, they would probably not be conversant with the hurdles often faced by the editors of Balochi magazines in this field. For example, financial constraint has always served as the main roadblock in the way of regular publication of Balochi literary magazines. Over the last six decades, a score of literary periodicals appeared and majority of them fated to be short lived only because they failed to receive a fair quota of advertisement from the government. Advertisements, undoubtedly, serve as the oxygen to any magazine and without it no newspaper or periodical can survive especially in this day and age of high inflation. Today most of Balochi literary periodicals are striving to survive upon commercial advertisement and the nascent Dazguhaar is no exception. However, what is more relieving in the aura of despondency is the fact that the first issue of Dazguhaar has successfully attracted a wide chunk of readers. Most of the contributors of the this issue are youngsters and newcomers yet they are well aware of the happenings in the society. Moreover, they seemed critical of the rigidity of the Baloch society and its apathy towards female education. The only way towards women empowerment is more educational opportunities. Aside from young writers, pages are also assigned to the writings of late Ain. Ain Dashti, Sabeeha Karim and Zahida Raieesi. Zahida, who moderates the popular Balochi site Baask.com, is a known figure in Urdu literary circles, lately switched to Balochi literature and soon emerged as a new voice on the social media. A few selected gazals and a free verse of Zahida in this issue further testify her poetic sensibility. Female touch had been missing from the domain of Balochi gazal since the demise of Banol Dashtiyari and while reading Zahida one may feel that she has the potential to assume the mantle left by Mrs. Dashtiyari as a poetess. Andleeb Gichki’s Ey Chinal Pada Sabzeet stands as a must read among the short stories. Its metaphorical touch distinguish it from other stories published in this issue. It is reassuring to see a group of young Baloch female writers to unite under one umbrella. Nonetheless, they still have a long distance to travel in the male-dominated world of Balochi literature. The challenge ahead of them is to prove their literary acumen which they are certainly capable of accomplishing.
Friday, October 5, 2012
The Taliban warned Tehrik-e-Insaaf Pakistan not to go ahead with the rally or face consequences. The Taliban distributed a pamphlet in Tank, the gateway to South Waziristan, and termed Imran Khan as an agent of the United States, Britain and Israel and alleged that the cricketer-turned-politician is politicising the issue and has no sympathy for the poor tribesmen. Interestingly, the pamphlet has been issued from an unknown Taliban group Jaish-ul-Mujahedeen-al-Khilafat. Imran Khan s party is planning to lead a convoy from Islamabad to South Waziristan on October 7 to protest against US drone strikes and has said that no one could stop the peace march, adding that Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari would be directly responsible for any untoward situation. The one-page pamphlet, written in Urdu, was distributed in Tank Bazaar on Thursday night. It said, "We inform all and sundry with humble way that Imran Khan/TIP is taking a rally into South Waziristan with a slogan of anti-drone. (He has no sympathy with the tribesmen) actually it is a drama and he is the agent of Israel, US and Britain. On the politics of drone he is promoting the Jewish and agendas of Christianity (in Pakistan)." The pamphlet further added, "We humbly request the people not to participate in this rally otherwise Imran Khan would be responsible if something unpleasant happens."
Hundreds of people have begun to gather in the Jordanian capital of Amman for a pro-reform rally, despite King Abdullah's decision to dissolve parliament one day earlier, a move the monarch hoped would head off a large protest. At least 2,000 police had been deployed for the demonstration which was due to follow the main weekly Muslim prayers. The rally is being organised by the Islamic Action Front, the Jordanian wing of the Muslim Brotherhood and the country's main opposition group. The group is predicting a turnout of as many 50,000. King Abdullah had hoped that dissolving the parliament and calling for early elections would weaken enthusiasm for the protest. The king did not announce a date for early elections, but said he hoped to hold polls by the end of 2012. A demonstration in support of the king was called off over fears of unrest as it would have coincided with the opposition rally, organisers said. "We have postponed indefinitely our demonstration scheduled at the same time as the Muslim Brotherhood's to avoid any problems," said Jihad al-Sheik, head of an internet-based youth group that organised the event. The cancellation came "after a request to that effect from the director of general security, Hussein al-Majali, MPs and tribal leaders" to prevent unrest. 'A tremendous miscalculation' The Brotherhood and a coalition of tribal and other groups have been pressing the monarch to speed up what they consider to be the slow pace of political reform. They are also angry with an electoral law passed last July, which preserves a system that marginalises the representation of Jordanians of Palestinian origin, on whom Islamists rely for their support, in favour of native Jordanians, who tend to support the king. The opposition says it will boycott upcoming elections, as it did with the 2010 poll, unless its demands for wider representation are met. Numerous other demonstrations have taken place in Jordan since January 2011 to call for political and economic reforms and demand an end to corruption. In an exclusive interview with AFP news agency last month, the king said a decision by the Islamists to boycott the vote was "a tremendous miscalculation." "As constitutional monarch, my mandate is to be the umbrella for all political groupings and all segments of our society, and as part of that responsibility, I am telling the Muslim Brotherhood that they are making a tremendous miscalculation," he said. "The countdown to the elections has already started. Registration is under way. We have already crossed the one-million person mark. Parliament will be dissolved. The elections date will be announced. And we will have a new parliament by the new year." King Abdullah has ordered parliament to increase seats reserved for party candidates, urging the Islamists to take part in the polls. MPs raised the number from 17 to 27, but failed to satisfy opposition groups.Protesters begin to gather in Amman Islamic Action Front moves ahead with pro-reform rally despite king's decision on Thursday to dissolve parliament.
DAWN.COMKhyber Pakhtunkhwa Minister for Information Mian Iftikhar Hussain has said that Awami National Party and Pakistan People’s Party enjoy very cordial relations in the centre and any pre- or post-poll alliance is possible between the two parties. He was talking to media persons at Peshawar Press Club on Thursday. New developments in politics are possible any time, he said while commenting on a statement of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa PPP president Anwar Saifullah Khan that his party would avoid alliance with ANP and contest coming elections on its own. Mr Hussain said that President Asif Ali Zardari had been consulting ANP president Asfandyar Wali Khan while taking any decision on any important and relevant issue. About the local government ordinance recently approved by Sindh Assembly, the minister said that the ANP had opposed the ordinance and its MPA resigned as minister and preferred to sit on the opposition benches. Commenting on the scheduled peace march of Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf to South Waziristan Agency, Mr Hussain said that it was a bold step taken by PTI chairman Imran Khan to hold a rally in the restive tribal region. However, he said that the party had also invited foreign media and members of civil society organisations and it was rather very difficult to provide them security.
A study conducted by Pakistan Medical Research Council (PMRC) Thursday revealed that prevalence of shisha smoking among college and university students aged 20-25 years in the country is 19.7%.
Skipper Mahela Jayawardene led Sri Lanka to their second World Twenty20 final following the hosts’ 16-run victory over Pakistan in the first semi-final at the R Premadasa Stadium on Thursday. Opting to bat first, Jayawardene (42) added 63 runs with Tillakaratne Dilshan (35) but Sri Lanka could not capitalise on the strong start on a sluggish track and posted 139 for four wickets against the 2009 champions. Jayawardene then returned to marshal his bowlers who restricted Pakistan to 123 for seven to earn a place in Sunday’s final against either Australia or West Indies. Captain Mohammad Hafeez (42) top-scored for his team, while Umar Akmal remained not out on 29.
The Express Tribune“It was at 2am on April 29, 2009, when I was informed about a possible attack by the Taliban. We were left with only one option and that was to leave the area because we could not confront them,” said Kalyan Singh, who was the chief of the Sikh community in Orakzai Agency at that time. Kalyan then rushed out of his house and knocked at every door where Sikhs resided and told them to leave the agency as soon as possible. Around 69 families, approximately 500 Sikhs, were residing in Feroz Khail area of the agency. Most of them earned their living from cultivating crops and a few others from small makeshifts at a market, which were barely sufficient to make both ends meet. Kalyan himself was picked up by militants and offered three options: To embrace Islam, to become part of their jihad or to pay a sum of Rs500 million. “I could not even consider the first two options. I was released when residents intervened and the Sikh community paid Rs6.5 million as Jizya (protection money for non-Muslims),” Kalyan said. Residents left the area within half an hour of the warning, leaving most of their valuables behind. “It was like separating my soul from my body because I was leaving an area where I grew up, spent my childhood and more than 50 years of my life.” He paused to take a deep breath and added: “But we couldn’t risk the honour of our women and had to leave.” “Once you are stigmatised, you cannot face people and that is why we left our homes and reached Kalaya, headquarters of the Orakzai Agency, where we took shelter with members of our community.” Apart from Orakzai, around 260 families of the Sikh community in Bara Tehsil of Khyber Agency also migrated to safer places. Some have been living in Mohalla Joga Shah, Peshawar, while others took shelter at Gurdwara Panja Sahib in Hassan Abad. Harender Kaur and her daughter Ilmid took refuge in Panja Sahib after Harender’s husband Balwant was kidnapped on November 23, 2008. He was killed two days after he was abducted. After his death, the mother and daughter were granted asylum by the Canadian government. Another member of the Sikh community, Mahinder, who lives in Hassanabadal, left Bara when he lost his brother and a relative in a rocket attack fired from an unknown location. “It was Thursday, November 17, 2011. I was home when I heard a deafening sound of an explosion. It was a rocket fired from an unknown location, which hit the shop of my brother Sardar Singh, who died along with one of our relatives in Qamber area of Khyber Agency,” Mahinder said, adding that he left the area following his brother’s death. Mahinder told The Express Tribune that they lived in Bara for years and had never been bothered by the Taliban until then. “We were dependent on agriculture and spend most of our time in the fields, where rockets are fired from militants and security forces. Because of this, we had to search for other means of earning,” Mahinder said. “I moved to Peshawar but could not find a job there. I then had to bring my family here to Panja Sahib Hassanabdal.” When a large number of Sikh families were displaced, the government said it would help the community, but only an announcement was made and no practical steps were taken. Ultimately, it was the United Sikhs, a welfare organisation affiliated with the United Nations, which came to the help of its community. Hardyal Singh, a young volunteer and director for United Sikhs, says most of the displaced Sikhs depend on agriculture and had to leave their fields, houses and established businesses. They were asked to leave the area due to the military operation and were promised help, but no one came forward to assist them, he added. Hardyal said Sikh philanthropists from Pakistan, India, Canada, US and France supported the community through their organisation.
Radio PakistanArmy Chief General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani has held a meeting with Russian Chief of General Staff General Makarov in Moscow. Matters relating to defence cooperation discussed during the meeting. General Makarov expressed his desire to strengthen cooperation with Pakistan Army in all fields. Russian Deputy Chief of General Staff was also present in the meeting.
A day after a muted performance in a presidential debate, U.S. President Barack Obama fought back against Republican rival Mitt Romney on Thursday and the Democrat's re-election campaign vowed to learn lessons from the setback.