Asif Zardari warns Nawaz Sharif against reverting to the politics of 90’s

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Pakistan Peoples Party Official

Islamabad Aug 31 – Co-Chairperson of the Pakistan People’s Party and the former President of Pakistan Asif Ali Zardari has said that Mian Nawaz Sharif is repeating the politics of 1990’s. We accepted the results of 2013 General Elections for the sake of democracy, although those elections were RO’s elections. The decisions just announced by the Tribunals have proved our point that the PML-N received outside help and was made to win the elections.

In a statement issued from London today the former President said that at a time when our innocent citizens were being killed by indiscriminate bombing in border villages by the enemy; when Pakistani Army is fighting a decisive war against the terrorists and also fighting at our borders, Mian Nawaz Sharif, instead of challenging the real enemy, is targeting Peoples Party and other political opponents.

The former President said that the steps being taken by the…

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HRCP’s State of Human Rights report: 1,723 Pakistanis lost their lives in terrorist attacks in 2014

A mother mourns her son Mohammed Ali Khan, 15, a student who was killed during an attack by Taliban gunmen on the Army Public School on December 2014,

A mother mourns her son Mohammed Ali Khan, 15, a student who was killed during an attack by Taliban gunmen on the Army Public School on December 2014,

(Originally Posted on Daily Times)

By Faizan Ali Warraich

LAHORE: The annual report on The State of Human Rights in 2014 has revealed that 1,723 Pakistanis lost their lives and 3,143 were injured during 2014 in 1,206 terrorist attacks, including 26 suicide hits.

The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) issued its annual report titled “State of Human Rights in 2014” on Friday at its head office. HRCP Chairperson Zohra Yusuf and members of the HRCP Policy and Planning Committee from all parts of the country were also present on occasion. The report stated that Pakistan in 2014 witnessed surge in sectarian violence, attack on minorities, media censorship, and remained the worst polio-affected country. The report stated that no laws were made by the federal government to safeguard the interests of religious minorities.

According to the report a total of 144 incidents of sectarian violence were reported from across the country, out of which 144 were sectarian-related terrorist attacks and three sectarian clashes. On freedom of thought the report stated that 11 Hindu temples and churches were attacked in Sindh, two attacks were carried out against the Zikri sect in Balochistan. The HRCP annual report said that Shia pilgrims’ buses passing through Balochistan and passenger buses and vans plying between Gilgit-Baltistan and the rest of the country had to travel in convoys under security escorts. Continue reading

PML-N candidates using state resources for electioneering: PPP

PPP party flag illustration-ONLINE

PPP party flag illustration-ONLINE

(Originally posted on daily Times)

By Faizan Ali Warraich

LAHORE: Pakistan Peoples Party Lahore President Samina Khalid Ghurki demanded that the Election Commission of Pakistan should take notice of the alleged violations by the ruling party’s candidates who, she claimed, were running their election campaigns using government’s resources and money.

She said that PML-N ministers are running election campaign for their candidates contesting local bodies elections in contentment board. PPP Lahore Present Ghurki along with PPP Lahore General secretary Rana Nisar, Khurram Farooq PPP Lahore Deputy Information Secretary and other PPP leaders formally announced the list of candidates contesting for local bodies election in contentment board Lahore here in a press conference a Lahore Press Club on Tuesday. Samina Ghurki said that under active PPP leadership we have won the senate chairmanship election, PPP workers are united, and PPP will show its power in upcoming local bodies elections. She said People party is a party of farmers, peasants and underprivileged class and have distributed tickets tot eh eligible ones. She added, that we have not make false promises of ending load shedding in three months to people like PML-N nor we had staged protests to end democracy the country. She concluded, that we have won from contentment board seat in the past and same precedent will be repeated in the upcoming local bodies elections.

She said that PPP candidates will contest election on PPP ticket in 15 wards out of 20 wards, where in two wards PPP will support ‘Azad candidates’. Wards in which PPP support candidates are ward no 1, and ward no 2. While, on remaining three wards consultation has been under process either PPP to support any candidate or will nominate direct candidates on seats, she added.

Names of candidates which are going to contest on PPP seats: Abbas Namardar, Sharif Mughal, Parvaiz Gill, Gulam Rasul Chaudry, Chaudry Sharif, Advocate Mian Safdar, Khidmat Ali, Adnand Chaudhry, Wajid Chadhry, Ali Mehdi, Tariq Jutt, Chaudry Ashraf, Faraz Zaidai, Imran Bhatti, Shair Ali,Khan, Rahsid Feroz, Sahutra and Mian Zahid Anjum. PPP leaders also said that different committees has established including organizing committee, election day committee and media committee. Whereas, seven member media committee to be formed under PPP Information Secretary Faisal Mir.

Protesting clerks threaten to lay siege to Civil Secretariat

(Originally posted at Daily Times)

By Faizan Ali Warraich

LAHORE: All Pakistan Clerk Association (APCA) Punjab members protested on Thursday at Dharampura Chowk and vowed to continue their protests until APCA’s ‘Charter of Demands’ was met by the government.

The protestors announced they would encircle the Civil Secretariat on April 23 and stage day and night protest in front of Chief Minster Office on May 7. A number of APCA’s members gathered around 11 am in morning at Dharampura Chowk voiced their demands which have not been heard before the government despite protesting repeatedly in last few months. The protestors came along with holding banners, placards inscribed with their demands and shouted slogans against government. Addressing to the participants Central Muhammad Afzal said that Punjab government should stop the drama in the name of negotiations and sincerely solve the problems of clerics having been facing a lot difficulties due to poor policies of Punjab government.

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Talking to this scribe,  he lamented government dual policy of distributing budget for making ‘development project’ but when workers, government employees and clerics which are the back-bone of bureaucracy, demanded to increase in their wages , government simply turned blind eyes towards our demands. Muhammad Afzal said that our demands are to increase wages which ought to increase by the government after every three years but despite being in our forth years government refused to listen on our demands. He said that clerics have been giving allowances including medical allowance one thousand rupees since the polices of 1975, much time has been passed, and even medicines prices rates have shouted high but no increase in the medial allowance.

He further said that similar case in ‘conveyance allowance’, he demanded to introduced 10,000 rupees indiscriminate allowance from pay scale 1 to grade 16 government employees. He said that government wanted employees ‘economic lynching’ by introducing 50 to 55 age limit for the employees, he asked government to increase age limit upto 65 which is currently 60. Central Chairman APCA briefed the participants of the protest that from 1975 we have been giving house rent or allowance on the ratio of 30 percent to 45 percent accordingly to the districts and pay scale, but could anyone tell us that in 2750 rupees or in 1800 rupees who would give us house for rent. Others speakers told that there were around 35 lakh employees of APCA which are ready for pen-down’ protest which led to the choke government affairs ‘some employees of cleric fraternity have not their promotion service structure, they be granted time scale after every five years’ they added. Due to protest Dharampura Chowk was blocked for several hours.

‘Storm in a Teacup’

Basheer & the Pied Pipers (1)

(Originally posted on Daily Times)

By Faizan Ali Warrriach

LAHORE: After receiving triumphant success in last year, Jamal Rahman, music producer and CEO of True Brew Records presented second annual Pakistan’s largest independent music festival ‘Storm in a Teacup’ at Peeru’s Café

‘Storm in a Teacup’ extravaganza on Sunday lasted for all-day event that bring together the best of Islamabad, Karachi and Lahore’s independent bands including Red Blood Cat, Basheer and the Pied Pipers, KeerayMakoray, Shorbanoor, Slowspin, Nawksh, Rudoh and Omar Farooq. It was organized in a collaboration between True Brew Records, 141 Schools Project, the Rafi Peer Theatre Workshop, and Lotus PR , the festival celebrates and promotes the indie music genre in Pakistan by showcasing a variety of independent musicians and bands coming from across the country.

Storm in a Teacup 2015 (2)

A large number of music fans participated and enjoyed the enthralling performances by the bands. Total nine bands perfumed in the day-long mesmerizing music event. Tania, a university students who came along with her friends termed ‘Storm in a tea cup’ a game-changer in the live music industry by being the forerunner in introducing large scale music festivals in the country. Talking about ‘Storm in a Teacup’ music producer Jamal Rahman said that the True Brew Records show was a bigger step forward in his pursuit of pushing the live music scene in Pakistan and his focus was on the young, independent music scene, where they promoted indie artists.

Fatema Shah

He added that ‘Storm in a tea cup’ is receiving good response from the audience and its’s audience is committed to supporting the indie music scene in Pakistan’ Sherru , another participant said that merely we youth get a chance to have such kind of events, where indigenous music performances being witnessed and this was good sign for music industry. Jamal Rahman’s eyed with holding ‘Storm in a tea cup’ as exemplified to international music festivals such as Coachella, SXSW and Glastonbury.

photo courtesy Lotus PR

photo courtesy Lotus PR

He said that ‘storm in a teacup’ in coming years would be a unique platform providing opportunities for indie bands to express thier talent. He said that brew, has been opining up opportunities for the news artists and this p[platform provides a diverse array of services to artists, musicians, film-makers and corporate including musical, aesthetic, production and technical support.

SAFMA seminar pays tribute to Tahira Mazhar Ali Khan

-Tahira Mazhar Ali Khan

(originally posted on Daily Times)

By Faizan Ali Warraich

LAHORE: Tahira Mazhar Ali was a lifelong activist who advocated for the rights of underprivileged class, marginalized class and working class, despite having chance to enjoy aristocratic feudalistic class privileges she switched and knitted knot with working and middle class’ speakers said

They said in a reference seminar held at South Asian Free Media Association to pay tribute to the pre-eminent lead figure of left movement Tahira Mazhar Ali Khan who passed away on 23 march of this year. On the occasion human right activist Hina Jilani said that Tahira Mazahar Ali lived with the liberal and progressive ideas and ideology, moreover her thoughts were contemporary and she never wasted a single moment of her life to raise rights of the underprivileged class of society. She said she left the aristocratic-club of privileged class and became fighter to advocate rights of the marginalized class. She sadi Tahira opposed military intervention in East-Bengal, now Bangladesh.

Secretary General SAFMA and editor of South Asian journal Imtiaz Alam while talking said that Tahira Mazhar Khan was the veteran leader of the left wing movement and she led more than anyone else. He said her ideology is non-sectarian and non-communal which advocated for giving rights to the working class. Imtiaz Alam said even In the times of dictatorships, those left movements who didn’t got divided were Anjuman-e-Jamhooriat Pasand Khawateen Democratic Women’s Association (DWA) which she created in 1950 and The progressive writers’ association always raised the voice of the working class.

Tahira wanted a democratic and progressive Pakistan, she was among those people who objected the imposed narrative by the state and initiated the debate on role of civic-military relation, whether Pakistan should be authoritarian state or secular or a religious or a democratic country’ he added. Moreover, military regimes damaged mostly the left wing movements. He said today’s left wing leadership and comrades needed to evaluate whether those issues were resolved for which Tahira Mazhar Ali and people of the left was been fought like rights of the working class, minorities, women, children, environmental issues etc. IA Rehman human right activist said on the occasion that she was labeled as ‘grand old lady of the left wing movement’. He said Tahina and her husband Mazhar Ali khan were interconnected.

progressive poet Habib Jalib remembered

Habib Jalib

Habib Jalib

(originally posted on Daily Times)

By Faizan Warraich

LAHORE: The 22nd death anniversary of progressive poet Habib Jalib was observed in the city on Friday, where several seminars and conferences were held to pay tribute to the outspoken poet of his time.

A ceremony was organised by Habib Jalib’s daughters at Gaddafi Stadium, Hall-II, which was participated by a large number of people, including Asma Jahangir, Tahira Habib Jalib, Naheed Khan, Zawar Comrade, Yasir Habib, Hur Abbas Naqvi, Hur Bukhari, Taimur Rahman, IA Rehman and others.

Speakers at the event while paying tribute to the legendry poet said that Habib Jalib is still remembered as people’s poet who wrote lyrical poetry for the people. He never put his pen down before the wrongdoings of the rulers of his time; whether it was a civilian rule or a military dictatorship era.

Another conference was organised by the Habib Jalib Memorial Foundation at Alhamra Arts Council to remember the late poet’s life and struggle against military regimes.

Speakers highlighted the life of legendary progressive poet Habib Jalib and urged the young generation to read more poetry of Jalib and set a new precedent in today’s era against wrongdoings prevailing in our country. They said Habib Jalib fought against military regimes and ruthlessly pointed out the unlawful activities of the then rulers, surely he was the people’s poet who wrote only for the people.

Habib Jalib was born in 1928 in Hoshiarpur district of Indian Punjab but later migrated to Pakistan once Pakistan came into being and connected himself with the then newspaper Daily Imroze Karachi. He had witnessed the hardships of two military regimes of Ayub Khan and Yahya Khan. He died on March 13, 1993.