Traders Respond to Government’s Energy Saving MeasuresFive Day Work Week

The Gillani Cabinet had to designate three Ministers to explain why two off days every week would bring about monumental savings in power consumption. Like always, no industrialist or businessmen will do what the government so desperately desires. Factories would run as usual, markets would be humming with the hustle and bustle, and the economic activity would continue on weekends …

Posted in Featured, Pakistan Politics | Leave a comment

Strengthening Participatory Organization (SPO) Update on Sindh FloodNaseer Memon

The recent torrential rains have created havoc in Sindh. More than 350 people have lost their lives, 8,8million people have been affected among them 1.36 million are children and 240000 pregnant women facing hardships under open sky. Now the rains have stopped, the flood water is standing in almost all cities and villages of Sindh. Due to breaches in the …

Posted in Environment, Featured | 1 Comment

Tenth Anniversary of US Invasion of AfghanistanTerror Networks Relocate to Pakistan
By the Author


As the US marks the tenth anniversary of its invasion of Afghanistan, pro Taliban terror networks – driven out of Kabul in October 2001 – have reinvented themselves inside Pakistan. They are enabled by an inept foreign policy and absence of governance that allows the most brutal ideologues to consolidate themselves within failing states. The militants have found the most …

Posted in 9/11, Featured, Terrorism | 2 Comments

Balochistan new hub of sectarian killings13 more passengers killed Oct 4
Mujib Mashal, Al Jazeera

5) Protests against massacre of Shia Hazaras (1)

October 06-11: “They ordered the passengers off the bus,” said Hassan, a 16-year-old construction worker who survived the September 19 sectarian attack on Hazaras, a minority Shia group in Pakistan’s southwest Balouchistan province. Carrying around forty passengers, mostly pilgrims going to Iran, the bus was stopped in the Mastung area, just an hour drive outside the provincial capital Quetta, and …

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Citizens Celebrate 25th anniversary of Literacy Drive for Pakistan’s ChildrenCEDF Promoted Education for 10,000 Forgotten Boys and Girls


Citizen’s Education Development Foundation (CEDF) celebrated 25 years on October1, 2011. CEDF is a small NGO with only one goal—Functional literacy for all. The organization has been imparting literacy to the forgotten children of Karachi through its network of 21 informal Home Schools and the Mobile School. After a year with CEDF, students are assisted with admission to government schools. …

Posted in Civil Society, Featured | 1 Comment

Oxfam Warns of Second DisasterSluggish Response to UN Appeal for Sindh Flood Victims

Sluggish donor response to Pakistan floods is another disaster in the making: Oxfam September 27th, 2011 at 3.02 pm. Islamabad – International aid agency Oxfam expressed alarm over the floods in Sindh and Balochistan provinces, as only $1.30 has been committed per person by international donors in the first 10 days of the UN appeal as opposed to $3.20 committed …

Posted in Environment, Featured | 1 Comment

Conditions for Monsoon Affected People of SindhThar Rural Development Project

Photo Courtesy by : Dr Sono Khangrahani

Torrential monsoon rains have pounded southern Pakistan, triggering serious flooding affecting more than five million people. The disaster has reportedly claimed the lives of 199 people, destroyed or damaged nearly one million houses, and flooded 4.2 million acres of land, prompting the Government of Pakistan to call for support from the United Nations.   Thousands of people are in urgent …

Posted in Environment, Featured | Leave a comment

Human Rights body Condemns Mastung MassacreLack of action emboldened sectarian killers: HRCP

September 21: The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has slammed the killing of at least 29 Shia pilgrims in Tuesday’s attack on their bus near Mastung, calling the absence of security for them outrageous and adding that the killers had been emboldened by a persistent lack of action against sectarian militant groups. A statement by the Commission said on …

Posted in 9/11, Featured, Foreign Affairs | Leave a comment

Proxy Wars Fan Sectarian Massacre in BalochistanBy the Author

balochistan-map -httpcdn.criticalppp.comwp-contentuploads201011balochistan-map1.jpg

The proxy wars between Saudi and Iran backed militant groups in Pakistan – linked to the US battle against the Al Qaeda and Taliban in Afghanistan – took an ugly turn this week in the lawless province of Balochistan. On Sept 20, pilgrims traveling on a bus to Iran, were stopped by armed men near Mastung, some 30 km southeast …

Posted in 9/11, Featured, Foreign Affairs | 33 Comments

Pakistan’s Epic Monsoon FloodsExcerpt from 'Aboard the Democracy Train'

Pakistan’s catastrophic monsoon floods of 2010 – which scientists link to climate change and global warming and which has mostly hurt the farmers who eke a living along the Indus River – have turned into a defining moment for the nation. The world watched with disbelief as the torrential rains, which bloated the Kabul and Indus rivers, swept away hundreds …

Posted in Environment, Excerpts, Featured | 4 Comments

DÉJÀ VU in SINDHMonsoons Wreak Havoc in Southern Pakistan
From the Author

Badin Flood. Courtesy Manzoor Mirani

Barely had the people of Sindh recovered from the scars of the 2010 floods, when walls of waters returned knocking on their mud walls, drowning the most vulnerable women and children, sweeping livestock and destroying crops – leaving millions without shelter. Almost as grave as the crisis unfolding across Sindh, is that it could have been contained. In July, the …

Posted in Environment, Featured | 2 Comments

9/11 Became Genesis of BookInaugural Newsletter

By a stroke of chance, the 9/11 terror strikes against the US became the genesis for my book. Having arrived in the US from Pakistan on a teaching fellowship shortly before the horrific attacks, I was drawn into the narrative. It was a narrative waiting to be told. As a journalist in Pakistan, I had for decades witnessed the huge …

Posted in 9/11, Featured | 6 Comments

Terrorism: Searching for Answers(Mt Holyoke Teach-in Addressed by Author on September 19, 2001)


Why would anyone carry out such a horrible crime as the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon? How should the United States respond? What would be the likely results of a military attack on Afghanistan ? Searching for answers to these and other questions, more than 200 students, faculty, and staff gathered in Gamble Auditorium on …

Posted in 9/11, Featured | 1 Comment

Pakistani Journalist’s Course Spurs ThoughtUMASS Course Taught on Pak-Afghan Region in Spring 2002


There was palpable excitement among students crowding 137 Hasbrouck at University of Massachusetts Amherst — the classroom designated to me to teach “Gender Politics and Mass Media in Muslim World” this past spring. It was a course I had designed after Sept. 11 to cater to the tremendous interest generated in Islam and the region I’d taught about at Amherst …

Posted in 9/11, Featured | 2 Comments

Pakistan in the Shadow of 9/11 (Excerpt from Aboard the Democracy Train)Why Do They Hate US

JUI chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman addressing a rally in Pakistan

It was 9:15 am on September 11, 2001 when the phone rang. There was a strange urgency to the ring. It made me spring out of bed in my tiny apartment in Sunderland, Western Massachusetts and run to the other room to quiet it. It was my relative, Shabnam, who had left Pakistan decades ago and lived in Houston, Texas. …

Posted in 9/11, Excerpts, Featured | 6 Comments
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