Friday, 24 July 2015

Finally khanabadosh gets the place!

Everyone of us try utmost to turn our dreams into reality and when they come true, one cannot express immense happiness into words. One such dream of Amar Sindhu, who is writer, women rights activist and teacher in Sindh University Jamshoro, turned into reality with establishment of Khanabadosh Writers Cafe at Sindh Museum, Hyderabad.

Having an idea of creating a space for the writers, intellectuals, poets, creative people, Amar Sindhu along with Arfana Mallah, who is also women rights activist and teacher at SU, and her team strived hard and finally she succeeded.

The idea is similar to that of Lahore's Pak Tea House and Karachi's The Second Floor (T2F), where creative people meet, share their ideas, debate on all issues including politics without any fear or restrictions.


Khanabadosh cafe was formally inaugurated in a wonderful and colorful ceremony, which was largely attended by writers, poets, intellectuals, journalists and people from different walks of life. Amongst others Naseer Mirza, Imdad Hussaini, Sehar Imdad, Tanveer Junejo, Khalid Khokhar, Taj Joyo, Qalander Shah Lakiyari and graced the event with their presence. Renowned poetess Rubina Abro shared her thoughts and poetry in the event, hosted by Arfana Mallah. Later, a musical night started with Shah Abdul Latif's sufi poetry by the performers of Bhittai's shrine, while Agha Sanaullah and Rajib Faqeer entertained the people by their melodious voice.

The cafe's place was obtained by the Culture Department, Government of Sindh, on rent and it remains opened from 11 AM to 11 PM.

Having a place like Khanabadosh in Hyderabad, where no such place exists, will prove helpful to dream collectively for the progress of society and will also bring out creativity in new comers specially the youth.

Previously, new comers specially the youth hardly find a place, where they can express themselves freely, but Khanabadosh is providing them the opportunity to not only express themselves but to also have interaction with renowned intellectuals to learn from their experiences.


Besides playing the role of launching pad for the young generation, such places can also lead to revolutions, political moments as they provide an opportunity to gather, discuss and share the ideas with each other.

Despite financial constraints and other problems, Amar Sindhu and her team took this initiative to revive the glories of past cafes and i wish them all the very best to take the Khanabadosh Cafe to the new heights and explore young creative people as it says in its slogan "Khanbadosh Writers Cafe-where creativity meets".

This write-up has also been published in Online Indus News.
Below is the link: 

Sabeen Mahmud- The voice of voiceless

Sabeen Mahmud, a courageous woman, a human rights defender, an inspiration, NGO  worker, a voice of voiceless people, I am speechless and clueless as to what to call her.
It was very shocking to know about murder of Sabeen Mahmud, Director The Second Floor (T2F), in Karachi, soon after hosting a dialogue on Balochistan at her office.

When I recall my meeting with her sometime ago at T2F, I found Sabeen Mahmud very sophisticated, polite, open minded and intelligent lady. A brave woman who takes decisions boldly and fight with guns alone. Sabeen loved books and believed in freedom of speech. She was also firm believer of technology as her biggest weapon to promote and fight for human rights.

During talk with her about journalism and professional work, Sabeen was very informative and a true mentor. Despite being a director of an organization, she was very down-to-earth woman and I was really very inspired by her.


In her last days, Sabeen was working on the Balochistan issue. A person, who held "Un-Silencing Balochistan" was silenced forever with the force of guns. The one who was talking about the missing persons, included herself in that list.

Her last event was attended by Mama Qadeer from Balochistan and Wusatullah Khan from BBC, in which the issue of missing persons, injustices in Balochistan were thoroughly discussed. This brave daughter of Pakistan dared to break the silence of Balochistan, aimed at highlighting the injustice with the Balochi people, but it seems this issue has become prohibited, that the one who talks about it is forced into silence.

In our country, those who raise their voice on freedom of expression, human rights, promote free speech are killed. Such list included rights activists Rashid Rehman, Parveen Rahman and now Sabeen Mahmud.

Though Sabeen Mahmud was silenced into death but she has become the voice of the world. She is a flame, which cannot be extinguished.  Her mission of bringing good name to Pakistan will be continued by other energetic and bold people like her. Sabeen will always be remembered, though, she is brutally silenced but we will not remain silent and will not allow the authorities to forget her.

This write-up has also been published in Online Indus News.
Below is the link: 

Women also have right to live!

Allah made human beings with equal rights irrespective of gender. Both men and women have same  dignity, respect and treatment as defined in Islam. The Article One of the "Universal Declaration of  Human Rights (UDHR)" stated that "All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.  They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of  brotherhood."

 Nowadays, incidents of malpractices against girls and women have been increasing. Cases of torture,  rape, vani, karo-kari have been reported in the media. One recent case of vani was reported from Goth  Jam Samejo of Daharki in Ghotki district, where a jirga gave verdict of handing over a 7-year-old  orphan girl named Rabail as penalty to settle a dispute of just one acre of land.

Vani is a cultural custom wherein girls are compulsorily married as part of punishment for a crime committed by their male family members or to settle any dispute.
Just imagine for a second, how would you feel, if you are given to the rival party as penalty to settle dispute. One cannot bear the pain even for the seconds, but that young girl Rabail had to face it for her whole life. The young girl does not even know as to what is happening to her and how the cruel jirga system decided her fate.

The decision taken by jirga in Ghotki was shameless and is contrary not only to the teachings of Islam but also to Article 5 of UDHR, which stated that "No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment."

In different parts of the country, females continue to experience violence, inequality and injustice. Not only in remote areas but also in some urban localities, girls and women are not even given right to live according to their own wish and will. Despite having many laws and declarations, they cannot even claim their basic rights.

Such ill-practices like vani, also known as sawara, ultimately spoil the lives of women. These outdated customs are the result of disorder and mindsets of men, who treat women as commodity to settle down their disputes.

In the present era of modern technology and development, still many people behave like cave man by disgracing the women and snatching their basic rights.  The irony of the fact is approximately fifty percent of such cases neither published in newspapers not flashed in the electronic media.

Even after mass awareness campaigns, seminars against the issue of 'Vani' and other ill practices, such incidents are happening and the culprits involved in these heinous crimes go unchecked.

Laws against violence and ill practices against women will no longer serve if there is no proper and effective implementation. This also needs educating and creating awareness amongst those sitting in power or making policies, so that these outdated customs can be eliminated from our society.

Pakistan is already having bad reputation in terms of human rights and now the increasing violence and injustices against women is adding bad name to it. Provision of all basic rights to the womenfolk is the next thing to discuss, but before all that, at least the women should be considered as human. Everyone should realize the fact that they also have their right to live.

This write-up has also been published in Online Indus News.
Below is the link: 

Friday, 19 December 2014

I wish I could delete December 16th

I wish I could delete the 16th Dec 2014 from the calendar, from our memories and from the history of Pakistan. Many things are coming into mind but thoughts are so shattered that I feel helpless to express into words,
Whenever I saw the pictures of students on TV, newspaper and social media, pain, tears, anger, helplessness-everything arises.

These flower-like children do not deserve such brutality. They deserved a long, happy, prosperous and successful life. Not only these kids, but also the staff members, who were martyred in the worst brutal attack, do not deserve to be butchered by terrorists. Many dreams, many plans, many wishes and promises-everything buried along with these martyred.

Some of them had plans of enjoying cricket match, going out with friends, spending cheerful winter vacations after a few days, promises to achieve positions in exams etc….all this gone in seconds. Such plans, promises can never be fulfilled. Those who were saying good-bye to their fellows during farewell party, said good-bye to the world and left everyone is tears and heartfelt pain forever.

Pictures showing the situation of inside the Army Public School, Peshawar can clearly tell that brutality were at its peak as the terrorists killed everyone mercilessly. Blood stained copies, bags, shoes, papers-everything indicated that these students as well as staff members could not get chance to even understand as to what is happening, before being murdered.  

Also those who had seen the death so close, getting back them to normal life is the biggest challenges. The time they spent with their friends will be difficult for them to forget. Everyone inside the country as well across the globe is mourning the deaths and strongly condemning the attack and offer prayers for the martyred and those who are injured.

The entire nation is united in this time of extreme grief and pain, also ban on execution of death penalty also removed by the government. But this is not enough, it is high time to raise your voice and press the government to immediately implement on it and start hanging all these murderers of humanity publicly. Though, it would not bring back the martyrs, but would give a clear message to extremists that now Pakistan and its people will not tolerate any brutality anymore.  

 (Acknowledgment-Reuters photo used)

Monday, 17 November 2014

Aasoo Kolhi-The real Malala

No one can deny the importance of education for progress and development of the nations. Even our Holy Prophet (PBUH) said that “Get Education from cradle to grave”. No matter what the difficulties are faced, need of getting education has been emphasized by everyone.
Connecting with the context, a brave girl named Aasoo Kolhi is the real example and inspiration for us, who established her own school in her village Mina Ji Dhani, Umerkot District, to educate children of her area despite all odds and challenges.

Aasoo Kolhi lost her legs in her childhood, and she is the only female of her village, who will complete her graduation in the near future. Imparting over 200 students in her school without any government support or NGO funds, Aasoo Kolhi set an example for the world that when there is a will, there is a way.

Having an aim to complete her father’s dream to see her becoming a teacher, Aasoo strived hard and it is because of her passion and determination, that she could be able to contribute towards the education section in such a wonderful and inspiring way.

After knowing the circumstances and problems faced by Aasoo, I would confidently say that she is hope for all and the real Malala of Sindh.

Now, the Government should establish a building for school after Aasoo Kolho’s father name as per her wish and she should be appointed there as government teacher, so that she can continue her mission without further difficulties.

Saturday, 25 October 2014

Iran Executes Reyhaneh Jabbari, 26-Year-Old Woman Who Killed Her Rapist

Iran has executed 26-year-old Reyhaneh Jabbari, who had killed a man who tried to rape her, despite repeated calls by rights activists for her release.

An Iranian henchman hanged Jabbari at dawn, ending her seven-year jail life awaiting execution.
Jabbari was arrested in 2007 for stabbing an intelligence officer who reportedly tried to sexually assault her.
Jabbari's mother had been informed of her daughter's impending execution. She met Jabbari in the prison for nearly an hour on the day before the execution though the exact place where she was hanged was not revealed.

More than one hundred people including family members and friends gathered outside Gohardasht prison in Karaj city where she was kept, according to local reports.

"Time is running out for Reyhaneh Jabbari, the authorities must act now to stop her execution. Applying such a punishment in any circumstances is an affront to justice, but doing so after a flawed trial that leaves huge questions hanging over the case only makes it more tragic," Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, deputy director for the Middle East and North Africa with the Amnesty International, had said in a statement.
Human Rights Watch had also urged Iranian authorities to stop the execution.

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Another letter to Editor on Local Bodies Elections published in Daily Times...!

 LB elections: need of the hour

Sir: It is unfortunate that an unelected dictator held Local Bodies (LB) elections, but the elected democratic government could not hold these elections in its five-year rule. Article 140-A of the 1973 Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan says, “Each Province shall, by law, establish a local government system and devolve political, administrative and financial responsibility and authority to the elected representatives of the local governments.” Being a citizen of Pakistan, I have a firm belief in the fact that elected local bodies are the foundation of democracy and an integral part of it. Democracy in any country cannot grow further if participation of its citizens in decisions which directly affect their daily lives is not ensured through an institutional system. Majority of the people support and have more faith in the local governments than the provincial and federal governments. The success of the local bodies system possibly lay in the fact that councillors were more easily accessible and ready to take on challenges than MPAs, MNAs, DCs and other bureaucrats. It is demanded of the federal government to fulfil its promise of continuity and protection of LB system and announce a date for holding three-tier LB polls in all three provinces. It is further demanded that LB elections be held under the Election Commission of Pakistan so that international standards can be ensured during the elections. These elections should be held on a party basis because the political parties have a central position in the democratic setup and unless these political parties become organized and strong at the grassroots level, democracy cannot be strengthened. It is also demanded of the government not to delegate magistracy powers to the Executive Officers such as DCOs, etc, because it will directly affect the independence of the judiciary, while the judiciary should be free from all political and government influence.

 Below is the link:\07\26\story_26-7-2013_pg3_7