Posted on March 21, 2013 by beenasarwar
My article in the weekly Aman ki Asha page in The News today.
Speaking at MIT recently, invited by an Indian colleague, a leading Pakistani academic and physicist makes the case for peace
Indian and Pakistani scientists for peace: Pervez Hoodbhoy and Subrata Ghoshroy last week at MIT
By Beena Sarwar
In the midst of ongoing tensions between India and Pakistan amplified by hyper media on both sides, an Indian scientist warmly introduces a Pakistani colleague at one of the world’s most prestigious universities – and that too for a talk on “Pakistan’s Bomb – Past, Present, and Future”.
The Indian scientist is Subrata Ghoshroy who leads the Promoting Nuclear Stability in South Asia Project at the Science, Technology and Global Security working group, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). The Pakistani scientist is Pervez Hoodbhoy, Professor of Physics, Quaid-e-Azam University, Islamabad, an alumnus of MIT where he obtained his BS, MS, and Ph.D degrees. (more…)
Filed under: Pakistan-India | Tagged: India, nuclear, Pakistan, Pervez Hoodbhoy, Princ, Subrata Ghoshroy, Zia Mian | 1 Comment »
Posted on February 28, 2013 by beenasarwar
Sharing here a screen grab from one of the most horrific videos of cold-blooded killings I’ve come across, that was posted by Dr. Omar Ali to his blog today. The incident probably took place about nine months ago, and those killed were probably Shia Hazaras; the video has been shared on facebook. Here’s an excerpt from Dr. Omar Ali’s post:
It took a lot of work (partition, two nation theory,Punjab holocaust, madressas, CIA, ISI) to get to this level of cold blooded hatred. And of course, the roots go back much further, all the way into our species and its biological evolution (though like Ghataprabha, I too fantasize about the goodness of the folk versus the evil of the elite, but then..)…anyhow, whatever the cause, these particular dogs are now rabid. (more…)
Filed under: 'War on terror', Human rights | Tagged: Afghanistan, India, LEJ, Pakistan, shia killings, SSG | 3 Comments »
Posted on January 23, 2013 by beenasarwar
Initiated by Samir Gupta, an Aman ki Asha supporter in New Delhi, this global event on Sunday, Jan. 27 is taking place in different cities at different times around the world. It invites Indians and Pakistanis and those who want peace between the two countries, to come together in their respective cities. The purpose of the vigils is to urge the governments to continue the dialogue, and not give in to the war hype being created by some sections of sections of society. The vigil statement is online at this link (text below)
Confirmed venues and times so far: (more…)
Filed under: Pakistan-India | Tagged: global vigil, India, Loc tensions, Pakistan, Peace | 1 Comment »
Posted on January 14, 2013 by beenasarwar
Jan 8, 2013: A grieving mother mourns her son… Lance Naik Mohammad Alam.
My article in The News on Sunday, Jan 13, 2013
Need facts, not hype
News about the death of two Indian soldiers at the Line of Control in Kashmir on Jan 8 triggered anger in India. Yes, a Pakistani soldier had been killed just two days earlier. But his body had not been mutilated. He had not been beheaded. For that is what Indian reports said, creating hysteria and leading to the beating of war drums: the bodies of their jawans had been mutilated, one of their heads was missing, and Pakistan was responsible (small mercy, authorities asked Indian journalists not to use the word ‘beheaded’ but ‘decapitation’).
India seemed to erupt in a storm of anger, outrage, and indignation, betrayal and hurt, and calls for retaliation against Pakistan. Understandable. Imagine the reaction in Pakistan had it been the other way around. (more…)
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tagged: Barkha Dutt, India, Kashmir, loc, Pakistan, Praveen Swami, shivam vij, soldier beheaded | Leave a Comment »
Posted on December 19, 2012 by beenasarwar
The respected retired Indian Supreme Court judge Justice Markandey Katju at a recent function New Delhi said that “the only solution to the Kashmir issue is reunification of India and Pakistan under a strong, secular, modern minded government which does not tolerate religious fanaticism or bigotry and suppresses it with an iron hand.” (more…)
Filed under: Pakistan-India | Tagged: #SouthAsianUnion, India, Justice Katju, Pakistan, South Asian Union, two nation theory | Leave a Comment »
Posted on December 13, 2012 by beenasarwar
After the acquittal: Dr Chishty and Mrs Chishty with Justice Katju at the judge’s residence, New Delhi, Dec 12, 2012
At last! On 12-12-12, the Indian Supreme Court acquitted Dr Chishty. Earlier, an unprecedented Indian SC verdict had granted him bail to return to Pakistan, the first time ever that a Pakistani prisoner in India was given such permission. The retired virologist, now over 80 years old, had gone back to India quietly in November for the court hearing seeking to dismiss the murder charges against him. It’s been a long struggle since we first started campaigning for this, and there’s a great feeling of satisfaction that it has finally ended well.
Tehelka did a podcast with me this morning. I made a mistake in the chronology of how the process to free Dr Chishty began. In fact, Amna Chishty (Dr Chisthy’s daughter) had written to the Indian SC and Law Ministry, after which the trial was finally held (after 19 years); Justice Katju came into the picture a bit later – but his role in freeing Dr Chishty was, as I said, essential.
Filed under: Pakistan-India | Tagged: Dr Chishty, India, Justice Katju, Pakistan, prisoners | Leave a Comment »
Posted on November 26, 2012 by beenasarwar
Shaheen Dada (left) and Renu Srinivasan were arrested last Monday, seen here leaving a court in Mumbai on Nov 20, 2012. AP photo
Some thoughts on ‘blasphemy’ and the issue of ‘injuring religious sentiments’, in this somewhat belated blog post, which includes ‘Malicious Intent’, an article I wrote for The New Humanist on the blasphemy issue (abridged from the original article; scroll down for references that had to be deleted for reasons of space). Since then, in a move that was widely welcomed, the Chief Justice of the Islamabad High Court quashed the First Information Report (FIR) of the “blasphemy” case registered against the minor Christian girl Rimsha Masih. Here is the link to a downloadable PDF copy of the judgment, dated Nov 14, 2012 - IHC verdict on the Rimsha case.
Meanwhile, in India, as the death of the aged Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray sparked off fears of violence, police arrested a young woman who posted a facebook status objecting to the ‘bandh’ (strike) that shut Mumbai down, and a friend who ‘liked’ the status. Shaheen Dhada and Renu Srinivasan were charged under Section 295-A of the Indian Penal Code – “injuring religious sentiments”; Section 295-A, as I explain in my article below, is also the basis of Pakistan’s controversial blasphemy laws. (more…)
Filed under: Blasphemy Laws, Uncategorized | Tagged: aasia bibi, Bal Thackeray, blasphemy, facebook arrests, India, Indian Rationalists, M. F. Hussain, Pakistan, rimsha masih, salamat masih, Shiv Sena | 4 Comments »
Posted on October 30, 2012 by beenasarwar
Eve Ensler, founder of the One Billion Rising movement. Photograph: Martin Argles for the Guardian.
The well known feminist activist, playwright and actor Eve Ensler has given a call for One Billion Rising campaign that aims to mobilise and bring out one billion people on streets across the world on February 14th, 2013 against violence against women, and in celebration of women’s power (One Billion Rising on Facebook).
Noted women activists from all over South Asia, including Kamla Bhasin of Sangat, OBR’s South Asian coordinator, were at the launch in Nepal. (Photo: WFS)
This, writes Ensler, “is a call to the billion women who have been violated and the men who love them, to the women who have been beaten and raped and mutilated and burned and sold and who know the destruction of the female species heralds the end of human kind. A call to walk out of your homes, your jobs, your schools and find your friends, your group, your place and music and dance” (‘One Billion Rising: Together we can end violence against women’, op-ed in The Guardian). (more…)
Filed under: Gender, Human rights | Tagged: Bangladesh, Eve Ensler, India, Kamla Bhasin, Nepal, OBR, One Billion Rising, Pakistan, VAW, Violence against women | Leave a Comment »
Posted on July 11, 2012 by beenasarwar
Nice share on the Aman ki Asha facebook group:
Eye Opener: An Indian-American Visits Pakistan - by Mahanth S. Joishy, Editor of usindiamonitor.com - extract: “…But even these problems can be overcome by bringing Pakistan deeper into the community of nations, and further integrating Pakistan into world markets. India and the United States for their part can do more to help bring this about. I am convinced that instead of the delicate dance the three nations have done around each other since 1947, it is time for all to become closer friends and drop the pretexts for moving backward instead of forward. What I saw in Pakistan more than the perils, is great potential. I plan to do my part, and this piece is only the first step.”
Filed under: Pakistan-India | Tagged: aman ki asha, India, Mahanth S. Joishy, milnedo, Pakistan, US India Monitor | 1 Comment »
Posted on June 8, 2012 by beenasarwar
In Kathmandu for a meeting, on May 28, 1998 when Pakistan retaliated to India’s nuclear tests with its own, I found my journalist friend Kunda Dixit trying to draw this cartoon, that I re-drew for him. It was published with the commentary “Let them eat grass” in Himal Southasian, June 1998. I’d been trying to find it – thanks Roman Gautam at Himal for emailing the page scan.
Filed under: Pakistan-India | Tagged: Himal, India, Kunda Dixit, nuclear tests, Pakistan | Leave a Comment »