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Politics

Fazil Rahu remembered on his 35th death anniversary

The iconic peasant leader Mohammad Fazil Rahu was remembered on his 35th death anniversary in Rahuki in Badin district on Monday. The politicians, poets, writers gathered at his village and paid the rich tributes to Fazil Rahu. The Senior Pakistan Peoples Party leader and former Chief Minister Sindh, Syed Qaim Ali Shah told the audience that Fazil Rahu was one of only a few leaders who devoted their entire life for the rights of peasants and downtrodden people. He said the great leader had laid down his life for the rights of people and democracy. ” Fazil lived and died for the people of Sindh and rights of all underprivileged classes” he added.

He never compromised on principles, adding that he lived and died like a brave man, he said. Fazil Rahu was axed to death under a deep-rooted conspiracy hatched by the then ruling clique and its puppets in the mid-1980s when the masses were struggling for the restoration of democracy in the country, he said. The senior PPP leader said that Rahu remained on the forefront during the movements against dictatorships of Gen Ayub Khan and Gen Ziaul Haq and never budged even an inch from his stance. He appreciated Fazil Rahu’s son, Ismail Rahu, for carrying forward his father’s mission from the platform of PPP to fight undemocratic forces.

Mr Shah said that the rulers imposed on the country had created the mess and had made the lives of the people miserable. Qaim Ali Shah said that only leaders like Bilawal Bhutto Zardari could steer the country out of the deep crises and provide relief to masses groaning under abject poverty due to the steep rises in the commodities.

The Sindh Minister for Environment and Boards and Universities Mohammad Ismail Rahu said his father kept struggling for the rights of underprivileged and downtrodden people of Sindh and Pakistan. He said the slain leader and his father stood firm against dictators despite all odds. He recalled that Fazil Rahu was in the forefront during the Movement for the Restoration of Democracy (MRD) during Gen Zia’s rule.

He said his father created awareness of rights in peasants, farmers and other segments of the working classes. He said it was a matter of great pride for him and his family, as well as thousands of other people that PPP chairperson Benazir Bhutto and Fazil Rahu had jointly launched the MRD. “My father never left her while in the worst situation most of her so-called aides had distanced themselves from her.

Rahu lashed out at the PTI rulers for their anti-people policies and plans said that incompetent rulers had already forced the people to commit suicide. He alleged that the Prime Minister Imran Khan and his aides were only trying to snatch the morsels from the mouth of the people and pushing the country towards the darkness. Rahu said that it was the high time to get rid of the insane rulers and to save the country from bankruptcy.

Aijiz Dhamrah, the provincial information of PPP Sindh chapter, speaking on the occasion paid rich tributes to the struggle of Mr Rahu. He said that the scheduled march of the party towards Islamabad would prove a nail in the coffin of the inept rulers, who according to him, had created a mess in the whole country. ” The workers of PPP are ready to dislodge the misrule of PTI under the dynamic leadership of Bilawal Bhutto Zardari” , he added. The Special Assistant to Chief Minister Sindh, Pir Noorullah Quraishi said that Fazil Rahu was the great leader of the poor people and always worked for them. He said that there was the need to follow the footsteps of those great leaders, who fought for the restoration of democracy at the cost of their precious lives.

Mohammad Aslam Rahu, MNA Mir Ghulam Ali Talpur, Haji Rasool Bux Chandio, Ghulam Qadir Palijo, Taj Mohammad Mallah, Ms Tanzila Qambrani, Dr Khalil Qazi, Dr Bekharam, Ms Shehnaz Siddiq Rahu, Haji Sain Bux Jamali, Prof Abdullah Mallah, Dr Aziz Memon, Arbab Wazir Memon, Ali Ahmed Jokhio, Adil Rahu. and many others spoke at the programme. The prominent literary figures attended the programme and they presented their prose and poetry on the personality and services of the great hari leader.

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Politics

PPP Leadership Vs Mirzas of Badin

The top leadership of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) has given the ‘tough’ task to a number of the known political figures to inflict the defeat on Mirzas of Badin district much ahead of the general elections scheduled to be held in the mid of 2023.

According to the information collected from different credible sources including PPP leaders and those interested in the political affairs of Badin district, believe that the provincial seat of Tando Bago (PS 72) of Badin district is a matter of some great concern and matter of the ego for the top PPP leadership mainly not only to win this provincial seat but also to put an end to the “Mirza dynasty” in Badin district spanning over three decades.

To defeat Mirzas on this seat, the top PPP leadership has reportedly assigned the gigantic task to a number of main PPP leaders, the aspiring candidates and their aides to dilute and decrease the influence of Mirzas in this very important constituency of Badin district. The party sources informed this reporter that Asif Ali Zardari during his recent visit to neighboring district of Tando Allahyar district spent much of his time with PPP leaders from Badin district and thoroughly discussed with them about the political situation of the district and directed them to do the result-oriented fieldwork to knock down his rival, Dr Zulffkar Ali Mirza and family members during the next general elections.

Mr Zardari reportedly directed them to forget the past and think seriously about four future courses of action and made it clear to them that he wanted solid plans to achieve the desired positive political results in one of the most politically sensitive districts of the province much ahead of any poll process.

This seat has become a real headache for the PPP leadership much before the next general elections, as the PPP candidate Syed Ali Bux aka Pappu Shah was defeated by Barrister Hasnain Mirza, the elder son of Dr Mirzas , during last general elections with the margin of nearly five thousand votes on this very important provincial seat.

Syed Pappu Shah had to face humiliating defeat from Barrister Hasnani Mirza, mainly because he (Mr Shah) could not handle the electoral process properly due to’ unspecified reasons’ during the last five crucial days ahead of the polls after his reported meeting with some ‘ powerful people’. The ‘ strange silence’ by Mr Shah during the last crucial days had not only given much space to his rival candidate but also made it easy for Dr Fehmida Mirza to retain her NA seat for the record fifth consecutive time on the general seat as a female candidate. Mirzas got the great respite due to the ‘silence’ of Syed Pappu Shah and some serious mistakes made by the top party leaders at the time when Mrzas were losing three important seats of the district.

Dr Fehmida Mirza herself had lost to Haji Taj Mohammad Mallah on the provincial seat of Badin city with a very thin margin of votes. Dr Zulfiqar Ali Mirza was trounced by Mohammad Ismail Rahu with a huge margin of votes on PS 74 Shaheed Fazil Rahu while their younger son Hassam Mirza was defeated by Mir Ghulam Ali Khan Talpur on NA 229.with considerable margin. The political pundits believe that the PPP leadership with some ‘minor mistakes’ missed the great golden opportunity to politically get rid of Mirzas and hoped that they could do it with join efforts with ease. They pointed out towards some dents being created among the ranks files files of Mirzas as some of the main aides of Dr Zulfikar Ali Mirza have either left him or were ready to quit in near future by making certain commitments with PPP leadership.

Dr Fehmida Mirza , who had miserably failed to get the deceived lead from Badin and Shaheed Fazil Rahu talukas of her constituency (NA 230) against her rival candidate Haji Rasool Bux Chandio, was given the decisive lead from the voters of PS 72 and thus she had managed to retain her seat with a little margin. Thus the PPP leadership and its ‘ mentally disturbed’ candidate Syed Pappu Shah had greatly helped both the son and his mother retain their seats.

The top PPP leadership, which now wants to inflict a heavy defeat on Mirzas by bringing a ‘proper’ candidate though has not announced the name of final candidate much ahead of the next elections yet it has reportedly asked at least five political figures to win the sympathies of the voters as well as the support of the notables close to Mirzas and to change their loyalties.

Syed Ali Bux aka Pappu Shah, Haji Sain Bux Jamali, Mir Waqar Ahmed Talpur, Qabool Mohammad Khatian and Arbab Ameer Amanullah from Tharparkar are among those party leaders, who are aspiring to get the party ticket and to make wonders. And each claiming to have had the support of the considerable voters of different communities living in the constituency.

The two-times Sindh minister, Syed Pappu Shah, who has a long history of massive defeats in elections in this constituency against his rivals (with only one victory during the Muharraf f era against the comparatively ‘weak’ PPP candidate late Haji Karim Bhurgari) is reportedly sitting silent with the exception of a few public political appearances off and on these days.

But the people of the district , who have a close watch on the political landscape and the emerging scenario of this constituency as well as the political dynamics of Badin district believe that from among the party candidates, Mr Shah has still some chance to win this seat since he is an experienced stalwart and could do it if all other aspirants and notables help him rising above their personal interests for the sake of the party and the honour of the party leaders.

The same people with independent opinions totally rule out both Mr Jamali and Mr Khatian as the proper persons to face the ‘onslaught’ of Dr Zulfikar Ali Mirza and his team and term both of them too weak enough to win this seat for the party.

They believe that Mr Jamali, though has worked very hard for the past few years to strengthen the party, still stands with very little chances to get the party ticketMr Jamali is said to have been with high hopes and big ‘dreams’ to get a party ticket by sing both his ‘ strong contacts’ and his enough wealth . But according to the party sources and his critics he has to stay away from certain persons close to him with ‘questionable activities’ whom he has to control and bridle from creating problems for him n order to enable himself to have some chances to get into the race to get the ticket .

Thus Mr Qabool Mohammad Khatian has neither his personal vote-bank nor has support from any notables from this particular constituency. His own claims to have ‘ensured the just and judicious irrigation water distribution’ as a chairman of Area Water Board may not be put among the favourites. But Mr Khatian seems be relying on the support of Mir Ghulam Qadir Marri, the close aide of Asif Aki Zardari.

Mr Khatian is often seen hobnobbing with Mr Marri during the events in Badin and other districts.. Mr Khatian, who is also interested in contesting elections PS 71 Talhar, often claims to have close relations with Mr Zardari and others, who matter much in running the party affairs. Mr Khatian like Arbab Lutuf is also busy in meeting the close aides of Dr ZA Mirza and trying to convince them to join PPP to get more accolades from party leadership.

Arbab Lutufalla, the PPP MPA from Tharparkar and Special Assistant to Chief Minister Sindh for Sports , who is currently busy in organizing the public meetings and requesting the people having old family contacts with his family to join PPP also wants his younger brother Arbab Ameer Amanullah to get party ticket.

And the same people keeping watch on the political affairs of the district claim that those people who are joining PPP on the request of Arbab Lutuf could reverse their decision if they were approached properly by his political rivals from his own family like Dr Arbab Ghulam Rahim and Arbab Anwar Jabbar.

The people believe that both rivals of Arbab Lutuf will try their best to ask these same people to either vote for Mirzas or to spoil their votes by casting in the favour of other candidates of their choice. . And in this situation again junior Arbab even if given the PPPe ticket could be an ‘easy’ target for Mirzas to retain this provincial seat. But the joint efforts of all PPP leaders and confidence of he people could help him turn the table of Mirzas provided he is tasked with such huge responsibility in Badin district.

The Talpurs of Badin district, who are also keeping their eyes on this seat too and want to bring Mir Waqaar Ahmed Talpur as the party candidate by using their immense influence and closeness with Ms Faryal Talpur and her spouse Mr Asif Ali Zardari but it would be hard for Mr Talpur to make inroads into the politics of Tando Bago after his current aloofness from the area for ‘unknown reasons’. Despite the fact some months back Mr Talpur was very active and was considered to be among few possible favourite candidates of the party for this ‘troubled’ constituency.
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The political pundits believe that Mr Waqar is an ‘honest and upright ‘ person but he may not be able to make the difference for the party until and unless Talpurs could create the conducive environment for him much ahead of the elections with their joint efforts.

The people interested in affairs of politics also believe that any move by PPP leadership to import a candidate from other district for the ‘double role’ to both contest elections and safeguard the business interests of Mr Zardari could also prove an exercise in futility and rather be the possible humiliation for the party and Asif Ali Zardari himself since Mirzas despite some dents within their ranks and files are still the hard nut to crack.

Syed Pappu Shah, therefore, again looks a suitable candidate among the available lot. The sources said that despite his previous humiliating defeat at the hands of Barrister Mirza he might get the ticket by seeking help from the strong ‘Syed lobby’ of Sindh.

But if Mirzas change their strategy and Dr ZA Mirza himself decides to contest the next elections from PS 72 and fields his son either in Talhar or in Badin, the situations will take a new and interesting turn along together. .

The people also believe that the PPP leadership has to take the wise, prudent and ‘bitter’ decisions if they really want to politically ‘banish’ Mirzas out of Badin district and they also think that the long ‘absence’ of the Federal Minister Dr Fehmida Mirza from her constituency could also create some troubles for Mirzas to convince voters this time again under the changed situations.

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Politics

Qabool Khatian holds Govt Responsible for water crisis in Sindh

Qabool Mohammad Khatian, the chairman of Area Water Board Left Bank Canal System of Kotri Barrage has held the bodies being run by the federal government responsible for the persistent water crisis in tail-end areas of lower Sindh and the whole Sindh in general.

Mr Khatian speaking to this reporter on Sunday said that the canals of Kotri barrage were facing the worst shortage of the water due to which they were finding it hard to provide the required water to farmers of different districts of both banks for their crops. He said that Irsa and other bodies, which are responsible for the just and judicious water distribution among the provinces as per the indents, were only trying to divert the flows of water towards the canals of Punjab.

He said that currently the canals of Kotri barrage were facing terribly water shortage of water and termed the situation very alarming. Mr Khatian deplored the fact that Irsa functionaries had given 18 less water to Sindh than its due shares adding he warned of the dire consequences if the authority did mend its ways in future.

He said that the authorities of the same bodies had made the great mess during the Kharif season and deprived Sndh of its due share of water throughout the season and this again they were doing the same dirty tricks despite the protests by the high-ups of the Sindh government.

Mr Khatian, who is himself a landowner in different districts of Sindh including Badin said that Imran Khan-led PTI government had only created the problems for the farmers and growers for its ill-conceived policies adding he held that PTI government was only interested to destroy the economy of the country including the agriculture sector. He said that it would be totally insane to even think of constructing new canals to irrigate more lands in Punjab at the time when the lower riparian were not getting less than their allocated share of water even during the monsoon season.

He said despite the continued water crisis sat Kotri barrage they were trying their best to ensure the just and judicious water distribution without any discrimination. He said that it was the right of the people of lower Sindh to register their peaceful protest against the water shortage in their waterways and said that they could only water for irrigation purposes when the equal distribution was ensured in the entire system of the country. Mr Khatian said that the ongoing spells of rainfalls would prove beneficial for the standing crops of Rabi season.

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Politics

Court Bans Granite Extraction From Karoonjhar Hills

Mr Karam Ali Shah, the Judicial Magistrate and Civil Judgeof Nagarparkar has reaffirmed its conditional judgement in the cutting of Karoonjhar case and issued an absolute order directing the Kohinoor Marble Industries Karachi and Frontier Works Organisation – FWO to stop cutting of granite stones from Karoonjhar hills and remove machinery of the mining companies forthwith.

The court during the second consecutive day on Friday heard Barkat Ali Maitlo, the lawyer of Kohinoor Marble Industries Karachi and Frontier Works Organisation.

Mr Shah after hearing the case reaffirmed his earlier order of December 28,2021, completely banning the extraction from any point of the Parkar region.

The court order said that the respondents No 1 and 2 (Kohinoor Marble Industries Karachi and Frontier Works Organisation besides filing objections on the question of law did not avail the opportunity of jury and evidence voluntarily, which was insufficient and that could not satisfy the court to recall its conditional order.

Apart from this, you both respondents No. 1& 2 ( FWO and Kohinoor Marble industries claim publicly that you are legally entitled for cutting and lifting the stone from Karoonjhar Mountain Ranges but you both do not disclose the lease agreement, survey reports, boundaries or any other document including its terms and conditions. Besides, you do not bother to reveal the NOCs taken from Environmental Protection Agencies, wildlife department, Forest Department, Culture and Tourism Department and Defence Ministry of the Pakistan which are mandatory prerequisite before starting the work if one is legally allowed and even you are realizing the responsibility of’ post- requisite mention in whole Sindh Mining Concession Rules 2002 and in other relevant laws.

“That you respondent No 1 and 2 – FWO and Kohinoor Marbles are not maintaining the record which is mandatorily required under article 5S SMCR 2002 where from the details of deposited revenue in government treasury could be found along with the details of the money transaction taken away by private persons by selling the state base assets” added the order. The order said that the illegal practice was being carried out for past many years with short intervals without following the standard operating procedures promulgated by the constitution of Pakistan under both provincial and federal governments’ codification.

“From above discussion it is observed that Karoonjhar has been dealt by all you respondents as ordinary mountain which is rich with granite stone only and it ought to be utilized only in one dimension, the dimension of construction but sorely it is the construction of one building or other but at the same time destruction of whole society and ecosystem.

No one from above official respondents has taken effort to find the actual importance of it; no one has come forward to dig out the multiplicity of its benefits. The reality is totally different as it is not just a mountain but a collective source of satisfied, certain and secure life. This mountain range is at the same time tourism, culture, heritage, the religious attachment irrigation, agriculture, defence, livelihood, the preservation of wildlife , forest with full greenery and much more.

The order further said that now court has reached a conclusion that cutting of the mountain range Karoonjhar is the pure act of public nuisance and it is nuisance of large scale, because it is only sources of life of two lac people of Nagarparkar, 1t seems that his mountain not exist only on earth whereas it also exists in the hearts of the people, when someone cuts this mountain not only all senses of inhabitants becomes hurt and harm, but their deep rooted feelings also and same has been discussed in conditional order dated 28 12 202. So Respondent No. 1 & 2 (Kohinoor Marble Industries Karachi and Frontier Works Organisation – FWO are unconditionally directed to remove all machinery forever and stop your working on all ranges of the mountain and any disobedience of the order of this court would bring the relevant law of 188 PPC in motion against you all and Respondent No 3 to 5 – SHO Police Nagarparkar, the SHO Dano Dhand and the SSP Tharparkar are strictly directed to make visible compliance of this order and submit same report before this court in the first week of every month in future, otherwise it would be deemed that you all are in accomplices and same disobedience would constitute against you and let the copy of order be supplied to all respondents for necessary compliance hence this absolute order is announced accordingly.

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Social

Experts Warn Catastrophe in Thar due to Granite Extraction

Experts, seismologists, geologists, environmentalists and people from different walks of life, speaking to the participants during the conference on the Karoonjhar Hills organised by ‘Thar Technical Forum’ at Islamkot Press Club , warned about the catastrophic conditions in the region if miners were not stopped from doing damage to different points of the hills.

Dayal Sehari, a geologist and the chief of the forum, speaking on the occasion, deplored the fact that high-ups of the government were not worried over the alarming conditions due to the ongoing granite extraction at the various points of hills and feared that if such a practice was not stopped forthwith in the light of the court orders, the region might face frequent earthquakes.

He said that the Karoonjhar Hills were among those very few ancient hills which had surfaced on earth due to certain natural changes. He informed the participants that the hills were among the seven oldest shields and were part of the Indian Shield, which had surfaced thousands of years ago and were naturally a great protection against the earthquakes.

Sehrai recalled that it were the Karoonjhar Hills which had saved the parts of Tharparkar and southern parts of Sindh when terrible earthquakes had played havoc in the bordering Indian states, killing thousands of people back in 2001. He said that a number of experts who had examined the rocks at Kharsar site believed that if hills at that site were further damaged, a volcano might erupt and could create terrible conditions in the entire region. “Extracting stones from such sites is tantamount to playing with fire. If it erupts, it will be next to impossible to save the region from its disastrous effects,” he warned, asking the high-ups of the government to hire experts to carry out thorough studies before it was too late to save the entire region from the looming catastrophe.

He said that all such illegal activities were also badly affecting the fertility of the soil of the Parkar region which, according to him, unlike other sandy areas of the desert was much more fertile, could produce every crop if properly provided water and conducive atmosphere without tampering its natural layers.

Atta Mohammad Rind, an eminent geologist and hydrologist, speaking on the occasion, said that due to the range of Karoonjhar Hills, the entire region had remained fertile since time immemorial. During the rainfall, certain particles flowed with rainwater and protected the lands from turning into saline or into marshes like many other parts of Tharparkar. He said that such acts would not only deprive people from cultivating their traditional rainwater but the livestock, the mainstay of the economy of Tharis, would get nothing to eat since all grasses and bushes would cease to germinate and grow in the wake of such conditions. He warned that with each day, due to unabated extraction of both gravel and granite, the region was fast losing its fertility and it could turn impotent for crop cultivation if all such activities were not stopped forthwith.

Advocate Wasand Thari, who is the president of Thar Bar Council, said that rulers were least concerned over the devastation and degradation of geography and environment of Thar due to coal mining and the extraction of granite from Karoonjhar. He asked the rulers to mend their ways and take the cries of Tharis seriously for their survival on their own land.

Thari said that it was beyond logic that rulers had allowed the companies to destroy the environment and ecology of the desert at a time when the entire world was deeply concerned about the terrible effects of the fossil fuels and hugely investing in saving the environment and ecology. He said that rulers, who had time and again issued the leases to extract granite from the Karoonjhar Hills, would be taken to task for the criminal acts to drag the lands from under the feet of Tharis.

Advocate Thari said companies enjoying the patronage of the government were not ready to obey the frequent court orders to stop their criminal activities even at the sensitive sites.

Ameer Azdad Panhwar, the central leader of Sindh United Party, said that natural beauty of Thar was being badly damaged and it was the need of the hour to come on the roads of the entire province to save heritage sites like Karoonjhar, which had hundreds of religious and historical sites and all needed to be protected with the help of international experts.

Allah Rahio Khoso of the Karoonjhar Suja Forum said that officials of the district administration were not around to implement a complete ban on the extraction at certain points. It was a cruel joke with admirers of Karoonjhar and a step to create serious environmental hazards in the region with such unchecked activities. Khoso asked the lawmakers from Thar to play their due role and stand with them to save the hills and its environment from further damages and destruction.

He reiterated the demand of the forum to include the entire Parkar as Wildlife Sanctuary and said that sincere efforts be made to include it into the World Heritage sites. He said that those flouting court orders would not only badly damage the hills but would also soon force them to leave their abodes. He requested the participants of the conference to exert pressure on the government and to write to international bodies to come to their rescue.

Zulfikar Ali Marri, a soil scientist, expressed his deep concern over the emerging situation due to the activities being carried out by the miners in different parts of Thar and said that it was very dangerous to disturb the ecology and environment of the Parkar region by cutting the hills. “All such acts are going to terribly affect the soil and the entire green desert will soon turn into a real desert with no botanical growth if such activities were not stopped forthwith.”

Subhan Samejo, the leader of JI in Tharparkar said that it was a criminal silence on the part of their lawmakers to keep mum over the massive destruction and warned of dire consequences if such activities were allowed to play havoc with such sensitive sites.

Syed Arif Shah, Obhayou Junejo, Bheemraj Meghwar, Kabir Bheel and others also spoke on the occasion and resolved to save Karoonjhar from further devastation for their future

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Politics

Senior Journalist, poet and writer Mohammad Usman Rahukro passes away

The eminent writer , poet , historian and journalist Mohammad Usman Rahukro passed away after a protracted illness. He breathed his last in a private hospital in Hyderabad on early Monday due to kidney failure. He was 57.

Mr Rahukro had been.associated with the leading Sindhi Daily Kawish as its reporter in Tando Bago town of Badin district since its launch until his last breaths.

He was among the few journalists of lower Sindh, who extensively worked on the historical places of Sindh and the ancient flows of dead rivers and also authored as many as four books.

Mr Rahukro was also a poet and a primary school teacher but got his early retirement from his teaching profession and devoted himself to the research work to write more books on the historical sites of Sindh including the old flows of the rivers.

He also wrote a book on the famous women of Sindh for which he was highly appreciated but his last book on the old dead river earned for him the great name, fame and praise even from his critics. Mr Rahukro was given a number of the awards for his write-ups and stories and only a few days back he was awarded with another award for his work in the field of journalism. Mr Rahukro always remained in the forefront in highlighting the core issues of the region without any fear or favour. Mr Rahukro despite his ill deteriorating health, not only kept his reporting for his paper but was also busy in collecting information to write more books on the ancient rivers and their flows but the icy hands of ‘untimely’ death could not allow him to contribute more for his readers.

The late writer left behind three sons, friends and thousands of the readers to mourn his death. He was laid to rest in his ancestral graveyard near village Mato Rahukro near Tando Bago town.

Several hundred people attended his funeral prayers and condoled his death with his three sons including Munwar Ali, Lakha Dino.and Izhar-ul-Haq his brother Mohammad Siddiq and cousin Alah Bachayo. The people from different walks of from various parts of Sindh, Pakistan and beyond expressed their deep grief over the death of Mr Rahukro and they termed his death an irreparable loss for his family, friends, the for the readers and for the people of the region. They prayed for the departed soul to rest in peace.

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Politics

Karoonjhar Conference Slam PPP For Unabated Granite Extraction

The participants of Karoonjhar Conference organised by Thar Sujag Sath here on Sunday resolved to offer the stiff resistance to foil all nefarious attempts to damage the Karoonjhar hills by resorting to the extraction of the precious granite from any point. Terming the ongoing extraction at certain points of the hills as the flagrant violation of the orders of the Sindh High Court, they said that it was high time to stop and to expose the influential figures acting as ‘salesmen’ of precious granite stones of Karoonjhar hills . They demanded that the entire Parkar be declared as a World Heritage Site and be provided with all required facilities for tourists including resorts and chairlift on the hills.

They said that double bench had directed the officials of the concerned departments to not only ensure the complete ban on the extraction of both granite and gravel but also to carry out the complete studies in the light of the pleas of the lawyer of the petitioner

The participants, who had arrived in Mithi town from different areas of Tharparkar and other districts to show their solidarity with the people of Parkar and Thar, who have been protesting against the illegal practice, highly lauded the activists to register their peaceful protests to protect their heritage sites.

The participants assured the organisers that they would be ready to go any length to save the beautiful Karoonjhar hills, which according to them, were not only home to centuries old religious places like Jain Temples, but also kept great significance in the history of Sindh.

” The history of Sindh will be totally incomplete without mentioning the unmatched beauty of Karoonjhar and the history of the freedom fighters, who had laid down their lives while defending the their motherland from invading forces, who had attacked several times to conquer Sindh” added Allah Rakhio Khoso, the chief of Karoonjhar Sujag Forum in his charged speech.

He said that each and every inch and stone of Karoonjhar hills was not only sacred for the people of Parkar but also for every person who was in romance with beautiful landscapes and Karoonjhar hills. Mr Khoso deplored the fact that hills which had been famous for producing the ‘pure gold’ everyday were being damaged for some coins.

He said that had first launched their movement by forming their forum in a very peaceful manner after some contractors were allowed to extract the stones for the construction of the small dams adding he deplored that though that practice was stopped after the strict orders passed by the double bench of Sindh High Court in response to his petition but the fresh move to to cause more damage was very unacceptable and painful . ” Its cruel act that time to time contractors and miners are allowed to extract the granite stone by causing the irreparable loss to the hills with no action in the light of the court orders” he added and invited the large number of the participants to visit the sites where the miners were still busy in extraction with the heavy machinery. Mr Khoso expressed his deep grief over the alleged double standards of the PPP leaders and lawmakers from the desert district, who, according to him, had always assured them to stand by them in public meetings but were actually doing nothing when the very existence of the hills was again put in jeopardy.

The eminent writer Khalid Kumbhar said that now Thar was under control and watch of the greedy people of corporate companies and they wanted to exploit its resources without fulfilling the required legal formalities mainly due to alleged criminal ‘silence’ on the part of the lawmakers and policy makers adding he warned that such acts would deprive Tharis of their rich culture and historical sites in near future if such acts were not resisted at all the available forums.

” It is the prime responsibility of the key stakeholders to speak for the people of Thar” he added and noted with concern that those mattered much in policy making were nowhere to be seen among the people, who had been forced to come the roads to protect their culture, heritage and demography from being damaged terribly.

The PTI leader Krishan Sharma said that the executives of the mining companies engaged in the extraction were directly supported by the PPP leaders, who, according to him, had never bothered to focus on the core issues of Thar were instead acting as the salesmen of Thar.

Mr Sharma said that it was the height of injustice with the people of Thar that their lands were being dragged from under their feet and PPP lawmakers were only interested in making money by extending support to those who were doing all that dirty business. He said that the homeland of great freedom fighter Rooplo Kolhi could be saved only when all people came on the roads and boycotted the PPP leaders, who were directly involved in such criminal activities.

He said that people of Parkar had voted for the PPP candidates in the hope of getting some protection of their minerals and Karoonjhar hills but they were now hobnobbing with the officials of the companies, who were casting evil eyes on the sacred stones.

The senior journalist and writer Dastigr Bhatti said that PPP rulers over the past 13 years of their ‘misrule’ had only plundered the resources of Sindh and had not felt any remorse to auction the sacred places like Karoonjhar hills. He said that Asif Ali Zardari and his cronies had put every thing of Thar for ‘sale’ to perpetuate his powers by hook or by crook adding he warned that the extraction of granite from Karoonjhar was not just the height of the cruelty with the natural beauty of Sindh but was also an ample proof of the greed of PPP leaders, who had allowed their ‘financiers’ to damage such sites.

Ameer Azad Panhwar, the central leader of Sindh United Party said that it was a matter of grave concern for each and every nature lover that wicked rulers were hell bent upon destroying the hills. He made it clear that people from all walks of life would offer their stiff resistance to thwart their develius designs to do more damage to the hills . Mumtaz Nohrio, the journalist from Tharparkar held PPP MPA from Parkar Qasim Siraj Sommro for his double standards and asked him to clarify his stance over the unabated extraction of the minerals from his constituency. ” Mr Soomro after winning the elections from the region was now unwilling to even meet his voters’ he added and asked him to mend his ways since people of Thar knew how to treat such arrogant and greedy people. Mr Nohrio said that people of the region could not be lured any more and now they knew the ill-intentions of all of those, who were trying to push them towards the wall and depriving them of their culture and heritage sites.

Fakeer Arshad Kumbhar, one of the organisers, thanked the people attending the conference and assured them that they would deviate from their stance to protect Karoonjhar hills.

Khatau Jani, Salim Samejo, Dayal Sehari. Bheemraj Meghwar, Akash Haimrani, Shams Mangrio, Ms Neelam Kumari, Zulfikar Ali Khoso, Ramazan Dal, Soomar Rahimoon, Kabir Bheel, Abdul Ghani Bajeer, Piyaro Shivani, Arbab Bheel, Obhayo Junejo, Ghansham Malhi and others also spoke on the occasion and resolved to protect the rich resources of the entire desert district by standing side by side with the people of Parkar region.

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Politics

Zardari To Topple PTI Gov

The former President Asif Ali Zardari has said that he would set up camps/tents in Lahore and in Islamabad to devise new plans to effectively protest against the federal government and to guide the like-minded political forces as to how to oust the inept and insane rulers.

Mr Zardari during his stays in Tando Allahyar and then in Nawabshah held meetings with the PPP leaders, lawmakers and the aspirants of the PPP tickets for contesting the next general elections from different districts of Hyderabad, Mirpurkhas and Shaheed Benazirabad divisions and asked them to further strengthen the party by inviting the politicians to join the party.

Addressing party workers and leaders first in Tando Allahyar and then in Nawabshah on Thursday the former president and Pakistan Peoples Party leader said it was time to counter Imran Khan -led the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) federal government and to topple it through the democratic moves. He said that he knew himself well how to face the people, who denied the true democratic powers to form a government in Islamabad.

He said that he had himself taken the responsibility to lead from the front to rid the people of such rules, which were the liability on the country and people. He said he would challenge the PTI government by staying in Islamabad and Lahore and by meeting the people ,who were already aspiring to meet him to seek his opinion to get rid of the present rulers.

He said that now it was becoming evident that those brought such insane and incompetent rulers in power through the rigged elections were themselves getting sick of people like Imran Khan and his team members. He said that almost all political forces of the country would not hesitate to inter into parleys with certain forces if they came up with a formula to bring the real democratic forces through the proper way.

He said that things would further become once he encamped in Islamabad with good intentions and noticed to bring the country again on the right track. He said that he was not the person to play his cards in haste and was still waiting for the right time to play and oust some incompetent rulers. He says that he had always kept his doors open for the political dialogue in the best interest of the country and its people. He said that good times to get rid of the rulers were not so far away and asked the party leaders and activists to get ready for the fresh directions of the party leadership.

He said that they would continue to serve the masses under the leadership of Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and Aseefa Bhutto Zardari, who according to him, had the political acumen to lead the people from the front and steer the country out of deep crisis. He said both had the bright future in the politics of Pakistan since both inherited a great political legacy. Mr Zardari during his meetings asked the PPP leaders from different districts to further strengthen the party by inviting the people of good repute to join them.

Some of the PPP leaders reportedly requested him to assure them of the party tickets to contest the next general elections but he asked them to wait and work for the party and party leadership would make such important decisions after thorough discussions and debate keeping in view the performance of the previous lawmakers from different districts.

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Social

Thari Folk Singer Haider Rind Has Passed Away

The eminent Thari folk singer Haider Rind has passed away after a protracted illness. He was 67. Mr Rind breathed his last at taluka hospital in Chhachhro town due to cardiac arrest on late Thursday night where he was brought for the treatment by his relatives from his native village.

The renowned folk singer earned great name and fame in early 1980s when he had started singing in marriage parties and other cultural events across the desert district and other parts of the province. He fell ill a few years back and remained under treatment in the hospitals in different cities of the province for his ailments.

According to his son Faiz Mohammad Rind, he would be laid to rest in his ancestral graveyard in his village Karim Dad Rind near Chhachhro town on Friday.

The people from different walks of life have expressed their deep grief over the sad demise of the known Thari singer and highly lauded his services for the folk music of Thar and Sindh

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Politics

The People of Parkar want the end to granite extraction

The leaders of Karoonjhar Sujag Forum have asked the high-ups of the Sindh government to take notice of the unabated extraction of granite despite their continuous protest.
Allah Rakhio Khoso, Zulfikar Ali Khoso, Ghulam Mustafa Dal, Sagir Khaskheli, and other leaders addressing the press conference at the local press club in Nagarparkar town on Sunday deplored the fact massive extraction by number of the greedy contractors, working on various development schemes including the construction of small dams and roads were causing the irreparable damage to the beautiful hills. They said that after the massive protest rally in the hilly town of Nagarparkar on Friday when they visited the site they had found more people engaged in the extraction of the granite with the help of heavy machinery without any let or check by the officials adding they said that it amounted to adding insult to their injuries.

They deplored the fact no stern actions had been taken against those involved in illegal practises for the past many months despite the strict court orders. They said that a mining company Kohinoor , officials of which, claimed to have got fresh lease of the extraction at different points from the high-ups of the Sindh government wayback in 2011 were busy in the illegal act Charinda village of the Parkar regon without any let of check.

They said that despite their protests and reminders to the PPP lawmakers from the area to help them stop the extraction, the several people hired by the private company were doing the massive damage to the sites irrespective of their religious and heritage significance. They alleged that the frequent extraction work being carried out by the contractors very much implied that PPP lawmakers and the high-ups of the Sindh government had allowed them to cause irreparable damage to the hills even at the sacred points such as Carinda and other places of the region. They demanded that the entire region with great cultural, religious and historical sites be declared as a World Heritage Site as was promised by the top PPP leadership from time to time and demanded the installation of chairlift to attract more tourists in the region during monsoon season.

They deplored that it was very unfortunate that lawmakers of the ruling, including MNA Ameer Ali Shah Jilani, Senator Krishna Kumari Kolhi and MPA Qasim Siraj Soomro were least concerned over the massive damage and destruction being caused by miners to the beautiful hills adding they asked the lawmakers to mend their ways by showing their clear stance by meeting with the people, who were were worried of their Karoonjhar hills. They said that they feared that lawmakers and PPP leaders were also indirectly involved in allowing the greedy people to extract the precious granite and gravel.

They said that all the people of the hilly town and Parkar region had decided in principle to widen the scope of their protest if the contractors, who had arrived with heavy machinery a few days back, were not taken to task as per the strict orders of Sindh High Court. They also hailed the decisions of different organisations to kick start the protest movement first in all big and small towns of Thar and and then in other other cities if the practice was not stopped.

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