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Muslims donate $1 billion to Pakistan

August 31, 2010 Leave a comment

Muslims donate $1 billion to Pakistan

ISLAMABAD — Muslim countries, organizations and individuals have pledged nearly $1 billion in cash and relief supplies to help Pakistan respond to the worst floods in the nation’s history, the head of a group of Islamic states said Sunday.

The announcement came as floodwaters inundated a large town in Pakistan and authorities struggled to build new levees with clay and stone to prevent one of the area’s biggest cities from suffering the same fate.

Foreign countries have pledged hundreds of millions of dollars to help Pakistan cope with the floods, which first hit the country about a month ago after extremely heavy monsoon rains. But some officials had criticized the Muslim world for not contributing enough.

Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, head of the 57-member Organization of The Islamic Conference, likely sought to counter that criticism by announcing that Muslims have pledged nearly $1 billion. The pledges came from Muslim states, NGOs, OIC institutions and telethons held in Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar, he said.

“They have shown that they are one of the largest contributors of assistance both in kind and cash,” said Ihsanoglu of the various donors. He spoke during a joint press conference with Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi in Islamabad.

Ihsanoglu did not provide a breakdown of the pledges or say how much of the money would flow through the Pakistani government versus independent organizations.

Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani criticized donations made to foreign NGOs rather than the Pakistani government Sunday, saying much of the money would be wasted

“Eighty percent of the aid will not come to you directly,” said Gilani, referring to Pakistani citizens.

“It will come through their NGOs, and they will eat half of it,” he said during a press conference in his hometown of Multan.

The floods began in the mountainous northwest about a month ago and have moved slowly down the country toward the coast in the south, inundating vast swaths of prime agricultural land and damaging or destroying more than 1 million homes.

Floodwaters surged into the southern town of Sujawal on Sunday after breaking through a levee on the Indus River two days earlier, said Hadi Baksh, a disaster management official in southern Sindh province. Most of the town’s 250,000 residents had already fled, but the damage to homes, clinics and schools added to the widespread devastation the floods have caused across Pakistan.

Authorities in Sujawal were trying to limit the flood damage, but the water level has already risen up to 5 feet (1.5 meters) in the center of town and 10 feet (3 meters) in the surrounding villages, said Anwarul Haq, the top official in Sujawal.

The floodwaters also threatened Thatta, a historic city of some 350,000 people who have mostly fled to higher ground. Thatta is the base of operations for local authorities trying to cope with a disaster that has overwhelmed the Pakistani government and international partners who have stepped in to help.

Authorities rushed to build makeshift levees across the road connecting Sujawal and Thatta, parts of which were already flooded, Baksh said.

“We are trying to plug the bridges at three different points to stop the water flow toward Thatta,” said Baksh. “We are trying all our best efforts.”

Thatta is located about 75 miles (125 kilometers) southeast of the major coastal city of Karachi and 15 miles northwest of Sujawal.

Many of the people who fled Sujawal and Thatta headed to Makli, a hill just south of Thatta that contains a vast Muslim graveyard.

About half a million flood victims are camped out on the hill, Baksh said. Most lack any form of shelter and are desperate for food and water.

“We don’t have water to drink, not to mention food, tents or any other facility,” said Mohammed Usman, a laborer who fled Sujawal several days ago and needed water to help cope with a painful kidney stone.

The United Nations, the Pakistani army and a host of local and international relief groups have rushed aid workers, medicine, food and water to the affected regions, but are unable to reach many of the 8 million people who are in need of emergency assistance.

The U.S. said Saturday it would deploy an additional 18 helicopters to help with the relief effort. The U.S. military is already operating 15 helicopters and three C-130 aircraft in the country, the U.S. Embassy said in a statement. Muslims donate nearly $1 billion to Pakistan By ASIF SHAHZAD (AP). Associated Press writer Ashraf Khan contributed to this report from Karachi.

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Do Delhi agencies fund Indian bookies who bribe Pakistani cricket

August 31, 2010 2 comments

Do Delhi agencies fund Indian bookies who bribe Pakistani cricket

It is a matter of fact that “Satta” is big in Mumbia and that the high stake betting is pat of the Bharati culture. It is also a fact that the current scandal plaguing the young Pakistani players involves some prominent Bharati bookies. The fact remains that in all previous scandals the bookies were traced back to Indians in Dubai and Mumbai. The root cause of all evil in cricket is in Mumbai. Young players from lower middle class families are enticed with colossal amounts which they are unable to refuse.

While exemplary punishment has to be given to the players who throw no-balls on cue, the fact remains that cricket has to be purified from the curse of the bookies in Bharat. These bookies should be the responsibility of the Bharati government. Delhi is responsible for sending out “bookie ‘bombs’ ” that are destroying cricket in general. The IPL circus is the other curse on cricket. They can call IPL anything they want, they should not call it cricket.

LONDON: The man at the centre of an alleged betting scam involving the Pakistan cricket team was out on bail Monday as police, governments and authorities probed the scandal rocking the sport.

Mazhar Majeed, 35, was released from custody having been arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to defraud bookmakers, following a newspaper’s claim that he took money in return for exact details on no-balls in the Lord’s Test match between England and Pakistan.

The allegations have caused uproar in Pakistan and shaken a sport that prides itself on being considered synonymous with fair play.

British police bailed Majeed without charge late Sunday.

“A 35-year-old man has been bailed until a date in the future,” a Scotland Yard spokesman told AFP.

He said the police would not be discussing the date or his bail conditions.

Scotland Yard detectives have also grilled Pakistan captain Salman Butt and two of their star strike bowlers Mohammad Aamer and Mohammad Asif in their investigation.

Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani said the claims “have bowed our heads in shame”, as he launched an investigation.

The News of the World newspaper said it paid Majeed 150,000 pounds (230,000 dollars, 185,000 euros) in return for advance details about the timing of three no-balls in the fourth and final Test, which England won on Sunday to take the series 3-1.

The report said Aamer and Asif delivered blatant no-balls at the exact points in the match indicated by the alleged middleman.

Pakistan team manager Yawar Saeed said detectives had on Saturday visited the team’s hotel, where Butt and the bowlers had been interviewed about the allegations.

All three gave statements to the police, who took away their mobile phones.

Scotland Yard said they could not discuss persons interviewed as part of an inquiry.

The News of the World published a photograph, video and audio of its encounters with Majeed. He was pictured counting wads of banknotes given to him by a reporter posing as a front man for a betting syndicate.

The Lord’s Test was played to a finish Sunday, but unusually, the post-match presentation ceremony did not take place on the outfield but was moved inside the pavilion.

During the ceremony, England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) chairman Giles Clarke refused to shake Aamer’s hand when presenting the player with the Pakistan Man of the Series award and a cheque for 4,000 pounds.

Despite the allegations, Saeed denied that Pakistani cricket was “institutionally corrupt”.

“I would not like to say that,” he said. “Yes, one has heard and one has read (allegations), but I would not like to go that far.” A defiant Butt insisted he would not resign the Test team captaincy over the claims.

“Anybody can stand out and say anything about you, that doesn’t make them true,” he said.

In Pakistan, Gilani said a probe was under way.

“The latest fixing allegations have bowed our heads in shame,” the prime minister told reporters in his home town of Multan.

“I have ordered a thorough inquiry into these allegations so that action could be taken against those who are proven guilty.” President Asif Ali Zardari has expressed his disappointment at the claims and is being informed of developments.

The country’s federal sports minister Ijaz Jakhrani promised that any players found guilty would be severely punished.

If wrongdoing was proven, “all the players involved must forget to play for Pakistan in future,” he said.

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) said they had requested access to the ongoing investigation.

The no-balls at the centre of the claims were bowled on Thursday and Friday.

Pakistan’s players now face an awkward time as they must remain in England for a series of one-day matches.

“As far as I am concerned the one-day series is on,” Saeed said.

Former Pakistan captain Imran Khan said cricket in Pakistan must not be allowed to be dragged down by corrupt players.

“Why should Pakistan cricket suffer if some players have indulged in a crime?” he told Britain’s ITV television.

“The people who are found guilty should be removed from the team and replaced and should be punished as an example.” Ramiz Raja, the former Pakistan captain and later PCB chief executive, wrote in The Daily Telegraph newspaper Monday: “It is a disaster for cricket…those players must now be dealt with severely.

“For them to do it at Lord’s, the Mecca of cricket, brings extreme shame and sadness.” The latest allegations are a further blow to cricket in Pakistan, already at a low ebb with home matches ruled out due to terrorism fears.

The team has been dogged by “fixing” allegations since the 1990s and also embroiled in ball-tampering. – AFP

Some analysts are investigating possible links between Bharati intelligence agencies and the bookies. After all the Bharati agencies have a stake in maligning their enemies and making them look bad in politics and in sports. It is pedagogical to note that RAW did help the LTTE attack the Lankan cricket players in Lahore. That event isolated Pakistani cricket to foreign tours. Many are raising their eyebrows on the antics of Bharati bookies who are playing a central role in all cricket scandals involving Pakistan. Of course this cannot be a coincidence. The Pakistani intelligence agencies should conduct a thorough investigation into the roots of this corruption.

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The world’s best philanthropist: Edhi

August 31, 2010 Leave a comment

Calling Edhi a “Mother Tareas” is like calling the Pope a Priest of Fayetville Arkansas. Edhi is in a class of his own.

PESHAWAR, Pakistan — The aging man in mud-splattered, frayed clothes has barely lowered his body onto the sidewalk when the money starts piling up. Heeding his call for donations for flood victims, Pakistanis of all classes rush to hand over cash to Abdul Sattar Edhi, whose years of dedication to the poor have made him a national icon.

He thanks each donor, some of whom ask to have their photo taken next to him. Four hours later, the crowd remains — and the equivalent of $15,000 is overflowing from a pink basket in front of him.

Edhi has been helping the destitute and sick for more than 60 years, filling the hole left by a state that has largely neglected the welfare of its citizens. Part Mother Teresa, part Gandhi, with a touch of Marx, he is the face of humanitarianism in Pakistan.

Funded by donations from fellow citizens, his 250 centers across the country take in orphans, the mentally ill, unwanted newborns, drug addicts, the homeless, the sick and the aged. His fleet of ambulances picks up victims of terrorist bombings, gang shootings, car accidents and natural disasters.

Pakistan’s corruption-riddled government acknowledges Edhi and other charities do the work that in other nations the state performs. The country has no national health service, insurance program or welfare system, and few state-run orphanages or old people’s homes.

The foundation offers an alternative to charitable work performed by hardline Islamist groups in Pakistan, some with alleged links to terrorism. The spread of these organizations has triggered concerns in the West, including their work in the aftermath of this summer’s floods.

Edhi is a devout Muslim, but critical of Islamic clerics in general, not just extremists. He says they focus on ritual, preaching hellfire and defending the faith against imagined enemies, rather than helping the poor — which he says should be the cornerstone of all faiths.

The 80-something Edhi — he and his children disagree on his exact age — lives with his wife, herself a charity worker, in a tiny room in one of his welfare centers in Karachi, a bustling port city. His bed is a one-inch thick mattress on a piece of wood.

“I am a beggar for the poor,” he says, stained teeth showing in a wide smile, eyes sparkling after a week touring flood-hit areas. “Serving humanity is the biggest jihad. It is the real thing.”

___

Edhi deals with birth and death, and almost everything in between.

Just above his bedroom, a maternity ward and an orphanage are home to 18 children, many of them abandoned by their mothers in cradles left outside his centers. They wear hand-me-downs from the city’s rich. Edhi’s wife, Bilquis, tries to get the children adopted, but few Pakistanis want to take girls or older children, she says.

On a recent afternoon, the kids shouted out English nursery rhymes and danced. They then sat cross-legged on the floor, drinking tea from plastic mugs and eating spicy pastries and sticky sweets that an anonymous benefactor had dropped off.

The home was clean and bright, with plenty of toys and loving staff. But there was no place to play outside, and the roar of motorbikes from the lanes below was a constant backdrop.

Across town, workers at the Edhi morgue were dealing with latest influx of bodies. They receive around 25 a day, half of which are never claimed — the city’s unloved and unknown.

Working quickly but carefully, they cut the clothes from the bodies, lather them with a bar of soap from head to toe, rinse them with water from a jug, then wrap them in a white sheet. The bodies are bussed across town, prayed over and buried in unmarked graves.

The body of American journalist Daniel Pearl, killed by al-Qaida terrorists in Karachi in 2002, was picked up by an Edhi ambulance and taken to the morgue, the largest in the city of 14 million people.

The morgue is attached to a hospital for the homeless, a dispensary, a shelter for boys and women and children, even a wedding hall for the marriages arranged for children who have been looked after by the foundation. The smell of baking bread from an oven that churns out 9,000 loaves a day fills the air.

“The poor can come here and get a solution to all their problems,” says Ejal Hassan Zaidi, who had accompanied a neighbor to the morgue to collect the body of his 3-year-old daughter, killed in a hit-and-run incident hours earlier. “From the cradle to the grave.”

___

Born in what is now India, Edhi and his parents moved to Pakistan in 1947 when that country was created as a Muslim state at the end of British colonial rule. The family was quite well off — his father was a traveling salesman — and socially progressive.

In his biography, Edhi credits his mother for setting him on a humanitarian path. She urged him to give half his pocket money to someone poor every day and rebuked him if he didn’t.

“‘You have a selfish heart, one that has nothing to give,’” he remembers her saying. “‘What kind of human being are you? Look at the greed in your eyes. Already you have started robbing the poor. How much more will you rob from them in your lifetime?”

When she was dying, he looked after her, bathing her emaciated body and washing and braiding her hair — experiences that would also shape his life.

“The first night she spent in the grave, I dedicated my life to the service of mankind,” he says.

Edhi started small. In 1951, he bought an eight-foot-square shop in a slum neighborhood in Karachi that he converted into a dispensary. Seven years later he bought a van that he used as an ambulance, writing “Poor Man’s Van” on both sides.

He became intimately involved in the business of caring for the sick and dying. He would drive the ambulance to the scene of an accident to pick up the bodies, administer injections during a flu outbreak and travel across the country to help after earthquakes and other natural disasters.

Edhi’s record of round-the-clock service and frugal lifestyle attracted donations, and he soon had a fleet of 14 ambulances. In the 1980s and 90s, he opened centers and ambulance services throughout the country. He donated $200,000 to releif efforts after Hurricane Katrina, and his workers have also helped out in disasters in Asia and the Middle East.

___

Pakistanis are a generous people, required by their Muslim faith to give away 2.5 percent of their wealth each year. The last nationwide survey done in 1998 showed that Pakistanis gave the then equivalent of $820 million to charity, around the same as the government’s health and education budget at the time. There are no numbers on how rising terrorism and a poor economy have affected this philanthropy.

Edhi does not accept donations from international organizations or governments, including Pakistan’s, saying he doesn’t need outside help and it is important for Pakistanis to help each other. He and his wife live simply of the interest from some savings.

The foundation does not produce detailed financial statements or annual reports. Edhi points to a wall of files in one office in which he says everything is accounted for. Donors do not seem to mind, such is their trust in him.

“You ask any Pakistani on the streets, Edhi is total credible with them,” says Anjum Haque, the executive director of the Pakistan Centre for Philanthropy. “The success of the trust is down to Edhi himself.”

Last year, donations to Edhi-run charities totaled around $5 million, according to Faisal Edhi, the founder’s son and trust member. A significant chunk of the funds comes from overseas Pakistanis, who want to donate to their homeland.

Edhi Village, a 65-acre complex in the undulating hills beyond the northern slums of Karachi, is home to 300 children, many picked up off the streets, and 900 adults, many elderly or suffering from mental disabilities.

Most wear clean, ironed clothes, and the food is fresh. Yet there are also signs of neglect. One naked youth dragged himself through a puddle. Some had no shoes and begged visitors to buy them a pair.

The adults live in rooms around the size of three tennis courts, bare except for raised sections for sleeping. They are locked inside for part of the day. There are two doctors, four nurses and two ward boys looking after them.

“We do the most we can do with our resources,” says Billal Mohammad, a regional Edhi manager. “They would be living on the pavement under the sky. We give them shelter, food and treatment. You must not see this place throughout Western eyes.”

___

Edhi has made no secret of his dislike of Pakistan’s ruling class. So it was a surprise to see a gaggle of politicians using one of his orphanages in Karachi as a venue to mark the recent birthday of President Asif Ali Zardari.

The visitors spooned cake into the mouths of the children, shouted political slogans for television cameras and asked Edhi to be photographed next to them. He said he only let the politicians in so the children would have a party to enjoy.

“So what if the politicians are using me? They even use God,” said Edhi, who sat by himself for most of the event. “Landowners, clerics, politicians. They are all looters. There is no fear in telling the truth.”

Hardline Islamist groups have criticized Edhi for his progressive views on women and the secular nature of his work. Some have said that by accepting newly-born babies from unmarried mothers, he is promoting premarital sex.

“We meet them and we read their newspapers. They say we are non-Muslims, unbelievers and communists,” says Faisal Edhi. “The jihadi groups don’t like us. They don’t believe in humanity.”

There are questions about what will happen to the foundation when Edhi dies. He says his two sons and three daughters will take over, though without him at the helm, people may not give as generously.

For now, his children appear more concerned about their father’s health. Apart from an afternoon nap, he works just as hard as he did when he was in his 30s, they say.

“We tell him to take it easy, but he doesn’t listen,” says daughter Almas Edhi. “He wants to keep busy.”
On the Net:

http://www.edhifoundation.com/

http://www.pcp.org.pk/

Aging philanthropist is Pakistan’s Mother Teresa

By CHRIS BRUMMITT (AP)

Categories: Article

India floods dozens of Pakistani villages causing havoc

August 26, 2010 Leave a comment

India floods dozens of Pakistani villages causing havoc

Dozens of villages in Punjab province were inundated in the border areas of Sialkot district and the Pakistani officials blamed it on India, saying authorities across the frontier had released excess flood

Besides the Chenab, the water level in Tawi River too has increased. As a result, several villages in Bajwat area have been cut off from Sialkot, they said.

Officials said the situation was under control and no loss of life or damage to property had been reported.

According to a forecast by the Flood Forecasting Division, high floods ranging from 270,000 cusecs to 350,000 cusecs is expected in the Chenab at Khanki on Saturday.

The FFD said high floods in the river might lead to inundation of low-lying areas around the river bed in Gujranwala, Sialkot, Gujrat, Hafizabad and Mandi Bahauddin districts.

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The drying begins: Nation geared to reconstruction

August 26, 2010 Leave a comment

The drying begins: Nation geared to reconstruction

ISLAMABAD: The drying effect of the devastating floods is expected to begin in 2 to 3 days, amid hopes for higher than estimated wheat output in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, but worries about lower yield in Sindh, a senior government official said on Monday.

Chairman of the Federal Flood Commission (FFC) Zarar Aslam told a group of journalists that no major monsoon system was expected to develop in the next 5 to 8 days and that would help provincial governments and lending agencies to complete the damage and need assessment.

However, in the event of more rains on the Indian side, eastern rivers, particularly Sutlej and Chenab, could cause flooding because Indian reservoirs were full to capacity and the government agencies would need to remain vigilant. “In the next 7-8 days, there is no forecast for a monsoon system, neither in Bay of Bengal nor in the Arabian sea.”

The FFC chief said Pakistan’s own barrages and dams were now full and would need to be opened if there were more rains.

He said the water which had flooded arid lands in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa was draining out and that would enhance wheat output because of the fertility effect of floods. The situation in Sindh would remain critical because its lands were already water logged.

Mr Aslam said the Pakistan Meteorological Department had issued an advisory as early as June 21 about the emerging flood situation and three separate meetings held at the Armed Force’s General Headquarter, National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) and the Ministry of Water and Power between June 28 and July 8 had taken provincial governments and relevant agencies into confidence about possible dangers and preparedness. The PMD had very clearly forecast ‘very very heavy rainfalls’ well in time, he said.

Answering a question about allegations of politically motivated breaches of barrages and protection bunds on the desires of government ministers and influential people, including the one levelled by former prime minister Zafarullah Khan Jamali, Mr Aslam said the FFC was no position to say anything about such allegations because the structures were under provincial jurisdiction.

However, he supported a call for an independent investigation to determine the truth and avoid repetitions in future. He said that some of the major breaches, including at Taunsa and Muzaffargarh, had occurred because of the trigger effect of heavy floods never seen in Pakistan’s history.

He said the government was already working on an investigation body and his organisation would provide full cooperation in such investigations. He said the FFC was purely a technical organisation that did not directly plan, initiate, execute or complete flood protection projects.

He said that only Rs25.7 billion were given in the last three decades for flood protection projects which were executed by provincial governments. He played down statements emanating from Lahore about investigations against FFC for the flood losses caused by substandard protection works and said that the Punjab government should better investigate its irrigation departments which had executed such projects.

Mr Aslam said that lack of storage capacity on the Indus was a major cause of the flooding and devastation. “Had there been dams like Kalabagh on the Indus, the damage could have been avoided,” he said, adding that Pakistan stored only 12 per cent of its surface water flows against international standards of 40 per cent.

The two dams – Tarbela and Mangla – were losing 1.5 per cent of their capacity every year because of siltation. He said the Kalabagh dam would have also saved Nowshera from this year’s inundation because the project also involved dykes for Nowshera’s protection.

He said the economic benefit of one million acre feet (1 MAF) of water had been estimated at Rs6 billion, which meant that at least Rs250 billion had been lost this year. According to his estimate about 40 MAF of water may have gone into the sea although exact estimates would be made by the Indus River System Authority (Irsa) when exceptionally high floods passed Kotri barrage over the next few days.

He confirmed reports that the maintenance of bunds and embankments had not been up to the mark this year and hence the provincial government needed to be trained for flood management.

Now onwards, he said the government should focus on watershed management which was a major cause of concern and safety standards of barrages and dykes need to be properly designed.

He said most of the damage this year was caused by illegal construction of hotels and settlements on the riverbed and a proper flood plan zoning could not be delayed for another disaster.

Likewise, there was also a need for insurance of crops and infrastructure to avoid losses and avoid the financial pressure on the government coffers.

Over a dozen villages in Punjab province were inundated in the border areas of Sialkot district and the Pakistani officials blamed it on India, saying authorities across the frontier had released excess flood

Besides the Chenab, the water level in Tawi River too has increased. As a result, several villages in Bajwat area have been cut off from Sialkot, they said.

Officials said the situation was under control and no loss of life or damage to property had been reported.

According to a forecast by the Flood Forecasting Division, high floods ranging from 270,000 cusecs to 350,000 cusecs is expected in the Chenab at Khanki on Saturday.

The FFD said high floods in the river might lead to inundation of low-lying areas around the river bed in Gujranwala, Sialkot, Gujrat, Hafizabad and Mandi Bahauddin districts.

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The sinister aspect to the floods in Pakistan

August 26, 2010 Leave a comment

The sinister aspect to the floods in Pakistan

There is a very sinister aspect to the floods in Pakistan that no one in the media is discussing.

While there were rains and flooding in some rivers of the country, the size, scale and amount of water which came into these rivers so suddenly defies logic, considering that the rains have slowed down for a couple of weeks now but floods continue to rise in Indus and Chenab.

There were no flooding in India or in Afghanistan but the rivers that flow into Pakistan swelled beyond logic, causing death and devastation on an unprecedented scale. Indians and Afghans have used water as weapon for the first time to deluge Pakistan. There is no doubt about it. This flood disaster is more man made than natural.

All major rivers flowing into Pakistan including Indus are blocked by dams in India. On Chenab River, Baglihar is the biggest project. After the first wave of floods, all the other rivers are flowing normally and there are no extraordinary rains as well but suddenly Chenab and Indus rivers go into high floods. Baghliar Dam has opened its flood gates to cause flooding in Chenab. Sarobi Dam near Kabul controls Kabul River entering Pakistan.

The argument that the ANP always gave to block the construction of Kalabagh Dam was that it would drown and submerge Nowshehra city upstream. This was sheer non-sense. Ironically, even without this dam, the city of Nowshehra and Charsadda were drowned in artificial floods created in Kabul River.

Even more ironic is that fact that Charsadda is the strong hold and base regions of ANP!! Now they should be put on trial for their role in helping Indians cause these floods!

How does Pakistan respond to this latest Indian water war and aggression? There is no hope from this government. This water war has proved more lethal than TTP (Tahreek-e-Taleban of Pakistan) and BLA (Bolchistan Liberation Party) insurgencies. Pakistan has taken another serious hit, more from within than from without.

Thank God, the nation is alive, rising and charging forward to defend the land and the ideology. The time for change is now. Prepare yourself and make the best use of Ramadan.

MUHAMMED JAMIL ATHER

KARACHI

India’s water water: Actions aggravate Pakistani

August 26, 2010 1 comment

India’s water water: Actions aggravate Pakistani

  • In a clearly aggressive action, it has released waters into the Ravi and Chenab Rivers at a time when the sole intent has to be to aggravate the flood situation in Pakistan.
  • DASKA – River Chenab recorded high flood at Head Marala near Sialkot after India diverted floodwaters to Pakistan that played havoc with 13 villages of Bajwat-Sialkot on Friday.
  • The situation, however, is under control, said senior officials of Sialkot Irrigation Department.
  • The flow of water is 277,322 cusecs at Head Marala after New Delhi released huge amount of water in the wake of ongoing fresh spell of heavy rains over AJK catchment areas.
  • Floodwaters also swept away crops on hundreds of acres of land after River Tavi near Saidpur-Bajwat-Sialkot overflowed its banks. People, however, have started evacuating the flood-hit areas.
  • Earlier, River Chenab was in low flood till Thursday night and flow of water was 127,340 cusecs. It is also learnt that communication system in the whole area has almost collapsed.
  • As per the officials, the flood-hit area has been divided into 17 sectors and 34 sub-sectors to combat any emergency. Some 34 relief camps have also been established.
  • All the departments concerned have been put on high alert and the situation is being monitored round the clock.

THE US State Department spokesperson, at a briefing for journalists on Tuesday, once again targeted Pakistan by declaring, rather imperiously, that Pakistan needs to build good relations with both India and Afghanistan. Given how both India and Afghanistan have adopted hostile postures towards Pakistan, perhaps it is time the US proffered this advice to these two countries with whom it is closely tied in one way or another. After all, Pakistan has gone the extra mile to improve relations with both these difficult neighbours. With Afghanistan it has just concluded a new Transit Trade Agreement with extremely beneficial clauses for that country and with India it continues to strive for resumption of dialogue, despite Indian intransigence on that count.
In return, Afghan Minister, Spanta, has called for an international coalition to be formed against Pakistan and Kabul continues to provide succour for Baloch separatist militants as well as allowing India the use of its territory for covert action against Pakistan. As for India, it continues to level unsubstantiated charges of terrorism against Pakistan merely to avoid resuming the bilateral composite dialogue. Now, in a clearly aggressive action, it has released waters into the Ravi and Chenab Rivers at a time when the sole intent has to be to aggravate the flood situation in Pakistan. So it will become increasingly difficult for Pakistan to build good relations with these two neighbours unless they change their approach towards Pakistan.

The US, which has a strategic partnership with India, with a very strong military component, should also take note of the continuing violence being perpetrated by Indian security forces against youth armed with little more than stones, in Occupied Kashmir. It is time the Obama Administration took note of the resurgence of a new wave of an indigenous struggle by a new generation of Kashmiris for their right of self-determination, and compelled India to move in that direction. The Kashmiri intifada, passed on from one generation to the next should have made it clear to the international community that the Kashmiris will never accept Indian occupation. It should have been abundantly clear also to the world that unless this core conflict of Kashmir is resolved in keeping with UN Resolutions, there can be no peace and stability in this nuclearised region. By turning a blind eye to Indian abuses in Occupied Kashmir, the US is effectively condoning the Indian Occupation and the abuses being perpetrated on the Kashmiri people. The US must change its approach to India and the Kashmir conflict. It is time for the US to demand a more rational approach towards Pakistan from Afghanistan and India. Pakistan cannot continue to make unilateral concessions and goodwill gestures endlessly; no matter how inclined the government may be to appease the US.

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  • It has been two weeks since the rains stopped but the Indus and Chenab rivers continue to rise. Further, there was no flooding in India or in Afghanistan.
  • Never before have rivers in all the provinces of Pakistan flooded at the same time without a similar act affecting sources upstream.
  • … The speed and quantity of the gushing water, and the short span of time in which it picked up momentum, precludes the possibility that melting glaciers are solely responsible for the floods.
  • There is no evidence to suggest that the glaciers decided to melt at a faster speed just in time for the heavy monsoon rains.
  • There is no doubt that for the first time, what we are seeing today is that the Indians and U.S.-backed regime in Kabul are using water as a weapon to deluge Pakistan.
  • … All major rivers flowing into Pakistan, including the Indus, are blocked by Indian-built dams. U.S. and British officials often defend India and dismiss Pakistani concerns as “conspiracy theories.”
  • After the first wave of floods, most rivers were flowing normally and no extraordinary rains followed. But suddenly, the Chenab and Indus Rivers overflowed and the flow picked up speed, turning into a flood. India’s Baghliar Dam in occupied Kashmir opened its flood gates to cause a tragedy on the plains of Pakistan [Sindh and Punjab].
  • The Sarobi Dam – the Indian-maintained dam near Kabul – controls the flow of the Kabul River entering Pakistan.
  • The same thing happened there. Monsoons didn’t lash Afghanistan and there was no flooding there of any magnitude. But again, strangely, water flowing from the Kabul River into Pakistan dramatically picked up speed as water levels increased, turning into a flood.
  • The speed with which this transformation occurred could only have happened due to one of two reasons: massive rains in Afghanistan or the release over a sustained period of large amounts of water by the Sarobi Dam.
  • How Pakistan responds to this latest Indian water war and aggression is something that remains to be seen. What is certain is that the incumbent pro-U.S. government in Islamabad is useless when it comes to defending Pakistani interests.
  • … These Indian dams now need to be destroyed. India has declared war on us by exploiting and orchestrating these floods.