NEW - Vedic/Hindu Calendar for 2013

NEW - Vedic/Hindu Calendar for 2013
Shri Ramapir Mandir/Temple in Islamic Republic of Pakistan

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Protest the abuse of the Hindu community in Sindh Province, Pakistan

WE CALL to your attention the unhindered aggression of certain violent individuals in Mir Wah Gorchani city, Mirpurkas district, Sindh province, Pakistan. On the early hours of August 23rd, 2010, at around 2 am, Mr. Maulvi Mushtaq Ahmed Naqshbandi, a leader of the local seminary known as Jamia Siddiqia, announced through the loudspeakers that there was some graffiti  in which abusive words were written against Islam supposedly by the local Hindus. He incited Muslim people to teach the Hindu community a lesson. Some people asked about the proof that Hindus had written the abusive language. The Maulvi said that a truck-driver informed him that when he was entering the area near the mosque he saw a young man was standing adjacent to the wall and after seeing driver he ran away towards the Hindu settlements, the Bhemo Mal Megwar. The driver saw the graffiti and informed Maulvi. The driver has not yet been found or identified.

Maulvi also provoked the Muslim community to search the homes of the Hindus and find the young man whose hand was presumed to be stained with black ink. Around 50 persons under the leadership of Maulvi started searching each house during which women were dragged by the hair out from the houses in their sleeping garments and, children were kicked out . There were 60 houses and it took three hours to search for the man suspected of blasphemy but no such person was found in the community. The situation deteriorated after the humiliation of Hindus and the mob threatened to burn their houses. A police party under district police officer of Mirpurkahs arrived and started controlling the mob of more than three hundred Muslims. The angry mob started pelting the police with stones shouting slogans to burn down the houses of Hindus. The mob then burned three houses and looted the belongings of the community.

In the meantime the loudspeakers of the mosque were continuously used to provoke the Muslims to attack the houses of Hindus of Bhemo Mal Megwar who might have provided shelter to the person who had written blasphemous writings on the walls around the mosque. The mob was swelling and going out of control so the Rangers were called to help the police in controlling the mob. As the Rangers came some miscreants used fire arms during which one Ranger, Mr. Haq Nawaz, received a bullet injury. The Rangers and police used tear gas shell and baton charged the mob. On the demand of the Muslim leaders seven Hindus were arrested on the charges of Blasphemy. The arrested people were Mr. Faqeero, Mr. Kirchand, Mr. Mukesh, Mr. Kishan, Mr. Prem and Mr. Heroo Ram Chand. One possible reason for their arrest is that they were the only persons available at that time as the Hindus fled the area to take shelter in other places. They also left all their belongings and animals that have been without water and fodder since then. The perpetrators have not yet been bought to justice and the Hindus continue to remain displaced. The accused individuals have not yet been released despite no evidence to suggest their role in the blasphemy, and no Muslims have been arrested for the ransacking, looting, and burning of Hindu homes.

PAKISTAN: Hindu community was attacked and evicted on false charges of Blasphemy, one person killed by firing

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Gopinath Kumar <>
Date: Wed, Aug 25, 2010 at 9:01 AM
Subject: PAKISTAN: Hindu community was attacked and evicted on false charges of Blasphemy, one person killed by firing

Dear President of Pakistan,

PAKISTAN: Hindu community was attacked and evicted on false charges of Blasphemy, one person killed by firing

Names of the victims:
1. Mr. Faqeero
2. Mr. Kirchand
3. Mr. Mukesh
4. Mr. Kishan
5. Mr. Prem
6. Mr. Heroo Ram Chand,

All are living in Bheemo Mal Megwar Para,Mir Wah Gorchani city, Mirpurkas district, Sindh province

7. Inhabitants belonging to the Hindu Community settled in Bheemo Mal Megwar Para, Mir Wah Gorchani city, Mirpurkas district, Sindh province

8. Mr. Mohammad Imran, died in exchange of firing, Mir Wah Gorchani city, Mirpurkas district, Sindh province

Names of alleged perpetrators:
1. Maulvi Mushtaq Naqshbandi, Head of Jamia Siddiqia Madressa and mosque, Mir Wah Gorchani city, Mirpurkas district, Sindh province
2 . Mr. Haq Nawaz, Official of Pakistan Rangers, Mirpurkhas district, Sindh province

Date of incident: 23 August 2010
Place of incident: Bheemo Mal Megwar Para, Mir Wah Gorchani city, Mirpurkas district, Sindh province

I am writing to voice my deep concern regarding the attack on the settlement of the Hindu community at Bheemo Mal Megwar Para, Mir Wah Gorchani city, Mirpurkas district,Sindh province, by Muslim extremists on the false charges of writing blasphemous slogans on and around the walls of close to the mosque. They burned the houses of the Hindus and looted their belongings. One Muslim man was killed during the firing from the extremist elements.

It is shocking for me that on the early hours of August 23, at around 2am Maulvi Mushtaq Ahmed Naqshbandi, a leader of the local mosque and seminary known as Jamia Siddiqia, announced through the loudspeakers of the local mosque that there were some wall chalking in which abusive words were written against the last prophet of Islam by the Hindus. He provoked that the Muslim people should come out from houses to teach the Hindu community a lesson. When some people asked about the prove that Hindus have written abusive language, the Maulvi said that a truck-driver informed him that when he was entering the area near the mosque he saw a young man was standing with the wall and after seeing driver he ran away towards the Hindu community, the Bhemo Mal Megwar. The driver saw the wall chalking and quickly informed this to Maulvi.

Maulvi also provoked the Muslim people to search the houses of the Hindus and find the young man whose hand must be stained with black ink. Around 50 persons under the leadership of Maulvi started searching each houses during which women were dragged by the hair out from the houses in their sleeping garments conditions, children were kicked to force them to leave the houses. There were 60 houses and it took three hours to search for the man suspected of the blasphemy but no such person was found in the community. When the situation deteriorated after the humiliation of Hindus and the threats to burn their houses a police party under district police officer of Mirpurkahs arrived and started controlling the mob of more than three hundred Muslims. The angry mob started pelting the police with stones shouting slogans to burn down the houses of Hindus. The mob then burned three houses and looted the belongings of the community.

In the meantime the loudspeakers of the mosque were continuously used to provoke the Muslims to attack the houses of Hindus of Bhemo Mal Megwar who might have provided shelter to the person who had written blasphemous writings on the walls around the mosque. The mob was swelling and going out of control so the Rangers were called to help the police in controlling the mob. As the Rangers came some miscreants used fire arms during which one Ranger, Mr. Haq Nawaz, received a bullet injury. The rangers and police used tear gas shell and baton charged the mob. On the demand of the Muslim leaders seven Hindus were arrested on the charges of Blasphemy. The arrested persons were Mr. Faqeero, Mr. Kirchand, Mr. Mukesh, Mr. Kishan, Mr. Prem and Mr. Heroo Ram Chand. One possible reason for their arrest is that they were the only persons available at that time as the Hindus fled the area to take shelter in other places. They also left all their belongings and animals that have been withou t water and fodder since then.

One young Muslim man, Mohammad Imran, was killed by gunfire. In the funeral prayers one particular person attended. He is Pir Aube Jan Sarhandi, from Sanghar city, Sindh, and is known in the area along the Indian border to convert Hindu women to Islam by abducting them. He openly claims that he has converted 2000 Hindus to Islam.

I am appalled as to how a leader of a mosque can order the people to search of each and every house for a person for writing the alleged blasphemous slogans. How the law was given over to the hands of an Imam of a mosque, is this the rule of law in the country? I am also concerned with the misuse of loudspeakers from the mosques and how they are frequently used against the religious minority groups.

According to the information I have received, it seems to me that the local administration is at the mercy of the extremist Muslim groups who use their influence against the religious minority groups in Sindh province. Many Hindu communities have already left their settlements because of the absence of rule of law in the interior of Sindh.

I urge you to take stern action against the persons responsible for attacking on the century-old settlements of the Hindu community. I also urge the authorities to stop the misuse of Blasphemy law without properly following the law. The misuse of loudspeakers from the mosques should be stopped. The government should help the displaced Hindu community for their rehabilitation in their own settlements. Maulvi Mushtaq should be arrested and prosecuted on the charges of misusing loudspeakers from the mosque and taking search of the each houses of the Hindu community illegally. The government should also provide compensation to the family of Mr. Mohammad Imran who was killed during the firing from the extremist elements.

Yours sincerely,
Gopinath Kumar

Pakistani Minister Shahbaz Bhatti assures safe recovery of Kolhi (Hindu Man)

By Daily News
Tuesday, Augest 31, 2010
ISLAMABAD : Federal Minister for Minorities Affairs Shahbaz Bhatti on Sunday urged the authorities to make all-out efforts to recover Veerji Kolhi, a senior member of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP), who had been missing since August 19.

In a press statement issued on Sunday, the minister said he would not allow anyone to take law into its own hands and terrorise innocent people. He said justice would be ensured to everyone in the country. He promised to take all necessary measures for the safe recovery of Kolhi.

The minister has also directed the provincial governments to ensure protection of life and property of minorities and their places of worship at every cost. He also sought an inquiry report within three days. Kolhi belongs to a Hindu community from Hyderabad.

Pakistan : Safe recovery of Veerji Kolhi demanded

Source Daily News
Tuesday, Augest 31, 2010
ISLAMABAD : Number of human rights activists, journalists and civil society members on Saturday held a protest demonstration in front of National Press Club Islamabad, demanding President of Pakistan, the Prime Minister, Chief Justice of Pakistan, Federal Minister for Minority Affairs, and IG Sindh, to help recover Veerji Kohli and save his life.

Veerji Kolhi senior member of HRCP Hyderabad has been missing since Thursday, August 19.

Raees Bachal Khoso for the last couple of weeks, who has the support of Ghulam Qadir Mari to take a police case back, was threatening Kolhi.

Protestors said that if people like Veerji were punished by the influential feudals for siding and helping out vulnerable haris and protecting their dignity then no one would dare to help any one out.

Kolhi attended last program at press club Hyderabad at 4:00 pm on Thursday, he left the press club at 6:35 pm and since then he is missing and his mobile phone is off. There has not been any contact with him since then.

Dr Farzana Bari in a media briefing said that Kohli was a senior Human Rights Activist. He played a leading role in getting justice for Kolhi.

A young girl who was gang-raped in Mokario, a small village near Nagarparker, Sindh. The local police had refused to register the case; Kohli with his partners in solidarity took the issue to provincial assembly and national assembly that culminated in IGP special inquiry board, including three DPO.

Bari said these officials were surprised at the blatant lies and cover-ups by the police of Nagarparker. As a result they suspended SP of Chachro and head moharir of police station Nagarparker. They also terminated Station House Officer and Investigation Officer of police station Nagarparker.

The Parliamentary Committee on Minority Affairs headed by MNA Mahesh Kumar Malani took a serious note of the case and asked all the relevant parties to present their point of view. They appreciated that the senior level police intervention took strong action on the unethical and criminal behavior of police. They also instructed senior officials to get a proper medical checkup of the victim and take a detailed statement of the girl in the presence of a woman police and report back. Kohli was asked to give a presentation on the case to this committee in Islamabad and were impressed by his efforts and conviction. The members were upset with the senior police officers for siding with the influential landlords and skewing the case.

The rapists Khoso and Verio Guraro were arrested. The other two rapists, Habibullah and Ghulam Nabi, two older brothers of Khoso ran away and were pursuing bail. They have got interim bail from the high court.

A few days ago Khoso accompanied by people of Ghulam Qadir Mari, visited Veerji in his Mehergarh office in Hyderabad and threatened dire consequences if he failed to persuade Kasturi Kolhi and her parents for compromise. They continued threatening him till the other day. Bari said we fear that Veerji ha been kidnapped by the men of Khoso and his life is in serious danger.

VIEW: Institutional radicalisation of public schools —Ali K Chishti

By Editorial Staff
Tuesday, Augest 31,2010
Pakistan : There are millions of ‘non-state actors’ whose handlers could prod them into doing anything by evoking emotions through misquoting Quranic verses

“Hindu pundits were jealous of Al-Beruni” (Social Studies, Class VIII, Punjab Textbook Board, page 82). Another textbook reads, “The Hindus who had always been opportunists” (Social Studies, Class VI, Punjab Textbook Board, page 141). Still another reads, “The Hindus had always been an enemy of Islam.” (Urdu, Class V, Punjab Textbook Board, page 108). An e-mail I got from a Pakistani Hindu friend asked me what did they do to deserve this treatment. I had no answers. It is probably a classical example of our state’s deterioration because of its relentless pursuit of a destructive foreign policy agenda, and also abdicating its role in education to the jihadi organisations. Worse, whatever little education the state provides is not much better than what is being provided by the madrassas or by a school system like Al-Dawa (run by Lashkar-e-Tayyaba (LeT)) in terms of producing enlightened citizens. One, therefore, does not need a very active imagination to figure out the direction in which the country is headed. In fact, schools like those run by Jamaat-ud-Dawa (a new name for LeT), which received Punjab government’s funding of Rs 30million, systematically replaced the mainstream curriculum. Now Allah instead of anar (pomegranate) is used to teach the sound of the Urdu alphabet letter alif; bandooq (gun) instead of bakri (goat) for bey and jihad instead of jahaz (ship) for jeem. These jehadi public schools manufacturing Kasabs and Shezad Tanvirs who, when asked about their identity, class themselves as Muslims first and Pakistani afterwards. There are millions of ‘non-state actors’ whose handlers could prod them into doing anything by evoking emotions through misquoting Quranic verses.

I was on a television programme discussing radicalisation when one of the panellists boasted how one mard-e-mujahid is equal to 10 infidels. This compelled me to ponder how and when did the radicalisation of Pakistanis really start. The popular myth is that Ziaul Haq sowed the seeds of radicalisation but, in reality, institutionalised radicalisation of Pakistanis started in the late 1950s when the Iqbalian concepts of mard-e-momin and shaheen were promoted, much like the Nazis originally promoted the concept of the superman of Nietzsche. Interestingly, the security establishment promoted Iqbal’s idea post the 1958 coup to undermine civilian rule and tried to revise the status of Allama Iqbal as one of the original founders (note that Iqbal was not the national poet until 1958) because the army had traditionally been uneasy with Muhammad Ali Jinnah, a staunch secularist, as head of the state. Ayub obviously had a bone or two to pick with Jinnah due to Jinnah’s tough stance on the role of the armed forces.

And we transformed ourselves to Nietzsche’s idea when Pakistan, a newly born ill-equipped nation 1/5th the size of India, confidently initiated Operation Gibraltar and later Kargil, intoxicated by the one Muslim equals 10 Hindus syndrome. We all know what happened next. The expulsion of the USSR from Afghanistan and the failure to produce adequate secessionists in our immediate neighbouring countries to further our lofty and godly foreign policy designs led to a total breakdown of the strategy of using non-state actors as instruments of foreign policy execution, but we never learnt lessons from history. In fact, the ideology of religious radicalism mixed with political secessionism which we used to promote ‘strategic depth’ and manufacture the Frankenstein’s monster of the Taliban post-9/11 came back to haunt our country. Today, only because of this radicalisation of over half a century, Pakistan is forced to use its armed forces and wage a war on its own population in order to reintegrate them into the mainstream. The situation now is such that the ideological spillover of fundamentalism has led to a radicalisation of the polity within Pakistan. The earlier political phenomenon of having opposition parties supporting fundamentalism now has an armed dimension too, making things even more dangerous.

If this institutionalised radicalisation was not enough, Zaid Hamid, our very own Bill O’Reilly, was unleashed upon us as a propaganda-machine, who just would not stop talking until he waves a sabz hilali (a green flag with a crescent) on the Red Fort. This wannabe messiah, who is absolutely immune to logic, would give out sermons at universities and on television promoting a revived caliphate, pan-Islamism and inciting hatred against minorities. Anyone who monitors him closely would know that he has got a nuisance value and quite a bit of fans. He has transformed himself as the new messiah of generation-X with a good 40,000 fans on his Facebook page.

Institutionalised radicalisation is haunting us now. It is an open question how much further would we go down this path. And for how long. As Pervez Hoodbhoy once wrote, “It is also virtually certain that the social forces set into motion over the years through the education system will make most of Pakistani society — barring pockets of liberalism in the upper crust of society — more conservative and orthodox relative to the previous generation.” Sad, but something we are witnessing in the Pakistan of today. A de-radicalisation programme for Pakistan is the need of the hour.

The writer is a political analyst and can be reached at akchishti@hotmail.comm

SINDH : Hindus are being targeted in flood-hit Pakistan'

Tuesday, Augest 31, 2010
JAISALMER : The relatives of Hindus living in Pakistan have alleged they were at the receiving end during the unprecedented floods in that country. They said that the majority community was targeting the Hindus, who are a religious minority there, by looting their shops and homes in the midst of the prevailing lawlessness in the flood-affected areas across the border.

Though some of the Hindus wanted to come to India to their relatives' place here, the Indian embassy is following a very stringent policy in issuing visas, they say.

The relatives here are a worried lot after they got to know through email and phones about the conditions of their dear ones in Sindh and other provinces affected by flood. They said anarchy is the order of the day there and Hindus are doubly victimised: once by the floods and other by looting and robing of their properties by the unruly elements while the law enforcing authorities remain mute spectators.

Border People's Organisation president Hindu singh Lodha said in Sindh province alone, thousands of Hindus have lost everything they had due to the floods and looting. He said they are a helpless lot as the locked out houses of the Hindus are being targeted by hooligans and religious fundamentalists.

According to reports from Pakistan, the Hindus are subjected to victimisation in refuge camps also. They were served with non-vegetarian food, it was alleged. He said the Hindus wanted to come to India and stay here till the situation improves there, but they were denied visas by the Indian embassy there.

Bichu Singh, a resident of a village near Karachi, said over phone that the prices of essential items like LPG has sky-rocketed following disruption in supply while food articles are also in short supply. He said an 11-kg cylinder costs Rs 1,500 in the black market and a litre of milk costs Rs 56 while sugar cost ranges between Rs 90 to 110 per kg, wheat flour Rs 50 per kg and rice ranges from Rs 80 to 100.

Hansraj Khatri said over phone that the devastating floods have claimed over hundreds of lives and about 40 lakh people were affected by it. He said many villages in Hydrabad in Sindh province are flooded with water. The situation aggravated as the government decided to release water from dams and reservoirs as it feared that the dams may collapse, he said.

Another Pakistani Uttar Shastri said all the relief camps are overflowing forcing people to find shelter in mandirs and masjids. In this hour of crisis, many people are running refugee camps from donations but they are also running out of resources.

Over 2,000 Sikhs, Hindus displaced by Pakistan floods

Tuesday, Augest 31, 2010
LAHORE : Over 2,000 Sikhs and Hindus have been displaced by the unprecedented floods sweeping Pakistan, says the Evacuee Trust Property Board, a body that looks after the interests of the country's minority communities.

Twenty million people, a majority of them from the northwest, have been affected by the floods.

Over 1,700 people have died and crops worth over a billion dollars were destroyed.

ETPB Deputy Director (shrines) Fraz Abbas told PTI that an estimated 2,000 Sikhs and Hindus had been displaced by the deluge.

"Most of them belong to Sindh and Kyber-Pakhtunkhwa provinces," he said.

About 150 displaced Sikhs and Hindus have taken shelter at Gurdwara Dera Sahib in Lahore and Gurdwara Panja Sahib in Hasanabdal while 100 more are sheltering at Gurdwara Janamasthan in Nankana Sahib.

Abbas said the ETPB had asked provincial authorities to ensure the safe evacuation of minorities and their travel to major gurdwaras where the board has made arrangements for their stay.

"We are providing shelter, food and medical treatment to displaced Sikhs and Hindus and will continue to look them after till they can return to their homes," ETPB Chairman Asif Hashmi said.

"The board will not ask the flood-affected people to leave the gurdwaras till their houses are reconstructed," Hashmi said.

ISKCON's FFL to start Pakistan Flood Relief

By Gopinath Kumar (Excutive Editor)
Tuesday, Augest 31, 2010
Report by: Sandeep Kumar Maheshwary
PAKISTAN -- Food for Life Global in partnership with affiliates in Pakistan and India are mobilizing teams to provide meals to survivors of the recent floods in Pakistan.

According to FFL coordinator, Sandeep Kumar Maheshwary, most of the public have been collecting clothes, dry food, water, and medicine for the affected areas. They are then transporting the donations to local community groups or the Army who have set up relief camps.

Maheshwary suggests that the most practical type of meal should be dry, like Dhal Chawal, or spicy rice, etc, however, the kind of meals served by FFL Pakistan Relief Teams will largely depend on the financial support Food for Life Global recieves. "Food for Life is famous for providing hot, tasty nutritious meals at such times and the Pakistan food relief will be no exception," explains global director, Paul Turner.

The Food for Life Pakistan Relief Team will focus on poor, minority groups who have lost their homes. 
Areas of focus will include: Sindh: Hyderabad, Khairpur, Sukkur, Gambt, Shikarpur, Larkana, Rato, Dero, Mirpur. Punjab: Kand kut, Kambr, Karmpur, Gunspur, Gutki, Khan Garr, Khan Pur Mehr, Sultan Kut, Sehdad Kut

Food for Life Pakistan Relief Team will also try to collaborate with other NGOs, namely, the Swami Narayan Welfare Temple and Trust and the Pakistan Hindu Council.
The teams will be led by Ram Yagya who is a full time volunteer with the Food for Life project and ISKCON Karachi.
Donate Money now through PAYPAL

Or send a check marked “Pakistan” to: 
Food for Life Global
PO Box 471,
Riverdale, NY 10471
See other ways to donate
Contact Information:
Ram Yagya:   +92 301 36 88 360
Sadhu Seva:  +92 332 27 30 312

Protest in Pakistan flood relief camp after beef served to Hindus

By Gopinath Kumar (Excutive Editor)
Tuesday, Augest 31, 2010
KARACHI : Hundreds of minority Hindus rendered homeless by the devastating floods in Pakistan were served beef by authorities at a relief camp in Karachi, triggering protest from the community members.

The Hindus belonging to the Baagri and Waghari nomadic tribes, who numbered around 600, are among 4,000 flood victims of different faiths living in the relief camp in Lyari area.

"We are Hindus and consumption of beef is prohibited in our religion but we were given beef, which is unacceptable," Mohan Baagri, a Hindu living at the camp, told the local media.

Several women with traditional tattoos on their faces and wearing 'lehengas' left the camp with their children and demanded that they be shifted somewhere else.

Following the protest, officials of the minority affairs ministry of Sindh province rushed to the camp an intervened to resolve the issue.

"It was a misunderstanding. The food was for the residents of the camp but the authorities were not aware of their faith. However, we have made the arrangements and they will now be given rations so they can cook their own food," said Dara Kazi, personal assistant to provincial minority affairs minister Mohan Mal Kohistani.

Officials were visiting other camps to see if Hindus or other minorities were living in them so that similar problems could be avoided, Kazi said.

"If minorities are found in other camps, we will provide them food according to their beliefs," he said.

Javaid Sabagatullah Mahar, in-charge of the camp where beef was served, said that some flood victims had protested and that it happened because of a misunderstanding.

"The food was brought for the people living in the camp and we were not aware of the issue but when they protested, we resolved the issue and now they are being given rations," said Mahar.

Baagris and Wagharis are believed to have migrated to Sindh from areas along the Waghari river in Maharashtra during a severe drought that occurred at the time of the British Raj.

Malaysia's oldest Hindu temple portrayed on stamp for the first time

By Editorial Staff
Tuesday, Augest 31, 2010
Malaysia's oldest Hindu temple - the Sri Maha Mari-amman temple-has been given the honour of being the first ever to be portrayed on a postage stamp.

According to The Star, Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC) president S. Samy Vellu launched the stamp on Sunday to commemorate the temple's sixth consecration ceremony to be held today.

The ceremony is held once every 12 years.

The ceremony was to celebrate the completion of the temple's upgrading work every 12 years and to re-energise the power of the temple, said its information officer B. Vivekananda.

Founded in 1873, the temple, which was originally located near the Kuala Lumpur railway station was moved to the current place in Jalan Tun H.S. Lee in 1885. It is credited with having 242 idols on its gopuram (gateway). (ANI)

2 Sikhs in Afghan poll fray, want to be first elected non-Muslims

By Editorial Staff
Tuesday, Augest 31, 2010
KABUL : Election campaign posters plaster Kabul’s traffic circles these days but one face stands out. Of a Sikh. But he is not the only Sikh candidate in the fray — there is another, a woman.

Pritpal Singh Pal and Anarkali Kaur Honaryar are running for positions in Afghanistan’s Wolesi Jirga, the 250-seat lower house of parliament, elections for which are scheduled on September 18.

If they win, they will become the first democratically elected non-Muslim parliamentarians in the country — Afghan Hindus and Sikhs have held parliamentary positions before through nomination.

Both are Independent candidates from the Kabul province and are up against Mohammad Mohaqiq and Abdul Rasul Sayyaf, former Mujahideen commanders who are now established politicians.

“I want to serve people regardless of religion. I’m an Afghan,” says 44-year-old Pal, a native of the Pashtun-majority province of Paktia where his parents were also born.

Pal runs an ayurvedic medicine shop established by his father who moved from Paktia to Kabul. Frustrated with the current Afghan government, he says: “I’m running for parliament for the service of all of Afghanistan.”

Of the estimated 3,000 Hindus and Sikhs living here, the majority have had generations living in Afghanistan as far back as they can remember. So most identify themselves as Afghans.

Pal says it is a common misconception that all Afghan Sikhs and Hindus are Punjabis who moved to Afghanistan from India years ago. In fact, many members of this community consider themselves to be the original Afghans who never converted to Islam. And this sense of rootedness only gives their pursuit of governmental representation in Afghanistan more zeal.

Honaryar, 26, was born in Kabul. Her father Kishan Singh is an engineer who moved to Kabul from Khost province. Honaryar’s mother, also a native Afghan, was born in Paktia province.

“I’ve travelled to many countries, including India,” she says at her campaign office in the Karte Parwan area of Kabul. “But I want to serve my own country and countrymen. I love Afghanistan.”

Honaryar trained as a dentist, but became politically active at the age of 19 when she participated in the Loya Jirga — or public assembly — and realised the number of issues facing Afghanistan. She then joined the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission to work for women’s rights. In May, she decided to run for parliament.

Pal and Honaryar consider themselves truly Afghan but they are aware that as a minority group, the Sikhs suffer from problems such as “discrimination” in education, lack of representation, harassment to convert and, in particular, the struggle for cremation grounds.

Before civil war broke out in 1991, the Sikh and Hindu community in Afghanistan numbered 50,000 upward and held a large portion of Afghanistan’s business capital. Since then, their population and wealth have dwindled. They have had hard times, even after the fall of the Taliban regime in 2001.

Over time, these events have reinforced this community’s relationship with India. For example, while Pal chooses to remain in Afghanistan, his wife and three children live in New Delhi.

“I enjoyed my visit to India,” says Honaryar. “India is a country which is helping Afghanistan politically and economically. And the two have so many cultural similarities and a shared heritage.”

Pal and Honaryar hope that they can serve as a bridge between their disenfranchised community and the government.  The odds against Pal winning the election are high as he is new to politics. However, he says he has many supporters.

“They are also our countrymen,” says Mohammed Ali, a 42-year-old pastry shop owner in central Kabul, of the Sikh and Hindu community. “May be they can serve us better than other Afghans.”

Ansar Burney urges Pakistan govt. to accept India’s flood aid

Tuesday, Augest 31, 2010
(PHOTO  : Pakistan's former Minister for Human Rights Ansar Burney has urged the government to accept India's flood relief aid “in the greater interest of peace and love.” File photo)
Pakistan :  Human Rights activist Ansar Burney has urged the Pakistan government to accept the donation offered by India for the flood relief work “in the greater interest of peace and love.” 

On the one hand they are begging the world for help and accepting all donations and on the other they are not accepting a donation of “love and peace” from India, Mr. Burney has said. 

Mr. Burney, Pakistan’s former Minister for Human Rights, said this is the first time that Indian government has shown a very “positive attitude” towards Pakistan after the Mumbai terror attacks and the Government of Pakistan should respond positively to the kind gesture of “love” for the sake of flood victims and also for the sake of peace in the region.

He said this is not the time to bring bad memories from the past or to scratch the old wounds.
Mr. Burney added that External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna has brought forward a friendly hand by announcing $ 5 million in flood aid and Pakistan should hold this hand with the same friendly spirit.
“Pakistan is in a critical state right now and this is the time we rise above our personal or political preferences and make our decisions for benefit of the people of Pakistan and also appreciate all the help we get from our friends in this difficult time,” he said. 

“By accepting the donation from India, Pakistan could send a positive message to the other side of the border as well and will also help bring the two countries together,” Mr. Burney said.

PAKISTAN : Financial assistance of scheduled caste hindus respected

By Krishna Jaipal (PHP Lahore)
Tuesday, Augest 31, 2010
All Hinud Friends and Members

 subjec. Financial assistance of scheduled caste hindus respected

        It is stated that Hare Rama Foundation is the representative organisation of more than 4 million  scheduled caste hindus of Pakistan. The condition of flood is so much serious in Pakistan especially south Punjab and Sindh.many people have been affected alongwith Hindus.The Hindu population minority is much in these areas.missionary departments are not working in these areas. They are in the state of helplessness. According to a survey of Hare Rama Foundation five thousand homes have been affected and they are under open sky . It is requested to you that help these people with things of common usage at organisational level or at individual level so that affected people get help in this difficult situation. For further information do contact with us .IT will be pleasure for us
For any more detail Please Feel Free Contact with Us.
and Please forward  to your friends and  other organization.
With Regards
Ramesh Jaipal  (Director)
Hare Rama Foundation Pakistan
Rahim Yar Khan Punjab Pakistan
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Rapes of Christian Girls in Pakistan Reflect Hidden Trend

By Gopinath Kumar (Excutive Editor )
Tuesday, Augest 31, 2010
ISLAMABAD : The vulnerability of Christian girls to sexual assault in Pakistani society emerged again last month as a Muslim landowner allegedly targeted a 16-year-old and a gang of madrassa (Islamic school) students allegedly abused a 12-year-old in Punjab Province.

In Farooqabad, Shiekhupura district, three Muslim co-workers of a Christian man allegedly raped his 16-year-old daughter at gunpoint the night of July 21; the following evening in Gujar Khan, Rawalpindi district, more than a half dozen madrassa students decided to “teach these Christians a lesson” by allegedly gang-raping the 12-year-old girl.

The students at Jamia Islamia Madrassa had been harassing Christians in the villages around Gujar Khan, said the pastor of the church to which the girl’s family belongs, United Pentecostal Church.

“They openly announce that ‘the Christians are our enemies, we should not talk to them, eat with them or do business with them,’” Pastor Shakeel Javed told Compass.

The students often beat Christian children who come to play on the school grounds, telling them to convert or leave, he said, adding that on Sundays they throw stones at the church building.

A school teacher who said she was witness to the alleged rape told Compass that when she came across the madrassa students the evening of July 22, she overheard one saying, “We will teach these Christians a lesson they will never forget.”

“Three or four Christian girls were washing dishes near a pond,” Rana Aftab said. “These guys ran towards them, and the girls started running. One of them fell on the ground, and these madrassa students got hold of her and took her in the fields. I tried to stop them, but they were 15-16 in number.”

Seven or eight of them raped the girl, whose name is withheld, while the others looked on, Aftab said.

“She kept yelling for help, but no one heard her cries,” Aftab said.

They left the girl in the field, and some villages took her home to her father, Pervaiz Masih, Aftab said.

Masih was devastated, and the girl’s mother fainted when she saw her, Masih told Compass.

Masih and Aftab went to the police station to register a complaint, but the officer in charge refused to register it, Aftab said.

When Compass contacted officers at the police station, they initially refused to comment, but eventually one admitted that they are under pressure from Muslims leaders and extremists to refrain from filing a First Information Report (FIR) on the alleged crime.


In eastern Punjab Province’s Farooqabad, the Christian father of the allegedly raped 16-year-old girl said he was later kidnapped and tortured.

In his complaint to police, Ghafoor Masih of Kot Sandha village said he was working the fields when three men who work for his Muslim employer overpowered his daughter at home and dragged her into one of the rooms of the house at gunpoint.

His daughter, whose name is withheld, told police that the three men raped her while keeping her from screaming for help by threatening to shoot her in the forehead with a pistol. The family accused Rashid Ali, another Muslim identified only as Maan son of Muhammad Boota and an unidentified man who also worked for Masih’s employer, Hajji Rashid Jutt.

The next morning, July 22, Masih went to the Saddr police station in Farooqabad, but Station House Officer Inspector Nasseer Ahmad Khan refused to register a First Information Report (FIR), labor leaders said. Aslam Pervaiz Sahotra, chairman of the Bonded Labor Front, and Zia-ud-Din Khokhar, chairman of Equality for Minorities, later approached the Shiekhupura district police officer with Masih’s complaint, and on July 28 the official sent an application for a FIR to Saddr Police Station.

Under pressure from the superior officer, on July 29 Inspector Khan registered the FIR under for “gang-rape at gunpoint,” family members and clergy said.

As Masih made his way home after the filing of the FIR on July 29, however, two other Muslims who work for his employer, Jutt, allegedly intercepted and kidnapped him, the family members said, and took him to Jutt’s farmhouse. There Jutt, the two men – Muhammad Irfan and Muhammad Usman – and another worker for Jutt, Fazal Karim, allegedly shackled and tortured Masih, leaving him in critical condition.

Inspector Khan told Compass that he has arrested Jutt, Irfan and Usman for kidnapping, as well as the suspect identified only as Maan for the alleged rape of Masih’s daughter.

Joseph Francis, national director of the Center for Legal Aid Assistance and Settlement, condemned the alleged rape of the 16-year-old girl.

“Muslim landowners and their relatives see Christian girls or women as their chattel,” Francis said. “Such vicious incidents are not being stopped by the government, and day by day the rate of rapes of Christian girls is escalating instead of plunging.”

Sahotra and Khokhar added that many such cases go unreported as impoverished Christian families often do not have the resources to pursue justice.

ISKCON's Hare Krishna Temple in Quetta, Pakistan

By Gopinath Kumar (Excutive Editor for PHP)
Tuesday, Augest 31, 2010
(Photo : Sri Sri Radha Natha of Quetta, Balochistan, Pakistan)
USA : According to CIA Report submitted to President of United States, Hinduism is the fastest growing religion in the world. Due to the hard work of various Hindu organisactions and math’s we have succeeded in popularizing Hinduism in America as well as Europe and Australia. Now in all countries we have at least 1% of that respective countries population who openly tells that they are practicing Hindu’s. In United States itself, we have 20 lakh Hindu’s. 
In June , 2007, ISKCON, an organisaction founded by A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, opened a Krishna Temple, called Sri Sri Radha Radha Nath Bhawan,  in Pakistani city of Quetta. Quetta is the largest city as well as provincial capital of Balochistan Province of Pakistan. 
 On 17th. 18th and 19th of June, 2010 hundreds of Krishna devotees  gathered at Quetta’s Hare Krishna Temple to celebrate the 3rd anniversary of the installation of the Temple. 
The three-day program included kirtan, lectures and public stage performances. Some of the main speakers were Sarvabhauma Das, who has been playing a major role in ISKCON`s activities in Pakistan for over twenty five years, and Radhika Kripa Dasi from New Delhi, who was in charge of bringing the deities from Jaipur to Quetta, and prepared the installation ceremony three years ago.
The program also provided the community with a good opportunity to glorify devotees for their outstanding service. On behalf of the ISKCON Pakistan leadership, Madan Mohan Das presented awards to Karuna Sindhu Das for his skillfully translating and printing Prabhupada`s books, to Visnu Loka Das for his wonderful kirtanist performances, and to Ram Yagya Das for his successful missionary activities all over Pakistan.
We are attaching the photographs of deities of Radha and Krishna installed at the Quetta Hare Krishna Temple.

Pakistani Hindus being looted at gunpoint call for Army's deployment in flood-affected areas

By Mohammad S.Solanki ( PHP Excutive Editor)
Tuesday, Augest 31, 2010
(PHOTO : Flooding in Sindh State of Pakistan)
ISLAMABAD  : Pakistan's Hindu community has called for deployment
of Army in the flood-affected areas of Sindh province to safeguard the
lives of thousands of Hindus allegedly being looted by the locals.

Addressing the media at the Karachi Press Club, Pakistan Hindu Council
chief Ramesh Kumar appealed to the government to move in the Army in
the affected areas, including Ghospur, Kandkhot and Karmpur.

"Our families are being targeted at gun-point by the locals of their
localities. About 95 shops and 50 houses have been ransacked and
looted by the miscreants," The News quoted Kumar, as saying.

Kumar said that those who were evacuating the areas for safe places
were also being targeted and their vehicles were being looted.

He said that the situation was out of control as the police had
abandoned the area, and there was no one to help the affected people.

Parts of Sindh are already under water, and rescuers continue to
evacuate people from the province, where the Indus River banks are at
risk of bursting. Two million people have already left the area.

At least 1,600 people have died in the country's worst deluge in 80 years.

With over 14 million people already affected, the monsoon rains show
little sign of abating.

Pakistani Hindus and Sikhs condemn demolition of Hindu temple in Rawalpindi

By Editorial Staff
Tuesday, Augest 31, 2010
(Photo : Old Hindu Temple in Rawalpindi )
Rawalpindi  : Pakistan's Hindu and Sikh communities have condemned the demolition of
a pre-partition 87-year-old Hindu temple by its owner in Rawalpindi's
Bhabra Bazaar.

The temple on Tipu Road, opposite the Rawalpindi Medical College, was
being used by Hindus and Sikhs in the city to perform last rituals of
their dear ones.

According to the plaque fixed on the building, Lala Tansukh Rai, the
Raees-e-Azam Rawalpindi, had constructed the temple in memory of his
wife in 1923.

The Pakistan Hindu Sikh Social Welfare Council said that the Auqaf
Department, an autonomous body of the Provincial Government, was bound
to save the temple, and it is their duty to protect the buildings
related to the minorities, The News reports.

They have also appealed to the government to direct the Auqaf
Department to take action against demolition of temples in future.


Open Letter to PM of Pakistan : Stop Persecution of non-Muslim Minorities

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Krishan Bhatnagar <>
Date: Thu, Jul 29, 2010 at 5:33 PM
Subject: Open Letter to PM of Pakistan : Stop Persecution of non-Muslim Minorities

Open Letter to Prime Minister of Pakistan
Subject: Persecution of non-Muslim Minorities in Pakistan.
Ref: - Continued Demolition of Hindu Temples and persecution of Hindus in Pakistan  threatens peace in the sub continent.
Hon'ble Syed Yousuf Raza Gillani,
Prime Minster of Pakistan,
Islamabad, Pakistan
Hon'ble Prime Minister Gillani,

            Freedom loving people all around the world and those believing in equality and freedom of all religions (billions in numbers) particularly Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Buddhists and others are appalled at the continued persecution of the minority Hindus in Pakistan and the colossal failure of the Govt. to stop this genocidal and highly provocative movement. The latest examples of this ongoing saga of unlawful and inhuman activities in Pakistan is contained in the below given attachments A, B & C. These are just a few instances that we reproduce as evidence though such acts of communal hatred and ethnic cleansing against the minorities, more importantly against Hindus and Sikhs,  take place in the Islamic state on a regular basis.

            This anti-Hindu, anti-Sikh crusade is not restricted to depriving them of their properties and places of worship but the abduction of Hindu women, forcible conversion to Islam and subsequent marriages with Muslim persons seems to have become a common place. How ironic yet hypocritical it is on the part of Pakistan to demand equal and special status for Muslims in other countries but refuse to provide the same treatment to its own non-Muslim minorities?

            Mr. Prime Minister, how sad and regrettable it is that on the one hand your Govt. claims to be a representative Govt. yet it has elected to throw into the dust bin the numerous representations made by the victimized Hindu community of Pakistan against the oft repeated waves of criminal behavior towards them. As a member of the United Nations and its acceptance of the UN Charter, Pakistan is committed to maintaining freedom and equality of all religions. Unfortunately that commitment has fully and completely been trampled upon in the case of its non-Muslim minorities. The naked aggression by one religion with a view to deprive the other religions of their assets and sources of sustenance and the forcible conversions must be considered criminal and therefore, severely punishable under the law. Pakistan has failed in this test as well. 

            For safeguarding minority Hindu temples and institutions, it is absolutely important that the Govt. constitute a Waqf like autonomous Hindu Board.  The role of the community in temple management and setting up Hindu Advisory Councils must be an integral part of the new policy.  Such councils could play a meaningful role in oversight and decision making process utilized by the officials dealing with temples and their Trusts. Such Councils, elected or nominated by the Community, state and national religious leaders, could shoulder a significant amount of decision making and management responsibilities. They could also contribute in stopping the ongoing desecration and decimation of the religious infrastructures by recommending the necessary remedial measures for quick enforcement by the authorities.

            We believe that the current high level talks between governments of India and Pakistan for "building trust" between the two nations would be futile if there is no proven and verifiable trust between Hindus and Muslims due to the former being continuously persecuted. As you might remember Mr. Prime Minister, the lack of trust between these communities was the very basis of Partition of India in 1947. We sincerely believe that at this point in time Pakistan has an invaluable opportunity in wiping out terrorism against Hindus and other non-Muslim minorities and prove to the world at large that she was not interested in aiding, encouraging and abating terrorists and militants and that the Indo-Pak talks were not just a political deception or gimmickry created by the Western world and Islamabad.

            According to the information available to us Muslims in India do not only enjoy “equality” in their citizenship status but they were also showered upon special privileges and voluminous reservations in every walk of life. Consequently since the partition their population has increased four fold from 35 million (1951 census) to 140 million. However, according to  reports, in Pakistan during the same period the numbers of Hindu and Sikh population have shrunk from 25-30% to less than 1%. Obviously such massive disappearance of the minority population in a short span of time speaks volumes about Pakistan’s policy towards her minorities.

The continuation of the policy of “hate crimes” against the non-Muslims by Islamabad at some point could likely have an adverse impact upon India’s liberal and special policy towards her Muslim population. Accordingly the question we might ask is it Pakistan’s goal to hurt the Indian Muslims by calling in to question India’s liberal policy towards her Muslim citizens?  If not, in that case there has to be a radical transformation in Islamabad’s policy towards the non-Muslim citizens of Pakistan. Least your Govt. could do is to adopt a policy of reciprocity.

            We do not need to remind you Sir, that there is already a huge amount of backlash and resentment against Islamic fundamentalism, terrorism and militancy in the West -- Europe and America included. Your country has been described as the epicenter of these disturbing developments while the continuing persecution of minorities in Pakistan only enhances such a view. In America a vast majority of people are strongly questioning in fact publicly opposing the plan for building a grand Islamic Mosque in New York close to the site of the former World Trade Towers. And in France, the authorities are seriously considering a proposal to ban wearing of "burqas" in public by Muslim women! Additional half a dozen European states are said to be ready to follow that path.
 Considering all these developments, a formal declaration by the Govt. of Pakistan, humanizing, liberalizing and bringing at par with modern states its policy towards non-Muslim minorities based on the above stated suggestions, could mark a turning point and provide a sound reason to the international community for taking a second look at the Islamic Republic and her attempts for updating her state craft. Turning the trend around by modernizing its approach towards her minorities would be in the best interest of Pakistan itself. 

            We would like to thank you in advance for your time and consideration. We are also hoping for receiving an early response, strongly upholding equality and freedom of all faiths as dictated by United Nations Charter and the universal principles of equality and reciprocity.
Dr. Jagan Kaul
Krishan Bhatnagar
Hindu Jagran Forum (USA) 
July 30, 2010


Hindus warmly welcome Julia Roberts to Hinduism

By Editorial Staff
Tuesday, 31 Augest, 2010

Nevada (US) : Hindus have extended warm welcome to Oscar winner Hollywood star Julia Roberts (Pretty Woman) into the Hindu fold.

September issue of women's fashion magazine Elle, on which Roberts, 42, is the cover girl, reportedly says: The entire Roberts-Moder family, she reveals, goes to temple together to "chant and pray and celebrate. I'm definitely a practicing Hindu," says Roberts, who grew up with a Catholic mother and Baptist father. And since in Hindu cosmology souls can be reincarnated in other bodies, where does she see herself in the next life? "Golly, I've been so spoiled with my friends and family in this life," she says. "Next time I want to be just something quiet and supporting."

Noted Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, heartily welcomed Roberts into Hinduism. She would appreciate rich, diverse and long tradition of Hindu philosophy; and its interpretation of the nature of reality, he added.

Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, further said that if Roberts needed any help in deeper Hinduism exploration, he or other Hindu scholars would be glad to assist. Rajan Zed suggested Roberts to realize the Self. Ancient Hindu scripture Katha Upanishad points out that when wise realize the Self, they go beyond sorrow. Self is supreme and those who meditate on Self are freed from the cycle of birth and death. When one realizes Self, there is nothing else to be known.

According to reports, Roberts has been interested in yoga for quite some time. She was in Haryana (India) in September last to shoot "Eat, Pray, Love" in an ashram (retreat). In January 2009, she sported a "bindi" (vermillion mark on forehead) during her trip to India when she also visited Taj Mahal with husband Danny Moder. She has a production company called "Red Om Films", and "Om" in Hinduism is the mystical syllable containing the universe.

Roberts lead "Eat, Pray, Love" (Ryan Murphy) is releasing in USA and Canada on August 13.

Julia Fiona Roberts, one of the most successful Hollywood actresses besides a producer and fashion model, has won best actress Oscar for "Erin Brockovich" and earned Oscar nominations for "Pretty Woman" and "Steel Magnolias".

Hinduism, oldest and third largest religion of the world, has about one billion adherents and moksh (liberation) is its ultimate goal. (ANI)

Pollution Control Board Calls For Green Ganesh

Tuesday, Augest 31, 2010
BANGALORE, INDIA : The Karnataka State Pollution Control Board on Thursday called on Bangaloreans to celebrate Ganesha festival in an eco-friendly way.

Tupil Venkatesh, an environmental consultant, said there was a need for 12 million Ganesha statues for the 60 million population in the state. “An average murti weighs about 4.4 lbs. and contains around 7 oz. of paint, which contains 4 per cent lead,” he said.

Sadashivaiah said the pollution control board has issued guidelines to inform people about how to make the celebrations eco-friendly. “This festival was started by Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak to unite Indians,” he said. “Let this festival unite us in moving towards a clean environment.”

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Prem Chand We Are Ashamed!

by Ali Abbas
Wednesday, 25 Augest, 2010
(PHOTO : Prem Chand at a session of the Youth Parliament of Pakistan )
PAKISTAN : There have been very few times when I have not found the right words to express my grief, sorrow, anger or passion for something and today is one of those days as today I write for my man, Prem Chand – A Pakistani Hindu, a true patriot, a social worker who spent his life trying to uplift the condition of his fellow countrymen, he gave sweat and tears to this land of pure. An elected member of PILDAT;s Youth Parliament, whose fellow YP’s say the following about him:

He greeted muslims with a warm Assalamo alaikum…he sent msgs of congratulations on shab barat and other holy days…..He used “Allah” hafiz to bid farewell…and he swore by this name…I hv been with him….He was more of a sufi who believed in all religions and the good things in them.

And it doesnt even matter if was he was that intolerant about religious beliefs, even if he were a staunch Hindu he didnot deserve what we gave him. He was on board EQ-202 Airbus 321, Airblue’s flight to Islamabad which crashed in Margalla Hills leaving 152 dead and the nation mourned (officially for 01 day). He was not travelling on personal visit, he was meant to be present at Youth Parliaments session the next day.

And like said above, he gave his sweat and tears to this land of pure – and what did he get? Some religious bigot wrote “Kaafir” (English: Infidel) on his coffin. (Link) We are no short of these religious bigots whose favorite pass time is to judge and discriminate on Pakistanis on basis of their faith – but this sad incident, which killed 152 human beings was an opportunity for these religious fanatics to show their true face. The poor guy, who was born in a Hindu family and spent his life trying to work for the people of his country was given the title of “Kaafir” by someone amongst us. This particular segment of our society pounces on every opportunity to exhibit their religious fanaticism from the very beginning, when Quaid e Azam (the founder of Pakistan) was labelled as “Kaafir-e-Azam”.

Bear in mind, Pakistan was made because people of Indo-Pak subcontinent felt they were discriminated upon on the basis of their faith – The same we are doing with our minorities.

I would cross-post some of his words here:

I believe in democratic process, because true democracy can solve all problems of state. – Prem Chand.

Prem Chand’s last status update on Facebook was: “Comments Can Make a Person & Comments Can Break a Person.”So Be Careful and Ethical While Giving Comments for Someone.” – He rightly said so. A single word comment on his coffin has shattered many across Pakistan.

I protest against these religious fanatics and I salute Prem Chand – And all the Prem Chands in the making and I confess to the religious minorities of Pakistan – that just because of our silence, just because of our muted response to injustices done to you – we stand here after 64 years. I dig my head in shame, and I vow to fight for you, for us, for the Pakistan we were supposed to have.

Please join this page on facebook as we try to take it from, to pick it from here and voice out for minorities of Pakistan.

Syed Ali Abbas Zaidi

Below is the letter written by Zulqarnain, Prem’s friend:

Its very painful for me to write to defend such gem of a person. But in a society like ours where people are discriminated on the basis of their faith, Its essential to show these religious bigots their real face.

Prem chand was born to a poor family and was its lone feeder. He belonged to Sanghar, Sindh. He was 25 and was married and also had children. He, however, looked younger than his age and we also used to crack jokes on him for this which he thoroughly enjoyed. He certainly was not a “man” and had those boyish looks. He was doing masters from Sindh university, something pertaining to Social work. He not only called himself a social worker but his text messages also bore this signature. The signature was later changed to “YP Minister” when he was made minister for Youth affairs, culture and sports in previous session of YP. This honour was well deserved as he had prepared and presented a comprehensive research report on state of social welfare in Pakistan. He was hardworking, dedicated and sincere. His educational back ground was such that he could not make flowery speeches.
He was not good at speaking English and his Urdu also had that pinch of Sindhi accent but this never deterred him to stand up and speak whenever he wanted. He was a patriot and loved pakistan, worried about it as much as we “muslims” do, brought resolutions, prepared them, asked for help, tried to pinpoint and resolve all the problems that Pakistan faces, spoke against India on water issue and had no qualms on the prospect of going to war with her. I say all this to show that he was “normal”. He was not alien or “Indian”.

I have met many people from religious minorities. All of them have that peculiar air about them. they lack confidence, they have fears of the unknown, They are very cautious. Prem Chand also seemed to be the victim of discrimination. Though that did not make him a loner, but it sure taught him to love more. He over tried. tried to be more good to you than u wud expect, tried to make good friends of everyone. Most of the time he lived in the room right next to me during the sessions so he often came over to my room. Thats when I observed this. He would send u text messages just to stay in touch. he wont mind if u didnt reply. I guess, he could not afford to be egotistic.

He was very tolerant in his religious views. We never discussed religion much. Though once I remember a fellow colleague of us talked to him in good faith. He probably wanted to convert him to Islam. Though he never said so. There I came to know that Prem knew much about Islam. He liked Zakir Nayak and comparative studies of different religions. He was interested in Sufism as well. And he wont mind if u asked him questions about hinduism. When interacting with us he would use “muslim” greetings not to prove anything but simply to avoid putting others in a difficult situation.

I still remember the time when we used to hang out. He used to borrow cigarettes from friends and puff away scores of them just for the fun of it. He was not a smoker though. I also remember that prem did not have a FB account. He also did not know how to make one so Hassan Javed (the late youth prime minister) made one for him on his laptop. When the account was made he jokingly asked Hassan to allow him to add Hassan’s female friends as he did not have girlfriends of his own……Thats all I can remember right now hope it helps.

Pakistani Flood Spares Hindu/Muslim Places of Worship, Villagers Say It is a Miracle

Wednesday, 25 Augest, 2010
(PHOTO :  Hindu Temple and Mosque in the worst-hit town untouched by water, Pakistan )
KARACHI, PAKISTAN : Divinity triumphed over disaster, claimed the people of Ghouspur after seeing what they called a miracle. One temple and one mosque were completely unaffected amid the ravaging flood that hit Ghouspur.

The town in Kashmore district is completely submerged. However, local residents report that floodwater could not reach the Hindu temple and the local mosque constructed by two saints, Baba Gharib Das and Ghous Shah, respectively.

Skeptics said that both structures were simply on higher ground. But devotees retorted that four to five feet of water filled up houses and other adjacent structures, which were constructed at the same level as the places of worship.

The Hindu temple, built around three hundred years ago, is the central point of worship for Hindus living in Kashmore, Kandhkot, Shikarpur and Jacobabad. According to Hindu prayer leaders, many followers of Baba Gharib Das have made small temples in his name in different provinces of India and they visit his shrine annually. “Every corner of the city is filled with eight feet deep of standing water, which did not even reach the gates here,” said Mukhi Sarvanad, chieftain of the area’s Hindu community.

Dr Suresh Kumar of Civil Hospital Karachi, who hails from Ghouspur, said “When houses started inundating many Hindu families took shelter in the mandir. Now people have been moved to other places, but the army, engaged in rescue operations, is still there.

To Many Pakistanis, the Floods Are Just the Beginning

Wedesday, 25 Augest, 2010
(PHOTO : Floods water in Sindh of Pakistan)
PAKISTAN, : The Indus Valley is going through the worst flood on record for the Indus River. When the water recedes, the people will, if they are lucky enough to have any, sell their cattle and their wives’ ornaments, their dowry gold, to rebuild the watercourses and to level the fields. Some will plant winter wheat, but it will be sown late and will not pay, not enough to cover the costs of reclaiming the land.

Others may plant another crop of cane, which will be sown in February and harvested the following October, 14 months away. Before that, they will have no income whatsoever. The generosity of these people’s relatives cannot possibly carry them through. They are also ruined, and there are millions of them.

This disaster is not like an earthquake or a tsunami. In the 2005 earthquake in northern Pakistan, 80,000 people died more or less at one blow; whereas the immediate death toll from this flood is likely to be in the low thousands. The loss of property, however, is catastrophic. It is as if a neutron bomb exploded, but instead of killing the people and leaving their houses intact, it swept away the villages and crops and animals, leaving the people tragically alive.

For months and even years, the people of the Indus Valley will not have sufficient income for food or clothing. They will rebuild, if they can afford it, by inches. The impoverished Pakistani government cannot possibly make these people’s lives whole again. It’s not hard to imagine the potential for radicalization in a country already rapidly turning to extremist political views, to envision the anarchy that may be unleashed if wealthier nations do not find a way to provide sufficient relief. This is not a problem that will go away, and it is the entire world’s problem.

More Hindu Cremation Grounds Needed in Pakistan

Wednesday, 25 Augest, 2010
(Photo : A Hindu woman arranges earthern lamps near to Hindu Goddesses to celebrate 'Diwali' the festival of lights, at her home in Lahore, Pakistan on Saturday, Oct. 17, 2009. Hindus living in Pakistan are celebrating Diwali where people decorate their homes with light)
PAKISTAN : The body of a woman, who died in Lahore in June 2006, had to be kept in a mortuary for five days due to the absence of a cremation ground for Hindus in Pakistan. She was laid to rest in the Miani Sahib’s graveyard for the Muslims as a last resort. The case generated a protest in Pakistan over the lack of cremation grounds, which would allow Hindus to conduct the last rites of their loved ones as per religion.

The Pakistani government has now approved a plan to set up a cremation ground for the Hindus near the Babu Sabu Chowk, close to the Ravi river. The land has been divided into two — for Sikhs and Hindus.

Dr. Ram Chand said the availability of a cremation ground for Hindus was essential. “Though they are a minority community here, cremation rituals are part of their religious beliefs. Our leader Mohammad Ali Jinnah had assured every person who chose to live in Pakistan that they shall be free to practice their religion,” he said.

Hindu Temple Honored On Postage Stamp, a First in Malaysia

Wednesday, 25 Augest, 2010
(PHOTO : Sri Maha Mariamman temple in Malaysia)
KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA : The Sri Maha Mariamman temple, the oldest functioning Hindu temple in Kuala Lumpur, has been given the honor of being the first ever temple portrayed on a postage stamp.

The stamp was launched Saturday by MIC president Datuk Seri S.Samy Vellu to commemorate the temple’s sixth consecration ceremony to be held tomorrow. The ceremony is held once every 12 years. The temple’s information officer B.Vivekananda said, “The funds for upgrading the temple is collected through donations from the public and from the savings account of the temple itself.”

Founded in 1873, the temple which was originally located near the Kuala Lumpur railway station was shifted to the current place in Jalan Tun H.S. Lee in 1885.

Kashmiri Pandits To Establish First Cultural Center In U.S.

Wednesday, 25 Augest, 2010
(PHOTO : Group of Kashmiri Pandits in USA)
WASHINGTON, D.C., : The small Kashmiri pandit community in the U.S. have decided to establish their first cultural center to provide a platform to showcase the richness of Kashmir’s Hindu heritage. The decision was reached at the recently concluded Third Annual camp of Kashmiri pandits in the San Bernardino Mountains in Southern California, which was attended by Kashmiri pandits from all across the U.S.

“The center will set the tone for future generations. It will be matter of pride and heritage and a place that all Kashmiri Hindus will be able to connect emotionally. It will represent the symbol of hope and reminder of where we came from and connect with our roots,” said the press release.

“It will provide an opportunity to the world to learn and experience the culture of Kashmir and Kashmiri pandits, with its spiritual gurus, soulful poetry and music, Kashmir Shaivism, arts, history and the humanities. The center will be a great community hub that will unite, serve and celebrate being Kashmiri Hindu,” the statement said.

Kashmiri Group Demands Safety of Hindus In The Valley

Wednesday, 25 Augest, 2010
(PHOTO : Logo of Kashmir Hindu Foundation (KHF))
WASHINGTON : An organisation representing the interests of the Kashmiri Pandits in the US today asked the Indian government to protect the lives of the Hindu community in the Valley, which has witnessed violent protests.

“We are deeply concerned at this loss of lives and property and urge the state Government to make sure the remaining few hundred Kashmiri Hindu families are safe and secure,” said Deepak Ganju, international coordinator for Kashmir Hindu Foundation (KHF). KHF noted that the Kashmir Valley had witnessed violent incidents resulting in loss of lives and property.

A Massive 22-Feet Lord Nataraja

Wednesday, 25 Augest, 2010
SWAMIMALAI, TAMIL NADU : For years, metal sculptor Varadaraj dreamed of making the largest-ever bronze statue of Lord Nataraja. The work started this year, and it is shaping up to be a magnificent piece. Scheduled to be cast in late 2010, it will be 22-23 feet tall and weigh nearly ten tons. The base will display the 25 traditional forms of Siva. The price is tentatively set at US$1 million.

You can see photos and a video of the project at the source, linked above. 

Tamilnadu Temples Seek ISO Approval

Wednesday, 25 Augest, 2010
(PHOTO : Hindu Temple in Tamilnadu)
CHENNAI, INDIA : A number of temples and religious bodies in Tamilnadu are applying for the International Standard Organization’s (ISO) certification. This step has been initiated by the state government’s Hindu religious and charitable endowments (HR&CE) department.

Three popular temples — the Kapaleeshwarar Temple in Mylapore, Parthasarathy Temple in Triplicane and Dhandayudhapani Temple in Vadapalani — have sought and received the ISO 9001:2008 certification. The ISO officials checked for the fixed assets of the temples, their accounts and strict adherence to rituals.

Other temples will also join the queue of ISO’s stamp of approval. Most likely among them are Meenakshi Amman temple in Madurai and Sri Ranganathaswamy temple in Srirangam.

Julia Roberts, Actress, is also a Hindu

Wednesday, 25 Augest, 2010
(PHOTO : Julia Roberts, with Swami Dharmdev at Hari Mandir Ashram in Pataudi on the outskirts of New Delhi, India,where she is shooting her upcoming film "Eat, Pray, Love")
USA : Julia Roberts declared on Elle magazine that she and her entire family are practicing Hindus, making her the most prominent convert to one of America’s increasingly prominent religions. “I’m definitely a practicing Hindu,” says Roberts, who grew up with a Catholic mother and Baptist father.

Roberts, 42, tells the fashion magazine that she and husband Danny Moder and their three children, 5-year-old twins Phinnaeus and Hazel and 3-year-old Henry, all go to a Hindu temple to “chant and pray and celebrate.”

According to reports, Roberts has been interested in yoga for quite some time. She was in Haryana (India) in September last to shoot “Eat, Pray, Love” in an ashram. In January 2009, she sported a “bindi” (vermillion mark on forehead) during her trip to India. She has a production company called “Red Om Films.”

Even Julia Roberts is hoping for some improvement in her next life — though many of us would wonder how that could be possible. “Golly, I’ve been so spoiled with my friends and family in this life,” she tells Elle. “Next time I want to be just something quiet and supporting.”

Hindu Temple Becomes First Solar-Powered Religious Edifice In Malaysia

Wednesday, 25 Augest, 2010
MALAYSIA : The Sri Maha Mariamman temple in Sungai Salak in Lukut, Negri Sembilan, has become the first solar-powered religious edifice in Malaysia. The 100-year-old temple, located 2.5 miles from the main road, could not carry out its prayer sessions effectively due to electricity supply problems.

The temple committee sought the help of Yayasan MyNadi, a non-governmental organisation that advises Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak on Indian affairs, to rectify the problem.

In India, several ashrams and temples are moving toward renewable energy to set an example of sustainable living.

Pakistani Hindus Seek Indian Citizenship

Wednesday, 25 Augest, 2010
( PHOTO : Festival time for Pakistani Hindus )
JALANDHAR, INDIA : Facing alleged social discrimination and economic hardship, a number of Hindus and Sikhs from Pakistan want to embrace Indian citizenship. Many Pakistanis belonging to Hindu and Sikh faiths have been living with their relatives in various parts of India for years and many of them want to be here permanently. About 200 such families have been residing in this city for over 10 years. While some of them have acquired citizenship of this country, many who are still waiting accuse the Indian government of being “apathetic” to their condition.

Sammakh Ram, who migrated here with his family from Peshawar in 1998, claims that the condition of Hindus in the neighboring country is “miserable”. “You can’t imagine how Hindus are treated there. We neither have any rights nor facilities,” he said. “Now, this is our country and we will not go back to Pakistan at any cost,” he said.