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Basheer Qureshi was poisoned to death, claim sources

LARKANA: Initial medical report of deceased Jeay Sindh Qaumi Mahaz (JSQM)  Chief Basheer Khan Qureshi revealed that he had died of poisoning and not natural causes, DawnNews reported.

According to sources Basheer Khan Qureshi suffered a cardiac arrest due to the ingestion of some poisonous food.

Moreover, sources said that the MLO Police Surgeon Dr Safiullah Abbasi who had headed the team that performed the autopsy on Basheer Qureshis body had compiled the initial report but the results of the report were being kept confidential.

Medical Superintendent of Chandka Medical Hospital Larkana, Ishtiaq Memon has said that the chemical examination report is being waited for and nothing can be said before the report is received.

Bashir Qureshi passed away on Friday night in Sakrand, Nawabshah. The Sindhi nationalist leader was laid to rest on Saturday in Rato Dero

The cause was his death was reported to be cardiac arrest but the party had rejected cardiac arrest as the cause of their chief’s demise, demanding a thorough investigation into his mysterious death.

Talking to journalists, central leader of JSQM Dr Kalani alleged that Mr Qureshi had been eliminated “scientifically by those who could not stomach the nationalist leader’s popularity which was demonstrated during a rally inKarachion March 23”.

A 40-day mourning period had been announced in Sindh.


Is Rohrabacher wrong on Balochistan?

by Pervez Hoodbhoy



Dana Rohrabacher's resolution in the US Congress states that the Baloch 
people "have the right to self-determination and to their own sovereign 
country". Expectedly, this unleashed a torrent of anger in Pakistan's 
government and media which overwhelmingly saw this as a conspiracy to 
break up the country. Pakistan-US relations have descended another notch; 
attempts by the US State Department, as well as the currently visiting 
group of Congressmen, to distance themselves from the resolution have not 
Rohrabacher is easy to criticise. This extremist Republican has defended 
the use of torture, advocated the induction of warlords into the Afghan 
government, thinks trees cause global warming, and wants subsidies for 
rain forests to be cut down. Last July, while visiting Baghdad, he raised 
a storm by suggesting that Iraq pay back the United States the billions it 
spent after the 2003 invasion.
But this right-wing nut - obviously motivated by domestic politics rather 
than human rights - may actually have done Pakistan a favour by focusing 
world attention upon the horror of today's Balochistan. Predictably, 
Baloch leaders are enthusiastically endorsing Rohrabacher's statement, 
"The political and ethnic discrimination the Baloch suffer is tragic and 
made more so because America is financing and selling arms to their 
oppressors in Islamabad."
For decades, the Baloch have complained of ill-treatment. They say their 
natural wealth has been expropriated by Punjab and that Balochistan's 
natural gas reached remote Punjabi towns long before it was available in 
Quetta - and then only because an army cantonment needed it. Baloch 
representation in the civil and the military bureaucracy remains close to 
But rather than assuage national grievances, both real and imagined ones, 
the Pakistani establishment used the iron fist. In 1972, Zulfikar Ali 
Bhutto reinvigorated an army defeated by India in 1971 by sending it to 
quell the Baloch uprising. Thousands died. In 2006, under General Pervez 
Musharraf the Army claimed the killing of 80-year old Nawab Akbar Bugti as 
yet another victory, saying this would end the insurgency. But it turned 
out otherwise, and Bugti's murder was yet another thread torn loose from 
the unraveling national fabric. Vengeful Baloch nationalists now target 
non-Baloch innocents and have murdered, among others, Punjabi and Mohajir 
Pakistani security forces deny any wrongdoing and General Kayani claims 
that military operations are no longer being carried out against Baloch 
nationalists. But newspaper accounts suggest that the 
abduct-torture-kill-dump formula may be officially sanctioned from above. 
Mutilated bodies are strewn across roadsides and found in garbage dumps.
Worried about further internationalisation in the wake of Rohrabacher's 
bill, Interior Minister Rehman Malik is scurrying around offering 
palliatives and promises. But the Baloch Republican Party's exiled chief, 
Brahamdagh Bugti, whose sister and niece were mysteriously murdered in 
Karachi earlier this month, says that "America must intervene in 
Balochistan and stop the ethnic cleansing of Baloch people".
Such open appeals, in my opinion, are short-sighted because they invite 
heightened repression. Moreover, America's betrayal of Kurdish national 
self-determination should not be forgotten. In 1975, the Kurdish Peshmerg 
discovered to its horror that American support suddenly vanished after 
Richard Nixon chose to side with the Shah of Iran and Saddam Hussain.
The official Pakistani response to Rohrabacher is still more flawed. 
Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar termed the tabling of his bill "a 
violation of UN charter" and of Pakistan's sovereignty. But this line of 
defence could forfeit Pakistan's moral right to criticise other states, 
Syria and India included.
Consider the fact that on February 17 Pakistan voted for an Arab 
League-sponsored resolution in the UN General Assembly which calls upon 
Syria's President Bashar al-Assad to step down. This surely constitutes 
interference in the internal matter of a sovereign country. But Pakistan 
did well. In a civilised world national sovereignty must come second, and 
human rights first.
Pakistan has also long criticised India - and justly so - for its human 
rights abuses. But more people are dying in Balochistan today than in 
Kashmir. For all their brutality against stone-throwing Kashmiri boys, the 
Indians have not yet used helicopter gunships and fighter jets against 
Kashmiris. Pakistan, on the other hand, uses airpower as a matter of 
course in Balochistan and Fata.
Is there a way out? Maybe so, but for that Pakistan must hear what Baloch 
nationalists are saying - and then act. In 2008, Sanaullah Baloch, who had 
then just quit the Pakistan Senate, wrote that "Islamabad's recent move to 
grant religious self-rule to the Taliban in Swat and the denial of 
political autonomy to the people of Balochistan are beyond comprehension".
Sanaullah's list of demands - still unmet today - were not unreasonable: 
a) end the military operation and halt construction of military and 
paramilitary cantonments; b) withdraw security forces; c) repatriate and 
rehabilitate displaced persons; d) cancel civil/military land allotments; 
e) demilitarise the area; f) ensure equal wellhead prices for 
Baluchistan's gas, and h) abandon torture camps and establish a "truth and 
reconciliation commission" for trying those involved in killing Nawab 
Akbar Bugti and Balach Marri.
A similar list by Mir Mohammad Ali Talpur was published in 2008 wherein he 
rhetorically asked: a) Will the new airport in Gwadar be handed over to 
the CAA to ensure that a military base is not established there? b) Will 
Saindak's unjust income-sharing formula be reversed to give Balochistan 48 
per cent and the centre two per cent? c) Will they refrain from using 
Hingol National Park as a testing ground for the air force?
The Rohrabacher show will roll off the stage soon but Balochistan's 
situation shall remain. More people will disappear, and the heap of 
mutilated corpses shall keep mounting. For now, the Pakistan Army and the 
Frontier Corps can ensure that there is no independent Balochistan. But 
their actions cannot lead to peace and reconciliation.
Men like Rohrabacher are no friends of the Baloch. But what can stop their 
meddling? The answer can only come once we dump the myth of Pakistan being 
one nation, one people. The Baloch cannot agree with "what is yours is 
mine, what is mine is mine". If Pakistanis value the people of Balochistan 
rather than the wealth under their ground, they must make every possible 
compromise to draw them into the mainstream.





BHANBORE, Thatta: Wonderful discoveries await at the famous Bhanbore site in Thatta where excavation will start soon.

Scholars and archaeologists at the “First International Bhanbore Conference” said that further studies will soon start at the Bhanbore site and digging of the site will resume soon after being halted decades ago. The excavations will shed light on various other aspects of the Bhanbore site such as the industrial area of the ruined city which is still waiting to reveal its treasures.

The conference was arranged by the Sindh Culture and Tourism Department and UNESCO. Sindh’s Chief Minister, Syed Qaim Ali Shah, Speaker Sindh Assembly, Nisar Ahmed Khuhro and Sindh Culture Minister Sassui Palijo inaugurated the moot.

Secretary Culture of Sindh, Abdul Aziz Uqaili said that Bhanbore is included in the tentative list of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites.

Uqaili added that some 130 archaeological sites were handed over to Sindh after the 18th Amendment.

“We are working on a four-phase master plan for the Bhanbore site and have already arranged electricity, rest house, water and sanitation facilities,” he added.

Talking about further plans, he revealed that the Sindh Culture Department will re-publish all the research work of Sir John Marshall on Mohenjodaro.

The Global Bhanbore

Professor of Archaeology and Heritage at the Boston University, Muhammad Rafique Mughal said that Bhanbore influenced other civilized centers of its times. It was a hub of trade and a part of world civilizations from the 8th to 12th Century AD.

Mughal said that the artifacts and pottery of Bhanbore have also been discovered from Africa, Gulf, Iran and Central Asia. Glass-making, pottery and coin making was common at the Bhanbore site.

Mughal called for children to be taught about remains like Bhanbore during their early years so they could own and protect these sites. He also emphasised including lessons about Pakistani heritage at the early stage of a curriculum.

The 893 AD Earthquake

French archaeologist Monique Kervran shared some of her findings about Bhanbore and said that it is now confirmed that Debal and Bhanbore are the name of the same place which was destroyed at 280 Hijra or 893 AD and famous historian Al-Muqaddasi wrote his account about the quake at Bhanbore.

Sharing his 2011 survey of Bhanbore, she said that a large number of human skeletons were also discovered which may show mass killings of people.

She said that Bhanbore is the only surviving site in the world having the span of second century BC to the Islamic Period.

Under water archaeology

Pakistan’s only trained Physical Anthropologist, Asma Ibrahim is now working on different sorts of glass unearthed from Bhanbore.

Ibrahim said that there are so many archaeological sites near Bhanbore which need to be studied in a comprehensive and unified manner. She told the audience that she discovered an archaeological site which is underwater and is visible only for three hours when the water retreats in low tide.

She said that archaeological sites of Juna Shah Bandar, Rano Kot and an ancient mosque were of equally important need comprehensive research.

She said that various types of glassware were discovered from the Bhanbore site which were placed in an unorganised order in the rooms at Bhanbore site. These had now been re-arranged, cleaned and classified after six month of hard work.

As glassware is important in archaeological study, Ibrahim said that she is studying and dating them through non-invasive methods. No glass kiln factory was discovered in Pakistan and India, but Bhanbore was an international route as it was an unavoidable trade passage in ancient times.

Very colorful glass ware, glass lamps, small perfumery bottles and beads have also been unearthed from the Bhanbore site, which need joint study both from historical and archaeological perspective.

Forts of Sindh

Another scholar Ishtiaq Ansari presented his paper about the Forts of Sindh. He said that Sindh has a distinction in South Asia that the oldest and the newest forts have been discovered here. Castles from various eras can also be found in Sindh.

Ansari said that the Bhanbore castle has an area of 14 acres with three gates. The Bhanbhore fort was designed according to best defense strategy.

Scholars from US, Canada and France also shed light on various aspects of the Bhanbore site during three different sessions.

Garden of Sassui

 Professor Rukhman Gul Palari claimed that Jhirak is the birthplace of Quaid-e-Azam, Muhammad Ali Jinnah.

Palari stated that Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai also mentioned Bhanbore in his poetry. He said that a famous garden was located near the Bhanbore which was actually called “Garden of Sassui”. Richard Burton wrote about the garden in 1919. But unfortunately, the garden is now being destroyed and turned into check-post by law enforcement agencies.

“Another site near Malir which was related to the footprints of “Punhoon” – the lover of Sassui – was also eradicated by the Karachi Steel Mills administration,” he added.

Folk Music

 Renowned folk singers and musicians also performed during the conference proceeding breaks. Awais Juman, Sarwar Gorai, Taj Mastani, Sanam Marvi and other singers narrated Sufi poetry and the traditional poetry of Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai, which mesmerized the whole audience.