Archive for October, 2013

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By Farwa Khalid (Researcher on women rights & Advocate Rizwan Lashari from RightsNow Pakistan).
On Sunday 27-October-2013, a delegation of human rights activists, writers, lawyers, journalists, women rights defenders, academia, retired judges and other civil society actors from both Karachi and Hyderabad went to Pangrio, district Badin to light candle at Bhooro Bheels’ grave and to show solidarity with Bhooro and his family. The gathering and presence of civil society actors at Bhooro Bheel grave not only helped to raise the level of confidence of Bhooro’s family, his community, but all those liberals and moderates of pingario and Pakistan.
-Family was found extremely sad, scared and in trauma. However, their situation of security and feelings improved by the visit of delegation.
-Tears were trickling down from the cheeks of Bhooro’s father. Loss of Bhooro Bheel irreparable for his father and then later what happened to his grave deeply saddened his family.
-Mukhi Akumal Bheel , brother-in-law of Bhooro, informed the delegation about the whole case in detail:
• Bhooro’s death occurred to his severe road accident which happened two days before his death. He was in coma continuously two days due to severe injuries. All the hospital’s expenses were fully borne by local Zamindar and head of village village Mir Haji Masood sahab. Bhooro left this world on on 05-10-2013 and then Bhooro was buried at Haji Faqeer graveyard. As the members of Bhooro’s community started digging the grave, three people came there and they forbad them and issued them threats of dire consequences if the dead body was buried. As according to Mukhi, graveyard is of both Hindu and Muslim. This is the graveyard where their ancestors are buried.
• While they were on their way, the same people came and issued threats to the family and community of Bhooro.
• Bhooro’s family went to police station to report but SHO did not act on this complain.
• Later those who issued threats, dug the grave of Bhooro Bheel and humiliated the dead body.
• At night time, a crowd led by few extremists, announced on speakers to dig out the grave of Bhorro and threw it out of grave yard and the next day they did. Those were involved in this act were armed while digging the graveyard. Family of Bhooro Bheel and his community was helpless and was waiting for SHO’s action, whom they reported about the issue and threats.
• Later SP Badin was informed by the community and family of Bhooro Bheel but he also did not respond to the situation and asked the family and community to leave the matter and re bury the body at some other place. .
At night they could know about this incident. After this entire act SP came at graveyard on call of Hindus. SP said we are peace loving (harmonious) people, we don’t want any conflicts leave this matter.
Later on request of Bhooro’s family, the dead body was buried in the land of Mir Haji Masood Sahab who gave 4 acre piece of land for Bhooro’s grave and grave yard of Hindus.
Demands made by the Bhooro Bheel noted by the RightsNow Pakistan Team are:
A judicial committee is formed which inquire into the matter.
Bhooro’s family wants justice for Bhooro and his community and want to live with other in peace and harmony.

Those who were members of the delegation included: Justice retired Salahuddin Mirza, Abrar Qazi, Mustafa Baloch, Javed Qazi, Kaleem Durrani, Ishaq Mangrio, Saif Samejo, Nazir Qureshi, Amar Sindhu, Arfana Mallah, Zarina Nawaz, Jaffar Memon, Mahesh, Fehmida Jarwar, Quratulain Mirza, Nobahar Wassan, and other Civil society members also visited.

PEACE AND DEVELOPMENT ADVISOR (PEACE BUILDING)
Location : Tripoli, LIBYA
Application Deadline : 08-Nov-13
Additional Category Crisis Prevention and Recovery
Type of Contract : FTA International
Post Level : P-5
Languages Required : Arabic/ English
Starting Date : (date when the selected candidate is expected to start) 15-Dec-2013
Duration of Initial Contract : One year

Background
Libya is currently emerging from a political transition after the end of 40 years of autocratic rule by Muammar Qaddafi’s regime. In this context, the country is continuing to grapple with a very high level of political uncertainty, lack of functioning institutions and a very nascent democratic political culture, as well as intra and inter-tribal issues and local level conflicts involving armed groups and militia. Despite the end of official hostilities, the situation in the country remains volatile. Nearly two years into the transition, state’s security forces still do not exercise control over the majority of Libyan territory and the revolutionary brigades, resulting in a dangerous vacuum, rising crime and instability.

At the same time, following the successful elections of the General National Congress in July 2012, elections for the Constitutional Drafting Assembly are due in late 2013 and will pave the way for discussions on the new constitution. A National Dialogue process was launched by the Prime Minister in August 2013 in order to tackle a range of long-standing issues and to reduce instability in the country. Proposed reforms to local level governance (including the forthcoming local elections) offer entry-points for strengthening democratic governance at the grassroots. Likewise, efforts to reform state administrative and security institutions provide a chance to rebuild state institutions which serve the people.

Following the end of the crisis, UNDP re-adjusted its programming to respond to the immediate needs of the transition. UNDP’s programming is now guided by an amended Country Programme Document (2012-2014).The new CPD is anchored on five major pillars: (1) Active participation of citizen in the democratic transition of their nation; (2) Central and local government authorities strengthened to provide better public services to citizen; (3) Libya to successfully manage its transition to a state founded on the rule of law; (4) livelihood opportunities and economic recovery for durable social reintegration, peace and stability; and (5) national environment management systems addressing desertification, biodiversity conservation, water management, pollution and climate change strengthened.

Duties and Responsibilities
Functions / Key Results Expected
Within the existing UN operating frameworks in Libya, UNDP is committed to providing conflict sensitive programming support to Libyan counterparts in their efforts to develop and implement their own peace building and development priorities. To this end, UNDP is now seeking to recruit a Peace Building Advisor, who can provide direct advisory and technical support to the UNDP Country Director on entry-points and strategies for conflict-sensitive engagement, as well advise existing Project teams – in particular working within on CPD Pillar 1 on political governance – on approaches to supporting activities with CSOs and local and national government partners which contribute to peace building.

Summary of key functions:
Provide strategic and analytical support to the Country Director in the context of UNDP’s Policy Analysis and Strategy Forum;
Support the Country Director in the preparation of UNDP’s response to national requests related to social cohesion, democratic reform, conflict prevention, peace building, or other related areas of work;

Strengthen the capacity of UNDP to undertake conflict analysis, mainstream conflict sensitivity support to dialogue initiatives in regular programming;
Establish and strengthen strategic partnerships with key national stakeholders, regional and international actors and development partners.

Under the direct supervision of the Country Director, the Advisor will:
Provide strategic and analytical support to the Country Director on conflict prevention and peace building in the context of UNDP’s Policy Analysis and Strategy forum, including through:

Provide analysis on conflict dynamics, with a view to identifying appropriate entry points for conflict prevention and recommending appropriate strategic responses;
Work with the Programme and other thematic Advisors to identify opportunities to work with national and international stakeholders and initiatives to promote a common approach towards supporting social cohesion, conflict prevention, and peace building efforts;
Assess current UNDP programming, and propose ways to build on previous achievements and lessons learned in conflict prevention and peace building;

Undertake regular assessments of the situation in Libya, analyzing political, social and economic events at the local and national levels, and their impact on ongoing UNDP’s substantive engagement including recommendations for risk management;

Provide advice on possible conflict resolution activities in conflict-affected communities; advising on skills-building entry-points for negotiation and mediation, in particular through existing projects within UNDP’s Political Governance portfolio (e.g. Support for Civic Education in Libya’s Transition Project, Constitutional Dialogue Project and Elections Project) and Rule of Law portfolios; and identifying opportunities for UNDP to integrate confidence-building measures into existing projects Working in close collaboration with UNDP’s Programme section, support the design and implementation of UNDP’s initiatives related to social cohesion, democratic reform, conflict prevention, and peace building;

Provide advisory and technical support to UNDP’s ongoing initiatives, in particular in the area of political governance (e.g. Support for Civic Education in Libya’s Transition Project, Constitutional Dialogue Project), to strengthen the integration of relevant dialogue and confidence building measures;

Work with existing initiatives to develop and support implementation of peace-promoting activities such as: facilitating skills building with CSOs and other local actors for negotiation and mediation; support capacities of networks of dialogue facilitators within the community; strengthen women’s initiatives and groups in engaging in democratic transition activities;
Undertake necessary activities within UNDP to build/strengthen/apply capacities to prevent crisis and mainstream conflict prevention interventions throughout UNDP’s work, including as it relates to local governance and recovery;

Identify and engage civil society actors in the peace, development and governance agenda supported by UNDP.
Establish and strengthen strategic partnerships with key national, regional and international actors and development partners:
Establish and maintain networks and strategic partnerships for peace building related strategies and initiatives;
Liaise closely with UNSMIL and key national, regional, and local stakeholders from Government and civil society to identify entry points and strengthen strategic partnerships;
Maintain close liaison with relevant UNDP donors and other actors supporting UNDP’s peace building efforts;
Support the UNDP Country Director in mobilizing resources for peace building and conflict prevention initiatives.

Impact of Results Enhanced capacity within UNDP to undertake and apply socio-political analysis to program design and implementation;
Expanded partnership with national counterparts in government, civil society, academia, and think-tanks/ research institutions;
Enhanced strategic capacity of UNDP to contribute effectively to the prevention of conflict and the sustained development and application of national capacities for conflict prevention;
Strengthened capacities for dialogue, social cohesion conflict prevention, confidence building.

Competencies
Corporate Competencies:

Demonstrates integrity by modeling the UN’s values and ethical standards;
Promotes the vision, mission, and strategic goals of UNDP;
Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality, and age sensitivity and adaptability;
Good understanding of the UN system;
Treats all people fairly without favoritism.
Functional Competencies:
Strong political acumen and extensive experience of providing policy advice;
Well-developed skills and demonstrated experience in facilitation, consensus-building, multi-stakeholder processes and negotiation;
Excellent analytical skills. Experience and specialist knowledge in building national capacities in good governance and building national reconciliation;
Proven high-level facilitation, training, networking, coordination, team-building, consensus-building and organizational skills;
Possesses specialist knowledge in the area of conflict prevention, social cohesion, dialogue and governance reform or related areas, as well as in-depth practical knowledge of inter-disciplinary development issues;
Excellent communication and inter-personal skills and ability to establish and maintain effective partnerships and working relationships with internal and external parties in a multi-cultural environment;
Sound understanding and capability to empower and develop the capacity of national counterparts;
Proven ability to incorporate into his/her work relevant international practices.
Management Competencies:
Excellent team-building, diplomatic, and interpersonal skills. Resourcefulness, initiative, and maturity of judgment;
Very strong leadership capacities to guide dialogue activities among mixed groups;
Strong communication and advocacy skills;
Sound time management and organizational skills with the ability to handle and delegate multiple tasks;
Ability to build strong relationships with clients and external actors;
Focuses on impact and result for the client and responds positively to feedback;
Consistently approaches work with energy and a positive, constructive attitude;
Capacity to work under pressure, manage stress and adapt to rapidly evolving situations.
Behavioral Competencies:
Team player, self-motivated and initiative taking, dedicated, creative, resourceful, flexible, energetic and sound judgment;
Builds strong relationships with partners, focusing on impact and results;
Demonstrates creativity, openness to change and ability to manage complexities;
Possesses positive and constructive attitudes to work;
Actively works towards continuing personal learning and development.

Required Skills and Experience
Education:

Advanced university degree (Master’s Degree) in political science, sociology, international relations, international economics, law, public administration, or other related social sciences.
Experience:
At least 10 years of senior level experience in policy advice, strategy development, conflict prevention in a governmental, multilateral or civil society organization;
A proven policy, advisory and advocacy experience and track record of engagement with senior levels of government, United Nations, and donors;
Proven experience in dialogue, conflict prevention and civil society initiatives.
Experience working within a UN agency and experience in the Arab States region would be a major asset.
Language Requirements: Fluent written and spoken English, and Arabic.

UNDP is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. Individuals from minority groups, indigenous groups and persons with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the strictest confidence.

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PLEASE APPLY AND CIRCULATE THIS OPPORTUNITY

DATES: 8th to 10 NOVEMBER, 2013

 

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Bhooro Bheel's Deadbody which was dug out and thrown away

Bhooro Bheel’s Deadbody which was dug out and thrown away

Amid high slogans of ALLAHU AKBAR (God is great), a crowd led by some clerics of the extremist outfit of Ahle Sunaat Jamaat dug up the grave of a Hindu man in southern part of Pakistan, known as land of sufis (mystic), and threw the body away which was lying on the road. The crowd dug up the body of Bhooro Bheel, 30 man, who died in a road accident and dragged it through the streets of the Pangrio Town few days ago. Feedback email: rightsnowpak@gmail.com

According to a local journalist, this issue arose of a dispute over the plot of the graveyard. Muslim clerics said the graveyard of Faqir Auliya is reserved only for Muslims. My question was: were there only clerics or common people also joined them in this shameful act? He told me that issue was raised by the clerics which got attention of common people and thus they were trapped into it. The slogans of ALLAHU AKBER mobilized them actually and they joined this as Jihad.”

How Jihad is being misunderstood and misused in Pakistan can be judged from this and such other incidents. This incident has shocked moderate Pakistanis beyond measure who are recalling Sindh, the land of sufis, land of Qalandar Shahbaz, Bhit Shah, Sachal Sami and other sufis and poets who spread the message of tolerance, peace, love and coexistence. This incident has also moved sensitive segments of the society who think the threat of extremism is increasing and there is no willing Pakistani state or the government which keeps check on it or take steps to control this negative trend.

Social scientists are seeing the Pakistani society retrogressing. They think poverty, illiteracy, conflict with neighboring countries, State patronage to religion, and Pakistan’s proxy wars in Afghanistan and wrong policies of Pakistani establishment and agencies are contributing intolerance and extremism in the society where tolerance and nonviolence, which was once built in values of province like Sindh are depleting.

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I am glad people in Sindh, rather majority of people in Sindh, who are still secular, tolerant and peaceful see this increasing threat of extremism as result of State policies and express their solidarity with the religious minorities. Hafeez Kunbhar, a renowned poet and journalist shared his views on social media on this incident as:

…Bhooro Bheel’s corpse is my dead body….I am dragged from my grave by Sindhi molvis …( religious fundamentalists) with common Sindhi people supported them….though I am buried again but my corpse feels as it is on road, in streets till centuries ……my dead body was dug out and thrown because i was non-Muslim ……………Has anybody dare to tackle this issue?
Political scientist are attributing all this to wrong state policies and seeing worse situation for religious minorities in coming days. Lawyers, journalist and other civil society actors are trying hard to deal with such situation but unfortunately they do not sufficient resources, state support.
NGOs from provincial capital and others parts of Sindh and Pakistan visited the place of incident, met Bhooro’s heirs bereaved community and expressed their solidarity with the Bhoor’s family and raised this issue in media but the follow up in this issues and addressing this problem forever is an important question which needs answer. Despite the fact, RightsNow Pakistan highly appreciate the response of NGOs, media, lawyers and civil society actors on this incident.

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Pakistan, a country of about 180 million people has all kinds of minorities (religious, ethnic, linguistic, sexual). Among religious minorities are Hindus, Sikh, Christians, Sikh, Parsis, and may be some Jews. Due to insecurity, lack of protection, high level of threats, Hindus have started leaving for India. Christians and Ahmedis are seeking asylum in other countries. Other religious minorities are facing the same situation.

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Pakistan, where Guru Nanak Dev, founder of Sikhism was born at Nankana Sahib. He was equally respected by Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs and other religious minorities living in Pakistan. When Guru passed away, the local Muslims, Hindus, and other religious communities actively participated in his final rites. Where are those days gone? Said a Hindu business while commenting on the incident of Bhooro Bheel.

Sindh, southern province of Pakistan, is home to most of Pakistan’s Hindus whose approxmate number is 2 million among a population of 180 million. Sindh where Muslims and Hindus once lives in peace and harmony but Pakistan’s rocky relationship with neighboring India, a predominantly Hindus country, has fed tention between the two communities. Digging up Bhooro Bheel grave, throwing it away on the road, is one of the menisfestation of tension between Pakistan and India. The effects of this conflict have reached to a remote place, small town like Pangrio even.
One Hindu lady doctor, who loves Sindh like her mother, expressed her emotions on this incident in this way: “Should Hindus have followed the footsteps of Jews? As once Jews were also living in Pakistan at the beginning of 20th century, they had their workship places, but when their Synagogues were burnt, they got the message and left Pakistan. I think Sindhi Hindus should also read what is written on the wall.”

All citizens are equal citizens as promised in the Constitution of Pakistan and their protection is primary responsibility of the State. It seems Pakistani State is not only unable but also unwilling in fulfilling its responsibilities. In this case, the responsibility of Pakistan civil society, media, legal fraternity and international community increases. There is strong need of a discourse and dialogue to find the causes of increasing intolerance against religious minorities in Pakistan and their redress. There is strong need being felt in Sindh and Pakistan that international community seriously engage Pakistani state/government on issues of religious minorities and seek its commitment and sincerity in addressing their issues. It is also responsibility of international community and donors to build the capacity of Pakistan legal fraternity and civil society which should come forward in such situation to protect the rights of their fellow citizens, particularly when the state has failed to act in this regard.

IMAG0507Sindh Progressive Lawyers Forum (SPLF) announced to take two steps immeiately. One, to form a research committee of four lawyers heaed by the president of the forum which will conduct a research into the issue of selection of judges in both lower and higher courts. Second, file a reference against the former Chief Justice, Sindh High Court, and current JUstice Supreme Court of Pakistan, JUstice Mushir Aalam for giving discriminatory remarks against people live in interior parts of Sindh.

In a statement issued by the Forum on its letter pad below statement was issued.

SINDH PROGESSIVE LAWYER’S FORUM

Recently formed forum named Sindh Progressive Lawyers Forum which in its reaction to the statement of former Chief Justice of Sindh, Justice Mushir Alam, and now Justice of Supreme Court, held an urgent press conference on 15 September, 2013 at press club Hyderabad and lodged a protest against the statement of former CJ. Forum members strongly condemned the biased attitude of Chief Justice and expressed their disappointment on it. The press conference of Sindh Progress Lawyers’ Forum ignited reaction in all over Sindh by the Bar Association which held a joint press conference at the High Court Bar Association, Hyderabad and gave a call for province wide boycott of legal proceedings to protest against the remarks of former CJ Mushirr Alam. Majority of the legal fraternity is of the opinion that the statement of the former CJ High Court Sindh has hurt the feeling of people live in interior Sindh. Most of the Bar Associations across the province announced boycott of the court proceedings on 21 September 2013 as a non-violent protest against the statement of the former CJ.
Sindh Progressive Lawyers’ Forum (SPLF) took special efforts for the compliance of the strike call. Strike call went successful in most of the Bars despite the fact that the Sindh High Court directed judicial officers across the province to pay no heed to Sindh Bar Council’s (SBC) call to suspend legal proceedings. Through strike, all Bar Association unanimously condemned the statement of the former CJ and all lawyers abstained from the court in most of Sindh province.
In order to assess the impact of the strike and to design furutre strategy of the forum on this issue an urgent meeting of the forum was held at Indus Hotel Hyderabad in which following two decisions were made.
1. Formation of Research Committee: The committee consisting of four lawyers headed by the president of the forum will conduct a research into the issue of selection of judges in both lower and higher courts. The issue of elevation of the judges in the Higher Courts has always been bone of contention between lawyers and the judiciary. The research will collect the facts, make a case and present before the Bar Association for awareness and judiciary for justice with lawyers of interior Sindh. The research committee includes Sajjad Chandio, Abbas Haider Gad, Zarina Nawaz.

2. Formation of Reference Committee: A committee of four lawyers headed by the president of the Forum was formed to prepare a reference and file it against the former Chief Justice High Court Sindh before the Supreme Judicial Council. Forum also decided to get assistance from senior lawyers like Asma Jahangir, Ali Ahmed Kurd and other senior lawyers in this regard. The Committee consists of Mir Ahmed Mangrio advocate and former GS Jamshoro Bar Assoication, Sarward Buledi Advocate member Hyderabad Bar Association,Ayaz Rajpar young advocate of High Court Hyderabad and Zarina Nawaz, young advocate of the High Court.
Rest of the issues, newly formed forum will tackle include the capacity building of lawyers, legal reforms, human rights situation in the province, selection of judges in both sub-ordinate and higher courts and issue faced by the lawyer.
The Forum members said they have high regard for the judiciary but they cannot tolerate unfairness and discrimination against the population of the some parts of the province.

President
Ali A. Palh
Sindh Progressive Lawyers Forum (SPLF)
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President
Ali A. Palh Advocate
0346 3327655

Secretary
Mir Mangrio Advocate
03013504227

Information Secretary
Sajjad A. Chandio Advocate
0333 – 2797223

Finance Secretary
Zarina Kangrani Advocate
0333 – 2797223
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Core Committee
Shahzad Shah Advocate
0321 3213300

Abbas Haider Gad Advocate
0313- 2481803

Sarwar Buledi Advocate
0300 3023906

Inderjeet Lohana Advocate
03003022720
Hyderabad: Flat No: 07, Ist Floor, Rabia Square, Haider Chowk, Gari Khata, Hyderabad, Sindh, Pakistan Email:
Karachi: B-12, Jason Coastal Apartments, Clifton III, Karachi, Sindh