Volume 23 Issue 4, April 2019
By Justice (R) M. Shaiq Usmani

Post-India-Pakistan War of 1965, during negotiations preceding the Tashkent Declaration, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto appeared in pictures looking sombre yet defiant. He suddenly shot into prominence and his image was metamorphosed from that of a dandy, a playboy to a hero. He used this sudden popularity well and a few years later, launched a new political party, the Pakistan People's Party with a socialist agenda which was quite in contrast to his downright bourgeois upbringing and inclinations. But what caught the people’s imagination was the catchy slogan "Roti, Kapra aur Makan", which the party adopted virtually as its manifesto.

‘Benazir was like her name - unique, one of a kind.’

In this exclusive interview to SouthAsia, Mark Siegel talks about his long association with the PPP and Benazir Bhutto and why he thinks BB would have brought true democracy to Pakistan had she lived.

Click this photo to view
the 'Genesis Awards' video.


Syed Jawaid Iqbal

Javed Ansari

S. G. Jilanee

Faizan Usmani
Syeda Areeba Rasheed

Noor Javed Sadiq

Amna Sarw ar Sandhu
At if Shamim Syed
Cynthia D. Ritchie
Danyal Aziz
Dr. Moonis Ahmar
Faizan Usmani
Imran Jan
Javed Sadiq
Javed Ansari
Justice (R) M. Shaiq Usmani
Kiran Farooq
Muhammad Ali Khan
Murt aza Talpur
Nadya Chishty-Mujahid
Noor Javed Sadiq
S. G. Jilanee
S. M. Hali
S.R.H. Hashmi
Samar Kainaaf
Syeda Areeba Rasheed
Syeda Maham Rasheed
Taha Kehar
Taj Haider
Vice Admiral (R) Taj M Khattak
Wajahat Ali Malik
Zafar Masud

Haroon Rasheed
Kamran Ghulam Nabi
Riaz Masih

Business Unit Head
Syed Ovais Akhtar

Aqam-ud-Din Khan

Shehryar Zulfiqar

SouthAsia is published every month by Syed Jawaid Iqbal for and on behalf of JAWZ Communications (Pvt.) Ltd.

Views expressed by the contributors are not necessarily shared by the editors.

Published since 1977 as Thirdworld, the magazine was re-launched in 1997 as SouthAsia.



By Taj Haider

Ideology and organization are the two pillars on which any political party stands. The basic infrastructure and foundation of any society is economics. Politics is only a superstructure built on this basic economic infrastructure.

A white Australian attacked two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, during Friday prayers on March 15 and killed some 50 persons offering prayers, while injuring fifty more. New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern referred to the killings as “one of New Zealand’s darkest days.” She was brave enough to show that she had no time for the perpetrator of the mosque shootings. She instead focused her nation’s attention on what had been lost. “Many of those who will have been directly affected by this shooting may be migrants to New Zealand; they may even be refugees here,” she said. “They have chosen to make New Zealand their home, and it is their home. They are us. The person who has perpetuated this violence against us is not. They have no place in New Zealand. There is no place in New Zealand for such acts of extreme and unprecedented violence.”

The prime minister made a promise to find the perpetrator and bring him to justice. In many ways, Jacinda Ardern can be said to have started a revolution. She resisted war rhetoric because other world leaders have been responding to such attacks by promising vengeance and have waged war both rhetorically and militarily. In contrast, Prime Minister Ardern came out with deep sympathy for the affected families, saying that while it may not be possible for her countrymen to know the grief, but they would walk with the mourning families. She also talked about her nation’s responsibility and made a commitment to weed out extremism in her country.

There have been scores of people (both non-white and white) who have allegedly been killing people around the world. It started with the 9/11 attacks in mainland America and carried on to various other incidents, such as the one in Paris when twelve people were killed at the headquarters of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, the Boston Marathon bombing, the shooting at the Emanuel A.M.E. Church, in Charleston, South Carolina and many more.

Less than a week after the Christchurch attacks, the Ardern government announced a ban on military-style weapons. This is what political leaders do in the face of a senseless tragedy: they grieve with their people, they think with their people, and they act together with their people. It was commendable that US Senator Bernie Sanders welcomed the announcement of the ban on military-style weapons in New Zealand and commended the action as something that would stop gun violence. His reaction was in much contrast to US President Donald Trump’s response to the Christchurch shooting. He said that he did not regard white nationalism as a rising global threat in the aftermath of the terror attacks in New Zealand.

The true sentiments of Muslims were reflected in Prime Minister Imran Khan’s telephone call to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to condemn the attack. He admired the PM’s humane handling of the situation, appreciated the quick response of the local authorities and how Ms. Ardern had shown the way to world leaders to combat rising Islamophobia and global extremism. Perhaps this is the sort of brave initiative that can also be taken to solve the Kashmir issue that has been dogging the progress of India and Pakistan for the past seven decades. The Indians can take a leaf out of the New Zealand Prime Minister’s book to stop killing innocent Kashmiris and rein in their version of Islamophobia across India.

The Christchurch tragedy has given rise to a much-needed global conversation about white nationalist terrorism and has also brought into focus the compassionate response of the leadership and people of New Zealand. The New Zealanders have shown how a tragedy of such huge proportions should be handled and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has demonstrated how governments should react because she herself has led from the front right from the beginning. She began a parliament speech with ‘salaam’ while verses from the Holy Quran were also recited. It was announced that the azan for Juma prayers would be broadcast nationally on Fridays in remembrance of the victims of the massacre. The New Zealanders showed in very strong terms that they stood by an immigrant community in their hour of need – and would act accordingly. This was nothing short of admirable. Perhaps the gratitude of the world’s Muslims was rightly symbolized when the Burj Khalifa in Dubai was lit up with Jacinda Ardern’s picture as a tribute to her and her countrymen.

Syed Jawaid Iqbal
Editor in Chief


Peace Initiative

This is with regard to an article by S.R.H. Hashmi titled “Peace Initiative.” The views in the article are not sugar coated and I second the writer with the viewpoint that India and Pakistan need to act more sanely to bring progress to the region. There are better ways to approach tension in Indian-occupied Kashmir. War, terrorism and inhuman acts will only make the scenario worse and so both the Pakistani and Indian governments need to direct their armies to not practice illegal tactics to spread terror. Kashmiris need justice and terrorizing them won’t make India or Pakistan win anything in the end.

Sarah Ashley,
Washington D.C., USA.

Pakistan Wins

The fourth instalment of HBL PSL came to an end with Quetta Gladiators emerging as the winners for the very first time. PSL4 was held in tight security in Pakistan. The arrival of international players convinced everyone into believing that Pakistan really is a safe country to travel. Many players who refused to come to Pakistan during the last PSL match were also present, including the legendary Vivian Richards. The players literally enjoyed themselves by visiting the Quaid-e-Azam’s Mausoleum and the French Beach. Amongst all, Darren Sammy shined by giving a beautiful message to the people outside the Mausoleum, to follow unity, faith and discipline just like the Quaid. The positive feedback is really a win-win situation for Pakistan.

Muhammad Noman,
Islamabad, Pakistan.

Growing Instability

It looks like Pakistan is facing a highly questionable inflation hike. The inexperience of the government is blamed for this, particularly their way of handling their shortcomings, which has worsened the scenario, especially in the life-saving drugs industry. On the one hand, smoking and use of tobacco is rampant and even kids can buy drugs and cigarettes from small shops. On the other, many multinational pharmaceutical companies have been closed in the span of a year because they could not handle the high cost of manufacturing certain drugs. Realistically, it’s not possible to eliminate the tobacco industry but strict law enforcement can minimize this growing trend. Also, a serious strategy needs to be operational to have a stable environment for the health and medicine industry to flourish, as this will minimize inflation in the industry. With inflamed prices and the shortage of key life-saving medicines, people are facing great difficulty. They are questioning the promises made by Prime Minister Imran Khan.

Talha Aamir,
Lahore, Pakistan.


The Customer is Not Always Right

The phrase ‘the customer is always right’ is long gone. Yes, it is our duty to satisfy the needs of the customer but sometimes their demands are just not reasonable. We are taught never to say ‘no’ to a customer but what we don’t realise is that this can even cost the business. Learn to say ‘no’ when customers make unusual demands but also, one the other hand, empower your employees to make the right decisions and encourage them to go that extra mile to fulfil the needs, keeping in view the extent to which demands can be fulfilled.

Betty Cooper,
Brighton, UK.


Evergreen Comedy

There were times when people of all ages used to sit together in front of the television set and see the exchange of witty dialogue between Umer Sharif and Shakeel Siddiqui, popularly known as ‘Teeli’ at that time. It was considered the golden era of comedy but today the digital world is more active in all areas, even in comedy. Although the new age comedians have tried to entertain society with

intelligent comedy, we still miss the environment when Umer Sharif and Moin Akhtar would make people go crazy with laughter. I would hardly agree that there can be someone as talented as them nowadays who could deliver one-liners so efficiently and note that these one-liners were made on the spot.

Sana Sheikh,
Lahore, Pakistan.

Literate Pakistan

The literacy rate in Pakistan is on a downhill path. It was disturbing to come across an article from a known newspaper on the decline of literacy rate in Pakistan. The CWUR World University Rankings as per 2018 – 2019 has Agha Khan University rank at 996 out of 1000 universities, which was shocking as it is one of the best private medical universities we have. The literacy rate has declined from 60 percent to 58 percent but what is more alarming to me is that a literate person in Pakistan is a person who can read a newspaper and can write a word in “any language” which, if you ask me, is a weak parameter to determine literacy anywhere. The Prime Minister should make efforts to lay a sound ground to eliminate this negligence in the definition and ideology of literacy in Pakistan because otherwise in future there is a chance that Pakistan won’t be even in the CWUR World Universities Ranking.

Dua Siddiqui,
Rawalpindi, Pakistan.

Moving Chemical Warehouses

Apparently, Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Haseena Wajid is taking a firm stand in relocating/shifting chemical warehouses from residential areas, especially in Dhaka. After the painful Chowkbazar fire incident, all inflammable chemical warehouses are being shifted to a safer place which will ensure the safety of people from explosive chemicals. This is a wise decision which should have been taken sooner but it is a relief to know that the issue is not being neglected anymore. I hope in this tenure Sheikh Haseena Wajid will do what she says.

Pardev Sami,
Narayanganj, Bangladesh.

Dark Day

On March 15, 2019, a 28-year Australian attacker, without doubt a terrorist, entered the Al Noor Mosque and the Linwood Islamic Centre in Christchurch and brutally opened fire on the worshippers who were there to offer Friday prayers, killing almost 50. The day has been marked as one of the darkest days in New Zealand’s history. What struck me was that people were calling him just an extremist. Why? Is the word ‘terrorist’ only for Muslims and not others who create violence and bloodshed in the country? However, the Prime Minister of New Zealand, Jacinda Arden, labelled him as a terrorist and forbid everyone to even repeat his name. She also went out of her way to provide comfort to the families of the deceased. Now that’s what a Prime Minister should do.

Mark Crane,
Toronto, Canada.

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