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South Asian Network for Secularism and Democracy (SANSAD), comprising people from all walks of life in the South Asian Diaspora in British Columbia, Canada, organized a Roundtable on the current crisis in Pakistan. The following is a list conclusions arrived at during this meeting.

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The US-India Agricultural Knowledge Initiative agreement on agriculture will cast a demonising spell over the country and is bound to cause large scale plunder of the agro-rural society and definitely tend to capitalize on our living, life pattern, culture and social norms. Already much maligned, misconceived and utterly irrelevant Second Green Revolution is a clever ploy to promote the interest of multinationals. The Companies like Monsanto, Wall-Mart etc. is on the board of US-India Agricultural Knowledge Initiative Agreement to monitor agricultural research, education and dissemination and exchange of knowledge between US and India.

(click here to read more from the South Asian)

How many of you wear gold?

Apparently, gold is an “Indian passion.” Back in 2005, the Christian Science Monitor reported that “India’s costly love affair with gold” was “weighing down” the economy. And really, look around you: aunties, mothers, grandmothers, and sisters wear some object of gold. Prior to a shaadi, what is the bride-to-be presented with? Gold jewelry. Whatever the sources are for this consumption of gold and diamonds, few people know where the diamonds come from and what are the effects of wearing gold.

(click here to read more from Pass the Roti)

Following a blueprint of their Pakistani counterparts, the Bangladeshi military is forcing political leaders into exile. On the other hand, the US government, while claiming goals of democracy in Iran, Iraq, etc, stays quite vis-a-vis Bangladesh.

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Karachi, a city of 10 million and Pakistan’s commercial hub, was convulsed by gun-battles Saturday, as Pakistan’s US-backed military strongman, President Pervez Musharraf, resorted to deadly violence in a bid to quash the growing popular challenge to his rule. According to press reports, at least 36 people were killed and more than 140 injured when thugs allied with the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), a pro-Musharraf party, attacked crowds gathering to show support for the country’s “suspended” Chief Justice, Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry.

(click here to read more from Counter Currents)

For most of his adult life, Muhammad Rauf, 38, has worked at a hide-tanning factory in the Pakistani border town of Kasur. He applies large quantities of water and chemicals to raw animal skins as part of the laborious process that turns them into finished leather. But at the same time, he is increasingly worried about the acute pollution problems caused by tannery waste, which has badly polluted ground water, impacted on the health of local residents and has also affected crops grown in the area. The tanning industry is a major foreign exchange earner for Pakistan, with jackets, sports goods, handbags, footwear and other items manufactured from leather originating in the country and sold across the world.

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During his eight-year reign of terror, Idi Amin killed more than 400,000 Ugandans, including members of his own Cabinet. But it was the expulsion of some 70,000 Asians, more than half of whom held British passports, in 1972, that gained the world’s attention, and led to international condemnation of the Ugandan leader. Similarly, it was the recent lynching of an Asian trader, Deval Rawal, that made headlines around the world, not the fact he was one of three casualties (the other two were Ugandan Africans, who were shot dead by police) of an environmental protest gone wrong.

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