‘Keerru’ by Fauzia Rafique reviewed by Rashid Javed Ahmed

Translated from Punjabi

Keerru : Punjabi novel

Novelist : Fauzia Rafique

Review : Rashid Javed Ahmed

It was by mere chance that I got to read this unique Punjabi novelette, thanks to Author Ayesha Aslam. Before this I had read Fauzia Rafique Jee’s poetry and I had published her Urdu poem ‘Zindagi thee / it was life’ in my magazine. I knew Fauzia Rafique Jee with reference to her work with Pakistan television Lahore where in better times my Punjabi and Urdu plays were also presented. I came to know of her earlier novel ‘Skeena’, and I have made a request to Sanjh Publication’s Amjad Saleem Minhas, Skeena’s publisher, for a copy. I will definitely read it if I get it.

Keerru is the story of Mohammad Hussain Keerru who is accused of blasphemy, he first escapes to Karachi from Lahore and then leaves for Canada. In Canada, he sees many colors of life and he adapts. Keerru’s mother arrives from Pakistan. She tells her story from the 1947 partition of the Punjab, what happened to her then, and how being a Christian she had to live in a Muslim cultural environment. She brings the novel to the next level by relating her story and talking about her marriage with Keerru’s father.   

In this novella every character tells us about their life themselves, and in this way Fauzia Rafique Jee has presented this story in a beautiful manner. There are five characters in the novelette: Keerru, Haleema, Naila, Isabella and Daljit. The story revolves around these people who have come out of their own countries to settle in Canada. The story of these characters creates a naked image of the class injustices and societal contradictions rampant in the Indian Subcontinent.

Haleema is the main character of this novelette, and her full name is Haleema Alice Bibi. Working as a servant in rich people’s homes, poor family’s daughter Haleema who never got the opportunity to go to school, is actually the most aware character of all. Haleema is a woman belonging to the lowest tier of her society and despite facing the various difficulties that life had subjected her to, and in spite of all the pain, hardship and sorrow, she still is able to have a sane mind. She is a personification of the highest values of humanity. Through Haleema’s character, Fauzia Jee has weaved all kinds of exploitation and injustice- whether religious or societal- so artfully that it has become its class identity. This is such a character created by the novelist that becomes the precursor for the whole body of thought behind the novella. Haleema and other people like her, die working day and night physically and mentally trying to sustain the systems of their lives. In this society, some people, some very few people try to support them but even they keep them out of their class. Living like insects, they believe that this is their fate and to change it or to come out of it is not in their power.

The second big character of the novelette is Haleema’s son Keerru. Saving his life from religious extremists, somehow, he arrives in Canada, and after working menial jobs for many years, he becomes the owner of a garments company. He has brought his mother over too who now lives with him and she takes good care of him and his friends. People often ask her the reasons why she named her son ‘keerru’, but to hear her answer, you’ll have to read the novelette because what will be the benefit in writing everything here. But I will definitely say one thing that Keerru’s character is a strange character who hates the reality of his inner self, there can’t be a bigger torture than this. I believe the name Keerru is given to him not by Haleema but by Fauzia Rafique herself, and what an amazing choice. Other than praising the beauty of the Punjabi language used, much admiration for using this name.

I will not talk about the rest of the characters because that would mean revealing most of the story, neither am I giving any ‘basic theme’ but the characters Fauzia Rafiq jee has created are full of life and they have distinct characteristics of their own. Through these characters, the readers come to know of the pain of exploitation of women and then the description of a charater’s rebellion as a way to come out of it. Repression of women has many forms and one of those is coercion and violence from man or husband, and many writers have spoken about it in their writings but what is a plus point with Fauzia Jee is that she did not make it into a slogan but through the story she has shown that the strength to be free of repression is also within women’s selves. Similarly, you will see the tall walls of social apartheid and casteism in the novelette.

I am not a critic but a reader of Punjabi and Urdu literature, and I have much appreciation for Fauzia Jee’s characterization. Five characters tell their stories in the language of ordinary people, sometimes they go in their pasts, then return to the present but the continuity of the story is never broken. The environment is described so well that the reader feels himself to be present there and everything passes in front of his eyes like a film.

About Keerru and Daljit’s relationship, Fauzia Jee has mentioned Shah Hussain and Madhu Lal, Bulleh Shah and Shah Inayat. Some people may object to it but I am in agreement with Fauzia Jee on this pointer.

I am very happy to have read Fauzia Jee’s novelette.     

Read Punjabi original at Penslips Magazine

View it on YouTube


‘CV’ a poem by Farooq Sulehria


My trade union membership
party card number
the (scorching) summer spent behind bars
ostracizations (endured) in kabul and damascas
the stinking stony cell of royal fort

late evening
a few kisses stolen on the campus bridge

for a small job opportunity
all the merits of a long life
I must hide in my CV

Art work by Jesús Curiá

Translated from Urdu by Fauzia Rafique

Read Urdu original at Jeddojehad

Farooq Sulehria is an author, journalist and an educationist living and working in Lahore, Pakistan.


ماں بولی، بھین بولیاں، تے پنجاب دی اک لکھاری ‘Mother Language – Sister Languages – and a Writer of the Punjab’ by Fauzia Rafique

 پنجابی دنیا دے ہر کونے چ وسدے نیں،125 ملین دی نفری، اسیں ایس ویلے دنیا چ آبادی دا ستواں وڈا  گروپ آں تےہر تھاں اسیں اپنی ماں بولی نال اک دو بھین بولیاں وی ورتنے آں۔ جیویں پاکستان وچ پنجابی (صوبائی ) ساڈی ماں بولی اے، اردو (قومی ) تے انگریزی (سرکاری ) ساڈیاں بھین بولیاں نیں۔ ہر کسے دی اپنی رہتل پاروں ساڈی ماں بولی وچ بھین بولیاں  تے بھین بولیاں وچ ماں بولی دے اکھر شامل نیں۔ پنجاب وچ اک پاسے ماں بولی وچ عربی، اردو، فارسی تے انگریزی دے اکھر نیں تے دوجے پاسے سنسکرت، انگریزی تے ہندی دے۔ دوواں پاسے پنجاب دے کجھ لکھاری اردو، ہندی یا انگریزی وچ وی لکھدے نیں۔

پنجاب توں باہر رہندے پنجابیاں دیاں کجھ بھین بولیاں اوہناں دیساں دے لوکاں دیاں ماں بولیاں نیں،  تےکجھ نہیں۔ جیویں جرمنی وچ جرمن مقامی لوکاں دی ماں بولی اے، پر کینیڈا وچ انگریزی تے فرانسیسی دوویں مقامی لوکاں دیاں ماں بولیاں نہیں، یورپی  سامراجیاں دیاں ماں بولیاں نیں جیہڑیاں اوہناں ایتھے آ لاگو کیتیاں، جیویں پنجاب وچ انگریزی لاگو کیتی گی۔

ایس ویلے شہری پنجاب دے اندر باہر اکثر پنجابیاں دا روٹی ٹکر بھین بولیاں نال جڑیا ہویا اے، اُتوں پنجاب وچ وی پنجابی نوں اوہ درجہ نہیں دتا گیا جو اوہنوں ساڈی ماں بولی کر کے ملنا چاہیدا اے، ایتھے ہن وی سارے درجے اردو/ ہندی  تے انگریزی کول نیں۔ ایس ماحول وچ ساڈے کول کیہ چوائس اے؟ 

ہر کسے دی بولی اوس انسان دی اُٹھان توں اُسردی اے تے اوہدی ذاتی تواریخ دا حصہ بندی جاندی اے۔ میں ایتھے ماں بولی دے اوس  پروسیس بارے گل کرنا چاہنی آں جیہدے وچوں اسیں چھوٹیوں لا اکٹھے، تے وکھو وکھ، لنگھنے آں۔ میں ہڈ بیتی راہیں دسنی آں، پنجاب وچ اک بالڑی ہوندیاں ماں بولی پکھوں میرے نال کیہ واپری، تےہن پنجاب دی اک لکھاری ہوندیاں میں اپنی ماں بولی تے بھین بولیاں وچ  چون پڑتال کیویں کرنی آں، تے کیوں کرنی آں۔

میں تے میری ماں بولی

مڈھلے ورھیاں میری حیاتی وچ میری ماں بولی دا راج سی۔ اسیں پتوکی دے کول پنجاہ سٹھ گھراں دے اِک پنڈ وچ رہنے ساں، ساڈے گھر اندر باہر سارے پنجابی بولدے سن۔ الف، ب میں دوجے بالاں نال گھر دے ویڑھے  اپنی ماں توں سکھی، پچھوں اِک اسیں قاعدہ شروع کیتا اردو دا تے فیر اک عربی دا۔ میری وڈی بھین تے بھرا لاہور انگریزی سکولاں وچ پڑھدے سن، اوہناں مینوں اے۔بی۔سی سکھائی۔ ساڈے گھر ریڈیو سی، جیہڑا بہتا خبراں سنن لئی ورتیا جاندا، اوہدے تے لاہور، بی بی سی تے آل انڈیا ریڈیو  لگیا ہوندا ۔ لاہور ریڈیو  تے پنجابی لوک گیت، اردو نعتاں، تے دوواں بولیاں دے ڈرامے وی لگدے۔

تسیں نوٹ کیتا ہونا اے، مڈھلی تعلیم وچ مینوں اردو، عربی تے انگریزی پڑھائی گئی، پنجابی نہیں۔ اوس ویلے اوس تھاں پنجابی کلچر چوکھا مضبوط سی، ایس لئی اوہدے نہ پڑھائے جان نال بھاویں سانوں فرق نہیں پیا کیوں جے پنجابی دے درس سانوں ساڈی رہتل  دیندی سی۔ پنڈ وچ میری ماں توں اَڈ اِک دو ہور زنانیاں پنجابی پڑھنا جاندیاں سن، لالٹین دی روشنی وچ میں اماں جیواں دی جُھگی بیٹھ کے یوسف زلیخا، سوہنی مہینوال،سسی پنوں  تے سہتی مراد دے قصے سُندی۔ میری ماں کول بُلھے شاہ، بابا فرید، سلطان باہو، شاہ حسین دے کلام سن جیہڑے اسیں اوہدے توں وی سُندےتے ریڈیو تے گلوکاراں توں وی۔ گِدھے چن راتاں نوں کھیڈے جاندے ڈانس ڈرامے سن۔ موسمی تہوار، عیداں شبراتاں، منگنیاں ویاہ، پورے چن دیاں راتاں، اسیں پنجابی لوک گیت  تےٹپے گاندے، سُناندے ، نویں بناندے، گِدھے پاندے،  تے نچدے۔

  اتے اخیرلا جملہ کجھ ٹھیک نہیں۔ سچ ایہہ اے: ’’اسیں پنجابی  لوک گیت ٹپے گاندیاں، سُناندیاں، نویں بناندیاں، گِدھے پاندیاں،  تےنچدیاں‘‘۔ لگدا اے، میرے پنڈ سارے فن زنانیاں ہتھیں سن تے اوہو اوہناں وچ وادھا پاندیاں سن۔ مرد گاندے وجاندے ویکھے جدوں کدی سپیرے آندے، بین وجاندے، ڈگڈگی تے ڈھول دی لے تے باندر نچاندے، رِچھ دا تماشا کردے۔ کوئی وڈی گل ہوندی تے کھسریاں دی پارٹی آندی، تے اوہ جگتاں وی لاندے، نچدے گاندے وی۔ مُنڈے تے بندے گلی ڈنڈا، کشتی تےکبڈی کھیڈدے۔ اِک ساڈے سکے آندے، اوہ بی ۔اے۔ پاس، علامہ اقبال نُو ں اُچا جاندے تے اوہناں دیاں نظماں زبانی سُناندے۔ اِک انگریزی دی کتاب توں ویکھ ویکھ کجھ لِکھدے رہندے، پتا لگا اک شیکسپئر لکھاری اے اوہدے ڈرامے اردو چ ترجمہ کردے نیں۔ 

راتاں نوں ’’باتاں پانا‘‘ یا اک دوجے نوں ’’جگ بیتی یاں ہڈ بیتی‘‘ سُنانا روز دا کم سی۔ اَن پڑھاں دے پنڈ وچ جیہڑی باتاں پا لیندی اوہدی  واہوا ٹوہر بن جاندی۔ میں گیتاں توں پہلوں کہانی بنانی سِکھی، تے میرے کول دو سُننہار سن، دوپہراں نوں اپنے نالدے بال تے رات ویلے گھر دے وڈے۔ فرق ایہہ ہوندا، بالاں نوں نِکی کہانی سُناندی  تے اوہدے وچ بولن والے طوطےتے جن بھوت وی ہوندے، وڈیاں نوں لمی کر کے سُناندی پر اوہدے وچ طلسماتی چیزاں نہ ہوندیاں، بھاویں میرا خیال سی اصلی کہانی لمبی  تے  غیر طلسماتی ہوندی اے۔چھیتی ہی میرے گھر آلے کہانی ویلے میتھوں کَنی کتراون لگ پئے۔ اک دن میرے بھرا نے کہیا، اج میں تیری کہانی اخیر تک سُننی اے۔ ادھی رات ہو گئی، نہ کہانی مکے تے نہ ای مینوں نیندر آوے پر میرے بھرا نوں ہار مننی پئی۔

میری کہانی کدی نہیں سی مکنی، اوہ میں وڈیاں کولوں  سنی اک کہانی  ’چڑی آئی تے دانا لے گئی‘ دی تکنیک تے بنائی سی، جیہدا   مقصد بال نوں بور کر کے سوں جاون  تے مجبور کرنا  ہوندا اے۔  جیویں اِک اِک کر کے  چڑی گودام وچوں  کنک دے سارے دانے  نہیں لے جا سکدی سی، اوویں  میری کہانی وچ انسانی نسل  نہیں مک سکدی سی۔ اِک بادشاہ تے اوہدے ٹبر دی کہانی  جیہڑی شروع ہوندی  تے بادشاہ، ملکہ ، شہزادے، شہزادیاں ’دُھپے منجی ڈاہ کے‘ بیٹھے کدی گنے چوپدے ہوندے کدی امب، کدی مالٹے کھاندے کدی امرود، کدی جموں تے کدی توت۔ اخیر ہمیش بھیڑی ہوندی، کوئی نہ کوئی آفات آندی، زلزلا، ہڑ، جنگ، بغاوت، تاپ، چیچک،  سارے مر کھپ جاندے بس اِک ولی عہد بچدا،  اوہ وڈا ہوندا…… باشاہ بن دا، تے  فیر اوہ دُھپے منجی ڈاہ کے  اپنی ٹبری نال ویڑھے بیٹھا پھل فروٹ کھاندا پیا ہوندا۔

 سن سٹھ دی دہائی دا شروع  سی، میں ست ورھے دی ساں جد میرا ٹبر لاہور آ وسیا، میں اک گورنمنٹ پرائمری سکول دوجی جماعت داخل ہو گئی۔ اوتھے پہلی واری مینوں پنجابی بولن توں ہٹکیا گیا۔ سچی گل اے، اوس ویلے مینوں اردو تے پنجابی دا فرق پتا نہیں سی لگدا، میں رلی ملی زبان بولدی جس تے مینوں سکول وچ شرمندگی چانی پیندی۔ اوہناں دناں میرے بھرا دا ویاہ ہویا، میری بھرجائی میاں چنوں وسدی ہوشیار پور دی اک فیملی توں سن تے کجھ ورھیاں توں لاہور پڑھدیاں پیاں سن۔ اردو ادب، شاعری تے میوزک وچ رُجھیاں ہوئیاں، مرزا غالب دیاں شُدیناں، آپ وی غزلاں گاندیاں۔ اوہناں گھر وچ پہلی واری میرے نال اردو بولنی شروع کیتی، تے ہولی ہولی مینوں پنجابی اردو دا فرق سمجھ آون لگا ۔

گھر دے باہر وی حال بدل چکیا سی، شہر دا کلچر ہور۔ پنڈ وچ ہر کوئی اپنا سی، شہر وچ ہر کوئی پرایا۔ گھروں باہر نکلن تے ودّھ پابندیاں ۔ انج باہر دی دنیا وچ سکول میرا گھر بن گیا۔ 

مینوں کہانیاں سُنان توں پہلے سُنن دا شوق سی، سکول دی لائبریری بچیاں دیاں کہانیاں دیاں اردو کتاباں ہوندیاں، کجھ گھر دے رستے وچ کھوکھے توں وی مل جاندیاں، نال دو تن رسالے ’بچوں کی دنیا‘، ’کھلونا ‘تے ’تعلیم و تربیت‘ وی ہوندے۔ میں اپنا جیب خرچ  ایتھے لاندی ساں۔ چنگے نمبر لینے تے کدی میرا بھرا خوش ہو کے مینوں فیروز سنز  لے جاندا ۔ پنجویں جماعتے میرے کول بچیاں دیاں کہانیاں دیاں سینکڑے کتاباں  تے رسالے سن، کجھ انگریزی تے باقی ساریاں اردو، پنجابی دی اک وی نہیں۔ ایہہ سٹھ دی دُہائی دی گل اے، اوس  ویلے مینوں بچیاں دیاں پنجابی کتاباں تے رسالے کدھرے نظر نہ آوندے، نہ سکول دی لائبریری وچ، نہ کھوکھے تے، نہ فیروز سنز۔

ہائی سکول پہنچدیاں مینوں لگیا جیویں حیاتی وچ اگےودھن لئی مینوں اردو تے انگریزی، صوفیانہ شاعری راہیں روحانی ترقی لئی پنجابی، تے دینی تعلیم لئی عربی پڑھن دی لوڑ اے۔ یاں ا یویں آکھو، پنجابی صوفیانہ شاعری دی بولی اے، عربی قرآن دی، اردو تے انگریزی دنیا وچ اپنا مقام بنان دی۔ ایہدے وچ میری اپنی کوئی سوچ یا سمجھ نہیں سی، ایہہ میرے ماحول تے میری ضرورت  مینوں دسیا۔

ایہناں چار وچوں تن بولیاں میں ہن تائيں ورتنی آں۔ کہانیاں بنانیاں میں پنجابی وچ شروع کیتیاں، مضمون لکھنے اردو وچ، تے خبراں  لکھنیاں انگریزی چ۔ پہلا ٹی وی ڈرامہ سیریل اک اردو ناول توں اخذ کر کے اردو چ لکھیا’دستک نہ دو‘،  تے دوجا اک روسی ناولٹ دا انگریزی توں پنجابی ’آپے رانجھا ہوئی‘۔ پہلا ناول پنجابی وچ شروع کیتا1974وچ ’کیڑو‘ جیہڑا ہن 2019 وچ چھپیا۔ کینیڈا آکے کجھ کہانیاں انگریزی وچ لکھیاں، ناول ’سکینہ‘  انگریزی تے پنجابی دوواں وچ اکٹھے،  تے ’ایڈونچرز آف صاحباں‘ اُکا انگریزی وچ۔ پہلی نظم  ستّر دی دہائی وچ لکھی اردو، پچھوں شاعری ہوئی اے انگریزی یاں پنجابی۔

   مینوں اک بولی توں دوجی تے جاندیاں کوئی پرابلم نہیں ہوندی، تے نہ ایہہ مسئلہ ہوندا اے کہ کیہڑی شے کیہڑی بولی وچ اے۔ جیہڑی شے نے جیہڑی بولی وچ آنا ہوندا اے، اوہ اوسے وچ آؤندی اے۔

فیر  رولاکیہ اے؟

رولا ایہہ اے، اک تے پرائمری سکول پنجابی نہ پڑھائی گئی، اُتوں پنجابی بولنا وی سکول سسٹم دی نافرمانی تے جہالت دی نشانی سی۔ ایہدی تھاں جے سکولے پڑھائی لکھائی پنجابی وچ ہوندی، میری ماں بولی نوں پنجاب دے ہی اک شہر وچ ہینا کر کے پیش نہ کیتا جاندا تے بھاویں مینوں ہر شے سوکھی سمجھ آؤندی، میں ہور سوہنے گُن سِکھدی۔ اُتوں مارکیٹ و چ اوس ٹائم  بالاں دیاں کہانیاں دیاں پنجابی کتاباں  تے رسالے کوئی نہ ہون، جتھوں میرا ایہہ خیال زور پکڑ گیا کہ پنجابی صوفیانہ شاعری دی بولی اے، نویں زمانے دی نہیں۔ میں سمجھنی آں، ایہناں دو چیزاں کارن میری اُٹھان وچ اک وڈا پاڑ پیا، جنھوں میں پور نہیں سکدی۔

ایہہ پاڑ، ایہہ کھپا، ماں بولی اک مضمون وانگ نہ پڑھ سکن دا ای نہیں، اوہ تے فیر وی پوریا جا سکدا سی۔ اصل کھپا ایہہ پیا،  شہر پہنچدے ای، یک دم، بنا مینوں کجھ دسے پچھے، میرا پورا کلچر ردّ کے پرانہہ سٹ دتا گیا۔  جس بولی وچ میں سوچدی ساں، کہانیاں  بناندی تے ٹپے جوڑدی ساں، وڈیاں چھوٹیاں نال گل بات کردی ساں، اُٹھدی بہندی ساں، رہندی سہندی ساں، اوہ سبھ ’پینڈو‘  دا  میہنا  لا کے پرانہہ سٹ دتا گیا۔ مینوں لگیا، نال مینوں وی سُٹدے پئے نیں۔ پتا لگا، میرے بچن دا  اِکو طریقہ سی، اپنا پینڈو سیلف لکا کے، یاں  مار کے،  اک شہری سیلف بنانا جیہڑا پنجابی تھاں اردو انگریزی بولے، لسّی تھاں چاہ پیوے، چاول چمچے نال کھاوے، تے امب کانٹے نال۔ ایہہ سی روز دیہاڑے ذلیل ہوون توں بچن دا طریقہ۔

مینوں روپ وٹان وچ دیر نہیں لگی کیوں جے پورا ماحول مینوں اوسے پاسے  ٹوردا سی،  تے فیر کیہ کہہ کے  مینوں سلاہندے سن؟ ’’کنی سوہنی اردو بولدی اے، پتا ای نہیں لگدا پنجابن اے۔‘‘ سچ پچھو  تے مینوں اپنا  آپ، اپنا پنجابی سیلف، لکان وچ بڑا مسئلہ ہوندا سی۔ اپنی اصل کون لکا سکدا اے، ’میری بکل دے وچ چور……!‘ اُتوں بال دا ذہن، سمجھ نہیں آؤندی سی کیہ بھیڑ اے جیہڑا  لکوواں، کیوں  لکوواں، تے کیویں۔ ایہہ تریڑ اج وی میریاں نینہاں وچ اے، کیوں جے روح تے لگے پھٹ دی دوا کوئی نہیں۔

مینوں لگدا اے، ایہہ اُکا پنڈوں شہر آندیاں بالڑیاں نال ای نہیں بیتدی، شہری بال ست ورھے دے ہون توں پہلاں ای ایہہ سمجھ گئے ہوندے نیں، پنجابی ہونا شرمساری اے، دُنیا وچ اگے ودھن لئی پنجابی بولی تے کلچر نوں پاسے کرنا پے گیا۔ کینیڈا وچ انگریز سامراجیاں نے مقامی قوماں دے بچیاں لئی انگلش میڈیم سکول بنائے جتھے بالاں نوں اپنیاں ماں بولیاں بولن، اپنے کپڑے لَتے پاون، اپنے تہوار مناون، اپنے گیت گاون، اپنے علوم حاصل کرن دی مناہی سی۔ نابر بالاں لئی چوکھیاں سزاواں سن، جیہناں وچ فاقہ، کال کوٹھری، تے کجھ سکولاں بجلی دی کرسی الیکٹرک چیئر وی رکھی ہوئی سی۔

پنجاب وچ ایہہ تے نہیں ہویا پر برصغیر دی آزادی دے بعد وی ساڈی ماں بولی، ساڈے کلچر، نال ڈاہڈا کوجھا تعصب رکھیا گیا، تے ہن وی رکھیا جا رہیا اے۔

 سوچن دی گل اے، جدوں دا پاکستان بنیا اے پنجاب دیاں کنیاں بالڑیاں تے بال اپنی بولی تے کلچر دی نفی کرن تے مجبور ہو کے ذات دے ٹوٹے کرن والی ایس اذیت وچوں نکلے ہونے نیں، کِنے ہُن نکلدے پئے نیں، تے کِنے ہور نکلنے نیں۔

ایسے پاروں جد میں 2007 وچ  ناول ’سکینہ‘ دے پنجابی ایڈیشن دی لانچ کیتی تے اوہدے وچ بولی بارے اک پروگرام وی پیش کیتا گیا جیہڑا پنجاب دے ست تے سندھ دے دو شہراں وچ ساتھیاں دے ساہمنے رکھیا گیا تے اوہدے تے گل بات ہوئی۔ 

’سکینہ‘ دیاں لانچاں دے اکٹھ اوہدے پبلشر امجد سلیم منہاس (سانجھ پبلیکیشنز، لاہور)  نے ہر شہر دیاں ادبی تنظیماں نال رل کے  آرگنايز کیتے، تے محمد تحسین (ساؤتھ ایشیا  پارٹنر شپ، پاکستان ) دی امداد نال 9 شہراں وچ پیش کیتے۔

  ماں بولی  دا حق

پنجاب دے پنجابی لکھن والے لکھاری دنیا وچ جتھے وی نیں، بھین بولیاں اوہناں دے ماحول تے جنیاں وی حاوی نیں، اوہ اپنیاں لکھتاں  تے تنظیماں راہیں ہر دم اپنی ماں بولی دا مان رکھدے پئے نیں۔ پچھلے دس بارہ ورھیاں وچ ویکھ لو دوواں پنجاباں وچ  تے باقی دنیا وچ پنجابی ادبی میلے ودھ گئے نیں، ایوارڈ ودھ گئے نیں، پنجابی لکھاریاں دیاں تنظیماں چھوٹے وڈے شہراں وچ بن گئیاں نیں، ماں بولی دیاں پالنہار لہراں زور پکڑیا ہویا اے۔

کوئی  ساتھی پاکستان دی قومی بولی اردو، یا سرکاری بولی انگریزی، تے اُلاہما رکھدے نیں یاں اوہناں نوں سِکھن ورتن دا میہنا دیندے  نیں۔ ایہہ  تنگ سوچ  اے، اک توں ودھ بولیاں سکھنا تے ورتنا اِک سوہنا گُن اے، اوہنوں تعصب پاروں گنوانا ، نہ تے پنجابی دی خدمت اے تے نہ پنجابیاں دی۔ دوجا، ایہہ سوچ  ایس مسئلے وچ کنفیوژن وی ودھاندی اے، کیوں جے لگدا اے سجن صوبے تے ملک نوں اِکو جاندے نیں۔ پاکستان دے چار صوبیاں وچ  74 بولیاں ورتیندیاں نیں، جیہناں وچوں چار صوبائی بولیاں نیں پنجابی، سندھی، پشتو، بلوچی، پر ایہناں وچوں اک وی چاراں صوبیاں تے لاگو نہیں کیتی جا سکدی، تے نہ کرنی چاہیدی اے۔

 پنجابی اک صوبے دی بولی اے، پورے ملک دی نہیں۔ ایہدا قومی تے سرکاری بولیاں نال اپنے حقاں بارے تضاد  تے ہے پر  دُشمنی  نہیں۔ دُشمنی ہووے جے ایہہ تِن بولیاں اک دوجے دی تھاں لے سکدیاں ہوون، پر نہ پنجابی پاکستان دی قومی بولی بن سکدی اے تے نہ اردو یاں انگریزی پنجاب دیاں صوبائی بولیاں بن سکدیاں نیں۔ 

تضاد حکومت توں اپنے  اوہ صوبائی حقوق لین دا اے جیہڑے اوس قومی  تے سرکاری بولیاں نوں دِتے ہوئےنیں۔ وفاقی حکومتی ادارے تے کارروائیاں قومی بولیاں اردو یا انگریزی پے ورتن، پنجاب وچ صوبائی حکومتی ادارے تے اوہدیاں کارروائیاں پنجابی وچ ہوون۔ قومی سرکاری بولیاں توں پرہیز دا پرچار کرن دی تھاں پنجاب وچ پنجابی نوں اوہدے صوبائی حق دوانے چاہیدے نیں۔ اوہدے نال ماں بولی وچ  روزگار، تعلیم، تخلیق ودھے گی  تے نالے دوجیاں دوویں بولیاں پنجاب وچ اپنی تھاں  تے آن گیاں۔

ماں بولی دے صوبائی حقاں بارے گل اگانہہ نہیں ودھدی، سرایکی بولی  تے وسیب دے حقاں  تے گل کیتے بنا۔ اسیں اوہ پنجابی آں جو اپنی ماں بولی دے حقاں بارے کوشش کرکے ماں بولی دا مان ودھانا چاہنے آں، سانوں دوجیاں دے حقاں دی گل کھلے دل دماغ نال سننی چاہی دی اے، تے انصاف نال نبیڑنی چاہیدی اے۔ پاکستانی پنجاب چ 70 فیصد لوکی پنجابی بولی بولدے نیں تے 21 فیصد سرائیکی۔ انصاف ایہہ ہووے جے پنجاب دیاں دو صوبائی بولیاں ہون، پنجابی تے  سرائیکی ۔

Languages of Punjab
(2017 Census)[64]

Punjabi 69.67%

Saraiki 20.68%

Urdu 4.87%

Pashto 1.98%

Balochi 0.83%

Sindhi 0.15%

پکی گل اے، پاکستانی پنجاب چ ماں بولیاں دی ایس گھمن گھیری وچوں سانوں دونواں پاسے دیاں ہوشمند لہراں کڈھ سکدیاں نیں،

جوشمند نہیں۔

سارا کاظمی تے  قیصر عباس دی مہربانی جنہاں دی فیڈبیک نے ابس مضمون چ وادھا پایا۔

Photo by Akram Varraich

Fauzia Rafique
Surrey, BC. April 4, 2021.

Read this article in Urdu @ Roznama Jeddojehd, PK

A must read for all lovers of Punjabi literature – ‘Keerru’ by Fauzia Rafique

‘Keerru’ is a tenderly woven story of love, acceptance, and understanding across religions, class, nationalities, and generations. Like her previous novel, Skeena, Fauzia tells a human story that is social and political without trying to be. This is a must read for all lovers of Punjabi literature, South Asian diasporic literatures, and LGBTQ+ literatures.’

Surrey, BC

Winner of Ali Arshad Mir Award 2020
Novella ‘Keerru’ by Fauzia Rafique
Available in Punjabi and Urdu

Fauzia Rafique gets Ali Arshad Mir Award for novella ‘Keerru’

Amjad Salim Minhas, the Publisher of ‘Keerru’, received
the award from Farooq Nadeem in Lahore

Fauzia Rafique’s novella ‘Keerru’
(Sanjh Publications, Lahore 2019)
has received Ali Arshad Mir Award 2020
for the best in Punjabi Literature (prose).
Presented at the 12th Mir Punjabi Mela
organized by Professor Ali Arshad Mir Foundation
and Punjab Arts Council
at Lahore’s Open air Theatre
on December 26-27, 2020.

When i saw Hassan Junaid Arshad’s Facebook message informing me that ‘Keerru‘ has won Ali Arshad Mir Award, i was amazed because it is a tough book to recommend.* Anyone can enjoy reading ‘Keerru’ but in order to recommend it the readers/jurors must be free of prejudices related to not just class, caste and patriarchy but also of religion and sexuality. I know that this is a tall order, but ‘Keerru’ aka the Little Big Book, does it effortlessly in just over a hundred pages. My compliments to the decision makers of this award for choosing it.

This is the complete list of award winners. Congratulations to my peers for excellence in each area.
Fauzia Rafique (Literature, prose)
Dr. Saeed Bhutta (Research)
Hameed Razi (Translation)
Asim Padhiar (Poetry, nazm)
Zafar Awan (Poetry, ghazal)
Abdul Karim Qudsi (Children, poetry)
Dr. Fazeelat Bano (Children, prose)
Mahboob Sarmad (Faith-based, poetry)
Aleem Shakeel was posthumously awarded Ali Arshad Mir Service Award for his contributions to Punjabi literature.

My thanks to jurors, organizers and participants of the 12th Mir Punjabi Mela 2020.

It is delightful that at the end of 2019, both my hometowns, Surrey and Lahore, honored me by recognizing my work; earlier, I had received the City of Surrey’s Arts and Heritage Literary Arts Award.

This is a hopeful beginning for 2021. Happy New Year to us all!

*That is also the reason why I value the reviews of ‘Keerru’ by Qaisar Abbas, Ramsha Ashraf, and Sara Kazmi. Thank you.

Fauzia Rafique
Author of Skeena, The Adventures of SahebaN: Biography of a Relentless Warrior, and Holier Than Life

Gurmukhi edition of Fauzia Rafique’s new novel ‘KEERRU’ now available

B&W photo by Danyal Rasheed, inset painting by Shahid Mirza
cover design by Mariam Zohra d.

From the Author of Skeena- a ‘little big’ book

ISBN 9780463342541

Available Everywhere
USA & the World: US$4.50
Canada: CA$4.50
India: INR101.00
Pakistan: PKR101.00

Instant Downloads

‘The story of broken families, lovers, immigrants.
Five people come together in Surrey BC to
form powerful connections with each other, and
to tell a story that has rarely been told.’

Purple Poppy Press 2020, Vancouver, Canada


Shahmukhi edition
ISBN 978-969-593-315-2
Sanjh Publications 2019, Lahore Pakistan

‘Legacies of the Homeland – 100 Must-Read Books by Punjabi Authors’ – Paramjeet Singh

Legacies of the Homeland
ISBN: 978-1-64249-423-5
Order it at the link below:

‘Legacies of the Homeland’ is a pleasant new resource that introduces Punjabi literature to the English reader by listing the top one hundred books in autobiography, novel, poetry, plays and short story collections. The selection process required that each book be also available in English, and this has kept many worthy authors from being a part of it yet one can get a strong and clear picture of the body of literature that this book represents.

Paramjeet Singh

As is apparent from the title, the collection’s primary aim is to engage the diaspora, and it does that very well. Author and Editor Paramjeet Singh has developed a much-needed and timely resource for a growing Punjabi readership and for the ever increasing number of authors, teachers, researchers, art lovers and students of Punjabi language and literature in the diaspora. As well, it strengthens the stream started by Dhahan Prize for Punjabi Literature that began to offer each year a substantial award to Punjabi fiction writers regardless of their geographic locations, belief systems and favored scripts. Both serve the Homeland by asserting the Diaspora, both assert the Diaspora in serving the Homeland, and both attempt to bring the two together.

These are forceful interventions, it is possible that there be some negative outcomes or reactions to them but in large part all such projects provide a strong uplift to Punjabi language, literature, art and culture at the local and global level as they must by nature defy narrow constraints of nationality, religion, gender, race, and even the barriers of scripts and languages. In that, it is our hope that we can nurture an atmosphere of open-mindedness, discussion and interaction among different communities of Punjabis to enjoy all benefits that these robust processes may yield.

I am honored that ‘Legacies of the Homeland’ counts my first novel ‘Skeena’ as one of the top 100 must-read Punjabi books.

Fauzia Rafique

Dhahan Prize 2017 Awards Ceremony – November 4 – UBC Vancouver

Pargat Singh Satoj won this year’s Dhahan Prize for Punjabi Literature for his novel Khabar Ik Pind Di (News From A Village), with Co-finalist Ali Anwar Ahmad for his short story collection Tand Tand Maili Chaadar (Filthy Chador (Sheet)) and Nachhattar Singh Brar for his novel Kaagzi Viaah (Paper Marriage).

As well, this year, DhahaN prize has begun Youth Awards for short stories written by grade 11 & 12 students of British Columbia. Stories are submitted in Punjabi and translated into English in order to build ‘bridges between communities and cultures.’

Post-ceremony reception with winning authors
Saturday, November 4, 2017
7:00 PM – 11:00 PM PDT
Robert H. Lee Alumni Centre, UBC
6163 University Blvd.
Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z1

More information about the event
Visit Dhahan Prize website

Contact The Dhahan Prize
1058–2560 Shell Road
Richmond, BC V6X 0B8, Canada
+1 604 831 6831

‘Three Deaths in the Summer of 2014’ by Sana Janjua


An extraordinary painter
had died in Pakistan
with his mind
split from the agony of
rush-wounding consciousness,

and an Ahmedi woman so ordinary
no one would remember her name
was killed with a child in her womb.

When he was alive,
he was always dying
from the pain of having witnessed
too much of what happened
on ordinary days in Pakistan
in the last two decades.

When she was alive,
she was always singing songs
so that when her son grows older,
he can extraordinarily endure
the withered weather of wrath
unlike the painter.

I don’t remember all of that,
because my doctor says
my memory is suspended
to allow for survival.

I don’t remember that
one day when I was ordered
to convert, to bow down
to a god who will not forgive me
for the sin of having been born
on the wrong side of the fence.

I don’t remember how
I was called an imbecile
on that one evening when my heart
had already sunk below
the canal that weaved the
periphery of my city.

I don’t remember those many
nights when I would wake up
howling because the cage was
smaller than the limits of my
imagination, and I was drowning
in the venom of a decayed love.

But, what I do remember
is how I threw stones at your
martyred memory having
thrown away the last remnant
of my now deceased heart.

Art work by Ahmad Zoay.

A Pakistani Canadian playwright, performer and a poet, Sana Janjua is a co-Founder and the President of Surrey Muse since 2011.


Booha Bandd Karainde’ay . ‘About To Shut The Door’ by Mahmood Awan

A poem in Punjabi and English

Tainday Naa Di Roz ChambaylRi
Mainday Sukkay Seenay Jaagdi
Tainday Suraj Naal SvailRay
Tainday VehRay KhaiRday VailRay
Nit Holi Holi Kholday
Maindaty SahwaaN Wajji TaakRi

Taindi Neeli Saavi Chunni’aaN
Aa Door Samundar Runni’aaN
Tainday SahwaaN Paani GaiRyaa
Din Aokha AaN SahayRya

Maindi Raat Udaas AkailRi
Mainda Bistar Painday Torda
MaiN Sutta Hor day Hor da

Mainday Pindday Andar Bhaonde’ay
Mainday KhaabaaN day wich Ronde’ay
Nee Boha Bandd Karainde’ay
Mainu ThoRa Hor Udeek

بُوہا بند کریندیٔے
محمود اعوان

تینڈے ناں دی روز چنبیلڑی
مینڈے سُکّے سینے جاگدی
تینڈے سورج نال سویلڑے
تینڈے ویڑھے کھیڈدے ویلڑے
نِت ہولی ہولی کھولدے
مینڈے ساہواں وجّی تاکڑی
تینڈی نیلی ساوی چُنیاں
تینڈے ہوٹھیں کِھڑدی چمیاں
آ دور سمندر رُنیاں
تینڈے ساہواں پانی گیڑیا
دِن اوکھا آن سہیڑیا
مینڈی رات اداس اکیلڑی
مینڈا بستر پَینڈے ٹوردا
میں سُتا ہور دے ہور دا
مینڈے پِنڈے اندر بَھوندیٔے
مینڈے خاباں دے وچ روندیٔے
نی بُوہا بند کریندیٔے
مینوں تھوڑا ہور اُڈیک

About to Shut the Door
Mahmood Awan

Jasmine of your name each day
awakens in my dry chest
morning rises with your sun
times playing in your back yard
slowly open
my breath-shut window
your blue green scarves
kisses blooming on your lips
Longing to reach across oceans
breath-pulled water of your eyes
begets a tough day
my night sad, alone
distance-tracking bed
transforms me in my sleep
the woman whirling in my body
weeping in my dreams
who is about to shut the door
wait for me a bit more!

Translation: Fauzia Rafique

Mahmood Awan – Author

Welcome Mahmood Awan
as Author/Contributor
at Uddari Weblog!


Mahmood Awan is a Poet, Essayist and Translator. His published works include Raat Samundar Khed (Let’s Play with the Night Sea; 2002) and Veeni Likhia Din (A Day etched on her wrist; 2012).

Veeni Likhia Din received Masud Khaddarposh Award for the best Poetry book of the year 2012, Baba Guru Nanak Award (2012) and MehkaaN Adbi Award (2012).

Born in 1977 in Padhrar (Khushab; Pakistan), Mahmood is an Electrical Engineer who has been involved with the Punjabi language and literary movement since his student days at Engineering University Lahore [1995-2000]. He moved to Dublin (Ireland) in 2007 due to his professional commitments and lives there with his family.

He also writes for Pakistan’s leading English daily ‘The News’ about Punjabi Themes, Identity and Literature. His Author page at The News can be accessed at:

His books can be read online at apnaorg.com at the following links

Mahmood can be reached at:

Thanks Giving for Books

This November, we are motivated to remember the books that made a difference in our lives, and to offer thanks to the authors for writing them. Giving thanks below are Mariam Zohra Durrani, Sonja Grgar, Sana Janjua, Randeep Purewall and Fauzia Rafique.

My ‘loved’ books

Journey to Ixtlan, Carlos Castenada
Affirmed personal metaphysical philosophy

Native Son, Richard Wright
Increased sociopolitical awareness about north america.

Primitive Offense, Dionne Brande
Influenced poetic work.

Sula, Toni Morrison
Touched by sula and toni.

Skeena, Fauzia Rafique
Healing; reincarnation of my ancestors and homeland.

Incognito, David Eagleman
Affirmed and empowered my personal metaphysical philosophy.

The Biology of Belief, Bruce H. Lipton
Affirmed and empowered my personal metaphysical philosophy.

A Woman’s Herbalist, Kitty Campion
Gave knowledge of herbs and techniques and concoctions.

Mariam Zohra Durrani

Books I am thankful for

Fools’ Crusade: Yugoslavia, Nato, and Western Delusions, Diana Johnstone
Academically rigorous exploration of the role of the West and NATO in the breakdown of Yugoslavia, and one that exposes many of the propagandist depictions of Serbia that were promoted by western mainstream media during that time.

Sophie’s Choice, William Styron
Artful and heartbreaking account of the effects of holocaust on those who have survived it, and on those of Jewish identity in general.

Anna Karenina , Leo Tolstoy
Complex and beautifully philosophical portrait of 19th century Russia and stifling social norms that drive its heroine to her demise.

The Namesake, Jhumpa Lahiri
Stunningly eloquent and touching portrayal of the immigrant experience in America, and the complexities of composite cultural identities.

The Tyranny of E-mail, John Freeman
A much needed and rare critical look at the often blindly celebrated cyber world we live in.

Geographies of a Lover, Sarah de Leeuw
An incredibly skillful book of erotic poetry that uses the raw imagery of BC landscape as a metaphor for the vigour and fullness of female sexuality

Skeena, Fauzia Rafique
A raw and brave account of a Pakistani woman’s life back home and in Canada, unflinching in its critical portrayal of patriarchy and chauvinism in both societies, yet laced with a warm, yet never sentimental, homage to the lead protagonist’s homeland

Sonja Grgar

I love these books

In the Skin of Lion, Micheal Ondaatje

An Equal Music, Vikram Seth

The Wretched of the Earth, Fanon, the God

The Golden Notebook, Doris Lessing

Black, George Elliot Clarke

The Buddha of Suburbia, Hanif Kureishi

The Little Match Girl, Hans Christian Anderson

Blindness, Jose Saramago

Native Son, Richard Wright

Sana Janjua

Thankful for the following books

A Diary of a Nobody, George and Weedon Grossmith
It’s hilarious, a delightful and touching “light” read. I come back to it time and time again, probably because of its main character, Charles Pooter who is one of the great figures in English comic literature.

Dream of a a Red Chamber, Cao Xueqin
Reading this book was an experience. I almost felt like I was living the life of its characters, set in 19th century China. And the supernatural Buddhist/Daoist themes lend it a “timeless,” mysterious feel.

Deewan-i-Ghalib, Ghalib
I am still reading and learning Ghalib’s verses. His poetry is complex, challenging and captivating. His verses can be philosophical, melancholic and irreverant, telling us not only much about Ghalib’s life but of the twilight of the Mughal era.

Skeena, Fauzia Rafique
This was my first Punjabi novel (which I actually read in its English edition). It was a novel that not only made an old literature sound contemporary but one that did so poignantly without being sentimental. The scenes in the novel are etched in my memory and I enjoyed how it dealt with “political” themes like class, poverty and patriarchy, without ever once sounding political.

Randeep Purewall

Thankful for every book read (to the end), but for some, more so.

Kafian, Madholal Hussain
Shah Hussain’s (Punjabi) poems emerged as songs in my childhood. Later, i realized, Kafian speaks to my totality in some way as it gives me a perspective to view and experience life. From then to now, if planning to travel for over a week, Kafian comes with me because it’s home.

Diwan-e-Ghalib, Assadullah Khan Ghalib
Mirza Ghalib’s collection of (Urdu) poems came upon me a little later than Kafian but in similar ways, and though a very different flavour, it also is a continuous source of pleasure and profundity.

Nausea, Jean-Paul Sartre
Though i love Sartre’s trilogy The Roads to Freedom, thanks must be given for Nausea that I read in early youth and there it made me understand why i was feeling nauseous all the time.

After, i found two incredible books that helped me to make sense of the world that was unfolding in the ’70s, notes on alienation in Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844 by Karl Marx and The Second Sex by Simone de Bouvois. Much gratefulness for both.

Power, Linda Hogan
Thanks to Linda Hogan for all her novels, they allowed me to ‘see’ and ‘feel’ the lived lives of her characters. As well, because in Toronto in the ’90s, i was having this recurring image of an upside down tree with roots as branches, and it was disturbing me to the point where i began to mention it to friends including poet Connie Fife, who later brought me three novels by Linda Hogan. And unbelievable though it was, i found the exact scene of an upside down tree in one. There also was a reason for it: a storm, and there were people who were able to deal with it. I did not understand why i was having it, i still don’t, but the stress went away.

The Satanic Verses, Salman Rushdie
Special thanks to Salman Rushdie for The Satanic Verses (with Midnight’s Children and Shame since they come out from and flow into each other), the work that launched a strong and permanent literary assault on religious bigotry and its contexts of oppression; the telling of a story that showed us what literature can do. In its aftermath, the Author’s insistence on our right to freedom of expression, to discuss and to confront extremism, continues to strengthen the secular movement. The usage and expression is as revolutionary as the content. The Satanic Verses also is my most valued Banned Book.

The Beloved, Toni Morrison
Thanks to Toni Morrison for The Beloved, an unbelievable story of courage and endurance, of heroic survival and resistance, that claimed from me all the buried emotions of women’s system-sanctioned stoning-lynching-gangraping deaths, confinement and torture. I’m in awe of Toni Morrison for telling this story the way she has though i may not dare read it again.

Fauzia Rafique

Inspired by
PEN American Centre‘s Facebook post ‘Giving Thanks for Books’

‘YaaN koi oho jeha – یاں کوئی اوہو جیہا ‘ by Zubair Ahmad

A Punjabi poem by Zubair Ahmad.

Din khali se
sarrkeiN vug geya
dau tin var murr ke takeya
ik adh vaar khyal peya
yaaN taaN se oho
yaaN koi oho jeha

دِن خالی سی
سڑکیں وگ گیا
دو تن وار مُڑ کے تکیا
اک ادّھ وار خیال پیا
یاں تاں سی اوہو
یاں کوئی اوہو جیہا

زبیر احمد

From Zubair Ahmad’s new collection of poems ‘Sadd’ (Call), Sanjh Publications, Lahore 2012

Contact Zubair


‘Nine categories of new visa system’ (between India and Pakistan) by Imran Mukhtar

From The Nation, Pakistan

ISLAMABAD – Pakistan and India Saturday inked the much-talked and much-awaited liberal visa accord at the Ministry of Interior.

Interior Minister Rehman Malik from Pakistani side and External Affairs Minister SM Krishna from Indian side signed the agreement in the presence of high-level officials from both sides. “It is a sign of friendship”, Malik said while shaking hand with Krishna after signing the draft agreement.

This agreement will supersede all previous agreements on the subject and it can be amended by mutual consent through exchange of notes or by signing the supplementary protocols. The journalist visa category as earlier reported in the media is not part of that agreement.

Under the agreement, the applicants must avail the visa within a period of 90 days from the date of issue and if there are grounds requiring extension of validity, the concerned Mission will take a decision on such requests on priority. This provision will however not be applicable for the holders of business visa. A fee of one hundred will be payable for the issuance or extension of visa.

The draft of the visa agreement, available with The Nation, contains nine categories.

Business Visa
This visa will be issued to bonafide businessmen who intend to travel for business purpose between India and Pakistan. Businessmen with an income of Pak Rs half a million or equivalent per annum or annual turnover/gross sale of Pak Rs three million or equivalent will be given one year business visa, with five places for up to four entries.
Business with an income of at least Pak rupees five million or equivalent per annum or turnover of Pak rupees 30 million or equivalent per annum will be given one year multiple entry visas for up to ten places with exemption from police reporting. The visa shall specify that the period of stay at a time shall not exceed 30 days. The maximum time taken into the processing of a business visa will not exceed more than five weeks.

Visa on Arrival
Persons of more than 65 years of age will be granted single entry visa on arrival at the Attrai/Wagah check post for 45 days. This visa will be non-extendable and non-convertible.

Visitor Visa
A visitor visa will be issued to persons visiting the other country to meet the relatives or friends or for any other legitimate purpose. This visa will be valid for a maximum of five specified places and shall be for a period not exceeding six months. The visa shall also specify that the duration of stay of the visitor at a time shall not exceed three months.
A visitor visa for a maximum of five specified places may be issued for a longer period of up to two years with multiple entries to senior citizens (those above 65 years of age); national of one country, married to a national of the other country; and children below 12 years of age accompanying parent(s).

Pilgrim Visa
Pilgrim visa will need to be applied at least 45 days before the commencement of the intended tour. The visas will be issued at least 10 days before the commencement of travel. These visas will be issued for a single entry, restricted to 15 days validity and would be non-extendable.

Group Tour Visa
Group tourist visa may be issued to individual applicants intending to travel in groups, with not less than 10 members and not more than 50 members in each group organized by approved tour operators/travel agents. Such visa will be valid for up to 30 days and will be non-extendable. This visa facility will also be available to the students of educational institutions of both countries but it would not be for those seeking admissions in educational institutions of either country.

Transit Visa
Transit visa valid for up to two entries in the city/port of entry for 36 hours in each case will be issued to persons travelling by air or sea and proceeding to another country through Pakistan/India. Such transit visa will need to be obtained before undertaking the travel.

Diplomatic Visa/Non-Diplomatic Visa
A diplomatic visa valid for multiple entries will be issued to the heads of the Diplomatic and Consular Missions, members of the Mission holding diplomatic or consular rank, their spouses and children and diplomatic couriers. Diplomatic visa valid for single entry will be given to high-ranking dignitaries holding diplomatic passports.
Similarly, a non-diplomatic visa valid for multiple entries will be issued to non-diplomatic members of the Diplomatic and Consular Missions, their spouses and children and the personal servants of members of the Mission holding diplomatic or consular ranks. Diplomatic visa shall be originally issued within a period not exceeding 30 days of application and non-diplomatic visa shall be issued within a period not exceeding 45 days of application.

Official Visa
An official visa valid for single entry will be issued to officials entitled to diplomatic or non-diplomatic visa of either country visiting the other on official business including participation in international conferences. This visa will be valid for 15 days for specified places.
Registration: Holders of visitor visas shall be required to register themselves at the check posts of entry and shall, within 24 hours of their reaching the specified place of stay, report their arrival, in writing, to the prescribed authorities or the nearest police station. They shall also make a similar report 24 hours prior to their intended departure from the place of stay. Persons of more than sixty-five years of age and children below twelve years of age are exempted from police reporting.

Entry/Exit Points
Under the agreement, Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad from Pakistani side while Mumbai, Delhi and Chennai from Indian side have been designated as air routes, similarly Karachi and Mumbai as sea routes and Wagah/Attari from Pakistani side as well as Khokhrapar/Munabao from Indian side respectively have been designated as land routes for the entry /exit for the nationals of the either country going to/ coming from the other country.

The Nation, Pakistan

‘Child Porn Ring Uncovered Using Stuffed Toy Bunny’ by Denise Lavoie

Even though this story is about a porn ring operating in Europe and the USA but we know that similar establishments exist in other parts of the world too. We must be more careful about who takes care of our children regardless of them being relatives, friends or professionals. Sick minds who have the power over others even for short periods of time can make playthings out of defenceless human beings of any description. This group of people hunted babies and toddlers from 19 days to 4 years of age. The 43 men so far busted include a children’s puppeteer, a hotel manager, an emergency medical technician, and a day care worker.

This is the face of one predator – Uddari.

BOSTON — The men came from different walks of life on two continents: a children’s puppeteer in Florida, a hotel manager in Massachusetts, an emergency medical technician in Kansas, a day care worker in the Netherlands. In all, 43 men have been arrested over the past two years in a horrific, far-flung child porn network that unraveled like a sweater with a single loose thread.

In this case, the thread was a stuffed toy bunny.

The bunny, seen in a photo of a half-naked, distraught 18-month-old boy, was used to painstakingly trace a molester to Amsterdam. From there, investigators made one arrest after another of men accused of sexually abusing children, exchanging explicit photos of the attacks and even chatting online about abducting, cooking and eating youngsters.

Authorities have identified more than 140 young victims so far and say there is no end in sight as they pore through hundreds of thousands of images found on the suspects’ computers. They are also trying to determine whether the men who talked about murder and cannibalism actually committed such acts or were just sharing twisted fantasies.

The still-widening investigation has been code-named Holitna, after a river in Alaska with many tributaries.

“They are the worst of the worst,” said Bruce Foucart, agent in charge of the U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement agency’s Homeland Security Investigations unit in Boston. “This isn’t just a child that’s nude and someone’s taking pictures of him; this is a child that’s being raped by an adult, which is horrific.”

The case began to unfold when Robert Diduca, a Sheraton hotel manager from Milford, Mass., sent the photo of the Dutch boy to an undercover federal agent in Boston. Diduca, a married father of three who used the screen name “Babytodd,” thought he was sending the picture to another man with a sexual interest in babies and toddlers.

Agents forwarded the photo to Interpol, the international police organization, and to several other countries.

An investigator for the Dutch police recognized the stuffed bunny as Miffy, a familiar character in a series of Dutch children’s books. She also traced the boy’s orange sweater to a small Amsterdam store that had sold only 20 others like it.

The boy’s photo was broadcast on a national TV program similar to “America’s Most Wanted.” Within minutes, friends and relatives called the child’s mother.

Robert Mikelsons, a 27-year-old day care worker who baby-sat the boy, was arrested. On his computer were thousands and thousands of images of children being molested and raped, including the boy holding the stuffed bunny.

Photos and online chats found on computers owned by Diduca and Mikelsons led to more than three dozen other suspects in seven countries, including Canada, Britain, Germany, Sweden and Mexico. The oldest victim in the Netherlands was 4, the youngest just 19 days old.

Massachusetts U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz, whose office prosecuted Diduca, said the demand for photos of sexual assaults of young children, including babies and toddlers, has increased sharply in recent years.

“This demand leads to the abuse of children, yet there is this misconception that somehow, viewing child pornography is a victimless crime,” said. “It clearly is not.”

Diduca pleaded guilty to child porn and sexual exploitation charges and was sentenced to 18 years in prison. His lawyer, Richard Sweeney, said Diduca was sexually abused as a child by a Boy Scout leader. “He gets it, he knows he needs to be punished, he knows what he did is wrong,” Sweeney said.

Mikelsons also received an 18-year sentence, followed by indefinite psychiatric commitment, after confessing to sexually abusing more than 80 children.

The horror did not let up after the Mikelsons case.

In May, authorities arrested Michael Arnett of Roeland Park, Kan., after finding pornographic photos he allegedly produced. Agents discovered the pictures when they searched the computer of a Wisconsin man who had been chatting online with Mikelsons.

What they found on Arnett’s computer was unlike anything some of the investigators had ever come across: long, graphic, online chats about his desire to abduct, kill and eat children. They said he had also made photos of a naked 2-year-old boy in a roasting pan inside his oven. The child and two other boys Arnett allegedly abused and photographed were later identified and found alive.

In July, authorities arrested four men they say had online discussions with Arnett about kidnapping and eating children. Those arrested included Ronald Brown, a children’s puppeteer from Largo, Fla. (A YouTube video shows Brown during an appearance on a Christian TV kids show in the 1980s. In the video, he tells a child puppet that he did the right thing by refusing to look at “dirty pictures” some other youngsters tried to show him.)

In excerpts of an online chat between Arnett and Brown from 2011, the two men appear to be discussing their desire to cook a child for Easter.

“he would make a fine Easter feast,” Arnett says.

“yes, his thighs and butt cheeks would be fantastic for Easter,” Brown responds.

A lawyer for Arnett would not comment on the allegations. Brown’s lawyer did not return calls.

Prosecutors said Brown acknowledged his online conversations but said that it was all a fantasy and that he would never hurt anyone.

“Obviously the discussions regarding their claims of cannibalism are disturbing and a concern to our agency,” said ICE spokesman Ross Feinstein. He said agents are following all leads “to make sure these individuals didn’t follow through on any of their claims.”

To find the young victims, investigators carefully studied thousands of photos, read hours of Internet chats and worked with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. They also employed some forensic wizardry.

After finding a video on Diduca’s computer of a bound, 2-year-old boy being raped, investigators enhanced the images of furniture and carpet and determined the attack took place in a motel room in Bakersfield, Calif.

Then they pinpointed the date by way of a TV that was playing in the background in the video, figuring out exactly when a particular episode of “Family Matters” aired along with a certain Pepperidge Farms commercial.

A man from Black Forest, Colo., was arrested and is awaiting trial.

Similarly, in the Arnett case, investigators discovered that a water bottle in one of the photographs carried the name of a swim and scuba center in Overland Park, Kan. With the help of teachers at an elementary school, they identified three children shown in the photographs, including the toddler posed in the roasting pan.

The mother of one of the boys said she initially did not believe the allegations against Arnett, a family friend for about 15 years. She said her son, now 7, and several nephews often spent weekends at Arnett’s home four or five years ago.

“Well, when we first got the phone call, we thought there’s no way. You guys got the wrong guy,” she said. The Associated Press does not identify victims of sexual abuse or their families.

But then investigators showed her photos Arnett had allegedly taken of her son with a shirt and no pants.

“Regret? For sending my son with a sick-minded guy, that’s the only regret I have. I had no idea,” she said. “It’s depressing.”

For the agents working on the case, the leads never seem to end.

Last week, they arrested another Massachusetts man after finding child pornography and photos of what appeared to be dead children on his computer. He allegedly had online chats with Arnett and Brown.

More arrests are expected.

“The agents that work for me are extremely driven on this type of investigation,” said Bart Cahill, assistant agent in charge of Homeland Security Investigations in Boston. “They really believe that they are taking out horrific violators and saving kids.”

DENISE LAVOIE, Associated Press

Associated Press writers Maria Sudekum in Kansas City, Mo., and Matt Sedensky in West Palm Beach, Fla., contributed to this report.

Huffington Post