Pakistan: Two blasts in two days NDTV Correspondent Sunday, April 05, 2009, (Islamabad)

6 04 2009

Another day, another blast; this time a suicide bomber attacked a crowded Shia mosque in Chakwal in Pakistan’s Punjab province where a religious congregation was taking place. The damage was significant.

“The suicide bomber was trying to kill someone inside the mosque. Our security guards tried to stop him but the bomb exploded near the gate,” a resident said.

Twenty Shia worshippers were killed in the attack by a teenage suicide bomber.

“There was a lot of commotion. People were confused and there was panic all around,” another resident said.

The blast is the latest in a growing number of terror strikes in Pakistan’s interior and its major cities. On Saturday night, a suicide bomber killed eight people near Islamabad’s posh Jinnah market.

Pakistani Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud claimed credit for a deadly attack on a police academy in Punjab’s capital Lahore last week that left 12 people dead. He has vowed to carry out more attacks unless the US stopped drone missile strikes against militants near the Afghan border.

The drone attacks have continued, and a Mehsud deputy warned last week that militants would soon strike in Islamabad.

Dara shikoh A life sketch in brief

5 11 2007


Picture : Dara Shikoh Cured


Source from “A daydream By Khurram Ali Shafique. DAWN:
The Review, March 15-21, 2001″

Dara was born on 20 March, 1615. He was the eldest son of Prince Khurram (later Shahjehan), the heir apparent of the emperor Jehangir.

He was, however, about twelve years old when along with Aurangzeb (three years younger) he was sent as a hostage to his grandfather after the failure of Shahjehan’s revolt.

When Shahjehan took over the throne in 1628, he made no secret of his desire for Dara to inherit the throne from him.

he got married in 1637, he immediately developed an obsession for his wife that was to last till her death shortly before his own.

He was formally initiated in to Qadiriyya ?ufi silsila by Mulla Shah into the Qadiriyya silsila sometime in 1639 or 1640.

In 1640 he initiated formally into the Qadiri Order of Sufism, and the same year he came up with his first book, Sakinatul Auliya. It was a collection of biographical sketches of notable Muslim saints.

Dara’s intellectual pursuits took a steep turn upon his meeting Baba Lal Bairagi, a Hindu Gnostic. Dara has recorded his conversations with Baba Lal in a short book titled, Mukalama Bab Lal wa Dara Shikoh.

FAiled attempt invasion of Qandahar in 1655, where Shahjehan finally agreed to allow Dara to lead an army.

in 1657, Dara Shikoh came out with his greatest masterpiece: Sirr-e-Akbar (The great secret), a translation of the Upanishads into Persian. Completed in 1657 with the help of several pandits from Veranasi Dara Shikoh’s translation of Upanishads is usually regarded in high esteem by the scholars in that field. It is also suggested by some historians that the Persian translation of Upanishad probably made it most accessible to the Europeans of the time as they were more familiar with the Persian language than they were with Sanskrit.

In 1657, Dara Shikoh was 43, Shah Shuja 41, Aurangzeb 39 and Murad 33. All of them were governors of various provinces: Dara was the governor of Punjab, Murad of Gujarat, Aurangzeb of the Deccan and Shah Shuja of Bengal. Two of them emerged as clear frontrunners in the race: Dara Shikoh and Aurangzeb.

In 1658, Shahjehan fell ill and Dara took over as the acting emperor, just as was expected of him. Aurangzeb quickly made a coalition with Murad and defeated Dara Shikoh at the famous Battle of Samogarh.

Once, Dara Shikoh (the eldest son of emperor Shah Jahan), came to Guru Har Rai asking for help in the war of succession with his brother the Murderous Aurangzeb. The Guru had promised his grandfather to use the Sikh Cavalry only in defense. He, never the less,helped him to escape safely from the bloody hands of Aurangzeb’s armed forces by having his Sikh warriors hide all the ferry boats at the river crossing used by Dara Shikoh in his escape.

Two months after his coronation in June 1659, Aurangzeb enacted a speedy trial of Dara Shikoh where the judges declared him a heretic and the unfortunate prince was condemned to death in August 1659.

It is said that when Dara saw his executioners approaching him he declared that a prince must never die without putting up a brave fight. A kitchen knife was all he could lay his hands on, and he went ahead fighting the swords of his aggressors with this pitful weapon. He was eventually assassinated and it is said that the city of Delhi was shrouded in official mourning when the body of Dara Shikoh was displayed in its streets. He was later laid at rest, quite aptly, inside the premises of Humayun mausoleum.

the elder son of Emperor Shãhjahan( r. 1627-1658 AD.) fell ill. Inspite of the best efforts of Hakims. he could not be cured. The rare medicine needed for his ailment was nowhere available. Information reached the Royal Hakim that required medicine was available with Guru Har Râi (1630-1661 A.D.). He came personally to the Guru Sahib and requestcd for the medicine. Guru Sahib gave him the rare medicine required for the treatment and also sent a pearl which was to be ground into fine powder and taken with the medicine.


31 10 2007


Miniature Painting by the Sikh School of Art – early 19th century of Guru Nanak with Bhai Mardana

The objective is to show the Sikhs as the defenders of Indian Dharma. Throughout the ages, Sikhs have protected India from numerous onslaughts by foreign invaders – whether the Mughals or the British. This has not been recognized by society today.
We also need to bring the spirit of Kshatriyas back into the people of India, as today it again faces a threat to its culture and traditions from globalization and conversions. This will and courage to defend one’s dharma from threats, both within and without, is still very strong in the Sikh community and this should be brought to the forefront and shared with the rest of the people of this country.


1) A documentary film on the 1947 Holocaust when tens of thousands Sikhs and Hindus were slaughtered. Today many of the survivors or those who have been witnesses to the Holocaust are close to dying, so it’s important we record their testimonies. We will have two versions: a 13 minutes film for TV’s and a 35 minutes one for film festivals abroad.

2) A paintings’ exhibition on Sikhism, on the same lines than the one I just did on Aurangzeb (see below the beheading of Guru Teg Bahadur) and the one I am preparing on Shivaji – that is original paintings signed and dated in Moghol miniature style, depicting impeccably documented historical scenes. I am looking for sponsors who could have a share in the exhibition, either in the sales of the paintings when we have shown it in India and the US, or in their ownership.

3) A Coffee Table Book with some of the photos shot during the film plus the paintings of the exhibition, recounting the birth of Sikhism and its history. We will have to find a publisher who will bear the costs.

A. Budget for the Documentary film

* We begin by shooting a film in Delhi, using our personal contacts, to find out Punjabi and Sikh survivors of 1947 atrocities. Then we can move on to Punjab (hence the added staying and travel expenses).

* It is important that a photographer be present along the cameraman (and a sound person), so that we can have stills for the exhibition and the future Coffee Table book.
The budget has been made for 30 full working days, which can be spread out according to the team’s availability.

Cameraman 30 days (8 hours) by 4000 Rs a day (with video) = 120.000

Soundman 30 days. 1200 RS a day = 36.000

Cameraman. 30 days by 1000 Rs a day = 30.000

* Traveling Expenses to Punjab. 4 trips for 3 people = 40.0000

* Board and Lodging Punjab. 20 days. 3 people. 50.000 rs

* Studio.60 hours editing by 1000 Rs a day = 60.000 Rs

* Printing/ Framing 60 photos for exhibition = 100.000

* Miscellaneous expenses = 25.000 Rs

TOTAL 4.61000 RS (four lakhs sixty one thousand rupees)


I. 40 paintings on an average @ Rs.30,000/- 12 LAKHS RUPEES

10 sketches @ RS10,000/- 1 LAKH

II. 20 Photographs @ 10.000 RS 2 LAKHS

III. Main Researcher to get in 4 instalments 1,20,000.00


1. Framing, mounting of paintings, sketches, documents, map, etc. in all about 79 exhibits

2. Two Committee Members to examine, advise, control quality of paintings etc. 20,000.00

Transportation (pick up van) of framed exhibits 10,000.00

Outside visits 25,000.00
Translations 10,000.00
Xeroxing and Typing 10,000.00
Printing Press charges 20,000.00
Local transport, currier, phones, dak, runner boy 5,000.00
Contingency 10,000.00



Yours truly
François Gautier