A divided Pakistan buries Salman Taseer and a liberal dream

by Declan Walsh in Lahore

Liberals have long been a minority force in Pakistan, reviled for importing ‘western’ ideas and culture; now they are virtually an endangered species.

There was silence in the ancient city of Lahore yesterday as Salman Taseer, a pugnacious son of the soil who made his name by speaking out, was lowered into an early grave. …

Read more : Guardian.co.uk

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To read BBC urdu column, click here

The only way to treat this cancer is a complete separation of the religion and the state. Otherwise, prepare for the funeral of the country

– Tarek Fatah

… the past, present and future of a country born in an orgy of bloodshed and unravelling in a macabre bloodlust for death. “The only way to treat this cancer is to join the rest of the civilized world, including India and Bangladesh, to embrace secularism & the complete separation of the Mosque and the State. Otherwise, prepare for the funeral of the country.

To read full interview : Criticalppp

Nawaz Sharif threatens to boot out PPP in Punjab

– Issues 72-hour ultimatum to act on their demands

Islamabad, January 4 – Pakistan’s opposition leader Nawaz Sharif today gave the beleaguered government a 72-hour ultimatum to act on several demands, including rollback of a fuel price hike and probe into corruption scandals, failing which the PPP could be booted out from the Punjab government. …

Read more : The Tribune

Lawyers shower roses for governor’s killer

LAHORE: Lawyers showered the suspected killer of a prominent Pakistani governor with rose petals when he arrived at court Wednesday and an influential Muslim scholars group praised the assassination of the outspoken opponent of laws that order death for those who insult Islam. …

Read more : http://www.dawn.com/2011/01/05/lawyers-shower-roses-for-governors-killer.html

Bangladesh court bans religion in politics

DHAKA (AFP) – Bangladesh’s dozens of political parties must drop Islam from their name and stop using religion when on the campaign trail following a court ruling, the country’s law minister said Monday.

The Supreme Court on Sunday upheld an earlier ruling by the High Court from 2005 throwing out the fifth amendment of the constitution, which had allowed religion-based politics to flourish in the country since the late 1970s.

“All politics based on religion are going to be banned as per the original constitution,” Shafique Ahmed told AFP. The verdict does not affect constitutional amendments that made Islam the Muslim majority nation’s state religion in 1988 and incorporated a Quranic verse in the constitution. …

Read more : The Nation

Pakistan : Sindh breaks the silence!

Karachi – Sindh: Today on January 05, 2011 in the evening hundreds of people turned up at Karachi press club against the assassination of Salman Taseer. They marched from press club to Zainab market (Saddar). Male- female participants were chanting slogans against the assassination of Salman Taseer & “mulla minded” forces. At the end candles were lit to pay tribute to salman Taseer.

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To watch BBC video, CLICK HERE

Bhutto was Hussain’s follower. Hussain and his follower never die.

Bhutto Lives! – by Mohammad Ali Mahar, Austin, TX

There are some who are born with a personal charm. Others have the privilege of being born with a golden spoons in their mouths. Then there are those who achieve the best of the best education in the best of the educational institutions. A few people attain the highest of the high positions. Very few have a combination of the above. He was among the rare breed of men to have them all. He was certainly no ordinary man. He was Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto.

While interviewing Henry Kissinger, Oriana Fallaci asked who was the greatest leader ever Mr. Kissinger had the privilege of meeting (Interview with History). He rebounded the question to Oriana. Oriana was a great admirer of Indira Gandhi. She had recently done her interview. So, she presented Indira’s name. Kissinger did not agree. Shah of Iran. No. Castro. No. Tito. No. Shah Faisal. No. Nixon. Certainly not.

Then finally, reluctantly, she uttered Bhutto’s name. Oriana in a way hated Bhutto. Bhutto had her abducted from Karachi Airport – while she was on her way to interview Shah of Iran – to present his side of the story in reply to Mrs. Gandhi’s interview after the fall of Dhaka. Kissinger’s face brightened. He told Oriana that Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto was the greatest leader he had ever met. He told Oriana that it was not just the oratorical qualities, not just the education, not even the political upbringing that were necessary ingredients for a leader. It was the combination of all those plus the statesmanship that was required of a great leader. With a smile on his face, he told Oriana that only Bhutto had all those traits. He told Oriana Fallaci that in his opinion Bhutto was the greatest of the leaders of the world.

In 1963, young Bhutto visited the United Sates of America as Foreign Minister of Pakistan. His schedule included a meeting with President J. F. Kennedy. At the end of the meeting, Mr. Kennedy was so impressed by this

young fellow that he told him that had Bhutto been an American, he would have been on Mr. Kennedy’s cabinet. To which Bhutto spontaneously replied, “Beware Mr. President. If I were an American, I would not be in your cabinet, I would be in your place”.

Kennedy liked the reply so much that before his death, he told everyone he met of the courage and wit of this young Pakistani minister.

Bhutto was sent to gallows 20 years ago. Some say that he died that day. I don’t believe that. Bhutto was Hussain’s follower. Hussain and his follower never die.

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Courtesy → : The above article was originally posted by Mohammad Ali Mahar on SANAlist on April 4, 2000.  After 11 years, here it is once again, as a tribute to a great leader who lives in our hearts even though his body is buried at Garhi Khuda Bux, Larkano, Sindh.