New opportunity and old challenges — Dr Hasan-Askari Rizvi

The threats to the Pakistani state include socio-cultural intolerance, religious extremism and the use of violence to pursue self-articulated narrow ideological agendas. If these negative trends are coupled with a faltering economy, there is little hope for a stable, democratic Pakistan. …

Read more : Daily Times

‘The killer of my father, Salman Taseer, was showered with rose petals by fanatics. How could they do this?

Thousands of Pakistanis showered rose petals on the assassin of Salman Taseer, the governor of Punjab who sought clemency for a Christian woman sentenced to death. Here his eldest son, Aatish Taseer, who lives in Delhi, mourns his death – and the nihilism of a country that could not tolerate a patriot who was humanitarian to his core.

By Aatish Taseer

[Excerpt] ….. Already, even before his body is cold, those same men of faith in Pakistan have banned good Muslims from mourning my father; clerics refused to perform his last rites; and the armoured vehicle conveying his assassin to the courthouse was mobbed with cheering crowds and showered with rose petals.

I should say too that on Friday every mosque in the country condoned the killer’s actions; 2,500 lawyers came forward to take on his defence for free; and the Chief Minister of Punjab, who did not attend the funeral, is yet to offer his condolences in person to my family who sit besieged in their house in Lahore. ….

Read more :  The Telegraph

Colonial prejudices —Mir Mohammad Ali Talpur

Unfortunately, the ‘establishment’ and its supporters with their colonial mindset and prejudices consider ruling the Baloch, Bengalis, Sindhis and Pashtuns their birthright and find it extremely unpalatable to even think that they are capable of managing their own affairs. …

Read more : Daily Times

Can Pakistan learn from Egypt? At Cairo’s Churches Muslims guard Christmas Services As Human Shields

Egyptian Muslims Serve As Human Shields For Coptic Christmas Services

Egypt’s Muslim community followed through on their promise to support the country’s embattled Christian population as they celebrated their Christmas Eve masses on Thursday night. …

Read more : Huffingtonpost

Jinnah became irrelevant after objective resolution. This is religious extremists’ Pakistan!

“YOU MAY BELONG TO ANY RELIGION OR CASTE OR CREED THAT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE BUSINESS OF THE STATE.” – JINNAH

Courtesy: Express TV (Front Line with Kamaran Shahid, 8th January 2011)

via – ZemTVYou Tube Link

PAKISTAN LOOTING HANDS!

By Dr Ali Akbar M. Dhakan, Karachi, Sindh

A comprehensive and voluminous book of Mr.Mohammad Qaisar chohan titled as above has been published by Seventh Sky publication urdu bazar Lahore in January 2009. In all 82 cases of looters have been covered in detail. Most of them consist of very important and famous cases like corruption of Pervez Musharaf, former prime minister, Shoukat Aziz, FBR, Pakistan Steel Mills, Habib Bank, Flour, Sugar, KSE, Guwadar, Railways, Dr.Naseem Ashraf, Farooq Laghari, PSO, Telephones, PIA, KESC, Wapda, ZTBL, Saif Rehman, P.H.A, Governer State Bank and other scandals. Regarding Pervaiz Musharaf,the learned author has described that the example of Pervaiz Musharaf, these days, is like that retired general for whom it is said that just as alive elephant costs Rs.one lakh and the dead elephant one and quarter lakh so in the case with the retired general after his retirement who gets more financial benefits.

Continue reading PAKISTAN LOOTING HANDS!

Protest against religious fundamentalism in Lahore

Lahore : On 8th January 2011, civil society organised a protest against Salman Taseer’s assassination and religious fundamentalism in Pakistan outside Quaid-e-Azam Library. About two hundred people were present at this quickly organized protest. Some prominent personalities such as Tahira Syed were also present.

A must watch discussion : Assassination of Salman Taseer and religious extremism in Pakistan?

Why did Salman Taseer get killed on saying what others are saying same on Media? Please watch the video to see what the panelists are saying in program column kaar program. The discussion is in urdu/ Hindi.

Courtesy: Express TV (program Column Kaar, 8th January, 2011)

via ZemtvYou Tube Link

Pakistan: The moral collapse of a nation

Politicians, lawyers and journalists who championed the cause of democracy now fail to speak up

A month before the governor of the Punjab, Salmaan Taseer, was lowered into an early grave, an imam at a mosque in Peshawar asked the Taliban to kill a Christian woman convicted of blasphemy, if the Pakistani state did not carry out the death sentence. Nawa-e-Waqt, the second most read Urdu-language newspaper in the country, wholeheartedly approved of the 500,000 rupee bounty that the cleric Maulana Yousuf Qureshi put on Asia Bibi’s head. Its lead editorial went on to threaten anyone, like Taseer, who supported the woman’s cause and campaigned for a repeal of the infamous blasphemy law. “The punishment handed down to Asia Bibi will be carried out in one manner or the other, and who knows whose position and rank will be terminated as a result of the debate on the repeal of the blasphemy laws,” the newspaper wrote. That was on 5 December. A month later Taseer was killed by his bodyguard, a 26-year-old policeman, Mumtaz Qadri. Neither the cleric nor the editors of the newspaper are being charged with incitement.

The celebration of Taseer’s assassination has continued ever since. Making common cause with radical Islamists, lawyers showered petals on Qadri. They surrounded the anti-terrorism court at Rawalpindi and at one point the judge refused to hear the case and police considered dropping a reference to the anti-terror act and trying Qadri in a district court. When the hearing went ahead after five hours, no public prosecutor turned up because of fears for their safety, according the report in Dawn.com. Nationally, Taseer’s death was greeted with cold-hearted intolerance from rightwing religious leaders – several of whom said he got what he deserved – and with spineless capitulation from the ruling Pakistan People’s party, of which the Punjab governor was the fifth most important member. Shortly after he visited Asia Bibi in jail with his wife and daughter, a mob rioted outside the governor’s house. Prominent TV commentators joined in. The law minister, Babar Awan, then caved in, saying there was no question of reforming the law. Now Awan has rushed for cover behind a judicial inquiry, painting the killing as part of some unnamed conspiracy to destabilise the country.

The truth is all too clear. Who is responsible for Taseer’s death? Some of the very politicians, lawyers and journalists who championed the cause of democracy, parliament and the rule of law against military dictators. Now they support, or fail to speak up against, a law which has become the weapon of choice of dictators, mobs and bigots. Where is the justice in a law widely abused to settle personal scores and to discriminate against minorities? No proof is needed. The alleged blasphemer can be locked up and executed on the say-so of witnesses and yet the slander can never be repeated in court, let alone proved, because to do so would compound the crime. Asia Bibi has spent 18 months in one of Pakistan’s most hellish prisons, the last month of it in solitary confinement. At least 10 people have been killed while awaiting trial on blasphemy charges since 1990, according to human rights workers. …

Read more : The Guardian