Chronicle of a murder foretold – Dr Manzur Ejaz

Unless the anti-mullah shahi forces become competitive, the tide of theocracy cannot be stopped. To be competitive, anti-mullah shahi forces have to capture the intellectual discourse in the country and even have the street power to stop the religious madness. If the liberal intelligentsia is hoping that the formal state will reform itself and come to their aid, they are delusionary. The state is nothing but a compromise of interest groups

I am not sure if the state’s official three-day mourning period was for late Governor Salmaan Taseer or for its own paralysis. As it has been reported, Taseer’s martyrdom — that is what it is — was pre-planned and well rehearsed before the day Qadri stole the innocent man’s life, yet no intelligence agency could detect it. If the security agencies are as pervasive and involved in the system as they purport, such a mission could not have gone undetected unless the security apparatus itself is infested with extremists. Either way, the security agencies have proven to be an extension of mullah shahi (rule of the mullahs) and, hence, a fundamentalist party themselves. Indeed, the martyrdom of Salmaan Taseer was foretold by the increasingly fundamentalist security body, which has imposed a toxic ideology amongst the unsuspecting people of Pakistan.

In a way it was a murder foretold, as Garcia Marquez would call it. As every colour and every shade of mullah shahi was issuing fatwas (edicts) against Taseer for supporting Aasia Bibi and branding the blasphemy law as a kala qanoon (black law) — which it is — the state agencies remained silent spectators. How can a private group issue a death sentence when Pakistan is ruled by the constitution and the courts are appointed to protect the people and persecute wrongdoers? And, if mullah shahi can issue death fatwas against citizens, then we should all wonder what the function of the state is. In order to bring Pakistan out of its current state of chaos, fatwa declarations should be banned like they were in Bangladesh and their writers should be put behind bars for sedition.

The anti-Tasser/Aasia Bibi campaign was not limited to fatwas; many mullahs and illiterate and rich politicians and businessmen were offering head money for the death of these two people. A mullah in a Peshawar mosque during a Friday gathering had offered a huge sum of money for Aasia Bibi’s head. Another petty politician in southern Punjab had offered Rs 2 crores for Taseer’s and Aasia’s heads. Were these not extreme cases of blatant hate speech? But the state agencies looked the other way. Even now, the state agencies have no will or intention to bring these criminals to book for their wrongdoings. For example, they arrested the above-mentioned petty politician and released him after his supporters blockaded the highway. So, it is clear that the state’s security agencies lack the will to enforce the law or they are too cowardly to do so. ….

Read more : Wichaar

‘Islamic secularism’ in Bangladesh: Jyoti Rahman

Bangladesh will mark its 40th year of independence in 2011.  The celebrations have already begun, and will continue until next December.  The TV channels are already playing patriotic tunes.  One such tune is Shona shona shona.  The song says the land, mati, of Bangladesh is better than gold, and under this land sleeps many heroes: Rafiq, Shafiq, Barkat, Titu Mir and Isa Khan.

Who are these heroes?  Rafiq, Shafiq and Barkat were killed by the Pakistani authorities during the language uprising of 1952 — a milestone moment in Bangladesh’s nationalism. Titu Mir defied the East India Company and organised a peasant revolt in the 19th century. Isa Khan was a Bengali chieftain who resisted the Mughals in the 16th century. …

Read more : Kafila

Pakistan : Someone always to kill

Someone always to kill – by Fasi Zaka

At some point in time, a lot of the citizens of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan quietly renounced their citizenship to become ‘Takfiristanis’. They took upon themselves the right to declare anyone they willed a non-Muslim and gave themselves the right to murder.

I was always under the impression that ghazis in history were men and women of valour, who stared death in the face and didn’t flinch because the mettle of their belief was so strong. So as it emerges that the killer of Salmaan Taseer, Malik Mumtaz Qadri, is a ‘ghazi’ to many, it’s odd that he allegedly requested the other guards not to kill him. That he killed an unarmed man in cold blood is cowardly, that he wanted his life spared is cowardly. That doesn’t sound courageous to me.

After the killing of Salmaan Taseer, the silent majority of Pakistan finally spoke. They liked it. It didn’t matter what class they were from, what clothes they wore, how many years of education they had. They agreed with murder most foul. But they are still silent on their secret identity as Takfiristanis. …

Read more : The Express Tribune

What is behind demonstrations against Pope Benedict?

by Dr. Manzur Ejaz

Watch how Jamaat-i-Islami (JI) and its follower religious parties use Pope Benedict’s statement in which he asked for change in blasphemy law. JI hheld demonstrations against it today and Tahreek Namoos Rasalat (TNR) has asked for a country wide strike against it. This is is just an effort of continuation of mullahs to keep their grip on ideological discourse and terrorize its oppenents. One should watch its developments.

Pope Benedict is The Leader of the Christians. His duty is to seek protection for his followers every where in the world. What else could he say on what has been happening in Pakistan? He is not a leader of any superpower or has political means to pressure Pakistan or intefere in its affairs. His size may be huge but he is just like Mullah Munwwar Hasan, Fazalur Rehman et ell.

But on the positive side he has not asked his followers in Christian world to do mob killing of minority Muslims. He has just issued a statement which can be ignored by Pakistan or its citizens. But, the issue is Ji’s concerted campaign to increase religious extremism in Pakistan to provide cover for Taliban and Al-Qaeda. Pope Benedict statement is just being used in this context.

In such a situation liberal and enlightened Pakistanis get confused. They also start blaming the outsiders for instigating the Pakistanis. What they do not understand is that JI and its followers do not need outside instigation. They can always cook up something to keep them going.

Pope and the rest of the world has their own obligations and one cannot stop them from issuing statements. We would condemn the Pope and others if they incite Christians against Muslims like JI and other religious parties are doing. Other than that we should know that JI and its extensions are going to use one excusde or the other to assert their agenda of Mullah Shahi and dictatorship.

Courtesy: http://www.wichaar.com/news/285/ARTICLE/23570/2011-01-11.html

Folk artiste begs on Thatta streets

By Iqbal Khwaja

THATTA: The frail memory of music lovers had forgotten a voice once they cherished to the depth of their souls.

A sought-after singer now sings in same high-pitched voice but with a begging bowl. Though, her voice had not lost its charm but perhaps her age has.

Zeenat Shaikh, a renowned folk singer of yester-year can be seen loitering on Thatta streets with a faint hope of seeking alms. …

Read more : Dawn

Drawing all the wrong lessons

JOE BIDEN, America’s vice-president, will pay a visit to Pakistan this week, a Pakistan once again in the grip of crisis. The government and the country itself have been in a shocking state of retreat since the assassination on January 4th of Salman Taseer, a brave and progressive voice from the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), which leads the governing coalition. …

Read more : The Economist

Blasphemy law should remain intact: Aitzaz

ISLAMABAD: The blasphemy law (295-C) should remain intact, and if Punjab Governor Salmaan Taseer committed any mistake or blasphemy, instead of killing him he should have been punished under the law of the country, Pakistan People’s Party senior leader Chaudhry Aitzaz Ahsan said.

While talking to reporters at the Supreme Court building, Aitzaz said no amendment of any kind should be brought in the blasphemy law and it should remain intact at every cost. He said that Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani had given assurance for implementing Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) chief Nawaz Sharif’s agenda …

Read more : Daily Times

Salman Taseer’s killers are the real blasphemers – Bilawal Bhutto

LONDON: Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, chairman of Pakistan’s ruling party, on Monday condemned the killing of late Governor Punjab Salmaan Taseer for seeking changes to blasphemy laws, and called those celebrating his death “the real blasphemers.”

Bilawal, the son of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto who was assassinated in 2007, also pledged to defend the country’s minorities who have been targeted in the recent past.

“To the Christian and other minority communities in Pakistan, we will defend you,” he said at a memorial ceremony in London for Salmaan Taseer, the governor of Punjab who was killed by his own security guard last week. “Those who wish to harm you for a crime you did not commit will have to go through me first.” …

Read more : Wichaar

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More details : Dawn –  BBC urdu

Taseer — Champion of Secular Democracy

By Wajid Shamsul Hasan

The ghastly assassination of Governor of Punjab Salman Taseer is a great loss for the Pakistani nation, Pakistan People’s Party, President Asif Ali Zardari, Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani and the government. He was brave, courageous and daring—a great man who spoke for the rights of the people including minorities. He was totally committed to the high democratic ideals and the egalitarian vision of Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah, Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and martyred Benazir Bhutto.

Salman was held in highest esteem by the people who respected his boldness to proclaim loud and clear that he believed in liberal and secular politics. He was targeted for elimination for having defended the rights of minorities against the black and discriminatory laws introduced by dictator General Ziaul Haq to terrorise the people into submission to his totalitarian rule. …

Read more : PakMission-UK