The Empire Without Clothes – by Waris Husain

WITHOUT DEVELOPING A SECULAR AND TOLERANT STATE IDENTITY THAT CAN PROVIDE EQUAL PROTECTION TO ALL ITS CITIZENS REGARDLESS OF THEIR BACKGROUND, INCIDENTS LIKE THE ASSASSINATION OF GOV. TASEER WILL BECOME COMMON-PLACE.

However, the inability of the general public to see the nakedness of Pakistan is due to the inter-generational brainwashing towards conservative orthodoxy.

The heinous murder of Governor Taseer was shocking, but one should consider the reactions in support of his assassin amongst some Pakistanis as a sign that the society is at a crossroads. Governor Taseer’s life was stolen from him because he rejected a blasphemy law based on a narrow-minded view of Islam that subjects the nation’s minorities to discrimination. Laws such as these reveal the increasingly conflicting view of Pakistan’s future: either as a nation that is able to adapt to modern times and protect the rights of all its citizens or one destined for devolution into chaos through a medieval view of Islam and the state. …

Read more : SOVEREIGN MINDS

International Sindhi Radio Station

Congratulations to Deepak Keswani and his team at http://www.sindhidb.com for launching the First International Sindhi Radio Station. Sindhi DB Live Radio Broadcast from Mumbai, India ( 24 hrs, 7 days a week ). Starts instantly from flash player. No need to browser through or searching for Songs. Just press PLAY and enjoy Sindhi Music, Jokes, Interviews and Announcements.

Click on Link here: http://www.radiosindhi.com/

Clerics on the march

by Ayaz Amir

If the Pakistani establishment continues to see India as the enemy, keeps pouring money into an arms race it cannot afford, is afflicted by delusions of grandeur relative to Afghanistan, and remains unmindful of the economic disaster into which the country is fast slipping, we will never get a grip on the challenges we face.

This is not about blasphemy or the honour of the Holy Prophet. This is now all about politics, about the forces of the clergy, routed in the last elections, discovering a cause on whose bandwagon they have mounted with a vengeance. …

Read more : The News

Who’s afraid of Mumtaz Qadri?

by Fifi Haroon

I am suffering from writer’s fatigue, despite not producing a column this year. Largely because I have been tweeting up a storm with like-minded Pakistanis, outraged by the sickening apotheosis of Mumtaz Qadri, a coward who shot an unarmed man in the back and walked away a celebrity. What could I possibly add that my erstwhile colleagues Fasi Zaka, Mosharraf Zaidi and the bloggers at Five Rupees have not already articulated to their readers in the Pakistani blogosphere and English language press?

Silence, however, is not an option for anyone who believes that what Pakistan needs today is loud, sane voices. It doesn’t really matter if these voices are few. What does matter is that they exist and those of us who have access to any kind of national forum must put in our dissenting vote. So, for the record, this is where I stand and, like countless others, I will not be browbeaten. …

Read more : The Express Tribune

Behind Tunisia Unrest, Rage Over Wealth of Ruling Family

By DAVID D. KIRKPATRICK

HAMMAMET, Tunisia — This ancient Mediterranean hamlet, advertised as the Tunisian St.-Tropez, has long been the favorite summer getaway of President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali and his large extended family, many of whom have built vast beachfront mansions here with the wealth they have amassed during his years in power.

But their new and conspicuous riches, partly exposed in a detailed cable by the American ambassador and made public by WikiLeaks, have fueled an extraordinary extended uprising by Tunisians who blame corruption among the elite for the joblessness afflicting their country. …

Read more : The New York Times

The Anarchist religious clerics of Pakistan : For one sect of religious cleric the other sect of cleric is Kafir and vice verse!

For one sect of religious cleric the other sect of cleric is Kafir and vice verse! in Pakistan? The language of video is urdu/ Hindi.

via – Chagatai KhanYou Tube Khan

 

Alleged plot to assassinate LHC CJ: ‘Special Branch officials sought to create political rift’

ISLAMABAD: The three-member judicial commission that probed into the alleged plot to kill Chief Justice Lahore High Court Khwaja Mohammad Sharif, has revealed in its report that the apparent objective of the Special Branch report, authored by additional Inspector General, Colonel Ehsanur Rehman and his deputy Shahid Mahmood, was to malign and defame persons associated with the ruling party and the party itself.

This was done, the Commission said, to pitch the Punjab government of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) against the federal government of the Pakistan Peoples Party.

The Commission also questioned the move by the Special Branch Punjab to send one copy of the source report to former prime minister Nawaz Sharif when he was in Murree. The Commission wondered why the report was sent to Nawaz Sharif, who did not hold any official position in the Punjab government. …

Read more : The Express Tribune

Salmaan Taseer, Aasia Bibi and Pakistan’s struggle with extremism

by Declan Walsh

Aasia Bibi isn’t at home. Children play at the blue gate of her modest home in Itanwali, a sleepy Punjabi village. Bibi, the woman at the heart of Pakistan‘s blasphemy furore – which triggered the murder of Punjab governor Salmaan Taseer last week – is in jail, desperately praying that she won’t be executed. Her neighbours are hoping she will be.

“Why hasn’t she been killed yet?” said Maafia Bibi , a 20-year-old woman standing at the gate of the house next door. Her eyes glitter behind a scarf that covered her face. “You journalists keep coming here asking questions but the issue is resolved. Why has she not been hanged?”

Maafia was one of a group of about four women who accused Bibi, also known as Aasia Noreen, who is Christian, of insulting the prophet Muhammad during a row in a field 18 months ago. But she will not specify what Bibi actually said, because to repeat the words would itself be blasphemy. And so Bibi was sentenced to hang on mere hearsay – a Kafkaesque twist that seems to bother few in Itanwali, a village 30 miles outside Lahore.

A few streets away Maulvi Muhammad Saalim is preparing for Friday prayers. The 31-year-old mullah, a curly-bearded man with darting, kohl-rimmed eyes and woolly waistcoat, played a central role in marshalling the blasphemy charge. When a court sentenced Bibi to death last November – the first woman in Pakistan’s history – he “wept with joy”, he says. “We had been worried the court would award a lesser sentence. So the entire village celebrated.” …

via – Globeistan – Read more : Guardian

Salman Taseer Remembered – by Tariq Ali

Mumtaz Hussain Qadri smiled as he surrendered to his colleagues after shooting Salman Taseer, the governor of the Punjab, dead. Many in Pakistan seemed to support his actions; others wondered how he’d managed to get a job as a state bodyguard in the carefully screened Elite Force. Geo TV, the country’s most popular channel, reported, and the report has since been confirmed, that ‘Qadri had been kicked out of Special Branch after being declared a security risk,’ that he ‘had requested that he not be fired on but arrested alive if he managed to kill Taseer’ and that ‘many in Elite Force knew of his plans to kill Salman Taseer.’

Qadri is on his way to becoming a national hero. On his first appearance in court, he was showered with flowers by admiring Islamabad lawyers who have offered to defend him free of charge. On his way back to prison, the police allowed him to address his supporters and wave to the TV cameras. The funeral of his victim was sparsely attended: a couple of thousand mourners at most. A frightened President Zardari and numerous other politicians didn’t show up. A group of mullahs had declared that anyone attending the funeral would be regarded as guilty of blasphemy. No mullah (that includes those on the state payroll) was prepared to lead the funeral prayers. The federal minister for the interior, Rehman Malik, a creature of Zardari’s, has declared that anyone trying to tamper with or amend the blasphemy laws will be dealt with severely. In the New York Times version he said he would shoot any blasphemer himself.

Taseer’s spirited defence of Asiya Bibi, a 45-year-old Punjabi Christian peasant, falsely charged with blasphemy after an argument with two women who accused her of polluting their water by drinking out of the same receptacle, provoked an angry response from religious groups. …

Read more : LRB.co.uk
http://www.lrb.co.uk/v33/n02/tariq-ali/salman-taseer-remembered?%22%20target=%22_blank%22%3ELRB.co.uk

‘Bravery’ was essence of Shaheed Babar’s life

KARACHI: Shaheed-e-Sahafat reporter of Geo News Wali Khan Babar was a brave and courageous person who was shot dead in a targeted-killing attack on Thursday evening.

Shaheed Babar led his life with courage and had always eyed high aims since joining Geo News as he demonstrated heroism even on the last day of his life. …

Read more : The News

De-coding G. M. Syed

Sindh Diary : Sindhi Nationalism and G. M. Syed

gmsyedby Ali K. Chishti

Born in 1904, G.M Syed was a descendant of a saint buried in his native village of Sann. He would later become one of the most controversial and paradoxical public figures of Pakistan. After founding the Sindh Hari Committee, he became an active Muslim League leader during the 1939 communal riots in SukKar for which he would later, during a visit to India in the 1980’s would apologize. Syed would later also apologize to the people of Sindh for having “moved the resolution demanding the creation of Pakistan in the legislature of Sindh before independence and partition”.

G.M Sayed was indeed one of the greatest Sindhi political visionaries ever produced. It was G.M Syed who joined Muslim League and ultimately did a lot for Sindhi Nationalism and founded Jeay-e-Sindh Movement, after the creation of Pakistan. In “The Sole Spokesman” by Ayesha Jalal writes interesting accounts of G.M Syed’s politics before the partition; that G.M Syed was in open revolt against Ghulam Hussain’s ministry whom Jinnah mistrusted and obviously there was history behind it. By September 1945 a bitter three-way struggle for League ticket had broken out between G.M Syed, Khuhro and Ghulam Hussain Hidayatullah. The clash between the President of Sindh Muslim League (G.M Syed) and the Province’s premier climaxed in the former’s expulsion from the organization in January 1946. G.M Syed complained to Jinnah was that the Minister’s support of the landed elite’s interests was unpopular and was retarding the Pakistan cause. G.M Syed was obviously over-shadowed.

In 1947 post-partition, Syed had founded the Sindh Progressive Party (SPP) which laid down the foundation of Sindhi nationalism. From the very inception, the SPP opposed the two-nation theory and initially sought great provincial autonomy for Sindh; a very constitutional approach. In subsequent decades, Syed would demand independence of Sindh out of frustration and nothing else. By 1953, Syed consolidated Sindhi nationalist groups like the Sind Awami Jammat, Sindh Jinnah Awami League, Dastoor Party and Sindh Hari Party to form the Sind Awami Mahaz which became the fore-runner to the creation of the Jiya Sindh Mahaz (JSM) which was formed in the 1960’s.

The religious aspects of G.M Syed’s politics had widely been ignored. He was secular to the core and mocked mullah’s hijacking of Islam and was a victim of many fatwa’s in return by the hard-line mullah’s. He was not only a political giant but preached religion too claiming to be a descendant of the Prophet because of the “Syed” linage. S.M Syed took his inspiration from a range of men he considered prophets of mysticism including Bhudda, Christ, Muhammad (P.B.U.H) and even Gandhi, the philosopher Ibn Arabi and Rumi the poet who was executed for his famous theosophical, “ I am God/ Truth” (Ana’l Haq). G.M Syed is in fact one of the main persons who turned Shah Abdul Latif Bhati of Bhit Shah into a Sindhi National poet.

Continue reading De-coding G. M. Syed