“Pakistan Army, ISI must shut up shop if they can’t protect people”: Altaf Hussain’s bold stance on Shia genocide

Minorities under attack: Altaf lines up police, agencies, clerics, judges, army and… fires

By Saba Imtiaz

Karachi: In an impassioned speech that included critiques of clerics and the judiciary, Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) chief Altaf Hussain asked the Pakistan Army, Inter-Services Intelligence and other agencies to shut up shop if they could not “protect people”.

“Leave them,” Hussain said before turning to his audience, “You have a right to defend yourself by any means.”

Altaf’s speech at an interfaith conference organised by his party in Karachi came after a series of statements by him and other party leaders on the increase in the number of attacks on Shias throughout Pakistan. Several clerics from Karachi as well as other cities of Pakistan such as Quetta, Lahore and Chakwal, were in attendance.

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When Pakistan will be revived in true letter and spirit of Jinnah’s Pakistan?

JinnahBy Dr. Saif Ur Rehman

The founder of Pakistan, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, wanted Pakistan to be a moderate secular state.

On 11th August 1947, Founder of Pakistan addressed constituent Assembly of Pakistan. He said “You are free; you are free to go to your temples, you are free to go to your mosques or to any other place or worship in this State of Pakistan. You may belong to any religion or caste or creed that has nothing to do with the business of the State.”

The Constitution of Pakistan provides for fundamental rights. It is clearly written in article 25(1) of constitution of Pakistan that All citizens are equal before law and are entitled to equal protection of law. And it was the guaranteer for inter-faith harmony among all religions and sects.

But things were changed, in the 1980s clauses were added to the laws by the military government of dictator General Zia-ul Haq.

As those laws were not legislated by elected representatives of the people of Pakistan, so when she was prime minister, Benazir Bhutto tried to change the blasphemy law because it was being used to terrorise religious minorities, but she couldn’t succeed. She was able to make the existing law more moderate but those changes were reversed by the government of Nawaz Sharif later on.

In the name of the religion, there have been serious human rights violations since the 1973 Constitution were changed to accommodate amendements in the name of blasphemy. This has made the lives of members of minority communities miserable.

Vested interests have made the most of these draconian laws in the wake of personal hatred and killed many an innocent person in the name of blasphemy. There is a need to redo the law, removing the draconian clauses so that no vested interest should be able to exploit the law.

In January 2011, Punjab Governor Salman Taseer – a prominent critic of the law- he advocated to repeal these draconian laws and he was assassinated by his bodyguard. The assassination divided Pakistan, with some hailing his killer as a hero. In March 2011 Religious Minorities Minister Shahbaz Bhatti was shot dead in Islamabad, he was also critic of the law and demanded to repeal it.

Shaheed Salmaan Taseer stood for minorities’ rights to review court’s verdict in the case of Asia Bibi, but he was martyred by a religious fanatic and it was a black day in the history of Pakistan when people in northern Punjab, especially in Rawalpindi, celebrated martyrdom of great leader of Pakistan. Pakistan’s Minority Affairs Minister Shahbaz Bhatti, the only Christian member of Pakistan’s cabinet, was also assassinated on 2 March 2011. Both leaders never committed blasphemy but were killed brutally.

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A sigh of relief: Maulvi who fabricated ‘burning of Quranic pages’ in order to frame charges against Rimsha in blasphemy, has been arrested

Prayer leader arrested for fabricating evidence in Rimsha Masih case

By Web Desk

RAWALPINDI: Police have arrested prayer leader Khalid Jadoon on charges of fabricating evidence, which he had used to accuse Rimsha Masih of committing blasphemy by allegedly burning Quranic pages, Express News reported early on Sunday.

Express News correspondent Qamarul Munawar said that Hafiz Muhammad Zubair, who witnessed Jadoon adding pages of the Quran, recorded a statement with the Rawalpindi magistrate on Saturday.

According to Zubair’s account, he was sitting in Iteqaaf in the mosque when some people handed burnt pages to the prayer leader. After a little while, Jadoon added additional pages of the Quran to the pile.

Zubair, in his statement added that three other people present with him in the mosque asked Jadoon why he was adding documents to the pile of burnt paper, to which prayer leader said that such an act was necessary to strengthen their case.

Munawar reported that Islamabad police has now arrested Jadoon who are now questioning him.

Rimsha has been in custody since she was arrested more than two weeks ago accused of burning Quranic papers, in breach of Pakistan’s blasphemy laws. According to medical reports Rimsha is 14 year old minor, and has a mental age below her real age.

Courtesy: The Express Tribune

http://tribune.com.pk/story/430049/prayer-leader-arrested-for-fabricating-evidence-in-rimsha-masih-case/

Indian Supreme Court’s poignant footnote in Kasab Judgment

From Indian Kanoon:

“[45] It is reported that it was at the Taj Mahal Hotel ballroom that, on February 20, 1918, at her eighteenth birthday party, Ruttie had accepted Mr Jinnah’s hand in marriage while the band was playing the Chopin tune, So Deep is the Night. It is also reported that both Mr. Jinnah, the creator of Pakistan, and Mrs. Sarojini Naidu, the President of the Indian National Congress, often held court at Taj Mahal Hotel.

Mr. Jinnah also had an intimate connection with Mazgaon, where the bomb planted by two terrorists in a taxi exploded, killing three (3) and wounding nineteen (19) people. It is reported that Mr. Jinnah devoted Thursday afternoons to visiting the grave of his wife Ruttie at the Khoja Shiite Isna’ashri Cemetry, situated at Mazgaon, Mumbai.

One wonders what Quaid-e-Azam would have thought of the terrorist attack on his favourite city in the subcontinent and especially on Taj Mahal Hotel, with which he had a personal relationship of a very intimate kind.”

Read more » Pak Tea House

http://pakteahouse.net/2012/08/30/indian-supreme-courts-poignant-footnote-in-kasab-judgment/

Imam manipulated evidences against Rimsha, says eyewitness

‘Imam changed evidences against Rimsha’

ISLAMABAD: The Imam of a Mosque, Khalid Jadoon, manipulated the evidence against Rimsha Maseeh, said an eyewitness in a statement before the magistrate on Saturday.

According to the eyewitness Hafiz Muhammad Zubair, he was observing Aitekaf in the mosque when he got to know about the incident of alleged burning of Quranic verses.

He said that Ammad, the complainant in the case, handed over the ashes of Quranic verses to the Imam of the mosque Khalid Jadoon, who also added more verses to it.

The eyewitness further said in his statement that he himself along with two more Motakif protested against the manipulation of the evidences. He said that he and other eyewitnesses had asked Khalid Jadoon to present the real evidences against Rimsha.

Meanwhile, the religious scholar Tahir Ashrafi has asked the Ulema as to what kind of punishment Imams like Khalid Jadoon deserved.

Courtesy: Geo Tv

http://www.geo.tv/GeoDetail.aspx?ID=65868

More details » The News

http://www.thenews.com.pk/article-65868-Imam-changed-evidences-against-Rimsha

U.S. Seems Set to Brand Militant Group as ‘Terrorist’

By ERIC SCHMITT

WASHINGTON — Risking a new breach in relations with Pakistan, the Obama administration is leaning toward designating the Haqqani network, the insurgent group responsible for some of the most spectacular assaults on American bases in Afghanistan in recent years, as a terrorist organization.

With a Congressional reporting deadline looming, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and top military officials are said to favor placing sanctions on the network, which operates in Afghanistan and Pakistan, according to half a dozen current and former administration officials.

A designation as a terrorist organization would help dry up the group’s fund-raising activities in countries like Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates, press Pakistan to carry out long-promised military action against the insurgents, and sharpen the administration’s focus on devising policies and operations to weaken the group, advocates say.

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A decaying state kills its minorities

By Khaled Ahmed

The people who target religious minorities in Pakistan had been nurtured as the state’s proxy warriors; the state then surrendered to them its monopoly of violence

A 150-strong mob of pious Muslims in Islamabad committed vandalism, baying for the blood of a mentally challenged Christian child Ramsha because they thought she had burned the Quran. The police had her under arrest pretending it was for her own security. Earlier, a mad ‘blaspheming’ man in Bahawalpur was taken out of jail and burned to death. After the imposition of the Blasphemy Law the first major case was also against a 14 year old Christian boy in Gujranwala who had to be smuggled abroad to prevent him from being killed.

According to World Minority Rights Report 2011, Pakistan ranks as the 6th worst country after some African states in respect of safety and rights of minorities. This includes non-Muslims, those the state has dubbed non-Muslim, and women. Ironically, this behaviour also includes persecution of non-Muslims through forced conversion to Islam, through forcible marriages of non-Muslim girls to Muslims, and apparently willing conversion of non-Muslims to Islam to secure themselves against persecution.

Hindus of Sindh have tried to migrate to India. (Nearly 568 FIRs for forced marriages were lodged last year across 40 districts of Pakistan, with the majority of such cases having been filed in Sindh.) Instead of sympathising with such fugitives, the liberal PPP government suspected them of being disloyal to Pakistan and stopped them – for some time – from visiting India. Hindus are the largest minority community in Sindh.

The minister who did that himself fears being killed by the elements who hunt Pakistan’s Hindu community. The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan’s Balochistan chapter has identified an ongoing exodus of Hindu families from Quetta too due to fear of kidnappings for ransom, yet the Balochistan government does not seem to be doing much to address this problem.

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