Tag Archives: equal

81st death anniversary of Bhagat Sing in Brampton, Canada

(Desk News) – Every year the Indo-Canadians marks the anniversary of Bhagat Singh’s martyrdom at the hands of the British Raj (on March 23, 1931). This year’s commemoration will be held on Sunday, March 25 at 2 p.m. at the Lester B. Pearson Theatre, 150 Central Park Drive, Brampton, Ontario, Canada. Comrade Bhagat Sing was quickly rose through the ranks of the Hindustan Republican Association (HRA) and became one of its leaders, converting it to the Hindustan Socialist Republican Association (HSRA). Singh gained support when he underwent a 64-days fast in jail, demanding equal rights for Indian and British political prisoners. He was hanged by British Raj government on 23 March 1931.

The organizers of the event hope many of Indo-Pakistani- Bangladeshi-Canadians will be able to attend to pay the tribute and respect to this great hero of the Indian sub-continent (South Asia).

Chief Justice urged to help recover ‘kidnapped’ Hindu girl – DAWN

By Bhagwandas

KARACHI, March 4: An alliance of minority parties on Sunday appealed to Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry to take a suo motu notice of the kidnapping of a Hindu girl and order her immediate return to her parents to restore the waning sense of security in the minorities.

Speaking at a protest demonstration staged outside the Karachi Press Club, Pakistan Minority Leaders Alliance representatives said they would launch a protest movement and stage a sit-in on March 10 if the authorities failed to recover the girl, Rinkle Kumari.

According to an uncle of the girl, Raj Kumar, she was kidnapped from her house in Mirpur Mathelo over a week ago and forced to marry Naveed Shah and change her religion. He alleged that the case was heard by a civil judge in Ghotki, but he did not allow her relatives to enter the courtroom while giving a verdict in favour of the ‘kidnapper’, Mr Shah.

Speaking on the occasion, Jeay Sindh Mahaz chief Riaz Chandio expressed solidarity with the minority community members and demanded arrest of and punishment to culprits involved in her kidnapping.

He said those belonging to religious minority groups, including Hindus, Christians and Sikhs, were sons of the soil. They should not feel threatened by such acts, as all Sindhis were one and that they were equal citizens and had equal rights, he said.

He said it was unfortunate that the girl was given in police custody instead of being sent to Darul Aman.

Mr Chandio announced that if “the daughter of Sindh” was not rescued and returned and culprits were not arrested soon and punished according to law, a province-wide sit-it would be staged on Saturday.

Manohar Lal, Muttahida Qaumi Movement lawmaker in the national assembly, condemned the kidnapping and forced conversion of a young girl. He urged the president to take notice of the incident.

He said Islam guaranteed protection to minorities, but such people were giving a bad name to the religion. With such incidents, a sense of insecurity was growing in the community, he said. Earlier their sons were kidnapped for ransom, but now their daughters were being kidnapped and forcibly converted, he remarked.

Jeay Sindh Taraqi Pasand Party leader Gulzar Soomro said that forced conversions were a conspiracy against Islam, which preaches love and peace and opposes use of force. He said the culprits were agents of the establishment that wanted to divide the Sindhis.

“Our patience should not be mistaken as our weakness,” he warned, seeking her immediate recovery.

A Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf leader and former lawmaker, Michael Javed, said the Quaid-i-Azam had said that the minorities would be equal citizens in Pakistan, but over the years the Quaid’s message was being forgotten.

Amar Lal, a community leader, said he and the girl’s uncle had met US consulate general staff a few days back and political counsellor Junaid J. Muneer had assured him that the issue would be taken up with the authorities concerned. He said he had also received a call from a former political counsellor of the US embassy in Islamabad, L.K. Robinson, who was currently in Washington. He told him that he would take up the issue with human rights organisations there.

Mahesh Singh, Mangla Sharma, Ramesh Kumar, Vijay Kumar and others also spoke.

Raj Kumar, the girl’s uncle, earlier informed the gathering that on Feb 24, a few armed men barged into her home in Mirpur Mathelo and kidnapped her at gunpoint.

He said a case was filed in a Ghotki court where he said she gave a statement about the threats she had received to convert and marry Naveed Shah or she and her entire family would be killed. He quoted her as saying in the court that she wanted to return and live with her parents.

He also alleged that the judge, in the presence of gunmen in the court, sent her to police custody rather than to her parents’ home or to a shelter home. The next hearing was scheduled to be held at 11am on Feb 27, but the case was heard at 8.15am and the girl’s family was not allowed to enter the courtroom, he said, adding that the judge then gave a verdict in favour of Mr Shah.

Mr Kumar urged the chief justice to take a suo motu notice of the issue and order her safe return to her parents.

Earlier, the participants in the demonstration chanted slogans such as ‘we want justice’ and ‘Rinkle be rescued’.

Courtesy: DAWN

A Pakistani Christian student’s question to the High Court

Is a Pakistani Christian equal to a fellow Muslim?

“A young Pakistani student belonging to the Christian faith has posed an interesting question through a petition in the Lahore High Court. The question is: Am I, a Pakistani Christian equal to a fellow citizen who is a Muslim ? For those of the readers who missed the news item reported by an English daily, this young student belongs to a low income group, is a practicing Christian and extremely bright. She has been competing to get into the King Edwards Medical College but was beaten on the list by 20 marks by a Muslim student who got the extra 20 marks for being Hafiz–e-Quran. So, now this young Christian girl has filed a plea in the Lahore Court declaring that she and the Muslim student had equal marks but the latter got the advantage of religion. The young Christian student claims that “this is discrimination against religious minority students and a violation of fundamental rights granted by the Constitution of Pakistan.” The petition admitted by the Lahore High Court demands that either the LHC should rule to abolish the policy or should declare that a parallel policy should be made to award twenty additional marks to religious minority students on the basis of their religious knowledge. Fifty eight years after the creation of the country to ask such a question through the courts is both tragic and hopeful”.
Constitution of Pakistan, Part II, Chapter -1, Fundamental Rights, Article 22 says:-

(1) No person attending any educational institution shall be required to receive religious instruction, or take part in any religious ceremony, or attend religious worship, if such instruction, ceremony or worship relates to a religion other than his own.

(2) In respect of any religious institution, there shall be no discrimination against any community in the granting of exemption or concession in relation to taxation.

(3) Subject to law: (a) no religious community or denomination shall be prevented from providing religious instruction for pupils of that community or denomination in any educational institution maintained wholly by that community or denomination; and

(b) no citizen shall be denied admission to any educational institution receiving aid from public revenues on the ground only of race, religion, caste or place of birth.

(4) Nothing in this Article shall prevent any public authority from making provision for the advancement of any socially or educationally backward class of citizens.

Read more » Pak Tribune

Ahmadis expelled from school

By Shamsul Islam

FAISALABAD: At least 10 students, including seven girls, and a female teacher were expelled from Chenab Public School and Muslim Public School, Dharanwali area of Hafizabad, for being Ahmadis.

“It is extremely unfortunate that my daughters are being deprived of the most basic and fundamental human right such as education … all because of religious intolerance,” Khalil Ahmad, whose three daughters were expelled, told The Express Tribune. “I have no alternative to ensure that their education continues,” he added.

What about the constitutional provisions which ensure equal rights for all? What about the rule of law that says no discrimination can be made on the basis of faith, race, cast and creed, he questions. …

Read more » The Express Tribune

Debate on HEC Devolution

by Dr Azhar A. Shah

In the context of present debate on the devolution of HEC when we present some facts and figures to support our arguments in favor of devolution; most of the opponents of the devolution have come up to negate these facts not by counter arguments and supporting evidence but by labeling it as a campaign for regionalism and provincialism. They issue directives to us to be Pakistani and stop this debate! To them, being Pakistani means surrendering the right to present our point of view on a matter which is directly related to the very field that we are an important stakeholders of!.

I think it is this attitude of opposing any argument/voice in favor of limited regional autonomy (decentralization, devolution, delegation, provinces’ rights ), which is guaranteed by the constitution of our country, that would further enhances the gaps between provinces and regions. We must learn to respect each other by considering all of us as equal citizens, as equal Pakistanis and providing every one a chance to participate in the debate with equal dignity without questioning her/his level of Pakistaniat! It seems a very mean thing to remind a person of his nationality (Pakistaniat) while she/he is debating a point in terms of academic discourse! Every one understands that not all the participants in the debate could be right. We could be wrong! But it doesn’t imply that we don’t think as Pakistanis!.

If I am showcasing the weaknesses, the faults, the troubles, the unfairness, the inequality of our system of our organizations, it is meant to be noted for correction, it is meant to be noted for improvement, it is meant to be noted for progress. We should get rid of that old feudo-military mindset that represses the ideas, that represses the creativity, and that considers every opponent ideas as enemy number one.

That said, I would present an example of how regional voice and concerns are being encouraged, supported and responded by the civilized societies of the world . Please respect the ancient civilization of our ingeniousness ancestors and refrain from further turning of our present society into militant society!

Courtesy: Sindhi e-lists/ e-groups, April 14, 2011

Let us strengthen Pakistan

Let us Unite to Uphold 18th Amendment including Devolution of HEC

By Khalid Hashmani

As more and more information comes out in the waning days of Higher Education Commission (HEC), most Sindhis are shocked to know that out of ten thousands (10,000) foreign and domestic scholarships that have been distributed by HEC so far, Sindh received only 892 (http://ejang.jang.com.pk/4-7-2011/Karachi/pic.asp?picname=99.gif). This amounts to about one third of the number that Sindh would have received even if the NFC award rules were applied. There is no province/ state or ethnic group anywhere in the world that has suffered as much as Sindhis have when it comes to scholarship opportunities in Pakistan. Instead of defending an institution that has denied Sindhis their due share in educational opportunities for so many years, we should be demanding trial of those officials who were responsible for denying Sindh its due share in scholarships. It is doubtful that an agency of such dreadful performance should even be given a role of standard setting and quality assurance. The Government of Pakistan should seriously consider creating a new agency with proper representation from each province/ state to oversee the jurisdictions that 18th Amendment allows at the federal level.

Continue reading Let us strengthen Pakistan

Unique Jashn-e-Holi, celebrated by Muslims and Hindus together in Sindh

Unique Holi event advocates harmony

HYDERABAD, March 23: Awami Tehrik President Ayaz Latif Palijo said on Wednesday that Hindus and Christians should be given equal rights and they should not be referred to as minorities or scheduled caste.

Addressing a big Holi function organised after several years by Sindhi Hindu Sujaag Tehrik at Sindh Museum which was also attended by a large number of Muslim women and children, Mr Palijo said that all religions preached peace, love and tolerance and Sindhi people would never accept extremism.

He said that history would never forgive those who had forced tens of thousands of Hindus to migrate from Sindh. Sindhi Hindus are natives of Sindh and they have been living here since thousands of years, he said, adding that Sindhi Muslims had always shared their joys and sorrows with Hindus.

He said the upper class of Sindh had always been opportunist and demanded that the Waderas who were responsible for the murder of Bhagat Kanwar Ram should tender an apology to Sindhi people.

MPA Chetan Mal said that despite hardships, Hindus would not leave Sindh.

A journalist Satram Maheshwari said that such programmes would go a long way in creating Hindu-Muslim harmony.  …

Read more : DAWN

Bhagat Singh Anniversary in Brampton, Canada

Every year the Indo-Canadian Workers Association marks the anniversary of Bhagat Singh’s martyrdom at the hands of the British Raj (on March 23, 1931). This year’s commemoration will be held on Sunday, March 27 at 2 p.m. at the Lester B. Pearson Theatre, 150 Central Park Drive, Brampton, Ontario, Canada. He was quickly rose through the ranks of the Hindustan Republican Association (HRA) and became one of its leaders, converting it to the Hindustan Socialist Republican Association (HSRA). Singh gained support when he underwent a 64-days fast in jail, demanding equal rights for Indian and British political prisoners. He was hanged by British Raj government on 23 March 1931.

The organizers of the event hope many of Indo-Pakistani- Bangladeshi-Canadians will be able to attend to pay the tribute and respect to this great hero of the Indian sub-continent (South Asia).

Sindh calls for separation of mosque and state

Call for separation of religion from state

SINDH – HYDERABAD, Feb 20: Leaders of nationalist and left-wing parties and prominent poets and writers have called for concrete efforts to curb fundamentalism and demanded separation of religion from state and equal rights for minorities.

Speaking at a seminar on ‘Religious extremism and black laws of Zia’s regime’ organised by the “Left Unity” at the press club here on Sunday, they stressed the need for a united front comprising all secular, nationalist and progressive forces for combating fundamentalism and promoting secularism.

Renowned intellectual Mohammad Ibrahim Joyo said that after independence the Quaid-i-Azam had unequivocally declared that religion would be the personal concern of the individual and every citizen of Pakistan would have equal rights. But successive governments in the country violated this principle.

Mr Joyo called upon the working class and oppressed people to unite to protect their rights.

He said Sindhis, Balochs and Pakhtuns were oppressed nations. He said that not only “black laws of the Zia regime” but all discriminatory laws should be repealed.

Left Unity secretary Buxal Thallo said that religious extremism was a threat for the country’s progress and called upon all political parties to launch a joint struggle against fundamentalism. …

Read more : DAWN

The International Day Against State Religion

Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. – Frederick Douglass

By Ghulam Mustafa Lakho

The best constitutional, non-violent and peaceful way to win the right of EQUAL CITIZENSHIP is to DEMAND repeal of the STATE RELIGION from the Constitution. I have the honor to propose “INTERNATIONAL DAY AGAINST STATE RELIGION.” Let us fix the 11th day of August as “INTERNATIONAL DAY AGAINST STATE RELIGION.” I hope that the foundation of such Day (IDASR) will set individuals and groups in motion to openly express their views against the State Religion. Let us urge all the countries of Europe and all the other civilized nations around the world including United Nations to recognize this DAY.

Read more : INTERNATIONAL DAY AGAINST STATE RELIGION

“Calculated persecution of religious minorities” under blasphemy and other laws

Concern voiced over intolerance

HYDERABAD, Dec 16: The Sindh Democratic Forum has expressed concern over rising religious intolerance and a new wave of “calculated persecution of religious minorities” under blasphemy and other laws, citing the case of Asia Bibi in Punjab and the recent case of Dr Noshad Walyani in Sindh.

A statement issued here on Thursday said the Constitution ensured equal rights to all citizens irrespective of religion, caste, creed and colour.

The SDF said it was feared that religious extremism and fundamentalism, which had already destroyed harmony in Punjab, and Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa, was now making inroads into Sindh, stressing the need for struggle to save “progressive values” in society.

The SDF as a civil society think-tank warns all such miscreants not to disturb or distort peace of Sindh which had been a cradle of peace for centuries.

Read more : DAWN

Human rights in Pakistan?

by Nizamuddin Nizamani

General Ziaul Haq organically changed the socio-political landscape of the state and turned the country’s mass into a ticking bomb by planting the seeds of religious fundamentalism. To counter the Movement for the Restoration of Democracy, he initiated a military operation in Sindh and created sectarian and ethnic militant groups in Karachi and other parts of the country

The world community celebrates Human Rights Day on December 10. The envisaged purpose seems to accept the truth that despite the claims of modern, scientific, human-friendly development and globalisation, still some heinous human rights violations are the order of the day in some regions, while realising the universal truth that all humans without discrimination have equal rights to live and develop.

It seems that the UN and related bodies have bitterly failed to guarantee access to basic amenities for common people globally in general and the global south specifically. Even the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) seems a distant dream. …

Read more : Daily Times

An approach to win equal rights for Sindhis in Pakistan

Preamble – “Leading towards Peace & Progress – Indus Peoples Forum (IPF)
Traversing through the yeras of history Sindh maintained its existence as an independent state even when invaders were ruling the large part of sub-continent. It maintained this status as recent as British Raj that merged Sindh into Bombay presidency in 1840s. Sindh played pivotal role in the struggle for Pakistan. Sindh Assembly was first in the sub-continent to adopt a resolution in favor of Pakistan in 1940. Sindhis wanted a Pakistan as envisioned in Resolution of 1940 and pinned their hopes in the new country.

However all the hopes were shattered with the passage of time. During initial years, vested interest forces took over the reins of power. Civil and military bureaucracy aligned with opportunist political forces to rule the country. These elements dominated all sorts of decision-making and alienated majority of people from the mainstream of the country. East Bengal, Sindh, Balochistan and NWFP (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa) were denied of their due share in federation. Bengalis parted their way after a bloody battle in 1971, Balochis faced a series of armed operations and Pakhtuns are struggling for their historic identity and rights. Whereas Sindh has been facing ceaseless stream of tyranny and injustice.

Continue reading An approach to win equal rights for Sindhis in Pakistan