Courtesy: Express Tv News » Daily Motion
Legendary Indian freedom fighter Bhagat Singh’s ancestral house, school and his village in Punjab Province in Pakistan will be restored for Rs 80 million. “We have allocated Rs 80 million for restoration of the house and school of Indian [Indo-Pak] Independence war hero Bhagat Singh. The amount will also be spent for the upliftment of Singh’s village, where clean drinking water is not available and drainage system is in a bad shape,” Faisalabad District Coordination Officer Noorul Amin Mengal told PTI.
Mengal said that people in Faisalabad “take pride in the fact that Bhagat Singh was the son of their soil” and want the place to be known as “the town of Bhagat Singh”. The celebrated revolutionary was born September 28, 1907 at Bangay village, Jaranwala Tehsil in the Faisalabad (then Lyallpur) district of the Province. Singh’s village, Bangay, some 150 kilometres from Lahore, would also become a tourist attraction for people, especially Indians, once his house is restored by this year end, he added.
“Singh’s village is just 35 kilometres from Nankana Sahib. It could be another point of attraction for the Sikh pilgrims,” he said. The government has also planned to shift Singh’s belongings from Faisalabad Museum and Library to his house, he added.
As the furore over the arrest of a minor Christian girl over blasphemy charge is yet to die down, the body of an 11-year-old boy from the minority community, bearing torture marks, was found in Faisalabad city of Pakistan’s Punjab province Wednesday, police said.
Samuel Yaqoob, a resident of the Christian Colony of Faisalabad, 100 km from Lahore, was brutally tortured before being killed. He had been missing since the evening of August 20, when he had stepped out of his home to go to the market. Yaqoob’s burnt body was found near a drain of the Christian Colony Wednesday. His lips, nose and belly were cut off and he could hardly be recognised as his body was badly burnt, relatives said.
By Kamran Shafi
So then, our ‘assets’ have attacked the extremely high security installation, the Kamra Airbase and Pakistan Aeronautical Complex killing one soldier and damaging an aircraft or two. Whilst earlier reports said that one terrorist had been captured alive, we are now being told that all eight, some say nine, have been killed.
If I had anything to do with the investigations, I would certainly look into the matter of the death of the terrorist caught alive, because you see, just like Mehran, I suspect that this was an inside job too.
There is a report also that says all the attackers were foreigners while others say only one was. Be which as it may this only proves the point that there is a collection of terrorists from across the Muslim world congregated in Fata and comfortably embedded with said ‘assets’.
Now then, after all of the attacks this country has suffered at the Taliban’s hands: Kamra; POFs; Sakesar; GHQ; Hamza Camp; ISI buses; Parade Lane; ISI HQs in Lahore and Faisalabad; Moon Market; Marriott; Lahore Cantonment; Mehran airbase; Lt Gen Mushtaq’s brutal murder in Rawalpindi; Peshawar Meena Bazaar and many others, this is still not our fight; not OUR war? Till when will we live in denial, friends, till when will we call these murdering brutes our ‘assets’?
Lahore: Labour Party of Pakistan announced a joint protest demonstration tomorrow on Wednesday May 23, 2012 in Lahore against the killings of political activists of Mohabat-e-Sindh rally. The demonstration is jointly organised by Workers Party, Labour Party and Awami Party in close associations with social movements and organisations and trade unions at 4.30pm at Shimla Pehari Lahore.
In a press statement, Younas Rahu general secretary Labour Party Pakistan condemned the attack of the MQM gangsters on a peaceful rally of Awami Tehreek killing over 12 and dozens were injured. Labour Party is in complete solidarity with people of Sindh and Awami Tehreek and calls on its activists to demonstrate every where in PAKISTAN, he said. LPP in cooperation with its sister organisations is also organising demonstrations in Hyderabad, and Faisalabad.
Labour Party Pakistan, 25 A Davis Road Lahore, Pakistan
Islamo-meter in the courts…and Anjuman Shahzadi
By Omar Ali
Back in the 1980, General Zia was “Islamizing” Pakistan, primarily by having several thousand people flogged (mostly for political offences..including a barber in,if i remember correctly, Faisalabad, for putting up Zia’s picture as one of the available hairstyles). I happened to chat with Sharif Sabir Sahib, an observant, reasonably orthodox Muslim (known as “Molvi Sharif Sabir”) and a great scholar of Punjabi (who also taught Persian). I asked him what he thought of this Islamization? He said “son, take an islamo-meter to the district court. The day it registers an even slightly positive reading, I will personally wash Zia’s feet with rose water”. Of course, both of us knew this was a safe bet.
Osama Sameer surveys how things look in the district courts today, further down the winding road that is taking us away from British India and towards Pakistan, fortress of Islam.
I am not posting this to help “the world understand us better”. How “the world” understands us is the least of our problems. Frankly (and I hope this does not strike anyone as rude) that is the sort of bullshit that buffoon Musharraf was known for. The idea that “the world” has misunderstood our lovable self. That if we can somehow “promote our soft image” (this was a phrase Mushie used several thousand times) and show the world that we paint trucks, we pray in petrol stations, we walk half naked down catwalks, then all will be well. I think this whole shtick is meaningless in the larger scheme of things. The world that matters (the people who start wars, sell oil, buy countries) doesnt care about any of that and neither do most Pakistanis. All of that is neither problem nor solution. Even the s0-called “ideology of Pakistan” (which i attack at every opportunity and Samosa and Riaz Haq sahib will defend till they have something more urgent to do) is a problem mostly because taking it seriously causes other, more real problems. If we can confine it to schoolbooks (preferably grade 5 and below) we can safely ignore it.
btw, If the world wants to understand ”moderate Islamic Pakistani” closer to street level, here is a Pakistani Mujra (an art form slightly older than catwalk modelling) by Anjuman Shahzadi, complete with “Hajji brothers” logo proudly displayed in the background (Hajji means someone who has been for Haj to Mecca). She died last year, apparently of infection and diabetes. Who knows.
She could be incredibly crude:
Read more » Brown Pundits
Ahmadis: The lightning rod that attracts the most hatred
Pakistani Ahmadis today live in constant fear and humiliation. So much so, the hatred has permeated into each and every slice of society and the oppressors have become more vocal and aggressive.– Illutration by Faraz Aamer Khan
By Zofeen T. Ebrahim, DAWN.COM
A month after ten Ahmadi students were expelled from two schools in the village of Dharinwala, in Faisalabad district, all have been put back to school, not in there old ones, but in two schools in Hafizabad, thanks to Khalil Ahmad, father and grandfather of four students who were among those expelled.
“I managed to get all of them enrolled in two schools in the nearby city of Hafizabad,” he said talking to Dawn.com over phone from his village.
But it’s not been easy. Most parents of the expelled children are too poor, so Ahmed volunteered to pay for their admissions, their books and stationery. And that is not all. He, with the help of his two sons, makes sure they drop and pick all of them on a motorbike, doing turns.
In one school, the principal knows he has given admission to Ahmadi students but the educator believes faith should not come in the way of those seeking education. “In the other the principal has not been told,” Ahmed revealed.
Sadly, all during this episode, the government has remained a quiet bystander, as always.
It is not the first time that students have been expelled from an educational institution in Punjab because of their religious affiliations, remarked Bushra Gohar, a parliamentarian belonging to the secular Awami National Party. According to Gohar, her party members had condemned the expulsion of students belonging to the Ahmadiyya community each time on the floor of the house. “However, a protest or condemnation from the parties leading in the Punjab has not been forthcoming,” she said.
For far too long, Pakistani students belonging to this minority community have been facing various forms of discrimination based on their faith.
“This tidal wave against the Ahmadiyya education shows no sign of ebbing,” Saleemuddin, the spokesperson of the Ahmaddiya Jammat, told Dawn.com.
He said after 1984, when the government promulgated the anti Ahmadiyya ordinance, both the government and the clerics have been trying their utmost to punish them in various ways.
“Ahmadi lecturers were posted away to distant locations and some were not allowed to teach. Ahmadi principals and headmasters were replaced. Ahmadi students were deprived admission in professional colleges. They were refused accommodation in attached hostels. They suffered attacks by extremist elements on campuses.”
According to the Asian Human Rights Commission, the Islami Jamiat Talaba, the student wing of the Islami Jamiat has been tasked to cleanse the educational institutions, including universities and professional colleges of Ahmadi students.
Hasan Ahmed, who was among the 23 students who were expelled from Punjab Medical College, in Faisalabad, back in 2008, can never forget the stressful event and how “night after night, for over a month” he kept stressing over the events that turned his settled student life all topsy-turvy.
“I knew it happened to others, so was not completely caught unawares,” Hasan acknowledged. He is at present completing his house job in Lahore, keeping an “ultra busy schedule”.
Eventually all were re-instated in some college or another. “After months of waiting, just before exam, my friend was sent to Bahawalpur while I went off to a distant place of Rahimyar Khan in a college of lower merit,” narrated Hasan.
After a gargantuan effort, he was finally allowed to appear in exams from Lahore and then got admitted to Allama Iqbal Medical College, in Lahore.
“To be in a state of flux was the worst part of this episode specially since exams were approaching and I didn’t know which place I was to appear from,” said Hasan.
He expressed that till the identity of an Ahmadi remains undisclosed “he remains safe”.
But that is sadly not the case if you are living in Pakistan. People are culturally nosy and want to know your cast and sect. “Eventually they end up finding that you are an Ahmadi. Once they know, you can feel a change of attitude and it just takes a mischief maker to exploit others’ feelings against you,” said Hasan.
Till Hina Akram’s faith remained unknown to her teacher in Faislabad’s National Textile University, she was considered a star student. But after it became known she belonged to the Ahmadiyya community, she faced so much faith-based harassment that she had to quit studies.
“I was told to convert to Islam,” said Hina, who was studying in the sixth semester of her BSc.
“I was handed some anti-Ahmadiyya literature to read, offered a refuge in Muslim home. But when she told the teacher she was an Ahmadi by choice he called her an infidel and warned her of severe consequences.
“You will face such a fire of animosity in the campus that not even the vice chancellor will be able to help you,” he threatened her.
True to his word, a hate campaign was initiated and a social boycott began. Out of college, she is desperately trying to go abroad. Her fate remains in balance.
But it’s not just the education aspect where the anti-Ahmadiyya lobby is hitting, said Saleemuddin. Since 1984, some 208 faith-based killings have taken place. The persecution against the community has surged following the May 28, 2010 massacre of 94 members of the community in Lahore.
After the four million Ahmadis were officially declared non-Muslims in 1984 by the state, they cannot call themselves Muslims or go to mosques. They cannot be overheard praising Prophet Mohammad. To add insult to injury, every Pakistani who claims to be a Muslim and owns a passport has declared that he or she considers them to be non-Muslims and their leader an imposter prophet.
Pakistani Ahmadis today live in constant fear and humiliation. So much so, the hatred has permeated into each and every slice of society and the oppressors have become more vocal and aggressive.
“The extremist elements are getting more and more powerful because of Saudi-US influence and the government’s policy of appeasement,” said I.A. Rehman, General Secretary Human Rights Commission of Pakistan.
“The Ahmadis are already the worst persecuted minority in our country – and things for them appear to be growing worse as hatred and intolerance spread,” Kamila Hyat, a journalist and a rights activist echoed the same sentiments. “The lack of enforcement of laws to prevent the preaching of hatred adds to the problem,” she added.
Saleemuddin said by allowing the extremist clerics to hold anti-Ahmadiyya rallies and conferences, the government is adding fuel to this venom. “People are openly instigated to kill us in the name of Islam,” he said.
“Violence and the advance of bigotry, prejudice and hate against minorities have never really been met with the resolve needed to remove impunity from the social equation in Pakistan,” Sherry Rehman, a legislator belonging to the ruling Pakistan People’s Party, agreed.
Instead, she told Dawn.com what is seen is an “expansion in the space for religious and sectarian apartheids, which has led now to heinous acts of brutality and exclusion of many, particularly Ahmadis.”
She warned: “This is a dangerous trend that conflates national identity with religion.”
Perhaps that is one reason why Pervez Hoodbhoy expresses: “Today, when religion has become so central in matters of the state, they [Ahmadis] do not stand a chance in Pakistan of getting rights, respect, and dignity. The overdose of religion given to young Pakistanis in their schools and homes means that nothing matters more than which religion and sect you belong to. Ahmadis are the lightning rod that attracts more hatred than any other sect.”
For its part rights groups like the Human Rights Watch (HRW) and the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) say they have “repeatedly” raised the issue of “state tolerated persecution”.
“We are urging authorities to intervene in each case,” said Rehman. “But the situation is getting worse day by day.
Terming it “abhorrent and self defeating” when society allows “for the dehumanization of Ahmadis or Christians or the Shia for that matter, it is effectively cannibalizing itself,” said Ali Dayan Hasan, Pakistan director of HRW.
“The federal government expresses regret at incidents but has made clear its unwillingness to repeal or amend discriminatory laws,” said HRW spokesperson.
Given the current intolerance, the fate of the new generation of Pakistani Ahmadis looks “quite bleak” said Rehman.
Even Hoodbhoy said: “For years, Ahmadis, Hindus, and Christians have been desperately seeking to flee Pakistan. They would be foolish to want to stay,” said Hoodbhoy.
This fails to dampen young Hasan’s spirits. He thinks the future looks “brighter than ever before”.
“Even if the situation is made worse in Pakistan, this does not mean the future is not bright. It’s a matter of time before we start getting equal rights in this country.
Often when they get together, the young Ahmadis discuss the “bitter realities” they have to face as Pakistanis.
“But we don’t want to leave our country at the juncture that it is at,” said a patriotic Hasan. This is because the contribution of the Ahmadi community towards building of Pakistan has been immense,” he said with conviction.
He said recently their leader urged all Ahmadis of the world to “fast once a week and pray” especially for the prosperity of Pakistan.”
Zofeen T. Ebrahim is a freelance journalist.
Courtesy » DAWN.COM
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
On Tuesday morning, Arif Mubashir called his teenage daughters to his room and shot them while the rest of the family, including their mother, watched. His wife Musarrat called the police after the incident.
Mubashir shot the girls after their brother said two of them were in a relationship. He told police officials that he had killed his daughters because they were both “without honour”. The man said his daughters Sameena, 14, and Razia, 16, were in a relationship with college boys from the neighbourhood and the sisters had helped each other. “I should have been told immediately but the girls sided with each other. They were both corrupt,” Mubashir told Tandlianwala Police Inspector Javed Sial.
Police officials have taken Mubashir into custody and filed a case against him. “He does not regret what he did. He boasted that he would do it all over again if he had to,” Sial told reporters.
Pakistan has repeatedly been termed as one of the least women-friendly countries. In June, the Thompson Reuters Foundation ranked Pakistan as the world’s third most dangerous country for women.
Courtesy: → The Express Tribune
Dog & Donkey’s Meat Sellers Arrested in Faisalabad
Health department arrested two butchers who were selling the meat of Donkey in Faisalabad.
DCO Naseem Sadiq launched a campaign against unhygienic meat in district due to gastric diseases in Chat 35-RB last week. Doctors told the diseases are increasing due to the sale of donkey and dog meat in district.
15 butchers were arrested in a raids of Health Depart who were selling unhygienic meat or water-fed meat. Two of them are behind the bars who admitted selling donkey meat. They were selling the meat much cheaper then the market rates.
More than 30 people admitted in different hospitals of area for vomiting and gastric symptoms after eating the meat. Lab attendant Mubashar told that people suffered because they were not used to such meat and when the samples of meat tested in lab, results came as the meat of dog or donkeys.
Two suppliers arrested who were supplying the meat of dog and donkey to meat sellers. Raid officers took more than 100 kilograms meat in the custody and destroyed the entire stock.
Livestock district officer Dr. Abdur Rehman told that the patients in Allied hospitals pointed two butchers who had been selling the donkey meat. When we started asking from patients we realized that most of the patients bought the meat from the two meat sellers. Upon investigation it was discovered that they were selling dog and donkey meat.
The Egyptian army is no different than its counterparts in the developing countries. After a peace treaty with Israel, the Egyptian army’s sole function was to maintain a corrupt and unjust economic system in which a small section of society owned most of the national wealth. As time goes by, the Egyptian military’s obstructive role will become clearer
Many Pakistanis have been wistfully looking towards the Tahrir Square uprising and questioning why the same cannot be done in Pakistan. These uprisings have happened many times in Pakistan, whereby army dictators were forced out of power by popular movements of one kind or the other. However, the people did not experience any improvement in their living conditions or even civil liberties during democratic periods. By now they are disillusioned and do not know against whom they should rise.
The Ayub Khan era was not as long as Hosni Mubarak’s but the democratic rights in Egypt were almost the same as those in Pakistan of that time. Ayub Khan was secular and an enemy of the Jamaat-e-Islami like Hosni Mubarak was against the Muslim Brotherhood. Up until 1967, Ayub Khan had such a strong grip on Pakistan that it appeared as if his family would rule for generations just like a few months back, Hosni Mubarak’s son seemed all prepared to take over Egypt by the next elections. However, a small incident in Rawalpindi Polytechnic Institute, in which some students were killed, triggered such a popular movement that Ayub Khan was out in a few months. In a way that incident was not unique because the then Governor of West Pakistan, Amir Mohammad Khan, the Nawab of Kalabagh, was notorious for his repressive techniques. However, the masses were fed up with Ayub Khan’s rule and a mammoth movement was born in both parts of the country. Sheikh Mujibur Rehman and Zulfikar Ali Bhutto became the leading forces in East and West Pakistan respectively.
The people who had seen massive crowds on both sides of the GT Road, from Rawalpindi to Multan — making a human chain of hundreds of miles — would agree that the scene was not any less impressive than what we have seen in Tahrir Square in the last few weeks. Just like in the Egyptian uprising, the political environment was so tolerant and non-discriminatory that several Ahmedis were elected to the provincial and national assemblies. In short, what we are seeing in Egypt now did happen in Pakistan some 40 years back.
Now, if we skip the details of the Movement for the Restoration of Democracy (MRD) against Ziaul Haq, which brought back the PPP and PML-N, and jump to the 2007 movement for an independent judiciary, we see another Tahrir Square-style uprising. Once again, the people turned the GT Road into a Tahrir Square as Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry’s motorcade made its way to Faisalabad/Lahore from Rawalpindi in 24 hours. Once again, the people’s movement forced General Musharraf to quit power and run away from the country. But what did people get from the democracy they struggled for so many times?
In a way, the Egyptian uprising for democracy was not as mature as Pakistani democratic movements. …
Read more : Wichaar
Police search for the man who allegedly forced his two wives into prostitution.
Pakistan – FAISALABAD: Seven girls, one chained, were recovered from a house in street no 5 of Sakhi Sarwarabad area on Monday after the mother of one of the girls and local residents broke into the house and released them. …
Read more : The Express Tribune
Faisalabad: Several workers have been injured by police tear gas shelling and firing and stone throwing. Rana Tahir, district president of Labour Qaumi Movement is one of them. Over 100 workers have been arrested so for. Workers are out in thousands from different parts of Faisalabad to reach the city center.
(RTTNews) – Suspected Islamist militants shot dead two Christian brothers charged with blasphemy in the Pakistani city of Faisalabad, 260 kilometers south of the capital Islamabad on Monday, reports said.
The incident occurred as the duo–Pastor Rashid Emmanuel and Sajjid Emmanuel– was being taken back to jail after an appearance at a local court in connection with the case.
It was on July 2 that the two were arrested by the police after Muslims accused them of making blasphemous remarks on the Prophet (pbuh) in pamphlets.
Strangely, the names of the two accused are said to have been printed at the bottom of the pamphlets along with their phone numbers. Further evidence of the charges being ‘trumped up’ came to light as handwriting experts found that the writing on the pamphlets did not match either that of Rashid’s or Sajjid’s handwriting.
Critics of the blasphemy law– first introduced by former Pakistan President Gen. Zia-ul-Haq to woo ultra-conservative sections of the Pakistani society—have long held that it was being misused to settle personal scores.
A recent report from the US State Department on religious freedom in Pakistan says it had become a convenient tool for persecuting the country’s religious minorities.