Tag Archives: Governor

GOVERNOR OF PUNJAB’S APPOINTMENT- A joint encounter of PML-F & PML-N

Nawab Ali RahooBy: Nawab Ali Rahoo, Hyderabad, Sindh

Recent move initiated by PPP led by President Zardari of appointing Makhdom Syed Ahmed Mehmood as Governor of Punjab Province is a multi purpose stroke jointly addressing the PML-F & PML-N both the parties. PML-F led by Pir Sahib Pagaro has recently conducted a mammoth public gathering in Hyderabad, Sindh which has lucidly placed PML-F as an emerging substitute to PPP in Sindh. The reputation & political strength of said party is increasing in leaps & bounds. People from all walks of life are joining PML-F. Since the day PPP- MQM coalition introduced SPLGO in Sindh Assembly, PML- F along with a few opposed it dynamically. This shift of PML-F from government batches to opposition was not only admired by the masses but was warmly welcomed also. Seeing this popular acceptance by the people of Sindh Pir Sahib gathered all nationalists & the parties who were against it instead of reviving previous alliance with PPP and vowed to fight with government till the withdrawal of Dual local Government Bill. PPP has tried a lot to settle the matters with PML-F but could not resolve.

As the momentum of criticizing PPP govt: in general & the Dual local Govt: Bill in particular is high. In this context a recent massive public gathering was organized by PML-F at Hyderabad on 14th of instant .Surprisingly to know that there a personality appeared as vehement & stiff critic of PPP that was nothing else but upcoming Governor Syed Ahmed Mehmood, who informed the audience that he, was coming directly from London chiefly to attend this public gathering. The said public gathering of PML-F caused PPP leadership restless. As Makhdom A. Mehmood was President of Punjab PML-F and is said to be relative of the former Prime Minister Yousif Raza Gilani as well as of Pir Sahib Pagara.

With in seven days (decision /consent of the incumbent reported on 21st of instant) of time the cards of game got quietly changed. The breeze of lust & power swept all affiliations and promises shortly made. The sources disclosed that despite refusal of Pir Pagaro for not attaining the post offered, Makhdom Mehmood was inclined to be the Governor calling it the wish of his father thus Pir Sahib demanded resignation which was tendered by him instantly.

Continue reading GOVERNOR OF PUNJAB’S APPOINTMENT- A joint encounter of PML-F & PML-N

NO TO DIVISION OF SINDH

Sindh Bachayo Committee & other Parties Declaration

People of Sindh will never accept such a draconian law and resist it with full might and force.

A representative meeting of Sindh bachayo committee was held here today with Sayed Jalal Mehmood Shah, convener of the SBC in chair.

The meeting took stock of the situation arising out of present Local Government issue and deliberated on its sinister effects on the unity and harmony of Sindh.

The meeting was of the opinion that PPP Government second attempt to bring about new Local Government law in the province amounted to sabotaging the unity of Sindh and relegating the status of Sindh to a post office.

It said that last year on August 5, same effort was made to divide Sindh administratively and deprive it of its authority but same was foiled by the Sindh Bachayo Committee by its historic protest and strike on 13th August 2011.

It said that the PPP government has again attacked the unity of Sindh by issuing extra constitutional and illegal ordinance in the darkness of night. Such an action was akin to declaring martial law because martial laws have been dedared in the darkness of night.

Continue reading NO TO DIVISION OF SINDH

Bangladesh and now Independent Baluchistan

by Syed Atiq ul Hassan

Pakistani politicians and army officials blamed people of East Pakistan as being burden on Pakistan’s treasury. They were called coward and beggars. Today, Bangladeshi economy is better than Pakistan’s. Today Bangladeshi Taka is better than the Pakistani Rupee in international market. Today, Pakistan is begging Bangladesh to play cricket in Pakistan with assurance to provide them full security so that the Pakistani image can be restored for holding international cricket events in Pakistan.

There is no question that the situation in Baluchistan is alarming and needs urgent attention….Military operation cannot be the solution – Pakistan should not forget what happened in East Pakistan.”

First East Pakistan to Bangladesh and now towards Baluchistan to Independent Baluchistan, political reasons may be un-identical but the tale of injustices; ignorance and autocratic behaviour of Pakistani establishment and civilian federal bureaucracy remain the same.

Continue reading Bangladesh and now Independent Baluchistan

Pakistan is beautiful – and it’s mine

By Shehrbano Taseer

2011 was a bleak year for Pakistan — even by its own harrowing standards.

My father, Governor SalmaanTaseer, was assassinated by his own fanatical security guard in January for his stand on Pakistan’s cruel blasphemy laws, and minorities minister Shahbaz Bhatti, the only Christian in the federal cabinet, was gunned down in March allegedly by the Punjabi Taliban for holding a similar view. In April, five of the six men accused of gang raping village woman Mukhtar Mai on the orders of a village council of elders were set free by the Supreme Court. Since the sexual assault on her in 2001, Mai has braved death threats to have her victimisers punished. She has appealed the verdict, but the court, it is widely believed, is unlikely to reverse the acquittal.

In May, Pakistanis around the world hung their heads in shame as Osama bin Laden was found and killed in sleepy, sedate Abbottabad, a stone’s throw from our premier military academy where Army Chief General Ashfaq Pervaiz Kayani spoke just weeks earlier declaring that the “terrorists’ back” had been broken.Then the tortured body of journalist Saleem Shahzad was discovered and suspicion fell on the country’s intelligence services. Pakistan had yet to recover from the devastation wrought by the 2010 floods when the August monsoons inundated Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan, and especially Sindh affecting tens of million of people. My older brother, Shahbaz, was kidnapped on August 26. It’s January 2012 now and he is still missing.

These are just some of the highlights from a ruefully eventful year. All of these events played out against the cacophonous discord that we have become accustomed to: target killings, routine disappearances in Kashmir and Balochistan, suicide bombings, riots decrying the overall economic condition of the country, protests mourning the loss of Pakistan’s sovereignty, the unsettling hum of rote learning at poisonous madrassas.

But there’s nothing that’s bad about Pakistan that can’t be fixed by what’s good about it. The narrative of lost hope is a tired one.

After the Arab Spring, the first question I was asked by journalists and interviewers was “When will it be Pakistan’s turn?”. General Zia tried hard to convince us that we’re Arabs, but we clearly are not. Watching Muammar Qaddafi’s bloodied and bullet-riddled body paraded up and down streets as protesters cheered, and seeing desperate dictators inflict violence on their own people, I realised that in many ways Pakistan is far ahead. Our transition from a dictatorship to a democracy was relatively smooth — no bloodshed, no political prisoners, no violence. And in 2010 — long before the Arab Spring — Pakistan’s nascent democracy returned the powers usurped by dictators back to parliament with the 18th Amendment to the Constitution, passed unanimously in parliament. As a people, we are more critical, more engaged. We believe in peaceful evolution of existing structures, not revolution. A record number of people have registered to vote in the upcoming elections and the deadline isn’t even up yet. We’ve snatched our democracy back and we’re not letting it go.

Continue reading Pakistan is beautiful – and it’s mine

Pro-democracy protest: Protestors threaten civilian unrest if govt toppled

LAHORE: Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and the Civil Society Network and Center for Peace protested against the judiciary and army on Thursday, warning the two institutions of civilian unrest if they tried to topple the PPP led coalition government.

Talking to The Express Tribune, Abdullah Malik, advisor to the Punjab governor, said that “The participants sensing the current democratic to be in danger have decided to come out on the roads to show their solidarity with the democracy.”

He added that only people had the right to change the government through their vote in a democracy and not the judge or the generals.

PPP members along with prominent representatives of civil society demonstrated in favour of the current democratic government at the Liberty roundabout.

Participants warned the judiciary and army that if it tried to topple the PPP led coalition government by using the Memogate affair as an excuse, then the civil society will protest on the streets.

Civil Society Network and Center for Peace members, including IA Rehman, Hussain Naqi, Shah Taj Qizilbash, Abdullah Malik along with South Asia Free Media Association’s (SAFMA) Anjum Rashid, Imtiazul Haq, Shoaib Adil and Amina Malik participated in the demonstration.

Other PPP members at the protest included Deputy Parliamentary Leader in the Punjab Assembly, Azma Bukhari and Altaf Qureshi. …

Read more » The Express Tribune

PAKISTAN – Roses for a killer

Can Pakistan step back from the brink?

One year ago, Pakistan was shaken when leading politician Salman Taseer was murdered by his own bodyguard. His violent death and the lack of government response were merely the beginning of a turbulent year for the country. Writer Ahmed Rashid considers whether Pakistan can step back from the brink in 2012.

The death of Salman Taseer, governor of Punjab province, now appears as both the start and the symbol of the political, economic and social unravelling of Pakistan that has taken place since that fateful 4 January day.

The gruesome aftermath of his death, when the governing Pakistan People’s Party, the army, the mullahs and civil society appeared to deny the reality of what had happened, made many Pakistanis ashamed of their rulers.

Roses for a killer

Mumtaz Qadri, an elite police force member, pumped 27 bullets into the politician as he was walking back to his car after lunch at an Islamabad restaurant. ….

Read more » BBC

Husain Haqqani interview: ‘If I leave my house, I fear I will be killed’

Husain Haqqani, Pakistan’s embattled former ambassador to Washington, fears he will be murdered if he leaves his sanctuary in the official residence of the country’s prime minister Yusuf Raza Gilani.

By Dean Nelson, South Asia Editor

In an exclusive interview with The Daily Telegraph on Tuesday, he said he has been branded a ‘traitor’ and a ‘Washington lackey’ by ‘powerful quarters’ – a reference to the country’s powerful ISI intelligence agency – and that he now fears he will be murdered like his friend, the late governor of Punjab, Salman Taseer, who was shot dead by one of his own security guards last year after being branded a ‘blasphemer.’ ….

Read more » the telegraph.co.uk

PAKISTAN: Killers are waiting for me, says Zardari aide

By Dean Nelson

Husain Haqqani, Pakistan’s embattled former ambassador to Washington, fears he will be murdered if he leaves his sanctuary in the official residence of the country’s prime minister, Yusuf Raza Gilani.

In an exclusive interview with The Daily Telegraph yesterday (Tuesday), he said he had been branded a traitor and a “Washington lackey” by “powerful quarters”: a reference to the country’s powerful Inter-Services Intelligence agency.

He said that he feared he would be murdered like his friend Salman Taseer, the late governor of Punjab, who was shot dead by one of his own security guards last year after being branded a “blasphemer”. Mr Haqqani was forced to resign last year after a Pakistani-American businessman claimed to have been asked by the then ambassador to pass on a memo to the American government calling for help to oust Islamabad’s military leadership. ….

Read more » http://www.theaustralianeye.com/news/killers-are-waiting-for-me-says-zardari-aide-aoi35814190.html

Punjab PPP to counter ‘hard times’

Faryal mobilises Punjab PPP to counter ‘hard times’

LAHORE – The Pakistan People’s party (PPP) Punjab has activated itself against what it called conspiracies against democracy and the democratic government and reposed complete confidence in President Asif Zardari.

In this regard, President Zardari’s sister Faryal Talpur held a party meeting at the Punjab Governor’s House on Saturday. The party meeting passed a resolution against undemocratic elements. Addressing the parliamentary party meeting, she asked the PPP leaders to prepare themselves for hard times and urged them to increase mass contact …

Read more » Pakistan Today

The judge, who had handed down two death sentences to Mumtaz Qadri for killing Punjab governor Salman Taseer, has left Pakistan along with his family after receiving death threats from jihadis

Qadri case judge sent abroad

by Zulqernain Tahir

LAHORE: The district and sessions judge, who had handed down two death sentences to Mumtaz Qadri for killing Punjab governor Salman Taseer, has left for Saudi Arabia along with his family after receiving death threats from extremists.

“The death threats have forced Judge Pervez Ali Shah to leave the country along with his family for Saudi Arabia,” Advocate Saiful Malook, the special prosecutor in the Qadri case, told Dawn on Monday.

He said sensing the gravity of the situation the government had arranged the lodging of Mr Shah and members of his family abroad. “Although security was provided to the judge and his family members, the government on the reports of law-enforcement agencies opted for sending him abroad,” he said.

There were also unconfirmed reports that extremist elements in religious parties had fixed the head money for the judge. “There were such reports but there was a potential threat to the life of Mr Shah and his family members,” he said.

Mr Malook said he also had been receiving threats to his life and urged the government to arrange adequate security. “The government has deployed only two policemen for my security which is not adequate,” he said.

Judge Pervez Ali Shah had said in his verdict: “No-one can be given the licence to kill anyone in any condition, therefore, the killer cannot be pardoned as he has committed a heinous crime.”

Assassin Qadri, a constable in the Punjab Police Elite Force, tried to justify the murder by stating that he had killed Mr Taseer for supporting Aasia Bibi, a Christian woman who the slain governor had projected as having been wrongly convicted of blasphemy. Qadri, who was on duty to guard Taseer, gunned him down outside a restaurant in Islamabad on Jan 4 this year. ….

Read more » DAWN.COM

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Courtesy » Aaj News Tv (Bolta Pakistan with Nusrat Javed and Mushtaq Minhas – 25th October 2011)

via » ZemTv » YouTube

MQM moved Rs. 20 Billion to UK : Abid Sher Ali

Abid sher Ali showed documents on “off the Record with Kashif Abbasi” 13/10/2011 that MQM transfered Rs20 Billion to the UK stolen from the funds. He said he is going to register a case in NAB as soon as NAB Chairman is appointed and NAB start to function again.

He also accused MQM to provide accountability of Rs 3 trillion Musharraf gave to MQM during his period for the uplift and development of Karachi. This is a serious amount of money. No wonder the first two conditions MQM placed to the Government when the re-join are:

1- Implementation of Nazim system in Karachi and Hyderabad.

2- No Audit of the Funds given in the past. ….

Courtesy: ARY News Tv (Off The Record with Kashif Abbasi, 13th October 2011)

Via » Siasat.pkYouTube

Source → http://www.siasat.pk/forum/showthread.php?84020-MQM-moved-Rs.-20-Billion-to-UK-Abid-Ali-Sher

Rs30m demanded for Taseer’s son release

– By: Jam Sajjad Hussain

LAHORE – Commander Arif of Tehrik Taliban Pakistan (TTP) is holding the fate of Shahbaz Taseer, son of slain Governor Punjab Salman Taseer, demanding Rs 30 million as ransom money for his safe return, The Nation has learnt reliably.

Shahbaz Taseer, has been hidden somewhere in the provincial capital since his abduction, whereas his cell phone is being used by his abductors from Razmak, which is one of the three sub-divisions of North Waziristan Agency. ….

Read more → The Nation

The killer has no remorse

– Salmaan Taseer case: No remorse as defence wraps up arguments

By Mudassir Raja

RAWALPINDI: In their concluding remarks on Saturday, lawyers representing Malik Mumtaz Qadri, the self-confessed killer of former Punjab governor Salmaan Taseer, tried to justify the high-profile assassination by saying the governor’s conduct was “unbecoming of a Muslim”.

Special Judge Anti-Terrorism Court-II Pervez Ali Shah put off the hearing in the case until October 1 after the lawyers representing Qadri said that if their client had not killed Taseer, someone else would have.

Special Public Prosecutor in the case, Saiful Malook, was absent from court on Saturday, though he is likely to make the prosecuting case on the next date of hearing.

Talking to the media after attending the hearing in Adiala Jail, Advocate Raja Shujaur Rehman, representing the accused, said they had argued before the court that the action of Qadri was as instantaneous as the statements of a public figure like the Punjab governor had been provocative. He added that Taseer’s conduct was against the sentiments of the common man.

The lawyer said the accused himself had tried to justify his act by presenting different passages of the Quran and Islamic teachings against blasphemy.

The governor’s statements against blasphemy laws, Rehman said, were also against the laws of the country but state machinery did not take any legal action against him.

Courtesy: →  The Express Tribune, September 25th, 2011.

Faith based Killing no crime – Jamaat e Islami

– Taseer`s killer committed no crime: JI

PESHAWAR, Feb 2: Jamaat-i-Islami Senator Prof Muhammad Ibrahim said on Wednesday that former Punjab governor Salmaan Taseer was responsible for his comments about the blasphemy law, which led to his killing, and the accused Malik Mumtaz Qadri should be released.

“The accused Malik Mumtaz Qadri has committed no crime and he should be released,” said Prof Ibrahim, who is also the JI provincial amir, while speaking at a press conference at Al-Markaz-i-Islami here.

He asked the government to stop supporting Nato forces and reject American pressure for military operations in parts of the country. He expressed grave concern over the killing of three Pakistani citizens by an American national in Lahore and asked for awarding capital punishment to him. ….

Read more → DAWN.COM

Sikhs kept out of their own temple for Shab-e-Barat

By Abdul Manan

LAHORE: The Sikh community in Lahore have been prevented from observing a religious celebration at a gurdwara, their musical equipment thrown out and their entry barred, after a religious group persuaded the Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) that celebrating the Muslim holy day of Shab-e-Barat was more important than the Sikh religious festival.

Police have been deployed outside the temple to prevent the Sikhs from conducting their religious ceremonies until the end of Shab-e-Barat, which falls on July 18 this year. The Sikh community wanted to commemorate an eighteenth-century saint on July 16.

The Gurdwara Shaheed Bhai Taru Singh, in Naulakha Bazaar, Lahore, is built to honour the memory of a Sikh saint who was executed in 1745 on the orders of the Mughal governor of Punjab, Zakaria Khan. Every July, the Sikh community has held religious ceremonies to commemorate his sacrifice in the service of humanity.

While the temple was taken over by the ETPB after Partition, the Sikh community had been allowed to continue using it with relatively few restrictions. …

Read more → THE EXPRESS TRIBUNE

Aatish Taseer, the son of an assassinated Pakistani leader, explains the history and hysteria behind a deadly relationship

– Why My Father Hated India

By AATISH TASEER

Ten days before he was assassinated in January, my father, Salman Taseer, sent out a tweet about an Indian rocket that had come down over the Bay of Bengal: “Why does India make fools of themselves messing in space technology? Stick 2 bollywood my advice.”

My father was the governor of Punjab, Pakistan’s largest province, and his tweet, with its taunt at India’s misfortune, would have delighted his many thousands of followers. It fed straight into Pakistan’s unhealthy obsession with India, the country from which it was carved in 1947. …

Read more → THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

MQM Will Soon Rejoin the PPP led Coalition Government

PPP, MQM talks in final stages: Govt sources

ISLAMABAD: Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) will soon rejoin the PPP led coalition government, Geo News reported.

The channel quoted government sources claiming that telephonic talks between President Asif Ali Zardari and MQM chief Altaf Hussain Thursday night were the turning point between the two parties.

In the first stage Ishratul Ebad Khan will reassume his office of Sindh Governor, the sources said and added that talks between PPP and MQM were in final stages.

MQM had parted its ways with the PPP government, both at provincial and federal level in protest against the postponement of polls on two Karachi constituencies of the Azad Jammu and Kashmir legislative assembly. …

Read more → THE NEWS

Commissionerate system restored in Sindh

SINDH – KARACHI: The Commissionerate System has been restored in the province of Sindh. An official statement on Saturday said that Acting Governor of Sindh, Nisar Ahmed Khuhro, promulgated three ordinances on Saturday which will be effective immediately.

Accordingly the Commissionerate System, Sindh Local Government Ordinance 1979 and Police Act 1861 have been restored, the statement added.

The Acting Governor repealed the Police Ordinance 2002 …

Read more → DAWN.COM

MQM quits govts in Sindh, centre; Governor Sindh resigns

KARACHI: The government’s main coalition partner, the Muttahida Qaumi Movement, said Monday it had quit the beleaguered administration, citing the “dictatorial” and “brutal” approach of the ruling Pakistan People’s Party.

“The MQM leadership and workers have reached the conclusion it is difficult to go along with the Pakistan People’s Party, keeping in view its democratic and dictatorial attitude,” senior party official Farooq Sattar told reporters. …

Read more: → DAWN.COM

Pakistan: Taseer’s daughter in UK speaks out against political Islam

by Lizzy Millar

LONDON 20 May 2011 – Qur’an schools in Pakistan are raising a new generation of children to propagate hatred in the wake of bin Laden’s assassination.

Shehrbano Taseer, the daughter of Salman Taseer, the governor of Pakistan’s Punjab region who was assassinated by his bodyguard on 4 January for opposing blasphemy laws, blames Pakistan’s countless madrassas – or Qur’an schools – for using Islam as a ‘political tool’.

Taseer who was speaking at the Quilliam Foundation in London, the first UK-based Muslim think tank dedicated to challenging extremism, is calling on the international community to lobby her government to reform the madrassas and allow greater democracy in Pakistan.

She wants Pakistan to reform the madrassa syllabus so that children are taught viable skills for life and how to value religious freedom and rights.

Taseer, a journalist for Newsweek Pakistan, who describes herself as a civil society activist, has also warned that the death of bin Laden has stirred up extremist sentiment in the already troubled nation.

She said: ‘They are raising children to believe their only contribution to Islam is through jihad. They hail people like Osama bin Laden.’

Taseer said a lack of education coupled with a culture that discouraged any questioning of elders had allowed these radical clerics to spread their ‘poison’.

‘They are becoming more hardline by using Islam as a political tool and this mindset is exported all over the world,’ she added.

Taseer claims her country has been a victim in the war on terrorism after its leaders received direction and funding for schools and mosques from Wahhabis, ultra-conservative dollar-rich Muslims from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

She said this influx had brought with it a rise in the number of radical clerics who had a stronghold on their communities by running Qur’an schools and influencing popular opinion.

Asked by Lapido Media about action taken by Pakistani civil society against so-called hate preachers, she said: ‘Absolutely nothing, as there is an atmosphere of fear. The silent majority feel backed up against the wall.’

She gave the example of Mumtaz Qadri, her father’s killer who was showered with rose petals by a group of two hundred lawyers as he entered the court building. She also mentioned students writing articles that hailed his deeds and criticised her father for speaking up for Asia Bibi, the Christian mother-of-five sentenced to death for alleged blasphemy.

‘Mumtaz Qadri represents a mindset that is prevalent in Pakistan. Murder is legitimised because it’s done in the name of God.

‘Repressive mindsets have been allowed to flourish. The state has abdicated its responsibility, and hatemongers have been given a platform.

‘My father’s death has highlighted how grave the situation is, but blasphemy cases are still on the rise.’

Taseer paid tribute to the ‘brave men and women’ who were speaking out in Pakistan as well as the silent majority who she said are looking for a more open society.

But she added that their voices would remain fragmented without the backing of central government.

In recent months Pakistan has come under increasing pressure to crack down on extremism in the wake of the assassination of Salman Taseer.

His murder came only a few months before the fatal shooting of Shahbaz Bhatti, Pakistan’s minorities minister and the only Christian member of the cabinet. He too had criticised his country’s blasphemy laws.

In May protests erupted in Pakistan after US Navy Seals assassinated Osama bin Laden, leader of Al Qaeda, who had apparently been hiding in a compound near Islamabad for 10 years.

Continue reading Pakistan: Taseer’s daughter in UK speaks out against political Islam

SALMAN TASEER’S BLOOD ON SOCIETY’S HANDS?

Governor Punjab Salman Taseer’s murder is a result of rising extremism and fanatisicm in the country. Shutting our eyes to problems of intolerance, extremism and fanaticism will not help the problem go away. In this episode of Reporter, Arshad Sharif tries to find out if the media, judiciary, lawyers and society at large also have a role in promoting extremist tendencies in Pakistan. The language of program is urdu/ Hindi.

Courtesy: DAWN NEWS TV (Reporter with Arshad Sharif)

Liberals are losing ground in Pakistan

“They’re armed, we’re not. They’ve nothing to lose. They fight for their faith with bullets. We’re not ready to die.”Rehana Hakim, Editor, Newsline

“The liberal-minded people are thinking of leaving the country. The liberal space will shrink even further.”Ayesha Siddiqa

“Should I remain silent or stand up to be counted? I’m struggling to take a decision.”Moneeza Hashmi, Broadcaster

The Flickering Flame

. Pakistan’s liberals are fleeing the country in fear or being forced into silence.

Mariana Baabar

When Omer announced he had completed his master’s degree from a university in London and wished to return home to Karachi, his father Rahim Khan, a senior government official, should have marvelled at his luck. After all, only a minuscule percentage of boys from the subcontinent ever return to their country from studies abroad. Contrary to expectations, Rahim was dismayed, promptly advising his only son to enrol for another course or grab a job, to do anything he could to extend his visa there. Rahim explained his decision to Outlook, “He will have no future in a city where you can’t be sure of returning home alive in the evening.”

It isn’t just those from the rich, western-educated class who have made it their habit to take a flight out of Pakistan, often for good. Months ago, Allama Javed Ahmed Ghamidi, a leading religious scholar, decided to make Dubai his home, so weary was he of the repeated threats from the obscurantists livid at his moderate interpretation of Islam. Marred by continuing ethnic strife, the once-liberal city of Karachi has also undergone rampant Talibanisation, goading the rich to make a beeline for safer climes abroad. This exodus prompted columnist Kamran Shafi to recently write about the “darkened homes in Karachi where the inmates have flown to alternative ‘nests’ in Canada, England and Malaysia”.

For long, Pakistan has seen its people migrate for reasons as varied as better economic prospects to hopes of escaping political discrimination and the state’s inability to provide protection from murderous gangs scouring the land with impunity. Whoever from the minority groups of Hindus and Christians can leave the country, does so at the first opportunity. Joining them in droves in recent times have been those from the Ahmedia sect, which is deemed non-Muslim under law. A significant percentage of the exodus comprises businessmen, often the target of kidnapping and extortion. Pakistanis have always asked themselves: should we leave the country or stay behind?

This question has again become a subject of fervent debate from the time Punjab governor Salman Taseer was gunned down and the shocking feting of his assassin, Malik Mumtaz Qadri, who was outraged by his victim’s support for amending the blasphemy law. For someone to be killed for an opinion, an idea, has jolted Pakistanis into reflecting over their journey backward—from liberating progressivism to stifling conservatism. Recalls journalist Adnan Rehmat, “In the ’60s and ’70s, you could even eat at restaurants during Ramadan and see women in saris and bell-bottoms in the bazaars. Burqas and beards were a rare sight.” …

Read more : OUT LOOK

Tariq Ali’s backhanded tribute to Salmaan Taseer

by Mahvish Afridi

Is Tariq Ali a reporter, a Marxist activist or an author of fluffy Islamist novels reminiscent of Nasim Hijazi? Or is he just an ideologue past his sell by date, cashing in on his Communist Cows.  Nonetheless, he clearly has his prejudices and his article “Salman Taseer Remembered” (London Review of Books) reveals some of them.

In what should have been a tribute to a childhood friend, Tariq Ali can’t help himself and resorts to his typical petty digs based on his own prejudices and neurosis. He remembers their childhood memories but cannot bring himself to appreciate the late Salman Taseer’s business success and political activism.  I suppose that is natural given that Tariq Ali comes from a privileged feudal background and ran off from Pakistan instead of facing any consequences for being part of the Left movement of the late 1960s. Tariq Ali’s grandfather Sir Sikandar Hayat Khan was a leader of the Unionist Muslim League, a feudalist political party formed to represent the interests of the landlords of Punjab. It is the same feudal lord about whom Allama Iqabl wrote: nigah-e-faqr mein shaan-e-sikandri kia hai

In Tariq Ali’s elitist lexicon, being a self made and highly successful businessman is far inferior to being a paid lecture circuit mouthpiece for Hamas and Taliban and their supporters that reside on the fringes of the Far Left.

His glossing over the incarceration that Taseer had to face for his political affiliation with the Pakistan Peoples Party and its leadership are probably an indication of his insecurity for running away to England at the first sign of trouble. Not unlike other members of Pakistan’s ‘fake civil society’, Tariq Ali hates the PPP and the Bhuttos because they deprived him and his likes of the imaginary revolution that Tariq Ali so much wanted to lead but never possessed the guts and heart to do so.

In his back handed tribute to Shaheed Taseer, Tariq Ali reveals more about himself and his prejudice than about the late Governor’s successful life. …

Read more : CriticalPPP

Naseem Zehra is discussing Blasphemy Laws & the Role Religious-Political Parties

The typical religious zealots are biggest menace to development of Pakistan. They want to take country back to stone age of Taliban-ism. The narrow minded Mullas were against even the formation of Pakistan and they called Quaid-e-Azam as Kafar-e-Azam and today they call themselves as Champions of Pakistan etc. Religion is one’s individual right and lets make this country free from evil policies of Zia regime and make country a progressive and liberal.

Courtesy: Dunya TV (Policy Matters with Naseem Zehra, guests Hassan Nisar, Abid Minto, Khalid Zaheer and Nazir Naaji & others.  22 Jan. 2011)

via – ZemTVYou Tube Link

Islamofascism is a reality: Pakistan is destined to drown in blood from civil war: Pervez Hoodbhoy

The War within Islam

Islamofascism is a reality: Pakistan is destined to drown in blood from civil war: Pervez Hoodbhoy

A New Age Islam reader sent the following letter to the editor:

Here is a letter sent by Pakistan’s foremost progressive intellectual and physicist Dr. Pervez Hoodbhoy to a friend:

I am sharing with you some lines that I have just written for family and friends who are warning me:

Whatever one might think of Governor Salman Taseer’s politics, he was killed this Wednesday for what was certainly the best act of his life: trying to save the life of an illiterate, poor, peasant Christian woman.

But rose petals are being showered upon his murderer. He is being called a ghazi, lawyers are demonstrating spontaneously for his release, clerics refused to perform his funeral rites. Most shockingly, the interior minister – his political colleague and the ultimate coward – has said that he too would kill a blasphemer with his own hands.

Pakistan once had a violent, rabidly religious lunatic fringe. This fringe has morphed into a majority. The liberals are now the fringe. We are now a nation of butchers and primitive savages. Europe’s Dark Ages have descended upon us.

Sane people are being terrified into silence. After the assassination, FM-99 (Urdu) called me for an interview. The producer tearfully told me (offline) that she couldn’t find a single religious scholar ready to condemn Taseer’s murder. She said even ordinary people like me are in short supply.

I am deeply depressed today. So depressed that I can barely type these lines. …

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Pakistan : Fanaticism’s coup d’etat

Fanaticism’s coup d’etat

by Farooq Sulehria

It is not the murder of Salman Taseer that has shocked-and-scared urban majority in Pakistan into either an apparent silence or a plain indifference. It is not even the assassin’s maliciously triumphant smile that has left many speechless. It is ceaselessly mediatised threats and heartless puritan celebrations by a freemasonry of fiery anchorpersons, jingoist columnists and rejected bearded politicians that have created an atmosphere of fear-and-eerie-silence. For the first time, PPP’s fearless workers, the idiomatic Jiyalas, have been scared into political-hibernation. Even if thousands attended Taseer’s funeral and Jiyalas in Lahore initially took to streets in a defiant mood, chanting anti-mullah slogans, the PPP government capitulated, unsurprisingly. The PPP leadership has given up struggle since long. It keeps striking deals and wrap up shameless compromises. …

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Pakistan awaiting the clerical tsunami: Pervez Hoodbhoy

by Farooq Sulehria

Taseer’s assassin is a Barelvi Muslim belonging to the Dawat-e-Islami, and 500 clerics of this faith supported his action. Most of these mullahs are part of the Sunni Tehreek and are supposedly anti-Taliban moderates. Those who claim that Pakistan’s silent majority is fundamentally secular and tolerant may be clutching at straws …

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