Tag Archives: Governor

PAKISTAN: Appeasement policy towards religious intolerance leads to murder of a governor

A Statement by the Asian Human Rights Commission

AHRC-STM-001-2011 : The nation has suffered a great loss due to this tragic murder. A voice of sanity has been silenced. This has happened at a time when the kind of political leadership provided by Salman Taseer is most needed. He stood for basic values which are essential for the stability of Pakistan. His shocking death should be an awakening for all right-thinking people of Pakistan about the perils that the country is facing. Creating chaos is not difficult under the tense conditions under which Pakistan has functioned for a considerable time now. The benefits of such chaos will only go to a few. However, the consequences of this death can seriously harm the population which may begin to react with fear of such murders. It is time for all concerned persons and the government to react soberly but strongly on this occasion in order to ensure that the benefits of this situation will go to those are bent on creating chaos.

Continue reading PAKISTAN: Appeasement policy towards religious intolerance leads to murder of a governor

‘The killer of my father, Salman Taseer, was showered with rose petals by fanatics. How could they do this?

Thousands of Pakistanis showered rose petals on the assassin of Salman Taseer, the governor of Punjab who sought clemency for a Christian woman sentenced to death. Here his eldest son, Aatish Taseer, who lives in Delhi, mourns his death – and the nihilism of a country that could not tolerate a patriot who was humanitarian to his core.

By Aatish Taseer

[Excerpt] ….. Already, even before his body is cold, those same men of faith in Pakistan have banned good Muslims from mourning my father; clerics refused to perform his last rites; and the armoured vehicle conveying his assassin to the courthouse was mobbed with cheering crowds and showered with rose petals.

I should say too that on Friday every mosque in the country condoned the killer’s actions; 2,500 lawyers came forward to take on his defence for free; and the Chief Minister of Punjab, who did not attend the funeral, is yet to offer his condolences in person to my family who sit besieged in their house in Lahore. ….

Read more :  The Telegraph

Protest against religious fundamentalism in Lahore

Lahore : On 8th January 2011, civil society organised a protest against Salman Taseer’s assassination and religious fundamentalism in Pakistan outside Quaid-e-Azam Library. About two hundred people were present at this quickly organized protest. Some prominent personalities such as Tahira Syed were also present.

A must watch discussion : Assassination of Salman Taseer and religious extremism in Pakistan?

Why did Salman Taseer get killed on saying what others are saying same on Media? Please watch the video to see what the panelists are saying in program column kaar program. The discussion is in urdu/ Hindi.

Courtesy: Express TV (program Column Kaar, 8th January, 2011)

via ZemtvYou Tube Link

Pakistan: The moral collapse of a nation

Politicians, lawyers and journalists who championed the cause of democracy now fail to speak up

A month before the governor of the Punjab, Salmaan Taseer, was lowered into an early grave, an imam at a mosque in Peshawar asked the Taliban to kill a Christian woman convicted of blasphemy, if the Pakistani state did not carry out the death sentence. Nawa-e-Waqt, the second most read Urdu-language newspaper in the country, wholeheartedly approved of the 500,000 rupee bounty that the cleric Maulana Yousuf Qureshi put on Asia Bibi’s head. Its lead editorial went on to threaten anyone, like Taseer, who supported the woman’s cause and campaigned for a repeal of the infamous blasphemy law. “The punishment handed down to Asia Bibi will be carried out in one manner or the other, and who knows whose position and rank will be terminated as a result of the debate on the repeal of the blasphemy laws,” the newspaper wrote. That was on 5 December. A month later Taseer was killed by his bodyguard, a 26-year-old policeman, Mumtaz Qadri. Neither the cleric nor the editors of the newspaper are being charged with incitement.

The celebration of Taseer’s assassination has continued ever since. Making common cause with radical Islamists, lawyers showered petals on Qadri. They surrounded the anti-terrorism court at Rawalpindi and at one point the judge refused to hear the case and police considered dropping a reference to the anti-terror act and trying Qadri in a district court. When the hearing went ahead after five hours, no public prosecutor turned up because of fears for their safety, according the report in Dawn.com. Nationally, Taseer’s death was greeted with cold-hearted intolerance from rightwing religious leaders – several of whom said he got what he deserved – and with spineless capitulation from the ruling Pakistan People’s party, of which the Punjab governor was the fifth most important member. Shortly after he visited Asia Bibi in jail with his wife and daughter, a mob rioted outside the governor’s house. Prominent TV commentators joined in. The law minister, Babar Awan, then caved in, saying there was no question of reforming the law. Now Awan has rushed for cover behind a judicial inquiry, painting the killing as part of some unnamed conspiracy to destabilise the country.

The truth is all too clear. Who is responsible for Taseer’s death? Some of the very politicians, lawyers and journalists who championed the cause of democracy, parliament and the rule of law against military dictators. Now they support, or fail to speak up against, a law which has become the weapon of choice of dictators, mobs and bigots. Where is the justice in a law widely abused to settle personal scores and to discriminate against minorities? No proof is needed. The alleged blasphemer can be locked up and executed on the say-so of witnesses and yet the slander can never be repeated in court, let alone proved, because to do so would compound the crime. Asia Bibi has spent 18 months in one of Pakistan’s most hellish prisons, the last month of it in solitary confinement. At least 10 people have been killed while awaiting trial on blasphemy charges since 1990, according to human rights workers. …

Read more : The Guardian

The Ilam Din fiasco and lies about Jinnah —Yasser Latif Hamdani

Jinnah’s record as a legislator tells us a different story altogether. He was an indefatigable defender of civil liberties. He stood for Bhagat Singh’s freedom and condemned the British government in the harshest language when no one else would

In the recent debate over the blasphemy law, a group of Jamaat-e-Islami-backed right-wing authors have come up with an extraordinary lie. It is extraordinary because it calls into question the professional integrity of the one man in South Asian history who has been described as incorruptible and honest to the bone by even his most vociferous critics and fiercest rivals, i.e. Mohammad Ali Jinnah. The lie goes something like this: ‘Ghazi’ Ilam Din ‘Shaheed’ killed blasphemer Hindu Raj Pal and was represented by Quaid-e-Azam at the trial who advised him to deny his involvement in the murder. ‘Ghazi’ and ‘Shaheed’ Ilam Din refused and said that he would never lie about the fact that he killed Raja Pal. Quaid-e-Azam lost the case and Ilam Din was hanged.

To start with, the story is entirely wrong. First of all, Jinnah was not the trial lawyer. Second, Ilam Din had entered the not guilty plea through his trial lawyer who was a lawyer from Lahore named Farrukh Hussain. The trial court ruled against Ilam Din. The trial lawyer appealed in the Lahore High Court and got Jinnah to appear as the lawyer in appeal. So there is no way Jinnah could have influenced Ilam Din to change his plea when the plea was already entered at the trial court level. Nor was Ilam Din exactly the ‘matchless warrior’ that Iqbal declared him to be — while simultaneously refusing to lead his funeral prayers. Indeed Ilam Din later filed a mercy petition to the King Emperor asking for a pardon. …

Read more : Daily Times

Citizens for Democracy : Statement on assassination of Salmaan Taseer

Karachi: Citizens for Democracy (CFD), a nation-wide umbrella group of political parties, trade unions, professional organisations, NGOs and individuals, strongly condemns the cold-blooded and cowardly murder of Salmaan Taseer.

The unarmed Governor of Punjab was shot in the back in the most cowardly manner by one of his own bodyguards on Jan 4, 2011, following a concerted propaganda campaign that falsely accused him of having been disrespectful to the Prophet of Islam (peace be upon on Him). This campaign was conducted in the media and through the mosques.

We strongly condemn those who are glorifying the assassin, who opened fire at the back of an unarmed man. We express our concern at the Rawalpindi District Bar Association’s support to the murderer and the offer to contest his case free of any fee, which signifies support for the murderer.

There is no proof of ‘blasphemy’ against Taseer. Even in the case of Aasia Bibi, the Christian woman sentenced by a sessions court for alleged blasphemy, the sentence has yet to be confirmed by the High Court and then by the Supreme Court before she can be considered guilty and executed.

The questions arising from this assassination indicate the involvement of retrogressive forces in Pakistan that have over the past couple of decades made inroads into all sections of society and institutions of the state, including those institutions upon which Pakistani citizens rely for their security.

The assassin, Malik Mumtaz Qadri, was assigned to the elite force guarding the Punjab Governor even though he (Qadri) was earlier removed from the Special Branch because he was perceived as a security threat.

How did he end up on the security detail of a Governor who was already receiving death threats?

Why did the other guards not open fire, as per standard operating procedures in VIP guard duty? (In Qadri’s confession after his arrest, he said that he had told his colleagues what he was going to do and asked them not to open fire, as he would surrender.)

While appreciating the arrest of the cleric who had offered a reward for Taseer’s murder, and of the other guards who were on duty and did nothing to protect the Governor, we demand …

Read more : Citizens For Democracy

Pakistan: Lawyers or mobsters?

The way lawyers led by Fazal-ur-Rehman Niazi, president PML (N) lawyers’ wing in Rawalpindi, came out in support of Mumtaz Qadri, was unethical and shameful. It not only violates the very basic rules of the legal profession, it expressed admiration for intolerance and fanaticism. Federal Minister of Law, Babar Awan, may be trying to get political mileage by categorizing the martyrdom of Salman Taseer as political because of Niazi’s actions; but he has a point: PML (N) is part of the crowd that abets religious extremism.

The legal profession includes judges, lawyers and other functionaries involved in the court system. Legal professionals of all levels are supposed to uphold the existing laws and try to implement them. Even when a professed murderer is on trial, lawyers make sure that all legal requirements are being fulfilled. A legal professional is duty bound not to become part of sedition or exonerate an accused outside the court of law. However, all such rules were violated when Niazi led a crowd of lawyers that showered rose petals on self-confessed murderer Malik Mumtaz Qadri.

If a legal professional cannot uphold a simple rule that no has the right—come what may—to take another person’s life, then he is part of a wild mob rather than a member of the legal community. A lawyer may have private biases against certain type of people but he is not supposed to publically endorse an illegal activity. Violating this basic rule, Mr. Niazi’s lawyer crowd and all the other who are volunteering to defend him are proving themselves to be nothing more than a lawless gang. Even if every Pakistani lawyer joins the killer-adoring crowd, it will still be a lawless gang. Their jackets and ties cannot cover this ugly reality.

The lawyer’s crowd in this case was no different than the fatwa issuing mullahs. Actually, the lawyers were confirming that mullahs’ fatwas are more valid than the country’s law. By adoring and idealizing killer Qadri, the lawyers’ crowd was condoning murder by an individual who can act as his own judge, jury and executioner. I wish the mullahs formally take over the court system and then we will see how these lawyers earn their bread and butter. All of them will have to go back to madrassas to become advocates in Qazi courts. These lawyers have no clue that they are cutting their own feet by supporting fatwas at the expense of the country’s laws. Evidently, Pakistani situation is very grave: If the defenders of the law turn into the biggest law breakers then the future is very bleak. It is just like setting your own house on fire.

The very fact that the lawyers’ crowd was led by a PML (N) leader shows that, at its base, the ruling party of Punjab is also comprised of fanatic mobsters who have no respect for the law. Advocate Niazi was not the only PML (N) leader who expressed admiration for the killer: PML (N) spokesman, Sidique-ul-Farooq also gave a similar spin to this murder by saying the Taseer was going to be murdered any way by someone if not killer Qadri. This means that Punjab government was aware of the danger and it did not do much about it. PML (N) may not be part of a conspiracy to kill Taseer but it is part of the crowd that has created an environment of extremist religion. After all, it was in Nawaz Sharif’s tenure as prime minister, that the mandatory death sentence was added to the Zia era blasphemy law.

The degeneration of some lawyers groups into mobster gangs is the most heart breaking development. People like us had thought that the lawyers’ movement has ushered in a new era where Pakistan will be run by law and order. But it has been proven over the months that our conclusion was a premature half-truth. Probably, the silent majority of lawyers led by Aitzaz Ahsan and Asma Jahangir are still the ray of hope. But they should know if they don’t rise to defend the rule of law their profession is in jeopardy. The lawyers’ crowd, as a tool in the hands of Mullah Shahi, is most lethal and destructive. The silent majority of lawyers has to find out a way to fight the lawyer mobster gangs.

Courtesy:  http://www.wichaar.com/news/285/ARTICLE/23526/2011-01-08.html

Anyone supporting the killer is participating in his crime and inciting hatred and violence

– Mumtaz Qadri is a criminal (he broke the law), a grave sinner (he killed a Muslim), a conspirator (he conspired with other guards), a coward (he attacked an unarmed person), and a murderer.

To read an urdu article of Arif Shamim at BBC urdu, CLICK HERE

Peace rally against Governor Taseer’s brutal murder

Lahore : On 7th January, 2011 the vigil by civil society turned into a dharna. There was a massive presence of people. Could have been 1500. The mall road was blocked for an hour. Scores of young people were present. If these people really fight and struggle this can become a mass movement against the assassins of Governor Salman Taseer.

The next peace rally against Governor Taseer’s brutal murder at Quaid-e-Azam library Lawrence gardens 12 noon on Saturday January 8th, 2011. Please show solidarity and attend in large numbers.

Dedicated to Salman Taseer

by Dr. Khalid Javaid Jan.

Mazhab kay jo byopari hein,

Woh sab se bari beemari hein.

Woh jin kay siwa sab kaafir hein,

Jo deen ka harf-e-akhir hein.

In jhootay aur makkaron say,

Mazhab kay theke-daron say,

Mein baaghi hoon mai baaghi hoon.

Jo Chahe mujh per Zulm Karo

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Benazir Bhutto used to recite this poem. CLICK HERE to listen her recitation of the poem!

Govt of Pakistan has lost all control? Chaos over Mumtaz Qadri’s court appearance.

Chaos over Mumtaz Qadri’s court appearance

The crowd in Rawalpindi set up a cordon preventing the judge from leaving for Islamabad for the hearing.

ISLAMABAD: A planned court appearance for Malik Mumtaz Hussain Qadri, the killer of Governor Punjab Salman Taseer, ran into chaos on Thursday as extremist supporters prevented an attempt to re-locate the session, witnesses said.

Mumtaz Qadri, who was assigned to Salman Taseer’s security detail and confessed to the killing, was charged and ordered to appear before the Anti-Terrorist Court in Rawalpindi on Thursday.

But as a growing crowd of extremist lawyers and madrassah students descended on the building in support of Qadri, authorities instead drove him to a makeshift court hastily set up in a heavily protected building in Islamabad.

But the crowd in Rawalpindi set up a cordon in protest, preventing the judge from leaving for Islamabad, lawyers and an AFP reporter said.

“We requested the judge that legally he cannot go to Islamabad to hear the accused and he accepted our request,” lawyer Malik Waheed Anjum told reporters. …

Read more : DAWN

Pakistan or Fascistan? – by B. R. GOWANI

… All signs point to fascism

While Taseer’s body was being riddled with bullets, the other guards stayed inactive.

(The infiltration of the security and the armed forces by the Islamic elements has been a known fact since the late 1970s when General Zia-ul-Haq was in power.)

The reason given by the assassin was Taseer’s criticism of the blasphemy law. According to Qadri’s lawyer, Saimul Haq Satti, Qadri told him: “I am proud of it.” …

Read more: Globeistan

Cheer the assassin! – by Khurram Husain

Cheer on my friends! Cheer on the assassin! Smile and clap your hands, chant odes to the ghazi’s bravery! Go ahead, applaud the darkness that is coming your way, because once it has taken you into its embrace, there’ll be no cheer left in your life.

Hail the assassin as your hero! Lift him up on your shoulders and show his brave deed to your children! Tell them to emulate his example and follow his footsteps! Kiss the ground he walked on! Congregate outside the prison that holds him and shout slogans so he hears your support through the walls. Because soon, the only heroes left in your life will be those with blood on their hands and death in their hearts.

Denounce the fallen governor! Denounce his licentious ways! Mock his speeches and drag his grieving wife and children through the dirt that is in your mind, your eyes! Question his faith: Was he a secret atheist? Fling all manner of filth and dirt on his name and his ways, for soon there’ll be nothing left in your minds, other than the filth of a faithless piety and the dirt of prejudice.

Sanctify the assassin’s bullet! Distill all your hatreds and frustrations into it! Place it on a pedestal and recite psalms of solemn servitude to it! Let it be the one fixed point in your life, your north star by which you navigate yourself towards your destiny! Let its line of travel, from muzzle to victim, be the straight and narrow path you seek to your salvation. May you find your victim one day too, just like the bullet found its. Yes, sanctify the bullet because soon it’ll light the way for you towards that destiny where you hold the knife in your hands and your hapless victim struggles vainly in your clutches.

While you’re at it, make a game out of it all. Clap, laugh and sing songs while the darkness falls all around you. Tell yourself silly little tales of how it’s all for the best because, after all, politicians are corrupt and deserve it all. Let the madness ooze into your puny minds without a struggle, since struggle in the path of what is right can get you killed.

Kiss the pages of the document where the ‘holy’ laws are written. Don’t read them, don’t think about what they say. Don’t ask questions about them, such as what the rules of evidence are under these laws or how the court is supposed to tell the difference between a true and false allegation. No, don’t do any of that, because soon these will be the only laws left in your life.

Do it, my friends! Because there is no ‘silent majority’ any more, only a frightened and confused flock hemmed in by the darkness, trembling at the howling of the hyenas around, huddled together under a vanishing light, barely enduring the great dark absence beyond.

No words will soothe their fears, no courage will call them to action. No strength exists any longer to lift this cowering multitude into the ranks of humanity, no mind’s eye to light the way for them.

So do it! Celebrate all manner of bloodlust because soon there will be nobody left in your life who can call murder by its name.

Courtesy: The Express Tribune, January 6th, 2011.

Link- http://tribune.com.pk/story/99546/cheer-the-assassin/

Jamat-e-Islami sees Taseer’s assassin in ‘seventh heaven’

JI sees Taseer’s assassin in ‘seventh heaven’

By Shamim Bano, Karachi

In a shockingly blunt endorsement of Punjab Governor Salmaan Taseer’s assassination, Ameer Jamat-e-Islami in Sindh Asadullah Bhutto has declared that the assassin will directly go to the “seventh heaven”.

He said this after a press conference addressed by JI Ameer Munawar Hasan at Idara-e-Noor-e-Haq on Tuesday. The press conference ended abruptly when a JI spokesman Sarfaraz Ahmad broke the news of Taseer’s assassination to Munawar. “Is he alive?” was his first reaction.

“Whoever has killed him is a pious man and will go directly to heaven,” replied Bhutto to a question put forward by this correspondent.

He even went on to say that Taseer would not have got killed if the government had replaced him. “Aasia Bibi will suffer the same fate if the punishment awarded to her by the court for using derogatory remarks against Hazrat Mohammed Mustafa (PBUH) is not implemented,” he added.

Earlier, during the press conference, Syed Munawar Hasan said that the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) should also clear its position in Sindh after parting ways with the government at the Centre. …

Read more : The News

Salmaan Taseer: assassinated on a perilous path – Dr Mohammad Taqi

Salmaan Taseer dedicated his personal fortune to the cause of publishing the unvarnished truth and the people’s right to know this truth. It would not have been possible for this paper’s editorial board to carry itself independently were it not for Salmaan Taseer’s personal commitment to not only this project but to the very freedoms of speech and expression.

“The sorrowful smell of the mist,

Lingering over the Indus,

Gentle waves of rice, dung and rind,

This is the salt cry of Sindh,

As I die let me feel,

The fragrance of tears”

— Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai.

“It was a Sindhi poet, Shah Abdul Latif, who captured the forlornness of his country in this haunting verse,” wrote Salmaan Taseer in the opening chapter of his 1979 book, Bhutto: A Political Biography. I have read these words many times but had never once thought that the forlornness might get deeper than the deepest depression one could feel. But the assassination of Salmaan Taseer has left many of us even more devastated and depressed than what Shah Latif could depict.

I do not mourn Salmaan Taseer alone but I also mourn those who have been killed before him on the perilous path of speaking their mind, and those who will be killed in the future on this journey. Ayesha Siddiqa, Kamran Shafi, Nadeem Farooq Paracha, Pervez Hoodbhoy, Sherry Rehman,  and so many others are living on borrowed time. It is not a matter of if but when an indoctrinated bigot let loose by the deep state will get to them or, for that matter, any of us who decline to follow the rotten creed that it has been peddling for decades.

However, I have a feeling that Salmaan Taseer would not have wanted to be remembered with melancholy. His illustrious father, Dr M D Taseer, once said:

Parwana jal kay dil ki muradon ko pa gaya, Aur shama reh gayi rukh-e-zeba liay huay” (Translation: The light-loving moth has died caressing the candle flame. The candle thus remains alone in all its elegance).

It is nearly impossible to accurately translate the above Urdu verse, which my father, Malik Rahat Ali, had quoted while writing Dr M D Taseer’s obituary for Edward’s College, Peshawar’s magazine Tajjali (light) in 1951. The obituary was titled ‘Aik raushan dimagh tha, na raha’ (an enlightened mind is no more). It is amazing how references to light and progressive thought keep popping up when discussing the Taseers and in the work of the Taseers themselves. Pakistan, and the liberal thought within Pakistan, is the candle that Salmaan and M D Taseer loved to the extent that to see it remain alight, they would dedicate their lives to it.

When thinking of Salmaan Taseer, two images come to mind. One is of a political activist and the second is of a patron of progressive and liberal thought. Perhaps senior members of the Indo-Pakistani leftist movement will recall that Dr M D Taseer, along with Abdullah Malik and Rajindra Singh Bedi had pioneered a liberal publishing house called Sangham Publishers in 1947, before the partition. I would not be wrong in assuming that the Daily Times and its media affiliates came into being due to Salmaan Taseer’s desire to follow in his father’s footsteps. …

Read more : Daily Times

Religion has made Pakistan a schizophrenic society: Ayaz Amir

In a time when obscurantists and terrorists have tried to silence our voices and strike off the heads of those who dared oppose them, Taseer spoke without fear, condemning the blasphemy law and those who stood in its defence, despite the very real threat of violent retribution.

Source Link – You Tube

A divided Pakistan buries Salman Taseer and a liberal dream

by Declan Walsh in Lahore

Liberals have long been a minority force in Pakistan, reviled for importing ‘western’ ideas and culture; now they are virtually an endangered species.

There was silence in the ancient city of Lahore yesterday as Salman Taseer, a pugnacious son of the soil who made his name by speaking out, was lowered into an early grave. …

Read more : Guardian.co.uk

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To read BBC urdu column, click here

Punjab governor Salman Taseer assassinated in Islamabad

Courtesy: SAMAA TV (Reema Show with Salman Taseer)

via – ZemTVYou Tube Link

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… The governor of Pakistan’s Punjab province, Salman Taseer, has died after being shot in the Pakistani capital Islamabad. Mr Taseer, a senior member of the ruling Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), was shot in a popular shopping district of the city by a member of his own security …

Read more : BBC

The recent history of Sindh

By Dr Bakht Jamal

… if we see the recent past of Sindh, British invaded in 1843 and Sindh lost its status of Province in 1847 and they converted it to Commissionrate by annexing it with Bombay Presidency. After 89 years, status of Province reinstated and Governor Graham became first Governor of Sindh Province. After 11 years only, we became part of Pakistan and again lost status of Province merely after 8 years in 1955 by One Unit formation. It was restored again after struggle of 15 years in 1970. Then from 1972 to 1977 we have taken sigh of relief but again from 1977 to 1985 at least no representation from Sindh.1985 assemblies dissolved in 1988. For two brief periods PPP governments remained in between for total period of 6 years. Again in 1999 assemblies dissolved and in 2002 PPP denied its right government formation in spite of its majority in Provincial assembly.

Therefore if we sum the above we can conclude that out of 165 years starting from 1843; we merely enjoyed our representation to some extent only for 18+05+03+06=32 years i.e 19.40% That may be one reason that if we struggle 60% we can reap only 20% of 60% i.e. 12%.Thanks to this historical burden of subjugation.

Sep 23, 2008