MANSEHRA: Jamaat-i-Islami, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, has declared Hakeemullah Mehsud and his associates killed in the recent drone strike as martyrs and demanded of the federal government to end its strategic alliance with America.
By: Cyril Almeida
IT began with the flag. A strip of white slapped on, but separate and away from the sea of green — the problem was there from the very outset: one group cast aside from the rest.
A more prescient mind would have thought to put the white in the middle, enscon-ced in a sea of green, a symbolic embrace of the other.
But why blame the flag?
It began with the founding theory.
A country created for Muslims but not in the name of Islam. Try selling that distinction to your average Pakistani in 2012. 1947 was another country and it still found few takers.
Pakistan’s dirty little secret isn’t its treatment of non-Muslims or Shias or the sundry other groups who find themselves in the cross-hairs of the rabid and the religious. Pakistan’s dirty little secret is that everyone is a minority.
It begins with Muslim and non-Muslim: 97 per cent and the hapless and helpless three. But soon enough, the sectarian divide kicks in: Shia and Sunni. There’s another 20 per cent erased from the majority.
Next, the intra-Sunni divisions: Hanafi and the Ahl-e-Hadith. Seventy per cent of Pakistan may be Hanafi, five per cent Ahl-e-Hadith.
Then the intra-intra-Sunni divisions: Hanafis split between the growing Deobandis and the more static Barelvis.
And finally, within the 40 per cent or so that comprise Barelvis in Pakistan, there’s the different orders: the numerous Chishtis, the more conservative Naqshbandis and the microscopic Qadris.
In Pakistan, there is no majority.
There’s the terror that every minority lives in: non-Muslim from Muslim, Shia from Sunni, Barelvi from Wahabi, secular Sunni from rabid Barelvi — the future is now and it is bleak.
Some mourn the passing of Jinnah’s vision and seek solace in his Aug 11 speech. But there never was an Aug 11 version of Pakistan: it was stillborn, killed off by the religious right as soon as it was articulated.
by Ali Arqam
In these times when extremists are brutalizing the society and the meek and timid politico-religious classes can’t speak out against these monsters, anyone who speaks out against them does so at the risk of his life.
The killing spree of the Taliban in Pakistan is not limited to combatants, notwithstanding the propaganda of their Pakistani apologists. It extends to non-combatant civilians, minority sects, tribal elders, journalists, educationists, members of parliament, clergy and intellectuals. Even shrines and mosques have not been spared. The Taliban feel that by stifling every whiff of dissent and rationality they are doing Allah’s work.
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A strong case can be made against the Jamaat-i-Islami (JI) leader for fomenting aggression and religious persecution under the country’s laws regarding hate speech and incitement to violence.
The street power and political clout wielded by Pakistan’s religious right have resulted in the state and society being held hostage by extremist elements. The latter stop at nothing to further their agenda of inciting hatred, divisiveness and violence. The latest example is that of the Jamaat-i-Islami chief, Syed Munawwar Hasan, who during a sermon in Lahore on Friday threatened a fresh movement against the Ahmadi community if it “did not accept their minority status” and the government kept silent about “their blasphemous and unconstitutional activities”.