Why the Taliban won’t succeed in Afghanistan now

By

History does NOT repeat itself. If ever it looks like it’s stuck in a rut and moving in circles, do take a closer look. Each circle may be wider than the previous one or it might have tilted along a different axis. The trajectory of events in Afghanistan cannot defy this basic rule of history.

The Taliban rose to power in mid-1990s and were ousted when the US and its allies launched military operations in Afghanistan on 7 October 2001, starting what is termed as ‘War on Terror’. The Taliban, however, have managed to loom large as a specter for the past 12 years and now threaten to make a comeback or so some want us to believe. Will they be able to do that? I think not. Here are my five reasons why:

1: There is no anarchy in Afghanistan now

When the Taliban rose to power in the mid-1990s, Afghanistan was in utter chaos. The decade-long crippling war was succeeded by internecine fights among the greedy, ruthless and brutal mujahedeen warlords – it seemed endless. The country had lost even a semblance of a state, rule of law had completely departed and social order rested on simple tribal ‘principles’ like might is right. The weakest and the poorest suffered the most.

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PAKISTAN – As a state and society, are we a basket case?

Comment by Shahab Usto

In Karachi–Jinnah’s Mausoleum has been shut for security reasons. Among a host of no-go areas, this new addition is the most tragic and shameful of all.

In Lahore–A poor christian has been sentenced to death on a cooked-up blasphemy charge. If the judiciary itself plays to the gallery, instead of following law and constitution, then from where would the ‘minority’ citizens seek justice and protection.

In Hyderabad–A Kali Mata temple has been set ablaze by the ‘soldiers of Islam‘. And then we expect the world to condemn Chief Minister Narendra Modi for enacting a pogrom against the Muslims in Indian Gujarat?

In Thar–for all the tall claims, the children continue to die of dearth and disease. Yet our ‘august’ rulers continue to harp on claiming that they are not dying of famine but malnourishment, and hence they are absolved of all their duties to protect the citizens!

In Waziristan–Our official interlocutors are grovelling before a bunch of terrorists and mass killers to extend the ‘cease-fire’ with the nuclear-armed state, possessing the sixth largest armed forces in the world and a land of 200 million people!

With the prevalence of such levels of apathy, injustice, absurdity and incorrigibility, is there any doubt that we as a state and society have completely turned into a hopeless basket case??

Courtesy: » via Facebook

Russia warns Saudi against giving Syria rebels missiles

by AFP

MOSCOW: Russia on Tuesday warned Saudi Arabia against supplying Syrian rebels with shoulder-launched missile launchers, saying such a move would endanger security across the Middle East and beyond.

The Russian foreign ministry said in a statement that it was “deeply concerned” by news reports that Saudi Arabia was planning to buy Pakistani-made shoulder-launched surface-to-air missiles and anti-tank systems for armed Syrian rebels based in Jordan.

Read more » DAWN
http://www.dawn.com/news/1089406/russia-warns-saudi-against-giving-syria-rebels-missiles

Shrine of Sufi poet set afire in Pakistan

KARACHI: The shrine of Pakistani Sufi poet Mast Twakali, revered across the subcontinent, has been set afire by unknown persons in the restive Balochistan province.

The shrine, visit by hundreds of devotees each day, has been partially damaged in the fire, authorities in Kohlu district said.

Kohlu deputy commissioner Ejaz Haider said some unknown persons had entered the shrine on Saturday and set it afire.

“But because people of the area gathered quickly and put out the fire the shrine was saved but a big portion has been damaged,” Haider said.

Five suspects have been arrested in connection with the case, he added.

Towaq Ali Mast – popularly known as Mast Twakali – was born in 1828. He spread the message of love for the humanity through his poetry.

The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan and other militant groups, which consider going to shrines as un-islamic, have in the past targeted them.

Read more » THE TIMES OF INDIA
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Shrine-of-Sufi-poet-set-afire-in-Pakistan/articleshow/30164949.cms?intenttarget=no

PAKISTAN: The lives of the long marchers are in danger

The participants of the long march from Karachi to Islamabad for the recovery of Baloch missing persons are facing threats from the notorious intelligence agency. The marchers have been threatened not to enter Punjab province otherwise they would face serious consequences.

Read more » Asian Human Rights Commission
http://www.humanrights.asia/news/ahrc-news/AHRC-STM-020-2014#.Ut64w47BZK4.facebook

Pakistan: Nation on the verge of a nervous breakdown. Fatima Bhutto

Pakistan is a country plagued by natural disasters, endemic political corruption, religious fundamentalism and is claimed by many to be the central headquarters of Islamist terrorism. And it’s a nuclear power. Fatima Bhutto, scion of the Pakistani political family, addresses the current state of her country in her Opening Address at the Sydney Writers’ Festival 2011.

Fatima Bhutto is an Afghan-born Pakistani poet and writer. She is the granddaughter of former prime minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and niece of Benazir Bhutto (both assassinated). She is active in Pakistan’s socio-political arena but has no desire to run for political office. She currently writes columns for ‘The Daily Beast’, ‘New Statesman’ and other publications.

Courtesy: Blip.tv
http://blip.tv/slowtv/pakistan-nation-on-the-verge-of-a-nervous-breakdown-fatima-bhutto-5236151

Gates says he never thought of Pakistan as an ally

by Anwar Iqbal

WASHINGTON: The United States never thought of consulting Pakistan before raiding the Osama bin Laden compound in Abbottabad because it feared that the ISI was protecting him, writes former US Defence Secretary Robert Gates.

Read more » DAWN
http://www.dawn.com/news/1079709/gates-says-he-never-thought-of-pakistan-as-an-ally

The barbarians may be at the gates – some of us would say they are very much within the gates.

Winter leaves

By Ayaz Amir

“Consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds” – Emerson

Some time ago, when the weather was still a bit hot, I was bemoaning some of the things gifted to us by the Raj – such as our preference for certain types of fiery liquids. And I had said that if we had been colonised by, say, the French or the Portuguese our tastes in these matters would have been different.

That was then. Now that the weather is turning a bit cold, although winter has yet to set in fully, I have to confess that I was wrong. May the furies forgive my wrongheadedness. For the cold season namby-pamby liquids just won’t do and the only thing permissible is that part of our inheritance which is now a national habit with us.

Railways we have managed to destroy, with a thoroughness that must command admiration. The canal system still functions but it could do with a whole lot of improvement. There are so many other things which are rundown. But the particular inheritance I refer to – and please forgive me for not being more specific, on account of our self-censorship laws, the censorship that we impose on ourselves and on which editors are always so keen – survives in all its pomp and glory. Behind closed doors of course but its very surreptitiousness gives it an added zest.

When Pakistanis who can afford this kind of entertainment – their number, Allah be praised, not small – gather in the winter season their choice is only one, Pakistan’s unofficial national drink still the same. May it always be like this.

The barbarians may be at the gates – some of us would say they are very much within the gates – but we should cherish what we still have. Three years back on a visit to Kabul, and staying at the Intercontinental Hotel – once a place of great magnificence, now gone to ruin – helpful souls from the embassy suggested that of the stuff that may have been consumed at night – to ward off the cold of course, the month being December–-the empty bottles should not be left in the rooms.

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Pakistan – Is the mullah-military nexus crumbling?

By Mubashir Zaidi

The latest statement from the military blasting chief of the Jamaat-i-Islami Munawar Hasan for undermining the sacrifices made by the soldiers fighting terrorists has shocked many in the capital. The JI traditionally, has been the mouthpiece for the military during the 1980s Afghan jihad and fighting in Kashmir. It’s also established that the army had used the Jamaat’s street power to put democratic governments under pressure through controlled or sometimes out of control protests. It is also believed that there is a huge following of JI in the armed forces. Even the arrests of Al Qaeda leaders, including Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, from the residences of JI activists has not affected the military-JI relations in the past.

So, is it a signalling of sorts that the military is trying to portray itself as a national army now as compared to its earlier image of an ideological force whose notion of jihad is similar to Jamaat-i-Islami?

But what prompted this strong reaction by the military needs to be examined. Even pragmatic military rulers like Pervez Musharraf had to seek help from the JI to prolong his tenure. Then why is it that the Jamaat and the military are finding themselves at the crossroads today?

The issue of missing persons that began in 2006 started the rift between the traditional partners when JI followers that included lawyers approached the courts for the release of what they claimed were innocent civilians who were arrested by military intelligence agencies on the allegations of supporting Al Qaeda and the Taliban. The courts took up the cases and started questioning the role of the military behind these forced disappearances. JI-backed lawyers were pressurised by the military to drop these cases and to stop pursuing the matter. But the cases continued, despite the fact that they did not reach their logical conclusions.

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Why I Love Pakistan

Why I Love Pakistan (March 23, 2013)

Following is the text of the keynote address I delivered at the Pakistan Day banquet of the Pakistan Association of America, Troy, Michigan, March 23, 2013. – Ethan Casey

There’s a question I get asked almost invariably, whenever I speak in public about a country I’ve known and loved for almost twenty years: Why Pakistan? I don’t think I can fully or satisfactorily answer that question, but this talk will be an attempt at least to acknowledge and address it.

The people who ask the question – Why Pakistan? – often phrase it as, “Why did you first go to Pakistan?” There are specific, contingent answers I can give to that version of the question. Most specifically, I first went to Pakistan in early 1995 because a fourteen-year-old Pakistani Christian boy, Salamat Masih, and his uncle were on trial for blasphemy, and the newspaper I was writing for at the time, the South China Morning Post of Hong Kong, wanted me to write about it. More broadly, I had become interested in the horrible and chronically disputed situation in Kashmir, I had already spent many weeks on the ground in the Kashmir Valley itself and several months in India, and I felt both a desire and a duty to spend time in Pakistan, in order to elicit and appreciate the Pakistani point of view on Kashmir. These were identifiable, proximate starting points for what has become my lifelong friendship with Pakistan.

I don’t think that’s what most people who ask mean by the question, though. Implied in it are a few other questions: Why do you care about Pakistan? Why do you look at and write about Pakistan so differently from so many other Americans? Why in the world would you go to a country with such a bad reputation? Why do you keep going back?

These questions are more interesting, and my books are attempts to offer full, proper answers to them. In fact, it’s not an exaggeration to say that it has taken me the effort of writing two full books, just to begin answering the questions for myself.

Which is to say that I can’t really explain my enduring interest in, and love for, Pakistan, but I can narrate it. I once told a New York literary agent that I had written a book about Pakistan. He responded by asking me: “What’s your argument?” I’m sure the agent considered himself savvy, but his question betrayed the fact that he looked at Pakistan the same tiresome way most members of the American political and publishing establishment do: not as a country and a society in its own right, but as a problem or challenge for America to deal with, about which it’s necessary for any writer to have an argument. Not only do I refuse to see Pakistan that way; I genuinely don’t see it that way. I don’t claim to know or understand Pakistan completely. But by the same token, I don’t know or understand my own wife or mother or father or brother completely. But I love my wife and parents and brother, and my own country, as well as I humanly can, despite their faults and flaws, as I know they also love me despite mine. My love for Pakistan is similar: human, based on flawed and partial knowledge and understanding, but honest and genuine. I was so surprised by the literary agent’s question – “What’s your argument?” – that I could scarcely blurt out my answer, which was and is: “I’m not making an argument; I’m telling a story.”

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A political economy of communalism in south Asia

Hyderbad: “You Strike & We will Strike back”.

The message of ‘21/2 Hyderabad serial terror attack

By Feroze Mithiborwala

The strategic& political target of the terror attack, is the historic 2-day Strike of the Working classes, where more than 12 core or 120 million workers both from the organized & unorganized sectors participated & brought India to a halt.

This working class strike surmounted all calculations due to the scale at which the enraged working classes participated. This strike has shaken up the corporate-political elite & that is why they have struck back with a serial terror attack, where now more than 15 citizens have died & 50 grievously injured. The terror attack was orchestrated in Dilsukh Nagar, where there is a busy market & many cinema halls.

If the working class unrest takes the proportions which we witness in many nations across the world such as Greece & Spain, the ruling elite will witness a massive crisis, due to the growing burdens of price-rise, decreasing wages, increasing scams, spiraling inflation, the growing insecurity of the peasantry, workers& laboring classes, as well as the ever-widening rich-poor divide.

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Crimes against humanity in Sindh and Pakistan that have taken place during the last 4 years of PPP regime.

Crimes against humanity in Sindh and Pakistan

Pakistani Foreign Minister Hina Rabani Khar has presented a rosy human rights report in the periodical human rights review session of the United Nations in Geneva, which is an attempt to hide underway crimes against humanity in the country.

SHE HAS claimed remarkable achievements regarding rights regime in Pakistan. Her report and talk at Geneva gives an impression that Pakistan has undergone a huge transformation during last four years similar to a revolution in the governance, rights regime, and legal framework.

The realities in Pakistan are entirely opposite to that report. If an analysis of last four years in Sindh province alone is carried regarding the Hindus exodus and ethnic cleansing, involuntarily disappearances, extra-judicial killings, and ethnically discriminative legislations, the intensity of the violations as well as denial of the rights under various treaties and declarations of United Nations will no doubt prove to be the crime against humanity.

Hindu Exodus and other forms of ethnic cleansing in Sindh

Thousands of Sindhi Hindus have been forced to quit Sindh, Pakistan, who have refuge or settled in the various countries mostly in India. Nearly 8000 Hindus from Sanghar district of Sindh, Pakistan have sought asylum in Rajasthan state of India during October 2012. The other form of ethnic cleansing is the target killings of ethnic Sindhi, Baloch, and Pashtun in Karachi city, which is aimed to resist these peoples settlement and force the existing population to migrate from city. The state support to an ethnic violence-making group through administrative decisions and legislative initiatives is an established reality of violating the various international treaties and declarations, which are rectified by Pakistan.

In this regards, the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide’ in Article II reads:

“….genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such: a. killing members of the group; b. causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; c. deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part…

According to the Article III of the convention, genocide; conspiracy to commit genocide; direct and public incitement to commit genocide; attempt to commit genocide; and complicity in genocide are punishable crimes. The article IV of the treaty clearly mentions, “Persons committing genocide or any of the other acts enumerated in article III shall be punished, whether they are constitutionally responsible rulers, public officials or private individuals.”

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Pakistan’s minorities fail to see progress

By Isolda Agazzi

GENEVA – Since the restoration of democracy in 2008, Pakistan has undertaken steps to uphold human rights, but the situation of minorities has only worsened, according to a group of non-government organizations. Dalits – formerly referred to as “untouchables” are in the worst state, facing both religious and social discrimination, they say.

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What mental cues do most people associate with Sindhis?

The New Sindhis

By: Shefalee Vasudev, New Delhi

What mental cues do most people associate with Sindhis? It’s either a comical sidekick in a film, a smarmy merchant type or girls in mini skirts and designer bags whose filthy rich fathers run business empires in “Bambai” and Dubai. If the Sindhi stereotypes still prevail or if Sindhi curry and papad is all there is to know about the community’s cuisine, there’s good reason. Being rendered stateless after Partition also led to Indian Sindhis becoming somewhat rootless. But the younger generation wants to change that, without wearing lament on their lapel. Meet the new Sindhis.

Hanee Tindwani, 31, gave up her job as a radio jockey to become a teacher at the Vision Sindhu Children Academy in Ahmedabad, where Sindhi culture is being resurrected. Or take celebrated folk singer Dushyant Ahuja. He consciously steers clear of mass entertainment and sings Sindhi ghazals and folk songs for select audiences in India and abroad to draw attention to the poetic heritage of his community. Writer Vimmi Sadarangani, a Jaipur Literature Festival regular and historian Nandita Bhavnani, who does research on the Sindhi cultural connection between Pakistan and India, are both prominent names among the new Sindhis.

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Pakistan from bad to worse : Iqbal Haider talking on the current situation of Pakistan

Iqbal Haider Former Chairman Human Rights Commission of Pakistan in an exclusive interview with Noor ul Arfeen Siddiqui in fresh episode of Hot Seat on Aaj News.

Courtesy: Aaj News/ Awaz Tv (Hot Seat – 9th September 2012)

6 killed, 18 injured as blast rips through Peshawar market

PESHAWAR: A blast near the Malik Market outside the Sheri mosque in Matani, Peshawar destroyed at least 10 shops in the locality, partially damaging the mosque, an eye witnesses said. Express News reported that six people were killed and at least 18 were injured including few children due to the blast.

The blast site is located around 100 yards away from the Matani police station. The injured have been shifted to the Lady Reading Hospital, Express News reported.

The eyewitness told The Express Tribune that a huge explosion was heard near the market after which he saw bodies scattered in the area. Ambulances were rushed to the area immediately as additional number of police personnel made way to the spot.

So far no official version about the attack was available.

However, a senior police official confirmed the explosion in Matani, a village on the outskirts of Peshawar city, close to the Khyber Agency and FR Darra Adamkhel.

The area has been a clash point for militants and peace militias for years. This is a developing story and will be updated accordingly.

Courtesy: Urduwire

http://www.urduwire.com/en/news/6-killed-18-injured-as-blast-rips-through-peshawar-market_nid718811.aspx

Why are we so intolerant? Emotional and heartfelt column on Rimsha. – By Mehr Tarar

VIEW : To do or not to — Mehr Tarar

How will we learn to differentiate between an outright insult to our religion and an inadvertent slip where the doer does not even know what the action implies?

I write because I feel. This is the only medium through which I can express with some coherence what I want to say. Words have a tremendous power, bigger than many of us realise, but words only affect when they carry an expression of what you truly believe, what you feel a level deeper than the superfluous, and when your belief and feeling strengthen into the knowledge that it all must be conveyed; if not to all, to some. If not to some, maybe to even one person, whom you may touch, one way or the other, subliminally, or if you are lucky, startle like an alarm going off at 4:00 am when you are finally asleep, after hours of insomnia. Words, for me, would never be a mere structuring of alphabets, painstakingly coerced together, to compile an essay that you force yourself to write, to meet a deadline, to score an A, to fill your weekly slot in a newspaper. I write because I love to write. I write because I am a firm believer of the potency of the right text hitting the right chord at the right time. I write because when there is too much chaos around me, the orderliness of keys placed side by side on my keyboard allows me the calm to figure out how I can give voice to my outrage. I write when there are moments to celebrate, goodness to value, and achievements to celebrate. As I write today, I wish there were noble things to write about instead of the stark randomness of madness that seems to permeate our collective consciousness as a nation. I wish.

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‘People of other religions busy in useless activities during religious festivals’: So say Pakistan’s school books

By Rabia Mehmood

LAHORE: National Commission for Justice and Peace (NCJP) has conducted a content analysis of the revised curriculum of Punjab and Sindh textbooks for 2012-2013 for inclusion of biased and discriminatory content against religions other than Islam.

The findings reveal excessive use of the words Hindu, Christian and Jew while discussing the history of Pakistan and Islamic Studies, which portray the said faiths in a negative light.

For example, an Islamic Studies book of Sindh board for class 5, in a chapter on Eid (religious festivals), includes a line saying, “People of other religions usually stay busy in useless activities during their religious festivals. There is no concept of God or submission among them.”

The chapter “Pakistan, an Islamic State” in the same textbook of Punjab board includes this line: “Hindus harmed Muslims in every way.”

The content analysis has been published in Urdu to generate a debate on how the inclusion of discriminatory content in curriculum sows seeds of hatred, and to ensure that the review reaches maximum people.

Number of chapters with biased content PUNJAB:

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A country lost

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.

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Judges should not govern country: India’s chief justice

NEW DELHI, Aug 25: Asserting that judges should not govern the country or evolve policies, the chief justice of India said on Saturday he wondered what would happen if the executive refused to comply with the judiciary’s directives.

Justice S.H. Kapadia asked judges if they would invoke contempt proceedings against government officials for not complying with their decisions and disapproved a recent Supreme Court judgment which said “right to sleep” was also a fundamental right.

“Judges should not govern this country. We need to go by strict principle. Whenever you lay down a law, it should not interfere with governance. We are not accountable to people.

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UN decides to observe Balochistan situation

Islamabad—United Nations has decided to send a delegation to Pakistan for reviewing the situation in Balochistan. Foreign office has been informed in this regard. The UN authorities has written a letter to foreign ministry mentioning that seven-member UN delegation would visit Pakistan from September 10 to 20 to review the situation in Balochisatan.

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Balochistan: Tarek Fatah explains the conflict to a Canadian audience

The Balochistan conflict has been on and off since 1948 when the Pakistan army invaded the independent State of Kalat, assassinated its leadership and occupied it since then. Four uprisings have occurred in 1948, 58, 73 and the latest since 2006. This time the youth of Balochistan are demanding independence from Pakistan and their case has been taken up by Rep. Dana Rohrabacher who has tabled a resolution in the US House of Representatives to support the right of self-determination by the Baloch people.

Courtesy: Sun News » YouTube » Via – Twitter

Taliban leader says founder of Pakistan M.A. Jinnah was a apostate or blasphemer (kaffir).

TTP leader says Jinnah was a apostate or blasphemer (kaffir), the Prophet sanctioned killing of women and children in war.

Courtesy: YouTube

Israel and Pakistan

By IQBAL JAFAR

No two countries in the world are so close in their experience as a young nation and yet so far apart in their political compulsions as Israel and Pakistan.

To a lesser degree of uniqueness, these two countries have much to do with the questions of war and peace in the vast landmass from the Nile Valley to the Indus Valley, that once was a cradle of civilization, and could next be its graveyard. What happens in these two countries and between them and their neighbors should be of great interest for the international community.

Born only a few months apart, both on a Friday, Israel and Pakistan share an incredibly long list of other remarkable, even uncanny, commonalities.

Consider: both were carved out of a British colony; both were created in the name of religion by leaders who were secularists at heart; both were born as geographical oddities, Israel in three blocs and Pakistan in two; both saw large-scale exodus and immigration in the first year of their existence; both got involved in territorial disputes with their neighbors immediately after birth; both have borders that have yet to stabilize after more than six decades of existence.

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Times of troubles

By: Shamshad Ahmad

Looking at the dynamics of contemporary international relations, one is reminded of the ancient Chinese curse, “May you live in interesting times,” which could perhaps never have been more relevant than to our times at this critical juncture. We are passing through interesting and critical times which according to the so-called predictions of the Nostradamus Code could also be categorised as “time of troubles.” These are indeed times of trouble. More so for the world’s Muslims now representing more than one fourth of humanity.

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And we are Muslims? – Mehr Tarar

Kill a human being who does not share your faith and voila, as per your religious gurus, you have earned the title of ‘ghazi’

My 12-year-old son is a Muslim. He knows the Namaz, reads the Quran with a teacher, and recites the Kalima before going to sleep. He understands the basic concepts and has no problem lowering the sound of TV when one is saying prayers, or when asked to put the Quran in a clean, protected space. Asked why he does all these things, his answer would be simple: “My mom taught me to.” My 12-year-old is a Muslim simply because I am a Muslim. His faith is not something he was born with, and all he knows is imbibed through parental influence. The only thing noteworthy is his perception about the world: how unfair some things are, how people unleash cruelty on one another. His unfaltering empathy, his profound concern for people are things probably no one taught him. When I tell him about painful events, there is no recoiling in unease; there is merely a rapid fluttering of eyelashes, a telltale sign of an attempt to hide his tears, this time about the 11-year-old Christian girl who is the latest victim of Muslim ruthlessness.

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Christian group to hold conference on Pakistan blasphemy law

GENEVA: An influential Christian Church organisation will hold an international conference in Geneva next month on Pakistan’s blasphemy law, after an 11-year-old Pakistani Christian girl was detained on accusations of defaming Islam.

Religious and secular groups worldwide have protested over the arrest last week of Rifta Masih, accused by Muslim neighbours of burning verses from the Quran, Islam’s holy book.

The World Council of Churches (WCC) said the conference was intended to give a global platform to religious minorities in Pakistan “who are victimised in the name of its controversial blasphemy law” in cases which had brought death penalties and “mob-instigated violence.”

It will be addressed by representatives of the minorities: Hindus, Buddhists, Christians, dissenting Islamic sects – including Ahmadis and Shias, and by civil society groups defending them. The WCC said officials from the United Nations, where special human rights investigators on religious freedom have often criticised Pakistan’s blasphemy law, would also attend.

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Ahmadis in Rawalpindi stopped from offering Eid prayers

Ahmadis in Rawalpindi had no place to offer Eid prayers: Spokesperson

The Ahmadis living in Rawalpindi were not allowed to offer Eid prayers on August 20 at their main place of worship, Ewan e Tawheed, said a press release on Wednesday.

The spokesperson of Jama’at Ahmadiyya Pakistan, Saleemuddin, said that “the government and local administration has violated Article 20 of the Constitution after stopping Ahmadis from congregating for Eid prayers. The Article 20 ensures every citizen to freely perform religious duties.”

Saleemuddin, in the press release, stressed that the Ahmadis would never compromise or accept any pressure on their fundamental right to worship.

“This is not only a denial of religious freedom but is also depriving the Ahmadis of an annual ritual where worship goes with social activity,” the press release added.

According to a tweet by Saleemuddin, the order to stop Ahmadis from praying at their place of worship was issued by senior district officials.

Courtesy: The Express Tribune

http://tribune.com.pk/story/424770/ahmadis-in-rawalpindi-had-no-place-to-offer-eid-prayers-spokesperson/

via – Twitter

Toronto Sun – Pakistan: The demon the West created

By Tarek Fatah

August is a month that brings both joy and grief to the 1.3 billion people of the Indian subcontinent. Joy, as we celebrate the end of nearly 200 years of British colonial rule in 1947, and sorrow as we remember the one million who were slaughtered unnecessarily in a genocidal frenzy of religious hatred.

Punjab, my ancestral homeland, was sliced in two by the departing British to create the new state of Pakistan. In a few short months, the entire population of Punjab’s indigenous Sikhs and Hindus in Pakistan was either slaughtered or driven out by raging mobs of Muslim fanatics. On the other side of the border, there was more bloodshed.

The question often asked is, who penned the partition of India? Who was responsible for carving out Pakistan, a country that seems to have an insatiable appetite for bloodshed, and that has been responsible for, or associated with, more acts of jihadi terrorism then any other country on earth?

From Khalid Sheikh Mohammad’s 9/11 plans to the recent recruitment of jihadis in Burma; from the Toronto 18 to the London 7/7 bombings, fingerprints of Pakistan-based jihadi groups and ideologies are ubiquitous.

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How long and how many more liberals you will kill? You can crush all of us. But you can’t stop the spiring.

Pakistan’s musician Taimur Laal on massacres of liberals in the “Land of the Pure” by the “guardians of the Religion of Peace!?” Laal’s video on the trials, tribulations, and sacrifices of the people of Pakistan in the struggle against extremism in our society.  Religio-fascists! how do you claim that the battle is over in which we have not even taken the very first step! You can crush All of us. But you can not stop the spring.

Poet: Faiz Ahmed Faiz. Directed by Dr. Taimur Rahman.

Courtesy: Laal » YouTube