Tag Archives: Siddiqui

VICTORY OVER TERRORISM BY AWAMI TAHREEK

By: Kalavanti Raja

The capital city of Sindh Karachi was sealed with containers and police forces and fear was created by Government Machinery since last two days. “Many killing are likely hence Govt can not allow Awami Tehreek (AT) for Layari Rally”. Besides all that AT did what they planned.

It is no doubt a well-done by to Awami Tahreek who broke the chains of fear of people to walk on Karachi roads for the political rights which was created by fascist terror mafia since 22 May. Congratulations to Ayaz Latif Palijo for this great break through and this great success of people over terrorism. Hundreds of thousands people pay homage to martyrs of 22 May in Lyari Usman park and stood against illegal orders.

Continue reading VICTORY OVER TERRORISM BY AWAMI TAHREEK

Interlude in Brown?

by Omar Ali

Pakistan’s existing political and administrative system is based almost entirely on Western models. but the official national ideology is ambivalent or even hostile to Western civilization and its innovations. In the past this was less of a problem since “national ideology” was not very well developed (Jinnah himself was famously confused about what he wanted and while the Muslim League used Islamist slogans freely during the Pakistan movement, a number of its leaders and ideologues were happy to go along with vaguely left wing justifications for the state once they were comfortably in power after partition), but  ever since the time of General Zia, there has been a steady push to establish a particular Islamist version of Pakistani nationalism as the default setting. The process has not gone entirely smoothly and significant sections of the super-elite  intelligentsia remain wedded to Western left-liberal (and more rarely, frankly capitalist/”neo-liberal”)) ideologies while the deeper thinking Islamists tend towards Salafism, but it has gone further in the emerging middle class and within the armed forces. There, a superficially Islamist, hypernationalist vision has taken root and can be seen in its purest form on various “Paknationalist” websites.
This “paknationalism” is an extremely shallow and rather unstable construct. It is not classically Islamist but it regards Islam as the main unifying principle and ideological foundation of the state. In practice, it is more about hating India (and our own Indian-ness) that it is about any recognizable orthodox form of Islam. It is also very close to 1930s fascism in its worship of uniforms, authority and cleansing violence. People outside Pakistan rarely take it too seriously and prefer to  get their versions of Pakistani nationalism from more liberal interpreters, but the “Paknationalists” are serious and one of these days, they are going to have a go at Pakistan if present suicidal trends persist in the civilian elite.  Their interlude may not last very long, but it is likely to be exceptionally violent and may end in catastrophe.

Read more: 3QuarksDaily

http://www.3quarksdaily.com/3quarksdaily/2012/06/the-iron-guard-by-omar-ali.html#more

A prominent Sindh-Dost writer Professor Afaq Siddiqui passes away

KARACHI: Sindh’s prominent poet, writer and researcher, Professor Afaq Siddiqui passed away in Karachi, Sindh on Sunday, June 17, 2012. He was 86.

The immigrants who came from India to Sindh, unfortunately they didn’t accept or adopt Sindhi language and Sindh’s evergreen secular culture of love, peace, tolerance and communal harmony. However, there were many who accepted Sindhi language, culture, and values, And, Sindh loves them, accept them and embrace them as her own children! One such great immigrant was Professor Afaq Siddiqui. His work was highly appreciated all over Sindh. He received more than 60 International awards. Amongst the various awards that he received, one is the Pride of Performance and the other is Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai Excellence Award, which is the highest award of Sindh. He merged himself in the secular Sufi culture of Sindh. He was a prominent Sindh Dost researcher, poet and writer. Professor Siddiqui wrote 40 books, 18 of which are in Sindhi. He also translated “Shah Jo Rasalao”. Sindh & Sindhis are truly indebted to this proud son of Sindh and to other Urdu speaking Sindhis who made Sindh their home.

Professor Siddiqui was born in 1928 in a house of a police officer in India. He migrated to Sindh after partition of the sub-continent. “He will be laid to rest in Sakhi Hassan graveyard in Karachi Sindh.

Courtesy: Sindhi e-lists/ e-groups, + facebook and internet.

Workers Party Pakistan UK opposed the division of Sindh

Condolence meeting in London for Ghazala Siddiqui Shaheed of Mohabat-e-Sindh

A condolence meeting of Workers Party Pakistan UK was convened in London to condole the sad demise of Ghazala Sadiqqi at the hands of fascist mafia’s attack on peaceful rally in Karachi, Sindh. The meeting was presided by Ahmad Nawaz Wattoo, convener WPP UK and attended by Dr. Iftikhar Mehmood, Dr. Tuheed Ahmed Khan, Rizwan Kayani, Mian Rashid Aslam, Munib Anwar, Yahya Hashmi, Mian Imran Latif, Atif Jamal and Rehan Khushi.

The meeting condemned the fascist mafia’s attack on the peaceful protestors in Karachi during Muhabat Sindh rally on 22 May 2012. Due to the firing of the fascist terrorist mafia a bullet hit Ghazala Siddiqquie, a brave progressive woman, mother of three children, a loving wife and niece of comrade Usman Balouch, member Central Committee Workers Party Pakistan. The participants of the meeting offered their condolence and solidarity with Comrade Usman Balouch and bereaved family and friends of Ghazala. The participants demanded the arrests of the culprits of fascist mafia immediately. The meeting also opposed the division of Sindh.

Continue reading Workers Party Pakistan UK opposed the division of Sindh

An other Mohabat-e-Sindh rally shows love and peace in Larkano – Keeping Sindh intact: People of Sindh will do anything to save their motherland, says Palijo

Keeping the province intact: People of Sindh will do anything to save their motherland, says Palijo

SUKKUR: Thousands of people participated in the Mohabat-e-Sindh rally in Larkano on Friday evening to express their support for the unity of the province.

The president of the Awami Tehreek, Ayaz Latif Palijo, led the rally which started from Shaikh Zayed Morr. It progressed through Rice Canal Road, Lahori Muhalla, Qaim Shah Bukhari Road, Bunder Road and Pakistan Chowk before coming to a halt at Jinnah Bagh Chowk. People chanted slogans in favour of Sindh and lashed out at the people who were conspiring against it.

“Government officials want to know who gave permission to the Awami Tehreek to organise a rally on May 22, but I want to know who is allowing all the demonstrations in favour of a Mohajir Suba,” said Palijo while addressing the rally at Jinnah Bagh Chowk. “They are even marching towards the red zone without any difficulties.” He also responded to the statements made by Interior Minister Rehman Malik that the Awami Tehreek had not sought permission for its Karachi rally. “Rehman Malik is a liar. I wrote to the deputy commissioner and the SSP South to seek permission.” He added that “instead of ordering a probe into the killing of men and women, Malik is busy trying to find ….

Read more» The Express Tribune

Women’s Action Forum condemns the attack on peaceful rally

Women’s Action Forum (WAF) Hyderabad, Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad are appalled that a peaceful demonstration of Mohabat-e-Sindh (Love of Sindh) rally against the division of Sindh on the 22nd of May was violently attacked resulting in the tragic death of friends and comrades. We strongly condemn the use of force under any circumstances and particularly when it is used to subdue the democratic rights of the people to express their sentiments and political positions.

WAF offers its profound condolences to the family of Yasmeen Baloch, and Sindiani Tehreek for the tragic deaths and offers condolences to the family of labour leader Usman Baluch whose niece Ghazala Siddiqui was also killed. We will miss all of them not only in our political struggle but for the personal strength that their activism gave to all of us.

The mischievous noise of the ‘division’ of Sindh has been often used with sinister intent over to further the interests of a particular fascist terrorist group and has often been supported by the ‘hidden’ hand of those who have frequently brought the nation on the brink of destruction. WAF stands with the people of Sindh and does not accept the division of Sindh on ethnic or administrative lines, no matter what the rationale since this goes against the very fabric and spirit of secular Sindh.

Women’s Action Forum (WAF) is a women’s rights organization and has a presence in several cities in Pakistan. It is a non-partisan, non-hierarchical and non-funded organization. It is supportive of all aspects of women’s rights and related issues, irrespective of political affiliations, belief system, or ethnicity.

Pushing the Sindh Against the Wall – DailyTawar editorial.

Translation By: Archen Baloch

Sindhi too has now started receiving its share of mutilated bodies of abducted people after Balochistan.

The bullet riddled body of Muzafar Bhutto, the leadere of Jeay Sindh Muthada Mahaz, was found at Goth Bukhari near Hyderabad bypass, bearing severe torture marks. He was abducted fifteen months back. The family of Muzafer Bhutto has alleged that the state security agencies are involved in his abduction saying that he was abducted on 25th Jan 2011from New Saeedabad.

Keeping in view the political circumstances, this tragic event can be viewed as a part of rehearsal that is constantly being repeated in Balochistan on daily basis. Previously, the death of JSQM leader Bashir Qurishi in mysterious circumstances is also being regarded as a wider part of the conspiracy against them by Sindhi nationalists.

Muzafer Bhutto’s political struggle has left indelible mark in the political history of Sindh. Previously Muzafer Bhutto was abducted by secret agencies and released after subjecting him with crippling tortures. His role in Sindhi national movement will always be remembered. Baloch nationalists parties too have expressed their unequivocal solidarity with Sindhi nationalists and describe the abduction and the killing of Muzafer Bhutto as the continuation of the same policy of “Kill and Dump” in Balochistan.

According to analysts, the beginning of appearances of mutilated bodies of Political workers in Sindh, shows that the rulers are in panic in Sindh too after Balochistan. Because the rulers seems to have resolved to crush every dissenting voice, no matter wherever it is raised. The rulers are afraid of the intensity of the political movements on moral ground.

The appearance of Mutilated body of Muzafar Bhutto would have far reaching consequences. Political analysts further believe that pushing Sindh against the wall will result in serious ramifications after Balochistan.

Courtesy: http://www.dailytawar.com/adaria_page/2012/May/24/ada.htm

Shaheed Ghazala Siddiqui. A New Bakhtaawar of Sindh.

The Niece of Ex Labor Leader Usman Baloch, A great and Brave Sindhi daughter Shaheed Ghazala Siddiqui is killed by Coward fascist terrorist gangsters’ indiscriminate firing on a peaceful Mohabat-e-Sindh (Love of Sindh) rally.

This Great and Brave Daughter of mother Sindh has left his 8 months old son at home and attended Mohbat e Sindh rally.

Ghaza Shaheed was a lover of Sindh. She was actively helping flood affected victims in Karachi and was cooking food by herself and distributing among flood affected victim families.

Few minutes before her death, she gave a historical interview to KTN NEWS TV and says: Her Last golden words were; “SINDHI DAUGHTERS WILL GIVE THEIR LIVES FOR SINDH, BUT WILL NOT LET ANY TO DIVIDE MOTHER SINDH.”

GHAZALA SHAHEED’S FATHER IN LAW HAS  SAID THAT HE IS PROUD OF HER, AND HE IS READY TO GIVE SACRIFICES FOR HIS WHOLE FAMILY FOR SINDH.”

SHAHEED GHAZALA SIDDIQUI HAS MADE A NEW HISTORY, SHE WAS A NEW BIRTH OF BAKHTAAWAR SHAHEED.

SINDH WILL REMEMBER HER AS A NATIONAL HERO, SHE WILL BE A SOURCE OF INSPIRATION OF NATIONAL FREEDOM MOVEMENT.

She will be buried in Karachi, Sindh today at 6 PM.

AASMAN TUHENJEY LAH’D TEY GUL AFSHANEE KAREY, SINDH JEE AZEEM SHAHEED NIYANEE, TOUTEY SALAM.

Courtesy: Sindhi e-lists/ e-groups, 23 May 2012

Al Qaeda and its apologists in Pakistan

Al Qaeda and its apologists

By Raza Rumi

The new al Qaeda chief, Ayman al-Zawahiri in his new video statement has urged the people of Pakistan to overthrow the “corrupt” government in Islamabad. Interestingly, he has also asked the people to rise against the Pakistan Army, which has been fighting a battle against some extremist groups in the north west of the country. Al Qaeda has been making such desperate calls for a decade now. But the worrying part is that the message — or its operative part — has gained currency in many middle class Pakistanis. Despite the crackdown, Hizbut Tahreer (HuT) continues to operate like several other militant groups. The extent of its advocacy for overthrowing the generals and the politicians is such that a HuT affiliated senior army official is on trial these days.

But these trials and military interventions are pointless when Islamabad, virtually a security zone, displays HuT posters and stickers almost everywhere. Why are the activists not tracked down and why do the government and the all-powerful intelligence agencies allow proliferation of such propaganda? A partial explanation is that elements of the state are also steeped in this a similar mindset. It is an established fact that the composition of the officers’ corps in the army and civilian bureaucracy is overwhelmingly middle class.

In his latest statement, again al-Zawahiri has mentioned the 70-year-old American aid worker Dr Warren Weinstein, who was kidnapped in August 2011 from Lahore. The message from al Qaeda is that Weinstein will not be released until their demands are met. Among others, a key demand is the release of Aafia Siddiqui, a Pakistani scientist sentenced by the US courts and currently languishing in an American prison. Ms Aafia’s story is still incomplete and there are competing claims over her role in perpetrating ‘terrorism’ as well as her innocence. ….

Read more » The Express Tribune

Mother of all scams? Will justice be done by the Supreme court that called itself “Aazad Adliya”!?

Mother of all cases?

A testimony of the slim, short, veteran businessman-cum-banker, Yunus Habib, may come in handy when the Supreme Court starts hearing the almost decade-old petition of Air Marshal Asghar Khan on Feb 29, 2012. Habib hit the headlines in the 1990s for his key role in the release of Rs14 million (or maybe more) from his own Mehran Bank to defeat the Benazir Bhutto’s PPP in the next elections.

The affidavit submitted by the then ISI chief, Lt. Gen. Asad Durrani, is the first ever confession by any official of Pakistan’s premier intelligence agency of the role it played in pre-poll rigging and its direct involvement in political matters. But there is much more to it and all facts must come to the surface.

Though there was an unusual delay in the case being taken up for hearing, one hopes it will proceed as fast as other petitions like the ones dealing with NRO, NICL, the infamous Memo Case or the Haj scam.

Continue reading Mother of all scams? Will justice be done by the Supreme court that called itself “Aazad Adliya”!?

A Statement from the Asian Human Rights Commission – PAKISTAN: The government must inform the public about the health and conditions of Dr. Aafia Siddiqui who is imprisoned in the USA

AHRC-STM-169-2011, November 4, 2011 – The Asian Human Rights Commission has published several statements on the imprisonment of Dr. Aafia Siddiqui, the American-educated Pakistani cognitive neuroscientist who was convicted and imprisoned for 86 years on the charge of assault with intent to murder her U.S. interrogators in Afghanistan. See PAKISTAN/USA: A lady doctor remains missing with her three children five years after her arrest. We have now received information from Dr. Siddiqui’s sister that she has now undergone a forced abortion while in detention and was hemorrhaging seriously.  In the email received from her younger sister, Dr. Fowzia Siddiqui, she reported that:

Continue reading A Statement from the Asian Human Rights Commission – PAKISTAN: The government must inform the public about the health and conditions of Dr. Aafia Siddiqui who is imprisoned in the USA

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

Chief Justice (R) Sajjad Ali Shah Exposes Pakistan Judiciary Corruption

Ethnic Discrimination in Pakistan Judicial System. The language of the interview is urdu (Hindi).

Courtesy: → Meher Bokhari via → ChagataikhanYouTube

Then spoke Aafia

By Aziz Akhmad

I sat among the audience in the courtroom of federal judge Richard Berman, in Lower Manhattan, watching the sentencing proceedings of Aafia Siddiqui, on September 23.

Before Aafia Siddiqui spoke, her lawyer made what sounded, at least to me, a compassionate plea for a minimum sentence. She argued that Aafia Siddiqui was not mentally stable, or words to that effect, because of the impossible circumstances she had been through. That she needed professional care and compassion rather than a long term in prison. The lawyer concluded her plea by asking for a sentence not more than 12 years.

All this time, Afia Sidddiqui sat quietly, clad in a beige niqab, only her eyes visible. At times she would place her head on the table in front of her, as if not interested in what her lawyer was saying, or would stretch back into the chair clasping her head in both hands, as if exasperated. Soon after her lawyer finished, she stood up and asked the judge if she could say something. The judge said yes.

Then Aafia spoke. It was as if a dam had been breached; the words came gushing out of her mouth like a torrent. She spoke in a sharp voice and flawless English. Every once in a while she would pause and ask the audience, like a teacher in a classroom: “Do you understand what I am saying?” At one point the judge had to say, yes, we all understand you very clearly. Sometimes during the course of her speech she would break into a short, agitated laughter. Once, she even made a humorous comment about her trial referring to the court as Manhattan Institute of Theatrics, a pun on MIT, her alma mater.

She declared at the outset that she was not tortured or mistreated in jail (in Texas). She said if you hear people saying otherwise don’t believe them. She then quoted a verse from the Quran to the effect that when you hear something, verify it before you believe it. She said she was not mentally unbalanced, as her defence lawyers had tried to make out and that she did not trust them.

Several times she said she loved America and had no hostility against Americans or anyone. She also thanked the soldiers who, she said, did not harm or mistreated her daughter in captivity (in Afghanistan?).

Continue reading Then spoke Aafia

Who is Aafia Siddiqui? Guantánamo files reveal her as top al-Qaida operative

Guantánamo files paint Aafia Siddiqui as top al-Qaida operative

Documents claim neuroscientist – jailed in US for attempted murder – aided al-Qaida bombing, poisoning and hijacking plots

by Declan Walsh in Islamabad

Aafia Siddiqui, the Pakistani neuroscientist whose case has become a flashpoint of Pakistani-American tensions, plotted to smuggle explosives into America and offered to manufacture biological weapons, according to the Guantánamo files.

The allegations are a combination of US intelligence analysis and direct testimony by at least three senior al-Qaida figures, including the 9/11 plotter Khalid Sheikh Muhammad. They cannot be independently corroborated and the testimonies were likely to have been extracted under conditions of torture.

Muhammad, known as KSM in intelligence circles, was waterboarded 183 times in the month after his capture in Pakistan in March 2003.

But several of the accounts do overlap, linking Siddiqui, a diminutive 39-year-old mother of three, with some of Osama bin Laden’s most senior lieutenants. They help explain why the FBI placed her on a list of the world’s seven most wanted al-Qaida fugitives in 2004.

Siddiqui disappeared from Karachi in March 2003 only to reappear five years later amid murky circumstances in Ghazni, central Afghanistan. There was an altercation in a police station and the US accused Siddiqui of trying to shoot two soldiers and two FBI agents.

She was sent to the US, tried and last year sentenced to 86 years’ jail. At home in Pakistan she became a cause célèbre widely viewed as an innocent victim of American injustice.

During the recent stand-off over Raymond Davis, the CIA spy who shot two people in Lahore, a chorus of Pakistani politicians demanded the US repatriate Siddiqui in exchange for the American.

The Guántanamo files offer a murky perspective, placing Siddiqui at the heart of an al-Qaida cell based in Karachi between 2002 and 2003. Emboldened by the success of the 9/11 attacks and led by KSM, the cell conspired to mount fresh attacks in the US, on Heathrow airport and inside Pakistan.

According to the files, the cell planned to smuggle explosives into America under the cover of textile exports – 20 and 40ft foot containers filled with women’s and children’s clothes. The explosives would be used to attack “economic targets” inside the US, according to KSM.

The operation would take place through an import-export business run by Saifullah Paracha, a Pakistani businessman who worked as a New York travel agent for 13 years before developing ties to Osama bin Laden. Paracha, 64, is currently in Guantánamo Bay.

According to Paracha’s file, Siddiqui’s role was to “rent houses and provide administrative support for the operation”. As part of this brief she travelled from Pakistan to the US in January 2003 to help renew the American travel papers of Majid Khan, a co-conspirator who had been ordered to bomb petrol stations and water treatment facilities in America.

According to Khan, he provided Siddiqui with money, photos and a completed application for an “asylum travel form” that “looked and functioned like a passport”.

Then, according to Khan’s file, “Siddiqui returned to the US and opened a post office box in detainee’s name, using her driver’s licence information”.

The plot collapsed after Khan was picked up in Pakistan and sent to Guantánamo. A co-conspirator in America, Uzair Paracha, was arrested in possession of the post box key.

Paracha, son of Saifullah Paracha, was sentenced to 30 years’ imprisonment in 2006; details of Siddiqui’s role in the plot surfaced during his trial.

Continue reading Who is Aafia Siddiqui? Guantánamo files reveal her as top al-Qaida operative

The myopia continues – Cyril Almeida

Excerpt:

…..  Well, no less a person than the American president has weighed in on what he thinks ought to be the fate of a piddling employee/contractor of the American government.

Whatever spurred those comments — he was asked a question rather than made a prepared statement — you can be sure the weight and might of the American state machinery will press very, very hard to ensure their president isn’t embarrassed by the self-righteous defiance of some judges and a few politicians in a country surviving on American handouts.

The Americans want their guy back and, by golly, they seem bent on getting their way. Which leaves our response.

By now the cat is out of the bag. When the interior minister, the ex-foreign minister and the all-powerful spy chief met to decide the fate of Raymond Davis, two of those gents were of the opinion that Davis doesn’t enjoy ‘full immunity’.

One of those two has now been fired by Zardari. The other, well, if Zardari tried to fire him, the president might find himself out of a job first.

Which leaves the obvious question: once the government had, surprise, surprise, screwed up, what did the self-appointed custodians of the national interest make of the situation?

Forget all that mishegoss about Vienna conventions and legal minutiae and the like. In its dealings with the US over the past decade, the security establishment’s concern for the letter of the law has been, at best, patchy.

Tongues are wagging in Islamabad that the calculus would have been far simpler: through a stroke of luck, the Pakistani state now has something the Americans desperately want back — Raymond Davis — so what will the Americans be willing to give in return?

The Davis incident has come at a time when by all accounts relations between the US and Pakistan were growing more tense, and worse was expected in the months ahead. All manner of American pressure was expected to be put on Pakistan to further US counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency goals in this country and across the border in Afghanistan.

Some believe the contours of the security establishment’s response had become visible in recent months: discreetly and indirectly encourage anti-American sentiment in the country as a bulwark against American pressure. If/when the Americans leaned too heavily on the security establishment here, the generals would be able to turn around and say, we can’t do what you want, the people won’t let us.

But long after Raymond Davis is back home in the US, hawking his talents in the lucrative private sector there, we here in Pakistan will still be stuck with the fallout.

The security establishment seems to view extremist sentiment like a faucet: turn it off, turn it on, leave it half open, depending on the need of the hour. But in the real world it doesn’t quite work like that.

Once released into society, the poison lingers on, its pernicious effects revealed years and maybe even decades later. Kind of what Pakistan looks like today, 30 years since Zia tried to Islamise this unfortunate land and her luckless people.

The recent evidence is just as harrowing. Hafiz Saeed was trotted out in support of the blasphemy laws, and everyone knows what that fire ended up consuming. Now the right-wing is up in arms again, demanding the head of Raymond Davis, arguing for a swap with Aafia Siddiqui, crying out for the lives of Pakistanis to be treated at par with American lives — with the security establishment passively looking on, possibly counting the benefits.

Who knows, the arrogant Americans may or may not get their way on Raymond Davis. The security establishment may or may not be able to wrest some compromises from the US in return for facilitating the release of Davis.

But Pakistani society will be uglier, more intolerant and a little more vicious as a result — and that surely cannot be worth whatever the short-term tactical advantage which may or may not be gained.

Read more : DAWN

A Pakistani journalist on Raymond Davis issue

The language of program is urdu/ Hindi

Courtesy: Geo TV (Aapas ki Baat Najam Sethi ke Saath – 31st january 2011.)

via – ZemTVYou Tube Link

We hypocritical Muslims – by Dr Manzur Ejaz

Muslims have convinced themselves that they are super-humans. They believe that the world should be very attentive to the Muslims’ religious and cultural sensitivities while they can persecute any minority

On an international level, people from every religion exchange greeting cards to commemorate different occasions. We all know that most of these cards are meant for the wastebasket. What if a Christian or Jew saw a Muslim salesperson throwing his card with Jesus or Moses’ name on it and called the police to register a case of blasphemy against him/her and the police arrested the violator? Most western readers would laugh out loud at this unlikely scenario but it is not a laughing matter for a physician from Hyderabad, Pakistan, who, unwittingly, threw a Muslim’s visiting card in the trash basket. He apologised to the offended party and yet the police arrested him under pressure from religious fanatics.

The manner in which the religious parties are campaigning for Aasia Bibi’s hanging has given me many nightmares while living in the US capital. What if the Bible belt of the southern states in the US became as influential as the religious parties in Pakistan? The US Congress and Senate would add a constitutional amendment on blasphemy laws according to which anyone who believes in any prophet after Jesus would be sentenced to death. Under pressure from Washington, most European and South American countries and those with majority Christian populations would follow suit in making the Christian blasphemy law. Hindus, Buddhists and people of other religions would also be forced to pass such laws. What kind of world would we live in if all that should take place?

Whatever happens, the Blasphemy Law will be fully operational against Muslims because they were the ones who set the precedent. This means that the millions of Muslims living in non-Islamic countries would face persecution and may even be led to the gallows. Fundamentalists and extremists of every religion will justify Muslim persecution on the basis of their belief in a prophet who came after Jesus and other prophets and the way the people believing in this religion have been targeting Christians and other minorities in their own countries.

Lucky for the Muslims living in the US and other non-Islamic countries that no nation has blasphemy laws and Muslims can throw any greeting card in the wastebasket or even openly put down other religions without fear of reprisal. Of course, after 9/11, Muslims may be screened more at airports. Even the Indian ambassador to Washington, Ms Meera Shankar, was put through a body search for which India has lodged a strong protest with the US. One can see regular white Americans also being humbled at airports. Therefore, discrimination is there but Muslims never realise that they have worse practices in their own countries. They do not see a connection between the liberties they enjoy abroad in contrast to the persecution of minorities in their homelands.

Furthermore, Muslims in the US and other European countries are not taking discrimination lying down; they are fighting for their equal rights. Nowadays, US-based Muslim organisations are campaigning for the US government to allow them to send zakat money to other countries. The US put many restrictions on such charities under the pretext that such money is being used to fund Muslim terrorist organisations. The point is that Muslim organisations can challenge such laws publicly despite American sensitivity about the role of charitable organisations in funding jihad.

While Muslims enjoy such liberties in the western world, they are intolerant towards minorities in their own countries. Religious parties take the most hypocritical positions at home and abroad. They agitate for equal rights in the west and demonstrate to maintain the Blasphemy Law and hang a poor rural Christian like Aasia Bibi in Pakistan. Religious parties want democratic freedom when it comes to their own interests but become fascists when it is someone else’s right. For example, the Jamaat-e-Islami wants pure democracy and transparency in the country but in institutions under their control, like the Punjab University, they become a corrupt, tyrannical force. A similar pattern is repeated wherever religious parties gain control, be it in FATA or an educational institution.

Aasia Bibi’s case does not make much sense. Having lived with many rural Christians — who are mostly very poor and are considered untouchables — I know that these poor souls are incapable of committing the crimes they are accused of. Most of the time, the grudging ‘Muslim masters’ register such cases to punish them for disobeying or refusing to do free work. Muslim organisations are up in arms to free Aafia Siddiqui for violating US laws but show no compassion for Aasia Bibi. Obviously, this is a crude example of double standards. …

Read more : WICHAAR

A column about Aafia Siddiqui

The Aafia mafia – by Fasi Zaka

Her ex-husband rubbishes many of her claims, and the family of Dr Aafia won’t let the media speak to her children who can shed light on what really happened ….

About a year ago, I wrote a column that got the ghairat brigade on my case. The gist of the column was that the trial in the US was based on a case of evidence, and lack of, that the US had full control over in the alleged attempt to shoot a US soldier by Dr Aafia Siddiqui. That she would get a fair trial was dubious, plus the case was opportunistic because the US took the easy way out and didn’t prosecute her for her alleged links to al Qaeda but instead for a shooting during a questioning. She was, after all wanted for links to terrorism initially. Then of course, one of the main problems is the US took a third party national from Afghanistan for a trial in their domestic courts.

The offending opinion which got the aforementioned ghairat specialists riled up, which I still subscribe to, is that from what we know Dr Aafia cannot be categorically described as innocent or guilty.

Before she went missing, before the alleged shooting, Dr Aafia was on the radar as an enabler of terrorism. A UN commission described her as a member of al Qaeda, Sheikh Khalid Mohammed gave her name to the US and court records show her as the second wife of an al Qaeda member. One of her uncle’s claims to have met her when she was supposedly in detention in Afghanistan by the US during her missing year’s period. Her ex-husband rubbishes many of her claims, and the family of Dr Aafia won’t let the media speak to her children who can shed light on what really happened. …

Read more >> THE EXPRESS TRIBUNE

Is he in danger of being involved in the Imran Farooq investigation? Why is he suddenly all concerned about international powers targeting him?

MQM would have cut ties with US over Aafia: Altaf

KARACHI: Had the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) been in power, it would have severed all ties with the US and its allies over the inhuman sentence of the daughter of the nation Dr Aafia Siddiqui by the US court, MQM chief Altaf Hussain said on Saturday. ….

Read more >> Daily Times

Afia Siddiqui sentenced for 86 years

US jails Pakistani scientist for 86 years

Aafia Siddiqui, the female Pakistani scientist convicted of attempting to kill US military personnel, has been sentenced to 86 years in prison.

Siddiqui was being interrogated by US officials in Afghanistan when she grabbed a rifle and opened fire, shouting “death to Americans”.

Prosecutors in New York called her an al-Qaeda sympathiser and sought life imprisonment. …

Read more >> BBC