Sunday, October 23, 2011

The King of Kings: Colonel Muammar Gaddafi

Hanging of Saddam Hussain on the day of Eid ul Azha was a sad scene to watch on TV for most of the Muslims, but the killing and disgrace of the dead body of Colonel Gaddafi by rebels was far more disturbing. Whatever happened is a sad episode carrying a lesson for the rulers who rob the wealth of their people for centuries and consider themselves as the owners of their people's lives and fate.

Colonel Muammar Gaddfi became the master of Libyan people's destiny through a military coup in 1969 by throwing out the King Idris.The era in which Gaddafi took over was an era of dissent, hopelessness and disappointment for most of the oil rich Muslim countries in Arab as whole Arab were not able to defeat Israel. Arabs and African Muslims welcomed the leaders who raised the slogans against USA, Britain or Israel; Muammar Gaddafi was one of them. He received overwhelming support from people in Africa; therefore he assumed himself as the leader of whole Africa and started a campaign against each and every small country in his neighborhood which did not comply with his leadership. I recall a quote from some great personality "Authority does not make us cruel but exposes our cruelty" the same was the case of Gaddafi. In quest of king of kings title he started a brutal war with every one whom he considered as an enemy, attacked neighboring countries, killed opponents and banned any opposition in country.

Libya has a very large area with a relatively small population of nearly 6.6 million (a mere 150% of Azad Kashmir's population), population density is 50 person per Sq KM; its oil reserves are largest in Africa and 9th largest in the world. Moreover it is a beautiful country situated on the bank of Mediterranean sea attracting millions of tourists yearly boosting the economy to a good extent but Gaddafi's rule almost shut the doors for tourists. Having so much treasure, if it had been ruled and managed properly by a sincere leader then Libya would have been a leader of the world’s economy and its people would have been enjoying the highest life standards, but it’s an irony that in enmity of USA and Israel Muslims always supported wrong rulers and faced more humiliation. People will blame US and allies as always for all the ills faced by Libyans and other Muslims throughout the world, but it is the time to accept that our own people are more responsible for our miseries.

Gaddafi and Pakistan

I don’t know how many people in Libya would know about Pakistan or its leaders but in Pakistan there is a lot of debate on Gaddafi after his killing. On facebook, twitter, blogs and some newspapers people are trying their best to portray him as a hero and true leader of Muslims. Many people argue that he was a great supporter of Pakistan and gave the money required for our nuclear program. It is strange that we never let our poor dictators to rule for more than 12 years but still we enjoy the luxury of supporting the dictator who was thrown out of power by his people after 42 years.

Colonel Gaddafi might have supported Pakistan when Bhutto was a ruler as he had personal relations with Bhutto, he also visited Pakistan in 1974 and we named a stadium for his honor. During those days he was planning to acquire latest available weapons, for this he had some expensive deals. From Pakistan he was expecting a nuclear weapon as he knew that Bhutto was planning one. Unfortunately Bhutto was arrested and killed by Zia's operation fair play in 1979 and his plan failed. The same year Soviet's invasion of Afghanistan made Zia a darling for USA and a villain for Gaddafi. According to some sources he actively supported Al-Zulfiqar against Zia, latter he enjoyed good relations with Benazir Bhutto's governments.

I wonder what would have been the condition of Pakistan if Gaddafi had ruled it for 42 years with all his female bodyguards? a thought for Gaddafi lovers.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Who Ruined The Quaid's Dream (1977-1979)

Ziaul Haq, Who Was He?

Before taking over as Army Chief General Zia Ul Haq had been famous for leading a Jordanian Army Division during operation black September against Palestinian fighters and being involved in killing of over 10,000 (official numbers) Palestinians living in camps in Jordan. It was interesting to note that Jordan’s military was a powerful force but they choose Zia ul Haq to spearhead the operation known as black September by Arabs. It is an open secret that King Hussian was a puppet of USA and He was more loyal to USA than Arabs, therefore most the Jordanians did not like him; instead there was abundant support and sympathy for Palestine Liberation Organization which was fighting against Israel. As a result, when PLO started attacking Israel from Jordanian Camps, they gained overwhelming support from Jordanians; King Hussain backed by USA decided to suppress PLO. Most of the Jordanian commanders denied fighting against the PLO and Palestinians, so King Hussain asked Pakistani government to help them and Major Zia ul Haq was sent to help them in operation. Zia led the Jordanian military in a series of operations known as black September, as a result thousands of Palestinians were killed and PLO was crushed. Later Zia ul Haq was awarded the highest Military rank of Jordan for his services in pushing Palestinians out of Jordan.

July 1977 Coup:

Bhutto’s autocratic rule enraged his rival politicians; in 1977 elections Bhutto’s government did record rigging as a result violent agitation started after elections. In July 1977 amid unrest and agitation on pretext of restoring law and order, Zia Ul Haq dismissed Bhutto and imposed martial law on July 5, 1977. He addresses the nation and promised to hold free and fair elections in 90 days. Nusrat Bhutto, wife of deposed Prime Minister filed a case in Supreme court challenging the legitimacy of July 77 coup, supreme court for the second time validated the doctrine of necessity and ruled that given the unstable political condition of country the coup was legal. Contrary to Ayyub Khan, who fooled the nations with a slogan of development, ending up breaking Pakistan into two. Ziaul Haq took hold of pulses of nation by raising slogan of Islamic revolution. The masses who had so much affection for Islam were behind a military dictator again.

Hanging Of Bhutto 1979:

Instead of holding elections ex Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto was arrested on September 17, 1977 under martial law orders on charges of ordering the murder of Nawab Mohammad Ahmed Khan. The trial was started at Lahore High Court against the law depriving Bhutto of a chance of appeal. Most of witnesses were under imprisonment from most of the time after Zia’s coup so there impartiality was impossible; to prove that one of the alleged assassins (approvers) retracted from his initial testimony and declared before court that the testimony was extract from him under torture and threat. Bhutto was awarded death punishment by Lahore High Court on 18th March 1978. Bhutto filed an appeal in Supreme Court; Initially 5 out of 9 judges were in favor of Bhutto but Chief Justice Supreme Court justice Anwarul Haq (who presided as acting president under Zia once) delayed the trial till Jul as one of the pro Bhutto judges was to retire in July. Supreme Court of Pakistan withheld the decision of lower court with a clear divide of 4-3. Amid protests and appeals from world leaders, Zia overturned the clemency appeals from all over the world, and Bhutto was hanged on April 4, 1979. It is believed that Zia was not in favor of any trial against Bhutto in the beginning but when Bhutto visited Lahore after dismissal, the reception he received from people was terrifying for Zia, so he did not hold the election due to fears of of PPP wining the elections. Zia was such a coward that he did everything to win the case against the Bhutto. Brisk transfers were made, chief justice was changed, and judges having bias against Bhutto were included in bench hearing his case. Maulvi Mushtaq (a Bhutto hater) the chief justice of LHC once rejected the post of Supreme Court just to take revenge from Bhutto, people who know Maulvi Mushtaq would know very well about the punishment he received from God. The judges who were in favor of fair trial were made to retire, some were sent on long leaves and the Judges who had personal grudge with Bhutto or personal relations with Zia were appointed for the trial. The decision of hanging Bhutto marked the darkest period of our judicial history.

The Politics of Divide and Ethnicity:

Before raising the slogan of Islam, Zia introduced the politics of Divide and ethnicity to tackle the influence of Bhutto in Pakistani politics. In Punjab Zia introduced an industrialist Nawaz Sharif and in Sindh he helped Muhajirs setting their first political party. Nawaz Sharif raised the slogan of Jaag Punjabi Jaag, while Muhajirs had Jiye Muhajir as their political slogan. Moreover Zia also helped nationalists in Sindh to build their political stature. These all actions were a clear indication of the mindset of a coward army general, who was so fearful of the political influence of a man who had been hanged but not killed. This mindset can still be traced in our establishment and military leadership which never let evolve any political culture in country. Coming back to politics of divide our agencies and military under Zia openly supported this agenda by giving the politicians funds and lands. In Punjab Nawaz Sharif and in Sindh Altaf Hussain did it very successfully blocking way for PPP but giving rise to a divide on ethnic and lingual basis. The evils of ethnicity and divide we are facing is a legacy of Hazrat Ziaul Haq.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Who Ruined The Quaid's Dream (1966-1977)

Mujeeb’s Six Points (1966)

On 6th February 1966, Awami League presented their famous six points agenda which stirred a great divide between the West and East Pakistan. Through this agenda Mujeeb demanded separate currency, dedicated foreign exchange account, separate militia and power of taxation and revenue. Six points program was the base from where Bengalis started the struggle for their independence. Bengalis were deprived of their legitimate economic and social rights, thus Mujeeb’s demand for greater autonomy under the six points program received overwhelming support and the denial of Federation to accept these greatly supported their resolve.

Agartala Conspiracy Case (1968)

Government was under pressure from the protests and demonstrations by over 60% of the population as there was little public support with the military rulers even in West Pakistan. In those critical circumstances in 1968, GOP filed a conspiracy case against 35 prominent leaders, servicemen and security officials of East Pakistan for secretly organizing an armed revolt against the government of Pakistan. Bengalis took it as another attempt to push them to wall, therefore a mass protest campaign started against the Government. Adding fuel to fire one of the accused was shot dead by security personnel during confinement inside the army cantonment. The news of the killing led to the violent agitations, protesters put many important state buildings on fire. Although the conspiracy was real but the case was poorly handled by then military government. To much of the surprise, after fueling worst violent and turmoil, government of Pakistan withdrew the Agartala Conspiracy Case on 22 February 1969. The very next day Sheikh Mujeeb Ur Rehman vowed to struggle for independent Bangladesh in a great public gathering in Dhaka.

Yahya Khan The New King (1969)

Ayub Khan was responsible for most of the miseries Pakistan faced during his era; he banned political parties, gauged media and deprived the common man of the legitimate rights. After serving Pakistan in every field he made his worst decision of making a mockery of his own constitution and handing over the powers to a drunken old man Yahya Khan (who is also known as Rangeela Badshah). Yahya Khan inherited the legacy of dissent, revolt and exploitation; he had to transform a country which had been under one man rule for the last 11 years to a democratic country. After a military rule of 12 years general elections were held in December 1970, Awami League of Sheikh Mujeeb Ur Rehman swept the East Pakistan with 160 seats while PPP led by Bhutto got 81 seats in West Pakistan. In provincial elections Awami League won 288 seats and PPP got 144 seats. The elections drew a distinct line between East and West Pakistan, as PPP and Awami League failed to win a single seat in East and West Pakistan respectively (both provincial and national elections). After securing big victory in elections Mujeeb ur Rehman’s Awami League was the only contender to form federal government. But both military and politicians from West Pakistan were suspicious about Mujeeb, they did not want to hand over the control of the country to a politician, who had earlier been held for conspiring against state. Bhutto was in the airspace of East Pakistan returning back after the talks with Mujeeb when army started operation, the end result of which was establishment of Bangladesh. It is widely believed that Bhutto and Mujeeb had come to a settlement of power sharing but Military establishment did not agree. The operation resulted in East Pakistan war, India learning a lesson from operation giberalter infiltrated trained Bengali and Indian guerlillas with the anme Mukti Bahni. The war resulted in over 30,000 deaths (officially) international media believed that they were more tham 500,000. Paksitani Army surrendered and suffered heart breaking humiliation in a land which was their's some time ago.

Bhutto The Dictator (1971-1977)

Bhutto was a charismatic personality; he held the pulses of poor people of Pakistan. Soon after taking control of a divided Pakistan he promised to make a new Pakistan from the remains of broken one. During hsi regime Bhutto made many fatal mistakes; the first one of them was the nationalization policy through which industries and institution were put under government's control. On pretext of nationalization supporters of PPP occupied the precious industries by force, thus destroying the economic backbone, shutting the doors for private investment. At political front ironically Bhutto became a dictator he ordered revenge from those who opposed him, suspended thousands of civil servants and established a ghunda force called Federal Security Force (FSF) to control his opponents. Later he was hanged on the charges of ordering the murder of a political rival through FSF, Director General FSF Masood Mahmood became the approver in this case. Bhutto tried to find his friends in military forces by appointing General Zia as chief of army staff superseding 7 senior generals. He held the general elections in 1977 after opposition started an anti Bhutto movement under the banner of PNA. 1977 elections were heavily rigged and manipulated; therefore the movement of PNA intensified and resulted in the ouster and later hanging of Bhutto.

Hamood Ur Rehman Commission Report (1974)

After the fall of Dhaka Bhutto constituted a commission under the supervision of chief justice Supreme Court Hamood ur Rehman to investigate the reasons of East Pakistan fall and surrender of army without the orders of central command. Commission worked hard and submitted final report in 1974. Report examined the situation in detail and recommended the public trial of many senior army generals including Yaha Khan. Bhutto did not want to make army an opponent therefore he did not made the report public, hence no one was punished for breaking the country. It remained under cover until August 2000, when an Indian Newspaper India Today published the report (No one ever bothered to find out how the top secret document reached India). An army which was created to protect the boundaries of Pakistan was criminally involved in anti-human acts in East Pakistan including killings, rapes, smuggling and torture. If Bhutto had shown the courage and punished the responsibles, he might not be murdered judicially. The unpunished generals never regretted their crimes and in less than 7 years of East Pakistan debacle they were back to fulfill remaining task.

Balochistan Operation (1973-77)

Balochis common man is as exploited as the Bengalis were in 1970, when Bengalis got independence, Baloch nationalists took is as an opportunity to get independence from federation. The insurgency grew stronger in Bhutto regime as NAP has formed the government in Balochistan comprising of nationalist parties with strong nationalist roots. Provincial government demanded more autonomy for the Balochis but federal government did not accept this demand. In the same year federal government foiled a rebellion effort and the provincial government was dismissed. After the dismissal of the government, nationalist insurgency exploded into widespread civil disobedience. Bhutto sent army to crush the insurgency and maintain law and order. A full fledged battle started between Baloch nationalists and Pakistan army which lasted for 4 years, as a result thousands were killed from both sides. The result of this operation was more rebellion and hatred and after 30 years of their struggle Balochis are still fighting. Why Balochis are fighting? Is a big question, but I think they are not fighting as most of them do not even think beyond a bottle of water or a piece of bread which is a rare commodity in the region. These are the Sardars and Waderas who want more shares in terms of money from Federal government. Federal government's policy regarding Balochistan have always been disastrous, they deal with the Sardars and pay them their share to silence the common Balochis, who have been deprived of basic necessities of life even in the 21st century. If we want not to experience another tragedy like East Pakistan we would have to address the needs and rights of the poor Balochi people. India is actively playing their role in fueling the nationalist movement, our agencies need to foil the links between these two.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Saleem Shahzad's Murder and PNS Mahran Attack

Saleem Shahzad Murder

The dead body of Syed Saleem Shahzad, the Pakistan Bureau Chief of Asia Times Online, who disappeared on May 29, 2011, from the F-6/2 area of Islamabad, has been recovered from Sarai Alamgir. He was on his way to the studios of Dunya News channel to particiate in a program to discuss his latest report on the attacks on PNS Mehran when the producer made the last contact with him. Before abduction Shahzad had published an article on Asia Times Online regarding the attack of Al-Qaeda on PNS Mahran and links between Al-Qaeda and Naval soldiers. It is strongly believed that he was under threat from intelligence agencies for quite sometime as he wrote extensively about the Al-Qaeda, Taliban and their supporters in Pakistan.

Saleem Shahzad had strong interaction with Al-Qaeda and Pakistan Military; he published some exclusive stories about Taliban movement and Al-Qaeda. In October 2010 he was (according to him) investigated by ISI for publishing a story about the release of a Taliban leader by Pakistan to facilitate talks between Taliban and security forces. He published his much awaited book ‘Inside al Qaeda and the Taliban: Beyond Bin Laden and 9/11’ in May, 2011.

The major cause of his murder is told to be the story published in Asia Times Online Al-Qaeda had warned of Pakistan Strike’, in which he claimed that Al-Qaeda carried out the attacks on PNS Mehran in Karachi after negotiations had failed between the navy and Al-Qaeda regarding the release of naval officials held by navy intelligence for their links with the terrorist organization. He wrote that some officials of junior cadre of Navy had been strong supporters of Al-Qaeda and they have been planning to attack US officials and experts working at base. They were caught and held by Navy for interrogations to find out to what extent teh militancy had crept into the naval ranks. The attacks on Naval buses earlier were warning calls by Al-Qaeda to release the linked officials.

The details of Attack on Mahran base provided so far confirm the report released by Shahzad, as it is not believable that only 6 terrorists engaged whole Navy, Army Commandoes and Rangers for 17 long hours killing 13 soldiers without the helping hands from inside. Who killed Saleem Shahzad will remain a mystery for ever as in a country where the murderers of its first PM had never been exposed, what is the value of a journalist, but the courage and grit he showed to expose the corruption within the military sytem will be remebered. God bless his soul the eternal peace and his family with the courage and determination to bear this great loss, ameen.

PNS Mahran Attack

Pakistan is under threat from all corners of the state; extremism and terrorism has paralyzed our nation, in these testing times Pakistani Military is the only hope left for most Pakistanis. But in a month the military has suffered the worst ever damage, first presence of OBL in Pakistan for more than 5 years undermined the efficiency of our intelligence agencies. Afterwards operation by US forces inside Pakistan proved incompetence of our army, now Mahran base attack has exposed the security and professional capability of our Air Force and Navy. Taliban and Al-Qaeda will definitely have links with military in Pakistan, as some former services chiefs still support them openly. Soldiers from lower ranks have strong affection with Islam, and it is obvious that they will not be happy for fighting against their own men for the sake of USA. We can expect some deep rooted dissent among the military officials, it needs to be pointed out and corrected otherwise we will not be able to get out of this mess.

In the last I would like to pay tribute to the soldiers killed in the Mahran Base attack for their sacrifice. I would also like to share a message sent by one of my college friends who is now a soldier at Pakistan navy. He told me that his colleagues in navy were very disappointed with the role of media in making a single person, Yasir Abbas hero out of 13 personnel martyred in the attack. I explained him the reasons why media was running such campaign, I fear I would not be able to share it here. Personally I am surprised to hear the News that Prime Minister has advised president to confer Nishan e Haider on Yasir Abbas for fighting bravely with the terrorists. What does it mean that the others who were killed did not fight bravely, or they were supporting the terrorists? His mother told a news reporter that he was on phone when blast happened so he disconnected the call. It clearly shows that he was even not aware of the attack until he heard the blast of terrorist attack on a nearby naval plane.

The martyrs should be respected and saluted but conferring the highest military medal to a soldier who was killed in their own den in such shameful security negligence would not only undermine the prestige of the award but would also be mockery of our proud military traditions. Common Pakistanis have always loved, supported and faced poverty for our military, but now the time has changed we can not worship them like the sacred cows if they would not be loyal and faithful to the poor nation. It is a need of the time to make a thorough investigation to cleanse our military from the people who are not loyal to our national interests.

Note: I was away for sometime therefore i was not able to update the series who ruined the Quiad's dream, i hope it will be completed soon.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Who Ruined the Quaid's Dream (1958-65)

Political Debacle (1948-1958)

Failure of Pakistan Muslim League after assassination of Liquat ali Khan gave rise to a long lasting political crisis which prevailed until General Ayyub Khan took over and banned all political activity in the country. Muslim League failed to counter the problems because of the lack of capable and enthusiastic leadership. Although there were some faithful associates of Mohammad Ali Jinnah to guide the country but they were not able to resolve their own differences. Personal rivalries, power struggle, ethnic differences and regional bias resulted in a forgettable period of Pakistani political history. In the first ten years of its establishment Seven Prime Ministers, Four Governor Generals and a president had been tried but most of them failed to deliver. The other major reason behind the political debacle was the fact that country had two culturally, politically and socially distinct parts East and West Pakistan. Bengalis were economically weaker but politically more mature than the West Pakistanis, they did not want to accept the hegemony of West Pakistan. Ethnic and lingual divide between two halves gave rise to difference which remained the centre of politics in the country. In East Pakistan the darkest chapter of our politics was written when on Sep 21, 1958 in an assembly brawl deputy speaker Shahid Ali Jan was killed and many assembly members were injured. This incident highlighted the political turmoil which invited the military to take control of affairs

Military Take over (1958)

Ayyub Khan was made the commander in chief of Pakistan army superseding two senior officers in 1951 by then Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan. Ayyub Khan had strong links with the political leadership in the country. In his autobiography he has revealed some interesting facts about the role he played time to time in the early politics of the country. How he described the politicians (even Quaid’s associates) is a clear indication military mind set about the civilians. It is an open secret that he had a strong backing from USA and other anti-USSR countries; in fact he was made the C-I-C after a strong support from Anglo-American forces. Ayuub Khan joined the active politics when he became the Defense Minister in the cabinet of Mohammad Ali Bogra in 1954. Iskandar Mirza took over as Governor General ousting Ghulam Mohammad; he had deep rooted ties with Ayyub Khan. In 1958 he declared martial law in country citing the fragile political situation. Ayyub Khan was made chief martial law administrator, who later toppled Iskandar Mirza and became field martial.

U2 Incident 1961 (US used Pakistani Airspace)

It is a million dollar question these days who was the first ruler in Pakistan who gave USA the permission to play with the sovereignty of Pakistan. It was in late 50’s when Pakistan gave them the air and land space to fight their enemy no 1 USSR. In 1960 a US spy plane was shot down by USSR for violating its territories. The incident intensified the ongoing cold war between US and USSR and world was on the verge of first nuclear war. It was later discovered that the spy plane was flown from an air base in Peshawar, which was given to USA. This event enraged the Soviets who were already seeing Pakistan as an enemy for siding USA. This event signified that Pakistan had given the USA authority to violate its territory and use its space for carrying spy operations. Afterwards Soviet Union turned against Pakistan and helped India to break the country into two.

Fatima Jinnah Defeated (1964)

Ayyub Khan introduced basic democracies system and got elected as a president through a poll by basic democrats. He used every possible opportunity to wrest his control on power. During his regime political parties were banned from any political activity and strict bans were put on already inept press. In these circumstances Ayyub introduced a construction in 1962 which was a big failure as the nation rejected his self created document. In 1964 he announced elections for President under new constitution to legitimize and prolong his rule. Opposition was able to persuade Fatima Jinnah to contest the elections. Fatima Jinnah was highly respected personality fro her role in supporting Quiad e Azam in his great struggle. Ayyub Khan had an agenda on his hands from foreign powers so he made the worst rigging in elections and won it by a clear majority. This election is an important event in the history of our nation. Results of the elections divided the country among two as Fatima Jinnah gained majority in East Pakistan and Karachi but in other parts of country there was no contest between the two. Bengalis were outrageous on the manipulated elections and protests started in different parts of East Pakistan. The year after the elections Sheikh Mujeeb Ur Rehman announced his famous 6 points which was considered as the document of separation.

Operation Giberalter (1965)

Kashmir issue was thrown into cold due to the domestic turmoil in Pakistan in early days of Pakistan. India gave Jammu and Kashmir an autonomous entity through their constitution in early 50’s thus rasing fears in Pakistan. There were worrying signs in Jammu and Kashmir as no major appraisal opposition was seen there, Kashmiri’s main leader Sheikh Abdullah was released and was in some dialogue with India. Pakistan was having full support of US due to cold war situation. Sino-Indian war of 1962 has put China and Pakistan in close relations. The news of disappearance of a holy Relic (holy hair of Hazrat Mohammad PBUH) in 1965 had given rise to dissent and revolt among the Kashmiris on the Indian side. Ayyub Khan considered it a real opportunity to get hold of Jamuu and Kashmir, thus a program was designed to infiltrate the civil and military guerillas into Indian Occupied Kashmir and liberate the remaining area. The operation named Opreation Giberalter was started in 1965, Pakistani forces aided with civilian fighters crossed into Indian Occupied Kashmir and captured many areas of great importance. India was on the verge of loosing Kashmir therefore they attacked Pakistan from the Western front Punjab. Both countries have made considerable advancement into each others territory, when USSR and USA come to rescue and a ceasefire was arranged. Ayyub Khan and Lal Bahadur Shastri signed Tashkent agreement in 1966 to put militaries from both countries to pre war positions. Given the situation in Pakistan facing worst ever political and economic turmoil operation giberalter was a luxury which Pakistan did not afford. The operation put the morale of already suffering nation to ground and we were not able strengthen ourselves when India designed the same operation in East Pakistan top deprive us from half of our land and people.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Who Ruined the Quaid's Dream (1947-1958)

Pakistan is a country which was established in the name of Islam, where people from all religions and sects were envisaged to live with honor, dignity, peace and prosperity. But after 64 years of it establishment it has turned into a country with worst law and order, terrorism, racial discrimination, sectarian hatred and ethnic divide. There are many factors which contributed to take Quaid’s country to such a miserable condition. The country has not plunged into this catastrophe overnight; there are events in our history which put us to current situation. I have tried to sum up the most significant events from the history of Pakistan in shortest possible text.

Quaid’s Death (1948)

In the early days of Pakistan Death of Quaid e Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah was an unfortunate event. After Quaid’s death Pakistan Muslim League which had almost been hijacked by then landlords and feudalists failed to carry on the mission of our leader. Muslim league had no economic and social reforms policy therefore in a few years the founding party of Pakistan was a story of past. Inability of civilian leadership to run a country which had a lot of inherited problems lead to the civil-military conflict which afterwards paved the path for the breakup of the Quaid’s country.

Rawalpindi Conspiracy (1951)

Pakistani military planned its first coup on civil government when chief of general staff General Akber Khan was arrested along with many of his communist minded companions who were later tried and jailed. The most unfortunate aspect of the coup was the timing as in those testing times no one expected such an act from inside the military. The coup also showed that big powers would not let us live freely even after the independence and they did so.

Liaquat Ali khan Assassination (1951)

Liaquat Ali Khan was assassinated at Company Bagh Rawalpindi (Liaquat Bagh), the same year he made a visit to USA which kick started our ties with an anti-communists country. The murderer Sad Akbar, an Afghani national was shot dead at the spot therefore no one could ever find out who killed him. The murder signified the fact the enemies were among our own people. We have always blamed India for our failure and turmoil but actually they are far less dangerous for us then our Afghan neighbors. Pushtoon rulers in Afghanistan were a part of a great conspiracy of creating a pushtoon country including Afghanistan, NWFP and Pushtoon majority Baloch areas. It would be surprising for many that when West Pakistan was made one unit Afghan government officially protested the decision and broke all diplomatic ties with Pakistan. What could be more unfortunate that the party which was the part of that conspiracy is a part of our government after 64 years?

Bengali Language Movement

Benagalis were 45 million out of the total population of 75 million at the establishment of free Pakistan. Most of the prominent Muslim League Leaders like Liaquat Ali Khan, A K Fazlul Haq, Khwaja Nazimuddin, Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy and Maulana Abdul Hamid Khan Bhasani were from Bengal. Bengalis should have been declared as the state language given the majority of Bengalis but it did not happened. In 1948 Quaid e Azam visited Bengal and declared Urdu as the national language, as a result the nationwide movement for Bengali as the national language started. The situation become worst when riot broke out on the issue, police opened fire at Bengali students killing many of them. The outcome was evident from the results of first election for East Bengal Provincial Assembly held between 8 March and 12 March 1954, The United Front (comprising of Awami League, Krishak-Sramik Party and Nezam-e-Islam) won 215 out of 237 Muslim seats in the election as compared to 9 seats won by ruling Muslim League. Most of the prominent leaders had left PML therefore it was completely wiped out in the election of 1954.

Khwaja Nazimuddin’s Dissmissal (1953)

Khawaja Nazimuddin became prime minister after the murder of Liaquat Ali Khan, and a western minded bureaucrat Ghulam Mohammad became governor general. Ghulam Mohammad was a puppet in the hands of foreign powers specially USA, it was a mistake by Nazimuddin to leave governor general seat for him. It is painful fact that on Octocber 17, 1951 when LAK was assassinated Ghulam Mohammad was at US Embassy to get assurance of his accession to top position. As expected after a shot term as PM, K Nazimuddin was dismissed by Malik Ghulam Mohammad on pretext of law n order situation and food crisis in Punjab. Bengalis had already been protesting for the declaration of Bengali as the National language, this act further enraged Bengalis. Khwaja’s tenure was full of trouble due to internal turmoil and movements. Anti Ahmdis movement was the most significant, which was lead by Mian Mumtaz Daultana, then chief minister of Punjab. Those events widened the gulf among Punjabis and Muhajirs (especially Bengalis), which played a significant role in the separation of East Pakistan.

Maulvi Tameezuddin vs Justice Munir- the Doctrine of Necessity (1954)

After dismissing Khawaja Nazimuddin Ghulam Mohammad dissolved the legislative assembly which was almost given final touch to the constitutional draft. Justice Munir’s judgment on the legality of dismissal of constituent assembly by Ghulam Mohammad was a judicial coup which altered the path of our politics. Maulvi Tameezuddin then the president of the constituent assembly challenged the decision of dissolution of assembly, Sindh High court ruled in favor of Maulvi Tameezuddin. The Federation challenged the ruling in federal court where chief justice Munir invented the doctrine of necessity and gave the ruling in favor of Ghulam Mohammad. The impact of this decision is long lasting; it bowed the judiciary before executive indirectly paving the path for martial laws. It also ended the politics of Muslim League and threw the country into a long run constitutional crisis. There were also significant political repressions of the verdict, as it widened the gulf among the Punjabis and Non-Punjabis specially Muhajirs.

Accepting SEATO and CENTO (1954)

Given the fragile democratic government in early 50’s Pakistani Military and civil bureaucracy was at the helm of affairs to a greater extent. Ghulam Mohammad a Bureaucrat was himself a puppet in the hands of these powers, as his actions proved. An era when world was bi-polar, India was trying to form Non-Aligned forum, Pakistan decided to side with USA and signed the agreements like SEATO, CENTO and Baghdad Pact. This was the start of a long lasting slavery which was bought in return of dollars. These agreements not only made USSR our enemy but also provided an opportunity to India to side with USSR despite of being an active member of Non-Aligned Movement. The nation is still facing the repercussions of this one-sided love affair. There is no doubt that these agreements were made by our Military establishment as the civil leadership was totally inactive in those days.

Establishment of One Unit (1955):

National Assembly under Chaudhry Mohammad Ali passed the one unit resolution on September 30, 1955. One Unit resolution was claimed to be a move to eradicate the ethnic and racial differences among different provinces of West Pakistan. Bengalis felt this act as an attempt to undermine their numerical superiority by West Pakistan. Protest broke out in East Pakistan against the one unit formula, when situation got out of order Military Chief Ayyub Khan took this opportunity to seize the power in 1958. Bengalis who had already been very active and conscious about their rights, started a movement which turned into an armed struggle in 60’s and ultimately resulted into separation of East Pakistan in 1971. When General Yahya Khan found out that the purpose had been fulfilled, he dissolved the one unit on July 1, 1970. It was surprising that Dr Jabbar Khan (brother of Bacha Khan) was appointed first Chief Minister of one unit. Dr Khan was the leader who remained loyal to congress even after the establishment of Pakistan and he opposed Pakistan movement throughout his political career and it was widely speculated that his party was conspiring to include NWFP in greater Afghanistan.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Killing of Osama Bin Laden: Lessons for Pakistan

Osama Bin Laden the world’s most wanted man has been killed by US authorities in an attack in Abbotabad near Pakistan Military Academy Kakool. Since his killing, this NEWS is the centre of all debates running on Pakistani and international media. Although the operation for OBL killing is still under suspicion for most of the analysts but the follow-ups are proving that he has been killed in the operation. Osama was the man who waged the holy war against US and allies across the world. It is a disappointing fact that most of our Muslim brothers use name of Islam to fight against evil but they end up causing long lasting damages to Islam and Islamic countries. Osama a Saudi billionaire casued the worst ever destruction to an Islamic country Afghanistan, now his killing has brought Pakistan to the most dangerous era of existence. His killing has left us with more questions than answers.

The worst part of the OBL episode was a complete collapse of civil-military co-ordination in Pakistan. There was no official announcement from military days after the operation. A military that is known for its professional brilliance did not have a clue that OBL was residing at half KM distance from their training academy and less than 100 KM from their military headquarters in Rawalpindi. They were completely uninformed about what had happened there on Sunday night. Civil government was busy in oath taking of new ministers (whom once they termed as their worst enemies) in the name of national reconciliation. It seemed that Zardari government has no interest in the military matters, they put the ball in the court of military leadership. These signs are worrying for citizens of Pakistan.

In the follow-up, it is obvious that Pakistan would face the worst repercussions of OBL killing as we have already been facing from Taliban and Al-Qaeda for last many years. Time has come to decide who is our foe and who is the friend? We have to decide whether we want to live in a civilized world or a world ruled by Taliban and Al-Qaeda? We need to clarify our policy on Taliban and Al-Qaeda fighters in Pakistan. The war against terror might not be ours but the situation has changed, we have lost thousands of soldiers and civilians in this war. We should not let the terrorist, who waged a war against innocent citizens of Pakistan rule the people. Now this is the war of the sovereignty, integrity and survival of our homeland. No one has the right to fight against others from our territory; those who want to take up Jahad against enemies of Islam should use their own bases.

Our Military fought everywhere in the world, we fought for Arabs against Israel, we fought for Jordan against PLO and we fought for Saudis. We were the largest franchise of US war against soviets, now we are fighting against the same people whom once we trained for the sake of Dollars. We should not suspect the intent of our military fighting against the terrorists throughout country but it is a fact that we are not fighting them for our own sake instead we have been paid to do that. We never fought purely for the national interest of Pakistan whenever it was required whether it was 1965, 1971 or 1999. Now it is time to fight for our own safety, integrity and sovereignty. The elements in our military and civil bureaucracy who supported these militants in past should realize that the world has completely changed after 9/11; we can not afford to support the people who have no respect for humanity, Islam and Pakistan.

Government should immediately call a grand meeting of all political parties, civil society activists, Pakistan military leadership and other prominent civilian leaders. The meeting should workout a complete policy framework for safeguarding the national interest. Moreover they should come out with an official statement regarding the operation to clarify the suspicion and fears.

Long Live Pakistan.

Friday, April 29, 2011

The story of my mother - Last Part

After getting paralyzed, mother was compelled to spend all the time on bed without any activity, but she never missed her prayers and wazaif. In the meantime she gave me the permission to go to Karachi to carry on my education and to help my family. She is such a courageous woman that She did not showed any sign of worry, grief when I left instead She smilingly said me good bye with a lot of advices. That day I was more than happy to have an opportunity to transform the challenges into success and find the solution of the problems facing my family and my mother. Life passed amid disasters and problems, I found a better way of life in the beautiful city of Karachi. The only worry was my father, who was very ill when I met him after so long. I took him back with me when I visited my village. He was ill, tired, feeling guilt and looked like a defeated person when we reached home. I have no words to write about the feelings I had when my family met my father after so long. Here I must say that He was welcomed with complains and questions, unasked questions which he never managed to answer. The situation got better within days and our family was happy at least to have him back. My sister's marriage was arranged later which was held without much fuss. I came back Karachi and afterwards father also came back with the promise to fight and not to submit to the circumstances.

It was one of the hazy days in the Holy Ramazan , when I came back from my work and saw my father vomiting blood. I was shocked to see that because He had never told me about this (although I knew he was not well). Later I checked his briefcase and found some reports from doctor to find out that he was having a lungs cancer. Mother was not in a position to bear this tragic news therefore I had no courage to tell any of my family members. But unfortunately in a few days my father's disease had left him on bed, so I decided to send him back home where at least some treatment and care was possible. Mother found out about his disease the very first day but she did not get panicked. Every possible effort was made to save him, but unfortunately, he did not survived instead of a lot of recovery from illness. Most of my siblings were too young to bear this tragedy, it was my mother who stood up for us and gave us the much needed courage and strength to fight. I still remember that I had just arrived back to Karachi when I was informed, I telephoned my mother from Karachi, She said " Son, you are a brave boy, you can do whatever we expect from you, all of us are looking for you so don't come back, stay there as you beloved father has been buried. Stay there to make your family survive this difficult phase".

Life passed on after demise of my father mother stopped taking any medicines for joints pain, she attached herself wholeheartedly with Allah (the merciful). Anybody in her role would have given up but she never did that, she gave us light in the darkest days of our life. Allah helped her getting some control over her disease. He opened new paths for our family, blessed us with better life, a life with more joys than sorrows. Mother got operated for knee replacement and was able to walk again after a long break of 8 years. It was an important day in our lives when she resumed some activities of life. Doctors were astonished as they had the opinion that the disuse of feet for last 8 years might not let her walk, but she made it possible with her passion for life.

Everything was right back on track when a quake jolted the whole area and in a few seconds millionaires had become beggars. My mother was in her room when the earthquake of 2005 stuck, thanks God one of my brothers was at home who saved her from getting buried under the debris of the demolished house. It was raining heavily; people were staying in open fields under temporary shelters when I arrived the village after earthquake on 10th October at around 10 PM. Our house along with all households was totally demolished in the earthquake; mother also was in a tent house. That was the first time in life when I wanted to shout, to cry loudly, and to weep like children. Mother again gave us hope and helped us to regain what we had lost. She is such a great manager that in a small income with the help of construction aid given by government she inspired us to build our house back.

Worst days are over, earthquake has passed, mother is now able to walk. She has a new life with grand children, in-laws and new relatives. But her eyes still remain wet; I still find her crying with pain and grief whenever I wake up in night. At the end I must say that she is not only great because she fought the tragedies of life bravely but she is great because she has the highest degree of love, passion and enthusiasm for life and happiness. She considers life as the most beautiful and precious gift of God for human being. God bless her with life longer than ours as we may not be able to fight the tragedies of life without her.

Monday, April 25, 2011

The story of my mother - Part II

  The 90's decade was a decade to forget for most of my family members. In 1991 we were very young when I visited Karachi in the winter vacations with my family, which was one of the most memorable visits. My father was doing business in the city so we were quite rich in those days, city was peaceful, life was good and we were very happy. Mother was passing through an age which is probably the most enjoyable part of life for most of the women. She had no financial worries, her children were getting young, her husband was supporting her and she was probably very happy despite of her aching and swollen joints. It was during that visit when she was first time informed that she might not be able to walk or live normal life in the coming days as the disease was spreading day by day. We were too young to know or understand such situation, but I found my mother a bit unhappy even in those happy days.
  The days passed, we returned back to our village. Soon the time changed, a dreadful operation was started in Karachi, and soon city of lights had turned into a city of fear. That operation had badly affected the business in the city, so our father's business was in serious loss amid the daily killings, unrest and violence. We were not much informed about the situation in Karachi as the only source of news was PTV, so we were dependent on the information from our people there or father's letters. Father's business was shut down but he never informed us, instead he cut off from family. We were worried about the safety and health of our beloved father; mother was in serious trouble as most of us were studying either in college or school. The life was getting tougher and tougher day by day. Mother never expressed her grief to us. Once in the night when I was awaken to listen to the commentary on a cricket match being played in West Indies I noticed her weeping and crying with pain. Then I realized how much pain was she passing through. I may never be able to forget that single event which completely changed my perception about life and its colors. Due to uninformed disappearance of father and bad financial conditions most of our relatives had left us. In the meanwhile father had returned to village with all the bad news of his business troubles and looting. During those days we had no means of earning other than mother's salary.
  I and my elder sisters had passed the SSC, so we had to go to college but there was no college within the limits of 20 KMs, which meant we had to get admission in colleges located far away in Rawlakot city. In a city like Karachi it may not be considered as a distance but in a village it was long enough to scare us. It was a risk sending young children specially daughters to a city far away with no proper means of transport amid the financial crisis we were passing through in those days. Our mother was courageous enough to send us to college even when most of the close family members were not in a favor of this decision. In the meanwhile Mother was having a treatment from PIMS Islamabad; therefore she had to visit the doctor at least once in a month. This was a near impossible work to do in those days with such miserable financial conditions, but she never lost the courage. Those were the days, when disease had almost defeated our mother, father had returned to Karachi to find some alternative means of earning. As a young boy I had a lot of dreams to help my family and do whatever my mother wished for her family. I was very frustrated with the prevailing situation. I was no more interested in my studies, so I decided to leave the college and earn money to help my mother and siblings. But I did not manage to run away from studies as it would have ended any chance of my sisters completing their education.
  My mother was in great stress and pain but she did not show any signs of frustration or depression instead she always encouraged us to do well at college. We used to leave for college very early in the morning and return very late sometimes in the evening. Despite of her ailing joint she was always there with freshly cooked food for us. She used to ask us about the day’s events and happenings, and always advised us to stay focused on education. Our financial crisis went to such extent that one by one all of the precious household items were sold to meet the daily needs. Father was passing through a horrible period of time; he again went missing as probably he was not able to face us because of his inability to help us. This time the disappearance was longer than the previous one. We were under a burden of huge debts; none of us was young enough to earn the money to return those loans.
  It is the irony that in good days every one helps and support you but in bad days even own shadow does not accompany you and you are left alone. Same was the case with us mother was almost paralyzed as she was not able to walk freely or do work on her own and most of the family members had turned strangers for us. Thanks God my grandmother and Khala were always there to help us through those days and always strengthened us. My mother got another blow from the fate when she was forced to take an early retirement from her teaching job because of disease. It was in 97 when she last time went to the school on her feet, afterwards she had completely lost to the disease and had never been able to stand on her own. It was the time when all of us were in the middle of our education career amid father in disappearance and family in worst ever financial turmoil. I often think what would have happened if mother had lost the courage in those testing times?

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The story of my mother - Part I

It is a well known quote “Behind every successful man there is a woman”, I strongly believe in this fact as my ideal is a woman, my mother who is behind the success of hundreds of people. Today I was doing an interview of her for a community magazine coming soon. I would like to share a summary of her interview as I think it may be interesting for most of us.
  My mother, Miss Manzoor Fatima, belongs to a very educated and religious family of a remote village of District Rawalakot, Azad Kashmir (Pakistani administered Kashmir). My nana was a well known religious scholar who completed his education from India; my Nani was also a great spiritual personality. Both of them are like saints for the people in our town as they taught people how to live and die as a Muslim. I have very little memories of my Nana, only thing I still remember is that he had a large pocket sewn at the inner side of the sherwani where he used to keep sweets for children, whenever any children met him he would have asked “what is your father’s name?” and would ask him/her to recite the first kalama or bismillah. After that he would distribute some sweats or biscuits to the child and kiss him on forehead. The only thing he believed in was love, the love for humanity.
  My mother’s family was from Deobandi sect, but none of them was fundamentalist or rigid like most of the religious people these days are. My mother completed religious education at very early. She had a dream to get formal education. My nana allowed my Khalas and my mother to study at boy’s school till 5th grade as there was no girl’s school at that time. It means, she had to say good bye to the education after 5th grade. But she did not loose heart and continued to study privately with the help of family members and teachers of boy’s school most of who were from other areas and used to stay at my nana’s grand house until the week end. After early education she started teaching girls and boys at my Nana’s house as she always dreamt to. That was the start; soon with the help of my grandfather she was able to persuade the government that there was a dire need for a girl’s school. The school was established and a new era for the girls of our village was started. It was a great achievement for woman of an area where the only purpose of women was thought to be looking after animals and giving proper meal to men. Soon women started giving response and slowly and gradually they showed more interest in education, it was a start of a new era.
  Then she move to the adjacent village and gathered the girls and started teaching them instead of sticking to a government job at home village. People back home were very critical of her for going and teaching in other village (where people from other cast lived) but she did not paid heed because she had the full support of my grandfather. After a hard work of almost 8 years, she was able to establish a government funded school there with the help of the people who helped her very much. Later she moved back to native village where she started teaching as a government teacher. Two of the schools established due to her efforts are now high schools and one of them an intermediate college where hundred of girls are getting education.
 Most of her children in those days her were infants, so she had to take care of us too. She used to take us school with her, therefore at the same time she had to work as housewife, a mother and a teacher. People who know the village life may find it impossible as how she managed to go to another village daily and teaching the children without any compensation, while three of her infants were also with her but she made it possible. She had to perform her duty in heavy rains of July, thunderstorms of April and heavy snowfall of January and February. The only thing which kept her stuck to the mission was her passion and dream to educate the poor women of village.
  At home she had to look after her house as she had got a separate house after 5 years of marriage. She had to get us ready, prepare a meal for us, and take care of my beloved cow. She was so much passionate about her mission that she never took care of herself even in very critical days of her life; the result was the Rheumatoid Arthritis (a disease of joints which paralyze the patient). Infected with this disease in late 80’s she was down to knees in early 90’s.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Democracy is the greatest revenge

Public flogging in Zia's era
It was one of the greatest moments of Pakistani politics; a young woman entered one of the strongest and powerful houses of public representatives in the country with the biggest democracy. The house was full of members, all them stood up in praise and appreciation for the efforts she did for the revival of democracy in Pakistan. It was her first offfical visit of USA in 1989, She started her address amid continuous clapping and closed her speech on these words

“We set as our focus reconciliation not retribution some claimed to fear revenge, revenge against the murderers and the torturers revenge against those who subverted constitution but ladies and gentlemen there was no revenge for them and the dictators across the world "the democracy is the greatest revenge".

These were the words of one of the most influential women of Pakistan Benazir Bhutto; those who know her can never deny her contribution towards the restoration of democracy and civil rights in country after a long and terrible period of dictatorship.. She fought a long battle after her father's hanging by fascist elements of our society, lost her brother, faced bitter imprisonment during dictatorship, was forced to leave the country but all these could not stop her from fulfilling her promise to the people of Pakistan. She became the first ever women prime minister of Pakistan at an age of 35, she faced opposition from all corner of our country. Our military did not like to salute her as she was a woman, our politicians hatched shameful conspiracies against her, she was mistreated by bureaucracy but she denied bowing against the evil forces.

I loved her, liked her for not being the prime minister but for her courage and the struggle she did for the betterment of Pakistani society. But she failed miserably, so strong women, a graduate of Harvard, who single handedly defeated the strongest dictator of Pakistan, could not defy the forces of evil? What a shame for democracy and what a joy for the dictators across the world? Her failure became the failure of democracy in our country. Today her husband once a cinema owner addressed the third annual session of national assembly; TV channels are analyzing his failures, failures and failures. He looks miserable as a party leader, as a president, as a husband of the most influential woman of our country but is he so bad? He would be as, he is alleged to be the main reason behind the failure of Benazir Bhutto.

Aerial view of destroyed Jamia Hafsa
But what lays ahead is worse than this, another coup, again promises for rebuilding, a long and unending military dictatorship and the end result more misery and failure. The democracy has become the greatest revenge for the poor people of Pakistan but it is time to think about what has the long military rule given to our beloved country? Killing of our Muslim brothers and sisters in Bengal, The breakup of East Pakistan, killing of thousands of soldiers at the hands of Indian forces, brutal and inhumane rule in the name of Islam, division of Pakistan on ethnic basis, Bomb blasts, Talbanization, Target killing, suicide attacks. If I kept adding the list would get longer and longer, what not have the military rules bestowed on us?

Can anyone tell if the democratic forces have ever done with our country what the military rulers did? God forbid they are again getting ready for another coup to serve our homeland, let us say no to them and strengthen the hands of democratic forces as I personally believe in the idea that “worst democracy is better than best dictatorship”.

Ab mere dosray bazoo pe wo shamsheer hai jo
Is se pehle bhi mera nisf badan kaat chuki
Usi bandook ki goli hai meri samt ke jo
Is se pehle bhi meri shahrag ka lahu chaat chuki
Phir wohi aag dhar aye hai meri galyuun mein
Phir mere shehr mein barood ki boo pheli hai
Phir se tu kaun hai mein kaun hoon aapas mein sawal
Phir wo takraar mayan e man o tu pheli hai
Is se pehle bhi to aisi hee garhi aye thee
Subh e wehshat ki tarah shaam e gharibaa’n ki tarah
Is se pehle bhi to paimaan e wafa tootay thay
Sheesha dil ki tarah aina e jaa’n ki tarah
Ab magar aisa nahee aisa nahee honay dena
Aye mere sokhta jaano mere dard ke maray logo
Kisi zaalim, kisi jaabir kisi hakim ke liye
Khud ko taqseem na karna mere saray logo

Ahmed Faraz

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Davis Saga: An Inevitable End

Since his arrest by Pakistani police for killing two persons in Lahore, Raymond Davis is the centre of attention not only in Pakistan but also in foreign media. He was treated in such a sensational manner that it seemed as we have got a key to get out of US slavery and to start living like free nations. But the drop scene may be more disgusting to those who were playing ugly politics with poor people. Talking realistically, from the first day I supported the idea that he should be pardoned in return of a diyyat so that the victims could get at least some compensation of the loss they have suffered. What could be the compensation of taking someone’s life? The answer is nothing but something is better than nothing.

In a country where hundreds of people are daily killed just to show the power to rivals, hundreds commit suicide due to inflations and unemployment and thousands get deprived of their valuables daily what is the value of two dead people. People would argue we have lost self pride, respect, honor and dignity as a nation by handing Davis over to US but ask them what could have been done? Should we stand against the country which has blood stains of millions of people on its hands? Can a country where hundreds of people have been killed in drone attacks without any opposition or resistance risk its alliance with the only super power for just two killings? Are we gone mad? The answer of these entire questions is no, we can not stand against the super power as we have ourselves strengthened their hand at many occasions in history. In fact we should be proud of the role we played to make US the only king in the world. Our media has created a story out of nothing; our political parties have been using the issue to strengthen their own positions. This is just one of the events taking place in our cities daily.

Media is playing repeatedly the statement of one victim’s wife (before committing suicide) asking for justice, if she needed justice why did she commit suicide, did she not believe in God. And what does our media wants from us by running this statement regularly. Do we have no other issue left in Pakistan to get bothered with? No one in Pakistan has any concern over killing of innocent people. I guess only in Karachi hundreds of people have been brutally killing in between 27th January and March 16th for no reason, most of them would have been innocent citizens who had nothing to do with politics etc. Have the media the courage to uncover the killers of these innocent people. Our so-called religious parties are playing their usual part in the drama, protesting against the government over the issue. Did the people who are protesting against the Davis release not help USA in setting hegemony in world?

It is a painful reality that we are no more a nation thus we can not demand for any pride or dignity as a nation. We are the groups of power hungry people who do not respect any law, relation or ethics. We do not tolerate people of other races, ethnicities and sects. We want to rule, rule with full power and control, no matter how much it costs our country. Davis was a criminal who killed innocent people but the heirs of the victims have pardoned him in return of Diyyat purely according to Islamic Shariah. USA paid 20 crore rupees to the heirs in return which can at least heal their wounds to some extent. Let’s not burn our blood over useless debates whether it was right or wrong. I fear for the safety of the victims heirs as the people may hurt them for showing their true love with Pakistan. Stay safe and happy for being still alive. God bless all of us with safety and justice.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Understanding Ghalib

Since childhood I used to follow weird things, which very rare people would follow in so early age. One of these (Apart from Mehdi hassan Khan) was Mirza Asadullah Khan Ghalib, one of the greatest poets of all time . I do not remember when I first read him, but surely it was very early in the lower grades of my school. My high school Urdu teacher was not a literature teacher, I guess he did not fit anywhere therefore he was given the responsibility to teach us the Urdu literature. He had been teaching Urdu class since ages, therefore he had the idea that he is among the best Urdu teachers of the yellow grammar schools. His misconception lasted till we (me and some good friends) passed 9th grade with high marks. Our teacher started with the poetry section as he was a great lover of poetry and according to him literature is only poetry other things are absurd, he had the idea that every writer first wanted to be a poet but when he/she failed he opted to write prose, so for him it is the legacy of failed people. His misfortune or ours, he started with Ghalib,

Naqsh faryadi hai kis ki shokhi e tehreer ka
Kaghzi hai pairhan har paikar e tasweer ka

("wah kya khubsurat sher kaha hai Mirza sb ne" he would take a sigh, then the explaianation of couplet i still remember his dramatic voice (like china made Shahrukh) is sher mein Ghalib apne bare mein bata rehay hain ke kis tarah unhoon ne apna bura waq guzara, wo har waqt faryad kartey rehtay they, un ke pass kuchh bhi nahee bacha thaa hatta ke un ke kapde phatt gaye they aur wo kaghzi pairhan lagtay they).

Most of us were quite interested in literature and poetry but none was so intelligent to understand the real meaning of Ghalib's ghazal but still I was not able to accept that our teacher was right. Me and other friends used to question him about the poetry of Ghalib, Faiz and probably Mir Dard and Nasir Kazmi (their poetry was in our course), but he could never managed to satisfy us. The end result was our failure in the Prelims which caused a lot of tension for our parents when they expect us to be the doctors and engineers of future.

In spite of early debacles my interest for Urdu poetry grew day by day, as a result I read almost all ghazals and poems in the text books of our schooling system. I was quite good at poetry when I got admission in a college in one of the most advanced cities of our country, Karachi. My misfortune again, we had a female teacher for Urdu compulsory subject. I am short of word to narrate her love for Ghalib and Faiz but she we horrible. I could never understand why people in Pakistan do not take literature as a serious course work?

Anyway this post is not intended to malign my teachers, as I love them and pray for their health and life. Today is the death anniversary of Mirza Ghalib, one of the greatest poets of Urdu and Persian languages. Mirza Ghalib was no ordinary poet; his poetry is sublime, unique and complete. Very few people would have read and understood him properly, but his popularity is on a rise day by day. Indians have done a lot for knowing Ghalib and understanding his legacy. We need to do some more to understand him because he is the base, on which Faiz and later Faraz evolved. Faiz's Nuskha Haye Wafa is an extension of Ghalib's taleef e nuskha haye wafa and Faraz is only a shadow of Faiz. Below are some unique examples of Ghalib's style and eloquence.

Hui Takheer to kuch baes e takheer bhi thaa
Aap atay they magar koi anaan gheer bhi thaa

Ibn e Maryam hua kare koi
Mere dukh ki dawa kare koi

Tashay beghair mar na saka koh kunn Asad
sar gashta e khumaar e rasum o qayud tha

Hamaare sher hain ab sirf dil lagi kay Asad
khulaa kay faida arz e hunar mein khaak nahee

Ishq sey tabiat ney zeest ka maza paya,
Dard ki dawa payi, dard ladawa paya

Kabhi jo yaad bhi aata hon main to kahte hain
Ki aaj bazam mein kuch fitna-o-fasad nahin

Main chaman mein kaya gaya, goya dabastan khul gaya
Bulbulein sun ker mere naale ghzal khwaa’n ho gaee’n

Surma e muft nazar hoon meri qeemat yeh hai
keh rahe chashm e khareedar pe ahsaa'n mera
rukhsat e naala mujhe de de kay mubada zaalim
tere chehre se ayaa'n ho gham e pinhaa'n mera

And a fantastic Ghazal

Ye ham jo hijr mein diwaar o dar ko dekhte hain
kabhi saba ko kabhi naamaabar ko dekhate hain

Wo aaye ghar mein hamaare Khudaa ki kudarat hai
Kabhi ham un ko kabhi apne ghar ko dekhte hain

Nazar lage na kahin us kay dast-o-baazu ko
Ye log kyun mere zaKhm-e-jigar ko dekhte hain

Tere javaahir-e-tarf-e-kulah ko kyaa dekhen
Ham auj-e-taalae-e-laal-o-guhar ko dekhate hain


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Kashmir: The divided land

Kashmir Solidarity Day ceremony in Islamabad was one of the rare gatherings which was attended by President Zardari, Prime Minister Gilani, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, three ex prime ministers of Azad Kashmir, current Prime Minister Sardar Atiq, Speaker AJK assembly, Opposition leader AJK, Many Federal Minster, Maulana Fazal Ur Rehman, and other prominent personalities from all over the country. The only purpose was to show solidarity with Kashmiris. Being a Kashmiri I always feel proud and thankful to our leaders for at least getting together in the name of Kashmir. Pakistani people have a strong spiritual and emotional attachment with Kashmir which they have always expressed when it mattered. But at the same time I always feel sorry for the historians and writers who always show the same old picture to their people and make them fool with the centuries old slogans.

Kashmir was one of the princely states which were under indirect rule of British Empire. At partition it was decided that the people of different states would decide whether to join Pakistan or India. But not in the case of princely states, for which this right was given to the rulers of the states to themselves decide where to go. This was a trap by Britons which latter derived Pakistan of some precious lands. At partition princely state of Kashmir comprised of Indian held Kashmir, some area of Aksai Chen occupied by China during Sino-india war of 1962, Azad Kashmir, Gilgit-Baltistan areas and some area held by China after Sin-Pak border settlement of 1963.

At partition Ruler of Jammu and Kashmir Maharaja Hari Singh wanted to remain independent but later signed an instrument of accession with India against the wishes of people of Jammu and Kashmir. On Pakistan’s side tribal fighters and local lashkar with support of Pakistan army invaded the Kashmir and liberated a large area of the princely state. War between India and Pakistan broke out and continued till UN sponsored ceasefire dividing the princely state among two halves. As India went to UN to save the state from Pakistan forces, UNO passed a resolution on August 13, 1948 and another on Jan 05, 1949 asking Pakistani forces to withdraw and also make sure the withdrawal of tribesmen from state. Indians were asked to withdrawal after Pakistani withdrawal from the region hence handing over the control of the state to local administration. A plebiscite was promised under UNO after the withdrawal of forces. Pakistan had no trust in UN or India so they never withdrew their forces from Kashmir instead put the regions of Gilgit and Baltistan under political agents and established a semi-independent state with the name Azad Kahsmir under Karachi agreement. These moves totally wiped out any possibility of plebiscite as the first condition of withdrawal was not fulfilled, India found a great opportunity to continue their illegal occupation and never withdrew his forces instead their military presence in Kashmir grew larger and larger. China claimed some area of Hunza and put Pakistan under pressure to sign a treaty on March 02, 1963 and as a result a large area of Skaksgam valley (a part of Jammu and Kashmir) was given to China under border agreement. Pakistan went to war with India in 1965 after unsuccessful operation Gibralter in Kashmir, Pakistan physically won the war but lost at USSR sponsored Tashkent agreement.

In 1972 Bhutto signed Simla agreement to save 90,000 prisoners of war agreeing to draw a line of control between two halves of Kahsmir with slight changes in ceasefire line created in 1948. Bhutto also agreed on resolving the mutual issues bilaterally hence erasing the other possibility of UN or US sponsored resolution. The situation in Indian held Kashmir remained the same until the new phase of freedom fight started in 1989 after entry of local fighters in Kashmir, some believe they had just returned back from Afghanistan after Soviet’s withdrawal.

Who suffers the most? Definitely the Kashmiris, they have been divided between three halves, Azad Kashmir, Gilgit-Baltistan and Jammu and Kashmir. People in Indian held Kashmir have suffered the most with Indian brutalities. Since 1989 over 80,000 people have been killed by the Indian forces, thousands have been missing. People in Gilgit and Baltistan (1.8 million population) have been treated as the outsiders by the Pakistani establishment, they are nor Pakistanis neither Indians and I guess they do no even consider themselves as a part of state of Jammu and Kashmir. They had been ruled by one man, a political agent until recently when peoples party gave them some political rights and first time in history they went for votes and elected their own chief minister and governor. But still the legal standing of the area is not cleared; it is a part of Pakistan, a semi-independent area like Azad Kashmir or a part of greater Kashmir temporarily taken under control.

Third part I belong to is Azad Kashmir with over 4 million population. I remember the name of all prime ministers and presidents of Pakistan but I never succeeded in remembering the name of its so-called prime ministers as they are so many. In last four years we tried four different prime ministers. A body called Kashmir council controls the affairs of Azad Kashmir, issues funds to Azad Kashmir ministers. We have only one University in Kashmir which can not be called a university given the state of facilities there, no medical college, no engineering college, no industry and hence no jobs. Azad Kashmir which we used to call adha Kashmir in our school life has no sports centre, no stadium (only a new stadium at Mirpur), no healthcare system, no airport (hence no air transport except helicopter and small planes). We have only one form of employment which is government job, and believe me we have so high merit that even prime minister’s written approval is not enough for a post of peon as we have masters applying for the same.

What to do? India forcibly occupied the state of Jammu and Kashmir but she never tried to divide that part of Kashmir instead they believed that it is a part of Indian dominion so they included the Jammu and Kashmir in India through article 370 of Constitution giving it a semi autonomous state. But in our part of Kashmir we have divided it into three parts Azad Kashmir, Northern areas and China-gifted area thus making it almost impossible for any future reunion. Those who play politics of plebiscite and remind us of UN resolutions to resolve the issue should consider these facts. In the prevailing situation it is almost useless to talk about plebiscite instead we should push for an alternative solution if we want to resolve this. Kashmiris on both parts of the LOC have a strong desire to unite with Pakistan given their culture, language and religion and it is a need of the day to show some seriousness on our part instead of making outdated speeches and useless claims.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Raja Gidh

Saeed was the only son of probably the richest man in our village. His father was called Baboo, a title given to the educated and wealthy people in our village those days. He was not the best friend of mine but being the class fellows, we were very close; we studied together sitting in the same room (sometimes on the same desk) from 4th to 10th grade. Despite of being so close and together for so many years we could not become best friends, I think the reason behind this was the wealth of his father which exposed from his physique, dress and confidence.

Our high school was at a distance of 8 KM from our village, so we have to travel by foot for more than an hour daily. Saeed had an umbrella which was given to him by his parents to use in extreme heat or rain. But he never used it in either the scorching heats of June or heavy rains of Sawan. I guess he did not want him to alienate him from other fellows or he felt guilty for having something which we had not. The life separated us when I got passed and Saeed including many other fellows failed in SSC exams and quitted the studies. I could never talk to him for more than hour or two afterwards because of my study engagements and some domestic problems. He enjoyed his life playing cricket, backpacking and attending marriage, magni ceremonies with his friends.

His father was a rich man who was known for his generosity and wealth. One day I heard from a cousin that Baboo Aslam was back from Saudi Arabia because of some serious illness. He was admitted to a hospital in Islamabad; afterwards doctor diagnosed him with cancer. He was given the best available treatment but of no avail. Later he was shifted to UK for further treatment but he could not survive and one day we were informed that Baboo Aslam had died. After the death of his father Saeed had to take his father's responsibility and find some work as their wealth had been finished by the expensive treatment. He had to go to Saudi Arabia to run his family. I was amazed by the change in the attitude of Saeed after his father's death. He took the responsibility of his family, worked hard and was quite content with his achievements. I met him when he was in Pakistan for his wedding, this was first time I found an old friend in him. I felt guilty for not helping him in times of distress and misery during the days of his father's illness and death. Soon we were very close again; I attended his marriage ceremony before returning to Karachi. He went back to Saudi Arabia soon after; we remained in touch with each other.

He used to tell me about the deteriorating relationships of his mother and his wife. His mother, sisters and wife were at loggerheads with each other for most of the time. He loved his wife very much and his mother did not want him to continue his marriage. I was very confused whether what to do to help him out. He returned back on annual leaves to meet his family when we talked to each other for the last time, he was depressed a lot. I was in a class room of my school when someone informed me that Saeed had committed suicide. His suicide buried me under the guilt of knowing the cause of his suicide still not doing anything for him. I can still feel that, but still do not know what should have I done? Last year I met Saeed's mother at her grand house, she talked to me for a long time about her lost son and Baboo Aslam. She loves and respects me a lot for being her lost son's friend and class fellow but she never liked Saeed's wife for being her grandson's mother, do she really love anyone?
(Note: This is a true story , names and titles have been changed, so please do not blame me for discussing only the people committing suicide because I feel sorry for them. The title may be disturbing but I love this a lot. Also ignore the grammatical and spelling mistakes as I can't concentrate on them)

Saturday, January 22, 2011

The legacy of Kevin Carter

The saddest image which won 1994 Pulitzer Prize
Kevin Carter was a South African photojournalist, who born and grew up in a middle class family. He observed the worst ever racial discrimination and brutal killing of South African blacks during apartheid period. He could never get settled as a pharmacist, soldier and an air man. He kept changing his priorities until he decided to become a photojournalist. This was the start of a suffering-filled-career which would led him to death, the first experience of suffering to the Carter arrived when he captured the first ever photograph of a public execution through necklacing during last years of apartheid.
In 1993, He went to Sudan to cover the devastating famine and filmed the photograph which brought immense fame and life taking notoriety for this brave young man. The photograph showed a minor girl creeping slowly towards a food camp and a vulture seen in the background waiting her to die so that she could eat her up. According to some sources he waited 20 minutes to get best possible angle of the picture and finally succeeded. The picture first appeared in New York Times on March 27, 1993 and shaken the so-called civilized world. Afterwards the front pages of most prestigious newspapers and magazines published the photo which brought Kevin to the heights of fame. The Picture won the most prestigious Pulitzer Prize for Feature Photography on May 23, 1994.
Many people questioned his approach of filming a dying girl instead of helping her to survive and this become a hot debate in next few weeks. The circumstances which were witnessed by Carter and the criticism brought depression and anxiety to Him. He survived the worst attacks by killers, he survived worst shocks of seeing and picturing dead but he could not survive the pressure from inner self, fell prey to depression and committed suicide on 27 July 1994. According to Times he wrote in his suicide note
"I am depressed ... without phone ... money for rent ... money for child support ... money for debts ... money!!! ... I am haunted by the vivid memories of killings and corpses and anger and pain ... of starving or wounded children, of trigger-happy madmen, often police, of killer executioners...I have gone to join Ken [recently deceased colleague Ken Oosterbroek] if I am that lucky."
There were a number of factors which add to the reasons of his suicide but the main reason was depression, anxiety and notoriety which he earned for his works. I always admired the man for his contribution towards the photojournalism and bringing out the real face of the so-called civilized nations. He was an admirable figure, who should be respected and lauded for his contribution towards journalism.
This picture and story of Kevin Carter signify two different aspect of life. One is related to the poor old masses and the other to the journalists and media men. Sudan and many other African states are still facing the life threatening famines and civil wars; as a result thousands of people have either been killed or humiliated every day. These wars and turmoil’s are not natural phenomena instead the so-called civilized states are a root cause of the sufferings of poor people all over the world specially the poor African belt. We are facing another colonial oppression from USA and other allied forces who want to engulf the resources of poor but resourceful countries. The UN oil for food program is a direct example of what these powers want to do with the third world countries, giving food to the poor in return of oil (isn’t it a joke). Second lesson is for us Pakistani’s. We always complain about our status, law and order, lack of resources and unemployment etc. We never think of what we have. No matter how worst the circumstances have turned, we still have reason to be happy. We should thank God as we are not among those who starve to death and become the food of vultures. 
The other aspect of the image is journalistic, which needs a lot of discussion and explanation. I would shorten it in a few lines. I do not support the people who blamed Kevin for not helping the girl instead of shooting the snap. First in his presence the vulture would not have attacked her, secondly the outcome of the message attached with the picture was boundless, which brought a very positive change in the world (which should be measured). Lastly as a journalist his first and foremost duty was to tell the world the real situation of the famine-torn Sudan, which was best done with the image which won Pulitzer award for him. Saving the life of a girl is definitely more important but we have to accept some bitter realities of life (God forbid). I read somewhere that Kevin went straight to his home from Sudan to meet his beloved daughter, he might have some guilt and regret but the service he did for starving and poor Africans would never be forgotten.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Blasphemy Laws, their implication and Pakistani society

It is a matter of great concern that our religious leaders never played their role in guiding the Nation in the times of great confusions and turmoil, instead most of them fueled the religious thoughts of illiterate people to commit the actions which not only malign the Islam but also the laws attached to Islam. Was it not appropriate and a religious obligation for our religious clerics to guide people on the issues of Blasphemy which are hurting our society, Islam and even the law itself due to lack of clear understanding and knowledge in common public. I am not a cleric or a religious leader to deal with the religious point of view of laws but as a humble student , I would like to point out some social implications of the blasphemy issue and the laws.

Blasphemy laws does not refer to 295-C only, Many laws were included in constitution after much consideration time to time, such as 295-A, 295-B, 295-C, 298-A, 298-B and 298-C to safeguard the religious thoughts of people. The most important of them is 295-C which renders death penaly for using derogatory language for Hazrat Mohammad (PBUH). Later life imprisonment was abolished through an amendment, means death will be the only punishment under this law. A summary of laws is as under

The Laws as Pakistan Penal Code (Act XLV of 1860) says:

295-A is about acts Intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting Its religion or religious beliefs, it states
" Whoever, with deliberate and malicious intention of outraging the ‘religious feelings of any class of the citizens of Pakistan, by words, either spoken or written, or by visible representations insults the religion or the religious beliefs of that class, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, or with fine, or with both".

295-B contains punishments for defiling Quran e Pak, it states
“Whoever willfully defiles, damages or desecrates a copy of the Holy Qur’an or of an extract there from or uses it in any derogatory manner or for any unlawful purpose shall be punishable with imprisonment for life".

295-C is about making derogatory remarks about the Holy Prophet Mohammad (PBUH), it states
" Whoever by words, either spoken or written, or by visible representation or by any imputation, innuendo, or insinuation, directly or indirectly, defiles the sacred name of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) shall be punished with death, or imprisonment for life, and shall also be liable to fine."

298-A defines punishments for uttering words to deliberately hurting the religious feelings of others, it states
" Whoever by words, either spoken or written, or by visible representation, or by any imputation, innuendo or insinuation, directly or indirectly, defiles the sacred name of any wife (Ummul Mumineen), or members of the family (Ahle-bait), of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him), or any of the righteous Caliphs (Khulafa-e-Rashideen) or companions (Sahaaba) of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extended to three years, or with fine, or with both."

298-B is about the misuse of epithets, descriptions and titles, etc., reserved for certain holy personages or places, and is intended to stop Ahmdi or Lahori group from using these titles, this states

“(1) Any person of the Quadiani group or the Lahori group (who call themselves ‘Ahmadis’ or by any other name who by words, either spoken or written, or by visible representation-

(a) refers to or addresses, any person, other than a Caliph or companion of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), as “Ameer-ul-Mumineen”, “Khalifatul- Mumineen”, Khalifa-tul-Muslimeen”, “Sahaabi” or “Razi Allah Anho”;

(b) Refers to, or addresses, any person, other than a wife of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace bi upon him), as “Ummul-Mumineen”;

(c) Refers to, or addresses, any person, other than a member of the family “Ahle-bait” of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), as “Ahle-baft”; or

(d) Refers to, or names, or calls, his place of worship a “Masjid”; shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to

three years, and shall also be liable to fine.

(2) Any person of the Qaudiani group or Lahori group (who call themselves “Ahmadis” or by any other name) who by words, either spoken or written, or by visible representation refers to the mode or form of call to prayers followed by his faith as “Azan”, or recites Azan as used by the Muslims, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three years, and shall also be liable to fine.”

298-C includes the punishments for Qadiani's calling them Muslims or preaching their faith it says
" Any person of the Quadiani group or the Lahori group (who call themselves ‘Ahmadis’ or by any other name), who directly or indirectly, poses himself as a Muslim, or calls, or refers to, his faith as Islam, or preaches or propagates his faith, or invites others to accept his faith, by words, either spoken or written, or by visible representations, or in any manner whatsoever outrages the religious feelings of Muslims shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three years and shall also be liable to fine.
In addition to these articles of law 296 and 297 are also about religious protection to Muslims and other minorities which are about deliberately disturbing the religious assembly and trespassing or encroaching on burial places to hurt the religious feelings of others respectively.

Propaganda against Blasphemy Laws

As the laws stated above show that they are not designed specifically for Muslims (as propagated by non-Muslims and Christians), instead they are designed to protect the feeling of the people of all religions living peacefully in Pakistan.(excluding qadiani's and other murtideen groups). Secondly blasphemy law does not only include the punishments for Toheen - e Risalat, instead it has different punishments for different blasphemous acts. Unfortunately illiterate public in Pakistan often confuse all of them creating a mess thus paving path for critics to show the world that we are the most cruel people on earth.
       After the verdict of court on Aasia Bibi case whole world openly called the law an unfair law and a campaign was launched to repeal them or discard them. Our government under pressure from very first day from foreign powers as it has to beg the money from them to run the country due to its economic vulnerability, openly supported her and as a result Salman Taseer was killed which provided the world with yet another reason to oppose the blasphemy laws. I have always questioned the TV anchors, Producers and Editors that if a person gets killed by a religious bigot on pretext of blasphemy without a trial then why do we blame the blasphemy law for this? It is same as a person kills other on land dispute and we start blaming the law against land grabbers? Isn’t it silly?
As my little research and knowledge concerns no one is ever hanged in Pakistan as a result of trial on blasphemy laws, can those who advocate abolishing the law site a single example of any such incident. Yes there were people who were given various punishment and fines on various blasphemy issues. This law is to protect the feelings of all religions not only Muslims then why is the outrage over the laws? I found some very reliable and renowned Newspapers and Websites throwing irresponsible comments on blasphemy laws, some examples are

“The Blasphemy Laws in their present form have become a source of victimization and persecution of minorities in the country. Minorities suffer all manner of humiliation through false accusations made under these laws. In the present climate of hate, intolerance and violence in Pakistan, the Blasphemy Laws have become a major tool in the hands of extremist elements to settle personal scores against members of religious minorities, particularly Christians.” United Nations,

"How can Asia Bibi and others be saved from the gallows? The blasphemy law is a bad law enacted under pressure from extremists who threaten violence if the government does anything to lessen its impact or to ameliorate the lot of those who have fallen victim to it. A bad law will always come back to haunt us and that is why our ultimate aim must be its repeal." The Guardian, Saturday 13 November 2010.

"Pakistan blasphemy law 'should be abolished" ' BBC, 20 July 2010.

"The Asiya case raises the fundamental question of how Pakistan’s minorities have been left unprotected since the passage of the blasphemy law. There may have been no hangings on account of the law but it has facilitated the spread of intolerance and populist rage against minorities, often leading to deaths"
Naseem Zehra, The Express Tribune, November 17th, 2010.

Pope Benedict XVI on Monday called on Pakistan to scrap a blasphemy law after the murder of the governor of Punjab, saying the legislation was a pretext for "acts of injustice and violence".
The Times of India,

”This is the same law that has subjected Pakistani Ahmadi Muslims to relentless and systematic persecution since 1984. Hundreds of Pakistani citizens belonging to various minority sects have been killed over the past decade under the guise of blasphemy law enforcement. As Shariah courts continue to hand down decrees to kill, stone and humiliate and the blasphemy laws continue to be used to impose death sentences as a punishment for freedom of expression, the situation with America's strongest ally remains dicey"
Washington Times,

Just read the above wordings published in Washington post you would find how poisonous is the propaganda being done over blasphemy laws, the same can be seen in the stuff of other prominent Newspapers pasted above. I wanted to paste some more news from Indian newspapers and some local newspapers and but a shortage of time a space has stopped me. The whole world is propagating against Pakistan on blasphemy laws but whom to blame for the debacle let us examine this below.

Misuse of Blasphemy issue and its repercussions to Blasphemy Laws

      As stated above I did not find a single controversial word in the constitution over blasphemy laws then why are we at the back foot over the issues. The reasons are quite clear, a guard who was given the duty of guarding a person killed him on pretext of blasphemy, and many Christians were killed in Gojra over charges of deliberately defiling Quran -e-Pak in July 2010. Government could not protect Christians who in return attacked Muslims and a war like situation remained in Gojra for many days. There are many examples of such incidents which I would include at the end but these two incidents are very important The disgusting part of the debacle are the support the Gojra incident initiators and Mumtaz Qadri received on their acts which plunged us beneath the depth of religious bigotry. Most of the Muslim clerics and general public is supporting the act of Mumtaz Hussain Qadri.
        The funniest part of the events is the support of Muslim clerics to Mumtaz Hussain Qadri fro killing Salman Taseer in a rally held in Karachi to protect blasphemy law. A rally to protect the blasphemy law and the advocates show their intent to kill people without taking them to court to have a trial on blasphemy law, what it means? Do they really need blasphemy laws in country? If they are advocating killing the people on their own then what is the need of this law and why are they playing politics over blasphemy law issue? Are these not double standards by our religious clerics? I am strong supporter of blasphemy laws therefore strongly condemn the killing of people without a trial making a mockery of blasphemy law. Supporting those people is itself a denial of the blasphemy law, which is pathetic. I think if we advocate the killer of Salman Taseer for supporting Aasia then why not to kill her relatives, her parents, her fellow Christian (as they are also supporting her ) and find an easy passage to Jannah? Supporting the people who killed many Christians in Gojra over defiling Quran is itself a denial of 295-B which gives maximum of imprisonment for life to the people deliberately defiling Quran -e-Pak.
        Facebook is another example of religious double standards in our society, I have learned that a page has been created to support the act of Mumtaz Hussain Qadri and it has millions of supporters increasing day by. I never used the facebook as I never found extra time (otherwise I would have) but after knowing the fact that this is the same facebook which arranged a contest to draw the caricature of our beloved prophet Hazrat Mohammad (PBUH), I would have stopped using it. But what to do with those people who are using the same facebook which contains blasphemous content, to advocate their hero for killing an alleged supporter of a blasphemer? Are they not supporting the biggest blasphemer of the Holy Prophet Mohammad (PBUH), should we also kill them to show our love with the Holy Prophet (PBUH)?
Moreover it is also notable that non of the extra-judicialy killed blasphemer (alleged) had ever been killed by a Muslim cleric or maulana instead the history tells that they were killed by illiterate people. If the clerics consider the act of Mumtaz Hussain Qadri of showing dishonesty with his own master and killing him as an honour then why did Maulana Fazl ur Rehman or Hamid Saeed Kazmi not kill Salman Taseer to book a seat for Jannah? they all are playing politics with poor old masses of Pakistan.


This is a matter of great shame that these are not the Non-Muslims instead our own people who are to blame for making blasphemy law, the most controversial law of Pakistan. According to a report from Asian Human Rights Commission over 1000 people were alleged of blasphemy in between 1985-2009 and 30 of them accused of various farms of blasphemy had been killed before appearing in any of the court of justice. A study of killing of people using blasphemy as an excuse reveals some alarming fact as most of the people killed were from minorities especially Christian community. Will it not provide the opponents of Islam to open a propaganda campaign against Islam? I am also very sad on the role of a faction of Pakistani Muslim Clerics who are strong supporters of Taliban and they never condemned their brutal acts but they are talking of blasphemy. Can they tall the public that why do they not condemn the Taliban for killing innocent people inside Mosques? Is it not a blasphemous act to destroy a Mosque or a shrine of religious personality? Is it not condemnable?
It is also a matter of concern that people have been killed regularly on pretext of blasphemy, no matter how minor mistake have they made. Those who claim that they are the only advocates of the blasphemy law should answer the question that why are people killed for mistakenly on deliberately defiling Quran, if there is no death penalty for this crime under the blasphemy law? As a Muslim I strongly condemn any of the acts of blasphemy whether minor or major and strongly support the blasphemy law. But I plea the clerics to not to make a mockery of these Islamic Laws by supporting the people who deny the laws and themselves kill the people without giving them the fair chance of trial . I think it is a demand of time, our religious as well as political leaders should come forward to stop misuse of blasphemy issues as extra-judicial killings are creating bad name not only for Pakistan but also for Islam.

Disclaimer: The above article is purely a work of research but advocates my own opinion. This is one of the blasphemy series articles, the others are the misuse of blasphemy issue in Pakistan for personal reason and the role of Pakistani Media during the recent blasphemy row. I have deliberately missed the references, If anyone needs any reference He/She can ask for the same. Please forgive me for mistakes and errors in the post.