Monthly Archives: May 2010

Israeli assault on freedom flotilla

Salman Latif’s timely comment on the current crisis.

In a vicious attack, defying all humane obligations, Israeli naval forces attacked a flotilla heading Gaza-wards with its 10,000 tonnes supplies of humanitarian aid. The Israeli commandoes descended on the boats while they were still in the international waters, killing some 19 personnel, unarmed and declaredly sailing to Gaza solely for humanitarian activities. Not only was it a breach of international law, it also depicted the violation of human rights by killing unarmed civilians. With yet again another pre-emptive and disproportionate retaliation, Israel continues the now-three-year-long siege of the region, severely disrupting daily life and resulting in many acute problems for the residents.

Back in 2006, when a Hamas-led government was elected by the Palestinians, it was a golden opportunity for the international community to bring the organization into the fold of legal recognition. Not only would it have persuaded Hamas to give up its militant outfit gradually, it’d also have assured the Palestinians that their plight is heard and realized, democratically. But what we witnessed was sheer hypocrisy both from the West and Israel who clearly refused to admit the democratic position of the party and always nudged away from the possibility of accepting it as the elected representative of the people of Gaza. As much as the arrogance of this policy, it was also a huge strategic mistake. Not only did it lend currency to Hamas’ militant tactics and efforts, it also brought them even more mass popularity in the region which is not a surprise since the Palestinians were explicitly told by the international community that there only choices were either to elect the pro-Israel camp or else, take the course they had long followed – Intifada.

Now that the siege of Gaza makes three years, the circumstances are even worse. The Israeli blockade of all movement into and out of Gaza, termed inhuman by many nations and international organizations, continues unabated. The siege has caused severe problems for the residents of Gaza including acute shortages of food and other daily-use items. International community seems to be gradually realizing the rigidity of the Zionist state in denying all human rights to the inhabitants of Gaza. In fact, the attack on Gaza strip in 2008 only re-asserted it, with HR organizations accusing Israel of having used phosphorous bombs during the attack. This policy of pre-emptive and disproportionate retaliation has incurred huge loss of human lives, including innocent children. Continue reading


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Facebook and Pakistan

A young activist and social scientist Usama Khilji has sent this contribution for PTH.
The Facebook event ‘Draw Muhammad Day’ indeed came as an offensive shock not only to Muslims around the world; but to all those who believe in tolerance and respect of others’ beliefs. Islamic tradition disallows the representation of the Prophet Muhammad in any state, but a special event to draw caricatures of a revered and respected religious figure is tantamount to hate speech, and was most certainly bound to provoke a strong reaction across the globe, especially from followers of Islam. In Pakistan, the courts reacted by blocking access to Facebook on May 19, and to YouTube on May 20, owing to the presence of blasphemous material on these mass sharing and communication portals. However, it is pertinent to discuss the dynamics of this issue before concluding the extent of its effectiveness.
Facebook is a social networking site where millions from all over the world can interact with anybody with a Facebook page anywhere in the world through his/her own page, known as a profile.. Photographs are shared, messages are sent, one can write on another’s ‘Wall’, and there are millions of groups and fan pages for varying interests for people to interact and discuss different topics on. Another useful component of Facebook is events, which can be made by any user for any purpose, and people can be invited to it. Events range from art exhibitions to school functions, protest demonstrations, book readings, parties, concerts, charity drives, business meetings, etc., and reminders are given to users on the home page once an RSVP is given. Continue reading


Filed under Activism, Islamism, Pakistan

Proving their faith (or the lack of it)…

Amaar Ahmad has sent this exclusive post for PTH. We are publishing it to enrich the debate on the recent events and the larger issue of Islamism in Pakistan. Raza Rumi
The attacks on Ahmadi mosques in Lahore is another reminder of where
the exploitation of religion for personal or political goals
ultimately leads to.

Bhutto and Zia are are the original architects of popularizing among
Pakistani politicians, generals and intelligentsia the trend to
pretentiously drag religion everywhere and to demonstrate their
Islamic credentials. Pandering to fanatics and bigots, they have
displayed their allegiance to the faith by imposing laws against
Ahmadis and by sitting idly as the flames of hatred slowly engulfed
the whole country. The elite class has ever since appeased parties
like Jamaat-i-Islami and Jamiat-i-ulema-i-Islam which were
historically opposed to the creation of Pakistan and whose teachings
have ultimately created outfits like Taliban and Lashkari groups. Continue reading


Filed under Activism, Islamism, Pakistan

Frayed Ends Of Sanity

From Dawn Blogs


Over and over again I have been using Dawn and to hit home the point about the vicious, soul destroying mindset the bulk of Pakistan’s urban middle-classes (especially in the Punjab) have fallen in to.

I have tried to give numerous examples to highlight this devastating observation and here again is another one: On May 28 when terrorists associated with what is called the ‘Punjabi Taliban’ attacked various places of worship of the Ahmadiyya community in Lahore, the TV channels were out in force covering the gruesome event. However, that did not stop them from running happy-go-lucky commercials of their corporate sponsors during breaks, giving the whole event a rather surreal feel. Continue reading

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Religious Parties Condemn, Declare Anti-Ahmadiyya Attacks A Conspiracy Against Pakistan


I am frankly heartened by this statement not because I feel the Jamaat-e-Islami and other bigots mean any of what they are saying like a broken record but because all of them have been forced to make noise.  Ofcourse it is still “the attackers can’t be Muslim” and that the best – “the whole attack is a conspiracy to get Ahmadis to be declared Muslim”.

The News’ reports: Continue reading


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Is this Jinnah’s Pakistan?

Raza Rumi writing for Express Tribune:

The massacre of Ahmadis in Lahore has once again exposed the inner fissures of our society. As if treating them like second class citizens was not enough, the attacks on their private space of worship has confirmed that militant Islamism is now an embedded reality. Those who have been denying the presence of Punjabi Taliban will have to construct another web of denial and disbelief. We saw signs of that after the fateful tragedy. Instead of constituting investigation teams and ensuring that all necessary leads are collated, senior officials of the Punjab government made a direct reference to RAW, the infamous Indian intelligence agency. Continue reading


Filed under Al Qaeda, Jinnah's Pakistan, liberal Pakistan, Pakistan, Religion, Taliban, Terrorism, War On Terror

For Khadim-e-Ala Shahbaz Sharif


Your government has allowed with impunity banners and hate material in all of Punjab.  You are answerable Khadim-e-Ala.  Your government should RESIGN! 

This is Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya’s Press Conference with Pakistani Media.


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