This is a bold article authored by Raza Habib Raja for PTH. He rightly points out the need to reinterpret Islam as the clergy has closed all avenues for ijtiehad. Indeed, many of our contemporary problems are caused by the way, our self styled Mullah-experts have presented and preached particularistic version of a dynamic, peaceful and humanistic faith. Iqbal had also spoken about ijtehad and PTH supports all such voices within Pakistan and abroad. Raza Rumi
It was a day in 1994. I picked up the Daily Jang to have my daily dosage of information and news. In those PTV dominated pre internet days newspapers were the chief source for somewhat objective and independent coverage of the events. The front page was full of news about ongoing political battle between PPP and PML(N). The decade of 1990s was characterized by constant political tussle between the two major political parties. While glancing down, my eyes suddenly caught hold of a two column new article. It described an incidence which had taken place in Gujranwala.
According to the article a mob in Gujranwala , had burnt a Hafiz Quran, Hafiz Sajjad alive on suspicion of desecrating the Holy Quran. According to the details, Hafiz had burnt Quran and as soon as the nearby Mullah got the whiff of it, he issued a fatwa. A mob gathered and dragged the individual out of his home and started beating him. As they were beating him, someone in the mob stopped the others and suggested that the culprit should be meted out proper Islamic punishment of stoning. At that point, police reached the spot and took the individual into what under normal circumstances would have been a protective custody. However, soon an even larger crowd gathered in front of the police station and started to demand that Hafiz should be handed over to them. Due to the huge size of increasingly vociferous mob, the police inspector buckled under pressure and handed over the guy. They started stoning him mercilessly and thereafter set his body on fire. If this were not enough, they tied his corpse to a powerful motor-cycle and dragged it through the streets for two hours. I felt a strange revulsion and just put the newspaper down. After two days, another article appeared which gave details about the initial inquiry. It was established beyond doubt that Hafiz Sajjad was a traditional devout Muslim and while reciting Quran accidently dropped it on the stove. Continue reading
It is never easy to write about Pakistan because there is never anything good, positive or even encouraging to discuss. It is always a bomb attack, which now has turned into a horrific Bombay style shoot out as we witnessed in Lahore, or a terrorist or terrorists trying to blow up something in the world connected to a training camp in Pakistan.
Then, there are protests in the country against power shortage, lack of food commodities (think flour, sugar etc). To top all this, we see agitation and processions against America, facebook and Youtube (and Israel and India) where people are raging and shouting angry slogans. I can go and on, but you get my point. Now, if this is the backdrop, how anyone can write glowingly about a peaceful and/or prosperous Pakistan? One has to write about Pakistan’s true picture.
There is no doubt in anyone’s mind that today’s Pakistan is one of the most dangerous places in the world, regardless of what yardstick we use to measure danger. It offers nothing to anyone who might be interested in visiting because of work or family related situation. Otherwise, can you think of anyone or any reason for people to travel to Pakistan? I have tried hard, but can’t come up with any rational or logical explanation to fly there. Those who have family ties are cutting back their annual travel plans. Those who travel to Pakistan for work prepare like they won’t come back. And leisure travel to Pakistan was almost never an options for foreigners, and therefore, there goes the tourism (and with that, a good source of income) option. Continue reading
Amaar Ahmad has sent his crisp analysis of the ongoing crisis.
On Monday, Pakistanis from religious and political parties tried to
outdo themselves in condemning Israeli assault on the flotilla
carrying humanitarian aid for Palestinians. All decent and civilized
people denounce acts of violence against unharmed civilians. There is
indeed a long history of the Palestinian suffering which hurts us all.
But this swift and spontaneous denouncement also demonstrated the
utter hypocrisy and inhumanity of the Pakistani mullah and the
conservative political class. While Pakistan is burning and its
citizens are being murdered in cold blood by fellow citizens, these
people react with indignation to events in a far away land. Do they
lack the eyes to observe the blood bath in their backyard? Are they
deaf to hear the screams of dying and wounded worshipers ? Have they
lost the sanity to check crimes against humanity within their midst? Continue reading
Just as we thought that the government will proceed with investigations, another act of violence has broken out. Ostensibly to save a terrorist under treatment in Jinnah Hospital. This is madness and utter chaos. When will this stop. People have been taken as hostages and reportedly one terorist is on the rooftop of the Hospital. If this is not a failing state and security appratus then what is it? Raza Rumi
: At least 12 people were killed when armed men stormed the emergency ward of Jinnah Hospital here, Medical Superintendent said Monday.
According to Geo correspondent, two gunmen entered the emergency ward and opened indiscriminate fire, killing eight people, and injuring several others.
According to Geo, three to four guards and attendants are among the dead.
The firing is still underway while police have surrounded the hospital.
It may be reminded here that injured of Garhi Shahu and Model Town attacks were under treatment in the Jinnah Hospital.