Daily Archives: August 25, 2010

Talibanization of the heart

A thought provoking article by Abbas Zaidi

By  Abbas Zaidi

 

In the backdrop of the public lynching and then hanging of brothers Hafiz Mueez Butt and Muneeb Butt in Sialkot on 15 August, a journalist writing in an English language daily asked the following questions about the murderers: (i) Are they human? (ii) Are they Muslim?, and (iii) Are they really Pakistani? (The writers thought they were none.)

 These questions are evidence of the lowest depth of misery, hollowness, and dishonesty to which some of Pakistani journalists have taken their profession to. Of course, these murderers are human, Muslim, and Pakistani. The hollowness of the word “really” reminds me of Kurtz’s outburst of “The horror, the horror!” in the Conrad’s Heart of Darkness. Why is so much hype about this lynching in both the media and the judiciary? Is it something came out of the outer space, so we cannot accept it? Don’t we human-Muslim-Pakistanis lynch and destroy unarmed people, even animals, while the entire nation and national institutions react from blatantly cheering on to finding crooked justification for our sins and crimes because “Muslims cannot do it!”, a mantra on the lips of everyone from Zardari, the secular and Gillani, the reconciliator to Nawaz, the Amirul Mominin to Shahbaz, the Servant-in-Chief? Think about the journalists, the Islamists, the retired and quasi-retired bureaucrats and generals, and the list will go on ad infinitum.

 To the above three questions, add a highly arrogant claim which we the human-Muslim-Pakistanis make without fail while raising an objectionable eyebrow at non-Muslims: “We the Muslims never disrespect a corpse!”

 The Sialkot lynching is a mirror image of another lynching which we have conveniently forgotten. This takes us to 1994 when the Taliban, made and molded in and by Pakistan, invaded the UN-protected enclave in Kabul where they lynched Dr Najibullah and his brother. After lynching them publicly, just like their brethren have done in Sialkot, the Taliban hung the corpses of the two brothers and mutilated them; they even chopped off their private parts. At that time hundreds of people cheered on the Taliban as they disrespected the two corpses just like the hundreds of people did in Sialkot; the only difference being that there were no mobiles phones available at that time. Again, it is our “Pakistani” Taliban who Pakistan Army thinks are “good Taliban” who last year dug up a pir from his grave and hanged, and not just hung, him. You can go a few more years earlier in 1984 when General Zia sent his notorious lashkar led and supervised by no other than Brigadier Musharraf aka General Musharraf, the enlightened, the moderate. This proto-Talibanic lashkar not just burnt alive hundreds of the Shias of Gilgit, it burnt alive the animals too owned by the Shias. Of course, this can be justified because those animals were not human, Muslim, or Pakistani.

 The Sialkot lynching is not spontaneous. It is in fact a great tribute paid to General Zia who created the Islamofascist mindset with the help of Arabian money and Pakistani-sectarian manpower. The Zia-sponsored and Islamists-created curriculum taught in Pakistan to this day has created a vision in which Muslims of a certain denomination are the only superior people in the world whose divine mission is to put the entire world on the righteous path by speech or sword depending on how quiescent or stubborn the people target for conversion are. Because Muslims can do no wrong, whatever Muslims do is right. General Zia and his accomplices created an Islam, which was unheard of in Pakistan, and since then that Islam has been creating us the human-Muslim-Pakistanis.

 Thus, the very fundamental motivating principle of human-Muslim-Pakistanis is that law has no meaning if it hinders our desires. We also know that the state of Pakistan has morphed into impotence, and accountability and rule of law are nonexistent.  From 1977 when General Zia dismissed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto up to the Sialkot lynching, very few serious crimes have been punished. Crime has become an easy choice because people know that (i) they will never get justice, and (ii) crime is not punished. Unless you are hopeless poor and unconnected, you are above law. Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto is hanged and Benazir assassinated, and their murderers live honorably; lawyers assault journalists, judges, and policemen, but the judiciary takes no action; policemen kill innocent people and drag their dead bodies in the streets like trophies and are decorated with medals of bravery; journalists can demonize people at will and not be held responsible; murderous fatwas are proclaimed publicly and the bloodthirsty mullahs are addressed as ulema; billions are loaned from the banks and never returned and no questions asked. What message do people get?

 In January this year, Prime Minister Gillani said on the floor of the parliament that despite the Supreme Court and the parliament, the Army cannot be held accountable for anything. Aren’t we repeatedly told and taught by the media, mullahs, and textbooks that we the human-Muslim-Pakistanis are soldiers of Islam? Haven’t a few top channels been running a vociferous campaign whose theme is “Hum Sab Sipahi!”: We are all soldiers!

 

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Billionaire pledges his fortune for aid

Tom Hussain, Foreign Correspondent of The National

ISLAMABAD // Malik Riaz Hussain, a billionaire Pakistani developer, has responded to the misery of millions of his flood-stricken compatriots by pledging to spend 75 per cent of his fortune on rebuilding their lives.

The extraordinary offer was made in a television interview in which he told how he had sent a letter before the floods to 100 of Pakistan’s most wealthy and powerful people asking them to pool money into a fund to repair homes, provide vocational training and extend microfinance Continue reading

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Dark Comedy

By YLH

Our bastion of justice, the Chief Justice of Pakistan, made yet another rather odd comment when he declared:

“The All India Muslim League adopted the Objectives Resolution in which apart from the basic Islamic principles the rights of minorities were also protected…this is even larger than a mere resolution,” the CJP observed.

For your information Mr. Chief Justice,  the Objectives Resolution was passed in March 1949 by the Pakistan Constituent Assembly.  All India Muslim League was dissolved in December 1947.    One would imagine that someone in your high office would know the difference and just for your information the only time anyone dared to bring something remotely similar to Objectives Resolution before the All India Muslim League, in 1943,  it was vehemently opposed by Jinnah who called it a “censure on every Leaguer”. Continue reading

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Religious Right in Their Own Words; the Concept of an Islamic State

Part 1

By Adnan Syed

This two part series revisits one of the pivotal events of the early Pakistani history; the riots by the religious right wing parties to get Ahmadis declared as non-Muslims, and the subsequent Munir-Kiyani inquiry commission report into the causes behind the riots. The report went on to interview the religious leaders of the newly formed state of Pakistan regarding their motives and their ideas of Pakistan as a pure Islamic state. As the interviews revealed the incongruous replies of various leaders, they also showed  vague but chilling ideas that the right wing parties harboured to turn the newly formed Muslim nation into a political- Islam-dominated theocratic nation. The interviews reveal the role of democracy, non Muslims, Jihad and punishments like apostasy that would be practiced in an ideal Islamic state.

The interviews are as relevant today as they were 56 years ago. If anything, they foreshadowed the violence that would engulf Pakistan as the state gradually ceded to the demands of the Islamic right wing parties. Religious parties kept incessant pressure on the newly formed state to take a turn towards Islamism. At the same time the pressure was on to the governments to kick the Ahmadis out of the fold of Islam by a state decree. It was not until 1974, that another bout of religious agitation got Prime Minister Bhutto to accede to their demands and get Ahmadis declared non-Muslims. If anything, Pakistan has paid dearly for ignoring its founding father who spoke unequivocally that the newly formed state would not be theocratic, and that everyone is free to practice their religion as an equal Pakistani first and foremost.

(AZW)

Continue reading

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The Identity Crisis of Pakistan

By D. Asghar
Ever since the great country of Pakistan was formed, it has been going through its ideological and identity crisis. Agreed that the vision of the forefathers was to create a separate land for the Muslims of the Sub Continent. The Quaid was unequivocally clear about his vision. He saw a land which was for the Muslims, yet a land which followed the great tradition of Muslims living in harmony with their Non Muslim brethren. A common thread binding them, called the nation of Pakistan.

Regretfully, it is just a dream now. The people of Pakistan are still unclear about who they are and what their destiny should be. Are they the secular and democratic country that Mr M. A. Jinnah envisioned or a Pan Islamic citadel. Many critics argue, that the creation of Pakistan was a conspiracy in itself. To further their argument, they implicate the British and according to their interpretation the British stooge, M. A. Jinnah.

No matter which side of the debate, you are on, you cannot deny that what M. A. Jinnah accomplished, was nothing short of a miracle. Sadly, his philosophy is merely repeated as talking points on certain occasions, such as Pakistan Day, Independence Day or his birth or death anniversaries. We are in complete denial, of his vision. No wonder why we are in such a disastrous situation.

We have divided and subdivided ourselves into so many class and categories ranging from religious, economic, geographic and linguistic lines that it will require a complete overhaul to bring us remotely close to the ideals of Quaid. A lot has been said about the reasons behind our failure. No nation on the face of this earth can survive without a unity of purpose. The diversity in any nation is actually considered its strength. Unfortunately, in our case it has been to our detriment.

All political parties based on religion, ethnic, regional and geographic agendas should be abolished. We need political parties, representing the entire nation. Having their representation, from Karachi to Khyber Pukhtunkhaw, appealing to the masses uniformly on one basis. This should be the way forward. If you look deeper, you can see that any political government that we have had, lacks proper representation in all four provinces. Due to this, the inconvenient alliances are formed with regional and ethnic parties. What transpires because of those unholy alliances is common knowledge. The weak governments tend to make a mockery of their existence and we repeat the same old cycle. Our dreams and hopes die with every single attempt of this nature. In the end, we are "rescued" by our Military as it becomes a "doctrine of necessity", according to their "necessity."

The time to chart our course as a nation is now or never. United we stand or divided we get buried, as we have fallen already. The question is how low are we going to go.

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