The brutal assassination Salman Taseer has opened a can of worms in an already contiminated social landscape of Pakistan which is struggling with modernity in the second decade of the 21st century. The odious adulation over the extrimist security turned homicidal goon Qadri is as disturbing as it is, the media was also not far behind in scoring senesationalist ratings on the Taseer/Asia Bibi fiasco. Below are two clips from Mehat Bukhari’s show on Samaa TV where she interviewed the late Goverener on the 25th of November 2010. Observe the rabid antics of the above mentioned TV anchor and her uber-provocative assault on Mr Taseer. This is a fine point as any for the media faces to draw a line on their point scoring, foming behaviour and a call for the said TV anchor to take a fraction for inciting hate against Salman Taseer and pandering to the radical conservatives.
Category Archives: Punjab
By Adnan Syed
This 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 politically 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.
Originally planned as a two part series, I decided to split it to three parts due to the sheer volume of information in interviews in the Munir-Kiyani Report.
SOVEREIGNTY AND DEMOCRACY IN ISLAMIC STATE
Munir-Kiyani report was one of the first studies into the contradictory stance taken by framers of the Objectives Resolution. The report pointed out that the Resolution misused the words “sovereign” and “democracy” when the Resolution stated that the constitution to be framed was “for a sovereign state in which principles of democracy as enunciated by Islam would be fully observed”.
The worst has happened. Data Darbar, which defined the contours of peaceful Islam for a millennium, has been desecrated in Lahore. Its markets have been attacked and its minorities live in fear after the Ahmadi massacre. Last year, the petrified traders of Lahore’s Hall Road burnt objectionable CDs after receiving threats from extremists. A year later, low-intensity blasts took place in the crowded Hall Road — a market for electronics and kosher and non-kosher DVDs. This week, two internet cafes were targeted in densely populated areas of Lahore and some time back Peeru’s was also bombed. Reports have suggested that the cafes had received threats from unidentifiable numbers asking them to stop their businesses as they were turning into hubs of ‘immoral activities’. Just because no one died there, media attention has been patchy. A younger female colleague told me how tailors are hesitant to take orders for sleeveless shirts and other designs that may offend the purist dress code. The militants are employing tactics of social control used in Swat. It cannot be brushed under the carpet anymore.
Prior to 1947, Lahore was a cosmopolitan city with a discrete culture of inter-faith harmony, with a reputation for the best education and socio-cultural movements. After its provincialisation, the resilient city re-emerged as a vibrant centre of progressive politics, avant-garde art and extraordinary literature. Since the 1980s, Lahore is a city with formidable infrastructure and boasts of great public spaces, especially parks. The innate openness and tolerance of this metropolis could not be subjugated by growing extremism. Continue reading
By Basim Usmani
Cross Post from The Guardian
The violence seen in Lahore last week was aided by a bigoted constitution. How has stock in our nationhood plummeted so?
The recent attacks on a prominent shrine in Lahore demonstrate how the unrest in Pakistan is caused by a minority of few who cannot tolerate the plurality of beliefs in Pakistan. The Tehrik-e-Taliban are lying through their teeth when they claim that they do not attack public places. It’s becoming more and more apparent that these militants aren’t resisting American hegemony; this a war to determine Pakistan’s future and, by proxy, the future of Islam.
Whether the Tehrik-e-Taliban actually arranged the bombers’ suicide belts is irrelevant; they have created a domino effect that’s likely to spread from commercial capitals such as Lahore to cities with historic shrines and Pakistani historical sites, such as Multan, or Taxila.
Unlike Baghdad, where violence between Islamic sects is a product of the war America is waging, the onus of last Thursday’s blasts falls squarely on us, the citizens of Pakistan. We have been complacent about sectarianism for too long.
A good friend who works for a transportation company told me in 2007 that in villages along the highways to Waziristan where the Taliban had seized control were the bodies of butchered Shia Muslims. That year, Lahore’s public was too busy mobilising about the judiciary and President Musharraf to pay the violence any mind.
The GT Road Blog
In Lahore, the University of the Punjab attracts middle- and lower-income Pakistani students hoping to make better lives for themselves. But the school’s campus is also the scene of an ongoing struggle over education and Islam.
Alfred Cooper Woolner May 1878 – January 7, 1936, was a noted Sanskrit scholar and professor as well as the Vice Chancellor of Punjab University, Lahore. He died in Lahore
Many of the 35,000 students wear jeans and T-shirts. Punjab is a state school, like one of those big American universities in the Midwest. Students attend class in brick buildings, and study on lawns cut almost as short as putting greens. But life here is less peaceful than it looks.
A clash over religious traditions recently brought about the beating of a professor in his office — and forced the school to close for about three weeks. Continue reading
By Declan Walsh
Reproduced from www.guardian.co.uk
I often find myself defending Pakistan against the unbidden prejudices of the outside world. No, Islam is not the cause of terrorism. Yes, the Taliban is a complex phenomenon. No, Imran Khan is not a major political figure.
This past week, though, I am silent. The massacre of 94 members of the minority Ahmadi community on May 28 has exposed something ugly at the heart of Pakistan – its laws, its rulers, its society.
It’s not the violence that disturbs most, gut-churning as it was. During Friday prayers two teams of attackers stormed Ahmadi mosques in the eastern city of Lahore. They fired Kalashnikovs from minarets, chucked grenades into the crowds, exploded their suicide vests.
As the massacre unfolded, a friend called – his father-in-law, a devout Ahmadi, was inside one of the besieged mosques. The family, glued to live television coverage, were sick with worry.
Two hours later, my friend’s relative emerged alive. But many of his friends – old men, including a retired general and former judge – were dead.
It is evident that the Pakistani state faces a crisis of legitimacy and survival. Twelve years ago, on May 28, the Pakistani state displayed its nuclear prowess to the world especially to the ‘infidels’. After a decade, statehood and its compromised effectiveness stand exposed. True that the victims of the Lahore attacks were an underclass or at best residents with partial citizenship, i.e. the Ahmadis. But the inability of state agencies to fight splintered terror networks is worrisome.
The federal government had warned the provincial authorities of the impending attacks. The usual slovenliness and chaotic governance of the Pakistani variety treated it as just another communiqué. The police arrived late; and terrorists had implemented the plans rather adroitly making a mockery of Pakistan across the globe. Imagine a terrorist was nabbed through civic action, not the torture-friendly police. And guess where an injured miscreant was taken? No surprises here. A brutal murderer backed by large terror networks was admitted to Lahore’s busy public hospital where security was minimal given the level of threat. Continue reading