Tag Archives: fundamental rights

Secularists And Jinnah’s 11th August Covenant

There is no more a sacred covenant than this speech by the founding father, statesman, law-giver and philosopher in chief ,  Mr. Jinnah,  for this country and it spoke clearly, undeniably, incontrovertibly, clearly not vaguely that religion would be separate from the state and that religion would be the personal faith of an individual. I’d like to add that there are 30 odd other speeches of Jinnah which also speak of an inclusive democratic polity unfettered by priests with a divine mission but 11th August is the most important speech because it is spoken to the constituent assembly which was about to start framing the constitution of Pakistan.    This is a solemn promise and should have the status of a sanctified compact between the state of Pakistan and all its people.   It is this compact that the honorable justices of our Supreme Court should have considered when they chose to spray the judgment against NRO with Islamic injunctionsYLH

By Ishtiaq Ahmed

No ideological tendency in Pakistan identifies itself with the August 11 speech of Jinnah with greater enthusiasm than the secularists. Among them are included the marginalised leftists, oppressed minorities, retired senior bureaucrats and radical intellectuals. Both Marxist and liberal versions of secularism inform their thinking. The secularists are divided on many things, but agree that the secular nature of the Quaid’s message is unequivocal and incontrovertible. Their lament is that his unworthy successors broke a sacred covenant of equal rights bequeathed by the Founder of Pakistan. Continue reading

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Filed under Egalitarian Pakistan, Jinnah, Jinnah's Pakistan, Left, Liberal Democratic Pakistan, liberal Pakistan, minorities, Pak Tea House, Pakistan, People's Pakistan, secular Pakistan, secularism

NRO Debate Continues …

By Yasser Latif Hamdani

Duniya ki tareekh gawah hai,  adl bina jamhoor na hoga  

History bears witness,  there shall be no republic (democracy) without justice

-From Aitzaz Ahsan’s Poem “Kal, Aaj Aur Kal” – the anthem of Pakistan’s Lawyers’ Movement.  

“I am for the Law.  We wish for a republic of laws.”   John Adams- one of the founding fathers of the United States of America.

 “The first observation that I would like to make is this: You will no doubt agree with me that the first duty of a government is to maintain law and order, so that the life, property and religious beliefs of its subjects are fully protected by the State.”   Mahomed Ali Jinnah- our Quaid-e-Azam.

The decision on NRO was a historic one.   Based on the short order, however, a reasonable apprehension exists that by invoking articles 62-f and 227,  the Court has effectively brought into play dormant Islam-inspired clauses which shall further strengthen rightwing in Pakistan.   This apprehension is obviously not without merit.   Articles 4, 8 and 25 – 8 and 25 being fundamental rights which according to constitutional theory are supreme-  were much stronger clauses and the court did well to invoke these but this is where the court should have stopped.  Ofcourse this is entirely a conjecture without the detailed judgment.   That said the important thing is that the NRO has been reversed and it has strengthened democracy whether nay-sayers accept it or not.  The people need to see that the system works and punishes crooks no matter how powerful they are.  And there is no doubt that the Supreme Court should also take to task those holy cows that have run amok in the country but that will also happen in good time.   Continue reading

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Filed under Jinnah's Pakistan, Justice, Pakistan

Pakistan, Two Nation Theory and Secularism: Response to an Indian Poster

By Yasser Latif Hamdani

This was written in response to an Indian poster who suffers particularly from the ailment of which Oscar Wilde spoke unfavorably once upon a time.    Since the arguments are the usual : cliched, hackneyed and ill-informed chest thumping on why India is better, why two nation theory was wrong, why Pakistanis suck,  why Pakistan is a failed state,  I thought I’d put up this response for the general education of this jingoistic Indian type.   I’ve always thought that these gungho Indians (not all though- there are so many fine Indians we know who can’t be put in this bracket) act like the newly rich of the world and therefore their attitudes towards Pakistanis and the rest of the world smack of a lack of class, manners, decency or sense of balance and proportion. 

Dear Indian poster,

You keep repeating your mantra that India is secular because of the Congress and its one nation idea but the fact is that your constitution itself was authored by a man who opposed Congress’ conception of one nation.  Read B R Ambedkar’s writings especially on the issue of separate electorates for the Dalits and Scheduled Castes. In every way B R Ambedkar’s politics was closer to the two nation theory than one nation theory. And yet this fellow gave you the secular Indian constitution… and if you read the ICA debates you would see just how hard B R Ambedkar had to struggle to keep Gandhian and Hindu Majority’s ideas out of the Indian constitution. Continue reading

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BAN THE BURQAH NOW: A Muslim Woman’s Point of View

By Mona Eltahawy

I am a Muslim, I am a feminist and I detest the full-body veil, known as a niqab or burqa. It erases women from society and has nothing to do with Islam but everything to do with the hatred for women at the heart of the extremist ideology that preaches it.
We must not sacrifice women at the altar of political correctness or in the name of fighting a growingly powerful right wing that Muslims face in countries where they live as a minority.

Continue reading

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Filed under Islam, Women, World

Islam, Constitution and Fundamental Rights

By Rafique Ahmed Mangrio

God created human on the earth, the period he fixed for creature to live is called “Life” which is very precious for every living creature on the earth. This is very basic and fundamental right for an individual to let him live safely, smoothly and freely. Then every prerequisite for protection of life is secondary mean, and any other requirement to decorate the life has third mean. The main reason or cause of many revolutions from time to time, from cave to this modern era, was the protection of life and protect of any thing which is obsessed with making the life perfect. Migration of people from place to another place is reason for getting peace and safety. The Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H) migrated from Makkah to Medina, even the all things were according to revelation, but the peaceful environment of Medina was also a fact. Continue reading

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Swat Deal Grave Threat to Rights: Human Rights Watch

HRW Press Release

Ordinance Should Be Reversed and Abusive Taliban Leaders Held Accountable

(New York, April 15, 2009) – The Pakistani government should swiftly reverse its decision to cede de-facto administrative control of the Swat valley in Pakistan’s tribal areas to the Taliban and affiliated groups, Human Rights Watch said today. The move presents a grave threat to the rights of women and other basic rights in the troubled region, Human Rights Watch said. Continue reading

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