The recent attack on Abdullah Shah Ghazi’s shrine is another reminder of the plain truth that the Pakistani state needs to focus on its domestic crises rather than remain obsessive about external threats. The unholy conglomerate comprising al Qaeda, sectarian outfits and elements within the state has targeted Karachi’s best-known public and cultural space. This is a continuation of Islamist battles against Pakistan.
Yet, apologists remain adamant. Butchering of civilians and annihilation of a plural Sufi culture is a reaction, we are told. First, it was the US occupation of Afghanistan, then the invasion of Iraq and now drone attacks in Pakistan. True, Muslims and Pakistanis are enraged at US policies and its sheer arrogance in dealing with the region. But using anti-Americanism as an excuse to overlook the growing cancer of bigotry at home is disingenuous and dangerous for our future. Continue reading
Usama Khilji, a young activist from Islamabad addresses his contemporaries in Pakistan
Dear Young Pakistani!
I understand how these times are testing of your patriotism, but let me tell you how these times are actually a golden opportunity for you to prove your worth, your love for the country, and desire for a better future.
You must have been hearing a lot about how Pakistani society has degenerated into moral chaos, how we as a nation are worthless ‘cockroaches’, and how we as a nation are deserving of calamities such as the catastrophic flood. These are all baseless generalizations that you as the youth should take up as challenges, and rather than accepting such fatalism, prove them wrong instead.
For those of you who were disheartened by the beating to death of two brothers in Sialkot by a mob, don’t be disheartened. Use this event to realize the importance of justice, the importance of rule of law. Many of you went out on the roads of different cities of Pakistan demanding justice to the deceased brothers. Excellent. Be involved. Stand up and question any wrong that you see happening around you. Refuse to consent to injustice; otherwise you are one of the spectators of the mob-justice scene in Sialkot. Continue reading
Filed under Activism, youth
Faisal Naseem Chaudhry has contributed this excellent piece for PTH. Apparently, the Supreme Court has taken notice of this incident. But this incident itself is reflective of the growing frustration among Pakistanis with respect to governance and in particualr the failures of the criminal justice system. As Faisal says people have lost faith in the judicial system, no matter whosoever heads the institution! Whilst Pakistan gears its creaky state machinery to face the monumental challenges ahead, this incident is a parable of our times. The pending reform agenda of improving the police, the courts and administration cannot be further delayed lest we want to promote anarchy and mayhem in the country. Raza Rumi
A horrifying incident took place in Mauza Buttar District Sialkot on 15 August when two alleged dacoits were not only stoned and beaten to death rather their dead bodies were hanged upside down for four hours in the presence of District Police Officer (DPO Sialkot), and later put on a tractor-trolley for public exhibition. According to the printed news appearing in Daily Express, Daily Khabrein, and Daily Pakistan;
1. A total of 4 dacoits were robbing people of their belongings at 6 AM on 15 August.
2. One namely Bilal was killed by the dacoits. A few others were injured.
3. Those injured were strong enough to get hold of two dacoits whereas remaining 2 managed to flee successfully.
4. The captured one were beaten and stoned to death, dead-bodies hanged with a pole.
5. After ‘negotiations’ the bodies were handed over to Police.
6. A case has been registered against the deceased ‘dacoits’ and their buddies who managed to flee the scene.
7. The grand-father of the deceased dacoits stated that one of them was a Hafiz-e-Quran; both were brothers and were going on a motorcycle to play cricket in the morning after SEHRI. When they were passing by the place of incident, they were apprehended by the village men (perhaps because they were riding a motorcycle and dacoits do it) and mercilessly killed.
The above incident reminds us of an incident dated February 2010 when two dacoits were burnt alive in Karachi. Continue reading
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
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
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
The attack sparked a gun battle between security forces and the attackers in Garhi Shahu [AFP]
Pakistan is hunting members of an armed gang who killed at least 80 people in a double attack on two mosques belonging to the minority Ahmadiyya sect in the eastern city of Lahore.
Security forces battled the assailants for several hours in the aftermath of the co-ordinated suicide and grenade attacks on Friday, but some escaped.
The attacks targeted the Ahmadiyya sect, whose interpretation of Islam is rejected by many in Pakistan and who have been singled out by attackers before. Continue reading