Our cartoonist's viewpoint
Tuesday, January 4, 2011 will always be remembered as the day when Islamist terrorism took one more step towards wholesale talibanisation of
“There are no less than 24 groups as of now supporting Qadri on FB and 1 against what he did, that says it all. #salmaantaseer”. So went a tweet from a fellow Pakistani early morning on Jan 5, the day after the assassination of Salmaan Taseer, the governor of Punjab who took a courageous stand against religious extremists...
Very often, the analyses and activism of liberals in Pakistan, remains historically stuck in Gen Zia’s (1979-1988) Islamisation era as their sole point of reference. So it was predictable to hear and read statements that attributed the cause of Salmaan Taseer’s faith-motivated murder to Gen Zia-ul-Haq’s legacy of Islamisation.
The phenomenon of vigilante justice, as supporters of Qadri believe was meted out to Salman Taseer, has been a recent trend in post 9/11 political developments in Pakistan, though there is a track record that goes back much further in history. The concepts of social and moral impunity extended to Qadri must be examined even while his...
In 1947, South Asia was politically partitioned based on the ‘two nation theory’, which states that Indian Muslims could not thrive in a Hindu majority country. This led to the creation of Muslim dominated Pakistan and Hindu dominated India. The citizens of these newly independent nations quickly realized that there were more divisions amongst themselves. Linguistic identities became the basis of statehood and regionalism within the nations. Within each of these regions, there are issues of caste, factional or racial superiority. Hindu states were split between Dalit and Brahmin. Muslim states experiences factional violence between Sunnis, Shias, Bohras, Ismailis and Ahmadiyas. The recent rapid economic....
|Aziz Ali Dad||COMMENT|
Socrates defined the vocation of philosopher as shocking people of their mental habits, Plato thinks it as smashing of idols and Nietzsche described it as ‘diagnosis of the modern soul’ and its vivisection. Since everything is mutable, it is natural that institutions, values and ideas also change with the passage of time. On the contrary, our ideas, institutions and values get ossified when the society wallows in unquestionable satisfaction of its perfect order. In such a situation, the vocation of philosopher is to shock people from their amnesia about Being and subject everything to critical scrutiny. That is why Rober Zend says “Being a philosopher, I have problem for every solution.”
The new faith and belief he derived from the speeches of two Maulanas had turned him against the oath he took before joining the Elite Force of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan that calls for protection of the country and its people one serves. The opponent of his belief was walking in front of him without knowing that his own protector was going to take his life for a cause that he considered supreme to the oath he once took. Driven by his most sacred belief, the security guard pulled up his gun and yelling Allah-o-Akbar emptied the burst of his gun twice with a feeling of bravery and satisfaction on accomplishing the task he had in his mind. The life that was the gift of the Creator was suddenly...
Punjab Governor Salmaan Taseer’s assassination by his official guard constable Mumtaz Qadri– reportedly for speaking against the misuse of blasphemy laws in Pakistan and his support of Asia Bibi, a poor Christian woman convicted under the blasphemy law – is yet another example of those killed as a direct or indirect consequence of this legislation. His murder once again has proved that the blasphemy laws in their present form are a source of victimization against minorities as well as secular forces of the country. Since the mandatory death sentence was introduced as a result of the Amendment Act No. III of 1986 to Section 295-C, by General Zia many innocent people have lost their lives, in some cases, even before the accused persons were brought to trial.
The brutal killing of the Governor of the Punjab, Pakistan’s biggest province, Salman Taseer, by one of his personal bodyguards in a hail of bullets for vocally seeking to amend the country’s strict blasphemy laws and appealing for clemency for Asia Bibi, has ignited the need for inter-faith dialogue in Pakistan. The national television (PTV) declared Salman Taseer a martyr but soon backed away after a reported anonymous threatening phone call at the national hook-up. Same was the case with the leading Christian scholars who even chose better not to condemn the killer. Viewpoint contacted Federal Minister for Minorities Shahbaz Bhatti, Bishop of Lahore Alexendar John Malik, Bishop of Rawalpindi...
Shamelessly defending the assassin and upholding the most contended law, religious parties took to streets, last week. Devoid of in-depth knowledge to the ill-effects and wobbly grounds a person could be charged on; mullahs ignorantly espouse the law as if it is a divine commandment. Not for law, in fact they are rallying for state power, as was expressed by couple of their leaders while speaking to the demonstrators. Their obscurant aim is to impose a worst form of Islamic fascism and wipe out all other faiths, freedoms and festivities from Pakistan. Ever since the inception of blasphemy laws in 1982 and 1984, the list of victims now runs in thousands, of which Salman Taseer was the most recent one.
Last week's assassination of Salman Taseer has re-opened, with a vengeance, old questions about Pakistan, its people, and the future towards which we're hurtling. While the military operations in the NW seemed to have eased the earlier panic in Lahore, Karachi, and Islamabad, our leading denizens have wrestled with even more sinister worries, in the aftermath of Taseer's murder: hasn't fundamentalism seeped, irreparably, into the psyche of the masses? The question, of course, is as ignorant as it is unsurprising. It is a sign of our times that it seems necessary to take stock of elementary political facts. For one, the masses have not flocked to the fundamentalists. While Munawar...
It was Sunday night. My father called me from Pakistan, unexpectedly. He sounded terrible on the phone. He called from the hospital. I’d not seen him in the longest time--I’m talking about twelve years. I’d met him last in Lahore in the year 2010, on the day the Governor of Punjab was shot dead by one of his own security guards. I’m coming to see you,” I said. I could tell from the sound of his voice that he was indeed very sick. “Don’t come here--You may not be able to get out,” he said. “The doctors say I have a bout of pneumonia--they say I’ll get better in a few days.” I’d to go see him. I don’t care what he thinks or feels about my visit. Next morning, I purchased a round-trip ticket for the Business Class on PIA, the only one available.
|Qalander Bux Memon|
A blank page and no voices
Conversations have been cut out for political reasons – its necessary sometimes
Afterall, even the moon does not entertain the sun
Hair falls on my desk
stale coffee lingers in the air