Friday, September 22, 2017

New York: Pakistani PM Abbasi washes hands off deadly blasphemy law

Pakistan Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has washed his hands off the blasphemy law, saying it is on the parliament to change or amend it.

When asked by a Human Rights Watch official, at the 72nd session of the United Nations General Assembly, if he would speak out against it, he said, "It's only up to the parliament to amend or change the laws."

"Asked to take moral stand against "blasphemy" executions, Pakistan PM opts for cowardice, says it's up to parliament," HRW Executive Director Kenneth Roth tweeted.

Recently, a court in Pakistan's Punjab province had sentenced death to Nadeem James, a 35-year-old Christian, for sending a poem to a friend that was deemed insulting to Islam.

However, James denied ever having sent the message.

James isn't the only person in Pakistan condemned to death over a post on social media.

In June, Taimoor Raza, 30, was sentenced to death by an anti-terrorism court in Bahawalpur district for allegedly making blasphemous comments during a Facebook chat with someone, who eventually turned out be a counter-terrorism agent on the prowl, the Human Rights Watch quoted Saroop Ijaz, a lawyer employed by HRW in Pakistan, as saying.

In April 2014, a Christian couple was sentenced to death for sending a blasphemous text message to a local cleric. The couple claimed that they were illiterate and could not have sent a blasphemous text in English. Junaid Hafeez, a university professor, has been imprisoned for nearly four years, facing a possible death sentence, for accusations of sharing blasphemous material online. Hafeez's lawyer was murdered in May 2014.

The abusive nature of Pakistan's blasphemy laws is not new. However, the increasing use of blasphemy provisions to jail and prosecute people for comments made on social media is a dangerous escalation. Many officials are using religious rhetoric and whipping up tensions over the issue of blasphemy.

In March, the then-interior minister described blasphemers as "enemies of humanity" and expressed the intention of taking the matter of blasphemers to a "logical conclusion."

Although no one has yet been executed for the crime, Pakistan's penal code makes the death penalty mandatory in blasphemy convictions. At least 19 people remain on death row.

Even accusations of blasphemy can be deadly as at least 60 people accused of blasphemy have been murdered since 1990.

Religious minorities are significantly over-represented among those facing blasphemy charges, and are often victimised due to personal disputes. A death sentence for alleged blasphemy online in a country, with low literacy rates and lack of familiarity with modern technology, is an invitation for a witch-hunt. Pakistan needs to amend and ultimately repeal its blasphemy laws; not extend their scope to digital speech.

خیبرپختونخوا؛15 لاکھ بچے اسکولوں سے باہر ہیں،سروے

خیبرپختونخوا میں اسکول نہ جانے والے بچوں کےبارے میں سروے مکمل ہوگیا ۔محکمہ تعلیم خیبرپختونخوا کی جانب سے آؤٹ آف اسکول بچوں سے متعلق سروے کے ابتدائی نتائج کے مطابق 15 لاکھ بچے اسکولوں سے باہر ہیں، جن میں سے9 لاکھ بچے کبھی اسکول نہیں گئے جبکہ 6 لاکھ نے تعلیم ادھوری چھوڑ دی ۔
محکمہ تعلیم ذرائع کے مطابق خیبرپختونخوا کے 25 اضلاع کے 45 لاکھ گھروں کا سروے کیاگیا۔
سروے کے ابتدائی نتائج کے مطابق صوبہ میں17 سال تک کی عمر کے بچوں کی تعداد 1 کروڑ 18 لاکھ ہے جن میں 62 لاکھ لڑکے اور 56 لاکھ لڑکیاں شامل ہیں۔ ان میں اسکول جانے کی عمر کے60 لاکھ بچے تعلیم حاصل کررہے ہیں جبکہ تقریباً 15 لاکھ بچے اسکولوں سے باہر ہیں۔
اسکول سے باہر رہنے والے بچوں میں 9 لاکھ کبھی اسکول ہی نہیں گئےجبکہ 6 لاکھ ایسے ہیں جنہوں نے تعلیم کا سلسلہ بیچ میں ہی ادھورا چھوڑ دیا۔
اسکول نہ جانے والے ان بچوں میں 10 لاکھ لڑکیاں اور 5 لاکھ لڑکے شامل ہیں۔ اسکولوں میں داخلہ کی سب سے کم شرح شانگلہ، کوہستان اور تورغر میں ریکارڈ کی گئی ہے۔
بچوں کے اسکول سے باہر رہنے کی بڑی وجوہات میں بچے کا تعلیم کے ساتھ لگاؤ نہ ہونا، غربت، ٹرانسپورٹ کی عدم دستیابی اور اسکول سے فاصلہ شامل ہیں۔
سروے کے لئے محکمہ تعلیم نے22 کروڑ 70 لاکھ روپے مختص کئے تھے۔

Benazir's daughters call Musharraf 'murderer', ask him to face courts

Slain former prime minister Benazir Bhutto's daughters have rejected former president Gen (retd) Pervez Musharraf's accusations against their father, Asif Zardari.  
In a video message on Thursday, Musharraf claimed Zardari was behind Benazir's assassination on December 27, 2007 as well as the killing of Benazir's brother, Murtaza Bhutto, in September 1996. 

In the message, Musharraf had especially appealed to Benazir and Zardari's children, Bilawal, Bakhtawar, and Aseefa, to heed his words "with an open mind".
Reacting to the allegations, Aseefa Bhutto Zardari took to Twitter, stating that she is disgusted and appalled by media houses that are giving attention "to this murderer, who ran away". 
Benazir's other daughter, Bakhtawar, also called for Musharraf to quit talk shows and come to Pakistan to face the courts. 

Pakistan Peoples Party leader Khursheed Shah, in his reaction, said that if there was a close link between Zardari and TTP chief Baitullah Mehsud, then why did Musharraf not disclose this earlier. 
However, one day ago, Zardari remarked that I am responsible for Benazir's murder. "This is the first time he’s called me out on this by name. I cannot tolerate this," lamented the former army chief.

Imran deceitful, dances to others’ tune: Bilawal

PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari on Wednesday declared Imran Khan deceitful and Nawaz Sharif a liar.He said the PTI chief used to dance to others’ tunes. He said incompetent rulers had deceived the nation time and again.

He said neither Imran nor Nawaz had solutions to the problems faced by the country. He said reactionary parties were ruling Punjab and added that banned outfits had contested the NA-120 by-election.Addressing a rally at Zafar Ali Stadium, Bilawal said the Sharif family only cared about their businesses, not the poor nation. He added that although the people were the source of power, their rights had been usurped.
He said the scions of dictators were sucking the people’s blood by disguising as democrats. Bilawal claimed that the farmers were being deprived of their rights but the PPP, after coming into power, would give ‘Kissan Card’ to those who owned less than 30 acres of land.
“The PPP has always fought for the farmers’ rights,” he said, promising that the PPP would implement a ‘Kissan Support System’ to facilitate the farmers. The programme would allow the farmers to get interest-free loans, he said and also promised to increase salaries and pensions. The PPP chairman also claimed that his party was holding huge rallies but media owners did not give coverage to them although their journalists attended the gatherings.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Pakistan, Let’s Talk About Sex

Mohammed Hanif
I learned my first lesson about how babies are born from a magazine called Happy Home. It was published by a department of the Pakistani government called the Ministry of Population. The ministry was supposed to encourage people to have fewer babies, and it went about that in a rather coy fashion.
The magazine exhorted people to pace themselves; I remember it used the poetic Urdu phrase, waqfa bahut zaroori hai, “a break is important.” I was about 10, and I remember even more clearly the illustration of a small family, a man and a woman and two chubby children, sitting around a stove and eating. I concluded that babies are conceived by sitting around a stove and eating.
When the provisional results of Pakistan’s most recent census came out last month, after massive delays, they seemed to indicate that the message of Happy Home was lost on most Pakistanis, too. Pakistan’s population now exceeds 207 million, an increase of 57 percent since the last census in 1998. Pakistan has become the fifth-most populous country in the world.
At this rate, the physicist Pervez Hoodbhoy has warned, in 150 years Pakistan will be a standing-room-only kind of place. Overpopulation will be a terrible strain on natural resources and state services. Already today, every eighth child in the world who is not in school lives in Pakistan.
I must have read that Happy Home magazine about 40 years ago, but things haven’t changed much here when it comes to conversations about how babies are made. Despite warnings about a population explosion, we still don’t talk about population control. Talking about population control might require talking about sex, and you can’t really talk about sex on prime time TV or the radio, in Parliament or at village gatherings. Ads for condoms are often banned. There’s the occasional valiant attempt — like Clinic Online, a call-in TV show about sexual health — but “sex” remains a dirty word. As if just saying it was the same as doing it. We don’t even talk about sex with the person we’re doing it with.
The Pakistani government could have involved the clergy to dispel the common myth that contraception is somehow un-Islamic, but it hasn’t. There also used to be a myth about the campaign to vaccinate children against polio: That it was a cover for an American conspiracy to sterilize Pakistanis. Then the government got imams to explain on TV that it really wasn’t Allah’s will to cripple the next generation. Yet clerics aren’t preaching that even though God wants you to have good, wholesome sex with your legitimate partner, that shouldn’t stop you from using a condom or taking a birth-control pill.
Pakistan could also have learned from its former sibling Bangladesh, which has had remarkable success at controlling its population by putting women at the center of door-to-door family planning efforts. Bangladesh, which was more populous than Pakistan when it broke away from it in 1971, now has a head count of 163 million — 44 million less than Pakistan. But following Bangladesh’s lead would require acknowledging that women need to be educated about what they can do to not make more babies, and in Pakistan we find it difficult to talk about women’s reproductive health, let alone their sex life.
So most Pakistanis are left to figure things out for themselves. Some believe that children come from God and invoke God’s name to resist contraception. Every baby is born with one mouth and two hands, it’s often said. For the poor, children are a potential source of income; in some families, they are put to work at the age of 5 or 6. Since the state seems to feel little responsibility for the poor, the poor are banking on having more children to improve their lot — hoping those children will rise above poverty and take care of them in old age.
For members of the middle class, on the other hand, kids are an expense. With one eye on their bank balance and the other on their children’s future, they find it difficult to comprehend why people who are far poorer than they are have more children than they do. They don’t understand that the process of making babies, then feeding them and putting them to work is the only choice that many poor people have: Even if the poor had only two children, they would still be poor. And sex may be their only fun.
The middle-class pundits who tell the poor that their lives would be better if they had two kids instead of five are also making a self-serving statement. Their own family is happier not because it only has two children, but because their parents had enough money (inherited, stolen or earned) for them to be born in a private hospital, be sent to private school and hold their birthday parties in private clubs. When they advise the poor to breed less it’s because they worry that those people’s children will consume the water and breathe and pollute the air of their own precious kids.
Two kids or 20, for parents they are all precious. For some, even divine. There are men who believe that by bringing more children into the world they are helping build up the Muslim ummah. Every few years, a silly news story is published about a man with 30 or more children who claims to be having fun doing God’s work. But nobody ever asks the three or four mothers involved in producing all those children if sitting around a stove making food for more than 30 people makes them happy.

Rani, Shahid - "Jo Bacha Tha Woh Lutane Ke Liye" - (Film: Umrao Jan Ada)

10 evergreen Noor Jehan songs you should listen to today

Google honours Noor Jehan on 92nd birthday

Today marks what would have been 92nd birthday of the late melody queen who ruled the hearts of millions of people in Indo-Pak subcontinent Noor Jehan and the search engine giant is remembering her with a beautiful doodle on its homepage.
Google pays the tribute to Madam Noor Jehan in the following beautiful words:
The sad longing in the plaintive strains of "Awaaz De, Kahaan Hai." The dreamy romance of the sweetly sung "Chandni Ratein." The playful affection in the lilting melody of "Ve Mundiyan Sialkotiyan." These are just a few of the thousands of songs sung by the legendary Noor Jehan, known as Malika-E-Taranum (Queen of Melody) in the world of Punjabi, Urdu, and Hindustani music.
Born Allah Rakhi Wasai to a family of local musicians in Kasur, Punjab, she began her singing career when she was just five years old. Success at rural taka theater performances encouraged the family to move to Calcutta and the bigger stage of maidantheater. Theatrical recognition soon led Jehan to the silver screen. After Partition, Noor Jehan moved to newly independent Pakistan, but her voice continued to endear her to millions across the entire subcontinent. Her renditions of patriotic songs gave courage to many a Pakistani soldier, and her visit to India in 1982 was met with overwhelming love and enthusiasm.
Madam, as she was popularly addressed, was best known for her voice. But she was also an accomplished actress, and she became Pakistan’s first female director when she codirected Chan Wey in 1951. For her contributions to the arts, the Government of Pakistan awarded her the Sitara-i-Imtiaz (Star of Excellence) and the Tamgha-e-Imtiaz(Medal of Excellence).
Today’s Doodle captures Jehan's unique singing stance — her chin tilted up, her hand flung out, a choker at her throat, and a flower in her hair. Happy Birthday, Madam!

Video Report - British PM Theresa May reveals who killed Benazir Bhutto ?

Pakistan - Musharraf hiding from courts: Sherry Rehman

Pakistan People's Party (PPP) vice president Sherry Rehman on Thursday appealed for swift justice for the murder of former prime minister and PPP chairperson Benazir Bhutto, according to a press statement issued by the party.
Speaking to the media outside Lahore High Court's Rawalpindi bench, Rehman told newsmen that today was the first hearing on the pleas submitted by former president Asif Ali Zardari in the Benazir Bhutto murder case.
"It has been 10 years since Benazir Bhutto’s assassination and we are still fighting for justice. We were not allowed to become party to the case this whole decade," she said.
She added that the PPP will go on every forum to appeal and fight for justice. 
"We will knock every door if that’s what it takes."

'Musharraf fully involved in Benazir's murder'

Responding to Musharraf's allegations, Opposition Leader Khursheed Shah said they previously doubted, but now they believe that Musharraf got Benazir Bhutto assassinated, adding, "This is why he is sitting abroad after fleeing the country."
"If Asif Zardari and Baitullah Mehsud had been connected to the assassination, then why was it not revealed earlier," he questioned, demanding the former military ruler to provide evidence to substantiate his allegations.
"Hiding such a major thing shows that Musharraf is fully involved [in the murder]," the opposition leader.
Shah also urged the court to take notice of Musharraf's allegations and summon him.

Convicted cops challenge verdict

On September 11, the LHC's Rawalpindi bench approved for hearing appeals submitted by the two policemen convicted in the case.
Aziz and Khurram Shahzad were sentenced to 17 years each and ordered to pay a fine of Rs0.5 million each for their negligence in investigating the case properly. Shahzad was SP Rawal Town at the time of the incident.
The case was heard by LHC’s Justice Tariq Abbasi and Justice Habibullah Amir, who issued notices to the respondents and adjourned the hearing.
5 accused acquitted, 2 sentenced, Musharraf declared absconder in Benazir murder case
According to the verdict, the former policemen had been awarded 10 years in prison under Section 119 of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) and seven years under Section 201 of the PPC.

BB murder case

Bhutto, the PPP chief and two-time former prime minister, was assassinated in a suicide attack at an election campaign rally in Rawalpindi’s Liaquat Bagh on December 27, 2007.
A FIR over the incident was registered on behalf of the state following which the murder trial of five suspects began in February of 2008. However, once PPP won the 2008 elections, the investigation was handed over to the FIA.
More than 300 hearings of the case were held, while over the course of time six judges were changed and seven challans submitted in the trial that began on February 29, 2008.

Disgusted by media giving attention to an absconder murderer: Aseefa Bhutto

 Aseefa Bhutto Zardari, the daughter of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto has said she felt disgusted and appalled by media which gave attention to ridiculous statement by a murderer who was absconder.
”Disgusted & appalled by media houses that are giving attention to this murderer, who ran away.” Aseefa tweeted. The tweet came after electronic and print media gave undue coverage to the statement of Musharraf alleging former president of killing Benazir Bhutto and Murtaza Bhutto.

General Musharraf should be arrested and tried in Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto’s murder

Pakistan Peoples Party’s Senator Ajiz Dhamra strongly reacting to General Musharraf’s video statement has said that former Dictator cannot mislead the nation by telling lies. This video statement is admission by the Dictator that he was involved not in the assassination of Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto but also was one of the planners of murder of Mir Murtaza Bhutto.
Senator Ajiz Dhamra said that General Musharraf had threatened Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto not to return to Pakistan before the general elections. General Musharraf did not provide security to Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto as she had challenged illegal and unconstitutional rule of General Musharraf.
Time has come that General Musharraf be arrested in Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto’s murder case and tried accordingly.

PYO Sindh celebrates 29th birthday of PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto

Peoples Youth Organization Sindh celebrated birthday of chairman PPP Bilawal Bhutto Zardari at Bilawal Chorangi. A cake cutting ceremony was also held. President PYO Sindh along with other leaders cut the cake.

نواز جھوٹے،عمران دھوکے باز،انگلی پر نا چتے ہیں، لاہور الیکشن میں کالعدم تنظیموں نے حصہ لیا،بلاول بھٹو

پیپلزپارٹی کے چیئرمین بلاول بھٹوزرداری نے سابق وزیراعظم نواز شریف کو جھوٹا اورتحریک انصاف کے چیئرمین عمران خان کو دھوکے بازقراردیتے ہوئے کہاہے کہ ان کے پاس عوام کے مسائل کا حل نہیں‘ان دونوں کے چہرے الگ مگر سیاست ایک ہے ‘نام نہادتبدیلی کے دعویدار عمران خان عوام سے دھوکہ کررہے ہیں ‘اپنی سیاست چمکانے کیلئے دوسروں کو بدنام کرتے ہیں ‘یہ انگلی کے اشارے پر ناچنے والے سیاستدان ہیں‘اگلاالیکشن میرا پہلا عمران خان کا آخری ہوگا‘سیاست کوسرمایہ داروں کے گھرکی کنیزبنادیاگیا‘آمروں کی سیاسی اولاد جمہوریت کالبادہ اوڑھ کرعوام کاخون چوس رہی ہے ،قدم قدم پرعوام کودھوکہ دینے والے حکمرانوں کی سیاست کاروبارکے گردگھومتی ہے ‘لاہورالیکشن میں کالعدم تنظیموں  نے حصہ لیا‘ساہیوال کول پاورپراجیکٹ حکمرانوں کے کالے کرتوتوںکاکارنامہ ہے‘عوام کومہنگائی ،بے روز گاری ، دہشتگردی اورلوڈشیڈنگ سے نجات دلائیں گے اورملک کی قسمت بدلیں گے‘میراجینامرناعوام کے ساتھ ہے ۔بدھ کو ساہیوال میں جلسہ عوام سے خطاب کرتے ہوئے بلاول بھٹونے کہاکہ نااہل حکمرانوں نے قدم قدم پرعوام کودھوکہ دیاان کی سیاست کاروبارکی سیاست ہے ،انہیں عوام کی نہیں اپنے کاروبارکی فکرہوتی ہے ،وفاقی اورپنجاب حکومت کے ظلم کی تلوارآج بھی مزدوروں ،کسانوں اورغریب افراد پرچل رہی ہے ۔مہنگائی نے غریب کی کمرتوڑدی ہے ،جوپیازاورٹماٹرتک نہیں خرید سکتا ‘متاثرین کالاباغ ڈیم پرظلم کیاجارہاہے ان پردہشتگردی کے مقدمات بنائے جارہے ہیں ‘پنجاب کے حکمرانوں نے قیمتی زرعی زمین کواونے پونے خرید کر مہنگی بجلی کامنصوبہ بنایا،ساہیوال پاورپراجیکٹ سے شدیدماحولیاتی خطرات پیداہوں گے ۔یہ منصوبہ موجودہ حکومت کے کالے کرتوتوں کاکارنامہ ہے جسے کالامنصوبہ کہاجارہاہے ۔میرا منشور کسان مزدوراورعوام دوست ہوگا،زراعت کے شعبے کواہمیت دی جائے گی ،تیس ایکڑسے کم زمین کے مالک کوکسان کارڈدیں گے ‘ہم پہلے کی طرح اب بھی روزگار دیں گے ،اورعوام کوان کاحق دیاجائیگا‘ہم عوام کی سیاست کرتے ہیں ،دوسری طرف رجعت پسندپارٹیاں ہیں‘پیپلزپارٹی کے خلاف آئی جے آئی بنائی گئی ،آمریت کے سہولت کاروں کو یکجا کیا گیا۔انہوں نے کہاکہ نوازشریف اورعمران خان کے چہرے الگ مگرسیاست ایک ہے ،نام نہادتبدیلی کی بات کرنے والے عوام کودھوکہ دیتے ہیں یہ اپنی سیاست چمکانے کیلئے دوسروں کوبدنام کرتے ہیں اورانگلی کے اشاروں کی سیاست کرتے ہیں ،ہم کل بھی تھے آج بھی ہیں اورکل بھی ہوں گے ،مگران کایہ آخری انتخاب ہوگا ۔ انہوںنے کہاکہ میں الزامات کی سیاست نہیں کرتا،میڈیاہمیں کوریج نہ دے ،میں عوام تک اپنا منشور لیکر جاؤں گا،اورشہرشہرجلسے کروں گا۔

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Video Report - Are universities in Pakistan becoming a breeding ground for terrorism?

Obama On Repealing Obamacare - Jan 6, 2017

Video - Obama slams GOP attempts to repeal Obamacare

Video - Barack Obama touts the virtue of change

Video - #Obama's Full Speech and Q&A with Bill and Melinda Gates

#SahiwalBhuttoKa - Bilawal Bhutto zardari full speech Sahiwal 20 September 2017

PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto celebrates 29th birthday today

Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari turned 29 today. He is a popular political leader and developing a positive clout on national political horizon.

#SahiwalBhuttoKa - ‘Thank you Sahiwal’ Bilawal appreciates people of Sahiwal for grand PPP jalsa

Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has appreciated the efforts of the people of Sahiwal for making PPP jalsa a successful and historical one. He in his Twitter message has thanked the people of Sahiwal for such a huge rally. Earlier he in his speech said that his life and death were with people as he belonged to the party of martyrs.

#SahiwalBhuttoKa - Main Teer Jan Bija

#SahiwalBhuttoKa - Kal Bhi Bhutto Zinda Tha

#SahiwalBhuttoKa - Z A BHUTTO - Kitne Maqbool Hain

This will be my first and opponents’ last election: Bilawal Bhutto

Pakistan Peoples Party Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said on Wednesday that the general election of 2018 would be his first one and his opponents' last one.

Addressing a large public gathering in Sahiwal, the Bhutto scion said that it was unfortunate how the politics of today was held hostage by the industrial mindset.
"The rulers of today aren't concerned with the problems of the people," he said. "They are more concerned with their business dealings," he added.
Bilawal said that his relationship with Sahiwal was built on culture and tolerance. He said that Benazir Bhutto and Zulfikar Ali Bhutto had fulfilled their promises to the people of Sahiwal during their lifetime.
Bilawal promised participants of the rally that once his party comes into power, it would help form a policy that would be friendly towards the farmers.
"We will also increased the wages of the labourers," he said. "Providing wages is the government's obligation and your right," he added.
Bilawal Bhutto also took shots at PTI chairman Imran Khan when he said that those who were clamouring for fake change were in reality liars.
"I do not believe in the politics of abuse; rather I have faith in clean politics," he said.
Bilawal asked for the support of the labourers and farmers, stating that PPP would go to every cottage in every village.

INTERNATIONAL DAY FOR PEACE: Terrorism devastative for future human generations: Bilawal Bhutto

Chairman Pakistan Peoples Party Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has stressed for global efforts for ensuring international peace to save future human generations from devastative effectives being posed by organized terrorism across the world.
In his message on the occasion of International Day for Peace being observed tomorrow worldwide, the PPP Chairman endorsed the United Nations theme for 2017 “Together for Peace: Respect, Safety and Dignity for All.”
Bilawal Bhutto Zardari pointed out that Pakistan is the worst victim of terrorism in the world we have lost over 50,000 citizens in international war against terror besides huge suffering financial and economic slaughter.
He pointed out that democracy is the best and most effective weapon against terrorism and for bringing in peace on the world map.
He said that PPP was equal partner in the international initiatives for peace and our former leadership Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto were in fact punished and killed for their initiatives for global peace.
Bilawal Bhutto Zardari pledged that his Party would never shun its struggle for peace, prosperity and justice and continue to support every step taken for the national and international peace.

The Pashtuns Are The Tribes Of Israel

The Pashtuns, who live in Afghanistan, Pakistan and India, have a very special tradition, which says they are Bene Israel, and is widely spread among some of the Pashtun tribes. In this article we intend to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that this tradition is true, and they are in fact the descendants of the 10 tribes of Israel, who were taken to Afghanistan thousands of years ago.
The fact is that some Pashtun tribes have a tradition of being the people of Israel (Bene Israel), meaning they descended from our father Yaakov. It is even told that the Afghan king once asked the Afghan Jews from which tribe they are, when they answered they don’t know the king said that the Pashtuns do, and that the king is from the tribe of Benyamin. In particular, I heard myself from Pashtuns from the tribes of Lewani, Benyamin, Afridi, Shinwari and more, that their grandfathers told them they are Bene Israel, and it is well known that this tradition is spread through most (or all) of the Pashtuns tribes.
Some Pashtuns, especially from young generations, are doubting that this is true. In this article I’ll explore the possibilities of how this tradition could have originated. From this exploration it will become clear that doubting the truthfulness of this tradition is irrational. I would also outline some common traditions of Pashtuns and Jews, some of them are based on the Torah, which further confirm that this tradition is true and that Pashtuns are really Bene Israel. I’ll then say a few words about DNA testing and finally talk about the implications of this tradition.
The possibilities for the origin of the tradition
There are 2 possibilities for how this tradition could have originated. The simple one is that it is true. The more complex one is that it is false. If it is false, it had to originate somehow. There are 3 possible ways this tradition could have originated if it is false:
  1. At some point in time someone forced the Pashtuns into believing they are Bene Israel.
  2. At some point in time someone convinced the Pashtuns into believing they are Bene Israel.
  3. At some point in time some Pashtuns created this tradition in a major conspiracy.
Anyone who has doubts in this tradition must explain how it originated. We will now go through those possible explanations (assuming the tradition is false) and show that each of them is far-fetched and as close to impossible as it gets.
Someone forced the Pashtuns into believing in this tradition
According to this explanation for the origin of this tradition, at some generation A, someone (or a group of people) came along and threatened the Pashtuns that if they won’t teach their children they are Bene Israel, something terrible is going to happen to them. Time had passed, and at generation B the tradition was already so acceptable, that not only many (probably most) of the Pashtuns believed it, but they completely forgot that once, at generation A, someone forced their ancestors into believing it (it is a fact that now no one remember of such a person who forced the Pashtuns into believing in this tradition).
For this explanation to be rationally accepted, we have to believe that:
  1. Someone had a motive for forcing the Pashtuns into believing they are Bene Israel.
  2. That person had the means to force generation A into believing it.
  3. In some of the generations that followed generation A, there had to be someone who shared this motive and those means, or else, after 1-2 generations this tradition would have been recognized as false and it would have disappeared.
I think that it is safe to say that we have no rational reason for believing that any of those conditions is true, because:
(1) It doesn’t seem reasonable to believe that anyone had ever had a motive for forcing the Pashtuns into believing they are Bene Israel.
(2) In addition, we clearly see today that Pashtuns would not let go of their traditions without a fight, and we have no reason to think it was different in any previous generation. Therefore, even if anyone had the motive, he would probably have to kill many Pashtuns before he could force this tradition upon them. If that happened, it would have been remembered, both by the Pashtuns themselves and by their neighbours, and there would have been some archaeological and historical records of this genocide. As far as I know, there isn’t any such evidence.
(3) Finally, if believing it was possible at one generation is far-fetched, believing some people did that for many generations is close to insanity.
(4) Even if we ignore the problems outlined above, it would still be highly unlikely that this event of forcing this tradition upon the Pashtuns would have been forgotten.
Therefore, the belief that Pashtuns are not really Bene Israel cannot be rationally based on this explanation.
Someone convinced the Pashtuns into believing in this tradition
According to this explanation for the origin of this tradition, at some generation A, someone (or a group of people) came along and convinced the Pashtuns that they are really Bene Israel, although they never heard of it before. Time had passed, and at generation B the tradition was already so acceptable, that not only many (probably most) of the Pashtuns believed it, but they completely forgot that once, at generation A, someone invented it and convinced their ancestors it is true.
For this explanation to be rationally accepted, we have to believe that:
  1. Someone had a motive for convincing the Pashtuns into believing they are Bene Israel.
  2. That person had such strong arguments that he managed to convince people they are something they are not.
  3. In some of the generations that followed generation A, people who questioned this tradition were convinced again and again that it is true using those arguments.
  4. The Pashtuns at generation A had to have no tradition of their true origin, or they let go of their previously held tradition because the arguments they are Bene Israel were so strong.
I think that it is safe to say that we have no rational reason for believing that any of those conditions is true, because:
(1) Like we said before, it doesn’t seem reasonable to believe that anyone had ever had a motive for convincing the Pashtuns into believing they are Bene Israel.
(2) What could have been those arguments? If we ignore the tradition the Pashtuns are Bene Israel, even with the other common traditions of Pashtuns and Jews, there aren’t strong enough arguments to convince anyone, especially not the Pashtuns themselves, that the Pashtuns are something they are not (remember that at generation A the Pashtuns didn’t have any tradition of being Bene Israel according to this explanation).
(3) Even though some people are stupid, there are always, in every nation, those who are smart and ask questions. If enough people, at generation A or at the following generations, were smart, there’s no way this tradition would have been accepted, and I don’t think it is rational to believe that some generations of Pashtuns were so stupid. In fact, a lot of Pashtuns are very intelligent people, and from that we can safely conclude that their ancestors were intelligent too.
(4) There’s no historical record for this event of convincing the Pashtuns they are something they are not.
(5) It is unlikely that the Pashtuns in generation A let go of a previously held tradition, no matter what arguments were given to them. We’d have to believe they had no idea who they are.
(6) Even if we ignore the problems outlined above, it would still be highly unlikely that this event of convincing this tradition upon the Pashtuns would have been forgotten.
Therefore, the belief that Pashtuns are not really Bene Israel cannot be rationally based on this explanation.
Some Pashtuns created this tradition
According to this explanation for the origin of this tradition, at some generation A, some Pashtuns decided they are Bene Israel. Then they convinced or forced the other Pashtuns, although no one has ever heard of it before. Time had passed, and at generation B the tradition was already so acceptable, that not only many (probably most) of the Pashtuns believed it, but they completely forgot that once, at generation A, some Pashtuns invented it and convinced or forced others it is true.
The same arguments that were given above are all relevant to this explanation, only now the problems are much more profound, because we have to believe that the ones who forced or convinced other Pashtuns were Pashtuns themselves (and if it was done by convincing, they had to be superb liars).
Therefore, the belief that Pashtuns are not really Bene Israel cannot be rationally based on this explanation.
We previously outlined taxonomy of all the possible explanations for the origin of the tradition that Pashtuns are Bene Israel, assuming it is false. Because all of the explanations are irrational, we must conclude that the tradition is true, and at some generation A the Pashtuns really lived in the land of Israel and knew for a fact they are Bene Israel. They were then taken to Afghanistan and the area around it (according to the bible, they were taken by the Assyrians), where they lived and passed this tradition from generation to generation.
Common traditions of Pashtuns and Jews
Although the common traditions of Pashtuns and Jews might not be enough on their own to prove Pashtuns are Israelis, they can certainly be used for further confirmation that our conclusion is correct. Amongst the common traditions are:
Lighting candles before Saturday (Shabbat):
Not eating sea-creatures such as lobsters, shrimps, and crabs, and animals like camels and horses, and meat with cheese. These are, in fact, not Kosher (cannot be eaten) according to the Torah given to the people of Israel by God through Moses.
Circumcision on the 8th day:
The days of the week are called by their numbers, like in Hebrew, except for Friday which is called by its Arabic name Jummah جمعه (it is a holy day for Muslims) and Saturday which is called Shambah, in the Torah (and in Hebrew) it is called Shabbat (Shabath).
Wearing a small hat, In Hebrew they are called Kipa:
Wearing a square piece of clothing by men. In Hebrew it is called Talith. In Pashtun, it is Shawl/Sadaar:

A man marries his dead brother’s widow if the brother didn’t have children. In the Torah it is called Yibum.
In Weddings there’s a piece of fabric hanging above the marrying couple. In Hebrew it is called Hupa. In Pashto it is called Dolaye,
In some Pashtuns weddings, the bride breaks a glass (in particular, I heard it is done by Pashtuns in Kandahar). In Jew’s weddings the groom breaks it. This is actually a relatively new tradition that Jews do for the remembrance of the destroyed Temple, so it is likely that Pashtuns heard of this tradition after they have already been exiled and added it to their other Israeli traditions.
Some Pashtun women grow side brows (called Kamsai in Pashto). A lot of Jewish males do that too (mainly Hasidim (Ashkenazi) and Yemen Jews). Jews and Pashtuns are probably the only ones in the world who do this:
PI sidebrow
Using names like Yaakov (Christians use Jacob but only Jews and Pashtuns use it as it should be pronounced), Israel, Barak, Asaf, Benyamin, Kenan, Tamir, Timor, Shir, Sahar, etc.
Other evidence includes names of places in Afghanistan and Kashmir that resemble ancient towns in Israel that are mentioned in the bible. And some say that until not so long ago, one of the names of the Amu Darya (RiverOxus) was Gozan, which is mentioned as one of the placed the damn Assyrians exiled the people of Israel to. There are also the names of tribes that resemble the children of Yaakov (the names of the Israeli tribes), like Lewani (Lewi), Daftali (Naftali), Yusufzai (children of Yussuf-Yossef), Rubanni (Reuven), Afridi (Efrayim) etc. Also parts of the Pashtunwali resemble some parts of the Torah.
Some Pashtuns also have Jewish artifacts. For example, I heard first hand from a Lewani Pashtun that his grandmother had these jewelries:

If we add those traditions to what we said above, we can be confident that our conclusion is correct.
DNA Testing
Here it is said that almost half of Indian Afridi Pathans are very close genetically to Jews. I heard from some Pashtuns that Pathans are actually Pashtuns that mixed with other nations, so I was set to try to do a DNA test myself on friends of mine who are pure-blood Pashtuns. I already got an offer from a commercial company, when I suddenly remembered something I read not long ago – a Wikipedia article about Jewish genetics. I’ll outline some of the conclusions of those studies, and explain their relevancy afterwards.
Male linage studies: A book published in 2012 that surveys previous studies concluded that all major Jewish groups share a common Middle Eastern origin, and claimed that the theory that some Ashekenazi Jews are Khazars is refuted. Another study done in 2012 claimed to prove that North African Jews are genetically close to European Jews. Another showed that Ashkenazi Jews from Germany are much closer to Sfaradic Jews than to non-Jewish Germans. Another study in 2013 found no Khazar evidence for Ashkenazi Jews and again concluded that most of the Ashkenazi Jews have common Middle Eastern origin as the Sfaradic Jews.
Female linage studies: In 2008 someone found that about 40% of Ashkenazi Jews had 4 female founders (consistent with Jewish tradition of being the children of Yaakov’s wives – Lea, Rahel, Zilpa and Bilha), but that the same is not true for Sfaradic Jews (basically claiming that many women converted to Judaism and married male Jews). In 2013 someone said the exact opposite – that about 88% of the Ashkenazi Jews had non-Middle Eastern female ancestors, suggesting that Jewish males migrated to Europe and took new wives from the local population, and converted them to Judaism. In 2014 another study contradicted both other studies.
Other studies: Looking at the whole genome, one study concluded that most Jews from all communities are descendants of ancient Hebrew and Israelite residents of the Levant. Some studies concluded that some Ashkenazi Jews are in fact descendants of Khazars. There are many other studies; many of them contradict each other.
Now to our point, we clearly see that most studies are consistent with the Jewish tradition of being mostly children of Yaakov (except for non-Israelis who accepted the Israeli religion). But, and this is a huge but, some studies (especially in the maternal case) show something completely different.
One explanation for the inconclusiveness of the DNA testing of Jews, especially in the maternal linage (which is the more important one, because according to the Torah (implicit) and Ezra (explicit) being Israeli is determined by the mother), is that a lot of women around the world converted to Judaism, but it wouldn’t be a full explanation of the facts, because we would then expect that all studies would show this or that percent of non-Middle Eastern maternal origin.
A better explanation is that DNA testing is over-hyped, and it will take some more development until we could rely on it. Commercial companies and researchers would surely disagree, but they have a personal interest.
Because we showed that it is basically impossible to believe that Pashtuns are not Bene Israel, DNA is not necessary for proving this tradition. It can only be used for proving another Pashtuns tradition – that Pashtuns did not mix with other people, but I personally think that given the current knowledge of DNA and mutation frequency, and how much the environment affects it, any result of a DNA test could be debated.
Some Pashtuns think that because Pashto is not a Semetic language it means Pashtuns are not Semetic, but it isn’t a strong enough evidence to contradict what we said above. To contradict what we said one has to explain how this tradition originated, and it is impossible.
Anyway, we should say that not only this evidence is not strong enough; it is actually not evidence at all. Jews in Europe spoke 3 languages – Hebrew, the language of their country (French in France, German in Germany etc) and Yidish. Yidish has only a few Semetic elements and is closer to German, and was used for daily communication between Jews in Europe. Jews in Spain and Portugal also spoke 3 languages – Hebrew, Spanish and Ladino. Ladino was the Yidish of the Jews in Spain and Portugal. In Arabic countries, again, the Jews spoke 3 languages – Hebrew, Arabic and Judeo-Arabic. The later was the Yidish of Jews in Arabic countries.
It is true that the Pashtuns do not speak Hebrew, but I think it is highly probable that Pashto is the Yidish of Pashtuns. It is also possible that Pashtuns didn’t need another foreign language (like Jews needed to know German or Spanish) because unlike Jews, Pashtuns had their own territory. It might be just a wild theory, but it might have been used, like Yidish, so that Pashtuns won’t mix with other nations.
Other nations who claim they are Bene Israel
From the same reasons outlined above, I believe every nation that has a wide-spread tradition of being Bene Israel, are really descendent of Bene Israel. That said, being Bene Israel and having our father Yaakov as an ancestor is not the same thing. There are 2 types of nations who are Bene Israel:
  1. People who kept the religion of Moses and Israel (what is called now Judaism) all along. They are Bene Israel because non-Israelis who married them, accepted the religion too, and Moses taught Bene Israel that if someone accepts that religion and goes through a certain process (called Giyur in Hebrew), he becomes an Israeli himself (Moses’ own wife, Sipora, was actually a convert).
  2. People who are descendents of Bene Israel who didn’t keep the religion of Moses and Israel, but didn’t mix with other people.
The faces of all the people who claim they are Bene Israel prove they mixed, and they generally do not deny that they mixed. Jews mixed too, but they kept Judaism, so they fall in to the first category (Jews who married non-Jews were thrown out of the Jewish community and were considered dead to them. This is still true for today’s religious Jews, and until not long ago, all Jews were religious). On the other hand, those other people who both mixed and did not keep Judaism, although they are descendants of Bene Israel to some extent, they are not Bene Israel themselves, as they do not fall into either category.
What’s special about the Pashtuns is that although Pashtuns do not keep Judaism today (except for some small portions like not eating some non-kosher animals), according to Pashtuns’ tradition, they did not mix. And unlike other nations who have the tradition of being descendants of Bene Israel, the face of the Pashtuns prove they did not mix.
So the question is whether one believes the tradition that Pashtuns didn’t mix with other nations or doesn’t. It is less provable than the tradition of being Bene Israel, because if Pashtuns did mix and stopped mixing at some generation A, it is possible that the tradition of not mixing was created at a later generation B, if they didn’t mix for enough generations.
That said, I think it is more likely that they didn’t mix than that they did. One reason is because the current situation is that most Pashtuns are not mixing. Another reason is that I can’t find a good reason why at some generation A they’d stop mixing after they mixed before that. And finally, we know from Moses (Deuteronomy 30), from Yehezkel (37), from Yirmiya (31), Yishaaya (51, 27), and from many other prophecies that the Bene Israel are out there (those who were exiled by the damn Assyrian). Because we know they don’t keep Judaism, the only possibility for them to exist as Israelis is by not mixing, and there is one, and only one, nation that fits those conditions, and it is the Pashtuns.
I should note that if some of the Pashtun tribes are descendants of Bene Israel and others aren’t, and the Pashtuns mixed within themselves, that would exclude Pashtuns from category 2. Yet, as far as I know, mixing even between tribes is rare (or at least was rare until recently). So I guess that if you are a Pashtun and the elders of your tribe say you are Bene Israel and that your tribe’s ancestors didn’t mix with tribes that aren’t Bene Israel, then you are Israeli. Otherwise, there might be some doubts in case some tribes (those that don’t have this tradition) weren’t original Pashtuns but adopted the Pashtuns’ culture at some point in history.
Well, as a Jew who prayed for and dreamt of meeting the other (non Jews) Bene Israel, I am extremely excited. If you are a Pashtun and you don’t want to admit being an Israeli, I think you are not being rational.
First, being Israelis is a source of pride. It means you are the children of Prophet Yaakov. It means you were the first to believe in the one and only God, more that 1500 years before the Arabs. Your ancestors prayed to the one and only God while the Arabs were complete pagans, bowing to all sorts of idols who don’t have power over anything. It is also very likely that other prophets are your forefathers. For example, it is very likely you are descendants of Prophet Moses himself if you are Lewani. Your great great… great grandfather might have been Moses’ best student – prophet Yehoshua if you are Afridi, etc. Your ancestors saw with their eyes what God did to Egypt – stuff that no other nation but the Egyptians themselves have witnessed. They heard God talking to them on Mount Sinai, etc.
Second, If you think Israel or Jews are some kind of evil maniacs, then you should read this. Once you learn the truth you could be happier with being from the same nation as the Jews. In that article you can also find out why Jews are so excited to realize the Pashtuns are Bene Israel.
So if you are a Pashtun and you are comfortable with the fact that we are you and you are us, you are invited to our facebook group – The People of Israel – Pashtuns and Jews. If you are a Jew and you are excited you are welcome too of course.
Side note for Jews
Some Jews might doubt the un-provable (given current genetics science) tradition of Pashtuns not mixing. I would like to prove to them that our Rabbis of the Mishna and Talmud knew that they won’t mix. First of all, there are many prophecies that the 10 tribes are going to return to the holy land (like Yehezkel 37, Yirmiya 31, Yishaaya 51 and 27, and many others, that talk about the 10 tribes specifically).
Second, if a non-Israeli marries an Israeli woman, they are not really married according to Halacha (Jewish law), but if he is Israeli from the 10 tribes, then they are really married and she must get divorced according to Halacha if she wants to marry an Israeli. On this topic, the Talmud says in Yevamot 16: “If a non-Jew married an Israeli woman according to Halacha, we are concerned that they might actually be married, because he might be from the 10 tribes”. The Talmud then asks: “But when someone is in front of us and we don’t know who he is, we assume he came from the majority of people, and the majority of people are not from the 10 tribes, so we shouldn’t be concerned”. The Talmud then says that this is only true in their land – the land where the 10 tribes live, because over there they are the majority. So the Talmud believes that the 10 tribes are still the majority in their land. If they had mixed this would not have been the case, unless there was only a little mixing going on.
Finally, we have the Mishna in Sanhedrin 10:3, where Rabbi Akiva said the 10 tribes don’t have a part in the next world, while Rabbi Eliezer said they have. Rashi simply said that they talked about the generation that was exiled, but even Rabb Akiva admits that their descendants surely have a part in the next world. There’s no doubt this is the case, otherwise Ribbie Akiva would be in a disagreement with Yehezkel, Yishaaya and Jeremaya, and we know he can’t be.
So the prophets and the Talmud all say that the 10 tribes are out there, in their land they are the majority, and they are still Israelis, even after all these years. There’s one, and only one, nation that doesn’t look like they mixed, has Torah-based traditions, has a tradition of being Bene Israel, and even has a tradition of not mixing. They are the Pashtuns, our brothers, Bene Israel.
So a Jew who believes in the prophets and that our Talmud’s Rabbies knew what they were talking about shouldn’t doubt the tradition of the Pashtuns not mixing with other nations. And I’m not a Rav myself, but I think there might be a consequence for Halacha here – if we meet a random Pashtun, we can’t ask him to do something that is forbidden on Shabbat, serve him anything not Kosher (from the non-Kosher stuff they do eat – some of the Kosher laws the Pashtuns do keep), etc, because as the Talmud said, in their land they are the majority.