Sunday, March 11, 2018

Pashto Music - MASHAL KHAN - Sardar Ali Takkar

#Pakistan - RT stages Hunger Strike against misuse of blasphemy laws

Rwadari Tehreek, a nationwide movement working to promote pluralism to counter hatred, violent extremism and terrorism organized a Hunger Strike on 9th March, 2018 in front of Punjab Assembly in Lahore to protest the frequent attacks on religious minorities in the pretext of Blasphemy allegations and demanded a policy and strategy to stop the misuse of Blasphemy Laws which is being used to hook the religious minorities into fabricated cases and their lives, worship places and other properties are being attacked. 
Citizens from different faiths and walks of life including religious, political and social leaders joined the Hunger Strike to express their concerns on the ill-treatment of minorities and to express solidarity with the victims, especially with Patras Masih and Sajid Masih who recently were subjected to torture and inhuman treatment during investigation with FIA which forced Sajid Masih to jump from the 4th floor of the FIA building. Sajid Masih is seriously injured and is under treatment at Myo Hospital Lahore.

Prominent personalities who attended the Hunger Strike included Rt. Rev. Bishop Azad Marshal (Bishop of Raiwind Diocese), Rev. Shahid Miraj (Dean of Cathedral) Rev. Majeed Abel (Moderator Presbyterian Church), Pastor Emmanuel Khokhar (Senior Pastor Church of Pakistan), Saadia Sohail MPA (PTI), Shunila Ruth MPA (PTI), Mr. Peter Jacob (Executive Director Centre for Social Justice), Cecil S. Chaudhary (Executive Director NCJP), Adoo Ram (Member CEC Rwadari Tehreek), Sabira Asmat (Chief Organizer Rwadari Tehreek Punjab), Munir Ahmed Bhatti (President Rwadari Tehreek Lahore), Vickram Manzoor (General Secretary Rwadari Tehreek Lahore) and many others. 

Chairman Rwadari Tehreek Mr. Samson Salamat while addressing the Hunger Strike expressed deep concern over the deteriorating situation of religious minorities, especially the misuse of Blasphemy Laws. 

Mr. Samson Salamat said that the frequent incidents targeting minorities have deepened the feelings of threat, and terror among the members of minority communities which is not a healthy sign for Pakistan’s multi-religious society and the biased, discriminatory and hateful behaviour of the officials during investigation. 

Therefore, we call upon the Parliament, Judiciary and other responsible state institutions to intervene immediately to safeguard the marginalized religious minorities from further damage” Mr. Samson Salamat added. 

Mr. Abdullah Malik, the President of Rwadari Tehreek and Head of Civil Society Network said that all peaceful Pakistanis stand united with the religious minorities and will not allow any extremist group to use religion as a tool to threat and persecute them. 

Mr. Malik demanded that the Supreme Court should take immediate Suo Motu action on torture and ill-treatment of Patras Masih and Sajid Masih in custody and FIR against Sajid Masih for attempted suicide should be withdrawn. Sajid Masih himself has stated that attempted to escape from the physical and psychological torture while also being forced to sexually abuse his minor cousin”. 

The participants of the Hunger Strike unanimously demanded that 

- A Joint Investigation Team should be constituted for a fair, transparent, and credible re-investigation in case of Patras Masih who was booked on the allegation of Blasphemy at Shahdarah Lahore and his cousin Sajid Masih who was brutally tortured. 

- Those involved in torture and adopted hate mongering behavior during investigation of Patras Masih and Sajid Masih should be apprehended and brought to justice. 

- a proper medical care and security measures should be ensured to make sure fast recovery of Sajid Masih and safety of his life from further threat.

- The minorities have suffered hugely due to the misuse of Blasphemy Laws and therefore the Provincial, Federal Government and all other stake-holders should formulate a policy and strategy to stop the misuse of blasphemy which has been used against minorities as a tool of persecution. 

- National Action Plan should come into action effectively and immediately and action should be taken against those individuals and groups who are involved in hate speech, and instigation and fueling of violence against religious minorities.

PAKISTAN - Record of blasphemy cases in Punjab: it is urgent to listen to the cry of the innocent - 74 % From Wahabi Punjab

Punjab and Lahore district are areas in which there has been an extraordinary incidence of blasphemy cases in Pakistan in the last three decades: this is what the NGO "Center for Social Justice", reports to Agenzia Fides, led in Pakistan by Catholic Peter Jacob. Noting that 74% of all cases are recorded in Punjab, the Center notes that in Lahore 173 have been verified, more than 11% of the total. 

Out of 75 people killed in relation to alleged blasphemy until January 2018, 14 murders took place in Lahore, including the murder of retired judge Arif Iqbal Bhatti. At least four murders - continued the note sent by Jacob - took place during police custody or in prison". The stories of men and women of different faiths present shocking accounts of brutality and enormous suffering of helpless victims", notes the Director of the NGO. "Hundreds of people have been tortured, jailed, imprisoned. Property worth billions of rupees was destroyed by an angry mob on the Lahore Mall Road in 2006 and Joseph Colony in 2013", the Center reports, but "the economic loss is only the tip of the iceberg compared to the social, political and cultural consequences in Lahore".
Religious hostility, vulnerability of minorities and erosion of cultural ethos, notes Jacob, are in stark contrast to the known cultural openness, hospitality and intellectual wealth of the metropolis. According to recent studies by Amnesty International, "the blasphemy law is widely abused to perpetrate hate crimes based on religion, regulate personal vendettas and perpetrate economic injustice", says the Center for Social Justice.
"Given that the Lahore district is home to many religious groups promoting a narrative based on religious intolerance, it is not difficult to understand why Lahore has become an epicenter of the abuse of blasphemy laws", the statement continues. The Center recalls the recent case of Patras Masih, accused of blasphemy in the suburb of Shahdara, Lahore, in the story that involved his cousin Sajid Masih: both subjected to torture and attempted sexual abuse.
Jacob concludes: "The circumstances involving these cases deserve a deeper thought from a legal standpoint. Members of civil society have not given up despite the difficulties. Lawyers have fought for years in a hostile social environment. Will leaders of public institutions have the courage and wisdom to save the city from turning it into a cemetery of innocent people? It is time to listen to the cry of the innocent".

#Pakistan - Revolutionary adieu to Comrade Jam Saqi!

By Lal Khan

Our cherished Comrade Jam Saqi passed away at the age of 74 last Monday. He remained a committed communist and steadfast believer in the socialist revolution till his last breath. The last political activity he engaged in was his speech on November 26, 2017, at the inauguration ceremony of Urdu translation of Leon Trotsky’s masterpiece “History of The Russian Revolution” at the Hyderabad Press Club. Comrade Saqi expressed his unflinching commitment to communism and his belief in the socialist revolution for a prosperous future of the human race. Despite his fragile physical condition and illness, he made this arduous effort to attend an event commemorating the centenary of the Bolshevik revolution.
A retired primary teacher, Inayat Ullah Dhamchar had put Jam in touch with the underground Communist Party of Pakistan, of which he later became the General Secretary. Comrade Saqi became a fiery student leader and founded Sindh National Students Federation (SNSF) – a student wing of Communist Party on November 3, 1968. In an interview with a mainstream newspaper decades later, Comrade Jam had said, “Small wonder, then, that Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) emerged victorious in (1970 elections) Sindh and Punjab, Awami League in East Pakistan and National Awami Party in North West Frontier Province (NWFP) and Balochistan. All of them had socialist leanings.”
However in the same interview, Jam had regretted that while Bhutto and Maulana Bhashani openly espoused socialism — the communist cadre was taught to refrain from vying for revolutionary socialism and remained confined to the slogan of national democratic revolution. This was comrade Jam Saqi’s first public critique of the ideological positions of the pro-Moscow and pro-Peking communist parties that had a significant base amongst students, peasants, workers and political activists in those days.In March 1971,Jam Saqi had lead rallies in Hyderabad and Nawabshah against the atrocities of the military junta in East Bengal. Jam Saqi was one of the rare sane voices, even amongst the left wing leaders who did not succumb to the patriotic chauvinism being whipped in both India and the Pakistan at the time. The strategists of the subcontinent’s ruling classes were terrified of the populist wave sweeping across the region. War hysteria was incited to disrupt this raging revolutionary movement.
In 1983, General Zia ul Haq unleashed ferocious brutality against unarmed and innocent Sindhi peasants, students and leftist activists to crush an uprising against his monstrous military dictatorship. Comrade Jam Saqi, along with several left wing activists was arrested by Zia’s military hacks and tried in a military court for allegedly acting against the ideology of Pakistan. Jam Saqi’s trial in the military court gained historic significance when stalwarts such as Benazir Bhutto, Mir Ghous Bux Bizenjo, Khan Abdul Wali Khan, Tahira Mazhar Ali Khan, Mairaj Mohammad Khan, Fatehyab Ali Khan, Maulana Shah Mohammed Amroti, Minhaj Burnaand others appeared as his defence witnesses. This case came to be renowned as the ‘Jam Saqi’ case. Inspite of these well-established witnesses, Jam was sentenced to nine years of rigorous imprisonment and tortured so grievously that he developed lifelong physical disabilities.
Comrade Saqi remained defiant against the reactionary Zia dictatorship. In the late 1970’s and 80’s, Comrade Jam Saqi had become an icon to students and political activists in the struggle against the vicious military regime. He was popular in the resistance movement that defied the might of the state, not just in Sindh but countrywide. He was a recognised communist fighter beyond Pakistan and was invited by the Communist Parties of India and other countries to participate in their congresses.
Comrade Jam had a sympathetic attitude towards the soldiers and lower ranks of the army and the police. He used to say; “These are proletarians in uniform… from our class and will eventually join the class struggle in the decisive moments of revolution”
Besides being a political activist, a revolutionary leader who inspired those struggling against the autocracy in Pakistan. Jam Saqi was also a proficient writer. He wrote the novel “Khahori Khijan”, a book about the Sindh students’ movement or “Sindh Ji Shagrid Tehreek”. His defiant and brave statements during the trial in the military’s Kangaroo Court were collected and published in two book formats,in Urdu and Sindhi, “Tareekh Moonkhay na Wesarreendi” (History can never relinquish me) and “Zameer ke Qaidi” (Prisoners of conscience).
Comrade Jam had a sympathetic attitude towards the soldiers and lower ranks of the army and the police. He used to say; “These are proletarians in uniform…from our class and will eventually join the class struggle in the decisive moments of revolution.” The fall of the Berlin Wall, capitalist degeneration of the Chinese Revolution and the collapse of the Soviet Union had devastating impacts on leftist activists and leaders. Indubitably Jam was also affected by these catastrophic events. The PPP leadership in Sindh tried to lure him into the politics of reformist capitalism, but deep inside — comrade Jam Saqi was never convinced by the narrative that ‘socialism as a viable socioeconomic system had failed’.
In the late 1990’s, comrade Jam Saqi came into contact with certain comrades of “The Struggle” who had predicted the collapse of the Soviet Union and had an optimistic vision of a socialist future. Comrade Jam Saqi joined “The Struggle” and was soon back in action as a communist activist and leader. Inspite of his old age,Jam Saqi was ever enthusiastic in the class struggle.
In his last speech at the launching ceremony at Hyderabad, Comrade Jamhad said, “Communists have always and shall always play a decisive role in changing the course of history… meeting with comrades — my pains vanish… only with the victory of the worker’s and peasant’s class struggle can this exploitation and tyranny be ended”. A few hours before he passed away, he told his son Sarang: “If I had to live again, I will tread the same path as there is no greater cause in life than to struggle for a revolutionary transformation of society.”

Pakistan’s unceasing bigotry - Attack On Ahmadi Muslims, Shia, Hindu, Christian, Sikh & all others.

By Rana Tanver

The added insecurity Shaukat Siddiqui’s judgment will cause for minorities will not only make them more vulnerable, but will also reinforce their exclusion from political participation, basic services, education and employment. 

Based on divisiveness, the judgment of Justice Shaukat Siddiqui of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) passed on Friday, which have not disappointed many — as the honorable judge could have gone to an extent beyond one’s imagination in ‘service’ to Islam, will undoubtedly cause more vigilante attacks against religious minorities.

The added insecurity this judgment will cause for minorities will not only make them more vulnerable to threats of murder, but also will reinforce their exclusion from political participation, basic services, education and employment.

By making it mandatory for every ‘constitutional’ Muslim to guard and protect the finality of Prophethood, this judgement has left it to the people to interpret how such edicts are to be applied. This will only lead to more victimisation of this country’s already vulnerable religious minorities. It will provide extremist groups with justification to continue twisting religion to justify widespread killing and the destruction of sacred places and public property of Ahmadis.

Incidents of mob justice like those that transpired at Joseph Colony, Shanti Nagar, Kala Gujran, Jandu Sahi and Gujranwala wherein Christians and Ahmadis were targeted for their religious beliefs, will now happen with more frequency. Moreover, the perpetrators under umbrella of this judgement would have justification for their unbridled acts. Any violence they commit will be to ‘guard and protect the finality of Prophethood’.

The judgement has also been passed without the fulfilment of legal prerequisites. A very famous and well known principal of law is that no one can be condemned unheard. That is exactly what happened in this matter. Ahmadis, who are the major affectees of this judgement, were neither made party in the petition nor were issued notice to give their point of view.

The court has also issued a translation of this order in Urdu, which will make it easy for anti-Ahmadi zealots, many of who cannot read English, to understand and ‘implement’ it in their way.

By another direction, the court has directed the Parliament to ensure that all terms specifically used for Islam and Muslims are not used by non-Muslims. Already according to section 298-B and 298-C of Pakistan Penal Code (PPC), Ahmadis cannot use descriptions and titles reserved for certain Holy personages or places of Islam, cannot term their place of worship as mosques and cannot term their call for prayer as Azan. It is also punishable for them to propagate their religion. By ‘terms specifically used for Islam and Muslims’, the honourable judge might mean using Ahmed, Muhammad, Ali, Hasan, Hussain, Allah, or Khuda as part of ones names. If so, Ahmadis be forced to not have these Islamic terms in their names.

The order has put an embargo on minority members to be appointed on constitutional posts by declaring it ‘against our organic law and rituals’. It means that no one from religious minorities can become a part of the judiciary, attorney general’s office, advocates generals’ offices and prosecutor generals’ offices. They are already barred from becoming President or Prime Minister.

The court’s biases are evident against minorities in general and Ahmadis in particular, who are already second grade citizens due to different discriminatory constitutional, legal, administrative and personal steps. By showing such attitude towards minorities, the state is compelling them to shun their loyalties and patriotism. So far, I cannot quote a single incident where any member of religious minorities in Pakistan was ever involved in terrorist activities. Ironically, our most murderous countrymen are always ‘constitutional’ Muslims.

The judgement has chosen very strong language, which will be all the more effective at inciting violence — particularly against Ahmadis. This shows clearly how impartial our judges are.

Ahmadis are already completely removed from the democratic process. Due to discriminatory steps taken by the state to exclude them, they cannot contest elections, cast votes or even campaign while sticking to their religious beliefs.

This judgment will not only alienate the Ahmedia community further, it will also facilitate the world in alienating itself from Pakistan, the brunt of which will be felt by every citizen regardless of religion. Issuance of such a judgements, particularly at a time when the US State Department has already re-designated the country as a ‘country of particular concern’ under the International Religious Freedom Act for having engaged in or tolerated egregious violations of religious freedom, is quite capable of having us declared as a terror sponsoring state.

It is the time to struggle for inclusion, acceptance, and peaceful coexistence. In such a situation, it is the prime and foremost duty of the federal government to behave sanely and challenge this decision before the SC and get it struck down right away.


Tahir Mehmood Ashrafi, the unprecedented drunkard Deobandi cleric, who is also known for his unmatched obesity and sycophancy, crossed all limits and announced honorary membership of his faction of Deobandis’ Pakistan Ulema Council to Saudi prayers leader of Ka’aba during his visit to Pakistan.
Ashrafi was expelled from that council by Zahid Mehmood Qasmi group over the charges he got money from foreign governments. Now, he gave the membership of that party to Saudi cleric. In his Arabic speech to please the Saudi prayers leader, he flattered the US-allied Saudi Wahhabi monarchy and criticized the countries that oppose Saudi alliance with the US and Israel. 

The cleric who was caught red handed because of consuming wine, also criticized those people of Yemen who resist and oppose the Saudi-led unilateral war on their country. 

People of Pakistan are asking this question very much if it is an honour for the Saudi prayers leader appointed by US-allied Saudi monarchy who is given the title of Imam-e-Ka’aba to have honorary membership of a drunkard and fatty cleric expelled by his own comrades from that party?

Pakistan activists say court ruling threatens minorities

Rights activists in Pakistan expressed concern Sunday over a court ruling that would require people to declare their religion on all official documents, saying it could lead to the persecution of minorities, particularly adherents of the Ahmadi faith.

The Islamabad High Court ruling on Friday also requires that citizens take a religious oath upon joining the civil service, armed forces or judiciary.
Zohra Yusuf, a board member at the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, called the ruling “very dangerous.” She said her group would issue a statement in the coming days.
“Religion is someone’s personal affair, not a matter of public display,” she said. “The oath thing is nothing but discrimination, and would show the government has no belief that minorities too are patriotic.”
The ruling appeared to be aimed at Ahmadis, who revere the 19th century founder of their faith as a prophet. Pakistan declared Ahmadis non-Muslims in 1974. They already face widespread discrimination and are often targeted by extremists.
The oath would require people to testify that the Prophet Muhammad was the last messenger sent by God, the repudiation of a core Ahmadi belief.
“The court should have given us a chance to present our point of view before the verdict, which has increased our vulnerability as a community,” said Saleem Uddin, a spokesman for Pakistan’s Ahmadi community. He noted that several Ahmadis have been killed by religious extremists in recent years, and that their property and places of worship have been attacked. He said the community is consulting legal experts and may challenge the ruling.
Zia Awan, another rights activist, said the court ruling would encourage extremists.
“I am afraid this will further endanger minorities and increase discrimination,” he said.

Video Report - Asfandyar Wali khan Of #ANP Speech in Swat

#Pakistan - #PPP announces support for Sadiq Sanjrani for Senate chairman

The Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) on Sunday announced support for independent senator-elect from Balochistan Sadiq Sanjrani for the coveted post of Senate chairman, turning down PML-N’s proposal to field Raza Rabbani for the top office of the Upper House of the Parliament.
PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari made this announcement after a meeting of party leaders in the federal capital.
He said the party has decided to back Sadiq Sanjrani for the office of Senate chairman and field Saleem Mandviwalla for deputy chairman.
PPP proud to announce candidates for chairman & deputy chairman of the Senate of Pakistan. Sadiq Sanjrani & Saleem Mandviwalla respectively. Inshallah victory will be ours.
 Balochistan Chief Minister Abdul Quddus Bizenjo proposed the name of Sanjrani, who also enjoyed the support of Imran Khan-led Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI).
Speaking to the media after the meeting alongside Bizenjo, Bilawal said his party wanted to resolve the problems facing the people of the province.
Earlier, Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) supreme leader Nawaz Sharif chaired a meeting of party leaders and allies in the federal capital today to discuss their candidates for the top offices of the Senate.
With the ruling party claiming to have gathered the support of as many as 57 senators in the 104-House to elect its candidates with ease, Sharif and his allies decided to support Raza Rabbani, if PPP nominates him for the office of Senate chairman.
PML-N Information Secretary Mushahidullah Khan said they had been waiting for PPP to nominate its candidate for Senate chairman.
If Rabbani was not nominated, Sharif would make public the name of party’s own nominee for the slot, he said.
National Party President Mir Hasil Bizenjo told media after the huddle that if PPP fielded Rabbani, the ruling party and allies would vote for him.
He said they would field their own candidate if the Bilawal Bhutto Zardari-led party didn’t respond in affirmative to their proposal.
After the meeting, Nawaz Sharif left for Lahore and will return to the federal capital tomorrow to hold a final round of deliberations over Senate chairman and deputy chairman nominees.
Sources say, PPP and PTI have joined hands to field consensus candidates for the coveted offices of the Upper House.
Both parties agreed to vote for a senator-elect from Balochistan for Senate chairman office and a candidate from FaTa for deputy chairman.
Earlier today, the PTI spokesperson confirmed that party will support newly elected Senator Sadiq Sanjrani from Balochistan for the post of Senate chairman.
Talking to media following a meeting between party chairman Imran Khan and Balochistan Chief Minister Abdul Quddus Bizenjo, the spokesperson said the party chief agreed on Sadiq Sanjrani as candidate for Senate chairmanship.
Number game
Pakistan’s Senate comprises of 104 members and to replace the outgoing Senate chairman Raza Rabbani with their candidates, the mainstream parties need at least 53 votes.
The PML-N emerged as the largest parliamentary group of the house with 33 Senators. While, the PPP has overall 20 seats in the Senate and the PTI stands third major party in the Senate with 13 seats.

The groups of independent senators-elect from Balochistan and Federally Administrated Tribal Areas (Fata) are believed to play a crucial role in the upcoming election for the offices of Senate chairman and deputy chairman.

Bilawal Bhutto strongly condemns the incident of throwing shoe at Nawaz Sharif

Chairman Pakistan Peoples Party Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has strongly condemned the incident of throwing shoe at Nawaz Sharif and termed it ugly trend threatening the respect and security of the political leaders in Pakistan.
In a statement, the PPP Chairman said that his Party was against the use of such disrespectful tactics against opponents since the very inception and would condemn in strong possible terms such incidents.
Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said that Nawaz Sharif incident and throwing ink at Khwaja Asif have exposed the security breaches and these attempts shouldn’t be aimed at to discourage political leaders direct contact with public.