Saturday, July 7, 2012

Religious Persecution in Pakistan under Judiciary.

KARACHI: Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Ifitikhar Muhammad Chaudhry Saturday said that the constitution was supreme, while in the eyes of law all the citizens of the country were equal. CJP without mincing words declared no compromise could be made on the independence of judiciary. The chief executive lost his job on court’s action, under Article 5 all citizens were bound to be loyal to the state, he said. Addressing the lawyers on the occasion of issuance of practice licences to the lawyers here, Chief Justice said that whatever position or post one holds the law was same for everyone. Action on contempt of court was taken against the chief executive for not obeying the court order and he lost his position. Chief Justice said that he wanted the rule of law and the constitution in the country and added that it was mandatory for the citizens of the country as well as the foreigners living here to abide by the state’s constitution and the laws. He said that the law and constitution would be protected. He further said that the judiciary could declare void actions in contravention of the constitution. The Apex court has already given verdict in unambiguous terms on this issue. It was only the constitution that is supreme, which has to be followed. The constitution has given the powers to the higher courts and no compromise would be made on the independence of judiciary, he re-iterated. REFERENCE: Constitution is supreme: CJP July 07, 2012 - Updated 152 PKT From Web Edition

The list includes names of former chief justice of the Supreme Court Abdul Hameed Dogar and senior judge Mian Shakirullah Jan, who is currently working as the acting Chief Election Commissioner, Justice Tassaduq Hussain Gilani, and Justice Nasirul Mulk, three sitting judges of the SC who own two plots each in sectors D and G of the capital. Retired Supreme Court judges, Justices Mansoor Ahmad, Mohammad Nawaz Abbasi, Faqir Mohammad Khokhar, Mohammad Javaid Buttar, Syed Saeed Ashhad, Sardar Mohammad Raza Khan, Javed Iqbal, Khalil-ur-Rehman Ramday, Falak Sher, Syed Jamshed Ali and Syed Azhid Hussain also hold ownership rights to two plots in Islamabad. REFERENCE: PAC releases list of judges owning two plots From the Newspaper | Khawar Ghumman | 4th July, 2012 Judges Behaving Badly How Pakistan's Supreme Court Is Undermining Democracy Aqil Shah July 2, 2012

Sharing with you this important document, which has left me shocked and extremely disappointed in the ‘wisdom’ of those who need to be the wisest. Amid all kinds of corruption allegations on politicians being pursued by the Supreme Court of Pakistan (SCOP), one case got special treatment by the worthiest men of of this country – the graft case of Mr. Arsalan Iftikhar. Iftikhar is a 34 years old ‘innocent boy’ who was reportedly ‘lured’ into accepting a not-s-small sum of money from one Malik Riaz, the real estate tycoon who knows how to make the mare go. The innocence of Mr. Iftikhar is further proven by the fact that he happens to be the son of Chief Justice of Pakistan. The case was thus, taken up by none other than CJP himself, as a suo-moto action under Section 184(3) which allows the CJP to move the court if the case pertains to violation of fundamental rights and is of public interest. The case, definitely is of public interest and violates Mr. Iftikhar’s right to remain innocent for the rest of his life! The case, as was right thing to do, was disposed of by mildly lecturing all parties to ‘behave’. Why is it important to recall Mr. Iftikhar? Because his was not the only case where the worthy court to be partisan for its own interest. Responding to Public Accounts Committee, the elected watch body over the Auditor General of Pakistan that called Registrar of Supreme Court to present himself before the Committee and explained some overspending by the SCOP. Guess what happens next? The wise men in SCOP, came up with a document that conveniently leaves everyone in the SCOP outside the ambit of any elected watch body that oversees the transparency of financial transaction by public institutions including SCOP. Have a lok over how the Registrar of SCOP – an official who is not a judge – exonerates himself from legislature’s scrutiny. One wonders who is going to ensure transparency when even the most responsible institutions of this country try to evade law on the pretext of law. Ironic and sad. The language used in this document and disregard for transparency makes my wish it must not be what the worthy men in SCOP meant. Have a good reading experience please! Supreme Court, Pakistan, Chief Justice, Arsalan Iftikhar, Auditor General, Public Accounts Committee, Parliament, Judiciary, Pakistan: REFERENCE: SUPREME COURT AND PUBLIC ACCOUNTS COMMITTEE July 8, 2012 by Marvi Sirmed

Saturday, July 07, 2012, Shaban 16, 1433 A.H.

The enemies of Islam must be hunted down and killed like snakes even when they were offering prayers General Faiz Ali Chishti - I remember my days as a political prisoner in Karachi Central Jail in 1981. A prison warden,bringing me my food, said she was frightened. She had heard that a Shia family had moved into the lane of the house where she lived. “You know Shias eat children,” she said. “I lock my child up all day so that Shias can‟t kidnap, kill, and eat my child.” She has heard it from the imam at her local mosque. Benazir Bhutto: REFERENCE: Postcolonial Insanity by Abbas Zaidi

Mumtaz Qadri, murderer of Salman Taseer, showered with rose petals by Lawyers.


Malik Mumtaz Hussain Qadri, the bodyguard arrested for the killing of Punjab Governor Salman Taseer, shouts religious slogans while being taken away by police after he was presented at a court in Islamabad. -Reuters Photo -- LAHORE: Lawyers showered the suspected killer of a prominent Pakistani governor with rose petals when he arrived at court Wednesday and an influential Muslim scholars group praised the assassination of the outspoken opponent of laws that order death for those who insult Islam. Mumtaz Qadri made his first appearance in an Islamabad court, where a judge remanded him in custody a day after he allegedly sprayed automatic gunfire at the back of Punjab province Gov. Salman Taseer while he was supposed to be protecting him as a bodyguard. A rowdy crowd slapped him on the back and kissed his cheek as he was escorted inside. The lawyers who tossed handfuls of rose petals over him were not involved in the case. As he left the court, a crowd of about 200 sympathizers chanted ”death is acceptable for Muhammad’s slave.” The suspect stood at the back door of an armored police van with a flower necklace given to him by an admirer and repeatedly yelled ”God is great.” More than 500 clerics and scholars from the group Jamat Ahle Sunnat said no one should pray or express regret for the killing of the governor. The group representing Pakistan’s majority Barelvi sect, which follows a brand of Islam considered moderate, also issued a veiled threat to other opponents of the blasphemy laws. ”The supporter is as equally guilty as one who committed blasphemy,” the group warned in a statement, adding politicians, the media and others should learn ”a lesson from the exemplary death.” Jamat leader Maulana Shah Turabul Haq Qadri paid ”glorious tribute to the murderer … for his courage, bravery and religious honor and integrity.” Mumtaz Qadri told interrogators Tuesday that he shot the liberal Taseer multiple times because of the politician’s vocal opposition to the harsh blasphemy laws. REFERENCE: Lawyers shower roses for governor's killer AP | 5th January, 2011

The UN special rapporteur urged the government to apply jurisdiction of highest courts enshrined in the Constitution to the whole of Pakistan since many could be deprived of their constitutional rights. She avoided elaborating her observation when asked, but said she believed that “a uniform legal system enshrined in the Constitution is necessary in order to avoid ambiguities and discrepancies in the administration of justice”. In the preliminary report, Ms Knaul said that the recognition of another superior higher court, the Federal Shariat Court, in the Constitution has created an ambiguity. “The existence of two superior courts in the Constitution is problematic and leaves space for interpretations which might be contradicting,” she believed. The UN special rapporteur expressed concern over cases brought under blasphemy law for which she used the term ‘so-called’ and explained that judges had been coerced to decide against the accused even without supporting; as for the lawyers, in addition to their reluctance to take up such cases, they were targeted and forced not to represent their clients properly. In addition, judges, prosecutors and lawyers working on cases related to terrorist acts and organised crime were also often the target of serious threats and attacks from various actors, including non-state actors, she said. As part of her mission, the UN special rapporteur paid attention to the integration of a gender perspective and women’s rights in the justice system, and expressed concern that there were currently no women sitting on the Supreme Court and only two women in the high courts. Ms Knaul said that she was further struck by reports of existing laws, such as the blasphemy law, being misused to target women and strip them off of their fundamental rights. Many stages of the justice system, starting with filing a case with the police, to accessing lawyers and appearing and testifying before courts, were gender-biased, and therefore impeded the full functioning of justice for women, she said. She expressed deep concern over the poor quality of investigations carried out by police service. REFERENCE: UN rapporteur calls for clear criteria for suo motu action

US Commission on International Religious Freedom, Annual Report 2012

LAHORE: Former chief justice Lahore High Court Khawaja Sharif will defend Mumtaz Qadri, the accused killer of former governor Punjab Salman Taseer, DawnNews reported on Monday. The hearing of the appeal against the death sentence of Qadri will be heard by a two-member bench led by Chief Justice of Islamabad High Court Iqbal Hameed-ur-Rehman. The panel of Qadri’s lawyers including Khawaja Sharif, Malik Jawad, Malik Rafiq and Shuja-ur-Rehman, will be appearing before the court. Qadri signed his appeal papers today in Adiala Jail. Qadri confessed to shooting Taseer dead outside an upmarket coffee shop close to his residence in the leafy capital Islamabad on January 4. He said he objected to the politician’s calls to amend the blasphemy law. REFERENCE: Former CJ LHC to fight Mumtaz Qadri’s case DAWN.COM | 10th October, 2011

Former CJ LHC Khawaja Sharif defends Mumtaz Qadri in High Court


ISLAMABAD: A reported statement by Lahore High Court Chief Justice (CJ) Khawaja Muhammad Sharif that the Hindu community was funding terrorism in Pakistan, irked members of the National Assembly, as many of whom joined minority members and walked out in protest. The lawmakers also demanded Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry take suo motu notice of the CJ’s remarks. Ramesh Lal, a minority lawmaker from the Pakistan People’s Party, raised the issue on a point of order and censured the CJ’s remarks, saying the Hindu community in Pakistan was as patriotic as the rest of the country and the remarks were highly uncalled for. Lal announced a token walkout and was joined by a few other members belonging to different parties, including the Awami National Party. He said the remarks hurt the over three million Hindus in Pakistan, adding the statement was against national unity. Labour and Manpower Minister Khursheed Shah tried to defend the CJ, saying he could not have made such a statement and might have referred to India and not the Hindu community. staff report REFERENCE: LHC CJ’s remarks irk NA members Wednesday, March 17, 2010

BARELY days after the Punjab chief minister was caught playing to the Taliban gallery, another high official from the province is in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons. This time, Lahore High Court Chief Justice Khawaja Mohammad Sharif has sparked outrage for reportedly saying that Hindus were responsible for financing acts of terrorism in Pakistan. The remarks came while the judge was hearing two identical petitions against the possible extradition of Afghan Taliban suspects. It may well have been a slip of the tongue by Mr Sharif, who might have mistakenly said `Hindu` instead of `India` — nevertheless it was a tasteless remark to say the least. Although such remarks warrant criticism what makes them worse is the position of the person who makes them. These sort of comments are the last thing one expects to hear from a judge, that too the chief justice of a provincial high court. What sort of message are we sending to our minorities, as well as to the world, when the holder of such a respected public office makes comments that come across as thoughtless? The Hindu members of the National Assembly walked out of the house on Tuesday to protest the remarks. The members said the comments had hurt the feelings of Pakistani Hindus — and there is no doubt that they had. As it is, Pakistan scores quite poorly when it comes to treating minorities fairly. Remarks such as these put our already marginalised minorities in an even tougher spot, as the patriotic credentials of non-Muslims living in this country are put into question. Though foreign elements may be involved in terrorist activities within Pakistan, maligning a whole community based on its faith is totally unacceptable. Before making such tactless remarks, our public figures should consider how much they dislike it when others equate Muslims with terrorism. A member of the National Assembly quite correctly advised our judges to concentrate on the dispensation of justice in Tuesday`s session. In the meantime, one hopes that Justice Sharif explains his comments. REFERENCE:Tactless remarks Dawn Editorial Thursday, 18 Mar, 2010

ISLAMABAD, March 16: It was a rare, judge’s turn to be judged in the National Assembly on Tuesday as Hindu members staged a walkout to protest at reported remarks by the Lahore High Court (LHC) chief justice alleging Hindu financing of terror attacks in the country. Some members of the Awami National Party too joined the first walkout against the judiciary in Pakistan’s parliament before the protesters were brought back to hear words of sympathy for the injured sentiments and some advice for judges to focus on delivering justice rather than publicity despite a government minister’s statement that the remark by Justice Khawaja Mohammad Sharif while hearing a case in Lahore on Thursday seemed to be “a slip of the tongue”. The protest was the second raised in the house over press reports in as many days after sharp criticism of Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif over his appeal to Taliban in a speech to a seminar in Lahore on Sunday to spare his province terror attacks because of some shared views with his PML-N party. PPP’s Hindu member Romesh Lal, who raised the issue, said sentiments of an estimated four million Pakistani Hindus had been injured by the LHC chief justice’s remarks, as reported in a section of the press, that while terrorist bomb blasts were being carried out by Muslims, “money used for this came from Hindus”. The member said if a country was suspected of sponsoring such attacks it should be named, but blame should not be put on just Hindus who, he said, were as good patriots as other Pakistanis. While drawing attention of President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani to what he called worry caused to Hindus, he appealed to Supreme Court Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry to take suo motu notice of Justice Sharif’s remarks. As Inter-Provincial Coordination Minister Pir Aftab Shah Jilani and some other members of the ruling PPP went out of the chamber to persuade the protesters to return, party chief whip and Labour and Manpower Minister Khurshid Ahmed Shah told the house the judge seemed to be blaming India for financing the Taliban rather Hindus, adding he was sure a clarification would come “by tomorrow”. PML-N’s Rashid Akbar Niwani said judges should devote to dispensation of justice instead of seeking publicity as he also advised the media to exercise “restraint”, particularly blasting unspecified television anchorpersons who, he said, should also be held accountable for their earnings together with “heads of (government) institutions” as often-maligned elected politicians. REFERENCE: A judge is judged in NA, with walkout By Raja Asghar Wednesday, 17 Mar, 2010

Former Shariat Court Judge Justice Shafi Mohammadi on Judges & Justice (Daily Express 1st and 2nd July 2012)

BBC Urdu - GEO TV - Ahmadiyya Community


In a program aired on 7 September 2008 the anchor of the religious program 'Alam Online', Dr. Amir Liaquat Hussain--also former federal minister for religious affairs--declared the murder of Ahmadi sect members to be necessary (Wajib ul Qatal) according to Islamic teachings, because its followers don't believe in the last prophet, Mohammad, peace be upon him. Dr. Amir repeated his instruction several times, urging fundamentalists Muslims to kill without fear. While on air the anchor person also pressured the other two Islamic scholars (from two different sects) on the program to support the statement. This resulted in a unanimous decision among the scholars, on air during a popular television show, to urge lynching with the intent to kill. This was not a one-off. On September 9, Mr. Hussain answered a query with the comment that blasphemers are liable to be put to death. According to the information received, at 1:15pm on September 8, 18 hours after the broadcast, six persons entered the Fazle Umer Clinic, a two-story hospital at Mirpur Khas city and two of them went to the second floor and started pressuring 45 year-old Dr. Abdul Manan Siddiqui to come downstairs to attend to a patient in crisis. Dr. Manan left his office and descended into an ambush. He was shot 11 times and died on the spot. His private guard was also shot and is in a serious condition. A woman was also injured by firing. The killers remained at the hospital until the doctor was declared dead, then they walked out of the building's front entrance. Police registered the killers as unknown. On September 9, 48 hours after the broadcast, Mr. Yousaf, a 75 year-old rice trader and district chief of the Ahmadi sect was killed on his way to prayer in Nawab Shah, Sindh province. Yousaf was fired on from people on motor bikes, and sustained three bullet wounds. He died on the way to the hospital. The assailants had taken a route past a police station. No one was arrested. The Ahmadi sect was declared non-Islamic sect on September 7, 1974, through a constitutional amendment, and was labeled a minority sect. Since then, there has been open hatred of the sect by certain Islamic circles and fundamentalists across the Muslim world, and sect members suffer widespread discrimination. Ahmadi followers are not allowed to bury their dead in the ordinary grave yards of Muslims, and many of those buried before 1974 were shifted by fundamentalists. Since 1984 (when statistics have been compiled) around 93 Ahmadis have been killed for their allegiance to their sect, with four killed so far this year, including Dr. Ghulam Sarwar on March 19 in Faisalabad, Punjab province and Mr. Basharat Mughal on February 24 in Karachi. The Dr. Siddiqui is the 15th medical doctor killed since 1984. REFERENCES: PAKISTAN: Two persons murdered after an anchor person proposed the widespread lynching of Ahmadi sect followers September 10, 2008 PAKISTAN: No action taken against Geo TV presenter who incited Muslims to murder members of Pakistan minority on air September 18, 2008 Ahmadi massacre silence is dispiriting The virtual conspiracy of silence after the murder of 94 Ahmadis in Pakistan exposes the oppression suffered by the sect Declan Walsh, Monday 7 June 2010 14.59 BST

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