Monday, April 30, 2012

Osama Bin Laden & Pathological Liars of Jang Group/GEO TV.

Pseudologia fantastica, mythomania, or pathological lying are three of several terms applied by psychiatrists to the behavior of habitual or compulsive lying. It was first described in the medical literature in 1891 by Anton Delbrueck. Although it is a controversial topic, pathological lying has been defined as "falsification entirely disproportionate to any discernible end in view, may be extensive and very complicated, and may manifest over a period of years or even a lifetime." In August 2001, the State of California Commission on Judicial Performance ordered the removal from office of Judge Patrick Couwenberg for making misrepresentations to become a judge, continuing to make misrepresentations while a judge, and deliberately providing false information to the Commission in the course of its investigation.1 The judge had lied at various times to judges, attorneys, a newspaper reporter, and the Commission on Judicial Performance. He told the Commission, under oath, that he had participated in covert CIA operations in Southeast Asia and Africa and that he had a master's degree in psychology when, in reality, he had never been in the CIA nor did he have a degree in psychology. He had committed many other misrepresentations, including stating that he had received a Purple Heart for injuries sustained in Vietnam and dramatically reporting that shrapnel was still lodged in his groin. In reality, he was never in Vietnam during the war. REFERENCE: Pseudologia fantastica Pathological Lying Revisited Charles C. Dike, MD, MRCPsych, MPH, Madelon Baranoski, PhD and Ezra E. H. Griffith, MD Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law Online

Geo TV‘s Kamran Khan could not have expected what happened when he invited Information Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira (25 April 2012) as his guest on Wednesday to discuss the possible outcomes of contempt charges against the Prime Minister. Kaira’s complaint about Kamran Khan’s behaviour may seem like the frustrations of a PPP Minister, but they might also be familiar to another high profile figure who is anything but a jiyala. Five years ago, Kamran Khan was playing the same role of media creating a biased mindset in the audience only this time his target was not the PM, but Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry himself. We have noted several times the importance of media acting responsibly and not attempting to influence the outcome of a case or to create a biased mindset in the public before the Court has made its decisions. Opposition supporters may be enjoying the media’s keeping the PM in their sights today, but the PPP won’t be the party in power forever. And when the tables turn, well, just ask the Chief Justice… REFERENCE: Kamran Khan’s Contempt For Objectivity

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — Pakistan’s premier spy service, stung by lingering suspicions that it was complicit in sheltering Osama bin Laden, said Friday that it deserves credit for helping U.S. intelligence officials locate the hideout where the al-Qaeda chief was killed by American commandos nearly a year ago. “The lead and the information actually came from us,” a senior official with Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate (ISI) said in an interview, reviving a push for recognition ahead of the anniversary of the stealth raid in a town about 70 miles by road north of the capital, Islamabad. On Friday evening, over iced tea at a hotel cafe, two ISI officials offered a narrative that they say puts Pakistan in a better light. They spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the matter. One noted that the ISI’s new head, Lt. Gen. Zaheer ul-Islam, is taking a “proactive” approach to public relations to improve the international image of the much-maligned intelligence service. “Any hit on al-Qaeda anywhere in the world has happened with our help,” the official said. The other official, who said he had been intimately involved in the hunt for senior al-Qaeda operatives, including bin Laden, said the ISI provided the CIA with a cellphone number that eventually led to an al-Qaeda courier using the nom de guerre Abu Ahmed al-Kuwaiti. REFERENCES: Pakistan's spy agency seeks some credit for bin Laden's death By Richard Leiby, Published: April 28 Pakistan provided initial lead in hunt for Osama, say US officials Anwar Iqbal

Osama Bin Laden (Capital Talk 02 May 2011)

Mr. Hamid Mir, The News International, Jang Group and GEO TV Falsely claim that first Pakistani Journalist was Hamid Mir who interviewed Osama Bin Laden in 1997 - Osama bin Laden is history now but Al-Qaeda is still determined to make some new history. US officials have rightly claimed many times that Al Qaeda has become weaker after the death of Osama bin Laden but they cannot deny the fact that bin Ladenism is still a source of inspiration for the militants fighting from Afghanistan to Yemen and from Iraq to Palestine. Dead Osama is as dangerous as living Osama. The Obama administration has foiled at least 8 terrorist plots on the US soil since the death of Osama bin Laden on May 2, 2011. President Obama can take credit of bin Laden’s death but he is not aware that actually bin Laden got the death of his own choice. It was his old dream not to be captured by enemy but to be killed by enemy and no burial in any grave. Osama bin Laden always prayed to become a martyr like his old friend Shafiq-al Madni. I heard the name of Shafiq from bin Laden first in 1997. I was the first Pakistani journalist to meet Osama bin Laden in March 1997 and I was the last journalist to interview him seven weeks after 9/11. I started writing his biography in 1998 and once I asked him about the people who impressed him a lot and created big impact on his life. Osama said that he was lucky to have brave friends like Shafiq-al Madni who always loved martyrdom. Shafiq from Madina was a very good player of soccer but he joined the Jihad against the Soviet troops in Afghanistan with Osama bin Laden. He remained on the frontline during the battle of Jalalabad in 1989. REFERENCE: How Obama fulfilled the dreams of Osama

Life of Osama Bin Laden - Part 1 (Capital Talk 5 May 2011)

Monday, April 30, 2012, Jamadi-us-Sani 08, 1433 A.H.

Whereas, the Truth is something like this:)

The question here is that I mentioned that I would go somewhat into the story of Bin Laden, the Saudi in Afghanistan and didn’t do so, could I go into some detail? The point about Bin Laden would be roughly the same as the point between Sheikh Abdul Rahman, who was accused and convicted of encouraging the blowing up of the World Trade Center in New York City. The New Yorker did a long story on him. It’s the same as that of Aimal Kansi, the Pakistani Baluch who was also convicted of the murder of two CIA agents. Let me see if I can be very short on this. Jihad, which has been translated a thousand times as “holy war,” is not quite just that. Jihad is an Arabic word that means, “to struggle.” It could be struggle by violence or struggle by non-violent means. There are two forms, the small jihad and the big jihad. The small jihad involves violence. The big jihad involves the struggles with self. Those are the concepts. The reason I mention it is that in Islamic history, jihad as an international violent phenomenon had disappeared in the last four hundred years, for all practical purposes. It was revived suddenly with American help in the 1980s. When the Soviet Union intervened in Afghanistan, Zia ul-Haq, the military dictator of Pakistan, which borders on Afghanistan, saw an opportunity and launched a jihad there against godless communism. The U.S. saw a God-sent opportunity to mobilize one billion Muslims against what Reagan called the Evil Empire. Money started pouring in. CIA agents starting going all over the Muslim world recruiting people to fight in the great jihad. Bin Laden was one of the early prize recruits. He was not only an Arab. He was also a Saudi. He was not only a Saudi. He was also a multimillionaire, willing to put his own money into the matter. Bin Laden went around recruiting people for the jihad against communism. REFERENCE: TERRORISM: THEIRS AND OURS By Eqbal Ahmad (A Presentation at the University of Colorado, Boulder, October 12, 1998) Courtesy: University of Colorado

Life of Osama Bin Laden - Part 2 (Capital Talk 5 May 2011)

I first met him in 1986. He was recommended to me by an American official of whom I do not know whether he was or was not an agent. I was talking to him and said, ‘Who are the Arabs here who would be very interesting?’ By here I meant in Afghanistan and Pakistan. He said, ‘You must meet Osama.’ I went to see Osama. There he was, rich, bringing in recruits from Algeria, from Sudan, from Egypt, just like Sheikh Abdul Rahman. This fellow was an ally. He remained an ally. He turns at a particular moment. In 1990 the U.S. goes into Saudi Arabia with forces. Saudi Arabia is the holy place of Muslims, Mecca and Medina. There had never been foreign troops there. In 1990, during the Gulf War, they went in, in the name of helping Saudi Arabia defeat Saddam Hussein. Osama Bin Laden remained quiet. Saddam was defeated, but the American troops stayed on in the land of the kaba (the sacred site of Islam in Mecca), foreign troops. He wrote letter after letter saying, Why are you here? Get out! You came to help but you have stayed on. Finally he started a jihad against the other occupiers. His mission is to get American troops out of Saudi Arabia. His earlier mission was to get Russian troops out of Afghanistan. See what I was saying earlier about covert operations? A second point to be made about him is these are tribal people, people who are really tribal. Being a millionaire doesn’t matter. Their code of ethics is tribal. The tribal code of ethics consists of two words: loyalty and revenge. You are my friend. You keep your word. I am loyal to you. You break your word, I go on my path of revenge. For him, America has broken its word. The loyal friend has betrayed. The one to whom you swore blood loyalty has betrayed you. They’re going to go for you. They’re going to do a lot more. These are the chickens of the Afghanistan war coming home to roost. This is why I said to stop covert operations. There is a price attached to those that the American people cannot calculate and Kissinger type of people do not know, don’t have the history to know. REFERENCE: TERRORISM: THEIRS AND OURS By Eqbal Ahmad (A Presentation at the University of Colorado, Boulder, October 12, 1998) Courtesy: University of Colorado

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Rinkle Kumari, Pirs, Mullahs & Biased Judiciary.

ISLAMABAD: Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry remarked that it was a criminal negligence to bring changes in the documents like Objectives Resolution as former president General (retd) Zia ul Haq tampered with the Constitution in 1985 however, the sitting parliament had done a good job by undoing this tampering. At one point Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry observed that the word ‘freely’ was omitted from the Objectives Resolution in 1985 by a dictator, which was an act of criminal negligence, but the then parliament surprisingly didn’t take notice of it. He said the Constitution is a sacred document and no person can tamper with it. The chief justice said credit must go to the present parliament, which after 25 years took notice of the brazen act of removing the word relating to the minorities’ rights, and restored the word ‘freely’ in the Objectives Resolution, which had always been part of the Constitution. The chief justice further said that the court is protecting the fundamental rights of the minorities and the government after the Gojra incident has provided full protection to the minorities. “We are bound to protect their rights as a nation but there are some individual who create trouble.” - DAILY TIMES - ISLAMABAD: Heading a 17-member larger bench of the Supreme Court on Tuesday, Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry termed as criminal negligence the deletion of a word about the rights of minorities from the Objectives Resolution during the regime of General Ziaul Haq in 1985. Ziaul Haq had omitted the word “freely” from the Objectives Resolution, which was made substantive part of the 1973 Constitution under the Revival of Constitutional Order No. 14. The clause of Objectives Resolution before deletion of the word ‘freely’ read, “Wherein adequate provision shall be made for the minorities to ‘freely’ profess and practice their religions and develop their culture.” DAILY DAWN - ISLAMABAD: Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry on Tuesday praised the parliament for undoing a wrong done by the legislature in 1985 (through a constitutional amendment) when it removed the word ‘freely’ from a clause of the Objectives Resolution that upheld the minorities’ right to practise their religion. The word “freely” was deleted from the Objectives Resolution when parliament passed the 8th Amendment after indemnifying all orders introduced through the President’s Order No 14 of 1985 and actions, including the July 1977 military takeover by Gen Zia-ul-Haq and extending discretion of dissolving the National Assembly, by invoking Article 58(2)b of the Constitution. After the passage of the 18th Amendment, the Objectives Resolution now reads: “Wherein adequate provision shall be made for the minorities freely to profess and practise their religions and develop their culture.” The CJ said: “Credit goes to the sitting parliament that they reinserted the word back to the Objectives Resolution.” He said that nobody realised the blunder right from 1985 till the 18th Amendment was passed, even though the Objectives Resolution was a preamble to the Constitution even at the time when RCO (Revival of Constitution Order) was promulgated. REFERENCES: CJ lauds parliament for correcting historic wrong By Nasir Iqbal Wednesday, 09 Jun, 2010  - CJP raps change in Objectives Resolution * Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry says deletion of clause on rights of minorities was ‘criminal negligence’ * Appreciates incumbent parliament for taking notice of removal of clause by Gen Zia’s govt in 1985 By Masood Rehman Wednesday, June 09, 2010\story_9-6-2010_pg1_1  CJ lauds parliament for undoing changes in Objectives Resolution Wednesday, June 09, 2010 Says minorities’ rights have to be protected; Hamid says parliament should have no role in judges’ appointment By Sohail Khan

PLACE BELOW IS THE CONTENT OF THE PRESS CONFERENCE MADE BY DR RAJ KUMAR, MATERNAL UNCLE OF RINKLE KUMARI, ON 30TH APRIL 2012 PUBLISHED IN AWAMI AWAZ AND OTHER PAPERS” “18th April decision of the bench headed by the Chief Justice Pakistan, Justice Iftikhar Chowdhury, in Rinkle Kumari Case, has made a murder of justice in a same manner as Justice Moulvi Mushtaq case did in Zulifqar Ali Bhutto case. On 18th April it was generally believed by the world and particularly in Sindh that Supreme Court of Pakistan after hearing the cries which Rinkle made and the statement she gave in the Supreme Court on 26th March, in which she had said that she by choice prefers to go with her mother, and also on 10th April Supreme Court by rejecting to hear the petition of Naveed Shah, thus was again reinforcing a hope for the oppressed Hindu minority of Sindh that Supreme Court will look into their ordeal with fairness. On 18th April the tea break began at 11:00 AM which normally is for half an hour was prolonged to one and half an hour. At about 12:45 PM when Lata and Rinkle were brought before the court, Rinke stared to her parents and begged by folding her two hands, showing chit in her hand. The bench comprised on three judges started hearing the case of kidnapped Hindu girls, and without being heard the kidnapped girls’ statement in the court, the Court announced that all three Hindu girls have converted in Islam and the police may take them and ask them where they want to go and thus leave them to that address. Such decision of court is beyond our mind's eye. After all what pressure did chief justice was fraught with that he altogether ignored to the statement Rinkle Kumari gave on 26th March before this bench of Supreme Court of Paksitnan? It was such a statement of Rinkle Kumari, whose acknowledgement was made by no one else but the CJP himself on 10th April while rejecting the petition of Naveed Shah? Prior this decision of Supreme Court of Pakistan on 27th March the Meerpur Mathelo town was cordoned off by the police and thus made impossible for the family of Rinkle Kumari and the Hindu community to reach to local court, and her so called confessional statement u/s 164 Cr.P.C was said as recorded before the magistrate. At that time hundreds of armed men under the command of Mian Mitho of Bharchondi and his sons were present in the court and kept it under its siege. After that they got Rinkle along by holding her neck and one arm tight. After that, it was announced she has become Muslim with so rejoice, that it was looking as if they had conquered an enemy’s country. A few days after this incidence Mian Mitho, MNA PPP has himself admitted the fact before a pvt channel that after the request of the Police he had taken the responsibility of security of the local court when Rinkle was produced before the court. By such statement of him it appears that he wanted to say that the responsibility of providing the security in Ghotki District is not a job of Police or Rangers or any official department but it is a responsibility of Mian Mitho of Bharchondi. Before this statement of Mian Mitho, his son Mian Aslam is also on record saying to pvt channel that it was he who brought Rinkle in his custody on 25th Febuary, from Ghotki to Sukkur. In nutshell in all court appearances of Rinkle from Mir Pur Mathelo, Ghotki, Sukkur to Sindh High Court Karachi it was Mian Mitho who brought Rinkle in his custody and yet every time police claims that it was police under whose custody was Rinke produced before every court. It is a open secret that when Rinkle was made to have a press conference in Karachi Press Club on 11th March, she went in the custody of the persons of given by Mian Mitho of Bharchondi. After getting confused seeing the quality of the questions of the journalists they quickly got Rinkle from her Arm and left the Press Club Karachi. This fact is also acknowledged in the reporting of BBC, Daily Dawn and Awami Awaz. This is also fact that we had shown confidence before the court in the Shelter House headed by Justice(R) Majida Rizvi. But after the program of Hina Gillani on Dawn Tv it was unearthed before us that one cannot rely on any women shelter of this country, it is fact that these women shelter homes are virtual brothels. And that was why Rinkle Kumari before Supreme Court of Pakistan was crying in a fit of hysteria that she should not be sent to any women shelter home and said “ I will die but not go to shelter home, I will not get justice in this country” All these facts mentioned above are stored in our mind like a horror movie. This has turned our sleeps into a nightmare, but if even a little smaller incidence had occurred to any girl of affluent family this must not have had happened to her. But unfortunate Rinkle was neither a daughter of any Feudal lord, or if any Peer, but she was a daughter of primary teacher and more worst is also that the teacher father of Rinkle Kumari is also a Hindu. And also the decision of Supreme Court of Pakistan without having had heard the girls in the witness box tells the fact that these courts are also religiously influenced. Otherwise it is impossible that court could give custody of kidnapped Rinkle back to kidnappers and the police who were also part of the crime against her. The criminal role of police who were in connivance with kidnappers is subjudice in the Sindh High Court. Before the Registrar Office Rinkle Kumari had said to Comrade Amar Lal that right from Ghotki to Sukkur to Karachi in all the criminal activity she was made subject to along with Mian Mitho of Bharchondi and her sons the police had also been doing same with her. Rinkle also told to comrade Amar Lal in the Supreme Court she is drowsy because of the injection passed in her. The chit that was passed in the hand of Rinkle was made through police, in which her statement was drafted which she gave in the registrar office as her statement. In 1947 it was not all voluntarily migration of Hindus, the same tactics were applied also at that time too to make forced migration of Hindus. And same conspiracy has been again made against Hindus this time to force them to migrate. If all Hindus are forced to migrate what will happen of those Mulim patriot Sindhis than, perhaps all decisions this time may take place against them also. It is very unfortunate that sindhi politicians, journalist and writers are criminally silent on the injustice, abuses inflicted on the Sindhi Hindus. Today when they are silent Rinkle Kumari is still looking for the space and passage that she can come back to her parents. Like daring and bold historic character of Marvi she is not ready to succumb before the tyrants. She is still in struggle against them to get free. Which also is vindicated from the fact that she did not talk even she was forced in one tv program, which fact has also been acknowledged by some newspapers. Our struggle to get Rinkle Kumari free from Bharchondis is on and shall continue till we achieve her freedom. I urge upon all the forums of human rights in the world and in this country to please come forward and highlight the ordeal of Sindhi Hindus who due to predetermined prejudice mindset, are been forced and subject to live under oppression or leave the country.”

Sindhi Language: Rinkle Kumari Case Amar Jaleel with Advocate Amar Lal (Sindh TV 25,03.12)

In the little town of Reharki in Ghotki district, a sprawling multi-acre complex sits among fields just off the main road. Known as the Reharki Darbar, it houses the Sant Satram Das temple and is just a few kilometres from the Bharchundi Sharif shrine, which has become the focal point of allegations that Hindu women are being forced to convert to Islam. At one end of the Reharki Darbar, an enormous hostel is being constructed for visiting pilgrims, while a recently completed causeway donated by the federal government provides easy access to temple sites at either end of the massive grounds. In mid-April, according to caretakers at the darbar, tens of thousands of visitors will gather at the complex for a festival marking the death anniversary of Bhagat Kanwar Ram, a popular Sufi poet and singer who was killed in communal riots in 1939, allegedly by the then-custodians of the Bharchundi Sharif shrine. “It’s a great event and people come from all over, even outside Pakistan, from Dubai and India,” said Aneel Batra, a local community leader. The large Bharchundi Sharif shrine in Daharki, the source of much consternation among the Hindu community in recent days, and the even-larger Sant Satram Das temple complex in adjacent Reharki symbolise the contradictions of the lives of Hindus in upper Sindh. In the districts of Jacobabad, Shikarpur, Ghotki, Sukkur, Khairpur and Larkana, a mixture of lower-caste peasants and well-to-do businessmen, traders and professionals do suffer sporadic violence and must contend with a strain of intolerance evident since the Zia era. However, the Hindu communities’ ancient ties to the land, their integration into Sindhi society and their wealth allows them to work and live in northern Sindh relatively free from the systematic repression that Christians in south Punjab or Ahmadis across Pakistan suffer. Discrimination against and outright repression of Hindus is far more pronounced in south-east Sindh, where the vast majority of Hindus in the province, many of them lower-caste peasants, live in Tharparkar, Mirpurkhas, Umerkot and Sanghar. REFERENCE: Hindus of upper Sindh: a bruised community carries on Cyril Almeida 3rd April, 2012

Mian Abdul Haq alias Mian Mitho has liabilities of Rs10 million. REFERENCE: Over 90 MNAs have financial liabilities of Rs4.21bn By Iftikhar A Khan and Kalbe Ali 2nd May, 2011

Bharchundi Sharif

Bharchundi Sharif

Dargah-e-Aliya Qadriya Pir Abdul Sattar Bharchundi Sharif

Mufti Naeem's Fatwa against Ahl-e-Hadith & Barelvis

Mufti Naeem's Fatwa against Barelvis

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. REFERENCE: LHC CJ’s remarks irk NA members Wednesday, March 17, 2010


As many as 20 to 25 girls from the Hindu community are abducted every month and converted forcibly, said Amarnath Motumal, an advocate and council member of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan. “There is no official record to support this statement, but according to estimates, in Karachi alone, a large number of Hindu girls are being kidnapped on a routine basis,” Motumal told The News. “The families of the victims are scared to register cases against the influential perpetrators as death threats are issued to them in case they raise their voice. So, the victims choose to remain silent to save their lives,” he said. Motumal said the word ‘Hindu’ had become an insult and a kind of abuse for the Hindu community. “Almost 90 per cent of the Hindu community comprise poor and impoverished families whose needs and rights have been neglected by the ones at the helms of power,” he said, adding that since a majority of the people feel helpless, only a few families come to him with their cases. A former MPA, Bherulal Balani, said that the Hindu girls, especially the ones belonging to scheduled castes, were mostly being abducted from the Lyari area. “Once the girls are converted, they are then sold to other people or are forced to do illegal and immoral activities,” Balani said. He added the perpetrators were very powerful and that was the reason that no cases were being registered against them. The number of attacks against the Hindu community has increased in the interior Sindh during the last three months. At least nine incidents have been reported which range from forced conversion of Hindus to rape and murders. In one incident, a 17-year-old girl ‘K’ was gang-raped in Nagarparker area. In another incident, a 15-year-old girl ‘D’ was allegedly abducted from Aaklee village, Tharparkar, and was forced to convert. About 71 families migrated from the village in protest against the girl’s abduction. Moreover, the Hindu communities were not even spared on the occasion of their joyous festival of Holi as two girls, Anita and Kishni, were kidnapped in Kotri. Moreover, two Hindu boys, Ajay and Sagar, were abducted from another place on the same day. One Amir Gul was murdered in the beginning of March in Tando Haider, Umerkot, allegedly by a landlord. Later in the month, a boy, Kishan Kumar, was kidnapped from Kandhkot, Jacobabad. MPA Pitamber Sewani told The News that these acts were being done by certain elements who believe that these minority communities might support the government in the upcoming local bodies’ elections, and these elements want to harass them. However, President Pakistan Hindu Council Ramesh Kumar criticised the minorities’ representatives for not raising their voice at relevant forums. He said that they were simply representing their respective parties and not the poor people. He added that poor economic conditions had led to an increase in kidnapping cases in the province, especially in the Kandhkot and Jacobabad areas. Coordinator HRCP Task Force Sindh Dr Ashothama Lohano told The News the according to their one fact-finding report, the most affected persons of violence belonged to Hindu and Christian communities. He said that various reasons have been cited for this. “The recent wave of extremism is one reason, which has destroyed the harmony of the land of Sufis. Another reason is the destruction of the agriculture sector and small markets that has led to frustration and lawlessness. Yet another reason is that the elected representatives are working only for the party and not for the community,” Dr Lohano added. He further said that minority communities were easy targets as the Hindus were generally hesitant to raise voice against the injustices. “When the Hindu communities become politically active, they are blamed for having Indian connections,” doctor Lohano said. REFERENCE: 25 Hindu girls abducted every month, claims HRCP official Rabia Ali Tuesday, March 30, 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. REFERENCE: Tactless remarks Dawn Editorial Thursday, 18 Mar, 2010


KARACHI, March 6: Preetamdas is a doctor doing a hospital job and also running his private clinic, yet all he thinks about is leaving Pakistan, terrified over a rise in what he believes the `targeted killing and kidnapping of Hindus`. A successful professional, he lives in Karachi with his wife and two children, but comes from Kashmore. His ancestors lived in Sindh for centuries and after the 1947 partition, his grandparents chose to stay with Muslims in Pakistan. They fervently believed Muhammad Ali Jinnah`s promise that religious minorities would be protected. Sixty years later, their grandson says “life in Kashmore has become unbearable. The situation is getting worse every day.” Two of his uncles have been kidnapped and affluent Hindus are at particular risk from abduction gangs looking for ransom, he argues. Rights activists say the situation is indicative of `progressive Islamisation` over the last 30 years that has fuelled an increasing lack of tolerance to religious minorities, which they claim, are too often considered the second class citizens. Preetamdas says the only thing keeping him in Pakistan is his mother. “She has flatly refused to migrate, which hinders my plans. I cannot go without her,” he says.Hindus make up 2.5 per cent of the country`s population and over 90 per cent of them live in Sindh, where they are generally wealthy and enterprising, making them vulnerable to criminal gangs. An official at the ministry of external affairs in New Delhi who declined to be named said: “Every month about eight to 10 Hindu families migrate from Pakistan. Most of them are well-off.” He had no comment on whether the number was on the rise, but Hindu community groups in Pakistan say more people are leaving because of kidnappings, killings and forced conversions of girls to Islam. “Two of my brothers have migrated to India and an uncle to the UAE,” says Jay Ram, a farmer in Ghotki. “It`s becoming too difficult to live here. Sindhis are the most tolerant community in the country vis-Ã -vis religious harmony, but deteriorating law and order is forcing them to move unwillingly,” he feels. Ramesh Kumar Vankwani, chief of the Pakistan Hindu Council and a former lawmaker from Sindh, alleges that Hindus are picked on by kidnappers and that their daughters are subject to forced conversion to Islam. “Every now and then we get reports of families migrating. It`s getting worse now. People are extremely harassed and are forced to leave their homeland but our rulers are shamelessly idle,” he moaned. Rights activists also claim that Hindus in Sindh are discriminated against. “Recently 37 members of five Hindu families migrated to India from Thull town owing to discrimination while three Hindus, including a doctor, were murdered in the Shikarpur district,” said Rubab Jafri, who heads a human rights forum. “Lots of violent incidents happen daily. Most go unreported, which shows vested interests are trying to force Hindus to leave Pakistan.” According to the Pakistan Hindu Seva, a community welfare organisation, at least 10 families have been migrating from Sindh every month since 2008, mostly to India, and in the last 10 months, 400 families have left Pakistan. A survey conducted last year by the local Scheduled Caste Rights Movement said more than 80 per cent of Hindu families complained that Muslims discriminated against them by using different utensils when serving them at food stalls. “Hindu migration is a brain-drain for Pakistan as most of them are doctors, engineers, agriculturists, businessmen and intellectuals,” Ms Jafri said. But the provincial auth- orities are reluctant to recognise a problem. “I do admit that law and order in some districts of Sindh is quite bad, but it is bad for everyone and not just my community,” said Mukesh Kumar Chawla, the Sindh Minister for Excise and Taxation. “Hindus do not migrate in flocks as has been claimed and those who migrate are going abroad for a better fortune,” he said.—AFP REFERENCE: Killings, kidnappings & `conversion` haunt Hindus From the Newspaper | 7th March, 2012 

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

Videos of 17-year old Rinkal Kumari (aka Faryal Shah) and her alleged kidnapper/husband Naveed Shah being taken to court, with English explanations - his handcuffs are removed, she's surrounded by a mob of men (no women), the PPP MNA Mian Mitho and his supporters are there in full force. How will justice be done in such a shameful atmosphere of intimidation and open display of arms?

Express News Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: Hindu girls are being forcibly kept in various madrassas in Sindh and are later forced to marry Muslims, Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) MNA Dr Azra Fazl told the National Assembly on Thursday. She was speaking on issue of Faryal Shah (Rinkle Kumari) who was allegedly abducted and forced to marry and convert to Islam earlier this month in Sindh. While speaking on the point of order, Fazl said that Hindus are facing a lot of challenges in Sindh. She stressed the need for legislation to protect minority rights and to end forced conversions. Fazl, who is also the sister of President Asif Ali Zardari, highlighted the issue in the parliament at a time when her brother received a sharply-worded letter from California Congressman Brad Sherman urging him to take action to ensure the return of Faryal to her family, pursuant to reports that she had been abducted with the help of a PPP lawmaker. Nafeesa Shah, another MNA from Sindh also endorsed her colleague’s idea and said that the parliament should introduce legislation on “forced conversions”. Various non-Muslims were being forced to accept Islam as being reported by the media, she observed. “Protection of the minorities should be ensured as enshrined in the Constitution,” Shah added. Majority of lawmakers including Lal Chand and Mehish Kumar representing minorities in the parliament expressed concerns over the kidnapping and forced conversions of Hindu girls. They said it was the right of every person to accept any religion but nobody can be forced in this regard. MNA Justice (retd) Fakhar-un-Nisa stressed on the implementation of laws when it comes to solve the issue of minorities. “Minorities’ rights should be protected at all cost.” Giving a policy statement on floor of the House, Minister of State for Interfaith Harmony and Minorities Affairs Akram Masih Gill said that the present government has taken unprecedented steps for the uplift and empowerment of minorities. He said these include fixation of five percent quota in government jobs and declaration of August 11 as the Minorities Day. “Parliament should enact a law to avoid forced conversions,” he remarked. Special Assistant to the Prime Minister Shehnaz Wazir Ali said that under the 18th Amendment, four seats have been reserved for minorities in the Upper House. “During the last few years several laws have been enacted including Human Rights Commission for the protection of the rights of women and minorities.” Forced Islamiat lessons for minorities Pakistan Muslim League–Nawaz (PML-N) MNA Dr Araish Kumar added to the conversation by saying that the minorities were being forced to read Islamic studies in Pakistan. “Our students are being forced to read subject Islamiat in the government schools,” Kumar said adding, “If they refuse to study Islamic studies, they are struck off by the school administration.” REFERENCE: ‘Hindu girls being forcibly kept in Sindh madrassas’ By Zahid Gishkori Published: March 15, 2012


LAHORE: Prof Ashok Kumar is not afraid of taking a prominent stance on the Rinkle Kumari issue. Fear, he says, is secondary compared to what is happening to the Hindu community in Pakistan, in particular Sindh. “We can’t just sit back and watch what our community is going through,” he says. The recent case of Rinkle Kumari is not altogether an uncommon occurrence. Several young Hindu girls have been kidnapped in the dead of night from their homes, and dragged off to be forcibly converted to Islam, as they and their family members have later alleged. Usually this conversion is accompanied by a signing of the ‘nikahnama’ which strengthens the kidnappers’ side of the story, but still does not provide any kind of proof whether the marriage was done under duress or not. On Thursday, protesters belonging to the Hindu and Christian communities in Lahore, accompanied by representatives of the Joint Action Committee (a group of social organisations), gathered outside the Lahore Press Club and shouted slogans in response to the slow treatment of the case, venting anger at religious fascism, forcible conversion, and a lack of support from the government. Ashok Kumar, a professor of Sindhi language in the Linguistics Department of the Punjab University, is one of the protesters. There are others too, students, professionals, young women, social workers, but the turnout has not been very high. “We only decided this last night so couldn’t inform everyone on such short notice,” said Shahtaj Qizalbash from AGHS Legal Aid. But Tanveer Jahan, also a member of the JAC, gives a more direct reply. “When it comes to minority rights, or any such sensitive issue, one just cannot expect any mass participation in Pakistan,” she says. “You can just forget about the masses.” She says that both sides of the picture are grim – one side which does not support, and only watches the situation passively, while the other side which does come out on the streets but does so for its own vested interests and exploitation. “It is social workers like us who are stuck in the middle.” “Down with mullah-ism!” shout the protesters, and a small number of drivers slow down on the busy section of the Simla Hill roundabout to see what the commotion is about. While many simply shake their heads and carry on, some are affected nevertheless, like Mehr Muhammad, a contractor. “It is a sin to take away anyone’s rights like that,” he says, as he stands by watching the protest. “No religion allows this trampling of religious freedom. These girls should not be kidnapped and converted through force…how is it even conversion?” he questions, his brow furrowing over the worrying situation. But another man has a completely different opinion. “Isn’t it a blessing if anyone is being converted into a Muslim?” he questions. The Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected two petitions, one filed by Rinkle’s husband, and the other filed by the father of another Hindu girl Dr Lata, from Jacobabad. The two wanted to meet the girls, but the apex court observed that the two girls should be allowed to make a decision on whether they want to go with their parents or husbands based on a freewill therefore they were sent to Panah, a shelter home run by human rights lawyer Dr Majida Rizvi, where they will stay isolated till the court summons them again. The matter is to be taken up again on April 18. The matter has been tangled yet further with the alleged involvement of Mian Mithu, a PPP MNA from Ghotki, where Rinkle was kidnapped, and also one Naveed Shah, who was a close associate of Mithu. “Even when Nafisa Shah and some other PPP MNAs tried to move a resolution against this issue in the assembly, Mian Mithu did not support it,” says Tanveer Jahan. “I simply ask if an FIR has already been lodged against these two then why are they not under arrest?” Another girl, Asha is still missing and Dr Ashok says: “The state of the Hindu girls being converted is terrible. Since January there have been at least 47 kidnappings. Another point to observe is that this is only happening to young girls, never boys or elders.” Peter Jacob, worker for minorities’ rights, says this forcible conversion is not restricted to just Hindus and in Sindh. “In the last five years, there have been up to 400 to 500 conversions of Christians. And something equally horrifying, I know of: forcible circumcision of young men in Punjab and one in Balochistan…where are we going, one asks.” In feudal terms, owning another party’s woman is having the upper hand. That coupled with marriage, gives the perpetrator more strength. No one knows what becomes of many of the girls after being married. Meanwhile, many Hindus feel that they are simply being harassed so they leave the country forever. “But this is not just an issue restricted to Sindh,” says one. “This protest is meant to be calling out to the whole nation…Why does no one raise their voices for our rights too?” he asks. REFERENCE: Speaking out against forcible conversion By Xari Jalil 13th April, 2012

Quite amazing! The unification of every Sectarian Pakistani Mullah on this issue to support this "issue" last night (23 April 2012) Dawn news showed a footage of Procession of Mian Mitthu and guess what JUI (F) and Jamat-e-Islami Flags were evident in the rally - one should raise a question to these leaseholders of Islam that usually they raise hell in the name of Fiqh, Maslak and Sects and even resort to attack on Shrines then what happened now that nobody is questioning the faith of Rinkle - did anybody ask what Sect Rinkle embraced? These Mullahs particularly the Deobandi, and Barelvi who don't offere Salat (prayers) behind each other and hound mercilessly have thousands of Fatwa of apostasy against each other then how come these very Mullahs are supporting a Dacoit Handler (Paatharedar) and Qabar Parast 9Grave worshipper) of Worst kind - God damn filthy politics in the name of Islam - someone has very bravely pointed out on that those who have done this actually damaged Islam and Pakistan more than any Hindu would ever do - just a question? how would they react if any girl decide to become Vishnu in India - these Deobandi, Barelvis, Wahabis and even Shia would raise hell .

Mufti Naeem's Fatwa against Ahl-e-Hadith & Barelvis

Mufti Naeem's Fatwa against Barelvis

News Beat 14th April 2012(Forced Conversion Issue in Sindh)

News Beat 14th April 2012 part 1

Mufti Naeem Fatwa on Dr. Israr Ahmed

News Beat 14th April 2012 Part 2

Deobandi Fatwa against Dr Zakir Naik Jamia Binoria Pakistan of Mufti Naeem

Malalai Yusafzai, the brilliant Pakistani girl who defied Taliban’s dictation and stood firm on getting educated and persuaded her peers to do so, is a face of Pakistan that we all want to see. More and more. With pride and denial. We like to see Malalai in denial of Rinkle. Rinkle Kumari, the 19 years old Sindhi Hindu girl who was kidnapped and allegedly forcibly converted to Islam before coercively marrying her to a Muslim Naveed Shah. The ones who show this uncomfortable face of Pakistan are condemned to be the ‘traitors’ and ‘Pakistan-haters’. If trying to correct these painful imperfections of our society is treason, let me commit it for once. Rinkle’s story needs to be told loudly and to everyone.

Rinkle was kidnapped on February 24 by Naveed Shah and four other people. Police refused to lodge an FIR and to include the names of the influential Mian Aslam, Mian Rafique and their father Mian Mithu. She was produced in the court of Civil Judge Ghotki where she insisted on going to her family but the judge illegally sent her to the police custody in Sukkur Women’s Police Station.

In sheer mockery of the President of Pakistan and his party Co-Chairperson, Mithu announced in front of many civil society activists that if Rinkle’s custody is snatched from him, he will set Mirpur Mathelo ablaze. The president had given a media statement against forced conversions earlier that day. “Come what may, justice will have to prevail” was the answer in a firm strong voice when I asked Raj Kumar, Rinkle’s uncle, if he was scared. Probably this resolve has come from years of persecution and injustice. “It has been decades that Hindu girls have been abducted and forcibly converted. We hear little or no voice at all against this oppression,” said Amar Lal, counsel to Rinkle Kumari’s family.Notwithstanding the support that media and civil society demonstrated for Rinkle, the state response remains an enigma. The Chief Justice of Supreme Court opened a long pending constitutional petition against forced conversions, filed in 2007 by Pakistan Hindu Council, and contained the names of three relatively recent cases of forced conversions including Rinkle Kumari. It was this intervention that finally infused courage in Rinkle Kumari, who spoke her heart to the CJ in camera on March 26, following which he announced in presence of national and international media that Rinkle wanted to go to her mother while Lata was double minded. He ascertained that the girls seemed to be under serious pressure, were continuously crying, were refusing to go with police. In such circumstances, honourable Chief Justice opined that before recording any free-will statement, they should be provided free atmosphere. He ordered to shift her to Panah, the shelter home run by Justice (R) Majida Razvi in Karachi. As soon as he made this announcement, Rinkle screamed in front of media that she wanted to go to her mother. After the CJ passed orders to shift her to the shelter house, Rinkle started crying and screaming in the court, as reported by KTN TV channel, that she wanted to go to her mother. She also shrieked ear-piercingly that she will not go to the shelter house and would rather like to sleep in the court. It was heart rending to hear her say in the court that she doubted if she could get any justice in a system where majority is Muslim and wanted to make her Muslim forcibly, which is why she thought they were helping each other, not her. Prior to this hearing, every event that happened under this case screamed at the loudest, sheer weakness of the system of justice, moral bankruptcy in our institutions, our collective hypocrisy and helplessness of the highest state authorities to reign in the rogue elements of the society.

Hindu community was completely banished from attending court proceedings in Mirpur Mathelo, the other party, however, did not have any such pressure. While only four family members of Rinkle Kumari were allowed in the premises and only two in the courtroom, thousands of Mithu’s men chanted slogans outside the court and hundreds were present inside the court. An open display of weapons was a clear message to the court and judges, who could not ask any of the weapon-wielding Allah-o-Akbar chanting beards out of the court. Under these circumstances, when Rinkle was still in police custody, god knows how she managed to organize a press conference among, of course, Mian Mithu’s men and with a Bluetooth mobile device stuck in her right ear. West is bad for conspiring against Islam, but Western technology is apparently good for Islam’s spread!

When she was being dictated via blue tooth, Rinkle tried hard to satisfy questioning journalists and forgot what inspired her to embrace Islam. ‘Sura Eeklus’, she tried to pronounce Sura Ikhlaas twice, unsuccessfully though. When asked about the meaning or gist of the contents of Sura Ikhlas, she was dumbstuck and was forcibly taken out by Mithu’s son. Yes, you read it right. While in Police custody, she was under complete control of Mithu’s men. Media also learned in this press conference that Rinkle actually does not even know Naveed Shah, who she was married to hours after abduction. At 5am she was abducted from her home on February 24, at 3pm the same day she was married. Honourable Court might ask Mithu what made him make this important decision of the life of an independent woman, even if she had embraced Islam, in such a hurry?

One is flabbergasted to see so many of us not asking some basic but direct questions. Who is Mian Mithu? What is his interest for pursuing this case? He is neither Sajjada Nasheen of Bharchundi Shareef, as had been wrongly reported by some section of media initially, nor he is remotely related to Naveed Shah, with whom Rinkle allegedly eloped and embraced Islam. The Sajjada Nasheen (caretaker) of the Bharchundi Shareef dargah, Mian Abdul Khaliq, who happens to be Mian Mithu’s nephew has categorically condemned what Mithu has done under the garb of Islam. Not only him, Sajjada Nasheens of many other Dargahs (shrines) have joined in condemning Mithu’s actions, including Dargah Shah Latif, Dargah Jhok Sharif, Dargah Sachal Sayeen and Jot Jalan (the man who lights the candle / diya at the shrine) of Dargah Lal Shahbaz Qalandar. Even the Council of Islamic Ideology’s Maulana Shirani has categorically said that forcible conversion is no conversion, is rather a sin.

On April 10, Mian Mithu along with many of his supporters, held a seminar in an expensive hotel in Islamabad. In the seminar, Mithu is reported to have threatened the Supreme Court that if it gives judgment against him, he will not follow the apex court, but will follow the shariah – his own version thereof. When reminded about the President, who is head of the party Mithu belongs to, Mithu was reported to be quick to disdainfully say, “I will see the president. No one dares challenge me”. After threats from Mithu and firing by his men on Manohar Lal, Rinkle’s grandfather, the whole family had to leave Mirpur Mathelo and shift to Karachi. Three top men from Hindu community of District Ghotki are pointedly under Mithu’s threat, renowned human rights activist Mr Amar Lal, saint Sadh Ram, Rinkle’s uncle Mr Raj Kumar. No one seems to have any control on the power of this unrestrained self proclaimed clergyman.

The important question that the Superior Court has is, what will Rinkle’s family, Hindu community of District Ghotki and especially these three respectable men would do if Rinkle is allowed to join her family after the upcoming hearing on 18th March? Who will provide security to them? Is the rotten and visibly tilted structure of state institutions to be trusted by the down trodden? Is the Superior Court empowered enough to provide justice and security to Hindu community of Ghotki? If not, who will? This case poses biggest challenge to the Superior Court in its entire history. The Hindu community, in this case, represents the most down trodden sections of the society, which came out on streets in 2007 in the hope of an independent justice system. This justice system includes law enforcing agencies and lower courts. Even if Rinkle goes back to her family, an independent judicial enquiry on the role of Ghotki Police and Civil Judges should be instituted and criminal record of Mian Mithu and his sons should be produced in the court. The question arises why in last six months, kidnapping of Hindu girls, forced conversions and abduction of Hindu and Christian youngsters and saints is increased? “They want us to leave the country. They are forcing us to flee from our motherland. But we will not deter,” said Amar Lal, Rinkle’s counsel.

It is sheer mockery of judiciary when the powerful uses its system to oppress the powerless, that too, with impunity. Mithu mocked not only the law but the honourable court as well, when he sent his armed men to the court premises. He ridiculed police and all law-enforcing mechanism when he fetched Rinkle in his private car and arranged her press conference when she was in police custody. He belittled the parliament when being a part of it he violated law of land. He scorned the head of the state when he said he “will see the President”. Will any of these pillars of the state respond with iron will? REFERENCE: Rinkle Kumari – the New Marvi of Sindh Apr 18 by Marvi Sirmed Originally published in The Friday Times in its April 13-19, 2012 issue

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Domestic Violence Bill, Halala, Triple Talaq & Mullahs - 2

“WHAT would you do if your wife arrived home at four in the morning and you didn’t even know where she had been?” boomed Senator Dr Ismail Buledi, the JUI-F senator. He was part of a TV discussion on the domestic violence bill (DVB) and was expressing opposition to the proposed legislation on the grounds that it would promote ‘western-style freedoms’, was un-Islamic and would lead to the dismantling of ‘our family structures and values’. If his contention hadn’t been so sad, it would have been laughable. Doesn’t he know that if your spouse (man or woman) arrives home at four in the morning and you haven’t the foggiest where they have been and why, your relationship may well be over anyway and is best terminated? No, the good doctor would rather take a whip to the wife and reform/cure her of her disappearance disease and still want to own her even if every inch of her skin is broken and her whole body represents different shades of black and blue. One only need google the senator’s name to find out what constitutes Islamic for him with suggestions that the doctor has a deep interest in not only the disappearance disease of spouses but also in duty-free diesel, dare one say in itself a disease rampant in the JUI-F hierarchy. No. I am not being facetious about an issue so grave. Dr Buledi, like all good JUI-F leaders and legislators, is a man of God no doubt who doesn’t tire of saying Islam accords a special status, rights and dignity to women witnessed nowhere else. So, the senator must be in the company whose ranks at last count stood at many, many million strong. Yes, the ranks where all of us have figured either permanently or temporarily at one point or the other: male chauvinists well-endowed with hypocrisy. All the ‘family structure, values’ and of course religion that are thrown at our activists, bulk of them women, battling biases of Himalayan proportions, in order to seek an existence rooted in equality are no more than an attempt to maintain the status quo. A status quo where we are free to treat half of humankind at the best of times as a coveted object of beauty and in most other cases as mere property to be used, abused at will. Tell me, what is acid-throwing symptomatic of if not such a mindset: if I cannot own a woman, no one else will as I will disfigure her, mutilate her, leave her good for no one else. Sick. Very sick indeed. We all condemn acid-throwing, don’t we? I am sure so does the good senator and most of his ilk, as was evidenced in a recently passed law. But he has a different view about ‘disciplining a spouse gone astray’, and would think nothing of prescribing the raising of a hand, of administering a good beating to a wife, in order to make her fall in line. It isn’t about religion, it isn’t about family structures, it isn’t about our values vis-à-vis western-style freedoms. It’s about ownership. It is about the vilest and most archaic notion of a woman’s place in our midst. So, what’s new in all this? Haven’t we seen a raft of legislation in the country through the late 1970s and 1980s consigning women to a secondary status? And all this justified, as we do with most of our base instincts, in the name of religion and God. But, yes, wouldn’t one argue, the 1980s mainly belonged to a dictator who pursued an obscurantist agenda with a zeal that would put to shame the enthusiasm of most men of cloth whatever their denomination. REFERENCE: Not in the name of God Abbas Nasir 14th April, 2012

“You must understand the environment in Pakistan,” Musharraf added. “This has become a money-making concern. A lot of people say if you want to go abroad and get a visa for Canada, or citizenship, and be a millionaire, get yourself raped.” - The Washington Post, September 13, 2005

On October 8, several hundred activists and concerned citizens, including parliamentarians, gathered in front of Parliament House in Islamabad, to protest against the government's inaction with regard to the so-called honour killings and increasing violence against women in the country. This rally follows several previous ones on similar issues and staged in the hope that our elected representatives realize the gravity of the situation and take action to outlaw honour killings. In the name of honour, to defend a family, clan or tribe's honour, many injustices and cruelties have been perpetrated against thousands of women in Pakistan's history. Just two years ago, we saw a panchayat in the small village of Meerwala in southern Punjab order an innocent woman to be raped by several men as punishment for an alleged affair that one of her brother committed with a woman from another tribe. Once the story got out, it made international headlines. All hell broke loose, at least initially, with the Supreme Court calling it the "most heinous crime of 21st century Pakistan" and ordering an anti-terrorism court to hear the case. Six men were eventually sentenced to death while eight were acquitted. However, their defence lawyers moved the high court and their appeal is currently pending. For its part, the government gave the woman, Mukhtaran Mai Rs 500,000 and it is believed that aid offers came in from overseas and from private sources as well. She decided that with the money she would build a school in her village. According to a report a few months ago, her school is yet to be completed. The Supreme Court was right in calling it the most heinous crime seen by Pakistanis in this century. This century yes, but what was the most heinous crime the country witnessed during the previous century, specifically when General Ziaul Haq was in power, a time when the country was exposed to a veritable ocean of arms and drugs and when infamous laws like the Hudood and the Qisas and Diyat ordinances were enacted, perhaps a crime against Pakistan itself. But if one were to single out an incident and call it the equivalent of the Meerwala tragedy, it would have to be the horrific events that took place in Nawabpur, not far from Meerwala, 20 years ago. Two women and a nine-year-old girl, were paraded naked on March 31, 1984, through the small galis of Nawabpur, a small, sleepy town some 10 kilometres from Multan. The women's brother-in-law, Akbar, was a local carpenter, who had earned a name for himself by becoming skilled at his craft. The man, according to one account which appeared three weeks after the incident in this newspaper's weekly magazine, was that he had been having affairs with women from the town's leading feudal Sheikhana clan. As such things are "settled" in a feudal/tribal context, several dozen men of the clan made their way to Akbar's house, severely beat him up and then did the same to his two sisters-in-law and nine-year-old sister. Apparently, not content with their bestiality, they then proceeded to drag the two women and girl to the streets, naked. According to the report, "Talking to two dead women" (April 20, 1984) by Zafar Samdani: "A group of about 40-50 revenge-drunk men had entered their (the women's house), beat up their brother-in-law Mohammad Akbar to a pulp, stripped them naked by tearing their clothes ... and then herded them towards the main street, waving their arms, pistols, iron-mounted lathis and other weapons victoriously... When the women tried to hide their bodies with their hands, they (the men) prodded them with sticks or just hit them. When they tried to hide their faces, they pulled their hair so that they raised their faces." Beaten beyond recognition, Akbar died six days later from his injuries. Talking to the writer of the article, the chief of the Sheikhana clan at that time and chairman of the union council of Nawabpur, Malik Mohammad Baksh, said that the action of the men (he called them "boys") from his clan was understandable given Akbar's shenanigans because of which they were "terribly angry". He also said that though they were "terribly angry," reports of their "misdeed had been grossly exaggerated". One can only be astonished by the audacity of this man who probably saw it fit to deny or justify the parading of women naked at gunpoint, because one of their relatives allegedly had an affair or affairs with female relatives of the men who came to take revenge. A military court heard the case and after the incident an amendment (through the Criminal Law Amendment Ordinance 1984 - Section 354 A) was inserted in the Pakistan Penal Code. It increased the maximum sentence from two years in jail to capital punishment for anyone who forced a woman to strip naked in public. Despite that, the men tried in the Nawabpur case were not given capital punishment or even life sentence. In fact, two months later they were all released on bail. Akbar's shattered and broken family left the village fearing that the released men might return and persecute them. Quite ironically, a fortnight after the Nawabpur incident, a military court in a separate case sentenced a man and a woman to 20 lashes each after finding them guilty of committing adultery. It is 20 years on and one wonders whether anything has really changed as far as the misogynist trends in Pakistani society are concerned. Meerwala, which happened just two years ago, would perhaps tell us that not much has changed. In fact, the same year, one witnessed several cases of young teenage girls being "gifted" to men to settle tribal disputes. Earlier this year, a young girl in interior Sindh was shot dead by male relatives after she dared to dance during a family wedding ceremony. Perhaps one difference is that when the Nawabpur incident took place the kind of press and television coverage that Meerwala received did not exist. Other than that, the military man in charge today at least professes to holding views that are more enlightened than those of General Zia. And yes, the National Assembly and the Senate have several dozen female legislators now. But they haven't really made much of an impact, or to put it more precisely, the male-dominated politics of Pakistan hasn't allowed them to do anything of significance. One or two members of parliament who do speak quite vociferously on women's issues, such as Kashmala Tariq of the PML or Sherry Rehman of the PPP (Parliamentarians) are either shouted down (as the National Assembly speaker did recently with Ms Tariq), subjected to a thoroughly unwarranted attack on their personal character or are thought to be too westernized and elitist to be of any consequence (as is the case with Ms Rehman). In fact, a privilege motion was moved recently against Kashmala Tariq by a member of her own party, the PML, after she said, in response to a reporter's question that she wasn't made a minister because she did not have the right surname or connections. On one occasion she also received comments on her looks from some male members of the National Assembly during parliamentary proceedings, giving the impression that perhaps some of our MNAs had never seen a female face before. Pretty much the same thing happens at the provincial level. In the case of Punjab, some of the PML women MPAs have said that they often find themselves sidelined during the proceedings or aren't given enough time or opportunity to speak in a debate. As for the role of women in the Balochistan or NWFP assemblies, the less said the better, especially in the latter where they prefer to be silent much of the time and let their erstwhile male colleagues in the MMA take control of parliamentary proceedings. If they try and protest against this bias, they are deemed by the men as being too troublesome or noisy. So, while we have lots of women legislators, the male-dominated system doesn't let them do anything at all. In fact, its inherent anti-women attitude is geared towards denying them an effective voice/role in parliament just as it happens throughout the rest of society. Besides, the role of our so-called intellectuals, who should be more vocal in their demands for social reform, especially in areas such as these that involve the equality of the sexes and human dignity, has yet to materialize. This is probably why, even 20 years after Nawabpur and two years after Meerwala, various governments continue to procrastinate over legislation against crimes committed in the name of honour. The fact that the print and electronic media report such things with greater alacrity and regularity than before is a positive sign and is aimed at raising public awareness. But then, who doesn't know that ordering a woman to be raped for a crime committed by her brother, or parading women naked in public is reprehensible and can be done only by beasts masquerading as humans? Clearly, increased media reporting of such happenings and greater awareness levels have not persuaded any government - not even one led by a self-professed enlightened moderate - to enact legislation to tilt the balance back, however slightly, in favour of women. In the past year alone, senior government functionaries, up to the ministerial level, have said at least a dozen times that a law will be "enacted soon". The other day it was reported that the National Assembly's standing committee on law and human rights had finally approved a draft of a proposed law on this issue. If the bill is approved by both houses, and a law is enacted, perhaps a significant change will be witnessed since the abominable events of Nawabpur shook this country 20 years ago. REFERENCE: The tormenting memory of Nawabpur By Omar R. Quraishi 12 October 2004 Tuesday 26 Shaban 1425

Fatawa Alamgiri Ek Nazar do read how Immoral & Absurd our Mullahs are.

Teen Talaq Aur Halala Part 4 Of 6 (By Syed Tauseef ur Rehman)

The Supreme Court of Pakistan released their decision on April 21, 2011, on the appeals launched by Mukhtaran Mai and others in regards to her rape case. The court dismissed all the appeals. Five of the six men accused of gang rape in the case were ordered released from prison. The outcome was surprising to many. Despite the sense of anger and frustration Mukhtaran Mai must be feeling now after a decade-long battle, she has so far publicly showed no despondency. After yesterday’s verdict, her twitter feed announced that “No court can weaken my resolve to stand against injustice.” Of course, Mukhtaran would not be the first women to suffer from injustice. Hundreds of women are murdered each year, and most are the victims of ‘honour’ killings. More women are kidnapped. Others are burnt, either victims of acid attacks or domestic ‘accidents’ involving a gas stove while cooking. Many more women are sexually harassed at the workplace or in public spaces. And then there are the other high-profile rape cases that have grabbed headlines and shocked and angered us in the past: Dr Shazia Khalid and Sonia Naz. Unfortunately, things do not seem to be improving. As stated in an Express Tribune editorial, 2010 gave women little to cheer about: “Thanks to the lethargy of the Senate, the Domestic Violence Bill was allowed to lapse while sections of the Protection of Women Act were nullified by the Federal Shariat Court. Rape and honour killings continue unpunished while women parliamentarians, who are most likely to speak out on these issues, are sidelined mainly because most of them were chosen on reserved seats.” Sadly the increased awareness and discussions about the mistreatment of women in Pakistani society has provided little progress to their status. Tribal culture and backward traditions are steeped in misogynistic attitudes that can not easily be rinsed out of the mix. What’s more worrying, though, is that there are signs these outdated and unfair attitudes seem to be becoming more entrenched, if not more commonplace. There is a long-overdue need for parliament and the judiciary to get serious about protecting women’s rights and ensuring women’s status as equal members of society through clearly worded and undiluted legislation, as well as consistently honest implementation of those laws. The case of Mukhtaran Mai is reminder of that. As the esteemed activist and commentator I.A. Rehman wrote for Newsline in 2005, “During the debate on the incidence of rape in Pakistan the government has tried to defend itself by cataloguing what it considers acts of great favour to Pakistan’s womenfolk. The flaw in this approach is obvious. No good acts that might have been done to promote the interest of women can erase the anguish and the shame that incidents of rape cause to Pakistani people every year. It is like telling a hungry and jobless young man to stop complaining because the government has built a motorway that runs close to his village. In any case, the government’s record leaves little to write home about.” Below are a few articles from Newsline‘s archives that have tracked the struggles of women and the women’s movement in Pakistan and show that despite all the energy and rhetoric applied to the cause, hateful and outdated attitudes have blocked the way forward like mountains separating an arid plain from a flowing freshwater river beyond. REFERENCE: From the Archives: The Struggles of Women in Pakistan By Talib Qizilbash 22 APRIL 2011
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Teen Talaq Aur Halala Part 5 Of 6 (By Syed Tauseef ur Rehman)

Deemed as one of the most savage ‘honour’ killings to be reported in Pakistan yet, Samia Sarwar’s cold-blooded murder in April 1999 aroused a great deal of publicity and outrage both at home and internationally. While most ‘honour’ killings in Pakistan are committed in tribal, rural, or deprived communities, Samia’s case was different. She was the child of Haji Ghulam Sarwar, head of the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Chamber of Commerce, and her mother was a doctor. Four years before her tragic demise, Samia and her two children came to live with her parents – she complained of incompatibility with her husband – and was pursuing a degree in law. During this period, Samia fell in love with an army officer named Nadir, and due to her parents’ refusal to let them marry, they planned to elope. Threatened by her father for sullying the family’s ‘honour,’ Samia fled to Lahore where she took refuge in human rights lawyer Hina Jillani’s shelter. However, the mother pleaded with the daughter to meet with her on the false pretext that they had accepted Samia’s desire to marry Nadir and that she was arriving with the divorce papers of her first marriage. Samia believed her, not knowing what was to come. On the afternoon of April 6, her mother entered Jillani’s office, accompanied by an unknown man, who was allegedly helping her to walk. Without a second to spare, he shot at Samia, splattering blood on the wall behind her as she instantly fell to her death. Running out the door where Samia’s uncle awaited them, the hitman noticed a police guard crouching behind the reception desk, but before he could shoot him, the police guard shot him dead first. Amid this chaos, Samia’s mother and uncle took Jillani’s colleague Shahtaj Qizilbash hostage and made their escape. After the brutal incident, Jillani went to court, thinking this to be an ideal case for prosecution. “When the FIR was lodged, Samia’s uncle, who had taken our colleague hostage, was prosecuted and fined, and the case was sent for trial. But even before the hearings could begin, Samia’s parents used the Qisas and Diyat Law to thrash out a compromise among themselves and escape any prosecution under the law,” says Jillani in conversation with Newsline. Shockingly enough, certain sections of society and several religious organisations overwhelmingly sided with Samia’s parents and accused Jillani and her sister Asma Jahangir (also a leading Pakistani human rights attorney) of misleading women in Pakistan and contributing to the country’s bad image abroad. Fatwas were issued against the sisters declaring them “kafirs” and instigating the “believers” to kill the two women. In wake of the harassment faced by Jillani and Jahangir, the then PPP Senator Iqbal Haider tabled a resolution in the Senate condemning the killing of Samia. In response, ANP leader Ilyas Bilour questioned the morals of Jillani and Jahangir: “We have fought for human rights and civil liberties all our lives but wonder what sort of human rights are being claimed by these girls in jeans.” Out of 87 Senators, only four supported the resolution: Iqbal Haider, Aitzaz Ahsan, the late Husaain Shah Rashdi of the PPP, and MQM’s Jamiludin Aali. Among those who opposed it included Mushahid Hussain Syed, Javed Iqbal and Akram Zaki. Justice remained a far cry for Samia. “Not only was there no justice for Samia because of the flaws in the laws themselves, but also, when the resolution on ‘honour’ killings went to the Senate, they refused to pass it,” says Jillani. Under the Qisas and Diyat Law instituted in 1990, a murderer can be pardoned under two circumstances: either by paying blood money to the victim’s family (diyat), or if the victim’s family compromises and forgives the murderer. In this case, Samia’s wali (her father) ‘forgave’ her mother and uncle who were both obvious accomplices to the murder, thus rendering the case resolved. No convictions were ever made. REFERENCE: What ‘Honour?’ By Zara Farooqui 31 MARCH 2011
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Teen Talaq Aur Halala Part 6 Of 6 (By Syed Tauseef ur Rehman)

General Pervez Musharraf’s remarks, quoted above, stunned Pakistan’s entire public, women activists in particular were smitten to the marrow. Quite a few international figures, such as the Prime Minister of Canada, were equally shocked and outraged. Subsequently, General Musharraf asserted that that he had been misquoted, while The Washington Post issued a statement reaffirming its original text. President Musharraf has returned to the subject more than once and official spokesmen are threatening organisations (un-named) that they accuse of maligning Pakistan before international audiences. Unfortunately, neither the President nor his spokespersons have cared to support their fulminations with evidence. It would have simplified matters if they had given the number of women who have gone abroad by presenting themselves as rape victims and of those who have made money. As far as human rights activists are concerned, they have not sought visas or cash grants for any victim of rape. Indeed there is very little support in civil society for the practice followed by some of Pakistan’s leaders under which cheques are issued by government by way of compensation for rape and other forms of trauma. The government alone is responsible for making human suffering a commodity for sale.

The issue now is not the words and phrases actually used by General Pervez Musharraf while referring to rape cases in Pakistan. The issue is the establishment’s mindset which is closed to reason and sanity. The totalitarian rulers’ intolerance of criticism is proverbial. Their feeling of lack of legitimacy makes them hypersensitive to any suggestion of deficiency or shortcoming on their part. But that never alters reality.

Violence against women is endemic in Pakistan. Incidents of rape and gang rape are on the increase by all accounts. The issue is much too serious to be disposed of in casual rhetoric. The issues framed by General Musharraf are, firstly, that rape of women in Pakistan is not as serious a problem as it is in many other countries of the world, including such advanced countries as France. Secondly, Pakistan is maliciously singled out for criticism on the basis of rape cases. Thirdly, NGOs that highlight rape cases in Pakistan are working against the national interest. Lastly, the present regime has done everything for victims of rape. For example, the help extended to Dr. Shazia to go abroad. All these issues can be discussed without taking leave of the norms of decent discourse.

General Musharraf’s anger at his favourite punching bags on the ground that they malign the country before foreign audiences is equally misdirected. Much before any NGO raises its voice against a rape incident, the world comes to know of it from newspapers and the electronic media. Some of the most widely publicised incidents, such as the cases involving Mukhtaran Mai, Dr. Shazia and Sonia Naz, were reported first and extensively by the media. All leading newspapers of Pakistan are available to the world via the internet. Does the government of Pakistan propose to tell the newspaper proprietors to stop putting their newspapers on the internet because by broadcasting stories of rape in Pakistan they are maligning the fair name of their motherland?

Official rhetoric about Pakistan’s image and circumstances in which Pakistan can suffer loss of reputation demand a longer rebuttal than space constraints permit at the moment. The fact which the authorities must try to grasp is that report of any crime in a country does not bring it as bad a name as does the absence of response to violations of human rights by the state and civil society. If the national media and the much maligned civil society organisations do not take notice of brutal treatment of women and children or members of minority communities, Pakistan will invite greater opprobrium than offences against women alone, because civil society will be accused of conniving with the wrongdoers. Similarly, the state invites less criticism for what is done by criminals in its territory than for its failure to create adequate and effective redress mechanisms. In the final analysis, therefore, a state wins kudos or attracts censure by its own acts of commission and omission and does not need any assistance, benevolent or malignant, from civil society.

During the debate on the incidence of rape in Pakistan the government has tried to defend itself by cataloguing what it considers acts of great favour to Pakistan’s womenfolk. The flaw in this approach is obvious. No good acts that might have been done to promote the interest of women can erase the anguish and the shame that incidents of rape cause to Pakistani people every year. It is like telling a hungry and jobless young man to stop complaining because the government has built a motorway that runs close to his village. In any case, the government’s record leaves little to write home about.

The government can claim credit for increasing women’s seats in the national and provincial assemblies and for reserving seats for women in the Senate, although some of the credit has been washed away by its retreat, as evident from the reduction in women’s representation in the local bodies.

The government, unfortunately, cannot claim any credit for adopting what is called the karo kari law because the law presents no threat to those who kill women for a variety of reasons and then claim that they have done their duty by taking the life of defenceless creatures for the sake of honour. So long as the government continues to beg the issue of compoundability of murder this measure will remain ineffective.

It is quite amazing to find the government putting Dr Shazia’s case in its credit column. References to this case betray the government’s inability to finalise its brief. On the one hand, non-government organisations are castigated for sending Dr. Shazia abroad and, on the other hand, the government demands credit for facilitating her exit from Pakistan and for giving her a considerable amount in dollars. Why did the government give her money? Will it be able to give similar amounts to every victim of rape? What was the hurry in sending her abroad? Everybody knows how difficult and time-consuming any effort to secure government funds for a citizen in distress is. What is it that persuaded the government to complete the expulsion of Dr. Shazia and her husband from Pakistan within a few days? Dr. Shazia’s desire to leave the country is being used against her quite shamefacedly. It can be shown that Dr. Shazia’s decision to leave the country was based on the shabby and oppressive treatment she received not only from the lowly minions of the state but also from the high authorities after her story had broken. Who doesn’t know that she was kept in virtual detention and denied contact with supporters and sympathisers or with anyone who could commiserate with her. Pakistan’s rulers stand firmly indicted for making the country unsafe for victims of the worst forms of violence and thuggery.

That rape is one of the most serious issues concerning Pakistani women can easily be demonstrated. Statistics gathered from newspapers alone show that during the first eight months of the current year, at least 135 women had been raped and 134 subjected to gang-rape. The number of victims is by no means small. There may be countries with higher incidents of rape but that’s no consolation to Pakistani women, especially those who have had the misfortune of suffering the trauma of rape. What makes the situation more intolerable is the considerable evidence that the evil is spreading and is justified by powerful groups. The incidents of rape are no longer confined to underdeveloped rural areas as cases are being reported from urban, and semi-urban areas where such incidents were not known to occur earlier on. Besides, cases of rape and gang-rape under the order of a jirga or panchayat is a very recent addition to the history of crime in this country. Feudals in other countries of the world are also known to have caused women to be ravaged by their henchmen, but it is difficult to cite the example of any country where such atrocities are now sanctioned by recognised bodies. Thus the basic cause of concern in Pakistan is not merely the incidents of rape; the real question is that the factors contributing to this crime are multiplying.

One of the factors contributing to the incidence of rape is the strengthening of feudal values in the country. These values have been bolstered by the consolidation of the patriarchal system in the name of belief. Anti-women biases in society have been strengthened by the rise of the conservative clergy and a visible decline in the efficacy of the system of justice. Finally, some of the changes in the penal laws, supposedly in response to ideological obligations of the state, have emboldened the criminal elements that could earlier be checked through strict compliance with reasonable laws.

The nexus between increased incidents of rape and declining public confidence in the system of justice is quite obvious. Considerable evidence is available to show a growing public preference for informal forums of settling disputes. The jirga/panchayat system which in the past was limited to a few districts has appeared in many districts where it was not known before and now these forums have become active in metropolitan centres too. All jirgas are strictly male affairs and are steeped in feudal norms. They cannot understand the woman’s point of view and have difficulty in recognising her as a citizen entitled to enjoy fundamental rights. Thus, despite all the campaigns by the civil society and some effort by the judiciary and administration to curb vani and swara customs, women are still given away in forced and unreasonable matches to settle disputes. The plight of families that approached jirgas/panchayats is known.

The most essential fact is that Pakistani women cannot be guaranteed dignity of person and protection against violence without commitment to a process of society’s transformation so as to ensure women equality of rights with men, especially in terms of social and economic independence. Instead of looking at women’s problems separately, they have to be viewed in the context of Pakistan’s needs for social regeneration. Justice for women is impossible in a period of feudal resurgence and appeasement of conservative clergy. Authoritarianism itself is incapable of appreciating women’s concerns just as it is incapable of appreciating the demands of federalism or social justice. Anyone who wishes to be fair to women must be at the barricades against feudalism, exploitation of belief for political gain and authoritarianism (especially the variety sold in democratic wrappings).

However, to say that women cannot be promised any relief till the whole of Pakistan society is reformed is blatantly unrealistic because women should not be considered merely as prospective beneficiaries of social change. Their right to define the objects of change and to work for their realisation cannot be denied.

The strategy to wash the stigma that the high-profile rape figures bring to the country must involve simultaneous work on several fronts. The laws that offer any protection to women need to be enforced, and new laws made to cover areas that have not received attention so far. There must be some way to ensure that these laws are duly implemented. It will be necessary to sensitise not only the judiciary but also a large body of policy makers and moulders of public opinion. And if those in power cannot manage civil expression while referring to women who are victims of gross violence, they may try to discover the virtue of violence. REFERENCE: Rape of Reason By I. A. Rehman 11 OCTOBER 2005 I.A. Rehman is a writer and activist living in Pakistan. He is the director of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan Secretariat.