It seems that this blasphemy thing has taken another precious life. This time Karachi University Dean of Islamic Studies Department was killed by some unknown gunmen.
Apparently, the issue is related to some blasphemy allegations on him for some academic opinion he gave.
According to The Express Tribune:
The tragic incident followed the killing of Dr Maulana Masood Baig, another teacher of the same faculty, who was targeted in a similar fashion in North Nazimabad a week earlier, said Gulshan-e-Iqbal Superintendent of Police, Abid Qaimkhani.
The story further says:
On November 6, 2012, Dr Auj had registered an FIR 460/12 in the Mobina Town police station, stating that a message, declaring him guilty of blasphemy, and thus liable to be killed, was circulated via a mobile phone number, 0303 273 8856.
The FIR, a copy of which is available with The Express Tribune, stated that the deceased professor wanted the police to take legal action against those responsible for circulating this message because the accusation of blasphemy with the explicit words ‘Dr Shakil Auj maloun ki saza, sar tan se juda [Beheading is the punishment of accursed Dr Shakeel Auj]‘ could get him killed.
Later, during police investigations, the names of four of Dr Auj’s colleagues, including a former dean of Islamic Studies Faculty, Dr Abdul Rasheed, surfaced for their alleged involvement in the circulation of these text messages.
We should strongly condemn this barbaric act in the name of some supposed blasphemy issue. Islam is against all kinds of injustices even with the enemy (let alone a respected professor):
“O ye who believe! Be steadfast witnesses for Allah in equity, and let not hatred of any people seduce you that ye deal not justly. Deal justly, that is nearer to your duty. Observe your duty to Allah. Lo! Allah is Informed of what ye do.” [Al-maeda ,8]
Religious extremism was always there in Pakistani society but in the past decade government especially army and military dictatorship of General Musharraf exploited sectarianism and such issues to forward war agenda. People like Tahir ul Qadri, Zaid Hamid, Faisal Raza Abidi etc were promoted in the media to spread venom against other sects and school of thoughts using concepts like blasphemy or some supposed historical concepts. Few years ago, Salman Taseer (Ex-Governor Punjab) was killed by Mumtaz Qadri (a police officer) on blasphemy issue where Salman Taseer merely criticized a man made law 295-C.
Even few days ago, a media channel Geo was targeted for some alleged blasphemy where an anchor used a sectarian song on some actress’s re-enactment of wedding. This was done with the backing of ISI and army who were settling their political scores against the channel. Even many so called liberal and progressive civil society members and political figures backed this insane allegation campaign.
Allah never allowed forceful following of religion and in Quran He clearly mentions that :
“There is no compulsion in religion. The right direction is henceforth distinct from error. “(Al-Baqarah, 256)
It’s time for us to start adopting reasoning and critical thinking in religious affairs instead of blindly following verdicts of clergy or state. I hope someday principles of justice will prevail against prejudices and hatred.
Mad troop worshipers say we need martial law to improve things. A kind reminder for them:
a) This war mess is a gift from Musharraf martial law.
b) The initial mistake of jumping into cold war was made by military and Ayub’s martial law regime and the same policy was followed by Yahya, Bhutto (A civilian martial law administrator appointed by army and trained by General Ayub) and Gen Zia.
c) 90s, despite corruption and mismanagement was much safer and better.
d) Many national institutions like SUPARCO,NESCOM, NLC (the collapsed bridge fame) etc are under direct or indirect control of army. In most countries such institutions are run by civilians. SUPARCO is a failed organization when it comes to research and development in real space sciences and astronomy. Most of the time they do some missile work and some work with Chinese companies. The reason is simple that instead of being led by top level scientists it is being run by former or serving khakis with no brain.
e) Even the biggest city of Pakistan i.e. Karachi is directly or indirectly under administrative control of occupied armed forces in the form of DHAs, military cantonments and civil cantonment areas who have to pay extortion not only to local political and land mafias but also to military mafias (in the form of absurd charges and taxes) who milk money from civil cantonment areas, put restrictions on civilian liberties and don’t do shit to improve things there.
f) Not only that, army is doing everything from running marriage halls, banks, factories and it has occupied a great deal of land and other economic resources of this country.
g) Army ,ISI and MI waste resources on spying journalists, judges and creating puppets in media (like Zaid Hamid) and politics or shutting down channels like Geo.
It shouldn’t be hard to see why we continuously see intelligence and security failures or why we are still stuck in this war on terror mess? The prime security institution was never designed to be a defender of people or constitution, it was designed by British to work as proxy rulers. Cantonment areas are a reminder of such mindset. It will be interesting to see how much area of Newyork, Shanghai, Mumbai, London or even #Moscow is controlled by army like the so called Pakistan army and air force control or occupy Karachi.
First of all, I strongly condemn attacks on Shia Zaireens at Taftan border and attack on Karachi Airport by some militants. Now we should try to find the root causes of the mess we are in.
Instead of trying to come out of the mess, many people in Pakistan start chanting for more war and more mess when incidents like Taftan Attack or Karachi Airport attack happen. Its like asking for more fire when your house is burning.
Last time when Pakistan Army and Air force jet bombed its own civilian populations, I pointed out that those who are supporting these jet bombings shouldn’t forget about their support for more mess when some suicide attack or some other terrorist activity will follow up these bombings. Whether its a reaction of those jet bombings or some third party is merely using the situation to increase the temperature, its the bombings which provided the impetus.
Also these attacks again remind us that Pakistani security institutions are not designed to defend people.
They are designed to defend dictators like Musharraf, attack media houses, attack judiciary, bomb villages and strengthen their control over political, land and other economic resources of the country.
Serious restructuring is required to make these institutions into defenders of the country from occupied mercenary armed forces.
Recent security and intelligence failure at Karachi Airport shouldn’t be a surprise as these good for nothing institutions are busy in protecting Pervez Musharraf, hiding their asses in missing persons case, bombing villages for dollars, running over Geo and controlling more power for some interest groups.
People should also question the Uzbak and Indian weapons rhetoric. We need to know what were the security institutions doing when they were entering the area? Saying that Uzbaks were involved doesn’t undermine the failure.
Current setup like 2008 setup is just a face of democracy, main players are same. Musharraf is still largely above the law and enjoying full security and support of his juniors in the army. Zardari and Nawaz cannot change anything as they got power by making deals with the army.
Things don’t get rotten overnight. First Ayub Khan pushed Pakistan into cold war, then Yahya played his part by introducing genocide of common populations and people digested it as the victims were Bengalis not “A” class human beings of this country, then Zia exploited Mullahism to take control of more power and pushed Pakistan more into cold war and then Musharraf and his legacy Kiyani, Raheel Sharif, Pasha and Zaheer ul Islam types pushed Pakistan into more imported conflicts like this war on terror in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Also these martial laws resulted in setting wrong priorities for security institutions.
Agencies and federal government are saying that they created a security alert four months ago regard the possibility of such attacks. This is totally absurd. If you were planning to do new wave of jet bombings and derailing the dialogues then of-course you must be aware of the possible back lash on strategic locations.
10 terrorists made their way into a main airport and security agencies were busy in conquering Geo News or doing aerial bombings over villages. At night time police and rangers stop common citizens on daily basis just to take money out of their pockets but often we see terrorist groups end up entering high security installation without any serious resistance. This shows serious lack in training and failure of setting proper priorities.Now they will use the rhetoric of “Uzbaks” with “Indian weapons” to hide their incompetency.
We need to realize that current security setup is not designed and is not capable of defending the people, it only serves few interest groups.
Dictatorships have contributed to the failure and Musharraf tenure added new dimensions of failure by bringing more foreign conflicts at home which this current rotten setup is not capable of handling so in frustration the pawns or so called soldiers end up running over journalists, common citizens or bombing villages.
We need a serious revision of Pakistan’s security setup and we need a culture of transparency and accountability in the affairs of military establishment. We need to get rid of this legacy of failures and culture of troop worship to bring some positive change in Pakistan.
According to media reports, Imran Khan, Chairman of Pakistan Tehreek e Insaf (PTI) has finally woke up and found sometime from good for nothing Geo bashing to put some light on North Waziristan bombing issue.
According to DAWN:
Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan on Tuesday said it appears as if a conspiracy is being hatched to detach North Waziristan from the country and vowed to bring the matter to Army Chief Gen Raheel Sharif’s notice, DawnNews reported.
Briefing the media after attending a meeting of the party’s core committee here, he said that he will meet with the army chief and appeal to him to stop the military offensive in North Waziristan.
The PTI chief said he witnessed similar situation in East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) during the military operation before it was detached from rest of the country in 1971.
In past few days, army used heavy jet and gunship helicopter bombings over civilian population which resulted in the deaths of dozens of innocent people including kids.
Good to see him at least waking up on the issue even if a bit too late.
As far as smelling conspiracy to detach N Waziristan is concerned, I think its a bit too late. The option of detachment now looks perfectly moral and logical especially when populations in settled areas of Karachi, Islamabad, Rawalpindi and Lahore sided with the mercenary army in their merciless bombings over civilians in tribal areas.
It will still be interesting to see if IK is really going to do something about these bombings or is he just giving a false hope to the people affected by these bombings?
Contact: Tina M. Foster, (917) 442-9580, firstname.lastname@example.org
May 13, 2014, New York, NY.
The Law Office of Tina Foster today announced that Dr. Aafia Siddiqui has filed a legal case seeking to overturn her September 23, 2010 conviction by a U.S. federal court. Though Dr. Siddiqui has always maintained her innocence and there was no physical evidence to support the charges against her, Dr. Siddiqui was convicted of attempted murder while she was being interrogated by U.S. personnel at a police station in Ghazni, Afghanistan. In documents filed today under seal in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, Dr. Siddiqui argues that her conviction and sentence should be vacated because the prosecution withheld crucial evidence, and that she was denied her constitutional right to counsel.
The case argues that the U.S. government illegally withheld evidence that Dr. Siddiqui and her three small children were abducted from Karachi, Pakistan in 2003 and secretly detained, interrogated and tortured in U.S. and Pakistani custody for five years prior to her arrest in 2008. Among other evidence, exhibits filed with the case include a transcript of an audio recording in which a senior Pakistani police official, Imran Shaukat, admits to his involvement in Dr. Siddiqui’s abduction from Karachi, Pakistan in March 2003. A link to the full audio recording in Urdu/Punjabi is available at the following URL:
Dr. Siddiqui also argues that she was denied her right to counsel because the judge forced her to be represented by attorneys that were not acting in her interest. The attorneys, who were paid $2 million by the Government of Pakistan, were permitted to enter the case and manage Dr. Siddiqui’s defense over her repeated objections. Though Dr. Siddiqui informed her trial attorneys that she had been in detention from 2003-2008, they did not present the information to the judge or jury at trial.
Dr. Siddiqui is currently serving an 86-year prison sentence at a U.S. federal prison at FMC Carswell in Fort Worth, TX. She is unable to speak with the media due to prison restrictions, but is presently represented by attorneys Tina Foster and Robert Boyle, both of whom stand in solidarity with the international community in condemning Dr. Siddiqui’s unfair trial and sentence.
“The evidence presented in today’s lawsuit demonstrates not only that Dr. Siddiqui did not receive a fair trial and was wrongfully convicted, but also sheds a bright light on the violations of Dr. Siddiqui’s fundamental human rights by the governments of the United States and Pakistan,” says Foster. “Despite the grotesque torture and abuse perpetrated against Dr. Siddiqui and her children, she has never advocated violence or revenge,” Foster added, “she wishes nothing more than to return to Pakistan where she can be reunited with her children and live in peace.”
It seems, Karachi will still need to wait for a long time for any change. Karachi is again seeing rigged elections or no elections at all in many areas. There are reports of violence in areas like NA-255 and no elections in NA-250 and other parts of Karachi.
My experience as a voter at NA256-Meridian Grammar School polling station: Delayed start of voting. People with MQM badges openly moving in the polling station and making sure that their known voters get the chance out of turn for casting their votes while others get frustrated in heat. This will discourage new voters which are more likely to cast their vote for PTI.
Also inside polling station they are taking cards of old people and first timers to cast their votes.Those who knew what they are doing resisted but many dont even know what is happening. If this is happening in educated areas then forget about other areas.
MQM is a product of establishment and if America wants MQM so establishment (Army, rangers etc) will keep a blind on what ever MQM does.
Despite all this people should come forward and vote! Vote PTI in Karachi to show you are not sheeple.
Need Change: Zardari and Nawaz Sharif are two big symbols of this political system. People need tos ee who is sticking with them as allies and who is taking a stand against them. People need to come out for a change and vote for Naya Pakistan and Vote4PTI. Reject these NRO and IJI-2(10 Party alliance) gangs.
People standing up above their prejudices: I am glad that some of my strongly religious friends who belonged to Shia sect are now not following Sajid Naqvi and others who are supporting PPP and MQM but they are now supporting PTI. Similarly some of my Deobandi friends have stopped blindly following their brand of sectarianism and instead of following Fazl ur Rehman type, they will now give votes to PTI. Similar is the case with some Barelvi friends. This is change as its not just feudalism and extortion mafias which are exploiting people. These fake fatwa factories are also exploiting the sectarian diversity and using it to strengthen their political and financial positions. In sha Allah PTI will get the chance and deliver good for the people and the country.
For Karachi: If someone can solve two major issues of Karach then its IK only. Two major problems of Karachi are:
a) Bring peace
b) Local bodies elections and decentralization of power
Military operations by PPP and PMLN governments were the reasons behind the start of ethnic violence as it provided more sympathies to MQM. ANP,PPP and MQM are major responsible of recent mess in Karachi. PMLN was ally of PPP in center when PPP took power in 2008 and they remained allies for a long time in Punjab. Bot PPP and PMLN avoided local bodies elections in last 5 years so one can get the idea what Karachiites should do?
MQM and JI are not major parties and they only work as proxies of PPP and PMLN respectively. PTI will be in a position to take independent position on the issues.
For IK haters: The thing is simple, whatever IK does and whatever social class background he has, he stands up above his social class prejudices of Mr/Mullah, Shia/Sunni,Muslim/Non-muslim or ethnic ones and supports justice and prosperity for all. This thing is lacking in so called religious and so called liberals of Pakistan a lot.
Comment on IK’s speech in grand finale of PTI 2013 election campaign: I am glad that Imran Khan thanked people from all school of thoughts for praying for his health. Apart from many other reasons, I support Imran Khan mainly because he stands up above from his sectarian and social class prejudices and works for justice for all whether shia or sunni, whether muslim or non-muslim, mr or mullah, poor or rich and treats them like human beings. This is something which is lacking in fake liberal and fake religious parties.
My vote is for Justice and My vote is for BAT!