On the other hand, I hope PTI realises the political mistake they are making. Jamaat-e-Islami needs no introduction but as a reminder to the readers: AlQaeda No. 2 Khalid Sheikh Muhammad was captured from Naazim of JI’s house in Rawalpindi. 2 more listed AlQaeda terrorist were also found from JI residences in Pakistan. JI held funeral prayers of Osama Bin Laden all across Pakistan. Nazim JI Mirpur was killed in a drone attack in NW with other terrorists and Qazi led his funeral prayer in Mirpur. Samia Qazi calls Taliban killers her brothers. When Govt asked religious leaders and parties to issue statements condemning suicide blasts, JI refused to do so. Munawar Hasan in his famous interview with Shahzeb Khanzada from which he ran away mid way, said that TTP is also doing Jihad and its okay to blast away Pak Govt and people if need be. The same Munawar Hassan rejected Women Protection Bill and claims if a raped woman should remain silent and sent to jail if she fails to provide 4 witnesses. PTI can definitely do better without the baggage of fascist Jamaat-e-Islami and I hope good sense will prevail in PTI.
With clear evidence of Sipah Sahaba ASWJ militants torching Christian houses and killing them in Gojra massacre of 2009 and Lahore Joseph Colony incident of 2013, why PMLN does not give powers and orders to the Police to take preventive measures? Why PMLN relies on suspending and demoting Police officials when the failure is of administration? The only answer one can think of is PMLN’s alliance with Sipah Sahaba ASWJ. A report published in DAWN 2 June 2012 complained that PMLN is reluctant to take action on Sipah Sahaba ASWJ and LeJ militants operating in Punjab despite strong evidence available at hand. The PMLN has sold off minority blood for a few seats, for the votes of ultra-right militants. Unfortunately other parties like PPP and MQM have also been found showing closeness to Sipah Sahaba ASWJ. PPP’s Qamar Kaira in one talk show defended talks and getting support from Sipah Sahaba defending them saying “are they not Pakistani?” Well, they may but so are TTP, so were the killers of Benazir Bhutto. Would you want them in the Parliament too? The MQM also visited the Sipah Sahaba’s Karachi office. Pakistan’s mainstream political parties need to realize that Sipah Sahaba ASWJ is the name of Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, TTP and Jaish-e-Muhammad . They are feeding the militants which will eventually come back at them.
For decades Shia Muslims have been killed in Pakistan and the issue has either been pushed under the carpet or obfuscated using blanket terms such as ‘sectarian violence’. Both the print and the electronic media have on purpose hidden the Shia identity of the victims. The victims are often reported as mere ‘afraad’ [persons] randomly killed, not targeted for their faith.
Most Pakistanis have been silent on the issue, not uttering a word as if speaking for the Shia will make them a Shia. However, they do have time and energy to protest for Palestinians, Burmese or Syrians. The civil society and activists on social media, or otherwise, hesitate to use the word Shia – apparently they condemn the bloodshed but are shy of using the word Shia, like the mainstream media. This does not help. This is rather part of the problem.
In the first 10 days of Muharram 2012-13, in total 51 incidents, 55 Shia were killed and more than 324 injured. There were several cases of terror plot thwarted which included suicide bombing plans, huge explosive devices and bombs planted – which could have resulted in hundreds of deaths.
According to B’tselem*, the total number of Palestinians killed by Isreal as part of this conflict since 1985 are nearly 8000. Compare that with the number of Shia killed since 1985 (the launch year of Takfiri Deobandi Sipah Sahaba) in Pakistan – that’s whooping 20,000.
Similarly, the number of Shia killed in Pakistan since 2007, only in the Parachinar region are nearly 6000. The number of Palestinians killed in this time are less than 2500.
Being Shia in Pakistan: A personal experience
Pakistan is home to a large Shia community, second only to Iran but if you are born in the community, you sure have landed in the wrong place. I was born Shia in Pakistan in 1984 and a year later, the state decided to turn the informal violence against the Shia – ever present courtesy the exclusivist national ideology which is inherently anti-Shia – into an official slow genocide.
My earliest memories of you-don’t-belong-here feeling are from early school days in a small semi-urban town …
Last night’s Shahid Nama hosted by Dr. Shahid Masood on Express News TV with Zaid Hamid and Marvi Sirmed as guests offered some bits of humor and some well timed responses by Marvi. The liberals in Pakistan, in their deceny and respect for constructive debate, unfortunately fail to counter people like Zaid Hamid. For people like him, who lie blatantly, murder history (as K.K.Aziz would have called it), use rhetoric and no evidence whatsoever. Marvi’s approach to counter him was very right. This post summarises some interesting bits and pieces from the program.
It is in this context that Dr. Shahid Masood invited Zaid Hamid and Marvi Sirmed, who was not officially representing SAFMA but defending their point of view and stance. Marvi was simply brilliant – eloquent, vocal, brave and very well timed on arguments and comments. She simply countered Zaid Hamid just the way he deserves and like none else has ever done. For someone like Zaid Hamid whose only quality is the speaking ability, ability to speak non-stop, continue gibberish no matter what; it was real fun to watch him completely running out of arguments and actually counting down for the program to end.
There is a treat for almost every Pakistani shopper – from fresh supply of Pakistani fruits and vegetables, to frozen foods (meat products, snacks, vegs etc); from Pakola cans to Shezan juices; from Shaan Masalay to Tulsi Pan Masala; from all varieties of Pakistani lentils to Sooper biscuits; from Tibet snow cream to Super Crisp Nimko and Tea Rusks – you name it. I have never seen this amazing variety in canned Pakistani food – saag, aalo-palak, karhi, baingan-bharta; just to name a few. They have this good offer where they give you £1 cash voucher on every £6 spent in store – which you can use to buy only vegetables or fruits in the store; good enough deal, I believe.
In 2003, Ethan Casey, a freelance American Journalist, gets the chance to live in Pakistan through an invitation to teach for a semester in the newly formed Beaconhouse National University in Lahore. His earlier visits to the country were in the second half of the 1990s when he spent most of his time in Kashmir. First quarter of the book is dedicated to Kashmir and stories of individuals struggling to live through the turmoil which has gripped the valley for decades. It is living in Kashmir and the …
I think I travelled and explore Turkey well beyond what’s possible in a short trip. Went to many places, met many people. There is no doubt about the fact that they know us and they love us. Why ? There is perhaps no known answers. Perhaps, just because we are Pakistanis. And mind you, not even another Pakistani or Pakistan itself would love you aaj-kal for this reason alone – and this is why I am so in love with Turkey.
To be honest, I didn’t know much about Turkey until I planned a trip and started researching. My knowledge was limited to the text-book essays on Mustafa Kamal and Pak-Turkey friendship, which I thought is matter of the past but I was proved wrong, grossly wrong. (This deserves a lot more detail, so more on this in the next part) The first striking observation when researching for a trip to Turkey was the enormous growth of the tourism industry and noticeably visible professionalism of tourism ministry and tour agents. With …