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Israeli assault on freedom flotilla

Salman Latif’s timely comment on the current crisis. In a vicious attack, defying all humane obligations, Israeli naval forces attacked a flotilla heading Gaza-wards with its 10,000 tonnes supplies of humanitarian aid. The Israeli commandoes descended on the boats while they were still in the international waters, killing some 19 personnel, unarmed and declaredly sailing to Gaza solely for humanitarian activities. Not only was it a breach of international law, it also depicted the violation of human rights by killing unarmed civilians. With yet again another pre-emptive and disproportionate retaliation, Israel continues the now-three-year-long siege of the region, severely disrupting daily life and resulting in many acute problems for the residents. Back in 2006, when a Hamas-led government was elected by the Palestinians, it was a golden opportunity for the international community … Read entire article »

Filed under: Pakistan

Facebook and Pakistan

A young activist and social scientist Usama Khilji has sent this contribution for PTH. The Facebook event ‘Draw Muhammad Day’ indeed came as an offensive shock not only to Muslims around the world; but to all those who believe in tolerance and respect of others’ beliefs. Islamic tradition disallows the representation of the Prophet Muhammad in any state, but a special event to draw caricatures of a revered and respected religious figure is tantamount to hate speech, and was most certainly bound to provoke a strong reaction across the globe, especially from followers of Islam. In Pakistan, the courts reacted by blocking access to Facebook on May 19, and to YouTube on May 20, owing to the presence of blasphemous material on these mass sharing and communication portals. However, it is … Read entire article »

Filed under: Activism, Islamism, Pakistan

Proving their faith (or the lack of it)…

Amaar Ahmad has sent this exclusive post for PTH. We are publishing it to enrich the debate on the recent events and the larger issue of Islamism in Pakistan. Raza Rumi The attacks on Ahmadi mosques in Lahore is another reminder of where the exploitation of religion for personal or political goals ultimately leads to. Bhutto and Zia are are the original architects of popularizing among Pakistani politicians, generals and intelligentsia the trend to pretentiously drag religion everywhere and to demonstrate their Islamic credentials. Pandering to fanatics and bigots, they have displayed their allegiance to the faith by imposing laws against Ahmadis and by sitting idly as the flames of hatred slowly engulfed the whole country. The elite class has ever since appeased parties like Jamaat-i-Islami and Jamiat-i-ulema-i-Islam which were historically opposed to the creation of Pakistan and whose teachings have ultimately created … Read entire article »

Filed under: Activism, Islamism, Pakistan

Frayed Ends Of Sanity

From Dawn Blogs By NFP Over and over again I have been using Dawn and Dawn.com to hit home the point about the vicious, soul destroying mindset the bulk of Pakistan’s urban middle-classes (especially in the Punjab) have fallen in to. I have tried to give numerous examples to highlight this devastating observation and here again is another one: On May 28 when terrorists associated with what is called the ‘Punjabi Taliban’ attacked various places of worship of the Ahmadiyya community in Lahore, the TV channels were out in force covering the gruesome event. However, that did not stop them from running happy-go-lucky commercials of their corporate sponsors during breaks, giving the whole event a rather surreal feel. … Read entire article »

Filed under: Pakistan

Religious Parties Condemn, Declare Anti-Ahmadiyya Attacks A Conspiracy Against Pakistan

By YLH I am frankly heartened by this statement not because I feel the Jamaat-e-Islami and other bigots mean any of what they are saying like a broken record but because all of them have been forced to make noise.  Ofcourse it is still “the attackers can’t be Muslim” and that the best – “the whole attack is a conspiracy to get Ahmadis to be declared Muslim”. The News’ reports: … Read entire article »

Filed under: Pakistan

Is this Jinnah's Pakistan?

Raza Rumi writing for Express Tribune: The massacre of Ahmadis in Lahore has once again exposed the inner fissures of our society. As if treating them like second class citizens was not enough, the attacks on their private space of worship has confirmed that militant Islamism is now an embedded reality. Those who have been denying the presence of Punjabi Taliban will have to construct another web of denial and disbelief. We saw signs of that after the fateful tragedy. Instead of constituting investigation teams and ensuring that all necessary leads are collated, senior officials of the Punjab government made a direct reference to RAW, the infamous Indian intelligence agency. … Read entire article »

Filed under: Al Qaeda, liberal Pakistan, Pakistan, Religion, Taliban, Terrorism

For Khadim-e-Ala Shahbaz Sharif

By YLH Your government has allowed with impunity banners and hate material in all of Punjab.  You are answerable Khadim-e-Ala.  Your government should RESIGN!  This is Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya’s Press Conference with Pakistani Media. [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fnYFx8awE_A] … Read entire article »

Filed under: Pakistan

Lahore Carnage Investigation and a Story of Valour

Below, we are posting two relevant stories about the massacre at Ahmadi mosques in Lahore. This massacre will be a especially ugly chapter in the sordid history that Pakistan has created when it comes to its treatment and protection of minorities from the religious zealots that are found aplenty in the majority sect that inhabits Pakistan.  But more importantly, many Islamist guests on the PTH, as well as countless on outside media and blogs have conveniently accused RAW, MOSSAD, CIA (pick your favourite intelligence organization) behind the massacre.  Self delusion seems to run rampant in Pakistani right wing. They are most welcome to indulge in their mass manufacture of hidden hands and twisted conspiracy theories. As one of the Ahmadi leader recently pointed out while answering who may be responsible for the immense … Read entire article »

Filed under: Al Qaeda, India, minorities, Punjab, Religion, state, strategy, Taliban, Terrorism

Jinnah Considered Ahmadis Muslims

By YLH As our anchors and TV channels commit national and logical suicide by referring to Ahmadi Mosques  as “marakaz” and “Ibadgahs”,  we must remind ourselves of the views of Quaid-e-Azam Mahomed Ali Jinnah who relied heavily on the Jamaat Ahmadiyya and its brilliant son Ch. Zafrulla Khan (whose younger brother was killed yesterday).   Jinnah not only considered Ahmadis Muslims, but relied on them to provide the manpower and skilled intellectual force in his efforts on behalf of the Muslims of India.  As a secular liberal Jinnah could not imagine how someone who considered himself Muslim could be called something else. He said: “I have been asked a disturbing question, as to who among the Muslims can be a member of the Muslim Conference. It has been asked with particular reference to the … Read entire article »

Filed under: Pakistan

The Rise and Fall of the Maoist Movement in Pakistan

We are publishing this insightful paper authored by Ishtiaq Ahmed. This paper was written as part of a theme ‘More than Maoism: Rural Dislocation in South Asia’ under the aegis of ISAS, National University of Singapore. In many ways, documentation of the Left movements is an important area that has not been researched and documented. This is why Dr Ahmed’s contribution is so important. Raza Rumi Abstract During the late 1960s and early 1970s, Maoist ideas gained considerable popularity and influence in left politics and the labour movement, and made an impact on Pakistani mainstream politics, which was out of proportion to the Maoists’  political strength in the overall balance of power. Neither class structure nor the ideological and political composition of the state apparatus warranted any such advantage to Maoism. Clues … Read entire article »

Filed under: Imperialism, movements, Pakistan, Politics, poverty, south asia, violence

Pakistan hunts mosque attackers

courtesy Al-Jazeera The attack sparked a gun battle between security forces and the attackers in Garhi Shahu [AFP] Pakistan is hunting members of an armed gang who killed at least 80 people in a double attack on two mosques belonging to the minority Ahmadiyya sect in the eastern city of Lahore. Security forces battled the assailants for several hours in the aftermath of the co-ordinated suicide and grenade attacks on Friday, but some escaped. The attacks targeted the Ahmadiyya sect, whose interpretation of Islam is rejected by many in Pakistan and who have … Read entire article »

Filed under: Pakistan

Blowback in Lahore

We have posted Omar Ali`s previous post titled “The Dead Parrot” a few weeks back. Below we reproduce his comment on the Lahore massacre. Dr. Ali discusses compelling reasons why we are here and where we are heading towards from here. We did not get into this mess overnight and we will not get out of it soon enough. Too many innocent Pakistanis are losing their lives as Pakistan struggles to overcome its previous policy errors. PTH may not necessarily agree with all points raised in the following post (AZW)   Blowback In Lahore By Omar Ali http://www.outlookindia.com/article.aspx?265617 Terrorists (Punjabi Taliban) simultaneously attacked two Ahmedi sect mosques in Lahore during Friday prayers and killed over 80 people. First thoughts on this evil attack: The choice of target is easy to understand. Ahmedis are a persecuted and vilified minority in Pakistan … Read entire article »

Filed under: Al Qaeda, Army, FATA, History, Identity, India, Islam, Islamabad, Islamism, minorities, Pakistan, Religion, Rights, state, strategy, Taliban, USA, violence, war

Why waste your time with me, after all I am an Ahmadi

It is a shame that a massacre of Ahmadi community by religious fanatics has brought to fore their plight in Pakistan. We firmly believe that any one’s religion is his or her own private matter and the state of Pakistan is absolutely wrong in branding its citizens as Muslims or non Muslims. Based on conversations with many of my Ahmadi friends inside and outside of Pakistan, it seems almost inconceivable that the state and the society can so heartlessly discriminate against a minority sect. Below we are reproducing a touching blog post by Wajahat S. Khan titled “Why waste your time with me; I am an Ahmadi”. For all of our valued readers, we want to make it clear that we are not a theological debating forum. We are about complete seperation of the state … Read entire article »

Filed under: human rights, Identity, Islam, Islamabad, Islamism, Lahore, minorities, Pakistan, Punjab, Religion, secular Pakistan, state, Taliban, Terrorism, violence, World

Mission Accomplished?

We are posting this email by Sehar Tauqeer in the interest of free speech. PTH does not necessarily agree with the contents. (Admn) 1. Do you remember the most charismatic Islamic and Spiritual Scholar of the Universe with latest Wardrobe fashions and latest Beard Style come on GEO to tell us how to be True Muslim in his Cosmetic Way that in his 7th September 2008 Program of Jahil Online as may of Pakistanis used to say him incited openly to murder Ahmedis and t 1:15pm on September 8, just 18 hours after the broadcast, six persons entered the Fazle Umer Clinic, a two-story hospital at Mirpurkhas city and two of them went to the second floor and started pressuring 45 year-old Dr. Abdul Manan Siddiqui to come downstairs to attend … Read entire article »

Filed under: Activism, Al Qaeda, minorities, Religion, Terrorism

The gruesome Lahore attack

Salman Latif (who also manages a personal blog) is a new PTH writer who is an assiduous commentator. We are posting his latest view on the tragedy that has hit our society. It is heartening to see the coming together of so many progressive, humanist voices on this platform. In such stressful and confusing times, these signs make one a little optimistic – perhaps all is not lost. (Raza Rumi) We witness yet another saga of terrorism at Lahore where about 70 people were brutally murdered. The terrorists attacked mosques of Ahmedi community and sprayed those in the mosques with bullets and grenades. Eventually, some of them blew themselves up inflicting maximum damage. What we are witnessing today is nothing surprising. In a yesterday’s Pakistan, Maulana Zia-ul-Haq’s regime had actively supported and … Read entire article »

Filed under: Al Qaeda, Taliban, Terrorism, violence