An Open Letter to Nawaz Sharif & Imran Khan

Open letter to The Prime Minister of Pakistan, Muhammad Nawaz Sharif and the Chairman of The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf, Imran Khan

by Shaan Taseer



Dear Mr Prime Minister, and Dear Mr Chairman of the PTI

When you do so nobly and admirably defend the rights of Rohingas to live as equal citizens in Burma, free from persecution or the fear of persecution and the right to claim the protection of the State, why not speak out for your own countrymen when they face similar injustice?

Do take a moment to reflect on some disturbing similarities between the policies of apartheid that the Burmese government employs against Rohinga Muslims , and those that the state of Pakistan actively employs against virtually all its minorities.
One reads, the Burmese government denies Rohingas citizenship, essentially making them illegal people. Whereas our country thankfully doesn’t go that far, we have created an alternate class of citizenship for all non-Muslims; hence making them “different” citizens, with different legal status’. Our Passports not only require us to identify as Muslim or not; but then go a step further and require us to apostatize Ahmedis. Once identities are stamped forcefully on to one group of Pakistanis by another, it doesn’t take a huge leap of deduction to imagine how this will lead to discrimination.

How then can you, as PM and as head of largest opposition party, lecture Burma on discrimination when you yourselves are legislators in a country that is equally guilty of the same crime? Burma does so on the bases of ethnicity and Pakistan on the bases of religion. Between you two, you have a clear majority in parliament, certainly enough to change such cruel laws. Surely your voices on the International stage would carry considerably more moral authority if you set an example by first stopping the persecution of minorities at home.

Again so similar to our country, one reads that acts of violence against Rohinga Muslims in Burma are immune to the law. It was perhaps only yesterday that one read that eight of the ten assailants of Malala Yousofzai have been set free. You should also know that not a single perpetrator of the Gojra carnage of 2009 has been booked or arrested to date. The late Shahbaz Bhatti Shaheed said the Sipah Sahaba was involved in the Gojra massacre. It is worrying then that the head of the Sipah Sahaba fought the 2013 elections, as he did every election since 1990, as did forty of his colleagues from the benighted Shia killing organization. Shouldn’t this give our political leadership of which you’re both part some cause to think before expressing your dismay with the International community?

Hate propaganda; or literally calling-for- the-murder-of-communities is rampant in Burma as it is in Pakistan against virtually every minority. Yet you finger wag the government of Burma and the International community. A layman, like me, can tell you the various seminaries that hate material and apostatizing fatwas calling for murder, are regularly issued from; surely you both know. Surely you have seen videos on the internet of Aurangzeb Faruki and Ahmed Ludhianvi swearing to kill Shias, if not here’s one link: You do know, Mr PM, that your Law Minister is an apologist for such killers, if not hear him for yourself: Surely you saw the speech by Mufti Naeem of Binori Town Karachi calling for the murder of Ismailis, just days before the Safoora massacre, if not here’s the link, and surely you know of some of the alumni of Mufti Naeem’s organization; Binori Town, like Masood Azhar; the founder of Jaish-e-Muhammad, Azam Tariq, the Chief of Sipah Sahaba; Fazlur Rehman Khalili the chief of Harkat-ul-Mujahideen. This is quite a galaxy of superstars to come out of just one seminary. This is all a matter of public record. The point is, surely you know where to go looking if you really want to curb the hate propaganda that is causing the murder of thousands of Pakistanis; the fatwa factories with a Lisence to kill. Yet you take the populist route of lecturing the UN for failing to take notice of a genocide in Burma. If I may say so myself, how mendacious of you to do so when a genocide is taking place in your own country which you actually have some if not complete power to stop; and have chosen to stay silent about instead.

Rather than list out all the various striking similarities between Burma and Pakistan I will invite the two of you Mr Prime Minister and Mr Chairman of PTI, to read the eight stages of genocide by a Mr Gregory Stanton on, basically a short guide book of the warning signs of genocide. Ironically for a crime so widespread, genocide often goes unnoticed till it is too late for many. The author compiled this “guide” primarily for people like you, after from having spent a career studying various theatres of genocide including Rwanda and Yugoslavia. You will find to your horrors that Pakistan in its active campaign to exterminate Shias fits each of these criteria like a jigsaw; polarization, differentiating and symbolizing different groups of people, dehumanizing them, hate propaganda etc.

In fourteen European countries it is a crime to deny the holocaust. In Pakistan it is isn’t a crime but lets just say, it is unadvisable to mention the genocide of minorities, as you both have just somewhat demonstrated. As leaders of public opinion to whom many in our country look to for guidance, it is surprising and also upsetting that you are not moved by the killing of innocent Pakistanis as much as you are moved, and to your credit, by a similar crime taking place in another part of the world.

In 2012, when all this started in Burma, your political opponent Mr Asif Zardari, wrote a letter to the Burmese Government telling them basically to stop the genocide. Then too the irony wasn’t lost on many. Can I suggest Mr PM, that you obtain a copy of that letter, which shouldn’t be difficult as you are also the Foreign Minister; and then read that letter very carefully as it is good advice for you, your ministers, your cabinet and your colleagues in parliament.
Yours Sincerely

Shaan Taseer

  • Mohan

    Mr. Shaan Taseer, now will be called a traitor, because in Pakistan anyone who who speaks truth about how minorities are treated there, is branded as a traitor by the patriot Pakistanis.

  • Rex Minor

    The author Taseer seems to be presenting the open padora box full of worms but addressing the two nincompups of the century who have been assigned the task to lead Pakistan to phoenix. The author should better send this letter to the moonlight sitting in UNO office? No doubt the article will attract the Eskimos living in the neighbouring country having the largest illetrate homo sapiens on this planet.

    Rex Minor

  • Talha

    Mr Taseer has explicitly highlighted the worst condition of minorities in our country. It has actually become a bitter fact that our seminaries which were supposed to spread and teach love and humbleness for minorities as per the teachings of our beloved Prophet PBUH are clearly and explicitly spreading hatred against particular minorities and particular sects. I myself has witnessed and experienced such lectures where lecturers were motivating and brainwashing children and were clearly explaining them how much benefits they would get on judgement day on killing of persons belonging to particular sects.

    The audience of the said open letter should first focus on dead bodies lying in our country instead of caring about dead bodies lying thousands of KMs in Myanmar. In addition, they should also come forward to explain the root cause of Burma crisis so that our nation should support Burmese on legitimate and rational basis instead of emotionally supporting them.

  • Kaal
  • Rex Minor

    Good point with reference. It is time that Pakistan military intervene instead of its leaders Sharifs grande bouge, dethrone the military junta and investigate on site about the Rohinga muslims who are reported to be persecuted by the so called buddhist monks,backed up by the Burmese political and military leadership.

    Rex Minor

  • kaalchakra


    Pakistani disregard for Rohingyas has been most disappointing. Our Pakistani brothers don’t realize it but Rohingyas are very closely related to them and fought for Pakistani and their own freedom from Hindus and Buddhists shoulder to shoulder with Quaid-e-Azam Mohmmad Ali Jinnah. Historically, they have been persecuted by Buddhists as much as Muslims of India have been persecuted by Hindus and should have been part of a greater Pakistan.

    Surprisingly, even someone as much in the know of things as Najam Sethi became aware of Rohingya history only recently. The following is a must watch video for beginning to know the roots of the problem and the hatred and suspicions that Burmese unreasonably have toward Muslims –

    We have to be a little careful when watching this video. Najam Sethi appears to be bit of an unbeliever and does not present true history of the region, which began with Arias Khan of Turkey founding the state of Arakhan around 990 AD according to the passed-down wishes of the Holy Prophet Mohammad (PBUH).

  • Rex Minor

    The Prophet of God(pbuh) had no wishes that he passed on!! His only function was to carry the messages of God the almighty one to the people in arabia!!I usualy do not watch videos to avoid getting influenced for a biased opinon. I am very much against the lewid life of lamas and monks and high priests.

    Rex Minor

  • Amin

    Very brave piece, Mr. Taseer. Quite right too. Pakistan’s abysmal
    record towards its own minorities hardly qualifies it to wag a finger
    at Burma. In addition to the groups mentioned in your piece, there
    are also the Stranded Pakistanis languishing in squalid camps for
    four and a half decades in Bangladesh. Pakistan’s refusal to
    acknowledge and repatriate its most loyal citizens makes mockery
    of its claim to support Rohingyas and other persecuted Muslims.

  • Parliament certified Muslim

    Shaan Taseer :
    This article was entirely uncalled for. As a proud and eternal Parliament-certified Muslim, certified as per the eternal and inspired Second Amendment to the Sacred Constitution of 1973 of Islamic State of Pakistan, I am duty-bound to instruct you on some elementary matters. Please take note of my following points:
    1. We, the Muslims of Pakistan, all of whom are Parliament-certified Muslim, are a redeemed lot. The Certificate of Islam issued to us by the Islamic Parliament of Pakistan, in light of the inspired Second Amendment has irreversibly destined Paradise for us. Now, it does not matter how we treat the minorities of our Islamic State. We are heading for Heaven anyway. As for lecturing and sermonizing others, we have the natural birth right to do so. We are the priests-in-chief of the world. Therefore, our government is fully within its rightful domain in telling the Burmese what to do.

  • Parliament certified Muslim

    2. You have mentioned the son-in-law, but have shown miserliness in the rightful mention of his Holy Father-in-law – The Definer of Islam Hazrat Z. A. Bhutto Shaheed – the man who defined the terms Islam and Muslim, almost 14 centuries after the dawn of Islam. Until 1974, when the inspired Second Amendment to the Sacred Constitution of 1973 of Islamic State of Pakistan was enacted, the very fundamental terms of Islam and Muslim had remained sadly undefined. Thus was The Definer of Islam Hazrat Z. A. Bhutto Shaheed able to perform a religious feat unknown to even the Prophet of Islam.
    3. Technically, we have no objection to how the Burmese Buddhists (BB) treat the Burmese Muslims. But they must first enact a law that defines the constitutional and legal status of the Muslims in Burma, just as we in Pakistan, have defined the constitutional and legal status of the the Ahmadis in Pakistan before proceeding to beat the hell out of them. Following the needful constitutional adjustment, whatever the Burmese Buddhists to the Burmese Muslims do will be constitutional and legal – Inshaallah.
    Yours in the service of
    Parliament-certified Islam

  • Rex Minor

    Parliament certified M,

    Thus was The Definer of Islam Hazrat Z. A. Bhutto Shaheed able to perform a religious feat unknown to even the Prophet of Islam.r

    Zulfiqae Bhutto was neither Hazrat nor the definer of Islam! You have condemned yourself by makng such a statement for all times to come. This is what is written in the scriptires and this is what will trnspire. Who the hell are those who want to define who the muslims are and those who are not- no human has the right to take this devine authority!!
    Rex Minor

  • SherKhan

    A bold, sincere, purposeful and just-right analysis of ours-as- a-nation demise. The misery of course is – how to unwind the quagmire we are in. Choice upon and assumption to embark upon an illicit slide or whatever else of similarity for expediency contrary to the societal facts and norms is easy but the trek and track is ominously slippery. Once the practitioners are upon it – involuntary gain of momentum by geometric proportions is the norm and it becomes increasingly impossible to undo the damage. It has happened in Christianity in middle ages of Europe and the Americas. Only revolutions then can undo the disease and with a hefty price in loss of life and livelihood.

    Why did Bhutto do it? He had begun falling from grace. He loved his god damn chair so very much – he would sell his soul for it. Contrary to his intrinsic belief and practices that is open to imagination he outlawed liquor and Ahmadis. Similar enunciations are attributable to Zia. I remember when laws banning Hira Mandi and practices of the kind were proposed/enacted, pragmatics had voiced against it. They had said that the ill will move to common day neighborhoods instead and assume uncontrollable proportion. And of course we know better now in hind sight.

    So help us God !!!!!

  • Rex Minor

    Sher Khan,
    The curse of God is on the country which came into being as Pakistan! Islamabad has witnessed the military attack on the so called Red mosque, the house of God and its sanctity was violated and the lunatic military man Zia used the sport stadium to cane humans for petty crimes as was the case before humanity was born.Islamabad is destined for destruction of the kind that the people of Naples witnessed of Pompei! This is what the scriptures say and this is what will transpire. Those who are in power today are neither showing regrets or remoarse of the past nor humility with the current or foresight for the future. There is a change in the scenery though from Bengal and Punjab to the land of Pakhtuns and Baluchs and the carnage against the weak ones continue unabated with long range artillery and aeroplanes despite retaliations from the forces of Resistance. The fate of Pakistan as a country is sealed for eternity.

    Rex Minor

  • timely

    Rohingyas killed unarmed buddhist monks sometime ago. These monks had come to preach buddhism to them and to free them from under the fascism and the arab slavery which islam had brought upon them.