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Attacks on Raza Rumi, worship places represent new wave of intolerance: HRCP

Press Release: Lahore, March 31: The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has expressed alarm over a number of disturbing developments including the assault on journalist Raza Rumi and attacks on temples in Sindh and called these a new wave of intolerance. In a statement issued on Monday, the Commission said: “HRCP has grave concerns over a number of recent incidents, including an attack on Raza Rumi in Lahore, a spate of assaults at Hindu temples, the most recent one being in Hyderabad, and the death sentence for Sawan Masih in a blasphemy case. “HRCP believes that we are witnessing a new wave of intolerance and these instances stem from the same motivation. While the court’s verdict against Sawan is another matter, the assault on the Christian-dominated Joseph Colony in Lahore in March … Read entire article »

Filed under: journalism, Lahore, minorities, Pakistan, Raza Rumi, Religion, violence

Blasphemy Laws, Plight of Pakistan’s Minorities

Last year Joseph Colony of Lahore, Pakistan was burnt by a muslim mob on allegations of blasphemy by a christian man, Sawan Masih. Yesterday court sentenced Sawan Masih to death on the charge of blasphemy, while victims of Joseph Colony riot yet to get any Justice. [View the story "Blasphemy Laws, plight of Pakistan's Minorities" on Storify] … Read entire article »

Filed under: minorities, violence

Pakistan’s Shame

Pakistan’s Shame

Raza Habib Raja A few days ago, news reached Pakistan of some Kashmiri students being suspended in an Indian University after celebrating Pakistan’s victory. Pakistanis were belligerent and media repeated the news for God knows how many times. There were talk shows on how intolerant India was with respect to Muslims. We used that opportunity to find comfort that if we are bad, others are not good either. After Gujarat riots suddenly Pakistanis found a justification to … Read entire article »

Filed under: minorities

The tragic burning of a DharamSala in Larkana

Last night on 16th March 2014, a Hindu DharamShala in Larkana was set ablaze over alleged Desecration of Quran. Following are the tweets comprising the reaction by Raza Rumi on the tragic and condemnable incident. [View the story "The tragic burning of a DharamSala in Larkana" on Storify] … Read entire article »

Filed under: Hinduism, minorities, Pakistan, Religion, Rural, Sindh, violence

Jinnah’s vision for Pakistan

In clear concise and consistent terms, Mr Jinnah laid down his vision for Pakistan. After this, there is no room for discussion in my view. Popular sovereignty with equal rights regardless of religion – this is the essence of a modern democratic state.  No vague notions of sovereignty being vested in a deity etc. -YLH Document No: 01472105 Interview with Mr. Doon Campbell, Reuters’ Correspondent, New Delhi, 21st May 1947 Q. What sort of relationship do you envisage between Pakistan and Hindustan? Ans. Friendly and reciprocal in the mutual interest of both. That is why I have been urging: let us separate in a friendly way and remain friends thereafter. Q. How would you divide the armed forces? Do you envisage a defence pact or any other kind of military alliance between Pakistan and Hindustan? Ans. All the armed … Read entire article »

Filed under: Uncategorized

Will mainstream media speak for the voiceless?

By Amaar Ahmad: The last counsel by the Holy Prophet (pbuh) right before his passing away was for Muslims to guard against violating the rights of women and the slaves. In the Islam Republic of Pakistan today, that should have automatically meant that the rights of vulnerable and weak are safeguarded zealously. Instead, a declaration of war seems to have been made against the dispossessed and the powerless – especially the women and religious minorities of this country. The last few years have witnessed a horrific increase in incidents against vulnerable people. To add insult to injury this is often justified in the name of religion one way or another. When it comes to the treatment of women we know that domestic abuse, acid attacks and honour killings have become an utterly ugly but inseparable feature of our society. The few legislative measures … Read entire article »

Filed under: Opinion, Reviews

The forces of darkness will not give up easily but neither will we.

Bilawal Vows to Defend Minorities on Bhatti Anniversary Karachi: The Chairperson of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has said that the party will continue to stand by Pakistan’s religious minorities and support them against  bigotry in the tradition of Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto. In a statement marking the first anniversary of the assassination of PPP leader Shahbaz Bhatti, a member of the Christian community, the PPP Chairperson paid tribute to Shahbaz Bhatti’s dedication to Pakistani democracy and the ideal of a more tolerant and inclusive Pakistan. “Pakistan was conceived as a homeland for Mulsims where all religious and ethnic groups would live in peace and harmony. It is a tragedy that Quaid-e-Azam’s ideal of a pluralist nation have been distorted under dictatorship to spread an ideology of hate. It is this … Read entire article »

Filed under: Politics

New provinces for religious minorities?

By Yasser Latif Hamdani (Courtesy Daily Times) Now that an idea of administrative distribution of provinces into new provinces has been conflated with the idea of sub-national homelands within the Pakistani federation for linguistic groups, it was only a matter of time before a religious minority would raise its own demand for a province of their own. … Read entire article »

Filed under: Uncategorized

We have failed the Lahore Resolution

This brilliant article argues what I have been arguing for a while. By Rubina Saigol On March 23, 1940, the chief minister of Bengal, Maulvi Fazlul Haq presented the Lahore Resolution, later termed the Pakistan Resolution, at the 27th annual meeting of the All-India Muslim League held at Minto Park. The pivotal paragraphs of the resolution read as follows: “It is the considered view of this session of the All India Muslim League that no Constitutional Plan would be workable in this country or acceptable to the Muslims, unless it is designed on the following basic principle, namely that geographically contiguous units are demarcated into regions which should be so constituted, with such territorial readjustments as may be necessary, that the areas in which the Muslims are numerically in majority as in the … Read entire article »

Filed under: Lahore, Pakistan

Lahore Vigil

Pakistan Today: CDI holds vigil to remember Bhatti LAHORE – The Community Development Initiative (CDI) organised a candlelight vigil at the Chairing Cross on Saturday in honour of assassinated federal minorities minister Shahbaz Bhatti. Protesters, including Christians held banners, condemning the cold-blooded murder and flayed the federal government’s incompetence in protecting its ministers and minorities. They condemned the politically-motivated murder and said that Bhatti’s death was an irreparable loss to the people of his constituency, especially Christians. “We … Read entire article »

Filed under: Lahore

Yielding in Front of Extremism

By Adnan Syed I am attaching two links here that movingly touch upon the state of barbarity that is inflicted upon the nation of  Pakistan. Please give thirteen minutes of your precious time to the moving words of  Member National Aseembly Mrs. Asia Nasir. These words describe the anguish and pain of the very Pakistanis who are being discriminated by the society, as well as by the institutions of Islamic Republic of Pakistan. Terror reigns supreme in Pakistan. The righteous ones are hunting and killing everyone who calls for absolute equality of every human inside the boundaries of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. And in this environment, this brave lady comes out and unequivocally condemns the barbarity that the religious minorities are facing. She has more guts than the spineless members of parliament … Read entire article »

Filed under: Democracy, Egalitarian Pakistan, Islam, Islamabad, Islamism, Justice, Liberal Democratic Pakistan, minorities, Pak Tea House, Religion, Rights, state, Taliban

The way forward for the minorities

The way forward for the minorities

By Yasser Latif Hamdani (writing in Daily Times today) The tragic assassination of Shahbaz Bhatti, the federal minister for minorities, was the direct consequence of Pakistan People’s Party’s (PPP’s) abandonment of Salmaan Taseer’s cause. After the cold-blooded murder of Salmaan Taseer, the … Read entire article »

Filed under: human rights

Fascists strike again in Pakistan: Minorities Minister killed

Raza Rumi Sometimes it feels we are living in  stone age where no dissent and no call for a tolerant society is possible. Murder, violence, mayhem are the order of the day. Today, we mourn the death of Shahbaz Bhatti who had been repeatedly threatened, but not intimidated. It is time for Pakistan’s political parties to take stock of this situation and get their own ideological house in order before they are wiped out as well. Pakistani … Read entire article »

Filed under: Democracy, Islamism, secular Pakistan, Taliban, Terrorism

Jinnah’s grand nephew explains what Jinnah’s Pakistan is about

From Dawn: KARACHI, Jan 20: A grandnephew of Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah called on Thursday for rebuilding Pakistan as a “democratic state”, where there was supremacy of the constitution, independence of the judiciary, protection of the minorities and non-involvement of religion in state affairs, as was envisioned by the Quaid. Liaquat A. Merchant, a senior lawyer and president of the Jinnah Society, was delivering a lecture titled “Is Jinnah relevant in Pakistan today?” at the Aga Khan University auditorium. He said we have drifted away from the vision of the Quaid-i-Azam and the people were asking for “Jinnah`s Pakistan” as the country has moved closer to a shortlist of failed states. … Read entire article »

Filed under: Uncategorized

Minorities in Pakistan: Living a marginalised reality

  By Nicholas Sharaf (Originally a blog on Express tribune)  I’ve found the reaction to Pakistan’s current blasphemy laws surprising.  Not because I think the whole Aasia Bibi (and more recently Naushad Valiyani) issue has been blown out of proportion but because of how long it has taken Pakistan to acknowledge the malicious nature of the blasphemy laws. I feel that our nation’s reaction is luke warm – one that has flourished just so most of us can sleep at night feeling good about ourselves as genuine ‘online philanthropists’. … Read entire article »

Filed under: Uncategorized