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Books and Documents

Islam and Sectarianism

Something Is Rotten In the State of Pakistan
Mir Mohammad Ali Talpur
Something Is Rotten In the State of Pakistan
Mir Mohammad Ali Talpur

The present situation is the cumulative effect of policies adopted since partition. The situation prevailing in Balochistan is ideal for the state functionaries — military and civil — to benefit exponentially from, which simply means that the worse the conditions are the more they profit. Willy-nilly one has to say what Marcellus says in Hamlet: “Something is rotten in the state of Denmark.” And there certainly is much that is rotten here....

 

Despite being heartbroken over the deteriorating situation for Christians in Egypt, friends say, Mina did not have sectarian tendencies. He always believed that the Christian problem was part of the bigger Egyptian problem. "Whenever sectarian problems take place, he would ask me, why do they always happen in poor places, why do we never hear of Muslims and Christians fighting in rich areas like Zamalek?”...

 

I remembered this point of caution and followed it. But just then, when I started to say "in the name of Allah", there was turmoil in the classroom. Horrified shrieks turned the silent afternoon into a hysterical cacophony. "What you are doing is wrong!", the girls screeched. Some of them were standing up in protest. I shot back, "How can it be wrong when this is how my grandma prays?"...

Towards Hotel Mohenjodaro
Yasser Latif Hamdani
Towards Hotel Mohenjodaro
Yasser Latif Hamdani

 The state must realise that it cannot have it both ways. It cannot declare an entire community non-Muslim and then deny them the protections that are granted to other religions. If Ahmedis constitute a religious minority, then its founder falls squarely within the ambit and scope of Section 295-A. Ahmedis may be considered non-Muslim, but does that mean they are to be considered non-citizens as well?...

Perhaps, the two most pressing issues were the Arab Spring as it was unfolding in Syria; and the US-Israeli standoff with Iran. The Rohingya problem had still not disappeared though it appeared that the intensity had gone out of the massacres, as in the case of Israeli occupation of Palestine, while the US occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan continued much as before….

 

One of the best told narratives by Nigerians about their country revolves round the possibility of break-up of their country along ethnic and/or religious lines. What this means, in the opinion of tale-bearers, is that Nigeria should be three or more countries and not the ‘contraption’ of one, united country put together some 98 years ago....

 

Major media of Bangladesh decided not to embarrass the so-called progressive secular government by publishing these stories of minority persecution. During the immediate aftermath, government leadership, in the face of utter failure to control the situation in a timely manner, found it convenient to blame the opposition political parties. Eight months have passed, but no real efforts have been made to investigate and punish the perpetrators....

 
Punjabi Hindus Forlorn and On the Path to Extinction — IV
Justice Syed Asif Shahkar
Punjabi Hindus Forlorn and On the Path to Extinction — IV
Justice Syed Asif Shahkar

When Hindus did reach East Punjab, they had been reduced to the status of a nobody and nothing; they were mere refugees. Since not many Muslims who moved out were traders or business owners, as a result there was not enough property that could be claimed by refugees from West Punjab. Besides, the established rich Hindu business owners of East Punjab were not willing to give a helping hand to them….

 
A Ray of Hope?
Mir Mohammad Ali Talpur
A Ray of Hope?
Mir Mohammad Ali Talpur

Mengal’s six points, not akin to Sheikh Mujib’s six points, are certainly not the demands that the Baloch have fought and shed blood for, but are his spin on his capitulation in preparation for participation in the elections in the hope to once again adorn the post of chief minister ... He has called for measures for the alleviation of symptoms but, unfortunately, has conveniently forgotten the disease that caused these symptoms in the first place....

 

A deeply divided nation, not yet 70 years old, is convulsed by religious violence. In one major city, members of a persecuted minority request that their children be permitted to read their Holy Book in school. Militant members of the religious majority are enraged. Their ensuing fulminations whip up hysteria, spawning riots and mob violence. The minority’s worship centers and homes are torched, and when the smoke has cleared, 20 people are dead. This is not a depiction of present-day Quetta, Karachi, or Lahore....

Punjabi Hindus: Forlorn and On the Path to Extinction — III
Justice Syed Asif Shahkar
Punjabi Hindus: Forlorn and On the Path to Extinction — III
Justice Syed Asif Shahkar

In reality, the war was between Punjabis and those from the UP and Bihar because a large number of recruits of the Pakistan army were from Punjab and on the other side, the Indian army had the bulk of soldier recruitment from the UP and Bihar. Every Pakistani in Pakistan and especially Punjabis were made to believe that Pakistan had won the 1965 war. History will judge who the real winner in that war was....

 
Punjabi Hindus: Forlorn and On the Path to Extinction — II
Justice Syed Asif Shahkar
Punjabi Hindus: Forlorn and On the Path to Extinction — II
Justice Syed Asif Shahkar

The Pakistani Muslim soldier who died in the war was a martyr and so was the Indian Muslim soldier. Now the question is, who really is a martyr? The Sikhs for a long time had complained and wailed over the appalling conditions of their historical and holy Gurdwaras in west Punjab. Many writers and correspondents of west Punjab had extended them support to voice their concerns....

 

The migrations from divided India to Pakistan in 1947, and followed by the mass migrations from Bangladesh due to the partition of Pakistan in 1971 is a widely discussed background of the ethnic conflict in Sindh. The province is peopled by the human flows after 1947 from the Indian provinces which are today called Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Rajasthan and Maharashtra; later on in 1971 and thereafter from Dhaka....

Bajaur Agency: Reviving Terror
Tushar Ranjan Mohanty
Bajaur Agency: Reviving Terror
Tushar Ranjan Mohanty

Security officials claim that some 120 of the 400 militants who had sneaked into the region were killed during the operation, which lasted for 27 days, while the rest of the militants fled back to their sanctuaries in Afghanistan, leaving behind the bodies of several slain fighters. 25 soldiers were also killed in the operation. At least 12 soldiers were abducted and beheaded by the TTP....

 
Afghanistan-US relations: The Future at Risk
Ajit Kumar Singh
Afghanistan-US relations: The Future at Risk
Ajit Kumar Singh

According to data compiled by the Institute for Conflict Management, at least 116 ISAF personnel have been killed in 69 "Green on Blue" or "insider attack" incidents since January 1, 2009 (all data till September 21, 2012). More worryingly, there has been a steep rise in such incidents over the recent past. There were just six "Green on Blue" incidents, and 10 ISAF fatalities, in 2009....

Punjabi Hindus: Forlorn and On the Path to Extinction-Part-I
Justice Syed Asif Shahkar
Punjabi Hindus: Forlorn and On the Path to Extinction-Part-I
Justice Syed Asif Shahkar

The messenger lived even in death but the message perished. These places became nothing more than mere commercial centres or bazaars where people came to pray and brought offerings in exchange for fulfilment of wishes and showers of blessings. The wealthy and influential in the area became owners and proprietors of these places....

Under Siege in Quetta
Ghazi Salahuddin
Under Siege in Quetta
Ghazi Salahuddin

It is not another country but they do things differently in Balochistan or, to be more specific, in Quetta. I spent nearly three days in Quetta this week and, though I have been there a number of times, there was this feeling that you are exploring a new or changing territory.... it did not seem possible to escape from existing realities. There were hints, between the lines, in all activities and conversations about the tragic state of affairs....

 

"I have to go; you won't see me again," he said angrily to his mother. He was wrong. And he was right. The ongoing massacre of Hazaras by extremists in Balochistan is part of the killing of Shias all across the country, which has left hundreds dead and thousands mourning. Millions more have been outraged by the lack of action by the government....

 
Migrating Minorities of Pakistan
Durriya Hashmi
Migrating Minorities of Pakistan
Durriya Hashmi

While the Hindu community has a slight possibility to escape the hatred and extremist violence, Pakistani Christians --- the usual suspects in blasphemy cases --- ask where are they supposed to go? “It’s not only the minorities of Pakistan who wish to flee the country rather any sensible person who wants to live free and happily finds it impossible to live in this insecure society” says Zainab Naqvi, a resident of Allama Iqbal Town, Lahore.....

Non-Muslim children are required to read text books which contain material stating that “Hindus cannot be Muslims’ friends” and “Islam is the best religion” whereas Muslim children are taught that their religion is superior to all other religions. While any “Islamic” mullah of any brand is completely free to spread hatred against any other sect, Ahmadis cannot even hold sports in the open….

Genocide is the term that best describes the systematic extermination of the Shia taking place in Pakistan. Contrary to popular belief it is not the number of people killed but the intent of the killers to wipe out a social collectivity or force them into conversion or concealment of their faith that makes such campaign of terror a genocide....

Being Shia in Pakistan
Ale Natiq
Being Shia in Pakistan
Ale Natiq

...the wall opposite our door had a new wall chalking reading “Kaafir Kaafir Shia Kaafir” [Shias are infidels]. I recall asking my daada what does it mean and he replied saying “Kuch naee” [Nothing]. I never bothered erasing it, nor did any of my siblings or my cousins. Years passed, I changed school and a tonga replaced my daada but these wall chalking never stopped. Now that the tonga moved through different streets before taking me to school, I noticed this in every neighbourhood where Shia lived in town....

 
Extreme Is the New Moderate
Saroop Ijaz
Extreme Is the New Moderate
Saroop Ijaz

The state has no business or moral justification for prioritising one person’s sensibilities over another’s freedom and criminalising it. Hence, blasphemy laws should be repealed. This seems incredibly naïve and does not have enough strategy behind it. Both these objections are true. However, the alternative is much worse. Even if the moderate forces lose in both cases, a distinct possibility, there is honesty in only one position....

That the Shia mass murders have continued over the years with no legal and judiciary source or law enforcement agencies having sought to put an end to these brutalities indicates that these acts are but to be considered as part of a systematic and organized plot prodigiously funded and ingeniously engineered by internal and external forces with the express intention of making the pillars of Pakistani society fall to smithereens...

 

I repeatedly asked myself that If Aafia Siddiqui is Pakistan’s pride and daughter then why isn’t Rimsha Masih? Just because of the difference of the surname? Why don’t I see same zeal and enthusiasm in protest against Rimsha’s plight that we witnessed against Dr.Aafia’s arrest... I ask the same question from the people of the land of Pure, why can’t and don’t you own Rimsha as you own Dr.Aafia to be Pakistan’s pride and daughter?

 
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