Posted on March 10, 2013 by beenasarwar
Demonstration in Karachi against the attack on Christians’ homes in Lahore. AP Photo/Fareed Khan
Another day, another bout of madness in Pakistan. On Saturday, a mob torched Christian houses in Joseph Colony in the Badami Bagh area of Lahore, after allegations of ‘blasphemy’ against one of its residents. This was clearly no spontaneous ‘riot’ but a well-planned and orchestrated move. Because of the warnings received ahead of time, the residents were evacuated so that there was no loss of life (though the alleged blasphemer’s 65-year old father was beaten up). Small mercies.
Locals say that the land mafia was behind this attack. No surprise. Malafide motives (property, debt, rivalry etc) have been behind all accusations of ‘blasphemy’ investigated so far. (more…)
Filed under: Blasphemy Laws | Tagged: Badami Bagh, blasphemy law, Christians attacked, Joseph Colony, Lahore, land mafia, Pakistan | 3 Comments »
Posted on April 18, 2011 by beenasarwar
Karachi, you were wonderful tonight. Photo: Sabeen Mahmud
April 17: Karachi, you were wonderful tonight. Great event, attended by about 30,000 people. See the text of the resolution (long version as well as short version read out in the plenary) at the Citzens for Democracy blog.
Congratulations to the CFD team for making this happen. This is our Pakistan.
Filed under: Progressive politics | Tagged: Activism, art, blasphemy law, cfd, Faiz, jashne faiz, karachi, music, Pakistan, theatre | Leave a Comment »
Posted on April 5, 2011 by beenasarwar
CFD volunteers engaged with the public and got a great response. Photo: Shuja Qureshi
Posted to the Citizens for Democracy blog:
“Without exaggeration, the exercise was a phenomenal success. Not only because a total of 15,000 signatures were collected… but also because it showed that ordinary people… overwhelmingly agreed with the cause…”
The real Pakistan | By Farieha Aziz (more…)
Filed under: Progressive politics | Tagged: Activism, blasphemy law, cfd, farieha aziz, k b abro, Pakistan, progressive politics, salmaan taseer, shahbaz bhatti, signature campaign | 10 Comments »
Posted on January 8, 2011 by beenasarwar
Copy of a pamphlet including contact details of those threatening Sherry Rehman and anyone else who supports amendments to the 'blasphemy laws', distributed today in Karachi after Friday prayers
Citizens for Democracy, Pakistan:
Position and Press Statement on assassination of Salmaan Taseer
Karachi: Citizens for Democracy (CFD), a nation-wide umbrella group of political parties, trade unions, professional organisations, NGOs and individuals, strongly condemns the cold-blooded and cowardly murder of Salmaan Taseer.
The unarmed Governor of Punjab was shot in the back in the most cowardly manner by one of his own bodyguards on Jan 4, 2011, following a concerted propaganda campaign that falsely accused him of having been disrespectful to the Prophet of Islam (peace be upon on Him). This campaign was conducted in the media and through the mosques. (more…)
Filed under: Blasphemy Laws | Tagged: blasphemy law, citizens for democracy, Pakistan, salmaan taseer | Leave a Comment »
Posted on December 30, 2010 by beenasarwar
Transporters have endorsed religious parties’ nation-wide strike Dec 31 and there is huge pressure on the Pakistan government to make no changes to the controversial ‘blasphemy laws’. I believe the government wants to make the changes (though there are some within it who don’t) that all progressive Pakistanis want but is up against the wall; it is weakened and attacked on all sides. The ‘religious right’ has been organising massive demonstrations (they may not win at the polls but they have street power), and there is a country-wide shutters down strike tomorrow.
We have to take it one step at a time. First work together to stop the abuse – whether it’s through procedural changes or amendment to the law (and there are many among the religious right who agree); ensure enforcement of law and order any way we can (ie not allow vigilante action & not allow those involved with it to go scot free).
Meanwhile, prepare the ground and keep working towards the goal of repeal or at least substantive amendments that will now allow injustice. There’s a demo in Islamabad today, a seminar in Karachi. Another seminar in Karachi is planned as well as a demo in the second week of Jan, 2011. It is a long term struggle, there are no overnight solutions. Governmentt doesn’t have a magic wand it can wave. It may take years but it will happen one day, if there is a sustained struggle and the political process continues.
Filed under: Blasphemy Laws | Tagged: Activism, blasphemy law, Pakistan, transporters strike | 2 Comments »
Posted on December 27, 2010 by beenasarwar
We had a good meeting yesterday in Karachi, convened by the newly formed Citizens for Democracy, to strategise about developing a long-term strategy to counter the ‘blasphemy law’ hype that has been created in Pakistan.
Some press reports this morning that used the info we sent them.
1. The News – lead story on City page today by Shahid Husain – ‘Tough struggle needed to reform blasphemy law’
2. Express Tribune: ‘Citizens for Democracy’ alliance formed to amend blasphemy laws
3. Daily Times used the info like a press statement: Citizens For Democracy meet at PMA House
Email sent to Citizens for Democracy e-group about the meeting yesterday: (more…)
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tagged: 18th amendment, Activism, blasphemy law, Caritas, citizens for democracy, CJP, federal shariat court, LPP, Pakistan, Peter Jacob, pma house, Shafi Mohammedi | 7 Comments »
Posted on December 19, 2010 by beenasarwar
Asma Jahangi has denied reports published in several papers today that the SCBA passed a ‘resolution’ condemning any efforts to discuss, debate or change the ‘blasphemy law’ (Lawyers to lawmakers: Supreme Court Bar wants no changes to blasphemy laws)
This is to deny that the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) in its second executive committee meeting held on 18 December 2010 unanimously passed any resolution regarding either section 295 C of the Pakistan Penal Code itself or any case related to it. The facts are that a resolution to that effect was presented by a member of the executive committee but only apportion of it was passed unanimously, which paid reverence and commitment to honour and respect the name of the Holy Prophet (PBUH), while the rest of the resolution regarding 295 C, the case of Aasia Bibi and its consequences was deferred with consensus. The Supreme Court Bar Association regrets the attempt made by one of its executive members to mislead the press and the public. The SCBA is a responsible body and its resolutions will be fully debated before being passed especially unanimously.
From Asma Jahangir
Dated 19 December 2010
Filed under: Blasphemy Laws | Tagged: Asma Jahangir, blasphemy law, Pakistan, scba | 7 Comments »
Posted on December 13, 2010 by beenasarwar
The mindset promoted by the ‘blasphemy’ laws is again highlighted by the recent case of a doctor in Hyderabad arrested for ‘blasphemy’ because he threw the visiting card of a medical representative (Pfizer employee) named Mohammad Faizan into the dustbin.
I have been in correspondence with Asad Jamal, Advocate Lahore High Court, on possible action against those who make false accusations of blasphemy and incite to murder or violence — we were specifically discussing the Maulana who announced a reward of five lakh rupees for killing Aasiya Noreen, the Christian woman sentenced by a lower court for blasphemy, whose case is going into appeal before the Lahore High Court. (Asad reminded me that in 1995, a similar ‘reward’ (it was then a million rupees, the value has obviously gone down for such murders, given that people are willing to commit them for free) had been offered for killing the minor Salamat Masih. The Lahore High Court acquitted Salamat and his two co-accused but Manzoor Masih, a co-accused in that case, was shot dead outside the court). He writes: (more…)
Filed under: Blasphemy Laws | Tagged: aasia bibi, aasiya, blasphemy law, doctor accused blasphemy, libel, Pakistan | 8 Comments »
Posted on November 17, 2010 by beenasarwar
The death sentence that a district court handed down to Aasiya Bibi, a poor Christian woman in Punjab, is not the first of its kind except that this is the first time a woman has been so sentenced (but not the first time one has been so accused). Since the ‘blasphemy law’ was promulgated, there have been many such convictions – that the higher courts have always over-turned. District courts have also shown sense: I remember a woman district judge in Karachi acquitting Chand Barkat, a bangle seller who had been accused by a rival). However, vigilante violence (cold-bloodedly orchestrated by extremist organisations) has claimed the lives of some 20 charged under this law or publicly accused of this ‘crime’. (more…)
Filed under: Blasphemy Laws | Tagged: 295-C, Aasia Masih, Aasiya Bibi, Ali Dayan Hasan, blasphemy law, chand barkat, Christians, discrimination, Gojra, HRCP, HRW, injustice, khatme Nabuhat, Lashkar, National Commission on the Status of Women Pakistan, NCSW, online petition blasphemy law, Pakistan, sectarianism | 3 Comments »
Posted on October 22, 2009 by beenasarwar
My article on the ‘Kerry Lugar Bill’ and the crisis Pk faces today – a slightly edited version of which was published in Dawn today as KLB is not the issue
‘Kary Logar’ ain’t the issue
As pressure mounted in South Waziristan with the army action, and retaliatory bombings began, a demonstration in Karachi by parties that claim religion as their raison d’etre underscored some key conflicts Pakistan faces: the requirements of justice under due process of law versus tribal, extra-judicial punishments, tensions between the elected civilian government and the ‘establishment’, and conflict between a long-standing foreign policy versus new domestic compulsions.
Filed under: 'War on terror' | Tagged: anti-americanism, blasphemy law, democracy, Human rights, Husain Haqqani, Kerry Lugar bill, Khatme Nabuwat, Pakistan, Pakistan army protest KLB, Pakistan relations Saudi Arabia, Pakistan US relations, religious parties pakistan, Salman Taseer, US foreign policy | 1 Comment »