My Pakistani Person of the Year 2010: Sherry Rehman

Courtesy: The Daily Times

My Pakistani Person of the Year 2010 is Sherry Rehman for showing the courage to go against the convention of not daring to speak against the Blasphemy Law prevalent in the country. She was the only MP brave enough to move a private member’s bill proposing to amend the Blasphemy Law in Pakistan and to repeal the Death Penalty.

She is the first person to do so in the constitutional history of the country.

The law is currently being reviewed by a Parliamentary Committee.

It takes some balls, I tell you.

 

Happy New Year.

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Benazir Bhutto – RIP – The Dreamer

Brave Lady, RIP.

Look what I found.  🙂

The Late Quaid Day Post: The Wrong Focus

Probably Amused by the Stupidity of his Nation

December 25, 2010

I wanted to use the occasion of Quaid Day for trumpeting my secret agenda of Secularism but I was a little disappointed by noticing something else.

This Quaid Day, I wanted to look around for something useful about the Quaid-e-Azam. But all I could find was “Islamic or Secular”.

Does it really matter whether Mr. Jinnah, the Quaid-e-Azam, was secular or not?

What if he was and what if he wasn’t?

One thing that I have learned from the man is that you should not giving up using your brain.

Trash the Islamic or Secular debate and just start working on this tip, and everything will be fine.

If he was not Secular, well you can be. You can think for your own, can’t you?

I’d like to focus on other qualities and values that he held. Let’s try to build Pakistan on those lines.

Regardless of what he said at any other place or any other point in history, this is what he said during his all-important address to the Constituent Assembly on August 11, 1947.

“We are starting with this fundamental principle that we are all citizens and equal citizens of one State.”

“You are free; you are free to go to your temples. You are free to go to your mosques or to any other places of worship in this State of Pakistan. You may belong to any religion, caste or creed –that has nothing to do with the business of the State.”

When I look at the 1973 constitution, unfortunately, that is not the case. And even apart from that Secularism or “Minorities” Debate, does not that also imply that all citizens should have equal access to the basic necessities, justice and rights?

Even that is not happening.

How come we missed that?

 

Since the Nation is so orgasmic about the Islamic v Secular Debate, Secularism is not an anti-Islam doctrine, and since Pakistan is a country of 97% Muslim population, any insecurity pertaining to that is baseless. I know many people who support Secularism are anti-religion, but that is their own problem. There is a Secular constitution in India and the United States which is not anti-religion. If you have been thinking that Secularism is anti-religion, you have been listening to too many atheists. Not that anything is wrong with that.

Furthermore, Pakistan was created for “the protection of the rights of the Indian Muslim community” in theory,  and that right is not violated by declaring that every citizen of the country should have equal rights, isn’t it?

“The great majority of us are Muslims. We follow the teachings of the Prophet Mohammed (may peace be upon him). We are members of the brotherhood of Islam in which all are equal in rights, dignity and self-respect. Consequently, we have a special and a very deep sense of unity. But make no mistake: Pakistan is not a theocracy or anything like it.”

He said that after Pakistan was created, on February 19, 1948.

It’s not a question of the protection of the rights of Indian Muslim community anymore. Now, it is a question of the protection of the rights of every single Pakistani, regardless of what religion or ethnicity they belong to. All the Muslim criticism of the Hindu caste system will not be justified if we have stratification in out society too. His comments made during a February 1948 broadcast.

“The constitution of Pakistan has yet to be framed by the Pakistan Constituent Assembly. I do not know what the ultimate shape of this constitution is going to be, but I am sure that it will be of a democratic type, embodying the essential principle of Islam. Today, they are as applicable in actual life as they were 1,300 years ago. Islam and its idealism have taught us democracy. It has taught equality of man, justice and fairplay to everybody. We are the inheritors of these glorious traditions and are fully alive to our responsibilities and obligations as framers of the future constitution of Pakistan. In any case Pakistan is not going to be a theocratic State to be ruled by priests with a divine mission. We have many non-Muslims –Hindus, Christians, and Parsis –but they are all Pakistanis. They will enjoy the same rights and privileges as any other citizens and will play their rightful part in the affairs of Pakistan.”

 

Was he not clear? He was. The problem is, Pakistanis are not.

It’s all about getting your textbook right.

This is where the Debate is sealed for me.

He endorsed Mustafa Kamal, the Ataturk. Really? That Anti-Muslim Secular Dictator? He clearly must be nuts. Well, he had his reasons. These words on March 4, 1948.

“The exploits of your leaders in many a historic field of battle; the progress of your Revolution; the rise and career of the great Ataturk, his revitalization of your nation by his great statesmanship, courage and foresight all these stirring events are well-known to the people of Pakistan.”

And remember, Mr. Jinnah opposed the Khilafat Movement?

Mullahs hated him anyway.

But what the hell, get the focus right.

This is what he said about building the nation.

The great man also said, this. June 15, 1948 in Quetta.

“We are now all Pakistanis–not Baluchis, Pathans, Sindhis, Bengalis, Punjabis and so on–and as Pakistanis we must feet behave and act, and we should be proud to be known as Pakistanis and nothing else.”

Not much comments on this one, it is self-explanatory, but only shames us on how ethnically polarized Pakistani politics have become.

Even dump Secularism, if it is so evil, can we just act on this saying? That is, Unite as a Nation.

We hardly act on anything the Quaid-e-Azam said & debate whether he was secular or not. Pakistanis need to grow up as a nation

And finally, in the words of fellow Fabian Socialist, and another great visionary and Statesman of the Indian Subcontinent, Jawaharlal Nehru, the ultimate tribute to the Quaid-e-Azam.

Jinnah is one of the most extraordinary men in history.

Both the men had almost similar approach to politics. India was lucky to have such an architect.

Pakistan was lucky to have Jinnah as the architect too, he just could not finish the building.

 

I don’t want to imply that he was a superman, far from it. But at least we can learn from him.

You even learn from your enemy they say.

Unity, Faith, Discipline.

The Best Christmas Present Ever

So this is Christmas. And what have we done?

This Christmas, while I would like to wish a very merry Christmas to everyone around the world, especially the Christians in Pakistan, I cannot help but think about Asia Bibi. She is still in prison. And I am thinking about her little daughters who would still be waiting for her on this festive occasion.

I have personally been through an experience which involved waiting for a loved one not too different to that and I know how frustrating and disappointing it feels.

It really feels like the end of the world.

Do we want those kids to have those kinds of feelings?

No, I hope at least.

To tell you the truth, every person has his or her own joys and sorrow, and everyone celebrates their Christmas their own way.

But what if we make a difference to one more life? Wouldn’t that be wonderful?

The most wonderful Christmas present for those girls would be their mother returning home, more than anything in the whole wide world, I can guarantee you that.

Imagine Punjab Governor Salmaan Taseer dressed up like Santa Claus and accompanying their mother to their home.

Wouldn’t that be a wonderful sight?

Can’t we just learn to forgive, regardless of whether she is guilty of anything or not?

Why can’t we give life instead of death threats?

But what could be the most wonderful present Pakistani government could offer the entire community?

Maybe going for a Secular Constitution and repealing the Blasphemy Law.

We could offer them Security and Peace this Christmas, if we wanted to.

The Best Christmas Present ever!

When in Doubt, Choose Humanity: On the International Human Rights Day 2010

This is not a political post.

Only non-partisan, objective observations with a Humanitarian viewpoint.

December 10, 2010 is the International Human Rights Day.

 

There are a few things about Pakistan that I like on this day.

  • We have more freedom of speech now than ever before, and more than most countries around the world.
  • A completely independent media to report human rights violations.
  • Although dubbed a radical and an extremist country, there have been moderate and liberal regimes running the country for quite some time now. But due to the political and controversial nature of this factor, let’s drop this one.
  • Someone like Asma Jehangir, who talks about Human Rights, is elected the President of the Supreme Court Bar Association. Without being political, it is an encouraging sign that a human rights activist wins a poll. This clearly shows that people are actually progressive, although projected otherwise.
  • The courage and initiative of Sherry Rehman for proposing amendments in the blasphemy laws.
  • The Supreme Court, whether you like it or not, for taking stand against the corruption in the country, and a lot of other important issues.
  • The government officials taking stand against the death sentence of Asia Bibi, who has been accused of committing blasphemy.
  • Anything else that you can think of and is not in the list.

There are some problems about Pakistan that are still not resolved.

  • The need of a secular constitution.
  • The blasphemy laws.
  • The standard of living of the masses.
  • No intervention from the government in controlling the prices of basic necessities.
  • Basic education, let alone quality humanitarian education, to most of the country.
  • Better health facilities to rural areas and smaller cities.
  • The standard of life in Southern Punjab.
  • The standard of life in Interior Punjab
  • The standard of life in Interior Sindh
  • The standard of life in Balochistan.
  • The standard of life in the FATA.
  • The standard of life in rural areas in general.
  • The law and order situation in Karachi.
  • The unchecked rule of fuedals and political
  • The safety and security of the so-called Minorities in Pakistan.
  • The flood victims still struggling to survive.
  • The flood victims still looking for the promised aid.
  • Lack of tolerance and general humanitarian education.
  • Cutting funds for education.
  • Anything else that I am missing and that you know of.

And finally, that the Government of Pakistan does not look interested at all to make progress in most of these issues, particularly ensuring the access of quality humanitarian education in most parts of the country.

Maybe first they could start with offering them better food and clean drinking water.

But of course, it is not a priority at all.

 

Now, About the World Including Pakistan

There is only one observation I want to make about the Governments of the World.

Not even a single country of the world is really bothered about the violations of Human Rights taking place anywhere around the world. If they really were, they would do something about it.

The Governments of the World are also guilty of not believing in democracy and in “One Nation, One Vote” and accepting an institution like the United Nations Security Council, which, to me, is against the very spirit of the UN.

 

Easy to criticize others of the human rights violations in their countries, but you are guilty of forsaking humanity, when you don’t recognize the human rights violations taking place in your own.

And offering stupid excuses like Patriotism and Nationalism.

Albert Einstein once said:

“Nationalism is an infantile disease. It is the measles of mankind.”

How true.

He didn’t say that because he didn’t love his country, but because he knew what it could lead to.

If you take my advice:

When in doubt, choose humanity.

 

P. S. Post dedicated to all the people around the world working to help humanity and to improve the living standards of people. You help the world live on.

Lennon: Sharing Some Truth

On John Lennon’s 30th death anniversary, revisit some of his work that troubled a lot of people who like to control the masses.

Gimme Some Truth!

 

Working Class Hero

Power to the People

Woman is the Nigger of the World

How Do You Sleep (At Nights) ?

(Although I would have liked a montage from the Iraq War to go with the last song)

 

Reminding humans of their (double) moral standards.

Why is it Important to Talk About John Lennon’s Death Each Year?

It is December 8, 2010.

I wrote something about John Lennon on his birthday last October, and this day, December 8, talking about him again since it is his 30th death anniversary.

While it sounds boring to talk about the same old thing over and over again, it is nevertheless important to do so.

John Lennon’s death was not an ordinary event and it was not the death of an ordinary man.

It was the death of a symbol of peace.

The greatest tragedy of its kind after the murder of Martin Luther King Jr.

 

Keith Olbermann, 5 years ago, on his 25th death anniversary.

His wife Yoko Ono on John Lennon’s Death.

Interview with Lennon’s murderer Mark David Chapman.

And look who’s talking about Lennon’s death.

 

In one of his interviews, John Lennon said “Rituals are important”.

So December 8 each year we follow a ritual to remember his death.

I think each year, it is important to talk about John Lennon’s death because we need to remind ourselves that we murder anyone who talks about peace.

 

But don’t worry, it doesn’t mean at all that we will stop murdering them.