Campaign against the genocide of progressive Pakistanis

Prof. Nazima Talib of Balochistan University

Prof Saba Dashtiyara 'Waja' of Balochistan University

Prof. Saba Dashtiary of Balochistan University

Modified from a post just sent to my yahoogroup: We need a campaign against the genocide of progressive Pakistani intellectuals and activists at the hands of those who have been distorting religion for political purposes, criminal and ethnic mafias. One or other of these elements is responsible for the murders of Salmaan Taseer, Shahbaz Bhatti, Naeem Sabir (HRCP coordinator in Khuzdar, Balochistan), former senator Habib Jalib of Balochistan National Party (BNP-Mengal),  Saleem Shehzad and Prof. Dashtiyari. Baloch journalists killed include: Rehmatullah Shaeen, Ejaz Raisani, Lala Hameed Hayatan, Ilyas Nazar, Mohammad Khan Sasoil and Siddiq Eido and Abdus Rind. Also the fisherfolk leaders Haji Ghani and Abu Bakar spearheading a movement against the land mafia; Nisar Baloch who was fighting against the land mafia in Karachi; Latifullah Khan, the Communist Party member from Dir, and Nazima Talib, the professor of Balochistan University shot dead a year ago, and so many others.

Human rights activists Naeem Sabir

The word genocide, a combination of Greek and Latin words, generally denotes the deliberate destruction of an ethnic group or tribe. In the current context, it applies to the tribe of Pakistanis who, against all odds, believe in a democratic society with equal rights for all.

Minister for Minority Affairs Shahbaz Bhatti

ZalimoN jawab do, khoon ka hisab do. Here are some slogans suggested by a friend in Lahore: Aqal ka qatal, soch ka qatal, humara qatal bund karo! Sachai jurum nahi… sachai ka qatal bund karo (Pls do spread and share via text messaging and through any other means).

Investigative journalist Saleem Shehzad

Punjab Governor Salmaan Taseer

The following day, we heard news about the dastardly, cold-blooded murder of Prof. Saba Dashtiyari of Balochistan University, posted to my blog on June 2. As I asked in my earlier post, how come only critics of establishment get killed in mysterious circumstances if the ‘establishment’ is not involved?

Benazir Bhutto

Video of Prof. Dashtiyari speaking at Karachi Press Clubat a seminar last year on missing persons  – at the start a woman ‘journalist’ tries to interrupt him but he rightly insists on having his say and presents a strong argument about the situation in Balochistan, giving a historical and political perspective. (I wonder if anyone can identify who the woman journalist is? Just curious).

In March 2011, I posted a note about human rights activist Naeem Sabir, HRCP coordinator, gunned down in Khuzdar, Balochistan the day before Federal Minister for Minority Affairs Shahbaz Bhatti was killed (Murders most foul, March 2, 2011). Here’s a link to the post about the murder of Latifullah Khan of Dir: Communist Party member Latifullah Khan murdered

I had also shared this note from Kamran Shafi: “You and I and other friends can protest until we are blue in the face, it will make no difference as long as the Deep State goes on supporting these extremist obscurantists. It is time we picketed the Establishment itself if we are to save this country from its nosedive into the shadows of hate and intolerance. We need slogans like: ‘Murderers cannot be this country’s “STRATEGIC ASSETS”‘! WE ARE!’”

12 Responses

  1. We are facing, so to say, a barbarian at the western gate of India like the hordes in the past with various facades, but with a single intention to pillage the subcontinent. They often succeeded in the past and I am afraid, they may succeed again, as shown by their recent attack in Dir, unless peoples of the sub-continent face them unitedly, irrespective of their religious and political differences.

  2. Thanks for the initiative. Pakistan needs to do more on providing good education by good teachers. As the saying of G. K. Chesterson “Education is simply the soul of a society as it passes from one generate to another”. Through the education this kind of genocide will fade away as an educated person will not fell into the trap of misleading people.
    Paderborn’sj’
    sjpaderborn.wordpress.com

  3. @ TS Bokhari, The Pakistani Army has been training, arming and pushing these barbarians into India since 1989, the Mumbai killing is the latest one. These barbarians are roaming free in broad daylight in Pakistan under the cover of the Pakistani army, and there is not a whimper in Pakistan from any corner.

    You, the so called Pakistani liberals, never had any problems with India being a target of these barbarian Pakistani proxies for last two decades.

    Now that the table has been turned and Pakistan is being consumed in its own fire of hatred, you Pakistan liberals call for unity of sub-continent and united fight against these barbarians …….. ?

    India has stationed 700,000 soldiers at its borders with Pakistan, not for no reason.

    India will fight its own war, let Pakistan fight its own. If you Pakistanis are hoping for concessions from India in order to save Pakistan, go and take a hike.

    • We have been calling for peace with India for years together with our Indian friends, and condemning the policies you are talking about. We started being consumed in the fire from the 1980s, when the blowback from the Afghan war started happening. Those of us who spoke out against it were labelled anti-Islam, anti-Pakistan etc (just as those Indians who call for peace with Pakistan are labelled anti-national etc). Please remember that Pakistan has never had an ongoing electoral democratic process. The policies we have cried out against, were “decisions we never made nor could prevent others from making for us” as Sami Shah put it (‘The courageous many’. Please don’t let your hatred and bitterness blind you to that. The only way forward is together.

      • Pakistan is a country owned by its military that calls the shots on Foreign and Defense policies while the elected Parliament is a show of sham democracy.

        There is no future for such an entity.

      • Agreed, the military has always dominated Pakistan’s politics and called the shots especially with foreign and defence policies. That’s why it’s important for the democratic political process to continue. Eventually, this process will help correct the balance. There’s no magic wand and or quick fix solution to the problem. You may wish Pakistan didn’t exist, but it does, and so do it’s 180 million people. The world needs to support us in our struggle for democracy rather than propping up military dictators.

  4. You, the saner mind Pakistani liberals are a minuscule minority in Pakistan.

    At least two generations of Pakistanis have been systematically brainwashed into hatred toward India and the Hindus, through school text books, through daily doses in the mosques and madrasas, and constant bombarding through the media.

    You liberals are fighting a losing battle …… !

    • If you judge a nation’s overall character through voting patterns you’ll see that whenever elections have been held in Pakistan, people have voted for the mainstream political parties rather than the religious ones. The mainstream ones may not be ‘secular’ but they are at least trying to steer Pakistan on the right path.

      Yes there has been a lot of brainwashing – but that is something we are cognizant of and speak out against. And DESPITE that brainwashing, if you come to Pakistan and identify yourself as an Indian, you will be overwhelmed by the hospitality, love, and generosity of spirit you will be met with. This has been the experience of most Indians visiting, whether they were meeting strangers on the streets or shops, or old family friends of their grandparents.

      As for it being a ‘losing battle’ – it ain’t over and we are not giving up. We will keep fighting this fight and would welcome your support – but in the end, of course it’s up to you, the ‘liberal’ Indians, whether you want to move ahead while putting us down (which will backfire in the long run), or helping us up (win-win situation).

      • Neel123,

        I started following Beena’s blog during her conversation series with Dilip D’Souza and have been reading her off and on for about a year.

        From this admittedly limited reading, I can attest that the can-do attitude is very much part of her persona, even as the body count grows.

        There is no other go really. they cant throw in the towel. I dont think they underestimate the risks they face, if anything the murders week in and week out are grim reminders- our liberals dont have to work under these conditions.

        Where i possibly agree with you is that even liberal commentary in Pakistan likely does not or will not accept the extent to which radicalization may have crept into the Pakistani military.

        I think this falls somewhere between the estimates of Indian right-wing bloggers (who think practically the whole military is compromised) and Pakistani liberal bloggers (who seem to think there are just a few bad apples).

        beena,

        re. “want to move ahead while putting us down”

        Disappointing. It really does not and should not matter whether we want to put you down or up. You need to fight this and win this because its worth fighting and winning – intrinsically.

        we indians are quite legitimately concerned with moving ahead. ideally we want this movement to be insulated from whatever direction Pakistan takes. If you say we need to support you otherwise “it will backfire” that sounds rather like a threat.

        You guys really *do* own the situation there and asking for help in threatening terms is really not done. Aman Ki Asha goes better without backfire ki abhilasha.

        thanks
        jai

  5. @neel123

    You may agree or not, the fact is that the Pakistan army is today fighting for the sub-continent. If, God forbid, it falls and the barbarians get hold of nuclear power, how can then Indian army stand against them. I just shudder at the prospect.

    So, as you say, we may be fighting a losing battle but mind this is veritably a battle for the subcontinent as history shows we would stand and fall together.

  6. i as an activist engaged in anti religious extremism and for India Pakistan peace initiatives felt sorry for ignorance of many of you. Here we are struggling against a monster created by America, Britain, Saudi Arabia and ISI and Pakistan army. But our Indian friends are following just newspaper headlines and missing the real voices from here. Let me cite just two examples in this regard. A few years after partition GM Syed delivered a speech at the Vienna Peace Conference (1952) and warned against religious extremism in both countries. Then in 1989-90 PM Benazir Bhutto was labeled as Indian agent because she allegedly handed over lists of Pakistan military supported Sikh militants to Rajiv Gandhi PM India.
    I am not a Pakistani nationalist who claim everything is fine here but we have to be recognised as the wall between Islamist jihadis and India – and that too all alone. How my indian friends will justify the silence from Indian side on the proposals of Asif Zardari the President of Pakistan in his video speech with Hindustan Times a few days prior to Bombay carnage. When the anti-peace forces (with and without uniform) saw that there is no support in India for the sensible talk by Pakistan’s civilian leadership then they attacked India on 26/11.
    i am ready to take this debate further but without jingoistic state nationalism.

  7. @aslam khwaja : Well said, dear! But who listens to the voices of sanity. This is the real tragedy. I had a chance of some sittings with G.M. Syed when he was alone, being under arrest, in the heart hospital of Karachi during early days of Zia’s martial law. What a great man he was but he was under trial then as a traitor. What a pity we have none today like him.

    It is perhaps time for Indian government to show magnanimity so as to relieve pressure on Pakistan and help that country positively to fight the menace of extremism. Asif Ali Zardari, Sonia Gandhi and Manmohan Singh are perhaps our last hope to do that, when there is all darkness after them.

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