Devise a long-term strategy for dealing with terrorism: Forum for Secular Pakistan

Peshawar-blast-78-Church-killing-suicide_9-22-2013_119340_lRead Omar Ali’s blogpost Three Layers of Confusion.. and their consequences” for a sound analysis of the vicious suicide bombing in Pakistan on Sunday targetting a church in Peshawar, killing at least 81 people, many of them women and children. Among them were six members of one family, including five women and a child.  As Dr Ali points out, “it is not that no action has been taken against them. ..but there is a curious disconnect between these operations and the national narrative being promoted by the same military”.  BELOW: a statement by the Forum for Secular Pakistan urging the government to Devise a long-term strategy for dealing with terrorism

Continue reading

Planned attack on Christian properties in Lahore; protest demonstrations Sunday

Demonstration in Karachi against the attack on Christians' homes in Lahore. AP Photo/Fareed Khan

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. Continue reading

Jashne Faiz – CFD Resolution

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.

The real Pakistan: report on CFD’s inspiring signature campaign

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 Continue reading

Statement on assassination of Salmaan Taseer

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. Continue reading

Overcoming ‘blasphemy law’ hype

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.

Strategising to counter ‘blasphemy law’ hype

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: Continue reading

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 493 other followers

%d bloggers like this: