Posted on May 18, 2015 by beenasarwar
Citizens in Lahore at a #Rally4Sabeen. Photo: Farooq Tariq
I wrote this piece last week for EPW – Economic and Political Weekly, India; reproduced below with photos and additional links.
“Unsilencing Pakistan” was an idea first articulated in 2011. It has been revived following the recent murder of Sabeen Mahmud, who had attempted to create a space where Pakistanis could discuss contentious issues–like the human rights violations in Balochistan–without fear. Can Pakistan’s intellectuals and human rights activists survive the “intellecticide” being perpetrated?
By Beena Sarwar
When the prestigious Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) announced that it was organising a seminar titled “Un-Silencing Balochistan” on 9 April 2015, it reminded me of the “Unsilencing Pakistan” initiative of the summer of 2011. Continue reading
Filed under: Balochistan, Freedom of expression | Tagged: ahmadi, Balochistan, Communist Party of Pakistan, Farzana Majeed Baloch, Fisherfolk, genocide, Haji Ghani, Hope, HRCP, land mafia, Mama Qadeer, mangrove, Mir Mohammad Ali Talpur, Mubarak Ali, naeem sabir, Perween Rahman, Rashid Rehman Khan, saba dashtiyari, sabeen mahmud, Saleem Shehzad, salmaan taseer, shahbaz bhatti, shia genocide, sibte hasan, Taliban, water mafia | Leave a comment »
Posted on April 9, 2013 by beenasarwar
Parveen Rehman: A ‘selfie’ in Stockholm, 2008. Photo: courtesy Arif Pervaiz.
The cold-blooded murder of Perween Rehman on March 13 this year came as no great surprise — in the lawless concrete jungle that is Karachi, one always expects the worst. That doesn’t mitigate the shock and immense grief at the gunning down of the gentlest of human beings, someone who had devoted her life to helping the poor, empowering the under-privileged. Below, my article on Perween in Economic and Political Weekly, India, written on March 19, 2013. Also see the these beatuiful tributes by K. B. Abro (with audio), Zameen Kha Gayi Asmaan Kaise Kaise; Zubeida Mustafa, Rest in peace little sister; and Masuma Hasan, Perween Rahman: the legend lives on Continue reading
Filed under: Human rights | Tagged: Abro, Desmukh, EPW, k b abro, karachi, land mafia, Masuma Hasan, MQM, Parveen Rehman, Perween Rehman, Steve Inskeep, Taliban, Zubeida Mustafa | 2 Comments »
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. Continue reading
Filed under: Blasphemy Laws | Tagged: Badami Bagh, blasphemy law, Christians attacked, Joseph Colony, Lahore, land mafia, Pakistan | 3 Comments »
Posted on June 9, 2011 by beenasarwar
Investigative journalist Saleem Shehzad
Below is the original, unabridged version of the article published in The News, Jun 9, 2011, with the somewhat misleading heading Pakistan’s secular martyrs (not all those killed for defending the values discussed in the article were ‘secular’).
Pakistan’s ‘enlightenment’ martyrs
The murder of professor Saba Dashtiyari in Quetta last week, coming on the heels the killing of of investigative journalist Saleem Shehzad, is yet another sign of an ongoing ‘genocide’ of progressive Pakistani intellectuals and activists.
‘Waja’: Prof. Saba Dashtiary, Balochistan University
‘Genocide’ generally means the deliberate destruction of an ethnic group or tribe. In this context, it applies to the tribe of Pakistanis who have publicly proclaimed or implicitly practiced the enlightenment agenda of freedom of conscience. They may have very different, even opposing, political views but they are people who are engaged knowingly or unknowingly with spreading ‘enlightenment’ values. Continue reading
Filed under: Human rights | Tagged: baloch hal, enlightenment, fisherfolk killed, gutter bagheecha, journalists killed balochistan, karachi, land mafia, Malik Siraj Akbar, mangroves, martyrs, nazima talib, Pakistan, saba dashtiyari, salmaan taseer, secularism, shahbaz bhatti | 7 Comments »
Posted on February 23, 2011 by beenasarwar
Feb 21, 2011
The honorable Chief Justice of Pakistan
The honorable Chief Justice of Lahore high Court Lahore
The Chief Minister Punjab Mr. Shahbaz Sharif, Chief Minister House, Lahore
Subject: Police & Administration has violated the law just to facilitate Jagirdars
I would like to submits that I filed a case regarding 2000 Acres of Land situated at chak No. 95/p & 98/p district Rahim Yar Khan. The land was grabbed by the Choudhry Monis Elahi and his agents (in) Rahim Yar Khan. One of them is Ch. Imtiayaz ex-MNA of PML-Q. They used police of the district and DPO Rahim Yar Khan acted as their puppet. The land was owned by the Government of Punjab and after getting forged and fictitious documents the culprits got the land transferred on their names. Continue reading
Filed under: Human rights | Tagged: chief justice, land mafia, mozareen, Pakistan, rahim yar khan, rashid rehman advocate multan | 2 Comments »