Owning Mashal Khan: Pakistan’s road to redemption

MashalLike many, I feel shattered and heartbroken by the brutal murder of the university student Mashal Khan. In this op-ed published in The News, April 19, 2017, I try to contextualise the tragedy, share my observations about changes underway and suggest a way forward. Copied below with additional links and visuals. Please also sign and share this online petition: Pakistan Against Extremism: Minimum Common Agenda. Continue reading

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Lahore attack: a political context

I wrote this for the Huffington Post after the attack on the Lahore park on Easter Sunday.

How Pakistan’s Religious Right Uses ‘Blasphemy’ to (try and) Usurp Political Power

Aamir Qureshi/Getty Images

The horrific suicide bombing at a park in Lahore on Sunday that killed over 70 people, mostly women and children, is one of many assaults by religious hardliners in Pakistan who are striving to remain politically relevant and in the media limelight.

Continue reading

Update: Salmaan Taseer case hearing

UPDATE from CFD, Feb 6, 2011: The state prosecutor appointed to prosecute Mumtaz Qadri has been provided adequate security by the government and has agreed to conduct the trial, which will not benefit from any reaction or controversy that our letters might cause. We look forward to the trial commencing, and justice being done.

Note: On Feb 14, the Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) is likely to formally charge-sheet Malik Mumtaz Qadri, who murdered Punjab governor Salmaan Taseer.

PERSONAL POLITICAL: Manufacturing a ‘hero’

Article published Jan 30, 2011 in The News on Sunday – and in Hardnews, India (‘Blood upon the altar‘)

PERSONAL POLITICAL
Manufacturing a ‘hero’
By Beena Sarwar

The assassination of Punjab Governor Salmaan Taseer has been termed a ‘watershed moment’ for Pakistan — not just because a sitting governor of the country’s wealthiest and most populous province was murdered in broad daylight by one of his own security guards. Perhaps the greater shock was how the murderer, Mumtaz Hussain Qadri, was allowed to commit this crime and how many hailed him as a hero for having killed someone perceived (falsely) as being guilty of ‘blasphemy’. Continue reading

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