Sunday, 28 October 2012

Ehsan Framosh

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Akram Gill seeks PML-Q ticket from NA-129

Akram Gill seeks PML-Q ticket from NA-129

LAHORE - Pakistan Muslim League senior central leader and Deputy Prime Minister Ch Parvez Elahi held a meeting with Minister of State for National Harmony Akram Masih Gill who called on him at his residence here today.
Akram Masih Gill demanded of Ch Parvez Elahi that he should be nominated to contest general election from NA-129 Younhanabad, Lahore, a constituency having significant population of the Christian community.
On this occasion, Ch Parvez Elahi said that PML had always worked for protecting the rights of the minorities and will continue to do so in future as well.  He, however, did not confirm ticket to Mr Gill, but assured him that his demand would be considered in the party.  
Pervaiz further said it was during his tenure that a ministry for minorities was established in Punjab for the first time in the history of Pakistan.
He said funds were also provided to the Christians community for their places of worship and their properties were returned.
Ch Parvez Elahi maintained that Pakistan Muslim League was the only political party which takes care of all minorities

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Imran Khan says Pakistan’s blasphemy law is necessary

Pakistan’s blasphemy law

Published: August 26, 2012

Imran Khan says Pakistan’s blasphemy law is necessary. He says it is a British law and thinks that in its absence, people would be lynched and there would be anarchy. The stern law, therefore, also helps those accused of blasphemy.
Is he right? Let us consider the law.
Only seven cases of blasphemy were registered in undivided India and Pakistan from 1927 to 1986, according to a group of Pakistani Christians. The National Commission for Justice and Peace says that in the last 25 years, 1,058 cases of blasphemy were registered. Of the accused, 456 were Ahmadis, 449 were Muslims, 132 were Christians and 21 were Hindus.
Non-Muslims, who are four per cent of Pakistan’s population, are 57 per cent of those charged with blasphemy. The other aspect is that, by far, the majority of cases are filed in Punjab.
India and Pakistan share their penal code, which was given to us by Macaulay in the 1860s. Pakistan’s primary law on blasphemy is the same as India’s law, which I wrote about yesterday.
Pakistan’s section 295-A reads: “Whoever, with deliberate and malicious intention of outraging the religious feelings of any class of the citizens of Pakistan, by words, either spoken or written, or by visible representations insults the religion or the religious beliefs of that class, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, or with fine, or with both.”
Both in India and Pakistan, this law is secular and applies to all faiths. The only significant difference in Pakistan’s law is the punishment, which in India is only three years. In 1982, President Ziaul Haq introduced an ordinance that added a section to this law. Section 295-B reads: “Whoever wilfully defiles, damages or desecrates a copy of the Holy Qur’an or of an extract therefrom or uses it in any derogatory manner or for any unlawful purpose shall be punishable with imprisonment for life.”
It is difficult to see what new element this added which was not covered by 295-A, except that it is specifically a law that protects Muslim sensibility, and the punishment is increased.
Under prime minister Muhammad Khan Junejo, another addition to the blasphemy law was legislated in 1986. Section 295-C reads: “Whoever by words, either spoken or written, or by visible representation or by any imputation, innuendo, or insinuation, directly or indirectly, defiles the sacred name of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) shall be punished with death, or imprisonment for life, and shall also be liable to fine.”
This also was already covered by the original secular law. And again, here the punishment was increased, this time delivering death.
Till this change came, the number of blasphemy cases, to remind the reader, was only seven in 60 years. Therefore, Imran Khan is wrong to say the anti-blasphemy law is helpful in keeping peace. The truth is the opposite: Pakistanis have registered so many cases since 1986 because the Islam-specific laws 295-B and 295-C are being deployed.
It is often said that property disputes or personal enmity are the reasons for many of these cases, because people can be charged on the basis of hearsay. If this were the case, the law would be misused in India also, which it is not. My view is that it is strong religious sentiment that is the reason why so many Pakistanis are accused of being blasphemers.
President Pervez Musharraf said he would look into softening the law, but couldn’t. Sherry Rehman tried to introduce a change to the law and failed. Why?
I would say that it is not possible for the state to bring change over an unwilling population.
Punjab’s Muslims have defied the state on religion before. Emperor Bahadur Shah I (Aurangzeb’s son) was unable to get the Lahore Jama Masjid to recite the khutba because the word ‘wasi’ was added by him to the name of the fourth caliph. The khutba proclaimed him as head of state and was therefore important as a sign of his sovereignty. The emperor had an angry showdown with four sullen clerics in his tent, demanding they comply. In Bahadur Shah’s view, the additional word was not against any specific Sunni practice. The clerics did not back down and, supported by the Afghans in Punjab, threatened civil war. A crowd of 100,000 civilians gathered to fight the state. In all the rest of India, the khutba continued to be read in the prescribed form except in Lahore. The emperor had to back down and finally the khutba was read on October 2, 1711, without the word ‘wasi’.
There is no chance that the state will be able to undo the two changes to Pakistan’s blasphemy law.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 27th, 2012.

Monday, 22 October 2012

90% Pakistani Christian favour Refugee Status from UN after rising violence. By Nazir S Bhatti

90% Pakistani Christian favour Refugee Status from UN after rising violence. By Nazir S Bhatti

I recieved an e-Mail from one of my friend on Facebok to whom I have never met nor knew in person. He wrote it in Roman-Urdu lanuage which I am copying as it is: "Dear Brother, Aj kal ki jo situation ha pakistan mein Christians ki wo sab achhi tarah jantay hein. I humbly requested you to please try to take step on this way> I know its not easy , But nothing is impossible: * You all Christian NGO's and Religious Leaders , Ap sab mil ke Christian countries ko request karein k wo ham sab ko pakistan se nikal le jaein. for e.g Italy, Denmark, Austrailia, New ZeaLand, Canada and so many other coutries can accommodate us. as you people are trying to get a separate province in punjab, I think instead of this moving from there is an easy and permanant solution. so please think on this. May Christ bless to all of Us"

If, I will translate this e-mail, it simply says that all Christian leaders and Civil Society shall raise issue of situation of Pakistani Christian on International Forums and urge Western Countries to give refuge to Christians that they may have peacful life.

I have posted this e-mail because it is one of hundrdres which I recieve every week from my Christian readers of Pakistan Christian Post who want to flee for freedom from slavery in Islamic Republic of Pakistan which are from activists of different groups but it is from a common Christian who can not even write in English but using social media to express his burden in life.

Pakistan Christian Congress PCC in a petition urged Mr. Ban Ki Moon, Secretary General of United Nation to award Refugee Status to Pakistani Christians after rising violence against Christians after UN Security Council Resolution to action in Afghanistan after 9/11 attack in USA, from terrorists based in Afghanistan.

PCC in its petition to UN for refugee status outlined that 20 million Pakistani Christians are facing constitutional genocide in Islamic Republic of Pakistan after implementation of Sharia law and other Islamic law which protect Islamic elements on enforced conversion of Christian women, killing of Christian on pretext to blasphemy law, attacks on worship places of Christians and to ransack Christian properties.

PCC also raised issue of Christian representation in democratic institutions which is blocked by government by imposing Joint Electorate in which Muslim political parties are empowered to Select Christians in Parliament instead of Election, to end voice of Christians in Assemblies of Pakistan.

Pakistan Christian Congress PCC viewed that Refugee Status for Christian is solution to issues of Pakistani Christian that they may migrate to democratic counties in Europe and North America after atrocities against them in Pakistan but a section of Pakistani Church based orgnizations opposed PCC petition in United Nation.

A Cathoic Priest who heads National Commission for Justice and Peace in Pakistan, issued a press release to International Christian media alleging Pakistan Christian Congress PCC and its Chief Dr. Nazir S Bhatti to conspiring against solidarity of Pakistan with filing petition in UN for Refugee Status for Pakistani Christians. The NCJP stated that Pakistani Christians not support PCC call for Separate Christian Province on division of Punjab nor petition of Refugee Status in UNO.

The Pakistani Adminstration have turned North Western Areas in a new province named Gilgit-Baltistan province and is heading to devide Punjab in Hazara province and Seraki provinces, then why not Separate Christian province?

When PCC demands Separate Christian province, it does not mean that a Separate homeland for Christians and division of Pakistan but a province where Muslims shall have right to stay as they are with their proerties and Christians to stay with their properties in other provinces of Pakistan.

The 20 million Pakistani Christians are living below poverty line comparing to Muslim dominated society facing hates on their religion after implementation of Islamic Sharia law in Pakistan and legislation turning them to be third class citizen in a land which was goverened by their ansecstors for centuries.

The Muslim agreesors migrated to Indian sub-continent from Middle East and Central Asia in 7th centurary while Christians belonged to this land as son of soil.

It is ironic that now Muslim immigrants are master in Pakistan and Christian sons of soil are living like slaves in their own land.

The Christian leaders in sub-continet of India favoured formation of Pakistan in Round Table Conferences in 1930-32 in London during British Raj and voted for Punjab to fall in lot of Pakistan with presentation before Boundary Commission but Muslims have scratched Christian role in Pakistan Movement.

There have been frequent incident of violnce against Christians in Pakistan where Muslim culprits are protected and never brought to justice.

Islamists in Pakistan can gunn down Christian in broad day light in court compunds, they abduct Christian women and convert them with force to Islam to marry them, they gang rape Christian women but not arrested, they torture and kill Christian house-maids who refuse to convert to Islam, they destroy hundreds of homes but never convicted, they burn alive Christians but Islamic courts set them free, they are free to spread hate against christians but no legislation to creat harmonious society and use of religion Islam to oppress millions of Christian citizens.

We affirm that some Churches in Pakistan have properties worth Billions of dollars in shape of Christian Missionary Schools, Colleges and Hospitals which are being run as bussiness concerns and benifiting Muslims only and establishment of Pakistan uses its clergy to speak against issues of common Christian on international forums but we assure them that demand of Separate Christian province or Refugee Status for Pakistani Christian will not harm their multi-million bussiness.

by Pakistan Christian Post

Friday, 19 October 2012

NLD drafts proposals to integrate minorities

NLD drafts proposals to integrate minorities

ISLAMABAD - Members of a the National Lobbying Delegation (NLD) have finalized suggestions for integration and streamlining of various ‘minority’ communities as voters, workers and candidates in the upcoming general elections and urged political parties to ensure proper representation of non-Muslim women in the parliament House o make joint electorate effective.
These suggestions are based on two formative researches titled ‘Non-Muslims in Pakistan’s Electoral System’ and ‘Views of Non-Muslim Community Leaders’, conducted by the Church World Service Pakistan/Afghanistan (CWS) in recent past. Some of the suggestions are aimed at clearing procedural hurdles in obtaining identity cards and the issue of misspelled names in voter lists. The other suggestions are related with social problems such as forcing non-Muslim voters to vote for a particular candidate or keeping non-Muslim voters away from polling stations by harassing, deceiving and humiliating them in polling queues.
In a meeting held here where NLD members unanimously agreed to call on all the political parties for putting an end to the party list system for nomination of candidates on seats reserved for ‘minorities’. The NLD resolved to get ‘minority’ candidates elected from the general seats and also demanded of all the political parties to award party tickets to ‘minority’ candidates from constituencies, which the respective parties are almost sure to win.
Members of the delegation (NLD) have also suggested that political parties should have non-Muslim office bearers and award them tickets for general seats. The ‘minority wings’ should be done away with. Political parties should take legislative measures to remove discriminatory laws and should come up with provisions to make joint electorate effective. At least three seats should be reserved for women of ‘minority’ communities for they are neither represented through seats reserved for women nor through those reserved for the ‘minorities’.
“Purpose of both the research studies was to establish the electoral significance of minorities and to solicit suggestions from various community leaders based on their electoral experiences,” Mohammad Zia-ul-Haq, Senior Programme Officer at CWS said, adding, that these leaders were also members of five different ‘minority’ communities; Christians, Hindus, Sikhs, Scheduled Caste and Bahai. “During this process we had interviewed more than 80 community leaders which would serve as the primary data for our research findings and suggestions”, Haq said adding that these studies had also offered an appreciation of benefits, solutions and suggestions along with reasons for various problems hampering participation of religious ‘minorities’ in the electoral processes.
He said that only political parties could lead to further strengthening this campaign and provide with a constitution to make the state responsible for the duties that accrue onto it.
“Of course, it is their (political parties) job to work for the evolution of constitutional norms, amend the constitution in order to provide securities, guarantees and safeguards to them as equal citizens, and to create an encouraging environment for their participation in the business of the state,” he said while giving a tentative timeline for meeting with the leaders of major political parties which include; Pakistan Peoples’ Party (PPP), Awami National Party (ANP), Pakistan Muslim League (PML-Nawaz), Mutthida Qaumi Movement (MQM), Pakistan Muslim League (Quaid), Jamiat-i- Ulema-i-Islam (Fazal) and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).
The members of NLD include George Clement, a seasoned former parliamentarian, Chairman Scheduled Caste Rights Movement Ramesh Jaipal, head of an NGO in Faisalabad, Christina Peter, PhD student at the Punjab University Kalyan Singh Kalyan, experienced development worker Romana Bashir, Head of Programs at Christian Study Centre, senior programme manager at Pakistan Centre for Philanthropy Dr. Jennifer Euler-Bennett, prominent social activist Naseer Gill, Jagdeesh R. Molani a lawyer based in Hyderabad, Hyderabad Coordinator for Human Rights Commission of Pakistan Dr. Ashothama Lohano, M. Parkash a lawyer absed in Hyderabad, Abid Chand a political worker/leader based in Multan, Tariq Javed Tariq a social worker and a lawyer based in Lahore and Atif who heads Harmony Foundation and is based in Faisalabad.
It is worth mentioning here that the NLD was formed to improve the participation of voters in electoral politics. The other purpose of NLD was to share problems with and put forward suggestions to all political parties over the course of next few weeks.

Parliamentary representation: New bill on the cards for increased minority seats

Parliamentary representation: New bill on the cards for increased minority seats

ISLAMABAD: The government has decided to introduce a new bill to increase the number of seats for minorities in parliament, in proportion to their population.
The move is expected to enhance representation for minorities in the National Assembly, Senate and provincial assemblies.
If the government succeeds in getting the proposed bill passed in the shape of the 23rd Constitutional Amendment with a two-thirds majority, minorities’ seats would increase from 33 to around 53 in the National and provincial assemblies. The same exercise would also be followed in Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan.
State Minister for National Harmony Akram Masih Gill said there was a strong likelihood that the bill would be passed in the National Assembly and Senate in the session starting from next week.
“We are hopeful about it. Members of minority community should keep their fingers crossed,” Gill told The Express Tribune.
Gill and Adviser to the Prime Minister on Minorities Affairs Dr Paul Bhatti have already given their input to the government for the proposed bill.
Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf has assigned Pakistan Peoples Party chief whip in the National Assembly, Syed Khurshid Shah, the task of convincing political parties to get the bill passed with a two-thirds majority in the upcoming sessions.
Non-Muslims represent 4.5 % of the country’s total population of 180 million, according to working papers of both minority leaders. Therefore, the total number of minorities’ seats will increase from 33 to around 53, out of which 16 seats will be added in the NA, 12 in the Punjab Assembly, 13 in the Sindh Assembly and six each in the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan assemblies.
Currently, there are 10 minority seats in the NA, nine in the Sindh Assembly, eight in the Punjab Assembly, and three each in K-P Assembly and Balochistan Assembly.
The federal cabinet had already passed this bill in July this year.
Although the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz sees the move as a positive step, it has some reservations given that the government did not consult them before endorsing the newly proposed bill in the federal cabinet.
“Yes, it’s a good move,” said PML-N Senator Syed Zafar Ali Shah. The PML-N is likely to not oppose the bill but its top leadership will prepare a note/output to make the process more democratic, he said.
Regarding legal complications, Shah said if this newly proposed bill is passed with a two-thirds majority, some rules would be observed as two Constitutional Amendments – the 21st Amendment (creation of new provinces) and 22nd Amendment (dual nationality) – are still pending with parliament.
Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid senior leader SM Zafar sees the move as a victory for minorities, who, according to him, are the “true face of Pakistan.”
Senior politicians recalled that parliament saw an increase in minorities’ seats during General Ziaul Haq’s regime, before which only two seats were fixed for minorities. Zia increased reserved seats for minorities from two to 10.
Minorities, for the first time, were given representation in the Senate this year.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 31st, 2012.

Phir bhee Hum Mujrim - Javed Chaudhry

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Pakistani Christian demand Separate Christian Province

PCC Struggle for Separate Christian Province

Separate Christian Province in Pakistan

On April, 21, 1992, at Hotel Jabees, Karachi , the President, Pakistan Christian Congress, Mr. Nazir S Bhatti, demanded the separate province for the Christians of Pakistan, dividing Punjab province in 3 provinces. The Christians are second biggest population in Punjab. The recent issue of Christian from JUI is very promising and in favor of solidarity of Pakistan. Its need of time to make more administrative units in Pakistan to satisfy different nations deprived of their rights by the Punjab majority in federation of Pakistan.

Pakistani Christian demand Separate Christian Province

Karachi: April 14, 2010. (PCP) Dr. Nazir S Bhatti, President of Pakistan Christian Congress PCC have urged government of Pakistan to accept demand of Hazara Province and divide NWFP in Khyber-Pukhtunkhawa and Hazara provinces before 18th Amendment is endorsed in constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan.
Pakistan Christian Congress PCC demanded formation of “Separate Christian Province” on division of Punjab in 1992, in Karachi, in a crowded Press Conference when PCC Chief Nazir S Bhatti said that after hate towards 15 million Pakistani Christians on religion grounds have left no option to demand Separate Christian Province in South West of Punjab province.
Dr. Nazir Bhatti said “We have always supported formation of Hazara Province, Siraiki province and Gilgit-Bultistan Province as part of federation of Pakistan”
The government of Pakistan have formed Gilgit-Bultistan Province but ignored demand of Separate Christian Province, Siraki Province and Hazara Provinces.
“I condemn discriminatory firing on Hazara Province activists by government of NWFP and pay homage to martyrs of Hazara province” added Nazir Bhatti
Nazir Bhatti said that it is in best interest of Pakistan to divide NWFP, Sindh and Punjab provinces in parts as smaller provinces to enable better administration.
The Christians are second biggest population in Punjab and are always victimized by Muslim majority and deserve right to have Separate Christian Province where they may enjoy freedom of faith and culture.
Nazir S Bhatti clarified here today in a statement issued by Central Secretariat of PCC that Pakistani Christian always demanded formation of Separate Christian Province within Federation of Pakistan and on Division of Punjab nor an independent state.
The PCC President warned government of Pakistan that renaming NWFP as Khyber-Pukhtunkhawa is foundation to break Pakistan and Pakistani Christians have reservations on 18th Amendment.
The repeal of blasphemy law and voting rights were ignored in 18th Amendment while renaming of NWFP was preferred by constitutional reform committee of National Assembly of Pakistan which was objected by Pakistan Christian Congress PCC
Dr. Nazir Bhatti demanded government of Pakistan to form Separate Christian Province in South West part of Punjab province and to award provincial autonomy to Khyber-Pukhtunkhawa, Hazara, Sindh, Balochistan, Siraki, Punjab and Christian Province.

Christian leader calls for a separate Christian province in Pakistan

May 20, 2010 by The Underground Staff
Filed under Causes, Commentary and News
A Christian leader in Pakistan called recently for the formation of a separate Christian province in the country, according to the Pakistan Christian Post.
Nazir S. Bhatti, head of the Pakistan Christian Congress said recently that Pakistan has become a safe haven for Islamic extremist organizations. As a result, they can wage Jihad against the Pakistan government at any time, the PCP reported.
Because of this, Bhatti recommended dividing the Punjab into four provinces, including a Christian province to preserve the country’s solidarity and integrity. Christians are the second largest population in Punjab, according to the PCP.
As of now, some 20 million Pakistani Christians are victims of discrimination and denied equal democratic rights in Pakistan, the PCP said. Nazir Bhatti noted:
■Christians are treated like slaves and untouchables.
■Christians may not dine in Muslim owned restaurants nor drink water in the same glass as Muslims in public places.
■One elected Christian member of the National Assembly of Pakistan was forced to pay for cups, glasses and plates when his delegation ate food from a roadside Muslim vendor.
■Muslim Imams call Christianity a religion of infidels.
■Muslims may force Christian wives to convert, but they may not eat with them.
■If a Christian is found to be eating a Muslim dinner, they will be beaten.
■Christians may not enter the catering business in Pakistan.
■Muslims must not eat food prepared by Christians.
According to Bhatti, the All India Christian Association favored the formation of Pakistan as a separate country upon the assurance that both faiths shall enjoy equal rights. With this assurance, Christians in the Pakistan Movement played a large role in gaining the country’s independence in 1947.
However after the legislation of the constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan in 1973 Christians became second class citizens in their own land, according to the PCP.
Bhatti noted that historically, Christians were sons of Pakistan soil, while Muslims were invaders who migrated from Iran, Turkey, Afghanistan and Central Asia.
Bhatti said the Muslims forcibly converted Sindhi, Balochi and indigent Punjabi to Islam, the PCP reported

Overwhelming votes to support PCC demand of Separate Christian Province is true voice of Pakistani Christians. Nazir Bhatti

London: August 31, 2008. PCC leaders shall soon tour Canada and EU countries to address seminars and open discussions to seek support for division of Pakistan in 12 federally administered units to be called provincesand formation of Separate Christian Province in southwestern parts of Punjab said Nazir S Bhatti in telephonic conversation to Central Executive Council leaders of PCC.
Nazir Bhatti said, “overwhelming votes in favor of PCC demand is true voice of Pakistani Christians and government shall accept this verdict unless Christian youth shall be forced to take their own course of action”
We have received messages; mails of support and invitation from many countries to address gatherings on issue of Separate Christian Province in Pakistan, which have been accepted, and tours are scheduled in 2009.
Nazir Bhatti clarified that suggestions made by many Pakistani Christian leaders abroad to form exile government of “Christland and Takistan” are not under consideration of Pakistan Christian Congress because we demand Separate Christian Province within federation of Pakistan not an independent Christian country on division of Pakistan.
Nazir S Bhatti urged Christians to unite and join peaceful movement for division of Punjab and formation of Separate Christian Province.
“We support struggles of Siraki and Hazra movement to divide Punjab in three provinces because division of Punjab is important for solidarity of Pakistan” added Nazir Bhatti
Nazir Bhatti paid homage to all who voted in PCP to support demand of Separate Christian Province and urged government to consider it as referendum.
Nazir S Bhatti said that division of Pakistan in autonomous unit is only solution to end terrorism and religious extremism in PakistanPakistan to satisfy different nations deprived of their rights by the Punjab majority in federation of Pakistan.