Dawn News

Smokers’ Corner: About extremism

There is nothing vague about the concern that knee-jerk acts of religious intolerance, exhibitionism and self-righteousness have become a norm in Pakistani society.

Whereas the state is fighting an armed battle against the more militant expressions of this phenomenon, there is no such battle taking place against the social aspects of the issue.

It is important that such a battle is drawn-up because the Islamist guerrilla insurgencies raging in Pakistan are still managing to draw periodical bursts of moral and material sympathy from certain sections of the society despite the fact that their actions have caused the deaths of over 40,000 Pakistanis in the last decade or so.

Armed ideological insurgencies are not defeated by the bullet alone. Political legislation and social action too are required, especially if the insurgencies’ moral credibility is to be eroded and challenged.

The militants gain this moral credibility by glorifying acts of intolerance by non-militant members of the society as statements against the state’s failures. They then legitimise their own militant violence as being the revolutionary expression of society’s fight against state and governmental malfunction in the spheres of economics and justice.

It is true that out of frustration faced in the areas of economics and justice, sections of the society do begin to express their desperation by committing acts of discrimination and outright violence against their perceived tormenters.

But it is also correct that such a society then becomes extremely vulnerable to both cynical as well as fanatical forces that begin to colour the society’s reactions in this context with deep, brash strokes of extreme versions of ideology.

They do this because, though these forces are usually found on the fringes, they however become the main beneficiaries in the awkward outcome of whatever friction that is produced in a society that begins to justify acts of intolerance and xenophobia as an expression of its creed and faith.

Mainstream politicians in Pakistan have all suggested that the best way of lessening the growing menace of religious intolerance in the society and militancy in the mountains is to co-opt the more extreme and fringe groups into the mainstream political process.

These are the groups — that include Islamist militants, sectarian outfits, radical evangelical organisations, and even some televangelists — that are manipulating the society’s economic and judicial woes by explaining them as crises of the faith that need to be addressed by imposing an extreme and xenophobic version of the religion.

How to co-opt these groups into the mainstream democratic process?

How will this be done when these groups may have street power, media audience and the loudspeakers of the mosques but hardly any electoral clout or votes?

More so, how to manoeuvre in this regard in a society and polity plagued by a glaring dichotomy in which those elements of the society with anti-democratic and extreme views about faith have clout in the Urdu media, the mosque and on many a street, but none whatsoever when it comes to populist electoral politics?

If legislation is required to stop extreme elements from manipulating religious sensitivities and emotions just so they could undermine religious and sectarian plurality, and the parliament’s jurisprudence in such matters, then who is going to do that?

Secular and/or non-religious political parties in the parliament remain to be the logical choice. These parties can be from the left-liberal and centre-right traditions.Though the recent parliament has been successful in constructing an impressive democratic consensus that supports a large part of the military’s campaign against armed Islamist militancy, little thought has gone into also developing a similar consensus and legislation against those tendencies in the society that actually end up giving moral credence to armed religious militancy.

The social battle in this respect is being lost.

Non-religious parties such as the left-liberal PPP and the centre-right PML-N have no coherent programme to address this.

It is true that both these parties have been kept busy by fighting their own battles of existence against nosey military interventionists, a cynical, ratings-hungry (and at times bizarrely monologist) electronic media, and now (especially where the PPP is concerned), a rather whimsical exhibition of judicial activism.

But one can safely conclude that there has been very little understanding in these parties about the social aspects of Pakistan’s fight against extremism.

This aspect may (as yet) not be able to dent these parties’ electoral prowess, but their legislators can expect to continue remaining hostage to the impulses of extremist social tendencies.

These reactive social tendencies will go on clipping these parties’ wings when it comes to passing legislation that can guarantee religious freedom, tolerance and at least a semblance of secularism that is required to run a democracy in a country brimming with sectarian, religious and ethnic diversity and tensions.

Comparatively speaking, the social aspect of the issue seems to be more apparent in the thought process of parties like the MQM and the ANP.

The understanding of this aspect can also be found in Imran Khan’s PTI.

Though PTI may constantly fluctuate between being conservative and ‘liberal’ on any given day, I believe it is (at the moment) the only party that, if it comes to power, will be willing (and relatively freer) to push through legislation to address the social angle of the said issue.

Of course, whether this legislation would be done to offer another bone to the always-agitated religious groups (like Z A. Bhutto did when he passed the anti-Ahmadi laws), or end up check-mating those faith-based outfits that are supporting PTI is anybody’s guess; one thing is for sure. A PTI-led regime is most likely to fuse the political with the social.

Let’s see if it does this like Ziaul Haq or Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Khan’s anti-liberal posturing may as well hold a more secular agenda within.

Nadeem F. Paracha is a cultural critic and senior columnist for Dawn Newspaper and Dawn.com

He tweets @NadeemfParacha

The views expressed by this writer and commenters below do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Dawn Media Group.

Comments (118) Closed

Aug 05, 2012 02:53pm
agree hundred percent.
Aug 05, 2012 02:58pm
In the late 80s and 90s, Pakistanis were killing each other in the name of ethnicity in Karachi. Millions of people killed in the two world wars and proxy wars during the cold war were ni the name of nationalism, ethnicitiy or economic philosohpies (Communism vs. capitalism). Civilized Britishers put Boers, including women and children, in concetration camps in the Boer wars in South Africa a century ago. Point is... world without religion is not enough... you need world without ehtnicity, without nationalism, without pride in race, without aggressive economic policy agendas etc etc. in reality human beings have killed each other for one reason or the other throughout history... and religion is just one cause of it.
Aug 05, 2012 12:27pm
Excellent point Mr Athar. NFP seems to have toned down, almost in despair in this article. What we need is something to loosen the noose of our religion a bit around our necks. I suggest a public display of non islamic behavior. Lets not start by cursing, I was thinking of lesser things first. I remember my younger brother aged 17 was so pissed off at being made hungry all day in a hot summer broke his 'forced' fast 1 hr before afthari with a pinch of sugar, the only thing he could find that was not locked down (figuratively). Nonetheless a strong statement I still remember to this day.
Aug 05, 2012 12:27pm
hmmm the countries mentioned in the zero tolerance list seem to attract a lot of muslims as citizens. As citizens they vote, choose their leader, have freedom to convert others to Islam, gt jobs in the army/police, have muslims in their national sports teams, sometimes even becoming the captain, have muslim entertainers, have full freedom to open and run their house of worship, have their own religious educational system and also dress as per their own wish. Where exactly is the zero tolerance? We cannot here say that muslims in general and Pakistan in particular "are no exception". They ARE an exception.
Aug 05, 2012 11:18am
You have certainly made the day for PTI well wishers..., but do you really think anyone has the courage and or will to challenge the status quo, keeping in mind that intolerant fractions and promoters are produced by....
Rani Sharma
Aug 05, 2012 11:18am
One major problem with Pakistan is the lack of skills and capital that is needed to create well paying jobs. When people do not have jobs they get attracted to extremism. But there is ready solution avialble. And that solution is to complete Partition by resettling Muslims from India in Pakistan. Since Partition many Muslims in India have become very well educated, skilled and rich. They will fit in well in Pakistan and make Pakistan prosperous. When the Pakistan movement was at its zenith, that is before Independence, it was the Muslim population in what is now India that was most passionate about Pakistan. It is time that the two countries help Muslims in India migrate to Pakistan by revoking the Nehru-Liaqat pact which banned the unrestricted migration of Muslims to Pakistan.
Aug 05, 2012 02:50pm
Majority of Pakistanis just want two breads a day, a roof and some security and hope in life. Religious groups are strong because they have built grass roots institutions, including madrassahs, charities and social networks over past 30 years. How can an uneducated Pakistani not listen to the mullah when all his social life is linked to the mosque where the mullah sits, disputes are settled by religious 'buzurgs', his children get free education in madrassah and when the police bugs him, the religious groups' goons are there to protect him? If the state had provided basic facilities, people would not have gone over to the religious groups. Take Karachi for example: Just because MQM has a grass roots organization penetrating to the level of the smallest street, it has been able to keep the religious groups out. MQM's leaders have publicly stated support for all the causes that oppose religious parties, including protectino for ahmedis and cracking down no taliban... yet this has not dented its public support. Only way to save Pakistan from the shackles of extremist groups is to have similarly strong liberal parties or the state itself reclaiming the trust of the public by providing grassroots institutions of welfare.
Aug 06, 2012 10:36am
PEW polls suggest a large majority of pakistanis want sharia in pakistan. In a situation like this, who can expect a truly secular party to get much votes? PPP, MQM and ANP are less secular than ethnic based. I agree with NFP that PTI seems like the only federal party to push through reforms while filling the gap between the religious society and secular government. I truly believe Imran Khan to be a secular man (his whole life is an evidence, and a person CANNOT change). His conservatism seems just a political move to appeal to voters. Think Jinnah!
Aug 05, 2012 03:37pm
Islam and Modern extremism : Muslim Brotherhood or Muslim Fascism: Neo-Colonization is it ? Michael F Brown I There are international organizations involved in the creation and rise of religious extremism, fundamentalism, and Islamic fundamentalist organizations like Muslim Brotherhood, Jamaat i Islami, Zoinist extremist parties, Palestinian PLO etc. in what appears to be part of a recognizable historical process of intellectual and spiritual colonization spread over centruies of Islamic and Christian Imperialism. Here, I am discussing an important aspects of the Christian or Western Christian Imperialism. One of the main international organization, involved in the physical and spiritual (religious) colonization of the human intellect in the world is the "Society of Jesus" : This was created by the Vatican-Catholic Church to wage a war against the German Reformation where Martin Luther had rebelled against the religious and political hegemony of the Catholic Church and the Popes, and so had started the Protestant rebellion called the Reformation Movement: The Catholic Church reacted with Counter-Reformation movement, of which the Jesuits-members of the Society of Jesus were the main machine ; founded in 1543 as a secret military intelligence society using spiritual, scientific and intellectual means to counter the religious and political fallouts of the Reformation. They were fundamentalist and extremist Catholics, mostly comprising the university professors and retired military personnel, and their basic strategy was to infiltrate the Protestant Churches disguised a Protestants, and to abuse the modern social sciences like Psychology, Psychiatry, Sociology, History etc. as their war tactics at individual and the mass levels. They infiltrated the Protestant churches and communities as new converts to Protestant religion, they became devout Protestant priests under disguise, they created new sects in the Protestant Church; they controlled famous reformers like John Calvin who quarrelled with other reformers and created a reign of religious terror in Geneva in the 16trh century ; he burnt other heretics in accordance with the proclamations of the infamous Catholic Inquisition. John Calvin in turn influenced John Knox-the Scottish religious fascist reformer, and the Puritan spiritual totalitarianism and fascim in England culminating in the English Civil War of 16-17the Centuries. The Jesuits tried all means to destroy the Protestant German Empire in the 17th century which culminated in the European Religious War for the next 30 years devastating Germany and Europe, resulring in civil wars in all countries involved, mass-murders of millions and emigration of millions to US and other colonies. With their succes in creating religious and political chaos and civil wars leading to increased Catholic influence, they extended their area of action and soon became the vanguards of Christian colonizion in Asia, Africa and Americas, using Europeans as the human instruments-the soldiers, the priests, monks, nuns and bureaucrats of imperialism.The Jesuits alongwith the Dominicans, Fransciscan monks and other Christian priests and nuns were also instrumental in the Christian Inquisition of 17-18 centuries which resulted in the burning and drowning of hundreds of thousands of European women as witches, and of killing of thousands of European professors and intellectuals for heresies and blasphemies. The Jesuits continued these mass-murderous and genocidal policies in the colonies, the famous Enlightenment philosopher Voltaire wrote many letters of protests against religious burning/drowning of innocent women and intellectuals for witchcraft and blaphamey/heresy in India and other colonies. Soon after the colonial conquests, the imperial Christianity started building thousands of churches in the colonized countries, the Jesuits and priests spiritually organized the local crime in the area of each church for forcing people to submission to churches and for bullying them to submit to the dictates of Christianity. The locally organized crime was regionally and nationally organized into syndiates and attached to the Italian Mafia- a close ally oft he Vatican and the Catholic Church, and the invisible hegemonic force remniscent of the Roman imperialist colonizers and bullies. Hitler, like the Italian fascist Moussolini, was full of praise for the Jesuits, they were his advisors, his teachers, his ideologues, his ministers; indeed Hitler dully claimed that he organized his Nazi Party as an imitaion of the Society of Jesus. Hitler and his Nazis repressed Germans and liberal Europeans, and mass-murdered Jews, forcing the Prussian Protestanats and other liberals into converting to Catholicism-the basic religious ideology of the Jesuits and the Counter-Reformation….. >>> II humanist_2008 AT yahoo.com
hashaam ud din
Aug 05, 2012 11:43am
NFP's whole psychy is a bruised one of a typical "Qadiani", who were deprived of their social and financial status, they enjoyed in Pakistan, by Z A Bhutto through legislation against them as NON-MUSLIMS. FULL STOP. The rest of his Jargon of secular, liberal,democratic, aggressive/non-aggressive, violent/-non-violent and all is rubbish. All societies after cold war are " Extremist" in real sense. Americans UK,France,Israel, India have Zero tollerance for their 'Muslim Citizens', not to talk of outside Muslim world. The more the things changes the more they remain the same. And it is true for all humans. Muslims or Pakistanis are no exception. It is only the perception of some body's mind to see faults with Muslims or Pakistanis for known and sometimes unknown motives.
Rani Sharma
Aug 05, 2012 11:51am
Of course, I may add, those Muslims who reject sharia and are willing to accept and abide by an universal civil code are welcome to stay in India
Aug 05, 2012 09:07am
At last, NFP here is something on which I can disagree with you. Unfortunately, the demon of extremism and intolerance is so strong in the Pakistan of today that it is literally impossible to slay it (or even put it back in the hole). This demon, unfortunately again, seems to feed on the frenzy of an ignorant (aka illiterate and intolerant) albeit capitalist (aka populist) society. It gains strength from the so-called, free-for-all, sham democracy by sucking all its freedom for itself but denying it to others. Like the so-called public opinion on Lal Masjid operation and the drone attacks shows, there is no knight or viking in the land of the pure who has the courage to slay this demon!!
Aug 05, 2012 12:52pm
The problem with insurgency in Pakistan is similar to “you fighting yourself” no one can win that fight. In Pakistan’s case, one side of the Government is fighting another side of the Government, how can anyone win this until someone changes their mind and joins the other and hope it is for the good.
Aug 05, 2012 12:53pm
Would be an excellent place to live but afraid it is not going to happen in my lifetime!
Ghani Ali
Aug 05, 2012 12:57pm
Yup, it sure would.
Aug 05, 2012 12:57pm
You say political forces but there others other than the political forces in play. You must accept this reality before this can be done away with. Blindly supporting those in power who are involved with misplaced patriotism, fear or India is going to invade Pakistan and looking to political forces to solve this is not going to ever succeed. It has to unified effort by the politicians, government, the armed forces and most importantly, the people of Pakistan then, only Pakistan can win this internal war.
Aug 05, 2012 12:58pm
Brilliantly put, FatCheck. And maybe that's why the dichotomy that NFP is talking about.
Aug 05, 2012 01:44pm
As much as I hate the SC for continuously torturing the PPP and making it in ineffective, I feel that this government was fairly incompetent and never took any clear stand on anything. It somehow lacked conviction and vision. PTI will not usher in a more secular set up, if they do, they will be thrown out by the people in the next election. Unless the people of Pakistan want a secular society, it won't happen and I am afraid the majority of the people of Pakistan want a more radical Islamic society! The minorities in Pakistan have no hope!
Meekal Ahmed
Aug 05, 2012 11:23am
excellent, sir!
Aug 05, 2012 08:32am
NFP, i wondered at times if the JI chief Mr.Fareed A Paracha was your distant relative, but i can assume there is no relation after reading this article, as most bloggers and journalists other than our smart politicians simply avoid this topic, because of cultural sensitivity(most self made). PPP is in power now and nothing has changed since musharraf took off. so nothing can be expected from them. As for PTI i think Imran Khan's has been adamant to pull out of the war we have been drawn into, and if he doesnt so, we can expect some change, else extremism will be routine . The youth really needs to come out and vote, whomever they think is good for the country. I have seen numerous program and PTI representatives have decent counter-arguments on solution pertaining to a diverse set of issues plaguing Pakistan, but how will they manage to attract the rural vote is the million dollar question..
Aug 05, 2012 03:27pm
This man NFP, one can never ever pin him down. The moment one feels that they have him all figured out, he will make a stunning move. He now thinks it is PTI and Khan who can tackle social aspects of extremism in Pakistan. NFP is slippery. And I love him for it. Kudos, bro. Keep 'em guessing.
Aug 05, 2012 10:58am
Obviously, you don't read news papers or watch TV.
Aug 05, 2012 10:49am
This was one of the better, more thoughtful, pieces from Paracha.
Aug 05, 2012 10:43am
One underlying reason for the prevalence of extremism in Muslim countries and among Muslims in non-Muslim countries can be traced to Islam itself. The overriding and overreaching thread throughout in Islam is one-upmanship. That Islam is better than all faiths. The result is Muslims are unwilling to learn from others because they belive they have nothing they need learn from non-Muslims.
Aug 05, 2012 10:29am
There is no shortcut to nip the evil of terrorism. The only way is by rallying all the political forces to come forward, take the people in to confidence, without the fear of a backlash, condemn terrorism and religious extremism in all its forms and manifestations and relentlessly pursue the policy of educating the masses. No hush hush policy founded on hypocritical hairsplitting will bring any dividends. Before embarking on such a mission the political leadership will have to be oblivious of vote counts, which I believe, our political elite is not made of that grit.
Karachi Wala
Aug 05, 2012 10:12am
Unless Imran openly cuts all ties with any and all religious parties, and then ignite the youth and come into power, I see nothing changing in Pakistan. I just feel sorry for those who are pinning their hopes on the Khan.
Aug 05, 2012 02:46pm
There is more Muslimness in NFP than in bigots like you. Take a hike.
Rani Sharma
Aug 05, 2012 02:10pm
India and Pakistan have too many problems that affect both countries. It is fact that had Muslims in what is now India( MIWINI ) not worked passionately for the break up of India then Pakistan may never have come into existence. To illustrate , there was referendum held in NWFP before independence and Pathans voted to stay with India. Mountbatten negated the result, coerced Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan ( Frontier Gandhi) and his followers to boycott a second plebiscite that resulted in a slim vote for Pakistan. But before the second plebiscite students and faculty from Aligarh Muslim University, located in India, worked tirelessly urging the Pathans of NWFP to vote for Pakistan. Even today it would be safe to say that the majority of Muslims in what is now India( MIWINI ) have soft corner for Pakistan. Had Pakistan not been a failed state they would have kept on leaving for Pakistan. Look at Kashmir where Muslims favour Pakistan over India. I will not be surprised if Muslims in what is now India( MIWINI ) demand another pakistan when their percentage of the population in India reaches 25%. That seems to be the kick-start level when Muslims begin their violent ovement to break up the non-Muslim land they are living. The percentage of Muslims in pre-Partition India was approximately 25%.
Riaz Khan
Aug 05, 2012 01:37pm
IK would be a disaster like Tsunami! Although not a AAZ fan but best among the worst lot.
Cyrus Howell
Aug 05, 2012 01:26pm
Religious extremists are angry and frustrated because they cannot have what they want. They remain angry and frustrated because what they want is impossible. ANGER - FRUSTRATION - VIOLENCE - RELEASE ------ ANGER - FRUSTRATION - VIOLENCE - RELIEF a never ending cycle until goals become realistic goals.
Aug 05, 2012 01:22pm
Dream on!
Aug 05, 2012 01:22pm
Forget it!!! West Germany survived after the alliance with East. Please dont expect same of India. We are a poor nation too and dont have resources to cater to so many. We have our own problems and Though you may easliy say " Historical Mistake" I think it is the best thing that every happened to the Hindus. Imagine all this mess in undivided India. I shudder at the possibility. Let Pakistan exist as it is. Why do we have to bother with Pakistan , lets just focus on India.I wont touch it with a long pole.
Aug 05, 2012 01:07pm
The article is not about India. Your comment would look better in the "Organizer". Pakistan's problems are aggravated by feudalism and lack of land reform -as many have pointed out. Imran hope fully will play by MCC rules.
Aug 05, 2012 02:37pm
"forces of liberal Islam"??? what a joke! what is anything Islamic other than his name you see in him? Don't jump to your guns that I am calling him something else. All I am asking is "what is Islamic"???
Aug 06, 2012 09:43am
I don't think that has always been the case in Muslim history, the sense of being superior to others has been inculcated in our mindsets in not so distant past. One reason for that is societies which are subjugated to foreigners want to glorify their past, to take pride in it. The responsibility then falls on the shoulders of knowledgeable people to make fellow people aware about weakness, and show what can be learned from foreign culture.
Aug 05, 2012 02:41am
Shock Horror! A semi-pro PTI article from NFP! Just kidding , always enjoy reading your articles :)
Aug 05, 2012 03:12am
Khan letting JI join tells a lot. It may be for political reasons, but after affects of this marriage are going to be very dangerous. When JI joins they always have one step forward, which they never take back. The country has become virtually a theocracy because of it. The mindset of the public is almost set. Khan should think again what he is doing to build his Taliban type welfare state rather than Norway type welfare state!
Haji Ashfaq
Aug 06, 2012 09:22am
In big cities too the people have "lords" - of a different type. If you are from Karachi !.
Aug 05, 2012 03:32am
Why is it that the "Islamist militants, sectarian outfits, radical evangelical organisations, and even some televangelists" are constantly accused of having "an extreme and xenophobic version of the religion"? I say that they are the true followers and they have the correct version. They have studied the religion in greater detail and know better. Everyone else having a contrarily view of the religion is actually an heretic and a blasphemer. These guys are influenced by despicable western influences and are trying to defile the pure religion.
Aug 05, 2012 04:21am
NFP, change of stance.....PTI good....PPP may be worried now.
Aug 05, 2012 04:35am
Not sure if Khan has done one thing to show his secular credentials - nothing to indicate he cares for the miniroties - not even crocodile tears shed for forced conversions, killing of shias and christians, and he never even acknowledges the presence of Ahmedias. No use hoping for miracles.
Aug 05, 2012 05:52am
Mr. Paracha needs to look at realities on the ground. He systems to be lost in his own world. A world without religion.
Aug 05, 2012 06:06am
>> Non-religious parties such as the left-liberal PPP Is it the same PPP whose party flag is one third green to indicate its affiliation with Islam? Is it the same PPP which hobnobbed with the generals when they started the blood letting in East Pakistan, and instead of standing against this policy became their hand maiden? Is it the same PPP whose leader at the start of the military action thanked God for having saved Pakistan and later became the deputy prime minister of the military regime and defended it in the UN? Is it the same PPP whose drafted constitution declared Islam to be the state religion? Is it the same PPP which declared a group of Pakistani's as non-Muslims? Is it the same PPP which started supporting the Afghan mujahideen in 1974 and continued to do so till its government ended in 1977? Is it the same PPP whose top left leaning leaders were forced to leave the party so that it could align it self with the feudal and wadera classes in order to win the elections in 1977? Is it the same PPP to which Mubashir Hasan and Meraj Muhammad Khan once belonged? Is it the same PPP whose leadership to date has come primarily from the feudals and waderas? Is it the same PPP whose primary support is in the wadera dominated parts of Punjab and Sindh? Is it the same PPP which ordered a bloody military action against the left of center NAP government in Balochistan during their rule 1971 - 1977? Is it the same PPP during whose rule in the nineties Taliban were created and supported to take over Afghanistan? Is it the same PPP whose leader BB was referred to as the "mother of the Taliban"? Is it the same PPP during whose rule in the nineties the IPP scandals began - as an exercise in free enterprise - and from the consequences of these corruption scandal we have still not recovered? Is it the same PPP whose leader would not attend the funeral of Salman Taseer? Is it the same PPP whose leaders in Sindh and Balochistan and till recently at the center were a wadera, a sardar and a makhdom? Is it the same PPP one of whose ministers defended the live burial of five women as being a part of their tribal tradition and the minister to date is a minister with even a higher status? Is it the same PPP which is standing solidly behind the policies of persecution, killings and in-humanity? Is it the same PPP which is incharge of the government while whole scale slaughter of innocent people continues in Karachi? By what stretch of logic is this PPP a " Non-religious" and "left-liberal" party?
Aug 05, 2012 06:22am
Much as we have tried to convince ourselves and the world at large, that violent extremism is an anomaly in an otherwise moderate majority ... the unfortunate fact is that it is only a symptom, the pointy tip of the iceberg, of an intolerant and extremist mindset that runs very deep in our society. If the war against violent extremists is to be won, then the ideological extremists must be defeated first. Those armchair ideological extremists (in designer embroidered kurtas) who actually believe and shamelessly promote the idea that it is not only permissible, but actually the height of piety to kill a human being on the basis of his or her belief or words. And furthermore have the audacity to invoke God’s name in preaching such barbarism. Perhaps in this holy month we muslims may collectively ponder over the fact that not only is blasphemy never mentioned as being punishable in the Quran; but that the concept of punishing blasphemy is completely contrary to the core principles of the “Religion of Peace”.
Ashiq Hussain
Aug 05, 2012 06:25am
Pakistan society is going down in the recesses of religious intolerance. Pakistan that had already won the rights like votes, free media and rights that the Arabs are demanding ...but people still think Pakistan as failed state as compared to Egypt, Saudi Arabia etc.
Aug 05, 2012 11:25pm
It has always been intolerant - Think of tghe 24million Hindus and the killing of them . BTW in 1952 well after Independence - you got rid of all your Hindus
Shabir Hassan
Aug 05, 2012 06:45am
Balanced piece. Glad that NFP has finally shown an interest to give PTI a chance. But I can also relate to his skepticism. Indeed it is yet to be seen how IK manages to balance his more secular ideals with the ones he's promised his more religious followers.
Aug 05, 2012 07:32am
Well, now this is a first!! An explicit acknowledgement of the relevance of Imran Khan's politics and (very) surprisingly an implicit acceptance that the PPP weren't spot on right from the start. Way to go NFP, is this the start of a genuinely neutral, liberal style of reporting, or is it a veiled attempt at maligning Mr Khan...considering how even implying secularism is akin to a death sentence in Pakistani politics. As an Indian, I sincerely hope Mr Khan would be able to win the elections and would be able to substantially curb the civil turmoil of the past 10 years. Because if not him, no one else seems have the political will to effect such a change. And if these religious and sectarian divides are not addressed soon...it would only be a matter of time before it spilled over across the border. And that for me is a very unpleasant thought.
Sohaib YAHIA
Aug 05, 2012 06:47am
No matter how strong I feel and advocate for Imran Khan and his PTI, deep inside, I am convinced that their rule, if and whenever it comes, would be of maintaining status quo with no visible actions to show otherwise.
Aug 06, 2012 10:49am
Bold one there, Socrates! Another if I may add is the fact that the idea of "social pressure" runs deep in the religion. There is a inherent process to make people do things because of social pressure, be it Namaaz, Roza or anything else. This is bound to give more power to the more religiously exhibitionist people in the society. That is why the so called extremist "fringe" groups have power well beyond their numbers or social standing. The solution is of course simple. Make religion a matter between the individual and his god with no one else permitted to intervene. As a standard for this, the state will also need to be run in the same manner. But shock! horror!! this would be Secularism! and as all our moulvis are so kind as to educate us that Secularism is only half a step from Atheism...Not in the great Islamic standard bearing Republic of Pakistan. At least not until we have tired of beating up each other for the affront of how we may or may not fold our hands.
Capt C M Khan
Aug 05, 2012 07:12am
NPF your point on Legislation to stop this EXTREMIST RUNAWAY TRAIN is excellent. I can guarantee you one thing PTI will never come in power the same way JI will never came in power. Democracy only exists in big cities where the people can go by themselves to vote. In other small cities the vote only goes to the one who their FEUDAL lord permits so sad. PPP and PML N have their own AGENDAS and will never co-operate to stop this beast of extremism.
Aug 05, 2012 07:43am
the last paragraph nails it, in the given political spectrum PTI's even fickle stance could be the least worst option.
Aug 05, 2012 08:45am
Pakistan can only survive ( though for how long is debatable) as a puppet of the US/zionist /saudi project for the region.Pakistan is an historical mistake with no valid basis to exist. Its survival requires to link up with its bigger, better and stronger part India in a phased and pragmatic manner.
Aug 05, 2012 08:50am
Actually Fareed Paracha of Jamat is a very close relative of NFP. The Paracha clan that hails from the North of Punjab are well known traders and agriculturalists but most of them are very conservative as well. NFP is an exception. Like his father he rebelled against his clan's conservatism. So much so that he today is one of the leading voices of liberal Islam and secularism in Pakistani journalism. That's why I am delighted that NFP has shown guts not only to denounce violence and exploitation taking place in the name of Islam but also dissapoint his liberal compatriots by actually parsing IK in this article. Of course he sounds a bit cautious in doing this, but kudos to him for also looking at Imran's other side as well.
Haji Ashfaq
Aug 05, 2012 08:57am
There is no democracy in big cities either. There is culture of Gun, Mafias, harrasment and intolerecnce. Influx of people from rural part of the country have polluted the culture most. Not blaming the influx because they have their miseries back home. Legislating part of society as 'non-muslim' was another shape of exteremist thinking. The article itself is, however, balanced this time. Paracha is a huble-buble.
Aug 05, 2012 03:38pm
II Jesuits favourite tactic of infiltration has been to superficially convert to Islam, or claim to be Hindus, Sikhs, Jews etc, very cunningly, they made themselves famous as pious, devout Muslims/followers of other religions they claimed to belong to and get appointed as Muslim mullahs in Muslim areas, Hindu priests in Hindu areas, Sikh priests in Sikh areas and so on. Then, under disguise as priets and mullah, they started controlling these societies religiously and spiritually as in Europe so in the colonies, as they do even today. They built Christian missionary schools and universities to train the local elites and masses into Christianity, and the Christian versions of Hinduism, Islam, Sikhism etc. When the Christian Churches had achieved enough social, religious and secretive criminal and political control of colonies, they started nationalist movements of de-colonization through their graduates and students demanding Europeans, British, French etc. to leave the colonies on the name of freedom and independance. The European instrunents of colonization had been shifted to new areas like Australia, canada etc, the Christian churches stayed in the colonies as the solid symbols of permanent Christian colonization : Catholic, Protestant, Methodist, Baptist etc. Christian priets, nuns, Jesuits, Dominicans, Fransciscan monks, priests etc. remained openly on the name of religious reasons, in reality as the agents of neo-colonization, neo-imperialism and virtual neo-slavry, under disguise. Their strategy ramains as always : Deception, cheating, propaganda using extreme religious and moral language covering their practice of extreme evil, mischevious and destructive activities. The Most dangerpous of the Christian activists, the Jesuits secretly & invisibly control the world ; today the work overtly in 115 countries and covertly in all countries of the world, through infiltration into the state apparatus, the state secret services like American FBI, CIA, Russian KGB. FSB, German STAST, DGSC, BND, British MI5, MI6, Pakistani, Indian RAA, Israeli Mossad, Iranian SAVAK, SAVAMA, VEVAK etc, overt & covet national police organizations, bureaucracy, military, police etc. as well as in UNO, Amnesty international, and other Humanist and Human right organizations serving the interests of the Vatican and Christian, while drawing their salaries fron the state and other organizations. They live in different countries but they remain loyal only to Vatican’s religious-political empire, continuing their covert activities under the loud slogans of religious freedom and liberty, posing the serious question of the national loyalties of different religious people whose « Holy » lands are locared outside the lands of their birth, nationality and residence. They sned their children to the religious madrassas/schools of their countries, tarining and creating the next generation of Vaican’s religious-political insttruments : The zealots, extremists and fundamentalists ; the Jesuits usually work as teachers in schools, colleges and universities, as media workers, as intellectuals and advisors/secretaries to politicians, presidents, ministers etc. misguiding the nation. In Christian countries, the Jesuits usually work as Confessors of Presidents, Prime Minister, Kings, Queens, Princes and Princesses-spying on them and manipulating them in the intersts of Vatican and the Catholic Church, in Islamic countries they work as religious scholars and advisor, spying for Saudis who regularly pay them. They are known for their abuse of poisons, adultration of food, spreading diseases and epidemics, thefts, provocathion and abetting of murders and other , and destructive activites against the political and religious opponents. They have very high rates of homosexuality and sodomies as well as pedophilia/child sex abuses. Their tactic is to create religious, scctarian, ethnic, regional civil conflicts and chaos through gang wars of gangs and counter-gangs of their organized crime ; and for this purpose, sitting in their bureaus in the Christian churches and mosques, they create and support extremist and fundamentalist religious, ethnic, linguistic and regional movements like Muslim Brotherhood, Jamaat i Islami and other extremist religious political parties in all religions, societies and nations ; organizations which are less concerned with the welfare of the people and more concerned to impose the extremist religious totalitarianis, whether of Islamic, Christian or Jewish labels. EAD FURTHER DISCUSSION in th following articles : Why I support the highest form of Democracy : National Constitutional Monarchy in Pakistan http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Interesting_article...
Aug 05, 2012 03:45pm
You GOT to be kidding me. This is satire, right? Please say yes.
T Khan
Aug 05, 2012 04:09pm
So should we maintain the status quo? OR try to make all wrongs with at least one right? What is the point of your rambling?
Aug 05, 2012 04:17pm
Sure..... Read the next one!
Aug 05, 2012 04:26pm
Oh, I must have missed this Ms Sharma, when were you appointed to speak for India on export of Muslims? And when did you declare India a Hindu nation? The Muslims you so want to export are as much citizens as you. They could have a stronger claim than you since they or their ancestors made the choice to be here, your ancestors had no choice and your citizenship is a result of inertia not choice. See what's happening next door before you spew your nazi opinions. You and the other 33 supporters have been going on about this for 60 years, know when it's time to give up.
Aug 05, 2012 04:32pm
RANI SHARMA, has your first name given you some delusion of being the Queen Empress? Nagpur has a lot of good shrinks, get some help
T Khan
Aug 05, 2012 04:43pm
I must say NFP has been writing fair Satires and Articles lately. From my standards the fair means telling the things the way they are. Thank you NFP. On the subject of bringing social improvements in Pakistan; one can only go by the track record. Case in point, Shaukat Khanum Hospital. Have Bhutto, Zardari or Hussain built a college, university or hospitals? I have heard of stories of MQM having solo rights on some existing hospitals; but certainly not building one? Zardari's and Bhutto's children are famous for going to schools abroad and not for patronizing local institutions. So did Imran studied abroad; but again with comparatively little personal resources he was able to build a solid institution which will benefit Pakistanis for decades to come. To be fair to MQM with the help from Musharraf's Government they did a wonderful job in improving Karachi's infrastructure with much of its citizen's delight & high morale. Although it was on micro level, however, a step in the right direction. PPP is definitely credited with few laws on papers that supposedly can improve life of some, however, with virtually no examples of enforcing them.
Aug 05, 2012 05:02pm
I can expect this from Karachites. Being a Karachite I have seen all sort of irrational divisions in the name of race, clan and province people belong to. Based on these we've seen Karachi aligned itself mainly as opposition. We couldn't support Bhutto when the time was right and could have made big difference. We did support Pervaiz a dictator because he was Muhajir!. Come on Karachi live life now! Instead of living in our fools paradise saying "btw Imran used to not like Karachi during his cricketting years" Which is our perception and even if this is right do we not see that he has changed over the years. Do we not see him doing projects in Karachi and other cities in Sindh. It is mind boggling to me to see how we align our loyalties. Are we not the ones who supported the election of Zardari as president over Justice Wajihuddin? Come on!!!
Aug 05, 2012 05:16pm
India is a secular democracy, warts and all and its diversity is its great strength. You need to break out of the communal mindset. That is what led to the monstrosity called pakistan. Pakistan cannot re-connect overnight .It will have to be a sustained and pragmatic reconnect over time. In that process pakistan will have to lose its desert tyranny imported from the retarded beduoins of saudi. It will bring prosperity to the region and all its peoples and get rid of imperialism and its puppets in the region.
Aug 05, 2012 05:17pm
Bugger, can you please list something instead of just a big hypocratical claim. May be you belong to the same clan to come protect him.
Rani Sharma
Aug 05, 2012 05:30pm
"Pakistan's problems are aggravated by feudalism and lack of land reform" True. That is why I recommend that Muslis in what is now India move to Pakistan and put an end to their misery by , among other actions, fighting feudalism and lack of land reform.
Aug 05, 2012 05:31pm
The missing social change and challenge to these intolerant, religious zealots is the main cause of continuing destruction of Pakistan. The cowardice the Pakistani political parties have shown in the face of attrocities committed in the name of Islam by these religious extremists is mind boggling. It seems they simply don't care or are t oo scared. Either way unless the secular or, at least, religiously tolerant parties fight this scurge; Pakistan is sliding in to anarchy. The process has started a long time ago and no one can surely say if there is enough time to save the soul of the nation. I just hope there are some good leaders who would come forward for the love of their country and stop this mayhem.
Aug 05, 2012 06:04pm
Excellent point.
Aug 05, 2012 06:14pm
I agree, you are right, it will happen to you after your lifetime.
Pak Man
Aug 05, 2012 06:36pm
Dear owais, if there is a male equivalent of PMS, it seems you're suffering from it. I recommend an aspirin.
Aug 05, 2012 06:38pm
To Owais: There you go again! If your kind do not agree with someone, instead of presenting an intelligent counter argument, you start name calling and hurl accusations. Grow up! it is exactly your kind of people who are holding Pakistan back with their knee jerk reactions and demonize anyone who you do not agree with. Present your point of view without resorting to name calling so that people can discern for themselves what is good for the country.
Aug 05, 2012 06:42pm
"Of course, whether this legislation would be done to offer another bone to the always-agitated religious groups (like Z A. Bhutto did when he passed the anti-Ahmadi laws)" Come on NFP! If that was a bone, i dont know what would have been a feast on offer? May be throwing all Shias, Hindus and christines out in Arabian Sea bodily???
Rani Sharma
Aug 05, 2012 07:34pm
I never said India is a Hindu nation. India is a secular non-Muslim nation. Muslims fought for and succeeded in breaking up India. Muslims got their promised land. But then they got cold feet. It is still not too late for Muslims to go the land that they fought so hard for, the land that is called Pakistan. Jo vaadaa kiya thaa, nibhaanaa padega.
Aug 05, 2012 08:00pm
Good job Nizar."Maindki ko bhi zokam ho gaya" So even you didn't have a single Islamic trait to list for NFP. Come on live life. Just to protect your thoughts you didn't see Sikanar using abusive languaget first you started throwing dirt on someone who you didn't agree with. I appreciate your standards of justice and your protection for your point of view and your buddy in thoughts. Hypocritical attitude doesn't help any society let alone Pakistan. So grow up and be straight forward when it comes to talking the truth even if it goes against your ownself but this is a Islamic trait and you are NFPs buddy so... Anyways as you said my "intelligent counter argument" is unfortunately my original argument and I'll keep looking for "what is Islamic" in NFP.
Aug 05, 2012 08:02pm
For the sake of sawab I hope some body throws them in the sea.
Aug 05, 2012 08:04pm
Please don't see the mirror when you blog. Keep your deseasesand your pills to you. Talk about others while knowing them and not by your whims and desires.
Keti Zilgish
Aug 06, 2012 01:51pm
There is a lot more in Islam to criticise and from which the world would benefit. Fanatical muslims are more aware subconsciously of the mistakes that have been committed and hence their increased sense of urgency to camouflage them. The present cannot be ameliorated without a justifiably critical yet judicious appraisal of the past. It is indeed very risky to be in a situation wherein one has to clearly appear to be cruel.
Aug 05, 2012 08:45pm
Kyaa vaada? Are you smoking the good produce of Afghanistan? India is a secular nation, period. There is no non sense in the indian constitution about non Muslim etc. There was no division of the family jewels in 1947. Some people wanted a country for Muslims tans they got it. Now they can't decide who is a Muslim entitled to that piece of land. We decided to build a nation and built it with our own jugaad. When I say we, I mean people of all religions from Muslims all the way to Jews, all races from the fair to dark and straight eyed to slanted eyes. We printed currency notes with 16 languages on them and built a nation, not perfect but a nation regardless. My Earnest prayer to people like you is to not learn from the Taliban but from your own history of nation building over the last sixty years. Like an eminent Pakistani says, history destroys those who try distorting it.
Aug 05, 2012 08:51pm
Dear AK, Regarding your brother, no one should be forced to fast in the first place, and if they choose to break a fast for whatever reason then thats between them and God. Islam teaches that there shouldn't be any compulsion in religion [2:256]. It also asks us to question authority where it displays ignorance [2:170] and stresses personal responsibility for what we believe in [2:141]. All lessons which the ideological extremists choose to ignore. Unfortunately inspite of verses such as [3:20] and [3:64] there are so called scholars who advocate that such-and-such is "wajib-ul-qatl". And I stress this blasphemy point because it is the cornerstone of fundamentalism i.e. we can't engage in a logical debate with you so you must die! And if, for the sake of argument, the consequence of a lack of punitive damages for blasphemy is that a person does in fact become an apostate [3:144] would tell you that God is not concerned... so why are we? Ultimately, more than displays of non-islamic behavior, we need to educate ourselves about Islam and expose the intellectual bankruptcy of our armchair ideologues by highlighting their non-islamic behavior.
Aug 05, 2012 09:01pm
At the end of the day, Pakistan needs its own 'Arab-styled Spring'.. All the politicians and generals as well as the religious nutjobs should be shot & hung upside down on the main boulevard in Islamabad.. begin fresh! Erase these scum from Pakistan's soil..
Indian guy
Aug 05, 2012 09:33pm
The only way Pakistan would be allowed to join India would be if all Indians agree to follow a uniform civil code. This means abolition of Muslim personal law. Do you realistically think that would happen? Let's be realistic here.
ahmad butt
Aug 06, 2012 04:38am
@NFP, I am so pleased to read your current article, it seems that you did pay heed to my previous posts in the " Figuring Qasim: How Pakistan was won" blog where i had asked for your opinion on Imran Khan being a leader and you have showcased a very critical issue "extremism" plaguing us on the aftermath/fallout of what Pakistan has become, based on our past. And we can be sure that you are a neutral as well, people saw patterns of similarity of you voicing in favor of PPP and being against army and status quo. I am sure that the JI alliance will be short-lived, after all PTI is learning the ropes on how to come to power in the real electoral mindset, the general elections wont be held on Facebook or other social forums. The chunk of votes are still rural and this is the bigger PTI challenge in my opinion. And i am also believe all other parties wont even touch this subject as it would open a pandora's box and have the religious force battle it out with the political and a third party would benefit from the stalemate.
Aug 05, 2012 11:14pm
M r Khan - my understanding from Siddique is that almost all your violence is due to Intolerance. This always starts with Intolerance of the most hated - the Hindus. Once they are killed off and gone - The ahmedias and the Shias are the next. The Christians are left alone partly because Christianity is so powerful and partly because there are not many of them. Eventually your intolerance extends to the Baluschs who dare to be different. I do feel sorry for you - because unlike any real democratic country - this comment will be censored out.
Aug 05, 2012 11:17pm
Last thought Whatever you censor out of this comments column - will always appear in the Economist and the Times of India - plus all the American blogs. All magazines and newsp[apers Censor afterwards - But only if it is offensive to other people - The c ensorship never happens BEFORE the comment is published.
Aug 06, 2012 12:04am
All we see on tv or in newspapers is that Mr khan giving dharna against drone attacks but we dont see him protesting against the killing of innocent people in bomb blasts rather we see him looking for lame excuses to justify his brethren(Taliban) barbaric acts by suggesting that we should do away with the war on terror.
Cyrus Howell
Aug 06, 2012 12:33am
In the towns if the vote only goes to the candidate the feudal lord permits there is no democracy. A democratic people have no "lords". Only serfs and slaves have lords.
Aug 06, 2012 01:20am
but can you name any other party which is Non-religious" and "left-liberal in Pakistan
Aug 06, 2012 02:00am
Last thought - What an intolerant lot you are - No publishing without censorship
Aug 06, 2012 02:01am
I wish that the government learns some lesson from the writer and the coments of mr. Athar.
Aug 06, 2012 02:28am
Aug 06, 2012 02:53am
You have rightly pointed out that we have to convince ourself to eliminate violent extremism. Our goal must be to defeat idealogical extremism, correct. What modus operandi should be adopted and what role both Urdu and English should play, how to launch this holy effort....these issues mustbe discussed by all of us. If we need to grow in this modern world, we must take harsh decisions to combat extremism, otherwise dooms day.
Aug 06, 2012 02:58am
Let us convince NFP that PPP is no longer a leftist party. Now is the time we have to create one,we may loose, our presence as leftist party must be felt in the National Assembly. So far we don't have Social Democratic Party....so think about it.
Aug 06, 2012 03:01am
Fully concur with. With BeNazir Income Support Proram, they (PPP) had purchased votes in anticipation. What next.
Aug 06, 2012 03:03am
There seems to be every chance that he will turn out to be rationalist.
Aug 06, 2012 03:05am
Dear brother owais, May we know what is "Islamic" in you? Or exactly what it is about you that gives you the right to decide who is Islamic and who is not?
Karachi Wala
Aug 06, 2012 05:40pm
Dear Owais, I am sorry to say that instead of reading between the lines, you have read my post entirely out of the lines. Where did in my post you see playing Karachi card? Please read again. I said, unless he cuts all ties with all the religious parties, did not mentionedd a single word about, Lahore, Karachi, Peshawer.....ect......My dear you need to cool down.
Aug 06, 2012 05:15am
The only article in a very long time of NFP to which I would agree mostly.
Aug 06, 2012 05:26am
I think Imran Khan is sensible enough to see the bigger picture. All these problems are symptoms of a bigger problem. You sort that out and a lot of these can be addressed. Otherwise he'll end up just like Salman Taseer.
Aug 06, 2012 05:27am
It is true that you only see Khan talk about drones but have you ever listened to what people of Pakistan ask him? He always questioned about how to makie Pakistan an Islamic State and how to end war on terror. How come people never mention to him minorities and their state? How come people never ask him how to eradicate cutlural and social backwardness? He is a politician his job is to please the people and the people are only interested somehow creating an "Islamic" state
Aug 06, 2012 05:29am
Well said. It is time that people start standing up to extremist beliefs and openly criticize them rather than sugar coat. The biggest failures are indeed the mainstream policital parties: PPP and PMLn who have failed to shun such activities amongst their own factions. Something that must be emphasised strongly is that it is not a war between Islam or mullahs against liberals, but a fight of right against wrong. Unfortunately, too many of our outspoken and well heard media men, including NFP, paint it as a mullah war which dilutes the real sense of the message. It is time we start calling spade a spade.
Aug 06, 2012 05:36am
Eaxctly what I would have replied Subhan! Owais just so you know you have no right to call anyone Islamic or unIslamic... This is the problem of Pakistan, we are busy trying to make others Muslim and have failed to understand the core of Islam. There is no better Judge than God how dare you give out judgements and decided on His behalf!
Capt C M Khan
Aug 06, 2012 07:07am
You are correct Mr S
Aug 06, 2012 07:09am
NFP, took you this long to realise this, I have been saying it for months (on my humble twitter account), IK's right-wing leading views are only to garner the fanatics/deluded right-wing (sizeable as they are) support. Once in power, I do not see him leaning towards the right in his policy making. Am glad you came to the same conclcusion.
Aug 06, 2012 07:12am
He's not in Govt. yet, until then, he needs votes. Cirticise him when he's in govt. and if he fails to deliver. Until then, reserve your judgment.
Aug 06, 2012 07:13am
oh come on! do you really live in pakistan? deaths by road accidents are greater in number than terrorism by religious militants. yes it is an issue but calling it a demon and impossible to slay??? where was it before 9/11? cause and effect??? when you want to engage someone in diplomacy you should know them. even US and NATO understands the taliban better than our liberal flag-bearers. they talk to them and counter their ideological arguments by verses from Quran and Hadees. public opinion on Lal masjid is obvious that there werent any sit-ins and demos against the operation(public opinion is that the matter could be handled otherwise apart from by force) and for supporting the drones being a Pakistani is a shameless act. if we are partners in war on terror then cant we do what the drones can? for one to understand the WOT one must know how the intelligence agencies work! only the extremes are advocating killing as the solution - TTP and people like you Mr. J
Capt C M Khan
Aug 06, 2012 07:14am
Cyrus, until we get the masses educated there will be no democracy. In small towns the masses are undeucaed they only listen to there corrupt masters. In Pakistan Demcracy is a channel to Legitimate a Crook.
Aug 06, 2012 07:22am
please people. read the comments again! owais asked nosheen (who had said that NFP is an icon of liberal Islam(whatever that means) ) that what does mentioning Islam mean with NFP who wants to exhibit a secular impression? so its actually Nosheen who judged NFP to be Islamic and liberal after she read the article.
Aug 06, 2012 07:38am
can you write about the non-religious extremism or the liberal extremism?
ahmad butt
Aug 06, 2012 07:38am
This is what i face the most posting on blogs, and the other kind who just blindly contradict that i have written something that doesnt make sense or waste of time to read
Aug 06, 2012 07:54am
AAZ best of the worst. Now what sort of a reply can one give to you other than asking you to see a good psychiatrist.
Aug 06, 2012 07:56am
Good article by NFP. Has NFP finally realized that this PPP isnt the PPP of old anymore?
Aug 06, 2012 08:05am
The state must be secular so it can view all its citizens as equal under law.
Aug 06, 2012 08:09am
Extremism? Why this word has become so much popular since recent years while the rituals we are following are the same. People always want change, even in their religion.
Aug 06, 2012 11:27am
@ Siddiqui - I agree. Religion is just one more problem. Unfortunately, for us Pakistanis, it is our biggest one now.
Aug 06, 2012 11:32am
Most Muslims enjoy more rights in your list of Zero tolerance countries than in Pakistan.
Keti Zilgish
Aug 06, 2012 02:08pm
well said!
M N Syed
Aug 09, 2012 06:02am
Extremism is natural result of creation of Pakistan on the basis of religion.(like israel).Immediately after its creation Kashmir dispute pushed Pakistan into a security state which sought help from America and fundamental forces in the country. Had we got decided Kashmir issue before independence(i.e. issue of accession of states) perhaps the after effects of partition would not have been so severe for both Pakistan and India. We inherited feudalism from British India, unfortunately they dominated Muslim League and they continue to do so to date through democracy and army rule. Under the present political set up it is impossible to get rid of them. Ignorance , illiteracy and poverty suet them. Continued ignorance, illiteracy and poverty and hatred for India created another menace for Pakistan in the form of religious extremism. Like feudalism it is not possible to control this danger. Federalism and extremism did not allow Pakistan to progress economically and improve standard of living. This gave rise to break down of law and order.No body's life and property is safe in Pakistan. We are at the mercy of criminals.Police and courts are helpless. In the present scenario , there will be still worse law and order condition which will give free hand to extremist forces to prosper no matter which party runs the government. It is not possible to undo and rectify earlier mistakes. I think if there is some wisdom left in the country, we should think of changing system of government in a democratic way. We should have presidential type of government like USA, In provinces Governors should have powers like governors in USA. President and governors should be elected directly. Provinces should be given more powers to run their affairs.
Aug 10, 2012 05:09pm
as a Hindu i am hurt that BRR is concerned about shias, Christians but not Hindus = they no longer exist in public conciosness