Smokers’ Corner: The hate vote

Published Mar 24, 2013 05:25am

Recently a number of non-religious political parties have come into focus for having electoral links with certain banned sectarian outfits.

This is a disturbing thought on two counts. First, in a democracy, mainstream political parties are expected to use the national and provincial parliaments to enact laws that can guarantee the smooth activation of the country’s security agencies and outlets. So as to be able to take direct action against violent acts of sectarian and religious hatred and as well as crack down on all possible triggers that generate or encourage this nature of violence.

Secondly, if some political parties are striking electoral deals with the banned organisations, does this mean that the bigoted ideologies that these outfits propagate actually have voter support from certain sections of the society?

This question becomes all the more important to ponder, considering the fact that religious parties have almost always fared badly in elections in Pakistan.

When parties like the centre-right PML-N enter into electoral deals with banned militant outfits, are they not openly acknowledging the fact that these organisations have enough number of votes to cut deals with?

Yes, equally disturbing is the fact that some members of the centre-left PPP and recently, the overtly secular MQM, too were embarrassed by the liberal sections of the media for trying to cultivate electoral links with banned outfits, but their move in this respect pales in comparison with what the PML-N’s provincial regime in the Punjab was up to in this respect.

If the outgoing PPP-led coalition government was all at sea in controlling rapid spats of extremist violence in the country, the PML-N regime in Punjab was equally bamboozled by rising cases of mob violence against Christians and perceived ‘blasphemers’ in the province.

However, whereas the PPP regime at the centre was clearly incompetent to manage the extremist menace, was not the PML-N regime in Punjab actually allowing banned militant outfits and their front organisations to create havoc in the lives of Pakistani Christians, Ahmadis, and as well as those Muslims whom these outfits accuse of being heretical and apostate?

The final decision to take action against outfits responsible for encouraging and organising violence against the minorities and Shias in the Punjab lay with the Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif. Not the police alone.

The CM hardly moved during the many episodes of this magnitude.

That’s why PML-N critics convincingly claim that this was mainly due to the Punjab regime’s ‘understanding’ with banned outfits. An understanding that saw the Punjab regime looking the other way as long as the banned outfits carried out their violent activities in other provinces and only touched non-Muslim sections of the population in the Punjab.

So often we have heard apologists maintain that Pakistan is mostly a country of moderate Muslims. If so, then what are moderate centre-right parties like PML-N doing bending over to accommodate banned sectarian organisations? And/or those voters who are inclined to vote for the banned outfits’ crooked line of thinking?

How many votes do radical sectarian groups actually have in ‘moderate Pakistan’?

A close look at the voting trends and stats of elections in Pakistan between 1970 and 2008 is one way of extracting an answer.

And when one does that, the following points emerge:

— The radical Sunni Muslim vote bank is (comparatively) a recent phenomenon. It was largely missing from the 1970 and 1977 elections.

— The radical Sunni Muslim vote bank began emerging from the mid-1980s (especially in Punjab) during Ziaul Haq’s reactionary dictatorship when, to facilitate ‘jihad’ in Afghanistan and neutralise the impact of the ‘Shia Iranian Revolution’ in Pakistan, the regime encouraged the formation of extreme Sunni Islamist groups.

— The radical Sunni Muslim vote bank has largely remained within certain areas of the Punjab, especially in Jhang.

This does not mean that Pakistan’s main radical sectarian organisations like Sipah Sahaba Pakistan (SSP) — now Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamat (ASWJ) — have managed to sweep these areas in an election.

But what it does mean is that this party generates enough votes to attract the accommodating interests of centre-right parties; especially the PML-N being in the best position to bag these votes (through electoral deals with Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat (ASWJ) and maintain its electoral hold in the Punjab.

Let’s see exactly how many votes does ASWJ has in its main area of influence, Jhang, ever since the mid-1980s.

In the 1988 election, Jhang had 5 NA seats. NA 68 in Jhang constituted areas that the then called SSP had the strongest influence in.

Here Syeda Abida Hussain contesting as an independent, defeated SSP’s Haq Nawaz Jhangvi.

Abida received 47,374 votes whereas Jhangvi received 38,995 votes. Jhangvi was contesting the election on a JUI-F ticket, even though he had formed the SSP in 1985.

Jhangvi was assassinated in 1990, allegedly by Shia militants incensed by his anti-shia rhetoric.

In the 1990 election, SSP’s Maulana Israrul Qasmi was persuaded by establishmentarian elements that had helped form the PML-led right-wing alliance, the IJI, to contest for Jhang’s NA 68 seat on an IJI ticket.

He won the seat by bagging 62,486 votes, defeating the PPP’s candidate who garnered 33,031 votes. A year later, Qasmi too was assassinated.

In the 1993 election, SSP’s new chief, Hafiz Azam Tariq, took SSP into the extreme right-wing Deobandi alliance, the Muttahida Deeni Mahaz (MDM). He won the NA 68 seat in Jhang (on MDM ticket) with 55,004 votes.

However, in the 1997 election, Tariq lost the seat to PML-N’s Amanullah Khan who bagged 60,490 votes to Tariq’s 44,796.

It should be mentioned that the PML-N regimes at the centre and the Punjab that came into being after the 1997 election led a drastic police operation against the SSP and its more militant expression, the Lashkar-i-Jhangvi (LeJ).

In the 2002 election, Jhang’s NA 68 and 69 constituencies became NA 89. SSP had been banned by the Musharraf regime so Azam Tariq contested the election as an independent here.

He re-won the seat by receiving 41,425 votes, defeating the head of the moderate Barelvi Sunni party, Tahirul Qadri, who bagged 34,183 votes.

A year later, Tariq Azam was assassinated near Islamabad in 2003. In the 2008 election, the NA 89 seat was wrested away from SSP by PML-Q’s Shiekh Waqas who got 51,976 votes. He defeated the new SSP chief, Ahmed Ludhianvi who received 42,216 votes.

Shiekh Waqas recently joined the PML-N and he is expected to contest the forthcoming election from the same constituency against Ludhianvi. Though Ludhianvi has reacted negatively to the news and has accused the PML-N of hoodwinking him (because he had helped the party get votes in Jhang and Bhakkar), many observers believe the PML-N accepted Waqas into the party to dispel the view that PML-N continues to have links with ASWJ. It is interesting to note that the PML-N chief, Mian Nawaz Sharif simply responded by saying that the decision to take Waqas into the party was not his but of other party members.


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Comments (75) Closed




ali
Mar 24, 2013 04:38am
Everyone from the military to the religious and political parties as well the common janta is equally responsible for fanning the air of extremism and now everyone is paying for it; but most still dont understand.
Peace lover
Mar 24, 2013 05:23am
Even though I have objections with many of your ideas but i have started liking you for your such independent and unbiased judgment.
Capt C M Khan
Mar 24, 2013 06:46am
Pakistan needs Good ADMINISTRATION first with external yearly Audits on the lines of Corporate and then Democracy If Democracy was good why would Terrorists become so powerful?? Why would minorities suffer day and night? Democracy here is a LEGAL way for the rich to become Elite, Crooks/Thugs to become Rich,Murderers to become Heroes So Sad. Good Analysis Mr Paracha this article says it all
Shahryar Shirazi
Mar 24, 2013 06:57am
NFP, why are you naming MQM in this list ?
Saira
Mar 24, 2013 07:16am
It's a shame how hate organizations that were made by reactionary dictatorships have risen to hobnob with democratic parties like PML-N. NFP's analysis shows that some of these organization now actually have vote banks in places like Jhang. We should be worried.
Saira
Mar 24, 2013 07:20am
MQM did have one meeting with ASWJ and PPP's Qamar Zaman Kaira cut a deal with this organization in the 2008 election. But NFP's primary focus is on PML-N. And he correctly states that MQM's and PPP's hobnobbing with ASWJ pales in comparison with what PML-N has been upto in this context.
Salim
Mar 24, 2013 07:29am
If Ahmadies could vote under common electorate, the religious parties would fare poorly in Jhang.
Shahryar Shirazi
Mar 24, 2013 07:40am
Saira, can you share a reference please ? This is news to me. BTW, is ASWJ running militant wings or was this just a political deal ?
Peace lover
Mar 24, 2013 08:24am
Go to twitter and follow NFP over there and watch the pics of NFP on twitter. you wil come to know
hitesh
Mar 24, 2013 08:36am
By the electoral analysis of the vote share received by this radical organization, It is something around 40 to 50 thousand votes. As per the reports keep on publishing in media,around the same number of people are killed in terrorist activities throughout Pakistan in last decade. So imagine what will happened when their vote share increase ? May be when they will commanding a million genuine vote share from Pakistan there won't be Pakistan as there won't be any Pakistani !
Shakeel Ahmed
Mar 24, 2013 08:36am
Thanks for raising a serious concern. But Sir, Pakistan is already entrenched deeply and dangerously into religiosity to the hilt with an alarming numbers of the middle and educated classes brimming close to the description of being hardliner too. Your view that it is important for political parties to be able to take direct action against violent acts of sectarian and religious hatred and as well as crack down on all possible triggers that generate or encourage this nature of violence is only a paper thin notion. Have we ever seen any condemnation and action taken by any political leaders with full conviction at the many incidents of sectarian violence in the past? Hardly any, they are all scared of the mullahs. In my numerous travels up and down Pakistan with my wife, we come across hatred and discrimination levelled by us by even well to do and educated citizens just because we belong to a ?non-Muslim? minority. My wife?s distinct hijab covering gives away the telltale sign of our identity. Such is the level of growing intolerance.
mazharuddin
Mar 24, 2013 08:39am
This is unjust to claim an organization as terrorist without showing involvement of its all members. If all such members are terrorists and there is evidence why authorities failed to have their trial? Further it is evident that banned organizations members are being killed mercilessly (more than 250 ASWJ members killed aside of Jhangvi group?s leaders and scholars) but no group is being charged in this respect and writer overlooking hidden groups involvement in politics, also seem having roots in political parties and influence over media. That religious group having roots in different parties who encourage religious extremism in the shape of religious processions and congregations that disturb city life, people deprive of their earnings and routine work but no respect and regard of public sufferings by this group which is being helped by political parties for their vote bank. It is also being noticed that international media too overlooking these extremist activities that caused emerging LeT and LeJ organizations etc. The writers and champions of democracy should be honest, should not overlook crime. All such political parties and groups who encourage or overlook such extremism that cause spreading horror and terror are also terrorists. This is mother of terrorism which irritate society against such extremist activities and cause emerging new terrorist groups. There should have respect of majority?s rights, no religious activities be allowed by sacrificing majority?s rights
Manoj
Mar 24, 2013 08:44am
I don;t want to sound pessimistic but the situation prevailing in pakistan today is alarming. This hate business accelerated under General ZIA UL HAQ has grown from strength to strength because of support from so called secular political parties. It is a very easy thing for the political parties to divert the attention of the masses from their failures by catering to the fanatical agendas of the sectarian groups. No political party has the guts to say that the only way out is by crushing these terrorists. How is this sectarian killings going to stop if these mainstream political parties are hellbent on seeking their help to further their selfish self interests? With all political parties having their own armed wings this election is only going to be bloodier, Muslim league in Punjab is hobnobbing with the sunni teherik militants. Imran wants to talk to TTP....he is just showing his naivity doesn\t he know about the real agenda of TTP ? Secular Leaders like salman taseer , Bilour etc, have been already silenced. Pakistanis, especially the political leaders need to understand that only secularism can safeguard the interests of their country.
Karachi Wala
Mar 24, 2013 10:01am
Dear mazharuddin, after reading your post twice, I still fail to understand whether you are condemning or endorsing religious intolerance and extremism.
ahmed41
Mar 24, 2013 10:44am
maybe the environment of extremism is being fanned~~~~~~but lets not forget that it is a case of *FISHING IN TROUBLED WATERS*. In the first place a humane, democratic minded society should never have any EXTREMISM !!!! When you can VOTE your party and candidates into power, what is the need to kill, murder and throw bombs at each other ???
Tahir
Mar 24, 2013 10:52am
Pakistan versus South Africa: Pakistan 151-5. In comes Afridi. Pakistan 151-6. Afridi gone. That more or less illustrates our haphazard thinking and inclination to making and protracted wrong choices all the time, be it sports or selecting good political leaders.
abbastoronto
Mar 24, 2013 11:15am
The already discredited banned Islams are trying to ride the secular Parties as parasites on a receptive host and ultimately kill it. Pakistan, conceived as a secular Republic, for the first 20 years followed the failing European models, Capitalist and Socialist. But the Hellenized West has been on a banana peel for the last 125 years since late Victorian times, committing suicide during the 20th century killing 120,000,000 (1 in 4) of its own in mere 31 years 1914-45 in a sectarian war pitting Catholic Fascist Axes vs Protestant/Orthodox Allies. Soon thereafter the West was unceremoniously kicked out of the colonies. Then Korean stalemate, Dien-Bien Phu, Viet-nam, Soviet demise, 9/11, Af-Pak, disaster after disaster, finally financial meltdown, despair, depression, childless geriatric ward with no future. Pakistanis should have heeded Prophet?s Ibrahim?s prayers: [6:76] ? He saw a star: He said: "This is my Lord." But when it set, He said: "I love not those that set." After correctly rejecting the godless West, Pakistanis correctly turned to Islam, firstly to a familiar past, more importantly because Quranic/Mohammedan Islam is the natural religion of the emerging world order of Globalization and World Trade. The current sectarian war is a big blessing in disguise. Pakistan is a laboratory to distill the right one out of the many parading as true Islams (Shia, Sunni, Jafri, Hanafi, Maliki, Shafai, Hanbali, Barelvi, Sufi, Deobandi, Wahabbi, Qadiani, Rightly Guided, etc. etc.). As they show their true colours, each Islam will get discredited in the eyes of Pakistanis and fall aside in a natural selection of survival of the fittest. The healthy Islam, the efficient Islam, the optimal Islam, the correct Islam, will emerge out of the carnage of Pakistan, and then we shall lead the Ummah and the world, Inshallah. Have faith. For Believers, Allah's help is never far.
Khanm
Mar 24, 2013 11:40am
Dear folks, The best years of your life are the ones in which you decide your problems are your own. You do not blame them on your mother, the ecology, the president the prime ministers, religious leaders, your country ... You realize that you control your own destiny.
Liberal Fascist
Mar 24, 2013 01:42pm
Ku Klux Klan (KKK) was a very powerful force sometime back in the US and its ideology (white supremacy and intolerance) still exists within some sections of the population, even in Europe and Canada. However, the governments are strong and when they say it is illegal to discriminate than they don't just ban the organizations they ban their ideology. The implementation of law in this regard is equal and forceful without any discrimination and bias towards any minority. Sadly, the rise of these radical and extremist groups in Pakistan is the most powerful sigh of a weak state rapidly becoming weaker. Even more sadly, there seems to be no leader who have the guts to stand up and say what is right or what is wrong (except one).
Akhlaq
Mar 24, 2013 02:43pm
Question is that what is future plan of Pakistan foreign policy, which has deep impacts on national and regional integrity?
saleem
Mar 24, 2013 02:45pm
the culture of democracy evolves and unfortunately this was never allowed to sustain in pak; not defending corruption but give the country a chance to evolve with its own learning of democratic values.
pathanoo
Mar 24, 2013 03:08pm
First, another excellent article by NFP that only NFP is capable of writing with so much clarity, truth, courage and highest journalistic standards. Second, Yes NFP, " the bigoted policies these outfits propogate has support from certain sections of society." If it did not, then the terrorists would have been long exterminated. No national terrorist groups can survive on this scale, causing so much mayhem unless they are protected and supported by certain sections of society. Third, Pakistani politicians are so venal that I don't think there is another country in the world whose politicians are as crooked, impervious to the pain of their voters, callous in extreme and extreme cowards. Pakistan is a mess and no one, I definitely can not, tell me which way it would end up. In my mind, Pakistan today is more an open territory than a nation. My heart bleeds for the poor Paksitani people. May God Bless them and protect them.
Shakoor Alam
Mar 24, 2013 03:52pm
Dear Mr. Shakeel Ahmed,I can understand your agony of hatred on religious basis however,you are not alone in this carnage.All other minorities including Shia'as are with you as well.Whereas irony of the matter is,as you mentioned, the educated class is also sometimes tilted to hardliners but,with due apology, the middle class is the most dangerous entity.
hyderphd74
Mar 24, 2013 03:56pm
The readers who gave thumbs up and thumbs down may have understood your comment, but I could not. Probably Dawn moderators did not either, that is why they published it.
Dearborn Iffy
Mar 24, 2013 04:10pm
Uncle Hajji Sahib, "The current sectarian war is a big blessing..." That shows the prevailing colour of Islam and the twisted mentality of many including you. The fact that you are living in cushy and comfortable Dearborn (or with a fake Toronto label) and probably none of your close and dear family members, children or grandchildren have been naimed or killed in this blessed war, makes you mock others with such arrogance and ignorance. The healthy Islam that you are dreaming is not gonna happen in your lifetime and may not even happen in another 1400 years Because nobody is gonna see you eye to eye because everyone is too passionate about his own brand of Islam.
Yawar
Mar 24, 2013 04:11pm
PML-N's lack of interest in arresting and punishing those who use Islam to commit hate crimes, and their apologetic support for the victims, are clear signs that at the end of the day, they are allied with the right wing hate groups. The worst day for minorities will be the day PML-N comes in power.
pathanoo
Mar 24, 2013 04:54pm
How and why, peace lover, would you have objections to NFPs ideas. People like NFP and few more other courageous, honest and fair journalists are the only hope of Pakistan. As they say," Better late than never." Keep an open mind.
pathanoo
Mar 24, 2013 05:13pm
Dear abbastoronto, I always look forward to your musings and you never cease to surprise me. I got to give it to you. You are entertaining if nothing more. I loved you last paragraph regarding "The healthy Islam, the efficient Islam, the optimal Islam, the correct Islam will emerge out of the carnage of Pakistan and then we shall lead the Ummah and the world." So, the Muslim Ummah is from the time of Prophet Mohammed till now is afflicted with Unhealthy Islam, Inefficient Islam, Abysmal Islam and Incorrect Islam? Right? Say, doesn't that make you a Blasphemer saying the Islam that Prophet Mohammed gave to Muslims is bad. That it needs Pakistan's carnage to make it wholesome. WOW!!!!! abbbastorronto, even you would have hard time topping this? But, don't worry. I have faith in your creativity, delusional as it is. Accepting what you say is true and will come to pass; But, Dear abbastorronto, you will be in the infidel Canada. How will you rule from there while still on Canadian welfare?. And, Oh! By-the-way, how is the Rubber Suit fitting you?
G.A.
Mar 24, 2013 05:15pm
Thanks NFP. Always wondered why these leaders won't speak up against suicide bombings and collectively put the country in a lockdown and battle out these militants until none remain. Now we know the reason. They are more venal and wretched than I thought.
Ahmed
Mar 24, 2013 05:18pm
Correction please. This newly formed ASWJ is indeed an off-shoot of a banned SSP. The persons running ASWJ and their ideology are indeed the same.
SBB
Mar 24, 2013 05:30pm
Completely agree with Karachiwala. Attempted to understand your comment 3 times and still failed. Bottom line - Don't kill or oppress people who have different beliefs than yours. It's not that complicated. Let man do what man was created for - work and take care of his family.
john
Mar 24, 2013 05:31pm
an organization cannot be castigated based on what a few of its followers do. their actions are not enuff to prove any wrongdoing on part of the organization.
hrethgir
Mar 24, 2013 05:35pm
A laboratory to distill the "right" kind of Islam? And pray, what is the "right" version of Islam? You Sir, are talking about living, breathing human beings here with families and lives. Do you honestly mean to condone the yearly deaths of tens of thousands in the name of a particular version of Islam?
pathanoo
Mar 24, 2013 06:01pm
Dear abbastorronto, Please forgive me for overlooking your most important comment...."Pakistan, conceived as a secular Republic." Now, let me see. 1) Pakistan the secular Republic where Ahamadis have been declared non-Muslims and kafirs by the Secular Republic of Pakistan and can not worship in a mosque, even their own mosques. 2) Where the Shias are called apostates and killed daily in the Secular Republic of Pakistan. 3) In the Secular republic of Pakistan NO NOn-Muslim can become President or Prime Minister. 4) In the Secular Republic of Pakistan the Christians and Hindus are killed with impunity. The leader of Christians, a Minister in the Government of Pakistan was murdered in broad day light and no one has even been arrested so far (forget about being punished). Not a single leader of Secular Republic of Pakistan showed up at the funeral of their colleague. 5) The Shia Balochs are being killed openly and indiscriminately in broad day light and not one single person or a leader of these Sunni sectarian haters has been caught, forget about being brought to justice, in your Secular republic of Paksitan. 6) Last but not least, even your creative mind will know this, the Great Secualr Republic of Pakistan was created on the basis of religion, exclusion, fear and hatred. 7) I am sorry. What is the name of your Great Secular Republic of Pakistan.......THE ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF PAKISTAN. WOW!!!! And, Oh! By-the-way, you do NOT live in this Secular Republic Paradise preferring to live on the welfare dole of a Kafir country - Canada. How is the Rubber Suit fitting you?
Parvez
Mar 24, 2013 06:17pm
You should have stopped after the first sentance.
abbastoronto
Mar 24, 2013 06:33pm
Dearborn Iffy, pathanoo, Hrethgir: Greetings from Dearborn MI Why is the current sectarian war not a blessing? Do correct paths fall from the sky? We discover what works and what not by experimentation. Did India not follow Nehru?s misguided Socialism only to abandon it when its Guiding Star, the Soviet Union, was buried by Pakistan? Cushy and comfortable Dearborn and Toronto? Where I spend most of the time has a murder rate of 5 times your peaceful Karachi, and I was held at gunpoint last summer (something never happened when I lived in Pakistan or visited it). Civil wars never last for ever. The good guys always triumph in the end. I am glad if I am entertaining. I take it as a compliment. Post-Mohammedan Islam was a desperate attempt to adapt down to economies more backward (Syria, Egypt, Persia, Europe, India) than of the advanced trading economy of 7th century Arabia. Quranic Islam is frugal, for soil-poor, water-poor, resource-poor trading economy that the globe is gradually becoming because of over-population. Me a blasphemer? The Islam that my great great grandfather Mohammed A.S. gave Arabia was the right one. Pakistanis will have to go back to it, and yes, it will take wholesale carnage because the mis-guidance of 1,400 years is not easy to shake up. Pakistani Islam has been polluted by Agrarian India and must be cleansed. Canada infidel? Is India infidel? Is Pakistan a Believer? Do countries take a Shahada. There are men of faith everywhere. Canadian Welfare? You live in the 1960s. This country is becoming a welfare recipient itself. The ?right? kind of Islam is the natural one for the emerging economy of Globalization and Free Trade. And if you lose sleep over a few thousand deaths than you are not ready for the gory future in store for you. American Civil War cost 10% of military age men (=6,000,000 for today?s Pakistan). In 1914-45 Europe 1 in 4 died (50,000,000 for today?s Pakistan). You have seen nothing yet. Best wishes
Asad
Mar 24, 2013 06:34pm
After the carnage of first 50 years of 20th century,I am still confused that who won at the end?Silly me Its the CORPORATIONS!Their sole objective is to make money,no matter what.And of course Wars are good for business.After 50 years they(corporations...Davos anybody) are at it again.This time in the disguise of 'New World Order'.Classic example is NAFTA(treaty between Canada,USA and Mexico).One "side effect" of which is that it has driven majority of small farmers in Mexico out of business.Mexico is like Pakistan except it has oil.So these farmers end up working for drug cartels.30-40 thousand dead in Mexico in last couple of years.The natural religion of Islam as I know it has absolutely NOTHING to do with this "New World Order",if thats what you are referring to Mr.Abbastoronto. Pakistan has never rejected the 'godless West' and never turned away from Islam either.Thing is to find the "middle" way which is what Islam is all about.People from all 'schools of thought' need to have a dialogue and for heavens sake leave religion OUT of it! Qouting famous Syrian writer M.Shahrour " that if your house is cold you turn on the stove ,not recite from the Quran".Peace.
Capt C M Khan
Mar 24, 2013 06:48pm
@Saleem you can definitely give time for learning but only if the masses are educated. In a country where 80% are below literacy line you can never have meaningful democracy because the uneducated can be easily misled as it is happening today Suffering for the poor and weak.
Deb
Mar 24, 2013 06:53pm
"The healthy Islam, the efficient Islam, the optimal Islam, the correct Islam, will emerge out of the carnage of Pakistan". I don't really think that this sort of Islam exists.
abbastoronto
Mar 24, 2013 07:31pm
" .. That shows the prevailing colour of Islam .." No. That shows the colour of prevailing Islam, not true Islam.
abbastoronto
Mar 24, 2013 07:41pm
Re: Welfare Canada Extract from a piece appearing in today's Toronto Globe and Mail by Drew Nelles: " ...To measure progress, our main economic indicator is GDP ? gross domestic product, a measure of money changing hands. If I go out and buy a beer this contributes to GDP. If I buy a bicycle, it also contributes to GDP. If the government invests in education, this contributes to GDP. But the problem is that if there?s an oil spill off the coast of Mexico or the U.S., this also contributes to GDP. If we have more crime in society and pay to deal with it, this contributes to GDP. If we have more war, it contributes to GDP. Our main indicator of economic progress doesn?t distinguish between beneficial economic activity and dysfunctional economic activity. To fix it is by something called the Genuine Progress Indicator, a measure that separates the good stuff from the bad stuff and sees how they compare over time. Another area that?s been suggested is a completely different set of national counts, where we start to measure quality of life through surveys of happiness, well-being, life satisfaction and so on .." Happy Planet Index: Of 178 Surveyed Pakistan - 16 th from top. India - 32 Canada - 111 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Happy_Planet_Index The Primal Question of Existence is Survival, Growth, Evolution. If you are not having children you are neither growing nor evolving. So when a society moves into merely survival mode as geriatric Europe is and soon geriatric white Canada will be, GDP means little. As the article says, most of the activity is not counted towards genuine progress. Come and find out. The grass is always greener on the other side.
abbastoronto
Mar 24, 2013 08:00pm
" ..Pakistan today is more an open territory than a nation .." We do not want to be a nation. Islam does not believe in nations. We are a worldwide Ummah. A Muslim here in US and a Muslim in Pakistan are part of the same System, a border-less system. There are 10,000,000 Pakistanis living abroad. This number will grow with Globalization and Free Trade. Do you mind?
Razzaq
Mar 24, 2013 08:41pm
Everything in Pakistan is commercialized including religion and politics. The activities of political and religious parties before the upcoming elections is part of this culture. The terrorist activities carried out in Karachi only with the support of Punjab is also a part of this conspiracy to put Karachi into same hell of extremism and feudalism which is thriving in other 3 provinces. As long as religion is encouraged, promoted and used in politics, situation will remain unchanged whether now or in future. The solution ? change the political system by banning the use of religion in politics.
ahsan
Mar 24, 2013 10:10pm
Well. This is pretty funny. Jhangvi group does have scholars amongst them.?
Hassaan
Mar 24, 2013 10:15pm
Each time someone from SSP got elected, got assasinated after some time...Do we have a connection here?
AK
Mar 25, 2013 01:32am
3 of the 4 khalifa e rashideen were murdered. All twelev imams who were direct descendents of the the Prophet Mohammad met unnatural deaths. We have not fond the perfect Islam for the last 1400 years. We are not going to find it in Pakistan now. Pakistani children are not lab rats. The Quran says we have completed the deen for you. Do I need to go on .........
Waheed
Mar 25, 2013 02:28am
1. Refugees and university students from Afghanistan were given asylum and all material support by ZABhutto in 1975-6. Terrorism training was given in Pakistan to counter comminist take over in Kabul. Col. Sultan admitted in his TV interview this fact. Zia came later in the picture who accelerated this project of rent a jihad during his regime. Bhutto introduced hypocratic fundamentalism officially by making certain constitutional amendments to appease Mullahs i.e Friday weekly holiday, banning wines/clubs, Ahmedies declared Kafirs etc.etc. 2. In Jhang, JUI(F) ticket holder Sh. Iqbal contested 1971 elections on the basis of anti shia sentiments first ever and won the elections due to this cheap tactics. Shia Sunni devided remained in Jhang local politics well before Iran revoluion or Zia regime. Haqnawaz jhangwi and his followers have been affiliated with JUIF since day one not with PMLN. Even today, people in Jhang do not like terrorist groups and always vote against SSP/LeJ/ASWJ etc. 3. PMLN soft corner with banned groups is much propogated just due to cammoflage the terrorist activities of the criminal groups organized and sponsored by MQM & PPP (peoples Aman Committee). MQM terrorits wing and PAC (PPP sponsored) are more criminal than LeJ. The fact is that people in karachi are killed more than terrorist activities of LeJ/SSP. What is difference between PAC, MQM, SSP,LeJ, Taliban etc. etc. All are criminals and creating havoc to our nation and culture. They all are one and the same by nature, difference is only the beard/pent-shalwar. One group is bearded taliban, one is cleaned shaved taliban. Booth the groups take bhutta by force, loots the Banks, illegally occupies the lands, involved in organized crimes, kidnaping, killing opponents etc. Religious extremists and clean shaved criminals have common habits. Please do not criticize religion only. Criminals use religion and politics as cammoflage. 4. Molvies in pakistan can not win the elections despite their criminal nuisance however, they have been used/sponsored for estate sponsored foreign intervension in Past. BUT at present, their sponsored have come to conclusion that these non state actors are failure and counter productive for the interest of Pakistan. We hope these banned outfits and terror groups will be eradicated from our society very soon.
Iqbal khan
Mar 25, 2013 03:10am
Just wondering if you could translate this into English please?
Iqbal khan
Mar 25, 2013 03:13am
The only hope is Musharaf but I have my doubt if he can survive these dangerous people.
abbastoronto
Mar 25, 2013 05:01am
The kind of Islam "Midway between East and West" is a candidate for selection like many other Islams, but will fail. You can not be godless and god-fearing at the same time.
abbastoronto
Mar 25, 2013 05:01am
It does not exist for you. It exists for the Believers.
Dearborn Iffy
Mar 25, 2013 06:23am
Keep on dreaming Uncle
Dearborn Iffy
Mar 25, 2013 06:27am
Uncle, the grass is always greener on the other side, that's why you are still in Dearborn and do not wanna return to beloved Pakistan.
Cyrus Howell
Mar 25, 2013 08:31am
Amen, brother. Amen.
Cyrus Howell
Mar 25, 2013 08:37am
The Golden Rule is those who have the gold make the rules. Money is not important but the people who have it are.
Cyrus Howell
Mar 25, 2013 08:45am
"Pakistan has never rejected the ?godless West? and never turned away from Islam either.Thing is to find the ?middle? way which is what Islam is all about." A rational view.
Cyrus Howell
Mar 25, 2013 08:53am
A mother who has Islam and an automatic dishwasher is better off than a woman who has only Islam.
Cyrus Howell
Mar 25, 2013 09:05am
The emerging economic powers India, Russia, China, Brazil and South Africa are having a trade conference in Durbin, South Africa. Pakistan is not among them. South Africa was chosen for this economic bloc instead. It was not chosen on the strength of it's cricket team.
Cyrus Howell
Mar 25, 2013 09:11am
The only advantage of democracy is keeping a Saddam Hussein from coming into power.
Cyrus Howell
Mar 25, 2013 09:21am
Prayer five times every day is for the unemployed or the extremely wealthy.
Cyrus Howell
Mar 25, 2013 09:44am
A journalist writing a column in a newspaper has a duty to comfort the afflicted and to afflict the comfortable.
hrethgir
Mar 25, 2013 10:08am
He's just trolling deliberately now. I don't see why dawn moderators would even allow comments like this on the forums. None of his arguments make logical sense or follow any kind of facts, and it is clear that the man is either deliberately doing this out of malice or is just plain illiterate.
AHA
Mar 25, 2013 11:04am
So true. US of A went after the the ideology of KKK and not just after KKK itself. Unfortunately, Pakistan cannot ban Islam. There is no coming back for us. We are doomed.
AHA
Mar 25, 2013 11:20am
pathanoo - Thank you for using the right spelling, 'Baloch', for the people of Balochistan, and not the 'Baluch' or 'Baluchi' or 'Balochi' that my fellow Pakistanis use.
Asad
Mar 25, 2013 11:22am
You are confusing Muslims with Momins.Look up M. Shahrur on line.Peace.
Olivia Mukhopadhyay
Mar 25, 2013 11:24am
Nope I dont think anybody minds as long as you dont treat people who dont follow Islam like vermin.How does the world wide Ummah feel about those not belonging to the clout?
Olivia Mukhopadhyay
Mar 25, 2013 11:40am
Wow Abbas,the Believers.What exactly do the Believers believe in? And something like religion is omniscient.it doesnot exist for a particular group of people.It just exists and thats that.I really feel sorry for people who think they can judge others for believing or not or even exactly what to believe in.May God in his infinite mercy cure your delusion.
Olivia Mukhopadhyay
Mar 25, 2013 11:49am
Truer words were never spoken
Olivia Mukhopadhyay
Mar 25, 2013 11:59am
There are usually many kinds of learning.The masses may never get up to 100% literacy levels .However in an atmosphere of democarcy and secularism masses follow their leaders,television channel programmes,radio broadcasts and various other channels of information disemmanation that start the cultivation of democracy.But what democarcy truly needs is that each and every institution of a country ,public or private ,uphold the common interest of the nation and permeate the same to all sections of society .Democracy is like an aquired behaviour which people uphold as they start enjoying the peace and stability it brings.It has many flaws,yes, but out of all tried and tested system of governance it is the most suited to needs of individual as well as the state.
Olivia Mukhopadhyay
Mar 25, 2013 12:05pm
Sir,democracy takes time to hold roots and may sometimes be just as blood laden as autocracy or theocracy.Moreover it is a system that one's leaders need to feel strongly about and not just pay lip service as and when it suits their needs.In the end though it ensures greatest good for the greatest number.
Xari
Mar 25, 2013 01:53pm
Finally someone wrote abt this very serious issue !
hyderphd74
Mar 25, 2013 04:46pm
Mr. Toronto, you were only 'held' at gun point in Dearborn. Had it been Karachi you would have been gunned down!! "You have seen nothing yet". Would you see something when all Pakistanis are extinct?
nanu kakaji
Mar 25, 2013 06:33pm
"Pakistan is a laboratory to distill the right one out of the many parading as true Islams -------" how does this LABORATORY experiment-- by discussion or discrimination or killing some LAB, some search for Truth!
khatun
Mar 25, 2013 10:52pm
Try telling that to an arab in Dubai,or in any gulf country,and you will get a mouthful. Ummah,my foot.
khatun
Mar 25, 2013 10:54pm
Still Mr.Abbas lives in Toronto,a non-muslim country. He does not live in a muslim country even though he feels all muslims are part of the great muslim ummah.