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Tag Archives: Shia

Want to protest against attacks on minorities; then meet them


[With about 80 people dead in the attack on Church and resent earthquake (in which it is feared deaths to reach 1000) both indicate how ineffective our govt. has been in protecting and serving it’s citizens. A deafening silence for the earthquake victims on social level shows how much we have just accepted that our govt. cannot do anything for us.]

[note: a friend pointed out that what I wrote feels like I am saying only minorities are being targeted. No they are not the only ones, there have been consistent attacks on masajids, bazars and security forces. Ones who are attacking minorities are attacking all Pakistanis (Daata Darbar attack is not so distant event). However it does not mean our society does not need more open communication among religious groups living in it.  We all might not be spilling hate about them, but we do get criminally silent whenever someone is killed in the name of blasphemy. Putting a friend’s face to group might reduce our biases. ]

Let me start by saying I don’t believe in protesting against terrorists. No I don’t believe that holding banners and marching while shouting slogans on the Mall road (Lahore) is going to deter terrorists from attacking another mall or church or school or masjid; brutally and cowardly killing innocent people. So all those questions about shame of being Muslim and protesting against terrorist just indicate how naive are we.

I am not talking about not protesting against government, we can protest against lack of security, unequipped and poorly armed police and poorly functioning security net that should have predicted such event.  We can protest against all this but against terrorists such protests loose their meaning. Why? because they are cancer. One does not protest against cancer that plagues ones body. One takes action against it, medical procedures aside, one changes his/her life style, throws away tobacco, adds more greens in diet, starts running a bit. One takes stock of everything he/she has been doing till now and changes it.

If we are  really serious in fighting this menace, if we really want to remove cancer from our bodies we should change what we have been doing till now. We have been living in monolithic society in a non monolithic population. We have been ignoring all that is different to us, like they don’t exist. Lets change that, lets allow us to get familiar with who live among us.

Lets go to Church on weekend with our families,  invite members of Hindu community to our masajids, learn basics of Sikh religion, let scholars of different religions come and give lectures in our universities. Let them explain what they believe in and let us tell them what we stand for. Lets have a picnic where our kids can play together.  Lets make it difficult for this cancer to spread to our next generation.

Let our kids know people with other faith are not some strangers but part of our society; it’s OK to be different, it alright to believe in something other than what you believe in. But most importantly let us teach them what other beliefs are. Lets burst the bubble we have been living and accept there is more than just what we have been told. And we do that by listening to people of different faith, let them tell what their religion is not what our imagination has cooked up. 

All the goals of removing hate from our books are great, but they will not be solved by some govt. they will be solved when majority of us will have one friend who is not from our religion. When our friends will not shy in telling they are Ahmedi or Shia or Christian or Sunni or atheist or agnostic, that will makes us question all the hate we have unconsciously living with.

If we want to protest, lets protest by action and do something that will last long. Lets take a first step and meet each other, lets make one friend this week who is not in agreement with our belief system.

 

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Doing more than just sit in


Today saying “I am Shia too” will not do,

today just doing sit-in will not do. Those 100 dead men and their families deserve more than that from us.

We the facebook protesters, who are doing laudable service by spreading information about Quetta sit in, should do something more important. We should start conversation and initiate process of putting in paper solid demands.

We should start conversation about how really to safeguard Quetta and Balochistan, we should help shape what expectation from govt. should be. Instead of just slogans we should put point of actions. Each of us wants justice for the ones who have been killed and targeted. But what is that “justice”? We want the peace and security but “how” is where our politicians and we are failing. We are demanding but our demands are hollow and ambiguous.

There is big blank bag of nothing, whenever I hear demand restructuring of police or swift justice. These are empty, lazy slogans. And we all get engulfed in them, because they are easy to make and in the end these make it easy for us to blame others for the failure.

Some of us wants army to come and take up the govt in Balochistan, but what they going to do? Do they have investigative powers and abilities? What mechanism will keep check and balances? How the ones who are arrested will be prosecuted? don’t we remember news of alleged terrorists being released because prosecution could not  build case or police (or army personnel) made procedural mistakes while arrest and investigations ? Will just putting more men on street will do away with the terrorists? What about the hateful material and attitudes we all are harboring for each other’s sects?

Quetta needs much stronger plan. It needs increase in police force, it needs cameras on the roads, it needs better intelligence operations, it needs better bomb detection equipment., change in the “educational material” to include acceptance of what is different. It needs our help to construct charter of demands, a blue print that we should use for all the cities on Pakistan. Most of all it needs better Civil Local Govt.. not the old ideas of putting Army in-charge.

It needs our help in making us realize once for all that there is no silver bullet, we can’t just ask for messiah to come and relieve our pain. It needs our sit-ins, but it need us also to do our job that is converting slogans into documents of practical plans.

 

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Writing about Pakistan


posting about Pakistan is most difficult thing to do, should one post about rising tensions on LOC? defending actions of arm-forces while still preaching that peace should be given chance? should one post about 100 killed in previous day? should one share the positives that exist beside darkness? should one talk back to friends about dangers of making deaths into issue of one sect, while still standing beside them? should one talk to ones who are ignoring this massacre like nothing serious has happened? should one ridicule so called 40 million “match” maker? should one talk about trauma many of our force-members might have been going through in past some years? or about the ones whose family members have been shot down, blown out by bombs and bullets? should one shout for mile long lines on gas stations? of the financial burdens or chilling cold residing on the planes of Punjab effecting next crop year? should one shout out names of people whose disappearance and murders have silence markers directing towards people with big boots?

Taken about 23 hours ago.

 

I just saw picture of street full of people sitting in the cold winter night with the dead bodies of people died in previous day’s terrorist activities. How can you argue with these guys that giving city and province under the army will not going to resolve anything? that it will worsen the situation, that Armies are not there to run the cities and provinces. But how shall one argue with the ones whose friends, family members and neighbors have been shot down continuously. We all know that the actions being demanded right now are not even good as band-aid,  but does anyone has anyother solution?

I don’t know what to say …

Iqbal said “people think it is to be a Muslim”, sometime it appears same thing could be said about being Pakistani.

in these moments one realizes what Faiz must be going through when he wrote following poem.

تجھ کو کتنوں کا لہو چاہیے اے ارضِ وطن

جو ترے عارضِ بے رنگ کو گلنار کریں
کتنی آہوں سے کلیجہ ترا ٹھنڈا ہوگا
کتنے آنسو ترے صحراؤں کو گلزار کریں

تیرے ایوانوں میں پُرزے ہوئے پیماں کتنے
کتنے وعدے جو نہ آسودہ اقرار ہوئے
کتنی آنکھوں کو نظر کھا گئی بد خواہوں کی
خواب کتنے تری شاہ راہوں میں سنگسار ہوئے

بلا کشانِ محبت پہ جو ہوا سو ہُوا
جو مجھ پہ گزری مت اس سے کہو، ہوا سو ہوا
مبادا ہو کوئی ظالم تیرا دامن گیر
لہو کے داغ تو دامن سے دھو، ہوا سو ہوا

ہم تو مجبورِ وفا ہیں مگر اے جانِ جہاں
اپنے عشاق سے ایسے بھی کوئی کرتا ہے
تیری محفل کو خدا رکھے ابد تک قائم
ہم تو مہمان ہیں گھڑی بھر کے ہمارا کیا ہے

 
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Posted by on January 12, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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4 bomb blasts in Pakistan in last 2 days


Following are the headlines of Tribune right now

  • Suicide attack in Quetta, kills 55
  • two killed in Mardan blast
  • Explosion in Peshawar, 1 killed

 

Bomb Blast in Pakistan; from Tribune

 

Add one line of the people who died two days back in Lahore, wait, further add floods of the century (not this century which has just started, literally flood not seen in this land for more than 100 years) and you have….. I don’t know what you have, scariest picture or bravest nation or country that should not be even caring about what’s going around any where else.

But no, we are eagerly waiting for  investigation outcome that charges our players, the investigation in the scandal some people are called biggest in last decade. Why because frankly that’s we have got, that’s our booze, that’s our weed, that’s what keeps us to fight about something much smaller than what we face everyday.

Back to attacks, even with track record of Pakistan, these bomb-blasts are not simply an-other attack they have very open tones of Sectarian hate, and can cause widespread sectarian violence.  It’s time to show leadership and come out, try to pacify the crowd. Try to deal with the situation. Let not this become fight between sunni and Shia, because it is not. It’s fight between us and terrorists.

 

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I stand with my Shia (&Sunni) brothers, but is it enough?


Triple bomb blasts have hit Lahore and on the Shia procession, near Gamea Sha. Newspapers are telling the names of different routes taken by the suicide bomber; I read names of those places and fell anguish and sadness. These are places where I have rode my bike so many times; sometimes worry free, sometimes in hurry, … but these are places that belong to me not to these terrorists. I see video footage of the scenes after the bomb blast and you see people in trauma, in one video one woman was just running here and there, unable to be controlled by many men. This is true representation of victims of these blasts.

I want to say I Stand with my Shia brothers, but is it enough? Is it enough to say I stand by the victims?

These people were targeted due to their faith? one can say, but most importantly they were targeted because they are part of the Pakistan.  Success of each such event where a group having different point of view is involved, strengthens publics view of it’s own society. Each such event makes a person believe that he is part of this country, this society.

We should remember that previously two places regarded with very deep respect by Sunni’s have been targeted, Data-Darbar and Mosque in Garhishow, in which a famous sunni scholar was killed because he was against Taliban.  It will huge disservice to the people who have died to label this bomb blast as against Shia and extension of negative Shia perception in Sunni majority society. Yes there exist prejudices and negative ideas about each other, but this does not mean people want to kill each other. My grandfather used to take me to the Shia procession, holding his hand we used to watch men chanting in one voice, rhythm by the beat on their chests and then there comes outs the chains; it used to be such enthralling scene.  Many sunni’s still go to these processions, it’s part of our culture. I don’t know if any of the dead is Sunni or not, but it should not matter.

What should matter is our resolve against terrorists? Should we allow them to tell us what is right and what is wrong? Should we allow them to dictate the terms because they have guns and our governments plus establishments have been weak in dealing with them?

We should question why and how? Why and how these people were able to attack? Saying one cannot stop Suicide bomber could be correct, once it is in the public it’s very difficult, but they need the equipment, they need plan, they need logistics, that’s where our mistake comes.

It’s time that we put more money in our security agencies, namely police and FIA; it’s the war where we need them. Give them technology, give them training, give them more man power and most importantly give them respect.

Sobering aspect is our media again, all top media agencies are reporting different casualties, Aaj-tv is saying atleast 37 dead, Tribune Express 18, geo 35 and dawn 27.  Such huge difference?

Either our reporters are bad or the situation in our hospitals so bad that we can’t even count dead people?

 

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