Independence Day


August 14th commemorated Pakistan’s independence from British rule and the Muslim partition from India. Shamim Masih reflects on how this Independence Day has evolved for Pakistani Christians and other non-Sunni Muslims in general. Shamim does not say this specifically, but his description of the plight of Pakistani Christians is the result of Sharia Law and Islamic Supremacism.

JRH 8/16/15

Please Support NCCR

*********************************

Independence Day

By Shamim Masih

Sent: 8/14/2015 11:51 AM

As a Sunni majority Pakistan is celebrating the 68th Independence Day, where religious minorities of the country are still living in fear. Pakistan came into being on the basis of the odd two nation theory. In spite of living together for centuries, the Hindus and the Muslims were unable to co-operate and co-exist with each other on the basis of religion. Thus the two nation theory was presented and pretended that there were two different nations living in the sub-continent, who have different religions, cultures and social values and back ground. And they can never merge with each other; whereas cultural and social values were mostly common other than religion. Therefore Muslim leaders demanded a separate homeland for them.

After years of struggle, Mohammad Ali Jinnah succeeded in getting a separate homeland for the Muslims of South Asia in 1947. On August 11, 1947. This was just three days prior to independence. Jinnah the founder of the country made a speech in the constitution assembly and called on Pakistanis not to interject religion into their public lives. The important role of minorities was enshrined in the national flag with a white bar. He said, you are free; you are free to go to your temples, you are free to go to your mosques or to any other place or worship in this State of Pakistan. You may belong to any religion or caste or creed that has nothing to do with the business of the State.

Now you see that the founding father has set other religions minorities’ free and mentioned that religion, caste or creed has nothing to do with the business of the State. But after two decades, an ideological state established in the name of Islam lost its east wing. East Pakistan emerged on the world map as Bangladesh. Unfortunately Pakistan is not independent in true spirit yet; certain mindset persons dominate and rule [the nation]. After the partition of Bangladesh [from the central government in the west], later Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto started discrimination with religious minorities. He declared Ahmadis as non-Muslims and managed to sideline the religious minorities nationalizing Christian’s educational and health institutions.

Later a military dictator Gen Zia made strict blasphemy laws and since then more than 1500 blasphemy cases were reported. Sources confirm that 51 blasphemy accused were murdered before their respective trials were over. How can Pakistan be truly called independent when its religious minorities suffer? Asia Bibi, mother of five, Sawan Masih and a Christian Couple in Gojra and many others are still suffering in jail from a death sentence accused of blasphemy cases. If the constitution gives equal rights to all citizens; why were Christian colonies like Shanty Nager, Sangla Hill, Gojra and Joseph Colony and a Church in Mardan city all set ablaze? The Christian couple was burnt alive and churches in Bhawalpur [or Bahawalpur], Peshawar and Youhanabad, Lahore were attacked where hundreds worshipers were killed and many were injured. Christians along with other minorities of Pakistan faces discrimination and persecution by the State and fellow citizens. They are routinely been accused of blasphemy and attacked or jailed. Their homes and worship places are burned down. Young girls are kidnapped, raped and forcefully converted to Islam and married.

Nazir S Bhatti, president Pakistan Christian Congress (PCC) said Pakistan Christians are not free in a true sense, instead they are gone into slavery. They can’t worship freely and enjoy their life. He said rulers have bulldozed minorities’ basic rights and turned them into second class citizens of the country. Thus the independence day of the 14th August, does not represent a true spirit of freedom. Albert David, chairman Pakistan United Christian Moment (PUCM), while expressing his view on Independence Day said unfortunately the real freedom and real democracy could not prevail in the country. The government and private sector have failed to provide equal rights to minorities in Pakistan. We can even see the discrimination in the legislation. Top most offices in the country are banned for minority representatives. Doors of the President house, Prime Minister, Chief Minister, Chief of Army Staff and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court are closed for religious minorities.

During Ramadan, all restaurants and other coffee shops are closed, not only this no minority member can eat or drink in an open space. The law is extremely hypocritical and prejudiced not only on a social level, but also on a religious level. It has been preached and a guarantee of equal rights to minorities in [our] Islamic [nation] as well as the constitution of Pakistan. Then why are religious minorities deprived to eat in restaurants or at offices or any other public place? Why [enforce Islamic religious obligations on minorities if] it is not their religious duty to fast during Ramadan? Enforcing respect of Ramadan by an ordinance is a violation of human rights. [Can you agree that] it is not a violation of human rights? Now the time has come that the people of Pakistan and the government have to realize that religious observance is usually a personal matter, not an insurance plan.

Be Blessed,

Shamim Masih

Correspondent,

Pakistan Today, (About Pakistan Today)

Blogger and Human Rights Activist

For Americans especially, I have discovered the best way to donate to Shamim Masih is via Western Union sending money with this LINK to a Western Union agent in Islamabad. Include Shamim’s phone – +92-300-642-4560

_______________________

Edited by John R. Houk

Text or links embraced by brackets are by the Editor for an American reading audience.

© Shamim Masih

Remembering the Martyrs’ of All Saint Church Peshawar


All Saint Church Peshawar Victims 9-22-13

All Saint Church Peshawar Victims 9/22/13

Just a little more than a year ago two Islamic terrorists committed homicidal suicide at a Pakistani Church so old it was built during the old British Raj of India. Shamim Masih writes a remembrance article about the hundreds of Christians that were killed in the name of Islam.

 

JRH 9/28/14

Please Support NCCR

*******************************

Remembering the Martyrs’ of All Saint Church Peshawar

Remembering Islamic Terrorism in Pakistan Church

 

By Shamim Masih

Sent: 9/26/2014 9:36 AM

 

ISLAMABAD: It was sunny morning when I reached in Lahore on 22nd September, 2013; I received the phone call from my friend, he told that All Saints Church Peshawar is under the attack. As soon as I switched on the TV there was breaking news saying there was two suicide attackers struck at the end of the services at All Saints Church Peshawar. It was the deadliest attack that the Christian community had ever experienced in the history of the country. This attack had left the Christian community shocked and shattered which left 127 people dead and hundreds injured.

 

After one year Christian community around the country gathered there to offer special prayer and paid tributes to the victims of the twin suicide bombing who had lost their lives at All Saints Church Peshawar.  People are gathered to commemorate the first anniversary of the horrible suicide bombings at All Saints Church, Peshawar.

 

Bishop Azad Marshall, Bishop of Iran and Gulf went to All Saints Church Peshawar to stand along with the survivors. According toBishop Azad Marshal in Peshawar Shahzad Gill the chaplain to Rt. Rev Dr. Azad Marshall, there were gathering of 4000 people who joined hands in sharing the body of Christ at All Saints Church, Peshawar. Talking to the gathering Bishop Azad Marshall said that after one year of the incident that pain and agony hangs on; souls have [been] scarred for life but we have hope in Christ. The attack was not on the Christians of the Peshawar but also an attack on humanity. We will continue our struggle for a just and equitable Pakistan, he added. He demanded the authorities to ensure the safety and protection of the religious minorities as enshrined in the constitution of Pakistan.

 

Observing the first anniversary of the Peshawar church attack; chairman PUCM Albert David said all political parties are united in the war against terrorism and supportive to promote peace building in the country. Speaking at the Remembrance service followed by the candlelight vigil he said we as PUCM stress for a collective effort to promote the soft image of Pakistan through a peaceful and harmonized co-existence at home. Expressing solidarity with Christians Marching in Memory Peshawar Church bombingfamilies of the victims, he said that though wounds have healed however the scars remain and remind us of the tragic incident even.

                                                  

Muslim Christians Unity forum also arranged candle light vigil to pay tribute to the martyrs of the September 22, 2013 bomb blast at the All Saints Church Peshawar. Basharat Khokhar, a social activist said that federal and provincial government made many promises but nothing is being delivered so far. He targeted the Christian leadership and said political leadership is the representative of their political mother parties. They do not represent Christian minority but to their Muslim mother party.

      

The small and largely impoverished Christian community suffers discrimination intolerably [among the] Muslim majority [in] Pakistan. And nobody cares about it. 

 

Be Blessed,

Shamim Masih

_______________________

Edited by John R. Houk

All links by Editor – All text bracketed by Editor

 

© Shamim Masih

Special Correspondents

Daily Khabrian (PakBiz.com description) & Channel – 5

Human Rights Activist

 

Snapshot of Human Rights Activism from 2011

Christian Rights Activist
Freelance Journalist
 

Secretary General of Information

Pakistan Christian Congress

 

Shamim Masih’s Donate/Support info:

 

Editor: For Americans especially, I have discovered the best way to donate to Shamim Masih is via Western Union sending to a Western Union agent in Islamabad. Include Shamim’s phone – +92-300-642-4560

 

FOR USD TRANSFER.
Intermediary Bank:
                        MASHREQ BANK, NEW YORK
Intermediary Bank SWIFT BIC:
        MSHQUS33
Beneficiary Bank:
                        JS BANK LIMITED
Beneficiary Bank SWIFT BIC:
                JSBLPKKA
Bank A/c # at Intermediary bank:
        70008227
Title Of a/c
                               Shamim Masih
Beneficiary Account Number:
                405527

Top of Form

IBAN #                                        pk80jsbl9530000000405227

FOR GBP TRANSFER.
Intermediary Bank:
                        MASHREQ BANK, LONDON
Intermediary Bank SWIFT BIC:
        MSHQGB2L
Beneficiary Bank:
                        JS BANK LIMITED
Beneficiary Bank SWIFT BIC:
                JSBLPKKA
Bank A/c # at Intermediary bank:
        00010855
Title Of a/c
                               Shamim Masih
Beneficiary Account Number:
                405527
IBAN #
                                       pk80jsbl9530000000405227

FOR EURO TRANSFER.
Intermediary Bank:
                        MASHREQ BANK, LONDON
Intermediary Bank SWIFT BIC:
        MSHQGB2L
Beneficiary Bank:
                        JS BANK LIMITED
Beneficiary Bank SWIFT BIC:
                JSBLPKKA
Bank A/c # at Intermediary bank:
        10847
Title Of a/c
                               Shamim Masih
Beneficiary Account Number:
                405527
IBAN #
                                       pk80jsbl9530000000405227 Bottom of Form

 

We Need Visionary Leaders


Albert David

Albert David

 

Intro to ‘We Need Visionary Leaders’

Edited by John R. Houk

July 8, 2014

 

This is not the first time Shamim Masih has written about corruption and/or political inactivity of leaders who claim to represent the Christian minority in Pakistan. In this report Shamim contrasts the failed subservient leadership of Julius Salik with Pakistani Christian leader Albert David the Chairman of the Pakistan United Christian Movement (PUCM).

 

Most of what I discovered on Julius Salik is in a positive manner pertaining to Christian activism in Pakistan. Shamim’s can be summed up in this paragraph:

 

There was something ironic about 11 August this year. I saw the biggest joker of Christian rights in Pakistan Julius Salik join the election campaign of Advocate Ashraf Gujjar for NA 48. Yes he is the same Gujjar who garland Mumtaz Qadri and who feels he must be released. He is the same Mumtaz, who took law into his own hands and killed Salman Taseer before his blasphemous guilt could be proved. This is an ugly side of one of our leaders who is a self-proclaimed champion of human rights while he has done nothing practically for their rights. I found Basharat Khokhar better helping Christians in Islamabad then this leader. J Salik arranged commiseration for Qazi Husain Ahmad after his death but not spoken a single word for Shahbaz Bhatti. Qazi Husain Ahmad was the chief of Jammet e Islami – JI, a fundamentalist religious organization. (Bold Print MineConstitution Avenue Will Remain Quiet Until you Sleep; By Shamim Masih; Salem-News.com; 8/26/13)

 

Here are some glowing words about Albert David from a 2012 post:

 

 

Unfortunately many so called Christian leaders are still shaking their tails behind them, thus not knowingly they became the part of it. I have been writing for the need of unity among Christians of Pakistan. Years back I asked J. Salik (Ex. Federal Minister), Col. (R) S K Tressler (Ex. Federal Minister), and Prof. Mushataq Victor (late) (Ex. Federal Minister), to unite Pakistani Christians, but they have been playing their own cards for own sake.

 

 

I along with many other social and political activists have been desperately looking for someone who could conscientiously lead the Christian nation with conviction, determination and above all love and care. Albert apparently ticks all these boxes but will have to convince and prove through his actions only then he would be able to muster support for the new political initiative “PAKISTAN UNITED CHRISTIAN MOVEMENT (PUCM)” [SlantRight Editor: PUCM on Facebook] that he and his team have announced to launch.

 

… READ ENTIRETY (Shamim Masih Emails; email – Chosen Vessel of Christ: Albert David; By Shamim Masih; SlantRight 2.0; posted 11/19/12 – email 10/25/12)

 

JRH 7/8/14

Please Support NCCR

***************************************

We Need Visionary Leaders

We Need Wise Leaders and Wise Followers

 

By Shamim Masih

Sent: 7/7/2014 1:31 PM

 

ISLAMABAD: Let us not talk of an ideal condition but there should be a balance and fair situation. We fool ourselves if we think we can hide behind masks and maintain a double personality. All insincerities will kick back.  They will come back to haunt us and make our true intentions plain for the entire world to see. Since my school life, I have been following former federal minister Julius Salik, then he was elected member of the parliament for the first time. I ran his election campaign, seeing him as a revolutionary leader but once he became a legislator, he neither brought reforms nor took solid steps to strengthen the community, so I stopped following him.

 

Currently there is a battery of Christian social and political leaders on the horizon currently, some have been there for decades but with a blank list of achievements, some from the most recent past have a tainted record with vested interests, and some are emerging as fresh blood, energetic, clear vision and not only aware of the socio-political issues of non-Muslims in the country but also an intellect approach towards their solution. Healthy self-esteem is important because some of us think too little of ourselves; on the other hand, some of us overestimate ourselves. However the key is an honest and accurate evaluation. When our leaders at any level are accused, discredited, denounce and charged with failure the word “impeach” begins to emerge. If a leader unable to do what he was placed in office to do by election or appointment, he becomes worthless and useless, this is a situation when public impeachment should be considered.

 

I could be wrong, but what I have seen during the last decade, a majority of Pakistani Christian leadership political, social or religious is self-centered. Reforming or leading a nation is not a game for armatures, it needs solid commitment, professional attitude combined with a national and international exposure and ability to represent the masses at all levels. When I look around there are a very few personalities that fit into the above criteria and one example I would like to share is Albert David MBE, Chairman of Pakistan United Christian Movement (PUCM). Albert has a proven and accomplished professional background, national and international exposure and experience of dealing with human rights issues, a strong grip over and awareness of socio-political issues whether related to the religious minorities or the country’s national issues and above all a vision and road map for non-Muslim Pakistanis to integrate into the national main stream, political and social. Albert strongly believes in social harmony and cohesion and advocates nationalism. I had a chance of going through his profile and would like to share a few of his achievements:

 

o   He is the first Pakistani Christian to be conferred MBE (Honorary Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) by her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, in recognition for outstanding services and contribution on issue of forced marriages.

 

o   He was invited by the White House as representative of Pakistani Christians for breakfast with President Barak Obama, an annual event to promote interfaith harmony between different religions in Feb, 2014.

 

o   A speaker and panelist at News Week’s conference “Women in World”, New York 2012, where he shared the stage with Foreign Secretary, Hillary Clinton and Angelina Jolie.

 

o   He was also the speaker and panelist on a debate jointly organized by BBC World service trust and BBC Urdu on the issue of forced marriages, honor killings and Gender Equality.

 

Locally he has served as the Member of the Provincial Minority Advisory Council, actively involved in the campaign against torture, a vibrant role in the promotion of child rights and leading on the advocacy campaign for Pakistan to accede to the 1980 Hague Convention on the Child Abductions. Another of Albert’s achievements was his role in signing of a Protocol between Judiciaries of Pakistan and UK on the issue of Child Abductions.

 

Along with the above mentioned and a very clear political agenda of prosperity coupled with intellectual thinking and prolific speaking skills in a number of languages, In my opinion he is emerging as one the more capable non-Muslim political leaders in Pakistan.

 

America and the West have a policy of ignoring the persecution of the Christians claiming it to be an internal affair but for some reason focus on individuals, however these individuals do not present a true picture here. Some local Christian politicians, civil rights activists and religious leaders have been making money on the pretext of safeguarding minority rights but these financial resources are being used in getting positions in other political parties and for their vest interests instead of spending those funds for achieving Christian prosperity.

 

Be Blessed,

Shamim Masih

__________________________________

Edited by John R. Houk

 

© Shamim Masih

Special Correspondents

Daily Khabrian (PakBiz.com description) & Channel – 5

Human Rights Activist

 

Snapshot of Human Rights Activism from 2011

Christian Rights Activist
Freelance Journalist 

Secretary General of Information

Pakistan Christian Congress

 

Shamim Masih’s Donate/Support info:

 

Editor: For Americans especially, I have discovered the best way to donate to Shamim Masih is via Western Union sending to a Western Union agent in Islamabad.

 

FOR USD TRANSFER.
Intermediary Bank:                         MASHREQ BANK, NEW YORK
Intermediary Bank SWIFT BIC:         MSHQUS33
Beneficiary Bank:                         JS BANK LIMITED
Beneficiary Bank SWIFT BIC:                 JSBLPKKA
Bank A/c # at Intermediary bank:         70008227
Title Of a/c                                Shamim Masih
Beneficiary Account Number:                 405527

Top of Form

IBAN #                                        pk80jsbl9530000000405227

FOR GBP TRANSFER.
Intermediary Bank:                         MASHREQ BANK, LONDON
Intermediary Bank SWIFT BIC:         MSHQGB2L
Beneficiary Bank:                         JS BANK LIMITED
Beneficiary Bank SWIFT BIC:                 JSBLPKKA
Bank A/c # at Intermediary bank:         00010855
Title Of a/c                                Shamim Masih
Beneficiary Account Number:                 405527
IBAN #                                        pk80jsbl9530000000405227

FOR EURO TRANSFER.
Intermediary Bank:                         MASHREQ BANK, LONDON
Intermediary Bank SWIFT BIC:         MSHQGB2L
Beneficiary Bank:                         JS BANK LIMITED
Beneficiary Bank SWIFT BIC:                 JSBLPKKA
Bank A/c # at Intermediary bank:         10847
Title Of a/c                                Shamim Masih
Beneficiary Account Number:                 405527
IBAN #                                        pk80jsbl9530000000405227
Bottom of Form

 

High-handed Leadership


Muslims Persecute Christians banner

Shamim writes about how Islam has transformed Pakistan from a secular State at its founding to a Muslim State dominated more and more by Islamic intolerance. Islamic intolerance in Pakistan has corrupted those who are considered leaders in Pakistan’s ever decreasing Christian population into kowtowing to the Islamic Supremacists that appointed them.

 

JRH 3/9/14

Please Support NCCR

*****************************

High-handed Leadership

 

By Shamim Masih

3/9/2014 3:27 AM

 

ISLAMABAD: Religious minorities are widely viewed as beleaguered or under attack since Z. A. Bhutto’s regime. Even then Pakistani Christians follow his ideology. At the time of partition in 1947, around 23 percent population was comprised of non-Muslims citizens. Today, the proportion of non-Muslims has declined to approximately 3-4 percent. Religious minorities such as Christians, Hindus and Ahmadis have been the targets of suicide bomb attacks, several incidents of violence and intimidation were reported including abduction and subsequent forced conversion of girls. Worship places and graveyards of Christians and Ahmadis have not been spared. Regular reports of graves being excavated and vandalized appear in the press and via community reports. 

 

General Zia brought in rules and regulations which were supposed to bring Pakistani law more in tune with the Sharia, or at least the Sharia as interpreted by him and his cohorts. These laws, which included the infamous blasphemy law, had a long term impact on Pakistan’s minorities. Since then there has been a steady rise in incidents involving attacks on both Christians and Ahmadis during the last two decades. Blasphemy law has targeted religious minorities on a regular basis. In spite of the case’s dismissal by the court, Rimsha and her family had to be kept in a safe house to prevent vigilante action against her and finally Rimsha and her family shifted to Canada.

 

During the British era, blasphemy laws were used infrequently and were reserved for prosecution of clerics, authors and preachers who caused inter-communal violence by attacking other faiths. But since 1982, any individual can be charged with blasphemy, leading to vigilantism and frivolous accusations against Pakistan’s minorities, especially Christians. Before 1986, only 14 cases of blasphemy had ever been reported, whereas between 1986 and 2012 around 1300 people had been charged.

 

I believe that all Christians are not saints but human beings and often make mistakes but I certainly believe that there is even limits to telling lie. Bhutto nationalized Christians’ institutions and since then Christian students are out of educational institutions. Even now Christian students are being expelled from missionary institutions due to the lack of sources. But Paul Bhatti’s claimed that he has supported 4000 Christian students and funded 15 Christian students for higher studies abroad and 100 million provided for rehabilitation of worship places. I didn’t see any support for Christians during his time. This huge fund is beyond the total grant to the Harmony Ministry from the government, which is around 20 million per year. During the vigil mark slain minister Shahbaz Bhatti’s third death anniversary, I heard people claiming, and they are promoting his vision; I try to recall, what Shahbaz Bhatti or his followers have done for the community but found nothing but this scandal. Sitting as federal minister in government, if he delivered a statement in the favor of persecuted women is not worthy to take credits. He was elected through the democratic process but was selected by a big Muslim political party. Candidates appointed to reserved seats are not real representatives as they do not get their votes. The selection system adopted for minority members has opened the doors of corruption, says Albert David– Chairman PUCM. Thus he was not a public representative. When a majority of fellow Christians are going through sufferings we are not worthy to take any credits. Nazir S Bhatti, president PCC declared joint electorate conspiracy against religious minorities. The PCC has filed a writ petition in the IHC against this system.

   

Besides flagging the incidents, the HRCP report laments the failure to do away with discriminatory laws including the constitutional provision barring non-Muslims from key government positions. Instead of abandoning the promise of revising and improving the law, the government should create consensus on the need to reform it. Educational institutions, Technical training centers and women empowerment is required to empower the Christian community.

 

If I look around and I could hardly find few passionate Christians, who delighted to extend their hands to all affected areas and people in need. There is a lot of information regarding the recent and past Christian persecutions that sway Pakistan over and over. Scientists say that a butterfly flapping its wings in Brazil can create a tornado in Texas a week later. Clearly, in today’s deeply connected Christian world, truthful unbiased and unfiltered news about realities of persecution is a basic need to address. Christian persecution news coverage is pitiable in Pakistan, but reminding the Christians around to unite, remain prayerful and patient so that we can ripple Christian love and concern through our own individual lives and the consequent lives we inevitably affect around us.

 

But unlikely there are many so called Christian leaders wasting the resources shaking up with Muslim ullmas [Blog Editor: I could not find a reference to “ullmas”. Perhaps in the context of sentence the reference is “ulema,” “ulama” or mullah] and contributing in main political parties. The Islamists are prevailing in the battle of ideas. Secular voices have been either physically eliminated or removed from the mainstream by judicial means. Therefore, it is in the interest of neighbors and the international community to support the minority communities in Pakistan and to support the voices of those Pakistanis who refuse to give up the idea of a pluralist society.

 

Be Blessed,

Shamim Masih

_______________________________

Edited by John R. Houk

Bracketed content is added by the Editor.

 

© Shamim Masih

Special Correspondents

Daily Khabrian (PakBiz.com description) & Channel – 5

Human Rights Activist

 

Snapshot of Human Rights Activism from 2011

Christian Rights Activist
Freelance Journalist
 

Secretary General of Information

Pakistan Christian Congress

 

Shamim Masih’s Donate/Support info:

 

Editor: For Americans especially, I have discovered the best way to donate to Shamim Masih is via Western Union sending to a Western Union agent in Islamabad.

 

FOR USD TRANSFER.
Intermediary Bank:
                        MASHREQ BANK, NEW YORK
Intermediary Bank SWIFT BIC:
        MSHQUS33
Beneficiary Bank:
                        JS BANK LIMITED
Beneficiary Bank SWIFT BIC:
                JSBLPKKA
Bank A/c # at Intermediary bank:
        70008227
Title Of a/c
                               Shamim Masih
Beneficiary Account Number:
                405527

Top of Form

IBAN #                                        pk80jsbl9530000000405227

FOR GBP TRANSFER.
Intermediary Bank:
                        MASHREQ BANK, LONDON
Intermediary Bank SWIFT BIC:
        MSHQGB2L
Beneficiary Bank:
                        JS BANK LIMITED
Beneficiary Bank SWIFT BIC:
                JSBLPKKA
Bank A/c # at Intermediary bank:
        00010855
Title Of a/c
                               Shamim Masih
Beneficiary Account Number:
                405527
IBAN #
                                       pk80jsbl9530000000405227

FOR EURO TRANSFER.
Intermediary Bank:
                        MASHREQ BANK, LONDON
Intermediary Bank SWIFT BIC:
        MSHQGB2L
Beneficiary Bank:
                        JS BANK LIMITED
Beneficiary Bank SWIFT BIC:
                JSBLPKKA
Bank A/c # at Intermediary bank:
        10847
Title Of a/c
                               Shamim Masih
Beneficiary Account Number:
                405527
IBAN #
                                       pk80jsbl9530000000405227

 

Electoral Injustice- Minorities Waiting for Reformation


Albert David

 

Shamim Masih writes about the unjust representation of non-Muslims in Pakistan. Pakistan’s electoral system is set-up to favor the Islamic Supremacism of Sharia Law to the detriment of the political rights of Pakistani Non-Muslims and/or Pakistani Non-Sunni Muslims. The existence of this unjust political representation undoubtedly contributes to the Sunni Muslim majority to persecute Christians with impunity.

 

JRH 10/20/13

Please Support NCCR

**********************************

Electoral Injustice- Minorities Waiting for Reformation

 

By Shamim Masih

Sent: 10/18/2013 2:34 PM

 

ISLAMABAD: Check out the biggest leftist hypocrisy in Pakistan, remarkably highlighted by Albert David Chairman Pakistan United Christian Movement [PUCM See Here].

  

In political terms the local governments are known as the nursery of politics where new entrants to politics get trained, gain experience and take bigger strides to play their role at the National level. However it appears that by introducing two different electoral systems for Non-Muslims in the upcoming local government elections they are being made victims of yet another political injustice.

 

All Four provinces have announced their own preferred local bodies systems and apparently it looks like they have opted for a joint electoral system where as non-Muslims will be given representation on reserved seats through indirect elections.

 

Let’s look at the Punjab Local Government Bill 2013.  The composition of a Union Council will include elected Chairman and Vice Chairman, five other directly elected members on the basis of adult franchise followed by three indirectly elected members, including one each representing the Non-Muslims, women and labor/peasants on reserved seats. The will be elected by the directly elected seven members. A similar prototype is to be followed for representation of Non-Muslims at the District Council and Urban local government levels.

 

Another concerning issue in the Bill that affects Non-Muslims is that only those Union Councils will have a Non-Muslim member where the number of registered Non-Muslim voters is 500 or more. This could lead into a situation where approx. 50% of Union Councils will have no Non-Muslim representation.

 

Though joint electoral system was introduced to bring Non-Muslims into the main stream of politics however we must admit that socially we are still in an evolution phase where it is acceptable to get the votes from Non-Muslims however voting for a Non-Muslim candidate will take years of political, social and cultural change or in other words development.

 

The electoral system imposed by dictator General Parvaiz Musharaf for Non-Muslims at the National and Provincial level is already keeping Non-Muslim politicians away from the race as the existing ones have the tools, contacts and resources to secure the confidence of their masters and secure access to the legislative institutions. It does not matter if they have any commitment or ever wish to access the masses they represent. These so called representatives never feel accountable to the ones they represent as they are not elected by them.

 

The proposed provincial LG electoral system is another step, the final nail in the coffin; politically the Non-Muslims are out, end of game, in Wimbledon term, game, set and match. Once again the same story will be repeated, people with resources and more importantly contacts with their masters will select their own people as the representatives at the grass root levels too. I see this as an attempt to make the Non-Muslims politically infertile.

        

However the interesting factor is that the elections in the 43 Cantonment Boards have been proposed on the “Separate” electorate system, where Non-Muslims voters will vote for Non-Muslim candidates as members/councilors. Isn’t this a political mockery, the provincial governments opting for a Joint electoral system and Federal Government (Cantonment Boards are governed by Federal Government) preferring a “Separate Electoral System”. But maintaining a Joint Electoral system at the national and provincial level.

 

The demand to elect their own representatives has been gaining momentum over the recent years and if the Provincial or Federal governments ever made an effort to explore the preferred electoral system, I am confident the majority of the minority (Non-Muslim Pakistanis) will opt for the separate electoral system. Separate elections is a popular demand among Non-Muslims however not sure if a priority for the law makers to look into this.

 

Whatever the conclusion may be Pakistan United Christian Movement rejects the proposed electoral system for the Non-Muslims in upcoming the local government elections and demands that Non-Muslim voters should be given the right to elect their own representatives by their own votes. I wish that the Federal Government goes ahead with the proposed separate electoral system for Cantonment boards

 

Be Blessed,

Shamim Masih

______________________

© Shamim Masih

Edited by John R. Houk

 

Snapshot of Human Rights Activism from 2011

Christian Rights Activist
Freelance Journalist 

Secretary General

REAP

Shamim Masih’s Donate/Support info:

 

FOR USD TRANSFER.
Intermediary Bank:                         MASHREQ BANK, NEW YORK
Intermediary Bank SWIFT BIC:         MSHQUS33
Beneficiary Bank:                         JS BANK LIMITED
Beneficiary Bank SWIFT BIC:                 JSBLPKKA
Bank A/c # at Intermediary bank:         70008227
Title Of a/c                                Shamim Masih
Beneficiary Account Number:                 405527

Top of Form

IBAN #                                        pk80jsbl9530000000405227

FOR GBP TRANSFER.
Intermediary Bank:                         MASHREQ BANK, LONDON
Intermediary Bank SWIFT BIC:         MSHQGB2L
Beneficiary Bank:                         JS BANK LIMITED
Beneficiary Bank SWIFT BIC:                 JSBLPKKA
Bank A/c # at Intermediary bank:         00010855
Title Of a/c                                Shamim Masih
Beneficiary Account Number:                 405527
IBAN #                                        pk80jsbl9530000000405227

FOR EURO TRANSFER.
Intermediary Bank:                         MASHREQ BANK, LONDON
Intermediary Bank SWIFT BIC:         MSHQGB2L
Beneficiary Bank:                         JS BANK LIMITED
Beneficiary Bank SWIFT BIC:                 JSBLPKKA
Bank A/c # at Intermediary bank:         10847
Title Of a/c                                Shamim Masih
Beneficiary Account Number:                 405527
IBAN #                                        pk80jsbl9530000000405227
Bottom of Form

 

 

All Saints Church in Peshawar is Under Attack


Peshawar Pakistan 2

 

I just posted a Shamim Masih article about the corrupt political system in Pakistan that discriminates minorities with a focus on Christian-Pakistanis. As I was going through my emails I discovered Shamim had sent some news info about two Islamic Terrorist homicidal suicide bombers detonating themselves in an over 100 year old Christian Church killing and maiming Christian-Pakistanis.

 

Shamim was not privy to all the details by the time he sent the story to me. It has been discovered that the homicidal suicide bombers were the Taliban. The very group of Islamic terrorists that Pakistan’s government has been openly trying to negotiate a political peace because the political party running the show won their election based on demonizing the USA’s Global War on Terrorism (you know – the war that Obama says we are not fighting).

 

JRH 9/22/13

Please Support NCCR

**********************************

All Saints Church in Peshawar is Under Attack

 

By Shamim Masih

Sent: 9/22/2013 12:58 PM

 

Peshawar: The Sunday Church Service at All Saints Church in Peshawar ended in heartbreak as two suicide bombers blew themselves up while the Sunday service just ended. [The explosion] killed more than 90 worshipers, 34 of them women, 7 children and more than 110 were injured. According to the Minister of Interior Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan the situation is different but Church sources said the death toll is expected to rise as many of the injured are in a critical condition. [The] interior minister said that the government would bear the cost of rebuilding the damaged church and declared three days mourning. Many other organizations announced the same. Peshawer blast Christian Victims

 

Peshawar [is the] capital city of KPK province, 188 Km away from the capital Islamabad. All Saints Memorial Church was its distinctive Saracen architecture first opened for service in December 1983 [Editor: I am guessing Shamim meant 1883 – See Also HERE]. The church is located in Kohati gate, an inner city area of the city. The church capacity is about 500 – 600 and usually the gathering is around [that number]. After the church service on Sunday, a person blows himself up and little later another man did the same thing. The blast shattered the glass panes of the nearby houses. Police said that the terrorists opened fire at the security guards at the entrance of the church, possibly killing one. The security’s agency said it was a suicide bombing [and] no group has as yet taken responsibility for this [Editor: As of this posting it is reported it was the Taliban]. They said each of the bombers was carrying eight kg of explosives. The federal government has decided to tighten the security for minorities and the institutions after this incident.

  

As the country was staggered by the latest bomb blast and Christians all around the country came on the roads to protest against it. Sohail Johnson, chairman Sharing Life Ministry Pakistan lead the protest rally in Lahore in front of the press club, Lahore and in Youhanabad and went to Peshawar city with his group. He said that he is going to provide them with medicine and food items as required. Bishop Yaqoob Paul also participated in the protest rally. Nadeem Anthony Advocate High Court, Yousaf Kamran, Human Rights Activist, Christian Protest Church BombingShaleem Yousaf, social activists also participated in protest rally in Lahore.

 

Albert David chairman Pakistan United Christian Movement left for Peshawar as soon as he heard about this sad incident. Tahir Naveed Chaudhry condemned the blast and said protection of minorities is a central duty of the state but unfortunately it didn’t do [such protection]. Protest rally was [centered] around the condemnation of the bombing in Islamabad/Rawalpindi as well, Samuel Yaqoob led this rally.

 

Dr. Paul Bhatti left for Peshawar and strongly condemned the bomb blast and said that terrorists have no religion. He expressed solidarity with the families injured.

______________________

© Shamim Masih

Edited by John R. Houk

Brackets and links are added by the Editor hopefully for greater clarity.

 

Shamim Masih

Snapshot of Human Rights Activism from 2011

Christian Rights Activist
Freelance Journalist 

Secretary General

REAP

Shamim Masih’s Donate/Support info:

 

FOR USD TRANSFER.
Intermediary Bank:                         MASHREQ BANK, NEW YORK
Intermediary Bank SWIFT BIC:         MSHQUS33
Beneficiary Bank:                         JS BANK LIMITED
Beneficiary Bank SWIFT BIC:                 JSBLPKKA
Bank A/c # at Intermediary bank:         70008227
Title Of a/c                                Shamim Masih
Beneficiary Account Number:                 405527

Top of Form

IBAN #                                        pk80jsbl9530000000405227

FOR GBP TRANSFER.
Intermediary Bank:                         MASHREQ BANK, LONDON
Intermediary Bank SWIFT BIC:         MSHQGB2L
Beneficiary Bank:                         JS BANK LIMITED
Beneficiary Bank SWIFT BIC:                 JSBLPKKA
Bank A/c # at Intermediary bank:         00010855
Title Of a/c                                Shamim Masih
Beneficiary Account Number:                 405527
IBAN #                                        pk80jsbl9530000000405227

FOR EURO TRANSFER.
Intermediary Bank:                         MASHREQ BANK, LONDON
Intermediary Bank SWIFT BIC:         MSHQGB2L
Beneficiary Bank:                         JS BANK LIMITED
Beneficiary Bank SWIFT BIC:                 JSBLPKKA
Bank A/c # at Intermediary bank:         10847
Title Of a/c                                Shamim Masih
Beneficiary Account Number:                 405527
IBAN #                                        pk80jsbl9530000000405227
Bottom of Form

 

Shamim Masih Christian Pakistan Updates


Shamim Masih

Shamim Masih

Shamim writes about Christian Rights and the abuse of Christians. He also writes with a spark of nationalism for Pakistan as you will realize in the last sentence of the last article of three that I am posting here. As an American I have mixed feelings in combining as a singularity the two issues of Christian Rights in Pakistan and nationalism for Pakistan. Making the effort to see it from the other side I guess the only perceived hope for Christian Rights in Muslim Pakistan is a national acceptance of Christian Pakistanis as equal citizens.

 

JRH 8/17/13

Please Support NCCR

******************************

Shamim Masih Christian Pakistan Updates

By Shamim Masih

Posted August 17, 2013

 

PMA launched to protect Christians’ rights in Pakistan

Sent: 8/12/2013 11:31 AM

 

ISLAMABAD: I am the true follower of the Shaheed Shahbaz Bhatti and will continue the struggle for my people, said Tahir Naveed Chaudhry.

 

According to the sources, Tahir Naveed Ch- Ex. Member Punjab Assembly – MPA has launched a political party with the name, Pakistan Minorities Alliance – PMA [Stories I found: HERE and HERE] aims to protect Christians’ rights in the country. Talking to the media at the launching ceremony he said that minorities in the country are being targeted frequently during the past decades. I am devoted to serve my community and have spared my life to protect their rights, he said.

 

The PPP government had declared August 11 as Minorities’ Day in 2009 by the effort of our leader Shahbaz Bhatti but the present government is in no mood to celebrate Minorities Day. This shows the lack of interest from the newly elected government towards minorities but we made an effort to make this day, a memorable day and staged the launching ceremony, he claimed. PMA signifies Quaid –e-Azam’s speech to the Constituent Assembly on August 11, 1947 in which he had said, “You may belong to any religion or caste or creed that has nothing to do with the business of the State.” [Related Post: Pakistani Christian community celebrates Equality Day on August 11]

 

PMA believes that Pakistan was established as a secular Islamic republic at the inception of its nationhood in 1947. As the years have distanced itself from 1947 Pakistan has become more and more entrenched in the purist Islamic thought that revolves around the theo-political jurisprudence of Sharia Law.

 

Chaudhry said that we have equal rights according to the founders’ speech, but religious extremist are trying to divide citizens of the country. PMA is committed to promote peace and harmony in the country.

 

Talking to the gathering at the launching ceremony, Sohail Johnson [The blog Random Thoughts has numerous posts relating to Mr. Johnson. I believe you can getting a snapshot of Mr. Johnson’s work with this tag link.] Chairman Sharing Life Ministries said that the government has illustrated that they will not tolerate the celebration of the minorities living in the country during the holy period of Eid. Article 2 of the Constitution clearly states, “Islam shall be the State Religion of Pakistan” and this fact alone enshrines a principle that all other faiths are secondary and a natural pariah status to believer of non-Islamic teachings.

 

The Christian community has upheld minorities’ day celebrations despite governmental insouciance and we pray that this will not manifest in the attack on our communities, he added.

 

Be Blessed,

Shamim Masih

________________________

We would not beg for our rights, says Dr. Paul Bhatti

Sent: 8/14/2013 1:43 AM

 

ISLAMABAD: We are equal citizen of Pakistan and we would not beg for our rights; instead we are going to get our rights because we are united, said Dr. Paul Bhatti.

 

Talking to media in National Press Club, Islamabad – NPC Dr. Paul Bhatti Ex-Minister In charge for National Harmony said that Minorities’ Day was declared in 2009 by the effort of my brother and then Minorities Minister Shahbaz Bhatti. The day signifies Quaid-e-Azam’s speech to the Constituent Assembly on August 11, 1947 in which he had said, “You may belong to any religion, caste or creed- that has nothing to do with business of the State.”

 

However, this government doesn’t seem serious to stand with minorities. He condemned the Parvez Rasheed’s statement about the celebration of Minorities’ Day. Dr. Paul criticized Parvez Rasheed and said instead encouraging our courageous step about minorities’ rights, he become critical.

 

Parvaiz Rasheed the Information Minister had criticized Dr. Paul Bhatti and said that Dr. Paul Bhatti and Akram Gill were portraying the picture of minorities’ rights in Pakistan. “They (Bhatti and Gill) represent their party (PPP and PML-Q) that is why they are politicizing the matter.”

 

However, information Minister said that the day is falling during Eid holidays. Though Pakistan is going through a testing time but Minorities are on our priority list, he added.

 

Dr. Paul Bhatti added passages of Shahbaz’s speech on August 14, 2008: Shahbaz Bhatti said “This very first step of solidarity.” In coming people “have also proved” that they “would be no more depressed and voiceless.” “ From now, I assure you all, that we are no more beggars and we would not beg for our rights; instead we are going to get our rights because we are united . . . the sons of this sacred land of Pakistan,” Bhatti said.


Women,” he added, “have to come out of [their] homes.” They must join “our peaceful struggle for equal rights . . . and youth has to sacrifice to make a new history of Pakistan.”

 

We are strengthening the nation and I have been visiting people at their places and creating awareness among Pakistani minorities, Dr. Paul added.

 

Be Blessed,

Shamim Masih

_______________________

Our first identity is Pakistani and we are proud of it, says Albert David

Sent: 8/14/2013 4:27 AM

 

ISLAMABAD: Today we are celebrating our 67th independence day. No doubt freedom is a blessing and we celebrate this event with zeal and joy as Pakistanis and as Christians. Let’s pray and work together for a prosperous and peaceful Pakistan. Let us not forget that our first identity in the community of Nations is being Pakistanis, let’s be proud of it, said Albert David.

Talking at the Independence Day celebration, Albert David Chairman Pakistan United Christian Movement said, that there is no doubt that there are many inequalities that hurt us as Non-Muslims, be it constitutional, social or political in Pakistan. However there are bigger challenges that we face as Pakistanis, war against terrorism being the biggest. And let’s not forget the energy crisis, economic problems and governance issues and above all the current situation at the borders with India.

We have to stand up with these challenges as Pakistanis, we have to come out of our alienation and own Pakistan and the national issues. We have to make use of all our potentials and work with the wider community to overcome these challenges, he said.

As Pakistani Christians we have another important responsibility. We have to regain the same glory and honor that we had during the first three decades of our independence. Where we produced soldiers who became part of history, our education institutions are still the best and have been producing leaders of national and international stature, we had an important role and presence in the field of medicine, he claimed.

Unfortunately our progress and development has slowed down due to the reasons both social and political however we must admit that we have suffered from brain drain. Our institutions have weakened and we have become infertile in producing enough leaders rather visionaries to take on the responsibility of leading us and converting into a nation, he added.

Let us make a pledge today that we will work together and implement the word “unity” that we talk about the most. Let us start appreciating each other’s abilities rather than criticizing just for the sake of it. Let’s not work for quick wins let’s start thinking and plan for 100 years ahead, let’s not only think politically but analytically, not only be leaders but visionaries.

Let us not only give statements about youth, let’s believe in them and give them the space to grow and develop as future leaders and visionaries. Let us not forget the word “transition”. Youth and children are the best investment that we can make today.

Let us collectively work on a national agenda, do away with personal interests. An agenda of development, be it social, political or economic, let’s work on a road map of achieving it and agreeing priorities, one of these in my opinion is education.

God bless all of you and our country. Pakistan live forever!

 

Be Blessed,

Shamim Masih

_________________________

Edited by John R. Houk

All information links are by the Editor

 

© Shamim Masih

Snapshot of Human Rights Activism from 2011

Christian Rights Activist
Freelance Journalist 

Secretary General

REAP

Shamim Masih’s Donate/Support info:

 

FOR USD TRANSFER.
Intermediary Bank:                         MASHREQ BANK, NEW YORK
Intermediary Bank SWIFT BIC:         MSHQUS33
Beneficiary Bank:                         JS BANK LIMITED
Beneficiary Bank SWIFT BIC:                 JSBLPKKA
Bank A/c # at Intermediary bank:         70008227
Title Of a/c                                Shamim Masih
Beneficiary Account Number:                 405527

Top of Form

IBAN #                                        pk80jsbl9530000000405227

FOR GBP TRANSFER.
Intermediary Bank:                         MASHREQ BANK, LONDON
Intermediary Bank SWIFT BIC:         MSHQGB2L
Beneficiary Bank:                         JS BANK LIMITED
Beneficiary Bank SWIFT BIC:                 JSBLPKKA
Bank A/c # at Intermediary bank:         00010855
Title Of a/c                                Shamim Masih
Beneficiary Account Number:                 405527
IBAN #                                        pk80jsbl9530000000405227

FOR EURO TRANSFER.
Intermediary Bank:                         MASHREQ BANK, LONDON
Intermediary Bank SWIFT BIC:         MSHQGB2L
Beneficiary Bank:                         JS BANK LIMITED
Beneficiary Bank SWIFT BIC:                 JSBLPKKA
Bank A/c # at Intermediary bank:         10847
Title Of a/c                                Shamim Masih
Beneficiary Account Number:                 405527
IBAN #                                        pk80jsbl9530000000405227
Bottom of Form

 

Pakistani Christian community celebrates Equality Day on August 11


Tahir Naveed Chaudhry & Shamim Masih

Tahir Naveed Chaudhry & Shamim Masih

 

Shamim writes about minorities and the Christian minority in particular celebrating Minority Day under a different name in a form of a protest and calling it Equality Day. The Islamic government did not publicly celebrate Minority Day because it fell during the Muslim festival of Eid.

 

JRH 8/12/13

Please Support NCCR

******************************

ISLAMABAD: Pakistani Christian community celebrates Equality Day on August 11.

 

By Shamim Masih

Sent: 8/12/2013 7:03 AM

 

The Pakistan United Christian Movement (PUCM) is celebrating the Equality Day instead Minorities Day in Rawalpindi where leaders of minorities from Pakistan participated.

 

The leaders present a paper on how minorities are being targeted by the extremists in Pakistan, when we are equal citizen of the country, they said.

 

The government had declared August 11 as minorities’ day in 2009 by the efforts of then minorities minister Shahbaz Bhatti who was shot dead in the country’s capital in 2011.

 

The day signifies Quaid-e-Azam’s speech to Constituent Assembly on August 11 1947 in which he had said, “You may belong to any religion or caste or creed – that has nothing to do with the business of the State.”

 

The government is in no mood of celebrating minorities’ day.

 

However, Information Minister Pervez Rashid said that the day was falling during Eid holidays.

 

“Though Pakistan is going through a testing time—but minorities are on our priority list,” he added.

 

Talking to the gathering at Christian Study Centre – CSC Albert David, Chairman PUCM criticized the government declaring them a second class citizen in the country. Minorities have been ignored by the current government. August 11 was not only a day where Christians were especially made part of the whole nation, but a clear and wider picture was given to the members of the Constituent Assembly, he added.

 

Tahir Naveed Chaudhry Ex-MPA has launched a new political party on minorities’ day, 11 August. Talking to the media at the launching ceremony of Pakistan Minority Alliance- PMA he said that he will continue the struggle of Shaheed Shanbaz Bhatti, who played his role for Pakistani Minorities. I am the true follower of the Shahbaz Bhatti (late) and will continue the mission he started, he said.

 

Samuel Yaqoob chairman Muslim Masihi Ithad has protested on this day outside the Press Club Islamabad. He claimed that we have the equal rights according to the founders’ speech but the religious extremists are trying to draw a line between citizens of the country. 

 

Minority Day Protest - Simon Yaqoob - Muslim Masihi Ittehad 8-11-13

 

On behalf of British Pakistani Christian Association BPCA, Shamim Masih, a journalist and representative of BPCA in Pakistan held a meeting with leaders from the key faith in Lahore and an agreement was made for a peace mural to be incorporated at Joseph Colony Badami Bagh, Lahore. 

 

Be Blessed,

Shamim Masih

________________________

Edited by John R. Houk. All links are for information and added by the editor. Shamim sent three versions of this post and I chose the one with the extra paragraph. Some of this information can be found in greater detail at the British Pakistani Christian Association (BPCA) blog under the title, “Newly Elected Pakistani Government refuses to celebrate state celebration termed “Minorities day,” as it would tarnish Islamic Eid Celebrations!

 

© Shamim Masih

Snapshot of Human Rights Activism from 2011

Christian Rights Activist
Freelance Journalist 

Secretary General

REAP

Shamim Masih’s Donate/Support info:

 

FOR USD TRANSFER.
Intermediary Bank:                         MASHREQ BANK, NEW YORK
Intermediary Bank SWIFT BIC:         MSHQUS33
Beneficiary Bank:                         JS BANK LIMITED
Beneficiary Bank SWIFT BIC:                 JSBLPKKA
Bank A/c # at Intermediary bank:         70008227
Title Of a/c                                Shamim Masih
Beneficiary Account Number:                 405527

Top of Form

IBAN #                                        pk80jsbl9530000000405227

FOR GBP TRANSFER.
Intermediary Bank:                         MASHREQ BANK, LONDON
Intermediary Bank SWIFT BIC:         MSHQGB2L
Beneficiary Bank:                         JS BANK LIMITED
Beneficiary Bank SWIFT BIC:                 JSBLPKKA
Bank A/c # at Intermediary bank:         00010855
Title Of a/c                                Shamim Masih
Beneficiary Account Number:                 405527
IBAN #                                        pk80jsbl9530000000405227

FOR EURO TRANSFER.
Intermediary Bank:                         MASHREQ BANK, LONDON
Intermediary Bank SWIFT BIC:         MSHQGB2L
Beneficiary Bank:                         JS BANK LIMITED
Beneficiary Bank SWIFT BIC:                 JSBLPKKA
Bank A/c # at Intermediary bank:         10847
Title Of a/c                                Shamim Masih
Beneficiary Account Number:                 405527
IBAN #                                        pk80jsbl9530000000405227

No place for minorities in Imran Khan’s Naya Pakistan


Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa - Pakistan map

Intro: No place for minorities in Imran Khan’s Naya Pakistan

The political party Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) failed to win Pakistan’s parliamentary elections in May 2013. Pakistan’s big winner was Nawaz Sharif. PTI’s leader Imran Khan managed to form a provincial government in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (KPK). Khan made campaign promises that implied he will bring Pakistan out of corrupt governance with the aid of all Pakistanis. The insinuation of “all” means majority Muslims, minority Christians, minority Shia Muslims, Hindus and Ahmadiyya Muslims. The term for this new united Pakistan is Naya Pakistan.

 

Of Pakistan minorities those considered on the lowest rung of existence by the majority Sunni Muslims are Christians and Ahmadis. Thus unless a Christian is a beneficiary of condoned wealth by the majority they are in some worst terms of poverty and considered social pariahs.

 

The Naya Pakistan promises or manifesto relating minorities which is allegedly is inclusive of Christians runs something like this:

 

Imran, who chose the venue of Saturday’s rally for being the site where Indian Muslims first made their official demand for a separate homeland, pledged in his speech to always “speak the truth with the nation”.

 

He went on to assure that he would wage a ‘jihad’ against oppression and side with the oppressed, including women and minorities, if he came to power.

 

“I will establish the supremacy of law, I will not have property or bank accounts abroad,” he said, alluding to accusations of corruption against politicians.

 

“It is my promise to you that I will … (Bold Emphasis Mine – ‘Naya Pakistan’ rally: Imran ignites poll drive; By AFP / Anwer Sumra; The Express Tribune; 5/24/13)  

 

Shamim Mehmood (Masih) is not trusting of Imran Khan’s promises for a Naya Pakistan.

 

JRH 7/6/13

Please Support NCCR

******************************

No place for minorities in Imran Khan’s Naya Pakistan

 

By Shamim Mehmood

Sent: July 5, 2013 10:28 AM

 

ISLAMABAD: A lot has been written about the plight of minorities in Pakistan – some by the minorities themselves and some by the majority. Minority rights in Pakistan were always broken. Majority always copes while minority bears the brunt.

 

In this piece, however, I want to focus on another aspect of the statement Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) leader issued, which I doubted pertaining to Christians. I heard Imran Khan many times and observed that he is not favorable toward Pakistani minorities. During the 2013 election drive, he never favored them neither has he given priority to Christians in the priority list submitted to Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP). Christians are the biggest minority in Pakistan but placed second on purpose. [SlantRight Editor: In trying to verify Shamim’s premise that Christians are the actual largest minority in Pakistan I discovered it is depending on who you read. What is evident is that Christians and Hindus are the largest minorities. The Christian-Hindu populations are essentially neck-n-neck as to which is largest. In order to offer the benefit of the doubt to Shamim the Pakistani-Hindu population seems to be on an exodus out of Pakistan which favors the emergence of Christians as the largest minority.]

 

PTI is a pro-Islamic political party and it is clearly seen that the PTI leader has been favoring the Taliban and has been in favor of Jammat-e-Islami – which is a radical political party and an ally party of the PTI in KPK. The PTI chief had been claiming from years that his party will provide justice to every citizen irrespective of cast, creed and religion but I personally observed him as rigid/fundamentalist. Finally, the PTI nominated Chief Minister in KPK is showing the real face of the PTI after coming in power in one province of Pakistan. While delivering his statement, he said that sanitary workers (cleaning drains, streets and roads) jobs will be given to minorities (Christians, Hindus and schedule casts) only. Muslims from the province are not eligible for this job. On July 2, 2013, RAZA ROOMI and BEENISH SALEEM have spoken about this statement on CAPITAL TV in SEEDHI BAAT (Talk Show).

 

Finally, someone from the PTI has spoken and has shown the double standard of their mentality. It is worth reflecting that in Europe and America Muslims have built mosques by the thousands and practice their faith daily, and it does not cause any disruption. Lately, since 9/11 there has been some change in attitudes by Europeans’ but it is minor compared to the horrors minorities face in Pakistan.

 

Christians of vicinity have been serving the nation in the educational, health and social sectors. Unfortunately, ZA Bhutto nationalized their institutions and declared them second class citizens. Now, the PTI leader is forcing them to perform cleaning or sanitary jobs.

 

Parvez Khatak has really hurt the feelings of the minorities. Christians are disappointed from the change they planned to bring in the country.

 

Dr. Nazir S Bhatti, President of Pakistan Christian Congress (PCP) has strongly condemned the statement and demanded immediate clarification from Imran Khan, chief of PTI on his party leader. He urged the Pakistani Christians to stay away from PTI because the next step might be to announce separate dress for non-Muslims in KPK.

 

Albert David – Chairman Pakistan United Christian Movement – PUCM declared it, highly insensitive, discriminatory and biased remarks from PTI leadership. PUCM chief has demanded a public apology and resignation from Mr. Khattak otherwise the PTI will face a strong protest by Non-Muslim Pakistanis if the leadership of the PTI does not take immediate action. Is this the “changing” that the PTI had been rallying for, David questioned the PTI leadership?

 

Shireen Mazari PTI spokesperson said when I asked about this statement, she sent me a text massage saying [SlantRight Editor: I am assuming Shamim is paraphrasing in English from the original language], “It was not against minorities. He spoke against the previous minister who hired hoards of sifarshis as sweepers and once in there these people said they could not do the job as they were “Muslims” and wanted to be posted elsewhere! So the CM said if these people refused to do the job they were hired for because they were Muslims and wouldn’t clean (etc.) then they should be fired and Christians who needed the job should be hired instead.” So how is that being against minorities?

 

It is amazing that the people refused to do the job they were hired for and CM declared this job is only for minorities. I wanted to ask the Christian campaigners, who have invested their time and money for this day?

 

It does make me feel that there must be some form of racism or discrimination towards people of other faiths especially in Pakistan where the minority is less valued or less valued as a worthy human being and thus are given jobs that is considered as lower-end jobs for (according to some societies) lower- class/worthless/low status people. I, however, think that is simply bang out of order. You can’t go round treating people who are not on the same level as you or who don’t share the same religion as you to give them jobs that are inferior just because they are inferior to you on the basis that they are not Muslims. It is morally wrong way to go about dealing with people.

_______________________________

© Shamim (Masih) Mehmood

Edited by John R. Houk

Explanatory links added by Editor

 

Shamim Masih

Christian Rights Activist
Freelance Journalist 

Secretary General

REAP

Shamim Masih’s Donate/Support info:

 

FOR USD TRANSFER.
Intermediary Bank:                         MASHREQ BANK, NEW YORK
Intermediary Bank SWIFT BIC:         MSHQUS33
Beneficiary Bank:                         JS BANK LIMITED
Beneficiary Bank SWIFT BIC:                 JSBLPKKA
Bank A/c # at Intermediary bank:         70008227
Title Of a/c                                Shamim Masih
Beneficiary Account Number:                 405527

Top of Form

IBAN #                                        pk80jsbl9530000000405227

FOR GBP TRANSFER.
Intermediary Bank:                         MASHREQ BANK, LONDON
Intermediary Bank SWIFT BIC:         MSHQGB2L
Beneficiary Bank:                         JS BANK LIMITED
Beneficiary Bank SWIFT BIC:                 JSBLPKKA
Bank A/c # at Intermediary bank:         00010855
Title Of a/c                                Shamim Masih
Beneficiary Account Number:                 405527
IBAN #                                        pk80jsbl9530000000405227

FOR EURO TRANSFER.
Intermediary Bank:                         MASHREQ BANK, LONDON
Intermediary Bank SWIFT BIC:         MSHQGB2L
Beneficiary Bank:                         JS BANK LIMITED
Beneficiary Bank SWIFT BIC:                 JSBLPKKA
Bank A/c # at Intermediary bank:         10847
Title Of a/c                                Shamim Masih
Beneficiary Account Number:                 405527
IBAN #                                        pk80jsbl9530000000405227

Use Public Office to Protect Christians’ Rights


Nawaz Sharif 2- PM Pakistan

Nawaz Sharif – Prime Minister Pakistan

 

Here is an important editorial about the plight of Pakistani minorities and Christians in particular. That picture is not a rosy one. Shamim sent this to me a while ago but a recent move has me a bit behind in monitoring my emails. Due to an assumption of a lack of awareness of Pakistani politics and religious affairs I will link to some of organizations and people Shamim writes about.

 

JRH 6/25/13

Please Support NCCR

***************************

Use Public Office to Protect Christians’ Rights

Christian Minorities in Pakistan

 

By Shamim Masih

Sent: June 16, 2013 3:54 AM

 

ISLAMABAD – The peace interventions ratio in Pakistan is always disproportional in the supply and demand. Pakistani society is gradually dipping into disharmony and going awry as demand increases and supply is less than its required level.  Pakistan is unable to achieve its desired status in the comity of nations despite having good natural and human resources; the reason is that there is injustice at the heart of all its systems and levels.

 

Pakistani Christians appear to have thrown some of their political support to Nawaz Sharif in the May 11 election, although they have reason to be wary of his return to power. During the campaign Nawaz Sharif promised that his party would give equal rights to minorities, including Christians. The PML-N even took the unusual step of thanking minority voters for their support. There could be unbelievable positive change for the Christians because the way Shahbaz Sharif rehabilitated Christian’s families of Joseph Colony, which was attacked by Muslim protesters in March this year, and have changed Christians’ view about Sharif’s party. If so, the PML-N will have to overcome a history that Christians find worrisome.

 

The Taliban, in turn, have close connections with Islamic militant organizations, including Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan– SSP, a banned terrorist organization, which has been targeting minority-Muslim Ahmedis and Shias, as well as Christians. The SSP still operates in Punjab province under a new name, Ahle Sunnat wal Jamaat, which reportedly has struck a bargain with Sharif’s party for some of the PML-N seats in the Punjab provincial government.

 

During the time in power in the 1990 – 93, the PML-N included the fundamentalist Islamic group Jamat-e-Islami in its coalition government. We have experienced that PML-N tried to bring Islamic laws in the country in its last ruling tenure. The majority of Christians are not optimistic about Sharif’s government because of their religious approach and close linkages with fundamentalist groups, said Sajid Ishaq, central President PTI, minorities’ wing.

 

The PML-N history of ruling over Punjab province is marked by several episodes of anti-Christian violence. The village Shantinagar, 1997, seven Christians were burned alive in Gojra, in 2009, attacked on Christians in Khokharki, Gujranwala in 2011 and most recent riots in Joseph Colony in 2013.

 

Albert David, Chairman Pakistan United Christian Movement, whilst commenting on the current situation said that the mandate given to PML- N is an opportunity for the government to bridge the widening gap between the state and Pakistani Non-Muslims, especially Christians. Devising of Standard Operating Procedures and ensuring that they followed religiously by the law enforcement agencies while dealing with any case of blasphemy could be one of the many confidence building measures (CBMs). This would ensure that the law is only applied to preserve its real spirit and sanctity and not to settle personal vendettas, which at times affects people from all faiths, including Muslims. Apart from this dealing with some of the other political issues including electoral system, census (to determine exact population of Christians), denationalization of Christian institutes and revitalization National Commission for Minorities could be some of the other CBMs.

 

Blasphemy Laws are widely criticized as its being misused by Muslims trying to settle scores and extort property, but are also popular with ordinary citizens. The Blasphemy Law is one of the major causes of the Christians’ troubles in Pakistan, especially in the Punjab province. Basharat Khokhar, who had been falsely charged with blasphemy in 2008, doesn’t expect Sharif to change or review it now.

 

“The religious-fanatics are responsible for the tense situation of Christians in Pakistan, and this nothing to do with the government,” said Tahir Naveed Chaudhry, Ex- MPA and social rights activist. “This is big challenge, if Mian Nawaz Sharif does not take any practical step in favor of Christians to protect them from extremists, the situation would be worse, he added.

 

If Mian Nawaz Sharif wanted to bring some changes for Pakistani Christians; here are few recommendations:

 

1-     Census: Christians are the biggest minority in the country, while Election Commission of Pakistan – ECP has declared them 2nd biggest minority. Christians are living in every corner of the country and Hindus majority living in Sindh province. So census can give you the exact figure.

 

2-     Election not Selection for the minorities: It is beseeched that PML-N, while honoring its commitment must include minorities in every walk of field and give dual voting rights to minorities so they may express their will and elect their representatives. Selections of minority candidates are totally at major parties disposal, which is not true representation. PML-N has been given a heavy mandate and religious minorities stood with Nawaz Sharif so he must draw parameters to bring their true representation in the parliament. If PML-N doesn’t take initiative it may mean that the government has certainly given clear message that minorities are still not emancipated and are the second grade citizen, which is disenchanting and disheartening.    

 

3-     Equal representation in the legislative body: The Christian community in particular has been targeted and internationally ostracized in the past. Even in the present government the representation of Christians in the National Assembly at reserved seats is not in accordance with their population. Christians who are in majority among minorities communities of Pakistan are reduced to 3 out of 10 reserved seats in NA. Such a representation of minority community on reserved seats at national level has caused serious apprehension among the Christian community who find it beyond any justification.

 

4-     Restoration of Ministry of Minority Affairs: It sounds good that PML-N declare Kamran Michael as Federal Minister for Ports and Shipping but he is not representing the religious minorities neither would be in position to solve their issues. The PPP government has accommodated them creating the Ministry for National Harmony, which is merged into Ministry for Religious Affairs. How would you think that a person having a long beard and a Muslim rigid mind set can represent other religious minorities? This may be a tough one for Nawaz Sharif, and I am pretty sure if he is really serious to show his love for religious minorities, as he mentioned during his election campaign. It is very important for all religions of Pakistan whether Sikhs, Hindus, Christians and Parsis to live in peace. Shia and Sunnis and other Muslim sects need to exist in harmony.

 

5-     Denationalize Christians’ institutions: The Missionary schools, Colleges and Hospitals were nationalized during ZA Bhutto regime. During the Parvez Musharraf government few institutions were denationalized so it would be a token of gesture to Christians, the denationalization of rest of the missionary schools, colleges and hospitals in Punjab province.

 

It is not worthy that if the democratic process in any state has to be checked than one must look at how their minorities are treated. No society can aspire to call itself democratic if it systematically excludes specific groups from the full protection of the laws, provision of equal rights and opportunities. 

 

Be Blessed,

 

Shamim Masih

___________________________

© Shamim Masih

Edited by John R. Houk

 

Shamim Masih

Christian Rights Activist
Freelance Journalist 

Secretary General

REAP

Shamim Masih’s Donate/Support info:

 

FOR USD TRANSFER.
Intermediary Bank :                         MASHREQ BANK, NEW YORK
Intermediary Bank SWIFT BIC :         MSHQUS33
Beneficiary Bank :                         JS BANK LIMITED
Beneficiary Bank SWIFT BIC :                 JSBLPKKA
Bank A/c # at Intermediary bank :         70008227
Title Of a/c                                Shamim Masih
Beneficiary Account Number :                 405527

Top of Form

IBAN #                                        pk80jsbl9530000000405227

FOR GBP TRANSFER.
Intermediary Bank :                         MASHREQ BANK, LONDON
Intermediary Bank SWIFT BIC :         MSHQGB2L
Beneficiary Bank :                         JS BANK LIMITED
Beneficiary Bank SWIFT BIC :                 JSBLPKKA
Bank A/c # at Intermediary bank :         00010855
Title Of a/c                                Shamim Masih
Beneficiary Account Number :                 405527
IBAN #                                        pk80jsbl9530000000405227

FOR EURO TRANSFER.
Intermediary Bank :                         MASHREQ BANK, LONDON
Intermediary Bank SWIFT BIC :         MSHQGB2L
Beneficiary Bank :                         JS BANK LIMITED
Beneficiary Bank SWIFT BIC :                 JSBLPKKA
Bank A/c # at Intermediary bank :         10847
Title Of a/c                                Shamim Masih
Beneficiary Account Number :                 405527
IBAN #                                        pk80jsbl9530000000405227