Protection and Promotion of Rights of Expression


Blasphemy Law Human Rights Violation

Shamim editorializes about the injustice of Pakistan’s Blasphemy Law and how it is often used by Sunni Muslims to settle personal scores not only with Christians but the other minorities that exist in Pakistan.

 

JRH 10/11/14

Please Support NCCR

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

Protection and Promotion of Rights of Expression

 

By Shamim Masih

Sent: 10/10/2014 11:40 PM

 

ISLAMABAD: It is heard since August, 2011 that a National Commission will be established for the protection of the rights of the minorities in Pakistan to promote interfaith harmony among different sects. But nothing is seen in practical. Now we heard the echo to [the] establishment of the Minority Rights Commission. Before establishing these commissions, let’s consider the working and output of the Ministry of National Harmony or Ministry of Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony Pakistan.

 

First of all, the State and the Constitution should provide the basics of faith to its citizens. Minorities should be given equal rights and not to be made victims of discrimination at any level. Unfortunately the gap between Muslims and the minorities’ groups had widened to a great extent. Various religious groups are living in their respective pigeon holes and it is a dangerous trend. We need to develop Minority Rights Commission for interfaith harmony but it is impossible without justice and equality in the society as peace should not be promoted without it. [The] Constitution of the country was not based on inter-faith harmony.

 

During the last three decades, religious minorities are desperately disheartened due the prevailing situation in the country. Especially Sunni Muslims and other extremist group are targeting religious minorities Christians, Hindu and Ahmadis’. And this ratio has been incredibly increased during the recent years. Targeting and burning the Christians’ colonies is becoming habitual. Thus Pakistan has become one of the most obsessive countries in the world. According to the figures presented during United Nations Human Rights Council 25th session; between year 2012-13, more than 700 people were killed and more than 1100 injured because of religion – related violence. At least 16 people are facing the death penalty in Pakistan for blasphemy, and 20 are serving life sentences.

 

In that report presented to [the] United Nations; Pakistan was declared one of the most hostile nations for religious minorities in the world and countries to violate many of its citizens’ right to freedom of religion or belief. You will hear on every other day that someone [is] being charged of blasphemy and there are the judges on duty to award [a] death sentence to such people when the charges are proven. Everyone is aware in the country that the blasphemy law has often been used for settling personal scores.

 

Let me give you the short history of the blasphemy law; this law was enacted by the British to protect the religious sentiments of the Muslims minorities in the subcontinent against the Hindu majority. After the partition, when [the] Muslims have become majority, the law should have been abolished. But it was made more stringent. Life imprisonment was replaced with the mandatory death penalty in the section 295-C.

 

There is need to promote interfaith harmony, but [the] state minister for interfaith harmony is only seen in [the] papers. It is only sharing about Hajj issues in Pakistan. Establishment of [the] “Minority Rights Commissions at National and Provincial’ level is seen but in [the] papers only.  Fact is [the] situation [is] worsening for religious minorities day by day, because disharmony is based in the Constitution of Pakistan. There is need to bring [an] amendment in the constitution along with revising the educational syllabus to highlight the role of minorities’ groups in the struggle for Pakistan. Our history has been twisted badly and the innocent minds were never provided with correct information. But now the time has come that [the] new generation should be provided real facts through education and legislation.

 

In our country, protection and promotion of rights expression is [the] dare need of the day. We are lacking of leadership that will come to reduce these issues in the country. We have to take collective efforts and rise to resolve the issues of the minorities of the country. Unfortunately our local Christian political leadership is not taking up these issues seriously and collectively. Some political leaders are using their resources to get seats in the main stream political parties. This electoral system and [the] influential have divided our Christian people in the name of politics and religion. Thus the situation has become alarming for religious minorities. Home, life and property, the synagogues are not secure and [a] series of incidents [are] conducted.

 

Yes! We are facing terrorism, energy crises, and unemployment collectively as a nation but there are some forces within state, threatening all religious minorities of the country. Yes! We want to live with brotherhood, sympathy, peace and social harmony. But there are some barbaric discriminatory laws [that] reeks of [a] medieval mentality. We need to start [to] behave like rational human beings with [the] ability to critically analyze things rather than behaving like savage and barbaric animals.

 

Be Blessed,

 

Shamim Masih

Diplomatic Correspondent

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

Human Rights Activist

 

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

__________________________

Edited by John R. Houk

Text enclosed by brackets are by the editor.

Please click the Western Union LINK to support Shamim a Christian Activist in Pakistan.

 

© Shamim Masih

 

 

Ulema’s Constitution


GARHI KHUDA BUX, PAKISTAN, DEC 27: Former President and Co-Chairman Peoples Party (PPP), Asif Ali Zardari and Peoples Party (PPP) Patron-in-Chief Bilawal Bhutto Zardari offer Fateha during public gathering on the occasion of Benazir Bhutto Sixth Death Anniversary, held in Garhi Khuda Bux on Friday, December 27, 2013. From all over the Pakistan devotees of Benazir Bhutto and activities of Peoples Party are attending congregation of Benazir Bhutto death anniversary in the form of convoys. (Jamal Dawoodpoto/PPI Images).

Former president Asif Ali Zardari and PPP patron-in-chief Bilawal Bhutto Zardari offer Fateha during public gathering in Garhi Khuda Bakhsh on Friday, December 27, 2013. – PPI Photo

 

The Pakistan Peoples Party Chairman Bilal Bhutto Zardari (son of Benazir Bhutto and Asif Ali Zardari) delivered a speech that Pakistani-Christian journalist Shamim Masih believes the Zardari remarks pertaining to minorities – especially Christians – was a mere political ploy. I am unsure to which speech or written text Shamim is referring to. Bilal (or Bilwal) Bhutto Zardari gave what was considered a pivotal speech at Garhi Khuda Bux pertaining to the current political party in government and that the Pakistan government should not tolerate the terrorism of the Taliban. The reason for the speech was in honor of his assassinated mother Benazir Bhutto. In the few English language stories I read about this speech I did not detect any indications of intentions toward Pakistani minorities. However I did discover a small blurb about how Bilwal’s Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) has come up with the funding to restore the All Saints Church in Peshawar which was victimized recently by two Taliban homicidal suicide bombers. My guess is this is the possible event causing mistrust by Shamim Masih.

 

UPDATE – 1/1/14

 

Shamim updated his post by sending a tweet image capture pertaining to the reason why he mistrusts a statement of Bilwal Bhutto Zardari.

Bilalwal Bhutto Zadari Tweet - Shamim Masih update 1-1-14

 

 

JRH 12/31/13

Please Support NCCR

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

Ulema’s Constitution

 

By Shamim Masih

Sent: 12/31/2013 2:42 AM

 

ISLAMABAD: Throughout the Christmas celebration, 2013 Pakistan Peoples Party chairman Bilwal Bhutto Zardari [Zardari bio] claimed that [he] wanted to see some sort of Christian Prime Minister in Pakistan within my lifetime. He greeted ‘Merry Christmas’ to every Christian worldwide and particularly to Pakistani Christian believers. With his statement, the roars connected with Pakistani non-secular politicians raise at the same time the other people. Although I realize it’s mentioned inside the constitution in the country that a non-Muslim cannot be the president or Prime Minister in Pakistan. But there are some certain facts I am providing how [the] section of the constitution [came to be] that the President and the Prime Minister in Pakistan need to be a Muslim.

 

Pakistan came into being in 1947 under section 8 in the Indian Independence Act, 1947, the Govt. India act, 1935. And after nine years the initial document had been served as Constitution 1956. For once, the composition of Pakistan provided definition of a Muslim which often states; Muslim means someone who believes inside unity and also oneness of Allah, inside absolute and also unqualified finality in the prophet cover of Islamic prophet, Muhammad, and won’t believe within, or recognize being a prophet or maybe religious reformer, any person who claimed or maybe claims as a prophet, in a sense in the word or maybe of just about any description whatsoever, after Muhammad.

 

It had been mentioned for once that simply a Muslim may very well be qualified pertaining to election as President (male or maybe female). There was no reduction of religion for the person holding any office of the speaker in the National Assembly. Secondly, should the president resign his [Office] or a vote of no-confidence goes against him or her, then in line with the constitution the actual speaker would become the actual President in the State until the election in a new president. Under the actual special circumstances, a non-Muslim could easily get the opportunity to [ascend] to president of Pakistan. [There are] no restrictions about religion or maybe gender on any post, up to provincial governor and also chief minister. The quality presented through first Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan [Blog Editor: Biography] and the resolution had been debated pertaining to five days. The leading members in the government and quite a few non-Muslim associates, especially from East Bengal [Blog Editor: East Bengal became East Pakistan of the Republic of Pakistan with the Capital City located in West Pakistan. Between West and East Pakistan lay the large expanse of newly Independent India. East Pakistan became the independent Bangladesh in 1971.], got a prominent part. Non-Muslim associates expressed grave apprehensions regarding their situation and the role inside new coverage. Hindu members in the constitutional set-up argued that the objective quality differed having Muhammad Ali Jinnah’s view in all of the fundamental points. Sris Chandra Chattopadhyaya claimed, what we hear in this particular (Objectives) Resolution seriously isn’t the voice in the great originator of Pakistan: the Quaid-i-Azam [Blog Editor: an honorific of Mohammed Ali Jinnah], nor actually that in the Prime Minister connected with Pakistan the actual Honorable Mr. Liaquat Ali Khan, but in the Ulema in the land.

 

Birat Chandra Mandal expressed that Jinnah had “unequivocally claimed that Pakistan would have been a secular condition.” Bhupendra Kumar Datta proceeded to go a stage further: “inch… was that resolution into the future before that house from the life-time in the Great Founder of Pakistan, the actual Quaid-i-Azam, it would not attend in the present shape….” Even so, Muslim scholars along with a large portion of the folks of Pakistan were in the view that was just what exactly the Quaid-a-Azam wanted [i.e. a secular Pakistan] and that it was an excellent a step forward inside constitutional heritage of Pakistan. They in addition argued that [a secular Pakistan] objective quality [would have] provided the actual minorities to have equal rights and that they [would have] simply no compulsion, whatsoever, in taking on or transforming into Islam.

 

In October 1958, President Iskander Mirza abrogated the actual constitution. Soon afterwards Ayub Khan deposed Iskandar and also declared himself President.

 

Then the constitution drafted with the government connected with Z A. Bhutto, with the additional assistance of the country’s competing parties, it turned out to be approved with the legislative set-up on April 10 and also ratified on 14 August 1973. Unlike the prior legal papers of 1956 and also 1962, the 1973 constitution cannot be changed. Alternatively, constitutional efficiencies are added to it, altering its impact. He [i.e. Bhutto (?)] added that a Muslim could simply end up being the President or maybe the Prime Minister in Pakistan. No legislation repugnant to Islam should be enacted and the present legislation shall in addition be Islamized. No restriction about religion or maybe gender on any post, up to provincial governor and also Chief Minister.

 

The Amendment (w.e.f. 1974) in the 1973 Composition declared for once the Ahmadiyya Community or the actual Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement to the Propagation connected with Islam (Lahoris) as non-Muslims, and also their leader, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, who claimed to become a prophet connected with God, to which often mainstream Muslims tend not to agree having.

 

This had been Mr. Z A. Bhutto himself who placed inside the constitution that [both the] president [and] Prime Minister [can only] be a Muslim. [There were] no restrictions about religion or maybe gender on any post, up to provincial governor and also chief minister. In this Islamic atmosphere neither Christian nor any minority member can be able to become the provincial governor or maybe chief minister.

 

Internationally everyone is turning to interfaith dialogue and agreeing to other faiths but [the government] should not impose this rigid Islamic Jihadist [ideology on non-Muslim Pakistani minorities in political representation]. This is simply not constitution connected [originally by the Founders] with Pakistan, but [it is the] constitution connected with Mullahs. Precisely how [does the] young Bilawal Bhutto Zardari think [the Islamic centered constitution could include the possibility of non-Muslims to attain the high Office of President or Prime Minister]? This is merely a way to [gain the] sympathies of Christians [politically and this is] just [the only reason for such public remarks]. 

 

Be Blessed,

Shamim Masih

________________________________

Edited by John R. Houk

All brackets and links are from the Editor with the hope greater clarity exists for American readers.

 

© 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 

REAP

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

 

Pakistan Elections 2013


Nawaz Sharif - PM Pakistan 5-2013

Nawaz Sharif

 

John R. Houk

© May 14, 2013

 

Pakistan had its elections on May 11, 2013. Clearly the winning political party is Pakistan Muslim League – N (PML-N [The “N” stands for Nawaz]) meaning the new Prime Minister in Pakistan is Nawaz Sharif.

 

It appears that Nawaz favors a Free Market but is an adherent to purist Islamic ideology that makes up Radical Islam. The Pakistan Taliban believes democracy and voting are un-Islamic practices. Mohammed Hanif writing for The Guardian wrote this about Nawaz’s PML-N his cricket turned politician rival Imran Khan of Tehreek-e-Insaf Party (PTI or Movement for Justice Party)

 

The Taliban’s real success is that they bet on the winners. They promised not to attack Khan and Sharif’s parties. And these parties will be in power. But the Taliban have never contested an election before. And they are soon to find out that politicians never keep the promises they make during the heat of the campaign. (Pakistan elections: how Nawaz Sharif beat Imran Khan and what happens next; By Mohammed Hanif; The Guardian, 5/13/13 14:00 EDT)

 

Nawaz has said he desires better relations with the USA and arch-rival India. Imran has said he desires to dissolve all military cooperation with American led forces in Afghanistan and ALSO to end the Pakistan government’s war against the Pakistani Taliban.

 

It is my opinion not to trust a self-proclaimed Islamist like Nawaz and at least Imran is upfront about his hatred for the kafir (i.e. infidel or in this case Americans).

 

Shamim Masih – my source from Pakistan – is a Christian and I believe he supported the major loosing political party – Pakistan’s Peoples Party (PPP). Shamim has written favorably about at least one PPP candidate that appeared to demonstrate concern of the persecuted Christians in Pakistan.

 

JRH 5/14/13

Please Support NCCR

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

Election 2013

 

By Shamim Masih

Sent: 5/13/2013 2:39 PM

 

Christians congratulate the nation for the successful completion of parliamentary elections and would work with newly elected government for the prosperity of the country. Shamim Masih, President Reformation for Empowerment and Alleviation of Poverty – REAP and a journalist, while congratulating PML-N party’s victory in the general election 2013 has demanded the party head Mian Mohammad Nawaz Sharif to protect minorities’ rights as he has committed during his election campaign.

 

Pakistani Christians religiously and historically have proven to be loyal to their land and always have been subservient to its governments. It’s every Christian’s religious obligation to be obedient to masters.

 

As it is written in the Bible; “Exhort servants to be obedient unto their own masters and to please them well in all things; not answering again”. Titus 2:9 It is further written “Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the forward”. 1-Peter 2:8

 

The previous government was busy in their luxurious life of being in Government and sidelined the religious minorities and I hope the PML-N government will restore the ministry of Minorities Affairs which was transformed into Ministry of National Harmony which was established in 2011.

 

The Social Rights activists’ organizations welcome the coming government, World Vision in Progress – WVIP representative said we hope that PML-N will stop the misuse of blasphemy laws and forced conversion.

 

Albert David, Chairman Pakistan United Christian Movement (PUCM) has launched its candidates in this election said that minority candidates are elected under proportional representation system, but minority voters cast votes for Muslim candidates running for national and provincial constituencies. PUCM chief demanded PML-N chief will ensure equal opportunities for members of minority communities.

 

Basharat Khokhar, a human rights activist said that our community is already living below the poverty line, and when someone forces them to join their rally by showing them a gun, they give in. He urged that successful minority candidates in the actively advance minority’s interest instead of towing their respective parties’ line.

 

Tariq Chaman, president Union of Minority Journalist of Islamabad/Rawalpindi congratulated the PML-N chief and he wants Christians to be given proper jobs in government departments and not that of a sweeper. He further vows that when Mian Sharif expressed his willingness to take all parties on board but stopped short from crediting minority voters’ contribution towards his party’s Muslim candidate success. He hoped that the history will not repeat during PML-N rule and minorities will live in peace.

 

Be Blessed,

 

Shamim Masih

____________________

Pakistan Elections 2013

John R. Houk

© May 14, 2013

__________________

Election 2013

 

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