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

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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

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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

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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

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Edited by John R. Houk

All information links are by the Editor

 

© Shamim Masih

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