High-handed Leadership


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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

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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
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Secretary General of Information

Pakistan Christian Congress

 

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Looking for Role “Model”


Shamim and Najma Masih 2

Shamim & Najma Masih

Intro to “Looking for Role ‘Model’”

By Editor John R. Houk

© February 15, 2014

 

Shamim Masih is a regular contributor to SlantRight 2.0 and other blogs that I manage (NCCR & Ubiquitous8Thoughts). He has told me the funding for his family situations are lower than usual and his missed critical payments of important bills. Shamim did not want me to go into detail, but I feel compelled to intercede for this Christian activist that often ministers to the needs of poverty stricken Christians in Pakistan. Pakistan has become a nation devoted to Islam and Sharia Law which means ALL non-Muslims are receiving the modern version of dhimmitude which is essentially oppression. This oppression is Islamic Supremacism at its worse. The American Mainstream Media (MSM) is deficient in reporting the civil human abuse that Christians and other non-Muslim people receive in Pakistan. In other Muslim nations where this oppression against Christians is rampant there may be an infinitesimal amount of reporting; however in Pakistan the lack of exposing of violence and abuse is appalling.

 

At the end of Shamim’s Op/Ed style of reporting I have provided information on how to send a one time and/or a regular interval of support to Shamim. From experience the best way to send money to Shamim is via Western Union which converts dollars or euros into Pakistan Rupees upon pick-up. However if you wish to help Shamim you can use my Paypal donation button BUT just be sure to designate the donation for Shamim Masih so I can distinguish the funds for Shamim from the funds that support NCCR. At which time I will send the funds via Western Union to Shamim Masih.

 

Shamim’s Op/Ed pertains to Taliban persecution and the weak-kneed better off Christians that have a tendency to function as “yes-men” for officials dedicated to Islamic Supremacism than as a Christian Brother for the lesser-to-do-well Christians of Pakistan.

 

JRH 2/15/14

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Looking for Role “Model”

If Taliban Rules

 

By Shamim Masih

2/14/2014 5:40 PM

 

ISLAMABAD: If you ever get a chance to spend a night in a common Christian family living in slum areas. And if you can picture the issues they face in their daily life. And the most important; is to remember the sufferings, if you ever get a chance to become in power at any level. I am particularly talking about Pakistani Christians leadership. Many of the Christian political leaders originated from a common background, but it is practically observed that once they got some power in our hands. We simply forget the real cause and track is change.

 

Former Federal Minister for minority affairs, Shahbaz Bhatti, founder of the All Pakistan Minorities Alliances – APMA started working for the noble cause; and reportedly work for vested interests. Later he was killed in Islamabad in March, 2011; he was receiving threats to his life for his defense of speaking out against the blasphemy law. The killers were arrested and released due to lack of the evidences and interest of the supplicant. Later in September 2013, two suspected terrorists were arrested; Adil was picked up after a car full of explosives was found at his house. And later Hammad Adil and Umer Abdullah were charged with the murder of Bhatti. The trial is underway at the Anti-Terrorism court in Adayala Jail, Rawalpindi. On January 22, the two eye witnesses were produced in court during the hearing. They saw the two accused, one whom was driving the car that day and the other man who was throwing pamphlets on the road after Bhatti was shot. The court was adjourned till February 06, 2014. Rana Abdul Hamid, the attorney spoke to me that he will be back in Islamabad on February 06 for the hearing of Shahbaz Bhatti case, but on the said date, he didn’t appear before the court and the court was adjourned to meet again on 22nd February, 2014.

 

Later Paul Bhatti reportedly was threatened; Dr. Paul Bhatti told BosNewslife he had been in Italy while receiving a threatening letter from groups linked to the 2011 assassination of his younger brother, and fellow Christian, Shahbaz Bhatti, who was minorities minister at the time.

 

Dr. Paul pledged to leave Italy and return to Pakistan despite receiving death threats from Islamic militants. He is trained surgeon, and runs his business there. He can afford to live there as his another brother lives in Canada. My question is; what about others who used their association with Shahbaz Bhatti as opportunity to get out of Pakistan? Many of the Pakistani leaders run off to other countries like Europe, USA and Canada. Why is no one speaking about the rights of poor segment of the society? The fact is; the poorest have no such option.

 

Many of them are sitting in other countries and seeking asylum. No one asks them about their performance while they were in power. I don’t [want to] blame but Bhatti’s “performance” reportedly has a question mark? How many educational/technical institutions were set up during the mean time? What solid steps were taken to empower the youth or for their economical growth? How many students were sponsored for higher studies? Even the current sitting minister doesn’t have any plan to support the talented ones of this era. He is only the “Yes Man” to his bosses. Why do these Christian leaders forget their origination?  It’s an alarming situation all around and they should present the real picture to the West while representing the government.

 

The Pakistani Taliban has announced an armed struggle against an indigenous tribe and Ismaili Muslims. They warn the Kalash, who are thought to number only 3500, to convert to Islam or face death. The spokesman said, “By the grace of Allah, an increasing number of people from Kalash Tribe are embracing Islam and we want to make it clear to the Kalash tribe that they will be eliminated along with their protectors, the western agents if they don’t embrace Islam”

 

Unfortunately the constitution theoretically protects freedom of speech, and the media is seen as having taken great strides in recent years. But certain subjects, particularly criticism concerning the all-powerful army and spy agencies, remain taboo. There is an urgent need for greater equality and social justice and for peace. In reference to the ongoing persecution and discrimination suffered by Christians and other religious minorities in Pakistan, notably Ahmadiyyas and Shiite Muslims.

 

And nonetheless, the time is gone, let’s pray for those who do leave to at least support them to uplift the poor, since they can easily set up new, ongoing rich lives in the West.

_______________________________

Intro to “Looking for Role ‘Model’”

By Editor John R. Houk

© February 15, 2014

______________________________

Looking for Role “Model”

 

All the links within Shamim’s Op/Ed are supplied by Shamim. Anything enclosed in brackets are additions 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
 

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REAP

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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

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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

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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

________________________

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.
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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

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FOR GBP TRANSFER.
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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
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