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MCP condemns attack on a Sindhi journalist


LAHORE, 13 Oct: The Media Commission expressed shock at the harassment of Mahesh Kumar and attack on his car. Kumar, chief editor of Daily Sindh Hyderabad and a member of South Asian Free Media Association (SAFMA) Hyderabad chapter, went to the press club at night where some unidentified people opened fire on his car. Later, he was threatened on phone of dire consequences.

Such harassment to an old friend of SAFMA, who belongs to a minority group, is highly condemnable, said I. A Rehman, president of MCP. The obvious rise in attacks on the journalist is a worrying sign and gives more strength to impunity. We call upon Karachi Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah to investigate this matter and reasons behind the harassment of journalists

On a positive note, the MCP welcomes the unconditional release of Rehmatullah Dawar after 61-day captivity.

 

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A threat to Dalits’ existence


Mahathma Gandhi said: “Untouchability is a crime against God and men”. He called untouchables by the name of ‘HARIJANS’ meaning Children of God and fought for their emancipation. In 1949, Govt. of India made it a criminal offense to practice untouchability. But it has not changed much in the lives of people who belong to the lower caste in Hindu society. Not that Gandhi’s ideology and struggle lacked passion and resilience, but the Hindus were more strong and committed to not let go of the material gains and pompousness the caste system gave them.

This mindset travels through the borders and affects Hindus in Pakistan to a degree where it is a threat to their existence and identity. Dalit representatives in a meeting of the Pakistan Dalit Solidarity Network discussed the monopoly of upper caste Hindus when it comes to reserved seats in the assembly. The system originated in India has been unconsciously accepted and followed by people of this country and the political parties give an opportunity to upper caste Hindus to step into politics.

The concerns shared by the Scheduled Caste Rights Movement Pakistan, Pakistan Dalit Solidarity Network, and the Upgrade Minorities for Integrated Development cannot be ignored, especially when the population of the scheduled castes is much higher than that of the upper caste Hindus.

The meeting has highlighted another major issue that Dalit families face when they get themselves registered under the category of Hindus even when there is a separate category for the scheduled caste. The fear of Dalit representatives is genuine that this trend will further decrease the number of Dalits here in Pakistan which is around 2 million today. Their demand for a share in employment, scholarships, national resources, development schemes and parliament to be raised has a reason which is a threat to their existence. The whole effort is based on an initiative to secure the coming generation which will be proud Dalits, rather not someone who have been isolated since centuries because of people who have a strong social acceptance.

Pakistanis have unluckily never understood the ideology behind the creation of this country and that reflects in the treatment given to people like Dalits who have to fight against the same caste system India has been following blindly. It shows that even this country, which fought against India in 1947 as a minority, has nothing to offer to Hindus who live here. Their all struggle and ideology died soon after they have achieved an independent country–Pakistan.

To understand Dalits’ situation, Pakistanis should put themselves in their shoes to imagine what would have happened if this minority did not succeed in 1947. An equal opportunity to Hindus regardless of their caste is the route Pakistanis should take in order to stay committed to their base in Islam, which is equality.

Express Tribune

 
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Posted by on August 5, 2011 in Hindus

 

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Finally some good news for Hindus and Sikhs of Pakistan


Those who are born, have to die too. But how religious bias and prejudice complicates this natural process can be observed where minorities are struggling for their basic rights. I remembering meeting some Hindus in Lahore and one moment, in particular, I would never be able to forget. One of them was talking on phone with some tension on his face and the conversation was about a woman in his family who was still alive, but sick. He was concerned that if she dies then they do not have any cremation place. What he said made me wonder how difficult it is to survive being a minority. The country where you are scared of death not because of the phenomenon itself, but because what to do with the body later, does not belong to you. Then in 2006, a Hindu woman had to be buried in a Muslims’ graveyard due to the nonexistence of cremation ground. Does not it sound extremely insensitive that people from other religions wish to postpone their death in Pakistan?

On a positive note, the government has finally approved a cremation plot for both Hindus and Sikhs. It is a good sign and I hope the present government will be more considerate towards the demands and rights of minorities.

Below is the story:
DNA

The body of Radha, 62, who died in Lahore in June 2006, had to be kept in a mortuary for five days due to the absence of a cremation ground for Hindus in Pakistan. She was laid to rest in the Miani Sahib’s graveyard for the Muslims as a last resort. The case generated a hue and cry in Pakistan over the lack of cremation grounds, which would allow Hindus to conduct the last rites of their loved ones as per religion.

The Pakistani government has now approved a plan to set up a cremation ground, sprawling over 36 kanals of land, for the Hindus near the Babu Sabu Chowk, close to the Ravi river.The land has been divided into two — for Sikhs and Hindus.

“There are walls on all four sides. It has toilets, a water tank and a water pumping motor,” Munawar Chand, general secretary of the NGO Pakistan Balmik Sabha, said. “My mother was cremated there last year. We are thankful to the Pakistan government to have accepted our demands at last.”

Dr Ram Chand said the availability of a cremation ground for Hindus was essential. “Though they are a minority community here, cremation rituals are part of their religious beliefs. Our leader Mohammad Ali Jinnah had assured every person who chose to live in Pakistan that they shall be free to practice their religion,” he said.

Since Independence, Hindu welfare communities like the Pakistan Balmik Sabha and the Hindu Balmik Sudhar Sabha had begun efforts to raise funds for a cremation ground for the community in Lahore.They succeeded in 1976 when the Evacuee Property Trust allotted an area on Bund Road. But the property turned out to be disputed.

 
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Posted by on August 8, 2010 in Hindus

 

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Accept me as Pakistani, not as Sunni, Shia, Ahmadi, Christian or Hindu…..


The targeting of minorities has to stop. That is the thought expressed by two discussants in the video and I share their views. Christians and Ahmadis are as Pakistanis as anyone else with an identification card and a passport. But who really owns this country can trigger a genuine debate. I met many Ahmadis and Christians who even after faced immense hardships are connected to this country more than any other Pakistani. They belong to this country but now they are loosing this sense of belonging after constant targeting and persecutions. The treatment they receive is of second rate citizens and the excuse ever provided is that their religious beliefs are different from the majority. Why the need has occurred to confuse citizens’ national identity with their religious beliefs? The identity of being a Pakistani is enough to enjoy all rights and respect. Any sort of discrimination and humiliation with any citizen on basis of his/her religion should be discouraged and it has to start from within. The day we accept our identity as a Pakistani rather Sunni Shia, Ahmadi, Hindu, or Christian, it will end all discrimination, misery and humiliation.

Forgotten Minorities of Pakistan

 
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Posted by on July 25, 2010 in Ahmadis, Blasphemy, Christians

 

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