A Tale of Riasat-e-Blasphemy

As Tatas of  India to Roll Out Chipset Manufacturing

Pakistan did what it does best: Now Charges an 8-year-old under Blasphemy Law

 Asia Bibi was a Pakistani Christian woman who had spent years on death row since 2009, after being convicted of blasphemy, in her memoirs, Enfin Libre! (Finally Free), written with French journalist Anne-Isabelle Tollet, had recounted her time in jail and her brutal treatment by guards.

“I can’t breathe,” she writes. “My neck is compressed by a neck brace that the guard can tighten as much as he wants with a big key. A long chain drags on the dirty floor; it links my throat to the guard’s handcuffs that drag me like a dog.”

Twelve years hence, an eight-year-old Hindu boy is now being held in police custody in Pakistan, while his family is in hiding. Many of the Hindu community in the conservative district of Rahim Yar Khan, in Punjab, have fled their homes after a Muslim crowd attacked a Hindu temple after the boy’s release on bail last week.

“They had said 12 years back to Aisa Bibi to change your faith, and you’ll be freed. But I said no. I will live my sentence. With my faith,” she had said.

Is that what the 8-year-old is expected to do?

It is incomprehensible, what are Pakistan and its Deep State’s dire Anosognosia  Need for the world to renounce their faith as if that is the one absolute “Job Description for Governance in Pakistan”.

Blasphemy Laws: Violate Human Rights

Inhuman Tool to Harass and Subjugate Minorities

The blasphemy law was introduced through Sections 295-B and 295-C of the Pakistan Penal Code during the dictatorial regime of General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq. Pakistan’s controversial blasphemy law carries an automatic death penalty for anyone convicted of insulting God, Islam, or other religious figures.

Many members of the minority communities in Pakistan: the Ahmadis, Hindus, Christians, and Sikhs were charged with draconian blasphemy law. Many of them are languishing in jails on the false charges of disrespecting the Quran. Pakistan’s blasphemy law was criticized by human rights groups who say they are often used maliciously and to persecute religious minorities and even anyone disagreeing with the Military run puppet governments in the Muslim majority country.

Last year, India had raised the issue of misuse of the blasphemy law in Pakistan against minorities. According to India, currently, at least 80 people are in prison in Pakistan for the crime of “blasphemy”, with at least half of them facing life sentences or the death penalty. At least 42 cases pertaining to blasphemy were registered across Pakistan in a single month.

Indian diplomat to UN in Geneva, Senthil Kumar had said, “Pakistan’s deplorable human rights records and discriminatory treatment of its minorities has been a cause of persistent concern for the international community.”

“In Pakistan, Blasphemy Laws are being used against religious minorities such as Christians, Hindus, and Sikhs, to violate their human rights and dignity,” and none disagreed.

India had argued, that it is not only Non-Muslims, but ethnic minorities are also victims to various interpretations of the same mindset.” Enforced disappearances, state violence, and forced mass displacements, harassment, extrajudicial killings, army operations, torture, kill-and-dumps, torture camps, detention centers, military camps” are “regular features in Baluchistan”.

India cited the example of the disappearance of Rashid Hussain in December 2018, and the killing of journalist Sajid Hussain Baloch after he went missing in March 2020.

India has argued that, “nobody knows the fate of missing 47,000 Baloch and 35,000 Pashtuns till date. Sectarian violence has claimed more than 500 Hazaras in Baluchistan and more than 100,000 Hazaras have fled Pakistan.”

India also slammed Islamabad for a similar situation in Pakistan occupied Kashmir(PoK) saying,” before preaching to others, Pakistan must remember that terrorism is the worst form of human rights abuse and a crime against humanity” and “the world doesn’t need lessons on human rights from a country which has been known as nursery and epicenter of Terrorism”.

Real Muslims or Reel Muslims?

Blasphemy Laws: Persecution Guaranteed irrespective of Facts

In August, Pakistan Police arrested three people under controversial blasphemy law for allegedly desecrating the holy Quran in Abbottabad and Havelian.

In the first incident, a transgender person identified as Qaiser Zada, a resident of Swabi, was arrested after he was allegedly caught by locals near the Jinnah Bagh in Abbottabad city while burning a copy of the holy Quran.

How fictitious can be, is anyone’s guess.

He was beaten up by the people and was later handed over to the police. The police registered FIR against the accused under Section 295-B and later produced him before the judicial magistrate, who remanded him for three days.

In the other incident, the police arrested two brothers – Asif Fareed and Abdullah Fareed – when locals allegedly caught them while burning pieces of Quran and other Islamic material. The alleged blasphemers had collected the pieces from the tin boxes affixed to poles on the roadside.

The two were also booked under Section 295-B on the complaint of local elders and ulema.

In most cases, the allegations are false, as the above Muslims belonged to communities not considered to be real Muslims.

Even Target Ethnic Minorities like Baloch, Pashtuns, Shias, and Sindhis

A Baloch activist tweeted satirically about the rising enforced disappearances in Pakistan, specifically referencing the Baloch people, an ethnic minority that has been facing state persecution for decades:

“An Islamic clergyman was describing to his followers that Hazrat Eesa [Jesus Christ, as used by Muslims] did not die, he was actually picked by the Almighty. One simpleton follower asked, was he, too, a Baloch?”

In Balochistan, sectarian attacks are directed against the minority Hazara community, whose members are Shia. In recent years there has been a dramatic increase in the targeting of Hazaras, starting with the killing of the chairman of the Hazara Democratic Party in January 2009 (in the prior decade, from 1998 onwards up to 700 Hazaras were killed in Balochistan for sectarian reasons).

It has been a deliberate attempt to keep control over Balochistan, but keeping them engaged in Sectarian rife, and not to ask for freedom or their rights over their resources.

Last year in September Several Sunni organizations known for their vocal support for controversial blasphemy laws like the Jamiat Ulema Islam, Ahle Sunnat Pakistan, Aalmi Majlis Tahuffuz Khatm Nubawwat, Markazi Jamiat Ahle Hadith, JUI-S, Sunni Ulema Council and others,  met in Islamabad and announced the creation of a new coalition to demand the arrest of Shias under blasphemy laws.

In a joint statement after the meeting, the groups condemned “insults to Prophet’s companions” during Shia majlis (processions).

The groups called for the registration of cases under terrorism laws against Shias who hold licenses for taking out Muharram processions.

In 2011, Gilgit-Baltistan joined the league of the country’s other self-righteous areas after the region’s first-ever blasphemy case was registered against a man who allegedly passed “contemptuous comments against the Holy Prophet.

In 2012, As many as 25 Shia Muslims have been forced out of a bus and killed in a sectarian attack in Pakistani-administered Gilgit-Baltistan. Note that Gilgit is a Shia majority town, and had started protesting Pakistan Army’s excesses in the area.

This was also the time when gunmen killed at least 18 Shia bus passengers in a sectarian attack in the northern district of Kohistan.

And again a few months later, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi gunmen stopped a bus and killed 26 Shia pilgrims traveling on a bus in Balochistan province. The attackers were reported to have checked the identity cards of all the passengers before removing the Shias and shooting them.

Viewpoint

Medieval Barbaric Pakistan is the “Imran Khan’s Naya Pakistan”

What more can be expected, when Pakistan’s PM himself calls the Global Terrorist Osama Bin Laden a Shahid. It is not a comment from a comic-mouth PM, but a reflection of the decades-long and coveted policy of the Pakistan Army, to hide their corruption and keep ruling Pakistan, by hook or by Crook.

Hence they let loose the Radical and Blasphemy Vigilantes, to make merry and keep their own corruption out of the limelight.

Hence blasphemy vigilantism is not only encouraged but celebrated. Mumtaz Qadri, who killed Punjab governor Salmaan Taseer in 2011, became a kind of national hero.

Leaders of the mob that lynched blasphemy-accused student Mashal Khan in 2017 were celebrated by politicians from opposition parties and defended by the provincial ruling party. Faisal Khan, the teenager who murdered U.S. citizen Tahir Naseem in the courtroom while he was standing trial for blasphemy in July, became a hero overnight and received public accolades.

French “Charlie Hebdo” killing series is probably only given the public accolade in Pakistan, not even in Turkey(despite keen interest in it shown by its dictator Erdogan).

Political Mileage the real Reasons?

The political clout of sectarian organizations is the real reason. Since the 1980s the Pakistan Army’s use of extremist organizations as proxies to execute foreign policy goals vis-à-vis India and Afghanistan has promoted aggressive competition among different Muslim sects for official patronage in the form of government handouts and political favors.

To better position themselves to access Pakistan Army’s privileges, Political sectarian leaders have strived to make inroads into political constituencies and cultivate political candidates, who are actually Radicals. As a result, civilian politicians are held hostage by the political clout of sectarian organizations, which have become key to winning constituencies.

Of Course, Pakistan Army and its puppet Imran Khan government want their Chinese Crores out of CPEC. What they don’t want is public attention towards their corruption and questioning Chinese colonization of Pakistan.

What better way, than to keep the public under control of Radicals and their madrassa-based clout. So what, if a few thousand ethnic minorities and religious outcasts are killed here and there.

At least people are entertained and not pointing a finger at Pakistan Army and its failure called Pakistan.

11 Aug 21/Wednesday       Written By: Fayaz