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Friday, November 12, 2010

In Pakistan, a Christian Woman Gets Death for Blasphemy

This is outrageous. The people must stand up and stop this nonsense. This women should immediately be set free and the judge should be arrested and prosecuted for such unjust, harsh and uncalled for verdict. This should not happen in the name of religion.

According to news reports:

LAHORE: A court has sentenced to death a Christian woman for blasphemy, the first such conviction of a woman and sparking protests from rights groups on Thursday.

A local court in Nankana district sentenced Aasia Bibi, 45, on Monday, but the country has never executed anyone for blasphemy.

Aasia’s case dates back to June 2009 when she was asked to fetch water while out working in fields. But a group of Muslim women labourers objected, saying that as a non-Muslim, she should not touch the water bowl.

A few days later the women went to a local cleric and alleged that Aasia made derogatory remarks about the religious personalities. The cleric went to local police, which opened an investigation.

She was arrested in Ittanwalai village and prosecuted under Section 295C of the Pakistan Penal Code, which carries the death penalty.

Sentencing her to hang, Judge Naveed Iqbal totally ruled out any chance that Aasia was falsely implicated and said there were no mitigating circumstances.

Her husband Ashiq Masih said the case was baseless and he would file an appeal. afp

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Judges, Generals, Journalists, Politicians, Others & Their Accountability

Judges, generals, journalists, politicians and others: All should face accountability

A few days ago a news item mentioned names of some judges who were allotted residential plots in Islamabad. Someone said publication of such news items was a deliberate attempt to malign the judiciary. Then a section of the press carried a list of the names of the journalists who were allotted plots in the federal capital. This time it was the turn of the friends of the media to cry foul.

It is not uncommon to see statements by leaders, members and supporters of various political parties condemning one or the other section of the press or their opponents for ‘unjust’ or ‘discriminatory’ criticism of their parties. They call such criticism as vilification campaign against them and paint themselves as victims.

All this doesn’t speak well of Pakistani society. It still seems to be primitive, inchoate and undeveloped. One is not sure how many more years and how many more disasters and debacles it would need to show any signs of maturity.

The people must be clear in their understanding and in their resolve that they would not allow any attack on democracy, the freedom of media and the independence of judiciary. Other than that no institution should be regarded as sacrosanct or beyond criticism and accountability. Keeping in view the past digressions, deviations and fatal blunders, the people must be extra vigilant and keep a close eye on the doings and the misdoings of one and all.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Whither Pakistan?

Rudderless boat in the middle of an unknown ocean. Not sure where it came from. Don't know where it is headed. From one storm to another, battered it sails. Half of it is gone. Rest is not manageable. Hate, prejudice, injustice, in-fighting, strife and oppression are drowning it.

How long will it remain afloat? No one is certain.