Pakistan's Christians Mourn, and Fear for Their Future

Discussion in 'West Asia & Africa' started by Ray, Mar 9, 2011.

  1. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    As far as the Christian minority of Pakistan, they have always been salvaged by the US and so the onus to save them is on the US and its various Christian organisations.

    The report is incorrect in singling out the Christians being the only oppressed minority. They at least have the US, which has repeatedly salvaged them. It is the other minorities, who are persecuted in an even worse manner, who has no recognised saviour. India, has not reacted in the same manner as the US since it is a secular state and possibly has not the teeth that the US has.

    Overall, the intolerance of Pakistan's majority religion, acutely influenced by the rabid radicals, is what is responsible for the miseries of the minorities of all hues and class as also for the tolerant voices within the Pakistan majority community.

    Notwithstanding, there is little hope for the minorities in Pakistan.

    Or, is there a way out to help these unfortuantes?
     
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  3. Tronic

    Tronic Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    It has turned into a lawless country, run by goons. What else to expect?

    In a country where gun laws are non-existant in enforcement, I'm clueless as to why they are not properly armed. 12 guage pump-action shotguns can do wonders. Just for their brute power, no one will dare step anywhere close to your home, forget torching it.
     
  4. Awesome

    Awesome Regular Member

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    Good to see ya, out and about from the usual places :)

    No minority will be safe till the secularists of Pakistan don't gain momentum. They are by far the biggest persecuted minority, and the most resilient. Unfortunately the biggest travesty was committed when incidents like Taseer's murder happened and there was a systemic process of reporting "Oh the secularists have cowed down". They hadn't. But this statement was repeated over and over to pressurize them into silence. The truth was the channels that were supposed to highlight them had cowed down.

    Secularism is a minority in Pakistan, but a damn strong one. #1 It's filled with very smart people. #2 The are daredevils and ready to show the finger to these blasphemy thumpers.

    Help would be counter-productive. The last thing we want is to be associated with support from US or worse - India. The thing is secularists have to fight this fight for Pakistan like their patriotic duty. We can be killed, but so what, we can be killed doing so many things anyway. This plague of intolerance runs deep, it doesn't even feel like intolerance to some very good people. Killing a person who insults Islam just seems like the absolute right thing to do, to these people. This is a perceived truth.

    The game plan from the secularists is to question, and keep questioning set truths.
     
  5. nitesh

    nitesh Mob Control Manager Stars and Ambassadors

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    Pakistani secularists, which breed is this? And when did it born?
     
  6. Rage

    Rage DFI TEAM Stars and Ambassadors

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    Asim, that's very quaint. Where do you live? I don't want to judge you, but this is all easier said than done.

    Where are these 'daredevils'? What are they waiting for? The last strand to be pulled out?


    The fact is: this is an existential war. You cannot fight it, because the nation on behalf of which you profess to fight it lends credence to both sides. It justifies an Islamic version of events, the supersedure of one community over another, a harsh interpretation of law- islamic or otherwise and everything else these c@@ns want to impose. You are yet to resolve first order issues of state, who you are and what you truly want to be. And there are no easy, clear-cut answers to these questions. There are no easy answers because, in the very initium ultimum: the very infinitesimal origins of your existence, the philosophical question of your existence is a paradoxical one. You were formed as a cultural-socio-political-anthropological refuge for the muslims of the subcontinent, yet are not truly one. So what really are you? And, in this ambiguity, who decides? I'd assume the majority. And wherein lies that majority: you or they? In this battle, You are alone and outnumbered, and fueled by the same patriotic passion that fuels them. Therefore, you will be chopped down, until there is no one left standing. As in at least one other muslim state that has confronted the same problem in the past: Turkey, the Army could've remained your last bastion. But even that has been permeated by the same venom you seek to root out- by its legitimization of the same organizations it once used as pawns, that've now eroded your social fabric. We told you this a long time ago, get rid of these organizations, Pakistan before they come back to bite you in the arse. We learned early, getting rid of the organizations that could've subsequently threatened our integral territorial union: the LTTE and the pro-Khalistan movement, and now we go further to take on the Maoists and their successors, but not before understanding the root cause of their struggle. In this struggle, you cannot win without addressing the philosophical foundation of this conflict; and I fear a resolution to that dispute may not be to your liking.
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2011
  7. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    There are those like Sherry Rehman and also the assassinated Governor of Punjab.

    They are a minority and to be fair, they lives are up for the grabs.

    Rage,

    Thanks to Zia, Pakistan has moved too far for even secularists to be able to reverse the change.

    Yet, all power to the Pakistani secularists.

    BTW, Asim is from Dubai and an old sparring partner turned friend of mine. We still agree to disagree but these days, on polite terms!! :)
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2011
  8. nitesh

    nitesh Mob Control Manager Stars and Ambassadors

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    Sir, to be very honest, I don't see any iota of secularism in them, they are the same thugs as jinnah for whom Pakistan was built to enjoy the riches and maintain the feudalism intact and now squealing because they are not able to enjoy those.
     
  9. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Asim,

    The situation has gone beyond the power of the secularists in Pakistan, who are the educated elite like you and who have foreign exposure.

    While India, true to being the soft power that it is, will do nothing, not even a statement.

    However, the US will act as it has done all the time, thanks to their powerful right wing Christian organisations.
     
  10. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Sorry about the Closed Thread.
     
  11. Tronic

    Tronic Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    Asim. Been a while mate. Good to see you around.

    Unfortunately the power is slipping towards the uneducated and the down trodden masses. I wish the best for the secularists within Pakistan, but Zia killed away a lot of that secular cauldron, and today every time the radicals strike, a large portion of that educated moderate class freezes to stop and think whether they approve or not. It is no longer a gut reaction to oppose. The casualty inflicted by Zia on the moderate middle class was quite evident when we saw lawyer's flock to the defence of Mumtaz Qadri, garlanding him and showering him with rose petals. I would like to see the secularists in Pakistan win, but the odds are stacked against them. I hope it is not a repeat of the Afghan story where the upper and the educated middle classes have to pack their bags and leave the nation hostage to the downtrodden and poor masses. The Taliban have already begun infiltrating into the Pakistani heartland, namely, Southern Punjab; I wish all the best to the Pakistani secularists and would love to be wrong on this issue, but it is the fundamentalists who have gained ground year after year, and things do not bode well for the moderate and secular classes.
     
  12. Daredevil

    Daredevil On Vacation! Administrator

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    The gravity of situation can be gauged by the fact that the most powerful institute in Pakistan, Pakistani Army has so far not condemned or made a statement against the killing of Salman Taseer or Bhatti. The silence is very deafening. I read some where that PA has refrained making any comments on these assassination because the Army officers fear that there will be uprising from lower ranks in the Army itself and might lead to more assassinations the way Qadri has assassinated Taseer.
     
  13. Awesome

    Awesome Regular Member

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    Tronic, always a pleasure.

    Let's be practical, what can India's role be, if any.

    As an observer it can choose to criticize. Or it can choose to praise.

    There are many positives going on in the pro-secularism fight in Pakistan the biggest positive being that despite the two high profile killings, the fight is still on, gaining momentum enough to trouble the Mullahs.

    You see when we say the majority is non-secular, it does not mean they are pro-intolerance. These are the undecided lot, who are traditionalists. They go to mosque 5 times a day, they pay homage at shrines, do their duty to feed the needy and so on. To them the secularism debate is served by Mullahs like "Do you want to hate God? Do you want to insult the Prophet?"

    These people are up for grabs, but currently it requires passing on a deeper understanding about what Freedom and secularism is. They are only anti-seculars by default and it is possible, not easy but possible, that they will support the right cause once the blurry lines get clearer. Right now there are too many issues, complicating the matter and we're trying to slowly unravel this mess.

    The divide is quite apparent in Pakistan:

    http://www.scpr.org/news/2010/05/17/in-pakistan-a-deepening-religious-secular-divide/

     
  14. Tronic

    Tronic Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    Asim,

    What India can do as a spectator. I'm not too sure. IMO, Criticizing or praising the secularists will only have the reverse affect. Being criticized or praised by India will probably only weaken their own resolve.

    As for the article. It has re-iterated more or less my previous post. There is a class divide in Pakistan, and it will essentially be a class war. It is nothing alien to the subcontinent; India has its own share, with the downtrodden turning towards communist ideology and grouping together as the Maoists. The difference is in the economy; where India is able to woo its lower classes by its growing economy, the Pakistani government has left the lower classes hopeless. Long term betterment of Pakistan will only come with economic and inclusive growth in Pakistan where the lower classes also benefit. In the meanwhile, the Pakistani middle class has to find another methodology to fend off fundamentalism.

    I will also re-iterate that Zia has played spoilsport here, as the new middle class itself has been educated to be rightist. Normally societies become less conservative and more liberal with time, but in Pakistan it has been the reverse. I see the older generation of Pakistanis being more liberal and tolerant than the newer generation of Pakistanis (barring the upper class). Also Asim, you talk of traditionalists, 5 times prayer, visiting shrines, et all, is perfectly normal and part of a person's own Imaan, or as Sikhs say, Shardah. These chaps are not the threat. The threat in the middle class comes from the people who try to disassociate from Pakistan's own culture, and look up to the Arabs, primarily the Saudis for inspiration. I know several such Pakistani chaps, who admit that they are not able to read the 5 times obligatory namaaz, but they vehemently oppose praying at shrines and other aspects of local sufi culture, and try to tow the Saudi fundamentalist line. It would still be alright if they kept these rules for their own personal selves; but they themselves may not be regular practitioners of their own religion, but they wish to impose these Saudi inspired fundamentalism onto the rest of their fellow countrymen. Infact, one of the chaps, a Muhajir if it matters, passionately argued that Sufi culture is not part of Pakistan as Pakistan is a Sunni country; calling it preposterous for Sunnis to be following aspects of Sufi culture. :rolleyes:
     
  15. Awesome

    Awesome Regular Member

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    That I agree with. However the support should be to Pakistan as a nation, not a particular group. For example, India and the world should acknowledge the nation's positives in its efforts towards secularizing the governance system. I agree it would play counterproductive if India says "We support xyz group, for their efforts towards secularization". Being called "Indian collaborators" is a funny trend in Pakistan something I'm only too familiar with.

    I would go one step further and say that we now need to stop blaming a dead guy, 30 years later. It's time to own up to the issues of Pakistan as ours.

    That is also not really clear cut. If you see things like Valentines day, Dance parties, alcohol consumption, music, TV entertainment, fashion models, literature and even promiscuity is on the rise. What's happened is that the liberalism is growing at a normal steady pace. However the conservatism while not outgrown the liberalism, it has increased in intensity.

    Where in Zia's time people would fear the police coming and arresting you for 'immoral' behavior, now you may get shot for it by just about anyone.

    That's why its not clear, because you goto Lahore and every other chick is imitating the latest trends from Star Plus soap operas, the funky eyebrows n all. But on the flip side, killings, suicide bombings are going on too. The surveys almost always pick up on the traditionalists as the extremists.
     
  16. Virendra

    Virendra Moderator Moderator

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    Sir I wouldn't call funky eyebrows, alcohol and tight jeans an exact parameter of a balanced, progress oriented moderate society. I've seen people of stone age mentality consuming alcohol and wearing jeans.
    The thought process and ideals of Pakistani society as a whole are something to watch for. If we had a significant change there, the response to Salman Taseer and the Minorities minister's killings would not have been so meek. As someone recently said - "the pak civil society is on retreat" and I believe they are the real minority in pakistan. The almost extinct minority.

    Regards,
    Virendra
     
  17. sandeepdg

    sandeepdg Senior Member Senior Member

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    From the looks of it, to the outside world, conservatism is fast outgrowing whatever liberalism there is, and will soon vanish altogether if fanaticism is not checked in Pakistan.
     
  18. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Asim,

    It is good that you, Tarek and others have taken it on your shoulder to cleanse the society of the fundamentalist and bring rationality. It is also good that you have spoken on the BBC and you are doing your bit.

    Reading your posts, I am confused.

    While I wish people like you well, but the schizophrenia that seems to be within Pakistan, is too muddled for resolution in a simple, clear cut manner.

    The spectre of Zia has to be kept relevant to prove to the people that his misguided so called religious zeal was a façade. It was merely to rope in Islam and the clergy to give legitimacy to his illegal usurped regime. His adventure into Afghanistan was justified from the Islamic standpoint, but to abandon Afghanistan having done the damage just like the US, has done more harm to Pakistan than good. It has given rise to the unruly rabble, which in concert with the ethnically similar people on the Pakistani side of the Durand Line, is shaking the very concept of Pakistan!! If not controlled, will give rise to secessionist tendencies, leading to encouragement of Balkanisation of Pakistan!!

    Zia's selfish motives for legitimacy by roping in religion and the clergy has also led to the violent surfacing of the sectarian divide amongst the Muslims, the Sunnis and the Shia, and both being Muslims believing in the Koran and the Prophet!!

    That apart, this total confusion that is prevalent in Pakistan, thanks to Zia's legacy, has also sharpened the divide between the Punjabis and the Mohajirs. All said and done, the Mohajirs are the ones who still call the shots being more intelligent and well versed in governance.

    BTW can you give the statistics of Mohajirs and the rest in governance, business, trade, industry, judiciary to include lawyers etc?

    Whether you like it or not, the Mohajirs still do not have the place in Pakistan's society that they deserve thanks to their contribution and presence. Even the capital of Pakistan was shifted from a Mohajir dominated area into Punjab!!

    It is not for me to comment, but all I can say is that I wish you and Tarek the best of luck.

    Also hopefully, you can establish your idea in your forum.
     
  19. nitesh

    nitesh Mob Control Manager Stars and Ambassadors

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    I am unable to understand the zeal with wish we all curse zia for bringing islamists to the front. What people here think that before zia got in to power, Pakistan was a land of milk and honey?
     
  20. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Asim,

    Here is an article that you may read.

     
  21. Tronic

    Tronic Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    It may be best for India to stay quite, because we have seen the amount of lip service the Americans have provided that even most Pakistanis today have started to see it as a joke, with the likes of Mr10%s and other corrupt elitists in power. Its a class struggle and till the lower rung of society start to see some betterment, the problems wont go.

    Asim, that dead guy left behind a legacy in the Pakistani education system which has raised an entire generation of people different than their fathers.

    As I said, it is the type of thinking one carries. I have found older Pakistanis, who are more conservative yet moderate, are more tolerant than the younger generation which may be more liberal, but is more rightist leaning. Well, its confusing to me as even I know that these chaps have no idea what they are supporting, but I think the biggest problem here is, identity confusion. They don't know what they are suppose to be as Pakistanis, liberal and secular, or conservative and right wing. I was told by one Pakistani that it is sad that there are still idols being worshiped in Pakistan, and than later on the same argued why Pakistan's minorities should be free and welcomed. Identity confusion!! They are quite literally torn between two sides.
     

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