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Sir: Recently, I heard the news that our ‘Khadim-e-Aala’ Punjab went to Kasur and Okara to express his condolences to the families of two of the police personnel who laid down their lives at Jinnah Hospital during the course of their duties. I would just like to mention here that it has been more than a week since the Ahmediyya community came under attack and ‘Khadim-e-Aala’ or any other minister of Punjab government has not been able to find time to condole with the families of more than 100 victims of the Lahore attacks. Perhaps this is because the minority Ahmediyya community does not hold much importance in the eyes of the Punjab government.
We can all just pray that these sort of selective sympathies come to an end soon and may every Pakistani gets his rightful and equal status in this country.
Sir: The City District Government Karachi (CDGK), after announcing construction of an overhead bridge on Bacha Khan (Banaras) Chowk with much fanfare, failed to complete this project during its tenure of four years. The CDGK gave a number of deadlines but failed miserably every time. After the CDGK’s departure, the administrator of Karachi set a deadline that also lapsed, but the bridge is still incomplete. Seeing the pace of work, it seems, it will take at least another year to complete. Perhaps, a fresh deadline from the president or the prime minister might be able to motivate the concerned authorities to complete it at an early date.
ASHRAF ALI ANSARI
Justice not being done
Sir: In order to clear the huge backlog of pending cases, the chief justice issued instructions to the subordinate judiciary to decide by May 31 all cases pending for more than two years. However, advocates and some officials of the lower courts, specifically in the rural areas of Sindh, are exploiting this well-intended decision. In most of the cases the lawyers advised their clients to withdraw their cases, assuring them that after the expiry of the target date, i.e. May 31, the cases would be readmitted and their clients would be in a better position to get a positive decision.
In this process of collaboration between the lawyers and the lower courts, complainants with genuine grievances have suffered irreparably. Some parties, which did not withdraw their cases, suffered grievously as their cases were dismissed on one pretext or the other.
The chief justice should order inspection of all those cases, which were shown as disposed off by the lower judiciary at the end of May 31.
Moreover, a directive should also be issued for expeditious disposal of pending cases on merit.
Chance to make correction
Sir: The former information minister, Sherry Rehman, the Awami National Party’s Bushra Gohar and Muttahida Qaumi Movement’s Khushbakht Shujaat, all denounced the recent attack on Ahmedis in Lahore.
It is ironic that nearly four decades ago, on June 30, 1974, the same PPP wanted to introduce two resolutions before the National Assembly of Pakistan. The government resolution related to the determination of the constitutional position of ‘Qadianis’ while the opposition’s resolution was more exhaustive in nature over the position of ‘Qadianis’. On September 7, 1974, the PPP, under the command of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, amended the constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and declared members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community ‘non-Muslims’.
May 28’s barbaric massacre was the fruit of the seed planted in 1974. The approval of the 18th Amendment on April 15, 2010 was considered a landmark in the constitutional history of Pakistan in which Ziaul Haq’s name was struck out of the constitution. During the discussion period on this amendment, the leaders of Khatm-e-Nabuwat wasted no time in issuing a warning to the government not to strike down the amendment regarding Ahmedis along with Zia’s name.
History has given another chance to the PPP to fix its past mistake and strike down the 1974 amendment and Ziaul Haq’s ordinance XX (20) against the Ahmedis. After the May 28th attacks, there is no doubt left that ‘terrorism’ in Pakistan will flourish unless the human rights situation is improved.
Sir: Benazir Bhutto was at her best during her last public address on December 27, 2007 at Liaquat Garden, Rawalpindi. Her last statement was a shining testament to her vision, wisdom, courage and determination to steer the country out of troubled waters. It truly was one of history’s greatest speeches.
She defied the mortal dangers to her life, on her last day, and stood like a rock as a symbol of sacrifice and service to the people she so passionately loved. A recording of her speech should be played in every nook and corner of the country to keep her message safe in the hearts and minds of the people. Her final speech should serve as a yardstick that can be used to measure the performance of the present and succeeding governments.
Following the murder of Benazir Bhutto, some heads should have rolled. Musharraf should have set an example by stepping down for his proven failure to provide adequate security to Ms Bhutto. There is no use shedding crocodile tears.
B A MALIK
Blaming the West
Sir: As a 75-year-old Indian Muslim living in the US, I was delighted to read Shahid Ilyas’s article, ‘Stop blaming the West’ (Daily Times, June 2, 2010). What he said is very rarely heard from Pakistanis. I am glad some young people are beginning to think that Pakistan can move forward only by turning its back on the grand narrative of its creational narrative and ideology. Yes, its people must now say, “We exist, we are here, this is 2010 so let us give ourselves something new and bold and freeing.”
Harping on about the past will not do. The author says it right, “The only legitimate and viable way of existence for a state is that it is based on the idea of public welfare, democracy, pluralism and the rule of law.” Only a radical break from the past can put Pakistan on that track.
At the very moment of its appearance on the face of the world’s political map, Pakistan betrayed the very people it claimed to save — the so-called oppressed among the Muslims of British India. Most of them are still there, oppressed or otherwise, and a great many among them are quite glad about being there in 2010. I always tell my young Pakistani friends what Iqbal had once penned beautifully in one verse: “Khiradmandon se kyaa puuchuun ki meri ibtidaa kyaa hai, Keh mai iss fikr mein rahtaa hun meri intihaa kyaa hai.”
C M NAIM