Friday, September 5, 2014

Pakistan Happenings: Of Soaked Protesting Women &Their Out Of School Children.

Barefoot on a hot earth Dr Tahirul Qadri lays to waste all his 35 years of  religious and moral teaching.
As the Islamabad protests continue in its rain soaked 21st day, the women protesters of Pakistan and their children from Pakistan Awami Tehrik, mostly religious followers and employees of  Minhajul Quran, a religious and educational institutions' conglomerate, the entire nation of Pakistan wants these protests to end and  a semblance of normality back in their poor, as it is difficult and miserable lives.
These children which mostly belong to the small privileged class that  are lucky to go to schools out of the millions of children of Pakistan who are out of school for reasons such as poverty, lack of access, lack of transport, parents' illiteracy, lack of motivation, extreme malnutrition, anemia and many more.Their rights are being trampled incessantly by all the adults including their own parents and the leaders of their adult caregivers. These children were forcibly taken away from their homes and schools and made to live out in open, exposed to conditions where violence , lack of food and lack of safe drinking water,exposure to violence,tear gas,infections and other health challenges and other security problems.
These children were made to stand barefoot on hot earth outside in the sun both by the leaders and their mothers for no fault of theirs.This is to be condemned . Their basic human rights have been blatantly violated by adults who have exploited them for their own political and religious purposes.
The lack of responsibility shown by the adults who are participating in these protests and  especially the leaders who are insisting on the presence of these women and children.
Since last 12 hours continuous rain has soaked these children and their caregivers exposing to diseases such as pneumonia which is the largest cause of death among children .
Who will take responsibility of this? the whole country is only thinking about the vitriolic speeches and the  leaders are justifying their protests but non is even thinking of what these innocent children and their mothers are suffering.
Meanwhile the negotiations are going on a slow pace and because there are two separate groups. The Pakistan Tehrike Insaf which is a political party has given many demands to the government among which is the electoral reforms package which they say if  agreed to can bring about the judicial commission's report and the election 2013 rigging be exposed and can bring the current government down.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Pakistan Happenings: Of Poor Rights, A Political Solutions & The Dharna Women.

As the 10th day of the so called Inqilab & Azaadi marches rolls across the television screens and we see a hot summer landscape in Islamabad, many thoughts come to my mind. How much the leaders of  movements are responsible for the comforts,discomforts of the women and children in these marches.How and what is the commitment of these marchers? What does their demands actually translate into?
I t seems to me that the marchers of the Inqilaab march are very committed as a religious duty to their leader . They are disciplined and are ready to brave any hardship, sincerely believing anything that their leader says.They are not clear in what their demands actually are except one that the June Model Coloy, Lahore firings and alleged killings by police be probed by a formal process of law by a fair trial and not as by a commission appointed by the government which itself is a party as said by the aggrieved.This issue is the strongest point for which they have the support of all the people of Pakistan as the  lack of access to justice especially in cases where the accused are in positions of responsibility and power is the real dilemma.
the other demands about a fair system in  Pakistan, a fair governance etc are areas which can only be brought about by a debate , discussion in the parliament and deciding the mechanisms and modalities of implementation and the skeleton of the policies in parliaments by the consensus of all the political parties.representatives only. for this the whole system of governance cannot be wound up and non-political forces brought into the picture as repeatedly warned by the much pragmatic and better leader . Mr Siraj ul Haq of Jamaat e Islami & Qamaruzaman Kaira of the PPP.The most logical tangible demand in this scenario that can be immediately accepted and implemented by the government is that of the Local  Bodies elections. The Punjab government should announce immediate Local Bodies elections and appease the Inqilaabi marchers .
The issue of the Model Town fiasco will not go away simply and Mian Nawaz Sharif should understand that linking Punjab politics to Federal politics is not helping their party in any way.If this issue would have been addressed in  a fair non-partisan manner earlier this march would have been avoided. The persistence of the Punjab government to non resignation of their chief executive is dragging a dead horse and has bode very bad, ominous signs for the federal government.
This issue has given Mr Imran Khan also an impetus in his fast tracked Azaadi march.Thier demands are generally acceptable to the government except the sequence or the order of demands. The country cannot afford the kind of dragging their feet politics Mr Nawaz Sharif and his buddies are doing at this critical juncture. As Azaadi marchers have toned down their demands for his resignation so should the Chief Executive consider  the free and fair recounting and election results audit as an urgent exercise.
The economic losses caused by these marches have to be quickly recovered and Mr Imran Khan should realize that Pakistan cannot be either liberated or made New by empty slogans and damaging the economy. He should reverse his call for non-compliance and ask his followers to behave as responsible citizens. Just by reading books and giving calls does not a change make. The process of good governance and just rule is slow. It is an attitude and will only come with strong institutional oversight.The parliament needs to be strengthened at this critical juncture in our history.His much publicized change will come with time. He has won in so many ways. His bringing young, unconcerned elitist and upper middle class into functioning, protesting politics is one big achievement.His forming a government in KPK was another good achievement where they should implement their change and good governance ideas and compete for a renewal in next elections.His demand for fair and free elections is close to the hearts of all Pakistanis. He has already brought about a change where the Pakistanis have become much aware of voting process, hurdles and fairness methods for next elections. A concession to end the protest in a dignified manner will only heighten his stature and make him a frontline player in this game of electoral politics.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Pakistan Happenings:Of Stolen Azadi ,Mandate, And The Poor Pakistani.

As we ordinary, hard working, citizens waited for our 14th August "Azaadi" festivities to begin, we were suddenly made to realize that our freedom had been rudely, ruthlessly stolen. stolen and snatched away by biased media channels, ill informed, unprofessional television anchors and last but not least by in experienced, simplistic, leaders, not necessarily ill- willed.So the simpleton Pakistani nation instead of rejoicing on the festivities of 14 th August saw with held breath how we tore each other apart on non-isssues and made rhetoric our biblical support and logic. How the leaders of azaadi and revolution marches traveelled like princeses and made the entire cities and country hostage to their whims, wishes, rhetorical promises and myopic vision and the ordinary joy of the citizen was stolen. The greenbelts of clean Islamabad have turned into dustbins and toilet refuge.The clear demand by Shaikh Rasheed of asking the military to come for Imran Khan's help in rain soaked emotions has really let the real cat out of the bag. As the troupe of sorts for Musharraf ki baqiyaat or the leftovers from Musharraf's "Last Supper" gather in rain swept Islamabad and the motley show of actors' flitters around the capital, a citizen looks with apprehension bordering on humorous cynicism how empty and incomplete the promises made by politicians to the simple voters. While the khwancha walas, sell their channas, bhuttas,and amroods to the rain soaked, tired, simple followers mostly Pathans and Punjabis from other cities in Islamabad, the relatively affluent leadres and upper cadre workers of both PTI and PAT retire in hotels, posh homes and relatives houses and the revolution goes on. The stubborn Prince asks for the Moon.
Anokha Ladla Khalen ko Mange Chaand..... so sings a crooner.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Pakistan Happenings:The plight of Displaced Women, Beachgoers and Minorities.

As August makes its announcements many issues stand tall in Pakistan. Foremost is the plight and hunger of the internally displaced  women and children of Waziristan and FATA. As daily Dawn reports many women , second wives and those who are not registered with the NADRA registration authority go hungry and destitute along with their children  as they cannot receive food rations supplied to the IDPs.
The outdated customs in far flung remote areas of FATA and KPK have made lives of women and children miserable. As this news highlights two women married to a bedridden 70 year old man with twelve children to feed are not registered with NADRA and so cannot recieve food. As their husband is pld and bedridden he cannot go to the ration distribution points where only men are being given food rations so they are at the mercy of other people who themselves are displaced and dependent on rations. The mismanagement of food distribution system and not allowing international and many national NGOs to help these IDPs is hampering the process of food distribution in these areas.Women and children are suffering enormously.The international and national NGOs should be allowed to help these people. The need is urgent.Educational rehabilitation should also be undertaken for children.
Another program on television also showed the plight of  many people from Waziristan who could not go to Bannu for collection of rations highlighted the need for international NGOs such as World Food Program to help in towns where the government and armed forces cannot supply food rations.
Minorities are also suffering many problems which need to be addressed by the governments both provincial and federal.
the burning of houses with women and children inside in Gujranwala, Punjab ought to be taken up by the Punjab government seriously. The mob violenec should not have been allowed in the first place and if has done so much damage the government should take the police to task for not controlling this incident. Such blatant acts of violence where women, children and innocent members of a community are impudently massacred by a majority community bid very ominous signs for the well being of Pakistan.It is high time that the Punjab government and the federal government woke up from the slumber of impunity and arrogance and addressed this issue. A board should be formed where all past such incidents including the Gojra massacre be investigated and those responsible punished.

The news of Hindu traders being kidnapped and killed in Umerkot is also ominuous. This community also needs protection as they are peaceful citizens in Sindh province. The callous attitude of the Sindh government also speaks volumes of the apathy and neglect towards the issues being faced by the minorities

Eid is a festival of joy and celebration but this was not to be so for 38 persons who drowned on the Karachi Seaview beach. As summer moths of June, July, August and September approach this are
a of the Arabian Sea becomes unusually rough with totally unsafe beaches for people. Previously city governments used to post warnings on the beach and disallow access to the sea. Many deaths were prevented although in the last five years an average of nine to ten deaths was seen. this year so far 38 bodies have been recovered from Karachi beaches out of which 35 from Clifton, Seaview beach only. The responsibility solely lies on the administration of Karachi and the Sindh government. No amount of shifting of responsiblity or excuses can cover the negligence, callousness and indifference that the citizens of Karachi have been witnessing for some time now. Two main factors are responsible. First and foremost is the absence of a responsible ,elected city government that is local government system. Since the Pakistan Peoples Party has come into power in Sindh and when it was in power at the federal level too it made sure that   MQM stays out of power at city level of which it is a major contender in Karachi, Hyderabad and Sukkur. In doing so it has deprived a mega city like Karachi many of its facilities and recreational safety and infrastrucure. There is no sense of responsibility, ownership or well being even in average citizens and tragedies like these happen.This could have been easily prevented. Had a local government been there, the citizens would have put up warnings, made scouting activities to man and guard the beach, help visitors and revellers with safe areas to enjoy in etc. The parking lot attnedents who fleece millions of visitors daily are only there to collect money. They are neither responsible citizens nor have any intersts in public well being or welfare. They are doing their job at a very low level for the Clifton Cantonment Board, which is again a semi autonomous body under the Defence Housing Authority entrusted with collecting taxes, garbage disposal and maintenance of roads, gutters etc. A citizen board which mans it also deals with such issues. There is no ownership of  safety issues as such.
Simple measures like warning signs, roped enclosures for safe areas and more scouts from the Navy or Coast Guards as a preemptive safety measure would have prevented these tragedies to occur.The attitude of the Sindh government towards Karachi shows apathy and irresponsible behavior. Either they do not understand what safety is all about or they do not care for Karachi citizens. The irony is many of the people who drowned were young men from Quetta, Gilgit and Peshawar who probably being  new to the sea could not understand the ferociousness of the waves. Being an old Karachiite and seen this beach for decades I can vouch for the small, ferocious currents that come to these waters at this time and without warning a person is swept away. The currents are small and so fierce that the non-swimmer does not stand a chance to prevent drowning. Even a strong swimmer will survive with difficulty. These beaches should be prohibited to visit during these months. The roadside should be made into a holiday area for the season so that people can enjoy a view only.It is hoped that the Sindh government does not forget this tragedy and does some safe practices next season and also thinks about a local government election.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Karachi Airport Attack..Some Thoughts On The Tragedy.

As the whole of Pakistan mourns the tragic deaths of the innocent people at Karachi Airport many questions arise at the state of preparedness by our major public areas like airports, ports etc.
Since Karachi Airport is under the control and administration of the Civil Aviation Authority, a review of this authority is necessary.Its website states that it is run by the federal government under the ministry of Defence. Its chief executive is always an air force retired person.The accident and emergency section clearly states situations only by accident with aircraft and there are forms given for complaints.There is no section for any other complaints for accidents such as fire, cargo accidents etc.
On a closer look at the premises and infrastructure at the airports it is seen that none of the areas are supplied with water sprinklers, firefighting equipment. There are no safety exits in work areas and there has been no fire drills whatsoever. The SOPs for accident and fire preparedness are not only absent from the website but also actually no department  has them. The tragic loss of precious lives is  the result of callous attitude of the administration towards taking accident and fire preparedness as a necessary standard operation procedure and policy for its employees. The CAA is trying to cover up its short comings by saying that the seven unfortunate people who died inside the burning cold storage area were actually shot by terrorists. This is sheer callousness. how can you provide solace to the relatives by this kind of attitude. They died due to sheer lack of rescue provided to them as there was no escape preparedness in case of fire. In fact there is no terrorist resistance plan for the airport as such.
This attitude is apparent in all civil and public institutions also as well as private institutions and factories. No fire drills are carried out nor water sprinklers and firefighting equipment provided in any large or small places.
Everybody is talking about the bravery of the fighting forces like the ASF but no one is questioning why fire fighting was not done. Why were chemicals if any stored and why were the trapped persons not evacuated. Simply damage control after each incident will not help at all. The state is at war and the enemy is within .We should at least preempt the kind of damage that can occur and be prepared for the same.
Why the NDMA, PDMA are quiet on this. Were not airport areas a priority?In any war they are to be safeguarded as a first priority. What is happening here?
A look at the PDMA Sindh website will show you the state of the mind of people running these organizations.It seems like a photo op show case for the useless people running the show. There are no latest procedures and preparedness advise tips for citizens. There are no links to useful sites and help addresses.
In developed countries even small things like looking after one self are given in case of disaster
Preparedness or basic knowledge of fire prevention is necessary
It is high time that people in responsible places realize the seriousness of urban terrorism and at least show some sense of responsibility and develop preparedness plans for their institutions and organizations.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Why DNA Evidence Is Important In Sexual Assault & Incest In Pakistan.

An Interactive article by Dr Meher Zaidi

In Pakistan the collection of evidence for prosecuting rape and incest cases is very incomplete. Apart from social apathy and the inability of police in this making a strong prosecution for bringing justice to the survivor, the scientific methods are lacking. Entry of DNA evidence should be made a mandatory legal procedure. It is done all over the world now. The following interactive sites will show why and how is this important.

The latter article describes all aspects of the importance of DNA evidence in great detail with references. It shows how and why it is important for both the survivor and the accused to be given the fairest chance for the justice to be done.If an accused is innocent , then also scientific evidence will help him get exonerated.

Recently the Council of Islamic Ideology chief raised many retrogressive amendments to Pakistan laws concerning child marriages and the admissibility of DNA evidence in sexual assault cases.Zohra Yusuf has written a detailed article on this. Link here

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Why The USA Founding Fathers Made A Senate, Pakistan?

To protect the rights of a minority in democracy, to ensure that majority rule did not oppress the minority, to ensure that tyranny did not damage the spirit of democratic dispensation by upheavel and changes due to populism ,the founding fathers of USA made a document in the constitution. In order to counter the Fascist tendencies  a majority rule begets, the Senate was created by the founding fathers. If we copy democratic rule also we have to see this document and understand the spirit behind such a system of government. In Pakistan it seems we have chosen the system but tend to forget the spirit because somehow it has been thrust on the people with little knowledge or practice of egalitarian justice.A website delancyplace quotes from a book and this document is so handy to ponder upon and compare our senate and democratic parliaments role and duties. ,

"People often lament the difficulty of enacting new legislation or changing existing legislation -- and there are often calls for congressional reform. But the framers of the U.S. Constitution very specifically designed the process to make it hard for change to be enacted, especially when "the emotions of men in the mass ran high and fast." The component of the government designed to impede and stifle legislation was the Senate:
"The Framers ... feared not only the people's rulers but the people themselves, the people in their numbers, the people in their passions, what the Founding Father Edmund Randolph called 'the turbulence and follies of democracy.'
"The Framers of the Constitution feared the people's power because they were, many of them, members of what in America constituted an aristocracy, an aristocracy of the educated, the well-born, and the well-to-do, and they mistrusted those who were not educated or well-born or well-to-do. More specifically, they feared the people's power because, possessing, and esteeming, property, they wanted the rights of property protected against those who did not possess it. In the notes he made for a speech in the Constitutional Convention, James Madison wrote of the 'real or supposed difference of interests' between 'the rich and poor' -- 'those who will labor under all the hardships of life, and secretly sigh for a more equal distribution of its blessings' -- and of the fact that over the ages to come the latter would come to outnumber the former. 'According to the equal laws of suffrage, the power will slide into the hands of the latter,' he noted. ... But the Framers feared the people's power also because they hated tyranny, and they knew there could be a tyranny of the people as well as the tyranny of a King, particularly in a system designed so that, in many ways, the majority ruled. 'Liberty may be endangered by the abuses of liberty as well as by the abuses of power,' Madison wrote. These abuses were more likely because the emotions of men in the mass ran high and fast, they were 'liable to err ... from fickleness and passion,' and 'the major interest might under sudden impulses be tempted to commit injustice on the minority.'
"So the Framers wanted to check and restrain not only the people's rulers, but the people; they wanted to erect what Madison called 'a necessary fence' against the majority will. To create such a fence, they decided that the Congress would have not one house but two, and that while the lower house would be designed to reflect the popular will, that would not be the purpose of the upper house. How, Madison asked, is 'the future danger' -- the danger of 'a leveling spirit' -- 'to be guarded against on republican principles? How is the danger in all cases of interested coalitions to oppress the minority to be guarded against? Among other means by the establishment of a body in the government sufficiently respectable for its wisdom and virtue, to aid on such emergencies, the preponderance of justice by throwing its weight into that scale.' This body, Madison said, was to be the Senate. Summarizing in the Constitutional Convention the ends that would be served by this proposed upper house of Congress, Madison said they were 'first to protect the people against their rulers; secondly to protect the people against the transient impressions into which they themselves might be led.'
"'The use of the Senate,' Madison said, 'is to consist in its proceeding with more coolness, with more system, and with more wisdom, than the popular branch.' It should, he said, be 'an anchor against popular fluctuations.' He drew for parallels on classical history, which, he said, 'informs us of no long-lived republic which had not a Senate.' In two of the three 'long-lived' republics of antiquity, Sparta and Rome, and probably in the third -- Carthage (about whose governmental institutions less was known) -- senators served for life. 'These examples ... when compared with the fugitive and turbulent existence of other ancient republics, [are] very instructive proofs of the necessity of some institution that will blend stability with liberty.' Thomas Jefferson had been in Paris during the Convention, serving as minister to France. When he returned, he asked George Washington over breakfast why the President had agreed to a two-house Congress. According to a story that may be apocryphal, Washington replied with his own question: 'Why did you pour your tea into that saucer?' And when Jefferson answered, 'To cool it,' Washington said, 'Just so. We pour House legislation into the senatorial saucer to cool it.' The resolution providing for a two-house Congress was agreed to by the Constitutional Convention with almost no debate or dissent.
Second floor Senate chambers in Congress Hall used 1790 thru 1800
"And to ensure that the Senate could protect the people against themselves, the Framers armored the Senate against the people. ... Each state, the Framers decided, would be represented by only two senators; the first Senate of the United States consisted of just twenty-six men. Another was the method by which senators would be elected. When one of the Framers, James Wilson of Pennsylvania, suggested that they be elected by the people, not a single member of the Convention rose to support him. 'The people should have as little to do as may be about the government,' Roger Sherman declared. 'They lack information and are constantly liable to be misled.' After Elbridge Gerry said that 'The evils we experience flow from an excess of democracy,'the Framers took steps to guard against such an excess. There would, they decided, be a 'filtration' or 'refinement' of the people's will before it reached the Senate: senators would be elected not by the people but by the legislatures of their respective states -- a drastic filtration since in 1787 the franchise was so narrow that the legislatures themselves were elected by only a small percentage of the citizenry.
"Senators would also be armored against the popular will by the length of their terms, the Framers decided. Frequent elections mean frequent changes in the membership of a body, and, Madison said, from a 'change of men must proceed a change of opinions; and from a change of opinions, a change of measures. But a continual change even of good measures is inconsistent with every rule of prudence and every prospect of success.' What good is the rule of law if 'no man . . . can guess what the [law] will be tomorrow?' Guarding against 'mutable policy,' he pointed out, requires 'the necessity of some stable institution in the government.' Edmund Randolph, as usual, was more blunt. 'The object of this second branch is to control the democratic branch,' he said. 'If it not be a firm body, the other branch being more numerous and coming immediately from the people, will overwhelm it.' Senators, he said, should "hold their offices for a term sufficient to insure their independency.' The term sufficient, the Framers decided, would be six years. Senators would hold office three times as long as the members of the 'democratic branch.' They would hold office longer than the President held office. And around the Senate as a whole there would be an additional, even stronger, layer of armor. Elections for senators would be held every two years, but only for a third of the senators. The other two-thirds would not be required to submit their record to the voters (or, to be more accurate, to their legislatures) at that time. This last piece of armor made the Senate a 'stable institution' indeed."

The rejection of the DOMESTIC VIOLENCE BILL by the senate in Pakistan can be understood after reading these excerpts from the book by Robert A. CaroThe Years of Lyndon Johnson: Master of the Senate.

The rejection of this bill occurred because the senator from JUI-F vetoed it. The people of Pakistan want that domestic violence should be finished and a peaceful societal environment should be established. The JUI-F is a party which expresses a certain mindset in religious Khyber Pakhtunkhawa society. It is not a mindset of the other Pathans in the region. It seems that the party is not in times with the human rights issues and its democrats and senators represent only a narrow view and are unable to implement progressive reforms in the spirit of justice and egalitarianism (called Musawat in Islamic social justice) . Their point of view being very retrogressive interpretation of Islamic edicts has truly damaged the spirit of democracy and even the social justice as conceptualized in Islam.By this example it  appears that the practice of democracy in Pakistan is fraught with problems and the path towards an egaliatrian dispensation of justice and a peaceful society is a rocky one. People in Pakistan are afraid to debate on the issues of Islamic justice and have left it to very narrow minded maulvis and religious leaders. The door to re-interpretation of these edicts in line with contemporary issues also known as Ijtehad  has been kept shut. The use of violence against the citizen as means of imposing one's iron will and retrogressive mindset and narrow interpretation has created major hurdles in the practice of democracy in Pakistan.

It is time that the citizen of Pakistan understand that in order to express his/her will there is an essential expectation , that of the practice of democracy in it's true spirit, that is of egalitrian justice. This will only come if all citizens will be considered equal in the eyes of the law. And such laws are passed to make this come true.We will have to elect all our representatives very carefully. Only reciting certain verses is not enough, we have to act on them true for humanity and peace. That is what Islam stands for.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Recent Issues In Rape Cases & Child Rights In Pakistan.

An Interactive article by Dr Meher Zaidi

Pakistan's media is now reporting rape, gang  rape cases more frequently. This is a good effort to bring such damaging social issues to the fore and make public and government aware of these  crimes against humanity.
The real benefit of such reporting will only occur if the judiciary and lawgivers realize that the latest methods of collection of evidence, making dedicated , safe rape reporting centers in hospitals with one window operation, streamlining police action with judicial action in favor of the rape survivor is done finally.
These issues can be discussed in the light of three cases and news making headlines in the last one week only.

The Muzaffargarh rape case where a woman  burnt herself in protest is the case in point for collection of evidence as a procedure to be essentially done by the law enforcement agency under routine law to protect the right of the survivor and the citizen by the state.The streamlining of this aspect for providing justice is the responsibility of both the law makers and the judiciary.This is highlighted by the fact that now the Supreme court bench is stuck against a wall as there was no medico-legal examination done and the victim burnt herself to death as a protest against the police who let go the rapist free on its own will.The minister for interior Punjab also said in a statement that rape had not occurred. He had no basis to say this except that the local police reported this.This was not based on medico-legal evidence which is essential to provide justice.This case should now be taken as a case for making collection of medico-legal evidence an essential action by the state for prosecution.
The next step should be make one window rape centers for collection of evidence and police reporting in major hospitals of the country.The rape evidence collection forms as submitted by War Against Rape should replace the old forms as the old ones are incomplete and do not fulfill the requirement for justice.The permission of DNA evidence as part of the evidence should be mandatory new law by the law givers and the present Supreme court judiciary who should be proactive in making opinion for this as the above case has shown that not collecting evidence denies justice to the victim and survivor both.The victim's death  proves that DNA evidence is necessary for providing justice. This has nothing to do with Shariah and Maulana Sheerani's personal point of view itself is un- Islamic and non-Shariat. The Council of Isl amic Ideology should be abolished as it has no institutional opinion and has run its retrogressive role as envisaged by a martial law government to further its aims and tendencies.
Collection of evidence should be a scientific procedure, non-biased and performed by officers and doctors trained and sensitive to the victim/survivor's needs.
The importance of DNA testing also is evident from the fact that rape is a complex crime and providing justice is solely proving that it has occurred. Even if Islamic/Shariat courts are a part of judicial system this DNA collection  will be a facilitator in providing justice.
If the victim has died it does not mean that justice should not be the aim of the Supreme Court of Pakistan.

A five year old girl is also raped and she cannot provide evidence as a child who is physically assaulted is under severe psychological trauma. To provide such a case justice again DNA evidence.and collection of evidence by a trained team is essential.As most of the survivors/victims are poor it should be tried by anti- terrorist court with special prosecutor for such cases.This will speed up the process.

A case of a young girl given in Swara by panchayat in Muhammadpur, Chiniot,where she was given in forced Nikah twice by the perpetrators, gang raped, and the tied to tree naked in full view of the village is another strong case for the jurors as it spreads fear in society and makes the state look weak. Such cases should be tried in anti-terrorist court for speedy justice.
As Mukhtaran Mai emphasizes that such case are not registered and many a victims killed as a recent case of two sisters in Tehsil Jatoi in Punjab near to where Mai resides and where her case occurred, it is essential to make justice available at all levels by streamline procedures.

The other major issue of child rights is the recent statement by Maulana Sheerani, the chief ofCouncil of Islamic Ideology  to  allow child marriages and remove the law prohibiting child marriages.Universal declaration of child rights specifically forbids child marriages. Pakistan has signed all conventions and is under obligation to protect children.In universal declaration 18 years is the age limit for definition of a child. It has also been scientifically proven that the best age for having a child in females is 24 years. It is optimal for health of a woman also..As sexual education is not allowed in Pakistan schools, child marriage will only worsen the situation.Legitimizing child sexual assault by naming it marriage and also legitimizing in the name of religion is serious violation of child right.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Why Bilawal Bhutto Zardari chose the Non-Muslim face of Sindh.

Sindh has an ancient civilization Moenjodaro. This civilization has definitely left its mark on the subconscious mind of its ancient inhabitants who may have some descendants left to this day.
At the time of  birth of Pakistan a large Hindu population was living in Sindh and did not migrate to India like from the Punjab due to relatively placid and peaceful atmosphere prevalent in Sindh. Due to this tradition of living side by side ,a deep understanding and respect for customs and traditions has developed into the social consciousness.
With the advent of Pakistani Muslim identity and the state’s strong propaganda for an ideology, gradually an erosion has occurred where due to repeated martial laws and non-representative governments a deep rooted intolerance to non-Muslim identity is taking place in all of Pakistan.
As  Sindhi culture imbibes both Hindu traditions  and Muslim religious practices, it is not easy to present it in a pure Muslim way.The strong and colorful representation of non-Muslim tradition in dress, jewellery and dance forms an inherent part of this cultural representation.
The ghagra choli dress is one such example.The dances on shrines are another example of mixed cultural mileu. Both Hindus and Muslims are strong followers of Sufi saints such as Lal Shahbaaz Qalander and Sacchal Sarmast. There is no way these cultural influences can be separated.
With a strong push from militant organizations who are trying to legitimize their space in Pakistan ,Bilawal has deliberately chosen the non-muslim representation in the Sindh festival.This will establish his credentials as a liberal and also establish the importance of Sindh as a cultural heritage to be cherished and promoted in the world as Pakistan is being pushed and being made a pariah state in the world by Islamic militants.
There was a strong hue and cry from many here that vulgarity was being promoted in the name of Sindh culture but this kind of statement shows that young Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has chosen this deliberately to answer it as a battle call by extremists.He has shown that he is not mild and laid back and this is the side he wants to show the world.

As far as the damage to Moenjodaro done in the inauguration ceremony that is not documented as yet but that will be definite but extent maybe small when seen by experts.