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Mad Anger: Woman Minister Murdered

Posted on February 21, 2007
Filed Under >Adil Najam, Law & Justice, People, Politics, Religion, Society, Women
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Adil Najam

Report from News (21 February, 2007):

A fanatic shot dead Punjab Minister for Social Welfare Zill-e-Huma Usman “for not adopting the Muslim dress code” at a political meeting here at the PML House on Tuesday. A party worker caught the accused, Maulvi Sarwar, and handed him over to the Civil Lines Police. Huma was at the PML House to hold an open Kachehry. As she was busy meeting the PML women activists, the accused sitting in the audience approached her with a pistol and pumped bullets into her head from a point-blank range… The accused, M Sarwar Mughal – popularly known as Maulvi Sarwar – is a resident of Baghbnapura in Gujranwala. Two police stations of Gujranwala and the Tibbi police of Lahore had booked Maulvi Sarwar for the murder of six women, but he was acquitted for want of sufficient evidence. His alleged spree of killing “immoral” women started in the year 2002. In his confession statement before the police on Tuesday, he said he was opposed to women holding public office. He added that after he read in the newspaper that the minister was holding an open court, he decided to kill her.

Sometimes you just wonder why! Sometimes you just want to give up!



I have been feeling sad and numb and down and dejected all day. I heard about the brutal murder of Punjab Minister Zile Huma Usman’s murder by a crazed fanatic some 10 hours ago. And I have been in utter shock.

I have tossed and turned. I had thought earlier that I would not even write about it. What is the use? When a society goes so mad that a woman is killed just because she is a woman, what can a blog post do. Just ignite more silly debates; more childish heckling; more immature point-scoring; trying to show how smart you are; or, more likely, trying to show how idiotic others are; reaffirming your own belief that you are always right, and everyone else is always wrong; single-track chest thumping; self-righteous finger-pointing. No remorse. No compassion; not a word of sympathy; not a shred of caring. All there is, is anger; getting high on our own anger; anger for its own sake; getting so very angry that you even forget what or who you are angry at.

But now I do want to write about this. We, as a society, have some serious thinking to do.

What killed Zille Huma Usman? Not religion. Not madness. But anger. Uncontrolled anger.

A society that seems to be fueled by anger. No conversation is seen to be legitimate unless it is an angry conversation. And the solution to everything seems to be violence. ‘Kill the infidels’ say the believers. ‘Kill the mullahs’ shout the modernists. ‘Hang them by the gallows.’ ‘Put them in boats and let them sink.’ ‘Death is what they deserve.’ We have heard it all right here. I suspect we will hear it again. That dastardly, self-righteous anger. This violence in the language, as Zille Huma so tragically found, becomes the violence of bloodshed all too easily. Today it was in the name of religion. Tomorrow it will be something else.

So, do me a favor folks. Give her some dignity. Hold your anger. Think about what happened. Ponder. And pause. For the sake of whatever is sacred to you; please pause!

An innocent woman’s life has already been taken by our inability to put a lid on our passions and our anger. Let us please not make a tamasha out of her death by making her a poster child for whatever ’cause’ we are parading for right now.

249 Comments on “Mad Anger: Woman Minister Murdered”

  1. MU says:
    February 21st, 2007 1:19 am

    Here is news on that. Religion seems to be the motive;

    http://www.jang.com.pk/jang/feb2007-daily/21-02-2007/topst/main3.gif

  2. MU says:
    February 21st, 2007 1:28 am

    Let’s see how soon someone says ‘terrorists have no religion’.

  3. YLH says:
    February 21st, 2007 2:33 am

    Dear Adil,

    Thank you for this post. I have been very upset about this… there are just so many things that are wrong with us and we have apologists who continue to gloss over these serious ills of our society. I sent a message to several radio stations dedicating “Hum Dekhain Gay” by Faiz to Zile Huma Usman SHAHEED and to the loss of a Pakistan based on rule of law… the first observation that the Quaid made was that Pakistan should protect the LIFE of individual citizens… and now we have this… a woman murdered for being a woman.

    Let us put an end to this now. Let us grow up. Let us weed out and clean our society of Mullah Sarwar and ilk.

  4. February 21st, 2007 3:29 am

    [quote post="583"]What killed Zille Huma Usman? Not religion. Not madness. But anger. Uncontrolled anger.[/quote]

    But soon particular cabal will make this thread a religious thread by condemning Mullahs by every means but they wouldn’t say a word about a recent attack on Shery Rehman who was attending some protest. Thanks ATP to continue its tradition by making another thread to give that particular thread an excuse to bash religion.

  5. February 21st, 2007 3:31 am

    I must say, another controversial thread

  6. Omar R. Quraishi says:
    February 21st, 2007 3:54 am

    adnan siddiqi — the man’s name was “maulana sarwar” – err, what do you expect people to say by the way — he is known to have killed several women before because he did not approve of their lifestyles — he was out becuase there was no evidence to convict him — so you think there is no link with over religiousity/zealotry and the man’s actions in this case? haha

    adil — yes writing on this blog is hardly to achieve much since your readership is limited — however, instead of writing for your blog why dont you send a piece for our pages — do it right away and we will carry it soon — we will credit you as the owner of pakistaniat.com

    Omar R. Quraishi
    Op-ed pages editor
    The News

  7. February 21st, 2007 4:03 am

    Attack on Sherry Rahman:

    http://www.ppp.org.pk/Human%20Rights/17-2-2007.html

    This news was not caught because the person who attack on Sherry had no relation with religion or maybe it would be highlited soon if police finds any keyword like “religion”,”islam”, or “mullah”. Secularist loonies would be desprate enogh to pollute this thread as well. Just waiting…

  8. YLH says:
    February 21st, 2007 4:15 am

    The attack on Sherry Rahman (who is from the same “cabal” certain other “cabal” hates) was absolutely abhorrent. Thank God she is survived. However, I am not sure why Adnan Siddiqui takes everything to be an attack on him. Should the death of a woman for being a woman not be posted here? Is that what he wants? I suppose this is from the same train of thought which considers airing of views the same as terrorism that kills innocent people.

  9. YLH says:
    February 21st, 2007 4:16 am

    The attack on Sherry Rahman (who is from the same “cabal” certain other “cabal” hates) was absolutely abhorrent. Thank God she survived. However, I am not sure why Adnan Siddiqui takes everything to be an attack on him. Should the death of a woman for being a woman not be posted here? Is that what he wants? I suppose this is from the same train of thought which considers airing of views the same as terrorism that kills innocent people.

  10. Omar R. Quraishi says:
    February 21st, 2007 4:31 am

    btw adnan — the papers went to town (hope you understand what that means) with sherry rehman’s attack story

  11. Omar R. Quraishi says:
    February 21st, 2007 4:34 am

    on a side note adil, I am now waiting to see what action you take against certain people here — I think Adnan here is implying that I and Yasser are ‘secularist loonies’

    btw adnan — dont wait any longer — the pollution has already begun with your irrelevant comments — yasser is right — you seem to think that merely posting this story (which by the way is the lead story in all papers in pakistan — we plan to make it our lead editorial) is an attack on you or that it will be used as a pretext for mullah bashing

  12. Omar R. Quraishi says:
    February 21st, 2007 4:35 am

    Quite interesting that instead of condemning this unequivocally you have sprung to the defence of the mullah on this thread — adnan — i think first answer this question — was what the man did wrong or was it justified?

  13. shirazi says:
    February 21st, 2007 5:23 am

    Bad; sad.

  14. Manzoor says:
    February 21st, 2007 6:39 am

    We have became a global byword for intolerance and brutality

  15. king_faisal says:
    February 21st, 2007 7:20 am

    there should be outrage all right, huge amount of outrage because there was evidence to convict the murderer before he did this heinous deed. geo news last night was showing a news-clip from 2004 in which this jaanwer, in an interview, confessed to being a serial killer. if our courts cant give phansee to serial killers based on their own confession, then god help us. god knows how many other serial killers have been set free by our honourable judges. i would also not rule out the possibility of extremist religious groups pressurising the courts into releasing this mad man. unfortunately we will never find out the truth because our newspapers will completely ignore this very important aspect of the case.

    also i agree with ylh that this woman was shaheed. unlike most politicians who see power as an end in itself, this woman was working for a very noble cause which was the empowerment of women. she paid the ultimate price for her deeds and deserves no less a recognition than a sipahi defending the frontiers of pakistan. i am disappointed to see that this murder is not getting any more play on the tv networks i subscribe to. it will be a real tragedy if this life was lost in vain. the best way to remember this shaheed would be to launch an annual award in her name to highlight the achievements of a pakistani woman contributing to public welfare. even if we are able to contribute $1,500 for this award, that would be a substantial sum in pak. i would be willing to contribute substantially to this end. certainly a very good opportunity for this website to take the lead and make itself heard.

    i also think this murder has more to do with the attitude of society towards woman which has nothing to do with islam. recently a pakistani man from nwfp residing in the uk murdered his family after a drinking binge. when it comes treatment of women, all tubqas are guilty. mullahs however can do the hounourable thing by condemning violence against women without any ifs or buts. their silence on this matter is unforgivable.

  16. February 21st, 2007 7:50 am

    [quote post="583"]mullahs however can do the hounourable thing by condemning violence against women without any ifs or buts. their silence on this matter is unforgivable.[/quote]

    As if Mullahs are only muslims and you and me have no responsibility to educate others? We shouldn’t seek any excuses because Quran was not revealed for Mullahs only or for muslims only, anyone could read it to find out what it actually says.

  17. Suhail says:
    February 21st, 2007 7:56 am

    King – you hit the spot. Just imagine what non Muslims think when they see something like this. We can sing and dance (or not!) about Islam being a tolerant religion but but but…till our so called learned and wise men (who have spent lives studtying the holy book) cannot muster up the cojones to stand up for what is islamically a no no, well, we are done for mate.
    And that partly explains where we are and why we are there. And most likely continue to stay there.

  18. Omar R. Quraishi says:
    February 21st, 2007 7:59 am

    adnan — im confused — till now i was thinking you are a mullah — certainly talk like one

    king — sorry king but the media has not and will not ignore this –

  19. February 21st, 2007 8:00 am

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/london/3150142.stm

    By definition,he is not a mullah or any religious person but he killed her for his own reason.

    From the same source:


    But many Muslims are uncomfortable about how Islam has been dragged into this, because Islam categorically does not allow people to kill their own daughter,

    I oppose this dragging which is not done by non-muslims but other groups as well who say they are muslims and follower of a religion.

  20. Moeen Bhatti says:
    February 21st, 2007 8:20 am

    Religion should be banned in Pakistan….anyone talking about religion in politics should be hanged.

  21. YLH says:
    February 21st, 2007 8:33 am

    So self-proclaimed Maulvi Sarwar says on GEO NEWS that he kills women who he considers as rebels against Allah … and according to Adnan Siddiqui this has nothing to do with religion.

    Wonderful logic.

  22. Juwahir says:
    February 21st, 2007 8:35 am

    Moeen, *almost* agree with you. Anyone who commits a crime in the name of religion should be punished but also Maulana’s who keep declaring Women’s hukmuranee haram and then take a post under the same women’s hukmranee should be hanged first as this is where the fitna starts.

  23. YLH says:
    February 21st, 2007 8:40 am

    It is this Abu Juhlism that masquerades as Islam that should be BANNED.

  24. YLH says:
    February 21st, 2007 8:43 am

    Wikipedia Entry on Zil-e-Huma Usman Shaheed Rahmatullah alei… May her soul rest in peace.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zil-e-Huma_Usman_shaheed

  25. Juwahir says:
    February 21st, 2007 8:49 am

    “Shaheed Rahmatullah alei” ?

    Now YLH we don’t know about that. Only god knows who is Shaheed. It is our ‘husn e zun’ and hope, as we do for most all dead people but the rest are just emotions. The judgment in the hereafter is best left for god.

  26. YLH says:
    February 21st, 2007 8:53 am

    Omar,

    [quote comment="34949"]I think Adnan here is implying that I and Yasser are ‘secularist loonies’[/quote]

    He has not implying… he has been saying it for a while now. If airing one’s opinion- and mind you compared to some of the posts by the great labeller our posts are a picture of moderation and reasonability- makes one a “secularist loony” then so be it. I’d rather be secularist loony than be someone like Adnan Siddiqui who is defending a murderer simply because the murderer is a Mullah.

  27. Moeen Bhatti says:
    February 21st, 2007 8:55 am

    I agree with Juwahir, I don’t see any reason calling her shaheed…if someone wants to call her shaheed, he/she should provide some evidence for that.

  28. YLH says:
    February 21st, 2007 8:56 am

    Really Juwahair… Don’t you think the Zil-e-Huma was a true Martyr in the cause of women’s rights and humanity? I am afraid I am not going to leave any judgements to the hereafter… when the same courtesy is not accorded from the other side, when appropriating martyrdom etc to terrorists and leading symbols of Abu-Juhlism aka Mullahism.

  29. Moeen Bhatti says:
    February 21st, 2007 8:58 am

    what did she do for the human rights & humanity???

  30. YLH says:
    February 21st, 2007 9:00 am

    I will continue to call her Shaheed… she is a true Martyr… lets see those who want divine “evidence” stop me. She died while doing her duty to the nation and to the people of Pakistan. She is more of a martyr than any terrorist or military dictator can ever be.

    Zil-e-Huma Usman Shaheed Rahmatullah Alei ZINDABAD!
    Pakistan PAINDABAD

  31. YLH says:
    February 21st, 2007 9:01 am

    She was MURDERED by someone who did not want women’s rights and progress in Pakistan… it was her supreme sacrifice that makes her Shaheed!

  32. Moeen Bhatti says:
    February 21st, 2007 9:03 am

    Noone is saying that the terrorists that kill themselves are shaheeds..don’t put words in people’s mouth….she was a minister in an illegal government, we all know that the Musharraf’s government is illegal.. She died being a victum of politics….you may keep on calling her whatever you like, noone can stop you. But pls try to justify what you say.

  33. Moeen Bhatti says:
    February 21st, 2007 9:05 am

    so you are saying she knew that some one was going to kill her and she willingly sacrificed herself? Take your time, think something else.

  34. PatExpat says:
    February 21st, 2007 9:19 am

    True to its credo, Pakistaniat.com does reflect Pakistan. And true to the image, the portal seems filled with fanatics _ mullahs or otherwise…

    If it keeps going in the same direction, pretty soon it will be off the radar of impartial. At present, it feels more like a hate site. I think I should start visiting Baloch nationalists website. At least, they offer better quality intellectual fodder for consumption.

  35. Juwahir says:
    February 21st, 2007 9:20 am

    I am afraid this discussion is very emotional from the beginning, starting from the original post. Seems Adil has also jumped on the bandwagon of blaming modernist or secularists whenever a crime is committed by religiously inclined, just to appear “balanced” in the eyes of Mullahs. When did a secularist or modernist blow a mosque or innocent people in the name of secularism or modernism? Instead if they (secularists/modernists) call for curtailment of Mullahism it is for exactly incidents like these and to make the society fair, peaceful and balanced for everyone. Call for punishing crimes and criminals is not extremism it is *responsible*. Unless, we want our society to remain hijacked by religiously inclined criminals forever.

  36. Samdani says:
    February 21st, 2007 9:25 am

    Dear Adil.

    I feel the heartfelt pain in the post. You are right. I am sorry for all the times I have had my anger get the better of me here.

    You know what, I realy think you should not have written this post. It is obvious from the comments above that no one even read what you wrote. And the one think you asked them to do they are now doing. You expressed it well, and they just proved you right:

    “Just ignite more silly debates; more childish heckling; more immature point-scoring; trying to show how smart you are; or, more likely, trying to show how idiotic others are; reaffirming your own belief that you are always right, and everyone else is always wrong; single-track chest thumping; self-righteous finger-pointing. No remorse. No compassion; not a word of sympathy; not a shred of caring. All there is, is anger; getting high on our own anger; anger for its own sake; getting so very angry that you even forget what or who you are angry at.”

    The mullahs disown the act, and the seculars claim a shaheed. Niether seems in the smallest bit concerned about the human side that you were writing about. I wish you had not given us all this opportunity to make a mockery of another person’s life, and death.

  37. YLH says:
    February 21st, 2007 9:28 am

    Moeen Bhatti,

    It is amazing that someone who was calling for a ban on Islam from Pakistan only a few minutes ago is now coming at it from a religious angle. Amazing sommersaults you guys are capable of.

    So you think in order to be a martyr, you have to know that you are going to die. So in other words… the early Caliphs of Islam … particularly Omar Osman and Ali were NOT martyrs since they did not know they were about to be killed.

    Why don’t you think of something else now?

  38. Adnan Ahmad says:
    February 21st, 2007 9:28 am

    “So, do me a favor folks. Give her some dignity. Hold your anger. Think about what happened. Ponder. And pause. For the sake of whatever is sacred to you; please pause!

    An innocent woman’s life has already been taken by our inability to put a lid on our passions and our anger. Let us please not make a tamasha out of her death by making her a poster child for whatever ’cause’ we are parading for right now.”

  39. Moeen Bhatti says:
    February 21st, 2007 9:32 am

    YLH: please let me know how come she is a shaheed? My comment that religion should be banned from Pak does not stop me from requesting you for the support of your statements.

  40. YLH says:
    February 21st, 2007 9:33 am

    Samdani mian,

    Have you met me? Do you know for a fact that I did not care about the human side? That is rather presumptuous of you isn’t it? This act of violence affected me so deeply that I did not sleep most of the night, especially when I discovered that this was not an isolated case but that he was acquitted two years ago for murder of six other women… I have two daughters… and I want to raise them in Pakistan. You have NO idea how close this hits to home for me.

    I strongly suggest that people don’t assume anything about others… this is not about secularism or Islam or religion. This is about HUMANITY pure and simple.

  41. YLH says:
    February 21st, 2007 9:35 am

    Moeen Bhatti,

    “how is she a shaheed?”

    I gave you the answer but you did not bother to read…

    The same way Hazrat Umar RA, Hazrat Usman RA and Hazrat Ali AS are SHAHEEDS.

  42. Moeen Bhatti says:
    February 21st, 2007 9:38 am

    Thats a great answer YHL, thank you. Now she stands with sahabas, lucky she…lets start an official holiday on this day in Pakistan.

  43. Samdani says:
    February 21st, 2007 9:41 am

    [quote comment="35001"]Samdani mian,

    Have you met me? Do you know for a fact that I did not care about the human side? That is rather presumptuous of you isn’t it? [/quote]

    NO. The presumptiousness is from YOUR side to assume that you are so important that anything anyone writes here is about you. Its not.

  44. Adnan Ahmad says:
    February 21st, 2007 9:44 am

    This is ridiculous folks. Stop it for god’s sake.

  45. YLH says:
    February 21st, 2007 9:45 am

    Yes… now wouldn’t that be better than Banning Islam from Pakistan as you so kindly suggested before taking a hard right?

    However your emotional appeal to religious zealotry be taking this tone “oh my god how did he compare her to Sahabas” is hardly a logical one- consider:

    1. You had a problem with my reference to her as a Shaheed because she didn’t know she was about to be killed.

    2. Using your logic in one- the Omar Osman and Ali are not Shaheeds either.

    Now stop making a mockery of this thread by indulging in this useless discussion. If you don’t agree with my description of her as a Shaheed, you are free to hold that opinion but no need to try and force me to give up mine which I have clearly shown is a logical one given your own logic…because I do consider Osman, Omar and Ali Shaheeds just like I consider Zil-e-Huma Usman a shaheed.

    Let us pray for the soul of the departed.

  46. YLH says:
    February 21st, 2007 9:49 am

    Samdani

    From your post:

    [quote comment="34997"]

    The mullahs disown the act, and the seculars claim a shaheed. Niether seems in the smallest bit concerned about the human side that you were writing about. .[/quote]

    Since I am the only person claiming her a Shaheed…(The other secular has started to sing the Quran since then)… is it really presumptuous of me to think that you were referring to me?

    Let us put an end to this mockery. This is NOT about secularism. I know many religious minded folk who are equally outraged by this foul murder …. so how is this a Secularism v. Islam issue?

  47. Razi says:
    February 21st, 2007 9:51 am

    But what about our (Un)judicial system? I have set this lunatic scott free after 4 previous murders and several attempted murders!! I strongly believe along with this animal….those in involved in the judicial process (his lawyers, the judges…the whole bench) should be put to trail for the murders.

    A alleged victim of Karo Kari gets no justice in this country….why should those involved in this case be spared?

  48. Mutazalzaluzzaman Tarar says:
    February 21st, 2007 9:53 am

    Absolutely shocking and incredibly tragic! You see and hear a lot of anti-women sentiment in Pakistani society. However, to announce one’s hate for women on such a public platform by committing such a violent and heinous crime and then showing no remorse is just unbelievable.

    I hope the media asks why the murderous Maulana was allowed to walk free when he himself admitted to killing six “immoral” women. Those policemen and lawmakers are also party to this crime because of their negligence and failure to do their respective jobs.

    May the victim rest in peace.

  49. YLH says:
    February 21st, 2007 9:59 am

    [quote comment="35008"]But what about our (Un)judicial system? I have set this lunatic scott free after 4 previous murders and several attempted murders!! I strongly believe along with this animal….those in involved in the judicial process (his lawyers, the judges…the whole bench) should be put to trail for the murders.

    A alleged victim of Karo Kari gets no justice in this country….why should those involved in this case be spared?[/quote]

    Well said. It was the system that let this guy go scott free earlier. Perhaps, given that his earlier victims were allegedly prostitutes, a morals-oriented judge took a favorable view of his activities…

    The Holy Quran I believe says: To take ONE innocent life is like killing entire Humanity

    And yet these people claim to do it for Islam. Like I said… we need to get rid of the Abu-Juhlism that masquerades as Islam.

  50. YLH says:
    February 21st, 2007 10:15 am

    Remembering her and expressing our outrage, however muted by our circumstances, is not making a mockery of her life but is making society sensitive enough so that another Zil-e-Huma is not sacrificed on the altar of false morality ever again.

    It is responsibility to put things in our country right.

  51. February 21st, 2007 10:16 am

    After reading the article and the responses, the only person who is not able to control his emotions seems to be YLH who has gone to an extent of creating a wikipedia entry, probably to support his view.

    YLH, the more you type about the minister, the more it seems you are making a mockery of her.

    It seems Adil is right when he says that:

    “more silly debates; more childish heckling; more immature point-scoring; trying to show how smart you are; or, more likely, trying to show how idiotic others are; reaffirming your own belief that you are always right, and everyone else is always wrong;… ”

    Do not beat the drum so hard that you numb everyone’s ears and the beat is not heard anymore.

  52. Juwahir says:
    February 21st, 2007 10:21 am

    This incident is sad but when did getting emotional solve any problem?

    We need to focus on the real reason for this incident – and for that matter most all terrorist incidents in Pakistan – i.e. uncontrolled abuse of religion. And folks let’s not bring in seculars/modernists in this discussion; they have not killed this poor women.

  53. The Pakistanian says:
    February 21st, 2007 10:24 am

    Dear Adil

    I had actually been waiting since yesterday for this post, but now, with a 20-20 hindsight, I agree with your first instinct that you did not want to write a piece about this tragic incidence. I was totally wrong in thinking that this post would not become a mud slinging match for people having a difference in opinion, and totally disregarding the solemness of the situation. May God have mercy on her soul and may God help us and our country.

  54. YLH says:
    February 21st, 2007 10:28 am

    Dear Abu Haleema,

    1. I am afraid we have to agree to disagree. No need to insult anyone’s intelligence by making comments with no roots in reality.

    2. If I sound emotional (I was accused of being unconcerned about the human side only minutes ago), it is because I LIVE here and this is my country… this is where my mother, wife and daughters live. I have every right to be emotional given that this will make any reasonable (yes that is the key- reasonable) person emotional. I will CONTINUE to drum about this daughter of Pakistan. When a woman is killed in broad daylight for being a woman, only a coward does not drum about it. I am outraged… this is my country. I have EVERY right to be outraged. So don’t tell me what I should or shouldn’t do

    3. I created the Wikipedia Entry and I announced it. Your claim that I was using it to support my point of view is ridiculous when I declared that I created it. Now this is what is called an argument that is neither here nor there.

    4. I have only expressed my feelings on a message board. I suppose in your esteemed opinion the reasonable and rational person was that fellow who decided to shoot an innocent woman in the head for being a woman?

    Balance for god’s sake. I am sick of people who try and divert the issue into personal character assassination like the sort you’ve started in your last post.

  55. YLH says:
    February 21st, 2007 10:31 am

    So a woman is killed in broad day light in my country by a fellow who claimed to follow my religion? And I am not allowed to be emotional- if at all. Remarkable logic. We must ALL express our collective outrage … we should NOT become de-sensitised to an issue of this magnitude.

  56. Akif Nizam says:
    February 21st, 2007 10:37 am

    Adil, you are right in that as a society we need to learn how to talk to each other and to hold a dialogue without going into fits of rage about everything. However, I do not agree with you that cases such as this have much to do with rage.

    I would bet you that this murderer is completely at peace with himself and has no qualms about what he has done. In his heart, he believes that he has done the right thing and sadly, millions around the country, secretly or otherwise, agree with him.

    This tragedy highlights the failure of our society on sundry levels: the radicalization of the masses, the collapse of the educational system, the disregard for life in general and of women’s life in particular, the abject failure of law-enforcement and the judicial system…..it just goes on and on.

  57. Aqil Sajjad says:
    February 21st, 2007 10:42 am

    I think the point about anger in the original post has been completely missed by many.

    We owe it to the victim to put some serious thought into how this kind of mindless extremism can be curbed and how the values of tolerance and acceptance for diversity are to be promoted.

    Making angry statements like ‘screw the Mullahs’ is understandable when such an incident takes place. However, we need to focus more on solutions instead of just venting our anger. Statements like ‘ban all religion’ are not only outrightly wrong and stupid, but also totally counterproductive since they smack of extremism.

    If religious extremism is to be combatted, we would need to have an indiginous logic for tolerance in a Pakistani vernacular. We would need to point out the logic for tolerance within Islam (and there is plenty of that) so that the distortions preached by the Mullahs are outrightly rejected by the people as violations of Islam itself.

    Lastly, I hope the media will also talk about the police and judiciary and raise hell about how this idiot murderor got off the hook in the first place. The issue of reforming the police and judiciary has not received enough media attention as it deserved.

  58. February 21st, 2007 10:45 am

    It is ridiculous that instead of remembering the dead lady, two or three people are arguing because they think they are smart. Please stop this nonsense and be focused on topic.
    She was murdered by a person who had his own cause. We shouldn’t link every bad thing with Islam and good thing with modern world. Please set aside your Ahmadiyyat, Sunnism, Shiaism and secularism and lets serve Pakistan seriously.

  59. YLH says:
    February 21st, 2007 10:47 am

    Dear Akif,

    [quote comment="35018"]Adil, you are right in that as a society we need to learn how to talk to each other and to hold a dialogue without going into fits of rage about everything. However, I do not agree with you that cases such as this have much to do with rage.

    I would bet you that this murderer is completely at peace with himself and has no qualms about what he has done. In his heart, he believes that he has done the right thing and sadly, millions around the country, secretly or otherwise, agree with him.

    This tragedy highlights the failure of our society on sundry levels: the radicalization of the masses, the collapse of the educational system, the disregard for life in general and of women’s life in particular, the abject failure of law-enforcement and the judicial system…..it just goes on and on.[/quote]

    It is quite apparent from the posts above that what you’ve written is probably true. I find it strange that after apprising people of this tragedy, Adil gave those Sarwar-Sympathisers a rider to make a backdoor entry. In a remarkable sommersault, our right to be outraged has been taken away, especially if for some reason we are considered “secular” on this forum. Please see Mr Adnan Siddiqui’s comments- which were aimed at downplaying this great tragedy and turning it into an imaginary “Secularist-Muslim” conflict. And you had Moeen Bhatti (someone please check IPs here) first calling for a ban on Islam and then taking a personal tangent unnecessarily.. And then you have Abu-Haleema- who instead of commenting on the great tragedy- decided to admonish me and for what? Expressing my outrage – eventhough I did not use the kind of obscenities and personal attack that is their wont.

    This is NOT about SECULARISM. This is NOT about ISLAM. If you are a human being, a father, a Brother, a Husband and a Son… You ought to condemn this Barbaric incident with all your heart.

    Good night.

  60. Juwahir says:
    February 21st, 2007 10:51 am

    [quote comment="35022"]Ahmadiyyat, Sunnism, Shiaism and secularism and lets serve Pakistan seriously.[/quote]

    Really? How may Ahmadiyyat, Shias, seculars, agha khanis, parsis or christians killed any innocent Sunnis? The only exception are some shias who have only acted in self-defence as government does not protect them. The real problem is of fanaticism and of Sunni fanaticism if we must get into the nitty gritty. Sunnis must put their own house in order. Instead they start discussing it as if it is “our” problem. It is not!

  61. YLH says:
    February 21st, 2007 10:51 am

    “every bad thing with Islam”

    I agree we should not associate every thing with Islam… I am associating every bad thing with Abu Juhlism (aka Mullahism) which masquerades as Islam in our society… I have been quite clear on it. As for the cause… the person who killed her said he did so for religion (Abu Juhlism not Islam in my view) – this is a matter of fact.

  62. Juwahir says:
    February 21st, 2007 11:06 am

    Mera Pakistan,

    PS: Sunnis on the other hand have killed innocents from almost all other sects and faiths and have treated them like third class cirizens or “achootsâ€

  63. Farrukh says:
    February 21st, 2007 11:09 am

    Does anyone know if she had kids? How many? How are they coping?

    Does anyone care?

  64. February 21st, 2007 11:20 am

    when Zulfiqar bhutto could be a shaheed then every tom,dick and harry could be declared a shaheed. We pakistanis are used to deal with such *political* shaheed :-)

  65. February 21st, 2007 11:28 am

    adil, it is only natural to feel that way you feel; the last two days have been pretty bad. I read that she has two minor sons; simply breaks my heart

    i agree with Omar R Qureshi; the media has and will continue to highlight issues that triggers a healthy social debate ie., the clash between a lunatic fringe and womens’ right activists. A growing number of women are making their mark in all spheres of life; i thought you also believe what i believe that in the words of faiz “apnee himat hay kay hum phir bhee jeeyay jatay hain” so don’t give up. please continue to write and ignore the teenage drivel in your comments section

  66. truefacts says:
    February 21st, 2007 11:42 am

    The death / murder of that lady is absolute tragic.

    The act of Sarwar is fanatic & according to his own definition & interpretation. We should condemn him.

    But the more than worst thing is happening here in this forum. We all are in shock & can understand the gravity of grief feelings.

  67. Baber says:
    February 21st, 2007 11:45 am

    Its really sad, She was a citizen of my country with different view may be, for which she din’t deserve to die. A country where i was not born, but a country of my choice.

  68. AZIZ says:
    February 21st, 2007 2:13 pm

    Sorry I left this on the wrong post.

    Adil, please do not be disheartened.
    I think you are right, we as a nation need anger management therapy.
    But it is also that this event has so moved everyone on every side of the debate that he worst tendies and strongest passions are bound to come out.
    This catharsis may not be a bad thing. It cleans teh body and the soul.
    Sometimes things get so bad that only some terrible can jolt people’s consciousness.
    Lets hope that after the knee-jerk reactions end people will start taking your advice and start thinking about the state we are in rather than just shouting.

  69. Asadullah says:
    February 21st, 2007 12:31 pm

    Why was this man roaming free after what he had already done?

    And why must every problem is society be settled by killing someone?

    Those are the real questions.

  70. love2all says:
    February 21st, 2007 11:53 am

    Truefacts!

    U r absolutely right, we should adopt serious attitude 7& behavior. Atleast we should avoid ‘mockery’.

    No one is happy on the brutal murder of Huma, But using is dead body to condemn religion & start diversification of discussion towards ur own area of interest is equally brutal like murder. Don’t try to impose ur ideology on others.

    Thank You !

  71. Asadullah says:
    February 21st, 2007 12:26 pm

    This was clearly religion motivated and should be condemned by liberals as well as religious people.

    But thanks to some peole here overdoing things anyone reading this set of comments will think its the liberals who are the real fanatics here.

  72. Farrukh says:
    February 21st, 2007 11:57 am

    “right to be outraged.”
    Bravo. What a wonderful thing.
    Isn’t that what this Maulvi Sarwar was exercising? His right to be outraged?
    Lets all be outraged.
    Lets go and kill everyone with a darhi.
    Then we will kill everyone whose name is Sarwar.
    Then we will be even, won’t we.
    Of course, they may not think so and might want to make it even the other way.
    But what the heck, we would all have exercised our right to be outraged.

  73. Baber says:
    February 21st, 2007 12:01 pm

    [quote comment="35037"]Truefacts!
    No one is happy on the brutal murder of Huma, But using is dead body to condemn religion & start diversification of discussion towards ur own area of interest is equally brutal like murder. Don’t try to impose ur ideology on others.
    [quote]
    Okay just be unhappy and sit and watch or shall i say hope that justice will be done. She was killed by an extreme religious person, its not about religion its only about these fanatics and their ideology.

  74. Baber says:
    February 21st, 2007 12:04 pm

    [quote comment="35039"]“right to be outraged.”
    Bravo. What a wonderful thing.
    Isn’t that what this Maulvi Sarwar was exercising? His right to be outraged?
    Lets all be outraged.
    Lets go and kill everyone with a darhi.
    Then we will kill everyone whose name is Sarwar.
    Then we will be even, won’t we.
    Of course, they may not think so and might want to make it even the other way.
    But what the heck, we would all have exercised our right to be outraged.[/quote]
    We should not kill the darhi(bearded) people to show our outrage we can apply some super glue on their (darhi) beard every time they kill a women, is that fine? ;)

  75. Raza Rumi says:
    February 21st, 2007 12:05 pm

    Adil,
    As pointed out above, your appeals for ‘anger management’ have been ignored by some of the enthusiastic commentators on this post.

    This is a tragic and shameful incident. It also shows that the lunatic fringe misguided by narrow and often misogynistic interpretations of our religion continue to play havoc with our society. This is not the norm, we all know but then the state agencies knew about this mad man and his past crimes. Why was he not in a mental institution in the first place. Partly, because he would presumably have many sympathisers. Let us not forget the beating of women doctors and nurses under the Taliban in our very recent past.

    I am not sure that condemning the ‘mullahs’ or bigots tantamounts to condemning Islam or being disloyal to our religion. We need to debate about these things and arrive at some sort of a consensus in our society. Point scoring is the last thing we need in these dire times.

    And, some of the personal attacks above are in real bad taste!

  76. Anwar says:
    February 21st, 2007 12:12 pm

    Huma appeared to have been lost in the abyss of this discussion/intellectual brawl.

    Can a trust fund be established for her children?

    Can she not serve a more useful purpose even after her death as an example of why tolerance should be taught and reinforced in our schools/society?

    After experiencing several turmoils, I guess Pakistanis are ready for a change in direction.

    Can her death be a catalyst for this change?

    Can we all work towards that change?

  77. February 21st, 2007 12:16 pm

    [quote post="583"]ets start an official holiday on this day in Pakistan.[/quote]

    hahhaa!

    was that not benazir who had announced official holiday on 5th for “Ssshaeed” zulfiqar bhutto?

  78. Farrukh says:
    February 21st, 2007 12:26 pm

    Dear Mr. Adnan Siddiqui

    Can you please tell us whether you think the killing of Zille Huma was a bad thing or not? You seem to be far more worried that the name of mullas will be sullied than the fact that a mother was gunned down for no reason by a religious fanatic.

    Maybe you can also enlighten us on whether you think women can be leaders or not?

    Please, sir, do not give me a long lecture, I am really asking two very simple yes/no questions: 1. Is her killing and bad thing or not? and 2. Should women be leaders?

    Thank you.

  79. Juwahir says:
    February 21st, 2007 12:36 pm

    [quote comment="35036"]Why was this man roaming free after what he had already done?

    [/quote]

    When even government is afraid of Mullahs, courts and police can’t do much if there are religious undertones to the matter. Straight and simple. We must get rid of grand Mullahs before these smaller (relatively speaking) culprits can be effectively dealt with.

  80. Juwahir says:
    February 21st, 2007 12:40 pm

    [quote comment="35038"]But thanks to some peole here overdoing things anyone reading this set of comments will think its the liberals who are the real fanatics here.[/quote]

    Really? Could you explain to us how asking for religious culprits to be dealt with especially after they have become such a menace fanaticism? Has any “liberal” killed anyone in the name of liberalism? As I have said above, asking to deal with criminals is not extremism it is responsible.

  81. Rehan says:
    February 21st, 2007 12:41 pm

    A blot that grows by the day. If there were no Pakistan and these atrocities were being committed under Indian rule, we would be up in arms. Instead, nothing will change. Each person only gets more and more stratified in his/her perspective, with utmost arrogance and self-righteousness. These things make it very difficult to have faith in Pakistan.

  82. Aqil Sajjad says:
    February 21st, 2007 1:07 pm

    Gujranwalla, isn’t that also where that marathon was attacked by a bunch of mullahs?

  83. Juwahir says:
    February 21st, 2007 1:11 pm

    Just to understand the psyche of these people…

    If the high Mullahs have this sort of attitude; http://www.bbc.co.uk/urdu/pakistan/story/2007/02/070221_history_protest_sen.shtml

    Does it mean India should ban any mention of Muslim rulers including Mughal and others? These Mullahs complain and whine about everything but provide solution to nothing.

  84. Juwahir says:
    February 21st, 2007 1:13 pm

    [quote comment="35052"]Gujranwalla, isn’t that also where that marathon was attacked by a bunch of mullahs?[/quote]

    Exactly, and this women was one of the organisers. See the connection? She is on the list for a while.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/urdu/pakistan/story/2007/02/070221_zille_human_murder_fz.shtml

  85. February 21st, 2007 1:19 pm

    It’s better that we decide that whether we are going to discuss late Ziley Humma as a

    1) human being
    2)political figure
    3)an excuse to bash a religion

    If everyone had reacted due to point 1) then everyone could be considered credible. Offcourse Koran clearly declared that death of one human is death of entire humanity so act by the person has no religious background.

    So far it seems that people are making this an issue because of religion and political factor and demonstrating their ignorance by asking others whether it’s islamic or not which is very embarassing.

    One of our soft-hearted member even worried about her kids while he wouldn’t have made any attempt to ponder about millions of poor pakistani kids who are father due to different horrible issues but our vetran member yasser is behaving like Qazi Hussain who tried to play dirty politics on the death of Amir Cheema in Germany. Hence no difference between the politics of lefts and rights.

    [quote post="583"]Can her death be a catalyst for this change?[/quote]

    Change?why? she was just another politician like Bhutto,Zia,Azeem tariq,Khaled Bin Waleed,Najeeb Ahmed who were declared Shaheed later by their supporters.

    Pakistan can only experience change if we don’t get chance to read things like that

    http://www.turkishweekly.net/news.php?id=42702

    when a man tried to sell his kids due to poverty. Not everyone is lucky like Shokat Ali and everyone knows that there are millions of shokat alis who have been waiting for some messiah to help them to come out from the darkness of poverty.

  86. Moeen Bhatti says:
    February 21st, 2007 1:54 pm

    Pakistan is a lawless country where human life is a joke and religion is a mokery. Safety is the least priority. So whats the big deal about her murder????

  87. Farrukh says:
    February 21st, 2007 1:54 pm

    [quote comment="35055"]One of our soft-hearted member even worried about her kids while he wouldn’t have made any attempt to ponder about millions of poor pakistani kids who are father due to different horrible issues [/quote]

    How do you know I would not? Are you a walliullah? Have you no shame, going left and right spreading lies and offending people!

  88. zamanov says:
    February 21st, 2007 1:59 pm

    I support all of the above interactors here who have expressed their severe moral and humanistic outrage at this blatant murder of a female minister who was trying to do her part (by holding an open kutchery) in the industrial heart of Punjab.
    The fact that she was murdered in broad daylight because some despicable person thought she did not conform to his religious vision of women is the worst form of narrow-mindedness and zealotry.

    I can understand the outrage being expressed by Adil saheb, YLH and other posters just as any loving father, husband and son would feel the same.
    I hope Yasser that you can follow up on her story and let us know if there is any sort of scholarship or trust that can be set up in her name (she was a lawyer too) that we can make our contributions too. Maybe start a Zil-e-Huma scholarship for aspiring female lawyers/leaders at a local law school and let us know the details.
    I also hope that the media, both English and Urdu, does not stop covering this story and does it’s part to make this a landmark case in Pakistan’s history. Omar Quraishi I hope your paper can take the lead with this.

    Berate the government for its hypocrisy in dealing with religous extremism that causes bigots and animals like these to roam around forcing people to follow their vision of religion. Provoke the religous parties in condeming this inhuman act as a fundamental violation of ISLAM and start a movement to address rights of females to become leaders in society in their khutbas and madrassahs (if they really care about women and their fellow ‘sisters’). If they can arm themselves with guns to protest against the demolition of an illegal building they can surely support the right of all WOMEN in Pakistan to live a peaceful and dignified life.

    I hope sincerely this will be a wake up call for all the ministers, the army and any other person who cares about the future of this country. When female ministers can be murdered in cold blood in the name of religion then there can be no security for any other woman in Pakistan. I hope that Sehba Musharraf and Mrs Shoukat Aziz can make their husbands realize the urgency of the precarious status of women and law/order in our country.

    Can this be the watershed moment in our history? Will Zil-e-Huma’s episode become synonomous with the assasinations of Joan of Arc, Martin Luther King, Malcolm X for religous and human rights causes?

    May God bless the departed and provide peace and patience to her family.

  89. Moeen Bhatti says:
    February 21st, 2007 2:20 pm

    Adil:
    You are absolutely right what you have written. People living in Pakistan seem to have Affective Disorder; an anger problem; mood swings and intolerance. But what causes this frustration? You mentioned about the symptoms, lets start talking about their etiology and cause.

  90. Afroze says:
    February 22nd, 2007 3:01 am

    My prayers are with her family. I hope the horror f this tragedy will wake people up to the hatred in extremism that has become so common in our society.

  91. February 21st, 2007 2:47 pm

    Adil,

    What is really troubling is that there are people who may actually agree with this lunatic…The religious argument is a very strong one, by using it, the murderer will gain sympathy from a certain segment of society…

    Today, during an interview, i asked a cleric in Afghanistan what he thought of female politicians, he looked me straight in the eye and said, “there is no place in Islam for female rulers and they should all be forcefully removed.” At first i dismissed his views as being “Afghani and backwards” of course i almost fell off my chair when he told me that he had lived in Pakistan since 1978 and had attended Peshawar University and that he was thankful to his Pakistani teachers for showing him the true path to islam….He then went on to say that he felt sorry for the young woman who had been killed in Pakistan, but and i quote, “what did she expect, she was playing with fire…”
    The way i look at it: We shall reap what we sow…! And we already are!

  92. Roshan Malik says:
    February 21st, 2007 2:54 pm

    Zill Humma brought life in the social welfare department in Punjab which was doing nothing for many years. She initiated some very good projects for the protection of street children. She was enthusiastic for the rebirth and revival of social welfare department which shows her potential for progress.Her death undoubtedly shows the level of intolerance and barbaric approach of our society. May God her soul rest in heaven.
    Unfortunately, this extremism is spreading very rapidly not only among the illiterate section of our society, but lot of educated people are getting involve into it.
    I have a humble request for the contributors that please stick to the issue rather than asserting your ideologies aggresively over others. No doubt everyone has a right to see and analyse the things with their own lens, but one should not assert one’s point of view to be accepted by others.
    I am sure that the ATP moderators are busy people and want a serious and sober discussion from contributors rather than trolling and condemning eachother. Adil, Owais and Bilal, please dont feel so dumb and discouraged.
    Personally for me, ATP is a community where I find the real flavor of Pakistaniat but sometimes it gets very hard when people get aggrevssive and intolerent.But we have to deal with this reality too….

  93. Eidee Man says:
    February 21st, 2007 3:11 pm

    The mullahs are a big problem. But we have let them become a problem. The only reason why they are so successful in propagating their ideas is that there is a big political vacuum.

    Think about it…ALL of the ‘mainstream’ political parties are basically grouped by ethnicity….Sindhis vote for PPP, Punjabis for various flavors of PML, and so on.

    MMA is ironically the only party that seems to transcend cultural boundaries….so is it any wonder?

  94. Naseem says:
    February 23rd, 2007 12:52 am

    May her soul rest in peace.

  95. Aqil Sajjad says:
    February 21st, 2007 3:17 pm

    Since this incident also relates to the police and judiciary (the fact that the killer was allowed to roam free), can somebody explain what happened to the police reforms announced in 2002 and why hasn’t the media done anything to follow up on the subject?

    What happens very often is that the media picks up an issue, a few articles are written on it, and then the whole thing is forgotten untill some other similar incident takes place. I hope it will be different this time and the media will take up the issues related to this murder and continue to highlight them rather than forgetting.

  96. Omar R. Quraishi says:
    February 21st, 2007 3:33 pm

    Well sorry to burst your bubbles — not many people read this blog — which means your huffing and puffing will mostly go unnoticed — if you want to channelise your energies try writing letters and articles in newspapers so that you have an audience wider than mostly the expats who read this (I am not one but I think most people here are) — also a lot of you are ignoring the fact that he might have been deranged

  97. Omar R. Quraishi says:
    February 21st, 2007 3:39 pm

    aqil and others — there’s only so much that the media can do — dont expect it to do the job of the government — in any case that’s not its function — a lot has been written about them in the press — but the police reforms cannot address the problem that arises when witnesses are not forthcoming or willing to testify –

  98. Farrukh says:
    February 22nd, 2007 7:43 am

    YLH You are exactly right when you say:

    [blockquote]I am beginning to think that people here just make statements to sound cool…. when there is absolutely no sense to them.[/blockquote]

    And you are demonstrating this well too.

  99. Juwahir says:
    February 21st, 2007 3:47 pm

    Omar, which one of them is not deranged? Today MMA did a walk over some additional history chapters going further back than these Mullahs want. Is this the most important issue of the day and what’s with trying to airbrush everything that does not match with one’s faith? How about if India does the same and airbrush all Indian Muslim history form textbooks?

  100. Akif Nizam says:
    February 21st, 2007 4:14 pm

    Omar, if by deranged you mean mentally unstable, then buddy there is plenty of that on the righteous block. I myself have a cousin who spends his time equally between a mental hospital and the madrasah.

    Nothing can be more revealing on this topic than Sharmeen Obaid’s post above as it provides a first-hand apercu into the mindset of such individuals.

  101. February 21st, 2007 4:42 pm

    It is more a feeling of helplessness than anger with which I read about all this systematic victimisation of women in Pakistan.It is helplessness with which we stand by and watch day in and day out all these heinous crimes committed against women in Pakistan.It does not matter anymore as to which walk of life you belong to as a Pakistani woman ….it is just a sin to be a woman in Pakistan.It is true and utter helplessness which makes a woman say that.

  102. Eidee Man says:
    February 21st, 2007 5:38 pm

    [quote comment="35084"]
    Nothing can be more revealing on this topic than Sharmeen Obaid’s post above as it provides a first-hand apercu into the mindset of such individuals.[/quote]

    Yes, but the tragedy is that these films are intended for a Western audience…I mean, if we really want to dismantle misogynism and other evils from our society ..shouldn’t the films be geared towards Pakistani audiences??

  103. Bundagi says:
    February 21st, 2007 6:37 pm

    I am logging back in after a couple of days and what i see here is just so sad…its depressing…Zil-e-huma, a person murdered for no reason, the samjhota express disaster, the suicide blast in Quetta…all within less than a few days of each other…what is happening to Pakistan…when i think of pakistan i like to think of the quite and beautiful nights when i would sit outside in the garden with my father and smell the raat ki rani and the motia and people would be gossipping about who is to marry who and who is doing what…perhaps for most people life still is like that even now, but somehow, when i see all this i feel as though life is moving on…just as people have passed away, so has a lot of the good that i believed existed in Pakistan…it saddens me very much…

  104. Bundagi says:
    February 21st, 2007 7:36 pm

    my immediate reaction after reading the zil-e-huma post was to pour out my sadness in the post above…after doing that i started reading all the responses that this post has received…i do not wish to comment on any of the posts…however, i have lived my life with a very simple motto…i am a woman, i am a person and everything in life is my choice…nothing i do, nothing i live and nothing i work for is out of compulsion but because i want to be by choice..i understand that not every woman in Pakistan has this opportunity…but for how long can we go on blaming men for our misfortunes…we, the women of Pakistan need to stand up for ourselves…as much as it saddens me to read of Zil-e-huma, it also givesme the courage to look at the fact that here was a woman who was a wife, a mother, a daughter yet despite all that she was also out there trying to make a difference for the people of Pakistan…her convictions should not go wasted and i think we should bring this awareness in our schools, in our colleges and in our universities…if we want our men to respect the women then it will have to start from Pre-k, it will have to be inculcated in these boys as they go to schools and the girls need to know that this may be constant struggle but despite it if we can raise a 100 more women who believe that they can stand up and be a meaningful part of this society then it will have been worth the effort…moreover, i think Pakistan is changing…i have to believe that it is changing because Pakistan is whatever i dream it to be…it was a dream and sometimes the dream may turn into a nightmare but i think we should all remember that religion or no religion, beliefs or no beliefs, politics or no politics, we are Pakistanis first and foremost if want to believe in it strongly and we can overcome any struggle…

  105. Juwahir says:
    February 21st, 2007 8:01 pm

    It turns out it wasn’t one mad man involved but quite a few. This man killed girls/women and some “Mukhayar Hazrat” would pay Khoon-Baha on his behalf. How do you beat that? I suspect the law is still in place and it will allow him to pay Khoon-Baha, hopefully this women’s family will not accept it and the man may end up in prison after all.

    All praise to “Islamic” laws like this one and late Hudood ordinance, which create more problems than provide solutions.

  106. The Pakistanian says:
    February 21st, 2007 8:27 pm

    [quote comment="35116"]It turns out it wasn’t one mad man involved but quite a few. This man killed girls/women and some “Mukhayar Hazrat” would pay Khoon-Baha on his behalf. How do you beat that? I suspect the law is still in place and it will allow him to pay Khoon-Baha, hopefully this women’s family will not accept it and the man may end up in prison after all.
    [/quote]

    Can you please quote the source. Thx

  107. Mubashir says:
    February 21st, 2007 8:31 pm

    Another sad day in the history of Pakistani politics. The poor woman was yet another victim of “Jihad free for all” society.
    Very sad indeed. My heart goes out for the family of deceased.

  108. Akbar A.H. says:
    February 22nd, 2007 2:39 am

    Despite everything, I think the passion in this discussion is the truest depiction of the angst that Pakistan is living through that I have seen anywhere. Our newspapers with their stale commentaries and cliched descriptions cannot capture thsi reality and chose to repeat the same old same old. Even our electronic media does not capture it. I think this is teh true face of where we really are. A nation divided, torn apart and rearing to take a stab (literally) at each others throats. This murder and thi discussion right here on this blog is teh reality fo Pakistan-A NATION AT WAR WITH ITSELF.

  109. Juwahir says:
    February 21st, 2007 9:19 pm

    [quote comment="35118"]Can you please quote the source. Thx[/quote]

    http://www.jang.com.pk/jang/fe…..idaria.htm

    Last few sentences of the first editorial section on the same subject

  110. syed says:
    February 21st, 2007 9:44 pm

    lets just give up hypocricy,just admit it,in this particular islam is directly responsible for the murder of zille humma,doesnt islam say women should stay in their houses?doesnt islam say women should wear the hijab ,and it is the responsibility of men to safeguard a womens honour,so it all sums up,we must give up our rather silent approach regarding islam,nobody is buying our words anymore that islam is a religion of peace,soon the islamists will be branded as nazis and punished,when i say soon,i mean very soon,cos already the west has made it clear that islam is incompatible with western way of life.

  111. February 21st, 2007 11:35 pm

    It’s pathetic that people here playing dirty politics and using a death accident to promote their agenda.

  112. Saif says:
    February 21st, 2007 11:47 pm

    [quote]“Well sorry to burst your bubbles â€

  113. Another Pakistani Woman says:
    February 22nd, 2007 1:20 am

    May God grant her the highest level of jannah and give her family peace. The women of Pakistan do need to stand up for themselves. We cannot look to anyone but God for help.

    I skimmed through some of the comments and I liked the idea of setting up a fund or a scholarship in her name. I would certainly contribute to it.

  114. Eidee Man says:
    February 22nd, 2007 1:54 am

    [quote comment="35129"]lets just give up hypocricy,just admit it,in this particular islam is directly responsible for the murder of zille humma,doesnt islam say women should stay in their houses?doesnt islam say women should wear the hijab ,and it is the responsibility of men to safeguard a womens honour,so it all sums up,we must give up our rather silent approach regarding islam,nobody is buying our words anymore that islam is a religion of peace,soon the islamists will be branded as nazis and punished,when i say soon,i mean very soon,cos already the west has made it clear that islam is incompatible with western way of life.[/quote]
    [quote comment="35129"]lets just give up hypocricy,just admit it,in this particular islam is directly responsible for the murder of zille humma,doesnt islam say women should stay in their houses?doesnt islam say women should wear the hijab ,and it is the responsibility of men to safeguard a womens honour,so it all sums up,we must give up our rather silent approach regarding islam,nobody is buying our words anymore that islam is a religion of peace,soon the islamists will be branded as nazis and punished,when i say soon,i mean very soon,cos already the west has made it clear that islam is incompatible with western way of life.[/quote]

    and let’s learn to spell and punctuate while we’re at it. Anyway, if you have anti-Islamic views, you do not have to disguise yourself as a Muslim.

    What’s most unfortunate is that our mullah jahils seem to be getting their education from Osama et al and our ‘parhay likhay’ elite seem to be getting their religious education from Fox News.

  115. mahi says:
    February 22nd, 2007 2:36 am

    I believe the idea behind Adil’s efforts was to ask us, that inhabit these pages, to save our best for constructive ideas. In other words, not to be unemotional but to let our emotions work up into thoughtful expressions.

    Here is something that I just read that pushed me over the hump to make my post:
    “Males banned from women WC qualifiers in Pak”
    http://content-usa.cricinfo.com/women/content/current/story/281163.html

    I think this issue throws light on the sad killing of the woman minister. If society believes ‘women’ have a certain circumscribed role, invariably every push to extend that boundary will be met by resistance. Ex, women taking part in politics. The progress will be slow. This resistance can radicalise with impunity when law&order enforcement is weak. Similarly, weak institutions mean it cannot be checked effectively.

    If institutional mechanisms cannot, for a variety of reasons, check the menace, what other methods exist?
    1. A counter-radical group take the fight to the radicals(obviously a gory and undesirable idea)
    2. The victims take to the street (meaning women and their supporters) and try to win power. (cannot happen given very few women have a sense of their rights; two, votes don’t matter currently)
    3. Higher power (read Musharraf) is convinced, and uses his power to put down the menace. (but he’s got his compulsions, so no political will)

    Which leaves me to think that the one legitimate method left is for society to isolate these radicals. i.e. take a clear, unbending stance against even a whiff of this intolerance, in all walks. For ex, not support this idea that single men cannot watch women play cricket (unless there is real danger that the single men will overpower the security personnel and harm the women). So, isolation – just isolation, no need to label the radicals, labels often blunt the edge when fighting for a progressive cause I believe. And each person’s isolation will have a different flavor. Needless to say, this strategy can have an impact only if a good number (esp those with some power) adopt it.

    Maybe that would be a good start. Whether such a thing is happening to a meaningful extent in Pakistan, I would like to know.

    My two cents…

  116. Omar R. Quraishi says:
    February 22nd, 2007 3:11 am

    Saif — sorry but disagree with you — blogs are v good but they are no replacement for the newspapers — not any time soon –
    and newspapers have the added advantage of not only getting off something your chest but also initiating change — that reflects the fact that blogs r more personal and in a newspaper the motive may have more to do with being a journalist, i.e. professional

  117. Omar R. Quraishi says:
    February 22nd, 2007 3:29 am

    Pakistanian — there is something called the Qisas and Diyat Ordinance which allows the payment of ‘blood money’ by the murderer to the family of the victim –

  118. Omar R. Quraishi says:
    February 22nd, 2007 3:34 am

    Editorial in The News, Feb 22, 2007

    http://www.thenews.com.pk/daily_detail.asp?id=43870

    Misogyny 101

    The assassination of a female provincial minister by a ‘fanatic’ in Gujranwala is a grim reminder that the slow yet steady headway being made in Pakistan on ending discrimination against women and bringing them at par with the other gender is always going to be hampered by self-styled guardians of morality and purveyors of misogyny. At the same time, one needs to exercise an element of care and should not be quick to link the murder of the minister with increasing Talibanisation/extremism in the country. One is saying this because though the alleged murderer has been accused of killing the female minister since she was “not wearing Islamic” dress, it is also suspected that he may be mentally unsound. If this condition is proven, then the motive for the killing of the minister, which, superficially, may be religion-based, could have more to do with the alleged murderer’s lack of mental soundness. According to the police, the man also is thought to have killed several other women whom he believed to live questionable lifestyles. He had apparently even been arrested in these cases, which were registered by the police in Lahore’s red-light area, but was released by the courts for want of evidence. This should be thoroughly investigated and it needs to be ascertained why this happened.

    Of course, one is not denying the fact that over the years, and thanks in large part to General Zia’s so-called ‘Islamisation,’ Pakistan has taken a deep dive when it comes to tolerance levels in general, and particularly with regard to religion, minorities and women. That uniformed usurper used laws relating to women especially as a way of foisting his bigoted and obscurantist agenda onto the rest of the country. The nature of this campaign was so great and prolonged that its after-effects continue to linger with considerable adverse consequences for contemporary Pakistani society. It has to be said that we have our fair share of people who feel it their divinely-ordained duty to go around telling people (read women) how and how not to dress in public. In fact, in the not-too-distant past one heard of incidents where women – even in the relatively cosmopolitan city of Karachi – were asked by obscurantist individuals (who obviously thought that they were living in the Dark Ages) to cover up and dress modestly. The sad thing is that it wasn’t as if these women were dressed indecently to begin with but to certain people the only decent attire for a woman is one that covers her from head to toe, including her face. What makes this already bleak situation even worse is that many people who hold such views do not consider it wrong (in fact most may even believe it to be their mission) to go around forcing their literalist and rigid interpretation on all and sundry.

    As for the alleged murderer’s purported insanity, that is something that will have to be investigated by the police, perhaps with the help of psychiatric experts. Empirical evidence suggests that many murders committed by insane people were done under the influence of delusionary behaviour and that a significant percentage of those diagnosed with such traits tend to see themselves as furthering a ‘religious’ or divinely-ordained mission. Of course, all of this has yet to be proved in this particular case. One thing is for sure, though: the murderer lives in a society with a strong and at times virulent strain of misogyny. It is a place where many people hold extremist and obscurantist views particularly regarding how women should dress and behave and many consider it proper to go about enforcing their pernicious views by force if necessary. The government should also investigate why the alleged murderer was let off earlier in several murder cases for want of evidence.

  119. YLH says:
    February 22nd, 2007 5:29 am

    Farrukh,

    Pray tell how my commenting on an internet forum expressing my point of view is the same as Mullah Sarwar going and killing this innocent woman or other women? Why is it that some people here want to draw a moral equivalence between words with no instigation of violence and brutal violence?
    Had Mullah Sarwar been expressing his outrage through a forum, nobody would condemn him. I am beginning to think that people here just make statements to sound cool…. when there is absolutely no sense to them.

    A genius said on this forum earlier that there is no difference those who use words to spread their ideas and those who use bombs to burn people alive. I suppose you agree with him.

  120. YLH says:
    February 22nd, 2007 6:16 am

    Dear Adnan Siddiqui,

    I am going to ask you to refrain from making personal attacks against me.

    Since you’ve never met me and most of your theories are conjectures and surmises, I suggest you dispense with the notion that you know who I feel sad for and who I don’t feel sad for.

    Answer Farrukh’s question.

  121. Mubarak says:
    February 22nd, 2007 6:32 am

    [quote comment="34968"]there should be outrage all right, huge amount of outrage because there was evidence to convict the murderer before he did this heinous deed. geo news last night was showing a news-clip from 2004 in which this jaanwer, in an interview, confessed to being a serial killer. if our courts cant give phansee to serial killers based on their own confession, then god help us. god knows how many other serial killers have been set free by our honourable judges. i would also not rule out the possibility of extremist religious groups pressurising the courts into releasing this mad man. unfortunately we will never find out the truth because our newspapers will completely ignore this very important aspect of the case.

    also i agree with ylh that this woman was shaheed. unlike most politicians who see power as an end in itself, this woman was working for a very noble cause which was the empowerment of women. she paid the ultimate price for her deeds and deserves no less a recognition than a sipahi defending the frontiers of pakistan. i am disappointed to see that this murder is not getting any more play on the tv networks i subscribe to. it will be a real tragedy if this life was lost in vain. the best way to remember this shaheed would be to launch an annual award in her name to highlight the achievements of a pakistani woman contributing to public welfare. even if we are able to contribute $1,500 for this award, that would be a substantial sum in pak. i would be willing to contribute substantially to this end. certainly a very good opportunity for this website to take the lead and make itself heard.

    i also think this murder has more to do with the attitude of society towards woman which has nothing to do with islam. recently a pakistani man from nwfp residing in the uk murdered his family after a drinking binge. when it comes treatment of women, all tubqas are guilty. mullahs however can do the hounourable thing by condemning violence against women without any ifs or buts. their silence on this matter is unforgivable.[/quote]

    There are serial killers all over the world. Majority of them are sadistic. Now what I believe is happening in our society is that the sadistics have taken refuge in the religion for it is safe under it as the mullahs are an illiterate lot not only in the academic sense but in the true understanding of religion also . Had the religious people been literate and rational no sadistic could have dared try using the name of ISLAM.

    Coming back to murder the most sad thing is the killer was not sentenced for his doings earlier. In a country where judicial system is not able to convict a murderer and where the police is not able to gather ample evidences to convict a murderer and where sadistics continue using Islam as a refuge, these type of murders/events will not cease to happen.

  122. Akbar A.H. says:
    February 22nd, 2007 7:52 am

    blogs are v good but they are no replacement for the newspapers

    I would certainly agree. But I don’t think anyone is suggesting they are. However, I certainly think that blogs present a DIFFERENT  view and one that newspapers cannot. Certainly in this particular case, I have read every English and Urdu newspaper account and comment on this and the comments here, sad as they are, present a truer picture of our divided society and its angst than anything else I have seen anywhere. This discussion provides a deep picture of the tortured social relationships that we have with our own identity in this society. Given  the discussion here this is a sad thing to say. But unfortunately true. This is who we are: angry, frustrated, and ready to pounce on and maybe kill anyone who even slightly disagrees with us.

  123. Aqil Sajjad says:
    February 22nd, 2007 7:44 am

    Eidee Man post no 110:

    “What’s most unfortunate is that our mullah jahils seem to be getting their education from Osama et al and our ‘parhay likhay’ elite seem to be getting their religious education from Fox News.”

    This is one of the best comments on this thread.

    There are plenty of arguments within Islam against such mindless violance, and if we are to combat extremism, we will have to find an indiginous logic in favour of tolerance, otherwise there will be a lot more inertia from the society.

  124. Aqil Sajjad says:
    February 22nd, 2007 8:05 am

    As tragic as this murder is, there is however a possibility that it could trigger a process of positive change.
    This is not an ordinary citizen who got killed, she was a minister. Her death may serve as a reminder to the leading politicians that if they do not combat extremism and continue to avoid reforming the law and order system, even they won’t remain safe. If anything will serve as a wake up call for PML-Q (and others like PML-N and PTI who shamelessly refused to support the women protection bill) it could be this realization.

  125. Ahmad says:
    February 22nd, 2007 8:13 am

    The point is who let the mullah control things? Its our fault we have leave it on them by not educating ourselves in our own religion. By blaming onto mullahs we can not escape our responsibility to understand Islam. There is also some exaggeration about how influential mullah in our society as you can see how many of us offer prayers daily? At the end of the day, everybody will be accountable for his/her own acts and can not blame that because of mullahs I stopped acting on Islamic teachings.

  126. RAI.T.U.KHAN says:
    February 22nd, 2007 9:13 am

    We condemn all such kind of violence,but i dont know why we put every induviduals criminal activities in religon frame,not all Mullahs are responsible for all crimes,such kind of crimes are in every society,are the mullahs involve in there too?
    And say to my bondmen that should speak that which is best,no doubt the devil(satan) provokes strife among them,verily the devil is an open enemy to man.
    (AL-BANI ISRAEL:53)
    O believers avoid most supicions verily some suspicion is a sin,and do not look out for faults and do not backbite on another,Would any of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother?you should abominate it,and fear ALLAH,Verily ALLAH ofen returning merciful.(AL-HOJORAT:12)
    One hadith i remember is this,the hit(attack) of words are more sharp then sword’s hit(attack).
    Most of my brothers are involve in this here,are they not?
    May ALLAH protect pakistan and all of you.

  127. YLH says:
    February 22nd, 2007 10:00 am

    Farrukh,

    So I asked you to explain how outrage against a crime against humanity on an internet forum could be equated to a violent barbaric event such as the murder of Zil-e-Huma Usman Shaheed Rahmat ullah… and all you could come up was a personal attack?

    Let me inform you … as God is my witness your comment is absolutely without basis. I am demonstrating no such thing. Let god be the judge of our intentions. I am sure that if I were allowed by my conscience- which I am NOT- I’d rather not comment at all.

    I do not have an agenda except that of my interest as a Pakistani citizen alone… it is the fact that unlike most people I happen to live here in Pakistan by choice that it matters to me what goes on in my surroundings. I believe in what Benjamin Franklin said: “My Country Right or Wrong- if Right to preserve that Right, if Wrong then Make it Right.

    When an innocent woman gets killed for being a woman, we should not be waging battles of ideology- the way some have here… people who have been calling for a ban on Islam are as wrong as people who have tried to derail the discussion by attacking secularism for no ryhme or reason.

    I am not sure why my comments- not at all personal attacks on anyone- which are merely expressing my absolute horror at something so dastardly and inconcievable to the modern mind … something which is happening right here in Quaid-e-Azam’s Pakistan, my Pakistan, my daughters’ Pakistan, have upset so many people here. Why can’t you guys just grow up and stop making a mockery of the Pakistani people?

    Everyone and anyone will tell you that I don’t sound cool- if I sounded cool I would not evoke such a negative . If I wanted to sound cool, I would try and sound intellectual, quote Karl Marx or Grammci, make a few cynical comments and declare that nothing good will ever happen in Pakistan. But my domicile does not accord me such luxury. If Pakistan goes down, I go down with it. I can’t hide in California or Boston or where you guys are- I’d rather go down with the ship, but as long as there is even a single drop of blood left in my body, I will continue to fight for what is right.

    Pakistan Zindabad
    Quaid-e-Azam Paindabad

    Long Live Shaheed Zil-e-Huma Usman

  128. Akif Nizam says:
    February 22nd, 2007 10:03 am

    [quote post="583"]Yes, but the tragedy is that these films are intended for a Western audience…I mean, if we really want to dismantle misogynism and other evils from our society ..shouldn’t the films be geared towards Pakistani audiences?? [/quote]

    @Eidee Amin, I don’t know which film you are talking about; I must have missed that. But in any case, we can try doing what you asked to do. Assume that I’m your Pakistani audience; can you tranlate or transliterate Shireen’s anecdote into terms that are suited for me? How would that change anything? I would be very interested to know.

  129. ANISA says:
    February 24th, 2007 12:15 am

    [quote comment="35332"]The murder of Zille Huma was discussed in the Senate last night. One woman senator from the ruling party, Kulsoom Parveen, had this to say:

    [quote]“The government should take notice of the incident and a female relative of Sarwar should also be killed in the same manner to avenge the death of Zille Huma.” Dawn Feb. 23[/quote]

    This is one of our lawmakers speaking! Should one cry or laugh?[/quote]
    There is so much here that one could et worked up about. But nothing more shocking than this.

    Please tell us how this person’s colelagues in parliament reacted to this idea?

    Just proved that the original post was right, for too many Pakistanis the response to any problem is more violence and more bloodshed.

  130. YLH says:
    February 22nd, 2007 10:18 am

    Zamanov,

    Thank you for that beautiful response and great idea:

    I hope Yasser that you can follow up on her story and let us know if there is any sort of scholarship or trust that can be set up in her name (she was a lawyer too) that we can make our contributions too. Maybe start a Zil-e-Huma scholarship for aspiring female lawyers/leaders at a local law school and let us know the details.

    I have your email. Let me see who I can contact. It turns out that I found out today that there is a chance I might have met Zil-e-Huma unknowingly on Jinnah’s birthday party in Aiwan-e-Karkunan-Tehreek-e-Pakistan last year … so I might actually know people close to her.

  131. YLH says:
    February 22nd, 2007 10:21 am

    King Faisal…

    Great idea. Ditto.

  132. MQ says:
    February 22nd, 2007 10:30 am

    [quote]“There are plenty of arguments within Islam against such mindless violance, and if we are to combat extremism, we will have to find an indiginous logic in favour of tolerance…”[/quote]

    Aqil Sajjad,

    I agree that there are plenty of arguments within Islam against violence and for tolerance. But Pakistani Muslims at large, the way they are brainwashed from childhood, are not going to listen to you — or to me. They would listen to Maudoodi, Asrar and Fazalur Rehman. It is your interpretation of Islam against theirs.

  133. Aurat says:
    February 23rd, 2007 12:50 am

    A woman was killed by a man who wanted to make a political point.
    And now more men are dancing over her dead body to make their own political points.

    Poor woman. Not even death could rid her of  coniving men.

  134. February 22nd, 2007 11:21 am

    I have a humble request, which I hope will not fall on deaf ears.

    I look at the comments section here and it unfortunately reminds me of a childish high school tutu-meinmein, which often resulted in gaali-galouch and fist fights. Sometimes random supporters (ghunday) would come into the picture as well. The only thing common to all such events was that the Sharif people would simply walk away as fast as they could.

    I think that at least on this topic we now have a clear understanding of what YLH, Juwahir and Adnan, and some others who have also written multiple comments each, have to say. Shall we now let some others speak their minds as well and not drown them out? This is a comments section, not an instant messaging chat channel so let’s keep our thoughts confined to 1-2 comments each, please?

    Dare I suggest, it might also not be a bad idea for commentators to try and limit their comments to not more than 1-2 per post (at least on a per day basis). I think we are all capable of judging by a few comments what you feel and what you have to add to the conversation. Shouting louder and more often doesn’t necessarily prove your point (or gain converts) – whether you are calling naara’ae takbir or Pakistan Paindabad.

  135. Juwahir says:
    February 22nd, 2007 11:30 am

    Here is something from Wusatullah’s blog on current events;

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/urdu/2007/02/post_145.html

  136. Arifa says:
    March 9th, 2007 8:19 pm

    I was just reading the WOmens day post and thought of this woman and how in her death and in the discussion after her death she was abused by those who think they are teh rakhwallahs of everyone’s morality

  137. Eidee Man says:
    February 22nd, 2007 11:36 am

    [quote comment="35213"]
    @Eidee Amin, I don’t know which film you are talking about; I must have missed that. But in any case, we can try doing what you asked to do. Assume that I’m your Pakistani audience; can you tranlate or transliterate Shireen’s anecdote into terms that are suited for me? How would that change anything? I would be very interested to know.[/quote]

    I was talking about something totally different…and it’s not worth re-opening now. Btw, maybe I’m dyslexic but your name’s resemblance to Adil Najam’s still cracks me up :)

  138. Nayyer says:
    February 22nd, 2007 11:41 am

    Has any of the ‘religious’ politicians expressed regret over this incident? After all these are the people who advocate ‘maar dahar’ in the matters of religion.

  139. Akif Nizam says:
    February 22nd, 2007 11:51 am

    [quote post="583"]There are plenty of arguments within Islam against such mindless violance[/quote]

    Aqil, it’s not the arguments within Islam that matter; it’s the contradictions within Islam that do. For every Ayat/Hadith that I find extolling peace, someone else can find two encouraging violence. That’s where the lack of central religious authority (such as the Church) really hurts us and will continue to do so until as a nation we move away from the literal interpretations of Quran and Hadith and find and focus on a central message of Islam based on values rathers than dogmas.

  140. zamanov says:
    February 22nd, 2007 1:03 pm

    There are so many issues pertinent to this case that one feels at a loss about where to start. It has been two days since this gruesome murder yet there have been no statements from Mr. Enlightened Moderate himself! Can the President or the Prime Minister not even have the courtesy to strongly condemn such a heinous crime against one of their own (female) provincial ministers? What kind of image is being portrayed to the world by their inaction? By not speaking out forcefully on crimes against women, especially those in leadership positions, aren’t they emboldening other misogynists/religous zealots and discouraging other Pakistani women from entering public life?

    Can the nation, especially the female population, expect a statement from their manly, commando President which states the following?

    – All crimes against women in the name of religion or culture are reprehensible and will be punished fully under law.
    – No person has the moral or legal authority to harass or hurt women because they disagree with the way they dress or behave.
    – Women will be encouraged to take leadership positions in government and will be provided the best security and freedom of movement.

    The Federal minister for Religous Affairs, the pious Ejaz-ul-Haq, should show some character and condemn this act of violence as repugnant to Islam. Maybe he can show some of the same symbolic gestures that he recently did in laying the bricks of an illegal building after pressure from militant madrassahs. The minister should order the madrassahs that teach his ‘religion’ in Pakistan, to educate their wards on the constitutional status of women and condemn any violence or discrimination against women.

    The people should ponder over these issues and press the goverment to investigate this case from all angles:

    – Where and how did this criminal procure a gun?
    – Which organizations did he affiliate himself with and where did he learn about his misogynistic views on women?
    – How did he manage to remain free after confessing to multiple murders in the past?
    – Amend the Qisas and Diyat laws (abolish them!) for letting violent and repeat criminals go free.

    Mr Quraishi, can you please give us a link or email address for Letters to the Editor for your news paper?
    Yasser, I look forward to your email.

  141. RAI.T.U.KHAN says:
    February 22nd, 2007 1:06 pm

    Brother Akif Nizam whould you will like to tell us what is the central message of islam?
    May ALLAH protect pakistan and all of you.

  142. Akif Nizam says:
    February 22nd, 2007 2:24 pm

    [quote comment="35243"]Brother Akif Nizam whould you will like to tell us what is the central message of islam?
    May ALLAH protect pakistan and all of you.[/quote]

    Mr. Khan, my comment said that we must first find the message of Islam. As of now, there is no message. There are a lot of “do this”, “don’t do this” but there is no message, there is no underlying philosphy, there is no ideal in today’s terms, there is no room for introspection, or for individuality, or for creativity.

    It just is; take it or…..actually, it’s just ‘take it’.

  143. RAI.T.U.KHAN says:
    February 22nd, 2007 3:06 pm

    Brother Atif Nizam this is the main message of islam that “do this” and “dont do this”if we just follow the QURAN and hadith,we will find what to do and what not to do,and we will free from all the problems,and the life of MUHAMMAD(PBUH) is the ideal for the muslims for all times.I would like to invite every one to read QURAN with understanding that we will find the solutions of all our problems and frustration.May ALLAH protect pakistan and all of you.

  144. Aqil Sajjad says:
    February 22nd, 2007 3:39 pm

    Dear MQ:
    You are right that it becomes a question of our interpretation vs theirs, but this is precisely what I was referring to.
    Why have we allowed Jahil and idiot Mullahs to monopolize interpretting Islam? I think we have to accept our share of the responsibility in this regard.

    Most of the louder voices that claim to be opposing the Mullahs are often those who would like religion to be sidelined altogether. Hence one regularly hears/reads statements calling for an outright ban on religion, or some other rhetoric that implies that the problem lies with religion itself and not with Jahalat. This kind of reasoning then turns the whole issue into an Islam vs ‘anti-Islamism’ battle.
    This is seriously problematic for two reasons:
    (a) for any Muslim, this should be problematic because it it is a clear bashing of his religion
    and
    (b) The extremist Mullahs can only be defeated by pointing out that what they preach is against the teachings of Islam, and not by issuing statements calling for a ban on religion or blaming Islam for their Jahalat. The latter is a recipie for polarizing the society further and fueling extremism even more.

  145. Akif Nizam says:
    February 22nd, 2007 3:50 pm

    Mr. Khan, I’m not sure if you have noticed or not but you are at a blog entry which was initiated because a guy in Pakistan who, in his own mind, was following the Quran and the Hadith shot a woman to death in the process.

    It’s a dishonest to just kill a dialogue by saying that we must follow Quran and Sunnah and all our problems will be solved.

  146. Aqil Sajjad says:
    February 22nd, 2007 3:59 pm

    Also, when some idiot  distorts Islam, that should also be seriously bothersome for any Muslim because his religion is being twisted. Therefore, Muslims need to understand Islam themselves, challange the Mullahs and promote a genuine understanding of Islam, which teaches peace, tolerance and humane treatment even of one’s worst enemies. This is the only way forward, otherwise we can expect extremism to grow further.

  147. mahi says:
    February 22nd, 2007 5:06 pm

    [quote comment="35248"][quote comment="35243"]Brother Akif Nizam whould you will like to tell us what is the central message of islam?
    May ALLAH protect pakistan and all of you.[/quote]

    Mr. Khan, my comment said that we must first find the message of Islam. As of now, there is no message. There are a lot of “do this”, “don’t do this” but there is no message, there is no underlying philosphy, there is no ideal in today’s terms, there is no room for introspection, or for individuality, or for creativity.

    It just is; take it or…..actually, it’s just ‘take it’.[/quote]

    @Akif – I find your comments very pertinent.

    People, please dont jump on me – I am not a Muslim, but I have a few thoughts. To me, a couple of things have always stood out in Islam (as it appears to an observer), and I take these two to be the ideal thats striven for:
    1. Faith in Allah/Divine/God
    2. Surrender to the same

    In other words, a life given to living with an increasingly total faith (which is not vastly different from belief) in God, leading to a complete surrender to that which is above you. Surrender is a loaded word, which certainly does not mean shedding all personal responsibility or faculties. Surrender in its best sense I believe is to be a human instrument devoid of the ego, truly ready and fit for use by Allah.

    The attributes like peace, devotion, charity, brotherhood, etc are I believe the staffs with which the pilgrims can journey in achieving the above two (which are by no means immediately achievable in their true sense). These attributes and many other conducive ones were sought to be manifested and established in various practices as part of an organised society: zakat, ummah, the peace greeting, etc.

    I do not want to be presumptuous. Obviously, you guys practice Islam, I don’t. However, my interest in matters spiritual is extensive — so I consider myself a pilgrim on the same path.

  148. mahi says:
    February 22nd, 2007 5:16 pm

    [quote comment="35259"] …challange the Mullahs and promote a genuine understanding of Islam, which teaches peace, tolerance and humane treatment even of one’s worst enemies.[/quote]

    Going a little further, actually peace, tolerance, humane treatment are the necessary means to get to a point where you don’t have enemies. By themselves these qualities will not last, or at least not have their truest expression, unless in a sense we are conscious of working towards having no enemies. As an example, I dislike both Bush and Blair. Treating them humanely (should I somehow capture them) is actually not the most imp consideration – its more that I have to work on not ‘disliking’ them. To that end, things like tolerance, peace, humility, congizance of one’s own shortcomings, etc are useful.

  149. RAI.T.U.KHAN says:
    February 22nd, 2007 6:54 pm

    Brother Atif Nizam you are absolutely right when you said that he was following the QURAN and HADITH in his own mind,he was interpreting islam wrongly and his action is nothing to do with teachings of islam,no QURANI ayat permited to him to kill this innocent woman.that’s why i said we should read QURAN and HADITH with understanding which will helpful for us to face them and prove them wrong,and dont give them chance to make misinterpreting islam as they have in there minds.our lack of knowledge of islam will also help to those who want use religon for there own beliefs and benifits on the name of secularism and liberalism as many people are trying to use it in pakistan and they highlights such issues.maybe such kind of people were involve behind this,who knows?
    May ALLAH protect pakistan and all of you.

  150. DB9 says:
    February 22nd, 2007 10:14 pm

    Well! as usual we seem to be getting derailed from the topic. Please keep in mind that a murder is a murder. Everyone (Mullah or non-Mullah) must condem this dirty crime. And anyone who thinks women should not take part in leadership positions or other professional position is simply a mental case and/or a criminal.

    I also urge our sisters to PLEASE come forward and take full part in leadership and please save our nation. We really really need your help and we need it now. This nation belongs to you as much as it belongs to us, your crazy idiot brothers.

  151. Mubarak says:
    February 23rd, 2007 12:18 am

    And anyone who thinks women should not take part in leadership positions or other professional position is simply a mental case and/or a criminal.

    Correct. There are plenty of women in Islamic History having Leadership positions. Nobody ever killed them or criticised them because it was the real Islam that prevailed at that time.

    In the discussions I noted people using terms as “their Islam” , ” their version of Islam”. For God Sakes ISLAM IS WHAT WAS REVEALED TO PROHPET MUHAMMAD (PBUH) AND NOTHING ELSE. There are no versions of it.

  152. YLH says:
    February 23rd, 2007 12:20 am

    Bilal Zuberi,

    The problem with Pakistan is that since the 1970s a small band of brigands with an extremist and rigid view of Islam has been shouting on the top of their voice … while people like you have been asking people like me not to respond.

    And then you people wonder why we are associated with terrorism…

  153. Not Convinced says:
    February 25th, 2007 2:00 am

    I agree with Omer that the best course is for the law to take its course. But as someone said we can have very little faith in that. As was mentioned, the Nirala case is just one example where things were forgotten and the culprit is now enjoying the high life in Dubai and no one, niether police nor press is intersted in doing anything because the criminal is rich and the victim is not. In such circumstances what basis do we have to trust that the law will take its course.

  154. Eidee Man says:
    February 23rd, 2007 1:14 am

    [quote comment="35259"]Therefore, Muslims need to understand Islam themselves, challange the Mullahs and promote a genuine understanding of Islam, which teaches peace, tolerance and humane treatment even of one’s worst enemies. This is the only way forward, otherwise we can expect extremism to grow further.[/quote]

    Precisely. The only ‘problem’ with Islam is the Muslims themselves.

    I grew up in an educated environment in Pakistan and was taught a very educated approach to Islam. However, now that I’ve started reading and learning on my own, I realize that I had been looking at things in a very different light…not necessarily bad or wrong, just different.

    Islam itself REPEATEDLY commands to learn..READ is the first letter of the Quran. Also, on the give-and-take comment by Akif Nizam (Adil Najam :) j/k), Islam clearly says that there is no compulsion.

    It is an extremely sad situation, that we have let religious education become more of a joke (probably a hang-up of colonialism). I mean, there are some highly educated, brilliant people posting on this site. I wonder how many of them have even remotely considered theological study as a career…I know I still consider such an idea to be completely ridiculous and I’m not sure why.

    When we have made the worst qualified people in charge of religion and declaring edicts, should we also not expect insanity?

  155. Ayesha says:
    February 24th, 2007 8:06 am

    [quote comment="35332"]The murder of Zille Huma was discussed in the Senate last night. One woman senator from the ruling party, Kulsoom Parveen, had this to say:

    [quote]“The government should take notice of the incident and a female relative of Sarwar should also be killed in the same manner to avenge the death of Zille Huma.” Dawn Feb. 23[/quote]

    This is one of our lawmakers speaking! Should one cry or laugh?[/quote]
    I also think this is the most depressing. Surprised why teh press is not picking up on this more. So, OK, that Maulvi Sarwar guy was mad. What is this woman’s excuse!

  156. MQ says:
    February 23rd, 2007 8:49 am

    I might be deviating from the subject of the post but my comment is inspired —not provoked — by some of the thoughtful and serious observations made by different readers on this thread, and is intended to seek serious answers, not angry or emotional retorts.

    We keep hearing that true Islam preaches tolerance and yet we see Muslim societies being among the most intolerant. We are told, ad nauseam, that no Muslim can take the life of another Muslim. Yet we see every day Muslims killing each other in the name of Islam. We hear that there is no compulsion in Islam but we see people threatened to be killed for apostasy. And we are repeatedly told that Islam was the first religion that gave women their rights and yet we see women being discriminated against in the worst possible ways and even killed in the name of Islam, as in the case of Zille Huma, the subject of this post.

    The question is why don’t Muslims get the teachings of their religion right?

    It is like you have an architectural drawing, which if followed properly, will give you a beautiful building. But all the engineers, contractors and builders working on it cannot build it right. Is it because they cannot read and interpret the drawing? Or is it that the building was intended to be built using different materials —stones, mud and wood —- and we are using concrete, steel, glass and aluminum?

    Isn’t there, perhaps, a need to revisit the drawing and see if it needs to be adjusted to suit the contemporary building technology and building materials?

  157. Akif Nizam says:
    February 23rd, 2007 10:59 am

    [quote post="583"]he was interpreting islam wrongly[/quote]

    Mr. Khan, it does not matter that you or the majority of muslims think that he was interpreting Quran wrongly. The fact of the matter is that millions agree with his interpretation of Islam and among those millions, there are thousands who are willing to kill in accordance with that “wrong” interpretation.

    Here’s my problem with Islam today. Let’s say that you are right and that most religious leaders and scholars don’t agree with what this guy did in the name of Islam. Then why are they not on streets right now condemning this act of murder? If a prisoner is poked with a safety pin in Guatanamo, hundreds of thousands gather in the streets of Lahore and Karachi to condemn the barbaric act. Here a women is murdered a hundred miles from home in the name of Islam and not a murmur out of them? Where is the outrage from the sections of Islam who interpret the Quran correctly? Why are they not up in arms about the fact the the name of their faith is being taken in vain and their religion is being hijacked?

  158. zamanov says:
    February 23rd, 2007 11:52 am

    quote comment=”35316″][quote post="583"]he was interpreting islam wrongly[/quote]

    If a prisoner is poked with a safety pin in Guatanamo, hundreds of thousands gather in the streets of Lahore and Karachi to condemn the barbaric act. Here a women is murdered a hundred miles from home in the name of Islam and not a murmur out of them? Where is the outrage from the sections of Islam who interpret the Quran correctly? Why are they not up in arms about the fact the the name of their faith is being taken in vain and their religion is being hijacked?[/quote]

    Akif, I agree with your statement. The answer to your valid question was posted by Sharmeen above. The truly sick part is that a lot of so-called Muslims (I wouldn’t blame Islam for this) think deep down that she got what she deserved. Their ill-bred mind tells them that no woman should be running around telling men what to do. How dare she get out of her house and become a leader? This misogyny is in fact a cancer that is spread deep and unless the government starting with Musharraf unequivocally denounces crimes against women and makes this their #1 priority for the country all this talk of development, FDI, and image building is utter hogwash.

    The people afflicted with this misogynistic cancer do not believe that women are their equal for God’s sake, how can you expect them to talk about Islam or enlightenment? And I repeat, where are the symbolic gestures by Musharraf or Shoukat Aziz? They took minutes to praise the Hatf missile test yesterday in the glory (!) of the country, yet I read nothing in the papers about their condemnation of the murder of their own female minister in the name of religion!
    As I said above this hypocrisy of the men in power further emboldens the mullahs/jihadists/religous-wannabes to further their miseducation about Islam and how it should be practiced. Yes this animal Sarwar should be punished to the fullest but the problem is not one guy it as an entire mindset. The solution to this will involve a national undertaking on the lines of the Civil Rights Act in the US.

    I propose the government to set up special courts to try crimes against women. Guarantee them justice within three months for violent crimes including rape and domestic abuse, and six months for hate crimes against women involving harassment, employment discrimination, etc. Make this the War on Terror Against Women and see the effect on society in 5 years.

    Until and unless every woman feels safe and is given an opportunity to become an equal partner in the development of this country all this talk of Islam and image-building will amount to nothing.

  159. layla says:
    February 23rd, 2007 12:14 pm

    Just read the artical and its heart breaking, its a shame that we as muslims dont understand our own religion propley, we give chances to others to point finger at us because of our own Stupid mistakes,and then we moan and groan that others (non muslims) are pointing fingers at us. Another innocent life is lost because one luntic individual decided to play the role of god( if This lady has right to live or not)….some of us just dont no where to draw a line. May Allah grant her Jannah ameen,sum ameen

  160. Aqil Sajjad says:
    February 23rd, 2007 12:33 pm

    Dear MQ:
    You can leave aside more contested issues for a moment, but even on much simpler matters, there are many things on which the Quran is quite explicit, and yet, you come across Mullahs making statements that are completely at variance with the Quran. If you point out their contradiction, you are told that only an Aalim can understand these things. Even if you quote something very clear from the Quran, they will continue to tell you that you are unqualified to make such statements. This is where the society has been responsible. It has left interpretting Islam to Jahils, and allowed them to claim a monopoly on interpreting Islam.

    One example: some MMA woman even said (on TV) that the hadood laws were perfect. When the host pointed out that the ordinance was written by human beings and
    not the words of Allah in Quran, she still insisted that the ordinance was perfect and any amendment would not be acceptable. But there was noone to pick up on it and point out that this statement was amounting to shirk since only Allah is perfect. Whether the Hudood ordinance is Islamic is a separate debate, but calling it perfect and insisting that it is flawless is the kind of thing that we should not let the Mullahs get away with at all. But we do.

  161. Aqil Sajjad says:
    February 23rd, 2007 12:41 pm

    One important contributing factor, of course, is the culture of our region, which predates Islam. Deeply entrenched misogynistic attitudes and practises are often justified in the name of Islam when they have absolutely nothing to do with it. Contrary to the common perception, Islam never really gained much foothold on our land, a lot of un-Islamic traditions have continued, its just that they were conveniently mixed up with religion and justified in the name of Islam.

  162. MQ says:
    February 23rd, 2007 12:57 pm

    The murder of Zille Huma was discussed in the Senate last night. One woman senator from the ruling party, Kulsoom Parveen, had this to say:

    [quote]“The government should take notice of the incident and a female relative of Sarwar should also be killed in the same manner to avenge the death of Zille Huma.” Dawn Feb. 23[/quote]

    This is one of our lawmakers speaking! Should one cry or laugh?

  163. MQ says:
    February 23rd, 2007 1:12 pm

    Aqil Sajjad,

    What about countries like Saudi Arabia, the home of Islam? women do not fare any better there. In fact, women in Pakistan are much more liberated than their Saudi or Gulf counterparts. So, if at all, the “culture of our region” had a liberating influence on the Muslim women in Pakistan.

  164. Akif Nizam says:
    February 23rd, 2007 2:22 pm

    [quote post="583"]we as muslims dont understand our own religion propley[/quote]

    …we have all heard this line ad nauseum from our elders since we learned the first kalma and a more meaningless line is hard to conjure up. What does that even mean ? It implies that a proper understanding of religion exists but muslims don’t understand it. So then who does? And how would one recognize it should they come across it?

  165. Eidee Man says:
    February 23rd, 2007 4:21 pm

    [quote comment="35340"][quote post="583"]we as muslims dont understand our own religion propley[/quote]

    …we have all heard this line ad nauseum from our elders since we learned the first kalma and a more meaningless line is hard to conjure up. What does that even mean ? It implies that a proper understanding of religion exists but muslims don’t understand it. So then who does? And how would one recognize it should they come across it?[/quote]

    They would recognize it if they took the time and effort and actually make a half-ass attempt at learning a few tidbits about their religion.

    If a 13 year old kid consistently fails Math, Science, or English, his parents will try to move heaven and earth to make him learn and perform properly. However, if he is good at other subjects and has total misconecptions about religion, they will probably think of it as funny …”haha, our genius fails Islamiat and Urdu all the time…”

    Your first sentence is actually extremely important. You mentioned “our elders.” Those two words are constantly used to justify all sorts of pathetic nonsense.

    Growing up, I had several friends who used to get physically punished (nothing intense though :)) when they got bad grades…their ‘elders’ would constantly repeat the regular stupid lines “study!” “work hard” leaving the kids clueless as to what they were expected to do.

    I mean, hell, you found this website and lots of other stuff online…I’m sure you’re capable of finding some good information on Islam. But I guess it’s not as entertaining…

  166. Eidee Man says:
    February 23rd, 2007 4:26 pm

    [quote comment="35330"]One important contributing factor, of course, is the culture of our region, which predates Islam. Deeply entrenched misogynistic attitudes and practises are often justified in the name of Islam when they have absolutely nothing to do with it.[/quote]

    Precisely. Consider the marriage nonsense in Pakistan. In some parts, the families of women are expected to come up with huge sums of money and meet idiotic demands just so they could get married to a scum-of-the-earth man. Akif Nizam, are you going to blame that on Islam or our own cultural jahaliat?

  167. mahi says:
    February 23rd, 2007 5:11 pm

    [quote comment="35349"][quote comment="35330"]One important contributing factor, of course, is the culture of our region, which predates Islam. Deeply entrenched misogynistic attitudes and practises are often justified in the name of Islam when they have absolutely nothing to do with it.[/quote]

    Precisely. Consider the marriage nonsense in Pakistan. In some parts, the families of women are expected to come up with huge sums of money and meet idiotic demands just so they could get married to a scum-of-the-earth man. Akif Nizam, are you going to blame that on Islam or our own cultural jahaliat?[/quote]

    You guys are funny! How can any religion be ‘pure’ in that sense? Every religion formed within some society. Take Islam in Arabia: did it evolve in a vacuum? Did it not react to the society that it grew up in? Are there are no Arabic cultural values,traditions embedded in that version? Same with Persia, Morocco, whatever. So who is going to give you a pure, in-a-vacuum religion?
    My point is not that whatever culture pre-dated Islam in Pakistan is good. Simply that its par for course. Whatever you dont like of it, change it.

  168. Akif Nizam says:
    February 23rd, 2007 5:27 pm

    Eidee Amin, I evaluate every issue on its own merits and on the issue of marraige for money or that of exhorbitant jahaiz etc., I entirely blame it on the cultural influence of Hinduism on our society over the centuries.

    Islam has its own mysogenistic problems but these are not amongst them.

    You are also presumptous in assuming that I don’t have knowledge of religion and I don’t continue to try and make sense of it.

    Teaching respect for everything elders say or do is okay for children but not for grown men and women. So please spare the idea that age is necessarily tantamount to wisdom. Sometimes that’s true and sometimes not.

  169. mahi says:
    February 23rd, 2007 5:32 pm

    [quote comment="35348"][quote comment="35340"][quote post="583"]we as muslims dont understand our own religion propley[/quote]

    …we have all heard this line ad nauseum from our elders since we learned the first kalma and a more meaningless line is hard to conjure up. What does that even mean ? It implies that a proper understanding of religion exists but muslims don’t understand it. So then who does? And how would one recognize it should they come across it?[/quote]

    They would recognize it if they took the time and effort and actually make a half-ass attempt at learning a few tidbits about their religion.

    If a 13 year old kid consistently fails Math, Science, or English, his parents will try to move heaven and earth to make him learn and perform properly. However, if he is good at other subjects and has total misconecptions about religion, they will probably think of it as funny …”haha, our genius fails Islamiat and Urdu all the time…”

    I mean, hell, you found this website and lots of other stuff online…I’m sure you’re capable of finding some good information on Islam. But I guess it’s not as entertaining…[/quote]

    @Eidee – There is an important distinction to be made here:
    Religion – any – is a Godward endeavor, codified. Unlike Math,Physics, Geography, etc. it is not an objective science. These modern subjects aim to give us knowledge of the physical world, which can be grasped by the mind. However, the religious experience is a subjective one. Sure, the experiences of religious luminaries have been gathered into books, but at the end of the day, its an experience thats being communicated, not objective theories than can be mentally grasped.

    Now, you can force your mind to understand Physics. The same approach towards religion will only yield theological merit and nothing more. Its like the pandits in Benaras repeating the scripture ad-nauseam, while he’s no closer to God than you and I. You’ll know the processes or one set of tools without the spirit behind. This spirit cannot be had by Googling. Thats my point.

  170. mahi says:
    February 23rd, 2007 5:39 pm

    [quote comment="35312"]

    It is like you have an architectural drawing, which if followed properly, will give you a beautiful building. But all the engineers, contractors and builders working on it cannot build it right. Is it because they cannot read and interpret the drawing? Or is it that the building was intended to be built using different materials —stones, mud and wood —- and we are using concrete, steel, glass and aluminum?

    Isn’t there, perhaps, a need to revisit the drawing and see if it needs to be adjusted to suit the contemporary building technology and building materials?[/quote]

    @MQ – nice anology. good post.

  171. Akif Nizam says:
    February 23rd, 2007 5:42 pm

    Mahi, I agree with you 100%. I was going to comment along the same lines but you beat me to it…..and I probably wouldn’t have been able to put it together as lucidly as you did.

  172. mahi says:
    February 23rd, 2007 5:50 pm

    [quote comment="35359"]Eidee Amin, I evaluate every issue on its own merits and on the issue of marraige for money or that of exhorbitant jahaiz etc., I entirely blame it on the cultural influence of Hinduism on our society over the centuries.

    [/quote]

    Very true. This is a big issue in India. In rural parts, its very entrenched, but in sections of the cities, and more so in the south than in the north, there is an easing away of this custom these days. At the least, its being softened up or morphing in form (to become less of a demand and more voluntary). It will possibly be a while before this spreads out in the masses.

    One interesting, providential and unintended consequence of this custom in recent years: education being valued highly, for girls with market-place worth education, the dowry comes down significantly. This has meant many middle-class families ensuring that their daughters get some kind of a respectable degree.

  173. Eidee Man says:
    February 23rd, 2007 5:52 pm

    [quote comment="35357"]
    You guys are funny! How can any religion be ‘pure’ in that sense? Every religion formed within some society. Take Islam in Arabia: did it evolve in a vacuum? Did it not react to the society that it grew up in? Are there are no Arabic cultural values,traditions embedded in that version? Same with Persia, Morocco, whatever. So who is going to give you a pure, in-a-vacuum religion?
    My point is not that whatever culture pre-dated Islam in Pakistan is good. Simply that its par for course. Whatever you dont like of it, change it.[/quote]

    Okay, I’m done banging my head against the wall…no cure for the confused, depressed 30-something Pakistani man….

  174. MQ says:
    February 23rd, 2007 8:39 pm

    Eidee Man

    [quote]“If a 13 year old kid consistently fails Math, Science, or English, his parents will try to move heaven and earth to make him learn and perform properly.”[/quote]

    If that 13 year old belongs to a lower income family they would put him in a madrassa. I am not being facetious when I say that. This is exactly what many families in rural Pakistan do.

  175. DB9 says:
    February 23rd, 2007 9:14 pm

    zamanov I hope u r in a leadership position in PK & putting your rhetoric into pragmatic implementations. We have a crisis of rational leadership.

  176. Man on the street says:
    February 23rd, 2007 9:42 pm

    Ya Allah save us from the Mullah

    http://www.thenews.com.pk/daily_detail.asp?id=44159

  177. Neena says:
    February 23rd, 2007 10:19 pm

    Seems like Zia has he left a legacy of fanatics. We all know women life in these remote areas is very difficult and women literacy rate is very low. Can someone tell me what these mullahas will achieve by victimizing the weak? Anyway they should direct their energy towards fair distribution of zakat fund among destitute and orphans which these areas are full of.

  178. Aqil Sajjad says:
    February 23rd, 2007 10:52 pm

    [quote comment="35333"]Aqil Sajjad,

    What about countries like Saudi Arabia, the home of Islam? women do not fare any better there. In fact, women in Pakistan are much more liberated than their Saudi or Gulf counterparts. So, if at all, the “culture of our region” had a liberating influence on the Muslim women in Pakistan.[/quote]

    MQ:
    I was not making comparisons between the subcontinent and Saudi Arabian cultures, hence your point is not relevant to my argument.

    I was only talking about our society and the fact that a lot of our misogynistic practises pre-date Islam and have more to do with culture, but are often presented as Islamic.

    In case of Saudi Arabia again, a distinction needs to be made between religion and culture. Just because it was the home of Islam does not mean their culture is not at variance with Islam.

  179. Owais Mughal says:
    February 23rd, 2007 10:57 pm

    falsafi ko behas ke andar khuda milta nahiN
    Dor suljha raha hai aur siraa milta nahiN

  180. Abdullah says:
    February 23rd, 2007 11:06 pm

    Please read an excellent column on this issue by famous columnist ‘Haroon Rasheed”

    http://www.jasarat.com/detail.php?category=columns&image=03_uk1.gif&date=24-02-2007

  181. Abdullah says:
    February 23rd, 2007 11:15 pm
  182. Cyrus says:
    February 23rd, 2007 11:34 pm

    Oh God, After reading the article referenced by Abdullah, I have realized that we have to stop venting our spleen only in the English media. We have got to start writing in the Urdu press as well. As someone said, there are two Pakistans; those who read the English papers, and those who read the Urdu papers.

  183. Abdullah says:
    February 24th, 2007 1:45 am

    Great Basant ——— Great Punjab Govt—— Roshankhyali ——–____?___ bad

    Please read Dawn news,

    http://www.dawn.com/2007/02/24/top6.htm
    http://www.jang.com.pk/jang/feb2007-daily/24-02-2007/lahore/index.html

  184. MQ says:
    February 24th, 2007 2:07 am

    Anisa,

    So far I haven’t seen any response from any parliamentarian, minister or a party bigwig. Let’s see if any of the major newspapers picks up this story.

  185. Eidee Man says:
    February 24th, 2007 3:23 am

    [quote comment="35377"]Eidee Man

    [quote]“If a 13 year old kid consistently fails Math, Science, or English, his parents will try to move heaven and earth to make him learn and perform properly.”[/quote]

    If that 13 year old belongs to a lower income family they would put him in a madrassa. I am not being facetious when I say that. This is exactly what many families in rural Pakistan do.[/quote]

    Yes, sir, you are 100% correct! We educate our best and brightest in science, math, and medicine and ship them overseas (yes, I myself am overseas, but ignore that for a minute). And we set our under-performing kids on a religious track.

    The situation with poor families is another issue altogether; many times they send their kids off to madrassas just so that they could be fed and clothed and have at least some sort of employment when they get older…the difference between these children and the ones I mentioned earlier is that our society fails the former economically and the latter academically.

  186. DB9 says:
    February 24th, 2007 9:39 am

    Maulvi Sarwar is in good physical and mental health (According to the Press). Senators remarks are probably produced more by anger and frustration (still not an excuse) – However! It all depends now on “how” and how quickly the Maulvi is brought to justice, since he was arrested red handed in a cold blooded murder. The Press must now efficiently focus on that.

  187. ahsan says:
    February 24th, 2007 11:04 am

    Here is some more of the same. In today’s dawn:

    [quote comment="35437"]SANGHAR, Feb 23: The cruel custom of ‘karo-kari’ claimed another two lives when two village girls were dragged in the streets and hacked to death by their uncles, accusing them of having tarnished the family’s honour. The girls â€

  188. omar r. quraishi says:
    February 24th, 2007 11:28 am

    zamanov you can mail them to me at omarr.quraishi@thenews.com.pk

    btw those of you who are saying that there has been outcry from the govt or ministers/MPs are reading I dont know what — the NA and Senate have both severely criticised this — and i think rather than issuing yet more hollow statements it would be far better if the government ensures that maulvi sarwar pays for what he has done –

  189. Omar R. Quraishi says:
    February 25th, 2007 4:38 am

    sorry but i dont think the nirala case can be compared with this one — that was an accident and the baby was not strapped in a car seat — unfortunate but such things happens tho the nirala owner should not have been allowed to leave the country (your claim) — what this man did is premeditated murder — also, thats where the media comes in — by keeping the pressure on the govt to do something

  190. Lahori says:
    February 25th, 2007 8:44 am

    Omar, yes they are different but only to a little extent. There are two things that are the same. In both cases justice has not been done and in both cases we, espeically the press, will forget soon. On the Nirala case, I am sorry, you are wrong. It was not premeditated but it was nt an accident because the culprit was already breaking the law with speeding. He killed an innocent kid and then ran away. It is today the biggest joke in Lahore. Everyone knows where he is. And everyone in high society is laughing with the Nirala peple on how they bought off both the law and the press. Not a single mention anywhere in the press about him. In this case also the press will forget. But this time not because some rich kid will buy them off but because of disinterst. Mybe I am wrong, but I was not on teh Nirala case. This time I will again wait and see.

  191. MQ says:
    February 25th, 2007 9:53 am

    It is not relevant to this post but, since we are once again discussing the “Nirala kid”, I would like to know what happened to the kid who was run over in Islamabad by a federal minister’s car driven by a woman. Who was the woman? What happened finally? Did it end in a “muk-muka”?

    Omar Quraishi, do you have any news on that?

  192. Omar R. Quraishi says:
    February 25th, 2007 12:29 pm

    lahori — i am sorry but a court would have seen it as an accident — speeding may be deliberate but deaths caused by speeding at most are equated by the courts with manslaughter not murder — also i am not sure if the press will or will not forget but i get the distinct feeling that most of the interactors here (majority i presume expats) are expecting the press to do something that is not really its responsibility — i have a conflict of interest myself because i am a journalist but the press (english one specifically) does quite a bit but it seems pakistanis can never be satisfied on that score

    more importantly i wonder if civil society will forget this — that’s more crucial than the press forgetting

    MQ — i dont know what happened in that case but i presume lack of eyewitnesses would have meant that the woman is probably not in jail and probably some driver would have taken the blame — like i said where r the witnesses when you need them to come and testify in court — i wonder how many of you here would do that if it came to that – very easy to talk on a blog by the way

  193. Omar R. Quraishi says:
    February 25th, 2007 12:32 pm

    Bought off the press — really? that is news to me — i dont remember being paid anything or even offered by anyone — oh shoot

  194. mahi says:
    February 25th, 2007 2:42 pm

    Interesting news related to this front:

    Reconsideration: A Secret History
    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/02/25/magazine/25wwlnEssay.t.html?hp=&adxnnl=1&adxnnlx=1172401647-StGGz9AUZEtt/eASNr7BUg
    (Reg. required)

  195. Eidee Man says:
    February 25th, 2007 2:44 pm

    @Omar Quaraishi
    This is not related to the current topic, but I’m kind of surprised to see someone from traditional media on this blog. Maybe you can do a post on how blogging, etc is affecting news reporting in Pakistani media.

  196. Lahori says:
    February 25th, 2007 10:08 pm

    Sorry for the distraction.

    [quote comment="35590"]Bought off the press — really? that is news to me — i dont remember being paid anything or even offered by anyone — oh shoot[/quote]

    Check with your colleagues or newspaper owners about who took off with your check ;-)
    Joking. But buying off need not be monetary only, power is the currency.

    [quote comment="35588"]lahori — i am sorry but a court would have seen it as an accident — speeding may be deliberate but deaths caused by speeding at most are equated by the courts with manslaughter not murder[/quote]

    Manslaughter, murder, you can choose the word. The fact is that a kid died and the person who caused the death is absconding.

    I am not sure what the court would have decided. But the judge DID decide to cancel the Nirala guys bail and that says something abut what the judge thought.

    Why is the absconding of this rich kid not a story. If Paris Hilton had run someone over and then jumped bail, I bet it woul be worldwide news inclduing in Pakistan. Here is a simialr case of a rich kid of fame but utter silence on why he has run away from the law. How come this is not a story.

    Also, can anyone confirm if he was really at a high level Basant party in an old Lahore haveli this week?

  197. MQ says:
    February 25th, 2007 11:47 pm

    Omar Quraishi,

    [quote]“I don’t know what happened in that case but i presume lack of eyewitnesses would have meant that the woman is probably not in jail and probably some driver would have taken the blame â€

  198. Omar R. Quraishi says:
    February 26th, 2007 7:40 am

    MQ — no offence i think you need to chill out — why should i be personally in the know of the proceedings of each and every hit and run case — if cases are not held or delayed you want journalists to go order the judges to hold a hearing ??? that is absurd — first get your understanding of the primary function of a press right and then we can discuss such things
    the standoff is not over — its been reported in the press — read the papers MQ and you will find out

    lahori — it was news for a while — just like paris hilton’s jumping bail will be for a while — no offence but you sound like one of those annoying expats who think that they have all the solutions to what ails their home country — and by the way, i am in a position to tell you that as for my newspaper there was never any pressure on us to not write about it — and we did cover it extensively, had columnists write on it and so on

  199. Omar R. Quraishi says:
    February 26th, 2007 7:52 am

    I will look into it eidee — maybe mention it in my column

  200. Aqil Sajjad says:
    February 26th, 2007 10:26 am

    I don’t think the press should be expected to run around covering every crime case.

    However, where I feel the media needs to do more is to cover the systemic issues, debate various possible solutions (including what the government is doing or claiming to be doing) so that people are able to form well
    informed opinions. And it is in this regard that our media has some improving to do. Unlike reporting on individual cases, discussing such issues in an informative and constructive way is an important responsibility of the media.

    If we have free and fair elections today, and the political parties take different positions on issues like police reforms or devolution, most of us, even the supposedly well educated readers of English dailies would be pretty clueless on who to support and why.

    The media has not been interested in informing public opinion, and the readers are also not interested in being informed, they enjoy reading someone like Kamran Shafi or Ayaz Amir jerk off against the government more than a down to earth analysis.

  201. Lahori says:
    February 27th, 2007 12:58 am

    [quote comment="35672"]lahori — it was news for a while — just like paris hilton’s jumping bail will be for a while — no offence but you sound like one of those annoying expats who think that they have all the solutions to what ails their home country — and by the way, i am in a position to tell you that as for my newspaper there was never any pressure on us to not write about it — and we did cover it extensively, had columnists write on it and so on[/quote]
    No point in answer this personal attack when none was directed at you. So, I will leave your personal insecurities to you to deal with yourself. If Samnabad is s foreign country to you, then I must be an expat, and I am sorry that a mention of our media’s silence and connivance in shielding the absconding of the Nirala kid annoys you. But your being annoyed does not change the facts. Yes, there was a little noise in the media right at the beginning and then it got squashed immediately. Where was the outrage and commentary on a prominent and rich person just ‘disappearing’ from police custody? Small news items hidden in the inside pages and then, poof, the news disappears. Just like the Nirala speedster.

  202. mazhar butt says:
    February 26th, 2007 12:51 pm

    Mad Anger: Woman Minister Murdered

    Adil Najam is right,,it was mad anger which killed the lady minister,,,,,,,such incidences will continue to happen where there is no justice,,,,mere laws and more laws only tend to spread discontent and anarchy ,,,,,,I don’t know when and how and who will bring justice to us people ?

  203. omar r. quraishi says:
    February 26th, 2007 1:09 pm

    Aqil that kind of work is being done — you just need to read it

  204. Aqil Sajjad says:
    February 26th, 2007 3:12 pm

    Omar, sorry if I sounded overly critical and if it felt like several posters have ganged up on you.

    I read Dawn, the news and daily times very regularly, so I am fully aware of what’s being done.

    Some issues have been highlighted very well in recent years, (such as hudood ordinance), and the media deserves to be commended for its positive role on them.

    but there is also plenty of room for improvement. For example, on police reforms, barring a few isolated articles (mostly by Afzal Shigri), there hasn’t been any in-depth analysis of the actual content of the police reforms package and subsequent amendments to it. There are plenty of pieces with general comments about the break-down of law and order and references to the police order that it’s failed, but one expects a bit more than that.

    Likewise on devolution, the last time I recall an opinion piece pointing out the excessive concentration of power in the hands of bureaucrats in the executive magistracy was in feb 2005, in a three part series by Gen Tanvir Naqvi. Most Pakistanis are not even clear on whether they would like devolution to continue, but this has not led our press to provide some in-depth analysis of these arguments to inform public opinion.

    Sorry if any of this has offended you, but personally, I have high expectations from the media precisely because there are some very well meaning journalists whom I respect for there sincerity, hence the criticism.

  205. mazhar butt says:
    February 27th, 2007 1:39 am

    Incidences like Nirala rash driving are an every day scene in this country. Such accidents are not a matter of being rich or poor. The car drivers, truck and tanker drivers and even the train management has failed to curtail it. More crime is surely happening than reported in the press. As for the press its work is to report—it certainly cannot take over the job of a human right activist or a vanguard of justice. The whole administrative and judicial structure seems to be corrupt and in deplorable condition. Ask anyone. So, as I had said earlier , if justice cannot be brought to our country we must not expect any positive change and revolution in our society. Laws are ofcourse there but as the saying goes, law is only a web for catching ants and flies —not lions and bears, atleast in our country.

  206. Omar R. Quraishi says:
    February 27th, 2007 1:45 pm

    lahori you may live in samanabad but you sound like one of those clueless expats — i didnt get offended at all by what you said but it is clear you are one of those self-proclaimed experts on what the media doesnt do and what it should do — thats like me trying to give expert advice on banking or finance but i wont — like i said there was a LOT OF NOISE when it happened and there was considerable follow up but as it happens with the press other MORE IMPORTANT stories came up — you obviously think that press should cover something that is your pet obsession but im sorry it doesnt happen like that — as someone has pointed out the hard fact of life is that much worse things than what that nirala guy did are happening in society — many by influential people but the press covers — FOR INSTANCE, YOU SURELY DONT THINK THAT THE MATTER OF DISAPPEARANCES IS BEING DONE BY THOSE WHO DONT HAVE INFLUENCE – HOWEVER I HOPE YOU HAVENT MISSED THE COVERAGE OF THIS ISSUE IN THE PRESS — SO HOW COME THERE IS NO PRESSURE ON US NOT TO COVER THIS TOPIC — WHICH IS CLEARLY MORE SENSITIVE THAN THE NIRALA STORY

    like i said lahori, you sound like a clueless expat

    aqil — a lot is written about the police all the time — a lot has been written about police reforms as well — other than by afzal shigri — and btw you dont read to write all that much on it because its clear what the problem is– lack of political will to implement the reforms and constant interference by politicians, and the new nazim system of governance — like i said you probably missed this coverage — also its a slightly technical subject so there might be relatively fewer articles but they have come and most of them say the same thing — as in its clear what needs to be done –

    (Please note, the all caps are for emphasis)

  207. lahori says:
    February 27th, 2007 2:43 pm

    Omar, you sound like a spoiled snob who thinks he knows everything. Which is usually the sign of someone who knows nothing.

    Maybe you are right. Maybe the press was not bought off here. Maybe its just that it is run by a bunch of people who don’t know their job to well, and can’t seem to take criticism very well either!

  208. Mobeen Butt says:
    March 4th, 2007 12:22 am

    What this Maulvi Sarwar did is an insult to all of us and a sign of how bad things are. He may be mad, but his views are also held by people who are more sane. The points that these religious fanatics are now raising on curriculum, on womens rights, on minorities and everything else, they just want another Taliban rule in Pakistan. We must not sit silently on this. Let us make sure that the death of this woman is not forgotten and not wasted.

  209. Omar R. Quraishi says:
    February 28th, 2007 5:05 am

    haha — whatever you say lahori – whatever you say — actually i think its you who couldnt take a rebuttal and criticism — and when you couldnt handle that you launch a personal attack — how convenient — waisay lahori i wonder how you would respond to someone on this board who made a sweeping generalisation, with regard to your profession, that everyone in it was corrupt

  210. YLH says:
    February 28th, 2007 9:17 am

    I don’t know what the discussion is on, but I can vouch for the fact that Omar R Quraishi is one of our top journalists… ex-Dawn and currently the News… and frankly the quality of The News features has gone up manifold since he has come to the helm of affairs.
    Let us celebrate our every day heroes… instead of abusing them.

  211. Omar R. Quraishi says:
    February 28th, 2007 11:25 am

    Why thank you Yasser

  212. Omar R. Quraishi says:
    February 28th, 2007 11:29 am

    btw lahore instead calling me names plz answer my point about coverage of the disappearances

  213. Lahori says:
    February 28th, 2007 12:08 pm

    I guess your calling people ‘clueless’ is not name calling but someone’s responding to it is. I guess this is part of the culture of one-way communication in the print media versus the two-way communication in the electronic. I certainly never accused an entire profession ignoble. There are plenty of very good journalists out there, many my dear friends. But I do think that the type of editorial excellence that was the hallmark of the late A.T. Chaudhry or Zafar Iqbal Mirza has been replaced by a more brash know-it-all attitude. It is not only the RIGHT but the RESPONSIBILITY of the public to comment on and evaluate the media, and those who dish out criticism on others for a living should have enough self-confidence to take a little themselves. The issue of disappearances has nothing to do with this. There are MANY areas in which the press has done extremely well. Disappearances is not the best example, but many others are – including, recently, womens issues, minority rights, curriculum debates, etc. My point was and is a very simple one. The disappearance of the STORY about Nirala is as astonishing as the disappearance about the Nirala brat himself. I have a right to wonder why it disappeared and, frankly, saying that people lost interest in it is totally wrong. Go to any social gathering in Lahore today and it will inevitably come up. Also, people’s interest in one measure but not the only one of what should stay alive. People will loose interest in the horrible murder of this MNA too. Just like people loose interest in the earthquake survivors. Is it not the responsibility of the media to keep the interest in these stories alive?

  214. bhindigosht says:
    February 28th, 2007 8:28 pm

    I agree with Yasser. The quality of the op-ed pieces in The News has gone up. Great work Omar!

  215. Omar R. Quraishi says:
    March 1st, 2007 5:38 am

    why thank you bhindi gosht

    lahori — now you are contradicting yourself — you wrote clearly that the press is not good at covering nirala adding that there must have been pressure on the press – you were pointed out an issue far more sensitive than nirala and told that there was no pressure on it to cover that issue (and in fact even if there was pressure it would have been resisted) and you now say that you are only talking about nirala —

    also since you mentioned zim (Zafar Iqbal Mirza) and if you know him why dont you ask him how much of a Mr Know-it-all Omar R. Quraishi is — i will eagerly wait for your reply on this lahori

  216. The Pakistanian says:
    March 1st, 2007 10:09 am

    Since you guys are arguing about the press following up with the news or otherwise, any news about the arraignment of this Molvi Sarwer guy, I thought he was suppose to be presented before a judge a couple of days ago, I haven’t seen anything in our newspapers yet, oh well perhaps some other important story came up and since this is old news now, so who cares. Cheers

  217. Disciple says:
    March 1st, 2007 11:31 am

    [quote comment="35927"]I agree with Yasser. The quality of the op-ed pieces in The News has gone up. [/quote]

    Since Omar has started visitng ATP? ;)

  218. Omar R. Quraishi says:
    March 1st, 2007 3:06 pm

    what can i say pakistanian — you need to read the papers more carefully and you also need to understand that presenting an accused before a court, gathering evidence and investigations take time — or you want the guy to be hanged the next day?

  219. mazhar butt says:
    March 1st, 2007 3:42 pm

    Omar R. Quraishi

    Omar deserves our respect,,,,,,,,Lahorijee, let us not demand too much from him !

    I am facing litigation for the last 14 years and I know where the shoe pinches ! Omar is very correct when he exclaims, “”or you want the guy to be hanged the next day?”"

  220. The Pakistanian says:
    March 1st, 2007 3:42 pm

    Well Quraishi sahab, if indeed there was an article on the above subject, my apologies, perhaps you’d be kind enough to provide with a link since I do not get hard copies of Paki newspapers in my neck of the woods. As far as gathering evidence and investigation is concerned, I understand the law will take its due course and I was not exactly looking forward for the news of his execution. I just wanted to know if those previous murder cases would be reopened and the people who payed “khoon baha” on his behalf would also be interrogated. I guess I am asking too much!

  221. March 2nd, 2007 3:16 am

    ASSLAM_O_ALIKUM dears respectable sir i am student of b.com class this is very good website actully sir i say us about
    zile huma usman murder this not good please sir stop it for godese

  222. Omar R. Quraishi says:
    March 2nd, 2007 4:31 am

    dear pakistanian — i am sorry but it’s not my job to provide you with links — i am sure you have enough resources and time at your disposal to do that — i hope you will not fault the media now (after my refusal that is)

    regards,
    ORQ

  223. Omar R. Quraishi says:
    March 2nd, 2007 4:35 am

    also pakistanian, i think your queries would be better addressed to the courts and/or the government directly — i am just curious — if there were delays in the courts in the US would be hankering after the NYT and the WP or would you be directing your ire at the legal/judicial system?

    ORQ

  224. The Pakistanian says:
    March 2nd, 2007 11:23 am

    [quote comment="36074"]also pakistanian, i think your queries would be better addressed to the courts and/or the government directly — i am just curious — if there were delays in the courts in the US would be hankering after the NYT and the WP or would you be directing your ire at the legal/judicial system?

    ORQ[/quote]

    I will be peeved at the press for not being courteous enough to let the readers know that there is a delay on the court/judicial end.

    Anyways, I feel we are talking to each other in different languages here, I’ll see when we are updated on this case again, and I am not gonna hold my breath either.

  225. omar r. quraishi says:
    March 2nd, 2007 2:14 pm

    like i said you need to read the papers on your own pakistanian — i cant be of any help in this regard, sorry — if there is a delay or otherwise you will find out if you do that —

    actually i quite understand your language — i wish you would understand mine

    you sound typical of people who call up newspaper offices and ask them oh please tell me if any article has appeared on such and such issue and on such and such date — if we began answering their queries i wonder how would the paper ever come out

  226. omar r. quraishi says:
    March 2nd, 2007 2:18 pm

    and btw its TOO EARLY for any delay — which is EXACTLY my point — that let the law at least TRY and take its course — sheesh

  227. Omar R. Quraishi says:
    March 4th, 2007 1:09 am

    Completely agree with you moeen

    This is my column from this week in The News on Sunday

    RIPPLE EFFECT
    Fanatics, basant and tourism

    By Omar R. Quraishi

    If ever there is going to be a contest for a country with the highest number of fanatics per capita, I have a strong feeling that Pakistan will win it hands down. The last few weeks have been particularly bad (or good if one is looking from the point of view of winning this ‘contest’). The country was rocked by several suicide bombings and there was news that many more had been planned by the extremists/fanatics.

    Thankfully, and for a change, our police and law-enforcement agencies had reportedly managed to nab several would-be suicide bombers but there were still many who were (and still are) said to be on the loose. All this obviously does not make for a carefree existence but then again who said that living in a country like Pakistan was going to be easy. There is bad (nay terrible) traffic, people with little or no civic sense, and now we have to deal with suicide bombers in our midst.

    This is not all. As the days progressed, two other stories came and they drove home the point further (as if that could be done given how intolerant we have become as a society) that Pakistan has far more fanatics than we would like to admit. The first was the tragic murder of a doctor in FATA who had been sent to the region to manage the polio vaccination drive. He was killed by unidentified gunmen and it’s quite probable that this was done because the local population had been manipulated by some local mullahs into believing that vaccinating one’s child was the handiwork of the devil and hence should be avoided at all costs. A week or so later, this poisonous disinformation had reached Swat with a local cleric — and the son-in-law of the chief of the Tehrik Nifaz-e-Shariat-e-Mohammadi Maulana Sufi Mohammad — reportedly telling the local population to not vaccinate their children when health workers come to their homes as part of the provincial government’s polio eradication drive.

    The cleric, who apparently broadcasts his pernicious views without impunity on a makeshift FM station, also is reported to have said the following gems: “I must tell my brothers and sisters that finding a cure (vaccination) for an epidemic before its outbreak is not allowed in Sharia. According to Sharia, one should avoid going to the areas where an epidemic has broken out, but those who do go to such areas and get killed during an outbreak are martyrs.”

    One does not know whether to laugh or cry at the presence of such people in our midst. It would be okay — of course relatively speaking — if they confined the import of their absurd and obscurantist views to themselves but the problem is that these purveyors of bigotry, disinformation and hate want everybody else to conform to their warped and skewed interpretation of religion.

    And of course, there is this man from Gujranwala, a certain Maulvi Sarwar who killed the Punjab social welfare minister because he apparently disapproved of the way she dressed. The man is said to have, apparently by his own admission, killed several other women as well (one newspaper’s Gujranwala correspondent described them as ‘model girls’ while another called them ‘women of easy virtue’ — so much for the reporting standards of our print media since it seems women are judged even after they have died). Incidentally, Maulvi Sarwar was wanted in several cases and had even been arrested but was released for ‘want of evidence’ — will someone in Punjab’s law-enforcement and legal hierarchy explain why this was allowed to happen?

    **********************

    Tourism minister Neelofar Bakhtiyar can forget about making Visit Pakistan Year (2007) a success. Luckily modern-day Gujranwala probably does not have much to offer the foreign tourist, unless one’s wish is to visit a polluted industrial city with little tolerance for women in general and the arts and theatre in particular. As for the anti-polio mullah, he is a resident of Swat, otherwise known as Pakistan’s ‘Switzerland’ with its alpine landscape and verdant valleys (of course the fact many of its residents are lorded over by cleric who would have them live in the Dark Ages is something that one does not need to include in the travel brochure).

    One can be absolutely sure that there are many Maulvi Sarwars out there, and they can be found especially in the areas that we want the goras to visit. I remember that as long as eight years ago on one of my regular trips to Nathiagali I came across small signboards nailed on trees by a local jihadi outfit saying that women who did not cover their hair deserved to have their hair chopped off at the very least. These were also bolted on the trees along the Ayubia chairlift, so one could read them as one went up the chairlift to the top. If they are still there — which they surely must be — they can now be translated into various foreign languages so that the hundreds of thousands of tourists who are sure to visit Pakistan this year can benefit from reading them.

    **********************

    Despite many hindrances, Basant thankfully happened this year. The whole debate, one must admit, has religious and cultural overtones and there is no need of getting into that. Just two things though. One: thousands of people die in traffic accidents every year, so do we ban people from buying and driving cars or do we ask them to be more careful. Two: strictly speaking constitutionally, isn’t it parliament’s prerogative to legislate (since it is sovereign and has the power to enact laws) and the judiciary’s to interpret such legislation?

    The writer is Op-ed Pages Editor of The News.

    Email: omarq@cyber.net.pk

  228. March 8th, 2007 11:22 am

    [...] Today is March 8 – International Women’s Day. Today we wish to celebrate women in the fullness of what it means to be a woman in Pakistan. To celebrate their achievements (also here, here, here and here). And to celebrate their struggles (also here, here, here and here). [...]

  229. Ghalib says:
    March 12th, 2007 12:08 pm

    tragic!

    blame the man and not religion here MU sahib!please dont!
    These are interpretational wrong doings!he is wrong simple no one can defend it!may be he was psychotic!
    we can have a debate long ones people favoring people agianst the act people talking about society.I can summaries this in a idiom that will go both for the accuser and the victim “kawa chala hanss ki chaal apni b bhool gaya”
    we are building motorways,nukes,missles,port towers,port fountain(fer poor people so they can see switzerland in karachi) but nuffin has been done for EDUCATION(We still have a bi-partisan education urdu-english) so that no one can pollute any one on the name of religion,modernity,equality,feminity,moderation and bla blah!!! a sign of a dead nation that can just put blames on others and dun wana look into their own!havent seen one person in pakistan who has admitted his fault!
    threads will go on an on people will keep chanting and men and women on the name of religion will be killed!
    the answer is education + justice the day it will happen or we will make it happen no one will kill!

  230. BJ Kumar says:
    March 17th, 2007 1:53 pm

    My sincere condolences to the family of the late Ms. Zille Huma Usman. People who try to make a difference, some by being trailblazers but most by simply being a better role model for doing things in a way not usually done before – sometimes such people end up paying a price, in this case the ultimate price. I hope that future women leaders of Pakistan will not be dissuaded as a result of this dastardly deed.

  231. VJ says:
    March 20th, 2007 5:48 am

    Yes Kumar, and here we have some similarities, like late Indian PM Indra Gandhi was killed by her bodyguards on religious grounds.

  232. March 21st, 2007 12:45 am

    This report in DAWN today:

    Zille Huma killer sentenced to death

    GUJRANWALA, March 20: An anti-terrorism court on Tuesday sentenced Mohammad Sarwer to death on two counts and fined him Rs200,000 in the murder case of Punjab Minister for Social Welfare Zille Huma Usman. The court ordered that Rs100,000 of the fine would be given to the heir of the deceased. If the convict fails to make the payment, he will have to undergo one year of rigorous imprisonment. The court also awarded two years imprisonment to the accused and fined him Rs10,000 for possessing an illicit weapon. According to the prosecution, Sarwer killed the woman minister on Feb 20 when she was going to address an open court at the PML house in Satellite Town. He was arrested after the murder and a case was registered against him. The court had issued charge-sheet on March 9 and later recorded statements of 15 prosecution witnesses.

  233. Indian says:
    March 21st, 2007 4:53 am

    Iam from India and I like to read on Pakistan History and politics. It really saddens be that even after so many years of Independence Pakistan is in a very bad shape. It was argued that Pakistan be seperate than India for its future. Jinnah was concerned about rights of muslims. What rights you have?? Your media is tortured,You have no freedom of expression. There is no stable govt for ages now. Your country is still confused whether to have democracy or dictatorship. On the other hand you can see India..Muslims are given equal rights,Our current president is muslim..Bollywood is controlled by muslims. We also let your singers to come to India and perform. People like Atif aslam are treated like God in India. How on earth it was assumed that we would not give rights to muslims?? India has the maximum number of muslims after Indonesia. on the other hands percentage of hindus have declined in pakistan after partition. You may argue and point out incidences like babri ,gujrat etc..But these incidents were not democide..gen agha khan was appointed to do all crime and no one voiced for the innocent..I dont hate Pakistan..and i also know this problem is not one sided..British ruled India for more than 200 years but we dont hate them but started hating each other..This is the reason the world rules us even after having all intelligent people..I hope i cleared my point..how could some one kill coz of dress code?? It is a shame..Its high time that you guys start spending more of your money on education rather than on defense.

  234. April 9th, 2007 1:48 pm

    Another dangerous situation being created in Islamabad:

    http://dawn.com/2007/04/09/top2.htm
    Fatwa against Nilofar issued

    ISLAMABAD: The Lal Masjid administration on Sunday issued a fatwa against Tourism Minister Nilofar Bakhtiar and asked the government to “punish and sackâ€

  235. Khyber Khan says:
    April 15th, 2007 12:03 pm

    It’s a sad incident and I wish we have more educated Mullahs to spread educated religion.

  236. Peacenik says:
    April 19th, 2007 12:45 pm

    I am very afraid for the life of Minister Nilofer with this danda walla mullahs. Allah humain in mauvioun say bachai.

  237. Saeeda says:
    April 18th, 2007 2:42 am

    These mullahs have already murdered one woman minister and are now rooting to murder another just because they have perverted minds and cannot imagine someone just expressing friendship and goodwill with a hug.

  238. ASLAM says:
    May 14th, 2007 11:54 pm

    Just came across this old piece. Just how messed up are we!

  239. Kazmi says:
    May 17th, 2007 7:11 pm

    Does anyone have an update on how this ended? What happened to him?

  240. Obaid says:
    June 1st, 2007 2:33 am

    good morning
    good people to live with

  241. zubair says:
    August 9th, 2007 12:00 pm

    Adil Najam expresses well the sense of outrage and dismay that all civilised and free thinking Pakistanis feel about the killing of Zill-e-huma Usman. However he then goes on to display the typical lack of nerve and dare I say it, intelelctual honesty when he immediately rules out the SOLE reason for this killing and I quote: “What killed Zille Huma Usman? Not religion. Not madness. But anger”.
    No Adil, it WAS religion and more specifically the brand of superstittious and empty Islamic beliefs that dominant over the last 30 years-until this is changed this kind of thing will go on.

  242. Mo says:
    October 2nd, 2007 1:22 pm

    The apologists will be crying out saying that Islam was not responsible for it. In fact it is very responsible. Sharia courts and Hudood Ordnances promote exactly this kind of intolerance. In fact, a whole generation of Pakistanis has been brought up on religious guilt and this is the result. As a secular Muslim, I am incensed by this State-sponsored religious madness.

    “… You may be Muslim, Christian or Hindu, but that has got nothing to do with the business of the State..”

    It is time we removed the “Islamic” from the Republic of Pakistan, and modelled it on the pattern of Turkey.

  243. ibrahim says:
    April 7th, 2008 2:03 pm

    And how can Islam be responsible? You wear the scarf, and yet you don’t. You stand in the presence of men with a painted face, not caring who’s around. You dare them for a reason which you don’t even know. Why? You simply don’t care. You don’t care if the country upholds a strict moral code (and what makes that sad?) It protects the poor, women, and men from sick lust(which is enough justification) You just look at the west which is being copied and the suffocating decadence. It makes people fear just as much when others can’t and will not understand ‘good living’ i.e living morally. Has the world gone mad? There must be some form of control. And I will be for this movement if it is done the legal way and manner. Good luck. (THIS IS MORE ABOUT THE ISSUE AND NOT THE STORY)

  244. zafar says:
    April 30th, 2008 12:55 pm

    sorry state of affairs ,lack of education I would say.

  245. Dr. SHAH MURAD MASTOI says:
    May 16th, 2008 11:20 am

    i really shocked when i listened abt that murder……..sorry to say that we r v fanatic nation…..sorry

  246. Sahreen Tanvir says:
    September 6th, 2008 6:44 am

    The basic principle of Islam is moderation. But our attitudes are not moderate. We muslims are now recognized as extremist and terrorist in the vision of whole world. A murder of Zill-e-Huma by a fanatic shows that we dont have a proper understanding about the preachings of Islam. It is really horrible.

  247. ali says:
    January 5th, 2009 3:43 pm

    All I can say that “Pakistan ko Islam khagaya”

  248. Taha hassan says:
    February 19th, 2009 4:23 am

    Dear Ali I would say ” hum Islam ko kha gaye hain”. I remember I read in a English book about truthfulness of religion by some Cristian author and he wrote Islam is the true religion but his believer are the worst.

  249. Ali Dada says:
    April 3rd, 2009 5:20 pm

    wow, so sad.

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