Jahalat Compounded: Do We Really Want These Guys In-charge of Our Mail and Our Children?

Posted on November 7, 2008
Filed Under >Adil Najam, Education, Law & Justice, People, Politics, Society
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Adil Najam

Jahil ko agar jhl ka inaam diya jaaye
batlao kay iss jhl ko kiya naam diya jaaye

Just two months ago, we at ATP were aghast at a statement from Senator Israrullah Zehri (BNP-Awami) who, along with Jan Mohammad Jamali, not only defended a horrendous and barbaric murder of young girls as part of their so-called “tribal tradition.”

While there were Senators who condemned this jahalat by these dishonorable Senators, it was disappointing not to see any action being taken at this outrage despite the fact that the senators remains defiant and unrepentant in their jahalat. Now it seems the PPP government has taken action. But what an disgusting action it is. Seantor Zehri seems to have been “rewarded” – but for what? – by a Cabinet appointment.

Even more disturbing than Mr. Zehri’s appointment is that Mir Hazar Khan Bijarani, the new Miniser of Education – yes, education! – seems to have jahil views not very different from Mr. Zehri. Is Vani really what we want to teach our children!

But, first, more on Senator Israrullah Zehri. Luckily the Cabinet is so overweight (55 Ministers) and the post he has been given (Postal Services) so inconsequential that his warped sense of right and wrong may not be able to do too much damage. But in the name of all that is good, why O’ why would anyone make someone with such unrepentantly ignorant views a Minister of anything? What possible good can come out of that for anyone?

At the time of his original – and shameful – comments, we had argued:

[They have] not only shamed the Senate and all of Pakistan, they are in fact abusing and shaming the culture and traditions of all Baloch.

Now,at his elevation to a cabinet position one can only say that this act has doubly shamed the government, the Prime Minister, and, indeed, all of Pakistan. His shame remains what it was, but added to it now is the shame that the PPP government would so disregard human and women rights as to make such a man a Minister – even if it is of “Postal Services”!

The shame is further compounded – indeed, the jahalat is compounded – because he is not the only one with such public views who has been inducted into the cabinet. Even more disturbingly, it the new Minister of Education – yes, we have said it before, and let us say again, eductaionMir Hazar Khan Bijarani is someone who not only supports the practice of Vani but has actually facilitated it!

In writing about the Zehri story, we had argued that:

Those who think they can “restore” their honor by murdering others have no honor to begin with. There is no honor in murder. Ghairat cannot be gained or regained by butchering the weak. Indeed, murder is beghairati personified. And let us never – never – let anyone confuse criminality with culture.

And its not just us who thinks that such actions are criminal. The Supreme Court of Pakistan thinks the same too. Indeed, the first time we had written about Mir Hazar Khan Bijarani, the new PPP Education Minister – as an teacher myself, I cringe at that thought each time I think about it – on Pakistaniat.com (August 16, 2007) was when we quoted from a Daily Times story about how the Supreme Court had ordered “the arrest of the members of a jirga, including PPP MNA Mir Hazar Khan Bijarani, that decided to hand over five minor girls for marriage to a family to compensate for a murder in Jacobabad. Three of the 14 jirga members are already in police custody and the court ordered the arrest of the other 11.”

Guess who the (then just-restored) Chief Justice of the Supreme Court was then? Guess who in the Cabinet will be working for him to be be restored!

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The Dawn story on that particualr episode is worth reading – read today, it gives some great insights into not only the politics of then, but the politics of now:

arrest of 11 members of a jirga, including PPP MNA Mir Hazar Khan Bijarani, for handing over five minor girls to the family of a murdered man as compensation to settle the dispute in Jacobabad. A five-member Supreme Court bench comprising Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry, Justice Javed Iqbal, Justice Sardar Mohammad Raza Khan, Justice Faqir Mohammad Khokhar and Justice M. Javed Buttar took up a complaint of a freelance anthropologist Samar Minallah against the handing over of five girls — Aamna, 5, Bashiran, 2, (daughters of Rahmatullah), Shehzadi, 6, Meerzadi, 2, (daughters of Hafeezullah) and Noor Bano, 3, (daughter of Yar Ali) — to the family of the murdered man as compensation.

The Supreme Court had in June last year frozen the jirga decision to hand over the minors and ordered police to submit an inquiry report within two weeks. The District Police Officer (DPO) Kashmore was told to conduct an inquiry and arrest the jirga members. When DPO Noor Mohammad informed the court on Wednesday that police had arrested three members of the 14-man jirga, namely Hafiz Qamaruddin, Yar Ali and Rehmat, the CJ asked why were influential people not arrested. “Are you afraid of them?” The DPO explained that he had assumed his duties just one and half months ago. At this, the bench said that police always picked up poor people and were afraid of arresting influential people.

The rest of eleven members of the jirga nominated in the FIR are Mir Hazar Khan Bijarani, Peer Bharchoondi Mian Abdul Khalique, Thull Tehsil Nazim Syed Ali Akbar Banglani, Ghulam Rasool Banglani, Syed Jalal Shah, Raza Mohammad Banglani, Qamaruddin Banglani, Hafiz Banglani, Habib Banglani and two others. The jirga presided over by Mir Hazar Khan Bijarani had ordered the handing over of five minors to the victim’s family and imposed a fine of Rs1 million on both the warring parties to settle a decade-old feud.

So, this then, folks, is your new Minister of Education. Mir Hazar Khan Bijarani. Jirga leader, Vani supporter, and according to the Supreme Court of Pakistan, a criminal.But the real crime here is giving him charge of education. Making him incharge of the most important national resource we have. Our children and what goes into their mind!

To repeat what I said at the beginning:

Jahil ko agar jhl ka inaam diya jaaye
batlao kay iss jhl ko kiya naam diya jaaye

97 responses to “Jahalat Compounded: Do We Really Want These Guys In-charge of Our Mail and Our Children?”

  1. Hina says:

    I haven’t read the entire article but could guess the gist of in a glance. The reason I did not read this the same reason I don’t listen to Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Laura Ingram( Conservative, Extreme Right Talk show in USA).

    I rather feed the ducks.

    For someone who falls in the category ‘Enlightened ex patriots sitting in her western enslave sprouting wisdom about the People of Pakistan’ I have this to say to the Youth and the ‘common sense’ People of my home land: Do what we did in the 2008 U.S Election.. we quit complaining about George Bush and hit the road running : Knocking on doors, in universities, in place of worship begging people to save their country, end the era of foolishness and world dictatorship.
    I know there are peole in Pakistan who understand what the hell is happening to their country and are majorly P’ed off, Get together and think of something..there are ex patriots world over who want to keep the notion alive that Yes I will take my kids to Pakistan, show them their roots, show the school I went to, the buses I rode to collage, the bazaars where I haggled till I was Blue in the face.

    Tell us, how can we help you, what can we do, if you ask us to move back and start preaching from ground zero rather then Saat samandar par. Believe me we try to did that, came to Pakistan in 2003, I was 3 months pregnant and we had our 2 year daughter with us. My husband interviewed for the position of Computer Professor at QA university in Islamabad as well through a ‘safarish’ ( Trust me, I am not ashamed to say this ‘S’ word, the shame belongs to the place where it is impossible to even take a step without the ‘ safarish’) a job interview at the department of defense. He had an excellent interview, was told that he was one of top 2 most qualified person applying for this job……..and then no word for weeks till a sheepish e-mail stating ‘we had to hire someone related to the Bara Saab”
    So yes, I have talked the talk and walked the walk. I am so freaking tired of people asking me “Hon, what’s happening to your country”? I tell them I have no freaking clue whatsoever, it just ain’t the place where I was born and spent the first 21 years of my life”

    I don’t know, I have no clue and I am this close to NOT caring .

  2. Ahmer says:

    Hazrat shikwa aapka barhaq hay..shayr magar aapnay ghalta paRha hay.

    Jaahil ko agar jehl ka inaam diya jayeyy
    Iss hadsa-e-waqt ko kya naam diya jayey

    Mayqanay ki tauheen hay, rindoon ki hatak hay
    Kamzarf kay haathoon mein agar jaam diya jayey

  3. Shiraz says:

    This is what I wrote to 600+ people on my Alumni…please take notice and spread the word and act!

    Issue at hand: Mr. Bijrani’s as Education Minister.
    What can be done ?

    You make his life miserable by
    1. writing to every senator and MNA and media outlet and most vocal critics you can find…in day of internet is it easy..sweet revenge!

    2. Write to every Education Minister, media and senators in major country where he is about to go on behalf of Pakistan.

    3. Expose him on his stance on 6 poor girls …send that to CNN, MSNBC, NY Times, Dawn, Cowasjee, Ayaz Amir, Pervaiz Hoodbhoy etc

    4. Write an article and DIGG it…more you digg it, more it will go up and Reuters and AP will pick it..

    5. Make video iReport and send to CNN, GEO etc..

    Is that too hard to do ? if you have even small sense of civic service you will do it..it works! try it…

    When Zardari is sitting in front of Obama, his staff can bring this up…and Zardari will want something from Obama and in return Obama may ask him to ditch Mr. Bijrani…this is what politics is..getting things done! w/o bringing Tanks to street..

    If you don’t who will ?
    – 5 Crore People in Pakistan Are Chronic Poor, they are struggling to get first meal per day……
    – Majority of rest are lower/middle class ..they are struggling to survive pay check by pay check .
    -So this leaves us who are blessed, have stable jobs, have spare time to think…

    @ 12:35 PM US CT, I checked , Cavalry is not coming, So choice is yours, act or suffer and become yet another Udas Naslain…..

  4. Watan Aziz says:

    Vani and other forms of similar madness are result of absence of justice for the weak in Pakistan.

    People do not have access to police nor judiciary. How many miles do they have to travel to lodge FIR? What are the chances it will be logged? How many miles do they have to go for judicial hearings? How many days do they have to stay there to get a hearing? How many postponements? Will they every get a fair verdict?

    You deny them justice and then lament?

    You pour all monies in three cities and call it progress?

    When the medicine doctor is not available, the witch doctor will take over. People will believe in witch doctor because that is only solution to their pain. They turn to vani because there is no judge to hear their

  5. Zaheer Sharaf says:

    It is true that we have to deal with people like Zehri and Bajarani but be assured that these types will be filtered if the army allows the democracy to flourish in the country. We need to change our priorities i.e from spending money on Defence to Education and health care. just compare ourselves with the neighboring country where the literacy rate is touching 70% wheras we are still in twenties.

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