The Pakistan Taliban want to impose Islamic rule and Sharia laws in Pakistan

December 16, 2014

Nasir Khan, Dec. 16, 2014

The latest attack on young children in Pakistan by the Pakistani Taliban (TTP) has shocked us all. On this sad occasion my condolences to all those who were affected by this large scale massacre of innocent young pupils and the injuring of many. People may hold differing views on this latest act of savagery. But these killers have killed tens of thousands of innocent people in Pakistan over the years.

Let me remind our readers that these militants are the mujahiddin of God, dedicated to imposing an absolutist Islamic rule and the Sharia laws throughout Pakistan. Even though Pakistanis oppose and condemn the extremist actions of these Islamists but let’s not forget that among the vast majority of this country there is a great enthusism for an Islamic state that is based exclusivley on the Sharia laws. This ideal Islamic state will emulate the great caliphs of early Islam and thus it will solve all socio-economic and political problems that afflict Pakistan. It seems everything is in place to create the paradise in this country: God’s soldiers, mullahs and preachers, God’s Divine book and God’s Sharia laws. The caliph may appear any time and lead us to salvation.
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http://www.aljazeera.com/news/asia/2014/12/fighters-attack-army-run-school-pakistan-20141216742794184.html

US stands against the Palestinians’ right to independence and state

December 16, 2014

Nasir Khan, December 16, 201

America cannot go against the wishes and diktat of Israel. That means it will veto any bid to statehood for Palestine in the United Nations Security Council and it may instead use the empty rhetoric of ‘direct negotiations between the parties’ as the only way forward, knowing fully well that there is no substance to any such way forward as the last 20 years have shown.

The whole world knows that Israel has used the gimmick of negotiations since the Oslo Accords in 1993 to colonise the West Bank and East Jerusalem while systematically wreaking havoc on the beleaguered Gaza time and again. That virtually means that the Zionists are not going to agree to end the occupation of Palestine as long as they have the power and control over the US government and its foreign policy.

Here by ‘ending the occupation’, I mean nothing more than accepting the 1967 borders as the Palestinian Authority leadership has agreed to compromise and thus end the conflict. The reason is simple. Israel has and is continuing its objective of expansion in the occupied areas methodically and relentlessly. What the captive people of Palestine are asking for or aspiring to – the end of occupation of their land and their right to self-determination – is the last thing the Israeli rulers are interested in to listen to or care about. However, I’ll be profoundly happy if things turn out to be different and my fears are proved wrong.

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US officials divided on Palestine proposal to UNSC

Senior American officials have failed to reach an agreement on how the US administration should react regarding the Palestinian Authority (PA)’s project to the UNSC calling for a timeline to be set for Israeli withdrawal from Palestinian territories occupied in 1967, AP reported yesterday.

White House officials said US Secretary of State John Kerry said that the US has to make efforts to delay the Palestinian plan and the French initiative in this regard until after the Israeli elections.

“Escalating violence in the region is another reason to postpone the Palestinian plan,” AP reported Kerry as saying.

Meanwhile, the National Security Advisor Susan Rice supported the idea of conducting American-French talks on the issue to see if it is possible to reach a moderate solution for the Palestinian proposal.

Continues >>

More Than A Quarter Of The World’s Countries Helped The CIA Run Its Torture Program

December 15, 2014

But even as the White House and the CIA engaged in this dispute with the Senate, a separate, and potentially more serious, set of revelations was at stake.

According to several U.S. officials involved with the negotiations, the intelligence community has long been concerned that the Senate document would enable readers to identify the many countries that aided the CIA’s controversial torture program between 2002 and roughly 2006. These countries made the CIA program possible in two ways: by enabling rendition, which involved transferring U.S. detainees abroad without due legal process, and by providing facilities far beyond the reach of U.S. law where those detainees were subjected to torture.

Continues >>

History of Israel: Stolen Land of Palestine by Ilan Pappe

December 12, 2014

Nasir Khan, December 12, 2014

This is an important video in which Israeli historian Dr Ilan Pappe presents some historical facts about  the Israel-Palestine question from a perspective that is not so common in the world because of the Israeli propaganda and the rampant  Zionist mythological narratives.  All those  who want to understand the history of the Palestinian people whose land was forcibly  taken from them by the  colonial-settler state of Israel in 1948 will find Dr Ilan Pappe’s books, articles, speeches and videos of  enormous value.

History of Israel:Stolen Land of Palestine by Ilan Pappe

The break-up of Pakistan in 1971

December 9, 2014

Nasir Khan, December 9, 2014

In 1971, under the orders of President Yahya the Pakistani army unleashed Operation Searchlight in East Pakistan. What the army was asked to do was to crush all opposition after political negotiations between Sheikh Mujibur Rehman and Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto to form the national government failed. In fact, it was Sheikh Mujib’s Awamy League that had won the majority of seats and its leader, Sheikh Mujib, was entitled to become the prime minister of Pakistan. But it did happen this way.

Some prominent politicians in West Pakistani didn’t want Sheikh Mujib to gain power or were unwilling to share power with him. This led to public protests in East Pakistan and opposition to West Pakistan’s domination. Soon the opposition became a rebellion that became a war of independence for the people of East Pakistan to overthrow the yoke of West Pakistan’s political and economic domination. After making enormous sacrifices and receiving military help from India to defeat the beleaguered Pakistani army, the Mukti Bahini, the volunteer liberation army, achieved independence. Bangladesh came into existence as a new sovereign state.

After the tragic destruction and suffering of the people in East Pakistan and the humiliating surrender of Pakistani army there, Mr Bhutto emerged as the most powerful leader in Pakistan (formerly West Pakistan) while Shiekh Mujib became the iconic figure and ruler of Bangladesh.

In 1971, the two-winged Pakistan lost its one wing. Since then it has been flying on only one wing! If the high horizons set by its leaders and its mullahs remain undisturbed, it may soon reach some new universe.

The impact of UKIP on British politics

December 6, 2014

Editor’s remarks: Under the old-established British political order political power alternates after a few years between the Tory Party and the Labour Party. It is a political arrangement where political rhetoric may change and arouse the passions of the electorate for a short while but after the electioneering is over the forces that rule the country remain the same and their position remains unchallenged.

Now a populist party has gained much ground. In a thoughtful article Rupen Savoulian shows the impact of the ultra-right UKIP on the political scene. This populist party has built its power-base on the general discontent of the people from all sections of society including the working class and their fears ranging from the Britain’s place in the EU to the question of immigration, etc.

The irony is that the bourgeois establishment will not become weak. It will rather force the Conservative Party and the Labour Party move more towards the right because of the rise of the ultra-rightist UKIP. I think, the discounted people, especially those from the working class who are supporting the new party as a vehicle of change will eventually find that they have betted the wrong horse. But in a country where gambling is a national pastime, people know they don’t always win. At least they clear their thoughts with a few pints of beer in some local pub and wait for the good times to come.

–Nasir Khan, Editor

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http://rupensavoulian.wordpress.com/2014/12/03/the-ultra-right-ukip-surges-and-british-politics-undergoes-ukip-ization/#comment-495

Rupen Savoulian:  The ultra-right UKIP surges, and British politics undergoes UKIP-ization 

Rational views against the blasphemy laws of Pakistan

December 4, 2014

Nasir Khan, December 4, 2014

From my own experience with many expat Pakistanis, Mr Mushtaq Khan Kayani stands out as one clear-headed educator who in blunt terms exposes all hypocrisy woven around our past history and religious figures. One problem facing any rational human being who comes from a traditional Islamic background, such as Mr Kayani, is the wide-spread ignorance that permeates every pore of our phoney and superficial religiosity and spirituality. As a result, the clash between the upholders of ignorance [Jahiliyya] and common sense is inevitable.

One obvious example of that social retrogression we witness are the blasphemy laws of Pakistan, which were introduced by the brutal military dictator General Zia-ul-Haq. However, the civilised people in the world are stunned by such pathetic nonsense. Thus such laws have made Pakistan a laughing stock in the eyes of the world. Strangely enough, many teachers, preachers, lawyers and columnists defend these laws and they think they are defending God, the Prophet and Islam! In fact, these laws are a true representation of that ignorance and false indoctrination that prevails in that country.

The misuse of Islam has become endemic and has taken deep roots in Pakistan. Only a handful of people like Mr Kayani dare to tell what is happening in Pakistan. As a result they have to face much opposition and vulgar abuse at the hands of obscurantists and self-styled defenders of God and Islam. Any voice of reason has thousands and thousands of people to drown it in the traditional waywardness.

The Guardian’s Misleading Editorial

November 20, 2014

 Nasir Khan, November 20, 2014

The Guardian’s editorial on 18 November 2014 (http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/nov/18/guardian-view-on-jerusalem-killings) deals with the violent killing of four Israeli worshippers at a synagogue in a Jerusalem neighbourhood on Tuesday 18th November 2014. On hearing the news the PA President Mahmud Abbas condemned this act of violence by two Palestinians, who were immediately killed by the Israeli police. The American rulers and media condemned these brutal killings vociferously. But as far as I am concerned I have always condemned and opposed any acts of violence against anyone because all bloodshed is wrong, unacceptable and indefensible no matter who the perpetrators of such crimes are, Israelis, Palestinians or someone else.

In the last two short paragraphs of the editorial, the editor raised some  fair questions about the policies of the Netanyahu government. But the editor’s portrayal of the gory acts in the first three paragraphs is much flawed and misleading. If the writer has some inkling of the forces that created Israel, not as espoused by the hasbara, but by historians of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict then he would have seen and wrote about them otherwise.

However, it is quite common to see amateur journalists who can easily skip facts to push a story on their readers. But we expect an editorial of the Guardian to present facts in a sober and judicious manner to help readers to understand the issues involved. Melodramatic and emotive language used here hides the facts more than it enlightens. All acts of violence, killings, desecration or provocation in a place of worship are reprehensible. We all readily agree on this. What the two killers did at Bar Nof synagogue was a crime.

At the same time we should also keep in mind what the Israeli authorities and righting Jews have been doing for quite some time at Al-Aqsa Mosque are also crimes and incessant provocations. In fact, the Israeli state and Zionist provocateurs bear the full responsibility for their criminal actions surrounding at Al-Aqsa Mosque for the last few weeks while such provocations by Israeli leaders have a long history. No wonder if such actions lead to their anticipated or unexpected fallout. The killings at the synagogue and the desecration of Al-Aqsa Mosque are not isolated incidents; they are interrelated. Obviously, it does not suit hasbara to admit any such connection.

The editor writes, “Attacks like this were precisely what the creation of the state of Israel was meant to prevent. Israel was to be the one place in the world where Jews could pray in peace and safety. Synagogues in London, Paris or New York have grown used to having a security presence on the door. Now there are calls for the same precaution to be taken in Israel, a bleak thought for a country established to be a safe haven.” Here the whole narrative becomes untenable in the light of history. The state of Israel was not created, as the editor asserts, to provide a country to Jews where they could pray in “peace and safety”.

The British imperialists laid the foundations for such a state in 1914 many years before the Nazis under Hitler gained political power in Germany. After the Balfour Declaration in 1917, the plans for the expropriation of the Palestinian people of their land were in place. During the inter-war period, the growing Jewish migration to Palestine and subsequently at the end of the Second World War, the Zionist terrorist organisations in Palestine lost no time to force the British as the mandatory (colonial) power to run back to the British isles. Now the Zionists were in full control. This was the creation of Israel and the start of the process of the Zionist colonisation and ethnic cleansing of Palestine.

What started in 1948 is still going on. The West Bank has gradually been devoured by Israeli settlements and in East Jerusalem the pace of settlements has increased. Whereas the Gaza strip remains a virtual concentration camp. After the 51-day Israeli war on Gaza, the Zionists have devastated Gaza from which it may take years to recover. Moreover, it is Israel that tells PA President what to do or not to do. Living under Israeli occupation, he has few options. He is a nominal figure operating under a colonial power. As a result he conforms to Tel Aviv’s edicts.

Obviously, the creation of Israel was not to provide a safe place of worship to the Jewish believers. In fact, there was no restriction on Jews going to their synagogues. That was so in Europe, Asia and America. The present-day safety measures in the synagogues of London, Paris or New York, as the editor erroneously explains, are not due to any inherent hatred against the Jews but rather due to the genocidal policies of the state of Israel and its brutal oppression of the Palestinians.

The editor pushes his/her line of thinking even further and along the same lines as before and comes up with an explanation that many observers may find amusing: “By attacking men as they pray – not, it is worth stressing. In the occupied West Bank or in annexed East Jerusalem but inside the boundaries of pre-1967 Israel proper – . . .” No one from Israeli ruling class has ever defined where Israel’s borders and boundaries lie or would lie. To have done so would have meant to forego the Zionist objective of creating Greater Israel. Consequently, the easiest thing to do was better served by keeping the question of ‘Israel’s borders’ a matter in the grey zone, where nothing was definite and all was subject to change as the chances arose.

Pakistani blasphemy laws and minorities

November 6, 2014

Nasir Khan, November 6, 2014

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This unthinkable and horrifying news of the breaking of the legs of  a working-class Christian couple and burning them alive by a large mob of Muslims in Pakistan shows the utmost inhuman acts in the name of religion in general and blasphemy laws of Pakistan in particular. (For details, see:
http://www.humanrights.asia/news/urgent-appeals/AHRC-UAC-147-2014) It is also important to see that this was an extreme example of that social and moral degradation that prevails in Pakistan. The morbid disregard shown by some extremist or even some ordinary Muslims for crimes against the members of any religious minority, such as Christians, Ahmadis or Hindus, etc. is not frowned upon by many Muslims but is rather viewed as an act of devotion to God and the Prophet. Such is the lower depth of depravity that prevails in Pakistan and very many indoctrinated ignorant  people  rejoice over such acts of  unspeakable savagery in that  country.

But there is little ground to criticise only the ‘uneducated’ or ‘brainwashed’ people; many ‘educated’ people including many lawyers also support such blasphemy laws. For instance, in 2011 Mr Salman Taseer, governor of the Punjab province, a secular leader and opponent of the unjust blasphemy laws, was killed by his own bodyguard because he had spoken against the ill-treatment of Christians and advocated the repeal of the blasphemy laws. It may come as a somewhat surprise to many people in the world that many people in Pakistan had zealously demonstrated in favour of the murderer and among such demonstrators were the Pakistani lawyers who wanted to stand by the murderer and protect the blasphemy laws!

Pakistani rulers and legislators imposed the blasphemy laws in a country where Muslim populace was religious but never morbidly extremist or intolerant of other faiths or viewpoints. However, the introduction of the blasphemy laws changed things drastically. They strengthened further the hands of the rightist and obscurantist forces in the land. Such laws could easily be used and exploited in matters that had nothing to do with religion as such. For instance, they provided a pretext, a cover-up to those who to settle their private conflicts or disputes could readily accuse their opponent of having said anything derogatory about matters covered by the blasphemy laws. Thus any Christian or the follower of any other minority faith can be falsely accused by anyone; it has been happening regularly. Once charged, their fate was sealed. There was little any such accused people could do to prove their innocence because the charge of blasphemy had already tilted the balance of justice against them. To the outside world such things may seem too primitive and stupid for a country in these times. But that’s how the things are in Pakistan. And the injustices ordinary innocent people suffer especially the religious minorities are getting worse in Pakistan.

What can the international community do to stop this savagery in Pakistan? Let me leave this question for consideration to other writers and activists also. In this context, I appeal to all human human rights organisations, individuals who defend human rights and political activists for their help and solidarity for a common struggle against the most frightening crimes committed in Pakistan against the ordinary people belonging to various religious minorities. As long as the present blasphemy laws are on the statute book such brutal crimes as we saw in the case of the inhuman murder of this Christian couple will not stop. The minorities of Pakistan are extremely vulnerable and they need our help and protection. There are many things that need to be done; to demand the repeal of the blasphemy laws in one of them because these laws are a flagrant violation of human rights and a sickening misuse of Islam, a great and noble religion of compassion and toleration. This matter should also be brought before the organs of the United Nations. All civilised people around the world have a moral responsibility to raise their voice against the violations of basic human rights under the blasphemy laws and the victimisation of religious minorities in Pakistan.

(The server to Humanrights.Asia for the link seems out of order now. But the tragic news can be read on this link: http://www.europe-solidaire.org/spip.php?article33445)

Violence in Pakistan and religion

November 3, 2014

Nasir Khan, November 3, 2014

Yesterday 60 people were killed in Pakistan and many were injured. Such killings of the innocent people have become a matter of routine that are repeated so often. Ordinary people are helpless; they can’t do anything. The government cannot control this pervasive violence because the causes of violence are many. It is obvious that no pious wishes can change the situation because without uprooting the causes of violence, none can stop the violence. There are many causes for this, starting from the manipulative policies of Pakistani rulers and their subservience to US imperialism, to the Saudi role in Pakistan and the exploitation of religion in general for well over six decades.

A tree is known by the fruit it bears. Pakistan is harvesting the fruit now in the shape of senseless killings, violence and religious fanaticism. In this country different political and social forces have done much to banish sanity from the public and private lives of its citizens. Political elite and religious establishment had set the process of making Pakistan a citadel of ‘pure’ Islam. We see how that citadel looks and how the rest of the world sees it. The results of myopic indoctrination and misuse of religion are clear. No realist observer can predict any change for the better in the foreseeable future either because the communal hatred, sectarianism and ignorance [jahilia] have taken deep roots that cannot be uprooted by any emergency measures. Pakistan needs a new direction in politics and in educational system to stop the misuse of religion and new strategies to cope with violence and fanaticism.


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