Stripe of white: ‘Call us Pakistani, don’t give us religious labels’

Published: August 25, 2012

" We all know that the law is being used to settle personal scores and to blackmail minorities," MPA Saleem Khokhar.

KARACHI: Despite the targeted attacks on politicians and activists for speaking up against the misuse of the blasphemy law, MPA Saleem Khokhar has said that he would not keep silent.

“Acquit Aasia bibi and Rimsha Masih,” he demanded while speaking to the media at the Karachi Press Club on Friday. He condemned the arrest of 11-year-old Rimsha, a Christian girl who reportedly has Down’s syndrome, and was charged with desecrating a Noorani Qaida in Islamabad.

“We all know that the law is being used to settle personal scores and to blackmail minorities,” alleged Khokhar. “But before the trial even starts, the accused is killed or is treated brutally. This is a violation of the human rights.”

Referring to curriculums in schools, Khokhar said that it should be developed in such a way that they promotes peace and harmony instead of instigating hatred for other religions. “There is a need for laws which ensure that a thorough investigation is conducted before a person accused of blasphemy is put behind bars.”

The parliamentarian also mentioned an incident from Faisalabad where a Hindu boy’s mutilated body was found a few days ago “Even our children are not safe and are being targeted for belonging to different religions.”

Ghazala Shafiq, who was representing Christians, said that they should be regarded as Pakistani citizens. “There should be no difference between us and the majority.” Khokhar added to this by saying that Aasia Bibi and Rimsha should also be considered Pakistanis first and Christians later.

Shafiq said that while Hindus have the choice to migrate to India, the Christians have no place to go. “Where should we think of migrating to? This is our homeland and we will not settle anywhere else.”

Published in The Express Tribune, August 25th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (7)

  • John B
    Aug 25, 2012 - 7:25AM

    The stripe of white is not equal to the green in the flag.

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  • Zalim Singh
    Aug 25, 2012 - 7:39AM

    sad

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  • Joy Goswami
    Aug 25, 2012 - 8:22AM

    At last, someone spoke. Salute your courage ,Sir. Hope your words bring action. A prayer for your safety.Recommend

  • Muhammad Ali
    Aug 25, 2012 - 9:57AM

    This is unfortunate to see a Pakistani asking rights from Pakistanis…. as a nation we are heading toward end.

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  • Think!!!
    Aug 25, 2012 - 1:12PM

    anyways, they r Christians first and then Pakistanis…!

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  • Gen zia ul Haq ka bab
    Aug 26, 2012 - 2:01AM

    THe cancer of mullahism must be exterminated from Pakistan, or the mullah will exterminate pakistan

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  • Mohammed Shuaib Sheikh
    Aug 30, 2012 - 8:08PM

    Shafiq said that while Hindus have the choice to migrate to India, the Christians have no place to go. “Where should we think of migrating to? This is our homeland and we will not settle anywhere else.”

    I sympathize with the above but the situation in Pakistan is such that there is no escape and no hiding place from terror and atrocities for the Pakistanis. Hindus at least can go to Hindustan. But what about Sunnis, Shias, Ahmadies, Bralavies, Hunafies, Wahabis and so on, where can they go? Everyone is suffering at the hands of traitors, hired guns, mercenaries, misguided Muslims and enemies of Pakistan. It is and it is not religious or sectarian problem. Try to analyze any atrocity and you will only get very confused. Some atrocities are indiscriminate and in other cases a group that has minor aberrations is targeted but another group, which is doing far worse things and metaphorically speaking standing next to the first one is not touched.

    Talibans destroy girls schools but don’t speak against alcohol making in Pakistan. Talibans attack video and CD shops because they sell/hire out indecent videos and CDs but they don’t have a word to say about Pakistani channels showing indecent scenes from Indian films in the name of entertainment or Indian films on Indian channels and plays which are worse than the Indian trailers shown by Pakistani channels.

    Conclusion: There is more to it than meets the eye.

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