In Punjab, a Christian can’t present the provincial budget

Published: June 7, 2011
Some PML-N MPAs object to faith of fellow party member Kamran Michael.

Some PML-N MPAs object to faith of fellow party member Kamran Michael.


Several provincial legislators in Punjab belonging to the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) have objected to Punjab cabinet member Kamran Michael presenting the budget on grounds that he is Christian, sources within the party told The Express Tribune.

Sources say PML-N leaders are in a bind trying to figure out who to assign the finance ministry portfolio before the budget is presented before the Punjab Assembly on June 10.

Several party members are reported to have objected to a Christian being given such a prominent position as that of delivering the annual budget speech and fear losing votes amongst some of their conservative, right-wing vote bank. The PML-N is already afraid of losing ground in its heartland of Punjab to other parties that have been making inroads in the province in recent months.

Michael had been given charge of the finance ministry in March, after the PML-N kicked out the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) from Punjab’s ruling coalition. He  replaced the PPP’s Tanveer Ashraf Kaira, in addition to retaining his earlier portfolio of human rights and minorities affairs.

However, while Michael was minister in theory, in practise the position has been managed by Sardar Zulfiqar Khan Khosa, senior adviser to Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, who was given charge of the finance and planning and division department for two months after the PPP was kicked out.

Sources say that Michael was forbidden from even contacting the finance secretary or the chairman of the planning and development department.

Michael holds the finance ministry as an “additional portfolio”, which means that he is authorised to present the budget. However, he has not been assigned the ministry itself.  Rule 136 of the Punjab Assembly Rules of Procedure requires the provincial budget to be presented by the finance minister or another minister who has been assigned his portfolio.

According to the rules of the Punjab Assembly, the residual powers of any unfilled portfolios in the provincial cabinet are transferred to the chief minister until a new minister is appointed. Shahbaz currently holds 20 portfolios himself, having failed to appoint cabinet ministers after kicking out the PPP from the ruling coalition.

Sources said that PML-N members have suggested that the “additional portfolio” for the finance ministry be given to Education and Excise Minister Mujtaba Shuja Rehman in order to avoid Michael presenting the budget. A final decision on the matter is expected to be taken at a party meeting on Tuesday (today).

Since the chief minister technically occupies the powers of finance minister, he could present the budget himself, without having to assign the portfolio to any other cabinet member.

Punjab Government spokesman Senator Pervaiz Rashid told The Express Tribune that Rehman is most likely to present the Punjab budget for fiscal year 2012.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 7th, 2011.

Facebook Conversations

Reader Comments (126)

  • Simple
    Jun 7, 2011 - 7:46AM

    Just as Yusuf Khan changed his name to Dilip Kumar, this guy can change his name to Kamran Mikaeel without even bothering to change his faith.Recommend

  • faraz
    Jun 7, 2011 - 8:12AM

    What a shame!Recommend

  • indian guy
    Jun 7, 2011 - 8:36AM

    Any doubts why Pakistan is heading towards 6th century tolerance ?Recommend

  • Manoj
    Jun 7, 2011 - 8:37AM

    Given a chance all these legislators will choose for the citizenship of USA. But in their own country they or their voter can not accept a Christen Minister.

    It really shows, how pathetic is Pakistan’s education system. Recommend

  • Thinking
    Jun 7, 2011 - 8:44AM

    Can you imagine the same headline in India or USA or the UK? “Labor Party” / “Democrats” / “Congress” complain that a Muslim legislator cannot present the budget because of his religion.

    This is just awful. Wake up Pakistan before you find yourselves on the receiving end of some brainwashed terrorist. Recommend

  • crime master gogo
    Jun 7, 2011 - 8:50AM

    racists!!!!!!!!!! rn’t christians Pakistanis????Recommend

  • shahida kazi
    Jun 7, 2011 - 8:53AM

    Should we laugh or should we cry?To think that things have come to such a pass in this country.I think the only solution is a persons religion should not be mentioned in any official record.It should be a purely personal matter.Recommend

  • Hafeez.Indian
    Jun 7, 2011 - 9:02AM

    It is very bad. Why are you bringing religion here? Indian defence minister is A.K. Antony is Christian, but we never thought of his religion.

    You want money, aid, business from Christian countries but won’t rely on Christian. Not acceptable.

    If things goes like this, Allah also will not save Pakistan.Recommend

  • M Haider
    Jun 7, 2011 - 9:06AM

    Every citizen of this country, be he or she of any religious belief, has an equal claim to it, and its legislature. The PML-N needs to decide what sort of message it wants to send to the world community, and show that they are capable of rising above the petty mindset of some of their supporters. Condoning such bigotry and intolerance will only confirm the worst impressions about Pakistanis in general and the PML-N in specific that the world already harbors. Recommend

  • Jun 7, 2011 - 9:06AM

    Banker servants can present so why cant another gentile.Recommend

  • AAB
    Jun 7, 2011 - 9:25AM

    This is such a shameful and sad news for the people of Punjab in general and as a Pakistani, in particular!

    These absconders, sitting in the assemblies, need to create harmony and peace by letting Mr. Michael present the budget. I strongly resent this foolish and absurd thought of such ignorant people, aka ministers! SAD!!!Recommend

  • Faraz
    Jun 7, 2011 - 9:45AM

    Typical narrow minded mentatality which shows why these people can never be a national level party. Recommend

  • Omar Haroon
    Jun 7, 2011 - 9:49AM

    This is downright disgraceful! Who cares if you mistreat other minorities so long as you get your votes. Recommend

  • Anthony Permal
    Jun 7, 2011 - 9:52AM

    Wow. Just…wow.

    ‘Freedom’ my backside! Thanks, Pakistan, for once again maligning us minorities. I hate that word now, ‘minorities’. It no longer stands for ‘limited numbered community’, but for ‘hey, lets oppress these guys and make sure they don’t get any rights’. Recommend

  • Noble Tufail
    Jun 7, 2011 - 9:55AM

    It takes lot of courage to face the hate and rejection my dear countrymen!!Recommend

  • Yasin Ali
    Jun 7, 2011 - 10:19AM

    Heights of nonsense in an Assembly business. They simply cant see the more brighter and positive side of Michael presenting the budget rather they are involve in same old politics which have polarized our society . I hope PML-N dont makes a mockery of themselves as the last thing which one will want to see that Assembly is divided due to Religion … come on .. we are Pakistani and all of us deserves same preference .Recommend

  • Hassan K Bajwa
    Jun 7, 2011 - 10:31AM

    What i find incredible is the fact that pakistani muslims waste no time crying “discrimination” when internal policies of western and eastern nations rub against the grain of their “culture” and “religion”, yet they refuse to acknowledge that discrimination in their home country is not only socially rampant, but in fact institutionalized by our constitution.

    I find it patently disgusting that the PML-N panders to the right-wing religious hate-lobby by discriminating against one of their own party members on account of his religious affiliation.

    I find it disgusting that we as a people claim the right to “religious freedom and equality” in other nations even as we deny our own citizens the same.

    Personally i don’t think Kamran Michael is any less of a crook than the rest of the political class of pakistan. He is no more a saint (or sinner) than anybody in the PML-N. Yet as is the wont of our bigoted and hypocritical “defenders-of-the-faith”, they have no objection to the corruption, misuse of power and criminality that is the defining characteristic of all politicos in Pakistan. After all, being a criminal is no ground for disqualification from presenting the budget.. being a NON-MUSLIM criminal however is completely unacceptable.

    No words can convey the shame such blatant disregard of human decency brings to me and my nation.Recommend

  • muhammad usman irfan
    Jun 7, 2011 - 10:33AM

    This is most disgusting.The pml-n is held hostage to the islamic fascists in punjab.They can’t alienate the population the majority of which can’t sadly accept a non-muslim in any position of power.Tv anchors & media in general have got to start a campaign to change this disgusting mentality present in our country especially in the small towns and villages.

    we have got to stop associating a person’s character with his/her religion.Just by being a muslim doesn’t make me automatically a ‘good’ person just like being born a hindu,christian or ahmadi doesn’t automaticall make me a ‘bad’ person.This sickening mindset of ‘musalman to paak saaf hotay hain’ has to end.We’ve all seen muslim paedophiles,gang rapists,terrorists,cheaters,fraudsters etc.

    Good and bad people exist everywhere,one’s religion or lack of any religion doesn’t make a difference,some of the most honest,hardworking people i’ve met in life were athiests and ex-muslims.Recommend

  • sarmad akhtar
    Jun 7, 2011 - 10:38AM

    he should be allowed to present the budget and why hasn’t any of the tv channels raised this issue? public pressure should be built on the punjab govt. to let michael present the budget.what sort of depraved society are we that we think that a non-muslim is not worthy enough of presenting the budget.This country was built for people of all religions,jinnah said so himself,just because we’ve driven out all but 3% of the non-muslims from our country doesn’t mean that it’s a country exclusively for muslims.

    This article must be shared as much as possible on facebook,twitter,+1 etc. to raise awareness of the depths to which our society has fallen.If a muslim had not been allowed to present the budget in america or england all our anchors,columnists,mazhabi jamatein would have been up in arms saying look how the poor muslims are being discriminated against by the yahood o nassara.Why no protests now?Recommend

  • sarmad akhtar
    Jun 7, 2011 - 10:48AM

    mosques and madrassas are responsible primarily for the spread of the kind of perverted mentality that prevents a non-muslim from presenting the budget.I have heard the most vile and disgustingly misogynistic things being preached in the friday khutbas.Why aren’t khutbas and madrassas regulated by the govt.?
    madrassas and what is taught there to the children has to be approved by the govt. so that madrassas stop producing more & more terrorists.A strict crackdown is needed on the religious fascists in our country as they’ve already destroyed too much of our peace & image in the world.

    we have to stand up to the burka & beard brigade before they completely ruin this country.Recommend

  • zeeshan imran
    Jun 7, 2011 - 10:51AM

    what shameful hypocrisy!! if the americans would have done the same thing to a muslim legislator in america ,the beards would have been out on the streets demanding the blood of the “infidels”.

    Our islamic fascists should answer why is a crime only a crime when the victim is a muslim?Recommend

  • Rashid Khan
    Jun 7, 2011 - 11:11AM

    This is a new angle to discrimination practised in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. When the Punjab Assembly voted for an independent Pakistan, there was a christian speaker presiding. He honoured and supported the idea of an independent Pakistan by voting in favour and by collecting his ballot rather than waiting for it to be brought to him, a privilage bestowed on the speaker at the time ( I would’nt know whether the tradition is in vogue now).

    Why was a christian vote for Pakistan not refused at the time? It would have been a very useful indictor of the treatment this community would face in the coming years.

    Where were these patriotic Islamic Pakistanis at the time? Probably planning their forays to plunder and loot those migrating to India.Recommend

  • Christopher Robert
    Jun 7, 2011 - 11:25AM

    We the Pakistanis never miss any chance to let the whole world know that we are the most Discriminatory nation. We hate people, we kill people and we mistreat people on the basis of their faith. The Province of Punjab has led the religious discrimation specially towards christians. Most of the Blasphemy cases has taken place in the Pubjab Province, most of the christians killed in the name of blesphemy laws in Punjab. The Pubjab Government specially Mr.Shahbaz Sharif has totally failed to protect the lives and properties of Christians and now it is the turn of his own Party Christian MPA to face the religious discrimination by the socalled people’s representatives. The international community has still not come out of the shock of innocent killings of Salman Taseer, ex-governor Pubjab and Shahbaz Bhatti, a welknown christian leader in the name of religion. Both great men were murdered because of objecting the unjust laws made by the most devillish person Pakistan ever had Zia-ul-Haq. Mr.Shahbaz Sharif, Chief Minister Punjab and all MPAs PML (N) dont behave like animals living in jungle who does not have any sense. We are living in the modern world where people of all faiths are living togehter and contributing towards the prosperity and progress of their respective countries. Your stupid behaviours and actions are not bring any good name to our dear Country Pakistan instead the whole world is laughing at us teat us as the most horrifying people in the world to live with. For God’s sake stop this nonsense and we all are Pakistanis first than muslims, christians, hindus etc. A person of good character, capable and worth be promoted and broght infront rather than the corrupt, bad character and rubbish one. Believe in capability and not faith. Recommend

  • Javed X
    Jun 7, 2011 - 11:28AM

    do these people understand what rights of a citizen means? PML-N is has lost all credibility to be affiliated with PML brand. This was the party of MA Jinnah – the most pluralistic of them all. Recommend

  • AA Choudhary
    Jun 7, 2011 - 11:36AM

    Did the Christians make a mistake in joining Pakistan? Were the Sikhs smart in rejecting inclusion in Pakistan? Did the Ahmadis bring upon themselves the punishment by working for Pakistan? Now what about the Kashmiris? Would the decision of minorities and the consequent events in Pakistan help the Kashmiris make a wise choice? The only people who called Pakistan the land of impure, and called Mr Jinnah a Kafir are enjoying the fruit of Pakistan and those who made sacrifices for Pakistan are getting he boot. Good luck, Pakistanis.Recommend

  • Naveed Javed
    Jun 7, 2011 - 11:37AM

    This is how these fanatics insulting the humanity! Awful Really :(Recommend

  • Khalid Rahim
    Jun 7, 2011 - 12:00PM

    Could these guys tell us when God send the archangel to convey His message to them?
    To prevent the follwer of Isah ilahi salaam from presenting the budget speech in the Punjab
    Assembly. I bet these divine muslims would not have objected if leader of Akali Dal had presented the same budget.Recommend

  • Feroz
    Jun 7, 2011 - 12:08PM

    Have the Islamic terrorists and their supporters now entered the provincial and national Assembly ? Does the constitution not allow for a Minister from the minority community ? Is the Judiciary sleeping when Rome is burning ?Recommend

  • Sanjeev
    Jun 7, 2011 - 12:27PM

    Hence the term Punjabi Taliban :)Recommend

  • Aslam Sher Khan
    Jun 7, 2011 - 12:29PM

    Bigotry and injustice, thy name is Pakistan. How are we different from what Nazis did to the Jews?Recommend

  • Tayyab
    Jun 7, 2011 - 12:53PM

    What crap!! Recommend

  • Jun 7, 2011 - 12:56PM

    Well, thats disgusting. This shows what is the mentality of a typical Pakistani by showing such a conservative approach towards minorities. Quaid e Azam, the founder of Pakistan has given us equal rights to live in this country;these illiterates, so called ministers or any other common person can NOT snatch these rights away from us.

    Are these ministers greater than him? Certainly NOT, doing these little disgusting things they show the world what a conservative mentality they have got. SHAME ON OUR ASSEMBLY MEMBERS AND LEADERS WHO EAT CHRISTIAN AID FROM USA AND PERSECUTE CHRISTIANS IN THEIR OWN COUNTRY!!!Recommend

  • Sheheryar
    Jun 7, 2011 - 1:10PM

    I haven’t heard this news before. ET folks, please raise your journalistic integrity. Just making stories and stuff for tainting purposes. Is it going to be a reposte slap if Mr Michael presented the budget for the following fiscal year?Recommend

  • T R Khan
    Jun 7, 2011 - 1:19PM

    Muslims should remember that Hazrat Umar (ra), asked his Governor in Syria to recruit a Greek Christian who could put the accounts of their revenues in order. He also appointed a Christian to head his administration.Recommend

  • Sonam Shyam
    Jun 7, 2011 - 1:32PM

    Well folks, the problem is that when a country proclaims an official religion, then the first casualty is “Secularism”. The other communities in such a country automatically become second class citizens who are discriminated against in every sphere. Sorry to say, but most Islamic countries are not secular and minorities are ill treated right from Saudi Arabia to Pakistan. But what really intrigues me a lot is that how Pakistan could really treat its minorities so badly?. After all Pakistanis were Indians till 64 years ago and its unbelievable that large sections of Pakistani society could get so terribly bigoted. Tolerance and respect of every religion was the hall mark of South Asia since times immemorial but the slide towards fundamentalism has been unbelievably fast in Pakistan. In Pakistan, the distortion and negation of tolerant culture of south Asia has created the present mess wherein a rather innocuous activity of presenting a budget is held hostage by communal politicians. Its disgraceful to say the least. Recommend

  • Omar Yousaf
    Jun 7, 2011 - 1:45PM

    Its so ironic and sad. The basis of Pakistan’s independence was to save muslim minority from persecution of a non-muslim majority and now we have become the devil ourselves persecuting our own minorities.

    Its so right that “we learn from history that we dont learn from history”Recommend

  • Masood
    Jun 7, 2011 - 1:48PM

    This is non sense,what a shame.. discrimination is base of feudal system,I strongly condemn and all of us should condemn categorically !!!Recommend

  • Dragon
    Jun 7, 2011 - 2:17PM

    @indian guy:
    this used to happened before 6th century. Muhammad PBUH gave much rights to the minorities where such things hardly any mattered. Recommend

  • Asmat Jamal
    Jun 7, 2011 - 2:20PM

    There is no constitutional bar on Mr Michael presenting a budget. He is an equal citizen of Pakistan. Such an act of a political Party can lead to its disqualification on charges of breaking the constitutional Law. Micheal would not have faced such an ignominy even if he had joined a religious party.
    Such acts tarnish the name of country and speaks volumes about the statehood. PML N should apologize for its unconstitutional Act.Recommend

  • Ahmed
    Jun 7, 2011 - 2:46PM

    @Anthony Permal:

    What a shame! I apologize on my personal behalf for all the mistreatment meted out to your community my friend. The problem is that the most i can do is apologize on my own behalf and thats it; none of us and that most probably includes you (certainly includes me) is willing to do anything to stop even a single bad thing happening in Pakistan,

    Please remember just for the sake of a little consolation that there are many other Pakistanis who are disgusted just like you are with this kind of behaviour. And its not only minority rights, its everything in Pakistan that slipping down.Recommend

  • Jun 7, 2011 - 2:47PM

    Oh God!, We have selected these people to represent us and decide our future.

    Why there is so fuss in America for biased behavior with Muslims?
    Why the “Ban on Burqa” in France was taken as racism against Muslims.

    When we being the “ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF PAKISTAN” are not allowing other religions to breathe in our country, Why do we object and demand equal rights for Muslims in other countries?

    Read the lines {PML (N) fear losing votes amongst some of their conservative, right-wing vote bank} who to blame here the politicians or the underlying voters. To me both form a sick/conservative part of Pakistanis extremist ideology.

    These Christians, Hindus, Sikhs and other minorities contribute to the GDP equally, pay taxes and have all the rights a Muslim Pakistani has. So why this discrimination?

    Read the lines {Shahbaz currently holds 20 portfolios himself}- Why just 20, Don’t we have other ministries to gift to the honorable Chief Minister?


  • Jun 7, 2011 - 3:11PM

    Well done PML-N, remind the world your fundo/right-wing originsRecommend

  • antony
    Jun 7, 2011 - 3:44PM

    Would you do the same thing if indian kashmir is given to you in platter where minority hindu pandits and few christians,buddists live ? . you cant say no first and yes later similar to kasab was not pakistani to later yes pakistani.Recommend

  • Nafat
    Jun 7, 2011 - 4:06PM

    That is the sign of Good governess the ruling party in Punjab shown that they are not accept minorities as Pakistani (the slogan of Pakistan Muslim League is”Muslam hi too Muslim League ma aa”)
    So they proved that Christians and other minorities in Pakistan are not Pakistani. We ask this question to Chief Justice of Pakistan that he should declare us who we are?

    That Assembly Educated assembly declare that this is the hepoctatic attitude with minorities and they like dictatorship because this educated brand brought by Parvaiz Musharaf.(well done mush)Recommend

  • R.U.Khan
    Jun 7, 2011 - 4:07PM

    It gets clear now that the PML N was behind inciting Mumtaz Qadri, otherwise a security personal can never ever dare to murder his Boss…
    On the other hand we also know that Elite Force was made by Shahbaz Sharif and providing security to the Governor was the responsibility of the Punjab Govt….Recommend

  • Jai Sriram
    Jun 7, 2011 - 4:16PM

    When the presumably more enlightened minds drafting the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan saw nothing wrong in legally permitting religious discrimination of Non-Muslims this incident of religious discrimination was inevitable.

    The piece of religious discrimination I am referring to deals with the Islamic Republic of Pakistan having a Constitution that legally enshrines religious discrimination amongst other ways by prohibiting Non Muslims from holding the office of the President (Refer Part III Chapter 1, Clause 43 (2) of the Constitution at the below link)

  • Ishtiaq Ahmed
    Jun 7, 2011 - 4:17PM

    Very very disgusting. How on earth can we discriminate to this extent. Forget what Jinnah said on 11th August 1947, has even the basic sense of fairness gone from us? Can a Christian, Hindu or Sikh Pakistani never aspire to any position because he is not a Muslim. Sadly the foundations of this attitude lies in the very structure of the social contract that this country has with its’ citizens — the constitution of Pakistan which declares Pakistan an Islamic Republic. It is the people who have religions, not the land but in Pakistan the state has a religion. It can never be fair to all its’ citizens regardless of their religious affiliations. Our country is beset with religious and sectarian strife besides the terrorism. We must restructure in order to bring peace and harmony to our country and give fair chance and opportunity to all its citizens, regardless one is Micheal or Mohammad.Recommend

  • vasan
    Jun 7, 2011 - 4:31PM

    You put this news and the news of release of 70 accused in the Gojra christians murder case together. You will know why Pakistan is a hole in the hell. Recommend

  • Hedgefunder
    Jun 7, 2011 - 5:48PM

    So its ok to accept christian’s Money, Aid and Arms too, but not their community!!!!!
    What bunch of double standards and hypocrates these people are!!!!!
    Wonder what Jinnah would have thought of this shameless people???Recommend

  • Malik
    Jun 7, 2011 - 6:08PM

    If this is not an example of treating him like an achoot then what is?Recommend

  • Jun 7, 2011 - 6:24PM

    We should remember that Hazrat Umar (ra), asked his Governor in Syria to recruit a Greek Christian who could put the accounts of their revenues in order. He also appointed a Christian to head his administration……………..,beside Christians are Ahl-e-Kitab.

    ……..Sigh ………. a country whose first national anthem was written by Jagnathan Azad …a Lahori Hindu ,….whose Chief Justice was once Justice Corneleous ……has gone to Dogs…..Recommend

  • Ehsan
    Jun 7, 2011 - 6:32PM

    Pakistan majoritt would riot if something like this happens in western world.
    The most of developed country not only give asylum to muslims ,,but also give then equal rights.
    The same muslims in those country .e.g uk,france,germany and usa soon start creating chaos,by enforcing will to have sharia,creating extremism in society which makes chrisitans and other community wary of islam…I would surely agree that there is inherent change required in the religion book of islam which is the only way,people of all muslims nations can learn to become tolerant..

    we have become minority in a country where we chose.some day ago, a maulana was talking about banning bible.Last year we faced gojra.This year we have been seeing gojra kind of situation in every city where our sisters get kidnapped,forced to convert to islam and police,law and order only support the tyrants
    My 75 % of family members have migrated to west and i would have no option to depart .Sadly ,we do get enough asylum from western country.
    Its biggest probelm in muslim world that they cant accept minority ( forget empowering rights and equal citizenship).

    The author should write the hardships we chrisitans face in this nation regularly.Recommend

  • Rev. Dr. Samuel Titus
    Jun 7, 2011 - 8:22PM

    We always said that we belong to Pakistan and we are proud of our country–Pakistan, We always told the world that we are living very happily in this country, We always pray for it in every Service of our Churches But Now this has been written on the wall that soon the time will come when the Muslims of Pakistan demanded from us that Christians should accept Islam if they want to live in Pakistan. The work has been started by my friends who demanded to ban the Bible, and now this discrimination by P.M.L(N). How can we say to our young generation that this country belongs to us? I request the Chief-Justice of Pakistan with heavy heart to give the order to expel all the Christians from Pakistan so We, Christians can at least know that this country belongs to Muslims only. This country do not belong to us.What a country??? Recommend

  • Bishop Dr. Ijaz Inayat
    Jun 7, 2011 - 8:23PM

    Isn’t it a mockery of “equal rights” by the claimers of “equal rights for minorities in Pakistan.” Recommend

  • Javed
    Jun 7, 2011 - 10:16PM

    @Feroz: Judiciary is not fiddling while Rome burns. Unfortunately it is itself burning Rome by releasing the Terrorists on flimsy excuses. When its comes to terrorists and minorities the Chief Justice invariably and conveniently runs out of Suo Motos. Recommend

  • Jun 7, 2011 - 10:19PM

    It is confirmed once again now that there is a need in Pakistan to create a separate state exclusively for the minorities. There is no sympathy for Pakistan from the world countries because of religious fanatical minds. Recommend

  • Uzair Latif
    Jun 7, 2011 - 11:18PM

    I don’t know if anyone mentioned this or not, but Kamran Michael is an MPA from the PMLN…the very same party that is refusing to let him present the budget!!! what kind of standards does the N-league have? It remains confusing and blundering on its party line….apparently, its ok to have Christian political support for your party, even to the extent of having a Christian in the Punjab Assembly, but suddenly when it comes to the budget, its a no-go??? And what is so incredibly important about letting a Christian present the budget? What’s the big deal? Recommend

  • ER (Christian)
    Jun 7, 2011 - 11:56PM

    This makes me very sad.Recommend

  • Shock Horror
    Jun 8, 2011 - 1:25AM

    @indian guy:
    No, you are too optimistic. Pakistan is heading to pre-stone age!Recommend

  • JM
    Jun 8, 2011 - 1:27AM

    I think it was great mistake of Quaid-e-Azam, that he appointed first law minister a Hindu, Jogandar Noth Mondal to make a secular constitution by giving his opinion and overview to constitutional assembly on 11th August 1947 ,Quaid should rather had requested to Mulana Mudoodi for that and had forgiven about his mistakenly uttered remarks like “Kafarstan and Kafr-e-Azam”.And had ordered him to made an Islamic state with no rights of living or coming of a non-muslims on this pure land as all bad things like, corruption,unjustice,adultary,crimes,kidnapping,rapings,killings,suiciding bomb blasts, are done and conspiracized by non muslims are due to the presence of them? Recommend

  • Shock Horror
    Jun 8, 2011 - 1:32AM

    So you are telling us about the rights enjoyed by Ahmadis, Christians, Hindus and Sikhs in Pakistan. You clearly live in cloud cuckoo land!Recommend

  • Shock Horror
    Jun 8, 2011 - 1:39AM

    Indians do not treat achoots in this bad manner, if that was your intention. One of the so called achoots is the Chief Minister of the largest Indian state of Uttar Pardesh! Does Pakistan have a similar example?Recommend

  • Leila Rage
    Jun 8, 2011 - 2:03AM

    It is preposterous that the PML-N are objecting to the presentation of the provincial budget by a Christian. Why should a Christian not present the budget? His faith does not make him any less Pakistani than the Muslim majority. As a citizen of Pakistan, he has every right to present the budget in the cabinet, with out changing his faith or his name for the sake of some bigots. If the PML-N object to him being Christian, they should remember that Allah does not allow discrimination and bias in Islam. As Muslims we should recognise that other faiths come from Allah too. Is it not a stipulation that as a Muslim one must recognise the followers of Moses, Abraham, Jesus Christ and all the other prophets? How, then, can any one take such an objection seriously? Recommend

  • Quratulain Dar
    Jun 8, 2011 - 2:24AM

    @Anthony Permal:

    I really wish i could do something to finish that discrimination – I apologize to you on behalf of every Pakistani Muslim. We are extremely sorry for everything. We really are. Recommend

  • DumbGuy
    Jun 8, 2011 - 2:27AM

    During my school days, I never understood Why Nehru and Patel were pushing the muslim league so much. Now it makes sense, I feel sorry for a grate leader like M A Jinnah for failing sense that his “land of pure” will be hijacted by mullas, zamindars and other rich and powerfull in the name of Islam. I just can not belive that a grate lawyer failed to analyze at the faces of future leaders around him.
    The fundamental problem of pakistan seems to be slavery in all possible terms.
    Economically the massess are slaves of rich and zamindars, Politically massess are slaves of Islam. rationally they are slaves of emotions and hatred.
    Masses are being made poor, uneducated and brainwashed by every passing day that they will have no strength left in them to fight back.
    God is so cruel, he snatched the future of poor masses from the hands of Subhas Bose and kept in the hands of Nehru and Jinnah.
    Unless the masses get united, there is no fucture for the “land of pure”.Recommend

  • Quratulain Dar
    Jun 8, 2011 - 2:28AM

    I want to apologize on behalf of every Pakistani, we are sorry for this behavior. I know its not going to help, but i wish we could ease the pain somehow. Recommend

  • DumbGuy
    Jun 8, 2011 - 2:32AM

    Where did my comments go?Recommend

  • DumbGuy
    Jun 8, 2011 - 2:42AM

    God is cruel, he snatched the future of subcontinent from the hands of Subhas Bose and put it in the hands of racists like Gandhi Nehru and Jinnah. Recommend

  • Junaid A Khan
    Jun 8, 2011 - 2:44AM

    what a shame to belong to pakistan where racism is rampant to its extreme. DISGRACERecommend

  • maestro
    Jun 8, 2011 - 2:50AM

    PML-N should be disbanded and all the “Sharifs” should have been left in Saudi where they belong. Illiterate rich bedouins! Pakistans flag has a white stripe for other religious minorities. If any Christian or Hindu or whomever else wins their position, its their right!!!! _PML-N is nothing but Taliban in disguise ruining this country…..Who made Nawaz “Sharif” the CM of Punjab – the biggest dictator traitor Zia – and now he is railing against the military and minority population of Pak from his multi million mansion in Raiwind. Go back to Saudi! Recommend

  • Vicram Singh
    Jun 8, 2011 - 2:52AM

    @AA Choudhary: ” Were the Sikhs smart in rejecting inclusion in Pakistan? ”

    You bet !! Recommend

  • Kerry R Jennings
    Jun 8, 2011 - 3:41AM

    ??? Is every one insane in paki ???? Please have to know have to decide if you people over there are still part of the human race or you need to be exterminated for the good of mankind ??? please Recommend

  • Sajid Narwani
    Jun 8, 2011 - 4:18AM

    I think it is high time all Christians, Ahmadis, Hindus, Sikhs, Parsis, Hazaras and Shias leave Pakistan. Hundreds of Ahmadis have applied for refugee status and were released in Thailand yesterday. Their life is in danger in Pakistan. India should allow all Parsis, Sikhs, Hindus and Christians. In exchange allow willing Sunni Muslims to move to Pakistan. Many have family members in Pakistan and would be more than happy to move to the “Pure land”. Minorities form a tiny percentage in Pakistan, that moving them out of Pakistan would not be much of a problem.Recommend

  • Sajid Narwani
    Jun 8, 2011 - 4:19AM

    India should also take Aga Khanis (Ismailis) and Bohra and Memon community. They can integrate well in Gujarat, India.Recommend

  • Sajid Narwani
    Jun 8, 2011 - 4:23AM

    Most of the Christians in Pakistan are former Hindus. Many were low caste Hindus converted to Christianity. Some are Goan Christians in Karachi. India should accept these Christians.Recommend

  • Rashid Khan
    Jun 8, 2011 - 4:23AM

    Kamran Michael is partially to blame for this situation. Why did he accept a portfolio which would subject him to treatment worse than a rubber stamp? He was forbidden from even contacting the finance secretary and the chairman planning and development, yet he accepts this unoffical appointment- why? Is it to win favour from the CM or is the later window displaying his false his sense of fairplay and equality?
    The Christain leadership cannot be exonerated for the continuous discrimination towards their community. They crave offices and perks to lord over their own but fail to stand up for the own dignity and respect due themselves at such forums. This spinelessness attitude of the Christian leadership encourages further discrimination and neglect towards their community.Recommend

  • Syed
    Jun 8, 2011 - 4:49AM

    @Malik: Jahil nation.Recommend

  • john
    Jun 8, 2011 - 5:54AM

    PML (N) must allow Mr Kamran to present the Budget, if they can not able to do then they must cancel all their relations with Christian Countries and Refuse to accept the Christian Aid .Recommend

  • mohammed
    Jun 8, 2011 - 7:07AM


  • xohaib
    Jun 8, 2011 - 7:41AM

    I really want to say the christian brothers that please dont take this discrimination as the nations wish , we the public really love you guys and dont have any thing like that.Pml N guys are mooron. They claim to be muslims ,still they are discriminating on the basis of creed . Thats really bad .
    I am not gona vote PML N this time .Please you all think about it aswell.


  • Ravi Shastry
    Jun 8, 2011 - 7:51AM

    Land of ultra pure! Wow! But why does Nawaz rush to UK whenever he gets a health scare? Aren’t those hospitals run by not so pure?! Don’t these people look at themselves on mirror at least?Recommend

  • BruteForce
    Jun 8, 2011 - 8:08AM

    Look at the terrible irony!

    Pakistan was created supposedly to shelter the Minorities of India. But, while in India the very people are thriving, given Constitutional protection and guarantees and reservations, they are Constitutionally discriminated in Pakistan.

    I can only say the hateful ideology of Pakistan has come back to haunt it. What a shame.Recommend

  • Khaliullah
    Jun 8, 2011 - 9:40AM

    @Sajid Narwani:
    India is every ready to accept all Hindus ,christians and Sikhs from Pakistan but will pakistan accept all muslims from IndiaRecommend

  • Usman
    Jun 8, 2011 - 10:36AM

    Articles is totally coped from Crhistian monitor

    written by Asher John without giving any reference ..Recommend

  • Nafat
    Jun 8, 2011 - 12:13PM

    We are showing to the world that Muslims has not place for any minorities in our country.They also convey massege to the world that muslims in Pakistan are not accept other religeon as human.Recommend

  • Tony SIngh
    Jun 8, 2011 - 12:29PM

    @Sajid Narwani:
    And what were your forefathers? In all probabality high caste Hindus?Recommend

  • Feroz
    Jun 8, 2011 - 12:29PM

    Why on earth will Indian Muslims want to migrate to Pakistan, have they lost their marbles. They have no interest in having others tell them what is Islam, or what they should do and how they should behave. They chose to reside in India because of their belief that Religion is a private matter, not for the State to interfere. Also they value pluralism and diversity beside having the confidence they can compete with all on merit. Please avoid such fanciful thoughts. Indian Muslims are too smart to fall for sloganeering and propaganda. Today India is the only secular state that gives its muslim citizens subsidy to travel for Haj, same is not available to Hindus, Christians, Sikhs or any other denominations for any pilgrimage. Recommend

  • Rakib
    Jun 8, 2011 - 1:13PM

    Some of the comments are very sincere but there seems to be an over-reaction too. The story of a minister being denied because he is a Christian is just a surmise of journalists based on their ‘sources”. It is yet to be established. One should go only by the proper procedure. The Rule says only a Minister to whom the Ministry is assigned can present the budget. The Minister in question has not been assigned the ministry even if he is holding charge. In such an event it is the responsibility of CM to present the budget. The man being a Christian should not prevent him nor should it facilitate him. Recommend

    Jun 8, 2011 - 1:18PM

    It is really sad to find such barbaric thinking in this century which bars non-muslims from equal citizenship rights.If this can happen to a prominent person the rot is deep.However I find it amazing that even in such a situation there are Pakistanis who are courageously fighting and fearlessly expressing their opposition to such jihadi views.These are the real wariors and I salute them.I wish Pakistan to come out of darkness and truly shine in the world.Recommend

  • mind control
    Jun 8, 2011 - 2:03PM

    OK, All those who are surprised please raise your hands.

    Look Maa No Hands. Does that sum up the situation. I guess it does.Recommend

  • SS
    Jun 8, 2011 - 2:04PM

    I don’t think the Sharif brothers are personally that fundamentalist. But they are just too much of a coward to take a clear stand against such exteremism amongst their voters. After the attack on Ahmedi mosque in Lahore, Nawaz Sharif initially said that Ahmedis are our brothers too … but had to bite his tongue when the backlash from his right-wing supporters hit him. Sad times for a country that had Hindus and Christians serving as Chief Justice on 3 occasions and whose war heroes include christians like Cecil Choudhry…Recommend

  • Sumbel Daniel
    Jun 8, 2011 - 3:45PM

    From a sanitation worker to a Minister ,everyone is the victim of religious discrimination.
    Jinnah said “You may belong to any religion, caste or creed – that has nothing to do with the business of the State … We are starting with this fundamental principle, that we are all citizens and citizens of one state.”
    Sadly ,Jinnah’s Pakistan and ideology died with Mr. Jinnah.Pakistan came into existence for minority of that time that was suffering at the hands of majority,and when they became majority they forgot to treat minority in somewhat better way….rather started taking a revenge from us .
    Now the country is in the hands of hypocrites,the only good man Jinnah has gone,and so our hopes…
    Our minister ,the defender of minority rights Shahbaz bhatti was martyred ,and now the govt. wants to devolve the minister of minority seat from the cabinet cuz these racist ppl want to eliminate the minority treating it as an impurity in the land of pure…..
    And minority realizes the intensity of their forefathers mistake of becoming a part of Pakistan” a country run by hypocrite leaders,who force us to think that if the minority in govt. is treated with discrimination ,when the govt. fails to showcase religious harmony ……Then what the life a common man from minority can be…Recommend

  • Sumbel Daniel
    Jun 8, 2011 - 3:46PM

    From a sanitation worker to a Minister ,everyone is the victim of religious discrimination.
    Jinnah said “You may belong to any religion, caste or creed – that has nothing to do with the business of the State … We are starting with this fundamental principle, that we are all citizens and citizens of one state.”
    Sadly ,Jinnah’s Pakistan and ideology died with Mr. Jinnah.Pakistan came into existence for minority of that time that was suffering at the hands of majority,and when they became majority they forgot to treat minority in somewhat better way….rather started taking a revenge from us .
    Now the country is in the hands of hypocrites,the only good man Jinnah has gone,and so our hopes…
    Our minister ,the defender of minority rights Shahbaz bhatti was martyred ,and now the govt. wants to devolve the minister of minority seat from the cabinet cuz these racist ppl want to eliminate the minority treating it as an impurity in the land of pure…..
    And minority realizes the intensity of their forefathers mistake of becoming a part of Pakistan” a country run by hypocrite leaders,who force us to think that if the minority in govt. is treated with discrimination ,when the govt. fails to showcase religious harmony ……Then what the life a common man from minority can be…Recommend

  • MAS
    Jun 8, 2011 - 4:17PM

    This reporter seems to be working to create rift between Muslims and Christians. The reporter should know that Kamran Michael was only assigned the duty to deal with assembly business relating to Finance and Planning & Development Departments during the assembly session, while the Chief Minister Punjab had assigned the additional charge of the Finance Department to Provincial Minister Mian Mujtaba Shuja-ur-Rehman. This reporter’s story captioned “In Punjab, a Christian can’t present the provincial budget,” is totally prejudicial, mala-fide and aimed at provoking hatred among different communities. The reporter has failed to give any proof to prove that Provincial Minister Kamran Michael was ever forbidden from contacting Chairman Planning & Development Department or Finance Secretary Punjab. Tribune should refrain from dividing the nation on religious grounds as all Pakistanis are equal citizens under the Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan, 1973. It seems Tribune is working on US agenda to weaken it from within.Recommend

  • Cautious
    Jun 8, 2011 - 4:42PM

    Why the surprise? In case you haven’t noticed it Pakistan doesn’t have the greatest reputation when it comes to how you treat minorities – it’s part of that xenophobia thing that Pakistan is known for. If you don’t believe me then take a moment and ask any Christian, Hindu, Ahmadi etc.Recommend

  • azeem mohammed
    Jun 8, 2011 - 7:06PM

    sajid narwani….i am a indian muslim…and love my country and proud to be a indian.. do u think indian muslims will migrate to pakistan…? after seeing the fate and future of the pakistan..i dont think any body will even think except some jehaadi minds…Recommend

  • Hedgefunder
    Jun 8, 2011 - 7:09PM

    The reporter nor tribune is working on any agenda, io am sure of that, one only has to view this Nation from outside to see the level of discrimination against any minority community in Pakistan, ragrdless of what the Constitution says, because the people acting on behalf of the state and the Constitution are abusing the Laws to neglect their duties, in taking care of these people!!!
    Wake Up ! and see what is happening to these Minority Communities in your Country! Don’t plead Ignorance or denial games !! These people also do have rights to exist !!
    How would you feel if the western world treated the Muslims in this fashion????
    Because rest assure we do not treat them in the manner your country treats them!! Otherwise there would never have been a Mosque in UK!!! Period!! Recommend

  • Ishtiaq Ahmed
    Jun 8, 2011 - 9:42PM

    The above statement is not mine. What is happening? I did send another comment which has not appeared yet. I wonder why?Recommend

  • Hedgefunder
    Jun 8, 2011 - 9:51PM

    Hello John, how are you? Hope you are well ! Et decided to stop for likes of me commenting for while,hence we have not been able to have any rapport of late.
    I sincerely hope that the mods actually acknowledge and allow this msg to you.
    This article really tells the true story of what Pakistan is today!!!
    How can they complain of racism, in rest of the world ! when its so blatant in their own office!!!!Recommend

  • Hedgefunder
    Jun 8, 2011 - 9:56PM

    @Sajid Narwani:
    India will never refuse these communities ! As they already have been intergal part of various communities that reside in India side by side without problems !!Recommend

  • Taimur
    Jun 9, 2011 - 12:16AM

    A christian Michael should not present budget but it is ok if a christian Obama present dollarsRecommend

  • pervez rafique mpa punjab
    Jun 9, 2011 - 12:17AM

    @Hedgefunder: thanks brother for ur concern this is face of
    punjab government we wil continue our struggle against this
    haterd societyRecommend

  • Maulana Diesel
    Jun 9, 2011 - 4:10AM

    never ever vote for any fascist out of the PML-NRecommend

  • MSN
    Jun 9, 2011 - 5:17AM

    Why should this be a surprise?
    No Christian can be Chief Justice. No Christian can be Chief of Staff. No Christian can be President.
    Three cheers for the land of the pure.
    Sing Hip hip hurray to the tune of Mein bhi pakistan hoon tu bhi pakistan haiRecommend

  • Rashid Khan
    Jun 9, 2011 - 5:31AM

    Anyone ever attempted to collate the data (the professed faith) of Pakistanis seeking asylum in the non muslim west? Or even dreaming every moment of their lives to settle there.
    A large portion is the same lot who praticise discrimination against non muslims in Pakistan yet clamour to go to the land of the impure.Recommend

  • SJ
    Jun 9, 2011 - 9:42AM

    Absolutely pathetic mentality. Shame on them. I felt sick after reading this and did not feel like writing any comment but decided otherwise. We should all protest whatever way we can, even if it means leaving a comment here. Recommend

  • vasan
    Jun 9, 2011 - 10:49AM

    MSN : You have missed out an important point. No christian can live safely in Pakistan. That applies to people of all religions except sunni muslims??Recommend

  • Bilal
    Jun 9, 2011 - 1:39PM

    Shouldnt a leader be able to guide his people towards ethical highground instead of bowing to thier primitive mindset? Just goes to show why a young QUALIFIED progressive leader doesnt stand a chance with our voters.

    I propose a weightage given to a voter depending on their education level!Recommend

  • Furqan
    Jun 9, 2011 - 4:25PM

    here we go again, do people know that muslim is not even allow to buy a property in Mumbai???? Recommend

  • vasan
    Jun 9, 2011 - 4:47PM

    Furqan: Muslims cant buy property in mumbai. Nobody can rent a property in mumbai. That means muslims must be pavement dwellers in Mumbai. What a load crap you people write. Just because the residents in an apt building objected the sale of an apt to a muslim , it does not mean muslims can’t buy property in mumbai. The actual reason is the residents are vegetarians and they do not want a non vegetarian in their building. That is it, There is no religious angle to that. Get out of your religious bigotry and see the reality as such.Recommend

  • Feroz
    Jun 9, 2011 - 4:55PM

    Brother, please learn to read and gather information before indulging in falsehood. Your statement that Muslims are not allowed to buy property in Mumbai reflects the level of indoctrination suffered. By the way Dawood Ibrahim is the one of the biggest landlords in Mumbai. You must have heard of him somewhere. India is secular not a totalitarian state. No Indian – Muslim, Hindu, Sikh, Christian or others can buy property in Kashmir so that settlers do not change the ethnic composition of Kashmir. Please compare this with what is happening in Tibet and Xinjiang which regions have been flooded by China with Han Chinese, changing the very ethnic character of the place.Recommend

  • Mussarat Hussain
    Jun 9, 2011 - 5:03PM

    That doesn’t make difference. It was Mr. Justice A.R. Cornelius, a Christian Minority citizen who framed first constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.

    It was Dr. Abdus Salam, the “so-called non-muslim” Citizen of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan also bagged Nobel Prize for the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.

    Presenting budget is a very petty issue.

    Involving Nawaz Sharif or any other leader on this highly elevated issue, worths nothing..

    It’s a real time to curse dictator zia ul haq who laid foundation of such menace in our society and created hatred among various segments.

    Long Live Pakistan, Amen.


  • Manoj
    Jun 9, 2011 - 5:10PM


    You are ill informed. Your Quade Azam’s home is still there in Mumbai, his daughter and grandsons and lakhs of muslims resides in Mumbai and have their own home.

    Perhaps, you are getting confused with the refusal of selling property in a particular locality. See, it does not happen to only muslims. Human being by nature wants to leave in group of people of similar culture, ritual and customs. Hence, in big cities few localities has identified it self with a particular community like sindhi, Tamil, telgu, bihari, Maharshtrian , Gujarati , Jain, muslim, sikh etc.

    Normally seller of the property of this colony desires to sell thier property to the person of same cast, religion or region, just to keep the charachter of the locality intact. This is unwritten rule. Same applies to muslim majority locallity also, where hindus do not get house.
    i hope the subject is clear to you now.Recommend

  • Pragmatist
    Jun 10, 2011 - 6:30AM

    It was Dilip Saab’s choice. Shahrukh, Salman, Aamir and Saif didn’t bother changing their names and yet they were as successful as any.Recommend

  • Bishop Dr. Ijaz Inayat
    Jun 11, 2011 - 3:16AM

    At last Micheal presented the budget in ‘Punjab Assemble.”
    Hats off to all those who raised their voices. I am expecting a change in behaviour in the coming years.
    Keep raising your voice my dear country men. Bless you all.Recommend

  • Khurram
    Jun 13, 2011 - 10:26PM

    Strangely, the pride of our air force the F-16s are also made by Christians!!! So with our new found bigotry and the RIGHT WING ISLAMISTS should we destroy them and pray for some Islamic airplanes!!Recommend

  • bashir
    Jul 3, 2011 - 12:35PM

    The constitution of Pakistan is a document of discrimination. You can become president or prime minister only if you are a muslim. No non muslim can hold such positions.They are considered second or third rate citizens.Recommend

  • Rakib
    Jul 3, 2011 - 6:59PM


    At least Constitution of Pakistan is upfront about the religion of the President. It specifies the religion, not the Sect. Far stringent and tad hypocritical is the tradition under the unwritten-constitution as in vogue in Mother of all Parliaments at Westminster London. Let alone a Muslim, Jew or a Hindu, even a Roman Catholic can not ever hope to become a Monarch, Consort or the Prime Minister. They have to be part of Anglican Communion.. If the far-sighted father of Benjamin Disraeli had not got the young Benji converted from Judaism to Church of England he would have never made it as PM. Tony Blair had to wait till he demitted office before he could opt for Catholicism.

    No system is perfect. Men of reason have always struggled against prejudices for they know that discrimination is common; fairness is exceptional.Recommend

  • AA Choudhary
    Jul 3, 2011 - 11:32PM

    True the Britsh monarch cannot be a non-Christian. But British Constitution as such is not a written document as Pakistan’s, India’s or that of United States are. Also Britain has been following customs and traditions derived from practices and documents written at different times over hundreds of years. Cmparing written and unwritten constitutions is comparing apples and oranges. Rakib could have taken other examples. Even given the benefit of logical absurdity two wrongs do not make a right. I am afraid that Pakistan has started a devil’s race by disqualifying non-Muslims from holding President’s position. The extremism and persecution of minorities in Pakistan will one day, sooner or later, generate a backlash in the non-Muslim world and Muslims will be barred from holding high national offices. Already this is visible in Europe and U. S. where building of mosques and minarets is being disallowed in those countries. Muslims have lived in these non-Mulsim majority lands peacefully for many years till the curse of the Paksitani Mullah’s sick mind made them targets of discrimination. Nobody in the West burned the Quran till the evil minded Pakistans burned the Bible and the churches. Pakistani political religiosity has the potential to destroy the world peace but the first victim will be Pakistanis themselves.. O people of Pakistan, please wake up. Mend your ways. Pakistan can be agreat country given its human and material resources. Recommend

  • Rakib
    Jul 4, 2011 - 5:35PM

    @AA Choudhary:

    The “unwritten” character of British “constitution” and matter of “traditions” was already mentioned by me. Surely, that which is not written is not read off a stone since set in rock it certainly is not! It could have been altered a long while back. Yes two wrongs do not make one right but it is never wrong to point out hypocrisy of the other. If a “tradition” of Church of England need to be acknowledged why sneer at the traditions of Muslims? Pakistan is an Islamic Republic and the Constitution wants the Head of State to be a Muslim. That’s all. Straightforward enough. There is no ambivalence there. There is no hypocrisy there, no faux-secularism, nor “pseudo-secularism” that the Saffrons of India crow so much against.

    By investing so much of time in talking of religion of the President the focus is being shifted away from the real issue:-the discrimination that the minorities world-over have to face in their day-to-day lives.

    Regarding the rest of accusations and counter accusations about who began the orgies first the story is as old as mankind itself. Non-Muslim can not be President of Pakistan….consequently, the logical West does not want Minarets in their lands. Good for them! An average Pakistani farmer has as much hope of praying in mosque of Zurich as a maid servant of Mumbai has of opening a bank account in the same city.Recommend

  • AA Choudhary
    Jul 5, 2011 - 12:36AM

    Muslims are like brothers, nay a part of the same body of flesh, to each other. Rakib’s assertion that a farmer in Pakistan has no chance of praying in Zurich, and thus why care what people do in Zurich, is tantamount to saying that a pakistani Muslim’s misdeeds that could result in causing misery to a Muslim in Zurich should be of no concern to the Pakistani farmer. I wish Rakib had more compassion for the people of Prophet Muhammad (SAS) living in Zurich or any place in foreign lands. This is an outcome of self-righteousness and greed of many learned people in Pakistan. They don’t care how their deeds effect their fellow Muslims in other parts of the world. To them only Pakistanis are pure Muslims- it is the land of the pure only. As regards that only a Muslim can be the President of Pakistan is an insignificant part of the lives of the minorities in the country. Fine, Pakistan can have a wine-drinking, an adulterer, a dishonest, a usurper, an immoral or a killer President but not a pious non-Muslim because it is an Islamic Republic. How about a chief Justice, an army commander and let us keep going, how about a janitor? People of Pakistan has to choose. Become the priah of the world by continuing their ways or join the nations as honorable people by doing to others what they expect others to do to them. Recommend

  • Rakib
    Jul 5, 2011 - 7:15AM

    @AA Choudhary:

    Zurich can have its minarets or demolish them the way India demolished Babri mosque or Taliban brought down the Buddhas. IMO, Muslims are not same body of flesh. They have differences among them just as the Catholic terrorists had with Anglicans when they blew up Mountbatten. That was the time when the British should have changed their silly practice of having only an Anglican as their Prime Minister and should have made it possible for any Christian (Catholic) to head their govt. The bigots did not do that but would lecture others.

    If one is curious do read Pak Constitution to find out which jobs other than that of President are denied to non-Muslims. List them down instead of wondering about the caste of janitors. Incidentally, Chief Justice of Pakistan in 1960s was a Christian. And a Hindu of Scheduled Caste was their First Law Minister and a Hindu again was the Acting Chief Justice of Pakistan as recently as till 2008 when he retired. That does not mean amelioration of the lot of minorities; it only means absence of Constitutional hurdles against their appointment..

    Such jobs are less or more important depending on the man and at times they impact the ordinary minority men’s lives with a shade more intensity & immediacy than what the Presidency of Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed had on lives of ordinary Indian Muslims.Recommend

  • AA Choudhary
    Jul 5, 2011 - 9:55AM

    Mr. Rakib: Don’t you believe in what Prophet Muhammad (SAS) said: that Muslims are like two fingers of a person. If one hurts then the other feels the hurt too (paraphrased). If you don’t accept this then my argument is not applicable to you. Now your assertion that non-Muslims can have any office other than the President and everybody knows Justice Cornelius (a christian) wrote the first constitution of Pakistan. I only pointed out that if a Muslim can be the President then the logic of national security can be extended to the Commander of the defence forces. Please try to understand the context. If, according to your reasoning Muslims are different from each other then pretty soon you would have to decide which Muslim, a sunni or a shia, a deobandi or a brelvi, should be the President. It is so in Lebanon and so could happen in Pakistan where every sect has declared other sects non-Muslims. The problem is that the religious leaders in Pakistan have created a situation in Pakistan that would bring nothing but ruin to the whole nation. What the Muslims do in Pakistan have repurcussions on all Muslims in every continent and reflects upon the religion of Islam.Recommend

  • Rakib
    Jul 5, 2011 - 6:52PM

    @AA Choudhary:

    Better to go strictly by the Constitution. Please read it. No point in guessing or projecting or predicting. Find out what jobs are denied to non-Muslims. Being long on opinions and short on facts does not help anybody.

    I do not share your belief of Pakistan’s centrality in the affairs of Muslims let alone the world. No other country is exercised about Pak Constitution that reserves presidentship of an Islamic country for a Muslim. No, their Constitution does not mention anything about the Sect (sunni/shia etc) of the President. Whether Constitution does get amended in future to specify the sect-though a matter of their right-is still a piece of imagination. What can happen and can not happen in Pakistan based on Lebanon or elsewhere is your crystal-ball gazing prediction. You may be right; you may be wrong. I wish you a long life to check its accuracy or otherwise.

    That and the rest are your opinions,conjectures and biases. I recognise your right to hold on to them, of course, but I have no further use of them. Recommend

  • AA Choudhary
    Jul 6, 2011 - 1:30AM

    Constitutions are living documents. They determine the nations future path. They are dynamic and not static. They are supposed to be analyzed and interpretted. So please don’t mind if I express my opinion. Look at what the amendments passed by Zia-ul-Haq have done to the behavior of Pakistani masses. Unless you use your mind to look into the future impact of a constitutional factor then all you get is a moribund document. When you say that what has happened in Lebanon or else where has nothing to do with what will happen in Pakistan, you forget your own argument of ‘other nations having a constitutional provision to restrict a citizen’s right’ to any position in the country.
    I am glad you give me the right to hold on to my opinions and biases. This shows your magnanimity but please tell all Pakistanis and particularly the religious right not to discriminate and persecute the minorities for their opinions and biases. Let them exercise their freedom of conscious. Recommend

  • Rakib
    Jul 6, 2011 - 11:01AM

    @AA Choudhary:

    That the Prez will be a Muslim of age no less than 40 was decided almost 6 decades ago. Suspensions and many amendments have taken place since then but the Constitution of the predominantly Sunni land has not demanded that only a Sunni can be so. (To the best of my knowledge the incumbent is a Shia).

    However,I concede, if “dynamic” Constitution of tomorrow comes alive today in a crystal-ball or in some one’s hyper imagination your dire predictions will have some value, limited even as it may be.. As they say, anything can happen anywhere anytime.

    For the record,as far as present discussion is concerned, I have not given any argument of “other nations having a constitutional provision to restrict a citizen’s right”.A Right has to be given in the first place before ever Restricting it. For example in a country where a Catholic has no Right to be a PM since the job is reserved for an Anglican, question of Restricting a non-existent Right does not arise. Same applies to non-Muslims for the job of President of Islamic Pakistan. The matter was settled in Cromwellian England and in Liaquat Ali’s Pakistan a long while back.

    Amending a Constitution to include or exclude by due democratic process is a different thing altogether and that is the right of the electorate exercised through the elected. I think you may need to know more about Constitution of Pakistan (considering you believe that the then sitting Judge Cornelius actually wrote it) and that is why I urged you to do some browsing first. However to the one that truly believes that Zurich would ban additional minarets not so much as to conform to Swiss sense of aesthetics about the city’s skyline but merely because Pak Prez can only be a Muslim & so on, my suggestion may not be useful.

    With regard to your frequently repeated counsel to Pakistan, probably your Pakistani readers or Islamist fundamentalists will take it under advisement. I have no comments to offer. With that, I thank you for a lively discussion and bid you farewell.. Recommend

More in Pakistan