A country for minorities

Published: March 2, 2012
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The writer is the author of the novels Moth Smoke and The Reluctant Fundamentalist

The writer is the author of the novels Moth Smoke and The Reluctant Fundamentalist

There are two ways of explaining why Pakistan was created. One is to say that the impulse for Pakistan was a Muslim-nationalist impulse. That is what we are taught in school and probably what most Pakistanis believe.

But there is another explanation. And it is this: the drive to form Pakistan was rooted in the notion of minority rights. During the haggling that preceded independence, most Muslim leaders initially wanted constitutional safeguards protecting the rights of a Muslim minority within Hindu-majority India. Only when they decided this would not be possible did partition become their aim.

Even then, British India did not necessarily have to become just two countries with a burning enmity: India and Pakistan. It could as easily have been split into several: perhaps a northwestern country that included not just current Pakistan but also the Indian-controlled part of Kashmir and Indian Punjab, as Jinnah himself had wanted; a northeastern country centred around a unified Bangladesh and Indian Bengal; and a variety of other countries between them and to their south.

Each of these countries would have contained large minorities of all kinds. But each could quite possibly have been more manageable and easier to govern than either post-partition India or the united Pakistan that included both our present country and what is now Bangladesh. The whole region might have avoided wars, focused on education and social services, evolved a common market, and got on with the business of co-existing and prospering together, as much of Europe did over the same period. (Then again, they might have slaughtered one another and descended into anarchy.)

In any case, the population of Indian Punjab is not leaping at the chance of joining Pakistan today, and the plebiscite that would allow Kashmiris to choose whether or not to do so has never been permitted to proceed. So the creation of a larger mega-Pakistan is not an option, and I do not bring up the preceding bits of twentieth-century history and imaginary what-ifs because I intend to propose it.

Rather, I mention all this because viewing Pakistan as a country founded on the principle that minorities must be protected from the predations of majorities is both useful and morally powerful, and because that notion may contain within it a way forward for our nation as a whole. It was our neglect of this principle in the years leading up to 1971 that caused our second partition, the creation of Bangladesh. (Yes, East Pakistanis were more numerous, but in terms of power and dignity they were treated as an inferior minority.) And it is our neglect for this principle now that has many in Balochistan clamouring for a third partition by the carving out of a separate country.

Yet an independent Balochistan would in itself solve little. Balochistan is almost half non-Baloch. What of the rights of the non-Baloch in Balochistan? And what, for that matter, of the rights of non-Pashtu speakers in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, non-Punjabi speakers in Punjab, non-Sindhi speakers in Sindh, non-Urdu speakers in Karachi? What of the rights of Pakistani Shias and Christians and Hindus and atheists?

The problem of Balochistan’s mistreatment within the federation is related to the problem of the mistreatment of minorities in Pakistan generally, a particularly perverse and vexing problem for our country to suffer from since all Pakistanis are minorities, our largest ‘group’ — Sunni, non-Seraiki speaking Punjabis — making up little more than a third.

But, as a nation of minorities, and a nation founded on the principle of minority rights, we could at last acknowledge that we have done enormous harm by withholding from our citizens the equality to which they are entitled, by resorting to force too readily against those who disagree with us, and by seeking for too long to centralise what more properly belongs not to the federation, nor necessarily even to the provinces, but to the cities and towns and villages, and to the conscience of each individual.

The fact that this week’s senate elections went ahead, despite all the machinations, is a victory for Pakistani democracy. And democracy, through constitutional amendment, is moving functions to the provinces, as one would hope. Over time, more should be devolved, and more revenue should be provincial as well. (And there will come a time when, to benefit areas that continue to suffer from neglect, we must consider the reconfiguration of Pakistan from four provinces to perhaps twice as many — though vitally this should be done on a geographic rather than linguistic basis.)

Yet devolution cannot stop with our provinces acting as mini-despots. Once the present changes have had time to settle, provinces will in turn need to pass functions along to local bodies. Faisalabad, to take one example, has the population of Uruguay, a sovereign state; there is no compelling reason why its governance should be coordinated through Lahore.

The federation’s center will of course remain important. We live in a rough neighbourhood, so we need a military to deter foreign threats. We share the same river systems, so we need jointly to plan reservoirs, irrigation, and dams. We sell certain products and services throughout Pakistan, so we need compatible regulations. And so on.

But overall the role of the centre will have to shift from trying to tell each of us what to do, from micro-managing our regions and our lives, to defending us from the predations of those more powerful than us. It must protect angry Baloch students in Quetta, and Urdu-speaking businessmen in Peshawar, and Pashtun bus drivers in Karachi, and, yes, Punjabi schoolteachers in Balochistan. It must stand for our right not to be shot without trial, held without notification, or tortured under any circumstances.

As the day-to-day administration of our country flows out of Islamabad, the role and professionalism of our federal court system, and our supreme court in particular, must increase, not to persecute us for imagined thought-crimes but to protect us from each other and from the state. And for internal security we will need to build an apparatus that functions within the purview of the courts, not outside it.

We are each a minority of one. The crisis in Balochistan is therefore a crisis for all Pakistanis. We must address it together, or we risk surrendering the idea of Pakistan to tyranny, an unjust state where every citizen is denied their potential and must squirm as an illusion in someone else’s dream.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 3rd, 2012.

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Reader Comments (82)

  • fahim
    Mar 2, 2012 - 10:58PM

    The context is right but do not agree with the content. Around us, there are many countries with sizable population of minorities living in harmony and relative tolerance. The problem is that our weakness, incompetency and extreme fear has disillusioned our leaders and establishment right from start. Given the fact that 80% of the population is poor, uneducated, unhealthy and utter hopeless, the only way these jokers gain support was to unite them by creating an imaginary monster out of india and till today spread false propaganda in media and education books. I think minorities in india are much happier and prosperous compared to here.

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  • unbeliever
    Mar 2, 2012 - 11:08PM

    the only thing that one doubts: whether a common pakistani is ready to think like this.

    the answer is not difficult to find.

    but the bottomline is that, until a commoner starts thinking like this, their is not going to be any end to their miseriesRecommend

  • Falcon
    Mar 2, 2012 - 11:10PM

    Mohsin-
    Good article. You should write more often. Agree with the big question mark on our behavior towards minorities when Pakistan was created in specific to address challenges of a minority.

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  • Arjun Shetty
    Mar 2, 2012 - 11:18PM

    How much rights has Pakistan given to minorities since its birth? The single fact that monority population was ruthlessly eliminated to 3% explains the levels of intolerance in Pakistan. The author writes as if in the past Pakistan was very tolerant in treating its minorities and now things have changed. Nature and Laws of action and Reaction are greater than the concept of religion and this is very hard to understand for a religiously driven nation like Pakistan. Bangladesh tore itself off and now Balochistan. Even miracle will not prevent this natural consequence. The horror of decimating minorities is no ordinary crime and no nation escapes this LAW.

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  • Arijit Sharma
    Mar 3, 2012 - 12:18AM

    The very idea that three should have been two Muslim dominated countries in the Northwest and Northeast of British India and “MANY countries in between them and to the South” betrays Muslim supremacist tendencies.

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  • gp65
    Mar 3, 2012 - 12:25AM

    @Author: ” It could as easily have been split into several: perhaps a northwestern country that included not just current Pakistan but also the Indian-controlled part of Kashmir and Indian Punjab, as Jinnah himself had wanted; a northeastern country centred around a unified Bangladesh and Indian Bengal; and a variety of other countries between them and to their south.

    Each of these countries would have contained large minorities of all kinds.

    Wel that defies the idea of 2 Nation theory that Hindus and Muslims cannot live together as one nation. Thsi theory is an article of faith for all Pakistanis. We Indians (includes Indian Muslims) reject that theory since 150 milion Muslims ARE living together with 800 milion Hindus in one nation. So while I (and perhaps 99% of other Indians) have no interest in rlling back partition – we do not subscribe to a 2 Nation theory.

    IT is also quite rigth that Indian Punjab was not part of present day Pakistan. After all if Jinnah sought a separate country forMuslims because Muslims and Hindus are 2 distinct nations, why should a Hindu majority area become a part of such a naton created primarily for muslims?

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  • BlackJack
    Mar 3, 2012 - 12:28AM

    You need to read your history. There wouldnt have been mass migration of Sikhs from the current Pakistani Punjab to the Indian side if Pakistan was meant to safeguard minority rights. The fact is that Pakistan was created to protect the rights of the Muslim elite, and ended up with the region where Muslims were anyway a majority, and would not have suffered even as part of the Indian union. There are many Sikhs in Indian Punjab with brothers/ cousins on the other side who have been converted, and the forced conversion of Hindus adorns even today’s edition of ET. The people who benefited from partition were the Hindus and other minorities (many of the problems of Pakistan that are due to radical Islam would still have been inherited by a united India). Except for a Graham Staines case, Christians in India enjoy peaceful lives and are able to practice their lives in peace without having to assume muslim-sounding names and skirting around possible blasphemy. Sikhs are a majority in Indian Punjab and are in power – this has obviated the need for the Khalistan movement that the ISI invested in during the 80’s. We are thankful to MA Jinnah and the All India Muslim League for helping us live our lives in relative peace.

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  • Falcon
    Mar 3, 2012 - 12:29AM

    @Arjun Shetty:
    Sir Ji. I still remember a girl from Indian Kashmir that used to study with us in the university and was psychologically disturbed from the amount of bloodshed by Indian soldiers she had seen in her childhood. Sure we have our mistakes and really bad ones. But those sitting on high horse of morality and throwing stones from the other side should also remember that they also live in a glass house.

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  • Babloo
    Mar 3, 2012 - 12:56AM

    Is that a sad and a poor joke ? The minorities (who happened to be majority community in the territories that make Pakistan today, the Hindus ) have beem reduced to 1-2% and literally obliterated. There are only few traces of them left. The constitution itself bans minorities from occupying highest posts of the state. So what kind of a sad joke is this ?

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  • Timorov
    Mar 3, 2012 - 12:57AM

    I don’t know what world fahim is living in or whether he has actually met minorities from India (which I have had the good fortune of meeting in the US – and trust me they have it rough there). While things are certainly better in our neighborhood they are not much better than what Pakistan was before 9/11.

    I must commend Mr. Hamid for a most brilliantly thought provoking piece. I think he has it absolutely right!!!

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  • Mohsin Sayeed
    Mar 3, 2012 - 1:14AM

    Sending (Moth) smoke signals? Anything solid to say?

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  • Cautious
    Mar 3, 2012 - 1:49AM

    Pakistan has repeated a pattern that exist anywhere Muslims live — when they are in the minority they ask for rights of the majority – when they are in the majority they revert to the “my way or the highway” attitude.

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  • Alam siddiqui
    Mar 3, 2012 - 1:49AM

    There is only one truth. Truth has this nasty way of not allowing multiple choices. And the cold hard truth is that Pakistan was created on a religious basis for the Muslims and by the Muslims. No one should then be surprised by the Islamic obscurantism that followed.

    India on the other hand was created as a secular nation for all, with explicit view of continuing the magnificent 5000 year history of tolerance and pluralism. Despite some hardships that we Muslims have faced in India, there is no doubt that in the big picture Indian secularism has been a huge success.

    Now creating false histories as this author suggests is not going to help Pakistan any more than the false Arab identity they have created for themselves. Sorry to say, but truth always wins in the end. And no amount of false pretenses or rhetoric can.

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  • Truthbetold
    Mar 3, 2012 - 2:42AM

    “most Muslim leaders initially wanted constitutional safeguards protecting the rights of a Muslim minority within Hindu-majority India. Only when they decided this would not be possible did partition become their aim.”

    This is misleading at best and a lie at worst. Muslims wanted more than equal voting rights. They wanted their votes to be more than equal. The current Indian constitutional guarantee of equality and protection of rights, enjoyed by all Indians including Muslim Indians, was not enough for the elite, landed and wealthy Muslims who drove the Pakistan movement. They used the “we are Muslims and thus a different nation” card to create Pakistan to guarantee their own power and wealth which they would have lost in post-Independent India which enacted land reforms and banned feudalism. That is the simple truth.

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  • Arjun Shetty
    Mar 3, 2012 - 4:13AM

    @Falcon: FalconJI-NO WE DO NOT LIVE IN GLASS HOUSE. If we lived in glass house -we would have force converted the muslim population to hindus (only cowards insecure of their religion do it!!!) and we would have bought muslim population to 2% like Pakistan ACTUALLY did to Hindus! But we did not. It is a fools dream to compare to India having such a religious background like Pakistan! Total minorities in India will cross 20%. Hope this sane fact opens your mind. The concept of secularism and equal treatment of minorites is greek and latin to islamic societies. This very arrogance and religious pride will further divide Pakistan. You know who will turn in his grave for this……When you utter your religious identity ie muslim (as if this is an achievement in itself !), you have relegated yourself to secondary status. Even Pakistan’s cricket captain cannot keep his loose tongue from religious identity-expecting this from you will be insanity on my part. Only fools argue the facts.

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  • Senthilman
    Mar 3, 2012 - 4:42AM

    @Timorov

    No thanks, I trust Fahim.

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  • MilesToGo
    Mar 3, 2012 - 5:12AM

    Why would you want Sikhs in Pakistan?

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  • Chotta Panda
    Mar 3, 2012 - 5:24AM

    Falcon:

    You very easily and conveniently forget that the Indian army is in Kashmir only as a protection against terrorists sponsored and sent by Pakistan. Just for your information – the army presence in Kashmir was minimal before 1989 when the Pakistan sponsored terrorism was started by ISI. After the Americans left Afghanistan, the attention of ISI was turned towards Kashmir. The army is trained to fight and, decisions have to made in split second. Mistakes can and do occur in this process. It is not a situation where there is due course of law. So, I am sure many mistakes might have been committed by the Indian army inadvertently. But the many Kasmiris are not completely innocent either. But give credit to Indian army – they are not rogues like Pakistan army – we all know what happened in East Pakistan in 1970 and 1971. What Arjun Shetty is saying is very correct – the law of Karma will eventually catch up. And, that is what is happening to the country that wanted to bleed India to death by a thousand cuts. Think about it.

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  • s shah
    Mar 3, 2012 - 5:30AM

    While I admire your books, the above is a simplistic analysis. Devolution by itself will not solve any problems. Think about the intolerance and bigotry shown by the village jirgas and the attitude towards minorities in villages ( Aasia Bibi is a case in point where the village women refused to drink water that she had brought to the fields, as is Gojra, as is the attitude towards Ahmedis). Or of the situation in Fata, with the prevalence of extremism, or of the hold that LeT and others of that ilk have in rural Punjab. The average Pakistani needs to change his attitudes of intolerance and his belief that violence is a legitimate response to differences of belief. Devolution will do nothing to change our attitudes. Pakistan’s core problem is social and psychological, not economic or political.

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  • American Desi
    Mar 3, 2012 - 5:36AM

    Jinnah was an ardent supporter of Sir Syed, who believed strongly about Muslim supremacy over the idolaters and others! Sir Syed favored and advocated collaborating with the British to achieve Muslim supremacy over rest of the population. When Jinnah inspired by Sir Syed realized it is not possible to achieve this started quarreling with Indian National Congress to form a separate homeland for Muslims. Pakistan was never formed as country for minorities but formed to show the Muslim superiority. You can go back and check what were the slogans of Muslim League to form Pakistan. No amount of whitewash can hide the truth. You beget what you sow, in this case unfair discriminatory attitude laced with intolerance and contempt.

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  • vasan
    Mar 3, 2012 - 6:14AM

    It is sad to see that nobody in Pakistan accepts that the mix of religion and state is the root cause of all problems. Unless the state keeps the religion at a personal level, problems will not go away.
    Timorov : It is very difficult to form an opinion based on meeting people in a foreign country. U can form an opinion by reading a lot of news over a period about a specific issue/location/geography. Or u live in the geography. A good portion of my life was spent in various parts of India and abroad, mostly in India. I learnt a lot about pakistan during the 1971 war, kargil and after via internet. I can guarantee, 9/11 or mo 9/11 , life for minorities was and is lot better in India.

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  • Mar 3, 2012 - 6:16AM

    So, minorities are oppressed in Pakistan due to policies of the state and through inculcation of intolerance. Ergo, the solution is devolution of power to provinces and local government? The author makes a huge leap of logic.

    The problem of security agencies interference/manipulation in administrative and political affairs of the state is not going to be resolved by devolution. Until the policies of governance and foreign affairs, that have been hijacked by the security establishment, are returned to the elected parliament, there will be no hope for reversing the intolerance that has become endemic in Pakistan. And until the Pakistani society becomes more tolerant and secular, neither the minorities nor the majority will be safe.

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  • kaalchakra
    Mar 3, 2012 - 6:19AM

    Siddiqui Sahib

    Mohsin bhai is a fiction writer, from what I hear. We can be sure he tells uplifting and inspirational tales to his readers.

    May be this inspirational fictionalizing of history will help Pakistan one day. But it was easier to buy that argument 15 years ago than it is today.

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  • Zalim Singh
    Mar 3, 2012 - 6:36AM

    @ Timorov

    we do not rape muslim women and convert them to Hinduism here in India. Hinduism is voluntary religion. No coercion is allowed to join it.

    Now tell me Hindu women are not treated this way in Pakistan…

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  • Ali Tanoli
    Mar 3, 2012 - 6:37AM

    I think biggest reason for the creation of pakistan was not to become a victim of reversed
    discrimination of Hindus peoples after rulling over hundred of years its just a my humble openion.

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  • Ashvinn
    Mar 3, 2012 - 6:47AM

    Well the idea of a country for imnorities sound rather ideal and lofty. It would practically easier to implement devolution of power to the village governing bodies, even this might not solve all the problems as we seen in India, sir ji it is more a package of political and economics with som e affirmative actions, above all hope measure improve the quality of life for minorities and make majority sensitive to minority.But in a country where religion determines the right one can or not have, all the above mentioned goals seem. Start by correcting the narrative of the country then maybe the laws,after that implement, then educate and make communties sensitive to one another.

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  • Ak
    Mar 3, 2012 - 8:27AM

    @author – I don’t agree with your hypothesis. I think it was Muslim elitism that led to Pakistan. The muslim elite just didn’t want to live in a so called ‘Hindu dominated’ and hence under lesser mortals. This was despite promises of a secular state (which to an extent India is at the moment). To me movement of Pakistan was based on a dubious and bigoted two nation theory. Am I surprised with religious intolerance in Pakistan? Absolutely not when the foundations and ideas of the country were based on intolarence.

    The notion of two countries with Muslim majority on East and West with territories including Indian Punjab and entire north east that too several countries in the rest of the land smacks of Muslim supremacist tendency. I reject your notion disdainfully.

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  • ghjk
    Mar 3, 2012 - 8:34AM

    The first line that was drawn, i.e. needing a separate state for the biggest minority is where we compromised our ideals. If we concede that followers of different religions cannot live together, we are accepting a very low moral standard and have the lowest expectations possible of ourselves.

    Create such low expectations, and trust me, there is no depth that we will not lower ourselves to.

    What happened next is but a logical progression of that first ignoble compromise.

    Now start creating states within states. Where will it all end? When each individual will have their own state since they differ slightly from each other in terms of faith, ethnicity, gender, colour of skin, etc.

    Its all bollocks!Recommend

  • Ali Tanoli
    Mar 3, 2012 - 8:48AM

    @chotta panda & Arijit sharma
    According to you indian army is very innocent they dont do nothing and the reallty is indian democratic govt does not allows international even indian media to go and cover all the crimes
    army and RAW is commited and commiting in kashmir and indian army terrorism is werst than
    those freedom fighters and here in this situation so called champions of civil leberties and human rights dont dare to speak why this two faces man and rapes with under age girls killing all the family front of those kids man i wish u can see that and feel it if u are humans
    other wise dont tell us MAN shame on this democracy and its double faces.

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  • konaberwalla
    Mar 3, 2012 - 8:58AM

    @Arjun Shetty:
    come on man, don’t be so quick in forgetting the past, Gujrat riots happened only 10 years ago.

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  • Rajendra Kalkhande
    Mar 3, 2012 - 9:29AM

    Please note that any community which can not live peacefully as minority, will never treat minorities well when in majority. Minorities getting equal rights in Pakistan will be negating this very fundamental rule. So forget about of equal rights in Pakistan for next 1000 years.

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  • wendeth
    Mar 3, 2012 - 9:38AM

    It’s amazing how I continually find parallels b/w Pakistan and the U.S. and yet how different people fight tooth and nail to prove they are. Those who first left the UK left for religious and other political freedoms and yet when you look at the times they really were only concerned with THEIR religion and political freedoms. Slavery, sexism, constant injustices to minorities in this country stem from how/when we were founded and how we couldn’t move beyond certain ideas. How many years after the abolition of slavery was the height of the civil rights movement? Too bad people can’t A. learn from one another and B. learn to at least tolerate the existence of one another.

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  • Falcon
    Mar 3, 2012 - 9:43AM

    @Arjun Shetty and @Chotta Panda:
    First of all nobody is saying radicalism is justified. Every religion, every soul, every tear, and every drop of human blood is respectable whichever part of the world it belongs to. All I am saying is we know our problems and God willing we WILL fix it in time through sweat and blood. And therefore our Indian brethren commenting on this forum don’t have to keep rubbing it in our face every waking moment of their day because honestly it comes across as immature intellectual snobbery.

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  • MarkH
    Mar 3, 2012 - 10:15AM

    Ah, so Pakistan was created by Nazis with inferior weaponry and support. Basically.

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  • unbeliever
    Mar 3, 2012 - 10:21AM

    @Ali Tanoli:
    somewhere else on tribune you mentioned that you are living abroad.
    well, really you must be an interesting fellow there, and your host country must be wondering how come they gave permit to work to someone who can hardly write a coherent sentence in english. or do you live somewhere in poland or norway or ukraine?

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  • Apostate
    Mar 3, 2012 - 10:21AM

    Author mentions

    We must address it together, or we risk surrendering the idea of Pakistan to tyranny

    Can anyone please explain what is idea of Pakistan? Recommend

  • s shah
    Mar 3, 2012 - 11:20AM

    @ghjk: I totally agree.

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  • wonderer
    Mar 3, 2012 - 12:33PM

    Discussions such as in this article are pointless; nothing of substance can ever come out of them.

    There was no logic in creation of Pakistan and no logic in the way it has evolved. There is also no logic in the way Pakistan is managed at present. Is logic the guiding spirit behind anything that takes place in Pakistan? Logic, even if ever used, is always tempered with religious belief. Can anything about Pakistan be explained logically without recourse to religion?

    Someone has asked above, “Can anyone please explain what is idea of Pakistan?” This question cannot be answered on the basis of logic, if it can be answered at all.

    In my humble opinion, it is high time Pakistan stops looking for answers to its problems logically, and instead look for ways and means that will work for the kind of polity that exists, making sure that nothing is done to aggravate the situation any further. The most important thing to find will be the wonder glue that can bind the disparate society together.

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  • MarkH
    Mar 3, 2012 - 1:07PM

    @wendeth:
    No, the US was created by individuals concerned of their own interests but also not hypocritical about it. It logically followed that if they wanted to be treated that way they’d have to treat others beliefs the same. Pakistan was built upon delusional entitlement to superiority of a minority, rather than fairness towards belief.

    You could bring up what happened to the native Americans, and that’s all fine as even the dumbest American will say it was a tragedy but there’s no going back. Also, slavery could be brought in. Something that was never accepted by all with another thing attached that nobody ever brings up. Africa’s own leadership sold them in what they considered valid business deals by today’s standards. It was not all kidnappings by far. But, Africa isn’t held accountable for any of it so nobody gets offended. You’ll also find it caused a war where the people who disagreed with it won. Nobody is fighting for those abused in Pakistan and if they did, there are so few they’d lose. Every country is going to have terrible people and good people. The difference comes in the reaction to it. Acceptance/Disagreement, willingness to do something/unwillingness to do something and so on. That is what separates one from another in progress and achievements. Not origins.

    Evolution is a funny thing like that. Too bad Pakistan considers it a sin.

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  • Jpy
    Mar 3, 2012 - 1:10PM

    If Jinnah was alive today he should have realised how wrong he was in his concept of 2 nation theory seeing the present state of Pakistan. He should have taken retaliatory steps to change the whole idea. He should have never dreamed in his entire life that such criminal goons of mullas & hate mongers will be the masters of his version of the land of pure

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  • Abhi
    Mar 3, 2012 - 1:15PM

    very confused article.
    Only thing which can work is to encourage more liberal attitude twords other faiths. For that most of the Pakistanis have to come out of there bigoted attitude.

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  • MilesToGo
    Mar 3, 2012 - 1:23PM

    Sweet dreams.

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  • pravin
    Mar 3, 2012 - 1:31PM

    It is amazing to see that most Pak blogs start with 1947 and end nowhere!

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  • Khanum
    Mar 3, 2012 - 1:41PM

    Secular pakistan.

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  • Truthbetold
    Mar 3, 2012 - 1:42PM

    @Ali Tanoli:

    “I think biggest reason for the creation of pakistan was not to become a victim of reversed
    discrimination of Hindus peoples after rulling over hundred of years its just a my humble openion.”

    If that were true, why did Pakistan close the door to all Indian Muslims in whose name it was created? Compare that to Israel, a tiny state, that has kept its door open to any Jews. Even Indian, Pakistani and African Jews have been accepted with open arms. Did the creators of Pakistan really wanted the dark Tamilian, Andhra, Kerala etc. Muslims to move to Pakistan? Apparently not.

    I think you have to learn history other than from you Pakistan studies books. Pakistan was created to protect the wealth, power, land and feudal life style of the elite Muslim families. To this day, Pakistan continues to be controlled by about 40 of these elite families.

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  • Truthbetold
    Mar 3, 2012 - 1:59PM

    Many poster including myself have justifiably criticized the author for stating that the Partition was to protect Muslims from Hindu discrimination.

    But, taking a broader view of the article, though the author is wrong in his underlying premises, the author’s purpose is to condemn and speak up against the widespread discrimination of minorities in Pakistan, which he does well. Let’s congratulate him for this.

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  • iftikhar hussain
    Mar 3, 2012 - 2:08PM

    i agree

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  • Vishal
    Mar 3, 2012 - 3:05PM

    I will suggest Pakistanis one best Solution for Minority Problem.
    Send all ur religious Minority along with Ahmadis to India.We will more than Happy to carry on our Tradition of our “BharatVasha” of giving shelter to needy like Jews,Parsis,Tibetian, Bengalis etc and U ppl will happy that ur Pakistan will become Dar-ul-Islam.Both way Happiness,no Minority problem.
    And Indian Muslims will have to live in India only as ur govt has shut the gate of Pak for them in 1956 only.
    How’s my Solution.Recommend

  • Vishal
    Mar 3, 2012 - 3:12PM

    And Someone From Pakistan was talking here about Gujrat riot which occured “Just 10 years” ago.
    He should remember the abuduction and force conversion of a Hindu girl in Sindh Province.
    Now,after sometime if U get same news from India happening with any Muslim girl,then don’t b angry on India,Hindus or Secular Indian Constitution as
    Newton has said,”EVERY ACTION HAS EQUAL AND OPPOSITE REACTION” and we Indians r fond of Science and it’s theory.

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  • Reddy
    Mar 3, 2012 - 3:24PM

    i don’t understand why Pakistanis make a hue and cry about their current state of affairs,in fact Jinnah wanted a theocratic state and he did get one,as an indian he opposed the landmark event like quit India movement,under the cabinet mission plan he was quite OK with princely states, more than happy to be part of British colony for as long as they wanted him to be.with that kind of leader with his supporters who opposed land reforms,devolution of powers and stout supporters of princely states,slavery,obscurantism what kind of a state you really expected it’s going to be.

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  • lateralview
    Mar 3, 2012 - 4:15PM

    @Vishal
    Fully agree with your suggestion. At the minimum send the Deobandis and Barelvis to U.P., Ahmedi (Muslims) to East Punjab,and Shias to Iran or India. It will certainly ameliorate the situation in Pakistan . But for how long I do not know?

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  • Arjun Shetty
    Mar 3, 2012 - 5:04PM

    @konaberwalla:
    There is a riot or murder of shias or ahmadis hapeening everyDAY. Shall we start the statistics?
    The ratio will be 100:1 in favor of the “great” islamic state of Pakistan. The number of Shias killed in the last one year will cross 1000.

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  • Arjun Shetty
    Mar 3, 2012 - 5:11PM

    @Falcon: I will not argue with you and try to convince you-if I try to do that Pakistan will/may become a stable nation. Which sane person expects Pakistan to become an India or Turkey after what it did to minorities?

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  • kaalchakra
    Mar 3, 2012 - 6:07PM

    “the author is wrong in his underlying premises, the author’s purpose is to condemn and speak up against the widespread discrimination of minorities in Pakistan, which he does well. Let’s congratulate him for this.”

    Truthbetold, when I first began to read such inspirational and uplifting fiction 15 years ago, like you, I assumed its purpose was to do good. Having read countless versions of the same, in all shapes and guises, since then, I can’t but conclude its purpose is merely to avoid facing facts while maintaining claims to liberalism.

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  • Dilip
    Mar 3, 2012 - 6:44PM

    SAD state of affairs!!! Pakistan was created for the MUSLIM population so that they could live in peace and harmony. But today, daily a muslim brother kills a muslim. An ahmedi is declared a non muslim. Bombs and target killings are the order of the day. Whereas in the land from which the partition took place, the suunni does not kill the shia. The sunni, shia, bareveli, tablichi and all the other sects live in peace and harmony. Where did PAKISTAN go wrong?

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  • Mar 3, 2012 - 6:56PM

    @fahim: Very well articulated and fairly honest,yet Pakistan is going no where.Why?I know the answer,if I say it ,T/E won’t or have the courage to see it in print,so Think about it and guess.

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  • Mar 3, 2012 - 7:39PM

    @Truthbetold:
    Also Alam Siddiqui,You both have understanding of history,facts and clarity of thinking,very few Indians or Muslims have,whether they live in Pakistan,Indian or in USA(especially some incorrgible who refuse to get educated),they live and find comfort in ignorance.There is nothing any one can do about it.We as a community are condemed to suffer indefinately for our collective sins of both commission and ommision.The law of cause and consequences takes its course,and that explains our plight.Remember the concept of CAUSE AND EFFECT.This will explain why US?I have never seen any other society,community or civilization which is bigger hypocrite than us.We will talk morality and ettics and then next moment commit henious crime without baiting an eye.Remember 1947 riots(both across the border) and 1971.No one is saint.We are pitiable society and people.and I’m very charitable,I can be more brutally honest than T/E won’t publish it.I know for sure.I want people to be reflective,no point in spewing anger,does no one any good. I am learning the hard way.good day.

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  • kaalchakra
    Mar 3, 2012 - 7:46PM

    “Jinnah wanted a theocratic state”

    Reddy, no, that is not true. A very odd thing about Islam is that secular ‘believer’ Muslims think of it as almost a secular religion. That is of course pure nonsense, since no religion could be less secular, but this deeply-embedded “Islam to me is all that is good according to me” confusion totally blinds any self-evaluation (a failure which could be necessary to avoid any meaningful change).

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  • Mar 3, 2012 - 8:14PM

    @vasan:
    I expect better from you,Timorov or whatever his name is no Russian,he is a hard core (purposeful) haters.There are many such people on computer they become embolden as P/C gives them a false sense,but people like me or you,fear no such compulsion,and hence I at least show no such fear.India is no Utopia of Sir Thomas More but it is neither North Korea or other lands where 20% minority becomes 2% either.The present census of minority in India(u.n figures)will prove my point.India has warts,recently an elderly men was abused in Delhi and all he wanted was water for his raditor,I deplore such acts and which some day such thing do not happen,and will never cover up such callous and mean acts.I hope and pray we become better society,people,and more compassionate nation and civilization,cover up will only push us into oblivion.I also hope for Pakistan, also to become a kind caring nation and people.It will be good for itself and the world, we live in.I love T/E for its forum,we have no choice ,we take good with not so good.Have a nice day.If you make even 1% change in this world,1% extra good folks,”Bont,bont sey ghat barai”(DROP BY DROP POT FILLS UP)

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  • Mar 3, 2012 - 8:26PM

    @unbeliever:
    Believe it or not USA,not everything in good old USA,is Halal or even Kosher.Thought for you to chew on.Have a nice day.I guess I made your day.Cheers.

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  • Linda Khan
    Mar 3, 2012 - 8:37PM

    I am writing to you from Duquesne University, where I am finishing my masters degree in Global Leadership, in just three months, and I am presently doing a research for a paper on the issues of governance in Pakistan. After reading everyone’s amazing ideas and solutions to Pakistan’s problems or India’s, I must comment that I have honestly enjoyed reading every one of your intellectual ideas. All of you have creative ideas and are very knowledgeable about the history of partition, but isn’t the past, the past now? The entire world is in trouble, not just Pakistan and India, and all of us need to let go of our ancestor’s mistakes and prejudices and join hands in solving our social, economic, and environmental problems. No doubt, both India and Pakistan have the most glorious history in the world, and so many people around the world envy this and are respectful of your important history, but we can’t live on the legacy’s of our forefathers. All of you writing today, are the “future of the world;” so please help each other, let go of the anger or any false pride that is holding such a talented society in the dark ages. All of the men and women, in both nation’s, need to just let go of the past prejudices and get out and start to save your wonderful legacies for future generations to enjoy. We have to start by educating the poor, and giving this group, the opportunities to improve their lives. I must remind you that this social group in both nations is the “majority,” no matter what religion or language they speak; they have the elite and educated out numbered by the many millions! Turn your brilliant minds into creative ideas that will feed the country, educate all the children, create new ideas so people can be employed in respectful roles, work to stop corruption and bribery, and go to your religious leaders and reason with them that they must also help turn the tides. Our history is now behind all of us, not just your nations, but it is what we do with our futures that determines if our civilizations survive the challenges that face our world. Using an old saying, “united we stand, divided we fall:” these simple words hold the solution to the future of our world.

    Bless all of you and peace be with all of us around the globe!

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  • Pollack
    Mar 3, 2012 - 8:49PM

    Reinventing history and attempting to turn the communal Pakistan movement into some sort of a secular movement will be seen by the people for what it is.. a big fat lie. It may be convenient to attempt something like that but it won’t fly. The right thing to do is to see the Pakistan movement was what it was and start again from scratch fully knowing the folly of that movement.

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  • Mar 3, 2012 - 9:00PM

    @MarkH:
    You make me proud to be an American,you are so articulate and clear.We lost 682000 young teen ager to right the wrong and lost our BEST SON PRESIDENT A.LIncoln in the bargain and ,it was worth it, for we are now one Nation,under one flag,RED,WHITE and BLUE. indivisible,Sea to Shinning Sea.We are nation of Law and not Men,and we are marching forward with our Union not yet complete,but a process. and Equality for one and all.Few can understand in 3rd world,what are we about,they want our dole and money and curse us,that is why they are where they are. You did well.Have a nice day..

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  • Mar 3, 2012 - 9:04PM

    @Truthbetold:
    Wasting your time.Use it for something more worth while.Have a nice day

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  • let there be peace
    Mar 3, 2012 - 9:18PM

    Keep your fantasies limited to your country. No need to drag India.

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  • Chacha
    Mar 3, 2012 - 9:22PM

    Pakistan is not about minorities, but about majorities. The essence of the Pakistan movement was that muslims were a seperate nation and need to be in a minority and in power – since the Delhi Sultanate they have been in power and they have not accepted being out of Power – that is why the Aga Khan in the simla delegation of 1906 asked the viceroy for special representation (he coined the term “wieghtwage”) on account of thier “historial importance”

    .

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  • Malik Rashid
    Mar 4, 2012 - 12:15AM

    At the Muslim League congregation in Lahore (March 22 – 24, 1940) Jinnah said:
    “Mussalmans (Muslims) came to India as conquerors, traders and preachers and brought with them their own culture and civilization. They reformed and remoulded the sub-continent of India. Today, the hundred million Mussalmans in (British) India represent the largest compact body of Muslim population in any single part of the world. We are civilization, language and literature, art and architecture, names and nomenclature, value and proportion, legal laws and moral code, customs and calendar, history and traditions, aptitude and ambitions, in short we have our distinctive outlook of life and on life. By all canons of international law we are a nation.”

    The oppressive attempt at forging one Muslim nation out of Bengalis, Punjabis, Pathans, Baluch and Sindhis had started before Pakistan came into being.

    This is a paragraph from the resolution:
    “Resolved that it is the considered view of this Session of the All India Muslim League that no constitutional plan would be workable in this country or acceptable to the Muslims unless it is designed on the following basic principles, viz., that geographically contiguous units are demarcated into regions which should be constituted, with such territorial readjustments as may be necessary that the areas in which the Muslims are numerically in a majority as in the North Western and Eastern Zones of (British) India should be grouped to constitute ‘independent states’ in which the constituent units should be autonomous and sovereign.”

    The last paragraph of the resolution lays emphasis over the sovereignty of ‘regions’ and insists on “providing for the assumption finally by the respective regions of all powers such as defense, external affairs, communications, customs, and such other matters as may be necessary.”

    I understand that the author of this article is a fiction writer but the desire to rewrite history ‘closer to the heart’s desire’ is one atrocity perpetrated by the ‘Muslim mafia’ to carve a piece of India and continue ‘Nawabi’ claiming there is a threat of annihilation by the ‘Maharajas’. No doubt, the environment presented challenges but the communal conflict was used by Muslim and Hindu politicians for a long time after partition.

    The urge to deny facts of history is the oppression intellectuals of Pakistan must free themselves from. Political freedom may follow a rule of law that renders all citizens equal and accepts human rights as well as the right to self determination. Thanks.

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  • Mar 4, 2012 - 12:36AM

    @vasan:
    I’m surprised,as I make a mental note of people who have something possitive to say,to the our disturbed little world, less chaotic,but today you disappoint me.It does not need the knowledge of rocket science to figure out who is writing under once own name and one who is not.Those who are fearless,secure in their inner being,never need fictious Russians,hindu/muslim or chinese sounding or any other gemmic, name..They are sure of their thought process and are fearless.People take the cover which inter net and cp provide and on purpose, utter falsehood for several reasons,ignorance is not the only reason.But guys who are well worsed,see the game being played,you do not need be ‘proverbial ‘HANS to seperate milk from water’.,ordinary common sense will do.I trust you get the drift of my point.If you make 1% change in the world for better understanding and less malice and spread of hate,you have made your stay on this earth worth while.This is all we can ask of ourself,and T/E and free exchange of thought this modern world,enables us now, is a gift,and we must consider ourself lucky to live in this wonderful times,and do our part.Nothing is for ever,least of ourself.Good day.

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  • HPT
    Mar 4, 2012 - 1:50AM

    @Apostate,

    Re. your (rhetorical?) question: “Can anyone please explain what is idea of Pakistan?”. Funny enough, the well-respected author Stephen Cohen wrote an over 300 pages long book in 2005 titled “The idea of Pakistan”. There may be shorter answers (I’d hope) but I am not aware of them.

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  • Cynical
    Mar 4, 2012 - 7:17AM

    @Author

    It’s comforting to know that there still are saner voices around.Hope there are listeners too.

    @American Desi

    Admirable insight.Surprised that there is no denial from Jinnah brigade.

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  • arjun
    Mar 4, 2012 - 10:25AM

    @Linda Khan:
    The fact that you equated India with a religious nation like Pakistan says how much you know of this matter and what extent you understand the realities. Please read more and more of recent history. Please be careful when you say “India and Pakistan”…there is serious difference in this aspect.

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  • ZYX
    Mar 4, 2012 - 11:24AM

    While i agree that minorities should be protected and that we are minorities of a kind, the interpretation of the two nation theory is deeply flawed. Pakistan was created as a homeland for Muslims where the Islamic identity could be expressed in its fullest form while also protecting the rights of non-Muslim minorities. It was not a nation of Hindus on the one end and the egalitarian secular democracy on the other……what fanciful and illogical thinking that is. Particularly since more than 200 million Muslims currently live in a semi secular India. Pakistan was always intended to be the expression of Islamic ideology.

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  • Ali Tanoli
    Mar 5, 2012 - 4:10AM

    @unbeliever
    sir/madam i have a request for u and like u guys that stoped judging my english because
    Queen Elizebith is not my mamas.

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  • Ali Tanoli
    Mar 5, 2012 - 4:13AM

    @unbeliever
    and i lives on moon with oxygen window to the earth.

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  • Ali Tanoli
    Mar 5, 2012 - 5:33AM

    How much india is secular when they dont allows muslims to eat beef how come they are seculars,

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  • Ali Tanoli
    Mar 5, 2012 - 8:11AM

    @HariHarmani
    Some thing is fishy in your message man U.S.A and kosher is Halal the diffrence is only Habrew and Arabic and by the way stop doing in Congressy way. i made your day i guess.Recommend

  • vasan
    Mar 5, 2012 - 8:30AM

    Ali Tanoli : Why is that Pakistanis always write lies about India and build their cases on that. For Eg : Your comment that muslims are not allowed to eat beef in India. I am at a loss to understand how could u write such garbage when even some hindus eat beef and there are beef stalls in nearly every district headquarters. I am at a much deeper loss to understand what that has got to do with secularism.

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  • khan of quetta
    Mar 5, 2012 - 12:36PM

    @vasan:
    MAJORITY IS AUTHORITY that my friend is called democracy

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  • Chacha
    Mar 5, 2012 - 1:16PM

    Ali Tanoli – Hindus oppose cow slaughter in thier neighbourhoods. So abbatoirs and beef kitches are in muslim neighbourhoods. But they do exist. I am Hindu and I have had the best Naan and Beef kababs even in Gujarat (which is Modi – Land ).

    You have been fed sterotypes and lies by your mullahs, it has clouded your perception

    India is far from perfect and events like Modi’s progrom provides further blemishes. But we are more secular than not, and our laws and our ideals enshrine this. For Pakistan, the opposite is true.

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  • Ali Tanoli
    Mar 6, 2012 - 3:29AM

    @Vasan & chacha
    I did not mean to hurts you guys feeling man sorry ok it was a just little masala and i do know that india has those kitchen because i am from karachi and my friend families visits india U.P and Dehli and we talk about india too much and even i got the visa in 1992 but then Babery masjid incident happend and we cancceled our program.

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  • Talat Haque
    Mar 10, 2012 - 11:06PM

    squirm as an illusion in someone else’s dreams …………….. I like that !.

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  • Roshni
    Mar 11, 2012 - 2:27AM

    Any one who is a real human being ,should help this innocent girl.we are requesting to Chief Justice of Pakistan thet, please release her from the pressure of PPP MNA ,Who is Islamic extremist like Bin laden and take the statement of that girl without the presence of the gangsters and Miyan Abdul Haq Mitho’s armed forces,Miyan Mittho is another terrorist in Pakistan .Girl’s first statement was that, she was abducted,forced to conversion and married .She wanted to go back to her parents,She couldn’t get justice b/c of PPP MNA created pressure to the girl and slapped her many times in front of Judge.This is all injustice, crime and sin.We all are praying for the girl so she can be reunited to her parents.

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