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Thank you Sherry Rehman

Sherry Rehman has been one parliamentarian who has consistently taken a brave stance against all forms of extremism and bigotry. In February she brought to attention the activities of banned organizations in the Punjab by-election:

”It is shocking to see how banned terrorist organisations are allowed to challenge the writ of the state,” Sherry Rehman, a lawmaker with the ruling party, told parliament on Tuesday.

”What is the point of our innocent civilians and soldiers dying in a borderless war against such terrorists, when armed, banned outfits can hold the whole nation hostage in the heart of Punjab’s provincial capital?’

She started a debate on polygamy (during which she was criticized by her own party members):

She said the Jamiah Al Azhar of Egypt had issued a decree (fatwa) that no one was allowed to indulge into polygamy under the prevailing circumstances.

Just recently, she called for exemplary punishment in the case of the Rawalpindi gang rape of a teenager by police officers

“There are many such barbaric incidents when girls and women are raped and tortured in police custody, but nobody comes forward to protect them. Such incidents of humiliation and sexual harassment are on the rise in our society. Many sections of the police harass and torture vulnerable women, but these policemen must not get the protection of the powerful. This atrocious incident is highly condemnable and strong action should be taken against the accused policemen.”

However today she took the bravest stand of all by getting our cowardly National Assembly lions to unanimously condemn the killing of Ahmadis in Lahore via some clever maneuvering. We salute you, Sherry Rehman and wish more of our gutless politicians were like you.

From Dawn:

ISLAMABAD: It was after an apparent hesitation and a bold initiative by some women that the National Assembly on Thursday unanimously condemned Friday’s “barbaric massacre” of Ahmadis in Lahore.

It initially appeared that the brutal gun attacks on two places of worship, which killed about 90 people and wounded 105 others, would find no mention on the opening day of the lower house’s budget session as had happened in the Senate a bit earlier, for fear of possible ire of hardline Anti-Ahmadi religious groups.

But PPP’s former information minister Sherry Rehman would not let it go like that and called for an immediate attention to her two adjournment motions on the most deadly attack on the Ahmadi community and the Israeli commando attack on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla on Monday after Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Malik Amad Khan informed the house of Pakistan’s diplomatic moves against the Israeli action.

Immediate support for her move came from three more women members — ANP’s Bushra Rehman, MQM’s Khushbakht Shujaat and PPP’s Farah Naz Ispahani — while some men from both the treasury and opposition benches also jumped into the discussion before agreed resolutions on the two issues were drafted and adopted unanimously as substitutes for the adjournment motions.

One of them, moved by Ms Rehman, called the Lahore carnage “barbaric massacre” and a “coordinated act of terrorism” that it said represented a “serious challenge to the writ of the Constitution in Pakistan”.

Stating that “Islam does not permit attacks on minorities but instead seeks to protect all human life as sacred”, the resolution called for a thorough investigation and bringing militants who carried out the attacks to justice

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Laila Ebadi


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  • Sherry Rehman is one of very few brave voices in Pakistan’s parliament. Contrary to many paper lions in the PML-N and PPP, Sherry is least populist.

    For example, compare her ‘unpopulist’ pro-minorities stance with the populist anti-Qadiyani stance of “Dr’ Babar Awan.

    Bravo Sherry, bravo!

  • someone should also raise babar awan anti Ahmedi’s remarks in the parliament .

  • Sherry is indeed one of the very few sane voices in Pakistan. Zardari has lost an asset. Good for her. People like her should keep away from the present day PPP. It is more of a business group than a ‘democratic’ political party.

  • Natasha :
    Sherry is indeed one of the very few sane voices in Pakistan. Zardari has lost an asset. Good for her. People like her should keep away from the present day PPP. It is more of a business group than a ‘democratic’ political party.

    why should she keep herself away from present day PPP ? its her party and she is very much part of PPP and recently promoted to PPP CEC .

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It called on the church to “examine its conscience” about having placed secrecy and image preservation above the well-being of children.A. landed on his desk Two days later he was dealing with the case of Baker was the ninthFor decades such allegations had made their way to the archdiocese’s headquarters But for the most part the men who wore the miter before Mahony did little in response Letters from irate parents gathered dust in file cabinets Priests were quietly transferredMahony knew the larger church was just starting to confront clergy abuse In 1985 after a molester priest caused a scandal in Louisiana US bishops held a closed-door session on abuse at their annual conferenceMahony and other bishops subsequently received a lengthy report warning of the legal and public relations ramifications of abuse and offering tips for dealing with such cases The report written by a priest a psychiatrist and a lawyer presented the topic in a risk-analysis manner appealing to pragmatists like Mahony”Our dependence in the past on Roman Catholic judges and attorneys protecting the Diocese and clerics is GONE” Among the recommendations was that bishops rely on lawyers’ advice Not long after Mahony arrived he consulted the archdiocese’s longtime attorney about Cristobal Garcia a priest accused of molesting an altar boy and then fleeing to his native PhilippinesThe lawyer JJ Brandlin was unequivocal: “Be sure that someone has reported the matter to the authorities” “The law carries a heavy burden”The advice went unheeded Brandlin stepped down shortly thereafter and in his place Mahony hired the law firm of prominent venture capitalist Richard Riordan a devout CatholicAbout the same time Mahony took another step recommended in the report: He held a seminar for all 1100 of his priests about pedophilia He concluded the session with a direct appeal to any child molesters in the audience”It’s really helpful if you come forward so we can get you help” Only Baker respondedIt was Christmas week 1986 The chancery had begun to empty out for the holidays but Mahony was working as hard as ever The amnesty bill had passed and the archdiocese was setting up centers to help register 250000 immigrants for citizenship The LA leg of Pope John Paul II’s summer visit the first time a pope had ever set foot in California needed planning And in the archbishop’s corner office Baker wanted to unburden himself about two boys he had molested for yearsWhat happened Mahony asked Who were they Mahony asked Immigrant boys who’d left the area Baker said He didn’t know their last names or where they could be found he said For all he knew they might be back in MexicoThe experts’ report on abuse had mentioned cases like Baker’s Molesters so rarely self-disclosed that when a priest did the bishop “should ‘reward’ him with his support” it saidThe archbishop did not raise his voice the priest would later recall He did not press Baker for the boys’ identities or ask if there were more victims”I was glad I brought it up” Baker Mahony and placed it in the priest’s confidential file meticulous record-keeping that distinguished the archbishop from his predecessorsBy the time the holidays were over Baker had been sent to a New Mexico treatment center for accused pedophile priests Police weren’t notified Victims weren’t contactedIt would become a familiar patternBy 1988 the sensational McMartin preschool trials in which the staff of a Manhattan Beach day-care center was accused of abusing dozens of pupils had made child molestation a water-cooler topic But few in LA were aware that the archdiocese had its own serious problem Barely two years in office Mahony had dealt with 14 suspected abusersHe had done so with utmost discretion Chancery secretaries knew to lower their voices when taking calls from victims’ parents At Riordan’s law firm many partners didn’t even know that their colleagues were working on the cases Junior staffers whispered about it”We called them Father Fondle cases” recalled Lauren Hunter then a paralegal at the firm Riordan said in an interview he was not aware his firm handled the clergy abuse casesMahony and his aides insisted on secrecy even when lives were at risk In one case the archdiocese was informed that a man dying of AIDS had been having sex with a parish priest who in turn was abusing high school students At the time the average life expectancy after an AIDS diagnosis was 18 months Yet church officials did nothing to alert the priest or the students “People involved in these activities usually are aware of these matters” Mahony’s schedule brought him in regular contact with the police chief and the district attorney but he never mentioned the accused abusers in his ranks or reported them to law enforcement In private memos he discussed with aides how to stymie policeMahony and his aides selected therapists who they knew wouldn’t report abuse to authorities and urged suspected molesters to remain out of state to avoid police investigations and lawsuits Mahony ordered one priest who had admitted preying on as many as 20 children to avoid prosecutionInside the Los Angeles Police Department’s Sexually Exploited Child unit detectives had come to think of clergy cases as a footrace against the chancery When a tip about a priest came in the starting gun went off”Even if it was at the end of the day and we were supposed to go home we knew we were at the starting post” said Det Dale Barraclough who spent 20 years in the unitLAPD policy was to notify the archdiocese when an investigation was underway But once the church was informed Barraclough said “we knew that the suspect 99% sure that he was going to be out of the country or out of state”Detectives begged parents not to inform the church and held off telling their own supervisors Barraclough said in an interview buying time to talk to witnesses track down other victims and seize toys and photos from rectoriesOfficers often lost the race In early 1988 police learned that a visiting priest allegedly molested several boys over nine months before fleeing to his native Mexico In an effort to identify all the potential victims detectives asked for a list of altar boys at two LA parishesMahony was adamant that the roster not be provided: “We cannot give such a list for no cause whatsoever” he wrote to aides in an internal memoDet Gary Lyon became fed up and poured out the story of Father Nicolas Aguilar-Rivera to a Times reporter Lyon told the newspaper that church officials knew the priest was leaving the country but contacted authorities only after he was gone Now Lyon complained they were preventing police from identifying the children who may have been harmedThe story It was not the type of headline Mahony was used to He knew the power of the media in spreading the church’s message and building his influence He made sure photographers were on the tarmac when he delivered medical supplies to El Salvador He called KNX Radio from his car phone whenever he spotted a traffic accidentThey lied as bad as any thug or ex-con I’ve ever come across on the street