Original Articles

Salmaan Taseer, Shahbaz Bhatti and Fake Civil Society – by Shakeel Arain

Pro-Blasphemy rally in Lahore . Where Jeans wearers and Mullah both were burning PPP Flag and Posters

Related post: PPP is on the same left-liberal footing even today. FCS, Please take note

Pakistan’s urban chatterers (also known as Fake Civil Society FCS) deliberately refused to accept Mumtaz Qadri (assassin of Salmaan Taseer) as a product of the military establishment’s jihad enterprise. They rather comfortably called him a lone wolf; a lone wolf who is garlanded by lawyers and appallingly defended by shameful Taliban apologists in the media.

A few days after the assassination of the Salman Taseer, Shahbaz Bhatti’s father passed away and his funeral was attended by the poor Christan community, PPP workers and PPP Federal Ministers. The right wing inclined media completely ignored it and their hand in glove friends in the urban chattering classes, who pose themselves as “Liberal Left” these days, didn’t bother with it either and neither attended the Christian funeral.  Not fundo enough for the former and not glitzy enough for the latter. Furthermore, the English media dons, many of whom present themselves as the bastion of liberalism didn’t even bother to write about this nor did they expose the hypocrisy of their right wing colleagues.

The right wing forces succeeded in creating a pro-blasphemy poster boy in the  shape of “Mumtaz Qadri”; it’s now irrelevant to discuss how exactly those forces supported Qadri in his plan to assassinate Taseer. Their political agenda they pursue is surfacing.

The subsequent assassination of Shahbaz Bhatti shows they just don’t want to kill the blasphemous and surrender themselves to become “Ghazi-hero”; they have their political agendas as well. This time the killer was not interested in becoming  another Ghazi to be showered with rose petals from an emotionally charged crowd of ‘True Muslims’ lawyers!

No journalist including those from the fake liberal class paid much attention to the previous attacks on Shahbaz Bhatti’s life prior to his assassination and the life threats he received< for pursuing justice for Gojra victims, Aasia bibi and other oppressed people. The shameful role of the Punjab Government of PML-N (a partner of Sipah-e-Sahaba) and the Judiciary in safeguarding the culprits of the Gojra incident has been completely blacked-out and it seems, deliberately ignored.

In fact the FCS once again resorted to blaming the victim (the PPP) on the murder of yet another of its central leaders.

Here is another exemplar of the hypocrisy of the Pakistan’s so called progressive, civil society. These days, Fake Civil Society’s favourite cheerleader for the repeal of the infamous blasphemy laws, Nasim Zehra, Director of Dunya News.   Incidently, this channel is the same one that hired the infamous Meher Bukhari (after she “left” Samaa)  whose incitement against the late Governor Taseer on her show is a shocking example of how the Pakistani media provides space to Islamofascism.  Many segments from our fake civil society also agree that Meher’s show had a significant role in inciting violent sentiment against  Salman Taseer’s that lead to his assassination.  Nasim Zehra should first oppose the employees and subordinates spreading hatred from her studio before pretending to fix the PPP.  Did she have the integrity to castigate Mushtaq Minhas after this interview when he was still with Dunya!

As part of a troika (Teen Jeem) of establishment, journalists that included Mushahid Hussain and Shireen Mazari, Nasim Zehra was at her smug best in being a partisan supporter of the “Lawyer’s” movement.  Both she and Shireen Mazari are some of the many who pretend to be neutral in the media but are fervent supporters of Imran Khan’s Tehrik Insaaf Party.  After Taseer’s murder, Nasim Zehra has re-branded herself as a “liberal” and is now using a civil society platform to forward the PTI agenda by maligning the PPP.

In a bizarre twist of logic, she attacks the PPP for the support that rightwing political parties like PMN-N, PML-Q and PTI gave to the Pro Blasphemy law rallies.  As if these parties were the paragons of liberal secular thought and not the reality, which is that they are ideologically Pro-Taliban apologists!   Her justification of inviting Zaid Hamid to her show, with the flimsy logic that one needs “the other side of the picture” does not wash in giving airtime to murderers and lunatics.  One can’t pretend to be a liberal and yet promote the most regressive mindsets by giving them airtime!

This has been a consistent trend amongst many of our pro-establishment journalists who are now trying hard to re-brand themselves as liberals.  When the extremists were given space by the establishment in every sphere of our lives, these “journalists” gave airtime to Taliban apologists and Jihadi leaders and now they want to falsely malign the PPP for the current Talibanization that has claimed the lives of Bhatti and Taseer!

The threat pamphlets that were left at the scene of Shahbaz Bhatti’s murder actually say a lot. It is only Zardari and co. who are considered the liberal renegades, not the leading lights of the FCS.  If the Islamofascists consider Zardari and co to be the most potent enemies then at least don’t trash them if one can’t align with them to fight this menace.

There is a reprehensible silence from these quarters (FCS) over the hate speech and wall chalking against Afzal Chishti [PPP Ulema Wing Secretary] who lead Governor Salmaan Taseer’s funeral prayer.

Similarly, FCS simply ignore how PPP rallied behind its martyrs, Shahbaz and Taseer.  Was it not PPP leaders who held the funeral commemorations of Shaheed Taseer at their houses where everyone rallied behind Taseer under the backdrop of ominous threats.  FCS ignored Samina Ghurk, President Lahore PPP and Faiza Malik,  PPP Lahore Women Wing President and their courage to commemorate ST by having his Chelum  at their  home.

Here is the PPP Punjab leadership in solidarity with the  late Governor Taseer a an event hosted by Tanvir Ashraf Kaira.

Here is to those who think that PPP “abondoned”  Taseer and “threw him to the wolves”:

 Our urban chattering elites, for the most part, deliberately ignored Asif Zardari’s bold initiative to reach out to India for peaceful and cordial relations after he was elected President.  Again, this is a consistent trend, where these Fake Civil Society wallas deliberately ignore the strong positive steps taken by the PPP leadership and continue to bash them mostly for imagined and fictional excuses; after all PPP bashing sells much more than an honest appraisal of the issues at hand.

For the first time, a Pakistani head of state promised a “no-first nuclear-strike” against India, talked of change and reconciliation, of shared bloodlines and the possibility of doing away with passports.  The President borrowed a quote from his late wife, who once said that there’s a “little bit of India in every Pakistani and a little bit of Pakistan” in every Indian. “I do not know whether it is the Indian or the Pakistani in me that is talking to you today,” Zardari said, amid applause from his high-profile audience, which included diplomats, politicians and industrialists.

Unfortunate as it was, soon afterwards, the GHQ intervened to sabotage and our FCS pretty much toed the line of the establishment. The 26/11 incident was used by the by the Right Wing political parties and their mentors in the army to propagate further hatred against India and provide more oxygen to our Jihadis.  At that time, our urban chattering elites were enjoying Jamat-e-Islami street power at the Constitution Avenue for restoration of Judiciary.  True to their nature of intellectual dishonesty, they did not support the President. Infact, when the Prime Minister and President tried to reign in the ISI under government control, the rebuff that they received from the establishment was actually supported by our fake civil society English media dons! Its funny that in their previous “revolution” (the so called lawyers movement), FCS required Jamati Islami street power and now they want the PPP to lead revolution for abolishment of blasphemy laws.  In analysing the deleterious role of Pakistan’s Fake  Civil society, an incestuous nexus of special interest groups, one can say that hypocrisy really has no limits!

Until and unless, our FCS wallas don’t realize that the menace of extremism cannot be combated with cosmetic measures and an ostrich mentality that ignores the role of its main creaters and supporters, all initiatives are simply window dressing and a promotion tactic to get more money for their NGOs.

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Abdul Nishapuri

28 Comments

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  • Thanks for publishing this. Please make sure that all PSF chapters are reading LUBP. There is so much disinformation going on. We are all being told that PPP is responsible for the deaths of its own leaders by the media while the talibanis are saying that it is US ki sazish!

  • How can PPP members listen to Nasim Zehra! Something is wrong with anyone from PPP thinking that Nasim Zehra has the best interests of the party at hand.

  • Protests against Bhatti’s killing continue across city

    * Protesters demand amendment in blasphemy and other anti-communalism laws

    * CDI chief says Christians being victimised ‘right under government nose’

    By Afnan Khan

    LAHORE: Members of civil society, human rights activists and citizens belonging to the Christian community, on Sunday, continued protest demonstrations across the metropolis over the assassination of the Federal Minister for Minorities Affairs, Shahbaz Bhatti.

    The protesters staged the protest near the Ittefaq Hospital, consequently blocking Ferozepur Road for a few hours. Separately, special prayer services were also organised in different churches across the city.

    The minority’s wing of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) also organised several protest demonstrations. Men, women and children, belonging to different faiths and walks of life, actively participated in these protests.

    Representatives from different NGOs, including the All Pakistan Minorities Alliance (APMA), Citizens for Democracy (CFD), Centre for Human Rights Education (CHRE), Community Development Initiative, Christian Helpline, Pakistan Qaumi Masehi Party (Haqeeqi group), Maseehi Millat Party, Sweeper’s Union, Jharo Kash Mazdoor Union, Maseehi Millat Party, National Commission for Justice and Peace and Christian Lawyers Association, also joined the protests.

    The protesters chanted slogans against terrorists and the recklessness of the government authorities. They also demanded amendments in the blasphemy law, terming it a “root cause of persecution against minorities by the extremists”. They asked for the introduction of strict laws against communalism and spreading hatred on the basis of caste, colour and creed.

    PPP minority’s wing leader, Napolean Qayoom, told Daily Times that the party, in collaboration with different NGOs and groups, has planned a fortnight-long protest campaign against Bhatti’s killing. “The Christians and human rights activists would not give up their resolve for amendment in blasphemy law under any circumstances,” he added.

    He said the campaign would comprise candlelight vigils, rallies and processions while people from Nishat Colony, Bahar Colony, Yohanabad, Jewan Hana, Green Town, Township, Sitatara Colony, Shahdara, Kahna and other parts of Lahore would organise similar activities within their areas and also events on The Mall, outside the Punjab Assembly and the Lahore Press Club in order to pay tribute to the martyred activists, Salmaan Taseer and Shahbaz Bhatti.

    Separately, CDI chief Asif Aqeel said that the country’s Christian citizens were being victimised by extremists, adding, “The country’s minorities, especially Christians, were portrayed as agents of the West by extremist groups after Zia’s regime, and sadly none of the political parties or leaders took stand against such notions at the time.”

    Asif also pointed out, what they termed, the “double-faced attitude” of politicians like Maulana Fazalur Rehman, “who just a month ago had been against the discussion or amendment of the blasphemy law and was now gradually retreating and had agreed for discussions over the misuse of this law,” he said.

    http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=201137\story_7-3-2011_pg13_2

  • Did any civil society NGO rushed to Gojra when whole Christain Mohala was burned down in bright day light ?

    Any fund raisers ?

  • Zardari pays tribute to Shahbaz Bhatti

    * President meets Bhatti’s mother, Martha Jacob, and other faimly members

    Staff Report

    ISLAMABAD: President Asif Ali Zardari on Tuesday paid glowing tributes to late Minorities Affairs Minister, Shahbaz Bhatti, saying that the sacrifice rendered by him for the country, the party and the minorities community for promoting interfaith harmony and tolerance will not go in vain and will be remembered for a very long time.

    Shahbaz Bhatti was PPP’s global ambassador for interfaith harmony and was seen in the world as the party’s face of tolerance, harmony and respect for minorities in accordance with the constitution of Pakistan and the party manifesto. He was widely respected within the country and abroad and the Vatican admired him for his commitment to promote interfaith dialogue and harmony, the president said.

    Spokesperson to the president, Farhatullah Babar, said that the president expressed these views while talking to the family members of Shahbaz Bhatti, who called on him at the Presidency on Tuesday.

    The family members of Bhatti who met the president, included his mother Martha Jacob Bhatti, brothers Paul Bhatti, Peter Bhatti, Gerard Bhatti, Sikander Bhatti and sister Jacqueline Bhatti.

    The president said that the PPP would request the government to appoint a special assistant for minorities from amongst the family of Shahbaz Bhatti as our token of admiration and also to demonstrate a commitment to pursue the objectives of interfaith harmony held so dear by Shahbaz Bhatti.

    The party would hold a condolence meeting for Shahbaz Bhatti, Salmaan Taseer and the martyrs of democracy in the Presidency, the president said.

    The president, while condoling the tragic death of Shahbaz Bhatti with his mother, said that he was deeply grieved over the sad demise of her son. “The death of one’s son is a great personal loss and in this hour of grief my thoughts and prayers are with you and all members of the bereaved family,” the spokesperson quoted the president as saying. Bhatti’s death is a great loss to the party, the minorities and the country, he said.
    http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=201139\story_9-3-2011_pg7_16

  • @Rizwan,
    Who is this tweeple and why would be do such a hateful and meaningless thing?

  • I am going to disclose that a powerful FCS and Military-Mulla-Media consortium called [Supreme League of Pakistan SLoP (Ch)] don’t like to see Pakistan as peaceful democratic country.

  • Supreme League of Pakistan (SLoP-Ch) decided to remove Syed Deedar Hussain Shah how racial this powerful party is?

  • Well written article. Excellent backing of Zardari with regards to his positive statements for the PPP.

    Also, potential solidarity with India?
    Why not? Pakistan and India together with common economic goals? brother’s quarrel, cast aside? What a powerhouse Subcontinental strategic foundation that could make!

  • recommends Shahbaz Bhatti for Nobel Prize

    KARACHI: The Sindh Assembly (SA) has passed a unanimous resolution tabled by the lawmaker of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) from minority Salim Khurshid Khokhar recommending the name of the deceased federal minister for minority affairs Shahbaz Bhatti for Nobel Prize. According to the resolution the federal government should recommend the name of Shahbaz Bhatti for the Nobel Prize. The PPP lawmaker said Bhatti worked for the equality of rights in the country and promotes religious harmony and democracy. He said Bhatti promoted the vision of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and Benazir Bhutto. PPP minority lawmaker Pitamber Sewani also signed the resolution. Khokhar said security of minorities is the guarantee of bright future of the country. He said all minorities would fight terrorism under leadership of President Zardari. Speaker Nisar Ahmed Khuhro has put the resolution in the House and it was unanimously passed. Pakistan Muslim League-Functional lawmaker Marvi Rashdi objected over the usage of word ‘Shaheed’ for Bhatti and said that only Muslims can be called Shaheed. PPP minister for Katchi Abadis Rafiq Engineer replied that they can use word of martyrs for everyone and its translation in Urdu is ‘Shaheed’. A resolution was earlier tabled in the Sindh Assembly session by the PPP’s Power Minister Shazia Marri for expressing solidarity with the people of Japan over the devastating tsunami, which hit the country. She said the SA is deeply affected by the devastating tsunami that caused massive destruction in Japan and extends its deepest sympathies to the Japanese people since World War II. She appreciated the support extended to Japan by the international community, including the president of Pakistan. Marri said Pakistani nation during these tough times would continue its support to the Japanese people. Later, the House unanimously passed the resolution. staff report
    http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=20113\15\story_15-3-2011_pg12_2

  • Taseer another victim of religious extremism: PLF

    LAHORE, Jan 4: Lawyers have condemned the assassination of Governor Salmaan Taseer and called it a coward act by the enemies of Pakistan.

    People’s Lawyers Forum (PLF) Punjab senior vice-president Malik Nasir Awan and additional secretary-general Rana Sufyan Arshad said Taseer was a great leader of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) who became another victim of religious extremism.

    Every Pakistani was shocked and saddened by his assassination, they added.

    They said those who killed Taseer wanted to destabilise Pakistan and democracy, but the PPP would not let them succeed in their evil designs.

    The Association of Pakistani Lawyers (APL), United Kingdom, also expressed sorrow over Taseer’s assassination.

    APL Chairman Barrister Amjad Malik said people might differ with his politics, statements or ideas, particularly his comments on blasphemy laws, but the way he had been eliminated was unlawful and uncalled for and it was a fatal blow to political business in Pakistan.

    This was a wrong message to public and tolerance must be preached at this juncture as arguments were best won through dialogue, and not through bullet, he said and demanded that those involved in the assassination must be brought to book.

    He said the APL conveys its condolence to PPP leadership too over the loss of one of their key members in the administration.

    Lahore High Court Bar Association president Mian Abdul Qudus also condemned the incident and called it an eye-opener for civilised society of Pakistan.

    Advocate Muhammad Azhar Siddique said the country was passing through a tough time and people had to deal with it sensibly. “We have to wait
    for result of investigations before holding anyone responsible,” he added.

    LHC holiday: The Lahore High Court principal seat, its regional benches and all subordinate courts in Punjab will remain closed on Wednesday (today) in the wake of Governor Salmaan Taseer’s assassination, says a notification issued by the LHC registrar.
    http://www.dawn.com/2011/01/05/taseer-another-victim-of-religious-extremism-plf-2.html