Pakistan Day and Christians of Pakistan. By Noel Alfonce
|There are very few occasions which we celebrate as nation in Pakistan, without any difference of our religion, cast or language, i.e. New Year 01st January, Valentines Day 14th February (Controversial), Pakistan Day 23rd March, Independence Day 14th August, Defense Day 06th September, etc.
Today on 23rd March, we all Pakistanis are celebrating Pakistan Day with a true National spirit, today we are not representative of any religion, we are one nation, we are just Pakistanis, on this day in 1940, our leaders passed a resolution for a new country (Division of India) for religious minority of India.
After long struggle Pakistan was become a new state by diving India through Great Britain in 1947, through a great freedom campaign which was run by many renowned personalities, (member of different religion) of India under the leadership of Mr. Muhammad Ali Jinnah.
Instead of going into a debate about Mr. Jinnahs personality, (either he was secular or Islamic) because one group of people says that he was cutter Islamic Person, and here they always give the reference of Mr. Jinnahs speech in 1948, at Peshawar Islamia College, in which he said that Movement of Pakistan was not just to get a piece of land but a place where the people could spend their lives according to Islamic principles.
The other group claims that Mr. Jinnah was secular and thats why he want to give equal rights to Non Muslims and he tried to convince to Non-Muslim residents of Pakistan for not migrate and make Pakistan as their homeland, he clearly said that You are free; you are free to go to your temples, you are free to go to your mosques or to any other places of worship in this State of Pakistan. You may belong to any religion or caste or creed that has nothing to do with the business of the State, he never disappoints any Non Muslim.
A graceful ceremony for division of India or transferring the powers, last viceroy Lord Mount Batten said to Muhammad Ali Jinnah I hope that Pakistan will well treat Non Muslims too, then Jinnah replied Yes, definitely, tolerance and good will practices of Akbar towards Non-Muslims is not something new, its our Prophets teaching.
Maulana Maudoodi of the Jamaat-e-Islami bitterly OPPOSED Jinnah. Maudoodi said that making of Pakistan was the same as cooking and eating pork (Soor Kaa Gosht). But once Pakistan became a new country with the Muslims, Christians and Hindus Leaders help and support (votes), the same Maulana Maudoodi and his entire Jamaat-e-Islami came to Pakistan and made their headquarters near Lahore.
In the first constitutional meeting Mr. Jinnah was appointed as the first Governor of Pakistan then he appoint Mr. Juggander Nath Mandal (Hindu) as Minister of Law and Sir Zafarullah Kahn (Ahmdia) as first Foreign Minister o f Islamic Republic of Pakistan, this was the prove that Quaid-e-Azam respect Non Muslims too, and want to give complete rights to them, equal to Muslims.
Every citizen of Pakistan was happy and enjoying almost equal rights, although they were struggling to resettle their selves was going on and the bad news came out in very next year of the new born Pakistan, that Mr. Jinnah, the Father of the Nation is no more, everyone was shocked, everyone hear this news with heavy heart, all Pakistan went into hell of sorrow, on that time Mr. Dewan Bahadur S.P. Singha (A Christian Leader) said, Now we the Christians of Pakistan, become Orphan.
After the death of Mr. Jinnah bad days surrounded Pakistan and badly effects the Religious Minorities of Pakistan, in 1974, Ahmediya (Denomination of Islam) declared as Non Muslim by the Government of Pakistan.
A Blasphemy law introduce by British Government in India in 1860 to protect of religious feelings of every religion, added 295- A in 1927 295-A was promulgated: Deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs. Whoever, with deliberate and malicious intention of outrage the religious feelings, or any class of the citizens of Pakistan, by words, either spoken or written or by visible representations, insult or attempts to insult the religion or the religious beliefs of that class, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, or with fine, or both.
Then in 1982 an Army Dictator Gen. Muhammad Zia ul Haq, who want to rule more longer, with the help of Islamic Extremists, he make the happy to added 295-B which is defiling the copy of Holy Quran. Whoever willfully defiles damages or desecrates a copy of the Holy Quran or of an extract there from or uses it in any derogatory manner for any unlawful purpose shall be punishable with imprisonment for life.
Again this was not satisfy to them, then Zia ul Haq added 295-C, 0use of derogatory remarks etc., in respect of the Holy Prophet: who ever by words, either spoken or written, or by visible representation, or by any imputation innuendo, or insinuation, directly, defiles the sacred name of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) shall be punished with death, or imprisonment for life and shall also be liable for fine.
These both amendments was just to make Islamic extremist, happy and to get their support for continue the rule on Pakistan, Ms Benazir Bhutto tried to moderate the Law and make some changes, when she was Prime Minister but reversed by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
These amendments makes Minorities more scared, due to this law many dangerous and big events came into happens. Most of the time a big Muslim Mob gathered and attacked many Christian Villages in Pakistan, Shanti Nagar, Koorean, Gojra, Badami Bagh etc
Its very easy for a Muslim boy to kidnap and forcibly convert a girl into Islam, whom he like and want to marry, if she is Christian or Hindu, no one can do anything against him. 1000s of Christian families are migrating to other countries, just to save their lives, just to live free, happy and secure, and those who dont have resources are living with scared and heavy heart, now Christians thinks that their elders did mistake by supporting Jinnahs team for Pakistan.
This law is always uses for the personal revenge from religious minorities, people who are well settled and have property or have any money dispute are victims of this law, thats why religious minorities are very scared, nobody have dare to talk against this law.
Mr. Salman Taseer (Governor of the biggest Province of Pakistan) was killed by his own guard just to show soft corner for Ms. Asis Bibi (Blasphemy Victim), she is still in jail and as per some news, her health is very bad, she is waiting for her case to be discussed in court.
Ex Federal Religious Minister Mr. Shahbaz Bhatti was killed in the Islamabad, the Capital of Pakistan by Talibans just to raise his voice against Blasphemy Laws.
These two incidences make minorities more scared than ever, they think, if these Ministers are not safe then what their status.
Since 1947 to 1986 only 01 case was registered of blasphemy but after the amendments from 1987 till 2012, 972 people are direct victims or this law, although majority victims are Muslims, but here we have to see that if any Muslim blamed for blasphemy, he is the only one who face all the happening but if any Christian blamed for this, the whole Christian Town have to bear the consequences, we can see in the past, where only one person blamed for blasphemy but he who village suffer, we have examples of Shanti Nagar, Gojra, Koreean, Badami Bagh and many others where the mob fire all village just the sack of a person.
Government also knows and admits that this law is misuses, but they are helpless in front of extremists, they are only trying to make the procedure of FIR (First Information Report) hard but what about the mob situation where even police become helpless.
This is alarming situation, now someone to take action, amending in the law is not solution this is time to repeal it, because this is not an Islamic religious law, and when we make it, why cant we repeal it. US and Europe have to put pressure on government to repeal the law and Islamic Religious leaders, who have soft corner for the country and its citizens, have to take action, try to spared awareness and make the environment clean and clear so every one can breathe the clean air.