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By Tayyba Seema Ahmed
Chapter 1: Introduction
Chapter 2: Nineteenth Century British India
Chapter 3: Jihad - Origins, Concepts and Interpretations
Chapter 4: The Essence of Jihad
Chatper 5: Introduction to the Translation
Chapter 6: Jihad and the British Government
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Home Media Reports 2010 First Right Step Forward
First Right Step Forward
India Journal, India
First Right Step Forward
Date Submitted: Thu Jun 10, 2010

By: Mansoor Ishfaq (California USA)

When the departure of the dictatorship was in the planning stages, the million dollar question was who will lead the “Most Dangerous Country in the World”? From the short list, Benazir Bhutto, Pakistan People Party (PPP), was considered a moderate politician and champion of women rights. On the other hand, Nawaz Sharif, Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) was a well respected figure in the religious circle. When Ordinance XX passed in 1984 against Ahmadi Muslims (Ahmadis), Sharif was then Zia Ul Haq’s right hand and was a close friend of religious parties serving in the cold war.

Due to her moderate approach, Bhutto was always considered more effective in the war on terror than Sharif. Bhutto would strike a deal with Gen. Pervez Musharraf which made it possible for both candidates to return to the country and to run in the upcoming general elections. In the same general elections, to get the political edge, Nawaz Sharif loudly spoke against war in terror and made allies with religious parties.

After the restoration of democracy, once again religious fundamentalists flourished under PML-N’s led government in the Punjab and terrorists established a base in southern Punjab. Under Shehbaz Sharif, younger brother of Nawaz and the current sitting Punjab chief minister, the worst attacks have been launched against religious minorities in Pakistan’s history.

The May 28th slaughtering of peace loving citizens of Pakistan demonstrated that under the Punjab government, sporadic attacks against Ahmadis have mushroomed into an epidemic. Initial investigation of the May 28th attacks suggests that during the terrorist’s weeklong preparations, the men stayed in Raiwind, the headquarters of Tablighi Jamaat, and official place of residence of Sharif brothers. The men had also taken shelter at the Ibrahim Mosque, a center of the Tablighi Jamaat in central Lahore.

Neither of the Sharif brothers visited a hospital where wounded Ahmadis were receiving treatment. The recent alliance between PML-N and Sipah-Sahaba (SSP), a banned anti-Shia outfit, during Jhang bi-elections confirmed continuation of PML-N policy. To ensure the PML-N-led Punjab government could preserve and nurture the party’s vote bank, it allowed the display of, and in some cases even sponsored, banners and billboards inciting hatred against Ahmadis. One such banner was recently placed on Mall Road outside the Lahore High Court and translated, read: “Jews, Christians, Ahmadis are enemies of Islam.” The other was a billboard put up last year, reportedly, for the Aalmi Majlis Tahaffuz-i-Khatm-i-Nabuwat, reading “Friendship with Ahmadis is rebellion against the Prophet, peace be upon him.” Even after all the violence on May 28th, the banners were not removed. But, while speaking to a private television channel, the advisor to Punjab Chief Minister Zaeem Qadri defended that the banners could not be removed for fear of “adverse reaction against the government”.

Soon after the May 28th massacre, two Khatme Nabuwat conferences were held in the Punjab. The first conference took place in Sargodha in which PML-N’s Senator Sajid Mir made a fresh call for removing all Ahmadis from key positions. The second conference was held on June 8, 2010 in Muslim Town Lahore, in which thirteen ulema attended including government officials such as Secretary Shariat Court’s Mulana Zahid Rashdi, a banned Jamat ud Dawa’s Amir Hamza, PML-N’s provincial minister Molana Ilyas Chanyouti and Jama’at E Islami’s Dr Fareed Piracha. In a press conference following the meeting, it was declared that the May 28th massacre was the work of forces who would like to repeal anti-Ahmadi laws. May 28th was linked to the Face book controversy and the government plan of clearing south Punjab from terrorists. Nawaz Sharrif was asked to retract his use of “brothers and sisters” for Ahmadis. A warning was issued to Ahmadis to leave the country and to the government to not to change the anti-Ahmadi Laws. Otherwise it was said, “the result will be worst than 1974 massacre”.

Nawaz Sharif took the first right step forward by calling Ahmadis “brothers and sisters”. The next step is to protect these “brothers and sisters”. PML-N shall understand that it is not an old Pakistan. The international stage is evolving faster than ever and support of fundamentalists is political suicide. A lesson can be learned from the fundamental religious parties who lost in the general election. Pakistan can progress only with a moderate philosophical approach where all its citizens, regardless of their faith, have equal protections and opportunities. By shedding the notion of “fundamentalist supporter”, PML-N can play a vital role in the future Pakistan.

Source:  
http://www.indiajournal.com/pages/event.php?id=11445
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