Posts Tagged ‘supreme court’

What does 21st Amendment Mean

Maulana Fazl-ur-Rehman is right in his apprehensions that the 21st Amendment to the constitution of Pakistan is basically passed by nascent secular Pakistan. The basic reason he is reproaching this amendment is because the world ‘religion’ is clubbed with terrorism. He also said that government wants to sabotage denominational schools or madrassahs under this amendment. He vowed that Pakistan won’t be allowed to be a secular country at any cost (but how he didn’t explain).

Since Maulana Sahab is also  graduate from madrassah, it was expected from him. He must know that time doesn’t travel backwards and will not ever. He must overcome his misoneism and accept the reality that Pakistan has been changed, as late as, post 16/12. The world aside, the state and civil society of Pakistan itself, doesn’t care if he thinks that terrorists don’t follow real religion and that terrorists have no religion etc because they themselves introduce them as holy warriors and use religion to justify their atrocities. No one also cares how execrable Maulana Sahab feel about this but the truth is that Pakistan was predicated on the secular principles only, i.e., democracy and plebiscite and that is her real fate. The hypocrisy of Maulana Sahab is evident when he is found showing his intransigence by bickering over secularism but simultaneously takes part in democratic processes of elections and reaps fruits of this outcome in the form of ministries and related perks. Till now I didn’t come across his address regarding any alternative form of government neither read his, book aside, a mere article in the papers as to what kind of system he wants. He is  always just found using religious sentiments of common man to use for his political gain. Sometimes by issuing fatwas that voting for his opponent is unlawful or his ballot symbol, the book, shouldn’t be open so that he can exploit the common man’s sentiments as the picture of closed book would be semblance of some holy one.

If Maulana Sahab was thinking that some coterie would keep on goading the religious sentiments, installing fear in the name of religion terrorize the masses, again, using religion and world would remain mute, and he would enjoy the perks of democracy and secularism while having entente cordiale with fanatics, he was doing it wrong. The fact is that in order to remain in this global village and to contribute positively therein, it is not acceptable. No matter how entrenched one’s beliefs are, in today’s world one is compelled to follow the human rights, religious freedom , security and other such secular democratic norms.  Pakistan is not an exception here. This was bound to happen that state defines categorically that in Pakistan terrorism emanates from wrong understanding of religion. Even though this development of separating state and religion is in its inchoate form, has stirred the fear out of Maulana Sahab that Pakistan is going to be secular.  Can somebody dare ask him, if he can be indifferent to the secularism spread all around him? Can he abandon democracy? Can he stop using currency notes? Can he imagine living without banks, luxury cars and all those scientific inventions which we take for granted? Can he stop requesting a secular country America to make him Prime Minister of Pakistan? If not then he should know that end of the day he will have to bite the bullet and accept the reality that Pakistan would become a secular country. His wishes, his protests and his antediluvian intransigent ideologies don’t matter in changing Pakistan.

Maulana Sahab is very eager that under this amendment, government is planning to raid madrassahs under the name of reforms and regularization. The fact is that, it is the need of the hour and high time that such instructions are regularized. I will just give one example as to how madrassahs or denominational schools need reforms as many of such institutions violate basic human rights.  When a kid’s future is decided by his parents at the age of five and he is admitted to a denominational school with a hope that he will one become ‘alim’, this is a human right violation since that kid is not being given chance to choose his future by himself. The reform needed would be like in normal school a student has the right to choose between humanities and science after 8th grade and further after 10th grade he chooses to become either doctor or engineer etc, similarly this should be the stage when student should choose a ‘religious studies’ group and after studying ‘pre-religious studies’, he should be allowed to join any madrassha. Pakistan anyways don’t need a lot of Alims, since we already have most Alims per capita in the world and still have chaos. We need only those alims who are by choice. Less Alims but better ones who know what are the requirements of the modern world how religion should cope with it.

The juncture which Pakistan is now standing at, is decisive. If Pakistan won’t change itself then the states who ‘call the shots’ would coerce Pakistan into it. Maulana Sahab’s fears are right. Pakistan is changing. This convulsion against religious extremism in Pakistan is now a reality and can’t be stopped. Quaid-e-Azam’s 11th August speech is inextricable from the very tenor of nascent Pakistan’s constitution.  Soon those who are on the other side of this epoch making event, due to their injudicious approach of not looking at the obvious, shall be forgotten by history and only those who become part of it, shall be remembered.

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Every state makes such laws in order to protect its citizens, property and sovereignty as to convict those who attempt to sabotage the peace in the country. But these laws are always made keeping in view the human rights and personal freedom. But when we look at the Protection of Pakistan Ordinance, it seems to violate those human rights, democracy and constitution. The security forces can kill anybody under the doubt of him being terrorist and fanatic alien war monger!
People of Pakistan already have enough experience of administrative directives and ordinances which have enacted the rule of Military fright instead of rule of law for over quarter of a century. People of the country especially the ones from Balochistan have already enough experience of rotting in the solitary confinements at undisclosed locations, in-camera inquiries highly classified evidences and unpublished reports.
When police or security agencies would be allowed to keep any person on the mere doubt in their custody for up to ninety days and if the security officers kill someone just because they thought one as criminal, PPO shall be there to cover this outlawry. Who can guarantee that the law shall not be (mis)used to settle personal vendetta? Why is it necessary for forces to keep a person in custody for up to ninety days without any charge? Doesn’t this show the incompetence of our law enforcement agencies that they are unable to carry out the preliminary investigation in twenty four hours’ time prior to producing the accused in front of magistrate? Instead of enhancing the capabilities of our security forces, taking preemptive security measures and deploying latest technology to curb the fanatics, our government have found an easy way out to promulgate such a tyrannical law that shall just deprive more mothers of their ‘missing’ sons and probably more mass graveyards.
It is also a matter of concern the way PMLN government has get it passed from NA without paying heed to the amendments proposed by the opposition. Such autocratic measures leave no second opinion on the fact that Pakistan is being drifted farther away from the civilian rule and more unrest because government doesn’t seem to agree to get the validity of this law tested in National Assembly both in form and in substance. Now if apex court (most probably) takes notice on the conflicting clauses of this ordinance with constitution and human rights, we will see government crying foul that such notices by court are an attempt to undermine the parliament. Why it is so hard to do the right thing at first place?
Moreover, such laws are only passed when an alien government wants to suppress the native people by implanting fear of security agencies so that their mouths are muzzled such as to curb freedom of speech and press. Fetters and gags are planted by this kind of laws on the people who are considered slaves. But Pakistan is free country and if even after freedom we need such ‘black laws’ in order to maintain integrity, peace and law & order, I fear we are heading towards another Jalianwala Bagh incident after British passed Rowlatt Act.

Mursalan Haider
12-April-2014
Beijing, Haidian China