Friday, October 10, 2014

Dear State! Hindu Marriage and Forced Conversion Bills need your attention…!


I cannot forget the words of “Rinkle Kumari’s mother please save my daughter! I beg you that give my daughter back and I want nothing else except my daughter” at Sindh High Court and I felt helpless so I couldn’t even say anything but staring into her tearful eyes, still ask the question that where is her daughter, not only Rinkle’s mother but many mothers whose daughter have been kidnapped and they ask same question which Rinkle’s mother still asks.

It was not only Rinkle Kumari or Asha Kumari who had been kidnapped in the name of religion, there are various people who can tell us that how many girls have been kidnapped and how thugs enjoy their crime with apparent impunity because our system has no sufficient law that can punish criminal them who are using the name of religion.

You can close your eyes to problems but you are unable to vanish it, unless you open your eyes seeking the causes of problems. Unfortunately in our country from leaders to rich class both want to put their hands on their eyes and keep singing the song that All is well.
If we peep into our society, can see that all is not well at all especially in the cases of Non-Muslims, Ahmedis, Sikhs, Christians and Hindus all are living under a shadow of fear. Ahmedis have a fear of that from which side unknown person will appear and declare them as Non-Muslim, later he/she may be killed in the name of declaration of Non-Muslim by a Muslim.

The Sufi land is undergoing the walk of those souls who have not listened to a song of Sufi/Baghti-ism.

What can state do to protect Non-Muslims? Let me ask, why does state not protect its own single clause of Human rights? 
All citizens are equal and simultaneously are deemed to be secured under the umbrella of Human Rights, if state is going to fail in protecting its own law of Human rights that means the sense of security among people is being injured.

Each government claims to be protector of the rights of Non-Muslims, personally I disagree a word “Minority” how can you call a person as a minority whose roots are anchored in the land? State has declared them as minority because their religion is not of the majority!

When will we start living peacefully? When I see or read news that indigenous people (Sindhi Hindus) of this land are being killed and their daughters are kidnapped. Where are we going to? Sometimes we cannot recognize that path that leads us into a dark cave but when we reach to the dark cave, we will realize that it was not a path which we had thought of.

So far, our country has problem of violation of human rights. I don’t want to go to past stories when Hindu girls were kidnapped and converted to Islam, it doesn’t mean that these cases have been stopped; such cases and problems still awfully exist.

After such kind of issues, political leaders realize that now we should have Laws, we can at least stop the problems.

PPP government announced that they were going to introduce law of Safe Houses which could solve the problem of Hindu girls’ kidnapping. What happened that PPP could not present the Hindu Marriage and Forced Conversion Bill; however, a committee was formed of Rana Baghwandas, Dr. Majida Rizivi, Minister Dr. Khatoomal, Jhut Mal and others in July 2013.  At that time I did contact to Dr. Khatoomal and asked him, “Would you believe your government could present a law on Hindu Marriage Bill and Forced Conversion? He responded confidently that they would make a law and present in Sindh Assembly. That was an important because Safe Houses could play its main role to stop a forced conversion. Courts could not do anything in the cases of forced conversion but if they made a law which could solve the case of conversion. “We are committed and will present a Bill. Don’t forget that Justice (r) Rana Bhagwandas and Majida Rizivi were in committee” said Dr. Khatoomal minister of PPP – Sindh.”

Very strange that we are in 2014 but where is the Bill? Which was to be presented            by Sindh government on Hindu Marriage and Forced Conversion Bill?

After Sindh Government, we are hearing a voice from PML-N (MNA) Dr. Ramesh Kumar Vankwani who presented a draft on Hindu Marriage Bill but his bill has been invisible.

When I phoned “Dr. Ramesh Kumar Vankwani regarding his Hindu Marriage Bill, he told me that “what are you asking me? I am struggling and trying to pass this Bill but no one is serious regarding that Bill. Do you know this would be a first time in the history of Pakistan, we will make a law for Hindu Marriage Bill and our people can get a right of getting their marriage registered even divorce process would be easy because in our religion to get divorce is too difficult.” I asked him another question that according to your Bill, it does not speak of Forced Conversion. 

Why? Dr. Ramesh said that “they cannot pass our simple Hindu Marriage Bill; yes I agreed with you on that I have not mentioned distinctly regarding forced conversion in Bill because if I had mentioned that cause, Bill would not have been allowed even to present it as the way I have present it now. Nevertheless, I have mentioned an age limitation that can help us to stop forced conversion.”

Would it be possible for Islamic Ideology Council to accept your clause of an age limitation, if any girl is kidnapped and converted to Islam because religious groups follow their law of Islam then how will they listen to your bill? Asked him. He said, “I discussed the matter with IIC and they agreed that forcibly conversion is not allowed. I am still helpless that we cannot even pass a simple law regarding Hindu Marriage Bill.”

Simple Hindu Marriage Bill is not yet passed by National Assembly and Sindh Government has also forgotten its committee on Hindu Marriage Bill in an attempt to stop forced conversion.

I would share comments of Jai Parkash Moorani, who said “nowadays people do not send their daughters to schools because they are still afraid of forced conversion that is reason they get them married in their underage.” So, where is the implementation of Child Marriage Bill?” 

He further said on Hindu Marriage Act that “current situation is very critical; we do not need piece of paper called an agreement which grantees marriage relation, due to present bad situation in our society where your wife is kidnapped and person cannot provide any evidence for his own wife and girl’s property right in her father’s property which is also important issue that’s reason we support and need a Hindu Marriage Bill.”

Mr. Parkash totally disagreed on the question of divorce when I asked him that how do you see a matter of divorce, don’t you think that as a human each person has right to live and choose not to live? “Human Rights are best things but when you make Hindu Law then you will have to be obliged to follow religion as Hindu religion has no place of Divorce even same issue exists in Christianity, where getting divorce is difficult. Otherwise, we should make a unanimous Marriage Act which is applicable to everyone in Pakistan.”

I would share with you that Mr. P.K Shahni drafted Hindu Marriage Bill was presented in era of Shaheed Zulifkar Ali Bhutto and Hindu Marriage Bill’s draft was taken from Indian Marriage Act, not a single word change even Dr. Ramesh has lately presented Bill it is same which had been already presented but Rana Chandr Singh expunged section of divorce and said that unless “I am alive this law will not be passed” and he proved his words that unless he was alive, Hindu Bill could not be passed in Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto’s Era.

When I asked Mr. Parkash that Dr. Ramesh’s Hindu Marriage Bill is not openly criticizing a forced conversion, Bill has mentioned only age limitation. Do you think that age limitation can helpful to stop forced conversion? Mr. Parkash said, “No it will not stop forced conversion and to be honestly, IIC will never accept any line which goes against its fanatic thoughts.”

Then, I did contact with his wife Mrs. Nirmela Parkash, who was fully supporting Marriage Act, she said that “our girls have been kidnapped and we cannot still provide any evidence of their marriages.” 
She shared one of incidents, “I could not recall the names that once the rich man kidnapped Hindu lady and when her husband filed case and claimed at court that she is a married but when court asked him for furnishing evidences, he could not provide. 

Therefore, we feel that now we should have legal documentation-right it is very imperative to us; we must have a legal document.” She also said about Property Section, being a wife and a mother I feel my daughter that what will be her future, if she gets married? We have right of property. 

On the question of divorce, Mrs. Nirmela laughed and said, personally I believe that person has right to choose his/her own choice but our religion is not allowing us. We cannot deny that women suffer a lot.” One man got second married and his first wife had given him permission for second marriage, later man was not happy with his second wife. So, it is absolute unfair to both women who are being subjugated to suffering, to stop such incidents at least we ought to have laws, Mrs. Nirmela shared.

It is painful, due to insecurity child girls get burden of marriage. Ignorance of State is killing a childhood of children.

We all know that if Hindu Marriage Bill which was presented by Dr. Ramesh cannot stop forced conversion but it is a right that they should have Hindu Marriage Bill and it is demanded that we must have law that can stop forced conversion and girls get the shelter.  

Does Law have its implementation? Of course, this question needs an honest answer but before going to that question another question raises, do we have a single law for indigenous people?

We want to knock at the door of governments through this piece of writing that Dear state! Hindu Marriage and Forced Conversion Bills need your attention. 

Friday, August 29, 2014

Martyred Journalist Irshad Mastoi: Bullets and Last Goodbye...!

میری لاش پہ کوئی آواز تو دینا۔۔۔!

میری لاش پہ کوئی آواز تو دینا،
موت میری محبوبا ہے
وہ کبھی بھی کسی وقت دستک دیکر چلی آئے گی
تم بس اتنا کرنا کے میری لاش پہ آواز دینا
ہم تو ہر روز مرتے ہیں
بس اُس دن میری (موت) محبوبا ملنے آگی
اور پھر میں نا رہوں گا
کیا کریں ہمارہ آخری پیار بھی تو صرف اک وہ نکلا
جو ہماری سانس کی آخری قیمت لگتا ہے
پر ہم اپنے پیار کے ہاتھوں مجبور ہیں
ارے موت تو اپنی محبوبا ہے
پر اس ظالم کے ہاتھوں کسے روپ لیکر آئی ہے؟ (ہلینا)
Martyred Journalist Irhsad Mastoi (File Photo) 

28 آگسٹ کو میں بہت تھک چکی تھی اور جلدی سے سونے کے لیئے جانا چاہا رہی تھی پر اک ٹوئٹ نے مجھ کو پریشان اور درد کے ایک اور دھارے پہ کھڑا کر دیا جب میں نے پڑہا کہ بلوچستان کا صحافی ارشاد مستوئی کو قتل (شھید) کیا گیا ہے۔
ٹوئٹر کی مہربانی کے اس کی وجہ سے ارشاد مستوئی کی خبر منظر پہ آگئی لیکن ملک کی قومی، غیرت اور جمہوریت پسند ترین میڈیا پہ اک غریب اور چھوٹے صحافی کی خبر کسے چلے گی۔ اس ٹی وی میڈیا جس کو کنٹرول کرنے والے دو جمہوری اداکار جلسا لگا کر ہر روز چیغ کے نئیں پاکستان کا اعلان کرتے ہیں اور پھر ایک تاریغ دی جاتی ہے کہ اس بار آج نیا پاکستان نہیں آیا لیکن کل پھر ہم تماشا کرکے نئیں پاکستان کو بُلائیں گے اور دوسری طرف حکومت جمہوریت اقتدار کے خاطر نہی لیکن جمہوریت کے لیئے دن رات پریشان ہے۔
ان کی کوشش ہے کہ جمہوریت مضبوط ہو۔
سندھی میں کہاں جاتا ہے کہ جن دل کھوٹے ہوں تو پھر عذر بھی بہت ۔
جلسے کا تماشا لگانے والے اور حکومت ساروں کو نیا اور جمہوریت والا پاکستان چاہیئے جب ان سب کے دل  ہی کھوٹے ہیں تو پھر ان کا نہ نیا پاکستان آسکے گا اور ناہی جمہوریت مضبوط ہوسکے گی پھر بھی ٹی وی میڈیا پہ تماشا لگا ہوا ہے۔

اس سارے تماشے میں کسی کو پتا بھی چلا کے ان کے اس پرانے اور نیم جمہوری ملک میں اک صحافی ارشاد مستوئی اور اس کے ساتھ دو اور ساتھیوں کو گولیاں مارکے قتل کیا گیا۔ کیا کسی نے اک جملا بھی ارشاد مستوئی کے لیئے کہاں؟
یہ تماشائیوں کا ٹولا کیا دے گا جو اک صحافی کی قتل پہ دو لفظ بھی نہی کہتے! اتنا ہی نہی ۔۔۔ بہت کم آوازیں تھی جو ارشاد مستوئی کے لیئے اُٹھی۔

گر ارشاد مستوئی کسی بڑے چینل پہ کام کرتا یا کسی بڑی عالمی اخبار میں لکھتا تو شاید سب کہتے ہائے صحافت پہ حملا ہوا ہے۔ پھر ٹوئٹر سے لیکر فیس بک تک ہر اک ارشاد مستوئی کے لیئے دو چار الفاظ لکھتا بھلے کسی نے اس کو نہ پڑہا ہو لیکں ریٹوئٹ تو ضرور کرتے۔
لیکن ایسا کچھ نا ہوا گر ایسا نہی ہوا تو ایسا کا مطلب ہم سب کام کو نہی لیکن بڑے اور امیر نام کے پیچھے بھاگتے ہیں ۔ کیوں کہتے ہو ہر انسان برابر ہے؟ کیوں کہتے ہو ہم انسان کے کام کو اہمیت دیتے ہیں؟ آپ اپنے اندر جھاتی پاکر دیکھیں آپ نے کیا درحقیقت غریب اور چھوٹے لوگوں کے کام کو کبھی اہمیت دی ہے!
گر دی ہوتی تو آج ارشاد مستوئی کی شہادت پہ کیوں خاموش رہے؟
ارشاد مستوئی میرہ صحافی دوست تھا میں کبھی بھی اس سے ملی نہی لیکن اس سے فون پر بات چیت ہوتی رہتی تھی۔ میرہ خیر بخش مری صاحب کا انٹرویو بھی ارشاد مستوئی نے اردو میں ترجماں کیا تھا وہ پہلی کڑی تھی جب اس نے فون کرکے مجھ سے انٹرویوں کی ترجمے کی اجازت لی تھی۔
بلوچستان کے مسئلے پہ ہم بات کرتے تھے اور وہ ہر وقت کہا کرتا تھا کہ آپ (وینگس) جانے لیئے جب ہم کو قتل کیا جائے گا ہمارے خبر کو کوئی اہمیت نہی دے گا۔ بس اک دو دن خبر چلے گی پھر سب بھول جائیں گے۔
ارشاد مستوئی نے بلوچستان کے مسائل پہ ہر وقت بہادری سے آواز اُٹھائی اس نے کسی خبر پر سمجھوتا نہی کیا اور ناہی اس نے کبھی صحافتی اخلاقیات کی حدوں کو پار کیا۔
اس کے صحافتی Pocket  میں ہر وقت خبر ہوتی تھی لیکں اس ملک کی میڈیا میں اتنی ہمت نہی تھی کے اس کی خبر چلا سکے جو لائیو چار چار گھنٹے جلسے دیکھا سکتے ہیں پر ان کے پاس اک خبر شایع کرنے کی کبھی ضرورت محسوس نہی کی پھر بھی ان کی نظر میں اسی صحافت کی اظہارے رائے  بڑی ہے جہاں پر اک صوبے کی خبر نا چل سکے۔
اس میڈیا میں گر کوتا بھی لاہور، کراچی یا اسلام آباد میں مرجائے تو میڈیا اس کو لائیو کوریج دتا ہے لیکن بلوچستان کی خبر نہی چلتی، ارشاد مستوئی ہمیشہ یہ الفاظ کہتا تھا۔
وہ سچ ہی کہتا تھا کہ یہاں پہ ہم لوگوں کی جگہ نہی اور گر آپ سچائی سے کام کریں پھر تو آپ کو اپنے لوگ بھی جگھ نہی دیتے۔
ارشاد کو کسے اب باتوں کے سچائی پہ چلنا تلوار پہ دھار کی طرح ہے۔ یقینن ارشاد کی شہادت پہ وہ ردعمل نہی آیا جو آنا چاہیئے تھا شاید ان کے سچائی کی حد مختلف ہو۔ لیکن آج بھی بلوچستان کی گلیاں اور دھرتی ارشاد جسے بہادر آواز کے لیئے روتی ہوگی۔

آج بھی کسی خاموش موڑ پہ کھڑہ نوجوان ہاتھ میں خبر لیکر سوچتا ہوگا کہ اب کسے کے پاس جاؤں جو اسکی درد کو شایع کرے؟ آج پھر اک آواز خاموش کی گئی  انہوں نے گولیاں چلاکر اپنی بہادری کا مظاہرہ کیا ہے۔ لیکن ان کو کوئی جاکر بتائے کہ وہ کتنے کمزور ہے ہاتھ میں بندوق لیکر کوئی بہادر نہی ہوتا لیکن جو دل میں درد اور سچائی سے دوسروں کے درد پہ آواز اُٹھائے پر اپنے درد کو تھپکی دیکر کہے تم سے پھر بات کروں گا آج میرے دل میں ٹھرجاؤں ۔

ان کو اک گولی نہی مار سکتی ۔ ارشاد مستوئی زندھ ہے کیوں کے وقت کی دیوی نے ہم سے کہاں ہے کہ وہ ہر اس آواز کو زندھ رکھتی ہے جو اک گولی سے خاموش کرائی گئی ہو۔ ہمارہ وقت کی دیوی پر یقین ہے ۔
اس یقین کو رہنے دو کے ہم (صحافی) اپنی جنگ لڑتے رہیں۔
مجھ پتا نہی میں کیا لکھ رہی ہوں بس آج ارشاد کی یاد جو درد اور دُکھ سے بھری پڑی ہے۔ 28 آگسٹ کو اس کا آخری میسیج آیا تھا:
Last message by Journalist Irshad Mastoi sent me on WhatsApp on August28, 2014
ارشاد مستوئی پر جب گولیاں چلائی گئی اس وقت اس نے اپنی دو بچیوں اور بیٹے کے لیئے کچھ تو سوچا ہوگا جو اس کے خون کے ساتھ بیہگیا پر درد پھر بھی پیچھے اس کے گھر والوں کے روپ میں اب بھی موجود ہے ۔
آج ارشاد مستوئی کی شہادت پہ کچھ آوازیں ہیں لیکن تماشوں کو کان لگا کر سونے والے اک معصوم اور بہادر صحافی کی شہادت کو کون سُنے!!!

ان کے پاس کان ہیں لیکن سب سُن نہی سکتے کے بلوچستان کے سینے پہ اک اور صحافی کی لاش گرائی گئی ہے پھر بھی صحافت کی آزادی زندھ باد ۔ جب کے صحافت کے کندھوں پہ ارشاد مستوئی کا جنازہ ہے پھر بھی اتنی خاموشی ۔۔۔ کوئی آواز دے کہ اس کو کس نے قتل کیا؟ 

Sunday, August 3, 2014

What Umerkot incident (Two Hindu Brothers Killing) tells…!!


Injustice and unfair treatment are not new issues in our country. Criminals commit crime, government issue statements, human rights activists hold placards to raise voice for justice (on selective issues) and we journalists, reporters, editorials and piece of writings on the pages of newspapers or loudly cry on TV Channels, even beating the drums on social networks, some people endorse tweets on Twitter and also like on facebook (Strange, how can anyone like problem?). Later, all these things shift on the track of another issue. Everyday we have problems and condemn them in the same way.

Pakistan has been high rank in violation of Human Rights, still cannot maintain the law and order, nor protect the rights of people.
Sometimes, we have to re-think that does our government know the ABC of Human Rights?
Though, government is on back of horse and riding a state. Unfortunately, they may know how to ride the horse but they are failed to govern a system.
Rulers know all issues of people, yet they are pretending to be an innocent. Sometimes they are even bad actors that they do not how to act like an innocent.

People are being treated as they are not the part of this land. Especially, Non-Muslims, personally I hate to write or to call a person with a tag of religion but I am helpless when I see crimes in the name of religion and when I read the news that police was standing silent and mob burnt the houses of Ahmedis in Gujranwala.

We have long list of Hindus who have been crossing the narrow streets, they are sons/daughters of this soil and what are they getting? Go and ask mothers who have lost their daughters because their daughters had been kidnapped and converted to Islam, Go and see the Old Temples of this land which were destroyed and burnt, finally Go and condolence with families whose beloved were gunned down.

And justice? I am a journalist and have to control my emotions but let me know, when you have abnormal system, the state within the state and none is ready to listen to the voices that begging for justice as once Rinkle Kumari, begged for it.

Take a deep breathe … state is an immature and it needs time to develop its system. How much do they need time? How many will people have to loss their lives and beloved?
At least, tell them a specific time. Can government give a timeline to reduce such kind of crimes, especially which are being committed in the name of religion?

So far, Sindh is forcibly pushed against the wall of extremists as extremists are being settled in Sindh. They have intention of conquering the land. Therefore, they are also making troubles to indigenous people of this land. Hindus are neither community, nor minority but they are being called a community and minority as the law says. Has the state ever followed the law in the case of human rights?

I have been writing on the problems that Hindus are facing and also on extremism whose seeds are being sown in Sindh.

Nowadays, situation has turned into worst when religious factor is involved.
We can take an example of Thar where is majority of Hindus, there hidden hands are trying to disturb the peaceful society.
Madrassas are being developed in Thar even political party leaders are helping them to promote their motives. Hindus are unsafe and are unable to register even a single F.I.R.

On 31stJuly, 2014 Thursday night at 9:30 two Hindu brothers Heera Lal Malhi and Ashok Kumar were gunned down. Killers opened fire at them and their office was nearby police headquarter said Jai Parkash Moorani.
On social networks, rumors were shared that behind this murder, PPP minister Mardaan Ali Shah is accused to being involved.
Regarding to this rumor, Mr. Moorani did not seem to be agreed and he said that before 6/7 months many Hindus had been kidnapped and were freed on ransom, therefore no one can commit a mistake when they know that Malhi community is present in majority. This is a criminal case; even their shops are located in the main market of the city.

Unnamed source said that “Hur people 80% are involved in criminal activities and 20% are involved those who are strangers. Even, Shahs (People) play their role as a dealer if anyone kidnaps a Hindu.  Police is deaf, dumb and blind in such cases."
Hur people have religious influence that’s reason none is incapable of speaking against them.
We still remember the 5years old little girl Vajinti’s case when PML-F’s person was involved. Moreover, Sindh Government constituted a team for investigation. Did she get justice?

I tried to approach politicians who are trying to solve this current murder case. I talked to "Mr. Ali Mardan Shah Minister of PPP, whose name is being raised in the case. He rejected a rumor and called oppositions are playing game on case by accusing him. He said that I have been elected in the area where this murder case happened. How is it possible that I will harm the people of my own area? They were like my children who had been gunned down.
I did visit the family whose was bearing the loss and would bring criminal to justice at any cost, said Ali Mardaan Shah."

"Mr. Lal Malhi MNA PTI said that he could not blame anyone. We want justice and killers must be arrested. He criticized the Sindh government that Chief Minister is helpless and whole Sindhi areas are divided among feudal lords and influential persons even Chief Minister of Sindh cannot ask them for anything.  He further said, Ali Shah claimed that he had freed Hindus from kidnappers. I asked him, could he let us know, how did he get free Hindus and was anyone (Kidnapper) arrested? Thar is a desert and if killers and kidnappers commit crime, they cannot hide themselves in Jungles because here is no any Jungle except desert. So, these criminals get shelter in Autaqs, said Lal Malhi.
When killers killed two Hindus on that day SP and DSP both were not present and SHO was not on the duty even people tried to call on emergency number, they didn’t respond the calls."

"On the question of Hurs involvement in criminal activities, he said that I would recall a statement of Hur’s Pir Pagara who said that we would protect Hindus but what is happening, here. Parties have criminals but they do not trouble to people money or extortion. But they try to pressure on Hindus for their vote. In the case of Two Hindu Brothers, elder brother tried to run, killer followed and fired at him until it was confirmed, whether he was dead or not, said Lal Malhi."

Actually, they want to force us for leaving our land and shift to India, many people want to go because they have no safety but some poor people cannot afford passport fees that’s reason they are bearing injustice and living in unsafe and fearful conditions.

"He further added, PPP Co-Chairman took notice of this case and constituted a committee of ministers that had come and promised for justice. Let’s see what will happen? We will never keep silence, said Lal Malhi."

"Mr. Giyanchand Essarani PPP minister said, this is not a new issue as a Hindu, we are facing problems but our government is raising voice for them. We have suspended SHO and doctor both were not present on the duty and within one week criminals must be arrested and they will be brought to justice. Unfortunate, our Hindu people do not register F.I.R that’s reason we are unable to arrest criminals but in this case, anyhow we will arrest criminals. To one question that why are people not filing FIR? Do you think that they, maybe, are afraid of and no security assurance might be reason that they do not file F.I.R. Giyanchand Essarani showed his agreement at this point that people are afraid and have no security. We are trying to solve problems, on this current case, we will get result, said Minister Essarani."

Will this case get justice? Let’s see and wait. We should not forget, Umerkot’s case has left message on the wall “People are unsafe.” Can government read this message on a wall?