Sunday, April 5, 2009

Girl’s flogging – MQM, secular & civil society perspectives by Nadia Khan

A Swat girl's -being flogged- video, since yesterday when it made public, is having multiple versions.  Secular & civil society members are furiously vocal against such act of inhumane nature and demanding multiple actions including the apprehension of those who had committed this! Religious forces in other parts of Pakistan while condemning the act itself only, appeared to be little away in denouncing Taliban forces. One of Swat based Taliban group has been accused for this activity whereas TTP spokes person, Muslim Khan, though didn't deny the prosecution has revealed his side of story using careful words.


ANP led NWFP govt and its minister information Mian Ifthikhar Hussain while conducting a hurriedly-called press conference at Saidu Sharif, has accused some hidden forces for this act to deteriorate the relationship between NWFP govt and Swat Taliban leader Sufi Muhammad. According to him this incident had happened during January, before the peace agreement, and now making it public, through an old video, is a conspiracy.


Even though peace agreement between NWFP govt and Swat-based Taliban has been agreed upon, to setup Qazi-Courts in Malakand division for speedy trial, which will impart Islamic mode of punishment and due to that some level of peace in the valley has been achieved, but it further requires President's endorsement through his signature, before becoming the law. By using this opportunity President Zardari has refused to move on with this ordinance. With this action, perhaps, he is trying to please US and West, who were quite critical about the peace agreement since its inception!


Chief Justice, Ifthikhar Chaudhry, has also setup a bench to look into this matter but few analyst say that he has been dragged in this case purposely, which would put Supreme Court and radical Islamist forces against each other, if the verdict wouldn't be inline with the wishes of later. Before that, he was under fire by govt and foreign forces due to adjourning "missing Pakistani, Lal mosque" and similar cases, indirectly favouring those hardliners. However with this case he has been implicated by someone shrewdly who wanted to kill two birds with one stone – radical Islamists and Supreme Court!


Probably, ANP provincial minister was referring to this 'conspiracy' which has made Swat peace process on halt temporarily.


From religious perspective, flogging, no matter Pakistan's secular or progressive forces like it or not, is part of Islamic system of punishment and provincial govt of NWFP has agreed with (the blessing of PPP-led federal govt) Sufi Muhammad, a political figure of Pakistani Taliban, to implement it in Malakand division. When someone has been identified by a judicial or Qazi court as culprit of moral crimes, he or she would be tried for same. In current case it is quite unknown as which court & who has conducted the trial, where and when, with what type of evidences gathered to deliver judgement and public punishment, perhaps without any right of appeal?


If secular forces, with MQM founder Altaf Hussain, at the forefront of propaganda war against Taliban, consider that Islamic mode of punishment, called as Hadood Allah, is an act of barbarism or inhumane then they have to rethink their philosophy before moving their steps. On 12th Rabi ul Awwal they celebrate Eid Milad Un Nabi with full religious zeal, on 10th Muharram they attend processions organized for Hazrat Imam Hussain's martyrdom and so on. They should be made aware that Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) has implemented such Hudood (punishments) during his time successfully followed by his four successors - Caliphs. Refer Holy Quran 24:2, Sahih Bukhari 2:23:413, 4:56:829 and Shahi Muslim 17:4191, 17:4201 verses and hadiths.


There were number of more gruesome incidents prior to "Swat Peace Agreement" which includes throat cutting, hanging dead bodies (without heads) with trees, and suicide attacks in Malakand division and all over Pakistan require civil society attention. Especially the case of Tasleem Solangi, a 17 year old pregnant girl, thrown to dogs & she delivered the baby, who was also thrown to nearby lake by being an illicit child, deserves more attention of sons of Sind including MQM founder.


Tasleem's unknown grave is begging for justice since when MNA Nafeesa Shah, daughter of Sind Chief Minister tried to pacify the case and protect culprits, who were are all clean shaved & belonged to her own constituency in Khairpur, Sind. I wish if it would have been carried out by "turban-worn bearded culprits" then it would get quick attention of Altaf Hussain, even for the sake of Taliban's hatred and a poor soul along with her new born baby could get justice!!!!!

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