HRCP for end to hate-preaching & killing

Press Release, 10 September

 

Lahore: Taking a serious view of the killing of two Ahmedis in Sindh and instigation to murder in a TV programme, the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has called for urgent action to protect the minorities’ lives and to ensure stoppage of hate-preaching through the media. In a statement issued here today HRCP said:

 

On Monday an eminent Ahmedi physician and cardiologist was shot dead in Mirpurkhas. The next day, another prominent Ahmedi was killed in Nawabshah. The Ahmediya community believes there is a link between these brutal killings and a programme telecast by a private TV channel in which a cleric called for death to Ahmedis and the compere concurred. Even if there is no direct link between incitement to violence on TV and the two murders neither of the offences can be tolerated. The Ahmedi community is within its legal rights to demand protection against instigators of violence against them. The government must ensure that the killers of the Ahmedi citizens are brought to justice and that nobody is allowed to use the media, especially the electronic one, to preach communal hatred and fratricide. The TV channel also has a duty to reign in irresponsible comperes. Failure to do so will confirm its complicity in a heinous crime.

 

Iqbal Haider

Co-chairperson

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9 thoughts on “HRCP for end to hate-preaching & killing

  1. I would like to know what the HRCP is doing about the injustice being done to the Ahmadi martyrs of this horrific incident of murder resulting from the Geo TV programme Aalim Online…Surely it is a breach and abuse of the fundamental human rights of freedom of assembly, freedom of expression, freedom of religion, and the right to life!
    Media is NOt a platform for inciting hatred and encouraging violence and murder in the community!!!!!
    Is there any justice being brought to the families of these victims? What steps are being taken to protect the endangered lives of the rest of the Ahmadis residing in Pakistan? This is surely your que to step in!
    The whole world would like to see what promises of the the Human Rights commission of Pakistan, to protect innocent pakistani citizens’ lives, are highlighted at these crucial stage.
    This is YOUR chance to show the world that pakistan IS NOT a country that does nothing to protect citizens’ human rights.
    Wishing you the best, and waiting for your update,
    MA, UK

  2. I was appalled to hear that a national television station, in a country which is claiming to fight the war on terror and religious extremism, would allow its religious forum to be the venue for preaching hate towards people who simply share a different set of beliefs than their own. This is the height of religious intolerance and extremism. Geo TV is directly responsible for the murders of September 8th and I hope that extreme measures are taken against the broadcast, the host of the program, their “learned” guests and all those who were in a position to and chose not to censor this program.

  3. Pakistan has turned a blind eye to injustice and extremism long enough! Now Pakistan is being consumed by the same hate that it helped promote under the regimes of Bhutto and Zia-ul-Haq. Yesterday over 20 innocent men, women, and children were murdered while praying in a Mosque in a clash between Sunni and Shia. Ahmadiis have been murdered indiscriminately for decades. It is time to say ‘ENOUGH!’ Islam is a religion of peace and tolerance. It is time for Pakistan to defend the religion in the name of which it was created!

  4. HUMAN RIGHTS RESTORATION INTERNAL FORUM UNITED KINGDOM
    HRRIF – UK
    The Case of Murder of innocent human beings:
    HRRIF is horrified to learn that two innocent Pakistani citizens belonging to a minority religious sect known as ‘Ahmadi Muslims’ were murdered shortly after a broadcaster on one of the country’s main television channels urged viewers to kill “blasphemers” and “apostates” as a sacred religious duty. According to the reports, Amir Liaqat Hussain, anchoring a programme ‘Aalim on line’ on the widely viewed GEO TV Sky Channel on September 7, declared that the murder of members of the Qadiani [derogatory word for Ahmadis] was (Wajib ul Qatal) the sacred duty of the Muslims. He followed up by urging two other participants on his program, who belonged to different sects of Islam, to endorse his viewpoint. Hussain, who is a former minister for religious affairs in Pakistan’s federal government, representing MQM reportedly obtained the endorsement he sought more than four times. Again on September 9, Hussain answered a query on a phone-in program with the comment that those guilty of the alleged sin of blasphemy should be put to death.
    Within 18 hours of the first broadcast, Abdul Manan Siddiqui, a heart specialist in the city of Mirpur Khas, in Sindh province, was murdered. He was the district Amir [chief] of the Ahmadi Community in Mirpur Khas.
    The doctor was reportedly called out of his clinic on the afternoon of September 8 by six people who pretended to have brought a patient. Siddiqui was dragged outside, shot 11 times and died on the spot. His private guard and a woman passer-by were also injured in the attack.
    The following day, Sheikh Muhammad Yousaf, a 75 years old rice trader and district Amir [chief] of the Ahmadi Community, was killed in the city of Nawab Shah, also in Sindh province the Home of the President Zardari. He was reportedly shot at by motorcycle borne assailants. Since the promulgation of the notorious Ahmadi-specific Ordinance XX in 1984, he is the 94th Ahmadi killed for his faith. The assailants had taken a route past a police station. No one was arrested.
    The HRRIF has strongly condemned the action and joins the AHRC, HRCP, IFJ and all other right thinking peace loving people in condemning the incitement to intolerance and violence apparent in the declaration made by Hussain and his two interlocutors. “Under legal standards for curbing hate speech in the media, the burden of proof is on Amir Liaqat Hussain and the channel that broadcast his program to establish that they do not bear some responsibility for the murder of two innocent men,”
    “Media outlets must implement measures to ensure their content abides by ethical principles, including curbs on hate speech, both in the interests of promoting tolerance and also to ensure there is no opening for state authorities to intervene in the expression of fair comment.” IFJ Asia-Pacific has rightly said
    Additional Information:
    The Ahmadi Muslim Community was declared non-Muslim on September 7, 1974, through a constitutional amendment, and was labeled a non Muslim minority by the PPP government. Since then, there has been open hatred of the Community by certain Islamic circles and fundamentalists across the Muslim world, and its members suffer widespread discrimination. Ahmadi followers are not allowed to pose like a Muslim and even bury their dead in the ordinary grave yards of Muslims, and many of those buried before 1974 were desecrated by fundamentalists.
    Dr. Ghulam Sarwar was murdered on March 19 in Faisalabad, Punjab province while Mr. Basharat Mughal on February 24 in Karachi. The Dr. Siddiqui is the 15th medical doctor killed since 1984. Religious Extremists across Pakistan incite hatred against Ahmadis
    their beliefs, and call for their killing. Most profane and unfortunate is
    it that these clerics are doing so during the holy and blessed month of
    Ramadhan, a month of fasting, prayer and quiet devotion.
    Is it not surprising and unbelievably absurd that under these circumstances, the authorities’ initiative amounted to registration of a criminal case under anti-Ahmadi specific laws Ahmadi jewelers, traders and businessmen at Chenab Nagar [Rabwah], who published Ramadan timetable for starting and closing the daily fast and “therein used the words ‘Imam’ and ‘Khilafat’, thereby injured the feelings of Muslims”, allegedly.
    The entire Ahmadi population in Kotli Azad Kashmir is also charged by the police under anti-Ahmadi specific legislation nd their names are published in the Khatme Nabuwwat Kotli newspaper.
    MQM gets rid of Dr Amir Liaquat Hussain:
    The MQM has already announced that the popular religious TV person, Amir Liaquat Hussain, is no longer a member of the party’s Rabita Committee because he is making statements that arouse “religious hatred”. The announcement specified that he had been “warned earlier to stop making such statements on his television programme”. The MQM actually said that owing to his inclination to arouse religious hatred “his party responsibilities were ended one and a half years ago and his membership was suspended as well”. Now the MQM doesn’t want to be “responsible for any of his words and deeds”.
    HRCP slams Ahmadi killings:
    The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has called for action to protect the lives of minorities and to halt the practice of hate preaching through the media. In a statement issued on Wednesday 10th September 2008, the HRCP said: “On Monday, an eminent Ahmedi physician and cardiologist was shot dead in Mirpurkhas. The next day, another prominent Ahmadi was killed in Nawab Shah. The Ahmadiyya community believes there is a link between these brutal killings and a programme telecast by a private TV channel in which the host called for the killing of Ahmadis.” Even if there is no direct link, neither of the offences can be tolerated, it added. The Ahmedi community is within its legal rights to demand protection against instigators of violence, it said. The statement demanded that the government ensure that the killers of the Ahmadi citizens are brought to justice and that nobody is allowed to use the media to preach communal hatred and fratricide, said by HRCP.
    The HRRIF has noted:
    No direct and or indirect statement of condemnation was issued in this serious matter by any of the ruling political parties PPP and PML (N) leaders, their functionaries and the ministers.
    No statement and or concern are shown by the Prime Minister and or the President of Pakistan on behalf of their government.
    No remorse and or explanation are given by the Chairman and or board of directors of the GEOTV Limited.
    No Sue-Moto action is taken by any of the Chief Justices of Sindh High Court or the Supreme Court of Pakistan.
    None from the Pakistan Bar Council and or lawyers in Pakistan has made any statement, dharna and strike who have been championing for the cause for the human rights and independence of judiciary for some time.
    None of the G8 and donor countries ‘allies in the war on terror’ has made any statement or condemnation on the action and loss of innocent Ahmadi Muslims.
    HRRIF appreciates:
    Statement of condemnation in its strongest terms by none other than MQM leader Altaf Hussain in his press release and by live address to 20 cities and town in Pakistan.
    Statement of condemnation by the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan – HRCP
    Statement of condemnation by the Asian Human Rights Commission – AHRC
    Statement of condemnation by the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) which represents over 600,000 journalists in 122 countries © International Federation of Journalists. Belgium Source: http://asiapacific.ifj.org/en/articles/ifj-condemns-inflammatory-broadcast-and-link-to-murders-in pakistan
    All other right thinking peace loving people who showed concern and have condemned the action and complained to the OFCOM.
    HRRIF demands from the concerned authorities and governments:
    Penalize and place ban on GEOTV Sky Channels 815 to stop further incitement to murders
    Take stern action against the agents of incitement, murderers and the perpetrators of intolerance and violence against the humanity.
    Charge the GEOTV under the corporate crime of murders,
    G8 and donors countries to show concern and place sanctions on the Government of Pakistan for failure to regulate irresponsible media provocation and to protect innocent killings of Ahmadi Muslims,

    Place ban on the militant Khatme Nabuwwat [KN].

    HRRIF Invites:
    While condemning strongly now invites all right thinking peace loving people, activists, organizations and human rights agencies from all over the world to voice concern condemnation and mount pressure on those responsible to protect human rights by letter to OFCOM Riverside House2a Southwark Bridge Road London SE1 9HA or call on 020 7981 3040 or 0300 123 3333 and or send an email, G8 donor governments through your MP and directly to the government of Pakistan at the following address:
    1. Mr. Asif Ali Zardari
    President of Pakistan
    President’s Secretariat
    Islamabad
    PAKISTAN
    Fax: +92 51 922 1422, 4768/ 920 1893 or 1835
    E-mail: (please see: http://www.presidentofpakistan.gov.pk/WTPresidentMessage.aspx)
    2. Mr. Syed Yousaf Raza Gillani
    Prime minister of Pakistan
    Prime Minister House
    Islamabad
    PAKISTAN
    Fax: 92-51-9221596
    Tel: +92-51-9206111
    E-mail: webmaster@infopak.gov.pk
    3. Mr. Rehman Malik
    Advisor for Ministry of Interior
    Room No. 404, 4th Floor, R Block,
    Pak Secretariat
    Islamabad
    PAKISTAN
    Fax: +92 51 920 2624
    Tel: +92 51 921 2026
    E-mail: minister@interior.gov.pk
    4. Dr. Ishrat-ul-Ebad Khan
    Governor of Sindh province
    Karachi, Sindh Province
    PAKISTAN
    Fax: +92 21 920 5043
    Tel: +92 21 920 1201
    E-mail: governor@governorsindh.gov.pk
    5. Syed Qaim Ali Shah
    Chief Minister House
    Karachi, Sindh Province
    PAKISTAN
    Fax: +92 21 920 2000
    E-mail: pppsindh@yahoo.co
    6. Chief Justice of Sindh High Court
    High Court Building
    Saddar, Karachi
    Sindh Province
    PAKISTAN
    Fax: +92 21 9213220
    E-mail: info@sindhhighcourt.gov.pk
    7. Ms. Nadia Gabol
    Minister for Human Rights
    Government of Sindh,
    Pakistan secretariat, Barrack 92,
    Karachi, Sindh Province
    PAKISTAN
    Tel: +92 21 9207043
    Fax: +92 21 9207044
    E-mail: lukshmil@yahoo.com
    8. Secretary
    (Criminal Prosecution) SGA &CD Department
    Government of Sindh
    Sindh Secretariat,
    Karachi, Sindh Province
    PAKISTAN
    Tel: +92 21 9213327-6
    Fax: +92 21 9213873
    E-mail: secy.cpsd@sindh.gov.pk
    9. Dr. Zulfiqar Ali Mirza
    Minister for Home
    Government of Sindh
    Barrack 79, Pakistan Secretariate
    Near MPA hostel
    Karachi, Sindh Province
    PAKISTAN
    Fax: +92 21 9204456
    Tel: +92 21 9201920-1
    E-mail: secy.home@sindh.gov.pk
    For urgent Appeals Programme
    Asian Human Rights Commission (ua@ahrchk.org)
    Thank you.
    Chairperson HRRIF
    Co-Chairperson HRRIF
    Fax: 020 8767 0456 W: hrrif.com E: info@hrrif.com

  5. There is a viral attack afflicting our inboxes these days fueled by anger, piety and resentment.

    The object of people’s rage is a program on Geo , in which the anchor Amir Liaquat Hussain , allegedly called for the ‘lynching’ of all Ahmedis. As a TeamGeo member I was horrified that our channel , which has its motto the phrase , ‘Geo aur Jeeney Do’, could have stooped to such lows. Especailly since we are always accused by the conservatives in society against our many programs and projects like Zara Sochieye, Khuda Kay Liye and Ghamidi. I was also very disturbed to read the Asian Human Rights report on the subject and felt the collective guilt of having caused the deaths of 2 Ahmedis.

    I am not a great fan of Amir Liaquat, and not many liberals or elite are. However, I must admit that his popular , show Alim on Line , did for the first time , bring together Alim’s from the Sectarian divide on to the same platform and their discussions helped greatly in bridging the viewpoints of these two great sects of Islam. This show has a vast appeal and has helped a large member of youth, women and men to resolve their confusions about the teachings of Islam.

    That said , I was still very perturbed with what occurred on 7th September on Geo. I decided to try and get to the truth of the matter. I asked for a copy of the program and saw it myself. I realized how mob fury can be inflamed by sheer hearsay and exaggeration as well as through personal bias of people against Dr Aamir.

    Nowhere in the program did Dr Amir or the three guests call for the death of Ahmedis. The discussion initially was based on history and how the Prophet (PBUH) and the Sahaba dealt with the emergence of ‘False Prophets’. It kept emphasizing that all Muslims must believe that Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) was the seal of the Prophets and was the last messenger of God. The first guest gave us a background of the Ahmediya controversy and how the Bhutto government declared them outside the pale of Islam in the 70’s.

    He also took us through the constitutional implications of that parliamentary excommunication. The scholar did not at any point call for any lynching of the Ahmedi’s.

    Amir then turned to his two studio guests’ including a Shia and Sunni Alim. Both of them stated categorically that they believed that False Prophets are punishable by death and gave much references to religious text and tradition. They also heaped scorn on the founder of the movement, which I personally felt was in bad taste, but refrained from any exhortation to kill Ahmedi’s.

    I decided to transcribe that portion of program which I am attaching to this mail. I think this should clear some of the air.

    I am also privy of the fact that the management of Geo held a series of meetings and took the matter very seriously. They made sure that the program was not repeated nor telecast outside Pakistan. Amir Liaquat followed up with his own regret in subsequent programs and the President of Geo went on the BBC and offered his apologies to those whose sentiments were hurt by the broadcast. Geo, however, does not feel that a causal link can be established between the program and the tragic killings because there was absolutely no exhortation to do so by Amir and the three scholars. I also feel that the Asian Human Rights report was based entirely on hearsay and not on facts. They need to correct their position after either viewing the program or going through the transcript.

    The Ahmedi issue is a very sensitive one and it cannot be discussed or debated openly because it opens up too many wounds. When we cannot have a balanced discussion on a topic, it is better to leave it alone . Otherwise, we will err and subvert our philosophy of Geo Aur Jeeney Do. I trust that our management will also ensure that if at all this matter is discussed in a tv programme, the point of view of the Ahmedi’s must be incorporated.

  6. Crimes against Ahmedies in Pakistan and rest of Islamic world are condemnable and Ahmedies should be allowed freedoms to practice their religion. All discriminatory laws against Ahmedies must be scraped.

    At the same time I advise Ahmedies also to change their policies and stop cruel practices like ‘social boycott’, expulsions, hate propaganda, forced divorces and family breakups that they use against people who chose to leave Jamaat or express dissent about the policies or personal behaviour of Ahmedi leadership. It is highly hypocritical that Ahmedies don’t allow any Ahmedi to object on any belief or people of Mirza family but expect that others will tolerate their beliefs that are in conflict with some basic tenants of Main stream Islam.

    A lot of problems against Ahmedies are direct result of social isolation that Ahmedies have self-created due to their policy of not having marital and social relations with non-Ahmedi Muslims. This policy of Ahmadiyya has made this community a fortress community that is held hostage by their own dogmas – many purely based on hate.

    I am an Ahmedi by birth and held many positions in Jamaat in my youth. Right now I am facing a severe social boycott by Ahmedi community including families of me and my wife. Is such practice human? My only crime was that I criticize corruption among clergy and so-called holy Mirza family and also some wrong practices including discrimination against women.

  7. APPEAL TO ALL RIGHT THINKING PAKISTANIS PLEASE BEWARE OF MULLAHS AND DO NOT LET THEM TURN INTO PLEEDASTAN AND KAFIRATAN IN ACCORDANCE WITH THEIR ELDERS DESIRES REMEMBER HISTORY THEIR LEADERS CALLED PAKISTAN AS PLEEDASTAN KAFIRATAN AND TO QUAID-E-AZAM AS KAFIR-E-AZAM – BEWARE OF MULLAHS

  8. I think, those killing was accidential, not planned. There is a big different.
    Otherwise, non muslims are living side by side to their muslims citizen across the country.
    Compare the Indian incidence where thousands of muslims, sikh and christein got burnt and destroyed there churches. Pakistan is a much better then those next door country. Today we facing international conspiracy against the state, and its all international politics.
    thanks
    USA
    Khalid

  9. REJECT US AID AN OPEN APPEAL TO ALL PATRIOTIC PAKISTANIS
    Monday, May 11, 2009, 10:35 AM GMT [Current Affairs]

    By way of this open letter I appeal to all patriotic Pakistanis to stand together firmly as they did for restoration of Chief Justice Chaudhry and reject [spit on] the US aid which has and will undermined your sovereignty and independence. It is a design to break Pakistan, an eye opener for all Pakistan. Currently all leaders are selfish and have sold their conscience and integrity because they are habitually deadly corrupt and cannot be expected to do otherwise than to compromise.

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