Posts Tagged ‘Shazia Masih’

I wrote a poem some time ago, first stanza read:   

She had to feed her kids at home
She could not move in streets alone;
Oh not in fear of US drones
Her pride was robbed by her own   

The land of Pure – She was not sure! (Read entire poem with Video)   

Today was International Women’s Rights day, I did not seem to get the inspiration to write and think (I mostly write without thinking, read: LOL) but just when I about to hit the sack, this amazing inspiration knocked the door of my conscience.   


The status of women in Pakistan continues to fluctuate considerably across different classes, regions, and the rural/urban divide due to uneven socioeconomic development and the impact of tribal, feudal, and urban social customs on women’s lives. While some women are soaring in the skies as pilots of fighter planes, others are being buried alive for defying tribal traditions.   

When Taliban took over Swat, they enforced a complete ban on female education in the Swat district. Some 400 private schools enrolling 40,000 girls have been shut down. At least 10 girls’ schools that tried to open after the January 15, 2009 deadline by the Taliban were blown up by the militants in the town of Mingora.   

According to Dawn newspaper, the 2008 report of violence against women in Pakistan makes horrific reading. In that year alone, 7,733 cases of violence against women were reported in the media. What is shocking is the large number of women who lost their lives in this period — 1,516 were murdered while 472 were killed for reasons of ‘honor’.   

Women cannot even walk safe in the streets of land of pure. Whenever they are out shopping, the local poondi-baaz crowd would harass them, when they are out for work, they are subjected to stalking, when they drive, ambitious men trying to act cool would come in front of their cars, taxis, rickshaws, pass below the belt comments, sometimes even embarrass them as they are with their family or friends. These things I have seen personally happening in the streets of Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Quetta, Peshawar, Risalpur, Sargodha, Chakwal and Interior Sindh – as I grew up in these cities. I have also lived abroad and quite honestly, I did not witness such ignorance outside Pakistan. Maybe it is also present outside, but not at a level where we, Pakistani men take it in our land of pure.   

Respect women, please. Your personal frustrations should not spoil the image of the entire nation. Many foreigner friends who travel to Pakistan, some of them renowned journalists call me up the second day saying I need a Pistol (this has happened twice), because apparently some Pakistani men crossed the limits of Poondi and tried doing things they should have been in jail for.   

Point being made here, we are a developing society. We, by no means have the necessary education and technological advancement to have an enlightened society, but some things are taught at home and do not require traditional education. We, the Pakistani men, must learn to respect women on the streets of Pakistan.   

This might be a minor issue for some of us, but I really feel embarrassed and sad when I see the Shaheens of Iqbal, harassing women on the streets.   

It is a taboo in our society, especially for a woman, to raise voice against injustice. Many rape cases go un-noticed due to the traditional reservations associated with the female sex. Minor girls are raped and thrown in gutters, women are raped by abduction from roads. Incidents of Mukhtaran Mai, Dr. Shazia, Shazia Masih, Zareena Marri, Daewoo Hostess and others are just the tip of the ice-berg. 


Dr. Shazia


We need to educate Pakistani women, we need to respect woman-hood, for it is Paradise.    

“The sight of God in a woman is most perfect of all “ – Ibn Arabi

I also end to agree with Napoleon when he said:    

‘Give me good mothers and I will give you a good nation’    

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Dr Aafia Siddiqui


Dr Shazia


Every Pakistani feels the pain of Dr. Aafia, tortured brutally and subjected to most inhumane treatment since her disappearance in 2003. The “Satan” outside did not even leave her children untouched. All of Pakistan is angry and champions of justice and human rights rally to show solidarity with Dr. Aafia, understandably.  

I being an activist, realize how important it is to voice out our concern regarding any issue we feel was dealt with a biased attitude. Pakistan came into being through street activism, not sit-at-home concern.  

The story of Dr. Aafia melts the heart of any passionate and patriotic Pakistani, for even if proved guilty by a US court, she is a Pakistani and we should have held the trial of allegations labeled against her for a crime committed in neutral soil (Afghanistan). Even if she is guilty of the charges proven against her, the violent torture and her disappearance from 2003 onwards, till a foreign journalist reported her needs to be condemned by all and sundry  

The activism for Dr. Aafia needs to be carried on with greater energy, BUT there lies an important issue that is left unaddressed.  

Dr Aafia was handed over to USA by Pakistani forces, the same Pakistani forces who are single handedly responsible for 2000 + missing persons. The same Pakistani state agencies that are single handedly responsible for selling their brothers and sisters to foreign agencies. Not only that, our own State agencies are responsible for despicable crimes like sex slavery, torture, rape, murder and mysterious disappearance of people from selected ethnic backgrounds. Dr Shazia, Zareena Marri and others are just the tip of the ice-berg. No real investigation was ever carried out to address the plight of families of missing persons (women included). None of the protests for Aafia voice out to identify the people within us, responsible for handing over Aafia to USA, or people responsible for injustice with other Aafias.  

Having took part in the struggle for missing persons and subsequent discussions with Amina Masud Janjua I came to realise the picture is broader then any one individual or human being. After meeting many Baluch students, who carry pictures of their cousins (male and females) and are not heard by media, government and other human rights activists, I realised the bias will not do any good to the cause unless the broader picture and the satan within is addressed with the same zeal and fervour. State agencies and its machinery prevents the word from spreading in media (it still does, but not with the same masala) for crimes they commit/ted.  

Who is to blame? The “Satan” outside or the “Satan” within? We must realize that more Aafia’s will go missing and subjected to inhumane torture if we don’t address the real cause of this issue. Any protest against the “Satan” outside will not suffice the cause, in broader perspective, as the Satan within will keep on doing the same. Most of the protests that are held for Dr. Aafia slander the Satan outside without addressing the core of problem, the traitors within us responsible for hundreds of Dr. Aafia’s who are still missing and who sell our citizens to satan outside, for God-knows-what price!  

It is easy to blame the Satan outside, and get so blinded by the hate that we become biased in our human right’s activism. Cleansing within can only make us so strong that no one from outside casts an evil eye on our people. We cannot blame a miscreant somewhere else, if we tolerate miscreants within our homes. The blaming-foreign-elements for every disaster in Pakistan has gone too far. Are we learning from our mistakes or still going round in circles without addressing the real issue? Are we still using the Islam/Jew/America/Hindu/RAW/Mossad/CIA/Democracy/Bhutto card to find solutions to our problems? Are we tolerating the Satan within and misdirecting our anger to Satan outside? Have we located the menace within before sloganeering against the menace outside? Is there bias in our ranks? Why are we quiet for Dr Shazia, Shazia Masih, Zareena Marri and others and only protest violently when Satan outside is to blame?  

Khuda nay aj tak uss qoum ki haalat nahi badli
Na ho jisku khayal, ap apni halat key badalnay ka!

– Iqbal 

Susan Marie’s Two Part Interview with Amina Masood Janjua, Voice of Missing Persons: Chairperson, Defence For Human Rights. Part
Part I: http://www.thinktwiceradio.com/sue-marie/audio/100205/1.mp3 

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