21 comments

  1. Dear Brave and very talented Ms. Farahnaz Ispahani, Hello
    I read your articles published in media with immense interest. In fact these are the voice of many Silent people like me. Recently you showed concern over the kidnapping of women and children especially the Hindu women in the Sindh province. I wish you also had shown concern for the every day kidnappings of men folk for ransom in Khyber Pukhtunkhwa. It is an every day happening in that province.

    I have a question for you as a member of the NA committee for Human Rights. Does any discrimination or favouritism in job environment or unfairness in promotions tantamounts to violation of Human Rights? If yes, how can one raise voice against such a treatment as in fact I am a pray of such unfairness or cruelty being an employee of Govt. Corporation.

    Your very learned, kind and Humane great father Abol Ispahani has been a true Pakistani whose services in the fields of social and political fields are very valuable. In fact our country desperately needs people like him today.

    Your web page is very useful and I hope it will continue to provide us with the food for thoughts in future. I love this page!!!

    Your decent picture on the facebook and the wall paper are just great and very attractive.
    Best kindest regards,

    Jamshed Rahman, Karachi

  2. Aoa Ms. Ispahani,
    Political grooming and training starts for the future Leadership from College Level – Unfortunately we are deprived of that – i humbly request that in your tenure please take the initiative for revival of this fundamental institute of that we have refined and a groomed Leadership for our future generations!
    To this date in Pakistan, probably not a single institute teaches our previous, current or for that matter future leadership as a case study – Like My Grandfather (Late) Allama Rasheed Turabi part of the freedom Movement with Raja sb. Mehmoodabad, then he came to Pakistan on the invitation of Quaid-e-Azam and his contribution for the religious unity and harmony in the country is remarkable, but since these things are not taught to the youth so can’t figure out that whether we really had the leaders or not – because not a single success story is taught. i have learnt about your Grandfather for the first time in my life!

  3. Madam ur efforts are no doubt very appreciable and v appreciate u and Mr Haqqani for his fruitful efforts for PPP n thus Pakistan.
    Plz note that FATA is a very vulnerable , backward n internationally focused area, in Pakistan, PPP is having fully presence in FATA, n further that PPP has contested election 2008 on all 12 consttuencies of FATA, out of which PPP wins 1, 3 runner up, n other close contesters.
    Now Madam u r assesting Co- Chairman n President ,on media n party issues , but plz do focus on PPP FATA, v r here to support u n work in FATA, for PPP n for people of FATA, plz want ur kind attention,
    also now PPP Govt is gooing to announce FATA package,which must be highlighted n media , n to cash this milestone , so plz ur media expertise n guidense is required,
    hope u will take my sugessions serious n will take action on priority basis,
    regards with best wishes
    ENGR SAIF UL ISLAM AFRIDI
    (President PPP Youoh wing FATA)

  4. Jeay Bhutto

    Aslam-ele-kum
    Pakistan pplz party hamesha kamyab rahy q k es party ne bohat s qurbaniyan di hai
    kamran qabulio
    kotri hyderbad sindh

  5. Madam ji
    I read your article regarding the achievements of incumbent government. You have rightly described all the issues very rightly. But unfortunately, you must have encouraged the governance and institutional reforms in the country. Further, endemic corruption is eating Pakistan like a moth eats furniture. Lawlessness is another area where your government must have addressed on the priority basis.

  6. Dear Ms. Farahnaz Ispahani,

    Many thanks for your Article “Death by a thousand cuts” in the Hindu Web Edition of 11-03-2013 and would like to discuss the Article with you.

    Please let me have your E-Mail Address

    Many thanks in advance

    Sincerely – Naresh Kumar

  7. RE: Thwarting Religious Cleansing in Muslim World

    Hello Ms. Ispahani,
    Your above article, co-written with Ms. Nina, is a good opener but fails to bring to the forefront the real base of such a law. Foreign pressure to remove such a law is but a very faint hope. Unless the basic understanding, that all peoples are equal, is not cultivated within the culture of Islamic or Muslim countries, such a Law has little chance of being removed.
    Regards,

    Navi

  8. Thanks for taking the time to read my message. I’m an Iranian Journalist.

    I’ve a request for conducting an interview with you about recent “diplomatic rift between Tehran and Riyadh and probable role that Islamabad might play.”

    So I need your Email or contact details to reach you out.

    All the Best
    Amir

  9. Dear Ms. Farahnaz Ispahani,

    Had the pleasure of going through your views in Jan’16 issue of Times of India. We are heartened to know that still

    there are people like you across this man-made divide who still think rationally & are liberal enough to take up the causes not too popular in their homeland.

    Have no pretentions of being an author, am a business man but since we were pushed out from what is now known as

    Pakistan, still keep a sentimental attachment to that part of sub-continent(we migrated from Lyallpur – even the name of which has been changed to Faisalabad).

    Had written these two articles sometime in 1990’s & 2001 at different times in different frames of mind, ‘THE WAYWARD BROTHERS’ & ‘CAN PAKISTAN SUSTAIN ITSELF ON HATRED ALONE’.

    Wonder if someone will pick up this thread & carry it forward.

    THE WAYWARD BROTHERS

    The other day I chanced upon an article ‘Pak Double Standard’ in ‘The Herald’ Karachi written by Ms. Naima Babar. The article is a revealation of the treatment of minorities in Pakistan since Independence. It came as a whiff of fresh air from across the border. It is hearting to know that across this man made divide at least in public, if not in govt., there are people who can take up cudgels for the causes which are not very popular in this cacophony of fanaticism.

    In my opinion there are 3 main causes for this treatment of minorities in Pakistan.

    The first one lies in the very genesis of Pakistan. If minorities were to be as equal there was no raison dieter for Pakistan. (Although anyone who questions this in Pakistan can be sentenced for upto 10 years in prison). Unfortunately, Mr. Jinnah, the liberal democrat that he was, was used by Muslim League to ask for a theocratic state and since Congress was an impediment in the achievement of his personal goals, he used the platform of Muslim homeland to reach where he reached ultimately, i.e. Head of State. During British rule, Muslim League systematically sowed the seeds of distrust and suspicion by harping on the ‘Two nation theory’ and in this they were ably helped by British (Khan wali khan, son of Frontier Gandhi has given eye-opening details in his book on partition). In the process the underlying unity between Hinduism & Indian Islam was ignored. It was not for nothing that Hindus & Muslims shed their blood together in the 1st War of Liberation which some historians wrongly term as ‘ The Sepoy of Mutiny of 1857’. Yes, indeed in North, Muslims came as invaders initially(except in South were Arabs came as traders, got married among local people, settled down and came to be known as ‘Mophans’ meaning (son-in-law), but over centuries Islam had acquired its own Indian ethos & flavor. They had become as much a part & parcel of the sub-continent as Hindus (who also came as invading Aryans a few thousand year earlier from same Central Asia). So when Jinnah & his followers got a ‘Muslim Homeland’ of theirs it was but natural that minorities be either driven out or those who chose to stay put be treated as second class citizens (despite Mr. Jinnah’s rhetoric to the contrary). In every theocratic state whether it is Saudi Arabia, Israel or Sri Lanka, every citizen who professes a religion other than state religion is treated either as a second class citizen or an unnecessary appendage.

    Second is the attempt of leaders in Pakistan to forge cultural unity with West Asian Countries (at the cost of their Indian roots) who have nothing in common with Pakistan except religion. How right Faiz Ahmed Faiz was when he said that the centre of Pakistan’s culture lies in India. You can not obliterate the history by ignoring your roots. Is it not ironical that in Pakistani class rooms history starts from the victory of Mohd. Ghouri over Prithvi Raj Chauhan ? You cannot build the edifice of a nation on the blocks of rootlessness. Remember what Bhuto had said in UNO, ‘We are trying to teach culture to these Indian dogs for last one thousand years’, forgetting that we all (people of Indian sub continent) were far more cultured than any other nation on the earth. There is nothing shameful for our Pak Muslim brethren in admitting their Hindu roots. Has not ALLAMA IQBAL said, ‘Look at me, for in Hind, you will not find again, a man of Brahmin origin, well versed in the art of rum & Tabrej(Iqbal’s ancestors were Kashmiri Brahmins who had got converted to Islam and moved to Punjab). Even today in Pakistani passports under father’s nationality it is clearly mentioned as Pakistani even for people who were born and dead much before independence. The subcontinental Islam over the years had evolved into a religion which did not look upon Arts & Music but used and treated these as parts of the Cultural Renaissance. Is it not the fact of history that right from Amir Khusro to Usatad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan to Usatad Amjad Ali Khan happen to be Muslims and if they practice and excel in their craft that in no way makes them less Muslims. The singing of qawallis at dargahs of Sufi Saints is another example of Typical Evolution of Indian Islam.

    Thirdly, if we keep putting iron curtains between the two countries (Although they are disappearing all over the world), what we will reap is a crop of jealousy, distrust, hate & mutual bickering. Aren’t the acceptance of dogmas(religious, cultural or political) also a result of this physical & mental divide. I think Ayub was a far more farsighted person that he is given the credit for. How rightly he had said that whenever the sub-continent is divided it is either ruled by a foreign power or we have been cutting each other’s throat. Had Nehru Ji accepted Ayub’s offer of a confederation, the history of the sub-continent would have been far different. (It is said that Nehru spurned this offer because he had a disdain for military rulers who had usurped power).

    I think, enough blood has flown down the Ganges & Indus to wake us up and pick up the stranda of the unity of the sub-continent, otherwise the coming generations may say that the twentieth century sub-continent did produce politicians of clay of all hues & shades but not a single Statesman. So some future Iqbal would lament ‘Kuch baat thi ki aisi hasti mit gayi hamari’.

    ___________________________________________________________

    CAN PAKISTAN SUSTAIN ITSELF ON HATRED ALONE

    The nation which has emerged from the womb of hatred, can it sustain itself on hatred alone or won’t this hatred devour itself.

    Pakistan was carved out of India as Muslim league had harped on the two nation theory i.e. the Hindus & Muslims are two different nations( The theory lies in ruins after the genocide of fellow Muslims in East Pakistan and subsequent emergence of BANGLADESH).

    Even in for the sake of argument we agree that Hindus and Muslims are two different nations does it imply that all Hindus constitute one entity and all Muslims the other. How about castes/sub castes among Hindus & Sects(SHIA/SUNNIS & AHMEDIAS -though they have been declared non-Muslim in Pakistan). A Baluchi Muslim is as different from a Sindhi or Mohajir Muslim as is cheese from chalk. Now Pakistan states that there are four nationalities (Punjabis, Baluchis, Sindhis, Pathans). They don’t consider Mphajrs i.e. Indian immigrant Muslims as fifth nationality. They being persons-nongrata in their El-DORADO. If we, stretch this corollary of two Nation Theory a bit further, then won’t it imply that Pakistan should be divided into 4 if not 5 different independent states.

    Before Independence Muslim League and after Independence and partition every successive Pak Govt. had been sprouting hatred & venom against Hindus & India (not necessarily in that order) as if that alone is the unifying thread. (The recent denial of VISAS to great maestros Pt. RAVI SHANKER & USTAD AMJAD ALI KHAN is proof enough of Pak Govt’s very myopic way of safeguarding its separate identity). Now, you can’t expect people to be discerning enough to hate only Non Muslims because they are different. How about fellow Muslims from different Sects and Sub sects and league groups ? The fire of hatred does not make any distinction between a non-muslim or a fellow muslim belonging to a different sect, language group or ethnicity. When you air the fire of hatred the end result is nothing but ashes. President Zia tried to create a wedge between Shias and Sunnis on one hand and between Mohajirs and Sindhis on the other to perpetuate his regime. Begum Benazir Bhutoo too is trying her best to revive the old British theory of ‘DIVIDE & RULE’. I had chanced upon her infamous speech (on T.V.) in which not only she called them (MOHAJIRS) names but she did say that Mojaris don’t have the same blood which we (Pakistanis) have and that they (Mojaris) want to create a HINDU DESH or a SINDHU DESH out of Pakistan. The amount of hatred, venom disdain and contempt she has for Mohajirs is seen to be believed. The merciless killings of Mohajirs in Karachi in fake encounters is also a proof of enough of her hatred.

    History repeats itself and fools are the ones who don’t learn from it. Balkanization of Pakistan would result if it does not heed the power of reason and keep fermenting trouble in neighboring states. Are not the ethnic riots in different parts of Pakistan a legacy of Pak’s involvement in Afgan Civil War ? The residual effects of its fomenting trouble in Kashmir may cause ripples some where else in its own backyard.

    They came to kill JEWS, I kept mum because I was not a JEW they came to kill Christians, I kept quite as I was not a Christian, they came to kill me and there was no one left to save me.

    Regards

    ASHOK BHUTANI
    C-108, KALKAJI
    NEW DELHI – 110019
    Mob. : (+91)9810370215

  10. ​Dear Madam Farahnaz Jee,

    This is a great honor for me to write to you regarding your marvelous book about the plight of religious minorities in Pakistan. I have not come across such a book like this one that gives a clear picture of the Islamization since Pakistan came into being. I am an Mphil student in Forman Christian college Lahore. I am writing my thesis on religious minorities in Pakistan. I would request you to please share the electronic version of your book if possible.. I look forward to hear from you.
    Best Regards,
    Naseer John

    1. I do not have an electronic copy but you can find it at Books and Beans bookstore in Lahore or order online from Liberty Books in Pakistan. Thank you.

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