Thursday, July 19, 2012

“Church bells ring again” letter published in the Daily Frontier Post on August 31, 2009

Anjum James Paul
I went to Khushpur for the 5th death anniversary of my beloved daddy James Paul but suddenly I heard the ringing of Church bells. The sound of these bells was not charming because when these bells ring with a little pause it means there is funeral of some one in the church. I walked to the church briskly to give a shoulder to the deceased one. I came to know that it was Ishtiaq Naveed married just a few months back on April 18, 2009. I was shocked to see him laying in the coffin box. He was martyred along with other two Christian and Muslim colleagues in a laboratory by the terrorists in Quetta on 26th on the third death anniversary of late Nawab Akbar Bugti. Lives of five innocents were taken by the terrorists. The picture of this young man is before my eyes wearing the bridegroom dress in a happy mood. Hundreds of Christians and Muslims attended his funeral. His wife was fainted; his parents, family members and common women and men were weeping and mourning over this tragic and shocking incident. He could not have yet enjoyed his family life. The couple would have many future dreams that have been ruined by the terrorists. I remembered late Rt. Reverend Bishop John Joseph who gave his life on May 6, 1998 in front of the Session Court in Sahiwal, Reverend Father George Ibrahim on July 5, 2003 in Renala Khurd Parish House, Lawrence Javed Sindhu on August 26, 2008 in the Marriott hotel suicide attack in Islamabad. All of these martyrs belong to Khushpur which is called the land of martyrs. Reverend Father Shafiq Hadayat in his thought provoking sermon saluted the land of Khushpur. He reminded the latest terrorist attacks of Korian and Gojra where nine people have so far given their lives without any crime. On August 1, 2009 in Gojra when I saw the dead bodies of Musa 4, Ummaya 9, Asiya 22, Asifa 30, Akhlas Hameed 42, Perveen 50 and Hameed Masih 60 who were set on fire gave their lives in the hands of the terrorists. These all innocents were burnt in the terrorist attacks. Master Riaz Masih was so much shocked that he died of heart attack and in Korian Mr. Sharif Masih 65, was severely beaten up and forced to convert but he remained faithful to his faith and died in serious condition after the third day of the terrorist attack that took place on July 30, 2009. Pakistan which was the land of pure people has been transferred as the land of impure where terrorists and extremists are flourishing like Swine Flu. Terrorism is flourishing in the name of religion, sectarian, political, and socio-cultural differences. Pakistani nation is deprived of receiving education based on human values. There are lessons on intolerance, unacceptability, revenge, impatience, against the teachings of the minority religions and their followers in the textbooks of Pakistan. There are no chances of betterment in these topics in the future textbooks which are being written according to the biased Education Policy 2009. Pakistan Minorities Teachers’ Association (PMTA) expressed her reservations through press and writing to the Ministry of Education, Government of Pakistan but no heed has been paid on her reservations. According to PMTA Ministry of Education is held responsible for not paying her responsibilities. These all threats to our motherland are due to the negligence of this ministry which has created suicide bombers and extremists instead of scientists and true human beings. It has failed to promote human values in the innocent minds of the students and the evil result is before our eyes. Pakistani democratic and non- democratic governments are somehow held responsible of this all situation. Now these extremists and terrorists are challenging the writ of the governments and especially the present democratic government in NWFP, Balouchistan Punjab, Sindh and FATA. They are attacking the civilians, civil and military installations. They are not bowing before the government but are a threat to the entire state of Pakistan. A few days ago during my visit to Islamabad I found Islamabad, the capital city of Pakistan as a no go area. Its roads are blocked. Entrance of public and vehicles is prohibited in most of its areas. When there is no peace in the capital city then what can be expected in the other remote areas of Pakistan. The government of Pakistan must take prompt action and start from revising the entire curriculum. It must promote human values. There must not be degradation and propagation against the teachings of any religion. It must play the role of a needle but not of scissors. If we have to stop such announcements of funerals from the mosques and temples and bells from the churches then revolutionary steps will have to be taken up by the Ministry of Education. Time is still in hands but running fast. Let us all be united to defeat terrorists by changing the system and not by the gun point

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