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Urdu Press
Self-styled Jehadi organizations and Pakistan

The history of human rights in Pakistan is very long but the effects of self-styled jehadi organizations on society are a matter of great concern, particularly the dangers for the new generation are the problems, which need attention. Thousands of children are begging in the suburban areas of Punjab and Sindh. Society has given them nothing but poverty and destitution.

Lahore’s 14 year old Babar is a professional beggar, but his eyes see an image of a better future and he is sustaining on the hope that some day good days will come. Thousands of children like Babar are seen begging in Lahore who belong to different tribes. They move from one city to another like ‘banjaras’. Some children happen to join schools as a result of efforts by voluntary organizations but soon they are compelled to leave their schools because of some reason or the other. Babar says that he wants to lead a good life but he is helpless and cannot do any thing.

The story of 13-year-old Zarina is also the same as that of Babar but she is proud that she goes to school. Her father and elder brother sell handkerchiefs. Zarina dreams of living in a house, not in a cottage. She is living in this city for two years and is leading her life under the open sky and on God’s land. Being a Pakistani citizen also, she does not possess an identity card for the last fifty years.

Thirty year-old Dilawar says that he is a Muslim but no one listens to us here. People come to us to ask for votes and after that we are ignored. Government does not pay any attention to our problems, therefore we have became professional beggars.

In Pakistan, percentage of literacy is 26 including those who can sign. According to a recent survey, poverty has increased 100 percent. During the past eleven years the poverty level has increased at a surprisingly fast rate. Presently, 4.39 crores of people are living below poverty line.

There has been 146 percent increase in poverty. The director of Pakistan’s Human Rights commission, I.A. Rahman said, while expressing concern at increasing crimes and religious extremism that he fails to understand in which direction they are going and also there appears to be no way to get rid of it. The self-styled ‘jehadi’ organizations do not refrain from spreading hatred as a result of which women, minorities and children are being adversely affected. The military government is a mute spectator and ‘jehadi’ organizations are raising their heads. Crimes against women are continuously increasing. Last year 315 cases of death for honour were registered in Punjab alone although most of such cases are not registered. It has been stated in the report that 33 lakh children work as daily workers. Big landlords of West Punjab are keeping lakhs of children as bonded labourers. Moreover, kiln owners also employ child labour. Military government has failed to prevent crimes. In addition to violence against women, 109 cases of bomb blast were noted in different cities. Illegal arms are in abundance.

When the military government tried to impose restrictions on display of arms, the self-styled ‘jehadi’ organizations declared it un-Islamic. The chief of Lashkar-e-Taiyba, Hafiz Mohammad Sayeed said that ‘jehad’ is a holy duty and collection of funds for ‘jehad’ forms a part of Islamic duty. We are waging a jehad against Indian forces in Kashmir. Hence whosoever opposes this jehad, God’s anger will befall upon him.

Chief of Al Badr Mujahideen, Punjab, Ahmad Hamza, said that Pakistan came into existence for Islam and ‘jehad’. Jehad is a pillar of Islam against the performance of which no one can be stopped unless peace is restored.

The government should impose restrictions on the so-called jehadi organizations, which only collect funds in the name of ‘jehad’. Government should supply cards for ‘jehadi’ commanders. On the other hand the arrogance of ‘jehadi’ organizations is such that they are claiming to hoist Islamic flags not only on Red Fort but also on White House. According to a rough estimate, there are at present about 5 lakhs religious madrasas in Pakistan where training in martyrdom is imparted. Even Pakistani forces dare not enter these madrasas which are equipped with modern weapons. Punjabis, Sindhis, Bloch and Pathans are all afraid of this Talibanization. People of Sindh have gone the extent of saying to Moinuddin Haider that ‘we have given land and subscription for setting up religious madrasas but they have made it extremely difficult for us even to enter the mosques. When the students of these madrasas come out after completing their education, they do not have tolerance left in them. When Moinuddin Haider talked to them, they started bargaining. The result was that Haider had to accept their conditions that government should provide, as much financial assistance to them as possible and that restriction should be imposed on non-governmental institutions imparting education to girls.

According to Dr Inayat of Karachi civil hospital, the feeling of deprivation and failure among youth is increasing at national level as a result of which 20 to 30 cases of suicide are taking place daily between the ages of 15 to 30. Most of these youth belong to girls of high families and young men of middle class sections. Dr Inayat threw light on their terrible conditions who are brought here from religious madrasas for treatment. These students are brought to the hospital in a state of psychological diseases during the training period. The military government on the whole is helpless against these alleged jehadi organizations. In spite of all his tall claims and efforts, Gen Parvez Musharraf has not succeeded in controlling them. Sectarian violence is gradually increasing as a result of these organizations. Just see the headline of a Pakistani newspaper: ‘46 Shias killed in 30 days’.

An estimate can be made from this headline about the condition of sectarian violence. Last month the Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia, Sheikh Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah al Sheikh declared a ‘fatwa’ that hijacking and suicide bomb is not jehad but un-Islamic activities. It may be noted that in Kashmir, Lashkar-e-Taiyeba is engaged in terrorist activities under the name of ‘Fedayeen’ and the chief of Jaish-e Mohammad, Maulana Masood Azhar was got released from jail after hijacking of the plane. These organizations want to capture Kashmir in the name of ‘jehad’.

Lashkar-e-Taiyeba and Jaish-e-Mohammad are preparing ‘Fedayeen’ i.e. religious madrasas where even army is afraid of stepping in. According to latest news, these jehadi organizations have now started preparing the students of government schools for ‘jehad’ as a result of which their parents are very much worried. The terrified public was already worried about the activities of religious madrasas. Now they are all the more worried about schools. Obviously, children of poor people receive education in these schools because children and sons of army officers, bureaucrats etc are receiving education in USA and other western countries or reading in English medium schools. Poor children after all go to government schools (By Atiqur Rahman, Rashtriya Sahara, New Delhi).

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