Endorse This Letter: Murder of Shahbaz Bhatti Shaheed

Open letter to The President, Prime Minister, Interior Minister, Chief Justice, and heads of all political parties, Pakistan

March 4, 2011
by Citizens for Democracy

Please see below Open letter to The President, Prime Minister, Interior Minister, Chief Justice, and heads of all political parties, Pakistan, re: murder of Shahbaz Bhatti and demand for action against calls for violence and vigilante action.
Deadline for endorsements (including name, profession, city): Monday March 7, midnight Pakistan time, after which we will compile signatures and send to the recipients and to media. Endorsements can be made here, or via email to cfd.pak@gmail.com. Please share with friends. If anyone wants to translate it and circulate, please feel free. Thanks

Open letter to The President, Prime Minister, Interior Minister, Chief Justice, and heads of all political parties, Pakistan

Re: Murder of Shahbaz Bhatti and demand for action against calls for violence and vigilante action

The murder of Shahbaz Bhatti, Pakistan’s Federal Minister for Minority Affairs, again highlights the rampant lawlessness in Pakistan and the impunity with which the “forces of violence” act against “whoever stands against their radical philosophy,” to quote the late Mr Bhatti. These “forces” find fertile ground to operate in an atmosphere where calls to vigilante action are publically made and celebrated.

We urge the government and its functionaries to swiftly apprehend, charge, try and punish Mr Bhatti’s murderers, and also to take immediate measures to curb this trend.

We urge all political parties and parliamentarians to take a clear stand on this issue: No citizen has the right to cast aspersions at the faith and beliefs of any other citizen or to term someone else a ‘blasphemer’.

We urge the federal and provincial governments, the judiciary and the security and law enforcement agencies to ensure protection for those, like former information minister Sherry Rehman, who are publicly threatened by extremists

Some immediate steps that must immediately be taken include:

1. An urgent and meaningful shift in the long-standing policy of appeasing extremists, by the security establishment, the judiciary, the political class and much of the media, with a few honourable exceptions.

2. Hold accountable and charge under the law those who incite hatred and violence; zero tolerance for any public labeling of anyone as ‘blasphemer’, which in the current situation is an incitement to murder, even brazen declaration of criminal intent and commission of a crime. Some recent examples of such incitement are:
– Maulana Yousuf Qureshi, Imam of the Mohabbat Khan Mosque, Peshawar, announced a Rs 500,000 award for the murder of Asia Bibi if the Lahore High Court acquitted her of blasphemy (reported on December 3, 2010, a month prior to the murder of Punjab Governor Salmaan Taseer; some newspaperseven wrote editorials supporting this call for murder.)
– Banners placed at public places in Karachi, Lahore and Rawalpindi-Islamabad by “Tehreek-e-Nifaz-Tableegh-e-Islam” terming Tehmina Durrani as Pakistan’s Taslima Nasreen and demanding that she be hanged. These must be removed forthwith and the organisation, and administrative officers who allowed these banners to be placed, proceeded against.

3. Prevent the rising number of ‘blasphemy’ cases being registered, by laying down and enforcing a law whereby no such cases may be registered without being inquired into by a judicial magistrate.

(endorsed)
Please include your name,
profession, and city

Organisational endorsements from CFD supporting organisations include:
Professional Organisations Mazdoor Federations & Hari Joint Committee – POJAC, an umbrella organisation including: 1. Sindh High Court Bar Association; 2. Pakistan Medical Association (PMA); 3. All Pakistan Newspaper Employees Confederation (APNEC); 4. Mutahida Labour Federation; 5. Karachi Union of Journalists; 6. Pakistan Workers Federation; 7. All Pakistan Trade Union Federation (APTUF); 8. All Pakistan Clerk Association; 9. Democratic Labour Union State Bank of Pakistan; 10. UBL Workmen Union (CBA); 11. National Bank Trade Union Federation; 12. Karachi Bar Association; 13. Pakistan Nursing Federation; 14. National Trade Union Federation; 15. Sindh Hari Committee; 16. Govt. Sec. Teachers Association; 17. Pakistan Hotel And Restaurant Workers Federation; 18. Mehran Mazdoor Federation; 19. All Sindh Primary Teachers Association; 20. Sindh Professor Lecturer Association; 21. Malir Bar Association, Karachi; 22. Pakistan Trade Union Federation (PTUF); 23. Railway Workers Union Open Line (cba) Workshop; 24. Mehran Railway Employees Welfare Association; 25. All Pakistan Trade Unions Organisations; CFD members and those endorsing the above statement also include: 26. Awami Party; 27. Labour Party Pakistan (LPP); 28. Progressive Youth Front (PYF); 29. Communist Party Pakistan (CPP); 30. Peace and Solidarity Council; 31. Pakistan Institute of Labour, Education & Research (Piler); 32. Action Committee for Human Rights; 33. Dalit Front; 34. National NCommission for Justice and Peace (CJP); 35. Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP); 36. Caritas; 37. Aurat Foundation; 38. Women’s Action Forum (WAF); 39. People’s Resistance; 40. Sindh Awami Sangat; 41. National Organisation of Working Committees; 42. Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum (PFF); 43. Child and Labour Rights Welfare Organisation; 44. Progressive Writers Association (PWA); 45. Port Workers Federation; 46. Shirkat Gah; 47. Pakistan Peace Coalition (PPC); 48. Idara-e-Taleem-o-Aagahi (ITA); 49. Sanjan Nagar Public Education Trust  (SNPET);  50. Pakistan Dalit Solidarity Network (PDSN); 51. Sindh Democratic Forum (SDF); 52. SAP-Pakistan; 53. AwazCDS-Pakistan; 54. GCAP-Pakistan; 55. Home Based Women Workers Federation (HBWWF); 56. Labour Education Foundation (LEF); 57. Progressive Youth Forum; 58. National Students’ Federation (NSF); 59. The Researchers; 60. Tehrik-e-Niswan; 61. Democratic Commission for Human Development (DCHD); 62. Crises Support Group of Residents for Defence and Clifton, Karachi; 63. Baaghi: A blog for secular Pakistan; 64. Communist Mazdoor Kissan Party (CMKP); 65. Ansar Burney Trust International; 66. Viewpoint International; 67. Pakistan Youth Alliance; 68. Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI); 69. Youth Together for Human Rights Education (YTHRE); 70. The Institute for Social Movements (ISM); 71 South Asia Partnership Pakistan (SAP-Pk); 72. Institute for Development Initiatives; 73. Shehri-CBE; 74. Institute for Peace and Secular studies; 75. Youth Parliament of Pakistan; 76. Pattan; 77. Awami Jamhoori Forum; 78. Community Development Initiative (CDI)

From Citizens For Democracy

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12 comments on “Endorse This Letter: Murder of Shahbaz Bhatti Shaheed

  1. Hi Victoria,
    Thanks for endorsing the letter.
    To add your name, the CFD format requires your occupation and city/country of residence.

    Like

  2. Victoria Haydar MD says:

    This is a real HERO. Please add my name to protest for the polititians doing nothing to punish the killers

    Like

  3. Hi Huma,
    To add your name to the list, the CFD format needs the name of the state in the US for you.
    Fauzia

    Like

  4. Saima Deen, Nieman Affiliate, Cambridge MA, USA says:

    Kindly please add my name to endorse this! It is horrifying to see that, the so called leaders, heads of states & officials who are there for the protection of ALL individuals are not bothered to stop all the atrocities taking place in the nation!

    Like

  5. Huma Rife says:

    Please add my name to the list of supporters. I am a Pakistani by birth, but have not lived in Pakistan for over 30 years. I find it appalling how little progress the country has made during this time towards real democracy, basic human rights, and quality of life for its citizens.

    Huma Rife
    Homemaker
    U.S

    Like

  6. […] Latest: “30,000 Christians and others came to the funeral of Shahbaz Bhatti. About the same number as the Namoos Risalat rally in Khi (ie all religious parties put together). If we stand shoulder to shoulder in this hour of trial and tribulations, together we can turn the tide of religious extremism” – Taimur Rehman, CFD Lahore Also view these statements by Asian Human rights Commission: http://www.ahrchk.net/ and, http://www.ahrchk.net/ Last day to endorse this letter by Citizens For Democracy (CFD): https://uddari.wordpress.com/ […]

    Like

  7. asim says:

    Syed Asim Bokhari
    Student
    Lahore

    Like

  8. A. Zuberi says:

    Healthcare Research
    Washington, DC

    Like

  9. Haider Imam says:

    I strongly endorse this open letter to people responsible for affairs in Pakistan.

    Haider Imam
    Brossard Quebec Canada

    Like

  10. Saeed Ahmed Rid says:

    I endorse this petition.

    PhD Student and researcher

    Bradford, UK.

    Like

  11. I strongly endorse this letter; it is past time that Govt of Pakistan wakes up and does its duty by citizens of its country–ALL citizens. Caving in to extremist crazies is NOT the way forward for Pakistan.

    Like

  12. I endorse this letter.
    Fauzia Rafique
    Author
    Vancouver BC
    http://gandholi.wordpress.com/

    Like

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