Greetings from Lahore. Below, Press Release for the Reference for Dr Sarwar being held today at HRCP, 5-8 pm, and some thoughts and articles on the Gojra tragedy and the 'Blasphemy Law'
Also posted at beenasarwar.wordpress.com and drsawar.wordpress.com
1. PRESS RELEASE: Reference for pioneering student leader Dr Sarwar
Lahore August 6: A Reference for the pioneering student leader Dr. Muhammad Sarwar will be held here at HRCP's Dorab Patel Auditorium on Saturday August 8 at 5 p.m.
Dr. Muhammad Sarwar was amongst founding leaders of the Democratic Students Federation (DSF) and the All Pakistan Students Organisation (APSO). He was also instrumental in the formation of Inter-Collegiate Body of Karachi (ICB) which along with DSF spearheaded the students struggle for the acceptance of students charter of demands in 1953.
Twice elected to the office of General Secretary (national), Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) that continues to play a leading role in the affairs of medical profession, Dr. Muhammad Sarwar was amongst those who had formulated a people-friendly health policy. It was unfortunate that the policy, duly presented to the concerned quarters by the PMA, remains unimplemented.
Born at Allahabad, Dr. Sarwar came to Pakistan in 1948 and joined Dow Medical College,Karachi. After graduation he practiced for over forty (40) years at his clinic in the lower middle class locality, Golimar,
Coinciding with his Birthday, the Reference for Dr.Muhammmad Sarwar, will be addressed by Mr. Hameed Akhtar; Mr.I.A. Rehman;Mr. Abid Hasan Minto;Dr. Haroon Ahmad, Dr. M. Ilyas, Prof. Afzal Tauseef, Ms. Salima Hashmi; Dr.Izhar Chaudhry General Secretary PMA,Punjab, Mr.Farooq Tariq LPP leader,Mr.S.M. Naseem former editor "Students' Herald", Zaman Khan, Ammar Ali Jan, Dr. Farrukh Gulzar and Zakia Sarwar.
The Reference will be followed by tea. Later, participants may join discussion to be facilitated by Mr. S.M. Naseem, Beena Sarwar and Ali Cheema.
Issued on behalf of: Friends and Admirers of Dr. Muhammad Sarwar
NOTE: MR MINHAJ BARNA AND DR ENVER SAJJAD ARE ALSO EXPECTED TO ARRIVE FOR THE REFERENCE
2.SOME THOUGHTS ON THE GOJRA TRAGEDY AND THE 'BLASPHEMY LAW'
Since it was introduced by Gen. Zia, the 'blasphemy law' 295-C has been used to settle scores, including financial rivalries, as umpteen fact-finding missions have recorded (included several I have participated in), much as the Zina laws have been used for revenge.
Now, simply repealing 295-C will not stop the rot. That must be done, but along with it we have to demand strict enforcement of law and order.
Those who incite violence and murder (eg mullahs who used loudspeakers) must be held culpable as well, charged, tried and punished in accordance with the law.
Ditto those who desecrate a holy book or symbol, no matter of what religion.
Below, links to some reports that provide a perspective on the issue:
PAKISTANI CHRISTIANS-THE VICTIMS OF HALF LAW IN GOJRA, byBrigadier Samson Simon Sharaf (Retired), Aug 5, 2009
An Eyewitness Account from Gojra - Faris Kasim. August 7, 2009
Edited version in The News Op-Ed, Aug 8, 2009
HRCP press releases, Aug 4 & Aug 1
Lethal Law, Newsline Sept 2001