Ramya: Isn’t Pakistan A HELL?


(Brig (retd) GB Reddi)

All “HELL” has broken out for Ramya, actress turned formed Member of Parlaiment of Congress Party in Rajya Sabha, in Bengaluru with eggs thrown at her at the Airport for her statement that “Pakistan is not HELL” and her stand on the Amnesty International controversy.

Exercising my right to freedom of expression, Ramya is absolute “MORON”.  If Ramya statement has attracted the wrath of right wing fringe elements wrath in Bengaluru, she deserves it rightly so.

What does Ramya mean by her statement? Is Pakistan a “Heaven” or “Paradise” for her; and Bengaluru is “HELL”.

How ignorant are the so called nominated MPs of Rajya Sabha by the Congress Party?   Some one in the Congress High Command must put some sense in Ramya and rein her in. Otherwise, she would cause more damage to the party’s electoral prospects in Karnataka.

The world over recognizes Pakistan as the “EPI CENTER” of global terrorism.  Pakistan provided safe haven for Osama BIN Laden, the Al Qaeda leader, in close proximity of the Pakistan Military Acdemy in Peshawar.

Pakistan nurtured all the Mujahideen who fought in Afghanistan in the refugee camps and the Madrasas in FATA.

Pakistan’s ISI role in nurturing the LeT, the HM, the Taliban and other terrorist groups is common knowledge even for a school kid in Pakistan.

Is Ramya ignorant of the establishment of military courts to try all accused of terrorism-related offences that includes suspects. Military courts sentenced at least 27 people to death and four to life imprisonment. Details of the allegations and trial proceedings remain unknown.

The Pakistan Army had claimed that it killed over 3,400 militants and arrestedat least 21,193  during its operations against militants in North Waziristan. Due to the lack of transparency of the operations serious concerns remain about the circumstances surrounding the killings, and the treatment in detention and fair trials of those arrested.

Enforced disappearances continue with impunity, particularly in Balochistan, KPK and Sindh. Bodies are later found bearing apparent bullet wounds and torture marks. Raja Dahir, affiliated with the banned Sindhi nationalist party Jeay Sindh Mutihida Muhaz, was subjected to enforced disappearance after a raid on his home by security forces in Sindh in June. His body was recovered a month later in Jamshoro district.

More than one million people remained displaced as a result of the current and past armed conflict in the northwest.

That the National Human Rights Commission is restricted from investigating allegations of human rights abuses against the intelligence agencies.

A new policy for international NGOs was passed in October, giving the government the power to monitor their funds and operations and to close them down on the basis of activities considered to be against the interests of Pakistan.

The 20-point National Action Plan (NAP) to counter terrorism started with the immediate resumption of executions for prisoners convicted of terrorism-related offences. Under the NAP the government also pledged to curb hate through speech and literature, protect minorities, and prevent terrorism.

Within a short period, up to 9,400 people were arrested according to government figures on allegations of inflaming sectarian hate; some booksellers and publishers claimed they were unfairly targeted by police who were under pressure to make arrests.

The moratorium on the death penalty was lifted for all 28 offences for which the death penalty is provided, including non-lethal crimes. More than 300 executions were recorded during the year, most for murder and others for rape, attempted assassination, kidnapping, and terrorism-related charges.

More importantly, Pakistan has least concern or respect for human rights of minorities. The current regime is carrying out murder, mutilate, and rape civilian populations and arbitrarily imprison and torture political opponents. Human traffickers, almost invariably operating with the protection of corrupt local officials and police, enslave children and young women in the sex trade. So long as the regimes that sponsor and protect these criminals remain in power, their crimes go unrecognized.

Ramya knows very well that all are not equal before the law in Pakistan and are not entitled to equal protection of the law.  People are subjected to arbitrary arrest and detention. Arrested are not entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal.

Furthermore, the right to freedom of movement and residence and the right to leave the country and to return to his country is also not available to its citizens. For example, Three Baloch activists, including Abdul Qadeer Baloch, Vice Chairman of the organization Voice for Baloch Missing Persons, were banned from travelling to the USA in March to attend a conference organized by Sindhi and Baloch activists.

Right to freedom of speech does not exist. Journalists and media channels exercise self-censorship for fear of reprisals from the Pakistan Army and armed groups. Human rights activist Sabeen Mahmud was killed after hosting a discussion on Balochistan at her cafe in Karachi. Her driver, a key witness, subsequently was shot dead, despite the Sindh Witness Protection Act 2013 that was passed to protect witnesses.

Religious minorities continued to face discrimination, persecution and targeted attacks. Human rights activists experienced harassment and abuse. In the past, Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) claimed responsibility for an attack on a Shiite mosque in Peshawar that killed at least 20 worshippers and injured 60.

In a suicide attack on two churches in Lahore claimed by Jamaat ul Ahrar, a splinter group of the TTP, killed at least 22 people.

45 Ismailis on a bus in Karachi were attacked and killed; and various groups, including TTP, Jundullah and the armed group Islamic State (IS), claimed responsibility.

At least three Hindu temples in Sindh province were attacked. Forced conversions and marriages of Hindu girls to Muslim men continued, particularly in Sindh.

It remained a criminal offence for members of the Ahmadiyya faith to propagate, profess or practise their religion openly.

The NGO, Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, documented a rise in killings of suspects in Karachi during paramilitary security operations, as 255 people were killed in the first half of 2015. The political party Muttahida Qaumi Movement claimed that some of its members were abducted and unlawfully killed.

As per new policy, all international NGOs are required to register and obtain permission from the Ministry of Interior for carrying out activities. The policy also empowered the government to monitor their funds and operations and to close them down on the basis of activities considered to be against the interests of Pakistan.

Furthermore, the latest law permits the government to censor online content and access internet users’ data.

Women and girls continued to face violence and threats. At least 4,308 cases of violence against women and girls were reported for the first six months of 2015. The figure included 709 cases of murder; 596 of rape and gang rape; 36 of sexual assault; 186 of so-called “honour” crimes; and 1,020 of kidnapping. Despite the enactment of the Acid Control and Acid Crime Prevention Act in 2011, at least 40 acid attack cases were recorded between January and June.

In Sahiwal a number of knife attacks were reported against women seen outside their homes without a male companion. Up to six cases were reported in one week in September.

Tabassum Adnan, the founder of Khwendo Jirga, Pakistan’s first all-women jirga (informal judicial court), received the US State Department’s 2015 International Women of Courage Award in KPK. Following the publicity received through the award, she faced anonymous threats via phone and text messages that forced her to relocate to another city.

Someone should educate Ramya on what is really happening in Pakistan so that she retracts her position that “Pakistan is not HELL”.  If she does not relent and retract from her stated position, all one can say is that she should be prepared to face the wrath of people.

Otherwise, Ramya should gracefully migrate to Pakistan, which she considers as “NOT A HELL” to live in peace, respect and dignity.