Sep 14, 2016
(Answered by Ahsan Khan , a secularist from Pakistan on Quora.)
Well mentioning this in Pakistan is basically signing your own death certificate. I am not surprised why no Pakistani mentioned this. Yes, there were atrocities done by Pakistani army to Bangladeshi people which is shameful. But I present you something else:
Murder of Salman Taseer and conviction of Asia Bibi based on blasphemy law:
It all started with an argument among group of women who were working in a farm in a Pakistani village near Sheikhupura, Punjab where Asia Bibi (Asia Bibi blasphemy case), a Roman Catholic, used to work as a berries harvester, drank water from the same glass as other women who were Muslims. Her neighbour who already had issues with her told her that she was seen as unclean (which I can confirm since I lived in Pakistan) by others due to the fact that she is Catholic. Now Asia lost her temper and said these words exactly:
I believe in my religion and in Jesus Christ, who died on the cross for the sins of mankind. What did your Prophet Mohammed ever do to save mankind?
Her own colleagues whom she used to work with everyday and trusted them complained to a local cleric that she insulted Muhammed (Prophet of Islam). A mob came to her house, brutally beat her up and her family. Remember these are common citizens not security force. Anyway, she was rescued and imprisoned.
Long story short she denied the charge and was found guilty of blasphemy and sentenced to death by a Pakistani court. She kept on reiterating that she is innocent.
You thought that was shameful enough? No! Governer of Punjab, Salmaan Taseer appealed on TV during the interview to have mercy on Asia Bibi and reconsider her punishment. He was a secular, progressive leader brought up in poverty by English mother and Pakistani father who died when Salman was young.
He was a well educated man. He studied Chartered Accountancy from London, UK. He setup various chartered accountancy and management consultancy firms. He is the founder of WorldCall group that is the pioneer of telecommunication in Pakistan.
My point is, just notice what he gave to the country. How forward thinking he was, he led a secular lifestyle and always kept religion separated from state as Governer of Punjab.
Ever since he spoke in favour of Asia Bibi, he and his family were demonised even in media especially on social media. There were pictures of them drinking alcohol, his daughter wearing bikini circulating all over Facebook and Twitter.
Some went to great lengths of even harassing them by making youtube video of their whole family:
I do not want to end up like Salman Taseer
His son wrote an article in NY times about the situation.
My Father’s Killer’s Funeral
This incident speaks volume of how far Pakistan’s general population has to go when it comes to religious tolerance when all Salman Taseer did was to question Pakistan’s blasphemy law. This is another article that desribes the mentality of people:
How Pakistan responded to Salmaan Taseer’s assassination
As if that was not shameful enough his fans decided to build a mosque in his name. As of 2014, mosque had become so big that they started raising funds to double its size and capacity.
Pakistan mosque built to honour politician’s killer to double in size
My answer has been reported by a user as anti-Pakistan and Islamophobic answer. I simply answered the question “a shameful episode in the history of your country”. Please do tell where did I insult Islam? I simply referred to the original context of the story by quoting people involved. Also, please note my intention of writing this answer is to raise awareness among Pakistanis because I was appalled to see such support for a murderer. I am thankful to some who acknowledge this. They give me hope but it is clear they are a minority even on sites like Quora.
Then came this day of 4th January 2011, he was gunned down and shot 27 times with AK-47. You would think it was a stranger shooting him? No, it was his own bodyguard Mumtaz Qadri, who was supposed to protect him with his life.
He announced he killed Salman because he spoke in favour of Asia Bibi and considered him heretic. He was convicted of murder and sentenced to death by hanging.
Coming to Salman Taseer, due to his remarks, priests were reluctant to even give him a funeral. Priest of Badshahi Mosque who initially agreed to give him a funeral backed out. He was shown as a heretic whom no one wanted to go near. His funeral consisted mostly politicians or members of political party.
On the other hand, there were mass protests all around the country in support of Mumtaz Qadri. He was hailed as a hero of the nation. Someone who united the nation under the name of Islam. There was this sense of happiness, unity and patriotism among general public that a heretic has been murdered and finally a true Muslim amongst us has risen. There were 300 lawyers who were willing to take his case pro-bono and these are lawyers who are considered “well educated”.
I remember even certain relatives of mine were celebrating Taseer’s death. I at the time had no idea what was going on but I remember I was being told by most of the people around me (family, friends with one exception, classmates) that Mumtaz Qadri did “god’s” work and he should be rewarded instead of hanged.
You know what made it more shameful? It was not enough that there were protests on Taseer’s funeral but when Mumtaz Qadri was finally hanged this year (February 2016 to be exact), hundreds of thousands of people attended his funeral. He was hailed a martyr! To hide the embarassment on global stage Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority decided to ban the broadcast of his funeral. This is how the killer’s funeral looked like (please check the image in the article below)
Thousands at funeral of Pakistani executed for murdering governor
What scares me to write this is that, this is the general public of Pakistan who supported his actions. People like you and me supporting a murderer for killing a successful, forward thinking, highly educated politician and businessman. His crime was to defend a woman who questioned the abilities of a historical figure. Not to mention, my only friend who mentioned that this was wrong had an argument with his professor of a respectable university in Pakistan who supported the murder of Salman Taseer. http://defence.pk/threads/what-was-the-most-shameful-incident-in-your-countrys-history.449314/