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Finding Neverland Blog Archive

Monday, July 7, 2014

The ill Fated ones


 Written By: Fatima Arshad

Here in Pakistan we seem to have no respect for non-Muslims in daily life nor for their rights as laid down by human rights or even Islam. Since we are the ‘Islamic Republic of Pakistan’ we Muslims think of ourselves as superior to our non-Muslim counterparts, forgetting that they are as much human as us.

I will not go on about us being spiritually dead, rather I will tell you of some prominent non-Muslims who stuck to their ‘Pakistani’ identity and made us proud.

When it comes to national service we see the services stand out of Jamshed Nusserwanji, the first mayor of Karachi. He turned Karachi from a fishing village to a well planned city and developed it economically and socially. Thus transforming a small, unimportant city into a metropolis and the cleanest city of the East. Nusserwanji, being a businessman, took immense interest in improving the business of the city, and paid great attention to its trade, commerce, insurance and banking sectors. Karachi soon caught the attention of visitors from all around the world.


There was also Captain Hercharn Singh who was the first Sikh officer to be commissioned in the Pakistan Army.

Mr. Justice (Retired) Rana Bhagwandas was a highly respected member of the Pakistani judiciary and was a senior judge and former acting chief justice of the Supreme Court of Pakistan. He was the first Hindu at this post. He staunchly defended Pakistan's society and legal system against charges of bias and suppression of minorities, also being a vocal opponent of the practice of honour killings of women in the rural areas. Mr. Bhagwandas was among the three dissenting judges who thought that Gen. Musharraf should resign from the post of army chief.

Then there was also Chief Justice Dorab Patel who, a Parsee by faith, was a jurist and lawmaker who served as a former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. Justice Patel was a prominent campaigner for the human rights, and was a founding member of the Asian Human Rights Commission and the co-founder of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan. He resigned after refusing to take an oath of allegiance to the martial law of Gen. Zia-ul-Haq. Had he not done so he would have become the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. After resignation from the Supreme Court, he devoted his life to waging a crusade for the rights of the oppressed and downtrodden. In 1990, he became the second Pakistani to be elected a member of the exclusive International Commission of Jurists.

Another prominent jurist, legal philosopher and judge was Chief Justice Alvin "Bobby" Robert Cornelius. He was the 4th Chief Justice of Pakistan from 1960 to 1968. He had also been a leading activist for the Pakistan Movement, seeing it as a solution to ill-treatment of Muslims and Christians in the subcontinent. Cornelius played an integral role in setting up the court system while advising the law minister and the prime minister. He was regarded as a man of justice, warning and fighting against religious extremism.

Coming to the side of the media the most prominent names are those of the Benjamin sisters and Deepak Perwani.

The Benjamin Sisters were a Pakistani singing group of three sisters, Nerissa, Beena and Shabana. The Benjamin Sisters first participated in various music learning programs aired on Pakistan Television from 1968 to 1987 which were aimed at educating children about music. The three sang in a synchronized way, in a "single voice". The sisters later achieved further fame after the release of patriotic national songs of Pakistan.

Deepak Perwani is a well known Pakistani fashion designer and actor. He is one of the prominent members of the Hindu Sindhi community in Pakistan. He showcases his designs internationally and has a wide fan base. Mr. Perwani  recently created the world's largest kurta.

These were just a few examples. We have non-Muslims in all walks of life such as cricket, hockey, the drama and music industries and also in law and writing.

Taking into account their services, is their current treatment in an intolerant Pakistan justified?

These were just a few examples. We have non-Muslims in all walks of life such as cricket, hockey, the drama and music industries and also in law and writing.

Taking into account their services, is their current treatment in an intolerant Pakistan justified?

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