Tag Archives: Punjab

WRIT PETITION FILED IN LAHORE HIGH COURT TO RESTORE JAIN MANDIR IN LAHORE AND OTHER MINORITY WORSHIPING PLACES THROUGHOUT PAKISTAN

On   20th May 2014 a Writ Petn   SYYED MOHUMMED JAWAID IQBAL JAFREE OF SLARPORE  versus STATE through CHIEF SECRETARY , GOVT OF PUNJAB AND OTHERS (INCLUDING PUBLIC AT LARGE) was filed at Lahore High Court   .. Writ Petition 13953 of 2014.
It was Preliminarily heard by MR JUSTICE Mansoor Ali Shah.
HE ORDERED THAT NOTICES ISSUE TO RESPONDENTS , AND THE cHIEF secretary (HIMSELF NOT A JOINT SECRETARY OR SECTIONN OFFICER) HEAR JAFREE PERSONALLY ON 26TH MAY Monday AND PASS A SPEAKING ORDER WITHIN ONE MONTH.. THE WRIT WOULD BE HEARD FURTHER ON 26TH June.
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The Writ also asks that national hero Shaheed BHAGHHAT SINGH be honoured with highest national honour NISHANE PAKISTAN and Post Office ordered to issue commemorative stamps, even though he is Sikh.
The Writ by Syyed Iqbal Jafree extensively quotes Constn and the Holy Quran; that places of minority worshipfulness are cultural heritage which should not be discriominated against or maligned.
I copy of the Writ has been mailed to Shri  Mahendra Kumar Mast in Chandigarh.
There is much apathy re minorities in india and Pakistan. They must now  wake up and strive for progress and change and prlogressivity orientation.
I did receive a phone calls from some Jain Trust in Bombay moments before I appeared before Lahore High Court Justice Mansoor ali shah re this matter.
But no further call.
All expenses of this Writ were borne by THE SHAHZADI MUMTAZ JAHAN TRUST. If any Indian organization or individual wants to take part in  this Litigation they must sent POWER OF ATTY to Jafree (who charges no fees) , but it must be legalized by Pakistan High Commission OR by some Pak Embassy elsewhere.
Next Court hearing is 26th June.
Regards
BARRISTER SYYED MOHUMMED JAWAID IQBAL JAFREE OF SLARPORE AND SUMMA-SATTTTTA, Senior Advoc Sup Ct of Pakistan , PC
MA LLM PhD HonLLD FRSA Paris Biennale Laureate.
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LHC WRIT   ———–OF 2014; Jafree versus State (Religion)  RE FREEDOM OF RELIGION, FILED 19TH MAY 2014
BISSMILLAW :: URGENT FOR  TUESDAY, the 20th MAY 2014  (OFFICE NOT TO S V P  WASTE  TIME)

IN THE HONOURABLE LAHORE HIGH COURT, LAHORE

(Public Interest) Farze Kaffaya Application              ……….         WP _______________/2014

BARRISTER SYYED MOHUMMED JAWAID IQBAL JAFREE OF SLARPORE, BRIGHTON, PACIFIC PALISADES and SUMMA-SATTTTTA (“JAFREE”),( (General Counsel: THE SHAZADI MUMTAZ JAHAN TRIUST ( A WAKF ) + GEOFFREY+KHITRAN, (PUBLIC INTEREST LAW FIRM))) , 11 RIGHTEOUS CALIPH OMER (RA) PLAZA, ONE MOZANG ROAD,  VICINITY OF THE SACRED JAIN MANDIR . LAHORE-54000, PAKISTAN. …………………                                                                   Writ PETITIONER / INFORMANT/  AND  APPLICANT.

Versus

(1) THE STATE, through THE CHIEF SECERETARY, GOVT. OF PUNJOB, LAHORE, PAKISTAN;  (2) THE FEDERATION through THE CABINET SECRETARY, GOVT. OF PAKISTAN, ISLAMABAD-44000;  (3) THE SECRETARY, MINISTRY OF RELIGION, GOVT. OF PUNJOB, CIVIL SECTT, LAHORE-54000; (4) THE DIRECTOR-GENERAL, PAKISTAN POST OFFICES, GOVT. OF PAKISTAN, ISLAMABAD-44000;  (5) AAAAWWWWWAAA -AAAMMMMMMNNAAAAASSSS  (Public- at- Large) Properly (as Proper Party):        RESPONDENTS.

VERIFIED , SOLEMN AND VERILY -SUCCINCT  POST-NEW NATIONAL JUDICIAL POLICY IMPLEMENTATION  MERITORIOUS  APPLICATION FOR ORDERS AND DIRECTIONS AND  DECLARATORY JUDGMENT ++ HONEST-TO-GOODNESS HOLISTIC AND GENEROUSLY-THOUGHTFUL  JUDICIAL RELIEF/ REVIEW  PLUS  JUSTICE-WITH-LOVE (ADDL BILL EHSAWN) CONCERNING FRUCTIFICATION OF  FREEDOM OF RELIGION OF VULNERABLE / WORTHY MINORITIES  ((( ( E.G., THAT JAIN AND HINDU MANDIRS/ TEMPLES AND  THE SIKH  GURDAWARAS  IN  THE ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF PAKISTAN BE RESTORED, DECENTLY KEPT UP  AND NOT ALLOWED TO BE ABUSED BY GOONS  (AND SCURRILOUS  EXCUSES NOT MINTED) + THAT ‘MARTYR BHAGHAT SINGH’ – - OUR  NATIONAL HERO FROM LYALLPUR (a.  k. a. FAISALABAD)  BE AWARDED NISHANE PAKISTAN (RETROSPECTIVELY) ++  AND THE  PAKISTAN POST OFFICE   ISSUE COMMEMORATIVE POSTAGE  STAMPS REVERENTIALLY   HONOURING AND   CELEBRATING HIS OUTSTANDING STATUS + AUSPICIOUS  MEMORY )))  AND CONSCIENCE PURSUANT TO CONSTITUTIONAL  ARTICLES 199, 194, 187-190, 2A to 10A, 19, 23, 25, 30-40, 227 (AND PENUMBRAS THEREOF)  AND PER ORDER 27A (NOT answer-ing letters  or not addressing grievances may please  be boldly declared to be unconstitutional and against salient  principles of good governance, such practices  must be unequivocally, at long last,  banned/forbidden ) , SECTION 151, 94 CPC,  READ WITH ARTICLE 164 of PAKISTAN LAW OF EVIDENCE (QANUN-E SHAHADAT), AND SECTION 42  of the SPECIFIC RELIEF ACT ++ OTHER  LAWS , (DOMESTIC AND INTERNATIONAL) OF PAKISTAN. EXEMPLARY INDEMNITY COSTS BE generously AND EXEMPLARILY AWARDED AS ROLE MODEL because conduct and hideous maladministration (in fact machinations and misconduct) have been disgraceful  as well as disgusting. Smug Atty.Gen+ Advs.Gen. have not taken any remedial action because they are (not  Ramday) Patronage and Pelf-Begets no’’merit  illicit appointees.

Typed and conscientiously Filed  by Barrister SyyedMohummed Jawaid Iqbal Jafree without charging any fees or expense, emailpihrights@gmail,.com+ phone 0345 426 6785 or after 3 pm Gulberg Public Interest Law Offices PIHR/G+ 0092 42 3578 5025). Filing costs fearlessly  contributed by The SMJ Trust (a Wakf). {{Time spent on preparing this Writ 24 Hours.}}.

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LHC WP———–2014, JAFREE versus STATE (JAIN)  RELIGION FILED ON 19th MAY 2014, Part 2

               Respectfully Represents Your Petitioner in Performing Farze Kaffaya and as personally  Aggrieved and Affected  Party               T  H  A  T:

1.  PARTIES:  Applicant Jafree (an affected party as vakeel and mussawere and scholar of cultural heritage)  is a denizen of Pakistan, a Muslim (and direct descendant from Holy Prophet Mohummed, S A W,  (“The Highest Jihad is Speaking Up before Powers That Be!!”)  as well as Caliph Imam Ali K A W); he is distantly also  related to The Righteous Caliph Omer RA who said ‘an acceptor of wrong is worse than the wrongdoer’. Furthermore,  has been a lawyer/barrister/ vakil + mussawere of/f and  in Pakistan and abroad for over 55 calendar years with the grace of God treating advocacy as a noble calling, and calling a spade a shovel. As an artist and aesthete (he visits architectural / interfaith / cultural heritage of nation/s; more so in his nuclear neighborhood). He is the one and the only Paris Biennial Laureate , left  in the Asia-Pacific-Africa Triangle.  Obtaining justice in Pakistan had become, pre-NNJP,  practically quite  uphill since circa 1985.  (B) Respondents and other parties are well described (which took over SIX hours to type ought) and addresses for Service of Process are given on page 1.  Supreme Court of Pakistan has lately  repeatedly directed (and even its obiter dicta must be obeyed as a matter of Rule of Law and Access to Justyice) that minorities’ rights cannot be violated. And no one is above the law. Albert Einstein declared : IF I WERE TO REMAIN SILENT, I’D BE GUILTY OF COMPLICITY.  (C)  Let’s practice what we were preached and what we have been preaching (tolerance towards other faiths and religions). Vakil means facilitator of Justice-with-love (i.e.. Addl Bill Ehsawwn).  Islam gave the world concepts of Due Process of Law (Bill Haaq) and Rajoo (Writs Error Coram Nobis and Vobis) and Equal Protection of Law for one and all without discrimination or Segregation, Make-Believe or Double Standards. (D)  In stead,  our Establishment (in all wings of Government of Pakistan) greedily got intofor the sake of  race  Plots, Peccadilloes, Pelf, Patronage, Progeny-Peddling, peacocking  Promotions , Protocol pursuits, Pettiness Pandering, Plentiful  Plots ,  and Perverting Procedure, Poly-Plotting, P’Ring,  paralegal Piri-mureedii, Preposterous Propaganda, Pestering Pomposity, et al.

2. (A)CONTINUING CAUSES OF ACTION: Today, we are accurately  being chided by the civilized societies of the global village  as nothing but a  Failed, Rogue and Dangerous, Terrorism-Oriented  State. ‘Buy the People’; ‘Far The People’ and ‘Off the Peapull’, in practice. ©  In Gujranwala opening butchers’ shops in a Jain Temples takes the caKKKe. Architectural and cultural heritage of Pakistan is being dismantled, distorted and maligned.  This is forbidden by religion and by our Constitution.  Jafree sent thousands of complaints to various authorities since 1985. No reply. Arrogance and double standards permeate. Jafree learned (verbally)  that few years ago Chief Minister of Punjob Mian Shabaaz SharrReef allocated some Rs 20 Lakhs for repairing The Jain Temple, but the public  moneys were corruptly usurped and squandered by the staff.  (B)  Our Holy Prophet ( s a w)  and Jafree’s most venerable  ancestor Prophet Mohummed (P b u h) and the Holy Quran state that there is no compulsion in religion and Prophet Mohummed (P b u h) used to routinely  allow followers of other religions/ faiths to perform their religious duties in the Mosque, because all  temples/ churches/ pagodas/ temples/ mandirs and synagogues are all places of God All Mighty not anyone’s personal or personnel or professional property, Realty® or reality.  The Jains are peace-loving and non-violent hardworking  people. Also parsees, Hindus, Buddhists, Christians, Sikhs  (please, do recall Holy-man MahaGuru Nanak Dev Jii enthusiastically   performed two hajjs by foot, but he righteously  became significantly  disappointed/ irritated by our moolah-oriented  mulLAWS). Furthermore,  Jews or The Others ( discrete Minorities) who in/voluntarily  left Pakistan due to political exploitation or intolerance (by our socalled Elite nouveau riche segment) have committed no wrong against Pakistan. Quaide Azam Mohummed Ali Jinnah must be turning in his grave. (C)  Jain Mandir near Jafree Law Offices has been grossly violated, debilitated and politically-sponsored  LAND mAFIA and Sir Nawazzz SharrrrReef (BA HonGCMG, previously also claiming to be MA+ LLB)  aficionados have opened up garbage and other commercial and untenable  shops there. Similar and other  Jain Mandirs in other parts of Pakistan have been and are continuingly being  desecrated and violated (See the  Documentation in the accompanying Documentation). Similarly churches, pagodas, other places of non-Moslem worships have been commercially exploited and are being  wrongfully and maliciously being constantly and continually desecrated which is intolerable as  crying shame and constitutional wrongs (OUTRAGES).  In  other civilized countries such matters are vigorously  litigated by law Officers, here the  ‘’’ Ganges flows upside down’’’ and in reverse, and far worse.

GROUNDS  : The  pernicious misconduct, obstinacy  and callous maladministration of Respondents 1 to 4 and their subordinates and colluding  colleagues are  illegal, unconstitutional,  mala fide and disastrous,  militate against    good governance , common weal and public interest (see page 1). Attorney General and all Advocates Generals have failed to respond affirmatively or to provide any relief whatsoever to date in spite of countless requests. They don’t seem to be interested in  common good or good governance, but pine for  personnel promotions and personal loyalty to their nouveau riche, greed and territory/TURF control and constitutes blindly following the current  ‘fiendish-ing’   Overlards. That goes beyond Just Expectations, Margin of Appreciation, Doctrine of Subsidiarity as well as all tenets of Good Governance and  Proportionality. It makes no sense whatever  and in fact is disgraceful and beyond redemption and suc h callousness is bringing bad name to Pakistan as well as Islam. This must now be nipped if Pakistan is to survive. Discrete and vulnerable minorities asre suffering immeasurable and incalculable harm is being catered and being done. All affirmative equities weigh in favour of providing actual substantive relief.

T H E R E F O R E

(i) Relief humbly  requested above (also see Overleaf)  be granted (on standing and other aspects,  please See   MALICK versus MALICK [1925] 52AC 145 (Privy Council upholding Nagpur High Court judgment; Objective Resolution is the  grundnorm: PLD 1990 K 342)) generously, inter alia,   by virtue of  a DeclARATION PRELIMINARY AND PERPETUAL. The Honourable Court declare the rights, responsibilities and duties of the Parties (this is the current mode of providing holistic  relief – - without beating about the bushes or Bushes and Barrick Hussein Osamas (Obama so written in Kenya) in all Common Law an d other civilized jurisdictions). (ii)  Respondents be commanded to protect the Jain Mandirs and other places of worship of discrete and vulnerable minorities (belonging to Islamic or any other faith).  (iii) The Jain Mandir, near Geoffrey and Khitran Law Offices close to Old Anarkali and Lytton (Janazgah) Roads in Lahore  be suitably  repaired and restored; (iv)  and the Jain Mandirs in  Gujranwala be ordered  vacated most expeditiously  and appropriately  restored. More so the CRUEL AND UNUSUAL “PUNISHMENT” (FOR PURPOSES COMMERCIAL AND dispensing  POLITICAL ARROGANCE, Might is Righteousness) Butcher Shops opened in Gujranwala  Jain and/or Hindu Mandirs/Temples  be closed and destroyed and Jains be allowed to visit these mandirs and perform their rituals,  ceremonies and  carry out traditional cleansing operations. (v)  A Jain pandit or Temple-keeping person be allowed to reside in each province of Pakistan to look after their mandirs and temples. No shops, other operatrions should remain IN  THESE and other places of worship.  (vi) And respondents’ worsening inefficiency and  habit, under colour of law and otherwise,  of not answering letters (violates inter alia  Sections 23,24,27 of the General Clauses Act, and p. 578, Volume  VI, Muariffe Quran published by the University of the Punjob)) be declared to be unconstitutional and against public interest and common good.  (vii) Court Proceedings be ordered  officially tape-recorded. (viii)  Further, other and additional Relief be granted. (ix) All places of minority worship and other sacred places of offering  prayers  should be restored gradually and looked after. (x)  The Honourable  Court unequivocally declare the religious rights of Minorities of all religions and declare Sectarianism, blasphemous  or prejudicial practices as illegal and reprehensible , to wit: subject to severest  sanctions and actual  punishment for  Contempt, obstruction of justice, sabotaging of the Constitution and other penal proceedings and sternest  penalties and exactions. (xi) to me your faith, to me my faith (God in Holy Quran, 109:6)+Let there be no compulsion in religion, Quran 2:256 + Surely the noblest amongst you is the most knowledgable, Holy Quran 49:13. + So vie with one another in  good works (Quran, 5:48) + God does not like harsh accusations except by the wronged, Quran 4:148-149.  (xii) (a)  Always go too far .. for that is where you will find the truth:  Albert Camus.(b)  Truth shall make you free (Saint John)

Jafree, most humbly,  offers to prove up all of the above per Pakistan Law of Evidence Order (Qanune Shahadat) which includes innovative  telltale Article 164 as part of the law of the land.

  • Before concluding Applicant humbly but responsibly  reminds the  Honourable Court that our Holy Prophet, peace be upon him,  calibrated : The ink of a scholar is worthier than the blood of many-splendoured martyrs.
  • Great and Righteous Caliph (then concurrently  the Chief Justice of the biggest Empire of that time on the face of the Good Earth) HaZrat Umer RA warned : EVEN IF   A DOG ROAMS  HUNGRY ALONG THE banks of  RIVER EUPHRATES,  I WILL BE HELD STRICTLY  accountable and fully  RESPONSIBLE. HE STRONGLY and sternly   CONDEMNED HYPOCRISY AS THE LEAST FORGIVABLE OF SINS. THAT SQUARELY  APPLIES, MUTATIS MUTANDIS,  TO THE BANKS OF  our own  DOMESTIC  RAVI… NOW – -  what a shame – -  THAT  HALF OF THE COUNTRY’S  INNOCENT DENIZENS  ARE GOING WITHOUT PROPER MEALS A DAy .
  • MashawLAW :  Our Judges of the superior judiciary  are the highest paid in tax free overall terms  ( their remunerations inluding  multifaceted perks and privileges of all kinds  worth taxfree many  Millions a month besides salary + retirement benefits and new plump positions and prestige after Retirement)  in the history of mankind. Besides and beyond that  it is their inherent and innate  duty AND RESPONSIBILITY   to  actually and fearlessly provide nothing less than COMPLEAT AND HOLISTIC  justice across the board to one and all .Moreover,   HONESTLY all residents, denizens and citizens of Pakistan must  respect REAL  merit and GENUINE  tacqva.
  • There exists  no reprieve, forgivance,  immunity or impunity for In Justice = injustice. No one is above the law except God. We, all of us in the Legal Calling , ought ethically and conscientiously   serve as example makers, as upfront  role models and guide the world by setting examples. We cannot walk with our heads high by operating as functional ostriches. The religion of our massive majority demands sacrifices and speaking up, giraffe like performance without fear or favour .. to do Right with all kind of people. This was not being done pre-NNJP.

Oral arguments will, inshawLAW,  be made which the court which  is requested and most  welcome to officially Tape record the proceedings. Incidentally work stoppages/ closures and Hartalls are illegal and anti-Islamic as obstruction of access to  justice and sabotaging of the  Constitution. A wrong is a wrong is a wrong by any other name or nomenclature. It must not be acquiesced in or encouraged as a public relations device of running with the turtle and  haunting with the greyhounds. It is dreadful and disastrous. We have to turn the page and make a paradigm shift from newfound and past practices.

Respectfully Submitted:

AGGRIEVED PETITIONER/ APPLICANT SIMULTANEOUSLY  GENUINELY-PERFORMING FARZE KAFFAYA  AS AN OFFICER OF THE COURT AND AS NONSTATE ACTOR (PER ARTS. 2A-7, 9, 10  OF THE CONSTITUTION)       THROUGH

PRO BONO PUBLICO    COUNSEL    ::   BARRISTER SYYED MOHUMMED JAWAID IQBAL JAFREE OF SLARPORE AND SUMMA-SATTTTTTA’      ASC PC     1382    “A WORLD CLASS PUBLIC INTEREST Lawyer” per Honorable Lahore High Court…

CERTIFICATE OF COUNSEL :

All administrative or other remedies have been explored and exhausted  over last  5 years. No other  relief is available or proficient and efficacious. The CVourts must take the bull by the horn. This is first writ on the subject per instructions. Counsel’s  discounted fee as Indemnity Costs is U S  $786.92 only  per hour. Income tax is voluntarily and promptly  paid by this Ethical counsel within 48 hours of receipt of any fees or Indemnity Costs. Fees are not banked abroad. SO HELP ME GODAS PAKISTAN IS DROWNING IN indigenously-manufactured  ‘IN’ INJUSTICE (“In” is fashionable, currently trendy). The world ridicules and mocks us with  lamentable derision and distrust. Extremis malis .. extrema remedia!! I thank God that am not one of those (totally power crazy- in actuality  pygmies) who share  or can claim any sanctimony or  ‘credit’ or plots for any part in that dismal  outcome. I have faithfully practiced law as a noble calling against oddest hurdles  by not making speeches or begging patronage and  plots and favours for pogeny/ partners but by means and virtue of  (to borrow an apropos   Urdu expression) “cutting the stomach of my own nuclear family”. Abuse of merit in our God-fearing  Country has reached mega-proportions which invite the wrath and qehr of God All Mighty;  and nation’s traitors are  roaming scott free,  are being seen on the scene by proliferating companions (since the Bhutto days and nights)  modern day jajuz ‘n majooz maligning/ victimizing  the  innocent country,  decent/ virtuous  countrymen and worsening our conscience under stress for the sake of  their naked lust for power,  shameless turf control, perverse territory-snatching (previously plots in every town with false affidavits and 11 ft tall clout touting  and worsening perversion of power)  and furthering  murderous, hate-filled  bad Faith.

 
 

Bureaucratic Ineptitude Turning Lahore Into a Green Desert

We are cross posting this excellent piece by Salman Rashid:

I was telling a relative of mine about the one dozen different species of birds that nest in my garden (and it’s a one-kanal house) and at any given time the song of twice as many species. He, a retired judge of the superior court, living in Judicial Colony near Thokar Niaz Beg was surprised that there was a total absence of birdsong in their area.

I told him that the birds were missing entirely because of the absence of indigenous species of trees in the locality. The entire colony is choc-a-bloc with all sorts of exotic trees. There is not a single peepul, neem, amaltas, to name only a few.

Ornithologists tell us that Lahore was home to no fewer than a hundred and seventy different species of birds until the mid-seventies. In the latter part of that decade, flight and cabin crews of the national carrier began to flood this unfortunate land with all sorts of ornamental shrubs and trees from the Far East. Ignorant and foolish, these people only had their eye on the huge profits to be gleaned from the sale of this contraband.

That was also the time of the establishment of such residential areas as Iqbal Town and sundry other ‘societies’ in south Lahore as well as of Defense Housing Authority. Vast tracts of real and ancient forest were cleared; roads and housing came up and with them a new forest of shrubs and araucaria – this import being the most popular in those days.

Not that this was the first alien invasion. We had earlier seen the clearing of indigenous trees to plant the Australian water-guzzling eucalyptus and the pretty alstonia. Mark: birds were singularly repelled by both species. However, over the decades, crows and pied mynas (the latter very rarely) have taken to nesting in eucalyptus mainly for want of any other species. But very strangely, I have never ever seen any specie of bird nesting or even roosting in alstonia. The result was that our birds began to leave Lahore for forest and scrub outside the city.

The disease of preferring exotic tree species over our own was matched by yet another sickness: the preference for ornamental shrubbery in place of real trees. One example that I know of is the Anjuman e Himayat e Islam premises in Lahore that was home to many magnificent hundred year-old trees. In the 1980s or shortly after, they were all chopped down by one very, very foolish man and replaced by shrubbery. Thousands of birds that thrived on those trees in the heart of smoggy Lahore were banished and part of the lungs of the city destroyed.

Roads in all the new residential societies were planted with either eucalyptus or alstonia; houses only with some little shrubbery. The 21st century rolled around and we discovered some more useless species to replace our own. This was the age of ficus and ashoka. Today, every new road is adorned with these absolutely worthless trees.

To anyone who understood ecology, this was the making of a disaster. But importers of these exotic species were only concerned with the profits to be had. Having spoken to at least three importers, I have learned that they have not even the faintest clue of ecology. The Forest Department nursery on Ravi Road stocks indigenous plants and sells saplings for one rupee a piece. Twice, the officer in charge, seeing my concern for the loss of our trees, even refused to take any money for the few dozen trees I obtained. Yet the average person will not go there. Instead he will blight his home with ficus.

One importer of exotic species with connections to the ruling party in Punjab has meanwhile become a billionaire selling exotic species. His links permitting him free run with the Parks and Horticulture Authority gives him room to sell exotic shrubbery and miniature palm trees for a preposterous six-figure price. Damn the ecology of Lahore. Lucre is the God and birdsong can go to hell.

We have seen example of these pricey plants in the green spaces leading up to the Saggian Bridge from the Ring Road in north Lahore. The Ring Road in the south and near the airport is similarly blighted. Indeed that vast over a hundred acres of open space in front of the airport is a sad, arid and shadeless desert contaminated with the rubbish of imported shrubbery.

And now recently we were told that the government had uprooted five hundred and some trees to widen the canal road. In the stead of these lost trees, we are being promised ten times more. I assure you that as surely as night follows day and as surely as we have been blighted by a lack of foresight and understanding over the past six decades, we are going to have five thousand imported trees along the canal.

This will nicely put the politically-connected importer of exotic rubbish up by Rs 500 million and Lahore the poorer for birdsong.

The sad thing is that PHA is run by general duty bureaucrats who have no clue of ecology. In any case, a bureaucrat is hand maiden to the political master and what the master says goes. Consequently, bureaucratic ineptitude and sycophantic compliance are killing the birds and turning Lahore into a green desert.

‘I belong to Ranjha’ – the syncreticism of Lahore’s Shah Hussain

Raza Rumi

I am cross posting my piece here.

Lahore, the ancient city of Loh, the age-old halt for invaders, is also the home to eclectic Sufis. Men and women who shed conventions and discovered newer planes of spirituality found a home in this city. The merging of centuries’ old Indus valley bastion – the Punjab and its primordial language – with core strands of Islamic Sufism was a unique moment in South Asia’s cultural evolution. And, no one can better represent the composite soul of Lahore than its poet and Sufi master Shah Hussain, whose identity has forever fused with his Hindu disciple Madhu Lal. Those who seek Lahore’s Mela Chiraghaan or Festival of Lights still frequent the 16th century shrine of Madhu Lal Hussain.

Shah Hussain’s father, Shaykh Usman, was a loom weaver, and his grandfather Kaljas Rai (Kalsarai) was a convert to Islam who gained the confidence of the state during the reign of Emperor Firoz Shah Tughlaq. Shah Hussain Lahori was born in 1538 AD near Taxali Gate, Lahore. His early religious education was followed by induction into the Qadiriya order by Hazrat Bahlul Daryavi at a very young age. As a devout Muslim in his early years, he gained a formal outward knowledge and imbibed the spiritual moorings of Lahore, including the blessings of Hazrat Usman Ali Hajvery, aka Data Saheb, whose shrine has guided scores of saints, fakirs and yogis for nearly a millennium.

Read the full post here

Lawrence and Montgomery Halls in Lahore

he Lawrence and Montgomery Halls in Lahore as photographed by James Craddock in the 1860s. The caption states “Two large Halls for public meetings built by subscription in honour of Sir John (now Lord) Lawrence and Sir Robert Montgomery. The latter is almost the finest room in India & is used for all the state durbars and Senate meetings, etc. The great ball to the Duke of Edinburgh was in this Hall.” Sir John Lawrence was first Chief Commissioner and Lt. Governor of the Punjab (1853-59) and went on to become Viceroy of India. Robert Montgomery was second Lt. Governor of the Punjab (1859-65). Sir Lawrence played a crucial role during the First War of Independence in 1857 by assuring the supply of troops from Punjab to Delhi. The neoclassical look of the halls was meant to inspire awe in the locals and reaffirm colonial authority after the war. The halls are now being used as the Quaid e Azam Library.
Photo Credit:  http://www.thefridaytimes.com/beta2/tft/article.php?issue=20111104&page=30

Lohari Gate of Lahore, A Rare Image.

A rare image of Lahori Gate, one of the 13 gates of Lahore. It was taken by an unknown photographer in 1900.

 

Posted by: Shiraz Hassan

 

 

 

‘Dingi’ (Dengue) Fever in Lahore

Prof Farakh A Khan

According to WHO (1999) 2.5 billion people are at risk of dengue virus infection in 200 countries. Before 1970 only nine countries had dengue fever. The mortality is about 5%, which can be reduced to 1% with proper treatment in the hospital. Dengue viral infection has become the leading public health problem.

According to Centres for Disease Control and Prevention USA dengue infection places more than 1/3rd population of the world at risk. Every year 100 million people get infected.

The first case of dengue virus in Pakistan was reported in 1996 and incidence started to rise in 2003-2004 (Shahid, Jamal. Govt blames lifestyle for dengue spread. Dawn. September 22, 2011). The dengue viral attack reached epidemic proportions in Lahore during the summer of 2011. The number of people down with dengue viral infection in Lahore can only be a vague conjecture since we have no system to collect reliable statistics. Our rough estimate is that more than 100,000 people in Lahore have so far been infected if the recorded deaths are to be relied upon. There have been 98 reported deaths allegedly due to dengue haemorrhagic fever in Lahore (Nine more die of dengue in Lahore. OC. The News. September 24, 2011).

First let us analyse what the Pakistani papers have been feeding us in this regard. Continue reading

The folklores of Chunian

By Haroon Khalid

This city, of immense historical importance, is towards the south of Lahore. Till 1972 it was part of the Lahore District, when after the separation of Lahore and Kasur, it was made part of the Kasur District. It still is a vital city, in economic and political terms; however, the influence that it enjoyed once is no longer exists. During most of the Mughal era it served as a Chaoni, or cantonment area. Arms and ammunition for the royal army were made here on a massive scale. Towards the Western side of the city remains of large pieces of iron are found; relics of the arms factory.

As one explores historical records and books, one would find numerous references to this city. The list is so long that it would not be possible to narrate all of them here. A few of them eliciting the significance of this city are mentioned below.

According to the Archaeology Department report, there are 7 major mounds here, categorized into two. Category A; belonging to the era after the 16th century CE, and B falling in between the 11th and the 16th century CE. Some of the latter mounds, not of archaeological importance, were formed during the massive flooding of the 18th century in Beas River. These mounds encompass the city, serving as picnic spots for the residents.

According to the Encyclopedia of Sikh Literature, Chunian is the plural for Chuni which means pearl. It is believed that this city was originally inhabited by Chodas, or the untouchables. During the Mughal era, there was a Muslim Saint known as Peer Jahania. When he came here he converted all of these people to Islam. Chunian, meaning pearls is a symbolism for the untouchables. According to this narrative the tomb of the Peer Jahania becomes the most important location of the city. This is where the Saint is said to have established himself. The tomb is accompanied by a modern mosque, in the courtyard of which is a small building, depicting pre-British era architectural techniques. This marks as the spot where the Sufi used to sit. It is empty from the inside.

In Tehrikh-e-Cambhon written by the police inspector Abdul Wahab Amritsari, he narrates a story that takes back the history of Chunian, all the way to the arrival of the Arabs in Sindh. He describes that when Muhammad Bin Qasim attacked Sindh, Chunian was being ruled by a man belonging to the Cambho clan. He had a daughter and a son. This city was under the sway of Multan, so when the Muslims got hold of Multan, Chunian automatically fell in their lap. They demanded a large amount of compensation from the ruler. He retorted that since it was a huge amount he should be allowed to make the payments in installments. He was permitted to do that, but Muhammad Bin Qasim asked for a guarantee in return. The King gave him his boy, Maha Chawar, who was taken by Qasim to Arabia.

Living under Muslim influence, the boy embraced Islam. Five years later when the King of Chunian was able to pay the entire amount, the Prince was allowed to return. However, instead of being welcomed back, Maha Chawar was castigated for having abandoned his religion, and being polluted by the ‘barbarian’, by the Hindu priests. It was decided that he should be returned back or be killed. Since the boy had just come back, there was no option of him returning, so plan B was to be executed. His sister Kangna heard of the plan, and along with her brother fled the city. The army of his father kept on following the siblings, until they were intercepted at Mandi Borewala, where they were murdered. Later Muslim rulers built a tomb there to commemorate their memory. Today the mausoleum stands, known by the name of Diwan Chawali Mushahiq Haji Muhammad Sheikh. Kanganpur, a village in the tehsil is named after Kangna, according to this story. However, besides the mounds there is no building or any other such remains from that tenure in Chunian.  Most of the old buildings have been replaced by new constructions. A few of the balconies, doors, and havelis that are left, are in dilapidated state and not any further back then the Sikh era.

The present city of Chunian came into being in the Mughal era, when the royal arms and ammunition were being manufactured from here. It is standing on a mound, originally protected by a wall with various doorways. Not many are present today, and the traces of the wall are also missing. At its zenith the mound has to be about 40 feet above the ground. Tajamol Kaleem, local Punjabi poet was kind enough to entertain and show us around the city.

Towards the eastern side of the city, near the old route of river Beas there is a non-functional Jain temple. At the start of 2010, a controversy arose regarding the building. Accompanying the edifice is a Wahabi mosque, members of which wanted to take over the building and use it for its own purpose, according to Kaleem. However, Kaleem, along with other friends reached the spot, before the action could be taken, and presented the case in such a manner that the local elders refused the mosque to take over the temple. It was argued that the sanctuary was an Imanat and a Muslim doesn’t renege from his promise. At least temporarily the tension has been defused. There was still apprehension in the atmosphere when we reached the spot to take a few photographs. Hostile looks followed by a few tirades greeted us.

Nearby was the Harchoki gate. As most of the historical doors, this one is named after the historical village of Harchoki, towards which it faces. In the 18th century CE, an epic war was fought in the fields of the village, also wrapping within it the city of Chunian. This entire episode can be found in the famous book Punjab Chiefs, by Sir Lepel H Griffin.

In the early 16th century CE, when Babar was on his way to capture the throne of Delhi, there was an internecine war in Afghanistan, which led to an exodus of many Pathan tribes. They met Babar on the way, and helped him in winning the decisive battle of Panipat in 1525. As a result of their loyalty to the Mughal they were given impressive titles, and control of Bengal. In 1569, when Jahangir was borne to Emperor Akbar, after the lapse of a lot time all of the notables came to pay homage to him, expect these Pathans. Akbar angry at their insolence demanded that all of their titles and property be taken away. When they started returning to Kabul, the King realized that they were a huge asset to the Mughal Kingdom, therefore he send Abu Fazl, the composer of Akbar-Nama to console them. They were given the permission to settle anywhere, which is not near Delhi. They settled for Kasur.

At that time the ruler of Chunian was a man called Raja Rai. Pera Baloch a ‘dacoit’ from here was a source of irritation to the ruler. When the Pathans commenced making their forts here this ‘dacoit’ also started attacking them, taking away his loot in the darkness of the night. Finally, in a fight he was killed, by the Pathans, which went on to establish their authority in the region of Kasur and Chunian.

In 1720, the Pathans descended on the fields of Harchoki, along with Nawab Hussain Khan, ruler of Kasur, the mayor of Chunian, Sardar Fazl Khan, against the might of the Mughal Governor of Lahore, Abdul Smadh Khan. From the very beginning the former group was destined to lose fighting with only a force of 10,000 against an army of 70,000. The death of Nawab Hussain Khan in this battle translated into a defeat for his army in the battlefield. This historic battle however found a way into the cultural psyche of the people of Punjab. It became a symbol of rebellion against an oppressive tyrant. It is also evoked in the famous Heer by Waris Shah.

Symbolism of this battle in Heer is a useful yardstick to gauge the importance of this town in the cultural history of Punjab. Despite language and cultural barriers, Heer goes on to unite the people of Punjab under the banner of Punjabi nationalism. There is however, another folk tale originating from the city of Chunian, much larger in its scale of influence than Heer. This is the story of Sassi Punnon connecting Punjab with Sindh and Baluchistan. It is generally believed that Sassi, the protagonist in our story was the daughter of King of Bhambour. However according to an article published in Imroz in 1970, written by Advocate Syed, Sassi was born in the city of Chunian, from where she reached Bhambour in a basket as an infant, when her life was threatened by the prophecy of a female bringing shame to the city. If credibility is to be allotted to this version then this folk tale originated from this city.

Chunian today, even though donning a modern garb, represents a traditional city that has continued to hold significance over the years. Despite the fact that most of the older buildings, e.g. the Shah Jahani mosque near the tomb of Peer Jahania, and other forts and gates of the city have been lost, the ambience of the city takes one back in time, connecting its past with its present. A journey to Chunian therefore is more like a journey through time, which becomes much more meaningful if its importance has been established as a crucial city in the folk lore of Punjab.

Samadhi Maharaja Ranjit Singh


Photograph of the Samadhi of Ranjit Singh at Lahore, Pakistan, taken by George Craddock in the 1880s, part of the Bellew Collection of Architectural Views.  Lahore is the capital of Punjab province, is considered the cultural centre of Pakistan.

Posted by:  Shiraz Hassan

Shades Of The Old Punjab

Picture on the left – Joga Singh with a maulvi outside the mosque in Sarwarpur that his brother Sajjan helped reconstruct
This is a great, heart-warming piece from Outlook India which says that “Across rural Punjab, Sikhs and Hindus are helping restore mosques destroyed during Partition”

Brothers In Arms

  • Around 200 mosques across Punjab have been repaired, rebuilt or built from scratch with the help of Sikhs and Hindus in the last 10 years
  • Many destroyed during Partition riots are now being restored by village communities
  • In some cases, the Jamaat-e-Islami is involved, but most are unorganised village-level efforts
  • It’s a reassertion, after decades, of Punjab’s unique religious and cultural synthesis

The Ghuman family of Sarwarpur, near Ludhiana, cannot understand what the fuss is about. Ever since Sajjan Singh Ghuman, an NRI Sikh living in England, rebuilt a mosque in his native village that was damaged during Partition, the shrine, as well as his family back home, have attracted the curiosity of  outsiders. “We never imagined we would be on a Punjabi TV channel just because my elder brother rebuilt this small mosque for the poor Muslim families of our village. For him, it was just a gesture towards restoring the collective heritage of our village,” says Sajjan’s brother, Joga Singh, who manages the family’s lands in Sarwarpur. Sure. But what Joga and his family, or even  the TV channel, do not know is that the sentiment that inspired his brother’s act is being manifested in scores of villages across Punjab, with Sikhs and Hindus joining hands to either rebuild old and damaged mosques or build new ones. Odd? Perhaps. But Punjab, as admirers of its unique religious synthesis say, has always defied stereotypes to do its own thing. Continue reading

WHEN THE ‘WILD’ PROVED MORE EDUCATED

By Majid Sheikh
Dawn, Sunday, 24 January 2010

When the British conquered Lahore in 1849, Lord Dalhousie, the Governor
General, declared that he would educate the “wild illiterate Punjabis” in a
new system of Anglo-Vernacular education. When they started the East India
Company Board was shocked by what already existed.

The board was amazed to find that the literacy rate in Lahore and its
suburbs was over 80 per cent, and this was qualified by the description that
this 80 per cent comprised of people who could write a letter. Today, in
2010, less than nine per cent can do this, while 38 per cent can sign their
name, and, thus, are officially ‘literate’. If you happen to read Arnold
Woolner’s book ‘History of Indigenous Education in the Punjab ’ you will come
across some amazing facts we today just do not know. To understand the
situation it would interest scholars to go through the ‘A.C. Woolner
Collection in the Punjab University Library. My review is a scant one. But
studying other similar pieces provides a picture of the educational system
as it existed in Lahore in 1849 when the British took over. Continue reading

Say a little a prayer for Lahore

 

By Ahmad Rafay Alam
The only thing as incredulous as the recent announcement by the Government of Punjab — it intention to construct a highway through the heart of Lahore — was the recent statement of the CEO of Fashion Pakistan Week that their glorified display of clothes was a “gesture of defiance towards the Taliban.”
Our fashion industry is as much of an industry as the Holy Roman empire was holy, Roman or an empire. Our designers are talented without doubt; but to suggest that parading scantily clad men and women down a runway behind the bunkers and barricades of a five-star hotel in Karachi is an act of defiance is, well, really stretching the limits to which the “security situation” can make a fool out of us. Continue reading

NECKLACE OWNED BY WIFE OF THE LAST SIKH RULER, THE LION OF THE PUNJAB, FOR SALE AT BONHAMS

An important 19TH Century emerald and seed-pearl Necklace from the Lahore Treasury, reputedly worn by Maharani Jindan Kaur wife of Ranjit Singh, the Lion of the Punjab (1780–1839), is for sale in Bonhams next Indian and Islamic sale on 8th October 2009 in New Bond Street.

The necklace has six polished emerald beads, one later converted to a pendant, each bead gold-mounted and fringed with seed-pearl drop tassels, fastened with a gold clasp. It comes with a fitted cloth covered case, the inside of the lid inscribed: “From the Collection of the Court of Lahore formed by HH The Maharajah Runjeet Singh & lastly worn by Her Highness The Late Maharanee Jeddan Kower” It is estimated to sell for £25,000-35,000. Continue reading

Savign Punjab on Punjabi connection (a must-visit blog)

A dear friend and a former colleague Sukhie has started a lovely blog that brings together the Punjabi connections spread far and wide. This new post is worth a look:

Saving Punjab
A Sikh architect is helping to preserve cultural sites in the north Indian state still haunted by 1947’s heart-wrenching Partition

* By Geoffrey C. Ward
* Photographs by Raghu Rai
* Smithsonian magazine, September 2009

Read more here

Pakistan: The lost voices of the middle class

By Tom Hussein

In early June, four of Lahore’s leading medical professionals congregated at the Punjab Club, a recreational retreat for the city’s educated elite, to discuss the future with a former colleague visiting from Australia.

The discussion, held over tea and sandwiches served by waiters in turbans and colonial-style white uniforms, centred on the visitor’s experience of his transition from being one of Lahore’s most fêted doctors, to a respected, but otherwise ordinary member of the Melbourne medical community. Continue reading

The destruction of Lahore’s environment is a trend that needs to be reversed, says Raza Rumi

Moaning about Lahore’s most elitist enclave, GOR-I, is a contentious undertaking. On the one hand, it was, until recently, the best of what the British left us – lovingly p9aadorned with diverse species of trees, home to glorious specimens of ecologically-friendly architecture and an old-world-charm unparalleled for its simplicity and elegance. On the other hand, it was also a symbol of the extractive, Punjab-centric colonial state of the nineteenth century, lorded over by the agents of the Indian civil service.

But when one has lived in those sublime environs, not as the scion of a landed, aristocratic clan but rather as a member of a middle-class, professional family, what is one to do?GOR-I was a lonely plant of sorts amid the sprawl of Lahore, with trees, birds and orchards one would not have expected to find in an Asian mega-city. Continue reading

CULTURES OF PUNJAB

The geographical entity in the north-western region of India called Punjab, the land of five rivers, has been and still is an integral part of the common pool of Indian culture. Its arts and crafts also form an important part of the deep-rooted artistic tradition of India and are equally rich and significant.

The culture of Punjab prior to the partition of 1947 was a mixture of three strains one flowing frorn Kangra hills, the second from south-western area from Multan to Lahore, and the third from Peshawar w Lahore. Continue reading

Moving Journeys: An Exhibition of Photographs of the Colonial Punjab

Photographs of the Punjab taken by London’s Royal Geographical Society
(RGS) members during the late 19th and early 20th centuries form the
core of the exhibition. The RGS images provide a glimpse of the Punjab
province through the ages, capturing the changes brought on by
different empires and the impact of internal and external migration.
To help interpret the pictures, the exhibition also makes use of
travelogues collected and written by RGS members during the colonial
period. Continue reading

First Gurmukhi course concludes

First Gurmukhi course concludes
By Ali Usman
LAHORE: The graduates of the first Gurmukhi Certificate Course were awarded certificates on Wednesday after the completion of the course at the Punjab Institute of Language, Art and Culture (PILAAC).
The Gurmukhi Learning Certificate Course – the first course of its kind in Pakistan to teach the Gurmukhi script of Punjabi commenced at the institute last month. Some 35 students were registered for the course, of which 21 qualified the final examination. Gurmukhi is the universal script used for writing Punjabi, and is quite close to the Hindi script. In Pakistan, the Shahmukhi script (also called the Persian script by some) is used for writing Punjabi.
The aim of the course was to equip the students with the basic skills of Gurmukhi and making them able to read and write the script. The course instructor was eminent Punjabi scholar Jameel Paul. Speaking at the ceremony, Paul said Gurmukhi was the universal script for writing Punjabi. He said there were around 100,000 Punjabi websites, and only two used the Shahmukhi script for the language. He said by learning this script, the poetry of great Sufi poets like Baba Fareed, Shah Hussain, Waris Shah and Bulleh Shah could be written in Gurmukhi and the people living in Eastern Punjab could learn about this rich Punjabi treasure. PILAAC Director Dr Abbass Najmi said the institute would keep organising such courses in future.
First Gurmukhi course concludes
By Ali Usman
LAHORE: The graduates of the first Gurmukhi Certificate Course were awarded certificates on Wednesday after the completion of the course at the Punjab Institute of Language, Art and Culture (PILAAC).  Continue reading

Punjabi Taliban

By Frederick Kagan, Ahmad Majidyar

(The Critical Threats Project is developing a site focused specifically on the threat from al-Qaeda and Associated Movements (AQAM); until that site reaches production, related pieces will be posted on the IranTracker site.)

A group called Tehrik-e Taliban Punjab (TT Punjab) released a message on May 27 claiming credit for the suicide car-bomb attack in Lahore that killed at least 40 people and injured nearly 150, according to a translation prepared by the SITE Intel Group.  The message said that the attackers struck to retaliate for the operations the Pakistani Army has been conducting against the Tehrik-e Nafaz-e Shariat-e Mohammadi (TNSM) in the Swat River Valley and elsewhere in the Northwest Frontier Province (NWFP) of Pakistan. Continue reading

The splendours of Anarkali (Lahore)

Thanks to Isa, I have found this video. A must see for all those who can understand Punjabi and appreciate the nuances of Lahore and its magic. The poem is entitled Tu ki janay bholiyae majay anarkali diyan shanan. This is a humourous poem in an earthy tone using folklore.