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Wednesday 14 April 2010

World Minorities Alliance

Interviewed for Duniya TV
Wilson and MP Mohammed Nadeem Sarwar - Britain's First Muslim MP

Wilson with Mr Sandu a prominent Sikh Businessman

Filmed on Pukaar TV

People of all faiths united in one voice.
The first ever World Minorities Alliance meeting was held at Kensington Town Hall on April 11th.
The meeting had a large number of high profile guests including; Rt Hon Mohammed Nadeem Sarwar the first ever Muslim MP in the UK, Rt Hon Shahid Malik Minister for Communities, and Rt Hon Sadik Khan Minister for Transporty and Privy Counsellor, Wajid Shamsul Hasan High Commissioner for Pakistan and various other patrons.
The event was organised by Julius Salik a former Federal Minister for Culture and Community in Pakistan and a one time nominee for the Nobel Peace Prize. The first Christian Federal Minister in Pakistan.
The aims of the World Minorities Alliance is to create a World body that can can challenge for peace, an end to persecution, equality and full Human Rights for minority groups across the globe. Julius Salik hopes that one day the group will have the authority to speak our against crimes of this nature at the UN Council, European Council and other existing world bodies.
In his capacity as Vice Chairman of the British Pakistani Christian Association, Wilson Chowdhry was invited to speak at the event and to join the initial committee.
After the meeting Wilson said:
"It was a great honour to be able to attend this meeting and represent Pakistani Christians. Seeing Christians, Muslims, Sikhs and Hindus, and people of other faiths and those with no faith united in promoting such laudable ideals, highlights the great efforts of Julius Salik. Such a meeting where all participants spoke on a level platform would not happen in Pakistan or many other countries where human rights are non-existent. I will be praying for the success of this group that could be the seed change needed for a better Pakistan.

Tuesday 13 April 2010

Sick and Tired!

An Article Received via Ali Haider Raza - Pakistan (sic):

Over the past week Pakistan has read many different news items. From the passing of the 18th amendment to the bomb blast at the US Consulate, much is happening. Some may say the stories are for the betterment of our country while others may disagree. In my mind the successful visit of the Foreign Minister and his entourage to the United States gave Pakistan some much needed positive press. However, the current witch-hunt carried out by the Chief Justice and the ugly battle over the reopening of Zardari’s corruption cases has embarrassed many of those who fought for the independence of the judiciary. Now do not get me wrong, as much as I enjoyed protesting on the streets of Lahore for the reinstatement of the nation’s top judge, I can’t fathom Mr. Iftikhar’s current agenda of picking and choosing his enemies. When will we be able to see actual results from the “democratically” elected officials and the “independent” judiciary we as a nation have struggled to achieve for 62 years? When will stop pointing fingers and vilifying those whom we disagree with? Or have we gotten used to being stuck in this whirlpool of revengeful politics.
Honestly, we Pakistanis have gotten sick and tired of the lies and broken promises.

Some journalists and media personalities are articulate with words and have knack of morphing history to suit their own needs. While others us their blogs and websites to hatch their conspiracy theories, castigating Imperialistic America. Many journalists, who write with a vengeance, have a biased perception. These fear mongering columnists truly baffle the mind for it is unfortunate how upon gaining “independence” they still write according to the old playbook of instilling fear and playing with emotions. Rather than encouraging positive criticism of the government, and showing the way forward by holding the executive and legislature accountable, the media looks to vilify anybody they see fit courtesy of their talk shows and newspaper columns.

From blaming Shahbaz Sharif of instigating ethnic violence due to his “Save Punjab” comment to blaming the Pakistan Army for their strategic depth policy of breeding the Taliban, we as a nation have refused of undertaking responsibility for our own actions. Taking the easy route for the short-term gains against investing in the long-term goals has led us to an energy shortfall, water crisis and now rice shortage. We cannot suffer anymore. The 170 million Pakistanis cannot suffer anymore. Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi recently stated Pakistan has endured 31,000 casualties since the initiation of the war against the militants in our country. With our external security threatened due to the existence of militants and the internal safety looking bleak because of inflation, energy shortage and other domestic problems, our country is at a critical juncture.

The latest Gallup Polls shows 51% of Pakistanis identify high costs, financial problems, and poverty as the most important problems. This clearly represents the lack of unity amongst the citizens of our country. With 31,000 dead it truly is mind boggling the seriousness by which we treat death and the threat to our survival. Where is the passion of rallying around the flag under the crescent and star? I am not marginalizing the seriousness of familial issues we face today, but with suicide bombings killing sons, daughters, fathers and mothers, inflation is the least of family concerns.

With such grave concerns facing our country, it is pathetic when Zaid Hamid shows up at Al-Hamra and adds fuel to the very flame burning our families. It is nauseating to see the government enjoying a VVIP culture with their Mercedes and colossal mansions, it is tiring to see the Chief Justice vilify those who displease him, and it is repulsive when Nawaz Sharif is adamant on becoming the Prime Minister rather than playing the role of an assisting opposition.

A unified approach is exactly what the doctor has ordered for carrying Pakistan through the turbulent times we are experiencing today. The politics of revenge has been a big turn off, and it is high time the government stop using the phrase “political reconciliation” for they have lost its true meaning. The current government may enjoy the bunkers provided by the Presidents house and the Prime Minister house, but if our problems are not looked after and the bombings are not stopped, they may be seeing themselves living in barracks. The PPP currently enjoy the perks and privileges of a majority, but as John Boehner stated “the moment a majority forgets [the problems], it starts writing itself a ticket to minority status”.

The monotonous routine of issuing messages of condemnation and condolences from the government after every suicide blast needs to stop. I am tired of reading “we denounce the attack…we will provide the best medical facilities”. Why have our politicians let it come to such a point? The clock is ticking. Both the government and opposition need to have the audacity to take responsibility of our woes. We have not put them in office to siphon money into offshore bank accounts nor have we elected them to place stuffed tigers at their farmhouses.

Have the decency to respect the people who have elected you to your office. You gave us a promise. One that was to better our standard of living, to improve our shattered economy and to provide us with peace and security. We may not have the privilege of having a mile long entourage or a traffic free ride when driving on the road, but we surely have the vote to rid you of such perks. Do not prod us further or take us for granted, be mindful of our vote, for we are sick and tired.

Tuesday 6 April 2010

End the Immoral and Illegal War in Afganistan and Iraq

Even young people spoke of the unnecessary loss of life!
Christians, Muslims, and other faiths represented in a campaign to end the illegal and immoral war in Pakistan.

Brian Haw a world renowned campaigner against the Iraq and Afghanistan War was joined by other peace activists in Easter Meal.
Why did our MP's agree to this costly and immoral war...?

A feast was shared by all and open to all.

Three mics....which do I use?

On April the 4th (my Birthday!) I was invited to talk at a peace meal held on the green outside the Houses of Parliament. Julius Salik - once a Nobel Peace Prize Nominee and former Federal Minister of Pakistan, arranged the feast in honour of long term peace campaigner Brian Haw.
All those attending spoke out against the immoral, illegal and costly war in Afghanistan and Iraq that has cost our country billions in financial terms and the unnecessary loss of lives.
Every soldier killed in this unjust war should be deemed a hero they have not broke any moral conventions and have stayed true to their pledge to represent our country and protect its people. If their is any dishonour to be attributed to the war it should be heaped on the MP's who sanctioned the war, despite evidence suggesting there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.
Moreover, the fact remains that our soldiers are being subjected to continued dangers in a war that will see no end and is creating an unwanted fiscal burden on the UK.
The majority of people in the UK would like to see an end to this war and at the Peace Meal we saw representatives from a number of faiths. It is about time our MP's listened to the people they represent and bring an end to these wars.
The BPCA was proud to be associated with an event that promotes peace and will reciprocally reduce the fanaticism in Pakistan that has increased persecution to minority Christians. We were joined by Geo TV and DM TV who broadcast the message of peace globally.
In leading this peace event the mercurial Julius Salik has shown his love for people of all faiths and in particular Christians in Pakistan, who will inadvertently benefit from the Easter Day peace meeting.
God tells us to love our brother - this is not a love singled our for just Christian brothers but for all. By holding the event on Easter Day Julius has highlighted that God's love is for all and Brian Haw himself a Christian has sacrificed his personal quality of life to bring a hope of peace. I can think of no better way of winning hearts and minds to Christ, then the work of these two men.