Call for banning Valentine's Day celebrations in Pakistan
Festival threat to our traditional values, corrupting minds of youth
Un-Islamic festivals part of cultural war imposed on Muslims
Western holiday seen as cultural pollution, part of Western imperialism

Islamabad: [Feb 14]
The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Tuesday called for banning Saint Valentine's Day celebrations in Pakistan terming it an immoral activity which promote social ills.

Asking someone to be their valentine will provoke the wrath of Allah as such a request would be idolatrous, it said.

Religious institutions should spread anti-Valentine's Day message while government should immediately slap a ban on the cultural pollution which is against Islam, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President Pakistan Economy Watch.

Talking to a delegation led by Ashfaq Ahmed, he said that the celebrations practiced since 1700 years belongs to pagans and Christians which has nothing to do with the Islam, he added.

He said that a day dedicated to romance, love and passion keep youth busy in worthless matters which is damaging for the society.

Dr. Murtaza Mughal said that Hindus, Jews and Christians would never observe any Islamic celebration but we would blindly and proudly follow western holidays which speak of our mental and social decline.

We are very slow in adopting ethics, morality, science and technology and other developments of the Christian society, he observed.

He said that Pakistan was made in the name of Islam where many Islamic values are openly violated while the state plays role of a silent spectator.

Every religion has distinct traditions, festivals and lifestyle which are their identity; we should keep our identity intact lest others spoil our new generations.

At the occasion Ashfaq Ahmed said that the growing trend of un-Islamic celebrations is part of the cultural war imposed on us which represents a dire threat to our traditional values.

The shameless festival is breaking our family system; it is part of the rampant globalization, western imperialism and exploitation by western nations, he said.


Press Release

Mumtaz Haider Rizvi assumes the post of Chairman FBR

In pursuance of Establishment Division's notification of 10th February, 2012, Mr. Mumtaz Haider Rizvi has assumed the charge of the upgraded post of Member Customs (BS-22) and the additional charge of the post of Chairman FBR with effect from today, i.e. 13th February, 2012.
Mr. Mumtaz Haider Rizvi, a senior officer of the Customs Group, was promoted to BS-22 in Secretariat Group on 10th February, 2012 and assigned the post of Chairman FBR (additional charge). He also retains the post of Member (Customs) FBR in upgraded capacity.
Earlier today in pursuance of establishment division's separate notification issued on 10th February, 2012 Mr. Mehmood Alam, a BS-22 officer of the Customs Group, relinquished charge of the post of Member (Strategic Planning and Statistics)  and officiating charge of Chairman FBR, w.e.f.  13th February, 2012, in order to join elevated position of Secretary, Federal Tax Ombudsman's Office Secretariat, Islamabad.

Mohammad Shahzad
Secretary PR
Federal Board of Revenue (FBR)
+92 051 920 8407
+92 333 5201233


(Press-Release) Politicians Befooling Tribes on False Ideas: UQM
The demand of new province for FATA is just a premature thing and is fraught with serious security implications as this will be an imposed decision on the true masses of FATA who still live inside FATA and have not been consulted for any political reforms, said Haji Shah Wali Khan, President of Uthman Khel Qaumi Movement at huge gatherings at Qaroon Dheri, District Charsaddah and Mesri Banda, District Nowshehra. A veteran writer and ex-BBC pushto newscaster Mr. Gauher Rehman Gauhar Rehman said that the city population must out-reach to the neglected tribal masses who may soon be a serious human emergency and security issue if they remain entangled in the inaccessible terrain of FATA for long. Muhammad Iqbal and Umer Sadiq said that the Uthman Khel tribe has just been on the verge of political disappearance if not united and organized under the banner of UQM. Gulistan lamented the step-mother treatment of Uthman Khel and Momand population at the hands of big landlords in Charsaddah. We must rise for our political emancipation, he said. Malak Amir Jan said that it is our vote bank in Charsaddah, Nowshehra and Swabi that the feudals are ruling on us and it is now high time that we should join hands with other oppressed nationalities for the economic and political integration of Pakistan. Muhammad Ilyas Mandal said that the feudal conspirators after failing in their political careers are now befooling the tribes on different names of FATA-Alliances and false ideas of reforms in FATA while non of the political party has the courage to enter into FATA as their hands are not clean and they have taken millions of dollars for shedding the blood of innocent tribal people. 

Prisoner of Ward 18
Dr. Syed Nazir Gilani

At least public opinion has moved to a better understanding today on the 28th death anniversary of Mohammad Maqbool Bhatt – his real name which he confirmed in his last interview with Miss Kumkum Chadha in Tihar jail, New Delhi in 1982. On 23 July 1976 Bhatt was transferred from subsidiary jail, Jalali village, Sonawar, Srinagar to Ward 18 in Tihar Jail, Delhi. He faced charges made in FIR 84/66 registered at police station Sopore and FIR 38/66 registered at police station Panzala, Kashmir. In the second FIR he was charged with the murder of CID Inspector Amar Chand. Bhatt remained a prisoner in Ward 18, Ward 16 and Ward 1 in Tihar jail. The high security Ward 1 has housed other famous people namely, Charles Shobraj, Dharam Teja and many defence personnel involved in espionage during 1965 war.
Chief Justice Mohammad Yusuf Saraf in volume II of his book "Kashmiris Fight for Freedom" published by Ferozsons Ltd, Lahore, (1979) records, "Mr. Butt is a man of very strong nerves and the type of a revolutionary whose zeal for the political Cause, he espouses, transcends every other consideration. Pleasing in appearance, with dark, thoughtful eyes, and a man of few words, Maqbool Butt is a revolutionary of a higher order than Baghat Singh and Ashfaque".
Those who have kept an interest in his life and studied the contents of his application made to Delhi High Court on his transfer on 27 April 1981 to Wad 16, known as 'death cell', would find it hard to reconcile the prison conditions under which the great son of Kashmir lived and the conditions under which his followers are used to live today. He described his situation of being a 'frog in a well', and further explained his situation to the Court in the words, that he "is unable to see anything except a small patch of sky through the skylight of the outer cell...The inner cell...has an open lavatory and a concrete bathing tub within this space thus...rendering the whole area into a bathroom; a stinking smell emanating from lavatory and the whole place being virtually turned into a breeding spot for flies and mosquitoes...the summer heat turns the cell into a hot oven...".
In its judgement, delivered on 6 August 1982, the Court observed that in view of the mercy petition pending before the President, Bhatt cannot be classed as one 'under sentence of death' and therefore cannot be confined apart from other prisoners. The Court held that his transfer to death cell on 27 April 1981 is "arbitrary and illegal". Consequently Bhatt was shifted to Ward 1, originally earmarked for "high security risk prisoners".
I came into contact with Shaheed in January 1974, when accompanied by Master Maqbool of Abbotabad, Yusuf Zargar of Muzaffarabad, Raja Muzaffar of Muzaffarabad and a few others he came to visit me in Muzaffarabad, Central jail. He had developed a special interest in me, after finding that during my detention in Muzaffarabad Forte, I had refused to accept the bait of my captors to make any kind of adverse reference to him or the Hijacking of Indian Airplane 'Ganga'. In those days it had almost become a self serving practice to say false things against him and his colleagues either out of one's own choice or at the suggestion of captors. People from Kashmir who would land in Muzaffarabad Forte, would volunteer to say such manner of things to serve the case of the captors and hope for a speedy quid pro quo.
My second piece of passion for him and his cause became the reason for my resignation as senior sub editor of the prestigious Urdu daily Nawa-i-Waqt in Rawalpindi. I had joined daily Nawa-i-Waqt to deflect the adverse attention of Martial Law Regime. Late Khawaja Ghulam Din Wani (ex Law Minister) of Poonch House, had received a reply to his telegram from President Zia ul Haq in which the latter had assured Khawaja Ghulam Din Wani that he had directed the foreign office to keep a close eye on Bhatt's case in Delhi and to keep him fully informed. The telegram reply was of a great news value for the people who were campaigning for the release of Bhatt. A group of Kashmiris came to my desk with a copy of the telegram hoping that I would use my editorial discretion to flash the news item. I prepared a news item and advised its best possible display. To my surprise another elderly person on the news desk advised me that I should not allow the news item to go ahead because it was against the spirit of Shimla Agreement. All my argument that even if it amounted to any violation of Shimla Agreement, it is to be attributed to President Zia. All my arguments fell flat on deaf ear and the news item could not be published. I was disappointed and I decided to resign.
My third interest in the life and political philosophy of Maqbool Bhatt was that I dared to publish a special supplement of Weekly Inqilab on the life and campaigning the release of Maqbool Bhatt. The publication of the supplement was supported by Ansari, Mirza, Bhatti, Nizami, Butt  and other families living mostly in Birmingham, United Kingdom. Writing about and supporting the cause of an Independent Kashmir and any association with Maqbool Bhatt and his colleagues was considered an activity against the national interests of Pakistan. Intelligence agencies would hound the person and their shadows would appear outside the house of the sinner from dawn to dusk. One would be made to feel a prisoner under house arrest.
The fourth, highly memorable and less reported work done for the release of Maqbool Bhatt was done in room M/48 of Jinnah Courts Muslim Hostel, Karachi, Pakistan. Representatives of Six student organizations of Kashmiri students studying at the University of Karachi, Medical, Engineering, Law and other Colleges of Sindh, forged an alliance to "Save the Life of Maqbool Bhatt". I was elected as the chair, Sardar Shaukat Ali Kashmiri as the Secretary General and Abbas Ahmad Azad as the Finance Secretary of the alliance. Khawaja Manzoor Qadir Advocate, Fazal Dad Choudhry (Customs), Mumtaz Khan (Toronto), Azeem Dutt Advocate, and many others were the important members of this "Kashmiri Tulba Ittehad".
None of us had any affiliation or any interest in Plebiscite Front or NLF. Funds were generated and urgent telegrams appealing for intervention against the death sentence of Maqbool Bhatt were sent to President Zia of Pakistan, President Hayat Khan of AJK, UN Secretary General, chairman non aligned movement, UN Commission on Human Rights, OIC, Arab League and Organization of African Unity. I remember the Karachi Post and Telegraph office had to seek NOC from the Government to allow some of the telegrams to go out.
I took one more bold step and helped Amanullah Khan to found JKLF in Pakistan in June/July 1982 before my departure from Pakistan in August 1982. I chaired the Luton Convention on 10 October 1982. It was an era of selfless dedication that I had to argue for over 45 minutes with Zubair Ansari, to reconsider his withdrawal as a candidate for the office of Secretary General. However, I agreed to chair the Constitution Committee.
I was not happy over the lack of interest in the preparation of Constitution and over the general affairs of the organization. It was on 16 May 1983, that I sent my resignation to the Secretary General JKLF and expressed my 'inability to associate with the Constitution Committee". I have never dissociated from my faith in the jurisprudence of Kashmir case and from the right of the people of Kashmir as equal people to self determination. My love for Shaheed Maqbool Bhatt has never faded. I conclude that like any other human being, Maqbool Bhatt could not but be a human. A prediction made by him "Judge sahib woh rassi abhi tak nahin bani jo Maqbool ko phaansi laga sake.." could have proved true, if his colleagues had worked with method and without self-interest.
Author is London based Secretary General of JKCHR – NGO in Special Consultative Status with the United Nations.  He can be mailed at