Accused of being Shia, Ahmadi
Old man claims he distributes toys on Christmas
Sargodha – Staff Report: A joyous, portly white-bearded man, wearing spectacles, a red coat with white collar and cuffs, white-cuffed red trousers, and black leather belt and boots, was held on blasphemy charges in Sargodha on Tuesday night. The old man, identified by the police as one Santa Claus, is said to have been uttering blasphemous chants while carrying a bag full of what seemed like gifts for children, Khabaristan Today has learnt.
The following day an angry crowd ransacked the lockup setting fire to Santa’s bag and the gifts. Some members of ASWJ (Ahl-e-Sunnat Wal Jamaat) chanted “Kafir Kafir, Shia Kafir!” slogans for Santa while the Khaatim-e-Nabuwat brigade shouted “Qadiyaniat Murdabat!” outside the police station.
Blasphemy laws in the country have been the target of criticisism owing to their severity and for the fact that they are open to abuse. Renewed focus on the laws has been witnessed since the Rimsha Masih case.
Santa is believed to have been seen tiptoeing inside houses, climbing down chimneys and distributing gifts. While none of this was seen as peculiar, the fact that the old man was heard chanting “Merry Christmas!” and singing “Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way” is being cited as evidence of blasphemy.
Religious experts had issued a fatwa against wishing anyone “Merry Christmas”, since that basically connotes accepting Jesus Christ as the son of God, which of course is incompatible with Islamic teachings.
Blasphemy is an extremely sensitive issue in the country and critics believe that the blasphemy laws are quite often misused to settle personal vendettas. Accusations of blasphemy have resulted in vigilante killings by mobs in the past. Human rights activists have been urging the government to reform the laws, under which the culprit can be sent to jail for life or even sentenced to death.
Speaking exclusively to Khabaristan Today, Santa denied accusations of being an Ahmadi or a Shia and identified himself as a mythical figure who makes a list of children around the globe, dividing them in synchrony with their behavior, delivering presents, that include toys, and candy to the well-behaved ones, and occasionally coal to the naughty ones on Christmas Eve.
Answering questions about the blasphemy charges Santa said, “Well I honestly don’t get the blasphemy laws in all religions. I mean technically every person who does not adhere to your religious beliefs basically is blaspheming. So where do you draw the line?” Further discussing the laws he said, “So every person who doesn’t believe Jesus to be the son of God would blaspheme according to Christian beliefs and everyone who does believe that would blaspheme according to the belief system of every other religion. Do you get why the blasphemy laws don’t make much sense?”
The enraged mob then broke inside the police station, bringing their sticks and rods to give their collective verdict and the ensuing punishment for blasphemy.
Shahbaz Sharif is Lahore’s Ataturk: Erdogan
Turkish PM shares glass of lassi with Punjab CM
Highlights the principles of Shahbazism
Lahore – Our Special Correspondent: Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday promised to strengthen, cultural, political and economic relations between Turkey and Gawalmandi, Khabaristan Today has learnt. According to not so reliable sources, Sharif and Erdogan shared a glass of lassi in Gawalmandi, as a testament to the growing bond.
“It’s common knowledge that Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, like for most Turks, is my role model. And I mean it when I say that Shahbaz is the Ataturk of Lahore,” Erdogan said, adding that, “It’s not because Shahbaz has threatened to shove another glass of lassi in my mouth or I, in any way whatsoever, fear that bowl of bong. I really do mean it.”
Erdogan further elaborated on his claim by highlighting how Ataturk transformed the Ottoman Empire and constructed a modern nation-state by instilling modernism and reiterated that the Punjab CM was doing a similar job in Lahore. “The principles of Shahbaz’s constructional reforms would soon be called Shahbazism. I mean the fact that you can not only believe but portray underpass construction as the solution to everything, takes some level of ingenuity. Here’s to a constructing an underpass to counter inflation!” Erdogan said, raising his glass of lassi, deliberately spilling it underneath the table on the way down.
The Turkish prime minister then went on to showcase how, like Kemalism, Shahbazism also had six fundamental pillars. “Infrastructurism, Constructionism, Underpassism, Laptopism, MetroBusism and Oh-look-here’s-another-flyoverism, are the six fundamental pillars of Shahbazism. And they are unchangeable and sacrosanct,” Erdogan said.
Discussing the strong Turkey-Gawalmandi ties, Erdogan said ecstatically, “Turkey has always had a strong bond with Gawalmandi, considering that most of our investment for the Lahore Metro Bus and other similar projects was spent here.” The Turkish PM further added, “The trade volume between Pakistan and Turkey is currently $83 million and to see the lion’s share – pun oh so intended – of Turkish investment being spent on food and personal luxuries is really heartwarming.”
Missing persons case: Verdict in Hafeez’s favour
Islamabad – Our Special Correspondent: Pakistan cricket team’s T20 captain Mohammed Hafeez has been cleared of allegations of being a missing person after a three-member bench headed by Justice Tassaduq Hussain Jilani gave his verdict in the all-rounder’s favour on Thursday, Khabaristan Today has learnt. As reported by Khabaristan Today two weeks ago, Hafeez had been presented before the Supreme Court in the missing persons’ case. A three-member bench comprising Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, Justice Ameer Hani Muslim and Justice Jawad S Khawaja began the hearing in which Hafeez was accused of going missing in big matches, failing to perform when the team needs it the most.
Following Hafeez’s third century in four matches against Sri Lanka, Justice Jilani believed that allegations of being a missing person had been too harsh. “We’ve studied the case thoroughly, and while the case was strong a week ago, the fact that the accused had scored three centuries in the same series to match Zaheer Abbas quite obviously tilts the verdict in his favour,” the chief justice said. “Having said that, the accused would have to maintain this level of performance in the future to prevent similar allegations from springing up again,” the CJ added.
After refusing to talk to Khabaristan Today, Hafeez told a news channel, “A certain publication has made it a point to drag me into everything, and they are conspiring against me. First they quoted Immy bhai (Imran Khan) as saying that a year’s worth of NATO supplies can pass between my bat and pad and then they gave such a prominent display to the missing persons’ case filed against me. I think I will soon sue the publication for defamation.”
Abhishek nominated for Best Guest Appearance award for Dhoom 3
Mumbai – Our Bollywood Correspondent: Bollywood star Abhishek Bachchan has been nominated in the Best Guest Appearance of the Year category at this year’s Filmfare Awards, for his friendly appearance in Dhoom 3. While the film is stampeding over box office records, Aamir Khan’s acting, Katrina Kaif’s provision of eye candy and Uday Chopra not ruining the film are being hailed, Filmfare has decided to recognise Abhishek’s guest appearance, calling it one of the best friendly appearances of all times in a Bollywood movie.
After hearing about the nomination Abhishek was visibly distraught and broke the camera of Khabristan Today’s crew. “Dhoom 3 is my film! I am the hero in the movie!” Abhishek screamed, further yelling, “Guest appearance? I am the main man in the Dhoom franchise. There can be no Dhoom without Jai Dixit!”
After being told that when juxtaposed with Aamir Khan’s performance his was virtually nonexistent, Abhishek said, “I don’t want to give any spoilers but those who have seen the movie, know why Aamir’s presence seemed twice as much as mine. Also, in case you didn’t notice Aamir is about half my height, so the directors had to compensate for it elsewhere,” adding that, “I run the show in Dhoom 3. I am the focus of attention. How on earth can they nominate me for a guest appearance award?”
When told that saying that Aamir Khan’s presence seemed twice as much as his in Dhoom 3 was probably the biggest understatement in cinematic history, Abhishek punched our correspondent and refused to answer any more questions.
The writer is a financial journalist and a cultural critic. Email: [email protected] Twitter: @khuldune.