Shahbaz Bhatti Assassination: Family Rivalry as Motive?

August 11, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

By Zahid Gishkori

Pakistan

The photograph above, taken March 4, 2011, shows Pakistani Christians as they attend a funeral ceremony of slain Pakistani minister for minorities Shahbaz Bhatti in his native village of Khushpur.

ISLAMABAD: 

Family rivalry and not religious victimisation claimed Minorities’ Affairs Minister Shahbaz Bhatti’s life, according to investigators.

In an interesting twist, the daylight murder in the capital has been attributed to a property dispute between relatives. Police investigators have concluded it was not a religiously-motivated murder in their latest report despite the fact that the Punjabi Taliban had claimed responsibility for the assassination.

Justice appears to be a long time coming for the former minister’s family since the murderers have fled the country.

“Shahbaz’s murder is said to be linked to a ‘chronic rivalry’ with relatives who lived in Faisalabad five years ago,” revealed an investigator associated with the Joint Investigation Team (JIT).

New clues have led the Islamabad police to a family, who left the country due to the rivalry with the Bhattis, the JIT stated in its latest report. The family was also residing in Bhatti’s native town Khushpur, which has produced famous priests and nuns, but some family members are now reportedly living in the UAE. Two or three of them have converted to Islam and are living in Malaysia, said a member of the JIT.

The Express Tribune reported on June 29 that Shahbaz’s murder was plotted by al Qaeda-linked militant commander Ilyas Kashmiri. National and international media ran the  story quoting the newspaper. All but two of his brothers moved to Europe in the aftermath of the assassination for security reasons.

The murderers are currently in Dubai or Kuala Lumpur according to an investigator. However, their names have not been identified yet. “We will approach Interpol for their arrest,” he said.

Paul Bhatti, the slain minister’s brother and an adviser to the prime minister, said he has moved his family to Europe. But he did not disclose their exact location due to security concerns. When questioned if his brother’s murder was a case of family rivalry, Paul only said that Interior Minister Rehman Malik had told him he had contacted Interpol to arrest some accused from the UAE.

However, there has been no further progress, he said quoting police officials. “I will request Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani to constitute a judicial commission to investigate my brother’s murder.”

Minister for National Harmony Akram Masih Gill said he would take up the issue with President Zardari and the prime minister on August 11, the day they are to inaugurate Shahbaz Bhatti’s memorial trust. “Paul will also speak to both dignitaries to convey the minorities’ resentment which is increasing with every passing day,” Gill said.

Interpol has not been contacted for assistance because we have no clue about the exact location of the accused, said an interior ministry official familiar with the matter.

“We cannot put our case before Interpol without substantive proof,” he added.

“Firstly, we wanted to close the investigation but then we learnt that there was a chronic ethnic and property dispute between the two families which led to Shahbaz’s murder,” said a police official.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 9th, 2011.

Express Tribune

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Simon Cowell to Become Muslim?

April 15, 2010 by · 3 Comments 

Adapted by TMO from a report in Sabili, an Indonesian newspaper

simon New news from America, that artist and tycoon Simon Cowell might convert to Islam.

The rumor is that before marrying his girlfriend Mezhgan Hussainy he wants to convert to Islam according to a report.

The Hussainy family is reportedly very Westernized, but nobody in their families ever married a non-Muslim – and they do not want their youngest daughter to be the first to do that, as quoted from ‘digitalspy.co.uk from sources Hussainy parents, Mary and Sayed. Hussainy’s sister-in-law, a woman named Erlene Garcia, also converted to Islam before marrying Mezhgan’s brother Zahid.

According to friends, ‘Mezhgan was very reluctant to ask Simon to Islam … because she knows how to be a controversial news will be.

“Simon may be a great man in England, but there are other people in the Afghan community living in Los Angeles whose parents are more afraid to offend. This will bring shame on their families and their communities if Simon does not respect their beliefs with Islam, “says a friend of Mezhgan’s. (voai / SBL)

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Houstonian Corner (V11-I51)

December 10, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

HPD Convenience Store Safety Video Unveiled At Mezban Restaurant

SACC & ACC Collaborated

Houston, Texas (11-11-2009): The Houston Police Department’s (HPD) Assistant Chiefs John Trevino and John Chen, were present at Mezban Restaurant, with the office bearers of their partners the South Asian Chamber of Commerce (SACC) and the Asian Chamber of Commerce (ACC), in announcing the distribution of a convenience store safety video, which is produced by HPD and that has been translated into multiple languages as part of the city ordinance on convenience stores. Languages include Urdu, Vietnamese, Mandarin Chinese and Korean. The Urdu Voice-Over has been done by famous radio host of the recent past from Sangeet Radio Talat Rehman and her husband Rafeeque Rehman. During the luncheon press briefing, the Indian Chamber of Commerce offered to translate the video into Hindi and Gujrati languages.

Rogene Calvert, President Board of Directors of ACC, welcomed everybody and thanked Sohail Feroze of Mezban Restaurant for providing the food for the occasion.

HPD Chief John Trevino informed that there has been dramatic reduction in the convenience stores crime over the years and one of the reasons is proper training of the store owners and their employees. This DVD in various languages will help the employees at various stores to learn the basic precautions and know-how about handling hazardous situations. Other than this video, starting January 2010, HPD has divided the city into 4 quadrants and will be giving hands-on training to all the businesses of Houston throughout the year.

Munira Panjwani-Zahid, Shaukat Zakaria, Soofia Aleem, Muneer Ibrahim, Ghulam Bombaywala, Shoaib Bombaywala, and others were present on behalf of SACC.

This Store Safety DVD was originally developed in 2001 after a rash of violent robberies and killings of convenience store personnel. Under the leadership of former Houston City Council Member Gordon Quan and produced by the Houston Police Department, the video was created and distributed to educate store personnel on safety tips and practices. Anheuser Busch and Silver Eagle Distributing provided a grant to translate the video into Asian languages. With the help of the HPD production staff, the South Asian Chamber of Commerce, Asian Chamber of Commerce and native speaking volunteers in the four languages, the project was recently concluded.

Copies of the DVD will be available for distribution at the press conference. HPD will also distribute copies through its Convenience Store Registration Program in which convenience stores are required by ordinance to comply with various safety measures, including using the DVD information with their staff.

Additional copies will be available through the Chambers of Commerce, for which one can call 832-660-2952 or 713-782-7222.

Youth Showed Initiative during ISGH Elections

Houston, Texas (12-08-2009): Shabab UL-Haq E-Newsletter taken out by Muslim Youth of the Greater Houston Region, called the “Crescent Youth”; this time as the Islamic Society of Greater Houston (ISGH) came up, conducted interviews of all the candidates for various positions.

According to Kamal Husain, General Secretary of ISGH: “I sincerely commend the youth for voicing their concerns in matters relating to our society. I am impressed with their clarity and their professionalism in the way these issues are presented. I will be honored to sit with anyone interested in brainstorming ideas that will help to resolve at least some of these issues within the next six months. Please advice your willingness and I will make the time, Insha Allah.”

Although those who have won in the present elections, have been those, who have been serving the Muslim Community for a long time in various positions, but this initiative by Crescent Youth means that soon the leadership of ISGH will be going in the hands of Youth of the community and there is need to properly nurture them.

Unofficial ISGH Election results read like this:

Elected

Farouq Malik -Vice-President;
Aftab Silat – Treasurer;
Fuad Cochinwala – South Zone Director;
Mohammad Yusuf – NorthWest Zone Director;
Ziauddin Yousuf – South-East Zone Director;
Irfan Ibrahim – Associate Director Masjid At Taqwa – Synott Road;
Ibrahim Badat – Associate Director Masjid Bilal – Adel Road;
Dr. Majid Amine – Associate Director Masjid As-Salam – Champions