"I want to congratulate our govt for readying Kartarpur, in record time, for Guru Nanak jee's 550th birthday celebrations," twitted Prime Minister Imran Khan. Image Credit: Twitter/ @ImranKhanPTI Highlights
As hope lays frail, darkness recedes when slivers of sunlight, splendid, proud, reach an arctic cave. The world moving towards its moral centre is a barefoot walk on a frozen expanse. It is still joyous.
Asia bibi, a poor Christian woman from the village Ittanwala in Punjab, arrested in 2009 on an allegation of blasphemy, was sentenced to death in 2010. Her life was a series of solitary confinements, her punishment based on an unproven, false accusation a challenge for a few human rights activists and conscientious lawyers, her release a taboo in a Pakistan where even mentioning her case placed a bullseye on your faith. Salmaan Taseers midday assassination in a public place was the deadly silencing of any future courageous voice rising against the blackness of the British-made blasphemy law, practised in Pakistan, that destroyed lives in the name of Allah and His prophet who require no human protection.
Many appeals failed. Several years passed. Asia bibi remained jailed, forgotten, hidden in the dark.
On October 31, 2018, two months after swearing-in of Imran Khan as the new prime minister of Pakistan, the Supreme Court, in a historic move, overturned Asia bibis conviction and death sentence. A nationwide protest, headed by self-appointed vigilantes of religion, swelled on the outrage of a blasphemer having been pardoned. Instead of jubilation that even the highest human court had found Asia bibi not guilty of any kind of blasphemy, hordes of men, duped on the sanctification of their intention, threatened harm if the decision remained unrevoked.
Prime Minister Khan, reiterating his absolute faith in Allah and His prophet, supported the Supreme Court verdict, and issued an ultimatum to those who threatened to unleash havoc in Pakistan misusing religious injunctions. He told them not to clash with the state.
Protests ended without any damage to life and property. The Supreme Court verdict and Khans stance brought a hint of solace amidst the lingering dismay and disappointment of Khan governments September 7 rescinding of its appointment of the world-renowned Princeton economist, Atif Rehman Mian, as an advisor to Khan-led Economic Advisory Council. Atif Mian, despite his impeccable educational and professional credentials, was removed, albeit much reluctantly, because a large section of Pakistan, ostensibly, had a fundamental issue with his faith. Atif Mian is an Ahmedi Muslim. Human beings have forcibly patented as their religious right what is only a divine prerogative: judging an individuals faith.
On November 26, 2018, Prime Minister Khan, along with Chief of Army Staff Qamar Javed Bajwa, inaugurated the Kartarpur Corridor or Rahdari in the Narowal district of Punjab. The corridor linking Pakistans Kartarpur to Indias Gurdaspur opened the way for Sikh pilgrims to visit one of their holiest places, the shrine of Guru Nanak Dev Saheb. Celebrated as the residence where Guru Nanak is said to have spent the last eighteen years of his life, the Gurdwara Darbar Saheb in Kartarpur is as sacred to Sikhs as Mecca is to Muslims. Khan promised to open the corridor for the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev Saheb in November 2019.
The January of 2019 ended with the Supreme Court upholding its verdict of Asia Bibis release. Outrage whimpered in the background.
One road opens the way for another. In March 2019, the government of Pakistan stated its willingness to open the Sharda Temple Corridor in Pakistan Administered Jammu and Kashmir for Hindu pilgrims from Kashmir across the border and India.
In April 2019, the government announced restoration and reopening of Hindu temples that had been closed for prayer for decades. The restoration work, according to the Evacuee Trust Property Board, was to start with two historic Hindu temples in Sialkot and Peshawar.
In May 2019, Asia Bibi, despite strident noise about her release, was sent to Canada to join her family.
Speaking to a delegation of Thai Buddhist monks in October 2019, Pakistan Foreign Secretary Sohail Mahmood said: Pakistan is proud of its multicultural heritage, which has been assiduously preserved and promoted as the shared heritage of mankind. Thai Monk Most Venerable Arayawangso, reiterating Pakistans mission to realign its ethos vis--vis recognising and respecting sensibilities of followers of other faiths, stated: This sends a message to the world that peace existed on the land of Pakistan...This will be a gateway to peace and harmony.
Buddhist monks from South Korea visited the Bhamala Stupa in Haripur, Pakistan, earlier this month. Buddhist chief monks Dr Neung-her Sinim, Jeok Kyung and Jeong Wei prayed for peace in the region at their scared stupa. Speaking to Gulf News, Dr Neung said: Pakistanis and the world must realise the significance Bhamala holds for the spiritual community. Our ancestors chose this place. This is why we pray here for peace in the region and the world.
Earlier this week, PTI Central Secretary Information Ahmad Jawad announced the reopening of four hundred Hindu temples in Pakistan. He said: This development is being made in line with the longstanding demand of the Hindu community that their places of worship be restored to them.
On November 9, Indias Supreme Court announced the Ayodhya verdict. The verdict reopened, in all its bleeding horror, the memories of the enormity of the demolition of the centuries old Babri Masjid and its aftermath.
On November 9, Pakistan opened the Kartarpur Corridor. The day became another landmark in Pakistans rediscovered enlightenment and acceptance with generosity of spirit a fundamental tenet of humanity: inclusiveness. With the arrival of Sikh pilgrims from India, including former Indian prime minister, Manmohan Singh, the few-mile Kartarpur Corridor became the pathway to one of Sikhs holiest places. Today, the Guru Nanak Gurdwara is the magnificent symbol, resplendent in its white simplicity, of deep significance of religion working as a collective embrace of humanity, and not a divisive political tool.
A year ago, Prime Minister Khan made a promise to his Sikh friend and guest, Navjot Singh Sidhu, and all visiting Sikhs that Pakistan would open the Kartarpur Corridor for the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak. Pakistan kept its promise.
Khan, speaking on the occasion of the opening of the Kartarpur Rahdari said: First of all, I congratulate the Sikh community on the 550th birth anniversary of Baba Guru Nanak and welcome you all... I am always so happy to see the Sikh community that has come here. God lives in the hearts of all of us. All the messengers who have come and gone only ever brought two messages, that of peace and justice.
Khan said: I am happy we could do this for you. Believe me, I had no idea of the importance this place holds; I found out a year ago. That Khan is the leader of a Pakistan that is inclusive, diverse, generous, compassionate. That is the Pakistan of Mohammad Ali Jinnahs vision, and the hope of millions of Pakistanis. That is my Pakistan.
And that is the Pakistan of all those Pakistanis who think of their neighbours like the bus driver Saddam Hussain does. His unrehearsed, glorious words to an Indian journalist on November 9, while driving a shuttle bus from the Kartarpur terminal to the Gurdwara, echo the collective sentiments of a Pakistan that believes in the power of religions, even in their differences, acting as a unifier.
Hussain said: My happiness is such it might be more than yours. My eyes have welled up with tears that you have come to your home, to your Gurus home. Allah knows. We have that feeling when we go for Haj. The way you have come, I swear I dont know how to describe it. I dont have words; I feel so much joy. Punjab has united again. May Allah keep you happy like you are now, and you keep visiting like you are now. Our arms are always open for you whenever you visit, sir.
- Spiritual Enlightenment: What It Is and How to Experience It - March 16th, 2020
- 5 Things You Should Know About Spiritual Enlightenment ... - March 16th, 2020
- Spiritual Enlightenment - Truths & Paths | Live and Dare - March 16th, 2020
- What Is Spiritual Enlightenment or Spiritual Awakening? - March 16th, 2020
- Agnes Pelton Joins the Underappreciated Female Artists Finally Getting Their Due With a Major New Show at the Whitney - Vogue - March 16th, 2020
- Jefferson Hack: The Beauty and Violence of Willy Vanderperre's Photography - AnOther Magazine - March 16th, 2020
- We Need to Resacralize the World - lareviewofbooks - March 16th, 2020
- Agnes Pelton Went to the Desert in Search of Solace. Her Paintings at the Whitney Show She Found Something Magical There - artnet News - March 16th, 2020
- Opinion: General Buratai in the eyes of the people by Abe Kolawole - Latest News in Nigeria & Breaking Naija News 24/7 | LEGIT.NG - March 16th, 2020
- How Rishikesh Became the Capital of Yoga Worldwide - Communal News - March 16th, 2020
- Digital Wisdom in the Time of Coronavirus Disease 2019 - Patheos - March 16th, 2020
- Reflections for the III Sunday of Lent - Vatican News - March 16th, 2020
- Black business and superstition - Bulawayo24 News - March 16th, 2020
- Spiritual Enlightenment | Enlightened Beings - March 13th, 2020
- The 3 Stages Of Spiritual Enlightenment : In5D - March 13th, 2020
- Where Is Our World Heading? - Chapter 29 of Positivity Bias - Chabad.org - March 13th, 2020
- Altered perspectives: The 'interactive' Okinawan garden - The Japan Times - March 13th, 2020
- The Haunted California Idyll of German Writers in Exile - The New Yorker - March 13th, 2020
- 5 Themes of Nietzsche That You Can Apply to Your Life - Study Breaks - March 4th, 2020
- Author Shares Personal Journey to Spiritual Awakening, Teaches Readers How to Lift the Veil of Universal Truths in New Book - Yahoo Finance - March 4th, 2020
- Patrick Swayze's 10 Best Movies According to IMDb | ScreenRant - Screen Rant - March 4th, 2020
- Leap Year 2020 horoscope: The spiritual significance of February 29 - Express - March 4th, 2020
- Coronavirus: Sultan of Sokoto goes spiritual, tells Imams action to take - Daily Post Nigeria - March 4th, 2020
- Thousands of Grassroots Religious Freedom Advocates Submit Comments to Urge D.C. Commission on Judicial Disabilities and Tenure Not to Reappoint Judge... - March 4th, 2020
- Asking the Clergy: Important women in your faith tradition - Newsday - March 4th, 2020
- Who Knew? The Bible Really IS On Broadway - Times Daily - March 4th, 2020
- The Joy of Fran - The Cut - March 4th, 2020
- Preserving the art of Kathak - Independent Online - March 4th, 2020
- Brahmarishi Guruvanand on three-day visit to Fiji - Indian NewsLink - March 4th, 2020
- Shannon Cartier Lucy's 7-book guide to turning pain into positive growth - Document Journal - March 4th, 2020
- What's Life All About Anyway? - Thrive Global - March 4th, 2020
- Alex Garland builds a meticulous thriller within the restrained, overstuffed Devs - BingePost - March 4th, 2020
- THE BIRTH OF GOD And What It Can Mean for Us - Patheos - March 4th, 2020
- The non-linearity of modern spirituality/the changing language of self-help: a conversation with Gabi Abro - The Stony Brook Press - February 29th, 2020
- Protecting Mangar Bani: Theres A Need To Empower Local Community To Save Sacred Grove - Outlook India - February 29th, 2020
- Schammasch: Aleister Crowley and the destructive yet divine nature of creation - Louder - February 29th, 2020
- Roy Exum: AG Barr: What Has Happened To Us? - The Chattanoogan - February 29th, 2020
- Have You Accepted the Free Market as Your Personal Savior? - The Bulwark - February 29th, 2020
- From your frequency to another -- how do the laws of attraction work? - Free Press Journal - February 29th, 2020
- Raining in the Mountain - film review - Louder Than War - February 24th, 2020
- Getting the most out of Lent - Arlington Catholic Herald - February 24th, 2020
- A Tribute to Andrew Weatherall - The Mancunion - February 24th, 2020
- I toured a religious commune in Italy, and all I got was spiritual existentialism The Review - University of Delaware Review - February 24th, 2020
- Grant to help Dartmouth museum, libraries better explore knowledge of indigenous peoples - The Union Leader - February 24th, 2020
- The fight to preserve a 44,000-year-old painting | 1843 - The Economist 1843 - February 24th, 2020
- Prayer Walk: An Excerpt From '50 Ways To Pray' - Patheos - February 24th, 2020
- Religion is a Repeating Chapter in the History of Politics - CounterPunch - February 24th, 2020
- Lili Reinhart Claims Luke Perrys Spirit Visited Her Last Night! - The Digital Weekly - February 24th, 2020
- At Fitchburg Art Museum, revisiting Spiritualism and finding new pathways to the dead - The Boston Globe - February 24th, 2020
- The Power of Your Thoughts and Spoken Words (part I and 2) by Steve Robertson - Veterans News Report - February 24th, 2020
- Delicacies and the devout in northern Tsuruoka - The Japan Times - February 24th, 2020
- Louis Althusser's Class Warfare - The New York Review of Books - February 24th, 2020
- Methodist split: Conservative event organizers respond to critics - AL.com - February 24th, 2020
- From government shutdown to business owner: Why a Durham mom launched Bright Black - WRAL.com - February 24th, 2020
- Christianity gave women a dignity that no previous sexual dispensation had offered: Tom Holland - Scroll.in - February 24th, 2020
- Why Bodhisattvas Need to Disrupt the Status Quo - Lion's Roar - February 24th, 2020
- Book review: The story of yoga by Alistair Shearer - Stuff.co.nz - February 24th, 2020
- Spiritual Enlightenment - How To Become Enlightened - February 20th, 2020
- Spiritual Enlightenment - The Most Profound Truth Revealed ... - February 20th, 2020
- Spiritual Enlightenment | RuneScape Wiki | Fandom - February 20th, 2020
- Religion can be manipulated to control others - Miami County Republic - February 20th, 2020
- Ashkenazim and the Sephardic Pronunciation of Hebrew - Jewish Link of New Jersey - February 20th, 2020
- Profiting from the Prophet - Reaction - February 20th, 2020
- Ramakrishna Paramahansas Birth Anniversary: Interesting Facts About the Indian Mystic - News18 - February 20th, 2020
- 32nd Anniversary: FRSC Offers Free Medical Outreach to Motorists in Bauchi - THISDAY Newspapers - February 20th, 2020
- Convention of 'Christian Witches' to Gather In Salem on Easter Sunday - Breaking Israel News - February 20th, 2020
- Robert Anton Wilson's daughter Christina on the new edition of her father's book, Ishtar Rising - Boing Boing - February 20th, 2020
- What My Epilepsy Taught Me About the Value of Time - The New York Times - February 20th, 2020
- Ram Dass, who sought enlightenment through LSD and became spiritual leader, dead at 88 - San Francisco Chronicle - December 27th, 2019
- An Artist Shares Her Most Striking Images of the Decade - The New York Times - December 27th, 2019
- Kung Fu Nuns in Nepal boost their health in the fight for women's rights - KAKE - December 27th, 2019
- Pay-What-You-Can Russian House #1 in Jenner Is One of Californias Most Eccentric Restaurants - Eater SF - December 27th, 2019
- Kanye West plans to evangelize Americas youth with music: No weapon formed against me shall prosper - The Christian Post - November 19th, 2019
- The Real Housewives of Atlanta Recap: Baby of the House - Vulture - November 19th, 2019
- Who Was the Buddha? - Lion's Roar - November 19th, 2019
- MOVIE REVIEW: Scorsese, De Niro and Pesci at their best in 'The Irishman' - Gwinnettdailypost.com - November 19th, 2019
- The Funeral Traditions of Different Culture and Religion - Agence de presse D.I.A. - November 19th, 2019
- Children in Need events across Gwent - South Wales Argus - November 19th, 2019
- The Rights Judeo-Christian Fixation - The New Republic - November 19th, 2019
- The World-Soul, Natura and Mother Earth - Patheos - November 19th, 2019