J. Salik to stay in cage as token of protest in Ramadan. Humanitarian aid stressed for Afghan civilians.
17 Nov 2001
Islamabad. Nov. 16, 2001
A month long solidarity drive on behalf of Pakistan Christian community for their Muslim brethren ceremonially commenced here today with Christian leader and former Pakistan federal minister Julius Salik voluntarily loc
He considers his current solidarity campaign on Afghanistan issue as part payment of the debt Pakistani Christian owed to their Muslim countrymen. For humanitarian relief in Afghanistan J.Salik advocates that the United Nations may launch a lottery scheme. The UN may put on sale vouchers of small denomination say one dollar. The people throughout the world may invest a dollar a day. Every week 30% of the proceeds may be divided among winners of lottery and the rest be left for reconstruction of Afghanistan on long term basis.
The ceremony started with the hoisting of Pakistan national flag by Julius Salik (popularly known as J.Salik) in accompaniment of national anthem and patriotic songs played by a school band. The burden was that they shared joys and sorrows and were all one and united under the banner (pointing to Pakistan national flag). The prayer was that the flag might keep flying. Allama Mufti Aziz Ahmad Kokab, President of Pakistan Ulema and Mashaikh was present on the occasion commended the services of J.Salik toward Pakistan and led special prayer for the welfare of all communities living in Pakistan and prosperity, solidarity and integrity of this country and for ell being of the entire humanity.
With the help of a lady doctor of Edhi Welfare Trust, J.Salik ejected a syringe full of blood from his body and scattered it in the soil to renew his pledge of loyalty to his motherland whose independence had been attained and retained through supreme sacrifices laid by numerous unknown martyrs. This was not the first time that J.Salik symbolically dropped and mixed his blood in the " sacred soil " of Pakistan. On vacation of his minister's bungalow on dismissal of Benazir Bhutto government in 1996 he had similarly pledged to make sacrifices for his homeland whether he was in office or out of office. The ceremony over, J.Salik dressed in Pakistan national dress - black sherwani and white shalwar (oriental trousers) walked into the cage of 8x6 specially built for the purpose. The cage has eating, sleeping and toilet facilities.
J.Salik, the convenor of World Minorities Alliance is known for his innovative methods of demonstration to espouse the cause of the weak particularly minorities all over the world and global peace and protest against injustices committed by anyone irrespective of caste, creed or colour. He suffered extreme hardships including tying himself to a cross-like tripod for 36 hours, trekking 2000 kilometer long march, publicly burning his belongings and undertaking life risk journey along with his family members to war torn Bosnia.
Peace, harmony and amity are passion with J.Salik. He organized a joint conference of Muslim and Christian cleric to press the release of 72 Americans held hostage in Iran. He buried the effigy of Christian militia for massacring Muslims in the Palestine.
He donned jute clothes for twelve years to condemn massacring Muslims in India on the festive occasion of Eid. He arranged hoisting black flags on the houses of Pakistan Christian community to protest violence against Muslim minority in Burma. To safeguard the rights of the minorities he stands for a minorities' seat at the United Nations. He is of the view that absence of epresentation of the minorities at the UN would keep the traumatic episodes like those of demolition of Babri mosque, desecration of Sikh's Golden Temple and churches in India, outside the scope of international attention.
On the cause of peace he thinks that it needs to comprehensively studied at educational institutions for which the UNESCO may devise curricula and courses of studies from primary level to doctorate degrees. J.Salik is founder of the move of Christian-Muslim unity in Pakistan. To forge unity among the two communities J.Salik organized 70 big conventions in which leaders of both religions largely participated. According to him what could be better instance of Christian-Muslim amity in Pakistan than that despite being Christian he was nominated for Nobel Peace Prize on behalf of Islamic Republic of Pakistan.
Friends of J.Salik locked and sealed the cage in the presence of media representatives. His voluntary confinement will end on sighting of Eid moon. On Eid day he will pray for world peace and progress and prosperity of Pakistan. He expects Pakistani Muslim to participate in Christians' rejoicing on Christmas following on the heels of Eid-ul-Fitar.