Persecution of minorities in pakistan

Discussion in 'Pakistan' started by Rage, May 27, 2009.

  1. Rage

    Rage DFI TEAM Stars and Ambassadors

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    Pakistan's religious minorities report violence

    Pakistan's religious minorities report violence

    By KATHY GANNON – May 13, 2009


    KARACHI, Pakistan (AP) — Fauzia Abrar had finally gotten her crying baby to sleep when screaming men pounded on the steel doors of her home in the mostly Christian slum in the port city of Karachi.

    Suddenly she heard shots, and the screaming grew louder: "Long live Taliban! Death to infidels!"

    The men forced their way into her house, hurled loose tiles and a glass at her and fired a shot. She fainted.

    As the Taliban gains a stronger foothold in Pakistan, increasingly violent assaults against religious minorities are further evidence of its growing power and influence. While the Taliban does not carry out all of the attacks, extremist elements inspired by the group will sometimes act in its name.

    These attacks add to the instability of an already highly unstable country and also show how Pakistan, supposed to be a U.S. ally in the fight against Islamic extremism, is now itself increasingly threatened by extremists.

    In dozens of interviews from Karachi to Peshawar, Christians, Sikhs and Hindus told of attacks and threats and expressed an overwhelming sense of fear. Minority Rights Group International, a watchdog organization, ranked Pakistan last year as the world's top country for major increases in threats to minorities from 2007 — along with Sri Lanka, which is embroiled in civil war. The group lists Pakistan as seventh on the list of 10 most dangerous countries for minorities, after Somalia, Sudan, Afghanistan, Iraq, Myanmar and Congo.

    "In Pakistan today there is a lot of feeling of fear by all the minorities," said the Rev. Richard D'Souza of St. Jude Church in Karachi. "We feel we have no protection."

    The trouble in D'Souza's parish started with bold blue graffiti on the church walls praising the Taliban and Islamic law, and condemning Christians as infidels. Young Christians in the neighborhood protested.

    Within days, about 25 burly men with shaggy beards rampaged through the neighborhood, beating Christians, pelting women with stones and setting fire to the doors of houses and to meager possessions. An 11-year-old boy was killed, and several people were wounded.

    "The police never helped. None of us had weapons. The police just stood there," said 26-year-old Imran Masih, who spent 10 days in the hospital after a bullet pierced his neck.

    Dozens of Christian families fled. One man who stayed, Sohail Masih, showed what is left of the family's two Bibles and a Sunday school book — a seared and crumbled mass of paper. He had wrapped it in plastic bags and hidden it, in case evidence was ever needed.

    D'Souza said the parish is thinking of forming its own armed youth brigades to patrol Christian areas. When he asked the government for armored personnel carriers, he said, two bored-looking policemen showed up for the Easter Sunday service and were gone the next morning.
    Shahbaz Bhatti, Pakistan's minister for minorities affairs, said the government is trying to stop the Taliban through military operations.

    "I don't say minorities are not worried. They have a genuine concern. They have been attacked," said Bhatti, a Christian. "The Taliban say non-Muslims are infidels, and the people who are misguided zealots can interpret this in any way. Minorities can be easy and soft targets of these extremists, but these Taliban are committing such violent acts that everyone feels fear in their presence — the minority and the majority in Pakistan."

    Religious minorities represent about 5 percent of Pakistan's 160 million people, according to the CIA World Factbook. But Michael Javed, director of a peace council and a minister in southern Sindh, charged that census takers intentionally keep minority figures low to deny them greater representation. Christians alone represent 5 to 6 percent of the population, he said.
    Javed said he has been told by militants to take the cross off his schools in Karachi, and has refused. Frightened Christians are trying to arm themselves, he said, pulling out a bulging file with more than 60 applications to buy weapons.

    "It has never happened in the past like this. Today we feel we have no future. They want us to hide, but we won't," he said.

    Even Shiite Muslims have come under attack as the Sunni Taliban tears through the tribal areas. In the past two years, the Taliban has embraced a violently anti-Shiite group, Lashkar-e-Janghvi, unleashing a fresh wave of bitter bloodletting. More than 500 Shiite Muslims in the Kurram tribal agency have been killed in daily attacks.

    Editorials in local newspapers have warned of the threat to minorities and predicted that the brutality will eventually reach the larger population. In an April letter to the prime minister and president, Lahore Archbishop Lawrence Saldanha said allowing Islamic law in the violent Swat Valley would give license to "trigger-happy Taliban (and further) erode constitutional protections for minorities and women."

    The Taliban issued an ultimatum in March to the elders of more than 25 Sikh families in the Orakzai tribal agency near the Afghan border: Convert to Islam, join the jihad or pay 5 billion rupees — roughly $62 million — for protection.

    "We couldn't pay that amount. We were farmers," said a young Sikh who asked to be identified only as Singh, because he was too terrified to give his full name or location. He fidgeted nervously, and his voice became little more than a whisper as he recalled the Taliban's threat to take a Sikh leader to South Waziristan to decide his fate if the extortion money wasn't paid.
    The villagers persuaded the Taliban to reduce the amount to 12 million rupees or $150,000 — still a princely sum for the Sikh community. But Singh said they raised enough money to get their elder released, with a promise to pay the rest by March 29.

    On March 28, he said, the Sikhs paid the full amount, and the Taliban promised to protect them anywhere in Pakistan. But by 10 p.m. that day, the Taliban had told Sikh elders they were preparing to attack.

    By 2 a.m., the elders had packed everyone into cars and trucks, and more than 150 Sikhs fled to Peshawar, the provincial capital of the northwest.

    "What are we to do? We have nothing," Singh said. "We have asked the government of Pakistan, either relocate us to somewhere safe or send us to India."

    The lives of Hindus are also in danger, according to the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan. Last month, extremists attacked a Hindu Holi religious festival not far from the border with India, setting fire to a Hindu temple and destroying several shops. And last year, a young Hindu worker was beaten to death at a factory in Karachi by fellow workers who accused him of insulting Islam.

    Although no figures are available, anecdotal evidence and human rights groups say attacks against Hindus have risen in the last two years, with temples and worshippers targeted especially in Sindh province, where Karachi is located.

    "We are under more and more of a threat because of these extremists, but we ourselves feel if we take the wrong step, even to tell of the wrong things, then it will be death for us," said Amarnath Motumal, a lawyer and head of the Karachi Hindu Panchayat, representing Hindus. "We worry about the future of our families and our children here in Pakistan — all of us (minorities) do today because of these extremists."

    Copyright © 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.


    The Associated Press: Pakistan's religious minorities report violence
     
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  3. Rage

    Rage DFI TEAM Stars and Ambassadors

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    There you have it- straight from the horses' mouth itself! What 'haven for minorities' are you, Pakisthan?


    Pakistani Christians ‘live in "fear"’, say churches

    Thursday, 03 Sep, 2009 | 11:43 AM PST |

    [​IMG]

    GENEVA: Christians and other religious minorities in Pakistan live in fear of persecution and even execution or murder on false charges of blasphemy against Islam, the World Council of Churches (WCC) says.

    The Council, a global body linking Protestant and Orthodox churches in 110 countries, has called on the Pakistani government to change a law that allows for the death penalty for blaspheming Islam.


    Since the law was adopted in 1986 religious minorities in the country have been ‘living in a state of fear and terror...and many innocent people have lost their lives’, the WCC said in a statement.

    Pakistan is an overwhelmingly Muslim country where religious minorities account for roughly four per cent — three quarters of whom are Christians — of its 170 million people.

    In early August, the WCC head, Kenyan Methodist Samuel Kobia, protested to the Pakistani government over violence in Punjab province when Muslims torched Christian homes and eight people were killed, seven of them burned to death.

    Reports at the time said the attacks in Gojra town were sparked by allegations, denied by church leaders as well as Pakistani government officials, that Christians had desecrated the Quran.


    Pope complains

    Pakistani government officials said the violence, which also brought protests from Pope Benedict, was the work of Islamist groups linked to al-Qaeda and the country's Taliban movement.

    The WCC, which works with the Vatican on many religious issues, said it felt the blasphemy law, and the way it was abused, was the main problem.

    Shahbaz Bhatti, Pakistani minister for minorities, said the law had been abused by ‘extremist elements’ against minorities and the government wanted to review it.

    ‘We are receiving demands from different sections of society, especially from the minority communities, to review this law,’ Bhatti told Reuters.

    ‘We are in the process of consultation with different stakeholders and after this consultation, we intend to review this law to stop the misuse.’

    Convictions for blasphemy are fairly common in Pakistan with most cases involving members of religious minorities, but death sentences have never been carried out — usually because convictions are thrown out on a lack of evidence.

    But there have been cases where accused have been killed by mobs.

    The death penalty for blasphemy was introduced in the 1980s by then military ruler, General Ziaul Haq. Later governments tried to amend the law but had to drop their plans because of opposition from Islamic groups.


    DAWN.COM | Pakistan | Pakistani Christians ?live in fear?, churches say
     
  4. Dark_Prince

    Dark_Prince Regular Member

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    HRCP report portrays dismal state of affairs


    ISLAMABAD: The year 2009 saw a sharp increase in violence against women and religious minorities, while new incidents of enforced disappearance continued to be reported throughout the year from across the country, said a report released by the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan here on Monday.

    The report, portraying a dismal state of affairs, said that terrorist attacks constituted the greatest threat to fundamental rights of people.

    The report, released at a press conference by HRCP Chairperson Asma Jahangir and Secretary General I. A. Rehman, said the principle that military operations against terrorists should not be carried out in a manner that they did not violate human rights of the combatants and non-combatants alike was not always observed.

    It referred to various complaints about extra-judicial and revenge killings in the aftermath of the Swat operation. The most harrowing reports were of bodies strewn upside down with notes attached to them warning that anyone supporting the Taliban would meet the same fate.

    The HRCP regretted that its suggestion to set up a parliamentary committee to probe these incidents involving mass graves had gone unheeded.

    According to figures compiled by the authorities, only five Al Qaeda and Taliban leaders were killed in 44 strikes carried out by the Afghanistan-based American drones in tribal areas, while 700 innocent civilians lost their lives in these attacks, it said.

    The report questioned the interior ministry’s figure of 256 target killings in Karachi, saying that according to its database, 747 persons were killed in the metropolis during the year.

    It said the ruling coalition parties in Sindh were engaged in tit-for-tat killings in Karachi. Any attempt by police to bring the killers to justice met with stiff resistance from their political patrons.

    The HRCP said the parliament did very little legislative work and the president’s special powers to issue ordinances were invoked excessively. Only four acts were passed by parliament, while 61 ordinances were promulgated during 2009.

    The report said the National Assembly adopted two bills that offered protection to women. The Domestic Violence Bill lapsed because the Senate did not pass it within 90 days of its introduction. The Criminal Law Amendment Bill, which promised protection to women against sexual harassment by amending the PPC and CrPC, became a law after it was adopted by the Senate in the new year.

    The report said 1.52 million cases were pending in superior and lower courts at the end of last year.

    According to non-official estimates, 3,021 people were killed and 7,334 were injured in 2,586 incidents of terrorism. Out of these, 1,296 people were killed in 108 suicide bombings.

    The report said 118 citizens and 158 security officials were killed in 164 incidents of target killings in Balochistan, while 83 citizens and 7 security officials were injured in these attacks.

    It said 592 cases of kidnapping for ransom took place in NWFP, 241 in Balochistan, 224 in Punjab and163 in Sindh.

    The report expressed concern over deteriorating condition in jails. According to it, 4,651 prisoners were housed in Lahore camp jail, which has a capacity for 1,050 individuals.

    It said seven journalists were killed in the line of duty, while four others were killed in crime-related incidents.

    A total of 163 direct attacks, including murders, kidnappings, threats and assaults were made against the media.

    The report said 1,404 women were murdered. Out of these, 647 women were killed in the name of ‘honour’ (including the cases of karo kari). The number of rape cases reported was 928. Some 563 women committed suicide, 253 attempted suicide and 135 fell victim to burning.

    The number of cases of domestic violence, including torture, beating, shaving, amputation and murder attempts, shot up to 205 from 137 in 2008.

    Out of 70 million children of less than 18 years of age, almost 20.3 million do not go to school. Around 20.8 million are less than five years of age.

    The HRCP endorsed exclusion of local government laws from the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution that enabled the local bodies to become a provincial subject and the provinces started making their own local government laws.

    http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/front-page/19-hrcp-report-portrays-dismal-state-of-affairs-330-hh-07
     
  5. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    25 Hindu girls abducted every month, claims HRCP official

    As many as 20 to 25 girls from the Hindu community are abducted every month and converted forcibly, said Amarnath Motumal, an advocate and council member of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan.

    “There is no official record to support this statement, but according to estimates, in Karachi alone, a large number of Hindu girls are being kidnapped on a routine basis,” Motumal told The News. “The families of the victims are scared to register cases against the influential perpetrators as death threats are issued to them in case they raise their voice. So, the victims choose to remain silent to save their lives,” he said.

    Motumal said the word ‘Hindu’ had become an insult and a kind of abuse for the Hindu community. “Almost 90 per cent of the Hindu community comprise poor and impoverished families whose needs and rights have been neglected by the ones at the helms of power,” he said, adding that since a majority of the people feel helpless, only a few families come to him with their cases.

    A former MPA, Bherulal Balani, said that the Hindu girls, especially the ones belonging to scheduled castes, were mostly being abducted from the Lyari area. “Once the girls are converted, they are then sold to other people or are forced to do illegal and immoral activities,” Balani said. He added the perpetrators were very powerful and that was the reason that no cases were being registered against them.

    The number of attacks against the Hindu community has increased in the interior Sindh during the last three months. At least nine incidents have been reported which range from forced conversion of Hindus to rape and murders.

    In one incident, a 17-year-old girl ‘K’ was gang-raped in Nagarparker area. In another incident, a 15-year-old girl ‘D’ was allegedly abducted from Aaklee village, Tharparkar, and was forced to convert. About 71 families migrated from the village in protest against the girl’s abduction.

    Moreover, the Hindu communities were not even spared on the occasion of their joyous festival of Holi as two girls, Anita and Kishni, were kidnapped in Kotri. Moreover, two Hindu boys, Ajay and Sagar, were abducted from another place on the same day.

    One Amir Gul was murdered in the beginning of March in Tando Haider, Umerkot, allegedly by a landlord. Later in the month, a boy, Kishan Kumar, was kidnapped from Kandhkot, Jacobabad.

    MPA Pitamber Sewani told The News that these acts were being done by certain elements who believe that these minority communities might support the government in the upcoming local bodies’ elections, and these elements want to harass them.

    However, President Pakistan Hindu Council Ramesh Kumar criticised the minorities’ representatives for not raising their voice at relevant forums. He said that they were simply representing their respective parties and not the poor people. He added that poor economic conditions had led to an increase in kidnapping cases in the province, especially in the Kandhkot and Jacobabad areas.

    Coordinator HRCP Task Force Sindh Dr Ashothama Lohano told The News the according to their one fact-finding report, the most affected persons of violence belonged to Hindu and Christian communities. He said that various reasons have been cited for this. “The recent wave of extremism is one reason, which has destroyed the harmony of the land of Sufis. Another reason is the destruction of the agriculture sector and small markets that has led to frustration and lawlessness. Yet another reason is that the elected representatives are working only for the party and not for the community,” Dr Lohano added.

    He further said that minority communities were easy targets as the Hindus were generally hesitant to raise voice against the injustices. “When the Hindu communities become politically active, they are blamed for having Indian connections,” doctor Lohano said



    http://www.thenews.com.pk/daily_detail.asp?id=231616
     
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  6. Dark_Prince

    Dark_Prince Regular Member

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    This is a Sad and horrifying report! But, even more dangerous is the trend, where religious extremists/local mullahs/maulvis abduct Hindu girls in South Eastern Sindh provinces; convert them and sell-off/marry them to muslim men. The family members are not even allowed to register any police case and even if any police case is registered, nothing is done in regards to the case, as petty minded pakistanis (not all) take pride in such activities..
     
  7. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    Pakistan's Army Accused Of Extra - Judicial Killings


    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Pakistani army is facing fresh accusations of carrying out extra-judicial killings and torture, claims which could threaten U.S. funding for any units singled out for abuse.

    New York-based Human Rights Watch said it had briefed U.S. State Department and congressional officials about mounting evidence of more than 200 summary executions in Swat Valley in the past eight months of suspected Taliban sympathizers.

    Pakistan's army denied the group's accusations of abuse in Swat, home to about 1.3 million people and the site of a much-lauded military operation last year to take back the former Taliban stronghold.

    "Swat is open to journalists and you can conduct investigative reporting there," Pakistani Army spokesman Major General Athar Abbas told Reuters in Islamabad. "Have you seen any sort of report in Pakistani newspapers?"

    The Lahore-based Human Rights Commission of Pakistan provided a list of 249 suspected extra-judicial killings from July 30, 2009, to March 22, 2010, saying most of the bodies were found in Swat. It said independent journalists and locals widely believed security forces were behind them.

    Officials in Washington said they were taking the accusations of abuse seriously. The Obama administration has raised the matter with Islamabad, officials said.

    "We have shared our concern about these allegations with senior Pakistani officials and will continue to monitor the situation closely," State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said.

    Defense Secretary Robert Gates has also discussed U.S. concerns with Pakistani military and government officials.

    "While our strong bilateral relationship with Pakistan and our close partnership in combating terrorism are very important to us, we take allegations of human rights abuses seriously," said Geoff Morrell, Pentagon press secretary.

    White House National Security Council spokesman Mike Hammer said "we are seeing positive forward motion from our friends" in Pakistan on the issue, but did not elaborate.

    SENSITIVE MOMENT

    Accusations of rights abuses by the Pakistani military are not new, but the latest allegations come at a highly sensitive moment for U.S.-Pakistan relations.

    Washington, which faces frequent criticism in Pakistan following suspected CIA drone strikes on militants, wants to strengthen ties with Islamabad. It also wants to encourage more operations against Islamic extremists following the Pakistani military's success in Swat and also in South Waziristan.

    But Tom Malinowski, Washington advocacy director for Human Rights Watch, said the pace of extra-judicial killings in Pakistan was "not slowing down."

    The United States is obliged to enforce a law authored by Senator Patrick Leahy banning assistance to foreign military units facing credible accusations of abuses, he said.

    "If they obtain or receive credible information that a particular unit is engaged in this kind of behavior, they have to de-fund the unit," Malinowski said.

    Human Rights Watch is not yet able to single out any units for the abuses, which also include illegal detention, he said.

    Since the September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States, Washington has given more than $15 billion in aid to Pakistan, most of it for security-related work.

    The Pentagon's Morrell said aid to Pakistan's military had not been cut off. He said there had been productive dialogue with Islamabad "about how we can help them build their capacity to deal with detainees in a rule of law framework."

    "This work has been going on for several months now and we are pleased to see progress being made," he said.

    The State Department said U.S. aid was being delivered in full accordance with U.S. law, and added that assistance to Pakistani security forces incorporated human rights training.

    BODIES DUMPED

    Human Rights Watch said the Army was targeting civilians who had voiced support for the Taliban when they controlled Swat or were suspected of providing them food or shelter.

    "People are taken away, and sometimes they turn up a few days or weeks later having been tortured. Sometimes they disappear. Sometimes their body is dumped with a bullet in the head," Malinowski said.

    He also described cases of illegal detention.

    "A son has gone off to fight with the Taliban, and so another son is taken as a hostage," he said. "And the father is told: We will release son No. 2 when son No. 1 turns himself in."

    He said such abuses ran against U.S. counter-insurgency strategy and could erode support for Pakistan's government. The Army remains popular in Swat, which endured a brutal Taliban rule that included public beheadings and floggings.

    The White House National Security Council's Hammer said the Obama administration had briefed Congress on the allegations.

    Leahy's office declined to comment on the specific allegations of abuse but called for enforcement of U.S. law "so U.S. aid does not go to army units that violate human rights."

    "And Pakistani authorities need to know how U.S. law is applied," spokesman David Carle said.
     
  8. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    Ahmadis slam target-killings in Faisalabad

    LAHORE: The Jamaat-e-Ahmadia Pakistan on Sunday condemned the target killing of three members of its community in Faisalabad on April 1 (Thursday), Daily Times has learnt. The incident occurred around 10pm last Thursday when the three Ahmadis were returning home in their vehicle from their jewellery and cloth shops situated in Rail Bazaar in Faisalabad. As their car approached the Canal Road near Faisal Hospital, four or five unidentified militants – in a white car – ambushed them. The three Ahmadis were seriously injured when the men opened fire at them. The attackers managed to flee from the scene. The three men died before they reached the hospital. The deceased men include 60-year-old Sheikh Ashraf Parvez and 57-year-old Sheikh Masood Jawad – who were brothers –and Jawad’s 24-year-old son Asif Masood. staff report
     
  9. indiansamurai

    indiansamurai New Member

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    This has been going on after Independence it is if we cannot get them out we breed them out policy followed in pakistan at the time of Partition in 1947, the Hindu population of Pakistan was estimated at approximately a quarter of the total population. For example, the population of Karachi, Pakistan in 1947 was 450,000, of which 51% was Hindu, and 42% was Muslim. By 1951, Karachi’s population had increased to 1.137 million because of the influx of 600,000 Muslim refugees from India. In 1951, the Muslim population of Karachi was 96% and the Hindu population was 2%. In 1998, the Hindu population in all of Pakistan was 1.6%, and the most recent census would certainly be expected to demonstrate consistent dwindling demographic trends and further diminution of Hindu population.
    According to certain official estimates NWFP has slightly over 4,924 Hindus, whereas in FATA area total known Hindu population is 1,921. After the rise of the Taliban in Pakistan and military operations hundreds of Hindus had escaped under dual pressure-demand of Jizya, a Sharia tax by the Taliban and army harassment . Although violence against women transcends their religion, it is disproportionately focused on Hindu women in Pakistan. In May 2005, a group of middle-class Pakistani women held a demonstration for equal rights in Lahore. In response, the police beat them and took them to police stations.

    According to Seemant Lok Sangathan (SLS), a group working for refugees in Rajasthan, over 10,000 Hindu migrants from Pakistan is living in Jodhpur alone. Nearly 20,000 others are scattered in Jaisalmer and other areas of Rajasthan areas bordering Pakistan. Efforts of the SLS resulted in granting of long term visa by the government of India, but no relief work was initiated.
    Surprisingly, the Indian Human Rights activists and secular protagonists, who labour beyond all conceivable elasticity of the Indian system, do not shed even crocodile’s tears for the Hindu-Sikh-Christian minorities in Pakistan. These matters are not even taken up either in first track or second track diplomatic talks with Pakistan. Systematic destruction of Hindu temples and desecration of Sikh temples do not attract attention of the Indian political leaders and so-called secularist compradors. They are busy in distributing largesse among the minorities (Muslim) in India but are averse to even look at the plights of the Hindu minorities in Pakistan and Bangladesh.
     
  10. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    Pakistani politician given new hope of asylum

    Published Date: 10 April 2010
    By John Robertson
    A PROMINENT politician in Pakistan has been given a second chance to claim asylum in the United Kingdom after a ruling by three Scottish appeal judges.
    Gyan Singh, a Sikh and an outspoken opponent of Islamic extremism, fears his life would in danger if he were sent back to Pakistan.

    In 2006, while attending the United Nations general assembly in New York, he flew with his wife and children to theADVERTISEMENT

    UK following reports of a plan to attack the family home in north-west Pakistan, near the Afghan border.

    Other relatives also fled and settled in Scotland, but they and Gyan Singh were refused asylum by the Home Office.

    Yesterday, the judges in the Court of Session in Edinburgh decided that the four claims should be reheard by the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal.

    The court heard that Gyan Singh was a prominent figure in the political life of Pakistan. He had been elected to the National Assembly in 1999 and was particularly active in the area of human rights.

    In his asylum claim, Gyan Singh had stated that his activities on behalf of non-Muslims and his opposition to Islamic extremism made him unpopular. He was physically attacked in the National Assembly after speaking in support of a military strike on a school where terrorists were trained. He also claimed to have been kidnapped and tortured, and that an attempt had been made to abduct his children while security guards, who were supposed to be protecting them, had looked on and allowed the gang to escape.

    He said his wife had received threatening phone calls that he should not speak out against terrorists and that a cousin had been shot dead.

    Appeals by Gyan Singh, a brother, a sister and a sister-in-law, were heard by Lord Reed, sitting with Lords Hardie and Mackay.

    Lord Reed said: "The focus of the immigration judge was almost entirely on the alleged incident ... events prior to 28 November, 2006, were virtually ignored."

    "Given their potential relevance, that was, in our opinion, a fundamental error," said Lord Reed.
     
  11. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    A door slammed shut



    Thursday, April 15, 2010
    Kamila Hyat

    The writer is a freelance columnist and former newspaper editor

    All of us who have attended school in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan were taught at one point or the other that the white strip that runs down the flag stood for non-Muslims who make up an estimated three per cent or so of the population.

    Now it seems this white is to be washed over with a shade of green that denies the existence of diversity in the country and closes the door of opportunity for citizens who practise a different faith. We may as well change our flag and give up the pretence that there is any space for minorities in our state.

    One of the more insidious doings of the 18th Amendment has been to seal off the office of prime minister to non-Muslims by declaring that the post will be held by a Muslim. The presidency has, since 1956, already been reserved for Muslims alone. The original justification given for this was that the post was a symbolic one. While in the kind of state we live in today, there was little practical possibility of someone from a minority religious community moving into the office of prime minister, the existence of the theoretical possibility was important. Indeed it is ironic that this opening has been closed just as real authority has been shifted to the prime minister. It is also ironic that a measure aimed at strengthening democracy should reserve the most important political office in the land for a specific community. The exclusion of all other citizens is, after all, most blatantly undemocratic.

    While insiders say the proposal came from the PML-N, the fact is that parties like the 'secular' ANP and the 'liberal' PPP are both guilty of going along with it. One of the legacies of the Zia age has been that, once a 'religious' tint has been placed over any item – no matter how rotten it may in reality be – no one dares speak out. It is true the ANP tabled a suggestion that the presidency be opened to all citizens; but, perhaps caught up in the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa issue, it appears not to have noticed the still more damaging change in rules for the holding of the prime minister's office. It is also a fact that once change of this kind has been made, it is extremely hard to roll it back. Any attempt to do so would bring an outcry from the religious parties and other groups that back them. No political party has in recent years displayed the moral courage necessary to take on such groups. Indeed, already, on internet discussion forums, while an encouraging number of voices have spoken out against the measure, others have argued that it is justified for an 'Islamic' state to have only a Muslim at its head. A long time ago, Mohammad Ali Jinnah, a man who has for any meaningful purpose been virtually forgotten in the country he founded, had warned against states that discriminated or drew distinctions between one community and the other. Jinnah would be mortified to discover that this is precisely the kind of distorted state that Pakistan has become over the 63 years since it appeared on the map. Like Dorian Grey, it has become increasingly warped and twisted, even if these mutations are not always visible on the outside.

    The message that the latest change sends out is a dangerous one. It comes at a time when we see at periodic intervals orgies of violence that involve the burning of houses belonging to non-Muslims or the torture of members of minority groups, often after charges of blasphemy have been brought. We have seen lynching carried out in public on these grounds. All around us we see in fact a kind of 'cleansing' on the basis of religion that should leave us ashamed. Hindus from Sindh – sometimes even from communities where they had lived in peaceful harmony with their Muslim neighbours for years – have been forced to flee to escape forced conversions or the kidnapping of their daughters. The few Sikh families who still lived in the tribal areas have been driven out of their homes by the Taliban following the imposition of 'jaziya' taxation on them. Christians have, since the 1980s, begun disappearing to escape discrimination; the names on school registers even at missionary-run institutions in Lahore reflect the change and the monolithic nature of the society we live in.

    The attitudes that have created this are for a large part the product of state policies. The laws against Ahmadis, the separate electorate for minorities and the 'Islamisation' policies have all encouraged social and economic discrimination. Opportunities available to non-Muslims have closed down. Employers are less likely to grant them jobs or offer promotions; schools deny them admission. The Basant festival has been labelled as being 'Hindu' and, therefore, undesirable. Even the simple act of flying a kite has been given a religious overture. There can be little doubt this has been a factor in the ban on Basant and the sport of kite-flying that has led to the fluttering paper shapes vanishing from the skies over Lahore, a city that once observed the only secular festival on our calendar with unrivalled passion.

    There is evidence too that the unpleasant process of creating a kind of sterile uniformity by rooting out diversity is growing. Muslim sects have confronted the wrath of those who hold they are non-Muslim. The mass killing of Shias in Karachi on two separate occasions as they marked Muharrum is just one example of this. Other groups have faced threats of many kinds. Some indeed, to protect themselves and their children, have chosen to disguise identity. Other groups, such as the small number of Jews who once lived in Karachi, have simply left the country.

    The process is an immensely dangerous one. It has already created divisions that in the past simply did not exist. The result has been growing social unease. To create the harmony we so badly need it is vital to alter this, to create a state that treats all its citizens as equal and accepts that this is the true spirit of the democracy that is so often spoken of but rarely put into practice. The question is where we will find the leaders committed to such a vision for their nation.
     
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  12. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    'Hindu girl forced to convert to Islam'

    A Hindu girl from Punjab province was kidnapped and forced to convert to Islam and is currently being held in a madrassa, leading Pakistani rights activist Ansar Burney said today.

    Burney said his rights organisation, the Ansar Burney Trust International, had learnt that 15-year-old Gajri, the daughter of Mengha Ram, was abducted by a Muslim neighbour from her home at Katchi Mandi, Liaquatpur, in Rahim Yar Khan district on December 21, 2009.

    Gajri's parents later found out that she was beingheld captive in a madrassa or seminary in southern Punjab and that she had been married and converted to Islam, Burney said.

    The local administration is "refusing to respond to the abduction" of the girl, who is not being allowed to leave the madrassa or to speak to her parents, he said.

    Burney, a former human rights minister, condemned the forceful conversion of the Hindu girl and demanded her immediate release. "Pakistan is a state party to the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which oblige authorities to protect religious minorities under international law," he said.

    According to Ansar Burney Trust, on 21 December 2009 Gajri disappeared from the home of her Hindu parents in southern Punjab.

    On December 26 last year, the local police station in Gajri’s hometown received a letter with an affidavit from madrassa that said she had "embraced Islam and had married her neighbour Mohammad Salim", Burney said.

    The letter did not enclose a marriage certificate, he said. Police did not immediately inform Gajri's parents about the letter even though they had tried to file a First Information Report after she had gone missing.

    The parents were discouraged from doing so by police, Burney said.

    Mengha Ram and his wife then contacted the vice president of the National Peace Committee for Interfaith Harmony, Ramesh Jay Pal.

    With his help, the parents met the priest in charge of Darul-Uloom Madrassa in Khanpur, Maulana Abdul Hafeez.

    Hafeez reportedly told the parents that Gajri had "embraced Islam and was not allowed to meet her parents".

    In January this year, the parents of Gajri again tried to file a case of abduction against their neighbour and the madrassa but their application was refused by district police chief Imtiaz Gul.

    He allegedly told them that he had no power to intervene in matters of religious conversion and that their daughter was now the "property of the madrassa", Burney said. Burney said Gajri is a minor and "cannot arbitrarily be removed from the custody of her parents".

    He urged President Asif Ali Zardari, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and Punjab Governor Salman Taseer to intervene to ensure Gajri's released.
     
  13. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    This thread must be made sticky
     
  14. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    Christians bewildered by Muslim violence in Pakistan


    Daily incidents of violence such as rape, abduction, and torture of Christians appears to be coutenanced with official indifference in Pakistan.

    On April 28, in Quetta (Baluchistan), a Christian, Zulfiqar Gulzar, was killed by unidentified persons on the street. His community, bewildered by the violence, is seeking justice.

    On the same day, in the city of Sargodha in Punjab, a 29-year-old Christian barber, Marwat Masih, was beaten by a group of conservative Muslims, who accused him of having cut off the beard of a young Muslim who had come into his shop asking him to trim it.

    Also recently, in Punjab in the town of Murree, the girls' school St. Deny's Girls High School, run by the Protestant Church of Pakistan was set on fire. Investigations have indicated the responsibility of the Muslim fundamentalist groups (the so-called "Pakistani Taliban") who deny education to girls and wish to eliminate Christian social work, as seen in the attacks that occurred last March on the NGO offices of the Christian-based "World Vision" and a Salesian school in Baluchistan.

    In the capital Islamabad, meanwhile, some NGOs are protesting another case of violence against a Christian girl, after the widely-publicized case of Shazia. This time, the victim is Sumera Pervaiz, a 14-year-old who worked as a maid in the house of Faheem Cheema, a commander in the Pakistani Air Force. Accused, without proof, of stealing some jewelry, Sumera was placed in isolation, beaten, and tortured for five days to extract a confession that the girl, who was innocent, did not give. She is now hospitalized and in danger of losing the use of her legs.

    The Commission for Justice and Peace within the Bishops' Conference has again requested the government's attention to the frequent cases of violence and threats against the liberty and property of Christians in Pakistan.

    "Episodes of violence against Christians continue to occur on a constant basis in different areas of the country. The victims are mainly from among the poor and marginalized, who live in suburbs or remote areas. But very few incidents reach the press; this is just the tip of the iceberg. Most of the violence happens in silence or is met with indifference," notes Francis Mehboob Sada, Director of the Christian Study Center in Rawalpindi, in an interview with Fides. The Center works on monitoring human rights in the country . "We are concerned and we continue in our struggle for minority rights," he says.

    In recent days, President Asif Ali Zardari has issued a constitutional reform package limiting his own powers and strengthening the role of parliament and the prime minister: "We hope this means more democracy in Pakistan and greater respect for human rights in the country, with benefits for religious minorities," Archbishop Lawrence Saldanha, President of the Bishops' Conference said.
     
  15. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    HRCP Annual Report 2009​




    Suicide bombings, target killings add to common man’s insecurity

    Sunday, May 02, 2010
    By our correspondent

    Karachi

    A comprehensive report titled ‘State of the Human Rights in 2009’ by the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) sheds light on the deplorable situation of human affairs in the country

    Marred by suicide bombings, target killings and rampant violence, 2009 was another year in which a common man remained deprived of his fundamental rights. While anarchy and bloodshed reigned the year, the state of important sectors such as education and health deteriorated further.

    But all was not bleak in 2009. In the same year, the country saw the restoration of the judiciary, striking down of the National Reconciliation Order (NRO) and the passing of a law promising better protection against sexual harassment to women.

    The report focuses on issues pertaining to citizens and discusses 18 such topics in detail.

    HRCP has not only pinpointed the problems existing in various sectors but have also stated concrete recommendations at the end of each chapter. HRCP has also discussed its own role and activities of the previous year and at the end presented a list of Pakistani prisoners in foreign countries.

    Below are some excerpts from the book on different topics, highlighting state of human rights as well as the prominent incidents and issues of the year 2009.

    Laws and Law-making: The report states that the parliament did not perform well in terms of legislation and passed only four acts. On the other had, around 61 federal ordinances were issued.

    The domestic violence bill lapsed unable to be approved by the Upper house. To this day, it has been not passed

    Administration of Justice: The deposed Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry and other judges were restored through an executive order.

    On December 16, the Supreme Court struck down the national reconciliation ordinance (NRO).

    At the end of 2009, 1.52 million cases were pending in the superior and lower courts of the country.

    Law and order: In 2009, about 3,021 people were killed and some 7,334 were injured in 2,586 incidents of terrorism. Out of these, 1,300 were killed in 108 suicide bombings.

    The highest number of kidnappings took place in the province of NWFP (now Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa) 592, followed by 241 in Balochistan, 224 in Punjab and 163 in Sindh.

    More than 1,600 people committed suicide.

    In Karachi alone, 747 people were killed, out of which 291 succumbed to target killings.

    Jails, prisoners and ‘disappearances’: Majority of enforced disappearances cases were from Balochistan. At the end of the year, around 133 persons on HRCP’s list submitted to the Supreme Court are still missing.

    Prisons in the country remain overcrowded and congested. In Camp Jail Lahore, 4,651 prisoners were detained in a facility with a capacity for only 1,050.

    As many as 54 prisoners were killed in prisons during the year 2009.

    Freedom of thought, conscience and religion: Increase in organized attacks including Taiser Town and Gojra on religious minorities. More than 41 complaints of blasphemy were reported.

    At least five members of the Ahmadi sect were murdered in target killings raising the number to 100 since the introduction of anti-Ahmadiyya laws in 1984.

    Nearly 80 percent of the minorities live below the poverty line and are ignored in various government support programs.

    Freedom of expression: Seven journalists lost their lives in the line of duty; four others were killed in crime related incidents.

    A campaign by Jang group for expeditious implementation of the Supreme Court verdict in the NRO cases and on corruption charges against the President angered the government, resulting in withholding government advertisements from the group.

    Women and children: Around 1,404 women were murdered, including 647 in the name of ‘honour’. Around 928 women were raped and some 563 committed suicide.

    Cases of domestic violence shot from 137 in 2008 to 205

    Government failed to enforce a new law to deal with domestic violence

    NA passed amendments in PPC and CrPC to define sexual harassment and propose enhanced punishments for offenders. The bill was passed by Senate in 2010.

    Almost 20.30 million of as 70 million aged less than 18 years did not go to school.

    Other alarming figures including: 20,000 children die of diarrhea every year, around 52 percent of children studying in seminaries experience sexual harassment, 58 percent of the girls in rural areas are married before the age of 20. Around 3.5 million children below 15 years are child laborers. 39 percent of children are malnourished. 968 children, 285 boys and 683 girls were sexually abused. Number of street children rose to 1.5 million. There were around 1,800 minor prisoners in 2009.

    Labor: Estimated labor force in the country was 51.78 million.

    Around 285,000 people lost their jobs in banking sector, 61,200 in computer industry, 115,000 in construction, and 120,200 in electronic and 69,000 in telecommunication.

    Education: Pakistan was ranked 117 out of 134 countries in terms of quality of primary education in world economic forum’s global competitiveness index for 2009.

    An estimated 35 to 40 percent of children of school going were out in streets.

    Terrorist destroyed more than 187 schools and damaged 318 forcing 50,000 stay at home.

    Health: There is only one doctor for 1,212 persons, one dentist for 18,010 persons and one hospital bed for 1,575 persons.

    There were 85,000 individuals infected with HIV-AIDS in Pakistan, two percent under the age of 14.

    85,812 deaths from cancers were reported.

    Environment: 38 percent of Pakistan’s irrigated land was waterlogged.

    More than 60 percent of the country’s population was without access to safe water drinking water.

    Some 23,000 people died in the country due to air-pollution.

    More than 400 million gallons of untreated industrial waste were being discharged into the Arabian Sea daily out of which 80 million gallons were contributed by Karachi.

    Refugees: There were 1.25 million IDPs.

    Only 50,000 afghan refugees were repatriated to Afghanistan in 2009. There were nearly 1.7 million registered Afghan refugees in the 2009. —RA
     
  16. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    first it were hindu sikhs who got ethnically cleansed from pakistan in 1947,then came the number of balochis and bengalis in from 1950 onwards.then in 1970-80 ahmediya got cleansed now with turn of the century its the cleansing of christians and shias going on.in 1990 it was turn of mohajirs and sindis.

    Doctors Under Fire

    General practitioners in Karachi are increasingly falling prey to sectarian terrorists.

    By Naziha Syed Ali









    Dr. Syed Asad Bokhari’s 12-year-old son witnessed his father’s murder on June 16 this year. It was almost closing time that day when a man strode into Dr. Bokhari’s clinic in Saeedabad, Karachi, and fired several shots at him with a pistol, killing the doctor on the spot. The assailant escaped with his accomplice on a motorbike. Also present at the scene was a patient who was injured in the firing, as well as the compounder.

    Dr. Bokhari, 40, had five children between the ages of two and 15 years. Among his dependents were a widowed sister who has a son and a mentally handicapped daughter. Another sister weeps as she relates, “Our parents died several years ago and my brother was our family’s pillar of strength. He had visited me just the night before – I still can’t believe he’s gone.”

    The father of another doctor, 39-year-old Dr. Mohammed Ali, who was murdered in his Saddar clinic on December 13, ’94, breaks down when he recalls that fateful day. “It was late evening when the compounder saw a man with a blanket draped over his head and shoulders walk into my son’s room. When he heard gunshots, he first thought that something had broken. The next moment, the stranger dashed out of the clinic and fled with another man waiting outside in a car. My son was declared dead on arrival at the hospital.”

    Dr. Mohammed Ali’s father supports his son’s widow and four children with his income from a plastic goods store on Tariq Road. He says that three days before the murder, his son had reported his car being followed. Despite his family’s misgivings however, Dr. Mohammed Ali continued to visit his clinic and paid with his life.

    In one of the bylanes in Soldier Bazaar, the steel doors of Dr. Raza Pirani’s clinic are locked and the windows boarded up. Dr. Pirani was murdered outside the clinic on June 26 this year just as he was about to leave for home. Recalls a worker at an adjacent maintenance shop, “The doctor had been practicing here since 12 years and he was very popular, receiving more than 60 patients a day. There is great sadness at his death. The Hindus living in Bhangi Para nearby are particularly bereft because many of them used to seek treatment from him.” Dr. Pirani, 40, was the only brother of four sisters. His wife, who is also a doctor, is reportedly expecting their fourth child.

    The cases mentioned above are among those of approximately 70 doctors which the Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) says have been assassinated in Karachi over the past 10 years. The frequency of the killings has shown a disturbing increase. Last year six doctors were murdered, while the year 2001 has already claimed seven victims, four between May 31 to July 8 alone. According to Aftab Nabi, Inspector General Sindh Police, the murders were earlier ethnic in nature, but they have, since July 2000 to the present, taken on a distinctly sectarian dimension.

    The Tehrik-e-Jaffaria Pakistan (TJP) Sindh President, Allama Hasan Turabi, places the number of doctors murdered in Karachi since the early ’90s at 69, of which he says 60 were Shia while the rest were targetted because they bore names that are common among the Shia community. To support his contention, he cites the names of Dr. Aal-e-Hasan, his son Dr. Mohtashim, Dr. Abbas and Dr. Ishrat Hussain, who were among the Sunni doctors killed over the past few years. Allama Turabi adds that some days before his death, Dr. Ishrat Hussain received a phone call directing him to drop “Hussain” from his name. He refused to comply.

    Dr. Habib Soomro, general secretary of the Pakistan Medical Association (PMA), concurs with Allama Turabi’s view, although the PMA in its official stand has downplayed the sectarian aspect of the killings. Attesting to the fact that doctors in Karachi, particularly those belonging to the Shia sect, live in the shadow of fear, he cites the example of Dr. Shabbir Nawaz, whose Landhi clinic has been in existence for 20 years. “Dr. Shabbir, whose family also has agricultural holdings in the area, has been receiving threats for some time over his perceived ‘Iranian’ origins, as a result of which he has sent his wife and children to live in London. Meanwhile, he moves around accompanied by two guards provided by the commissioner of Karachi.”

    Incidentally, 600 constables in the Sindh police are deputed for the protection of various individuals deemed at risk for terrorist attacks.

    Dr. Tipu Sultan, President PMA Karachi, says, “Doctors are easy targets because they have a predictable routine and also when a doctor is killed, it creates depression among the public. Moreover, 70 per cent of the murdered doctors were general practitioners. It’s easy to walk into a GP’s clinic and shoot him. Specialists are not so easily accessible.” However, it is well-known that prominent urologist Dr. Adeeb Rizvi has long been on the terrorists’ hit list.

    There are several instances of doctors winding up their practice and settling abroad for fear of being assassinated. Dr. Soomro mentions the case of Dr. Hasan Habib, ENT surgeon at the Civil Hospital, who left with his family for Canada last month after receiving death threats. Dr. Habib was so apprehensive that he informed his colleagues of his impending departure from the airport, minutes before boarding his flight.

    The families of doctors who have fallen victim to assassins’ bullets continue to live in fear of reprisal if they pursue the case. Many, including Dr. Pirani’s family, have shifted to other localities where they hope to remain untraceable. The TJP has been requested by several families of slain Shias to desist from sending financial assistance through its representatives and instead deposit the money into bank accounts opened for the purpose. Witnesses to the murders balk at identifying the culprits. In the case of Dr. Pirani’s murder for instance, which was committed by two unmasked men in broad daylight outside the victim’s clinic in a narrow Soldier Bazaar lane bustling with hawkers and small shops, not one person can recall the faces of the killers. Even the drivers seated in the taxis routinely parked opposite the clinic deny having taken a clear look at the men.

    Informed sources allege that the virulently anti-Shia Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan (SSP), or more specifically, its militant wing, the Lashkar-i-Jhangvi (LJ), is involved in many of the doctors’ murders. In most of the cases since 1999, where arrests have been made, police records describe the accused as belonging to the SSP.

    According to Allama Turabi, even other Sunni sectarian parties do not deny SSP’s culpability in sectarian murders. Says he, “We are on good terms with both Deobandi and Barelvi ulema. In our private conversations, they denounce the SSP and those who kill Shias, but they maintain that if they condemn them publicly, they will become the SSP’s targets.” He adds that Ashraf Ali Thanvi, a Deobandi cleric, recently told him that because of the SSP, his family has discarded its tradition of naming boys Ali or Hasan.

    For his part, SSP leader Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Nadeem denies his party’s hand in the killings, maintaining that the LJ comprises those elements who have been expelled by the SSP and that “the SSP is a law-abiding party.” Sources within the police however, maintain that there is a symbiotic connection between the LJ and the SSP.

    According to statistics compiled by the Sindh police, 39 doctors were murdered since 1995. Sixteen of the victims were Shia and 17 Sunni. The sectarian affiliation of the remaining six victims is not specified in the records. Of significance however, is the fact that while the motives for killings before mid-2000 are listed under various heads such as terrorism, personal enmity, robbery etc., those after this date are almost invariably defined as sectarian.

    Allama Turabi believes that the increase in sectarian murders on the whole, including that of Shia doctors, is a consequence of the fact that the arrests made in various cases touch only the tip of the iceberg while the terrorists’ networks are left untouched. He cites the instance of the two SSP activists arrested for the murder of DSP Syed Sadiq Shah and his son. During interrogation, the accused admitted that they were responsible for the murder of 30 Shias. “Despite this,” he says, “only these two men were booked on the charge of murder. Committing 30 murders requires the abetment and active assistance of many people in the procurement of weapons, getaway vehicles etc. But instead of arresting the network of perhaps 100 people, they apprehended only two.”

    According to Turabi, the SSP recruits new contacts in jail through its imprisoned activists. The fresh recruits, upon their release, ensure the continuation of the party’s deadly agenda. Says he, “Ten maulvis of the Deobandi sect, to which the SSP and the entire jihadi cadre in Pakistan subscribes, visit Central Jail each day for tableegh (religious sermons). No Shia or Barelvi maulvis have permission to expound their views on religion to the prisoners.”

    Allama Turabi asserts that the SSP operates with impunity because it is propped up by intelligence agencies and also has sympathisers within the police force. He accuses Senior Superintendent Police West, Tariq Khokhar, of openly supporting the SSP to the extent that activists of the party cruise around the city in his official mobile. “Then there are some police officials who handle the SSP with kid gloves because they are afraid of them or have been paid off by them,” he says.

    Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Farooq Awan, who heads the Sindh police anti-terrorist wing, argues that while the SSP may have some supporters in the police and other law-enforcement agencies, so do the Shia sectarian parties.

    However, DSP Farooq Awan maintains that this support is covert. “How can terrorists with 20 lakh rupees head money be seen openly in the company of police officials?” he asks. “The SSP West, Tariq Khokhar, is accused by the TJP of abetting the Sipah-e-Sahaba because most of the sectarian killings have occurred in district west. But I know that when Khokhar was posted in the Punjab, the SSP was gunning for him.”

    However, there is evidence to corroborate the contention that the SSP’s influence permeates law-enforcement agencies; one of the suspects in Dr. Asad Bokhari’s murder is a member of the Rangers while in another case, a head constable of District South, Tariq Shafi, has been arrested, reportedly admitting in his subsequent interrogation that he is responsible for killing 25 Shias. Both men are members of the SSP.

    Another instance of the SSP having friends in high places was demonstrated last Ramazan when, after they were thwarted from taking out a procession in Gulshan-i-Iqbal, several SSP activists resorted to violence and vandalism. They were promptly arrested. Soon however, the SSP East, Captain Mir Zubair, received orders to set them free. When he refused to comply, a top police official, who was himself reportedly following directives from intelligence personnel, personally intervened and had the activists released. SSP Zubair was transferred from his post in mid-January 2001.

    The case of the Khoja doctor, Sibtain Dossa, who was murdered on April 2, 2000, is even more interesting in this respect. Of the four assailants, only one, a member of the SSP, was apprehended and identified by the sole witness to the killing. During the course of the trial, however, the judge, in an unprecedented step, had the murder re-enacted at the scene of the crime and vehemently contested the witness’ version. The accused was acquitted. Two of the absconding accused are reported to be the Jaish Mohammed chief, Maulana Masood Azhar’s bodyguards.

    In DSP Farooq Awan’s opinion, doctors like Sibtain Dossa were targetted on account of being Shias rather than because of their profession and he concurs with the assertion that the Sunni doctors who have been murdered in recent years were mostly victims of mistaken identity. “As doctors, with their predictable routines, they presented easy targets.” However, he refutes the belief that in recent years doctors have been murdered for sectarian reasons rather than ethnic as being too simplistic and says that the divide between the two categories is very fluid. “Ethnic groups have taken shelter behind sectarian outfits to achieve their objectives,” he maintains. Thus, he says, the Sipah-e-Mohammed and Pasban-i-Islam, the TJP’s militant wings, count on the tacit support of certain elements within the MQM (Altaf), while the SSP and LJ have their sympathisers within the MQM (Haqiqi).

    The increased frequency of sectarian killings of Shias in Karachi is explained by Farooq Awan as the result of a tussle between two factions of the LJ, the Riaz Basra group and the Qari Hye group. Qari Hye was Basra’s lieutenant and ran the latter’s training camp in Sarobi, Afghanistan, until the two fell out and formed their own respective factions of the Lashkar. While the majority of Hye’s supporters are Karachi-based, Basra’s activists have their roots in the Punjab, but with a substantial portion of LJ’s funding derived from wealthy benefactors in Karachi, both factions are jostling for a slice of the pie. Says Awan, “In order to get funding, each has to demonstrate that it is more active than the other. The result – more sectarian killings in Karachi.”

    The scale of funding to sectarian organisations is indicated by the recent admission of the SSP’s finance secretary, who was arrested by the police, that his organisation receives about 32 lakh rupees each year from Karachi alone for the sole purpose of posting bail, assisting its imprisoned activists and the families of deceased activists.

    Conceding that steps urgently need to be taken against sectarian killings in the city, Awan adds that Sindh must take a leaf out of the Punjab government’s book. “Why has the incidence of sectarian killings in the Punjab reduced so dramatically? One reason is that its government has given incentives by offering large amounts of reward money for the arrest of sectarian terrorists belonging to the province. There is reward money of 50 lakh rupees on Basra, 20 lakh on Akram Lahori, 5 lakh on Qari Hye, and so on. In Sindh, no reward has been offered for the arrest of even a single sectarian terrorist although rewards have been offered in the case of dacoits like Ahmadu Jagirani.” In Farooq Awan’s opinion, there are no more than 250 to 300 Lashkar-e-Jhangvi terrorists in the entire country and if concerted efforts are made, there is no reason why they cannot be apprehended.

    It appears that the Sindh police is indeed looking towards its counterpart in the Punjab. On the anvil are plans to restructure the anti-terrorist wing of the Sindh police, appoint the DIG, CID (central investigation department) as its head as in the Punjab and provide it with more funding and equipment to fight terrorist and sectarian crimes. Surveillance in sensitive areas of Karachi by plainclothes police and reward money for the arrest of sectarian terrorists has also been proposed.

    The legal system can also be a stumbling block for the successful resolution of sectarian crimes. DSP Farooq Awan says that even obtaining remand for suspects in sectarian murders is a problem because judges fear retaliation from terrorist networks. “In Haq Nawaz Jhangvi’s murder, the case passed through the hands of 40 judges,” he discloses.

    Meanwhile, a PMA delegation recently held a meeting with the governor of Sindh where the IG and DIG Police, health secretary, health minister and commissioner Karachi were also present, to express the medical community’s growing concern over the killing of doctors and urge immediate action against the assassins. The PMA has also held a meeting with top police personnel in this respect.

    TJP’s Allama Turabi says that he has met with various religious organisations as well as the commissioner Karachi to convey his distress at sectarian killings in the city, adding that his party may file a case in this context in Belgium, which has recently allowed international cases of human rights violations to be filed in its courts.

    Meanwhile, until sectarian and terrorist elements in the country are taken firmly to task, doctors in Karachi will continue to look over their shoulder at every step, in mortal fear of being the next victim of an assassin’s bullet
     
  17. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    TWO MORE SHIA MUSLIMS MARTYRED

    SFP News
    14th May 2010

    It was about 10 AM when two Shia Muslims named Abdul Samad Lehri and Babu Hassan Shaikh Alizai were martyred on DCO Road in Mastung District of Baluchistan. The both victims were converted to Shia while their family members belong to Sunni Sect.

    It was not just killing but killers raised slogans against Shiite and both victims were buried without any coffin, ablution (Ghusil) and Namaz-e-Janaza. It was a bitter human rights violation but media and so called human right institutes are unvoiced. Law enforcement agencies are silent spectators. Because of the silence of local authorities terrorists are encouraged.

    The situation shows that district and provincial government is on the back of terrorists who are killing innocent Shia Muslims. The stripe of Shia killings is openly continued in Baluchistan province since 2003. So many sectarian terrorist are released in Past regime and its also continue. In this situation no body can expect for justice, that’s very alaraming situtaiton for the safety and security of our beloved homeland Pakistan.

    Mastung is very safe place of Taliban terrorists in Baluchistan. In this area terrorists are free to shoot any body. In the same area of Mastung one Shia Teacher Abdul Qadir was also martyred just 9 days ago on 5th May 2010, while he was coming back from Post Office. In past, Shia Muslims have bore so much violence and terrorism. The history of Shaheed Abdul Khaliq Bangalzai is still unforgettable, when a decade ago he was brutally murdered, his home was burned and property was captured.
     
  18. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    Cleric accused of kidnapping, converting Hindu girl


    * Radha’s family claim she was forcibly converted in madrassa
    * Police ignoring family’s complaints, say they should forget about the girl

    By Afnan Khan

    LAHORE: The leader of a madrassa allegedly abducted a minor Hindu girl from Rahim Yar Khan and did not let her parents meet their daughter, claiming that the girl had converted to Islam and no longer wanted to meet her “non-Muslim relatives”.

    Radha (13) was abducted in December 2009, her parents told Daily Times, adding that they had “knocked on every door stretching from the president of Pakistan to Punjab chief minister and chief secretary, but to no avail”. “Local police, including the former and current district police officers of Rahim Yar Khan, are supporting the people who abducted Radha and are neither registering a first information report (FIR) against the accused, nor are they taking any action to recover the girl from the custody of Abdul Jabbar and Naveed,” they alleged.

    Several human rights activists and local Hindu leaders have termed the incident “another case of forced conversion” and slammed the government for not addressing the concerns of the victim’s family.

    Mehnga Ram – Radha’s father – told Daily Times that his daughter had been missing since December 21, 2009, and that the family had searched for her everywhere before some friends informed them that their girl was in the possession of the leader of the Darul Aloom in Khanpur.

    “We went to the Abdul Jabbar, the head of the madrassa, and others and requested them that our girl be returned to us.”

    Forget the girl: They initially denied that Radha was in their custody, but later admitted the fact only to then tell us that they could not allow us to meet our daughter since she had converted to Islam and did not want to see any of her non-Muslim relatives,” the father said, adding that he then went to the authorities, seeking to register an FIR against the culprits, but the police said they could not register an FIR because the “girl had converted and the family should just forget the matter”.

    “We took local Hindu leaders and other respected people to the authorities in order to push them to lodge an FIR against Abdul Jabbar, but the officials sent us to then DCO Imtiaz Gul, who after listening to our story took our applications, but did nothing except delay the case and make false promises,” Mehnga said, adding that for months, the family sent applications to “every authority”, but to no avail.

    He said there were only a few human rights activists and family friends who were supporting him because he was extremely poor and his only source of income was from a shoe polish stall, adding that local police officers and seminary heads – fearing any action that may be taken against them after the family started sending applications to the authorities concerned – had consented to arrange a meeting between Radha and any one of her family members and had also claimed that Radha had married a Muslim boy named Naveed.

    Prakash, Radha’s brother, who went to the meeting a few weeks earlier, told Daily Times that he had met Radha for only a few minutes in the presence of Naveed’s family members and people from the seminary.

    “There was absolute silence in the room. With tears in her eyes, Radha could only give short answers to my questions, including why she had gone missing and converted. My sister could only muster up the courage to say that she had converted and was happy,” Parkash said, adding that a few minutes into the meeting, he was told by the people in the room to leave and gave him a number on which he could contact Radha. “That number has been turned off from the day they provided it,” he said, adding that his family is extremely disappointed over being “ignored” by the authorities. “We only curse ourselves for being so poor and sometimes even for being non-Muslims in a country where religion matters. We are not expecting justice from any one and it is simply over for us now,” Prakash said.

    Separately, a human rights activist based in the area, Ramesh J Pal, told Daily Times that he had been one of the people who had attempted to pursue the Radha case and had raised the issue at every possible platform, but no significant result could be achieved. “I personally met Abdul Jabbar, but he never entertained any of our requests. This is a clear case of forced conversion. Meanwhile, Dr Araish Kumar, an MNA elected on the reserved seat for minorities, told Daily Times that Radha’s case was clearly one of forced conversion and that he would personally talk to Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif and request him to act against the seminary chief and the people behind the crime.

    However, Parliamentary Secretary for Human Rights Tahir Khalil Sindhu told Daily Times that he had received an application on the case and was already planning to take action against the people concerned.

    He said that he would bring the case to the notice of the Punjab CM so that action is taken against the culprits.
     
  19. Oracle

    Oracle New Member

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    Pakistani O ki zahaniyat hi aisi hai.
     
  20. nandu

    nandu Senior Member Senior Member

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    57 Pakistani Hindus convert to Islam 'under pressure'

    ISLAMABAD: Over 50 Pakistani Hindus have converted to Islam in the Sialkot district of Punjab within a week (between May 14 and May 19) under pressure from their Muslim employers in a bid to retain their jobs and survive in the Muslim-dominated society.

    As many as 35 Hindus converted to Islam on May 14, another 14 on May 17 and eight on May 19, 2010.

    All the 57 Hindus who have converted belong to the Pasroor town of Sialkot.

    According to some Pakistani electronic media reports, Mangut Ram, a close relative of some of the new converts, who lives in Sialkot, said that these Hindus had to embrace Islam because they were under pressure from their Muslim employers.

    He said four Hindu brothers along with their families lived in the village of Nikki Pindi. Mangut Ram said that Hans Raj, Kans Raj, Meena/Kartar and Sardari Lal along with his nephews and sons worked at an eatery in Karachi.

    According to Mangut Ram, his co workers often used to speak against Hindus in Karachi where his family worked. “The owner of the shop where I worked said that after a few months of his employing me the sales dropped drastically because people avoided purchasing and eating edibles prepared by Hindus. Many people opposed the large presence of Hindu employees at his shop and my boss felt pressured to change the situation,” he added.

    Ram said Sardari Lal and his brother Meena/Kartar had worked at the sweets shops for several years and made a decent living that allowed them to support their families.

    He said other Muslims employees of the nearby shops discriminated against them and persecuted them. The shop owner was forced to think about their future at his establishment. “That was when the two brothers and their families decided to embrace Islam in order to keep their jobs and be secure,” he added.

    Ram confirmed that 13 family members of Sardari Lal, 12 members of Meena/ Kartar, their nephew Kans Raj’s son Boota Ram along with three adults and several children of these families embraced Islam on May 14, 2010.

    He said that Sardari Lal’s older brothers Hans Raj and Kans Raj remained Hindus. Hans Raj too has said that he might consider converting to save his job. He said that life was ‘just easier if one was Muslim’ and he wouldn’t be discriminated against.

    Ram said that 14 Hindus of the Tapiala village had embraced Islam on May 17 because they were extremely poor and could not get jobs because no one would employ the large Hindu family.

    He said that another relative of his, Parkash, who lived in the village of Seowal, along with his eight family members had embraced Islam in order to save their lands.

    “After embracing Islam, Parkash Ram told me that Muslim neighbours had been mistreating him and had forced him to convert,” Mangut Ram said.

    http://www.dnaindia.com/world/report_57-pakistani-hindus-convert-to-islam-under-pressure_1388695
     
  21. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    ‘Punjab govt giving special treatment to arrested terrorist’


    * Ahmedis criticise authorities for allowing usage of cell phone to terrorist, arranging meeting between him and his family

    By Afnan Khan

    LAHORE: Ahmedis and rights activists have slammed the Punjab government for “its slackness” in dealing with the arrested terrorist, who was allegedly facilitated by the authorities to the extent of having the privilege of using a cell phone while in custody.

    They have said the entire country was in shock as to how a terrorist, who was caught red-handed while brutally massacring innocent people last Friday, could be facilitated in such a manner by the government and law enforcement agencies.

    “The news that the terrorist was allowed to use a cell phone in the hospital and that the authorities arranged a meeting between him and his family members sends a clear message to terrorists that their actions against any minority will be appreciated,” they said.

    Ahmedis’ spokesman Munawar Ali Shahid told Daily Times that the incidents after the terror attack gave a further sense of insecurity to the Ahmedis, as “they cannot believe that the government is naïve enough to facilitate an arrested, allowing him to communicate with his fellows on a cell phone”.

    “Several terrorist attacks have been seen in the past, but none of the terrorists were treated so lovingly… none were allowed to communicate with their fellows, who then attempt to free him and manage to safely escape… God knows what they had wanted to achieve and the worst part is that they are still at large,” Munawar said, adding that Ahmedis were law-abiding and patriotic citizens, “but under the current circumstances they are being discriminated against by the government… the only option that an Ahmedi has is either to leave the country or be killed at the hands of a terrorist”.

    Separately, Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Lahore President Ch Asghar Ali Gujjar told Daily Times that the terror attacks against Ahmedis were a “clear case of negligence” on the part of the Punjab government, as the minority group was never provided adequate security despite multiple requests.

    “People have lost faith in the Punjab government after the latter contested elections in coordination with terrorist outfits in Jhang and the way the authorities handled the Gojra incident makes it seem that they have an agenda against minorities,” he said, adding that an independent body should probe all such cases “because only then will the people get to know the truth”.

    Minorities’ rights activist Nadeem Anthony told Daily Times that there was a history of violence and persecution against minorities with regards to the current and previous reigns of the current rulers of Punjab.
     

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