Persecution of minorities in pakistan

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Some statistics regarding the persecution of Muslims of the Ahmadi / Ahmadiyya sect by their Muslim co-religionists in Pakistan.

While the the Ahmadi / Ahmadiyya sect of Islam undoubtedly faces the systematic and institutionalized discrimination of the Pakistani State, the degree of violence directed against them is quite low from the standpoint of violence unleashed against the minority Shia Muslim sect in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.

The wealth and influence of Ahmadi / Ahmadiyya sect of Islam appears to insulate them from being impacted by more of the egregious violence ostensibly motivated by the sunnis that is evident in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan:

The Agony of Pakistan's Ahmadiyya

Written by Aftab Alexander Mughal

Tuesday, 06 July 2010

Fundamentalist terrorism shows its ugly face at a pacifist sect ..............................

In the period 1984-2009, 105 Ahmadis were killed, according to two authors writing in Viewpoint, a Pakistani online magazine. "During the same period, 22 Ahmadiyya mosques were demolished, 28 were sealed by authorities, 11 were set on fire, and 14 were occupied while construction of 41 was banned. In at least 47 cases, burials were denied in common grave yards while 28 bodies were exhumed," the two wrote.

Since 2000, an estimated 400 Ahmadis have been formally charged in criminal cases, including blasphemy. According to one report, in 2009 at least 37 Ahmadis were charged under the general provisions of the blasphemy laws and more than 50 were charged under specific provisions of the law applying to Ahmadis. Many remain imprisoned.

Both printed and electronic Pakistani media have played a scandalous role in spreading hatred against the community. Recently, the Muslim Canadian Congress (MCC) blamed major media outlets in Pakistan for inflaming rhetoric against Ahmadiyya, Ismaili and Shia Muslims. In particular, the MCC pointed out that GEO Television has become the voice of al-Qaeda and the Taliban and spreads hate against these communities as well as against non-Muslims.

According to one report, "After the attacks some newspapers ran op-ed articles creating an impression as if these attacks were a violent consequence of the ongoing polemic between certain Muslim sects and the Ahmadiyyas." ................................

Asia Sentinel
 

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Pakistan sect endures persecution

No Pakistani minority is as victimized as the country's 4 million Ahmadis, who believe in Islam but are viewed by the rest of the country as heretics. There are even legal restrictions on them.
July 06, 2010|By Alex Rodriguez, Los Angeles Times
Reporting from Faisalabad, Pakistan — Rifles slung over their shoulders, the guards pacing in front of Naeem Masood's fabric shop glower at anyone who walks by. It's not thieves or vandals that Masood is worried about. He needs protection from assassins.


In April, the 29-year-old boyish-faced Pakistani found his father, brother and uncle slumped over in the seats of their car, their faces and chests riddled with more than 60 bullets. All of them were dead, victims of what Ahmadis in their Faisalabad enclave say was a deadly warning from extremists: Renounce your sect or leave the city.



No Pakistani minority is as victimized as the country's 4 million Ahmadis, who believe in Islam but are viewed by the rest of the country as heretics. Because they revere another prophet as well as the prophet Muhammad, the Pakistani government has declared Ahmadis "non-Muslims," made it a crime for members to refer to their places of worship as mosques and even barred them from extending the common Muslim greeting, salaam aleykum.

The Ahmadi community's vulnerability was evident May 28, when Pakistani Taliban gunmen stormed two Ahmadi mosques in Lahore, Pakistan's second-largest city, and killed more than 90 people caught in a maelstrom of gunfire, grenades and suicide bombings.

Though Pakistan is a multiethnic and multilingual society, it has a long history of marginalizing minority groups. Shiite Muslims have been the target of radical Sunni Muslim groups for years. Last year, in the central Punjab city of Gojra, a mob of 1,000 angry Muslims set more than 40 Christian homes ablaze, killing seven people.

The plight of the Ahmadi community, however, provides a window onto the intolerance that permeates Pakistani society. Ahmadis say the risk they face is heightened by the fact that, in a society where hard-line religious parties wield unchallenged clout, they are viewed as traitors to Islam.

Ahmadis consider themselves Muslims but believe that their late-19th century founder, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, was a prophet of God, a belief viewed as heresy by Pakistani Muslims who regard Muhammad as Islam's final prophet.The sect's marginalization was set into motion in 1974 when Pakistan's parliament enacted the law branding Ahmadis as non-Muslims. The crackdown on the Ahmadis intensified in the 1980s during the rule of Gen. Zia ul-Haq, who ordered a maximum three-year prison term for any Ahmadi who called himself a Muslim, carried out the Muslim call to prayer or referred to an Ahmadi place of worship as a mosque."As a result of Zia's decrees, the state facilitated the mullahs who were already against us," said Syed Mehmood, spokesman for the Ahmadi community in Faisalabad. "That's when the persecution started. Hundreds of Ahmadis were jailed just because they said Salaam aleykum."

Mehmood said the persecution continues today, forcing Ahmadis in Faisalabad to find creative ways to survive. As a result of the killings of the three Ahmadi businessmen in April, along with recent kidnappings and other acts of violence against Ahmadis, community members routinely change their routes to and from home, vary the time of day they arrive and leave work, and lie when asked on the phone about their whereabouts. Many of them have put their social lives — going to parties, meeting friends for lunch or tea — on hold.

At Zaheer Malik's Toyota dealership, a gleaming glass and silver-paneled building out of place amid the cinder-block merchant stalls on the outskirts of Faisalabad, tall, broad-shouldered armed guards stand watch in the parking lot as well as at the foot of the stairs leading to Malik's second-floor office.

Malik, a wealthy Pakistani Ahmadi in his mid-30s, says he has received several threats recently, including one in May in which a man came to the showroom and urged his driver to quit. "They told him, 'Your boss is not a Muslim and we might do something to him,' " Malik said. " 'It'll be better if you leave the job. We don't want you to die with him.'

"For last the month, I can't go to the gym, I can't go anywhere to have dinner, can't go to parties, I just stay home," Malik said. "Every day I'm changing schedules, changing cars. Every day I'm telling someone I'm in Lahore when I'm really in Faisalabad, or I'm in Dubai when I'm actually in Karachi."Omar Ahmed, 27, keeps a pistol with him at all times and stations armed guards outside his jewelry store. Ahmed took over the shop after his father, Ashraf Pervaiz, was killed in the same hail of bullets that killed Masood's father, Masood Javed, and his brother, Asif Masood. Ahmed says that if he could leave Pakistan, he would. But his predicament is the same as Naeem Masood's: As elder sons, they have to stay for the sake of their families and the family businesses."We're in a battlefield every day," Ahmed said. "We have to live with the fact that we are Ahmadis."

Ahmadis say they don't expect much help from city police, who they say have shown little interest in solving crimes committed against their community. Masood said he recently visited police headquarters to ask whether investigators had made any progress finding the killers of his father, brother and uncle.

"They said, 'You tell us the names of the gunmen, and we will go and capture them,' " Masood said.

Rao Sardar, a top Faisalabad police official, said it's not a question of police indifference but a simple matter of manpower. The Faisalabad district has a police force of 7,000 officers charged with securing a population of 8 million, he said.

"That's a very low ratio, and that's the problem," Sardar said. "We're doing all we can do."

Ahmadis say police indifference is only part of the problem. Laws that brand Ahmadis, a minority regarded elsewhere in the world as a Muslim sect, as non-Muslims only serve to breed intolerance within Pakistani society, large segments of which are illiterate and easily swayed by radical imams and the country's powerful patchwork of religious parties.

A neighborhood's lack of reaction to an act of persecution against an Ahmadi often provides an example of that intolerance. A year ago, Laeeq Ahmed was driving home from work when, a few hundred yards from his house, gunmen sprayed his car with bullets. Ahmed's wife, Nuzhat Laeeq, rushed to her husband, who was still alive but unconscious, and pleaded with bystanders to help. The crowd ignored her, she said.

Ahmed died the next day in a hospital. Later, witnesses of the slaying described to Laeeq what had happened, how the gunmen had celebrated afterward by chanting, "We have killed an infidel!" Despite the presence of witnesses, however, the crime remains unsolved.

"We believe that the government, its legal system and the people here won't help us," Laeeq said, speaking in a hushed, quavering voice behind a black veil. "The police won't give us any kind of investigation. We have left our fate, and this case, up to God."
 

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Fayyaz Hussain Naqvi, the 11th Shia to die for nothing


The 11th victim of sectarian target killings in two months was buried in Orangi on Tuesday. Twenty-four year old Fayyaz Hussain Naqvi was ambushed and shot by two men on motorcyles while on his way home from a motorcyle factory where he worked.

According to witnesses, he was shot dead from a close distance by two youngsters, one with a beard and the other cleanshaven. "When he reached Café Taskeen hotel, they fired at him and fled on their bikes as he fell to the ground," a witness said. People standing around said they took his body to Abbasi Shaheed Hospital.


"He died at the gate of the hospital," said Junaid, who accompanied the body. Doctors corroborated this, saying he arrived at 8:30am and expired at the time of arrival.

Abbasi Shaheed MLO Dr Sheeraz told The Express Tribune that it appeared that he was hit from less than 12 metres away. "He sustained two injuries in the head," the MLO said. Pistols were used and the wounds were one centimetre deep. The killing took place in the jurisdiction of Iqbal police station, Orangi 11 1/2. SHO Haji Liaquat Ali told The Express Tribune that as far as their investigations had revealed, the young man had no political affiliations. An FIR was registered against unnamed people.

Soon after the incident, protesters gathered at the hospital and shouted slogans against the government for failing to prosecute the killers in sectarian violence.

Scared shopkeepers in Pakistan Bazaar market, at Dua Chowk and in Rizvia shut down. News also spread to some parts of Nazimabad. The police were sent in.

Naqvi was buried in the graveyard in Orangi after funeral prayers at a Rizvia Society imambargah.

He had two brothers and four sisters. According to the police, he was not married. He and his family had been living at the house of their uncle Jaffer Hussain since their father passed away.

For the last one week, the killers have been using a new technique. They arrive at the spot on separate motorcycles instead of two men on one. This makes it easy for them to take off in different directions after the incident.

The Jafferia Alliance of Pakistan has said that 22 members of the Shia sect have been shot dead over the last one month. The police say, however, that only 10 Shias were killed in June and July. When contacted, the JAP said it could not give a list of the victims and places where they were targeted. Fayyaz Naqvi is the 11th official victim.

An incensed Senator Allama Abbas Komaili condemned the attack, saying the government had failed to provide security to the citizens of Pakistan.

All Parties Conference today

An all parties conference will be held today, Wednesday at the Karachi Arts Council where religious leaders will come together to form a joint policy against terrorism, said Jafferia Alliance Pakistan chief Komaili at a meeting with the Sunni Tehreek's Shahid Ghouri on Tuesday. "Terrorists are openly targeting Shias and Sunnis," he said. "Had the government caught the terrorists involved in the Nishtar Park, Ashura and Chehlum attacks and punished them, the Data Darbar incident would not have taken place."

One faction is manipulating others into following them, while those who do not agree are subjected to terror, alleged Komaili. "Those who have been caught have yet to be punished while some have even been allowed to escape," he alleged.

Ghouri supported his call for accountability. "How will peace be restored to the country if the government refuses to take action?" asked Ghouri.

Ahle Sunnat and Ahle Tehreek leaders said that they would unite on Wednesday

Deoband leaders on sectarian killings

Deoband ulema Maulana Asad Thanvi, Mufti Usmanyar Khan and Mufti Muhammad Naeem said that people involved in sectarian violence are "enemies of the country" as well as religious sects and political parties.

"Our peaceful position should not be considered a weakness. We know how to answer a brick with a stone," the ulema said.

They spoke against demands put forth by Mufti Muneebur Rehman, Shah Turabul Haq and Shehzada Fazle Kareem, going so far as to urge a ban on Kareem in Sindh. "Terrorists do not belong to any religion, sect or race. They breed terror only for the sake of terrorism," they concluded.
 

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Gojra riots: culprits still at large


After losing eight members of his family in the Gojra attacks on July 31 last year, Almas Hameed decided to leave Pakistan. The police have not made any progress in arresting those who killed his family members and his attempts to pursue the case were resulting in death threats.

"He was unable to deal with the pressure to withdraw his case so he decided to leave the country," a member of a 13-people committee formed by the Christian community to pursue the case told The Express Tribune.

Eleven months have passed since eight Christians were burnt alive in Gojra, district Toba Tek Singh, and 60 houses looted and set on fire. Soon after, a case under section-7 of the Anti Terrorism Act was registered against 17 identified and 800 unidentified people, but none of the accused have so far been convicted.

The attacks were reportedly triggered by a complaint received by a mosque that a Christian had committed blasphemy at a wedding ceremony in a nearby village.

As tensions escalated over the accusation, a mob gathered in Gojra and decided to attack Christians in retaliation.

While hundreds of 'unidentified suspects' have been presented before the court over the past year, those who were nominated in the FIR have yet to be arrested. At least 17 suspects were nominated, of which eight were declared innocent during the investigations.

The Christian community alleges that the police released the accused because of political pressure.

Accused moving freely

William Prakash, the president of the committee, says that some of the men who attacked the houses are clearly identifiable in the video footage of the incident.

"Khalid Paanwala was the one who threw the Bible in the air and fired at it. He is clearly visible in the video, but the police have not arrested him. In fact, he roams freely in the locality," says Prakash.

Funyas Paul, another member of the committee, said that the community is not satisfied with the progress of the case. "Qari Noor Muhammad, one of the men nominated in the FIR, was the one who motivated Muslims in the area [through the mosque's loudspeakers] to attack the houses belonging to Christians. But he is yet to be arrested."

Qadeer Awan, a noted political figure of the area, is another person who was nominated in the FIR but declared innocent, they complain. In fact, when Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif visited the area after the attacks, he met with Awan, who is a Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz supporter.

"More than 100 people recorded their statements against Awan, who is known to be affiliated with a banned militant organisation," Paul Joseph, another member of the committee, says. Joseph adds that he has reports about Awan inviting trained militants from Jhang to assist in the attack, but was unable to prove this claim.

Meanwhile, Naveed Masih alias Naveed Fauji, one of the prime witnesses in the case, faces death threats by activists of Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan (SSP). He had given refuge to several Christians during the attack.

"I have been constantly receiving threats and avoid stepping out of my house in the evenings. My crime is that I resorted to aerial firing to keep the mob away from attacking my house where my neighbours were hiding," he says.

Following the riots, Federal Minister for Minorities Shahbaz Bhatti had also hinted at the SSP's involvement in the riots.

Naveed is also nominated in an FIR filed by some of the Muslims from the area a week after the incident and was even arrested. They denied that Christians were attacked and instead claim that it was a fight between the two communities with blame on both sides.

Arthur Gill, another witness in the case, says that since many of their supporters have been implicated in the cross-version FIR, their case has become weak.

Case progressing well: police

DPO Toba Tek Singh, Rana Ahmad Hussain, says that there wasn't enough evidence against those declared innocent. "There were hundreds of people in the mob. We can't possibly charge all those who were just standing around at the time of the attack."

Hussain also denies the involvement of any banned organisation in the attack. "The police have done their job. The case is now in the court and is proceeding well."

Disappointed

Prakash added that a Lahore-based organisation, which had offered to provide the Christians legal assistance, later pressurised them to reconcile with the accused. "Almas Hameed withdrew his case and the committee allowed him to leave the country, but we have decided to contest the case on our own once Almas sends us the power of attorney, which he has promised to do."

Reverend John Samuel, Bishop of the Diocese of Faisalabad, also expresses his disappointment with the indifferent attitude of the government towards the Christian community.

"New houses have been built in place of those that were burnt, but those responsible for the attack are not convicted. Compensation is not enough; justice should also be served," he says.
 

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Pakistan minorities nervous after Ahmedi mosque attacks


Many members of Pakistan's minorities are uneasy about the future and their concerns have been heightened by the storming of two mosques in the Pakistani city of Lahore in May.

Nearly 100 people died in the sectarian attack on the Ahmedi sect and it is making other minority religions think hard about their safety.

Aleem Maqbool reports from the town of Rabwah, in Punjab.
 

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Okara landlord 'detains' 43 Christians as punishment


* Demands family produces his daughter who allegedly eloped with Christian boy or face death
* Warns of burning alive detainees in their houses


By Afnan Khan Lodhi

LAHORE: A landlord based in Okara has allegedly detained at least 43 Christians of a family after his daughter eloped with a Christian boy a few days back.

The landlord has threatened killing all the detainees if the couple is not handed over to him.

One of the relatives of the detained Christians, Irshad Masih, told Daily Times that the detainees were residents of village 11-1/L of Renala Khurd tehsil. He said there are around 10 houses of Christians in a village in the tehsil and the landlord, Muhammad Ashraf, has detained all of them in their houses.

Irshad said Ashraf's armed guards were manning the area around the detainees' houses and have warned of burning the people alive in their houses if the family failed to produce the eloped couple. He said the issue developed when his cousin Basharat Masih, who worked as a cook with an army colonel in Rawalpindi quit his job and moved to the village, where he allegedly developed relations with a Muslim girl named Nadia.

Irshad said Nadia's mother Shahnaz Bibi visited Basharat's house in the evening of June 21 and told his mother that Nadia had been missing since morning, asking her if she had a clue about Nadia's whereabouts.

Shahnaz also warned the family that they should expel Basharat from the village or her family would kill him.

Irshad said after this development, they warned Basharat to stay away from the village, and the family had no contact with him since that day.

He said now the whole village had turned against the Christians living in the area, adding that the detainees have been deprived of their telephones and the landlord, Ashraf, was personally receiving the phone calls of the detained Christians.

Irshad said village elders Lambardar Muhammad Jamil, Muhammad Aslam Fauji and Muhammad Akram were also leading the drive against the Christians with Ashraf, and were continuously harassing the relatives to produce the couple or else be ready to see their relatives burnt alive in their own houses.

He said the relatives had approached the police to get an FIR registered and to demand the provision of security, but the police had refused to cooperate, saying it was a religious issue and the Christians should heed Ashraf's demands.

Irshad told Daily Times that he was also receiving death threats for pursuing the case of his detained relatives.

He said the family had no clue about Basharat or Nadia's whereabouts and it could not be said for sure if the two were together or not.

Irshad said one of his friends had made him visit a non-government organisation, Community Development Initiative, which had taken him to a court of law for justice.

CDI Executive Director Asif Aqeel and field officer Napolean Qayyum told Daily Times that they had taken the case to the court in order to get a bailiff appointed for securing the detainees' release.

The case was presented before Renala Khurd District and Sessions Judge Shafiqur Rehman Khan who issued directions to the SHO concerned to produce the detainees on June 25.
 

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Hindus hounded into cattle pen in Karachi

July 09, 2010 13:00 IST

In an incident which showcases the brutal hatred with which Hindus are seen in Pakistan, at least 60 members of the minority community, including women and children, were forced to abandon their house in Karachi's Memon Goth area just because a Hindu boy drank water from a cooler outside a mosque.
Local tribesman, who hold a good clout in the area, thrashed several Hindus forcing them to run away and take shelter in a near by cattle pen, The News reports. "All hell broke loose when my son, Dinesh, who looked after chickens in a farm, drank water from a cooler outside a mosque. Upon seeing him do that, the people of the area started beating him up," said Meerumal, a resident of the area. "Later, around 150 tribesmen attacked us, injuring seven of our people, who were taken to the Jinnah Hospital," he added.


One of the injured, Heera, said that another 400 families of the area were also being threatened to leave their households and settle elsewhere. "Our people are even scared of going out of their houses. We are also putting up with living in the filthy pen because we cannot go home for fear of being killed," Heera said.

Police officials are aware about the incident, but they have failed to take any steps to stop the atrocities being meted out to the minority community."A trivial incident led to riots between the people of the area. Since both the communities happened to be illiterate, the matter just flared up," said Memon Goth Station House Officer.


Meanwhile, Minority Affairs Minister Dr Mohan Lal has assured Hindus of full government protection. "I have directed the DPO and the SHO to ensure that these people go back to their houses safely," Lal said.

Source: ANI
 

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Muslim Mob Kills Wife, Children of Christian in Pakistan

All men will hate you because of me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved. - Matthew 10;22

Today we have a report from Compass Direct which is sharing the sad news that has killed the wife and children of a Christian in Pakistan. And what add insult to injury is that the authorities are refusing to file any charges against those who killed this family. Please say a prayer for this family that is grieving, and also ask the Lord for justice to come to this situation.

Fearing local religious leader, area police refuse to file murder complaint.

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, July 8 (CDN) — A Muslim mob in Jhelum, Pakistan murdered the wife and four children of a Christian last month, but local authorities are too afraid of the local Muslim leader to file charges, according to area Muslim and Christian sources.

Jamshed Masih, a police officer who was transferred 50 kilometers (31 miles) from Gujrat to Jhelum, Punjab Province, said a mob led by Muslim religious leader Maulana Mahfooz Khan killed his family on June 21 after Khan called him to the local mosque and told him to leave the predominantly Muslim colony. Jhelum is 85 kilometers (53 miles) south of Islamabad.


"You must leave with your family, no non-Muslim has ever been allowed to live in this colony – we want to keep our colony safe from scum," Khan told Masih, the bereaved Christian told Compass.
 

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HRCP report terms 2010 'very violent' year for Karachi




Saturday, July 10, 2010
By By our correspondent
Karachi

The year 2010 is turning out to be an extremely violent one for the city, as around 889 people have been murdered and some 260 killed in target killing incidents during the last six months, says a report released by the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP). Last year, 884 murders and 156 targeted killings were reported.

The report states that the HRCP is deeply concerned over the rising incidents of murders and target killings despite repeated assurances by the government that all steps would be taken to control the spate of killings.

Among the victims of the target killings, 139 were affiliated with political parties while 105 were apolitical. The figure also includes 16 people killed in different incidents of sectarian violence.

The data states that 34 workers of the MQM-Haqiqi have been killed in the last six months, followed by the Muhattida Qaumi Movement with 22 workers. The Awami National Party had lost around 16 party workers while 11 members of the Pakistan People's Party have been killed. The Sunni Tehreek has lost four of its members, while three each from the Sipah-e-Sahaba and the Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) have been killed.

Meanwhile, some 889 murders have been reported over the last six months, which includes 99 women and 39 children. A majority of the murders took place in June when 181 people were killed.

The East Zone of the city has witnessed more bloodshed than any other zone with 274 murders, followed by 204 in the South, 187 in West, 154 in Central and 70 in Malir district.

Around 113 people have been killed in incidents of personal enmity, 77 kidnapped and killed, 47 killed during robbery, 40 people in the Lyari gang war, 27 dead in bomb blasts, and19 killed by stray bullets, five killed by police torture, four killed in jails, and others.

Violent incidents against women have also been on the rise during the last six months as around 42 women have been killed in the first six months of the year as compared to 42 women killed in 2009. Meanwhile, 39 children in different incidents have been killed so far.
 

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Two Shia martyred by Nasabi's terrorists of Sipah-e-Sahaba


Two Brothers martyred and cousin brutally injured in terrorists Attack.


Ahlul Bayt News Agency (ABNA.ir), Pakistan -- The target killing of Shia Muslims in Balochistan continues with two more Shia Muslim Hassan Ali and Shuja Ali martyred by the terrorists of outlawed Nasabi's outfit Sipah-e-Sahaba and Taliban.

Two brothers namely Hasnain Ali and Shuja Ali were martyred by the firing of Nasabai's motor bikers near Liaqat Bazaar while one person Naveed Ali was injured in the incident.

Deceased are said to be the nephews of Kandahari Imam Bargah's president Mohammad Ali Lala and the injured Naveed Ali is the son of Mohammad Ali Lala. Bodies have been shifted to Civil Hospital Quetta, while the injured has been taken to a private hospital after initial treatment at the civil hospital.

Security forces cordoned off the area after the incident, preventing the people to go near the crime site.

The ulterior motives of the terrorist is to terrorize, the innocent Shia community by continious target Killing in Balochistan, Quetta, Karachi and Other parts of the Country , as the Nasabi's terrorists organizations Punjabi Taliban , Sipah-e-Sahab , Lashkar Jahngvi have been heavily funded again and therefore they have regrouped in every parts of the country to create destablize the country through creating unrest and chaos.

Terrorists are moving freely inside country specially in Quetta, Karachi and Dera Ismail Khan. There is strong hidden support to terrorists. They can easily escape from courts or from police custody while they are also released by judiciary. Recent attack on city court Karachi and flee of four terrorists from court under police custody is a clear sign of week grip of administration. Hundreds of doctors, professionals, businessmen, security persons, religious scholars, common people and from every walk of life have lost their lives by banned outfits Islamic terrorists. While Islam is religion of peace and it insists on harmony and brotherhood
 

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Another shia minority killing in parachinar.

Militants kill 16 in Pakistan convoy ambush


A suspected sectarian attack on a civilian convoy in a troubled tribal area of Pakistan has left 16 dead.

Several other people were wounded in the ambush in the north west, where the army has carried out operations against Islamist militants.

The convoy, which was being escorted by security forces, was attacked in Char Khel village in the Kurram region.

All those killed were Shia Muslims, according to local officials, who said the death toll may rise.

The convoy was heading from Parachinar, in Kurram, to the main regional city of Peshawar when it was ambushed on Saturday in the predominantly Sunni region.

The Kurram tribal district has been a flashpoint for violence between the minority Shias and the Sunni community for several years.

Some reports put the number of dead at 18, including two women.

Jamshed Tori, who was wounded in the attack, told the Reuters news agency: "Militants attacked the last two vehicles in the convoy with automatic weapons near Char Khel village, killing 18 people."

A tribal leader, Mussrat Bangash, also confirmed the deaths.


Kurram has been hit by scores of attacks, including robberies and kidnappings for ransom, in the past three years.

The army has reportedly killed nearly 100 militants in operations in the region, close to the Afghan border, in recent months.

Several major suicide attacks have hit Pakistan in recent weeks. An attack on Thursday killed at least five people in the Swat Valley, also in north west.

Earlier this month, a pair of suicide bombers blew themselves up in the Mohmand tribal region, killing more than 100 people.

The Pakistani government is under US pressure to crack down on the unrest in the border region.

The Shia minority accounts for some 20% of Pakistan's population of 160 million.

More than 4,000 people have died as a result of sectarian violence between Sunnis and Shias since the late 1980s.
 

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Blasphemy accused shot dead in Faisalabad

Upadated on: 19 Jul 10 07:34 PM


Staff Report

FAISALABAD: Two brothers accused of writing a blasphemous pamphlet were shot dead on Monday outside a court in Faisalabad.

A Sub-inspector, who was escorting them to a courtroom for hearing, also sustained injures in the ambush.

Two brothers, Rashid and Asif, were arrested on July 2 from Warispura town of Faisalabad on charges of carrying out blasphemy.

Sub-Inspector Muhammad Hussain was taking the accused to court when unknown assailants opened indiscriminate fire on them.

Both brothers were rushed to hospital where they were pronounced dead.

Doctor Rana Bashir, chief of main Allied Hospital in the city confirmed the deaths and said the wounded police officer was undergoing surgery.

The Police cordoned off all the Christian localities after the firing incident. SAMAA


AFP states same incident as....................

2 Pakistani Christians killed at courthouse

By CHRIS BRUMMITT (AP) – 2 hours ago
ISLAMABAD — Gunmen killed two Pakistani Christian brothers accused of blasphemy against Islam as they left court on Monday, a government minister and police said.
The men were chained together when the attack took place in the eastern city of Faislabad as they were being taken back into custody after their court appearance.
They were arrested a month ago after leaflets allegedly bearing their names and featuring derogatory remarks against the Prophet Muhammad were found in the town, said Shahbaz Bhatti, the minister for minority affairs. He said mosques in Faislabad had called for the men to be attacked.
Bhatti said he suspected the men were falsely accused of blasphemy by people with a grudge against them. Their families had maintained their innocence, he said.
The brothers were killed by two gunmen as they left court, said police officer Rana Ahmed Hasan. A police officer accompanying the men was wounded, he said, adding the killers escaped.
Pakistan's blasphemy laws have been often criticized by religious minorities and human rights activists.
In its latest report on religious freedom in Pakistan, the U.S. State Department said the laws are often abused to settle local disputes and discriminate against minorities.
Muslims make up an estimated 97 percent of Pakistan's 180 million people, most of them Sunni.
Bhatti said he believed the brothers were innocent.
"I personally don't think that anyone who wrote derogatory things against Muhammad would put their names on the bottom," he said. "This was just to settle a personal issue."
Bhatti has long campaigned against the blasphemy laws, which were introduced President Gen. Zia ul-Haq in the 1980s to win the support of hard-line religious groups.
Repealing them now would likely meet opposition from the same groups, something that could cause unrest.
Associated Press Writers Babar Dogar in Lahore and Zarar Khan in Islamabad contributed to this report.
 
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Ahmedia guard killed


Staff Report

ISLAMABAD: A gunman of an Ahmedia worship place was killed mysteriously late night in the limits of Shahzad Town Police Station on Monday.

Tanvir Ahmed, the gun man of Ahmedia worship place Baitul Zikr in Dhok Mallah, village Malot, was shot.

Tanvir was deputed on the roof of Baitul Zikr and police spokesman told Daily Times that he might have shot himself by mistake. He said the case is under investigation.

Two died: Two people were killed in the federal Capital on Monday in different incidents.

Police found the dead body of a 45-year-old man identified as Parvez Tanoli, near OPF School in sector H-8 Industrial Area and shifted the body to Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS). Medical Legal Officer of PIMS said deceased was strangulated with hands.

Meanwhile, in the limits of Sihala Police Station, a 16-year-old boy, Usman Jahan Dad drowned in Swan Nullah. Duty officer Assistant Sub Inspector (ASI) Azkar said Jahan Dad a resident of Model Town, dived into the nullah and drowned. His body could not be recovered till filing of this report.

House burgled: Valuables worth of Rs 5 million were stolen from the house of former federal minister Raja Shahid Zafar's relative in the limits of Koral police station.

Unidentified burglars broke the locks of house No 1424, street 37, phase-IV, Bahria Town and looted cash 122-tola gold and jewellery worth of Rs 5 million.

Owner of house, Muhammad Arshad Kyani told Koral police that some burglars broke into his house in absence of his family and made away with valuables.

Kyani's wife said she was relative of a political personality former minister Raja Shahid Zafar and she had sold some land for Rs 17.5 million located in Airport Housing Society and purchased that jewellery.

Koral Police Station Investigation Officer Orangzaeb told Daily Times that the burglars had broken the door of main entrance and stole jewellery from cupboard, which was unlocked. The housemaid had left the job a month ago, but police were considering to investigating her.

The police have registered First Information Report against unknown criminals.
 

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Sargodha attack




Tuesday, July 20, 2010
The city of Sargodha in the heart of Punjab has faced sectarian violence before. Things however have been relatively quiet for some years. The suicide bombing at an Imambargah on Sunday evening, as worshippers emerged after offering Maghrib prayers, ends this lull. Somewhere between three to five people are reported dead; over 15 have been injured. Like many others who have struck before, the bomber was stated to be young – perhaps in his teens. We seem to be facing an assault by a variety of terrorists – all pursuing marginally different agendas. Sectarian attacks have increased over the last year; random bombings continue; explosions aimed at creating fear take place in the name of enforcing morality and in the north security personnel face regular attacks. The trend shows that the dangers we face today are acute; there is no sign yet that things are set to improve.

This sectarian violence raises also the fear of counter-attacks. It is feared this may be happening in Karachi. In the 1990s they ravaged Punjab. Somehow the cycle of violence has to be stopped. It has already split society into far too many groups and factions, pitched against each other. This destructive pattern needs to be ended. Sectarian harmony is essential to our survival as a nation able to live in harmony. The fact that it continues to be marred in so many places marks a dismal failure and underscores the menace posed by outfits that, despite the bans imposed on them, were permitted to continue activities.
 

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Pakistan city tense after 'blaspheming' Christians shot


Police reinforcements have been called in the Pakistani city of Faisalabad a day after two Christians charged with blasphemy were shot dead outside court.

Clashes broke out in the city, home to a large Christian community, after the brothers were gunned down.

Pastor Rashid Emmanuel, 32, and Sajid, 24, were accused of writing a pamphlet critical of the Prophet Muhammad; a rights activist said they were framed.

Pakistan's controversial blasphemy law carries the death penalty.

A police officer who was escorting the brothers from a district court on Monday was critically wounded when the unidentified gunmen opened fire and then escaped.At least 10 people were reportedly injured as stone-throwing and rioting broke out in a Christian neighbourhood of the city afterwards.

Police reinforcements from nearby districts have been called in to restore order.

The brothers, from the Waris Pura area of Faisalabad, were arrested earlier this month.

The complainant in the case, a local trader, Khurram Shehzad, alleged that one of his employees was handed a pamphlet by someone at Faisalabad's general bus stand.

He said the paper contained disrespectful remarks about the Prophet Muhammad.

Police told the BBC the pamphlet had apparently been signed by the two brothers, whose addresses and mobile phone numbers were also given.

But Atif Jameel, spokesman for the Pakistan Minorities Democratic Foundation, told the BBC: "No-one in his right mind would issue a derogatory pamphlet against the Prophet and put his name and address on it.

"This appears to be a conspiracy against peace and religious harmony in Faisalabad."

Earlier this month, several hundred demonstrators marched to the Waris Pura slum, which is home to nearly 100,000 Christians, and demanded the death penalty for the two accused.

Although no-one has ever been executed under Pakistan's blasphemy law, about 10 accused have been murdered before the completion of their trial, according to a BBC Urdu correspondent in Lahore.

Dozens more are living in exile to avoid punishment under the legislation.

Human rights activists want the law repealed as they say it is often exploited by Islamist extremists or those harbouring personal grudges
 

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Historic Hindu Mandir being demolished





Tuesday, July 20, 2010

By Faisal Kamal Pasha

RAWALPINDI: A pre-partition 87-year-old Hindu Mandir adjacent to 'Shamshan Ghat' in Rawalpindi is facing demolition despite strong protest by the Hindu-Sikh community of the city.

According to an official of the Auqaf Department, Rawalpindi, the building was not a Mandir and it was sealed back in 2005 and was later auctioned to a person for Rs25,000 per month. The said person could not deposit one-year advance amount of rent to Auqaf upon which the department had cancelled his agreement, he added. He said the said person then went to the court and the court decided in his favour and later he gave the building to another party (a media group) on rent, which is now demolishing the historical building. The head of the Hindu and Sikh community Jagmohan Kumar while rejecting theversion of the Auqaf Department told The News that the building is a Mandir and the Hindu community used it to perform last rituals before cremating their dead. He said that there was a Pundit of the Mandir who used to perform the rituals before cremation.

"The two kanals land for 'Shamshan Ghat' was allocated to the Hindu community during the first tenure of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto when Kishan Chand Parwani was the federal minister for minorities in her cabinet. The Mandir itself is built over two kanals, which is now being demolished while the open area is being maintained for the community, he said.

According to him the original area of the 'Shamshan Ghat' land was 277 kanals and there were several Mandirs along the Tipu Road and Nullah Leh. Some of these Mandirs were demolished before the partition while many were razed to ground after the Babri Masjid was demolished in 1992 in India.

Most of these Mandirs are under the administrative control of Auqaf Department that has rented them out to different people. There were several Mandirs in the adjacent localities of Raja Bazaar where one could now see residential apartments.

Aneel Parshad, a member of the Hindu community, asked how the Muslims would feel if there were people living inside a mosque using it for residential purpose. According to the plaque fixed on the building, Lala Tansukh Rai, the Raees-e-Azam Rawalpindi, had constructed the Mandir in memory of his wife.

Jagmohan Kumar told The News that the building was not in use due to its dilapidated condition. "When the federal minister of the Benazir Bhutto cabinet gave the 'Shamshan Ghat' to the community, the Auqaf Department at that time had assured us that the Mandir would be handed over to us after renovation, which never happened.

The 'Shamshan Ghat' is not only used by the locals, but by the foreign missions of China and other Budhist community as well, Jagmohan Kumar said. Sardar Heera Lal, another member of the community, said that they are among the oldest residents of the city. He said that their generations contributed a lot to the development of the city and this part of the land.

The community has demanded of the president, the prime minister and the chief justice of Pakistan to protect their Mandir and 'Shamshan Ghat'.

"We not only demand the 277 kanals of land that was allotted to the Hindu community before partition, but the two-kanal piece of land where we could cremate our dead according to our religious belief," they urged.
 

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Seven of a family killed in Jaffarabad firing​


QUETTA: A man and his wife and five children were killed in an incident of firing in Suhbatpur tehsil of Jaffarabad district in Balochistan, police said on Tuesday. The family was killed when they got caught in a gun battle between two factions of the Bugti tribe. Talking to Daily Times, Jaffarabad District Police Officer Javed Iqbal said the incident took place when an exchange of fire broke out between two armed groups of the Bugti tribe in the early hours of Tuesday.

Ten people of a family were sleeping outside their hut in Ghot Jarwar, bordering Dera Bugti, when they came under attack.

As a result, Shankar, his wife and their five children, Mashooq, Badal, Kezo, Amlon and Makri died on the spot, while three others, identified as Asif, Akash and Mahe Heran were injured.

The DPO said the deceased were members of the Hindu community and were residents of Bakhshpur town of Sindh.

Police rushed to the spot soon after being informed about the incident and moved the bodies to Suhbatpur Civil Hospital. The police cordoned off the area and launched a search operation to arrest the culprits. Meanwhile, Hindus in the area held a protest demonstration on the national highway, blocking it with the bodies of the deceased. They chanted slogans against the administration for its failure to protect the lives and property of the people. staff report
 

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Blasphemies galore


The release of Zaibunnisa, a 60-year-old mentally ill woman who had languished in jail for 14 years due to an accusation of blasphemy, brings forth a heavy baggage of unanswered questions. Upon the registration of a case by a cleric in Sihala, she was held without any trial or evidence against her. Even though doctors and the magistrate had declared her unfit to stand trial, she was reportedly put behind bars due to mob pressure.

Due credit should be given to the Lahore High Court (LHC) and petitioner Aftab Bajwa for her belated release. However, this example is enough to reveal the ineffectiveness of the judicial system and the many holes present in it. It shows how arduous and time-consuming a task seeking justice is. It is simply dumbfounding that she was thrown into prison and languished there for 14 years despite being acknowledged as psychologically unwell by the judge. The case should have been disposed of then and there and Zaibunnisa freed.

Despite oft-repeated cries against them, the blasphemy laws still continue to threaten the lives of many innocent people. Non-Muslims and Muslims alike have suffered because of them. Every citizen of the country is under direct threat. History is testament to the fact that most cases registered under these provisions of the Pakistan Penal Code have more to do with personal vendettas, family feuds, monetary disputes and the intention to fuel violence against minorities rather than any insult to religion. It is highly probable that Zaibunnisa had been set up due to some reason other than the charge of desecrating the Holy Quran. Furthermore, it is disturbing that no one from her family or society sprang to her defence. Our collective conscience as a nation is on display here. Although the accusing cleric has now denied using Zaibunnisa's name in the complaint, it is justified to ask where was he all these years?

Chief Justice Khawaja Sharif of the LHC reportedly stated that government and non-governmental organisations should help such oppressed individuals. May one ask whether is it merely the responsibility of these two? Should the judiciary, police, prison officials, and all those directly involved be absolved of their inhuman attitudes? This case is a glaring reflection of the ineffectiveness of the judicial system, the moral depravity of officialdom, and the potential that blasphemy laws hold for abuse. It is imperative that these laws be scrapped immediately, without further ado. *
 

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Muslim cleric accuses Pakistani Christian minister of committing blasphemy


Allama Ahmed Mian Hammadi, a Pakistani Muslim cleric, has claimed that Shahbaz Bhatti, Pakistan's Federal Minister for Minorities has himself committed blasphemy by branding the recently murdered Christian brothers as victims of Pakistan blasphemy laws.

Bhatti had spoken out about the murder last week of Rashid Emmanuel, 30, and his brother Sajid, 27, by unidentified masked gunmen inside a courthouse in Faisalabad. The brothers had been accused of blaspheming the Prophet Muhammad earlier this month, a charge they had both denied.

According to Mr Hammadi's statement, published in Daily Jasarat, a Pakistani Urdu daily newspaper, the Muslim cleric said that Muslims cannot tolerate blasphemy against the Prophet Muhammad.

"It is not a cruelty to kill blasphemers, rather blasphemy itself is such an enormous brutality that the one who commits it neither has got a right to live in this world nor is there any pardon for the blasphemer," Daily Jasarat quoted Mr Hammadi as saying.

"Muslims won't tolerate even a slightest blasphemy against Prophet Muhammad. If Shahbaz Bhatti committed blasphemy he would be beheaded."

He maintained: "A Muslim loves [the] Prophet Muhammad more than anyone else."
The newspaper quoted Mr Hammadi as saying that the incident of killing of the Christian brothers due to non implementation of the blasphemy laws in Pakistan.

According to the newspaper, the Muslim cleric criticized Mr. Bhatti for stating that the law had been abused vis-à-vis the case of the Christian brothers.

"No law has been implemented in this case. Court implements the law not people," Daily Jasarat quoted Mr. Hammadi as saying. "Christian brothers were killed after Muslims became angry."

Mr Hammadi, according to Jasarat, also demanded the arrest of Christian rioters who he said threw stones at the houses of Muslims after the murder of the Christian brothers.
 

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