ISLAMABAD:The Senate was informed on Wednesday that the government is taking measures to address sectarian violence in the country and legislation is also being tabled in this regard.
Minister of State for Interior Balighur Rehman told the House during question hour that 2,090 people have been killed in sectarian attacks since 2008. He said 173 people have been convicted in these sectarian attacks and killings.
He said 104 people were killed in Punjab in these incidents while 252 in Sindh, 22 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 737 in Balochistan, 867 in FATA, 103 in Gilgit Baltistan and five people were killed in Islamabad.
To a question, the minister said that the government is taking steps to control cybercrime in the country. He said Prevention of Cyber Crime Act has been prepared and submitted to the cabinet for approval. He said that it would be introduced in the House shortly and would address all the issues related to cybercrime.
"It is not something that we can control”, was what the SHO of the local police station said to the Ahmadi men, watching the burning down of their fellow community members’ homes in Gujranwala the night of July 27.
Arshad Mahmood, one of the eye witnesses of the arson from the Ahmadi community of Gujranwala had reached the neighborhood where a mob of some 250 men had gathered to intimidate Ahmadi residents.
Attack on Ahmadis
Mahmood told me the mob was pelting stones at Ahmadi homes and beating down doors with batons. When the violent mob – which included some neighbors from the street of Peoples’ Colony where the incident took place – dragged a motor cycle out of one of the houses and set it on fire, the police voiced their helplessness.
Mahmood says the SHO ran from the spot once he saw people getting aggressive; he tried to pacify the mob by offering them an FIR against the Ahmadi boy who had allegedly committed blasphemy. Some from the members of the mob went to the station with him but eventually the size of the mob got bigger in Peoples’ Colony.
The civil war in Syria has quickly spilled over into Iraq, a strategy that has resulted in the country losing control of its borders. While military targets anti-Pakistan militants in Zarb-i-Azb operations, some have started to question whether any success will be undermined once Pakistanis fighting with ISIS return home. While the return of Pakistani jihadis from fighting in foreign wars is certainly a threat, there is another more immediate danger. Just as global jihadi groups hijacked Afghan, Syrian, and Iraqi, they have now set their sights on Kashmir.
Unfortunately, there is more than mere theorising behind such a prediction. My dear readers will recall that is was less that one year prior that Al Qaeda chief Dr Ayman al-Zawahiri has urged fighters to “create a safe haven for Mujahideen in Pakistan” so that it can become a base for “establishing an Islamic system”.
Malik Ishaq’s release in Rawalpindi –the seat of deep events- is a deep event and an event predictably suppressed in the media. However, that Malik Ishaq has been freed does not come as a surprise. The soft corner that some of the stalwarts of the PMLN government have for the terrorists and sectarian killers is well known to all. The fusion of the PMLN with Saudi governing interests is as much political as economic. When the interior minister of the country and the law minister of the largest province openly sympathise with the terrorists then let’s not harbour any hopes for firm prosecution, let alone justice. Unfortunately, this only encourages further violence and is reminiscent of so many past trials where justice was never served to the perpetrators responsible for sectarian violence. So, we are describing a phenomenon that occurred not just once, but consistently, almost predictably. There is a long list of SSP/AWSJ/LeJ killers who were apprehended by the police but set free by the state and then continued their activities, including spewing hatred against the minorities and killing Shias, Barelvis, and Ahmedis.
The Pakistani government’s negligence has created a climate of impunity that encourages further assaults. The government knows well that accountability could serve as a deterrent, and would demonstrate that the government is interested in addressing the issue through application of the rule of law and not just reconciliation sessions with the perpetrators of violence. But this whole episode illustrates what has become all too common in recent Pakistani history, the way in which secret Jihadist policies can take priority over the public interest, even to the point of leading to indiscriminate mass murders or targeted killing of minorities.
RAWALPINDI: A Rawalpindi anti-terrorist court on Thursday acquitted Malik Ishaq, chief of proscribed Lashkar-i-Jhangvi (LJ) militant group, in three cases relating to terrorism, DawnNews reported.
Judge Rana Masood Akhtar issued acquittal orders for Ishaq in the cases, saying the evidence against Ishaq was not sufficient for further proceedings.
The had been registered against Ishaq at police stations in Attock, Hazro and Talagang and he was also previously arrested over charges relating hate-speech and inciting violence.
ISLAMABAD - The brutal killing of a Pakistani woman outside a supposedly well protected courthouse prompted a growing outcry Wednesday, both locally and internationally, and underlined Islamabad's long-term failure to provide sufficient protection to women at threat.
Farzana Parveen, 25, was brutally killed Tuesday when as many as 20 members of her own family, including her father and brothers, attacked her and her husband with batons and bricks outside the provincial high court in Lahore, Pakistan's second largest city. It was the latest so called "honor killing" in the conservative Muslim society.
This case follows many others in which women have been killed by their own families in Pakistan in the name of preserving the family's honor after they chose to marry men of their own choice, rather than accept a partner chosen by parents in a traditional arranged marriage.
According to statistics compiled by the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP), an independent watchdog, nearly 900 women were honor killing victims in 2013 alone.
CHENAB NAGAR: A member of the Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya was shot dead in Chenab Nagar on Monday allegedly because of his faith.
A US based cardiologist visiting Pakistan to provide free healthcare has been murdered today in Chanab Nagar (Rabwah), Punjab.
According to preliminary reports, Dr. Mahdi Ali was gunned down few hours ago by unknown assailants shortly after the dawn prayers on Monday.
Dr Ali had just finished paying his respects at friends and family graves at the Ahmadiyya elders cemetery when he was killed while coming out of the gate, it is reported.
The victim was murdered in front of his wife and a toddler son. He also leaves behind a 5 years old son and a 17 years old son, it was further reported in social media.
ISLAMABAD: Dozens of baton-holding protestors from the Sikh community pushed past the front gate and entered the grounds of parliament on Friday, protesting recent attacks on their houses of worship.
Sikhs from Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province had gathered outside parliament to protest against what they claimed was the alleged desecration in Shikarpur of Guru Granth Sahib, the holy book of the Sikh community.
Sikhs are a tiny minority in predominantly Muslim Pakistan, with most of them living in the southern Sindh province.
Senior police officer Aftab Cheema said the Sikh leaders were also protesting against several attacks on their worship places in Sindh.