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Muharram sabeels: Quenching the thirst of generations of faithfuls

October 06

The first 10 days of Muharram are a busy time for Nasir Ali and his friends, who run pillar to post working tirelessly to give picture-perfect touches to their beloved project—a thriving Sabeel in Karachi's bustling neighborhood Soldier Bazaar.

Apparently, it's a modest setup: few tables lined up on the footpath adjacent to Mehfil-e-Shahe Khorasan and covered with yards of plain black sheets, tents wrapped around to provide makeshift walls and ceiling, a couple of heavy duty energy savers and you have a temporary oasis running.

But Nasir and company rejoice in the fact that their small effort serves a big cause. "We set up this Sabeel remembering the thirst of Imam Hussain and for serving humanity. Imam Hussain and his followers didn't get water, but we want to make sure that no one goes thirsty at least in these 10 days."

This indeed is a task easier said than done, but for this group of dedicated friends, this is one mission they strive every yard to accomplish. Their activities start at seven in the evening and stretch to as late as midnight.


Four Hazara women killed as gunmen open fire on Quetta bus

October 05

QUETTA: At least four women belonging to the ethnic Hazara Shia community were killed and one injured when unidentified assailants opened fire on a bus on Kirani road near Pud Gali Chowk area of the provincial capital on Tuesday evening.

"The bus was stopped and the women were shot because of their ethnicity," said provincial government's spokesman Anwarul Haq Kakar.

A senior police official also confirmed to Dawn.com that the deceased women belonged to the ethnic Hazara Shia minority community and were allegedly targeted due to their sect.

"It was a public transport bus and had eight women on board, out of which five were hit during the attack," said DIG Operations of Quetta police.

Police officials said the bus was travelling to Hazara Town when it was attacked by unidentified assailants.



Two Policemen Shot Dead In Peshawar, Kohat

September 30

PESHAWAR - As many as two policemen were killed in two separate incidents in Peshawar and Kohat on Wednesday, police said.

As per details, a police party raided a house to arrest an absconder in the jurisdiction of Khazana Police Station.

However, the criminal opened firing at police as a result of which a policeman identified as Abdul Akbar was killed on the spot, while the absconder escaped from the scene unhurt.

Police launched a search operation in the area; however, no arrest was made in this regard.

Similarly, in district Kohat, unidentified gunmen shot dead a policeman Ali Raza, who was guarding an Imam Bargah.



At least 24 killed in suicide blast at Mohmand Agency mosque during Friday prayers

September 17

PESHAWAR: A suicide bomber targeted a mosque in Mohmand Agency's Anbar tehsil during Friday prayers, leaving at least 24 people dead and 31 others injured, official of the political administration said.

Assistant Political Agent Naveed Akbar told DawnNews that the injured had been transported to hospitals in Bajaur Agency, Charsadda and Peshawar for treatment.

The bombing took place in the village of Butmaina in the Mohmand tribal district bordering Afghanistan, where the army has been fighting against Taliban militants.

Akbar said that the bomber came in as Friday prayers were in progress and blew himself up in the main hall. A curfew was later imposed in the area.

Another local government official confirmed the information.

Shireen Zada, a resident who had prayed at another mosque, said he heard the blast as he was walking home.

“I rushed to the spot and when I went inside the hall there was blood and human remains everywhere and people crying out,” he said.

“I brought my pick-up truck, loaded three wounded and drove them to the hospital in Khar,” Shireen Zada said, referring to the nearest town.



At least 13 injured as police foil suicide blasts targeting Eid prayers in Shikarpur

September 13

SHIKARPUR: At least 13 people, including five cops, were injured as police foiled two separate suicide blasts during Eid prayers in Shikarpur's Khanpur tehsil on Monday.

Police sources said four suicide attackers infiltrated Khanpur during Eid prayers.

Two of the attackers targeted an Eid prayer ground where one assailant blew himself up, injuring 10 people, two of whom were policemen. The other attacker fled, police sources said.

Two other attackers targeted an imambargah but were stopped by police at the entrance on account of appearing suspicious. One of the attackers blew himself up after he was stopped by guards for a search, whereas the other was arrested, police said.



At least 14 killed, 52 wounded in suicide blast at Mardan district courts

September 02

PESHAWAR: The Pakistani Taliban faction Jamaat-ur-Ahrar on Friday claimed responsibility for a suicide attack at Mardan’s district courts in which at least 14 people were killed and 52 others injured.

Six lawyers and two policemen were among the dead. The attack is the second in the space of hours in the region.

“First there was a small blast followed by a big blast,”chief rescue officer in Mardan Haris Habib said, adding that, “So far we recovered 14 bodies of the lawyers, police personnel and civilians.”

The attacker lobbed a hand grenade at the entrance of the court before exploding himself at the main gate of Mardan district courts, DPO Mardan told The Express Tribune.

Five killed in Peshawar Christian Colony attack; one civilian among dead

Meanwhile, police officials confirmed that the suicide bomber had between seven and eight kilogrammes of explosives on his body.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said Friday’s latest bombing would “not shatter our unflinching resolve in our war against terrorism”. 

63 dead as blast hits Quetta Civil Hospital after lawyer's killing

August 08

QUETTA: A suicide bomber targeted the emergency services ward at Quetta’s Civil Hospital Monday, killing at least 63 people and leaving scores injured.

Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) splinter group, Jamaat-ul-Ahrar (JuA), has claimed responsibility for the bombing which occurred at the gates of the building housing the emergency ward.

The bomber struck soon after dozens of lawyers gathered at the hospital following the killing of the Balochistan Bar Association President, who was shot dead this morning.

“The blast took place after a number of lawyers and some journalists had gathered at the hospital following the death of the president of the Balochistan Bar Association in a separate shooting incident this morning," said Balochistan Home Secretary Akbar Harifal.

What we know so far

  • Loud explosion inside Quetta's Civil Hospital
  • At least 63 people killed, many injured
  • Attack may have been carried out by suicide bomber
  • Blast followed killing of senior lawyer in Quetta
  • CM Balochistan says RAW behind terrorism in Quetta
  • Cameramen from DawnNews and Aaj TV were also killed in the explosion.



Samia was killed for religious conversion, claims husband

July 29

JEHLUM – The husband of the28-year old British-Pakistani woman, Samia Shahid, who was previously reported to have been killed on the pretext of honor, may have been murdered for converting to the Shia faith before wedding her current husband, which irked her parents.

This was claimed by Shahid’s husband, Kazam.

Kazam and Samia, both British-Pakistani dual citizens, had been married for two years and were living in Dubai, police told AFP, adding that it was Shahid’s second marriage.


Qandeel Baloch strangled to death by brother in suspected honour killing

July 18

MULTAN: Internet sensation Qandeel Baloch was murdered by her brother in Multan on Saturday.

“Qandeel was killed by her brother over honour in Green Town area,” the area’s Regional Police Officer Sultan Azam told The Express Tribune. “It appears that she was strangled to death.”

The 25-year-old social media starlet’s parents, who have been taken into custody, confirmed she was strangled to death last night.

“Wasim, 30, killed her last night following an argument,” her parents said. He was arrested by Multan police Saturday night.

Her parents arrived at the Nishtar Hospital and collected her body on Sunday morning.

Her body will be transferred to Dera Ghazi Khan for the funeral.
Late Saturday evening, Multan police managed to arrest Waseem, who confessed of killing his sister Qandeel Baloch.


Why is Pakistan allowing an imam to call for jihad against our Shia community?

July 14

Immediately after the news of the suicide attack on Masjid-e-Nabwi was released on various TV channels, a local imam of the masjid next to my house thronged to the mike and made a thorny speech against Iran and Shias around the world.

The infamous Jamia Masjid Abu Bakar Siddique also has several posters of banned outfits such as Jamaatul Dawa pasted outside its walls. The speech was full of controversies, conspiracies and hatred – and called to capsize the entire population of a minority Muslim sect in Pakistan.

His open call for the Shia genocide was based on his logic that the suicide bomber in Madina was an Iranian sponsored Shia militant. He said that the Shia community has been trying to take over KSA for decades but have failed to do so. However, it turned out later that the suicide bomber in Jeddah hailed from India and his name was Fayyaz Kaghazi.

But the Imam of the masjid never took back his statement, and did exactly the opposite of what the Holy Quran says about spreading misinformation.


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