Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Moderate quake strikes Afghanistan

A 5.2-magnitude earthquake struck Afghanistan's mountainous Hindu Kush region early Thursday, US seismologists said.
The quake hit at 04:22am (2352 GMT Wednesday) just over 200 kilometres (130 miles) north of the capital Kabul, the United States Geological Survey said.
Its epicentre was 55 kilometres deep.
Northern Afghanistan and Pakistan are frequently hit by earthquakes, especially around the Hindu Kush range near the collision of the Eurasian and Indian tectonic plates.
A 7.6-magnitude earthquake in Pakistan in October 2005 killed 74,000 people and displaced 3.5 million.

Peshawar University VC found involved in plagiarism

University of Peshawar Vice Chancellor Dr Azmat Hayat Khan has been found involved in plagiarism by the three-member committee of Higher Education Commission (HEC) that was constituted to probe into the matter.

According to sources, HEC has submitted its report to Governor Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) who is also the Chancellor of the University in which it has been clearly stated that the VC has been involved in plagiarism.

According to the information, Dr Khan, a former director of the Area Study Centre has been accused by a university teacher Muhammad Zubair, of including in his book titled ‘The Durand Land: Its Geo Strategic Importance’, published in 2000 by Area Study Centre, University of Peshawar, and Hanns Seidel Foundation, some passages from the book ‘Pak-Afghan Relations’, written by Dr Kulwant Kaur of Jammu University, Jammu, and published by Deep and Deep publications in 1985.

As per plagiarism policy, vice chancellors are responsible to constitute the plagiarism standing committee and committee will report to him but in this case the complaint is against the VC himself.

Muhammad Zubair has also approached Supreme Court of Pakistan (SC) and in his appeal dated May 3, 2011 in which he said that HEC policy on plagiarism, if made applicable to charges of plagiarism against the sitting VC, is fundamentally flawed and illegal as it authorises the VC to investigate the charges of plagiarism and constitute the Plagiarism Standing Committee of the University for that matter. The policy makes the VC a judge in his own cause and that if the VC takes no action in pursuance of the HEC’s direction, nothing could be done by the HEC till the expiry of 90 days.

Finding itself toothless in the said situation, HEC asked the Governor KPK to intervene and conduct an independent, impartial and unbiased enquiry against the incumbent VC, being fully in charge of the university.

However, the Governor wrote letter to HEC and authorised it to constitute a committee to probe into the matter. “Keeping in view the gravity of the situation, the Governor/chancellor has been pleased to desire that the HEC may constitute a committee under its own supervision and furnish findings/ recommendations for the perusal of the honourable Governor KPK,” The letter said.

It is pertinent to mention here that Challenging the jurisdiction and authority of Higher Education Commission (HEC) in dealing with the cases of plagiarism, University of Peshawar Vice Chancellor (VC) Dr Azmat Hayat Khan has filed a writ petition in Peshawar High Court in which he has asked the apex court to refrain the commission from taking any action on the grounds of alleged plagiarism against him.

According to the copy of petition available to this scribe, the petitioner claimed that HEC cannot assume unto it jurisdiction to entertain and adjudicate upon any alleged act of plagiarism hence the very initiation of proceedings to this effect would have no backing from law laid down on the subject hence liable to interference by this august court in exercise of constitutional jurisdiction.

Talking to ‘The News’, HEC Chairperson Dr Javaid Laghari confirmed that the report of the inquiry committee has been submitted to KPK, however, he has refused to make any comment on the findings of the report.

On the other hand, the complainant Mohammad Zubair believes that some political leaders of ANP were trying to cover VC by stopping the Governor to take any action against him. “What is the point for not taking any action against the VC when the findings have been submitted to the Governor,” he said.

Balochistan: false promises


The government is at it again: making promises it will never be able to fulfil when it comes to Balochistan. Apparently, the federal government has ‘authorised’ the provincial government of Balochistan to begin dialogue with all political forces in the province. This is akin to just going through the motions because the provincial government itself confesses to being powerless. On August 14, Prime Minister Gilani said, “The government is in touch with leaders of Balochistan and the effort and desire is that a uniform strategy should be drawn in consultation with the leadership.” Now this is something that we have been hearing for a long time but has the government made any effort to find someone who can reach out to the Baloch leadership is the question that needs to be asked. So far there are no signs on the ground that can point to the government’s ‘plan’ of reaching out to the Baloch leadership. As far as the provincial government is concerned, it has no power to stop the military operation going on in Balochistan. If the government is serious about negotiating with the Baloch leaders, those in Pakistan and those living in exile, it has to first end the ongoing military operation. Every single day, the Frontier Corps (FC) and our intelligence agencies whisk away Baloch people, torture them and in most cases kill them. Bullet-riddled bodies of the Baloch are found all over the province on any given day. If this is the way things are going to be, no Baloch leader would be willing to talk to the government.

The government cannot keep dishing out packages like the Aghaz-e-Haqooq-e-Balochistan package while completely ignoring the genocide of the Baloch. The government should also pay attention to what the members of the National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Inter-Provincial Coordination said about giving due representation to the people of Balochistan in the oil and gas companies. PML-N’s Javed Hashmi pointed out, “If I were a resident of Balochistan, I would also stand for independence because of successive military operations that pushed the people of the province towards the wall.” The government has to realise that the separatist sentiment in Balochistan is gaining momentum. On August 14, the people of Balochistan were not celebrating ‘Independence Day’; they were protesting against state oppression and asking for azaadi (freedom). More recently, Mir Humayun Marri and Jamil Bugti are being harassed by the authorities and Marri has accused them of plotting to kill him. Intimidation of Mir Humayun Marri and Jamil Bugti is not an isolated incident. It is a clear message to Jamil Bugti who is pursuing Nawab Akbar Bugti’s murder case while targeting Humayun Marri may be an attempt to indirectly hit at Nawab Khair Bux Marri. This is how our military and intelligence agencies operate in Balochistan.

By creating a climate of fear, intimidation and terror, the military is not doing the federation of Pakistan any favour. The Baloch cannot be cowed down by oppression. The sooner the military understands this the better. The federal government keeps whitewashing the situation by talking about a dialogue but negotiations with the Baloch are a non-starter under the prevailing circumstances. The Baloch are asking for the right of self-determination and there are some big powers in the world who would not oppose this. If the government and the military establishment want to save Pakistan, they need to wake up and smell the coffee instead of massacring the Baloch.

China appeals to US to focus on economic recovery

Chinese commentators are marking a visit by Vice President Joseph Biden

by offering a struggling United States advice: Stop flooding your economy with cheap credit.
The prescriptions awaiting Biden, who arrived Wednesday in Beijing, range from cutting government budget deficits to fighting poverty. They were similar to the advice of Western analysts but unusually pointed for China where communist leaders say governments should stay out of each others' affairs, and show the shifting fortunes of the two powers.
"The United States has entered a long period of decline," wrote economist Xia Bin, who advises China's Cabinet and central bank, on his blog.
The main purpose of Biden's mission is get a better bead on Vice President Xi Jinping, who is expected to take over as Communist Party chief next year and will visit Washington later this year. Biden is also expected to get an earful on Tibet and Taiwan, the democratic island Beijing claims and which Washington provides arms to. But Chinese worries about the U.S. economy are the subtext for the five-day visit.
Beijing's biggest fear is a possible third round of bond-buying by the Federal Reserve, known as quantitative easing or QE. It is supposed to push down interest rates and boost investment by injecting money into the economy, but Beijing worries that it will boost prices of commodities traded in dollars, fuel inflation and erode the value of its $1.2 trillion in Treasury debt.
"The U.S. should refrain from launching QE3 and tighten its monetary policy to raise the world's confidence in the dollar," the chairman of state-owned Bank of China, Xiao Gang, wrote Wednesday in China Daily, an English-language newspaper aimed at foreign readers.
Beijing has repeatedly appealed to Washington to protect foreign investors and the dollar. It has avoided publicly making specific demands but this week's commentaries in the entirely state-controlled press make clear what it wants to see.
"China has much at stake over U.S. economic policy changes and a stable U.S. dollar," the official Xinhua News Agency said. Resolving economic problems in a "responsible manner" would improve U.S.-Chinese relations, it said.
Other governments complain earlier Federal Reserve efforts to reduce interest rates prompted investors to move money to developing economies in search of higher returns, pushing up the value of their currencies and prices of their exports.
China's own government debt is low compared with those of the United States, Japan and European countries, even after a huge stimulus that helped it rebound quickly from the 2008 global crisis.
The press campaign also might help Beijing diffuse criticism it faces from some Chinese in comments posted on Internet sites questioning its decision to invest so much of its $3.2 trillion in foreign reserves in Treasury debt. Treasurys are seen as one of the lowest-risk assets but the debate in Washington over raising the government debt limit and downgrade of the U.S. credit rating by Standard & Poor's caused alarm in China.
"By focusing concern on the failures of U.S. policymaking, as China sees it, Chinese officials are able to deflect attention from their own part in creating some of the global imbalances and the decision that lay entirely in their hands to invest so much in U.S. Treasurys," said Capital Economics analyst Mark Williams.
Beijing faces its own debt problem after it disclosed that local governments owe $1.6 trillion in bank loans that paid for public works and other expenses. But analysts say high economic growth means it should be easily manageable.
Bank of China's Xiao and other commentators said Washington should focus on longer-term reforms to cut its budget and trade deficits, raise savings and create jobs.
"They should set out to solve the poverty issue," a researcher at Peking University's Development Research Institute, Xu Jianguo, wrote in the Global Times, published by the Communist Party flagship newspaper People's Daily.

Kaira asks Nawaz to focus on elections instead of long march

:Pakistan People’s Party Information Secretary and former federal minister, Qamar Zaman Kaira said on Wednesday that PML-N chief Mian Nawaz Sharif should focus on the next general elections instead of long march as it would be useless.Talking to media at Allama Iqbal international Airport here before leaving for India, he said that staging long march was right of everyone but the PML-N president should give causes for it and tell the masses if it was for toppling the government.

He said the PPP wanted stability in the country and it was effort of the government and the party to resolve issues of the nation by taking all parties on board.
He advised Mian Nawaz Sharif “to resolve problems within the PML-N and to prepare for the next elections which were only only one-and-half year away.”
To a question, he said that dead-locks in the alliances were a normal thing and democracy itself resolves such issues.
Kaira said the PPP-led government always said that national interests and not the US interests were its priority and questioned what would the critics of the government say now when there was tension between the two countries.
He said that Pakistan did not want any kind of tension with any nation of the world.
To a question, he said the PML-Q was a coalition partner of the PPP the leadership of the two parties would decide how to participate in the next general elections.

Indian activist's detention sparks protests nationwide

Obama: Debt debate hurt business

Education key to fight extremism, terrorism and ignorance: PM

Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani on Wednesday said education was the key to fight against ignorance, extremism and terrorism, therefore the government had taken a number of steps to promote educational facilities, both for boys and girls.

Addressing Islamabad Model Schools for Boys and Girls here at PM Staff Colony, after inaugurating the new buildings of these two institutions, he said, “We do have financial constraints but fully determined to promote educational facilities and it is at top of the priorities of the government.”

The Prime Minister said once the Muslims were at the top in the world, mainly due to the progress in education.

He said lack of education was the main cause of the downward trend of the Muslims. He said education played an effective and key role in the progress and prosperity of the society, to keep it united and make it more stronger.

He said, “After the 18th Amendment, the education has become a provincial subject, but the Federal Government is still making sincere efforts and contributing a lot in the improvement of educational facilities in the country.”

The Prime Minister said the Federal Government has been in consultation with the chief ministers to have a coordinated, correlated and unified system of education throughout the country for providing equal opportunities to the students.

He said education was important for the progress and prosperity of the country, and added that illiteracy is root-cause of all destructions including the extremism and terrorism.

The Prime Minister said, “There is need to give due importance to education to fulfil the dreams of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah and Allama Iqbal and aspirations of Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto and Shaheed Benazir Bhutto to make Pakistan a strong, stable and prosperous state with promotion of educational facilities for every one.”

He said the youth of Pakistan was dynamic, energetic and intelligent but they just needed good opportunities and facilities to groom their talent.

The Prime Minister said, “We should not under-estimate our youth as if they will be provided adequate opportunities, they have the talent and they could project the name of the country and their parents in the world.”

He said the government will take important decisions to promote education and special emphasis will be given on teachers training and creating harmony among the teachers and parents to improve educational facilities.

The Prime Minister said teachers and parents should be role- model for the children so that they could be motivated to get education without any hesitation and difficulty to play a due role in nation building.

Gilani said youth played important role in Pakistan Movement and Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah considered the youth as his main force.

He said the youth had proved it that they could play important role in any difficulty and challenge either earthquake, floods or extremism.

The Prime Minister said extremism, terrorism and ignorance were the main hurdles in the progress and prosperity of the country and only promotion of education could provide a solid force to face these challenges.

Obama kicks off Midwest bus tour with harsh words on the economy

1 in 5 American children live in poverty

14.7 million children were poor in 2009

Karla Washington worries how she will afford new school uniforms for her five-year-old daughter.
Washington, an undergraduate student, earns less than $11,000 a year from a part-time university job. The salary must cover food, rent, health care, child care and the occasional splurge on a Blue's Clues item for her only child.
"My biggest fear is not providing my daughter with everything that she needs to be a balanced child, to be independent, to be safe, to feel like she is of value," said Washington, 41.
Washington's economic woes are seen throughout Nevada, where the nation's highest unemployment and foreclosure rates have combined to devastate families and empty neighborhoods and construction yards.
A national study on child well-being to be published Wednesday found Nevada had the highest rate of children whose parents are unemployed and underemployed. The state is also home to the most children affected by foreclosures — 13 percent of all Silver State babies, toddlers and teenagers have been kicked out of their homes because of an unpaid mortgage, the study found.
Across the nation, the research by the Annie E. Casey Foundation found that child poverty increased in 38 states from 2000 to 2009. As a result, 14.7 million children, 20 percent, were poor in 2009. That represents a 2.5 million increase from 2000, when 17 percent of the nation's youth lived in low-income homes.
Recession hits hard
In the foundation's first examination of the impact of the recession on the nation's children, the researchers concluded that low-income children will likely suffer academically, economically and socially long after their parents have recovered.
"People who grew up in a financially secure situation find it easier to succeed in life, they are more likely to graduate from high school, more likely to graduate from college and these are things that will lead to greater success in life," said Stephen Brown, director of the Center for Business and Economic Research at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. "What we are looking at is a cohort of kids who as they become adults may be less able to contribute to the growth of the economy. It could go on for multiple generations."
The annual survey monitored by policy makers across the nation concludes that children from low-income families are more likely to be raised in unstable environments and change schools than their wealthier peers. As a result, they are less likely to be gainfully employed as adults.
There are other social costs. Economically disadvantaged children can result in reduced economic output, higher health expenditures and increased criminal justice costs for society, the survey concludes. The research is based on data from many sources, including the Mortgage Bankers Association, National Delinquency Survey and U.S. Census Bureau.
"Even if you don't care about kids and all you care about is your own well-being, then you ought to be concerned," said Patrick McCarthy, president of the Baltimore, Md.-based charity. "... We've got to think about what kind of state, what kind of country we can expect to have if we are not investing in the success of our children."
The report found some bright spots.
In the two decades since researchers began compiling the annual report, infant mortalities, child and teen deaths and high school dropout rates have declined. But the number of unhealthy babies have increased, and there were far more children living in low-income families.
Programs such as food stamps, unemployment insurance and foreclosure meditation have acted like a dam against the flood of poverty, McCarthy said, but that assistance has been threatened by federal and state government budget cuts.
Mississippi in last place
Mississippi kept its overall last place ranking in child welfare for the 10th consecutive year, according to the survey. It was closely trailed by neighboring Louisiana and Alabama, a nod to the poverty that plagues southern states. Nevada ranked 40th overall, its worst ranking in 10 years, largely because of its economic decline.
The rankings are determined by a state's achievement in 10 indicators that reflect child poverty, such as undernourished infants, infant mortalities, teen births and children in single-parent families. The top state for children was New Hampshire, ahead of Minnesota, Massachusetts and Vermont.
In Mississippi, 31 percent of children were living in poverty — the highest level in the U.S.
New Hampshire had the smallest population of low-income children at 11 percent. The federal poverty level this year is $22,350 a year for a family of four, but child advocates claim that figure should be higher.
Nevada, Florida, Arizona and California and other states grappling with high foreclosures rates also were home to the largest populations of children affected by the mortgage crisis. North Dakota had the fewest, followed by South Dakota, Vermont, Wyoming and Alaska. In all, more than 5.3 million children have been affected by foreclosure, the study found.Mississippi's rankings were least affected by the recession, only because it long ago secured its worst-case standing. Overall, Mississippi ranked last in seven of the survey's child well-being indicators.
"We are really tired of being in 50th place," said Linda Southward, a social science research professor at Mississippi State University. She said state policy makers have closely followed the rankings and have strived to promote early education as part of its strategy to reduce overall poverty.
"We are just extremely challenged given the economic hardships that we have," she said.
Dreaming of a savings nest
Nevada, meanwhile, has long had a challenging record on child issues because of its historically low-performing schools.
Dreaming of a savings nest
Nevada, meanwhile, has long had a challenging record on child issues because of its historically low-performing schools.
The Kids Count survey found 11 percent of Nevada teens were not in school and had not graduated from high school in 2009, the worst rate in the nation. New Hampshire was best at 3 percent.

At least 34 percent of Nevada's children were living in families with both parents not working full-time in 2009, the largest increase in the nation, according to the survey.

"Gaddafi's days are numbered"

Television may contribute to a shortened lifespan, a new study suggests.

Spending your days in front of the television may contribute to a shortened lifespan, a new study suggests.
Researchers in Australia found that people who averaged six hours a day of TV lived, on average, nearly five years less than people who watched no TV.
For every hour of television watched after age 25, lifespan fell by 22 minutes, according to the research led by Dr. J. Lennert Veerman of the University of Queensland.
But other experts cautioned that the study did not show that TV watching caused people to die sooner, only that there was an association between watching lots of TV and a shorter lifespan.
Though a direct link between watching TV and a shortened lifespan is highly provocative, the harms of TV are almost certainly indirect, said Dr. David L. Katz, director of the Prevention Research Center at Yale University School of Medicine.
"As a rule, the more time we spend watching TV, the more time we spend eating mindlessly in front of the TV, and the less time we spend being physically active," Katz said. "More eating and less physical activity, in turn, mean greater risk for obesity, and the chronic diseases it tends to anticipate, notably diabetes, heart disease and cancer."
Another explanation for the possible link may be that people who watch excessive amounts of TV "are lonely, or isolated, or depressed, and these conditions, in turn, may be the real causes of premature mortality," he added.
The report was published in the Aug 15 online edition of the British Journal of Sports Medicine.
In the study, researchers used data on 11,000 people aged 25 and older from the Australian Diabetes, Obesity and Lifestyle Study, which included survey information about how much TV people watched in a week. Researchers also used national population and mortality figures.
In 2008, Australian adults watched a total of 9.8 billion hours of TV. People who watched more than six hours of TV were in the top 1 percent for TV viewing.
The statistics suggest that too much TV may be as dangerous as smoking and lack of exercise in reducing life expectancy, the researchers said.
For example, smoking can shorten of life expectancy by more than four years after the age of 50. That represents 11 minutes of life lost for every cigarette and that's the same as half an hour of TV watching, the researchers said.
Without TV, researchers estimated life expectancy for men would be 1.8 years longer and for women, 1.5 years longer.
"While we used Australian data, the effects in other industrialized and developing countries are likely to be comparable, given the typically large amounts of time spent watching TV and similarities in disease patterns," the researchers noted.
Dr. Gregg Fonarow, associate chief of cardiology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at University of California, Los Angeles, said that "there is increasing evidence that the amount of time spent in sedentary activity such at TV watching, distinct from the amount of time spent in purposeful exercise, may adversely impact health."
And although participating in a regular exercise program can help, it may not be enough to offset the risks of spending too much of the rest of the day -- while at work or at home -- getting no exercise whatsoever.
"Staying active and reducing time spent sedentary may be of benefit in reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease and may be considered as part of a comprehensive approach to improve cardiovascular health," Fonarow added.
Dr. Robert J. Myerburg, a professor of medicine at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, added that "a sedentary lifestyle can reduce life expectancy."
Myerburg isn't sure why sitting around is not good for your health. "It's better to look at it from a positive prospective," he said. "That is: a physically active lifestyle is protective."

Pakistan's Human Rights Commission slams murder, abduction of journalists

The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has condemned the murder of a journalist in Khuzdar and abduction of another in North Waziristan and called upon the authorities to take measures to address the threats to journalists’ safety and end impunity for violence against them.

In a statement, the Commission chairperson, Zohra Yusuf, said: “HRCP is alarmed at the murder of journalist Munir Shakir in Khuzdar, the fourth killing of a journalist in the district in the last 12 months. Equally disturbing is the abduction of another journalist, Rehmatullah Darpakhel, from Miranshah in North Waziristan on August 11.”

The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan chairperson said the sharp rise in killings and other forms of violence against journalists is linked directly to the fact that in almost all cases in the last few years where journalists have been killed or attacked on account of their work the culprits remain unidentified and unpunished.

She urged the authorities to investigate Munir Shakir’s killing to identify and prosecute his killers, and take immediate steps to ensure the safe recovery of Rehmatullah. “The government must do all it can to make certain that Rehmatullah’s abduction does not end in an unfortunate manner as did Hayatullah Khan’s, another journalist from Waziristan who was abducted in December 2005 and whose bullet-riddled body was found six months later.”

It is disconcerting that findings of a probe into Hayatullah’s death by a judge of the high court are yet to be made public, she added.

China Rejects Report of Bin Laden Raid Copter Access

China on Tuesday dismissed a report that Pakistan gave it access to an advanced U.S. "stealth" helicopter that crashed during the raid that kDuring the raid, one of two Blackhawk helicopters -- believed to use advanced stealth technology -- crashed, forcing U.S. commandos to abandon it. The Financial Times reported on Sunday that Pakistani authorities gave China access to the wreckage, despite CIA requests to Islamabad to keep the wreckage under wraps.

China's Ministry of Defense denied this in a one-sentence statement, Beijing's first public response to the report.

"This report is totally unfounded and extremely absurd," said the statement on the ministry's website. (

Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate, the country's top spy agency, also earlier denied the report.

The Financial Times said Pakistan allowed Chinese intelligence officials to take pictures of the crashed helicopter and take samples of its special skin that helped the American raid evade Pakistani radar.

One U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, earlier told Reuters there was reason to believe Pakistan had allowed the Chinese to inspect the aircraft. But the official could not confirm with certainty that this had happened.

The surviving tail section of the downed helicopter was returned to the United States after a trip by U.S. Senator John Kerry in May, a spokesman for the U.S. embassy told Reuters.

Pakistan's already tense relationship with the United States, its major donor, was badly bruised after U.S. forces killed bin Laden in May in Pakistan where he appears to have been in hiding for several years.

Meanwhile, China and Pakistan call each other "all-weather friends" and their close ties have been underpinned by long-standing wariness of their common neighbor, India, and a desire to hedge against U.S. influence across the region.

After the raid that killed bin Laden -- the mastermind of the September 11, 2001, terror attacks -- China called the event a "progressive development" but also defended the Pakistani government, which has been criticized in the U.S. for failing to find bin Laden, if not harboring him.illed Osama bin Laden in May.

Pakistan witnessed 4,448 cases of violence against women current year...

3,035 cases reported from Punjab, 819 from Sindh, 389 from KP and 133 from Balochistan and 72 from Islamabad

Aurat Foundation’s Policy Data Monitor-Violence Against Women (PDM) Programme has observed sharp increase in the reported cases of violence against women during January to June 2011 as compared to the same time period in last year.

The statistics revealed that a total of 4,448 cases of Violence Against Women (VAW) were reported during January to June 2011, as compared to 4,061 reported during same period in year 2010.

Out of the total 4,448 cases of VAW during first six months of the current year, 3,035 cases were reported from Punjab, 819 from Sindh, 389 from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and 133 from Balochistan, whereas 72 cases were reported from Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT).

Abduction and kidnapping topped the list of violence against women with 1,137 cases reported in only six months. Murder of women for various reasons (including property dispute, men going for more marriages etc, but not including the ‘honour’ crime) was the second largest crimes with 799 number of women murdered during the reported period. Rape / gang rape were the third largest category with 396 cases reported. Increase in committing suicide among youth, was another alarming factor which indicated the violent environment women of the country live in – During the reporting period, 402 precious lives were lost as they killed themselves.

Contrary to overall increase in reported cases of violence against women in the country, the number of reported cases in Sindh province shows a decline in violence against women, compared to the figures composed last year. This might be due to fact that print media put on its priority the coverage of law and order situation in Sindh during the reporting period. Compared to last year’s figure of 940 cases, this year, during the same period, i.e. January to June 2011, 819 incidents of violence against women were reported in 23 districts of Sindh.

The foundation believes that these statistics are just the tip of the iceberg and majority of VAW cases remain unrecorded due to social and traditional norms. Lack of access to reporting system of violence which women face, the so-called tradition of ‘keeping family’s respect unbroken’.

Aurat Foundation has entered its fourth year in monitoring and highlighting the cases of violence against women from all the provincial regions of Pakistan and the ICT (not including the region of Gilgit-Baltistan (GB); however, Aurat Foundation is in a process of setting an office in GB, and monitoring the violence against women in the region). The objective behind releasing qualitative and quantitative analysis on bi-annual and annual basis has always been to lobby with legislators, particularly women legislators in the National Assembly, the Senate of Pakistan, and the four provincial assemblies, for recognizing violence against women as an offence and mobilizing law enforcing agencies and communities to take necessary measures like introducing required legislation, effective arrangement for legal literacy on the issue to the concerned implementing state institutions including lower courts, and sensitizing police institutions towards reporting cases of violence against women properly.

Nawaz shattered Two-Nation Theory through 'rhetoric'

Jamaat-e-Islami Punjab Ameer Dr Syed Waseem Akhtar lashed out at PML-N Quaid Mian Nawaz Sharif on Tuesday, saying he shattered two nation theory through his pro-India statement and badly hurt the sentiments of entire Muslim Ummah.
“If he is that fond of Indian culture, he should return to his ancestor’s lad Jati Umra,” he added while talking to media here at JI office. He said that the contents of Mian Nawaz Sharif’s statement were highly worrying for the entire nation. “He (Sharif) says that Muslims and Hindus worship same God. It sounds as if he is ignorant of basic teachings of Islam,” he maintained. He said that Nawaz Sharif’s claim that Hindus and Muslims possessed same culture and language was no more than a hilarious statement.