Bahrain's main opposition group al-Wefaq called for demonstrations to mark the anniversary of the uprising against the ruling Al Khalifa regime on Friday. Bahrain has been the scene of almost daily protests against the Al Khalifa regime since February 2011, when thousands of pro-democracy protesters took to the streets, calling for the royal family to leave power. On March 14, 2011, troops from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates invaded the country to assist the Bahraini regime in its crackdown on peaceful protesters. According to local sources, scores of people have been killed and hundreds arrested. Physicians for Human Rights say doctors and nurses have been detained, tortured, or disappeared because they have "evidence of atrocities committed by the authorities, security forces, and riot police" in the crackdown on anti-government protesters.
Thursday, February 13, 2014
Today was day 90 of #VBMPLongMarch from Quetta and 63 from Karachi to Islamabad for safe release of thousands of abducted Baloch from torture cells of Pakistani military and its secret agencies. Today VBMPLongMarchers started their walk from Thokar Niaz Baig and entered to Lahore city. Hundreds of people have joined the long march and showed their support to the families.
http://www.fides.org/"Religious minorities in Pakistan, and especially Christians, have become the constant target of masses of extremists": says Ijaz Inayat Masih, Anglican Bishop of Karachi in a note sent to Fides, launching an alarm about the deteriorating condition of religious minorities in the country. "Over the last few years - he says - religious minorities have been targeted, their villages burned, accused in false cases of blasphemy, victims of intimidation, forced marriages and forced conversions. "The Bishop recalls the case of the Judge of the High Court of Lahore, Iqbal Bhatti, who acquitted the Christian Salamat Masih, in a trial for blasphemy: the judge was killed outside the courthouse in 1996. Blasphemy is a sore point: "When a Christian is accused of blasphemy, the people of a neighborhood gather to punish the culprit, burning him alive or lynching him. The police and the government have never punished such acts. The Bishop cites the responsibility of the institutions, speaking of " lethargic attitude of the police, public prosecutor and the judiciary". After the killing of Judge Iqbal Bhatti, the police often endorses the need to defend Islam, taking the side of the extremists or yielding to their pressure. The result, says the Bishop, is that there are many people in prison, on the basis of false accusations or hasty trials. The Bishop points out a new, subtle form of psychological pressure: the extremists target Christians and try to extort money from them by threatening a fatwa against them, using the Islamic religion to blackmail. Several cases of this kind have taken place in Karachi, defined as "a stronghold of Islamic extremists". Bishop Ijaz Inayat Masih concludes leaving open the question of whether the country wants to continue to keep in force the rule of law.
LUBP appreciates the vocal truth by Pashtun nationalist Facebook page, Justice For Pashtuns: Post by Justice for Pashtuns. The post is clear in condemnation of Deobandi Taliban of TTP-ASWJ. The rejection of a minority view of sharia is not surprising. According to the post Deobandis only make up eleven percent of the population of Khyber Pakhtunkwa and FATA areas. The same principle applies to the rest of Pakistan where Deobandi’ faith is no more than 20 percent of the population. They have heavy funding from the Saudi Wahhabis/Salafis which enables them to build a large number of Madrassas and organize politically and through terrorist organizations like TTP, ASWJ or LEJ as well as others. The fundamental fact remains that Deobandis are a small minority of the population and their intolerant version of sharia, which is in essence the Saudi version of sharia, is not acceptable by eighty percent or more of Pakistan. This perversion of sharia is clearly Riyal induced. The older Deobandi ulema dating to pre oil money tended to be much more moderate. The Saudis continue to encourage the lunatic fringe of Wahhabized Deobandism because it legitimizes their own brutal Monarchy. Very simply the more converts they have to the Wahhabized thinking within the Arabian Peninsula and outside it the more legitimate is the “caliphate” of the “custodians of the two holy mosques”. - See more at: http://lubpak.com/archives/305031?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter#sthash.S4iDnlsJ.dpuf
Since 1948, the people of Balochistan have been embroiled in a bitter struggle against the State of Pakistan. According to the State, it is a form of rebellion, an insurgency, and therefore the military has been employed to fight against the Baloch. This has resulted in horrific stories about torture being inflicted on the Baloch, extra-judicial killings, abduction of civilians and most recently, a mass grave. For the Baloch, their fight is one for respect and recognition of their ethnicity, and not be lumped with other provinces as simply 'Pakistani' as a means of retaining their ethnicity as their defining identity. Consequently, the Baloch have suffered heavily. And they've decided to fight back in a democratic, peaceful manner.In 2005, General Musharraf tried to break Baloch resilience by launching a brutish operation which resulted in the death of Nawab Akbar Bugti. Despite a new government in 2008, the fight between the Baloch and the Pakistani military intensified, with sectarian killings adding fuel to the fire. At the same time, the number of missing people rose exponentially, resulting in the creation of a peaceful association by the families of the disappeared - Voice for Baloch Missing Persons - whose main objective is to bring the humanitarian crisis in Balochistan to the fore. While there is much debate about the official number of missing people, according to VBMP vice-president Mama Qadeer, it is a staggering figure of 18,000 - and counting. According to the protesters, the missing are political workers. Ask the opposition and they are likely to brand them terrorists or traitors. Either way, where are the missing people? If they have been killed, are extra-judicial killings justified? The Supreme Court took notice of the 'missing persons' case in August 2013 and since then it has put pressure on the military to provide answers in the form of physical evidence, ordering that the missing be presented before court or if somebody has been taken in as a criminal then he be tried. But judicial interest has not been enough to placate the Baloch, who have been suffering for decades. In October 2013, the VBMP decided to fight for its people's right, but not by guns or resistance. The association decided to conduct a 'walk' where each step which would take them closer to where they hoped their voices would be heard and their loved ones would finally be recovered or put to rest. This VBMP Long March started on October 27 2013 and reached Karachi on November 23. Since then they have crossed miles and miles on foot, peacefully crossing cities including Hyderabad, Multan and Lahore. The VBPM Long March has its eyes on its final stop, Islamabad, where the aim is to peacefully protest in front of the Supreme Court to seek justice for their loved ones. However, this Long March could potentially be a cause for friction between the state, military and judiciary as the Supreme Court is putting pressure on the military to account for the missing. This can be detrimental for the State, which needs both military and judicial support in tackling terrorism and remaining united in the face of an Islamist militant organisation, the TTP. But this long march stands for so much more than justice - it is also a powerful democratic exercise. It is an example of the dignified manner with which the Baloch have decided to take up their cause. It symbolises the peaceful nature of people who have been suppressed for too long a period. And it could potentially change the relationship between the State and Balochistan for the better, only if handled with the fairness that these civilians deserve. Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/indiahome/indianews/article-2558795/THE-LAHORE-LOG-Fighting-disappeared.html#ixzz2tFa7EnVT Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook
A proposed law would ban relatives of accused child abusers, rapists and murderers from testifying against them in court—and women’s rights advocates are terrified that it spells a return to Taliban-era repression. Nelosar was 15 years old when she was married off to a man more than twice her age. When she told her father she did not want to marry and wanted to continue her education instead, he replied that he would kill her if she didn’t comply. She entered into the marriage, but was ruthlessly beaten by her in-laws and her husband. “I never loved him, but I had to stay,” Nelosar (not her real name) says. Just two months ago, with the support of her children, she applied for a divorce from the man she says abused her their entire marriage. Now 41 years old, Nelosar works as a caregiver for senior citizens and lives in Queens, New York. Her husband stopped beating her when they moved here because he feared the police, but the verbal attacks continued. She couldn’t divorce him in Afghanistan, but says she’s thrilled to live in the United States where the law is in her favor. “There should be law that supports women, not abuses them,” Nelosar says. But in Afghanistan, a dangerous bill has slipped through two houses of Parliament and is poised to devastate women’s rights advocates and victims of abuse. The law would ban all family members of accused criminals—be they abusers, rapists, murderers—from being questioned by police or testifying against them in court. Doctors and psychiatrists would also be barred from providing evidence. In most domestic cases it would be virtually impossible to get a conviction. The bill awaits the signature of President Hamid Karzai—as of last Sunday, he had 15 days to veto it before it automatically goes into effect. Activists warn it’s the latest in a series of setbacks that could propel Afghanistan back to a time when women had no rights or freedoms under Taliban rule. And as U.S. and NATO troops depart this year and a long-term security agreement is on the rocks, the climate for Afghanistan’s women and girls is growing more unpredictable. The proposed law would allow men to abuse their wives, children, and sisters without threat of judicial repercussion. It would quash any legal consequences for cases of honor killings, child marriage, and domestic violence—in a country where 87 percent of women have experienced some form of abuse. In family-centric Afghanistan, there would be few unrelated witnesses in such cases. If this law was in place three months ago, the father of a 16-year-old girl named Nabiza would not be serving a 12-year prison sentence. He was arrested by police after Nabiza’s mother reported him, and was jailed thanks to testimony from Nabiza, her mother, and uncles. Another recent case in which a woman observed her husband murder a loan officer would similarly have gone unpunished.
It’s a familiar limitation for Nelosar, who hasn’t been back to her homeland in 20 years. “At that point when I was there, the situation was worse because [I heard] stories of women reporting to the police, but they were returned to families and in-laws because police told them, ‘Your husband has right to beat you, you need to accept this,’” she says. “If this law is signed we will go backwards, slowly back to the Taliban era,” says Manizha Naderi, executive director of advocacy group Women for Afghan Women. Four little words in the bill, a criminal procedure code that parliament has been drafting for years, could destroy the gains made for women’s rights in the years since. Buried in Article 26 of the 128-page draft, a section outlining people who cannot be questioned as witnesses lists: “Relatives of the accused.” Naderi says that two months ago, she and other advocacy groups pressured lawmakers to change the section preventing family members from testifying, so it instead stopped them from being compelled to testify. But suddenly, as it came up for a vote last month, the offending segment had been reverted back to its original form, thanks to parliamentarians Naderi describes as conservative and uneducated or undereducated. Women for Afghan Women has been jockeying for a meeting with President Karzai, but in the meantime they’ve drafted a letter to him urging a rejection of the bill on the grounds it that it “is illegal and contrary to fundamental Islamic tenets.” As they point out, the Koran specifically states that the truth should be revealed in order to “stand out firmly for justice, as witnesses to Allah, even against yourselves, or your parents, or your kin.” Naderi warns that if Karzai signs something unconstitutional it could create a ripple effect, paving the way for other illegal laws to go on the books. But activists are nervous, saying that Karzai has become increasingly unpredictable in the months leading up to the April election that will strip him of executive power after nearly 14 years. “His first motivating factor is he wants to negotiate with Taliban,” Naderi says of a recent revelation that Karzai has been holding secret talks with the Taliban. “This could be a way of appeasing the Taliban and saying ‘I’m on your side.’” Right now, there’s no telling what the president will do, says Heather Barr, senior Afghanistan researcher for Human Rights Watch. Karzai may be quick to ratify it in hopes of wrapping things up in his last few months of power, or he could leave behind the controversial issue for his successor. Six years ago, Karzai signed the groundbreaking Elimination of Violence Against Women law, which criminalized rape, child marriage, and other abuses for the very first time. “If this law passes it will basically rip the heart out of that law,” Barr says. Before that 2009 legislation, bringing a case of abuse to court “would have been virtually unheard of.” In the years since, progress has been slow—the number of cases is still in the low hundreds, and there are some provinces where no cases have been reported yet—but moving forward. In 2013, the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan found a 28 percent rise in reported violence against women. But now it appears those gains are reversible. After 12 years of advancement, the past nine months have seen a series of setbacks for women’s rights. In July, parliament lowered its quota for female lawmakers on provincial councils from 25 percent to 20 percent. Lawmakers also blocked an effort to endorse the 2009 anti-violence law in May, and in November, a draft of a law that would reinstate public execution by stoning was scrapped after it leaked to the media. A current bill in front of parliament awaiting a vote would allow men more authority over children, including the right to marry an adopted female child. “Men within Afghan society always been unhappy with these changes that they see as challenges to Islam or tradition,” Barr says of the liberties afforded in the 2009 law. “They’ve been biding their time waiting for a chance to put things back to where they think they ought to be.” This fragile crossroads is another reason that the International Violence Against Women Act needs to be passed by the American Congress, says Christine Hart, the policy and government affairs manager for the D.C.-based Women Thrive Worldwide. IVAWA—which was reintroduced to the House in November and will be brought to the Senate in the next few weeks—would make preventative measures against gender-based violence a permanent addition to U.S. foreign policy and strengthen diplomatic weight behind gender equality. In Afghanistan, U.S. agencies would have to incorporate gender-based violence concerns into trainings and programs. Hart is hoping that Secretary of State John Kerry will speak out against the bill, but for now the only American acknowledgement comes from the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, which is “extremely concerned.” The bill has also been criticized by the EU’s foreign policy chief. But for months, HRW’s Barr says, there was “deafening silence” from the world. There must be incentives, she says, to keep Afghanistan on track as international involvement on the ground disappears. Money going to the Afghan police force should be earmarked for programs eliminating gender-based violence, and a message should be sent to the government that any reversals on gender issues are unacceptable. “These opponents of women’s rights have said to themselves, ‘We don’t have to wait to 2015 after the troop withdrawal, we can get started now,’” Barr says of recent backsliding. “And unfortunately, the lack of involvement by the international community proved them right.”
The United States warned Thursday that the 65 alleged Taliban militants released from prison without trial by the Afghan government posed a threat not only to NATO and Afghan troops, but also to Afghan civilians. "Many of these men who have been released, their primary weapon of choice has been the IED, which of course poses not just a threat to coalition forces and Afghan forces, but also Afghan civilians," said Marie Harf, a spokeswoman at the US State Department in Washington. The US believes that some of the individuals previously released from the Bagram prison already "returned to the fight" and that the new releases could continue to "fill the ranks of the insurgency," Harf said. The US has repeatedly called for all prisoners detained by NATO forces to be prosecuted in the Afghan court system and under Afghan law.The United States has harshly criticised Afghanistan's release of 65 alleged Taliban fighters from jail, saying it was "a deeply regrettable" decision that could lead to further violence in the war-torn country. "The Afghan government bears responsibility for the results of its decision," the US embassy said. "We urge it to make every effort to ensure that those released do not commit new acts of violence and terror."
Pakistan: TALIBAN KILLS ANOTHER 12 POLICE OFFICERS IN KARACHI , PML – N GOVT STILL BOUND ON FACILITATING THE SAUDI SPONSORED TERRORISTS
The bomb hit a police bus and van when they were heading for duties. The Taliban spokesman, Shahidullah Shahid, said the attack was aimed at taking revenge of Taliban members who have been killed in Karachi and other cities in recent days by the police and Rangers. “Our 20 members have been killed in encounters in a month,” Shahid said in a statement. “As there is no formal ceasefire, the Taliban will carry out attacks in defence. We have the right to take such steps.” It is very sad to see the Pakistani Govt bend on their Knees to facilitate the Saudi Sponsred Taliban Terrorist, while they are killing the Innocent Pakistani Citizens. The Lot of Pakistani Politicians , Bureaucrats , and Members of the Judiciary who are on the Pay Roll of the Saudi Monarchy and the US Govt , and have earned Benefits for more than three decades , in creating the Mess which was created by the then President Zia ul Haq, who dragged the whole Nation into terrorism and Corruption , for his Personal Benefits , who not only sold the Weapons and the Most vital Interests of Pakistan to the enemies of Pakistan , And now his off Shoots and Off Springs have brought Pakistan Near to a total Disaster . And as the Taliban and their Ideological Off springs have been Nurtured in every part of Pakistan, as they have been well placed in the Most strategic Parts of Pakistan , to control the Nervous System of Pakistan , But the Sons of Soil and the True Patriots of Pakistan , especially the Shia Community have Openly challenged these Taliban Devils , and have confronted them at each and every level , Making them their most vicious enemy . As now it is the time for Do and Die Situation , to save the Pakistan from the Taliban Terrorist as if now they are not being encountered , then the Integrity of Pakistan is 100% at stake , and they as per their Plan will tear apart the First Muslim Nuclear State of the World into several Parts , and the Saudi Monarchy which is even investing heavily in these Taliban Terrorist ,working on their One Point agenda of acquiring the Nuclear Weapons of Pakistan , with the help of these Talibans . To become a Nuclear State by a Planned State Dacoity .
Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, Patron in Chief, Pakistan Peoples Party has strongly condemned the suicide attack on a Police Bus carrying personnel for security duties in the city near Razakabad Police Training Center.
A bombing targeting a police bus on Thursday claimed the lives of 13 policemen and left 55 others injured, officials said. Senior police officials initially said the early morning blast was a suicide attack in which a small Suzuki van had smashed into the police bus. But Raja Umer Khatab, chief of the city's counter-terrorism unit, later said the van had been parked on the hard shoulder along the bus's route and was remotely detonated when the two vehicles were side by side. Security forces cordoned off the area and sealed the blast site. Traffic on National Highway was suspended after the security forces closed the main artery for any sort of commuting. The deceased and injured were shifted to Jinnah Hospital for medico-legal formalities and treatment respectively where six policemen were said to be in critical condition, according to the hospital sources. The responsibility of the attack was claimed by the outlawed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). A spokesman for the TTP says attacks will continue until a ceasefire is announced. Speaking to media outside JPMC, Sindh Information Minister Sharjeel Memon said the targeted operation against terrorists would continue in Karachi. Memon said Thursday’s attack on the police was in retaliation to the ongoing operation. Several of the policemen injured in the attack spoke to Geo News and expressed their resolve to continue fighting terrorists in the city.