Friday, September 4, 2015
Amnesty International is condemning as "abhorrent" the public flogging of a man and a woman in Afghanistan for "adultery."
In a statement issued on September 2, the human rights organization called on Afghan authorities to hold to account those responsible.
The couple was illegally sentenced to 100 lashes by a primary court in western Ghor Province.
One of the court's judges in Cheghcheran town later carried out the punishment in public in the presence of police and other officials on 30 August 2015.
However, it only came to public attention after being broadcast on Afghan TV.
"Corporal punishments constitute cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment, and in this case, with the degree of violence and humiliation shown, may amount to torture," said Horia Mosadiq, Amnesty International's Afghanistan researcher.
"This is far from an isolated example of cruel and unlawful punishments being handed down and carried out in Afghanistan, which is particularly common in the informal justice system that still exists in many parts of the country," Mosadiq explained.
The Taliban and other armed insurgent groups are also often responsible for meting out corporal punishments in public, as well as carrying out public executions
You already knew the Malala documentary was going to the most emotional thing you watched this year, didn’t you? Well, now there’s a new trailer to prove it.
The trailer opens with the filmmaker talking to Malala’s father about where her name came from (she’s named after Malalai of Maiwand, an Afghan warrior woman who helped bring Afghanistan to independence from the British and was killed in battle).
‘You named her after a girl who spoke out and was killed,’ he says. ‘It’s almost as if you said, “She’ll be different”.
‘You’re right,’ agrees her father, who looks unbelievably proud.
The footage shows Malala playing with her family, teaching her dad about Twitter (it’s about the same as what happens when you try to teach your dad about Twitter), following her as she meets various heads of states and gives inspiring speeches around the world.
According to Malala, she wants ‘people to learn from the experience she had’ and encourages girls around the world to ‘pick up our books and our pens. They are our most powerful weapons.’
He Named Me Malala is out in the UK November 6.
Pakistan - AURANGZAIB FAROOQUI RELEASED BEFORE MUHARRAM DUE TO RANA SANA ULLAH’S EFFORTS, THREAT FOR DISTURBANCES
Law Minister of Punjab Rana Sana Ullah has made his ally political party banned Sipah e Sahaba (Ahl e Sunnat wal Jama’at)’s terrorist Aurangzaib Farooqui to be released from police custody. Aurangzaib Farooqui has been released by Sargodha’a court and sources tell that Rana Sana Ullah, who is Punjab’s Law minister and a supporter of terrorists, is behind Farooqui’s release.
It is a known fact about Rana Sana Ullah that he supports banned terrorist organizations Lashkar e Jhangvi and Sipah e Sahaba, in Punjab and whereas these terrorist organizations were allies of Muslim League (N) during the election.
National Action Plan has been made dubious due to the release of banned organization’s leader. According to Shia analysts, peaceful Shia Muslims, including Jaloos permit holders, azadaar, social workers, Ulema and leaders of Shia organizations, have been arrested in Punjab under the terrorist act and Punjab government has been involving them in fake cases. On the other hand, Punjab government is releasing terrorists who have been involved in the killing of thousands of people and also giving murder threats to Shia Muslims. Despite this, the release of such terrorist before Muharram has made the entire Millat e Ja’afaria worried and concerned.
In view of Defence Day, we will highlight some legends and eminent martyrs of the country, who laid down their lives for the motherland. Our first feature is on the ‘Daughter of the East’, Benazir Bhutto
A woman of dignity, perseverance, determination, honour and ambition, Benazir Bhutto’s name is synonymous with patriotism and an undying love for her country. It may be seven years since Benazir was assassinated after her return from her second exile to the country she called home, but her name lives on and will continue to do so for posterity.
“My message to you, the younger generation, to whom the torch of leadership will pass, is to focus on education, on health, on social uplift and on governance”
Speaking about the many qualities Benazir had, her eldest daughter Bakhtawar, while talking exclusively to Daily Times said, “Exceptional and extraordinary. I really don’t have a descriptive term that does justice – though ‘legendary’ does come close. She was only 25 when her
father was judicially murdered. Her trials were many – from solitary confinement in Sukkur jail, to living in exile, the murder of her youngest brother Shahnawaz, the assassination of her brother Murtaza and running from court to court in search of justice for her husband; my mother always overcame. She was the living embodiment of courage and her life and legacy will always bear testament to her resolve.”
Benazir became the first woman and the youngest prime minister of a Muslim country twice, albeit both terms in office were cut short by conspiracies that toppled her government through machinations by the establishment. A scion of the politically powerful Bhutto family, she was the eldest daughter of former Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, who founded the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP).
As a young person, she had to suffer the trauma of her father’s overthrow by the military coup mounted by General Ziaul Haq in 1977, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto’s subsequent incarceration and judicial murder. During those difficult years, Benazir led the resistance to the Zia dictatorship, suffering imprisonment and exile at the hands of the regime. After her father’s execution at the hands of the Zia military dictatorship and a compliant judiciary in 1979, Benazir became the chairperson of the PPP in 1982 as a 29-year-old, making her the first woman in Pakistan to head a major political party. In 1988, she became the first woman to be elected as the head of government of a Muslim state; she also remains Pakistan’s only female prime minister to date. Noted for her charismatic authority and political astuteness, Benazir struggled through her two truncated terms to balance the requirements of the economy and its business class with the needs of the poor, deprived and marginalised masses.
Benazir earned herself the nickname of ‘Iron Lady’, but to her millions of supporters, friends and admirers, she was simply ‘BB’.
A graduate of Harvard University, Benazir was known for her unparalleled intellect, political acumen and a powerful persona not many could match.
In 1976, Benazir was elected president of the Oxford Union while she was studying politics, philosophy and economics at Oxford University and hence became the first Asian woman to head the prestigious debating society.
She was not just an epitome of power and grace but also a symbol of peace, love and harmony, as a political leader and a mother.
BB has left behind her husband, former president Asif Ali Zardari, and three children, two daughters, Bakhtawar and Aseefa, and a son, Bilawal (currently the Chairperson of the PPP). She gave birth to Bakhtawar in 1990, becoming the first head of government to give birth while in office.
“It is impossible to list just a few qualities. Every child would struggle to condense into words what makes their mother so special and I was blessed with an exceptional mother. On a personal level, one of her most incredible qualities was her ability to always put her family first. Here was a woman who spent her days meeting presidents and prime ministers and yet she always found the time to make it to our parent-teacher nights. Family was the most important thing to her. She made time to be our mother and guide us, just as she did with Pakistan. As I grew older, I began to understand that she saw our country as part of her broader family and she was able to embed that love of our country within each of us, even when we were forced to be so far from it,” Aseefa said, also while talking exclusively to Daily Times.
Benazir was the real force behind the resistance to late General Ziaul Haq’s draconian military dictatorship, always keeping up her countrymen’s resolve that those dark days would soon be history. Her long incarceration in solitary confinement failed to break her spirit or her commitment to freedom, democracy and a progressive society in Pakistan. In exile, she continued to rally her party and the democratic forces against the cruel Zia dictatorship.
Benazir’s golden words are still fresh for the generation of 1988, privileged to hear them when she became the prime minister for the first time. She had said, “We gather together to celebrate freedom, to celebrate democracy, to celebrate the three most beautiful words in the English language, ‘We the People’.”
During her first and second terms, Benazir strengthened the country’s national defence and security. She is widely considered the ‘mother’ of Pakistan’s space and missiles programmes, including the nurturing and development of the Ghauri and Shaheen missile programmes.
During her second term, Benazir brought in the Independent Power Producers (IPP) policy within the framework of a public-private partnership. She declared 1996 as the year of “information technology” and delineated her aim of making Pakistan a “global player” in information technology. She established the infrastructure of software technology parks in the rural areas and in the cities and approved a financial assistance loan programme for software houses.
Pakistan’s first military satellite, Badr-I, was launched under her government with China’s assistance, while the second military satellite Badr-II was put in orbit during her second term. With the launching of Badr-I, Pakistan became the first Muslim country to have placed a satellite in Earth’s orbit. She declared 1990 the year of space in Pakistan and conferred national awards to scientists and engineers who took part in the development of this satellite.
When asked how badly was the political climate affected by Benazir’s passing and seven years later, how much had Pakistan recovered and progressed, Aseefa said, “I do not believe that Pakistan has ever recovered. If she were alive, I strongly feel that Pakistan would be a completely different place. Her passing left a hole in the heart of the country and it is impossible to say how the future would be different if she were here but I know that she will never be replaced.”
Benazir is considered one of the legends of the country and is a source of pride and inspiration for not just Pakistanis but people all over the world.