“Iron wills never bend”

by Mir Mohammad Ali Talpur

On February 4th, a day before Pakistan closes down ostentatiously for the rights of Kashmiris, Pakistani intelligence agencies’ personnel harassed the Voice of Baloch Missing Persons (VBMP) Long Marchers with intimidation and questions. They didn’t stop at that they even harassed a Baloch family which stopped to greet the Marchers by asking them for their National Identity Cards (NIC) numbers, telephone numbers address and the purpose of greeting the Marchers. They also harassed their host at 7 Chak Raowan Wala for that night with questions and threats. They took their NIC numbers, telephone numbers and asked how they knew these Baloch. This place was arranged by Comrade Irfan Ali of Communist Mazdoor Kissan Party (CMKP), who has now joined the march. This nuclear power is so scared out of its wits at these handful but brave and defiant Baloch that it is harassing not only them but even who come into their proximity.

Read more » http://www.nakedpunch.com/articles/202

The Eye-watering Truth About the Taliban’s War on Women

The Taliban’s War on Women: Taliban violence against women in Afghanistan has never gone away. Disturbing stories of suppression and brutality show a society hanging in the balance.

The recent online video of the Taliban executing a 22-year-old woman in front of a crowd of cheering men shocked the world. As Taliban aggression intensifies, how much has actually changed in Afghanistan?

At the height of the Taliban’s rule in Afghanistan in 1999, a burqa-clad woman was executed in Kabul’s main football stadium. Footage of the killing shocked the world and galvanised international opposition to the Taliban’s brutal rule. Yet just two months ago, 22-year-old Najiba was mercilessly killed by the Taliban, just one hour’s drive from Kabul. The Taliban created a fake court and once they decided she was guilty, executed her within an hour. “It was tyrannical and barbaric – it is impossible that the law would allow what they did”, says Mullah Badam, who witnessed the killing. Speaking to Afghan women it’s evident that violent abuse is still commonplace. 18-year-old Mumtaz had acid thrown on her face by her would-be husband, who she had refused to marry. “They would not let me look in the mirror. I cried a lot”, she says. But there are women who are fighting back, including MP Fawzia Koofi, who plans to take on Hamid Karzai for the presidency. An outspoken champion of women’s rights, she has faced assassination attempts and numerous death threats. She argues that for her male political opposition, “women’s rights are a matter of sacrifice”. With the Allied forces set to withdraw by 2014, this disturbing report highlights just how precarious the situation remains for the future of Afghan society.

Read more » Journeyman.tv