The Pakistan state policy of using jihadist terror to wage proxy wars is backfiring, as the Lahore bombing on Easter Sunday has tragically demonstrated.
Lahore – the nerve-centre of Pakistan’s Punjabi heartland – was soaked in blood this past Easter Sunday. A suicide bomber struck the bustling Gulshan-e-Iqbal park in the provincial capital when it was packed with families – scores of them Christian – enjoying perhaps the last weekend of the city’s evanescent spring before the weather warms up. At least 72 people have perished, most of them children and women, and many of them Christians. The jihadist group Jamat-ul-Ahrar (JuA), which is a virulent off-shoot of the vicious Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), claimed responsibility. That Pakistan’s fight against jihadist terrorism will be drawn out was known, but after the Mardan,Charsadda and Peshawar attacks, the Lahore carnage reaffirms that it will also be an extremely deadly one.
Read more » TheWire
See more » http://thewire.in/2016/04/02/what-is-bad-for-delhi-and-kabul-is-bad-for-lahore-too-27214/
NEW DELHI: China on Thursday blocked India’s call to ban Jaish-i-Muhammad chief Masood Azhar at the United Nations (UN), Times of India reported.
Hours before the deadline, China requested the UN’s Sanction Committee, which was considering a ban on Azhar, to keep the designation on hold, the report quoted highly placed sources.
On February 18, a list of 11 individuals and one organisation “linked to terrorism in India”, was submitted to the 1267/1989/2253 ISIL (the militant Islamic State group) and Al Qaeda Sanctions Committee.
The UN banned Jaish in 2001 but India’s efforts to get restrictions imposed on Azhar after the Mumbai attacks did not bear fruit because China did not allow them to be imposed.
Read more » DAWN
See more » http://www.dawn.com/news/1249309
BY MATEEN HAIDER
ISLAMABAD: The Iranian Embassy in Islamabad on Thursday slammed “certain elements in Pakistan” for spreading “undignified and offensive” remarks, which it said were attributed to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, regarding the arrest of Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav.
“Elements unhappy over promotion of ties between the two Islamic countries of Iran and Pakistan are trying in various ways, including the spreading of undignified and sometimes offensive contents, to fade out the significant achievements during the visit of President Rouhani to Pakistan,” embassy spokesman Abbas Badrifar said.
The spokesman’s statement comes just days after Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav’s arrest was announced on March 25, while Rouhani was visiting Islamabad.
Read more » DAWN
See more » http://www.dawn.com/news/1249073
By Nafees Takkar, Christian Science Monitor
The Easter bombing of civilians in a park in Lahore follows a long rise of religious extremism in Pakistan and a poisoning of public opinion towards minority faiths.
The jihadist group that claimed responsibility for Sunday’s suicide bombing said they had targeted Christians, though most of the 72 killed were Muslims.
On the same day, thousands of radicals began a four-day sit-in in Islamabad over the execution of a bodyguard who killed a provincial governor who had been a voice for religious tolerance.
Yet the toxic religious atmosphere in Pakistan can’t be blamed entirely on jihadis on the periphery of society, or on the system of religious madrassas.
In recent years in government-approved schools, students are using textbooks that teach hostility towards all forms of thought and expression – except orthodox Sunni Islam.
Pakistani intellectuals and secular educators argue that the texts present a steady pitter patter of negative views on other faiths, on democracy and the West, that begin at the earliest grades and continue through high school graduation.
Read more » Business Insider
See more » http://www.businessinsider.com/what-pakistani-schools-teach-about-religion-2016-3
Saturday,2 March 2016
ISLAMABAD: The cases of violence related deaths have decreased up to 40 percent across the country with 4,612 deaths this year as compared to 7,622 last year.
This was revealed in a report `State of Human Rights in 2015′ launched here Friday by Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP).
The report stated that anti- state violence dropped below 2008 levels: 706 militant attacks took place,in which 1,325 people including 619 civilians, 348 security forces personnel, 325 militants and 33 pro-government razakars were killed.
HRCP noted that killing of 2,108 men and seven women through police encounters across the country while there were 18 suicide attacks in Pakistan, which 31% less in comparison to last year.
Read more » Online Indus
See more » http://www.onlineindus.com/hrcp-report-2015-still-a-long-way-to-go/