Tag Archives: Pakistani

Pakistan Is Not the Place Americans Think It Is

By Author, interfaith activist and law enforcement trainer

Recent news about the Pakistani origin of the San Bernardino’s terrorists has shocked and saddened the Pakistani American community. In an environment where Muslims face a backlash after every terrorist attack at home or abroad, being from Pakistan is no joke these days.

Thanks to media stereotypes of Muslims, most Islamic nations including Pakistan get painted with a very broad brush, one where bearded extremists and oppressed women reign supreme. That’s the reason why I wrote my book Brick Walls: Tales of Hope & Courage from Pakistan: to showcase some of the lesser known but astonishingly vibrant and beautiful aspects of Pakistani people and culture. Granted that it’s impossible to learn about an entire nation in one blog post, but to get started, here are some ways Pakistan is not the place Americans think it is:

Pakistan has an educated and liberal upper class. Unfortunately most images of education in Pakistan focus on children sitting on floors and studying on rickety desks. While true of many rural areas, Pakistan’s cities include a whole spectrum of top educational opportunities from Catholic convent schools to local English schools and exclusive business colleges. What’s more their students win national and international awards almost every single year, such as a group of students who won afilm award and a 7th grade boy who won an international math competition. Since the American media doesn’t profile those educational spaces or the students attaining world-class education, Pakistani Americans like myself often get questions such as “where did you learn English?” or “How is your accent so good?” My response: Pakistan is more educated than you know.

The image of the oppressed Muslim woman is seared into the western mind. Contrary to media narratives, Pakistani women are some of the most determined and intelligent women in the world. From the first female head of state of a Muslim country Benazir Bhutto, to the first female Pakistani to scale Mount Everest Samina Baig, from CEOs of startups to heads of banks and everything in-between, Pakistani women are leaving a mark in a way that Americans don’t hear about in the media. This list of 10 Pakistani businesswomen will leave you with hope for that country and possibly even a query: when will we learn more about empowered Pakistani women? Hint: search for Pakistani media sources that profile women and other marginalized groups, such as Dawn and Express Tribune.

Pakistan has a top-notch creative scene including music, fashion and art.Those who see Pakistanis as fundamentalist Muslims often don’t realize how popular art forms are in a country like Pakistan. True, some Muslims consider art haram (forbidden) but they are not a majority. From fashion weeks and literary festivals, from art events to music concerts, the youth of Pakistan often spend their time appreciating creative pursuits.

Read more » THE HUFFINGTON POSTSee more » http://www.huffingtonpost.com/saadia-faruqi/pakistan-is-not-the-place_b_8740864.html

I had to take off my Hijab because society refused to accept me

By Ayesha Umair

Out of the 50 Muslim majority states in the world, Pakistan ranks second in the list with a Muslim majority population of 97 per cent. And it was among these Muslims that I felt discriminated for donning a hijab.

I began the practice of hijab during my second year in art school. Initially, most of my friends did not pay attention to my additional piece of clothing and encouraged the practice. Eventually, however, I realised that while all my relatives, friends and acquaintances professed to be Muslims, very few supported my choice to wear a hijab.

Read more » The Express Tribune
See more » http://blogs.tribune.com.pk/story/29961/i-had-to-take-off-my-hijab-because-society-refused-to-accept-me/

These photos of a Pakistani University will blow your mind

KARACHI (Web Desk) – IBA (Institute of Business Administration) is the oldest and most prestigious business school in Pakistan.

In the past 10 years IBA was undergoing a huge makeover under the leadership of former Governor State Bank, Dr Ishrat Hussain who is the current Dean and Director of IBA.

Finally, after years of construction and hard work, the masterpiece is ready for the world to see. IBA has become so amazing that it might not feel like a university in Pakistan. It looks like something out of every university student’s fantasy. Take a look at these photos:

Read more » Daily Pakistan
See more » http://en.dailypakistan.com.pk/viral/is-this-real-these-photos-of-a-pakistani-university-will-blow-your-mind/

Arriving in Pakistan on August 15, an Indian recounts his visit

BY VASANT DAVÉ

As dawn broke on 15th August, India’s Independence Day, I landed at the Lahore airport. A few hours earlier, Pakistan had celebrated its Independence Day, and the entire place was bedecked with green flags carrying the crescent.

One could sense hope and excitement in the atmosphere even at that early hour.

I reached the immigration counter, preparing myself to be grilled by an officer, whom I imagined would be looking like a headmaster about to discipline an errant school boy. My feet came to an abrupt halt. Behind the desk sat a young lady wearing a black hijab.

She shattered my perception that most Pakistani women were burqa-clad, like the ones we see in Bhopal and Lucknow.

I handed my passport, both my cataract-operated eyes keen to watch how her comely face would look when she twitched her nose – that’s just what a bearded co-passenger had once done upon spotting the logo of the three lions on my passport.

She leafed through it, stamped it, and returned it with a smile, “Happy Independence Day to you, Sir.” Her words shattered my second perception: That every Pakistani was as hostile to India as those elderly Pakistani guests in our TV debates. In the following three days, I came to understand the people of Pakistan even further, and discovered that basically, we are more alike than different. The average Pakistani has the same anxieties as we do in India – price hikes, children’s safety and education, the impact of saas-bahu TV serials on our family life, and a deep concern for the future.

Also read: Crossing borders: Why every Indian should visit Pakistan

My tryst with Pakistan had commenced on a rainy June morning, when I opened the Facebook page of my novel, and out popped a message from a stranger – Dr Shahid Ahmad Rajput, Professor at COMSATS Institute in Islamabad.

He informed me about an international conference, referred me to his Facebook wall, and asked if I would be interested in participating. He also added, “I’m intrigued by the title Trade winds to Meluhha.”

Trade winds to Meluhha is my novel, set in the ancient Indus Valley Civilisation and Mesopotamia.

Read more » DAWN
See more » http://www.dawn.com/news/1208023/

Canada to deport Pakistani accused of plotting to bomb US consulate

flagCaBy AFP

OTTAWA: Canadian immigration authorities on Friday ordered the deportation of a Pakistani man accused of plotting to bomb the US consulate and financial buildings in Toronto.

Jahanzeb Malik is the second Pakistani national in recent months to be ordered out of Canada on national security grounds.

Read: Pakistani accused in US consulate plot held in Canada

According to the immigration board’s written decision, Malik “planned to conduct a violent attack against a United States government building and other targets in the financial district of Toronto, which could have resulted in the death and/or serious injury of persons as well as the destruction of property”.

Read more » DAWN
See more » http://www.dawn.com/news/1186565/

Pakistani man survives liver surgery after 12 Indian students donate blood

Humanity knows no boundaries. This was proven by 12 Indian students who donated blood to a Pakistani liver patient, saving his life.

Aman Lal Makhija, a 40-year-old Pakistani man from Sindh, traveled to New Delhi for a liver transplant after being advised by doctors to seek help across the border, according to Daily Mail.

Makhija was accompanied by his donor and brother-in-law Dilshad Ali. However, Makhija’s liver started failing and there was urgent need for blood. Responding to Dilshad’s pamphlets requesting blood donations, 12 students came forward to donate blood.

The doctors who operated on the patient, Dr KR Vasudevan and Dr Abhideep Chaudhary, said that owing to the timely contribution of blood, the team was able to successfully perform a complicated liver transplant surgery on February 27.

“Usually, all liver transplant patients are advised to arrange 10 units of blood in case of any eventuality. But being from Pakistan, the family did not have any donors. The noble act of blood donation by these students really touched us all,” said Dr Vasudevan, a liver transplant surgeon.

Makhija, who runs a medical store in Pakistan, said, “This rebirth is the best Holi gift to me by Indian doctors and students.”

“There are about 400 Hindu families in our area. We have never faced any problems in Pakistan. Here, everyone, including these young students, have been so helpful. The students even came to enquire about my brother’s health and have invited me to take part in Holi celebrations. My family will always remain obliged to them,” Jawahar Lal Makhija, the patient’s brother, said.

“The patient was suffering from Hepatitis-B for the last three years and needed an urgent liver transplant. A part of his bother-in-law’s healthy liver was transplanted in a seven-hour surgery. Both donor and recipient are fine now and will be discharged in a week,” said Dr Chaudhary.

News courtesy: The Express Tribune
Read more » http://tribune.com.pk/story/849466/pakistani-man-survives-liver-surgery-after-12-indian-students-donate-blood/

Pakistani universities climbing up international rankings: HEC chief

ISLAMABAD: While briefing the National Assembly Standing Committee on Federal Education and Professional Training, this Monday, the Higher Education Commission (HEC) Chairperson Dr Mukhtar Ahmed said that although Pakistan may not have the best educational institutes in the world, the local educational institutions are continuously improving in rankings.

The commission, he said, has been constantly trying to improve the quality of education in the country.

Dr Ahmed said that there were two types of rankings of educational institutions. In the global rankings, National University of Science and Technology (Nust) has been ranked among the top 500 universities of the world.

In the Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) university rankings for Asia, Pakistan is improving steadily.

Read more » DAWN
http://www.dawn.com/news/1119344

Indian and Pakistani troops swap gifts at LoC on Prophet’s birthday

LoC gets a sweet exchange as Indian and Pakistani troops swap gifts on Prophet’s birthday

By Mail Today Bureau

Indian and Pakistani troops exchanged sweets and gifts to celebrate the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad on the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir on Tuesday.

Indian and Pakistani troops on Tuesday exchanged sweets and gifts in Kargil and Uri sectors in an effort to restore normalcy along the LoC, a Srinagar-based defence spokesman said.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/indiahome/indianews/article-2539467/LoC-gets-sweet-exchange-Indian-Pakistani-troops-swap-gifts-Prophets-birthday.html#ixzz2qPja4N3F

Video clip from a Pakistani Movie ‘Slackistan’

Slackistan is an independent film directed by filmmaker, Hammad Khan. The film stars Shahbaz Hamid Shigri, Aisha Linnea Akhtar, Ali Rehman Khan, Shahana Khan Khalil, Osman Khalid Butt, Khalid Saeed and Rafey Alam. The film is distributed by Big Upstairs Films.

Courtesy: Spicy.pk
http://spicy.pk/video-from-movie-slackistan-which-was-banned-in-pakistan/

Pakistani Women Take Over Cricket!

Pakistan women’s cricket has taken giant strides in last few years. Victory in the Asian Games and receiving the gold medal was a wonderful moment. It was Pakistan’s first in eight years in those games and for the Women’s team to win it was a great achievement. Pakistani women cricketers broke Pakistan’s hoodoo against India in World Cups too. The Pakistan cricket team had never beaten India in a World Cup and it was the women who did it in the 2012 World T20 in Sri Lanka. They have also reached No 6 in the rankings, and defeated some top sides, including South Africa, who they hadn’t beaten for 15 years. They have reached new heights. Those teams, our team would previously consider unbeatable and it would always lose to, it has started defeating them. We feel very proud that our players are receiving a great recognition and are ranked highly on the world stage. A high point for women’s cricket this year has been the live coverage of Pakistani women’s matches on national TV in Pakistan. It is a great sign and it has increased awareness of the sport. After watching those matches, a lot of women who previously hadn’t ever considered playing cricket or even known that there was a women’s team, have gained awareness of our efforts. People are also able to judge the standards at which our girls play cricket. The TV coverage is a very big step. The stadiums in which women contest the matches are open to the public, which is a very good sign. There are a lot of fresh new players taking up the sport and they certainly have the ability, but fitness is still a challenge. We don’t focus on fitness at grass-roots level, as women do not tend to join gyms in Pakistan. New women players are urged to focus on fitness as it will help them to serve the national side far better.

Courtesy: Express 24/7 » YouTube via Facebook

Pakistani’s Iron Grip, Wielded in Opulent Exile, Begins to Slip

By

LONDON — For two decades, Altaf Hussain has run his brutal Pakistani political empire by remote control, shrouded in luxurious exile in London and long beyond the reach of the law.

He follows events through satellite televisions in his walled-off home, manages millions of dollars in assets and issues decrees in ranting teleconferences that last for hours — all to command a network of influence and intimidation that stretches from North America to South Africa.

This global system serves a very localized goal: perpetuating Mr. Hussain’s reign as the political king of Karachi, the brooding port city of 20 million people at the heart of Pakistan’s economy.

“Distance does not matter,” reads the inscription on a monument near Mr. Hussain’s deserted former house in Karachi, where his name evokes both fear and favor.

Now, though, his painstakingly constructed web is fraying.

A British murder investigation has been closing in on Mr. Hussain, 59, and his party, the Muttahida Qaumi Movement. His London home and offices have been raided, and the police have opened new investigations into accusations of money laundering and inciting violence in Pakistan.

The scrutiny has visibly rattled Mr. Hussain, who recently warned supporters that his arrest may be imminent. And in Karachi, it has raised a previously unthinkable question: Is the end near for the untouchable political machine that has been the city’s linchpin for three decades?

“This is a major crisis,” said Irfan Husain, the author of “Fatal Faultlines,” a book about Pakistan’s relationship with the United States. “The party has been weakened, and Altaf Hussain is being criticized like never before.”

Continue reading Pakistani’s Iron Grip, Wielded in Opulent Exile, Begins to Slip

Pakistani film Zinda Bhaag wins four awards in Toronto festival

KARACHI : Pakistani film Zinda Bhaag has won four major awards at the the Mosaic 2013 (MISSAF) festival in Toronto.

The festival is Canada’s largest South Asian event and includes a music and film festival featuring some of the top names from the region. Among the contenders this year were Meera Nair’s adaptation of Mohsin Hamid’s The Reluctant Fundamentalist.

Zinda Bhaag, produced by Mazhar Zaidi and written and directed by Meenu Gaur and Farjad Nabi, won the prestigious best film award. Amna Ilyas bagged the best actress award and veteran Naghma Begum the best supporting actress for their roles in the film, that also features the Indian icon Nasiruddin Shah. Sahir Ali Bagga won the award for the best music/ soundtrack for his work.

http://vimeo.com/68601131

Read more » The News

My name is Pakistan and I’m not an Arab

By Nadeem F. Paracha

In 1973, my paternal grandparents visited Makkah to perform the first of their two Hajj pilgrimages.

With them were two of my grandmother’s sisters and their respective husbands.

Upon reaching Jeddah, they hailed a taxi from the airport and headed for their designated hotel.

The driver of the taxi was a Sudanese man. As my grandparents and one of my grandmother’s sisters settled themselves in the taxi, the driver leisurely began driving towards the hotel and on the way inserted a cassette of Arabic songs into the car’s Japanese cassette-player.

My grandfather who was seated in the front seat beside the driver noticed that the man kept glancing at the rear view mirror, and every time he did that, one of his eyebrows would rise.

Curious, my grandfather turned his head to see exactly what was it about the women seated in the back seat that the taxi driver found so amusing.

This was what he discovered: As my grandmother was trying to take a quick nap, her sister too had her eyes closed, but her head was gently swinging from left to right to the beat of the music and she kept whispering (as if in quiet spiritual ecstasy) the Arabic expression Subhanallah, subhanallah …’

My grandfather knew enough Arabic to realise that the song to which my grandmother’s sister was swinging and praising the Almighty for was about an (Egyptian) Romeo who was lamenting his past as a heart-breaking flirt.

After giving a sideways glance to the driver to make sure he didn’t understand Punjabi, my grandfather politely asked my grandmother’s sister: ‘I didn’t know you were so much into music.’

‘Allah be praised, brother,’ she replied. ‘Isn’t it wonderful?’

The chatter woke my grandmother up: ‘What is so wonderful?’ She asked. ‘This,’ said her sister, pointing at one of the stereo speakers behind her. ‘So peaceful and spiritual …’

My grandfather let off a sudden burst of an albeit shy and muffled laughter. ‘Sister,’ he said, ‘the singer is not singing holy verses. He is singing about his romantic past.’

My grandmother started to laugh as well. Her sister’s spiritual smile was at once replaced by an utterly confused look: ‘What …?’

‘Sister,’ my grandfather explained, ‘Arabs don’t go around chanting spiritual and holy verses. Do you think they quote a verse from the holy book when, for example, they go to a fruit shop to buy fruit or want toothpaste?’

I’m sure my grandmother’s sister got the point. Not everything Arabic is holy.

Continue reading My name is Pakistan and I’m not an Arab

First Pakistani women paratroopers make history

RAWALPINDI: Pakistan Army, in another landmark achievement, successfully completed the first ever Lady Officers Para Trooping Course at Para Training School, Peshawar, said a statement issued here on Sunday.

Besides challenging physical training, Para jumping course involved training in exit, flight and landing techniques.

Read more » The News
http://www.thenews.com.pk/article-109317-First-Pakistani-women-paratroopers-make-history-

MIT recognises Pakistani as one of world’s brilliant minds

KARACHI: All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them, says Walt Disney.

Disney’s quote, perhaps, best explains the success story of Farhan Masood, who has been recognised as one of the world’s brilliant minds by Massachusetts Institute of Technology earlier this year for his product – world’s fastest retina and face scanner algorithm called SmartXS.

Masood’s dream – to build a Pakistani product and turn it into a global one – came true this year after he won the MIT Business Acceleration Plan contest, a highly competitive annual event whose objective is to help Pakistani IT, ITES, telecom and new media companies improve their business.

Of the 165 participants that compete in this contest, some members of top teams also get a chance to attend an entrepreneurship development programme at MIT in Cambridge, USA.

After a winning performance in the contest, Masood joined the list of MIT alumni. He has just returned after attending a course at MIT, one of the world’s best educational institutes. Those who attended this programme previously had benefited a great deal.

According to Pakistan Software Export Board’s website, some of the companies that participated in this programme saw their revenues grow by 5 to 10 times and valuation increase by 15 times. Giving the example of Sofizar, the PSEB’s website stated that the company’s revenue increased from less than $1 million to $30 million in two and a half years.

Continue reading MIT recognises Pakistani as one of world’s brilliant minds

Top Pak scientist warns of extremist threat to n-weapons

By Hasan Suroor

Pakistani nuclear scientist Pervez Hoodbhoy has spoken of growing fears in Pakistan that its nuclear arsenal could be “hijacked” by extremists as a result of “increasing radicalisation” of the Army.

He said such fears were initially expressed mostly in the west but were now widely shared within Pakistan after “repeated” extremist attacks on Army installations, including the ISI headquarters in Lahore. These could not have taken place without “some sort of inside information”.

“There’s a fair degree of concern that because of increasing radicalisation of Pakistani Army, the country’s nuclear weapons could be hijacked by extremists,” he said speaking to a group of Indian journalists at the launch of his book, Confronting the Bomb: Pakistani & Indian Scientists Speak Out, a collection of essays by Indian and Pakistani scientists who believe that the acquisition of nuclear weapons by the two countries was “undesirable” and had put the entire subcontinent in danger.

Mr. Hoodbhoy, who has often been a target of the Pakistani establishment, said Pakistan’s nuclear capability had given a new dimension to its campaign against India. Islamabad saw it as a “counter-force” to overcome India’s military superiority and was providing a “nuclear umbrella” to jihadis engaged in anti-India activities.

Pervez Hoodbhoy interview: The Mumbai massacres and Pakistan’s new nightmares

“If Pakistan did not have nuclear weapons, Kargil would not have happened. My contention is that it was the first instance that nuclear weapons actually caused a war, ‘’ he said.

Warning of continued jihadi threat to India, he said: “Today India is faced with a very difficult situation because jihadis are still operating in Pakistan with the sanction of the state and they are provided cover by the fact that Pakistan has nuclear weapons.”

Continue reading Top Pak scientist warns of extremist threat to n-weapons

Pakistani cleric: catalyst for change or military stooge?

By Matthew Green and Mubasher Bukhari

LAHORE, Pakistan (Reuters): A month ago, Muhammad Tahirul Qadri was living quietly in Canada, immersed in the affairs of his Islamic charity and seemingly far removed from the pre-election power games shaping the fate of politicians in his native Pakistan.

In the past three weeks, he has returned home to lead a call for electoral reforms that has earned him instant celebrity, sent a stab of anxiety through the ruling class and raised fears of trouble at a planned rally in Islamabad on Monday.

“Our agenda is just democratic electoral reforms,” Qadri told Reuters in the eastern city of Lahore, the headquarters of his Minhaj-ul-Quran religious foundation. “We don’t want the law-breakers to become our lawmakers.”

Continue reading Pakistani cleric: catalyst for change or military stooge?

Inquilab zindabad!

By:Kunwar Khuldune Shahid

How is Bhagat Singh more Indian than Pakistani?

Revolutionaries never die; definitely not until what they strived for is achieved. They can also reincarnate when liberation is threatened by incarceration. The cause they fought for can wake up again, the struggle they gave birth to can be born again, the noise they generated can resonate again, the slogans they chanted can reverberate again – if recent events are anything to go by, Lahore should echo with “Inquilab zindabad!” again.

Bhagat Singh’s revolution could reawaken 81 years after the British hanged him in Lahore. The indirect skirmishes between the Tehreek Hurmat-e-Rasool (THK) led fundamentalists and the Dilkash Lahore Committee, over renaming Fawwara Chowk (or Shadman Chowk) back to its pre-partition name of ‘Bhagat Singh Chowk’, is a throwback to the clash between suppression and freedom that the man gave his life for. Apparently dying for the sake of the independence of this country and its people isn’t reason enough for the square – where he was hanged on 23 March, 1931, aged 23 – to be named after the freedom fighter himself. It is a pity that people and groups, who now have the luxury to openly express themselves – something that they didn’t have back then –, choose their expression to oppose tributes to those very personalities that made this freedom possible, owing to their religious identity.

Continue reading Inquilab zindabad!

Pakistani businessman accused of blasphemy for not protesting anti-Islam film

By Associated Press

ISLAMABAD — Pakistani officials say they have opened an investigation into a businessman who has been accused of blasphemy after refusing to join protests over an anti-Islam video and allegedly trying to convince others also not to take part.

Police officer Munir Abbasi says that hundreds of protesters in the city of Hyderabad who rallied against the film that mocks the Prophet Muhammad demanded businessman Haji Nasrullah Khan shut his shops in solidarity.

When Khan refused, one of his tenants said his decision supported the film.

City police chief Fareed Jan said Wednesday the protesters claim Khan insulted the Prophet.

Jan said there’s no evidence to suggest this happened and said police were pressured by the mob to open the case. ….

Read more » The Washington Post

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/pakistani-businessman-accused-of-blasphemy-for-not-protesting-anti-islam-film/2012/09/19/713c3c28-0258-11e2-9132-f2750cd65f97_story.html?wprss=rss_social-world-headlines&Post+generic=%3Ftid%3Dsm_twitter_washingtonpost

“Praise be to God mujahideen (Taliban) in Bajaur agency have managed to kill the infidel soldiers of Pakistan,” says Taliban Commander

Taliban release video of severed heads

KHAR: Pakistani Taliban released a video showing what appeared to be the severed heads of a dozen soldiers on Friday as security officials said 15 troops were missing following fighting with militants.

The clashes on Tuesday came as part of a Pakistan army operation to repel Taliban militants who had crossed over from Kunar province in Afghanistan last Friday and occupied the village of Batwar in the Bajaur tribal district.

“At least 15 of our soldiers are still missing,” a senior security official told AFP.

Another security official said “more or less” that many soldiers were missing but declined to give the exact total.

Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) spokesman Sirajud Din sent AFP a video showing a militant commander posing with 12 heads arranged on the ground which he claimed were from soldiers they had killed.

Praise be to God that the mujahideen in Bajaur agency have managed to kill the infidel soldiers of Pakistan,” he says.

Many of them were killed by bullets, 12 of them as you see have been beheaded, you see 12 heads here, and more heads are on the way.” The commander, his face unmasked and wearing traditional tribal dress, is flanked in the footage by around a dozen armed men including one wielding a huge axe.

The video showed belongings from the dead men laid out on a sheet, including Pakistani identity cards, camouflage pattern helmets, Pakistani currency, mobile phones and bank cards.

Military sources have so far not said whether they are the missing soldiers or confirmed that those shown in the video are Pakistani troops. …..

Read more » The News

http://www.thenews.com.pk/article-65746-Taliban-release-video-of-severed-heads

Pakistani Taliban threatens attacks on military

By: AFP

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistani Taliban on Monday warned the country’s military it had set up a “suicide bombers squad” to hit troops if an offensive is launched in a restive tribal area bordering Afghanistan.

In an email message sent to media, Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, an umbrella militant group, said it had received “an exclusive intelligence report” about the offensive in North Waziristan from its “sources” in army headquarters.

TTP spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan outlined details about the regiments and units and the possible commander for the campaign, said to be launched on August 26 for one month.

“TTP has also prepared itself for resistance, we have set up a suicide bombers squad to welcome (the) army. We will defeat our enemy, whom is defending secular, unIslamic system of Pakistan by punching them back hard InshaAllah (God willing),” Ehsan said.

Continue reading Pakistani Taliban threatens attacks on military

Corruption charges hit Pakistani `Sesame Street’

by: CNN, Priyanka Boghani

(CNN) – No more “sunny days sweeping the clouds away” in Pakistan as its version of ‘”Sesame Street” gets its funding cut due to fraud charges, according to Reuters.

The United States has withdrawn funding for the Pakistani version of the American children’s television series known for its educational content and colorful puppets.  The U.S. Agency for International Aid received reports of corruption charges on the production company, Rafi Peer Theatre Workshop, through an anti-fraud hotline, according to U.S. State Department spokesman Mark Toner. Exact details of the graft weren’t provided.

The show, which began airing six months ago, features Elmo with a cast of local characters. The funding cut comes just six weeks after the U.S. Ambassador Cameron Munter visited the set of “Sim Sim Hamara,” the Pakistani name for the series, “to reaffirm the U.S. Government’s commitment to children’s education in Pakistan,” according to a USAID press release.

The U.S. had originally allocated $20 million to produce the show and $6.7 million of this has already been spent, according to press agency reports.

According to reports from Pakistan Today, the money was used to pay off Rafi Peer’s debts. The funding was also used to award lucrative salaries to family members, many of whom worked in the company.

Continue reading Corruption charges hit Pakistani `Sesame Street’

US synagogue welcomes Muslims seeking a place to pray

Muslims around the world are gathering for Friday prayers, and in one neighbourhood in the US state of Virginia, the worshippers will enter a building that could hardly be further from a traditional mosque.

At a time when religious differences are sparking conflict in the Middle East and beyond – it is cooperation between two faiths which is allowing this unique programme flourish.

The BBC’s Katty Kay reports on how the Jewish community opened its doors because the area’s mosques could not accommodate all of the growing Muslim population.

Courtesy: BBC

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-19289226

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» →» Israeli, Pakistani news agencies launch joint media venture

Pakistani Hindus seek asylum in India – NewsX

NewsX@9 is a NewsX special show which debates the main news event of the day. A group of some 250 Pakistani Hindus were today allowed to cross over to India for a pilgrimage after being detained at the Wagah land border crossing due to a controversy over reports that they planned to migrate to the neighbouring country. The Hindus protested at the Wagah border crossing after they were detained for almost seven hours.

Immigration authorities finally allowed the Hindus to cross the frontier at about 2.30 pm. The kidnapping of a teenage Hindu girl, Manisha Kumari, from Jacobabad city of Sindh province on August 7 had sparked widespread concern in the minority community amidst reports of an exodus of some 250 Hindus from the region. Confusion surrounded the travel plans of the Hindus from Sindh and Balochistan. Some TV news channels reported they had decided to migrate to India because of forced conversions, extortion and kidnapping. So we debate today – Why are minorities unsafe in Pakistan? We debate the question on the show and try to evolve consensus among our panelists over the issue. Watch this NewsX special NewsX@9.

Courtesy: NewsX » YouTube

British-Pakistani father who killed his daughter, loved discos, sexy clothes and white girls when he was single!

He loved discos, sexy clothes and white girls, says first wife of Shafilea Ahmed’s killer father

By Helen Weathers

Yesterday Farzana and Iftikhar Ahmed were jailed for 25 years for the murder of their 17-year-old daughter, who they considered too Western.

Now Mr Ahmed’s first wife, a Danish women who he met in the 1980s, has revealed that the killer was formerly a fun-loving and gregarious young man with a love of Western life and white women.

As a young man, Iftikhar Ahmed — or ‘Bazza’ as he liked to be known back then — could not have embraced Western life more enthusiastically.

Fun-loving and gregarious, he cut quite a dash at parties and discos in his tight jeans and sunglasses.

Born into a strict Muslim Pakistani family, but raised in Britain, he shunned tradition by dating white girls and rejected an arranged marriage for a love match with a woman outside his culture.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2183453/Shafilea-Ahmed-father-He-loved-discos-sexy-clothes-white-girls-says-wife-Iftikhar-Ahmed.html#ixzz22bn7bFFT

Via – Twitter » TF’s tweet

Pakistani Liberals Are No Leap of Faith

This beleaguered minority in the country still deserves international support.

BY SADANAND DHUME

This isn’t the best time to be a Pakistani liberal. Opinion polling shows most Pakistanis thinking of America as an enemy, democracy as an unwelcome concept and the imposition of Shariah law as a no-brainer. Meanwhile, recent news out of the country involves the judiciary taking down an elected prime minister and politicians like Imran Khan riding high by invoking anti-imperialist and Islamist ideas, even as an Urdu-language media remains saturated with hyper-nationalism.

Against this backdrop, the world can’t be blamed for regarding the Pakistani liberal as an exotic hothouse flower with no roots in the country’s unforgiving soil. As the United States enters a shaky new period of detente with Pakistan following the reopening last week of supply routes to Afghanistan, it’s fair to ask if these liberals deserve notice at all. Doesn’t it make more sense for the West to instead engage more intensely with the powerful army and assertive hardliners such as Mr. Khan?

The answer is no. It’s always tempting for the West to do business with whoever’s powerful, but this is a recipe for the kind of trouble America right now faces with its troublesome “ally.” Pakistan’s liberals are not only less weak and less of a fringe phenomenon than they’re made out to be, they’re also the only ones who hold out the promise of a better future for their country.

One recurring complaint against liberalism is that though Pakistan regained its democracy four years ago, President Asif Ali Zardari’s civilian government still can’t wrest decision-making away from the military. But no civilian government could realistically be expected to immediately assert its authority over an army that has directly ruled the country for 34 of its 65 years, and continues to command the lion’s share of national resources. As the experiences of Indonesia and Turkey show, only when democracy grows roots do politicians acquire the finesse and self-confidence to take on generals accustomed to command. This takes patience.

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