Tag Archives: protest

Protest against new LG law: Sindh Nationalists plan to block all highways on 16th

(Dawn) HYDERABAD, Oct 5: Awami Tehrik president Ayaz Latif Palijo has said activists of his party will block all highways in Sindh on Oct 16 to lodge a strong protest against adoption of the Sindh People’s Local Government Act by the Sindh Assembly and killings of four activists of nationalist parties by police during ongoing agitation against the LG law.

Mr Palijo said at a news conference at the press club here on Friday that his party supported all public meetings to be held by the Sindh Bachayo Committee on Oct 10, 12 and 19.

“I appeal to all nationalists and opposition parties having members in the Sindh Assembly to launch a ‘court arrest’ movement and bring a long march of one million people to the Sindh Assembly building and turn it into Tahrir Square,” he said.

“We had proposed in the Oct 3 meeting of the SBC in Karachi a long march from Kashmore to Karachi or from Mirpurkhas to Karachi or a ‘court arrest’ movement but the meeting could not reach a consensus on the proposal,” he said.

People were agitating against the bill and expecting political parties to play an effective role by launching a decisive struggle, he said.

Continue reading Protest against new LG law: Sindh Nationalists plan to block all highways on 16th

Protests against local govt law in Sindh enter second day

The Awami National Party (ANP) and National Party had earlier announced their separation from the provincial government last month in protest against the issuance of the new local government ordinance.

KARACHI- SINDH: Protests in interior Sindh entered their second day on Tuesday against a new local government law passed by the Sindh Assembly the previous day.

According to reports, protesters torched several cars while a wild goose chase ensued between police and the protesters at some locations. Sindhi nationalist parties had called for a strike when the Chief Minister of Sindh, Syed Qaim Ali Shah announced the bill to be presented for approval by the provincial assembly. The Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N) had also supported the call for the strike.

One person was killed Monday in the violence that occurred during the strike in Nawabshah, where the Sindh Bachayo Committee appealed for a strike. The activists of nationalist parties continued to stage demonstrations on Tuesday at various locations in Nawabshah.

Nawabshah – which is also the hometown of PPP chairman President Asif Ali Zardari – witnessed the most intense protests during the province-wide strike call, which seemed to have little effect on Karachi.

Continue reading Protests against local govt law in Sindh enter second day

Violent protest in Nawabshah against SPLGO; 1 dead 6 injured

By Ahmed Farooq

Hyderabad: A man was killed and six others injured during violent protest against Sindh People’s Local Government Ordinance 2012 in Nawazbshah district [Home district of President Zardari] on Monday.

The protesters, belonging to various nationalists parties, …. and set ablaze Airport Police Station in Gharibad locality.

The protesters rallied on Sakrand Road as they observed strike against the controversial local government system, although, supported by two major political stakeholders the Pakistan People’s Party and the Muttahida Qaumi Movement. Police also resorted to aerial firing to disperse the charged protesters ….

The dead and injured were taken to nearby hospitals. The Sindh Assembly today (Monday) passed the [notorious, controversial & black ordinance of dictator Gen. Musharraf in the name of] SPLGO 2012 bill which further fueled the already angry nationalist elements.

Courtesy: The News Tribe

http://www.thenewstribe.com/2012/10/01/violent-protest-in-nawabshah-against-splgo-1-dead-6-injured/#.UGr-qFFXljs

GRAND Civil Society Protest against notorious Black law of Divide of Sindh

By: Zulfiqar Halepoto

Hundreds of civil society leaders, human rights and peace activists writers, lawyers, intellectuals, students, women activists and concerned citizens joined first day of token hunger strike and protest by CIVIL SOCIETY of Hyderabad against the black BILL of SPLGO 2012 today on 02-10-2012 @ Hyderabad Press Club, Hyderabad, Sindh, Pakistan. Civil society called the bill a conspiracy to divide Sindh on administrative line to pay ways for further demographic and geographic divide of Sindh on ethnic basis- It was resolved that people of Sindh are prepared to bleed to save their historical motherland from being divided. Civil society appealed to Sindh-loving Urdu speaking Sindhis to get out of their homes against the bill and rural-urban divide and be counted in the list of those who love their motherland, its sovereignty and integrity- Civil society hunger strike and protest was joined and addressed by leading civil society and political leaders including STPP chairman Dr Qadir Magsi, Zulfiqar Halepoto, Amar Sindhu, Punhal Sario and others. On this occasion and resolved that they have planned to stage sit-ins, token hunger strikes, peaceful protests till this black bill is withdrawn. Civil society hunger strike and protest was attended by Please join us Dr Qadir magsi, Zulfiqar Halepoto, Punhal Sario, Inam Shaikh, Amar Sindhu , Mushtaq Mirani, Professor Tanveer Jnejo, Mukhtiar Abassi, Apa Nazir Qureshi, Gulshan laghari, Noor Memon, Muzaffar Chandio, Muzaffar Kalhoro, Javed Soz Halai, Jabbar Bhatti, Asghar Lagahri, Dilip Doultani, Abbas Khoso, Haseen Musratt Shah, Perveen magsi, Saleem Lashari, Niaz Chandio, Ayaz Chandio, Rbail Aziz, Hussain Bux Thebo, Advocate Inder Jeet Lohano, Ayaz Tunio, Hiader Shahani, Mr. Jamari Advocate, Nandlal Malhi and others.Civil society moot was joined by the leaders and workers of several political parties including STP, PMLN, AJP, JSQM and others

Courtesy: Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10151267955529974.518472.580054973&type=1

Breaking idols, tearing Bhagavad Gita to protest “Prophet film.” Attack on Hindus prompts blasphemy case in Pakistan

Attack on Hindus prompts blasphemy case in Pakistan

Islamabad: A group of Muslims suspected of ransacking a Hindu temple in southern Pakistan may be charged with blasphemy, police said Sunday. The case is a rare twist on the use of the country’s harsh blasphemy laws, which are more often invoked against supposed offenses to Islam as opposed to minority faiths.

The laws, sections of which carry the death penalty or life imprisonment, have drawn renewed international scrutiny this year after a young Christian girl in Islamabad was alleged to have desecrated the Muslim holy book, the Quran. A Muslim cleric now stands accused of fabricating evidence against the girl, who has been freed on bail and whose mental capacity has been questioned.

Police officer Mohammad Hanif said the anti-Hindu attack took place Sept. 21. The government had declared that day a national holiday – a “Day of Love for the Prophet” – and called on people to demonstrate peacefully against a U.S.-made anti-Islam film that has sparked protests throughout the Muslim world. Those rallies took a violent turn in Pakistan, and more than 20 people were killed.

Hanif said dozens of Muslims led by a cleric converged on the outskirts of Karachi in a Hindu neighborhood commonly known as Hindu Goth. The protesters attacked the Sri Krishna Ram temple, broke religious statues, tore up a copy of the Bhagavad Gita, a Hindu scripture, and beat up the temple’s caretaker, Sindha Maharaj.

“The attackers broke the statues of (Hindu deities) Radha, Hanuman, Parwati and Krishna, and took away the decorative gold ornaments,” Maharaj said. “They also stormed my home and snatched the gold jewelry of my family, my daughters.”

Maharaj and other Hindu leaders turned to the police, who registered a case against the cleric and eight other Muslims. But none of the suspects had been found as of Sunday, Hanif said.

The police officer said the case against the attackers was registered under Section 295-A of the blasphemy laws, which covers the “outraging of religious feelings.” That section of the law can carry a fine or up to 10 years imprisonment, but, if the case were to proceed, it’s unclear exactly what punishment would be imposed.

Continue reading Breaking idols, tearing Bhagavad Gita to protest “Prophet film.” Attack on Hindus prompts blasphemy case in Pakistan

Sindh nationalists observe strike against local govt ordinance

By: A B Arisar

UMERKOT: Strike was observed on Wednesday in different districts of Sindh, on the call of Sindh Bachayo Commitee, to protest against People’s Local Government Ordinance.

The Sindh Bachayo Committee (SBC) includes all the nationalist parties of Sindh; Sindh Taraqi Pasand Party, Awami Tehreek, Jeay Sindh Qaumi Mahaz, Sindh United Party are part of it.

Public transport remained thin in Mirpurkhas, Umerkot, Sanghar , Hyderabad and Tharparkar districts. Rallies were taken out by nationalists in Mithi, Naukot, Sanghar, Khipro, Mirpurkhas and other districts and its cities.

In Mithi a rally was taken out from press club to Kashmir Chowk, Ghansham Malhi of Sindh Taraqi Pasand Party led the rally, protestors also observed sit-in at Gulan je mori Naukot, Wango mor on Badin- Mithi road and blocked vehicular traffic for three hours.

Continue reading Sindh nationalists observe strike against local govt ordinance

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

NO TO DIVISION OF SINDH

Sindh Bachayo Committee & other Parties Declaration

People of Sindh will never accept such a draconian law and resist it with full might and force.

A representative meeting of Sindh bachayo committee was held here today with Sayed Jalal Mehmood Shah, convener of the SBC in chair.

The meeting took stock of the situation arising out of present Local Government issue and deliberated on its sinister effects on the unity and harmony of Sindh.

The meeting was of the opinion that PPP Government second attempt to bring about new Local Government law in the province amounted to sabotaging the unity of Sindh and relegating the status of Sindh to a post office.

It said that last year on August 5, same effort was made to divide Sindh administratively and deprive it of its authority but same was foiled by the Sindh Bachayo Committee by its historic protest and strike on 13th August 2011.

It said that the PPP government has again attacked the unity of Sindh by issuing extra constitutional and illegal ordinance in the darkness of night. Such an action was akin to declaring martial law because martial laws have been dedared in the darkness of night.

Continue reading NO TO DIVISION OF SINDH

IVBMP and BHRC to hold a joint protest on International Day against Disappearances

Canada (Vancouver): International Voice for Baloch Missing Persons and Baloch Human Rights Council of Canada are jointly holding protests on the International Day against Disappearances.

The main aim of the protest is to bring world attention to the unending enforced disappearances and “the kill and dump” policy of Pakistan. Along with this, the safe release of Zakir Majeed Baloch and the rest of all Baloch missing persons will be highlighted on the International Day of Disappearances.

Zakir Majeed Baloch is the senior vice chairman of Baloch Student Organization – Azad. He was abducted on June 8, 2009 by Pakistani Intelligence agencies since his whereabouts are still unknown.

According to the Voice for Baloch Missing Persons about 14,000 Baloch have been victims of enforced disappearance in the hands of Pakistan’s security agencies and 500 have been extra judicially killed and targeted. Majority of victims were in custody of Pakistani security forces. They were inhumanely tortured, mutilated and decomposed bodies were dumped in the remote areas and on the road side across Balochistan. Some of the inhumanely tortured victim’s bodies were unrecognisable only their remaining skeletons were found.

Continue reading IVBMP and BHRC to hold a joint protest on International Day against Disappearances

No Sharia – Topless feminists protest against International Olympic Committee in London

Members of the Ukranian women’s rights group, Femen, stage a topless demonstration against the International Olympic Committee outside City Hall on the south bank of the Thames near Tower Bridge in London. Femen claims the IOC collaborates with ‘violent’ Islamic states. Police arrested the protesters

WARNING: contains nudity » Watch Video

Courtesy: guardian.co.uk

5 Naked Femen Activists Arrested in London. Femen protested against Olympic committee

London Olympics 2012: Naked Femen Activists Arrested in Sharia Protests [VIDEO]

Participation of countries that apply Sharia law goes against Olympic principles of peace and philanthropy, say radical feminist

By Gianluca Mezzofiore

Five French members of the Femen radical feminist group have been arrested in London during a topless demonstration against the International Olympic Committee (IOC). The activists wore only knickers and ….

Read more » International Business Times

64 and counting: Farmers refuse to take the bait on their fourth hunger strike

By Mithal Khuhro

KHAIRPUR: Comrade Ghulam Rasool Sehto, popularly known as the Anna Hazare of Sindh, has been on a hunger strike with his friends for the last 64 days to bring attention towards to the issues farmers face.

Sehto, who is over 60 years old, is known for his loud laugh. He was an active member of the Communist Party and was the owner and editor of a Sindhi newspaper.

Comrade Sehto has been active in participating in several other movements to support the poor and bring attention t their plight.

Continue reading 64 and counting: Farmers refuse to take the bait on their fourth hunger strike

Pakistani Christians, Hindus, Sindhis and Shias Protest Against the Chief Justice of Pakistan in London

London: Lunch-time on the 28th of May 2012 the Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Chaudhry received a vocal reception at the hands of the protesters gathered outside the award giving ceremony of the International Council of Jurists (ICJ). Ironically Justice Chaudhry is himself the vice president of ICJ.

Zee News reported, “Pakistan’s Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry ha[s] been awarded the prestigious International Jurists Award 2012. Justice Chaudhry received the award from Lord Phillips, President of the Supreme Court of the UK, for his “unique and tremendous contribution in the field of administration of justice and for the tireless and fearless endeavours towards administration of justice in Pakistan against all odds.”

Shortly before Justice Chaudhry received the award, two persons barged into the auditorium at the Hotel Court House raising slogans against killings of Shias in Pakistan.”

While outside a large demonstration by Sindhi, Hindu, Christian, Muslim and Human Rights organizations was taking place against forced conversions of Hindu and Christian girls in Pakistan. The protesters were chanting loud slogans against Justice Chaudhry ’s role in handing over the Hindu girls to their Muslim ‘husbands’ whereas their families allege that all three girls were abducted on the orders of the influential custodian of a Muslim shrine Mian Abdul Haq-Member National Assembly for the ruling PPP.

Christian groups pointed out the lack of justice in Pakistani courts for scores of victims languishing in jails under trumped-up charges under Pakistan’s infamous blasphemy laws which carry the punishment of death penalty. The protesters were allowed to speak to the organizers of the event. ….

Read more » Global Christian Voice

http://globalchristianvoice.wordpress.com/2012/05/31/pakistani-christians-hindus-sindhis-and-shias-protest-against-the-chief-justice-of-pakistan-in-london/

Forced conversions: As leftists protest, ST takes offence

By Sameer Mandhro / Z Ali

KARACHI / HYDERABAD: Supporters of the leftist coalition group, the Sindh Progressive Committee, had a run-in with the Barelvi religious-political party Sunni Tehreek at the Hyderabad Press Club on Tuesday, resulting in the police hauling in almost two dozen activists.

The Sunni Tehreek had been protesting the recent spate of violence in Karachi and had wrapped up the event. The Sindh Progressive Committee (SPC), which comprises the Workers Party, Labour Party, Communist Party, Jeay Sindh Mahaz, National Party, Awami Party and Watan Dost Inquilaabi Party, held a protest outside the press club against forced conversions and religious extremism.

The fight reportedly started as the Sunni Tehreek supporters alleged that attendees at the SPC’s event had beaten up a man who had stopped them from chanting slogans that they alleged were against religion.

Sunni Tehreek’s protestors went back to the press club and the fight forced SPC event attendees to hide inside the club as the Sunni Tehreek men threw stones and chanted slogans against them. While some female SPC leaders including Professor Arfana Mallah and Sindh University lecturer and activist Amar Sindhu managed to escape, the police cordoned off the area around the press club and rescued the rest. While they had assumed the police would release them, they were sent to the Cantonment Police Station.

The Sunni Tehreek’s Abid Qadri alleged that the SPC had “attacked our man first” and “used abusive language”. Arfana Mallah said their protest was peaceful but they had been attacked by the Sunni Tehreek, who brought “weapons, stones and sticks” and “forced us not to chant slogans”.

According to the police, 23 men from the Sindh Progressive Committee were arrested. The Sunni Tehreek’s Hyderabad General Secretary Muhammad Yaseen Qadri registered a First Information Report (FIR) under sections 148, 147 and 149. Even though the FIR mentions 60 people, only three are mentioned by name – Comrade Iqbal, Allah Bux and Bakhshal Thallo. The Sunni Tehreek and SPC have both claimed their supporters were injured.

At the SPC’s protest in Karachi, activists demanded that Rinkle Kumari and Asha Kumari, the two women who have drawn attention to the rise of Hindu conversions in Sindh, be handed over to their parents. They chanted slogans against landlords, clerics, army generals and extremists and asked that the government separate religion from matters of the state.

Speakers included Yousuf Masti Khan, Nasir Mansoor, Jan Muhammad Buledi, Usman Baloch, Mehnaz Rehman, Comrade Iqbal and Abdul Khaliq Junejo. “We don’t support a state that promotes religious extremism and stifles the environment for other religions. Every man is free in this country and has the right to move freely and perform his religious rituals,” said Usman Baloch.

Courtesy: The Express Tribune, April 18th, 2012.

http://tribune.com.pk/story/366193/forced-conversions-as-leftists-protest-st-takes-offence/

ATTACK ON SINDH PROGRESSIVE COMMITTEE (SPC) DEMO AGAINST RELIGIOUS FUNDAMENTALISM

Hyderabad: The religious extremists show up to throw stones and beat peaceful protestors including children and women and the police arrests the peaceful progressive demonstrators of civil society demanding basic rights for women and Hindus as citizens of Pakistan. They are charging the civil society activists with blasphemy to terrorize them! Sindh is indeed suffering a brutal occupation that turns more tragic and farcical by the day. The following report of the rally to protests forced conversion and kidnapping of Hindu girls by an alliance of Sindhi civil society.

According to the reports, Sunni Tehreek’s extremists came with pick up’s loaded with Stones and attacked the peaceful Rally. Some of the injured were Girls & children. Police arrested civil society leaders Taj Marri, along with his Daughter Paras, renowned leftist intellectual, thinker, writer and activists Bakhshal Thalou and many other activists of civil society . Religious fundamentalists tried to put Hyderabad Press club on fire, and latter GOR Colony police Station was attacked by them. Several hundreds Students of Sindh University came to defend the civil society rally against the religious fundamentalism. Women Action Forum Leaders Arfana Mallah and Amar Sindhu who were in rally tried to dissuade the fanatics, but they insisted on registering charges of TOHEEN-E-RISALAT [blasphemy, a capital offense in Pakistan] against arrested leaders of Sindhi civil society.

According to some informed journalists a secret service agency is working on to create a rift between the People of Sindh and wants to start Hindu- Muslim riots and force the Sindhi Hindu’s to leave Sindh and to put Sindhis in minority in their own motherland. After the pressure of civil society, Women Action Forum’s leader Arfana Mallah and Taj Marri were freed from the lockup of GOR Colony Police Station, Hyderabad, Pakistan.

Courtesy: Sindhi e-lists/ e-groups 17 April 2012 + facebook

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More » BBC urdu

Honorable Dana Rohrabacher a Chairman of US foreign affairs committee has announced to support Sindh’s Freedom movement

Honorable Dana Rohrabacher a Chairman of US foreign affairs committee has announced to support Sindh’s Freedom movement . A month ago he has tabled resolution for Baluchistan’s freedom. …..

آمريڪي سينٽ جي پرڏيھي معاملن جي ڪاميٽيءَ جي چيئرمين ڊانا روھرا بيڪر چيو آھي ته ھو بلوچن جيان جلد مظلوم سنڌين جي حقن لاءِ به آواز اٿاريندو ـ

Courtesy: Sindhi News Channel Sindh TV, Sindhi News Channel KTN » YouTube

‘Don’t Attack Iran!’ UK braces for nationwide anti-war protest

Protesters march past The Houses of Parliament during a “Stop the War Coalition Protest March” in London, in protest of the Allied countries presence in Iraq

UK activists from Stop the War coalition are to hold a day of action across the country against war with Iran. The demonstrations are planned in 15 major cities including Bath, Birmingham, Bristol, London, Liverpool, Manchester and Newcastle. …

Courtesy: http://www.rt.com/news/iran-uk-war-protest-375/

PAKISTAN – Supreme court directs Sindh IG to recover Hindu girls by 26th

SC directs Sindh IG to recover Hindu girls by 26th

ISLAMABAD – The Supreme Court on Thursday directed the Sindh inspector general of police to take all necessary steps for the recovery of Hindu females and produce them before the court on March 26.

A three-member SC bench comprising Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, Justice Khilji Arif Hussain and Justice Tariq Parvez was hearing a petition filed by the Pakistan Hindu Council, making the federation through the Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Ministry respondents. Appearing on notice, Attorney General Maulvi Anwarul Haq requested the court to grant him some time to seek instructions from the quarters concerned in the matter. The court then directed him to file reply until the next hearing.

The court was informed by Pakistan Hindu Council Patron-in-Chief Dr Ramesh Kumar that during the past few days, three females of the Hindu community including Rinkle daughter of Nandlal (Mirpur Mathello) and Dr Lata daughter of Dr Ramesh (Jaccobabad) were kidnapped from CPSP Karachi, whereas another Poja Devi (Larkano) had also been abducted forcibly. He said the entire Hindu community felt insecure and therefore had lodged a protest in Karachi. He requested the court to issue necessary directions to the provincial administration for the recovery of the girls by the next date of hearing.

Courtesy: Pakistan Today

Sindhi American Political Action Committee (SAPAC) was recently informed about Rinkel’s case to members of Congress on Capitol Hill- State sponsored discrimination against Hindus in Pakistan

March 8, 2012 – Washington, DC – The Sindhi American Political Action Committee (SAPAC) was recently informed about the urgent and alarming case of a Hindu girl, Rinkel Kumari, who was abducted by Muslim fanatics from her home in Mirpur Mathelo and forced to convert her religion to Islam. We are in the process of arranging appointments with members of Congress and their staff to discuss Rinkel’s case as well as the plight of minorities in Pakistan. We would like to invite you to join us as we meet with members of Congress.

Sadly, Rinkel Kumari’s is one of many cases of abduction and forced religious conversion in Pakistan. We have gathered some information about Rinkel’s case and the situation of Hindus in Pakistan below:

· Rinkel Kumari was forcibly abducted from her home in the early hours of February 24, 2012 by Naveed Shah who was accompanied by three other armed men.

· Rinkel was held in custody by Mian Mohammad Aslam, the son of Pakistan Peoples’ Party MNA Miya Mithoo in Bharchundi Shareef where she was forced to marry Naveed Shah and convert to Islam.

· On the morning of February 24, Daya Ram, Rinkel’s uncle registered an FIR against Naveed Shah.

· On February 25, Rinkel’s case was brought before a Ghotki civil judge. Rinkel testified that she had been kidnapped and forced to change her religion against her will. However, the judge ruled in favor of Naveed Shah and Rinkel was taken into police custody for two days at Sukkur police station.

· Rinkel was allegedly threatened while in police custody that if she did not change her statement, she and her family would be killed.

· On February 27, Rinkel appeared in court again. This time, her relatives were not allowed inside the court. Additionally, there were armed followers of the MNA surrounding the court.

· During this second hearing, Rinkel was under pressure and changed her statement in favor of Naveed Shah. She was given into his custody. Rinkel’s family is not aware of the whereabouts of their daughter.

· On March 2, the Hindu community protested in front of the Press Club against the abductions and forced conversions of Hindu girls to Islam. The family of Rinkel also participated in the protest.

· Hindus are a minority group in Pakistan, making up approximately 2% of the population.

· According to the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC), around 20 to 25 forced kidnappings and conversions of Hindu girls take place every month in Sindh.

· The Hindu American Foundation states that “many Hindus in Pakistan are compelled to pay regular sums, as a type of ransom, to extortionists and local leaders in exchange for the physical security of their families and themselves.”

· As a result of Pakistan’s Blasphemy Laws, minority groups in Pakistan are not free to express their own religions and ideologies without fear of persecution.

· State sponsored discrimination against minority groups in Pakistan is rampant. This state sponsored discrimination has caused several Hindus to migrate out of Pakistan. In March 2011, Hindu politician in Pakistan Jaipal Chabria, said that “every month a Hindu family leaves for neighboring India. Insecurity, killings, kidnappings and forcible conversion of women to Islam are the major causes.”

We humbly request that you contact us to join us in presenting Rinkel’s case to members of Congress on Capitol Hill. Please let us know as soon as possible if you plan to participate. We hope to work together to bring justice to Rinkel and her family and to bring an end to state sponsored discrimination in Pakistan.

Email: sapac.sindh@gmail.com

Chief Justice urged to help recover ‘kidnapped’ Hindu girl – DAWN

By Bhagwandas

KARACHI, March 4: An alliance of minority parties on Sunday appealed to Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry to take a suo motu notice of the kidnapping of a Hindu girl and order her immediate return to her parents to restore the waning sense of security in the minorities.

Speaking at a protest demonstration staged outside the Karachi Press Club, Pakistan Minority Leaders Alliance representatives said they would launch a protest movement and stage a sit-in on March 10 if the authorities failed to recover the girl, Rinkle Kumari.

According to an uncle of the girl, Raj Kumar, she was kidnapped from her house in Mirpur Mathelo over a week ago and forced to marry Naveed Shah and change her religion. He alleged that the case was heard by a civil judge in Ghotki, but he did not allow her relatives to enter the courtroom while giving a verdict in favour of the ‘kidnapper’, Mr Shah.

Speaking on the occasion, Jeay Sindh Mahaz chief Riaz Chandio expressed solidarity with the minority community members and demanded arrest of and punishment to culprits involved in her kidnapping.

He said those belonging to religious minority groups, including Hindus, Christians and Sikhs, were sons of the soil. They should not feel threatened by such acts, as all Sindhis were one and that they were equal citizens and had equal rights, he said.

He said it was unfortunate that the girl was given in police custody instead of being sent to Darul Aman.

Mr Chandio announced that if “the daughter of Sindh” was not rescued and returned and culprits were not arrested soon and punished according to law, a province-wide sit-it would be staged on Saturday.

Manohar Lal, Muttahida Qaumi Movement lawmaker in the national assembly, condemned the kidnapping and forced conversion of a young girl. He urged the president to take notice of the incident.

He said Islam guaranteed protection to minorities, but such people were giving a bad name to the religion. With such incidents, a sense of insecurity was growing in the community, he said. Earlier their sons were kidnapped for ransom, but now their daughters were being kidnapped and forcibly converted, he remarked.

Jeay Sindh Taraqi Pasand Party leader Gulzar Soomro said that forced conversions were a conspiracy against Islam, which preaches love and peace and opposes use of force. He said the culprits were agents of the establishment that wanted to divide the Sindhis.

“Our patience should not be mistaken as our weakness,” he warned, seeking her immediate recovery.

A Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf leader and former lawmaker, Michael Javed, said the Quaid-i-Azam had said that the minorities would be equal citizens in Pakistan, but over the years the Quaid’s message was being forgotten.

Amar Lal, a community leader, said he and the girl’s uncle had met US consulate general staff a few days back and political counsellor Junaid J. Muneer had assured him that the issue would be taken up with the authorities concerned. He said he had also received a call from a former political counsellor of the US embassy in Islamabad, L.K. Robinson, who was currently in Washington. He told him that he would take up the issue with human rights organisations there.

Mahesh Singh, Mangla Sharma, Ramesh Kumar, Vijay Kumar and others also spoke.

Raj Kumar, the girl’s uncle, earlier informed the gathering that on Feb 24, a few armed men barged into her home in Mirpur Mathelo and kidnapped her at gunpoint.

He said a case was filed in a Ghotki court where he said she gave a statement about the threats she had received to convert and marry Naveed Shah or she and her entire family would be killed. He quoted her as saying in the court that she wanted to return and live with her parents.

He also alleged that the judge, in the presence of gunmen in the court, sent her to police custody rather than to her parents’ home or to a shelter home. The next hearing was scheduled to be held at 11am on Feb 27, but the case was heard at 8.15am and the girl’s family was not allowed to enter the courtroom, he said, adding that the judge then gave a verdict in favour of Mr Shah.

Mr Kumar urged the chief justice to take a suo motu notice of the issue and order her safe return to her parents.

Earlier, the participants in the demonstration chanted slogans such as ‘we want justice’ and ‘Rinkle be rescued’.

Courtesy: DAWN

New York Times – Pakistan Builds Web Wall Out in the Open

By ERIC PFANNER

PARIS — Many countries censor the Internet, but few spell out their intentions as explicitly as Pakistan.

In an effort to tighten its control over the Internet, the government recently published a public tender for the “development, deployment and operation of a national-level URL filtering and blocking system.”

Technology companies, academic institutions and other interested parties have until March 16 to submit proposals for the $10 million project, but anger about it has been growing both inside and outside Pakistan.

Censorship of the Web is nothing new in Pakistan, which, like other countries in the region, says it wants to uphold public morality, protect national security or prevent blasphemy. The government has blocked access to pornographic sites, as well as, from time to time, mainstream services like Facebook and YouTube.

Until now, however, Pakistan has done so in a makeshift way, demanding that Internet service providers cut off access to specific sites upon request. With Internet use growing rapidly, the censors are struggling to keep up, so the government wants to build an automatic blocking and filtering system, like the so-called Great Firewall of China.

While China and other governments that sanitize the Internet generally do so with little public disclosure, Pakistan is being surprisingly forthcoming about its censorship needs. It published its request for proposals on the Web site of the Information and Communications Technology Ministry’s Research and Development Fund and even took out newspaper advertisements to publicize the project.

“The system would have a central database of undesirable URL’s that would be loaded on the distributed hardware boxes at each POP and updated on daily basis,” the request for proposals says, referring to uniform resource locators, the unique addresses for specific Web pages, and points of presence, or access points.

“The database would be regularly updated through subscription to an international reputed company maintaining and updating such databases,” according to the request, which was published last month.

The tender details a number of technical specifications, including the fact that the technology “should be able to handle a block list of up to 50 million URL’s (concurrent unidirectional filtering capacity) with processing delay of not more than 1 milliseconds.”

Following the Arab Spring, which demonstrated the power of the Internet to help spread political and social change, Pakistan’s move to clamp down has set off a storm of protest among free-speech groups in the country and beyond.

Opponents of censorship say they are doubly appalled because they associated this kind of heavy-handed approach more with the previous regime of Gen. Pervez Musharraf than with the current government of President Asif Ali Zardari.

“The authorities here are big fans of China and how it filters the Internet,” said Sana Saleem, chief executive of Bolo Bhi, a group that campaigns against restrictions on the Internet. “They overlook the fact that China is an autocratic regime and we are a democracy.”

Continue reading New York Times – Pakistan Builds Web Wall Out in the Open

Join Baloch Solidarity Protest rally in front of The US embassy in London, UK

Press release: Baloch Human Rights Council (UK), Baloch Raaji Zrombesh, World Sindhi Congress and Balochistan Liberation Organistaion are holding a Baloch Solidarity protest rally infront of the USA embassy in London UK.

All Baloch , Sindhis and other democratic and peace loving people are requested to join in the rally.

· To show your solidarity with the genuine struggle of Baloch and Sindhi people for their sovereignty and human rights.

· To say thanks to Congressman Dana Rohrabacher and USA government for their support of Human rights and sovereignty of Baloch Nation.

· To protest against crimes against humanity committed by Pakistani security establishment against Baloch and Sindhi people.

· To condemn the disappearances, torture and extrajudicial killing of Baloch and Sindhi people.

· To request the international community, the USA, the UK that the deep state committing crimes against Baloch and Sindhi people.

Samad Baloch

General Secretary

Baloch Human Rights Council (UK)

Freedom for Balochistan – Protest against Pakistan’s barbarism in Balochistan

London: The barbarism of Pakistani security agencies in Balochistan continues to infuriate the Baloch people. A Human Rights Watch report titled “We can Torture, Kill, or Keep You for Years’: Enforced Disappearances by Pakistan Security Forces in Balochistan” exposes the fact that Pakistani agencies are responsible for widespread disappearances of Baloch political activists. The 32-page report slams Pakistan authorities for taking people into custody and then denying all responsibility or knowledge of their fate or whereabouts. The rights group investigated several cases in which uniformed personnel of the Frontier Corps, an Interior Ministry paramilitary force, and the police were involved in abducting Baloch nationalists.

Courtesy: South Asia News » YouTube

Hyderabad – Sindh Progressive Committee protest Baluchistan violence – Demotix.com

Members of Sindh Progressive committee protest against State Terrorism in Baluchistan outside the Hyderabad press club. Hyderabad, Pakistan. 11th February 2012.

To watch the photos of protest » Demotix.com

http://www.demotix.com/news/1045703/sindh-progressive-committee-protest-baluchistan-violence-hyderabad

BBC VIDEO: Abdul Qadeer Baloch’s struggle for Baloch Missing Persons

BBC VIDEO: Abdul Qadeer Baloch’s struggle for Baloch Missing Persons. Very moving video (Protest for more than 668 days & continue …) …

Read more » BBC urdu

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More details » The Baloch who is not missing – By Mohammed Hanif

Negligent dereliction of duty – By: Mir Mohammad Ali Talpur.

Excerpt;

….. All the misdeeds and misdemeanours of the army here have gone unchallenged and mostly misreported or under-reported. One cannot expect bumbling civilian prime ministers who regularly eat crow after blurting out against the army to hold them to account. The judiciary dilly-dallies on missing persons and kill and dump issues because it has never been people-friendly. Atrocities and injustices are possible because people have become too docile and too obedient and have abdicated their right to protest.

Howard Zinn rightly said, “Civil disobedience is not our problem. Our problem is civil obedience. Our problem is that people are obedient all over the world in the face of poverty and starvation and stupidity, and war, and cruelty. Our problem is that people are obedient while the jails are full of petty thieves…(and) the grand thieves are running the country. That is our problem.”

As long as the people continue to accept injustices and atrocities being perpetrated against them or others, the ‘grand thieves’ will remain in power everywhere and atrocities will not cease. The plea of ‘negligent dereliction of duty’ will always come in handy to the perpetrators if those judging them are of their ilk. Only when people will give up their docility and obsequiousness will justice be done and be seen to be done. And therein lies the solution to the injustices and atrocities anywhere in the world.

To read compete article » Daily Times

Nationalists shut Sindh to protest 20th Amendment

* Say parliament not authorised to form new provinces

By Asghar Azad

KARACHI: A complete shutter-down and wheel-jamed strike was observed in Sindh, excluding a few localities of Karachi, on Saturday.

The strike call was given by an alliance of Sindhi nationalist parties, ‘Sindh Bachayo Committee (SBC), against the 20th Constitutional Amendment bill which was tabled in the National Assembly by the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) and was approved for discussion. The nationalists feared the bill was aimed at dividing Sindh.

The nationalist parties, including Jeay Sindh Qaumi Mahaz, Jeay Sindh Tahreek, Sindh United Party, Sindh National Front, Sindh Taraqqi Pasand Party, Awami Tehreek and National People’s Party condemned the proposed amendment. Professional bodies, human rights activists and writers’ organisations had announced their full support for the shutter-down strike as no public transport was available, causing severe difficulties for commuters to carry out their day-to-day work.

A protest demonstration was held in Hyderabad while roads were also blocked at various places.

All business activities came to a grinding halt in big and small cities of the province, including Sukkur, Nawabshah, Larkana, Khairpur, Dadu, Naushahro Feroze, Moro, Faiz Ganj, Gambat, Ranipur, Rohiri, Ghotki, Pir Jo Goth, Wada Machoon, Babarlo, Therrhi, Kumb, Padedan, Thatta, Golarrchi, Choohar Jamali, Badin, Fazil Rahou, Talhar, Tando Muhammad Khan, Tando Allahyar, Mirpurkhas, Mithi, Islam Kot, Sakrand, Dolat Pur and Umer Kot.

The strike was also observed in various localities of Karachi, including Gulshan-e-Iqbal, Gulistan-e-Jauhar, Gadop Town, Gulshan-e-Hadeed, Bhens Colony, Abdullah Goth, Pipri, Sindhi Goth, Gaghar Phattak, Chakra Goth, Bilal Colony, Gulshan-e-Mehran, Mehran Town, Bhittai Colony Korangi, Sachal Goth, Safora Goth, Mosmyat, Memon Goth, Liyari, Baloch Goth and Baloch Colony of Orangi, Malir, Maripur, Bhitiabad, Dhani Bux Khaskhekli Goth, Rashidi Goth, Razaq Abad, Peer Goth and Bin Qasim Colony.

Workers and supporters of the nationalist parties staged rallies and sit-ins at several places, including Indus and national highways, Sehwan Bypass, Khairpur Bypass, Rohiri Bypass, Larkana-Khairpur Bridge Bypass, Faiz Ganj and Hyderabad.

Meanwhile, SBC convener Syed Jalal Mehmood Shah said that the people had given their verdict against the amendment and it was not acceptable to them in any shape. He appreciated business and traders’ communities for cooperating and participating in the strike.

Talking to Daily Times, Shah said that “the makers of the 1973 constitution, though complied with the first provision of the Lahore Resolution that there would be four provinces in the new federation and did not confer any power on parliament to create new provinces, but they violated the second provision of the Lahore Resolution, which says the federal government could only be given four subjects including, defence, foreign affairs, currency and customs”.

“We can safely say that though the constitutions of 1956 and 1962 were based on total violation of the two provisions of the Lahore Resolution, the 1973 constitution fulfills the first part of the Lahore Resolution of giving protection to the unity and integrity of provinces,” he said, adding that it gave the federal government more subjects than envisaged in 1940 resolution. Shah said, “Again an attempt is being made by centralists to violate the Lahore Resolution by giving parliament the power to create more provinces.” It may be mentioned that the MQM has submitted a proposal in the National Assembly for the formation of new provinces in the country.

Courtesy: Daily Times

Stop the ongoing anti-Ahmadi hate campaign in Rawalpindi

A hate campaign against the Ahmadiyya community in Rawalpindi has been brewing for the last many months. A massive protest rally against the community has been planned by extremist elements for Sunday, January 29th, 2012 in Satellite Town area of Rawalpindi city.

Through this petition, we urge the Federal Government and the Government of Punjab to immediately take notice of, intervene and put an end to this ongoing hate campaign against its fellow citizens.

The least the government can do is protect its citizens. We urge the government to provide adequate security to the vulnerable Ahmadis under attack on Sunday.

News: http://alufaq.com/pakistan-hate-campaign-ahmadis-satellite-town-rawalpindi

Read more » http://www.change.org/petitions/stop-the-ongoing-anti-ahmadi-hate-campaign-in-rawalpindi

Thousands protest media’s moral policing in Pakistan

By Beena Sarwar

A morning show broadcast in Pakistan on Jan 17, 2012, on Samaa, a Pakistani television channel, has catalysed what could well be the beginning of a media consumer rights movement.

In the show, Subah Saverey Maya kay Sath (Early Morning with Maya), the host Maya Khan, charges through a public park looking for dating couples to interrogate. With her is a battalion of other women, who join her in self-righteously lecturing the couples they come across – does your family know you are here, why don’t you meet at home if you are engaged, and, most outrageously, if you are married, where is your nikahnama (marriage certificate)?

When the harassed couples ask for the camera to be turned off, the Samaa team pretends to acquiesce but carries on filming with sound. As several people have pointed out, this intrusive behaviour could result in putting those couples in life-threatening situations in a country where forced marriages and ‘honour killings’ continue to be the norm. ….

Read more » Beena Sarwar

Ethnic cleansing of Christians in Pakistan

Christian children have become the victims of recent violence

The shocking protest of a Catholic Member of Parliament in Pakistan: “In Karachi children are being raped and tortured to eliminate the presence of Christians. Dozens of people have been reported as a result of the blasphemy law

By Vatican Insider staff

Rome –

Children raped and tortured, families extorted, abuse and violence taking place at the expense of terrified victims who remain silent: this is the reality of what is happening to the Christian community in some suburban quarters of Karachi, Southern Pakistan’s biggest city and the capital of the Sindh province.

Speaking to Catholic news agency Fides, Michael Shind, a Catholic MP working in Pakistan’s Sindh province, gave a shocking statement condemning the situation for Christians in the Country. Javed, whose statement was also reported by Vatican Radio, warned that for months now, Christians in the areas of EssaNagri, Ayub Goth and Bhittaiabad, have suffered indescribable violence perpetrated by members of political movements, such as the Pashtuns, which are characterised by a strong ethnic and Islamic identity. Christian families are going through living hell but “people are not reporting the abuse for fear of retaliation.”

Just last month, Javed told Fides, “We recorded 15 cases of rape.” In EssaNagri there are real “torture cells” where Christian children are imprisoned and tortured. “Captors ask for ransoms of up to 100.000 rupees and if families cannot pay, the little ones are tortured until they are beyond recognition.” The result of the violence that has been going on over the past six months is that numerous families have decided to leave Karachi. “These acts of violence are aimed at eliminating Christian presence in the area; it constitutes a kind of ethnic cleansing: we are seen as slaves who are unworthy of setting foot on Pakistani soil.”

In another case reported, a so-called “house of tolerance” was opened near a Catholic Church in Ayub Goth where “Christian girls from destitute families are forced into prostitution.” Although the authorities have been made aware of this, they have not taken any action yet. Javed is launching an appeal to ask “for an end to the oppression of our community.”

What is more, the controversial blasphemy law continues to provoke disputes and attract criticism in Pakistan and internationally, while the situation for religious minorities is very serious. They are suffering as a result of the rising extremism of Islamic fundamentalist groups. As reported by Fides, the numbers of people against whom charges have been pressed for allegedly committing blasphemy are shocking. In 2011, the blasphemy law (articles 295b and 295c of the Penal Code) led to at least 161 people being incriminated and 9 killed in extrajudicial executions after they were accused of blasphemy. These accusations “are false in 95% of cases,” says one Muslim lawyer, who wished to remain anonymous for security reasons.

According to a Report by the Asian Human Rights Commission, a human rights watch NGO operative in Asia, “Pakistan failed to guarantee respect for the human rights of its people.” The Commission documented the killings of 18 human rights defenders and 16 journalists in 2011. They had been involved in a process of denouncing evil in society, corruption and Islamic extremism.

Corutesy: Vatican Insider