All posts tagged: human rights

What is Blasphemy?

By Awaam Blasphemy, in its literal meanings, is defined as a behaviour or language expressing disrespect for God or for something sacred The issue of blasphemy, highlighted again by the recent banning of certain websites in Pakistan, has caught the attention of everyone again, through debates on media. I also read and heard different versions of thought on the issues of blasphemy. While due to the rapid transmission of the message throughout the country, and due to pressure generated by the  perceived angry reaction( read road demonstrations resulting in injuries, burning , destruction and looting) of the people, authorities were keen to ban the sites within a few hours. On the other side, it also gave birth to a serious question in my mind that ‘what the hell is blasphemy’ indeed?

Will Pakistan Army Wake Up Now ? Aey Mard e Mujahid jaag Zara

Would it be too rude to say that Pakistan Army had it coming? No, I mean, literally. As reported in the media, there were intelligence reports that the attack on GHQ was imminent and had been well planned. Two facts stand out about the armed terrorists who attacked. a. They knew they will not be able to come out alive from the heavily guarded military headquarters. These were highly trained and motivated terrorists who wanted to make a big impact by attacking the nerve centre of Pakistan Army. b. The terrorist must have known that the attack was going to have more of a symbolic value than anything else. In fact this is akin to attack on Pentagon and World Trade Centre. In an irony some may say that GHQ can be seen as representing both the corporate and military interests in Pakistan. This was an audacious attack, whose consequences and implications had been undoubtedly, thought through. However, most probably, where terrorists failed is that they may have hoped to prolong their action and inflict …

PAKISTAN BEWARE – India’s thirst is making us all wet

Published in NewScientist 03 October 2009 New Scientist discusses how Water is being sucked up in North India at astronomical rates. This is having considerable negative impact on the height of water tables in the area. Considering there exists a serious water dispute between Pakistan and India, and that how India has used its ‘water muscle’ in the past in an attempt to choke Pakistan, this reading is alarming for Pakistan. ONE nation’s thirst for groundwater is having an impact on global sea levels. Satellite measurements show that northern India is sucking some 54 trillion litres of water out of the ground every year. This is threatening a major water crisis and adding to global sea level rise.

Kerry Luger Bill

Kerry Luger Bill has created a lot of furore in Pakistan. While government is portraying it as an achievement it has many detractors who say we are selling the nation… At awaam we have decided that you can read the bill for yourself and decide… ____________________________________________ S.1707 Enhanced Partnership with Pakistan Act of 2009 (Considered and Passed by Senate) S 1707 CPS 111th CONGRESS 1st Session S. 1707 To authorize appropriations for fiscal years 2010 through 2014 to promote an enhanced strategic partnership with Pakistan and its people, and for other purposes. IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES September 24, 2009 Mr. KERRY (for himself and Mr. LUGAR ) introduced the following bill; which was read twice, considered, read the third time, and passed A BILL To authorize appropriations for fiscal years 2010 through 2014 to promote an enhanced strategic partnership with Pakistan and its people, and for other purposes. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE; TABLE OF CONTENTS. (a) Short Title- This Act may be …

EU reluctant to commit troops to Afghanistan without clear shift in strategy

EU reluctant to commit troops to Afghanistan without clear shift in strategy Geraint Rees Published in Open democracy 29 – 09 – 2009 European Union defence ministers have expressed reluctance to committing more troops to Afghanistan except as part of a limited plan training the Afghan military and police. The statements were made as EU defence ministers met yesterday in Göteborg, Sweden, for informal discussions on theEU’s security and defence policy. Several ministers were reluctant to send front line troops, instead wishing to focus resources and efforts on training Afghan security forces. ‘We have a lot, about 2,000 men in Afghanistan. I think it’s far more important in the long run that we have more Afghan military, and Afghan police,’ Dutch defence minister Eimert Van Middelkopp told reporters. The ToD Verdict: The statements come in anticipation of a possible call by the US for the EU to commit more front line troops to support the Nato-led mission in Afghanistan. The US is considering a request by General Stanley McChrystal, commander of US and NATO forces in …

Three women tortured, forced to walk naked in public

Dawn: 29-09-09 No case has been registered against the mob that attacked the women and publicly humiliated them LAHORE: Three women, accused of prostitution, were tortured by an angry mob and were later forced to walk naked on Multan Road in Phoolnagar, Kasur, a private television channel reported on Monday. A large number of people attacked a house in Jambarkalan village, torturing the women — including one Shahnaz — for alleged involvement in prostitution and running a brothel in the village. The victims said the accusations against them were baseless. They said they had a property dispute ongoing with Union Council Nazim Ilyas Khanzada who wanted to occupy their house illegally. The women have accused him of planning the assault on their home. Khanzada confirmed the women were tortured by the mob. He, however, denied plotting against them. Jambarkalan Police Sub-Inspector Bashir said a case had been registered against the women for running a brothel on the local residents’ complaints. Meanwhile, no case was registered against the mob that attacked the women and publicly humiliated …

How Top Generals May Trap Obama in a Losing War By Tom Engelhardt

Front and center in the debate over the Afghan War these days are General Stanley “Stan” McChrystal, Afghan war commander, whose “classified, pre-decisional” and devastating report — almost eight years and at least $220 billion later, the war is a complete disaster — was conveniently, not to say suspiciously,leaked to Bob Woodward of the Washington Post by we-know-not-who at a particularly embarrassing moment for Barack Obama; Admiral Michael “Mike” Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who has been increasingly vocal about a “deteriorating” war and the need for more American boots on the ground; and the president himself, who blitzed every TV show in sight last Sunday and Monday for his health reform program, but spent significant time expressing doubts about sending more American troops to Afghanistan. (“I’m not interested in just being in Afghanistan for the sake of being in Afghanistan… or sending a message that America is here for the duration.”)