By Asghar Ali Engineer THE Quran indeed had ushered in a revolution as far as women’s rights were concerned. Women hardly enjoyed any rights before Islam in marriage, divorce or inheritance. They were left totally dependent on father, husband or brother and had no individual identity. The Quran straight away gave them distinct individual, legal personalities. At the time women did not enjoy such status anywhere in the world. In fact even philosophers like Aristotle thought women and animals had no soul. However, this revolutionary approach to women’s distinct individuality was hardly acceptable to Arab society. Arabs were, by and large, a patriarchal society and wanted to keep women under their thumb. But after Islam became a national religion for Arabs they could not easily deny what the Quran gave to women. Thus many found a via media of hadith and thousands of traditions were falsely attributed to the Prophet of Islam (PBUH) that were quite derogatory to women and sought to take away from them what the Quran had given them.
Dawn Editorial, 18 Sep, 2009 PEOPLE are dying queuing for grain in Pakistan. This is a country where food inflation is forcing parents to pull their children out of school – they can eat sparsely or be educated, not both. Lives are being lost to ailments that are easily curable. Street crime is rampant across a country where human life is worth less than a cellphone. Yet our political leaders appear oblivious to the misery that is everywhere. They seem to have no perspective, no grip on reality. Does a man who can’t feed his children really care whether or not Pervez Musharraf is tried for treason? Is a mother whose child has died of gastroenteritis likely to give much thought to America’s military presence in the region? Will a jobless person be impressed by the president’s much-touted ‘achievements’ during his first year in office? Our leaders have clearly lost sight of the core issues. This is a country where religious minorities are targeted by Muslim mobs while the law-enforcers look on. Deadly attacks against …
Tuesday, 04 Aug, 2009 | 10:02 AM PST | Frightened civilians fear the Taliban will pounce again on Swat as residents try to rebuild shattered lives and shot nerves in the mountain valley once likened to Switzerland.
By Rupert Cornwell Tuesday, 14 July 2009 Published in ‘ Independent’. Why are we asking this now? The CIA is currently embroiled in two controversies that go to the heart of the problems surrounding the world’s largest intelligence agency. It is accused of keeping Congress in the dark about a secret post-9/11 project, on the orders of the former vice-president Dick Cheney and probably in violation of the law. Meanwhile the Justice Department is moving towards a criminal investigation of whether CIA operatives illegally tortured captured terrorist suspects. A rule of thumb about an intelligence service might be: the less you hear about it, the better it’s probably doing its job. Instead, the CIA seems to be eternally in the headlines.
KARACHI: A three-day skill building workshop on STIs (sexually transmitted infections) and HIV got under way on Thursday to educate and prepare sex workers for running various preventive health programmes solely for their own benefit. The United Nations Population Fund, an international agency, is organising the workshop with the collaboration of the National Aids Control Programme. About 70 female sex workers, mainly from the red light areas of both Karachi and Hyderabad, turned up on the first day to attend lectures and interactive sessions. The female workers were brought to the workshop entitled ‘Skill building workshop on HIV and sex works’ with the support of an NGO and contraceptive marketers, said an organiser, adding that there was a plan to bring the female sex workers operating from kothis, bungalows and those giving services on call to such a forum in the future.
With every passing day the situation of the IDPs living in the camps is getting worse. The weather is getting warmer day by day making it more and more miserable and affecting the health of the people badly. The most vulnerable group are children and women (specifically the women who are pregnant). They are suffering the most and need urgent attention. The average number of people visiting the medical camps has increased significantly, according to the medical assistant, Salma, working in the population welfare department. She has told us that nearly fifty patients visit their camp daily, out of which 10 are women who are pregnant. She told us that due to insufficient nutrition they are weak and developing complications According to Salma there is no doctor available in the Population welfare department’s camp to see the patients. When we asked her that how do they treat the serious patients she answered that they refer them to the other medical camps serving in the colony. Unfortunately these camps are hardly any better. The other depressing …
The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) is convinced that the cost of the insurgency in the Malakand Division has been increased manifold by the shortsightedness and indecisiveness of the non-representative institutions and their policy of appeasing the militants and cohorting with them. While the ongoing military operation had become unavoidable, it was not adopted as a measure of the last resort. Further, the plight of the internally displaced people has been aggravated by lack of planning and coordination by the agencies concerned, and the methods of evacuation of towns/villages and the arrangements for the stranded people have left much to be desired. Based on reports by HRCP activists in the Malakand Division and other parts of NWFP/Pakhtunkhwa, visits to IDP camps by its activists and senior board members, and talks with many displaced people and several Nazims and public figures, the commission has released the following statement on the situation, its conclusions and recommendations: