Please take a minute to generally know what’s going on in Pakistan right now.
On August 14th, Pakistan’s Independence Day, peaceful demonstrators started a march for the capital in opposition to the current prime minister. Now 17 days in to their peaceful sit in at the prime minister’s house civilians are being attacked and brutalized by the military.
They are being shot with rubber bullets, tear gas, and shells. Women and children are on the frontline, joined by lower and middle class citizens. It’s not rebels or bad people, its teachers, craftsmen, doctors.
It is hardly being reported on international media, but a peaceful protest in a democratic country is being met with such hard violence sanctioned by its military, and that’s a very very scary thing.
Headlines are making it sound like it is an equal clash, but these are UNARMED CIVILIANS, who are exercising their human right to oppose injustice. They want the current president Nawaz Sharif to resign, and are being attacked for it. Tensions in Pakistan are the direct result of the upper class elite and misuse of power by the military declaring a state of emergency to bypass laws and impose curfew on its citizens, by any force necessary.
|—||The End of Human Rights: The rhetoric surrounding the protection of human rights has been appropriated by Western nations that are only too complicit in the derogation of values once cherished around the world, writes Rohit Chopra.
One of the most comprehensive articles I’ve read.
|—||Questions on Drones, Unanswered Still. (via mehreenkasana)|
|—||Medea Benjamin, Americans Take Anti-Drone Stance Directly to Pakistan via Antiwar.com (via jayaprada)
The number of times I’ve tried explaining this to supporters of drone strikes is sickeningly high.
Transsexuals and eunuchs have finally won recognition following some three years of interest shown by the Supreme Court. On Tuesday, a three-member bench headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry disposed of the case and ruled that eunuchs were entitled to all the rights guaranteed in the Constitution to all citizens including the right of inheritance.
The apex court order said that eunuchs should not be deprived of their legitimate rights — particularly the right of inheritance of all movable and immovable properties and the right to adopt any profession.
The court directed that the judgment be forwarded to the chief secretaries, as well as the inspectors general of all provinces, for their information and to ensure adherence of their fundamental rights.
The issue had surfaced back in 2009 after police arrested some eunuchs by raiding a party in Taxila.
Dr Mohammad Aslam Khaki, an Islamic jurist and human rights activist, stood up for their rights upon discovery that not a single human rights group or non-governmental organisation (NGO) was working for the rights of this community in the country.
Consequently, Dr Khaki had filed a petition seeking the establishment of a commission to safeguard the rights of the transgender community.
He contended that these people were denied the right of inheritance and other fundamental rights that citizens of Pakistan enjoy.
While concluding the proceedings, the bench appreciated the appointment of focal persons among the eunuch community in all the provinces to represent the community and help address issues being faced by them.
The chief justice also directed the interior secretary and provincial police officers (PPO) to appoint a focal person in every district and tehsil to look after security-related issues of the neglected community.
In addition, the court directed all federal and provincial health and education secretaries and the chief commissioner of Islamabad to coordinate with the representatives of the transgender community in order to provide free healthcare and education to them.
In November last year, the court directed the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) to speed up the process of issuing CNICs to eunuchs and later directed the Election Commission to register eunuchs as voters as well.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 26th, 2012.
Yes. Jeetay raho, Pakistan.
The Anti-Stereotyping Pakistan Independence Day Photo Collage
First part of the series. Thank you so very much for contributing from all around the world and from within Pakistan. What may seem as a simple little collage is actually an effort to dispel racist stereotypes about Pakistanis throughout the world. Mainstream media may not honestly work on fixing racist stereotypes but as long as people like you are alive, we’re good to go. We’re here to tell the world that it is virtually impossible to stereotype a population of 190,291,129 est. people into one racist, demeaning, hurtful character.
We’re diverse, we’re different, we’re humans just like you. Stop stereotyping. Stop the hate.
P.S. More to come.
I do not even know what to say. :c
Just a friendly reminder. :)
Happy Independence Day, Pakistan. Keep up the amazing work.
|—||Dr. Farzani Bari, director of the Department of Gender Studies at Quaid-i-Azam University in Islamabad and a rights activist, writes about the lessons learned from the Kohistan women episode.
Brilliant. And kudos to the Pakistanis who raised their voices for these women.
Escalating drone strikes targeting armed groups injure many ordinary people in the country. Armed US drones have been blamed for more than 300 missile attacks in seven years in Pakistan’s tribal areas. The US government says that they target only armed groups, and that civilian casualties are minimal.
Independent investigations, however, show that between 391 and 780 civilians have been killed in drone strikes since 2004. Residents of Pakistan’s tribal areas say that they feel terrorised by the strikes, and doctors say that those who survive them often suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Al Jazeera’s Kamal Hyder met with the survivors of one such strike at a hospital in the Pakistani city of Peshawar.