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DU prof emeritus decries ‘govt conspiracy to consolidate power using textbook reform’ By Shadma Malik in Dhaka Tribune,January 13, 2017

Professor Emeritus Serajul Islam Chowdhury claimed that the mistakes in the 2017 textbooks were intentionally placed by the government to consolidate its power.
Prof Serajul alleged that the textbook mistakes were not irresponsible acts to be blamed on individuals, rather a sinister tactic employed by the government.
“Of the three branches of our education stystem, the mainstream (Bangla) is highly mistreated by the ruling party where the remaining (Madrasa, English Medium) are handled gingerly.”
A discussion titled “Scandal in textbooks and the future of Bangladesh” was organised by Bangladesh Chhatra Federation at the Munir Chowdhury auditorium in Dhaka University on Thursday.
The professor emeritus condemned the government, saying it had assented to the religious pressure group Hefazat-e-Islam’s demands. Prof Serajul claimed Hefazat’s recommendations regarding the textbook curriculum had been implemented by the government.
At the discussion,....... Read more

January 13, 2017   No Comments

Nasirnagar attacks: Amnesty calls for Rasraj’s release Report on Dhaka Tribune, Jan 13, 207

Human rights group Amnesty International has called for immediate and unconditional release Rasraj Das, arrested over last year’s attack on Hindus in Brahmanbaria’s Nasirnagar.
The 25-year-old fisherman was arrested on October 30 and charged with “hurting religious sentiment.”
A Brahmanbaria court rejected Rasraj’s bail application on January 3. The next hearing is scheduled for January 16.
In a statement on Thursday, the London-based rights body urged the Bangladesh government to “promptly investigate the attacks on the Hindu community.”
It also asked to “bring those suspected of responsibility to account in fair trials and without recourse to the death penalty.”
Also Read- Chairman Ankhi confesses paying for vandals’ truck
A mob attacked Hindu-dominated localities in Nasirnagar on October 30, injuring more than 100 people and damaging at least 17 temples and over 50 houses over a post shared on Facebook from Rasraj’s profile.<....... Read more

January 13, 2017   No Comments

No infiltration into Xinjiang: Pakistan; by SHAFQAT ALI in The Nation,12-Jan-2017

ISLAMABAD –  Pakistan has once again assured China that its soil can never be used against the time-tested friend, foreign ministry officials said on Wednesday.

Senior officials at the ministry told The Nation that Islamabad had contacted Beijing to reiterate its commitment to friendship with China and peace in the friendly neighbour.

The development came after China’s official media quoted the head of the Xinjiang government as saying that the security along the China-Pakistan border would be tightened to prevent movement of the terrorists.

Xinjiang chairman Shohrat Zakir spoke at the regional People’s Congress unveiling the plans to stop “illegal movement” along the border.

Indian media unleashed a propaganda after Zakir’s statement claiming it was a signal that China was displeased with Pakistan for not containing terrorists who allegedly crossed into the troubled province.

Xinjiang province has been facing a separatist conflict. T....... Read more

January 12, 2017   No Comments

Inside the Rakhine State insurgency Adil Sakhawat in Dhaka Tribune, Jan 12, 2017

Dhaka Tribune’s Adil Sakhawat spoke to some top members of Harakah al-Yaqin (HaY), an insurgent group in Myanmar’s Rakhine state. The guerrilla/militant organisation is responsible for a series of attacks on Myanmar border posts on the first week of October, which led to hardcore retaliation from the Myanmar security forces on the Rohingya people. This is the second part of the exclusive interview, which took place in a clandestine manner
Harakah al-Yaqin (HaY) was formed to revolt against the Myanmar government and establish the rights of Rohingyas as citizens of the country, claimed a top leader of the insurgent group.
And, according to his claim, they had full support of the locals of northern Rakhine, home to Rohingya Muslims.
HaY’s name popped up shortly after a series of attacks on several outposts of Myanmar Border Guard Police near Bangladesh border on October 9, 2016, in which nine policemen were killed.
The leader, who claims to be the second-in-....... Read more

January 12, 2017   No Comments

Stranded Pakistanis demand relocation: by SM Najmus Sakib in Dhaka Tribune, Jan 12, 2017

Urdu-speaking people of Bangladesh yesterday submitted a memorandum to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and the speaker of parliament, demanding relocation of the community’s people before the start of any eviction drive.

As part of their “Walk towards National Parliament” programme, the Urdu Speaking Youth Rehabilitation Movement (USYRM) yesterday brought out a procession towards the Jatiya Sangsad around noon from the Geneva Camp, popularly known as Bihari Camp, at Mirpur 11 in Dhaka.

However, they were barred by police at the Mirpur 10 intersection where they held a short rally. From there, a five-member delegation of the stranded Pakistanis escorted by police went to the parliament and submitted the memorandum to representatives of the PM and the speaker.

At the rally, Sadakat Khan Fakka, president of USYRM, said: “In 2014, the prime minister assured us of relocation before launching any eviction at our camp.

“But the Ministry of Disaster Managemen....... Read more

January 12, 2017   No Comments

Who allowed Raheel to head military alliance, Rabbani asks govt By Mumtaz Alvi in The News, Jan 10, 2017

ISLAMABAD: Chairman Senate Mian Raza Rabbani on Monday directed the government to brief the House on reports about former chief of the army staff (COAS) General (retd) Raheel Sharif’s appointment as the chief of the 39-nation Muslim military coalition and who had allowed this development to take place.

Rabbani asked Defence Minister Khawaja Asif as to who had confirmed Raheel’s appointment as the chief of the military coalition and to explain as to what were the rules for a retired military officer for taking up employment. The first sitting of the 258th session was a private members’ day, as it fell on Monday.

“You defence minister have also half-heartedly confirmed that the former army chief has been appointed as the chief of 39-nation military coalition, for which I am asking some questions which you’ve to answer on Wednesday,” he added.

Rabbani also sought a clarification from the Defence Ministry as to “whether any no objection certificate (NoC) ....... Read more

January 11, 2017   No Comments

Cases of violence against women increase By Ansar Abbasi in The News, January 06, 2017

ISLAMABAD: The cases of violence against women (VAW) are on the rise as an official report reveals that there have been 53,364 such reported cases in Pakistan from 2011 to 2015, showing 34% increase during this period. Police sources said that the report shows that only the crime of “honour” killings showed a decrease of 24.3 % during these years i.e. 2011-2015.

Punjab, followed by Sindh, KP, AJK, Balochistan, ICT, Gilgit Baltistan, has the highest percentage of the registered cases of the VAW in the year 2015. The Punjab reported the highest number of “honor” crimes in comparison to the other regions, including Sindh, which is generally perceived to have the greatest number of greatest number of pockets of “honor” killings.

KPK reported the highest number of cases of harassment at workplace in 2015. Sexual violence that includes rape showed an increase in registered cases in Punjab, Sindh, KPK, AJK and ICT.

Domestic violence kept on rising in all the f....... Read more

January 7, 2017   No Comments

The counter-wave: by ASHA’AR REHMAN in Dawn, January 6th, 2017

The writer is Dawn’s resident editor in Lahore.
WEDNESDAY, Jan 4 in Lahore marked a new phase in the life of a particular religious group said to be an offshoot of the majority Sunni mainstream. The day could also define the Punjab government’s response to dealing with a particular brand of action with deep religious hues.

It is a date when a small group of people based in Lahore have been coming out to remember Salmaan Taseer, the slain provincial governor killed by his guard on Jan 4, 2011. By and large left alone to defend themselves on the street against the right-wing elements, the group was attacked a couple of anniversaries back. What was different was that the state showed the spine to arrest the attackers and, surprisingly, to try them.

This must have been a sign of alarm for those who were angered by the sight of a handful of people — less — holding a vigil for an official who, in their opinion, deserved to be murdered. The group is, in a derogator....... Read more

January 7, 2017   No Comments

Returning Ahmadi villagers face social boycott By Rana Tanveer in The Express Tribune, January 6th, 2017

LAHORE: Members of the Ahmadiyya community who fled their village in the wake of the storming of their worship place and a subsequent clash on Dec 12 have started trickling back to their homes in Chakwal’s Dulmail area. Upon their return, the Ahmadi villagers are facing a social boycott imposed by the locals.

Most of the shops in Dulmail are not willing to entertain Ahmadi customers. “The locals are not even ready to talk to us,” one Ahmadi villager said.

The authorities imposed a curfew and mounted a crackdown after the Dec 12 attack during which one Ahmadi worshipper died of cardiac arrest, one protester was killed and another five were injured. The authorities later asked people to return to their homes and assured them that those without a link to the incident or the clash would not be arrested.

Soldiers left the village after spending 10 days in the locality. About 100 policemen were currently deployed in the area to ensure no damage was done to the mino....... Read more

January 7, 2017   No Comments

Nasirnagar Mayhem:’Organiser’ UP chairman held report in the daily star, Jan 6,2017

Brahmanbaria:  Dewan Atiqur Rahman Ankhi, allegedly an organiser of the October 30 hate attack on Hindus in Nasirnagar, was arrested in the capital’s Bhatara yesterday.

A patrol team from Bhatara Police Station in the early hours detained Ankhi, chairman of Haripur Union Parishad in Brahmanbaria and also a local ruling Awami League leader.

Officials then contacted the detectives from Brahmanbaria who were already in Dhaka to detain him, said Mafidul Islam, officer-in-charge (DB) of the district police.

Iqbal Hossain, additional superintendent of police in Brahmanbaria, told this newspaper that the arrest of Ankhi is a big success as they believe the motive, masterminds and main instigators would be found through interrogating him.

According to the ASP, Ankhi is “one of the key instigators and organisers” of the attack that left more than a hundred Hindu houses and some 17 temples vandalised and looted in Nasirnagar upazila of Brahmanbaria over an ....... Read more

January 7, 2017   No Comments