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Posts from — September 2017

Pak left red-faced at UN as envoy goofs up on picture

Report in The Times of India, Sept 25, 2017
NEW DELHI: In its zeal to rebuff India’s scathing indictment of Islamabad’s terror policy, Pakistan only managed to embarrass itself at the UN as it displayed a wrong picture of a purported Kashmiri pellet gun victim.

The photograph flashed by Pakistan’s permanent representative to the UN, Maleeha Lodhi, turned out to be that of a 17-year-old Palestinian girl, Rawya Abu Joma, who was injured in an Israeli airstrike in Gaza in 2014. Pakistan was attempting to get back at foreign minister Sushma Swaraj for slamming the neighbour for producing jihadis while India turned out “doctors and engineers”.

The photo was actually taken at Shifa hospital in Gaza by Jerusalem-based American freelance photojournalist Heidi Levine.

“This is the face of Indian democracy,” Pakistan’s permanent representative to the UN, Maleeha Lodhi said as she brandished a photograph while exercising Pakistan’s right to reply in response to Swaraj’s speech. The photo turned out to be that of a 17-year-old Palestinian girl, Rawya Abu Joma.

Screenshot of photojournalist Heidi Levine’s website shows the image of 17-year-old Rawya abu Jom, who was injured during the Gaza War.

Rawya was injured in an airstrike on her apartment in which her sister and three cousins were killed. So far, India has never used heavy military against its citizens in Jammu and Kashmir or elsewhere.

Lodhi had dramatically waved the photo in a misfired attempt to expose what Pakistan routinely describes as atrocities committed by Indian forces in J&K. In her response to Swaraj, Lodhi had described India as the “mother of terrorism” in South Asia. This was a big loss of face for Pakistan also because the right to reply in such cases is usually exercised by junior diplomats and Lodhi was fielded only to ensure that Pakistan’s message was heard loud and clear.

In her speech, Lodhi had invoked comments by celebrity Indian author Arundhati Roy to counter Swaraj’s assertion that Pakistan was the greatest exporter of terrorism.

“Much of what is in the air in India now is pure terror, in Kashmir, in other places,” Lodhi said, quoting Roy in her speech.

She also quoted the novelist —who is an activist for civil liberty causes —that “whole populations of Dalits, Adivasis, Muslims and Christians are being forced to live in terror”.

Lodhi further said, “A racist and fascist ideology is firmly embedded in Modi’s government and its leadership is drawn from the RSS which is accused of assassinating Mahatma Gandhi.”

She slammed the decision to appoint Yogi Adityanath as chief minister of UP, saying “the government has appointed a fanatic as the chief minister of India’s largest state”. “It is a government which has allowed the lynching of Muslims,” she said.

Lodhi took particular objection to Swaraj’s observation about Pakistan’s founder Mohammed Ali Jinnah who, Pakistani PM Shahid Khaqan Abbasi had said, bequeathed a foreign policy based on peace and friendship. Swaraj had said it “remains open to question whether Jinnah Sahab actually advocated such principles”.

Lodhi said Pakistan remained open to resuming a comprehensive dialogue with India but it should include Kashmir and end what she claimed was a “campaign of subversion and state-sponsored terrorism”.http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/pak-left-red-faced-at-un-as-envoy-goofs-up-on-picture/articleshow/60820650.cms

September 25, 2017   No Comments

Religious politics after NA-120: by Zaigham Khan in the News, Sept 25, 2017

The writer is an anthropologist and development professional.
The house and the last resting place of Syed Maududi, the founder of the Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), is located in Ichra, an area of Lahore that falls in the National Assembly constituency NA-122. Going by the recent by-elections, it appears that the grave of the party itself is situated in the adjoining constituency of NA-120. At the same time, this constituency may be known in future as the birthplace of two new religio-political entities, the Milli Muslim League (MML) and the Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) party.

One out of the 272 constituencies does not make a reliable statistical sample. However, something is happening in Pakistan’s religious politics that may have far-reaching consequences. The sudden emergence of two new religious parties and the fact that they collectively bagged 11 percent of the votes cast in one of the most important constituencies of the country has surprised everyone.

Where have these votes come from? The PML-N’s share of the vote in the constituency was reduced to 49.3 percent from 61 percent in 2013 election ie a loss of 12 percent. The PTI increased its share from 35 percent to 37.6 percent. This is a gain of merely 2.6 percent. It is safe to assume that a sizable section of voters with strong religious convictions have left the PML-N, at least in one constituency, after a long association.

The PML-N had gained the religious vote bank at the very beginning when voters were divided between the pro-Bhutto and the anti-Bhutto sentiment. Nawaz Sharif had emerged as a major challenger to Bhutto’s ghost and his daughter, who were threatening entrenched interests and established power centres.

The JI joined the PML in an electoral alliance facilitated by agencies with the goal to stop Benazir Bhutto. When JI walked out of the alliance, called Islami Jamhoori Ittehad (IJI), its voters decided to stay put with Nawaz Sharif. Tahir Mehdi, an expert on elections, has made this interesting observation regarding the 1993 elections. “The six million votes that had purportedly been deposited by the ‘establishment’ in the IJI’s account in 1988 now moved to Nawaz Sharif’s account, while his politics earned him an interest of two million additional votes.” The JI, however, went bankrupt.

Two things happened during the PML-N’s recent tenure that made religious voters unhappy: the military operation against religious militants and the hanging of Mumtaz Qadri. The operation has made those voters angry who espouse violent ideologies. On the other hand, Qadri’s hanging has outraged the staunch Barelvi voter. The PML-N itself has moved to the centre and can be termed as a centrist rather than rightist political party.

Unfortunately, religious groups after playing a second fiddle to state institutions for a long time have asserted their agency in a violent and forceful way. We can no longer assume that they are mere pawns in the hands of the establishment. NA-120 is interesting because it marks a reverses a trend that was set in the early 1990s. Religious voters have left a mainstream party, but instead of coming back to an established religious party like the JI, they have voted for brand new religious entities.

Both parties are based on single agendas and hatred for the ‘enemy’. Tehreek-e-Labbaik started out as a movement to get Qadri freed, but changed its name and entered politics after his execution. Its rallying cry is “death to blasphemers”. However, it also wants to milk the prevailing anti-corruption sentiment. While Imran Khan promises to end corruption in 90 days, Khadim Hussain Rizvi can perform this miracle in a single day.

The Labbaik Party is easier to explain as it is a protest platform led by angry Barelvi mullahs who had vowed to take their revenge on Nawaz Sharif. This platform is not backed by a strong organisation. Barelvis are notoriously disorganized. Their vote bank remains split just as their religious devotion is shared among thousands of spiritual masters. It may not be easy for the party to repeat this performance in other constituencies in the future.

It is the MML that has the strength, stamina and resources to replace parties like the JI as a credible religio-political platform. In a way, the Milli Muslim League is the new Jamaat-e-Islami. While the Jamaat-e-Islami went from politics to jihad, the MML has turned from jihad to politics. Like the JI, it has not resorted to violence within the country, and focuses on welfare activities instead. These welfare activities are a mechanism to compete with the huge patronage networks of mainstream political parties. Like the JI, it has an incredible organisation and huge resources at its command.

From the very beginning, the organisation has been split into two sections. The Dawa wal Irshad works to propagate an austere, ‘purified’ version of Islam while its militant wing, the Lashkar-e-Taiba (army of the pure), is an organisation of highly trained militants who are willing to go to war wherever and whenever the amir (commander) orders. Both organisations are banned and the US government has offered a $10 million bounty for the capture of Hafiz Mohammed Saeed, central leader of the Dawa. The foundation of the political party marks a departure from the earlier stance of the organisation. Hafiz Saeed and his followers have always scoffed at constitutional democracy, declaring it against the tenets of Islam.

Oliver Roy has noted in his wonderful book, ‘The Failure of Political Islam’, that religious politics in the Muslim world had deteriorated from Islamism to “neo-fundamentalism”. Unlike the Islamists, many of whom were serious intellectuals who tried to adapt to aspects of modernity, the neo-fundamentalists focus on channelling the discontents into political opposition. “Neo-fundamentalists worry about morals, mixed education, veiling, and the corrupting influence of the West, but they have no real political or economic program.”

Going by this typology, both new groups are neo-fundamentalist to the boot. Markaz-e-Dawa activists used to burn television sets in their gathering – a gesture to reject modernity. They abhor the participation of women in any public activity. For Maulana Khadim Hussain of the TLP, any resemblance with the West is against Islam. Unfortunately, the new entities are less enlightened and more bigoted than the religious parties they aim to replace – and we know how enlightened our political Maulanas are. .

Religious politics in Pakistan is organised along sectarian lines. The main weakness of the MML lies in the fact that it represents one of the most powerful sects of the country. This is the sect that has control over the International Islamic University, the country’s premier institution of religious education and is the main receiver of Saudi patronage. The support base of the MML is also limited to central Punjab from where it used to recruit fighters for jihad in Kashmir.

Both the JI and the JUI have their constituencies in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan where they have their patronage networks. The storm in NA-120 may not reach those areas any time soon. In Punjab, however, the new platforms will complicate things for all established political parties. The two platforms can use their performance in NA-120 to bargain for a good share in a new right-wing alliance that may emerge to erode the PML-N’s vote bank in 2018 elections.https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/232377-Religious-politics-after-NA-120

September 25, 2017   No Comments

MQM-P not going to merge with PSP, Haqiqi: Sattar

by Azfar-ul-Ashfaque in Dawn, Sept 25th, 2017
KARACHI: Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan chief Dr Farooq Sattar said on Sunday that his party was not going to be merged with Mustafa Kamal-led Pak Sarzameen Party or Afaq Ahmed-led Mohajir Qaumi Movement.

“Neither the MQM-Pakistan, PSP and Mohajir Qaumi Movement are merging with each other nor any alliance is being formed between them,” said Dr Sattar, adding: “However, a dialogue process [between the three parties] for resolving issues will continue.”

Dr Sattar’s assertion came against the backdrop of reports that the powers that be are trying to forge an alliance between different factions of the MQM, excluding the one being led by founder Altaf Hussain.

He was speaking to a group of reporters at the party’s temporary headquarters in Bahadurabad along with senior leader Amir Khan and Amin-ul-Haq.

Dr Sattar said his party was not going to file references for the disqualification of those lawmakers who had quit the MQM-P and joined the Mustafa Kamal-led PSP.

Eight members of the Sindh Assembly and one member of the National Assembly belonging to the MQM have so far switched their loyalty and joined the PSP.

Five MPAs — Muhammad Dilawar, Bilquees Mukhtar, Irtiza Farooqi, Shaikh Ibrahim, Nadeem Razi — and one MNA — Asif Hasnain — are still members of the Sindh Assembly and National Assembly, respectively, despite quitting the party they represented in parliament.

He agreed that it was the moral and ethical responsibility of such lawmakers to submit their resignations from their respective seats and not to take perks and privileges being a parliamentarian.

“However, we are not filing references against them…maybe today they left us because of some pressure but it is quite possible that tomorrow they will quit [their new party] and return to us,” he said.

Regarding reports that the MQM-P was mulling replacing those elected local government representatives whose performance was not up to the mark, he said the party was reviewing their performance, but so far no one was being replaced.

To a question, Dr Sattar said that there was a need of a transparent procedure for taking action on allegation of treason on anyone. It was the responsibility of the state to bring allegations of treason against any specific person or party before courts, he added.

He said that the party was not being given a political freedom despite its unprecedented step of Aug 23, 2016 when it ousted its founder for making an anti-Pakistan speech on Aug 22.

He repeated his claim that the MQM-P had no connection whatsoever with the MQM-London. “Our politics is for Pakistan and our survival is in the continuity of our Aug 23 policies.”

Dr Sattar clarified that his party was doing national politics and not the politics for “Mohajir cause”.

About the provisional results of the sixth population census in the country, he said that the MQM-P was not satisfied with the results of the Sindh’s urban areas and it had filed a petition in court.

He stressed the need of a national dialogue between political and military leadership for the sake of the country.https://www.dawn.com/news/1359770/mqm-p-not-going-to-merge-with-psp-haqiqi-sattar

September 25, 2017   No Comments

Court terms govt report claiming no child beggars in Peshawar joke

by Akhtar Amin in the News, September 25, 2017
PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Child and Welfare Commission report has revealed that there is no child beggar in the provincial metropolis and many other districts of the province.

The Peshawar High Court (PHC) took serious notice of the report and summoned the Secretary Labour Department, Secretary Social Welfare Department and Chief Protection Officer of the commission on October 12 to explain their position on the child labour issue.

Everyone was astonished in the court room when the petitioner, Muhammad Khurshid Advocate pointed out before a division bench comprising Justice Waqar Ahmad Seth and Justice Ijaz Anwar that as per the Child and Welfare Commission, there is no child beggar in Peshawar and many other districts of the province.

“There are many child beggars sitting on the roads even before the high court,” the lawyer pointed out. The bench observed that the report is nothing but a joke and summoned the high-ups of the concerned departments in the court.

As per the report (copy available with The News) the Child and Welfare Commission in its report from May 1, 2011 to December 31, 2016 clearly mentioned that there was no male, female and transgender child beggar in Peshawar, Buner, Charsadda, Battagram, Lower Dir and Chitral.It was stated that there are only 15 child beggars in the province including one in Swabi, four in Mardan, six in Swat, one in Abbottabad, two in Kohat and one in Bannu district.

Interestingly, the report revealed that there are 14 child labourers, including 10 male and four female in Peshawar. The report stated that there were only two female domestic child labourers in the provincial metropolis.

Justice Waqar Ahmad Seth observed that child labour in homes was increasing day by day. He said people were hiring children to look after their own children and do the house chores.Additional Advocate General Waqar Ahmad submitted before the bench that the respondents in the case had submitted replies. However, he sought time for explaining the provincial government’s position about its policy on domestic child labour.

The court was hearing a writ petition filed by Peshawar lawyer, Muhammad Khursheed Khan, against child labour.During the hearing, he informed the bench that the government had been spending a huge amount on the Child Protection Commission, but the child labour situation was worsening in the province.

The lawyer submitted that child labour was a sensitive issue and the provincial government was not giving any attention to it.He pointed out the provincial government had enacted the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Child Protection and Welfare Act, 2010, and also established the Child Protection Commission, but the act hasn’t been implemented in the province.

He noted that the provincial government established Child Welfare and Protection Commission in 2010, but the issue remained unresolved.The petitioner, who in the past served as deputy attorney general, submitted that the alleged torture case of a minor maid, Tayyaba, working in the house of additional district and sessions judge, Islamabad, compelled him to take the child labour issue to the higher court and ensure implementation of the child labour laws.

The petitioner argued that Tayyaba was lucky that the Supreme Court took suo motu notice of the case and she got justice. “What would be the future of 25 million children in the country working as domestic labour in homes in miserable conditions?” he asked.

He submitted that the last survey on child labour conducted by the federal government in 1996 showed that there were 3.3 million child labourers in the country. He added that as per the United Nations Organisation survey conducted in 2012, there were 12.5 million child labourer in Pakistan and the total has now reached up to 25 million.

The petitioner said child labour is visible everywhere at homes, shops, hotels, motor workshops, brick-kilns and industries. He said the professional beggars were using children for begging on the footpaths in presence of law-enforcers and this needed to be stopped.https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/232343-Court-terms-govt-report-claiming-no-child-beggars-in-Peshawar-joke

September 25, 2017   No Comments

Extension of FIA Act to Torkham gives more powers to political agent

by Waseem Ahmad Shah in Dawn, September 25th, 2017
As debate on mainstreaming of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas was going on, the Ministry of States and Frontier Regions (Safron) silently notified in Feb 2017 the extension of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) Act of 1974 to certain areas on Pak-Afghan border at Torkham.

Interesting situation emerged as mainstream media had presumed as if regular courts and Police Act had been extended to Fata. Even on social media experts have been making comments about the outcome of this notification.

The law was extended with certain amendments and the government has now empowered the federal Levies force to exercise the powers of FIA in the said areas in relation to eight laws mentioned in the schedule of

the FIA Act. These laws include The Foreigners Act 1946, Passport Act 1974, Emigration Ordinance 1979, Exit from Pakistan (Control) Ordinance 1981, Prevention and Control of Human Trafficking Ordinance 2002, Nadra Ordinance 2002, Electricity Act 1910 and Anti-Money Laundering Act 2010.

This notification has further enhanced the powers of the officials of tribal administration of Khyber Agency, including the political agent, and the concerned assistant political agent, who have already been serving as administrative and judicial officers in the agency.

According to the notification, an SRO (Statutory Regulatory Order) was issued which states that under Article 247 (3) of the Constitution of Pakistan the President of Pakistan has directed that the FIA Act 1974 (VIII of 1975) as amended from time to time and in force in Pakistan, shall apply to the area of Torkham Khyber Agency bounded by village Bacha Mena, Torkham Gate, Shamshad Hill top watershed and Ayub FC Picket Kablo Mena in the Fata, subject to the modification.

Through the SRO certain changes have also been made in the said eight laws. Those amendments mostly relate to exercising judicial powers by the courts set up under the Frontier Crimes Regulation (FCR), which are presided over by the political agent and assistant political agent, while dealing with offences under these laws.

While the schedule of the FIA Act is having 28 offences regarding which the Agency was having jurisdiction, in the present SRO the government has omitted 20 of the laws in the said schedule and left the eight laws, wherein now the federal Levies force will be having jurisdiction to deal within the specified area.

Under Section 5 (2) of the FIA Act, a member of the FIA not below the rank of a sub-inspect may exercise any of the powers of an officer-in-charge of a police station in any area in which he is for the time being and he shall be deemed as officer-in-charge of a police station discharging his functions. However, in the present SRO the government has amended that section and instead of a sub-inspector of FIA a naib tehsildar (Passport) at Torkham is empowered to exercise those powers of officer-in-charge of a police station.

Moreover, while the director general of FIA was empowered to exercise powers in relation to the agency such of the powers of an inspector general of police under the Police Act, 1861, as prescribed by rules, now amendment has been made in Section 4 (2) under which the director general of the agency in relation to Torkham would exercise powers that of the commandant of the federal Levies force under the Federal Levies Force Regulation, 2012.

Under the said regulation the political agent of the agency is the commandant of the Levies force.

Another important amendment made in the FIA Act, in relation to Torkham border, and the eight other laws, is that instead of the Peshawar High Court, the Fata Tribunal, constituted under Section 55A of FCR will act as appellate court against the decisions of the trial court.

The powers of a sessions judge have now been assigned to the political agent, Khyber Agency, under the Anti- Money Laundering Act, 2010 and the Emigration Ordinance 1979. Though the FIA Act was not applicable to Fata in past, it has been having a symbolic presence near Torkham since 2004.

In 2015, the Supreme Court had also taken notice of the issue of non-extension of these laws to Khyber Agency in a Criminal Review titled Azhar Iqbal versus Abid Hussain and had discussed the matters related to smuggling and human trafficking between Pakistan and Afghanistan through Torkham and Chaman borders.

The then Chief Justice Jawwad S. Khwaja was heading a three-member bench and had passed several directives.

In a report submitted to the court by a commission in this regard, it was mentioned that Torkham border was a lucrative spot for different officials as daily around 15,000 to 30,000 had been crossing it.

An additional advocate general, Umer Farooq Adam, who was also member of the commission, had stated that the FIA staff was having only symbolic presence with 26 personnel.

He had stated that undocumented economy generated through Torkham border, which also included money laundering, was reported to be between Rs5 and Rs6 billion a month.

During those hearings the court had expressed astonishment over the non- extension of important laws to the Torkham border, including the FIA Act, Foreigners Act, Passport Act, Emigration Ordinance, etc.

“Instead of tinkering with the system the federal government should implement the proposed reforms and merge Fata with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa,” said Noor Alam Khan, an advocate of the Supreme Court. He said that from time to time issues relating to non-extension of different laws to tribal areas had been surfacing in the superior courts as under the Constitution the laws enacted by the parliament were not applicable there unless the President of Pakistan so directed.

He questioned that while the FIA functioned under the ministry of interior and the tribal administration under the Safron ministry, how the matter would be reconciled in relation to extension of FIA Act to Torkham.https://www.dawn.com/news/1359891/view-from-the-courtroom-extension-of-fia-act-to-torkham-gives-more-powers-to-political-agent

September 25, 2017   No Comments

Girl forced to ‘pay’ for brother’s love marriage

by Sohail Khan in The Nation, Sept 25, 2017
BAHAWALNAGAR-An influential landlord abducted a girl and made her subject to gang-rape while later declared her as “vani” through a panchayat to avenge her brother for contracting love marrige with the landlord’s daughter.
The Takhat Mahal Police appeared to have colluded with the accused in the entire episode and did not take any action to avert the incident and bring the culprits to the book, despite complaints by the affected family.
According to the affected girl Tasleem, daughter of Allah Rakha, the incident occurred in Mauza Noor Muhammad Bhangran, tehsil and district, started with her abduction on January 31, 2017.
Tasleem informed that her brother Fayyaz got love marriage with Parveen Bibi, daughter of Hakim Ali, influential landlord of Mauza Noor Muhammad Bhangran, against the consent of elders of both the families.
The marriage took place on January 15, 2017, upon which Parveen’s family hurled threats to Fayyaz’s family of revenge. To settle a score with Fayyaz and his family “for the disgrace caused to the family,” Hakim Ali, Arif and some others members of the girl’s family raided house of Tasleem Bibi and abducted her at gunpoint on January 31, 2017. The victim informed that the culprits took her to an undisclosed location where she was gang-raped during six days captivity.
In meanwhile one Shabir reported the abduction to police through a call on emergency service 15, but the police did nothing to recover the girl or go after the influential culprits. The victim family also approached the Takht Mahal Police, in person, for justice, but the police turned a deaf ear to the complaint.
Seven days later, the abductors with the connivance of influential persons of the area, convened a panchayat and declared the abducted girl as “vani.” Influential landlord Muhammad Ali also forced Allah Rakha, Tasleem’s father to accept the panchayat decision, lest he would have to pay a penalty of Rs5 million. They also got sign of the affected father on a written reconciliation agreement forcibly. On the other hand, the abductors who had subjected Tasleem to gang rape, forcibly married off to Khuda Yar, nephew of Hakim Ali, in a bid “to sweep the entire episode under the carpet.” The victim family, however, managed to get an FIR registered through a court order, six months after the incident. Despite lodging the FIR, the Takhat Mahal Police “sided with the influential accused” and neither included appropriate sections i.e Vani and gang rape in the case, nor arrested any of the accused allegedly after receiving bribe.
The accused approached the court of Additional District and Sessions judge for bails, but the court rejected their application. Later, the accused approached the High Court Bahawalpur bench for bail, but the apex court rejected their petition and upheld the sessions court verdict. The learned court also directed the police to add vani section (310A) to the case.
When contacted newly-posted DPO Ataur Rehman claimed that justice would be done in the case and anybody found involved in the case would be bring to the book. He also ordered the police to add vani section to the FIR and arrested the panchayat head.
Meanwhile, District Police PRO Asif Saeed informed that that after rejection of bail pleas of 10 accused including Alam Ali, son of Haji Ghulam Ali; Zahoor Ahmad, son of Haji Ghulam Qadir; Hakim Ali, son of Haji Ghulam Qadir; Qasim Ali, son of Haji Ghulam Qadir; Muhammad Iqbal, son of Dhulay Khan; Muhammad Khan, son of Dhulay Khan; Dhulay Khan, son of Manjay Khan etc are on remand in police custody. He said that special team have been formed to arrest head and other members of the Panchayat, who are at large so far.http://nation.com.pk/national/25-Sep-2017/girl-forced-to-pay-for-brother-s-love-marriage

September 25, 2017   No Comments

5th grader arrested under FCR: report

KHYBER AGENCY – Tanzeem-e-Asateza Landi Kotal condemned the arrest of 5th grade student under territorial responsibility clause of the Frontier Crimes Regulations (FCR).

As per the details, after the incident of roadside bomb blast in Matha Khel area of tehsil Landi Kotal, the security agencies during search operation netted 31 tribesmen including the mentioned student.

Tanzeem-e-Asateza Landi Kotal President Sharifullah Afridi and Press Secretary Arshad Ali said that the administration along with forces had detained the student identified as Iqtedar, son of Gul Zad Khan, of Government High School, Latif Khan Kalley, which, they said, was a matter of concern.

The security agencies violated fundamental human rights by putting the student behind the bars, they said. Coming hard on the administration, they added that it was the duty of the Khasadar and Levies forces to maintained peace in the area and in case of any miscreants’ act, they should be held responsible and not the tribesmen.

The union office bearers stressed the authorities to release the student immediately and take legal action against those who violated the law.

Tehsildar Landi Kotal Tehseenullah confirmed the imprisonment of the student and said that he would be set free after clearing by the investigation agencies.http://nation.com.pk/national/25-Sep-2017/5th-grader-arrested-under-fcr

September 25, 2017   No Comments

Pakistan’s requests to remove Twitter accounts doubled in six months: report

by Tooba Masood in Dawn, September 25th, 2017
KARACHI: The number of requests made by Pakistani authorities to Twitter for removal of accounts and information has doubled since last year, according to a bi-annual transparency report of the social networking website.

Between January and June 30, the government asked Twitter to remove 24 accounts, and over 80 accounts were reported, with zero compliance.

According to Nighat Dad from the Digital Rights Foundation, there has been strict monitoring of Twitter and other social networking websites since some bloggers disappeared earlier this year.

Turkey leads with highest number of calls for accounts’ removal and information

“Several people reported that they had received notices from the Federal Investigation Agency…regarding what they had posted on social media,” she said, adding that while monitoring was a reality, Pakistan was following bad examples set by its neighbours as well as countries such as the US, Russia and Turkey.

The report, available on the website, is aimed at highlighting trends in legal requests received by Twitter, intellectual property-related requests and email privacy practices. It provides an insight into whether or not the website took any action on the requests made.

According to the report, removal requests include worldwide legal requests Twitter received from governments and authorised reporters seeking removal of or withholding content.

It claimed that from January to June this year, India had two account removal requests from the court [Pakistan had none] and more than 100 from the government.

Last year, India had one court-ordered account removal request, 96 by the government and agencies while 295 accounts were reported. Pakistan had zero court requests, 13 account removal requests made by the government and agencies while only 19 accounts were reported.

The highest number of court-ordered removals this year came from Turkey (715) while requests to remove accounts from the government stood at 1,995, followed by Russia (1,213) and France (1,038).

The highest number of accounts was reported from Turkey at 9,289, followed by Russia (1,225) and France (1,177).

Turkey also had the highest number of accounts withheld at 204, followed by Russia at 87, while Pakistan and India had none. Russia took the lead in tweets withheld at 566, followed by Turkey at 497.https://www.dawn.com/news/1359906/pakistans-requests-to-remove-twitter-accounts-doubled-in-six-months-report

September 25, 2017   No Comments

Waqt News anchor attacked in Islamabad : report in The Nation, Sept 25, 2017

ISLAMABAD – Unidentified persons attacked senior journalist and Waqt News anchor Matiullah Jan near Bhara Kahu when he was on his way to his residence on Sunday.

The unidentified persons riding a motorbike suddenly appeared from a street near Shahpur Bridge in the area of Bhara Kahu and threw a stone towards Matiullah’s car that hit the windscreen.

The attackers fled the scene leaving no clue behind.

Matiullah reported the matter to Bhara Kahu police and the matter is under investigation.

The senior journalist informed The Nation that the rider was wearing a helmet and the person sitting behind him threw a brick-like piece of concrete at his car.

The incident took place near Phulgran.

Matiullah turned the car around and tried to chase the two motorcyclists but they fled.

He suspected that it was a pre-planned attack.

Matiullah did not rule out the possibility that he was attacked by “vested interests” unhappy with his journalism and social media activism.

He said, “an attack on a journalist does not affect him or herself only, rather the whole society is affected.”

“[Any attempt] To gag a journalist is [an attempt] to gag a society,” Matiullah remarked.

He said that this was the second time he had been attacked by unidentified persons.

A few years ago, Matiullah said, he was chased by another car at night and his windscreen was smashed in a similar way.

In those days he was working on a story along with another journalist who had also been attacked in the same fashion around the same time.

Meanwhile, the journalists’ community of the twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad had condemned the attack on Matiullah Jan in the harshest words and termed it an attack on the whole journalist community.

The National Press Club, the Federal Union of Journalists and other journalists’ bodies had condemned the attack and demanded of the federal interior minister to hunt down those involved and award them exemplary punishment.

Meanwhile, Margalla police have arrested a thief and recovered gold ornaments, mobile phones, laptops, cash, stolen valuables and weapon from him, a police spokesman said on Sunday.

Following directions of Senior Superintendent of Police Islamabad Sajid Kiani, the SP constituted a police team to trace those involved in theft cases.

This team succeeded to apprehend Abbas Khan, a resident of Haripur who was involved in various theft cases.

Police team recovered gold ornaments, mobile phones, laptops, cash, stolen valuables and weapon from him.

Further investigation is underway.

SSP Islamabad Sajid Kiani have appreciated the efforts of Margalla police and announced commendation certificates along with cash reward for the police team as encouragement.

Furthermore, Islamabad police on Sunday conducted search operation in various areas of Aabpara Police Station and arrested five suspects and impounded two bikes from them.

The officials of Islamabad Police, Pakistan Rangers and intelligence agencies conducted search operation in areas of Aabpara Police Station.

This search operation was also participated by police commandos, lady commandos and staff of bomb disposal SQUAD.

During search operation, the police arrested five suspects and impounded two bikes. http://nation.com.pk/national/25-Sep-2017/waqt-news-anchor-attacked-in-islamabad

September 25, 2017   No Comments

Doctor gunned down in Quetta: report in The Nation, Sept 25, 2017

Quetta – Armed assailants shot dead a doctor in Quetta on Sunday.

The two attackers reached the clinic of 50-year-old Dr Halim Domki, situated at Bangulzai Stop near Jattak Stop, on a motorcycle and restored to indiscriminate fire on him in a hit and run felony, said the sources.

Dr Domki received bullet injuries and succumbed to his wounds shortly. The incident sent a wave of fear and panic in the area.

The clinic, where the offence was reported, falls into the jurisdiction of Satellite Town Police Station.

A police team reached the crime scene and shifted the body of the victim to Civil Hospital Quetta for medico-legal formalities. Later, the body was handed over to the heirs.

Police registered a murder case against unidentified assailants with Satellite Town Police Station and launched a search operation against the perpetrators.

September 25, 2017   No Comments