Tuesday, July 31, 2012
http://news.yahoo.comA study from Ancestry.com has determined that President Obama
Sadaf Mughal launches her music video 'Fanaa' in Lahore.
The Express TribuneThough millions of rupees have been pumped into the polio vaccination campaign, a large portion of the population in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and adjoining tribal regions remains averse to the vital drops. Donors have been funding the National Research and Development Foundation (NRDF) to convince unwilling parents and have also sought help from clerics and religious leaders to vaccinate maximum number of under-fives against the crippling virus. According to the NRDF records, a sum of Rs52,80,000 is spent every month on vaccination across the province. If a family refuses to inoculate its children, a team is rushed to the area to educate the family on the importance of the drops. UNICEF has sanctioned Rs110 million for 14 months to be distributed amongst Ulema, so that they remove negative perception of the vaccine, Dr Janbaz Afridi, the deputy director of the Expanded Programme of Immunisation in K-P, told The Express Tribune. However, the number of refusal cases is not decreasing, he added. Parents remain unmoved and some sections of the population have started using polio vaccination as a bargaining tool to get their problems solved. A jirga, comprising elders of Mamand Khel and Sari Khel sub-clans in Frontier Region Bannu warned that they will boycott the vaccination drive and ban the entry of police officials into the area if the government did not ensure uninterrupted power supply in the district. Fresh concerns Meanwhile, medics warned of a measles outbreak in different parts of South Waziristan if children were not immunised on time. At present measles vaccine is not available at the Vaccine Centre at the Agency Headquarters Hospital in Wana, Dr Azmat Hayat Khan, the agency surgeon, told journalists. He warned that further delay would deteriorate the situation. “I have informed senior officials of the health department about the situation,” he added.
DAILY TIMESThe United States on Monday took aim at Pakistan for using blasphemy law to “restrict religious liberty”. In its first report on religious freedoms since the start of the Arab spring uprisings, the US State Department warned, "In times of transition, the situation of religious minorities in these societies comes to the forefront." The report also said some countries, such as Indonesia and Saudi Arabia, were using blasphemy laws to “constrain the rights of religious minorities and limit freedom of expression”. "Some members of society who have long been oppressed seek greater freedom and respect for their rights while others fear change. Those differing aspirations can exacerbate existing tensions," it warned. The report which details the situation in 2011 noted that in Egypt, although the Arab country's interim military leaders had made gestures towards greater inclusiveness, sectarian tensions and violence had increased. It denounced "both the Egyptian government's failure to curb rising violence against Coptic Christians and its involvement in violent attacks". Ambassador at large for religious freedom, Suzan Johnson Cook, acknowledged that places such as Egypt were "still in transition" as new governments are installed following uprisings in 2011 against autocratic leaders. "We're looking, as they form new constitutions, it's a wonderful opportunity to include... religious freedom," she told journalists presenting the report. Governments should also hold accountable those carrying out violent attacks against religious minorities, she added. The State Department also signalled "a marked deterioration during 2011 in the government's respect for and protection of religious freedom in China" and noted that religious freedom does not exist in any form in North Korea. "In Burma, long-simmering tensions recently erupted in widespread violence against the marginalised Rohingya community," Johnson Cook added. Myanmar or Burma, China and North Korea are among eight countries designated by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as countries of particular concern for their failure to recognise religious rights. They are accompanied by Eritrea, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Sudan and Uzbekistan. The report also warned that European nations undergoing major demographic shifts have seen "growing xenophobia, anti-Semitism, anti-Muslim sentiment, and intolerance toward people considered 'the other'". It complains of a "rising number of European countries, including Belgium and France, whose laws restricting dress adversely affected Muslims and others". Cook accused some governments of limiting "the right to wear or not to wear religious attire". "This decision should be a personal choice," she insisted to the journalists. Hillary, who was to comment on the report later Monday, met Egypt's new President, Mohamed Morsi, earlier this month to urge him to respect the rights of all Egyptians. She also held two hours of private talks with Christian leaders to hear their concerns about life under the new Egyptian leadership, much of which is drawn, like Morsi, from the Muslim brotherhood. The report also documents "a global increase in anti-Semitism, manifested in Holocaust denial, glorification and relativism". "The law went into effect on January 1, 2012, reducing the number of recognised religious groups from over 300 to fewer than 32," it noted. Belgium and France have outraged many Muslims with laws against full veils, such as the hijab worn by many women in Saudi Arabia or the Afghan burqa, which went into force last year and in some places are punishable by fines. US President Barack Obama fiercely criticised European moves to ban the veil in a major speech to the Muslim world in Cairo in 2009.