Monday, September 24, 2012
Bahrain arrested 29 pro-democracy protesters in the commercial district of the capital Manama on Friday as the protesters marched in the city center in defiance of a government ban, state media said late on Friday. The demonstration was organized by an opposition group called February 14, said Jasim Husain, one of the leaders of the main opposition group, Wefaq, Reuters reported. It came two weeks after protesters and police clashed in the city center for the first time since last year, following months of demonstrations in other parts of Manama and elsewhere in the country. “Rioters hurled petrol bombs, iron rods and stones, endangering both the police and civilians in the area,” the government Information Affairs Authority said in an emailed statement. The government has taken a no-tolerance approach to protests in the city centre, saying unrest in “vital commercial areas” could damage the economy. The statement added that police “used only the necessary force to restore order”, that the 29 people arrested would be referred to the public prosecutor. It said there would be an investigation to identify others involved in the protest. “People should have the right to stage rallies in the capital. A rally on a Friday afternoon is not a big deal. It will not undermine the economy,” said Husain. In Bahrain, the weekend falls on a Friday. The United States urged Bahrain this week to accelerate democratic change and hold talks with the opposition after a meeting in Geneva where Bahrain's Foreign Minister Khalid Bin Ahmed Bin Mohammed Al Khalifa pledged “unprecedented reforms”. Since mid-February 2011, thousands of anti-government protesters have been staging regular demonstrations in the streets of Bahrain, calling for the Al Khalifa royal family to relinquish power. On March 14, 2011, troops from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates invaded the country to assist the Bahraini government in its crackdown on the peaceful protesters. According to local sources, scores of people have been killed and hundreds arrested in the crackdown. Physicians for Human Rights says doctors and nurses have been detained, tortured, or disappeared because they have "evidence of atrocities committed by the authorities, security forces, and riot police" in the crackdown on anti-government protesters..
http://www.brecorder.comSecurity forces on Monday detained dozens of men who had staged a protest near a prison in central Saudi Arabia to press for the release of relatives, demonstrators and a rights activist said. The arrests were made after police had confined the protesters, who included women and small children, to a desert area outside the prison where they were kept without food or water for nearly a day, protesters and activists said. It was a rare demonstration in the world's biggest oil exporter, where protests are banned. Saudi Arabia, which has been a target for al Qaeda attacks, say the protesters' relatives are all being held on security grounds. But activists say some are also held for purely political activity and have never been charged. An Interior Ministry spokesman said those accused of "terrorism-related" crimes were undergoing fair judicial process. "As for the the gathering of a limited number of relatives of the detained people at a prison, they have been stopped according to legal procedures and will be dealt with if they are found in violation of the laws," the spokesman said. Activists said police with shields and batons persuaded the protesters at the prison to go home, telling them their message had been heard and their demands would be looked into. "When we left the 'Emergency Forces' followed our cars. They chased us and stopped us to detain the men," said Reema al-Juraish, a protesters whose husband is in the prison. "I saw them grab five and when I tried to intervene they pushed me and hit me with a baton." She said up to 60 men where arrested and taken to an unknown location. More than 100 people, including women and children, had staged a one-day protest in the desert around Tarfiya prison in the Qassim province but were surrounded by police. They said they had been kept without food or water for almost a full day. Police set up checkpoints on the two roads leading to the area and deployed patrols in the desert around it, they said. UNREST THWARTED The kingdom, which has almost no elected bodies, avoided the kind of unrest that toppled leaders across the Arab world last year after it introduced generous social spending packages and issued a religious edict banning public demonstrations. King Abdullah has pushed through some economic and social reforms, including cautious moves to improve the position of women and religious minorities, but he has left the political system untouched. The world's top oil exporter is an important ally of Western countries in battling al Qaeda, which carried out a campaign of attacks in the kingdom from 2003-06. Last year the Interior Ministry said it had put on trial 5,080 of nearly 5,700 people it had detained on security grounds. In April, a court in Riyadh sentenced rights campaigner Mohammed al-Bajadi to four years in prison after he was accused of forming a human rights association, tarnishing Saudi Arabia's reputation, questioning the independence of the judiciary, and owning illegal books, activists said. He had been held for a year without charges after voicing support for prisoners' families. In a separate gathering on Monday, dozens of protesters rallied in front of the government-linked Saudi Human Rights Commission also calling for the release of jailed relatives. "There are some prisoners who have been tortured, some who have completed their sentences, others who have not been charged and even some who have been found innocent but are still imprisoned. We will stay here until we are heard," said one protester who declined to be named.
Let Us Build PakistanJaranwala City police have registered two cases identifying 11 men and accusing 600 others for clashes that left 47 people injured on Ishq-i-Rasool Day on Friday. The attempted murder and incitement FIR stated that 47 people, including six policemen, were injured in firing and stone pelting from a Takfiri Deobandi mosque in Jaranwala Main Bazaar which is controlled by banned Sipah-e-Sahaba (Lashkar-e-Jhangvi). According to news reports, Sipah-e-Saahaba activists attacked Sunni Barelvis in front of the Jamia Masjid. Some Sipah-e-Sahaba climbed the roof of the mosque and resorted to aerial firing. A heavy contingent of police reached the spot and tried to control the situation, but in vain. The police team was attacked with bricks, injuring seven policemen. The police had to fire teargas shells to break the protest. In total 50 people were injured and shifted to Civil Hospital. The Police report (FIR) mentions sections 324 (attempted murder), 153 (promoting hatred), 186 (obstructing a public servant from discharge of duties) and 148 and 149 (rioting) of the Pakistan Penal Code. According to a complaint filed by Chaudhry Ghulam Nabi Anjum, general secretary of the Sunni Barelvi “Jamaat Ahle Sunnat (JAS)”, a component organisation of the Sunni Ittehad Council, accuses more than 250 people, identifying 15 members of the banned Sipah-i-Sahaba Pakistan (currently operating as “Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat ASWJ), of attacking a rally he was leading to mark the Ishq-i-Rasool Day. The FIR has been registered under Sections 324 (attempted murder), 337 H-2 (hurt by rash or negligent act), 148 and 149 (rioting) of the PPC and Section 16 of the Maintenance of Public Order Ordinance. The complaint said the rally was pelted with bricks and stones by people on roofs of buildings in the vicinity of Jamia Masjid. It said the rally had started from Sabri Masjid, located some 500 yards from the Jamia Masjid on the same road. The 15 men identified in the FIR included Sipah-e-Sahaba Jaranwala chapter president Fida Nafees Inqalabi and general secretary Muhammad Shafiq. Two of the injured Sunni Barelvi men were stated to be in a critical condition at Jaranwala tehsil headquarters (THQ) hospital. Of the others, 38 were given first aid and discharged on Friday and seven hospitalised for a day. Muqaddas Shah, one of the injured, said he was passing by the Main Bazaar when clashes erupted between the two groups. He said was hit in the arm by a stray bullet. (Source 1, 2). It may be recalled that Shahbaz Sharif, Punjab Chief Minister, remains a key supporter and sponsor of Takfiri Deobandis of Sipah-e-Sahaba (Lashkar-e-Jhangvi). He was elected from Bhakkar due to a seat adjustment deal with Sipah-e-Sahaba, in return he agreed to released Malik Ishaq and other dangerous terrorists of Sipah-e-Sahaba involved in murder of hundreds of moderate Sunnis and Shias. According to informed sources, Shahbaz Sharif has given free hand to Sipah-e-Sahaba to dominate over Sunni Barelvi mosques and parties in the Punjab province before the next general elections. According to Khaled Ahmed: Jihadi publication daily Islam (23 Feb 2010) reported that (Shahbaz Sharif’s right-hand) Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah visited Jhang and paid his respects at the tomb of the founder of the greatest banned sectarian-terrorist Deobandi organisation, Sipah-e-Sahaba: Maulana Haq Nawaz Jhangvi. He led a delegation of the PMLN which also counted parliamentary secretary Iftikhar Baloch and party MPA from Jhang, Sheikh Yaqub. He visited the tombs of other Sipah-e-Sahaba martyr-leaders like Maulana Isarul Qasimi and Allama Azam Tariq. The News (27 Feb 2010) in a report titled PMLN sees no harm in seeking banned outfit’s blessing observed: ‘Sipah-e-Sahaba is rearing its head again and its leaders’ participation in an election rally in PP-82 constituency, along with Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah, has sent shivers down the spines of citizens here’. Thanks to Shahbaz Sharif, Malik Ishaq and other Sipah-e-Sahaba leaders are free to deliver hate speeches and incite violence against Shia Muslims.
President Zardari will raise the issue of blasphemous film which resulted in violent protests across the Muslim world.He will highlight the challenges being faced by the global community. President Zardari will elaborate Pakistan's efforts for ensuring peace and security at the regional and international level. President Zardari will have a chance to interact with the world leaders on the sidelines of the session to further promote bilateral relations. Our special correspondent reports from New York that President will highlight the reaction of the Muslims Ummah specially by the people of Pakistan on the sacrilegious film which caused violent protests across the Muslim world.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met President Asif Ali Zardari on Monday and thanked him for Pakistan's handling of several days of violent anti-US protests. Clinton greeted Zardari as "my friend" and introduced him to the new US ambassador to Pakistan, Richard Olson, whom she said she had just been sworn in so he could attend their talks. "We very much appreciate the strong response of your government," she said, at the start of their meeting in a New York hotel, held on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, which opens on Tuesday. Zardari said it had been "a difficult time for all of us" before reporters were ushered out of the room.
DAWN.COMPresident Asif Ali Zardari arrived here on Sunday evening to attend the 67th session of the General Assembly of United Nations and hold meetings with heads of state and governments to discuss international and regional situation. All the arrangements have been finalised for the session of General Assembly which will also be attended by the US President Barack Obama and other world leaders. President Zardari will have a chance to interact with these leaders on the sidelines of the session to further promote and strengthening Pakistan’s relations with the international community. President Zardari, who will stay for couple of days in the New York, will give a comprehensive speech during the general debate of the 67th General Assembly session. The theme of the debate this year is “Adjustment or settlement of international disputes or situations by special means” and Pakistan’s role is very important in this scenario due to a front line state in war against terror. President Zardari in his important address to the General Assembly which will be on the first day of the start of the general debate will highlight the crucial role the people and the people of Pakistan have been playing the war against militants and the huge sacrifices made by the people in making the region a safe and peaceful place to live. He will also highlight the need for the international community to undertake concerted efforts on the issues which are critical for success in the war against terror. The President will especially mention the reaction of the Muslims, especially the people of Pakistan, on the sacrilegious film that has created unrest among the Muslims of the world, calling for the need for taking effective measures, by the member states, to stop such attempts of playing with the religious sentiments of any community. During his stay, here in the New York, the President will also interact with the world leaders on the sidelines of UN General Assembly session. The President will also meet head of Microsoft Bill Gates who has been helping Pakistan in eradication of polio.
Editorial:DAILY TIMESAfter the toll of lives, property and infrastructure during Friday’s violence-laden protests against the film insulting to Prophet Mohammad (PBUH), Saturday saw another, albeit smaller, outbreak of protest in Islamabad and Lahore. Karachi and Peshawar, which saw some of the worst violence, looting, plunder, arson and even firing from elements in the crowds, mercifully seemed to be just licking their wounds, although some small protest was mounted in Karachi after the funerals of those killed. After four of the injured died overnight, the toll of lives has now reached 21, with some 200 injured countrywide. The toll of property includes at least seven bank branches, five cinemas, seven restaurants of international food chains, six private buildings, three police posts, six shops (this is probably an underestimate), including an arms store and five wine shops. It is interesting to reflect on the interest in looting these wine shops by those who had come out to declare their love for Islam and the Prophet (PBUH). Such contradictions are legion in our society. The protest on Saturday mobilised around 5,000 people marching on parliament, including hundreds of women. About 500 members of the Jamaat-ud-Dawa laid siege to the US Consulate in Lahore, but failed to make any dent. Though the madness of Friday was not on display the day after, the angst over the manner in which the Day of Love for the Prophet (PBUH) was commemorated still leaves a bitter aftertaste. It may be premature to declare the dwindling number of protestors shows the steam has run out of the agitation. That will only be determinable in the days ahead. Friday prayer congregations usually provide the fodder for such protests. The week ahead, if not weeks, need careful watching. It must be noted that the most generous estimates of the total number of protestors on Friday have not passed the figure of 45,000 countrywide. That suggests that whereas all citizens, Muslim and non-Muslim, feel anger at the insult and even love for the Prophet (PBUH), the vast majority are not prepared to bring grist to the extremists’ agenda of using the issue for political gains. So whereas there has been much comment on and criticism of the violence, perhaps we should take a minute or two to reflect on the inherent wisdom and peaceful nature of the overwhelming majority of our citizens. It is by now a well known phenomenon that the actions of the few extremists receive more than their just share of the oxygen of publicity in a milieu of media proliferation and freedom. In fact, the sobering message of Federal Information Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira towards the end of the day of violence, asking the electronic media to show restraint in its coverage of the events seemed to produce a sudden drop in the frantic temperature at which the electronic media had been operating throughout the day. Did incessant media coverage to the point of saturation help or fuel the fire further? Those in charge should do some introspection. We demand from the US and the west that they should not allow the principle of freedom of expression to be extended to blasphemous and insulting matter. Yet we use our relatively new found freedoms without any thought for responsibility and the best interests of the country. Inflammatory coverage only inflames further. Reports say 6,036 people have been booked for violence, arson, looting, etc. Of these, a few (not more than 200 or so according to available reports) have been actually arrested and sent on 14 days judicial remand by the courts. The justice system needs to be cautioned on the police’s penchant for filling the jails with both the guilty and the innocent in such situations just to make themselves look better. Justice must be done, but must also be seen to be dome, not sparing the actual perpetrators, but taking care at the same time not to victimise the innocent. Imran Khan and Shahbaz Sharif have shifted the goalposts by declaring, separately, that criminals (Imran) and hooligans (Shahbaz) were responsible for the violence. To them, it is unthinkable that ‘genuine’ Muslims could perpetrate such acts in the name of defending the honour of the Prophet (PBUH). Well, gentleman, wake up and smell the coffee. It is precisely those who claim a monopoly of the truth about our religion who are the most fanatical, violent, intolerant people around. Let us at least not try to fool either ourselves or the public. Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf has spoken of taking the issue of blasphemy to the UN and the OIC. Be that as it may, and in the unlikely event of the west relenting on ‘freedom of expression’ sufficiently to contemplate restrictions on such hate material, how on earth are governments, east or west, intending to control the new media and the Internet, on which such material can easily be posted and has proved very difficult to block, let alone eliminate. Welcome to the brave new world, in which restraint on hate speech and blasphemous material is conspicuous by its absence. Well intentioned, but a tough call, prime minister.
FRONTIER POSTPakistan Society of Criminology has published the latest issue of Pakistan Journal of Criminology (Vol. 3/No.4/ and Vol. 4/No.1) which is the only research-based journal on crimes, criminal justice and policing studies in Pakistan. The journal is recognized by the Higher Education Commission also. The current issue contains eleven (11) research papers from national and international scholars including articles from USA, UK, Thailand, India, Norway, Singapore, South Africa, and Pakistan. It is worth mentioning that out of the eleven published research papers, four (4) were produced from Pakistani researchers including Tariq Rustam Chohan’s paper on Role of Punjab Police in Control of Narcotics, M. Munir, S. Rashid Ali and other’s research paper on Terrorism: An Evaluation of Students’ Attitude and Awareness at KUST, Dr. Basharat and Gwyneth Boswell’s paper on the Treatment and Rehabilitation of Offenders on Probation, and Fasihuddin’s paper on the Need for a Comparative Criminology of Policing in India and Pakistan. The other important research papers are contributed by Prof. Petter Gottschalk from Norway, Vaibhav Chaudhary and A. Velan from India, Prof. Fida Mohammad from USA, Prof. J.M. (Johan) Ras from South Africa, Samroeng Saengtrong and Sunee Kalyajit from Thailand, Rohan Gunaratna from Singapore, and Prof. Geoff Dean from Australia. The journal is available from all famous book stores in Pakistan like Saeed Book Bank, London Books and Mr. Books (Islamabad), Shaheen and University Book Agencies (Peshawar), National News Agency (Karachi) and Manzoor Law Book House (Lahore). It is also available from the Head Office of Pakistan Society of Criminology situated on Warsak Road, Peshawar. It can also be accessed online from the PSC’s website www.pakistansocietyofcriminolgoy.com
http://pakobserver.netThe much publicized Pakistan-India Visa Agreement signed on September 8, 2012 on the eve of Indian foreign minister’s visit to Islamabad has failed to fulfill the dreams of thousands of people who wanted to see its implementation. Pakistan and India agreed to facilitate visits of veteran citizens and Visa-on-arrival (valid for 45 days) is to be issued to senior citizens (65 years and above) and to children below 12 years at the Wagah-Attari border. The officials failed to take into consideration the fact that 65+ senior citizens or small children cannot travel alone and someone from the family has to go with them. The care-taker has to go through the same old long process and senior citizen will suffer once again despite so much fanfare about new visa regime. Visa seekers from Pakistan including divided family members and senior citizens continue to faces serious hurdles in fulfilling the enormous requirements which not only include a sponsorship from their relatives in India but also attestation of the Sponsorship Form by Indian official or principal of a Government college or school. What is more difficult for Pakistan visa seekers is the requirement of attested copy of Service Card of the official who would attest the sponsorship filled and signed by the Indian relative of Pakistani visa seekers, according to the information available on Indian High Commission website. Minister for Interior Rehman Malik was quoted as saying last week that Pakistan had implemented the new visa regime. However, diplomatic sources say that the implementation may take several months and that is no good news for visa seekers. While Pakistani mission has simplified the requirements for a Pakistan visa for Indians to be presented on a normal Visa Form, the Indian Government requires Pakistanis to fulfill an Online Form with a series of questions and compiles full data of the visa seekers, his or her background, parental or spouse backgrounds and his relatives in India. Indians have made a condition that “Sponsorship certificate is mandatory for all visit visa cases.” Apart from that Indian invitee’s passport (preferred), copy of electricity bill or telephone bill and ration card or Election ID-card, clearly mentioning the address and contact telephone numbers, are also required by the Indian High Commission. The news about liberalization of visa regime three weeks ago had injected a new life to a 75-year old Pakistan lady who is longing to visit her ailing brother in India. Talking to this correspondent the veteran woman said that she had been trying to visit India but her relatives are facing serious difficulties to attest her Sponsorship Form which has been signed by her brother who never came to Pakistan. The new agreement has no good news for her “because the condition that sponsorship certificate should also be countersigned by any of the following Indian government officials (DM/ SP/SDM/ Tehsildar/ BDO/ SHO/ Groups A officer of State and India’s Central Govt. could not be met.” She says that some people who know her brother were ready to certify but no one agreed to meet a more tougher condition that “the Indian government official should also attach a self attested copy of their photo identity card along with his/her contact phone number.”