A Jirga in a hamlet of Kohistan, Bando Baidar, recently declared four women and two men (fornicators) and damned them to death after they were purportedly caught on videotape singing and dancing together at a local wedding bash. Fortunately for the accused, law enforcement agencies in the village have intervened and have declared the death sentence null and void.
Reports have surfaced that the alleged people have been already killed but there seems to be confusion whether the women are alive or dead as some reports say that they are dead while the government denies it. Hopefully, the reports of them being killed are untrue, however from this whole development, one thing is clear that this Jirga system needs to be revised because mostly, the judges in these Jirga are ignorant and brutal individuals that know nothing about Islamic laws.
It has been more than a decade since the overthrowing of Talibanâ€™s government in Afghanistan but the effects of their regime still subsist in the land. According to a recent report by Human Rights Watch (HRW), there are several Afghan women (approximately 400) conking out in the prison for committing so called moral crimes that include running away from home and having an extra marital affair, despite the fact that these activities are not considered a crime under the Afghan Penal Code.
The current government of Afghanistan is an immensely western backed government and westerners are known to be extra sensitive about human, especially women rights. Therefore this development is extra surprising. Probably the Taliban mentality is too deeply embedded in the society and will take another decade to flush out of the system.
The future of social networking sites in Pakistan looks pretty bleak. Not because people in the country are not attracted to it, but because of the unnecessary occasional bans by the government. On 19th September 2011, Pakistan Telecommunication authority (PTA) banned world leading social networking website Facebook for few weeks in the name of protecting its citizens from blasphemous caricatures of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), and just recently, in fact yesterday, PTA banned another such website Twitter for the same reason.
Interestingly, the ban was lifted after 24 hours this time.
Being Muslims, it is our duty to protest to such blasphemous acts by the westerners; however what is the point in shutting these websites temporarily? The PTA should either ban these websites permanently or simply leave them alone, as these short term bans are completely pointless.
After the recent incident of killing of an International Committee of Red Cross employee Khalil Rasjed Dale in Quetta at the hands of militants, one thing has become crystal clear, that Pakistan is not a very safe place for foreigners. ICRC has already temporarily suspended their activities in Pakistan after this development and now it will be interesting to see if other such foreign organizations join the bandwagon and decide to shut their business here.
It is not clear what the consequences of their departure would be if any for Pakistan, however for militants in the country, it would be a massive success. It is known to everyone, how much these psychopaths hate the westerners and therefore, their departure would mean â€œmission accomplishedâ€ and would definitely lead to some grand celebrations in the militant’s camps.
Ever wonder what is the real agenda of Taliban and why have they disrupted the peace of the whole world or what is their take on the recent developments, such as negotiations with US or a high bounty on leader of DPC Hafiz Saeed By US? Don’t need to worry, as now Taliban have added a query section on their website (Voice of Jihad) through which anyone can ask them any sort of questions. Not only this, but back-fence talks are that they have adopted social media as well and have twitter accounts where they regularly converse with each other and with their followers.
Inquiries have already started pouring in on their queries section and the page is actively being monitored on daily or weekly basis. What is more heartbreaking and lethal is the fact that the section is usually filled with the praises of militants by their supporters, which shows that there are still people who think these psychopaths are heroes and on the right way. When would these people realize that these miscreants are nothing more than infidels?
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In our society, a couple usually covets giving birth to a male offspring than a female, because of social and economical reasons and also because of the fact, that a son is symbol of prestige in our culture. On the other hand, In Afghanistan, this desire to have a male child is so extreme that it has forced families not having any male child, to carry out a weird traditional practice of Bacha Posh– disguising girls as boys. There are several families in the country that have transformed one of their female children into a male by cutting their hair and cross-dressing them. Some have taken these extreme measures to avoid the taunts of relatives and people in the society while others- the financially deprived families, have disguised girls into boys in order to increase the number of breadwinners in the family.
Is it not clearly the violation of women rights?
When would the cruelty in different forms against the women end?
The international community and the human rights and women organizations should take a note of this and impress upon the Afghanistan government to address this issue.
Not admitting mistakes and putting the blame on others is the routine practice of our leaders and our military. Our military intelligence ISI that is in the line of fire these days, following their involvement in missing persons cases, has lived up to the reputation once again. They recently defended themselves in the Supreme Court by making a revelation that Indian spy agency Research and Analysis Wing(RAW) and Israel Mossad are the ones culpable for kidnapping people from Baluchistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhua.
Ok this might be true, however if it is then why didn’t ISI took any action against those two agencies, knowing that they were carrying out such heinous activities in our land? ISI surprisingly, was recently ranked as the number one intelligence in the world, but the so labeled top agency seems to be no way near the top spot. They could not even detect that the most wanted man in the world was residing in Pakistan and now instead of accepting their crime in the missing people case, they are making pathetic excuses.
Difa-e-Pakistan Council (DPC) carried out yet another rally, and this time in the heart of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Peshawar. Interestingly, this rally was held just few days after the civil society in Peshawar took to the streets to protest against the Difa-e-Pakistan Council, demanding that a ban be imposed and the council be held responsible for the death of three million people.
Despite our government warnings to the banned outfits, DPC have now held rallies in each of the major cities of Pakistan. This all has raised few serious questions relating to the authority of our Government. When it cannot even stop them from carrying out processions and sit outs, how can it solve other significant issues, our country is facing?
It has been almost six years since the assassination of Nawab Akbar Bugti and in this period, despite the massive efforts of the provincial leaders to spot those responsible for this brutality, no success has been achieved yet in this case. Disappointed with all this, Balochistan have now asked the federal government to transfer the investigation of Nawab Akbar Bugti murder to the Federal Investigation Agency.
A justified move without a doubt, however isn’t this the same FIA that has terribly failed to find those guilty of assassinating the country former prime minister Benazir Bhutto? When the so called efficient intelligence could not even get close to solving her case, what is the guarantee that they would be of any help in Bugti case? Balochistan government needs to think about this.