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one more journalist killed in pakistan

Pakistan Christian Post Is Your Voice Since 2001

ONE MORE JOURNALIST FALLS VICTIM TO FEUDALIMS. BY ABBAS KASSAR. PCP Report

HYDERABAD. One more Journalist Amir Bux Brohi district reporter of Sindhi language daily has fallen victim to the 16th century feudalism still not only prevalent in Sindh province of Pakistan but reigning as de facto rulers of this part of world. Mir Bux Brohi was gunned down by 3 unknown armed men in Shikarpur city of Sindh province of Pakistan at 8 p.m. on Friday October 3,2003 only on some meters distance from office of District Police Officer Shikarpur. He was injured and rushed to civil hospital where he succumbed to injuries. He received 5 bullets two of them in neck, which proved fatal for his life. Amir Bux 28 was related with popular Sindhi language newspaper daily KAWISH since last 13 years. He was unmarried. He had gone to DPO office and as he came out on road he was shot at few meters distance from the DPO office. Police reached the spot 45 minutes after the incident though the shots were heard in DPO office. Police failed to immediately seal the roads connecting the city. The assailants ran away in small streets. His marriage was set to be held after holy month of Ramadan’s year ago on 20th October 2002, Shaihid Soomro also related with daily Kawish was murdered for carrying stories of rigging in the general elections, which were held on 10 October 2002.

Amir Bux had put his life at risk by writing stories against Jirgas (the illegal assembly of feudal lords). First these feudal lords including Jagirdars, Waderas, Sardars, Nawabs incite the people belonging to their castes/clans (in fact it is caste and clan but for their self interests the feudal lords call their people as tribes so that they could get recognition from government as tribal chiefs and by virtue of it could get privileges from the government as well as acceptance from other tribal leaders. According to dictionary tribe means division of a nation for political purpose). Then, when on their instigation, the people of various castes and clans attack people of opponent clan, kidnap their women, kill them and in turn that clan retaliates with same actions. After much blood shed the Sardars not involved in bloody feud intervene. The fighting stops on orders of the so- called tribal chiefs on whose directions it had started. The Jirga (assembly of sardars) is called in and attended by top feudal lords which after one or two days deliberations announce its verdict under which the killers from both sides are exonerated. The murders are exchanged like commodity to the liking of feudal lords. Former army dictator General Ziaul Haq had made amendments in constitution called Hud (Islamic laws) under which any killer would be exonerated on payment of Khoon Bah (compensation for murder) to the heirs of deceased. The relatives of those who were murdered during infighting are left with no option but to obey the orders of Jirga and their own lord. As the people have no live in areas of feudal lords they dare not refuse their orders.

The worst recent example the Jirga was killing of 18 innocent people during the fighting between Jagirani and Nareja clans in Kharipur district. A Jirga was held in mid August 2003, which decided the exchange of 7 murders on each side while 4 more on one side were compensated to victim families. The compensation amount never reached the victim family as it is pocketed by Sardars.

Amir Bux was eliminated because he had written stories against the ills of fedudalism, Jagirdari and holding of Jirgas. Few days before his murder he had questioned the wisdom Jirga by giving details of those innocent people died in tribal fighting like animals with no justice meted out to their families. Journalist Shahid Soomro was murdered directly on 20 October 2002 by two sons of influential tribal chief of Bijarani tribe Sardar Sher Mohammed Bijarani for the only reason that he had angered the Sardar with his news about rigging in general elections of 10 October 2002.He had earlier received death threats.

The killers of Shahid Soomro though were arrested and had confessed the murder but because being both sons of an influential feudal lord Sardar chief of Bijarani tribe, they were not punished. Shikarpur district forms part of Upper Sindh where the 16th century feudalism still reigns and the feudal lords calling themselves as Sardars, Mirs, Nawabs and Waderas in words of Sindhi intellectual Rasool Bux Palijo “have established states within state”. Because these feudal lords thrive on support of undemocratic government of the day and its officials including police, they hold complete authority on their areas and over people.

In Shahid Soomro’s case former speaker of Pakistan’s National Assembly Illahi Bux Soomro led 30 feudal lords and Sardars to his bereaved family and under feudal pressure obtained signature from them on a paper that they had pardoned the murder of Shahid to killers who were later exonerating by anti-terrorist court at Sukkur.

The journalistic community throughout Sindh has been agitating against the cold blooded murder of Amir Bux Brohi for last three days .In Hyderabad more than 100 journalists wearing black arm bands observed token hunger strike and held demonstration out side press club for third consecutive day, the building of which was hoisted with black flag.

The murder report of Amir Bux Brohi was filed at 2 A.M. Saturday against 3 unidentified armed killers at Lakhidar police station in Shikarpur but police has failed to get to the culprits. The journalists and citizens held demonstration at Shikarput and blocked Indus high way by staging sit in on it to protest against the murder of Brohi taking his coffin with them and demanding arrest of his killers. Hyderabad Press Club has announced three days protest outside press club daily and setting up condolence camp where the office bearers of HPC will received condolence messages from the leaders of civil society.

This is the second journalist murdered by extremists and feudal lords and 4th in last two years. Fazal Wahab a freelancer journalist was shot dead in Mangora on 21 January 2003 in Mangora town in North West Frontier Province of Pakistan.He was critical of religious extremists.

In 2002 apart from Shahid Soomro, Daniel Pearl reporter of Wall Street Journal was killed in 21 February 2002 in Karachi by Islamic Religious group. He was investigating the possible link between Al-Qaeda and show bomber Richard Reid who had boarded Paris-Miami flight with explosion in his shoe.4 persons accused in his murder were sentenced by anti-Terrorist Court Hyderabad one main accused Sheikh Omar received death sentence while three others were awarded life terms. All the 4 are presently serving in Central Prison Hydeabad, Pakistan.

Of the 4 journalists killed in Pakistan within 2 years time religious extremists and 2 in Sindh at hands of feudalism killed 2. Feudal lords in Pakistan especially in Sindh have managed to hold politics of country in connivance with civil and military bureaucracy. Among them rural aristocracy is the biggest force for maintenance of status quo in the politics and policymaking. It were feudal lords of West Pakistan masquerading as socialists under Bhuttos’ PPP who had refused to hand over power to a commoner from East Wing despite his overwhelming majority in parliament (161 seats out of total 300). Feudal lords in rural Sindh are opposed to spread of education, as after getting educated the sons of their peasants may not bow before them. It is due to their opposition to education that thousands of schools are closed in rural villages depriving millions of children of education for the reason that these very feudal lords become part of every government of the day be it democratic or dictatorial. In fact the characteristic of every government in Pakistan is aristocratic. These feudal dynasties control half dozen political parties including the main formations like PPP and ML. Ironically enough the heads of these political parties talk of elections but opt for themselves as lifetime party chiefs.

“Feudalism as mode of product does not exist. However it is feudal ways and norms that remain the bane of underdeveloped societies. Consequently the term “feudalism” is used to describe “anything reactionary, old-fashioned or resonant of aristocratic values”(Oxford Dictionary). The world has got rid of feudalism but in Pakistan rural population is being oppressed and suppressed under feudalism and have no option than servile existence under big landlords. The government of the day as thrives on support of landlords never takes such steps to get people rid of this mother of all ills. People of Pakistan especially Sindh have been pushed to 400 years back by present military government of General Pervez Mushraf by appointing one feudal lord Mir Zafrullah Jamali as Prime Minister of Pakistan and another Sardar Ali Mohammed Mahar as Chief Minister of Sindh.The life of 40 million people of Sindh now is in hands of these feudal lords. Whenever they like they can eliminate any person like Shahid Soomro and Amir Bux Brohi.

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pakistan unwilling to protect minorities rights

  • Saturday, March 18, 2017

Pakistan unwilling to protect religious minorities rights under ICCPR

Discussion in ‘Social & Current Events‘ started by $elf, Jul 15, 2014.

  1. $elf

    $elfFULL MEMBER

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    Hyderabad: July 14, 2014. (By Abbas Kassar) Minority rights, as applying to ethnic, religious or linguistic minorities and indigenous peoples, are an integral part of international human rights law, Like children rights, women’s rights and refugee rights, minority rights are a legal framework designed to ensure that a specific group which is in a vulnerable, disadvantaged or marginalized position in society, is able to achieve equality and is protected from persecution. The first post-war international treaty to protect minorities, designed to protect them from the greatest threat to their existence, was the U.N. Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.

    Subsequent human rights standards that codify minority rights include the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

    Pakistan signed the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) in 2008 and ratified it with reservations in 2010. But when European Union emissaries had warned Pakistan to be deprived of Generalized System of Preferences plus status of grant of trade benefits accorded by EU which in other words means ban on Pakistani exports, then in 2011, the Pakistan government, withdrew almost all of the reservations. Hence, since July 2011, Pakistan has ratified the ICCPR almost entirely committing itself to upholding the civil and political rights of its citizens including citizens belonging to minority community.

    In Article 18 of the ICCPR is the guaranteed freedom of thought, conscience and religion. The right to religion includes the freedom to adopt and profess in public or private, freedom of worship and unfettered right to believe and manifest one’s religion accordingly. Article 19 goes further and says that everyone shall have the right to his or her opinions without interference. Article 20 of the ICCPR forbids any advocacy of religious hatred.

    The freedom to profess one’s religion is integral to the ICCPR and therefore any law that abridges that freedom is in violation of and in contradiction to Pakistan’s international commitment

    All of the aforesaid have been placed in the non-Muslim category under Article 260 of the Constitution of Pakistan.

    The human rights watch noted that the condition of religious minorities deteriorated sharply in Pakistan in 2012, with the government unwilling or unable to provide protection against attacks by extremists.

    Christians, Sikhs, Hindus and other minorities throughout Pakistan recount numerous horrific incidents of attacks and threats and express an overwhelming sense of fear. Minority Rights Group International, a watchdog organization, had ranked Pakistan as ‘the world’s top country for major increases in threats to minorities since 2007’. The group also lists Pakistan as seventh on the list of 10 most dangerous countries for minorities, after Somalia, Sudan, Afghanistan, Iraq, Myanmar and Congo.

    In Sindh, Hindu women are being abducted and forcibly converted to Islam. Many Christians are suffering under the blasphemy law, a law which itself is in contradiction to the ICCPR. Churches, temples and other places of worship are routinely destroyed.

    The situation in Sindh has markedly worsened for Hindus since 2oo7 with increase in target killing, extortion, kidnapping, looting, religion based discrimination and troubles linked to their places of worship. Despite incidents like Shanti Nagar, Gojra, Sialkot, Badmi Bagh, and the attack on a Peshawar church being self-evident as to the increasing religious intolerance against minorities by the state and society, if you ask any Pakistani politician about the state of minorities or how protected they are in Pakistan, their prompt reply will be that minorities are happy and enjoying equal rights in the country.

    If they are right then why the world seems worried about them and questions are reverberating in the House of Commons, EU and even in America about the oppression of minorities and misuse of blasphemy laws against them.

    The U.S. Commission on Religious Freedom said in a recent report that conditions in Pakistan had “hit an all-time low” and governments had failed to adequately protect minorities and arrest perpetrators of crimes against them.

    Scores of girls like 11 years Amriah Masih,12 years Muqadas Kainat,even 6 years Viginti Meghwar ,Kakoo Kolhen,14 years Manishsa Kumari and others were raped but their culprits have never been brought to book.

    The guarantees of freedom of religious beliefs accorded to minorities under ICCPR are also violated by kidnapping minority girls and forcibly converting them to Islam.

    According to a report published in Pakistan Today on 8 April 2014, around 1,000 Christian and Hindu women in Pakistan are forcibly converted to Islam and married to Muslim men every year including Rinkel Kumari in Ghotki in Feb 2012. She cried before chief justice of Pakistan Chowdhry Iftikhar in his court room to be handed to parents but the controversial judge turned his ears deaf and handed her to kidnapper follower of Pir of Bharchoondi, nortorious for kidnapping Hindu girls, keeping them his Harem for months and then marrying them to his Mureeds after conversion.

    The report states the estimates of the incidence of forced marriage and conversion of 700 victim Christian girls and 300 Hindu girls per year, adding that the true scale of the problem is likely to be much greater, as a number of cases are never reported or do not progress through the law-enforcement and legal systems.

    Though passed by NA but resolution is not binding on government but as a parliamentary practice.

    In first 5 months of 2014, as many as 6 Hindu temples were ransacked: Dharamshala at Larkaha, was set on fire on March 13, Hanuman Mandir at Hyderabad on March 17,, Parbraham Ashram at Mith on March 30, Shri Guru Garanth Saheb at Madeji district Shikarpur and burning of Hindu holy book Bhagwat Geeta.

    Though NA on May 14 this year condemned these attacks and asked for beefing up security of their holy places of worship and asked government to take measures on priority basis to protect holy places of religious minorities, yet as is evident from the protests that Hindu Mandirs are still not safe. The attacks on Mandirs have compelled Hindus to leave Pakistan and accoring to figure presented in NA by a minority law maker during the months of March and April 2014 as many as 10,000 Hindus have migrated to India.

    Hearing petition of Dr. Ramesh Kuman Wankwani MNA about recent attacks on Hindu Mandirs on June 19,2014 ,chief justice of Pakistan Justice Tasaduq Hussain Jeelani lamented that it was unfortunate that constitutional provisions related to protection of minority rights have not been implemented. CJP said in addition to Objectives Resolution, Article 20 of the constitution also guarantees protection of minority rights. Apex court also ordered formation of National Council on Minorities.

    HINDU POPULATION:

    According to estimation by an NGO there are more than 7000000 Hindus currently living in the different states of Pakistan, but majority of Hindus is settled in the province of Sindh.

    The Hindus of Pakistan are a religious minority in an overwhelmingly Muslim society. They constitute about 5.5% of the population of 180 million (according to 1998 census). They live primarily in the urban areas of the province of Sindh in the lower Indus valley and over half are concentrated in the south-east district of Tharparkar which borders India. For the most part Hindus in Pakistan are well educated and active in commerce, trade and the civil service but majority of lower caste work as Haris.

    According to an independent source, around 20 lac Hindus belonging to scheduled castes ( Dalits) are engaged to work as Haris ( peasants)on big farmlands of lower Sindh where they work as bonded peasants, kept in private jails under surveillance of armed men of landlords not allowed to move outside farmlands. They being most vulnerable their women and girls happen to be easy prey to landlords and their Kamdars lust.

    According to the US commission on International religious freedom (USCIRF) annual report, “The government of Pakistan continues to engage in and tolerate systematic, ongoing, and violations of freedom of religion or belief.

    To sum up Pakistan is in complete and total violation of its international obligations of religious freedom, civil and political rights which can jeopardize the status of grant of trade benefits to Pakistan under the GSP Plus Scheme of the European Union.

    Introduction: writer is bureau chief of daily Messenger Karachi, editor daily Pioneer Pakistan (online)and reporter in Pakistan for Pakistan Weekly, Burkeley,USA. Also general secretary of Hyderabad Union of Journalists (PFUJ Dasoor), member European Journalism Center, member governing body Hyderabad press club and member Writers International.

    Pakistan Christian Post

  2. Pakistani Exile

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    It is unfortunate that some of our esteemed Pakistani members don’t believe this to be a major problem. We have no right to be lecturing the Israelis or the Americans about their crimes when we ourselves are doing the same to our fellow countrymen.

A week under caretaker govt pakistan

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Saturday, March 18, 2017

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Pakistan — A Week Under Caretaker Governments

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106 Killed,18 Kidnapped,10 Women Raped,Tortured, Missing

By Abbas Kassar

Hyderabad: With the departure of elected governments and induction of caretakers in center and provinces, the crime rate has increased drastically during their first week 23 to 30 March 2013, in which as many as 106 persons including 22 security personnel, 4 children,10 women (under Karo Kari) were killed that proves ineffectiveness of 80 plus rulers. It is amazing that past government and opposition chose retired judges to become caretaker prime minister, 3 provincial chief ministers and also election commission members all happen to be of more than 80 years. Generally speaking 20 years after retirement is the age of worship and to count days and not meant for rule. Second question is that are judges made to rule or make rulers accountable to justice.

It is said that Khoso has been made prime minister to appease the rebel Baloch who had ascended to mountains as part of their movement for separation. With his one son in Tehrik Insaaf and another former MPA of PPP how can he play neutral role is to be watched.

I come back to subject that crime rate has increased in first week of caretakers rule. Apart from above 18 person including 3 women and 6 children were kidnapped,3 children of the age of 15 months, one year died in Nagarparkar of measles and another child or 3 year also died of not receiving the vaccination for measles and 10 more were lying on death bed in Kachho area of Dadu district. 2 women Shakeela and Soina were gang raped near Tando Adam when the culprits dragged them out from rickshaw. 4 persons including a woman committed suicide during the week and one had died of taking hand made poisonous wine while a worker died of burns in match factory in Tando Adam. Aming 18 kidnapped are 8 class sutdent Sohnal Mugheri of Qambar, 16 years old girl student Yasmeen Mughal from Sukkur, 10 years old Jamshed son of Azeem of Shahpur Jehanian, 8 years Faizan from Merabpur and Sakina mother of 8 from Sita Road, 2 Hindus Baldev and Preetamdas from Bakhshapur while a Hindu girl 18 years Ganga was kidnapped from Jaccobabad, converted and married to a Muslim man. Hindu Panchayet’s continued protest remains unheard as they were mulling to leave Sindh and migrate to India.4 women of Chandia community of Tando Ghulam Ali district Badin were missing from Darul Aman Hyderabad where they were sent by concerned court on their request for divorce from their husbands. One among them is young daughter accompanied with her mother. These missing women are: Shahnaz, Sakina, Amna and girl Sughra.

The strange aspect of wave of crimes was indifference and apathy of police which not only did not move to arrest killers, kidnappers or to bust the crime but in few cases it took sides with perpetrators as was evident from followings: In Kotdiji in Khairpur district a man Khabar snatched 3 animals from a woman Sharifan who was grazing them in meadow. On resistance and cries the culprit let dogs loose on Sharifan who though bleeding of dog bites reached Kotdiji police station but police did not took her complaint. She rushed to government hospital but finding it locked went to a private clinic where doctor gave her chit for purchase of medicine which was too costly and out of her reach. In anohter case of torture in village Sachal Shar near Faiz Ganj also in Khairpur district husband Allahdino tortured his wife Jameelan by binding her with ropes. He also beat his two infant sons Zahid and Asif. Affer untieing her she went to police station Faiz Jang but police did not help her nor registered complaint. She visited press club and told her plight to journalists. Even after publication of story in press police did not move nor the caretakers.

In another hair raising incident a villager Aziz Chang was killed by armed men of Wadero Younis Chang by firing when he was running to save life in village streets where no one came to rescue him. Reason being that Aziz Chang had refused to give his 9 year old daughter for marriage with a 50 year old Wadero Younis Chang. Before being killed he raised voice against the tyranny of Wadera by observing hunger strike in front of press club Faiz Gang but police of the area neither took notice of his hunger strike and nor registered FIR of his murder against Wadera.

In yet another very cruel incident a 15 year old boy Mushtaq Manganhar was locked in a police quarter and tortured for refusing to have sex relations with paedo SHO of Nindo Shahar police station in district Badin, Ayub Khaskheli. Anoher 15 year old boy Ramzan Mallah was arrested, hand cuffed and locked up by Kaloi police station also in Badin district. His father and elder brother Ashraf reached police station to know the facts but police locked them both up. A journalist Irshad Khaskheli went to police station to take pics but he was brutally beaten by police and his camera was snatched. Later on payment of bribe of Rs.10,000 police released all.

In another incident of brutal torture with children, a landlord caught a 15 year old boy Fayaz Rahu near Mirpur Bathoro in Thatta district and ted him in ropes with camel then flogged camel to run fast. With every scream of a boy of his wounds receiving while being dragged behind running camel the most tyrant Wadera raised his ugly laughter in jubilation. The peasants working in nearby fields did not dare to rescue the wounded boy who after the instinct of tyrant entertainment of Wadera was over the boy was untied. He is now in civil hospital for treatment.

These are but a few incidents of crime except may be more nor reported in press during first week of the octogenerian rulers upto 30 March 2013. No doubt they are here to hold fair elections but are they not responsible for crimes like murders, kidnapping, rape, torture and violence on women and children. If the silence on part of rulers, which I will call criminal silence, is not broken hundreds may die until the doomsday of polling.

[Abbas Kassar is a Jounalist in Hyderabad, Pakistan and presently working as bureau chief of daily Messenger Karachi and Lahore Times ( online), a member of Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists and European Journalism Center. He can be reached at kassar_hyd@yahoo.com;kassarabbas@lycos.com and 92 3453585137]

muslim landldord kills christian labourer

Muslim landlord shoot dead a Christian laborer after dragging him in streets tied to his jeep.

HYDERABAD, Pakistan: July 09, 2012. (By Abbas Kassar) A minority Christian worker who was working with a contractor at Kot Ghulam Muhammad town of Sindh was killed by landlord Faisal Kachhelo on Sunday
but police and parliamentarians of area were trying to save landlord and instead police arrested his guard to save face. According to details a Christian worker Asif alias Shera Masih was collecting earth for construction work of school at town Kot Ghulam Muhammad when the landlord Faisal Kachhelo caught him and tied him with his jeep dragging him behind jeep to his Otaq (sitting room) outside his home where the landlord fired bullets at the worker killing him instantly. His dead body was lying on the ground for 4 hours only then police arrived and took his body to Taluka hospital for post mortem.

Though the parents of 26 years old young worker lodged FIR against landlord but police arrested Bachayo Khokhar guard of wadera and saved the landlord. Police as well as local MPA and MNA were trying to save landlord and to struck off his name from FIR. The relatives of the slain Christian young man held protest demonstration and blocked Umerkot- Mirpurkhas road for few hours causing suspension of vehicular traffic. They demanded justice by arresting the killer landlord.

Meanwhile the violence against workers and women continued in Sindh. On same day a peasant Gul Muhammad Khaskheli was killed near Shahdadpur in Sanghar district of Sindh by armed men of Rind community while 2 children were injured. The relatives held protest demonstration against killers but police did not move to arrest the assailants instead it arrested half dozen protesters.

In Khairpur a girl Babra Wasan and a young man Javed Jiskani who has slipped out of their village Pir Gudoo for marrying on their own were caught by armed men of village Sardar and both killed. Their dead bodies were thrown in a nearby jungle as police was helpless before the political influence of Sardar as such police neither lodged FIR of double murder not moved to arrest anyone. District Police Officer Khairpur Irfan Baloch says police was unaware of murders. Yousuf Jeskani the maternal uncle of slain Javed said that after passage of one week of murder police was not moving because it was afraid of politically influential Sardar. He said the parents of slain pair were not handed dead bodies.

Pakistan Christian Post

 

no let up in violence against women

NO LET UP IN VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN IN SINDH: 557 KILLED IN 11 MONTHS
[Abbas Kassar, Hyderabad] published in Alternate Solution Lahore

Incidence of violation against women are on rise in Pakistan especially in its Sindh province where they are subjected to various forms of violence including murders under pretext of “family honor” that is called in Sindhi language as Karo Kari( honor killing) kidnapping, rape, acid throwing, sale like animals and giving away in exchange of crimes committed by their family male members. In most cases violence against women is committed on behest of the feudal lords( Jagirdars, sardars and waderas) who are backed by police and state. These feudal lords are made so politically powerful by every successive government in Pakistan that they have set up states within state and every state machinery including police and district administrations must back them in their tyrannies or lose their jobs.

Many cases are not reported and in those brought to police  affected women are denied justice resulting perpetuating the cycle of violence. Because these very feudal lords manage to be elected to assemblies and taken as ministers, they defend violence against women on basis of centuries old custom to keep women as slaves. Women have no rights or privileges in male dominated and feudally rules society of Sindh.

According to figures collected by this scribe,  more than 557 women  were killed under honor killing and domestic violence in Sindh in last 11 months of year 2011.83 men were also killed under family honor during this period, bringing total to 640 comparing to 557 in last year which means 83 men and women more were killed indicating the incidents of honor killing on rise. 65 women and 14 men were killed in October 2011, 55 women and 11 men killed in July 2011, 73 women and 8 men in June, 65 women and 17 men in May, 48 women and 12 men in April and 41 women and 12 men in January 2011.

Apart from killing women and men under honor killing the women and girls were also made subject to other violence including their sale and giving them in exchange  as Sangg Chati ( given in marriage to enemy family) where they have to live the life under humiliation. 17 Incidents of violence against women were committed in first week of December 2011. Killing of Javed Kharal in Larkana by Ghulam Abbas under suspicion of having illicit relations with his wife Shaheen who though ailing was fired upon by husband and injured seriously. The culprit husband also wounded mother of wife. In another incident in Khanpur Saleh Kharal sold his another daughter 14 years Zeenat in Rs.3 lacs (US dollars 330);In Dad Leghari young man Yousuf and Zarina were declared Karo Kari by local landlord in a so called Jirga ( the illegal court) and issued Fatwa to killed them both. Their only crime was that they had married on their own. For a girl and boy to marry without consent of parents is, under feudal custom, crime to be punished with death. 4 girls Sarfaroz, Fahmida, Samina and Rani were kidnapped from Mehar town in Dadu district and 2 of them are sold in sum of Rs.5 lacs by kidnappers who are their close relatives and other 2 killed.

In Dera Murad Jamali in Jaccobabad district a man Zahid and girl Saran were killed for marrying on their own. Their dead bodies were thrown in jungle. In same town 8 years Rahiman was gang raped by 8 armed men. In Ghulam Shah in Shikarpur district Saeedo Mehar was imposed fine of Rs.5 lacs and Sangg Chati of his 9 year old daughter who was married on same day to old man.In Khairpur the home town of Sindh Chief Minister Sharif Rajput killed his wife Rehana for reason that she had delayed in baking bread for him. In 2 cases in Adilpur and Jongal 2 girls Hafizan and Sadori were taken by Sardars to their Haveli while boys Ayaz and other who had married the girls on their own were killed or orders of Sardar.

There have been hundreds of reports of honor killing of women in Afghanistan, Iran, India, Bangladesh, West Bank of Israel and Jordan but Pakistan tops among them all, where the concept of women as an object or commodity is deeply rooted in the tribal culture. In Pakistan women are considered property of the males in their family and, like livestock or property, they have monetary value. Women are almost always married by arrangement between families. The tribal customs dictate the property is to be kept within the family so girls  are often married to cousins or close relatives almost in exchange of a girl from groom family for may be old male if young is not available in bride’s family. Sometimes daughters, even unborn granddaughters, are exchanged to obtain new wives for males. Women are seen to embody the honour of the men to whom they belong.

The culture casts the males as the sole protector of the female so he must have total control over her.
Men feel honor to kill his family female under what is called in local languages as  ‘ghairat’ or honour on coming to know of her illicit relations with any man. Women in rural villages are not allowed to talk to any man outside family and are also not allowed to go out of home without escort of men even not to hospital as in that case the ‘izzat’ or standing of man in society will be  diminished. Such woman is declared as Kari meaning she brought disgrace to family and must be killed A man who kills for reason of honour is ‘ghairatmand’ , both morally and legally supported by his tribesmen. After the women are killed their bodies are often thrown into rivers or buried in hidden graveyards. No one is permitted to express grief or pray for them. The Sardar of the area chairs Jirga ( illegal court) which decides the penalty on Karo mostly the fine amount which is taken away by Sardar and “Sangg Chati” penalty of any women or girl ( may be minor one).

There are many cases of fake honour killings where rumours about a daughter or wife are circulated so that they can be killed just to obtain blood money or a new wife. Under Qisas and Diyat law promulgated by military ruler Gen. Ziaul Haq the family of the victim is allowed to pardon the perpetrator for receiving blood money. In many instances “honour” is used as an excuse to perpetrate crimes that stem from inter-family, land, and personal disputes. Government of Pakistan has passed few acts including Protection of Women Act yet the practice of honor killing not only continues but it is on rise by every passing month. 8548 cases of violence against women were reported including 683 honor killing, 604 suicide, 1987 kidnapping, sexual harassment 274 and acid throwing 27 in 2009 while in 2010 there were 8000 incidents of violations against women with 5295 in Punjab and 1652 in Sindh, 650 in KP, 79 in Balochistan and 127 in Islamabad. 2236 women were kidnapped 1436 killed, 486 of domestic violence and 633 had committed suicide after being weary of the miserable life. 557 women were killed under honor killing while 928 were gang raped. More than 100 incident occurred of sexual harassment and acid throwing.

The figures of Islamabad are alarming given the smaller population and high security maintained in the capital. Of the total incidents of 8000 in Pakistan, 2236 women were abducted; 1436 women were murdered and 557 were killed in the name of ‘ honour’ killing; 928 women were raped; 633 women committed suicide; 32 women were made victim of acid attacks and 38 women were target of stove burning. 1 This is a grim reminder that evil social practices persist, such as the fact that several women were exchanged like cattle to settle disputes adjudicated by illegal jirgas, or hundreds were killed on the pretext of so-called ‘honour’.

Sindh being ruled de facto by politically powerful Sardars and Jagirdars where the authorities were silent and get the issue taken for granted. Due to which in almost all districts of Sindh the cases of killing women under Karo Kari, rape, gang rape, torture, domestic violence and child marriages are happening. On the occasion of world human right day the leader of Women Action Forum and women activists professor Amar Sindhu,Arfana Mallah, Haseen Shah Musrat,Nasreen Shakeel Pathan,Zahida Detho, Ms. Gulani as well as the human rights activists Dr. Sarwan Kumar, advocate Aslam Rana, advocate bhagwandas, Dr. Ashothama (HRCP),Dr. Hyder (GRDO), Taj Mari, Ramzan Memon, former first secretary of Communist Party of Pakistan Jam Saqi and others have slated apathy and indifferent attitude of state to curb incidents of violation against women including honor killing and to bring the perpetrators to book and have demanded to implement laws and international
conventions for protection of women and according them the status equal to men. They demanded cases of rape be tried in special courts. They  lashed out at Jirga system and said if the feudal lords and Jagirdars were to decide fate of women victims then how they can get justice. They also deplored that the state has failed to implement the provisions of law which was passed to bust the attempts of sexual harassment of women in work places.

fraud elections in pakistan

By Abbas Kassar

Hyderabad: The much trumpeted elections held in Pakistan Thursday proved to be bloody and full of violence and rigging as more than 25 people were killed in various incidents of bomb blasts and targeted firing and in all more than 100 killed in 3 days. In Karachi a terrorist group Muehida Qaumi Movement made polling staff hostage since last night along with election material due to which at more than 7 national and 14 provincial assembly seats polling staff and ballot papers did not reach by 2 pm though voters had assembled by 8 morning but returned disappointed without casting votes. The armed terrorists filled ballot boxes with the stolen ballots. The voters of opponent parties especially Jamat Islami, Jamiat Ulema Pakistan (Noorani) and other parties boycotted elections in Karachi and Hyderabad two urban cities of Sndh which have remained under control of MQM terrorists since long. Syed Munawar Hassan Amir Jamat Islami, Sahebzada Abul Khair Muhammad Zubair president JUP called elections as fraud and announced its boycott. Taj Hyder secretary Pakistan Peoples Party, Nihal Hashmi of Muslim League and others said they would not accept results of elections. Chief Election Commissioner Pakistan Justice (rtd) Fakhruddin Ibrahim called Corps Commander Karachi and complained that election material was stolen and staff kidnapped in Karachi but the army did not provide safety to them. Secretary ECP Ishtiaq Ahmed observed that instead of rigging infested elections it was better not to hold it.

In Karachi and Hyderabad citizens were crying against poll rigging but no security was provided to polling stations. In Nawabshah the home town of president Zardari MQM terrorists burnt the camp office of Pakistan Peoples as police everywhere was watching as silent spectators. Even in some polling stations women presiding officers and political parties election agents were kidnapped.

In Balochistan Jamhoori Watan Party of late Nawab Akbar Bugti also boycotted elections while 7 party national alliance of Balochistan had already boycotted elections and had given call of strike on polling day My 11. Allama Tahirul Qadri chief of Pakistan Awami Tehrik has already boycotted elections and his party had stages sit in on polling day as a protest alleging that election commission and caretaker government were biased. Pakistan Tehrik Insaf chairman Imran Khan whose party is giving tough time to Muslim League and PPP in Punjab and Khyber Pukhtoonkha has accused MQM of vote rigging and has said that it has exposed itself as terrorist organization. Whatever the results but one thing was sure that elections in Pakistan have never been fair and transparent and once again it has proved that this nation is not made for democracy.

[Abbas Kassaris Bureau Chief of daily Messenger of Karachi and writes stories on human rights violations in Pakistan for Asian Human Rights Commission Hong Kong. He is member of Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists, European Journalism Center and Writers International Group. He can be reached at kassarabbas@lycos.com, kassarabbas@gmail.com and can also be contacted at +92 3453585137]

end of bhutto era in pakistan

By Abbas Kassar

Hyderabad (Pakistan): General elections in Pakistan are being held on May11 this year,only a day away. Pakistan Peoples Party (PPPs), which was founded four decates ago by Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, is facing toughest times in its history as it braces to contnue clinging on to power.

Mr. Bhutto, a foreign minister in General Ayub’s cabinet and a Prime Minister of the country, founded PPP with slogans to fight with India for 1,000 years and “bread and home for all”. The party has been ruling Pakistan intemittently since 1971, but is no more a strong political force that it once used to be in deciding the fate of the country, and perhaps it is for this reason that it has no more Bhutto to lead it.

In December 2007 its leader and two time prime minister Ms. Benazir Bhutto was assassinated in a public meeting at Rawalpindi, only 80 days before the elections. Her assasination led to a sympathy wave resulting in winning the vote for her party which ruled along with other partners for a full term of five year, but its performace was rated as zero. Its (mis) rule had multiplied miseries and deprivation of people of Pakistan who are cursing party leadership for snatching from them the basic needs of electricity (there happens to be 12 out of 24 hours a day power outage), gas and petrol for vehicles, bread, healthcare, education and even 60% population living in rural areas have no access to clean drinking water. In December 2012 and January 2013 as many as 550 children under age of 9 died of measles, while ministers were not visibly moved to save innocent lives. In Sindh alone education was destroyed by continuous closure of 10,000 elementary schools as powerful feudal lords had turned school buildings in rural areas into their animal barns. Unemployment, price hike and poverty has touched the climax, and people are either committing suicide or selling their children.

In the last week of March when schedule of elections was announced PPP found itself running short of candidates and once again relied on poweful feudal lords despised by the poor who form 80 % of population. President Asif Ali Zardari took over the reins of the party after assassination of his wife Ms. Benazir Bhutto and turned PPP into his family cult. His sister Ms. Faryal Talpur was made as de facto ruler of Pakistan while his foster brother Awais Tapi was made in-charge of governmental affairs in Sindh where 20 million people were hit by three years of continuous floods in 2010, 2011 and 2013. The floods swept away their homes, animals, and even children, but the federal or state government in Sindh did not take any step to save affected people from dying or providing relief or rehabilitation. Millions are still passing nights under open sky. The relief aid coming from abroad was also pocketed by PPP leaders and workers.

Now when the candidates nominated by Zardari’s sister approach people for vote they are unwelcome and face hurdles placed by villagers who ask them what have they done for people while being five years in power. In one incident at Jamshoro the armed men of powerful feudal lord Sardar Malik Asad fired on villagers who blocked his entry into village for begging votes injuring seven person.

The fact is that Zardari has made party as his family affair with leadership in the hands of his son, two sisters and foster brother. People in general rate PPP as Zardari party and not that of Bhutto. Feeling ire of people the party has not held even one public meeting in Punjab, the biggest province with 148 national assembly seats out of 272. The PPP has also not held public meetings in Kyber Pukhtoonkwa and Balochistan out of rage, hate and anger, and has concentrated itself in one province of Sindh where there are only 61 NA seats. In 2008, when Benazir Bhutto’s assassination wave was running high PPP had hardly got 34 parliamentary seats in Sindh. This time foreseeing that it cannot come into power again the party was trying hard to at least win such number of seats as to form state government in Sindh in collaboration of Mutehida Qaumi Movement the Karachi based urban party its past govt partner. Reports are that PPP is using all methods of rigging in Sindh including distributing bikes among voters.

In the final analysis the Pakistan Peoples Party that was founded by Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto has ended so abruptly that it has lost its charisma and as such it is end of Bhutto era in Pakistan. It is a forgone conclusion that the PPP is heading for a massive defeat in the general elections.

[Abbas Kassaris Bureau Chief of daily Messenger of Karachi and writes stories on human rights violations in Pakistan for Asian Human Rights Commission Hong Kong. He is member of Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists, European Journalism Center and Writers International Group. He can be reached at kassarabbas@lycos.com, kassarabbas@gmail.com and can also be contacted at +92 3453585137]