Gilgit, September 26: People in Gilgit-Baltistan continue to remain victims of police brutality and discrimination by the Pakistan government. Recently Gilgit Baltistan police, Rangers and Northern Squad jointly cracked down on the victims of Attabad Lake disaster in Hunza Valley of Gilgit Baltistan. A massive landslide in Hunza Valley on 4th January 2010 had left two dozen villagers dead and displaced over 250 families. The government, however, failed to provide aid for their rehabilitation.
Pakistan, September 12: Pakistan’s continuing repression of Gilgit Baltistan is leading to a change in religious, ethnic and cultural demography. The region has abundant natural resources but people here lead a miserable life as Pakistanis ruthlessly exploit its assets and control the region. To address the violation of human rights and other issues concerning Gilgit Baltistan, experts came together at the Henry Stimson Center in Washington DC in an event titled “Resources on the Roof of the World: International Politics and Sustainable Development in the Greater Himalayan Region”. They expressed their support for people of Gilgit-Baltistan, who want self-rule.
Pakistan, September 5: Madrasas or Islamic seminaries impart Islamic education. But, in recent years, the perception of madrasas, especially in Pakistan and neighbouring Afghanistan has changed as they have become factories that churn out `jihadis’. Children are brainwashed here to become `Jihadis’ and carry out suicide attacks. Two-decades of war has severely affected education in Afghanistan and going to school has become increasingly dangerous for students and teachers. The insurgents tacitly encourage parents to send their sons to religious schools in neighbouring Pakistan for Islamic studies. The Islamic seminaries brainwash students and teach them religious extremism, armed jihad and hatred against the government in Afghanistan and the West. Almost all Taliban leaders, including Mullah Mohammad Omar, were trained in Pakistani madrasas.
Karachi, August 29: Political and ethnic violence has escalated in Karachi. Over 300 people were killed in July 2011 and over 250 people lost their lives in a mix of gang war and political violence in the first three weeks of August. Residents of Karachi are nervous and angry at the government's failure to contain the growing violence. A city of more than 18 million, Karachi has a long history of violence, ethnic, religious and sectarian disputes. Political rows can often explode into battles engulfing entire neighbourhoods. Fighting erupted on August 17 in and around the old district of Lyari, long a focus of battles between rival gangs and a stronghold of President Asif Ali Zardari’s Pakistan People's Party (PPP).
Afghanistan, August 22: Targeted violence against women, dismal healthcare and desperate poverty make Afghanistan the world’s most dangerous country in which to be born a woman. The Taliban ruled Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001 and denied women education and jobs, forced them indoors and violently punished them for infractions of a strict interpretation of Islamic law. Women accused of adultery were stoned to death; those who flashed a bare ankle from under the shroud of a burqa were whipped. More than a decade after the ouster of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan many women still suffer domestic violence, discrimination and lack of access to unbiased justice. For girls, going to school daily is no regular affair. Most of these girls risk their lives by walking to school, as there is a chance they may be attacked by hard-liners, who believe women should not be educated.
Pakistan/Afghanistan, August 15: The Taliban is responsible to a great degree for the mess in which Afghanistan finds itself today. The volatility in the country is also a result of its neighbour Pakistan's backing of Taliban leaders. And as US-led NATO forces start leaving, the Karzai government is seeking reconciliation with the Afghan Taliban. Unfortunately, Pakistan's spy agencies, the ISI and Military Intelligence hold the key to Taliban leaders and are undermining any peace agreement between the Taliban and the Afghan government. The Taliban leaders living in Pakistan include Mullah Muhammed Omar, Hakimullah Mehsud and Mullah Mohammad Omar Akhund.
London, August 08: The barbarism of Pakistani security agencies in Balochistan continues to infuriate the Baloch people. A Human Rights Watch report titled "We can Torture, Kill, or Keep You for Years': Enforced Disappearances by Pakistan Security Forces in Balochistan" exposes the fact that Pakistani agencies are responsible for widespread disappearances of Baloch political activists. The 32-page report slams Pakistan authorities for taking people into custody and then denying all responsibility or knowledge of their fate or whereabouts. The rights group investigated several cases in which uniformed personnel of the Frontier Corps, an Interior Ministry paramilitary force, and the police were involved in abducting Baloch nationalists.
Washington / London, August 01: Pakistan's spy agency ISI in the doghouse of the international community for its nefarious activities which include providing safe havens to terrorists like Osama bin Laden, funding and training terrorist outfits and even helping some like Lashkar-e-Taiba to carry out strikes such as the 26/11 Mumbai attacks. Pakistan's relations with America have been strained in recent times. They took a turn for the worse with the arrest of Syed Ghulam Nabi Fai, a Kashmir lobbyist from Virginia, on July 18 by America's FBI for secretly working as an agent of Pakistan's notorious spy agency, the ISI in the US and driving Pakistan's Kashmir agenda. Fai ran a Washington-based non-profit organization called the Kashmiri American Council- better known as Kashmir Center- for decades using, said an FBI affidavit, money routed to him through the hawala network by the ISI.
Azad Kashmir, July 11: Ever since 1970, when the people of Azad Kashmir were granted the right to vote on the basis of adult franchise, the cabinet in Muzaffarabad has been a mirror image of the ruling clique in Islamabad. History has repeated itself again in the 2011 elections. The ruling Pakistan Peoples party and other major parties have succeeded in duping the people of Azad Kashmir once again. The June 26th polls held across Azad Kashmir, and in cities like Islamabad, Rawalpindi and Lahore, were marred by widespread rigging and violence. It left at least three persons dead. PPP emerged the winner by securing 20 of the 41 seats. The Opposition PML-N was in second position with 9 seats and the Muslim Conference was third with five seats. However, there were widespread allegations against the Chief Election Commissioner for holding the worst-ever polls.
Pakistan / UK, July 04: The Pakistan army's pro-Islamic and anti-West sentiments are increasingly being highlighted with the exposure of links between Pakistani military officials and banned militant groups. Brigadier Ali Khan of Pakistan army was recently detained for having links with the banned extremist group Hizb-ut-Tahrir. A 1979 batch officer, 59-year-old Brigadier Khan was posted with the Regulation Directorate at the Pakistan Army's General Headquarters in Rawalpindi. Four army majors are also under scanner for their links with Hizb-ut-Tahrir, the organization that wants to establish a "global Islamic Caliphate".
London, June 27: The United States has provided massive amounts of aid to Pakistan.After 9/11, the U.S. gave Doller 13.3 billion in security-related aid and Doller 6 billion for economic assistance to Pakistan for the period 2002-10.For fiscal 2011-12, the Obama administration has requested for Doller 3 billion in foreign aid for Pakistan, and an additional Doller 2.3 billion to help the country's counter-terrorism efforts But how effective will this fresh aid be. Pakistan's failure in exposing Al Qaeda chief Osama Bin Laden's hideout in Abbottabad, right near the Pakistani military academy, has irked the U.S. administration. U.S. lawmakers have been raising questions about whether the United States should provide Pakistan with billions in foreign aid.
Pakistan, June 20 (ANI): Islamic extremism poses global threat.Their messiahs, who are living safely in Pakistan, command 'jihadis'to carry out dreaded attacks.Be it the United States, the UK or a country in the Asian continent, threats from Al Qaeda, Lashkar-e-Taiba, Pakistan’s Taliban and other emerging Islamic outfits, looms large. Bin Laden is dead, but Islamic militant groups in Pakistan have openly threatened to launch more attacks similar to 9/11 in the United States and 26/11 in Mumbai. The Pakistan-based Tehrik-e-Taliban has fearlessly delivered threats to avenge the killing of bin Laden by U.S. Special Forces in the Pakistani town of Abbottabad on May 2, 2011.
Moscow / Holland, June 6: Pakistan has been promising a lot but has failed to deliver anything of substance in the fight against global terrorism. On the other hand the country’s premier spy agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence, continues to help and support Islamic militant outfits even after the killing of Al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden by the U.S. Special Forces in Abbottabad. Meanwhile Al Qaeda’s new chief Saif al-Adel has vowed to launch terror attacks in the West. According to media reports the Taliban and al-Qaeda leader al-Adel met near Pakistan's border with Afghanistan to confirm the new role of 51-years-old al-Adel, who was once Bin Laden’s security chief. Experts believe, bin Laden's death will not immediately deal a fatal blow - either politically or conceptually to Islamic extremism.
Denmark/Germany, May 30: Be it al Qaeda, the Taliban, Lashkar-e-Taiba or Sipah-e-Sahaba – they have one thing in common. Pakistan. The country is a breeding ground for dreaded Islamic militant outfits that aim to spread destruction not just in the region but across the world. The killing of al Qaeda chief Osama Bin Laden's by the U.S. Special Forces in the garrison city of Abbottabad, where he was hiding, has clearly established the fact that close links exists between Islamic radicals and the country's premier spy agency, the ISI and the army. The killing of Bin Laden does not mean the end of extremism as many militants continue to receive training in camps across Pakistan. And they are regrouping to hit back.
Pakistan, May 23: Pakistan claims that it is actively involved ion the war against terror. But, these hollow claims were exposed when U.S. Special Forces killed Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad in Pakistan. It is difficult to believe Pakistan’s spy agencies or the army where not aware that bin laden was living in the garrison city. It is more likely that they played hosts to the dreaded terrorist. Laden is no more, but Pakistan still remains a sanctuary for militants. Kanwar Pal Singh Gill, who tackled Pakistan-sponsored militancy in Indian Punjab in the 1980s and the early 1990s, believes that Pakistan has a history of providing protection to militants.
Pakistan, April 25: Pakistan's security situation remains grim following attacks on minorities and escalating human rights abuses. Volatility continues because of poor governance leading to rise in frustration among the poor and destitute. In its annual report, Pakistan's Human Rights Commission revealed that 12,580 people were murdered and 581 kidnappings for ransom and 16,977 cases of abduction were reported in 2010. The report – 'State of Human Rights in 2010' - says violence, political and otherwise, led to the death of over 750 people in target killings in the port city of Karachi alone.
London, April 11: The people of Gilgit Baltistan are victims of Pakistan’s 'oppression and disregard'. It is an irony that even with an abundance of natural resources, the people in Gilgit Baltistan lives in poverty and have no access to education, proper healthcare and sanitation. Those who are educated remain jobless. The gross violation of human rights and discriminatory policies of Pakistan in Gilgit Baltistan are a cause of great concern. A London based think-tank - `Democracy Forum’ recently organized a seminar at the House of Commons to raise issues concerning Gilgit Baltistan.