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Bangladesh indicts Islamic leaders (pro Pakistan) for War crimes of 1971

(Dunya News) The chief of Bangladesh s largest Islamic party and one of his deputies have been indicted for alleged crimes against humanity in the 1971 independence war against Pakistan.
A tribunal indicted Matiur Rahman Nizami, the chief of the Jamaat-e-Islami party, on 16 charges, including murder and genocide.
Another tribunal indicted Abdul Quader Molla, a deputy of Nizami, for his alleged involvement in crimes against humanity.
The party says the charges are politically motivated, but authorities deny the claim.
Bangladesh won independence from Pakistan in 1971 after a nine-month war. Bangladesh says Pakistani soldiers, aided by local collaborators, killed some 3 million people, raped about 200,000 women and forced millions to flee their homes during the war.

In the US Congress “NO” mention of blasphamy law and human rights: Congressmen preparing a resolution

18 maggio 2012 1 commento

The resumption of Nato supply has been discussed and also the funds to be released for Pakistan but no mention has been made about stopping the misuse of the blasphamy law in Pakistan. A certain number of the US Congressmen is preparing to present a resolution against the abuse of the blasphamy law in Pakistan.
Following are the details published by Dunya News on the US supply resumption and the amendment # 112485 in the bill, proposed by the Chairman of House Oversights Committee, Dana Rohrabacher, regarding “a complete ban on availability of funds of all kinds for assistance to Pakistan”.
(Dunya News) The US Congress went to vote on the House Resolution 4310, known as the National Defense Authorization Bill 2013, Thursday and passed the amendments relating to additional limitations on Pakistan s security assistance with overwhelming majority. These were approved last week by the Armed services Committee of the Congress.
In the approved bill, the US Secretary of Defense has been asked to submit a report in the Congress about any new mechanism adopted by Pakistan for use of NATO supply routes and the difference in cost incurred from last year. The coalition support fund would not be released before such a report is furnished following the reopening of supply routes, as and when it happens.
The US Secretary Defense is also required to certify that Pakistan is supporting US counter-terrorism efforts against al-Qaeda and haqqani network, as well as other domestic and foreign terrorist organizations (which have not been named in the draft). The bill also wants timely issuance of visas from Pakistan for the US officials involved in counterterrorism and assistance programnmes in Pakistan.
Action against IEDs, a long-standing demand of the US administration and lawmakers, besides prevention of proliferation of nuclear-related material is also required from Pakistan in the bill. Not more than 10 percent of the funds allocated to Pakistan could be disbursed before the submission of report by Secretary Defense.
Other than supply routes, action against IEDs and Haqqani network, other conditions were in the bill during previous years as well for provision of coalition support fund (CSF) to Pakistan, which was first instituted in 2003. The said bill related to domestic military and defense-related expenditure as well as security assistance by the US to foreign countries including Pakistan.
However, it was not all gloom for Pakistan during the House proceedings on the day, because another amendment # 112485 in the same bill, proposed by the Chairman of House Oversights Committee, Dana Rohrabacher, regarding “a complete ban on availability of funds of all kinds for assistance to Pakistan” was rejected by the members.
In a recorded vote, only 84 members voted in favour of the Rohrabacher amendment while 335 voted against it. It may be noted that Ambassador Sherry Rehman had remained engaged in some intense lobbying with Congress members to defeat the amendment proposed by Dana Rohrabacher during last the few days.
The bill will now be tabled in Senate for voting. It requires presidential signatures after approval of Senate to become a piece of legislation. However, the White House has already raised objections to the bill including the clauses against Pakistan and has also indicated to veto it, in case it reached that stage.
– Contributed by Awais Saleem, Dunya News correspondent in Washington, DC

Fr. Robert McCulloch meets President Zardari

(Radio Pakistan) President Asif Ali Zardari says the Government will not to allow anyone to misuse blasphemy law against minorities or any other vulnerable section of the society. This he said at a meeting with Procurator General from the Vatican Father Robert McCulloch in Islamabad today.He said the Government is also vigorously promoting interfaith harmony.
The President congratulated him for the award of Sitara-e-Quaid-i-Azam that was conferred in recognition of his multiple services spanning over 30 years for the welfare of the people of Pakistan.Spokesperson to the President Farhatullah Babar said the President appreciated contributions of the Christian community in the socio-economic developmental process. He said the Christians and other non-Muslim minorities have made significant contributions in the education and the health sectors besides others.The President said the Government has taken important measures to ensure protection of the minorities.The President said that for the first time under 18th Constitutional Amendment‚ the number of seats in the Senate was increased to accommodate minorities.President Zardari said we fully support international efforts to promote interfaith dialogue.Referring to recent incident of desecration of the Holy Qur’an‚ he said extremism and religious intolerance are not specific to any faith and location and there was a need for promoting cultural harmony.Father Robert McCulloch assured his full cooperation in augmenting the Government’s efforts for promoting inter-faith harmony and tolerance.

“Via Shahbaz Bhatti” a Foggia: l’apertura solenne dalle mani di Paul Bhatti in occasine del convegno della CSV

Nell’ambito della settima edizione della FESTA DEL VOLONTARIATO DAUNO, promossa dal CSV Daunia, il Centro culturale Archè, in collaborazione con l’Associazione Pakistani Cristiani in Italia e altre associazioni, promuove un convegno, che avrà luogo Sabato 19 maggio alle ore 18.00 in Piazza Cesare Battisti a Foggia.
L’incontro avrà come tema il ‘DIALOGO INTERCULTURALE E DIRITTI DELLE MINORANZE. Esperienze a confronto’ e vedrà la presenza straordinaria del fratello di SHAHBAZ BHATTI, Paul Bhatti, Consigliere speciale del Primo Ministro della Repubblica Islamica del Pakistan per gli Affari delle minoranze, con status di Ministro federale, che, dopo l’uccisione di suo fratello, ha accettato di assumere lo stesso incarico lasciando l’Italia (Paese in cui viveva da molti anni) e il suo lavoro da medico in ospedale.
Ad affiancarlo nelle relazioni ci saranno Don Stefano CAPRIO, responsabile dell’Ufficio Ecumenico dell’Arcidiocesi di Foggia-Bovino, e alcuni esponenti del mondo delle associazioni. Modererà l’incontro il giornalista Damiano Bordasco.
Tutta la cittadinanza è invitata a questo momento di riflessione e di dialogo.
Nella giornata di sabato 19 maggio Paul Bhatti incontrerà studenti e docenti di varie scuole di Foggia. Nella tarda mattinata del 19, intorno alle 13.00, dopo una conferenza stampa al Comune di Foggia, presenzierà alla cerimonia di intitolazione della Seconda traversa di Corso del Mezzogiorno a Shahbaz Bhatti. In quella sede, dopo la lettura di brani del testamento spirituale di Shahbaz Bhatti, a cura di Michele D’Errico, della Compagnia teatrale ‘Il Cerchio di Gesso’, sarà rappresentata al Ministro Paul Bhatti la consegna della prima annualità della borsa di studio promossa dalla Cappella dell’Università di Foggia a favore di uno studente universitario cittadino del Pakistan, indicato dallo Shahbaz Bhatti Memorial Trust.
Tutte le iniziative sono state realizzate grazie all’impegno e lavoro capillare del Prof. Lorenzo Scillitani.

Rights based CSOs demand protection of peoples’ rights

After a consultation meeting in Lahore, 12 rights based civil society organizations have strongly urged the Federal and Provincial governments to fulfill their commitments regarding peoples’ rights enshrined in the constitution of Pakistan. They demanded speedy process of establishing independent and autonomous Human Rights Institutions in accordance with the Paris Principles. “These steps are extremely necessary to upgrade the image of Pakistan and improve the deplorable human rights situation” said the statement.
We take a serious note of human rights violations by law enforcement agencies and militants at Karachi, FATA and Baluchistan. Necessary and immediate actions are needed to improve human rights conditions under the defined constitutional and legal framework.
“The statement underlined the need to take legislative and Administrative measures with regard to the security and protection of human rights defenders (journalists, lawyers and activists) and remedy for the survivors. The CSOs stressed to produce the victims of forced disappearances in the court and prosecute the culprits”.
While appreciating the adoption of women and human rights friendly legislation (Protection Against Harassment of Women at Workplace 2010, Prevention of Anti Women Practices (Criminal Law Amendment) Act 2011, The National Commission on the Status of Women, 2012). The group emphasized that the Federal and Provincial governments, relevant departments and ministries should take rapid steps towards implementation of these laws. The CSOs also demanded passage of the pending Bill of Domestic Violence (Prevention and Protection).
The statement strongly recommended that the Provincial and Federal governments should introduce institutional mechanisms (Human Rights Commission, Provincial Commission on the Status of Women and Commission for Minorities) for the implementation and protection of human rights. We demand setting up the NHRC immediately. Due representation of civil society and concerned sections should be ensured and it should be protected against political and executive influences.
Rights based CSOs also assured their support to the Federal and Provincial governments and the relevant institutions to take comprehensive steps for the resolve of these issues.
The statement further said that the civil society of Pakistan have a full appreciation of the difficulties of transitional phase of democracy and will oppose any disruption of political process.

Issued by: Peter Jacob (Convener)
CSOs:
Aurat Foundation
South Asia Partnership Pakistan (SAP)
Strengthening Participatory Organization (SPO)
Blue Veins
Society for the Protection of the Rights of the Child (SPARC)
Minority Rights Commission (MRC)
Justice and Peace Commission (JPC – MSLCP)
Association of Women for Awareness and Motivation (AWAM)
Potohar Organization for Development Advocacy (PODA)
Tangh Wasaib Organization (TWO)
SUNGI Development Foundation
National Commission for Justice and Peace (NCJP)

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