#AceGuestNews – PAKISTAN – September 03 – Youth can play a crucial role in positively transforming conflict situations and building peaceful societies. In countries like Pakistan, where peace and stability seem a far-fetched idea for most, investing into young people to build their synergies and unity is the need of hour.
Moreover, the current turmoil calls for youth in Pakistan to become prepared to shoulder the responsibility to respond to the situation with understanding and ownership.
Peace is all about understanding each other’s perceptions and learning to find common grounds. This year “Role of Youth in Peace-building” a series of discussions took place across cities with the collaboration of Youth Development Foundation YDF and ICMICA Pakistan.
It comprised of panel experts that highlighted motivational skills for peace awareness, urged youth to accept followers of different faiths, think above school syllabus and understand the true message of every religion.
Last year, this activity was organized by the Youth Development Foundation YDF/ Interfaith Youth in Action where the youth participants hailing from different religions interacted and took part in a diversity tour across Lahore to visit a historic mosque, two churches and a gurdwara, the place of worship for Sikhs.
The discussions started off with a slideshow showing the grave consequences Pakistani people suffer on hands of religion based discrimination and sectarian violence.
Different panel experts spoke on various topics and youth participants were able to clarify many misconceptions about different faiths. Participants learned more on reasons why Pakistan is radicalized. A myriad of complexities including the distorted education, prejudice against religious minorities, hatred towards non Muslims in school textbooks are the main elements that create disharmony and conflict in society and derail peace in Pakistan.
But, the discussions’ main focus remained the ways through which the nation’s youth mobilization could help in eradicating the national scale religious intolerance. The young participants of all religious communities were present and sensitized “to welcoming religious diversity”, and for rejecting violence.
These programs concluded with Q/A session, some of them quiet, other very heated on issues including religious discrimination and war on terror, and a candle lighting ceremony.
Our country is witnessing a rise in fanaticism, as never before and with no state control of their activities. But Pakistan is not an exception.The whole of South Asia is in the grip of right-wing ideas.
However, Pakistan’s case proves that a religious state cannot deal effectively with religious fanatics. Therefore, religion should be separated from the affairs of the state.
Overshadowed by an economic, social and humanitarian crisis in the wake of a bloody war against terrorism, Pakistan’s sole hope lies with the youth. It is time to let them pave a path towards a peaceful and prosperous Pakistan.
#AceWorldNews – PAKISTAN (Lahore) – July 06 – Pakistani police say that a court has indicted five relatives accused of stoning to death a pregnant woman for marrying against the family’s wishes, AP reported.
The woman’s father, two brothers, a cousin and ex-husband pleaded not guilty to charges of murder and torture, according to the investigator in the case, Mian Zulfiqar.
The 25-year-old woman was killed on May 27 before a crowd of onlookers in the eastern city of Lahore.
#AceNewsServices – PAKISTAN (Lahore) – (Reuters) – A Pakistani woman who survived an attack by relatives who tried to kill her for marrying for love told Reuters on Friday that she feared for her life and appealed for protection.
Maqsood angered her family by marrying the man of her choice a few days ago in the Punjabi city of Gujranwala – an act of defiance in a conservative part of Pakistan where women are expected to agree to arranged marriages.
“Even though police provided me with security, I fear that my family will try to kill me and my husband,” Maqsood, still weak after being shot twice in the cheek and right hand, told Reuters by telephone from her hospital bed.
“I appeal to the chief minister and authorities to take serious notice of this attack on me and take necessary action for our security.”
Her relatives quickly fled the scene, but after minutes in the water Maqsood regained consciousness and managed to struggle to the bank, where two passers-by helped her.
Police have pledged to protect Maqsood.
Reuters (Exclusive) Report
#AceNewsServices – PAKISTAN (Lahore) – May 29 – The stoning to death of a pregnant Pakistani woman by her own family has thrust the issue of so-called honour killings into the spotlight.
The woman was killed while on her way to court to contest an abduction case her family had filed against her husband. Her father was promptly arrested on murder charges, police investigator Rana Mujahid said, adding that police were working to apprehend all those who participated in this “heinous crime.”
Arranged marriages are the norm among conservative Pakistanis, and hundreds of women are murdered every year in so-called honour killings carried out by husbands or relatives as a punishment for alleged adultery or other illicit sexual behaviour.
What is an ‘honour killing’?
Parveen’s father surrendered after the attack and called his daughter’s murder an “honour killing,” Butt said.
“I killed my daughter as she had insulted all of our family by marrying a man without our consent, and I have no regret over it,” Mujahid, the police investigator, quoted the father as saying.
Mujahid said the woman’s body was handed over to her husband for burial.
The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, a private group, said in a report last month that some 869 women were murdered in honour killings in 2013.
But even Pakistanis who have tracked violence against women expressed shock at the brutal and public nature of Tuesday’s slaying.
“I have not heard of any such case in which a woman was stoned to death, and the most shameful and worrying thing is that this woman was killed outside a courthouse,” said Zia Awan, a prominent lawyer and human rights activist.
The killing of a member of a family who is perceived to have brought dishonour upon relatives.
“The perpetrator seeks to excuse it as some sort of protection of their family’s honour, reputation or values,” says Mustafa Qadri, Pakistan researcher for Amnesty International.
AP – BBC – Amnesty International – Human Rights Commission
#AceNewsServices – LAHORE – May 28 – A Pakistani woman has been killed by her relatives outside Lahore High Court for marrying against their wishes.
Police said 30-year old Farzana Bibi died on the spot after being attacked with bricks and sticks.
Her father handed himself in, but police say her brothers and former fiancee, who also took part in the attack, were still free.
Correspondents say hundreds of girls and women in Pakistan are killed every year by family members.
However, many more killings are believed to go unreported.
Farzana Bibi’s parents accused her husband, Muhammad Iqbal, of kidnapping her, and had filed a case against him at the High Court.
However, she testified to police that she had married him of her own accord. Police said the couple had been engaged for a number of years.
As she arrived at the court building for a hearing, police said about a dozen family members pulled her aside and began to attack her and her husband, who managed to escape.
Police official Umer Cheema told Reuters that all the family members escaped after the killing, apart from her father, who has admitted his role in her death.
The BBC’s Shumaila Jaffery says marriage against the wishes of relatives is culturally unacceptable in some parts of Pakistan.
Under Pakistani law, the victim’s family is allowed to forgive the killer. However, in many cases family members are themselves responsible for the killing.
Reuters – BBC News
Ace World News
#AceWorldNews – LAHORE – April 30 – According to reports, Taliban group’s military commission chief Mullah Abdul Qayum Zakir has been jailed in Pakistan.
An Afghan security official speaking on the condition of anonymity has told Radio Free Europe (RFE) that Mullah Zakir is in custody of Pakistani Taliban militants.
The source did not disclose further information regarding the main motive behind the detention of Mullah Zakir by Pakistani Taliban militants.
However, reports suggest that Mullah Zakir was dismissed from his position as Taliban’s military commission chief for being failed to disrupt the Afghan elections.
#AceNewsServices – MUZAFFARGARH – April 16 – (DAWN) – The schoolteacher who was suspected of kidnapping, raping and murdering an 11-year-old child was killed by Khanewal district police on Tuesday.
Muhammad Ishaq, who belonged to the Shah Jamal locality of Muzaffargarh district, had allegedly kidnapped a class-V student last week from the Missali School in Qaimwala, Khanewal, and killed him after rape.
According to an FIR, when the school closed on last Thursday, Ishaq and the school principal telephoned the child’s parents to send him for tuition. When the child reached the school, Ishaq and the principal raped him. Later, Ishaq fled, taking the child along.
When the child did not reach home till night, the family contacted the principal who denied having any knowledge about the child. The parents took police and reached school where the principal was arrested for investigation. The principal disclosed that Ishaq had gone to Muzaffargarh.
SHO Sadiq Rind raided Ishaq’s home in Shah Jamal, Muzaffargarh, but he fled from there. Police contacted former tehsil nazim Abad Dogar who called the accused to his outhouse and handed him over to police.
During interrogation, Ishaq said he had killed the child, put acid on his face and buried him. Police took him to a farm and recovered the body on his information.
On Tuesday, Khanewal police claimed, when they were taking Ishaq to Lahore for a DNA test, he attacked policemen and tried to snatch their weapons. They said the suspect was killed during the fight.
#AceWorldNews – LAHORE – April 08 – (RT) – Relatives of a nine-month old baby boy, who has bizarrely been charged with attempted murder in Pakistan, have taken him into hiding, Reuters reported. Baby Musa Khan appeared in court in the city of Lahore last week, charged with attempted murder along with his father and grandfather after a mob protesting against price increases stoned police and gas company workers trying to collect overdue bills.
Police “are trying to settle the issue on personal grounds, that’s why I sent my grandson to Faisalabad for protection,” said the baby’s grandfather, Muhammad Yasin.
The baby, who was apparently charged because an assistant police sub-inspector complained that Musa’s whole family beaten him up and injured his head, is on bail and due to appear at the next hearing April 12. Yasin said he was not sure if he would take him to court.
Ace Related News : April 05 – 15.37 GMT – #AceNewsServices – LAHORE – April 05 – A ninth-month-old baby was booked by Lahore police for the alleged attempted murder of a police officer and was subsequently presented before a judge on Thursday, the Daily Mail reported http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2597087/Nine-month-old-boy-clasping-bottle-appears-court-accused-planning-murder-Pakistan.htmlhttp://wp.me/p165ui-4F8
#AceNewsServices – LAHORE – April 05 – A ninth-month-old baby was booked by Lahore police for the alleged attempted murder of a police officer and was subsequently presented before a judge on Thursday, the Daily Mail reported http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2597087/Nine-month-old-boy-clasping-bottle-appears-court-accused-planning-murder-Pakistan.html
The accused, baby Mohammad Mosa Khan, appeared before Session Judge Rafaqat Ali with his grandfather, Mohammad Yaseen. However, the child started crying when his thumb was dipped in ink to print the bail bond.
The child is facing charges along with his family members following a police raid during which the family allegedly attacked the police with wooden rods and pelted them with stones, The Express Tribune reported http://tribune.com.pk/story/691237/9-month-old-booked-for-attempted-murder/
The Times of India reported the child’s father as saying the group had been protesting against a shortage of electricity in their area at the time of the alleged incident reported http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Nine-month-old-booked-for-murder-in-Pakistan/articleshow/33185049.cms
Police lodged the First Information Report against all of Mohammad Yaseen’s family members, which unilaterally also included the child.
Police Sub-Inspector Kashif Ahmed has now reportedly been suspended for registering the case against the child.
Punjab’s Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has intervened and ordered a report from the police’s inspector general, according to The Nation. He also reportedly demanded “stern action” against the officials responsible http://www.nation.com.pk/national/04-Apr-2014/vigilant-police-book-infant-on-murder-charges
The child has been granted bail and the case has been adjourned until April 12.
Daily Mail – Express Tribune – Times of India – The Nation – Contributions from By Staff writer | Al Arabiya News – Saturday, 5 April 2014
Ace Related News:
1. News International – http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-5-242107-Murder-FIR-against-nine-month-old
2. Al Alarabiya – http://english.alarabiya.net/en/variety/2014/04/05/Nine-month-old-accused-of-planning-murder-in-Pakistan-.html
These students are from some of the poorest areas of Pakistan and would otherwise not be able to afford quality higher education. They are pursuing degrees in subjects such as business, law, engineering and economics.
The initiative aims to enable these young people to get better jobs and so lift themselves and their families out of the cycle of poverty.
The British High Commissioner to Pakistan Adam Thomson said:
Education is the single most important factor that can transform Pakistan’s future. This is a chance to help remove financial barriers and provide these bright young minds with the opportunity to pursue their dreams and build a future free of poverty.
If well educated, Pakistan’s burgeoning youth population offers a vast mine of talent and productivity, which will help bring prosperity and stability, fuelling Pakistan’s economic growth and global competitiveness.
This investment will not only benefit the lives of some of the poorest but brightest students in Pakistan, but will also benefit those around them by enabling them to lift their families out of poverty and help inject some prosperity in to their community.
Dr. Sohail Naqvi, the Vice Chancellor of LUMS, said:
This initiative will change the lives of some of the most intelligent young people from underprivileged families in Pakistan. Our existing financial aid has transformed lives across Pakistan for many years now: this partnership with the UK will allow LUMS to significantly scale up this support, helping more of the youth to lift themselves and their families out of poverty.
The scholarships – worth £7.1 million (1.2 billion rupees) – will help an estimated 1,000 of the brightest students from the poorest households over the next five years. The aim is for half of these to be girls. Students are awarded yearly scholarships which are renewed at the end of the academic year if they maintain a minimum level of performance during each semester.
The five-year programme will be managed by LUMS, who will select students on merit and provide financial aid on the basis of need, verified by family income and inspection of applicants’ homes.
As part of the scholarships, students are required to work in their local communities as ambassadors for LUMS, by spreading awareness about the importance of higher education, and supporting other aspiring but impoverished higher education students.
Across Pakistan, the UK is working closely with provincial governments and partners on ambitious plans which will benefit millions of children and improve the standard of their education. This will not only make a dramatic difference to the lives of some of the most disadvantaged girls and boys, but will also benefit their families and communities as they get better jobs and earn more money.
Pakistan is now one of the UK’s largest recipients of development investment. As well as tackling the education emergency, other priorities for the UK include preventing thousands of women dying in childbirth by funding skilled midwives, nurses, or doctors; providing job skills training to tens of thousands of the poorest people; and giving women in deprived households small monthly cash grants to purchase essentials, such as food and medicine. This investment is dependent on continuing to secure value for money and results.
- Poorest students face £350m cut in grants (theguardian.com)
- Teen shot by Taliban inspires Scottish scholarship scheme that will see 40 young women from Pakistan to go to university (dailyrecord.co.uk)
- UK brings good news for kids of Sindh (thenewstribe.com)
- UK aiding Pakistan quell terrorism: HC (nation.com.pk)