» 12/14/2010, 00.00
Baluchistan: Islamists slaughtering teachers
In spite of its mineral riches, Baluchistan is Pakistan’s poorest province. Islamic extremists and local nationalists are opposed to Punjabis in their midst. They increasingly attack teachers who dare teach mixed schools. The rise in Islamic schools is directly correlated with the rise in murders, at least 22 in less than 30 months.
Islamabad (AsiaNews) – Islamic extremists are systematically targeting teachers in Pakistan’s Baluchistan province. Their crime is to teach children of both sexes in violation of Sharia.
According to a report by Human Rights Watch (MRW) on the issue, at least 22 teachers were killed in the province between January 2008 and October 2010.
Despite its vast mineral resources, Baluchistan remains Pakistan's most impoverished province. It is also the stage of an insurgency by local nationalists seeking independence as well as the home of religious extremists. Both groups are involved in the attacks on teachers, Human Rights Watch said.
“If such killings and intimidation does not stop, the future is bleak, not just for Baluchistan’s children, but for prosperity and progress to ever reach the province,” said Ali Dayan Hasan, senior Human Rights Watch researcher in South Asia.
Titled Their Future is at Stake, the HRW report was published on Monday and is based on testimonies and eyewitness accounts of relatives and colleagues of the victims.
Most of those targeted are from the Punjab province. Local nationalists have singled them out as retaliation for alleged excesses by the Pakistan army, which is dominated by Punjabis.
However, Islamic radicals are by far the worst offenders when it comes to murdering teachers because, contrary to Islamic law, many schools in Baluchistan are mixed, with boys and girls in the same classroom. The rise across the country in the number of madrassah, fundamentalist Islamic religious schools, is in fact directly related to the violence against civilians.
Like in post-Soviet Afghanistan, Muslim clerics funded by Saudi Arabia teach religious hatred and push young people to take justice in their own hands against a government that is increasingly unable to maintain even a semblance of secular neutrality.
Marginalization, threats, and misery for families charged with blasphemy
Arrests, fines, humiliations, lack of security, and possible attacks are typical for families whose members have been accused of blasphemy against the Qur'an. The case of James Masih and Boota Masih, sentenced to 10 years without any proof.
Punjab, Muslims attack a Christian village
The attack took place this morning in Khokarki, near the city of Gujranwala. Hundreds of Christians forced to flee their homes. Attack sparked by quarrel with Christian, his son and some Muslims, over false accusation of blasphemy. The two Christians held at the local police station.
The trial of Huang Qi, advocate for Sichuan survivors, postponed
Some 10,000 pupils died in last year’s 12 May earthquake under the rubble of shoddily-built schools. China’s government has promised justice but it is cracking down on anyone who protests. Gao Zhisheng is home two weeks after he “disappeared.”
21/09/2010 PAKISTAN – UNITED NATIONS
UN: hunger strike for minorities in Pakistan
The European Organisation for Pakistani Minorities is staging a protest during the meeting of the United Nations Human Rights Council. It slams Pakistan for fiddling with census data to deny greater representation to minorities.
26/04/2016 19:03:00 PAKISTAN
Ahmadis increasingly victims of human rights violations in Pakistan
According to the annual report on persecution against the group, 248 Ahmadis were murdered last year, with another 323 victims of attempted murder. Scores of their places of worship have either been seized or illegally disposed. Many of their tombs have been desecrated. Since 1974, Ahmadis have been treated as “non-Muslims” and a government ordinance bans them from using Islamic greetings and prayers, or to refer to their places of worship as mosques.
Pope Francis tells young people that “genuine love” is not a “soap opera”, but Christians’ real identity card
In his homily for the Jubilee of Teens, Pope Francis asked questions and gave answers to the 70,000 present. Stressing the great ideal of love as giving oneself “without being possessive”, he noted that freedom is “being able to choose the good”. He warned young people “who dare not dream,” telling them that “If you do not dream at your age, you are already ready for retirement”. He also received funds raised for the Ukraine, and appealed for the release of bishops and the priests held in Syria.
Odd alliance between the US and Iranian fundamentalists
Washington is still preventing the use of US dollars in transactions with Iranian banks, preventing business with the outside world in spite of the nuclear deal. This way, the US is helping Khamenei and the Revolutionary Guards, who want to torpedo the agreement in order to maintain their hold on power. Meanwhile, most Iranians hold down two or three jobs just to make ends meet. An unstable and bellicose Iran is a boon for arms sales. A report follows.
29/04/2016 NORTH KOREA- USA
26/04/2016 SYRIA - TURKEY
25/04/2016 HONG KONG - CHINA
AsiaNews IS ALSO A MONTHLY!
AsiaNews monthly magazine (in Italian) is free.