» 05/15/2009, 00.00
Swat Valley: Catholics pray for peace as the country faces an exodus of Biblical proportions
Unanimously Christians, Muslims, Hindus and Sikhs condemn Taliban violence. In Faisalabad bishop leads a prayer vigil for peace. The number of refugees could reach 1.5 million. Some 60 Christian families find refuge in Peshawar.
Pakistani Christians to fast and pray for peace in Swat Valley
Taliban and army are engaged in house-to-house fighting in Mingora. UN agency estimates number of refugees tops 2.4 million. Catholic and Protestant religious leaders call for social justice and equality for minorities.
Whipping 17-yr girl a “barbaric act”, anger against Taliban mounts
Protests and demonstrations against Islamic fundamentalist madness are organised in many Pakistani cities. Supreme Court starts hearing to determine who is responsible for whipping the young woman, who refuses to testify fearing retaliations. Extremists reject accusation, claiming the video is a “fake”
Government strikes a deal with Taliban, Sharia to be enforced in the northern part of the country
Under a 15-point agreement the Swat Valley should come under the administrative and legal control of Islamic militias. For the United States and NATO it is a great favour for al-Qaeda. Various Pakistani analysts are sceptical about the deal, which they see as a way to carve up the country.
In Taliban-controlled Swat Valley no more NGOs or polio vaccination for children
The enforcement of Sharia has led to the closing down of NGO offices, the end of polio vaccination for children and left hundreds of lawyers out of a job. Extremist groups plan to demand the implementation of Islamic in every district of the province. Civil society groups and human rights activists are sounding the alarm.
Taliban a threat to the whole country, Pakistani PM says
Prime Minister Gilani says army intervention is the only way to protect peace and the unity of the nation. Army and political parties back prime minister. Human rights commission calls for a task force to cope with refugee emergency.
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