Monday, 12 March, 2018
BIG NO TO SECTARIAN DIVIDE
COMSATS STUdenTS rAISe vOICe In SOlIdArITy wITh SyrIA’S ChIldren ISLAMABAD/LAHORE HAMID KHAN WAZIR/USMAN A KHAN TAHIR
OMSATS Institute of Information Technology (CIIT) took the lead to arrange a first ever peaceful protest walk to express solidarity with Syrian children being brutally killed by Bashar al-Assad’s regime. After holding a successful peaceful march, the COMSATS students were all-set to hold seminars in various universities, besides arranging peaceful protests in front of Islamabad Press Club to tell the Syrian people that the Pakistani youth, irrespective of their political and religious affiliations, was standing by them as ‘One Ummah’, Mehran Saeed, a COMSATs student leading the protest march, said. Talking exclusively to Pakistan Today, Saeed said that they were planning to hold seminars in various universities and the first seminar would be held in the International Islamic University Islamabad (IIUI) in the first week of April to assure the Syrian people that their Pakistani brothers were with them in this trying time. The protestors urged the world community to take notice of the barbarism of Bashar al-Assad’s despotic regime and the barbarism in Syria. They called upon the Syrian government to enforce a ceasefire forthwith so as to avoid further bloodshed of innocent people. In the peaceful protest march, a large number of students were seen carrying placards and banners expressing solidarity with Syrian children. Saeed said that they especially
urged the Muslim countries to take notice of the situation and interfere in this regard in order to ensure a peaceful resolution of the bloody Syrian conflict. He said that they would raise their voice against any brutality and barbarism, whether it was being committed against the people of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) in Pakistan or in Syria. To a question, Saeed said that the COMSATS administration did not allow them on the first day to take out a rally on the pretext that the government had yet to take any clear policy stance on the issue. Otherwise, he said that around 80 per cent of the university administration sided with the protestors and only a handful of officials opposed the rally. He said that on the first day, they were asked to obtain a no-objection certificate (NOC), which was actually not required for holding a peaceful protest. He further said that they formally obtained the NOC because they wanted to
PTI activist released after arrest over derogatory post against Zardari SEHWAN: The police released a Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) activist who was arrested over a derogatory post against Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) president Asif Zardari. PTI Youth Wing Sehwan President, Sajjad Halipota was arrested by the police under Cyber Crime Act (CCA) after his derogatory post against Asif Zardari on a social media website. He was released only after begging pardon and assuring the police of remaining careful in the future while using social media. INP
Imam-e-Kaaba chairs seminar at IIUI ISLAMABAD: Imam of the Grand Mosque in Makkah, Shaikh Salih-bin-Abe Talib visited the Faisal Masjid campus of International Islamic University (IIU) on Sunday evening where he led the Maghrib prayer and chaired a seminar on moderation in the light of Quran, Sunnah and their application in Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. The Imam-e-Kaaba prayed for the Muslim world’s prosperity and progress, terming Pakistan and Saudi Arabian ties as exemplary. The seminar was attended by IIUI Rector Dr Masoom Yasinzai, IUII President Dr Ahmed Yousif Ahmed AlDraiweesh and others. INP
highlight the issue peacefully and did not want to create administrative problems inside the varsity. “The sole purpose of the rallies and seminars is to unite the Muslim youth under one platform called ‘One Muslim Ummah’. This is how we can stand united with Syrians and Yemenis,” he added. He said that people from all walks of life, including politicians, religious scholars of different sects and others, would be invited because it was an issue of the ummah collectively and was not specifically associated with the Sunni or Shia schools of thought. The actual reason behind the devastation of Muslims all around the world was the ruthless division of Muslims along sectarian lines, he added. “We want to give a strong message to the world that we would strongly condemn any sectarian division within the Muslim world. Let the whole world know that for the first-time students from all sects were standing united
Activists say court ruling of declaring religion threatens minorities ISLAMABAD AGENCIES
Rights activists in Pakistan expressed concern Sunday over a court ruling that would require people to declare their religion on all official documents, saying it could lead to the persecution of minorities, particularly adherents of the Ahmedi faith. The Islamabad High Court (IHC) ruling on Friday also requires that citizens take a religious oath upon joining the civil service, armed forces or judiciary. Zohra Yusuf, a board member at the Human Rights Commission
of Pakistan, called the ruling “very dangerous”. She said her group would issue a statement in the coming days. “Religion is someone’s personal affair, not a matter of public display,” she said. “The oath thing is nothing but discrimination, and would show the government has no belief that minorities too are patriotic.” The ruling appeared to be aimed at Ahmedis, who revere the 19th century founder of their faith as a prophet. Pakistan declared Ahmedis non-Muslims in 1974. They already face widespread discrimination and are often targeted by extremists.
under one platform of COMSATS to raise their voice in solidarity with the Syrian and Yemeni children, and they said a big ‘NO’ to sectarian division. We said ‘YES’ to one united Muslim ummah,” he added. In addition, Anas Tasneem, a student at COMSATS who participated in the protest, said, “I think the protest was very important because it was unique in its execution. There has never been an event like this in the varsity’s history—an event that calls upon Muslims to unite, forgoing sectarian conflicts for once and stand in solidarity with Syrians.” He went on to say that the event “also showed that youth in Pakistan has no hope whatsoever with the current rulers [of the Muslim world].” Regarding the varsity’s hesitancy early on, he said, “I think the university officials were unsure about what to do and what to say when they saw a call for Syria just like it happened at the UN vote [for Eastern Ghouta where Pakistan abstained from voting].” Discussing the country’s muddled foreign policy, he said there was an absolute rage among the youth regarding Pakistan's foreign policy overall, and it seems like the youth was more aware about what had been happening in Syria then a lot of our top government officials. “Pakistan's policymakers honestly don’t care if people are dying anywhere as long as the national interests are secured,” Tasneem said. When asked about any future events, he said, “Our call and protests will only increase, and in future, the issues of Yemen, Kashmir, Palestine and Rohingya Muslims would also be addressed. The oath would require people to testify that the Prophet Muhammad was the last messenger sent by God, the repudiation of a core Ahmedi belief. “The court should have given us a chance to present our point of view before the verdict, which has increased our vulnerability as a community,” said Saleem Uddin, a spokesman for Pakistan’s Ahmedi community. He noted that several Ahmedis have been killed by religious extremists in recent years, and that their property and places of worship have been attacked. He said the community is consulting legal experts and may challenge the ruling. Zia Awan, another rights activist, said the court ruling would encourage extremists. “I am afraid this will further endanger minorities and increase discrimination,” he said.
SC to hear cases of three PMl-n leaders over contemptuous remarks ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court (SC) will hear the contempt of court cases against three PMLN leaders today (March 12). The three ruling PML-N’S leaders including former senator Nihal Hashmi, Federal Minister for Privatisation Daniyal Aziz and State Minister for Interior Talal Chaudhry had made contemptuous remarks against top judiciary. Sources said that the charges would be framed against Talal Chaudhary and Danial Aziz over contemptuous statements against judges. The Supreme Court will hear the contempt of court of erstwhile Senator Nihal Hashmi today after his release by threemember bench headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar. On March 13, charges would be framed Federal Minister for Privatization Daniyal Aziz over contempt of court and the three–member bench headed by Justice Azmat Saeed will hear the cases whereas State Minister for Interior Talal Chaudhry will be framed charges over contemptuous statement against judiciary and three–member bench headed by Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan will hear the cases on March 14. ONLINE
nawaz never used unparliamentary language: Baloch ISLAMABAD: Minister for SAFRON LtGen (retd) Abdul Qadir Baloch has said that former PM Nawaz Sharif had not used any unparliamentary language against political opponents. Nawaz Sharif had been facing the cases and also cooperated with Joint Investigation Team (JIT) on Panama Papers issue, he said talking to a private news channel. The minister said Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chief Imran Khan was using derogatory language against leadership of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) which did not suit him as leader of political party. He said political matters should be handled in a political way. APP
Private Turkish plane crashes in Iran TEHRAN: A private Turkish plane flying from the United Arab Emirates to Istanbul crashed Sunday in the south of Iran with 11 people on board. The plane had left from the emirate of Sharjah and went down near the city of Shahr-e Kord, about 400 kilometres (250 miles) south of Tehran, it reported. The aircraft was a Canadian-made Bombardier, according to the Iranian news agency Tasnim. It had eight passengers and three crew members on board, said Reza Jafarzadeh, head of the Iran Civil Aviation Organisation. “The plane is on fire. After the pilot asked to lower altitude, it disappeared from the radar,” Tasnim quoted an ICAO official as saying. AGENCIES
Seven-year-old boy found dead in Mardan MARDAN STAFF REPORT
A seven-year-old boy was found dead in Mardan after alleged kidnapping and murder which caused protests demanding justice, media reports said. Mardan District Police Officer (DPO) Mian Saeed Ahmed told media that the minor had disappeared on Saturday after being last seen playing outside his house in the Tambulk area of the district. The family of the boy had lodged a
complaint in the police after the disappearance. The seven-year-old was then found dumped in the fields behind the house inside a gunny sack. Police are in search of the unidentified suspect who kidnapped the boy, murdered him and dumped his body, Ahmed said. Police investigators cordoned off the place where the boy was located and collected evidence. The boy’s father earned a living by working as a labourer in a vegetable market nearby. DNA samples were collected from
the boy during a post-mortem examination in the Mardan Medical Complex, hospital sources said. The boy was then sent to the Bacha Khan Medical College’s forensic laboratory Protests were staged against the heinous act in which family of the victim, relatives and area residents blocked the Mardan-Nowshera Road to demand justice. They also demanded the arrest of the suspect as soon as possible. Earlier this year, a four-year-old girl named Asma had gone missing on January 14 in Mardan’s Gujar Garhi area,
and her dead body was found from sugarcane fields near her house on January 15. Later, the forensic testing had confirmed that the child was subjected to sexual abuse before being killed. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Police had claimed to arrest the main suspect, 15-year-old Mohammad Nabi who was a close relative of the minor girl. The police high ups confirmed arresting of two accused during a press conference at Peshawar on Wednesday morning. Nabi, with his face covered, was also presented before the media.