Friday, 17 August 2018

Surah Al Kahf || Sheikh Noreen Muhammad Siddique


Friday, 10 August 2018

Faisalabad struggles with scourge of ‘honour’ killings



 Over 175 men and women have been killed in various disputes across Faisalabad district during the first six months of 2018, Express News has learnt. Most cases involved murders in the name of ‘honour’.

Besides honour killing, victims were murdered over land and family disputes, communal enmity and everyday brawls. The dead included 66 women and 111 men, statistics from 41 police stations in Faisalabad confirmed.

At least 13 women and 12 men were killed in January, 11 women and 15 men in February, eight women and 20 men in March, 11 women and 19 men in April, 17 women and 24 men in May, and six women and 21 men in June.



An on-duty bus hostess Mahwish and MPA seat candidate Waqar Ahmed Wahla were among those whose lives were cut short in recent incidents. Most of the women were reportedly killed in the name of ‘honour’ by their brothers, fathers or husbands.

The police told Express News that suspects in most of the cases remained at large. However, they claimed that complete efforts were being made to arrest those involved in such incidents. Meanwhile, a special homicide unit had also been set up to probe cases of murder in Faisalabad.

In recent years, honour killing cases have surged to an alarming level in Punjab, especially Faisalabad. The crime continues unabated and laws introduced to curb this menace seem ineffective.

The police records revealed that in 2017, at least 44 people, including 18 women and 26 men, were killed under the garb of so-called ‘honour’ across Faisalabad district. However, in 2016, comparatively fewer cases of such a nature were reported as 31 people were murdered over ‘honour’.

Earlier, the Punjab Assembly passed a new bill against honour killing with an objective to provide legal protection to women. As part of the bill, all forms of violence against women have been criminalised while centres would be established across the province to remove hurdles which complicate a woman’s quest for justice.

Under the new law, relatives of the victims would only be able to pardon the killer if he is sentenced to capital punishment. However, the culprit would still face a mandatory life sentence of 12-and-a-half years.


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Monday, 6 August 2018

Ahed Tamimi: 'I am a freedom fighter. I will not be the victim'



The teenage Palestinian activist Ahed Tamimi has said she used her eight months in prison as an opportunity to study international law and hopes to one day lead cases against Israel in international courts.

“God willing, I will manage to study law,” the 17-year-old from Nabi Saleh in the occupied West Bank told the Guardian a day after her . “I will present the violations against the Palestinians in criminal courts. And to try Israel for it and to be a big lawyer, and to return rights to my country.”

Tamimi, who rose to global prominence as a child living under military occupation, said she and other Palestinians in her all-female prison unit would sit for hours and learn legal texts. “We managed to transform the jail into a school,” she said.

To an outcry from rights groups, the teenager was arrested in December after  on camera outside her home. The soldiers had been deployed at one of Nabi Saleh’s weekly protests, where residents have thrown stones at troops who have responded with teargas, arrests and, at times, live ammunition.

She later accepted a deal in court to plead guilty to assault, incitement and two counts of obstructing soldiers.

 Palestinian 16-year-old Ahed Tamimi is the latest child victim of Israel’s occupation

“The experience of being arrested was really hard. As much as I try, I cannot describe it,” Ahed said. But she added: “This experience added value to my life, maybe it made me more mature. More conscious.”

Her trial was held behind closed doors. Concerns about her treatment in detention were raised after a video emerged in which a male Israeli interrogator threatened the then 16-year-old, commenting on her body and “eyes of an angel”.

Ahed said her treatment was not unusual. “It was not the first, and it was not a coincidence. This is their style of interrogating,” she said.

Her case has highlighted the arrest and detention of what local human rights groups say are more than 300 Palestinian minors.

Ahed said her experience in jail helped with her ambitions to become an international lawyer. “For example, I was under interrogation. There were violations against me. International law says that this should not happen to me,” she said, adding that in another life she would have trained to be a professional footballer.


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Thursday, 2 August 2018

Zahida: On the Road with Pakistan's First Female Taxi Driver



"It wouldn't work if I left the house thinking that I'm a woman. To compete with men, I had to be like a man."  - Zahida, Pakistan's first female taxi driver
In 1992, Zahida became Pakistan's first female taxi driver and a local legend.
Twice widowed, she is independent, feisty and street-wise, with a reputation for being a master hustler.
But now, aged 56 and with a seven-year-old daughter to raise, she is still fighting to make a living on the dusty roads of Rawalpindi.
"My life is one big struggle," she reflects.
"It's a sin to be a woman in Pakistan … It's easy for men. No matter how hard a woman works, they say this is a woman's earnings. Her work is not valued the same."
Witness follows Zahida as she juggles motherhood with life behind the wheel, ferries her customers around the city and tussles with male taxi drivers, discussing the roles and rights of women as well as competing for custom.
In quiet moments off the road, she recites nostalgic poetry and reflects on her fate.
"We make our own destinies," she says. "If I had sat at home, I would've had no future. I worked hard to get this far."

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