There is a ‘mass madness’ ranging from TV talk shows to headlines of News Papers and debate on internet. Charged workers of religious organizations are out in streets of Pakistan. As Malaysian are relatively more religious people as compared to Pakistani’s and share the same Prophet. I was thinking that today country would be choked like Pakistan from electronic blackout to burning shopping malls and McDonalds. Especially, the State of my work my worst as it is currently being ruled by a conservative religious party considered as ‘fanatic’ as Jamat e Islami of Pakistan.The conservative religious rulers of the State where I work have already declared Friday as a off day despite the fact the rest of the country have off days of Saturday and Sunday.
Since yesterday Pakistan Telecommunication authority has blocked Facebook, Youtube and Wikipidia along with interruption in Blackberry services on orders of a ‘Holly Lordship’ of Lahore High Court. The bearded Mullah are on the loose in streets chanting against western infidels burning tyre’s and destroying public property. There are 45 million Pakistani users of social media site Facebook, twice the entire population of another Islamic state, Malaysia. Many of them running businesses, charities and communicating with families and friends have been deprived of access to communication without being heard by a religiously charged self righteous judiciary. All being done in name of a ‘Holly Cause’ to defend the Prophet of Islam (PBUH) from conspiracies of Infidel west.
This post was submitted by nadeem.
URGENT ACTION APPEAL – From Amnesty International USA
Fear for safety/Torture
UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
Dr. Ayyaz Ali Khan (m) and 2 Pakistani university workers (m)
Three Pakistani men, including a university professor of dentistry, have been missing since their arrest on 5 April 2010 in Ras al Khaimah in United Arab Emirates. Amnesty International fears they may be subjected to torture and other ill-treatment.
On 31 March 2010, Dr Ayyaz Ali Khan visited the United Arab Emirates to finish setting up a project at the faculty of dentistry at the university in Ras al Khaimah (RAK). On 5 April, Dr Khan was taken from the RAK University’s guest house by the UAE security officers. Two other Pakistani nationals, who work for the university in RAK, were also taken by security officers, from a different location.
On 22 April 2010, the spokesperson of the consulate of Pakistan in the UAE told the press that the consulate had been ‘temporarily’ denied access to the detained men until the investigation is completed. He said that the men had been transferred from RAK to Abu Dhabi for further interrogation by the Federal Security Department and that the men should be released on 23 April. However, the men are still detained in an unknown location and have not been given access to the Consulate of Pakistan. According to Dr Khan’s family, the UAE security forces have told them that they have no records of his arrest or detention.
Amnesty International’s concerns are heightened by persistent reports of torture and other ill-treatment as well as prolonged detention without charge or trial in the UAE. Amnesty International fears that the arrest and detention of the three men in conditions amounting to an enforced disappearance puts them at a great risk of torture or other ill-treatment.
A Press Conference was held at Lahore Press Club around 3pm today, the media turn over was great. Sqn Ldr Hasib Baig (Dr Ayaz’s brother) and Dr Ayaz’s family along with a Pakistan Dental Association and the YDA, with close friends addressed the conference.
Media’s response was really worth appreciating, Correspondents Geo, Express, Din, Dunya, City42 and a few other local channels showed up, with promises to extensively highlight this case on a national level.
The Interior Ministry has also shown a movement and has promised to come up with definite progress in a few days. We promise to bring up to date progress report on their effort as something concrete comes to our attention form the governments.
My Husband Dr. Ayyaz Ali Khan is an Assoc. Professor at Shaikh Zayed Hospital, Lahore and is the Head of Dental Department. He did his masters from Swansea, Wales and then his PhD from Ireland. Dr Ayaz is a professional of international repute and has valuable contributions in the field of Dental and Oral Health. He has over 94 international scientific publications (highest amongst all medical and dental professionals in Pakistan). He has been national coordinator for Oral Health by WHO . He has over 30 MPhil and PhD student all over Pakistan and produced more than 15 MPhils / PhDs who are currently working as Assistant Professors in various institutions all over the world. He is a national hero in the field of Medicine.
He has been helping Ras Al Khaymah College of Dental Sciences which is a component of Ras Al Khaymah Medical and Health Sciences University U.A.E. in setting their curriculum.
He had left the country on March 31st 2010 for U.A.E. his passport number is TF***** [omitted] and date of birth is August 1958.
It has come as a serious shock to hear that Dr. Ayyaz Khan, the Head of Department at Sheikh Zaid Hospital’s Dental Department and a highly respected leader in Community Dentistry with a number of professional research papers to his name, has gone missing for the past few days. He was working as a consultant of Community Dentistry Riphah Islamic International University. Initially there were five doctors were apparently been kidnapped on April 5th in the UAE, two of whom have returned but refuse to say anything about the issue.
Dr. Ayyaz Khan’s family issued a press statement yesterday in Lahore stating the doctors were not involved in any suspicious activity. “Dr Khan’s disappearance has not even been acknowledged by the Government of Pakistan. We appeal to the two governments to provide us information regarding Dr Ayyaz and other dentists as a matter of urgency and facilitate their quick and immediate release. It defies belief that such an eminent teacher and academic could go missing in the UAE under such suspicious circumstances”
The dental community is in an uproar and plans to hold protests in Karachi [at Karachi Press Club PC @ 3:30PM], Lahore [Press Conference to be addressed by Mrs. Ayyaz Khan at Lahore Press Club @ 3:00PM]
Facebook Group: Dr. Ayyaz Khan Gone Missing
Google Group: Find Dr. Ayyaz Ali Khan
In a final concluding ceremony on the night of 22nd March and the early hours of 23rd March, Aman Ittehad hold a massive People’s Assembly in the Al-Hamra Auditorium Lahore to pass the final Peoples Resolution. This resolution comes from a consensus taken after conducting over 60 Peoples Assemblies across Pakistan to gather their ideas and draft this final version – the final presented resolution is as follows
Farooq Tariq of Labor Party Pakistan shares an eyewitness account of his children who were on the scene of the suicide bomb blast in Lahore today.
“I was waiting at the school lounge for uncle Allah Ditta to pick me up after the school time was over. We heard the first blast and it was not very powerful but frightening. Our teacher said that it is army that is firing in the area; there is no need to worry about. Then, came the real one. The earth under our feet was moving away from us, it was like an earthquake. I started crying so were many more children. The teachers asked us to move away from the walls and come in the ground in an open place. I saw my teachers in tears as well. The uncle Allah Ditta arrived and I went with him.”
This was what my 10 year old son A. Farooq told me when I called him after the blast today. He is class three student at Lahore Grammar School Landmark project at Arif Jan Road Lahore Cantonment.
The blast today at RA Bazaar was only few hundred meters away from the school building. It seems that over 50 have been killed and many more injured in the deadly suicidal attack today at an army vehicle by some religious fanatics.
A Pakistani-American author—cited for the empathy, depth, and complexity of his work—is the winner of the $20,000 The Story Prize for his book In Other Rooms, Other Wonders
At the end of an evening of readings and conversation, debut writer Daniyal Mueenuddin took the stage and accepted The Story Prize for his collection In Other Rooms, Other Wonders, a book of eight connected stories set in southern Pakistan and centering around the estate of a feudal landowner. The curators of The Story Prize, Dark and Lindsey selected the three finalists from among 78 books entered in 2009, representing 53 different publishers. The Story Prize is the highest prize money given in the literature award
Its interesting to read the experience that shaped his debut book from being a student at the Lahore American School to graduate from Yale and working for some time as a lawyer at a New York law firm only to quit a few years later and return to his homeland to compose this book, the story is definitely worth reading. It is mostly his own personal journey across the years that has shaped this 256 page collection of short stories. Daniyal Mueenuddin links a number of short stories to describe the interwoven lives of an aging feudal landowner, his servants and managers, and his extended family who have lost touch with the land. The stories in – In Other Rooms, Other Wonders make up a vivid portrait of feudal Pakistan, describing the advantages and constraints of social station, the dissolution of old ways, and the shock of change.
Considering the spiraling security situation in Pakistan a number of civil society organizations have joined forces across Pakistan to hold a peace rally on 1st January 2010 as a Solidarity Day at 3:00pm in 37 cities across Pakistan
The Solidarity Day is organized under Aman Ittehad — a citizens’ platform connecting trade unions, media, students, lawyers, youth organizations, minority groups, NGOs, academia, and business. The Solidarity Day will express a resolve to strive for stronger democracy and democratic institutions.
Today at LUMS, 3 students went out of the gates and were smashed into by a drunk driver in a Pajero. One student, Waheeb Alam, has been pronounced dead, another has suffered major injuries, while the third one is relatively OK [Muhammad Majid & Sohaib Tariq]. As usual, the hospital had to deny medical aid to the critically injured student initially as it was a “police case”. The teachers and students at LUMS have protested, and rightly so, and classes were canceled for the day at LUMS.
Almost half the student body of LUMS protested at the crime scene all day today. The protestors included members of the LUMS faculty and administration, including the VC. After calling to attention the police’s attempts to prevent the registration of the FIR, conceal evidence and withhold the blood reports of the accused, the protestors were visited by Saad Rafique, the PML-N MNA from the constituency, who assured them, on behalf of the CM Punjab, that the perpetrators would be brought to justice in a transparent investigation.
Report by Farooq Tariq
Over 2000 joined a rally in Lahore against Talbanisation and terrorism. The rally was organized by Citizens of Lahore, a loose platform of different social, political and trade unions organization. The rally started from General Post Office Chouck (GPO) and ended at Charing Cross on Mall Road Lahore. Majority of the participants were women and youth.
Slogans like “No to Talbanisation, no to terrorism, stop flogging women, behind terrorism is uniform, are dying of hunger because General Head Quarters (GHQ) is taking it all, no to religious fundamentalism, no to state terrorism, we want peace, people united will never be defeated” were raised by the participants.
A lot of banners and placards were carried by the rally participants. Asma Jehanghir, chairperson Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, Salima Hashmi daughter of Faiz Ahmad Faiz, Ghulam Abbas of Pakistan Peoples Party, Yousaf Baluch chairman National Trade Union Federation, Tehseen of South Asia Partnership, Tanvir Jahan of Youth Commission for Human Development, Sher Mohammed of Swat, Iqbal Haider of Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, Jugnu Mohsan of Women Action Forum and myself spoke at the end of rally.
A number of protests are being organized across the country to condemn the flogging incident in SWAT where a young woman was flogged in public for being seen with another man on the street
Labor Party Pakistan & Peoples Resistance
LOCATION: Press Conference and protest at Karachi Press Club
TIME: 4:00pm on Saturday 4th April – I
RSVP at the Karachi Facebook Event Page
Student Action Committee
LOCATION: Starting from GPO Chowk to Charing Cross, Mall Road Lahore.
TIME: at 4:30pm on Saturday 4th April
RSVP at the Lahore Facebook event page
In the past few weeks I had been invited by Dawn TV to be interviewed for their show Wired and Active. I have been interviewed by the host Rabia Garib thrice, first was basically in light of my activism since 2005, the second show immediately after the attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team while the latest was after our Long March effort. For those who missed the telecast can watch it online on PkPolitics. I am hopeful that the online activism will help lead Pakistan into better days ahead since citizen powered accountability is far better then a dormant and sleeping society. Truly there is no stopping us now.
Guest Blog by temporal from Baithak Blog
Finally, at about 4 p.m., police and army commandos stormed the compound. Soon after that, a group of surviving attackers surrendered on the rooftop of the main building. Dozens of police celebrated their triumph by firing into the air and shouting, "God is great." [link]
The ides of March have been unsettling for Lahorites in Pakistan.
For the second time in March, gunmen attacked in broad daylight and by last count between 30 (UPI) and 50 (Al Jazeera) people were dead. The first time their target was the visiting Sri Lankan Cricket team. That attack raised security concerns and may have contributed to the IPL venue shift to South Africa.
This time the heavily armed gunmen attacked a Police Training school. There is no building safe in Pakistan anymore.
In the aftermath of Red Mosque (Lal Musjid) fiasco, the gunmen had attacked a commando training centre.
These terrorists are well trained, financed and organised and they pick their targets carefully. Some months back they killed a retired SAS general who headed action against them in FATA and Swat.
Eyewitness reports drafted by Farooq Tariq at 7:00pm Spokesperson Labor Party Pakistan, as shared by hom on the Peoples Resistance network
I am now at the compound where this whole incident took place. On the third floor where the four terrorists blew themselves. The body parts are every where, blood is spread all over. Police and army is not allowing anybody inside. Only the police photographer is taking the photographs inside. There are blood on the cloths hanging inside. The four terrorists were encircled here. They refused to surrender and finally after 8 hours, decided to blew themselves. I was told by a policeman that they had no more arms left with them. Here groups after group of police and rangers are raising slogans like Allah Akbar (god is great). They are posing as they have conquered another country.
Here I met Talib Hussain, president of the transport workers union, who was here since morning. His office is just in front of this compound. The office of the union was open in the morning. When he heard the first blast, they were terrified. Then the firing started. The first causality from the civilian was a member of the union, an unemployed conductor, now was driving a three wheelers. He was Waseem. He died on the spot. This terrified the whole area. The terrorists were inside the compound and firing and throwing hand grenades.
Talib told me that this went on for long time, we went behind our office. There were helicopters flying over. One helicopter landed behind our office. We were there and saw a person at one time running towards the helicopter, he was stopped by a ranger man, this person told him “Islami, Pakistan” he could not speak any other words. He was stopped, we also arrived there and then overpower him. He had a hand grenade and was taken away by police and rangers.