Civil Society

NGOs Convene to Discuss Matters of Survival

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Karachi, March 18: Non governmental organizations (NGOs) and International NGO representatives gathered in Karachi on Sunday to meet with the author of the `Democracy Train,’ and express their concern at the restrictions being imposed by the government to carry on their daily activities. The NGO representatives were especially concerned that their colleagues working with the INGOs could lose their jobs …

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History of Left: `Suraj Pey Comand’ Book Launched`Democracy Train' Updated Edition Sold on Display

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Karachi, March 17: The first volume of the story of the National Students Federation, its cadre and incidents reflecting the left wing history of Pakistan, `Suraj pay Comand,’ was launched at the Arts Council on Saturday. An overflow crowd came to the launch to hear about the stalwarts of the left movement who dominated four decades ago. Their snapshots have …

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`Council of Progressive Pakistanis’ Created in United States

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A Council of Progressive Pakistanis has been created in the US, with the objective of contributing to building a progressive and liberal Pakistan. A meeting of CPP affiliates was held in the greater metropolitan Washington area, Feb 10, 2018, where organizers espoused their vision of building a Pakistan, that would be in keeping with the speech delivered by its founder, …

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Funeral bridges religious and ethnic dividesMarvi Sirmed February 14, 2018 Daily Times

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Asma Jahangir’s funeral was an emotionally draining yet an energising experience in unique ways. People of all ages, genders, ethnicities, religions, and social classes came to bid adieu to her. Only she could manage to amass such a wide spectrum of the society at such an occasion. There were trans people, women, men, youngsters, older people, people descending from SUVs …

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Prominent Pakistani rights activist Asma Jahangir dies aged 66 Lawyer who was outspoken critic of country’s Islamist extremism had a heart attack in LahoreThe Guardian UK (Feb 11, 2018) Courtesy AP

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Asma Jahangir, one of Pakistan’s most prominent human rights activists, has died of a heart attack aged 66. She was rushed to hospital in Lahore on Saturday night and died the following day, her daughter Muneeze Jahangir said. Friends, relatives, activists and journalists thronged to her residence in Lahore to express their grief. Local TV stations broadcast footage showing public …

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A symbol of resistance: Veteran journalist Siddiq Baloch laid to restThe Express Tribune (Feb 6, 2018)

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KARACHI: Veteran journalist Siddiq Baloch was laid to rest in Mewa Shah Graveyard Tuesday afternoon. He passed away early Tuesday morning in Karachi, while fighting pancreatic cancer for many years. Siddiq, 78, was a renowned journalist, senior political economist and democrat. He was the chief editor of Daily Azadi Quetta, an Urdu newspaper started by him in 2002 and Balochistan …

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Pakistani journalist Taha Siddiqui escapes kidnapping attemptCommittee to Protect Journalists (Jan. 10, 2018)

New York, January 10, 2018—The Committee to Protect Journalists urges Pakistani authorities to investigate today’s attempted abduction of journalist Taha Siddiqui, and prosecute the perpetrators. Siddiqui, the Pakistani bureau chief for the New Delhi-based television channel World Is One News, was in Islamabad on his way to the airport when 10 to 12 men stopped his car on the highway, …

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‘Rid Karachiites of water tankers’: SC says as CM Murad, Kamal appear in unsafe water caseShafi Baloch December 6, 2017 (Dawn Newspaper)

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Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah, former Karachi mayor Mustafa Kamal and Karachi police chief Mushtaq Ahmed Mahar appeared before the Supreme Court on Wednesday for a hearing on a plea concerning provision of clean drinking water and safe environment in the province. Headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar, a three-judge bench at the SC Karachi registry …

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The deadly network of human traffickingThe Express Tribune (Nov 22, 2017)

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LAHORE: The notorious gang of human traffickers, involved in an effort to smuggle 20 now deceased people to Europe, has very strong and organised network bases across the country and even outside its borders. The initial investigations conducted by the Federal Investigations Agency (FIA) disclosed that the suspected human traffickers used fake names and whatsapp to communicate. The investigations further …

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Turks being picked up for interrogation in PakistanBy Osman Arslanhan (Oct 1, 2017)

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In the early hours of Wednesday, September 27, 2017, Mr. Mesut Kacmaz and his family – Mrs Meral Kacmaz (wife), Ms Huda Nur Kacmaz (17) and Ms Fatma Huma Kacmaz (14) – were abducted from their house located in Wapda Town district of Lahore. Mr Fatih Avcu, a fellow educationist, witnessed the incident and he was arrested by the raid …

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Rights activists condemn ‘enforced disappearance’ of Punhal SarioDawn Report (Aug 5, 2017)

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HYDERABAD: Activists of nationalist parties, human rights and civil society organisations have condemned ‘enforced disappearance’ of Punhal Sario, a noted human rights activist and convener of the Voice for Missing Persons of Sindh, a day before. Mr Sario was picked up by occupants of a double-cabin vehicle at around 11pm on Thursday night near the Sindhi Language Authority (SLA) building. …

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Nawaz Sharif has gone. But Pakistan’s high-level corruption survivesTariq Ali (July 29,2017) The Guardian UK

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Since Pakistan’s foundation in 1947, not one prime minister has served his or her full term. Things like assassinations and military takeovers happen. Today it was money rather than force that did for Nawaz Sharif. The Pakistan supreme court surprised itself by voting unanimously to ensure that he was not going to be the exception. The court declared him guilty …

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Human Rights Commission calls for building strong democratic traditionsHRCP press statement

Lahore, July 29. Commenting on the Supreme Court verdict in the Panama papers case and the subsequent developments the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has called for a nationwide effort to build strong democratic traditions. In a statement issued here today the Commission said: The highest court in the land has spoken and its command has been duly obeyed. …

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Tackling unemployment in rural SindhBy Naseer Memon (The News, 9th July 2017)

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The government of Sindh has announced creating approx 50,000 new jobs in the next financial year. The budgetary announcement was greeted with cheers by many who still believe that a public sector job is the dream destination in one’s life. Youth in the rural Sindh particularly have great enchantment with public sector jobs. Students grow with prayers of getting a …

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The Guardian: Attack on Al Jazeera must be resisted UK newspaper says attack on Al Jazeera is part of ‘assault on free speech to subvert the impact of media in Arab world’.Al Jazeera

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A demand by a group of Arab countries to close Al Jazeera Media Network is “wrong”, “ridiculous” and “must be resisted”, The Guardian newspaper has said in an editorial, joining a growing chorus of voices raising concerns about suppresion of press freedom in the Gulf. Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt reportedly gave Qatar 10 days to …

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Pakistan’s middle class continues to grow at rapid paceBy Salman Siddiqui May 2, 2017 (The Express Tribune)

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KARACHI, May 2: The country’s middle class is experiencing a rapid growth, which is evident from the rising demand for consumer durables, education and health, according to the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP). The central bank, in its latest report on the state of economy, said that the growth in the consumption pattern in the country is indicative of a …

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In Pakistan, Carrying On a Legacy of Answering SOS CallsBy SABA IMTIAZ MARCH 15, 2017 The New York Times

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KARACHI, Pakistan — For decades, the sight of Abdul Sattar Edhi pleading for donations was enough to press even the most tightfisted of Pakistanis into reaching for their wallets. Such was the impact of Mr. Edhi, a humanitarian icon in Pakistan who died last summer after a prolonged illness. In a country where many citizens have given up on the …

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Book Readers at Karachi Press Club get International Perspective on Pak PoliticsWhy Pakistan Finally Resolved to `Track the Threat Within'

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Karachi, March 10: Journalists, writers, poets and political activists heard Nafisa Hoodbhoy speak about the final updated edition of her book, `Aboard the Democracy Train, Pakistan Tracks the Threat Within,’ at an event held at the Karachi Press Club on Friday. Moderated by senior journalist and anchor person, Mujahid Barelvi, the audience also heard from former assistant editor of Dawn …

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I was handcuffed and tied but it was worth my fight against One Unit

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50 years ago, 4th March, 1967 marked a watershed event in the post-Partition history of Sindh. It was the day when 207 students were arrested en masse at the G.M. Barrage between Jamshoro and Hyderabad as they staged a rally against the One Unit scheme that had been in place in the country since 1955. The protests were a culmination …

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Piecemeal approach to justiceBy Peter Jacob The News (Feb 18, 2017)

The National Assembly has passed Criminal Law (Amendment) Act 2017, a bill that seeks to address the issues of abuse of blasphemy law, sectarian hate speech, forced marriage of non-Muslim women and the crime of lynching. Therefore, the bill now due to be presented in the Senate, introduces changes to sections; 182 (falsification), 298 (hate speech), 498 B (forced marriage) …

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