Opinion / India: A tale of two pardons

The latest Sapan News syndicated feature, by Ramon Magsaysay awardee Dr Sandeep Pandey on the difference between the release of convicts in Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination case and those convicted in the Bilkis Bano case. He argues that the premature release of one set of convicts cannot be used to justify another — one was set free by the courts, while administrative decree was behind the other. One poses no threat to the victim’s family, while the other has sent witnesses into hiding.

Read more at Sapan News Network.

Available for use with credit to Sapan News Network.

Commemorating ‘the second 9/11’ and the way ahead

The United States and India should join with other regional powers to deal with the Taliban and help the Afghan people – Noam Chomsky

BOSTON, 27 September: Prominent academic Noam Chomsky has urged the United States and India to engage with the Taliban, work towards overcoming differences with other regional powers, and help the Afghan people rather than blocking ”the best of the options that are available”.

He was speaking last Sunday at the tail end of a webinar titled “20 Years After 9/11: Impact on South Asia and South Asians” organised by the recently launched South Asia Peace Action Network, Sapan. Speakers shared stories of hope and inspiration, besides those of distress and challenges.

Noam Chomsky: Put the Afghan people first. Screenshot from Sapan webinar, 26 September 2021.
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#MeToo: Moving towards a cycle of healing

Something I wrote about sexual harassment and abuse, published in The News on Sunday. It was a difficult piece to write, took a lot of thought, time, and research, and forced me to introspect on uncomfortable ideas. I went through a learning process that I’ve have tried to share. One idea links to the concept of restorative justice. Another is that, regardless of whether or not guilt is proven, such cases are forcing society to re-evaluate acceptable behaviour. This, in fact, may be the #MeToo movement’s most enduring contribution. 


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PAKISTAN: CAPITAL PUNISHMENT: It’s not just about Shafqat

My oped in The News, Pakistan below. Also see my earlier piece on the issue in in Scroll – Clamour to hang Shafqat Hussain reflects vengeful mood in Pakistan after Peshawar attacks

Shafqat Hussain - more than 10 years ago, before he left his village in AJK

Shafqat Hussain – more than 10 years ago, before he left his village in AJK

It’s not just about Shafqat

by  Beena Sarwar

Shafqat Hussain is due to be hanged — for the seventh (not fifth, as I wrote earlier) time — at 4.30 am on August 4, 2015. His ‘black warrant’ was issued on July 27, despite a comprehensive 12-page report by the Sindh Human Rights Commission (SHRC) on July 16 that urges the Sindh government to move to stay the execution, and approach the Supreme Court of Pakistan to “consider the evidence which could not be produced at the trial by defence”.

The SHRC’s recommendations cannot be taken lightly. This is a government-appointed statutory body set up in 2013 under the Human Rights Act of 2011 passed by the Sindh government. A respected retired judge of the Supreme Court heads it. At stake is a human life.

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