Pakistan floods: Want to help?

Dr Geet Chainani in the field: NEED food, medicines, water, tents

Pakistan was still reeling from the devastating floods of last year when fresh disaster struck.

The situation is worse than reported,” messaged the journalist and activist Aslam Khwaja, back in Karachi after a recent five-day visit to six rain-hit districts of Sindh. Many others working in the affected areas have relayed similar obervations as they scramble to renew their efforts.

Young Doctors Assocation volunteer at Mirpurkhas relief camp: URGENTLY NEED MEDICINES

8.1 million people are homeless, with less than a quarter of them (approx 0.71 million) accommodated in about 3,000 makeshift relief camps set up by the Sindh Government. Conditions are appalling, with severe shortage of food, water and medical supplies. Some 370 people have died, hundreds more injured, and some 6.1 million acres of land and 1.5 million houses underwater or severely damaged, according to the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) of Pakistan. The estimated loss to the cotton crop is estimated at a staggering Rs 75 billion.

YOU CAN HELP by sending money and relief goods to the organization of your choice. The most urgent needs are: tents, food, clean water, medicine. Continue reading

Sherry Rehman Appeals to Government to file Mukhtara Mai’s Review in Court

Mukhtiar Mai: Justice delayed, then denied. Still from my documentary "Mukhtiar Mai: The Struggle for Justice" (2006)

Sherry Rehman Appeals to Government to file Mukhtara Mai’s Review in Court.

Islamabad, 22nd April 2011: Speaking on a point of order in the National Assembly, former minister and MNA Sherry Rehman has asked the government to not just provide security to Mukhtara Mai, but to file a review appeal in the Supreme Court. Continue reading

Pakistan: Not quite a ‘deathly silence’

Rally organised by the Movement for Peace and Tolerance (MPT) and Pakistan Peace Coalition (PPC) in Hyderabad, joined and addressed by a large number of civil society, peace and human rights activists, lawyers, writers and concerned citizens.. Photo: Zulfiqar Shah

Email to Gwynne Dyer, March 10, 2011:

Dear Mr Dyer:

Regarding your article ‘Deathly Silence Prevails in Pakistan’ published in several newspapers and reproduced by NewAgeIslam website  where I saw it – you make some valid comments but to say that there is a deathly silence is untrue and unfair.

Many people in Pakistan have been raising a voice, fighting for their rights and against vigilante violence and unjust laws even before the murder of Punjab Governor Salmaan Taseer. The murder of Federal Minister Shahbaz Bhatti was a huge blow, but they are still speaking out. Here are some instances: Continue reading

Shadow boxing with imaginary blasphemers in a ‘republic of fear’

Shadow boxing with imaginary blasphemers in a ‘republic of fear’:

An analysis and chronology of recent moves to amend the controversial, man-made ‘blasphemy laws’ of Pakistan – Nasim Zehra in Citizens for Democracy blog

Sherry Rehman’s Proposed Bill to amend Offences Relating to Religion

Please read advocate Asad Jamal’s article ‘Some called-for changes‘, published in The News on Sunday, Dec 12, 2010, commenting on Sherry Rehman’s bill seeking amendments to blasphemy laws Pakistan. Below, his summary of the proposed bill in tabular form making it easier to understand:

Proposed amendments to punishments under Pakistan Penal Code (PPC)

Section Offence Existing punishment Proposed punishment
295-A Use of derogatory remarks, etc. in respect of holy personage— punishable with Imprisonment of either description up to ten years or with fine or with both Imprisonment of either description up to two years or with fine or with both
295-B Difiling of copy of Holy Quran Imprisonment for life Imprisonment of either description for 5 years or fine or both
295-C Use of derogatory remarks, etc. in respect of the Holy Prophet Death or life imprisonment[1] and fine Imprisonment of either description for 10 years, or with fine, or both

Proposed addition of words to blasphemy provisions in PPC. Continue reading

Proposed amendments to the Blasphemy Laws

PPP Parliamentarian Sherry Rehman’s proposed AMENDMENTS TO THE BLASPHEMY LAWS ACT 2010 – posted by Marvi Sirmed at her blog

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