Tagged: Pakistan

Pakistanis rally to demand death for Christian woman facing execution for blasphemy

(RT) — Several thousand protesters hit the streets of Pakistan calling for the Christian woman accused of insulting Islam be put to death. Asia Bibi would become the first person executed for blasphemy if her appeal fails.

The Pakistani city of Lahore was the center of Friday’s protests, which were organized by the anti-blasphemy party Tehreek-e-Labaik Pakistan (TLP). Demonstrations also took place in a number of other cities across the country, including Karachi and Rawalpindi.

The rallies came after Pakistan’s Supreme Court heard the final appeal of Bibi, a Christian laborer accused of blasphemy against the Prophet Mohammed in 2009 by Muslim women she was working with in a field.

According to Bibi’s autobiography ‘Blasphemy: A Memoir: Sentenced to Death Over a Cup of Water’ the incident began when she went to retrieve a cup of water from a well during a hot day of fruit picking.

When a Muslim woman nearby saw her doing so she shouted, “Don’t drink that water, it’s haram (forbidden)!” She then turned to the other women in the field, telling them that Bibi had dirtied the water in the well by drinking from their cup.

“Now the water is unclean and we can’t drink it! Because of her!” the woman said. Several women called Bibi a “filthy Christian” and told her to convert to Islam.

“I’m not going to convert. I believe in my religion and in Jesus Christ, who died on the cross for the sins of mankind. What did your Prophet Mohammed ever do to save mankind? And why should it be me that converts instead of you?” Bibi said.

At that point, one woman spat on her while another shoved her. Days later, she was accused of blasphemy.

Friday’s protests came despite the court saying it had reached a judgment at a hearing on Monday, but that it would not be released immediately for “reasons to be recorded later.” It also said that it had ruled on a petition that would put Bibi on the no-fly list if released, but did not publish that judgment either.

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India, Pakistan, Philippines among 5 countries with most terrorist attacks in 2017

(GULF NEWS) — Almost 59 per cent of all terrorist attacks in 2017 took place in five Asian countries, including India and Pakistan, a US report said Thursday. The other three countries, according to the The annual State Department Country Report on Terrorism, include Afghanistan, Iraq and the Philippines.

The total number of terrorist attacks worldwide last year decreased by 23 per cent. Similarly, the total deaths due to terrorist violence decreased by 27 per cent, according to the report.

The decline in terrorist violence was largely due to dramatically fewer attacks and deaths in Iraq, Nathan Sales, State Department Coordinator of Counter-terrorism, said during a conference call with reporters on Thursday.

“Although terrorist attacks took place in 100 countries in 2017, they were concentrated geographically. Fifty-nine percent of all attacks took place in five countries. Those are Afghanistan, India, Iraq, Pakistan, and the Philippines. Similarly, 70 per cent of all deaths due to terrorist attacks took place in five countries, and those are Afghanistan, Iraq, Nigeria, Somalia, and Syria,” he said.

The report, he added, notes a number of major strides that the United States and its allies made to defeat and degrade terrorist organizations in 2017. “We worked with allies and partners around the world to expand information sharing, improve aviation security, enhance law enforcement and rule of law capacities, and to counter terrorist radicalization with a focus on preventing recruitment and recidivism,” Sales said.

However, despite these many successes, the terrorist landscape grew more complex in 2017, he said. “ISIS [Daesh – the extremist terrorist group], Al-Qaida, and their affiliates have proven to be resilient, determined, and adaptable,” Sales added. He said foreign terrorist fighters were heading home from the war zones in Iraq and Syria or traveling to third countries to join Daesh branches there.

“We also are experiencing an increase in attacks by home-grown terrorists – that is, people who have been inspired by Daesh but have never set foot in Syria or Iraq. We’ve seen Daesh-directed or Daesh-inspired attacks outside the war zone on soft targets and in public spaces like hotels, tourist resorts, and cultural sites,” Sales said.

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Suicide blast targeting police kills seven in eastern Pakistani city of Lahore

(REUTERS) — A suicide bomb blast claimed by the Taliban ripped through a police checkpoint on the outskirts of the Pakistani city of Lahore on Wednesday, killing seven people and wounding 18, officials said.

Jam Sajjad Hussain, spokesman of a state-run rescue service, told Reuters that his officials had taken seven dead bodies to hospitals.

“Our rescuers are at work,” he said. “They have shifted so far seven bodies.”

Deputy Inspector General of police Haider Ashraf said the bomb exploded when the police were changing guards at the checkpoint just outside an annual religious congregation in Raiwind, where nearly 80,000 people were in attendance.

“A suicide bomber riding a motorcycle attacked the police,” Ashraf said. He said four of the dead were police.

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Pakistan: Thousands-strong Muslim mob demands beheading of Christian teen for ‘blasphemy’

(BREITBART) — A mob of an estimated 3,000 Islamic extremists in Pakistan reportedly called for the beheading of a 17-year-old Christian whose phone, after reappearing days after he lost it, contained blasphemous content that authorities could use to sentence him to life in prison or death.

The case is the latest in a series of incidents each year involving a member of a religious minority group accused engaging in the act of insulting or showing contempt or lack of reverence for Islam in the Muslim-majority country.

On Monday, the accused blasphemer Patras Masih claims “an unknown person added blasphemous content to his FB [Facebook],” the British Pakistani Christian Association (BPCA) reports.

Initially, “hundreds” of local Muslims from the Dhair a village in Lahore’s Shahdara town, where Patras lives, accused the Christian boy of blasphemy on Monday, but the group of Islamic extremists calling for authorities to punish the teenager grew to 3,000.

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Blast rips through Sufi shrine in Pakistan, 100 dead

(TIMES OF INDIA) — Nearly 100 people were killed and several injured tonight when an Islamic State suicide bomber blew himself up inside the crowded shrine of revered Sufi Lal Shahbaz Qalandar in Sehwan town, some 200 KM northeast of Karachi, in a string of deadly blasts this week in Pakistan.

The bomber entered the shrine through its Golden gate and blew himself up near the site where the ritual of sufi dance ‘Dhamal’ was taking place. He first threw a grenade, which failed to explode, SSP Jamshoro Tariq Wilayat said.

“He first threw a grenade to cause panic and then blew himself up,” the SSP said.

Sehwan police station SHO Rasool Baksh told reporters that around 100 people, including women and children, have been killed in the suicide bomb attack

Hundreds of devotees were present inside the premises of the vast mausoleum of the saint at the time of blast.

Faisal Edhi of the Edhi foundation confirmed they have shifted 60 bodies to hospitals in Hyderabad and Jamshoro.

The ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack on their Aamaq news agency, saying a suicide bomber had targeted a “Shiite gathering” at the shrine in Sindh.

Commissioner Hyderabad Kazi Shahid said since the shrine was located in a remote area, some 130 kms from Hyderabad, ambulances and vehicles and medical teams were being sent from Hyderabad, Jamshoro, Moro, Dadu and Nawabshah to the blast site to take care of the injured and move the bodies.

“Emergency has been declared at hospitals in these places and rescue operations have started,” he said.

Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah said that the Pakistan army had been requested to provide night flying helicopters to shift the dead and injured.

“Yes it is a tragic incident and because the shrine is away from a major city there have been problems in providing rescue operations,” he said.

The army said a C130 aircraft will be used to lift the injured from Nawabshah.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif condemned the attack and urged Pakistan to “stand united”.

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