Pakistan

Kashmir repression boosts sectarianism

Author: 

Will Sefton

On 8 July 2016, a young Kashmiri commander of the Hizbul Mujahideen (HM) was killed by the Indian Army. The killing of Burhan Wani has become a symbol of Indian repression in Kashmir, the major Muslim-majority area kept by India in the 1947 India-Pakistan partition.

The HM receives much of its support from the Pakistan government and has strong links to the Pakistani secret service ISI and the Islamist group Jamaat-e-Islami. Unlike the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front, HM is for Kashmiri secession to Pakistan and promotes the further Islamisation of Kashmir.

The Hindu-nationalist politics on the rise in India pose a great danger to the prospects of a democratic secular solution in Kashmir.

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Abolish the death penalty!

Saudi Arabia has executed 99 people during 2016, more than at the same point last year.

Crimes punishable by beheading, stoning or firing squad in Saudi include blasphemy, drug offences, adultery, murder, and “false prophecy.”

Excluding China – whose regime keeps the number of state killings a close secret – 90% of known executions during 2015 were carried out by Iran, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan.

Excluding China – whose regime keeps the number of state killings a close secret – 90% of known executions during 2015 were carried out by Iran, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan.

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A fighter for freedom

A review of I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai with Christina Lamb (Little, Brown and Company, 2013).

When it was revealed on 11 October that Malala Yousafzai, the teenage girl that captured the world’s imagination after being shot by a Taliban rifleman, was not awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, it came as a relief.

Malala no doubt deserved it more than any other person in the world, but to tarnish her name by giving her the same prize given to such renowned peacemakers as Henry Kissinger and Menachem Begin would have been a disservice to everything she had stood for.

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Capitalism: a murderous system

At least 314 garment workers burned or suffocated to death in two factory fires in Pakistan on 12 September.

Twenty-five people died in a shoe factory in the city of Lahore, when chemicals caught alight; 289 died in a garment factory in Karachi.

In the Karachi fire, workers were trapped inside the burning building because exits had been locked and they could not open security grilles at the windows.

At least 314 garment workers burned or suffocated to death in two factory fires in Pakistan on 12 September.

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Pakistan: abolish the blasphemy law!

A young Christian girl, Rimsha Masih, has been arrested and her family placed under protective custody after a Muslim mob in a poor part of Islamabad threatened to set her alight for allegedly burning pages of the Koran.

A young Christian girl, Rimsha Masih, has been arrested and her family placed under protective custody after a Muslim mob in a poor part of Islamabad threatened to set her alight for allegedly burning pages of the Koran.

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International news in brief

Islamist parties have taken to the streets to oppose the ratification of a law which would penalise domestic violence in Pakistan.

Women’s rights campaigners confronted the bigots outside parliament last week.

The Islamists’ arguments against the legislation include: preventing domestic violence is “Western”; and that the Bill is a copy of Indian legislation.

A spokesperson for Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Fazl said, “We will not let these senseless women, who depend on American dollars, to work against the Constitution and Islamic Shariah,”

Women's rights in Pakistan; Islamists ban unemployed demonstration in Tunisia; Congolese asylum seeker locked up.

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A long way to go on gay rights

According to the International Lesbian and Gay Association (ILGA) seven majority Muslim countries still maintain the death penalty for homosexual activity.

Afghanistan, Iran, Mauritania, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Sudan and Yemen still impose the death penalty for homosexual activity. In the northern Nigeria states which use Sharia law, homosexuality is also punishable by death.

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No to political Islam! Solidarity with Pakistani secularists, socialists, workers and women

On Monday 5 January Salman Taseer, governor of Punjab (Pakistan's largest province) and a former Pakistani People's Party MP was shot 27 times by his bodyguard Mumtaz Qadri in Islamabad. Taseer was killed by Qadri because of his support for the reform of the long established blasphemy law which has led to people being incarcerated for insulting the prophet Muhammed.

On 5 January Salman Taseer, the governor of Pakistan's largest province, was assassinated by Islamists because of his criticism of blasphemy laws.

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Pakistan disaster - support the Labour Relief Campaign!

The number of people affected by the floods in Pakistan has now reached 20 million. More than 650,000 houses have collapsed, mainly in villages. Thousands of hectares of crops have been destroyed, along with people's livestock, household goods, clothes, shoes and other essential items. Millions are without drinkable water, food, shelter and clothing. Diseases like flu, fever, diarrhea and cholera are spreading fast.

Labour movement and socialist organisations in Pakistan have launched an appeal to help victims of the flooding, now numbered at about 20 million.

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Pakistani workers' strike wins victory

Author: 

Farooq Tariq (Labour Party of Pakistan)

On 29 July the nine-day strike by power-loom workers in Faisalabad, Pakistan, ended in complete victory.

The Commissioner of Faisalabad Mr. Tahir Hussain announced at a workers' rally that all demands of the workers will be met. He said that a 17 percent rates increase for all will be implemented in its full spirit. The case of the four arrested strike leaders will be withdrawn after an initial inquiry.

On 29 July the nine-day strike by power-loom workers in Faisalabad, Pakistan, ended in complete victory.

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