Pakistan court frees mentally ill blasphemy suspect after 14 years

July 23, 2010

blasphemyA Pakistani court ordered the release of a mentally ill women accused of blasphemy who has been held without trial for 14 years, a court official and her lawyer said on Thursday. Police arrested Zaibun Nisa, now 55, in 1996 outside Islamabad after a Muslim cleric registered a complaint about the desecration of a copy of the Koran.

In season of optimism, Kashmiri Hindus dream of returning home

By Reuters Staff
June 20, 2010

kashmirTwo decades after they were forced to flee Kashmir, thousands of Hindu Pandits seek to return to their ancestral homeland, their hopes lifted by a fall in Islamist rebel attacks against New Delhi’s rule.

Muslim states seek UN Human Rights Council action on West’s “Islamophobia”

June 18, 2010

human rights council (Photo: Delegates at the Human Rights Council at the United Nations in Geneva on March 22, 2010/Denis Balibouse)

Muslim states that say what they call “islamophobia” is sweeping the West and its media have demanded that the United Nations take tougher action against it.  Delegates from Islamic countries, including Pakistan and Egypt, told the United Nations Human Rights Council this week that treatment of Muslims in Western countries amounted to racism and discrimination and must be fought.

from Pakistan: Now or Never?:

Killings of Ahmadis unleashes fresh soul-searching over Pakistan’s identity

June 2, 2010

ahmadiIn a country which has suffered many bombings, the killing of more than 80 people in two Ahmadi mosques in Lahore last week has unleashed a particularly anguished bout of soul-searching in Pakistan, going right to the heart of its identity as an Islamic nation.

Pakistani law fuels hatred of Ahmadis, prompts attacks: UN experts

June 1, 2010

ahmadiOfficial discrimination in Pakistan against the Ahmadi Muslim sect fuels hatred of the community and prompts violent attacks against them, according to three U.N. human rights investigators.

from India Insight:

In Kashmir, nearly half favour independence

May 29, 2010

Nearly half of the people living in the Indian and Pakistani parts of Kashmir want their disputed and divided state to become an independent country, according to a poll published by think tank Chatham House.

French foreign minister gets ready for criticism over planned burqa ban

May 2, 2010


(French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner on Europe 1 radio, 2 May 2010/Dailymotion)

Mumbai gunmen denied Muslim burial secretly interred in January

April 7, 2010

Remember the issue of what to do with the corpses of the nine attackers killed during the November 2008 siege of the Taj Mahal Hotel and other targets in Mumbai that killed 166 people? The dead attackers were all presumed to be Pakistani Muslims, like the sole survivor, but local Indian Muslim leaders refused to let them be buried in their cemeteries. Islamabad ignored calls to take the bodies back. So they were left in morgue refrigerators in Mumbai, presumably until the issue was finally settled.

from Afghan Journal:

Engaging the Afghan Taliban: a short history

March 17, 2010

(The niche that once held a giant Buddha, in Bamiyan. Picture by Omar Sobhani)

(The niche that once held a giant Buddha, in Bamiyan. Picture by Omar Sobhani)

For those pushing for high-level political negotiations with the Afghan Taliban to bring to an end to the eight-year war,  two U.S. scholars  in separate pieces are suggesting a walk through recent history  The United States has gone down the path of dialogue with the group before and suffered for it, believing against its own better judgement in the Taliban's promises until it ended up with the September 11, 2001 attacks, says  Michael Rubin from the American Enterprise Institute in this article in Commentary.

from Pakistan: Now or Never?:

Defining Pakistan

March 15, 2010

binoria girlsHistorian Manan Ahmed has a must-read column up at The National on a strengthening grassroots conservative Islamist ideology in Pakistani society, encouraged, he says, by the political thinking of the likes of TV host Zaid Hamid.