Tag Archives: Pakistan

Pakistan News | Pashtun

Thousands rally against anti-Pashtun violence in Karachi
  • The Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement (PTM) has emerged as a nonviolent ethnic rights group confronting abuse and neglect by Pakistan’s security apparatus, recently invigorated by the killing of Pashtun youth Naqibullah Mehsud in January.
  • Despite a government ban and media censorship, PTM recently staged rallies across the country in cities including Lahore and Karachi, the latter of which is home to Pakistan’s largest Pashtun community and the location of Mehsud’s killing.
  • Demonstrators rallied against enforced disappearances (numbering in the thousands, according to some claims), extrajudicial killings, and other human rights abuses against the Pashtun community, who make up 15% of the Pakistani population.
Read

Thousands rally in Pakistan’s Lahore for Pashtun rights” (Al Jazeera | May 2018)

Pakistani ethnic rights group stages first rally in Karachi” (Reuters | May 2018)

On ‘Pashtun Tahafuz Movement’” (The Nation, commentary | May 2018)

Pakistan Feature | Trans Women

The Fitful Progress of the Movement for Pakistani Trans Lives


Source: CGTN YouTube

By way of Pakistan’s landmark 2017 census, some 10,000 transgender Pakistanis have become officially visible in the eyes of the government, though community organizers say the number is likely much larger. Illiteracy, poverty, disenfranchisement, trafficking, threats to sexual health, and the dangers of unregulated sex work plague Pakistan’s trans women (khawaja siras, a reclaimed term in the trans community), but the recent securing of legal protections have given hope to a community where precarity reigns.

While communities of trans women have provided kinship and security where mainstream society has offered a mix of scorn and fetish, hierarchical systems within the communities have layered additional vulnerabilities upon threats already faced. The women have organized and built security-focused civil groups, and the last decade has seen a number of victories including census recognition, a third-gender option on ID cards, limited economic investments, and technological and political tools for accountability in law enforcement. Some hardline conservatives have become unlikely allies as trans women are seen among some Islamic sects as holy, though they have stopped short of supporting partnership rights. Recent international media coverage has highlighted recent gains as well as ongoing insecurity for Pakistan’s increasingly visible trans community.

Read

Pakistan’s Transgender Women, Long Marginalized, Mobilize For Rights” (NPR | January 2018)

Tabooed transgender community still facing discrimination but to be protected in Pakistan” (Xinhua | January 2018)

New App TransMuhafiz Puts Pakistani Transphobic Offenders in the Spotlight” (Planet Transgender | January 2018)

Watch

Transgenders: Pakistan’s Open Secret (Clover Filmsvia Real Stories/YouTube | December 2016)

Somebody (TriumF Mediavia YouTube | September 2017)

Connect

TransAction Pakistan

Pakistan News | Christian

Suicide bombers kill 9 in attack on church in southwestern Pakistan
  • At least 9 were killed and 56 wounded following an attack by two suicide bombers on Bethel Memorial Methodist Church in Quetta, capital of Baluchistan province.
  • Nearly 400 had been in attendance for the pre-Christmas service, and authorities say the toll could have been much higher had the attackers reached the sanctuary.
  • The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack, a part of ongoing targeting of the 2 million Pakistani Christians in the country by both IS and the Pakistani Taliban.
Read

9 killed in suicide attack on Quetta’s Bethel Memorial Methodist Church” (Dawn.com | December 2017)

Nine killed in terrorist attack on church in Quetta” (Geo News | December 2017)

Suicide bombers attack church in Pakistan’s Quetta before Christmas, killing nine” (Reuters | December 2017)

Pakistan Feature | Women & Girls

The Endless Labors of Pakistan’s Debt-Bound Women

A form of indentured servitude persists in the vast fields of Pakistan’s poorest regions, where families labor on lands to pay off debts whose balance never seems to decrease. But while men may find their “payments” limited to hard labor, women and girls find themselves vulnerable not only to physical labor, but to domestic, sexual, and even marital labor forced under conditions of extreme duress.  Religious minorities are particularly vulnerable, with an estimated 1,000 Hindu and Christian girls trafficked as a result of these debts, sold off to predatory landowners and forced to convert to Islam. The Associated Press examines the conditions faced by the more than 2 million Pakistanis living in what human rights organizations have called modern-day slavery and the particular indignities to which women and girls are subjected.

Read:
A Pakistani girl is snatched away, payment for a family debt” (The Associated Press)

(Image Credit: B.K. Bangash/AP)

Pakistan Feature | Transwomen

The Subversive Visibility of Pakistan’s First Trans Model

Activist and model Kami Sid was the subject of a recent photo shoot in collaboration with photographer Haseeb M. Siddiqi, stylist Waqar J.Khan, and makeup artist Nighat Misbah, making her debut as the first out trans model in Pakistan. The photographs stand in stark contrast to the other forms of visibility that has kept the Pakistani trans community in the news in recent years, including sexual assaults and homicides. BuzzFeed features photos from the shoot and a look at the struggle to combat transphobia in Pakistan.

View:
Pakistan’s First Trans Model Did An Absolutely Stunning Fashion Photoshoot” (BuzzFeed)

Additional coverage:
Pakistan’s first transgender model makes debut with stunning photoshoot” (The Express Tribune)
Kami Sid becomes Pakistan’s first transgender model and her debut photoshoot is gorgeous” (Mic)

(Image Credit: Muhammad Haseeb Siddiqui, via BuzzFeed)

Pakistan News | Turkish Immigrants

Pakistan court stays expulsion order for Turkish teachers following school closure
  • The Peshawar High Court temporarily blocked the government’s expulsion of more than 100 teachers at the PakTurk International Schools and Colleges, a network of private schools in the country, and their families.
  • The closure of the schools comes as a result of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s ongoing purge of organizations perceived as connected to exiled cleric Fethullah Gulen, leaning on Turkey’s relationship with Pakistan to push the government to close the schools.
  • The administration has rejected the accusations, and staff have expressed fear at returning to Turkey, believing continued government antagonism awaits them.

Read more:
Turkish Teachers In Pakistan Face Uncertain Fate As Deportation Looms” (Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty)
PHC halts government order to deport Pak-Turk school staff” (The Express Tribune)
Peshawar High Court halts govt order to deport Pak-Turk school staff” (DAWN)

(Image Credit: via Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty)

Pakistan News | Sufi Muslims

More than 50 killed after bombing at Sufi shrine in Pakistan
  • The attack took place in the Khuzdar district of Baluchistan province, killing at least 52, wounding more than 100, and trapping an unknown number of others.
  • Security forces believe a suicide attacker carried out the massacre as hundreds were in the shrine for daily devotional activities.
  • The attack was the latest in a series targeting Sufis, members of a minority Islamic sect that has been the target of a number of attacks from extremist Sunni groups.

Read more:
Bombing at Sufi Shrine in Pakistan Kills Dozens” (The New York Times)
IS-claimed bombing kills at least 52 at Khuzdar shrine” (The Express Tribune)
‘No one was able to hear their cries’: Families ripped apart as terror strikes Khuzdar shrine” (AFP via DAWN.com)

(Image Credit: AP, via DAWN.com)