Sunday October 22, 2017
Home World Pakistan refu...

Pakistan refuses to issue identity Documents to Doctor’s kin who helped hunt Osama Bin Laden

Pakistani authorities have refused to issue identity documents to the family of Shakeel Afridi, a doctor who helped the CIA track down Osama Bin Laden

0
140
In this 1998 file photo made available on March 19, 2004, Osama bin Laden is seen at a news conference in Afghanistan. VOA

Islamabad, Feb 3, 2017:  Pakistani authorities have refused to issue identity documents to the family members of an imprisoned doctor, who helped the CIA to hunt down Osama Bin Laden.

“The authorities have refused to issue identity documents on the pretext that Shakeel Afridi (the doctor) is on the list of people who are not allowed to leave the country,” said the doctor’s counsel, Qamar Nadeem.

The lack of these documents prevents them from voting, travelling and causes problems during enrollment at educational institutions, Efe news reported.

NewsGram brings to you current foreign news from all over the world.

According to Nadeem, Afridi’s wife and two of his three children, above 18, applied for the documents in December 2016.

He said the two adult children are facing problems in getting enrolled at university due to lack of documents.

A spokesperson of the National Database and Registration Authority, which issues the identity documents, refused to comment on the situation of the doctor’s family.

Zahid Hamid, minister for law and justice, recently said in the Senate that Pakistan will not free the doctor or hand him over to the US.

NewsGram brings to you top news around the world today

The doctor’s case had come into the limelight again when the US President Donald Trump said, during his election campaign, he would get Afridi set free in two minutes if he won the elections.

Afridi took part in a false vaccination campaign in the northeastern Pakistani city of Abbottabad that was orchestrated by the CIA to obtain Bin Laden’s DNA samples and he was arrested shortly after Bin Laden was killed in a special operation by US Special Forces on May 2, 2011.

Check out NewsGram for latest international news updates.

A year later, Afridi received a 33-year prison sentence for links to terrorist groups, although it was subsequently reduced to 23 years in 2014. The sentence was severely criticized within and outside the country, and the US has termed it unjust and unnecessary. (IANS)

Next Story

Terror Has a New Name : Former al-Qaida Members Launch New Militant Group ‘Ansar al-Sharia Pakistan’

Inspired by Osama bin Laden, al-Qaida’s slain founder, the group has vowed to continue its struggle through “jihad” against “infidel and apostates”

0
39
al-Qaida
A Pakistani militant holds a rocket-propelled grenade in Shawal, in Pakistan's tribal region of Waziristan,

Karachi, September 11, 2017 : A new al-Qaida-inspired militant group, which has recently emerged in Pakistan’s southern port city of Karachi claims to act as a platform for militants who have grown disaffected with the Islamic State militant group (IS) in the country.

The group, Ansar al-Sharia Pakistan, was reportedly formed by two former al-Qaida members who had severed ties with the organization in early 2017. Since then, the group has been involved in several attacks in Karachi, according to Pakistani counterterrorism authorities.

“The Ansar al-Sharia group started killings in Karachi since the beginning of this year and claimed responsibility for killing an army officer on Faisal Highway [in Karachi],” Major General Mohammad Saeed, the head of Rangers paramilitary security force in Karachi, told local media. He added the group has been focusing attacks on “the police only.”

The group was allegedly created to operate as a platform for militants who have parted ways with IS in the country, it said in an online statement. It claimed to be active in several parts of the country.

“We give glad tidings to Muslim Ummah that a large number of Mujahideen from Karachi, Punjab and tribal areas are leaving ranks of IS and announce disassociation with [it],” the group said in an announcement through a Twitter account, adding that IS has “spread differences” and “secession instead of unity.”

The group has vowed to continue its struggle through “jihad” against “infidel and apostates.”

Though the newly-emerged group asserts no official affiliation with al-Qaida and other foreign militant organizations, the group said its ideology is inspired by Osama bin Laden, al-Qaida’s slain founder.

VOA was unable to independently verify the authenticity of the Twitter account.

According to the counterterrorism department of Karachi police, Ansar al-Sharia has a presence in areas between Sindh and Baluchistan provinces.

“Unfortunately, according to the names that have come up in the investigation, their kill team has three young men who have masters [degrees] in applied physics,” Maj. Gen. Saeed said.

Pakistani media reported the terror outfit also has female members. Police have reportedly arrested four women, including a doctor, suspected of membership in the group.

Pakistani authorities have vowed action to seize members of the group in the country, including in Karachi.

ALSO READ Study shows that Islamic State terror cells in Europe are led by former al-Qaida terrorists

A police officer has reportedly been arrested for links with an alleged Ansar-al-Sharia member in Karachi, Pakistani media reported.

Al-Qaida’s branch in South Asia, known as al-Qaida in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS), has been active in the region. Several militant groups in Pakistan that had an ideological association with bin Laden’s al-Qaida, have pledged allegiance to AQIS.

Much of AQIS’s power is concentrated in Karachi and IS has also claimed presence in in Pakistan’s largest city. (VOA)

Next Story

Plight of Pakistani Schools in Militancy-hit Tribal Regions

What will be the future of the youth in the absence of schools and education centers in a militancy-hit Pakistan?

0
33
militancy in pakistan
A man travels on a vehicle laden with his family's belongings on the outskirts of Peshawar in an attempt to flee from the insurgency-hit Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province in Pakistan. VOA
  • Insurgency in Pakistan has destroyed most of the public infrastructure, including education institutions
  • Nearly seven million Pakistani youth do not attend school
  • Over 1,100 girls’ schools in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) have been damaged or fully destroyed by the insurgency in Pakistan

Pakistan, September 4, 2017 : Years of militancy and counterinsurgency operations in Pakistan’s northwestern tribal region have destroyed much of the infrastructure, including education centers, in the area.

More than 1,100 girls’ schools in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), which is adjacent to the restive Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, have reportedly been damaged or fully destroyed by the decade long insurgency, according to Pakistan government estimates.

While the Pakistani government claims to have rehabilitated around 900 schools, hundreds of schools have not been rebuilt or rehabilitated in FATA.

Experts say the government should take immediate steps to rebuild the destroyed schools in the tribal region.

“Several factors adversely affected education institutions in the tribal region. One factor is the Taliban who destroyed schools and education institutions, particular girls’ schools,” A.H. Nayyar, a Pakistan-based educationist, told VOA’s Urdu service. “Unless the schools are fully rehabilitated, it would be extremely difficult to give hope to the youth in the region.”

“It is important to open the doors of education for tribal youth so that they get the sense that they could achieve a lot in their life, like other citizens, particularly the girls; the government must rehabilitate their schools, utilizing all available resources,” Nayyar said.

Some tribesmen are returning home after more than one million were displaced by Pakistani military operations against the Pakistani Taliban (TTP) in parts of FATA. According to U.N. estimates, about 95,000 families fled to nearby cities within Pakistan and neighboring Afghanistan’s Khost province.

Pakistan’s Army says many areas have been cleared in recent counterinsurgency operations, and it is slowly allowing the displaced tribesmen to return to their home.

U.S. military commanders until recently considered the North Waziristan region in FATA as the “epicenter” of international terrorism. The region has for years served as a training ground for Taliban and other militants groups.

During the past several years, insurgent groups, including TTP, have repeatedly targeted education institutions and schools in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and FATA region, depriving its younger generation of acquiring education.

Nearly 58 percent of the children between the ages of five and 16 are not in school in Pakhtunkhwa, according to Dawn, a local English language daily. Besides the militancy, extreme poverty and lack of infrastructure are also blamed for the lack of schooling.

Recent statistics by Alif Ailan, an education advocacy organization in Pakistan, show 48 percent of primary and secondary schools in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa operate without adequate physical infrastructure.

Pakistan is 50 years behind in its primary and 60 years behind in secondary education targets, according to a recent United Nations report. The literacy rate in poor rural areas stands at 14 percent for females and 64 percent for males. Nearly seven million Pakistani youth do not attend school. (VOA)

Next Story

Facebook Meets With Pakistan Government After Blasphemy Death Sentence

0
33
File - In this April 18, 2017, photo, workers stand in front of a demo booth at Facebook's annual F8 developer conference in San Jose, California. VOA
  • Pakistan believes in freedom of expression, but that does not include insulting Islam or stoking religious tensions
  • Pakistani counter-terrorism court sentenced a 30-year-old man to death for making blasphemous comments on Facebook
  • In April, a Pakistani university student, Mashal Khan, was beaten to death by a mob after being accused of blasphemous content on Facebook

A senior Facebook official met with Pakistan’s interior minister on Friday to discuss a demand the company prevent blasphemous content or be blocked.

The meeting comes after a Pakistani counter-terrorism court sentenced a 30-year-old man to death for making blasphemous comments on Facebook, part of a wider crackdown.

Joel Kaplan, Facebook’s vice president of public policy, met Interior Minister Nisar Ali Khan, who offered to approve a Facebook office in Pakistan, which has 33 million users of the network.

Khan said Pakistan believes in freedom of expression, but that does not include insulting Islam or stoking religious tensions.

“We cannot allow anyone to misuse social media for hurting religious sentiments,” Khan said.

Facebook called the meeting “constructive.”

In this photo released by Pakistan's Press Information Department, July 7, 2017, Pakistani Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, left, meets Vice President of Facebook Joel Kaplan in Islamabad, Pakistan.

In this photo released by Pakistan’s Press Information Department, July 7, 2017, Pakistani Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, left, meets Vice President of Facebook Joel Kaplan in Islamabad, Pakistan.

“Facebook met with Pakistan officials to express the company’s deep commitment to protecting the rights of the people who use its service, and to enabling people to express themselves freely and safely,” the company said in an email.

“It was an important and constructive meeting in which we raised our concerns over the recent court cases and made it clear we apply a strict legal process to any government request for data or content restrictions.”

Pakistan’s social media crack-down is officially aimed at weeding out blasphemy and shutting down accounts promoting terrorism, but civil rights activists say it has also swept up writers and bloggers who criticize the government or military.

One of five prominent writers and activists who disappeared for nearly three weeks this year later told a U.N. human rights event in March that Pakistan’s intelligence agencies had kidnapped him and tortured him in custody.

Others’ families said right-wing and Islamist parties had filed blasphemy accusations against them to punish them for critical writings.

Anything deemed insulting to Islam or the Prophet Muhammad carries a death penalty in Pakistan, and sometimes a mere allegation can lead to mob violence and lynchings. Right groups say the law is frequently abused to settle personal scores.

In April, a Pakistani university student, Mashal Khan, was beaten to death by a mob after being accused of blasphemous content on Facebook. Police arrested 57 people accused in the attack and said they had found no evidence Khan committed blasphemy. (VOA)

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

NewsGram is a Chicago-based non-profit media organization. We depend upon support from our readers to maintain our objective reporting. Show your support by Donating to NewsGram. Donations to NewsGram are tax-exempt.