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Pakistani Christians Not Feeling Safe After The IS Attack

Pakistan's Christian community is terrified following the worst terrorist attacks on them

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Pakistani Christians at the Sacred Heart Cathedral in Lahore. VOA
Pakistan’s Christian community has faced the brunt of some of the worst terrorist attack in the country in recent years, but now the community fears another looming danger.

During the last few months, the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group, or Daesh, has claimed responsibility for two deadly attack on the Christian community in Pakistan’s southwestern province of Baluchistan.

In Quetta, the provincial capital of Baluchistan, a Christian family was attacked on April 2, a day after Easter.

Gunmen killed four people, all members of one Christian family.

In December 2017, several days before Christmas, suicide bombers attacked a Christian church, killing at least nine people in the southwestern city of Quetta.

IS claimed responsibility for both attacks.

People mourning the death of a Pakistani Christian who was killeed on April 3, 2018. VOA
People mourning the death of a Pakistani Christian who was killed on April 3, 2018. VOA

Nadeem Anthony, a Christian rights activist, told VOA that IS has become a new danger for the community.

“The Christian community is scared and concerned after [the] deadly attacks by Daesh. It is not acceptable,” Anthony noted. “If Daesh is active and involved in the attacks on the Christian community, then we (Christians) can’t do anything against this militant outfit. It’s the responsibility of the state to act against such a group.”

 Also Read: US Shares List of 20 Terrorist Groups Operating In Pakistan And Afghanistan With Pakistani Authorities

Pakistan denies the organized presence of IS in the country and said the state is committed to cracking down on all militant groups that threaten any community or sect.

But some quarters have expressed concern that IS is emerging as a threat.

Dr. Mehdi Hassan, chairman of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP), said IS’s presence cannot be completely denied.

“Attacks on the Christian community by Daesh is really a matter of concern, and this will worsen [the] religious extremism situation in Pakistan. In a country where extremism exists in so many forms, any outfit (including Daesh) can triumph,” Hassan said.

The conditions have got worsened for the Pakistani Christians after the IS attack.
Life is miserable in Pakistan.

Tariq Christopher Qaiser belongs to the Christian community and is a parliamentarian from Pakistan’s ruling Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) political party. He expressed serious concerns about the increasing number of targeted attacks on different Muslim sects and on Christians.

“It’s not only alarming but also shameful,” Qaiser said. It is the responsibility of the state to protect all its nationals without any discrimination as to from which sect of religion they belong to. I have been raising my voice on the floor of the parliament and will continue to do so.”

This story was written by Muhammad Ishtiaq. (VOA)

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Women of Pakistan Protest Against Workplace Harassment, Child Marriage

Leader of the Opposition Shahbaz Sharif lauded "the incredible work our women are doing to strengthen their families, communities and the country"

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Following this, a National Security Committee was also held to discuss Sharif's
Pakistan Flag, wikimedia commons

On the occasion of International Women’s Day, women took to the streets across Pakistan on Friday to protest against sexual harassment in the workplace, child marriage ‘honour killings, wage inequalities and limited political representation.

Organisers hope that the “aurat march” (women’s march) and “aurat azadi march” (women’s liberation march) will draw attention to the struggle for reproductive, economic, and social justice across in Pakistan, reports the Guardian.

The first “Aurat March” was held last year in Karachi; this time, the rally has been extended to more cities, including Lahore, Multan, Faisalabad, Larkana and Hyderabad.

The aim is to reach ordinary women in factories, homes and offices, says Nighat Dad, an “aurat march” organiser in Lahore.

“We want an organic movement by women demanding equal access to justice and ending discrimination of all kinds.”

Speakers at the Lahore march ranged from a woman fighting to reform marriage laws to the women who worked on the landmark Punjab Domestic Workers’ Act — a legislation that outlaws child labour in homes and provides maternity benefits to workers.

Another activist, Leena Ghani, noted that Pakistani women have a history of taking to the streets, famously during military dictator Zia ul-Haq’s martial law in the 1980s.

Krishna Kumari works in her office in Hyderabad, Pakistan, Feb. 12, 2018. VOA

While Pakistan has made major strides towards gender equality, poorer, marginalised women and transgender citizens continue to struggle, Ghani added.

Designer Shehzil Malik created a series of striking posters for the “aurat march” that counter typical representations of Pakistani women as docile and subservient.

Women are also protesting against discriminatory policies in universities, where male and female students are afforded different levels of freedom, the Guardian said.

A Pakistani university recently caused a furore on social media by banning women from wearing skinny jeans and sleeveless shirts.

Also Read- Originality is a Dichotomous Terminology, Says Megastar Amitabh Bachchan

In his message on Friday, Prime Minister Imran Khan reaffirmed his government’s commitment to providing women a safe environment so that they could contribute to the country’s development, Dawn news reported.

“We reaffirm our commitment to ensuring women a secure and enabling environment to play their rightful role in our nation’s development.”

Leader of the Opposition Shahbaz Sharif lauded “the incredible work our women are doing to strengthen their families, communities and the country”. (IANS)