Pakistan orders shutdown of rights groups over “anti-state” activities

By Saad Sayeed ISLAMABAD, Jan 20 : Authorities in Pakistan’s largest province have ordered several women’s and human rights groups to shut down, accusing them of unspecified “anti-state” activities, an official of a human rights group said. Pakistan has toughened its stance against local and international non-government bodies in recent years, accusing some of using […]

Clashes as hardliners demand missing Pakistanis face blasphemy charge

By Syed Raza Hassan KARACHI, Jan 19 : Hardline religious protesters threw stones at supporters of five missing Pakistani activists today and demanded that police charge the missing men under a blasphemy law that carries a mandatory death sentence. The liberal activists, who have posted blogs criticising the political influence of the military and speaking […]

Pakistani forces kill leader of banned sectarian militant group

By Mubasher Bukhari LAHORE, Pakistan, Jan 18 : Pakistani security forces said today they had killed the leader of the banned Sunni Muslim militant group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) along with three other militants accused of killing hundreds of civilians. The Counter Terrorism Department of the eastern province of Punjab said its forces had killed Asif Chotoo […]

Missing Pakistani activists’ families decry blasphemy allegations

By Saad Sayeed ISLAMABAD, Jan 18 : Families and supporters of five missing Pakistani activists today denounced what they called a campaign to accuse the men of blasphemy, a highly charged allegation that could endanger their lives were they to reappear. The accusations, made online and in a complaint to police, have unsettled Pakistan’s small […]

Pakistan forces kill new leader of banned sectarian militant group

By Mubasher Bukhari LAHORE, Pakistan, Jan 18 : Pakistani counter-terrorism forces killed the new leader of the banned sectarian Lashkar-e-Jhangvi militant group, along with three more militants, in an operation in the eastern province of Punjab, authorities said today. The killings come 18 months after police gunned down longtime Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) leader Malik Ishaq in […]

Fifth activist reported missing in Pakistan, alarming rights groups

By Saad Sayeed ISLAMABAD, Jan 11 : A fifth Pakistani social activist has gone missing from the capital Islamabad, a colleagues said today, days after four other campaigners disappeared in a way that has alarmed supporters of free speech. Samar Abbas, president of the Civil Progressive Alliance of Pakistan (CPAP), an anti-extremism activist group, went […]