Pakistan’s struggle to reform the blasphemy law

(By Sarah Alvi) Pakistani researcher takes an innovative – and dangerous – approach to change the controversial blasphemy law.

The recent killing of prominent activist Sabeen Mahmud in Karachi is a chilling reminder of the rapidly shrinking space for open dialogue in Pakistan. So a push for deliberation on the country’s highly contentious blasphemy . . . → Read More: Pakistan’s struggle to reform the blasphemy law

Gagging social media

In view of the widespread denunciation of the new Prevention of Electronic Crimes (PEC) Bill, by both national and international human rights organisations as well as experts among the stakeholders, the only reasonable option for the government is to withdraw the ill-conceived proposal and return to the drafting board.

Efforts to check cybercrime have been . . . → Read More: Gagging social media

Pakistan’s inconsistent blasphemy laws


PAKISTAN’S blasphemy laws are inconsistent with a number of human rights including freedom of expression; freedom of thought, conscience and religion; and equal protection of the law, which have all been well documented by human rights groups.

One aspect of the blasphemy law, particularly Section 295-C of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC), . . . → Read More: Pakistan’s inconsistent blasphemy laws

Humanity has failed

The terrorists who attacked and massacred children in Peshawar, murderers who end lives all around the world, or States that wage wars on the innocent, are not the worst. For me, even the most vicious of murders is surpassed, in brutality and inhumanity, by rape.

The act of sexually assaulting or abusing another human . . . → Read More: Humanity has failed

Humans should not be bound by borders

I believe in a human right to migration, as fundamental as the right to freedom of expression, or freedom from discrimination on the grounds of gender, race, religion or sexuality. I have come by this belief by migrating myself. (I’m inclined to prefer the terms migrant and migration to immigrant and immigration: the latter two . . . → Read More: Humans should not be bound by borders

How is Bangladesh doing

I wrote almost a year ago in another Pakistani journal about what I like to call “The Bangladesh Paradox.” The paradox is that, in traditional development theory, Bangladesh should have become, over the past 25 years, a modernized democracy, knocking on the door of entry into the middle income category of developing countries. Its economy . . . → Read More: How is Bangladesh doing

Breaking the vicious cycle

Concerns regarding the kind of expenditure that Eid demands start as soon as Ramadan begins. For daily wage workers and households that are able to save little, Eid is more so dreaded. With little opportunity to find employment during the three days that Eid stretches for most households struggle with putting food on the table. . . . → Read More: Breaking the vicious cycle

Murder report – when the law fails to protect the minorities

Pakistan, a state built for Muslims but very much inclusive of other ‘minorities’ has on many occasions breached this notion which has led to the society now becoming increasingly intolerant of the ethno and religio-ethnic minorities present within Pakistan. News have been infiltrated with the wave of Shi’i genocides of the Hazara in Baluchistan, Shi’i . . . → Read More: Murder report – when the law fails to protect the minorities

The ‘other’ martyrs

This week, Rashid Rehman joined the ranks of Salman Taseer and Shahbaz Bhatti. A brave and courageous man, Rehman was the only lawyer in south Punjab brave enough to defend Junaid Hafeez, a visiting professor at Bahauddin Zakriya University now called a blasphemy accused. And he was murdered for it.

Rehman’s . . . → Read More: The ‘other’ martyrs

UN General Assembly passes resolution condemning drone strikes

The United Nations (UN) General Assembly has adopted a resolution, calling on States using drone strikes as a counter terrorism measure to comply with international law as the 193-member body acted on a range of issues relating mainly to human rights.

. . . → Read More: UN General Assembly passes resolution condemning drone strikes