Freedom of religion is a fundamental right that exists only on paper in Pakistan. Each year thousands of Christians, forming 13% of the total population, suffer at the hands of religious bigots who use blasphemy as an excuse to ruin their life. Christian girls are increasingly being forced to convert to Islam. According to a report released by Pakistani NGO Aurat Foundation on 13 July 2015, around 1,000 girls are forced to convert to Islam every year in Pakistan. The victims of these forced conversions are largely girls from the Pakistani Christian and Hindu communities.
On 26 October 2015 at 14:09h local time, an earthquake of magnitude 7.5 struck North West Pakistan. The epicenter of the quake was in neighbouring Afghanistan in a remote part of the Hindukush mountain range at a depth of 212.5 km. The tremor was felt in Afghanistan, Pakistan and parts of northern India. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province (KP) and Bajaur Agency in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) were listed as the worst affected areas and they remain the focus of relief efforts. Aftershocks of varying intensity were felt in subsequent days.
Author: Aamir Saeed
THATTA, Pakistan, Nov 26 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Fisherman Muhammad Yusuf's family has been living on the island of Hajamaro, just over three miles off the coast of southern Pakistan, for generations. But the island that was once a happy home has now become a prison.
Read the story on the Thompson Reuters Foundation
Programme improvements and innovations in 2015 have brought us closer to ending polio in Pakistan – but the road ahead is rough.
Over the course of 2015, Pakistan has seen encouraging signs of progress against polio, with the programme tightening its grip on the last strongholds of the virus. The number of cases has declined sharply, with 39 reported to date in 2015, compared with 235 cases by the same point in 2014.
Not children reached, but children missed
ISLAMABAD, Nov 26 2015, Pakistan (UNHCR) – Every stroke of Manizha's brush tells a story. Through her art, hundreds of women have been given a voice, a chance to speak out about their harrowing experiences of life under the Taliban.
But each painting reminds Manizha, a 26-year-old Afghan refugee, of her own struggle, which began in 1997 when she and her family were forced to flee Kabul.
Peshawar, Pakistan | AFP | Thursday 11/26/2015 - 14:16 GMT
At least two people were killed when a roadside bomb hit the convoy of a Pakistani cabinet minister in the country's troubled northwest Thursday, police said.
Akram Khan Durrani, a minister for housing in Nawaz Sharif's cabinet, survived the attack as he was travelling in the remote Frontier Region Bannu area near the North Waziristan tribal district after addressing a rally.
Amy Le Compte is a midwife from Gisborne in New Zealand. She has just returned from a six-month assignment in MSF Women's Hospital in Peshawar, in the north of Pakistan where, along with daily maternity work, she supported the launch of a new community outreach program to enable access to quality maternity care for poor and marginalised populations.
By Khalid Bin Majid, Pakistan Red Crescent Society
On November 25 - the first day of the internationally-recognised 16 Days of Activism to prevent gender-based violence, the Pakistan Red Crescent Society launched a landmark Women's Forum at its National Headquarters in Islamabad.
The Forum addresses the specific experiences of Pakistani women and girls in times of disaster (whether natural or human induced), such as distinct healthcare needs in emergencies, or vulnerabilities due to early warnings that do not reach women while they are at home.
I am directed to refer to the subject noted above and to say that in the wake of earthquake on 26.10.2015, FDMA has taken following actions for the affectees.
Establishment of control room in FDMA immediately to operate round the clock with the following telephone numbers: - 091-9216336 - 091-9216864
Political Administrations imposed and declared emergency in all the hospitals with in their jurisdiction and all injured were shifted to hospitals and free meals and medicine were provided.
ISLAMABAD: Although the Senate Standing Committee on National Health Services (NHS) on Tuesday unanimously passed a bill titled ‘The Islamabad Mandatory Vaccination Bill’, the name of the bill was later changed to ‘The Islamabad Compulsory Vaccination Bill’.
The name’s amendment may affect efforts to vaccinate children, as vaccination will not be considered ‘mandatory’.
PESHAWAR: Registered Afghan nationals are likely to be allowed to stay in Pakistan till December 2017.
According to official sources, the Ministry of State and Frontier Region (Safron) put up a summary to the prime minister secretariat a few days ago proposing that Afghans having Proof of Registration (PoR) cards be given another year to stay in the country.
If the federal cabinet approves the summary, this will be the fourth extension given to the refugees.
Peshawar (): Provincial Government has started compensation process to affected households amongst the earthquake affectees after conducting comprehensive damages verification survey in the affected Districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Provincial Disaster Management Authority, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has received damages reports for 92,072 fully/partially damaged houses from affected districts in the province. However, 52,374 households have been provided with compensation cheques till date.
PESHAWAR: A new polio case was reported from the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) on Tuesday, making it the 14th such case in the tribal area this year — raising the countrywide count in 2015 to 41.
According to the Chief Minister's Polio Control Cell in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the crippling virus was detected in two-year-old Abu Sufyan of Landi Kotal town.
QUETTA: The Emergency Operation Cell (EOC) Balochistan, established to eradicate the crippling virus, claimed to have reduced the number of polio vaccination refusals by more than 91 per cent in the province during the recent anti-polio campaign.
Dr. Aftab Kakar, an officer at the EOC, informed that parents of 12,607 children below the age of five years were convinced by polio volunteers, religious scholars and officials to administer polio drops to these kids.
PESHAWAR: More than 400 schools in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas are likely to be closed down in the name of ‘enhancing quality education’ in the region, officials said.
The proposed ‘rationalisation plan’ is aimed at saving cash resources and improving the quality of education in Fata, where hundreds of schools and other educational institutions were destroyed in militancy.
The plan is likely to be implemented in health and livestock sectors, too, sources said.
Peshawar, Pakistan | AFP | Tuesday 11/24/2015 - 08:00 GMT | 696 words
by Lehaz Ali
Ishtiaq Khalid is having a snow day, forced to stay home from his school in the Pakistani district of Shangla due to inclement weather -- but unlike most 12-year-olds, he is not happy about it.
Last month a powerful earthquake destroyed 200 schools and damaged hundreds more in Pakistan's northwest, including Ishtiaq's, leaving thousands of shivering children to study without shelter under wintry skies.
Quake victims hold protests, demand relief cheques
Nawaz announces Rs 50b projects for KP; vows to rehabilitate quake victims
Shah Latif University holds seminar on Sindh water issues
Global warming: What if we do nothing?
Disaster after disaster
Nature festival: Children step up to protect the environment
Return of TDPs to be completed by mid of next year: Mehtab
War against terror will be taken to logical end: Army chief
Zero tolerance for Daesh in Pakistan: DG ISPR
By: A. Sami Malik
Muslim Bagh, Balochistan - 23 November 2015: Scarcity of water, especially safe drinking water, has been one of the major issues in the mountainous and rugged but otherwise beautiful Balochistan, the largest province of Pakistan. Considered to be the least served in terms of public services – health, nutrition, hygiene, education, water and sanitation – Balochistan has low population density and communities live far apart some of which are hard to access due to the difficult terrain.
NWA returns continue with 584 families returning last week. Twenty five new villages have been denotified in NWA in Mirali, Miran Shah, Ghulam Khan, and Spinwam tehsils. The authorities hope to return 12,000 to 14,000 families to this area before 31 December. Returns to other agencies have largely stopped as the end of Phase II coincides with the winter season. To date 137,270 families have returned to FATA since March 2015, which includes both registered and unregistered families.