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Thursday, 17 April 2014

 

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Pakistan looks at future of its relations with India with hope: Ambassador Jilani -
WASHINGTON, April 16 (APP): Pakistan’s ambassador to the United States Jalil Abbas Jilani addressed the faculty and students at the Harvard Kennedy School on  ‘Pakistan-India Relations: The Way ahead,” saying there is a strong realization in South Asia on the imperative of an uninterrupted peace process. He explained the history of the relationship and the underlying issues that have shaped the events and policies in South Asia. Highlighting the current trends, Ambassador Jilani informed a large


New York police scrap Muslim spy unit -
NEW YORK, April 16 (APP): The New York Police Department (NYPD) has disbanded a secret programme under which detectives were sent to spy on local Muslims at places frequented by them. The Demographics Unit’s operations became highly controversial and was  the subject of two federal lawsuits in the past.  Civil rights groups denounced police targetting of the Muslims community. “This reform is a critical step forward in easing tensions between the  police and the communities they serve, so that our cops and our citizens can help one another go after the real bad guys,” the office of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio wrote in a statement on Tuesday.


American Muslim leader says inter-faith dialogue critical to fostering peace -
WASHINGTON, April 16 (APP): A prominent American Muslim leader has urged a sustained inter-faith dialogue effort towards fostering mutual understanding, peace and socio-economic development in the post-9/11 world, riddled with wars and violent extremism. Frank Islam, a leading entrepreneur and philanthropist, was speaking  at premiere screening of acclaimed Pakistani scholar Akbar S Ahmed’s play Noor, which focuses on implications of conflict between forces of moderation and extremism within the Muslim societies and the United States’ strained relationship with some Muslim countries.


UN rights expert urges Israel to prevent settlers’ takeover of West Bank building near Ibrahami Mosq -
UNITED NATIONS, April 15 (APP): A United Nations human rights expert Tuesday urged Israel to prevent settlers from taking over Al-Rajabi House, a building in the West Bank city of Hebron that was built by Palestinian families but whose ownership was granted to the settlers after a protracted legal battle. The four-story building capable of housing 40 families is located  strategically between the illegal settlement of Kiryat Arba and the Ibrahami Mosque, also known as Cave of Patriarchs, in the old city of Hebron.


Iran protests UN Ambassador's visa denial -
UNITED NATIONS, April 15 (APP): Iran has lodged a protest at the United Nations over the U.S. refusal to grant a visa to its new U.N. ambassador, saying the move sets a "dangerous" precedent. The White House has said that Iran's selection of Hamid Aboutalebi to be  its United Nations envoy is not "viable". Aboutalebi was reportedly involved with a group of Iranian students responsible for the 1979 takeover of the U.S.



Sport News
Army excels in National Taekwondo
KARACHI, Apr 16 (APP): Pakistan Army swept all the 30 gold medals at stake in the National Taekwondo Championship at the Rangers Training Centre & School here, said a news release issued here on Wednesday. Army martial arts players dominated the event from start to finish with superb technique and power.
 
First round of Inter-Media cricket tournament ends
ISLAMABAD, Apr 16 (APP): The Inter-Media Cricket Tournament organized by Pakistan Telecommunications Company Limited (PTCL) continues in full swing here. The tournament, organized in collaboration with National Press Club, comprises of teams belonging to national and international print and electronic media. The first round saw thrilling matches between various teams which competed fiercely to reach the second round.
 
Army excels in National Taekwondo
KARACHI, Apr 16 (APP): Pakistan Army swept all the 30 gold medals at stake in the National Taekwondo Championship at the Rangers Training Centre & School here, said a news release issued here on Wednesday. Army martial arts players dominated the event from start to finish with superb technique and power.  Army player ended with 30 golds, two silvers and as many bronze medals to accumulate 797 points.
 
Sports diplomacy to highlight Pakistani talent in UAE
ISLAMABAD, April 16 (APP): Prime Minister’s Special Envoy, Ambassador Javed Malik said on Wednesday sports played an important role in connecting people and promoting a sense of healthy interaction aimed at building positive relations between the communities. “We always support such initiatives that bring people together,” he  said while speaking as the guest of honour alongwith diplomats from Sri Lanka and India who were joined by the Chairman of Dubai Cricket Council at the launching ceremony of T-20 Super stars cricket tournament being organized in Dubai under the auspices of Dubai Cricket Council.
 
Kabir looking forward to build Afghanistan team for Cricket World Cup
KARACHI, Apr 16 (APP): Afghanistan chief coach Kabir Khan said on Wednesday that he was looking forward to build the team for next year’s ICC Cricket World Cup. “Its my endeavour to build-up Afghanistan team for World Cup showpiece event,” he told APP on arrival here from Peshawar. 2015 World Cup is co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand in February-March and Afghanistan is among the qualfiers for the event.
 
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Rohingyas Muslims face ‘severest’ discrimination, restrictions: US Report PDF Print E-mail
WASHINGTON, Aug 3 (APP): The constitution, laws and policies in Myanmar (formerly Burma) restrict religious freedom and Rohingyas Muslims face ‘severest’ form of discrimination and restrictions including on access to education and health, a US report on the state of religious freedom said. Released this week, the annual International Religious Freedom Report 2011 noted that Muslims across Myanmar, as well as ethnic Chinese and Indians, often were required to obtain permission from township authorities to leave their hometowns.  Authorities often denied Rohingya and other Muslims living in Rakhine State permission to travel for any purpose, the report says. However, it adds, permission was sometimes obtained through bribery.

Muslims in other regions were granted more freedom to travel, but still faced restrictions. For example, Rohingyas living in Rangoon needed permission from immigration authorities to travel into and out of Rakhine State.
“Muslims in Rakhine State, particularly those of the Rohingya minority group, continued to experience the severest forms of legal, economic, educational, and social discrimination,” the State Department report said, documenting the plight of Rohingya Muslims during last year.
There were reports that Buddhist physicians would not provide Muslims the endorsement required by the Ministry of Health that permits Muslims to travel outside Rakhine State to seek advanced medical treatment.
The government denied citizenship status to Rohingyas, claiming that their ancestors did not reside in the country at the start of British colonial rule, as the 1982 citizenship law required. The Rohingyas asserted that their presence in the area predates the British arrival by several centuries. In November 2008 the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women urged the government to review its citizenship law. In February 2010 the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar visited the country and noted discrimination against Muslims.
Many of the approximately 28,500 Rohingya Muslims registered in two refugee camps in Bangladesh and the estimated 200,000 Rohingya Muslims living outside those camps, also in Bangladesh, refused to return to the country because they feared human rights abuses, including religious persecution.
Essentially treated as illegal foreigners, Rohingyas were not issued Foreigner Registration Cards (FRCs).
Since they also were not generally eligible for NRCs, Rohingyas have been commonly referred to as ‘stateless’. In the run-up to national elections in November 2010, the government issued Temporary Registration Cards (TRCs) to residents in northern Rakhine State; the majority of them are Rohingyas. The issuance of TRCs was primarily done, it appears, to allow Rohingyas participation in the elections.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) worked with approximately 750,000 residents of Rakhine State who did not hold citizenship in the country. At the end of the reporting period, the UNHCR (quoting government estimates) indicated that 85 percent of eligible residents (637,500 stateless persons) over the age of 10 possessed TRCs.
The UNHCR noted that according to information from individuals in northern Rakhine State, many individuals issued TRCs were actually only given a TRC number and no document. The UNHCR also assisted Rohingyas with education, health, infrastructure, water and sanitation, and agriculture.
Without citizenship status Rohingyas did not have access to secondary education in state-run schools. Those Muslim students from Rakhine State who completed high school were not permitted to travel outside the state to attend college or university.
During the period covered by the 2011 report, the document also makes note of the government’s implementation of considerable political  reforms, but says it did not demonstrate a trend toward either improvement or deterioration in respect for and protection of the right to religious freedom.
The government maintained restrictions on certain religious activities and limited freedom of religion, although it generally permitted adherents of government-registered religious groups to worship as they chose.
Authorities continued to bar Muslim university students who did not possess NRCs from graduating. These students were permitted to attend classes and sit for examinations, but they could not receive diplomas unless they claimed a foreign ethnic minority affiliation.
Rohingyas also were unable to obtain employment in any civil service positions.
Rohingya couples needed also to obtain government permission to marry and faced restrictions on the number of children they could have. Muslim newcomers were not allowed to buy property or reside in Thandwe, Rakhine State, and authorities prevented Muslims from living in the state’s Gwa or Taungup areas.
The government continued to monitor Muslim activities closely. Restrictions on worship for other non-Buddhist minority groups also continued.
Although there were no new reports of forced conversions of non-Buddhists, authorities in some cases influenced the placement of orphans and homeless youth, preferring Buddhist monasteries to Christian orphanages.
Adherence or conversion to Buddhism was an unwritten prerequisite for promotion to most senior government and military ranks.
Nearly all senior level officers of the ruling Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) and the armed forces are Buddhists.
There were reports of societal abuses or discrimination based on religious affiliation, belief, or practice. During the year, social tensions continued between the Buddhist majority and the Christian and Muslim minorities.
According to the report, widespread prejudice existed against citizens of South Asian origin, many of whom are Muslims. The government continued to refuse to recognize the Muslim Rohingya ethnic minority as citizens and imposed restrictions on their movement and marriage.
Antidiscrimination laws do not apply to ethnic groups not formally recognized under the 1982 Citizenship Law, such as the Muslim Rohingyas in northern Rakhine State.
There were reports of abuses of religious freedom, including the continued detention and incarceration of Buddhist monks throughout the country, the arrest of Muslims in the broader Rangoon area for unauthorized teaching as well as praying in living quarters, and the interrogation and harassment of Baptists in Kachin State.
The government selectively enforced legal restrictions on religious freedom. Religious organizations were subject to restrictions on freedom of expression and association. The government’s pervasive internal security apparatus imposed implicit restrictions on collective and individual  worship through infiltrating and monitoring meetings and activities of virtually all organizations.
In practice, authorities restricted the quantity of imported Bibles and Qur’ans, although individuals continued to bring them into the country in small quantities for personal use.
Government censors continued to enforce restrictions on local publication of the Bible, Qur’an, and other Christian and Islamic texts.
 

     

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