Author: Madeeha Lanjwani

A year ago Germany deported to Tajikistan an activist from that country’s exiled opposition movement who had been living in Dortmund since 2009. What happened next is a shocking example of what can occur when Germany fails to uphold safeguards in its increased efforts to deport unsuccessful asylum seekers. The Bundestag this month gave police greater powers to carry out deportations. The activist, Abdullohi Shamsiddin, 33, was deported to Tajikistan on January 18 2023. He was detained on arrival by the security services. Two months later he was convicted of trying to overthrow the constitution and jailed for seven years. No credible…

Read More

A recent assessment by the International Rescue Committee (IRC) reveals a dramatic increase in child marriage within Bangladesh’s highly disaster-prone and climate-vulnerable coastal regions, particularly in Bhola and Shatkhira. The study reveals a staggering 39% surge in child marriage after climate-induced disasters, and the IRC is calling for increased and sustainable funding for climate change and the urgent collaboration of the government, donors, and non-government to address this compounded crisis. The impact of climate change on many coastal communities in Bangladesh includes forced migration, extreme poverty, increased gender-based violence, limited access to education, and food security challenges, and the increase in child…

Read More

As Pakistan prepares for nationwide parliamentary elections in February 2024, one religious group remains largely disenfranchised. Discriminatory provisions in Pakistan’s electoral law effectively exclude members of the Ahmadiyyah community because of their religious beliefs. To register as voters, Ahmadis must either renounce their faith or agree to be placed in a separate electoral list that categorizes them as “non-Muslim.” Self-identification as Muslims, however, is a cornerstone of Ahmadiyya religious belief. Because of this, Ahmadis, who number more than 500,000 in Pakistan, have in practice, been denied the right to vote in local, provincial, and national elections. In 2002, Pakistan abolished an electoral system in…

Read More

Frankfurt (3/12 – 12) The relatively rapid cohesion of disparate nations, historically competitive or even at war with one another, into the European Union came about in part because of the ongoing threat from the Soviet Union. The specter of a tank invasion from Warsaw Pact nations, today forgotten, was such a reality that the German government kept a major portion of its gold bullion across the Atlantic. The USSR, an ally in World War II after being double-crossed by Hitler – remember the “Non-Aggression Pact signed in Moscow by von Ribbentrop and Molotov – was soon appraised as a…

Read More

Saudi Tourism Authority’s Asia-Pacific Region President Al-Hassan Al-Dabbagh has said that Saud Arabia and Pakistan have common culture and values and they have enjoyed close brotherly relations since the inception of Pakistan in 1947. “We are eager to host more Pakistanis in Saudi Arabia; we will provide facilities to pilgrims and facilitate access to more destinations,” he said. The Nusuk application will facilitate Pakistanis in obtaining visas, air tickets and hotel bookings along with transportation and permits required for holy places. Under the new tourism promotion strategy, the number of Pakistani Umrah pilgrims is expected to reach 3.5 million annually…

Read More

The torching of churches in Pakistan has brought to global attention the dire state for religious minorities in that troubled country. Matters related to blasphemy represent health and safety hazards for all involved, Muslim and non-Muslim alike. But the threats to minorities are particularly acute, as demonstrated by unchecked mobs ransacking churches and Christian homes in the town of Jaranwala over false allegations of blasphemy.   Pakistan has the notorious distinction of having the harshest blasphemy law in the world, with dozens and dozens jailed. According to observers, “so far this year, at least 59 cases of blasphemy have been reported, while four individuals…

Read More

Consumers are taking to Pakistan’s streets to protest recently increased taxes on electricity bills. In response, Pakistan’s caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar has called for an emergency ministers’ meeting Sunday to discuss the high electricity bills. “In the meeting, a briefing will be taken from the ministry of power and distribution companies and consultations will be held regarding giving maximum relief to consumers regarding electricity bills,” the prime minister posted on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter. One person told the newspaper Dawn that his electricity bill was so high he could not afford to pay his children’s school…

Read More

Pakistan’s Ayesha Naseem announced her retirement from all forms of cricket for “religious reasons” at the age of 18. The youngster informed her decision to bid adieu to her favourites sport to the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB). The board, however, is yet to put out an official report. Back in January 2020, when Naseem was 15 years old, Naseem dreamt of becoming an inspiration for young girls. Born in Bagan, a village in Abbottabad, it was not easy for Naseem to play cricket because parents there did not allow their daughters to play the sport. After moving to Karachi where…

Read More

Goods have reached Pakistan from Russia after an oil tanker arrived in June amid increasing trade between Islamabad and Moscow. The Russian Embassy in Islamabad said the first truck of goods reached Pakistan from Russia under the Transport International Routes (TIR) Convention. “By May 2023, trade between Russia and Pakistan grew by almost 50% and amounted to more than $760 m (million). Another step towards strengthening cooperation in trade between,” it tweeted. Last month, the first cargo of “discounted” crude oil from Russia arranged under a deal between Islamabad and Moscow arrived in Pakistan. The Pure Point cargo vessel was…

Read More

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Monday lauded Chinese government for extending all-out support to Pakistan during challenging economic times and expressed resolve to steer the country out of crisis. “China is fully supporting Pakistan and $1 billion have been received from China,” the premier said while addressing the PM’s National Innovation Awards ceremony here on Monday. In a major boost to the forex reserves, China announced refinancing $1 billion loan in Pakistan, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) confirmed late on Friday. The news of the refinancing came after Finance Minister Ishaq Dar informed the National Assembly’s Standing Committee on…

Read More