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Tuesday 13 September 2011

More from lawless Pakistan

A brief round up of news that may be of interest :
Firstly, we see, yet again, the wickedness of the Taliban. Outraged that residents had formed a 'peace lashkar' (militia) to defend themselves against the Taliban, the Taliban decided to attack a school bus on the edge of the City of Peshawar. The gun attack killed the driver and four children.

Some potentially good news was a government minister emphasising the government's commitment to harmony between Muslim and non-Muslims. Specifically it was about the prospective introduction of a Minorities Protection bill in parliament, addressing, among other things, Marriage registration legislation for various minority groups in Pakistan. Some caveats however - of course a minister for harmony will say such things to a minister of a Western democracy. As we have seen, though, such words are cheap. Actions will be the proof of the pudding. Also part of the plans involve reactivating 'interfaith harmony committees' across the country. Seems a good idea, but the concern is that these will just be a rehash of the 'reconciliation meetings' where the instigators or inciters of violence against minorities simply use them to force their agenda on the minorities.

Finally, from Lahore, we have more news of attacks on poor Christians, this time not with guns or bombs or kidnappings, but by bulldozers and official lies. Many dozens of impoverished Christian families were given less than a days notice that their homes were to be bulldozed to make way for a road to a new fruit market. Officials claimed that the residents had been given three notifications in the previous months, but the residents had no knowledge until the day before notice. Scheduled meetings with senior officials were cancelled when the officials happened to be 'out of the city' and so could not be appealed to. Police were officially called in to protect the bulldozers from these dangerous Christians, many of whom did not have time to clear their possessions before the bulldozers moved in. The community had moved there after similarly being forced out of another area 13 years ago by another 'anti-enroachment' operation. They managed to (at least temporarily) save their church from the bulldozers by demonstrating in front of it and by women occupying it and praying.

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