On 8 March 2013, the Provincial Assembly of Sindh unanimously passed a Bill against domestic violence which subsequently became an Act. On 30 March 2013, Aurat Foundation held a meeting of all stakeholders and those who had contributed towards the passage of this Bill. Poet Fazil Jamili dedicated this poem on this occasion to the women of Pakistan.
Time is the best court of justice
and in this court
I confess my crime today
we have walked together
in the long journey of life
you held me dearer than life
and I kept killing you
from Adam down to this day
all the blood that I have spilt Continue reading
Arguably, the Middle East is the most volatile region on the planet. It is home to over 1.4 billion Muslims, constituting more than one-fifth of the world’s population. The Middle East has a rich religious and intellectual tradition that evolved over a long period of time and the region’s centrality to economics, politics and international relations is undeniable: it plays an important role in global peace, security and prosperity. A relatively recent phenomenon of sectarian conflict on a regional scale can be observed. A lot has been said and discussed about the new and dangerous Shia-Sunni divide in the Middle East. This resurgence of the ancient schism in Islam threatens to undermine the state – based on already frail national identities – as the primary political actor in the region.
The history of Muslim civilization, if defined in terms of ‘search for a common identity’, has passed through several phases. The initial concept of a Muslim Ummah, having survived through a phase of Arab nationalism, was translated into pan-Islamism in the 21st century. In the post-1980s period, the Shia-Sunni strife has witnessed a major upturn; particularly in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Syria and Bahrain. Continue reading
You got scared
of an innocent fledging little bird
like all cowards
how easily scared you are
The twitter of nightingales
the softness of the clouds
the refreshing spray of cold water
has scared you
like all cowards
how easily scared you are
You can kill one Parween
but you cannot kill
the power of an idea Continue reading
Filed under Pakistan, Women
Slender, almost frail, with her hair down to her waist, her captivating smile and melodious voice, Parween Rahman was a legend in her lifetime. An assailant’s bullets took her life on Wednesday 13 March, 2013 as she was being driven home from work. The target killer snuffed out her life but the legend that she was will live forever. She was 56 years old.
Parween’s father hailed from Patna and her mother hails from Hyderabad Deccan. Her parents’ families moved to East Pakistan (then East Bengal) after the Partition. During the upheaval leading to the creation of Bangladesh, Parween’s family suffered immensely, as some of its members got separated from one another. They finally moved to present day Pakistan and Parween studied to become an architect at Dawood College of Engineering and Technology. She also obtained a post graduate diploma in housing, building and urban planning from the Institute of Housing Studies in Rotterdam. Continue reading
The wave of Arab revolts that started in Tunisia in December 2010 and then spread throughout the region, were initially ignited by civil movements for rights, justice, and dignity. Women human rights defenders and democracy activists were at the heart of peaceful movements for change in the streets of Arab countries. In fact, their presence, determination, and demands were grounded in their struggles against dictators over the past few decades. Watch film here or view via the embedded link below.
However, the political openings caused by these revolts were quickly exploited by fundamentalist religious groups who immediately sought to undermine human rights defenders. Across the region, women human rights defenders are being targeted for violent attacks, intimidated, threatened, excluded, and undermined. In addition to physical threats, conservative powers are also attempting to create social rifts between human rights defenders and their communities through stigmatizing women human rights defenders as not legitimately representing national values. Continue reading
It was a great day for Aurat Foundation. Not only because 8 March was International Women’s Day but also because the Sindh Assembly unanimously passed long-awaited legislation against domestic violence. In its dying days, the Assembly adopted the Domestic Violence (Prevention and Protection) Bill 2013. This much needed legislation, defines domestic violence as:
- Gender related, physical, emotional, verbal, psychological abuse
- Pattern of degrading or humiliating conduct
- Insult, ridicule, threat to cause physical pain, malicious prosecution and threat of violence
- Obsessive possessiveness or jealousy undermining the privacy, liberty, integrity and security of the victim
- Baseless accusations
- Citing barrenness of a spouse for the purpose of marrying again
- Willful or negligent abandonment of the aggrieved person Continue reading
Pakistan is fortunate to have three major ports, namely, Karachi, Port Qasim and Gwadar. Moreover, a fourth port at Keti Bandar is also envisaged. Karachi port provides round-the-clock easy and safe navigation to tankers, modern container vessels, bulk carriers and general cargo ships up to 75,000 DWT (or dead weight tonnage). Karachi Port has 30 dry cargo berths (13 on West Wharves, 17 on East Wharves) and 3 liquid cargo handling berths (POL, meaning “port of loading“, and non-POL) and the Karachi International Container Terminal (KICT) that is privately owned and operated with fully equipped modern technologies. Over 1700 vessels call at the Karachi Port annually while operational capacity is about 3500 ships. The Karachi port’s cargo handling is available here.
There is ample scope of enhancing the operational activities of the Karachi port and it is incumbent upon the port authorities, the port operators, and the port users to ensure that this major port of Pakistan is operating at its optimum. Pakistan’s imports and exports have increased substantially in the past few years. This has led to a dynamic enhancement in activities at both the Karachi port as well as Port Qasim. Continue reading