Pakistan Blasphemy Controversy

On the 2nd of March, Pakistan’s government minister for religious minorities, Shahbaz Bhatti, was assassinated when he has leaving his mother’s house. He was shot by a group of Pakistani Taliban. At that moment he was not accompanied by the security group each member of the government has, and that’s an important subject which is still in the air.

Bhatti’s murdered has generated a lot of controversy, as after the minister announced that he wanted to reform the existing blasphemy laws in Pakistan, he began to receive many death threats, mainly by Islamist militants. Mr. Bhatti put up himself over the situation saying that he would still making great efforts in reforming the blasphemy law. This turned out to increase even more the polemic situation, and all the death threats received came true. This is a real proof of what can happen to anyone who thinks in a different way in extreme political or religious states.

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Lybia, India and China: Liberation movements or riots?

India and China

The revolution in Libya has already claimed hundreds of lives. The constant deterioration of circumstances is now forcing the Indian government to undertake measures in order to ensure the safety its citizens in the African country. According to the foreign ministry in New Delhi, plans have been set up to evacuate the 18.000 Indians living in Libya via land route, bringing them to Egypt and flying them out to India from there. Citizens living in Tripoli and Benghazi, the two most affected cities, have top priority.

The passenger ferry “Scotia Prince,” offering space for 1,200 people, is already stationed in Egypt and awaiting instructions to get home Indians from Benghazi, which will be the first city to be evacuated. The cities in the interior, however, are not as easily accessible, since clearance by the Libyan government is required in order to evacuate the people living there by air.

The Secretary of State Nirupama Roa, asked for patience in coping with this mammoth task. However, according to External Affairs Minister S M Krishna, there is no need to worry: “Let me assure the nation that all Indians are safe and all those Indians who are willing to be evacuated will be evacuated safely and without any expenditure incurred by them,” he said.

In Libya, many Chinese companies have been attacked and looted by armed protesters. This amount of violent actions is an answer to the Arab world revolutions, more specifically to the military corrupted regime of Muammar al-Gaddafi, which has been the center of most of these protest and conflicts in Libya.

This has been analyzed and seen as a wave of unified protest actions to make the Chinese government move against the Lebanese cause (the overthrow of their military dictatorship and the change into a more open, modern, democratic society and politic system). But China doesn’t want to position itself neither with Gaddafi’s regime nor against it, as the Chinese politicians think it might be bad for their image (as an oppressive regime).

Beside all of these, the intervention of the UN Secretary General has been crucial to determine the opposition against all the important conflicts recently burst in the Arab world. Ban Ki-moon has condemned Gaddafi’s actions as “crimes against humanity” and he has advised him to stop all these terrible and violent actions that are making the whole situation even worse.

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Three Philippine drug-smugglers executed in China

The death sentence that had been imposed on three Filipinos for smuggling between 4 and 7 kg of heroin each into China, has been carried out yesterday, March 30, 2011. The accused were Ramon Credo, 42, Sally Villanueva, 33, and Elizabeth Batain, 38. They were executed by lethal injection.

The death sentence was supposed to be carried out on February 20, but since the vice president of the Philippines, Jejomar Binay, had announced his visit to China in order to try appealing for clemency for the three accused, it was postponed until Wednesday. He had emphasized his respect for China’s anti-drug laws and the rigorous application of them, but also mentioned the fact that the three Filipinos were merely dupes for big drug syndicates rather than important wire pullers. Therefore he had tried to get China to pardon the defendants. The vice president’s efforts, however, were not successful.

The executions triggered various reactions on the Philippines, the country of origin of the accused. There, people had come together to pray for a miracle, saving the lives of the convicts, as people were acquainted with the fact that many Filipinos were forced by their poor standard of living, to work as drug smugglers in order to make a living. They are said to be promised a lot of money or a job overseas, so for many of them, drug-smuggling is the last chance.

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China´s military expenditure increases

Military presence in China

The government of China has declared recently its beliefs of the USA increasing its military presence in the Asia Pacific region. This communication comes after the rumors of rising operations directed against China.

Some days ago, a Chinese white paper was leaked, in which a gloomy evaluation of the regional security was given. “Profound changes are taking shape in the Asia-Pacific strategic landscape. Relevant major powers are increasing their strategic investment, International military competition remains fierce”, the white paper says.

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Nepals ban for christian burials

Christian minor community in Nepal is fighting for permission to bury their dead relatives in Katmandu’s grounds. Around 1000 protesters were demonstrating for their lack of rights in the center of the city. Some of them carried banners with the slogan: “Give us our rights, give us burial grounds”.

Last month the government forbid Christians entombing their dead in the area of the Hindu Pashupatinath Temple. This decision has caused upraising, as they had been allowed to practice their spiritual rituals for decades. Christian practices consist on burying the dead bodies, in contradiction to the Hindu tradition, which burns them.

Protests leader, Pastor Sundar Thapa, demanded the guarantee for all Nepali Christians to be able to follow their customs in the 75 districts of the country. He declared that “If the government listens to our demands, we will [continue] peacefully living in this country and helping this country to develop. But if it doesn’t listen, then we will have to come on to the streets in coming days“.

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Car’s bombing and Pakistan’s situation

A bomb car exploded in the district of Hangu, province of north-west, and killed five civilians nearby.

Hangu is located in a Federally Administrated Tribal Area, that has suffered continuously attacks, and this has been the last one.  All of these occurred in Doaba, a city with a large number of militant’s attacks, located over 18 miles away from Hangu. This is not the only regions that has suffered this kind of damage, as some report told, the Pakistani Taliban hide really close to the Orakazai region, and that’s where they plain the majority of the attacks. As another example of these attacks, at the beginning of this month, three policemen and a civilian were injured in another explosion in Hangu.

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Eight US soldiers killed by an Afghan pilot

On Wednesday 27th of April, eight US soldiers working for the ISAF (International Security Assistance Force) and US contractor were found killed in Kabul’s Airport (capital of Afghanistan).  As declared by an US official, apparently, all happened after an argument between an Afghan Air Force pilot and the USA soldiers. Another theory is that the pilot was recruited by the Taliban, but that has to be proven yet, even though the Taliban claimed to be responsible in a text send to AP (Associated Press). The pilot also died during the incident.

Col Bahader, a representative of the Afghan Air Corps, declared to the AP that the attack scene took place in an Afghan Air Corps’ operations room. “Suddenly, in the middle of the meeting, shooting started,” he said. “After the shooting started, we saw a number of Afghan army officers and soldiers running out of the building. Some were even throwing themselves out of the windows to get away.”

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