- Girl crosses LoC to avoid marriage.
June 22, 2007 ◊ An 18-year-old Pakistani girl felt so strongly about being made to marry a man against her will that she fled to Indian-held Kashmir (IHK) in a high-altitude trek across the Line of Control (LoC), reports said on Thursday.dailytimes
Anida Khan was arrested by Indian authorities after having successfully crossed the de facto divide -- one of the world's deadliest borders. The English-language Excelsior newspaper said that during questioning, Khan "revealed that her parents wanted her to marry against her wishes".
- Church slams rape of 14-year-old.
June 22, 2007 ◊ The Women Desk Church of Pakistan condemned the alleged gang rape of a 14-year-old Christian girl and urged the government to immediately arrest the culprits and provide security to the victim's family, said a statement issued by the church on Thursday.dailytimes
Mohammad Asif, Rizwan alias Khusri and Muhammad Nawaz allegedly raped Sumaira Rafiq Masih, 14, on May 14 in Nazampura Chak 2 Patoki.
The statement said they gave tea mixed with intoxicants to the victim and the three women had it without knowing. After the incident, it said, the victim allegedly was raped. An FIR numbered 250/07 U/S 376/337J was lodged on June 19 at the City Patoki police station, but no one had been arrested yet.
- Blair hates Muslims, says Shujaat.
June 22, 2007 ◊ Pakistan Muslim League President Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain said on Thursday one should not be surprised by the British government's decision to award a knighthood to author Salman Rushdie, APP reported.thenews
"(British prime minister) Tony Blair is personally against the Muslims," Hussain told the National Assembly while speaking on a point of order.
The PML president castigated Rushdie in the strongest possible words. "He is a mad man. He is a thief and he is a scoundrel," he said. He suggested the author should only be called Rushdie as Salman is a holy name and it is not appropriate to bracket it with Rushdie.
Earlier, the MMA's Farid Ahmed Paracha said the house should once again pass a resolution urging the British government to strip Rushdie of his knighthood. He said the British government, despite the strong Muslim protests across the world, had not apologised and what it only said was "it felt sorry because the sentiments of Muslims have been hurt". "To award Rushdie is an insult to Muslims."
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Sher Afgan Niazi said the house had passed a unanimous resolution in this context. "The government has strongly protested and told the British high commissioner that Pakistanis have been deeply hurt by their action," Afgan said.
The minister said Rushdie had made no contribution to literature and in fact, the British government had negated its own traditions by knighting him. "In Britain only those are knighted who have won a Nobel Prize." He, however, said he would not favour a second resolution in the house.
Dr Attaur Rehman of the MMA said Pakistan should withdraw as a frontline state in the "war on terrorism," because it also includes Britain and the US.
Staff report adds: Former prime ministers Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif and Muttahida Qaumi Movement chief Altaf Hussain came under fire when Dr Farid Paracha, without naming these leaders, regretted their silence over the issue.
- I'll kill Rushdie: Punjab speaker.
June 22, 2007 ◊ Punjab Assembly Speaker Afzal Sahi has said that he will kill controversial writer Salman Rushdie if he comes across him.
"Death is the only punishment for a blasphemer," said the speaker when Rana Sanaullah of the PML-N asked the chair on a point of order to clarify the government's position on the federal religious affairs minister's statement about the award of knighthood to Rushdie.