Pakistan

FRANCE 24 Observer killed in Pakistan bomb blast

 
Basit Ali, our main Observer in the city of Quetta in western Pakistan, was killed on Tuesday when a bomb struck a bus of Shiite pilgrims returning from Karbala, Iraq. Ali, who regularly sent us images from the region, witnessed the terrible reality of a city torn apart by terrorism by Baloch nationalists as well as Sunni extremists who attack the mainly Shiite Hazara people. Read his friends’ tributes...

Pakistan's Balochs march to protest 'disappearances'

 
For a week now, members of Pakistan’s Baloch community have been on a march from Karachi to Islamabad, the country’s capital. Their goal is to condemn the disappearance of many individuals of Baloch origin, for which they blame the Pakistani military. Read more...
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Pakistanis 'embrace' YouTube mascot to protest internet censorship

Pakistani activists are turning to humor as a weapon in their fight against state internet censorship. YouTube may have been banned for over a year, but it still managed to make an appearance on the streets of Karachi: as a mascot offering hugs to those who want it back. Read more...

Pakistanis of all faiths protect churches with human chains

For the past two Sundays, hundreds of Pakistanis of all faiths have formed human chains in front of churches during mass – first in Karachi, then in Lahore. This solidarity movement was launched in reaction to the attack that killed 81 worshippers at a church in Peshawar, making it the deadliest ever perpetrated against the country’s Christian minority. Read more...

“Dronestagram”: Mapping covert wars through aerial photos

 
Most people who use the popular photo-sharing site Instagram post pictures of their daily life – their friends, their families, their pets. James Bridle, however, posts photos of remote places that have been hit by drones. Each time a drone strikes in Pakistan, Yemen, or Somalia, he posts an aerial shot of the targeted location. Read more…
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Four years of Obama: Observers from around the world share their disillusionment

 
Four years ago, much of the world rejoiced when Barack Obama was elected president of the United States. Many of our Observers, from Mexico to Pakistan, were among those who hoped his slogan of “Change” would apply not just to the United States’ domestic policy, but to its foreign policy, too. But today, their enthusiasm has somewhat died down. Read more…

"Drone attacks are doing nothing but inciting more hatred" say Pakistani protesters

 
This weekend, thousands of Pakistanis embarked on a “peace march” – which for the most part took place by car – with the aim of reaching Waziristan, the mountainous region of northwest Pakistan to which the United States regularly sends drones to kill terrorists. While the police made them turn back, they got close enough to meet many people affected by these strikes. One of the protesters told us what he learned. Read more...
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Pakistani extremists film massacre of Shiite minority group

 
Pakistan’s Hazara population, a predominantly Shiite Muslim ethnic minority, has long been subjected to persecution, and in recent months, increasing violence. Yet in a disturbing new trend, members of the Sunni extremist group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, which has claimed responsibility for several attacks targeting the country’s Hazara, have begun filming deadly assaults the community and posting the videos online. Read more…
 
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Labelled as “infidels”, minority Shiite group tracked down and killed in Pakistan

 
The simple act of walking in the streets of Quetta, the capital of Pakistan’s western Balochistan province, can have deadly consequences for the city’s Hazara community. The Hazaras, who are predominately Shiite Muslims, have been labelled “infidels” by extremist Sunnis, who hold a significant amount of power in the region. For the past 20 years, our Observer has lived with the daily threat of violence because of his religion – a threat that claimed the life of one more victim just this Monday. Read more…
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