Pakistan's Supreme Court has ordered the arrest of two Muslim clerics for inciting a violent mob of hundreds of Muslims to brutally beat, torture, burn and murder a married Christian couple in the Punjab Province in early November.
The court also ordered disciplinary action to be levied against five police officials, who were present during the time of the beatings but took no action to protect the two individuals. Additionally, the court ordered a complete investigation into the incident and also ordered compensation payments to be made to the family of the victimized couple.
After being accused of burning pages from the Koran, Shamah Masih, who was a 24-year-old mother of four and four months pregnant at the time, and her husband, Shahzad Masih, were surrounded by an enraged mob, who gathered around the brick kiln in the village of Kot Rodha Kishan where the couple was located. more >>
The Pakistani branch of the Taliban has attempted to justify its attack on a school on Tuesday in the city of Peshawar that left 132 children and nine staff members dead, calling it revenge for the army's offensive against the group. The attack has been condemned by world leaders, including the government of Iran as well as by the Afghan branch of the Taliban.
BBC News reported that Pakistani Taliban (TTP) leader Mullah Fazlullah is believed to be currently hiding in Afghanistan, even as the group claimed sole responsibility for the attack and said it did not coordinate with the Afghanistan branch.
A TTP spokesman apparently said that the gunmen, all seven of whom were killed by the Pakistani army, had targeted older pupils rather than "small children." The Islamic militants attempted to justify the attack by characterizing it as revenge for the Pakistan army's numerous operations against them, noting that their families had also suffered heavy losses. more >>
Nobel Peace Prize laureate Malala Yousafzai, who was shot in the head by the Taliban for advocating girls' right to education, expressed heartbreak at the news of the Taliban's attack on a school in Pakistan where at least 130 people, most of them children, were killed.
In a statement released Tuesday, Yousafzai expressed, "I am heartbroken by this senseless and cold blooded act of terror in Peshawar that is unfolding before us. Innocent children in their school have no place in horror such as this."
"I condemn these atrocious and cowardly acts and stand united with the government and armed forces of Pakistan whose efforts so far to address this horrific event are commendable." more >>
Thirteen Christian families in a small village located in the Punjab province of Pakistan are now homeless after the local municipal government demolished their homes because the families refused to work for no pay and become bonded laborers.
Members of the Christian families, who all worked at a local brick kiln in the village of Samundri, refused to continue working unless they received fair compensation for their labor. Pakistan Christian Post reports that the village's municipal government carried out the destruction of their homes last week after being pressured to do so by the "influential" Muslims who owned the brick kiln operation.
"Houses of 13 Christian families have been demolished by the Town Municipal Administration Samundri under the pressure of the influential people of the village just because they refused to bonded labour without any penny," the news report stated. more >>
The Taliban has gunned down at least 126 people, mostly children, in a major attack on the Army Public School and Degree College in the northwest Pakistani city of Peshawar on Tuesday.
Reuters reported that another 122 people were injured in the deadly attack, which is still ongoing, and there are fears the death toll may continue to rise. It is unclear how many students and staff members are still trapped inside the school.
"It may rise," Bahramand Khan, director of information for the Chief Minister's Secretariat, said about the death toll. He confirmed that over 100 of the casualties are children, mostly between the ages of 12 and 16. more >>
A formerly beloved Pakistani pop singer-turned-Islamic televangelist, Junaid Jamshed, is now in hiding in London and has no plans to return to his home country after being accused of blasphemy for allegedly insulting one of the wives of the Muslim prophet Muhammad in a video sermon that has gone viral on the Internet.
Jamshed, who was the frontman for a prominent Pakistani pop band called Vital Signs before quitting music in 2001 to dedicate his life to Islam by joining the conservative Islamic movement Tableeghi Jamaat, is now the focus of a serious local police investigation over his alleged blasphemous remarks.
The investigation, which formally began last Tuesday, was spawned after an opposing Muslim party, the Pakistani Sunni Tehreek, issued a formal complaint to authorities about the content of one of Jamshed's video preaching sessions, which was later posted online. more >>