Daily Archives: October 1, 2017

Gender-based violence dialogues go to Mpumalanga

Minister for Women Susan Shabangu will on Tuesday launch the Mpumalanga edition of the National Dialogues for No Violence against Women and Children.

The Women Ministry said the dialogues for Mpumalanga will be launched at Marite Community Hall in Bushbuckridge.

The national dialogues in Mpumalanga will take place in all three municipal districts including Ehlanzeni, Nkangala and Gert Sibande.

The ministry said the focus of the dialogues might vary from district to district, as they will be informed by the social issues and challenges unique to each district.

The objective of the national dialogues is to assist the Department of Women and government to best understand the nature and causes of the scourge of femicide, rape and violence against women and children in order to inform government's response and course of action.

The national dialogues have already been rolled out in Limpopo and Northern Cape as part of the #365 Days of Activism for No Violence against Women and Children.

The dialogues are a platform for deepening democracy while ensuring safer and crime-free communities, especially for women and children.

The Department of Women is undertaking the national dialogues in partnership with the Mpumalanga Provincial Government and their respective municipalities, Mpumalanga Departments of Social Development, Community Safety and Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs, faith-based organisations, traditional leaders, civil society organisations, legal and the private sector.

Source: South African Government News Agency

Banned Militant Leader Sues Pakistan’s FM for Defamation

WASHINGTON � A militant group leader in Pakistan is suing the country's foreign minister for his remarks at an Asia Society event last week in New York.

A lawyer representing Hafiz Mohammad Saeed sent a $950,000 (100 million Pakistani Rupee) notice to Pakistan Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif on Friday.

An absolute lie and falsehood that Hafiz Muhammad Saeed is one of those persons who had been the darlings of Americans and had been dining and wining in the White House, Saeed's lawyer, A.K. Dogar alleged, according to media reports.

The lawsuit calls on Asif to offer an apology within two weeks or face punishment. Defamatory statements are punishable under the Pakistan Penal Code with up to five years imprisonment and a fine, according to Dogar.

Refuting recent allegations by the United States and BRICS, an economic bloc composed of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, that Pakistan harbors violent extremist groups that pose a threat to regional security, Asif denied that his country supports such groups.

"Don't blame us for the Haqqanis [the Haqqani Network] and don't blame us for the Hafiz Saeeds. These people were your darlings just only 20 to 30 years back. They were being dined and wined in the White House and now you say 'go to hell Pakistanis because you are nurturing these people'," Asif said, referring to the U.S. support to Afghan resistance movement during the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in the 1980s.

Saeed's lawyer alleged that his client is a patriotic Islam-loving Muslim who refrains from consuming intoxicants, which are forbidden in Islam.

"I have been advised by Hafiz Muhammad Saeed to tell you that he has never been near the White House, not to speak of [being] wined and dined. It is shocking to know that the foreign minister of my country is accusing Hafiz Muhammad Saeed of taking wine, Dogar said in the notice.

Listed as terrorist by US

Saeed is a U.S.-designated global terrorist. He has been accused of orchestrating militant attacks against Indian interests in the region, including the 2008 Mumbai attacks that killed 166 people, including six Americans. The U.S. government has offered a $10 million reward for information leading to his arrest. He is also on the U.N. blacklist. Saeed has been under house arrest in Pakistan for the past several months.

Saeed leads the Jamaat-ud-Dawa group, or JUD, which has been listed as a sponsor of terrorism by the U.S. State Department for more than a decade. JUD contends it is a humanitarian organization without links to terrorists, but it is widely considered a "front group" for Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), which has been banned for terrorist activities since 2001.

"Saeed, LeT, they are a liability, I accept it, but give us time to get rid of them," Asif said Tuesday in New York.

The move by Saeed' lawyer drew some reactions of surprise on social media.

There is irony, and then there is irony. Not sure I can recall any other case of a terrorist suing for defamation, Michael Kugelman, a South Asia analyst at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, tweeted.

Hilarious. Global terrorist Hafiz Saeed seeks damage to the tune of 100 million from Pak FM Khawaja Asif. Can Pakistan economy afford it? Indian journalist, Aditya Raj Kaul, tweeted.

Pakistani journalist, Naila Inayat, tweeted: Waiting for Hafiz Saeed to sue U.S. that designated him a terrorist, $10 million bounty could come in handy after all.

Source: Voice of America