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Human Rights Group In Pakistan Demands Legislation To Protect Minorities From Religious Persecution At Workplace

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Human Rights Group In Pakistan Demands Legislation To Protect Minorities From Religious Persecution At Workplace


Faisalabad: Human Rights Focus Pakistan (HRFP) has demanded justice for Mehwish Iram and Irfan Tariq Masih, who belonged to the Christian minority and faced religious persecution at their workplaces.

According to the allegations, Mehwish was harassed and blackmailed, while Irfan was subjected to violence.

“HRFP is raising and concerned on growing incidents of discrimination, violence and harassment of minority employees at workplaces. Even in high profile jobs, like Shaukat Masih a deputy Commissioner of Jaranwala faced discrimination, he got attacked on August 16, 2023, and his house was burnt but he escaped with his family,” the release stated.

HRFP cited multiple case studies and said that there are a number of examples that have faced the “biased behaviours of employers” due to their belief and religious discrimination and with personal grudges by co-workers many have been victimized.

Like, Samina Mushtaq, an airport security officer of Karachi was threatened and accused of blasphemy on January 5, 2023, when she stopped her co-worker from doing anything illegal.

The two nurses, Neush and Mariam belonging to Faisalabad were accused of blasphemy on April 8, 2021, at the hospital of Faisalabad during duties. Tabitha, another nurse of Karachi was accused of blasphemy and subjected to violence in Karachi on January 28, 2021, in the hospital where she works, the release stated.

HRFP further emphasised that in the cases of lower-grade jobs, most of the issues don’t come to record as the employers, co-workers, and consumers keep minority workers under pressure.

The Christian, Hindu, Sikhs, Ahmadiyya and other minorities have been victimized in different ways, like accusing them of blasphemy and sexual harassment; the theft allegations are the most common among minority employees at minor jobs places, HRFP case studies revealed.

Christian girl Mehwish Iram and Christian boy Irfan Masih are the victims of the same, theft allegations with harassment, forced conversions and threats as well. Mehwish was accused of theft of Pakistani Rupees (PKR) 1,00,000 cash and stealing PKR 2,00,000 worth of valuables like a hair colour machine and other items like gold ornaments from a beauty salon and attached home, the release added.

HRFP further highlighted multiple examples from its case studies that if a Christian employee starts to grow up in their career, then the co-workers try to depress them.

In Shaukat Masih’s case in the context of the Jaranwala issue, there are some videos on social media where the Islamic clerics are saying openly that, “how a Christian could be deputy commissioner, so being Christian he has to clean toilets only.”

In several cases, HRFP observed, that the employees belonging to minority communities, who refused to do the task, had not been stated in job descriptions, have been expelled from jobs or accused of false allegations against them.

Mehwish Iram who just resigned and left the beauty parlour’s job on June 28, 2023, for a better opportunity, the employer threatened her. As she started a new job in another salon on July 5, 2023, the previous employers Muhammad Usama and Muhammad Yousaf accused her of theft on July 9, 2023, while she was being harassed before, one of the reasons for quitting job.

Mehwish Iram was arrested but she got bail on September 30, as she was found non-guilty on the charges of theft. But, Iram is still facing harassment and even the former employees have distributed her pictures in the area’s parlours to identify her and not give her the job opportunity, the release stated.

In Irfan Masih’s case, he faced religious discrimination and was subjected to violence for quitting his job. On May 18, 2023, a landlord Athar Bukhari complained to police about stealing their valuables. Bukhari alleged Irfan for stealing 8 tola gold (93.6 grams) from their house and not coming more from April 12, 2023. After the FIR on August 12, 2023, police arrested Irfan Masih. On August 25, 2023, Irfan Masih got bail as non-guilty, but the case is still in court trials.

HRFP team fact findings in both cases collected the information and evidence that the cases are based on their religious persecution. Both families have visited the HRFP office and shared their stories and needs.

HRFP is providing possible assistance for them and the situation in which they are in. Mehwish’s mother and Tariq Masih, father of Irfan Masih shared with HRFP that they are innocent and the violations against them are because of their Christian faith and belief, the release further stated.

Mehwish Iram is a mother of two and her husband Salamat Masih had died before. Her case is in a court trial, but she is under threats to step back and compromise what they wanted from her.

Naveed Walter, the President of Human Rights Focus Pakistan (HRFP) said that it’s a common practice in which people belonging to minorities are falsely accused of theft, blasphemy allegations, subjected to violence and harassed.

Only a few of them are taken to the police, and courts for legal proceedings but most of the time the accused compromise with their employers. When the victims forcefully convert to Islam and the females face sexual abuse at workplaces, this kind of discrimination and violation doesn’t register in most of the cases, HRFP added.

Naveed Walter has also demanded for the legislations and implementations, that the laws should be practised, and the legal actions should be taken in minority employee’s cases at workplaces.





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INS Arihant’s Nuke-Capable K-4 Submarine-Launched Ballistic Missile ‘Ready To Roll’

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INS Arihant’s Nuke-Capable K-4 Submarine-Launched Ballistic Missile ‘Ready To Roll’


NEW DELHI: India tested its nuclear capable K-4 submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM), designed to have a strike range of 3,500 km, for the second time in six days on Friday. The missile test, as the one conducted on January 19, was undertaken from an undersea platform in the shape of a submersible pontoon off the coast of Andhra Pradesh according to a report by Rajat Pandit of TOI.

The solid-fuelled K-4 missile is being developed by DRDO to arm the country’s nuclear-powered submarines in the shape of INS Arihant and its under-development sister vessels. INS Arihant, which became fully operational in November 2018 to complete India’s nuclear triad, is currently armed with the much shorter K-15 missiles with a 750 km range.

“The K-4 is now virtually ready for its serial production to kick-off. The two tests have demonstrated its capability to emerge straight from underwater and undertake its parabolic trajectory,” said a source.

India has the land-based Agni missiles, with the over 5,000-km Agni-V inter-continental ballistic missile now in the process of being inducted, and fighter jets jury-rigged to deliver nuclear weapons. But INS Arihant gives the country’s deterrence posture much more credibility because nuclear-powered submarines armed with nuclear-tipped missiles are considered the most secure, survivable and potent platforms for retaliatory strikes.

Once the K-4 missiles are inducted, they will help India narrow the gap with countries like the US, Russia and China, which have over 5,000-km range SLBMs. The K-4 missiles are to be followed by the K-5 and K-6 missiles in the 5,000-6,000 km range class.

The 6,000-ton INS Arihant, which is propelled by an 83 MW pressurised light-water reactor at its core, in turn, is to be followed by INS Arighat, which was launched in 2017. The next generation of nuclear submarines, currently called S-4 and S-4*, will be much larger in size.





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After Upgradation, Sukhoi Su-30MKI Indigenisation To Reach 78%

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After Upgradation, Sukhoi Su-30MKI Indigenisation To Reach 78%


India has received clearance to upgrade 84 Sukhoi Su-30MKI fighter jets, which will result in 78% indigenization after the upgrade

In a significant step towards bolstering its military might with indigenously developed technology, India is poised to witness its Russian-origin Sukhoi Su-30MKI fighter jets evolve into a domestic platform. Speaking at a recent lecture.

The upgrade program is being led by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) in partnership with the Indian Air Force and other partners. The upgrade is expected to cost US$7.5 billion.

The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) granted Acceptance of Necessity (AoN) for the upgrade. The upgrade is part of India’s efforts to improve the capabilities of its primary fighter aircraft, it refers to as the “Super Sukhoi”.

This initiative is a part of a larger effort by the Indian Air Force to modernize its ageing fleet. Air Chief Marshal Chaudhari asserted the critical role of an offensive air force as demonstrated in current global conflicts and emphasized India’s move towards an indigenized arsenal. To this end, the IAF has been proactive, from upgrading its Mirage 2000 to enhancing its MiG-29 fleet.

In summary, the IAF’s commitment to updating their combat forces with the latest technology, including shifting to fifth-generation fighter jets, ensures operational preparedness and a strong deterrence capability. The gradual indigenization of its air fleet marks a pivotal shift in India’s defence landscape, reducing dependency on foreign imports and fostering technological sovereignty.





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Akash Weapon System Exports For The Armenian Armed Forces Gathers Pace

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Akash Weapon System Exports For The Armenian Armed Forces Gathers Pace


According to unconfirmed reports, Armenia is a top contender for an export order for Akash SAM system manufactured by Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL).

While there is no official confirmation because of the sensitivities involved, documents suggest that the order for the same has already been placed the report further added.
There are nine countries, in turn, which have shown interest in the indigenously-developed Akash missile systems, which can intercept hostile aircraft, helicopters, drones and subsonic cruise missiles at a range of 25-km. They are Kenya, Philippines, Indonesia, UAE, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Vietnam and Algeria reported TOI.

The Akash export version will also be slightly different from the one inducted by the armed forces. The 100-km range air-to-air Astra missiles, now entering production after successful trials from Sukhoi-30MKI fighters, also have “good export potential”, said sources.

Akash is a “tried, tested and successfully inducted systems”. Indian armed forces have ordered Akash systems worth Rs 24,000 crore over the years, and MoD inked a contract in Mar 2023 of over Rs 9,100 crores for improved Akash Weapon System

BDL is a government enterprise under the Ministry of Defence that was established in 1970. BDL manufactures surface-to-air missiles and delivers them to the Indian Army. BDL also offers its products for export.

Akash Weapon System

The AWS is a Short Range Surface to Air Missile (SRSAM) Air Defence System, indigenously designed and developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). In order to meet aerial threats, two additional Regiments of AWS with Upgradation are being procured for Indian Army for the Northern borders. Improved AWS has Seeker Technology, Reduced Foot Print, 360° Engagement Capability and improved environmental parameters.

The project will give a boost to the Indian missile manufacturing industry in particular and the indigenous defence manufacturing ecosystem as a whole. The project has overall indigenous content of 82% which will be increased to 93% by 2026-27.

The induction of the improved AWS into the Indian Army will increase India’s self-reliance in Short Range Missile capability. This project will play a role in boosting the overall economy by avoiding outgo of precious foreign exchange to other countries, increasing employment avenues in India and encouraging Indian MSMEs through components manufacturing. Around 60% of the project cost will be awarded to the private industry, including MSMEs, in maintaining the supply chain of the weapon system, thereby creating large scale of direct and indirect employment.





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