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Stories from and

A Nobel Prize for All Malalas in the World

Malala Yousafzai. Imagen del usuario  Jabiz Raisdana de Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0).

Malala Yousafzai. Image by user Jabiz Raisdana on Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0).

The blog MujeresMundi is an infoactivism project run by Belgium-based Peruvian Xaviera Medina “committed to gender as a key to development”.

Their most recent post refers to the Nobel Peace Prize that has been awarded to education Pakistani activist, Malala Yousafzai:

[...] Nevertheless, it should be pointed out that Malala is not an isolated case. Education is not an inherent right for girls in many countries, and every day, hundreds of Malalas are threatened for attending to school.

[...]

The 2014 Nobel must remind us that Malala Yousafzai is not an anecdotic case, but a everyday reality of thousands of youngster and children around the world.

Pakistan's State Owned TV Under Siege By Protestors

Last update at 7:45PM GMT, September 1, 2014

Hundred of protestors of Pakistan Tehreek e Insaf (PTI) and Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) have stormed into the Head Office of Pakistan's state-owned TV channel PTV. On 1st of September at around 11:20 am protesters broke open the main gate of Pakistan Television (PTV) Head Quarters in Islamabad and the station went off air soon.

Since August 14, 2014, tens of thousands of peaceful protesters have been camping out demanding that the Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif should step down.

Journalist Omar Quraishi tweets:

Employees are trapped and harassed says Pakistani blogger Ghazala Khan.

DawnNews reports that the army was called in to handle the situation and they cleared the PTV office from protesters in 15 minutes. The TV broadcast has been restored.

Mobile Phones Drive Social And Economic Changes In Pakistan

From a slow start in the late Nineteen Nineties mobile phone penetration in Pakistan has jumped up in recent years to 77% nationally and amongst urban class people to almost 100%. Dr. Tahir Rauf at Pak Tea House reports that the ubiquitous mobile phone use in Pakistan has brought a lot of social and economic changes:

These changes in a broader context called Pakistani neoliberalism, characterized by accelerated consumerism with full scale participation in the global economy.

Pakistan's Sindh Province Still Wants to Censor WhatsApp, Viber and Skype

Aamir Atta at ProPakistani reports quoting local media houses that social media applications like WhatsApp, Viber and Skype may be blocked in Pakistan's Sindh province to maintain law and order. The Sindh government had proposed a similar ban in October last year, citing security concerns.

However, experts say because a majority of IP addresses in Pakistan aren't city-specific or province-specific, so a blockade of social media content is not likely possible.

Talk Show Hosts In Pakistan: There is Nothing Holding the Showman Back

You can imagine the irony when talk show hosts take over primetime news broadcasts and become more relevant to the pursuit of “facts” than their colleagues in the newsroom or out in the field.

“Talk show hosts and TV anchors are the stars of the media revolution” as per Hassan Belal Zaidi, who posts a satirical review of the new phenomenon in Pakistan.

Updates on the 18th SAARC Summit On Social Media

The ongoing summit of the The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) was covered by international media with different perspectives. However non-official initiatives such as 18th SAARC Summit blog, Facebook account, Twitter and Google+ account are aggregating updates on the summit for easy archiving.

Here are some examples:

Sri Lanka Plans to Deport 1,500 Pakistani and Afghan Refugees

A Christian man stands inside his destroyed house in Gojra town. Image by Muhammad Tahir. Copyright Demotix (4/8/2009)

A Christian man stands inside his destroyed house in Gojra, Pakistan. Image by Muhammad Tahir. Copyright Demotix (4/8/2009)

Facing persecution in Pakistan, many Ahmadiyya Muslims and Christians have taken refuge in Sri Lanka. These refugees are mostly held in Boossa and Mirihana detention centers and have to live on government-provided rations as they are not eligible for work.

According to the media, the Sri Lankan government is preparing to deport about 1,450 Pakistani and 50 Afghan refugees who have apparently fled to rural areas in Sri Lanka. More than 1,400 of the targeted refugees have been registered as asylum seekers at the UN refugee agency office in Colombo.

Human Rights Watch has requested the Sri Lankan government not to summarily deport these minorities. Meanwhile, Pakistan has disowned these refugees and an uncertain future awaits for them if they are deported.

W3Lanka English blog opines:

The practice of deporting them is very unethical. They can be economic migrants per se the claim of the Pakistan government. What if they are actually threatened people?

The Unintended Consequences of Pakistan's Operation Zarb-e-Azb

On June 15, 2014, the Pakistan Army launched Operation Zarb-e-Azb, a joint-military operation involving Pakistan against armed insurgent groups such as the Taliban (TTP), al–Qaeda, the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM) and the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU).

The operation started exactly a week after the terrorist attack on the Karachi airport. Kashif Aziz at Chowrangi fears that innocent people will suffer and seek refuge elsewhere to avoid the military attacks and the backlash of the militants:

This offensive in Waziristan will bring a fresh wave of IDPs [internally displaced people] to other parts of Pakistan. They need to be accommodated with care.

Hope the operation will end swiftly and without much collateral damage.

Helping Children Learning Urdu Alphabets

Chowrangi blog informs about a free interactive mobile app which introduces kids to Urdu alphabets and words. The app titled “Urdu Ustad” originally had the diaspora Urdu-speaking families as its target audience, but recently majority of download requests have come from Pakistan proving its usefulness.

Global Voices Author Raza Rumi Attacked By Unknown Gunmen In Lahore

Notable Pakistani, columnist, TV anchor and blogger (also a Global Voices author) Raza Rumi was attacked by unidentified gunmen near Raja market on Ferozpur road in Lahore, Pakistan. At 8:55PM tonight he tweeted:

According to reports, Rumi escaped with a minor injury after unknown gunmen opened fire at his car and he managed to take the injured guard and driver to the hospital. His driver succumbed to his injuries and the guard is fighting for his life.

Netizens’ reactions are pouring in:

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