Pakistan police book over 100 suspects for Sargodha mob attack on Christian family

Pakistan police book over 100 suspects for Sargodha mob attack on Christian family
In this file photograph, taken on April 3, 2017, Pakistani police vehicles leave the anti-terror court in Sargodha District in Punjab province. (AFP/File)
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Updated 27 May 2024
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Pakistan police book over 100 suspects for Sargodha mob attack on Christian family

Pakistan police book over 100 suspects for Sargodha mob attack on Christian family
  • Suspects charged under anti-terror, attempt to murder sections of the law, say police
  • A mob attacked Christian man, his son on Saturday over allegations he desecrated Qur’an

KARACHI: Police in Pakistan’s eastern city of Sargodha said on Monday that they had registered criminal cases against over 100 people for their involvement in last week’s mob attack against a Christian man and his family over allegations he had desecrated the Qur’an.
A frenzied mob went on a rampage on Saturday in Sargodha after locals said they saw burnt pages of the Qur’an outside the house of a Christian man. Angry protesters set his house on fire and his shoemaking factory, beating up his son as well.
Police said they rescued the Christian father and men after successfully dispersing the crowd following violent clashes. Sargodha Police District Police Officer Assad Malhi said several police officers were injured in the clashes. He said Sargodha Police’s prompt and effective actions “saved the city from a potential disaster, maintaining peace and harmony in the region.”
“Later during the day, criminal cases have been registered against the culprits and police has arrested more than 100 accused charging them with anti-terrorist and attempt to murder sections of law,” Malhi said.
Police said they were also probing the incident and focusing on determining the extent of the damage done as well as identifying those responsible.
“Sargodha police are working tirelessly to ensure that all aspects of the case are thoroughly examined and that justice is served,” Malhi said.
He said police were engaging with the local community to address the root cause of the issue. 
“The police are working closely with local community leaders and religious scholars to promote interfaith harmony and understanding,” Malhi said. 
In a separate post on social media platform X, police said on Monday morning that security had been beefed outside all important churches in Sargodha district following the incident. 
“Sargodha police have completed arrangements for the hyper security of churches across the district,” Sargodha Police wrote on social media platform X. It added that over 1,000 police officers and youths were performing duties at important churches in the district. 
Blasphemy accusations are common in Pakistan and under the country’s blasphemy laws, anyone found guilty of insulting Islam or Islamic religious figures can be sentenced to death. While no one has been executed on such charges, often just an accusation can cause riots and incite mobs to violence, lynching and killings.
The latest violence, however, brought back memories of one of the worst attacks on Christians in Pakistan in August 2023, when thousands of people set churches and homes of Christians on fire in Jaranwala, a district in Punjab province, also on allegations of desecration of the Qur’an.


Sacrifice of animals, festivities continue as Pakistan marks second day of Eid Al-Adha

Sacrifice of animals, festivities continue as Pakistan marks second day of Eid Al-Adha
Updated 7 min 38 sec ago
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Sacrifice of animals, festivities continue as Pakistan marks second day of Eid Al-Adha

Sacrifice of animals, festivities continue as Pakistan marks second day of Eid Al-Adha
  • People continue to visit relatives on second day of Eid as picnic spots see rush, says state media 
  • Pakistan’s prime minister exchanges Eid greetings with Kuwaiti counterpart, Kazakhstan president

ISLAMABAD: Muslims in Pakistan and other parts of the world on Tuesday continued sacrificing animals and taking part in festivities on the second day of Eid Al-Adha in their respective countries. 

One of the most important Islamic holidays, Eid Al-Adha is a joyous occasion on which food is a hallmark and during which devout Muslims buy and slaughter animals and share the meat with family, friends and the poor. The revered observance coincides with the final rites of the Hajj pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia.

Pakistani Muslims celebrated the beginning of the Muslim festival on Monday with food and prayers for the people of Gaza and Kashmir. 

“Festivities and sacrifice of animals are continuing on the second day of Eid-Al-Adha today [Tuesday],” state broadcaster Radio Pakistan reported. 

“People will also continue to visit relatives and friends to celebrate Eid festivities and picnic spots are also witnessing unusual rush.”

Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Monday exchanged Eid greetings with his counterpart from Kuwait, Sheikh Ahmad Abdullah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, and Kazakhstan President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) said in a statement. 

“The leaders also exchanged views on enhancing bilateral cooperation in various fields, including trade, investment, energy, and export of skilled labor,” the PMO said about Sharif’s call with Al-Sabah. 

“They also discussed regional and global issues of mutual interest, reaffirming their commitment to working closely together for the advancement of shared goals and objectives.”

The Pakistan government has announced a three-day holiday for Eid, from Monday to Wednesday.

According to tanners associations, over six million animals valued at approximately Rs531 billion ($1.9 billion) were sacrificed during the three-day Eid festival in 2023. As many, if not more, animals are expected to be sacrificed this year.


Pakistani retiree sacrifices money for divine reward with free slaughtering services on Eid

Pakistani retiree sacrifices money for divine reward with free slaughtering services on Eid
Updated 48 min 33 sec ago
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Pakistani retiree sacrifices money for divine reward with free slaughtering services on Eid

Pakistani retiree sacrifices money for divine reward with free slaughtering services on Eid
  • Professional butchers can charge anything from $70-140 to slaughter goats, cows and camels on Eid Al-Adha
  • Wajid Farid slaughters animals on Eid pro bono, asks people to donate his fees to mosques or the poor

KARACHI: For 65-year-old retired government employee Wajid Farid, the Eid holiday is all about the spirit of giving.

While professional butchers can charge anything from $70-140 to slaughter an animal, Farid offers the service for free on the Muslim festival of Eid Al-Adha, or the Feast of the Sacrifice, traditionally marked by the slaughter of animals, whose meat is shared with family members, friends and the poor.

“It’s been 18 years since I started this job of butchering out of passion,” Farid told Arab News as he cooked food at a small eatery he runs in the Gazdarabad neighborhood near Karachi’s famous M.A. Jinnah Road.

“I don’t take any money from anyone for this and ask them to give this money either to a mosque or to a deserving person in charity.”

Farid’s services are mostly sought by his friends and relatives, but he never hesitates to slaughter the animals of strangers who come to seek his help as Karachi faces a dearth of skilled butchers amid high demand during Eid.

“I am very thankful to Allah that despite my age I am doing this,” he said, crediting the blessings in his life to the mantra of giving rather than getting. “Allah has given me so much courage and strength. I don’t have any kind of illness, nor do my children and wife have any illnesses.”

Farid’s friends and family say they are proud of his charity.

“This is a good deed,” Muhammad Jalal, Farid’s childhood friend, said. “He has been doing this for a long time and he does not take any money from those who avail his services but asks them to donate it to deserving people by paying for their rations, rent, or electricity bills.”


Pakistani flick ‘Na Baligh Afraad’ channels ‘90s nostalgia for laughs this Eid 

Pakistani flick ‘Na Baligh Afraad’ channels ‘90s nostalgia for laughs this Eid 
Updated 18 June 2024
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Pakistani flick ‘Na Baligh Afraad’ channels ‘90s nostalgia for laughs this Eid 

Pakistani flick ‘Na Baligh Afraad’ channels ‘90s nostalgia for laughs this Eid 
  • Set in the ‘90s, film revolves around two naive brothers who get entangled in hilarious misadventures
  • Directed by critically acclaimed Nabeel Qureshi, film stars breakout actors Aashir Wajahat, Samar Jafri

KARACHI: Pakistani movie buffs are in for some laughs, hilarious plot twists and ‘90s nostalgia this Eid Al-Adha, with the release of the latest Pakistani film ‘Na Baligh Afraad’ over the religious holiday.

The comedy flick takes viewers to the streets of ‘90s Karachi and the lives of two teenage brothers, Mazhar and Fakhar, whose innocence gets them entangled in a series of misadventures that give birth to a comedy of errors. 

Acclaimed director Nabeel Qureshi directed the movie which is produced by Fizza Ali Meerza and stars singers and actors Aashir Wajahat and Samir Jafri in the lead roles alongside Rimha Ahmad, Mohammed Ehteshamuddin, Faiza Hasan, Saleem Mairaj and Irfan Motiwala. 

The title of the film is inspired by Qureshi’s 2014 hit ‘Na Maloom Afraad.’ 

“We grew up in the 90s so it has a lot of nostalgia [for us],” Qureshi told Arab News at the premiere of the film. “I always wanted to do something which is related to the 90s.”

Wajahat, who plays the role of Mazhar, declined to reveal too many details of the plot but promised that audiences would get to see the brothers entangled in a hilarious web of problems.

“I think the film offers a lot of comedy, a lot of entertainment, and a lot of fun,” Wajahat told Arab News. “Just a quarter to two hours of good entertainment.”

Jafri, who plays Fakhar in the film, said the film was not just for kids or teenagers. 

“Everybody can watch it because it’s a family movie,” Jafri told Arab News. “It has comedy, it has thriller, it has romance, it has bromance.”

But for an actor who did not grow up in the ‘90s, was it difficult to play a character set in that era?

“I learned things from my director, he taught me a lot on the set,” Jafri revealed. “And of course, when you are doing a character, you study it. I watched a few old movies [such as] ‘Andaaz Apna Apna’,” he said, referring to a 1994 Bollywood cult classic that starred Indian A-listers Salman Khan and Aamir Khan as two gold diggers who attempt to woo an heiress to get access to her father’s wealth.

“I think given the timing, this film will maybe give a lot of courage and inspiration to people and newcomers to do something,” Qureshi said about his expectations for the film. “And I think because the storyline is very different, so maybe things will be a bit better [for the movie.]” 
 


Samar Khan becomes first Pakistani woman to snowboard down Europe’s highest peak

Samar Khan becomes first Pakistani woman to snowboard down Europe’s highest peak
Updated 17 June 2024
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Samar Khan becomes first Pakistani woman to snowboard down Europe’s highest peak

Samar Khan becomes first Pakistani woman to snowboard down Europe’s highest peak
  • Khan is first woman ever to have cycled on third largest non-polar glacial system, Biafo Glacier and Godwin Austen Glacier
  • Hailing from Pakistan’s Dir, Khan is also the first Pakistani to have cycled on the roof of Africa, Kilimanjaro in 2017

ISLAMABAD: Adventure athlete Samar Khan said on Sunday she had ascended Mount Elbrus, the highest peak in Europe, and snowboarded down, becoming the first Pakistani woman to achieve the milestone.

Khan is a Pakistani adventure athlete and the first woman in the world to have cycled on the third largest non-polar glacial system, Biafo Glacier and Godwin Austen Glacier, in the Karakoram mountains of Gilgit Baltistan. She is also the first Pakistani to have cycled on the roof of Africa, Kilimanjaro in 2017.

“I’m pleased to announce that I have successfully climbed Europe’s highest peak, Mt. Elbrus, and snowboarded down, becoming the first Pakistani to pioneer this feat in the world of action sports,” Khan wrote on Instagram. 

“I set out for the summit push around 3am and reached the top by 10am with a green flag, followed by an exhilarating snowboarding descent from Elbrus.”

In the past, Khan has been a mentee as part of the ESPNW Global Sports Mentoring Program in the US. She also runs an initiative, ‘Samar Camp’, offering sports camps like mountain biking, backpacking, and snowboarding for girls and women in Pakistan.

Khan won a silver medal in the Sadia Khan Championship in 2022 and emerged as the winner of the Red Bull Homerun snowboarding category in 2021.

Khan hails from Dir in Pakistan’s northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. 


On Eid in Karachi, surge in orders for specials made using sacrificial meat from customers

On Eid in Karachi, surge in orders for specials made using sacrificial meat from customers
Updated 17 June 2024
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On Eid in Karachi, surge in orders for specials made using sacrificial meat from customers

On Eid in Karachi, surge in orders for specials made using sacrificial meat from customers
  • Many prefer to cook some dishes at home and order others from restaurants that prepare food using meat provided by customers
  • Slow cooked meats like sajji and roast, malai boti, and all kind of kebabs are among favorites customers get restaurants to prepare

KARACHI: While sweets and desserts steal the spotlight during Eid Al-Fitr around the world, on Eid Al-Adha the focus shifts to savory delights, especially dishes prepared with the mutton and beef of animals sacrificed to mark the annual religious holiday. 

Things are no different in Karachi, Pakistan’s commercial and culinary center, where restaurants on the iconic Burns Road and other food streets start preparing meat specials for Eid. 

“People don’t realize it’s Eid-Al-Adha if they don’t get spicy dishes,” said Agha Owais, the owner of Agha Sajji, a restaurant that specializes in slow cooked meats in various forms as well as spicy biryani rice. 

After the Eid sacrifice, Owais said, his restaurant got busy preparing hundreds of orders from people who brought over sacrificial meat to the eatery for special dishes to be prepared using it.

“The women at home are often tired during Eid so they prefer to entertain guests by opting for good, spicy, and clean food from reputable places with high-quality ingredients,” Owais said. 

A resident of Karachi civil lines, Sadiq Abubakar, said he preferred to have biryani and dried meat dishes prepared at home on Eid but ordered BBQ specials from restaurants. 

Among favorites are malai boti, melt-in-the-mouth chunks of boneless chicken, lamb or beef marinated in a mildly flavored cream sauce made with fresh herbs, seekh kebabs made with spiced minced or ground meat formed into cylinders on skewers and grilled, and dhaga kebabs, made without a binding agent like eggs, chickpea or maize flour, but in which a dhaga, or thread, is wrapped around the kebab to hold it better over the grill while cooking.

“Sometimes we give a goat’s leg to a restaurant and get karahi made out of it,” Abubakar said.

“IT’S THE TASTE”

S.M. Iqbal, the owner of New Delhi Gola Kebab House, said his restaurant was closed for Eid dining in order to complete takeaway orders, especially made using people’s own sacrificial meat.

“People also invite us [for catering] to their homes, but we don’t go very often because our outdoor work is at a large scale,” Iqbal said. “We can’t go for 10-15 kgs [of meat], we only go if there’s an order for at least 100 people.”

He said most customers got dhaga and fried kebabs made, which were a specialty at his restaurant.

“It’s the taste that pushes people to bring sacrificial meat to our restaurants,” Iqbal said. “Allah has given us the taste that attracts people.”

Customer Mustafa Tahir said offering guests a mix of homemade dishes and food prepared by restaurants created a good balance during Eid. 

“Have them [restaurants] prepare dishes too, they’ll make good food,” he said. “Combine three or four flavours, invite guests at home, and truly enjoy Eid-Al-Adha as it should be enjoyed.”