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Juma-tul-Wida observed with religious fervor2017/06/24
ISLAMABAD: Juma-tul-Wida, the last Friday of holy Month of Ramazan, was observed with religious zeal and fervor across the country.   
A large number of fasting people thronged the mosques to offer Friday prayers and sought blessings of God Almighty.   
In Islamabad, the main congregation was held at the Faisal Mosque where envoys of Islamic countries and the parliamentarians offered their prayers ...

International Widows' Day observed2017/06/24
ISLAMABAD: International Widows' Day was observed on Friday to highlight issues faced by widows.
The day is also observed to create awareness about empowering widows through access to all facilities including healthcare, decent work, and public life.
Absent in statistics, unnoticed by researchers, neglected by national and local authorities and mostly overlooked by civil society organizations - the situation of widows is dramatic and, in effect, invisible ...

Wearing "terrorist" Hijab: UK Muslim estate agent insulted2017/06/24
MANCHESTER: A young Muslim woman in Bury, Manchester was allegedly insulted and humiliated by her employers when she refused to change her black hijab after being told that the garment has "terrorist affiliations." 
The real estate agent, who does not wished to be named, had been working for Harvey Dent for nearly a year when she was informed that as she was moving from the back office "it would be in the best interest of the business for her to change the color of her hijab, due to the supposed terrorist affiliation with the color black".
When the young women refused the request in a phone call, as she felt that the reasons given were not adequate enough, her male manager brought a bunch of coloured scarfs for her to change into at an office meeting. 
After the women again declined she says her manager began to turn quite nasty. First he  admonished her for sending a text message to her father and then later on went into a long rant about her not working. When the claimant tried to inform him that she was on her lunch break the manager  said that he didn't care and told her bluntly to "Get out of here.''Humiliated the woman says she left the office and after not hearing back from the firm for a week sent in her letter of resignation.
After passing through this insulting nightmare the women then put her case in front of the Manchester Employment Tribunal which is set to begin a preliminary hearing of it by the 20th of July. 
In it the women or her lawyers would argue that she was discriminated against on the basis of gender as well as religion and that the firm willfully created an "intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating and offensive environment" for her to work in. If convicted of these charges the Employment Tribunal make Harvey Dean pay "aggravated damages" as well as compensation covering losses of earnings, holiday pay and legal fees.
However according to the women her main interest from the case is not make  financial gain but rather to ensure that the case "serves as a warning to employers that such pressure upon employees is absolutely and categorically unacceptable based upon illogical ideas with no evidence."
Hate crimes against Muslims are becoming an enduring problem in Western countries with Muslim minorities although rulings by courts and crackdowns by police are increasing penalties for offenders. - NNI

Pellet victims stage protest in Srinagar, demand justice2017/06/24
SRINAGAR: The Jammu and Kashmir Pellet Victims Association on Friday staged a silent protest in Srinagar to express their anguish against the apathetic approach of the puppet authorities towards them.
According to Kashmir Media Service (KMS), the protest was led by the Secretary of the Association, Altaf Ahmed. The Association made an emphatic call for immediate attention towards the pellet victims.
Addressing the protesters, Altaf Ahmed said, "Pellet victims and other people injured during 2016 mass uprising were facing immense problems." 
"The number of pellet victims is increasing with every passing day as there is no letup in the use of lethal weapon. Though this weapon has been declared lethal by international law and even India too is a signatory to the declaration, however authorities are reluctant to stop this," he added.
Disclosing the woeful tale of pellet victims, Altaf Ahmed said, "We are moving from pillar to post. No suitable and specific medical treatment is available here. The depth of pellets and infection inside the eyes of the victim thereof is taking a heavy toll on victims' eyesight." 
"Most of the pellet victims though undergone several surgeries, still need more treatment and surgeries. Few of the pellet victims received treatment outside Jammu and Kashmir, however, huge expenses have made it impossible and difficult to continue getting treatment and follow up is even more expensive as we belong to poor families," he said.
"We are facing immense problems. We can't recognize our relatives, our family members. We can't pursue our education nor can we spend a normal life. We are handicapped and no one is there to consider our miseries," Altaf Ahmad said. 
"The expenses are heavy and the puppet administration is not providing any assistance," he said adding some NGO help but they can't bear huge expenses on surgeries, medicine, follow-up and post-surgery care.
The protesters demanded of the puppet administration to come forward with a special treatment and assistance scheme for the victims.
Ifra Jan, Urfi Jan, Shabroza Butt, Shabroz Akhter, Altaf Ahmed, Arshad Ahmed, Zahoor Ahmed Dar, Bashir Ahmed Butt, Manzoor Ahmed Dar, Muhammad Ashraf Wani, Usman Ahmed Wani and other pellet victims participated in the demonstration. - NNI

Australia backs IOM help to undocumented Afghans in Pakistan2017/06/24
ISLAMABAD: The Australian Government and International Organization for Migration (IOM) Pakistan on Friday launched a two-year, AUD 4 million (USD 3 million) project to help undocumented Afghans in Pakistan and their host communities, as well as those returning to Afghanistan.
In 2016, an unprecedented number of Afghans returned to Afghanistan, mainly from Pakistan and Iran. They included over 250,000 undocumented returnees and over 380,000 registered refugees.
This year, as of June 20th, over 100,000 Afghans have returned home, including almost 70,000 undocumented returnees from Pakistan. This is a 250 percent increase over the number of returnees during the first six months of 2016.
Australia's contribution will enable IOM and its partners to help the Government of Pakistan to develop sustainable solutions for the estimated 500,000-600,000 Afghan nationals still living in Pakistan.
"Australia is committed to partnerships, which promote stability in the region and to help the most vulnerable, particularly women and children," said Australian High Commissioner to Pakistan Margaret Adamson.
The new Australian funding will also help IOM and its partners to monitor migration flows and conduct host community surveys to help the Pakistani and Afghan governments, humanitarian stakeholders and returning communities to make better-informed decisions relating to safe and humane migration.
IOM Pakistan will also use the funding to provide primary health care services and vocational business training for undocumented Afghans and host communities in Pakistan. This will help the Afghans to start new livelihoods and reintegrate when they return to Afghanistan, as well as provide new economic opportunities for host communities.
The funding will also help IOM to support the Government of Pakistan to implement its 'Repatriation and Management Policy for Afghan Refugees,' which includes the registration of undocumented Afghans living in Pakistan.
"IOM is fully committed to support tailored solutions for undocumented Afghans in Pakistan," said IOM Pakistan Chief of Mission Davide Terzi. "Pakistan has been host to millions of Afghans for over 30 years, and it is imperative to devise comprehensive programmes that facilitate returns, create viable options for those that decide to stay and support the Pakistani host communities."
As part of the IOM Regional Response Strategy, IOM Pakistan is seeking USD 21 million to support the most vulnerable undocumented Afghans during 2017-18. - NNI

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