In The Name Of God The Most Merciful, Most Compassionate

All Asia Pacific


Why Kashmir’s women-only buses are a success

By: BBC Source: BBC In one of her first decisions after taking over as the first woman chief minister of Indian-administered Kashmir, Mehbooba Mufti launched a bus service exclusively for women. The BBC’s Geeta Pandey goes for a ride on one of them to gauge their popularity. It’s 8:45 in the morning and the Srinagar Road Transport Corporation bus stand in the Lal Chowk area is deserted, except for a few transport department workers. This is the complex from where Srinagar’s new “ladies special” bus service sets off every morning at 9am for Kashmir University. I am joined by former university student Umaira Hassan who, until a few months ago, used to travel...

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China still imposing restrictions on Ramadan fast

By: Eset Sulaiman Source: RFA In spite of assurances by Beijing that ethnic Uyghurs living in China’s mostly Muslim Xinjiang region enjoy full religious freedom, government workers routinely block their right to fast during Islam’s holy month of Ramadan, sources in the region say. On June 2, China issued a white paper lauding “unprecedented” levels of religious freedom in Xinjiang, adding that “no citizen suffers discrimination or unfair treatment for believing in, or not believing in, any religion,” according to official media. However, several local government departments and middle or high schools in the Uyghur region have posted notices online in recent days ordering restrictions on...

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Afghan government and pro-Taliban groups sign deal

By: PanARMENIAN.Net Source: PanARMENIAN.Net Afghanistan signed a draft agreement on Wednesday, May 18 with the Hezb-e-Islami militant group in a move the government hopes could lead to a full peace accord with one of the most notorious warlords in the insurgency, Reuters says. Hezb-e-Islami leader Gulbuddin Hekmatyar is a veteran of decades of Afghan war and rights groups have accused his group of widespread abuses, particularly during civil war in the early 1990s, when he briefly served as prime minister. But with little sign that the Taliban are ready to join peace talks, the deal offers President Ashraf Ghani’s government a concrete sign that it is making headway in drawing...

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