Rights Watch | 18th August 2020



Kashana ex-official to stage protest

Former superintendent of the government-run Kashana Welfare Home in Lahore, Afshan Latif, will stage a sit-in in front of the Prime Minister’s House in Islamabad on Tuesday, August 18. Latif has been demanding the arrest of Punjab government officials and ministers allegedly involved in the sexual exploitation of the orphaned and destitute girls sheltered at the welfare home.

In July 2019, Latif levied allegations against the then Director-General of Kashana, Afshan Kiran Imtiaz, for pressuring her to marry off some of the shelter girls to high-ranking officials, including Ajmal Cheema who had been the Provincial Minister of Punjab for Bait-ul-Mal and Social Welfare from September 2018 to July 2019.

Referred to as the Kashana scandal, an inquiry-based on Latif’s complaint found no such evidence of the sexual exploitation of the shelter’s residents. Latif had also previously staged a protest at Charing Cross in Lahore, demanding an impartial probe into the mysterious death of alleged Kashana whistleblower Iqra Kainat Ilyas.

Lyari temple illegally demolished

The Hanuman Temple in Lyari, Karachi, was illegally demolished on Sunday, August 16 by a builder to make room for the construction of a residential building nearby. Hindu residents stated they had been assured by the builder that the temple will remain unharmed, but were shocked to find their worship place reduced to debris. Residents claim that due to the pandemic restrictions, they were unable to visit the site, and the builder likely took advantage of the fact.

Police have sealed the construction site, while Lyari Assistant Commissioner Abdul Karim Memon and South Deputy Commissioner Irshad Ahmed Sodhar assured that an impartial inquiry will be launched into the incidents. Meanwhile, Hindu residents flocked to the site and demanded reconstruction of the pre-Partition temple.

Pakistanis allegedly imprisoned in Iran

Thousands of illegal immigrants from Pakistan are currently imprisoned in Iranian jails, while 600 Pakistani illegals in Iran were deported on Monday, August 17, via the Rahdari Gate in Taftan. Due to increased restrictions owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, authorities in Iran are cracking down even harder on illegal immigrants attempting to cross into Turkey, Greece and European countries for better opportunities.