Tanzeela Qambrani becomes Pakistan’s first lawmaker of African descent

Tanzeela Qambrani, whose ancestors come from Tanzania, was nominated by Pakistan People’s Party(PPP) to a women’s reserved seat in the regional parliament of southern Sindh province, reports BBC Africa.

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This makes her the first person of African descent to hold a seat in Pakistan’s parliament.

She comes from the Sidi community which is a small ethnic group of African descent concentrated in the mountainous regions of Pakistan.

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The group has been immensely overlooked in social, political and economic life in Pakistan.

They are thought to be the descendants of slaves who were brought to the region by the Portuguese.

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Qambrani recently told BBC;

‘As a tiny minority lost in the midst of local populations, we have struggled to preserve our African roots and cultural expression, but I look forward to the day when the name Sidi will evoke respect, not contempt.’

She added:

‘I can already feel the weight,’

‘I’m a Sidi, and all these middle class, lower-middle class and working class Sidis know that I’m one of them.’

Qambrani is a computer science postgraduate with three children.

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Most noteworthy, she is bringing hope to a community that has dealt with widespread marginalization in Pakistan for centuries.

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Pakistan military kills 59 Taliban militants after school massacre

The Pakistani army said it has killed 59 militants in clashes in the northwest, including 32 in an ambush in a remote valley near the Afghan border, in intensified fighting since this week’s Taliban massacre of children at a school.

The ambush took place overnight in the northwestern Tirah valley in the Khyber agency, one of the main smuggling routes for arms and insurgents crossing between Afghanistan and Pakistan.

“Security forces ambushed (the) moving group … Fleeing terrorists left behind bodies of their accomplices,” the military said in a statement.

There was no independent verification of the clash.

The military also said late on Thursday that 17 militants were killed in air strikes in Khyber and 10 in ground fighting.

The army is fighting offensives against Pakistani Taliban insurgents in Khyber as well as the North Waziristan region, which is also on the Afghan border.

 

Taliban death squad posed for pictures before slaughtering 132 children

Posing proudly in front of a Taliban banner declaring ‘There is no God but Allah’, this is the hand-picked suicide cell responsible for the cold-blooded slaughter of 132 schoolchildren.

Clutching an array of rocket launchers and machine guns, the crazed gunmen are shown both in traditional clothing of Taliban fighters and the Pakistan military uniforms they wore to avoid suspicion immediately before storming the Army School in Peshawar.

The pictures – apparently taken in the hours before Tuesday’s attack – were released Wednesday by the Taliban, together with a threat to carry out similar attacks despite the outrage at the horrific, carefully planned massacre in which 132 children and more than a dozen teachers were killed.

In an email released this morning, Khurasani attempted to justify the attack by claiming that the Pakistani army has long killed the innocent children and families of Taliban fighters.

But he vowed more such militant attacks and told Pakistani civilians to detach themselves from all military institution, adding: ‘We are still able to carry out major attacks. This was just the trailer.’

Children forced to watch their teacher being burned alive as Taliban murder 132 children

A teacher is believed to have been burned alive while her pupils were forced to watch as Taliban gunmen stormed a school in Pakistan in an apparent revenge attack for Malala Yousafzai winning the Nobel Peace Prize.

Seven Taliban terrorists attacked the Army Public School in the north-western Pakistani city of Peshawar Tuesday, slaughtering 132 children in the deadliest terrorist attack in the nation’s history.

Harrowing eyewitness accounts revealed how students were forced to watch as bodies were burned beyond recognition.

Other survivors told how they played dead while insurgents scoured the school looking for children to shoot, before open fire indiscriminately – sometimes with smiles on their faces.

During a three-hour orgy of bloodshed, seven jihadists claimed at least 141 lives before themselves being killed.

Now one expert has claimed that the horrific events which unfolded Tuesday could have been in retaliation to 17-year-old Malala winning this year’s Nobel Peace Prize.

The massacre was also said to be an act of revenge against the Pakistani army, which has been attempting to suppress the Pakistani Taliban in their north Waziristan tribal homelands over the past few months.

 

Taliban storm Pakistani school, killing 126

Taliban gunmen stormed a military-run school in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar on Tuesday, killing 126 people, officials said, in the worst attack to hit the country in years.

The overwhelming majority of the victims were students at the army public school, which has children and teenagers in grades 1-10. Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif condemned the assault and rushed to Peshawar to show his support for the victims.

The horrific attack, carried out by a relatively small number of militants from the Tehreek-e-Taliban, a Pakistani militant group trying to overthrow the government, also sent dozens of wounded flooding into local hospitals as terrified parents searched for their children.

“My son was in uniform in the morning. He is in a casket now,” wailed one parent, Tahir Ali, as he came to the hospital to collect the body of his 14-year-old son Abdullah. “My son was my dream. My dream has been killed.”

The attack began in the morning hours, with about half a dozen gunmen entering the school — and shooting at random, said police officer Javed Khan. Army commandos quickly arrived at the scene and started exchanging fire with the gunmen, he said. Students wearing their green school uniforms could be seen on Pakistani television, fleeing the area.