Islamabad [Pakistan], May 28 (ANI): Amid the already deteriorating condition of the minority communities in Pakistan, the country has gone below the belt with Ahmadiyyas as the graves of their dead are being dug up and their mortal remains being thrown away.

Recently, the latest case was that of Ishfaq Ahmed, who was desecrated on May 19 in Peshawar, as reported by The Friday Times citing Saleem ud Din, the spokesperson of the Ahmadi community in Pakistan.

A day earlier, a 36-year-old Ahmadi man was stabbed to death in front of his two children in Okara. The murderer, who is reported to be affiliated with Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP), was a student at a local madrassa, the weekly reported.

Ahmedis are Muslims who were declared non-Muslim by Pakistan in 1973. They are subjected to increased discrimination from the government and the society at large dominated by the majority of Sunnis.

The Pakistani constitution declared the Ahmadis sect of Islam to be ‘infidels’ and also barred them from ‘posing as Muslims’.

The Ahmadis members alleged that many cases were hushed up and even when the cases are registered, the investigation and prosecution are weak after which the culprits go free.

The Ahmadis are also facing mistreatment from the justice system as many people lost their lives while being tried for blasphemy, the weekly said in its report.

The S&P 500 benchmark of US blue chips closed 2.5 per cent higher on Friday, pushing the index 6.6 per cent higher for the week, its best since November 2020. The advance snapped a six-week string of weekly declines – the worst run since 2001 – as technology stocks surged.

On Tuesday, the health of the Australian economy will be revealed when March quarter gross domestic product data is released.

Consensus forecasts peg quarterly growth at 0.6 per cent, or 2.9 per cent on a year-over-year basis, in a period overshadowed by the effects of the omicron strain and heavy flooding on the east coast.

Commonwealth Bank economists share the consensus estimates, saying “growth will be driven by a solid 2 per cent lift in household consumption”, while “public spending and inventories will also support growth”.

National Australia Bank, meanwhile, anticipates March quarter growth to fall short of forecasts, with its economists priming for a reading of just 0.1 per cent for the quarter, as a pick-up in exports weighs on growth.

“Regardless of a softish quarterly result, the near-term outlook for Australian activity remains strong,” NAB said. “Consumption should lift further in the coming quarter as omicron and flood disruptions pass, before beginning to normalise later in the year.”

Wages focus

Investors will zero-in on the wages component of the data given its role in driving Reserve Bank policy decisions.

Wages are among the stickiest costs facing businesses and when they rise consistently it can transform higher inflation from a temporary burst to a prolonged issue facing the economy.

Weaker wages growth will lessen the likelihood of more aggressive central bank monetary tightening, while a more strident reading will pressure the RBA to tighten.

“Labour costs will be of relevance due to the current inflationary context and implications for monetary policy,” said CBA economists.

“We expect labour costs to show wage pressure forming but to confirm that Australia is not facing the wage-price spiral seen abroad.”

CBA anticipates the data will “not alter the path of monetary policy”, and that the RBA will raise the cash rate by 25 basis points at its June meeting, following an increase by the same margin in May.

A soft reading on wages data would support the most recent wage price index, which showed wages grew by 0.7 per cent in the March quarter, shy of forecasts.

New jobs added in April also fell well short of estimates, but helped to maintain the jobless rate at 3.9 per cent after the measure was revised down for the March quarter to the lowest level in 48 years.

According to the publication, the media at large extent ignores the violence against the Ahmedis, unless it takes place on a large scale, and attracts international attention.

Earlier this year, a 70-year-old Ahmadi man on trial for blasphemy died in Bahawalpur Jail due to alleged mistreatment despite his ill health. He was awaiting his bail hearing scheduled for later this year.

An earlier report of August 23, 2021, quoted historian and lawyer Yasser Latif Hamdani, former BBC Urdu editor Tahir Imran Mian and human rights activists Rabia Mehmood and Ali Warsi alleged that Pakistan accuses the whole world of indulging in Islamophobia, while they themselves are engaged in violence when it comes to minorities and the Ahmedi community.

South Korean documentary “The Red Herring” has shed light on the danger of politicized prosecutors by tracking what happened to Cho Kuk, former justice minister who propelled the reform of the prosecutors’ office.

“From the perspective of common people, there seemed to be a problem with the prosecutors’ office and the media but Cho also had a problem. Most of them thought like that. My perspective was not far from it,” Director Yi Seung-jun said in an interview with Xinhua one day before the film hit local theaters on Wednesday.

Yi is well-known for directing “In the Absence”, a documentary film on the deadly Sewol ferry sinking in 2014 that became the first-ever South Korean documentary to be nominated for Academy Awards in 2020.

“The Red Herring” took the third spot at the domestic box office for the first three days of its release, according to the Korean Box Office Information System (KOBIS), which was a remarkable record set by a documentary.

Yi said he was “astounded” by “unexposed and hidden facts” that he recognized while scrutinizing materials relevant to the so-called “Cho Kuk incident” and interviewing people who witnessed the trial process in court and even were interrogated by prosecutors because of the testimony in favor of Cho and his family.

Since Cho’s days as a professor at the prestigious Seoul National University School of Law, Cho had been an advocate of the prosecution reform and currently got emblematic of it as he and his family went through the mill to overhaul the prosecution service, one of the country’s most powerful institutions.

Cho had been a media storm from the day he was nominated as the minister of justice and stepped down five weeks into his tenure as the minister in 2019.

To deflect attention from what can be important, red herrings had been drawn across the path of investigations by spreading unsubstantiated media reports that Cho had an affair with an actress or that his daughter drove a luxury sedan. Most of such reports later proved wrong.

“The way prosecutors and journalists did is something of a red herring. It looks clear that they had a certain purpose. To achieve the purpose, it appears that (prosecutors) leaked information and (journalists) blindly took it,” the director said.

Cho was indicted on 12 charges, and his wife was sentenced to four years in prison by the top court.

Critics said the prosecution service politically targeted Cho, a key architect of the prosecution reform schemes under the previous government that aimed to curb the prosecutors’ excessive power.

South Korean prosecutors have the power to indict or not indict suspects, and the authority to launch investigations that are generally conducted by the police in other countries. Even after the reform drive, they still have the right to investigate politically sensitive cases on corruption and economic crimes.

“I do not say every prosecutor is bad and deserves to be blamed. I think most of the prosecutors perform their duty in a very devoted way,” Yi said.

The director cast doubt on a group of politically motivated prosecutors, whose excessive power will force themselves to turn every suspect into convicts in a bid to justify their overbearing investigations and indictments.

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