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‘Can’t rule out foul play’ — activist Karima Baloch’s husband demands probe into her death

Thirty five-year-old human rights activist Karima Baloch was found dead in Toronto. A vocal critic of the Pakistan government, she had been granted asylum in Canada in 2016.

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New Delhi: Balochistan human rights activist Karima Baloch’s husband Hammal Haidar has called for an investigation into the circumstances of his wife’s death and the threats she was receiving.

In a series of tweets Tuesday, Haidar requested the Canadian authorities “to leave no stone unturned in looking into the circumstances” of Baloch’s death.

35-year-old Baloch was found dead in Toronto Monday after she went missing. A vocal critic of the Pakistan government in Balochistan, she had been granted asylum in Canada in 2016 after her work had led to her being followed and threatened by authorities.

“My wife was an immensely courageous and spirited person. Her work as an internationally prominent activist speaks for itself,” Haidar had tweeted.

Baloch had also been the first chair of the Baloch Students Organization that fights for the rights of the Baloch people.

In 2016, she was included in the BBC’s 100 most inspirational and influential women’s list.

Following her death, her husband said, “We can’t rule out foul play as she has been under threats. She left Pakistan as her home was raided more than twice. Her uncle was killed. She was threatened to leave activism and political activities but she did not and fled to Canada.”

Noor Jehan’s 20th death anniversary

This week marked the 20th death anniversary of Noor Jehan, famously known as Malika-e-Tarannum or the queen of melody.

Born on 21 September 1926, Allah Rakhi Wasai was a Pakistani playback singer and actress. A prodigy, Noor Jehan was just five years old when she started learning music under the aegis of the renowned Ustad Bady Ghulam Ali Khan.

She would soon go on to pursue music as a career.

In the 1930s, her family relocated to Calcutta (now Kolkata) where Wasai was given the name Noor Jehan and also offered a job in Seth Sukh Karnani companies.

She became a renowned child artist and became famous for singing and acting in Indian movies.

Following the partition, however, she moved back to Pakistan and resumed her career. Jehan sang about 6,000 songs in Urdu, Punjabi and Sindhi, and was the first female to have directed a movie in Punjab.

Jehan’s grandson, Pakistani actor Ahmed Ali Butt, shared a picture of himself with his grandmother and other family members, on Instagram. “To the woman who stood in a man’s world and became the Queen,” he captioned the photo.

Court summons singer Meesha Shafi

A court summoned singer Meesha Shafi Wednesday for allegedly running a smear campaign against fellow singer Ali Zafar.

Shafi, who shot to fame with the popular music show Coke Studio Pakistan, has been embroiled in a legal battle since 2018 after she accused Zafar of sexual harassment.

The Tribune reported that she has been accused of evading the court and “prioritising” music shows, which drew ire from several social media users.

“Meesha Shafi can feature in Coke Studio but can’t appear in Court of Law for that case? Just asking? JUST,” a Twitter user said, while another urged that the singer be boycotted.

Shafi had, however, retorted on Twitter with a picture of the Lahore Sessions Court saying, “Here’s a picture I took while being stared at on one of the mornings I went to court.”

Also read: ‘Soft diplomacy’ Pakistan style — Qatar royals get special permission to hunt endangered bird


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