Easter blessings from UCAN
There is no more important week in the year for Christians than this Holy Week. We call it Holy because of the mystery we celebrate - God's gift of His son who loves us to his death on Calvary and beyond.
Because of that love, we wish each other Happy Easter even when we know there is a lot of tragedy about it - Good Friday. As Christians, we know that what we see happening with and in Jesus goes to the heart of what we know from our own experience of life.
At the Second Vatican Council, the Christian lives we all lead were described as being shares in the Paschal Mystery. We have our share in the death and resurrection of Jesus every day. Our lives are part of the Paschal Mystery.
At UCAN, we work to describe that mystery in the unfolding tragedies and astonishing blessings of the people we seek out and report, feature and comment on.
While at times deeply distressing work, this effort of ours gets its coherence in the same way the death of Jesus did - because of the astonishing grace of a God who never gives up on life and love.
Because of that, we can wish you Happy Easter.
Fr. Michael Kelly SJ
Pakistan Taliban threatens to kill women voters
Threats issued ahead of by-election
File photo shows women voters at a previous election in Karachi (picture: Shutterstock)
- ucanews.com reporter, Peshawar
- August 22, 2013
The Pakistani Taliban has said it will kidnap and slaughter women who vote in today’s by-election in restive Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, declaring the polls un-Islamic.
Pamphlets distributed by the Tehreek-e Taliban Pakistan (TTP) in Hangu in the northern tribal area of the country also threaten bomb attacks on polling booths.
“Democracy is un-Islamic. We convey this to all Muslims in Hangu town that anyone who enters polling stations would be killed,” the pamphlets read. “We have fulfilled our obligation by issuing a warning and now it is your responsibility to save your life.”
The TTP said it was closely monitoring the situation on the ground as police sought to safeguard voting.
“We have deployed heavy security at all polling stations to protect voters in the wake of threats,” said Hangu District Police Officer Sajjad Khan.
There were no immediate reports of attacks in Hangu which is also the hometown of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Pervez Khattak.
The town was the sole seat being contested in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa out of 41 across Pakistan, the biggest by-election in the country’s history, after polling was cancelled in another constituency in the province due to security threats.
A local journalist who declined to be identified said the turnout had been low in Hangu although some women ignored the threats.
PakVote, an organization which promotes inclusion in the polling process, said voter numbers had been higher than expected.
The TTP issued similar warnings during general elections in May, taking away ballot boxes in Hangu and Lakki Marwat.