Why doesn’t Government establishes Writ in Karachi

By Saeed Qureshi

How many more dead bodies, the human draculas want to devour in Karachi? Why the government does not restore its write in troubled Karachi? The governments of both Sindh province and the federal are unconcerned spectators to see the bloodletting mayhem going on. The murderous mafias and monstrous gangs have divided Karachi into various zones and maintain their merciless sway on these.

Their operatives freely and daringly loot the banks, grab the land, occupy the houses, trade in narcotics and lethal drugs and force the business community to pay them the demanded sums of money. If they refuse they are kidnapped, tortured and killed.

The people of Karachi have been living through this nerve-shattering situation for a decade or so. The outlaws challenge the government law-enforcement agencies and kill the policemen and intelligence operatives with impunity. Many prominent social activists and public figures engaged in the service of the people have been eliminated. There is a hair-raising escalation in the bloody feuds in Karachi and there seems to be no let up in that savagery.

The latest gruesome murder is that of an academic, Professor Sibte Jaffar ostensibly for sectarian vendetta. The callous assassin refuse to acknowledge that the deceased professor besides being a Shia faithful, was also a human being and had a family to support. Prior to that grisly assassination, the Director of Orangi housing project and a highly dedicated social figure Perveen Rehman was gunned down. Are the sectarian mafias getting too strong as to wrest the control from the police and law enforcement agencies and kill anyone on their own bidding?

The government with its resources and a huge network of police, rangers and army has remained aloof and from its silence one would be tempted to infer that the power wielders and the political parties could also be behind this tattered social peace in Karachi. One of the strident reasons that would deter the people from voting for the PPP and its coalition partners is the governments utter failure to protect the lives of the citizens and save businesses of this country from killers and extortionists.

On daily basis headless or tortured corpses are found in various areas of Karachi. Businesses and industrial activity is grinding to a standstill as a result of the specter of horror let loose on Karachi by the heinous criminals stalking in the length and breadth of Karachi. There is no check on them and no conscious or planned operation has been launched to stem this macabre piling of dead bodies of the human beings.

Elections apart, the most pressing need is to stop the killer gangs and dangerous mafias from killing the people at free will or in mutual fight for controlling their delineated zones in Karachi. Is Karachi a city becoming like Beirut where similar horrendous environment was in vogue for years together? Even in Baghdad, where sectarian bad blood between Sunnis and Shias has been rife for ages, is no match to Karachis worsening spectacle. Karachi is not a war zone like Syrian cities yet life is equally unsafe in this city as in Kabul, Damascus and Aleppo.

Karachi is burning and the social and business life is turning into ashes due to the utter apathy and callous indifference of the authorities. Who else can bridle these raging orgies of human blood and an avalanche of civil war and from turning this largest city into a killing-field? I have no hope. Let us not wait for the elections as that would take a couple of months more and one can only shudder how many precious lives would be lost by that time.

Even elections cannot be held peacefully in such a dangerous and unstable environment as the rival parties could use the goons to either snatch votes, coerce the voters for the candidate of their choice. There could be shooting and gun battles and kidnapping of the voters on the polling stations. Such sinister happenings could jeopardize the pristine objective of fair and free elections.

The writer is a senior journalist and a former diplomat.


Hats off to Mr. Asif Ali Zardari

By Ch. Sajjad Ahmad:

The Prime Minister of Pakistan Mr. Raja Pervaiz Ashraf said that the policies of education tolerance and stability of the President of Pakistan, Mr. Asif Ali Zardari are proven on right path after 5 years.

There is not doubt that, at least, this time Mr. Prime Minister has spoken the truth and delighted the nation with and only with the truth about the policies of Mr. Asif Ali Zardari on education, Tolerance and stability.

As far as education is concern, Mr. Asif Ali Zardari had made sure that no office of the government, during his rule would be able to develop and deploy the educational policies of the country according to the wishes of Pakistan.

As per wishes of his foreign masters, who in return assured him the security and safety of his looted wealth in his foreign bank accounts, Mr. Asif Ali Zardari gave free hands to their educational experts to transform the nation’s educational system to support the liberal values and religion and national integrity had taken completely off the priority list.

Further consolidation has been done to this Ibleesee educational system by decentralising it. Under the rule of Mr. Asif Ali Zardari, the government school systems are further destroyed and free play is allowed to private education systems, which are mostly foreign affiliated and specifically designed on class or ethnic bases, such as those under Agha Khan, Roots, Educators and Beacon House.

After such a hard work has been done by Mr. Asif Ali Zardari, it was evident that these educational policies of his regime in Pakistan will see nothing but success.

Although, a minor (or major) blame could also be accepted by all of us who voted them and elected them to rule this country, established on the name of Islam, execute such a successful educational policy. Who cares if this educational policies of Mr. Asif Ali Zardari suite the moral, national, social or, most importantly, religious needs of the country or not. It was, and we should acknowledge it open heartedly, a successful educational policy, whether it was, or is, in favour of the nation or not. This is completely a separate debate, by the way.

On the second front, tolerance, Mr. Asif Ali Zardaris regime proven itself the best of all. And there is no doubt into it. It was his tolerance, actually a very high level of tolerance, which made it possible for him to complete his five-year tenure.

Even knowing the fact that Karachi is bleeding due to heavily armed political parties in the city, he tolerated. He tolerated till today and will keep tolerating them for as long as he is in office. He knew that one of his ally, MQM, is directly involved in various criminal and terrorist activities, but, for the sake of his “bacha” government in Sindh, he tolerated them.

He also knew that, including his own PPP, MQM and ANP not only involved in killings of each other’s workers (target killing) but they are also targeting other parties and groups, such as religious scholars. He must have been given a report by the concerned intelligence agencies on the daily basis. But he decided to tolerate and tolerated successfully.

He also knew that every single MPA in Balochistan is also a minister, which is becoming yet another reason of Pakistan bashing in the world and this is happening under his own “bacha” government in Balochistan. He decided to tolerate that too and we all know, he succeeded there too.

Mr. Asif Ali Zardari also tolerated ANP in Sarhad province and pleased them with name change, which was actually a step further for the followers and preachers of Ghaffar khan.

Mr. Asif Ali Zardari also tolerated death and destruction in Occupied State of Jammu & Kashmir (OSJK), where more than 7,00,000 Indian army men are given free hand to destroy any house, kill any Kashmiri and rape any of their sisters and daughters.

It is the fruit of his tolerance that today Pakistan is giving business to the same Hindu chankyas, who are killing our brothers and raping our sisters in OSJK.

Therefore, his tolerance will be remembered as long as the humanity exists.

Now comes the matter of stability. Well, if you thinking about the national stability, you are wrong. He never dared to care that. It is about the stability of his own polity and then stability of his growing financial wealth.

Mr. Asif Ali Zardari knew that educated and peaceful Pakistani nation will never be helpful for his vested interests. Therefore, in order to secure his polity and to avail future opportunities of looting more national wealth to further stabilise his finances, he ruined our education system and provided full access to liberal fascists to destroy every fabric of Islami society in Pakistan.

He further strengthened armed political parties like MQM and ANP, including his own PPP, worked fully against the national interests and tried his best to malign the guardians of geographical and ideological boundaries of Pakistan.

Mr. Asif Ali Zardari also tolerated of harbouring Pakistani criminals and terrorists by its enemies like India, Israel and USA in Afghanistan, Europe and America. All these factors have played key role in his stability and in the stability of his looted wealth in western countries.

Hats off to him.

Ch. Sajjad Ahmad is the Chairman of One Nation Development Forum. He could be reached at: sajjad_pak.

UN-Habitat & Coca-Cola launch Water, Sanitation project in Rawalpindi and Islamabad

Rawalpindi, MTT News Desk: United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) has initiated Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) for Schools and Ground Water Recharge in Rawalpindi and Islamabad project with the collaboration of Federal Ministry of Climate Change, Federal Directorate of education Islamabad and District Education office Rawalpindi and with generous support from Coca-Cola foundation.

While addressing the occasion of the launching Workshop today in Islamabad, Mr. Javed Ali Khan, Director General, Ministry of the Climate Change, highlighted need of the water, sanitation and hygiene promotion intervention in the twin cities informing hazards associated with the use of contaminated drinking water and unsafe sanitation. Most water borne diseases related to children spread through schools and we should focus our attention for the provision of safe drinking water along with good sanitation services to our school children, he further said.

Ministry of Climate Change will continue support to all the departments and international organizations for the WASH interventions including ground water recharge across the country and the contribution of Coca Cola Pakistan and UN-Habitat is highly commendable, he added.

Ms. Bella Evidente, Officer In-Charge, UN-Habitat Pakistan welcomed the participants and thanked Ministry of Climate Change, Federal Directorate of education Islamabad and District Education office Rawalpindi for their keen interest in this project which aims to evolve behavior change through schools.

Ms. Bella said, UN‑Habitat Pakistan has been instrumental in addressing issues that cater to improve access of basic services in schools around urban slums. Besides many other projects related to Water and sanitation improvement, UN-Habitat has recently implemented two specialized projects related to safe drinking water and sanitation improvements through gender mainstreaming.

The overall purpose of this particular project is to improve access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene in poor urban schools to reduce vulnerability of these communities from water borne diseases and impact of climate change, she concluded with thanking note to Coca-Cola for providing close support for this intervention.

Mr. Qazi Zahoor ul haq EDO education district Rawalpindi said that school children will be the primary beneficiaries of this project and government schools administration acknowledges efforts of UN-Habitat for implementing this project.

Disorder in charity endangers future of students

Islamabad, MTT News Desk: The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Wednesday said chaos in a well-known charity has put future of hundreds of students at stake.

Mismanagement and malpractices in a trust has raised concerns among parents of around fifteen hundred students getting education in the schools run by the trust, it said.

The health projects initiated by the trust are also being ignored owing to struggle in the charity, parents of the students told Abdullah Tariq, SVP, Pakistan Economy Watch.

The Chairman of Al Marifah Trust, Dr Sajjad ur Rehman has removed Managing Trustee and other two trustees. He also terminated administrator and other employees of the trust on charges of fraudulent activities, the parents told PEW.

The Chairman has also initiated legal proceedings against the trustees and the administrator, they added.

The trust has been running WISE schools and colleges where thousands of students are studying where the attention of administration has been diverted to politics.

Parents said that they are deeply concerned by reports of malpractices and misdirection which is damaging studies hence future of their children.

They called upon the concerned authorities to take note of the situation and order an external audit to ascertain as to who benefitted from donations worth millions of rupees attracted by the trust from unsuspecting donors.

NAB should discourage involvement of NGOs in the improper and dishonest use of funds with little to deliver, Abdullah Tariq demanded.

UNESCO urges free education in PKP

Peshawar, MTT News Desk: To gear the support for Right to Free and Compulsory Education for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and Peshawar University Teachers Association (PUTA) organized provincial forum Right to Education today in Peshawar. Education Minister and key officials from provincial education departments along with educationists, Parliamentarians and Senators attended the meeting.

Dr. Kozue Kay Nagata, UNESCO Representative in her statement expressed her confidence on Provincial governments to implement Article 25-A in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. She said, Todays meeting will provide us an opportunity to learn about vision, and plans of Provinces. We will discuss and debate various strategies and approaches towards bringing every child into school, starting from legislation to increasing education budget, expanding and diversifying educational opportunities to meet learning needs of children belonging to different groups and areas.

Minister of Education in KP, Sardar Hussain Babuk stressed to integrate skill-based training for students at school level. He said that education is the need of the time, and the education system should mainstream technology-based skills, which can be only solution to change the fate of millions of illiterate boys and girls in this province.

Mr. Arshad Saeed Khan, Senior Education Specialist UNESCO said, I appreciate the Provincial Governments which have taken concrete steps like preparing draft Bills but this is the time to legislate the Free Education Act this is in benefit of all, then why loose more time.

UNESCO, Islamabad is facilitating Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in preparation of the draft Bill on the Right to Free and Compulsory Education. The similar Bill has been approved already for Sindh and Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT).

Pakistan Turkey to distribute Rs 1 million among students

Islamabad, MTT News Desk: Over seven hundred Pakistani students from across Pakistan will get prizes for their outstanding performance demonstrated during National Inter Schools Math Olympiad (ISMO) held recently.

The ISO titled, Pakistan Seeks Al-Khwarizmi, was held on Jan 27th, 2013 at all the branches of PakTurk Schools across the country simultaneously in which some 16500 students from 500 different schools participated.

A total of 722 students from class 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th from different government and private schools will get rewarded for their incredible potential in the prize distribution ceremony scheduled at new campus of PakTurk at Sector H-8 tomorrow (Wednesday), said an announcement issued here today.

Top government functionaries, officials, educationists and parents of the students will participate in the award distribution ceremony.

Abdul Moeez Ijaz, a class eighth student of Jinnah Preparatory School Islamabad who was recently declared Al- Khwarizmi of Pakistan for one year for his brilliance in mathematics will be the centre of attention.

A cash prize of Rs one million will be distributed among the students who made it to the top.

Pak-Turk holds ISMO prize distribution ceremony

Islamabad, MTT News Desk: Pak-Turk International Schools and Colleges on Tuesday held prize distribution ceremony for first countrywide Inter Schools Math Olympiad (ISMO) held recently.

The ISO titled, Pakistan Seeks Al- Khwarizmi, was held on Jan 27th, 2013 at all the branches of Pak-Turk Schools across the country simultaneously in which some 16500 students participated representing around 500 schools.

The students of class 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th participated in the competition to prove their incredible potential.

Speaker of the Turkish Grand National Assembly Cemil Cicek, Deputy Speaker Faisal Karim Kundi, Turk Ambassador Babur Hizlan, Federal Secretaries, officials of Pak-Turk Schools, students, parents, and others were present at the at the award distribution ceremony held at Pak-Turk Chak Shahzad campus.

Many students of different schools bagged cash prizes from 50,000 to 30,000 while Abdul Moeez Ijaz, a class eighth student of Jinnah Preparatory School Islamabad was declared Al- Khwarizmi of Pakistan for his outstanding performance. He will retain the title for one year.

It may be mentioned that Abu Abdallah Muḥammad ibn Musa al-Khwarizmi was a legendary Muslim mathematician.

Speaking at the occasion, Speaker of the Turkish Grand National Assembly Cemil Cicek said that Turkey will continue to support Pakistan which is a great and trustworthy friend.

We are tied in the religious and cultural bonds which should be further strengthened, he said, adding that our government as well as masses value multidimensional relations with Pakistan which would by further cemented by the passage of time.

Deputy Speaker Faisal Karim Kundi said that Turkey is promoting education in Pakistan by establishing quality institutes and holding different competitions aimed at enhancing the level of our students.

Our students are being prepared to compete in the international events while many have won medial which is a great achievement, said Kundi.

Ambassador of Turkey Babur Hizlan said that Pakistani youth had tremendous potential and amazing talent to progress and advance in all walks of life.

Improving, educating and promoting the brightest Pakistani students is one of our mission, said Hizlan.

Mr. Unal Tosur, PakTurk International CAG Educational Foundation, MD Pak Turk Mr. Fesih Celik, Director Education Kamil Ture and others said that we will continue to provide opportunities to Pakistani students to intellectually stimulate them and infuse confidence, ability and decisiveness which were essential ingredient for progress in life.

Microcredit summit campaign report launched

Islamabad, Special Report by Mr. Ghulam Haider: About 13 million fewer of the worlds poorest families received access to microcredit and other financial services in 2011, says Microcredit Summit Campaign report captioned Vulnerability: The State of the Microcredit Summit Campaign Report 2011.

However, contrary to the global trends, microcredit sector has witnessed a robust growth in Pakistan, which has been ranked by the Economic Intelligent Unit among top countries for offering conducive environment for microfinance sector growth. As a sector developer, Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund (PPAF) is in the driving seat to control the trajectory and disbursed over Rs. 14 billion during the year under review resulting in an increase of Rs. 2,545 million in the outstanding loan portfolio and contributing almost 76 per cent of the total increase witnessed by the microfinance sector in Pakistan.

PPAF is the strategic and exclusive partner of Microcredit Summit Campaign for reporting and in terms of realizing its aims and objectives. Since its inception, PPAF has disbursed more than $850 million through 5.2 million microcredit loans. Currently, almost half of Pakistans microfinance market share is financed by PPAF through over 50 microfinance banks, microfinance institutions and other civil society organizations in 92 districts across the country.

It is for the first time since 1998, when the Microcredit Summit Campaign began tracking this data, the total number of clients and number of the poorest families reached has declined. The total number of clients was reported to have fallen from 205 million to 195 million and the sub-set of families living in extreme poverty, defined as less than $1.25 a day, from 137 million to 124 million.

Most other parts of the world saw moderate or slowed growth, with the exception of 1.4 million new clients in Sub-Saharan Africa. Despite this reverse in 2011, microfinance institutions still provided microloans to more than 124 million households living in extreme poverty. Assuming an average of five persons per family, this means that more than 621 million people were affected; this is twice the entire population of the United States.

The report argues that getting the industry back on track will require a new understanding of clients needs, preferences and aspirations as well as designing new tools for delivering products and services at lower costs.

The report highlights an ongoing challenge how does the sector more effectively connect with those around the world who are financially excluded. The Microcredit Summit Campaigns continued examination of innovative ways to reach underserved communities, like the potential of digital technology combined with appropriately designed products and services will be critical in accelerating financial inclusion.

The Microcredit Summit Campaign is a project of RESULTS Educational Fund a US-based advocacy organization committed to creating the will to eliminate poverty. The Campaign brings together microfinance practitioners, advocates, researchers, investors, donors and stakeholders to promote best practices in the field, stimulate interchange of knowledge, work towards reaching 175 million of the worlds poorest with microfinance and help 100 million poorest families lift themselves out of severe poverty.

As the lead institution for grassroot development in the country, PPAF works through civil society partner organizations to focus on the disadvantaged and marginalized across Pakistan. Adopting an integrated, multi sectoral, community-led, demand driven strategy, PPAF approach is to develop inclusive, representative, transparent and accountable institutions of the poor. The catalytic role of women in program design, delivery and impact is at the core of all interventions.

Social inclusion, political mainstreaming and empowerment of women form the bedrock of change and transformation by PPAF. Aggregation of their voices, awareness and education are fundamental to state-citizen relationships. Legal rights in the constitution and Shariah laws especially as they relate to divorce, property rights/inheritance, custody of children, voter registration and acquisition of national identity card are essential features of the social mobilization effort.

USD 18 million grant for rehabilitation of KP’s southern districts

Islamabad, MTT News Desk: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and Balochistan Multi Donor Trust Fund (MDTF) announced today the approval of a USD 18 million grant for the KP Southern Area Development Project.

The three-year Project will strengthen the capacity of the poor to improve their livelihood options through access to social and productive infrastructure. The affected communities will be fully involved in the implementation of the project which will target three districts in the Southern KP i.e. Dera Ismail Khan, Tank and Lakki Marwat. These districts are amongst the 25 poorest in the country and received the largest number of Internally Displaced People in the aftermath of the 2009 crisis that displaced an estimated two million people.

Through this Project, the Government of KP will finance investments for community development activities, skills enhancement and cost effective basic services. Small scale productive infrastructure will be rehabilitated with a focus on agriculture and livestock sectors (including provision of water, sanitation, irrigation and agricultural inputs) for the economic growth of southern KP which is essentially an agriculture based economy. This will benefit at least 100,000 people, of which 30 percent will be women.

Commenting on MDTF’s support to the rehabilitation and recovery needs of southern KP, Rachid Benmessaoud, World Bank Country Director for Pakistan said, ‘This project is unique in its approach as it supports the formation of community groups to plan, prioritize and implement their development needs. This will ensure that local communities, including vulnerable groups and women in targeted districts remain in charge of their own development agenda.

Karakurum University affairs need attention

Islamabad, MTT News Desk: The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Sunday said the management of the Karakurum International University (KIU) is destroying the institution and future of the people of Gilgit-Baltistan.

Currently, the university established in 2002 has 2300 students, nearly 100 faculty members and over a hundred administrative staff in sixteen academic departments is rife with politics.

The university administration has remained very reactive to demand basic rights by the students and teachers like dignity, free speech and disapproval of objectionable decisions, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.

Talking to a delegation of teachers, students and their parents, he said that it is unfortunate that the KIU administration has been encouraging the violations of the basic rights and taking decisions disregarding merit which amount to disempowering teachers and students.

Dr. Murtaza Mughal said that discouraging independent learning and critical thoughts, and too much focus on favouritism should not be allowed in institutions established to promote the people of far-flung areas.

Many institutions are failing to provide our children with the conditions that would enable them to enter into a future that is better than one to which previous generations had, he noted.

Dr. Murtaza Mughal said that we must not destroy the foundations of a better future as education is the single best investment a society can make.

The institutes of higher learning need a good cleaning out and reforms to get them back on track, he said adding that government must take corrective measures before the administration of the KIU pave way for any disaster.

The delegation who wished to remain nameless for fear of retribution said that the Chairman of the Senate of KIU GM Sikandar was forced to resign for criticising repressive practices frequently employed by the Vice Chancellor.

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