Saturday, December 21, 2013
Georgians march with portraits of late Soviet dictator Josef Stalin through his native town of Gori marking his birthday in a controversial celebration.
The Baloch HalBy Mariyam Suleman Baloch The port city of Gwadar, widely known as a significant city of the country, does not only promise massive revenue to the federal government but also provides hope to overcome many of our economic challenges. The city is capable of transforming into a hub for future industries, development projects along with numerous other mega schemes. Considering these projects, people might assume Gwadar as a developed city. On the contrary, the city with tremendous economic potential still lives under scores of social, economic and civic challenges. Today, one of the major concerns for the residents of the area is the poor state of education. Being the most backward district among the two other (Turbat and Panjgoor) in the Meran Division, Gwadar has the lowest number of educated individuals. Gwadar reasonably deserves attention in relation to the field of education which had been ignored in the past. After the immense efforts of the former Fisheries Minister Meer Husain Ashraf and former district Commissioner Jam Mohammed for the first time an inter college was established in Gwadar on the 1st of September 1991. Officially, established for the boys in the B&R [Building and Road Department] near today’s girls’ high school, the college finally was shifted to its current location on 1st September 1996. Subsequently, after several years with special permission from the educational board of Balochistan, the college initiated classes for girls in the evening shift. However, the lecturers were never paid accordingly for the evening shift though. Remaining as the only college of the city for more than twenty-two years, the college had enlightened numerous individuals’ lives who had studied under it. This year 1,596 students are enrolled but unfortunately very few students appear in the college frequently. The reasons are countless. An institution that had been unnoticed and ignored by the government from the commencement might never be in a standard position to educate others in a highly effective method. Complaining about or blaming the dictator or so-called former democratic governments can be our imprudence but today our Balochistan’s Chief Minister Dr. Abdul Mlik who persistently sheds light on his two main priorities “Health and Education”, seems like has elapsed neighbor of his home district’s educational circumstances. With in the six months of the new government, colleges in Turbat, Punjgoor and Tump each had been funded with specific amounts but again the Degree College Gwadar had been left out or ignored. It has been ten years that the college building had its last repairs. Today cracked walls of the classrooms, horrify the students each day. The construction work of the new college building has also been shut down because of the lack of attention by the government, which has caused the half constructed building in conjunction with its extensive compound to be confined by some group. Emphatically, an entire Degree college is being run with only eight lecturers and a few professors, where as neighboring districts’ colleges have more than forty lecturers. Out of countless vacancies only a few are filled. The college lacks lecturers and professors of English, Physics, Zoology, Botany, History, Civics, Geography, Political Science, Social work, Islamiat, Statistics and Pakistan Studies. Beginning from 1998, these vacancies amplified every year but remain vacant till today. Along with the shortage of the teaching staff, the college lacks ministerial staff as well which includes clerks, superintendents and so on. Being the home to one of the largest library of the district, students are still deprived of books since the college’s library is short of librarian from more than four years. With only four rooms in the bachelor’s loge and having the only servant’s quarter in the college boundary, and comprised with problems of basic needs like water and so on, the staff members have to suffer. Two female lecturers belonging to Turbat who have recently been appointed to Gwadar College aren’t attending their duties from three to four months. One of them, having back up of National party is trying her level best to get the salary which has been restricted by the principal of the college. The college was upgraded to Degree level in April 2006 and today perhaps the critical issue that the college is struggling with is neither being affiliated with the Balochistan University Quetta nor with any other university. The college depends on Atta Shad Degree College, Turbat. The principal of Turbat College attests examination forms and university registration forms for Gwadar Degree College. This year the students had to suffer due to not getting their examination slips on time, which created serious issues for the students during exams. According to the principal of college, a letter which included a detailed report about the issues was sent to the secretary of the Education Colleges Section Balochistan, Quetta last month; however they hadn’t got any response yet. Ultimately, education is the right of every citizen in the country nevertheless inauspiciously Balochistan’s most regions along with other privileges lack this fundamental right. The district which is the home to the country’s second largest port is short of a single standardized college. The chief minister’s party had got mandates in Gwadar during the municipality elections as well, and with mandates the chief minister had got responsibilities too. It is to be seen how much attention the education will get as the priority of the chief minister.
http://www.voanews.com/Gunmen in Pakistan have killed a health worker who was administering the polio vaccine in a restive tribal region near the Afghan border. Officials say the attack took place Saturday in Jamrud in the Khyber tribal district. Local authorities say the assailants left a note with the body warning of similar consequences for anyone who continued the vaccination campaign. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack. Militants frequently attack polio workers in Pakistan, accusing them of being Western spies or part of a plot to sterilize Muslims. The disease is highly infectious and can cause irreversible paralysis. The Global Eradication Initiative says polio remains endemic in three countries - Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan. The Initiative says until poliovirus transmission is interrupted in these countries, all countries remain at risk of importation of polio.
As Moharram approaches, people across the country are on tenterhooks and praying that Ashura will pass by peacefully, without any untoward incident. Yet, year after year, Ashura is marked by violence. And so it was this year too – despite the tall claims by law enforcement personnel, of having foolproof security measures in place. The venue was Rawalpindi’s Raja Bazar, where anti-Shia inflammatory speeches from a mosque when the Ashura procession was passing by, led to major violence in which 12 people were killed and nearly 100 shops set on fire. The violence spread to other parts of the country, threatening to develop into a full-scale sectarian war. But saner elements stepped into the fray, and doused the fire. Has the country’s security apparatus not learnt anything from past incidents? Every year, come Moharram and the law enforcement agencies, in their wisdom, impose a ban on pillion-riding, block cellular phone services, ban the entry of fiery clerics in certain cities or impose curfew. Be it the civilian governments of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) or the Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N), or be it the army, the national approach to fighting terrorism and sectarianism does not move beyond these futile, stop-gap measures. In theory, we are a nuclear power and, for a majority of our population, the lone citadel of Islam and the leaders of the Islamic world. But the ground reality is that we are a state at war with itself, a state sans the state’s writ. The society is being governed by non-state actors – terrorists, religious extremists, clerics and criminals. The state has cowardly ceded its writ to non-state actors, of which the most powerful are the jihadis and sectarian outfits who are exceedingly well-organised down to the street level. The sectarian killings and riots this Ashura are a testimony to this grim truth. Handling Ashura processions should be a routine task for societies that have an efficient law and order system and do not patronise elements that preach religious/sectarian hatred. But Ashura processions in Pakistan have posed a tough challenge to our law and order agencies since the late ’70s, when the army dictator, General Zia-ul-Haq started promoting religious/sectarian hatred as part of his state policies, in order to justify and prolong his illegitimate rule. Jihadis and sectarian vandals were given a license to kill, because they formed Zia’s main constituency. Zia nurtured them for 11 years, with financial support from Saudi Arabia and other Arab nations. All the jihadi and sectarian outfits that we see flouting the state’s writ so blatantly in every nook and corner of the country today, owe their existence and proliferation to the general. Ironically, the secular PPP that came to power thrice after Zia’s death, could do nothing to contain their influence. In fact, by not confronting them head-on, it allowed them to flourish. As far the PML-N is concerned, it was an extension of Zia’s coterie. Hence, it was barely surprising that the Nawaz government, during its two stints, further strengthened them, possibly in the vain hope that they would support him in his desire to become the country’s ‘Amirul Momineen’ through the passage of the Shariat Bill. It was our last army ruler, General Pervez Musharraf, who, in January 2002, banned five militant outfits: the Sipah-e-Sahaba, Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Mohammad, Harkat-ul-Ansar and Tehrik-e-Jafaria. But this ban was imposed not in the wake of the realisation that the growing militancy, sectarianism and religious extremism were eroding state power. Rather, his decision was a consequence of international pressure applied in the wake of an attack on the Indian parliament on December 13, 2001. The ban was a joke. The same outlawed outfits re-emerged under new names, but with the same mission of promoting religious intolerance, hatred and militancy. In effect, the same wine was bottled in the same bottle; only the label was changed. Lashkar-e-Taiba became Jamatud Dawa; Sipah-e-Sahaba is now the Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat (ASWJ); Jaish-e-Mohammad is Khaddamul Islam; Tehrik-e-Jafaria is Islami Tehrik Pakistan and the Harkat ul-Ansar is now Ansar-ul-Ummah. These banned outfits obtained new declarations for their venomous publications. Additonally, they purchased new domains for the propagation of their activities on the Internet. During the PPP rule, the jihadis/sectarian outfits started making use of the social media to extend their dangerous mission, not only in Pakistan, but across the world. However, instead of banning the provocative pages, the PPP government blocked all those Facebook pages and Twitter accounts that raised concerns about the rising militancy and sectarianism in the country. The electronic media too played a very negative role; it glorified the jihadi/sectarian militants. After the killing of 12 people in Rawalpindi in the recent sectarian violence on Ashura, Mohammad Ahmad Ludhianvi (the chief of ASWJ) was given excessive time by different TV channels to air his views. His tone against the Shias was threatening and, as a consequence, the sectarian violence spiralled out of control and reached Kohat, Hangu and Multan. This resulted in the killing of a renowned liberal educationist Shabbir Shah, a professor at Gujrat University, and several others.
Ludhianvi made a fiery speech in the presence of thousands of people in Rawalpindi on November 22, to protest against the Pindi killings. Anti-Shia slogans were chanted during this speech, but no action was taken against him. In fact, chanting the slogan ‘kafir kafir, Shia kafir (Shias are infidels)’ and chalking the same slogan on walls has become kosher in Pakistan, despite the fact that there is a law against spreading sectarian hatred. Similarly, there is a law to regulate the use of loudspeakers, which was promulgated in 1965. But it has never been implemented, just like the law against provocative literature. Even Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was unaware about the existence of such laws. In fact, after the Pindi killing, he announced that the misuse of loudspeakers would not be allowed. The crux of the matter is when police and law enforcement agencies are afraid of religious bigots, how can the law be implemented? When militants break out of jails in Pakistan and prison guards run away and seek shelter in sewerage lines, how can terrorism and militancy be fought forcefull? Moreover, when law ministers are hobnobbing with sectarian outfits like the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, how can one arrest the menace of sectarianism? Today, we have reached a stage where our most powerful institutions have become helpless before the terrorists and religious extremists. The death of Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan’s chief Hakeemullah Mehsud revealed that his house was just a kilometre away from the army headquarters in North Waziristan. The son of Jalaluddin Haqqani – Naseeruddin Haqqani – was assassinated in Islamabad and his dead body reached North Waziristan overnight. You and I, mere civilians, cannot even travel to North Waziristan. If the Nawaz Sharif government is serious about tackling terrorism and sectarianism, then as a first step, the banned outfits’ leaders, office-bearers and members should be stopped from operating another organisation under a different name, and their offices should be sealed so that they cannot be used for any acts of terrorism, militancy or sectarianism.
The relationship between Pakistan and Bangladesh is probably at its most tense since the war that separated the two countries in 1971. Strong anti-Pakistan protests have wracked Bangladesh for the past two days now in reaction to the response emanating from Pakistan after the execution of Abdul Quader Molla, a leader of the Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), on December 12, 2013, by Bangladeshi authorities on war crime charges dating back some 42 years. When the execution took place, the National Assembly in Pakistan passed a resolution condemning the hanging, with the PTI and JI here leading the chorus. This has struck a wrong nerve with the people in Bangladesh who are fuming about how Pakistan is standing against the decision taken by the Bangladeshi authorities. The protests have become so venomous that effigies of PTI leader Imran Khan and the Pakistani flag were burned in the streets. The political leaders in Pakistan need to get their house in order. Given the bitter history between the two countries, particularly related to the atrocities committed in the 1971 war, our leaders have to be more careful about the sensitivities that may be ignited when we intervene on the goings on in that country. Interfering in the decisions and policies made by another country, especially one that holds a decades old grudge, will lead to just such a volatile reaction. Also, what are we thinking speaking up for a man who, in essence, is a mass murderer? How can our National Assembly justify this support? Can we really blame the people of Bangladesh for their reaction? It is unfortunate that anyone holding the Islamist trump card, be they a preacher or a murderer, seem to get the backing of our politicians. So cowed are we by the right wing that better sense fails to prevail. We are jeopardising our bilateral relationship with a fellow South Asian Association Regional Cooperation (SAARC) country. Some $ 2 billion have been invested by Pakistan in Bangladesh and our businessmen are getting jittery. We are putting money, friendship and economic ties aside to offer our good grace to a man who has been charged with killing hundreds during the 1971 war. This is not just in bad taste but is also extremely foolish. We ought to think about the effect we are having on regional stability and security, not the appeasement of right wing forces and politicians.
The Express TribuneHundreds of tribesmen including women and children are stranded for the last four days in Miranshah Bus Stand in Bannu and different parts of North Waziristan Agency due to ongoing curfew. The agency’s political administration had imposed the curfew after an IED blast, which was followed by a suicide attack in which unknown militants had rammed an explosives-laden vehicle into check-post at Khajori and killed five security officials. Sobat Wazir, a tribesman from Miranshah, the agency headquarters, said he along with his family were stuck for the past four days in a hotel at a bus stand due to curfew and now he did not have any more money to pay for the hotel rent. “The room rent of hotels has also gone up due to the crowded lines of people” he said. Shahab Gul – who had a vehicle loaded with vegetables – said he was also stuck at a bus stand and could not move forward to the agency due to curfew. Gul said he had sustained a loss of Rs30,000 as the vegetables he had bought in Bannu had turned stale. Meanwhile the political administration on Friday relaxed the curfew from 11:00am till 1:00pm to allow the tribesmen to shift to their hometowns the injured and bodies of the people who had died in clashes between militants and security forces in Mirali and its outskirts.
A proposed new law that has the White House’s approval seeks to fiscally squeeze Pakistan if interruptions to the US/Nato ground supply route through Pakistan continue.
kidnapped 3 days ago and embraced martyrdom, The Shia Post reported. The villagers were shocked as beheaded body parts of 50 years old martyr DSP Altaf Hussain Durrani returned in his native village Dera Ismail Khan. Altaf Hussain Durani embracedmartyrdom. He was kidnapped from Mardan 3 days ago. Pro-Taliban terrorists have killed thousands of Shia Muslims across the country but governmnet, law enforcement agencies and judiciary have failed to protect its citizens.
shiapost.comSyria’s Permanent Representative to UN, Dr. Bashar al-Jaafari said that the reality of events in Syria is clear-cut, pointing out to the extent of the outrageous crimes committed against the Syrian people by the armed terrorist groups, mostly linked to al-Qaeda and brought by the Saudi regime, which is “the main funder and supporter to terrorism hotbeds around the world.” Al-Jaafari ‘s remarks came in the framework of Syria’s statement prior to the UN General-Assembly’s adopting a draft resolution presented by Saudi Arabia against Syria under the title of ” human rights condition in Syria”. He said that the international legal framework which UN member states are working within is based on the principle of non-interference in any state’s internal affairs under any pretext, which was documented in several international resolution charters, on top of which the UN Charter. “Proposing such sort of politicized resolutions, which is addressing a state in particular, violates the provisions of the Charter in general and hinders the bases of a peaceful political solution that is built on an inter-Syrian comprehensive national dialogue,” al-Jaafari added. He clarified that such resolutions would encourage continuing armed violence in service of certain countries that seek feverishly to foil the convening of Geneva 2 Conference. “The Saudi regime with the help of other states and governments brought terrorists to Syria from 83 countries, most of which are Arab, Islamic and Western states participating in proposing this politicized and hostile resolution,” al-Jaafari said. He said that the exposure of the reality of events in Syria has made many countries reconsider their stances and policies with the aim of correcting the grave mistakes committed against Syria and cleaning their image lest they would be questioned by their peoples and history on their distorted policies throughout the crisis in Syria. “What is ridiculous is that the Saudi regime, which represents the pinnacle of human rights violation against its people, the Arabs and Moslems and the main exporter of the fundamentalist Takfiri terrorism to all the world starting from Afghanistan in the 80′s of last century to September 11th in New York, London, Paris, Madrid and other countries in Arab and African countries, proposes a draft resolution calling for maintaining the Syrian people’s rights.” “This paradox coincides with the Saudi regime’s persisting on interfering in Syria’s affairs with no accountability for igniting the crisis and hindering a peaceful and political solution by the Syrians,” he added. Al-Jaafari said that the Saudi regime’s stance will lead to more breading of terrorism in the world and the eruption of terrorism inside Saudi Arabia itself, as well as the continuation of Syria’s human rights violations by the Takfiri armed terrorist groups it backs. He continued to say that the armed terrorist groups are desecrating Adra, a city home to more than 70,000 employees working in 600 factories and plants, where ugliest crimes are committed against them such as slaughtering with white arms, burning in furnaces and perpetrating field executions under directives of their funders and the arrangements of sectarian sheikhs. “Could anyone explain why the Saudi-Qatari terrorist hysteria is silenced on…and for what is this unjustifiable silence of the so-called international community on the fostering of terrorism by regimes of Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey,” al-Jaafari wondered. “You will hear misleading talk lamenting the death of 100,000 victims in Syria, but you will not be briefed by representatives of the regimes of Saudi Arabia, Qatar or Turkey on the reason why these victims have been killed or by whom, neither will they explain how many of victims were killed with the white arms or by suicide bombings,” he added. ” Syria’s delegation urges member states to reconsider their voting and say no to the draft resolution in order not to get dragged behind the illusions of the countries adopting it in an attempt to divert attention from their inhuman, unethical and illegal exercises.” Al-Jaafari concluded.
AFPSyria now views Saudi Arabia as its number one enemy and accuses it of trying to destroy the country by arming jihadists and other rebels fighting to oust President Bashar al-Assad. The oil-rich Gulf monarchies have sided with the opposition from the start of Syria’s conflict in March 2011, with Riyadh leading calls for the fall of Assad. Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Muqdad told AFP this week that Saudi Arabia was providing unfettered support for “terrorist groups” in Syria, while other nations had reviewed their positions.“I think that all those who supported these terrorist groups have the feeling now that they have made big mistakes,” Muqdad said in an interview on Thursday, referring to the rebels seeking to topple Assad. “The only party who is declaring the full support to the terrorist groups, to Al-Qaeda, is Saudi Arabia,” he said. Muqdad urged the world to press Saudi Arabia to halt its support for the rebels, to prevent what he said was “another 11 September incident”. “I think that if the world wants to avoid another 11 September incident, they must start telling Saudi Arabia ‘enough is enough,’” he said, referring to Al-Qaeda’s 2001 attacks on the US. Earlier this month, Assad’s government urged the United Nations to take a stand against Saudi support for Islamist groups whose influence has grown on the battlefield. “We call on the UN Security Council to take the necessary measures to put an end to the unprecedented actions of the Saudi regime, which is supporting takfiri (Sunni extremist) terrorism tied to Al-Qaeda,” the foreign ministry said in a message to UN chief Ban Ki-moon.It was the first time the Syrian government has appealed to the international body to take action against Riyadh. “Saudi Arabia is not content to merely send weapons and to finance but also mobilises extremist terrorists and sends them to kill the Syrian people,” the Syrian message said.