May 12, 2011
A few months back I was in USA to meet with some family and aunts. During this time I spent a lot of time with my cousins. When we were told there was some traditional Indian Bhangra event us girls decided it would be fun and decided to check it out. We had some fun and it was nice seeing some brown people around other than my family. We even had some drinks and by the time we were out of there we were kind of wobbly on our legs though my aunt had told us not to drink too much…
So as we were walking back to the car quite drunk and fooling around, I faked putting the Dupatta over my head which drew chuckles from my cousins. A white man who had been staring at us all this while with a cigarette in one hand stared at us, shook his head and said “F***** terrorists”. I froze right there and stared at him for one long second. I heard my cousin say come on but I just stared at the man.
Even though I happened to be a little drunk at that time and not to mention I am a devout Christian my brown skin color and messing around with a Dupatta made me a ‘terrorist’. Perhaps it was the alcohol or maybe my own feeling for my homeland set my blood on fire. But at that moment I actually felt something I admit to have never felt so deeply before, being part of a minority in a country where some people are not very tolerant. I really felt sympathy for what Muslims were going through. I also understood what it felt like to be called a terrorist just because you belonged to a particular race. In that one moment I knew exactly what Havi had probably felt when some Indians admitted murder and threatened to kill him, then tried to frame him as a terrorist or what other leaders may have felt when faced with similar situations. I felt angry and very annoyed.
Over whispers of my cousin to let it go and nudging from the other side I walked towards the man. The guy, probably a professional at calling people “terrorists” and being ignored actually looked surprised when I walked towards him and shouted at him to shut up. Then as I was walking back he finally found a tongue and asked “Is that what your religion teaches you?” I replied “I am a Christian” though I could not help the expletives that came out of my mouth either. My friends half pulled me and I half walked away to the lot where our car was but the event taught me a very important lesson. It taught me to look with another persons eyes. A very valuable lesson.
Perhaps if we Pakistanis were as afraid of something as the west is of “Pakistan” or “Muslims” we would have died of a heart attack a long time ago. That we survived the wave of terrorism and great odds speaks of our resilience. But only God knows how much more we will have to suffer for our dreams of prosperity, peace and equality regardless of caste and creed to come true because all of us perhaps would prefer to stay in Pakistan had that environment of personal freedom existed.
The notes about Havi may be information that we don’t discuss but we all know what happened and it deserves to be known because in all these years no one has supported the cause of minorities and in general tolerance as this guy. Try to appreciate the article than picking things out.
Okay, its clear that someone had to post something here about what is going on now. Havi has resigned as leader of the PNA, Canada. Mansur Elahi has taken his place as temporary Chapter head and will most likely be leading the organization for the coming years.
There have been many rumors these days. Many of the are TRUE. Sultan, as his close friends all know him is leaving the country for good. He is really sick and is not in the condition to speak with anybody. The disease he has is currently unknown but he will be taking further tests to determine what is going on. Crescent Shield will be shut down until further notice as the server location will most probably be shifted.
Everyone knows who has been behind this public effort to make the Nationalist voice heard. If this person is sick or moves out of Canada the effects and stops working for PNA the effects will be:
1) An end of PNA Public Wing and any public effort because we all know how difficult things have been in the past. Nationalists are already ready to believe that others don’t want us to express our views at all or some other unjustified idea.
2) More traditionalist thought will come forward to fill the gap and of course many people will make fun of what actually happened here ‘because of some stupid Liberals’ and see it as proof of the failure of new ideas.
3) No public effort will be launched after such a sudden end to this one.
And ofcourse sooner or later because of lack of staff to maintain it or because of the hawks back at home in Pakistan any public effort will be shut down.
This web presence is now officially closed until further notice. There will be no posting. The site will remain to remind us of a goal some of us believed in and if maybe one day there is a leader or chapter head who takes a stand this site may start posting again.
Additional Note: News is also coming in about 6 newly selected chapter heads for 6 overseas nations and the division of the Pakistan Chapter into 4 provincial bodies for easier management.
March 13, 2011
Bisecting Tehreek E Taliban Pakistan’s insurgency for its funding source
The United States squarely puts the blame for the failure of the War on Terror and anything related to the Taliban and the Al Qaeda on Pakistan. Unfortunately the bubble is blown by none other than a US congressman. Republican Congressman Dana Rohrabacher claimed “The Taliban was a construct of the CIA and was armed by the CIA” Let’s explore how far this is true.
In a 1998 interview, Zbigniew Brezinski, Carter’s national security adviser admitted that U.S. aid to the mujahideen factions began before the December 1979 invasion and played a role in inviting the Russians into the region. The entire plan had been to trap the Russians in Afghanistan and use factions such as the Taliban to fight their war for them. According to Brezinski the first ruling for secret aid to the mujahideen came on July 3, 1979 under President Carter himself. Soon after that an American delegation was sent to Pakistan to use it as a puppet to fight their war against the Soviets for them. Pakistan took almost all the losses for the war and the blame for arming the Taliban which could never have been possible without American financing and naturally when the war was over so was the assistance that Pakistan had been promised by the United States. Today Pakistan faces the fallout of what happened back then in the face of a raging insurgency fuelled further by the American presence in Afghanistan that has killed over 2500 Pakistani soldiers and over 8000 Pakistani civilians with over 20000 Pakistanis grievously wounded.
Certain media outlets are telling the World that Pakistan is receiving ‘huge amounts of aid’ and may be supporting the militants to milk that aid. However they aren’t telling the World what makes this theory implausible. According to Pakistan’s Interior Ministry the damage caused to the Nation in the loss of infrastructure and life was $35 Billion in up to July 2009. This was based on a conservative estimate but for lack of other figures we will use this. Since there has been no real let up in the violence from that period the current estimates put the damage to well over $42 Billion in return for a meagre and reluctant American compensation. The exact figure of aid is still unknown and various estimates put it from 4 Billion to 17 Billion. So from being in the War on Terror Pakistan is already at a loss financially without counting the loss in investment and the loss of developing markets for Pakistani exporters.
In any case to have caused such much major damage the Tehreek E Taliban would need to be exceptionally well organized, very well armed and extremely well funded. The well funded and well armed bit specially stands surprisingly true since around 86% of the Taliban have never gone to a college or university before and 40% have only studied till Matric (About 9th grade) or even less. Most of the Taliban soldiers are completely illiterate and can barely sign their names on a piece of paper. The riddle of where the money may be coming from in a country where about 70% of the population lives below $2 a day or even how the major commanders seem to have evaded capture every time Pakistan launches an operation still remains unsolved.
To give the Taliban their due however they have indeed developed a source of funding in Pakistan over time. According to analysts the primary known sources of the Taliban’s wealth are donations from its sympathizers, looting of supply convoys, kidnap for ransom and extortion of protection money. Recent reports indicate that Taliban are even involved in bank robberies in major Pakistani cities such as Karachi while it has also been speculated that a great deal of the poppy growth cultivation in Afghanistan directly benefits the Pakistani Taliban. According to the past governor of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa this reserve seems to be increasing by approximately $45 Million annually. This in itself is a large figure. In fact it is actually just about half of what the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has been capable of spending on the war on terror. The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government spent about $89.5 Million on law and order according to the 2009-10 National budget.
According to analysts the Taliban has also accumulated around $250-400 Million of wealth over time. Therefore the word that the Taliban is operating its own government with its own standing finances stands correct.
If any further evidence of this is required, according to a report from Dawn a single Pakistani police constable makes about $80 a month while a Taliban foot soldier in Pakistan makes $170 per month. Even in death the government cannot match up to the Taliban. The heir of a dead policeman receives about $6000 while a suicide bombers family is often given sums of over $20000. The total number of Taliban troops and terrorists associated with other radical organizations operating under the umbrella of the Tehreek E Taliban Pakistan is 35,000. Using the figures and multiplying the yearly expenditure of the Taliban on salaries for its fighters and compensation for the families of suicide bombers the figures add to $72 Million. This is more than the $45 Million they are earning.
Given that the organization has spent approximately $72 Million of its wealth to pay their bombers and their foot soldiers it still leaves the question of acquisition of arms, weaponry and other expenses for its fighters. If that isn’t enough to prove that the Taliban is a power to be reckoned with even bolder is the announcement of Hakeemullah Mahsud the Taliban commander that the Taliban can give $20 Million in aid to the government to provide for the flood victims of Pakistan if the American aid for the floods is rejected.
It is certainly clear that the Taliban is earning more than $45 Million annually and that money is not enough to maintain the group’s terrorist activities. It is also clear that to spend $72 Million yearly they would have to have another income source. This definitely means that either someone from outside is supporting the Taliban or the Taliban have even more sources of income that have not come under the scrutiny of Pakistani analysts and officials.
Pakistan becomes a punching bag: Blaming the ISI
The ISI has been the target of the blame for the monster we face today. Many writers and journalists even within Pakistan have begun taking a page from the American media and questioning whether it is certain Pakistani generals and the ISI secretly supplying the terrorists. The question is could this be true today and if so have these same generals or the ISI actually benefitted from the current situation of Pakistan?
Even if the claim that sympathetic generals within the army are supporting the insurgents holds true the question still remains how can the insurgent’s have estimated wealth reserves of around$250-400 Million when it comprises of a group of ragtag and illiterate men, most of whom cannot read a single passage in any language. If the ISI is responsible, as the US media would have us believe, well then it’s for sure that the agencies entire staff’s salary is being handed over to the Taliban for the group’s sustenance while the agencies own agents and operatives are going home without their salaries. Not to say they are perfectly happy with the murder of their own fellow countrymen by the Taliban. The funds available to the ISI are classified but for an impoverished country like Pakistan it is likely to be much less than $250 Million.
Nonetheless ‘rogue agents’ from the ISI are the focus of the blame. The fact that totally makes this theory baseless is how severely the same intelligence set up of the country has been targeted. A small count of the attacks on the ISI in the country will reveal this.
-The attack in Multan on the ISI building kills 8.
-The attack in Peshawar on the ISI kills around 10.
-ISI provincial headquarters in Lahore attacked on 28th May killing 35 and wounding over 300.
-The brutal murder of 2 main ISI agents Khalid Khwaja and Colonel Imam by the Taliban, the two very same people often blamed for supporting the Taliban were killed by the very people the US media alleged they were supporting.
-The very recent bombing of the ISI building in Faisalabad.
This proves that ISI is losing both men and is suffering severe financial losses in the War on Terror. These are some of the bomb attacks that are known but there are more deaths that are going unaccounted for by the media.
According to an unnamed official many agents and operatives have been sent to the North and South Waziristan region to collect intelligence and have wound up dead. The ISI keeps mum about its losses officially which sometimes makes it hard for people to understand that it has also taken losses in this war.
If the losses are compared to other intelligence agencies the results are strikingly different. Well known CIA operations remain intact in Afghanistan and it’s a surprise that the militants would so selectively attack the locations of the countries intelligence agencies and that also with absolute impunity. What is even more surprising is that many ordinary citizens of Pakistan do not know the locations of the ISI, yet the Taliban have attacked their headquarters in almost every major city.
Another whipping boy: The Pakistani Military
The military has suffered even more financial loss than the ISI. No doubt much of the American aid and assistance is militaristic in nature and ends up in the hands of the Pakistan army however on the other hand this same institution is the primary loser in the violence that has gripped the country.
Asad Khalil a self styled analyst who is trying to get a hold on the real figure on army losses both in terms of finances and personnel claims that the army has suffered at least $7 Billion in losses in the war on terror. If so even the army is losing more financially than it is gaining.
It is made further senseless to suggest that the Pakistani military is supporting terrorism when even videos tapes are revealing that terrorists are being tortured and shot by soldiers themselves enraged by the deaths of their comrades at the hands of the militants. A person just has to walk through any military building to see the fury military men have towards the terrorists.
Furthermore no matter how much we blame the mistakes of the past on our own military including Pakistan’s role in the Afghan civil war it is clear that the military could not have dreamed of facing the Soviets without US support, $4 Billion which were handed over to militants. Would it be sensible for Pakistan to face a superpower of that time such as the Soviets without support and would our leadership have taken the same decision if an American delegation had not come up and demanded help against the Soviets? So perhaps the United States is more to blame for the creation of terrorists than Pakistanis because in reality Pakistan was just used as a puppet state for an American war at that time.
Foreign Support to the Taliban
When it comes to certain Right Wing media groups they have continuously stood up and taken every opportunity to say that terrorism is being sponsored by various intelligence agencies of certain countries that are against the ideal of Pakistan.
The United States has sometimes been blamed for both directly or indirectly supporting terrorism in Pakistan but there has been no real official claim and nothing recorded from an official source. The USA’s activities in Pakistan would quite successfully have evaded the radar when it comes to supporting militants due to the deal the Pakistani government has made with them. Unfortunately for them and fortunately for the Pakistanis the country woke up from its slumber when a man operating in Pakistan as Raymond Davis murdered two Pakistanis on the streets of Lahore in broad daylight. That’s when reports of contacts on his cell phone came up, the gadgets in his car and photographs from his camera containing sensitive locations. There were 33 calls on his cell phone of which 27 were to known or suspected militants.
It appears Davis has been in contact with militants. According to Shakil Ahmed a journalist, Davis was only one of 1200 Blackwater agents spread out across the country. Police officials from Lahore further backed up these claims saying he had close links to militants and was instrumental in recruiting youth for the terrorists. Furthermore the ISI which according to the agreement with CIA is to keep tabs on all agents present in the country does not have Davis in its records.
Many people believe it was unfortunate what happened that day but perhaps it was lucky as it allowed Pakistanis to understand just what is going on in their country.
India has also been blamed and in this case rare examples of politicians, or media supporting these claims have come up. An article in late 2009 appeared claiming India was supporting terrorism in Pakistan and had funnelled $650 to the Taliban insurgents in Pakistan, a fact which was revealed by three captured militants themselves.
Another video appeared on the internet briefly where a militant commander admits to have been paid by India to fuel sectarianism in Pakistan on the television screen. Also after the Sri Lankan cricket team attack a report was made public that had been received by the local police in Lahore. This report can be seen here.
It is also imminent to mention here that India has four consulates in Afghanistan. This is more than the number of consulates a country would want to have in such an impoverished country. What is most alarming for Pakistan is that three of these consulates are right across the border. India has continuously been blamed for fomenting unrest in Baluchistan.
Although the patriotic men and women of Pakistan are prepared to believe these reports and are eager to find out just what exactly they are facing in the shape of an extremely powerful, never ending insurgency and just who exactly is supporting them to destroy Pakistan, the only issue is none of this subject matter related to intelligence is discussed by our politicians and rarely have these claims been backed up.
All this can only mean that India and the United States are both working together to destabilize Pakistan. At this stage the people of Pakistan just want to know what they are facing.
The biggest question is why and how plausible is this theory?
The grim reality is that the Taliban is both earning and spending much more than was initially believed. Someone has to find out from where that money is actually coming from and come out clean once and for all about who is sponsoring terrorism in Pakistan.
The natural suspicion within Pakistan is and if the government tells us what is going on people are willing to actually believe or will it be seen as just another conspiracy theory as anything said against America these days is? The only way to make people believe is to prove it.
Why would the United States betray a key ally like Pakistan? Many Pakistanis however reply to this question by saying hasn’t it done that in the past by abandoning the Pakistanis in terms of aid and economic support and the Afghans at the mercy of the Taliban whom they used to defeat the Soviets?
The fact is the USA is gaining from terrorism across the World and using it as an excuse to occupy lands where they had no presence in the past. It is also not taking most of the direct losses in the war which are rather pushed on to the local people of the regions where the wars are being fought yet these same allies are also the focus of blame. The United States is clearly hiding a huge secret here. It is more than time for that secret to be revealed and solid concrete proof presentable in the court of law must be brought forward detailing the countries support for terrorism.
If an agreement has been formed between India and USA in this regard this information must be revealed.
Whatever the case the Military is not coming out about who is sponsoring the insurgents while Pakistan is being made a scapegoat for a failing war on terror. At the same time it is surprisingly taking almost all the losses even when the militant groups claim to be fighting Americans.
This is creating a very dangerous situation for Pakistan and the stage is being set to abandon Pakistan again just like it was when it was used as a puppet against the Soviets to defeat them in Afghanistan. Pakistan cannot let the past repeat itself by following the American line again especially if this is some arm twisting manoeuvre where we are being forced even when we know the Americans are supporting terrorism.
Will present soon
Before dismissing this as a conspiracy theory learn this is a well researched piece for which I contacted 64 different sources. Why go through all this? Because I want to get to the bottom of what is going on in my country and I know for sure swearing on my own life that someone is supporting the Taliban very heavily. To defeat this insurgency that financial support has to be cut.
An anonymous letter (translated)
Pakistan has been in existence for more than 60 years. In this time this Nation has seen it all. War, death, destruction, internal strife, corruption, power-hungry heads of state, severe foreign interference. Everything. Everything but the progress and prosperity we dreamed off. Power to some extent we have attained but still how does it matter when 60% of our people still live below a dollar a day? In this case it is something to wonder why we are constantly interfering in wars and countries where we do not belong. Why not concentrate almost completely on developing the country?
Recently we received a letter from a member describing his experiences in the past and questioning when we would rise above our differences and start putting Pakistani interest first rather than taking the first opportunity we find to interfere in another Nation. The letter also asked why we are worshiping US aid, much of which is eaten by the corrupt bureaucracy.
The letter also questions why despite all our sacrifices the west does nothing but treat us as terrorism suspects and how can we continue in this way if we are being treated as an inferior group of people even while we take their losses. Here is the letter.
I became a part of the movement on 4th of July 1986, the years of the Soviet Afghan war. I saw the turmoil that the war had brought. I watched the years pass as the drugs, the illegal weapons and the refugees filled my land becoming a burden on our beloved country. I, a resident of Peshawar watched as my beloved city was turned into a refugee camp. All this was happening when we could barely feed our own. Pakistan’s involvement in Afghanistan is often a hotly debated subject when there are people of highly religious backgrounds present but most today agree that it was one of our foreign policy blunders that resulted in three things:
1) More fanaticism in society
2) US achieved its goals in defeating the Soviets but when it did the aid to us ended. A valuable lesson.
3) Taliban gained an opportunity to spread terrorism in Afghanistan successfully making it a fanatical nation till the Allied invasion.
What happened during the War should have become a valuable lesson for us that taught us that interfering in another country always has consequences and should be avoided no matter how horrible the situation of that country seems to be. But we don’t learn our lesson’s because when the United States again came to us asking us to declare war against their own funded terrorists we accepted. Now this would have been a brilliant thing if it was not for the truth that we would be the ones who took all the losses and directed a highly fanaticized population against ourselves. We have taken more causalities than the United States and the war is being fought right on our land.
I doubt the Nationalist values of honour and many of our members thirst for vengeance will allow them to even think about not waging war on Tehreek E Taliban Pakistan movement. But maybe it is more than time to declare ourselves completely neutral to what happens in Afghanistan, that means both to the USA and the Taliban. This will:
1) Destroy TTP’s excuse that we are supporting the USA which they use to recruit and brainwash. An upcoming withdrawal by NATO forces will improve the situation in Pakistan further. We just need wait. This should leave their most fanatical core. That core must still be finished.
2) Pakistan will stop being treated as a colony by the USA and we will at least live with some honour. Their agents like Raymond Davis won’t be killing our people in broad daylight for one.
3) Will allow us to look at other foreign policy options. The relationship with USA is outdated. In the beginning of this war they were mad but now they are stuck in Iraq and Afghanistan, bullying Iran and Syria, they won’t do anything to make the matter any worse. We should use the opportunity to slowly draw away from the country and look at a closer relationship with Russia. After all at least they are more reliable allies.
4) Pakistanis are being pulled out of lines at airports. A suspect generally has to be Pakistani. Further evidence is our own chapter heads in some countries are becoming victims of severe persecution. We are treated as terrorists when we have the highest number of losses. Even patriotism is a crime today. We have nothing to lose. We had more respect before.
I hope our various organizations follow this strategy and accept it as our policy idea. There is no end in sight to this madness and only if we adapt a principle of non interference no matter what the situation can we succeed. What happens outside our country is not our problem.
(Member not comfortable with releasing name here)
February 28, 2011
By Rezab Alim
There have been a lot of questions about the exact number of people in the Nationalist Movement and constantly we estimate our numbers but they end up being incorrect numbers.
There was a survey going on in Pakistan to count the number of total people inside Pakistan Nationalist Organizations. That survey in Pakistan that has been going on is completed but the foreign chapters still have to complete the survey. The team put together to organize the information says it was a very difficult job because of confusion in collecting information. This is because many members that are in one organization are also in another which cause a lot of problems. Each organization for this task has to be in very good contact with each other and with the United team put together, even when there are some differences. Also the team has to have a member from all organizations and some people always feel it is biased.
So finally the results for Pakistan are here up till December 2010. The result for other Chapter may take much more time.
The Pakistan Chapter has 9,958 members.
February 22, 2011
By Havi Zayed
Though reports are sketchy at this moment it has been confirmed that Halzaar, who gave the gift of education to many poor children despite being from a very poor background, has perished. Though it is not yet clear the very reason for this may be militant activity. The report came in on the 20th of this month and Nationalist media sources had been waiting for confirmation of the incident before releasing it on our sources.
Halzaar who was often called Thomas has been a jewel within the organization for a very long period. In the year 2007 he took it upon himself to put every ounce of his meagre wealth to the promotion of education in Pakistan and started up his first school with the help of other Nationalist volunteers in rural Sindh. In the subsequent years his fame within the various Nationalist organizations skyrocketed as it does in almost all situations where a member donates funds but Halzaar constantly dreamed of a similar school in his own district of Hangu, which was the reason he had spent the end of the last year surveying the district for the poorest of the poorest village to build his second school.
The details surrounding Halzaar’s death are still unknown but family members who live in Karachi confirm that the 32 year old liberal went to visit his home in Thal, Hangu but they had not heard of him since he began the trip. The breakthrough only came recently when villagers from Targhundai found a bullet riddled body in the areas surrounding it which has been identified as Thomas. The village has also suffered a rocket attack recently which has been reported in the news.
If this is proven to be militant activity rather than personal enmity this may very well be the first time a Nationalist of civilian origin has been slain by the militants. In the past some of our men who joined the army voluntarily in order to destroy the terrorist menace have been killed in attacks primarily due to the Nationalist battle zeal that separates our units from others when facing enemies of the state. It is well known that Nationalists with Leftist tendencies and Military ones tend to almost worship the land as a mother tolerating nothing against it.
Most Nationalist leaders including those from the Watan Parast Tehreek which Halzaar primarily served were not available for comment immediately about the death of one of their most important members. However children from Halzaar’s school who are eager to learn are already depressed about what the future may hold for them. “Halzaar used to pay my child’s fees” a parent says. “Will anyone be able to take this man’s place to support the poor people of rural Sindh?
The question remains to be answered.
February 22, 2011
By Havi Zayed
Lord Zerab Salamat the supreme leader of the Pakistan Nationalist Association has released a statement saying that the Nationalists would rest at nothing less than the hanging of American agent Raymond Davis who was arrested for cold blooded murder of two Pakistanis on the streets of Lahore. Another car belonging to the American embassy mowed down a Pakistani motorcyclist while heading towards Davis.
Pakistani annoyance with America has been reaching its peak as the country continually blames Pakistan for its own mistakes and has been treating Pakistan as a pet dog rather than as an equal ally. After the American invasion of Afghanistan the insurgency the United States created to fight the Soviets has spilt into Pakistan. Yet Pakistan is being made the focus of International blame due to the American media despite both its losses and the fact that without the United States the country could not even have thought of facing the Soviets.
Pew Global Polls a US based research group shows that the image of the United States in the country is still highly negative and has fallen from 60% of the population holding negative views of USA in 2005 to 68%. At the same time positive views of the country have also fallen. The recent incident is sure to ensure that the trend continues or is perhaps excelled.
Zerab Salamats Speech
To a gathered crowd of about 300 young Pakistani men and women in Muqaddar Mansion, Zerab gave a fiery statement in regard to the brutal killings by Raymond Davis which the US government is trying to cover with the excuse of diplomatic immunity.
The speech which lasted about 12 minutes answered a number of questions present in the minds of many Nationalists about the movements regards to foreign interference.
It was also a lashing attack on American behaviour in the region. He said that Pakistan was important to the rest of the World and if the USA did not stop treating Pakistan as a colony the people of the country may get sick of the behaviour and rise up in revolt. At the same time he made it clear that terrorism was a major threat that had to be dealt with or without the presence of the USA. “It would be a great pleasure not to have allies that betray their friends but it is clear that the militants are a threat and are just waiting to be used (by foreign powers). They must be eliminated for daring to wage war against the country. They have shown their true face as the betrayers they are by blowing up their own people. If their war was against the US why are they attacking us and weakening our country?” This reiterated the point that the Taliban and USA’s hypocritical attitude towards Pakistan is equal in Nationalist eyes.
To a question concerning American links to Taliban activities in the region the veteran replied “there is no doubt about it that the Americans are hiding something and we know well that their embassies are hotspots for their secret operatives whom they cover as staff. We also know that the US has worked with the terrorists in the past and forced us on the path (Soviet Afghan War) and are now trying their best to pin the blame on our revered institutions. We understand someone is clearly supporting the Taliban both monetarily and with weapons as the findings of our commission reveal. Since we have limited access to the region we have been unable to find out who but it is clear that such a thing can be done by a traitorous ally who can use the traitorous Taliban as puppets for its gains (Referring to the Soviet era).”
Falshim Amerat another very famous leader of the Organization who was contacted also called for action against American mercenary groups. “Pakistan is not a tool for the west to use and abandon. This is our land and they will realize that even if they have bought the government they cannot challenge the might of Pakistani law or the entire country will rise up. Davis must be hanged. We often find ourselves at odds with the religious parties when it comes to how much of a role religion should have in the country’s rule but here we agree completely. A traitor is a traitor whether American, Indian or a separatist and there is no doubt in our minds how one of such breed should be treated. CIA must stop all activities in Pakistan.”
This is indeed a very important point in Pakistani American relations that will decide the countries future. Either the Americans back off and accept the will of the Pakistani people or understand that this government is about to fall and may be replaced by one much less accommodating to American demands.
February 14, 2011
By Havi Zayed
Education is the universal right of each and every individual. However continuously due to the utter corruption and failure of successive governments this field has been pathetically neglected in Pakistan. Even today the expenditure on education in Pakistan is one of the lowest in the world and usually sits at 2% of the GDP most of the time. The maximum it has ever reached is 2.80%.
Currently Pakistan has a literacy rate of approximately 57% which is one of the lowest in the World, though independent observers agree that literacy has increased in the past years. However the number can be expected to be lower than the 57% estimate considering the fact that an apathetic government has had a role in accumulating these figures.
Our description of how we find the literacy rate is defined as “aged 10 and over can read and write.” If a child who is ten years of age can somehow sign his name on a piece of paper he is literate according to the government. This apathy and ignorance towards education has led to a major problem in Pakistan and is not only prevalent in the government but also in many circles of the poverty stricken masses.
Why Primary Education, why not a complete Universal Education System?
In any country, especially one that has a high illiteracy rate like Pakistan all education must be a must and enrolment in primary institutions ensured. However we are talking about making only primary education must by law because it is an achievable target which can be accomplished provided the law is implemented and children in those age groups found roaming the streets on week days are picked up and sent right to school as they deserve to be.
Every great intention starts with a single step in the right direction, therefore it is a sensible for a start rather than impose a law the country simply does not have the means to administer.
By estimate we have 156,653 Primary institutions in the country which should be enough to accommodate Pakistan’s population of children of about 4-10 years. This estimate is gained by multiplying 156,653 primary institutions into an average number of students they can accommodate (Approximately 100). This gives the figure 15,665,300 which is the number of students these institutions can accommodate. This is approximately the total population of children between those age’s in the country.
Therefore according to these numbers Pakistan does have enough primary institutions in the country to though it is clear that many being concentrated in the cities and urban areas, there will be children in the rural areas who do not have a primary school in their area to go to at all. In these areas work needs to be started immediately on a school for the children to go to.
Problems involved: Corruption & Non Implementation of Laws
Pakistan is fully capable of enforcing such a rule as there are enough Primary schools in Pakistan to accommodate these children.
The most important factor in the implementation of this ideal is indeed the old issue in Pakistan of what role the police and the other upholders of the law will play. In Pakistan the problem is often that there are laws but those same laws are ignored and not properly implemented. A fine of 500 Rupee’s will have to be imposed on anyone who refuses to send their children to school while the police will have to enforce the rule rather than ignoring someone who disregards it.
Another problem is rampant corruption, especially when it is the rich or middle class involved the exchange of bribes becomes common. Therefore a great deal lies on whether the primary schools run by the government do not have all their funding being eaten by corrupt officials. Indeed many rural schools in Pakistan lack teachers who stop teaching because they aren’t being paid by the government. Many schools listed are even bogus with the local official in charge claiming their presence simply to take the funds for himself. Though this is a separate topic the government will have to bring transparency here and ensure that the funds are properly being utilized. Proper audits and checks must be maintained.
How to go about implementing it?
Enforcement would no doubt start from the urban centers and would most affect the young street urchins we see on the streets of our famous cities begging as a means to sustain themselves. The rural towns and villages close to these urban centers would be the next where the effects of this law are implemented and felt.
The task will begin to get more difficult as the program moves further into the rural areas that are more further from these urban population centers. Here the problem of people unwilling to send female children to school will become all the more apparent, though the problem would be existent in other areas including the Urban ones as well people. They must be convinced by separate classes or if possible separate school buildings for the students of different sexes.
In the far flung and remoter rural areas that are cut off from other parts of the country implementing this will be a very difficult task. In these areas the difficulty to enforce such a law will be magnified by the fact that there are no real police stations for miles and no real administrative authorities to enforce it. This also further increases the chances of corruption taking place. There is no doubt that it can be accomplished but it will require resolve.
In reality everything lies with the will of the Pakistani people to change their own standard of living. If they use this and every such opportunity to develop their country to steal from it or ignore their duties the result of any scheme or plan will be a failure. Education is the right of every Pakistani. It is time to take a small but necessary step in this direction.
January 3, 2011
By Havi Zayed
The Nationalist Monthly has remained the primary magazine for Pakistani Nationalists residing in North America for the past 2 years. It is available for distribution across the United States and Canada chapters of the Pakistan Nationalist Association and has been the only magazine available for members of all the various movements in these two countries. It allows Nationalists to stay updated on current news events concerning Pakistan expressed from a Nationalist outlook and about events impacting their own community. It is published in Canada. However recently certain members have expressed reservations over the content being too Canada focused. Zarir, a key member of the Pakistan Nationalist Association residing in Newyork, United States has been the most outspoken of these.
In an open letter addressed to the Canada Chapter of the Pakistan Nationalist Association Zarir Khalid has requested for changes to be made in the content appearing in the Nationalist Monthly. Zarir’s work mostly involves sending money back to Pakistan for various social projects and is known more often as a sponsor for certain various organizations social activity rather than an active worker of the movement. However his influence in the movement has grown in the past two years with his increased donations to humanitarian aid groups.
In the letter he writes “Instead of focusing on Pakistani politics and Nationalist activity in Pakistan where it actually matters the magazine seems obsessed about what members did in Canada, events taking place in Toronto where the Nationalist community is involved and other chapter specific information no one really cares about”
Information gathered at our Toronto office in Thorncliffe further reinforces what Zarir has said. Many members have expressed their dissatisfaction with the information provided in the magazine claiming it is sometimes irrelevant to what they are actually looking for. Ahmed a Toronto based member says “What we want in the Nationalist Monthly and on the website is Pakistan related information. We want to stay updated about what’s going on there because helping Pakistan is our goal. To achieve that goal we need to know about each and every single thing that takes place in Pakistan.”
Another member Ali backs Ahmed up. “We already know about the events taking place here as we are invited to them anyway. Every event that takes place in Toronto, we are a part of it. We are closely connected with Nationalism in Canada but the problem is staying updated on Pakistan. I will not be treated like a “burger” outsider when I return to my own country. The information in the Nationalist Monthly needs to be more Pakistan centric. As for the website it needs to be broader and should have more regular postings.”
Zarir further adds. “To be clear the Canada chapter is made up of about 250 Nationalists all divided amongst various organizations. The majority of members, about 9000 of them are in Pakistan so clearly that’s where we should be focusing on. The writers of the magazine may be in Canada but they must remember they are writing about Pakistan not the Canada Chapter of the Pakistan Nationalist Association.”
At the same time Zarir has also gone further to criticize the Pakistan Nationalists Associations web effort describing it as extremely shallow. “I mean the entire site is filled with praise for certain Canadian or British chapter members, information about long forgotten death threats which are again an exclusively Canada-chapter issue, and articles written about certain topics related to Pakistan’s current affairs by a small group of writers with the same names appearing constantly one of which is the Chapter head. It’s just surprising how shallow the content is and over-focused it is with the Canada Chapter even though its the only site run by Nationalists. It’s actually surprising you are thinking of buying a domain. There should be a detailed report on every event that takes place in Pakistan and it should be turned into a news source so that rather than reading the propaganda of the Times daily we can read something worth our time.”
All these views are not new and have been stated in the past but no changes have been made to the content citing the fact that there is a vacuum of information arriving from Pakistan due to a lack of magazine reporters in Pakistan. There have also been limited writers for both the magazine and web effort. However everyone agrees it may well be time for at least some changes in the Nationalist Monthly allowing for the inclusion of more Pakistan centric information that replaces the Canada chapter based information. This specially stands true as the latest information reveals the Nationalist Monthly has been gaining a small readership in Pakistan as well.