How YOU Can Help The Flood-Hit Pakistanis! [ Living In Other Countries or In Pakistan ]


Pakistan has been hit by the most devastating ever floods leaving thousands killed, millions displaced with 650,000 homes being washed away, countless missing and most living under open skies with no access to even the basic necessities.

“And the worst floods to hit the region in 80 years could get worse, as it is only midway through monsoon season.”

It is said to be the biggest catastrophe in our country’s history.

 

There are many ways to donate for these victims by those living abroad and in Pakistan, following are some organisations who are earnestly working to deliver aid and relief supplies BY HAND to the affectees:

Organisations In Pakistan:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

 Pakistan Youth Alliance:

PYA is already known for its phenomenal work globally and has is immensely popular amongst the people for its credibility [FM91, Geo Tv, Express TV, PCB, Stylo Shoes, AMSA-Pak & many more have donated them trucks of relief goods]. They have teamed up with the affected people who are now rescuing others and providing them relief supplies, they have already been to Nowshera for this purpose along with Rajanpur, Multan and other areas.

Donations can be sent through ;

Bank Account # 871-0
Branch Code : 0281
Swift Code : BP UN PK KA XXX
Bank of Punjab,Troops Welfare Center, GT Road, Nowshera, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan.             

Or :

PYA Chairperson Syed Ali Abbas Zaidi can be messaged to know the separate ways to donate for the flood-victims through PYA based on where one resides.

Also ;               

Updates of their work for flood-relief and other ways to donate to them, for those in other parts of the world are available on their Facebook page.                                                                                                                                              

 

                         

Talat Hussein and Kashif Abbasi’s Journalists’ Fund :

Redoubtable journalists and prominent Tv anchors Kashif Abbassi of ARY and Talat Hussein of AAJ Tv have set up their own fund for the flood-victims.

For donations :

Title of Account: Syed Talat Hussain/ Kashif Abbasi
Account No: 0516616341000689
Bank: Muslim Commercial Bank
Branch: Stock Exchange Branch, Blue Area, Islamabad
Branch Code: 1390
Swift Code: MUCBPKKAA

For further information:
Tel: +92-51-111010010
SMS: +92-347-5023842, +92-301–5473521

Site : http://www.aaj.tv/donations/

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

 

Customs Health Care Society:

As of September, the main problem is to provide shelter to the homeless people. C.H.C.S has taken the lead (and started the first ever 200 single room (14 X 16 Feet) with a rest-roomproject in Noshehra). One house costs only Rs. 1 Lac = 1150 US$.

Donate atleast one home to the shelterless families.

 

For donating :

Account Number : 5448-9 

Bank Code : NBPAPKKa.02L – 1887

National Bank of Pakistan,

Moon Market,

Allama Iqbal Town Branch,

Lahore. 

All donations to the society are exempt from payment of income tax as notified by FBR vide letter No: I & E/145/1082 dated 21.05.2007.

 

Dr. Asif mahmood Jah, President of the Customs Health Care Society can be reached at :
449-Jahanzeb Block,

Allama Iqbal Town,

Lahore,

Pakistan .

Phone: 092 – 042 – 3784 7008,

               092 – 042 – 3783 1655
Cell:       092 – 0333 – 424 2691

E-mail:    asifjahjah@yahoo.com

                                                                                                                                            

 
A team of students have also started organized and successful flood-relief deliveries to different places. They are in need of several items for the victims, volunteers and funds and can be reached at :
                                                                                                                                                                                              
Saad Bin Shahid : +92-343-5788-966 
Facebook : www.facebook.com/sbs.vor
E-mail :  get.1991@yahoo.com
Usman Bahi : +92 – 332 551 – 337 – 6
                                                                                                                                                                                                   
To transfer funds please note the following bank account details:

Donations through bank ;

TITL AC : Muhammad Usman Khan
Allied bank, Westridge 3, Allahabad road,
Rawalpindi, Pakistan

AC # 01-200-1322-9
Branch code # 0755

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

Al-Khidmat Foundation :              

http://al-khidmatfoundation.org/donate-here.php              

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

TCF Relief:

 http://www.thecitizensfoundation.org/floodrelief.html      

                                                                                                                                                                

‘Let Us Build Pakistan’: 

LUBP members will be personally going to the flood-hit provinces to deliver aid.

They need funds, volunteers and donations. Help them to save lives by donating.
They can be reached at :

farhadjarral@criticalppp.com
+923333405175
+923332354290

Donations to LUBP are through Western Union:

Farhad Ahmed Jarral : CNIC: 42501-6964334-9
Gujranwala Branch Western Union.
[A consignment number will be given after you donate the money which should be messaged to Farhad Jarral]

 

 
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 
They are aiming to collect funds and donations as part of their helping campaign for the flood-victims.
 
They can be contacted at:
                                                                                                                                                                                           
Address: 104-C,
                   4th Floor,
                   Main Khayaban-e-Ittehad,
                   Phase II ext,
                   DHA, 
                   Karachi,
                   Pakistan.

                                                                                                                                                                                   

 
Edhi Foundation:

 
They can be easily contacted for donations by those living in Pakistan and those in other countries through  http://www.edhifoundation.com/contact.asp

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

For UAE :

 

Pakistan Association Dubai:

Contact : Anas: 04-3373632, 3377678;

Inayat Rahman: 050-6317131;

Ayub Afridi: 050-4545106;

Khayal Zaman Aurakzai: 050-6287655;

Ghazi Marjan Aurakzai: 050-6469910;

___________________________________________________________________________________________

The list below contains the DIRECT DONATION LINKS for the flood victims of these international organisations:         

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

UNHCR:

http://www.unrefugees.org.au/emergencies/pakistan/

                          

Oxfam [ All Countries ] :

https://secure.oxfamamerica.org/site/Donation2?df_id=4660&4660.donation=form1&JServSessionIdr004=1c376kssr2.app227a

                                                        

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Oxfam [ Only for USA, Europe and U.S.A ] :

https://www.oxfam.org.uk/donate/pakistan-floods/index.php

                                                                                                                                                                                              

Oxfam [ Australia ] :

https://www.oxfam.org.au/donate/current-appeals/pakistan-floods-appeal

                                                                                                                                                                                            

Oxfam [ Germany ] :

https://www.oxfam.de/spenden/form/1

 

Save The Children [ New Zealand ] :

 
https://secure.savethechildren.org/01/web_e_pakistan_flood_10?source=hp_fb_pak10 

 

Global Giving :

http://www.globalgiving.org/projects/redr-pakistan/
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

 

 Relief International :

 
https://ri.org/APF/donate.php

         

Islamic Relief U.S.A :

 
https://www.islamicreliefusa.org/SSLPage.aspx?pid=203

                                                                                                                                                                                    International Rescue Committee [ For U.S.A ] :

 
https://www.theirc.org/donate/help-rescue-lives-pakistan

                                                                                                                                                                                          

Canadian Red Cross :

 
https://secure.e2rm.com/registrant/donate.aspx?EventID=57138&LangPref=en-CA

                                                                                                                                                                                      

Islamic Help [ U.K ] :

 
You can make a cheque/postal order made payable to ‘Islamic Help’ and send it to:
Islamic Help 19 Ombersley Road Balsall Heath Birmingham B12 8UR
Please do not send cash in the post and please do not forget to write your name and address on a piece of paper.

Bank: You can put money directly in their bank account
Name: Islamic Help
Bank: HSBC

Account No: 41687425

Sort Code: 40-42-12

If you are in a country other than the UK, you can go into any bank in the world and quote the following International Bank Account:

 
Number (IBAN) and Branch Identifier Code (BIC)
IBAN: GB 72 MIDL 404212 41687425
BIC: MIDL GB 2155 G


                                                                                                                                                                                              

 Muslim Hands :

http://www.muslimhands.org/en/gb/appeals/pakistan_flood_crisis/

Muslim Aid [ England ] :

 
Send a cheque or postal order made payable to ‘Muslim Aid’, together with a note of your name and address to:

Muslim Aid, P O Box 3, London, E1 1WP
Donate directly to their bank account:
Name of the Muslim Aid Bank: LLOYDS TSB
Address of the Muslim Aid Bank:
LLOYDSTSB BANK PLC
HIGHBURY CORNER
31 HOLLOWAY CORNER
LONDON N7 8JU
SWIFT/BIC/CODE (OUTSIDE UK): LOYDGB 21180

To donate in pound Sterling £:

Name of the account: MUSLIM AID-DONATION AC
Sort code: 30-94-21
Account number: 01436818
Iban (outside UK): GB25 LOYD 3094 2101 436818

To donate in Euros:
 
Name of the account: MUSLIM AID- EURO AC
Sort code: 30-94-21
Account number: 86151365
Iban (outside UK): GB42 LOYD 3094 2186 151365

To donate in Dollars $:

Name of the account: MUSLIM AID-DOLLAR AC
Sort code: 30-94-21
Account number: 12044226
Iban (outside UK): GB75 LOYD 3094 2112 044226

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

For Other Countries :

This post at Chowrangi provides a great deal of information of organisations that can be donated to for the flood-victims for many countries.

 

Donation Camps in Pakistan :

 
1. Pehla Qadam, has setup a camp in cooperation with rotaract club of Karsaz at the Royal Rodale club on Main Khayaban-e-Sehar DHA Phase VI Karachi.

The camp is located right next to the reception of Royal Rodale.

2. Pakistan Peoples Party, Insaf Student Federation and Tehrik e Minhaj ul Quran have setup their camps at Regal Chowk, Lahore.

 Things identified by the National Disaster Management Authrority that are direly needed to be donated:

 

As Kashif Aziz writes :

“Besides sending cash through below mentioned charity organizations, you can support by providing following commodities. Please do not donate old/expired stuff. Make sure edible items are hygienic and properly packed.

•  Clothing: Clothes of various sizes, Beddings, Shoes
•  Utensils: Jerricans (large plastic cans that hold 20 liters of water or other liquids), Crockry
•  Toiletries: Tissues, Soaps, Dettol (antibacterial cleaners), Towels
•  Food: Rice, Sugar, Flour (Atta), Onions, Potatoes, Cooking oil, Tea, Milk (tetra packs or powder
•  Safe drinking water, Cooked Food.  
                                                                                                                                                                                     

Medicines:

 
1. Water purification tablets.
2. Life saving drugs.
3. Vaccines for malaria, cholera, typhoid, influenza.
4. Pain killers including strong ones like morphine derivatives, tremadol, pethadine, kinz .
5. Antibiotics e.g. Tetnus, Amoxil, Gentamycin.
6. IV Cannulas
7. IV Drip sets
8. IV drips: Normal Saline, Ringerlactate.
9. Local anesthetics (injections)
10. Cotton bandages, cotton.
11. Surgical instruments: e.g. needle holders, forceps, and tweezers.
12. Surgical Materials : Skin staples.”
 

                                                                                                                                                                                               

Food Items That Can Be Given At Camps:

• Rice
• Wheat
• Lentils
• Biscuits
                                                                                                                                                                                               

 

Liquids:

• Mineral Water,
•  Milk Carton (With one month expiry left)
• Juice Cartons (With one month expiry left)

 

First Aid:

• Band Aids
• Dettol
• Pain Killers (Panadol, Ponston)
• Nimcol
• Thermometers
•  Cotton
•  Vicks
                                                                                                                                                                                               

 

Other Items:

• Sleeping Bags
• Foldable Matresses
• Blankets
• Pillows
• Sweaters
• Shawls
• Coats
• Sanitary Napkins for Women
• Pampers for Infants
                                                                                                                                                                                                         

To Donate Goods :

PIA is making deliveries of goods to Pakistan from almost all over the world. To donate any of the above, they can be contacted at :

http://www.piac.com.pk/Flood_Relief/ERP.htm

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

Text To Help :

 
If not anything, people in Pakistan can donate Rs.10 to the victims by texting ‘D’ to 2471 as part of Express Media’s initiative.

Text “PUKAAR” to 4361 to donate to Imran Khan’s  flood relief efforts. 

People in USA can text ‘SWAT’ to 50555 to donate $10 .

Canadian wireless subscribers:  Text “REDCROSS” to 30333 to donate $10 to the Canadian Red Cross.

___________________________________________________________________________

Please remember, The death toll is rising by the day, these people need YOUR donations and help! Today it is them, tomorrow it can be us.
And those abroad, a little of your money means big here, please donate!

PLEASE SPREAD THE WORD ABOUT THIS!

 

 

 

 
These Pakistanis await your aid !

Regards,
Hafsa Khawaja.

Uncoverings Of The Flood : Balochistan Govt’s Inaction : Are We Nurturing The Deprivation In Balochis?


As posted on LUBP :

“Balochistan has a history of bearing the brunt of feudalism, the chameleionic political scenario and  the extreme natural calamities of flooding and drought, both which blow the remaing normalcy of life there into smithereens.
Latterly, Southern Pakistan has been hit by a wave of torrential rains that have affected the lives of about 50,000 in parts of the province and yet dismayingly the response of the Provincial Government has been nothing more than apathetic :

Tens of thousands of people have been left marooned, countless killed and numerous missing and others rendered homeless as almost six districts of Eastern Balochistan have been struck by wild onrush rains and most villages, towns and districts have either submerged into the flood water or been completely bashed out by them but the people in these zones are yet to be approached by rescue teams or vacated to safer places.

 

Hundreds of people are either stranded, trapped or living under open skies with no access to relief or even the basic necessities of food that they need for survival. These local people have contested the claims of the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) of dispatching relief or food supplies to them, refuting them while waiting for the Federal Government to announce any substantial financial assistance for them, those who lost their lives or those who lost their entire belongings, food stock, household goods and valuables in flash floods.

Most of the province has been cut-off from the rest of the country as a result of the explicit damage and destruction of its communication system and the vehicular transport system which links it with the cities around and other human settlements has been suspended or immobilized.

There is also a marked threat of outbreak of epidemics in the flood affected regions as there is a lack of food, clean water and medication leave alone substantial medicine and medical staff which are even unapproachable for easily-treatable cases of snake-bites that have been reported from villages but could not be treated as the rescue teams have not arrived or are short of medical articles such as snake-bite serum.

 

The Wazirabad village of Bakhtiarabad in Lehri Tehsil is the worst-affected area and such is the situation there that dead bodies are decaying for nothing is available for neither the funeral nor the people to bury them.

 
 
Over 57,000 people have been affected in Sibi, Lehri, Barkhan.The floods have damaged 90% of the houses, over 50% livestock and agriculture.
And according to the district agriculture and revenue departments these floods have broken the past records of 1978.

 

“In Tambo Tehsil of Nasirabad, more than 30,000 people have been made homeless while crops have been completely washed-out in the canal-irrigated area.

Around 0.2 million people had been affected by floods in six districts of Balochistan where rescue and relief work had been slow and inadequate. Roads, power transmission lines and railway tracks have been destroyed in the district.

Despite the massive destruction, relief work had not started in Tambo tehsil.”

This cataclysm was and is a testing time for both the Balochistan Government and other governmental organs which constitute the body of the provincial government and it is discernible now that there has been a miscarriage from the provincial government’s side in fulfilling their responsibilities.

The Balochistan Health Directorate has failed to discharge medicines to the flood-hit areas and even the districts where emergency has been declared, which has led to some deaths.

The Provincial Government’s response to this cataclysmic inundation has been slow, impassive and lackadaisical.

July to September, are the defined monsoon months of Pakistan and Balochistan has a history of ruinous floods which occurred numerous times including in 70’s, 80’s and the 90’s. One of the main tasks of the management, administration and government are to plan, co-ordinate, manage and ensure the implementation of their decisions.

When it is a well-known fact that the province is at a constant threat of floods in the Monsoon season, why did not the provincial government pre-plan a strategy before the rains to prevent the huge damage that has been inflicted now?

  

The Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) had already been predicting strong rainstorms around Pakistan before the floods and still is issuing statements that show the rains are expected to continue along the border areas of western Pakistan.

Now that the officials of the provincial government are reiterating about their involvement in the efforts to help the people but state that the deluge is hindering their completion, why hadn’t they formulated a programme for the prevention of flood damage before-hand?

 

The transport authorities should have prepared alternative routes for the people and the rescue teams to use in case of the areas which were bound to be affected and the transport system there to be washed away too.

Three years before, another flood had occurred, during the reign of President Musharraf and  the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) had revealed that of the 80,000 homes destroyed in the disaster, nearly 60,000 were in Balochistan alone, where some 15 districts were badly or severely affected and the loss was estimated at Rs.10 bn.

At that time, the Musharraf Government was censured and denounced for its listless reaction to the disaster and yet today, under a democratically-elected government: the people of Balochistan face the same stagnant situations that they had previously faced.

 

The response to flooding in the region hasn’t kept pace with the severity of the humanitarian emergency.

The Provincial Government should have devised a plan before Monsoon in coordination with the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) and The Pakistan Meteorological Department to asses the nature of the rains, the threats they posed to the province and an aerial survey should have been conducted in search of higher areas in Balochistan where camps could have been established and the people could have been moved there with their belongings.

Now that the rains have swept the province, both the Provincial and Federal Government should work-out a project or course of action for the immediate rehabilitation of the people on an emergency basis with huge relief supplies of medicines, goods, blankets, tents, food and other facilities that the Balochis direly need.

Balochistan may make up 48% of the total land of Pakistan but its clustered population has the most surging feeling of deprivation and alienation whose roots aren’t a puzzle to trace considering the policy response to their pleas and predicaments which is nothing more than lip-service or cold and half-hearted efforts such as of today when the region has been shook by a crisis.

We must realize that that the sense of divestiture, virtual separation, disparity and deprivation that the Balochis have today and which many believe are being exploited by foreign elements, has been nurtured by our very own ignorance and misinterpretations of their dilemmas, needs and aspirations.

 

As Benazir Bhutto herself wrote in ‘Daughter of the East’ about East Pakistan:

“From revenues of more than thirty-one billion rupees from East Pakistan’s exports, the minority in West Pakistan had built roads, schools, universities and hospitals for themselves, but had developed little in the East. The army, the largest employer in our poor country, drew 90% of its forces from West Pakistan. 80% of the government jobs were filled by people from the West. No wonder they felt excluded and exploited.”

Although there are differences in Balochistan and East Pakistan, the last line of her writing fits perfectly into the picture of Balochistan today.

 

About 46% of the gas in our country is obtained from Sui in Balochistan. Majority of Pakistanis talk about developing the resources in Balochistan (Thar, Reko Diq etc) and letting the country benefit from them, but have we wondered or ever thought of developing Balochistan itself and equipping the Balochis educationally, politically and socially?

‘Aghaz-e-Huqooq-e-Balochistan’ is indeed a laudable step by the Government but it needs to be implemented. We need to grant them their basic rights and shun being lax in responding to their calls in times of help.

The population of Balochistan forms only 5% to 7% of Pakistan’s total population and it feasible enough to deliver its people the right to education, shelter and all other basic necessities that they rightfully deserve and the Government needs to prioritize the strive for removing the deep-seated feelings of resentment and making the Balochis realize that they are not children of a lesser God but as much vital for Pakistan’s future and as much part of the flesh and soul of this country as those in Punjab, Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.”

– Hafsa Khawaja

Mineral and Energy Resources : The Key To A New Pakistan?


As posted on ‘Let Us Build Pakistan’ :

“Recently, it surfaced that significant deposits of natural gas reserves in the heart of Kohat city in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa were discovered by the state-run Oil and Gas Development Company Limited (OGDCL).

As published in Dawn News:

”According to a statement issued by the company on Friday, the discovery was made during exploration of Shekhan well-1 which produced 15 million cubic feet of gas (MMCFD) through 32/64 inch choke size at wellhead flowing at a remarkable pressure of 2,500psi. ”

Last year, (OGDCL) had uncovered new reserves of oil and gas in Hyderabad. At least 15.4 cubic feet gas and 165 barrel oil per day can be produced from the well.

It is no hidden fact that Pakistan is a region blessed munificently by nature with a plentitude of natural resources proving British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli’s quote of calling India (United India which once Pakistan was part of) as ‘the brightest jewel in Her Majesty’s Crown’.

The province of Balochistan is enviably rich in this regard, many surveys have identified the geological conditions for the existence of antinomy and gold in the Punjgore and Kharan district but the larger focus this post will direct towards are the new zones and districts where such minerals have been found, projects promulgated for them and their utilization.

Reko Diq, a small town in Chagai District, Balochistan, in the view of development expert Syed Fazl-e-Haider, contains under its sands some 12.3 million tons of copper and 20.9 million ounces of gold. The copper-gold deposits at there are believed to be even bigger than those of Sarcheshmeh in Iran and Escondida in Chile.

But the Reko Diq copper and gold mine contracts awarded to foreign investors have come under threat in recent months as the provincial government has threatened to cancel the mining rights awarded to a consortium led by the Canadian mining giant Barrick Gold Corporation and the Chilean mining company Antofagasta. The Prime Minister has personally intervened in this issue and it is hoped that he would convince the provincial government of the vital importance of foreign firms in exploring and developing these resources for no local firm has the huge amount such as $3 Billion required for the process.

And the launching of the ‘Reko Dik Copper-gold project’ is expected to produce 0.3 million tons of copper annually through indigenous physical and human capabilities.

The Thar coal field containing 175 billion tons of good quality lignite, can be used for power generation and gasification.

The Duddar lead-zinc deposits in Balochistan being developed by Pakistan Mineral Development Corporation (PMDC) have come into production to produce 100,000 tons of zinc concentrates and 33,000 tons of lead concentrates for export.

Two visionary leaders of Pakistan, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto and Benazir Bhutto had deep-rooted interest and plans for the development of the natural resources of Pakistan.

As a Minister of Fuel, Power and Natural Resources, ZAB signed a path breaking agreement for exploration of oil and gas with   Russia in 1960.  He set up a Gas and Mineral Development Corporation in 1961 and Pakistan’s first refinery in  1962 at Karachi.
While his daughter Benazir Bhutto had began the Saindak-Copper and Gold Project while successfully achieving and announcing the country’s first National Mineral Development Policy in 1995 :
 NATIONAL MINERAL POLICY

Unfortunately, it could not be fully implemented at the provincial level owing to a host of reasons like delays in setting up the Mineral Investment Facilitation Authority and the ever-changing political situation.

As the Geological Survey conducted in Pakistan states:

“The country’s more than 6,00,000 sq.kms of outcrops area demonstrates varied geological potential for metallic / non-metallic mineral deposits.“

 

In the recent past, exploration by government agencies as well as by multinational and international mining companies presents ample evidence of the occurrences of sizeable minerals deposits which could be developed and utilized using an appropriate institutional and regulatory framework which the National Mineral Policy of 1995 clearly provides.

Currently about 52 minerals are under exploitation although on small scale. The major production is of coal, rock salt and other industrial and construction minerals. The current contribution of mineral sector to the GDB is about 0.5% and likely to increase considerably on the development and commercial exploitation of Saindak & Reco Diq copper deposits, Duddar Zinc lead, Thar coal and Gemstone deposits.

Mining for these minerals and inviting corporations and companies, both national and international to develop these resources, will certainly be a welcome step in paving the way for generating revenue that can be invested in healthcare and education or used in any other way, beneficial for the well-being of the people of Pakistan.

Pakistan has accepted Chinese assistance to conduct a comprehensive scientific geological survey of Pakistan, which will be helpful in exploring oil, gas and mineral reserves. According to a newspaper, the Defence Ministry has supported the proposal to involve Chinese Geological Survey (CGS) for geosciences co-operation.

According to Pakistan’s High Commission to Kaula Lumpur, data released by Pakistan’s Board of Investment indicated that the biggest Malaysian investment was made in financial sector with US$ 194.33 million followed by Oil and Gas Exploration US$ 14.26 million.

As a developing country and with a growing population, one of the most important resources of Pakistan after its mineral wealth is its human resources. Exploration, mining and utilisation of these abundant minerals may require a huge amount of captial but human labour is paramount for these three stage so carrying out these tasks would also contribute in increasing employment for the people of the areas where they are being conducted thus reducing a percent of unemployment rate.

The stumbling blocks that lay as the constraints with the mineral sector and are expected of the Government to remove are financial restraints, lack of technical knowledge, institutional mismanagement, lack of experts and low priority given to mineral extraction.

The financial difficulties can be solved by handing over exploration and extraction projects to foreign companies or by negotiating joint ventures between them and local companies.

Just as Pakistan’s President has reiterated on various international levels of the country’s demand and requirement for ‘Trade not aid’, it is tantamount that Pakistan’s allies and countries with which it shares strong relations such as the economic giant China or UAE are called for to help Pakistan by providing more of technological assistance or technological aid which will resolve the proposed perplexity of lack of technical assistance.

Institutional mismanagement can be avoided by ensuring the appointment of deft and adroit officers with the appropriate knowledge and experience on merit, who should be checked to insure that the set goals are being met in one of the many organizations formed for propounding facile solutions for the advancement of the mineral sector such as ;

1. Geological Survey of Pakistan – Founded in the year 1947 for the investigation and mapping of mineral deposits.

2. Pakistan Mineral Development Corporation –Established in the year 1974 for the exploration and marketing of all minerals.

3. Resource Development Corporation –Organized also in 1974 to investigate and develop copper mines at Saindak.

4. Gemstone Corporation of Pakistan – Created in 1979 to develop gemstone resources.

While experts of this field can be hired to aid the work of the aforementioned organizations.
Pakistan’s non-metallic and metallic resources are bountiful and even 5% of them are extracted and developed, Pakistan’s economy can take a leap in growth  : METALLIC AND NON-METALLIC RESOURCES IN PAKISTAN

Putting Pakistan’s anticipated deposits of iron, copper, cobalt, zinc, lead, limestone, rock-salt, chromite, marble, China-clay, celestite, gypsum, magnesite, sulphur, bauxite, gold, oil, gas and coal (all non-metallic, metallic and energy resources) to use by exploiting and extracting them can help to purge the country out of many a crisis and become the sound base for many industries and the availability of minerals will lessen the burden of imports and improve the balance of payment position.

Plus, this PPP Government already has the advantage of a Mineral Policy which may have been made 15 years ago but is excellent in every regard to be followed even today, (though it should be revised and updated in accordance with the new layer of information and requirements that have emerged), for it touches upon all aspects related to the exploration, extraction and development of the resources and presents a complete strategy and plan for the purpose of the development of the Mineral Sector.

With such a capacity for growth in this sector, it is disappointing that its contribution to the GDP is about 0.5%.

Pakistan can undoubtedly use its capacity it for the betterment of the economy and development of the country itself. It is of time, that the Government not only realizes the potential in and resources of Balochistan and other provinces but also steps forward to utilize and develop them for the existence of these resources are equal to none if not developed but if they are, they will be the key to a new era in the history of Pakistan.

Hafsa Khawaja

Shandur Polo Festival and Swat’s Aman Mela


Shandur Polo Tournament  is an annual festival arranged every July at the Shandur Pass in the northern areas of Pakistan where rival teams from Chitral and Gilgit play. This area has hosted this game since the past 800 years.  Playing polo on the Shandur Top is popularly known as ‘Playing Polo On The Roof Of The World’ for it is reported to be as the highest polo ground in the world, where the Hindukush, Pamir and Karakoram ranges meet.

Its history dates back to the 1920s when the ruler of Moskuj, the Hindukush highland between Chitral and Gilgit, was told by his Mir, or king, to promote integration within his realm through a polo tournament between the best players. It is also said that :

“Historically the game goes back many centuries when the local Mehtars , Mirs and Rajas were patrons of polo and it was played, not only for pleasure, but for celebratory and commemorative occasions. The Mehtar of Chitral would send a message to his relatives the Rajas of Ghizar , Yasin and Ishkuman and word would travel far down the valleys to Punial Gilgit and Chilas where the challenge would be taken up. But despite being dubbed ‘the game of kings’, in the Northern Areas, it is not an elitist sport, often played in village square on sorry nags or even on bicycles.”

The world famous Shandur pass is about 3738 meter an above sea level and lies midway between Chitral and Gilgit.

The festival begins on the 7th of July with the feet of the traditional dancers thumping to the beat of the drummers which is the formal signification of the opening of the Tournament in a colour-splashed ceremony.

Then starts a polo match between Laspur Team, which is a village near Shandur in Chitral, and the Ghizer Team from Gilgit. During the course of the tournament A, B, C and D teams of Chitral and Gilgit battle it out on the polo field. Each team has six members with 2-4 reserve players incase of injury etc. The match duration is usually one hour. It is divided into two halves, with a 10 minutes interval.

During intervals the locals enthrall the audiences with traditional and cultural performances. The game decided in favor of the team scoring nine goals. The final is held on 9th July. There are no umpires and there are no holds barred. There are no rules!

The absence of rules not only casts dashes of thrill, excitement and unpredictability to the course of the game but often results into the players or horses getting injured, due to the ferocity and rigourness of it all.

There are no hotels so the people who come to visit camp out in the tented villages while bazaars are organized near them to showcase and sell local handicrafts.

Apart from the Tournament, Shandur is wrapped in an exotic atmosphere. Nestled in the bosom of the grandeur of nature which has lavished it with spectacular scenery of looming mountains, green plains and a huge crystalline azure clear lake laying comfortably stretched-out behind the back of the used polo ground, creating the ambiance of feel of replete tranquility and serenity, thrusting people into a seemingly another portal of the world away from the hustle-bustle of cities. Shandur in a single word, is exquisite.
The Tournament also provides the visitors an insight into the lives of the people of the region, their indwelling lifestyle, heritage, culture and customs.

Hindukush Trails, an Offical Sponsor of the event has mentioned that each year the following events are scheduled.

  • Traditional dancing & singing and sitar music
  • Para Gliding
  • Rafting in the Shandur Lake
  • Wild mountain polo , horse races and at times Buz Kashi
  • Traditional tug of war

Shandur Polo Festival is all set to begin from the 7TH to the 9TH of July. This year, 2010, it has been dedicated to the Martrys of Uniform of the successful operations conducted against terrorism in Pakistan.

On the other hand, in Swat a festival which is first in its history is happening :

The ‘Aman Mela’ is a 20-day long national peace festival started in Swat on June 29th to celebrate the return of normalcy in the valley.

It has been set up in the same Grassy Ground where last year thousands of Taliban militants had assembled to hear Sufi Muhammad of the Tehreek-e-Nafaz-e-Shariat-e-Mohammadi (TNSM ) declare all institutions of the country un-Islamic and even democracy as unacceptably ‘un-Islamic’, where he also reasserted with audacity, his goal of bringing ‘their’ Shariat Rule all over Pakistan. This was the address that prompted the Government to decide an Operation in Swat against the militants.

Today, the festival which is being held by the Provincial Reconstruction, Rehabilitation and Settlement Authority (PRRSA) in collaboration with the Pakistan Army,  it is the site of rejoicing people, music and dance scenes, circus and all those activities that they were never allowed to carry out .

The fair will continue till July 18. Over 1,000 shops have been set up by industrialists and traders for tourists and the local population.

A photo exhibition, car rally, paragliding competitions were held on the first day of the festival.

According to a post on the Express Tribune:

The purpose of the event is to bring back the tourists to the Swat following an end to the Taliban control as a result of the military operation last year. It is also aimed at erasing the bitter memories of the people and removing fear of the militants from their hearts.

The site was beautifully illuminated and decorated with welcoming banners, buntings and fluttering Pakistan flag.

The Pakistan Army had put on display the pictures of the valley representing its newfound life, under the title “Swat smiles again.” People streamed into the Grassy Ground in the evening with everyone wearing a toothy smile.”

Since Pakistan’s involvement in the ‘War on Terror’, it has been under the glare of the international media which has best0wed upon it the unpleasant label of ‘World’s Most Dangerous Country’; but what miffs the people of Pakistan is the one-sided coverage that is given to the country.

While every single beheading in Swat was shown by all leading foreign channels, understandbly so keeping in view Pakistan’s role in the WoT, none bothered to show the Aman Mela which was held in celebration of the cleansing of terrorists from the place.

All that the UK’s Telegraph could report about the marvellous Shandur Polo was a flasity terming it as a ‘Brutal Pakistani Polo Festival ‘ which was cancelled. How could such a credible site report such a canard that Polo Festival as cancelled when it was completed as planned and the Team of Shandur were declared champions?

This report caused vexation in many Pakistanis for it ruffled their feathers, passing off the stupendous event as ‘brutal’. In what way, is the Festival brutal? Why is every event or person in relevance to Pakistan deemed or told as barbaric?
Just because the sport is not played on the lines of the rules in the West, it certainly can not be characterized as brutal. Must it be for those who fail to possess the regal qualities of endurance and vigour as that of the participating Pakistanis players of our festival as surely Polo at Shandur is not just for ordinary polo players but it is a Game of Kings which are crowned every year at it.

The international media certainly needs to shed its fabric of bias and give equal coverage to both shades of events in Pakistan.

– Hafsa Khawaja

O’ Pakistani : A Call For 23rd March


 

Passed have seven decades,
Since the foundations of your land were laid,
On the 23rd of March,
In Manto Park,
The voices of Muslims were finally hearkened,
Put forward was a genuine intreperation,
Of Sir Syed’s thoughts,
Chaudhri Rehmat’s words,
And Iqbal’s dream,
As a path to a cherished destination,
Jinnah spoke, firm and tall,
Infront of struggle’s iron walls,
Demanded what belonged to us!

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                            

So what holds you back O’ Pakistani today?
Which shackles touch your skin?
Which ropes tie your tongue?
What blinds your eyes?
To save Jinnah’s burning Pakistan?
                                                                                                                                                                                                    

 

What blocks the sound in your ears?
Of your soil’s screams,
Screaming to be heard by her sons,
Once which was given to you as Iqbal’s dream,
Why do you sit and watch?
When devils savour your motherland’s flesh?
On her face when ramble conspirators in cahoots?

 
                                                                                                                                                                                                           

 

Where were you?
When trampled was her dignity under marching boots?
In anarchy’s dump when she begins to drown,
Or in rains of terror, she is left to stand,
To foreign lands why do you run?
Evading to lend her a hand or be of a service to her?
                                                                                                                                                                                                         

You ask what Pakistan has given you,
Have you ever asked youself what you have given her?
Why do you desert and abandon your own destiny?
Your future, the land of your posterity?

                                                                                                                                                                                                      

What would Jinnah and Iqbal say?
For walking corprses did they so much envisage?
As to those whose eyes towards realities and brutalities are shut,
The face of change truly shuns,
How long for a saviour will you wait?
When you are the saviour of your own fate!
When what seemed impossible,
Through ails and illnesses,
Quaid-e-Azam achieved,
He stood and bestowed..
For us what the King had decreed,
A sky above your head,
The ground beneath your feet,

                                                                                                                                                                                                          

So,
What holds you back today O’ Pakistani?
To save for what leaders fought daringly against the wave of time,
Every foe’s try,
The Minar-e-Pakistan is still seen,
But seldom contain,
The passion that surged in the hearts and reigned,
Of those 70 years before, who once crowded Manto Park’s ground,
So let nothing hold you back O’ Pakistani !
To conquer what Jinnah had spoken of on this day,
Pakistan!
To conquer your own destiny!

                                                                                                                      

Hafsa Khawaja

Its Not The Players, Its The Boards Stupid !


Since the arrival of 2010, Pakistan’s hockey and cricket teams have been sliding down a string of defeats. Our Cricket team’s Tour of Australia and our Hockey Team’s performance in the Hockey World Cup, both were indeed disasters. Not only did the shock the nation but crushed their hopes.We must wake up to the fact that there are many factors that contribute to the performances of our teams other than the players. Alot of debate has been going on to determine the reasons for such defeats and most of the time, the players of both teams are blamed and held more responsible than the the Boards who have contributed much to the failure than the players, PHF and PCB.

The PCB has recently stinged the major players of the Cricket Team with bans and fines as ‘punishments’ for the defeats on the Tour of Australia and PHF has sacked the management of the hockey team with the entire Hockey Team tendering their reisgnations after their performance at the World Cup.

While one already knows the situation and state of PCB currently, it is no surprise that PHF is also in a reflecting condition of the cricket board. Qasim Zia, President of the PHF was appointed at this position by the PM through a usual case of bringing relatives and politics in the stream of sports. Asif Bajwa, the Secretary of the Pakistan Hockey Federation, is highly reputed to have come into PHF through his links with an MNA from Sialkot of the ruling party. Bajwa seems to lack the vision to purge the national sport of the country out of its current decline and so far, nothing remarkable from his side has emerged to revive hockey except rumours of his ill-management. It is evident that the state of inertia still persisted in our hockey after the elevation of both Zia and Bajwa to these posts, it is also quite evident that they lack direction, skills and leadership qualities to head the PHF. and should have long resigned after the failures of our Hockey Team.

Shahid Ali Khan, a former Olympian and though a hard-working coach of our team was previously a goal-keeper which is quite a restricted role in the game of hockey. Mr.Khan can not be blamed for a goal-keeper can not have the acumen to coach and that too when the state of the team is already deplorable. Can we expect Salman Akbar, our current goal-keeper to coach the future hockey team of Pakistan? Certainly not.

Our Hockey Players, many of who were playing for a long time, were also decided to be awarded the Central Contracts THIS year, and to get it straight, no player plays to his full potential without the assurance of money to be granted to him to support himself and the deserved respect.

Coming to our cricket board and its famed management that has no such qualifications to be in the management of a sport that is the heart-beat of its nation. The PCB Chairman, Ejaz Butt who played 8 tests in his time from 1959 to 1962 was appointed as the Chairman by President Asif Ali Zardari who is the Patron of Chief of our cricket board [Pakistan is the only country where the President is the Chief of a sports board] on account of his relations with Defence Minister, Ahmed Mukhtar. Butt is neither efficient nor is he capable of running PCB. He seems to have absolutely no knowledge about the game and how to handle the players and the management itself is maladroit.

People like Tauqeer Dar and Abdul Qadir are running private academies for the game of hockey and cricket respectively.
Dar who hails from a family of fine hockey players runs his own ‘Dar Hockey Academy’ in Lahore where any youth can join free of cost and he provides them with all the hockey equipment himself. Coaches are always there to instruct the boys.
Last year, Pakistan’s U1-9 Hockey Team won a Cup of a mega tournament and that team consisted of players who were part of Tauqeer Dar’s academy.

Abdul Qadir also runs his own academy for cricket for youngsters and is a strong critic of those who run the PCB currently.

Both Abdul Qadir and Tauqeer Dar are doing more than just a commendable job for the future of cricket and the latter for the revival of hockey and in producing players that shall take the game to its glorious heights again but as long as the official boards of these games, PHF and PCB are run on the basis of nepotism and politics, the conditions of both hockey and cricket will remain stagnant and exacerbate because that is the result when players are mismanaged and handled by people who lack in skills and knowledge.

It should be realized by now, that to save sports in Pakistan, politics shall be thrown out of it and each appointment should be on the basis of merit.

Hafsa Khawaja

PCB Shifting Blame To Save Face?


After Pakistan Cricket Team’s Tour of Australia which began this year and was indeed a debacle, an inquiry was ordered into the causes of the defeats on Tour of Australia which was lead by a committee and sent a number of punishments for certain players to the PCB.
Yesterday, they accepted the those punishments :
*One year ban on Shoaib Malik and Rana Naveed and a 2 Million fine on both of them for unacceptable behaviour.
*LIFE BAN on Muhammad Yousaf and Younis Khan for their infighting that affected the team [according to the PCB].
* Fine of 2 million on the Akmal brothers for indiscipline.
*Fine of 3 million on Shahid Afridi dor the ball-tampering incident.

I fail to understand the reason, that where was the PCB Management when the Tour was ON-GOING and so much was brewing in the team? They were supposed to control and warn the players right on spot if they were getting out of hand. Why were the Akmal brothers and Shoaib and Rana not sent back from the Tour if they were indeed involved in behaviours that were unacceptable? If so was the case with Shoaib Malik, why was he made the Captain of the one T20 Match against Australia?
Younis Khan was not even part of squad that were beaten brutally by the Australian Team. Why has such a harsh ban been imposed on him?

The reason that the PCB stated for the life ban on Younis and Yousaf is their infighting that affected the team, if such is the basis of imposing a life ban, then what about the rivalry and disputes between Waqar Younis and Wasim Akram and Imran Khan and Miandad in their times?

Maybe because Yawar Saeed, with whom Younis had problems as a manager in his stint as the Captain, was part of the Inquiry Committee and wanted to settle personal scores?

Shahid Afridi was already given a Two T20 Match Ban by the ICC for the ball-biting incident as a punishment for ball-tampering and again the people in PCB and the Standing Committee on Sports in the NA demanded more punishment for him, when it is already known that a man can not be twice punished.

Jamshed Dasti, the Chairman of the Standing Committee on Sports in the NAis a staunch critic of the PCB Chairman, Ejaz Butt whom he considers to be inept. This is equivalent to the pot calling the kettle black. Dasti himself was reputed to be a drug-seller and has no qualifications that make him worthy of his current position like Butt, both were made merely on the basis of nepotism and ‘links’ to the Presidency.
The entire PCB is marred with nepotism, maladroitness and failure. It is not that the Board is brimming with people of noble intentions and great adeptness.
Such bans have only been imposed by the PCB only to save their own face [and that too only a month before the T20 World Cup starting on this 30th of April] and have shifted the debris of the blame on the players, they should have long resigned after the Tour of Australia and it is time that they accept their inefficiency and go back to their homes.

Hafsa Khawaja