Pakistan’s Image Insecurity and The ‘Aal Iz Well’ Syndrome


As written before:

‘Since the onset of Pakistan’s engagement in the War on Terror, the country nosedived in its entirety; politically, socially and economically. Not only was this unfortunate plunge a harbinger of possibly, the worst of times for it but heralded the introduction of a gamut of negative stereotypes in relation to Pakistan and its citizens.

Largely owing to the almost-routinely involvement of Pakistan or any individual with even a faint connection to it in incidents or reports of terrorism, the spread of these stereotypes fixed its image as ‘The most dangerous place on Earth’’

This particular instance had consequential effects on both sides; of the Pakistanis and the rest of the world.

Concerning the latter, [ for most of them ] Pakistan’s picture became what was a hodge-podge of stereotypes and words such ranging from terrorism, terrorists to poverty, illiteracy and bloodshed.

For the Pakistanis, grivieances were nurtured of being portrayed in the single shade of negativity in international media, an obejction or grouse justifed at times, while many ventured and are venturing to show the ‘real’ image [ As said in the Pakistani lingo ] and positive angle of their country.

With each passing day, as the worsening of Pakistan’s state ensured its quick descent into chaos with degeneration in every quarter of the country – certain approaches developed amongst the people – one of them associated with ‘insecurity of image’, after being swung onto a somewhat defensive edge by the quick spin of events involving the country.

This evolved into an attitude relating to ‘Hear no evil, Speak no evil, See no Evil’ [ Which in some interpretations, ‘is used to refer to those who deal with impropriety by looking the other way, refusing to acknowledge it, or feigning ignorance.’ ]. Many Pakistanis chose to shut their ears, close their eyes and sew their lips to silence when it came to the ills in the society and country. This has eventually lead to a self-concoted national ignorance, that has inevitably given birth to a sociteal conspiracy of silence.


As the numbers who chose to immerse themselves in this practise grew, a culture of shame, conspiracy theories, denialism and dogmatism flourished with it due to which any pinching incidents or facts that proffered chances for clamant introspection were tossed away by the dismissive wave of a hand after much nugatory tub-thumping and dramatic statements on the media by individuals.

With the PTA reporting over 22 million Pakistani internet users, which is about 12% of the total 180 million population, this concept and societal mindset slid onto the virtual world.

Plenty of these Pakistanis have been vociferating their opinion that no news regarding the country should be posted or discussed on social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter [ where many have friends from other countries ] that sharpens the features of the poor picture that lots hold globally of Pakistan. This is the extent of the ‘image insecurity’.

One wonders how would the prevention of posting unfavourable Pakistanis news [ Say, cases of the treatment of minorities here, rape victims etc ] on these sites from reaching a handful of foreign people help in this digital age and era of electronic media where even a minor happenings are broadcasted or published through hundreds of channels and sites to millions all around the world within split seconds of their occurance.

Also, as of yet Pakistan has, in fact – no image at all. And it is food for thought, that if social networking sites could be tools for revolution, can’t they be instruments to stir a societal change? It is defined, that societies are the footing for nations that inhabit countries. Any change within the society will affect the nation which will inevitably reform/rebuild Pakistan’s perception positively that will come in its ripple effect.

But for that, the bizarre approach needs to abandoned. Pakistanis must shed the guise of ignorance and keeping mum while being cognizant about plagues and cultural malaises.

The people must be made aware of the innumberable and untold stories and issues stinging the core of Pakistan’s culture, society, politics and nation. They must be awakened from this sleep of dormancy that has been prolonged for too long a time, 64 years.

Debate should be initiated about them at all forums [ The internet, the streets, national media or at homes ] after this.
One of the reasons for the palpable and glaringly low tolerance in Pakistan is the absence of debate and arguments among people, which has helped to foster and instill a proclivity in each person for sheer insularity and unwillingness to hear opposing views – that if heard, are answered by profiling [ labelling someone as a RAW/MOSSAD/CIA Agent or a ‘liberal facist’ ] , judgements and fatwas rather than refuted by facts.

The stimulation of discussions will so, instill gradually a sense of open-mindedness along with stirring people to comprehend the situations, think, measure their words and then freely express their opinions.

Debates might also commence into finding solutions for the problems they are based on and individual efforts may be encouraged to apply those. Joint efforts may also be made. And the more the pandemonium and clamor of the people is, the more it is bound to reach the corridors of power and ensure decisive action.

There is an idiom in Urdu; Kabotar ka billi ko dekh kar ankhein band kar lena.
‘The shutting of eyes by the pigeon as he spots the cat’.

Some expound it as one’s turning away after seeing a difficulty. This might just be what the aforementioned Pakistanis are doing.

By averting one’s gaze from a problem [ Not accepting the existence of or talking about it ], it does not dissolve it. It needs to be faced. Pakistanis need to yield the need to identify conundrums, national dilemmas and social contaminations for only when they are recognized as problems, does one seek a remedy to be extricated from them.

The lean line separating resilience from indifference also needs to be accentuated and compreheneded. Pakistanis have begun to dwell more into the realm of the latter than the former. To be struck by bomb attacks, blasts and natural calamities and again get back and continue life with the same vigour is resilience but to see myriad cases of rape, discrimination against minorities, a selective genocide against the Baloch and yet remain silent – is shameful apathy.

Being lulled into a state of false security and satisfaction by not raising your voice against wrongdoings, thus they are not brought into the light of scrutiny and attention as they derserve to be, will only stoke the fire of such perversions and injustices for those committing it would certainly be basking in the knowledge of the nation’s propensity to remain indifferent towards them.

And as Sana Saleem wrote in one of her ever-brilliant articles;

‘The mindset that believes that acknowledging our issues is threatening to our ‘image’. What good is an image, other than deceiving ourselves, is another question altogether.’

Pakistanis have acquiesced with whatever has swept the country for too long and it has cost them too much.

Or as Ayaz Amir penned in his thought-provoking and must-read ‘Woes of an Ostrich Republic’;

‘Islam is not the state religion of Pakistan, denial is. And our national emblem should be the ostrich, given our proclivity to bury our heads in the sand and not see the landscape around us as it is.’

It will be nugatory to tart up Pakistan’s image for the world and act for them and for ourselves [ in betrayal of reality and as an ode to denialism ] as if everything is ‘Aal Iz Well’ while succumbing to the death-knell of destruction in the country due to national apathetic torpor that binds us in bondage of inertia relating to the situations in the country.

~ Hafsa Khawaja

Bravo, Greenshirts!


My letter in the NewsPost today :

‘We lost a whole series just before the World Cup. Our country was denied the right to host the World Cup. Our players were shunned by the IPL management. Three of our cricketers were convicted of spot fixing while we also had the honour of having a runaway wicket-keeper. We suffered humiliation at an international level and as a result, we had a demoralised team. Who would have thought that our team would make it to the semi-finals? This is called winning! We should all be incredibly proud of our team. Our captain should not have apologised. He may not have won the Cup but he has surely won the hearts of this nation.

Our journey ended at this year’s World Cup but our team managed to unite the whole Pakistani nation as one. A tremendous homecoming should be given to our players. Plus, I hope that the atmosphere of ‘Pakistaniyat’ that had been created in the country before the India-Pakistan match would persist even after it!

Hafsa Khawaja,

Lahore.’

My post on why we should be proud of Team Pakistan as it returns home.

Pakistan’s Fatal Revolution Viral


Having been dragged by the horses ridden by politicians and military despots through the mud for 63 years, the notion of a revolution has not failed to enter the mind of Pakistanis as a saw to cut and break free from this chain of humiliation manacling them.

Recently this feeling and thought has become stronger in Pakistan by the intensity of its pervasiveness fueled by the revolts in Tunisia and Egypt. Pakistanis reason the absolute and dire need of a revolution in their country by stating how either they’re in the same or worser conditions than that of the two Arab nations.

 

 

One might question them, have they followed the events or studied the situations in both the aforementioned countries? Egypt is under the tyrannical rule of an obstinate dictator since he assumed power on October 14, 1981.

With an already-imposed Emergency Rule since 1967, Mubarak exercised his totalitarian muscle a great deal by depriving Egyptians of their basic human rights, suspending their civil liberties, stunting their social growth, curbing any freedom especially freedom of expression by strict and savage means   with an era that ensued of fraudulent elections, inflation, poverty, political persecutions, unemployment, corruption and illegal arrests. Om id Dunya has been survivng under a brute.

Reflecting was the case in Tunisia under the grip of Ben Ali.

While inflation and poverty et al maybe the similarities between Pakistan and Egypt, there’s a visible contrast in between which includes the chiefly important political landscape and the Civilian-Military imbalance of power.

People in Pakistan demand a revolution but a revolution against what? A Government they themselves elected in 2008? What a farce!

 

 

If its to remove the ‘American Puppets’ that ‘have sold the nation’s dignity’, who elects them again and again after getting carried away in the flow of emotionally-charged election speeches of the puppets? The very Pakistani nation now rallying for an uprising!

Pakistan suffers and continues to do so but largely because of the nation itself (minus the years of the forcibly saddled authoritarian rulers to our backs).

With an attitude of placing petty allegiances to parties over the country, dangerous divisions into sects, ethnic separations, indifference towards the erosion of Pakistan’s heritage, abandonment of culture due to sweeping shame felt in owning it and a despicable and damaging ‘conspiracy mindset’ that is developing which ascribes anything that happens in the land of 796,095 kmof area as a work of ‘vile foreign forces’ – to rife dishonesty from the farmer to the Parliament and a frazzled moral and social fabric – Pakistan in no way can afford or requires a revolution with these  inadequacies.

The entire world has witnessed the surreal, perfect religious harmony amongst the Egyptian Muslims and Coptics during the January 25 revolt. While Muslims prayed, Christians formed a human ring around them for protection.

When the Muslim Brotherhood members raised Pro-Muslim slogans at Tahrir Square which implied that Egypt was for Muslims only, they were stopped by Egyptian Muslims who declared Muslim and Christians are all Egyptians and a new shout:

“Egyptian people here we stand,

Muslim Christian hand in hand!”

During the prayers at the Square, priests and imams prayed for Egypt together. When the Imam was leading the prayers, Christians’ repeated after him in louder voices so that all Muslims could hear.

Even gender boundaries transcended as women and men prayed together.

Can this ever be the case in Pakistan where there is a stark wave of subliminal intolerance being infused into even the minds of the educated? Had it been that Muslims and Christians had stood together to pray, the Mullahs would’ve raised the cry of blasphemy and a deluge of fatwas would’ve swept the country. Had they seen women praying with men, threats would’ve tumbled down upon all those who participated in it.

Egyptians showed their awe-inspiring sense of nationhood by forming committees to clear the areas where they protested every morning after millions had gathered there the night before.

Groups were organized to guard the museums and properties and possessions of people, while all those who were skilled in their professions came running to provide help and assistance to their fellow countrymen – such as the doctors who aided the injured freely.
Does Pakistan need a revolution to adopt this spirit?

Did not this nation pull down Musharraf?

We’re not worthy of a change with our stagnant ways which smell of stench.
And thats where and what we have to change.

With the nation sunk in disagreements and tiffs,  wide possibilities of religious exploitation leading to extremism, some insisting the system of democracy should continue and the others pressing on Khilafat to be installed, even if a revolution takes place – anarchy, looting, killing would envelop the country and all hell would break loose with the advent of a civil war.

Pakistan would fall apart if a revolution takes place.

The solution is to let the democratic system go on, no matter how defected it seems to be currently. It will naturally strengthen the vital organs of the state (Judiciary, Media etcetra) to an extent that they start ironing out the loopholes in the institution of democracy itself in Pakistan, clearing the path for it to operate as it should.

 The failure of individuals in the system to deliver should not make one ascribe those to the system.

Too many times in Pakistan’s history have democratic governments been overthrown and at the end, such a mess had been carefully crafted that it proved to be the perfect excuse for the boots to come marching in.

Systems can not be overhauled for individuals. Democracy is a culture along with being a system, that needs to be cultivated. It requires time which this nation, that has resisted years of several dictatorships, refuses to give.

To see how democracy functions if facilitated with patience and continuity, one must not look any farther than India.

The nation must also aim for unity, an evolution, an intellectual revolution and aspire to establish the values Jinnah and Iqbal had wanted for their Pakistan.

 

Pakistanis must change their attitudes and themselves along with rationally analysing the situations to bring about a difference in their country, for virals can never be the remedy for any ill, in this case, the ills of Pakistan.

– Hafsa Khawaja

From Fascination To Inspiration : What Tunisia’s Revolt Signifies & Teaches Us



 
Seldom does the world get to witness nations standing up to take hold of their country from tyrannical heads and their atrocious hands.

Recently it did, watching in fascination as Tunisians came out on the streets to revolt against the corrupt and autocratic government of Ben Ali, their President in power since 1987.
 


What eventuated this uprising in opposition of unemployment, inflation and for civil liberties that lead to Ben Ali absconding the country just after 29 days of unrest as a young, jobless man Muhammad Bouazizi.
 
International Business Times writes about him under the title  ‘The Story of Mohammed Bouazizi, The Man Who Toppled Tunisia’ :
 
“Mohamed Bouazizi was a 26-year-old Tunisian with a computer science degree.

Like millions of angry and desperate Tunisians, he faced the unpleasant combination of poor employment prospects and food inflation. Moreover, the Tunisian government was seen as corrupt and authoritarian.
By December 17, resentment against authorities has been brewing for a while.
To make ends meet, the unemployed Bouazizi sold fruits and vegetables from a cart in his rural town of Sidi Bouzid, located 160 miles from the country’s capital Tunis. He did not have a license to sell, but it was his sole source of income.

On December 17, authorities confiscated his produce and allegedly slapped his face.
Bouazizi became incensed.
                                                                                                                                                          

He then drenched himself in gasoline and set himself on fire outside the governor’s office. Bouazizi survived his initial suicide attempt. After being transported to a hospital near Tunis, he was visited by President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali before passing away on January 4.

 

 

After his suicide attempt, unrest broke out in Sidi Bouzid. The police cracked down on the protestors, which only fueled the movement. The revolt eventually spread to the capital city.”
 
For decades, many a nations under totalitarian regimes have eagerly fancied the idea of a revolution – waiting for the ‘right time’ and a leader to take them forward to actualize it but Tunisians have shown that when it comes to taking back the ownership of their country, no nation needs a leader rather their actions have asserted the reality that nations are their own leaders.
 
Those who had been following the unfolding of events in the Arab country since December had their thoughts about the marches, protests and riots dangling between doubts over their success yet the citizens of Tunisia proved that it is people like them who deserve a country and freedom – for they value and fight for it and in the end, the power and will of the people is what will always surface to reign high.


 
Award-winning columnist and an international public speaker on Arab and Muslim issues, Mona El-Tahawy has penned-down a notable piece on the happening in The Washington Post:
                                                                                                                                                              

For decades, a host of Arab dictators have justified their endless terms in office by pointing to Islamists waiting in the wings. Having both inflated the egos and power of Islamists and scared Western allies into accepting stability over democracy, those leaders were left to comfortably sweep “elections.”
                                                                                                                                                      

Ben Ali was elected to a fifth term with 89.62 percent of the vote in 2009.


All around him is a depressingly familiar pattern. Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi (68 years old) has been in power since 1969; Yemen’s Ali Abdullah Saleh (64) has ruled since 1978 and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak (82) since 1981. Algeria’s Abdelaziz Bouteflika (73) is a relative newcomer, having been in power only since 1999. Not so much fathers as grandfathers of their nations, these autocrats cling to office – and are increasingly out of touch with their young populaces.

No doubt, every Arab leader has watched Tunisia’s revolt in fear while citizens across the Arab world watch in solidarity, elated at that rarity: open revolution.”

This is not only a matter of much relevance and significance for Arabs but also countries like Pakistan, which today staggers towards the precipice of danger finding it hard to balance the burden of terrorism, inflation, poverty, rife corruption, institutional dysfunctions etc – hoisted on its back by years of military rule and political tug of wars for control of the state.
                                                                                                                                                           

One hopes that the result of the Tunisian rebellion and revolt is a domino effect. Are Egypt, Algeria, Jordan, Syria or Pakistan next? After all, the nations of these countries do possess simmering feelings of frustration and have been forced to swallow too many bitter pills over the years.
                                                                                                                                                              

Every population is as capable as that of Tunisia to kick start a movement of dissent yet what most of them lack currently is the will, unity and valor of the Tunisians to exercise this, for which they must be saluted.
  
An Egyptian friend and youth pertinently comments on the whole situation:
                                                                                                                                                             

All we lack is the start. What started it in Tunisia is one of the most commonly incidents that you can see daily, a simple man burning himself up protesting for being unemployed, which led to one of the biggest protests in the Tunisian history…

We also need to realize that its our own countries not theirs (rulers), so every right in these countries is ours, not them being so ‘kind’ giving them to us. We should be the feared side.

While it may be too soon or facile to term this revolt a complete success, it has come to symbolize what can be labeled as an inspiration for countless countries and future order of events.
 

 Vive Le Tunisia!

 

– Hafsa Khawaja

Chaos and Revolution


As published in the Newspost :

This is in response to Ghani Khan’s letter (News Post, Nov 3). He has raised some very important points and I am in complete agreement with him. With this nation being unorganised and hankering for a French – or Iran-style revolution, what we forget is the intellectual revolution that took place in Europe and is called ‘The Age of Enlightenment’. It produced great thinkers like Voltaire, Thomas Jefferson, Mikhail Lomonosov, John Locke, Jean-Jacques Rousseau and many others. These were the men who woke the people up from their slumber, taught them to question and learn while setting the stage for change.
In Pakistan, intellectual freedom is not practised so talking about a revolution is useless. It has become our hobby to put the blame for every mishap on ‘foreign hands’ and people do not look beyond such preposterous theories. Our nation needs to realise that without a change in ourselves, there can be no change in Pakistan. As Marilyn Ferguson said, “The greatest revolution in our generation is that of human beings, who by changing the inner attitudes of their minds, can change the outer aspects of their lives.”
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

Hafsa Khawaja
Lahore

Kashmir Bleeds, Does Anyone Heed?


*Published at Dissident Voice.

Befittingly termed once as ‘Heaven on Earth’, with millions martyred since the past 6 decades, thousands of half-widows, orphans and missing – Kashmir today is a Palestine-in-the-making of Asia.

As the Kashmir intifada continues, anyone keeping a keen eye on the serpentine course of events there is bound to be surprised as to why the coverage and attention of international media does not keep up with the importance and intensity of resistance to the Indian Occupation of the region?

[Read the precise history of the issue under the sub-title of ‘Background of the Kashmir Conflict’.]

For the past six decades, Kashmir has hung in the region as a pendulum of conflict between two countries with only one demand of the Kashmiri people, Azadi or freedom from Indian Occuption and their right to self-determination.

It has been tried to stifle this voice of theirs by bullets, lynching, rape, arrests, arson and humiliation which are what solely today’s Kashmiri youth or the ‘Sang-baaz’ (Stonepelters) have grown up knowing as gruesome child-hood memories.

But what needs to be highlighted, is how the international community is turning a deaf ear to the cries of Kashmir today when they are ringing higher than ever.

 Aalaw (Meaning ‘call’ in Kashur), is a site set-up by ordinary Kashmiris to help show the ground-realities there. It has updated the list of killings in Kashmir since 11th June:

“Summer in Kashmir has been drenched in blood which witnessed killing of many civilians, mostly teenagers, allegedly in police and CRPF (Central Reserve Police Force) action mostly since June.”

113 people have been murdered brutally and one can gage if this is the case for 4 months, what really has been happening in Kashmir for the past 63 years.

 

The atrocities in Kashmir can also be recognized by a data included by Pakistan’s Parliamenatary Committee on Kashmir a few years back :

HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS COMMITTED BY INDIAN TROOPS IN IOK

 
(FROM JANUARY 1989 TO FEBRUARY 2006)

Total Killings                                  90,776
Custodial Killings                            6,817

Civilians Arrested                        111,269

Houses/Shops Destroyed           105,143

Women Widowed                         22,371

Children Orphaned                     106,616

Women Molested                           9,637

(Source: All Parties Hurriyat Conference)

 

After much happening, recently the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon evinced his cognizance of the savagery in Kashmir by hesitatingly issuing a feeble statement (calling an “immediate end to violence” and pleading for “calm and restraint by all concerned”, thus equating the people of Kashmir with their oppressors)expressing concern over the situation there but by knwoingly not addressing India which should be diretly done as expected from the Head of an organization as the United Nations.

It is pertinent to mention here that Kashmiri population are only demanding that they should be given their rights of self determination under the UN Resolution. That leaves one to wonder what the purpose of the UN is if it lacks the will to exert pressure to execute the process defined under its own resolution leave alone stopping tyranny anywhere.

 

This dispute is also viewed as a possible cause of a future ‘nuclear clash’ between India and Pakistan therefore making the conflict a matter of international importance.

One would concur with what Ms.Maria Sultan wrote :

“The liberation movement is often depicted as a ‘terrorist’ militancy instigated primarily by Pakistan.”

It is doubtless that the foreign media, for a long period, has portrayed the freedom struggle of Kashmir wrapped in a dirty glaze of militancy and extremism (which is exactly what the oppressors in the case : India, have shown to be which would be similar to belieiing what Israel has to say about Palestine) showing the people of Kashmir to be terrorists funded by Pakistan which is certainly irrational to say the least.

 

Pakistan’s Foreign Minister, Shah Mehmood Qureshi stated at the UN:

“No one any longer can seriously believe … that Pakistan can orchestrate thousands of people…”

This time, the Intifida in Kashmir is not about men only but it involves women and children, armed with stones and sticks, stepping out to defy the curfew or protest.

 

The Sang-Baaz have taken to the streets and have become a single force mirroring the rise of the third Kashmiri generation in resistance to Indian Occupation.

Tariq Ali wrote a brilliant article ‘Not Crushed, Merely Ignored’  in July over the killings in Kashmir, him being in oblivion about them and the Foreign Media hypocrisy over it :

“….As far as I could see, none of the British daily papers or TV news bulletins had covered the stories in Kashmir; after that I rescued two emails from Kashmir informing me of the horrors from my spam box. I was truly shamed. The next day I scoured the press again. Nothing. The only story in the Guardian from the paper’s Delhi correspondent – a full half-page – was headlined: ‘Model’s death brings new claims of dark side to India’s fashion industry’. Accompanying the story was a fetching photograph of the ill-fated woman. The deaths of (at that point) 11 young men between the ages of 15 and 27, shot by Indian security forces in Kashmir, weren’t mentioned.

Later I discovered that a short report had appeared in the New York Times on 28 June and one the day after in the Guardian; there has been no substantial follow-up. When it comes to reporting crimes committed by states considered friendly to the West, atrocity fatigue rapidly kicks in.

An Amnesty International letter to the Indian prime minister in 2008 listed his country’s human rights abuses in Kashmir and called for an independent inquiry, claiming that ‘grave sites are believed to contain the remains of victims of unlawful killings, enforced disappearances, torture and other abuses which occurred in the context of armed conflict persisting in the state since 1989. The graves of at least 940 persons have reportedly been found in 18 villages in Uri district alone.’

The figures provided by the IPTK are startling. It claims that the Indian military occupation of Kashmir ‘between 1989-2009 has resulted in 70,000+ deaths’. The report disputes claims that these killings are aberrations. On the contrary, they are part of the occupation process, considered as ‘acts of service’, and leading to promotion and financial reward (bounty is paid after claims made by officers are verified). In this dirty and enduring conflict, more than half a million ‘military and paramilitary personnel [more than the number of US soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan combined] continue to act with impunity to regulate movement, law and order across Kashmir.”

 

 

M Yusuf Buch, a former adviser to the UN and former Pakistani ambassador wrote an excellent and a must-read piece on Kashmir under the heading of ‘India Fesering Wound In Kashmir’, starting from the beginning of the conflict, India’s reneges and failure to honor its pledges by Nehru, the response of the world to it to the recent-day events there :

[Excerpts;]

“The Kashmir dispute has persisted for more than six decades and, to put it simply, the world has become used to it. Second, the United Nations has been marginalised during the last two decades with the consequence that the Charter is beginning to be looked upon as almost an antique. Third, callousness, if not outright cynicism, has become the reserve fund of diplomacy. A blindness to human reality is reflected in the vocabulary employed when situations of international conflict are talked about. Two adjectives used when an indirect reference (a direct reference, mind you, would be frowned upon by India) is made to Kashmir: the adjectives: ‘historical” and ‘long-standing’. Factually, the adjectives are not wrong. But they come handy because by drawing a curtain over reality, they provide a moral justification for studied inaction.

We might interpose a question or two here. What is ‘historical’ about the young woman who has just been widowed and gang-raped? What is ‘long-standing’ about the elderly man whose only son, his sole support, has been killed? Again, what is ‘long-standing’ about the hordes of unarmed teenagers who are resorting to the practice of pelting the Indian occupation troops with stones in Srinagar and other cities

….. India stations more troops in Kashmir than the United States did or does in Iraq and Afghanistan combined. Can this situation be dismissed as ‘historical’ and ‘long-standing’?

If it is being so dismissed at present, the dismissal is aided by the language employed. We are being told of an ‘insurgency’ in Kashmir. The term may not be inaccurate but it promotes a misperception. What is going on in Kashmir is not an insurgency against an authority that was once regarded as legitimate; it is a resistance to alien military occupation.

The uprising in Kashmir has been marked more than once by the entire male population of the cities (excepting only the aged, the sick and children) coming out together in the streets to demonstrate peacefully against India’s military presence in their homeland. Could such a pointer have been mistaken, or would it have been allowed to be mistaken, far less ignored, if it had happened in a Western country?”

It is visible that India has emerged as a vibrant and growing economy in Asia, offering much to the Western countries and this ‘E’ Reason is one of th major causes behind the almost non-existent standpoint on Kashmir of the ‘Superpowers’ and those countries that have claimed to be the torch-bearers of human rights previously. India is a much-needed ally of the USA in South Asia as a counterweight against China, which leaves the sensitive issue to be either vaguely or rarely addressed as to not miff them thus acquiescing with their ‘Atoot Ang’ farce.

Written back in 2005, the article titled ‘The Atoot Ang Farce’ points out :

“India has responded to this uncontrollable situation in three ways: it has isolated the occupied state by denying access to international human rights groups and media; it is perpetrating systematic atrocities in the form of collective punishment, mass killing, mass confinement, inhuman and degrading treatment, torture, starvation, molestation and rape – over 31000 women have been either molested or raped- arson, loot and custodial killings; facts are being distorted and the freedom movement is being propagated as terrorism with support from Pakistan. Indian media has helped its government in camouflaging the reality in Kashmir by churning out lies, fabrications, excuses, blames, abuses and myths.”

If not the International Community, one expects the foreign media to stop its selective coverage and come to show Kashmir as a disputed territory.

In today’s era has become a powerful instrument for sparking awareness in minds all over the world and a catalyst for setting the stage for a change. Its role in covering the diverse incidents of cruelties were vital in making the people and Governments watching them, imbued with the feeling of their moral responsibility to adopt a firm stance on such issues.

Also the Pakistani Media needs to outgrow its immature phase of developing , kicking up an unnecessary rumpus out of every political statement, but help divert the concentration of people towards burning subjects such as that of Kashmir which is as greatly related to Pakistan as it could be. The lack of media coverage from Pakistan’s side on the Kashmir Conflict is facilitating India to brand its oppression and gross human rights violations there as an  ‘internal matter.

Children as young as 8 are being killed in Kashmir, youthful and innocent Kashmiri girls are raped infront of their brothers and fathers yet there is no protest from the world , while when a woman is ordered to be stoned to death on the charges of adultery in Iran – even the First lady of France speaks up. People are not allowed to give blood to their injured or the dying loved ones in hospitals due to curfews. Where is the world on this? All countries that declare themselves to be champions of human rights, equality and freedom? Where are all the activists? Why this silence and bias?

 

Even Indian Civil Society Members have protested against the open genocide in Kashmir. Where is the Pakistani Civil Society? And it should be remembered that Kashmiris are against the Indian Government, not the people, who are in a state of amnesia regarding the promises their revered PM Nehru had made over Kashmir which they failed to fulfill. Mere rhetoric will not do, both Governments need to set Kashmir as a top priority as there can be no peace in Asia along with the establishment of its presence between the two nations, without this quagmire being solved in accordance with the aspirations of the Kashmiris.

 

KASHMIR BLEEDS, DOES ANYONE HEED?

 

– Hafsa Khawaja

Why Aisam Is The Real Winner


So Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi is the name being uttered about by almost every Pakistani these days. Though he has been playing since an early age all on his own without any financial support from the Government or other authorities and has tennis in his genes (having his maternal grandfather, Khawaja Iftikhar was the All-India champion before partition and his mother Nousheen Ihtesham had won the national women title for 10 years and also represented Pakistan in Fed Cup.) – but him becoming the first Pakistani in history to reach any Grand Slam event Final brought him to the light and attention he deserved long ago.

And though he and his partners lost both US Open Mixed Doubles’ Final and Mens’ Double Final to, Aisam turned out to be a hero. After him and his partner Rohan Bopanna were beaten by the Bryan Brother, he delivered a speech which was concise yet was, in short the voice of 180 million Pakistanis:

 

“Every time I come here, I feel there’s a very wrong perception of Pakistan as a terrorist country. I just want to say we are a friendly, caring and peace-loving country and we want peace as much as you all. God bless us all.”

 

 

 

As New York Daily News writes:

“As a Muslim from Pakistan playing in the U.S. Open doubles final, he said New York needed his words the most, as post-9/11 counsel. So the 30-year-old grabbed the microphone and addressed the estimated 15,000 at Arthur Ashe Stadium – probably the biggest crowd to watch a Grand Slam doubles final – and made sure the moment wasn’t lost.

Prize money and rankings were never a motivating factor, Qureshi said, only good news for his flood-stricken countrymen and a platform to express his message of American misunderstanding.

He also defended the decision to build a mosque near the World Trade Center site.

“For me, as a Muslim, that’s what makes America the greatest country in the world – freedom of religion, freedom of speech,” Qureshi said.

“If the mosque is built, I think it’s a huge gesture to all the Muslim community out there in the world. I would really appreciate it.”

Qureshi said he’s been stopped at airport immigration “every time” in New York – three hours at a time – including after his latest flight for the Open. And on the eve of the ninth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, he wanted to defend his country’s masses.

“There are extremists in every religion, but just because of them you cannot judge the whole country as a terrorist nation. I just wanted to get this message across as a Pakistani.”

These simple yet bold words were spoken by him, made the hearts of Pakistanis swell with pride and joy for not only was their true representation done but they were lit up in a time crowded with despondency as the cricket-crazy nation feels ‘betrayed’ with their three top cricketers being embroiled in a shameful spot-fixing scandal and being immersed in floods while trying to fight internal cancers.

Also him, voicing his opinion about the Mosque being built near Ground Zero and his rational reasoning behind why he thinks that way, displays his level of maturity and political awareness.

The message he conveyed was one that hasn’t been given out by many of our so-called leaders and diplomats. He chose the moment to defend his country on American soil with billions, probably, as international audience all over the world. It was a silent declaration of his pure patriotism and love for Pakistan.

Years back in the World Super Junior Championships, he beat Andy Roddick and while Roddick was noticed bythe authorities in his country (despite his defeat) to polish, sponsor and prepare for bigger events , our player was ignored so this event provides us the chance to realize who we should honour and value as national heroes rather than the brazen-faced who lack a conscience when putting a price to their country’s pride.

 Aisam had been playing for ages yet he was never appreciated or encouraged as those in cricket. He made the flag of Pakistan flutter on the courts in a time when we are in an abyss of dim and darkness. He may have not won the matches but he surely won the respect, admiration, support, regardful ness and above all, the hearts and minds of the Pakistani nation.

Pakistan and the world need people like Aisam to bring people together and heal the world with their thoughts of peace.

Aisam, we are proud of you!

Surely you are the winner!

 

– Hafsa Khawaja

The International Community Needs To DO MORE For Pakistan!


Since Pakistan’s involvement in the ‘War on Terror’, terrorism in the country has taken a large leap. It is the single most country that has heavily paid the price for the war through the deaths of thousands of civilians, stagnancy of its economy and by almost becoming a pariah in the world. Yet, on every visit of a high-ranking US or UK diplomat and official to the country, we are told to ‘Do more’ in the fight against extremism.

Besides being beset with economic, social and political problems and instability, today the country is faced with a challenge that it can not cope with without the world: the most destructive floods in its history.

Described by United Nations as the greatest humanitarian crisis in recent history with the number of people suffering possibly to exceed the combined total in three recent megadisasters – the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, the 2005 Kashmir earthquake and the 2010 Haiti earthquake.”

Leaving 20 million affected, the floods have ravaged Pakistan from the core.

To much surprise, donations from other countries especially those who consider Pakistan as ‘friends’ or allies are ‘trickling in’ rather than having deluged us in this time of need, which they should have. International aid has not kept up compared to the Haiti Earthquake and the 2004 Tsunami.

About $7bn was pledged within a month of the tsunami that struck Asia in December 2004 and according to Oxfam, within the first 10 days after the Haitian earthquake, donors had committed $742m and pledged a further $920m. For Pakistan, the figures over the same period were $45m and $91m..

Pakistan has so far received aid-committment of 984.52 Million USD from International Community and commitment does not signify it being delivered or donated, it has been merely pledged.

The figures of a few of the donations for the Tsunami can be known as :

“ Nations all over the world provided over US$7 billion in aid for damaged regions, with the governments of Australia pledging US$819.9 million (including a US$760.6-million aid package for Indonesia), Germany offering US$660 million, Japan offering US$500 million, Canada offering US$343 million, Norway and the Netherlands offering both US$183 million, the United States offering US$35 million initially (increased to US$350 million), and the World Bank offering US$250 million. Also Italy offered US$ 95 million, increased later to US$ 113 million of which US$ 42 million was donated by the population using the SMS system.”

And for Haiti :

  Haiti aid pledged by country

 

Country/organization Funding, committed and uncommitted, $ $ per person  % of total
Others 639,381,379    26.40
Private (individuals & organizations) 593,639,219   24.51
United States 466,879,506 1.484 19.27
Canada 130,733,775 3.894  5.40
World Bank (emergency grant) 82,107,356   3.39
Japan 70,744,798 0.556                2.92
Saudi Arabia 50,000,000 1.944 2.06
Spain 47,664,745 1.061 1.97
European Commission 43,290,043   1.79
France 33,844,153 0.543 1.40
United Kingdom 33,070,138 0.537               1.37
Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) 27,976,462   1.16
Norway 25,298,044 5.257 1.04
Sweden 25,039,684 2.707 1.03
Germany 21,645,022 0.263 0.89
Brazil 16,884,782 0.087 0.70
Denmark 16,288,032 2.978 0.67
Australia 13,489,209 0.634 0.56
China 10,813,535 0.008 0.45
UN & agencies 10,000,000   0.41
Italy 9,302,037 0.155 0.38
Switzerland 8,932,039 1.180 0.37
Finland 8,005,607 1.503 0.33
Russian Federation 5,700,000 0.040 0.24
Netherlands 5,050,504 0.304 0.21
India 5,000,000 0.004 0.21
United Arab Emirates 3,209,113 0.698 0.13
Ghana 3,000,000 0.126 0.12
Ireland 2,886,002 0.639 0.12
Donors not specified 2,219,169   0.09
Indonesia 1,700,000 0.007 0.07
Czech Republic 1,154,401 0.111 0.05
Belgium 1,151,876 0.108 0.05
Poland 1,089,466 0.029 0.04
New Zealand 1,000,000 0.234 0.04
Morocco 1,000,000 0.031 0.04
Guyana 1,000,000 1.312 0.04
Estonia 1,000,000 0.746 0.04
Luxembourg 722,900 1.487 0.03
Greece 290,000 0.026 0.01
Inter-American Development Bank 200,000   0.01
South Africa 134,904 0.003 0.01
WORLD TOTAL 2,422,202,996 0.35 100

 

For Pakistan’s floods, such are the contributions.

 [The above picture illustrates the donations for Pakistan’s floods]

Richard Holbrooke, the US special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, had said: “The people of Pakistan will see that when the crisis hits, it’s not the Chinese. It’s not the Iranians. It’s not other countries. It’s not the EU It’s the US that always leads.”

But in contrast to his statement the The Guardian writes of how Saudi Arabia has overtaken the US as the largest donor to Pakistan’s flood relief effort.

Despite being engaged in relief activities for its own flood-wrecked areas, as always China has so far provided 120 million yuan (17.5 million USD) worth of humanitarian supplies to Pakistan in three batches.  It initially announced that it would provide emergency aid worth 10 million yuan (approx. US$ 1.48 million) to help the flood-victims. The People’s Liberation Army donated another 10 million yuan to Pakistan. The Chinese Red Cross has also given US $50,000 in cash to Pakistan. And this is only to write a few of what it has done for the flood-hit.

Iran on the other hand :

Iran had committed over 400 tonnes of relief goods; out of which 330 tonnes had already been delivered by the Iranian transport aircrafts as of 24th August 2010. These goods included tents, floorings, clothes, canned food, bread and medical supplies. Iranian red crescent society has also been on the ground along with Pakistan Red Crescent Society as a part of its ongoing relief operation inside Pakistan to more than 100,000 flood vicitms.  Iran has also offered to setup field hospitals and community centers for flood victims in Pakistan. In response to UN’s appeal for help at New York, Iran committed US $10 million towards the flood relief. In addition to this fund, Imam Khomeini Relief Committee was directed to collect private donations from Iranians and donate it to Pakistani government. Iranian interior minister also visited Pakistan as the head of a humanitarian mission assessing the needs of Pakistani people in order to facilitate the distribution of Iranian aid to Pakistan.  Iranian interior minister during a meeting with Pakistani interior minister informed the latter that Iran is the third largest donor nation in terms of delivered aid.  

“The UN appealed for $460m to cover the first 90 days of the emergency. It said today that half the target had been reached, but warned that it was able to reach less than a quarter of the 6 million people in urgent need for food and clean drinking water. The cost of providing clean water alone is about $2m a day.”

At Philanthropy, it has been surveyed on what the attitude of people towards such events depends on such as :

“Randy Strash, strategy director for emergency response at World Vision, said that donors tend to focus more on how many people have died rather than how many people are in need of aid. The United Nations has estimated that 20 million flood victims may need help; an estimated 1,600 have died.

The death toll, said Mr. Strash, “represents for many their barometer of how bad a disaster is.”

While countless died in the Haiti Earthquake, one must remember that those suffering and struggling to sruvive in Pakistan exceed the numbers of those who died in the previous catastrophe and they need to be immediately helped.

 

The difference between the two disasters in Haiti and Pakistani have already been compared in all aspects but the glaring dissimilarities are mentioned as :

[The picture below illustrates the total donations to Haiti for its earthquake]

Number of sheltherless people:

In Haiti: 1.8 million

In Pakistan: 6 million

_________________________________________________________________________________________

International pledges 2 weeks after flash appeal as percent of total appeal:

For Haiti : 82% of the required

For Pakistan : only 57%.

________________________________________________________________________________

Donation per affected person received after 2 weeks of flash appeal  :

Haiti : US $ 157.16

Pakistan : US $ 15.24

 ________________________________________________________________________________

Reconstruction Pledges:

 For Pakistan : (Aug. 22) World Bank US $ 0.9 billion Asia Development Bank US $ 2.0 billion (loans)

 For Haiti : (March 31) Donors pledge US $ 9.9 billion of which US $ 5.3 billion is pledged over 2 years (requested US $3.9 billion).

___________________________________________________________________________________________

Pakistan is a country much dependent on it s agriculture which roughly contributes 22% to GDP and employs 45% manpower.   

 

In an article at ‘Time’, the alarming predicaments that Pakistan will have to deal with are written about :

“World Bank president Robert Zoellick said the floods had destroyed crops worth around $1 billion. By conservative Pakistani estimates, the figure is at least double.

Pakistan’s economy was already fragile, dependent on a $11.3 billion support package from the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Before the floods, the country was struggling to meet the fiscal-discipline requirements of the package.

Pakistan has a bloated public sector, a narrow tax base and a chronic balance-of-payments problem. “Now, it alters all the calculations, all the projections, all the scenarios,” Abdul Hafeez Sheikh, Pakistan’s Finance Minister, tells TIME. “It is still too early to assess the full impact of the disaster, but the damage is colossal, it’s still unfolding. It will run into billions and billions of dollars.” And according to figures collected by the government of Pakistan — a fraction of what’s needed. “

The money and aid that has already been donated by countries and people is only for the immediate relief of the 20 million people affected by flooding and it is yet to be estimated what the rehabiliation of the displaced people (which might take 5 years in view of the experts) and rebuilding of the infrastructure (which has been set back decades) will cost in the second round of flood relief programmes.

The damage upon the country’s economy is worth $43 billion it has been told by the Government.

Founder and Chairperson of Pakistan Youth Alliance, Syed Ali Abbas Zaidi rightly points out in his blog :

“Pakistan has a been a frontline-ally in the war against terrorism and has borne more damage than anyone else, of civilian/military casaulties and financial losses due to security situation. And we kept on hearing “DO MORE” from International community, like 30000 dead Pakistanis (including top-notch Generals, politicians, religious figures) werent enough. I urge the International Community to DO MORE. To DO-MORE, this time not for your interests in the region or your-cold wars with other super-powers, DO MORE for humanity.”

It is time that all proclaimed friends of Pakistan to actually do something for the nation that has undergone much in its 63-year old history and yet helped many. From being a young nation yet advocating the cases of liberation Libya, Northern Ireland, Eritrea, Somalia, Sudan, Tunisia, Morocco, Algeria and Indonesia while championing the Arab cause of Palestine through the eloquence of it first Foreign Minister Sir Zafarulla Khan to facilitating many in its own land including the Afghan refugees, Kurds who escaped Iraq from Saddam Hussein’s tyranny, Iranians that left their land post-revolution while providing diplomatic passports to the members of the Algerian government in exile fighting for their country and so on.

Just a day before, it was part of the new how Ban Ki-Moon is concerned about the response from countries for donations to Pakistan are becoming sluggish and have virtually stopped.

INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY : WAKE UP AND DO MORE FOR PAKISTAN!

– Hafsa Khawaja

Mob Insanity or Justice? Save Pakistan From Itself!


 The basic structure of a society consists of laws and their regard which help to make it civilized. A society where the people take the law and process of justice into their own hands is in plain words : Chaotic and barbaric.

 

On August 19th, a video surfaced of two brothers Hafiz Mugheez Sajjad and Muneeb Sajjad being mercilessly beaten by batons to death by villagers in front of area police and a mass gathering in Sialkot. Their bodies were then hanged upside down with poles and then paraded in the back of a tractor trolley around the city which is known as ‘Shehr-e-Iqbal’.

 

Both brothers Mughees who was 19 and Muneeb who was 17, were Hafiz-e-Quran. It is being said that :

“At the early morning of 15th August 2010, the two brothers set of on their motorbike to play a cricket match. whilst on their journey, were distracted by a group of people who were looking for robbers who open fired on two people. The two brothers were wrongly accused of robbery, and without a fair trial, the police let angry mob of people kill the two innocent brothers.

They were murdered ruthlessly during the holy month of Ramadan. At the time of their death, both brothers were fasting whilst beaten to death viciously.”

Dawn News writes :

“On the the very day newspapers reported the Sialkot double-murder, they also carried a news item about the awarding of the Tamgha-i-Imtiaz to the DIG Gujranwala, Zulfiqar Cheema, for “maintaining law and order”. The police officer, in whose jurisdiction Sialkot also falls, appears to do his job in a manner that is condemnable.

Meanwhile, SHO police, alleged mastermind of killing of two brothers, has fled away and is still at large, police sources said.”

  
This is not a case first of its nature in Pakistan, mob justice has been a routine practice especially in our country. Many incidents as such emerge from time to time. From catching alleged robbers and burning them, to killing non-Muslims on account of ‘blasphemy’  to stripping the sister by a family of whose girl the woman’s brother fled with.

When the general public, mostly which is uneducated begins to to play judge and executioner, it is time that the Government and Judiciary wake up.

 

One is left shocked and appalled after viewing the gruesome video leaving one wondering as why none of those who were present at the time of this incident including the eight policemen did not stop the barbarians committing this crime? Not one in the many who witnessed this spoke a word of protest! This clearly evinces the crumple down of our society’s moral framework and the virtual absence of the rule of law.


People are giving mixed reasons as to why the two brothers were battered to death ; while some say they were involved in crime, others say it was a petty rivalry.

However, even if they were (as alleged) guilty of committing a crime they should have been brought to the courts. No civilized society of the world or sane human would do what had been done to them.

Pakistanis proudly procalim to be a Muslim nation, yet what recenlt happened clashes with the saying of Propeht Muhammad (PBUH) :

“Whoever of you sees wrong being committed, let him rectify it with his hand, if he is unable, then with his tongue, and if he us unable, then with his heart, and this is the weakest of faith — or in another version: beyond this there is not a single mustard seed’s weight of faith (iman).”

Those who silently watched the teenagers being dragged into the mouth of death are equally blameworthy and censurable for the bestiality for them being  acquiescent to the cruelty.


Chief Justice of Pakistan, Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry has already taken Suo Moto Notice of the savagery and summoned the police officials while in the same vein Interior Minister Rehman Malik has also ordered an investigation while vowing to hang the culprits in the same place.

Indeed, those who had played a part in this should be dealt the same way.

As Islam says “An eye for an eye.”

The videos uploaded of the gore happening shows the faces of those who killed the boys as identifable and with the aforementioned commencements, the whole nation expects the matter to be solved and those behind it to be strictly and severely retributed rather letting the reality of this brutality to fade out .

The culture of sheer mob madness churned with naked atrociousness, masked under the name of ‘Mob Justice’ must be completely spurned by the iron hand of justice.

 

 After 63 years, this is what we have come to as a nation? Devoid of even a smidgen of compassion, humaity and conscience! Neither are we a civilized society nor a we a nation worth following. This is not the Pakistan Jinnah and Iqbal has thought of. Majority of Pakistanis believe and talk of Pakistan needing a revolution but revolution means change which we only deserve after evolving from being such animals into humans that reform the society. What we have today is what we are worthy of because the heart of this nation is rotten. With such occurences that slightly expose the ugly face of our society, one must say Allah has still been very kind to us as a nation.

 

I would only quote what Iqbal had once beautifully written :

 

“Ya Rab Dil-e-Muslim Ko, Woh Zinda Tamana De,

Jo Qulb Ko Garma De, Jo Roh Ko Tarpa De”

May heart bleeds for them,

May the soul of the brothers rest in eternal peace!

And Allah save Pakistan from itself!

– Hafsa Khawaja

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.

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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.

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

Jinnah’s Pakistan- Are We Near?


Jinnah’s Pakistan. This is one dream that all of Pakistan yearns to achieve and are rueful over not being able to achieve in the past 63 years. Usually we blame others for what we face today but have we ever mused if we have even tried to be close to Jinnah’s Pakistan? Have we acknowledged our own weaknesses and faults? And the amends that we need to make? After reading a book of quotations of Jinnah that I posses, I decided to analyse and write about how far we are from being near to the land of pure that the Quaid envisaged.
Below are some quotations and the current situation of Pakistan in relevance to them:

“You must learn to distinguish between your love for your province and your love and duty to your State as a whole. Our duty to the State takes us a stage beyond provincialism. It demands a broader sense of vision, and [a] greater sense of patriotism. Our duty to the State often demands that we must be ready to submerge our individual and provincial interests into the common cause for a common good. Our duty to the State comes first : our duty to our Province, to our district, to our town, and to our village and ourselves comes next”

– Speech at Islamia College, Peshawar 12 April 1948

“Let me warn you in the clearest terms of the dangers that still face Pakistan…Having failed to prevent the establishment of Pakistan, thwarted and frustrated by their failure, the enemies of Pakistan have now turned their attention to disrupt the State by creating a split amongst the Muslims of Pakistan. These attempts have taken the shape of principally of encouraging provinicialism. As long as you do not through off this poison [provincialism] in our body politic, you will never be able to weld yourself, mould yourself, galvanzie yourself into a real, true nation….”

– Address, Public Meeting, Dacca 21 March 1948

[In Pakistan, such a divide, mentioned by our founder 62 years ago is still crystal clear in our nation. The poison of provincialism still lingers in the body of Pakistan. One of the most recent events that we saw last year were of the IDP’s of Swat entry in Sindh being protested and warned against by a few political parties. This was not a small incident but discrimination against our own Pakistani brothers only for the reason that they belonged to another province. This was not only against the definitions of a nation but also against the brother-hood that Islam strongly preaches.
The Sindh-Card hoopla and Sindhi-Topi Day are also both, in my opinion, a component of the very poison to spread it farther into the nation. I myself am proud of my province and do encourage the promotion of my province’s specific culture and specialities but I found the Sindh-Topi Day to be politically hijacked and motivated. Sindhis are also, repeatedly and wrongly, taught of a myth of their victim-hood facilitated by the Punjabis by certain political parties to gain their political mileage. Such selfish plots have lead to, although small, such as a movement for a separate province of Sindh and hatred amongst Sindhis for the people of Punjab. We are all Pakistanis and our province, city, district and towns do come after that. Pakistan is our identity, not our province.]

_______________________________________

“I want you to keep your heads up as citizens of a free and independent sovereign State. Praise your Government when it deserves. Criticise your Government fearlessly when it deserves, but do not go on all the time attacking, indulging in destructive criticism, taking delight in running down the Ministry or the officials.”
One of the most deplorable traits that have been developed within us due to a past marred with tragedies, losses, conspiracies and despair is the degree of pessimism and cynicism. We have lost all sense of respect and pride, disregarding the achievements of our people and the mere blessing of having been born in an independent land, a place to call home. We need to regain our sense of pride in our land and the fact that we belong to it, remembering that every nation has to go through a rough patch and a testing time before it reaches the height of success.
Our officials are corrupt and thus our criticism is natural but those steps that they take for the nation’s betterment (though seldom they are indeed) should be openly praised. Useless and baseless defamation and criticism of Government officals and those who represent us should certainly be spared. Above all, if they are indeed so wrong and devoid of honesty, why do we ELECT them?

– Reply to welcome address, Edwardes College, Peshawar, 18th April 1948

_____________________________________________

“During my talks with one or two very high-ranking officers I discovered that they did not know the implications of the Oath taken by the troops of Pakistan. Ofcourse, an oath is merely a matter of form ; what is more important is the true spirit and the heart. But it is an important form and I would like to take the opportunity of refreshing your memory by reading the prescirbed oath to you :
‘I solemnly affirm in the presence of the Almighty God, that I owe allegiance to the
Constitution and the Domination of Pakistan and that I will as in duty bound honestly
and faithfully serve in the Domination of Pakistan Forces and go within the terms of
my enrolment wherever I may be ordered by air, land or sea and that I will observe
and obey all commands of any officer set over me….’

– Address, Staff College, Quetta, 14th June 1948

“Never forget that you are the servants of the state. You do not make policy. It is we, the people’s representatives, who decide how the country is to be run. Your job is to only obey the decisions of your civilian masters.”
– Address at Military Staff College

Four Martial Laws and almost 40 years of dictatorship in Pakistan’s 63 years which included the rape of our nation’s sovereignity and sowing the seeds of problems that we are reaping today, all were due to the Generals who like the Quaid said, had forgotten the oath they took.It is inevitable that in such a long time of dictatorship, the influence and role of the military in the decision-making of the country. Our army inherited the British Military traditions and its officer crops were trained under British Military institutions established under colonial rule. With the decline of political institutions, they expanded their role and even reached the Presidency. Corruption, nepotism, avarice and greed were rampant in these years. The cancers that reside in Pakistan today, were assisted by Generals and their cronies. Our Army has always seemed to be oblivious of Jinnah’s words and their actual duty. They have played a major role in pulling Pakistan to the brink of collapse and anarchy. Our Army-men need to read these quotes of the Quaid and imprint them in their minds, it was their this lack of morals and integrity and intentional neglect of the Founder’s words and not only the Generals but support of the presumed and self-proclaimed ‘intelligentsia’ and elite of our society for dictatorships that made us stand here today.
_________________________________________________

“We do not cherish aggresive designs against any country or nation.”
– Part of a broad-cast to USA, February 1948

Ironically, Pakistanis nowadays have actually started buliding up an aggressive attitude towards certain nations for they blindly blame them for what we face today. I mean India and Israel, certain ‘intellectuals’ have began infusing the ideas and notions of a wars which is a blatant promotion of extremism. Their reasoning and ‘analysis’ of the current situation of Pakistan is that each of our conflicts and predicaments has been caused by other nations conspiring against us and their Ingelligence Agencies, for this they mould facts to their own liking and to back their views. Blaming others is the most simple way out to hide your own faults and to reason your suffering and so the popularity of such views are growing and farthering the cherishing of aggresive designs against countries etc (against Jinnah’s words).
______________________________________________________________________

– Hafsa Khawaja

”Let The Change Stem From Within”


“62 years ago,
By Jinnah, this land was on us bestowed,
Unity, Faith and Discipline its foundation,
Walking on thorny roads through the scorching heat of struggle and hardships,
Migrated the Muslims to this land for their future generations with great expectations..

Brimmed their eyes with hopes of parity, justice, tolerance and egalitarianism,
Desired they a land, replete with peace and devoid of religious sectarianism,
But soon, their dreams of prosperity shattered,
And at the hands of dictatorship, their fate battered,
Sybarites ate out of my soil’s flesh,
Every time, they escaped their time to be threshed,
Often unfurled the flags of democracy,
Banished were great leaders and of democracy was made a mockery,
To be the peoples’ saviour, many claimed,
Yet, each forgoed Jinnah’s dream and Iqbal’s vision,
And to the name of Pakistan, they brought shame,
On the fair face of Pakistan,
Thrown were blotches of injustice, corruption and brutality,
Raped was my country’s dignity and sovereignity….

Bleeds now my soil and in the sea of conflicts and problems, it drowns,
Infected is my homeland by terrorism’s cancer,
With a former dictator’s incisions,
My land is scarred and has many divisions…

Yet, not far off my eyes detect hope’s glimmer,.
In my heart, the light of love for my country does not get any dimmer,
Burns my soul with my country’s situation,
With my patriotism’s guidance,
And Mohammad (PBUH) as my source of motivation,
The evils of our society I shall uproot,
For the Pakistan, Jinnah and Iqbal envisioned,
And for the dawn of parity, liberality, altruism and progress,
I will contribute
I vow to serve my beloved land and make a change
By making it stem from within…”

 

Hafsa Khawaja