Osama Bin Javaid's Blog

SHUT UP OR DIE

A dear friend, a bold journalist a brave man was killed in pursuit of the truth. Saleem Shahzad leaves behind three children and a widow. The mourners under their wails and tears still have no clue why was their father killed. Since his abduction from Pakistan’s fortified federal capital to the discovery of his bruised mortal remains, the message is to hammer home the chilling threat to all those who strive to inform.

Rest in peace, we will not be silenced.

UPDATE:

After a successful 24 hr sit in by journalists demanding justice, the ineffective government made matters worse. The journalists from all over Pakistan demanded a judicial inquiry by appointing a judge who refused to head the investigation because the GOP didnt bother to ask the chief justice before appointing one of his subordinates.

On June 17, the ISPR released the following statement after Asma Jehangir said data of calls and texts from Saleem Shahzad’s mobile was wiped out by the ISI.

“Spokesperson of ISPR voiced concern on unfounded and baseless insinuation’s being voiced in a section of print and electronic media against ISI in regard to murder of Journalist Saleem Shahzad. Such negative aspersions and accusations were also voiced against ISI in some previous cases but investigations proved those wrong.
The spokesperson strongly supported   formation of a Commission to investigate the murder of   Journalist Saleem Shahzad. The case must be investigated thoroughly and facts made known to the people, the spokesperson concluded.”

 

Here’s what happened earlier …

 

Missing people in Pakistan have become a sad reality. Wikileaks has revealed that DEMAND TO ACCOUNT FOR MISSING
DRAWS LIMITED GOVERNMENT COOPERATION

“….The Supreme Court’s activism on the issue is a brave and encouraging start, but there are a number of obstacles that will make solving the problem a serious challenge. Interior Ministry and Attorney General’s office must rely on information from Pakistan’s powerful intelligence agencies to comply with the Supreme Court’s order. So far, this pressure has generated a few releases — often abrupt affairs, in which detainees have reportedly been pushed out of cars, confused and disoriented, and left to find their way home. It remains to be seen whether the Court’s scrutiny will have a lasting effect on the way the intelligence agencies do business.…”

Here is a compilation of a very well articulated response by the Newspaper Society and the rest of the world on the sad demise of Saleem Shahzad, a courageous journalist. Will there be action, I doubt it, but still all we have are words as our weapons

STATEMENT OF PRESIDENT OF APNS

A leading newspaper publisher in Pakistan and the president of the nationwide newspapers body has reacted sharply to charges by the Inter Services`Intelligence Agency (ISI) that allegations by Human Rights Watch of the intelligence agency’s involvement in the murder of Pakistani journalist Salim Shahzad were “baseless” .

It has come to my notice that a spokesman of Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) while speaking to the official national news agency in Islamabad yesterday has questioned the “baseless allegations” leveled by Human Rights Watch on the basis of an E mail from Salim Shahzad, the Bureau Chief of the Hong Kong based Asia Times Online, in their possession . Mr Shahzad was mudered three days ago near Islamabad after being abducted by unknown persons.

“I wish to state on record that the e mail in the possession of Mr Ali Dayan, the monitor for Human Rights Watch (HRW) stationed in ,Lahore Pakistan, is indeed one of the three identical E mails sent by Mr Shahzad to HRW , his employers (Asia Times Online) and to his former employer, myself . I also wish to verify that allegations levied by HRW at the Inter services Intelligence (ISI) are essentially in complete consonance with the contents of the slain journalists E mail ”

“In their denial issued Wednesday an anonymous spokesman from the ISI has questioned the “baseless allegation” leveled against ISI by Mr Dayan of HRW. I wish to state on the record for the information of the officers involved in investigating journalist Salim Shahzad’s gruesome murder, that the late journalist confided to me and several others that he had received death threats from various officers of the ISI on at least three occasions in the past five years. Whatever the substance of these allegations , they form an integral part of Mr Shahzad’s last testimony. Mr Shahzad’s purpose in transmitting this information to three concerned colleagues in the media ,was not to defame the ISI but to avert a possible fulfillment of what he clearly perceived to be a death threat. The last threat which I refer to was recorded by Mr Shahzad by e mail with me, tersely phrased as “for the record”, at precisely 4.11 am on October18,2010, wherein he recounted the details of his meetings at the ISI headquarters in Islamabad between the Director General- Media Wing (ISI) Rear- Admiral Adnan Nazir, with the Deputy Director General of the Media Wing, Commodore Khalid Pervaiz, also being present on the occasion.

The ostensible agenda for this meeting was the subject of Mr Shahzads’s story of Asia Times Online with respect to the Pakistan government freeing of senior Afghan Taliban commander, Mullah Baraadar. Mr Shahzad informed the senior officials that he story was leaked by a intelligence channel in Pakistan, and confirmed thereafter by the ” most credible Taliban s source” . The senior officials present suggested to Mr Shahzad that he officially deny the story, which he refused to do, terming the official’s demand as “impractical”

The senior intelligence official was “curious” to identify the source of Mr Shahzad’s story claiming it to be a “shame” that such a leak should occur from the offices of a high profile intelligence service. Mr Shahzad additionally stated that the Rear -Adimral offered him some information, ostensibly “as a favour ” in the following words : ” We have recently arrested a terrorist and have recovered a lot of data, diaries and other materials during the interrogation. The terrorist had a hit list with him . If I find your name on the list I will certainly let you know.”

Mr Shahzad subsequently confirmed to me in a conversation that he not only interpreted this conversation as a veiled threat to his person. He also informed me that he let an official from the ISI know soon thereafter that he intended share the content of this threat with his colleagues ..

As President of the All Pakistan Newspapers Society (APNS) and as head of Pakistan’s leading media group I consider the the security of journalists to be of paramount importance. At present the APNS has officially committed itself to the creation of a national body for the investigations of serious threats to the lives of journalists, a body which the Committee to Protect the Journalists in New York, and other leading organizations in the Pakistani press and human rights bodies have promised to lend vigorous support to. Pakistan has one of the high rates in the world for journalists killings and such an environment is inimical to the functioning of democracy . The government and the intelligence agencies should take the investigation into Mr Shahzad’s murder seriously and examine his last testimony closely.

Whether the Oct 18th incident itself or his last article in the Asia Times Online ,that alleged Al-Qaeda penetration of the security curtain for Pakistani Naval establishment in Karachi hastened his murder is for the official investigation to uncover. And nobody not even the ISI should be above the law”.

Hameed Haroon
PRESIDENT
ALL PAKISTAN NEWSPAPERS SOCIETY
KARACHI

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ)

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) fully backs a call by its affiliate, the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ), for the Government of Pakistan to establish by June 10 a judicial commission to investigate the disappearance and murder of Syed Saleem Shahzad.

PFUJ president Pervaiz Shaukat said journalists from throughout Pakistan would assemble in Islamabad and stage a sit-in at the Parliament if the commission was not set up by this date.

The deadline was set at a meeting of senior union leaders and journalists in Islamabad on June 2, where the PFUJ also sought unity with the All Pakistan Newspaper Society (APNS).

APNS president Hameed Haroon issued a statement on June 2 in which he confirmed Shahzad had reported receiving threatening messages on at least three occasions, allegedly from members of the intelligence arm of the Pakistan military, the Directorate of Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).

“Whatever the substance of these allegations, they form an integral part of Mr Shahzad’s last testimony,” Haroon said in his statement. “Mr Shahzad’s purpose in transmitting this information to three concerned colleagues in the media was not to defame the ISI but to avert a possible fulfilment of what he clearly perceived to be a death threat.”

The head of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, Zohra Yusuf, was reported as saying that although there was no conclusive evidence, “circumstances seem to point to state security agencies because there have been other cases where journalists have been picked up”, according to Reuters.

The ISI denies involvement in the murder of Shahzad, 40, who disappeared in Islamabad on May 29. Shahzad’s tortured body was found on May 31 at Mandi Bahauddin, about 150km southeast of Islamabad in Punjab province.

On May 27, Shahzad published on Asia Times Online an investigative report into alleged links between Al-Qaeda and Pakistani naval officials. It was to be the first of a two-part series. However, an editor’s note on the website says Shahzad had not completed the second part of his report and it will therefore not be published.

“The IFJ commends the courage of journalists in Pakistan at this distressing and dangerous time,” IFJ Asia-Pacific Director Jacqueline Park said. “We and journalists around the world will not rest until all murderers of journalists in Pakistan are brought to justice.”

Black flags have been hoisted at union offices and press clubs throughout the country, and PFUJ members will conduct a protest outside the Parliament today.

Hong Kong-based Asia Times Online, for whom Shahzad was the Pakistan bureau chief, is establishing a trust fund for his wife Anita and three teenage children.

Hillary Rodham Clinton

The United States strongly condemns the abduction and killing of reporter Syed Saleem Shehzad. His work reporting on terrorism and intelligence issues in Pakistan brought to light the troubles extremism poses to Pakistan’s stability. We support the Pakistani government’s investigation into the circumstances surrounding his death.
We remain committed to helping the government and people of Pakistan as they work to bring peace and stability to the country.

Chairman Kerry Washington, DC

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry (D-MA) issued the following statement on the death of Syed Saleem Shahzad, the Asia Times Online’s Pakistan Bureau Chief:

“I was deeply shocked and saddened to hear about the recent abduction and murder of reporter Syed Saleem Shahzad. His reporting on critical national security and intelligence issues helped shed light on the difficult challenges confronting the region. His death is a blow to Pakistan’s fragile democracy and a chilling reminder of the dangers journalists continue to face in Pakistan. I hope that the Pakistani government’s investigation into his murder will be as a thorough as possible to hold those responsible accountable and deter another crime against members of the press.”

BRITISH Foreign Secretary William Hague said:

“I was shocked to hear of the abduction and killing of Pakistani journalist Syed Saleem Shazad. He courageously reported on the terrorism and extremism which has caused so much suffering to the people of Pakistan. His death highlights the dangers faced by those working for a stable Pakistan and our thoughts are with his family at this time of grief.

“I welcome the announcement of an investigation. It is vital that this is thorough and transparent and that those responsible are brought to justice.”

Joint Action: Pakistan – Thirty-five organizations call for murder investigations in Pakistan

Thirty-five organizations call for murder investigations in Pakistan

The International Federation of Journalists and 33 other members of the International Freedom of Expression Exchange (IFEX), including co-author the Committee to Protect Journalists, endorsed the following letter at IFEX’s General Meeting held in Beirut, Lebanon on May 30 and 31. The letter was also supported by the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists.

Mr Asif Ali Zardari
President, Islamic Republic of Pakistan,

Mr Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani
Prime Minister, Islamic Republic of Pakistan

CC:

Mr Rehman Malik
Minister for Interior

Dr Firdaus Ashiq Awan
Minister for Information and Broadcasting

General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani
Chief of Army Staff

1 June 2011

Dear Mr President, Honourable Ministers and General Kayani,

RE: Journalists and Press Freedom Groups Call for Murder Investigations

We the undersigned members and partners of the International Freedom of Expression Exchange (IFEX) are writing with respect to express our deep concerns for the safety and welfare of journalists and media workers in Pakistan.

Representing the international community of journalists’ organisations and press freedom defenders gathered in Lebanon for IFEX’s bi-annual conference, we urge the Government of Pakistan and its law-enforcement and security agencies to take immediate and firm action to implement all appropriate measures to protect media personnel and to prosecute murderers of journalists in Pakistan.

In 2011, the tragic toll of dead and injured journalists and media workers placed Pakistan ahead of Iraq and Mexico as the world’s most dangerous country for journalists and media workers.

The killings have continued into 2011, with at least three journalists murdered in targeted attacks, including the killing of Nasrullah Afridi in Peshawar on May 10 and Syed Saleem Shahzad, whose body was found just yesterday.

We are deeply disturbed by Shahzad’s brutal murder, following his abduction in Islamabad on May 29. We note reports by Human Rights Watch that the Directorate of Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) may have been involved in his disappearance. We also note the potential connection between Shahzad’s murder and an article he published on May 27 about alleged links between Al-Qaeda and Pakistan Navy officials. We appeal to the Government of Pakistan and its security agencies to move with utmost urgency to identify Shahzad’s killers and bring to them to justice.

We fully appreciate the great difficulties confronting all people in Pakistan at this time. However, we also know that Pakistan has the resources and expertise to conduct credible investigations into murders of journalists and to bring culprits to justice.

Yet this is not happening and a culture of impunity prevails. Of all the murders of journalists in Pakistan over many years, the identification and prosecution of culprits has occurred only once in recent memory – in the internationally high-profile case of American journalist Daniel Pearl.

Pakistan’s law-enforcement authorities and security agencies at the provincial and federal levels have consistently failed to show the will to conduct full and proper investigations into all other murders of journalists in Pakistan.

Just a few examples where reports of investigations into murders are long overdue include the following:

• Hayatullah Khan, murdered, June 2006 in North Waziristan, after being abducted in December 2005.
• Allah Noor, murdered, Wana, February, 2005.
• Chishti Mujahid, murdered, February 2008, Quetta.
• Abdul Razzak Johra, murdered, Mianwali district, Punjab, November, 2008.
• Musa Khan Khel, murdered, Swat, February 2009.

The highly publicised investigation carried out by Peshawar High Court Judge Mohammed Reza Khan shortly after the killing of Hayatullah Khan has never been made public, despite repeated calls from the PFUJ and international media support groups.

In April 2009, the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) and its district affiliates urged your Government to set up a judicial commission to investigate the murder of Khan Khel. This followed an independent investigation by the Khyber Union of Journalists and the PFUJ after local authorities failed to initiate their own inquiry. We await results in this case.

In early 2010, the then Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting, Sumsam Ali Bukhari, acknowledged that Pakistan’s authorities and Interior Ministry had a responsibility to identify and arrest suspects. He gave an assurance to PFUJ members that the Sindh Government had been instructed to conduct a thorough investigation into the killing of Ashiq Ali Mangi in Khairpur, Sindh province, in February 2010. We await results in this case.

With respect, we remind you that your Government has a responsibility to protect and defend the rights of journalists and the media, in accordance with the Geneva Conventions, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and United Nations Security Council Resolution 1738.

As a signatory to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949 and to the 1997 Additional Protocol on the Protection of Victims of Non-International Armed Conflicts (Protocol II), the Government of Pakistan and its security forces are obliged to ensure the protection of journalists as civilians.

Article 13 of Protocol II states: “The civilian population as such, as well as individual civilians, shall not be the object of attack. Acts or threats of violence the primary purpose of which is to spread terror among the civilian population are prohibited.”

The 2006 Security Council Resolution, which stresses the civilian status of journalists reporting in war zones and crisis areas within national borders, stipulates: “… that all parties to an armed conflict comply fully with the obligations applicable to them under international law related to the protection of civilians in armed conflict, including journalists, media professionals and associated personnel.”

Under the laws of Pakistan, the federal and provincial governments have a duty to require that law enforcement and security authorities utilise appropriate and transparent policing and judicial means to fully investigate all murders and disappearances of journalists.

We fully support the PFUJ in its recent request to Minister Malik to initiate and oversee a comprehensive inquiry and report into the killings of journalists in all of Pakistan’s provinces. We look forward to full public disclosure of all evidence and official records.

We further call on you to work with the PFUJ and Pakistani and international media support groups to establish an independent taskforce to act promptly on the findings of the Malik inquiry, including through the pursuit of full and proper investigations and prosecutions of cases.

Again, we respectfully request that you use your authority to reverse the culture of impunity and act on the grave concerns held by the international community of journalists and press freedom defenders for the welfare of our colleagues in Pakistan.

In the absence of investigations and the prosecution of offenders, the State is failing to provide the necessary deterrent to those who would use violence to silence and intimidate journalists and restrict the right of all people in Pakistan to information.

Yours Respectfully,

The Undersigned

1. Aliansi Jurnalis Independen (Alliance of Independent Journalists)
2. Arabic Network for Human Rights Information
3. ARTICLE 19: Global Campaign for Free Expression
4. Association of Caribbean Media Workers
5. Canadian Journalists for Free Expression
6. Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility
7. Center for Media Studies & Peace Building
8. Centre for Independent Journalism
9. Centro de Reportes Informativos sobre Guatemala
10. Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ)
11. Egyptian Organization for Human Rights
12. Freedom Forum
13. Freedom House
14. Free Media Movement
15. Globe International
16. Hong Kong Journalists Association
17. Independent Journalism Center
18. Index on Censorship
19. International Federation of Journalists (IFJ)
20. IPS Communication Foundation
21. Maharat Foundation (Skills Foundation)
22. Media Foundation for West Africa
23. Media Institute of Southern Africa
24. Media Rights Agenda
25. Media Watch
26. Mizzima News
27. National Union of Somali Journalists
28. Observatoire pour la liberté de presse, d’édition et de création
29. Pacific Islands News Association
30. Pakistan Press Foundation
31. Public Association “Journalists”
32. Southeast Asian Press Alliance
33. South East European Network for the Professionalization of the Media
34. Thai Journalists Association
NON-IFEX MEMBER SIGNATORY:
Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ)

Advertisements

Cannibals

Can you imagine. Now after nearly a decade in the profession, I can finally say WOW! I didn’t think this could happen but yes Cannibals are for real. Yesterday we broke a story about a family that feasts on fresh human corpses. They confessed to have been at it for the past decade. No they did not do it due to lack of money or hunger, they are a sick sick bunch. Apparently they had been gorging on human flesh for well over a decade and when the death count was low in the village, they ate stray dogs. They were caught after the police traced footprints from a grave. The complainants had buried a 24 year old woman the night before and found the desecrated grave the next day. Local correspondent says they used chemicals to dissolve hair and teeth but ate the rest. So many questions have been asked during various conversations, let me jot down a few.
– did the kids do it?
– would they eat themselves postmortem?
– how did they do it for a decade without being noticed?
– are there others involved? maybe a whole hollywood style community of human flesh eaters?
– do they have extra powers after eating humans for so long?
– how did they cook the meat?
– were the desserts extracted from the corpses as well?
– so the neighbours never suspected?
– did they kill people as well, what about the missing people of the area or unsuspecting travelers?
…. will investigate further and keep you updated on this surreal story.

Here’s AFP’s account

Pakistani police said Monday they had arrested two middle-aged brothers on suspicion of stealing and eating human flesh in an investigation into cannibalism that has shocked a remote town.
“We arrested the two men from Kohar Kalan village on Sunday after it was revealed they had been stealing bodies from graves and eating them,” local police officer Abdul Rehman.
He said police acted after the parents of a 24-year-old woman, who died of cancer, complained that her body went missing after being buried on Saturday.
Rehman said the suspects, both in their 40s, stole the body from the grave near the town of Darya Khan, 300 kilometres (190 miles) south of the Pakistani capital Islamabad.
“The two men, who are brothers, confessed to police that they had been pulling out bodies for the past year.
“We also recovered the body of the girl with a missing leg, which the two men said was eaten by them,” the official said.
District police officer Humayun Masood Sindhu also confirmed the arrests and called the case “the most horrible” of his entire career.
He said police found the body of the 24-year-old woman in a sack and confiscated an axe from the house where the suspects were living.

Sluggish help for Pakistan

Pakistan is facing its worst natural disaster. Albeit prone to calamities and deaths the country has never seen devastation on such a scale. Unlike Tsunamis and earthquakes, floods do not create immediate headlines as the death toll is relatively slow to mount. To date 1500 people have died but the significant number is of the people affected, almost 20 million. An affected population higher than the all the recent disasters combined – including the Tsunami, Haitian Earthquake, Chilean Earthquake and Pakistan’s 2005 earthquake.

To give you a perspective 20 million is a third of UK’s population, almost half of Argentina’s population or nearly equal to New York’s inhabitants. But still as we saw the world rushing to rescue Tsunami victims, digging deep in their pockets for various earthquakes but the response to the floods in Pakistan is on the contrary. Donors pledged nearly $300 million after the 2005 earthquake in Pakistan, pledges of up to $1 billion were seen in the early days after the earthquake in Haiti. In the first few weeks the UN has only received $90 million or so in response to a $460 million appeal. So what has changed between then and now?

To begin with, the country’s economy has become increasingly dependent on foreign aid because of its role in the fight against terror. Getting reactions from various people inside and out of Pakistan including expatriates, a number of reasons for the sluggish international response come to light including a relatively low death toll, the slow pace of the floods as compared to the dramatic events in Tsunamis and earthquakes and a “global donor fatigue”. When you speak to people inside Pakistan they blame the government for being late to respond. Citing poor governance and bad crisis management, the government has been chided for not gearing up itself or the citizens to be able to come to the help of flood victims. Apart from the armed forces, no government agency has been able to set its mark. Although with multiple takeovers of civil administrations, the armed forces are the oldest running institution with consistent work in the country’s history.

Numerous inefficiencies and lack of coordination between agencies has also been a cause of concern but there is a clear lack of trust. People do not trust the government and its agencies. Deposits in the prime minister’s fund amount to Rs 55 million which is less than a quarter of funds collected and spent by NGOs and individuals. A leading philanthropist and financial executive says it could be one of many reasons that the world isn’t responding to Pakistan’s woes. This is the 5th year running that pakistan has been out asking for funds. 2005 and 2006 saw appeals for earthquake relief, 2007 to 2009 because of the war on terror & economic collapse and now for flood relief. There is also a perception that the rich and those in power are not doing their share so why should the foriegners pick up their burden and then there is the lack of trust that the money will be utilized honestly and efficiently. Corruption and lack of transparency are the main reasons Pakistanis themselves are trying to focus support on individual efforts rather than pooling resources with the authorities. The PPP in power and the PML-N in opposition have pledged to constitute an independent commission to oversee the funds and their disbursement. A welcome move which will improve public distrust.

The international recognition of the floods is insufficient so far. An irate journalist even went on to say that tell them Jamatud Dawa and Taliban are doing a good job, they might react and help Pakistan. Having said that there is very limited response from fellow muslim countries as well. Apart from the $5 million from Kuwait/Turkey and a few aid planes from KSA no real help has arrived. Although a number of appeals have been launched but no pledges have come from strong bodies like the OIC and other muslim donors.

But donor fatigue is the term being brandished about the most. The fatigue may be linked with the overall economic recessions worldwide and global perceptions of supporting militancy despite Pakistan’s hard work for the war against terror. Even if you look at the rehabilitation and reconstruction phase in war struck Malakand, there were tall claims from the Friends of Democratic Pakistan but the help is yet to arrive. The Pakistani government itself shares the blame for being slow to acknowledge the magnitude of this calamity as even basic comparison with other major disasters and the official estimates of victims of floods are coming too little and too late.

Toned-down international coverage is also not helping to raise awareness across the globe to drum up support for the victims of Pakistan’s worst ever disaster. Unlike the Tsunami its not christmas time and most budgets have been or are being spent on holidays.

Pakistan already faces an insurgency and a refugee crisis. Given that the authorities need to hold drills and inform people of what to do in case of a major crisis, this is too much for any government to grapple with. With warnings of more surges and a heavier monsoon spell, the worst isn’t over and more agony is yet to come. Pakistan’s huge significance and the sacrifices for the international community, the world must DO MORE and do it NOW.

Is democracy a good thing? join the debate…

AGAINST: I don’t think that more democracy is a good thing – democracy in places like Pakistan and Afghanistan is a nonsensical idea, to my mind. What we, and they, need is good governance – I think the most important criteria for economic growth is to have a government that is not corrupt and that has stable institutions.
———————————————
FOR: The pursuit of idealism makes me a watchdog on the walls of society (ie a journalist).

Agreed that the concept of democracy being one-size-fits-all is flawed. Bangladesh for instance is doing pretty well with its military interventions on corrupt politicians and au contraire the US is doing just fine with the idealism being complimented with lobbying and corruption. So its a matter of perspective really whether you look at it from the Noam Chomsky school of thought or the Amy Goodman activism.
I’ve witnessed people give seats to elderly on crowded buses in Pakistan and I’ve seen the British behaving like cattle during a tube strike. So good governance is relevant, but in my opinion lower on the nation-building priority list.

Empowering people with justice and basic human rights is the only way to build soceity regardless of the regime it follows. Democracy by far is the imperfect system which has been tried, tested and implemented. Why reinvent the wheel?
———————————————————————————
AGAINST: I disagree with you. China is not a democracy but it has alleviated more poverty and improved the condition of its people (education, health, all social indicators) than India which is a democracy. Noam Chomsky is very smart but completely irrelevant I feel – comparing advanced western democracies with third world developing countries is meaningless in terms of demoracy. The States is democratic, Pakistan is run by a feudal-military nexus that is not democratic in the least.
And Bangladesh is not doing pretty well – its populace is desperately poor and uneducated.
In my view justice and improving human rights comes second and third to good governance and stability. Economic growth is the most powerful impetus that leads to better rights for a countrys citizens.

The Other Story – Education Under threat

We have started a weekly news show “the other story” bringing you the untold elements of stories you hear every day.

We take a look at the untold stories in Pakistan and possible solutions to make things better.

This week we will be looking at one of the most fundamental building blocks for human development and sustenance. When given the opportunity to achieve their own goals, people are empowered to contribute fully to the development of their communities, societies, and economies.

The other story this week is Education Under Threat

We begin with Karachi. The threat to education is multipronged. Somewhere its terrorism, some places its negligence AND some places lack the infrastructure altogether. We have visited one of many government schools where the lack of basic facilities are threatening the very fabric of the provision of a fundamental right to the children.

Private schools have become a necessity for contemporary Pakistani society since the government has failed to provide quality education for its population.

A majority of parents, even those from lower income brackets, send their children to private schools so they can receive an education that will enable them to be competitive

Our correspondent Sophia Jamal visits a city govt run school in Karachi and reports about how imparting knowledge is under threat.

Throughout this week on dawn news we will ask the relevant policy makers on how to make things better. We then go to Quetta where repeated closure of educational institutions in Balochistan has severely affected students. Especially the students of winter zone of the province are affected with exams fast approaching.
Not just that but target killings of school and college principals has also brought the infrastructure of education to a halt. Syed Ali Shah INVESTIGATES.

Then we go to Lahore where ensuring the security of students has forced the Punjab government to close down school and universities alike. This unprecedented decision raised several questions not only about its impact on the students and the masses but also about how seriously the government is willing to fulfill its duties. Our correspondent Sana Saif takes up the issue.

We then go to Peshawar where almost every day we hear about a bomb or a suicide attack in the NWFP..the focus stays on security, counter-terror and emergency services. But is the younger generation being neglected, does anyone ever go back to the schools which were blown up my militants, what about the teachers who have to show up and are parents willing to send out their children. Mumtaz Bangash investigates the plight in the NWFP.

And finally we take a look at possible solutions and cross over to Islamabad where the federal minister for education Mir Hazar Khan Bijarani joins us… We ask Mr Bijarani..

Q1.) Lets begin with the NWFP..Parents teachers and the very fabric of education is under threat…..Does the education ministry have a plan for the solution?

Q2.) There is a similar situation in Balochistan where educators are being targeted, institutions being threatened and a sense of insecurity clubbed with a lack of schools to begin with, what are you doing for Balochistan?

Q3.) Over in the Punjab the government says it cannot provide security to all schools so the institutions must come up with their own plans..Some schools have started charging additional fee for security do you have a check and balance system…how are you dealing with the situation there?

Q4.) But you do realize that the situation in Sindh is completely different. Education is under threat due to mismanagement and negligence. Unpaid teachers, lack of facilities, thousands upon thousands of ghost schools…What is being done for the province of Sindh?

Want to know what the education minister said…watch the other story on youtube…http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cNhxWnw9bko

DO WRITE IN AS THE OTHER STORY IS ABOUT YOUR ISSUE AND SOLUTIONS FOR YOU…

our email address is —- otherstory AT dawnnews DOT tv —- and you can also find us on facebook