Pakistan hasn’t quit courting insurgents;US report says extremist networks with current or former ties to govt pose significant risk to US, Pak govt itself
Monitoring Report
WASHINGTON, ISLAMABAD, June 22:WASHINGTON: Pakistan has not quit its habit of courting insurgents, and extremist networks with current or former ties to the government pose a significant risk to the US and the Pakistan government itself, a new study concludes.A rising number of terrorist plots in the US with roots in Pakistan stems in part from an unsuccessful strategy by Islamabad to blunt the influence of militant groups in the country, said the report by the RAND Corp, a non-profit study group frequently hired by the Pentagon.The report issued on Monday says the failed car bombing in New York’s Times Square is an example of how militant groups, some with shadowy government backing, can increasingly export terrorism far beyond the country’s borders.
The US isn’t getting its money’s worth for all the billions in aid pledged to Pakistan, the report concludes. The US should withhold some aid until Pakistan makes “discernible progress”, authors Seth Jones of RAND and Christine Fair of Georgetown University wrote. The authors chart long government support or tolerance for some extremist or terrorist groups, including Taliban at the Afghan border. The report says the US has had limited success in encouraging Pakistan to cut ties with extremists, while the Pakistan Army has had limited success in a series of military campaigns against militants over the last year. Agencies,Daily Times

Ahead of talks, Pakistan troops fire at border post
VoH Watch Dog
NEW DELHI, June 22: Ahead of the Indo-Pak talks, Pakistani troops in an apparent ceasefire violation fired at a border post along the international border inviting counter fire from BSF troops.The firing, according to reports, came from Pakistan’s Suragpur post on Abdullia border outpost along the international border in R S Pura sub-sector . The BSF retaliated against the Pakistani firing. The cross firing initially lasted for one and half hours but started again after a short break and continued for a couple of hours. Reports also said that there was an explosion triggered by an IED near the border line. The Indian side sees the firing as a violation of the ceasefire. A massive search operation was subsequently launched in the area. The firing incidentally takes place three days before the home ministers of the two countries are scheduled to meet to discuss a range of issues. Border tension and infiltration has continued to be an area of concern for India and this is set to be taken up in the upcoming, high-level meetings between the two sides. A similar incident took place on Sunday when Pakistani troops fired at Indian positions at Machhil sector in Jammu and Kashmir. Two porters were killed while two jawans were injured in the firing. India accused Pakistan of violating the ceasefire in the Machhil sector. The incidents come just ahead of home minister P Chidambaram’s visit to Islamabad for the Saarc home ministers’ meeting. He is also scheduled to hold meetings with his Pakistani counterpart, Rehman Malik. And India is expected to take up the issue of infiltration attempts which have increased in Jammu and Kashmir in the summer months. Ahead of the home ministers’ meeting, foreign secretary Nirupama Rao will meet her Pakistani counterpart Salman Bashir. The meetings which are aimed at reducing the trust deficit will include discussions on incidents across the border. India had stalled the dialogue process after the Mumbai terror attacks in which terrorists had travelled from Pakistan to India to carry out multiple attacks.Courtesy: Economic Times

Lahoris being looted as corruption in passport offices runs riot
VoH Monitor
LAHORE,June 21: Getting a passport has become a tough ask for citizens due to the “powerful and corrupt” government officials working in the passport offices in hoots with a large network of agents, who loot hundreds of thousands of rupees from the masses in bribes to get the process done earlier than it would take them in routine.
There are at least four different groups of agents called Mushtaqi, Dhana, Bhatti brothers and Qasim working both in and outside the passport offices situated in Garden Town and Abbott Road. A family calling themselves ‘Sheikh brothers’ is solely dominating the agents business at the offices at Abbott Road. The illegal activity is running in full swing across the board in the city because these agents are bribing everybody to continue their illegal activities, from the basic office to the higher authorities. The office at Abbott Road deals with the people from Lahore city and Sheikhupura, while the other office issues passports to citizens from Lahore Cantt and Kasur. The FIA seldom bothers to take notice of the activities going on in these offices, despite being the authority charged with ensuring that there is no corruption in these offices. In a raid in 2009, the FIA could only find one clerk named Rana Riaz who was involved in issuing tokens to agents and taking bribes. However, Riaz was soon at it again a few days later after facing minor inquiries and he is still working in the same office. One of the front men working for agents outside the office, Iftikhar, told Daily newspaper that around 1,000 to 1,200 people visit each passport office in the city every day, while more than 500 of the people looking to have their passports made get the job done by paying agents, who further pay Rs 500 for each entry to government officials working in the passport office and keep the rest as their own profit. He said the agents working outside the offices convince people to pay bribes varying between Rs 700 to Rs 2,000 in order to avoid long queues of people standing outside the office, merely to get an entry token for further processing. He said the same networks were working inside the office and that they take Rs 200 to Rs 1,000 in bribes to get each process completed earlier. The process consists of data entry, biometrics, checking their names in the Exit Control List and interviews. The whole phenomenon has made the experience an ordeal for tens of thousands of poor families who visit the offices to get their passports, but cannot afford to pay bribes to agents. News about doubling of passport fees from July 1 has further added to the misery of poor people. Sources in the Garden Town offices told Daily Times that the network of agents and their nexus with people working inside the office have grown to the extent that they are not even afraid of people from influential offices and raids by authorities, as they either pay high ups or satisfy the ‘powerful visitors’ by sharing the bribes with them. A citizen named Muhammad Tufail told Daily Times that most of his family members lived abroad and the rest kept visiting the offices to get their passports, adding that so many visits to the passport office had made him somewhat of an expert on the whole process.
He said that the people
who were dealing with the agents on different levels inside the Garden Town office include Shaikh Dawood, Talat Chaudhry, Asif, Idrees and a person called Pasha.He said that Pasha was considered the front man of Assistant Director Jahanzeb Shah, who uses him as a clerk to oblige influential people such as his friends and family by giving them special protocol. Dawood collects money from a section of agents, while Talat deals with the rest, he added. Tufail said that 50 percent of the total amount earned by the office was given to the assistant director, while the rest was distributed by the staffers amongst themselves.However, Garden Town office Assitant Director Jahanzeb Shah told Daily Times that there had been corruption and an agents’ network inside the office in the past, but he had resolved the issues now. He denied taking any money in terms of bribes from agents and denied the existence of agents both inside and outside the office,Daily times reports.

Political meetings banned in Karachi
VoH Monitoring desk
KARACHI, June 16: "The government has banned public political meetings for a month as a way of controlling the targeted killings, a senior government official said Wednesday.“The government has banned public political meetings for a month as a way of controlling the targeted killings,” said Waqar Mehdi, an aide to the chief minister of the southern province of Sindh, of which Karachi is the capital. “The decision was taken late Tuesday night and we have issued a notification to this effect,” he said.

Police have picked up at least 12 suspects since the violence erupted last week. — Photo by Reuters

The measure applies to all large public meetings, rallies and demonstrations except for funeral prayers and burials.“There is a persistent possibility of terrorism activity during the large meetings and rallies as terrorists could inflict heavy damage to life and property,” Mehdi told AFP.The government has not released exact figures, but security officials say at least 10 people have died so far this month in targeted killings in Karachi and more than 100 since the beginning of the year.At least four more people were killed in incidents of target killing in different parts of Karachi during the past 12 hours, a private news channel reported. Unknown assailants shot dead a man on the city's Mauripur Road. Police said the man was involved in criminal activities and an investigation into the incident was underway.
Courtesy: Dawn News

Pakistani student remains missing in Kyrgyzstan
VoH Watch dog
ISLAMABAD, June 16:A Pakistani student in Kyrgyzstan is still missing in the riot hit Kyrgyzstan and has not returned home according to his family. Talking to private TV channel here on Wednesday, Riaz Ahmed said that his son Imran Ali resident of Mandi Bahauddin is in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan for getting higher education since last three years.
He said that three days back his son told them on phone that there are 45 Pakistani students in his hostel and they have been directed to leave the hostel with in three days, after that there has been no word from him and they do not what has happened to him. Riaz Ahmed has appealed to the government to ensure his son's return. Courtesy:The Nation


  1. Arif Habeeb Says:
  2. Normally, we perceive what we observe. If am not wrong, we evolved into an intolerance breed led by an organize mob and our insistence for being a strong Nation is mere a fuss. A nation who from top to bottom, we are indulged in unfair practices, intolerance to constructive critique,corruption and reduces not only on Provincial but also on area was with in the vicinities defy our claims of a consolidated nationhood. There lies long time to transform into an integrated nationality.

  3. Not a single part of our homeland is in peace. From target killings to religiously motivated killings by certain school of thought made life of citizens a nightmare. Rise in number of murders of innocent people is a big question on performance of law enforcement agency. We heard though your area (GB)is away from such evils but facing natures' atrocities. Every citizen of this country is praying to embrace Jinnah's Pakistan....with tolerance, dedication, human spirit, faith, discipline and hard work.


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Discerning social Change in Gilgit-Baltistan

Discerning social Change in Gilgit-Baltistan
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Mission Statement & Weekly VoH Publishing team

Voice of Voiceless

The blog aims to disseminate the accurate regional information without consideration of race, color, ethnicity, religion and ideology to the valuable readers across the globe. We promise to abide with the moral and professional ethics of citizen journalism through this medium of communication. The voiceless masses of this one of the most beautiful places on earth, situated in Gilgit-Baltistan region of Pakistan experience hard times due to continuous natural and man made disasters which have left them at surviving stage. Shortly speaking, in a short span of time, Hunza valley has embraces a steady socio-economic and ecological development making it self an authentic book to read about or take a model for rest of far flung valleys bordering Chines Sinkiang province in the extreme north of the country. The haphazard material development in this comparatively small area has also served to create various socio-economic and ethical problems which ultimately served to shake the fabrics of very roots and foundations of culture and civility among dwellers. On geo-political front, analysts find a very little say of a common man in the major decisions related to regional socio-economic development, violation of meritocracy by mafias in political parties, pressure groups which safe guard their own interests, a unbridled bureaucracy, corrupt regimes that patronizing nepotism or favoritism and who wield powers in Gilgit, the main hub and capital of Gilgit-Baltistan. Rapid increase in expenditures ranging from general commodity price hikes to transportation has left no option or time for people to think on other issues.
The so called Economic-Recession, unequal distribution of wealth, concentration of opportunities towards certain beings, lack of social responsiveness and transparency in government sector and no check and balance on private sector has brought its ugly implication in terms of high unemployment, depression among the youngsters, anxiety and hatred towards system of governance.
We vow to bring fore the issues of common man at grass root level, strive to highlight irregularities in government sector and flaws in public policy and finance in a democratic way. We shall continue to give our opinion on issues of importance and determine to prove a viable platform to have a positive role for public welfare, inter-communal harmony, integrity and social justice.
Amid such a situation when even the survival of country is on stake and is defamed due to continual terrorist incidents throughout the our county, we may pray for a peaceful and prosperous future of the nation. May Lord save the peaceful Gilgit-Baltistan region from the evil designs of devils in human form.

The blog has been developed and upgrading by the efforts of the following dedicated volunteers.

Board of Editors
Editor: Shamsuddin Muhammad

Co-editor: Inam Karim

Reporting Team
Karachi: Sartaj Karim

Hunza: Naeem Hamoon

Gilgit: Aslam Shah


Islamabad: Ikramullah Baig

Voice of the voiceless!

The blog is a venture with exclusive news updates, unbiased analysis and opinion on historical, cultural, ecological, socio-economic, geopolitical and administrative issues and events occurring in country in general and the region particular. It would serve as a portfolio of credible information retained first hand from own and secondary reliable electronic and print media sources and aspire to become a powerful voice for a common man. We are committed to adhere with the professional ethics of citizen journalism, a new trend to shackle the chains of excessive curb over dissemination of reality either for any cause in the name of so-called sensor, with maximum possible accuracy and least deviation while delivering information to show the real side of picture of events so that our valuable readers will have an alternative portal to know what developments are going on various levels, particularly backward areas like that of Gilgit-Baltistan, Balochistan, Azad Jamu and Kahsmir, Tribal areas etc., across the country. One can easily discern a great social change in terms of attitudes, perceptions both in individual and society; values and reaction to the variables in daily life patterns among the dwellers of the comparatively backwards areas like Gilgit-Baltistan, a deprived region of its fundamental rights for more than six decades of its liberation from colonial yolk. In a quest to voice over issues of vital importance, keeping closer to circle of concern, Hunza, a name famous for its beauty and rich cultural heritage has been selected to represent as a case to further the cause and issues of the rest of the region. Virtually, the region especially Hunza-Nagar retained a rapid development with a short span of time after remaining isolated for centuries to out side world. The blog also aims focus largely to identify core areas from on bottom or grass root level to the top. Keeping due consideration of inter-religious harmony, tolerance, respecting pluralism, diversity, mutual respect, democracy, equal opportunity and other aspects of human rights and professional values of journalism, the blog will serve as a binding force and medium of voice of the voiceless people of the area with reference to Gilgit-Baltistan region.

The idea of creation of this blog came into my mind during a visit after spending few years of career at Karachi, capital of Southern province to the region. While traveling from south pole of the country to north, I experienced many new changes nearly in all aspects of life explicit in urban areas and implicit in rural belts: people have opted to modern technology, availed faster means of communication; task centered behavior, selfishness, following short-cuts, chase of wealth and more opportunities in their career and many more that made their lives much more easier but crazier than before. Nevertheless, the scene suddenly turned bit dim when I entered the region of Gilgit-Baltistan. I could not believe my eyes that this was the Gilgit I saw four years ago. Many things, except the faces were utterly unchanged formats primitive outlook. The Chinese bridge that linked Danyore and Gilgit and a main source of transportation was no more. Few people told me that few journalists have lost their lives in lethal road accident due to lack of arrangements on part of concerned authority to avoid the incident. Karakorum High Way (KKH), one of the highest truck able route and so-called eighth wonder in the world is under construction and many places portray nothing but a passage through a rough stony pasture. It took nearly twenty four hours from Rawalpindi to reach after an exhaustive journey to Hunza, my home town, compared to nineteen hours in past. The scenario seemed worse in Hunza, my home town which remained unchanged for last four years except a drastic decline in standard of living of more than fifty percent of the population. One may think that people have replaced muddy homes with cement ones but that are not the real yardstick of measurement of both mental and material development. Infrastructure, fixtures, telecommunication systems were largely depreciated to their estimated life coupled with inappropriate number of personnel required in educational, administrative and health institutions. The so-called economic meltdown that started from American giant Leman soon took the world into its tyrant claws, shaking many stable economies of the world including the rural areas of developing states- a big example of negligence and subjugation by the rulers of respective countries where people live not above the level of animals. Apart from the allegations on policy makers of industrialized nations having economic interest only, the poor, irrational, incompetent, self-centered and corrupt leadership in Pakistan like other third world countries where immature economies spends it larger portion of budget expenditure on defense could not resist the negative consequences of economic crisis in terms of high rate of unemployment, recession, right or down sizing, price hikes, violation of consumer rights and so on. Hunza-Nagar, like other parts of Gilgit-Baltistan was no exception. The smiling faces that greeted us once warmly few years ago turned unhappy for the crisis brought its ugly implication on the daily life pattern of an individual thus sucking down the unique attributes of population: courtesy, generosity and hospitality. Having a so-called high rate of literacy in the country unfortunately, the region is facing many problems ranging from health to drinking water and energy sector. To many, it was because of lack of geo-political awareness and excessive tendency towards NGO culture where people little bother to beg their rights from the states besides emphasis on duties. Historical chronicles vindicate that the region remained in isolation for many centuries due to a specific location and lack of access to out side world. Many dynasties ruled the area that hardly accepted change in a traditionally sophisticated feudal based society. The wheel of transition continued to move and finally the area got librated through a mutiny with the help of indigenous population from the clutches of Dogra subjugation. Later, the area was affiliated with Pakistan vide a secret treaty called Karachi Treatise as defacto part, unconditionally. Gilgit-Baltistan region got on real terms an impetus to grow from zero level with the visit of three icons of development: Aga Khan, President Ayub Khan and Z.A.Bhutto- a historic event of its nature with long standing implications on live of the people of the region.The area could hardly observed any impulse for more than half dozen years of affiliation with Pakistan when Sir Sultan Muhammad Shah, Aga Khan (3rd) first time introduced Diamond Jubilee Schools network during mid fifties in the region. A real phase of development gain impetus when Shah Karim Alhusaini, Aga Khan (fourth) stepped in the region, a population with miserable conditions in 1960. He initiated many new projects in different aspect of life, strengthening the existing educational network under the umbrella of Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) for the betterment and uplift standard of living of masses lived under poverty line. Aga Khan Development Network in collaboration with donor agencies, with a view to bring social change from grass roots level, initiated rural support programme and other services for less-privileged societies in the region. In simple words, initial projects were stretched to new areas under AKDN umbrella ranging from self-entrepreneurship to planning and building services. These development programmes served a catalyst for a common man who, earlier was confine to a certain limit where facilities and perks were confined to a specific creed, definitely a big change in society led to process of decline of so-called nobility. By, 1974, Z.A.Bhutto, chief of Pakistan Peoples Party and his cabinet undertook a disintegrated country following the fall of Dhaka, albeit eliminating princely status of numerous states gave them democratic structures, initiated socio-economic, political and administrative reforms in civil services cadres under 1973 constitution of Pakistan. These reforms opened a path for further reforms in tribal and affiliated princely states, mostly in mountain regions. Elders assert, by 1976, when Bhutto abolished the princely status of the units and replaced the princely flag with that of the country declared region formally its de-fecto part. The new development allowed for the first time a limited right of franchise and representation in a parallel council governed from capital. He in collaboration with international donor agencies like UNICEF and World Food Programme helped ensure provision of basic necessities like food to indigenous population still in poor conditions. He gave word to poor and enables to build his destiny. The facility fell a prey of Zia-ul-Haq who abolished the programme to benefit his favorite breed. He altered such programmes to facilitate Mujahideen busy fighting Afghan war against Soviet invasion on behalf of American assistance. By, 1988, before the withdrawal of USSR, Zia regime played a dirty game: as an integral strategy to get parallel success, he supported a breed of militants to eliminate all those against his faith in Gilgit-Baltistan. Unfortunately, the indigenous people could not understand his nefarious designs under the veil of religion that had to sustain his regime using divide and rule tactic and nothing to do with public welfare fell a prey of communal discord. Thousands of innocent people were brutally killed without a reason from both sides and this in turn sowed the seeds of sectarianism thus introducing a Kalashnikov culture in this region. On country’s political front, frequent interventions of military in politics in the wake of undemocratic moves of leadership, double standard attitude of bureaucracy and excessive influence of establishment forces harmed political evolution during last sixty two years of country's history. A finest dictatorship is considered worse than a worse democracy for it largely overlook the opinion of masses. The undemocratic regimes since 1952 onwards in general and during dictators’ regimes left people with no option but to support immature, corrupt and unable leadership confined to their self interests coupled with narrow vision. On global front, with the withdrawal of USSR from Afghanistan, American administration started to shift its strategy of dependency and support for Pakistan especially that to check movement and expansion of communist philosophy, an anxiety among the then US policy planners. Political front once again passed through a new change in 1999 when military took over in October 1999. Numerous Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), both national and international rapport delivered remarkable work since 1990s to 2004 in many sectors like education, health, cultural preservation, design and building.

History repeated itself, but in a new form under different circumstances after cold war, when terrorists attacked twin towers of World Trade Centre, an icon of prestige and glory of America killing thousands of innocent people as a response to US policies inviting a fresh hostility between US and Islamist groups or in other words initiated an open conflict between two countering forces. To some, hidden forces worked behind the incident: Muslims thought it was a Judaist elements while to Europe and US a strike of Islamist elements; even the then Bush administration alleged Islamist groups behind this nefarious act to initiate an open armed struggle to defy its policies and interests. The September 11 incident served a cause to create sufferings for the Muslim communities residing in America and Europe. Being a sponsoring source of Jihadist elements, Pakistan was in real trouble as it was asked either ally the US or ready to go into stone age. Consequently, Pervez Musharraf took U-turn in state policy against billions of dollars as assistance. Once again, US dependency on Pakistan after Afghan war, in an endless war against an invisible enemy in terms of Osama started, leading farmer to think to gain control over natural resources in Afghanistan and Central Asian states. As a state, Pakistan endured many hardships, mostly from inside elements, Majority of our political leadership, for instance is largely nurtured under the aegis of military establishments and always ready to achieve their own interest lest it comes to compromise on national matters, evident from the successive overthrowing of representative regimes. They could not deliver any remarkable to uplift the standard of living of a common man except false promises. It was the Musharraf regime which can be given credit for many reasons: allowed a national government to complete its five year tenure, introduced local government systems for dicentralization of power though a move to by pass the then political and administrative forces like his predecessors military dictators to bolster one man show. Apart from few of blunders in terms of killing of Akbar Bugti, subjugation of judiciary, appointment of army on service and retired personnel in institutions offering higher education, other key positions in major public organiztions and using force as a decisive force instead of dialogue his regime can be recalled for many things during last eight years. He was the first who put hand on non-state actors, brought changes in status of deprived regions like Gilgit-Baltistan bringing reforms and took initiatives to improve education and health facilities. He gave us an International University, increased woman representation, empowered Northern Light Infantry, established N.A scouts and notified Hunza-Nagar district and many more. Yet, at the same time on mass level, despite many accomplishments, it failed to address the real issues of poor. Giant fishes got most and poor further got depressed as the regime greatly revolved around the interests of Chaurdhries and lords. December 2007, shall be remembered a black day when Benazir Bhutto, a female leader of international repute was assassinated at the same place where one of the most famous Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan as killed. Country fell into chaos and observed an extreme internal and internal threat to her existence second time after 1971. Good heaven, the situation soon normalized. With the dawn of democracy, based on Benazir Bhutto's sacrifice has brought a hope of change of image of the country in global economy. PPP led contemporary government has given a new Self Governance Reforms Package 2009 ahead of poles to empower the assembly to legislate on various subjects not allowed in past and choose their own Chief Minister unanimously with the consent of Prime Minister, the head of set up-a good initiative after Z.A Bhutto's compassions for the region. The package has opened a door for more autonomy resembles to that of Azad Kashmir. Though, there are many flaws in the package yet, it will serve to reduce feeling of deprivation among the masses.

There is another side of the picture that the poor performance in many of the departments in government sector during last two years has raised many questions in our mind regarding its capability to cope the challenges that the country faces internally and externally. Public welfare, security from internal and external aggressions and provision of basic necessities to the citizens is the fundamental responsibilities of modern states. Yet, more focus on external threats under security syndrome has left the country nothing but to expend on defense-thus neglecting other sectors like education, strategic personnel planning, health, trade and industry and exploitation of natural resources to strengthen our economy. As for as the private sector especially the NGOs are concerned, the are now confine to reporting to get funds, roam and measure the length of roads in their luxury vehicles. Now it depends on flow of events that will decide the future course of history.

Shamsuddin Muhammad,

Author and Editor,



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About Me

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Hyderabad,, IslamicRepublic of Pakistan, Pakistan
I am social person with a tendency towards learning knowledge that will balance the material world and the hereafter, a legacy obtained from the family. I earned my MA (General History with specialization in Modern History) and M.A.S (Master of Administrative siences with speciliazation in HRM) both from University of Karachi in 2005 and 2007 respectively, am fond of social work and public welfare. The blog focuses on social change caused by socio- economic and geo-political impulse in the country in general and the region particular.