Punjab students protest educational institutes’ privatisation

Monitoring Report
LAHORE, December 10: The students’ protest against the privatisation of educational institutes by the Punjab government continued for the third day on Friday. However, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif invited teachers and students for negotiations over the issue and assured redress.
Protests were also staged in Vehari, Multan, Mian Channu and other parts of Punjab. —Photo by Online
In Faisalabad city, students boycotted classes and staged a protest demonstration, chanting slogans against the provincial government and its decision to privatise educational institutes.
Charged students also pelted stones at cars. Police subsequently resorted to tear-gas shelling and baton-charged the students to disperse them. An exchange of hot words was also witnessed between teachers and policemen. Moreover, students in Vehari, Multan, Mian Channu and other parts of Punjab also held protest rallies.Dawn

Round table Conference on Human rights day calls govt for information on for missing persons
Press Release
LAHORE, December 10: A round table coference for missing persons under the theme 'problem of missing persons and role of government institutions and civil society organizations' organized by International Institute for Research and Education Asian Human Rights Commission in collaboration with Labour Education Foundation was held on Friday at Rawalpindi press club to mark international Human Rights day. A large number of activists of different political parties, lawyers and civil society members participated in the conference. According to the press release, the speakers and participants of the confrence demanded of government to assure respect of fundamental rights of its citizens given in the international charter of human rights in general and constitution of Pakistan particular.
"Articles 8 to Article 28 of the 1973 Constitution describe the Fundamental Rights which are to be available to all citizens, women as well as men wherever they may be, as well as all people temporarily or permanently in Pakistan. However, the freedoms guaranteed can be curtailed or taken away by the government on the grounds of the sovereignty or integrity of Pakistan, maintenance of public order, public morality. BUT these restrictions can be challenged in the superior courts. The executive is bound to implement these rights while the judiciary is bound to take notice of any violations and provide redress on individual complaints or take notice of its own (called ‘suo moto’ notice) of any gross violations of a collective right."1
The conference maintained that detention of somebody without registration of report was against human rights. Press release also pressed for search for missing persons among whom, mostly belong to Balochistan where nationalist
forces resorted to armed struggle.

Kaira seeks youth support to re-create liberal,tolerant Pakistan

Monitoring Report
ISLAMABAD, Dec 9 (APP): Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Qamar Zaman Kaira has said that the present government was striving to re-create a liberal,tolerant,and peaceful Pakistan of the past and this cannot be done without active support and participation of youth.While addressing the participants of International Youth Conference titled “Building Bridges Across the World”,at a dinner hosted by Ministry of Information he said such events are dialogue between the two generations. The minister asked the youth to play their active role in combating and defeating terrorism in the country.He urged the organizers of the conference to arrange similar conferences at regional level to create bridges between the urban and rural youth.Kaira said that the overseas participants of the conference are a sort of country’s ambassadors and they should promote the real soft image of Pakistan abroad. Kaira said the entire nation is united for eliminating terrorism and extremism from the society. He said dictatorship is also a big challenge in the way of democracy and the government is committed to tackle this challenge by following the philosophy of Shaheed Benazir Bhutto. He said the Shaheed leader worked in her life for promoting and strengthening of democracy and the government is following her vision to ensure supremacy of the constitution and rule of law.

India needs to cooperate more with Pakistan: FO

Monitoring Desk

ISLAMABAD, Dec. 08: India will have to take further steps to cooperate with Pakistan in order to reach the final outcome of the Mumbai attacks, said Foreign Office Spokesman Abdul Basit on Thursday. Speaking at the weekly Foreign Office briefing, Abdul Basit said that India needed to do more on its part by responding to Pakistan’s requests on the Mumbai trial instead of doubting Islamabad’s intentions. He said that the Indian Home Secretary’s remarks on the Mumbai attack trial in Pakistan were misleading and that Pakistan was seriously pursuing the trial.
He stated that Pakistan was looking forward to resuming the dialogue process with India so that issues such as the plight of fishermen were addressed efficiently. However, Abdul Basit stated that despite making serious efforts to resume the dialogue between the two nations, Pakistan was not willing to compromise on its national security at any cost. The spokesman rejected the claim made by the Indian Foreign Secretary that Kashmir was an integral part of India and said that the issue was awaiting settlement in accordance with the relevant UN Security Council resolution, Dawn News Reported.

Police arrests 30 suspects after attack on CM Raisani
Monitoring Desk
QUETTA, December 8: Quetta police on Wednesday arrested more than 30 suspects after the suicide attack on Balochistan Chief Minister Nawab Aslam Raisani. The chief minister’s convoy was attacked on Tuesday at Saryab Road in Quetta which resulted in the death of one person while injuring 12 others.

Policemen gather at the site of the suicide attack on Chief Minister Raisani's convoy in Quetta on December 7, 2010. PHOTO: AFP

The Inspector General (IG) of Balochistan constituted four investigation teams to probe the attack, which arrested more than 30 suspects from different areas of the province. Meanwhile the body parts of the suicide bomber have been sent to the laboratory for tests, while a Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) team has also collected evidence from the blast site. Earlier in the day, Chief Minister Raisani said the incident was an act of terrorism carried out either by the Lashkar-i-Jhangvi or the Baloch Liberation United Front. He said both these organizations are banned militant outfits which will be pursued vigorously. Addressing the media at an inaugural ceremony Raisani also said that there is no reason for carrying out drone attacks in Balochistan. Courtesy: Express Tibune

N-reactors sale to India will create 'mistrust': FO
VoH News Watch
ISLAMABAD, Dec. 07Pakistan today criticised a multi-billion-agreement finalised by France to sell two nuclear reactors to India, saying the deal would create "mistrust" and have "serious security implications" in South Asia. Responding to a question on the France-India deal at a weekly news briefing, Foreign Office spokesman Abdul Basit renewed Pakistan's demand to be treated at par with India in the field of civil nuclear cooperation. "We strongly believe that creating exceptions for any country is not only a step backwards in terms of promoting peaceful nuclear cooperation, but it also has serious security implications at the regional and global levels," he said. Basit contended there was "no tenable alternative to criteria-based approaches towards promoting international cooperation" in issues like civilian use of nuclear energy.-The Nation

15 killed in Kohat suicide attack against Shias;Bomber blows himself up close to passenger van ready to depart for Orakza,Taliban from Darra Adam Khel claim responsibility
Monitoring Report

KOHAT, December 8: A suicide bomber blew himself up close to a minivan in Kohat, leaving 15 passengers, including women and children, dead and 24 others injured in a blatant attack on Shias, police officials said on Wednesday. The packed minivan was ready to depart for Kalaya in Orakzai, west of Kohat, which is 65 kilometres south of Peshawar, when a 20-year-old terrorist detonated explosives coupled with lethal ball-bearings close to the passengers, Kohat District Police Officer Dilawar Bangash told reporters.
“It was a suicide attack on a passenger van at the Tirah bus stand,” the police official said. He did not say which sect the casualties belonged to, however, local journalists said most of the victims were Shias. A purported spokesman for the Taliban from Darra Adam Khel, Usman Ali, rang up journalists in Kohat to say that “Shias were targeted and more such attacks would follow”. Eyewitness Waheed Ahmed said the bus stand was used mainly by passengers from Shia-dominated areas of Orakzai and Kurram, where sectarian violence has rocked the local population. Wednesday’s attack comes after authorities sealed off Kohat and adjoining Hangu districts as part of the security arrangements for Muharram to prevent possible attacks from Sunni sectarian groups. Double suicide attacks in Ghalanai on Monday left 42 tribal elders, levy force personnel and journalists dead, while another bomber failed to assassinate Balochistan Chief Minister Aslam Raisani on Tuesday. Security officials warned that the Taliban might increase suicide attacks during Muharram and the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has ordered strict measures to foil the designs of terrorists.-Daily Times

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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
Email: inamkarim02@gmail.com

Reporting Team
Karachi: Sartaj Karim
Email: sartaj_compaq@hotmail.com

Hunza: Naeem Hamoon
Email: naeemhmn@hotmail.com

Gilgit: Aslam Shah

Email: hunzaishah@gmail.com

Islamabad: Ikramullah Baig
Email: hunza_havenonearth@yahoo.com

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.