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Title January, 2015, Edition

title for blog

The Indo-US bonhomie; in core is expansionism of multinational companies

By Ahmed Khan

The United States of America’s President Barak Obama visited India for three days, where he attended theIndia's PM Modi, US President Obama, India's President Mukherjee and Vice President Ansari sit as they attend the Republic Day parade in New Delhi Democracy parade on 26th January, 2015. The both leaders Narender Modi and Barak Obama declared bonhomie the Indo-US ties. The United States is sole super-power in world after the disintegration of Soviet Union and this is Flagship State of capitalism system in the world. By now, the scientific inventions have slackened the borders constrains and world has entered in a phase of globalization, where only the capital has primary value, whilst the human has been put on secondary or lower than secondary level and this is considered consumer or market by magnates. Mr Obama was representing the multinational companies which are belonging of mostly the Americans but other Europeans states and Israelis have also share in these. And the US and India bonhomie in core is expansionism of aforementioned multinational companies in Asia, specifically in India.

The China is the largest state in world population wise, and it is considered the counter power of United States of American in the world. The recent visit of American president to India was intended to portray the world it has carve-out an ally or counter-weigh to China in this region. But this perception is wrong in the light of evident that American trade volume with the China is greater than the India which is declared bonhomie. Presently, the America’s trade with China is above than $5 billion whilst with India is around $1 billion. The question rises, why America is trading with its antagonistic state? Answer is very simple that the China contains a huge population, which is around the 2 billion, and it is a substantial market for multinational companies and they cannot stand without trading this. The interests, especially money making propels to put aside all differences and spats and that is why the American has rivalry with China and friendship, simultaneously. The enmity means, the United States does not let the Chinese products boost-up in world market, and the friendship is for selling the American products in vast Chinese market.

The India is also harboring a huge population, so this population is buyer and consumer of American productions and its generated energy which have fascinated the US to hook-up by the cord of bonhomie with India. For the multinational companies, the India is a vibrant trade point in South Asia, where indigent people can’t stand in front of state machinery for their rights being in a democratic state or in well-developed democratic state. The elites easily impose their decisions on innocent and powerless masses; otherwise, they had many options for energy generation which are cheaper than American nuclear power station give-out energy. Situations are mold in such way that India feels pride on interactions with America in the race with the Pakistan, even though the India can generate energy through wind mill and by solar system on low rates that costs Rs 4.5 and Rs 8 per unit respectively. But the Indian government is adamant to buy from US installed atomic reactors which will cost Rs 12 per unit.

During the Obama’s visit, bilaterally signed several agreements, one of those is the installation of civil nuclear reactors which is considered major development. Initially, Indo-US civil nuclear deal was signed by Gorge W. Bush and between Mammohan Singh in 2008, as per deal India agreed to separate its civilian and military nuclear activity and open up the civilian part to inspection by the International Atomic Energy Agency [IAEA] and in return, the US offered to fully nuclear trade with India, ending its nuclear ostracism.

Subsequently, the India carved-out two large chunk of real estate in Mithi Virdi, Gujrat, and Kovvada, Andhrapardesh, and offered the two American Multinationals to set up nuclear power plants. Toshiba-Wahingtonshse was given the Gujrat site for building six AP1000 reactors of 1100MW each. GE-Hitachi plans to set up six units of 1594 MW each at the Kovvada site. Both projects involve untested technology, in both instances; public sector Nuclear Power Corporation of India will be the operator.

India is amending laws about civil nuclear damage, and through interpretation of law the country will be liable for damage. The past incidents entail the damage cause billion Dollars lose including relocation and rehabilitation, environmental remediation and lost trade due to contaminated agriculture and marine produce.

India is not sole country for paying such liabilities but already many countries have taken responsibility like, Japan, Austria, Switzerland and Germany. The drawbacks of these nuclear plants are greatly devastative. In Belarus, the Chernobyl nuclear plant accident still is in memories of present age human due to its massive destruction. In discussed area, people are affected the radio activity and babies born abnormal because of non-favored or impaired climate.

The Fukushima Nuclear plant in Japan was damage due to massive earthquake, the studies about mentioned impaired nuclear plant released in 2014 from Ritsumeikan University and Osaka City University said the Fukushima disaster will cost $105 million. The figure does not include the cost of decommissioning of reactors or safe disposal the contaminated material and waste. And the establishing nuclear plants in India never be relieved from accidents and in underdeveloped country it will cause major fatal and financial lose.

During the visit, the US president Obama announced for $ 4 billion of new initiatives and trade mission in India. The amount deals include $2 billion of leveraged financing for renewable energy investments in India through the US trade and Development Agency and $1 billion in leans for small and medium business across India through the overseas private investment corporation, or OPIC. Separately, the US Export & Import Bank would finance a billion dollars to support ‘Made in America’ to India over the next two years. Mr Obama also announced that two US trade mission will be in India this year with a particular aim to focus on infrastructure development in rail, roads, ports and airports. The two democracy in world, the US and Indian leaders during visit on Republic Day 26th January of India used backroom for dealing which exhibits the states’ democracy including bonhomie factuality. They deal and executive discretion had bypassed the spirit and intent of their respective legislatures, the US president said, he has found a way to exempt supplies to India from US inspections meant to ensure non-proliferation goal because the India is not signatory of Non-proliferation Treaty [NPT]. And in response, the Indian Prime Minister Mr Modi has suggested that publicly funded insurance pool will be set up to indemnify foreign or multinational companies supplies and cover the liability under the state’s law. In this way, the Indian will bear the any sort of tort it happens with multinational companies.

All the dealings between US president and Indian Prime Minister Mr Modi have signed, are barely in the interests of multinational companies. And these may benefit slightly a handful portion of people in India whom are directly involved with them, but these are totally blood-sucking projects of common masses.

The intended infrastructure building in fields of rail, road, port and aviation for transport of goods to plants, and these amenities are for elites, especially will benefit the foreigners, and the local never can get the advantage from these.

In media, distortedly it is being shown that America preparing the India as counter-weigh to China in region, but in core it is paving the way for its multinational companies to invest in the Indian markets and intended to exploit here’s low-cost labor. If this thought is untrue, so why America is trading with China and its trade volume is greater than exchanges with India.

If the putting aside to Pakistan by American, is to be broached so it is easily to be perceived that Indian market is vast than Pakistanis, and situations for one sided trade are vibrant much with India. Here in Pakistan, vulnerability, religious fundamentalism are obstacles in the way of multinational companies for investment, otherwise no reason seems for distinct. But Indo-US bonhomie, in core is expansionism of multinational companies.

Revolt and Revolution

By Vash Baloch

Revolt and revolution; two words which decide the fate of nations for several centuries or even more. stock-photo-group-of-clenched-fist-raised-in-air-with-bright-sun-burst-grunge-background-victory-revolt-117501220Basically, revolt means to rebel against an authority, authority can be any authority, Czar, British or Pakistanis.

The point comes to revolution; most probably the meaning of revolution is taken in a wrong way. Literally, revolution means, the overthrow of a government by force in a favor of a new system or a single circular movement around a central point.

The liberators or rebels could be the Russians, Scouse, Indians or the Baloch. Moreover, agreeing with El Che won’t prove me wrong that, liberators don’t exist, people liberate themselves. Mainly, there are many reasons for liberating. The hunger and strive of years, violence of human rights, racism, fighting for invaded or occupied land.

Now comes rebel, rebellion and rebellious. The words tell their power themselves. Let’s have a glance at history; most of the great and born leaders are called as rebels, for instance Joseph Stalin, Adolf Hitler, Bhagat Singh, and Akbar Khan Bugti.

After this our mind asks why do people liberate?

Answer of this is actually a word known as “Conflict”. Yes conflict, conflicts make the nations liberate, liberate against those who deserve it.

You belong to a land, which is your land, from centuries , you have your own culture and traditions, your own nation, your mountains your valleys, your plateaus, your plains, your resources and then a newly formed country with no identity at all invades your land, your land becomes an occupied land, then gradually people oppose it and start liberating. What could be the reason for that, no rights, no progress in your state, no education, no basic facilities instead, killing your people, using them against you, abducting you, making a genocide, killing your leaders, finishing peace in a sweet and rich land, aren’t these reasons enough to liberate?

Killings a father’s seven sons in public, can you tolerate this? Throwing crushed dead bodies in uninhabited areas, kidnapping women, killing primary school children in name of making peace, and then saying the angry liberators should come off the cliffs and mounts and seek forgiveness, forcing their leaders either to live in state’s cells or seek asylum.

And then, the nation has two choices, either glory or grave, the situation becomes as if the nation chooses glory, they have to see grave and if they chose grave its again same. And then they ask why do they liberate? Just leave culture, nation and state see the race of humanity, is it suitable? Aren’t we all humans at humanity? Not just the natives, the foreign journalists, archaeologists and tourists are being killed too.

The state’s forces have killed most of the leaders and forced others to seek asylum, after that they say that if these are true leaders they wouldn’t have fled away to foreign, they are just getting the poor killed, so do you think a nation today can get freedom without international interference, there must be your conflict case in any justice court of the world. Secondly, the leaders in asylum, so do you think asylum a fun, to live in London, Dubai or Geneva? Asylum also has some rules, your life isn’t free there, you need to understand that, they are not living a luxurious life, just they have a named roof of protection.

To zip up my words, I totally agree with these liberators, freedom is everyone’s right. Fighting for one’s own land isn’t as bad as abducting people. The nation has a complete right of separating, not only right, according to the situation it’s not only right but their need as well, and they should live as they want, with their own culture and customs.

The wrong can never overcome the right. Never lose hope, people have fought centuries for freedom, still you have time. Long live liberators!

Literature has great significance in human civilization: Waheed Zaheer

Interviewed By Ahmed Khan

Waheed Zaheer is a renowned writer in Balochistan. He has a distinctive diction in novel writing and 35001_524970587548933_558692968_nsketching. Simultaneously, he writes in Brahvi and Urdu languages, and his books, ‘Barmala’ and ‘Barackus’ got greatly eminent that are about the personalities. The books published in Brahvi language is liked by youth amply, and new editions of his books are in process of publishing. He wrote several drams for TV and Radio, and is a recognized compare at there, and he is affiliated with news department for 20 years.

Waheed Zaheer through his writes up conveys message to people for being attached with human values and constructive traditions. He also opposes exploitation and the system based on injustices, but he is a staunch supporter for a fair system and end of persecution on people in his contemporary society.

[Blv stands for Bolan Voice while WZ for Waheed Zaheer]

Blv: What is principal role of a literate in a society?

WZ: A literate is knowledgeable person in its contemporary society, and that is well aware of negative attitudes in surrounding. The literate is naturally magnanimous, so that is valued by its surrounding people, but very sad to say that in our society literate is considered as a clerk.

Blv: How a literate’s work is distinguished from poet, journalist and a historian while in same society?

WZ: Being literate is a specialization, so that has acquaintance with past, present and future. And if a journalist and historian possess this quality, so that is called intellectual and literate, but the historian works in circle of history, only.

Blv: How the literates contribute in human civilization?

WZ: The revolutions are to be looked, so the literates share in those looks conspicuous due to theirs role. Literates ever strived to get aroused the people for struggle whether that is socialist revolution or is revolution of France or anywhere else, but those had been contributed substantially by literates, in the mode of ethic, social and so on. The societies, in that the literates were neglected, consequently theirs fate was dwindle in shape of morality and civilization. The literate only generates think-tanks for a society, because excluding this only political thoughts bring-up the absolute despotism. We have specimens, the societies, where literature has been amalgamated with politics, so improved style of ruling has gained in outcome. The Russia undervalued the literature and by source of science and politics expanded its borders, and then its repellent consequences are in front of us. Same practices are being repeated in our country. Wherever the power is used instead of literature and literate, eventually that society was destined decadence, because excluding literature and literate a society cannot persist for longtime. Hence, by the assist of literates can be ruled on the heart and mind of a nation rather than power, and this is also the course of nature.

Blv: Are literates disposing their obligations presently; if not, then what you suggest for them?

WZ: Firstly, the Baloch never ever independently ruled. If we talk about Kalat State, so at that time, the literate and literature was equally none, if supposition be made that Baloch intellectuals had any role in state settings, resultantly theirs status also would be some different. The politics always have been practiced and that is the why Baloch could not strengthen its civilization and the moral values have been marred albeit subtle junctures came for improvements. Today it is being felt that reforms are mandatory while semi-tribalism is prevailing and regional situations are also not conducive for literates, though they are striving and somehow have prominence too. Even though, the Baloch literates and intellectuals are not desperate, and they are coping on their capacity. In region, the other nations are facing intensive circumstances and the Baloch cannot sit being impacted. For the promotion of literature and intellect, the credential rate of education is elementary. In Balochistan, the education rate is very low, but people have political mindset. Anyhow, a country development depicts on knowledge level of its citizen, otherwise the condition remains unchanged. On the same pattern, the Baloch intellectuals are coincided with the contemporary national level thinkers that injustices are obstacle in our society advancement, and it is also vexed question here. Baloch intellectuals are well disposing but they cannot get into the mainstream media.

Blv: History narrates that Paul Saarthar through its pen and pragmatically struggled for oppressed nations’ deliverance, what are reasons for Baloch literates not doing so?

WZ: Unnatural wars have been imposed on Baloch, so in such condition if the literates were willing to play a role but they were pressed down, and consequently theirs work could not turn-up sizably. For instance, Mir Yousaf Aziz Magsi, Lala Ghulam Mohd Shahwani, Abdul Rehman Khawajakhail, Gul Khan Naseer and such as Mir Ghus Bakhsh Bizenjo had strived to convince the contemporary rulers through their intellect but they were rejected scornfully. It does not congest here, the discussed personalities were subject by their age of rulers and they were imprisoned. Afterward, the literates and intellectuals were maltreated, like Nadir Qambrani, Babu Abdul Rahman Kurd and other Baloch intellectuals and youth were tyrannized against the demand of the legitimate rights. If we assume, the Balochs were wrongful, so what was problem with Faiz Ahmed Faiz and Habib Jalib, they were non-Baloch. Sheikh Ayaz what mistake committed, Qalander Momend what for demanded? They were ideological persons and they were intended to put the country on right path. So, I already mentioned, by power cannot be ruled on the masses, the intellectuals should be got on board and nations ought to be got united to defend the aggression by any outsider. The entire world humans are desirous to live peacefully, they be good and speak politely, and Baloch is not a distinct creators and if other are optimist and desired to live peaceful, so similarly Baloch too. The unnatural war has been imposed on them.

 Blv: Presently, the exploitation of human is on culmination by the same species human and in such situation how literates can add in building up an exploitation free system for human?

WZ: As I told that without literacy the ignorance cannot be overcome. The literates are struggling against the witlessness from the foremost day. By now, the ruling class should perceive the matter that exploitation how gives-out ramifications and what has resulted these injustices? I believe through Bloodshed societies never can develop. Anywhere in world the level of exploitation is high, so there human are being grinded in the grinder of tyrannies. Wherever the ruling class of a country takes weapons to crush their people, thence in those states were intervened, and the Afghanistan is best model, and now our country is on the same broached path, because of such deeds it has stricken in perplexities. The intellectual on several occasions recommend the ruling class for flexibilities in policies but all went in vain, and now may they get realized.

Blv: Being a literate how do you see future of this society?

WZ: We are moving to our destination. No individual is sitting without the looting and dishonesty in this society; the gap is widening between the ‘haves and have not’. Ideologically, also we have no direction. Pakistanis are thirsty of each other’s blood; no institute of state is consolidated. We claim for being Muslim, but our deeds never match with Islamic injunctions. Trade is not being practiced lawfully, and in the same way the politics is not being practiced as parties’ manifesto. And if the sentiments for melioration are require to be generated, so all can be well in a short period, because the sources of conveying to masses are available which are to be used seriously. The intoxication by power for rule on people must be relinquished and this is utmost condition for normalization in situations; the critiques have to give-in the realities.

Blv: Baloch are getting alienated from customs and tradition. How will be the future of this nation?

WZ: Baloch are conscious toady comparatively the past. Again we come on same point, has the Baloch been given due status and rights? If they were given, then why this land would get the fire, I think it is not being dealt seriously. And if Baloch was not conscious, then here would not be any disturbance, and they would be involved in cases of the smuggling of weapons and narcotics. The police station and courts tradition would be prevailing here. If we observe truly, then Baloch is the most humanist and philanthropist, and there is no match of this nation. Baloch has paramount relation with truth. The throwing acid on female is not culture of Baloch. The semi-tribalism is detrimental for Baloch. Each Baloch is representative of the society’s characteristics. The international powers are responsible for current unhealthy situations, but not Baloch nation. Or here politics is misinterpreted. If the politics is to be put aside, then Baloch fully possesses human values in entire country.

Blv: It is said that Baloch society has contaminated; is it true?

WZ: The large cities of country are engulfed in chaos; is Baloch involved there? In several cities, dozens of people were killed because of disagreeing on tiny issue of marriage. In which cities mostly the Internet and Facebook are being misused? In the pretend of education where money is being made? The prejudice and bias wind where from blown? Who is practicing trade dishonestly? Oh my brother! If we are Muslim so we collectively ponder over the Islamic injunctions. If worldly education is medium of success, so it is to be implemented for all on parity. Only in Baloch society has not occurred changes, so how the question of spoilage or degradation is being raised about this. In this country, is needed only justice and it is also being demanded by 180 million masses of state, ultimately is no way without provision of this.

Blv: How social evil can be discarded from society or get abated?

WZ: First of all the environment is to be built for mutual trust. The literature and arts fields should be fortified; no matter on commercial base it is to be done. And traders also should adopt an ideology; merely wealth is not life wholly-solely. In this world, the chief belief or ideology is humanism; the politics and power are next to in the life. The invented devices by science are to be used for human’s welfare and survival, because it is the basic essence or power of knowledge. In all fields of life, the positive values and traditions should be flourished. The relatives and unfamiliar is to be behaved by the settled code of conduct. The distribution of martyrdom certificates among gullible must be pondered, seriously. Death is certain, but a healthy and peaceful life is right of every one. The divided all classes of society should respect the role and status of literates. The formed circles by literates must encourage the new comers in field; otherwise, the untrained journalist, literate and artist will also cause to stray the society.

Blv: What is philosophy of life?

WZ: My friend! this is not a question but is a name of book. Philosophy of life is an interesting and a tough question and I exert to well explain this. Human and animal have distinctive characteristics. The special qualities only have human, and because of these it is superior on other livings, even these qualities confer the human species the designation of ‘Supreme Creature’. To making the life meaningful is chief purpose of human being. The great thinkers, philosophers, teachers and erudite peoples gave importance to human values, and the love has been declared the summit intent of human life by all sages. And that is why the human never dies; it is eternal, and this is love which makes human everlasting. The people, who spent the meaningful live, will get gathered and that day is called dooms day, and the others will be lifeless like stones.

Blv: Why human is obdurate about revenge?

WZ: This is an adage ‘Each action has reaction’. In love also have to pay revenge. The positive thought constructs optimistic ideas, and negative thought gives-off pessimistic obsessions. Hence, the revenge ignites there where the sparks are incited. Similarly, anywhere playing with fire is considered unsafe, then there peace and prosperity flourishes. Whenever, the human sensitivities are attacked, reciprocally it turned into defiant.

It is quality of life that you present fragrance and people will sniffer it, and it is outspoken that ordure is not liked by anyone.

Blv: As you said, this present system got unfertile about providing justice, so the Baloch Nation should carve-out a national state and where it get developed in all sphere of life?

WZ: The entire country is disturbed by this system, and such system ever led the nations to devastations. I have no idea that you consider which system suitable, and if we thing broadly for a system, so seeking a cultured one is indispensible for all citizens of the country including Balochistan. We should subtly know the definition of the ‘Nation’, because it is ambiguous yet and requires workout.

The invincible Polio in Pakistan

By Basheer Ijbani

ijbariPolio, due to appalling effects is considered perilous, globally. It drastically distressed entire World and a portion of people are traumatized on this glob due to witnessing its ugly ramifications which paralyzed millions of peoples for the lifetime. In the consideration of Polio disease devastating outcomes and seeing its citizens crippled the states launched eradication campaigns and succeeded into polio free countries. Presently, the Polio virus is existing in three countries; Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria. Except the mentioned countries, entire world got immunized from Polio. The scientists, especially medical science have credit for defeating this appalling disease and providing a healthy life to the globe dwellers.

The reasons behind the polio virus persistence in the above mentioned countries is to be pondered, so poliovarious aspects expose. Very first the unawareness, secondly people refuse to drop polio to their children, and thirdly the polio immunization campaigns are limited to urban areas whilst the rural areas cannot be accessed.

In Pakistan, the religious radicalization is also a reason behind the polio virus harboring. In North an area is administered by the federal called FATA, and this area is greatly disturbed due to religious fanatic. The mentioned areas’ a portion of people refuse to give polio drops to their broods. The polio virus is viral, in case of FATA locals’ migration to other parts of country or visiting to relatives who are settled in cities, cause shift of the virus and this further spreads in under the 5 years old children of urban habitants.

The political differences are also obstacle in way of polio campaigning. Here in Pakistan, several groups are engage in militancy against the state, and these groups do not let the volunteers for giving drops to the children in some areas. In this regard, several volunteers lost their lives by attacks on polio teams. This type of activities causing to miss the children for giving drops, and in this way the virus persists.

The corruption is also another reason for failing to defeat the polio virus and get the country polio free. The culture of corruption has penetrated very deep in this country’s roots. Each department and scheme gets failed here due to corruption and dishonesty in performing duties. The polio eradication campaigns also get impaired due to corruption in Pakistan. The authorities from high rank to low level embezzle in funds and given apparatus and likewise, and this causes deficiencies or scarcity in medicine, vaccine and drops. Or they do not go to their assigned areas for giving drops to children but in papers they mark their attendances and receive wage. This type of disgusting activities also causes failure to defeat polio in Pakistan.

The international organizations, like World Health Organization (WHO) and United Nation have sufficiently assisted and funded the local organizations and Health Department of Pakistan, but here’s staff or authorities could not spend appropriately the given amount by International World or they could not use the given medicines in fair manner.

The polio virus became a great challenge for state of Pakistan, because the several countries notified that if the state got failed to immunize the country from polio and would not become polio free country, consequently they will not issue the visa the Pakistanis to travel their countries. Because granting visa to Pakistanis will cause the relocation of polio virus to their countries and they cannot take such risk about their citizens’ health. And if in future, the visa sanction is imposed on Pakistan, then this will be a serious confusion for this country citizens.

In 2014, the level of polio cases was very high, and in previous year reported polio cases list is as:

table - 1

table - 2

In the discussed circumstances, the polio virus seems invincible to defeat in Pakistan because the state machinery got failed to overcome on corruption, religious radicalization and irregularities in its departments for many years.  In present set up, by thorough analysis, it can be foretold that this country may face serious consequence domestically and externally because of Polio disease.

Writer can be reach: b.ijbari@yahoo.com, facebook: basheerijbari, twitter: @ijbanibaloch, http://www.bashirijbari. wordpress.com

Poetry

Pukar uth’ti hai yeh matti
Jab ansu tumahre girte hain iss pe
Cheekh uth’ti hai yeh zameen
Jab lahu tumahara girta hai iss pe
Tarap uth’ti hai yeh dharti,
Jab lash tumhara utar’ta hai iss mein
Iss maa se pooch us lahu ke
Aek Qatre ki qeemat
Iss arz-e-Baloch se pooch
Us bête ki lash ka badal
Iss sar zameen se pooch
Akbar O Khair Bakhsh ka dard
Iss maa se pooch
Brahamdagh O Mehran Ki Mohabbat
Iss Behn se pooch
Zakir O Zahid ka pyar
Iss bhai se pooch
Balach O Javed ki shahadat
Ay Baloch
Zara Khud se pooch Balochistan ka dard!

by Vash Baloch

BALOCHISTAN’s PLAN FOR EDUCATION REFORMS

By Ayub Achakzai

Ayub AchakzaiGovernment of Balochistan has approved ‘Balochistan’s Education Sector Plan (2014-18)’, almost a year and half ago. The BESP is estimated to cost PKR. 65 Billion, to be implemented, in addition to the usual annual budget which is estimated to be PKR. 172 Billion, for five years of the plan period. Reviewing BESP, one wonders whether it is a serious effort to reform the sector in true sense of the word or just a wish list and a routine departmental exertion. Keeping in view similar efforts in the past, there is little hope to be buoyant. But putting cynicism aside, one needs to analyze it with respect to two palpable yardsticks: first, does it correctly identify critical predicaments responsible for decade long failure of public education system? And second, does it suggest practical solutions to the diagnosed bugs? Political will and institutional capacity are other equally important factors that will decide fate of the plan.

After devolution of education from federal to provincial government under the 18th amendment in 2010, BESP open-shelter-class-in-naseerabad-balochistan-620x330is the second plan of government of Balochistan. The first one was presented in 2011 and was expected to be completed in 2015. It’s needless to say that the plan failed to realize its expected outcomes and the government was compelled to present a new one in 2014 even without waiting for completion of the duration of the first plan.

Current state of education in the province presents a dismal situation in terms of access and quality. Two third of school-age children are out of school, figuring to 1.8 million. Only 1.1 million are enrolled in three different type of educational institutes namely public schools (8 lac), private schools (2 lac) and ‘Madrassas’ (1 lac). Girls constitute only a minor proportion of the enrolled children (4 lac). Majority of enrolled children are getting poor quality of education. According to ASER survey 2013, more than half of the children enrolled in class 5, are unable to read a simple sentence in Urdu.

pie of educationThe provincial government has recently passed an act, ‘Free and Compulsory Education Act 2014’, but has so far failed to provide quality education to majority of the children, especially girls and deprived children. The plan pledges to construct 4000 new primary schools by 2018, to enroll 7 lac new children. It is however not cited in the plan that what will be fate of those 1.1 million children who will still be out-of-school, even after achieving the set target? There is still little hope to expect that the target of constructing 4000 new schools will be achieved, keeping in view progress of the past one and half year.

 The fact that the government, at the political level has though showed will by providing financial resources for implementation of the plan. The government has declared education as its top priority which is commendable but at the same time has failed to realize that institutional capacity is equally vital to implement the plan effectively and to achieve the set targets. During first year of implementation, the BESP required PKR. 32 Billion, instead, the department was provided with PKR. 35 Billion. By end of the year, only half of the budgeted amount had been spent. Needless to say, targets of the year were not achieved. The political leadership has failed to realize this gap and did not ensure timely measures for institutional capacity building and restructuring of the department in order to be able to absorb additional financing. In its effect, this negligence is critical enough to letdown the entire effort.

This reminds us the fact that without preparatory measures, even sincere measures backfire and cause damage. Devolving departments from federal to provincial governments without assessing institutional capacities and taking corrective measure is a similar venture. Federal role of monitoring of the devolution process from provinces to districts is a major negligence which has caused a halt of the process of devolution to the grassroots level. After all, education is a constitutional right of every child under constitution of the country and federal role and obligation cannot be ignored. Secondly, federal support to less developed provinces like Balochistan, in terms of special programs and grants like National Commission of Human Development (NCHD) which used to run 1300 centers for Non-Formal Education prior to the devolution have ceased after the amendment. This will further deteriorate the state of education in the province.

Most of the targets set out in the plan for the initial one and half year have not been achieved so far. These include some most important targets like devising provincial language policy for medium of instruction, revision of standards for curriculum and textbooks, institutionalizing Early Childhood Education, initiating voucher schemes for 10 of the 32 most deprived districts and formation and strengthening of Parents and Teachers School Management Committees (PTSMCs).

It can hardly be expected that the department will achieve targets of the plan with the current pace and enthusiasm and without ensuring urgent and drastic structural reforms at the higher level. Community participation is equally important to be ensured to make the plan a success. The department needs to devise an urgent restructuring plan in addition to out-sourcing components of the plan to the private sector and devolving the powers to the district level with full financial and administrative authority. Education Councils needs to be established at the district level with representation of elected representatives, civil society and academics with authority and responsibility to devise local level plans and implement them to the required outcomes. District education authorities need to be accountable to the councils. Each school needs to elect its Board of Directors from PTSMC members entrusted with full authority to hire and fire local teachers as per need and performance.

Provincial level role of the department should be restricted to financing, regulating and monitoring of standards for quality education. Effective language policy needs to be devised urgently with mother tongue to be medium of instruction up to primary level with Urdu and English as subjects only. The latest ‘Mother Language Act 2014’ which requires Mother Langue to be an optional subject, is far from serving the purpose of quality education. Without these and similar purposeful endeavors, the BESP is more likely to be a mere wish list and half hearted venture which is hard to play any role in improving the deteriorated situation of education in the province.

Ayub Achakzai: Executive Director, Development Resource Solutions (A Quetta-based, educational research and development nonprofit), Contact; info@drs.org.pk Website; www.drs.org.pk

THE HELPFULNESS of an educated mother

By Waseem Raja,Turbat

To burst out, it is praiseworthy to bear in the mind that, mother is the only existence whose place cannot be 19683-pakistanwomenAFP-1386937804-114-640x480taken by anyone else. On the other hand, if the mother is educated her first and foremost idea has to educate her children. In this world, many people today believed that, the success or failure of children in school or colleges depends on mothers. In this regard, which means the more time and energy a mother invents in the child the more likely it is to successes its studies. It is the best of the best to consider that, a good mother is expected to be responsible, caring and attentive parents, as well as a full escort, teacher and even team leader. However, they can create a healthy family feeling, build smooth a parent child relationship and set up an emotional friendship with their division. In fact, there are too many examples in the pages of history about educated mothers, such as Mother Teresa whose name is still being extracted in present as a role model.

There is an abundance of evidence to proof that, the educated mother brings up her children with better moral and ethical values as nicely as serves her country in sense that she produces first-class citizens with tolerant views and an open mind, but uneducated mothers are superstitious. No doubt, for the progress education for women is as essential as for men. Educated women indeed make great mother as they are more aware of the needs, guides and necessities of this challenging world.

In termination and negotiation, education is as obligatory as men; more school for girls, colleges and universities should be manufactured. In this way, mothers can pay more attention to all around development of their children rather than spending all their time and energy on trying to improve their outcomes. Finally, men have to refresh their minds with the greatest saying: “Behind every successful man is a woman”.

“Pakistan Foresight Initiative” Launched by AGAHI, Pakistan Node of ‘The Millennium Project’

The Millennium Project and AGAHI sign a MOU, collaborating on Global Futures Studies and Research Untitled-1 copyand specific applications for Pakistan.

PRESS RELEASE

Washington, D.C.  – The magnitude of the challenges that Pakistan is already facing is a crucial indicator to provide the population with meaningful knowledge skill-sets that would create an environment for policymakers, legislatures and political groups to realign the decision-making process. A test case study has been launched in 2012, to assess the Future of Pakistan until 2060. The research conducted was to check and test assumptions about Pakistan’s future among the leadership and wider society, explore perceptions of Pakistanis from both inside and outside the country, and identify future risks and opportunities. Puruesh Press Release - Pakistan Foresight Initiative Launched 09-02-2015(ENGLISH)1Chaudhary, Founder and President AGAHI said that “the ‘Pakistan Foresight Initiative’ creates a great opportunity for stakeholders in Pakistan to contribute to the global information system across 15 challenges such as: Sustainable development and climate change, Clean water, Population and resources, Democratization, Global Foresight and Decision-making, Global convergence of IT, Rich-poor gap, Health issues, Education, Peace and Conflict, State of Women, Transnational organized crime, Energy, Science and technology, Global ethics. AGAHI will partner at national and sub-national levels with experts and organizations based of their contributions, expertise and knowledge for producing specific futures studies and the State of Futures Index Pakistan.”

AGAHI assumes the lead responsibility as a country Node for The Millennium Project in Pakistan to help improve humanity’s future prospects. Jerome Glenn, co-Founder and Director of The Millennium Project said that “humanity needs to think together in a systematic research-based common platform about our planetary future; The Millennium Project’s annual “State of the Future” reports and the Global Futures Intelligence System has begun to address that need.” On behalf of The Millennium Project with its 55 Nodes around the world, Glenn welcomed the Pakistani Node to connect the views of Pakistan’s future-oriented institutions and individuals with others around the world to help build a better future for humanity as a whole. Puruesh Chaudhary is also a member of the Planning Committee of The Millennium Project, which oversees the quality of the Project’s work, assuring that its research is apolitical, publishing results, and promoting public awareness and dialogue. AGAHI in its independent capacity is developing alliances with key stakeholders at the academic and government tiers, with individual experts and civil society organizations in order to advance the purposes of foresight thinking in policymaking and strategic planning in the country. AGAHI-Network will work on producing research that focuses on human capital development, strengthening institutions in Pakistan and Globally by institutionalizing futures thinking on matters related to human security and territorial sovereignty, and participate in The Millennium Project studies. The Millennium Project is currently preparing to conduct a global assessment of how to prepare for future changes in the nature of work as artificial intelligence and other forms of automations are being implemented over the next 20 to 30 years. The Millennium Project is a global participatory think tank connecting 55 Nodes around the world that identify important long-range challenges and strategies, and initiate and conduct foresight studies, workshops, symposiums, and advanced training. Its mission is to improve thinking about the future and make it available through a variety of media for feedback to accumulate wisdom about the future for better decisions today. It produces the annual “State of the Future” reports, the “Futures Research Methodology” series, the Global Futures Intelligence System (GFIS), and special studies. AGAHI is a non-governmental organization established in Islamabad in 2011 under the Society Registration Act 1860. It started off as an initiative of Mishal Pakistan and gradually became an independent organization. AGAHI is heavily focused on Research and Development mainly on national and international security, ICT, competitiveness, human capital development, and governance issues. It also aims to promote quality journalism through the Media Development Initiative program.

State’s writ challengers will be dealt by military courts; Home Secretary Balochistan

Bolan Voce Report

Following the Peshawer School incident, the National Action Plan was caved-out and approved by upper house Senate and lower house National Assembly. And this is being implemented swiftly in the province of Balochistan as like in other provinces. The elements, which challenge the writ of state will be prosecuted and sentenced through newly established the military courts, said Mr Akbar Hussain Durrani the Home Secretary Balochistan.

In province, for the security of schools, the initiative are being taken on urgent basis, 511 cases about terrorism are in pending at the courts of Balochistan, meanwhile 54 cases have been forwarded to center for processing them through Nation Action Plan. The secretary home provided this information to media-men during a session held under the presidency of him to categorize the schools of province in the security means.

It was informed to media that secretary Home will provide security and monitor himself to schools run by Army, whilst the police mobile keep watching at entrance of government schools, and the private schools have to manage private security guards by approval of special branch of police. Answering to a question the Home Secretary said that National Action Plan also will be implemented in the province of Balochistan as similar to the other provinces. If anyone takes weapons and challenges the writ of state, then that will be produced before the military courts and will be penalized in the light of assimilated law.

Few days later, the Secretary Home Akbar Hussain Durrani informed media, the province had forwarded 54 cases to be heard in military courts to the Interior Ministry. The Interior Ministry will forward the cases to military courts for hearing after the scrutiny process is complete.

Hazara Youth International Commemorates 10th January massacre

By Comrade Mukhtar Hussain

Progressive mindset Youths’ organization, ‘Hazara Youth International’ conducted a condolence session on 1907928_345183939005114_3877287235939246979_n10th January, 2015, in the commemoration of previous year’s deadly attack on Alamdar road Quetta, where mostly liberal people were victim. In session, all walk of life progressive thinkers had participated, and at the occasion Comrade Naushad represented Hazara Youth International, Professor Naik Mahmmad the Revolutionary Socialist International, Comrade Abdul Sattar Awami the Workers Party, Nadir Ali Hazara the Hazara Political Workers Party, Rafique Altaf Hussain Advocate Progressive Academy and Trade Union leader Comrade Ali Mardan represented his organization, respectively.

The participant presented red salute to demised ones and sternly condemned the Almadar road Quetta homicide incident.

They said, “In Alamdar road Quetta incident 168 families were ruined which wretched the hearts of billion people around the world. Belonging to the humanism, nationalism, pacifism and progressive school of thoughts people condemned severely this atrocious act. They also denounced the state’s policies about bolstering the religious extremism in its womb. Bomb blasts and killing of innocent people became daily routine but regrettably the offenders are not being brought in book, here in state of Pakistan.” The speakers blamed.

Further they said, “Extremists are killing oppressed nations; Hazara, Baloch, Sindhis and likewise, who are raising voice for their rights. On the other hand, the fundaments are sent to Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, India and European States and now the religious elements are being used as weapon. But it is natural phenomenon that petted snakes bite to everyone, the digger himself fells in pit-hole.” They reminisced.

The speakers addressing to gathering said, “The present government is powerless in the foreign policy and defense affairs which are dealt by military establishment. For 40 years the masses have been suppressed by religious armed organization. Now people are being split in factions on the ground of creed, sect, and commune with aim to distract the attentions from genuine problems and distant the citizens from their fundament rights. The Sindhi, Baloch and Hazars nationalists’ mutilated bodies are being thrown merely to get them abnegated from their political standpoint and rights. In this quandary, the progressive and downtrodden people get unite like a single body as its each limb feels pain of other, and wound of single part makes unease to entire body.” The speakers prescribed.

Only similarity in ideology leads to an alliance

By Mahmmad Iqbal

Now-a-days the alliance is vexed question in Balochistan and reverberation about this is being heard widely. It 191748741_political20ideology_xlargeis absolute that alliance can be formed among the common thinkers; the uneven powers never can make any coalition or develop consensuses among them. For instance, lion and deer, rat and cat never ever can make friendship. Similarly, the parliamentarian and revolutionaries’ ways are parted, hence they cannot form an alliance, if they do infringe way, so it will be unnatural and will not sustain for long.

In Balochistan, BNM, BRP, HYI (Hazara Youth International), HYM (Hazara Youth Movement), and BSO-A has resemblance in ideology. And these mentioned organizations have common stance and these leadership believe in observation of Human Rights, salvation from atrocities and control of masses on natural resources extracted from theirs land. On the other hand National Party [NP], Balochistan National Party [BNP], Hazara Democratic Party [HDP], Pashtoon Khuwa Milli Awani Party [PKMAP] are the exploiting groups and connived with State’s establishment and do not want emancipation of human from coerces. These mentioned parties leadership is being conferred by establishment for giving clear way to exploit the masses, and they are accomplice with establishment for atrocities on oppressed people in the province. These discussed parties couldn’t deliver to masses for 67 years, even being in rule time to time, and ever assisted the exploiting class and in exchange they have been receiving privileges, incentives and share in profit which is attained the province’s resources. The parliamentarian parties have rifted the province’s people in the sorts of commune, race and localities to don’t let them unite; otherwise, they stand for inborn rights and struggle together.

 The British and American Politicians stated in favor of Balochistan’s oppressed people and accused state for human rights violation in this province. it was welcomed by Dr Allah Nazar, Hairbeyar Marri, Dr Samar Raza, BNM, BNV, HYI and BSO-A and further they appealed the United Nations and civilized world to intervene in Balochistan for the suspension of the series tyrannies in the province of Balochistan.

The organizations BNM, HYI, BNV, Revolutionaries Socialist International and BSO-A are struggling against pillage of resources and exploitation of here’s masses. These mentioned parties have similarity in ideology and demands are also common, consequently these organizations on international level can constitution an alliance to defend the province’s resources, observe the human rights and raise voice internationally for oppressed people of the Balochistan.

“Importance of real beauty”

Naseem Brahim, Turbat

It is a harsh reality that, real beauty has got a crucial role in the lives of human beings. However, beauty is lybia_peace_black_peace_dove_fav_wall_paper_background-999pxhow you feel inside, it reflects in your eyes or it makes you ugly. It is not, the real beauty grants you power and this power can be an elegant help in coping with any situation. There is surely no doubt that, having a well-dressed and a well groomed is as equally important. I often see people tend to judge others by their outer looks before they get a chance to know them time help to impair our confidence this indeed plays a vital role in our daily lives. As it as tremendously quoted that, never judge others by their face rather judge people by their character.

Apart from this, looking good should not be the sole means by which one should judge others for beauty is like an ambitious that seems to be with us forever.

This is the power of inner beauty which can makes us positive and by the dint of it one can surely pass a glad life. There is no room left to doubt that, whose self-esteem depends on staying young and beautiful feel entirely miserable as they begin to get old along with confidence which they have in themselves. No matter you are fat or thin, black or white, short or tall, fair or freckled rather we all are remember that we whole are human being or homo-creation and we all are beautiful and unique in our own especial ways. Every single human being is perfect in his or her own perspective. On the other hand, what I am trying to explain here is that our thoughts also have a tremendous impact on us. Hence, we must always be positive and avoid negative thinking as much as possible. We must also ensure that we look at the bright side of every situation, since positive thinking plays a fundamental role in enhancing our inner beauty. It is well reputed fact that, our inner beauty makes us a courteous and modest person instead of making us vain and proud and that’s the specialty of the inner beauty.  So I believe it is not always the physically features that add up to once character that makes anyone stand out in a crowd, making them unique and beautiful. Ronald Dahl has well reputedly said, “A person who has good thoughts cannot be ugly wither you have a wonky nose and a crooked mouth, a double chin and stick out teeth. But if you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.

So the next time, someone or something makes you feel that you are not beautiful just close your eyes. Likewise you don’t know how good you are but others can always see that you are especial .Thus, you have to know the deep down in your heart that beauty is not always having a pretty face; it’s about having a beautiful soul.

Chained: Debt bondage in Pakistan

There are an estimated 2,058,200 people in modern slavery in Pakistan – 1.13% of the entire population. Debt bondage is the most prevalent form of slavery which is mainly found in the brick making, agriculture, and carpet weaving industries, according to Global Slavery Index.

By Syed Fawad Hasan

“Those who do not move do not notice their chains,” Rosa Luxemburg, a renowned philosopher and 54bced469b75aactivist, once said.

Bonded labourers Puno Bheel and Wakeela Rajput in Tando Hyder, Hyderabad, may never have heard of Luxemburg, but true to her spirit they were able to rise and break free of their chains, defying oppressive customs and inspiring others in the process.

Puno Bheel and Wakeela Rajput are two longtime workers of Sindh Federation Bhatta Mazdoor Union. The latter is now the president of the said organisation and leads the union in tough times contrary to the generally held belief that a woman cannot spearhead a revolutionary movement. The enduring struggle of Puno and Wakeela has inspired and delivered freedom to many besides ruffling the feathers of several ‘lords’ who are now their staunch enemies.

Life maybe different for Puno and Wakeela now but they haven’t forgotten their time enslaved in Kotri at Baba Salahdin Camp. The agony and humiliation of that life, they feel, can only be overcome by empowering other haaris (landless peasants) and getting them justice.

Killer Kilns

In the second largest city of Sindh, Hyderabad, approximately 150 brick kilns employ thousands of workers to 54bcf7a668e20produce the valuable material used for construction of houses. In the words of an expert, “This bricks business is more profitable than the dealing of drugs like heroine or opium for the ‘bhatta-malikan’ (kiln owners) because it has an aspect of extreme exploitation of the workers.”

The tough life at the kilns is exacerbated by a lack of toilet facilities, no supply of drinkable water, and exposure to harmful gases emanating from furnaces which also raise temperatures to an unbearable extent.

The old and weak, the young and hopeless, all toil day in day out, for not less than 16 hours daily to get, at best, Rs240 from their owners. Most of these families have been duped by land lords or owners of brick kilns into debt bondage, the most prevalent form of modern slavery in Pakistan. High interest rates and meagre pay means the debt piles and is eventually impossible to pay off when combined with living expenses. Gradually, the families, generation after the other, pay back with their lives for the loans they took for necessities as basic as food after a failed harvest, weddings or house rent.

Bonded labor has been outlawed in Pakistan and most other affected countries in line with UN conventions on human rights. But according to the 2014 Global Slavery Index, 2,058,200 people are enslaved in Pakistan.

Particularly at risk are those bound to caste systems, migrant workers and victims of human trafficking.

“The provinces of Punjab and Sindh are hotspots of bonded labour, which is mainly found in the brick making, agriculture, and carpet weaving industries. While official statistics are not available, recently it was estimated that the brick kiln industry employs around 4.5 million people across the country,” the 2014 Global Slavery Index report says.

According to The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, in Sindh and Punjab some bonded labourers in brick kilns are “either kept in captivity by armed guards or their family members become virtual hostages.”

The family members, including young children, are chained to the cycle as the debt is transferred to them in 54bd0e9d1fc8bthe case an adult worker dies or is disabled. Those who manage to escape are often hunted and forced to return and pay off the debt. This cycle is reinforced by contemporary agricultural policies which give landlords privileged access to land, resources, and credit, as the Human Rights Watch puts it.

Illiteracy means that the papers that the haaris sign with the landlords are often manipulated in such a way that the poor peasants remain in debt for life.

“We have been struggling since 1993 to extricate ourselves and all others who have been bonded by the ‘bhatta malikan’. In doing so, I have been attacked many times,” Puno Bheel says pointing to the bruises on his face.

“Madam Wakeela fought shoulders-to-shoulders with the poor workers against the cruel system.”

***
Breaking Free

The system of bonded labour should have ended in Pakistan after the Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Act was passed in 1992. But the landlords in Sindh, who should have prosecuted instead, ‘operate’ freely.

It was under these circumstances that the passionate Puno and the charismatic Wakeela started their struggle, demanding freedom for the bonded labourers from this exploitative institution. Conscious of their state, they raised their voice and created commotion. They ‘moved’.

“The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) then helped us in reaching the courts and also provided us with moral and legal support whenever we needed it,” Wakeela recalls.

They were were both declared ‘free’ to lead a new life by the courts after a review of their debt.

According to Puno Bheel, 10 years ago they were given a piece of land in Tando Hyder, not much far away from the dreaded brick kilns, by an NGO to provide homes to the freed bonded labourers.

When asked what made her struggle to free herself and many other bonded labourers and defy traditions in a system where women are rarely allowed to be at the forefront, Wakeela said, “I was always concerned about my life and all other fellow workers whose future seemed at stake. I didn’t get frightened. It was less horrifying for me and more motivating. It was encouraging to initiate and carry on the struggle.”

The untiring efforts of Sindh Federation of the Bhatta Mazdoor Union and Ghulam Hyder of the Green Rural Development Organization and many other brave workers resulted in the creation of Azad Nagar Hari Camp in Tando Hyder, Hyderabad. It was like all the endeavours had congealed into an outcome.

Azad Nagar houses between 80 and 100 families who previously were shackled in bonded labour and worked in different brick kilns spread across the country. For them, life has changed but the struggle for freedom has not ended.

***
Freedom but not quite free

Kasturi, who lives in the Azad Nagar camp, has a very encouraging story to tell. She has been living in the camp for three years after being brought here by the union supported and assisted by an NGO from Mirpurkhas. Her whole family worked under a ‘zameendaar’ or the landlord who had made them serfs.

Life dramatically changed when she came to the camp as she started working on embroidery products. Kasturi now works out of free will to produce bangles, traditional kitchen products with beautiful embroidery locally known as ‘chabi’, and dolls for kids. She enjoys her work and feels emancipated.

“In an International Labor Conference held in Karachi, I sold all of my items within two hours that I had produced working for many months,” Kasturi says while describing her experience at the conference held at the 2013 Expo in Karachi.

“I sell a pair of ‘chabi’ at Rs1,200. It takes four days to make one. So, actually, I earn Rs300 per day provided that my products get sold, which they usually do.”

Kasturi’s smile speaks volumes of her liberation and the wings she has got after coming to the camp. Her husband still works at a kiln but she is far happier than other camp dwellers. The camp managers, having noticed this, are also working on the skill-training programs.

Kasturi doesn’t have to work under the exploitative system of bonded labor neither she has to go the kilns to get her hands dirty in the scorching sand with which bricks are made. She is now free to breathe fresh air after an age of inhaling the polluted, gaseous air present in the atmosphere of the kilns. She is, now, an inspiration for many. Her days in slavery are now done.

But then there are countess others like Aimal, who although free are not entirely in control of their lives.

Bilawal, Aimal’s husband, works at a kiln as a free labourer now. The family, which hails from Umerkot, came to Azad Nagar after the devastating floods of 2010. The natural disaster provided them an opportunity to escape the kiln where they were being kept in debt bondage.

Aimal is a mother of six children; four boys and two girls. Only two of her children go to a school.

“We are happy here since we have got freed from our previous lives. Life here is different, though we still can’t claim we are free to do anything. Generations after the other, we have only worked at kilns That’s the only thing we know and the only kind of work my husband can find. I make meals, and clean the house while my husband is at work,” says Aimal.

“The only amusement we have is to talk to our neighbors; we share both plight and happiness with each other.”

Aimal wants more from life. Her family is free but absence of a comprehensive rehabilitation plan has again made her husband return to the gruesome life of kiln albeit with an increased salary and less authority from the owners.

“We do not have any other choice but to go again and toil in the kilns,” she says.

The lack of access to easy loans and grants through microfinance schemes and other safety nets offered by the government, means the ‘free’ families often turn back to the landlords for loans, the Global Slavery Index says. It also means that their new lives are limited to ‘free’ camps.

Aimal and Kasturi lives, though, saw a change and their freedom today very much owes to the struggle of Wakeela and Puno.

Puno Bheel works in the kilns till 12 in the afternoon and then spends his time with his comrades in struggle.

He is also called every now and then by the men at the kilns to intervene whenever a problem arises. “The owners are usually clever and cunning. They try to cheat their workers and rip them off their dues. That’s when I am called and I unhesitatingly intervene.”

Wakeela Rajput says that like many other fellow workers her life changed because now she is not entrapped at a kiln.

“Previously, we had to beg the owners to let us go and he would strictly forbid us. The owners were so cruel that we couldn’t take leave even during the last days of our pregnancy let alone attend the funerals of a loved one. This freedom was worth our struggle.”

There are 8 other camps like Azad Nagar, safe havens for the hundreds of freed labourers who have started new lives. Laudable it is for sure, but the government apathy towards a rehabilitation program for these pauperised men and women is incomprehensible.

54bd17e5a56bcTwo decades have elapsed since the government passed an Act against the system of bonded slavery. The shadows of this institution still haunt Pakistan. The government devolved most legislative and enforcement powers to the provinces with a constitutional amendment in 2010, including responsibility for labour, child protection, and women’s protection. The provinces are yet to move on these issues.

How many Wakeelas and Punos will it take to end, once and for all, the insurmountable cruelty that is exists in the form of debt bondage?

(Courtesy to Dawn)

How Three People Can Make a Baby

By Cari Romm

Starting next year, children in the U.K. may be born with the DNA of three different people, after a _62907355_pnt_slide1_624x398_2Parliamentary vote earlier today approved a controversial fertility procedure.

The lower chamber of British Parliament, the House of Commons, voted 382-128 today to pass a bill authorizing an in-vitro fertilization technique that would combine two parents’ genetic material with that of a third female donor. The upper chamber, the House of Lords, is expected to take up the issue next month; if they also vote in favor, three-person IVF could become legal by October, making the U.K. the first country in the world to permit it.

The procedure would allow women who carry the genes for mitochondrial disease—a collection of inherited and incurable conditions—to have their own biological children without passing down the risk. Mitochondria, often described as the “power center” of the cell, are the organelles that provide it with energy. They also have 37 genes within them—and when those genes have certain mutations, they can trigger a host of debilitating and sometimes fatal problems, including muscular dystrophy, heart and liver issues, seizures, and diabetes. Worldwide, an estimated one out of every 6,500 children is thought to have some form of mitochondrial disease, which can only be passed down from mother to child (sperm doesn’t play a role).

Recommended: Is Ending Segregation the Key to Ending Poverty?

The procedure, pioneered by a team of researchers at the U.K.’s Newcastle University, can be done a couple different ways. In the first, maternal spindle transfer, the nucleus is taken from a mother’s egg and inserted into the donor egg, which has been cleared of everything but its mitochondria. The resulting egg—which contains nuclear DNA from one woman, mitochondrial DNA from another—is then fertilized with the father’s sperm. In the second method, called pro-nuclear transfer, both the mother’s egg and the donor’s egg are fertilized; the mother’s nuclear DNA is then taken out of her egg and inserted into the donor’s, which has had its own nucleus removed.

“It is not part of what makes us genetically who we are. It doesn’t affect height, eye color, intelligence.”

Last week, a group of 40 researchers, bioethicists, and government advisors from around the world penned an open letter to Parliament in support of the procedure, calling it “an international demonstration of how good regulation helps medical science to advance in step with wider society.”

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And on Sunday, an international collection of advocacy groups—including the U.S.-based United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation—co-authored a similar letter to British lawmakers, describing mitochondrial disease as “unimaginably cruel.” Three-person IVF, they said, “offers families the first glimmer of hope that they might be able to have a baby that will live without pain and suffering.”

On the other side of the issue are those who view three-person IVF as the first step in a slippery slope of genetic engineering. As Olga Khazan pointed out in July,

Many find the mitochondrial procedure morally questionable because of how close it seems to playing God, or Nature, or Whoever you think is in charge of making kids. Penetrating the inside of a cell and tampering with its contents is, at best, controversial, and at worst, “walking in Hitler’s footsteps,” as one angry letter to the FDA put it. Some worry it’s in the same sci-fi realm as “designer babies.”

“There is a very clear boundary that babies cannot be genetically altered, and that once you’ve decided that you can, even for a small number of genes, you have done something very profound and then it’s merely a matter of degree as to what you do next,” conservative lawmaker Jacob Rees-Mogg, who opposed the bill, told the BBC after today’s vote.

But scientists argue that the “designer baby” worries are unfounded, as mitochondrial DNA can’t really design much of anything. “It is not part of what makes us genetically who we are,” reproductive ethicist Gillian Lockwood told the BBC. “It doesn’t affect height, eye color, intelligence, and musicality.”

Recommended: The ‘Supplement’ IllusionLockwood added that the term “three-parent baby” is a misnomer; around one-tenth of one percent of a child’s DNA would come from the donor, with the mother and father supplying the rest. “The biggest problem is that this has been described as three-parent IVF. In fact, it is 2.001-parent IVF,” she said.

Courtesy to Atlantic

The leader

By Sammi Murad

A greed man once quoted “A leader knows the way, goes the way and shows the way”. A true leader is one 3f523a1who personifies this quotation in its true sense. A true leader not only reflects the quality of being a leader but also personifies tremendous character, grit and sense of oneness. In our society all the time individuals need motivation, guidance and purpose to accomplish various tasks successfully. People need someone who can stand up and show them how to do things in a right manner to yield maximum output. Leadership is always said to be associated with power to dominate others (in a group).

The ultimate goal of leadership is to bring out the best from the team members. A good leader must be competent enough so that he/she may influence the minds of other. A leader must focus over delivering positive outputs in the organization.

A leader must motivate his/her team members, to support the team members to deliver good ideas and improvements. (A leader should have the following characteristics)

  1. A) The leader should be able to direct and take overall responsibilities for the action and direction of the team.
  2. B) The leader must be capable to set objectives and should be properly organize and motivate the team members.
  3. C) The leader should have a good vision toward a consequence and should be honest and the leader should always treat the members the way that he/she wants to be treated.

“A leader leads by example, not by force”.

Rant against modification in route from Kashgar to Gwadar

By Ahmed Khan

The rulers appeared in media making pact with China for opening the economic corridor in region. The gilgit_to_gwadar459-rail_linkGwadar is city, situated on the mouth of Arabian Sea and is on small proximity to the strait of Hurmoz. It is also very near and merely 50 miles distance to the Oman and Dubai. The Dubai is free trade zone for international traders and companies, where they settle bargaining of products or they bring the products to discussed free market for sell to the merchants. This trade process converted the Dubai into a vibrant market which is benefiting the local Arabs.

The Pakistani authorities are also looking for a market parallel to the Dubai in their custody. The Gwadar is the point that can be free market primarily for them, and in future may policies be changed for trading on this point. In the pursuance of the indicated sketches, the Pakistani rulers invited to the Chinese in region for investment. The Pakistani autocrat and Dictator Pervez Musharraf commenced interactions with China to sell the Baloch land, resources, especially the Gwadar which is a naturally deep Sea-Port and earn wealth in form of commission.

In the follow-up, the Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif by the instruction of establishment continued the enticing to the China in Balochistan, especially about the Gwadar port. This port’s control also was given to Chinese in era of Raisani government and in center Mr Zardari the head of PPP was ruling. The establishment is intended to put aside the real heir of land and populate the non-locals on the Baloch land. Further they are intended to sell-out the port and other resources to international powers and get wealth for individuals. In the same sequence, between Pakistan and China a pact was signed that the China will construct road and rail links from its bordering city Kashgar to the Gawadar which is entrance in this region. The agreements are being made without taking in confidence the real heirs Baloch. Already, they gave the Gold project Saindak to China which did not benefit to Baloch, even the nationalists blamed that Baloch wealth has been looted and single penny is not given the nation. The Saindak project is a model of Baloch wealth’s pillage and this also got the nation to awaken politically. And now Baloch nationalists are not consented about the existence of the China on their land. The Chinese policy to snub the local people but use the establishment and encroachingly exploit the resources of Baloch has totally nosedived and its leadership or think-tanks also realized this fact.

The Pakistani leaders declared the Kashgar to Gwadar rout as economic-transit and the Game changer in the region but the Baloch Nationalist, regional and international powers have undermined the plot before its implementation on ground. The peace totally vanished-away in the province of Balochistan, the state forces applied their total power in this region but failed to overcome because of objective circumstances, wide stretched area, mountainous and inhospitable land with climate.

After the profound analyzes of regional situations, the China has stepped-back toward the Balochistan and Gawadar. Now the senior analysts are inkling that Kashger to Gwadar road and rail links project is just a fraud; it’s used to deceive people of Pakistan amid the economic recession. This supposed corridor will pass through Gilgit-Baltistan which is a disputed territory, in context of United Nations resolution on Kashmir. Now, how can such an economic corridor pass through this territory? In case of future conflict with India this corridor will come under serious threats. Therefore, China will never take the risk of investing in such a risky project. China wants access to Arabian Sea and for this purpose it intends to use Chabahar port, instead of Gwadar. Iran is already earning $10 billion from transit trade annually. India has paid $300 million to Iran to develop roads from Chabahar to Afghanistan border. India and Iran are helping Afghanistan to develop this road. Iran also signed a deal with Tajikistan to use its territory as a part of trade corridor. The China will construct road and rail links from Tajikistan to Xinjiang. So, the China will trade with the world through the Chabahar route not through the disputed route of Pakistan. So it is stupidity whether this corridor is passed though Zhob or Khuzdar, but is solely mean to diversify the attentions.

The objective circumstances telling conspicuously that the China will never take risk to invest in perturbed area. The Pakistani rulers on all levels have failed to deliver; hence, now they are diversifying the attentions of masses from genuine problems, and they have emitted the rumor of changing the rout from Kashgar to Gwadar. Previously, it was publicized that via the city of Zhob, Quetta to link with Gwadar. This is merely amusing trick to the Punjabi traders, now the diversion in rout are proclaimed in media that it will link from Kashgar to Lahore, Nawabshah, Khuzdar, and then to Gwadar.

The common masses are reluctant to react or catharsis about this artificial issue. But the pocket parties of establishment like, ANP, JUI, and likewise are inciting the masses for protest. The mentioned parties have serious differences on all matters but about this issue they are looked on same page, because they are intended to make issue which is not an issue. Behind this propulsion seem their failure, and they are push by establishment to diversity the masses attentions’ from real demands and issues.

The Long, Shameful History of American Terrorism

Noam Chomsky

The US is the world’s leading terrorist state, and proud of it. A lead story in the October 15, 2014 New York chomskyTimes reports on a CIA review of US covert operations around the world to determine their effectiveness. The conclusion: attempts to overthrow foreign governments — including elected democracies — generally failed. Major terrorist operations — conducted by the US against Angola, Nicaragua and Cuba — were all judged to have been failures.

“It’s official: The US is the world’s leading terrorist state, and proud of it.”

That should have been the headline for the lead story in the New York Times on October 15, which was more politely titled “CIA Study of Covert Aid Fueled Skepticism About Helping Syrian Rebels.” [See NYT story below â€” EAW]

The article reports on a CIA review of recent US covert operations to determine their effectiveness. The White House concluded that unfortunately successes were so rare that some rethinking of the policy was in order.

The article quoted President Barack Obama as saying that he had asked the CIA to conduct the review to find cases of “financing and supplying arms to an insurgency in a country that actually worked out well. And they couldn’t come up with much.” So Obama has some reluctance about continuing such efforts.

The first paragraph of the Times article cites three major examples of “covert aid”: Angola, Nicaragua and Cuba. In fact, each case was a major terrorist operation conducted by the US Angola was invaded by South Africa, which, according to Washington, was defending itself from one of the world’s “more notorious terrorist groups” — Nelson Mandela’s African National Congress. That was 1988.

By then the Reagan administration was virtually alone in its support for the apartheid regime, even violating congressional sanctions to increase trade with its South African ally.

Meanwhile, Washington joined South Africa in providing crucial support for Jonas Savimbi’s terrorist Unita army in Angola. Washington continued to do so even after Savimbi had been roundly defeated in a carefully monitored free election, and South Africa had withdrawn its support. Savimbi was a “monster whose lust for power had brought appalling misery to his people,” in the words of Marrack Goulding, British ambassador to Angola.

The consequences were horrendous. A 1989 UN inquiry estimated that South African depredations led to 1.5 million deaths in neighboring countries, let alone what was happening within South Africa itself. Cuban forces finally beat back the South African aggressors and compelled them to withdraw from illegally occupied Namibia. The US alone continued to support the monster Savimbi.

In Cuba, after the failed Bay of Pigs invasion in 1961, President John F. Kennedy launched a murderous and destructive campaign to bring “the terrors of the earth” to Cuba — the words of Kennedy’s close associate, the historian Arthur Schlesinger, in his semiofficial biography of Robert Kennedy, who was assigned responsibility for the terrorist war.

The atrocities against Cuba were severe. The plans were for the terrorism to culminate in an uprising in October 1962, which would lead to a US invasion. By now, scholarship recognizes that this was one reason why Russian Premier Nikita Khrushchev placed missiles in Cuba, initiating a crisis that came perilously close to nuclear war. US Defense Secretary Robert McNamara later conceded that if he had been a Cuban leader, he “might have expected a US invasion.”

American terrorist attacks against Cuba continued for more than 30 years. The cost to Cubans was of course harsh. The accounts of the victims, hardly ever heard in the US, were reported in detail for the first time in a study by Canadian scholar Keith Bolender, Voices From the Other Side: An Oral History of Terrorism Against Cuba, in 2010.

The toll of the long terrorist war was amplified by a crushing embargo, which continues even today in defiance of the world. On Oct. 28, the UN, for the 23rd time, endorsed “the necessity of ending the economic, commercial, financial blockade imposed by the United States against Cuba.” The vote was 188 to 2 (US, Israel), with three US Pacific Island dependencies abstaining.

There is by now some opposition to the embargo in high places in the US, reports ABC News, because “it is no longer useful” (citing Hillary Clinton’s new book Hard Choices). French scholar Salim Lamrani reviews the bitter costs to Cubans in his 2013 book, The Economic War Against Cuba.

Nicaragua need hardly be mentioned. President Ronald Reagan’s terrorist war was condemned by the World Court, which ordered the US to terminate its “unlawful use of force” and to pay substantial reparations.

Washington responded by escalating the war and vetoing a 1986 UN Security Council resolution calling on all states — meaning the US — to observe international law.

Another example of terrorism will be commemorated on November 16, the 25th anniversary of the assassination of six Jesuit priests in San Salvador by a terrorist unit of the Salvadoran army, armed and trained by the US On the orders of the military high command, the soldiers broke into the Jesuit university to murder the priests and any witnesses — including their housekeeper and her daughter.

This event culminated the US terrorist wars in Central America in the 1980s, though the effects are still on the front pages today in the reports of “illegal immigrants,” fleeing in no small measure from the consequences of that carnage, and being deported from the US to survive, if they can, in the ruins of their home countries.

Washington has also emerged as the world champion in generating terror. Former CIA analyst Paul Pillar warns of the “resentment-generating impact of the US strikes” in Syria, which may further induce the jihadi organizations Jabhat al-Nusra and the Islamic State toward “repairing their breach from last year and campaigning in tandem against the US intervention by portraying it as a war against Islam.”

That is by now a familiar consequence of US operations that have helped to spread jihadism from a corner of Afghanistan to a large part of the world.

Jihadism’s most fearsome current manifestation is the Islamic State, or ISIS, which has established its murderous caliphate in large areas of Iraq and Syria.

“I think the United States is one of the key creators of this organization,” reports former CIA analyst Graham Fuller, a prominent commentator on the region. “The United States did not plan the formation of ISIS,” he adds, “but its destructive interventions in the Middle East and the War in Iraq were the basic causes of the birth of ISIS.”

To this we may add the world’s greatest terrorist campaign: Obama’s global project of assassination of “terrorists.” The “resentment-generating impact” of those drone and special-forces strikes should be too well known to require further comment.

Courtesy to The New York Times

Observing the Stars

141029_ALMA_tauri_01Identifying objects in the night sky for the first time can be a daunting experience. A good way to start is by learning to gauge distance and finding a few bright stars and key constellation. Once these reference points have been identified, imaginary lines can be drawn outwards from them to find other stars and patterns, which in turn act as useful stepping-stones to the rest of the sky.

Scale in the sky

It can be difficult to judge how large a feature will appear in the sky by looking at a map. Fortunately, a hand held at arm’s length acts as a convenient measuring scale. For example, an index finger easily covers the Moon or Sun, both of which are only half a degree across, the back of a hand is about 10 degree across, the width of the bowl of the [Big Dipper]. To cover the Great square of Pegasus [16 degree across], the figure must be splayed.

Northern Skies

The Plough, or Big Dipper, which is high in northern-hemisphere skies in spring, is a key pattern in the northern sky. Two stars in the bowl of the Plough, alpha and Beta Ursae Majoris, point to the North Pole star, Polaris. On the other side of the celestial pole is the W-shaped constellation Cassiopeia. The Plough’s bowl can also be used to locate the bright star Vega, which is prominent in northern skies in summer. A line extended from the curving handled of the Plough leads first to Arcturus, a beacon of spring skies, and then to Spica, the brightest star in Vigro. Also to the south of the bowl of the Plough are leo and the stars Castor and Pollux in Gemini.

Mid-latitude skies

Orion is a prominent constellation in the evening skies if northern winter and southern summer. The line of three stars that forms Orion’s Belt points to the brightest star in the sky, Sirius [in Canis Major]. Sirius marks one corner of a huge triangle [known in the northern hemisphere as the Winter Triangle]. The other corners are marked by the bright stars Betelgeuse [in Orion] and procyon [In Canis Minor]. A line from Rigel through Betelgeuse points to castor and Pollux in the neighboring constellation of Gemini. On the other side of Orion is Almdebaran, the brightest star in Taurus; beyond Aldebaran, in the same direction, is the Pleiades open cluster. Almost directly to the north of Orion lies Capella, the January evenings from mid-northern latitudes.

Southern Skies

Two bright stars in Centaurus and the familiar shape of crux, the Southern Cross-all of which are at their highest on April and May evening-are the starting points for finding a way around southern skies. A line from Alpha through nearby Beta Centauri points to crux, the smallest constellation in the sky but also one of the most distinctive. The Southern Cross is not to be confused with the slight larger False Cross, which is closer to the bright star Canopus. Unlike in the northern hemisphere, there is no bright star near the south celestial pole, but the longer axis of Crux points towards the pole, as dose a line at right angles to the one linking Alpha and Beta Centauri. Canopus and Achernar from a large triangle with the south celestial pole.

Swiss banks: Assets of Pakistanis appear to be exaggerated

Contrary to public perception, a recent investigation into Swiss accounts at one of the world’s biggest 835709-HSBCreuterscopy-1423506479-297-640x480banks suggests the collective wealth stashed away by high net worth Pakistani individuals is nowhere near the purported figure of hundreds of billions of dollars.

In an investigative project dubbed ‘Swiss Leaks,’ the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) recently accessed almost 60,000 leaked files that provide details of over 100,000 clients of HSBC, which is ranked as the world’s second largest bank by Forbes magazine.

With approximately $859.7 million by 2006-07, Pakistan ranked 48th on the list of countries with the largest dollar amounts in the leaked Swiss files.

As many as 338 clients of Swiss HSBC were associated with Pakistan, with 34% having a Pakistani passport or nationality. The maximum amount of money associated with a client connected to Pakistan was $133.5 million, it said.

Given that a bank as big as HSBC had about $0.8 billion of deposits belonging to Pakistani clients, it is safe to assume that the total assets of rich Pakistanis in Swiss banks should be substantively less than $200 billion – a figure that TV presenters throw around casually as the approximate value of politicians’ ill-gotten gains stashed away in offshore accounts.

133.5mSpeaking to media a former governor of the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) said it is wrong to assume that the money deposited with the Swiss arm of HSBC is necessarily ill-gotten.

“Pakistan’s foreign exchange market is partially open. It is not illegal to keep a foreign account if the amount is formally declared to the local revenue authorities,” he said.

According to taxation expert, Dr Ikramul Haq, the amount of money belonging to Pakistani clients of Swiss operations of HSBC does not reveal the full extent of the issue at hand. He referred to the recent acquisition of Pakistani branch operations of HSBC by Meezan Bank as one of the reasons for the lower-than-expected estimate of Pakistanis’ wealth stashed in the Swiss bank.

Pakistani branch operations of HSBC Bank Middle East merged into Meezan Bank last October, which converted all its customers into Meezan Bank’s clients.

A wholly owned subsidiary of HSBC Holdings, HSBC Pakistan operated with 10 branches and total assets of Rs48 billion at the end of 2013. Its clientele consisted of mostly blue-chip companies and high net worth individuals.

Haq said HSBC targeted high net worth Pakistani individuals using its ‘premier’ banking facilities that allowed easy transfer of money from the local branch to a “corresponding HSBC account” anywhere in the world. Many high net worth Pakistani clients may have abandoned HSBC after its acquisition by the local Islamic bank, Haq noted.

When contacted for its version, Meezan Bank’s external communications team refused to comment on the issue.

Courtesy to The Express Tribune

China’s changing working class

Review by Charlie Hore    Part-I

Earlier this year, the South China Morning Post—the Hong Kong equivalent of the New York Times—ran an interview with Geoffrey Crothall of the China Labour Bulletin, which began by asking, “Why are we seeing an increased number of strikes and worker protests in China?”1 His answer is worth quoting at some length:

One of the key reasons is simply that strikes are much more visible. Just about every factory worker, especially in Guangdong, has a cheap smartphone and can post news about their strike and the response of management and the local government to it on social media and have that information circulate within a matter of minutes.

This enhanced visibility has also encouraged more workers to take strike action. They see workers from other factories or workplaces that are in exactly the same position as them taking strike action and they think, “We can do this too.”

And the fact that there are so many strikes means that workers   have less to fear by staging protests, there is safety in numbers and in many cases, they have nothing to lose by going out on strike.

Younger workers, especially, have higher expectations and are no longer willing to tolerate the abuse and exploitation their parents had to endure. In the early days of China’s economic growth, workers from the countryside were lining up to get jobs in the cities; today there is a shortage of workers and as such, workers have greater bargaining power and they are better able to utilise that power effectively.

China rising

China’s rise as a major world economic, political, and military power is one of the defining features of the twenty-first century. Already the world’s second-largest economy, economists now argue about exactly when—not if—China will overtake the United States, an argument that would have been unthinkable even twenty years ago.2

One of the key drivers of that rise has been a fundamental transformation and reshaping of the Chinese working class. In the course of a generation, several hundred million former peasants have become urban workers, mostly in cities that grew up overnight, providing a seemingly bottomless well of labor for the exporting factories that have made China the new “workshop of the world.”

The particular nature of the new industries has meant that workforce has been made up of mainly young people, about a third of them women, though because jobs are heavily gendered, in some cities as many as 70 percent of migrants are women. Only about a third of migrant workers actually work in manufacturing, with the rest working mainly in construction, transport, as street traders, and providing “household and other services” (“other services” often being a euphemism for sex work).3 However, as the largest single occupational group, and the most prone to collective action, they are the group most often studied.

The unparalleled growth of the Chinese economy has been accompanied by a similar growth in migrant workers’ combativeness. In recent years, a number of strikes and protests have made headlines around the world—the 30,000 Yue Yuen footwear workers earlier this year,4 the coordinated strikes across the auto industry in 2010,5 and the Foxconn workers’ suicide protests.6 As the article quoted above makes clear, those are the tip of an iceberg.

In fact, since the late 1990s, migrant workers have fought numerous battles against attacks on them and (less often) for higher wages and better conditions, struggles that have been too little recorded outside specialist publications. It is telling that one of the authors reviewed here still felt it necessary to write in 2009 that “the stereotype of Chinese workers as passive victims of capitalist globalization and authoritarian government does not fit the reality of industrial relations in China.”7

However, over the same period, something like eighty million former workers in state-owned enterprises (SOEs) have lost their jobs in a massive restructuring of traditional industries that dwarfs anything seen in the West. Again, this has disproportionately impacted women, with almost two-thirds of the jobs lost being women’s, and women’s average urban wages falling to just 70 percent of men’s in 2000.8

Understanding the very contradictory nature of change and workers’ struggles in China is crucial for socialists, and the aim of this article is to review some of the recent literature on both workers and wider social movements in order to pick out some of the most useful titles to recommend.

The first book that everyone interested in this topic should read is a much older one though. Ching Kwan Lee’s Against the Law(Berkeley: University of California, 2007) is in many ways the foundation stone of modern China labor studies, and several of the books reviewed here see it as a key reference point. The British left academic Perry Anderson said of it, “Nothing like it has appeared since E. P. Thompson’s Making of the English Working Class”—possibly a slight exaggeration, but it gives some sense of the book’s scope.9

Ching wasn’t quite the founder of modern China labor studies—that honor probably belongs to the Australian writer Anita Chan—butAgainst the Law is the first full-scale study of the Chinese working class as a whole.10 The book contrasted what she described as the “rustbelt” of state-owned industries, mostly in central and northern China, with the “sunbelt” industries growing up in China’s South. But her focus was firmly on workers’ resistance, illustrated by example after example from her very detailed field research.

At the time, this was still mainly expressed as resistance to attacks on living standards, or atrocious working conditions—”defensive” rather than “offensive” struggles, or as she put it, “protests of desperation” and “protests against discrimination.” In showing workers as actors rather than simply victims, she highlighted the important victories that had been won, and brought to light some of the near-insurrectionary battles waged by state-sector workers following mass layoffs. Much has changed since the book was written, but it remains an inspiring and thought-provoking read.

Shenzhen—the heart of China’s “export miracle”

The first three books reviewed here are all academic studies of militancy and organization among migrant manufacturing workers in southern China, though with very distinct approaches. The Challenge of Labour in China is likely the most straightforward, being a study of workers’ experiences and resistance in Shenzhen, and in one factory in particular.

Shenzhen is in many ways an exemplar of the new China, having grown from a population of some 30,000 people to over eight million in under twenty-five years. As early as 1993–94 there was a wave of strikes among migrant workers for wage rises to cover inflation, but militancy thereafter declined as a new labor law gave workers legal remedies against mistreatment.

However, by 2004 the number of strikes surged again as workers discovered that the law gave them little real protection. Numbers are difficult to come by, but the author quotes an NGO worker as saying “at least half the workers she met had experiences of striking.” This increase in militancy coincided with, and may have been partly produced by, a shortage of labor that began in Shenzhen as early as 2003. This was a relative rather than absolute shortage, with growing numbers of peasants either staying in their villages as agricultural rates increased or going further north for better-paying jobs, but it left Shenzhen short of some 300,000 workers.

The response of the local authorities was to increase the minimum wage in 2005, and again in 2006—an increase of almost one-third in two years. A minimum-wage law was introduced in 1994, though Shenzhen’s local government had already introduced it the previous year. The theory is that the minimum wage reduces competition between employers for labor and slows down turnover as workers can’t leave for higher-paid jobs elsewhere. To what extent this works is unknown, but what is certain is that workers are very aware of minimum-wage rates.

Just how aware workers are was shown in July 2007, when the local government followed the provincial government in not increasing the minimum wage for that year. This was met by a new round of strikes, which forced the local government to backtrack and raise the minimum rates in October. Small wonder a businessman interviewed felt that “China is different from other countries. In the West, it is the rich people who influence politics and the government fears the rich. Now, in China, it is the rich who fear the government and the government fears the poor. The poor have a high potential to threaten social stability and social order.”

The following year, of course, the world economic crash hit, with some twenty to thirty million migrant workers in China losing their jobs as plants closed, and workers losing the advantages they had enjoyed over previous years.11 Chan’s research stops before the economic crash, so his picture is one of a working class growing in militancy and confidence, with the ability to coordinate stoppages in different plants of the same company.

However, this view is balanced by his finding that strikes left no lasting organization behind, and that strike leaders often lost their jobs following their return to work. High turnover and the effects of the hukou system (household registration that denies migrant workers the right to settle permanently in the cities) also contributed to the loss of momentum following strikes.

Chan’s account of the factory he studied is fascinating, fully alive to the contradictions of workers’ experience. He is clear-sighted about gender divisions, the role of supervisors and the minority of skilled workers in organizing strikes and protests, and the contradictory nature of place-of-origin association. These organizations of workers from the same village, county, or province are often how workers get jobs in the first instance, and they provide everyday support in workplaces and communities where workers speak various dialects or languages, have many customs, and eat very different foods.

But they can also turn into criminal gangs, as anyone who has seen “The Godfather” knows, and Chan shows both the negative effect they have in migrant workers’ communities and how they work with lower management inside the factory. But he rightly sees all of these as obstacles to the formation of class consciousness that can be overcome, and his account of the strike is inspiring: “For those participating in the protest, the overriding sensation was that it had been fun. ‘It was fantastic. Everyone came together for fun. Wow, all of us felt great!’ Xiao Lin said. The workers were especially thrilled when they heard a rumour that the mayor had gone to the control station to take command of the police in person.”

The ACFTU—fit for purpose?

In the first years of this century, workers gradually pushed back the limits of what was possible. Although there is still no legal right to strike in China, in practice strikes will be tolerated if they stay within acceptable limits—demands on the employer over wages or conditions. Any attempt to raise wider political questions, or to talk about independent unions, will attract repression.

And yet the frequency of strikes necessarily raises the question of permanent organization if workers are to defend the gains that they win during a strike. It is thus not surprising that groups of workers try to get around this by taking over or introducing the state-run union—the All-China Federation of Trade Unions (ACFTU). Both Tim Pringle’s Trade Unions in China and Eli Friedman’s Insurgency Traplook at whether this is a feasible strategy, though from quite different perspectives.

Trade Unions in China opens with two chapters on workplace organization and workplace militancy from the Maoist era until the early 2000s, including an account of the battles around redundancy terms and agreements among workers in state-owned enterprises, from a perspective quite close to that of this journal. In those battles the ACFTU was at best irrelevant and at worst part of the problem.

The ACFTU was, from 1949, an integral part of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) apparatus of government and control, with no particular attempt to disguise this. For instance, from 1949 to 1951, CCP veteran Li Lisan was both minister of labor and chair of the ACFTU until he was fired from the union job for “economism.” Inside the individual workplace, the ACFTU was essentially a welfare organization, which worked together with the CCP and factory management as a transmission belt for the CCP’s key policies. But with the growth of private and foreign-owned or foreign-invested industry through the 1990s, ever greater numbers of workers fell outside this mechanism of control. The mass sackings in state-owned industry further weakened it, with membership dropping by sixteen million in just four years in the late 1990s.

The next chapter is an excellent (if too short) overview of migrant workers’ militancy, which extends past 2008 and so integrates the effects of the world economic crisis. Like Chan, Pringle demonstrates how the growing militancy was a conscious choice made by increasingly confident workers:

Whereas in the past a collective strike was, generally speaking, a last resort to be used only after other forms of redress had been exhausted, it is increasingly the case that workers take strike action as a more efficient alternative to formal and crowded dispute resolution procedures. In other words, they have become more militant.

At the center of the book are three very detailed examinations of particular initiatives by local ACFTU sections to make themselves more relevant to migrant workers. The most interesting one comes from the city of Yiwu in Zhejiang province, where the ACFTU set up a workers’ rights center that, on the evidence here, worked well at enforcing workers’ legal rights against recalcitrant employers. He concludes that “the YFTU [Yiwu Federation of Trade Unions] was able to make use of its status as essentially a government agency in order to exercise political and administrative leverage to persuade employers to back down.” The problem, of course, is that it was doing so on behalf of workers, but without doing anything to build workers’ confidence within the factories.

Pringle’s analysis is very even-handed, and both partisans and opponents of working with the ACFTU will find ammunition for their arguments. His conclusion, however, seems to suggest that in the short term workers have little alternative:

The general level of worker organisation is not at the stage of presenting an organised challenge to ACFTU’s monopoly on representation. Indeed militant workers are usually very keen to avoid such a dangerous challenge in favour of calling for the open election of worker representatives. As the case studies show, the ACFTU is capable of responding to militancy at the local level, where the challenge has been most acute, by developing structures and practices that by no means overcome the limitations of state-sponsored trade unions, but which provide building blocks for the future.

In the immediate, this is undeniable. The problem, of course, is precisely the future. If organization is to be sustained, at some point it has to go beyond sections in individual factories to linking up inside the same employer or same industry—at which point the ACFTU’s structures will necessarily be a block. The auto strikers of 2010, for instance, could not have used the ACFTU to make links among various plants. But for all we might disagree with some of the conclusions, this is an extremely well-researched and well-argued contribution to the literature, which assesses the ACFTU in terms of how well it can serve as a vehicle for worker militancy. Even if we don’t like all of the answers, this book asks the right questions.

China in revolt?

Eli Friedman is probably the best known of the authors reviewed here, from his 2012 article in Jacobin magazine, “China in Revolt,” in which he argued that “More than thirty years into the Communist Party’s project of market reform, China is undeniably the epicenter of global labor unrest.”12 Unfortunately, the book doesn’t fully deliver on what the article promised, essentially because of a shift of focus: he describes his primary aim as “not to describe the dynamics of worker resistance but rather to provide an analysis of how the state, through the auspices of the unions, is responding to this conflict.”

Similarly, the “insurgency trap” of the title refers not to workers being unable to go beyond revolt to workplace organization, but rather the state being unable to reach its goals because it won’t allow workplace organization. And the analysis is caught within a larger framework that sees one of the key problems as the “commodification” of labor—the fact that workers now simply receive wages, whereas under Mao the labor market disappeared, and workers’ needs were met through direct provision: “Wage labor was greatly reduced or eliminated, and markets, to provide for most human needs, disappeared or were tightly constrained. Although there was ongoing abject poverty during this period, to the extent that people’s needs were met, this occurred through nonmarketised mechanisms.”

This is conceptually problematic, to say the least, but it’s also factually wrong. While it is true that under Mao state-owned enterprises paid a substantial “social wage” in subsidized food and housing, as well as free education and health care, these were not enjoyed by all urban residents. And even state-owned enterprise workers were still paid money wages, which they mostly spent on food (when it was available).13 There were massive waves of strikes for higher wages in 1956–57, 1974, and 1986.14

We should pause for a minute on the phrase “to the extent that people’s needs were met.” Urban incomes doubled between 1978 and 1985, and again between 1992 and 1995.15 Although the rate of increase has slowed down since then, and the share of total output going to consumption has dropped since the 1990s, it is still the case that almost everyone in China has a much higher standard of living than they had in the mid-1970s.

I have started with what seems to me the essential weakness of Insurgency Trap, but there is much here that is useful: in particular, an extended account of one of the Honda strikes of 2010, and some remarks (more would have been useful) on the “dispatch” system of temporary labor introduced in 2008 and how this has affected workers’ ability to fight.

But much of what is useful comes when the evidence contradicts Friedman’s thesis. For instance, he spends six pages outlining the evolution of a collective agreement between the local ACFTU and eyeglass manufacturers in Rui’an city in Zhejiang province. “Faced with instability in employment relations, the union, government, and employers came together and through negotiation and compromise, reached an agreement on wage-level standards for the entire sector,” writes Friedman. “It was a true win-win-win for workers, the state and employers.” He then throws in a caveat that completely undermines this conclusion: “But on spending a bit more time in the field, I discovered there was just one problem: the contract was not being enforced.”

In several other cases, he details very innovative-sounding arrangements between union bureaucrats and either local government or employers, before speaking to workers who said they had never heard of them. He is also very good on the threat by employers that they will relocate inland in China, away from the militant coastal areas, pointing out that this will simply mean migrants being able to go home, but also positing: “It then becomes possible to imagine how workplace struggles could be linked up to community-based (reproductive) struggles over public education, social services, and usage of public space.”

If you already know something of the politics of migrant labor in China, this book will be very useful, but it does seem something of a missed opportunity. The Challenge of Labour in China and Trade Unions in China are excellent resources, which any socialist can learn from, and which I think would work particularly well read together. Insurgency Trap is more a book for specialists, the worthwhile research unfortunately tangled up in a very flawed conceptual framework.

Scattered sand

However good an academic book may be, authors are always under a certain pressure to make political judgements in forms acceptable to the academy. As the late Peter Sedgwick once famously noted:

This arises because the considerable time and energy spent in writing them may have to be justified to departmental colleagues or seniors, and their names may well be included in a list of published works submitted in application for a research grant or a job. (How do I know? Guess.) Titles like Smashing Capitalism or Sukarno: The Last Betrayal are therefore out. (In view of current vogues, however, such variants as Smashing Capitalism: Towards a Conspectus of the Consensus or Bargaining and Betrayal in Elite Formation: Some Indonesian Instances might well be considered.)16

Hsiao-hung Pai, the author of Scattered Sand, is under no such constraint. A socialist journalist, she is an activist writing for activists, and aiming to give readers a sense of the contradictory lives of migrant workers. When I interviewed her on her book’s publication, she told me how she came up with the title: “I used these words because I heard a lot of migrant workers using them, talking about their own movement into the cities—a spontaneous and unorganised movement. They say we’re like the scattered sands: disunited.”17

She has a chapter on factory workers in Guangdong that echoes the other books reviewed above in discussing the growing militancy and spread of strikes, with accounts of the Honda strikes and several others. And she makes the important point that the labor shortages that employers are experiencing are not just demographic: “This labor shortage certainly partly reflects the growth of labor militancy as well. Many second-generation migrant workers have become increasingly reluctant to take up the lowest-paid jobs. Although workers’ gains are a small drop in the ocean of China’s low wages and poor working conditions, they have undoubtedly set a precedent for fighting those abuses.”

In widening her focus beyond Guangdong, though, she gives some sense of the depth and breadth of that ocean. We meet—all too briefly—miners working in illegal private mines in Shanxi, workers in brick kilns on the outskirts of Tianjin, and earthquake refugees in a Sichuan labor market. All are angry at what’s being done to them, even if they don’t know how to fight back. One old man in the Sichuan labor market launches into an impassioned tirade:

Rulers in China know about the poser of those from the countryside . .

to be continued….

The immense problems of Washuk

By Abdul Hadi Baloch, Washwk

abdul hadiWashuk is city on the arid area of Balochis-tan. It is situated in south-west along with Iran border and was parted from distract Kharan in Masharraf rule of time by the provincial authorities when they were forming more district in Balochistan province. After the getting status of district this area fate is same as it was. The MNA and MPA got failed to make this area people lively and overreached to bring some changes in Washuk city. The leaders of Washuk who are presently ruling are constant winner since 2000. The mentioned so called leaders in their time of rule could not bring any kind of improvements or made development in theirs constituency. The discussed area people are deprived of the fundamental rights, for instance, health, education, clean drinking water and electricity. The city of Washuk is underdeveloped in terms of facilities and people are facing very hardships and difficulties due to disregarding by authorities to the area.

Among all, the education is an augmented problem and its provision to area’s children is equal to none or some areas of Rakhshan are inadequately facilitated. In some area, the education facility has been provided after long struggle of local people. The affluent people send their children to other cities for education which is very costly but pauper cannot afford this.

The area of Washuk totally lacks other basic amenities of life this modern age, like hospital, dispensary and so on. The people in case of ailment, approach to tehsil Shahogeri, which is enough far from Washuk and situated in area of Jhalawan. The area is sandy, the blow of desert’s winds create very serious troubles to travel one place to other, and lack of infrastructure adds in difficulties of people.

The absence of educational institutes pushed the area in ancient age. The far-flung areas people have no concept of education for their offspring in this modern age. The elected MPA and MNA are also not fulfilling their duties to provide education facilities to their areas people.

The scarcity of water is a great challenge and it causes waste of time and energies. The area people and 206191_186104424852267_459338622_nwomen travel very long distance to fetch water for household. The people fetch water from ponds and rare water supply schemes from long distance laden on domesticated animals. Most of the time, they could not get hygienic but use contaminated water which causes grim diseases in area people.

The government authorities including the elected MPA and MNA should take prompt notice of negligence
regarding Washuk, and they provide facility of education, health and clean drinking water to area people on urgent basis. Otherwise, the people will turn defiant to government and authorities. The province situations are already worse because of dishonesty and ignoring the common masses.

The cohesive bases of the Baloch Nationalism

The subject has been taken from book of Taj Mohammad Breseeg “Baloch Nationalism, its origin and development”.

The early revolts:

The British defeated the Khanate’s army killed Mehrab Khan, and occupied Kalat in 1839, Incited by the British advancement westward, the Shah of Iran captured western Balochistan in the 1850s. Throughout their Balochistan the British and the Persians were expending their authority. The Baloch era was coming to a close. It was in this milieu that many tribes stood in revolt against the alien force. Writing about their bravery, Tucker stated that the Baloch never submitted to the British completely. During the blockades and in battles they fought to the last man. According to Tucker, the sheer number of casualties is the best proof of it. When on 1st October 1847, 700 Bugtis were blockaded in a battle on the border of Sindh against Lieutenant Merewether, commanding the famous Sindh Horse, none of them surrendered to the British. All fought till the last man was killed, except two who avoided capture.

On 26th January 1867, the 1200-strong combined forces of Butis, Marris and their allied tribe , Kethran, fought an important battle in the Chachar Valley near the border of Dera Ghulam Hossori Bugits led the Baloch troops in the battle. He was lost by the Baloch forces. On the 14th of October 1896, a religious group of Marri, called Ghazis, headed by Haji Kala Khan, commonly known as “Mast-Faqir”, attacked the British railway and telegraph lines. The Ghazis movement, however, couldn’t last long. The British soon defeated them, and the Mast Faqir with five other Ghazis was executed in Sibi on the 2nd of November 1896.

British, who ordered an attack on the district from Karachi to assert their authority. Resistance was organized by Mehrab Khan and Mir Baloch Khan. A large number of lashker[ tribal force] gathered at Gokprosh, a few miles from Turbat, on 27th January 1898 to fight the advancing British troops. The British forces, however, defeated the Baloch lashker, killing all 250 of them including their leader Mir Baloch Khan. It is said that Mehrab Khan and Baloch Khan were encouraged and supported by their brethren from western Balochistan who were revolting against the Shiite Persians at the same time. The revolt leaders in Iranian Balochistan, Hossein Khan and later Mir Bahram Khan, both had close relation with Mehrab Khan and Baloch Khan. Defeated by the British army, Mehrab Khan Gichki who was the prime mover in the revolt sought refuge in Western Balochistan.

When a proposed to recruit mercenaries in Balochistan was put forward in January 1917, the Baloch Sardars not only opposed the idea, but also revolted against it. Two decisive battles were fought at Gunbuz and Hadab in which the Marris were defeated. It is said that seven hundreds of them were killed and five hundred received injuries in the battle of Gunbuz. The rebel chief, Misri Khan Baloch, fled to the Soviet Union and formed the delegation to the famous “Baku Congress of the people of the East”. In 1918, another rebel chief, Karim Khan Baloch, from Iranian Balochistan migrated to Soviet Union with his tribe and took refuge. He was also one of the delegations to the Baku Congress. As the head of the Baloch delegation, it is said that Misri Khan also met lenin and some other top leaders of Soviet Union.

Having outlined the theoretical guideline and directives for “national liberation movements” in the east; the Bolsheviks launched campaigns to spread the revolutionary views and proletarian revolution to the colonies and semi colonies of the East. In the credentials issued to Y. Z. Surites, first Soviet Representative in Afghanistan, signed by Lenin in 1919, it was stated that the Council of people’s Commissars appointed Y.Z, Surites the “Representative Extra-Ordinary and plenipotentiary of the Soviet Federal Socialist Republic in central Asia, empowering him to maintain diplomatic relations with the people of independent Afghanistan, independent [tribes of] Balochistan, and the people of the India fighting for their liberation.

Baloch resistance to the British authorities continued for more than a century with varying intensity. These were undoubtedly the acts of individual tribal chiefs or a collection of them who were aggrieved by one or another action of the government. The early uprisings could not assume the form of a national struggle. The lack of commutation between the Baloch tribes and contact with the Indian people having an enemy superior in arms and resources, and the lack of a proper political organization to mobiles the masses were the main reasons this. But in spite of this drawback, the Baloch continued their resistance in their own particular way throughout the British period of hegemony and never allowed the alien influence to pervade their society. However, the Baloch look upon this battle as evidence of their valorous warlike traditions. Account of battle with the British have the same revered place in Baloch folklore as those about war with the Persians, Afghans, Moguls and Hindus. The Baloch poets of the late 19th century, such as Rahm Ali Marris, glorified the leaders of the uprising and composed songs of patriotism condemning the pro-British Sardar, and declaring them traitors.

Title December, 2014

title for blog

AFGHANISTAN: A reminiscing history of Vietnam for US

On 28th December 2014, the ISAF force withdrew from Afghanistan, formally

By Ahmed Khan

The Afghan-War concluding ceremony was held in an undisclosed venue in Kabul on the 28th December 2014. The function of ISAF ISAFin Afghanistan, reminisces the Vietnam story when the last running American soldier flung into a helicopter ready to take off to flee Vietnamese insurgents.

International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) was operating in Afghanistan under the command of the United States of America, and after 13 years warfare against Talban insurgents it announced the winding-up of operations on 28th December 2014. The ISAF force formally conducted a ceremony about ending the operations in Afghanistan. The charges were vested to Afghan forces for onward security matters. The venue of event was not disclosed to media and other higher authorities to evade any attack by Taliban insurgents. This event totally bares the triumphant claims by the United States rebut and reminisces the memories of Vietnam-War.

The ISAF program held in Kabul and in that it was said, the international world has pull-out the Afghans from darkness and put them on a path to bright future.

If we retrospect the 1970s era, when the United States with flagship of capitalism invaded Vietnam, where it setup a pocket of local people in South. The supporters of the US were not genuine representative of Vietnamese but were mercenaries. While in the north, the revolutionaries were backed by the masses of Vietnam. They were inclined toward socialism and were being backed by the Soviet Union at that time vanguard of Socialist block.

The United States in the pretext of supporting South Vietnamese entered in the region to abolish socialistic mindset and halt the way of this system  expanding further because the US was menaced that if a single state falls in socialist system, thus entire region will be engulfed by that system. In this way, a great threat will stand up in front of their desired socio-economic system, capitalism.

The foreign forces on all fields used their power and top technology against indigenous and righteous people, but all went in vain. The Americans tested their Napalm bombs there which have the characteristic of spreading fire to a wider area as well as used Cluster bombs which get placed in soil and explode by a minor touch of anybody to it, even span of ample time these do not expire due to sophisticated manufacture. Where the US tried to establish a front consisting of local warriors but eventually failed in the worst way. The defeat was destined to the Americans as a result of which its last soldier escaped from Vietnamese insurgents and hopped into a helicopter that took-off from the land of Vietnam. The US faced a humiliated defeat in Vietnam, and now after 40 years history repeated itself in Afghanistan.

On 11th September 2001, a drama was performed and dubbed 9/11. It was carved merely to invade Afghanistan and get access to Central Asian natural resources. America launched air strikes on Afghanistan in 2001 with proclamation to root-out the Al-Qeada that had attacked the World Trade Center and Defense premises in Pentagon. The American air strikes followed by ground fighting. The US overthrew Taliban theologized government within months with the help of the Northern Alliance. The governing was given to an anonymous person Mr Hamid Karzai as a ‘Yes-men’.

Taliban dispersed after a meeting in their stronghold Kandahar and announced for guerrilla warfare until the expulsion of last foreign soldier from their land Afghanistan. They reorganized in 2003, and launched an unending series of attacks on ISAF and Afghan forces. The America exploited all its maneuvers including political coaxing tactics to get on board the Taliban for its domination in the region, but has botched.

The America with its NATO allies has misadventure in Afghanistan and it had forgotten the arena of the Vietnam. The American leadership was impudent about her technology and war-equipment; especially was relying on Pakistan which divulged as its sleeve snake. The American journalist Carlotta Gall after profound research wrote a book “The Wrong Enemy: America in Afghanistan, 2001-2014”. She told that instead of Afghanistan the main enemy of US is the Pakistan and that has inflicted it in great loss and this mentioned country in underground is succoring the fundamentalists, which are confronting with America.

In Afghanistan, total 120,000 troops participated in Afghan war under the command of United States. Afterward an alliance International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) was setup, consisting on 43 countries with aim to bring peace and security in Afghanistan, but that almost nosedived in achieving its goal in hotbed Afghanistan.

In 13 years prolonging Afghan-War, the ISAF’s 3387 forces were killed. The American killed troops number is 2257, United Kingdom 453, Canada 158, France 88, Germany 57, and 374 others respectively, while 16,013 personnel of Afghan Security Forces were killed in attacks by Talban.

America in Afghanistan like Vietnam used very destructive war machinery and massive bombs. In Vietnam, were used Napalm and Cluster bombs and in Afghanistan Daisy Cutter 25000 pond heavy and oxygen evaporating bombs against Talban were used. The US also carpet bombed in Afghanistan, and used Cruise and other innovated missiles with air technology which caused million civilians death apart from militants.

The United States stepped in Afghanistan with aim to modern colonized in the style of Iraq, and in same pattern trained a force ‘National Security Force’. The US army trainer edified about 352,000 troops with purpose that they work for its interests. In Iraq, the United States formed an army and by that is controlling entire country and merely has stationed a short number of military staff which is commanding and supervising entire Iraqi army including civilian puppet government. The same experience America wants to test and get benefited in Afghanistan, in other words it can be dubbed ‘Modern Colonial System’. But in Afghanistan, the norms and objective circumstances are some different than Iraq, hence the established force does not seem obedient to US.

The America ostensibly launched attack on Afghanistan to avenge the Al-Qeada against the attacks on 9 September, 2001, on its World Trade Center and Defense Headquarter Pentagon premises. The Arabs of Al-Qeada were foreigners, consequently to some extent this organization has been disturbed, even the leadership has been eliminated but totally has not exterminated, yet. But the Talban are indigenous in Afghanistan, hence defeating them is invincible by the United States and ISAF forces.

The developed Afghan National Force only can deal with Talban. They both are native of Afghanistan and equally have familiarity with rugged land. The Afghan authorities should take Talban with them in government being stakeholder. If the Talban like past play on instruction of foreigners, so the Afghan forces has only option to win heart and minds of their civilian, then they will be able to combat those. If the Talban do not give up working on foreign agenda, so then theirs destine will be defeat.

Presently, situation is this that many parts of Afghanistan are in control of the Talban and the Afghan government writ is confined around the country’s capital Kabul. The Afghanistan provinces; Helmand, Kuner, Pakteya are being controlled by the Talban and in many areas the Afghan army cannot move in night hours. The renowned intellectual and author of several books about Afghanistan and Talban, Musa Khan Jalalzai comments in media that Afghan National Army is not fortified in Kabul, the remote areas are farfetched. In the presence of international forces, which had assistance of air-force and sophisticated war-machinery, could not wipe-out the Talban. By now, they have winded-up their operations on ground and evacuated from Afghanistan, so it is out of sense that how Afghan forces will overcome on Talban?

There are also concerns about Afghanistan’s economy, currently 90% of Afghanistan’s budget comes from foreign aid because of that state’s entire economy has become dependent on foreign aid. The World Bank has expressed its concern that if foreign aid is stopped after ISAF withdrawal from Afghanistan, the country’s economy will collapse. Many social reforms were introduced in Afghanistan after American occupation which included giving equal right to women, at present twenty-four million Afghan children are going to schools in Afghanistan while during the Talban their number was barely five thousand and women participation in job and politics has also been encouraging. But now because of the US withdrawal there are concerns that these reforms are still weak, if the Talban increase their influence in the region once again it will have negative effect on these reforms. However, the main issue is that after the US withdrawal the balance of power will deteriorate in the region and there will be a gap in balance of power. Pakistan, Iran, India and China have braced themselves to fill this gap.

The situations and objective circumstances are implying the Talban may not occupy entire Afghanistan once again, if they would be supported by the Pakistan in past pattern to get this country its fifth province. Now Pakistan is inclined toward China to bring it in Afghanistan and win a suffice share in business by the sycophancy, as it did during Soviet era.

In Afghanistan, after withdrawal of ISAF forces, the situations got much complicated. The China is backing Islamists presently, and Pakistan does not want existence of US in the region. While the US, India and Afghan government are on the opposite side. How situations will tilt, the upcoming time will prove this. The America by power almost has failed to occupy the Afghanistan. The concealed festivity in Kabul about conclusion of 13 years long war is solid evident regarding this argue. The Talban also declared this act of coalition forces ‘Complete Defeat’ and they re-affirmed for continuance of war till expulsion of the last foreigner force. While the US announced for stationing 13000 forces in Afghanistan with purpose of training to Afghan recruits and assisting in especial operations. But the main aim is to command the army and keep its hegemony on this state, which has always turned inhospitable for invaders. On 28th December 2014, the wrapping the luggage by ISAF forces, in Afghanistan, is repeat of Vietnam’s history.

The Afghan Army is only institute that they by aptitude of epitomize, debonair and veracious can win the hearts and minds of the country’s masses which are the real power to defeat anyone. The politicians with army serve fairly to commoners and bring a system of parity for Afghans and it based on humanism. If they failed in doing so, then the orthodox will be ruling on Kabul like past.

The new martial powers through Military Courts

By Malik Asad 

  • Individuals illegally crossing national boundaries can now be tried by military courts
  • Federal government can transfer any case, pending in any trial court, to military courts
  • Those convicted by military courts will have no right of appeal before civilian courts
  • New legislation gives a judicial mandate to an executive functionary

The amendment in the Pakistan Army Act (PAA) 1952 has added a fourth category of civilians that can now be tried by military courts – for the next two years.

This amendment in section 2 (d) of the PAA has now empowered military courts to try civilians facing charges of terrorism or abetting terrorist activity.

New to the military courts

These new offences, which now fall under the jurisdiction of military courts thanks to the amendments made to the PAA by parliament on Tuesday, include the following: those claiming or known to belong to any terrorist group or organization using the name of religion or a sect; those who raise arms or wage war against Pakistan, or attack the Armed Forces of Pakistan or law enforcement agencies; kidnapping for ransom; possession or storing of explosives, firearms, suicide jackets; using or designing vehicles for terrorists acts; providing or receiving funding from any foreign or local sources for terrorism ; “overawing” the state or any section of public or sect or religious minority and creating terror or insecurity in Pakistan or outside.

Earlier, the civilians could only face court martial if they “seduce, or attempt to seduce” persons subject to PAA or if they were civilians who were working in army installations or employed at temporary military set ups.

Another amendment to subsection (iv) has empowered military authorities to take action against those who “belong to any terrorist group or organization using the name of religion or sect” and waging “war against Pakistan” if they commit an offence that has been mentioned in the Protection of Pakistan Act (PPA).

These offences under the PPA, which will now make their way to the military courts, will include: crimes against religious, ethnic and political groups or minorities; use of arson, firebombs, suicide bombs, and other materials that can injure or kill people or destroy property; bomb or arson attacks on public premises, government premises, sites of worship, historical places; killing kidnapping, extortion or attack on members of parliament, judiciary, executive, media; the killing, kidnapping of army and law enforcement officers and employees, of foreign nationals, of health personnel and of aid workers; attacks on communication lines, grid stations, energy facilities (such as dams and distribution systems), airports, educational institutions, police stations and mass transport system.

Illegally crossing national boundaries is also an offence under the PPA and this too can now be tried in a military court.

Govt’s new powers

The amendment bill, however, made it clear that the persons facing these offences can only be prosecuted with the prior sanction of the federal government.

However, this is not the only power that the federal government enjoys under the latest amendment to the PPA.

More serious is the fact that the amendment gives the federal government the power to transfer any pending cases in any trial courts to the military courts, allowing the latter to continue with the trial.

It does not seem as if the date of the offence or the stage at which the trial is will matter.

According to former Judge Advocate General, retired Brigadier Wasif Khan Niazi, the amendment also makes it clear that the witnesses who have already testified will not be required to testify again in the military court. The military court will give its verdict on the basis of the previously recorded statement.

Another amendment in section 60 of PAA empowers the military courts to award punishment for those offences which are not part of the Army Act but which have been added to it under the latest amendment. For example, the military courts can now award punishment ranging from death to imprisonment or imposing fines to those charged and convicted for the offences mentioned in the PPA.

Is there a right of appeal?

The bill, however, is silent about section 133 of the PAA, which deals with the right of appeal against the judgment of military court in the superior courts. Under the PAA, the civilian courts do not have the right to hear appeals against judgments awarded by the military courts.

According to Brig Niazi, the fact that the latest amendment to the PAA does not mention this right to appeal means that the convict of the military courts will continue to have no right of appeal in the civilian courts; after the military appellate court upholds the order of field general court martial, the order would be final and would not be challengeable in civilian courts such as the Supreme Court.

Constitutional amendment

The parliament also passed a constitutional amendment which was aimed at ensuring that the amendments to the PAA cannot be struck down by the Supreme Court as unconstitutional.

One way in which the constitutional amendment has tried to address this concern is by amending Article 175 (3) of the constitution which states that “The judiciary shall be separated progressively from the executive”.

Under the latest 21 amendment, this article will not apply to the trials of terrorists under The Pakistan Army Act 1952, The Pakistan Air Force Act 1953, The Pakistan Navy Ordinance 1961 and The Protection of Pakistan Act.

According to constitutional expert Dr Tariq Hassan, the legislation passed has given a judicial mandate to an executive functionary – the personnel of armed forces – who would conduct the trial of terrorism suspects. He explained that Article 175 (3) was inserted in the constitution to separate the judiciary from the executive but after the approval, military men would now enjoy judicial authority.

(Courtesy to Dawn)

CJ is plead to stop establishment of military courts: VBMP

By Farooq Baloch

Terming the setting up of military courts an unconstitutional step, the chairman of the Voice for Baloch Missing Persons (VBMP), Nasrullah Bungu­lzai, has appealed to the Chief Justice of Pakistan to play his due role and get the proposal for such courts reversed.

Mr Bungulzai speaking at a press conference said that the government had first introduced the controversial Protection of Pakistan Ordinance and now it was trying to establish military courts to ‘use them against anti-government Baloch’.

He said he was being threatened to stay away from organizational activities of the VBMP or face the consequences and added that the government would be responsible if any harm came to him.

Matter is beyond the Military Courts; it is not ‘us’

By Sami Ullah

SamiA prolong contemporary debate has been going on whether the military courts shall be constituted. If yes, then what is at stake? Are we going to find a promising justice or phrased swiftly as means to ‘Quick Justice’ in these military courts or are we going to sacrifice our fundamental rights bestowed upon civilians by the constitution. The opinions may vary but nevertheless, there are some obsolete facts that can never be subsided and must be given due consideration.

The argument proposed in favor of setting up of these military courts is that terrorists wouldn’t terrorize the judges and so would not evade justice. Furthermore, they will provide ‘quick justice’ and pave the way to hanging people who terrorize the civilians. The question is: Have we, on embarking on the war on terror, even bothered to define what ‘Terrorism’ actually is? Thence, whom would be the person categorized or fall in the definition of ‘Terrorist’? After searching quite a loathsome, you will come to conclude that there exists none. Even if some bleak definitions are provided, they nevertheless come under the term ‘vagueness’ (as we lawyers refer to it). So, you trial someone and eventually hang him on a concept that is not even defined. A recent story spread in the media that a man has been given a death penalty by the Anti-Terrorist Court (ATC), who at the time of this sentence, was juvenile (only 13 years old). Another penalty trailed in the terrorist court was of a person who had killed his own father and the court decided to trial him as a ‘terrorist’ as it is a worst example of civilian being ‘terrorized’.

The other argument encircling around the media these days is that the civilian courts cannot carry out death penalty as it is a security risk for the judges. Is it the failure of judiciary or the state itself? Article 9 of the constitution guarantees the security of life. It is the responsibility of the state to ensure the security of the Judges not Judiciary! In establishing the military courts, an amendment has to be carried out, amendment fundamental rights. Article 8(1) of 1973 Constitution clearly points out ‘Any law, or any custom or usage having the force of law, in so far as it is inconsistent with the rights (shall) to the extent of such inconsistency, be void’, or simply any law inconsistent with the fundamental rights shall not be enacted or passed.

The debate is on final stage for the constituting of these military courts. So, what if majority of the parties have rejected this proposal, then there raises the question of the essence of tribunals. Tribunals are constituted for having the specific cases over specific issues within specific time. The basic purpose of  constituting tribunals are to ease the process of the case and finalize the result instantly; tribunals are delegated some powers to have proceeding in a determined jurisdiction by the apex and other courts and either of the party can have appeal in case if the either of the party thinks justice is not being carried out. Whereas, in military courts, if constituted, what would be the procedure of appealing? Who will preside over the cases? Military Judges? If yes, then if military becomes the prosecutor, doesn’t there exist the possibility of biasness? And who will be the advocates? The same advocates or military personnel? How about the law, PPC (Pakistan Penal Code) will be applied or army law or any other law separate for military courts? If yes, then is not this, the new beginning of a new conflict. A handsome debate is also going on for pragmatism to military courts, which in some most and well developed countries military courts were established, yeah!! This is Ok….but how is Pakistan’s history about stretch & strain for power between the military and parliament? Didn‘t some people pray in ‘Jadda’ and ‘Dubai’ for bringing back democracy, didn’t they “Signed Chatter of Democracy”. Don’t we see our back day’s record? Those pages of history are not blank in which Pakistani nation was on a long-march, in 2009 for restoration of judiciary.  With the establishment of these courts, there again would be a requisition to conduct another long march in the future. The academicians shall undoubtedly be asking about the chapter on ‘Separation of Power’ where a Government has its three major organs and each one does work into its prescribed jurisdiction without the interruption of other organs but here military courts doesn’t mean hanging the active courts in the sky. Why am I surprised? President passed ‘Tahafuze Pakistan Ordinance” in which a person could be detained for 90 days if found suspected (and serendipitously, it is against the writ of “habeas corpus” in which, a person however suspicious shall be presented to the Magistrate within 24 Hours). On the other side, military courts are omitted in Article 212(a) of 1973 constitution, won’t it better if sitting courts are given strength rather establishing military courts. There is a doctrine in politics that ‘power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely’, and again, this nation is committing the same mistake of giving power to any other authority not prescribed by the constitution; challenging those principles as there would be no check and balance over military court’s proceedings.

To conclude, establishing military courts are against fundamental rights of the individual. There is no debate that these terrorists should be held accountable. They shall be prosecuted with the due course of law for the crimes, they have heinously committed. The extremists have killed innocent civilians and military men. Civilians and military are on the front line. Both are losing lives.

But the question is: How to handle it? Give due consideration to the civil liberties, citizens who constitutes states and are nevertheless much affected during the course of Pakistani history or in haste, make such decisions which will be regretted in the future. It is time to strengthen the judiciary by giving protection to the judges which is the duty of the State.

Now, it is up to our elected members to decide.

The writer is a Law Student. He is a Freelancer and often contributes on legal issues. He can be contacted via email: samiullah.adv42@gmail.com

Setting up of military courts disturbs judiciary: HRCP

Bolan Voice Report

The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) expressed serious alarm over the decision to set up military courts to try terror suspects and has termed it against the law and constitution.

“The commission is dismayed that all political parties supported this unfortunate decision, although some had earlier expressed reservations. HRCP has a number of concerns over this move,” chairperson of the commission Zohra Yusuf said in a statement.

“The decision undermines the judiciary and shows lack of confidence in an independent and strong judicial system in the country,” Yusuf said.

She feared that political dissidents, particularly in Balochistan and Sindh, could become targets of military courts.

“HRCP believes that there is a need to reform and strengthen the system of investigation and prosecution,” she said.

“The hasty decision is all the more questionable as the Supreme Court itself is attempting to expedite cases of terrorism,” she said.

Later on the bill was passed by National Assembly and President of Pakistan also signed and it assimilated in state’s law.

Single Balochistani Party

By G. Raza Khan

War is not new to human beings. Reaching to the present civilization, the men have fought numerous wars. Sometimes, those wars single balochistani partywere disastrous. Thousands of people were massacred. Most of the wars were attributed to religion, believe and ideologies. However, the realities were some different. For instance; in Europe, crusade was termed as holy war against Muslims. Pope Urban-II tempted Christians to liberate their sacred-venues from Muslims. A large number of people contributed in the wars and became the victims. Actually, there were economic motives behind those so-called religious conflicts.

At that time, feudalism was prevailing in the Europe. Through the feudal system, the eldest son would inherit the land as legacy and rest of the sons would have to acquire wealth for them from theirs resources. While living in Europe, the prospect of their earning greater wealth was much challenging, consequently they would strive for a good fate out of the Europe. Meanwhile, the Europe was unfocused by foreign invaders. In such circumstance the European rulers had opportunity to attack on the East to plunder treasures vis-à-vis get fame, too. This fact exposed during the fourth crusade, 1202-04, when the crusaders invaded Constantinople – capital of the Byzantine Empire and they pillaged in the city the worst.

Similarly, in the Word War-I & II; each time the Germany was scapegoat. The whole wars shortfalls were due on the Germans. They were berated for their fascist designs. Japan was bombed with deadly atomic technology on the same ground and the realities were concealed. In fact, the World War-I & II were fought for conquest of new markets. The developing countries like Germany and Japan were desired for more shares and the age of colonial powers resisted them. As a consequence of World War-I, the Europe and America sliced the wealth and strategic locations of Ottoman Empire including several weak countries. Thus, the World faced comparatively little threat from fascism. Rather, it was capitalist’s interests that devastated the Europe and Asia.

Today, we are confronting the circumstances similar to a world war. Middle East, Central Asia, South Asia and the Africa are on fire. This time, again, the same techniques are being used. The notion of religious extremism has been spread, and various extremist outfits have been created. The question rises here as to whether religious extremism has any rational base to charm the masses in this modern age. The answer is in negation. Religious fanaticism does not have space in human society anymore. Modernization and development are very essential for human survival. Therefore, society always moves forward. It may stagnate for a moment. However, it never retrogresses. Owing to this fact, one can find many examples in the history where religious bigotry has been defeated.

In the Europe, it was triumphed over with advancement in Science and Technology. In Indian Sub-continent, people have always rejected the extremist movements and personalities like Faraizi Movement and Syed Ahmed Shaheed. In Balochistan, secularism has been hallmarked by its culture. In such condition, how can religious narrow-mindedness and extremism reemerged and challenging the world equipped with sophisticated technology, science, ideas and philosophy?

These are the imperialist powers that have given boost to the extremist organization like Al-Qaeda, ISIS, Boko Haram etc. Media is doing its best to divert public attention towards these puppets and ignoring the exploitative agendas of imperialist powers working behind. France exploits the Nigerians via Boko Haram. She wants to curve the reason of its presence over their land. In the meantime, she is plundering the oil resources of Nigeria. In Middle-east, ISIS paves the way for creation of so-called independent Kurdish state which will prove to be the new American base in nearer future. Though Kurds have the right to sovereign state yet liberty under the umbrella of imperialists is the worst of its kind. Other agenda of the ISIS, in the Middle-east is to facilitate Qatar and Saudi Arabia to supply their natural gas and petroleum to the Europe, respectively. Apart from these, many facts are yet to ascertain.

Since our establishment is the serving obediently to the imperialist USA, it exactly is pursuing the US strategy. It has cherished many extremist organizations to suppress the progressive elements. In Khyber Pakhtoonkhuwa, it has successfully crushed the issues of Greater Pashtoonistan and Durand-line. In Balochistan, it has now created the so-called subordinate branches of ISIS which have intimated Zikris, Hindus and Shias to accept their savage brand of Islam. Apparently, it targets the religious minorities. In essence, it is aimed to counter Baloch political struggle by crippling the young political cadres. Its task is to perish the secular cultural heritage of Balochistan. It has the task to pave the way for big powers to take control of Gwadar, and the ReckoDick is yet another treasure to fight for.

Concerning to the prevailing harsh realities of the Great-Game, huge responsibilities lie upon the shoulders of the intellectuals and political workers of Balochistan. To overcome the problem or at least minimize the sufferings, a single Balochistan Party which may include people of all ethnicities and creeds of Balochistan is the need of hour. It is the high time to refrain from power politics. The senior-most politicians like Sardar Attaullah (Mengal) Baloch, Arbab Zahir Kasi, and Tahir Khan Hazara should play their role in bringing various tribes, ethnicities and political parties close on a single platform. Otherwise, not only Balochs, Hazaras, Zikris and Hindus but whole of Balochistan will be at the receiving ends of the ugly future happenings.

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