Sunday, October 1, 2017
د خېبر پښتونخوا د صحت اداره وايي، په ډېنګي وايروس اخته دوې ښځي مړې شوې دي.
په صحت اداره کې د ډېنګې تبې ضد څانګې د شنبې په ورځ له رسنيو سره په شريک کړي تفصيلي راپور کې ويلي چې د سفيد ډهېرۍ ۳۳ کلنه نورين په حيات اباد ميډيکل کمپلکس او هم د سفيد ډهېرۍ ۲۵ کلنې راحيله په خېبر ټيچنک هسپتال کې ساه ورکړه.
د ادارې په وينا له دې سره په ټوله صوبه کې د ډېنګې تبې څخه د مړه شويو کسانو شمېر ۴۰ ته رسېدلی دی.
په رپورټ کې ويل شوي چې د شنبې په ورځ هم يوولس سوه څوارلس کسان د معايناتو لپاره ور وړل شوي وو چې پکې ۲۴۹ په ډېنګي وايروس اخته دي او ۲۶۴ کسان لا هم په روغتونو کې بستر دي.
By Raza Rumi
Though China has repeatedly blocked Indian moves to sanction JeM and its leadership, it has given a clear signal to Islamabad through BRICS declaration that support to non-state actors isn’t a viable long-term policy for Pakistan.
Pakistan’s new Foreign Minister has been criticised by the usual suspects for his blunt remarks last week at Asia Society in New York. The minister put up a robust defence of Pakistan’s position on Afghanistan and highlighted the cost of war that Pakistan has suffered. Perhaps for the first time, a senior government minister admitted that the strategic assets of yesterday had turned into liabilities: “You cannot divorce history just to move forward. They [the militants] are a liability and it will take time for Pakistan to work its way through that.” He added, “Saeed, LeT, they are a liability, I accept it, but give us time to get rid of them, we don’t have the assets to deal with these liabilities.”
This admission is in line with the position that the government reportedly took in a national security meeting last year. Contents of this meeting were leaked and turned into a cause for civil-military rupture. The civilians, according to the infamous Dawn leaks, had warned the military and intelligence officials of Pakistan’s likely isolation if the policy towards jihadist proxies was not reviewed and realigned to the changing scenario.
Almost a year later, the BRICS group of countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) in their 2017 declaration expressed ‘concern on the security situation in the region and violence caused by the Taliban, ISIS... Al Qaeda and its affiliates, including Eastern Turkistan Islamic Movement, Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, the Haqqani network, Lashkar-i-Taiba, Jaish-i-Mohammad, TTP and Hizbut Tahrir.’ The fact that China was part of this joint declaration should be a wake up call for Islamabad and Rawalpindi.
FM Asif’s position, therefore, is logical and he would not have made these comments without the tacit endorsement of the military establishment. Given the fragility of federal government and the uncertain future of the ruling party, Asif was certainly not taking a calculated risk.
While the increased indebtedness and dependence via CPEC are causes for concern, the Chinese influence is an opportunity for Pakistan to reimagine its national security doctrine; and discard what has evidently not worked for decades Leaving the domestic squabbles aside, it should be clear that China — now viewed as a savior of sorts — has little patience for Islamist groups whether they are pitted against India or not. BRICS was the forum where China sensed an opportunity of signalling its discomfort to Pakistan’s powers-that-be with the latter’s reliance on proxy-groups to achieve foreign policy goals.
Beijing seeks avoidance of regional conflict, as continued conflict in Afghanistan and South Asia is inimical to its primary interests of economic development and trade integration. With the commencement of now $60 billion China Pakistan Economic Corridor, the stakes for Beijing have increased manifold. Beijing views extremism and terrorism as a threat to its economic investments in Pakistan.
In 2013, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang stated that a goal of CPEC is to ‘wean populace away from fundamentalism.’ Beijing has been pushing Pakistan to distance from conflict with India, focus on economic development and trade to achieve stability. After all, China’s current place in the world in large measure is attributable to economic progress. This is what the architects of Pakistan’s security policy need to understand.
While the economic gains through CPEC are dominant in the mainstream public debates, it is clear that Pakistan’s security establishment views Chinese investment as a bulwark against the perennial Indian threat. This is not different from how we viewed our relationship with the United States since 1950s. Security cooperation with the US was primarily a means to build up the defence apparatus against India. Even though we hardly received any concrete support from the US in 1965 and 1971 wars, the strategic thinking did not change. Now that the cooling off with the US is underway, the Chinese are the replacement for quick cash-flows and security buffers.
What is rarely discussed in Pakistan is that the Sino-Indian trade is close to $100 billion dollars. Despite their competition for influence, the two countries are not going to turn their relationship into a toxic rivalry resembling the Cold War politics of blocs. BRICS was preceded by Sino-Indian standoff on the Bhutanese border. Pakistan’s security gurus and pundits on television could not conceal their excitement. They must have been disappointed when China diffused the Doklam border tension through diplomatic engagement.
Though China has repeatedly blocked Indian moves to sanction JeM and its leadership, it has given a clear signal to Islamabad through BRICS declaration that support to non-state actors isn’t a viable long-term policy for Pakistan. On September 22, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson in a press conference said: ‘The Chinese side hopes that Pakistan and India can strengthen communication and dialogue and properly resolve the issue. This is conducive to jointly upholding regional peace and stability.’
This should be an eye-opener for there is no support for revisionism that is a cornerstone of our foreign policy. China is not likely to take sides in any future Indian-Pakistan conflict and will do its best to avert that.
Pakistan’s security managers need to pay heed to signals emanating from Beijing before it’s too late. One hopes that there are discussions underway in GHQ of viewing the country as a trade-investment hub and managing the conflict with the ‘enemy.’ We have to live with India, Iran and Afghanistan; and it is not going to change. While the increased indebtedness and dependence via CPEC are causes for concern, the Chinese influence is an opportunity for Pakistan to reimagine its national security doctrine; and discard what has evidently not worked for decades.
Typical of the foreign office to play down the Islamic State (IS) threat in Pakistan the same day police prevented a possible disaster in Karachi by killing five IS militants; among them their local commander and a remote and drone technology expert. According to police, they were part of a team tasked with disrupting Moharram proceedings. This happened just as FO spokesman Nafees Zakaria was rubbishing news reports of an IS flag seen flying in Islamabad as “media reports do not warrant any response”. This is not the first time our foreign office has rejected increasing IS influence in Pakistan. The interior ministry, which ordered an investigation into the Islamabad flag incident, was in similar denial till Ch Nisar ran it. Foreign Minister Kh Asif’s bold opening up about our security policy – and setting the record straight about US involvement in the matter at the same time – raised hopes of a more sincere soul searching all around. However, going by the news, it does not seem Kh Asif’s direction is appreciated by many in the government, despite the strong endorsement of the prime minister. Perhaps the foreign office, at least, should take media reports – like those about the IS bust in Karachi – more seriously before commenting on ground reality. For a government at war with TTP/a Qaeda for so long there is surprisingly little understanding about the way such outfits work. Both Ch Nisar and the foreign office initially ruled out IS in Pakistan because “it is a Middle Eastern phenomenon”. They do not realise, then, that for IS to come here it would not need to build a navy and sail across the Arabian and Indian oceans. It would just have to take up funding, and of course arming, of the outfits presently at war with the Pakistani state. So, as long as the bad guys are not completely neutralised, there’s always the possibility of IS converts growing. The possibility, if anything, is higher since the enemy is on the run and desperate. Surely we are better served by accepting, identifying and diffusing such threats than keeping our heads buried in the sand. https://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2017/10/01/foreign-minister-and-foreign-office/
Being a developing country and one with an almost exponentially growing population, Pakistan faces all sorts of socio-economic problems. But the underlying cause of these problems is the issue of illiteracy. Our government spends less than 3% on the education sector. Already an insufficient value for catering to the needs of a considerably large population, it is further misappropriated. According to a compilation of the World Literacy Foundation, more than 796 million people in the world cannot read and write, about 67 million children do not have access to primary school education and another 72 million miss out on secondary school education. Pakistan’s situation is even more unfortunate as it is estimated that 26% of the countries that are poorer than Pakistan, send a larger proportion of their children to schools. The main finding of the report further states that putting an economic value on the cost of illiteracy, it is estimated at $1.2 trillion to the global economy. Hence, this problem is not confined to the developing world.
Why is education so crucial to saving our economy? Literacy is the fundamental building block of education and as vaccine is a prevention measure for a disease, literacy works in the same way for preventing the spread of corruption, hunger, poverty, crime, poor health conditions and unemployment among other socio-economic problems. Education is an essential tool for breaking the rigid and harsh social cycles of poverty.
In Pakistan, the quality of education is as big a problem as lack of access to education starting from the primary level. Even if the net enrollment rate of children attending a primary school is 63%, half of them drop out due to several reasons and those who continue are also getting a substandard experience because of inadequate education facilities, lack of trained teachers, and a standard medium of instruction in all regions, outdated curriculum and absence of a standard assessment tool. Another worrisome issue is that textbooks and the way things are taught encourage rote learning and promote ideologies of certain powerful groups of the country instead of stimulating creativity and critical thinking.
Additionally, when we talk about gender inequality and discrimination faced by women at all levels, we are always lead to the question: how does one break through the rigid norms? This is again a problem that stems from the lack of access to education and poor quality education. Firstly, female enrolment is only 43.6% of the total enrollment which is significantly less than the male enrolment. Secondly, gender roles for men and women are enforced through education and the curriculum also promotes patriarchal ideologies to a great extent. Both these factors mutually contribute to the social problems that result from gender discrimination in our society. Hence, it is crucial for the progress of Pakistan as a nation that girls are provided with an equal access to education.
Pakistan needs an extensive educational reform which must begin with a policy reform that tackles the chronic under-investment in the education sector. Adding to that, the government and the private sector must work as partners to provide quality education especially primary education to all the school going citizens. It is a long-term process which requires effort from each one of us as individuals too, to work towards a quality education system along with providing the youth with hope, our undivided attention, and unwavering belief in their potential. Education is not only crucial for mitigating the socio-economic issues, it is important for psychological reasons too as it helps to make you feel worthwhile, gives a boost to morale and builds confidence and perseverance.