Monday, June 25, 2018

Arabic Music Video - Habibi Nour El Ein BktJalil Remix HD

Child Marriage: How the childhood of girls is robbed in Balochistan

The month of March in Balochistan’s winter zones comes with some interests for school going children when their schools open after winter vacation. The new classes, new reading writing materials, new school backpacks increase curiosity of students for going school. However, for Sankina, 13, in the village of Iskalkoo, district Kalat , the school going month came with surprise when she was asked for not going to school as her marriage was scheduled on 15th of March.
Rather than having school materials for new school year she was dressed bridal and remained unable to refuse. Shockingly, she was married to 50 years old Abdul Ghani, the man whose daughter had already married to Sakina’s elder brother and Sakina’s marriage was cause of exchange relationship.       
Though one of the brothers of Sakina resisted this wedding but he was asked to be silent for the sake of family honor. 
Sakina is not the first prey to early child marriage in Balochistan but there are hundreds of unreported stories which take place in far-flung areas of Balochistan.  Since Pakistan’s Child Marriage Restraint Act (CMRA) 1929 sets the legal age for marriage to 16 for women and 18 for men.
According to Pakistan Social and Living Standards Measurement (PSLM) survey 2014-15 by Pakistan Bureau of statistics, literacy rate of Balochistan is 43% out of that 55% males and 25% are females. The reasons behind this are obvious but early marriage is being considered one of the major causes of girl’s dropout from schools. In Balochistan more than 50% marriages are solemnized before the age of 18.
Early marriages, early and unintended pregnancies, lack of awareness dearth of basic facilities in area increase high Maternal mortality rate(MMR ratio) indicating MMR 785 per 100,000 live births in province; however, figure is very low 272 per 100,000 live births across Pakistan.
The Plan International’s report October 2017 indicates that 15 million girls are married before 18 years age annually across the world. It is on the record that major obstacle in girl’s education is the child marriage. The report further alarms that 130 million girls’ across the world are out of school.
Under the umbrella of Action Aid Pakistan, Blue Veins, Citizen Rights and Sustainable Development CRSD organizations in 2013 claimed that out of 60 million under 18 marriages of girls in world, Pakistan had share of 42% early marriages as 24% from rural and 18% from urban areas of the country. This is the main reason behind the low literacy among female population in Pakistan where the female literacy drops rather than growing up.
Human rights campaigners consider child marriage an alarming social issue in Balochistan. Unfortunately, no legislation related to the issue has increased early child marriage. Therefore, human rights activists, civil society members have launched a campaign to get tabled for enactment of Balochistan Child Marriage Prohibition laws.
Child Marriage Prohibition law in Balochistan has ever been required to control child marriage and its impacts in the province but the bill met challenges in past and existing times.   Dr. Shama Ishaq, a well-known women activist and member of Balochistan Assembly is enthusiastically working for enactment of the pending child marriage bill in Balochistan. She is leading the formed Steering Committee for the enactment of bill.
 Dr. Shama Ishaq says that some religious and tribal parliamentarians are rejecting the Child Marriage Prohibition law repeatedly from 2014 in Balochistan provincial assembly.
Talking to the Balochistan Point Dr. said: “Recently, in May 2018, we tabled bill for enactment in the assembly, however, that was again objected. The objection is stated that the bill is contrary to Islamic injunctions and it should be sent to Islamic Ideology for further review thus it went in pending.”
Health and Rural Development (HARD), a Balochistan based non-governmental organization in collaboration with Mundo Cooperante and some other local organizations have launched the advocacy and lobbying campaign in Balochistan for enactment of Child Marriage Prohibition laws in Balochistan. They have been conducting advocacy consultations with Policy Makers from Social Welfare Department, Ministry of Human rights, CSOs and other stake holders for approval of Child Marriage Prohibition Law. 
Talking to the Balochistan Point executive director HARD Faraz Mengal said that   In Balochistan, children mostly forced marriages of girls were on increased rates in rural and urban areas.
“Tribal leaders and community heads have power to disrupt peace and normalcy of indebted families, taking away young daughters and giving them to older men of rival families. This problem of child marriage is further exacerbated by the fact that 85% births in rural areas are also unregistered, making it hard to determine the age of a child at the time of marriage.” Faraz added. 
“Surprisingly, the people are blind followers of myths and adopt harmful practices justifying their tradition by practicing ‘before birth marriages’ of girl’s as excuse against any sin / illegal action occurred by any family member. The before birth engagement/marriage is extremely a harmful and an inhuman practice in Balochistan” Faraz told the Balochistan Point.
Mis Haleema Chairperson Health and Rural Development (HARD),  says that illiteracy and lack of awareness among people is a major cause of increased early marriages in Balochistan. “The less awareness has made them strong follower of religious, cultural, male-controlled norms and values where girls are married early at 12 to 16. The practice of early marriages is common everywhere in Balochistan due to strong tribal, religious and cultural influence.” Said Mis Haleema. 
Mis Haleema admired the role of civil society for advocating to protect girls and their rights in the province and would suggested that  such organizations should continue their advocacy to develop pressure for enactment of Child Marriage Prohibition Law so that children mainly girls get rid of this harmful practice.
Director ministry of Human Rights Balochistan, Jahanara Tabassum is also of the view for protection and promotion of human rights in collaboration with social organizations, particularly for children and women rights. Talking to the Balochistan Point she emphasized on rising awareness against child marriage in communities and termed Child Marriage Prohibition Law crucial for defending human rights.
Poverty is marked a chief factor contributing in child marriages and practice of bride price is still widespread in Balochistan. Furthermore, custom of before birth and compensation marriage is prevalent and girls continue to be offered in marriage in exchange of debts to resolve tribal or family disputes and rivalries.
Protection of girls and boys from child marriage is responsibility of the State.  So far the laws that have been passed on national or provincial level still look for remarkable implementation. Pakistan was the sixth country in the world to sign and ratify the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) in 1990 following its adoption by the UN General Assembly on November 20, 1989. 
Pakistan is also a member of the South Asia Initiative to End Violence against Children (SAIEVAC), an inter-governmental body which has adopted a regional action plan to target child marriage.
In discussions of the Open Working Group on the Sustainable Development Goals, Pakistan was among the first countries to suggest a target to end child marriage by 2030. Now it is also feared that Pakistan may fail to contribute to  SDGs,  as the target 5.3 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) commits all UN Member States to “Eliminate all harmful practices, such as child, early and forced marriage” by 2030.  Prior to SDGs Pakistan failed to achieve Millennium Development Goals (MDG); essentially, the Goals related to children rights.
There is great need of some committees on national level for follow-up on the above mentioned commitments to ensure their effective implementation. So there is dire need to effectively build pressure on the federal and provincial governments for implementation of international obligations but for the successful results the civil society, media, stakeholders, religious leadership and children should be involved. (The names have been changed to protect the innocent.)


Aurangzeb Farooqi, notorious ringleader of ASWJ (Sipah-e-Sahaba), the outfit that was banned for involvement in terrorism, sectarian extremism and hatemongering by the Pakistan state authorities, has faced no restriction from the custodians of law as he is allowed to contest Elections for National Assembly and Sindh Assembly seats from Karachi. Petition seeking to prevent him from electoral contest has been dismissed today on Monday.

The civil society activist filed a petition drawing attention to the fact that banned ASWJ ringleader Farooqi was not eligible to contest Elections to legislatures because he has hidden some facts in his documents attached with nomination papers. He had visited Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and cases including cases under antiterrorism laws were registered against him.
But, Farooqi did not mention these facts. Farooqi has been nominated as prime accused of Khurram Zaki’s targeted murder. Khurram Zaki was a renowned Karachi-based rights activist. He visited Kingdom of Saudi Arabia may times and he should have informed the election officials through relevant documents about sources of his travel expenses also.
The main reason that is enough to disallow Aurangzeb Farooqi from contesting elections is the fact that he heads a banned militant organization that was outlawed due to its involvement in terrorism and violent extremism.
On the one hand, Election Commission of Pakistan, judiciary, caretaker government and security agencies have failed to take action on their own against Farooqi’s nomination for electoral contest, and on the other they are not taking action when a citizen of Pakistan has challenged the Farooqi’s nomination for elections on legal ground that is tantamount to death of rule of law in Pakistan.

#Pakistan - Bilawal to unveil PPP’s 10th manifesto this week

Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari will announce his party‘s manifesto for the general elections 2018 in Islamabad this week, his spokesman said.
This will be PPP’s 10th manifesto in the last five decades, Bilawal’s spokesman Senator Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar said, in a press statement on Monday.
The first manifesto for the General Elections – 1977 was unveiled by PPP founder Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. Former Prime Minister and PPP Chairperson Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto had presented six manifestos in her life.
"Bilawal is going to unveil his first and party’s 10th manifesto in which he has inked many revolutionary steps and programmes for the people of Pakistan," Khokhar said.
Senator Khokhar pointed out that PPP’s manifesto carries imminent programmes for the uplifting of the deprived and oppressed people of the country. As well, that manifesto would also address the problems of all the people across the board.
It merits mentioning that the PPP alone gives its manifesto for implementation on programmes after the elections.
The PPP vows that all the commitments made to the people through the manifesto would be honoured, the spokesman added.

Why Pakistan’s Pashtun minority won’t be easily crushed

In my most recent Wall Street Journal column (read it here), I write about the Pashtun Tahafuz (protection) Movement, a non-violent group that campaigns against human rights abuses by Pakistan’s army against the Pashtuns, Pakistan’s largest linguistic minority. Some 30 million Pashtuns account for 15% of Pakistan’s population. Over the past four months, PTM has attracted thousands of protestors to its rallies.

There’s a wider context to Pashtun discontent. For most of its seven decades of existence, Pakistan has struggled to accommodate grievances by ethnic minorities. In 1971, Bengali-speaking East Pakistan seceded to form the new nation of Bangladesh. The army—easily Pakistan’s most powerful institution—has fought (and largely crushed) a bloody insurgency in Balochistan. Last year, Pakistan effectively dismantled the Muttahida Qaumi Movement, a political party associated with Mohajirs, descendants of Muslim migrants from India.
In part, this discomfort with both minority protest movements and parties viewed as unsympathetic to the army has to do with Pakistan’s decision to define itself in ideological rather than territorial terms. As the Hudson Institute’s Husain Haqqani, a former Pakistani ambassador to the U.S., writes in his new book, Reimagining Pakistan: “Pakistan could have recognized its diversity and evolved as a multi-language federation with political and cultural autonomy for its constituting units. Instead, its leaders chose to base Pakistani identity on a national ideology.” That ideology, says Haqqani, has three cornerstones: Islam, hostility to India and the Urdu language.
In Bangladesh, Pakistan used force to quell Bengalis and failed. Its regular playbook, which relies on a combination of brute force and a well-oiled propaganda machine, may not work against the Pashtuns either.
For starters, Pakistan’s 30 million Pashtuns greatly outnumber other ethnic minority groups such as the Baloch (7 million) and the Mohajirs (16 million). Thanks to migration, Pakistan’s commercial capital, Karachi, also contains the largest concentration of Pashtuns in the world: about four million people.
Add to that 14 million Pashtuns in Afghanistan, where they form a 42% plurality of the population.(The PTM has no connection with Afghanistan, and works strictly within the boundaries of Pakistan’s constitution, but Afghan and Pakistani Pashtuns share close ties of kinship and culture.) In February, Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani tweeted in support of the PTM.
The PTM’s embrace of non-violence also makes it harder to target harshly without international backlash. Though the group protests against excesses committed by the military during Pakistan’s crackdown on the terrorist group Tehreek-i-Taliban, or Pakistan Taliban, PTM leaders are focused on civilians inadvertently caught up in the conflict. They argue that any terrorists among the thousands of Pashtun disappeared must be tried in court. (Two weeks ago, a U.S. drone strike killed the brutal TTP leader Mullah Fazlullah in Afghanistan.)
In the face of a media blackout, the PTM has used Twitter, Facebook and YouTube to get its message across, including to the Pashtun diaspora in the West. This too makes it harder to curb than other Pakistani protest movements. According to Mohsin Dawar, a senior PTM leader, “had there been no social media there would be no PTM.”
And finally, in 26-year-old Manzoor Pashteen the PTM has a charismatic leader who has quickly attracted a devoted following among his people. Abubakar Siddique, an analyst with Radio Free Europe in Prague, believes Pashteen is akin to Nelson Mandela for the Pashtuns.
Perhaps keeping all of these factors in mind, the Pakistan army has approached the PTM with relative restraint. It has arrested PTM members, placed travel restrictions on the movement’s leaders, and used the domestic media to smear them. But it has not gone after them with the brutality it has used, for instance, on Baloch separatists.
Will the army’s relative restraint last? Mohammad Taqi, a regular U.S.-based commentator on Pashtun and Pakistani politics, worries that it may not. “If all you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail,” he says.