As the Indian siege of occupied Kashmir enters 166th day, High Commissioner Mohammad Nafees Zakaria gave an update on the deepening humanitarian crisis in the Kashmir Valley and Muslim majority areas of Jammu . He was addressing the people from various Muslim countries who gathered at the High Commission to offer Juma Prayers today. Reiterating the Government of Pakistan’s policy of moral, political and diplomatic support to the Kashmiris’ legitimate right to self-determination, the High Commissioner reminded that Kashmir is an internationally recognized dispute with unimplemented UN Security Council’s resolutions on it.
Expressing solidarity with the Kashmiris, he invited the attention of the international community towards the plight of Kashmiri people. Mr Zakaria updated the audience that crippling restrictions and military siege since Aug 5, 2019 has not only badly affected daily life of the people, deprived the children and youth of their education and destroyed livelihood of the Kashmiris but the siege has also taken toll on the innocent lives.
Blackout of media, internet and other means of communication by the Indian government remain in place in violation of basic rights, he added, says a press release received from London, here today. . Mr Zakaria quoted “Muslim Women’s Forum” report saying that around 13,000 Kashmiri youth have been arrested and their whereabouts are unknown. He warned that the international community must take immediate notice of the illegal detentions of the Kashmiri youth so that they should not end up in mass graves like thousands of their brethren whom India killed in fake encounters in the past, and they were later discovered buried in unnamed and unmarked mass graves.
He cited International People’s Tribunal Report entitled, “Buried Alive”. (Weblink: http://www.mofa.gov.pk/documents/kashmir/BuriedEvidenceKashmir.pdf) Mr Zakaria urged the gathering to pray for the Kashmiris and create understanding of the issue of human sufferings in the Indian Occupied Kashmir.
On this occasion, a collective Dua was also offered for the Kashmiri victims of Indian atrocities. The High Commissioner has been regularly expressing solidarity with the Kashmiris since the siege started on 5th August 2019 with unilateral measures by India to change the status of Kashmir in violation of UNSC resolutions on Kashmir and related international conventions.
He has also been reminding that there is a verified trail of torture and atrocities duly documented by the organisations of international repute and INGOs such as Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, JKCHR, IPHRC, IPTK, etc. On the occasion, photos depicting Indian atrocities against defenceless Kashmiris were also displayed to help visitors understand the magnitude of the human rights abuses in IOK.
Tribal Clashes and the Bloodshed
Tribal Clashes in the parts of Baluchistan and Sindh bring miseries and destruction as warring tribes go on Killing Sprees and do not stop until they equal the numbers.
They go on a massive scale and target indiscriminately, the young and old are consumed in the fire of revenge and vengeance.
Tribal clashes create several socioeconomic problems that compel the tribes men to adopt criminal activities for instance armed robbery, mobile snatching, motorbike snatching and stealing in the rural areas where police patrolling is not available.
Sindh, Baluchistan, KP and Punjab are embedded in the Feudal fabric that is controlling the social, cultural and political arena of these provinces.
This is obviously the great game of some sardars and politicians to incite the tribes to fight to settle their dispute. The disputes are triggered from trivial issues like water share, agriculture land disputes, grazing of animals in somebody’s farmlands, marriage, illicit relations and Karo Kari (honour Killings).
These tribal feuds have already consumed thousands of innocent lives since our judicial system fails to provide relief so people are forced to seek justice from the traditional jirga system, run by the tribal chiefs. Regrettably, the Jirga’s decisions are unmerited in most cases,women are given in exchange to settle the disputes,and the verdicts are binding on both parties.
During the colonial era British conferred various benefits to these feudals due to their allegiance to the British Empire. They were awarded lands and properties along with various titles that still exist in today’s Pakistan.
Titles such as sardar,Mir,Nawab, Khan Bahadur, rais and Muqdum are used even today. The princely states were also classified as Salute and Non-salute states, depending on their favorability with the British.
These states were controlled indirectly by British India. Some examples include Bahawalpur, Khairpur, Makran, and Kalat.
For a long time these entitled elite have been ruling and controlling Sindh, Baluchistan and Punjab, for more than seven decades they have had a stronghold in these areas socially, economically and politically.
There are several sardars who traditionally hold hereditary Turbans (pug) of Tribal chief and control their community along with other communities.
In Baluchistan, the most active Sardari tribes are Bugti, Marri, Mengal, Bizenjo, Jamali, Magsi and Rind, In Sindh Sundrani, Bijarani, Mahar,Chandio, Mazari, Lund, Pitafi, Arbabs, Khoso, Chachar, Teghani, Jatoi, Bhayo and Shar. Syed tribes have been ruling the roost in Sindh for several decades, the most important seat of CM falls in their domain.
The heads of these tribal chiefs are autocratic princes and have totalitarian control over the people of their tribes;they enjoy the full authority in their respective areas.
These jirgas are not only lucrative businesses for the sardars, but they also aid them in consolidating their influence over their tribe members who then vote them to assemblies and the Parliament
The Sundrani, Bijarani, Mahar and Chandio Tribal chiefs control the greatest number of tribes in Sindh whereas Rind, Marri, Bugti and Mengals control most of the Baloch tribes in Baluchistan.
The extent of their control can be assessed on the following point that no one can have even matrimonial proposal without their consent and their verdict is final in all matters.
Feudal influence persists in these areas only because of the absence of writ of state and of law and order.Therefore, the tribesmen are compelled to opt for the Jirgas to settle disputes.
The Jirga process is very slow,both warring tribes must mutually agree to end the dispute, this may involve several sittings. Sometimes, the tribes resume their clashes soon after a settlement and pursue the killing spree owing to resentment by one tribe.
The women especially the young girls bear the brunt of these tribal clashes as unmarried girls are exchanged for compensation in case of murder settlements.These girls live in misery as the family members treat them as the daughter of the enemy and resort to domestic abuse and violence.Consequently, the innocent girls become the victims of these tribal jirgas.
The school going children also become victims of these tribal clashes amid fear of attack if they go to school, the enemy may target these students. Such incidences have been reported in the past.
In a recent incident between the Teghani and Bijarani tribes, two innocent students of matriculation were killed they were prepared to appear in the exams this March, unfortunate death took care that.
In another ironic incident a 70-year-old man was shot in the head when he was riding his donkey cart to work so he could feed his minor children and wife. Instead of getting food on the table in the evening the family received his dead body.
One recent incident still resonates in the minds of many when 30 innocent lives were lost in exchange of fire between two tribes owing to a trivial issue of illegal grazing of a cow. This continues to happen due to widespread illiteracy and unrestricted use of sophisticated weapons.
This was the one of the worst examples when dozens of men, women and children got butchered in a single day,in a blatant display of barbarity.
The role of Police is very dismal rather dubious since such incidences also occur in cities,in broad day light. Police usually arrive late giving these trigger happy thugs a license to kill innocent people.
The open display of sophisticated weapons like fully automatic fire arms to rocket launchers makes one question how these communities manage to purchase such expensive arms when their purchase requires official approval and some are not even meant for civilians.
In some instances the police becomes an accomplice taking monetary benefits form the tribe that intends on attacking it’s rival turning a blinds eye.
The Government is clueless or an accomplice like the police in these incidents or deliberately avoids legislation against this butchery of humanity since most of the MPA’s and MNA’s are tribal chiefs themselves. They will never legislate against these crimes as they are well aware that legislation means curtailing their own powers and monetary losses.
It is high time that civil society, legal fraternity, and human rights defenders must come forward to stop this massacre in the name tribal disputes and the Supreme Court of Pakistan must take notice of this cold-blooded murder.
The Government should ban the jirgas completely and all murders under the guise of Honour Killings and Tribal disputes should be treated as a crime against humanity with exemplary punishments. Government should also control issuing of licenses to civilians.
The civil society must create awareness against and promote love and harmony among the communities so that they may settle their differences peacefully and never engage in fighting.Precious human lives need to be preserved especially those of the youth.
For The First Time In 74 Years, Pakistan is Going To Turn Gems, Jewelry And Minerals Into An Export Industry: PM
Prime Minister Imran Khan chaired a meeting of the Gems, Jewellery and Minerals Task Force. The meeting was attended by Federal Minister for Industry Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar, Special Assistant Dr. Shahbaz Gill, Chairman Gems and Jewellery Task Force Engineer Gull Asghar Khan, Atif Khan, members of the task force and relevant senior officers. During the meeting, recommendations were made to the Prime Minister on the restructuring of the Gems, Jewellery and Minerals Division of the Task Force and the proposed Mineral City.
The meeting was informed that Pakistan has a potential of USD 5 billion annually in terms of exports of precious stones which will have a positive impact on the national economy and create millions of jobs. Pakistan currently has reserves of 99 types of precious stones and is the eighth largest producer in the world. Moreover, according to conservative estimates, Pakistan consumes 200 tons of gold annually. With effective legislation and better management of this sector, it will be transformed into a major export industry.
The meeting was informed that Gems and Jewellery have been given industry status and its implementation will be ensured as per the strategy of the task force. In order to increase exports, special attention will be given to export promotion for which assistance will also be sought from Pakistani embassies. In addition, a Gems and Jewellery City will be set up to pool resources, provide one-window operations to address the problems the sector is facing and provide incentives to investors. Initially, a public-private partnership model will be adopted using existing resources.
Pakistan will also actively seek sector-related certifications for access to international markets. It will not only improve the standards of not only precious stones but also precious metals but will bring the current standards at par with internationally recognized standards. The meeting was also informed that despite the availability of research resources in this field, no significant progress has been made. According to the strategy, all modern standards will be introduced by utilizing the research sector. The meeting was also given a detailed briefing on the establishment of Mineral City.
An area has been identified for the chemical and mineral industry in Pakistan where industrial value addition from crude minerals will not only help reduce imports but also increase foreign exchange from exports. The Prime Minister said on the occasion that the government was restructuring the sector with modern technology by changing the traditional practices of the minerals and precious stones sector. The Prime Minister further directed that all the resources that are being wasted should be utilized and a schedule should be worked out for the implementation of this strategy with clear-cut timelines as well as the existing barriers for investors should be eradicated.
Revamping College Education-The Challenges and Prospects
College education has been the most neglected segment in Pakistan especially in Sindh where colleges are not provided with the development funds, modern methods of teaching, language, and computer labs and interactive classrooms. The obsolete promotions system and the old nomenclature of posts date back to the 1980s, non-provision of scholarships for higher education to government college teachers, so much so that the heads of colleges are not appointed based on administrative skills and competence.
The non-existence of any clear rules and recruitment policy for the appointment of principals in the government colleges have wreaked havoc with college education outreach and standards since the principals being unaware of even ABC of audit and accounting, DDO powers, responsibilities, drafting and correspondence, communication, office administration, linkages, financial audit, monitoring and evaluation of teachers and students’ outputs, curriculum development, course plan, planning development schemes such as repair and renovation of the college building and procurement procedure.
These trivial issues might have been resolved at the college level, had there been qualified and competent Principals having problem-solving skills and management skills
Mostly the professors in BPS-19 and BPS-20 are posted on administrative or management cadres such as regional directors, DGs and Chairman BISEs. There is no College Teachers Training Institute (CTTI) that may impart training to newly appointed lecturers and other staff that it may increase their productivity. Even representation in the college education department is denied and usurped by powerful PAS, PSS, PCS, PMS and OMG officers who are unaware of the college matters and issues.
Teachers dejected and disillusioned over delayed promotions, often take 18 years to the next grade yet some unfortunate ones get promotions after reaching the superannuation or after retirement. Earlier, the college teachers were provided move over to the next grade after completing their minimum service slab on the given scale but later it was withdrawn.Later, the time scale was granted to the teachers of school education such as PSTs, JSTs and HSTs, and the subject specialists of higher secondary schools, but the college education or higher education teachers were denied these monetary benefits since it provided respite against delayed DPC (Departmental Promotion Committee) by Board I and II to consider the cases of promotions from BS-17 to BS-20 respectively.
It is alarming that some teachers retire serving on the same grade throughout their service period and some get only one promotion to the next grade, given the obsolete promotion system and the so-called Four Tier i.e. Grade wise promotions and appointment for BS-17, BS-18, BS-19, and BS-20.
Teachers’ Unions in all four provinces i.e. SPLA (Sindh), KPLA (KPK), BPLA (Baluchistan) and PPLA (Punjab) have protested for their rights and have been successful in getting their demands approved except SPLA, owing to internal differences, insincerity, individualism and disintegration on the basis of lack of consensus and no consultation with the college fraternity.
The old players of SPLA went on a solo flight and kept the members of SPLA in limbo that resulted in their downfall who sabotaged the real voice of college teachers and dragged the college teachers in the quagmire of disappointment, deprivation, and injustice. The disparities still continue haunting the college fraternity.
The college teachers were provided move over to next grade after completing their minimum service slab in the given scale but later it was withdrawn
Some progressive young leaders rose up to win support for time scale and staged a showdown which drew the attention of the authorities to the long due issue of promotions and supplementing it with time scale until they get regular time-based promotions. But the old leaders could not digest the successful protest and the landmark court decision directing CM Sindh and Secretary College Education to resolve the issues of promotions and time scale after determining financial requirements and policy matters on a priority basis.
It is also pertinent to note that the civil servants are unaware of the technical terms and issues of colleges and only college teachers can address the needs and resolve the issues of college teachers properly and on a priority basis. The college teachers should also be allocated a 5% to 10% share in administrative posts in Secretariat as our college teachers are the most efficient and talented and can better deliver in policymaking and updating curriculum, service rules drafting and making informed decisions on administrative grounds.
It is shocking and disgusting to express that the teacher who is the factory to produce all the officers, is deplorably considered “not fit” for administrative positions though he/she is recruited through the same SPSC/FPSC. It would be great if the government introduces executive service to join the civil service or secretarial service like SOPE (Section Officers Promotions Exam) conducted by FPSC from the Federal Employees in Grades 7 to 16 have 8 years Experience.
After passing SOPE, they are awarded CSS cadre OMG (Office Management Group). They have been doing a tremendous job as these officers are well aware of day to day office matters and meet deadlines quite easily and require fewer directions. The government should also revise the SNE of the colleges by creating three additional posts i.e. Vice-Principal BS- 18 and Sub Engineer BS 11/16 and Assistant Director (Finance and Planning) BS-17 to run the administrative, development and accounting matters smoothly.
Ineffective SPLA appeared to be in limbo that resulted in its downfall who sabotaged the real voice of college teachers and dragged the College Teachers in the quagmire of disappointment, deprivation and injustice
The Federal colleges and Punjab colleges have Vice Principals who look after or officiate in the absence of principals. There should be either direct appointments through a search committee or Public Service Commission for the position of vice-principals and principals so that most experienced persons may be appointed on the administrative posts. Furthermore, local and international scholarships and study leaves are not granted to college teachers to pursue M.Phil and Ph.D. or Postdoctoral studies as availed by university teachers.
The projectors should be used and the laptop scheme should be initiated for teachers so that teachers can impart education on modern lines and make learning a fun process as students get bored from the lecture of 40 to 45 minutes. The presentations on multimedia projects will make learning interactive and collaborative.
Principals are the team leaders rather than just a boss to scold, report, temper with ACRs or take action against teachers on personal grudges and lenient on blue-eyed teachers. As a fact, the bosses will never take responsibility but they shift responsibility, on the other hand, the leaders always believe in teamwork and take the responsibility of either good or bad and defend their teammates.
Regrettably, so many principals are imposed upon the colleges lacking the competency to run the day to day affairs. Owing to their incompetence, inefficiency, and lack of training, the college academic, and administrative issues surface which prompts the supervisory authorities to intervene and resolve issues. These trivial issues might have been resolved at the college level, had there been qualified and competent Principals having problem-solving skills and management skills. It is also necessary that Executive Management Training should be made compulsory for the Principal before joining. This will further their deliverables.
It is the need of the hour to address the woes of College Teachers and the College. These should be resolved on the war-footing basis to transform colleges into great seats of learning since colleges fill the gaps of higher education where there are no universities. The colleges serve as higher Education intuitions offering degrees at Undergraduate, Graduate and Post Graduate level.
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