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Archive for category PAKISTAN SHINING

In the eyes of the beholder by Tariq A. Al-Maeena

In the eyes of the beholder

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Tariq A. Al-Maeena

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Following my article a couple of weeks ago in which I complimented the Pakistani cricket team for snatching victory from the jaws of defeat against their formidable arch-rivals India, I received a couple of comments that left me puzzled.

One was from a Westerner while the other critic was an Asian. The gist of it was essentially dressing me down for complimenting what they both termed as a “failed state”. They both individually felt that there was not much to Pakistan’s credit to mention, and perhaps that was why I praised their team’s victory.

But let’s take a closer look at this country before we rush to judgment. Pakistan has been listed among the next 11 countries that along with the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) have a high potential of becoming among the world’s largest economies in the 21st century.

In the last five years, Pakistan’s literacy rate has grown by 250 percent, the largest increase in any country to date. According to a poll organized by the Institute of European Business Administration, from 125 countries, Pakistanis have been ranked the “fourth most intelligent people” across the globe. The Cambridge exams of both A and O levels have been topped by Pakistani students and this is a record yet to be broken. The world’s youngest certified Microsoft Experts, Arfa Kareem and Babar Iqbal, are from Pakistan. The seventh largest pool of scientists and engineers come from, you guessed it, Pakistan. The fourth largest broadband Internet system of the world is in Pakistan.

Pakistan is the first and only Islamic country to attain nuclear power. It is also notable for having some of the best-trained air force pilots in the world. The country’s missile technology is one of the best in the world. The country has produced a large quantity of various types of missiles since it has become a nuclear power. It also boasts of the sixth largest military force in the world.

In cooperation with China, Pakistan has produced the PAC JF-17 Thunder aircraft, a lightweight, single-engine, multi-role combat aircraft developed by the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC). The JF-17 can be used for aerial reconnaissance, ground attack and aircraft interception. Its designation “JF-17” by Pakistan is short for “Joint Fighter-17”.

It has also constructed the world’s largest warm-water, deep-sea port situated on the Arabian Sea at Gwadar in Balochistan province. Tarbela Dam is the world’s largest earth-filled dam and second largest dam overall. The Karakoram Highway, connecting China and Pakistan, is the highest paved international road in the world. The Khewra Salt Mine, the second largest salt mine in the world is in operation in the Punjab region of Pakistan. The world’s largest irrigation network is present in Pakistan. It serves 14.4 million hectares of cultivated land. The irrigation system is fed by water from the Indus River.

Land of some of the oldest civilizations (Indus Valley and Mohenjo-Daro), Pakistan is a multilingual country with more than 60 languages spoken. It is the sixth most populated country in the world and the second-most populous Muslim-majority country. It also has the second-largest Shia population in the world. The Edhi Foundation, a non-profit social welfare program in Pakistan, founded by Abdul Sattar Edhi in 1951 runs the world’s largest ambulance network. The country also boasts of the world’s youngest civil judge, Muhammad Illyas.

Pakistan is one the biggest exporters of surgical instruments in the world. About 50 percent of the world’s footballs are made in Pakistan. Nestle Pakistan is one of the largest milk processing plants which generate large revenue every year.

Among its natural wonders, Pakistan has the highest mountain ranges in the world. The world’s second highest and the ninth highest mountains, K2 and Nanga Parbat respectively, are in Pakistan. The Thar Desert is among the world’s largest sub-tropical deserts. The world’s highest polo ground is in Shandur Top, Pakistan at a height of 3,700 meters.

In 1994, Pakistan became the first country in the world to hold four World Cup titles tournaments in different mainstream sports simultaneously. The sports included cricket, hockey, squash and snooker.

The Lonely Planet, a global tourist guide, has listed Pakistan as being tourism’s “next big thing for more years than we care to remember. But world media headlines always send things off the rails.”

Perhaps my critics too have been unfairly influenced by media headlines. I urge them to take a second look at this country before they rush to judgment. Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder.

— The author can be reached at talmaeena@aol.com. Follow him on Twitter @talmaeena

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Pakistan Facts – Part 3   By FTD

 

 

Pakistan Facts – Part 3   By FTD

Kaghan Valley – Pakistan

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Fakhar Zaman: From the Navy to cricket stardom By Geo.tv

Fakhar Zaman: From the Navy to cricket stardom

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Geo.tv

 
 

The men were glued to the television screen at Faqir Gul’s house in the Katlang area of Mardan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Soon it was clear. Pakistan’s victory over England was quickly becoming a reality. The crowd broke out in jubilation. After the cricket match was over, families in the neighborhood emerged from their homes to distribute sweets. Mardan was celebrating the win. But more than that they were celebrating the performance of one of their own, Fakhar Zaman.

Fakhar Zaman during his youth 

“He was once only the fakhar, the pride, of Katlang,” Faqir Gul, his father, told Geo.tv, “Now he is the fakhar of Pakistan.”

Back when Zaman was still a child his family discouraged him from playing cricket in school. They complained that he spent too much time out on the fields, and not much studying. There rarely was a day when he did not get into trouble for coming home late, covered in dirt.

In those days, Gul was working as an official with the wildlife and animal protection agency in the province. On his days off he would write poetry and recite it to Zaman to get his mind off cricket. His father feared that if he did not abandon his love for the sport he would not be able to finish his education and get a proper job. But nothing, it seemed, could dissuade the young boy.

After completing his matriculation from the Government High Secondary School Mardan, Zaman joined the Pakistan Navy as a sailor in 2007. During his time with the Navy, he would occasionally play inter-departmental cricket matches.

Azam Khan, the coach at the Navy’s cricket academy, noticed his talent. He then advised Zaman to apply for the position of a physical training instructor with the force, which he did.

In 2013, Zaman left the Navy. Thereafter he met Pakistan’s cricket star, Younis Khan, who advised him to play from his own region. Zaman then moved back to Mardan and represented Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the Abbottabad Falcons, and Balochistan in inter-region cricket tournaments. In 2016, he was selected to play in the second edition of the Pakistan Super League.

To this day, Zaman remains indebted to his coach Khan. He has even named his cricket academy in Mardan after his coach.

“I hope he will continue to excel,” says his father, “Especially in the final match against India.”

Reference

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Carrying on up the Khyber Imran Khan’s party improves services in Pakistan’s (KPK) – The Economist

The PTI now wants to see locals flocking to use public services. It has certainly made schools more appealing: the party has appointed 40,000 more teachers, rebuilt institutions blown up by the Taliban and furnished others with toilets and electricity. Teacher absenteeism has fallen. But the PTI’s claim that about 100,000 students have chosen to switch from private to public schools is based on dodgy data. There are other bones to pick. In 2013 the PTI allowed its coalition partner, the Jamaat-e-Islami, an Islamist group, to remove pictures in textbooks of women without a veil, among other measures.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The diagnosis is less mixed when it comes to health care. The PTI has employed many more medical staff, raising the ratio of doctors per 1,000 people from 0.16 to 0.24. It has also begun, albeit far from smoothly, to roll out a comprehensive health-insurance card for poor families. All this has had an effect. The number of operations in public hospitals has doubled since 2013; inpatient cases have risen by half as much again. Such change comes despite objections from special interests that lose out from reforms. Pharmacists broke the shelves of a new drug dispensary at one Peshawar hospital, so incensed were they by its offering medicine at the wholesale price.

Yet the PTI may struggle to win a second term in 2018. One problem is excessive promises. Mr Khan, who broke into politics after a stellar career as a cricketer, pledged a “tsunami” of change. But it took his inexperienced party two years to get a handle on government, and many of its reforms so far, according to Faisal Bari of LUMS university, need much longer to get entrenched. Some of its more notable improvements are hardly photogenic. It is one thing for people gleefully to take selfies in front of a new flyover in Peshawar, another to do the same in front of new toilets in a rural girls’ school.

That Mr Khan himself appears to have lost interest in the province does not help. He aspires to national office and spends much of his time heckling the prime minister, who is under investigation for corruption. The PTI is starting to look more like the established parties. Having long mocked rapid-transit bus lanes, a favourite pork-barrel project of such parties, as a costly distraction from public-sector reform, the PTI is now building one of its own in Peshawar. It is said to be the country’s most expensive, per kilometre, yet.

 

The Economist

This article appeared in the Asia section of the print edition under the headline “Emergency treatment”

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Distortion of History: BSNs Observe Black Day By Sajjad Shaukat

 Distortion of History: BSNs Observe Black Day

   By Sajjad Shaukat

In order to pollute the minds of the patriot people of the Baluchistan province against the federation of Pakistan, every year Baloch Sub-Nationalists (BSNs) observe March 27 as a black day on alleged annexation of Kalat state with Pakistan in 1948.

During this very day, shutter down strikes in small and far-flung areas of Balochistan and demonstrations of small attendance by exiled BSNs take place. As these hostile elements, while following the foreign agenda of the anti-Pakistan countries distort the historical facts; the Baloch must need to know the actual perspective about the accession of Kalat state with Pakistan.

No doubt, Baloch leaders and people of Balochistan played a vital role in the creation of Pakistan and ultimately succeeded under the leadership and guidance of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah in achieving Pakistan as an independent state. In fact, Balochistan is an integral part of Pakistan with a history of supporting Resolution of Pakistan-1940, which envisaged the creation of a separate homeland for Muslim majority areas of the Sub-continent, as the Baloch had strongly opposed the plan of the united India.

Unfortunately, there are still been certain dissident elements which not only opposed the idea of Two Nation Theory-the fundamental ideological base for the creation of Pakistan but also left no stone unturned in polluting the minds of the innocent Baloch by distorting the history of Balochistan’s accession to Pakistan. In reality, before the independence of Pakistan, the territories which are now consolidated into the province of Balochistan did not constitute a settled province. Apart from Quetta District that was administrated under civil law, the rest of the territory was under Frontier Crimes Regulations (FCR). The then government of British India constituted a special body of tribal elders known as “SHAHI JIRGA” for consultation by Assistant Governor General (AGG) on local issues relating to British Balochistan. On June 29, 1947, “SHAHI JIRGA” of the British Balochistan as the representative body of AGG along with elected members of Quetta Municipal Body unanimously passed a resolution of forming part of Pakistan. The State of Kalat had customary overlordship in the princely states of Kharan, Makran, and Lasbela. As these three states decided to join Pakistan in March 1948, the Khan of Kalat (Kok) also acceded with Pakistan on March 27, 1948. The brother of Kok Shehzada Abdul Karim of Kakat having mustered 130 tribesmen started the insurgency in 1948 which never took off the ground and the matter was brought under control.

Regretfully, Baloch Sub Nationalists (BSNs) distort the history of the accession of Kalat with Pakistan and give reference of the so-called insurgency of 1948 by the brother of Kok, whereas the document of the accession of State of Kalat with Pakistan was signed by Kok himself as the legitimate ruler of State of Kalat.

Notably, as a result of the general elections 2013, the government led by the nationalist leader Chief Minister Balochistan Dr. Abdul Malik Baloch was established in Balochistan, while on December 7, 2013; local bodies elections were largely held in a peaceful manner in the province. However, these elections proved that majority of the Baloch are loyal to the federation and do not favour separation of the Balochistan, as they have rejected the case of separatists, being projected by anti-Pakistan powers.

Even a Gallup survey of the UK official body, DFID, conducted on July 20, 212, had disclosed that the vast majority of the Baloch people oppose the idea of an independent Balochistan. This survey has also proved that some external entities have been conducting acts of sabotage in the province by backing the minority groups.

As regards the deteriorating situation in Balochistan and the missing persons, everyone knows that Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA), Baloch Salvation Front (BSF) and their affiliated outfits, including another group, Jundollah (God’s soldiers) which have been fighting for secession of the province gets logistic support from American CIA, Indian RAW, and Israeli Mossad. In the past few years, these militants kidnapped and killed many innocent people and the security personnel in the province. They also massacred many persons through suicide attacks, bomb blasts, targeted killings and sectarian violence. Therefore, they are responsible for dumped bodies and extrajudicial killings in the province. On a number of occasions, these insurgent groups claimed responsibility for their subversive acts. A majority of the disappeared individuals are also in the detention centers (Farrari Camps) which are being run by foreign-assisted Baloch feudal lords (Sardars) who want to continue old system of feudalism in the province so as to maintain their status, prestige, and influence at the cost of people of the province.

It is mentionable that India, US, and Israel have been internationalizing the Balochistan issue in accordance with their secret goals. In this respect, in connivance with the Baloch separatist leaders who have taken refuge in Switzerland, Sweden, US and London, these foreign elements use media, various NGOs and human rights organizations for false propaganda against Pakistan’s security agencies in relation to extrajudicial killings, mutilated bodies, and the missing persons.

Nevertheless, during this very day, it is also of particular attention that since the government of the Balochistan province announced general pardon and protection to the Baloch militants as part of the reconciliation process, many militants and their leaders have surrendered their arms and decided to work for the development of Pakistan and the province.

Besides, Pakistan’s Armed Forces have broken the backbone of the foreign-backed terrorists by the successful military operation Zarb-e-Azb which has also been extended to Balochistan where peace has been restored. But, it is the misfortune that based in Afghanistan; external secret agencies such as CIA, RAW, and Mossad have, again, started subversive activities in Balochistan. As part of the double, game, these agencies are using the separatist elements and terrorist organizations like the Islamic State group (Also known as Daesh, ISIS, ISIL), the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan Jamaat-ur-Ahrar (TTP-JA also known as JuA), including other similar outfits in creating unrest in Balochistan, as recent terror attacks in the province has proved. Now, the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor project is their special target.

Taking cognizance of historical facts, the idea of observing Black Day must be denounced by all the segments of society, while the majority of the Baloch has already rejected the call for shutter down strike. But, these anti-Pakistan aims of the separatist elements also needs to be countered by our own historians, analysts and media persons by giving a true perspective of history and denouncing the hostile elements who distorting the facts in order to advance their vested interests.

These internal entities of Pakistan must point out that People of Balochistan, especially the youth are very loyal and patriotic Pakistanis who believe in unity and sovereignty of the country. They cannot be misled by elusive designs of greedy leaders who plan to observe March 27 as Black Day.

Particularly, media must proactively project the role of Baloch leaders in the creation of Pakistan and in defending the state of Pakistan. For the purpose, talk shows must be held giving a correct perspective of historical records by explaining the process of accession of State of Kalat with Pakistan and the internal rift between Kok and his brother.

Our own intellectuals must indicate that insurgency of 1948 which started by Shehzada Abdul Karim of Kakat never took off, because it was not supported by other realistic Baloch leaders, and it was based on misguided thoughts suggested by few Indian Congress leaders. The aim was to destabilize Pakistan by creating militancy in Balochistan.

Returning to our earlier discussion, last year, Baloch Sub Nationalists and Baloch Salvation Front called for a shutter down strike in Balochistan on March 27 to observe it as Black Day. Since it is the date of legal accession of State of Kalat with Pakistan, therefore, the strike call was based on negative contemplation and wicked designs to misguide the Baloch, especially the youth. In order to obtain the foreign agenda against Pakistan, these hostile elements who distort the history, want that every year, this Black Day should be observed.

 

 

Sajjad Shaukat writes on international affairs and is author of the book: US vs Islamic Militants, Invisible Balance of Power: Dangerous Shift in International Relations

 

Email: sajjad_logic@yahoo.com

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