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Old Friday, March 29, 2019
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Default Essays collected from various sources for CSS/PMS/PCS

Hello everyone, hope you all would be doing great, I am sharing ESSAYS collected from various sources, hope, you will find them suitable for you exam preparation.

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Old Friday, March 29, 2019
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Freedom of Media in Pakistan Blessing or Bane?

Free media is a double-edged sword which has its benefits and vices; however, its advantages overweight the disadvantages.

1. Introduction
2. Definition of free media
3. Media in Pakistan: From censorship to freedom
4. Role of media in Pakistan: a blessing and curse at the same time

a) Free media as a blessing:
i. educates and informs masses
ii. Increases level of awareness
iii. Develops public opinion
iv. Supports democracy
b) Free media as a bane:
i. spreading misinformation: rumours and false news
Ii. used for propaganda & sensationalism:
Benefits antagonists groups
iii. Exploitation of freedom: corruption and influence
iv. Commercialization: serves vested interests
5. Enrichment and invasion of culture; simultaneously
6. Media is a medium for socialisation and social isolation; concurrently
7. Media is a watchdog but lacking accountability within; contrarily.
8. Overall role in national development.
9. Conclusion

Free media is a double-edged sword which has its benefits and vices; however, its advantages overweigh the disadvantages. It ensures the right to freedom of speech. Media is said to be free when the media organisations enjoy freedom to disseminate information without facing any barriers from the government or any other powerful actors of the society. Earlier in Pakistan, media had to go through severe censorship and rigid regulations. However, the laws were enacted in the last decade to lift curbs on its freedom. This resulted in unprecedented freedom of expression and provision of information. Free media comes with a package of advantages such as educating people, increasing the level of awareness, developing the public opinion and, most importantly, supporting the democratic system. However, it carries a bundle of disadvantages as well including disseminating disinformation, advocating a specific propaganda and prioritizing commercialism. It helps enrich one’s culture as well as risks invasion by others’ cultures. It facilitates socialisation by making the world a global village yet it isolates individuals from their families and friends as excessive time is being wasted on social media. Interestingly, media is a watchdog over the governments, but lacks accountability within. Nevertheless, the overall role of the free media in national development cannot be undermined.

Media is free when it can provide information without any kind of censorship. However, complete freedom does require freedom of right to seek, receive and impart information and ideas. Constitution of Pakistan and the universally-accepted principles guarantee everyone the right to freedom of opinion and expression.

In Pakistan, media has long faced the censorship. However, an appreciable level of freedom has been achieved recently. Pakistani media is hugely influenced by various state and non-state actors. Military regimes in Pakistan had a special interest in controlling the media. The first step in this direction was taken by a military ruler who promulgated the Press and Publication Ordinance (PPO) in 1960. The law empowered the authorities to confiscate newspapers, clamp down on newspaper providers, and arrest journalists. Even civil governments were no less eager to influence and control media. It was not until 2002 that media faced a decisive development when new laws broke the state’s monopoly on electronic media. TV broadcasting and FM radio licenses were issued to private media outlets. These new laws opened up a new arena for free media with less regulations and limited censorship.

Owing to its advantages, the free media brings, can be rightly termed as a blessing. Firstly; it educates and informs masses. It easily disseminates important information across the globe. Access to uncensored information helps educate the masses regarding important societal issues. In Pakistan, media, especially TV channels, have effectively used freedom of expression to educate people on essential elements of society and citizenship. Programmes broadcast on these channels educate people on social, cultural and political issues and create civic sense and responsibility among the masses. TV plays films and documentaries are good examples in this context.

Secondly; free media stirs a rise in awareness level. This raised level improves ability to make decisions rationally. Compare Pakistan’s current generation with their predecessors and you see that when media faced huge censorship and was not ‘free’, people knew a little about the societal issues. Previous generations lived with low awareness owing to inaccessibility to information and, hence, vulnerable to manipulation. The current state of affairs harbingers a bright future as the masses have great knowledge about the issues faced by the country. The role of media in restoration and independence of judiciary needs not be overemphasised.

Thirdly; free media shapes public opinion. Internet, TV and radio channels, and newspapers are effective tools to serve the national interests if geared in the right direction. After Mumbai attacks, Pakistani media broadcast and printed reports and documentaries on the country’s defence and military strength in a bid to boost the peoples’ morale against anticipated Indian threat of attack on Pakistan. Numerous articles were published to prove that Pakistan had nothing to do with the Mumbai attacks. This helped appease the international concerns. Peoples of Pakistan and India regard Kashmir as an integral part of their respective countries. Media can play its role to soften the stance to reach an agreeable solution.

Last but not least; media promotes and strengthens and champions democracy. Precisely, democracy is the best system in which both people and media get freedom of speech. Media helps democracy thrive by arousing the citizens’ interest in country’s politics. Recent developments show a gradual but promising shift in Pakistan’s political system towards true democracy. Where media played an important role in the ouster of the military ruler Pervez Musharraf, it also highlighted flaws and lacunae in governance during previous democratic regime. This caused the annihilation of ‘coalition partners’ of that regime in May 2013 elections.

Elsewhere, the United States and India are good examples where media due to its freedom has played and is playing significant role in strengthening the democratic norms.

The unprecedented freedom of media has, as well, harmed the society. First of all; there are some instances where media outlets spread disinformation and created confusion among the masses. The ‘informing people’ function of media is not complete until it guarantees true and unbiased information. Absence of a consolidated accountability system has let certain elements in media to exploit feelings of the audiences just to get some ‘rating’. Nevertheless, this disinformation damages significant elements of society. For example, some segments in Pakistani media often resorted to create false impression about the government, even they started predicting its departure. These rumours forced the investors keep at bay which harmed the country’s economy.

Second; freedom without responsibility leads to creation of sensationalism. Media is a powerful opinion-maker and if not dealt carefully, it could be negatively used to form opinions which favour certain organizations or groups. Pakistan is combating the monster of terrorism but the uncensored and live telecast of the scenes of bomb blasts and of the bleeding people has caused severe psychological impacts on the people of Pakistan. Most areas of Pakistan are, undoubtedly, peaceful but these repeated telecasts create a negative perception of the country which causes decline in foreign investment and damages the tourism industry.
This has inadvertently helped the cause of the terrorists.

Third; the absolute freedom, like absolute power, leads to corruption. Unbridled freedom of expression has led media organisations to interfere in state matters. In countries where legal system is weak but media is free, media often gets involved in corrupt practices. Lack of strict vigilance and regulation allows journalists to negatively use the media power to extort rather than inform.

Last but not least; huge profits in the media sector have given rise to commercialisation. Media outlets nowadays work only for more and more profits. Influence of wealthy entrepreneurs has made media drift away from its real objective of informing, educating and supporting public. Regardless of what is good for masses, media covers content and issues which increases their ratings — a tool to grab huge profits. Certain issues are self-censored only because they would damage the profits of media outlets. Newspapers, for example, often censor or skip reports relating to wrongdoings of the government institutions as doing so may result in cuts on their public advertisements.

Today, when the world has become a global village, free media enriches and spreads a nation’s culture around the world, yet, simultaneously, the channels also allow invasion of other cultures. For instance, today’s free Pakistani media is able to reach out Pakistani diaspora across the globe. This has helped introduce and spread Pakistani culture in the world. Nevertheless, it has influenced natives’ culture with the foreign ones. Television programmes these days are replete with Indian and Turkish plays, soaps and shows. Western influence, though to some extent, is also obvious. Resultantly, our new generation is hugely influenced by Justin Bieber, Amir Khan and other celebrities but not our native heroes like Aziz Bhatti Shaheed, Rashid Minhas Shaheed, and other valiant sons of the soil.

Expansion of media is also responsible for providing the people with up-to-date communication facilities. Internet has revolutionized the way people socialise and interact. Friends, relatives and even unknown people are able to interact irrespective of territorial distances. Facebook, Skype and other social media help people socialise in modern ways. However, the very same media have become a cause of social isolation as well. This has created generation gaps as well, as social-media-obsessed youngsters stay at a distance from their elders.

Moreover; free media is a watchdog over the government and state institutions. Media keeps a vigilant eye on their doings and wrongdoings. Every good is praised, and every wrong is criticised. Never in Pakistan was corruption exposed to such an extent. After the enactment of liberal laws, new corruption scandals are exposed every day. But this freedom has also exposed the state to new dangers. There is no proper framework for accountability in the media sector itself. Hardly has any government taken an action against a corrupt journalist or a media organisation. Nor has media its own strict accountability mechanism. This indicates the vulnerability of free media to become a carefree giant, if not properly regulated.

Nonetheless; despite all the negativity, the unparalleled contribution of free media in the progress of this nation cannot be denied. Free media has improved the consciousness among the masses. People never questioned actions of the government the way they do now. This is just the result of timely, useful and mostly objective dissemination of information. Pakistan’s judiciary has achieved its freedom due to the evermore vibrant role of media. Eventually, free media has given an opportunity to the people of Pakistan to contribute to the welfare of the state.

As nothing is perfect in this world; free media also carries some vices along with its benefits which, however, overshadow the vices. Free media helps keep people informed and educated with regard to important issues of the country and world. Though, it could fall short of its responsibilities and serve vested interests sometimes, its role in being watchful of important state actions is commendable. Certain anomalies in media can be corrected by encouraging initiatives of creating a strong internal accountability and regulatory mechanism with governmental oversight. What needs to be above the board is that freedom of media shall be ensured as free media always brings greater benefits for the progress and prosperity of nation than the inadvertent damages it causes. Hence, it is more of a blessing than a bane.

Not Ignorance but Ignorance of Ignorance Is True Ignorance
The fact that not ignorance but ignorance of ignorance is true ignorance encompasses the justification of existence of behaviours which are antagonist to all facets of society and state.

True ignorance prevails when intellectual, social and moral maturities cease to exist in a society. Not condemning the despicable behaviours which come in the sphere of ignorance causes states to lag behind other states. It affects people not only on individual level but on national level as well. Countries with such framework based on true ignorance attract anti-state factors to come into play leading to collapse of the whole system. Thus, adoption of appropriate measures to overcome appalling outcomes of true ignorance is the need of the hour.

Civil society should endeavour to cultivate the sense of maturity among all segments of society. Media should present strategies to equip the society with moral, ethical and intellectual maturity to counter the effects of true ignorance.

Being ignorant from true ignorance is the reason why societies’ dreams to be called civilized ones remain unfulfilled. Ineptness to differentiate behaviours that are against the societal norms doesn’t exhibit a lack of education; rather, it manifests that the society is devoid of social and moral consciousness. Unintentional acknowledgment of unacceptable behaviours laid the foundation of true ignorance.
Our Pakistani society couldn’t get rid of such ignorance in real sense. Here, people couldn’t recognize the behaviours which are unwanted in a civilized setup. For instance, in a civilized society, daughters don’t remain bachelorettes only because the family would lose a part of land if they marry. Such behaviour speaks volumes on moral, social and intellectual immaturity that prevails in Pakistani society.

The paucity of such maturities has paved the way for acceptance of unwanted behaviours in society. Nations immature socially, morally and intellectually never stand out among others. Pakistan though vociferously supports humanitarian causes but presence of vices like karokari, wani, gender discrimination, and violence against women casts doubts on her stance.

The societies which don’t curb the attitudes against their norms instigate the loss of moral obligations in their citizenry. Moral obligation is a self-check that makes people to realize their responsibilities toward society as well as the state. Unfortunately, in Pakistani society, such ignorance is leaving its loathed mark on the lives of the masses. Loss of this obligation has halted the internalization of social responsibility among individuals. Hence they don’t care for the duties they owe to society as well as state. For instance, a person who witnesses an accident shirks helping just because he doesn’t want to indulge in an activity that won’t pay him anything. Such an attitude has eroded the selflessness among the members of Pakistani society.

Emergence of individualistic approach marks the prevalence of true ignorance in Pakistan. Those societies are doomed to fail where every member has a self-centred approach in each and every matter of life. They care only about themselves. Instead of collective benefit, they prioritize individual interests only. Egoistic approach deprives the social setup from sense of humanity. Hoarding eatables in hours of flood may be an example of this negative attitude.

Egocentric people in Pakistan are letting jazzy rituals to thrive. For instance, despite all efforts against Hindu tradition of dowry, many people have a mindset which favours this custom. This ignorance has resulted in many girls turning into spinsters as their parents couldn’t arrange for their dower.

Another outcome of existence of such phenomenon in Pakistani society is social disintegration. A pivotal force which creates a robust social system is unity among individuals. It gives them a collective binding which results in a cohesive system. Such a system not only fulfils the peoples’ basic needs like food, shelter, justice, equality, etc., it also safeguards them from the factors which manipulate them according to their whims and wishes. True ignorance unleashes injustice and iniquity in every aspect of life thus people have to lead their lives in a frail, imperfect social setup which cannot ensure providence of equal opportunities to all without any discrimination of cast and creed. Furthermore, it deprives the people of their basic rights and arouses feelings of animosity toward society. This ensues in lessened social coherence and integrity making the society vulnerable to be controlled by the aliens with a system that protects their vested interests.
Lack of justice is another factor that is increasing woes and is producing irregularities in every aspect of life. Rampant corruption, cronyism, and disregard to law, etc., create belligerence and weaken the social bond. That’s why anti-societal factors like feudal or tribal lords, etc., still rule the roost in Pakistan.

Antiquated and bigoted mindset of different stakeholders in social setup furthers the inhumane customs. Such customs harbour the phenomenon of true ignorance. In some parts of Pakistan, freedom of women is still an elusive dream and a curse for the family norms, education of girls amounts to challenging ancestors’ values. All these attitudes breed such behaviours unchecked. These behaviours are in different shapes and inculcate in society with alternate forms. Illegal landholding, exploitation of manpower, acid throwing, curbs on women to vote are some forms of this detrimental effect to our social framework.

In Pakistan, practices conforming to true ignorance are leading to use of illegitimate means. No civilized society can allow human trafficking, child labour, smuggling, or such other vices. Those who let this happen are the true embodiments of senseless people who have no moral obligation and indulge into true ignorance. Tax evasion, corruption, nepotism, abuse of power, etc., are the ramifications of this irresponsible behaviour. Every individual owes some inescapable duties to his or her state. Minds which resort to such practices are a part of social setup discouraging those who perform their duties religiously. Tax evasion haunts the economy of country. A major chunk of country’s finances is to be spent on providing basic amenities to the citizens. This elaborates the need of collection of revenues in form of taxes. Tax evasion is damaging the whole setup and a vicious cycle of unavailability of basic necessities still prevails.

Acceptance of corrupt means in Pakistani society is an outcome of being ignorant, knowingly or unknowingly, from the phenomenon of moral values which bound everyone to condemn and stop any immoral act. Corruption in any form i.e. cronyism, favouritism, etc., is a never tolerated in civilized societies. It negates merit in every aspect of life. The corrupt people are weakening the social fabric that is nearing collapse fast.

In Pakistan, the prevalence of true ignorance lets sectarianism and extremism prosper and thrive. Anti-social factors rise in presence of an environment that helps them go on to pursue their ulterior motives. Raja Bazaar Rawalpindi incident or Shia leaders’ killings are carried out by anti-state actors as they want to derail the system and work for chaos in Pakistan. These savage elements approach the affectees of terror incidents and instigate them to rebellion against the state. These vile practices are encouraging an extremist and fanatic approach among some cadres of society. Mobilizing all the resources of brainwashing innocent young boys, results in suicide bombing and mass killings. Such episodes are creating panic and chaos in society leading to the creation of conflict and frustration at all levels.

Inability to condemn and eradicate such negative behaviours ensued from true ignorance prove detrimental to interfaith harmony in Pakistan. Mullahs, the pseudo-scholars, come with their own bigoted interpretation of Islam. It is creating a wave of disdain and hatred among followers of other religions. As this creates a sense of insecurity among minorities, peace in the society remains a far cry. Islam teaches to be tolerant and modest in each and every matter, and being not among those who spread mischief on earth. This true ignorance is tearing the social fabric apart and is halting the social connection and coherence.

In Pakistan, attitudes based on such mindset are consequence of true ignorance. Acts like street violence, destruction of public and private property, mass agitation, etc. are further adding to the woes of people who are already mired in deteriorated law and order situation. All these actions challenge the writ of the state. Once the writ of the state is challenged, the door to anti-state groups to implement their destructive thinking opens. Unknown abductions, target killings, extortion, kidnappings for ransom wreak havoc in the country. This had imparted an opportunity to those anti-state elements who aspire to fulfil their malicious designs and create a state within a state that is detrimental to the ideology of a country.

Notwithstanding, the whole scenario seems to be absurd but it’s not impossible to turn the tables. Various strategies can be evolved and measures adopted to rout and annihilate these anti-state elements thus countering the destructive impacts of true ignorance which has affected us at individual as well as national level.
Internalization of self-check approach is the key to overcoming all repercussions caused by true ignorance on individual level. It can be internalized through informal ways of social control along with proper education. Once a sense of self-check is restored, a society based on responsible citizens well equipped with moral obligation towards each other and state would take its roots. It would put a full stop to self-centred approach and would create a social setup featuring social integration.

Education system should be made capable of inculcating moral, ethical and social values in individuals. This is the only way to overcome the hazardous effects of true ignorance in Pakistani society. Such system would produce citizens who would abolish the outdated customs in society and would be a source of social change to ensure eradication of all negative attitudes and behaviours.

Civil society must come forward to get the culprits, who tarnish the image of the country with their wrongdoings, penalized. An awareness campaign to discourage such behaviours which favours the assimilation of culture of tax evasion, corruption etc, is direly needed.

Media is playing an unprecedentedly tremendous role as a watchdog to eliminate all the behaviours which are trademark of true ignorance in our society. Media should also present the content that should create awareness on responsibilities and duties of the citizens to end social menaces. Media must people that they must not become a puppet in the hands of anti-state actors. It should inculcate the sense of nationalism in citizens and enable them to safeguard the ideology of Pakistan.

In nutshell, the notion “not ignorance but ignorance of ignorance is true ignorance” consists of philosophy upon which basis of all the anti-societal behaviours lie. Whether a nation is a civilized one is determined by its foundation on social and moral consciousness. The societies which are lack such consciousness represent a typical example of true ignorance. Pakistani society has become an embodiment of true ignorance which, in turn, is dismantling the whole setup and entangling individual as well as collective lives of people in its ramifications. The champions of outdated customs and traditions openly follow their absurd traditions.

True ignorance is damaging all spheres of life equally and is creating a catastrophic paradigm in society by allowing anti-social and anti-state elements to carry on with their nefarious agenda. It is jeopardizing national sovereignty and is putting its security at stake. There is no denying the fact that there is absolutely nothing which can be redeemed. As someone has rightly said that “Impossible” means “I am possible”. So, timely measures should be taken to get Pakistani society out of the tangle of obnoxious repercussions of true ignorance. Internalization of self-check approach, education system capable of embedding moral, ethical and social values in individuals, a living civil society and vibrant media are some steps which should be taken to eradicate the curse of true ignorance from Pakistan once for all.











War on Terrorism Is Contributing Towards Growing Abuse Of Human Rights
“We must remember that any oppression, any injustice, any hatred is a wedge designed to attack our civilization” (Franklin D. Roosevelt)

What have been the costs of war on terrorism in human and economic terms? How has the war changed the social and political landscape of the countries where it has been waged? What is likely to be the long-term economic effect of the war? What have been the public health consequences of the war? Were and are there any less costly and more effective alternative ways to prevent further terror attacks? How has, and to what extent, the war contributed to the abuse of human rights? These are some frequently asked questions that the war in the course of its continuity has raised in minds of every sane person.
The war that began in 2001 proved tremendously painful for millions of people across the world, especially in Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan, and the United States. Each additional month and year of war adds to that toll. Moreover, the human costs of this war will reverberate for years to come in each of the affected country. The war on terror, in fact, proved a great misfortune on the lives of its victims. Civilians have been killed unjustly and tortured without any reason. Evidently, behind the facade of war on terrorism, International Law is widely being disregarded; oppositions are being repressed, not to talk of humiliation the values and rights have suffered at the hands of imperial regimes. It is safe to assume that the commencing of the war on terrorism virtually resulted in the end of the sanctity attached to human rights.
The war on terrorism is not like any other kind of war. The enemy, terrorism, is not a territorial state, nation or government. There is no opposite number to negotiate with. There is no one on the other side to call a truce or declare a ceasefire, no one among the enemy authorized to surrender. The “War on Terror” officially began on October 7, 2001 and was spurred by the attack on the World Trade Center of the United States on September 11, 2001.

The “War on Terror” has led, in its wake, to grave human rights violations and, in response, to a growing volume of human rights litigations. Certain quarters allege that the “War on Terror” has been exploited by Western governments to reduce civil liberties and take away basic human rights.
The war on terrorism came up with extensive violations of civil and political rights that still continue to occur in the world, with such incidents as demonstrations, shootings, torture, hostage-takings, killings and so on. Political participation and decision-making in the affected countries especially Iraq and Afghanistan remain seriously impaired by sectarian and insurgent violence, widespread corruption, and the influence of foreign powers.
The cost of war in terms of human lives has been increasingly painful. A research conducted by Brown University’s Watson Institute for International Studies indicates that over 350,000 people have died due to direct war violence, and many more indirectly.
One of the most notorious issues and certainly the one giving rise to the most voluminous litigation is the arbitrary detention. Since its start, the war on terrorism has been directly responsible for a broad array of serious human rights violations, including torture, enforced disappearances, arbitrary detentions, and unfair trials. In many instances, one country or another carried out abuses in collaboration with other governments. Many reports have emerged of “black jails” in Afghanistan, where detainees were secretly held without the International Red Cross oversight as required by the Geneva Conventions.
Perhaps the most insidious is the move from illegality to extra-legality (extraordinary rendition), the practice of removing individuals from the protection of law altogether, epitomized by disappearances and renditions that have been the subject of various litigation initiatives. To the contempt of prisoners’ rights, the United States secretly stole away suspects to other CIA-run hidden “black site” prisons or passed them to foreign countries with more lax human rights standards to be interrogated via the seizure process known as “extraordinary rendition.”
The prisoners of war on terrorism have largely been denied the right to petition and fair trial. Significant numbers of detainees in Afghanistan and Iraq, later, have been found innocent. However, their unjust detention and maltreatment has fomented desperation towards the universal acknowledgement of human rights.
Some governments adopted abusive practices in response to direct US pressure. Most notably, the US encouraged a number of countries to pass draconian counterterrorism laws, often those which expand police powers, reduce due process guarantees, and set out vague and overbroad definitions of terrorism.
Repressive governments, always seeking rhetorical cover for their violations, were quick to adopt the language of counterterrorism to help shield their abuses from critical scrutiny. In Egypt, for example, the Hosni Mubarak regime specifically cited the “War on Terrorism” and new security laws passed in the United States and elsewhere to justify the 2003 renewal of longstanding emergency powers.
The enjoyment of the rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly has long been partial, and often perilous, for war critics across the world. The war on terrorism has accelerated markedly the squeeze on the exercise of these rights. Independent NGOs, critical media outlets and public protests across the globe have all borne the brunt of an assault on fundamental freedoms that has been fuelled and “justified” by an increasingly aggressive propaganda drive to depict curtailing of the rights as necessary steps to end terrorism.
Consequent upon war on terrorism is the emergence of unprincipled discrimination between nationals and non-nationals, among people of different races, ethnicities and gender. This disparate treatment raises complex issues concerning the human right to non-discrimination.
After the massive terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, many Muslims and Arab-Americans have been persecuted. Muslim men have been characterized as dangerous, violent and highly suspect within the popular imaginary, and much of the Western media, which has led to sanctioning of civil human rights violations, largely through detainment, deportation and surveillance.
One of the most condemnable violations, ironically, justified by the war on terrorism, is the massive invasion of privacy by the intelligence agencies. The US categorically defends this violation as a necessary step to access personal details in order to build profiles of terror suspects by data mining. Governments across the world are already collecting and sharing much of the information related to personal domain of an individual through bilateral and multilateral agreements covering passenger name records, visa applications and border surveillance systems, to name some.
Of all the mysteries, sexual assault on women and men forms the darkest secrets related to the war on terrorism. Despite not being a traditional armed conflict, sexual violence has been rampant in the global war on terrorism. Whether in Guantanamo Bay’s detention centre or in the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, sexual violence has often been used as a tool of torture during interrogation. There have been reports pointing out the cases when women and girls were raped by soldiers or were forced into prostitution. The international community has failed to address the problem of sexual violence during armed conflicts.
The war on terrorism also harmed the educational systems of the war-affected regions in different ways resulting in the complete degradation of the Iraqi and Syrian education system on the one hand and in substantial damages to the educational institutes in Pakistan on the other. In Afghanistan, there was no established educational infrastructure in the pre-war years; however, war on terrorism also failed to facilitate the learning process.
Demolition of infrastructure like schools, hospitals, electricity supply system, etc., is also a major factor. Due to war on terror, the victim countries’ social infrastructures have been destroyed and the civilians are deprived of opportunities to enjoy government services.
Pakistan has been the frontline ally of the US in war on terrorism. With the decision of Pakistan to eliminate terrorism of all forms and hues, a dramatic escalation in the conflict between insurgents and Pakistan’s armed forces was witnessed.
At least 52,000 Pakistanis (combatant and non-combatant) have been killed since 2004 and more than 50,000 have been injured since then by the various parties to the conflict. This does not include the likely deaths of tens of thousands of more combatants — both insurgents and Pakistani forces.
While acknowledging all the grave consequences of war on terrorism, question emerges, ‘Is there then an alternate to war on terrorism?’ In fact, the war — both as a response and as a strategy to eliminate terrorism — is by no means immune to flaws. While confronting an enemy that transcends borders and does not recognize any defined grounds, war is not an option, at all. Wars often ensue in additional violent conflicts over the new resources and new political alignments created by an initial invasion or occupation. The civil wars and criminal violence that erupted in both Iraq and Afghanistan are examples of this phenomenon.
Civil societies and media must work for the rights of victims of terrorism and other violence by armed groups, supporting them in their struggle for truth, justice and reparation. They should expose and oppose unlawful detentions carried out in the name of national security or countering terrorism.
All states must respect human rights in any action they take in the name of national security or countering terrorism. By closing all arbitrary detention centres, shutting down agencies run-prisons, and condemning rather than justifying torture, the governments can make enormous strides.
Since US declaration to start the war on terrorism, it has substantially been contributing towards the loss of civil liberties. From the rugged mountains of Afghanistan to the fluvial plains of Syria, and from the settled areas of Pakistan to the volatile regions of Iraq, the war in its wake has left countless humans dead. Without mitigating acts of terror and strengthening security, war on terrorism, in fact, is espousing fear and creating a sense of repression among certain quarters of the world. Evidently, it is nothing short of flaws. It has wreaked so great a havoc that its effects may not diminish quickly. There is a need to protect and promote human rights and every one’s right related to social, civic and political spectrum must be protected.


70 YEARS of the United Nations | Successes, Failures and Way Forward
OUTLINE:

1) Introduction
2) The UN Peace Preserver?
3) U N Charter remains unexecuted
4) Successes:

Prevention of Third World War

Guaranteeing Sovereign Territorial integrity to weaker states
Peacekeeping and Prosecutions of Charles Taylor and Slobodan Milosevic
Checking Nuclear Arms Proliferation
Services in Economic and Social Sector
Provision of succor and relief in times of crises
Efforts for fighting Poverty and Hunger
Initiatives against Gender/ Domestic violence and Child Abuse; Empowering women
Help to Refugees and Asylum-Seekers
Humanitarian Assistance to War-Torn Regions and Backward areas in developing societies
Educational Cultural Exchanges
5) Failures:





Not Democratic in itself
Membership of Security Council and Abuse of Veto
Nuclear proliferation goes unabated
The US invasion of Iraq
Palestine Issue / Gaza Offensive / Israel Aggression
Kashmir Issue & Indian Aggression
Failure in Countering Terrorism
World gripped in too many socio-economic and political crises: the UN’s Role negligible
Rapes / Child Abuse Scandal: Rapes-Child Abuse in Congo
America’s undue involvement in internal affairs of states
Deteriorating environmental or climatic issues
Failures in Srebrenica Massacre, Rwanda Genocide, Atrocities committed by the communist regimes, Khmer Rouge
6) The UN: Hobson’s choice

7) Way forward

Overhauling the UN
Different schools of thought about its Reformation
Reforms in the Security Council
Fashioning it on Democratic lines
Eradication of Poverty: major task
“The United Nations is not but a fashion house whichconceals the ugly realities What has the United Nations done so far? It has failed miserably, shamefully I know of the farce and the fraud of the United Nations You come here and say, ‘Excellence, Excellence, comment allez-vous?’ and all that,” maintained Zulifkar Ali Bhutto, the ninth premier of Pakistan, in a speech addressed at the UN Security Council The United Nations (U N), comprised of 193 countries, came into being from the debris of the bloodiest WW2, on October 24th, 1945, to save the succeeding generations from the curse of war, and for the world cooperation in different sectors The U N O that, unlike its predecessor, the League of Nations which vanished in a puff of smoke, has successfully endured the moments of ups and downs, and successes and failures, marked its seventieth anniversary last month There is no denying the fact that the United Nations Organization, notwithstanding its ineffectiveness and impotence, and a ‘total fiasco’, it has proved to be, in most cases, still serves as the sole international forum, and the only agency, which has thwarted the eventuality of the ‘Third World War’, and guarded the humanity against the possible ruination, in an age in which the minor scuffles among the big powers can possibly escalate into a full-fledged nuclear war, subsequently bringing the humanity on the verge of extinction However, in view of its unrealized charter, and the tall pledges of promoting world peace, reaffirming faith in fundamental human rights, maintaining dignity and equal rights among the states whether large or small, and providing for a humane standard of life in the depressed regions, the U N, so to speak, appears but a lip-service payer

Having said that, amidst the changing dynamics of the world, characterized by power politics based on the realist paradigm, and in view of the increasing complex interdependence, globalization, rise of the new forces of the non-state actors, and intricate socio-economic fabric of changing societies, the U N with its varied organs, has to its credit some of the crowning achievements of enabling the weaker states to have their ‘say’ however ineffective, on the international fora, initiating reforms in socio-economic and cultural realms, and of making democratization a popular theme As a matter of fact, while denouncing it, the question, one is faced with, is ‘what should substitute for it in case of its termination in the complex world scenario?’ Even those counting it as nothing more than an unnecessary evil, one way or the other, concede its playing a role indispensable to the modern age

Thanks to the United Nations, the eruption of the Third World War, which on certain occasions in the past, seemed drawing at hand, has been averted, and resultantly the world has been saved from the onslaught of devastation and sufferings witnessed during the World Wars 1 and 2 Even during the moments of the heightened tensions, as for example, the Cuban Missile Crisis October 1962 when the Cold War was about to be turned into an armed conflict between the U S, and the U S S R, the U N’s presence was but a blessing for the mankind, that, as per a survey by an American Research institute, otherwise would have witnessed hundreds of millions people perished

Amid the self-aggrandizing so-called super powers, the sovereign and territorial integrity of the smaller and weaker states would have been a pipe dream had there not been an international body of the nations The vulnerable states would have been an easy prey, and susceptible to the aggressive designs of the powerful ones; the world, therefore, would be turned into a global empire, characterized by anarchy, and the law of the jungle based on ‘might is right’ The U N, as Dag Hammarskjold remarked, was created to save mankind from hell, from misery, and from lawlessness

Peace has settled in following the carnage of the World War 2, in part, only thanks to the U N, because the latter vigilantly checks the aggression of the states; besides adopting conflict resolution measures and peacekeeping initiatives It is a prima facie that the number of causalities in conflicts, with certain exceptions however, has declined steeply since 1945 Another good precedent established by the U N is when the Serbian and Liberian leaders were charged in trial tribunals set up by the former, with committing war crimes

Though it remains debatable as to ‘to what extent the U N has succeeded in checking the nuclear arms proliferation in the face of the fact that the arms race is, as always, on rise, albeit with the varying nature and scope, the U N O has fared well in its effort to obligate the nations to give up the their nuclear programs Many a state has voluntarily given up its bomb and nuclear research program, South Africa for example, submitting to the U N’s international Atomic Energy Agency

As far as the refugee crisis is concerned, grappling with the Brobdingnagian expatriation crisis has always been a matter of a concern for the UN, which, frankly speaking, under its ‘UN High Commissioner on Refugees’ has gone a long way in alleviating the sufferings of the asylum seekers and refugees However, right now, it has a corroding crisis of refugees numbering over millions, fleeing Syria in conflict, to deal with

Apart from the successes enumerated above, its role in empowering the victimized women and protecting the children from the scourge of child abuse in every nook and corner of the world including Pakistan esp its rural areas, is indeed very remarkable The value-oriented seminars and campaigns initiated under its patronage, in far flung areas of Pakistan and everywhere in the third world, so to build a popular opinion against the diabolic stereotypes of deeming women a second class human, have triggered a significant change to that effect The menace of ‘Honor Killing’ prevalent in the hinterlands of Sindh and Punjab, for example, has met a popular condemnation as a result of painstaking campaigns launched under the various NGO’s and INGO’s associated with the UN

Moreover, the steps taken by the U N under its numerous organs for providing for succor and food assistance or otherwise in times of crisis, such as famine, war, civil unrest, etc are worthwhile The huge supply of food and other dietary items to the victims during and in the wake of the flood 2010 in Pakistan is a good case in point Likewise, a number of INGO’s committed to the recovery process in the year following the large scale destruction by floods in Pakistan, had their affiliation with the UN

While one may be fascinated by the outer appearance of the UN, its charter of long provisions and pledges, and vows of doing such and such, a cursory look at it, its organization, and its role so far in toto, may best expose the superficiality and futility of the United Nations That is too much of the irony that the organization not democratic in itself, bangs on about democratization right along In fact, the U N has miserably failed to measure up to the democratic and popular aspirations So to put it unexaggeratedly, the U N has been rendered to a fiefdom, held hostage by a few so-called super powers, the US, for example, to their own advantage just under the façade of the tag ‘ United Nations’

70 years of the UN 1The Most important one, the UNO Security Council, in the very nature of the beast, is outright failure of the UN Since it is dominated by the five permanent members, viz , the USA, UK, Russia, China and France, that are always given to exercise the ‘Veto’ whenever the circumstances arise, the rest members are rendered handicapped Even if the rest fourteen members may be willing to adopt a resolution, one member can veto and beat their overwhelming support

It is noteworthy here that at the outlet of the UN, the USA was the only nuclear power, but since then the nuclear race has been going on unabated, and too many others are up to develop their nuclear program Following America, the USSR developed its nuclear weapons in 1949, which was later followed by UK in 1954, France in 1960, China 1964, and India in 1974 Israel in its own right is an undeclared nuclear power

The U S seizing on its being the chief donor to the U N has always acted single-handedly, flagrantly breaching the charter of the UN with impunity while the UN with its tacit sanction to the legalization of its illegal actions remains a spectator The United Nations’ brazen failure can be gauged from the US brutish invasion to Iraq on the flimsy pretext that the latter possessed the weapons of mass destruction even if the UN’s Monitoring Verification and Inspection Commission had dismissed the presence of any such weapons with Iraq Yet, the US stood impervious to the Charter, and rulings of the United Nations while intruding on the sovereign territorial integrity of smaller states Invasion of Afghanistan by the USSR and US, Vietnam War, and Korean War, etc are stark failures of the UN

One of the most outright failures of the UN in terms of peaceful settlement of the international disputes is Palestine Issue which is still hanging fire despite the nature of the conflict, and loss of the lives and assets it has entailed on and off The Israel-Palestine conflict longer than the UN itself came at a turning point when the UN instead of adhering to its principle of ‘self-determination’ played in the hands of the so-called powers, dividing the state of Palestine into two parts, and very shamefully giving away 55 % Palestine to the Zionist Israel state despite the Zionists/ Jews constituting only 30% of the total population As per the statistics provided by the UN itself, the death toll between July and August this year, has risen to 2104 in Gaza, with 66 Israeli causalities only Except for a few tenuous resolutions making the headlines in the press, with Mr Ban Ki Moon, dressed up in 3 piece suits, paying the same lip-service, what concrete steps has the UN taken so far to halt the genocide unleashed by the wolves of Israel? Certainly naught

Yet another historic debacle of the UN is its impotence to negotiate an amicable settlement of the Kashmir issue, with the unbridled Indian aggression in the region on rise If one takes a closer view of the scenario in Kashmir which, the most militarized zone, has witnessed an unprecedented savagery, with rapes, forced disappearances, deaths, and tortures have turned out to be the order of the day Regardless of 23 UN Resolutions, calling for an impartial plebiscite, the Kashmir issue persists to be a Damocles’ sword hanging over the heads of two nuclear powers, as well as the entire region

Concerning the counter terrorism strategy of the UN since 9/11, the fact remains that the latter itself, so to speak, has sown the field with dragon’s teeth; co-opted by America, whose misconceived and self-serving policies have harbored terrorists, the UNO outlawed and chased a few terrorist outfits, to the exclusion of many, especially the countries that have long served as the breeding grounds for terrorism The rise of ISIS, and Syrian Crisis are but failures of the body

The scandal of the UN peacekeepers paying girls and women they were supposed to protect , and even raping in some reported cases in Congo, casts a slur on the whole of the UN In addition, though substantial progress has been made in coping with the environmental issues, the problem remains a burning issue to be addressed To put in few words, its security council seems crippled to provide for security; its health organ is given to AIDS; and its peacekeepers and welfare activists are disposed to rapes, sexual abuse, and what not

Taking stock of overall pros and cons, and successes and failures, one may feel impelled to say with a certain degree of conviction, as already contended, that since it is 21st century world divided into a number of sovereign national states, not the medieval princely kingdoms, and the nature of the world has grown so complex and interdependent that it cannot do without an international forum like the UN, without deadly wars, and anarchy as a consequence In a word, it is Hobson’s choice The question arises as to ‘what then should be the mechanic to do away with its flaws and weak points while maximizing its efficiency and effectiveness to the maximum?’ The way forward as suggested to by a number of renowned political scientists, pundits of international relations, and diplomats is the dire need of a major overhaul of the UN

It is worth pointing out the various schools of thought about its reformation The camp of democrats strives for a more democratic UN, reformed on democratic lines, whereas the technocrats insist on efficiency, productivity, and accountability Idealists advance their reform agenda of empowering the body with all the more powers, thereby clipping the state sovereignty Contrary to it, the realists are for the maximum state activity, national interest and power

Reforming the Security Council on a priority basis is what needs to be carried out forthwith, by enlarging its members to the total membership, by fixing a term of 2 to 3 years It will help it take decisions, without being vetoed, in the larger interests of the world community Further, it will also establish a relative balance of power in it

Equally crucial is constituting an ‘executive’ machinery, as right now, there is no such body to execute with an iron hand, the UN’s policies and agendas Different crimes including terrorism, happen to be the direct corollary of poverty Eradication of poverty needs to be the first priority of the organization

The ‘Merit’ needs to flourish, as the top slots, according to Munir Akram, Pakistan’s former representative in the UN, are held by the white The corruption, and such malpractices are rampant in its ‘Secretariat’, and in international bureaucracy, which all must be curbed

The point to cherish is that it has successfully completed its 70 years, sans falling apart like the League of Nations Willy or nilly, it must be acknowledged that the UN continues to be a ray of hope for the marginalized ones Everything has a life circle, and so has the UN, therefore, it is by reforming the mammoth organization that it will reemerge as an effective, efficient and coherent body.

Introduction
A brief concept of Muslim Ummah Challenges in the modern age
Social challenges
Economic challenges
Political challenges
Religious challenges
Responsibilities of Muslim Ummah
In social field
Fight against obscenity and vulgarity
Make efforts for improving the status as well as the rights of women
Protect the endangered structure of family
Strive for social equality and justice
Eradicate the evils of drugs and narcotics
Contribute to the fight against diseases
Spread and enforce moral values of Islam
In economic field
Eradication of economic disparities
Elimination of poverty through the system of Zakat
Introduction of a riba-free financial system
In political field
Fight for the provision of basic human rights to all the human beings
Work for the introduction of mushawarat (consultation)-based political system across the globe
Play an effective role in the resolution of interstate conflicts
Make all-out efforts to eradicate the menace of terrorism
In religious field
Making people aware on the importance of religion
Working to spread the true message of Islam across the globe
Creating and promoting inter-religion harmony

Is Muslim Ummah fulfilling its responsibilities?
Why Muslim Ummah is unable to discharge its responsibilities?
Lack of unity owing to sectarian conflicts
Absence of a truly representative organization of the Ummah
Abandoning Ijtihad
Negative role of religious scholars
Callous approach of the rich Islamic states
Prevalence of poverty and illiteracy within the Islamic world
Economic backwardness of the Muslim states
Absence of a representative media
Recommendations for enabling the Ummah to perform its duties
Establishment of a platform specifically for the resolution of sectarian issues
Revival of Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) as a vibrant organization
Immediate and consensus-based steps for the conduct of Ijtihad
Discouragement of fanatics and extremists present among the religious scholars
Considerate role of affluent Islamic states toward the deprived ones
Joint efforts for the promotion of basic and higher education within the Islamic world
Devising and implementing a meticulous and practicable economic policy for the Muslim states
Establishment of forum for the promotion of research and technology
Establishment of a representative media organization
Steps for the improvement of the image of the Ummah
Conclusion




Global Zero: World without Nuclear Weapons


By Irshad Ali Sodhar (FSP)

Outline
1.Introduction
2.Brief history of nuclear weapons
3.Perils of nuclear weapons
4.Need to eliminate nuclear weapons
5. Global zero initiative
6. Is this goal achievable? Yes:
a. Historical support
b. Political will
c. Strong public support
d.New leadership
7.How to achieve it? Procedure/Strategy:
a. Ratification of NPT/CTBT
b. Reduction by the US and Russia
c. Elimination by all nuclear states
d. Follow up: control mechanism
8.Creation of International Nuclear Fuel-Bank
9. Advantages of nuclear zero
10. Conclusion

“This is the moment to begin the work of seeking the peace of world without nuclear weapons” (Barak Obama)

Man has achieved tremendous progress in developing scientific technology for the welfare and well-being of humanity, but simultaneously, he has also developed weapons for his own destruction. To acquire power–the most flagrant of all passions–he created weapons including explosive, chemical, biological and nuclear. Among them, the nuclear weapons are the most destructive causing mass destruction. Though, these have been used once in history during the World War-II, these have created a perpetual fear of annihilation among all humans. Now, with the evolving of a multi-cultural globalised world, there is an increase in momentum to develop a consensus for achieving Global Zero- elimination of all nuclear weapons. To succeed in this initiative, the need is to sit together, contemplate, devise a strategy and agree to divert this capability from weapons to welfare of humanity. The most resounding argument, generating urge to achieve this surpassable task lies in the brief history of apocalyptic perils of nuclear weapons.

The perils of atomic weapons were manifest as the two cities of Japan were wreaked when the bombs were dropped on them. In Hiroshima, some 75,000 people were immediately killed by blast, fire and radiation. Another 70,000 died by the end of 1945. Three days later in Nagasaki, plutonium bomb killed about 40,000 people immediately, another 75,000 died by the end of 1945. Five days after Nagasaki’s flattening, Japan surrendered. But the impact didn’t stop there. Thousands people died in following years due to radiation. Tens of thousands became disabled. Not only the people present at the time suffered but the ‘unborn’ as well. Thousands others were born with deformities and genetic disorders due to which successive generations have suffered.

The Americans and Japanese learned different lessons from these bombings. “The Americans lesson was; the nuclear weapons win wars, and therefore have value. The Japanese learned that human being and nuclear weapons cannot co-exist.” (David Krieger, President Nuclear Age Peace Foundation). However, the danger posed by nuclear weapons today is far greater than the destruction they caused in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Today, the number of nuclear weapons around the world is about 30,000 bombs with far greater weight and destruction power. Even a fraction of these weapons could put an end to human as well as other species on our planet. It is clear that if we don’t achieve ‘Global Zero’, our planet is always at risk, of being converted into a ‘Ground Zero’. This could happen not only due to a deliberate act but also accidental incident. Therefore, there is a strong reason that ‘these weapons must be abolished before they abolish us’.

The need to eliminate nuclear weapons is not only because these can be used for destruction in war but also because they pose equal danger in times of peace. There have been “Close Calls” to annihilation in various occasions. [In 1995] President Boris Yeltsin was informed that a nuclear missile was speeding towards the heart of Russia. Russian nuclear forces, already on hair-trigger alert, were put in even higher alert. Russian policy called for a “launch on warning”. The fate of the planet hung in the balance. Yeltsin wisely waited. And within those moments, the alarm declared false. “An unimaginable nuclear disaster had barely been avoided”, declared America’s Defense Monitor, Center for Defence Information, December 26, 1999.

Another, important incident took place in the US on August 31, 2007. Air Force crew loaded six live nuclear warheads onto a 8-52 Bomber and flew from ‘Minot Air Force Base’ in North Dakota to ‘Barksdak Air Force Base’ in cruising over the country’s heartland (Around 15 states). Each warhead was 10 times more powerful than the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. In analysis report, America’s Defence science Board (DSB) revealed that ‘six of the planet’s most powerful weapons were missing and no one noticed until they had landed in Louisiana after flight of 3 ½ hours.’ The report concluded that ‘human error was at the heart of the incident.’

This incident underscores the risk of accidental nuclear explosion threat due to ‘human error’ even in the country of its origin and in the ‘peace times’. It is important to note that this incident occurred in the US, which claims to employ world’s best safety standards for nuclear weapons. While the US itself keeps expressing concern over the safety of Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal.

It is learnt from these incidents that the humanity is at the risk of just single human error, if the nuclear weapons exist in the world. Therefore, wisdom calls for elimination of all nuclear weapons in order to make the future of humanity—our generation and our future generations – safe and secure.

In addition, the Cold War which was the pushing force behind nuclear race has ended two decades ago. Also due to the interdependence of states in the current scenario, there is unlikeness of revival of such conflicts.

Moreover, the presence of nuclear weapons in some states provides reason and pretext for other ambitious nations to acquire the same status. This unwise race has itself caused devastating effects on economy and human development, particularly in developing countries.

One of the major world powers, the USSR too, collapsed under the heavy burden of extraordinary defence spending on economy. The developing countries like India, Pakistan, and North Korea also joined the race. They did succeed in acquiring nuclear weapons but their poor population is suffering from abject poverty. A country like Pakistan, which is merely surviving at the edge of economic insolvency, could gain much economic growth, had the resources been utilised for the welfare of people. Iranians are bearing the sanctions imposed by western powers through the UN for pursuing nuclear technology, which according to them, is aimed at acquiring weapons.

Besides, the argument to possess nuclear weapons to maintain deterrence capability has also lost its ground. More the states acquire ‘nukes’, more the risk of their use builds-up. Moreover, the presence of nukes always poses risk of slipping into the hands of terrorists. Admiral Noel Gayler, a former commander-in-chief of the Pacific Command of US Navy, asks, “Is difference of nuclear weapons still possible?” He answers, “No”. He also questions, “Does nuclear disarmament imperil our security?” He answers, “No, it enhances it.” As human – beings are fallible, deterrence is not a perfect system. It can be failed by human error, accident, miscalculation or simply miscommunication. “Does it make sense to risk the future of our cities and even the human species on an unprovable theory?”, David Krieger, founder of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation.

This is why, fortunately, the initiative of achieving peace of the world without nuclear weapons is gaining support among both the senior military and the political leaders of the world. The increasing number of leaders have realised what Abraham Lincoln said, “We must think anew and act anew.” Recently many world leaders have expressed willingness to move towards this goal. British Prime Minister Gorden Brown said in March 2008 that the UK was ready to work for “a world that is free from nuclear weapons.” On December 5, 2008, Nicholas Sarkozy, the French President, while holding EU Presidency, wrote a letter to UN General Secretary, outlining an EU plan to advance global progress toward nuclear disarmament.

In order to seize this positive trend, to achieve the commitment of the entire international community, and to re-energise effort for complete nuclear disarmament, a new initiative “Global Zero” was launched on December 9, 2008, in Paris. The initiative was endorsed by 100 international political, military, business and civic leaders across the world. The signatories included former US President Jimmy Carter, former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, former British Foreign Secretary Margaret Becket, Queen Noor of Jordan, EhasnulHaq, former Joint Chief of the Staff committee (JCSC) of Pakistan, former Indian National Security advisor Brajes Mishra.

Global Zero envisages eliminating nuclear weapons through phased and verified reduction over a period of years. Key steps include:

• Massive reduction in Russian-US arsenal.
• Complete elimination to zero by all states.
• Establishing verification system to keep check.
• International management of the fuel cycle.

There are many positive indicators which indicate why this goal is achievable. First; there is a strong historical support. Throughout the nuclear age, even at the height of the Cold War, leaders foresaw a day when the world could be free of nukes. In 1986, Soviet Premier Mikhail Gorbachev and US President Ronald Reagan agreed that: “A nuclear war could never be won and must never be fought.” In 1999, Chinese President Jiang Zemin stated: “There is no reason why nuclear weapons should not be comprehensively banned and completely destroyed.”

Second; as Jiang Zemin had emphasised in his statement, ‘What it takes to reach this objective is no more than a strong political will.’ The world leaders agree with the idea of a world without nukes and have the means to achieve it. What they only need is the ‘Political will’. Some analysts argue that even if the major world powers agree to eliminate nuclear weapons, country like Iran might not agree to abandon its ambition. Though Iran’s nuclear weapon ambitions is a fallacy, there is a strong reason why Iran would follow the course. “If there is growing support by nuclear powers and public opinion worldwide, I think it becomes harder for any government, including Iran, to cross that barrier”, said Richard Burt, who was Washington’s Chief negotiator in the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) talks in the early 1990s. Naturally, no country can afford to be on the one side and whole of the world on the other.

Third; there is a strong support among majority of the people around the world. A poll of 21 countries conducted by Program on International Policy Attitudes (PIPA), USA, shows that global public opinion is overwhelmingly in favours of an international agreement for eliminating all nuclear weapons. 76 per cent of respondents, across all countries polled, favour such an agreement. As the public opinion tends to direct the policies of governments, it is likely that the leaders would come to the table.

Fourth; at this time particular, there is a new and great opportunity. US President Barak Obama and Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin have signalled to work on nuclear disarmament. The former declared, “This is the moment to begin the works of seeking the peace of a world without nuclear weapons.” Similarly, Russian Prime Minister Putin expressed in a speech in September 2008 to “Close this Pandora’s Box”.

This new and unprecedented political support from the heads of the world’s most important governments’ for zero nuclear weapons has made this goal possible. This moment offers both the possibilities and dangers. Possibilities; because of new leadership in the US which appears to support the goal of nuclear abolition. Dangers; because, if this moment passes without action, then the nuclear-race could quickly gather pace with many more states acquiring weapons and the risk of weapons falling into the hands of terrorists would increase.

This opportunity must be seized. It is the time for a new beginning to achieve a world free of nuclear weapons. This moment calls for embracing possibilities and dispelling dangers. The phased and verifiable elimination of nuclear weapons is possible. Here are some of the steps needed to achieve this goal:

Firstly; the ratification of Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT). The NPT, which was sponsored by the US, UK and the USSR, was aimed “to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and weapon technology, to promote cooperation in the peaceful use of nuclear energy and to further the goal of achieving nuclear disarmament”. The treaty was signed by 187 states and was ratified in 1975. However, the US, its sponsors, did not ratify it. Other four countries which have not signed it are: India, Pakistan, Israel and Cuba. Similarly, CTBT, introduced in 1995, has not been ratified by many states, including the US. It is strongly felt that if the US ratifies these treaties, others would follow the course. “Early the US ratification would do much to encourage the few remaining states to follow suit,” wrote David Miliband, UK’s former Foreign Secretary, in The Washington Post on December 8, 2008.

Secondly; negotiations between Washington and Moscow should start to cut back nuclear stockpiles to minimum. According to moderate estimates, the US and Russia have about 26000 of total 27000 weapons in the world. As both these states possess largest stockpiles—96 per cent of all the nuclear weapons in the world—they should reduce their arsenal in the first step. “Process needs to start with American and Russian leaderships”, argues Richard Burt.

This is an absolutely insensible approach to accumulate that much big arsenal that fraction of which can destroy the whole world. “When a country can be destroyed by a dozen weapons, its own possession of thousands of weapons gains no security”, says Admiral Noel Gayler. The huge possession of nukes itself puts larger responsibility on the US and Russia to initiate the process of disarmaments up to minimum level. The successful conclusion of ‘START NEW’ between both powers strengthens the possibility of reaching an agreement on nuclear disarmament.

Thirdly; following the reductions by the US and Russia, the rest of the countries can be brought on board for complete abolition of nukes. It would not be a difficult task. Once the powerful countries lead the course, rest will follow them. Perhaps others seem poised to welcome such move. The willingness of China, the UK and France has already been mentioned. The two South Asian countries India and Pakistan are also ready to shun the nukes. Last June, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, backed the same goal, saying that: “The only effective form of nuclear disarmament and elimination of nuclear weapons is global disarmament.” President Zardari has also talked of “nuclear weapon-free South Asia”. North Korea is already on-board in six-party talks and has also committed to abolish nuclear weapons for economic incentives. The only country which has stayed silent is Israel which is undeclared nuclear state. But given the leverage, Washington enjoys over it, Israel will have to be part of the process.

Once this process sets in momentum, the weapons could be delivered to a single and common remote place in oceans for dismantling under the supervision of skilled scientists. The nuclear material could be returned to the donors for use in the energy sector or disposal.

Lastly, having achieved the complete and verified elimination of nuclear weapons from the world, all the countries will have to conclude a joint treaty at the UN platform banning any development of nuclear weapons and technology. As Queen Noor of Jordan told BBC, “We have to work on de-legitimising the status of nuclear weapons.” This is vital for making the elimination of nukes irreversible. This would require establishing many mechanisms to constitute an eventual regime for overseeing the global ban.

It is also important to realise that advantage of use of nuclear technology for peaceful purposes is too great to be ignored. The NPT also underscores ‘to promote cooperation in the peaceful use of nuclear energy’. And, every country has the right to acquire nuclear technology for peaceful purposes. But given the element of conflict in international affairs and atmosphere of mistrust, all the countries can’t be trusted as reliable for not pursuing the ambitions of acquiring nuclear weapons again. This situation warrants a new approach, which would allow the use of nuclear energy and deny the weapons technology.

The Global Zero initiative envisages ‘international management of the fuel cycle to prevent future development of nuclear weapons.’ “An agreement on a new International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) led system that would help states wishing to develop a civil nuclear energy industry to do so without increasing the risk of nuclear weapon proliferation” says David Miliband. Creation of such international fuel bank would also end the conflicts in the world like Iran Nuclear Issue. This proposal was also forwarded by IAEA’s former head Muhammad Elbradi as early as in 2003, that: “all production and processing of nuclear material be under international control”. This novel idea has attracted the EU and an American billionaire ‘Warren Buffett’ for financing the project.

In this way, the world could not only be safe from destruction and the humanity from annihilation, but the tremendous energy potential of the nuclear resources could also be utilised for the welfare of people. The resources that go into weapons would help keep people safe and healthy and to give them opportunities. Not only the world is facing energy crisis due to depletion of fossil fuels, but with their emissions our environment is being damaged severely. Nuclear power possesses tremendous energy and simultaneously it is clean energy. It is important for health purposes as it is used in the treatment of many diseases, including cancer. Its use in agriculture enhances crop yield which would help mitigate the food crisis.

Global Zero offers two–pronged benefits: achieving safety by eliminating nuclear weapons and to achieve prosperity by using nuclear energy. The leaders of world have the greatest moral responsibility to seize the opportunity for the welfare of the living and the future generations of mankind. As Benazir Bhutto said, “We owe it to our children to build a world free of the threat of nuclear annihilation.”

Crisis of Good Governance in Pakistan


By Dr. QuratulAin Malik (ITG)

Introduction
Good governance is a prerequisite for social harmony, public order, political stability, economic prosperity and certainty about future. It delivers the fruit of progress and development evenly to all and sundry. Good governance is required at all levels of society and state.

Essentials of good governance
1.Promotion of national cohesion
2.National integration
3.Institutional supremacy
4.Independent judiciary
5.Constitutional supremacy
6.Rule of law
7. Political stability
8.Educational opportunities
9.Socio-economic development
10.Equal distribution of resources
11.Welfare state with provision of social securities
12.Strong writ of the government on all fronts

Situation of governance in Pakistan
1. Forces of disintegration -- stronger than forces of cohesion
2.Weak writ of the government
3.Absence of independent judiciary
4.No rule of law
5. Political instability
6.Interprovincial conflicts
7. Unequal distribution of resources
8.Pakistan presenting a picture of extreme bad governance on all national fronts

Causes

Political causes
1. Parliament, a toothless tiger
2.Political instability due to constant military interference
3.Issue of provincialism on revenue, resources and demand of provincial autonomy

Administrative causes
1. Bureaucratic hold on all institutions
2.Political interference on bureaucracy
3.Corruption, mother of all evils
4.Absence of culture of accountability
5.Mismanagement of resources
6.Pakistan, a soft state because of inability of implementation of policies due to lack of consensus

Economic causes
1. Fragile economy - FDI shrinking on account of terrorism and political instability
2.Crisis of energy, food, water
3. Corruption from top to bottom creating burden on the government exchequer

Social causes
1. Poverty – 40 per cent population living below the poverty line (UN reports)
2. Over population -16.6 crore ( Economic Survey of Pakistan 2009)
3. Illiteracy leading to socio-economic backwardness

Remedies
1.Pakistan is in dire need of truly capable leadership
2. Strong anti-corruption campaigns strengthening National Accountability Bureau
3.Strict accountability of all government servants in particular and common masses in general
4.Investment in socio-economic development
5.Allocation of seven per cent GDP for education
6.Three per cent for population control
7. Three per cent for poverty alleviation
8.Generation of new employment opportunities
9.Equal distribution of resources
10.Ensuring freedom of press

World Order: Unipolar to Multipolar


By Irshad Ali Sodhar (FSP)

Outline

1. Introduction
2.Brief history of World Order
3.United States’ Uni-polar Status
4.Determinants of World Order
a) Economic strength
b) Military power
c) International political clout
d) Ideology appeal

5. The Paradigm shift
6. Catalyst factors:
a) Energy resources
b) Iraq war
c) Financial crisis
d)Globalisation

7.Future scenario- Multipolar World
8.Would the multipolarity be beneficial to world?
9. Conclusion

History has witnessed cycles of rise and fall of civilisations, empires and regional as well as global powers. In past, military power was the only decisive factor in “balance of power” among nations. Its strength ensured their expansion and influence while its weakness precipitated their fall and disintegration. Though, it is still an important element, many other factors like economy, ideology, political stability, statesmanship and diplomacy have played substantial role in determining the status of a country among the comity of nations in this globalisation world.

The World Order has been more dynamic due to the unprecedented developments in international affairs in the last century-ranging from multipolar, bipolar and unipolar. The US has enjoyed unilateral and unparalleled status in the international affairs. But as history repeats itself, the might of American power is visibly diminishing due to neoconservative and imperialistic policies, and new centres of power are emerging to shape the “multipolar world order”.

Naturally, whenever any major power or state has shown its ambition to conquer the world and set up hegemonic empire, it has created resistance from other forces or alliance of forces. This clash of power has been the characteristics of all the periods, though; the 20th century is significantly an example of unprecedented struggle between the countries to acquire world supremacy. In the multipolar world, the conflict between European countries led to the World War-I. Till then United States of America followed isolationist policies in international realm. During first three years of war, Washington remained out of war and then declared war on Germany on April 6, 1917. The success in war established an international foothold for the US.

This deadliest war of history came to an end with of the deadliest weapons (nuclear bombs), which ushered in a new era of nuclear competition. As the military strength of both the US and the USSR (former) had played significant role in defeating the “axis”, they established their enormous influence in the world affairs. The resulting conflict of interest and ideology between the US and the USSR shaped “Bipolar World Order”. In the aftermath of World War-II, United Nations Organisation (UNO) was created to maintain peace. However, this forum was also unable to diffuse the tension between the US and the former USSR which marked the second half of the 20th century. The period is known as the Cold War.

Eventually, Cold War ended with the disintegration of the USSR and emergence of the US as sole super power of the world– economically, militarily and politically. The then president of the US Bush coined the term “New World Order”, which was significantly “Unipolar”. The US has enjoyed a prominent status and role since then; its economy grew with tremendous pace, its military strength has been unmatched, its political influence in the international affairs has been uncontested, and its ideology of democratic principle earned its world leadership.

Simply, the US holds supremacy in every element of global eminence. Richard Nixon, the ex-president of the US, in his book “In the Arena”, has described ingredients of global political clout as: economic power, military forces, ideological appeal, domestic political cohesion, skill in statecraft and commonality of interest with other major powers. In the light of these ingredients the US still enjoys upper hand over other countries of the world. Some of these are enumerated here.

The US also possesses a strongest military in the world with 1.4 million active personnel force. Its combat force consists of the largest number of carrier ships, fastest fighter planes with precision guided missiles and bombs. It has successfully tested anti-ballistic missile shield capacity.

More importantly, the US has led the world ideologically- for the purpose of democratic principles. It was this ideological perception on the basis of which League of Nations after the World War-I and the United Nations after the World War-II were created.

Moreover, it has maintained commonalty of interest with other major powers. However, it has not been able to acquire absolute power due to increasing competition from other major powers, particularly emergence of China, resurgence of Russia, and union of European countries globally and Iran, Venezuela regionally. “The scope of America’s global hegemony is admittedly great but its depth is shallow, limited by both domestic and external restraints.” Says Birzinski, the former US National Security Advisor.

The US has posed and acted as a most powerful state in the last two decades, but the shallowness of its power. Other powers have challenged the hegemony of the US in the international affairs. Though, no any power has individually surpassed the US in any of the elements of balance of power, they are poised to do in the near future, given the changing paradigm.

Economically, the US is still the largest economy of the world but closely followed by Japan and China. The per capita income of Japan is higher than that of the US. China has a very growing economy with sustained growth rate of over nine per cent for the last one and a half decades. The US faces trade deficit of $800 billon while China has trade surplus of $150 billion a year. EU’s collective GDP is now greater than that of the US. Since the launch of Euro currency in 1999, dollar had been losing its value against it constantly. Economy of Russia has been bloating its since 2000 and its GDP has been tripled. The rising oil and gas prices have added enormous impetus in Russian economy. Commenting on the challenges to unipolarity of the US, Richard N. Hass, a scholar at US Council for Foreign Affairs, wrote in “Foreign Affairs Magazine”: “Although US’ GDP accounts for over 25 per cent of the world total, this percentage is sure to decline over time given actual and projected differential between US growth rate and those of Asian giants”.

Militarily, US military force is said to be the strongest in the world but its superiority is not assuredly marked in contrast to the military forces’ capabilities of other major powers like Russia, China, France, Germany or if the capability of communist countries is combined on the one hand and that of the EU is combined on other hand. Almost all the major powers are nuclear states. Russia claims to have antiballistic missile capability successfully developed and tested during the Cold War; China has tested a direct ‘anti-satellite missile’ and ‘carrier cruse killer’. Moreover, in the current scenario militarilism and terrorism have undermined the strength of quite larger armies. The 9/11 attacks showed how a small investment by terrorists could cause extraordinary level of damage.

Politically, the influence of the US and its unilateral posture has been seriously checked. This is manifested from nuclear imbroglio with North Korea and Iran. China proved to be the best able to influence Pyongyang. Iran has faced four sets of sanctions by the UNSC on the insistence of the US but does not seem to be ready to compromise its stance. The degree of sanctions was significantly softened due to the stand of Russia and China. “Washington’s ability to pressure Tehran has been strengthened by the participation of several Western European countries and weakened by the reluctance of China and Russia to sanction Iran”, says Richard N. Hass.

Meanwhile, writ of the US has been significantly challenged by Venezuela in Latin America, which is supported by Argentina and Brazil. While challenging the US authority, Venezuela is developing close relations with Russia and China. Russian President Dimitry Medvedev visited Caracas in mid 2008 and signed a nuclear deal with his counterpart Hugo Chavez. Their military cooperation is also strengthening after this result. In South Asia, India is emerging as a global power due to its robust economic growth and large population of over 1 billion.

Ideologically, US had prominence due to its ideological appeal but the practical approach to the democratic cause has been contrary to the ideology. Washington’s dealing with other countries has been influenced by its economic and hegemonic interests rather than democratic principles and justice. The US has been supportive to dictatorships and kingdoms, while it has been calling others for democracy. The factor which has most stigmatised America’s reputation is its policy in the Middle East where it has been biased. It calls Israel’s ‘state terrorism’ as ‘right of self-defense’, while it terms the legitimate resistance of Palestinians as ‘terrorism’.

Though, emergence of new powers was natural, the status of the US could remain unchallenged, had Washington transformed its attitude and policies from a unilateralist to multilateralist approach. But the unilateral and unjustified policies of the US on several accounts from Iraq war to climate change crises have only unveiled fissures in its power structure. The most controversial issues, which have placed the US at the opposite pole from rest of the world, are energy crises, Iraq war, climate change, financial crises and globalisation. These factors have rather proved catalyst in the shift from unipolar to the multipolar world.

Energy resources are vital element in foreign policy formulation, particularly in contemporary scenario of energy crises. The US energy policy is a driving force behind the end of unipolarity. Since there is increase in demand of oil, it has two-fold effects on geopolitical front. First; the increase in demand raised the world oil prices from just over $20 a barrel to over $150 a barrel in less than a decade until the financial crisis plunged the oil prices. This increase in oil cost resulted in enormous transfer of wealth and leverage to energy rich countries. Secondly in order to secure energy supply, all the major powers have common interest in the energy rich countries. This competition has resulted in confrontational politics on the international stage. This is the energy demand which led the US to war in Iraq.

The Iraq war has significantly contributed to the dilution of the US power in the world. It has proved to be expensive in terms of almost all elements of power and in human terms. Historian Paul Kennedy had outlined in his book ‘Imperial Overstretch’ that the US would eventually decline by overreaching just as other powers had in the past. The war has cost America deaths of more than 4,500 troops and over $700 billion as loss. Resultantly, the US fiscal position has declined from surplus of $100 billion in 2000 to a deficit of $700 billion in 2007. This also manifests that Washington cannot fight anymore war unilaterally.

On the diplomatic front, the US could not obtain approval from the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) for going into war in Iraq. The issue of pre-emptive war divided the US and the UK from their European partners — France and Germany — and other global powers — Russia and China.

The financial crisis of 2008 hit the backbone of the US economy whereas Russian, Chinese and other Asian economies have displayed quite stability. The crisis damaged not only its economy but image as well. “The financial crisis is causing major damage to US image as the stable anchor of the world economy, and American leadership, as the dominant financial superpower with free and innovative markets, is in question”, says Yeongseop Rhee, of Brookings institution. In a short, the financial crisis has defined the economic multipolarity of the world.

Besides, the globalisation has transformed the world into an interdependent multipolar world. Nation States have been losing their monopoly on power and are being challenged by regional and global organisations, and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and corporations. Globalisation has strengthened ties and connection in economy, politics, science and technology, culture and society around the world. It is the impact of globalisation and leverage of environmental NGOs that 186 countries though reluctantly signed the Kyoto Protocol, Copenhagen Accord and now the ‘Cancun Agreements’ on climate change.

Above issues have reflected upon a point that no country can independently address such global issues like climate change, terrorism, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, economic crisis and above all the world peace and security. It has been proved that unilateral and hegemonic efforts have been failed to change the objective law of world politics, rather, they have aroused resistance across the world.

Hence it is becoming evident that the age of ‘unipolarity’ is ‘dissipating’ and the world is ‘moving towards’ natural ‘multipolarity’. In other words, there emerged multipowers or centres power. However, multipolarity is not an immediate reality the rather it is developing trend. As the emerging powers are strengthening and their inter-dependence increasing, world is being pushed towards multipolarity.

In the future multipolar world order, power would not rest with a few major countries but with several countries. Each having its specific prominence will have assertive say in the world affairs. Besides the US, Japan, China, EU and India would have economic strength. Iran, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, members of the African Union and Brazil would have leverage due to their vast energy resources. Russia would have both advantages. Some countries would have importance due to their geostrategic location like Pakistan, Central Asian States, Ukraine, and Turkey as these countries are located on the energy routes through which energy resources will be routed to rest of the world. Besides, the international organisations like UNO, World Bank, IMF; regional organisations like SAARC, EU, SCO, ASEAN, AU and NGOs including environmental, social and humanitarian would be on the list of power centres.

Here a question arises; whether the multipolar world with so many power centres could ensure peace and security? There are serious concerns because previous multipolarity had led to two World Wars. The answer is assuredly affirmative. The future multipolarity is not going to be like the previous one based on independent power base of countries. On the contrary, the emerging multipolarity is the age of growing inter-dependence and mutual cooperation. The countries would not be asserting their influence individually but through regional and international organisations on the basis of democratic principles.

The strength of economy, technological advancement, availability of energy and human development depend upon the cooperation of all countries and civilisations. And a multipolar world can best serve this purpose by creating balance in exercise of power and boosting competitive atmosphere in technological and economic fields. In this regard, a scholar of Chinese People Association for Peace and Disarmament, Yu Zhongrong says, “A multipolar world is characterised with coexistence of multiple forces and multiple entities.” To be precise, collective security, mutual cooperation and inter-dependence would be the earmark of multipolar world.

To achieve this purpose, all the existing and emerging powers need to develop consensus on some prerequisites. The international relations are required to be democratised. And to achieve the goals, UN is a best forum. Firstly its charter’s basic principles of equality of states, majority as core of democratic system and mechanism of institutions shall be followed in true spirit in dealing with all international issues. Secondly, UN’s authority must be safeguarded and enhanced to play its role to balance the power of various forces and to find just and rational solution to international conflicts like Palestine, Kashmir, Iraq, nuclear proliferation and humanitarian crises. It shall facilitate dialogue and exchange of views between different civilisations and cultures of all religion, region and countries.

As the chronicles of international politics have proved that hegemony and imperialism are the biggest threat to world peace and are the root causes of conflicts and wars, the multipolar world of ‘inter-dependence’ and ‘coexistence’ is a bid to create a harmonious world of economic stability, social justice, collective security and common development. In this way, human will see the world to embark on the path of peace-the ultimate goal.

Perils of Muslim Union


By Dr. QuratulAin Malik (ITG)

Introduction
1. Muslim population comprising 2/3rd of world's total population.
2. Despite enormous potential — Muslim world lags behind in all spheres of life.
3. Thesis statement leading to conclusion.

Overview of the economic potential of the Muslim World
1.World's largest oil reserves.
2. Arabian Peninsula enjoys a significant strategic position in the world.
3. Strait of Hormuz — 60% of the world's oil route.
4. Economic growth rate high in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and UAE.
5. Organisation of Islamic Countries — a Potential Organisation.

Perils of Muslim Ummah

Economic Causes
1. Lack of economic cooperation.
2. Diversified economic interests.
3. Lack of economic cohesion and unity.

Political Causes
Absence of democracy — Monarchical forms of governments (Saudi Arabia, UAE)

Technological and Educational backwardness
1. Lowest literacy rate.
2. Lack of scientific research and education.
3. Inability to cope up with the changing global trends.

Cultural Causes
1. Islam versus the West.
2. Islam perceived as a threat to modernism.

Terrorism: (among the Muslim Countries)
1. The wave of terrorism — damaging the fabric of Muslim countries.
2. Muslims perceived as terrorists.

OIC: A dead organisation
1. Inefficiency of organisation in the last three decades.
2. Annual meetings without practical resolutions.

Current situation and implications of the above mentioned factors
Muslim Ummah — caught up in a vicious cycle of terrorism, economic and political turmoil.

Muslim Ummah targeted by the West in the name of Islam.

Inability to resolve the core issues of Muslim world, like:

1. Kosovo — Kashmir — Chechnya — Iraq — Afghanistan
2. Economic backwardness.
3. Poverty, over population, high crime rate.
4. Low GDP and HDI in Muslim world.
5. Meagre contribution in world trade.
6. Least developed infrastructure (Sudan, Somalia etc.)
7. Educational backwardness.

Suggestions

Economic cooperation: (Joint venture of Muslim world)
1. Open the barriers of trade.
2. Enhance exports and imports.
3. Make use of oil reserves to the benefit of whole Muslim Ummah.
4. Easy visa policies — Human movement.

Muslim World — to raise voices on international forums for conflict resolution
1. Kashmir; Pakistani dispute to be taken on the UN forums.
2. Efforts for getting permanent seats in the UN Security Council.
3. Muslims countries should get united to stop West's war against Islam.

Muslim integration — Need of the hour
1. Muslim integration — only solution of Muslim problems.
2. Muslim Monetary Funder Bank to be established.
3. Fund collection for the poor Mu-slim countries (Sudan, Somalia).
4. Muslim rehabilitation fund should be established to cope with Natural Disasters (Earthquake, floods, draughts etc)

OIC — to be made a vibrant Organisation
1. Changes in the structure of the organisation.
2. The pattern of “European Union” to be followed and “Muslim Union” to be formed.
3. Bi-annual meetings should be held with persistent political will.
4. Guidance and Economic assistance of Saudi Arabia should be sought out to address all the issues of Muslim Ummah.
Global warming


By Irshad Ali Sodhar (FSP)

Outline

1.Introduction
2.What is global warming?
3.Green house effect
4. Evidences of global warming/climate change
a) Temperature,
b) Precipitation,
c) Rise in sea level.

5. Causes of global warming-emissions
6.Sources of emissions
7.Who are responsible for green house emissions?
8. Possible impacts of global warming:
a) Most affected would be marginalised communities,
b) Coastal areas,
c) Frequent and strong storms and floods,
d) Health problems,
e) Ecosystem destruction,
f) Agricultural loss (Food insecurity).

9. Unpredictable surprises
10. Threshold level
11.Strategies to mitigate global warming:
a) Transforming to renewable sources of energy,
b) Energy conservation and efficiency,
c) Individual efforts.

12. Conclusion


Global warming is simply defined as an increase in the average global temperatures. Though, it is an environmental problem, it has serious implications on the global economics, geopolitics, society, humanity and all living beings. “Global warming is one of the most controversial science issues of the 21st century, challenging the very structure of our global society”, says Mark. Though, there has been controversies between two schools of scientific thought, one calling it is a myth and the other considering it is a reality, there is sufficient evidence to support the later. Anthropogenic activities, causing increased emissions of green house gases, are behind the global warming. It has been established, that, if not addressed properly and immediately, it would have catastrophic impacts.

Global warming means earth is becoming warmer gradually. There is increase in average global temperatures of air and oceans, accompanied by widespread melting of glaciers and rising of sea level. The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in its ‘Synthesis Report on Climate Change’, states that there is clear evidence for a 0.6 0C rise in global temperatures and 20cm rise in sea level during the 20th century. It predicts that “global temperatures could rise by 1.4 to 5.8 0C and sea level could rise by 20 to 88cm by the year 2100.” Majority of the scientists and research organisations, including IPCC have reached on consensus that global warming is caused by massive increase of green house gases such as Carbon dioxide (Co2) in atmosphere resulting from burning of fossil fuels and deforestation.

The temperature of earth is maintained by the balance between the heat energy coming from the sun and the heat energy returned back to space. Some atmospheric gases: Carbon dioxide (CO2), Methane (CH4), Nitrous Oxide (N2OX), Chlorofluorocarbons (CFC) and water vapours are important to this temperature balance. They form the green house blanket in the atmosphere. This blanket absorbs some of the long wave radiation and re-radiate it back to surface, which causes the atmosphere to warm up to 350C. Without these gases the earth’s atmospheric temperature would be 15 to 200C. If more such gases are added to the atmosphere, the earth’s temperature would increase accordingly. And these are being added enormously.

This is why the global warming is taking place with greater pace due to the abundant increase in emissions. “The scientists community is largely persuaded that not only is earth’s climate warming, but rate of warming is accelerating due substantially to, human activity.” says Dr. Terrence M. Joyce, Senior Scientist and Director of Ocean & Climate Change Institute.

The main evidences of global warming are three basic indicators- temperature, precipitation and sea level. Firstly, the temperature of land surface, ocean waters and free atmosphere has been measured through fixed thermometers, balloons in the air and satellites. By these sources, scientists have produced record of last 130 years, which shows a global warming of 0.65(+ - 0.05degree C) over this period. We also know that 2010 was globally the warmest years on record.

Secondly, the recorded data of precipitation also reveals that there is upward trend in global precipitation. It shows that precipitation has increased over land at high latitudes in northern hemisphere, especially during cold seasons. As the cyclones, i.e. hurricanes, tornadoes, storms are closely related with the process of precipitation; the world has experienced more frequent and stronger hurricanes and storms during the recent past; Hurricane Katrina in the US in 2005 and 2010 Super Flood in Pakistan.

Thirdly, the global sea level has risen by about 20cm over the past 100 years. Initially, it was believed that the rise in sea level had occurred due to temperature increase as water expands on heating. But it has been revealed by relevant data that the 40 per cent increase in the sea level was due to warming and 60 per cent increase was due to melting of ice. This is pretty dangerous news as both the poles of earth are covered with ice- Arctic and Antarctic, with huge mass of ice. If melting is accelerated due to global warming it would cause catastrophic rise in oceans.

The magnitude of the impacts warrants seriously looking into the responsible factors for emissions in order to devise effective strategies to cope with this peril. There are many sources/agents which are responsible for emissions of green house gases – resulting mainly from the burning of fossil fuels and deforestation. Industrial processes, power generation, transportation and domestic consumption of fossil fuels are major sources of anthropogenic emission. Unfortunately, the fossil fuel i.e. oil, coal, natural gas supply 85 per cent of energy supply whereas the clean forms of energy i.e. nuclear , biomass and hydrogen only form 15 per cent of energy supply.

On the other hand, cutting of trees for settlements and natural fire incidents like the summer fire in Australia and unusual fire in Russia in 2010, due to high temperatures, are also causing deforestation at massive level. In this way the forests, which are major source of balancing CO2, are also decreasing resulting in its increase in the atmosphere.

Since, the emissions are proportional to the consumption; these are not evenly distributed around the world. North America is a leading emitter followed by Europe and Asia. Together they make 90 per cent of the global industrially produced CO2. The developed countries have emitted much more than developing countries. Besides, the developing countries are striving for economic progress, subsequently increasing emissions as economic development is closely associated with energy production. Now, all the countries, particularly developed countries have to share responsibility to cut the emissions for the purpose of humanity otherwise we are going to suffer the possible implications.

Global warming is going to divest communities that are already the most marginalised in world. These are the communities that are least responsible for the industrial and historical emissions that created the problem. However, future climate change will have impacts on all parts of human society, including coastal regions, storms and floods, health and water resources, agriculture and biodiversity. Some of the impacts are discussed separately.

One; the coast line regions are most vulnerable. As the UN’s panel on climate has reported that sea level could rise by 20-88 cm in next 100 years, this is a serious problem for coastal areas which will be more prone to storms and floods. In response, the bigger and developed countries would have to build higher walls on the coasts but still they will have to lose some agricultural land. However, the small island countries like Maldives face dire situation. The sea rise would flood up the dry land, making these islands inhabitable. Another country, Bangladesh which is deltaic region would lose considerable portion of land and its agriculture – a prime source of livelihood there will be destroyed.

Two; storms and floods are major natural hazards. The records show that the temperature regions, particularly in the northern hemisphere, have witnessed more storms over the last 50 years. Two-fifth of the world population lives under the monsoon belt. Monsoons are caused mainly by temperature difference between oceans and continents. This difference will increase and the monsoons, which are normally life-giving rains, would exacerbate tremendously flooding the regions and destroying the agriculture – the major economic activity in the developing countries.

diseases and injury due to extreme events; increased frequency of diarrhea and cardiovascular diseases. By far the most important threat to human health is access to fresh drinking water. Though, the runoff is projected to increase by 10 to 40 per cent by mid century at higher latitudes but the negative impacts of global warming on fresh water system outweigh its benefits.

Currently, approximately 1.7 billion people, a third of world population, live in countries that are water stressed. IPCC suggests that with the projected global population increase and the expected climate change, five billion people may experience water stress by 2025.

Fourth; ecosystem which is an essential component for biodiversity, is going to be seriously affected by global warming. The species at maximum threats are: The mountain gorilla in Africa, amphibious Bengal tiger, polar bears and penguins, etc. The reason for threat to these species is that they are unable to migrate in response to climate change due to human activity and urbanisation. Another example of an ecosystem under threat is coastal protection. There are evidences that the coral reefs are diminishing due to temperature increase; which will disturb basic food chain in marine life.

Fifth; the most worrying concern of climate change is the effect it will have on agriculture. The world is already facing food crisis. According to UN, more than 800 million go to sleep hungry every night. Increase in temperature would have two effects: first, in higher latitudes it will increase food production due by moderating temperatures and increased CO2; it second, it will reduce the crop yield in the low latitudes due to higher temperatures and destruction of agricultural land by salinity. Generally, there will be a drop in food production in both the developed and less developed countries.

The above impacts assume that there is a linear relationship between the increase in temperatures and its implications. However, there is increasing concern among the scientists that climate change may occur abruptly and explode surprises for humanity- beyond its control. It is observed that environment is changing at a faster rate than expected. A report by a US National Academy of Science (NAS) says, “Available evidence suggests that abrupt climate changes are not only possible but likely in the future, potentially with large impacts on ecosystem and societies”.

Moreover, there is a point of no return- “threshold”, after which warming may become unstoppable. The earth’s climate can change abruptly when the responsible factors reach the thresholds. Most scientists think that the point lies not far beyond 20C hotter. It is the point at which anthropogenic warming can trigger huge release of Carbon dioxide from warming oceans or similar releases of both CO2 and CH4 from melting permafrost, or both. To limit warming to 20C we must stabilise concentration of green house gases in the atmosphere at a specific ‘stabilisation level’.

Knowing the dangerous consequences of inaction, the world needs to act to check the global warming. As the global warming is caused by anthropogenic emissions, the most logical approach to this problem would be to cut emissions significantly. This, however, has a major implication for the world economy- the energy of which is mainly based on fossil fuel burning. Several efforts have been spearheaded in the past but consensus has not been reached due to contentious position of some most industrialised countries.

From the Kyoto Protocol 1997 through Copenhagen, 2009 to Cancun Conference 2010, the world leaders have been unable to agree on substantial cuts in emissions and adequate funding for adoption. Though, there has been some progress in foundation work along with commitments from the world leaders to tackle this danger to planet earth, there is a long way to go for effective action.

Being the developed countries these are well equipped, technologically, to cut the emission by transforming their economies from fossil fuel-based energy to renewable resource energy. The solar energy available is the most abundant form of energy available to humans. Wind energy is another plenty source of energy. Nuclear source is also a non-pollutant source of energy. The developed countries should not only explode this source but they should also support/help the underdeveloped countries to generate electricity from this source. We need to understand that we have to switch over to these sources of energy as the fossil fuels are bound to be finished by the increasing levels of consumption; so why late, why not now?

Furthermore, the effort at the international level is not the only way to control global warming; all the people can play their individual role as well. After all are the end users of all that is produced in the industries and energy sector. Individuals can help reduce the green house emissions by many ways like: driving less, sharing a car with a friend or colleague to office, eating local, improving vehicles’ fuel efficiency, consuming less, using less electricity (and saving money), energy efficiency at work and home and by reducing waste products. These acts would serve the purpose of emission reduction in two ways: One; the less- consumption would result less production and subsequently less burning of fuels. Two; it will generate a moral pressure on the industries and governments to realise the dilemma and agree to the emission reduction policy.

There is a feasible counter balance to reduce CO2 from atmosphere by growing forests on land and vegetation in sea but it will not do much. Ultimately, a combination of improved energy efficiency and alternative energy resources is the way to mitigate global warming. Though it will cost us but ‘the earlier effective action is taken, the less costly it will be”, says Sir Nicholas Stern, the Chief Economist at World Bank. We need to act now, we need to act before it’s too late, as the major threat from global warming is its unpredictability.

The global warming has become the real test of the foundations of our modern society, civilisation and democracy. Its anthropogenic causes are amply proved. Its implications have started hitting humanity, which are too harmful to be ignored. The solutions are at hand. Therefore, the world leaders have responsibility to respond to it effectively for the cause of humanity - our future generation. “Climate change, and what we do about it, will define us, our era, and ultimately the global legacy we leave for future generations”, says Ban Ki Moon.

Global energy crisis


By Irshad Ali Sodhar (FSP)

Outline
1. Introduction
2. What is energy crisis?
3. Share of energy resources in energy supply
a) Non-renewable
b) Renewable

4.World consumption distribution
5.World production distribution
6.Causes of crises
a) Surge in demand
b) Resource nationalism – tighter supply
c) Political uncertainty
d) Lack of diversity

7.Impact of crises
a) Economy
b) Politics
c) Development

8. Environmental concerns
9. Way out: Renewable energy
10. Conclusion


Man is dependent on energy, which has been the key to his rapid industrial growth and technological development. The pace of development after industrial revolution is unprecedented. Just 200 years ago, the world experienced energy revolution that launched the industrial age. The catalyst to this epochal change was ordinary black coal - an energy rich hydrocarbon. A century later, oil and gas were added to satiate the thirst of industry. Man still relies mainly on these fossil fuels.

Nevertheless many other sources of energy: hydro, solar, nuclear, wind, geothermal, biogas and wave have been taped. These sources of energy are not only renewable but clean as well. Since the hydrocarbons are exhaustible and their use also threatens human health and environment; this fact has necessitated transformation from non-renewable energy resources to renewable and clean energy resources so that economic growth could be sustained and environmental degradation could be prevented.

Energy is not only vital for the industry but it is also the life blood of our daily life. The consumption of fossil fuels has increased manifolds due to rapid industrialisation of developing countries like China and India. However, the major proportion of hydrocarbon is consumed by already developed countries like the US, Japan and Western European states. The fossil fuels are also the main source of energy for heating of houses and running motor vehicles and generation of electricity. Since the demand has been increased far more than the increase in the production of fossil fuels, a disproportionate imbalance between the demand and supply has been created which has resulted in energy crisis.

If the fossil fuel production remains constant, it is estimated that the reserves will be depleted soon. The oil crisis of 2008, when petrol prices soared to $150 a barrel, was an early symptom of such scenario. The increasing demand coupled with speculations of depletion of fossil fuels caused sky rocketing rise in the prices, which was the principal catalyst behind economic crises in the world.

The energy crises are caused due to disproportionate dependence on non-renewable energy resources fossil fuels. The hydrocarbons; coal oil and gas together constitute 85 per cent of the world’s total energy supply. Their respective share is oil 37 per cent; coal 25 per cent and gas 23 per cent (total 85 per cent).

On the other hand the renewable resources of energy; hydro, solar, wind, nuclear, geothermal, biogas and wave constitute only 15 per cent of global share of energy supply. These are also clean sources of energy. Despite their enormous benefits, the renewable sources of energy have not been exploited sufficiently due to many reasons. The reasons may include technological barriers, initial cost and political compulsions. Both the least developed and developing countries mainly face technological backwardness and barriers, while the developed countries have been too slow and reluctant to transfer their technology due to the higher cost and political reasons.

The world distribution of energy consumption reveals that the most developed countries are the highest consumers of fossil fuels. The US, which is the most advanced country technologically and richest economically, consumes 25 per cent of the total world energy output while its population makes only five per cent of the world. This makes America the highest per capita energy consuming nation. Second comes Japan, which consumes six per cent. The Western European countries which are also technologically advanced consume 15 per cent of the world energy. China, a growing economy, consumes nine per cent of the world energy resources. However, the rest of the world consumes only 45 per cent of energy production.

This consumption is in sharp contrast to the production in respect of regional distribution. As the US has only 2.4 per cent of world oil reserves and 3.5 per cent of gas reserves, Japan imports 75 per cent of its energy needs, China imports more than 50 per cent of its energy needs. The largest fossil fuel reserves are located in Middle East and Russia. The Arab countries possess 61 per cent of oil reserves of the world but they are not big consumers. This uneven distribution of consumption and production is the one cause of energy crisis. Other three causes behind the global energy crisis include surge in demand, tighter supply, political uncertainty in oil producing countries and lack of the diversity of resources. These factors are:

One, the demand of energy resources have surged throughout the world. In 1970, the total consumption of world was 204 Quadrillion BTU which doubled in 2000 to 402 Quadrillion BTU and is now around 500 QBTU higher. It is projected that the energy demand by 2030 will be increased by 50 per cent.

As the economy of world is mainly dependent upon fossil fuel energy, the demand of oil and gas is increasing tremendously. Let’s take example of China has more than doubled its oil use over the past decade to 5.55 million barrel a day. The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) has reported that China oil needs could almost double to 11 million barrels a day by 2020. Same is the case with India, the largest growing economy in South Asia. The Central Asian and South American countries have also multiplied their consumption due to rapid industrialisation.

Two, the supply of oil and gas are mainly dependent upon the capacity to pump from the reserves. Though, the Organisation of Oil Exploring Countries (OPEC) boosted the supply during the peak crisis in 2008 but that was not enough to meet the demand of the market. Another factor determining the oil supplies is the volatile price mechanism. As the speculations cause increase in the prices, the oil producing countries get higher profits. This trend has led to new political concept– Resource nationalism. The international firms have found themselves faced with tougher terms and shut out of globe’s most promising oil basins.

Third, the supply of hydrocarbons is also affected by the political condition in the resource countries. Unfortunately, the political conditions in all the oil producing regions are volatile. It was painfully felt by the western world when Arab leaders clamped an oil embargo on the US in retaliation to Washington’s support of Israel in the 1973 Middle East war. Even today the conditions in this region are not stable. The US forces are occupying Iraq in order to secure oil supplies. Iran is facing sanctions due to nuclear imbroglio with the West. Russia is also at odds with Europe on the gas supplies. Hugo Chavez is busy in consolidating power in Venezuela where he is facing the US-backed political opposition. The Central Asian States have their own internal political turmoil.

Fourth, nature has bestowed man with infinite resources of energy but man has made himself dependent on the finite resources. The lack of diversity of resources is the chief cause of energy crises. Instead of harnessing new technology, the industrial growth in developing countries is increasingly dependent on fossil fuels.

Such importance of energy has made it important element in the foreign policies of the independent states. The 20th century and dawn of the 21st century have seen wars fought for oil. In 1977, CIA prepared a plan “Go to war to get oil” and subsequently, the US went to war with Iraq in 1991Gulf war. America is again there for the same purpose.

Similarly China’s foreign policy towards many regions of the world particularly Africa, the Middle East and Caspian Sea region, oil holds a critical status. China’s vibrant policies in these regions are being watchfully monitored by Washington. This is also true for South Asian region. Pakistan is engaged with Iran for gas pipeline project and is equally interested in the Caspian Sea region – Central Asian States.

Besides these conflicts, the fossil fuels cause havoc to our environment. The hydrocarbons are the chief source of green house gases-carbon dioxide, Methane, fluorine, which cause global warning. Burning coal accounts for 43 per cent of carbon emissions. Oil and gas account for another 40 per cent of emissions of CO2.

Fears of global warning aside, burning fossil fuel releases chemicals and particulates that cause cancer, brain and nerve damage, birth defects, lung injury, and breathing problems. The toxics released by combusting hydrocarbons pollute the air and water and causes acid rain and smog. These negative implications of burning fossil fuels on human environment and life make it incumbent upon man to diversify the energy resources.

Man also needs to realise that the fossil fuel energy is limited and would be depleted. Hennery Kissinger had said, “The amount of energy is finite ………. And competition for access to energy can become the life and death for many societies”.

First; the solar energy, the basic source of energy, can be converged and converted into different ways, such as simple water heating for domestic use or by the direct conversion of sunlight to electrical energy using mirrors, boilers or photovoltaic cells. Currently only 0.5 per cent of the world energy supply is obtained from this source.

Second; humans have been harnessing the wind for thousands of years and have succeeded in producing electricity from it. Air flowing through turbines or spinning blades generates power that can be used to pump water or generate electricity. At present, the wind energy constitutes 0.3 per cent of world energy supply but it has a great potential. Germany is producing 23000 MW from wind, which is more than Pakistan’s total installed electricity generation capacity. Like solar energy it is also a clean source of energy. According to the US Department of Energy the world’s winds could supply more than 15 times its current energy demand.

Third; hydroelectric power is another source of renewable energy in the natural water cycle. The flow of streams can be manipulated by construction of dams at higher altitudes and the kinetic energy of waterfall is used to rotate the turbines to make electricity. This is the very cheaper source and clean form of energy.

Fourth; atomic energy is hailed as panacea to pollution problems generated by fossil fuels, and is destined to be the cheapest source of energy. However, it is also limited and has hazardous effects on human health. But given the potential of energy and the capacity of technology to safeguard the nuclear plants, it is the quickest option to solve the energy crises in the world as one nuclear pellet (finger) produces energy equivalent to 17000 cubic feet of natural gas.

Fifth; biomass is also a potential source of energy. Humans have been burning biomass materials since the dawn of time. It has been recently discovered to produce clean combustible gas from waste products such as sewerage and crop residue. Many countries have also invested in bio-fuels. However, this is counter-productive as it induced rise in food prices, therefore only bio waste should be used for energy production.

Sixth; another alternate source of oil is methanol – a clear colourless liquid made from natural gas, coal industrial garbage. This is a reliable source of fuel for automobiles as it is cheaper and far easier to be produced in bulk.

Seventh; geothermal energy can be used with heat pumps to warm a buildings or swimming pools in winter. This can lessen the need for other power to maintain comfortable temperatures in buildings, particularly in countries having very cold winters.

Eighth; hydrogen has been touted as the fuel of the future. It is most abundant element known in the universe and can be burnt as a fuel for vehicles and industry. If this form of energy is taped at a larger scale, it will eventually become society’s primary energy carrier in the 21st century.

The media and industry claim that renewable energies are not yet economically competitive fossil fuels. Perhaps not; but given the health and environmental costs, and limit of fossil fuels, the price of renewable energy is only viable option. However, no renewable energy form will single handedly replace oil, but together they will become a very important part of the energy mix of the future.

As the demand of energy is set to grow rapidly during next 20 years the supply of energy is going to decline, which could give rise to competition and conflict coupled with economic instability. Meanwhile, human environmental and health hazards could become irrecoverable. Therefore, man should strive for energy independence that can be achieved only through fuel choice and competition. And the first choice of sustainable energy is the clean and renewable energy.

Disaster management in Pakistan


By Irshad Ali Sodhar (FSP)

Outline
1. Introduction
2.Disaster; definition and types
3.Disaster management
4.Phases of disaster management;
a. Mitigation
b. Preparedness
c. Response
d. Recovery

5. History of disasters in Pakistan
6.Disaster in the wake of recent floods
7.Structure of disaster management in Pakistan
8.Role of National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA)
9. Abysmal state of disaster preparedness and management in Pakistan
10.Impacts of weak disaster management
i) Food crisis
ii) Health hazards
iii) Ravaged infrastructure
iv) Unemployment and economic loss
v) Militancy and crime
vi) Political upset

11. An organised disaster management is the need of the hour.
12. Measures to improve disaster management in Pakistan
13. Conclusion


Pakistan is one of the most disaster prone countries in the world. Generally divided into natural and man-made, all disasters are managed by a systematic process of disaster management that aims at minimising the damage and restoration of people to their normal state. Pakistan is well familiar with disasters which have caused a heavy toll in terms of men and material.

However, due to its inadequate preparedness to manage disasters, it has failed to effectively cope with them. Though, after earthquake-2005, a systematic effort was geared up to develop a viable structure of disaster management evolving into establishment of NDMA, it has yet to achieve the required standards. The heavy floods of 2010 exposed its unpreparedness and frail management resulting in unprecedented proportion of losses and damages. Since, the magnitude of implications is too heavy to bear; the efficient disaster management comes, on the priority, second to none of other needs. Therefore, it is necessary to formulate an organised disaster management system to cope with disasters that may break out in future.

Disaster is defined as "a catastrophic event that brings about great damage, destruction and devastation to life and property." The damage caused by disasters varies depending upon geographical location, climate severity and above all, the types of disasters. Disasters have been classified into two categories - natural disasters and man-made disasters. Cyclones, tsunami, floods, droughts, earthquakes and volcanoes are a few examples of natural disasters; and wars and nuclear accidents fall in the category of the man-made disasters. All these calamities and catastrophes incur heavy toll on man and his habitat. However, the disasters can be mitigated and losses can be minimised with efficient preparedness and management.

Disaster management is the mechanism of coordinating and utilising available resources to deal emergencies effectively, thereby saving lives, avoiding injuries and minimising losses. This also deals with strategic and organisational management processes used to protect vital assets from hazard risks in such emergencies.

As mentioned earlier, disaster management is a systematic process, consisting ostensibly of four main phases: response, recovery, relief and rehabilitation. However, it remains incomplete without mitigation and preparedness, which are basically pre-disaster management phases. All these phases are crucially important in managing disasters.
Mitigation, the very first phase of disaster management, is a sustained action that reduces both short-term and long-term risks to people and property from the hazards and their effects. It involves activities like scientific hazard analysis, vulnerability analysis, risk assessment, avoiding construction in high risk zones, launching awareness campaigns, training and capacity building of responders and managers, etc. Mitigation, therefore, is a persistence effort to lessen the impact that disasters may incur.

Preparedness, the second phase of disaster management, is defined by Global Development Research Center as "a set of steps that enhance the ability of communities and government to respond to a disaster." The steps included in this phase are the maintenance of resource inventory, stockpiling, logistic planning, evacuation planning, communication planning, and needs assessment. The key to effective disaster management is readiness to provide a rapid emergency response. It entails everyone to be prepared to respond to extreme situations.

Response, the next phase of disaster management, includes the action of responding to an emergency. It aims to provide immediate emergency support to a community to maintain health, safety and morale until a permanent solution can be put in place. The steps involved in response phase are situation analysis, crisis maps, information communication, evacuation and shelters, dispatching of resources and early damage assessment. Besides, trained and equipped personnel are required to deal with an emerging crisis.

Recovery, finally, is the process of returning to normal. Recovery phase may be short-term as well as long-term, and it begins after the disaster commences. Reco-very phase is overlapped by reconstruction, rehabilitation; spatial planning, infrastructure building, housing, livelihood, social security, transport, clean drinking water, communication and agriculture.

Previously, Pakistan has fallen victim to disasters many a time. The earthquake-2005, Hunza landslides and Floods 2010 are some of the incidents. The available data suggests that Pakistan suffered heavily at the hands of these disasters owing to the lack of efficient disaster management.

Recently, the spate of floods that began late in July of 2010 dealt a serious blow to Pakistan. The floods with such a magnitude had never been witnessed in the history of Pakistan. Torrential monsoon rains in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Sindh, Balochistan and Punjab were primarily responsible for the floods. The heavy rains also affected Indus river basin. Almost one/fifth of Pakistan submerged in water. Moreover, almost 20 million people were directly affected by the destruction of property, livelihood and infrastructure. And the death toll rose to about 2,000 people. Had there been no institute to deal with this natural calamity, the damage caused by floods would have been much more.

However, despite establishment of National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) the response was too slow to meet the magnitude of challenge. The purpose behind its establishment was to change national response to emergency situations from reactionary model to an active mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery model. NDMA is the executive arm of the National Disaster Management Commission (NDMC) headed by Prime Minister. Also, NDMA supervises Provincial Disaster Management Authorities (PDMA) and District Disaster Management Authorities (DDMA).

The National Disaster Management Authority has been assigned the task of coordinating the disaster risk management at the national level, implementing disaster risk management strategies, mapping the hazards, developing guidelines, ensuring the establishment of disaster management authorities and Emergency Operation Centres (EOCs) at provincial, district and municipal levels, providing technical assistance to concerned departments, organising training to personnel, serving as a lead agency for NGOs and international cooperation, coordinating with the federal government through National Emergency Operation Centre (NEOC) and requiring any government department or agency to make available needed resources and personnel.

Despite establishment of this organisation assigned with apparently multifarious tasks, disasters in Pakistan are hardly managed effectively. Its preparedness and response during recent floods were found inadequate. “For 10 days, the flooding was only in this province. But we didn't hear from the NDMA and nor did we see any NDMA official. No one even contacted us,” said Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Information Minister Iftikhar Hussain.

Disaster management, particularly preparedness in Pakistan has largely remained unsatisfactory. The underlying factors responsible for its inefficiency, besides insufficient resources, are lack of proactive approach and transparency. Moreover, this agency has yet to prove its credibility, strategy and efficiency of infrastructure which lie at the very heart of these critical situations. Another factor that hampers the smooth functioning of disaster management process is duplication of efforts which arise due to the lack of integration between various agencies and organisations involved in the process. Consequently, these multiple factors render management process weak and, therefore, people bear the brunt on their shoulders.

Weaker disaster management, nevertheless, accounts for the damages caused by floods uptill now; as International Monetary Fund (IMF) puts it, "Floods which have devastated Pakistan will present a massive economic and political challenge to its government and people." Apart from economic and social losses, looming food crisis, ravaged infrastructure, multiple health related problems and increased chances of proliferation of extremism are but a few adverse impacts of weak disaster management.

Speaking of the food crisis, almost 17 million acres of agricultural land submerged under water. According to Daily Finance, "A major concern was that the farmers would be unable to meet the fall deadline for planting new seeds in 2010 which implied a loss of food production in 2011 and potential long-term food shortages." Additionally, seven lac acres cotton crops, two lac acres sugarcane, two lac acres rice, five lac tonnes of stocked wheat, three lac acres of animal fodder and stores of grain were lost besides two lac livestock.

In addition to food crisis, outbreak of various diseases further aggravates the situations. Scores of people have been affected by the fatal diseases like gastroenteritis and diarrhea due to the non-availability of clean drinking water and proper sanitation facilities. Also, the eruption of cholera and multiple skin diseases along with malaria has added to their suffering. Apart from these diseases, there is a sheer dearth of maternity care for thousands of pregnant women. Thus, these victims need medical attention on war footings to save invaluable human lives. The authorities were not prepared to deal with such situation. Even though, the floods were moving gradually ahead, they could not take precautionary measures in the prone areas.

There has been a huge loss to infrastructure. According to Ball State University Center estimate, around 3916 km highway and about 5646 km railway track has been damaged. Their repair costs are expected to be at least $158 million and $131 million, respectively. On the other hand, public damage accounting to almost $1 billion resulted in response to floods. The sorry state of affairs was revealed when authorities were unable to rather incapable of restoring the cut off routes and breaches in river banks.
Resultantly, country received a serious economic jolt. In this regard, International LabourOrganisation (ILO) said that almost 5.3 million people became jobless. Therefore, "productive and labour intensive job creation programmes are urgently needed to lift millions of people out of poverty that has been aggravated by flood damage." Furthermore GDP would decline from overall 4 per cent to -2 to -5 per cent. Crop losses have stubborn impact on textile industry: the largest manufacturing industry of Pakistan.

Besides, the implications include growth in militancy and crime. 'As soon as Pakistan Army diverted from fighting militant insurgents in the north-west to help in relief efforts, Taliban militants were given a reprieve to regroup', observed the Associated Press. Over and above, the jobless, desperate and dejected youngsters from the affected areas are an easy prey to militant recruitment and criminal activities. It may aggravate the security situation given the inefficiency of the government to address the problems of the victims.

If observed politically, public may perceive the government inefficient thus giving rise to an episode of political unrest. Not only people, the outside donors have also become skeptic. More than that, migration of internally displaced people (IDP) to urban areas incited urban sectarian discord which further hindered the process of management of disaster.

In the light of above facts, it is evident that Pakistan is in dire need of an organised disaster management programme to face the emergency situations and their implications. So far, disorganised and ad hoc methods had been in practice in disaster management system. It is because of this that the country suffered more. Therefore, it is incumbent upon the Government of Pakistan to strengthen its policies of disaster management.

In other words, disaster management should be amongst the top priorities of government. NDMA can be strengthened by proper allocation of funds, research, equipment, training and maintenance of transparency. In this regard, effective communication between concerned agencies and with people is a must. Embankment of rivers, disaster proof housing and infrastructure, early warnings, rapid evacuation, nomination of danger zones prior to disaster, establishment of rescue centres and creating public awareness about disasters and safety techniques with their inclusion in curriculum will surely pay dividends.

Disasters often come without early warnings, recent floods in Pakistan, however, took a gradual course. But lack of sound disaster management and unpreparedness policies and their implementation has resulted in grave damages to Pakistan in all the previous disasters. Therefore, the onus lies upon the Government of Pakistan to revisit its policies and strengthen institutions to not only tackle such situations but making them to our best use. It is high time that the government as well as every citizen of Pakistan plays its own respective role to bring about a positive change.
Status of Women in Islam


By Dr. Najam-us-Sahar Butt (FSP)

There is a lot of talk about women’s rights in Pakistan and other Muslim countries these days. The western media is projecting a very gruesome and poor plight of the women in Muslim countries with the intention of distorting the section image of Islam. Unfortunately, this propaganda is proving quite effective and the entire west and a small section of females in our society have misinterpreted Islam as being the cause of their troubles instead of the Aryan culture that we have inherited.

Family, society and ultimately the whole mankind are treated by Islam on an ethical basis. Differentiation in gender is neither a credit nor a drawback to anyone. Therefore, when we talk about status of woman in Islam we should not think that Islam has no specific guidelines, limitations, responsibilities and obligations for men. What makes one valuable and respectable in the eyes of Allah, the Creator of mankind and the universe, is neither one's prosperity, position, intelligence, physical strength nor beauty, but only one Allah-consciousness and awareness (taqwa).

Islam was revealed at a time when people denied the humanity of the woman; some were skeptical about it; and still others admitted it, yet considered the woman a thing created for the humble service of the man.

With the advent of Islam, circumstances improved for the woman. The woman's dignity and humanity were acknowledged for the first time. Islam confirmed woman’s capacity to carry out Allah's commands, her responsibilities and observation of the commands that lead to heaven.

Islam considers woman as a worthy human being, with an equal share in humanity to that of the man. Both are two branches of a single tree and two children from the same father, Adam, and mother, Eve. Their single origin, their general human traits, their responsibility for the observation of religious duties with the consequent reward or punishment, and the unity of their destiny all bear witness to their equality from the Islamic point of view.

The status of women in Islam is something unique that has no parallel in any other religion. In the midst of the darkness that engulfed the world, the divine revelation echoed in the wide desert of Arabia with a fresh, noble, and universal message to humanity:
"O Mankind, keep your duty to your Lord who created you from a single soul and from it created its mate (of same kind) and from them twain has spread a multitude of men and women".(An-Nisa:1)

A scholar who pondered about this verse states:
"It is believed that there is no text, old or new, that deals with the humanity of the woman from all aspects with such amazing brevity, eloquence, depth, and originality as this divine decree."

Stressing this noble and natural conception, then the Quran states:
“He (God) it is who did create you from a single soul and there from did create his mate, that he might dwell with her (in love)”.(Quran 7:189)

In the early days of Islam when a girl was born, she was buried alive. This custom is still observed in Hinduism. However, the Holy Quran forbade this custom and considered it a crime like any other murder. The Quran says: -
"And when the female (infant) buried alive - is questioned, for what crime she was killed."(Quran 81: 8-9)

Far from saving the girl's life so that she may later suffer injustice and inequality, Islam requires kind and just treatment to her. The sayings of Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAW), in this regard, are following:
“Whosoever has a daughter and he does not bury her alive, does not insult her, and does not favor his son over her, God will enter him into Paradise”.

The Holy Quran provides us a clear-cut proof that woman is equal in all respects with man before God in terms of her rights and responsibilities. The Holy Quran states:
"Every soul will be (held) in pledge for its deeds"
(Quran 74:38)

In terms of religious obligations, such as offering daily prayers, fasting and pilgrimage, woman is no different from man. In some cases indeed, woman has certain advantages over man. For example women can and did go into the mosque during the days of the Holy Prophet (SAW) and thereafter attend the Friday prayers is optional for them while it is mandatory for men.

This is clearly a tender touch of the Islamic teachings because of the fact that a woman may be nursing her baby and thus may be unable to offer prayers in mosque. They also take into account the physiological and psychological changes associated with her natural female functions.

The right of females to seek knowledge is not different from that of males. When Islam enjoins the seeking of knowledge upon Muslims, it makes no distinction between man and woman. Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said:
"Seeking knowledge is mandatory for every Muslim".

This declaration was very clear and was implemented by Muslims throughout history.

According to a hadith attributed to Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), he praised the women of Medina because of their desire for religious knowledge.
"How splendid were the women of the Ansar; shame did not prevent them from becoming learned in the faith."

Under Islamic law, marriage was no longer viewed as a "status" but rather as a "contract", in which the woman's consent was imperative. The dowry, previously regarded as a bride-price paid to the father, became a nuptial gift retained by the wife as part of her personal property.

The Holy Quran clearly indicates that marriage is sharing between the two halves of the society and that its objectives, besides perpetuating human life, are emotional well-being and spiritual harmony. Its bases are love and mercy.

The rules for married life in Islam are clear and in harmony with upright human nature. In consideration of the physiological and psychological make-up of man and woman, both have equal rights and claims on each other, except for one responsibility, that of leadership. This is a matter which is natural in any collective life and which is consistent with the nature of man. The Holy Quran thus states:
"And they (women) have rights similar to those (of men) over them, and men are a degree above them."(Quran 2:228)

Such degree is Quiwama (maintenance and protection). This refers to that natural difference between the genders which entitles the weaker gender to protection. It implies no superiority or advantage before law. Yet, man's role of leadership in relation to his family does not mean the husband's dictatorship over his wife. Islam emphasizes the importance of taking counsel and mutual agreement in family decisions. The Holy Quran gives us an example:
"...If they (husband wife) desire to wean the child by mutual consent and (after) consultation, there is no blame on them..."(Quran 2:233)

Islam also gives the option of divorce to the women and educated men to make a gracious end to the relationship is it cannot be continued. The Holy Quran states about such cases:
“And when you have divorced women and they have fulfilled the term of their prescribed period, either take them back on reasonable basis or set them free on reasonable basis. But do not take them back to hurt them, and whoever does that, then he wa wronged himself."(Quran 2: 231)

Woman is entitled to freedom of expression equal to man. Her sound opinions are taken into consideration and cannot be disregarded just because she belongs to the female sex. It is mentioned in the Holy Quran and history that woman can not only expressed her opinion freely but also argued and participated in serious discussions with the Holy Prophet (SAW) himself as well as with other Muslim leaders.

Apart from recognition of woman as an independent human being acknowledged as equally essential for the survival of humanity, Islam has given her a share in inheritance. Before Islam, she was not only deprived of that share but was considered as inherited property to man.

Out of the transferable property, Islam has made her an heir, acknowledging the inherent human qualities in woman. Whether she is a wife, mother, a sister or daughter, she receives a certain share from the deceased kin's property, a share which depends on her degree of relationship to the deceased and the number of heirs. This share is hers, and no one can take it away or disinherit her.

Woman enjoys certain privileges which man do not have. She is exempted from all financial liabilities. As a mother, she enjoys more recognition and higher honour in the eyes of God. The Holy Prophet (SAW) acknowledged this honour when he declared that Paradise lies under the feet of mothers.

She is entitled to three-fourths of the son's love and kindness with one-fourth left for their father. As a wife she is entitled to demand of her prospective husband a suitable dowry that will be hers. She is entitled to complete provision and total maintenance by the husband. She does not have to work or share with her husband the family expenses. She is free to retain, after marriage, whatever she possessed before it, and the husband has no right whatsoever to any of her belongings.

As a daughter or sister she is entitled to security and provision by the father and brother respectively. That is her privilege. If she wishes to work or be self-supporting and share family responsibilities, she is quite free to do so, provided her integrity and honour are safeguarded.

By now it is clear that the status of woman in Islam is unprecedentedly high and realistically suitable to her nature. Her rights and duties are equal to those of man but not necessarily or absolutely identical with them. If she is deprived of one thing in some aspect, she is fully compensated for it with more things in many other aspects.

The fact that she belongs to the female sex has no bearing on her status or personality, and it is no basis for justification of prejudice or injustice against her.

It is also worthwhile to state that the status which women reached today in the west was not achieved due to the kindness of men or natural progress. It was rather achieved through her long struggle and sacrifices and only when society needed her contribution and work, more especially during the Two World Wars and due to the escalation of technological change.

In the case of Islam such compassionate and dignified status was decreed, neither because it reflects the environment of the seventh century, nor under the threat or pressure of women and their organisations, but rather its intrinsic truthfulness of Islam.

Liberal Education


By Irshad Ali Sodhar (FSP)

1. Introduction
2.Definition
3.Importance
4.Sphere of liberal education
5. Objectives
(a) To produce informed citizens.
(b) To develop creative thinking
(c) To improve skills and competitiveness
(d) To inculcate communication skills

6. Present style of education in Pakistan
7.Prerequisites for liberal education
8.Advantages of liberal education
(a) Economic development
(b) Employment opportunities
(c) Interdependent and stable society
(d) Peace and harmony in community

9. Conclusion

Education is the most important factor behind the progress man has achieved in this world. It has been the permanent character of human history and evolution of thought. However, in the past, it used to be prerogative of only a few privileged men and the pace of development was quite slow. Since it has been disseminated to common people, there has been rapid growth in every sphere of development: science, technology, sociology, politics, anthropology, etc. Now it is treated as basic human right of every man. Though, it encompasses a wide sphere of knowledge, it has been metamorphosed by man according to his needs. It has been mainly applied as a tool of economic development, which has limited its application. Consequently, people are deprived of the potential education offers for the overall development of personality and stability of society. The chaos in modern world is also partly due to this fault. Therefore, in order to meet the multi-dimensional challenges, man faces in the world, it is essential to impart real education i.e. liberal education.

The liberal education has been defined in many ways, though emphasizing the similar essential elements. The best definition is offered by the “Association of American Colleges and Universities”.

“Liberal education means to empower an individual and prepare him to deal with diversity, complexity and change”.

As manifest from the definition, the purpose of education is to enable man to surpass the challenges faced in the world, to know and obtain his rights and to accommodate himself in the constantly changing environment in the present day competitive world.

The importance of liberal education in this contemporary globalised world is greatest than ever before. The world has become so shaped that every economic and social activity requires modern and advanced means of communication and technology. The transformation of technological development is on a very fast track. There is a demand of more interactive and communicative manpower to run this complex system. Moreover, despite the interdependence on each other, the diversity in different areas is in sharp contrast. Hence, the man is required to be quite sufficiently prepared to move forward. And the instrument that can enable him to face these challenges is nothing but liberal education.

This is why the renowned scholar “Skarnovey” says: “Liberal education: the developing countries must adopt it as it is a necessity”. Nevertheless, it is essential for every nation but the developed countries are already ahead in this sphere. The developing countries, which are still far behind, need to forge efforts to transform their education system in order to catch up with the rest of the world. Not only because it helps in achieving economic development but also because it fulfills the need of society in every sphere of life.

The sphere of liberal education is wide enough to call it real education. Basically, education is aimed to develop whole being of a person. It is necessary to educate man to learn social ethics, cultural values, religious obligations, ways and means of a stable society and skills of professional competitiveness. Liberal education, simply, fulfills all these essential needs. It emphasises the development of a citizen who is professionally capable of living in the society in civilised way - the way which is not only beneficial to himself alone, but also fruitful for other members of his family, community and society.

It is best elaborated in the words of KurthKahin; “Liberal education teaches something about everything and everything about something”. His words can be best understood by contrast to the maxim “Jack of all; master of none”. Simultaneously, there are also people who are “Jack of none but master of one”. The people, who acquire general education without proficiency in any specific subject, are explained by the first maxim. While some people who are very skilled and highly qualified in one field like an engineer, scientist or doctor but do not know any other subject or field of life; these are referred to the latter assumption. However, liberal education is a moderate way between both the polar positions. It is aimed at making a person 'a good professional in any one field' and also to 'possess knowledge and skills about other important fields'. More importantly, it makes constructive members of society better described as “Jack of all; master of one”.

In such a way, the objectives of liberal education are multifaceted, which address the requirement of society to a considerable extent. These objectives are briefly discussed here:

Firstly, it is the most important for a man to be an informed citizen. The people who are concerned only with their single professional field of occupation cannot be ideally good citizens. They would only be members and nationals of a community or nation. A good citizen is required to be participatory in the social and political building of community, which is the foundation of any society. As the actions of man are based on information and knowledge, without these none understands the obligation towards community and resultantly remains inactive member of society. However, but if the students are inculcated the knowledge of their needs and roles, they would be quite prepared to foresee occurrences and would direct their thoughts and actions towards social and political participation. This can be achieved when the system of education is made liberal which does not aspire to produce only technical robots in human shape but informed and good citizens.

Secondly, the philosophy of liberal education envisages the development of creative thinking among the students. Creative thinking has acquired fundamental place in the education system of advanced countries. The students are encouraged to “think a new”. The creative experiments, creative writings and creative art lead to frame the development of thought process. Though, it is practised in western countries, it owes its origin to the most influential scholars and artists of Greek period and early Muslim era. Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Machiavelli, Ibn-e-Khaldun, Galileo, Khuw-arzmi, Newton, to name a few, all were creative thinkers. In short, whole of the development in the world and education itself is the result of creative thinking. On the contrary, the limited application of education is insufficient to produce brilliant minds. The specific technological development devoid of human values and ethics has failed to form the basis of a viable society. Thus, it is the objective of liberal education to teach the students various subjects like history, sociology, philosophy and psychology besides their professional field, so that creative thought is encouraged to be developed among them. Therefore, we need to introduce liberal education in order to secure our future based on collective ideals.

Thirdly, liberal education improves the skills and competitiveness of students, which is necessary to enable them to get foothold in the competitive market. For example a typist may have good efficiency in his field but computers have replaced typewriter. People like to get their papers typed on computer in order to save their document and to get good command. Now, the excellent typist is in trouble, he would go jobless in the market unless he learns to operate computer. Same is the case with every field of employment. The modes of technology are being transformed very rapidly. In order to meet the demands of market one should be quite prepared and skilled. Hence, the knowledge of mathematics, science, computer literacy and technological acquaintance are necessary to be imparted to the students, which can be achieved through liberal education.

Fourthly, as the world has become a global village, the importance of communication skills has been increased manifold. A person must be proficient in national and at least one international language. He must know how to send e-mail, voice-mail or to carryout visual communication. The social change compels the person to change the job for better opportunities. The talented people feel an urge to move towards other countries as well in order to actualise their talent and to obtain maximum result. This is where the communication skills are mostly required. All the communication techniques, basically, listening, speaking and writing are essential ingredients. Therefore, it is necessary to improve the skills of students through methods of listening comprehension and speaking ability tests. All the examinations of foreign languages comprise these elements and even very talented students from developing countries fail to go abroad due to lack of these communication skills in international languages.

These few objectives of liberal education underline its importance and need in the developing countries, including Pakistan. Unfortunately, it has not been taken seriously.

The system of education in our country is obsolete. It is devoid of the contemporary methodology of teaching and the curriculum is almost from primary to university level. Computer is studied as a field of study only, not as a skill. Even in most of the universities it is taught only to the students of computer department seeking degree in that subject, let alone its use at primary and secondary level. In universities the students of other subjects like sociology, languages, arts and other sciences are not taught the computer skills. This lags them far behind from students of other countries and few quality institutes of the country.

Same is true of languages. English though introduced from primary level, is not taught according to the modern techniques of comprehension. Only reading lessons and knowing meaning of words cannot enable students to master the language. The methodology of English departments in universities is also in question. The national language, Urdu, is also not focused at any level of education. Learning of both these languages is important to produce capable and competitive students at the national and international level.

The fate of the students of other subjects is also not much different. On the one hand, they are deprived of computer and language skills; on the other they do not become proficient in their field of interest as the proper methodology is not applied. Faculty members are not well qualified, research is not pursued and creative thought is ignored.

These defects of our education system are the main reasons of the chaos, unemployment, poverty and social instability in our society. In order to overcome these shortcomings, we must adopt the liberal education system without any further delay. However, this requires a well thought out and comprehensive policy to improve the existing education system.

Primarily, we should redesign our curriculum at all levels. All the major components/subjects of liberal education: sociology humanism, citizenship, history, philosophy, languages, computer and sciences must be introduced in every tier of education from primary to university levels in accordance with the capacity of students and the needs of society.

Secondarily, all the institutions should be equipped with computer and scientific laboratories and libraries. The research and creative thinking should be encouraged through modern techniques of education. In this regard the accessibility and equality of all sections of our stratified society must be ensured in order to achieve uniform development.

Lastly, the faculty must be energised by providing skilled and experienced teachers. The existing teachers should be trained to equip them with modern techniques of teaching methodology. Fresh and young blood must be encouraged to join education field as a profession by enhancing the monetary incentives in the education sector.

This policy will yield tremendous benefits to the future of a nation. The liberal education is hailed because it brings concrete advantages. The young generation of Pakistan makes bulk of the population of country. According to a report of the State Bank of Pakistan 65 per cent of the educated youth is unemployed due to irrelevance of their skills with market. If this portion of population is properly skilled, it will prove to be a boost to the economy as the manpower is considered a resource in all countries of the world.

Another benefit would be the eradication of poverty. Once our youth are employed, they will naturally add to the income of their families and consequently eradicate their poverty. It will also help in raising the living standard of our common man as it is directly proportional to the income of a family.

The liberal education would create sense of understanding and cooperation among the people. The contemporary chaos of extremism and isolationism are due to lack of approach towards collective interests and common goals among people. Once they realise their social obligations and think creatively they will initiate participating positively in the stability of society.

It is quite clearly manifested from the discussion that liberal education, which is the real education, is an essential component of good governance and stable society. It not only helps an individual to progressively achieve goals but also gives impetus to economic, political and social stability to a state. In short, it forms the basis of human development in this complex global world of diversity and challenges. It offers a way towards a better change.

Pakistan Rich in Natural Resources
But Poor in their Management



By Irshad Ali Sodhar (FSP)


Outline
1- Introduction
2- Natural Resources and their management
3- Richness / abundance of natural resources in Pakistan
4- Pakistan's natural resources and their mismanagement

a) Energy resources
i- Nonrenewable energy resources
a. Oil and Gas reserves
b. Coal reserves

ii- Renewable energy resources
a. Wind and solar power
b. Hydropower

b) Agricultural resources
i- Irrigation Network
ii- Fertile Land
iii- Variety of Crops
iv- Animal Husbandry
v- Fishing

c) Mineral Ore Resources
i. Copper and gold resources.
ii. Salt mines and other minerals

d) Human resources
i. Sixth Largest Population in the World
ii. Youth comprising major chuck

5- Factors leading to poor management / Governance
a) Political instability/ rivalry,
b) Lack of vision and planning,
c) Flawed policies,
d) Bureaucratic bottlenecks and corruption,
e) Worsened Law and order situation,

6- Implications of mismanagement of natural resources
7- Way forward
8- Conclusion


Pakistan is one of the richest countries in the world in terms of natural resources but also one of the poorest among them in their management. The country is abundant in the vital resources including that of energy, agriculture, minerals, population, and geography, but unlike the developed countries, these have not been properly exploited due to poor management. This dismayed situation is caused due to several, both chronic and acute, flaws which have led to poor governance of country since its inception except some brief spells of economic prosperity. Prevalent political rivalry and instability, worsening law and order and rampant corruption have catalyzed the situation to resource development impasse. Contrary to economic potential of its natural resources, Pakistan is a depending on foreign aid and debt, it is facing deficit in trade, acute energy crisis to run industry, and water stress for agriculture, to name a few challenges.

However, the daunting challenges and the mounting public pressure caused due to awareness of civil society are increasingly influencing the political decision making. Eventually, there is sign of hope for devising effective strategy to exploit the natural resource wealth of the country for its self sufficiency and viable economic development. It is suffice to say that the proper exploitation of this wealth would lead to the prosperity of this nation.

Before discussing what natural resources Pakistan possesses, it is important to understand what constitutes natural resources. These occur naturally within environments characterised by amounts of biodiversity and geodiversity existent in various ecosystems. Some resources like water and agriculture are essential for survival of inhabitants while others like energy and minerals are secondary in nature but essential for economic development. However, efficient management of these resources is vital to achieve prosperity of nation. Natural resource management is a discipline with a particular focus on how management affects the quality of life for both present and future generations. It is interrelated with the concept of sustainable development. Pakistan is blessed with huge quantity of resources but lags in management.

Being situated at one of the best geographic and geostrategic locations on the map of world, Pakistan is affluent in the natural resources. It has enormous energy surplus resource potential of both renewable and nonrenewable, which is greater than that of oil rich countries of Gulf. Among the world's 200 plus countries it has the second largest salt mines, second largest coal reserves, fifth largest copper and gold reserves, seventh largest wheat and rice production capacity. It is the sixth most populous country in the world having large share of young population. Had these resources been properly managed, this country would have been one of the richest economies of world. The detailed account of the natural wealth of Pakistan shows how such great potential has been untapped due to mismanagement.

There are plenty of nonrenewable energy resources like oil, gas and coal in Pakistan. It has more than 436.2 million barrels of oil, according to CIA World Fact Book, and 31.3 trillion cubic feet of proven gas reserves. The current oil production is 65,997 barrels per day while gas production is 4 billion cubic feet per day. Though it is not enough to meet the needs, it can save considerable outflow of currency. Moreover, there is resource potential of 27 billion Barrels of Oil and 282 TCF of gas reserves in the country which has not been explored due to lack of vision and flawed policies.

Pakistan has world's second largest coal deposits of 185 billion tons. These are estimated to be equivalent to 618 billion barrels of crude oil. This is more than twice if we compare it with oil reserves of Saudi Arabia. If it is converted into oil by gasification, it will generate 650 barrels of crude oil which at an average market rate of eighty dollars per barrel, would generate 5.2 trillion dollars. But the policy making elite of the country has not only been oblivious to the potential but also indifferent to the slow pace of efforts to harness this source for energy production and exports. The energy deficit is badly affecting the industry in country but no any serious initiative is taken for electricity production from coal. China imports its 65 percent of coal requirements but despite being 'all weather friend', this giant energy importing economy does not import coal from Pakistan.

Besides, the geography of Pakistan enriches it with the renewable energy resources. Wind and Solar energy are other unused lifelines of Pakistan. 1046 km long coastal line gives potential of 40000 MW of electricity. The vast lands of Balochistan can be utilized for solar electricity generation. But unfortunately these resources have barely been used due to technological backwardness and lack of innovative policies.

The hydropower potential of the country is also enough to satisfy the needs of energy. Only 33 percent of around 20,000 MW generation capacity is produced from this resource which has the potential of producing 40,000 MW. No concrete steps have been taken to harness this resource mainly because of political differences and distrust prevailing in the country.

The lack of vision and policy planning in utilisation of water resource is also severely affecting agriculture. Despite having one of the largest irrigation systems of the world, Pakistan is facing water scarcity for crops. Storage capacity of water reservoirs is quickly depleting because of annual sediment inflow and a substantial quantum of available water is lost in seepage as the canals have not been cemented. Out of 77 million acres cultivable area, only 55.5 million acres have been ploughed. The country is blessed with four seasons and variety of crops but due to lack of research the productivity remains low.

In addition, being an agricultural country it possesses tremendous scope of animal husbandry. Pakistan's breeds of cow like Sahiwal cow are the best breeds of world. Due care to this area can lead to bulk of exports in dairy products. On other hand, fishing industry has an important role to play in national economy of Pakistan. The coast line of 814 km provides ample opportunity to enhance this industry, but poor performance and poor presentation of our cause in WTO have put this industry at the verge of destruction.

The minerals are also vital natural resources available in great quantity. Pakistan has fifth largest copper and gold reserves in the world. The Rikodeq project, copper and gold reservoir, have been estimated to be worth of 260 billion dollars, which is ten times the all financial aid received from USA in last sixty year. But instead of exploiting own resources for economic independence, country has been dependent on foreign aid. How rich Pakistan is, and how poor Pakistanis are! There are other partially untapped resources of rock salts, Gypsum, lime stone, iron, marble, and silica sand in large quantities. These resources have not been exploited due to corruption and bottlenecks in political and bureaucratic culture.

The most important of the natural resources in this globalized world is human resource. Pakistan is the sixth most populous country in the world having large share of 'young population' i.e. 63 percent below age of 25 years, according to United Nations Development Programme. But the failed policies have caused mounting unemployment of 15 percent. The resource which could be used to enhance the economic activity is left to no use which is adding to the increase in poverty. The lack of opportunities leading to the brain drain of talented minds has further worsened the situation.

The above analysis reveals that Pakistan is not poor, but poorly managed country. The factors which have caused the poor management of natural resources include political instability, political indecision making / divergence, lack of vision and planning, flawed policies, bureaucratic bottlenecks and corruption, lack of human resource development, worsened law and order situation. These factors have led not only to the poor management of natural resources but also to the poor governance of country.

The political instability has been the main cause of such mayhem. Since the independence, no political group in Pakistan has been given enough time to be mature. The military interference in politics and rivalry among political stakeholders are the key features of brief history of this country. This inconsistency has kept the exploitation of natural wealth unattended. The divergence of opinion on construction of water resources has deprived the country of storing the surplus water for agriculture and electricity generation. However, this could be overcome by vision and planning, which is a scarce commodity here. Instead of controversial big dams several small reservoirs could be constructed, had a pragmatic approach prevailed among the decision making machinery.

Coupled with this, the flawed policies of successive governments have caused tremendous problems despite availability of adequate resources. The energy sector is a vivid example of such poor management. The major chunk of the electricity is produced through thermal generation for which almost 80 percent of oil is imported. Whereas the second largest treasure of coal in the world is left unexplored as it contributes only 2 percent of electricity generation. Countries like US, China and India generate electricity by almost 60 percent from coal due to its lower cost. This shows how other countries take cost of electricity generation into serious consideration.

However, it would be unfair to put all the burden of poor resource management on the political factors. The bureaucratic bottlenecks and corruption have been equally responsible for this undesirable scenario. Several hydro power projects, Thar coal project, and oil exploration projects are in doldrums due to bureaucratic bottlenecks. There is no headway in solar and wind energy projects planned by Alternative Energy Development Board. Similarly, corruption has also been extremely detrimental. The standstill in the Rikodeq project is an example of this case. Pakistan is ranked at 34 in Corruption Perception Index 2010 by Transparency International, which is a discouraging factor for foreign direct investment.

In addition, the worsened law and order situation has caused severe blow to the economy in general and natural resource management in particular. The volatile situation in Balochistan is harmful to the exploitation of resources. The Gawadar port, despite being located at crucial location, has not been made fully functional. Other projects of mineral exploration are also affected. The terrorism in the northern areas has been harmful for the potential tourism industry.

These factors of poor management have placed Pakistan in an undesirable situation domestically and internationally. The socio-economic situation remains gloomy as the GDP growth rate is one of the lowest in South Asia at 2.2 percent, trade deficit is estimated about $16 billion, inflation rate continues to be in double digits at 15 percent, population below poverty line is alarmingly around 35 percent, and unemployment is at 15 percent.

Also, it does not enjoy a favorable position among the comity of nations. It is ranked 123rd out of 139 countries in Global Competitive Index; it is at 134th among 192 in Human development Index by UNDP; and it occupies the critical position of 12th in Failed States Index 2011 issued by Foreign Policy Magazine.

The country has been economically dependent on foreign aid and debt, which has adversely affected her standing in international community. However, despite Pakistan's crucial role in west's geostrategic framework and war on terror, the allies end up donating small amounts of grants which make fractions of what could be obtained from exploiting own natural resources. The external debts and liabilities have nearly doubled from $ 37 billion in year 2000, to $ 59.5 billion in year 2011.

Nevertheless, the worst impact so far is the energy crises in Pakistan. There is serious shortfall of electricity, gas and oil. Electricity demand exceeds supply and “load shedding” is a common phenomenon. The shortfall of electricity reaches at 4000-5000 MW which badly affected industry, eventually leading to decreased exports and diminished economic activity.

These adverse implications, of the extremely poor management of resources, on the economy and society in the country, warrant a serious approach and comprehensive strategy to reverse the trend. The pragmatic approach and policy direction can help the country to be able to rely on its own resources instead of dependency.

Pakistani leadership must focus on exploration of natural resources and their scientific management. Properly managed natural resources can become instrumental in national income and its growth. Extensive geological survey is required to discover the resource potential, planning and vision is needed to explore the proved but untapped resources and effective strategy is essential to fully exploit the resources under use.

In order to take maximum benefits from natural resources there is the need of technical education of people involved in resource exploitation and management. The technical education ensures that there is minimum wastage of the resources. Hence, such education should be made compulsory for the people in concerned areas of activity.

On the other hand, the politicians, policy makers and all the stake holders must adopt a rational approach not to politicize natural resources. It should be prioritized as the vital national interest and dealt with as such. The controversies on the management of water and mineral resources must be resolved pragmatically for best interest of the nation.

Last but not the least, worsened law and order situation in Pakistan, which has led to the lack of investment, must be checked. The private firms engaged in resource exploration must be protected by the state. Ensuring the security, would attract investment in the respective areas which would subsequently guarantee the inflow of capital in the national economy and the resource potential could be fully exploited.

It needs not to be emphasised that Pakistan is not poor but poor management of its natural resources has made it so. The enormous natural resources of all kinds like energy, minerals, agriculture, and human could have made this country a wealthy economy. Instead, there been bleak picture of economy and undesirable image outside due to the chronic flaws in vision and policies. Thus, the daunting challenge of poor management of natural resources direly needs to be addressed not only to overcome the perils caused due to it but also to achieve economic self sufficiency and prosperity of the nation. By surpassing this challenge, Pakistan is destined to have eminence place in the world as a stable, growing and prosperous nation.

Source: Natural Resources of Pakistan and their Mis-management

The New Great Game and Pakistan's Foreign Policy


By HaseebGohar (FSP)

Outline

Introduction
• Need of oil and gas
• Concept of regionalism
• Importance for Muslim countries


Background
• Breakdown of the Soviet Union
• Caspian region


Monopoly of the OPEC

US's interests in the Region
• Oil dependency
• Countering influence of China
• Application for SCO membership


Chinese Interests
• Enormous need for oil
• Xinjiang under the threat of terrorism


Pakistan's Interests
• Need of oil and gas
• Pakistan's dire need of SCO membership
• Turkmenistan- Afghanistan- Pakistan- India gas pipeline

The interdependency of the states to meet the oil and gas needs reaches at the apogee with the industrial revolution. This provides impetus to the regionalism. Big nations combine to form big blocs in order to enhance the economic and political activities. Thus, Caspian region, fulfils the above statement..This region is enormously rich in oil and gas reserves. Its geography and Muslim ideology is distinct on its place. Let us see how this region is affecting world oil politics and future perspective for Pakistan.

In 1991, after dissolution of Soviet Union, Caspian and Caucasus region came into being. The former became the part of New Great Game. This term was coined by a journalist, Rashid Ahmad in order to emphasis on the importance of the region. Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkme-nistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan are also called central Asian republics or CARs . The region shares its boundaries with Russia, China, Afghanistan, Iran, and Caspian Sea and also with Pakistan which is a narrow strip of Wakhan away from the borders of Tajikistan.

In 1960, OPEC was established to provide the protection to the oil exporting countries. Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, Kuwait, Iraq and Iran formed this organisation. Presently, they constitute 70% of the world oil export so these countries have a huge monopoly on the oil production. However, the central Asian republics are expected to have 200 billion barrels of oil and 463 trillion m3 of gas. Hence, this region has a potential to neutralise the effect of OPEC.

United States is the only country in the world which constitutes just 4% to the world population but consumes 25% of the world energy reserves. Her oil consumption is over 11 million barrels per day which is largest in the world. US energy reserves are depleting very fast. That is why, US is importing oil from the Middle East, Venezuela and Canada. It is said that Saudi Arabia would exhaust her oil reserves in next 75 years as her daily oil production is over 10 million barrels per day. US wants good relations with CARs. US established her military base in Kyrgyzstan in 2001 in order to have a check on Russia as well as on China. Afghanistan invasion also strengthen the importance of CARs for the US as Afghanistan shares boundaries with Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan. This is the reason behind that US applied for the Shanghai Corporation Organization (SCO) membership in 2005 which was denied by China.

China is an emerging power in the world. China is enormously needing oil and gas to fulfil her domestic needs. In this regard, CARs are the natural allies of China. This was the rational of constituting Shanghai 5 to Shanghai Corporation Organisation. China is facing terrorism problem in her country in Xinjiang province which is one-sixth of the total country area. It is allegedly said that these terrorist activities are controlled from Turkmenistan. Therefore, SCO can provide a forum to curb these activities.

Pakistan too enjoys a considerable importance in the region. Its geo-political significance creates a remarkable prestige in the region. Wakhan in Afghanistan divides Pakistan from Tajikistan. CARs are Muslim countries, thus have common ideology. Pakistan's total oil production capacity is 349 million barrels which is very low indeed. Therefore, she has to rely on external sources. Recently, Pakistan signed a gas pipeline deal with Turkmenistan, Afghanistan and India. This means that this region is having an enormous potential to change the world politics.

Currently, Pakistan is having an observatory status in the SCO. But, the latter is in dire need of having permanent membership in SCO. The need is justified on these grounds. Firstly, Pakistan is a natural ally of the member countries. China and Tajikistan (crossing Wakhan strip) shares border with Pakistan. Secondly, Pakistan satisfies the objectives of SCO, i.e. to eradicate terrorism from the region. Thus, Pakistan fulfils the needs of the organisation.

Thirdly, Pakistan is the only country which gives a sea route to the CARs throughout the year. Thus, no one can deny the geo-strategic importance of Pakistan. Therefore, Pakistan and the member states can also enhance the bilateral trade between them.

In doing so, Pakistan should keep in mind the sensitivity of China in Xinjiang province. It is allegedly said that the wrongdoings in region is controlled from Pakistan. The terrorists have some connection from Pakistan. Therefore, Pakistan has negated such elements of involvement in the province.

In a nutshell, CARs have a great potential in the economic as well as political domain. These states must utilise their power to accomplish their goals with sagacious will. The US, China and Russia are tilting their heads with full commitment. Pakistan in this regard should come one step forward to join their hands. If Pakistan could curb the militancy in the country, it would have deep impact on the SCO members also. Pakistan's geo-strategic location, Islamic ideology, and common interests are the manifestation of their future consideration for CARs.

Need for Good Governance in Pakistan


By DrQuratulAin Malik (ITG)


Outline:
. Introduction
.Definition and concept of good governance
. Pre requisites/ Essentials of good governance

Essentials of good governance:
.Stable democracy/ political stability
. Constitutional supremacy
.Rule of law/ effective implementation of law
. Independence of judiciary
.Efficient administrative hierarchy
.Vibrant foreign policy
.Equality/ transparency
.Equal distribution of resources
.Public participation in all decision-making processes
.Free and uniform education system
. Financial satisfaction
.Social security
. Freedom of media

Status of good governance in Pakistan:
.Poor scenario/ grim picture of governance
.Political instability
.Vacuum of leadership ever since Quaid's death
.Vulnerable national integrity, piety, solidarity and sovereignty
.Rampant corruption owing to vested interests of ruling elites
.Lack of culture of accountability
. Crippled economy
.Poor law and order situation
. Inefficient law enforcement agencies
.Social insecurity and uncertainty
.Socio economic backwardness of the masses

Suggestions for good governance:
.Ensure stable democratic system
. Supremacy of constitution
.Rule of law
. Efficient administrative system
. Investment friendly environment
.Public participation in policy-making
.Education for all

"Good governance is a precondition for meeting the challenge of reducing poverty, promoting sustainable development and building good governance.”
(Kofi Annan )

Good governance is an indeterminate term used in development literature to describe how public institutions conduct public affairs and manage public resources in order to guarantee the realization of human rights. Furthermore, Governance describes the process of decision-making and the process by which decisions are implemented or not implemented. Good governance can also be termed as the effective use of power, legislation of policies, transparent accountability, and development of human resources and supremacy of constitution with the absolute rule of law.

“Good government does not mean autocratic government. Good government does not mean despotic government. Good government means, a government that is responsible to the representative of people.”
(Jinnah, the Quaid of Pakistan)

Good governance is a continuous process that determines the fate of nation. It is a fundamental factor that is inevitable in taking the nation to the zenith of glory in the world community. Good governance is quite a wider term that encompasses within itself multiple factors that are considered inevitable for its proper implementation that includes democracy, rule of law, constitutional supremacy, accountability and public participation in decision-making.

Unfortunately, the situation of good governance in Pakistan is quite gloomy and grim due to weak leadership ever since independence, incompetent administrative hierarchy and weak accountability accompanied with poor law and order situation.

Democracy and good governance are interrelated to each other. In case there is no democracy, there can be no good governance. It is a matter of grave misfortune for the entire nation that ever since the birth of Pakistan, democracy could not flourish here due to frequent martial laws and unnecessary intervention of military dictators in the state affairs. It is a matter of serious concern that for more than three decades, the country has remained entangled in the oppressive clutches of dictatorship. In 1951, the country's first PM, Liaquat Ali Khan was assassinated and in 1958, the first military coup was invoked. In 1971, the country went through the tragic episode of debacle of East Pakistan and in 1977 again Zia's martial law was imposed. The span of 1988 to 2000 saw acute political instability through dissolution of National assembly by another martial law. In the light of the up given picture of country's political situation, good governance seems a cry for the moon.

Corruption is another crucial factor that can prove to be a serious impediment in the way of good governance. Corruption perception index 2011 by Transparency International ranks Pakistan at 134th position out of 183 countries which is alarmingly bad. India's ranking is much better (95th out of 183). Good governance is a distinct reality when the process of accountability of the corruption ridden elements is either weak or missing. National accountability Bureau was formulated in 1999 after military coup by general Musharraf, but the sad fact is that the said body suffers from corrupt practices and lack of accountability within itself, making it a laughing stock in the eyes of other national institutions. Another jerk to the governance was NRO formulated in Musharraf's era in 2007 to secure his otherwise illegal and unconstitutional reelection as the president. Pakistan today happens to be the classic example of ingenuities for bribery and exchange of favors. More than 7000 beneficiaries of this defunct law had to face reopening of their cases in 2009. This was an open violation of the principle of good governance.

Effective and in time implementation of the law is another deciding factor in the process of good governance. Pakistan unfortunately has become a classic example of worst law and order situation. Every other day a substantial number of innocent citizens, who are just silent spectators, are targeted by the law enforcement agencies.

Flourishing economy is one of the major components of good governance as both are interrelated in one way or the other. In Pakistan, economic governance is the victim of political instability. Pakistan's commission for human rights stated that 208 people committed suicide in August 2011, predominantly out of economic crisis.

Good governance is pointed out as one of the largest goals in the Millennium development goals but in Pakistan nothing is realized on the ground except paper work. It must be remembered that economic prosperity and good governance are deeply interconnected. The alarming figures of crippled economy lead us to the prompt measures for ensuring good governance in the country.

Political stability and efficient administrative hierarchy are the vibrant components of good governance. Both political leaders and beaurocracy go hand in hand for bringing about cult of good governance through effective implementation of public policies. The tradition of nepotism, lack of democratic norms and political recruitments on high government offices must be eliminated in order to promote transparency, accountability and supremacy of law at all levels.

Moreover, the government should create an investment-friendly environment in order to boost up the economy and industrial activity as raising the standard of living is the key component of good governance. Law and order situation should be made conducive and encouraging for the foreign investors so the FDI may be enhanced for the ultimate benefit of the nation and the country at large. Most importantly, the government must also try to bridge the gap between the demand and supply of energy. New dams and barrages must be built without putting national and political stability at stake. Government should have control on the hoarding mafia, particularly those involved in the hoarding of eatable commodities. Having strict check on the inflation would increase the standard of living of the general masses at larger scale. Furthermore, imparting education and awareness to the common people is necessary to have good governance as the masses have to be the part of this process.

Media's role in the advent of true democracy and good governance is not stressed enough. Media is recognized as the fourth pillar of the state. Media can prove to a vibrant factor in motivating public participation in national decision-making processes and can also create the awareness of rights and duties among the general public. Media can also bring government authorities under accountability for their violations of power and bad governance.

To put in a nut shell, it may be stated that good governance is an inevitable phenomenon for the smooth working of any state machinery. Therefore, political stability, rule of law, constitutional supremacy and public participation in policy making and implementation must be ensured. The entire nation must think and act as one nation and collectively contribute for the prosperity of the country. Time is now ripe to come out of the false and baseless concepts of provincialism, sectarianism and nepotism. With all the leadership vacuum and political instability, the nation can still step ahead to create an environment, where good governance is not merely a dream

“You will have to be alert, very alert, for the time for relaxation is not yet there. With faith, disciplined and selfless devotion to duty, there is nothing worthwhile that you cannot achieve.”(Jinnah, the Quaid of Pakistan.)

Dialogue is the Best Course to Combat Terrorism



Terrorism today happens to be the most common globalised terminology being used in modern times. Its intensity has increased after 9/11. Pakistan has become a scapegoat in the whole terrorism scenario due to the proxy war conducted by the United States against the former Soviet Union in ‘80s to contain communism. Pakistan was the main actor then — and happens to be again in 2010 — along with the United States against a common enemy Al Qaeda and its offshoot Taliban.in the war on terror. But the question being asked today is how to contain terrorism? It has become a delimma for the world states. Force is the last option. The foremost priority is the need to focus on dialogue. And for the success of talks, patience is required. It’s a slow, painstaking solution. Art of diplomacy and sincerity is required to bring positive results. It is not literally possible to achieve victory against terrorists by force. How the Russians were defeated by the tribal militants two decades back is no secret. Now the Americans have replaced the Soviets. But the US is in close touch with Pakistan and the US is not alone as the Nato is involved. Washington has engaged dialogue with the moderates to achieve results. Avenues for talks have not been closed along with raging war being fought in Afghanistan by the United States and Pakistan troops engaged in terror war in Notrth and South Wazirstan and Swat.
The United States directly or indirectly has sway over world politics. Terrorism and its expansion had been explained through different perspectives and the solutions that had been extracted includes a wide range of strategies including diplomacy, talks, coercive methods, and the last option being war. Pakistan is engaged in strategic talks with the United States with top priority on war on terror.

Need to contain terrorism through dialogue
The prevention of terrorism and the international law framework both need greater attention from scholars and policy makers, as part of a balanced and comprehensive approach. In a clearer sense, terrorism is the fate of globe and there are no feasible ways to eliminate terrorism through the use of force. Dialogue is the only way to tame the terrorists. Among the terrorists organisation, there are moderate elements and the best way to avoid killings of innocent people is to engaage in talks with the moderates. Terrorism cannot be mitigated as the magnitude of terroristorganizations having global exposure is continuously rising throughout the globe. The defined concepts of eliminating terrorism from the world have varied and many analysists believe that no state can wipe out terrorism as a force to reckon with. Only talks is can bring desired results.

Many people perceive it as big game in which the state as well as non-state actors play a very destructive role. Many see the role of Taliban as politico-oriented Islamism movement of some sectarians present in different parts of the world that has been gathered under a platform of hate and phobic elements in the tribal region of Pakistan under al Qaeda and Taliban. Their aim is to bring Islamic revolution among the Muslim states and weaken its enemy — the United States through acts of terrorism. Terrorism in western world is usually known with reference to Islam, the ideology behind these deadly deeds is narrated under the concept of Jihad. However, modern days missionaries and Muslim moderates have played a useful role in trying to curb this menace. The terrorism today is perceived as an inheritance of Muslim extremists like Osama Bin Laden and Mulla Omer and many others.

These fanatics including Laden and Omer remained major contributors as friends of the US in the victory against the proxy war two decades ago against the Soviets.

It was the region of Afghanistan where the decline of Soviet economy begun and lead to the collapse of the politico-economic system resulting into splitting of the Soviet Union. The Afghan warriors then played a major role in defeating the Soviet troops in Afghanistan.

The terrorism and its deeproot ideologies begun from this era because
the leaders of the modern day terrorism arose from here having a large
materialistic support from the US for a long time for attaining the victory agaist communism. Organizations like al Qaeda took birth from this period, and the Taliban concept emerged from the madressahs in Pakistan, which produce Taliban in thousands.

Pakistan, US dialogue to contain terror
Pakistan and the United States have been holding talks on terror and are successfully achieving results. Though both the countries had differences at times but eventually the process of dialogue is producing desired results. The strategy to counter terrorism being pursued by the two countries has dealt a vital blow to the terrorists. At times the US was stubborn and Pakistan had to be soft and at times Pakistan was stiff and the US showed flexibility.

The latest strategic dialogue between the US and Pakistan on steps to contain terror held in the middle of July, 2010 was productive.
Important, arguably central, as the security angle may be to the Pakistan-US strategic dialogue but the American side appeared to be saying to Pakistan, tell us your needs. A sum of $7.5bn a year in non-military aid has to be spent over the next five years. The Pakistan government can influence the right choice to a great extent, if it gets its act together. Economic prosperity can help largely to eliminate terrorism.

It would not be wide off the mark to suggest that the American campaign in Afghanistan is beset by strategic confusion. While publicly the Americans vow that reconciliation will not be pursued until the Taliban insurgency is dented, there are real doubts if that is in fact achievable. A central plank of counter-insurgency strategy is the civilian government, but Afghan President Hamid Karzai seems more interested in pursuing a quick deal with the Taliban than improving governance and leading a civilian surge.

Pakistan, India dialogue
Pakistan at the same time is also engaged in talks with India. With Delhi’s top priority being terrorists attack in Mumbai and for Pakistan, Kashmir and water issues are core issues. Though nothing emerged in the brief meetings in Beijing between Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and his Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh but it was reassuring to see the Pakistani premier emphasise the importance of fighting hunger, poverty and illiteracy in the region — in addition to jointly combating terror. The latter is important to furthering the Pakistan-India dialogue as neither country, especially ours, is immune from the violence that the war against militancy has engendered.

But how well can India and Pakistan work together to battle violence considering the high level of mistrust that exists between them? Suspicions of each other’s intentions must be allayed through talks and one of the most effective ways to make talks successful would be to work jointly on improving socio-economic conditions in both countries. Not only would this create confidence in each other’s endeavours, perhaps even lead to lingering disputes being resolved, it would also strike at the roots of terror that is perpetrated largely by a class of people with serious social, political and economic grievances.

However, the more optimistic interpretation is that India and Pakistan are warily re-engaging one another, the diplomatic hiccups the result of a nascent but real process of rebuilding trust and confidence in a relationship poisoned by mutual distrust. For a dispute that is over six decades old, a few months — from the prime ministers’ meeting in Thimpu to the present — is a mere blink of an eye. The optimists suggest that the excruciatingly slow pace of re-engagement isn’t indicative of problems but a way of building a solid base for the next phase of the peace dialogue between the two countries. Rational and sensible people on both sides of the border will be hoping that it is the optimistic hypothesis which is true.

But even if it is not, the two sides must ensure that they keep talking to each other. The constituency for peace in India and Pakistan is elastic — engagement will ensure that constituency grows. No talks, though, would mean that the Mumbai attackers have won and the people of South Asia have lost.

No matter how quickly the joint anti-terrorism mechanism that the two countries installed some time ago is made fully operational, terrorist activities will continue unless there is greater concentration on the people’s welfare.


EU strategy on countering tarrorism
Gilles de Kerchove, Europe Union Counter-terrorism Coordinator, spelt out the EU strategy to counter terrorism. Kerchove revealed the work of the Council of the EU in the field of counter-terrorism: maintain an overview of all the instruments at the Union's disposal, and closely monitor the implementation of the EU counter-terrorism strategy. The importance of the role was reaffirmed by the European Council in the adoption of the Stockholm Programme (December 2009).

He emphasized on what the UN Global Strategy called “conditions conducive to the spread of terrorism” were exactly that, conditions in which terrorism could spread but not all societies faced with such conditions triggered such a violent response. Countries which cannot provide good governance of all their territory allow the development of “safe havens” in which terrorist groups can thrive. The EU has made a start in providing direct support for the counter-terrorism efforts of a number of key countries, in South Asia, the Sahel and Horn of Africa, through the “Instrument for Stability”. However, responding fully to these problems is a much broader challenge for the development community. Kerchove said, “Since 2006, the EU and the Legal Adviser of the US State Department have engaged in a dialogue about counter- terrorism and international law. Questions discussed include the use of the concept of “war” and “laws of armed conflict” in the fight against terrorism as a matter of law; the relation between and applicability of international humanitarian law and international human rights law in the fight against terrorism; the rights of detainees apprehended in the course of the fight against terrorism in particular the conditions at Guantanamo; the treatment of prisoners and interrogation methods used in detention centres where detainees are held; so-called renditions and secret detention centres.


Conclusion
Arguebly, dialogue is the best course to combat terrorism. The other option is war. But if the war is lost, what then? However, if the talks fail, there are reasons to believe that as the tempers cool down of the leading actors, dialogue can start again. And terrorism is pursued by religious fanatics. It is not easy to win wars in mountainous areas or erase the hideouts of the terrorists. There are moderate elements among the terrorists and accept talks to find out ays to achieve peace.

The Taliban are feared because of their utter defiance of the country’s laws and their evident lack of respect for the rule of law and due judicial process. Where they held sway they instituted an arbitrary justice system that featured summary executions and torture. The law they followed — and do follow in certain parts — was of their own devising, characterised by a brutality that defied every national and international covenant of fair legal process and concern for citizens’ rights.

Now, as talks with hardliners Haqqani group is being pondered by Kabul, it may bring positive results in the weeks ahead. Even if the first of talks fail, (if dialogue are held) at least, an understanding can be reached in the second round. So, dialogue is the most practical way to counter terrorism.

Terrorism is no doubt an enemy that must be defeated, but not simply through military means even if it is a joint effort. Dialogue is the only plausible answer to achieve results in fields that can help control terror. Among the most potent weapons that can crush terrorism are the elimination of poverty, hunger, illiteracy and disease that affect millions in the subcontinent.

NavidRiaz (Late)

The UNO Has Failed to Measure up to the Demands of its Charter




Outlines:

Quotation
Introduction
Charter Preamble
Aim and purpose of charter:
Major issues remain unresolved
Poor states ignored
Root Cause Prevention Efforts
Conclusion

The picture of the United Nations in meeting the demands of its charter is bleak as the UNO has miserably failed to meet its charter demands. The world body is deeply under the influence of the United States, the chief financial donor to the United Nations. The UN’s financial dependence on major powers has contributed largely in the world body’s failure to act in a neutral and unbiased manner. A decade or so back, it was Japan, UK, France and Germany which helped substantially along with the US to bolster the fiscal kitty of the UN but slowly all these states drifted away leaving the US to remain almost the sole power to meet the finances of the world body. Such a situation is unfortunate as the United States is dominating the world body today.

It has been seen over the years that the UN has been successful in the economic cooperation only in the developed countries, while the weaker states continue to be exploited by the stronger ones. Major issues like Kashmir and Palestine remain unresolved even today. Two resolutions on Kashmir demanding plebiscite in the Indian held Kashmir are lying pending in the United Nations since 1948-49. Israel has been ruthless against the Palestinians and the helpless Palestinians have no one to support their cause except the toothless Muslim states. The Palestinians remain deprived of their homeland even today.

The US invasion of Iraq on the pretence to rid Iraq of all weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) and to renounce their further use proved totally incorrect. A series of inspections by the IAEA failed to find conclusive evidence that proved allegations that Iraq was continuing to develop or harbour such weapons.
The UN has also failed to differentiate between a terrorist and a freedom-fighter. This is a million dollar question today. The freedom fighters in Kashmir and Palestine have been dumped as terrorists, though they are struggling for freedom from the Indian and the Israeli yokes. The UN has also failed in the field of disarmament and to implement its nuclear non-proliferation policy.

The killings in the ethnic war in former Yugoslavia, saw hundreds of innocent Muslims men and women being massacred by the Serbs. The UN remained helpless as the major powers were least pushed at the horrific situation. The killings continued for weeks before the UN came into action.
However, despite its failure in many fields, the UNO has made credible achievements in preserving the world from the scourge of the third world war— thus saved the humanity at large — from total destruction. Yet, saving the world from catastrophe, though a major UN aim, is not the sole purpose of what it was carved out— in 1945, after the world had witnessed two world wars.

Charter Preamble
Before discussing the role of the United Nations that how far it has measured up to the demands of its charter, it is essential to take a look at the charter.
Following in the wake of the failed League of Nations (1919–1946) (which the United States never joined) the United Nations was established in 1945 to maintain international peace and promote cooperation in solving international economic, social and humanitarian problems.The Charter of the United Nations was signed on 26 June 1945, in San Francisco, at the conclusion of the United Nations Conference on International Organization, and came into force on 24 October 1945. The Statute of the International Court of Justice is an integral part of the Charter. Amendments to Articles 23, 27 and 61 of the Charter were adopted by the General Assembly on 17 December 1963 and came into force on 31 August 1965. A further amendment to Article 61 was adopted by the General Assembly on 20 December 1971, and came into force on 24 September 1973. An amendment to Article 109, adopted by the General Assembly on 20 December 1965, came into force on 12 June 1968.

Aim and purpose of charter:
To save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, which twice in our lifetime has brought untold sorrow to mankind; and to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small; to establish conditions under which justice and respect for the obligations arising from treaties and other sources of international law can be maintained; and to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom; to practice tolerance and live together in peace with one another as good neighbours; and to unite our strength to maintain international peace and security, and to ensure, by the acceptance of principles and the institution of methods, that armed force shall not be used, save in the common interest, and to employ international machinery for the promotion of the economic and social advancement of all peoples,

UNO has failed to meet charter’s goals
So, taking a cursory look at the charter, one is forced to arrive at the conclusion that the UNO has failed to measure up to the demands of its charter. The world, since the inception of the United Nations, has witnessed wars, unresolved issues, coercive tactics and double standards employed by the powerful states, no concrete steps to maintain fundamental human rights in the states ruled by dictators, has miserably failed to promote social progress and better standards of life in poor states, failed to employ international machinery for the promotion of the economic and social advancement of all peoples, and to employ international machinery for promotion of the economic and social advancement of all peoples.

The UN has also failed to achieve the goals included in its charter— to promote peace among regional states and ensure amicable settlement of disputes. Though terrorism has not been explicitly stated in the charter, it is implicitly a major factor in creating regional wars, killings of innocent people and creating hurdles in the economic development of the states affected by terrorists. The UN has also failed in the field of disarmament and to implement its nuclear non-proliferation policy. The arms race, today, continues to threaten the world peace.

Major issues remain unresolved
Major world issues have remained unresolved since decades. Kashmir and Palestinian issues are deadlocked despite untiring efforts by the grieved parties. Two resolutions on Kashmir demanding plebiscite in the Indian held Kashmir are lying pending in the United Nations since 1948-49. Three wars have been fought on the Kashmir issue between Pakistan and India, yet no outcome by the United Nations. Both states have nuclear weapons and another war on Kashmir can be destructive. The UN has failed to resolve the lingering issue since 1948. The US role is dominating in the world body and if wants sincerely, it can help resolve the Kashmir issue by implementing the UN resolutions on Kashmir.

The Palestrina issue has yet to be resolved despite endeavors by Palestinians and the support of the Muslim states since the creation of Israel. Israel has been ruthless against the Palestinians and the helpless Palestinians have no one to support their cause except the toothless Muslim states. The Palestinians remain deprived of their homeland even today. The United Nations have failed to resolve the Palestinian issue since decades. The powerful Jewish lobby in the United States is the stumbling block is helping resolve the issue.

Iran and North Korean nuclear issues continue to remain unresolved due to UN’s double standards and pro-US policies. These issues would have resolved long before if the UN had dealt with the issues impartially.

Poor states ignored
In socio-economic affairs, the lot of the poor women and children in underdeveloped countries has not improved. What is being witnessed is a deplorable story of the poor states being ignored with social and economic conditions pitiable. Third world poor states miseries are being multiplied in sectors like economic, social, cultural, educational, health, and related matters. The Article 62 of the UN charter has been literaaly dumped. Hunger and starvation in the poor states is rampant. Huge amount is being spent on the defence by the United States and other major states but peanut share for the United Nations is being being on this count. This practice is in violation of the the UN charter which clearly states its purpose in the Article 62. Thus the United Nations have also failed in the purpose for which it wa created by its lip service in meeting the social and economic sectors. The UN functions include: to achieve international co-operation in solving international problems of an economic, social, cultural, or humanitarian character, and in promoting and encouraging respect for human rights and for fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language, or religion; and To be a centre for harmonizing the actions of nations in the attainment of these common ends.

Root Cause Prevention Efforts
Though there is no universal agreement over the precise causes of deadly conflict, it is common to differentiate between underlying or “root” and precipitating or "direct" causes of armed conflict. There is a growing and widespread recognition that armed conflicts are taking place by ignoring the root causes as rights of self-determination, poverty, political repression, and uneven distribution of resources. Urgent steps are needed towards reducing poverty and achieving broad-based economic growth and implenting plebiscite in the regions like Kashmir and Palestinian rights, accordind to the UN resolutions. Preventive strategies must therefore work to promote human rights, to protect minority rights and to institute political arrangements in which all groups are represented. Ignoring these underlying factors amounts to addressing the symptoms rather the causes of deadly conflict.

Conclusion
The United Nations is a criminal enterprise in which no moral nation should ever participate, let alone perpetuate said Tom DeWeese, one of the US leading advocates of individual liberty who fought over 30 years against oppression world-wide.
Today, we find the United Nations buried under scandals. It has oil for food scandals, power-abuse scandals, smuggling scandals, theft scandals. The UN sets its own standards of conduct and it controls its own judge and jury. These, of course, are the very reasons why many have opposed US membership in the UN. And it's why many have feared the UN gaining any sort of power to gain its own ability to tax, field an army, or create a court system. Possessing these three powers drastically changes the UN from a volunteer membership organization to a global governing body.

While most agree that the UN could be improved, Noam Chomsky, a leading critic of US foreign policy, proposed that measures such as the US relinquishing its veto power in the Security Council and submitting to the rulings of the International Court of Justice could significantly improve the UN's ability to foster the growth of democracy and promote global peace and the protection of human rights.

There can be no doubt about the agenda of further steps. There is a need to continue to seek agreements on measures which prevent war by accident or miscalculation and to continue to seek agreements on safeguards against surprise attack, including observation posts at key points. The UN must exert its influence to continue to seek agreement on further measures to curb the nuclear arms race, by controlling the transfer of nuclear weapons, converting fissionable materials to peaceful purposes, and banning underground testing, with adequate inspection and enforcement. There is a need to continue to seek agreement on a freer flow of information and people from East to West and West to East. The world has not escaped from the darkness. The long shadows of conflict and crisis envelop us still. But in an atmosphere of rising hope, and at a moment of comparative calm, there is still ray of hope prevails among the member states of the United Nations.

NavidRiaz (Late)

What has gone wrong with the system of
education in Pakistan?



By DrQuratulAin Malik (ITG)


Introduction
Quaid's view on education
Concept of education….. meaning and definition
Significance of education…..as pillar of success
Education…..an agent of socioeconomic reforms
Spinal cord of the nation
Thesis statement leading to conclusion

Pakistan's Education System as per 1973 Constitution
Educational and economic reforms in backward areas
Removing illiteracy
Promotion of technical education….. basic concern
Education…..access to all
Women participation, etc.

Factors Leading to Catastrophe
Indecisive medium of education….English? / Urdu?
Co-education….a social dilemma
Lack of uniform academic syllabus
Women education….. concept in doldrums
Lack of creative education methods…… cramming culture
Political interference in education institutions….student/ teacher unions
Political pressures/ influences
Teacher absenteeism
Ghost schools
Less than 2% GDP, for education
Crippled economy, etc.

Education Policy 2009
Budget for education….. increased by 7%
All primary schools upgraded to middle standard schools
Higher education percentage to be increased from 4.7% to 15% by 2015
Emphasis on technical education
Establishment of residential colonies for the teachers
Special incentives for teachers willing to work in remote areas, etc.

Suggestions
Decentralised system/ local government
Village
Council
Tehsil
District
At least 7% budget for education sector
Accountability and transparency in education department at all levels
Public-private partnership
Madrassa reforms
Registration of madaris
Introduction of English and technical subjects

Education Sector Reforms
Primary education for all
Making civil society vibrant
Female education…. A keystone
Promotion of technical education
Incentives for the teachers…. Increase in salaries
Revised and updated curriculum
PTC/CT replaced by Diploma in Education
Enhancing the role of Higher Education Commission
Expansion in universities
Virtual universities, etc.

Conclusion
“Come forward as servants of Islam, organise the people economically, socially, educationally and politically, and I am sure that you will be a power that will be accepted by everybody.''
(Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah)

The importance of education cannot be negated. Education paves the way for advancement. It is a primary catalyst for national development and its availability ensures accelerated growth and progress. It is a key factor that distinguishes one nation from another. It's the education which makes a person live a better life and more importantly contributes to his social well-being. However, it is unfortunate that education system of Pakistan is fundamentally flawed, thoroughly shattered and exceedingly divisive despite the fact that Quaid-e-Azam was a staunch supporter of educational reforms. He provided the basic guidelines for the future development by emphasising that education system should suit the genius of our people, consonant with our culture, history and instil the highest sense of honour, integrity and responsibility. He was also of the view that scientific and technical skills are the only way forward. Pakistan today stands at the crossroads where there is a stringent need for educational reforms based upon moral edifice. This is only possible if all creeds of mind sit together and evolve a consensus policy in the light of Islamic ideology.

Before going into the details let's have a look on the 1973 Constitution which is a much chanted slogan in Pakistan by almost all political elites. Article 25A of the 1973 Constitution says:

“The State shall provide free and compulsory education to all children of the age of five to sixteen years in such manner as may be determined by law.”

The Constitution further goes on to make the state responsible for the education of its citizens in the following way:

Special care will be taken for educational and economic reforms in the backward areas. Illiteracy will be removed and secondary education will be made free and compulsory within minimum possible period.
People from different areas will be imparted training for agricultural and industrial development. Technical and general education is made generally available and higher education accessible to all on the basis of merit.

Participation of women in all spheres of life will be encouraged. Despite all the pledges and promises made by the constitution, nothing has been done yet on the above-mentioned grounds. Indecisive system of education, outdated curriculum, medium of instruction, meagre budget allocation for education sector and many other factors have played havoc with the fate of this unfortunate nation.

It is noteworthy that Pakistan's national language is Urdu but English has become the major medium of education. English medium schools are enjoying prestigious status in society and are charging heavy fees from students as well. English language is nothing but a way of expression but why is it made necessary? Just to spoil the potentialities to learn English? Admittedly, English is an international language but the students should be imparted educationin their mother tongue also. Sir Charles Wood sent “Wood's Despatch” in 1854 regarding the medium of education in India that throws light on the importance of mother tongue in education. Despatch's fifth point was:

“The Indian natives should be given training in their mother tongue also.”
Another reason of this sorry state of affairs is the outdated curriculum which leads to the failure of education system to produce professionals in all fields of life. Outdated syllabi do not fulfil the requirements of the ongoing developed world. It is an era of science and technological development while, unfortunately, Pakistan is still entangled in the web of obsolete pedagogical methods.

Furthermore, Student wings of various political parties are also ruining the educational environment of colleges and universities. Unions like ATI, MSF and IJT have been a source of deep concern for the students. Such activities make them forget their aim of admission and they start to take part in political activities.

Public sector is also confronting the issue of teachers' absenteeism. Scanty salaries and job insecurity compels them to join private sector institutions that offer them better incentives. The grievances of the teachers are grave but real and they need to be addressed urgently. A very little amount of GDP, about 2% is being allocated for education sector which should be above 7% for a country like Pakistan.

It is noteworthy to mention the role of madaris in Pakistan here as they are a part of traditional system of imparting religious education. Present government is working to register these madaris and there are around 12,000 madaris that are yet to be registered. There is also a dire need to revise the method, syllabi and curriculum of these institutions so as to impart true spirit of religious education without creating misconceptions and confusions and also keeping them in pace with contemporary world. The conventional style of religious education should be abolished and new methodologies based on science and technology should be adopted. The role of civil society in regarding the reforms is very crucial and equally required.

In the past, there were courses like PTC, CT, etc. which were optional for the students. In the present circumstances, it is strongly recommended to replace such short courses by diploma in education so that the students after adopting teaching profession could give their best to the nation. On the other hand, the teaching staff must be provided special training in form of refresher courses to enhance their capacities and capabilities.

Education is the key to the development and advancement of any nation. Pakistan needs highly knowledgeable and skilled professionals equipped with innovative abilities to gain a respectable in the comity of nations. Pakistan is passing through the turbulent phase in terms of social, economic and political turmoil. It stands at the crossroads and the only way forward is the promotion of education. Time is ripe, effective and implementable strategies must be formulated to come out of these crises. Education must be made the top priority. More than 4-7% of GDP must be allocated for education sector, for teachers’ training, development of infrastructure, abolition of ghost schools, scholarships, etc. Chief Minister’s laptop scheme is a good omen and an encouraging initiative for bringing educational reforms in the country. Such efforts can be a source of encouragement and inspiration for the young generation. Nations rise by dint of education and education alone. If we want to realise the dream of socioeconomic development in Pakistan, we must follow the message that Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah gave us years ago. He said:

“My message to you all is of hope, courage and confidence. Let us mobilize all our resources in a systematic and organized way and tackle the grave issues that confront us with grim determination and discipline worthy of a great nation. ”

Economic cost of energy crisis in Pakistan
and the way forward


By DrQuratulAin Malik (ITG)

Energy indisputably is a primary catalyst for national development. It is termed as the backbone and lifeline of a country's economy and its availability ensure accelerated growth and development. On the other hand an acute shortage of energy can be a great bottleneck in the supply of energy resources to an economy. Continuous and accelerated supply of energy has turned out to be the biggest challenge and a matter of serious concern of the contemporary world as the global scenario is now shifting its face from geo politics to geo economics. As a matter of fact, there has been an enormous increase in the global demand for energy in recent years as a result of industrial development and population growth. Supply of energy is, therefore, far less than the actual demand.

Pakistan's energy concerns are now assuming serious and horrific proportions owing to the fact that Pakistan has been suffering from an energy crisis for about half a decade now. The power crisis is becoming unbearable with every passing day proving to be a serious threat and impediment in country's economic progress. Internal stability of any country is highly dependent on its economic well being which is directly dependent upon sufficient energy resources and their proper management. At present Pakistan is suffering from energy deficit of about 4500 MW. This dismal state of affairs has led to the closure of many industrial units hence rendering a large number of people unemployed. Moreover, large parts of Pakistan have been affected by power blackouts due to an electricity crisis.

There is a shortage of more than 7,000 megawatts which amounts to 40 per cent of the total demand. Energy crisis is threatening to become bigger in coming years. There is an expected shortfall up to 50% because of increase in demand and supply gap up to 3,000 MW. Pakistan's total energy requirement will probably increase by 48% in 2011. Power generation in Pakistan is hugely dependent on oil, whereas we have only 20% oil of the original amount needed for the production. The remaining oil has to be imported from Gulf States and other countries of world. No major oil field so far has been discovered in the last three decades. Oil demand is expected to double by 2015 and quadruple by 2025. This would lead to an alarming trade shortage, and general price hike.

Pakistan energy sector comprises major sources with share of 50.4% of gas, followed by oil 29%, hydro electricity 11%, and coal 7.6%. Consequently, Pakistan imports energy to overcome the problem and maintain standard of living of people. The major shortfall is expected in natural gas supplies. Pakistan had 28 trillion cubic feet reserves of natural gas in 2006 but due to increase in its demand it is expected to be exhausted in next two decades.

The power outages have almost crippled normal everyday life of people and particularly hit industrial and agricultural production. This energy shortfall has caused 3 to 4 per cent GDP loss in financial year 2010-2011. As recently as 2001, the country had 4,000 megawatts of excess power capacity. Today unfortunately the situation has faced threatening prospects. The Asian Development Bank (ADB), in a report has said that Pakistan's economy faces a major hurdle in the shape of its domestic energy crisis as the economy continues to be affected by structural problems, including a domestic energy crisis, a precipitous decline in investment, persistently high inflation, and security issues. Budget deficits remain high, driven by substantial subsidies and losses at state-owned enterprises, and tax revenue below target. Losses arising from power and gas shortages held down GDP growth by 3–4 per cent in FY2011 and FY2012. As a matter of consequence the state-owned enterprises, naming Pakistan Railways, Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), and Pakistan Steel Mills are bearing the unprecedented losses. Nations are using renewable energy, transport policies and eco-cities to overcome poverty, create millions of jobs, expand industries, attract direct foreign investment and strengthen economies. Pakistan can solve its energy crisis and join modern world provided our leaders are willing to adopt effective laws, transparent policies, get rid of corrupt practices, and explore and invest in renewable and alternate sources of energy.

Let us delve into the issue to chalk out the reasons for this acute shortage of energy in Pakistan despite the presence of enormous natural resources. Over-reliance on dwindling hydro power, lack of research and planning, untapped energy resources, lopsided priorities, poor management and lack of accountability can be the reasons for the dearth of energy in Pakistan. It has to be kept in mind that the number of consumers of electricity has significantly increased owing to the rapid urbanization process and modern living style. The facility of electricity is now provided to the remote villages. The power loss is to tune of about 15 to 20 percent annually due to poor distribution system. Industrial, transport and domestic sectors are the three important consumers of energy. It is assumed that a misplaced use of energy is rampant in industries which need to be curtailed.

If one analyses the situation of the past few decades, it can be observed that Pakistan used to generate and meet half of its energy demands through hydel power and remaining from thermal generation. However, there is a limit to the extent of exploitation of hydel resources and thermal power plants due to environmental and other concerns. Economic situation of the country has now changed manifolds. To meet the challenges faced by today's Pakistan, there is a dire need to go for the alternate sources of energy. For that matter the process of converting coal into product gas underground can be a good alternate source of energy. Technically this process is called as underground coal gasification. Besides coal, the renewable energy as biomass can also be utilized to overcome this crisis. Similarly the wind energy is also available in Pakistan which can harness this energy in a much more effective way. Wind can be utilized to produce electricity at the coastal areas. If windmill power plants are set up along the coastline and this venture is handed over to the foreign investors, satisfactory results can be achieved. Similarly, hot climatic conditions of some areas of upper Sindh and Southern Punjab may prove to be a source of solar energy. Solar energy is the best solution for energy crisis, as the country has a potential of generating 29,000 MW electricity from sun.

Pakistan has world's seventh largest reserves of coal after discovery of THAR. These reserves are still untouched due to lack of technique in coal mining. Similarly solar and wind energy in coastal areas of Baluchistan and Sindh have a lot of potential to generate electricity but acquisition of technology at an enormous cost makes this an unbelievable source. Pakistan has only two nuclear plants providing two percent of electricity to our country. Population explosion is another cause of energy crises. At present Pakistan is pursuing a multidimensional pro-longed strategy to ensure adequate and uninterrupted oil and gas supply and other energy resources to sustain the present pattern of energy for the rapid national economic growth. Greater reliance on gas, aggressive pursuit of hydroelectric power generation, and enhancing nuclear power generation capacity are some of the key elements of this strategy.

Pakistan is also seeking to expand its primary energy supply base by encouraging oil exploration and power generation companies to undertake energy project in Pakistan. The regional gas pipe line projects in which Pakistan is actively pursuing to meet its expanding domestic energy demands.

These are the prerequisite for resolving energy crises that, unless resolved promptly, would cast a long shadow on the short and medium term objectives of economic growth and development.

To cut the long story short, Pakistan is at a critical juncture entangled with multifaceted problems. Pragmatic approach coupled with rational decision-making can show some light at the end of the tunnel.

Where Does The True Democracy Come From?


“DEMOCRACY IS A STATE WHERE THE FREE MEN AND THE POOR, BEING IN MAJORITY ARE VESTED WITH THE POWER OF THE STATE, THE MOST PURE DEMOCRACY, FOR THAT IS WHAT THE LAW IN THE STATE DIRECTS. (ARISTOTLE)

The 64 years history of Pakistan stands evident of the fact that true democracy is a word unknown to this land of the pure. It is unfortunate that the country which was created on the basis of democratic values remains deprived of the true spirit and essence and taste of democracy even after good six decades of independence. Why democracy fails to come to Pakistan or where does the true democracy come from? This is a million dollar question that has echoed throughout in the political history of Pakistan. The true democracy is the only remedy for all the miseries this nation has suffered during the 64 years. Since its inception, the most difficult challenge Pakistan had to counter was to establish a true democratic system, which could guarantee its survival, stability and development. Unfortunately, democracy could not find its place in Pakistan to make the country “a true democratic state”. Pakistan was conceived on the basis of Islam, which is democratic both in letter and spirit. It is indeed very unfortunate that the plant planted by Quaid-e-Azam and watered by the blood of millions of Muslim men, women and children has not thrived in the country. In other words, we have not proved worthy of the freedom achieved after immense sacrifices. After the sad demise of Quaid-e-Azam and Shaheed-e-MillatLiaquat Ali Khan, the spirit of freedom movement died down and selfish interests and political intrigues dominated the national scene.

Democracy has its origin in ancient Greece. However, other cultures have contributed significantly to the evolution of democracy such as ancient Rome, Europe and North and South America. The concept of representative democracy arose largely from ideas and institutions that developed during the European middle ages and the age of enlightenment and in the American and French revolutions. Democracy has been called the last form of government and has spread considerably across the globe.

Democracy ensures balance among all the organs of the state. It comes from rule of law, supremacy of the constitution, independence of judiciary, public participation in decision making, accountability and transparency. Its advent is ensured when decision making and policy formulation are done keeping in view the aspirations of the common man. It is the power to govern as per the consent of those being governed, that is why it is called as the government of the people, by the people and for the people.

One of the factors which can be held responsible for the failure of democracy has been the weak and fragile political fabric that has led to repeated interventions and punctuations in democratic governments through military coups. Out of a total six decade history, this country has remained entrapped in the oppressive clutches of dictatorship for more than three decades. Unfortunately, whosoever assumed the government, strived for the satisfaction of his own politically, materially and financially charged vested interests at the cost of country's progress and economic development? There ill-designed ruling techniques brought in the culture of extremism, religious and ethnic prejudices and violation of the constitution. Whether it was Zia's slogan of islamisation or Musharraf's propaganda of being non NATO ally of the US in war on terror — all contributed negatively and adversely to the cause of national development.

Democracy is regarded as the most fabulous principle of modern governing system but unfortunately, the need of establishing a true democracy has been a dream ever since Pakistan came into being. Democracy is the culmination of freedom and development in advanced countries. In Pakistan however, the already difficult situation has been aggravated by constant failures which never let democracy survive. The development of democracy has been hampered by the troublesome legacies of the military regimes, including ethnic fragmentation, provincialism, sectarianism, concentration of wealth and privileges in the hands of a selected few.

Democracy in its simplest basic form is about giving people the right to elect their government. The aim is to create stability and certainty in the society by establishing a system under which a government can be created and changed peacefully. While thinking in Pakistani perspective, the question about democracy points towards what it could and must have done instead of inherent weakness in the system. It is debatable whether military dictators have outperformed civilian governments or vice versa. But realistically, except for the government that came in 2002, no civilian government after 1985 was allowed to complete its tenure. The issues of economic growth and investments were highlighted more during democratic periods than during dictatorships.

Democracy ensures balance among all the organs of the state. It comes from rule of law, supremacy of the constitution, independence of judiciary, public participation in decision making, accountability and transparency.

Historians and analysts are also of the view that democracy is an evolutionary system that does not come as a template. There may have popular principles like sovereignty, or representative governments but these have to be rooted in the socio-economic culture of the country.

The quality of democracy and its stability has thus depended generally on the growth of the middle class which has expended and continues to rise. But the fact of the matter is that middle class is neither organic nor ideologically homogeneous. The Pakistani middle class may not be seen as yet in the elected assemblies but it occupies alternative spaces of influence in the robust civil society movements.

Pakistan may remain a transitional democracy until it has at least the peaceful transfer of power through elections. Our elected representatives have a heavy burden to disprove the sceptics inside and outside the country by forming coalitions.

The dire need is to utilise the democratic system for the betterment of a common man. It is a collective social enterprise that cannot be left for the powerful elites. To make the country vibrant, viable and prosper, drastic measures need to be applied. The education should be circulated from the top to the bottom. The opportunity to get education should be on equal basis for the rich and poor. Education is the only tool through which we can attain our cherished goal by making our country prosperous developed and progressive. As the literacy rate is increased in the country, the true democracy and effective democratic political process would begin.

Good governance makes stabilised institutions and fix roots of democracy deep in the corners of the countries. Bereft of good governance in Pakistan, our nation cannot establish its supremacy in the world comity. It is the good governance that can make democracy viable in the successive futures.

Moreover, feudal system should be abolished to make fair and square elections so that rural and urban inhabitants would choose the capable candidates for them.
The remedy lies in the words of Lord Beveridge,

“Power as a means of getting things done appeals to that men share with brutes; to fear and greed; power leads those who wield it to desire it for its own sake, not for service it render, and to seek its continuance on their own hands. Influence as a means of getting things done appeals to that which distinguishes men from brutes. The way out of world’s troubles today is to treat men as men, to enthrone influence over power and to make power revocable”.

If we want to make Pakistan a really lasting democracy, we must act on the above advice. Then only, we shall enter in the reign of true democracy and the people will manage their own affairs instead of being dupes and pawns in the hands of dishonest men.

Democracy is a way of life. It is not just about documents or governments. It is about the things we do everyday that contribute to society and make it a better place to live.

DrQuratulAin Malik (CSP)

Solved Papers CSS 2013 ESSAY

Modern-Day Communication Via Social Network Ends True, Sincere Relationship


1. INTRODUCTION
2. SOCIAL NETWORKING REDEFINING INTER - PERSONAL
COMMUNICATIONS AND
RELATIONSHIPS
3. WAYS IN WHICH SOCIAL NET- WORKING HAS PUT AN END TO TRUE AND SINCERE RELATIONSHIP
Creating trust deficit
Vulnerability to infatuation
Dependence on impersonal forms of communication
Sabotaging personal communication through dreadfully-little conversation
Sensationalism and decay of moral values
Making a private matter public
Creating scope for suspicion and infidelity
Eliminating personal space
Superficiality behind 'virtual faces'
Projecting false perceptions of 'awesome lives' and 'happening social geeks'
Disconnecting us through more connections
Accentuated generation gap

4. NEED OF ADAPTATION TO KEEP E-INTERACTIONS REAL

5. CONCLUSION

Impact of social networking on human relationships in the present-day modern life invites mixed responses from various sections of society. Some deem it a healthy and positive factor which has improved human relationships; while there are others who think that social networking has made the relations devoid of truth and sincerity. There is no denying the fact that social networking has done a great work in improving the social consciousness and awareness. It has also brought people together by giving them a chance to find and interact with others having same interests, attitudes and goals through various web-based communities. But as far as intimate human relations are concerned, the social networking has created isolation and alienation. In the present-day globalized world, where socialization through social networking has acquired the status of a necessity, the basis of relationships is more on appearances than truth and sincerity. The core values driving an intimate relationship, like trust, fidelity and sincerity, have been put to test because of the over-mechanization of human life. The relationships which develop in the due course of time often culminate into mature and trusted companionships. This was possible in an age where the relationships were more intimate and depended on direct interaction. But nowadays, the social networking has made communication possible without having a face-to-face interaction. Thanks to social networking, now there are three parties in a relationship; social networking sites/mobile being the third party. This intrusion of technology has greatly affected human relationships. Where it has introduced ease and accessibility in relationships, it has also created a room for deceit and dishonesty in the relationship. The seemingly greater access to personal information is in fact a controlled reach at filtered information only. It has made it difficult to understand a person in entirety. What people say and how they appear means more than what people are and how they behave in person. The social networking has penetrated to such a level that it has started hurting the health of human relationships.

The advent of social media has transformed the way we communicate. From business and organizational communication to interpersonal communication, and from socio-political interactions to leisure activities, communication in every walk of life has been drastically redefined by this new form of communication. Text messages, emails, tweets, direct voice calls, and personal messages on social forums, to mention a few have become new drivers of communication having enormous effects on our interpersonal relationships. Social media has gained this power for its ability to fulfil the basic need of people: the need to be heard, engaged, and involved in processes they had always wanted to participate in. Now communication is often multidimensional that has impacted interpersonal relationships the most. It has created new communities and relationships based on mutuality of interests, attitudes and goals. Being nearby is no more required to be near to someone. This erosion of the need of being together in person in order to be close to someone has affected our relationships. The truth and sincerity of relationships can no more be ascertained through these virtual communication tools.

The social networking has affected the development of a true and sincere relationship. The first and foremost thing necessary for a true and loyal relationship is the presence of mutual trust. With the advent of social networking sites and mobile phones, the mutual trust and harmony has decreased. When both the partners in a relationship interact on any social networking sites, their mutual relationship gets susceptible to mistrust and suspicion. Most of the issues creep up between the partners/lovers due to the inherent nature of social networking sites. The most common instances of such issues are befriending such persons which the other partner does not like, reluctance to share passwords and sharing information with others.


The relationship which has its birth owing to the social networking has an inkling of immaturity and is mostly because of infatuation. Most of such relationships are formed in the teenage when the thinking patterns of the youth are derived more of passions and less of reason. Such relations are made more fickle by the social networking where updates are provided for every minute detail. Updating status, uploading pictures and the com ments by friends create confusions and jealousy.

One of the biggest issues with the modern-day relationships is that they are far too much dependant on impersonal forms of communications like social networking sites and mobile phone. It is impossible to build a stable and healthy relationship online or on mobile phone. Face-to-face interaction is very necessary for the development and growth of a sound relationship. But the modern-day relationships based on social networking are dependent on impersonal forms of communication lacking face-to-face interaction.

Moreover, relationships based on social networking are devoid of truth and depth of understanding essential for a sincere relationship. People get to know a lot about each other but that depends on what information is shared. Mostly, those traits and aspects of one's life are shared that are more likely to appeal or excite interest of the other party. Chatting is mostly centred on areas of common interest and not to gauge the personality of the person. That is the reason why there is little of scope of testing the veracity of shared information and statements.

Moral decay is also among the issues encircling the modern-day relationships. Values like dedication, fidelity, sincerity and truthfulness find no place in the technology based relationships. Appearances, sensuality and verbosity seem to play a greater role in making new relationships. The unchecked access to information available on web disinhibits immoral behaviours and puts to test our real relationships. Increasingly we find posts, comments or even pictures that are inappropriate to be shared in public. Many of these posts relate to our relationships thus making a private matter public. Matters pertaining to the emotional life have become the subject of gossip at the social networking sites. Traditionally, such issues as those of relationships on verge of breakups were resolved by elders within confined sacred boundaries of home. Now there is nothing confined; hardly any concept of sacred; and virtually no boundaries. Personal differences are shared and discussed publicly. Ironically, we get 'likes' and 'comments' from those hardly concerned.

Interacting on Facebook or twitter has another problem. It brings one closer to too many possible 'matches' that your partner becomes naturally suspicious. Given the still-existing social dynamics and values of our society, such interactions always lead to disagreements. The thin line between complimenting and flirting has been worn away by too many interactions. Many a time these suspicions are not unfounded. Thus, a spontaneous and casual attitude in social networking creates scope for suspicion and infidelity.

Contrarily, many a relations are now disturbed by a compulsion to share too many things with one's fellows that one otherwise would have kept to oneself. One has to disclose one's leisure activities and hangouts against one's wishes. It becomes an obligation to sign-in and inform whenever one is around thus eliminating one's personal space. It leads to frustration and disappointment which often proves fatal for relations.

Anonymity or little access to true information makes social media unpredictable. Because people control what they share, social media gets dicier. Anyone who is technologically moderately literate can project whatever image of him he/she wants. One can hide behind the texts, emails, tweets, comments or status-updates. No one has access to the 'real one'. Thus there is little scope for sincere relationships.

One of the hallmarks of social media is sharing of minute details and pictures with virtually everyone around. Over a million pictures are uploaded on Facebook every day. People use this medium to broadcast their social lives projecting their awesome lives and company of happening social geeks. These false perceptions often become basis of new relationships premised on expectations that are never fulfilled. Thus breakups are even more common than forming of new relationships.

Most of our time spent on socialization is now consumed by social networking where we meet our virtual friends and fellows. Apart from seeing anonymous people and indulging in fake relationships, it markedly reduces the time we spend with our near and dear ones waiting for our attention. We communicate more with our web-friends thousands of miles apart and ignore those sitting next door. Even siblings who are considered to be closest to each other are now being considered infringing on personal space. Thus, rather than improving our connections, social media has snatched our dear relationships.


Social media has also widened the generation gap as technologically illiterate older generations find it difficult to reconcile with social media dynamics. The so-called Generation Y, that grew up with fast computers, instant internet, mobile phones and digital media is more comfortable with tools of social media interacting with their communities of friends and peers. They have become more and more distant and isolated from other segments of society. Thus, our relations with affectionate and loving elders have been affected by this social media.

Given the drastic consequences of social media on human relations, there is a constant realization to fix this problem. We need to learn to live with this new phenomenon and adapt to its requirements. There is a need to check what and with whom we are sharing and its possible implications on our relations. Also, significance of face-to-face communication cannot be overestimated. We should resort to direct communication whenever electronic communication fails or puts us in a fix. Moreover, communication must be a two-way process. Simply texting someone should not mean that our message has been conveyed. We need to get to recipient's feedback to ensure that they understood our message. Furthermore, rosy pictures and eloquent speeches are often made on social media without realizing that we have to live up to the expectations arising from those statements. Social media thus requires extra care in communication so that it doesn't disturb our relationships.

To conclude, advent of social media has revolutionized our ways of communication and interpersonal relationships. Like any other scientific change, this social media can destroy our social structure if left unchecked. We must adapt our habits to ensure that our e-interactions are real and meaningful. We need to learn ways to reap benefits of these advanced technological means of communication and socialization without compromising on our true personal and professional relationships.
drwaheed.asghar@gmail.com
DrWaheedAsghar (CSP)

The Suffering Soul in the Scientific Age

“Our scientific power has overturned our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men.” — Martin Luther King, Jr


There can be no two opinions about the veracity of the statement that the Modern Age is the age of science. Science undoubtedly has revolutionised the world. Everyday there are new inventions, may that be in medicine, electronics, space sciences, nuclear technology and so on. Everything that modern man is using in this contemporary age has been given to him by the scientific advancement. He cannot live without science even for a single day. Science has given eyes to the blind, ears to the deaf and limbs to the crippled. It has made man fly in the sky like birds, swim in the water like fish. It has achieved wonders and thus has brought about irreversible changes in the world. Science, however, is perceived both as a blessing as well as a curse. Apart from bringing uncountable blessings in the lives of human beings, it also has turned out to be course and has resulted into human sufferings which have now assumed horrible proportions and are beyond human control.

It is said that modern civilization is a scientific civilization. It is true as far as the material aspects of civilization are concerned; man lives in great comfort today. He enjoys cinema, radio and television. He can talk with his friends thousands of miles away from by telephone. Science has increased human comfort and lessened human drudgery. He has no longer to travel on foot. He can travel comfortably without any fatigue in cars, air-conditioned trains, buses, etc. he has no longer to bear the hardships of weather. In summer, he can cool his house by electric cooler and in winter, get heat by electric heaters. Day and night make no difference to him, for night can turn into day by electric lights.

He does not work hard like his forefathers. He does not follow barbarous practice of having slaves. Science has given him slaves of a new kind, which do all work for him. Machines are the slaves of modern scientific civilization. These slaves do all the work for him while he himself lives like a lord. They cook his food for him and even serves it to him. They manufacture everything that he uses from morning till night. They plough fields for him, sow seeds and reap crops for him.
Human pain and suffering have been lessened by science. Modern civilized man has not to suffer like his forefathers. Many diseases have been eliminated or have become curable, and surgeries can be performed without inflicting pain to the patients. Many wonderful drugs have been discovered and man's life on this earth has become longer and happier. Man lives in comfort like the lord and master of nature. He has conquered even outer space, mastered weather and all other living creatures.

But there is another side also to this picture. Science affects only the material aspects and makes man materialistic. Radio, television, cinema and costly furniture and dresses are all symbols of this artificial civilization. But civilization has material as well as spiritual elements. Science helps only the growth of the material aspects and has no influence on the spiritual element. Science has made man morally bankrupt. It has degraded him. He is no longer inspired by noble ideas. He thinks only of the body and not the soul. Science has created distance between man and religion. He has lost faith in God. He is no longer truth-loving and self-sacrificing. In order to satisfy his wants and desires, he uses dishonest means. By hook or by crook, he wants to possess the luxuries provided to him by science. No moral considerations influence his actions or his thoughts.

Art and literature are also essential aspects of civilization, but science does nothing to promote them. Rather it has an adverse effect on the growth of art. There is inherent opposition between art and science. Science is utility, observation and experiment, reason and good sense, while art is the worship of beauty. It is an inspiration. Science has killed the artistic sense of man and has made him a worshipper of worldly wealth. He now dissects and kills objects of nature instead of enjoying their beauty. To quote from poet William Wordsworth, man now murders to dissect, and perhaps he would botanize even on his mother's grave. His emotions and passions have all dried up and he has become a monster guided by reason alone.

No doubt science has given man the powers used to be attributed to the mythological gods alone, but it has not increased his wisdom or his morality. It has given him weapons. It has given him machines, but machines are now becoming his masters. Man today does not know when to save and when to kill. He has got the atomic energy but he does not know how to use it for his own good and wellbeing. In this way, science has brought human civilization to the verge of disaster.

Much has been said and talked about the importance of science and technology. However, as the saying goes, every rose has its thorns. Science also has added to the human sufferings owing to the adverse impacts it has on the environment. Environmental issues are the biggest concerns the planet earth is facing, let that be in the form of global warming, floods, earthquakes, hurricanes etc. Moreover, no doubt, medical science is no less than a blessing to mankind. Medicines produced all over the world are perceived to be a foolproof cure to a person's illness. However, there is some negativity associated with medical science too.
Today, excessive consumption of drugs can lead to death. Moreover, incorrect dosage may lead to fatal maladies. Where medical science has advanced to an unbelievable extent, it carries with itself perils of all kinds, and just a slight ignorance may prove to be a matter of life and death.

Technology has provided ease of all kinds to man. However, it has made us too busy to even see our loved ones in person. Technology might have made our daily life easier, but it has rendered health issues as well. Tremendous reliance and dependence on electronic gadgets, appliances, and most importantly, computer technology has made human life so lethargic that people are experiencing old age much before they actually grow old. With almost zero physical activity, science might have proved its mettle as an amazingly efficient service to its users, but has got the world adversely hooked to it!

There are no qualms in accepting the fact that science is the biggest revolution ever happened to planet Earth. However, a normal human being has no idea to what extent has this field advanced today.

Technology can actually harm society if one chooses to. Competition between companies or even cities can sometimes make our lives even worse. When a city builds more roads to attract tourists, the result is more traffic load. Even things we take for granted such as the automobile have negative effect on us. Because the automobiles cause pollution and that can surely harm us slowly. Technology is making one so busy that he can't even find time to spend with our closed ones. It would be surprising to know that people are in contact through chat and online messaging though they are in same city, because they think it's faster and effective but they forget that meeting personally can never replace online chatting.

Before the advent of television and internet, people had ways of having fun together every day. Many of these traditional methods of fun have almost disappeared in the modern world. People used to talk with each other, they would play games, but now they play games on computer giving no reaction that people are drifting away from one other.
DrQuratulAin Malik (CSP)

PLEASURES OF READING (CSS-2011)


OUTLINE:
1. The common factor in most reading is escapism.
2. This factor lasts even into later life.
3. Humorous novels are quite amusing and relaxing.
4. Most educated people have a balanced reading diet.
5. People with interest in politics crave for a historical perspective.
6. The classics provide the best comprehensive source of pleasures.
7. Poetry – a great source of pleasure.
8. Fiction – the most entertaining form of reading.
9. Conclusions.

Reading is a welcome escape from the dullness of daily routine. It is an excellent recreation which rich and poor alike can afford as most books are not very costly. Moreover, in these days the large number of public libraries makes reading cheaper and easier than ever before. A man who has developed a taste for reading asks nothing more of life if, besides the means of physical well-being, he is provided with books and the leisure to read them. Mathematics, scientific theories, doctrines of philosophy and religion are taxing to the brain. But the reading of newspapers, history, biography, accounts of travel and exploration, drama, verse and above all, fiction, is a source of keen delight. Millions of men and women nowadays find a delight in reading.

The quantity and variety of reading material available to us are really enormous. There are books of all kinds books discussing topical matters, books on sex and marriage, books on health and hygiene and books on personalities of the times, as well as purely literary books including drama, poetry and prose fiction. The variety and number of magazines and periodicals are equally amazing. Story magazines, picture magazines, film journals, literary periodicals, magazines on fashions in dress, political magazines ----- there is no end to them. Each of these types has its admiring readers who would rather miss a meal than their favourite weekly, fortnightly or monthly.

Let us analyse the cause of the pleasure which results from reading the printed matter that we buy from the book-stalls or borrow from the libraries. The common factor in most reading is that one can pick up a book of his choice and escape from the humdrum into a new world of excitement, sometimes identifying with the hero or the heroine. Girls tend to favour school stories with a touch of romanticism and later, magazine romances and romantic novels, taste for the latter often lasting well into adult life.

The attraction of escapism, modified of course by experience, lasts into later life. Most adults enjoy a detective story for relaxation. The murder or crime concerned is rarely dealt with psychologically. It is merely the peg on which to hang the clues leading to the final solution. The best of such stories also develop character to some extent and reflect the social background of the years in which the novel is set. Thus, the pleasure of reading, says Agatha Christie, is partly nostalgia and partly mental exercise. Emotion plays a negligible part.

Another genre of books written for pleasure and relaxation is the humorous novel, represented by P G Wodehouse, Mark Twain and Stephen Leacock. Here, the amusement lies in comedy of situation, turn of phrase, and very clever plotting. Again, they are period pieces, in the case of Wodehouse evocative of the idle young rich of the 30s, and entirely without social comment. Humour draws the sting from inequality.

Then books are read for pleasure, relaxation and a good laugh. However, most educated people have a balanced reading diet which develops over the years as a result of specialization in one subject or another. Most of us have developed a general interest in politics and current events, and in democratic countries these are well covered in the responsible press and in specialized ranging from agriculture to car maintenance. In these contexts, the pleasure of reading is derived from interest in the subject.

Interest in politics and current events leads to the development of a historical perspective, and hence interest in the past. This is well catered for in an immense body of historical and biographical literature. Social history is necessary to the understanding of current trends. Historical romances often provide a good read, and the best of them are very informative about the events of past times.

However, the classics provide the best all-round sources of pleasure. It is one thing to have to study texts for one's A or 0 Levels. That can be hard work. It is quite another to read them for pleasure in later life. They offer a more sophisticated source of interest than can be obtained from any other genre; development of character, social and political comment, action and reflection, humour, pathos, sometimes tragedy. The appeal of poetry should not be ignored. The best of it requires the ultimate in the command of language.

Poetry can provide the richest satisfaction of all. It is the purest form of literature and its rhythm, melody and music give it an additional charm. The lyrical flights of Shelley, the sensuousness of Keats, the lavish and colourful imagery of Tennyson, imaginative intensity of Coleridge, the beautiful description of nature by Wordsworth ----- all these enchant the reader. The very diction of poets like Rossetti, Bridges, and Arnold has great appeal. The readers of Urdu poetry are not less fortunate in this respect. There is a great treasure of rich and fascinating poetry in Urdu. Look at Ghalib! Who can match the flight of his imagination! Then there are Iqbal, Faiz, Meer, Akhtar Shirani, MajeedAmjad. Fraz and many others. The beauty of "Ghazal" form is a joy forever.
Most adults enjoy a detective story for relaxation. The murder or crime concerned is rarely dealt with psychologically. It is merely the peg on which to hang the clues leading to the final solution.
The designation 'novel' covers a very wide spectrum of literature. It comprises the classic works of fiction of all countries. By definition, a novel is a prose piece of over 60,000 words. Many are much longer. Anything shorter is a 'novella'; if much shorter, a short story. The genre grew up independently in many countries, particularly those of Europe.

Fiction of course is not limited to the classics, which form a relatively small part of it, for at least three centuries the bookshops have always been full of the more ephemeral kinds of prose; the American 'block-buster', the J Arthur Clarke type of space fiction, the ghost story, the detective `who dunnit?, the story, the war story. The list is endless.

It is quite possible to become `hooked' on novel reading and this has two dangers. To read novels when you should be doing something else, eg study, or practical chores, is indeed a waste of time. And it is never courteous to have one's nose in a novel when visitors arrive! Secondly, there are some people who find in a novel a means of escape from reality. This has other dangers. Too much relapse into fantasy may destroy one's ability to face facts.

If reading novels can be a waste of time, reading bad novels is always a waste of time and can be positively harmful. A really bad novel is not easy to define, but for anybody with intellect it has some, or even all of the following features: unreality in characterization and situation, poor construction, concentration on sex and violence for the sake of it, bad sentence construction, a boring approach, expletives and bad language generally a biased attitude to people, situations and issues and stereotyping of characters.

That said, to read anything is arguably better than read nothing, or sinking out the bottom line, mindless television watching. At least the capacity to read demonstrates that one is literate. In Britain today, there is an alarming number of school-leavers from the state system who can neither read nor write.

The case for reading the classics need hardly be made. Their characters live, and are of their time. Descriptions of town and country engross the reader. Stories and therefore plots, seem to grow out of the characters. Often, great national events, wars and revolutions provide the background, but are integral at the same time. Characters and great events affect each other. The same process is seen in the good political, maritime or war story. The classical novel provides a window on another world; good contemporary novels offer new insights into our own world. The reader will inevitably gain in knowledge and understanding from this class of literature. Such reading supplies valuable background material for other studies; history, sociology, politics, psychology and economics.

However, life is not all self-improvement, or shouldn't be. Reading for pure relaxation can do the reader nothing but good. The poor, ugly girl may find a therapeutic escape in a romantic novel. Just such a person as she is may be picked up by a dark, handsome, rich, even aristocratic stranger and transported into new worlds of delight. Why not? It will never happen, but there is no harm in dreaming. And there is the comfortable, stately world of the `country house murder', where death is relatively bloodless, and the culprit turns out to be the colonel, the butler, or a rogue vicar. Pitting one's wits against the author's is a good form of relaxation. So, to the English reader, are the novels of P G Wodehouse, which open windows on the life of the idle rich in England I the 20s, contain absolutely no social comment on the rigid class system of the time, are brilliantly constructed, and contain laughs on every page. Therefore, no sane person could say that reading novels is a waste of time.

The world wide popularity of novels tends to support this view. It is interesting that the spread of television has had little or no effect on the sale of books and that the use of lending libraries is as great as ever. Admittedly most of the books borrowed are novels of one sort or another. In a descending order of popularity they are love stories, crime thrillers and spy novels, space fiction, historical novels, biographies and classical literature. Though related to life, and sometimes dealing with its harsh realities, novels feed the human imagination. They allow us to escape from a life which may be humdrum or unpleasant, and live for a time in a world of imagination. So novels are escapist, but is escapism necessarily wrong? The novel transports the reader to another world, gives heightened emotion to those who lack excitement, and tranquility to those whose lives are too busy and active. Good novels of whatever description have a beneficial effect on the reader. After all, because one may live in a dream world for a time it does not follow that this will have any adverse effect on a person's approach to real life. Quite the opposite may well be the case. Wisdom can be gained in living other people's lives vicariously through books and mistakes avoided. People read for all kinds of reasons, and all kinds of people are readers. For many, reading the classics is their best form of relaxation. For some, the motive is intellectual stimulation, and for these the most popular categories are history, biography, philosophy and theology, sociology, archeology and anthropology. There is in addition a whole range of books special to the interests of the individual, ranging from the professions to every sporting and leisure activity imaginable. These promote interest and increase knowledge, so can hardly be described as "escapist", though taking the reading public as a whole it has to be said that serious and factual books cater for the minority.

Poetry can provide the richest satisfaction of all. It is the purest form of literature and its rhythm, melody and music give it an additional charm.

The great variety of reading matter makes it possible for men of all tastes and temperaments to draw pleasure from it. For the serious and reflective types of readers, there is plenty of tragic and sentimental literature. For those of lively temperaments, there is a rich store of comedies, amusing episodes, witty dialogues, humorous skits and tit*bits. For those more interested in actual life there are countless biographies, autobiographies, histories and daily newspapers. Indeed, the pleasure of reading should not be missed by any educated person. Everyone ought to cultivate the reading habit. Reading lifts us out of our personal circumstances. We can forget our private worries and anxieties, fears and responsibilities while reading an interesting book. Not only that. Reading adds to our knowledge, and the feeling that our knowledge has increased and our understanding of life become deeper affords us a keen pleasure. Whether we are journeying by train, or we are sitting in a park, or we are at home, reading is an excellent recreation.
Prof MuzaffarBokhari (Retd)

Terrorism The Biggest Threat to Pakistan


By Irshad Ali Sodhar (FSP)

1. Introduction

2.History of Terrorism in Pakistan: An Overview

3. Pakistan Faces Various Forms of Terrorism

a. Ethnic / Sectarian
b. Nationalist / Separatist
c. Jihadi / Islamist

4. Causes of Terrorism in Pakistan

a. Augmenting Illiteracy
b. Increasing Social Injustice
c. Swelling Poverty
d. Derailing Democracy
e. Heightening Religious Intolerance
f. Unending Afghan War
g. Crippling Economy

5. Is Terrorism a Great Threat to Pakistan: YES

I. To Democracy
II.To Sovereignty
III.To Economy
IV.To Governance
V.To Progress
VI.To National Security
VII.To National Integrity

6.Recommendations:

I. Using the Influence of Religious Leaders
II.Utilizing Civil Society
III.Employing Media Effectively
IV. Revamping Education System
V. Achieving Peace in Afghanistan
VI. Ensuring Competent Intelligence
VII.Dealing Effectively with Militants
VIII.Economic Recovery & Poverty Alleviation
IX.Ensuring Speedy & Affordable Justice

7.Conclusion
Essay


Terrorism is second to none amongst the threats faced by Pakistan. The cost it has incurred, overweighs the losses bore in any other turmoil in history of the country. The complexity of this multifaceted menace lies in the fact that it is caused by multitude of factors ranging from internal situation to external developments. It has been damaging not only the economy, political stability, social sector and social fabric of the country but also national security and integrity. The country's image abroad and its foreign relations are severely affected, as well. Moreover, the risk of being termed as a failed state was born out of the implications of no other problem but terrorism. Nevertheless, the increasing realization and resolve of the political, civil and military leadership to combat this threat with iron hands harbingers a strong action to eradicate terrorism. However, this problem will not go away easily given the isolated responses from state institutions. A comprehensive and integrated counter-extremism and counter-terrorism strategy is need of the hour. The emerging clarity among institutions and political consensus among major stakeholders is a positive sign in this regard.

The origin of terrorism in Pakistan can be traced back to two important events that brought obscurantism, intolerance and resultantly terrorism in Pakistan. Before 1980s, religion has never been a controversial issue in Pakistan. The sectarian militants emerged in Pakistan after the 1979 Iran Revolution which transformed the nature and magnitude of sectarian violence in Pakistan.

Besides, Soviet occupation of Afghanistan was the most critical event leading to the spread of militancy. A fundamental change that altered the very character of society in Pakistan occurred after the outbreak of Soviet-Afghan war. However, the real damage was exposed only after the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan, when there emerged weaponization and violence in Pakistan. Lately, in the wake of US attack on Afghanistan, and Pakistan's entry into War on Terror as an ally, the extremism and terrorism soared.

With its multifarious nature, the magnitude of terrorism has become greater. Ethnic, sectarian; nationalist, separatist; and jihadi terrorism are some forms of it.

Ethnicity has been haunting Pakistan since its emergence as an independent state. This was the ethnicity factor that led to dismemberment of the country in 1971. Arson, bombings, assaults, vandalism and even murder have been some aspects of this nuisance.

Separatist terrorism is another threat to Pakistan. The Balochistan province has been facing the intermittent guerilla wars. The tribal militants, allegedly patronized by foreign powers especially India, carry out heinous acts of terrorism and even resort to target killings to advance their separatist agenda.

The so-called jihad is another form of terrorism that is most widespread nowadays. This type of terrorism emerged with Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in the late 1970s. After the Soviet withdrawal, this armed struggle transformed into a sort of civil war, and later Afghanistan became a breeding ground for terrorists.

Furthermore, after 9/11 attacks, when Pakistan entered in war against terrorism, some of these sham Jihadi groups turned their guns against Pakistan.

This violent phenomenon has become complex in nature due to multitude of the causes. The situation in Pakistan is more complicated due to its underdevelopment, strategic location, diverse cultures and religious orientation of society. The first and foremost cause is widespread illiteracy in Pakistan. Pakistan ranks 113th among the 120 nations in the literacy rate index. Since, people lack the knowledge of the true teachings of Islam; they are easily carried away by the emotional and sentimental speeches of religious fanatics.

Secondly; injustice or lack of justice is also one of the core causes of terrorism. People are suffering from many social injustices including, but not limited to, unequal resource distribution, restricted access to quality education, the elite's hegemony in political system, lack of basic health facilities, and non-availability of necessary commodities to major portion of the population. There is plethora of examples in history when deprived and marginalized people rebelled and even resorted to violence to gain their rights. In Pakistan, the underprivileged and depressed class is prone to be exploited by the terrorists.

Thirdly; poverty is also a major cause of terrorism. According to a study conducted by the Sustainable Development Policy Institute, every third Pakistani is living below the poverty line i.e. 58.7 million out of 180 million are living in abject poverty. A survey conducted by Benazir Income Support Program (BISP) revealed that around 45.7% population of Pakistan is poor. These people, caught in the vicious cycle of poverty, join terrorists for monetary benefits.

Fourthly; derailing of democracy by military dictators also contributed to the spread of terrorism in Pakistan. History of the country manifests that these were the decisions of military rulers that put Pakistan in this quandary. It was Zia's decision to involve Pakistan in war against Soviets in Afghanistan. Again, it was Gen Pervez Musharraf's decision to become a frontline US-ally in war against terrorism.

Fifthly; the ever-growing religious intolerance in Pakistan also fosters terrorism. In recent past, more than 100 Shiites were killed in Quetta in one attack. In addition, many Sunni/Shia processions were attacked and churches were set ablaze.

Sixthly; Pakistan's participation in Afghan War has also plagued the country with terrorism. Pakistan still ails from the disease it acquired during Soviet-Afghan war. Now, those militias have become so unbridled that they even challenge the writ of the government in various parts of the country.

Seventhly; the crippling economy also gives rise to terrorism. The faltering economy has increased inflation, poverty and unemployment. Almost 50% of the Pakistani workforce is unemployed, reveals the survey released by the Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW). Miseries compel people to find additional sources of income and the terrorists lure these marginalized people. Thus, economic frailty makes recruitment for terrorists easier.

Terrorism is the biggest threat to a viable state. The first and foremost threat, it poses, is to democratic system of the country. Pakistan has had only a wobbling democracy. Proper democratic transition is taking place for the first time in the country's history. However, the elections were marred by terrorist attacks on election campaigns. If the environment of insecurity prevails, democracy would never flourish and people will lose trust in the democratic process.

Terrorism also threatens the sovereignty of Pakistan. The presence of terrorists invites drone attacks which is a serious challenge to the country's sovereignty.

One of the major reasons behind the crippled economy of Pakistan is terrorism. The terrorist activities in Pakistan have led to flight of capital and investors. The investors are reluctant to invest here due to law and order situation. The estimated losses are around $70bn. Moreover, tourism industry of Pakistan is also in a dying state. Furthermore, the threat of terrorism also compels the government to divert resources to security spending.

Terrorism also hampers the prospects of good governance. The government finds itself hapless to improve the law and order situation in the country. The schools are bombed and demolished which deprives people of the light of knowledge. The proponents of education are attacked; the case of MalalaYousafzai is an example in this regard.

Terrorism thwarts the progress of the country as well. Pakistan couldn't make any progress in the last decade rather all the economic and human development indices show a considerable fall. Pakistan ranks 145th on the Human Development Index. The country has spent more than $20 billion on war against terror and is compelled to increase its defence budget. Resultantly, the spending on the social development has seen new lows. Hence, terrorism causes underdevelopment which leads to increase in miseries of the masses.

Terrorism endangers the national security as well. A fleeting look at the current situation reveals that the country is suffering from worst security crisis. Terrorists carried out, successfully, attacks even on most secure and strategically important places. The attacks on GHQ, Mehran Naval Base and Kamra Air Base are testimony to this fact. The magnitude of losses can be gleaned from the fact that only one Saab-2000 aircraft fitted with an Airborne Early Warning & Control System (AWACS) destroyed at Kamra was worth $250 million.

Terrorism, lastly, is a great threat to national integrity. It is threatening the very roots and fabric of the society. Pakistanis are being divided into small sub-nations fighting to assert their existence and separate identity.

Despite the above-mentioned facts, Pakistan has all the capacity and potential to eradicate terrorism. All it requires is a comprehensive and coordinated strategy.

First of all, religious leaders and scholars can play a vital role in this regard. They should use speeches and writings to preach the message of peace.

Two; the civil society also needs to come forward and play its role in sorting out the problems face by the nation. Moreover, a huge campaign is required to defeat the ideologies of terrorists. This campaign or mass movement can be used very effectively with collaborative efforts.

Three; uniform system of education can play a viable role in eradicating terrorism. The curriculum should be free of all the biases, religious bigotry and fanaticism. It shall include religious and modern education in equal proportions. The minds of younger generation need to be washed of all the rigidness; then only peace will prevail in society.

Four; media can be the most effective tool in eliminating terrorism. Media can be used to educate people and bring them on board about challenges faced by the country. Soft corner for militancy in the general public can only be eradicated by well-organized media effort.

Five; peace in Afghanistan is one of the prerequisites for curbing terrorism in Pakistan. Presence of Nato and Allied Forces in Afghanistan is a major cause of instability in the region.

Sixth; an effective strategy to counter militant and extremist groups hinges in the capability to gain timely and accurate intelligence. The local intelligence needs to be strengthened in terms of organization, equipment, training and coordination. The intelligence agencies should be made completely free of political interference.

Seventh; a coherent strategy on using force as last resort should be evolved. The foreigners cannot live among the locals unless they are sufficiently motivated to support these militants. The local tribesmen should be taken into confidence and must be encouraged to stand up against the foreign elements.

Eighth; economic and social disparity leads to increase in recruitment of terrorists. Economic recovery should be given the top priority, especially in the underdeveloped areas. Comprehensive plans to ensure revival of industry to generate economic activity and jobs should be devised.

Lastly, there is, undoubtedly, a need for providing speedy and affordable justice to poor masses. As 'Justice delayed is justice denied', the people feel themselves alienated from society. The performance of lower judiciary has resulted in loss of trust of general public in courts and thus the Taliban-type speedy justice system attracts public support in certain areas. Therefore, justice system should be reviewed to ensure that people get speedy and affordable justice. Moreover, the prosecution needs to be made effective in order to curtail the large acquittal ratio of terrorists.

There is no denying the fact that Pakistan is facing great threat of terrorism. It's a country which is plagued with multifarious terrorism caused by several intricate problems. It poses threat to essential ingredients of the state, from democracy to national security and integrity of the country. However, combating terrorism is not an insurmountable task for this resilient nation. The enormity of the challenge has led to the momentum that is underway with regard to building of consensus on the policy to combat terrorism. This would lead to a conclusive strategy to eliminate this menace. The policy accompanied with political resolve is bound to win this war and achieve the stability and prosperity in the country.

Investment in Education and Skill Development
The economic rationale for investment in education was thus well established by the early 1980s.
According to the traditional view in the development debate of the 1960s, land, labour and capital were identified as the main factors of production and within these, the focus was on expanding capital by increasing investment to at least 15 per cent of GDP to achieve an average growth rate of five per cent per annum.

By the early 1970s, however, the definition of capital was broadened to include human capital. Investment in education, it was pointed out on the basis of several studies, created better skills and together with research for improved technology, would lead to higher productivity and faster economic growth. The economic rationale for investment in education was thus well established by the early 1980s.

The launch of the Human Development Report by UNDP in 1990 was another landmark in the conceptual framework for development. Pioneered by late Dr. MahbubulHaq, the report prescribed supplementary criteria for determining performance called the Human Development Index (HDI). The Index built on four indicators: Life expectancy at birth, adult literacy rate, combined primary, secondary and tertiary gross enrolment ratio and GDP per capita, assigned a maximum value of 1 on the basis of which countries are categorized into High (above 0.8), medium (between 0.) and 0.8) and low HDI (below 0.5). This concept emphasized that human development was not just a means to more rapid economic growth but also an end in its own right.

The transition of the world towards a knowledge based economy and growing competition in the wake of globalization, has further magnified the importance of human resources in general and of education in particular as a key element in the process of social and economic transformation. Key indicators of progress in the coming decades will not only include the overall level of literacy, but also the proportion of skilled workers in the total work force, the percentage labour force employed in different sub-sectors of communications and the investment being made in research and technology. Only societies which have acquired the required knowledge and skills will be able to compete in the global markets.

The state of education in Pakistan
Viewed in this context, Pakistan has a long way to go. The facts and main indicators are well known, but the following shortcomings and lags are particularly noteworthy:
Overall investment in education in Pakistan is still very low, despite repeated commitments by successive governments to reach the UNESCO target of four per cent of GDP. Public spending on education in Pakistan, as a percentage of GDP is only 1.8 per cent which is the lowest in South Asia and has in fact declined from the peak of 2.5 per cent reached in the mid 1990s. Several Asian countries had already exceeded by the year 2000 the UNESCO target of four per cent of GDP. India (4.1 per cent). Philippines (4.2 per cent), Iran 4.4 per cent). Thailand (5.4 per cent). Malaysia 96.2 per cent).

Because of a combination of high population growth and low expenditure on education, the average level of adult literacy has moved very slowly from 26 per cent in 1981 to an estimated 57.7 per cent in 2010. If this average is broken down between urban and rural areas, between males and females and between different provinces, the wide disparities reflected in the dismal average becomes even more glaring. The rate of literacy for rural females in 2010 was only 22.5 per cent in Baluchistan, 20.3 per cent in Sindh. 29 per cent in KPK and 40.2 per cent in Punjab, yielding a national average of 34.2 per cent for female literacy. With this level of female literacy, the programme for population control will have only limited chances of success.

Despite a three fold increase in Pakistan's GDP over the last 30 years, there has been no corresponding improvement in social indicators. Pakistan was 127th on the global ranking of the Human Development Index for 2010 among169 countries.

Moving from the quantitative to the qualitative aspects of human development, the situation is even more depressing. On UNDP's Technology Achievement Index based on indicators like enrolment of science students, patents and royalties, and access to telephones, internet and electricity, Pakistan's rank is 0.17, compared to 0.20 for India and Sri Lanka, 0.31 for Brazil, 0.4 for Malaysia and 0.67 for South Korea.
In the past few years, HEC and the Provincial Governments have taken many initiatives in the field of education but there are many structural problems and institutional obstacles that have affected the implementation of well meaning policies and plans in the past.
Similarly on the global Knowledge Economy Index based on information, infrastructure, economic incentives regime, and expenditure on research. Pakistan's rank is 2.24, compared to 3.12 for India, 4.35 for China, 4.16 for Sri Lanka, 5.57 for Brazil, and 6.06 for Malaysia.

It should be clear from the foregoing that a very major effort will be needed on several fronts if Pakistan is to improve not only its overall level of literacy but also its ranking in the above-mentioned areas. The focus of these wide ranging efforts should be: (a) Mobilizing additional resources for investment in education and skill development. (b) paying greater attention to quality of education, and (c) ensuring more effective implementation through major institutional and administrative reforms.

In the past few years, HEC and the Provincial Governments have taken many initiatives in the field of education but there are many structural problems and institutional obstacles that have affected the implementation of well meaning policies and plans in the past. Unless these obstacles are tackled, the new plans and reforms will not yield the expected results and targets. Four such problems areas and obstacles are discussed in this article.

Shrinking fiscal space in the provinces
The most daunting challenge before the economic managers of Pakistan is finding ways and means of raising total expenditures on education to five per cent of GDP in the next few years and ensuring meaningful utilization of these resources to achieve universal literacy in the shortest possible time, to improve the quality of education and vastly expanding opportunities for technical and vocational education.

Quality of education
Pakistan is currently trapped in a vicious circle of low skills and low productivity. The objective of improving the quality of education is therefore in many ways more important than the issue of overall expenditures or overall literacy levels.

The most important factor in higher productivity is skills and indigenous technological capacity. The expansion in educational facilities must be based on the projected market demand and the imperative of making Pakistan a knowledge-based economy. At present, most of the better educational institutions in Pakistan are producing high school graduates primarily for studying abroad. Many of them never come back. As a result of this brain drain, the country is unable to benefit from the best part of its human resource pool. In comparison, the education systems of both India and China are geared mainly to the domestic market.

The quality of education depends largely on the quality of teachers. The quality of teachers can be improved by recruiting teachers on merit on the basis of periodical competitive examinations and by offering higher grades to teachers with higher qualifications.

Similarly, the system of examination has to move away from memorizing certain lessons to a more systematic assessment of understanding, reasoning, originality and creativity so that the system of teaching, learning and testing becomes an integrated process. At present the conduct of secondary and higher secondary examinations is centralized under various boards of education. Under this system the students are taught by one teacher, the examination papers are composed by another teacher, without knowing what has actually been taught and a third teacher marks the examination papers. There is no provision to include an assessment of the projects undertaken by the students or individual attainments of a student during the year. Examinations are largely based on text books and tend to be quite repetitive. That is why students are not encouraged to go beyond studying (in fact memorizing) certain portion of the text books. Even laboratory experiments are reduced to memorizing relevant passage from the lab manuals.

A gradual shift to the semester system of teaching and assessment in the system of higher education is necessary to improve the quality of education in Pakistan. The conceptual framework of the National Curriculum 2000, prepared by the National Committee, with the participation of many outside experts is a very forward looking document but its implementation has been adversely affected by recent controversies over text books and the Agha Khan Examination Board.
Despite a three fold increase in Pakistan's GDP over the last 30 years, there has been no corresponding improvement in social indicators. Pakistan was 127th on the global ranking of the Human Development Index for 2010 among169 countries.
Inequalities in education
The third structural issue is the problem of growing inequalities in the system. Inequalities in education are not confined to different literacy rates between urban and rural areas, between males and females and among different provinces. There is also a very high correlation between education and income levels. As households with higher incomes have access to better education and also to technical education, they will naturally capture a larger proportion of the employment opportunities and other benefits in a growing economy. Education inequalities are thus a major cause of growing income inequality and poverty in Pakistan.

According to recent studies, educational facilities in Baluchistan and in rural areas of Sindh are very inadequate. It is absolutely necessary in expanding investment in education to give special attention to districts at the lowest range of the educational ladder. The basic purpose of public spending in education should be to enhance the income earning capacity of the poor and education is the most important starting point for the process of social transformation leading to greater quality and social justice.

Another and more serious form of inequality springs from the strong multi dimensional divide between English medium and Urdu medium systems of education. In the recent past, this divide has been further accentuated by the rapid expansion of madrassahs schools, offering religious education and catering to the educational requirements of low income groups. These three streams of education not only provide education under very different systems but also lead to divergent views and opinions about political, economic and international issues, often hostile to each others. This state of affairs, unless corrected through a more unified system of education, can lead to greater polarization in society, threatening the very unity of the federation.

Reform of educational administration
One of the most important lessons of successful development experience in other countries is the sequencing of various reforms. Economic and sectoral reforms have yielded positive results only when these were preceded by administrative and institutional reforms that ensured adequate and timely implementation. In Pakistan, most of the educational reforms, action programmes or initiatives have floundered because the bureaucratic structures responsible for their implementation were totally inadequate. An important example of this mis-match was the Social Action Programme launched in 1992 with substantial support from external donors. Allocations for primary education under this programme were doubled over the next five years, but on the average only about half the physical and qualitative targets of programmes were achieved. Total enrolment increased from l 1 to 19 million between 1990 and 2000, and the literacy improved from 36 per cent to only 47 per cent over the same period. Successive evaluation of the programme showed serious inadequacies in their implementation. One such evaluation found that as a result of frequent transfers, the average tenure of the Secretary in the Education Department of Punjab (with primary responsibility for the programme and for a system employing 30,000 teachers) was less than one year. There were also reports about the appointment and transfers of teachers on the basis of political patronage, absence of incentives for good teachers and weak enforcement mechanisms for ensuring discipline and quality of service delivery. The general attitude and mindset of bureaucracy was also reported to be negative. As a result of these assessments, this programme was discontinued in 2002.

The above-mentioned institutional and administrative weaknesses have not however disappeared. Unless these are remedied, other reforms can meet the same fate. Increased allocations can be readily spent by building physical structures through contractors, but the qualitative targets in terms of actual enrolment, the quality of education and more diversified education according to future needs, will remain illusive.

Following the Successful example of setting' up HEC at the Federal level, the possibility of setting up Provincial Education Commissions in the four Provinces should be examined on a priority basis, to take over from the Provincial Education Departments the responsibilities for developing and managing higher education at the provincial level. These Commissions should be staffed by qualified professionals, with security of tenure to enable them to withstand political pressures.

For primary and secondary education institutional reforms have to move in two directions: major decentralization of responsibility from the provincial to the district and lower levels and association of civil society with the planning and implementation of education, including management of educational institutions, at all levels. As is dramatically illustrated by the success of many private NGOs in establishing good quality schools for the poor, there is a growing pool of businessmen, educational experts and social workers committed to the cause of education. They can play a major role in upgrading the quality of public education.

Finally, education is the most important route to overcome unemployment and poverty. That is why the time seems ripe to incorporate in our laws, the right to education as a basic human right and give investment in education the highest priority in managing the Pakistan economy.

The writer is Vice-Chancellor of Beaconhouse National University, Lahore.
Sartaj Aziz
Former Foreign Minister of Pakistan
Are We Spreading Knowledge or Ignorance?
Our entire educational system and all its activities are wholly and solely concentrated on preparing and training the students for performing well in their examinations.
It has now become quite a common experience for me that during my lectures in the college, whenever I speak for a while about the significance of character building and moral training as a part of education, someone from my students stands up and says to my utter embarrassment, “Sir, will such things be asked in the examination?”

For a moment, I think of snubbing him, but the very next moment, I realise that after all, he is not so much wrong in his approach. The reason is that like all the other students, he too has come to the college with the single objective of being able to get high marks in the examination. By getting through the examination, he will get the degree, which will enable him to get a lucrative job. This is the one point agenda which motivates the parents to spend their hard earned money for sending their children to public and private educational institutions and this is the only target which the teachers are expected to achieve. Only those of our students are awarded with medals, trophies and cash prizes who secure maximum marks; only those of our teachers are described as successful who tell their students some useful tricks and tips for getting excellent marks; and only those institutions are rated among the best ones whose students secure top positions in the examination. In simpler terms, our entire educational system and all its activities are wholly and solely concentrated on preparing and training the students for performing well in their examinations.

But should it be the only objective of education?

All the ancient and modern intellectuals, thinkers and philosophers including Aristotle, Plato, Ghazali, Iqbal and Russell, etc. are unanimous in their opinion that education is a wide ranging process involving the mental, moral, physical, spiritual, emotional, and psychological training and growth of individuals. Besides developing their individual skills and abilities, to the fullest extent, it facilitates them in fully adjusting themselves to their particular social set-ups. It makes them useful, responsible and productive citizens, having elevated ethical standards, exemplary characters and ideal personalities. By inculcating a strong moral and spiritual sense in them, it distinguishes them from animals and brings them closer to human beings as well as to God. Such multiple objectives can be achieved by both formal and informal forms of education and for this particular reason, Islam urges the people to acquire knowledge from the cradle to the grave. But it is not merely bookish knowledge, assisting man to attain formal degrees required for getting employment. Instead, it is a life long experience involving continuous mental, moral and spiritual grooming, besides enabling him to meet his physical and economic needs. In short, good education aims at producing good human beings, who are confidently successful in every sphere of life and make positive contributions to the over all development of their society, nation and the whole world.

But all such noble aims and objectives of education have been completely set aside in our educational system which only revolves around getting degrees, by hook or by crook. The consequences of this approach are disastrous for the individuals as well as for the society. Apparently, for the last three decades, the subjects of Islamic Studies and Pakistan Studies have been compulsory till graduation, but have they produced good Muslims or good Pakistanis? Of course not, for the simple reason that students read them purely from the examination point of view and not for adopting some moral or patriotic values from them. For five years during Musharraf's rule, all the parliamentarians were graduates, but did they make any contribution to the development of the country? We all know how they looted and plundered the country with both hands despite their graduate and even post-graduate degrees, which many of them had gained through illegal means. Even today, the presence of several fake degree holders in our parliament is a stark reminder of the fact that the thing which matters in our educational system is degree and not character and even the highest degree can easily be obtained by greasing the palm of the concerned clerks. Degree is only a piece of paper and can never be expected to raise the mental, moral or spiritual level of a person. Practical moral training which should be an integral part of education creates in the people a strong sense of accountability in this world and the world hereafter, makes them aware of the difference of right and wrong and urges them to shun the path of evil and adopt the path of good. Since there is no such practical moral training in our educational system, the most highly educated people are in many cases, the most corrupt ones. The massive and widespread corruption rampant from the lowest to the highest level in all sections of our society, including civil and military bureaucracy, politics, judiciary and police, etc. is the inevitable outcome of the fact that the education which was given to such corrupt officials never created in them the fear of God and love for humanity. Instead, with no moral sense, it only sharpened their mental faculties to explore new and more sophisticated techniques of corruption, fraud and debauchery. By passing some examinations those who become bureaucrats and army officers often regard themselves as superior human beings born to rule others, whom they consider to be low, inferior and contemptible creatures.

Gone are the days when students used to regard teachers as their spiritual fathers. In the increasingly privatised and commercialised education, where teachers are mainly concerned with their salaries and job security and students are pre-occupied with their examinations and degrees, the old concept of teacher as a spiritual father only seems to be a bookish idea, quite irrelevant in the present context. The students produced by our institutions devoid of moral training are generally rude, insolent, dishonest and disrespectful, having a casual and carefree approach towards life. When they are disrespectful and disobedient to their real fathers, how can they be expected to show any reverence to their spiritual fathers? Teachers too are part of the same rotten system and therefore, they are also not free from the devastating impacts of the over all moral decay and degeneration. Instead of becoming role models for their students, the behaviour of many of them deserves scorn and condemnation, rather than respect and admiration. At all levels in all institutions, emphasis is being laid on the extensive use of computers. Computers surely give knowledge and information, but can they give that sort of spiritual guidance and moral training which can only be imparted by the blessed company of a noble and pious teacher? Surely not. The result is that quite often highly skilled computer and IT experts provide full technical support to the terrorists who carry out deadly attacks on innocent civilians.
All the ancient and modern intellectuals are unanimous in their opinion that education is a wide ranging process involving the mental, moral, physical, spiritual, emotional, and psychological training and growth of individuals.
The gravity of the situation demands a complete overhauling of the whole system. If we really wish to stamp out corruption and other social evils from our society, we must try to build a strong and solid character of our students who will soon be holding the reins of all affairs in their hands. They must be told by practical examples rather than by lectures and books that the mere getting of good marks and huge salaries is not everything. History bears witness to the fact that nations progress not by their material wealth and resources, but by their talented, devoted and dedicated youth, who possess a strong moral sense and ideal characters, developed in them by their teachers and educational institutions. Besides assessing the bookish knowledge of the students, there must be some practical mechanism in our examination system for testing their honesty, truthfulness, patriotism, courage, determination and other such moral virtues. If prizes can be given to those who secure maximum marks, why can't some prizes be allocated for those whose on-paper performance may be average, but who display the strength of their characters and excellence of their personalities?

For several years, like all other teachers, I too have been working under the same system and the same restrictions, which demand that my top priority should be the completion of the given syllabus and preparation of my students for the coming examination. I know that if I set some other priorities for myself, students may make fun of me and even complain against me to the college administration for saying those things in the class which have no relevance to the examination. But while working in the same routine, I sometimes ask myself whether we are spreading knowledge or ignorance. We may be enabling the students to gain excellent marks and top positions in the examinations, but are we also assisting them in becoming good human beings?
Professor Abdul Rauf
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Thank you so much.
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