Monthly Archives: November 2012

Balochistan—-problems of journalists


 

By Muhammad Akbar Notezai

In worst-hit Balochistan, journalists are susceptible to danger because of their honest and brave reporting in the restive province. Moreover, there are many more journalists who’ve quit performing their journalistic duties. This is the reason freedom of expression is worsened in Balochistan.

Mahmood Ahmed Afridi, the correspondent at Daily Intekhab newspaper; gunned down in Kalat, Balochistan. He would also interview Kalat based representatives on social, economic issues.

In recent weeks, Saifur Rehman Baloch (senior reporter at Samaa TV), Imran Sheikh (camera man at Samaa TV) and Iqbal Hussain (a computer operator in NNI news agency) got killed in the line of duty on Alamdar Road, Quetta, Balochistan.

Besides them, three more journalists: Abdul Ahad Baloch and Rehmat Ullah Abid, who hailed from Panjgur district of Balochistan, Pakistan, and Abdul Haq Baloch, who hailed from volatile district of Balochistan, i.e., Khuzdar, shot to death brutally by unidentified assailants. The both districts’ journalists’ killings terrified their other colleagues to close the press clubs. Also, many more journalists have sustained injuries in the same districts.

Unfortunately the Balochistan’s hapless journalists seem to be unprotected after their colleagues’ killings. That is why they themselves resort to demonstration before press clubs for their own protection. So, in this way, how can voice be raised for other people of Balochistan?

However, Balochistan, despite being mineral rich province of Pakistan, abounds with numerous problems. Ironically, the issue of the Balochistan’s journalists is neither being paid heed to internationally nor nationally. This is the reason journalistic problems as well as their targeted killing are at continuously increasing.

Balochistan, as compared to other provinces of Pakistan, is not well-developed. There are a great number of problems.

However, as far as land mass of Balochistan is concerned, it makes 43 percent of Pakistan and if we exclude Fata from Pakistan, Balochistan makes half land mass of it. But, unfortunately, it is entirely ignored and forgotten in media and national newspapers.

Undoubtedly, local journalists of Balochistan have been enunciating or writing in local newspapers about the negligence of the national media regarding Balochistan issue.

As we know that journalists are responsible for extracting the truth, but, of course, in Baluchistan, the messengers of truth and those journalists who are performing their duties with bravery are being systematically and brutally killed. Therefore, nearly 30 journalists have been reportedly killed in Balochistan and many more have sustained injuries in the recent past. United Nations has time and again condemned the killing of the journalists in Balochistan.

At least Five Baloch journalists namely Muhammad Khan Sasoli, Wasi Qurashi, Abdul Haq Baloch, Munir Shakir and Faiz Sasoli, have been killed in Khuzdar. That is why Khuzdar and its contiguous areas have transformed into somewhat “no-go areas” for reporters.

Two year ago, Razaque Gul Baloch, who belonged to Turbat District, was reporting for a private TV channel; he was kidnapped and shot dead soon after his disappearance.

The Balochistan Union of Journalists and Baloch journalists from Makran protested in Balochistan and took out rally against the brutal killing of Razaque Gul Baloch, but the provincial government, surprisingly, did not condemn his killing.

On International Day of journalists, in media, many programs get held, but the killing of the journalists from Balochistan hardly gets discussed.

Journalist Saleem Shehzad’s killing had been condemned throughout the country, as it must be discussed and condemned, but the killing of many journalists of Balochistan, should have also come under discussion at national and international level.

As a matter of fact, there are three zones in Balochistan where journalists face hardships while performing their duties. The three zones: Former Kalat state, Kohlu and Dera Bugti, especially in Nasir Abad, articulates with Sind border. At these places due to strong tribal customs journalists can’t perform their duty honestly. A typical example is the killing of three girls in Nasirabad district, and the local journalists were threatened not to report about the incident, so the incident didn’t come under discussion.

It is also undeniable that, journalists in rural areas of Balochistan, are not well educated, so for getting jobs and other incentives from elites they quit writing or reporting against them.

Besides these three zones, Makran division, consisting of Turbat, Panjgur and Gwadar, comes. It is apparent that education ratio in Makran is high, and has produced plethora of talented people, like intellectuals, poets, journalists, etc. One of them is Attah Shahd, from Makran; his interesting and beautiful poems are still reverberating in the hearts of the people of Balochistan.

As I squeezed my mind to remember other prominent personalities of the Makran division, Ghani Parvaaz was potpourri of writer, journalist and intellectual.

Since 1947 up till today, in Makran, there is no any Sardar or Nawab. The people are prodigiously enlightened; have an aversion to Sardari and Nawabi system. Confidently, enlightened people of the Makran flatly deny the claim of the govt that Sardars or Nawabs are obstacles on the progress of the Balochistan, because Sardari or Nawabi system doesn’t exist in Makran at all. Then why isn’t Makran progressed?

Makran, after Quetta, is the only place where local news papers publish; also there are press clubs in Turbat, Panjgur and Gwadar. Consecutively, for few years situation of Makran is warmed due to the conflict of the Gwadar port, area journalists are being given threats security forces to not report about the situation.

In Balochistan along with Baloch Journalists, journalists of the Pashthoon belt are also facing problems due to lack of resources. The feudal and tribal system is also rampant in Pashthoon belt, creating hurdles for the local Pashthoon journalists. That is why freedom of press is not possible there.

Wali Khan Babar, the reporter of Geo TV, was shot to death in Karachi allegedly by the extortionists of the Karachi’s largest party. He hailed from Zhob, a Pashthoon district of Balochistan. Yet the murderers of Wali Khan Babar have not been apprehended by Police.

Pashthoon places are in proximity to provincial capital Quetta; therefore, many of the Pashthoon journalists publish their news papers form Quetta. They also send their news papers to Pashthoon belt of Balochistan.

If we have a glance over the provincial capital of the Balochistan, journalists, as compared to other cities of Balochistan, are prosperous. The majority of journalists, who are in Quetta, as mentioned above, belong to other provinces. Sadly, they are cut off from other cities of Balochistan’s journalists. That is why Balochistan issues can’t be perceived thoroughly, people’s indignation is getting intensified, instead of abating.

Keeping the above journalistic problems into consideration; it becomes government’s responsibility to resolve them as soon as possible, also make it’s every endeavor to stop targeted killing of Balochistan’s journalists. If not resolved, the situation in the province will, otherwise, go out of control.

 

(Courtesy to: Daily Balochistan Express Quetta)

Education is everyone’s basic right, it should be provided equally and honestly:D.E.O Chaghi Haji Aman Ullah


Exclusive interview with District Education Officer Chaghi Haji Aman Ullah    

By Muhammad Akbar Notezai

Q: How do you see the state of education in district Chaghi?

 Well, as far as education of district Chaghi is concerned, I am  confident to say that it is   going towards improvement. This is, as you know, Chaghi is one of the largest districts of Pakistan with a dense population but we have been trying our best to equally provide education to the all places of it. That is why our education, to a greater extent, is sound. Additionally, it is also our responsibility to further enhance the education ratio of district Chaghi, which we’re trying. Besides, I also belong to the same district —-consider the students of Chaghi like my children—-also feel the pain when students face hardships. But it is not true as well, Chaghi’s education, which is completely free from all problems because we have  been confronting many problems, related to education. However, I am concerned; I firmly have the belief to remove the formidable obstacles on the way of my students.

In some places of rural Chaghi, many posts are vacant; therefore, our education is disturbed there.

Also, the literacy rate in Chaghi is 40 per cent; and we are hopeful it’ll increase by mobilizing and motivating the people.

 

Q: Does the present education of district Chaghi full-fill the needs and requirements of students?

Before answering this question, remember, we should see that there are 229 government schools, 6 private schools and 6 schools have been established by NCHD. But Chaghi’s many villages don’t have schools, so fully it doesn’t full-fill the needs and requirements of students. Nevertheless, we request to higher authorities to establish more and more schools and appoint teachers—-because in villages, schools’ posts are vacant. So, in this way our students can be more facilitated.

 

Q: Do you think all places of district Chaghi should be provided education equally?

Of course, who can oppose this? Education is everyone’s basic right, it should be provided equally and honestly.

 

Q: Then why is there a huge difference between the educations of Chaghi’s all areas?

No, I don’t agree with you that there is a huge difference. We’ve been providing educational facilities to all schools based on students’ enrollment. Again, we can never tolerate those students of all places to be given education unequally.

 

Q: Why is Chaghi lagging in the field of education? What is the reason behind it?

It is known to everyone, Chaghi is the land of scattered villages with total area 45, 800 square kilometer. On the other side, district admin has no facilities to monitor the all schools of district Chaghi, especially in its rural areas. The district D.D.O, D.O has not been provided vehicles yet. In spite of these all, our D.D.O, D.O and other learning coordinators visit the schools on their own arrangements, even though we perform our duties honestly to improve the education.

 

Q: In rural areas of district Chaghi, schools are deserted; neither students nor teachers seem to be present there. Why?      

It is due to the vacant posts, dear, but rests of the schools are functioning properly. In the near future, we are going to recruit teachers for these vacant posts, which can be beneficial for students.

However, it is our responsibility that schools should not  be closed where teachers are posted.

 

Q: How’ve you been trying to reform the education of district Chaghi?

Being the team leader of education department of district Chaghi, I am doing my level best to bring reformation in education field, also, to increase its ratio.

Further more, I count the merit my top priority through which education can be more reformed.

 

Q: What do you say about the girls’ education of district Chaghi?

I am quite glad to share with you that girls are here encouraged by their parents to get education. They do not face any hardship in this regard. There are three high schools, nine  middle schools and 52 primary schools for girls. God willing, we will ask the higher authorities to establish more schools for girls so that they get education with ease.

But in rural Chaghi, unfortunately, girls don’t have schools to get education. That is why their education is affected.

In addition, girls are emancipated to get education in any school. There is no any threat or hindrance.

 

Q: Will you please give us the figure of students, schools of Chaghi?

The schools are: Boys primary schools are 141, middle schools 15 and high schools are 9. On the other side, girls primary schools are 52, middle schools 9 and high schools are 3. It means there are total 229 schools in district Chaghi with enrollment of 23781 students.

 

Q: Are representatives of Chaghi working for the betterment of education?

Yes, they are  working for it. The both ministers MNA and MPA, as you know, belong to the same district. They’ve constructed buildings for the schools in the villages where schools were not established before. But I recommend them to establish more schools for the students.

Q: Do mega projects provide scholarships to students?

I regret to say that the Saindak and Reko Diq projects are not providing scholarships to students. If they would really want to provide scholarships to students, then they would contact me. Yet they have not contacted me.

 

Q: How can quality education be brought in district Chaghi?
Quality education is not a big problem for us. If the education department and mega projects help us, so it can come.

 

Q: Do you agree many disqualified and incompetent teachers are present in district Chaghi?

There may be but they are few in number. Most of our teachers are qualified and competent.

 

Q: Ex D.C.O launched a language center for students, then why didn’t E.D.O Chaghi launch?

I still appreciate him for launching a language center for students, but our teachers taught there in class rooms. As far as I’m concerned, I don’t have financial support that I would launch a language center.

 

Q: BSAC (Baloch Students Action Committee) claimed that some teachers of district Chaghi remain absent from their classes and schools are closed. Why?

No, schools are closed due to non-availability of posts. Now, we have  recommended the names of applicants for the vacant posts.

 

Q: How do you compare Chaghi’s education with other districts’ education of Balochistan?

Let me bring your kind attention that our students are very capable in various competitions. They have got medals. Recently, a student of Dalbandin, Chaghi, got 1st position in the Punjab College in the annual result of B.A. It means our education is better. I am satisfied with it.

 

Q: In future, how’ll you further improve the education of district Chaghi?   

It is my top priority to improve the education of education as quickly as possible. I also want to advise the students to concentrate more and more on education because it makes you ethically, morally and socially good. Indeed, without education on one can achieve success.

(Courtesy to: The Balochistan Point)