Monthly Archives: February 2013

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In an interview with PTV-Bolan

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Muhammad Akbar Notezai with PTV-Bolan anchor persons.

VIEW: The exodus of Hindus —Muhammad Akbar Notezai


The Hindus’ exodus, to me, is like the exodus of Hazrat Musa’s nation, which is mentioned in the Old Testament

“Minorities to whichever community they may belong, will be fully safeguarded, their religion or faith or belief will be secure. There will be no interference of any kind with their freedom or worship. They will have full protection with regard to their religion, their faith, their belief and culture. They will be in all respects the citizens of Pakistan without any distinction of caste and creed,” said Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah in a press conference held in New Delhi on July 14, 1947.
After 65 years, Pakistan’s minorities, especially the Hindus, have been compelled to leave their indigenous places in recent times, because their religion is not safeguarded here, and they have been facing great hardship to dwell anymore in their own homes. In addition, they are not considered to be genuine citizens of Pakistan. That is why their abduction and forcible conversion is on the surge. There is no one to hear Quaid-e-Azam’s 1947 speech so that they would raise their voice on the soul-harrowing exodus of Hindus.
To know the causes behind the Hindus’ exodus, this scribe spoke to the Balochistan-based Hindu intellectual, Mr Sham Kumar, who briefly discussed this key issue. His view is given below. According to Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti, since time immemorial, Hindus were living on this land, i.e., Balochistan. After that, the Baloch settled here, but the Hindus are the original inhabitants of this region. Besides, Balochistan’s elders and intellectuals show great respect for Hindus. On the other hand, in Sindh, before the arrival of the Arabs, Hindus were living in Sindh with Buddhists, but after Raja Dahir’s defeat, Muslims began to settle in Sindh.
The Hindus of Balochistan, from the very beginning, are traders and shopkeepers. As a matter of fact, those who belong to these professions are always lovers of the land and invest their energy in the economic and social activities of the region. Similarly, Hindus have also been working for the welfare and prosperity of Balochistan from the very beginning. Gone are the days when peace thrived in Balochistan as compared to the other provinces of Pakistan. In other provinces, especially in Sindh, turmoil, uproar and kidnapping for ransom cases were prevalent. This was in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s period, while in Balochistan, this disease broke out in the 1990s, because in General Ziaul Haq’s regime the two worst tribulations were initiated: the Kalashnikov culture and heroin/drug culture. These tribulations spread gradually. Later on, cases of kidnapping for ransom also began to emerge, in which Hindus would be targeted. Then the disease converted into a cancer in the former General Pervez Musharraf and President Asif Ali Zardari’s regimes.
Moreover, gradually some other diseases intensified; these diseases are kidnapping for ransom, targeted killing, ethnic and sectarian violence, missing persons’ cases, throwing of decomposed bodies and extortion, etc. Accordingly, the Hindus are being victimised for kidnapping for ransom and threatened to give money, or they are killed. In addition, the cases of Hindus being converted forcibly are increasing in Sindh and Balochistan. They especially convert forcefully young and even adult Hindu women.
In these inhumane crimes, the administration, judiciary and other government institutions seem to be helpless. It is also claimed that the establishment is involved in these illegal, unethical, unconstitutional and anti-minorities affairs.
Keeping in view the above-mentioned compulsions, Balochistan’s peaceful Hindus are feeling ‘undesirable and unwanted’ on their own land. Also, they are being given an indication in undeclared words to leave their motherland and get lost, otherwise their business, life, and property will be devastated.
Due to these reasons, after knocking the doors of all the higher authorities, so far nothing has happened. That is why today, in the 21st century, Hindus are running from pillar to post to find a safe place to settle. The Hindus’ exodus, to me, is like the exodus of Hazrat Musa’s nation, which is mentioned in the Old Testament. In Hitler’s regime, Jews were forced to leave Germany; therefore the Hindus’ exodus could be compared to that as well.
Lastly, I extend my humble request to the UN, Amnesty International and the International Court of Justice to intervene in this key issue so that this peaceful minority’s exodus may stop.

The writer is a columnist at Daily Balochistan Express, Quetta and blogs at http://www.akbarnotezai.wordpress.com. He can be reached at akbarnotezai@yahoo.com adn on twitter @Akbar_notezai

(Courtesy to: Daily Times)

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=201326story_6-2-2013_pg3_4

The pathetic situation of education in Balochistan


There is no denying the fact that nations can reform and reach the pinnacle of success through education. Our last Prophet (PBUH) also exhorted his followers to seek education, but pathetically despite living in an Islamic country the educational institutions of Balochistan, the area wise largest province of Pakistan, have been wearing a deserted look for the last 65 years due to the apathy and negligence of the federal as well as the provincial governments and their biased attitude may close the doors of education to the students of Balochistan. 

As a Japanese scholar said: “If you want to keep a nation into the darkness of ignorance, then snatch the right of education from that nation.” Unfortunately, it seems to be repeated in Balochistan, because as compared to educational institutions, as Senator Sana Baloch said, “Military garrisons, check posts, police stations and soldiers’ training centers are in great number in the province. 

The further shattered the picture of education can be found in rural and tribal areas of Balochistan where hapless students can neither see their teachers nor can they sit in the ramshackle buildings of their schools. Majority of male and female teachers of those areas get salaries while sitting in the provincial capital Quetta. 

As a matter of fact, 70 per cent populations of poverty-stricken people dwell in rural and tribal areas of Balochistan and can’t afford to send their children to Quetta for getting quality education; it is a fact that the future of our youth is bleak. 

Surprisingly, on these small human rights violations no one is raising voice except BSAC (Baloch Students Action Committee) which despite having limited resources made every endeavor to highlight and show the bleak picture of education in print and electronic media as well as to dispatch their annual education report to the governor, the chief minister and ministers for reminding them. 

It is an ironic that Balochistan, despite being the 43% area of Pakistan and blessed with rich natural resources like oil, gas and minerals, has the lowest number of educational institutions. According to the NEC, out of the total number of institutions in the country, 48 per cent are in Punjab, 22 per cent in Sindh, 17 per cent in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and 5 per cent in Balochistan”. 

On the other side, the law and order situation has substantially affected the educational system of Balochistan where nearly 100 students have been killed and a great number of students are missing. In the present scenario, not only Baloch students are terrorized, but also Pashtun and Hazaras. Lamentably, the PPP government hasn’t been grappling the issue seriously. 

Unthinkably, the well-known BRCs (Balochistan Residential Colleges) for the first time in the history of Balochistan are about to be closed due to embezzlement of funds. They are inducting incompetent, unqualified teachers, which has ruined the standard of education. 

The education minister of Balochistan doesn’t bother to go out of Quetta to have a look at the deplorable condition of educational institutions in other areas of Balochistan. As far as the Pashtun belt of Balochistan is concerned, except Pishin district, the rest of the districts of Pashtun belt also face the same problem. Many of the schools and colleges of Pashtun districts suffer from red tapism. 

The students of the well-developed Punjab province of Pakistan are being given laptops. But, unfortunately, the students of Balochistan don’t have pen and books to read and write. On the contrary, when the students of Balochistan protest or stage a sit-in for their legal rights, they get clubbed or threshed. This signifies that the right of raising voice for legal rights has also been snatched from them. 

Dr. Arbabagar Baloch, spokesman for Baloch Students Action committee, said: “Due to mismanaged and misgoverned government the education system of Balochistan is not improving. The provincial government has been inducting unqualified teachers and sending them to the rural areas of Balochistan like Gwadar, Washuk, Hub and Chaghi, etc. They rarely go to take classes and enjoy the rest of the time in Quetta.” 

Moreover, the NGOs have been claiming to spend millions of rupees on schools, colleges and universities of the Balochistan, but if we cast a glance at Quetta’s schools and colleges, it becomes clear that the money was announced by them only in newspapers but not in reality. If they had been sincere, the bad condition of institutions would have improved. 

It is worth-mentioning that the new appointees, in Aghaz-a-Haqooq-Balochistan, came through discrimination, therefore, problems in education sector got compounded further because unqualified teachers could not improve the standard of education in Balochistan. The teachers of Aghaz-a-Haqooq-Balochistan package are not being paid salary on time, too. This is the reason they seem less interested in teaching and taking their classes with regularity. 

The government, instead of providing packages, at first ought to play its role for improving the education of Balochistan seriously. Also, it’s better that the government should endeavor to resolve the educational issues as soon as possible, otherwise, the tranquility of Balochistan will be lost forever if students are kept away from getting education. 

(Courtesy to: Weekly Pulse)

http://weeklypulse.org/details.aspx?contentID=3204&storylist=2