Tag Archives: activity

IQRA Program

– Information on 30 million “Improving the Quality of Reading Activity (IQRA)” Program in Sindh

by Khalid Hashmani, McLean

Recently, the US government issued “Request for Agreement (RFA)” documents for engaging NGOs for a US $ 30-million “Improving the Quality of Reading Activity (IQRA)” Program in Sindh. This RFA was issued in conjunction with the $ 155 million agreement between Government of Sindh (GoS) and the US Aid Agency. The full RFA document is available at http://www.usaid.gov/pk/docs/USAIDPakistanRFA-391-11-000005.pdf

Those interested to be active participant in the “Improving the Quality of Reading Activity (IQRA)” Program must read read the full document at above link.

Courtesy: Sindhi e-lists/ e-groups, September 30, 2011.

The military’s morass

By: Dr Hasan Askari Rizvi

Excerpt;

The Pakistani military faces a complex and unusual situation. Traditionally, the military is the most powerful and autonomous state institution in Pakistan. However, a host of events in May-June 2011 have compromised its clout against the backdrop of aggressive criticism by political, religious and societal groups. The most interesting facet of the current propaganda onslaught against the military is that its traditional supporters, Islamists and the political right, are leading the anti-military drive. …

…. If Pakistan is to continue as a strident nuclear power with a strong military to confront India, assert its primacy in Afghanistan and liberate Kashmir, military considerations and priorities will dominate civilian considerations. There is a need to change the mindset and the vision of Pakistan from a powerful regional player to a humane democracy that gives the highest priority to the needs and aspirations of the common people at the operational level. The sole guiding principles should be welfare of the people and a secure future for them in a stable, tolerant and plural Pakistan under a democratic constitutional dispensation.

However, it cannot be denied that the military itself is responsible for some of the current problems. In a bid to sustain its primacy in Pakistan, it has engaged in shrewd manipulation of political forces. It is known for bolstering some political and religious groups. Now, all these groups and their Islamic discourses are haunting the military. ….

…. The army and other services should enforce their rules strictly for engagement of service personnel with civilian groups and especially political and religious entities. The personnel’s interaction with the civilian sector under the cover of Islamic dars or zikar as well as their participation in the annual congregations of religious and sectarian groups should be monitored closely and discouraged in unequivocal terms. These meetings provide a good opportunity to militant and religious activists to penetrate the armed forces.

The military needs to return fully to professionalism and reemphasise that Islam and professionalism go together. Any activity inspired by a religious group, even at the personal level is the negation of professionalism and weakens the military as a professional and disciplined force.

To read complete article → PakistanToday

Islamabad : The National Assembly appeared shocked : A lot of military activity on the Constitution avenue – The soldiers did not salute the national flag which is the duty of every uniformed Pakistani and they insulted a federal minister in his flag-bearing car

Two soldiers ‘train’ guns at minister
Chaudhry Nisar said he saw “a lot of military activity” on the avenue at the time, giving him the impression that “some four-star general” was coming to meet either the president or the Prime Minister.
ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly appeared shocked to hear from opposition leader Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan on Monday that two soldiers had insulted a federal minister in his flag-bearing car earlier in the day by training their guns at him at a checkpoint near parliament when a four-star general too was in the area.

The government acknowledged that this “serious” incident had happened, which Petroleum and Natural Resources Minister Naveed Qamar said would be taken up with “appropriate authorities”.

Deputy Speaker Faisal Karim Kundi, chairing the proceedings at the time, called for a report about what he called an incident of “highhandedness” before the house concludes its current session after four days.

But neither of the three men who spoke about the matter identified the minister involved in the incident, which the opposition leader said happened some time in the afternoon, when he also drove around 2pm through the Constitution Avenue, on which the Parliament House is located and where one of the checkpoints normally manned by police checks vehicles going towards the Parliament House as well as the nearby presidency and the Prime Minister’s House.

Also none of them named the general for whom troops came to control traffic, although Chief of Army Staff Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani met President Asif Ali Zardari on Monday afternoon.

Chaudhry Nisar said he saw “a lot of military activity” on the avenue at the time, giving him the impression that “some four-star general” was coming to meet either the president or Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and that he was informed by some witnesses later on coming to his office in parliament about a minister’s car flying the national flag having been stopped along with other cars by two soldiers “carrying bandooks (rifles)” and controlling traffic at the checkpoint instead of police.

“The soldiers did not have the courtesy to salute the national flag… which is the duty of every uniformed Pakistani,” he said.

“The matter did not end there,” he said, and added that when the driver of the minister — who too he thought was heading towards the presidency or the prime minister’s house — “tried to move his car forward, the two soldiers trained their guns” (towards the inmates).

“Is it the national army or an individual’s army,” the opposition leader asked and stressed the troops had no business to assume police job. “If they stop me tomorrow, I will not stop.”
The army would enjoy the nation’s respect only if it complied with its constitutional duty of defending the borders, Chaudhry Nisar said, drawing cheers from his PML-N colleagues as well many PPP members.

Minister Naveed Qamar said it was a “serious matter” to stop the car of a minister with the national flag or of any elected member of the house and added: “The government takes it seriously. We will take up the matter with appropriate authorities.”

Read more : DAWN

More details BBC urdu