Tag Archives: Rural

Shades Of The Old Punjab – Across rural Punjab, Sikhs and Hindus are helping restore mosques destroyed during Partition

By Chander Suta Dogra

Around 200 mosques across Punjab have been repaired, rebuilt or built from scratch with the help of Sikhs and Hindus in the last 10 years. Many destroyed during Partition riots are now being restored by village communities. It’s a reassertion, after decades, of Punjab’s unique religious and cultural synthesis

Read more » OutLookIndia
http://www.outlookindia.com/article.aspx?265962

The changing sociology of rural Sindh

By Arif Hasan

The media, print and electronic, are full of very important news and its analysis. Pakistan-US relations, the judiciary-executive conflict, the Karachi killings, sectarian strife, the Balochistan “insurgency”, and similar issues are regularly written about and/or discussed by well-informed experts. …….. …….

…….  From the early 70s to the late 90s, I have worked in rural Sindh and documented and published on the processes of change taking place in different areas of the province. After a lapse of 10 years, I visited a large number of rural areas with which I was previously acquainted. These visits were made between 2010 and 2012 and involved meetings with village communities, transporters, arhatis, real estate agents and local NGO staff and Community Based Organisation activists.

The change that I have observed and which has been articulated by the groups I interacted with, is enormous and that too in 10 years. The most visible and important change is the presence of women in development and political discourse. They are employed in NGO offices, they manage development programmes, they are social activists and the majority of them are from the rural areas. In some of the remote villages I visited, there were private schools and beauty parlours run by young village women. Blocking of roads to protest against the “high handedness” of the local landlords, bureaucratic inaction, and/or law and order situations, has become common. Women participate in these demonstrations and in some cases these blockages have been carried out exclusively by them.

Discussions with groups on the issue of free-will marriages were also held. The vast majority of individuals were in favour of such marriages even if they violated caste divisions. However, they felt that it is the parents that have to change so as to make such marriages conflict free. The non-availability of middle schools for girls was also discussed. Surprisingly, the village communities had no problem with the girls studying with the boys in the male middle schools. In addition, discussions with the Sindh Rural Support Organisation’s (SRSO) women groups, which consist of the poorest women in a village, revealed that about 20 per cent of them had mobile phones and almost all of them watched television although around 30 per cent households actually own a TV.

Continue reading The changing sociology of rural Sindh

State Bank has no Board Director from Sindh

By: Dr Ali Akbar Dhakan, Karachi, Sindh

There is an old maxim that the cry of an oppressed or Victim never goes heedless but its bring Allah`s calamity and catastrophe for the oppressors. Since the creation of the world, the history tells that the society wherein the principle of might is right has been adopted, neither the fate of that society has flourished nor solidarity has achieved sound footings. I have expressed here my worries and woes experienced in the service career of State Bank of Pakistan which is the central Bank or the authority to regulate and control the monetary related affairs of the country.

Continue reading State Bank has no Board Director from Sindh

Dangerous self-destruction Disease – Origin of our national mindset

By Khaled Ahmed

Origin of our national mindset

The Army is composed of Punjabis up to 80 percent. Even the Navy, which should normally absorb coastal populations, is composed almost exclusively of Punjabis.

The ‘vitality’ and ‘dynamism’ of the middle class in Pakistan are channeled into ideological aspirations that negate the modern state

The economist says the middle class anywhere in the world is a factor of dynamic growth: a growing middle class means the country will post good growth rates. But for the non-economist, no two middle classes may be alike. In Pakistan, the middle class is conservative, just like India’s; but unlike India, it is ideological, anti-American and pro-Taliban.

The Indian Constitution informs the attitude of the Indian middle class, which is tolerant of secularism. In Pakistan, the Constitution inclines the middle class to desire sharia and consequently prefer the ‘harder’ sharia of al Qaeda to state ideology. It is the sentinel of the unchanging character of the medieval state presented as a utopia by state ideology.

Continue reading Dangerous self-destruction Disease – Origin of our national mindset

Quota System

By Dr Ali Akbar Dhakan

In order to remove inequalities in the recruitment in various organizations and corporations and also provide constitutional share to all small provinces in jobs, quota system was introduced in the 1973 constitution because of the fact that before this, the backward areas and small provinces had been neglected deliberately in the recruitment of all categories of jobs by the bureaucrats belonging to the big province Punjab as they were holding the senior positions since the partition of the subcontinent and also particularly after the imposition of one Unit system in 1955 and making Lahore as the capital of four provinces of west Pakistan  Continue reading Quota System

Rain disaster in Sindh

– Pakistan floods leave hundreds of thousands without shelter

Pakistan has appealed to the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon for international humanitarian aid for hundreds of thousands of flood victims in the south of the country. At least 130 people have been killed as mud houses in remote rural areas collapsed in the heavy rain. Among the worst affected areas in the south’s Sindh Province are Badin and Nawabshah. Rains have damaged about 80% of the region’s crops.

Shoaib Hasan reports from Sindh.

Courtesy: → BBC

The uniqueness of Sindh

– By Ayaz Amir

Just when the sector commanders had been put on the back-foot, and the MQM was vociferating in a manner not seen since 1995 (Gen Babar’s operation), who should come to their rescue but President Zardari’s personal emissary, Montecello University’s most celebrated doctoral figure, Dr Babar Awan.

He has brilliantly appeased the MQM by restoring Gen Musharraf’s  loaded [undemocratic, black, repressive & discriminatory] local government system – first just to Karachi and Hyderabad and then, when … Sindh rose up with one cry against this hasty move, to the whole of Sindh. The MQM can hardly believe its luck – perhaps it hadn’t counted on so swift a Zardari capitulation – but anger in … Sindh is on the rise.

Dr Zulfiqar Mirza’s outbursts had angered the MQM but secured the PPP’s vote bank in rural Sindh. Dr Awan’s gymnastics have pleased the MQM but poured fuel over the burning embers of Sindhi anger. From one extreme the PPP has swung to the other.

The choice of Dr Awan as PPP plenipotentiary was bizarre. How was he qualified to negotiate on behalf of Sindhi interests? The PPP is now on the back-foot. All the certificates of cleverness earned by Zardari for his supposed political sharpness have gone with the wind.

Dr Awan has proved adept at stalling and frustrating the Supreme Court. From the PPP’s point of view, he should have confined himself to that doctrine of necessity instead of floundering in the waters of Sindh.

In an ideal world, the PML-N should have been quick to exploit this opening. Alas, if wishes could be horses. It showed itself eager, a bit too eager, to embrace the MQM when the latter fell out with Zardari. But this proved embarrassing when the MQM’s falling-out proved to be less than definitive. Small wonder, it has yet to get its thoughts in order on the anger on the rise in backwater Sindh.

All of us could do with some clarity on a crucial issue: while the logic of smaller provinces applies to Punjab, because it is too huge and unwieldy, it does not, and cannot, apply to Sindh. Babar Awan and the PPP came perilously close to the idea of Sindh division when they proposed one dispensation for Karachi and Hyderabad – the restoration of Musharraf’s  [undemocratic, black, repressive & discriminatory] local body system – and another for the rural, revival of the commissionerate system. Sindh rural instantly saw red and the PPP had to back down immediately, in the space of a mere 24 hours. But the alarm had been sounded and Sindhi concerns have yet to be addressed or placated.

Carving a southern or Seraiki province out of Punjab will not endanger Punjab identity. Indeed, it will facilitate the task of governance and give a sense of belonging to the people of southern Punjab who feel left out of the orbit of Punjab affairs. But anything even remotely connected to the notion of Sindh division is almost an invitation to dangerous conflict in this most sensitive of provinces.

We should not forget the history of 1947 migration. If we leave Bengal out of the equation, there were two great waves of migration in northern India at the time of Partition: one from East Punjab to West Punjab, and vice versa; the other from Delhi, Lucknow and Bhopal in the north, and Hyderabad Deccan in the south, to Karachi. These migrations were dissimilar in character.

While Punjab suffered the most in terms of looting, plunder, killings and mass rape, when the dust settled and passions had time to cool, the process of assimilation was relatively quick because East and West Punjabis, minor differences of course apart, came from the same cultural stock. With minor variations of dialect, they spoke the same language and shared the same history.

This was not so with the southern migration to Karachi and Hyderabad. Karachi was a cosmopolitan city even then – a mini-Bombay, so to speak – but it was the capital of Sindh, the culture and language of whose native inhabitants was radically different from that of the people who were coming to it from India.

Karachi soon became the centre not of Sindhi culture but of the culture of displaced Dehi, of Delhi as it had been before the tumult of Partition. Delhi today is a Punjabi city. Its old composite, Muslim-dominated culture, the culture from which arose the poetry of Mir and Ghalib, is a thing of the past, lost to the upheavals of time and history. No conqueror, not Taimur and not Nadir Shah, could destroy Delhi, or transform its character, as decisively as Partition did. Those who seek the old Delhi, authors like William Dalrymple, have to come to Karachi to catch a whiff of the past.

Pakistan would be the poorer without this infusion of Delhi, Lucknow and Hyderabad Deccan culture. True, there was a downside to it as well, …. brought with their culture also their own prejudices. Insecurity and fear were part of their migrational baggage and these were infused into the thinking of the new state. But in cultural terms the arid wastes of Pakistan were enriched by that influx of talent and learning.

Punjabis being Punjabis, no new centre of culture arose in Punjab. But in Karachi we saw the birth of a transplanted culture, its soul carrying the imprint of loss and nostalgia, the usual hallmarks of any migration.

The downside comes from this very circumstance. Sixty four years after Partition we continue to live in the past, beset by old insecurities even though the times have changed and the old certitudes which gave birth to those insecurities no longer survive.

Sindhis are entitled to be a bit upset by all these changes. After all, they too are the inheritors of a great civilisation. Moenjodaro is the oldest pre-historic site discovered anywhere in India. There are other mighty life-giving rivers in the sub-continent: the sacred Ganges, the winding Brahmaputra. But only the Indus, sacred river of Sindh, gives its name to India. Hindus migrating to India from Sindh in 1947 take great pride in their Sindh ancestry.

Sindhi anger, nay Sindhi anguish, is centred on a primal concern. Why must the transposing of cultures be at their expense? And there is a fear lurking in their hearts, the fear of the Red Indian and the aborigine, of becoming strangers in their own homeland. This is a concern which must not be scoffed at. The rest of us, and this includes the successors to the civilisation of Delhi, should avoid words or gestures that smack even remotely of designs against the unity and integrity of Sindh.

From the immortal land of the five rivers, now only three left with us, thanks to the vagaries of history, more provinces can be carved out and no harm will come to it [Punjab]. But let no Punjabi leader or politician say that if Punjab is to be divided the same logic should apply to other provinces. This is wrong thinking. The same logic does not apply to Sindh, it does not apply to Balochistan. It is relevant only to Punjab and Punjab will be doing itself and the nation a service if it takes the lead in this respect, illuminating the path that others can follow.

A word may also be in order about another fixation of the Punjabi mind: Kalabagh dam. If Kalabagh dam is right then there is nothing wrong with the dams India is building on the rivers Chenab and Jhelum. If we are objecting to run-of-the-mill dams in Kashmir, dams whose water is not stored but is allowed to run, how can we support a storage dam on the Indus at Kalabagh? The logic just does not hold.

History cannot be undone. We have to live by its consequences. But Sindh of all regions of Pakistan requires a balance and moderation in the conduct of its affairs. Any hint of an unnatural hegemony of one part over the other is an invitation to anger and despair.

Courtesy: → The News

Discussion on political system of Pakistan

The language of the discussion is urdu (Hindi).

Courtesy: → ARY News Tv (Pakistan Tonight with Fahad Hussain and Maliha Lodhi, 21st July 2011 -3)

Via → Siasat.pkYouTube

The myth of the ‘urban-rural’ divide

By Haider Nizamani

Shahid Javed Burki, in an article titled “The urban-rural divide”, published in the June 20 issue of this paper, has made an alarming assertion that Pakistan’s existence as a unified state will be defined by the way the urban-rural divide finally gets resolved. This shocking prognosis could have been taken seriously only if it was backed up by convincing empirical and historical evidence. What we have instead are sweeping generalisations, usage of concepts without adequately defining them, and, above all, a portrayal of the country’s past and present rid with contradictions. ….

Read more: → The Express Tribune

Over centralized HEC Hurt Sindhis by Denying them

by Saghir Shaikh

Affirmative action is needed in Pakistan. Sindhis have been historically discriminated. All affairs involving money and distribution or resources must be governed by provincial resources. If implemented on just basis and if Sindh and Sindhis get their due share in resources, we will be much ahead.

Javaid Laghari is a great son of Sindh and has done a lot for Sindh and Sindhis and overall academic situation in Sindh and Pakistan.

However, we support the breakup of Higher Education Commission (HEC). Any structure under federal command – supported by constitution – means inequitable share to Sindh and Baluchistan, that is sad reality of status quo. Yes ‘merit’ has value in different context.

Pakistan historically deprives Sindh by stealing it resources, discriminating its rural population for decades since its inception creating almost an economic apartheid among South and North (of Pakistan). How can we expect that in this apartheid system rural folks are going to compete!

Local Sindh government will be corrupt and yes it will be manipulated from …, there is no doubt about it – these are valid arguments and I have my take on it. But please do not use the argument of merit and justice with Sindhis. And obviously criticism on HEC is never about its chief, but the inherent limitation of centralized illegal federal structure. If I was made HEC chair today I will not be able to keep justice to its spirit! Because system is unjust to its core!

Anyway, let us hope that HEC and all other institutions get transferred to provinces and than we can start a new struggle on improving our own house.

One caution – devolution does not mean we will get our due share from Islamabad (Punjab). That is another Himalayan task to get a fair share in terms of finance!

Courtesy: Sindhi e-lists/ e-groups, 12 April, 2011.

Problems of Sindhi Nationalism – What way forward?

Written by Dr Beenish Shoro

Excerpt:

…. In Pakistan the national question exists in its worst form because Pakistan itself is an example of a failed nation state. Pakistan was created as a result of the partition of the Indian subcontinent as the British imperialists and the local/national bourgeois leaders feared that a united national liberation would not stop there but would move towards a social transformation that would overthrow landlordism, capitalism and the imperialist strangle hold. To avoid a socialist revolution they conspired and split the movement along religious lines that led to the reactionary and traumatic partition of a land that had more than five thousand years of common history, cultural and socio economic existence.

Pakistan was founded not as a nation state, but as a state made up of nationalities. Even the abbreviations which form the word Pakistan are a testimony to this fact. This corresponds to its belated character. … National oppression has been brutal and rough ever since the country came into being. ….

….the separation of Bangladesh, the inability to resolve regional and sectarian disputes, the inability to sustain a clear concept and direction to Pakistan’s Nationalism and finally failure to create a modern cohesive nation state.

Pakistan’s political system is dominated by elite groups. In addition it faces the dilemma of chronic military rule. ….

….Sindh, the southern most province of the state possesses one of the most varied demographical set-ups in Pakistan. There is a very fragile ethnic balance between Sindhis and non-Sindhis. After partition many of the immigrants from Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh in India moved mainly to Karachi, but also to Hyderabad, Sukkur and other cities of Sindh.

This massive influx of Mohajirs from India and other nationalities resulted in a greater control of people from this transmigration over the economy, jobs and posts in the state apparatus. Although this phenomenon had a greater impact on urban Sindh, the deprivation was felt also in rural Sindh especially amongst the Sindhi middle classes. The acquisition of State and other lands by Punjab Generals and other settlers further aggravated this feeling of national deprivation amongst the Sindhi populace. There are several other factors which fuelled these sentiments. ….

….At the heart of nationalist sentiments in Pakistan is the perception by non-Punjabis that the Punjabi nationality dominates the economy, politics, society and the state. There is considerable evidence to support this perception. First, Punjabis constitute a majority of the population, approximately 60%; second, they dominate the civilian bureaucracy and the military; third, the Punjab is by far the wealthiest and most developed province in the state. And this perception is ironically fuelled by governmental policies designed to assuage such perceptions. ….

…. G. M. Syed can rightly be considered as the founder of Sindhi nationalism. He formed the Sindh Progressive Party in 1947 and demanded provincial autonomy within a socialist framework. In 1953 he formed the SindhAwami Mahaz. G. M. Syed himself a middle sized landlord represented the grievances of that class as well. …

… There have been several movements in Sindh over the last 60 years but there are three very significant mass upsurges that shook the echelons of power in Islamabad. These are the movements of 1968-69, 1983 and to some extent that of 1986. All these movements had different intensities, character, orientation and motivations. …

Zia was the son of a Mullah who had migrated from Eastern (Indian) Punjab and was American-trained at Fort Bragg. His atrocities, his make up and his background were enough to provoke massive hatred from the masses in Sindh. Zia’s repression of the Sindh was no less than the brutalities of British colonialists inflicted upon the mass of the subcontinent and other colonies. All this unleashed a glorious movement of the Sindhi masses against the military dictatorship. Although this movement had significant nationalist overtones, fundamentally it was linked to the general class resentment against this regime.

The movement failed because the regime was able to foster ethnic and nationalist discord especially in urban Sindh and in other main cities and provinces of Pakistan. In Karachi the Pakistani state devised the instrument of the MQM, the Punjabi Pushtoon Ittehad, Islamic fundamentalists and other reactionary outfits to break the momentum of struggle that was developing along class lines.

Still the movement raged on. In such circumstances whenever national antagonisms coincided with class contradictions they became especially hot. According to the official figures 1263 innocent people were slaughtered by the army in rural Sindh while thousands more were injured. There are heroic episodes of resistance that have now become legends in Sindhi folklore. …

… In 1986 the movement in Sindh was actually the last nail in Zia’s coffin. …

… If we in Sindh should achieve “freedom” through the same phenomenon as in Bangladesh we may well get freedom from non-Sindhi capitalists, but we will be all the more cruelly exploited by Sindhi capitalists and landlords. These nationalists do not want freedom from poverty, misery, unemployment; they just want freedom to establish control over their own market where they could extract a huge surplus by squeezing the last drop of the workers’ blood.

The feudal landlords want freedom to exploit the peasants and working class …

… We will take revenge for the crime of partition of India through the formation of a Red Revolutionary Subcontinent. As Comrade Lal khan says, “The unification of the Indian subcontinent will be on a much higher plane than the 1947 Partition.” …

To read full article :→ Marxist.com

SINDH NEEDS INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT

by Dr Ali Akbar Dhakan, Karachi, Sindh

All the macro economic objectives can be obtained through the development of industries both small and large scale because they provide employment facilities, increase supply of goods, boost up exports, control inflation and price hike, reduce poverty and provide chances of prosperity through improvement of purchasing power of the common people .The problem of unemployment in Sindh particularly in Rural areas is due to lack of focus and attention to be given to the development of this sector.

Continue reading SINDH NEEDS INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT

RURAL SINDH`S SHARE IN STATE BANK?

by Dr Ali Akbar Dhakan, Karachi, Sindh

Out of the total strength of high grade jobs in State Bank of Pakistan including Governor,two Deputy Governors, Advisers, consultants, Executive Directors and Directors, the representation of Sindh Rural is NIL.In all, the total number of these posts is more than l000 and the total number of the posts starting from joint Directors to lower staff would exceed ten thousand amongst whom the representation of Rural Sindh will not be more than one hundred through out Pakistan having about 20 offices of State Bank of Pakistan across the country. Now, to whom we may blame, the Government or the management of the SBP who are responsible for such a negligence in victimizing or robbing the people of Sindh.

Continue reading RURAL SINDH`S SHARE IN STATE BANK?

Sindh Rural Neglected by PPP government

by Dr Ali Akbar Dhakan, Karachi, Sindh

As reported in daily Kawish dated 7-2-2011 and its editorial dated 8-2-2011 about 36000 Employees less have been employed in rural Sindh than the prescribed constitutional quota of 11.4 by the Federal Government of Pakistan during the last year. The following tables published in the Daily Kawish dated 7-2-2011 show the position of employees belonging to rural and urban areas of Sindh working in the Federal Government Ministries and corporations during 2009-10:

Continue reading Sindh Rural Neglected by PPP government

“Shoot us” : Mazhar Arif writes on role of media in Taseer’s killing

“Shoot us”

by Mazhar Arif

Urdu press and leading television channels, played a catalytic role in what happened. They lament that the responsibility of Taseer’s assassination rests with the irresponsible media and its howling and yelling anchors. The Jamaat-e-Islami and Sipah-e-Sahaba affiliated journalists and analysts in the media berated and maligned Taseer for supporting poor Christian rural worker Aasia Bibi …

Read more : View Point

SINDH – six months after floods

Six months later, Pakistan’s flood disaster threatens to worsen.

The crisis in Pakistan is far from over and could get worse, international aid agency Oxfam warned today, six months on from the nation’s devastating floods.

In a report, “Six months into the floods” the agency warned that millions of people were still in dire need and that the situation could deteriorate further. The report says that although the aid effort has reached millions, it has struggled to match the immense scale of human need. …

Read more : Oxfam

The hijacking of culture

by Dr Manzur Ejaz

After the mid-1970s, rural migration to urban centres increased manifold. A new middle class, which had recently become urbanised, provided the basis for Zia’s Islamisation and, later on, jihadi projects.

I am not sure if Veena Malik was the most articulate person in characterising the mullah and questioning the cliché of Pakistani culture, but I do know that she was brave in speaking the plain truth. If our media is concerned about how Pakistani culture is portrayed abroad, then they should ask the world whether Veena Malik or the jihadis of different stripes and their supporting network of religious parties are giving a bad name to the country. They should ask the world if sentencing Aasia Bibi to death is more troublesome than Veena Malik’s entertainment stint in India.

Ms Malik was not the first one to have said that mullahs sexually exploit in the mosques, it was the greatest Punjabi poet, Waris Shah, who created the mullah’s character in the epic love story of Heer Ranjha to denounce the theocracy, and said the same thing. In one of the dialogues with the mullah, Waris Shah (stanza 37) characterises the mullah and in the last line he says exactly what Veena Malik said:

“(Mullah) Your beard is like a pious scholar and you act like a devil. You condemn (even) the travellers for nothing. …

Read more : Wichaar

ISLAMABAD: Population by mother tongue

According to the statistics of Population and Census Organization, Government of Pakistan the percentage of people living in Islamabad based on mother tongue is: (Urdu  10.11), (Punjabi 71.66), (Sindhi o.56), (Pashto 9.52), (Balochi 0.06), (Saraiki 1.11), (others 6.98)
From these figures it is clear who gets high benefits from Islamabad? Wouldn’t it be fair that provinces give their share to federal institutes located at Islamabad based on their population? Are the people of Islamabad more poor to have highest number of public institutes and services as compared to rest of the populace of the country?

For more details : statpak.gov.pk

Poverty double in rural Sindh than urban areas

Sindh : Karachi (PPI) – The rural areas of Sindh province have been facing with abject poverty and a release of Planning and Development Department, Government of Sindh (GoS), issued here on Saturday, showing serious concern over the yawning rural-urban divide has revealed that the poverty head count ratio in the rural areas is almost double than in the urban areas, said.

Continue reading Poverty double in rural Sindh than urban areas

Rural Sindh is the most backward area in all of Asia

A New Deal in Pakistan – By William Dalrymple

The province of Sindh in southern Pakistan is a rural region of dusty mudbrick villages, of white-domed blue-tiled Sufi shrines, and of salty desert scrublands broken, quite suddenly, by flood plains of wonderful fecundity. These thin, fertile belts of green—cotton fields, rice paddies, cane breaks, and miles of checkerboard mango orchards—snake along the banks of the Indus River as it meanders its sluggish, silted, café-au-lait way through the plains of Pakistan down to the shores of the Arabian Sea.

Read more >> The New York Review of Books

Facts and Figures on the Plight of Sindhis

Yet another testimonial including facts and figures on the plight of Sindhis comes to us via an excellent article by M. B. Soomro that was published in Sindhi daily newspaper “Kawish”. The focus of this article on the economic plight and discrimination in hiring of Sindhis in federal jobs.

The facts and Figures presented in the article are based on the answers given by various ministers in the National Assembly of Pakistan and Pakistani Senate. Following are the excerpt of the article.

-///-///-

Facts and Figures on the Plight of Sindhis

Written by: M. B. Soomro

Translation by: Khalid Hashmani, McLean, Virginia, USA

OIL AND GAS PRODUCTION AND INCOME

In answer to question 77 on May 13, 2010, the responsible federal Minister said that from 2004 to 2008, Sindh produced 70.422 million barrels of oil and 5001.45 billion cubic feet of gas. The total income from the oil and gas produced in Sindh in the last five years has been 8 kharab, 45 arab, 43 crore, and 50 lakh. This equates to approximately 8.5 billion in US dollars, which is significantly more than what the USA has committed in aid to Pakistan over the next five (5) years under the Kerry-Lugar bill.

Ironically, several international studies on poverty have stated that rural Sindh suffers one of the highest level of poverty in Asia. Just imagine what could have been done to alleviate poverty, increase educational opportunities, improve health care, and create jobs in rural Sindh if Sindh was allowed the full benefit from the income from its oil and gas resources.

Continue reading Facts and Figures on the Plight of Sindhis

Corruption in Pakistan hurts common People and Breeds Extremism

By Khalid Hashmani

The Transparency International has ranked Pakistan 139th among 180 countries in its 2009 Corruption Perception Index (CPI) issued in November 2009 (http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/2009/nov/17/corruption-index-transparency-international#data). Pakistan’s 2009 vs. 2008 score further reduced by 0.1 (2.4 vs. 2.5). A recent World Bank report lists corruption and lack of transparency as the two core reasons that hamper Pakistan’s drive for development. However, these indices do not convey the terrible pain and sufferings that the brutal practice of corruption has caused to common people of Pakistan.

Continue reading Corruption in Pakistan hurts common People and Breeds Extremism

Who will live in new coastal city of Sindh? Why should rural Sindh suffer?

Who will live in new coastal city of Sindh? Why must rural Sindh suffer?

[Translator’s note – The recent article by Naseer Memon, pulished in Sindhi daily Kawish provides a comprehensive account of the rural-urban disparity and how this disparity can be narrowed. Reproduced below is an English translations of this article along with minor additional notes added for the sake of clarity.]

by: Naseer Memon, Translation by: Khalid Hashmani, McLean

The disparity of economic conditions between rural areas and few urban centers in Sindh continues to grow further as the present government remains oblivious to the problems of rural areas. In this backdrop, many questions are being raised in Sindh about the recent announcement by President Asif Zardari that a new city called Zulfiqarabad will be build between near Karachi. The noted social scientist and development specialist, SaeeN Naseer Memon has written a timely comprehensive article with convincing arguments that the government should put emphasis on improving existing decaying small cities and towns of Sindh instead of wasting resources on building a new city. The key take aways from this comprehensive article based on astonishing facts and figures are as follows:

Continue reading Who will live in new coastal city of Sindh? Why should rural Sindh suffer?

From the archive of the history: Mass movement in Sindh- Every minute has story to tell

By Anne Weaver, Special to The Christian Science Monitor

In a surprisingly strong, rural mass movement in Sindh – the first such political movement outside the cities that Pakistan has seen – thousands have continued their defiance of General Zia’s martial law regime. At least 38 people have died in the protests. According to opposition sources, 80 are dead. The opposition claims 7,000 have been arrested or successfully ”courted arrest.” The government acknowledges that some 1,400 Sindis are under arrest.

Driving through Sindh’s interior, where slate hills turn to desert and large tracts of rice, wheat, and cotton fields are flooded by monsoon rains, one is struck by the poverty. There are few development programs here.

People live on the margin of an agricultural economy. One passes through a score of hamlets and villages hugging the banks of the Indus River.

In recent weeks, they have all, in one way or another, protested against the Zia regime or gone on the rampage. They have defied police lines, been beaten back by teargas or a lathi charge. They have burned government buildings, disrupted transportation links, broken into Sindhi jails and court buildings, or engaged in general strikes.

Inside the dirty, overcrowded jail in Dadu, one of Sind’s most violent, up-river towns 200 miles from Karachi, 77 political prisoners told why they were willing to defy martial law, endure flogging, and go before special military courts-martial whose sessions last less than five minutes.

Their reasons for submitting to the punishment are as eclectic as the four provinces of Pakistan.

The province of Punjab, they acknowledge, is the key to the longevity of the Zia regime. If the country’s most populous province, its breadbasket and dispenser of army positions and posts in the federal bureaucracy, does not enter the protest, Zia and his army will probably be able to control the situation here in Sindh.

But, that is not the end, they add quickly. In Sindh, the fuse has been lit. And, if the protest is confined within this southern province’s borders, if others do not join, it will give far greater impetus to the more radical voices favoring Sindi independence, a movement called ”Sinduh-Desh.”

All of the young men crammed into one of the barracks of Dadu’s prison want to speak. They include medical students, provincial government civil servants, workers, shopkeepers, and peasants. Most are supporters of Mr. Bhutto’s Pakistani People’s Party, which has always dominated the politics of Sind. Others belong to the ”Sinduh-Desh” movement or are followers of the traditional ”sardars” or hereditary ”pirs.”

Some are political protesters, demanding a return to democracy and the end of martial law, others are protesting Zia’s Islamization program – most interior Sindis are Sufi Muslims who charge that General Zia has made heresy of the Koran. Still others are there at the behest of their ”sardars,” who have refused to pay the Islamic ”usur” land tax, on their vast holdings, which dominate the Indus River valley of Sindh. Some are here because they went to the streets to avenge Mr. Bhutto’s death. Others are followers of G. M. Sayed, the father of Sindhi nationalism, a hereditary ”pir,” who is the guiding force behind the Sinduh-Desh movement.

Strangers here are eyed with suspicion. But when people discover a journalist , they immediately want to talk. It is not surprising that their primary topic of conversation is their long-time resentment over domination by governments, armies, and bureaucracies coming from the Punjab region.

Protests sweep Pakistan in effort to restore democracy

Courtesy: CSM

Status of Karachi

A Letter to Editor Dawn

By ABDUL KHALIQUE JUNEJO

THIS is apropos of Bina Shah’s article, ‘Who owns Karachi?’ (Sept 14). Earlier she had come on the columns of this paper with another question, ‘Who is a Sindhi?”

I fail to comprehend what compels her to bring under dispute such settled issues and put question mark over the future of a people who carry a glorious past of more than 5,000 years. Is she doing this with some objective in mind or out of sheer ignorance and/or innocence? She herself says: “I learned more about Karachi from Mr Yousif Dadabhoy’s letter than I have from all my years living in the city, to be honest”.

Honestly speaking, if she really wants to get answers to such important and serious questions, she should open the pages of history books, know more about the process of immigration, natural and unnatural, throughout the world and understand the political and economic interests/motives of the different power players therein.

She considers the city nazim of Karachi ‘forward-thinking and progressive’ and is very much impressed by his ‘My City My Responsibility’ programme, according to which “anyone can come forward and register himself or herself as a city owner. All one has to do is volunteer two hours of time per week doing something in the interest of the city”.

Her one question comes to mind immediately: is this the way of owning cities in the world, particularly the US to which Ms Shah refers so often? Can I go, whenever it suits me, to New York, Paris or London and become its owner by getting my name registered after doing two-hour work in the interest of the city?

And if giving two-hour time can make anyone the owner of Karachi, then what will happen to those who gave sweat and blood to build this city and have spent many generations here? The current nazim has initiated another programme, also called ‘Hamara Karachi, an annual festival, for the last few years. Here people from as far as Kolkata, Hyderabad Deccan and Mumbai are included but no Sindhi is invited.

The writer compares the ‘golden years’ of 40s and 50s of the ‘gem of Karachi’ with ‘today’s Karachi of guns, drugs, crime and filth’ with a sense of sadness.

I would only like to add here, for her knowledge, that this difference, in the exposure of Karachi, is the result of unlimited, uncontrolled, unregulated and free-for-all influx of people from different parts of the world facilitated by such policies as pursued by the sitting mayor.

Ms Shah has fallen prey to the tendency, nowadays being promoted by certain groups, of using such terms as carry serious repercussions for the unity and integrity of Sindh. For example, ‘urban Sindh’ ( and rural Sindh). Through this description the idea being promoted is that the urban Sindh belongs to non-Sindhis ( immigrants)and the native Sindhis occupy the rural Sindh.

The most important part of Ms Shah’s article is the one mentioning plans for picking Thatto as an option (alternative to Karachi)for ‘the disinfranchised population of the old goths of Karachi, as well as a restive interior youth who want to move from the rural to the urban areas of Sindh’.

Here a two-pronged policy is being pursued: ‘old villages’ are being uprooted and the people of ‘interior’ denied entry into the life of Karachi, while people from outside Sindh are being facilitated settlement in Karachi.

Courtesy & Thanks: Daily Dawn
http://dawn.com/2008/10/01/letted.htm

Improve Education in Rural Sindh

By Khalid Hashmani, McLean, Virginia

About 12 days ago, the federal Education Ministry issued a policy draft containing several policy statements about the future Education Policy of Pakistan. I urge you to reject this draft and demand the changes recommended below. The rural areas of Sindh, Balochistan and FATA have poorest of poor educational facilities and opportunities and the people there are substantially lagging behind the rest of Pakistan.

The Ministry of Education of Government of Pakistan issued a draft of the National Education Policy on April 14, 2008. The draft available at http://www.moe. gov.pk/nepr/ new.pdf. Although the draft policy is comprehensive in many respects and clearly recognizes the inequities between rural and urban areas, it fails to mention that the conditions of educational facilities and opportunities in RURAL SINDH are as bad as in rural Balochistan and FATA. A synopsis of the key points from the draft is given at the end of this letter. The key points on the draft policy and suggested improvements are as follows:

1. The policy unfairly and irrationally pushes for centralization of Pakistan’s educational system. The centralization is one of the main reasons that has kept Pakistan from progressing. The over centralization has resulted in various forms of discrimination that the draft policy has itself recognized. However, the draft policy wrongfully says that modern states have one national education system. In fact, in most modern and progressing countries (including USA, India, Canada, etc.), the federal governments simply creates some high-level guidelines, national standards and assessments systems but otherwise the matter of education is considered totally a provincial subject. This is the reason that constitution of Pakistan emphasizes gives the responsibility of education to the provinces. Unfortunately, the over-zealous proponents of the centralization have succeeded in continuing the “education” to be largely a federally controlled subject. But, we all know that the days of concurrent list are likely to end soon. The education policy makers must realize this reality and make changes to the policy to comply with the new era of decentralization.

2. The draft policy claims that new National Educational Policy supports the reflection of the local cultural contexts through curricula, etc. It forgets that only educational system that is run by provinces can truly reflect the real cultural context of their provinces.

3. The draft policy lumps all regional dialects and languages into one category. The education policy must recognize that the Sindhi language is the historical language of Sindh. Unlike other provinces, Sindhi has been used as the main medium of instruction for more than a century. The education policies must be amended to ensure that this historical role of the Sindhi language is preserved for generations to come.

4. The federation of Pakistan is composed of four (4) federating units with their distinct history and heritage. The draft policy does not recognize this important fact. Relevant policy changes must be made so that students are not only taught the modern history of Pakistan but they are also taught about their province’s distinct history and heritage.

5. The report distinctly refers to the “Federal” government but lumps provincial governments and other local governments under one phrase “Provincial/Area Governments” . The education policy makers must realize that during these times when the need for “provincial autonomy” has become the cry of almost all Pakistanis and because “education” is a provincial subject, such references in policy recommendations be changed to recognize the prominent role of provincial governments in meeting the educational objectives of Pakistan. The policy draft should recommend that jurisdiction between the local areas located in a province is to set by the provincial governments and the federal government must not interfere in such matters.

6. A policy action must include a provision that starting next year, additional 0.5% of GDP will be spent on improving education facilities in rural Sindh, rural Balochistan, and FATA areas until the the educational facilities and opportunities in those areas are brought to be apar with rest of Pakistan.

7. A policy recommendation must be made to allow provincial governments to negotiate foreign assistance for improving education facilities for their provinces.

8. The federal role in education should be limited to creating high-level guidelines, setting of national quality standards, and establishing assessment tests. The federal government must not interfere more than that in the education matters and let the provincial government meet their responsibility in education sector as the founding fathers had envisioned. There is no need for Inter-Provincial Education Ministers’ (IPEM) Conference to be used as a tool to deny further provincial autonomy.

I hope you will also take time to read this policy draft, whose aim appears to be to further the yoke of centralization on the federating units of Pakistan.

You probably receive several appeals each year to make a donation to an individual school, project, or scholarship. You probably always wished that you had a lot of money to give scholarships to one or more poor students in rural Sindh. Most likely you could not respond to each and every appeal as you could not afford it. However, this is your opportunity to do something extra-ordinarily important for the cause of education in rural Sindh. It will take only few minutes of your time to send few emails to the right people, but your action could result billions of additional funding for education in rural Sindh.

Please write letters or send emails to high officials of the federal and provincial governments and as well other leaders of PPP, PML-N, and other political parties and ask them to get the suggested improvements incorporated in the Education Policy. In addition go to the web site of Pakistan Fedral Education Ministry (http://www.moe. gov.pk/) and submit your comments and suggestions for improvement by clicking the “Contact Us” button.

I tried my best to get e-mail addresses of current Ministers, Prime Minister, Education Minister, and members of two chambers of Pakistani Parliament on the web site of the federal government (http://www.pakistan .gov.pk/). However, it appears that the officials of the new government are shy about listing their e-mail addresses. Only the following two women members of Parliament had listed their e-mail addresses:

PPP — Ms. Fauzia Wahab fawahab@orientale. com

PML-Q — Mr. Riaz Fatiana riazfatyana@ hotmail.com

————

SYNPOSIS FROM THE DRAFT EDUCATION POLICY REPORT

——— ——-

MAJOR CONCERNS EXPRESSED IN THE DRAFT EDUCATION POLICY

——— ———

The draft policy rightfully points out the following major concerns:

1. The current Pakistani policy framework has not served as a satisfactory guide and has not generated desired results in the context of access rates, quality and equity in educational opportunities.

2. The current policy will fail as the new challenges triggered by globalization and Pakistan’s desire to become a “knowledge society” are faced.

3. Although Gross Enrollment Ratio, at the primary level has improved, the achieved 66% rate is below the target rate of 79% for 2005-06. One-third of primary school age and three-quarters of the secondary school age children remain out of school. THE DRAFT SAYS, “CLEARLY, PAKISTAN IS SOME DISTANCE AWAY FROM ACHIEVING UNIVERSAL SCHOOLING, EVEN AT THE PRIMARY LEVEL”.

4. Pakistan performance on enrollments lacks behind both in the context of education and literacy rates. PAKISTAN’S LITERACY RATES (49.9%) IS LOWER THAN FOR COUNTRIES LIKE INDIA (61%), IRAN (82.4%), and SRI LANKA (90.7%).

5. The low access primarily results from lack of confidence in the public sector schools due to POLITICAL INTERFERFERENCE AND CORRUPTION THAT HAS PREMEATED THE ENTIRE SECTOR. RECRUITMENTS, TRANSFERS and POSTINGS ARE POLITICALLY DRIVEN CAUSING THE ISSUES OF ABSENTEE TEACHERS, GHOST SCHOOLS AND CHEATING IN EXAMINATIONS.

6. There is a large difference in ACCESS ACROSS GENDER, ETHNIC MINORITIES, PROVINCES, REGIONS, and RURAL-URBAN DIVIDE.

7. It is common knowledge and proven by many studies that DISCRIMINATION EXISTS IN EDUCATION SYSTEM IN VARIOUS FORMS. This inequity is the result of poor implementation and social customs.

8. The girls continue to face SIGNIFICANT DISADVANTAGES IN ACCESS AS THEY REACH ADULTHOOD. THE FEMALES ARE PARTICULARLY UNDER REPRESENTED IN RURAL AREAS.

9. The RURAL DISADVANTAGE AT THE SECONDARY LEVEL IS RATHER LARGE (48% URBAN vs. 22% RURAL). THE PRECENTAGE GAP BETWEEN URBAN AND RURAL AREAS HAS WIDENED 20 POINTS IN 2001-02 to 2005-06. The SURVIVAL RATE TO GRADE 5 IS 67% in RURAL AREAS VS. 94% IN URBAN AREAS. THE PUPIL TEACHER RATIO IS 12 PUPILS PER TEACHER IN URBAN AREAS VS. 18 PUPILS PER TEACHER IN RURAL AREAS. WHILE 90% OF URBAN SCHOOLS HAS WATER SOURCES, ONLY 63% RURAL SCHOOLS DO SO. WHERE AS, URBAN SCHOOLS HAVE 88% SANITATION FACILITIES VS. 56% SCHOOLS HAVE SIMILAR FACILITIES IN OF RURAL AREAS.

10. The study says that PUNJAB and SINDH are leading are at the top of league, however, as usual poor BALOCHISTAN IS LAGGING FAR BEHIND with the following percentages:

Primary School Net Enrolment Ratio (NER)

— Punjab 68%

— Sindh 67%

— NWFP 66%

— Balochistan 40%

Secondary School Net Enrolment Ratio (NER) – Punjab (26%) vs. 11% for Balochistan and FATA.

The Literacy rate for adults is 55% in Sindh vs. 37% in Balochistan.

11. An international comparison confirms the relative POOR QUALITY of Pakistan’s education. The National Education Assessment System (NEAS) 2005 scores of Pakistani students are well below many other countries.

12. Only about 47% of teaching staff had the required teaching qualifications.

DRAFT POLICY ON FUNDING SOURCES FOR EDUCATION IN PAKISTAN

——— —

1. In 2005-6, the governments funding amounted to about 2.5% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) on education. A further 0.5% is estimated to be the contribution of the private sector for 3% of GDP. It is slight improvement from 2000-01 when it was 2.2%.

2. Pakistan spends relatively LESS on education (2.3%) than countries like Iran (4.7%), Malaysia (6.2%), India (3.8%), and Bangladesh (2.5%).

MAJOR DRAFT POLICY RECOMMENDATIONS

———— –

The draft policy recommendations in numerous areas including:

1. Provinces and local areas to affirm the goal of achieving universal and free primary education by 2015 and up to class 10 by 2025.

2. The Government shall commit to allocating 7% of GDP to education by 2015.

3. The federal and Provincial/Area Governments shall develop consensus on needs and priorities for foreign assistance in education.

4. The federal role shall be facilitator and coordinator. The federal government will be responsible for National Education policy. The Inter-Provincial Education Ministers’ (IPEM) Conference will have the jurisdiction over reviewing progress and implementation.

2008 Education Policy- Rural-Urban Gap

By Khalid Hashmani, McLean, Virginia

Last week, the federal Education Ministry issued a policy draft containing several policy statements about the future Education Policy of Pakistan. I urge the Peoples’ Party of Pakistan (PPP) to reject this draft and appoint a commission composed of representatives from all provinces, ensuring that true representation from rural Sindh, Balochistan, and FATA. These three regions have poorest of poor educational facilities and opportunities and the people there are substantially lagging behind the rest of Pakistan.

The Ministry of Education of Government of Pakistan issued a draft of the National Education Policy on April 14, 2008. The draft available at http://www.moe. gov.pk/nepr/ new.pdf. Although the draft policy is comprehensive in many respects and clearly recognizes the inequities between rural and urban areas, it fails to mention that the conditions of educational facilities and opportunities in RURAL SINDH are as bad as in rural Balochistan and FATA. A synopsis of the key points from the draft is given at the end of this letter. My arguments for asking PPP to reject the draft policy are as follows:

1. The policy unfairly and irrationally pushes for centralization of Pakistan’s educational system. The centralization is one of the main reasons that has kept Pakistan from progressing. The over centralization has resulted in various forms of discrimination that the draft policy has itself recognized. However, the draft policy wrongfully says that modern states have one national education system. In fact, in most modern and progressing countries (including USA, India, Canada, etc.), the federal governments simply create some high-level guidelines, national standards and assessments systems but otherwise the matter of education is considered totally a provincial subject. This is the reason that constitution of Pakistan emphasizes gives the responsibility of education to the provinces. Unfortunately, the over-zealous proponents of the centralization have succeeded in continuing the “education” to be largely a federally controlled subject. But, we all know that the days of concurrent list are likely to end soon. The education policy makers must realize this reality and make changes to the policy to comply with the new era of decentralization.

2. The draft policy claims that new National Educational Policy supports the reflection of the local cultural contexts through curricula, etc. It forgets that only educational system that is run by provinces can truly reflect the real cultural context of their provinces.

3. The draft policy lumps all regional dialects and languages into one category. The education policy must recognize that the Sindhi language is the historical language of Sindh. Unlike other provinces, Sindhi has been used as the main medium of instruction for more than a century. The education policies must be amended to ensure that this historical role of the Sindhi language is preserved for generations to come.

4. The federation of Pakistan is composed of four (4) federating units with their distinct history and heritage. The draft policy does not recognize this important fact. Relevant policy changes must be made so that students are not only taught the modern history of Pakistan but they are also taught about their province’s distinct history and heritage.

5. The report distinctly refers to the “Federal” government but lumps provincial governments and other local governments under one phrase “Provincial/Area Governments” . The education policy makers must realize that during these times when the need for “provincial autonomy” has become the cry of almost all Pakistanis and because “education” is a provincial subject, such references in policy recommendations be changed to recognize the prominent role of provincial governments in meeting the educational objectives of Pakistan. The policy draft should recommend that jurisdiction between the local areas located in a province is to set by the provincial governments and the federal government must not interfere in such matters.

6. A policy action must include a provision that starting next year, additional 0.5% of GDP will be spent on improving education facilities in rural Sindh, rural Balochistan, and FATA areas until the the educational facilities and opportunities in those areas are brought to be apar with rest of Pakistan.

7. A policy recommendation must be made to allow provincial governments to negotiate foreign assistance for improving education facilities for their provinces.

8. The federal role in education should be limited to creating high-level guidelines, setting of national quality standards, and establishing assessment tests. The federal government must not interfere more than that in the education matters and let the provincial government meet their responsibility in education sector as the founding fathers had envisioned. There is no need for Inter-Provincial Education Ministers’ (IPEM) Conference to be used as a tool to deny further provincial autonomy.

I hope some of you will also take time to read this dreadful policy draft, whose aim seems to be to further the yoke of centralization on federating units.

I look forward to hearing soon that PPP will create a new education commission to create guidelines that will empower provinces to improve education in their provinces and allocate substantial funding towards bringing educational equity between urban and rural areas of their province.

——— ——

SYNPOSIS FROM THE DRAFT POLICY REPORT

—– ——— —

MAJOR CONCERNS ON EDUCATION EXPRESSED IN DRAFT POLICY

——— ———

The draft policy rightfully points out the following major concerns:

1. The current Pakistani policy framework has not served as a satisfactory guide and has not generated desired results in the context of access rates, quality and equity in educational opportunities.

2. The current policy will fail as the new challenges triggered by globalization and Pakistan’s desire to become a “knowledge society” are faced.

3. Although Gross Enrollment Ratio, at the primary level has improved, the achieved 66% rate is below the target rate of 79% for 2005-06. One-third of primary school age and three-quarters of the secondary school age children remain out of school. THE DRAFT SAYS, “CLEARLY, PAKISTAN IS SOME DISTANCE AWAY FROM ACHIEVING UNIVERSAL SCHOOLING, EVEN AT THE PRIMARY LEVEL”.

4. Pakistan performance on enrollments lacks behind both in the context of education and literacy rates. PAKISTAN’S LITERACY RATES (49.9%) IS LOWER THAN FOR COUNTRIES LIKE INDIA (61%), IRAN (82.4%), and SRI LANKA (90.7%).

5. The low access primarily results from lack of confidence in the public sector schools due to POLITICAL INTERFERFERENCE AND CORRUPTION THAT HAS PREMEATED THE ENTIRE SECTOR. RECRUITMENTS, TRANSFERS and POSTINGS ARE POLITICALLY DRIVEN CAUSING THE ISSUES OF ABSENTEE TEACHERS, GHOST SCHOOLS AND CHEATING IN EXAMINATIONS.

6. There is a large difference in ACCESS ACROSS GENDER, ETHNIC MINORITIES, PROVINCES, REGIONS, and RURAL-URBAN DIVIDE.

7. It is common knowledge and proven by many studies that DISCRIMINATION EXISTS IN EDUCATION SYSTEM IN VARIOUS FORMS. This inequity is the result of poor implementation and social customs.

8. The girls continue to face SIGNIFICANT DISADVANTAGES IN ACCESS AS THEY REACH ADULTHOOD. THE FEMALES ARE PARTICULARLY UNDER REPRESENTED IN RURAL AREAS.

9. The RURAL DISADVANTAGE AT THE SECONDARY LEVEL IS RATHER LARGE (48% URBAN vs. 22% RURAL). THE PRECENTAGE GAP BETWEEN URBAN AND RURAL AREAS HAS WIDENED 20 POINTS IN 2001-02 to 2005-06. The SURVIVAL RATE TO GRADE 5 IS 67% in RURAL AREAS VS. 94% IN URBAN AREAS. THE PUPIL TEACHER RATIO IS 12 PUPILS PER TEACHER IN URBAN AREAS VS. 18 PUPILS PER TEACHER IN RURAL AREAS. WHILE 90% OF URBAN SCHOOLS HAS WATER SOURCES, ONLY 63% RURAL SCHOOLS DO SO. WHERE AS, URBAN SCHOOLS HAVE 88% SANITATION FACILITIES VS. 56% SCHOOLS HAVE SIMILAR FACILITIES IN OF RURAL AREAS.

10. The study says that PUNJAB and SINDH are leading are at the top of league, however, as usual poor BALOCHISTAN IS LAGGING FAR BEHIND with the following percentages:

Primary School Net Enrolment Ratio (NER)

— Punjab 68%

— Sindh 67%

— NWFP 66%

— Balochistan 40%

Secondary School Net Enrolment Ratio (NER) – Punjab (26%) vs. 11% for Balochistan and FATA.

The Literacy rate for adults is 55% in Sindh vs. 37% in Balochistan.

11. An international comparison confirms the relative POOR QUALITY of Pakistan’s education. The National Education Assessment System (NEAS) 2005 scores of Pakistani students are well below many other countries.

12. Only about 47% of teaching staff had the required teaching qualifications.

DRAFT POLICY ON FUNDING SOURCES FOR EDUCATION IN PAKISTAN

——— ——— —

1. In 2005-6, the governments funding amounted to about 2.5% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) on education. A further 0.5% is estimated to be the contribution of the private sector for 3% of GDP. It is slight improvement from 2000-01 when it was 2.2%.

2. Pakistan spends relatively LESS on education (2.3%) than countries like Iran (4.7%), Malaysia (6.2%), India (3.8%), and Bangladesh (2.5%).

MAJOR DRAFT POLICY RECOMMENDATIONS

——— ——— ——— –

The draft policy recommendations in numerous areas including:

1. Provinces and local areas to affirm the goal of achieving universal and free primary education by 2015 and up to class 10 by 2025.

2. The Government shall commit to allocating 7% of GDP to education by 2015.

3. The federal and Provincial/Area Governments shall develop consensus on needs and priorities for foreign assistance in education.

4. The federal role shall be facilitator and coordinator. The federal government will be responsible for National Education policy. The Inter-Provincial Education Ministers’ (IPEM) Conference will have the jurisdiction over reviewing progress and implementation.

April 23, 2008

Courtesy: Sindhi e-lists/ e-groups,