Earth Hour 2010 in Pakistan

Thanks to an initiative taken by WWF Pakistan, like many other countries around the world, Pakistan will be actively taking part in the Earth Hour–the world’s largest global climate change initiative led by the World Wide Fund for Nature Global during which people will switch off their lights for an hour, although lights here in Pakistan remain switched off for hours due to unprecedented load shedding.

Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani launched Earth Hour 2010 during which environmentally conscious people in the country will show solidarity by turning off household lights from 8.30 to 9.30 p.m on Saturday, March 27. In a message on the occasion, the Prime Minister urged Pakistanis to join the government in the launch of Earth Hour calling it “a historic moment of which government of Pakistan is justly proud to reconfirm its commitment in demonstrating solidarity with environmentally conscious people.”/>

Earth Hour will be observed from 8:30 PM to 9:30 PM. So enjoy the darkness, light some candles, post pictures or videos, tweet about it, and spread the word. For more info check out http://www.wwfpak.org/earthhour/

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Who Is Behind The Peshawar Blasts ?

No one has yet claimed any responsibility for the blasts that ripped through Peshawar’s Meena Bazar on Wednesday, in which nearly a hundred people mostly women and children lost their lives, while our leaders in Islamabad were too busy hosting  lunches and dinners for Hillary Clinton.  The usual suspects, the Taliban and al-qaeda, have vehemently denied their involvement in the dooms day of Peshawar.

According to a statement of al-Qaeda, they are not involved in the killing of innocent people. According to al-Qaeda sources, the elements, who want to defame Jehad and refugees, are behind the Peshawar bomb blast. The al-Qaeda sources say they would continue Jehad against America and its agents across the world.
The banned Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) in an email sent to the media also condemned the Peshawar blast and denied its involvement in the Meena Bazaar explosion.

Now the question is if the taliban (or al qaeda) are not responsible for yesterdays killings, then who is ? Has a third force now joined the ongoing killing spree ?  The government must find out and bring the culprits to justice.

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Devastating Blast In Peshawar– Over 80 dead, 150+ injured

In what can easily be called as one of the worst bomb blasts to have ever struck Pakistan, over 80 people, mostly women and children, have been killed and hundreds injured.  A usual condemnation of the blast by the President and Prime Minister as Peshawar goes through one of its most horrible days ever. The blast was so powerful that six buildings at the site of the blast have collapsed.

To keep up to date with the current situation in Peshawar, you can follow @bilish, who is present in Peshawar. You can also go to PakVoices where the incident has been mapped or you can  follow ‘Peshawar‘ on twitter’s real time search, which has had made it to the trending topics of twitter- for all the wrong reasons. Schools in the province will remain closed, reopening is subject to the security situation in the province. In other news, US Secretary of State has also landed in Pakistan to hold talks with the leaders of this country.

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Quaid-e-Azam’s address to the people of Wazristan in 1948

As the operation in South Wazristan (SWA) continues, I found this very interesting speech by the Quaid to the Tribal Jirga at the Government House, Peshawar on 17th April, 1948. The Quaid acknowledges the tribal people as loyal Pakistani’s, reassures his trust in them, and highlights the withdrawal of troops from Waziristan as a “definite gesture on our part”  You can read the speech after the break.

I have been looking forward since long to meet you, representatives of the Tribes of the North-West Frontier, and it has given me very great pleasure indeed to have met you here today. I am sorry I have not been able to visit you in your own part of the country, but I hope to be able to do so sometime in the future.

I thank you for you’re welcome to me and for the kind personal references you have made about me. Whatever I have done, I did as a servant of Islam, and only tried to perform my duty and made every possible contribution within my power to help our nation. It has been my constant endeavour to try to bring about unity among Mussalmans, and I hope that in the great task of reconstruction and building up Great and Glorious Pakistan, that is ahead of us, you realize that solidarity is now more essential than it ever was for achieving Pakistan, which by the Grace of God we have already done. I am sure that I shall have your fullest support in this mission. I want every Mussalman to do his utmost and help me and support me in creating complete solidarity among the Mussalmans, and I am confident that you will not lag behind any other individual or part of Pakistan. We Mussalmans believe in one God, one book–the Holy Quran–and one Prophet. So we must stand united as one Nation. You know the old saying that in unity lies strength united we stand, divided we fall.

I am glad to note that you have pledged your loyalty to Pakistan, and that you will help Pakistan with all your resources and ability. I appreciate this solemn declaration made by you today. I am fully aware of the part that you have already played in the establishment of Pakistan, and I am thankful to you for all the sympathy and support you gave me in my struggle and fight for the establishment of Pakistan. Keeping in view your loyalty, help, assurances and declarations we ordered, as you know, the withdrawal of troops from Waziristan as a concrete and definite gesture on our part–that we treat you with absolute confidence and trust you as our Muslim brethren across the border. I am glad that there is full realization on your part that now the position is basically different. It is no longer a foreign Government as it was, but it is now a Muslim government and Muslim rule that holds the reigns of this great independent sovereign State of Pakistan. It is now the duty of every Mussalman, yours and mine, and every Pakistani to see that the State, which we have established, is strengthened in every department of life and made prosperous and happy for all, especially the poor and the needy.

Pakistan has no desire to unduly interfere with your internal freedom. On the contrary; Pakistan wants to help you and make you, as far as it lies in our power, self-reliant and self-sufficient and help in your educational, social and economic uplift, and not be left as you are dependent on annual doles, as has been the practice hitherto which meant that at the end of the year you were no better off than beggars asking for allowances, if possible a little more. We want to put you on your legs as self-respecting citizens who have the opportunities of fully developing and producing what is best in you and your land. You know that the Frontier Province is a deficit province, but that does not trouble us so much. Pakistan will not hesitate to go out of its way to give every possible help–financial and otherwise–to build up the economic and social life of our tribal brethren across the border.

I agree with you that education is absolutely essential, and I am glad that you appreciate the value of it. It will certainly be my constant solicitude and indeed that of my Government to try to help you to educate your children and with your co-operation and help we may very soon succeed in making a great progress in this direction.

Your desire for entering the Pakistan Service in the Civil and Military will receive my full consideration and that of my Government, and I hope that some progress would be made in this direction also without unnecessary delay.

You have also expressed your desire that the benefit, such as your allowances and khassadari, that you have had in the past and are receiving, should continue. Neither my Government nor I have any desire to modify the existing arrangements except, in consultation with you, so long as you remain loyal and faithful to Pakistan.

I know there has been scarcity of foodgrains, cloth, and sugar. You must realize that we have all been passing through difficult times all over the world and Pakistan is no exception; indeed the whole world is facing hardships, but we are not unmindful of this problem, and we are endeavouring to the utmost of our capacity, with special care for Baluchistan and the Frontier Province, and you will not be neglected in. this respect. We will do our utmost to see that essential commodities reach you in time and in reasonably sufficient quantities. I am hoping and looking forward to the time when more normal conditions may present themselves to us, so that we may be able to live with more ease and comfort in the way of food, clothing, housing and all the necessities of life.

In the end, I warmly thank you for the wholehearted and unstinted declaration of your pledge and your assurances to support Pakistan, so that it may reach the pinnacle of glories of Islam and become a great and mighty nation among other nations of the world.

Pakistan Zindabad

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Schools could be the next terror targets

Schools across Pakistan could be facing the wrath of terrorism now, military schools in Karachi and Hyderabad have been closed down for a week and other schools have been told to take strict security measures as all the schools have been put on high alert. According to ‘AlJazeera’,  “A number of private and government schools were also considering a temporary closure on Sunday following the military schools’ announcement, Pakistani security officials said.”   I also got a notice from my school today, saying that the school is on high alert due to security concerns, and no one would be allowed to enter/leave school without proper identification.

While we are all aware of the security hazards, closing the schools down seems to be no solution. Prominent Pakistani blogger, Teeth Maestro, commenting on my status on facebook, quite rightly pointed out that “calling schools off in anticipation should be more with a direct plan, not an evasionary scare tactic.” Terrorists don’t have a specific time frame in which they will attack, they can create chaos anytime, anywhere. If closing down the schools for one week seems to be the solution, what about the next week ?

The Government must devise a proper strategy in this regard, dealing with these terrorists is not a joke. We have already seen how they forced schools to shut down in Swat, and in some cases even destroyed them.

Personally though, even after all these threats, I am not afraid of going to school. Awareness though should be created among the school going children of Pakistan, which I have come to observe are not aware of the dangerous world we live in.

Update: A bomb blast has just taken place in Islamic University, Islamabad, prompting the Sindh government to shut down schools and colleges across Sindh till Sunday.

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Pakistan: Situation Deteriorating.

A well coordinated attack on the Army HQ in Rawalpindi followed by today’s multiple attacks in Lahore and Peshawar, the terrorists are again at work. Instead of the usual suicide bombing which we were used to see, the terrorists are now deploying the Mumbai (26/11)  style of attacks, armed with automatic rifles and hand grenades.

It amazes me to see how easily the terrorists were able to penetrate into the Army HQ, managed to kill 6 of our soldiers, and those five or six terrorists caused so much havoc that our Army had to call in its SSG commandos to battle the terrorists. Today we saw how the terrorists yet again showed their skills, by attacking three sites in Lahore, in a matter of hours. A Police Training Academy, a building of the FIA (Federal Investigation Authority) and an elite police training center. And just about an hour ago from now, a bomb blast struck in Peshawar, killing a child and several injured.

This is just going out of control, its about time that emergency be declared in the country and security steps should be taken on war footing. Elite forces of the police and the military which are being used to protect our useless politicians should be stationed at all the sensitive locations. CCTV cameras should be installed in all the locations where the security agencies feel that a security threat exists. Most importantly, the Government must pay heed to intelligence reports, which usually have information about when and where the terrorists can strike. In fact, a special anti terror cell should be set up within the ISI, whose only job would be to inform the government and security agencies about terrorists whereabouts and plans. Moreover, a special Anti-Terrorist squad should be set up, consisting of well trained security personnel, headed by a reputable Ex Army general.

If concrete steps are not taken now, Pakistan may turn into another Afghanistan, soon.

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