Kashif Hafeez Siddiqui

Posts Tagged ‘NGOs’

شرم و حیا ۔ آہنگ اور جنسی تعلیم ۔ حصہ دوم

In Clsh of Civilizations, Curriculum, Islam - A Study on May 24, 2011 at 1:28 am

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شرم و حیا ۔ آہنگ اور جنسی تعلیم ۔ حصہ اول

In Clsh of Civilizations, Curriculum, Islam - A Study on May 24, 2011 at 1:20 am

Flood relief efforts by Muslim NGOs – Western View

In pakistan, Uncategorized on August 24, 2010 at 12:51 am

Pakistani liberal lobby  looks not much worry about flood victims as much they are showing anxiety about activities of Islamic relief missions, here we are providing you a brief visit about how the Muslim world is coming forward to help flood victims and how the Western press seeing and reporting all these efforts

Al-Nidaa’ Launches Aid Fund For Pakistan’s Flood Victims:

he Al-Nidaa’ Welfare Organisation (Al-Nidaa’) Malaysia on Monday launched the “Pakistan Flood Relief Fund” to collect donations for the flood victims in Pakistan.

According to a statement issued by Al-Nidaa’, here Monday, the fund was necessary to ease the sufferings of the flood victims.

The fund would be channelled through Al-Khidmat Foundation Pakistan, a non-governmental organisation (NGO) which had been operating since the formation of Pakistan in 1947.

“More than 16,000 of its volunteers are involved in the humanitarian aid mission in the affected areas including Peshawar, Charsadda, Nowshara, Swat and Swabi,” said the statement.

Source : http://www.bernama.com/bernama/v5/newsindex.php?id=523391

Pakistani Islamic charities have also begun reporting flood relief activities which are not listed as donations by the UN.

The website of the al-Khidmat (Service) Foundation – reportedly the welfare wing of the Jamaat-e-Islami, Pakistan’s largest and most influential right-wing religious party – states that it has mobilised 16,500 volunteers and provided food and medical care to tens of thousands of people.

Source : http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-south-asia-11014634

Muslim NGOs take part in Pakistan flood relief

Among the Muslim aid groups busy in flood relief operations prominent are Jamaat-ud-Dawah, Al Rasheed Trust, Al-Khidmat Foundation, Al-Akhtar Trust and over a dozen smaller ones. Though Jamaat-ud-Dawah is not legally banned by Islamabad but the group was outlawed by the UN under India’s pressure in connection with the allegations of its involvement in Mumbai attacks and patronizing Kashmiri freedom fighter groups like Lashkar-e-Taiba.

Al-Rasheed Trust was also banned by Washington for helping out Taliban government in rehabilitation and reconstruction works.
Though Al-Khidmat Foundation is not banned by Washington, yet it is considered as potential supporter of Islamic militants because of being affiliated with country’s top Islamic party, Jamaat-e-Islami.

Source : http://www.alarabiya.net/articles/2010/08/20/117141.html

Flood victims crams North West Pakistan highway seeking life saving charity

Most of the organized relief efforts seen during more than 140 kilometers of travel along Kabul River valley roads in the past week came at camps and feeding centers run by the military or by religious charities such as Al-Khidmat, founded by the conservative Jamaat-i-Islami party, and Jamaat ud-Dawa, a banned outfit linked to the Lashkar-e-Taiba guerrilla movement.

Those two religious groups have deployed the most extensive civilian relief efforts so far across the northwest, said Ashraf Ali, director of the FATA Research Center in Islamabad, which monitors politics among Pakistan’s more than 25 million ethnic Pashtuns.

Source : http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-08-20/pakistan-flood-victims-cram-highways-as-army-islamists-battle-for-minds.html

UK-based Islamic charity raises funds for Pakistan floods

he UK-based charity organisation-Islamic Mission- has so far raised 350,000 pounds in response to its appeal for the Pakistani flood victims and said its volunteers are engaged in providing succour to affected persons across the country.Speaking at a news conference at its north London office on Friday, the Mission head Syed Shaukat Ali said the UKIM responded to the disaster promptly and has successfully set up an infrastructure through its partner Al-Khidmat organisation in Pakistan to carry out relief and rescue operations in flood affected areas.He said a large number of volunteers, vehicles and ambulances took part in the relief  operations in different areas and rescued numerous lives and helped in evacuation of stranded population from flooded places.

Source : http://www.app.com.pk/en_/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=114014&Itemid=2

Pakistan floods : Islamic fundamentalists fill state aid void

Another Islamic group, Al-Khidmat Foundation, this one perfectly legal, was housing around 380 families left destitute by the floods, in two private school buildings. Al-Khidmat is part of a mainstream but fundamentalist political party, Jamaat-e-Islami.

“The government is paralysed,” said Javed Khan, head of the local branch of Al-Khidmat. “The whole province is in trouble and the authorities are absent.”

Inside the school, Naila Fazli Rabi, an 18-year-old woman who had been given shelter there, said the water had been about 12ft high and had swept her family home away in the nearby village of Arbab Korna.

“Al-Khidmat is helping us, the government has given us nothing,” said Rabi. “We had spent 3m rupees (£23,000) on the house. Now we cannot even dream of rebuilding it. I don’t even have 30 rupees.”

Source : http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/aug/03/islamist-groups-pakistan-aid-void

Pakistani Islamic Groups battle US for hero status

Volunteers from the Al-Khidmat foundation handed out food packets stuffed with flour, sugar and tea leaves, while promising to swiftly bring in doctors and medicines for victims of Pakistan’s worst-ever disaster.

At this distribution point (at left) outside the northern city of Nowshera, in the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province, members of the group forcefully reject concerns from outside the country that hardline Islamic groups are taking up relief work in an effort to spread their particular ideology along with aid.

“That is rubbish. We are here to save lives and nothing else,” Saeed Jamal Khan, a senior Al-Khidmat volunteer told CBS News as he turned to some of his colleagues and handed over a list of supplies to be trucked to another distribution point.

Al-Khidmat, which means “dedicated to serving humanity,” is, however, among the groups suspected by Western governments of being an offshoot of Pakistani militant group Lashkar-e-Tayyaba, known to have carried out the 2008 terrorist attacks in India’s commercial capital of Mumbai which killed 166 people.

The U.S. and its partners in both the flood relief effort and the war against Islamic militants are unlikely to be convinced by Al-Khidmat’s claim of innocent intentions.

Lali Jan, a taxi driver in Nowshera who found his cab washed away in the flood, agreed without hesitation.

“The Americans and the Pakistani government are to blame. They spend more on their wars but give very little to our people. The Americans may not have caused the floods, but their agenda will always be against us, while our own brothers from Islamic groups are helping us very generously.”

Source : http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503543_162-20013272-503543.html

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Hasina gives six million non-resident Bangladeshis voting rights

By Rahman Jahangir

DHAKA, Aug 23 (APP)- In a major decision, the cabinet has decided to allow six million non-resident Bangladeshis to vote in all elections in Bangladesh from their country of residence.  The decision was taken at a regular meeting of the cabinet, headed by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Monday.  Her spokesperson Abul Kalam Azad told journalists about the decision after the meeting.

Courageous Pakistani nation has ability to surmount challenges posed by massive floodings

BEIJING, AUG 23 (APP): While donating an amount of RMB 100,000 for Prime Minister’s Flood Relief Fund, the President of Xinjiang Beixin Road & Bridge Construction Company Zhu Jianguo has said that the Pakistani government and its people have the wisdom, resolve and ability to surmount this challenge in a brave manner.  Xinjiang Beixin Road & Bridge Construction Company is one of the leading Chinese companies operating in Pakistan. It is one of the largest and most competitive companies located in Xinjiang.

Dhaka welcomes plan to involve Bangladesh in Iran-India-Pakistan gas pipeline

Dhaka, Aug 23 (APP): Bangladesh has welcomed the Iranian proposal of tagging the South Asian country with the proposed US$ 7.5 billion cross-border gas pipeline to meet its mounting natural gas requirements in industries and power plants, senior officials said Monday. “We would be very happy to be a part of the proposed multi-country gas pipeline,” chairman of state-owned oil and gas corporation Petrobangla chairman Dr Hossain Monsur said.

UN chief lays out options for prosecuting pirates operating off Somali coast

UNITED NATIONS, Aug 23 (APP): An international tribunal set up by  the Security Council under Chapter VII of the UN Charter authorizing the use of force is among several options to prosecute pirates operating off the Somali coast laid out by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in a new report.Piracy attacks have escalated worldwide in recent years owing almost entirely to increasing numbers of incidents off of the coast of Somalia since the overthrow of Siad Barre’s regime in 1991, the UN chief wrote.

China donates 1000 tonnes rice for flood-hit people in Pakistan

BEIJING, Aug 23 (APP): The China Asia International Finance Ltd, based in the Sichuan province of China and KASB Finance (Pakistan) have jointly donated 1000 tonnes of rice for the flood affecttes in Pakistan. The total value of this donation is approximately US $8,50,000/-.The Chinese company is making arrangements to deliver the rice consignment to Pakistan. Li Yan, Chairman of China Asia International Finance Ltd said that in view of serious difficulties faced by victims of current floods in Pakistan as well as due to close friendship between Pakistan and China, his company has decided to send rice to Pakistan as their contribution to alleviate the suffering of their Pakistani brothers and sisters. The company is sending this donation in collaboration with Nasir Ali Shah Bukhari, Chairman KASB Finance (Pakistan).
Sport News
Flood Relief Fund Soccer Cup from Friday
LAHORE,Aug 23 (APP)- Eighteen prominent clubs of Lahore will show their mettle when Fair Play Flood Relief Fund Football Tournament will be played here at Model Town Football Academy (MTFA) Gound.  Raiders FC in the opening match on Friday,August 27 (5 PM Kick Off) and Malik Saiful Malook Khokhar, MPA will inaugurate the event.  Besides Model Town FC and Raiders FC, other 16 outfits in the event will be Afshan Club, Fatima Memorial, Flying Horse, Garhi Shahue United FC, Gulshan-i-Ravi , Nadeem FC, Pensi Club, Publican Club, Quaid FC, Samanabad FC, Shah Kamal Club, Shaheen Wahdat Club, Usmania FC, Walton FC, Young Shooters FC and newly-formed UMT FC.
Read more…

PCB chief congratulates team on its success
LAHORE,Aug 23 (APP)- Chairman Pakistan Cricket Board,Mohammad Ijaz Butt has congratulated the Pakistan cricket team on its victory against England in the the third test match at the Oval. “ The whole team displayed tremendous charachter and professionalism to carve out a deserved victory”,said the Chairman here on Monday.
Read more…

Ijaz Butt lauds Pak team’s performance
ISLAMABAD, Aug 23 (APP): Chairman Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Ijaz Butt has lauded Pakistan team’s performance after their impressive win against England in the third test match at the Oval. “The whole team displayed tremendous character and professionalism to carve out a deserved victory”, the PCB chief said in a statement.
Read more…

New Zealand deny offer to play in Pakistan
ISLAMABAD, Aug 23 (APP): New Zealand have denied making any offer to tour Pakistan to help raise funds for victims of the floods that have devastated much of the country over the last month.  Justin Vaughan, chief executive New Zealand Cricket (NZC), said  that though he had sent an email to Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), at no point did he suggest that New Zealand would be touring Pakistan, cricinfo reported on Monday.
Read more…

Imran Nazir excels as A.O.Blues enters Dr. Shah Night Trophy quarters
KARACHI, Aug. 23 (APP): Imran Nazir produced an all-round show as A.O.Blues Cricket Club propelled into the quarterfinals of Dr. M.A.  Shah Lephone Night Trophy Cricket Tournament when they routed Karbala Heroes Quetta by eight wickets at Asghar Ali Shah Stadium here on Monday.Imran Nazir hammered half a dozen boundaries and three sixes in his hurricane 67 off 32 balls. He also took two wickets for 33 runs with his gentle medium pacer to be named man of the man.

Read more…

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Turkey opens its heart to flood victimsWorld community urged to write off Pak loansEx. MNA among seven dead in Wana suicide blast, several injuredU.S Central Command Commander visits PakistanPresident Zardari briefed over flood situation at NDMA HqsHaqqani highlights government efforts to attract international atten…
UK-based Islamic charity raises funds for Pakistan floods

سیلاب زدگان کی امداد ۔۔۔۔۔۔۔ کرنے کا کام

In pakistan on August 23, 2010 at 9:10 am

Saplings of hope

In Miscellaneous, pakistan on May 14, 2010 at 4:05 am

By Naufil Shahrukh

Is the humankind passing through a self-destructive phase? Are we trying to commit mass suicide? Why can’t we see beyond our petty interests? Is nature taking its revenge on us? All these and similar questions come to one’s mind when one considers the facts about climate change and, in Lenin’s words, “destruction without end” that capitalism has brought to this world…at least as far as environment is concerned.

The expectations with the Copenhagen summit have been gone in vain as the major stakeholders and polluters of this planet are not ready to take responsibility for what harm they have done, and they are not a bit interested to mend their ways. No one cares, especially those who are at the helm of affairs…

The mangrove wizard: Dr. Tahir QureshiThe mangrove wizard: Dr. Tahir Qureshi

Experts all across the globe foresee a terrible future. The present data is alarming, and the pace of environmental degradation suggests that climate change is imminent and not too far in the future. This means that if the people living on Earth, especially those in developed and industrialized countries, continue with their present lifestyle, it would be unthinkable to maintain sustainable development for this planet.

It is unimaginable to guess the massive threat of social conflicts around the world that will come out of the impact of climate change.

The Climate Change Vulnerability Index (CCVI) in Maplecroft’s new Climate Change Risk Report 2009/10 declares Somalia, Haiti, Afghanistan and Sierra Leone the most vulnerable places to climate change. Norway, Finland, Japan, Canada and New Zealand were named the countries best placed to weather the effects of climate change, while Africa hosts 22 of 28 countries at extreme risk.

Maplecroft (the leading source of global risks intelligence) rated 166 countries on their capacity to mitigate risks to society and the business environment posed by the changing patterns in natural hazards such as droughts, flooding, storms and sea level rises and the resulting effects on ecosystems.

According to Professor Alyson Warhurst of Warwick Business School and founding director of Maplecroft, “The interrelated nature of global risks mean that ineffective adaptation to climate change will make the world more vulnerable to other risks such as energy, food and water security, infectious diseases like malaria, displacement, political instability and even conflict. In combination, these risks reinforce one another and threaten to undermine global development and economic growth. Governments and non-governmental organisations increasingly view business as a key player in preventing the impacts of climate change. Business needs to reduce the impacts of climate change throughout global value chains and by doing so make a positive contribute to the defining challenge of the 21st century.”

It is quite obvious that the most affected countries have almost negligible share in the massive pollution and environmental destruction perpetrated by the modern, civilized world.

Pakistan ranks 29th in the world and 6th in Asia among the countries at the highest risk of climate change. In Pakistan, the climate change has already started taking its toll. There have been hardly any rains this winter, which means that this year we are badly short of water for the Rabi season. We have 40 per cent less water for agriculture this year, which means 40 per cent less crops, says Dr Pervaiz Amir, a renowned environmental economist.

A World Bank report titled ‘Pakistan’s water economy running dry’ says that in recent years Pakistan has experienced periods of extreme drought (2001-2003) as well as periods of excessive water flow that lead to the extensive floods of 2006-2007. Falling groundwater levels coupled with pollution caused by industrial and public waste water has resulted in a scarcity of fresh water and has given rise to health problems and decreasing agricultural production.

The report strongly suggests that deteriorating environmental conditions and a scarcity of natural resources demand the adoption of sustainable approaches in order to ensure that Pakistan achieves its poverty alleviation goals.

Experts say that despite all the threats and risks, the government and concerned authorities in the country have not been able to come up with a viable a strategy to take mitigation and adaption measures in the wake of the climate change threat remains a far cry.

Tahir Qureshi, a senior official of IUCN who is working for the last 17 years to protect and grow mangroves in the coastal areas of the country, explains that the mangroves are a natural barrier against earthquakes, tsunamis and other similar disasters. Especially for Karachi, they are also the biggest source of environment purification. With the help of the sea breeze, the mangroves keep on processing and refining the air we breath in this city which is being continuously polluted by more than a million vehicles, the largest industrial zones of the country and the severals tonnes of solid waste that is burnt here every day.

However, he adds, the diminishing flows of river Indus downstream Kotri barrage have been badly affecting the mangroves plantation on the coast. The greed of those at the helm of affairs has also resulted in the vast destruction of mangroves due to the so-called ‘land reclamation’ activities over the years. In connivance with the local authorities, timber mafia is bent upon cutting the precious mangrove trees in various coastal areas of the city and it is feared that the if the destruction of mangroves goes unchecked any further our generations to come in this city will not be able to cope up with the disastrous effects of the global climate change.

Several articles, features and news have been published for the last many years on the numerous benefits the mangroves provide and the risks we could face with their destruction, however little has been done so far on a practical level by the government, social and corporate sectors to play their role for the purpose. Unlike sectors like education and health, where the social sector and corporate philanthropy have been playing a significant part to provide for the have-nots of the country, there has been negligible focus on environment and the number of companies allocating their CESR (Corporate Environment and Social Responsibility) budgets to fight climate change is quite low.

Karachi is the economic hub and industrial backbone of the country and a large number of businesses and industries in the city – both multinational and local – have significant budgets and many valuable projects in their CESR programmes, which they showcase in the media and their annual reports. The city has two major industrial zones, i.e, SITE and Korangi Industrial Area comprising several large and medium scale industries. There are oil refineries, pharmaceutical MNCs, automobile, food, chemical and fertilizer companies among the several corporate organizations that have their head offices or manufacturing plants situated along the city’s coastline — right from Keamari to Port Qasim. Pakistan Navy and large government organizations like Karachi Port Trust, National Logistics Cell (NLC), Fisheries Department, Steel Mills, Port Qasim Authority, DHA, Clifton Cantonment Board, etc, which earn billions of rupees from industrial and commercial activities linked with the sea, also seem least interested in protecting the coast, its marine life and mangroves forests that are fast depleting right under their nose. Perhaps — and there are reasons to believe it — with the connivance of their own officials.

An activist of a local NGO operating in Machhar Colony – Karachi’s largest unofficial shanty settlement along the city coastline – informed on the condition of anonymity that in connivance of the officials of KPT and the forest department, the timber mafia was cutting a large number of mangrove trees daily and tonnes of its precious wood was being smuggled from Machhar Colony to the city and other parts of the country.

A random survey by this scribe has revealed that the coastal environment and mangroves have hardly ever been a priority of the champions of corporate philanthropy in the country. Apart from some beach cleaning activities on World Environment Day, Karachi’s various administrations, NGOs, educational institutions, public and private organizations, etc, have done little to initiate tangible projects and spend time and money on a long term basis for this cause. Though, officials of a few organizations confided that they had communicated their intent to the forest department numerous times to plant mangroves as part of their CESR programme but there was no response at all.

Khurshid Ali, senior environmental journalist and editor of Wildlife & Environment, is of the view that the people of Karachi and the several industries and businesses that pollute the sea on a massive level every day and are directly responsible to a large extent of the threats faced by the mangroves and marine life on their coast should realize the problem seriously and contribute with their time, energy and money to protect the same. He also suggests that a minimum of US$100 environmental tax should be levied on every cargo ship or oil tanker coming to Keamari or Port Qasim and the amount collected should be spent on planting more and more mangrove trees.

Tahir Qureshi of IUCN, who has so far spent more than 17 years planting and caring for mangroves across the country’s coastal line, appreciates the suggestion adding that a bag of 600 mangrove seeds costs only Rs1100; if any individual or organization wants to contribute its share of mangroves plantation on the coast, IUCN could facilitate them to plant the saplings and protect them till an age when the trees could take care of themselves in the natural environment.

Naufil Shahrukh

Naufil Shahrukh Khan is a strategist and PR consultant. He is the Publishing Manager at MU    HealthComm. He can be reached at naufi.shahrukh@gmail.com.

Source : http://www.awamimarkaz.com/2010/01/saplings-of-hope/

Flogging my sentiments – A Perspective

In pakistan on April 19, 2010 at 7:59 am

By Dr Awab Alvi

In April last year, Pakistan witnessed the revelation of a shocking video showing a woman in NWFP being flogged in public for having illicit relations with her father-in-law.

It was recorded from an amateurish, low-end mobile camera and shows a despicable act being committed in the name of public justice. The video was released by prominent women’s rights activists and underwent intense analysis by some flamboyant media personalities. A few suggested, even then, that it might be staged.

Regardless of its dubious authenticity, it was looped continuously on television screens and was shown repeatedly by every channel in every country, further maligning our tattered reputation.

The female activists who released this video took a bit of a drumming after the media adjudged these videos to be fake, but they stood their ground, using this ‘evidence’ to bring forth issues of maltreatment of women in these areas, while the Islamic apologists preferred to avoid addressing this uncontrollable menace in some parts of their belief system.

Only a few days ago the whistleblowing video was questioned yet again as a report published in a national daily claimed that the source who had laid claim to its authenticity backtracked and allegedly stated that the video was staged in an attempt to defame the Taliban at the behest of an Islamabad-based NGO.

Retrospectively, the immediate beneficiaries were the hardliner Taliban themselves, who could have used this video to instill fear amongst the growing liberal elite of Pakistan, giving them a warning for a possible Sharia compliant way of living based on the Taliban’s narrow interpretation of the religion.

A case against the women’s rights activists to have faked this video does not stand valid as they are well-respected leaders and their ethics cannot be distorted. Their only compulsion was to report this video and raise awareness about a genuine problem amongst rural women in Pakistan, caught on tape for the first time, which was brilliant use of mobile technology.

The culprit may be an evil triangle between an NGO, our propaganda machinery and a local intelligence agency, all desperately wanting to sway public opinion behind military action which they were already committed to initiate. It is relevant to point out that April 2009 also happened to be the start of the Pakistan Army’s Operation Rah-e-Rast in Swat.

The military may have leveraged the release of this video to create fear among people and make them wake up to the murdering revolutionaries who may have come knocking on the gates of Islamabad. The calculated timing of this media hype must have influenced the moderates on the edge the liberal elite was convinced anyway into demanding and accepting army action in Swat.

It is not the first time that carefully planted intelligence or false reports of an incident have been used to swing public perception. The Vietnam War, which resulted in more than two million deaths, was started using the ‘Gulf of Tonkin incident’ and it was revealed recently as to have been totally fabricated by US agencies.

More recently, the US stands guilty of having furnished fabricated pieces of nuclear documents from Niger to convince the American public and the world of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, resulting in more deaths than in Vietnam on a non-existent premise.

The whole thing smells bad.

We must separate the argument that the Taliban are carrying out such acts from the false imagery used to make a mockery of our judgment potential.

The perpetrators of this dangerous game must unequivocally be brought to justice.

Source : http://tribune.com.pk/story/7242/flogging-my-sentiments/