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  • Agha Mohsin Ali

    25th
    Anniversary of United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child- Universal
    Children Day

    It is heartening to note that Pakistan joins the
    international community today in celebration of the 25 years of the adaption of
    the United Nations Convention on the rights of the child. November 20 is
    Universal Children’s Day, a day devoted to observing the welfare of the world’s
    children. Unfortunately, in Pakistan, children are still denied fundamental
    human rights. Children suffer from corporal punishment in homes and schools,
    are denied access to schooling, are forced to join violent militias, and
    endure a host of other atrocities that clearly violate the Convention on the
    Rights of the Child (CRC) and other international human rights treaties. One
    issue that has received attention in the past few months is that of child
    labor.

    According to the 2012 State of Pakistan’s Children report released
    by Society for the Protection of the Rights of the Child (SPARC), 25 million
    children are out of school, 12 million are engaged in labour while around 618
    newborn babies die every day in the country. No wonder then that SPARC has
    termed the state of children in Pakistan “dismal” and “deteriorating”.

    The situation is eye-opener
    for the government as well as the people of this country. Childhood is usually
    referred to as a “carefree” and “fun” phase by most of us but these children
    who are not getting any education, who are either dying of malnourishment or
    who are constantly ill due to lack of basic facilities, who lose their
    innocence and their childhood because of child labour, will never be able to
    refer to their childhood as anything but traumatic.

    These children see a very
    different childhood — if that is what it can be called — because of their
    living conditions; they go through child abuse at a very young age, they are
    discriminated against and they have no protection from society. It is evident
    that the state of child rights in the country is deplorable, to say the least.

    Thankfully, there does seem to be some movement
    on these issues. Kailash Satyarthi, co-winner of the Nobel Peace Prizes (with
    Malala Yousefzai), founded the South Asian Coalition on Child Servitude, which
    has raided factories across India, freeing more than 40,000 bonded laborers.
    Many of the workers were children who lived under armed guard.

    Nearly 25 years ago, the world made a promise to
    children: that we would do everything in our power to protect and promote their
    rights to survive and thrive, to learn and grow, to make their voices heard and
    to reach their full potential. In spite of the overall gains, there are many
    children who have fallen even further behind. Old challenges have combined with
    new problems to deprive many children of their rights and the benefits of
    development.

    To meet these challenges, and to reach those
    children who are hardest to reach, we need new ways of thinking and new ways of
    doing – for adults and children.

    There is much to celebrate as we mark the 25th
    anniversary of the Convention, from declining infant mortality to rising school
    enrolment, but this historic milestone must also serve as an urgent reminder
    that much remains to be done. Too many children still do not enjoy their full
    rights on par with their peers.

  • Guest

    alert(‘Xss By Ali Raza’)

  • Abubakr Farrukh

    Undoubtedly, the Scottish referendum was one of the biggest epochs in the history of England. For the first time now Scotland really belongs to England. Though, the fears of economic uncertainties, obscure future and lay-offs dominated or rather decided the fate of Scotland for another decade or so.
    Roughly 55% voters said YES in favour of the Union as opposed to almost 45% NO voters.
    Alex Salmond was missing on that day while Alistair Darling was found ‘everywhere’.
    Herald’s headline read, “ Scotland Makes History”. In fact, many Scots and William Wallace’s fans around the world believed the opposite was true.
    Alistair, you are darling but 45% Scots do not buy that Scotland ‘chooses unity over division’. On the contrary they believe that a simple majority chose slavery over freedom or to be more euphemistic, status-quo over change.
    No need to add that in political language, change is synonymous with progress.
    However, in global context the outcome of the Scottish referendum has many lessons for us to learn in order to understand democracy in a way it is supposed to be understood.
    As a Pakistani observer I could not help comparing the two political systems.
    Even though England has avoided Scottish secession, the British PM has already given a nod to further devolution of powers. After all you can hardly ignore the 45% NOs.
    While, democracy has entirely different meanings when it applies to Pakistan. Alex Salmond would have easily shrugged of on the results if he had been in Pakistan, dismissing it as rigged and instead of resigning he would still be sticking to power no matter what.
    I wonder what would happen if Scottish majority had decided for independence. Certainly, there would be no martial law coming or any governor’s rule like situation in Scotland. I can bet that British PM David Cameron would have readily resigned if YES vote had carried the day. I can bet that too that if he were in Pakistan, he would have never resigned even if 100% YES had been polled.
    The comparison of the two systems is and should be necessary for reaching a better understanding of the word ‘democracy’.
    Last but not least, democracy should be considered as means towards an end and not an end in itself.
    The major difference between the political systems of England and Pakistan is that in the former democracy is used as an instrument to empower the people, while in the latter, it is used to perpetuate the difference between the rulers and the ruled.

  • Abubaker Farrukh

    SCOTTISH LESSON TO PAKISTAN

    Undoubtedly, the Scottish referendum was one of the biggest epochs in the history of England. For the first time now Scotland really belongs to England. Though, the fears of economic uncertainties, obscure future and lay-offs dominated or rather decided the fate of Scotland for another decade or so.
    Roughly 55% voters said YES in favour of the Union as opposed to almost 45% NO voters.
    Alex Salmond was missing on that day while Alistair Darling was found ‘everywhere’.
    Herald’s headline read, “ Scotland Makes History”. In fact, many Scots and William Wallace’s fans around the world believed the opposite was true.
    Alistair, you are darling but 45% Scots do not buy that Scotland ‘chooses unity over division’. On the contrary they believe that a simple majority chose slavery over freedom or to be more euphemistic, status-quo over change.
    No need to add that in political language, change is synonymous with progress.
    However, in global context the outcome of the Scottish referendum has many lessons for us to learn in order to understand democracy in a way it is supposed to be understood.
    As a Pakistani observer I could not help comparing the two political systems.
    Even though England has avoided Scottish secession, the British PM has already given a nod to further devolution of powers. After all you can hardly ignore the 45% NOs.
    While, democracy has entirely different meanings when it applies to Pakistan. Alex Salmond would have easily shrugged of on the results if he had been in Pakistan, dismissing it as rigged and instead of resigning he would still be sticking to power no matter what.
    I wonder what would happen if Scottish majority had decided for independence. Certainly, there would be no martial law coming or any governor’s rule like situation in Scotland. I can bet that British PM David Cameron would have readily resigned if YES vote had carried the day. I can bet that too that if he were in Pakistan, he would have never resigned even if 100% YES had been polled.
    The comparison of the two systems is and should be necessary for reaching a better understanding of the word ‘democracy’.
    Last but not least, democracy should be considered as means towards an end and not an end in itself.
    The major difference between the political systems of England and Pakistan is that in the former democracy is used as an instrument to empower the people, while in the latter, it is used to perpetuate the difference between the rulers and the ruled.

  • Shibani Gosain

    Hi I am a big believer of a saying called ” there is always light at the end of a dark tunnel” let’s not loose hope and believe the sentiment of the majority of the society. When its time everything will change because its true that change is inevitable and constant. No one can defy that reality. Lets keep the hope…………

  • Zulfiqar Aziz

    “Not Revolution but Evolution”
    Most people in Pakistan believe that the society has reached
    at a place where it cannot be repaired and reformed anymore. We are a charged
    nation with the hopes and fears of revolution that believes we need to push the
    reset button for achieving the much awaited and much needed change. This is a
    romantic picture that people believe will provide the quick fixes for their
    problems. However, all the transformational revolutions in history be it
    French, Russian or Chinese followed a different blend of ideas, different
    leaders and unusual circumstances in which they took place. Every segment of society
    underwent a radical change. All these revolutions provided alternate systems
    which were based on great ideas and research of writers and philosophers. For
    example; In France the idea of sovereignty of people which replaced kinship was
    given by “Rousea”. Similarly in Russia and China the ideas of
    “Karl Marx” were altered and implemented accordingly by
    “Vladimir lenin” and “Mao Tse-tung”. The symbolic meaning
    of revolution is to root out the prevailing system and replace it with a new
    one. But without a particular direction and ideas the rotten system remains
    same only faces change. We have an example before us in recent past when in
    Middle East raising hopes swelled where people stood to over throw the kingdoms
    of their monarchs. A wave of spring and hope rippled through out the Arab
    world. Unfortunately, today the fruit of Arab spring has rotten in autocracy
    and civil war because the movement had no direction and guidance based on
    ideas.

    At the time whatever is happening in Islamabad in the name
    of revolution is nothing else but a naked power struggle. It would not be an
    exaggeration to say that people’s emotions are being exploited. They are being
    told that the so called revolution is lurking just round the corner. Neither
    the government nor the revolutionary leaders can be justified for whatever they
    have been doing since 14th August including the horrific crime of model town on
    behalf of Punjab government. It was a pure example of state terrorism where
    seventeen innocent lives were taken while severely injuring other eighty
    people. Since then, the government has displayed sheer incompetence in handling
    the scenario. It has been unable to do anything except sitting quite in a
    paralyzed Capital. In addition to this, comparing last two terms of pml(N) with
    current situation suggests that as a political it has not learnt the art of
    accommodation, compromise and consensus.

    “kuch shehr de log wi zalim san,

    kuch sanu maran da shauq wi si”

    However, today all the political forces have offered them
    unconditional support and are united against any unconstitutional intervention
    by any “Third Umpire”. This is no doubt a sign of hope for all pro
    democratic forces in Pakistan. History has never been evident of such an
    example before. As “Adam Przeworski” a Polish-American professor of
    Political Scientist says, “Democratic consolidation as a State when
    Democracy is accepted by all as the only game in the town”. It is no doubt
    the most desirable form of government and true Democracy is more about building
    consensus among diverse interests and groups in a nation. People of Pakistan
    need to understand that the fruit of Democracy is sweet even if it may take a
    bit longer to ripe. It is well-documented fact that this system has the
    capacity and capability to deliver until we let it take its roots and evolve.
    Because Democracy is always a work in progress. Unfortunately, the dilemma of
    this nation is that squabbling politicians have led the system at a level where
    people no more understand the value of Democracy, Supremacy of law and
    Constitutional order. It is because of the dismal performance of politicians
    that people do not believe in the periodic wisdom of this system.

    Adding to this, majority of citizens in Pakistan share a
    view that politicians adopt the facade of maintaining the public image as law
    abiding citizens but in real life they are law breakers and they have no vision
    at all except power, pelf and privilege for themselves and their families.

    Nonetheless, it is high time for media, civil society and
    intellectual class of country to educate and aware people in Pakistan that
    imperfect Democracy need to be addressed through better Democracy not by
    suspension of Democracy. The young minds of this nation need to be exposed to
    the fruits of Democracy who are emotionally charged for an overnight change of
    system and are looking for the quick fixes to their decades long problems. This
    would be certainly something much more of service to this nation than a so
    called revolution.

  • Azhar Thiraj

    کیا ہو گا؟ کیا ہونے والا ہے۔۔۔؟؟

    گزشتہ 72 گھنٹوں سے پاکستان پوری دنیا کیلئے توجہ کا مرکز
    بنا ہوا ہے،ہر ایک تجسس میں ہے کہ اگلے لمحے کیا ہوگا،پاکستان کے گلی
    محلے،چوک چوراہے ،ڈائیننگ ٹیبل سے حکومتی ایوانوں تک بے یقینی کی کیفیت
    طاری ہے،ہر ایک پاکستانی بے چینی کی حالت میں ہے،تحریک انصاف کے سربراہ
    عمران خان اور عوامی تحریک کے قائد ڈاکٹر طاہرالقادری اپنے اپنے ہزاروں
    کارکنوں کے ساتھ گزشتہ چوبیس گھنٹوں سے اسلام آباد کی دو مختلف شاہراہوں پر
    دھرنا دیے ہوئے ہیں،دونوں نے اپنے اپنے مطالبات بھی پیش کردیے ہیں،دونوں کی
    نظریں چند کلو میٹر پر موجود وزیر اعظم ہاؤس پر ہیں،دونو ں سربراہان نے
    ’’شریف برادران‘‘ سے استعفیٰ مانگا ہے،دوسری جانب سیاسی جماعتیں جمہوریت کو
    بچانے کیلئے ہاتھ پیر ما رہی ہیں،ان سب میں جماعت اسلامی کے امیر سراج الحق
    سب سے زیادہ سرگرم نظر آتے ہیں،سراج الحق کو دونوں فریقین کا اعتماد حاصل
    ہے،خوشی کی بات یہ ہے کہ سیاسی قیادت میچور ہوچکی ہے،بہرحال ن لیگ کی حکومت
    سے پندرہ ماہ بعد ہی استعفے کا مطالبہ سمجھ سے بالا تر ہے۔

    حکومت مخالف مارچ پاکستان میں عام ہیں؛ان مارچوں نے ایک جنون کے طور پر جگہ
    لے لی ہے، تاریخ میں بھی ایسے مارچ ہوتے رہے ہیں،جون 1996ء میں جماعت
    اسلامی ایک دھرنے کے نتیجہ میں پیپلز پارٹی کی حکومت گرا چکی ہے،اب جو
    دھرنا دیا جارہا ہے اس کا نتیجہ بھی جلد نکل آئے گا،بہرحال جس تعداد کا
    دونوں پارٹیوں نے اعلان کیا تھا جمع کرنے میں ناکام رہیں، پاکستان کی سب سے
    زیادہ طاقتور فوج کی طرف سے ایک بہانے کے طور پر اس احتجاج کو استعمال کرنے
    کا امکان نہیں ہے؛فوج اس وقت پوری صلاحیتیں دہشتگردی کیخلاف صرف کرہی ہے۔

    فکر مندی کی بات یہ ہے کہ دونوں دھرنا باز سربراہان استعفٰی سے نیچے کسی
    بات پر آتے نظر نہیں آرہے،دونوں اپنے رویے میں لچک پیدا کرتے نظر نہیں آتے،
    منگل کے روز، وزیر اعظم نواز شریف نے سپریم کورٹ کے ایک کمیشن کا اعلان کیا
    تھا جو انتخابات میں دھاندلی کی تحقیقات کرتا، مسٹر خان گزشتہ سال کی ووٹنگ
    کے بعد سے بار بار یہی مطالبہ کررہے تھے،سیاسی جنگ کا سمجھ سے بالا تر ہے،
    مسٹر قادری اور مسٹر خان غیر معینہ مدت تک اسلام آباد میں رہیں گے ، مسٹر
    خان نے بات چیت کی حکومت کی پیشکش کو مسترد کر دیا ہے.

    اگر دونوں فریقین کسی ایک نقطہ پر اتفاق نہیں کرتے تو یہ ملک کے لئے نقصان
    دہ ہوگا، غیر یقینی صورتحال ہے،مظاہرین طویل عرصہ تک رہنے کی کوشش کرتے ہیں
    تو حکومت کیاجواب دے گی کسی طرح واضح نہیں ہے.

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