July 25, 2010

Mr. Obama! Think twice before handing over sack of dollars

By Ghulam Rehman

US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton in her recent visit to Pakistan assured an additional aid to support our government in different areas particularly in the energy, agriculture, trade, education and women’s empowerment sectors.

During her two-day visit, she met President Zardari, Prime Minister Gilani, Army Chief Gen. Kayani, federal ministers, representatives of civil society and media persons to convey the Obama administration’s message regarding peace and development in our terror-hit country.

The US Senate on September 24, 2009 had approved legislation, commonly known as the Kerry-Lugar Act, to triple non-military aid to Pakistan—about $1.5 billion a year for the next five years. This amount is now expected to be invested by the private sector development organizations especially NGOs to minimize chances of corruption—our trademark symbol in the world!

But there is no guarantee that the private sector would be able to achieve the given target of the American administrations. Every sector and organization is under the influence of the establishment and without it no-one can work in Pakistan. We’ve groups of swindlers who rule everywhere! They are interlinked in our country. That is why development is just a slogan here and thus majority of the population is poor and illiterate.

We're living in a very strange era of history! The powerful elite are abusing their power everywhere in a ruthless way without any shame and fear while the poor people are being terrorized. The media has become a battleground for different factions of the ruling class! After the media, secret agencies have taken control of different NGOs and even the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan—in such a way development of the social sector especially empowerment of women is just an American dream!

Our education system has given free space to criminals to use schools, colleges and even universities for their nefarious activities. The example of the Karakoram International University Gilgit is historic in nature (see The Terrorland blog archives), where the administration at the behest of a group of powerful journalists and secret agencies tried to kill my younger sister, Nasira Parveen. We've written to the president, prime minister, chief justice and army chief but there is no response so far. In such a situation, can the US government get its target of social development in Pakistan? It’s a question worth millions!

If the Obama administration wants to spend the American tax-payers' money unlike the former Bush administration—then there must be a direct monitoring system to watch every development project in Pakistan. This is the basic need no matter it is done through foreign officials, satellites or the Google earth! To educate and empower women, and bring an end to violence against the most depressed segment of our society, needs extra ordinary measures before handing over the sack of dollars to the government or NGOs in Pakistan. In this way, extremism and terrorism couldn’t be cashed ruthlessly at the American ATM!

3 comments:

  1. On The Terrorland site I found this quote: “The sickly sadistic ways of many men in our 'democratic' country are strange. It's a shock for those who read religious literature which favors women’s rights. The rights of women are guaranteed by Islam but in our society it is being violated, which is a matter of shame for our political and religious leaders. Why are women being disgraced in this Islamic society, especially those women who use their brain? Are we going back to the Middle Ages?!”

    I agree with you that it is a disgrace. People always SAY that the "rights of women are guaranteed by Islam" but I see no evidence of it. Besides, in a construction where men are totally empowered and allowed to do practically whatever they please, women will never have equal rights or even a proper place.

    Any funding from outside to a country risks being swallowed up by corrupt officials. I'd say 80% of help never reaches the actual needy ones, anywhere, in any country. In countries like Sudan it's probably 95% that never reaches the needy.

    Keeping people uneducated is a way of keeping control over them, of course, so any funds from outside for the education of the masses will obviously never be used to build schools, etc., but will end up in some government and private pockets.

    Melanie

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  2. Interesting article and some you make some very intense points. Evil is everywhere and knows no boundaries for race, ethnicity, or gender; it houses itself in every color and attacks every color using such things as cloaks of color to hide itself by blaming a specific color as members of another color place the blame. The simplest statement is a black person can murder just as much as a white one, etc.

    Note of critique: you are in a passive voice mode. Example, "the private sector would be able to achieve" is stronger as "the private sector can achieve." Passive voice is the hardest thing to kick and I've spotted it everywhere, even presidential speeches. The point is, however, journalists and presidents are supposed to speak in the active and NOT the passive voice. Time for change.

    I hope you don't mind my critique portion.

    I'm going to book mark your blog for future readings. Well presented and written overall and please keep presenting more entries.

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  3. Dear Melanie,

    Thanks for your comments on The Terrorland group blog. I respect you and your written words. I’m not a scholar of Islam—but I agree with your point that “keeping people uneducated is a way of keeping control over them”. Some of our leaders educate their daughters in western countries but they’re practically stopping the masses to do so even in our country—of course, they want to keep the masses under control. Thus the foreign aid is plundered every time.

    Thanks again and, please, do write in the future as well.


    Dear Katrina,

    It is really an honor for us to get your comments with a note of critique. You’ve mentioned it very clear that “evil is everywhere and knows no boundaries for race, ethnicity, or gender”. I think the evildoers should be stopped from spreading evils in the society. And this is the basic duty of the authorities of any nation state in this modern world. But unfortunately our government is turning into an evil-helper over the time. Look, we’ve sought help of it but it is silent for the last four months.

    Thanks a lot for your comment and guidelines. Hope we’ll get benefit of your wisdom in the future as well.

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