Case Study: Genocide in Bangladesh, 1971

Summary

The mass killings in Bangladesh (then East Pakistan) in 1971 vie with the annihilation of the Soviet POWs, the holocaust against the Jews, and the genocide in Rwanda as the most concentrated act of genocide in the twentieth century. In an attempt to crush forces seeking independence for East Pakistan, the West Pakistani military regime unleashed a systematic campaign of mass murder which aimed at killing millions of Bengalis, and likely succeeded in doing so.

The background

East and West Pakistan were forged in the cauldron of independence for the Indian sub-continent, ruled for two hundred years by the British. Despite the attempts of Mahatma Gandhi and others to prevent division along religious and ethnic lines, the departing British and various Indian politicians pressed for the creation of two states, one Hindu-dominated (India), the other Muslim-dominated (Pakistan). The partition of India in 1947 was one of the great tragedies of the century. Hundreds of thousands of people were killed in sectarian violence and military clashes, as Hindus fled to India and Muslims to Pakistan — though large minorities remained in each country.

The arrangement proved highly unstable, leading to three major wars between India and Pakistan, and very nearly a fourth fullscale conflict in 1998-99. (Kashmir, divided by a ceasefire line after the first war in 1947, became one of the world’s most intractable trouble-spots.) Not the least of the difficulties was the fact that the new state of Pakistan consisted of two “wings,” divided by hundreds of miles of Indian territory and a gulf of ethnic identification. Over the decades, particularly after Pakistani democracy was stifled by a military dictatorship (1958), the relationship between East and West became progressively more corrupt and neo-colonial in character, and opposition to West Pakistani domination grew among the Bengali population.

Sheikh Mujibur Rahman
Sheikh Mujibur RahmanCatastrophic floods struck Bangladesh in August 1970, and the regime was widely seen as having botched (or ignored) its relief duties. The disaster gave further impetus to the Awami League, led by Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. The League demanded regional autonomy for East Pakistan, and an end to military rule. In national elections held in December, the League won an overwhelming victory across Bengali territory.

On February 22, 1971 the generals in West Pakistan took a decision to crush the Awami League and its supporters. It was recognized from the first that a campaign of genocide would be necessary to eradicate the threat: “Kill three million of them,” said President Yahya Khan at the February conference, “and the rest will eat out of our hands.” (Robert Payne, Massacre [1972], p. 50.) On March 25 the genocide was launched. The university in Dacca was attacked and students exterminated in their hundreds. Death squads roamed the streets of Dacca, killing some 7,000 people in a single night. It was only the beginning. “Within a week, half the population of Dacca had fled, and at least 30,000 people had been killed. Chittagong, too, had lost half its population. All over East Pakistan people were taking flight, and it was estimated that in April some thirty million people [!] were wandering helplessly across East Pakistan to escape the grasp of the military.” (Payne, Massacre, p. 48.) Ten million refugees fled to India, overwhelming that country’s resources and spurring the eventual Indian military intervention. (The population of Bangladesh/East Pakistan at the outbreak of the genocide was about 75 million.)

On April 10, the surviving leadership of the Awami League declared Bangladesh independent. The Mukhta Bahini (liberation forces) were mobilized to confront the West Pakistani army. They did so with increasing skill and effectiveness, utilizing their knowledge of the terrain and ability to blend with the civilian population in classic guerrilla fashion. By the end of the war, the tide had turned, and vast areas of Bangladesh had been liberated by the popular resistance.

The gendercide against Bengali men

The war against the Bengali population proceeded in classic gendercidal fashion. According to Anthony Mascarenhas, “There is no doubt whatsoever about the targets of the genocide”:

They were: (1) The Bengali militarymen of the East Bengal Regiment, the East Pakistan Rifles, police and para-military Ansars and Mujahids. (2) The Hindus — “We are only killing the men; the women and children go free. We are soldiers not cowards to kill them …” I was to hear in Comilla [site of a major military base] [Comments R.J. Rummel: “One would think that murdering an unarmed man was a heroic act” (Death By Government, p. 323)] (3) The Awami Leaguers — all office bearers and volunteers down to the lowest link in the chain of command. (4) The students — college and university boys and some of the more militant girls. (5) Bengali intellectuals such as professors and teachers whenever damned by the army as “militant.” (Anthony Mascarenhas, The Rape of Bangla Desh [Delhi: Vikas Publications, 1972(?)], pp. 116-17.)

Mascarenhas’s summary makes clear the linkages between gender and social class (the “intellectuals,” “professors,” “teachers,” “office bearers,” and — obviously — “militarymen” can all be expected to be overwhelmingly if not exclusively male, although in many cases their families died or fell victim to other atrocities alongside them). In this respect, the Bangladesh events can be classed as a combined gendercide and elitocide, with both strategies overwhelmingly targeting males for the most annihilatory excesses.

Bengali man and boys massacred
by the West Pakistani regime.

Bengali man and boys massacred by the West Pakistani regime. Younger men and adolescent boys, of whatever social class, were equally targets. According to Rounaq Jahan, “All through the liberation war, able-bodied young men were suspected of being actual or potential freedom fighters. Thousands were arrested, tortured, and killed. Eventually cities and towns became bereft of young males who either took refuge in India or joined the liberation war.” Especially “during the first phase” of the genocide, he writes, “young able-bodied males were the victims of indiscriminate killings.” (“Genocide in Bangladesh,” in Totten et al., Century of Genocide, p. 298.) R.J. Rummel likewise writes that “the Pakistan army [sought] out those especially likely to join the resistance — young boys. Sweeps were conducted of young men who were never seen again. Bodies of youths would be found in fields, floating down rivers, or near army camps. As can be imagined, this terrorized all young men and their families within reach of the army. Most between the ages of fifteen and twenty-five began to flee from one village to another and toward India. Many of those reluctant to leave their homes were forced to flee by mothers and sisters concerned for their safety.” (Death By Government, p. 329.) Rummel describes (p. 323) a chilling gendercidal ritual, reminiscent of Nazi procedure towards Jewish males: “In what became province-wide acts of genocide, Hindus were sought out and killed on the spot. As a matter of course, soldiers would check males for the obligated circumcision among Moslems. If circumcised, they might live; if not, sure death.”

Robert Payne describes scenes of systematic mass slaughter around Dacca that, while not explicitly “gendered” in his account, bear every hallmark of classic gender-selective roundups and gendercidal slaughters of non-combatant men:

Bengali intellectuals murdered and dumped at dockside in Dacca.In the dead region surrounding Dacca, the military authorities conducted experiments in mass extermination in places unlikely to be seen by journalists. At Hariharpara, a once thriving village on the banks of the Buriganga River near Dacca, they found the three elements necessary for killing people in large numbers: a prison in which to hold the victims, a place for executing the prisoners, and a method for disposing of the bodies. The prison was a large riverside warehouse, or godown, belonging to the Pakistan National Oil Company, the place of execution was the river edge, or the shallows near the shore, and the bodies were disposed of by the simple means of permitting them to float downstream. The killing took place night after night. Usually the prisoners were roped together and made to wade out into the river. They were in batches of six or eight, and in the light of a powerful electric arc lamp, they were easy targets, black against the silvery water. The executioners stood on the pier, shooting down at the compact bunches of prisoners wading in the water. There were screams in the hot night air, and then silence. The prisoners fell on their sides and their bodies lapped against the shore. Then a new bunch of prisoners was brought out, and the process was repeated. In the morning the village boatmen hauled the bodies into midstream and the ropes binding the bodies were cut so that each body drifted separately downstream. (Payne, Massacre [Macmillan, 1973], p. 55.)

Strikingly similar and equally hellish scenes are described in the case-studies of genocide in Armenia and the Nanjing Massacre of 1937.

Atrocities against Bengali women

As was also the case in Armenia and Nanjing, Bengali women were targeted for gender-selective atrocities and abuses, notably gang sexual assault and rape/murder, from the earliest days of the Pakistani genocide. Indeed, despite (and in part because of) the overwhelming targeting of males for mass murder, it is for the systematic brutalization of women that the “Rape of Bangladesh” is best known to western observers.

In her ground-breaking book, Against Our Will: Men, Women and Rape, Susan Brownmiller likened the 1971 events in Bangladesh to the Japanese rapes in Nanjing and German rapes in Russia during World War II. “… 200,000, 300,000 or possibly 400,000 women (three sets of statistics have been variously quoted) were raped. Eighty percent of the raped women were Moslems, reflecting the population of Bangladesh, but Hindu and Christian women were not exempt. … Hit-and-run rape of large numbers of Bengali women was brutally simple in terms of logistics as the Pakistani regulars swept through and occupied the tiny, populous land …” (p. 81).

Typical was the description offered by reporter Aubrey Menen of one such assault, which targeted a recently-married woman:

Two [Pakistani soldiers] went into the room that had been built for the bridal couple. The others stayed behind with the family, one of them covering them with his gun. They heard a barked order, and the bridegroom’s voice protesting. Then there was silence until the bride screamed. Then there was silence again, except for some muffled cries that soon subsided. In a few minutes one of the soldiers came out, his uniform in disarray. He grinned to his companions. Another soldier took his place in the extra room. And so on, until all the six had raped the belle of the village. Then all six left, hurriedly. The father found his daughter lying on the string cot unconscious and bleeding. Her husband was crouched on the floor, kneeling over his vomit. (Quoted in Brownmiller, Against Our Will, p. 82.)

“Rape in Bangladesh had hardly been restricted to beauty,” Brownmiller writes. “Girls of eight and grandmothers of seventy-five had been sexually assaulted … Pakistani soldiers had not only violated Bengali women on the spot; they abducted tens of hundreds and held them by force in their military barracks for nightly use.” Some women may have been raped as many as eighty times in a night (Brownmiller, p. 83). How many died from this atrocious treatment, and how many more women were murdered as part of the generalized campaign of destruction and slaughter, can only be guessed at (see below).

Despite government efforts at amelioration, the torment and persecution of the survivors continued long after Bangladesh had won its independence:

Rape, abduction and forcible prostitution during the nine-month war proved to be only the first round of humiliation for the Bengali women. Prime Minister Mujibur Rahman’s declaration that victims of rape were national heroines was the opening shot of an ill-starred campaign to reintegrate them into society — by smoothing the way for a return to their husbands or by finding bridegrooms for the unmarried [or widowed] ones from among his Mukti Bahini freedom fighters. Imaginative in concept for a country in which female chastity and purdah isolation are cardinal principles, the “marry them off” campaign never got off the ground. Few prospective bridegrooms stepped forward, and those who did made it plain that they expected the government, as father figure, to present them with handsome dowries. (Brownmiller, Against Our Will, p. 84.)

How many died?

The number of dead in Bangladesh in 1971 was almost certainly well into seven figures. It was one of the worst genocides of the World War II era, outstripping Rwanda (800,000 killed) and probably surpassing even Indonesia (1 million to 1.5 million killed in 1965-66). As R.J. Rummel writes,

The human death toll over only 267 days was incredible. Just to give for five out of the eighteen districts some incomplete statistics published in Bangladesh newspapers or by an Inquiry Committee, the Pakistani army killed 100,000 Bengalis in Dacca, 150,000 in Khulna, 75,000 in Jessore, 95,000 in Comilla, and 100,000 in Chittagong. For eighteen districts the total is 1,247,000 killed. This was an incomplete toll, and to this day no one really knows the final toll. Some estimates of the democide [Rummel’s “death by government”] are much lower — one is of 300,000 dead — but most range from 1 million to 3 million. … The Pakistani army and allied paramilitary groups killed about one out of every sixty-one people in Pakistan overall; one out of every twenty-five Bengalis, Hindus, and others in East Pakistan. If the rate of killing for all of Pakistan is annualized over the years the Yahya martial law regime was in power (March 1969 to December 1971), then this one regime was more lethal than that of the Soviet Union, China under the communists, or Japan under the military (even through World War II). (Rummel, Death By Government, p. 331.)

The proportion of men versus women murdered is impossible to ascertain, but a speculation might be attempted. If we take the highest estimates for both women raped and Bengalis killed (400,000 and 3 million, respectively); if we accept that half as many women were killed as were raped; and if we double that number for murdered children of both sexes (total: 600,000), we are still left with a death-toll that is 80 percent adult male (2.4 million out of 3 million). Any such disproportion, which is almost certainly on the low side, would qualify Bangladesh as one of the worst gendercides against men in the last half-millennium.

Who was responsible?

“For month after month in all the regions of East Pakistan the massacres went on,” writes Robert Payne. “They were not the small casual killings of young officers who wanted to demonstrate their efficiency, but organized massacres conducted by sophisticated staff officers, who knew exactly what they were doing. Muslim soldiers, sent out to kill Muslim peasants, went about their work mechanically and efficiently, until killing defenseless people became a habit like smoking cigarettes or drinking wine. … Not since Hitler invaded Russia had there been so vast a massacre.” (Payne, Massacre, p. 29.)

There is no doubt that the mass killing in Bangladesh was among the most carefully and centrally planned of modern genocides. A cabal of five Pakistani generals orchestrated the events: President Yahya Khan, General Tikka Khan, chief of staff General Pirzada, security chief General Umar Khan, and intelligence chief General Akbar Khan. The U.S. government, long supportive of military rule in Pakistan, supplied some \\$3.8 million in military equipment to the dictatorship after the onset of the genocide, “and after a government spokesman told Congress that all shipments to Yahya Khan’s regime had ceased.” (Payne, Massacre, p. 102.)

The genocide and gendercidal atrocities were also perpetrated by lower-ranking officers and ordinary soldiers. These “willing executioners” were fuelled by an abiding anti-Bengali racism, especially against the Hindu minority. “Bengalis were often compared with monkeys and chickens. Said Pakistan General Niazi, ‘It was a low lying land of low lying people.’ The Hindus among the Bengalis were as Jews to the Nazis: scum and vermin that [should] best be exterminated. As to the Moslem Bengalis, they were to live only on the sufferance of the soldiers: any infraction, any suspicion cast on them, any need for reprisal, could mean their death. And the soldiers were free to kill at will. The journalist Dan Coggin quoted one Punjabi captain as telling him, ‘We can kill anyone for anything. We are accountable to no one.’ This is the arrogance of Power.” (Rummel, Death By Government, p. 335.)

The aftermath

Flag of independent Bangladesh, introduced 1972.On December 3, India under Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, seeking to return the millions of Bengali refugees and seize an opportunity to weaken its perennial military rival, finally launched a fullscale intervention to crush West Pakistani forces and secure Bangladeshi independence. The Pakistani army, demoralized by long months of guerrilla warfare, quickly collapsed. On December 16, after a final genocidal outburst, the Pakistani regime agreed to an unconditional surrender. Awami leader Sheikh Mujib was released from detention and returned to a hero’s welcome in Dacca on January 10, 1972, establishing Bangladesh’s first independent parliament.

In a brutal bloodletting following the expulsion of the Pakistani army, perhaps 150,000 people were murdered by the vengeful victors. (Rummel, Death By Government, p. 334.) The trend is far too common in such post-genocidal circumstances (see the case-studies of Rwanda, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo, and the Soviet POWs). Such largescale reprisal killings also tend to have a gendercidal character, which may have been the case in Bangladesh: Jahan writes that during the reprisal stage, “another group of Bengali men in the rural areas — those who were coerced or bribed to collaborate with the Pakistanis — fell victims to the attacks of Bengali freedom fighters.” (“Genocide in Bangladesh,” p. 298; emphasis added.)

None of the generals involved in the genocide has ever been brought to trial, and all remain at large in Pakistan and other countries. Several movements have arisen to try to bring them before an international tribunal (see Bangladesh links for further information).

Political and military upheaval did not end with Bangladeshi independence. Rummel notes that “the massive bloodletting by all parties in Bangladesh affected its politics for the following decades. The country has experienced military coup after military coup, some of them bloody.” (Death By Government, p. 334.)

Pakistan today is What 1960s and 1970s made it. IT WAS designed to be a DEFAULTER country.

WHY PAKISTAN has NO ELECTRICITY and MAY NEVER EVER HAVE ? Wahhabi only wants us to live like SAUDIA’s FREELOADER society.
Pakistan today is What 1960s and 1970s made it. IT WAS NEVER designed to be a DEFAULTER country. Living on ONE aid PACKAGE to another = since Ayub Khan and his PROMOTED General Yahya and Minister Bhutto and then Army comes again WITHIN 6 years in SHAPE of FRAUD Zia ul Haq. He sold us Pakistanis to SAUDIA and WAHHABIS oil defaulter living and CHRUSHING young and new IDEAS and FRAUD votes and gave us NAWAZ brothers as his sons !  Then 1990s destroyed by these TWO DEFAULTER QABZA GROUP NAWAZ and BHUTTOS. Then came MUSHARAAF and Pakistan’s RAILWAY was defrauded, LOOTED and DEFAULTED. Love your Zamindar. If you are HONEST get out of Zamindar’s Loot Country WANTING to LOOT any ELECTRICITY by conda and bill fraud from Nawaz to any “industrialist” !

US takes no stand as women barred from Iran Presidency Candidate

US takes no stand as women barred from Iran vote

WASHINGTON: The United States on Friday steered clear of taking a tough stand on reports that Iran’s electoral watchdog appears to have barred women from running in the June 14 presidential elections. Hardline cleric Ayatollah Mohammad Yazd, a top member of the Guardians Council which is vetting candidates, seemed to have dashed the hopes of some 30 women hopefuls saying “the law prohibits women from being president.” Since the 1979 Islamic revolution, women have not been allowed to run for the presidency in Iran although they can stand in parliamentary elections. “We want this to be free and fair. There’s a lot of ways to, of course, define that,” State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said. She insisted however “more specifically in terms of how candidates are selected, we don’t weigh in on specific candidates… as the government of Iran is picking them.” “Of course, broadly speaking, we do want women to participate in elections around the world and, you know, rise up in elected office.” Earlier this week US Under Secretary of State Wendy Sherman slammed a campaign of “unrelenting repression” ahead of the presidential elections. She told US lawmakers however that the United States was doing what it can “to encourage voices in Iran to press for the kind of freedom and fair election that Iranian people deserve.” afp

Afghan lawmakers block legislation protecting women’s rights

Conservative Afghan lawmakers block legislation protecting women’s rights

By Associated Press, Published: May 18

KABUL, Afghanistan — Conservative religious lawmakers in Afghanistan blocked legislation on Saturday aimed at strengthening provisions for women’s freedoms, arguing that parts of it violate Islamic principles and encourage disobedience.

The fierce opposition highlights how tenuous women’s rights remain a dozen years after the ouster of the hard-line Taliban regime, whose strict interpretation of Islam once kept Afghan women virtual prisoners in their homes.

Khalil Ahmad Shaheedzada, a conservative lawmaker for Herat province, said the legislation was withdrawn shortly after being introduced in parliament because of an uproar by religious parties who said parts of the law are un-Islamic.

“Whatever is against Islamic law, we don’t even need to speak about it,” Shaheedzada said.

The Law on Elimination of Violence Against Women has been in effect since 2009, but only by presidential decree. It is being brought before parliament now because lawmaker Fawzia Kofi, a women’s rights activist, wants to cement it with a parliamentary vote to prevent its potential reversal by any future president who might be tempted to repeal it to satisfy hard-line religious parties.

The law criminalizes, among other things, child marriage and forced marriage, and bans “baad,” the traditional practice of exchanging girls and women to settle disputes. It makes domestic violence a crime punishable by up to three years in prison and specifies that rape victims should not face criminal charges for fornication or adultery.

Kofi, who plans to run for president in next year’s elections, said she was disappointed because among those who oppose upgrading the law from presidential decree to legislation passed by parliament are women.

Afghanistan’s parliament has more than 60 female lawmakers, mostly due to constitutional provisions reserving certain seats for women.

There has been spotty enforcement of the law as it stands. A United Nations analysis in late 2011 found only a small percentage of reported crimes against women were pursued by the Afghan government. Between March 2010 and March 2011 — the first full Afghan year the decree was in effect — prosecutors filed criminal charges in only 155 cases, or 7 percent of the total number of crimes reported.

The child marriage ban and the idea of protecting female rape victims from prosecution were particularly heated subjects in Saturday’s parliamentary debate, said Nasirullah Sadiqizada Neli, a conservative lawmaker from Daykundi province.

Neli suggested that removing the custom — common in Afghanistan — of prosecuting raped women for adultery would lead to social chaos, with women freely engaging in extramarital sex safe in the knowledge they could claim rape if caught.

Another lawmaker, Mandavi Abdul Rahmani of Barlkh province, also opposed the law’s rape provision.

“Adultery itself is a crime in Islam, whether it is by force or not,” Rahmani said.

He said the Quran also makes clear that a husband has a right to beat a disobedient wife as a last resort, as long as she is not permanently harmed. “But in this law,” he said, “It says if a man beats his wife at all, he should be jailed for three months to three years.”

Lawmaker Shaheedzada also claimed that the law might encourage disobedience among girls and women, saying it reflected Western values not applicable in Afghanistan.

“Even now in Afghanistan, women are running from their husbands. Girls are running from home,” Shaheedzada said. “Such laws give them these ideas.”

More freedoms for women are one of the most visible — and symbolic — changes in Afghanistan since the 2001 U.S.-led campaign that toppled the Taliban regime. While in power, the Taliban imposed a strict interpretation of Islam that put severe curbs on the freedom of women.

For five years, the regime banned women from working and going to school, or even leaving home without a male relative. In public, all women were forced wear a head-to-toe burqa, which covers even the face with a mesh panel. Violators were publicly flogged or executed.

Since the U.S.-led invasion in 2001, women’s freedoms have improved vastly, but Afghanistan remains a deeply conservative culture, especially in rural areas.

Saturday’s failure of the legislation in parliament reflected the power of religious parties but changed little on the ground, since the decree is still the law of the land, however loosely enforced. Kofi said the parliament decided to send the legislation to committee, and it could come to a vote again later this year.

“We will work on this law,” she said. “We will bring it back.”

Some activists, however, worry about potential changes to the law. Bringing the legislation before parliament also opened it up to being amended, leaving the possibility that conservatives will seek to weaken it by stripping out provisions they dislike — or even vote to repeal it.

“There’s a real risk this has opened a Pandora’s box, that this may have galvanized opposition to this decree by people who in principle oppose greater rights for women,” said Heather Barr, a researcher for Human Rights Watch.

That’s true for lawmaker Rahmani, who said President Hamid Karzai should never have issued the decree and wants it changed, if not repealed.

“We cannot have an Islamic country with basically Western laws,” he said.

___

Associated Press writer Rahim Faiez contributed in Kabul.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

PTI will find it hard to turn its pro-people election manifesto into a reality – Dawn

“The PTI would find Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s existing income insufficient to finance an investment intensive programme promised under its election manifesto.”

PESHAWAR, May 19: The upcoming Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf led provincial government will find it hard to turn its pro-people election manifesto into a reality without growing Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s income considerably, according to official sources.

http://dawn.com/2013/05/20/ptis-pro-poor-agenda-too-big-to-implement/

“The PTI would find Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s existing income insufficient to finance an investment intensive programme promised under its election manifesto,” said an important functionary.

Some of the senior government functionaries, in their background interviews to Dawn, said that Khyber Pakhtunkhwa was balancing its annual budget with quite a difficulty, hardly meeting its most important expenditure requirements.

“This programme (PTI’s agenda) would be difficult to implement without improving the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s income levels,” said an official.

The party has promised to create a bottom-up governance system establishing village level councils, focusing on the community.

“Each village will be governed by an empowered village council,” contains its manifesto, adding “a village will have sufficient money as a ‘right’ to maintain services and perform functions that will become its responsibility under village councils.”

The party has promised to empower village councils and provide them access to development funds for investment and infrastructure.

According to official sources, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa will need to make significant changes in its local government law which took effect on January 1 this year after the last provincial government repealed the Local Government Ordinance 2001.

“The PTI is talking about things that would require a bigger government, requiring substantial investment to implement its plans,” said a finance manager.

Its plan envisages rural industrialisation by developing cottage industry and micro enterprises and promotion of small and medium enterprises through ‘finance support systems, technology and market linkages.’ In an effort to encourage and provide incentives for fulfilling people’s housing needs, the party has promised to give innovative financing measures to facilitate the deserving. Similarly, it plans to establish ‘Jawan Markaz’ (youth centres) in all districts and tehsils to facilitate youths in addition to significantly increasing scholarships and free loans for deserving students. In fulfillment of an identical promise, the party will set up ‘Insafgah’ (one step women centres)  at the union council level to provide medical, legal, economic direction, references, and aid to women. Besides, self-employed women have been promised training programmes, subsidies, and monetary incentives to increase opportunities.

It has also promised to modernise the trucking industry and introduce ‘mass transport systems’ in all major cities.

“All this sounds great, but it would be difficult to achieve without money,” said a development planner.

The insufficient money has been an issue that none of the successive Khyber Pakhtunkhwa governments found it easy to overcome, managing funds with a higher degree of difficulty.

The last provincial government had anticipated to raise a total of Rs303 billion revenue receipts during the outgoing financial year. Of this amount, over Rs191 billion would serve the province’s current revenue expenditure requirements, including a total expenditure of Rs115.4 billion on salaries of the government employees, and Rs31.5 billion on the government’s necessary operations, repair and maintenance works.

However, the next government could work around to gradually implement its manifesto by making use of the funds available for development activities.

The province, said an official, had already committed itself for at least next three years as its ongoing development schemes would take, on average, three years to complete, requiring an investment of over Rs300 billion.

“They (PTI leaders) are talking about improving social services at the village level which means more nurses, more doctors, more health equipment, and more teachers across the province,” said a planner.

The PTI’s manifesto promises to extend primary health care to the poor, revitalise all basic health units with doctors, staff and medicines. Similarly, it promises to make rural health centres to be the fulcrum of the primary health care delivery, improving mother and child health care and modernising all district and tehsil headquarters hospitals.

Apart from creating jobs in healthcare it promises to ‘dramatically increase the number of nurses, lady health visitors, paramedics, doctors with special focus on dentists and eye doctors.

The PTI has promised to ensure availability of clean drinking water and sanitation facilities across rural and urban areas.

Similarly, in the education sector, the party has promised to increase a fivefold greater investment in five years, underlying one education system across the area under its rule.

Promising a decentralised service delivery system at the district level, the party has committed to empower community to help manage schools, introduce a need-based voucher system to fund students to go to private schools to fill gaps where government schools are not enough with focus on girls education (double number of girls high schools in five years).

As per its election promise, the party would go for holding local body elections in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa within 100 days after coming into power.

“This means a lot of work to do in the months to come, overhauling the existing local government law to make it in accordance with the new government’s manifesto and organising the government administrative structures at the grassroots level that had recently been wounded up by the last provincial government,” said an official.

MQM and ALTAF HUSSAIN – Media Reports

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-22559282 Report says ::
“…Since the mid-1980s, the MQM has won every poll it has contested in Karachi and it did so again in last Saturday’s general election.But this time, it is facing strong and widespread allegations of rigging and electoral fraud.Half a dozen smaller parties, led by former international cricketer Imran Khan’s Movement for Justice Party (PTI), have been holding rallies and sit-ins to demand a re-run in Karachi.On Sunday, addressing party workers from London, Mr Hussain responded to the allegations by appearing to threaten protesters with violence, and suggesting that if his party’s mandate was tampered with, Karachi would have no choice but to separate from Pakistan…”
“…The BBC’s Shahzeb Jillani in Karachi says that Mr Hussain effectively controls the city of 18 million people from his MQM headquarters in north London…”

MQM’s own website on 20 May 2013 says = “…Altaf Hussain believes history has proved the two-nation theory wrong. He contended that: The idea of Pakistan was dead at its inception, when the majority of Muslims chose to stay back after partition, a truism reiterated in the creation of Bangladesh in 1971…”
http://www.altafhussain.org/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Altaf_Hussain
Altaf Hussain believes history has proved the two-nation theory wrong.[15] He contended that:

The idea of Pakistan was dead at its inception, when the majority of Muslims chose to stay back after partition, a truism reiterated in the creation of Bangladesh in 1971

Altaf Hussain and his party, MQM, follow the philosophy of Realism and Practicalism.
“…

Hussain has stated on numerous occasions that the

division of the subcontinent was the biggest blunder in the history of mankind and Nehru and Abdul Kalam Azad are responsible for it because they rejected that Grouping Formula and greater autonomy for muslim majority Province Of India. If they accepted it then Jinnah never have demanded a separate Pakistan and Jinnah was ready for co-exist within India

He believes that the partition divided the Muslims of the subcontinent and made them weaker as a result…”

>>>>Running Pakistan’s biggest city – from London<<<< BBC REPORT of  16 May 2007 !!! Still true in 2013.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/6658231.stm
“…The “International Secretariat” of the Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM) is based in the suburb of Edgware, and from the first floor of a grey tower block their leader, Altaf Hussain, addresses huge audiences in the southern port city.

Opposition parties say that much of the violence was orchestrated by the MQM’s leadership in London. They allege that the party called its supporters out onto the streets to defend President Musharraf’s decision to suspend the country’s Chief Justice, Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry.

The MQM – which is allied to President Musharraf’s supporters in the Pakistani parliament – is alleged to have mobilised a large body of supporters to prevent the chief justice from leaving the airport when he visited Karachi on Saturday….”

More on Wiki
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Altaf_Hussain

Maulana Azad and Partition

Maulana Abdul Kalam Azad: A single man

“These two countries [India and Pakistan] will now focus on the military and society will not develop,” predicted Maulana Abdul Kalam Azad in a well-known speech in Delhi.

The man who uttered these words was as free as his name suggests. An opponent of the partition of united India, people living on either side of the Indo-Pak border both adore him and criticise his views. Not only did he criticise partition, he went on to condemn all those who played a role in the historic events of August 1947.

He questioned whether Jinnah could actually be a Muslim leader, citing his westernised lifestyle. He ridiculed Gandhi’s ideals of non-violence. He opposed Nehru’s biased attitude towards Indian Muslims and denounced his relationship with Lady Mountbatten. Above all, he heaped criticism on Vallabhai Patel, whom he considered the prime architect of Partition.

Watching the play “Maulana Azad” in Delhi last month not only introduced me to Maulana Abdul Kalam Azad’s philosophy, but also gave me the opportunity to understand his vision. Written and directed by M Sayeed Alam, “Maulana Azad” was a solo performance by renowned Indian actor Tom Alter, who is known to audiences as the green-eyed gora who speaks impeccable Urdu and plays most of the ‘foreigner’ roles in Indian TV dramas.  “Maulana Azad” is a two-and-a-half hour long monologue and Alter carries its stupendous weight effortlessly. Making excellent use of props and displaying superb tonality, Alter animates the history of the subcontinent brilliantly, leaving the audience spellbound.

Throughout the play, Maulana Azad dictates notes to his friend and secretary, Humayun Kabir. The book that is being drafted is Azad’s autobiography, India Wins Freedom. The agreement between Humayun and Azad binds Azad to speak only in Urdu. This makes the play a treat to the ears: the audience gets to hear impeccable Urdu sprinkled with strains of Arabic and Persian. When Azad drifts away from political discussion to an entire gamut of non-political affairs ranging from white jasmine tea to his love for his wife, from music to the holy city of Mecca, and from cigarettes to the jailer Cheeta Khan, the play becomes doubly amusing.

Presenting a balanced version of history, the script allows the audience to glimpse a clear picture of Azad’s multi-dimensional personality, including his sense of humour, the poet within, his ego and his uniquely balanced commentary on the political events and personalities of his times. The audience is also introduced to various political dilemmas the leaders of those times had to face.

During the play, Azad criticises Jinnah for using religion for political ends, but this is balanced by his mentioning that Jinnah was left with no other choice but to do so – and that it was actually the top tier of Congress that transformed Jinnah, a champion of Hindu-Muslim unity, into Quaid-e-Azam, a leader who considers nothing but partition to be the solution for the Muslims of India. Azad also confesses to having made the biggest mistake in his life by choosing Nehru as his successor as the President of Congress. But then he quickly adds that Nehru would also agree with that statement. He appreciates Gandhi for being principled but expresses his extreme disappointment on his stance on partition and how the Vallabhai Patel-Jawaharlal Nehru-Lord Mountbatten trio influenced his political decision-making.

His basic argument against partition is that it would be a major loss to Muslims on both sides. On the Indian side, Muslims would lose their majority and on Pakistan’s side, the Muslim population would not be able to compete with India nor would it be able to solve the issues of Indian Muslims. He believed that partition would give birth to two states that would always be in confrontation with each other.

The real Maulana Azad’s views earned him a contentious status in both India and Pakistan. Many Pakistanis consider his ideas of secularism and nationalism to be against Islam. In India, he is also criticised by many for not doing enough to prevent partition. But after watching Alter’s captivating performance on stage, you don’t really care about how politically incorrect or offensive Maulana Azad must have been at his time. You just wish you could’ve met him, even just once.

Published in The Express Tribune, Sunday Magazine, February 20th, 2011.

Salaries of Rich Professions in Australia

Road to riches paved with good incisions

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Source: Australian Taxation Office, 2010-11.

How many surgeons does it take to earn a billion dollars? Surprisingly few, according to the latest tax figures. They reveal that just 3115 surgeons raked in taxable income of nearly $1.1 billion between them in 2010-11.

It would take four times as many train drivers, six times as many nurses and nine times as many hairdressers to earn that much.

That billion-dollar income pool was more than enough to make surgery Australia’s highest-paid occupation.

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The average taxable income for surgeons was $350,383, up a handy $17,589 on the previous year. Anaesthetists were second on the top-earners list but they had to settle for almost $50,000 a year less than their colleagues holding the knife.

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The tax data suggests that studying medicine still pays in Australia – specialist doctors (and dentists) accounted for six of the 10 best-paid occupations in 2010-11. Financial dealers, chief executives, managing directors, judges and mining engineers were also on the list.

The combined taxable incomes of Australia’s chief executives and managing directors jumped $2.5 billion to just under $20 billion in 2010-11, more than any other specific occupation identified by the Tax Office.

About 120,000 taxpayers call themselves chief executives and managing directors and because many of them run relatively small firms, their average taxable income was only $164,931 – a fraction of what the big banks and mining companies pay their chiefs. Another 172,000 people who identified themselves as “general managers” netted $18.4 billion between them.

Apprentices dominated the list of Australia’s lowest paid occupations with horticulture trainees last on the list with an average taxable income of $32,216. Apprentice tilers and textile workers were second and third from the bottom. Bar attendants and baristas might be popular with drinkers and coffee lovers but they had the 15th lowest taxable income ($37,928). That was less than hairdressers ($38,363), laundry workers ($39,185), service station attendants ($40,755) and waiters ($41,073).

The Tax Office identifies the total tax paid, and average taxable incomes, for about 450 separate occupations. The calculation of average taxable incomes includes full-time and part-time workers so they tend to be lower than measures of average full-time income.

Australia’s 12.6 million individual taxpayers declared income of $662 billion in 2010-11 and paid $133.1 billion in tax. The average taxable income was $51,342.

The figures for 2010-11 were released this week by the Tax Office. The tax on incomes earned each financial year is not calculated and paid until the following year and it then takes the Tax Office another year to process the data.

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/data-point/road-to-riches-paved-with-good-incisions-20130503-2iyi0.html#ixzz2Tb2Omohj