Georgia Port Gets Emirate Investment

Georgia Port Gets Emirate Investment

BY SAMANTHA SHIELDS

POTI, Georgia — The Ras Al Khaimah United Arab Emirate will invest up to $500 million in Georgia’s busiest Black Sea port of Poti over the next four to five years through its investment authority Rakia, senior executives in its Georgian subsidiaries said in interviews this week.

Poti, which was briefly seized by Russia after August 2008′s war over the breakaway territory of South Ossetia, is a key transit route linking the Caucasus and Central Asia to Europe, …

Georgia’s Father of Its “Patriot Act” Brainstorms In Washington for Next Six Days

[Proponent of Georgia's "patriot act" heads to Washington for six days of brainstorming on the liberation of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.  The fact that he is meeting not only with government officials, but NGO political reform advocates of democratic-revolution, the National Democratic Institute (NDI) and the International Republican Institute (IRI), should be a warning sign for those in the know.]

enlarge photo

Georgian Democrats leader to discuss security issues in United States

Georgian Democrats leader to discuss security issues in United States

Georgia, Tbilisi, May 10 / Trend N.Kirtzkhalia /

Democratic Party leader and Georgian MP Gia Tortladze left the country for the United States on a six-day visit.

During the meetings, an emphasis will be placed on national security, Tortladze told journalists.

He is expected to hold meetings in Congress, the Senate and the State Department, the Republican Institute and National Democratic Institute. Talks will focus on Georgia’s integration into NATO and the liberation of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, as well as democratic reforms.

Do you have any feedback? Contact our journalist at trend@trend.az

Patriot Act has been submitted to parliament

enlarge photo The Patriot Act has been officially proposed to parliament for consideration. MP Gia Tortladze, who is the author of the document, presented the document to his colleagues at the parliament bureau today. The document determines the legislative activities in fight against terrorism and for providing security in the country.
The draft law will regulate the issues, which cover the monitoring of conditional borders with the occupied regions, control of cargo import, migration and banking transactions. The parliamentary minority disapproves the draft law and has specific remarks to the document.

Opposition MP accuses Russia of provocations

Opposition MP, Gia Tortladze says the uncovered military uprising in Mukhrovani military base was a provocation organized by Russia, which aimed at overthrowing government of Georgia.
`The recent developments in Georgia and the military uprising have been inspired by Russia,` Tortladze announced at the press conference today and called upon all political organizations to express their positions regarding the current situation in the country.
The opposition MP says these acts by Russ aimed at disrupting the NATO-lead military maneuvers in Georgia and the NABUCCO project.
`Russia is trying to return the developments of 90-ies in Georgia,` Tortladze told journalists today.

Turkey is trying to disrupt the status quo in the Caucasus, Moscow’s hands–(Goog.Trans.)

[According to the following analysis (I think that I am understanding what is being said), Turkey is the "free radical" that is being used by Moscow to destabilize American incursions into former Soviet territory.  By using Turkey's interests in getting the gas flowing through its bank accounts as gentle persuasion to draw Istanbul into Moscow's camp, Armenian issues become the catalyst that drives Turkey  into taking blocking actions against American moves.  Turkey is playing both sides in these conflicts, particularly in the Caucasus Region, but is it playing the role of double-agent in all of them?]

Turkey is trying to disrupt the status quo in the Caucasus, Moscow’s hands

Vigen Hakobyan

Refusal of Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev to participate in the informal summit of CIS and foreign minister of this country , Elmar Mamedyarov - from talks with his Armenian counterpart in Brussels, can be regarded as an ultimatum to the co-chairs of the Minsk Group of OSCE to resolve the Karabakh conflict. Recall that Aliyev did not participate in the forum of the CIS, citing a decision by the presence of the President of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan . Baku said that he agrees with the mediators worked out the Madrid document defining “date basic principles of” Karabakh settlement. At the same time, officials in Azerbaijan say that the Armenian side is stalling for time and does not give consent. On the other hand, Azerbaijan daily pumps rhetoric, as if pushing brokers to pressure on Armenia.

In general, Ilham Aliyev and his team create a very uncomfortable with the information point of view, the atmosphere for Armenia. Madrid signing a document under the threat of renewed war, the Armenian leadership has put itself in “a weak position.” At the same time in Yerevan are well aware that a loud declaration of “consent” of Baku with the Madrid principles – a diplomatic ploy, followed by an equally unexpected statements and decisions.

Moreover, in Baku at this stage do not hide “special position” on the key issue – a mechanism of determining the final status of Nagorno-Karabakh. This position consists in the fact that the outcome expected in Nagorno-Karabakh “popular will of the” must lead to the consolidation of the status of Nagorno Karabakh within Azerbaijan’s borders. That is, Azerbaijan agrees with the Madrid principles, but with the proviso that the conflict will be resolved as favorably to him. It is clear that such a “reservation” does for Armenia to continue negotiations is absolutely meaningless. Then on what counts in Baku?

Without a doubt, the Azerbaijani leadership is closely monitoring the most important in this situation the regional process – the Russian-Turkish talks on the so-called Platform for Security in South Caucasus. The expert community too quickly thrown out of sight of the initiative of Turkey, the main phase which, as it might seem to many, was the process of normalization of Armenian-Turkish relations.

However, the Turkish elite, especially the Prime Minister of this country , Recep Tayyip Erdogan , initially made no secret that its main task is not to unlock the Armenian border and give it new opportunities for economic development (as it is not strange, it is a version of actively lobbied officials in Armenia). Erdogan from the first day of signing the protocols linked perspectives of Armenian-Turkish “dialogue” with the settlement of the Karabakh conflict. Simply put, sought full involvement of Ankara in the Minsk process against the will of one of its sides – Yerevan. And now, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmed Davutoglu said that Ankara and Yerevan signed in October last year in Zurich protocols are now in the refrigerator. Faced by them there, as already noted above, due to the exceptional efforts of the Turkish premier.

Thus, the Armenian-Turkish protocols were efforts made by Turkey in the refrigerator, “and the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Azerbaijan is introduced in the” oven “. Given the fact that Baku strongly lobbied for the inclusion of Turkey in the OSCE Minsk Group, we can assume that the hand on the controller keeps the temperature just Ankara.

Added a new feature degree in Karabakh process of the Turkish side will very soon – during the official visit of Russian PresidentDmitry Medevedeva in Ankara on 11-13 May. The same Davutoglu about the impending visit of the agenda, explicitly stated that the negotiations with the Russian president at the forefront of the Karabakh issue will be raised. But this “Turkish news is not exhausted. Thus, Turkey has declared its intention to strengthen the security of the Autonomous Republic of Nakhichevan and Azerbaijan at the informal level to specify that would not mind to see there and the Turkish military base. At the official level, as the representative of the Presidential Administration Ali Hasanov said that it was a military and strategic cooperation between Azerbaijan and Turkey. Lest there be any doubt about the fact that this is addressed messidzh Russia, he added: “If there is a military and strategic cooperation between Armenia and Russia, why should it not be between Azerbaijan and Turkey?”

It is interesting to note that such drastic steps Baku, contrary to the logic promising closer relations with Russia, have been taken literally immediately after “freezing” the Armenian-Turkish protocols. The correspondent of IA REGNUM News in Baku in connection with the said political scientist Arif Yunusov : “The Government of Azerbaijan in the second half of last year was criticized Turkey, and then the United States. At the same time, it has strengthened relations with Russia and Iran. It is anti-American rhetoric has subsided, and Turkey’s position once again welcome. Might not the sharp swings in foreign policy to undermine the confidence of partners in Baku? ” In response, the expert said: “Yes, indeed, Azerbaijan’s foreign policy today is highly inconsistent. It is based on personality factors, emotions often davleyut over reason and logic. It seems, often repeating the propaganda phrase that Azerbaijan -” a leader not only the entire region, but even one of the leading players in world politics, our authorities themselves believe it. This was particularly evident in the apparent rejection last year of Ilham Aliyev on Obama’s invitation to participate in the Istanbul Summit that many will simply shocked. A follow-up attacks and actions against Turkey – the main strategic ally of Azerbaijan – in general it was difficult to understand. It’s not even the fact that Azerbaijan has strengthened economic ties with Russia and Iran. This is normal, you should try to have with neighbors, normal and good relations. But of Baku were clearly political in nature, have been outspoken protests against his policies the U.S. and Turkey. All this, of course, will not bring any dividends to Azerbaijan “.

It appears that the assessment Yunusov few straightforward. Indeed, increasing anti-American rhetoric, Aliyev secretly helped Turkey, as Ankara at that time suffered from the intense pressure from Washington, “the Armenian question. “Rapprochement” with Russia is also difficult to find for some act against the interests of Turkey – for the simple reason that no countermeasures to the Turkish side has not followed. On the contrary, Ankara, in turn, also increased its dialogue with Moscow. The same applies to Iran. “Consent, that Azerbaijan has reacted to the idea of brokering role of Iran in the Karabakh process (and this is the case when the Baku simultaneously endorsed and the result of work of OSCE Minsk Group), coincided with the active support for Ankara’s position on the Iranian nuclear issue and anti-Israel rhetoric Erdogan.

Thus, the point of view of the fact that Azerbaijan has affected the position of the Turkish government on the Armenian issue imitation rapprochement with Russia and Iran, and achieving his, returned to Turkey’s orbit, looks very doubtful. In fact, Azerbaijan has very skillfully played the role of lightning rod for Turkey, Ankara, providing several important arguments that are not brought to its logical conclusion the process of normalizing relations with Armenia, as well as to strengthen its position in the energy dialogue with the EU and Russia. “Kontrliniya” Ilham Aliyev has helped Turkey to motivate Americans to unlock the impossibility of a unilateral Turkish-Armenian border without compromising the interests of Turkey and the Europeans to instill energy risks associated with the refusal of Azerbaijan to sign gas agreement with Ankara.

In general, Azerbaijan and Turkey today are trying to put “the cart before the horse” – first, the withdrawal of Armenian troops from the security zone around Nagorno-Karabakh, then unlock the Armenian-Turkish border. We can say that the Azerbaijani-Turkish bloc came to the same, where to begin. However, an important achievement was the new atmosphere prevailing in the region of Karabakh conflict and Armenian-Turkish dispute over the classification of the events of 1915. The Armenian leadership has taken the curtain considerable efforts to make the process of recognition of the Genocide additional momentum. Recent statements of the Armenian president Serzh Sargsyan directly appeal to this problem. Visiting the graves of the Armenian leader Woodrow Wilson in the U.S. – very eloquently reflected the official position of Yerevan. The same blank defense adopted by the Armenian authorities in Karabakh process.

Thus, the efforts of Azerbaijan and Turkey are aimed mainly at the violation of the status quo in the South Caucasus. At the same time Baku and Ankara expects that at this stage, Russia will have a decisive impact on Armenia. Otherwise, as already stated, Turkey began to build a railway to Nakhchivan, and deploy a military base there, and Azerbaijan simply increases the axis of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ankara and in the future, quite possibly, out of the CIS. Visit of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s first in Ajaria (Batumi), and then to Baku, scheduled immediately after a visit to Ankara Medvedev, will open another line of Turkish activity. Remembering the role of Turkey in ensuring the safety of Nakhichevan, Ankara could not forget about Adjara, with its Muslim population. Thus, Moscow is trying to turn into an instrument of pressure on Armenia, threatening to destabilize the situation in Transcaucasia and usilienim in the region of the Turkish military presence.

In turn, Armenia, after freezing dialogue with Ankara, and is interested in slowing down the Karabakh process. However, Yerevan will be difficult to explain that in fact these two processes were directly linked to each other, since previously the Armenian authorities assiduously denied this. Indeed, after the unsealing of the Armenian-Turkish border and obtain security assurances from Turkey, the Armenian side would be easier to begin the withdrawal of troops from some of the best parts of the front line with Azerbaijan. And now, this initiative will be absolutely disastrous for Armenia and Karabakh, both in terms of external and internal security.

A sharp intensification of Turkish foreign policy in four strategic areas – the Caucasus, the Balkans, the Middle East and Central Asia – in the medium term could lead to further destabilize the situation in these regions. “Litmus test”, which gives the interim results of the foreign policy doctrine of “strategic depth” Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmed Davutoglu, becomes situation in the South Caucasus after the apparent failure of the process of normalization of Armenian-Turkish relations. The speed of the Caucasian problems requires participants in the political process of building a flexible line. It appears that Russia will soon be forced to re-emphasize approaches to regional issues, taking into account be active tandem Azerbaijan-Turkey. If, however, Moscow and Ankara will come to a consensus on the Karabakh issue, then Armenia will have no choice but to strengthen the defensive line and look for the guarantors of the status quo among the other centers of power.

Hey Elton: Don’t Go Breaking Our Hearts

Hey Elton: Don’t Go Breaking Our Hearts

eileen fleming

Palestinian civil society has called on Elton John to respect their boycott call and cancel his June 17th concert in Tel Aviv. If he does, he’ll be joining Santana and Gil-Scott Heron, who recently canceled their spring concerts in Israel. Bob Dylan was scheduled to play Tel Aviv on May 27, 2010, but as of this writing that date is no longer posted on his tour schedule.

This video suggests six reasons why Elton, Elvis Costello and all artists with integrity should join the BDS (boycott, divestment, sanctions) movement.

Hey Elton

more about “The WALL OF Hate“, posted with vodpod

In 2004 the International Court of Justice ruled that The Wall is a violation of International Law because it cuts through the West Bank appropriating Palestinian land and destroying Palestinian villages and economy to make way for further Israeli settlements, all of which are illegal under international law.

The following nine categories make up the necessary, sufficient, and defining characteristics of apartheid regimes:

1. Violence: Apartheid is a state of war initiated by a de facto invading ethnic minority, which at least in the short term originates from a non-neighboring locality. In all main instances of apartheid most if not all members of the invading group originate from a different continent. The invading ethnic minority and its self-defined descendants then continue to dominate the indigenous majority by means of their military superiority and by their continuous threats and uses of violence.

2. Repopulation: Apartheid is also a continuation of depopulation and population transfer. One example is seen in the obliteration of the indigenous Bedouins that Israel denies free movement to graze their herds and are silently transferring the Bedouins to new locales, such as atop of garbage dumps.

3. Citizenship: The indigenous people are often denied citizenship in their own country by the apartheid state authorities, which are ironically and irrationally, run and staffed by the recent arrivals to the country.

4. Land: Apartheid entails land confiscation, land redistribution and forced removals, almost without exception to the benefit of the invading ethnic minority. Usually, members of the ethnic majority are forced on to barren and unfertile soils, where they must also try to survive under impoverished and overcrowded conditions.

5. Work: Apartheid displays systematic exploitation of the indigenous class in the production process and different pay or taxation for the same work.

6. Access: There is ethnically differentiated access to employment, food, water, health care, emergency services, clean air, and other needs, including the need for leisure activities, in each case ensuring superior access for the favored ethnic community.

7. Education: There are also different kinds of education offered and forced upon the different ethnic groups.

8. Language: A basic apartheid characteristic is the fact that only very few of the invaders and their descendants ever learn the language(s) of the indigenous victims.

9. Thought: Finally, apartheid contains ideologies or ‘necessary illusions’ in order to convince the privileged minorities that they are inherently superior and the indigenous majorities that they are inherently inferior. Much of apartheid thought is shaped by typical war propaganda. The enemy is dehumanized by both sides’ ideologies, words and other symbols are used to incite or provoke people to violence, but mostly so by the invaders and their descendants. [1]

After returning from Palestine’s West Bank and Gaza Strip, Ronnie Kasrils, Minister of Intelligence in South African Government wrote how it was “like a surreal trip back into an apartheid state of emergency. It is chilling to pass through the myriad checkpoints — more than 500 in the West Bank. They are controlled by heavily armed soldiers, youthful but grim, tensely watching every movement, fingers on the trigger…A journey from one West Bank town to another that could take 20 minutes by car now takes seven hours for Palestinians, with manifold indignities at the hands of teenage soldiers…The monstrous apartheid wall cuts off East Jerusalem…Bethlehem too is totally enclosed by the wall, with two gated entry points. The Israelis have added insult to injury by plastering the entrances with giant scenic posters welcoming tourists to Christ’s birthplace.” [2]

The Wall is spun as a ‘security barrier’ but it “is designed to crush the human spirit as much as to enclose the Palestinians in ghettos. Like a reptile, it transforms its shape and cuts across agricultural lands as a steel-and-wire barrier, with watchtowers, ditches, patrol roads and alarm systems. It will be 700km long and, at a height of 8m to 9m in places, dwarfs the Berlin Wall. The purpose of the barrier becomes clearest in open country. Its route cuts huge swathes into the West Bank to incorporate into Israel the illegal Jewish settlements — some of which are huge towns — and annexes more and more Palestinian territory.” [Ibid]

“It has become abundantly clear that the wall and checkpoints are principally aimed at advancing the safety, convenience and comfort of settlers.”- Minister in the Presidency Essop Pahad. [Ibid]

“The West Bank, once 22% of historic Palestine, has shrunk to perhaps 10% to 12% of living space for its inhabitants, and is split into several fragments, including the fertile Jordan Valley, which is a security preserve for Jewish settlers and the Israeli Defence Force. Like the Gaza Strip, the West Bank is effectively a hermetically sealed prison…roads are barred to Palestinians and reserved for Jewish settlers. I try in vain to recall anything quite as obscene in apartheid South Africa.” [Ibid]

On December 20, 2006, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who received a Nobel Peace Prize for his relentless work confronting and challenging South Africa’s Apartheid regime spoke to The Guardian: “I’ve been deeply distressed in my visit to the Holy Land. I have seen the humiliation at the checkpoints and roadblocks, suffering like us when young white police officers prevented us from moving about…Israel will never get true security and safety through oppressing another people. A true peace can ultimately be built only on justice…If peace could come to South Africa, surely it can come to the Holy Land.”

Justice requires equal human rights, liberty and self-determination for all people. Justice requires honoring International Law and the Declaration of Human Rights. Palestinian civil society has been calling for NONVIOLENT actions against Israel until they change their bad behavior and as money is the currency with the loudest voice: BDS: Boycott, Divest and Sanction is the way for people of conscience to do something.

LEARN MORE:
http://www.pacbi.org/
1. Paraphrased from pages 71-73, Apartheid Ancient, Past, and Present Systematic and Gross Human Rights Violations in Graeco-Roman Egypt, South Africa, and Israel/Palestine, By Anthony Löwstedt. Page 77..
2. Mail & Guardian, Israel 2007: Worse than Apartheid, by Ronnie Kasrils.  http://www.mg.co.za/articlePage.aspx?articleid=308966&area=/insight/insight__comment_and_analysis/
Only in Solidarity do “we have it in our power to begin the world again.”-Tom Paine

Eileen Fleming,
Founder of WeAreWideAwake.org
A Feature Correspondent for Arabisto.com

Sometimes the “Foreign Hand” Is a Helping Hand. What About This?

[Considering the turmoil in Balochistan and the unfriendly foreign hands busily at work there, it is natural to question anything that says “made in the USA,” but in this case, we should take a closer look before we assume that this effort is like all the rest.  If the project is what it is claimed to be below, then it looks like it is giving Baloch kids (both boys and girls) a way out of the economic trap that holds them hostage.  We should start with finding-out what is in the curriculum and see what exactly they are teaching, but more importantly, what they are testing them for.  This tells us how they are categorizing and classifying the kids, revealing the patterns they are looking for.  Are they separating the potential leaders for indoctrination, or they using group teaching methods? 

Just like the land of Balochistan itself, young minds are being divided into groups or tribes, to accommodate the plans of those who intend to divide Balochistan from Pakistan.  Pakistani patriots will fight this division, especially in defense of their children, who are also in the sights of the new world planners.] 

Editorial: An unfriendly foreign education project for Balochistan

the Baloch Hal

A foreign non-governmental organization, Save the Children, has initiated a five-year project with the collaboration of Netherlands in Balochistan to improve the quality of education in the country’s least educated province. The projected has been launched amid great fanfare and media hype with projections of yielding positive results in the domain of education in Balochistan in the future. Under this project, a target of educating some 73000 children in the districts of Quetta, Mastung and Qila Abdullah has been set.

Balochistan Education Programme, as the project has been named, would especially focus on the education of girls in Balochistan where the women’s literacy rate is as low as 19 percent. The state of adult male literacy rate, 37%, is also not very encouraging. Thus, Balochistan’s education sector is confronted with multiple serious challenges which need to be overcome by paying constant attention.

The 8.8 million Euro project for Balochistan comes partly as good news for the education sector of Balochistan which seems to have suddenly become the hub of all the negative reports which emanate from Balochistan. Depressing news has been coming from the education sector of Balochistan in the recent times as many teachers have applied for no-objection certificates to leave the province in the wake of a spate of target killing of teachers. Not many foreign countries and non-governmental organizations have been enthusiastic to come forward to assist the education sector, or any other sector for that matter owing to growing law and order problems, in the troubled province.

Save the Children officials have not discussed in public, however, about the yardstick that was adopted to choose the three districts for its educational project. All the three districts which are going to benefit from the grand project do not necessarily fall in the category of the most backward places in Balochistan in the education sector. Quetta, Mastung and Qila Abdullah do not face the worst problems of accessibility and quality when compared with several other remote districts of Balochistan.

Given the selection of three districts with lesser needs, one believes Save the Children project has been trapped by vested political interest groups. These interest groups in the NGO-mafia have diverted a significant project away from the Baloch population which is direly in need of educational assistance. There are no indications that the majority but still deprived Baloch population would benefit from the project.

It is totally unfair to initiate projects on the name of Balochistan’s backwardness and then deprive the originally backward people of the province from the fruits of such projects. Save the Children would have done a commendable service to the people of Balochistan if it launched this project in a remote district like Dera Bugti where the women’s literacy rate is as low as only 2%. As the provincial capital of Balochistan, Quetta does not need any educational initiative from a foreign donor as it is already the center of hundreds of projects under progress. There are excellent public and private schools already imparting quality education in Quetta city. Similarly, scores of NGOs are also working for the women’s literacy in the provincial capital and its neighboring districts.

In the same way, Mastung is the closest district to the provincial capital whose students can easily come to Quetta every day to get education and go back home.  The selection of Mastung as one of the beneficiary of this project further gives currency to the perception that the project is politically-influenced given the fact that it happens to be the electoral constituency of the chief minister of Balochistan.

Qila Abullah is far better than many other districts of Balochistan in the field of education. Thus, Save the Children should review its selection of three districts with better state of education and divert the project to three most backward and deserving districts of Balochistan so that the project benefits the deserving people. We believe the international organization, which has a reputation for its excellent work done in the past, was badly misled by its consultants during the process of selecting districts. In fact, this is a major problem many international donor agencies face while working in Pakistan, particularly Balochistan. Their local staff loves to drawn handsome salaries but refuses to go to remote and backward places to work. This time, people working in the education project have also thought on similar lines that they would draw hefty sums as salary while living in Quetta. If they are required to travel inside Balochistan for field work, they would either go to Mastung or Qila Abdullah. This negative trend has to end if the NGOs truly want to help the marginalized people. They should be mentally prepared to go to places like Dera Bugti, Kohlu, Wasuk, Awaran and Chagai where people live centuries-old circumstances.

Baloch political parties should play their role in this regard and make sure that this project does not end up as a means of squandering several million euros. It should reach and benefit the deserving Baloch kids who have been denied education by successive governments under varying pretexts.

 

Technical Cooperation Project Summary

Project Title

Mitigating Child Labor Through Education in Pakistan (MCLEP)

Region/Country

SOUTH ASIA/Pakistan

Project Duration

September 30, 2005 – September 30, 2010

Fiscal Year & Funding Level

FY 2005: USD 4,000,000
FY 2006: USD 250,000
FY 2007: USD 100,000
FY 2009: USD 50,000
Match Funds: USD 8,360

Problem to be Addressed

Many children in the provinces of Pakistan that border Afghanistan and Iran lack access to quality, relevant education opportunities.  Many of these children are exploited in the worst forms of child labor including rag-picking; carpet weaving; collecting hazardous medical waste materials; working in brick kilns and leather tanneries; and smuggling drugs, small arms, and other illicit goods across borders.  Some are in situations of bonded labor.

Targets

The project targets 7,300 children for withdrawal and 8,420 children for prevention from hazardous work.  The sectors from which children are to be withdrawn or prevented include cross-border smuggling of goods, automobile workshops, construction, embroidery, carpet weaving, livestock rearing, agriculture, street vending, domestic work, and work in hotels and small enterprises.  Target geographic areas are Balochistan province (Quetta and Killa Abdullah districts), Northwest Frontier Province (Peshawar district) and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Khyber agency).

Project Objectives

Contribute to the reduction in child labor in Pakistan.

Intermediate objectives include:

  • Improve access to and quality of education for working and at-risk children in the target areas;
  • Engage communities, civil society and local governments in promoting education and the eradication of child labor;
  • Strengthen national institutions and policies to effectively address the issues of child labor and education; and
  • Ensure the sustainability of project activities and benefits to the primary stakeholders.

Summary of Activities

  • Improve education quality and methodology in  government-run schools through training and ongoing professional development for teachers and school administrators;
  • Establish non-formal education centers to provide effective quality education to former child laborers;
  • Establish early-childhood education for children at risk of being exploited in child labor;
  • Provide literacy and vocational/technical training to former child laborers, as well as placement in appropriate apprenticeships;
  • Sensitize parents, employers and other community members to the problem of child labor through awareness-raising campaigns, discussions, and meetings;
  • Provide families of working children with marketable skills for improving their livelihood;
  • Organize community groups to monitor the child labor situation in communities as well as children’s educational status;
  • Mobilize civil society organizations and the private sector to advocate for the educational needs of the children in their areas;
  • Strengthen local government counterparts to protect, support, and educate working and at-risk children;
  • Review and monitor policies and laws regarding child labor by government and other key players; and
  • Support government capacity (national, provincial, and district) to continue with commitments to eradicate child labor and improve education in the targeted areas and throughout Pakistan.
  • As of February 28, 2009, 14,285 children have been withdrawn or prevented from exploitive child labor as a result of this project.

Grantee

Save the Children-U.K. in association with Water Environment and Sanitation Society (Quetta, Balochistan); and Community Mobilisation and Development Organization (Peshawar, NWFP).

Contact Information

Office of Child Labor, Forced Labor, and Human Trafficking (OCFT)

(202) 693-4843

Mysterious disease killed 60 Baloch children in Bolan,

Mysterious disease killed 60 children in Bolan,

People of Hub, Sakran, Gadani to be affected by water supply disconnection

on 2010/5/8 18:00:00 (112 reads)
ccupied Balochistan: according locals of Lundi Khosa region of district Kachi, Balochistan, a mysterious skin disease killed at least 60 children and several are still suffering from this painful disease. The notables of the region demanded of the government of Pakistan to send the test samples of these children abroad in order to find an effective treatment to eradicate the agonizing disease.

Regional tribal elders Nasir Khosa and Manzoor Khosa told newsmen that the disease has been spreading in the area from last one year but no effective steps have been taken to cure the affected children. Most of the victims of this lethal disease are children aged between 1-3 years old. According to eye-witnesses and relatives of these children; “Soon after their birth small white spots start to appear on their skins which later turns into black ‘sort of’ wounds and begin itching. Then slowly the meet on their skins starts to decompose and worms will appear from their wounds”. Their desperate loved ones an in attempt to calm their children pour Gasoline (Lamp oil) on the wound in order to extract the worms from inside the wounds which relieves the children for a short period.

Open in new windowIt has also been revealed that the affected children start crying as soon as the sun arises; they don’t like sunshine and heat but they feel relaxed alone in dark rooms. The parents said that the children can’t eat any food due to the blisters on their tongues. Several children lost their eye-sight (become blind) because of this mysterious but lethal disease. The regional notables complain that due government lack of attention the disease is rapidly spreading in other adjourning areas.

The elders said that few days ago a team of doctors have visited the area and tested the affected children. They admitted some of them, children, in BMC hospital but couple of days later the doctors in hospital declared the disease incurable and send the children back home. People and relatives of children in the region appealed through the media that the affected children must be send to foreign countries for better treatment if the doctors in Pakistan cannot help them. They said as soon as possible, a permanent cure /solution to this lethal disease must be found in order to save their next generation from this life-taking disease.

Many people in Balochistan suspect that this disease might be an after effect of the nuclear blast in Balochistan’s Chagai region on 28 May 1998. However, it is not clear yet whether it is due to nuclear blasts or is just a “what is being called a mysterious disease”. Whatever the causes of this fatal disease may be, the government’s lack of interest and deliberate silence is nothing less than systematic genocide of Baloch children.

People of Hub, Sakran, Gadani to be affected by water supply disconnection

Monday, May 03, 2010
By M. Waqar Bhatti

Karachi Thousands of people in Tehsil Hub, Balochistan, and the adjoining areas Gadani and Sakran have started worrying about water after the authorities concerned informed them that their water supply from the Hub Dam could be disconnected at any moment in the weeks to come.

The population of all three areas — Hub city, Gadani and Sakran — are completely dependent on the Hub Dam for drinking and irrigation water. A 30-kilometre-long canal supplies over 66 million gallons of water every day to these areas; ironically, there is no filter plant to purify the water before it is supplied for drinking. The unpurified water, which is supplied to over a million people through an open canal, contains nearly all kinds of micro-organisms, as well as other contamination; and is a leading cause of various types of water-borne diseases in the area, interviews with the people of Hub and Sakran suggested.

During a visit to Sakran and Hub, it was found that a majority of the residents drink water supplied from the Hub Dam without any purification; and despite knowing that it was unfit for human consumption, they had no choice but to continue using it.

Irfan Brohi, a gastroenterologist who practices privately in Hub city, told The News that water from the Hub canal was not even fit for animals because basically it was being supplied primarily for irrigation. People, however, were being forced to use it for domestic purposes. “In summer, hundreds of people bathe every day in the canal, while livestock are also brought here,” he said. “I would say that such contaminated water should not be even used for irrigation because it would transfer contamination through plants.”

Consumption of this water has resulted in diarrhoea, gastroenteritis and skin diseases becoming extremely common in the area, Dr Brohi said, adding that he always advises people to boil the water before drinking. “But you see, people here are very poor and use wood as fuel to cook meals. Boiling water or getting filtered water is a luxury that they cannot afford. It is the duty of the government to look into the problems of these people, and provide them with clean drinking water,” he added.

Several farmers from Sakran who The News spoke to concurred with this view. They said that water purification was a luxury which lessened in priority in the face of warnings from authorities about closing the canal in the weeks to come due to scarcity of water in the Hub dam. “All we need is water, regardless of its cleanliness. If the the Hub canal is closed, we will have to spend hundreds of rupees daily to get water for domestic use as well as for our animals,” Muhammad Khan Somerlari, a local farmer, told The News.

Somerlari also showed The News a pond of stagnant water near Sakran ,road where some animals were quenching their thirst. He added that this pond would become very precious if water supply from the Hub Canal were disconnected. Several such ponds and streams can be seen along the Hub canal; they came into existence due to seepage of water from the canal. In the drought season, however, these ponds become a source of water for the locals and their livestock.

The Hub Dam administration says that water in the dam will only last two more months, and in the absence of adequate rainfall in the dam’s encatchment area, the supply of water to both, Balochistan and Karachi, will be affected.

Some influential people, meanwhile, have built large water reservoirs on their land; these reservoirs are filled illegally with water from the Hub Canal, allegedly with the connivance of officials of the Balochistan Irrigation Department. These influential landlords use this water for their fields and also sell it to nearby villagers or poor peasants who work on their lands. There is, unfortunately, no tubewell system in their area due to poor electricity supply; while hand-pumps which fetch water from the underground aquifers are also rare.

Some residents of the area said even though hundreds of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) were working to provide clean drinking water to people from the underdeveloped areas of Sindh and Balochistan, hardly any workers had been seen in their localities. “District Lasbella of Balochistan is a classic example of the government’s neglect. The people here lack the most basic facility of life — clean drinking water,” Dr Brohi maintained.

http://www.thenews.com.pk/daily_detail.asp?id=237205

http://www.balochwarna.com/modules/ne … rious+disease+Balochistan

http://www.balochwarna.com/modules/articles/article.php?id=2022

Why the Palestinians are in the midst of an experiment

[The horrible reality of Palestinian existence is a sickening example of failed Western morality.  They are truly guinea pigs in an immoral social engineering experiment unmatched in human history, except perhaps in Nazi Germany.  They have been subjected to an unimaginable brutality and terrorized uncertainty, trapped without food or the means to rebuild, while being sequestered from the remainder of their families.  They feel the pressure of organized world opinion telling them collectively, that they are all terrorists, violent beasts, somewhat more primitive than Israelis or other "Westerners."

This great anti-Palestinian experiment has a name, which it was given nearly ninety years ago, "Iron Wall"  (SEE: Policies of The “Wolf” in Palestine = Ethnic Cleansing ).  The "Iron Wall" is a metaphor for beating a people into total submission, from an unassailable position of strength.   Beginning with the arrival of the first Zionist colonists, the Palestinians have experienced grievous sufferings, while they were slowly being educated about the nature of the "Iron Wall" which was closing around them.

They were taught that resistance was impossible, yet they have consistently refused to simply give-up.  The incredible will of the Palestinian people has pushed the limits of the Israeli mind-control scientists and behavioral conditioners, forcing them to ratchet the pressure upwards, to a point where the contest itself is becoming an existential threat to the survival of the "Jewish State."

Total submission to the Iron Wall will mean the transfer of all Palestinians from the "Jewish state" to Jordan, which all real Zionists consider to be the "Palestinian state."   When Jewish of Western spokesmen speak of the "two-state solution," this is what they really mean, even though the Palestinian side thinks that they are discussing a homeland west of the Jordan River.]

Why the Palestinians are in the midst of an experiment

By Mkhaimar Abusada

With dueling authorities running the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, the Palestinian people find themselves in the middle of an experiment.

In Gaza, where Hamas is in charge, the high price of armed resistance to Israel has discredited any attempts to revive the conflict. In the West Bank, which is under Fatah rule, negotiations have gone nowhere. Neither track of Palestinian politics – resistance or negotiation – offers hope of achieving independence. As a result, the Palestinians face their most difficult challenge since 1948.

Israeli threats of renewing its war on Hamas in the Gaza Strip are taken very seriously. The scenes of devastation are still vivid in the streets and neighborhoods of the territory, more than one year after the conflict there, and Hamas is taking no chances when it comes to provoking Israel into a new war. The fighting cost Hamas two of its top leaders, Saeed Siam and Nizar Rayan, and it significantly weakened its military capabilities. Only recently have these been rebuilt.

Hamas finds itself in a difficult position, since its policy calls for a resort to strong resistance, alongside politics. Yet this policy has failed. Hamas has put pressure on all the resistance groups in Gaza to refrain from provoking Israel. In an unprecedented statement, Mahmoud al-Zahhar, a top Hamas leader, said that any missiles fired at Israel from the Gaza Strip would be deemed “betrayal missiles.”

Instead, Hamas has turned its attention to the West Bank, where it has no political authority. It has called on Palestinians there to launch a new intifada against Israel, even as the movement has insisted on maintaining calm in the Gaza Strip.

Fatah, which runs the West Bank, wants no part of another Palestinian uprising. President Mahmoud Abbas has made no secret of his objection to such a strategy. But, with their government unable to do anything about the expansion of Israeli settlements, including those in East Jerusalem, as well as the conflicts over holy sites in Hebron, Bethlehem, and the Al-Aqsa Mosque, West Bank Palestinians are extremely frustrated. Recent street demonstrations could easily turn into an outbreak of ongoing resistance to Israeli rule.

The Palestinian Authority, which runs the West Bank, is afraid that a popular, non-violent intifada might quickly turn violent. If so, Israel might use it as a pretext to crush the Palestinians and their newly built institutions. This has happened before, during the last intifada in 2002.

There is another scenario that also terrifies Fatah leaders. An outbreak of violence could strengthen Hamas and its military wing, the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, in the West Bank. This, in turn, could produce a repeat of the scenario that brought Hamas to power in the Gaza Strip in June 2007, when all Fatah authority in the area collapsed after the Israeli withdrawal from the territory.

Yet the peace process has been stalled for more than a year, greatly reducing Fatah’s credibility in the West Bank. Abbas has repeatedly described peace as a strategic choice for the Palestinians. However, 17 years after the signing of the Oslo agreement and the launch of bilateral talks between the Palestine Liberation Organization and Israel, there has been very little movement toward establishing a Palestinian state. In the mind of many people, negotiations have reached a dead end.

Arab diplomats have also shown few signs of optimism. At its recent summit in Libya, the Arab League failed to agree over the proximity talks proposed by the United States’ peace envoy to the Middle East, George Mitchell. The Arab position is that no proximity talks can be held until Israel freezes its settlement activity in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Palestinian and Arab opinion is waiting for the United States, as Israel’s ally, to intervene and press for concessions.

Though the Palestinian economy in the West Bank has improved greatly under Premier Salam Fayyad, this is no substitute for serious peace negotiations. In August 2009, Fayyad announced his vision of establishing a Palestinian state within a two-year timeframe.

Under his blueprint, which has received strong financial support from the United States and the European Union, the political, economic, and security infrastructure of the Palestinian state would be ready by August 2011. Fayyad has also gained the backing of Fatah and most other Palestinian groups in the West Bank.

Fayyad’s strategy for international recognition of a Palestinian state is to fight a legal battle against Israel in the United Nations Security Council and other international bodies. He is convinced that establishing a Palestinian state would serve the interests of all parties, and that the odds favor the Palestinians in international political struggle.

Hamas does not share this view, and Palestinian reconciliation efforts have reached an impasse. The Arab League has given Egypt the lead role in bringing the two sides together, but Hamas has spurned Egypt’s proposals. Now, with questions about President Hosni Mubarak’s successor arising, Egypt has put aside these talks. Palestinians are looking, instead, to Iran, Hamas’ ally, for signs of any revival in discussions between Fatah and Hamas.

The Palestinians’ choices are limited, and there is no consensus among them on how to proceed. But there is a growing sense that the waiting game cannot last much longer. Whatever comes next will most likely come soon.

Mkhaimar Abusada is a professor of political science at Al-Azhar University in Gaza, and has written numerous articles on Palestinian politics.THE DAILY STARpublishes this commentary in collaboration with Project

Syndicate © (www.project-syndicate.org).

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(The Daily Star :: Lebanon News :: http://www.dailystar.com.lb)

The Faisal Shahzad Puzzle: Why Is Pakistan’s Civil-Military Leadership Silent?

The Faisal Shahzad Puzzle: Why Is Pakistan’s Civil-Military Leadership Silent?

o  Clinton’s War Threat Should Be Met With Punitive Pakistani Measures

o  If we can’t shoot down CIA drones, why are we spending on our military purchases?

Why did our Ambassador to Washington maintain a strange silence in the immediate aftermath instead of seeking access to Faisal Shahzad? Why did Foreign Minister Qureshi link Shahzad to drone attacks and accept Pakistan’s guilt without evidence? Why Pakistan’s civilian and military leaderships are not questioning the US intent?

By SHIREEN M. MAZARI

Monday, 10 May 2010.

TheNation

WWW.PAKNATIONALISTS.COM

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan—Hillary Clinton has once again come into her own true self and issued a direct threat to Pakistan of “severe consequences” if the ‘terror attack’ of Time Square New York City had been successful and found to have definitively originated in Pakistan.

It brings to mind an earlier moment when Hillary, during the course of her unsuccessful bid for the Democratic presidential nomination, had responded to a question on whether she would use tactical nuclear weapons against Pakistan in the context of a terror attack linked to Pakistan and she unhesitatingly declared “yes”. She was also right up there with Bush on the question of the Iraq war until she realised how unpopular it was becoming within her own country. So she is very much in the same mould as Condi Rice.

However, her latest threat has established without an iota of doubt the larger US game plan for Pakistan and the issue is not what the US plans to do so much as what are leadership is doing or not doing to protect itself from this increasingly threatening US agenda.

But first some serious questions that our leadership and our normally verbose Ambassador to Washington should have raised in the immediate aftermath of the Faisal Shahzad episode, which is beginning to look more and more like a deliberately created incident to suck Pakistan into not only doing the US bidding vis a vis North Waziristan but also to provide a scenario which would allow more US forces into the country and move the US further into forcibly taking control of our nuclear assets:

Why should one presume the whole incident was created?

  1. How come the explosion did not go off?
  2. How come such an easy trail of evidence was laid to track Faisal Shahzad?
  3. How come, he confessed to everything so easily and immediately?
  4. How come the US immediately, as if already prepared, began demanding permission for more troops into Pakistan?
  5. How come the CIA immediately announced more drone attacks on Pakistan?

In other words, things moved in an almost synchronized manner in succession that they had to have been pre-planned.

Why are the US government and media paying no heed to Shahzad’s alleged connection to the Yemeni cleric and to the Taliban’s clear denial of any link to Shahzad?

What is disturbing though is the immediate utterances and silence of the different Pakistani players – apart from the brief but necessary statement from the ISPR that there was no tangible evidence to link Shahzad to Waziristan and the militants there:

First: Why did our Ambassador to Washington maintain a strange silence in the immediate aftermath instead of seeking access to Faisal Shahzad, given that despite being a US citizen his Pakistani links were being played up?

Two: How come Foreign Minister Qureshi immediately declared that Shahzad’s action was in response to the drone attacks, even before Shahzad himself allegedly talked of the disturbing effect of drones? Is there a common script here? Did Qureshi not know that by making such a statement he was accepting Shahzad’s guilt? More important, how did he know the cause unless he had met Shahzad, knew him earlier or had been told by him that this was the reason behind his alleged action?

Three: In a similar vein, Interior Minister also made a similar statement as if Shahzad had been found guilty already.

Four: Why should the father of Shahzad have been arrested? Apparently it was given out that his arrest was to facilitate the FBI team but is it the job of the government to aid and abet the US or to protect its own citizens? It would appear the answer is the former for this government, in which case there is little difference in how this democratic government is treating its citizens and how Musharraf treated Pakistanis.

What is truly disturbing though is the civil and military leadership’s silence on questioning US intent. Why are we allowing the US to threaten us while we continue to entertain their civil, military and intelligence teams/delegations? Why are we not insisting on out investigation team being in Washington if the US can send an FBI team to Pakistan? Why have we not called for a Joint Investigation on the Shahzad issue?

In the aftermath of the Clinton threat, at the very least shouldn’t the Pakistan government suspend cooperation with the US, at least temporarily? Should our ambassador not convey our displeasure at this overt threat? Stoppage of NATO supplies and the downing of a drone will send a clearer message than any apologetic mumblings from the leadership. Finally, is our military prepared to compromise our defence and security, target more Pakistani civilians, simply to do the US bidding and commence a premature and hasty North Waziristan operation?

Incidentally, if the government is unwilling to use the capability its air force has of shooting down drones, as was demonstrated to the PM recently, why are we acquiring such expensive systems? If we cannot or will not fight anyone but are own tribals, we need to review our military expenditures.

In conclusion, it will be worth painting once again the holistic picture that should now be crystal clear even to the most myopic Pakistani, in the light of the Clinton threat. Send in more US troops to destabilise Pakistan; push the military into North Waziristan, stretching its lines of communications and capabilities and aggravating the civil-military divide as well as the dormant ethnic and sectarian fault lines within the institution of the military, thereby undermining its long term cohesiveness; another operation would add to terrorism within Pakistan as will the increased drone attacks in FATA; convince the world that Pakistan is in disarray and there should be international control over its nukes through the UNSC – which effectively would mean US control.

Nor is the US agenda premised only on diplomatic-military tactics. There is a strong economic component also. After all, the IMF factor is not merely coincidental; nor are the new economic managers with strong US/IMF/World Bank connections who have been brought in recently. Add to all this the growing US intrusions already within Pakistan at multiple levels and the picture should become evident that Pakistan is being set up for destruction. What is less clear to some, though not to all, is why our own leadership should be complicit in this destruction?

First published by The Nation. Dr. Mazari can be reached at callstr@hotmail.com

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