Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Funds Shortage for Pakistani Students in UK- Journalists For International Peace expresses Concern

Press Statement

Journalists For International Peace strongly reacted to the news of non-availability of funds to Pakistani students, who were admitted on government scholarship to various universities of UK. Earlier, Dr Pirzada Qasim, the Vice Chancellor of Karachi University (KU), has revealed on Wednesday, that the “ students, who were selected for foreign studies in UK on scholarships of Higher Education Commission (HEC) of Pakistan , are being humiliated enough to raise donations for meeting their educational expenses on account of lack of funds were to be provided by the commission.

“ It is pathetic and deplorable that government of Pakistan has totally ignored the “brains and future’ of the Country , Mr Iftikhar Chaudri, President of JIP , reiterated here in Islamabad. He feared the government-run HEC may have to face judicial case if it failed to pay off on time the dues meant for educational development plans.

When Dr Javed Leghari , Chairman HEC was approached , he maintained “The government of Pakistan slashed HEC’s budget from 22.50 billion rupees to 18.50 billion rupees for fiscal year 2010 in March this year but despite mounting directives issued from Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani, HEC has been provided mere 11 billion rupees during period from July to December 2009”Not a single penny has been released to HEC in last quarter for 2009 fiscal year, he revealed. Earlier HEC chairman, Mr Javed Leghari was subjected to severe criticism due to exposing fake degree holder parliamentarians. Most of them are facing threats of quitting the parliament.

JIP demands that that High Commissioner of Pakistan in UK, Mr Wajid Shamsul Hassan , must immediately intervene into the situation and develop a contact with the affected students and provide immediate financial relief to them. The news of collecting donations during Friday prayers at London, to continue their studies, is highly deplorable and inhumane.

Iftikhar Chaudri
Journalists For International Peace
Islamabad, Pakistan

Journalists For International Peace hailed visit of Mega Star Angelina Jolie to Pakistan

The heart-throb of millions Hollywood movie mega star Angelina Jolie met flood victims in northwestern Pakistan on Tuesday(7 Sep) and appealed to the international community to provide aid needed to help the country recover from its worst natural disaster.

Journalists For International Peace appreciated the humanitarian visit of Mega Star Angelina Julie to Pakistan . JIP believes that her visit will give spur to the international Aid Money to help the wretched humanity in flood-hit areas of Pakistan , the second worst flood after Strom of Noah. “ Angelina Jolie has set a glaring example, for the people , who are bestowed with fame, glory and money from Almighty, by personifying her goodwill gesture and tender heart- Millions of heart throb for her and her heart throbs for millions wretched people and humanity.

The 35-year-old Mega Star , maintained that she interacted with many people whose lives have been devastated by the floods, including mothers who lost their children and an elderly Pakistani couple who feared they would never be able to rebuild the home they lost.
"I am very moved by them and I hope that I am able to, today and tomorrow, be able to do something to help bring attention to the situation for all of the people in need in Pakistan," Jolie told reporters after visiting a refugee camp in the Jalozai area.

She visited the area wearing a long black robe and a black headscarf adorned with a thin red stripe — the kind of conservative clothing worn by many Muslim women in Pakistan.

Recent floods and torrential rains devastated the millions of acres lands , killing more than 2000 people, washed out 20 million houses, and financial loss to billions of US$.

Journalists For International Peace also appealed to international community to help the homeless people to rehabilitate them in near future,, as chilly winter may put their lives at stake.

JIP proposed to develop a strong infrastructure of international and local NGOs for supervising and monitoring the habitat process, to dispel the credibility crisis with the government, as it appeared in the national and international media “ If certain circles do not repose confidence to the government of Pakistan, in fair utilization of ‘ aid money’ , then respective NGOs , with the fair monitoring of respective countries, may come forward to serve the wretched humanity, for rehabilitation process’, Iftikhar Chaudri President of JIP viewed , here today.

Iftikhar Chaudri
Journalists For International Peace
Islamabad, Pakistan

Monday, September 6, 2010

JIP Letter to the President and the PM -- State Torture to Journalist condemned

Mr Asif Ali Zardari Most Urgent

President of Islamic Republic of Pakistan
President’s Secritariat
Islamabad, Pakistan

Syed Yusuf Raza Gillani
Prime Minister of Islamic Republic of Pakistan
Prime Minister’s Secretariat
Islamabad, Pakistan

NO: 786/A-2/OPS
Dated: 5 Sep 2010

Subject: Kidnapping and torture to Journalist Omer Cheema


I hope that letter of mine will find you in the best of health and prosperity. I expressed with grave concern that an investigative journalist , Omer Cheema was, reportedly, kidnapped by some personnel of intelligence agency from I/8 sector , Islamabad. He was allegedly taken a secret place. Cheema was resorted to severe torture and third degree methods were applied on him. It Is believed that some of Omer Cheema’s blatant reports , have infuriated and attracted the anger of some state institution. Journalists For International Peace strongly condemned the kidnapping and severe torture to the working journalist of Daily The News.

Mr President and Mr Prime Minister , Journalists For International appreciated the prompt reaction of the government , especially Federal Minister for Information,Mr Qamar uz Zaman Kaira, in which he pledged to identify the criminals and ensure exemplary punishment , as a “TEST CASE’.Pakistan is considered as one of the most dangerous country for the working journalists , more than 40 journalists are killed in the recent past years. The alleged involvement of any state agency in kidnapping and torture of media people , tarnishes the image of that country in the international circles. The countries , where Freedom of expression is curtailed by force, can never grow economically and their progress is checked. It is observed that intolerance against Media and journalists in the present government is increased manifold . Media has strong reservations about federal and provincial governments. Such incident of harassment and torture may remain unchecked , if any practical step is not undertaken to curb the menace.

I think that Parliament may take stern action against the culprits. Three chiefs :ISI, MI and IB may be called infront of the parliament under the aegis of the Chief of Army Staff , General Ashfaq Pervaiz Kiyani. They may be directed to identify the criminals from their ranks, if the torture is conducted by the intelligence personnel. It is also believed that such torture incident is aimed at tarnish the positive role of Pak Army, which is deployed in flood affected areas to rescue and provide immediate relief to wretched people of Pakistan. The whole nation supported General Kiyani in the war against the terrorists , in Swat and Waziristan .

To open war against own journalists, by a state or segment of state machinery, may always prove counter productive. Omer Cheema maintained that there is a possibility that the incident is provoke by his news report on Military Commandos, who refused to attack Lal Masjid and subjected to be court-marshaled , without giving any right of appeal. It is in the national interest, to take immediate action against the culprits, to avoid a permanent tussle between state institutions.

It is also proposed that respective intelligence agencies or their spokesman, may start briefing sessions for the journalists on variety of such matters which are taken as secret under the garb of national security. I hope that both the leaders may take strict punitive action against the culprits, to save the sanctity of Freedom of Expression, which is a constitutional obligation too.


Iftikhar Chaudri
Journalists For International Peace
Islamabad, Pakistan