George W. Bush’s two-day trip to Pakistan can now sadly be looked back upon more as a state sponsored relaxation trip for the President after his hectic schedule in India. Little do the Pakistanis have anything to show for this visit by the most powerful dictator of the world. In 2000, we were literally on our knees begging for Clinton to stop by to say Hi, but in contrast, in 2006, when the US President willfully offers to come, we fail miserably to perform.
It was no secret that Pakistan was unlikely to get any crumbs from the nuclear grants when India worked hard to create a mutual understanding. Delhi has been after Washington for a long time and Pakistan can’t expect to get a deal just for the heck of being a critical neighbour with India. For Pakistan, the Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) should have been the hot deal to be inked during the two-day trip. The BIT has been in the works for a good time, but sadly, Islamabad was caught napping till the nth hour and any last minute efforts only left objections making it unreasonable to be finalized in March.
When dealing with the most powerful country of the world it should not be difficult for us to come up with alternative memoranda of understanding (MOUs) to cover up and potentially replace the BIT. Other MOUs could then have served a face-saving for the embarrassed government and it would have been a benefit for Pakistan even at a microscopic level. Instead, the two days were spent playing cricket and munching dinners at state expense.
The Texan did make news (the only news to make headlines around the world), not on a political level but instead while playing cricket – he was hit by a bouncer and spun a googly in the process. It goes to say what a waste of time it is, trying to teach a baseball fan to hold the oddly shaped cricket bat let alone trying to teach him to bowl over-arm without the sling shot pitching style he’s more used to.
Making matters worse, Mushy and his cronies went all out to cordon Islamabad off from the world. The airport and all incoming roads were effectively closed for all making it more like a prison and, simultaneously, all sorts of political activity was addressed by issuing house arrests for the loudest of all critics namely Qazi and Imran Khan. I applaud Imran Khan to have taken the limelight from the visit with some very interesting TV interviews he gave leading to the trip. Qazi Saheb, what can I say?
Bottom line – Musharraf and his team have terribly mismanaged this trip, only to be remembered for the wrong’un delivery that Bush faced during his practice session at the nets.
i think this: http://web.mid-day.com/1news/nation/2006/march/132339.htm
would sum up your blog entry perfectly.
Keep in mind President Bush has said many kind things about Pakistan to the American people and encouraged Americans to regard Pakistan as our friend. Underneath all that goofy stuff, President Bush loves liberty–President Clinton does not. President Bush once was the head of a baseball club–no tea breaks there! I liked the clever comments on Bush’s pitch!
Damages of Earthquake and People of Shangla NWFP Pakistan
It was morning of October 8, 2005 when a powerful and devastating earthquake struck the northern part of Pakistan causing major destruction and playing havoc with millions of lives. The affected areas were the Shangla, Mansehra, Bata gram, Kohistan, Abbotabad districts and four districts of Azad Jammu & Kashmir. More than 70,000 people lost their lives out of those 35,000 were children who were attending schools at that time. Most of the civil society infrastructure such as schools, colleges, roads, and hospitals were collapsed and destroyed. The Thousands of Kacha & Pacca dwelling houses are completely demolished, while others are partially damaged which are not fit for further use as these are dangerous and life risk is involved in their further use. Recent devastating earth quake badly affected almost whole population of the District in one or other shape.
The remote district of Shangla consists of scattered populations 554818 divided into tiny, mountain-top hamlets spread out across a vast area. Due the nature of this difficult terrain some areas are difficult to access by road. The number of total households is 53529 and average household size is 8 persons per family. The population density is 341 persons per square kilometer. Total area of the District is 1586 sq-Km (339614 Acres) in which 104672 Acres (31%) is cultivated and 109685 Acres (32 %) is forest. It consists of 2 Tehsils i-e Tehsil Alpuri and Puran with 44 Patwar Circles and 111 villages. The District comprises of 1 National, 2 Provincial Assembly Seats, 2 Tehsil Councils and 28 Union Councils.
Shangla is a backward and tribal society where majority of the people live below the poverty line and are illiterate. Any one can estimate living standard of its people from a report recently issued by the government in which Shangla district was on top in ratio of poverty through out NWFP.
The literacy rate is 14.7% (25.2% in male & 3.7% in female). The government has so far been a big disappointment in changing the socio-economic conditions of the people and in this advanced technological age of the 21st century we are still lacking the basic infrastructure of the basic necessities of life.
District Shangla is full of natural resources like emerald, Marble, Chromites, Soap stone etc and there is a vast scope of investment and development. Similarly the area has a variety of fauna and flora like Markhur, Brown Bear, Leopard, Snow Leopard, Wolf, Pigeons, Monkeys, Chakor, and Dove etc. In flora medicinal plants like Banafsha, Tarkha, Unab, Mushkibala, white Rose and Mint etc are found in the area which are of great importance.
The inhabitants of the Shangla are deprived of basic needs, infrastructure, education, health, road and other facilities. The main road which connects Shangla with Swat and other parts of the country is in a very bad condition and it is difficult to drive over it.
Following is a data about Shangla district.
1586 Sq-Km (339614 Acres)
104672 Acres (31%)
234942 Acres (69%)
109685 Acres (32%)
7599 Acres (2%)
97073 Acres (29%)
The soil of Shangla is very deep silt-loam
554818 (2.5% of the total population of the NWFP.
Average growth rate in population
3.27% per year
53529 (According to 1988 census)
8 persons per family.
341 persons per Sq-Km.
Total No of Villages
2 i-e Alpuri & Puran
14.7% (25.2% in male & 3.7% in female)
Ratio of government employers
East: – District Batagram &Triable area of Kala Dhaka.
West: – District Swat. South: – District Buneer &Triable area of Kala Dhaka.
North: – District Kohistan.
The people of Shangla are known as being proudly independent and surviving for centuries in mountains. They occupy small stretches of agricultural land and accustomed to living on its produce while many people works in coal mines of Baluchistan, Sind and Punjab. The Ratio of government employers is 5.6%.
Recent devastating earth quake badly affected almost whole population of the District in one or other shape. This natural disaster took about thousands human lives, seriously injured many more persons. The climate in the region is cold with patches of moderate weather in summers. The inhabitants of Shangla district are lying under open sky in this cold severe weather on mercy of God. The worst affected areas in Shangla district are union councils Shahpur, Damori, Pirkhana, Koozkana, Maira, Shang, Dandai, Kormang, and Sarkool.
UNION COUNCIL WISE DETAILS OF DAMAGES:
The breakdown of population and estimated number of affected families in badly affected areas of district Shangla given below.
NO of Household affected
% of affected Household
Kamach Nusrat Khel
IMMEDIATE MEASURES REQUIRED:
. While keeping in mind agonies of the earth quake victims their first immediate requirement is CGI sheets and cements for reconstruction of their houses.
Secondly they required health facilities i-e MCH centers/Hospitals, Free medicines.
Thirdly they need vocational training centers and professional skill for their sustainable development.
There fore I request the world community, NGOs and donor agencies that Keeping in view low standard of living of its people lack of infrastructure severe cold winter separate geography and damages of devastating earth quake the people of Shangla District Shangla donate generously for reconstruction of educational institutes, health centers, vocational centers, streets, roads and other facilities in the earthquake affected areas of Shangla district on humanitarian basis, Because it require immediate attention for its sustainable development, reconstruction and rehabilitation.
ADVOCATE HIGH COURT PESAWAR
SHANGLA LAW CHAMBER
SHANGLA DISTRICT BAR ASSOCIATION
AT ALPURI, DISTRICT SHANGLA,
Ph # +92996850885 (Office)