Save NWFP Save Pakistan: A Statement Of ALL CONCERNED Citizens
- CITIZENS OF THE WORLD
16 January 2009
Yesterday all girls' schools were shut in Swat. The population is terrorised by the militants and the military and government apparatus is paralysed. The voice of these citizens who have signed on this campaign has gone unheard. Today Swat and FATA are in a state of war. The campaign MUST continue. We MUST do what we can when we can.
19 February 2008 (Post Pakistan General Elections)
Dear Reader, with the coming of a new government in the province and the country, we are more hopeful. We will continue our efforts, please continue with the signatures on this site.
Please note that the name of the Group that started this drive is now NWFP: Citizens for PEACE!
PLEASE NOTE THE SIGNATURE CAMPAIGN IS NOW OPEN TO ALL DUE TO HEAVY DEMAND FROM NON-NWFP CITIZENS.
THIS STATEMENT HAS BEEN STARTED BY AN INFORMAL 'NWFP: CITIZENS FOR PEACE' GROUP IN PAKISTAN. IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS ABOUT THE PETITION, YOU CAN WRITE THESE DOWN DURING THE SIGNING PROCESS AND YOU WILL GET A RESPONSE FROM THE GROUP MODERATOR. MEMBERS OF THE GROUP ARE CONCERNED CITIZENS OF NWFP JOINED BY CONCERNED CITIZENS OF THE WORLD.
(FROM THE NWFP: CITIZENS FOR PEACE)
UPDATE: Dear Signatories, thank you for your cooperation. We ended up with 3000 signatures from all over the world (by 16th Dec 2007) and the NWFP and the rest of Pakistan. Your signatures were all presented to the Acting Chief Minister, Mr Shams ul Mulk - except for those who asked to be kept confidential. WELL DONE AND CONTINUE THE CAMPAIGN.
MEETING WITH NWFP CHIEF MINISTER ON 16 DECEMBER 2007
The NWFP Citizen For Peace Group and some prominant citizens of the province met with the Chief Minister of NWFP today. Below are extracts from a press release covering the meeting. Also was present AVT Khyber which will cover the event in the news today.
SAVE NWFP, SAVE PAKISTAN
Civil Society Delegation Meets NWFP Chief Minister
16 Dec 2007
A delegation of citizens of the NWFP, representing various sections of civil society, met Chief Minister Shams ul Mulk in Peshawar on Sunday morning. Speaking on behalf of the delegation Dr Khan, read out a Statement entitled ‘Save NWFP, Save Pakistan’, an appeal by the citizens of NWFP. The Statement registered an extreme sense of alarm at the deteriorating law and order situation in the province. It identified ill-conceived policies, faulty priorities and administrative ineptitude as prime causes of the anarchy that exists in various parts of the NWFP and the tribal areas today. It expressed deep concern that innocent citizens were becoming victims of violence and threats from extremists on the one hand and, on the other, they were suffering heavily because of actions taken by the armed forces. The citizens called on the government to ensure the security of all peace loving people and to attend to the many problems facing the poor. This Statement was signed by nearly 3000 women and men from all over the province and the country and also by ex-patriots from the US, UK, Canada and the Gulf. The signature campaign, which was started by the NWFP Progressive Citizens’ Group, is to continue.
The group stressed a dialogue between government and civil society at all levels ie from province to union council. It pointed out that one of the reasons for people joining extremist forces was that government had failed in its responsibilities to give justice and redressal to them. It urged that hydel profits owed to the NWFP should be realised immediately and spent on the welfare of the province.
Members of the delegation expounded on various difficulties facing ordinary citizens and the failure of government to alleviate them. The security situation in Peshawar had worsened over the past few years. Citizens of the city were carrying arms in their cars and avoided venturing out of their homes after dark. Pukhtun women feel increasingly unsafe in the province. Government is not transparent about the situation in the troubled areas and was thus viewed with suspicion. The citizens said that government should have a no-tolerance policy towards those undertaking future attacks on citizens, video and CD shops, something which is becoming common all over the province. They urged the Chief Minister to personally bring the matter to the notice of President Musharraf so as to make him realise the very serious nature of the crisis facing the NWFP. The Chief Minister assured the delegation that he would personally take up the matter with the President. He also endorsed the idea of a dialogue between civil society and government, to develop more effective strategies against violence. He mentioned the recent case where the citizens of Kalam had stood firm against disruptive elements and did not let them into their area. He agreed with the suggestion that public recognition of the good work of these citizens should be expressed by government widely. The Chief Minister said that he himself shared the concerns that had been expressed. And though he was in office for a very short time he would do his best to resolve the difficulties that had been identified.
The Chief Minister requested the citizens to draft a one-pager, providing him a schedule of dialogues between government and civil society organisations and the communities they work with and other concrete suggestions they may have.
Save NWFP, Save Pakistan: A Statement of CONCERNED Citizens, 2007
We, as concerned citizens of the world, wish to register our strong concern, dismay and protest over the state of affairs that has been allowed to develop in the NWFP, Pakistan.
We believe that this unprecedented breakdown of law and order and the resulting sense of insecurity among peace-loving citizens of the area is the direct consequence of political folly, of prevarication and of administrative ineptitude.
Today, many areas of the NWFP are in a virtual state of anarchy, while the adjoining tribal territory continues to be the scene of turmoil and bloodshed. Kidnappings, bombings, murder and arson are the order of the day. The streets are no longer safe, nor indeed are people's homes.
The NWFP has, throughout the past 60 years, been subject to maltreatment and neglect. Its leaders, who gave far greater sacrifices in the freedom struggle against colonialism than anyone in Pakistan, were dubbed as traitors. NWFP's development has been minimal and it remains backward and impoverished. The province's social sector indicators in education and health were better in 1992 than in 2007. Billions of dollars in foreign aid have been received in the name of the province but little of it has been spent here. It seems to have been largely swallowed up by the purchase of arms and by privileges and luxuries for the rulers. Even the province's legitimate earnings from hydel power have been denied to it despite an arbitration award which was mutually accepted by WAPDA (national Water and Power Development Authority) and the province.
Ill-conceived policies, erroneous priorities and unmerited appointments at the higher levels have aggravated the woes of the people. A situation has been allowed to develop, perhaps even encouraged, where ordinary NWFP citizens are either victims of threats and intimidation by extremist elements or are at the mercy of brutality by official agencies. Innocent people are dying at the hands of militants and at the hands of the army.
This cannot continue and we must warn that serious doubts are being openly expressed about the future of the province and indeed of the country. If those in power in Islamabad and Peshawar do not respond immediately to the danger the future bodes ill for all of us.
We, therefore, urge the both the provincial and federal governments to take urgent and effective remedial steps in full consultation with all stakeholders. The solution will not always be the use of force and it is imperative that the role of citizens themselves be identified so that they can join hands to counter the serious threat we all face. This can only be done if we all rise above narrow self-interest and partisan politics. We expect the government to show the way in order to save the NWFP. If not addressed urgently, this situation will soon engulf the whole country and the region.
The Save NWFP Save Pakistan: A Statement Of ALL CONCERNED Citizens petition to CITIZENS OF THE WORLD was written by NWFP Progressive Citizens' Group and is in the category Civil Rights at GoPetition.