In just a month and half, Pakistan has suffered four deadly Taliban attacks against Shia Muslims by Sunni Muslim extremists. But it is not just the Taliban that are trying to eliminate Shia from country. Local extremist groups like the Saudi-funded Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat openly advocate an anti-Shia ideology and are believed to be recruiting anti-Shia militants. With recent reports of an alliance between the Pakistani Taliban and the Islamic State group, the Shiite community could face even more bloodshed. (via France 24)
This 10 minute film introduces the Punjab Education Reform Roadmap which since 2011 has had a transformative impact on education in Punjab in Pakistan. The Roadmap is led by the Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif and the film is based on a 10 minute talk by Sir Michael Barber, Chief Advisor to DfID on Education in Pakistan.
Husain Haqqani, who served as Pakistan’s ambassador to the U.S. from 2008 to 2011, has spent many years researching and writing about his country’s complex political history. His new book Magnificent Delusions explores how, despite over 60 years of being “most allied allies,” the US and Pakistan have never really understood each other. Ambassador Haqqani’s first-hand experience in US-Pakistan relations notwithstanding, Magnificent Delusions is not a memoir, but a case study. Neither is the book a polemic against the US or Pakistan. From Secretary of State Dulles overlooking the eerily prescient observations of Ambassador Langley in the late 1950s to Pakistan’s misunderstanding of the limits of US obligations in bilateral security agreements, Haqqani details a history in which both countries have developed foreign policy around a set of wishful assumptions rather than contextual analysis.
The US has failed to fully understand the India-centric narrative that has defined Pakistan’s national identity and served as a myopic focal point of Pakistan’s military and intelligence agencies as well as the role of anti-Americanism and fundamentalist religious groups in serving as leverage in bilateral negotiations. Ambassador Haqqani offers an equally incisive analysis of the failure of Pakistan’s political and military elite to understand their position relative to US regional and global interests, taking an outsized view of both their strategic importance and the limits of US .
Magnificent Delusions serves as a important point of reorientation for US-Pakistan relations, and is recommended to anyone who wants a keen understanding of not only how US-Pakistan relations got where they are, but how to forge a more productive relationship for the future.
Nobel Peace Prize nominee Malala Yousafzai discusses the importance of education in diffusing terrorism and empowering women in Pakistan.
In 1999, no girl was permitted to receive an education in Thathi Bhanguan, a village in Pakistan’s Punjab province. Today, that has changed.
Decade, a new film by Atif Ahmad Qureshi and Muhammad Iqbal Akram, chronicles ten years of cultural and political development in Thathi Bhanguan, as attitudes and perceptions towards women evolved through the persuasive efforts of the village women themselves.
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon adds his voice to the messages from over 1 million people across the globe.
Text of the Secretary-General video message in support of Malala Yousafzai and Girls’ education:
Malala Yousafzai is a global symbol of every girl’s right to an education.
On November 10th, citizens from across the globe are speaking out for Malala and on behalf of the 61 million children still not in school.
My Special Envoy for Global Education, Mr. Gordon Brown, will deliver a petition in support of Malala and the universal right to education. I am adding my voice to the messages from over 1 million people across the globe.
Education is a fundamental human right. It is a pathway to development, tolerance and global citizenship.
Join us in our campaign to put education first — for Malala and girls and boys throughout the world.