Cross posting documentary made on me & PYA by Al-Jazeera English, highlighting some of the work we do.
First published in The Islamabad Dateline on 24.02.2010
Raymond Davis has been on the front-page of newspapers for quite sometime now. He will remain to be, till the parties involved extract their ulterior motives out of the issue and us, the ignorant sheep will dance to the tune of the shepherd, as planned.
The British newspaper that broke the news of Raymond being a CIA spy quotes: The New York Times, Washington Post, Associated Press and other media outlets reported for the first time that Davis is a CIA employee. They said they had been aware of his status but kept it under wraps at the request of US officials
The American media outlets, who cry about “freedom of press” every now and then, only gathered the audacity to report the same after London-based newspaper had broken the story.
American media’s mum-ness and Pakistani media’s hue and cry over Raymond Davis’s CIA links puts a big question mark on freedom of press, both here and in the US.
Youth all over Pakistan are disgruntled and angry over Raymond Davis. Protests are being planned out throughout the country, and if set free, the government will find it hard to control the street agitation. But some important points to be considered before coming out on streets:
Do we seriously think the mighty Intelligensia of Pakistan was un-aware of Raymond Davis and others working within our borders? I mean, a British newspaper is more ‘intelligent’ than the agencies that need to be checking exactly the likes of Raymond? Are we sharing Intelligence and receiving billions of dollars for signed contracts and only way to make those who become a nuisance, flee is by creating public backlash by orchestrating such drama, on the street? Do we think that our boys are not monitoring diplomats, and that too of Raymond’s history and profile?
More puzzling is the Raymond’s link with banned terrorist outfits and his potential link to drone strikes. America is striking Taliban with drone attacks, but their top spy in the country has links with Taliban and has been visiting them quiet often? The riddle is yet to be fully solved, one wonders if it ever will be solved as American media still had the guts to acknowledge it with-held information, our media still cries of being “free”.
We are living in troubling times of wars between intelligence agencies and our collective energies need to be directed at finding common grounds in rallying for democracy, in trying to infest democratic norms in our society, in working for freedom of judiciary and media, in rallying against extremism and in finding peace within, before aspiring to have peace outside.
Let us not be carried away by “spy-games” as not everybody loves Raymond, in that world.
Syed Ali Abbas Zaidi is an aeronautical engineer by force, an activist by mind, a wanderer by soul & a lover by heart.
Geo News released today: Davis row creates rift between ISI, CIA
My interview with The News regarding shortage of donations after Ramazan, for flood victims.
By Rabia Ali
Citizen donations for the 20 million flood victims are fast drying up in a period where relief and welfare organisations are aiming to begin reconstruction of flood-hit areas, The News has learnt.
Fundraising campaigns had received an overwhelming response during the holy month of Ramzan, when the flood victims needed to be fed and accommodated, but social workers now complain that those who donated generously in the holy month have ceased to donate relief items and cash.
This has put relief efforts in jeopardy, as humanitarian organisations and groups are facing hardships in aiding the resettlement of survivors back in their hometowns.
Ali Abbas of the Pakistan Youth Alliance said that after Ramzan, they have been able to raise only Rs2 million as compared to Rs20 million raised during the holy month. “We need billions of rupees for the rehabilitation of the survivors but somehow, people have forgotten about the plight of these people and have stopped donating,” he said.
Abbas narrated that the PYA wanted to rebuild a school in Nowshera which was destroyed by the floods, but the lack of funding has made them unable to do so. “This is the world’s worst humanitarian disaster as thousands of people have been rendered homeless and penniless. The media and social activists should keep on reminding that public that the IDPs need their help continuously and the process of donating should not stop,” he said.
Moez Premani of Karachi Relief Trust urged people to help them into reconstructing houses for the homeless. “We are now in the construction phase, where houses would be built in parts of interior Sindh for the flood survivors. For that, we need the support of the citizens into contributing towards the noble cause. Those who can afford can also adopt villages and assist us into resettling them,” he explained.
Al-Khidmat Welfare Society Secretary Tanvirullah Khan told The News that donations received after Eid are merely two per cent of the Rs100 million that the organisation acquired during Ramazan.
“People have simply stopped contributing as they think that they have fulfilled their responsibility by paying Zakat in Ramzan to the flood survivors. The public should realise that the magnitude of the disaster is gigantic, and it is now that the affected need our help the most,” he said.
Khan argued that the affected people have started heading back to their native hometowns, and thus, organisations are in dire need of monetary donations in order to build thatched huts, concrete houses, schools and mosques.
Z.A. Shah, the disaster management manager of the Pakistan Red Crescent Society, blamed the media for creating a pejorative perception of relief efforts. “The media does not highlight the positive work of the relief organisations, and keeps on showing that the internally displaced people (IDPs) are not getting any aid. This false perception is creating distrust among those who donate to social organisations, and they feel that since their donations are not reaching the public, it is useless to contribute,” he lamented.
Shah added that non-governmental organisations are witnessing a massive decline in their fundraising campaigns, and hoped that people would once again come forward to help.