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Saturday, February 07, 2009

Petition to the UN

Petition to the UN

Secretary-General of the United Nations
4 February 2009


Dear Sir,

As concerned citizens of Pakistan, committed to human rights and human development, we are appalled by the continuing genocide and reign of terror that has been unleashed on our people in the North West Frontier Province and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan.

In Swat, over 186 schools have either been destroyed or occupied by the military or the militants. After January 15th 2009, 119,248 girls are affected and 3425 female teachers have been rendered jobless. Of the 1.7 million residents of Swat, 700,000 people have been displaced. The number rises by the minute (Fact sheet attached).

We, the citizens, represent coalitions and organisations committed to the cause of saving the NWFP, including Swat, and our tribal areas. We have led an active protest since 2007 and particularly since the past year when the situation in the NWFP and FATA has worsened. The campaign of one of the organisations has intensified since the eve of January 14th, 2009, one day prior to the closing down of girls' schools/colleges in Swat. Our protest has been in the form of Petitions; Signature Campaigns; Online Petitions; Media Coverage; Fact Sheets to Parliamentarians. To date 18,000 citizens have signed these Petitions.

The networks and organisations of citizens involved in this drive and writing to you are:

1. Pukhtun Peace Forum: Based In Canada and currently appealing to Pukhtuns and non-Pukhtuns to save their land.

2. Idara e Taleem O Aagahi: Working on education. Registered in June 2000. Primary focus on comprehensive education reform beginning with public sector schools which are in a state of decay and degeneration. Also in other sectors of basic education in non-formal and literacy programmes for disadvantaged groups. (signatures of education institutions and students attached).

3. NWFP Citizens' for Peace: An informal group of individuals from the NWFP who started a petition drive and presented this to the Provincial Government in December, 2007. The drive continues. The group consists of an ex Foreign Secretary, ex Ambassadors, civil society members, private sector representatives and other citizens of the Province. The drive was nation-wide and also signed from other countries, through an e Petition. (signatures attached)

4. Aryana Institute for Regional Research & Advocacy: A think tank working towards peace, consisting of academics and scholars. Concentrate on the area between the Oxus and Indus rivers and working towards spreading moderation and tolerance for our people. (Signatures attached)

The petitions and signatures of Idara e Taleem o Agahi specifically dealing with the education situation in Swat, have been delivered week after week since January 14th, to the following:

The President of Pakistan
The Prime Minister of Pakistan
The Chief of Army Staff of Pakistan
Director of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence
Federal Ministers and Secretaries for Interior, Information, Education, Human Rights and Social Welfare & Special Education/NCCWD
Governor NWFP; Chief Minister NWFP
Chief Ministers Sindh, Baluchistan & Punjab
Education Minister and Secretary NWFP & Director Education FATA
Speaker National Assembly
Chairman Senate
Parliamentarians : Chairperson Standing Committees: National Assembly and Senate
Special Adviser to the Prime Minister on Social Sectors
We are appealing to the United Nations as we realise the situation in Pakistan is not one that would be contained within our boundaries and has serious international implications. It is an issue for the world to take the situation extremely seriously. We believe civil society and the international bodies need to come together for peace in our country.
We are demanding the following through the United Nations:

Stop the GENOCIDE in the NWFP (particularly in Swat) and FATA immediately
Initiate a formal Independent Inquiry Commission into the protracted Genocide in Swat, Talibanisation through collusion and with no writ of the Pakistani State and the military
Restore Girls’ and Women’s education with immediate effect, with protection.
Provide an institutional mechanism for temporary admission for displaced children into other schools on an emergency, temporary basis, to give their examinations
Address urgently the needs of the displaced people of NWFP districts and FATA
As the leading organisation for global peace and humanitarian assistance, we request you to act urgently and seriously and to start a global campaign to save our Province and our country from the growing menace of extremism.

Idara e Taleem O Aagahi
The Pukhtun Peace Forum
NWFP Citizens' for Peace
Aryana Institute for Regional Research & Advocacy

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