Security forces kill Jundullah commander near Hub

KARACHI: The law enforcement agencies late on Thursday night killed commander of a banned outfit during an action in Hub area of Balochistan, sources said.

In a joint action, Rangers, Frontier Corps and police gunned down Ameer (Commander) of proscribed organization Jundullah, Arif alia Saqib after exchange of fire, sources said.

According to sources Arif was mastermind of suicide attacks in Karachi and Balochistan.

Huge cache of arms and ammunition was seized during the action.

Young doctors’ sit-in protest enters 4th day

LAHORE: The Young Doctors Association (YDA) continued with their sit-in protest in Lahore on the fourth day as well on Friday, causing difficulties for citizens as well as residents of the area. 

Just like the previous three days, the sit-in protest by activists of the Young Doctors Association caused traffic problems for citizens while the absence of staff at hospitals caused trouble for patients.

The Young Doctors Association have been protesting since Tuesday, demanding restoration of all sacked doctors of the Mayo hospital. Owing to the callousness of the doctors, a minor girl yesterday had succumbed to her wounds and died as a result of the absence of doctors.

Two-year-old girl, Sana, who was admitted in Paeds Surgery Ward of Mayo Hospital some two weeks ago, succumbed to her burn wounds in the absence of treatment due to the 15th day of strike in the hospital.

Ishratul Ebad Khan leaves Pakistan, flies to Dubai

KARACHI: Former Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ebad Khan has left Pakistan and flew to Dubai, a day after he was removed from the top constitutional position of the province.

Sources said the former Sindh Governor travelled to Dubai via flight of a private airline from Karachi’s Jinnah International Airport in the wee hours of Friday.

Ebad Khan was removed as Governor on Wednesday after gaining the distinction of becoming the longest-serving governor of any of the provinces in the country.

In his place, the President of Pakistan appointed Saeeduzzaman Siddiqui as the new Governor of Sindh province, who will be the 31st governor of the province.

Dr Ishratul Ibad Khan had assumed the charge of the post of Sindh governor on December 27, 2002, being the youngest governor of the country. He almost completed his 14 years term in the office of the provincial governor.

Last month, Chairman of Pak Sarzameen Party (PSP), Mustafa Kamal, lashing out at Dr Ishratul Ebadhad said that the governor was known in Sindh as “Rishwatul Ebad”.

He demanded for his immediate arrest by the government and for putting his name on the Exit Control List. He claimed the governor and the MQM founder were the biggest RAW agents the country had seen.

Without divulging any details of a so-called Dubai meeting in which the governor was present, Kamal said that money from ‘china-cutting and RAW’ were sent to the MQM founder through him (Ebad).

“For the last 14 years, Ishratul Ebad has been the governor and he knows a lot that is happening. Ebad has minted billions of rupees in china cutting and he is still getting money from the city government,” alleged Kamal.

He said the governor was only interested in saving his post without caring what happens in the city. “The Sindh governor has a big role in the politics of Karachi and he just wants to remain the governor and is least bothered about the welfare of people.”

He said that Ebad wanted to become the head of PSP but they had refused and a dialogue in this regard continued for one-and-a-half months. He said that Anees Qaimkhani and Raza Haroon approached the governor to quit the Muttahida Qaumi Movement and join his party.

He alleged that the governor was still in touch with the MQM founder and had a telephonic talk with the MQM founder when he was acquitted in the money laundering case in London and Ebad had congratulated him.

Why English?

A YOUNG mother recounted to me her harrowing experience of her daughter’s schooling in Lahore. The child was asked by her teacher to report on her classmates who spoke a language other than English in school.

When I heard this I was saddened but not shocked. Many parents have had a similar experience. Worse still, many believe that this is the only way to learn English.

A few weeks ago, a similar incident in an elite school network confirmed that the battle of languages is still on in Pakistan. The headmaster of its Sahiwal campus sent a notice to the parents of his wards that carried strangely worded instructions. It forbade ‘foul language’ on the school premises. “Foul language includes taunts, abuses, Punjabi and the hate speech,” the notification elucidated.

Parents are impressed by the ‘English argument’.

I came across this intriguing notice right when I was reading a book that must be read by each and every educator in Pakistan. It is titled Why English? Confronting the Hydra. Edited by four distinguished linguists (Pauline Bunce, Robert Phillipson, Vaughan Rapatahana and Ruanni Tupas), it shows how damaging it is to deny the child the use of her own language and insist on English as a unilingual medium of instruction and speech in school in non-English speaking societies.

In the introduction, the editors write, “The expansion of English continues to impact in negative ways on other languages and their cultures. While English opens the doors of privilege and access for some, often the few, the way many countries organise education systems means that the English door is closed for the many.”

It is hypocrisy of the highest order that the government constantly harps on poverty reduction and bridging the gap between the haves and the have-nots, while promoting inequity spawned by its ill-advised language policy.

As this book states, its contributors — all 26 of them — are not against the English language or any other language per se. What is important for them is how English is used in Third World countries to exclude the majority — the non-English speakers — from the privileged club. People are being duped and exploited.

The popular myth is promoted that English offers a solution to all our education problems. Parents who know no English themselves are impressed by the ‘English argument’. What they do not understand is that their children are not learning critical thinking because they are handicapped by a language in which they cannot even express themselves fully.

This should not surprise anyone. If teachers, like the Sahiwal headmaster, are not proficient in English, how can they teach any better? They are after all the products of our degenerate education system.

The language conundrum has serious repercussions. While it is killing our own indigenous languages and culture, it is also stultifying our children mentally. Not being taught in a language they have learnt since birth, students resort to rote learning. They can never outgrow this habit as they fail to learn how to express themselves in any language.

Then what is the solution? English is the international language of the day and there is no escape from it.

The editors of Why English offer a solution. They call for greater respect for languages other than English, and to build education on the languages and cultures that children know. They write, “Research shows that this leads to higher levels of competence in English. We want English to take its place alongside people’s first languages and other relevant local languages. Unfortunately, and tragically, this is not what is happening in many learning contexts. English is fast replacing local languages … Initial literacy skills need to be taught in a language familiar to the child, so as to provide a foundation for all later language learning.”

It is clear that if the language of instruction has to be the yardstick to measure learning outputs of students, the mother tongue or the language of the environment wins hands down. Yet rumours are afloat that Sindh is planning to introduce English as the language of instruction in the misplaced hope that education will improve. It will not. The first need of the hour is to address pedagogic issues. If the government has the political commitment to do that it will have to concede that teachers can be upgraded only in a language they are familiar with. In other words, they can teach best in their own language after some in-service training.

As for teaching children English, some teachers can be trained to teach English as a subject. That would require longer and more intensive training. Meanwhile, improvement will become visible in all subjects taught in indigenous languages that the children understand and in which the teachers have expertise.

According to Why English? “The research evidence on mother-tongue based multilingual education is unambiguous: it leads to improved educational results, including a better command of English.”

By: ZUbeida Mustafa.

Govt directed to restore citizenship of 65 Chitral families

PESHAWAR: A Peshawar High Court bench on Wednesday directed the federal government to restore citizenship of 65 families, who were expelled to Afghanistan by the ruler of former state of Chitral over six decades ago.

The bench comprising PHC Chief Justice Mazhar Alam Miankhel and Justice Mohammad Ghazanfar accepted a writ petition filed on behalf of the said 65 families by Ameer Swat Khan. The court directed the federal interior ministry to restore citizenship of the members of the said families.

Advocate Muhibullah Tarchvi appeared for the petitioners and argued that the elders of those families were permanent residents of Gahirat area near Chitral town. He stated that the former ruler of Chitral called as “Methar-i-Chitral” got annoyed with the elders of the said families over some issue and in 1951 he ordered their expulsion from the state after which they migrated to Afghanistan.

The affected families were expelled from the area by its former ruler

He said that the ruler enjoyed vast powers and he used to expel people from the state in accordance with his wishes.

The counsel claimed that after remaining in Afghanistan for many years, those families returned to Chitral along with a large number of Afghan refugees in 1982 because of Russian invasion. He stated that later on they moved the civil court for restoration of their citizenship but their petitions were turned down and the said verdict was upheld by the district courts.

The counsel contended that later on they applied to the federal interior division, requesting restoration of their citizenship. However, he stated, the issue continued lingering on there, due to which they filed the instant petition in the high court in 2011.

Mr Tarchvi pointed out that one of the grounds cited for turning down their earlier petitions was that after their returning to Pakistan, some of them had made afghan refugee cards and had also received ration and other assistance meant for refugees. He contended when they had returned in extremely miserable conditions they were left with no other option but to receive that humanitarian assistance.

The counsel argued that according to the relevant documents those families possessed properties in the district.

STAY EXTENDED: The bench extended a stay order issued against imposition of sales tax on lawyers by Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government.

The bench directed that the federal government should also file comments in the writ petition filed by Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Bar Council through its secretary Naeem Pervez, challenging the imposition of sales tax through a notification issued on August 12, 2014.

Advocates Qazi Muhammad Anwer and the bar council vice chairman Tari Khan Afridi appeared before the bench and contended that lawyers had already been paying income tax, a federal tax, as well as professional tax imposed by the provincial government since 1990.

They contended that imposition of sales tax on lawyers amounted to double taxation as they had already been paying income tax and professional tax.

They stated that through Finance Act, 2013 the provincial government had imposed 16 per cent sales tax on different services not including legal profession. Later on, they said the impugned notification was issued in 2014 and through it legal profession was included in Second Schedule, which included the professions liable to sales tax.

In September this year, the court had stayed the recovery of said sales tax by suspending the impugned notification.

On Wednesday, the bench was informed that the federal government had not filed comments in the case after which the bench extended the stay order and directed the government to file comments.