Sun. Jan 23rd, 2022

[Opinion] Let there be no light!

By Mustafa Kamal

It was 2005, when Kashmir was devastated by high magnitude of earthquake. The devastation caused needed a collective response. As a result of foreign aids to rehabilitate the area, many NGOs were set up. Some wrapped up after their specific goals  were achieved, while many others are still functioning for poor communities in Pakistan.

Mountain Institute for Educational Development (MIED) was a creation of the same days. A dormant NGO endeavored fully to sustain  itself under the supervision of its visionary and dynamic Managing Director Abdul Jahan. The activities of MIED were later broadened to other areas of Pakistan like Chakwal, Mansehra and Gilgit Baltistan.

The programme has been able to promote a sustainable public private partnership and social mobilization. An evaluation report of MIED Chakwal by a student of National Defence University found it to be a real blessing for rural communities.

MIED underwent severe criticism in Gilgit Baltistan recently. The Education Minister of Pseudo-province of GB ordered to close the project without any prior notice. Many rumors are aired. Some internal sources consider it to be a political move and others are relating it to kickbacks not paid to Ministry of Education by the Institute. Whatsoever the causes of hawkish ministerial orders of banning the programme might be, let’s analyze the repercussions of closing the project.

The first and foremost important setback would be economic. More than 2000 teachers were recruited by MIED. Closing the project has resulted into the loss of around one million Rupees. Let’s not forget the Multiplier Effect of such hefty amount in the region.

Currently Pakistan has the highest teacher student ratio in the world and the same case is true for GB. Banning the programme will further deteriorate our education system.

MIED was first NGO to operate its services in GB after the implementation of new Self Empowerment Package. The programme’s banning will create trust deficit among other INGOs/NGOs. It would be difficult to attract the donor agencies in the field of education into an area in which the education minister himself bans such initiatives instead of promoting them.

The Chief Minister recently invited many people in Skardu to promote the region and to create chances for investment; but he is in deep slumber on this issue. We may ask that on whose direction such blackish activities are being carried out in Education Ministry? Inviting philanthropist from other parts of the country is laudable, but why the CM is not taking action on this issue?

Why a son of our own soil and region is banned to promote our region? IS Gilgit Baltistan controlled by our Education Minister only? Aren’t there people to make him answerable?

Banning of MIED shows the level of interest our education minister pays to education. It really shows his mental state, his hatred for education, for light, for progress and for development. Let’s raise our voice against such hilarious job done by our Education Minister. It’s a test for every sensible, educated and visionary person of Gilgit Baltistan. Let’s condemn this Taliban minded approach of banning educational institutions by our Education Minister (He is a Doctor!!!)

The contributor studies at National Defence University, Islamabad.

5 thoughts on “[Opinion] Let there be no light!

  1. It looks one sided story.may we be able to know the views of education minister ? as he is doctor and knows well about the importantance of education.There might be some serious concerns or reasons for closing this project we should consider that.
    if the real case is the same as explained by writer then where are the youth organisations, other political parties, council and local representives’?

  2. This a very disturbing news, if it is true. But we, as a reader and resident of GB, have the right to know why MIED can not work in GB if others are allowed to work there.

    MIED, to my knowledge has been successfully working in parts of Hazara, Kashmir and rural Punjab for the last many years and have employed and trained many of our youth and professionals besides rendering its services to the rural population.

    There are other NGOs working in parts of GB in the field of education whose credentials really need to be verified and their activities need to be monitored, but that job is definitely for our security agencies not the minister for education. The case of MIED seems to be a personal disliking scenario by the minister for Education GB.

    Can we have the version of the someone from the Education department/Ministry on this? please.

  3. @Ahmed to my knowledge minister is doctor but doctor of animals ,
    the project is closed and the same project is moved to Butgharam .
    Mustafa keep the great work up .And thanks PT for publishing and sharing

  4. It is good to see that we have at least plate form like PT to raise our voices about such issues and i am sure that the issues high lighted by media like PT are given due attention in GB government.
    now coming back to the issue of banning MIED. It is really sad and disturbing news for GB and specially for Ghizer district where more attention is needed in education department as compare to other districts of GB.
    MIED , as for as I know, is a registered NGO with government of Pakistan (It is registers with Government of Khyber Pokhtunkhwan and Panjab) and so there is no sense of banning of this NGO on any security bases or any other violation of government rules and regulations.
    As for as I think the only reason for its ban is personal and political based.Dr Ali Mada Sher does not want any one to build good will among the masses and here we should not forget that rumors of contesting election for the slot of member GB assembly from upper Ghizer by director MIED Mr. Abdul Jahan had started coming in the previous election but he didn’t do it at the eleventh hour and Dr A M Sher may be thinking that if he allows MIED to work in Ghizer district then it may create problem for him in the next election if director MIED again intend to contest the election.
    But it is purely my own intuition.

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