06 September 2018

No Development Without Women Participation’

Bagh, AJK:  
Without full participation of women development cannot be achieved. Far too many women continue to be denied equal opportunities in education, employment and decision- making.
These views were expressed by several speakers at Women Vocational Centre organised by Press For Peace (PFP) in Naar Sher Ali Khan village. More than 35 women were awarded the certificates after successfully completing a three month- vocational training course which imparted them necessary skills required for professional development.  
District Co-ordinator Imran Hameed Gillani said that Press for Peace (PFP) has played an essential role in the society by raising awareness among masses about basic rights and the organisation has also provided vocational training to over 400 women from rural and marginalized areas.
Yousaf Kashmiri maintained that we need to recognize and acknowledge the value of women’s contribution to our society.
He opined that sustainable development without women is not possible.
‘Women constitutes 52 percent of our population, but cannot get equal access to land, resources and decision- making process,’
The speakers said that Press for Peace(PFP) has provided occupational training to a large number of women within rural communities of Azad Kashmir in order to improve their skills.  
Various community representatives including Sardar Gull Shad, Sobedar ® Farooq, Sardar Tariq, Khurshid Khan, Waqas Gull, Daood Khan, Aslam Magray, Ms Ruina Naaz, Ms Riffat Shaheen, Iram, Nadia and others also spoken on the occasion and appreciated PFP efforts for betterment of deprived communities. 

08 March 2018

Conflict affects lives and dignity of women

Muzaffarabad: March 08, 2018
Civil society groups have demanded special measures for economic, political and social development of women.   
Commemorating World Women’s Day here on Thursday, Press for Peace (PFP) pattern-in-chief Mrs Tanvir Latif said that women should be provided equal opportunities in political, social and economic spheres.
In a statement she said that conflict has a devastating effect on the lives and dignity of women.
‘Women are denied from equal opportunities of health, education and better livelihood’, she added.  
She maintained that without gender equality and women empowerment nations cannot achieve progress, therefore, all governments should initiate special measures for economic, educational and social development of women. 
The statement said that recent tensions along the Line Control in Kashmir have also increased vulnerability of women; therefore, there is an urgent need to prevail peace in this region to secure the lives of women, children and other civilians.

She appreciated the valuable contribution of women in the development and progress of humanity. Ends

23 February 2018

Economic Empowerment of women is Imperative for National Progress: PFP

Bagh, (Pakistan Administrated Kashmir) February 23,2018

Society cannot progress without active participation of women in public and economic life. Technical and vocational education and training can play an important role in economic empowerment of women.
Various speakers expressed these views on the occasion of   awarding certificates among women who completed their courses at Women Vocational Centre.
Press For Peace (PFP)’s Women Vocational programme is arranging various vocational trainings for women to give them equal opportunities in social and economic lives.
Addressing on this occasion prominent local social worker Khawaja Arshad Dar said that people should change their mind-set about women in order to make our society equitable and progressive. 
Yousaf Kashmiri said that Women Vocational Project has trained a large number of rural women which are supporting their livelihoods by utilising their new knowledge and skills.
Imran Gillani PFP District Coordinator informed that more ‘Women Vocational centres’ (WVCs) would be established in far-flung areas to provide equal opportunities of learning and training to women. 
The PFP representatives Zahid Gillani, Shoukat Tamoore, Rubina Naaz, Nazia Khursheed and others appreciated the role of local organisations for the development of women and other marginalized segments of society.
The speakers also lauded the matchless struggle waged by late Asma Jahangir for the deprived communities of the country. They said that entire country is praying peace for her soul.
“She played an active role for the rights of voiceless segments of society and proved to be beacon of hope for everyone,” the speakers added.  

01 February 2018

Muzaffarabad: Of polluted rivers and decaying beauty

Dunya News) – Violation of environmental protection laws continues unchecked in Azad Kashmir where discarding of waste and untreated sewage in rivers has resulted in pollution that is adversely affecting not just humans but also aquatic life.
In the capital Muzaffarabad, negligence of the district authorities and the environmental protection department has led to the pollution of rivers as waste from sewers and drains is discharged, in blatant violation of laws. With the disposal of polluted water from sewers into the rivers, the aquatic life is at a great risk.
Citizens claim that environmental protection department and local administration have failed to ensure implementation of environment friendly laws in the area. “We use the same untreated water from the river…this has resulted in several skin diseases,” said a citizen while speaking to Dunay News. Several others in the area complained of foul smell that originated from the polluted rivers.
Citizens claim that environmental protection department and local administration have failed to ensure implementation of environment friendly laws in the area. “We use the same untreated water from the river…this has resulted in several skin diseases,” said a citizen while speaking to Dunay News. Several others in the area complained of foul smell that originated from the polluted rivers.

courtesy: http://dunyanews.tv/en/Pakistan/424881-Muzaffarabad-Of-polluted-rivers-and-decaying-beauty

Peace is the key

Now the time has come to say goodbye to violence

Javid Ahmad Ahanger

Peace is defined when there is no state of violence, conflict or war. Everyone will argue that peace is humanity’s highest value. Peace and security are the prerequisite conditions for any society, culture, economy and state to prosper and flourish. Jammu and Kashmir once a beautiful abode of peace and harmony has now turned into land of bloodshed and sufferings. Here the important question arises what is the most obvious existing reality of the state of the Jammu and Kashmir? Today again the vicious cycle of violence that is resulting into loss of numerous precious human lives, huge economic loss, property damage, and above all everyday sufferings of common Kashmiris. There is constant atmosphere of insecurity and fear in south Asia as a region and among the people of Kashmir particular. The growing violent state response to political movements in the region especially in Kashmir, not only affected the security but it had greatly harmed the Indo-Pak relations, as there are many unresolved issues between these two nuclear countries and Kashmir being one of them. The use of violence by both States as well as by non-state actors has become greatest obstacle in finding the solution and restoring peace in the state. 
South Asia, as a region is often described-quite rightly-as the utmost dangerous place on globe. Although, SAARC was established to promote regional peace and development, however it remained distant dream only because of Indo-Pak bad relations. As many authors and experts believe that Kashmir can become a Switzerland of Asia, but the tainted relations between the two powers has adversely affected the peace and stability in the South Asia especially in Kashmir also. In most of the South Asian states, popular aspirations for regional aspirations such as right to self-determination and autonomy are perceived by their respective national regimes to be in conflict with their imaginary idea of national identity. Over half a century after independence, the nations of South Asia remain mired in a vicious cycle of poverty, deprivation, and underdevelopment.
Jammu and Kashmir is a landlocked region in South Asia, sandwiched between India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and China. There are a number of conflicts and outstanding disputes between India and Pakistan. However, the Kashmir dispute remains a flash-point of tension between the world’s newest nuclear powers. Pakistani and Indian troops still continue to confront each other on the Line of Control (LoC) in Kashmir and along the Siachen glacier. Kashmir has often been described as a ‘Paradise on Earth’. However, the nature of conflict and dispute between the India and Pakistan had turned this beautiful region in to a graveyard. The border disputes plus other unresolved issues of contention between India and Pakistan have given this very heaven the tag ‘Hell on Earth’. The onset of militancy in the J&K, started in the late 1980’s and continued for nearly two decades, and have grown from last few years again, further complicated the volatile situation in the region particularly in Kashmir. Today, the word ‘Kashmir’ has become synonymous with torture, death, Human right violation, destruction and genocide in South Asia.  
Kashmir has become entrenched in the minds of Pakistanis and Indians as the single biggest issue facing the South Asia. Kashmir has come to represent very high stakes for both countries in terms of national pride. This pride has given nothing to the people of this unfortunate land except the destruction. Violence has also directly affected important sources of livelihood such as agriculture, horticulture and the handicraft industry. Infrastructure, too, has suffered immensely. The violent atmosphere also induced a sense of resignation and frustration. The common people, caught between the guns of the non-state’ and state actors were more concerned about their survival than about engaging in productive social and economic activities. Both the countries tested their mighty power in the battle field and Kashmir became natural choice to both these countries. 
In present Kashmir normal life has been grossly interrupted and people are forced to live in constant fear of both by state and non-state actors. In fact, state forces have been known to commit severe human rights violations in Kashmir. An Amnesty International report says that “Security forces continued to enjoy virtual impunity for human rights abuses as a result of provisions contained in special security laws, including POTA, as well as in the Protection of Human Rights Act.” On the other hand the public political movements and uprising especially from 2008 were handled with brute forces by the governments in New-Delhi and in Srinagar. The deep rooted frustration among the people of Kashmir again went up recently in 2016 that still continues in one form or the other. There seems no chance of return of peace in the region so that people of Kashmir can inhale the normal air, were life and property of an ordinary Kashmiri can be respected and loved. 
Courtesy:  http://www.greaterkashmir.com/news/opinion/peace-is-the-key/273349.html