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Social Development Dr. Muhammad Iqbal, President and Founder, The Maria-Helena Foundation Pakistan is an intriguing paradox Women Galore: Woman prime minister,

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Presentation on theme: "Social Development Dr. Muhammad Iqbal, President and Founder, The Maria-Helena Foundation Pakistan is an intriguing paradox Women Galore: Woman prime minister,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Social Development Dr. Muhammad Iqbal, President and Founder, The Maria-Helena Foundation Pakistan is an intriguing paradox Women Galore: Woman prime minister, woman speaker of the parliament, woman foreign minister- bla, bla, bla Scientists and engineers who built atom bombs and their delivery systems Business entrepreneurs: biggest soccer ball exporter, 2 nd biggest bagpipe exporter, and fashion clothing exporter Many intellectuals, and well educated high officials who represent us in international forums

2 Then, why are we at the bottom of all indices of development? Because, we are a society polarized by: Gender Class Sectarian hate Ethnic hate Inter-provincial conflict Rural/urban divide, etc. Such a society always does poorly providing public services such as: education health care, clean water, security of person and property, etc.

3 Gender: Pakistan, is a patriarchal society, where men control all aspects of women’s lives: (keep women illiterate, lest they demand equal rights) Lowest female literacy rate in South Asia Highest fertility rate in South Asia : Population explosion; currently 190 million, increasing by 600 souls per hour. In 2050 we would have 275 million. Who would provide them food, clean water, health care, and jobs, etc? Highest rate of new-born underweight babies in South Asia Highest under-5 child mortality rate in South Asia Third highest Gender Gap in the world, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, and Pakistan (BD doing even better than India) With population explosion, and predicted shortage of water/food we would start killing each other – we are already at each other’s throats: Population explosion: --- is the most serious danger awaiting Pakistan

4 Class Divide: Remember 22 families owning Pakistan! No more so. With our culture of sharing wealth with kins and ‘brathery’, rich are no more very rich. The wealth gap between rich and poor ( as given by Gini Coefficient) is the lowest in South Asia; we are an egalitarian society – hooray, hooray Net worth $1.5 billion Net worth $1.8 billion Now class is based on Power. Those with power are called Elite. The Elite are: military brass, politicians, educated/business class, feudal lords, high bureaucrats, those with connections, and Pirs (Saints). Those with power are above law So are the militants/fanatics As literacy empowers poor - elite keep poor illiterate

5 In Pakistan, if you are (relatively) weak, life can be frightening; here are some examples: An 80 years old highly decorated brigadier vs a serving major general of ISI Fakhra Younas, a victim of acid attack, was wife of Bilal Khar, a scion of powerful Khar feudal family (former Governor of Punjab ) A woman politician of Sindh slaps a male employee of EC A girl-child servant beaten to death in the home of a prominent lawyer Why are the elite of a defeated, humiliated, and bankrupt country so arrogant? In Pakistan, there is no justice for the weak

6 Sectarian Hate: When Pakistan was created, we said; we would have none of this Hindu caste system. We are all equal. We had an: Ismaili – founder of Pakistan Ahmadi – first foreign minister of Pakistan (Sir Zafarullah Khan) Christian – Pakistan’s High Commissioner in Ottawa, in late 50s. Now it is us who have a caste system. We used to hate Hindus, now we hate each other! We manufacture hate. Lawyers cheer the assassin of Governor Taseer Sunni militant sub-sect bombs Data Darbar and other Sufi shrines – and Ahmadi mosques Pakistani passport application asks: “Do you believe Ahmadis are non-Muslims?” Signs of a sick society? We need a few million psychiatrists to screw our heads back

7 Those who criticize the government for not spending enough on education and health are the very same people who do not pay taxes. Only 1% of Pakistanis pay income tax. In Pakistan: Tax/GDP = 8.6% In India: Tax/GDP= 18.5% Putting Money where Mouth is (The diaspora has a moral debt to pay to Pakistan, at least I have) Gender : What has our Foundation done? We have: 200 women teachers working in our schools 50 scholarships exclusively for girls in primary and high schools 2 vocational schools for women 3 women appointed on Board of one of our conservative Pakistani partners In Pakistan, elite women fly (PIA) planes, poor women not allowed to ride bicycles! Want to empower poor women ride bicycles? Come talk to me.

8 Class: In poor areas our Foundation has established: 15 primary home-schools with 350 students studying 13 primary schools with 2,600 total student capacity 120 half-fee scholarships for primary school students 1 out-patient hospital (Amina Jabbar Waqf Hospital in Saddar, Lahore) Sectarian Hatred: How to reduce it? We had/have: 30 Scholarships for girls in 3 Christian schools 1 vocational school for Christian women 1 Shia vice-principal in one of our schools run by Jamaat-e-Isla Proposed: To honour Professor Abdus Salam, Pakistan’s only Nobel laureate, and a role model for science students; offering scholarships in his name for high school science students

9 15 - Schools in mosques! Cheapest way to promote literacy; costs only $180 per child for full primary school education with Primary School Certificate after Board Examination

10 All teachers are women. Teacher salary; $50 per month, or even less! About half of the students are girls All schools are non-sectarian Fees are less than half of for-profit schools ($5 per month or less) Each school has about 200 students Cost: $70,000 per school; land supplied by community. We build one school every year. Our 14 th school under construction 13 - Permanent Self-sustaining Primary Schools (Run on student fees, zakat/tithe, and sale of hides of sacrificial animals)

11 The End


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