Saturday, March 31, 2007

Millennium Development Goals- Farfetched Dreams?

For us living in the 21st century, objectives such as eradicating poverty and having universal primary education seem very farfetched. Nevertheless, the Millennium Development Goals, an initiative taken by the UN member states to end extreme poverty and promote sustainable development worldwide by 2015, is indeed a ray of hope. This has been the first major step taken by world leaders of developed and third world nations to promote inter-regional development and ensure sustainability. Now that we have entered the time-bound race to make the world a better place to live in, I beg the question; will these 8 goals actually materialize by 2015? And will the UN be able to stand up to the plate and fulfill its promises? I think the answers to these two questions will only be uncovered at the completion of the campaign.

The Millennium Development Goals are a list of 8 goals in total which include, "eradicating extreme poverty and hunger, achieving universal primary education, promoting gender equality, reducing child mortality, improving maternal health, combating HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases, ensuring environment sustainability, and developing a global partnership for development," by the year 2015. Many skeptics have argued that these “long term” objectives of the MDG are the same “long term” objectives from a long time ago. Those who lack faith in world leaders and the UN’s practical goals consider the objectives to be clichéd and lofty for the future of our world’s youth.

However, contrary to the pessimists’ view, there are actually thousands of non-profit organizations and local youth groups all over the world working towards the completion of the 8 Millennium Development Goals. Italian students happen to be one of those groups of people who are undeterred by cynicism. On March 16, during the National meeting of Peace School, the Italian Millennium Campaign, MTV and Fabio Vettori, a famous Italian artist, met with 2000 students from all over Italy to discuss what Italian students can do to promote the MDGs. The students drafted a request and presented it to the Italian Minister of education to support and coordinate their actions to fight poverty and achieve the goals. The Italian Minister signed a memorandum and made a public commitment to support school initiatives for peace and the Millennium Development Goals. This is an excellent example of students from developed nations standing up and working to make a difference in the world.

What today’s youth does not realize is that these goals will influence their future. The young generation all over the world must join hands and help achieve these “far-fetched” goals. The reason why problems around the world remain unsolved and stagnant is because we fail to make the effort of trying to make a difference. Even though statistically some improvement has been shown in developing nations as far as poverty rates are concerned, nonetheless we must mobilize every citizen of the world to pressure their respective governments to live up to their promises. Similar to what the Italian youth has done by reaching out to its government and laying out a framework, students and youth in every country must do the same. As global citizens, it is our duty to work towards these universal goals by sustained action and persistence. We might not achieve success overnight, but at least we will be able to plant the seeds for a better tomorrow.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Once again guys, lets BLAME PAKISTAN!

After sitting on the internet for way too long and idling away doing nothing productive, I gathered my will power to put my laptop aside and get out of bed and do something else! Now obviously the second most entertaining activity I could find within a few seconds of me getting out of my room was our beloved Television! So I thought, hey, why not for a few mins..?! No harm, dontcha think? Anyway, so expecting to get my blood boiling again with the news of the war in Lebanon, there was something else on! In bold letters it said on the top right corner on CNN, "Breaking News!" Thinking nothing of it, I start channel surfing, as you know, everything CNN has to say, is "Breaking News." so casually sitting in my lounge chair, I was flipping through channels when something just passed my eye. Now you know how there are some words out there, if said aloud by someone or even on the TV or if you just catch a glimpse while looking around, you're ears pop up and your eyes dilate suddenly...well, the words "Pakistani" always stick out for me. So, I switch the channel and basically on every news channel on our simple cable tv plan, which are like 15, the same news item was being narrated. Lo and behold, a plot to bomb US bound planes from the UK had just been thwarted, and 2 of the 24 suspects were of "Pakistani" origins. MY first reaction?..!@#$%^&*!

Here we go again. Deja vu! Now see my first reaction was pretty much cussing out the terrorists because its as if we dont have enough hysteria in the US already. This hysteria has led to the ever increasing Islamophobia in the minds of millions of Americans and Europeans after 9/11 and now we'll see it once again! Great!

In today's world, its not that we're going to be happy and cheerful and be like "YAY for capturing the terrorists! Good job guys!" Its more like, "darn it man, there are probably a million more out there! !@$%^&^&" In reality, this means stricter travelling rules, heightened security and nothing but more chaos in the realm of politics. Its more or less another frightening reminder (or should be) for Bush and Blair that hey, you aint doin somethin right! What is so damn difficult about not getting this simple message these terrorists are trying to convey!? Today we catch them, tomorrow what if we dont?! You're still not going to the root of the damn problem! That problem can be solved with a few simple moves by the US government. All you need to do is get your troops out of Afghanistan, get em out of Iraq, tell Israel to stop it and thats it! It'll work magic around the world. All the Islamic extremists and fundamentalists and "terrorists" will be happy! No more suicide bombings! No more bloodshed! We'll be able to enter a new era of peace and harmony. Ahhh..pisses me off because its my wishful thinking. I know its not going to materialize any time soon or even in the near future...and that is the tragedy of this tale.

Anyway back to this recent development, I have a few brief comments and this'll serve the purpose of getting this out of my system tonight. So on the news, all you can hear about is how 2 men have been arrested who are of "Pakistani origins" and had visited in the recent past. What happened to the other 22 suspects who were also arrested? And whatever happened to the 2 British Muslim converts who were also involved and the rest of the suspects also being born, bred and raised in the UK for the most part of their lives? Why dont we get to hear about their life stories and their influences? Why did they get involved? Why dont we get to blame them and see the inherent flaws that exist in the British society? When 7/7 took place last year, we were once again confronted with the same question of the men of Pakistani origins who were involved. Its so convenient to keep pointing at Pakistan and blaming Musharaff that not enough is being done as far as capturing of terrorists are concerned and rooting out fundamentalism, whereas, the over 1000 Al-Qaeda members that have been captured and handed over to US authorities, have been forgotten. Pakistan is by far the US' top ally in the War on Terror, hands down. Pakistan's ISI even this time, did amazingly in stopping the terrorists in their tracks and found very significant leads which helped thwart this plot, which couldve been catastrophic. At the end of it, all im trying to say is that why dont we also pay attention to the society in Britain and see what is it thats going on overthere and analyze and study the dynamic of its socio-cultural environment and its political policies, domestic and foreign. Evidently, we are missing out on something and not admitting that something is wrong, with more than 90% of the suspects held being British-born.

In the end I'd like to point out what current Ambassador of Pakistan to the UN had to say last year regarding 7/7. He stated, ""You have to look at British society - what you are doing to the Muslim community and why the Muslim community is not integrating into British society,... and not try to externalise the problems Britain faces with regard to race and religious relations. We have suffered from terrorism more than anybody else. Pakistan is doing all it can... It is important not to pin blame on somebody else when the problem lies internally. It would be a grave mistake to point fingers at Pakistan or anybody else outside your country." The link for this article can be found on The link is:

I think I couldnt have said it better. Presently, Pakistan is also facing a lot on a daily basis as far as sectarian violence and terrorism is concerned. But we dont blame it on the US' foreign policy or any other provocations or influences that might have led to the creation of these terrorist groups. In fact, we are fighting them on our own soil and the government is doing its very best to counter attack the extremism and the Madrassas.

At the end of the day, if we continue blaming and finger pointing, nothing will be achieved. Britain must take blame and solve this issue on a local and international level to prevent future terrorist activity from taking place.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

The tragic story of Lebanon and the Middle East

So it all started off on July 12, when Hizbullah guerillas caputerd 2 Israeli soldiers during fighting close to the Lebanese- Israeli border. Following that, Israeli newspapers headline the capturing of 2 soldiers as an "act of war" and they threaten to bomb Lebanon "back 20 years," and that is when the first air strikes were fired in southern Lebanon. The casualties on the Lebanese side of the border have surpassed 1000, with the majority being civilians. Whereas, about 121 Israelis, most of them soldiers, have also been killed. But who knew within a few weeks, the Israeli forces will bomb Lebanon back 50 years?

Many people around the world are actually shocked at the "invasion" of Lebanon. First of all, especially in the United States, except for the Palestinian and Israeli conflict or for that matter, any war in the world in which the US is involved in or has been involved in directly, people are oblivious of other conflicts that have taken place or are taking place. I could guarantee you, if you ask someone on the street or conduct a poll, 1 out of 20 people might know the history of the Lebanese Israeli conflict and that this war stems back to 1982 . The average person had no idea that something of this magnitiude could come about during such a time where the only focus of the media seemed to be on places such as Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran and North Korea. Hey, Im pretty sure N. Korea's happy! All eyes have been diverted, but I dont think it will be for too long because the US government and/or media never really needs an excuse to attract attention to any part of the world whenever they wish.

The Mideast Crisis today is definitely a deja vu for those who remember the 1982 Lebanese War. Its a haunting reminder for them, that what is yet to come, may be much worse than what came 2 decades ago. Whereas even for us, the younger generation and students of history and current affairs, who have only lived through atrocities of the War in Iraq, Afghanistan and the constant violence in Palestine, this violence is bone chilling. We might be the next generation to live through what may be the next World War.

Thats it for done....but this definitely isnt the last of my posts on the invasion of Lebanon. Till next time...peace in the Middle East!

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Jumping on the Bandwagon!

And so, just like all global trends, I pretty much feel obligated to join this ever-so-popular "blog" mania. Writing really is not my forte and never really was. Many would even say that I should stick to debating and public speaking, or as others would call it, "bullshitting." I really have no specific purpose of starting a blog, but its a good way to get back to writing and polishing my skills! In addition to that, I thought that this could be a pretty good venue for my venting and will help me rant and release my anger and frustration but at the same time I can also rhapsodize about the good things in life, and not be a pessimistic shmuck. Anyhow, this first post is basically about nothing~! But dont worry, there will be many to come! So sit back and keep on checking regularly for news from all over, and most importantly, my insight and point of views...and occasional tales from my oh-so-busy and eventful life. Feel free to leave comments about what you think..positive feedback would be appreciated! Enjoy!

Ciao amigos!