Friday January 19, 2018

Turkey hosts first World Humanitarian Summit to discuss Global aid distribution system

Turkey has hosted the largest refugee population in the world with almost 2.8 million Syrians but there are large refugee camps in Kenya, India, Jordan, Ethiopia and elsewhere.

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World Humanitarian Summit. Image Source: www.worldhumanitariansummit.org
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Istanbul: The first world humanitarian summit is held in Turkey on monday. Leaders and Aid organizations from all around the world are going meet on Monday for world’s humanitarian summit trying to change the world’s reaction and response towards crises caused by natural disasters and conflict. The summit is supported by the UN and their secretary general Ban ki Moon. More than 60 governments and state heads are gathered for this summit

Close to 60 million people are displaced worldwide as a result of Violence, poverty and natural disasters. Wars and naturals disasters have caused huge displacement of people. Millions of people who managed to stay at home also require aid’s to survive.

World Humanitarian Summit logo. Image Source: Wikimedia
World Humanitarian Summit logo. Image Source: Wikimedia

“Today we are in the most humanitarian situation since the end of World War 2. With 130 million people around the world are in need of humanitarian support. The secretary general decided that it was time with all the actors , Member states and private sectors together to see how we can deliver for those 130 million people in need “said one UN Official.

Turkey has hosted the largest refugee population in the world with almost 2.8 million Syrians but there are large refugee camps in Kenya, India, Jordan, Ethiopia and elsewhere. People in many parts of Africa and Asia are facing famine as a result of drought.

Even the pope Francis called on for the success of the summit. He said “The participants at that meet should fully commit themselves for the main humanitarian goal to save the life of every human being without exception especially innocent and the defenseless. The leader of the Catholic Church even visited the migrants of Greek island last month to draw attention towards their fight.

The humanitarian groups worldwide are calling for a permanent Global aid distribution system. One of the official also said “we cannot have this lurching response from crises to crises, we need a permanent distribution system which is based on global response sharing’

The recent surveys shows that most people worldwide are welcoming refugees with China, Germany and Britian topping the list. According the survey Russian are the least accepting of the internationally displaced people. Russia is also not participating in the Istanbul summit and refuses to be bound by its decision.

-by Bhaskar Raghavendran

Bhaskar is a Staff-writer at NewsGram and has done his graduation in Journalism from Amity University.

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Emergence of Radical Political Groups Raises Concern in Pakistan

Concerns are being voiced about how a few radical groups with proven terror ties have been allowed to re-brand themselves as political parties.

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Rising concerns in Pakistan regarding radical terrorist groups establishing themselves as political parties. VOA
Rising concerns in Pakistan regarding radical terrorist groups establishing themselves as political parties. VOA
  • Tension in Pakistan increasing due to emergence of Radical Political Groups.
  • Extremist groups are gaining a footing in Country’s politics.
  • According to reports, goverment’s efforts are not enough to stop the emerging radicalism in Pakistan.

Concerns are being voiced in Pakistan about how a few radical groups with proven terror ties have been allowed to re-brand themselves as political parties.

Taj Haider, one of the prominent and founding members of the opposition Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), which has been in power five times since 1970, told VOA the country is again seeing the trend of extremist groups camouflaging themselves to enter into politics.

“Religion and politics cannot go hand in hand, but unfortunately this is our new reality. We have seen the recent by-elections in Lahore and Peshawar where militant-turned-political parties were able to mobilize people and gather votes,” Haider said. “And these so-called new political parties, with proven terror records, look determined to contest the upcoming elections in 2018.”

In a recent high-level party meeting presided by PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, the son of Pakistan’s slain Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, the government was sharply criticized on its inability to forcefully implement the National Action Plan and bar proscribed groups from entering the political sphere.

The National Action Plan is a 20-point strategy devised to combat extremism in 2015 that clearly states no banned groups can operate in the country by changing their names or identity.

Analysts say many other political parties are also agitated and wary about the recent political dynamic that has allowed radicalized groups to enter the political arena.

“The government has repeatedly said it will not allow the hardliners to enter into politics, but the reality is different, these parties are going into masses,” Rasul Baksh Raees, a prominent analyst from Pakistan told VOA.

“As long as these proscribed groups stick to their extreme ideologies and violence, they will be a danger to the society and democracy itself.”

Hafiz Saeed
Hafiz Saeed, head of the Pakistani religious party. (AP Photo/K.M. Chaudary)

PPP’s acute criticism came as Hafiz Saeed, the alleged mastermind of 2008 Mumbai terror attacks and leader of Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD), inaugurated the office of his newly launched political party Milli Muslim League (MML) in the eastern city of Lahore.

Pakistan’s Election Commission rejected MML’s party registration application in October, citing its link to Jamaat-ud-Dawa, a U.S. designated terror-sponsoring organization.

But MML looks determined to contest the upcoming state and provincial elections. The party has several offices, has launched a website, and has a social media team spreading its messages through Facebook and Twitter.

Pakistan’s government has repeatedly emphasized it will not tolerate any political party with a proven record of promoting violence and terrorism to use democracy and political means to spread their extreme ideologies.

But critics still say the government is not doing enough to stop radical groups from entering politics.

“Look what happened in Lahore’s recent by-election and who can forget the power show by extremists on the roads of Islamabad. The government was totally helpless,” Raees said.

During the Lahore election in September, a MML backed independent candidate secured the fourth position in the race. The by-election was also contested by Tehreek-e-Labbaik (TeL), another extremist religious party created to carry-on Mumtaz Qadri’s mission, the bodyguard who killed Punjab’s Governor Salman Taseer in 2011 after he had demanded reforms in the controversial blasphemy law. Mumtaz Qadri was later sentenced to death.

Islamic Extremists
Supporters of the Tehreek-e-Labaik party (VOA)

In November, thousands of followers of the Islamist group Tehreek-e-Labaik blocked Islamabad roads for weeks and demanded the resignation of Law Minister Zahid Hamid, after accusing him of blasphemy. The government eventually surrendered to hardliners’ demands after Pakistan’s military played the role of mediator.

The experts say the emerging trend of politicizing militancy is a danger to democracy. They also point out the sectarian and hardline rationale will further complicate the situation in the country that has been trying to combat terrorism for more than a decade.

“Imagine when these hardliners, through political parties, will spread their extreme views on the grassroots level. What will be the future of this country?” Raees said.

But some politicians dismiss the blending of radicalized groups into politics. Haider believes the people of Pakistan can differentiate between politicians and extremists and will not allow militant-turned-politicians to thrive.

“If you look at the past, the religious parties including the Jamaat-i-Islami [an old religious party], despite having a huge following, were never able to clean sweep or get majority in the electoral process of the country,” said Haider.

“Even now, with all these efforts, I believe Milli Muslim League or Tehreek-e-Labaik will not be able to pull large numbers during the general elections. Religious or sectarian votes are scattered in the country and can’t be unified and will not help these newly established political parties to win a prominent number of seats.” VOA