#Mumbai- ‘Aadhaar not mandatory yet’- #goodnews #UID


 

Mar 14, 2013 | Age Correspondent | Mumbai
Chief minister Prithviraj Chavan on Wednesday assured the legislative council that possessing an Aadhar number would not be made mandatory for accessing any benefits of government schemes unless 80 per cent of the population of the district has been given Aadhar numbers.
The CM was responding to a calling attention motion moved by Congress MLC Sanjay Dutt and others regarding slow pace of Aadhar registration process. Mr Dutt said that Aadhar number would become mandatory for various things such as gas cylinders, school admissions, PF, pension, scholarships etc.
Mr Dutt said that the citizens are finding it difficult to obtain the Aadhar number because of inadequate number of registration centres and machines for registration. He and other MLCs pointed out that citizens have to wait for hours together to register for thr Aadhar number and in several cases, the cards sent by post have returned undelivered because the address of a person is incorrectly recorded at the time of the registration.
Responding to the motion in the legislative council, Mr Chavan said that the Aadhar Card scheme was an ambitious scheme and that priority was being given to enrol beneficiaries of Central government schemes. “The Aadhar card will be linked to schemes only in the six districts, where direct cash transfers are being implemented. In all other districts, where less than 80 per cent have been registered for Aadhar cards, it will not be made mandatory. These instructions have been issued to all concerned departments,” the CM said.
Earlier, minister of state for IT Fauzia Khan informed the House that till date around 5.43 crore citizens in the state have registered for the Aadhar card and presently, aro-und 4,200 machines have been deployed for registrations. “The government now plans to increase the number of machines used for registering the cards by another 2,000 and the district collectors have been asked to choose agencies at the local level to carry out registration work,” Ms Khan said.
The minister also said that right now 50,000 cards were being generated on a daily basis, which they want to increase to more than a lakh per day. “Those who have registered their names, but not received Aadhar numbers, will be provided e-Aadhar numbers,” she said.

 

 

#Mumbai -Spot boy poses as film financier, promises jr artiste roles, rapes her #Vaw #Wtfnews


RAPE

Nitasha Natu TNN

Mumbai: The Goregaon police arrested spot boy Mustafa Khan (23), who posed as a film financier and conned a junior artiste into having a physical relationship with him by promising her movie roles and money.
Khan, who was at large for since more than a month, was arrested on Sunday and booked for rape.
The victim (22), who lives in Vashi, has a two-year-old daughter. Her husband, a driver, is bedridden for the last six months after he was injured in an accident.
As the victim was looking for work, a fellow artiste, Kundan Singh, told her about an audition at Motilal Nagar in Goregaon (W) on December 10, 2012. The duo went there and met Khan. “He introduced himself as the film financier. When the victim told Khan about her domestic problems, and he promised to cast her in his film and lend her Rs 50,000,” said inspector G Rekulwad.
As they weren’t called in for the audition, Singh left, but Khan kept the victim engaged in a conversation and later forced her to get intimate with him.
The victim claimed Khan got intimate with her on five different occasions in Motilal Nagar. Thereafter, whenever she called Khan for work and the money, he made excuses. On realizing that she was used, the victim lodged a first information report against Khan on January 16, 2013.
“Khan had no fixed residence and his mobile number was registered on a bogus address. Khan was nabbed from Wadala on the basis of his mobile phone location,” Rekulwad said. The police found that the room in Motilal Nagar belongs to a tailor.
The police will make an application to the Borivli court, requesting Khan’s police custody. He is currently in judicial custody.

 

Rajasthan: Accused of rape, MLA’s husband roaming free #Vaw #Justice


RAJASTHAN, Posted on Jan 18, 2013 at 02:05pm IST

Jaipur: The husband of Congress MLA Jahida Khan, who was accused of raping a woman two years ago in Bharatpur, has been declared absconder by a court in Rajasthan. The victim has been fighting for justice for over two years. Now, she claims that the accused Jaleesh Khan is threatening her and her family and has also offered Rs 50 lakh to change her statement. Following the threats the victim has appealed to the district magistrate to provide her security.

Accused Jaleesh Khan is the head of Kama panchayat and his wife Jahida is a MLA from same place. Khan has been accused of abducting and taking the victim to Haryana and then raping her.

According to the victim the police did not register her complaint as the accused is a powerful person. Then the victim moved the court which directed the police to register the case and investigate it. Even though the police registered the case after the court’s intervention, but till now the accused has not been arrested.

The court has declared the accused as absconder. But the accused is allegedly roaming free and threatening the victim. The victim and her family have sent a written complaint to the District Magistrate and IG Bharatpur asking for security.

 

Khan, Taliban and the Crackpot Science


By Anas Abbas | DAWN.COM

If nothing else we Pakistani agree on one thing. Whatever little hope there appears is the last hope. A recent example of this was the invention of water as fuel for cars, which soon came crashing down. When we are too desperate for hope that is what happens. We believe it even if all evidence goes against it. But desperation is such a state that never lets a people learn. They bow down to miracles of crackpots just so that things change without their having to invest in knowledge and scientific progress.

Lately Pakistani urban youth has obsessed with another “Last Hope” who is an ideological lapdog of Hamid Gul and Jamaat-e-Islami whose looks and past athletic achievements are inversely proportional to his current ideology.

As readers might have guessed correctly, yes, its Imran Khan, the ‘playboy cricketer’-turned-politicianwho once threatened to abduct the greatest Pakistani humanitarian, Abdul Sattar Edhi and whose supporters are anxiously awaiting his triumph in upcoming polls. The demoralised and despondent youth that forms the major chunk of Pakistani population explosion feels abandoned by their government and seeks Khan as the solution to their insurmountable issues. Thanks to the gullibility of these overseas and domestic followers, Khan has earned the status of a Messiah who is expected to transform Pakistan to the ‘Norway of Europe’ in a short span of time by rooting outcorruption in 19 days, containing and eradicating terrorism in 90 days and becoming theSaudi Arabia of coal in, again 9-something days. These ludicrous claims of Khan and his party PTI have mammoth selling price at home but in reality they seem idealistic, incredulous and mostly fallacious in nature.

Take for instance, his stance on the issue of terrorism: he holds the ongoing War on Terror (started on 7th October 2001) responsible for not only the mounting polarization, extremism and terrorism in Pakistani society but also for the inception of Pakistani Taliban (TTP).

Recently his comments of Taliban fighting a jihad in Afghanistan faced severe criticism from not only the Afghan government but also from the Afghan public who protested against his comments.

Of course Khan and his brigade of trolls branded all criticism as ‘International Conspiracy’ and Khanfurther defended his comments by proposing myths that Bin Laden and Gulbuddin Hekmatyar were trained and indoctrinated by the CIA in 1980s.

However there are some pertinent questions which must be answered in order to ascertain whether or not there is any substance to Khan’s claims. The questions are:

Is the Taliban fighting a ‘Holy War’ in Afghanistan for the freedom and rights of afghan people as claimed by khan?

Is War on Terror the root-cause for the menace Pakistan has faced in the last decade?

In the above screenshot (Video courtesy Youtube, banned in Pakistan) Imran Khan addresses a gathering at Dar-ul-Uloom Haqqania which was the breeding ground for the Taliban leadership and was well known for its support of Bin Laden. See also Haroon Rashid BBC Report: “The University Of Holy War”.

Even a cursory examination of history can tell us that the Taliban had nothing to do with Afghanistan and were the product of Pakistani JUI-run religious schools for Afghan refugees. Ahmed Rashid, a world renowned expert on Taliban provides a great insight on their emergence in his book “Taliban” (published in 2000). He describes the significant role of Maulana Samiul Haq andColonel Imam in the emergence of Taliban. Haq is a Pakistani religious and political leader whose madrassaDar-ul-Uloom Haqqania became a major training ground for the Taliban leadership.

Protesters led by Maulana Samiul Haq chanting slogans in support of Bin Laden. Picture courtesy: Khyber Gateway

In February 1999 Haq gave an interview to Rashid in which it was revealed that he was directly managing Taliban leader Mullah Omar in forcefully implementing puritanical brand of Sharia. He was also the chief organizer for recruiting Pakistani students to fight for the Taliban against the Northern Alliance and whenever the Taliban required reinforcements, Haq, along with the ISI provided them with the essential manpower.

The chart below shows the contribution of Pakistani and Al Qaeda militants in Afghan Taliban military force:

Graph below gives an estimation of Pakistan’s (Central Board of Revenue): The Economic loss suffered by Pakistan due to Taliban’s illegal transit trade & nexus with Pakistani transport, trade and drug mafia:

In his book Fundamentalism Reborn? Professor William Maley writes “Many Taliban carry Pakistani identity cards, as they spent years in refugee camps in Pakistan, and thousands voted in the 1997 elections in Balochistan for their favorite Pakistani party – the Jamiat-e-Ulema-i-Islam (JUI)”.

Afghans under the Taliban rule suffered some of the worst oppression in human history. It was a period of the Afghan Holocaust that witnessed ethnic cleansing campaigns, massacres, human trafficking, mass starvation and other forms of humanitarian crisis. According to a 55-page report by the United Nations, the Taliban conducted 15 colossal massacres between 1996 and 2001 in order to consolidate their brutal rule in Afghanistan. Shias were branded as “apostates” and there were organised ethnic cleansing campaigns against the Hazara community where women were raped, and thousands of people were either killed or locked in containers and left to suffocate.Women experienced a terrible form of repression where they were banned from education and employment, and were relegated to perpetually living behind the veil.

The savage Taliban, also termed as the “Holy Warriors” by Imran Khan, even closed down hospitals, and not only thwarted the efforts of aid agencies in providing relief to the Afghan people but also refused to cooperate with the UN led polio immunization campaigns for children.

Let’s look at some pictures to get a real feel of life under the Taliban regime, which the Afghans suffered:

Scenes from the Kabul soccer stadium where spectators once enjoyed watching football games now watch in awe and horror as hangings are carried out in public. – Photo courtesy RAWA

Public executions carried out against the Shiite minority in the province of Herat by the Afghan Taliban. – Photo courtesy RAWA

Tortured war prisoners’ bodies are left in the open to rot as the Taliban forbade their burial in Herat. – Photo courtesy RAWA

Paintings by children of RAWA schools and orphanages in Afghanistan depicting the obscurantist Taliban era. – Photo courtesy RAWA

Female passengers had to travel in trunks of cars like animals because the Taliban forbade taxi drivers to pick women without their close male relatives.– Photo courtesy RAWA

A well-known 90 year old poetess, Aunt Saman Boo who had to resign to begging in Herat due to Taliban aggressions. The old woman carries her published book of poetry with her while roaming the streets in search of a few Afghanis or food.– Photo courtesy RAWA

The Taliban regime proved cataclysmic especially for women who were publicly punished, often, by death. According to the Physicians for Human Rights, no other regime has inflicted such repression on half of its population.– Photo courtesy RAWA

Life under the Taliban as Afghanistan underwent the worst drought in its history.– Photo courtesy RAWA

Scenes from the Yakaolang Massacre carried out by the Taliban where relatives are trying to identify their relatives and loved ones.– Photo courtesy RAWA

Taliban phenomenon was not only confined to Afghanistan, even before 9/11 its tentacles had begun gradually spreading over and taking hold of Pakistan. This Talibanization of Pakistan was predicted in the late nineties by Olivier RoyWilliam Maley, and especially Ahmed Rashid, who documented in his book (Taliban) that by 1998, Pakistani Taliban groups were forcibly imposing their Sharia laws and consequent punishments in FATA as were implemented in Afghanistan. Similar incidents of Talibanization of Pakistan were also documented by senior journalist, Rahimullah Yousufzai in 1998.

As we have seen above that Imran Khan’s “Holy Warriors” are actually savages and beasts who have not only caused mass devastation in Afghanistan but have also become the ideological foothold of Pakistani Taliban (TTP) that has been killing thousands of Pakistanis in recent years. These Taliban were never accepted as legitimate rulers by the Afghan people and from their beginning were considered Pakistan’s proxies.

Imran also expressed great sympathy for these barbaric criminals in his recent book “Pakistan: A Personal History”.  In chapters 8 (Pakistan Since 9/11) & 9 (The Tribal Areas: Civil War? My Solution), Khan provides a grossly misleading narrative that the Taliban were willing to handover Bin Laden after 9/11 and that the American invasion of Afghanistan was motivated by “Imperial Hubris”. However the book fails to mention that America was in negotiations with Taliban on the Bin Laden issue since 1996 and had pressurized them to hand over Bin Laden through a series of UN resolutions such as 107611931214,12671333 and 1363. Nevertheless the Taliban defied this pressure as it was never in their interest to hand over Bin Laden since his fighters had played a substantial role along with Pakistani assets in their victory against the Northern Alliance and it was their turn to return the favour to their guests.

Exploring Khan’s claim that Pakistan has been wrong in fighting the American “War on Terror” since it hasonly brought destruction and disgrace to the nation, this seems another bogus assertion of his, based on highly erroneous information.

Between the years 2001 to 2006, Pakistan’s annual GDP growth was at an average of a whopping 7 per cent as compare to the 3 per cent annual growth in 1999 to 2001. This was made possible, not because Musharraf was some Stalwart, a Warren Buffet, or an economic gold medalist like Manmohan Singh,instead the boom was predominantly facilitated by incentives such as removal of all sanctions, debt rescheduling, waiving of export quota restrictions and greater market share that were offered to Pakistan for its participation in the “War on Terror”. Furthermore the relations with India improved significantly due to immense American pressure, due to which, Pakistan curtailed its support for Kashmiri insurgency.

Indeed after 9/11, Pakistan faced an enormous increase in violence which resulted in 40,000 civilian casualties and an economic cost of around $70 billion but an ample proportion of this staggering cost was also attributable to the Balochistan Conflict and ethnic violence in Karachi which had nothing to do with the War on Terror. In any case, the destruction wrecked by TTP was inevitable, even if Pakistan had not participated in the war on terror, as Pakistanis who were assisting the Afghan Taliban had started various movements even before 9/11 within FATA to implement the same rule which later evolved into the ruthless Pakistani Taliban (TTP). The chickens came home to roost for the country when it fought against terrorism and it paid a regrettable price for nurturing Islamic militants and sustaining them. In doing so, Pakistan lost 5,000 of its security forces. A similar cost was paid by the US in the form of 9/11 attacks after it conveniently left Afghanistan in a dilapidated state which later on morphed into a breeding ground for al Qaeda.

By calling Pakistan’s ‘war on terror’ a mistake, elements such as Imran Khan are an affront to the soldiers (such as Major General Faisal Alvi) who have bravely fought against Al Qaeda and laid down their lives. In fact, the correct approach is to slam the peace deals that Pakistan conducted with militants in FATA post 9/11 which were instrumental in giving militants the necessary breathing space that subsequently gave them the required strategic advantage.

One of the main architects of these deals was General Aurakzai, who not only supported the 1999 Musharraf coup but was also condemned by the UN for his pro Taliban views and by thePakistani XI Corps Commanders for his inept military operations. Aurakzai has been widely quoted by Imran Khan who is inspired by him in his defence of peace deals. However, it’s very naïve and illogical to blindly follow the narrative of a slippery character like Aurakzai who drew blame on the US for his own lack of competence in leading military operations.

Khan is an ardent promoter of these peace deals and continues to deceive the public by calling these the solution against terrorism and by linking it to the Northern Ireland peace process. He fails to understand that this process was only made possible after the successful “Decommissioning”where the IRA had to surrender its weapons. One can never expect the Taliban and al Qaeda to adopt“Decommissioning” since their ideology and struggle is religiously motivated unlike the IRA conflict. Currently the US is also striving towards similar agreements with Taliban where the latter are required to abandon their weapons and accept Afghan Constitution.

To sum it up Khan’s views on Taliban and his policy of countering terrorism is based on myths and distorted facts which promotes the conspiracy theory culture. His views remain unchallenged by a majority of the Pakistani Youth and media because they themselves are ignorant of history and are mostly the product of the TV Boom of 2003. He further misguides the public by terming the Pakistani Hazarasectarian cleansing as an international conspiracy and refrains from highlighting the link between these ethnic killings and those carried out in Afghanistan by the Afghan Taliban before 9/11. The latest example of his propagandist attitude is the drama he orchestrated about hisflight from Toronto to New York during which he was questioned. He made an issue that he was harassed and grilled due to his stance on drones only to be later confirmed by officials that the reason was that the donations he collected were illegal on the visa he was travelling.

In the end, Imran is a ‘Taliban Khan’ not because he wants his people to be slaughtered in soccer stadiums, but because he strategically supports Taliban for two main reasons:

a)    To remain in the good books of a faction of Military establishment that has always viewed Taliban as a proxy and is leading Pakistan into disaster.

b)    To exploit and fuel Anti-Americanism,  the best-selling product in Pakistan and which directly results in keeping a deafening silence on Taliban’s terrorism and instead blaming the ‘War on Terror’ for all the ills befalling Pakistan.

This strategy of Imran Khan can be further evidenced in the absurd claim he made of blaming the War on Terror for the murder of Salman Taseer while conveniently ignoring the murders of thosesuch as Justice Arif Iqbal Bhatti, who have been killed like Salman long before 9/11, only because they defended blasphemy victims.

If Imran Khan really is as daring as he purports to be, he should openly confront and condemn the Taliban leadership by name, which he does not have the courage to do. He should learn a lesson from Malala who defied the Taliban’s ban on education of women.

References:
Roy, Olivier, ‘Domestic and Regional Implications of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan’, 24 April 1999.
Syed Saleem Shahzad 2011, Inside Al-Qaeda and the Taliban: Beyond Bin Laden and 9/11.
Pakistan: A Personal History by Imran Khan
Roy, Olivier, Middle East Report, Winter 1997.
Yousufzai, Rahimullah, ‘Pakistani Taliban at work’, the News, 18 December 1998.
Ahmed Rashid: Descent into Chaos 2008
Ahmed Rashid: Taliban, Militant Islam, Oil and Fundamentalism in Central Asia

http://www.rawa.org/murder-w.htm

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011%5C11%5C12%5Cstory_12-11-2011_pg3_4

http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=File:Pakistan_gdp_growth_rate.svg&page=1

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011%5C11%5C12%5Cstory_12-11-2011_pg3_4

The writer is an investigative Counter Terrorism Analyst. He blogs at aacounterterror.wordpress.com and tweets at @Anas_Abbas1.

 

 

Sunday Reading –Shah Rukh Khan, Islamophobia and a message for Bollywood


at http://www.sify.com

Shah Rukh Khan‘s two-hour detention at a US airport may not be as random as US authorities claim, says Satyen K Bordoloi as he profiles Islamophobia and its roots in cinema.
(With invaluable inputs from Monica Wahi and Shama Zaidi)

Three people stepped out of the private jet owned by the second richest man in Asia. Two of them were the man’s wife and daughter while the third was a film star whose global fan base outnumbers that of the biggest Hollywood star.

Yet, the film star was picked up for ‘terror’ screening in the US airport and detained for two hours. Though no one said so, everyone knows that the star’s fault lay in his name – Khan, Shah Rukh Khan.

So what if Khan means ‘leader’ or ‘commander’ and that he is perhaps the most well known ‘Khan’ on the planet.

The hilarity, however, had only begun. After Indians protested, the US authorities claimed that this was a random screening and that thousands of people get screened every day.

Random? Private Jet… one in three people… with the family of the second ri

chest man in Asia… a hugely popular star who needs only a 0.278 second Google search to confirm… Perhaps the US foreign policy on India is devised by watching the country’s illogical commercial cinema for them to believe that the Indian public will buy any nonsense.

Shah Rukh Khan downplayed the incident with his characteristic wit saying, ‘Whenever I start feeling too arrogant, I take a trip to America. The immigration guys kick the star out of stardom.’

The film industry, aware of the King Khan‘s megalomania, would have smirked in acknowledgement at this tongue-in-cheek self-flagellation. Yet, for the umpteenth time, this incident has put the spotlight on the tornado called Islamophobia that has left no one untouched – presidents and superstars included.

Aamir Khan was strip-searched in 2002. Irffan Khan had so many trysts, especially in 2008 and 2009, that he dropped the surname Khan from his name.

Former Indian President APJ Abdul Kalam was frisked twice in one day in 2010 at New York airport.

If this happens to such globally affluent Muslims, one can only imagine the kind of ‘random’ search common Muslims are perhaps subjected to.

Ironically what has been used the most in spreading this Islamophobia, is the medium of cinema itself.

History of Hollywood’s anti-Islam propaganda

Read more below

Fistula – Another Blight on the Child Bride


By Zofeen Ebrahim

KARACHI, Pakistan, Apr ,2012 (IPS) – It was personal experience that turned Gul Bano and her cleric husband, Ahmed Khan, into ambassadors against early marriage and its worst corollary – obstetric fistula which allows excretory matter to flow out through the birth canal.

As is the custom in the remote mountain village of Kohadast in the Khuzdar district of Balochistan province, Bano was married off as soon as she reached adolescence, at 15, and was pregnant the following year.

There being no healthcare facility near Kohadast, Bano did not receive antenatal care and no one thought there would be complications. But, events were to prove different.

After an extended labour lasting three days, Bano delivered a dead baby. “I never saw the colour of my son’s eyes or his hair. I never held him once to my bosom,” recalls Bano, now 20.

Her troubles had only begun. A week later, Bano realised she was always wet with urine and reeking of faecal matter. “I was passing urine and stools together.”

Unable to handle the prolonged labour, Bano’s young body had developed a fistula caused by the baby’s head pressing hard against the lining of the birth canal and tearing into the walls of her rectum and the bladder.

Bano’s family attributed her condition to fate, her father refusing to visit “due to the bad odour coming from me.” However, through those trying times, Khan stood by his young wife and sought medical help.

After Bano spent a year in a perpetually “wet and stinky” condition, her husband finally discovered a hospital in Karachi specialising in treating fistula and other conditions related to reproductive health.

Koohi Goth Women’s Hospital, where fistula victims are treated free, was started by Dr. Shershah Syed, one of Pakistan’s first gynaecologists to train in repairing a painful and socially embarrassing condition.

In addition to incontinence, the medical consequences of fistula include frequent bladder infections, painful genital ulcerations, infertility and kidney failure.

In 2006, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) launched a four-year fistula repair project as part of a programme to improve maternal health.

According to UNFPA, at least two million women in the world live as Bano did – in shame and misery. Most are not even aware that fistula can be repaired.

A major challenge for healthcare professionals is that the number of women suffering from fistula in the world is increasing by about 75,000 cases annually.

In Pakistan the true prevalence of fistula is unknown, but Syed estimates that there are about 5,000 new cases every year.

With only 500 – 600 women undergoing corrective surgery annually, Pakistan needs to put more resources into addressing fistula – which falls under the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) of reducing maternal mortality by three-quarters by 2015.

The MDGs are eight United Nations targets to be met by 2015 and, according to studies published by the International Youth Council, a major civil society organisation, Pakistan is unlikely to meet the fifth that deals with maternal health.

Pakistan, according to IYC figures released in 2010, has a maternal mortality rate (MMR) of around 500 per 100,000 births that is sought to be reduced to three-quarters from 1990-2015.

Pakistan’s maternal mortality ratio is wide-ranging, from 286 per 100,000 births in Karachi’s urban areas to 756 in rural Balochistan, where child marriages are compounded by non-existent health services.

“For both physiological and social reasons, mothers aged 15-19 are twice as likely to die of childbirth than those in their 20s,” says a UNFPA document. “Obstructed labour is especially common among young, physically immature women giving birth for the first time.”

Obstetric fistula is now generally acknowledged to be another burden on the girl child, deprived of basic education and forced into marriage – for which she is neither physically nor mentally prepared.

Pakistan’s Child Marriages Restraint Act passed in 1929 permits girls to be married at 16, but poverty, illiteracy and socio-cultural practices result in girls being married off as soon as they reach puberty.

Syed’s team continues to hold fistula repair camps in the remote areas of Pakistan that include training programmes for doctors and paramedics in fistula management. “The complicated cases come to Koohi Goth and simple repair is done in the field hospitals.”

The camps provided an opportunity to reach out to affected women and their families and encourage them to avail themselves of the free treatment in Karachi, where necessary.

Getting Bano to Karachi was not easy. Khan gathered a group of able-bodied men who took turns carrying her on a rope bed for three days just to reach a motorable road.

“It’s been almost three years and she has gone through six operations,” says Dr. Sajjad Ahmed, who worked at Koohi Goth as manager of UNFPA’s fistula project from June 2006 to February 2010. “She would not speak at all and she did not understand Urdu.”

Today Bano and Khan are regular visitors at Koohi Goth and vocal advocates of the campaign against fistula. They travel across Pakistan, spreading the word about how to prevent the injury and what to do about it.

“Khan is a cleric and yet he does not conform to the stereotype of a religious person,” said Syed. “He tells parents that fistula can be avoided if they stop marrying off their daughters at a very early age.”

Bano shares her story and tells married women about the importance of birth spacing, antenatal checkups and timely access to emergency obstetric care.

Syed says Pakistan badly needs a mass awareness campaign on fistula prevention and stresses the importance of social support for victims. “That’s the only way we can eradicate fistula from this region.”

“I smell nice now and it’s all because my husband wanted me to get well,” said Bano, who may have spent many more years in a miserable state if not for the treatment at Koohi Goth.

(END)

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