Humanitarian Work in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas

Since my early student life nearly seven years ago, I have been involved in human rights and youth activism. This includes working with various local and international human rights and youth organizations with a vision to make sure human rights are universally protected and respected.

In particular, a world where all young people – regardless of nationality, ethnicity, religion, class, gender or other differences are encouraged and empowered to peacefully claim their own rights and serve as advocates for the rights of others.

I am dedicated to empowering youth from around the world to work together cross culturally not only with each other but also with civil society organizations and policy makers. The aim is to advance the framework of human rights as a tool for social change and to make sure that all human rights are fulfilled for all people.

Regrettably, young Pakistani men and women from the most backward and ignorant area of Pakistan – the semi-autonomous Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) – are facing an economic, social, political, and security crisis.

Some talented youth are emigrating out of frustration, resulting in a major “brain drain” and loss of talent. Some angry young men, in disgust and defiance, have taken up violent ways of crime and terrorism. Others with weaker will have taken refuge in drugs and in some extreme cases, suicide.

As a human rights activist and youth analyst, we want to target the youth and motivate them to adopt a positive and constructive approach. We encourage them to mobilize their creative energies to remain in Pakistan and to serve their country. We advocate the importance of promoting human rights, social justice, peace, stability and public order.

My inspiration and motivation stems from my unique background. I have lived in poverty all my life so I know poverty very well. I am not knew to tribal conflicts because they are very common in Africa. My friend died a few years ago from HIV so HIV and AIDS are not new to me. Corruption is very rampant in Pakistan today so corruption is very familiar to me.

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I have read several stories about racism and discrimination in most Western countries especially in the United States. I have also read several stories about this disease in South Africa, Brazil, and even in India.

Whenever I search CNN or BBC for world news, someone is in trouble. Our problems are almost uncountable and they keep coming every second of the day, every minute of the day and every hour of the day. Think about abortion and the killing of innocent babies.

Think about the hundreds of thousands of people dying each and everyday: The war in Iraq; the violence in Pakistan and Afghanistan; and the killing of innocents especially women and children around the world. Think about all the child labor and child abuse.

Think about the poverty and hunger even in America. People are dying in Africa and India just because they can’t get something to eat. Think about HIV/AIDS and the killing of human beings in record numbers. People continue to die from infectious diseases in record numbers even though anti-retro viral drugs are available.

But who is to blame? What do you think are some of the major problems or challenges facing the world today? What are some of the things we can do as human beings to change our world?

Shahid Kazmi is a youth analyst, human rights and youth activist, peace practitioner, volunteer, social worker and blogger from the Pakistani Federally Administered Tribal Areas. Visit his Facebook page and follow him on Twitter @shaahidkazmi. Read other articles by Shahid.

  • Malik Adnan

    I believe that discrimination is biggest problem that humanity is facing. Everyone according to his level and position has a discriminatory attitude. We always think in the boxes of religion, nation, cast, race, color and even family and friends while merit is ignored almost through out the world.
    So the problems that were mentioned in this article I believe can be eliminated only if we work to remove discrimination. Decision should be made without thinking about religion or cast or nation. Why we have forgotten humanity ? This is what we need to understand first.

  • nice brother