The pigeons that started coming back to Pakistan one at a time during the last eight-year Musharraf regime have all flown away. Using Instant Text Messaging, YouTube, emails, Internet, cell phones they spread the bad news about risks of investing in Pakistan.
In 2002 the Pakistan Government asked the international community to partner with Pakistan in creating 100% Universal Primary Education along with Adult Literacy, Basic Women’s Health in Pakistan’s Rural Villages. This well-meaning initiative was to meet the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) set by the United Nations. For every Dollar invested by the private sector locally and globally Pakistan promised to rightfully invest five times the amount. The Global Pakistani Diaspora joined and invested millions of dollars worth of time and money for six years. The program funding was controlled by the Pakistan Human Development Fund and the implementation on the ground was done by the National Commission for Human Development. The results were phenomenal, unprecedented in the history of Pakistan in so short a span of time. Eight Million village children were given primary education.
Now most of the NCHD schools remain closed due to lack of long-term funding by the new Pakistan Government laying off 1000’s of NCHD teachers. The Adult Literacy Program has been closed down. The preventive Basic Health program for infants and mothers in the NCHD areas has been stopped. The six-year foreign investment is going down the drain.
On Oct 17, 2008, a skeleton NCHD Universal Primary Education program was approved by the Pak Government. Out of 80,000 NCHD laid off village teachers 18,000 are back to work. At the same time, a Rs34 Billion Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) of Rs1000 per month cash handout to the 3.4million poorest village women has been launched to alleviate poverty. This cash will be handed out by the area MNA’s.