Unitarian Universalist Service Committee
689 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139-3302
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Pakistan's in flux.
The siege  of Islamabad's Red Mosque is just one of the latest, big examples of this instability. Pakistanis have differing visions for their country: Should it move toward greater democracy? Should it focus on becoming more fundamentally Islamic? Who has a right to be a part of the discussion? Is there even space for discussion?
People are bracing for a showdown. Political instability is increasing. Radical movements  are increasing. There have been at least four assassination attempts against Gen. Musharraf in the last six months, and the talk is about "when" an attempt will succeed, not "if." It seems that positions are hardening in Pakistan. And that's affecting everything.
In northern Pakistan, it's making it more and more difficult for survivors and their helpers to work together to reconstruct homes and communities after the November 2005 earthquake.
Last month, Taliban issued a Fatwa (a judgment on Islamic law) to a school in Pakistan urging people "to refrain from going to schools and NGOs. We know that some girls go to school and that some young boys work in NGOs. We urge you to abandon following the infidels. . . . With [this] decree, Taliban have been allowed to stop or kill people going to NGOs and girls going to schools."
With threats like this, relief and reconstruction work becomes more difficult and puts everyone's safety in danger. The work slows, or stops.
This month, the United Nations and other relief agencies have pulled out  of one badly affected province. All organizations are being advised to assess the threat level and their vulnerability, and adjust their plans accordingly.
With already limited and further dwindling assistance in getting their lives back on track, the survivors are on the losing end, again.
UUSC  continues to work with its program partners in Pakistan-administered Kashmir . Stay tuned for updates on this brave work!