Profiles in Politics Excellency Finding no other channel to reach you, I am addressing this letter to you through the press on a subject that was very close to Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhuttos heart, namely blazing a new trail for the downtrodden in the field of education, particularly, females in the backward areas of the far-flung rural parts of the country. Sir, Ive had the honour of serving the first lady Prime Minister of the Muslim world as her Press Secretary and also as Director General Public Relations in the Federal Ministry of Education during which period I attracted your kind attention also, which has motivated me to address you on this key issue once again. Without your attention, the national security and survival of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan might face a grave threat for the future generations. On the face of it, the devolution of the Federal Ministry of Education might seem a harmless administrative measure bringing education to the doorstep of the masses through the provincial governments. However, this devolution when examined more closely, might lead to split the state created on the basis of the Two Nation Theory into four nationalities, each province having its own syllabus at the elementary level and subsequently having its own provincial goals of higher education without a federal Higher Education Commission (HEC) setting the goals for post-graduate education at home and abroad, according to well defined international standards. All the private and public sector universities, in Pakistan, numbering more than 130 have already lodged a unanimous protest to save the nation from this disastrous course of doing away with the Higher Education Commission. The respect that our post-graduate degrees had just started to receive at the international level, after decades of hard work in research and development, will indeed suffer a setback beyond repair for times to come. Mr President, while protest against HECs devolution has received nationwide attention, the fate of elementary education, which has become a total causality has somehow received an unceremonial and unsung burial. A fatal below has been struck against the literacy programme in the rural areas in all the four provinces of Pakistan where more than 6,000 schools running the Education for All programmes from Class I to Class V, under the Federal Ministry for Education and financially supported by various global commitments to the Government of Pakistan at Islamabad, have been officially closed down with effect from April 5, 2011, due the devolution under the 18th Amendment. The decision has been taken by the Ministry of Education without consulting the stakeholders, which are the provincial governments, international donors, and thousands of school teachers. Never before in the history of Pakistan has injustice been done to such a large number of school going children, 70 percent of which are females. The provincial governments have unanimously declined to accept such massive number of elementary level schools and students without the relevant budget and financial support for the continuation of this large-scale educational activity being imposed on their already handicapped financial resources due to recent floods and other economic factors. To make the prevailing bad situation worst confounded, the Federal Ministry of Information is believed to have informed all the provincial governments that if they do not accept the devolution programme of the elementary level literacy schools, Islamabad will be left with no other option, except to close down these over 6,000 schools. Mr President, neither you nor Shaheed Benazir Bhutto, the beloved leader of the people of Pakistan, for whom she made the supreme sacrifice of her precious life, would ever be a party to such a recipe of national disaster. With profound regards and highest esteem for your Excellency The writer is Chairman of Pakistan National Forum, and Chairman of All Pakistan Federation of Non-Formal Basic Education Institutions.