Bringing down the citadel of corruption

Bringing down the citadel of corruption

Wafaqi Mohtasib (WM) or ombudsman is doing marvelous job in addressing the complaints of common man against the public sector departments and institutions amid unholy nexus of corrupt elements at all government level.
Is not it miraculous that you incur no expenses on stamps or greasing the palms of the corrupt mafia while filing your application and are not browbeaten or intimidated by the officialdom? You, too, are not made to make rounds from one room to other room, from one office to other office and your file does nor run on the wheels of bribed money. Even then your complaint is registered and addressed. This miracle is happening in the office of the WM. Our all public sector departments are a mess and they are being ruled on the doctrine of colonialism and nepotism. Every citizen can be seen bursting against these departments. You have two rooms with two ceiling fans in your home but the electric bill runs into thousands. This robust bill is by product of corrupt practices of corrupt staff who shifts the electricity stolen in commercial concerns or big houses to small consumers and this way they are indulged in money minting. Such treatment awaits you in other departments and public sector entities like Sui Gas, NADRA, Post Office and so many other organizations. Even police department which is meant for providing protection to your life and property exposes you to insecurity
The WM is speedy, inexpensive justice incarnate. Mohtasib Ala is true to his words when he claims justice is dispensed from WM at the door step of the aggrieved people without spending a penny. Having come to know about the stainless morals and untarnished performance of this institution President and Prime Minister had tasked the WM to work on the lines for bringing about betterment in police stations and jails. Owing to par excellence efficiency of WM, results are emanating positive and encouraging from police stations and jails as well.
Police department is so much bugged with corruption that a common man or innocent citizen cannot even think to step into the mysterious looking cages like police stations. One has to make a heavy payment even for extending salaam to the police officer sitting therein bursting with full haughtiness and stubbornness. These police officers not only commit robberies on the pockets of common man but also pay bribe to higher police officers for their posting in station of choice. The lower ranks among them too have to pay the bribe to police station in charge to sustain and invigorate inherent custom of bribery. But WM is the only institution which frees the common man from the ruthless clutches of police stations and ensures justice to them in these breeding grounds of corruption. Though it is unbelievable that a common citizen can get humanitarian treatment at police station but WM has turned the unbelievable to believable with bridling the galloping corruption horse of police. Accountability process is continuing with full force and transparency without any shred of delay as the proverb “justice delayed is justice denied” is fully operational here.
As per official statistics, 73050 complaints were received during 2019. Wafaqi Mohtasib issued directives and recommendations to the relevant departments on 23281 complaints. 20656 among them have been complied with. People file appeals with the President of Pakistan against these decisions but the president upholds majority of the Mohtasib Ala decisions. Only 23 appeals were granted during 2019.
Supreme Court particularly has directed WM to evolve recommendations to ensure improvement in the performance of other departments, particularly the police. The apex court has laid emphasis on working out proposals particularly with reference to reforms and betterment in police stations as they have been made inaccessible to common man and only touts seek access towards them. WM has undertaken this uphill task in collaboration with the elected representatives and civil society.
The WM is taking measures to facilitate the pensioners in timely payment of their pension besides addressing their pension related problems.
A pilot project is being launched to ensure provision of justice at the door step of people. Under this propjet the officers from Mohtasib office will address the complaints on the spot at Tehsil and district headquarters. If complaint is not addressed by the respective department within 30 days it will automatically come into computerized system and will be processed.

How to enhance revenues

How to enhance revenues

The pandemic has slowed down economic activity affecting revenues and marginalising growth rate but, at the same time, increased the state’s liabilities regarding the provision of public goods to the people battered by economic slowdown due to lockdown, which has pushed at least 20 million in the abyss of poverty.
Not only the government needs to extended social security umbrella to the marginalised sections of the society, it has to allocate additional funds for infrastructural development to accelerate growth and provide breathing space to the private sector. The federal revenue authority has been unable to enhance tax-to-GDP ratio and also has made no breakthroughs in extending tax net to the unregistered businesses. Lockdown has just closed down the known sources of revenue while a civilian government feels pulled to the desire to extended social security umbrella over to the additional number of the people who have fallen in the abyss of hunger and, consequently, disease due to economic slowdown following the pandemic. Given the government’s resolve not to increase the tax rates, the FBR is to take up the challenge of bridging monstrous tax gap through automation and introduction of a tax intelligence system rather than burdening the commoners with additional indirect taxes.
Going by the assessment of the World Bank, to raise the revenue potential up to 26 percent of GDP, which is regarded normal for the low income countries, tax compliance has to be increased up to 75%.
Statistics duly indicate that the FBR is capturing only half of Pakistan’s revenue potential. The tax gap in the services sector is 67%, manufacturing sector 46 percent GST 65% and income 57 percent. Tax compliance has to be raised to 75 percent, which is considered satisfactory level, to achieve the target of 26% of tax-to-GDP ratio.
Simultaneously, the governments need to reduce wasteful expenditure, right-size the monstrous size of their inefficient administrative machinery, monetize all the perquisites of bureaucracy and make taxes simple and low-rate. Experts have suggested leasing out state lands, lying unproductive owned by the federation and provinces, to industrial, business and commercial ventures. This will generate substantial funds, revenue and facilitate rapid economic growth and substantial employment opportunities. There is also a suggestion urging on the federal government to seriously think of amending the definition of “agricultural income” to bring into its ambit receipts from sale of orchards, lease of lands, nurseries and in this way, the rich absentee landowners and those engaged in businesses of nurseries will come under the Income Tax Ordinance, 2001.
There is a proposal for a levy of one percent on people with net moveable assets exceeding Rs10 million and at the same rate by provinces on immovable assets. This measure will yield at least Rs200 billion.
Centre is collecting Rs 1459 billion through sales tax on goods and the provinces Rs 190 billion on services and these figures are not showing any growth since last many years. With the introduction of the lockdown phenomenon, the federal divisible pool risk shrinking in size if economic managers fail to think innovatively.
Very credible estimates suggest that a unified sales tax on goods and services has the potential to yield whopping Rs 3500 billion. The additional revenue collection of Rs1400 billion will not only narrow down fiscal deficit but will also enhance share of provinces as well.
As per experts’ suggestion, the collection under the new law by the FBR will require provincial assemblies to pass resolutions under Article 144 of the Constitution, empowering the National Assembly to enact integrated sales tax on goods and services so as to avoid complexities of the 18th Amendment.

Partnering with community Panacea for police encounters

Partnering with community Panacea for police encounters

On May 25, Minneapolis police officers arrested George Floyd, accused for buying cigarettes with a counterfeit $20 bill. Seventeen minutes after the first squad car arrived at the scene, Mr. Floyd was unconscious and pinned beneath three police officers, showing no signs of life. The Police Department fired all four of the officers involved in the episode, announced murder and manslaughter charges against the officer who can be seen most clearly in witness videos pinning Mr. Floyd to the ground. Similarly, two policemen were killed on May 26 night after unidentified gunmen opened fire in Islamabad. Both incidents are the prime examples of normal police encounters or stop and search conducted by the police on routine basis but unfortunately turned violent.
Searches are generally based on reasonable suspicion by the police officer that a person has committed, is committing or is about to commit a crime. In the situation the suspect has no right to walk away and cannot refuse to provide identity, however, the suspect has a right of silence and refuse to speak. First episode of encounter depicts a picture of police’s excessive force prohibited under the law while the second incident portrays a scenario where police failed to react in response to the brutal force applied by the suspects. Police departments across the world are actively in pursuit to explore and try different strategies in planning their operations and activities to minimize the gap of mistrust between police and citizens. There is a strong belief that the police mission can only be achieved under the responsibility of city by enforcing the coherent strategies at the local level. Criminologists are of the view that efficient planning is rooted in the social environment in which police forces evolve and identify the needs of local citizens.
In the United Kingdom, the Crime and Disorder Act, adopted in 1998, calls for cooperation between local police forces and civil authorities to develop appropriate solutions for reducing crime and delinquency. The development of their strategy is largely based on public consultation and on a security diagnosis by considering all relevant information on a specific area. It is implemented under the guidance of a partner’s council composed of local police and authorities and representatives of probation and public health services.
The aforementioned strategies have provided a unique opportunity for police to increase the ability of local communities to share and assume their responsibility for safety in cities, improve services to citizens through the development of partnerships, and promote the exercise of local democracy and citizen participation while contributing to greater police accountability.
Police’s contribution to good urban governance can be measured by its ability to establish and maintain good relations with citizens while exercising their mandate. We have to modernize the policing strategies, have to adopt approaches only directed towards partnership and the training offered to police officers on respectful and effective modes of operation which respect human rights. These are the few elements may help to promote a culture of positive interactions between police forces and the public. Unfortunately, the citizens around the world have developed a negative perception of the police and consequently the community and police are unable to develop a trust between each other. The situation is even worst in Pakistan. Certainly, there are historical reasons for this situation, especially in the quasi-military role centered on political and social repression exercised by the police.
Another major problem is the corruption and a wide range of factors such as the absence of professional ethics, inadequate working conditions for the police officers and gaps in the supervision of police work. Police generally lack professionalism and accountability, lack immunity mechanism from many evils such as corruption and misconduct. Our police must work to develop ethics mechanism and codes of discipline to govern behavior in their relationships with the public and with their superiors and colleagues within the force by following examples from forces who have successfully dealt with such issues. Such codes already exist in many countries like UK, US, Canada and Australia.
Most of these police systems, which are national, provincial, regional or municipal, have adopted codes of conduct for their members and promote closer relations with the public. These codes of conduct define the abusive use of force and power, courtesy in relations with citizens, the observance of procedures, honesty, conflicts of interest and the treatment of offenders in detention.

National integrity Time to think beyond provincial autonomy

National integrity Time to think beyond provincial autonomy

Pakistan is multicultural, multilingual country. This country consists of the areas which have different culture, different languages, different landscape, different history etc due to which these areas have different problems. And these problems have to be solved ultimately for the sake of national integrity. There were times when national integrity was sought in strengthening the centre by abolishing the federal units, for they were regarded as a problem. The rulers made an experiment by creating One Unit. This experiment failed badly and rulers realized it after losing a part of country after the tragedy called Fall of Dhaka.
Then federating units were restored and federation became functional with constitution 1973. Federating units were four and a list was kept pending for ten years to strengthen the federating units. The Concurrent List was to be abolished on completing ten years of the constitution and provinces were to be autonomous politically and financially and administratively. The promise was not fulfilled. Political instability was the cost of not granting the provinces the promised autonomy.
A lot of misunderstandings were created between federation and provinces, and then among the provinces even but federation did not bother it. The people of smaller provinces demanded their rights but federation ussed delaying tacticts in answering their calls for justice. Resultantly the people of small provinces started to speak against federation due to their fair demands but instead of listening to the people they were declared traitors. The gap between state and society increased rapidly because constitutional rights were being refused to the people of smaller provinces. Political parties were realizing such type of poisonous situation since long but feeling helpless due to so many administrative and democratic problems, even the people of Punjab had started to realize these issues.
Ultimately good sense prevailed and 18th Constitutional Amendment was made in 2010 which gave constitutional rights to the provinces, the most prominent being autonomy. We observed a positive change in the provinces because there were no more demands were left with them and there was no fatwa of traitors from federation, either.
For some time, harmony between centre and provinces was observed but it was short lived because federation started to cry of lack of resources though it was sole responsibility of federation to collect and distribute to provinces according to a settled formula. Provinces are happy to the extent that they are enjoying autonomy and getting additional resources from the federal divisible pool but what about those areas which remain neglected even a decade after these provinces have secured additional reso-urces and authority through 18th Constitutional Amendment. What they are demanding form their province is all according to the same formula which has been already applied for existing four provinces.
They demand no new formula but very difficult to achieve it according to our constitution including eighteenth amendment. According to the constitution, first go to their own province, get approval with 2/3rd majority which is impossible. Why not go to federation straight to get new province which is very much right of the people of these deprived areas?
If four provinces are strengthening the federation? What about fifth or sixth province doing the same job? Why hurdles have been raised in the creation of more provinces? It is a big flaw in our constitution because it is in favor of only four units; no other deprived area can demand a new province and get it easily. If the people of some region have their own culture, their own language, their own area, their own history and their own set of problems, how can they be denied of their right to have a province of their own? How can you refer the division of a province ( Article 239-4) to its own assembly for approval?
It is high time to correct the flawed approach that Pakistan can’t have more than four province and that adding more provinces will undermine the integrity of the country. The constitution must be positively amended if we want to run this federation smoothly and happily. New provinces would create harmony between state and the society for sure as the prospects of the uplift of the deprived regions would brighten and it will give hope to the people battered by pandemic and decades’ long economic slowdown.

Fake domicile, residential certificates

Hashim Abro

Nowadays investigation is in full swing in the province of Sindh about fake domiciles and Permanent Residence Certificates (PRCs) issued to such persons who do not belong to the province of Sindh by Deputy Commissioners hailing from different other provinces but posted in various districts of the province.
The issuance of fake documentations to the non-residents as become the talk of the town. Both on social media, print and electronic Sindhi media and also social and political and intellectual circles are up in arms against illegal activity which subdues their constitutional rights. I personally know umpteen persons who work in Islamabad but possess a domicile(s) and PRCs of my Sindh, all thanks to our grubby revenue officers, in particular, DCs from other provinces and other racketeers. However, these fakers do not know anything about the domiciled city or village of Sindh they are actually supposed to belong to. It is reported that the major beneficiaries of these fake domiciles are people from central Punjab, Hazara division, other parts of KPk and Azad Jammu and Kashmir. In the wake of vigorous a campaign on social media, Sindh Chief Secretary, Mumtaz Ali Shah, has formed a three –member committee headed by a senior member of the Board of Revenue (BoR) mandating it to finalize their report within a week. The said committee to investigate the issuance of fake domiciles and permanent resident certificates (PRCs) to nonresidents in the province.
Unfortunately, obtaining fake domicile and PRCs is an old and common practice and so far hundreds of thousands of non-residents have been issued domiciles and PRCs by the corrupt to the core deputy commissioners. Previously, fake domiciles were available for Rs. 2,000. Now, the rates have been increased to Rs. 25,000 to Rs. 30,000. Reports reveal that, more or less, from all districts of the province wherever an outsider deputy commissioner was posted in the past or posted nowadays this devilish business of issuing fake domicile certificates has flourished. Hundreds of fake domicile certificates were made in Larkana, where the said committee started its inquiry in the commissioner officer. According to reports, people belonging to Punjab, Balochistan, Azad Kashmir, and KPK have obtained fake domicile and PRCs. Whereas the Pakistan Citizenship Act 1951 reads as, “any person who resides in a province for a year can obtain the Domicile and PRC in 3 years.” It is noticed that the fake documents often help fakers from other provinces in taking part in the Central Superior Services (CSS)competitive examination, among others used for jobs against the specified Sindh quota in various ministries and divisions, admission to schools or universities on provincial quota.
Since the problem is an urgent one, the growing sophistication of forgeries necessitate more robust verification procedures. In order to meet the ends of justice, it is imperative that all fraudulent documents should be cancelled without any delay. The alleged fakers may be rounded up who obtained the fake documents through lying, perjury and forgery and deprived the natives of their right to employment, inter alia, as enshrined and guaranteed by the Constitution of Pakistan. Moreover, after the inquiry, the accused persons and their accomplices may also be booked under various sections of Pakistan Penal Code such as criminal breach of trust, cheating by impersonation, cheating, etc. Time is ripe to get the bottom and get hold of these fake people with fake heart and mind wherever they are, and penalize them and save real people with pure and true heart. If we can’t do anything else then at least in the thought provoking words of Victoria Jackson who once said, “Because I hate fake people, I always think I’m never fake.”

Wages of poor governance

Wages of poor governance

The incompetence and negligence of governments, institutions and bureaucracy have not only landed people into string of crisis giving no space to them to exit but also making mockery of their helplessness due to their apathy towards addressing the problems.
On the other hand unscrupulous people and non serious traders and other communities are behind the corrupt mafias and ruling elite in multiplying their woes.
This is evident from the outcome of softening of lockdown during which the brazen violations of SOPs by all segments of society have shot the death toll to high numbers and infections thousands time more.
Owing to spread of coronavirus at slow pace during the first 15 days of easing of lock down, a careless and unscrupulous majority of the people started making fun of medical experts and cautious minority advice for abiding by the SOPs. Someone called it mischief of Bill Gates and some dubbed it Jews conspiracy and a handful of people named it a plan for extorting foreign aid by the government in the name of corona.
The real trying time in the perspective of easing of lockdown will start from the next week if the number of infected persons equates with the number of available ventilators and ICUs fail to provide space for patients and the paramedics get into trouble owing to huge influx of the patients. Then a chaotic situation may engulf the country. Opposition is too on look out to give tough time if situation deteriorates. Traders will too shift their burden of their mistakes on the shoulders of government. Even those advisors of Imran Khan who don’t tire defending Prime Minister of his lock down policy will too not be able to defend him.
The other issues are also being dealt with sheer negligence and with the lack of any vision. Coronavirus was natural calamity but the inflated rates of chickens, sky rocketing price hike, upturn in the price of flour, sugar and other edibles is by product of ineptness, inefficiency and criminal negligence and apathy of federal and provincial governments, relevant ministries, NDMA and PDMA. Flour crisis raised head then PM Imran Khan constituted a high profile commission to probe into the matter of shortfall of flour. The commission filed the report and the government not only made public this report but also made OSD those bureaucrats found responsible at provincial and federal level.
Federal Food Minister Khursu Bukhtiar was changed and Punjab Food Minister Sami Ullah Chaudhry had to tender resignation. No heed was paid to the hue and cry raised by former provincial food secretary Nasim Sadiq that the commission report is a sand bag to secure the real culprits. When government focused on sugar mafia then Nasim Sadiq concerns appeared coming true. Now federal secretary food Popalzai has been handed over the charge of PEPRA and flour mills have confirmed fears of Nasim Sadiq true by raising the flour price by Rs 5 per kilogram.
Government and media are placing all their focus on sugar commission while flour mills owners and those associated with poultry business are reaping benefit. The scourge of incompetence of Punjab and Sindh government has befallen on poor farmers in the form of locust attacks. Standing crops, orchards, ripe fruits and vegetables fields have been ravaged but federal and provincial governments are only doing one job of making tall claims.
Some months earlier the experts have warned the government that the locusts have laid the eggs and if these eggs are not destroyed timely then these will drop bombshell of destruction in the month of May and June. But this warning ended in vain.
Now locust’s swarms are wreaking havoc and machinery of agriculture department is pursuing an exercise in futility to chase them.
NDMA and PDMA have failed utterly in taking timely precautionary measures to counter Coronavirus. Even they could not anticipate the onslaughts of locust attacks. These two institutions are enjoying privileges since 2005 regularly with next to Nil efficiency.
These institutions which are over brimming with corrupt staff are nothing short of mafia. They have forged nexus with mafia and are minting money running into billions.
The poor people should go to where in this gloomy scenario of the country. They have no vigor and vim to counter the entire crisis like Corona, locust attacks, inflation simultaneously. The incompetence and negligence of governments, institutions and bureaucracy are lending no space to them to exit besides making mockery of their helplessness.

Politicking on Diamer-Bhasha dam

Politicking on Diamer-Bhasha dam

Politicking on dams by so called nationalists and unscrupulous political elements has raised alarm bells on turning the country into a desert.
Certain lobbies are working in guise to oppose construction of mega water reservoirs that ultimately makes our economy quite apparently more vulnerable to droughts. A hue and cry is raised whenever any project of dam is announced. Criminal negligence of our politicians and sub-nationalist has devoured several national projects of paramount importance shutting the door to acceleration in the pace of growth. Kalabagh dam is one among the many projects which have fallen victim to the selfish mindset. Work was to be executed on war footing on this project but our nationalist mindset did not allow it to travel from theory to practice.
Sindhi nationalist leader GM Syed and Khan Abdul Wali Khan echoed as voice of fire brand opponents of this dam. They used to hurl threats publicly that if Kalabagh dam is constructed, it will be exploded with bombs and explosives.
The nationalists in the ranks of PPP and Pakistan Muslim League also joined this threatening voice, against the project of prosperity and development of the country.
Credible evidence from former Prime Minister (PM) Mir Zafar Ullah Jamali lays bare how far former PM Muhammad Khan Junejo had gone against the construction of Kalabagh dam. He is stated to have refused to sign the Kala-bagh dam project. Had he signed the documents, the economic scenario of the country would have been different today as it would have propelled the prosperity graph to highest notch. The Sindh nationalist organizations and parties made Kalabagh dam as matter of life and death for them. On the other hand, National Awami Party (NAP) opposed this project ferociously and forcefully that government was left with no other option except to abandon this project. Similar voices are being raised on the construction of Bhasha dam, as well.
At present, the announcement has been made for third time for construction of Bhasha dam. The cost of construction of this dam is estimated at Rs 1406.5 billion. The construction work on this mega project will be completed collaboratively by Frontier Works Organization (FWO) under Pakistan army and Chinese state run company Power China. This dam is likely to be completed till 2028.
According to water experts, this dam comes before Tarbella and it is at considerable height, therefore, it will add to the life of Tarbela dam as well. According to media reports a sum of Rs 175 billion has been allocated for acquiring land for Diamer Bhasha dam. Asim Bajwa, special assistant to Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan on information has said about 4500 megawatt electricity will be generated from Diamer Bhasha dam. All these reports touch the hearts like melodious music. But the apprehensions are too there about the impending nefarious bids from the anti dam elements as the race is underway among them to oppose this project in a way that it is buried before it takes off.
Ali Wazir, leader of Pushtoon Tahaffaz Movement (PTM) while commenting on announcement for construction of Diamer-Bhasha dam said in his tweet on May 13 “presently when inflation is touching its peaks in the world, stock markets are crashing, how the US pressurized Pakistan to announce for construction of dam. What price will be paid for it? PTM leader raised the question in threatening tone something wrong can occur Gilgit-Baltistan in the consequence of this announcement. PTM has opened propaganda front against this dam soon after tweet goes viral. On the other hand, PPP has also come to open to put up resistance against the construction of dam. PPP senior leader Senator Sassui Palijo has given vent to her so called nationalist venom against the dam on twitters saying “Funds should be spent on curbing corona virus epidemic rather than Bhasha dam at present. Major dams are no more than death warrants for Sindh.
If our politicians persist in politicking over Diamer-Bhasha dam and fail to suggest a practicable solution to the water woes of the country, we risk converting Pakistan into a desolate desert.
Pakistan is in dire need of major dams at present when it is facing the scarcity of water to such an extent that water availability has reduced from 5000 cubic meter to 1000 cubic meter for every citizen in the wake of depleting water reservoirs. The water storage capacity in Tarbela dam has nosedived to 40.58 percent.

Honour killing

Honour killing

Commodifying women folk, non implementation of relevant laws in true spirit, considering their killing as a matter of pride and criminal neglect of religious teachings has proliferated the crimes of honour killing. Every year, one thousand women are murdered heinously in the name of honor killing all over the country.
Among other factors behind acceleration in pace of this crime, calumny features atop as casting slander on the honor of a woman is an accepted societal norm. Male chauvinism works behind this norm. Being a male -dominated society, it has turned the status of a woman into a tradable commodity. The sway of male is so all pervasive that the society does not allow the woman to vindicate herself in an offence of adultery; no matter she is innocent and is not involved therein. In every case male is left on the side of truth. Our rural and tribal social milieu is full of heart wrenching stories that women are raped in rural areas where feudal lords reign supreme. They lift the young girls by dint of their formidable influence and prowess and glitter of money, to deprive them of their chastity. Her family members particularly father, brother or their neighbors eliminate this stigma forever, for no sin on her part. This mindset of male to kill the woman in the name of honor without ascertaining the facts about her involvement in the crime of adultery is massively prevalent everywhere in Pakistan. Such incidents frequent the media in every part of the country, but in tribal areas this practice is in full swing.
Marriage of choice mostly results into honour killing. Solemnizing Nikah is recognizable and favorite act in Islam. But if any adult girl and boy solemnize Nikah on their own choice, then this act claims their lives. One among them or the couple is murdered. Dozens of such incidents are reported in police stations or find way to news papers that a girl or a boy or both are killed by the parents of girl through electric shocks or setting them on fire.
Such incidents occur frequently that the couple which gets married on their sweet will is gunned down by the parents. The couple is sent message for a meeting with the parents of girl in the name of reconciliation but when the girl along with husband enters into home of her parents, they are axed to death or shot dead.
In this perspective of honor killing, the plight of widow is miserable in our society. When she is forced to marry someone after having been targeted with mean and sarcastic remarks from the society, her parents cannot stomach her marriage. Her husband is killed and she is left at the mercy of some shelter home.
In tribal areas, the male chauvinism cannot tolerate the act of singing by the girls even in a wedding ceremony. The advocates of this doctrine subject singer girls to honor killing. A horrific case of murder of four girls in the name of honor had taken place in the area of Kohistan in 2011. These girls were slain on the pretext that a video depicting them singing songs in some marriage ceremony had come to public. Not only these girls, but the man Afzal Kohistani who had informed the outer world was also killed along with his brothers after seven years of this incident.
The loopholes in the laws and non implementation of laws also help the perpetrators of honor killing to go scot free. In the name of Diyat, the family members of the victim are acquitted. If the brother kills, then father of slain girl pardons his son the capacity of Wali.
The law for punishing the killers was made more stringent that the father of slain girl can forgive the death penalty of his killer son and the sentence will be converted into life imprisonment. But the problem is implementation of law in its true spirit. Several bottlenecks come on the way of implementation and major hitch is corrupt police which destroys the investigation by pocketing bribed money. The key to problem lies in launching a movement in the country to create awareness among the people for respecting the women and their rights within the parameters of law and religion

How long Covid-19 will last?

How long Covid-19 will last?

How long Covid-19 pandemic will last is a million dollar question right now. Even scientists have no solution to the problem it has posed to the humanity, for they are still working to prepare a proper vaccine that should effectively cure the patients affected by this virus. So, it is all about luck whether we will remain safe or not. Let us come to probability. What are the chances of pandemic becoming wild? Or will it remain at a level as it is today in Pakistan, America and Europe or will it decrease? Will we pass through a phase as America would do? Here another question arises: will there be a vaccine ready within eight plus months? If happens so, the losss of human life will definitely reduce.Given the wealth, ability and will of the Americans and the West, they will remain largely immune from the pandemic even if vaccine remains unavailable.
Meanwhile, many thousands will die. Probably luck will favour us in a way as it did to the Westerns and Americans. Our rate of loss will remain as it is for some time and will reduce gradually. Availability of vaccine will further decrease the rate of loss.
In our analysis so far, we have travelled on two wagons, luck and comparison with the West and America. So far we are safe. But luck playing its part is a chance. America and West are not depending on luck. They have wealth and expertise. We have human factor, the expertise but do not have wealth. Hence if our situation worsens we will lose the war. We will die en masse. The loss could be a tragedy having in its fold millions of stories to tell. Can we avoid that tragic situation? Yes, we can do as China did. We cannot match their efficiency. They are rich; they have a vast political system beginning from villages to towns, to cities, and to Beijing where president’s office is located. It is so much participatory that you can give it about full marks.
From Beijing we reach Wuhan, the city where COVID 19 was discovered first. It is the most dangerous virus of our recorded history. It could have appeared anywhere. Take in your imagination this bad luck of China happening to any other thickly populated underdeveloped Country, where would have human race stood today?
China completely locked down the country. Government made it sure that every household gets basic necessities. Meanwhile, testing, reporting and medication alongside isolation continued. With perfect measures, human race was saved from existential cleansing. For poverty-stricken countries it would have been total demolition. Millions would have died. Can it happen now? Yes, it can. India and Pakistan are still in great danger; none of them is prepared enough to thwart the looming danger. Then how to deal with it? Complete lockdown is must. No joint prayers, not even on special days of Eid and Ramadan, no group prayers. Whatever has to be done, it should be done inside home. State must show its strength. Any violation of SOPs be taken seriously and the violators be given exemplary punishment. Coming to second step, keep all cities under ‘Complete Lock-down’. State should stop all external payments, all development projects, civil as well as military. Similarly, other defense related civil projects should be closed.
Lockdown must continue for four months. The salaries should be reduced from one to fifty percent. In a nutshell, state should take responsibility for providing the basic necessities to every house.
On outside needs, energy, medical, public health departments, day to day maintenance staff and private maintenance workers should be given protective gowns, masks and gloves. On medical side in hospitals more effective measures for medical staff and other staff must be taken. The rest of the population should stay at home. Death is roaming around us. Let us go far safety measures to save thousands of lives. Let us prove we are a nation and not a crowd.
Thousands of volunteers will be required. Since we have crushed political parties, the like PPP and ANP that had dedicated political cadre in lacs, if not millions, there is no volunteerism with political will around. Involving Madrassas will seem to be promoting another dangerous element. Why should not Army come out to help Government to fight a war without arms but with a purpose to save hundreds of thousands of people?
—The writer is an Islamabad-based political analyst

Who, actually, stands in the way of accountability?

Who, actually, stands in the way of accountability?

Helplessness shown by Shahzad Akbar, advisor to Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan in holding Sharif family accountable has raised concern that there is no justification of holding his office if he has been made so helpless.
Like his previous press conference, Shahzad Akbar, advisor to Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan targeted Shahbaz Sharif charging him with corruption of billions of rupees in a recently held press conference. The first hour of his press conference gave impression broad net of Sharif family front companies has been seized. Shahzad Akbar gave impression that record of 460 million transactions in the account of Front Company of Nisar trading owned by Rashid Karamat Masih, a small employee of Sharif family has become available. Cross cheques which were issued by PML-N leaders to Hamza Shahbaz in the name of party funds have been recovered from accounts of front companies.
Shahzad stated money laundering has been done in the guise of party funds.. Therefore, this case can be referred to Accountability court as well as election commission.
But all of sudden Shahzad Akbar paused. He started saying that here he is being impeded in doing his job.
He in a state of desperate frustration added that “may he not hold them accountable and may his government not hold them accountable. Therefore, it is then duty of media to keep on raising voice for accountability process. If some other government comes after it then it is obligation of media not to allow it to go for give and take.
During 30 minutes of his press conference he gave impression that Shahbaz Sharif’s accountability is in the offing. On the 31st minute he came up with a different impression that the accountability of Sharif family is not certain during PTI regime.
He told the media men in details that money laundering was being done through fake front companies of poor employees of Shahbaz Sharif and his children after 2007. He mentioned names of 10 fake companies adding that money amounting to Rs 17 billion was laundered through these companies. Shahzad Akbar mentioned the name of employees of Sharif family along with the name of front companies which were being run by them. How much money has been received in his fake company? The name of contractors and the total amount deposited by them in these accounts along with the dates of depositing amount were also disclosed. Shahzad Akbar mentioned that how much money was drawn by Sharif family members from front accounts and later was deposited in their accounts. He also knew the names of party leaders who gave cross cheques in the name of party fund which were recovered from Sharif family personal accounts.
Despite having such details on involvement of Sharif family in money laundering why Shahzad Akbar has expressed disappointment that his party may not be able to hold Sharif family accountable.
This helplessness on the part of Shahzad Akbar has raised certain questions. First he should inform about the impediments on the way to accountability. He should also mention the names of those who are blocking the way of accountability. If system is hampering the way to accountability then what steps have been taken by his government in improving the system? How many references have been filed against Shahbaz Sharif in the light of the questions raised by him during his previous conference? The replies to these answers are also held by him. Are the evidence held by him against Shahbaz Sharif are insufficient to prove him guilty.
If Shahzad Akbar has not sufficient evidence to prove any one guilty, then why he indulges in mudslinging campaign on TV against individuals not yet proved guilty? If he has enough evidence then why he does not put Shahbaz Sharif to trial for his conviction. Why it seems to him his party will fail in holding Sharif family accountable and this mission will have to be continued by media after their party exit.
What had happened with the matter of Rs 700 billion lying in off shore accounts. This amount was to be brought back to Pakistan by you. What happened about Hassan, Hussain Nawaz and Ishaq Dar who were to be brought back to Pakistan? Has system paralyzed him, Have some compulsions come on the way to accountability and he has failed to hold them accountable besides making recoveries from them due to them despite his hectic efforts.
The last question is this if he cannot do his job then why he is sticking to it. Let someone else do it.