Pakistan’s National Finance Commission (NFC) Awards – A tool to exploit Sindh

By Naseer Memon (English Translation by: Khalid Hashmani)

[Backdrop: As the Pakistani establishment including their new political party partners mull over the upcoming NFC award, the people of Sindh have dug their heals and want that the awards be fair and follow the best practices of other similar countries such as India. The grass-root political workers from all political parties in Sindh who have long criticized the inequalities of NFC award are joining hands to bring an end to the exploiting aspects of the award. In this backdrop, SaeeN Naseer Memon has once again written a timely and detailed analysis of the exploiting nature of current NFC awards. He urges the ruling party that as the inequities in the form of NFC started after 1973 constitution when PPP was in power; the time has come for PPP to play its role in correcting this historic form of exploitation and restore fairness to all provinces. It is hoped that the information in this article would enable those who are engaged in lobbying and advocacy activities on behalf of Sindh to get it in front of decision makers and influencers. ]

Basic inequities of Current NFC Awards

The critical inequities of the NFC award lie in three areas – first it is distributed solely on the basis of population, second it covers almost all of the revenue generation in Pakistan, and third it enables the federal government to keep a lion’s share for itself.

How Pakistan and other countries collect and distribute revenues to Provinces?

In 1974, 1979, and 1990 NFC awards, provinces received 80% of total revenue collected and 20% was kept by the federal government. However, starting 1996 during the rule of an interim government headed by PPP’s Miraj Malik and when the Chief Minister was Mumtaz Bhutto, the federal share was drastically increased to 62.5% leaving only 37.5% for the provinces.

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WSC CELBRATES SINDHI TOPI DAY IN UK, USA AND CANADA

World Sindhi Congress, a leading Sindhi organisation working for the cause of human rights Of Sindh and Sindhis, organised the Sindhi Topi Day on 6th December in major cities of UK, viz, London, Birmingham, Bristol and Manchester. In America and Canada, the event was celebrated in New York and Calgary respectively . A brief account of each event is as follows:

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Washington Sindhis Celebrate Sindhi Topi Day

Washington Sindhis Celebrate Sindhi Topi Day and debate Issues and Opportunities faced by Sindhis

By Khalid Hashmani

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Washington, DC – Several Sindhis living in Washington, DC gathered at a local restaurant in Arlington to join their compatriots in Pakistan who celebrated Sindhi Topi (Cap) Day. The event was in reaction to malicious criticism of Pakistani President Asif Zardari, who wore a Sindhi cap while inspecting Guard of Honor in Afghanistan by some members of Pakistani media. Although, Mr., Zardari and the People’s Party of Pakistan (PPP) have lost much credibility among Sindhis, Mr. Zardari is himself of Sindhi origin. The attendees at the Washington DC moot, who wore Sindhi caps and Sindhi Ajraks (a traditional shawl worn by men either as turban or wound around shoulders, and women as shawl), attracted attention from other patrons of the restaurant. The Sindhi attendees proudly explained the purpose of the celebration and briefed them on Ajrak, a form of which was depicted in the excavations of a city that existed 5,000 years ago. The local Sindhis also discussed recent news from Sindh and debated strategies for protecting their culture, language, and identity.

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6 Dec a historic day. But it doesn’t take PPP, Zardari off the hook

by: Aziz Narejo, TX

6th December is historic day for Sindh. People have come out in big numbers to express their love for their culture and to condemn the racists anchors like .., .. and their employer .. group. One should call upon the hate mongers to mend their ways. It is not 1972. Sindhis are ready and able today to defend against any attacks on their language and culture. They are ready and able to come together and fight for their rights.

At the same time one must be clear that emotional issues like the present one can not take Zardari and PPP off the hook. They should be judged on their performance. It will be wrong on anyone’s part to assume that the people have come out on the streets in support of PPP or its leadership. It only shows that people of Sindh have resolved that enough is enough and from now on they will fight for their rights no matter who is in ISB.

Co-existence

One so called ethnocentric anchor person’s statements on one urdu TV against Sindhi Topi has shaken the sensitive minds in Sindh. No matter we are from any ethnic group, being a non-Sindhi, I support the cultural response from Sindh. One urdu Tv channel speaks the opinion generated by the invisible forces that destabilize peace of country. We belong to varied ethnic groups in Pakistan and the sustainability of the country depends on co-existence. Such elements should be criticized publicly.

Ali Ahmed Nawaz, PhD. Student, University of Aberdeen, UK.