Tag Archives: corruption

Pakistan : Rs220 billion custom fraud

Rs220b embezzlement unearthed in NATO containers transport

Dunya News unearthed country’s biggest custom embezzlement on Monday. According to the documents received by Dunya News, a Rs 220billion irregularities have been unearthed in the transportation of legal and illegal stuff to Afghanistan for ISAF forces.

Read more >>- DunyaNews

Don’t blame the army for all Pakistan’s problems.

Land of the impure

Don’t blame the army for all Pakistan’s problems. Just most of them

The Economist/blogs/banyan

THREE score years and a bit after its founding, Pakistan—which means land of the pure—still struggles to look like a nation. Economically backward, politically stunted and terrorised by religious extremists, it would be enough to make anyone nervous, even if it did not have nuclear weapons. For these shortcomings, most of the blame should be laid at the door of the army, which claims, more than any other institution, to embody nationhood. Grossly unfair? If the army stood before one of its own tribunals, the charge sheet would surely run as follows:

Continue reading Don’t blame the army for all Pakistan’s problems.

Pakistan : Panjab corruption!

Source – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Bd7Pz-CXdI&feature=player_embedded

Source – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AoMNCUhI-HQ&feature=player_embedded

Source- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wHNR780EYcM&feature=player_embedded

Courtesy: ARY TV

via – http://www.siasat.pk/forum/showthread.php?37230-off-the-Record-8th-June-2010-Panjab-corruption&s=66a85eca3703dae16fcf8254e43678f4

The Auditor General found Corruption in Pakistan armed forces

Pakistan: Auditor General’s office detects Rs323bn bungling – By Amir Wasim

ISLAMABAD: The Auditor General of Pakistan, in reports on the accounts of various federal ministries and departments for the 2008-09 year, has detected financial irregularities worth over Rs323 billion. The reports were submitted in the National Assembly by the Minister for Law and Parliamentary Affairs, Babar Awan, on Monday as per constitutional requirement. Now the reports on each ministry will be taken up by the National Assembly’s Public Accounts Committee.

Continue reading The Auditor General found Corruption in Pakistan armed forces

India – A Failed State?

The Failed State: India most at risk

This year, Bharat (aka India) has achieved the ignominious and unenviable distinction of being the state most at risk of failure. In many ways, Bharat has failed already, as the government lacks control of large tracks of the country. The loose coalition of various parties has led a corrupt and incompetent cabal of politicians that controls capital. Large tracks of Bharati territory are not in control of the Federal government. The government is not in control of the Naxalites, Kashmir, Assam and the states known as “The Seven Sisters“. The government troops have been routed and cannot control various states. The fighting has produced a clear victor–and it is not the Indian government. The country’s caste ethnic, and religious chaos continues unabated in the unruly states, while militants stalk the jungles and remote areas. The fighting has successfully produced is a refugee nightmare, with thousands homeless in Gujarat.

To read full article, please click here or click the following link;

http://failedstates.wordpress.com/

Prime Minister’s (Gilani) wife gets Rs38m bank loan written off

PM’s wife gets Rs38m bank loan written off – by Syed Irfan Raza

DAWN

ISLAMABAD, April 8: The wife of Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani is one of the main beneficiaries of the recent loan write-off policy of the National Bank of Pakistan. The bank waived a loan of over Rs 38 million loan taken by Pak Green Fertiliser Limited (PGFL) which she owned as one of its main partners.

According to NBP’s annual report of 2009 and its advertisement published in newspapers on April 1, the bank wrote off the PGFL loan last year.

Continue reading Prime Minister’s (Gilani) wife gets Rs38m bank loan written off

Guerilla journalism

Report by: Shiraz Paracha

I would like to share with Indus Asia Online readers a journalistic effort that is 15 years old and yet people are watching it. Between 1994 and 1996, I presented a TV show in Peshawar, Pakistan. Till date no one, in Pakistan, has tried a journalistic adventure like it on TV again. I would take government ministers, even the chief minister (equal to state governor in the USA) unannounced to trouble spots and in the middle of people/ action without any security. I would like to share with you one program where we caught on camera corrupt and fake police officials taking bribes. The minister Qamar Abass and I went secretly to a police post along with TV camera and a team of journalists. The rest you can see in the program ‘Awami Jirga’ the language of the program is Pashto and it is in three parts on YouTube even after 15 years. Incredible!

Present day Pakistani TV news and current affair programs are anything but journalism. Qamar Abbas (my buddy and best friend) was killed in 2007. People like him don’t live long! Please follow the links below. You may also find other episodes of the series.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-cmZ-A5b7FE

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoVKjUpi0q4&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lDHQQyHxTMA&feature=related


Corruption in Pakistan hurts common People and Breeds Extremism

By Khalid Hashmani

The Transparency International has ranked Pakistan 139th among 180 countries in its 2009 Corruption Perception Index (CPI) issued in November 2009 (http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/2009/nov/17/corruption-index-transparency-international#data). Pakistan’s 2009 vs. 2008 score further reduced by 0.1 (2.4 vs. 2.5). A recent World Bank report lists corruption and lack of transparency as the two core reasons that hamper Pakistan’s drive for development. However, these indices do not convey the terrible pain and sufferings that the brutal practice of corruption has caused to common people of Pakistan.

Continue reading Corruption in Pakistan hurts common People and Breeds Extremism

Corruption, democracy and politics

By Sadiq Saleem

The Canadian prime minister has delayed parliamentary proceedings for three months to by-pass expanding opposition criticism. The Japanese prime minister has lost popularity within a couple of months of winning a general election. The US president has not even completed a year in office but his approval ratings are down and the media is criticizing him for everything under the sun. The British prime minister has faced a major parliamentary corruption scandal and is at the lowest ebb of popularity.

Continue reading Corruption, democracy and politics

After the NRO

By Ayesha Siddiqa

Courtesy: dawn.com, 18 Dec/09

Now that the NRO problem has apparently been resolved people are jumping with joy. There are some commentators who believe that this represents the strengthening of the system and democracy, that the Supreme Court verdict is a warning for presumptuous, overly ambitious and corrupt politicians.

The decision certainly is a milestone, but what does it mean for the overall learning process of the various stakeholders in the country’s power politics? And will it influence the future of Pakistan’s politics? These are two basic points to ponder.

Although it can be argued that the NRO was always controversial and people were eager to sort the matter out soon after it came into existence, there was always the possibility of the issue getting sidelined due to workable political arrangements.

Continue reading After the NRO

Destabilising the democratic system – Dr Manzur Ejaz

WASHINGTON DIARY: Destabilising the democratic system

Courtesy: WICHAAR, Daily Times

No one has any idea how the NRO is going to play out in the courts. But everyone knows that corruption is rampant in Pakistan and there are no effective means to check it. Ousting Zardari will neither fix the system nor validate the continuation of democracy in Pakistan.

Continue reading Destabilising the democratic system – Dr Manzur Ejaz

Pakistan : Behind the scenes (sugar crisis)

WASHINGTON DIARY: Behind the scenes (sugar crisis)

by Dr Manzur Ejaz, USA

Courtesy: Wichaar.com, September 23rd, 2009

In Pakistan, the same people or families produce goods, make laws about the production of those goods and then implement them. Therefore, the system is not structured for a free market economy

Bulleh Shah famously said:

Kitay Ramdas kitay Fateh Mohammad, eho qadeemi shor

Nipat gia dohan da jhag’ra, wichon nikal pia koi hor

(At one place, his name is Ramdas, and at another, Fateh Mohammad. This is the ongoing dispute since antiquity. When their dispute was dealt with, something else emerged.)

Following Bulleh Shah’s wisdom, every Pakistani thought that once terrorism was dealt with and the jihadis and Taliban suppressed, Pakistan would again become a paradise. But now that the terrorists are being pushed back, Pakistanis are discovering that their problems lie elsewhere too. Newspapers are reporting every day cases of land-grabbing by the rich and powerful and corruption cases being dropped by the accountability authorities, among other things.

Continue reading Pakistan : Behind the scenes (sugar crisis)

Colony for MNAs and Senators; a source of corruption

by K. H Jatoi, Dubai

Pakistan – The Prime Minster has announced a housing scheme for the parliamentarians at Islamabad . According to the leader of house in the Senate, on the instructions of P.M at least 442 plots of 1000 sq. yards each have been earmarked for allotment to members of parliament irrespective of their party affiliations.

First of all most of the old legislatures who are again in the parliament having got plots in one or the other government which either they have sold out on lucrative prices or they have built houses on it. Besides there are large number of legislatures coming from affluent class and many of them have already palatial houses built at Islamabad .

The allotment of 1000 sq yard plot to them will thus be just an addition to their already a long list of assets. However those belonging to other provinces and do not own house in capital will not necessarily be interested in constructing residences in the capital. Under these circumstances what they will do is to dispose of the plot at premium.

Thus allotment of costly land of Capital to the members at throw away government rates will become a source of corruption and scams as most of the Parliamentarians will dispose of plots on higher price. Moreover on completion of five years term when the next government will be formed new joining parliamentarians will demand plots as a matter of right; and this list will increase with every new government ad infinitum.

The people have elected representatives to solve problems of their constituencies and not to acquire plot, build splendid residences and settle in the salubrious environment of Islamabad . I therefore request the Prime Minster to desist from initiating project of Parliamentarian’s Housing Society which if implemented will create more scams rather than serving the cause of people.

PAKISTAN LOOTING HANDS

By Dr Ali Akbar M. Dhakan, Karachi, Sindh

A comprehensive and voluminous book of Mr.Mohammad Qaisar chohan titled as above has been published by Seventh Sky publication urdu bazar Lahore in January 2009. In all 82 cases of looters have been covered in detail. Most of them consist of very important and famous cases like corruption of Pervez Musharaf, former prime minister, Shoukat Aziz, FBR, Pakistan Steel Mills,

Continue reading PAKISTAN LOOTING HANDS

Pakistan Corruption Report

Rs. 83 Billion loss caused to exchequer, says NAB

The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has submitted to the Justice Bhagwandas Commission a report on the wrongdoings it says have been committed by the government functionaries and oil industry people in the pricing of petroleum products causing a loss of Rs83 billion to the nation over a period of five years.

The Supreme Court constituted a few months ago the high-level commission led by former SC judge Justice Rana Bhagwandas to hold a probe into the fixing of oil prices and to suggest measures to plug loopholes in the pricing mechanism to ensure fair prices of petroleum products to consumers.

The apex court had taken serious notice of the petroleum ministry’s non-cooperation and instructed the government to provide all information to the commission so that it might reach a judgment.

The NAB report that covered petroleum pricing mechanism between June 2001 and June 2006 was originally submitted to the then president Gen Pervez Musharraf and prime minister Shaukat Aziz on June 13, 2006 by the then NAB chairman Lt-Gen (retd) Shahid Aziz.

The report was never made public but the NAB chairman was removed unceremoniously shortly after it was submitted to the presidency and the prime minister.

The NAB report has now been provided to the Justice Bhagwandas Commission which is expected to submit its final report to the apex court by June 30.

According to a former deputy chairman of NAB, Maj-Gen Muhammad Siddique, senior management of “Pakistan State Oil Company Limited (PSO) and others are involved in massive misappropriation/misuse of authority and forgery in the import of HSD (high speed diesel) and its subsequent sale in the country and … committed the offence of corruption and corrupt practices” as defined in relevant laws.

The report prepared by a three-member investigation team and exclusively available with Dawn concluded that “it is sufficiently evident that (functionaries in the) ministry of petroleum in collusion with the Oil Companies Advisory Committee (OCAC), oil industry and Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) have engaged themselves in corrupt practices for generating colossal undue financial gains for refineries and OMCs at the cost of public and economy as a whole”.

It said the federal cabinet in June 2001 entrusted the role of oil price fixation to OCAC under monitoring by the director-general of oil but none of the directors-general performed the task of monitoring and some of them even expressed ignorance about the cabinet decision. The entire price fixation by OCAC “remained non-transparent/dubious and the DG Oil/Ministry did not play any role, violating the cabinet decision”.

As a result of faulty policies, the profits of Shell Pakistan, Caltex and PSO increased by 232 per cent, 281 per cent and 252 per cent between 2001 and 2004-05. Likewise, the profits of Attock Refinery, National Refinery, Pak Refinery and Parco jumped by 4331 per cent, 3578 per cent, 1717 per cent and 597 per cent, respectively, between 2001-02 and 2004-05.

The report said that a loss of over Rs11 billion was caused to the exchequer because of a redundant oil pricing formula for petrol (motor spirit) while another Rs34 billion loss was caused due to wrongful addition of premiums on the import parity prices of petrol and high speed diesel between July 2001 and April 2006.

Likewise, the report pointed out that the petroleum ministry failed to cap the distribution margins of the OMCs and dealers when the petroleum prices touched the roof and provided a benefit of Rs9 billion to the OMCs and dealers between December 2004 and May 2006.

“The ministry despite having assured the ECC in the summary of capping the margins, failed to cap OMCs’/dealers’ margins resulting in their exorbitant profit margins,” the report said.

It calculated a financial impact of more than Rs18 billion that was `erroneously’ earned by the oil marketing companies and dealers in five years because the OCAC charged commissions even on government taxes, particularly on 15 per cent GST, that was clearly in violation of laws.

The report said that a loss of another Rs6 billion was caused to the government by “illegal removal of 40 per cent upper cap of profits” to the refineries, making a total loss of Rs82.90 billion.

It said under the federal cabinet decision, the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) was established in March 2002, requiring the government to immediately transfer monitoring and regulatory function of petroleum prices to Ogra. However, the transfer of regulatory role to Ogra “was delayed by the ministry for more than four years. The gas regulation and licensing function were transferred to Ogra, but POL pricing was withheld for four years”.

Similarly, “the deemed duty in the guise of tariff protection was allowed to refineries without seeking specific legal approval/issuance of SRO”. —By special arrangement.

June 25, 2009

Courtesy: Dawn, ISLAMABAD, & Pakistan Corruption Reporter

Source- http://corruption-reporter.blogspot.com/2009/06/rs-83-billion-loss-caused-to-exchequer.html

Pakistan Corruption Reporter blog launched

– Iqbal Tareen, USA

As part of global fight against corruption and power abuse the “Pakistan Corruption Reporter” blog has been launched. This Blog is dedicated to transparency in public and private governance including executive, judicial, and legislative branches of government and political, media, civil society, and faith based organizations in Pakistan. Please feel free to report any incident of corruption and/or abuse of power to be published in this blog. Each person remains accountable for the content of his or her posting.

Pakistan Corruption Reporter, click here

Visit: http://corruption-reporter.blogspot.com/

SOCIAL DISORDER IN SINDH

by Dr Ali Akbar Dhakan, Karachi, Sindh

Due to long political disorder in the country, social and economic disorder prevails in every government department.This has brought misfortunes and mishaps for the whole of Pakistan. Even the elected government has been in perplexion to handle all the affairs of the country in easy and relaxed manner.The country is facing terrorism and infidelity of all evils and crimes from the side of terrorists and enemies of the country. People feel insecurity and turmoil in economic and social fields.At one side high prices have put the people in difficult days to make their both ends meet and on the other hand,people are being harassed and looted by dacoits,thieves and criminals.It is also being observer in Sindh that no department of the government in the districts are working without taking bribes and corruption.It is because of the reported mismanagement in the affairs of running the government under rules and regulations.

All the ministers and their courtiers try to get their own people posted not in accordance with their experiance and qualifications.Mostly teachers and lacturers working in education department have been posted in local goverment offices in various posts and designations while the original people working and posted in local goverment offices have been made idle and without any posting for long times without salaries and facilities with the result that their families are facing financial hardships and difficulties so much so that they are prepared to make suicides because of the injustice done to their relatives who are the only solace for their livelihood.The Chief Secretary of Sindh is therefore requested to kindly inquire this fact and take disciplinary action against the delinquent officers of various department and streamline the whole system of good governance particularly in Sindh.

Huge Corruption in Sindh Health Department

by Khalid Hashmani, McLean, Virginia

A big part of Sindh’s sorrows is the rampant corruption that prevents substantial amounts of funds being spend for common good in Sindh. With the spread of dangerous diseases such as Hepatitis, rural Sindh has one of worst health facilities in South Asia. Just imagine how much of private effort and time would be required to collect Rs. 299 millions (US $ 3.7 million) in donations. This much amount was siphoned away just in one year.

We are in a tough situation! One one hand, we try our best to put pressure on USAid and other international aid organizations to ensure that Sindh is not denied its due share in the distribution of aid and loans and then we read the news such as below that some scrupulous Sindhis are shamelessly looting from educational and health budgets.This is quite discouraging!

It is imperative that local (Sindh-based) and overseas Sindhis should start a campaign against increasing corruption in Sindh. This will definitely in the reduction of misery for common people.

http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/Dawn%20Content%20Library/dawn/news/pakistan/sindh/rs299m-irregularities-detected-in-health-dept–za

Rs. 299m irregularities detected in health dept

Tuesday, 24 Mar, 2009 | 05:45 PM PST |

KARACHI: The health department of Sindh accepted Rs53.48 million worth of medicines without determining their quality and potency, failed to replace drugs worth Rs1.99 million that were declared substandard by the drug test laboratory, and suffered a loss of Rs1.68 million due to the expiry of medicines during the year 2005-06.

Involving an amount of Rs57.15 million, this is only a fraction of the total Rs299.52 million in financial irregularities unearthed by auditors in their report for the year 2005-06.

The Public Accounts Committee of the Sindh Assembly, headed by Sardar Jam Tamachi, will take up the audit report for consideration and subsequent suggestions once it finalises its recommendations for the 2004-2005 audit report.

The audit report for the year 2005-06 says that six offices of the health department – additional secretary health (procurement) , Liaquat University Hospital, Hyderabad, Chandka Medical College, Larkana, People’s Medical College Hospital, Nawabshah, Services Hospital Karachi, and the Inspection and Import Depot of Karachi – made purchases of Rs87.10 million but the details of the procurements are not mentioned in the relevant stock register.

The auditors found that the Liaquat University Hospital of Hyderabad purchased machinery, equipment and stationery articles worth Rs76.41 million; Chandka Medical College, Larkana, bought crockery items for Rs0.64 million; and People’s Medical College Hospital, Nawabshah, procured medicines worth Rs0.36 million.

On account of various hospital dues, fees and rent, a total of Rs61.80 million were realised. However, the amount was not deposited in the treasury, which was a violation of Rule 41 of the Sindh Financial Rules, Volume-I. Besides, the auditors say, dialysis machines worth Rs22.90 million were purchased while the lowest bids in this regard were ignored without any reason.

According to the report, tenders were invited for 16 dialysis machines equipped with complete RO system but the contractor quoted the rates separately as Rs0.696 million for each dialysis machine and Rs0.5466 million for each portable RO system. Instead of 16 complete sets 27 dialysis machines and six portable RO systems were purchased without carrying out any consultation with hospital administrations.

Procurement office

The scrutiny of the expenditures’ statement revealed that machinery and equipment costing Rs86.93 million were purchased by the office of the additional secretary health (procurement) but the statement of the Import and Inspection Depot revealed that they only received machinery and equipment worth Rs71.12 million. There is no mention of the machinery and equipment costing Rs15.81 million in the Import and Inspection Depot’s record.

The office of additional secretary (procurement) purchased X-ray films worth Rs14.08 million without obtaining clinical efficacy report from the Civil Hospital Karachi, which was a violation of Clause 18.3 of the contract agreement. The office paid Rs7.20 million on the purchase of a 500 KVA generator to M/s Allied Engineering instead of the lowest bidder, M/s Irfan & Bros, who quoted its rate as Rs6.44 million. Advance payment was made to the bidder in violation of the rules. Besides, medicines and equipment costing Rs1.34 million were purchased without calling tenders and without approval of the technical committee.

Similarly, the office of additional secretary health (procurement) and Lyari General Hospital ignored the lowest bid for the renovation of buildings and provision of medical services without assigning any reason, including the purchase of equipment for a surgical operation theatre at a cost of Rs7.27 million.

The directorate of the malaria control programme purchased laptop and multimedia projection and secretary health department purchased five laser jet printer HP-1200 and five P-IV machines at the rate of Rs37,000 each. A total of Rs0.6445 million was spent in violation of para-67, chapter-IV of the Sindh Purchase Manual, 1991.

Sindh Medical Faculty

The office of director-cum- controller of examination, Sindh Medical Faculty, Karachi, granted loans of Rs5.24 million to different officers/hospitals not related to the Sindh Medical Faculty for various purposes during the year 1993-2004. The auditors say that there is no provision in the faculty rules for grant of loans to an employee outside the faculty.

The office incurred Rs2.96 million on honoraria, paid without any policy and criteria at a rate other than the one duly approved by the governing body. A total of Rs3.11 million was incurred on account of POL expenditures by unauthorised persons. Besides, no logbook and relevant records were maintained.

On account of ‘Medical Camp at Jacobabad’ and ‘Tasman oil leakage,’ the office of director-cum- controller of examination issued Rs2.0 million out of faculty funds to deputy director of the school health services, Karachi, without obtaining approval of the governing body.

Import, inspection depot

The Import and Inspection Depot Karachi without awaiting the report of medicine samples from the drug test laboratory released medicines to various hospitals. Later, some of the medicines worth Rs2.75 million were found substandard. Similarly, the depot spent Rs0.07 million on purchase of uniforms.

A loss of Rs1.68 million was incurred due to expiry of medicines in the Inspection and Import Depot and Civil Hospital, Karachi.

Hospitals

The report says that residential quarters of the Ojha Institute of Chest Diseases, Karachi, were in unauthorised possession and the authorities concerned could not recover Rs7.68 million rent for the quarters. A loss of Rs4.60 million was incurred due to fixed monthly recovery of water and gas dues at the rate of Rs26 and Rs75, respectively. Similarly, electricity charges of Rs5.58 million were not recovered from officials residing in government accommodations at the Ojha Institute and Chandka Medical College Hospital, Larkana.

The report finds that Chandka Medical College Hospital, Larkana, has been making an annual payment of Rs4.5 million to M/s Fazal Din & Sons Karachi on the maintenance/ service of lithotripter machine for the last 10 years. The auditors say a new machine could be bought for 20 per cent of the total service charges paid during the decade.

Besides, an amount of Rs2.06 million was fraudulently drawn from the treasury/district accounts office of Larkana on account of electricity charges of the medical college. The medical college hospital retained Rs1.45 million in a private account and did not deposit the amount in the government treasury.

The civil hospital failed to recover to Rs2.33 million for X-ray services.

People’s Medical College Hospital retained Rs0.05 million in a private account and did not deposit the amount in the government treasury.

The Lyari General Hospital Karachi and Services Hospital Hyderabad paid Rs0.751 million and Rs0.157 million, respectively, to an NGO ‘Patients Welfare Society’ out of government receipts realised on account of laboratory charges, which should have been deposited into the government treasury.

March 28, 2009

Pakistan Railways does not even have funds to buy fuel!

Unending woes of Railways
by Isha M. Kureshi, Hyderabad, Sindh
Courtesy and Thanks: Daily Dawn, 19.2.2009
It is shocking know that Pakistan Railways (PR), which was incessant financial problems has now even does not have enough funds to buy fuel. The PR is the same organization that was established by the British in this part of sub-continent in the middle of nineteenth century catering to the needs of millions and was considered as one of the best transportation systems in the world.. It supplied excellent services to the passengers/clients and also provided to its employees the best residential facilities, inexpensive education and healthcare as well as clubs and gyms that were available almost in every big city.
Continue reading Pakistan Railways does not even have funds to buy fuel!

All deeds are led by mind- Buddha

1. Mind is the forerunner of all actions. All deeds are led by mind, created by mind. If one speaks or acts with a corrupt mind, Suffering follows, As the wheel follows the hoof of an ox pulling a cart.

2. Mind is the forerunner of all actions. All deeds are led by mind, created by mind. If one speaks or acts with a serene mind, Happiness follows, As surely as one’s shadow.

May all beings be at ease. Whatever living beings there may be; Whether they are weak or strong, omitting none, The great or the mighty, medium, short or small, The seen and the unseen, Those living near or far away, Those born, and to be born, May all beings live at ease!… – Buddha

Sindhis hard pressed by Disease, Poverty, Corruption, and Uncaring Government‏

WHAT SINDHIS SHOULD DO TO SOLVE THEIR PROBLEMS AND SECURE FUTURE OF SINDH?

by Khalid Hashmani, McLean, Virginia

On Dec. 20, 2008, I had an opportunity to attend a discussion session on “Hepatitis” organized by Iqbal Tareen on in Washington DC.

The session was attended by many local Sindhis and several other Pakistanis. The main feature of this meeting was to exchange views and information with Dr. Thelma King Thiel (Chairwoman and Chief Executive Officer of Hepatitis Foundation International (www.hepatitisfoundation.org). Although, overall, the focus of the information exchange was the impact of Hepatitis B and C world-wide, but the discussion were more focused on multiple-tragedies that have been inflicted on native Sindhis in their homeland of Sindh. Not only rural areas of Sindh suffer one of the highest poverty rate in Asia, a large number of Sindhis in several districts suffer higher burden of this disease compared to other areas of Pakistan. As if these two tragedies were not sufficient, we learnt that almost none of the resources and funds allocated by the federal and provincial governments has reached to actual victims of this disease. It was said that concerned journalists and social workers have written private e-mails to North American Sindhis that much of the funding distributed thus far has either fallen victim to corruption or used to hire officials and provide them with vehicles and other amenities. Shame on the government and newly hired officials for loosing the true sight of victims and continuing to engage in corrupt practices at the expense of the victims who need and deserve immediate attention.

A. “HEPATITIS IN PAKISTAN” PROJECT

A 5-page article/briefing was presented by Saeen Iqbal Tareen. The briefing included welcome remarks about Dr. Theil and others. Mr. Tareen expressed hopes that the session will be a beginning of an effective collaboration between Hepatitis Foundation International and the Forum Justice and Democracy in Pakistan. He urged that Pakistani Diaspora ought to take proactive measures to create awareness about the problem and seek financial and technical assistance.

A.1 DEPTH AND SIZE OF PROBLEM OF HEPATITIS IN SINDH

Pakistan does not an active and effective surveillance program to monitor tends of the Hepatitis group of diseases. However, every one agrees that the disease is extremely predominant in the rural areas of the Sindh province. According estimates about 7 million persons (16% of total population) in Sindh are tested to be Hepatitis positive with 1.5 million having active Hepatitis B reactive and another 1.7 million having Hepatitis C reactive.

A.2 CAUSES OF HEPATITIS SPREAD IN SINDH

The key factors for growth of this disease in Sindh are poverty, negligence, and lack of basic social services. The specific causes are repeated re-use of syringes and razor blades, and blood transfusion. The health care system in rural areas of Sindh is worst in Pakistan. The government monitoring of blood banks is so bad that most of them are not only unregistered but often carry expired blood supplies and screening kits. A research article by Janjua and Hutin (2005), Sindh has the highest rate of injection delivery (13 injections per person per year) with 47% of these injections are unsafe.

A.3 COLLABORATION BETWEEN NORTH AMERICAN AND SINDHI/PAKISTANI GROUPS

The initiatives that have been taken by the Hepatitis Foundation International (headed by Dr. Thiel) and Forum Justice and Democracy in Pakistan (Coordinated by Mr. Tareen) can open up opportunities to overcome diseases such as Hepatitis. The Foundation has a wealth of tools and materials for creating awareness and educating medical staff and general public on prevention of Hepatitis.

B. SINDHIS HARD PRESSED BY DISEASE, POVERTY, CORRUPTION and UNCARING GOVERNMENT

How can we North American Sindhis present a convincing case to people, governments, and organizations in North America to come to rescue of victims of these disease when see Sindhi officials taking away resources designated for the eradication of the tragic Hepatitis disease from rural areas of Sindh? Sometimes, one wonders, when will we develop an individual and collective consciousness to do what we repeatedly talk?

Crushed by many years of victimization and being ignored under Mr. Sharif’s government and General Musharraf’s dictatorship with MQM dominating all major decision-making apparatus in Sindh, they voted in overwhelming numbers to help the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) to come to power. Tragically, even after PPP’s impressive victory, they have not received much relief from their continued misery. Other than some cosmetic hiring, Sindhis appear to have lost more ground due to the discriminatory policies of Karachi city government, which was illegally empowered by General Musharraf’s regime at the expense of people of local Sindhi surrounding villages and the provincial government.

B.1 POOR EDUCATION IN RURAL SINDH AND LACK OF TEACHING OF SINDHI LANGUAGE IN SINDH’s SCHOOLS

The state of education in rural Sindh continue to deteriorate. The standards of education in government schools in urban areas have fallen so bad that most parents prefer to send their children to private schools. In spite of the provincial laws that make Sindhi a compulsory language, the private schools flout these laws openly and refuse to offer Sindhi language in their schools. Several Sindhi experts now predict that children in urban Sindh are being deprived of the opportunity to learn Sindhi language. They forecast that in few decades, the Sindhi language be confined on those who live in rural areas.

B.2 LOT OF STATEMENTS BUT VERY LITTLE GOVERNMENT ACTION TO HELP SINDHIS

Every week, we hear government ministers issuing statements about initiating new programs, allocating billions to various sectors to create employment, protect Sindhi language, culture, and heritage, improve education and eradicate poverty and disease and yet the suffering of people continues unchecked. The plight of fishing community, Sindhi villages around Karachi, rural areas of Sindhis continues unabated. Last week the Fisher community of coastal areas announced that after waiting 10 months for their favorite People’s government to address their issues, they have given up hopes in this government and would re-start their movement to win their rights. The Haris (farmers) of Sindh have been demonstrating and demanding Agrarian Reforms. Many Sindhis now feel that other than making hallow statements, the officials of the present government are more interested in filling their pockets instead of representing their interests and bringing about changes that are required to solve their problems.

WHAT SINDHIS SHOULD DO TO SOLVE THEIR PROBLEMS AND SECURE FUTURE OF SINDH?

Every day more and more Sindhis are questioning the wisdom of their vote in the last Pakistani election. People are wondering if their pragmatic decision to vote for PPP is so far proving to be a mistake. The party they thought was dynamic and well-prepared to face new challenges and steer effectively to restore justice to Sindhis is appearing to be more lethargic, confused, and afraid of taking any daring actions of substantial value to Sindhis. PPP finds it easy to announce that Kala Bagh dam has been shelved permanently but quite scared to ensure that language laws of Sindh are fully implemented. They find it easier to announce that they will tackle the huge problem of poverty in Pakistan, yet half of schools in rural areas of Sindh remain closed. Instead of offering protection to Sindhi villages around Karachi and creating jobs and educational opportunities for Sindhis in Karachi, they have adopted a “hands-off” approach in Karachi. This has allowed the mayoralty of Karachi unlimited power to sell Sindh’s assets in the name development and control who can reside in Karachi and who can receive education and health services. The people of Sindh wanted a reasonable compromises and win-win agreements and have no stomach for decisions that further surrender their rights.

Having been disappointed with the performance of Sindhi nationalist parties, PPP, and other mainstream parties such as PM, Sindhis have no choice but to think for new options and new leaders to secure their future in fast changing global conditions.

The situation is do hopeless that the option need of creating a new political party with mission to secure sovereignty of Sindhis over the decisions that affect their lives seems to be a viable alternative.

I find many parallels between the current situation in Sindh and the Canadian province of Québec. Just like Canada that has Liberal Party, Pakistan has the PPP. Just like PPP’s leadership has predominantly come from Sindh, the leadership of Liberal Party has mainly been from Québec. Liberal Party had a charismatic leader from Québec named Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau (who was a French Canadian) we had Shaheed Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto (who was a Sindhi Pakistani). In Canada, the Liberal Party was a populist federal Party just as PPP is a popular federal party.

The French Canadians, tired of waiting for the liberal Party to protect their cultural, language, and economic rights, created Parti Québécois in the Quebec province. The mission of this political party http://encarta.msn.com/encyclop edia_761588464/parti_quebecois.html

described at this web site is:

“Parti Québécois (PQ), or Québec Party, Canadian political party dedicated to political sovereignty for the province of Québec. The party’s main goal is sovereignty- association, whereby Québec would retain economic associations with the rest of Canada but be politically independent. Under sovereignty- association, Québec would share with Canada a common monetary system, free trade, and other economic agreements, but it would have the political authority to impose its own taxes, make all its own laws, and negotiate its own international treaties, conventions, and accords. The issue is highly controversial in the province and throughout Canada. In a 1995 referendum, Québec voters narrowly rejected sovereignty- association.”

If Sindhis feel that PPP has failed to protect their cultural, language, and economic rights, they could go for the establishment of a new Sindh Sovereignty Party. The mission statement of such a political party could follow the mission statement of Parti Québécois (PQ), as follows :

“The mission of the Sindh Sovereignty Party is to negotiate a new agreement with the Government of Pakistan based on the equality of nations; This agreement would enable Sindh to acquire the exclusive power to make its own laws, levy its taxes, eradicate corruption, and establish relations abroad at the same time to maintain with Pakistan an economic association including a common currency.”

I am sure there are other creative options to resolve the problems of Sindhis hard pressed by disease, poverty, Corruption, and uncaring government. I hope others will share their ideas as the time to discuss the changes that we need to survive as a people in future is now.

Madeleine Albright calls Pakistan “International Migraine”

Pakistan, an international migraine, says former US Secretary Madeleine Albright

WASHINGTON: Counting many elements, including terrorism and nuclear weapons, in Pakistan as causes of international worries, a former top US official has described the South Asian country as an “international migraine”. ( Watch )

“…my own sense is Pakistan has everything that gives you an international migraine. It has nuclear weapons, it has terrorism, extremists, corruption, very poor and it’s in a location that’s really, really important to us.

Continue reading Madeleine Albright calls Pakistan “International Migraine”

A girl who committed suicide over the continued detention of her parents in India

ASIAN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION – URGENT APPEAL- Case: AHRC-UAC-247-2008

To support this appeal, please click here:
5 November 2008
PAKISTAN/INDIA: Petition for a girl who committed suicide over the continued detention of her parents in India

*The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has obtained information that a girl whose parents have been detained in India committed suicide on November 3, 2008 due to the hardship of taking care of her sisters.

Continue reading A girl who committed suicide over the continued detention of her parents in India

29,035 schools in Sindh without power

by Prof. Gul Agha

It is great to see the govt. of Sindh focusing on these problems. Wish them luck to do what they can in whatever little time they have these ministries for, and with the meager resources that they can control.. the only hope is that a lot of international resources have been pouring in, particularly for education of Sindh but they have been mismanaged and lost to corruption…

Jun 25, 2008