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Quote of the Month:
The objection to politics and politicians, the primary indictment against all their works and ways, is that they spoil life. Human life is naturally a lovely, enjoyable, attractive thing. We are all conscious that if we could only be left alone, life would be glorious and desirable and we could do almost anything with it. But the politicians never let us alone; and while we are all busily trying to do our poor best with our lives under such throttling conditions as they put upon us, they are busily trying to thwart us.
[Albert Jay Nock, “Pearls Before Swine” (January 4, 1922)]
Free Pakistan, a monthly newsletter, exists for the promotion of limited government, rule of law, protection of property rights, market economy, individual freedom, and private initiative. Its vision is a free and prosperous Pakistan; for only such a Pakistan can contribute positively to the creation of a free and prosperous world.
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NEW FATA REFORMS — GOOD BUT INSUFFICIENT
By Farhat Taj
[The writer is the author of Taliban and Anti-Taliban. The article first appeared in Daily Times on August 20, 2011.]
Recently, the president of Pakistan signed two orders whereby the Political Parties Order 2002 was extended to FATA and some changes were introduced in the British-legislated Frontier Crimes Regulations (FCR) that have been governing FATA since 1901. The people of FATA can now participate in political activities inside FATA and all political parties of Pakistan can legally operate in the area. The changes in the FCR accorded limited human rights to the tribal people. No one can be indefinitely detained and people will have a right to appeal in the FCR tribunal. Cases will be decided in a fixed timeframe and arrested people can be released on bail. Women, children below the age of 16 and elders above the age of 65 will no longer be subject to the collective punishment provisions process. No person in FATA can now be deprived of their property without being provided compensation. The political agents’ use of state funds will now be subjected to audit by the auditor general of Pakistan.
The newly legislated reforms can and should be seen as the first step towards legal, political and socio-economic development in FATA. The PPP-led coalition government deserves credit for taking this much needed first step. But, nevertheless, the reforms are insufficient. Also, there are practical hurdles in the implementation of these reforms that only the government can remove. One would, therefore, like this government to be more assertive and courageous in dealing with FATA on legal as well as security issues.
A recent report by Amnesty International declared FATA as a “human rights-free zone” in Pakistan. The area remains a human rightsifree zone to a larger extent despite the recent reforms. The archaic and draconian collective responsibility law is not totally done away with in the new reforms. This is an affront to the established human rights in the constitution of Pakistan as well as international human rights instruments. Also, the reforms do not concur with one of the key principles of human rights: separation of the judiciary and the executive. The FCR Tribunal, the appellate authority where FATA residents can appeal against decisions, has no judge and is staffed by bureaucrats alone.
The biggest hurdle is the presence of the terror sanctuaries in the area. The sanctuaries contain the ‘strategic assets’ of the security establishment of Pakistan. These sanctuaries have to be destroyed before the people of FATA can benefit from the reforms. This implies that the policy of strategic depth has to be given up. There is no sign that this has happened. The PPP government has no control over the security policy that entails the abuse of FATA as a base for terrorism and has thus far shown no sign that it has the will to confront the powerful generals to release FATA from the military-militant occupation. With the terror sanctuaries in the area, only the pro-Taliban religious political parties that already dominate the politics of the region through mosques and mullahs supported by the local political administration will benefit from the extension of the Political Parties Act. Anti-terror political parties, like the ANP, Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party and PPP, will not be able to freely operate in the area. The political will of the tribal people will remain under siege of terror and the people may have to withdraw from the political process or align themselves with the religious parties as a means to escape the deadly anger of the Taliban and the state security apparatus behind them. Thus, while theoretically the extension of the Political Parties Order is a giant step forward, practically it would take no less than the total shift in the military-controlled security policy regarding Afghanistan to make terror-free political participation for the tribal people an attainable civil rights entitlement.
Moreover, all over FATA, development projects have been contracted to the Taliban or people close to the Taliban in the last decade or so. This has been part of the security establishment’s policy to nurture and strengthen the militants’ control over tribal society. This is linked with the security policy vis-à-vis Afghanistan. Will the auditor general of Pakistan, who is authorised to audit the political administration’s utilisation of funds, be able to put an end to the contracting of development projects to the Taliban or people close to them? This again seems unlikely without a shift in the security paradigm of Pakistan.
No modern state, including Pakistan, can have any justification whatsoever in terms of the international human rights treaties to subjugate a section of its population to laws like the FCR. The system worked for British colonial interests and so it presented it to the world as being the wish of the tribal people. It also worked well for the jihadi misadventures of the Pakistani state since the 1948 Kashmir war and so it preserved the system. The will of the tribal people has never been taken into consideration by both states, the British and Pakistani. From the tribal people’s perspective, the FCR has always meant ‘regulation of state crimes against their innocent people’ and, since 9/11, it implies the ‘regulation of state terrorism against the innocent people’. Seen in this context, the recent legal reforms hardly seem anything more than cosmetic measures. For a real change of affairs in FATA, the FCR must be totally abolished, for which there is a consensus in the area, the region must be fully integrated in the legal framework of Pakistan and the state security paradigm should shift. [Courtesy Daily Times]
[Dr Irfan Zafar, Islamabad]
President Asif Ali Zardari announced the names of the recipients of the top civilian awards this Independence Day. Going by the list, it seems that by some inadvertent error, the discarded names list has been approved instead of the real one. [Daily Times]
[Dr Irfan Zafar, Islamabad]
My son was not given any marks against a question “Where is Pakistan’s Capital?” for which he answered it is in “Swiss Banks”. Didn’t he deserve double marks. [Pakistan Observer]
HERMÈS BIRKIN BAG
[Dr Irfan Zafar, Islamabad]
During her recent visit abroad on an official tour, the Hermès Birkin bag of our Foreign Minister Ms Hina Rabbani Khar has suddenly disappeared. The bag will surely be missed by the poor people of this country. [Daily Times]
REMNANTS OF BRITISH EMPIRE
[Dr Irfan Zafar, Islamabad]
We would like to congratulate our successive Governments for doing away with the remnants of the British Empire by abolishing our Railways Networks, Educational Institutions and Governance Structures in a record time span of 64 years. Bravo. [Pakistan Observer]
ABSENCE OF MIND
[Imbisat Wajeeh, Lahore]
Commenting on the allegations made against him by Zulfiqar Mirza, Rehman Malik has said that he does not mind such statements. Mr Malik, we were already aware that you would not mind. One should have a mind first to mind anything. [Daily Times]
DECISION MAKING SKILLS
[Dr Irfan Zafar, Islamabad]
Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President Nawaz Sharif has demanded fresh elections in the country. Hats off to the “fast” decision making skills of of Ex-Premier. [Pakistan Observer]
Letters to FreePakistan
[Col. Riaz Jafri (Retd), Rawalpindi]
While 14 August is just around the corner, kindly allow me to share a thought with your readers. Should we celebrate 14 August as our Independence Day or the Birthday of Pakistan? Pakistan did not exist before August 14, 1947. As such it was never a country ruled by the British and consequently liberated or granted independence. It was born a free country from its very inception. It was India that was ruled by the British and given independence by them, not Pakistan. Pakistan was never under the rule of any foreign power. It was created – took its birth – at 2359 hrs on 14 August 1947 one minute before India was liberated at 2400 hrs the same night but as the date changes after midnight, therefore, Bharat became independent on 15th August. We should, therefore, celebrate Pakistan’s Birth Day and not its Independence Day.
An editorial note appearing in issue of daily Pak Observer dated 23-8-11 has raised objections over changing names of four houses Jinnah, Iqbal, Babur and Tipu of Lawrence college to their original
British names Wright, Wightwick, Walker and Peake who were principals of the college in the past, and changing name of the college assembly hall from Ch Abdul Hameed to Lawrence Hall, by the College Board. The editorial note has termed this decision of the College Board as dumping heroes of Pakistan Movement and our national heroes which in my opinion is not correct. I would say Babur and Tipu were not Pakistanis nor are they our heroes. Yes Jinnah is our hero since he created Pakistan with his efforts and wisdom all alone. Iqbal originally a Kashmiri was a great Muslim poet and died before creation of Pakistan who never preached changing historical facts. It is unfortunate that heroes of doom like Uzbek rulers are presented as role models among the new generations which amount to misrepresentation of history of this land. Reversion of name of the college Hall to the name of founder of the college Lawrence as well as names of houses to their original names is an appropriate decision of the board that must be appreciated. True historical facts should not be hidden from new generations.
[Col. Riaz Jafri (Retd), Rawalpindi]
I entirely agree. We must acknowledge gratefully the contribution of the four British
Principals in spreading knowledge in this part of the country, which ultimately led to the Independence of India.
THE TASTE OF NEW AFPAK RECIPE
[Ahmad Kamal Khattak, Peshawar]
The Obama Khan of US and Afghanistan has decided to stay in our region till 2024. Why and what for? Obviously he would be having a plan and reasons. We pakistanis are fed up with this war on terror and ensuing terrorism and counter terrorism (in the form of beefed up security every where in our cities and towns and emergency like situation all the time). It is a no hidden truth that we have suffered a lot by this war which is not ours and which war imposed on us by musharraf who should be clearly termed as the historical traitor of pakistani history. Now is the time we must make it clear to US in plain language that there would be no cooperation after 2014 whatsoever in the name of war on terror and towards their and their’s croonies mission in afghanistan.
Afghanistan is full of natural treasures. The americans are planning to tap the trillion dollars worth national resources. They will never leave behind this treasure and now that they have grown their roots in afghanistan, they will never leave with out some material benefits for the USA. Lithium is one of the most valued treasure. It is used in laptop and cell phone dry batteries. A common laptop battery costs 5-6 thousand rupees then we can imagine how much money the americans can make if they start extracting lithium from afghanistan. All the big countries fight wars in order to enhance their commercial potential and enterprise too along with the strategic and military gains. This is a clear cut fact not written in hidden notes in the pages of history. the point for us to understand is what will we acheive from their gains. More and more hatred towards us from the farsi speaking afghanis. Indians knocking our western border. Division among the pushtuns too which is to a large extent still not present among the pashtuns of afghanistan and pakistan. The presence of america in this region is a poison which will not only kill our culture and religion but also sow the seeds of rivalry among the peacful people living for centuries in the region. there are american interests but there are pakistani and afghani interests too. US should realize that it is time for it to go. If it doesn’t, it is time for us to make them realize that get out of our region and do not spill more blood in the name of your so called good system of governance. The taliban and haqqanis and hekmatyar are also as much eligible heirs to the afghan throne as much as karzai and abdullah abdullah. If US is clearly mandating for the northern allaince in Afghanistan why can’t pakistan support Afghan Taliban and Haqqanis and Hekmatyar. They are also afghans and Ex.Mujahideens who liberated Afghanistan from USSR.
Although it is american agenda to exploit all these natural resources till 2024 in the name of development for the people of afghanistan but how will it benefit us. It will benefit us in a way that we will be exposed to more internal terrorism, as a reaction to support for american agendas, more and more pakistanis will be roasted through US drones, Our sovereignty will be breached further who knows till 2024 and maybe further, infringement of our air space and incursion and escalations on our lands. this is how we are reaping the fruit’s of Musharraf, the traitor’s “Yes” for the last 10 years.
it is time we must think seriously and speak for ourselves. There are other countries in the world too. We do not need to butter US all the time. but such a bold step is hardly expected from this currupt government and it is time for the people of pakistan to stand up for their right and first of all throw away the currupt regime which is sucking our blood like leaches.
[Col. Riaz Jafri (Retd), Rawalpindi]
Not a day passes when at least a dozen or more of innocent lives are not lost in Karachi. Today, by the time of writing this letter, the score was 32. Thirty Two families deprived of the bread earners and destroyed in just one day! Could there be anything more catastrophic than it, just ask the widows and the children of the affected families? What is more alarming is that such wanton killing is now taking the form of organised gang war which will result in still more deaths. Whatever the politicians of various shades may say, the fact remains that the government of the Sindh has badly failed in maintaining law and order in the city and cannot ensure safety of life and property in Karachi. It is an open secret now that the killers are from land mafia, arms mafia, drug mafia and bhatta mafia, each one having the patronage of one or the other political party. So has the Karachi police been entirely politicised and rendered completely ineffective. On the top of it both the Federal Minister of Interior and the Home Minister of the Province look to be totally non serious in restoring law and order by making comical statements. While the one attributes 70% of the killing to the wives and girl friends of the victims the other keeps literally dreaming about the various options that he should adopt. It is not understood as to why such an incompetent government that has totally failed in its prime and foremost duty of protecting the life and property of the people is not dismissed and the Governor’s rule imposed straight away. Since it is clearly beyond the police and to some degree Rangers as well, army must be called in immediately to restore law and order. As the army would the last hope it must not fail as a deterrent. Therefore, it must be given a free hand and full judicial powers of holding Summary Military Courts for speedy trials and expeditious dispensation of justice. People expect the President to take immediate notice of the situation and impose Governor’s rule in the province. Is the safety of life and property of the people more important or the political considerations of making and breaking the coalition partners and devising the strategy for the future elections?
Issue of the month: What independence . . . what achievements?
[Waqas Ahmed Khan, Karachi]
I feel ashamed today as Pakistani when I read in newspapers that the Pakistan’s state highest civilian awards like Nishan-e-Imtiaz and Sitara-e-Imtiaz will be awarded to people such as Rehman Malik, Nargis Sethi, Hussain Haqqani, Farhatullah Babar, Salman Farooqi, Sharmila Farooqi, Farzana Raja, Mubasher Lucman, Meera etc. I as a citizen and taxpayer of this country want to know what are the extraordinary services of these people to the country? Earlier these highest civilian awards used to be given on merit like Shaheed Hakim Mohammed Said received Sitara-e-Imtiaz in 1966 for his services in the fields of health, education and literature to the country and Nishan-e-Imtiaz posthumously in 2002. If it is to easy to receive such highly prestigious awards then I would like to request the government to please announce awards for those youth groups who were involved in relief work and spent their days and nights to help the affected people at the time of October 2005 earthquake and July 2010 floods.
The civilian awards are supposed to be bestowed in recognition of service (not ordinary but extraordinary services) to the country, however, the President seems to be under the impression that the awards are meant for the PPP henchmen. This has literally demeaned the sanctity of the awards and their credibility has now been reduced to a meaningless respect. The PPP government is doling out national awards to its party workers on quota system. We condemn this practice. Even the national awards are not given on merit in this country. I heard that in her first tenure as PM, late Benazir Bhutto had categorically ordered that none of her ministers and government functionaries should be considered for any such awards while they are holding office. This utter disregard of transparency, propriety in nominations for such honours is truly disgusting. I am very disappointed with the decision of government. May Allah Almighty protect Pakistan and show us the right path Ameen! [The Nation]
CONTROVERSIAL CIVIL AWARDS
[Fatima Siddiqui, Islamabad]
A total of 185 civil awards have been announced on the country’s Independence Day. Nominees included many government functionaries and party loyalists. Apart from the fact that the huge number of awards could belittle their value and importance, the unprecedented move by President Asif Ali Zardari in nominating key PPP members and his close aides and loyalists could also put a big question mark on the credibility and the so-called merit-based nomination process. The lavishing of national awards on the President’s handpicked persons for political considerations makes this prestigious annual feature highly controversial.
The awards which are announced every year on the Independence Day (Aug 14) and conferred on the Pakistan Day (March 23) the following year, should be one hundred per cent merit-based and under a well-defined and transparent nomination process. Some of the nominees for different categories of awards for the so-called “public service” speak for themselves. The President was also generous and optimistic in awarding an MQM MNA by anticipating her ‘public service’ in the near future. The announcement of awards reminds me of one of Anwar Maqsood’s plays ‘Pehchaan’ on PTV which is often re-telecast on national days. He asks the state whether an honest and dedicated school teacher who moulds a nation’s character would ever be awarded for his meritorious ‘public service’. This should serve as food for thought for all of us. [Dawn]
AWARDS AND SINDH
[Hashim Abro, Islamabad]
The Government of Pakistan usually gives away different awards to Pakistani citizens to recognize their distinguished contribution in various spheres of activity including Arts, Education, Literature, Science, Sports, Social Service and public life. In this connection, on the 65th Independence Day it was announced that the President of Pakistan would confer the awards on 185 people. The list has become debatable in the national and foreign press. Shockingly, Sindh province is completely ignored in the Civilian Awards. The Sindh and Sindhis were not ignored even during the dictatorial regimes as being done nowadays when the democratic dispensation is in power in the country.
However, the President is appealed to look into the matter and do justice with Sindh province because this discriminatory attitude has sent extremely disheartening message,both, to the Sindhi intelligentsia and sympathizers of the PPP. [Pakistan Observer]
[Javaid Bashir, Lahore]
On August 14, 2011, some civilians of dubious character have been awarded national honour awards. These awards have been given to the ruling party’s workers, ministers and bureaucrats. Some of these people were included in the list of NRO amnesty. Our government claims to be democratic but it has behaved worse than a monarchy. People like Rehman Malik, Fahima Mirza, Farooq H Naek. Azhar Nadeem Hasan and others of this sort have been honoured. Who recommended their names for such high honours? The nation was stunned on the news as all the TV channels discussed this matter. All of them agreed that it was a big hoax and it’s a matter of grave concern. National honours are given on meritorious services, bravery, valour and services rendered to scientific inventions, discoveries, and in the field of arts. None of these people belong to any of these categories. [Pakistan Today]
CIVIL AWARDS TO WHOM?
[Farooq Khan, Peshawar]
It was a day of national shame when people with highly controversial performance and corrupt backgrounds were awarded prestigious civil awards. Yes our Ambassador in USA deserved Nishan-e-Imtiaz instead of Hilal-e-Imtiaz for granting uncontrolled visas to all sorts of shady foreigners thus facilitating their covert network in Pakistan and perpetuating the terror acts against Pakistanis.
The award of Nishan-e-Imtiaz reserved for outstanding services in the cause of the country’s development has been made a mockery by showering the same on people like Salman Farooqi, who recently was ‘acquitted’ by an accountability court , courtesy a defanged NAB and the jiyala prosecutors. Nishan-e-Imtiaz to Rehman Malik, great, who believes that girl friends and boyfriends were behind Karachi’s target killings and who constantly misleads the nation with strange theories that our F16s cannot shoot down CIA drones. Ms Farzana Raja and Hilal-e-Imtiaz, this must be a printing error. Sharmila Farooqi, too sensitive a matter to comment upon. Senator Abidi, too deserved Nishan-e-Imtiaz for his energies spent on TV talk shows in Zardari’s support.
Why was Zulfiqar Mirza missed, he deserved something higher than Nishan-e-Imtiaz for keeping Karachi on fire. Earlier on all 25 plus members of the 18th Constitutional Amendment Committee were also awarded Nishan-e-Imtiaz, reportedly many saner senior figures declined this award. Better to abolish this award rather than disgrace it. The PPP must grab whatever dazzles and it can lay its hands on before it is shown the door in the next elections. Hopefully the next government will annul all such nepotism awards through an executive order. In comparison the 14th August military awards list includes many Shaheed officers and soldiers who were awarded Sitara-e-Basalat, Tamgha-e-Basalat posthumously. I just cannot go on and will stop here. [Pakistan Observer]
SIXTY-FOUR YEARS ON
[Akhtar Rao, Islamabad]
No doubt Muhammad Ali Jinnah wanted a liberal and modern state, not a religious one. We always quote his speech of August 11, 1948 and forget other speeches made before and after that.
He emphasised the Quran and Sunna; a Muslim cannot ignore these fundamental principles.Islam granted basic rights to the minorities, 1400 years ago, so did Jinnah by admitting their rights in an independent state. However, was a Muslims state created just for bread and butter, or to implement the ideology of Islam? Was Pakistan established by the British due to their favourable policies towards Hindus, as some politicians argue? What would have happened had Pakistan not been established? If the Quaid were alive, how could he deal with the present national and international threatening environment? These are the questions we should think to answer if we want to see Jinnah’s vision of Pakistan. [The Tribune]
CORRUPTION GETS RECOGNITION
[M Abdullah Ansari, Lahore]
I want to comment on recent awards announced by president. President announced must have brought sarcastic smiles to all those who have some know how about politicians of Pakistan. It seems that govt. has decided to torture people in all possible manners as the list of awardees is full of corrupt, incapable, incompetent and hopeless politicians. If govt. conducts a survey for the most hated politicians, I am sure that most of the names getting high votes will be common to the list of awardees.
Mr. President has sprinkled the bounty upon his loyal team-mates who have helped him to continuous and prosperous growth in corruption and looting. Most shocking of the names was Rehman Malik, a man who has championed the art of passing statements with no sense at all. His speeches are treated as a source of laughter among masses and he has proven, time and again, that he has all the capacity to beat the likes of Sikandar Sanam. His irresponsible statements throughout his dark tenure have pictured him as either too naive or irrelevant to the masses. Next surprise is Hussain Haqqani, for whom, I am quite sure that Mr. President has received directions from USA. The way this guy is serving USA is remarkable; I doubt that USA’s own ambassador can compete him in fighting for USA’s interests. He is fairly entitled as “American ambassador in America” rather than “Pakistani ambassador in America”.
People are all in all in a shock over the list of awardees. Govt. is proving that it is totally disconnected to the masses and is too much busy in serving Americans oblivious to feel the emotions of it own people. People of Pakistan have tried every mix of these politicians and every time, current outcome is worse than the preceded.It’s high time for masses to say no to this corrupt system and these foul politicians. We have to understand that Pakistan doesn’t need any reform; it requires radical change. The change that will connect the system of ruling to the beliefs of masses and this change is the change of system. [Pakistan Observer]
[Muhammad Azhar Khwaja, Lahore]
National awards are instituted on individuals who really excel in their respective fields to contribute to the national goals or for something doing extraordinary for the country. During this regime, one finds that the government has been extra liberal in awarding the highest national awards to individuals who have hardly achieved any thing worth mentioning for the country.
The cases in point are the award of Nishan-i-Imtiaz to the entire team who worked for the 18th amendment of the constitution and lately on this 14th August some PPP stalwarts have been granted this highest civil award. The announcement of these awards to some controversial personalities have in fact degraded the spirit of these awards when seen in the background of these awards given to Dr AQ Khan and Dr Samar Mubarakmand who made the defence of this country impregnable. These national awards always carry a very convincing citation for the individuals who get it.
The team members of the present government have brought the country to the lowest ebb in every department. The corruption is at its peak at all levels especially at highest level of the government, the economy is in complete shambles, the law and order is the worst in the history of the country, nepotism and favourtism is rampant, each national department is full of scandals and so on and so forth. On top of every thing the orders and verdicts of highest court of the country are not implemented and rather made fun of by obstructing the justice in most funny manners ( NICL and Hajj scams besides Swiss case are a few examples). Under such circumstances granting highest national awards to these team members is a cruel joke to the nation. The entire nation knows the misdeeds of these awardees and can write their actual citation as well. The government of course will cook up fake citations like fake degrees to justify these awards. God help this government for crossing all the limits in doing wrong things. [The Nation]
‘THINK POSITIVELY LIKE GOVERNMENT’
[Iftikhar Shaheen Mirza, Islamabad]
National awards are being criticized for not being transparent as eligibility of awardees becomes doubtful for their vivid political affiliation, showering favours to cronies is not new for present government. When we see how friends are favoured by this government, this issue becomes trivial. When a jail mate can be made head of a big and very important department by setting aside all rules and regulations in vogue, when every decision of superior judiciary is thwarted and blown in air, when people are whisked in their homes, when flouting merit is the order of the day, awarding incapable people becomes a non-issue. So all making a hue and cry over award affairs should ‘think positively like government.’ [The Frontier Post]
Should we celebrate 14th August as our Independence Day or the Birthday of Pakistan? Pakistan did not exist before August 14, 1947. As such it was never a country ruled by the British and consequently liberated or granted independence. It was born a free country from its very inception. It was India that was ruled by the British and given independence by them, not Pakistan. Pakistan was never under the rule of any foreign power. It was created – took its birth – at 23:59 hrs on 14th August 1947 one minute before India was liberated at 24:00 hrs the same night but as the date changes after midnight, therefore, India became independent on 15th August. We should, therefore, celebrate Pakistan’s Birthday and not its Independence Day. [Business Recorder]
[Iftikhar Shaheen Mirza, Islamabad]
National awards are being criticized for not being transparent as eligibility of awardees becomes doubtful for their vivid political affiliation, Showering favours to cronies is not new for present government. When we see how friends are favoured by this government, this issue becomes trivial. When a jail mate can be made head of a department by setting aside all rules and regulations in vogue, when every decision of superior judiciary is thwarted and blown in air, when people are whisked in their homes,when flouting merit is the order of the day, awarding incapable people becomes a non-issue, So all making a hue and cry over award affairs should think positively like government. [Pakistan Observer]
CIVIL AWARDS CONTROVERSY
[Dr Wajid Ali Chatha, Islamabad]
I am a proud student of Prof M. Yunus Khan. He is regarded as a living legend in the field of anatomy and is rated as the best neuroanatomist of Asia. Amongst our fraternity, he is regarded as the teacher of teachers and his students are in the fourth generation. Once, when I was doing my fellowship training under him, I asked him, “Sir, with so much public service and credits to your honour, why have you never received any government award?” He said: “My name was sent many times but I never pushed for it.” Looking at the list of the recent award list by the government announced on this Independence Day, I am much relieved and thanked God that he never received the one. The sanctity of these awards have become obvious to me. Otherwise everybody would be ridiculing an honest man like him too. [Dawn]
PRESIDENTIAL AWARD FOR CRIMINAL
[Mohammad Khan Sial, Karachi]
Nominations of Presidential Awards announced on August 14 included name of a Police Officer who is generally known as corrupt, killer and dishonest person. A few years back, he brutally killed an innocent person namely Rasool Bux Brohi and wrongly claimed it body of Mashooq Ali Brohi (a criminal) in order to get head money. Such reports in details were extensively covered by the press at that time. Finally, The Supreme Court of Pakistan also took notice of his killing and he was sent behind the bars. His record is reportedly full of corruption and dishonesty and he remained behind the bars and under suspension more than one times. Awarding Presidential Award to a killer, corrupt and dishonest police officer is an insult to the prestigious award. I appeal to the President Asif Ali Zardari to take back such such nomination and order strict action against those who recommended prestigious award to police officer with criminal record. [Pakistan Observer]
[Abdullah Hussein, Lahore]
Much comment has passed through these columns about the civil awards. However, no correspondent has picked up the salient feature of the exercise, which is that the honours didn’t come cheap. It could be that a hidden hand has received, as this hand is wont to do, going by its history, large sums of money from the aspirants to the honours, who were then duly rewarded. So there! Under today’s written and unwritten rules, it’s all legit. Under tomorrow’s laws, the body attached to the hand will have to be pushed out of its chair, the bribe money recovered and the national honour awards 2011 cancelled en block. [The News]
[FreePakistan Newsletter, among other things, is a compilation of views and news taken from the national newspapers’ print and online editions. It is not possible to mention the source of every piece of news or view made use of herein; but as a matter of policy, where possible the source is mentioned with due thanks. However, no opinion expressed here should necessarily be taken as reflecting the view of Free Pakistan Newsletter.]
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