Sunday, January 1, 2012

... of Memogate and Lawyers

Everyday a new twist in the story and proceedings. One party says that it is conspiracy against national security, other terms it as 'just a piece of paper'. On one hand supreme court's 30 Dec verdict was a historical landmark for the Free Judiciary, on the other hand it was a black day for judiciary. Polarization in political parties is to justify each and every action even those which are grossly wrong or purely personal (Aysha Ahad or Sapna's case). At the same time to oppose each and every step of other party, no matter how good it was.  Answer to an allegation is a counter-allegation. Why this is happening? why dont we find any impartial and justified view. Who would tell us what is actually right or wrong?
Roots of these problems are linked with 'lawyers' in our politics. The loudest spokespersons of parties are mostly lawyers, the same very persons are making the laws and also want the implementation as per their own accord and justification.
Who is a lawyer? and what he is trained for? How we assess or measure the success in his profession?
Lawyer is not the judge; he is not the one to give you justice, rather he is trained to justify the most brutal acts of mass murderers and criminals. A good and successful lawyer is the one who had managed to get his defendants evicted from the 'iron fist' and 'long hands' of 'blind justice'. There is no money and glory in representing oppressed victims.
A lawyer representing a murderer or criminal would progressively proceed as following:-
1. At first he would try to find some loopholes in FIR and 'Chalan', like the 'chalan' was not presented within stipulated time, it is not signed by two officers of xx grade, or it in not counter signed on the same very date, etc. Thus making chalan and whole case invalid for hearing.
2- At second level, he would try to manipulate the presentation of evidence and witnesses in a way that these things are not timely submitted, presented and coordinated; or the name in FIR is Muhammad Tariq and the name on ID card is Mohammad Tarique,  thereby closing the case due to 'lack of evidence' .
3. At third stage he would try to declare it a mistrial, by proving that so and so 'phoopar' پھوپھڑ of police and prosecutor or judge is distant cousin of 'massar' ماسڑ of 'pitrair's پتر یر  'sandoo'  سا ڈھو of other party.
4- Lastly he would try to prove that defendant was mentally upset or suffering from the trauma of childhood abuse or a medical certificate that defendant is not in his senses so can not be trialed.
5. In rare eventuality, if he loses the case, the judges and whole system is declared wrong. ایسے دستور کو میں نہیں مانتا
Is he doing something wrong? HELL NO! he is doing what he is trained and paid to do. By the way where is the justice in all of above steps? 
It is just a marathon between both the parties to hire better and more expensive lawyer; their sustenance and endurance to prolong the trial to exhaust other is the 'judicial victory', but again where is the justice?
Once Caliph Umar (RA) is questioned about his dress made of two sheets  instead of one; he steps down and asks for the witness to testify that second sheet is donated by his son. He does not dispose the case that the common person can not question mighty Caliph or 'supreme judicial council' can not hear the petition.
Now the last words,
Let the lawyers do their job by giving arguments in support of whatever agenda they have, but don't let your judgement carried away or hijacked by loud voices and aesthetically appealing sentences. Remember! they are the Lawyers and you are the Judge; onus of justice is onto you.

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Oppressed and oppressor -- of dogs and dogs
While studying  WWII  in my military history  classes, there were two questions I could not find a satisfactory answer:
1- Why Hitler let Dunkirk withdrawal to happen? and let go 220,000 British and 112,000 French soldiers rather eliminating or capturing them to get absolute victory once he could.
2- Why Japan was nuked, once evil were Hitlers and Germans?
These events  may look irrelevant to what I am going to say about my Pakistan, but just wanted to start in this way.
Starting with just one aspect of recent CNG crises; In a TV program 'News Night with Talat' where he was interviewing few taxi drivers and effect of CNG crises on them. He was told that they were charging more than the double fare on CNG-off days,  even they were driving only on CNG filled a night before.
Who is oppressed and who is the oppressor here? Taxi driver is not looting the policy makers and corrupt politicians rather a common man who is in dire need and is blackmailed to pay double the cost (which is unjustified even in case taxi driver runs on Patrol as cost difference between Patrol and CNG which was 30% is further reduced to 15% due to recent price hike). Strike by transporters against this CNG price hike will effect who? drivers, transport workers, or common man? or all of them? But one thing is for sure that  transport tycoons, policymakers, bureaucrats, and politicians would not be affected at all.
Whenever there is some strike on call of a political party or trader's group; who is affected? only the shop owners and common men.
Once some 'angry mob' burns the motorcylces or rickshaws they actually starve a family who is even more oppressed.
In election, many of the workers give their lives in battle for votes, whereas the elected member happily joins hands with other party and become lota (لوٹا  )without even asking them. Why they be bothered, they are dead anyway.
Some teachers in government schools make sure that no one from their students should rise to success. This is the revenge of a middle class teacher from his fellow middle class parents. The teacher is ready the further suck the blood under the name of tuition or academy.
Now I would try to relate from where I started; Hitler never wanted to eliminate English or French, after all they shared the same race and skin, whereas Japanese were some other race. Both safeguarded each other's prime interests and lives at cost of everybody else in the world. Same thing is happening in Pakistan, oppressed and oppressor belong to the same group and clan --- the middle and poor class of Pakistan. Who become instrument to their lords and alternately play the role, whereas the 'lords' and 'waderas' remain intact in the secret but filthy brotherhood. There is a not-so-nice proverb in Punjabi 'کتا کتے دا ویری (dog is worst enemy of a dog). Who is this dog, is it by race or have become so after receiving doggy treatment for centuries. Bitter words but could not find anything less which could justify the state.
Unlike my previous blogs, I would not suggest any solutions or way out. who is bothered? who wants them to rise? not me who is sitting in a cozy lounge in front of a nice computer, taking sips of coffee made by my cook and my kids study in posh private schools.

Friday, December 9, 2011

CNG Cylinders or Live Bombs?

Following few of the news items, I was really scared about increased frequency of CNG cylinder blasts resulting into tragic loss of precious lives.  OGRA has recently blacklisted 18 firms from providing CNG cylinders. But is this the only reason for these sad happenings?
If one had followed the pattern, almost all CNG accidents are related to commercial transport. Hazards can be identified as under:
 Exposed cylinder as in small loader vehicles, the cylinder is placed on a frame ontop of driver's cabin; the cylinder and pipes are fully exposed to weather and prone to physical damage even in case of minor accidents.
Cylinders under the passenger seats; passengers are likely to un-intentionally fiddle with the delicate high pressure gas pipe fitting as it is directly under them. Internal leakage and ciggerte is sure recipe for big disaster.
Greed; transporters would happily buy sub-strandered, expired and damaged cylinders to save the bucks.
More gas more pressure; to gain extra milage, transported would fit multiple cylenders in most wierd and dangerous way. more so they would join hands with CNG station owners to fill the gas at higher pressure (more than 200 bars).
 Lets enumerate various contributory  factors:
Increased prices of Deisel forced commercial commuters to convert to CNG. but the benefit is not transferred to public. Rents remained the same as transporters say that they had to cover the cost of conversion. Secondly, public was left in agony due to absence of local transport on CNG-OFF days, once their day is ON.
Transporters never comply to any regulations regarding safety and fitness of their vehicles. Our nation has seen the transporter is always the winner as he is decision maker (most of the transport sector is owned by politicians, who would save their interests even at the cost of major government institutions like Pakistan Railway ) and executive (Taxis and local transport is mostly owned/patronized by Police authorities)
 Conversion of  Industry, power sector, and transport to CNG - is it a good decision?
Converting to alternate means is done either to reduce the cost or cover the shortage. In case of CNG, it was due to high price of petroleum products. Converting into CNG was immediate and clear saving, but if the alternate is reasonably cheaper then the result will be total conversion to alternative, irrespective of any regulatory authority. And if the alternate is not sufficient enough to fulfill the demand then its shortage would increase its cost at parity with the main source; bringing users back to square one. That has just happened with us in the CNG sector. The 'bonus loss' was heavy investment in terms of CNG station, selling of CNG licences and cost of CNG kits; not to mention safety hazards due to crippled and dis-functional regulatory authorities.
An other interesting [alarming] development in this regard is that the CNG associations want to put a ban on CNG in private cars thereby promoting CNG only vehicles in commercial sector.
So what should be done:
1. Potent regulatory authority, enforcing safety of fitting and regular inspections.
2- Sufficient number of Labs to test gas cylinders.
3- Civic sense; if it could make some difference.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Assets of Nawaz Sharif

A ‘creative’ response to PTI Nawaz declares people his ‘asset’

LAHORE, Nov 24: Muslim League-N president Nawaz Sharif on Thursday gave a new interpretation to “asset” in response to Tehrik-i-Insaaf chief Imran Khan’s “asset declaration” demand when he said on Tuesday that “the people of Pakistan were my biggest asset and I would continue serving them for the rest of my life”.
Addressing around 200 recipients of vehicles under the Yellow Cab Scheme here on Thursday, the former prime minister insisted: “Office or no office, I want to see my people and the country attain high position in the comity of nations and I will not rest till the goal is achieved.”  [yes the high positions for graduates as taxi driver and low-lying jobs like MPA, MNA, business tycoon etc for illiterates]
He said some politicians (an obvious reference to Imran Khan) were trying to find their way into politics by “maligning others”. This, he said, was a highly “detestable trend,” and the media must discourage such trends in politics by checking such behaviours and politicians. [by the way what was it what I just did?] Those with tainted past [why you are pointing fingers towards me? there are few  others beside me as well]  were now out to “malign others”, he added.
“No one has ever been able to prove corruption charges against me and my family and when it came to framing me in false charges, I was booked on hijacking, not corruption charges,” he said. [yes, I am too good. Al Capone was also held for tax evasion rather drugs, casinos and numerous killings
The PPP government had lost moral authority to rule, as it was doing nothing but “begging around” at the slightest of excuses, he said. [But I would keep on giving them political authority to continue acting as friendly opposition, آخر میری باری یھی آنی ہے ]
“This is against the dignity of any nation, and such rulers must be removed from their offices,” Nawaz insisted and assured: “If voted to power, I would never beg to anyone.”
[nor will give the account of my last begging 'قرض اتارو ملک سنوارو ] Talking about the writ petition he filed on the memo issue, he said that he had gone to the court for the sake of the nation. “The entire episode must be made transparent; the nation must know who did what in the entire scandal.”
When asked whether the PML-N intended to demand putting Hussain Haqqani on the Exit Control List, he
said the matter was in the court and if needed, the party would place all demands there.
He said on coming to power, “we will provide interest-free loans to the skilled people so that they could become self-employed.” He disclosed that cab scheme vehicles were purchased at lower rate than the market price, saving Rs960 million for which the chief minister and the chief secretary deserve appreciation. [thereby getting twofold benefits; large commission and pre-paid votes]
Nawaz Sharif said 20,000 vehicles were being distributed through transparent balloting this year under the scheme. [fully transparent, ensure your and your family's vote, and cab is yours] He said
he would ask the Punjab government to give as many vehicles to unemployed people every year. Congratulating the successful applicants, he said that those who could not get vehicles this year would have a chance next year [kindly give some cab allowance to people so that they may be able to afford Rs 50 a km travel on it]

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Indian DTH Satellite System

Indian DTH (Direct to Home) Satellite systems (Dish TV and TATA Sky etc) are visible like mushrooms in monsoon.
Before writing this post, I had few questions;
- Am I the first Pakistani to write on this topic?
- Is there already some settlement between Pakistan and India on this subject?
So I 'Googled', unfortunately I could not find anything worth mentioning here.
 To my sheer surprise, a Dish TV vendor was selling and installing his products in Rodu Sultan (a small village about 30 km away from Darbar Sultan Bahu in Jhang) Rodu Sultan did not had any electricity once I first saw this place in 80s. First CB exchange was installed some where in 1986. Though today we have DSL also but still it is a small town. [enough of trolling, back to original topic]
I can not say for sure but can safely estimate that number of Indian DTH receiver units operating in Pakistan are in 7 figure count. 
As expected from crippled government department of this age, I could not find 'list of eligible satellite TV channels cleared by PEMRA'. Though there were many references on their website and news items, but clearly defined list was nowhere found. (please give it a try and inform me, I'll amend my post)
PEMRA put us wise on DTH by giving definition and basic idea of the system. well done PEMRA!
Googling further I found a presentation by Mr Manzoor Ali Memon which at least mentions that Indian DTH are operating without any permission. You might be asking , what is actually the problem (مجھے تکلیف کیا ہے). 
Indian channels are pumping in the propaganda through their media warfare; which once Sonia Gandhi claimed that  "we will conquer Pakistan through our media". Okay you want a free media so this argument is not strong enough.
Billions of Rupees are being laundered into India every month for renewing the subscription. ?? What? multiply Rs 600 (average monthly charges) with Rs 2 million (very safe estimate) makes Rs 1.2 Billion. yet to estimate advertisement revenue. Can we balance it with any trade? 
I have already conveyed this point to PEMRA and NAB (for money laundering) on their email addresses published on their website; but know it that nobody would ever open the mailbox. 
My request to readers, please try to pass my concern to quarters who should actually have concern.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Education and Job - Serious Disconnect

picture source
My nephew did telecommunication engineering from FAST. While hunting for the job he informed me that a job in telecom market is out of question; neither any job is available nor anybody would hire a FAST graduate even if it available; so he should better be looking his future in some software house. Being among the senior most community of telecom engineers in Pakistan (with single digit PEC registration number), it felt very wierd. FAST has enjoyed the reputation to produce excellent computer and software engineers, but so pathatic state of telecom engineers?
Okay, I got him the entry pass into one of the reputable telecom company using or misusing my contacts; but clearly told him that it is his own race where he has to prove that my reference was worth it. After couple of months, he told me a totally different story:
"There are many posts vacant, but they are not finding a suitable person to enroll. The applicants only have the degree but no 'aptitude' or 'commitment' to work. The company has asked me to find at least two guys like myself."
Sounds like a real problem, isn't a Telecom Engineer not qualified enough to be given even entry level jobs in the field?
Once I generalized this observation, I was, well really, horrified.
In all electronic and mobile maintenance workshops, how many are electrical diploma holders?
How many site supervisers for road and bridge construction are qualified associate diploma in civil Engineering?
Haw many accountant and 'Munshees' in medium scale business and industry are C/D, I or B.comm?
How many BA in physical education, Punjabi literature are doing the job they had been studying?
Do any of the licensed driver on road have ever attended a driving school, even for one week?
There are two problems:

  1. A big disconnect between education we are imparting and the job and profession in the offering.
  2. The education in a particular profession is not good enough to do even entry level job in the same very field.

Well we all know it more or less; someone or somebody has to do this or that or push a button to put the things right and that somebody is not me.
But there is one more aspect that compelled me to write all this:
If a person educated, qualified and trained for a job is not doing that very job and busy in something he is not educated, qualified or trained; he is causing a double loss: one to the job he is doing, and second to the job he was trained but not doing.
Part of the fault may be attributed to 'aptitude', as brilliant students are to become a doctor or engineer due to social pressure, irrespective of their aptitude. But major reason and contributory factor in my opinion is that the we have compromised on lower (or may be lowest) skill level during our education and training. An MA English is unable to write an application for job, as our acceptable standard was to reproduce 'parrot' (رٹے رٹاے) paragraphs. Instead of raising the education quality to raise the level of students we are continuously lowering our acceptance levels. We have bonded ourselves in curricula of textbooks where even a word out of text book is 'out of course' and should neither be taught nor tested.


  • Getting happy that our kids are getting more than 90% [as a parent] we should be more realistic to ask schools that how 50% of the children in same class be exceptionally higher than average.
  • We should pay more to teachers, specially elementary schools teachers (I saw in math book of my 4th grade daughter the concept of cellular automata; actually the word automata was used there, but I can bet anything on it that not a single teacher in the entire school would have any idea what this crap is).
  • As a parent, we must listen and try to assess real aptitude of kids.
  • Schools must hire professionals to conduct regular aptitude tests so that kids be guided towards the fields of their interests.
  • Lastly people like me, who cry a lot about faults in system, must spend time in schools. Try to offer small lectures sharing personal experiences and asking them to THINK.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Jhoonga - Part 2

In continuation to my previous post on the subject:

I have started to conclude that all our problems are linked with this jhoonga culture. In my last post I have already mention that jhoonga is never free, and jhoonga taker is paying much higher price in some other currency. It is also the strength (زور بازو ) of jhoonga taker that how much he grabs the jhoonga. In this process, many a times he takes major share of others as well 'depriving' them of their 'rightful' jhoonga. I would elaborate with some examples.
- An office holder takes charge of all vehicles of the office and distribute as one for his primary use, second as alternate vehicle, third for kids school pick and drop, fourth for begam sahiba and fifth and last for the one who delivers daily milk and vegetables to his house. He takes all the allotted fuel as well, forcing others to use their own vehicles for official job or donot do the job (no body would ever ask any way).
- A street vendor gives free fruit to police wala to let him stand at most inappropriate (best place from his business point of view), and gets the benefit of increased sale due to prime location. Cost of this free jhoongs is borne by pedestrians.
- AC of sahib's office is switched on all the time and that too at lowest temperature, because that sahib will not pay the bill; wapda would not be pushed to bill him as meter is faulty for last 3 years, and payment is done by others who are burdened with additional bills due to inflated 'line losses'.
- Bada sahib (بڑا صاحب ) can produce medical bill of Queen Victoria Hospital UK for his flu, that includes travel and hotel for his entire family. He snatches 90% of medical budget of his entire ministry in this jhoonga.

What is the solution????
If all jhoongas are monetized; from cost of shopping bag* and free 'dhania / mirch' to transport and medical expenditures; that monetized amount is added to the salary. Isn't it workable? why dont we ask political parties to include anti jhoonga point in their manifesto?

*(one mostly pays for the shopping bag in USA)