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Posts tagged with: Corruption

MPA Shumaila Rana caught red-handed in Credit Card Fraud

Shumaila RanaAn MPA Shumaila Rana who has been a member of the Punjab Assembly on a chosen reserved seat for women has recently been caught red handed using a stolen credit card and making two separate purchases to the tune of Rs. 80,000 [~$1000]. The owner of the credit card Zaira Malik when she reported them stolen the credit card company informed her that purchases had already been made in a nearby Jewelry store and a mens store. When Zaira went to the shops they had CCTV camera showing the MPA making these purchases.

Zaira Malik attended classes at a health centre in Lahore after placing her bag in a room at the club the MPA Shumaila Rana left the class early and as Zaira picked up her bag, she found her two credit cards — one of UBL and other Bank Al-Falah — missing from the bag. She immediately called the credit card helpline of the two banks to inform that her cards were misplaced and block both the cards. But the officials at help centers of both banks told Zaira that someone had swiped the cards for Rs80,000 at two separate shops, one of them a jewelery shop, she panicked and visited the shops. The shop owner showed the CCTV footage to the card owner in which it was proved that Shumaila Rana had swiped the credit cards to purchase jewelery and clothes.
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The Carbon Tax Fiasco

oil tankers in pakistanCyril Almeida a columnist in Dawn has penned an excellent article on the recent controversy regarding the petroleum carbon tax. It is a fact that in March 2009 the government had imposed a Petroleum Developmental Levy which resulted in an increase in the price of petroleum goods by a few rupees. The then, newly restored Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry took matters into his own hands and reversed this developmental levy and rightly said “the welfare state had the authority to recover tax on petroleum but not to make profit”.

Having been forced to undo a lucrative indirect petroleum taxation by the Supreme Court the government returned with a new Carbon Tax piggy-backed onto the Finance Bill of 2009 which went through unanimous approval across the parliament with practically not a single politician objecting to this steep rise in petroleum prices in the debate. Interestingly once the Carbon Tax came into effect the Supreme Court knee-jerked to issue an immediate order to stop this implementation of the carbon tax which was actually going to result in atleast a Rs. 10 hike in all petroleum goods across the board.
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Sindh Assembly honors Michael Jackson with a Minute of Silence

PAKISTAN-POLITICS-ASSEMBLY-SINDHAs I write this blog post I have been at a loss of words, I was shocked to read at the PKKH website that today [Saturday 27th June] the Sindh Assembly kicked off its session with a minutes silence in honor of Michael Jackson, yes you read that one correct ‘the moonwalking maestro – Jacko’ was honored with a minutes worth of silence, the logic, the rationality behind sending this message from our official public offices truly befuddles the daylights out of me

PKKH: Just when you think our so called ‘elected representatives’ can’t embarrass us anymore, they tend to prove us wrong. The Sindh Assembly this morning held a minute’s silence for Michael Jackson’s sad demise.

This news comes in close proximity to the controversy where the Presidency has allegedly removed the picture of the founding father of Pakistan, Quaid-e-Azam Mohammed Ali Jinnah and replaced it with the various Bhutto-Zardari portraits
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Zardari throws out Quaid-e-Azam from the Presidency

I was alerted of this development earlier in the afternoon courtesy of blogger Farhan where he wrote a blog post The Terrible Blunder at Presidency. Caught up in work, I made a mental note to check it out in detail, but at 9pm Geo reportedly carried a news item along the same lines showing picture after picture where the Presidency had apparently removed all pictures of Quaid-e-Azam

Pakistan Cricket team at the Presidency without the Quaid-e-Azam portrait

Having a close look at the picture you see four portraits namely Asif Zardari, Bilawal Bhutto, Benazir Bhutto and followed by Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, nowhere do we see the portraits of the Founder of the Nation Quaid-e-Azam Mohd Ali Jinnah or for that matter Allama Iqbal.

I hope this is just an accidental mistake and there is no attempt by the idiot President to alter our history in anyway whatsoever.

IDP Crisis, More transparency, please

swat-buner-lower-dir-pakistan-army-taliban-imperialism-war-idp-campsVoices of reason and critique are often drowned in the sounds of gunfire and heavy artillery shelling. This current operation ‘Rah-e-Rast’, or what is being termed as a ‘War for Pakistan’s survival’, has resulted in an exodus of almost 3 million people which might just be another number for those who are at the helm of affairs in Islamabad. Dawn’s magazine Herald wrote in its editorial: “Fear of Taliban being just 60 kilometers away from the country’s capital has mobilized the people to support war….But more seriously still, it has ensured that we have willingly put aside the right to ask questions and the right to hold institutions accountable. We are so desperate to get rid of the Taliban that we do not want to raise any questions about how this can be done.” It is time to ask some tough questions.

Herman Goering, the head of German Luftwaffe, remarked at Nuremberg trials: “Of course, the people don’t want war….But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along… Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger.” We have seen how fear can drive a nation to support an illegal war thousands of miles away in case of Iraq invasion. That is why it is necessary that with our high running emotions against Militants and against their brutal acts of terror, we do not forget the importance of transparency, accountability and self-critique.
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NADRA charging Rs 50 for ID Card Verification from IDP’s in Swat

Translated by Noman Qadir courtesy of the Video posted on PakistanIDP

nadra-charging-50 form IDP in Swat and MardanNADRA is charging Rs.50 for folks who lost/misplaced or had their cards destroyed in the process of fleeing their homes. The provincial government, district government, civil society and individual citizens are doing all they can to feed, house and clothe these IDPs.

The federal government charges them Rs.50 for their Identification Cards. Call your MNA, Senator, Uncle, or Auntie, call anybody and everybody you can, and tell them how outrageous this is. NADRA should stick to making money on contracts from foreign governments (as it does when it mass produces machine readable passports for other countries). This software house financed by the taxpayer should not be charging IDPs for a document that is a human and constitutional right in Pakistan.

It is indeed a sad situation that the government has the audacity to charge anything so as to merely get verified and be able to get relief aid to feed their families – this is criminal

AKU succumbs to Urban Militants

Guest post by Naeem Sadiq

Illegally Parked Car at Agha Khan HospitalAKU was once perceived as a disciplined, professional and caring hospital. It followed rules, provided excellent health care services and even operated a good patient welfare scheme. We were proud of the great hospital built by Prince Karim Aga Khan in the middle of the town.

The AKU has gradually chosen to bid farewell to its founding principles and make compromises, more so when it comes to dealing with the powerful and influential urban militants.

AKU rules clearly require that weapons shall not be brought inside the hospital and vehicles shall be parked only at the designated parking places. There are two guards who are full time on duty to make sure that the vehicles move off and do not park in front of the private ward pick and drop area. The rule is uniformly applied to all citizens. However it is conveniently waived off for ministers, unregistered vehicles and for those who come accompanied by weapon carrying goons.
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The Writ of Government

It’s the most popular mantra of the Ruling Elite & its intelligentsia to justify military operation to counter the existing wave of terrorism. Here are some of the examples from Pakistani Ruling Elite that fall under the writ of Government according to them.

If a minister marries her sisters to The Quran by taking Ruling Elite into confidence, then it’s within the writ of Government.

If a senator buries women while they are alive by taking Ruling Elite into confidence, then it’s within the writ of Government.

If the terror wing of a party, who is a part of Government, burn & kill people (voicing for justice) by taking Ruling Elite into confidence, then it’s within the writ of Government.
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Varyaam Faqeer on the Run – A victory for Essa Mohd Khaskheli

Another report on the Feudal LandGrabbing issue in the village of Essa Mohd Khaskheli – written by Deneb Sadeque

essa-mohd-khaskheli-villagersThere was certainly a lot of excitement Thursday in the City Court specially for the Khaskhelis. Some of what I’m narrating was joyously described by them when I went to see them this evening. Despite the escape of Varyam Fakir twice over, they were ecstatic that the Wadera who had harassed them for decades was brought to this point. As usual he came with his entourage of goons and they were spread around the court in groups. When he arrived at around 11:00 they converged around him. As soon as his bail-before-arrest was refused, he came out of the court room with his goons surrounding him to prevent the police from arresting him. There was a fierce struggle between the goons and the police who did a lot of clubbing as well. The police managed to snap handcuffs on three of the others named in the FIR.

Waryam Fakir was grabbed and escorted by around 5 policemen and taken down the stairs, yet strangely enough, let go amidst all the (staged?) confusion and “hatta-pai”. Waryam Fakir fled the scene and managed to squeeze into a rickshaw to escape (God Almighty knows how with his enormous girth). He couldn’t reach his car. However more police arrived and tried to pry him out when more of his goons arrived and another clash ensued. This time his henchmen didn’t hesitate to injure three ASIs and a couple of policemen, tearing their uniforms and drawing blood as well. Miraculously, he escaped yet again. Now he’s a bonafide fugitive.
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Court hearing of the Kashkheli Case – Varyaam Faqeer escapes

Posted by Adaner Usmani on the Peoples’ Resistance network

If 16th March 2009 marks the victory of Pakistan’s two-year movement to restore a free judiciary (and depose a dictatorship, of course), posterity might very well regard yesterday, the 7th of May, as a day that some of Pakistan’s poorest first reaped the direct rewards of that struggle.

Varyaam Faqeer, the by-now infamous ex-MPA from Sanghar, turned up in court for his bail hearing in connection with the murder case lodged against him and four others by the villagers from Muhammad Issa Khaskheli. With him came his entire retinue of retainers, hangers-on, gangsters, etc.–possibly as many as a hundred men, all carrying themselves with the palpable arrogance of unapologetic power.

Their very visible presence around the City Court premises was, no doubt, intended to intimidate the Khaskheli farmers, the judge, and the media into cowering in the face of Varyaam’s obvious clout. Nonetheless, by roughly 8:30 in the morning, about a dozen supporters (Labour Party activists, members of PR, a comrade from the National Workers’ Party, among others) had gathered in solidarity. Geo News and KTN set up cameras outside the courtroom.
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The Arithmetics of 6760 documented Ghost Schools in Sindh

Mr. Naeem Sadiq a very active member of the Peoples Resistance had only recently stumbled across a very extensive study carried out by the Sindh Education and Literacy Department under the School Rehabilitation Program 2008-2009 with the backing of a number of international donor agencies. To produce a report for the thousands of ghost schools and shelter-less schools scattered all across the province of Sindh.

The ghost schools phenomenon is probably the biggest crime to the future generations of Pakistan, millions get sanctioned on an yearly basis for the construction and the maintenance of these educational centers and in reality they never exist and are merely paper based ghost schools with a fully employed staff and a regular budget extracting millions from the provincial budget whilst our children continue to remain uneducated.

The PDF document initially provided to Mr. Naeem Sadiq {[download id=”8″]} listed approximately 6479 ghost schools but more recently the Reform Support Unit updated its website to list around 6760 Closed Schools while a whopping 7490 Shelter less Schools. if one were to even extrapolate the financial corruption leading from these ~7000 ghost schools its bound to reach astronomical proportions Read Mr. Naeem Sadiq’s oped in todays Dawn titled Ghost Schools Arithmetic Continue Reading

We are a Crowd, not a Nation, not an Ummah …! [Survey Results]

Recently we (The Critic Blog Team) conducted a survey to prove or disprove a hypothesis that “There is a difference of opinion among the masses about the top 5 problems, i.e. every other person focus on different agendas thus there is no channelized effort toward any single issue”.

After receiving replies we complied the data (shown below), which depicts that every person had a different opinion about the problems, there is some agreement on the issues but the ranking given to that issue differed greatly, some agree on macro level, but disagree on details. The data made us think that we are in fact a gigantic crowd living at the same geographical location called Pakistan, we are not connected by any means.

From this analysis we would like to build another hypothesis that as a whole, our disintegrated minds and souls are infact our biggest weakness / problem … we just can’t unite, simply because, in religious terms, our qibla is unique to others … we prioritize as per our own ideals, needs and wants and analyze the world in the same context … In other words for each individual the problem are those elements of society which stand against his own needs or ideals, thus his conclusions stands contrast of others accordingly…
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Nazir Naji caught Abusing Journalist

Ahmad Noorani, a senior editor of The News from Islamabad while investigating a story regarding illegal allotment of plots to some journalists by the federal government calls up Nazir Haji on Friday 17th April later Nazir Haji calls back Ahmed Noorani twice and gets a mouthful of profanity, in response I must applaud Ahmed Noorani to have maintained his cool. Listen to the rated three part audio clips on PkPolitics, while the land scam investigative article can be read on The News website

The Politics of Containers

Guest Blog by Naeem Sadiq
Published in Dawn, Sunday, 22 Mar, 2009

Containers outside the Pakistan ParliamentContainers were originally used for the transportation of goods. Today they still carry goods but only when not being utilised in the service of the state. In the absence of a more rational argument, the weight, size and shape of a container provides an ideal piece of equipment to impose one’s political agenda.

Placed at the two ends of a road, containers provide weighty assurance that the life and liberty of one’s opponents are confined within these two extremes.

The credit must go to the MQM for inventing a usage that the original designers had not quite envisaged. The May 12, 2007 prototype launched in Karachi was successfully replicated on March 15, 2009 when some 2,000 containers were used to cordon off large swathes of area. It was a shameful, illegal act and it brought the government immense misery and losses to individuals.
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Update: Sanam Bhutto waiting in the ranks

sanam-bhuttoIn light of the recent success of the Long March movement, which may have been a victory for the people of Pakistan, one person that has truly lost out is Mr. Asif Ali Zardari and along with it has also dashed the hopes and dreams of his party which he hijacked a year or so back. It is now rumored that Sanam Bhutto is feisty and has in no small words lashed out at her brother-in-law in an interview with Benazir Bhutto’s close confidant Daphne Barak. Though the contents of the interview are yet to be made public

Sanam Bhutto is acting as the watchdog of Bilawal, Bakhtawar and Assefa’s interests and is concerned that other members of Zardari family are working to derive benefits.

The News 18th March 2009: Sanam has been very upset with Asif Zardari’s handling of the PPP that is the most precious political legacy of her father Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and her sister Benazir Bhutto. He betrayed her sister’s promises to the nation about restoration of judges, caused political friction to the point that led Pakistan to the brink of civil war and caused historic damage to the popular Pakistan People’s Party to the maximum extent. Reportedly Sanam Bhutto has said, My father, my brothers, my mother all of us suffered and made sacrifices for PPP and Asif Zardari has usurped it.

Though the interview is yet to be made public but it seem this might be the start of the much talked about PPP breakup where the old guard finally sums up the courage to stand up against the usurper who has conveniently occupied the Presidential Palace

Update March 18th 23:00 PST: In a clarification issued by Sanam Bhutto The News carries an update clarifying that Sanam Bhutto, the sister of slain PPP leader Benazir Bhutto, denied reports of any differences in Bhutto family she is claimed to have cordial relations with President Asif Ali Zardari and there was no property dispute between the Bhutto family and the President. “Bhutto family stands by President Zardari to resolve the challenges facing the country,” she added.