Stories about government officials

If PTI believes in democracy, asset declaration of public servants should be public knowledge

As per a report of Transparency International, it can be said without the risk of contradiction that the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, unfortunately, does not enjoy a desirable position on the global list of countries in regards to corruption perceptions. For the year 2017, its survey shows that Pakistan ranks at 117 out of 180 countries. The present government of Pakistan has a greater responsibility to address this menace, especially since they have risen to power because they held the previous government accountable for their real or perceived corruption. But so far, they have not initiated anything in this regard. In my opinion, one ...

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How can we expect a better Pakistan if our caste system is the reason why our sanitation workers die?

There may be no better parameter to judge the character, values and structure of a society than by the manner in which it performs some of the most humble and menial tasks. Sweeping, handling garbage or working on clogged gutters and sewage lines fall into the category of menial tasks. Who are the people who perform these tasks? What methods, implements and protective equipment are used to remove, handle and dispose the filth, trash, sludge and raw sewage? Are these processes well regulated and controlled? Are these jobs open to all or restricted to some? What is the social status, respect ...

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Brace your wallets, Ramazan is coming

I first heard the story many years ago, and every year I hear it at least once.  Most Pakistanis are probably familiar with it, but it bears repeating, for those who’ve never heard it. It goes like this: In the early years of Islam, a preacher from a town sent his assistant to tell the people of a distant village in the mountains about Ramazan. He told them how they would have to get up before daybreak, eat food and drink water, then go without water and food until sunset, beginning with the appearance of the new moon and ending with the appearance of the ...

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Corruption is now accepted as a fact of life in Pakistan

Perhaps the greatest danger to Pakistan is corruption. We can stand up to any hostile army trying to invade our sacred land, but corruption is eating away at our foundation, like termites which ultimately cause houses to collapse. Owing to corruption, the government is not able to collect enough revenue, making it necessary to borrow from the IMF, which ultimately makes the country poorer and adversely affects our ability to defend the nation from terrorists and hostile enemies. Corruption has enabled Pakistanis to invest Rs85 billion during the past six months and Rs512 billion in the past two and a half years ...

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Government officials will fast in their air-conditioned offices and the public will face eight hour power shortages

I remember the times when power outages were rare. This was before the widespread use of air conditioners. Today, in every government department, air conditioners are switched on long before the baboos arrive in the morning. This is to ensure that when they enter their cabins, the temperature is not more than 20 degrees centigrade. These government officials, ministers included, want to remain cool so they are comfortable even when the temperature outside is 45 to 50 degrees. One doesn’t mind our bureaucrats and ministers enjoying themselves in their ultra-cool offices. But what they forget is that the electricity they use ...

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Is your bakra a terrorist?

A week ago or so you were perhaps meandering in the bakra mandi; looking for the perfect specimen to take home. You inspected 20 plus bakras, clutched each animal’s jaw to find out if your bakra-to-be has two or four teeth and sturdy horns – sharp enough to butcher other bakras in the mandi. You inquired about the weight of half a dozen cows, and went to check out that one camel in the neighbourhood also. After loitering around, you finally got down to business, put on your crafty airs and negotiated a deal. You walked out of the mandi with a strong looking, cinnamon dusted bakra. As you ...

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Where does anti-Semitic and anti-Islamic hate speech overlap?

The first session of the sixth annual Muslim-Jewish Conference (MJC) began with the following announcement: “Everyone separate into two categories of groups. Muslims sit with Muslims and Jews sit with Jews. Let’s write down stereotypes that you think people hold about your religious identity.” It didn’t take long for the stereotypes to roll in. The Muslims jotted them down rather quickly. We’ve all heard them countless times and they’ve been stitched into our consciousness. Words such as terrorist, judgmental, and oppressed were penned down. The Jews were quick to word out the stereotypes as well – wealthy, conniving, and greedy. A Jewish New Yorker ...

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Zardari’s fool proof plan to end corruption (read: save himself) in Sindh

Recently, the Chief Minister of Sindh, Qaim Ali Shah, along with some of his cabinet members travelled all the way to Dubai to attend a meeting co-chaired by the co-chairman and chairman of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), neither of whom, by the way, hold any office of authority in the government of Sindh or Pakistan, yet are ‘powerful’ enough to have the Sindh government come to them for directions. What were these directions that could only be given in Dubai, only in person and not via a teleconference, letter or a phone call? Well, first off, it is an established fact that Mr Asif ...

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When businesses flourish at the expense of poor hygiene standards

Cleanliness and hygiene are probably the least important segments to be taken seriously in our society. Be it our government-run offices, hospitals, parks and privately-owned eateries, grocery stores, and entertainment areas. Due to a lack of awareness and absence of strict law enforcement, businesses are least bothered and easily get away by either bribing the food inspectors or paying off the little monetary penalties that the government impose on them whenever a certain concerned government official decides to do his/her job for a change. The recent raids on Pizza Hut and KFC in Peshawar and Fat burger, Pearl Continental (PC) and Avari in Lahore and the following ...

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PTI claims improvement in K-P, but the tales of Nathiagali speak otherwise

I spent my childhood playing in daisy-filled meadows, walking the pakdandis and exploring the narrow roads of Nathiagali. I have drifted along these pakdandis for miles, getting lost in the green hills only to be brought home by the villagers who witnessed us growing up. My family and I are blessed that we can flee to the Galiyats, escaping the hustle bustle and frenzy that has seeped into almost every other city in Pakistan. The hill station has been my parents and grandparents retreat of choice since the 60s. This year brings the fourth generation of our family to the Galiyats at a ...

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