Sunday, April 28, 2019

#Pakistan - Plight of #Hazaras and #Shia killings

By Saad Rasool
In a society as heartless as ours, the ongoing plight of Hazara community has received the minimum possible space in our media and political narrative.
On Friday, last week, an IED ripped through a grocery market in Quetta, specifically targeting and killing members of the (Shia) Hazara community. The attack killed over 20 people, injuring almost 50 others (some in critical condition).
In the aftermath of this dastardly attack, members of the Hazara community in Quetta have staged a sit-in, demanding that concrete security steps be devised by the government as well as relevant law enforcement agencies, and that perpetrators of this sectarian violence (which has targeted Shia community alone) be caught and prosecuted to the fullest extent of our laws.Callously, neither the Prime Minister nor the Army Chief has made a visit to Quetta, till date, in order to express solidarity with the bereaved families or to assure them of the State’s intent to punish the perpetrators of this violence.The attack on Shia Hazaras was followed, a few days later, with the tragic killing of 14 passengers in a bus on Makran Coastal Highway in Ormara, Balochistan. And just like that, within the span of one week, Balochistan has been engulfed in a wave of terrorism that is reminiscent of the dark yesteryears (2010 – 2013).In a society as heartless as ours, the ongoing plight of Hazara community has received the minimum possible space in our media and political narrative. In fact, the killings in Christchurch occupied a far greater fraction of our national narrative, compared to the recent violence against the Hazara community in Quetta. And while we were quick to bestow lofty accolades on the empathy and fortitude of New Zealanders after the Christchurch attack, we have emulated no such compassion or resolve for the Hazara community in Balochistan.
The recent wave of violence, in Balochistan, is being viewed in terms of the regional security narrative and upcoming CPEC projects. It has been argued that inimical forces, from across the border, are perpetrating this violence to thwart Pakistan’s cooperation with China and the (imagined) benefits of the CPEC initiatives. That may be true, to some extent. However, such a narrative must not be used to diminish the specific and targeted plight of the Hazara community, which stems from a singular article of faith – Hub-e-Ali (A.S.). The Shia Hazara community was being targeted much before the CPEC projects were ever conceived, and their plight is likely to continue regardless of how the State of Pakistan chooses to participate in the regional Great Game that is now upon us.
Violence against Shia citizens of our country – from Parachinar to Sehwan Sharif, Noorani Shah and Shikarpur – reflect purposeful killing of Shias across Pakistan, by organizations and individuals who continue to slip through the (purposefully) porous grasp of our law enforcement agencies. In fact, according to official statistics, since 2001, more than 6,000 Shias have been targeted and killed in Pakistan.
The systematic genocide of Shias in Pakistan, and in particular members of the Hazara community, commands no more than a momentary space in our news cycle. The majority of our nation, and its political elite, feign soporific concern over such killings, only up until the next press conference by some two-bit politician (defending Panama Leaks or Fake Accounts) captures our fancy. And with it, the coffins stretched on Alamdar Road in Quetta, and the plight of Pakistan’s Shia community, fade into the criminal recesses of an impotent society.
Why is the killing of peaceful Shia citizens no longer a soul-wrenching episode in Pakistan? More pertinently, why is the killing of Shia (and other religious minorities) a mere inconvenience for our polity, deserving no more than a token statement of meaningless condemnation? Why is our political, military, and judicial leadership mute on the systematic elimination (genocide?) of anyone who beats his chest to the call of ‘Ya Hussain (A.S.)!’?
Why is it that (despite the killing of Malik Ishaq) our counter-terrorism efforts have never expanded to specifically focus on organizations such as SSP, LeJ, and ASWJ? Why is it that Maulana Ludhianivi, the leader of these banned outfits, continues to find space within our corridors of power? Why are militant leaders, who openly propagate the killings of Shias, allowed to actively participate in the public and national discourse? Why does ‘Kafir Kafir Shia Kafir!’continue to be graffitied across our urban and rural centers? Why have the madrassas and organizations that actively incite hatred against Shias, been bestowed with State land in Karachi? Why are leaders of such organizations given political protection in Punjab? Why is their evil dominion tolerated in the Lal Masjid of Islamabad?
There can be no denial of the fact that the State of Pakistan does not care about the lives or security of Shias. In fact, it would not be a stretch to say that our State and its institutions, are complicit in the killing of Shias. Despite thousands of innocent deaths, there has never been any action, suo moto or otherwise, by the Supreme Court of Pakistan against the killing of Shias. As coffins lay on the streets of Quetta and Parachinar, no judicial or political conscience was jolted into action. No sustainable military action was specifically initiated against Sunni militant outfits. And the few (powerless) individuals, who have had the moral integrity to voice support for the Shia community, are quickly silenced under threat of violence and retribution.A careful look at our national paradigm would reveal that Shias are not welcomed in the stratosphere of our State’s decision making process. Despite almost 20% of Pakistan’s population being Shia, a far smaller fraction finds itself in the national and provincial legislatures. Even lesser are inducted in the Cabinet. Fewer still are part of the bureaucratic and Khaki top-brass. And hardly any one is elevated to the honorable Supreme Court of Pakistan.There is an unspoken bias against Shias being inducted within our corridors of power. And the few Shias who, from time to time, have made their personal mark in the fields of medicine, academia, or law, have (for the most part) been targeted through a systematic effort to eliminate their influence in our society.
If we were to pause for a moment, and ask ourselves as to why the Shias are being massacred in our land, there would be no answer forthcoming. We would realize that there is no event in our national or Islamic history that justifies hatred towards those who believe in the infallibility of the Prophet (S.A.W.W.) and his progeny (A.S.). In fact, even a cursory reading of history or religion would make it painfully clear that, over the past thirteen hundred years, hub-e-Ali (A.S.), even when it was silently professed, was met with violence and militancy. And, in the present day and age, this militancy is at its fiercest in Pakistan.
Here is the truth: even if all the Shias, across the world, were to be shot, at a pointblank range, Hussain Ibn-e-Ali (A.S.) would be the Haq and Yazid would be the Baatil. Even if hub-e-Ali (A.S.) were to be declared a crime (nay, a sin!), in every jurisdiction across the world, the love of Ahl-e-Bayt (A.S.) will remain (according to Quran and Hadith) the eternal key for hereafter. Even if all the Shias were to drop dead, this very moment, Imam Mahdi (A.S.), the last surviving son of Ali Ibn-e-Abu Talib (A.S.), will usher in the final reckoning.
When that happens, as it must, those who killed Shias, those who supported this barbarity, those who remained silent, and those who looked the other way, will be made to answer. And there, before the Seat of Eternal Power, our worldly excuses will find no favor.

#Pakistan Should Heed Alarm Bells Over ‘Bride’ Trafficking

Sophie Richardson

Allegations of Sale of Women to China Echo Abuses Elsewhere.
Pakistan’s government should be alarmed by recent reports of trafficking of women and girls to China. These allegations are disturbingly similar to the pattern of trafficking of “brides” to China from at least five other Asian countries.
Earlier this month, a Pakistani television station gained entry to what it said was a matchmaking center in Lahore where six women and girls, two only 13-years-old, were held awaiting transit to China as brides. It reported that the families of these women and girls received payments of 400,000 Pakistani rupees (US$2,800) and were promised 40,000 rupees a month ($280) in future payments, plus a Chinese visa for a male family member. Nikkei Asian Review reported that the practice of Chinese men purchasing Pakistani brideshas been happening for several years.
In China, the percentage of women has fallen steadily since 1987. Researchers estimate that China now has 30 to 40 million “missing women,” an imbalance caused by a preference for boys and exacerbated by the “one-child policy” in place from 1979 to 2015, and ongoing restrictions on women’s reproductive rights. This gender gap has made it difficult for many Chinese men to find wives and fueled a demand for trafficked women from abroad.
Human Rights Watch documented bride trafficking in Myanmar, where each year hundreds of women and girls are deceived through false promises of employment into travelling to China, only to be sold to Chinese families as brides and held in sexual slavery, often for years. Those who escape often have to leave their children behind. Journalists have documented similar forms of bride trafficking from CambodiaLaosNorth Korea, and Vietnam.
China has close ties with Pakistan, including through China’s Belt and Road Initiative. On April 13, the Chinese embassy in Pakistan issued a statement: “We notice that recently some unlawful matchmaking centers made illegal profits from brokering cross-national marriages…China is cooperating with Pakistani law enforcement agencies to crack down on illegal matchmaking centers.” The Pakistan government has also acknowledged that bride trafficking is occurring and pledged to work with China to combat the trade. Both Pakistan and China should take seriously increasing evidence that Pakistani women and girls are at risk of sexual slavery in China and take effective measures to end bride trafficking.

What’s wrong with Pakistan’s economy?

Regressive policies, too much debt and a failure to collect tax have hampered Pakistan’s growth prospects and the situation isn't getting better. There are several ways to diagnose what ails Pakistan’s economy. But one place to start is at the Office of the Protectorate of Emigrants for the answer. That’s where people get their passports stamped before travelling abroad for work.
Very often expats are turned away from the airport right before their flights because they don’t have the protectorate’s ‘seal’. Many of them don’t even know such a requirement exists. Set up in the 1970s, the protectorate’s job was primarily to regulate recruiting companies, which were not trusted with looking after the welfare of unskilled construction workers moving to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
A lot has changed since then as most applicants find jobs directly, however, the rules are unchanged.
The protectorate office in Karachi is tucked behind commercial high-rises off its busy Shahrah-e-Faisal road. Usually, it takes some asking around to find the premises, as I found out on a visit last year.
It’s a place emblematic of how excess regulations frustrate people sending home crucial remittances while at the same time giving others an opportunity to exploit the bureaucratic red tape to earn some cash.
Last year, overseas Pakistanis wired home more than $19 billion, a lifeline of foreign exchange in a country crippled by international debt. But successive governments have failed to address the broken system.
At the protectorate, the real problem is going through the hassle of arranging a dozen documents including a medical certificate from a designated doctor, filling out complicated forms and paying registration fees at two different bank branches.
That’s also where some people use jugaad, an improvised solution or ‘hack’, to monetise the bureaucratic labyrinth and fuel what’s known as the informal economy, where money changes hands away from the official tax net.
It’s not only a part of the informal economy, estimated to make up at least one-third of the country’s GDP of more than $300 billion, but also a place the taxman can’t reach.
Take for example one Gul Khan who drives a three-wheeled rickshaw and offers his services to people coming to the protectorate office in Karachi, Pakistan’s biggest city and its commercial capital. For a few hundred rupees, Khan will fill in the forms for you, deposit the fee at the bank and get all the photocopies.While some may benefit from the hack, too much regulation is discouraging private businesses from investing. “It’s really all about the ease of doing business. A lot of our time is wasted in dealing with bureaucratic issues,” says Ikram Elahi, CEO of a Lahore-based food company.
It’s also about incompetence.
“For instance, food department officials will take samples from raw milk and complain about the bacterial count. We tell them the sample is bound to have bacteria because it’s not even pasteurised,” says Elahi. Pakistan can least afford such legal and tax loopholes at a time when its economic growth has slowed down to its lowest rate in seven years, inflation is running high and the government is short of funds to pay its debt and the salaries of employees.
The resignation of Finance Minister Asad Umar on April 18, just months after taking office, has complicated the situation.

#Pakistan - The public health crisis

By Saad Rasool
On Monday, this week, Nashwa Ali – a nine month old infant in Karachi, who had fallen prey to medical negligence and malpractice at Dar-ul-Sehat Hospital – breathed her last. Her state of solitary agony, which she was too young and too paralyzed to express, will forever remain as an indelible blotch on the rotting fabric of our national conscience.
Undoubtedly, she has joined the ranks of ‘the girl who was buried alive’ (Quran 81:8). And most certainly, we as a nation, will have to answer as to ‘for what sin she was killed’ (Quran 81:9).
Nashwa is not the first child who has fallen prey to the atrocities of our failing healthcare system. The culprits of her death are not the first to benefit from a decadent criminal justice system. And her parents are not the first to lament, facing the heavens, for some divine intervention against a system that nether recognizes nor cares for their unquenched suffering.
It is futile to recount the customary facts of Nashwa’s case. It is pointless to narrate the token statements of the few political leaders who bothered to express solidarity with her family’s plight. It is meaningless to ask why the owners of the hospital have still not been arrested. It is worthless to contemplate that justice, in its true letter and spirit, will be served against those who are responsible for Nashwa’s death. And it is purposeless to even entertain the possibility of long-term structural reforms that ensure the safety of countless other Nashwas’ seeking treatment from our broken healthcare system.
According to a recent report published by the World Health Organization, Pakistan ranks 122 (globally) in terms of the quality and reach of its healthcare systems; much behind even some of the far less developed countries such as Lithuania (73), Libya (87), Fiji (96), Iraq (103), and Tongo (116). There are hundreds of ghost-hospitals all across our land. The best and the brightest of our doctors continue to seek more lucrative career opportunities abroad. Thousands of patients wait in the hallways of public healthcare facilities, dying a little with each breath. And recurring menace of drug/medication shortage continues to add to the plight of our people.
As it turns out, according to figures provided by the World Health Organization, the Government of Pakistan spends only 1.5% of its GDP on ‘Public Health’ (as opposed to almost 6% spent by most other developing countries). In fact, the private sector, which is considerably more expensive (and thus beyond the financial reach of majority of Pakistan’s population), spends at least three times as much on providing health-related services within the country. A recent report published by the College of Physicians and Surgeons, Pakistan, details how Pakistan spends 80% of its health budget on tertiary care services, utilized by only 15% of the population, and 15% on primary healthcare services, used by 80% of the population. Furthermore, 98% of all healthcare related expenditure, in Pakistan, are done out-of-pocket, and over 75% of patients visit and use private-sector healthcare facilities. The total public health budget of Pakistan dwarves in comparison to the budget allocated for the top three infrastructure projects, and the government healthcare facilities receive a smaller fraction of the overall budget, than the subsidy provided to the airline-sector alone.
This deprecation of our public health is not simply the result of inadequate funds. The deeper issue stem from a constitutional disregard of the sector.
To this end, let us start by recognizing that reform of our healthcare sector is, at its core, divided in the reform of two different (yet connected) areas: 1) regulation of private healthcare institutions, and 2) restructuring of the public/governmental healthcare system. The first (private healthcare) is primarily regulated, on the one hand, by federal institutions such as PMDC (who certify the expertise of doctors) and on the other by provincial regulatory mechanism (such as the Punjab Healthcare Commission). However, this regulation remains porous, in large parts, and there is no mechanism to oversee the everyday running of private healthcare institutions.
In order to assess the mechanism for operation and regulation of public/governmental healthcare sector, it is pertinent to first review the relevant constitutional paradigm. From the constitutional perspective, per Article 70(4) read with Article 142, the Federal Legislature has exclusive legislative authority in regards to items specifically enumerated in the Federal Legislative List (Fourth Schedule of the Constitution). As a result, the Federal Government (alone) has the authority to constitute ministries and sectors that are expressly mentioned in the Federal Legislative List, and all other items (post 18th Constitutional Amendment) fall within the exclusive legislative domain of the respective Provincial Assemblies (Article 142 (c)). And, admittedly, “Public Health” finds no mention in the Federal Legislative list at all, making it a ‘Provincial’ subject.
This constitutional paradigm, in which public health is exclusively a provincial subject, can also be traced through the earlier constitutional schemes of Pakistan, including the 1956 Constitution, and the 1962 Constitution. Still, however, throughout our history, there has existed a Federal Ministry of Health (presently the Ministry of National Health Services (Regulation and Coordination)), and the Provinces have taken no meaningful steps to assert their respective autonomy over the subject.Existing somewhere between this confused constitutional domain, of a Federal healthcare apparatus vis-a-vis competing Provincial autonomy, our national focus on public health has suffered at the hands of debilitating apathy. Pakistan, having signed and ratified over a dozen public health related conventions and treaties, continues to lag behind the modern world in terms of provision of healthcare to its citizenry. We continue to host numerous diseases (e.g.: Polio) that have been eradicated from most other countries of the world. Our population growth is disproportionate with our healthcare budget. Our public sector doctors continue to seek better opportunities abroad. Our borders continue to stay porous for smuggled (expensive) medication. And caught in this myriad of public health problems, the people of Pakistan struggle to find their rightful place in the comity of healthy nations.
Faced with this sad state of affairs, one must recognize that the void in our public healthcare space is being filled (in part) by select private citizens of miraculous abilities; individuals who have no legal or constitutional obligation to participate in the public healthcare space, but have accomplished miracles through the dint of their hard work and moral commitment. This includes, above all, the late Abdul Sattar Edhi, and SIUT’s Dr. Adeebul Hassan Rizvi.
Why do State institutions exhibit such blind spots when it comes to public health? Why is this issue not front and center in each political party’s manifesto and agenda? Why are tragedies, such as Nashwa Ali, nothing more than momentary spikes in media coverage? Why does the silent suffering of the sick find no space in the political and national narrative?
The answer to these, and related questions, is simple: a healthy man, woman, or child, does not make for a great campaign slogan, or form the crown-jewel of political achievement. It cannot be advertised, like the Metro Bus, on placards and holdings. Public health does not manifest itself as a monument that beckons an opening ceremony from the political office-holders. It cannot be displayed, as a mark of development, to foreign dignitaries. It does not suit our conventional need for tangible progress. And so, naturally, it does not form a priority in the hackery of our political system.
The crisis of public health, across Pakistan, is likely to continue till such time that we shift our political preferences away from tangible monuments of stone, and towards the intangible monuments of well-being. And if our political elites are not willing to do so, it is incumbent upon us, as conscientious citizens of the State, to force their hand through all our political might, public narrative and (if necessary) street power.

#Pakistan - FEATURED Video/report - Bilawal reignites Imran vs Edhi controversy

Prime Minister Imran Khan and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari have been engaged in a heated exchange of words after PM tried to insult Bilawal using sexism as a tool. Bilawal posted an old video of Abdul Sattar Edhi exposing Imran Khan and his ‘facilitators’.
The interviewer of a private news channel had questioned late Abdul Sattar Edhi about why he had allegedly planned to leave the country for good. Edhi said in the video, “A group used to visit me during the government of Benazir Bhutto and tried to make me do things for them and cover them up.”
When the anchor asked the names of the people, he named Imran Khan and Hamid Gul. Edhi claimed that Gul and Khan threatened him to join their group and work against the PPP-led government otherwise we would face extreme consequences.
He further told that he went to London temporarily and told the BBC about the whole situation. “Even the ambassador came to me and asked if I need any sort of security,” Edhi said in the video.
Edhi said that he is a self-made person doesn’t want any sort of security. He also said that after he clarified his position, no other party or individual approached him for political interests.
When the video with Edhi’s statement went public, a whole controversy had started on social media that the ‘Imran Khan’ Edhi was talking about was another person. Many claimed that the person was Imran Ullah Khan who was a part of PPP-led government and was Governor of Balochistan during the tenure of Benazir Bhutto.This controversy became more tangled and intense when Imran Khan came on the television and admitted that it was he, himself who had made a pressure group and asked Edhi to be a part of this. In his interview, Khan accepted that he went to Edhi and asked him to be a part of the group that wanted to put pressure on Benazir’s government regarding the issue of education and literacy rate in Pakistan.
The fact that Imran Khan admitted that late Edhi was accusing him of such a big crime dispels the widely circulated propaganda that it was not the Prime Minister of Pakistan who had threatened Pakistan’s most respected philanthropist.

#Pakistan - #PTI’s shaky eight months in power

The summer of 2019 is likely to be crucial for both the government and the opposition. It may turn out to be long and intense, depending on how the two sides play their cards.

It’ll not be so easy for the opposition to survive the political heat either, even if the PTI government continues to commit follies and prices keep rising. So far, the divisions within the opposition have allowed the Imran Khan government to get away with its mistakes.
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) celebrated 23 years in politics on April 25. But this time around it was a different kind of a Foundation Day; the party celebrated it for the first time as a ruling party. It’s been quite a feat, of course. But ever since it has come to power a cursory glance at the party’s performance in the past eight months exposes that its innings so far has not been unblemished. It has seen the wickets of its key players fall in quick succession, including that of PM Imran Khan’s most dependable partner, Asad Umar.
Politics is a game of uncertainty. Anything can happen at any time. So, if Asad Umar wasn’t aware of his exit, I wouldn’t be surprised. Benazir Bhutto was not aware of her sacking till the afternoon of August 6, 1990 and Mohammad Khan Junejo did not know he was going home till he landed in Islamabad on May 28, 1988.
Umar never expected such an early exit, and it would be naive to blame just one man for all the government’s controversial decisions such as the dollar exchange rate and the deal with the IMF. Also, one expected at least a tweet from the PM, praising the outgoing finance minister, his contribution and hard work, but that never arrived. However, Umar adopted a mature attitude by not accepting another ministry.
Presently, all eyes are on Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar, whose selection as the chief executive of the most powerful province was only by chance. With divisions between Jahangir Tareen and Aleem Khan group against the Shah Mahmood Qureshi and Ch. Sarwar group, the captain sent in a debutant to play, Sardar Usman Buzdar from Rajanpur. The big question asked these days is if Buzdar will be the next to fall. I think he is likely to survive, at least until the end of 2019, if not later. Till the differences between Jahangir Khan Tareen and Shah Mahmood Qureshi persist, the luck is with this man without a lobby. Khan is his lucky charm.
In private conversations Khan has explained and defended his decision to select Buzdar. Certainly, he wasn’t his first choice but after Tareen’s disqualification, Qureshi’s surprise defeat in the provincial assembly and corruption inquiries against Aleem Khan, his options were limited.
Presently, all eyes are on Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar, whose selection as the chief executive of the most powerful province was only by chance.
The question is, if performance is the benchmark for reshuffles and resignations in the cabinet, then why is there silence over those leading KP where the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) has become a liability for the PTI government?
Another significant change has been the reappointment of Fawad Chaudhry from the Minister of Information to the Minister of Science and Technology. Chaudhry has been replaced by Firdous Ashiq Awan, made a special assistant not a minister as she lost the elections in 2018.
Chaudhry was an expert in making headlines and breaking news. He probably created too many problems for himself due to infighting which led a lobby close to the PM to dislike him. He also mishandled the media crisis and indulged in unnecessary controversies that barred him from entering most press clubs in the country. At the end, his difference with Naeem ul Haq over former MD PTV, Arshad Khan, cost him the ministry.
Which brings us to the appointment of (retd) Brig. Ijaz Shah as the new interior minister. He has the experience of intelligence as director general IB, but he is also the man known for alleged political engineering in Musharraf’s time. Sources say that when Imran Khan met Musharraf in 2002 and wanted the general to support the PTI, and Musharraf asked Khan to support the Chaudhrys of Gujrat, the man working behind the scenes was Ijaz Shah. This time, Khan has appointed Shah on the recommendation of Ch. Pervaiz Elahi. The irony writes itself.
Sources rumour that Shah was very powerful under Musharraf and was among the few present when former Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry was put under pressure to resign.
Shah also bailed out Musharraf in the Daniel Pearl case. He managed to push the prime suspect, Omar Sheikh, to surrender under certain conditions. Also, in a letter Benazir Bhutto had named him, alongside Musharraf and Hameed Gul, as someone who should be investigated if she was killed. After her death in a bomb blast at Liaquat Bagh in Rawalpindi, the suspects named by her were never probed.
Presently, the PTI government is not under pressure from the opposition. But the PTI’s own policies are its biggest opponent and the party itself the government’s biggest critique. The PTI ministers and leaders fight each other in public and then call this act the ‘beauty of democracy’. It’s more of a battle for power among the ministers and party leaders. In the end, the game will be lost by both, the ministers and the party, and the winner will be the opposition.
The PTI has travelled a long way — from no seat in 1997 to one seat in 2002 to boycott in the 2008 elections to the second largest party in the country in the 2013 elections to the largest party in 2018. Also, Imran Khan and his party created history by forming the provincial government for the second consecutive term in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. It turned the tables in Punjab too after some political maneuvering and engineering.
Prime Minister Imran Khan is confident that his government will complete its five-year term that will end in 2023. His cabinet at present comprises 16 technocrats or non-elected members. He started his career in politics with some technocrats and professionals and now after 23 years technocrats once again rule the party. Everything in Pakistani politics continues to be of a cyclical nature.

No space for presidential system in our Constitution: Khursheed Shah

There is no space for a presidential system in our Constitution, said PPP leader Khursheed Shah.
“Those who have power can dissolve the Constitution,” he said while speaking to the media on Sunday.
The PPP leader accused the federal government of releasing fewer funds to the Sindh government. “We didn’t receive funds worth at least Rs120 billion.”
Sindh chief minister has been very vocal about this issue, he remarked.
On April 16, former president Asif Ali Zardari said that the Pakistan People’s Party will stop the presidential system in the country. 
“We don’t accept the presidential system,” said Zardari, while speaking to the media after appearing before an Islamabad accountability court in the fake accounts case on Tuesday.
“Let them make efforts [to install the system in the country]. We will stop them,” he said, saying that the government is in the mood to launch a new experiment in Pakistan on a daily basis, but it will only deteriorate the situation more.

آخر کب تک؟ #Pakistan -

ایک شخصیت جن کا تبدیلی کی بنیاد رکھنے میں کلیدی کردار تھا، سے گزشتہ روز گپ شپ ہوئی۔ وہ تبدیلی سرکار کی کارکردگی سے شدید مایوس تھے۔ پاکستان کے مستقبل کے بارے میں اپنی تشویش کا اظہار اُنہوں نے اِن الفاظ میں کیا کہ اگر پاکستان نے عمران خان کی حکومت کو چند سال برداشت کیا اور اِسے پھر بھی کچھ نہ ہوا تو اِس کا مطلب یہ ہوگا کہ اِس ملک کو اللہ چلا رہا ہے، جسے تاقیامت کچھ نہیں ہوگا۔ یہ صرف تبدیلی کی بنیاد رکھنے والوں کے احساسات نہیں بلکہ تبدیلی لانے والے بھی اِس نتیجے تک پہنچے ہیں کہ غلطی ہوگئی ہے اور اب وہ اِس کی تلافی کے راستے تلاش کرنے لگے ہیں۔ شاید خود وزیراعظم کو بھی احساس ہو گیا ہے کہ ووٹ دینے والے اُن کی کارکردگی پر حیران اور گننے والے پریشان ہیں، اِس لئے خلوتوں میں اسمبلی توڑنے کی دھمکیاں دینے لگے ہیں۔ اِسی تناظر میں اپنے پراکسیز سے مہم چلانے کے بعد اب گورنر پختونخوا شاہ فرمان جیسے ذمہ داروں کے ذریعے صدارتی نظام کے شوشے چھوڑے جارہے ہیں اور شاید اِسی تناظر میں مولانا فضل الرحمان نے نئے انتخابات کا مطالبہ کردیا۔
مولانا کو جلدی ہے لیکن مسلم لیگ(ن) اور پیپلز پارٹی کی قیادت موجودہ حکومت کو مزید چند ماہ دے کر سونامی کو ہمیشہ کے لئے دفن کرنا چاہتی ہیں۔ بقول بلاول بھٹو زرداری یہ دونوں جماعتیں چاہتی ہیں کہ عمران خان صاحب ایمپائر کی انگلی کے اٹھنے سے قبل، مزید لطف اندوز ہو لیں اور سلیکٹرز بھی اپنی غلطی کی خوب قیمت چکا لیں۔ شاید وزیراعظم کو ادراک نہیں لیکن مسلم لیگ(ن) اور پیپلز پارٹی کی سیانی اور رموز حکمرانی سے آشنا قیادت کو بخوبی احساس ہے کہ اگلے چند ماہ میں کیا ہونے والا ہے؟ پہلا مرحلہ رمضان المبارک کا ہے اور یہ امر یقینی ہے کہ پہلے سے موجود مہنگائی میں جب رمضان کی روایتی مہنگائی کا تڑکہ لگے گا تو عوام کو سڑکوں پر آنے سے کوئی نہیں روک سکے گا۔ پنجاب، پختونخوا اور بلوچستان کے حکمران اپنے آپ کو نہیں سنبھال سکتے تو مہنگائی کو کیا کنٹرول کریں گے۔ دوسرا مرحلہ بجٹ کا درپیش ہے۔ جب آئی ایم ایف کی شرائط کی روشنی میں عالمی اداروں کے کارندے حفیظ شیخ(شیریں مزاری نے تو اُنہیں ایجنٹ اور نہ جانے کن کن خطابات سے نوازا ہے) جب بجٹ تیار کریں گے تو یقیناً ہر طبقہ احتجاج پر مجبور ہوگا۔ ایک اور مشکل مرحلہ ایف اے ٹی ایف کا درپیش ہے۔ اپوزیشن کو یقین ہے کہ بریگیڈئر(ر) اعجاز شاہ اور شہریار آفریدی جیسے وزیروں کے ہوتے ہوئے ایف اے ٹی ایف کو مطمئن کرنا اگر ناممکن نہیں تو مشکل ضرور ہے اور خاکم بدہن پاکستان بلیک لسٹ میں چلا گیا تو پاکستان کو اقتصادی محاذ پر بھاری قیمت چکانا ہوگی۔ اپوزیشن یہ بھی سمجھتی ہے کہ عنقریب امریکہ کی طالبان کے ساتھ مذاکرات کی مجبوری ختم ہو جائے گی، جس کے بعد اُس کی پاکستان سے متعلق کیرٹ اینڈ اسٹک پالیسی سے کیرٹ ختم ہو جائے گی اور صرف اسٹک ہی اسٹک باقی رہ جائے گی۔ دوسری طرف اگر مودی دوبارہ منتخب ہوئے تو ٹرمپ اور مودی مل کر پاکستان کے خلاف نئی مہم جوئیاں بھی کر سکتے ہیں۔ اِس تناظر میں پیپلز پارٹی اور مسلم لیگ(ن) کی قیادت مشکلات کی شکار ہو کر بھی امید سے ہے کہ جب ہر طرف سے احتجاج ہوگا اور ملک اقتصادی بدحالی کا شکار ہوگا تو لامحالہ ملک چلانے والے اُن کی طرف آئیں گے۔
یہ تو وہ معاملات ہیں جو ہر کسی کو نظر آرہے اور محسوس ہورہے ہیں لیکن ملک کے اصل محافظین بعض اور حوالوں سے بھی پریشان ہیں۔ وہ یوں کہ چین اور سعودی عرب کے ساتھ قربتوں کی وجہ سے امریکہ برہم اور ایران ناراض تھا لیکن آرمی قیادت مسلسل جتن کرکے امریکہ اور ایران کے ساتھ بھی تعلقات بہتر بنارہی تھی۔ تاہم اِس معاملے میں تبدیلی سرکار نے افراط وتفریط سے کام لیا۔ سی پیک سے متعلق پہلے جس طرح رزاق دائود نے بونگی ماری پھر جس طرح اُس کے معاملات کو خسرو بختیار کے سپرد کیا گیا اور نتیجتاً جس طرح سی پیک پر کام سست روی کا شکار ہوگیا، اُس کی وجہ سے چینی قیادت تشویش میں مبتلا ہے۔ پاکستان میں جو بھی حکومت ہو، چینی قیادت اُس کے ساتھ معاملات آگے بڑھاتی ہے لیکن حقیقت یہ ہے کہ وہ اُس طرح مطمئن نہیں جس طرح کہ آصف زرداری اور میاں نواز شریف سے تھی۔ ابھی جو کچھ ہے وہ عسکری قیادت کی وجہ سے ہے۔ اِسی طرح سعودی عرب اور متحدہ عرب امارات کو قریب لانے اور مددگار بنانے میں کلیدی کردار جنرل قمر جاوید باجوہ نے ادا کیا اور ساتھ ہی ساتھ ایران کو بھی ساتھ چلانے کی کوشش کررہے تھے لیکن اب ایران میں وزیراعظم نے اپنے ملک کو جس طرح مجرموں کے کٹہرے میں کھڑا کیا، اُس کی وجہ سے نہ صرف پاکستانی برہم ہیں بلکہ یقیناً نازک مزاج سعودی بھی خوش نہیں ہوں گے۔ طالبان کو امریکہ کے ساتھ بٹھانے کے معاملے میں پاکستانی ذمہ داروں نے بھرپور کردار ادا کیا اور اب کی بار پاکستان کے کردار کو ڈونلڈ ٹرمپ اور زلمے خلیل زاد بھی سراہ رہے تھے۔ افغان حکومت بدستور ناراض تھی لیکن پاکستانی ذمہ داروں نے پورا زور لگا رکھا تھا کہ طالبان افغان حکومت کے ساتھ بھی بیٹھ جائیں تاہم افغانستان میں عبوری حکومت سے متعلق غیرذمہ دارانہ بیانات دے کر وزیراعظم نے افغان حکومت کو بھی پاکستان کے خلاف بیان بازی کا جواز فراہم کردیا۔ انڈیا کے ساتھ حالیہ کشیدگی میں اللہ نے پاکستان کو غیر معمولی سبقت عطا کردی۔ نریندر مودی پوری دنیا اور خود اپنے ملک میں ایک جنونی اور انسانیت دشمن کے طور پر سامنے آیا۔ پاکستانی پالیسی سازوں کی کوشش تھی کہ وہ مودی کا یہ بھیانک چہرہ زیادہ سے زیادہ دنیا کے سامنے لے آئیں لیکن ادھر سے وزیراعظم صاحب نے بیان داغ دیا کہ نریندر مودی کے دوبارہ انتخاب کی صورت میں مسئلہ کشمیر کے حل کا امکان زیادہ ہے۔ سوال یہ ہے کہ ملکی سلامتی کے ذمہ دار یہ سب کچھ کب تک برداشت کریں گے کیونکہ اُن کے سامنے بھی یہ سوال ہے کہ پاکستان یہ سب کچھ کب تک برداشت کرسکے گا، کب تک؟ آخر کب تک ایسا چلے گا؟

پی ٹی آئی کے سارے دعوے ایک ایک کر کے جھوٹے ثابت ہوتے جارہے ہیں

پاکستان پیپلز پارٹی کے چیئرمین بلاول بھٹو زرداری نے پارٹی تنظیم کو خیبر
پختونخوا حکومت کی کرپشن کو بے نقاب کرنے کا ٹاسک دیتے ہوئے کہا کہ پی ٹی آئی کے سارے دعوے ایک ایک کر کے جھوٹے ثابت ہوتے جارہے ہیں، پی ٹی آئی کی کرپشن پر تفتیشی ادارے ایکشن کیوں نہیں لیتے؟۔ انہوں نے کہ خان صاحب ’’سمجھتی ‘‘ہے کا جملہ جان بوجھ کر نہیں کہا تھا۔ اسلام آباد میں پیپلز پارٹی کے رہنماؤں نے بلاول بھٹو زرداری سے ملاقات کی۔ اس موقع پر پیپلز پارٹی خیبر پختونخوا کے رہنماؤں نے بلاول بھٹو زرداری کو بلین ٹری سونامی، بی آر ٹی منصوبہ، مالم جبہ کیس اور اسکولوں میں طلبہ کے جعلی داخلوں سمیت صوبے میں مبینہ کرپشن سے متعلق بریفنگ دی۔ انہوں نے پارٹی رہنماؤں کو ہدایت کی کہ پی ٹی آئی کی کرپشن کو ہر جگہ پر بے نقاب کیا جائے۔ بلاول بھٹو زرداری نے پارٹی رہنماؤں سے غیر رسمی گفتگو کے دوران کہا کہ میں نے خان صاحب سمجھتی ہے کا جملہ جان بوجھ کر نہیں کہا، ایسا اردو پر عبور نہ
ہونے کے باعث ہوا۔ انہوںنے کہاکہ میری فطرت میں یہ بات نہیں ہے کہ میرے عمل یا الفاظ سے کسی کی تضحیک ہو۔ بلاول بھٹو زرداری نے کہاکہ میری والدہ نے جو تربیت کی، اس میں کسی کی ذات کو طنز کا نشانہ بنانے سے روکا گیا ہے۔ دریں اثناء بلاول بھٹو زرداری نے اسلام آباد پریس کلب میں دو منتخب ارکان قومی اسمبلی کو پریس کانفرنس سے روکنے پر مایوسی کا اظہار کیا ہے۔سماجی رابطوں کی ویب سائٹ یوٹٹر پر پیغام میں انہوں کہا ہے کہ نئے پاکستان میں سنسر شپ نئی بلندیوں کو پہنچ چکی ہے۔ جبکہ دور آمریت میں بھی پریس کلبز ہمیشہ ایسے ادارے رہے ہیں جہاں اظہار رائے پر پابندی عائد نہیں ہوئی۔دریں اثناء پیپلزپارٹی خیبر پختو نخوا کے صدر ہمایون خان کی قیاد ت میں پارٹی کے وفد نے پی پی پی کے چیئرمین بلاول بھٹو زرداری سے اسلام آباد میں ملاقات کی جس میں پارٹی رہنما فرحت اللہ بابر،روبینہ خالد، فیصل کریم کنڈی، گو ہر انقلابی ، شیر اعظم وزیر ، فرزند علی وزیر ، لیاقت شباب ، ایوب شاہ اور دیگر سینئر رہنماؤں شرکت کی ۔ہمایون خان نے ملاقات کے دوران چیئرمین بلاول بھٹو زرداری کو خیبر پختونخو ا حکومت کی بی آر ٹی ،مالم جبہ اراضی سکینڈل ، بلین ٹری سونامی ، سکولوں میں جاری اندراج اور شعبہ صحت سمیت دیگر شعبوں میں ہونیوالی بڑے پیمانے پر کرپشن پر بریفنگ دی اور مہنگائی سے عوامی مشکلات سے انہیں آگاہ کیا ۔

#Pakistan - #KhyberPakhtunkhwa - Ten chief ministers for one province

 It is indeed unfortunate that the unbelievable story of injustice meted out to smaller provinces has managed to continue even under the PTI regime.

Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Mahmood Khan and Chief Minister Balochistan Jam Kamal Khan are second to none in their innocence, powerlessness and naiveté. But the focus on our TV screens has only been stories of Usman Buzdar, the chief minister of Punjab.
There is more mismanagement and administrative incompetence in KP than Punjab. The Peshawar BRT has become a hallmark of the PTI’s incompetence and inefficiency. The PTI’s new government in KP under Chief Minister Mahmood Khan has completely failed to deliver. Jokes are routinely created and circulated about the KP government’s inefficiency but unfortunately, the media highlights only the incompetence of Punjab and its Buzdar.
Though Buzdar is weak and inefficient to run the country’s biggest province, his sympathizer sitting in Bani Gala is very strong. And, while he is on the front seat, there are many powers centres and de-facto chief ministers in Punjab who run parallel systems. On the contrary, the sympathizers of the chief ministers of KP and Balochistan are not that strong and keep changing. Unlike Punjab, the number of the de-facto chief ministers in KP has reached almost one dozen. But the media still discusses only Punjab’s de-facto chief ministers and avoids mentioning those of KP.
Usman Buzdar would never have imagined himself even in his dreams as the chief minister of Punjab, but certainly, Bushra Bibi – the one who recommended his name – would had given him some intimation to this in advance. But the KP CM had neither seen his current post in his dreams nor did he have someone who could give him any sign of the coming blessing. He got the post by chance.Since Imran Khan was not ready to appoint Pervaiz Khattak as chief minister of KP again, Shah Farman, Atif Khan and Asad Qaiser were strong candidates for the post. But they were not acceptable to Pervaiz Khattak. And so the Mahmood Khan managed to get the strongest post in the province. But due to his inefficiency, nine de-facto chief ministers have emerged in the province, resulting in political and administrative mess in the unfortunate province.Since Mahmood Khan’s name was suggested and recommended by an MNA from Swat, so that MNA has become the first de-facto chief minister of KP; he is said to regularly interfere in the administration of the province.
KP Governor Shah Farman is a strong aide and close friend of Imran Khan since the 1990s. He has unrestricted access to the prime minister and constantly interacts with him on phone and WhatsApp. Mahmood Khan, on the other hand, has no direct contact with Imran Khan. Hence, Shah Farman is the second de-facto chief minister.
The third de-facto chief minister – and probably the most powerful of all – is the prime minister’s principal Secretary, Azam Khan. Earlier, he was chief secretary of KP. He has become as close to the prime minister as Fawad Hasan Fawad was with Mian Nawaz Sharif. He has appointed officers of his own group on some of the powerful posts of the province, and the bureaucracy too looks towards him instead of the chief minister. The chief minister cannot really counter Azam Khan’s decisions due to the fact that he (the CM) contacts Imran Khan through Azam Khan or Murad Saeed. And Azam Khan is with Imran all the time, almost like his shadow.
Arbab Shahzad is the fourth de-facto chief minister of KP. He is so powerful that he has managed to keep Pervaiz Khattak away from the prime minister. As chief secretary, he had written a letter against the then CM KP Pervaiz Khattak, regarding political interference in the administrative affairs of the province. Khattak had called the letter a charge sheet against the (then) PTI government. Arbab Shahzad also played an important role in the distribution of party tickets for the 2018 elections and he recommended the name of KP Finance Minister Taimur Jhagra. Shahzad, as another de-facto CM, runs the affairs of the province from the PM House.
The post of finance minister is very important and the current KP finance minister, Taimur Jhagra, with the strong support of Arbab Shahzad, has become the fifth de-facto chief minister; he too pays no attention to Mahmood Khan.
The sixth de-facto chief minister of KP is Atif Khan, the provincial minister for tourism. Previously, he was probably the only blue-eyed boy of Imran Khan in Pervaiz Khattak’s cabinet. He still frequently attends the evening parties of Imran Khan. The prime minister had promised him that he would be the next chief minister of KP but that could not happen due to strong opposition by Pervaiz Khattak and Asad Qaiser. Atif Khan too runs a parallel system in the province and pays no heed to Mahmood Khan.
Similarly, Shahram Tarakai, provincial minister for local government, elections and rural development, has become the seventh de-facto chief minister of KP. He is related to Atif Khan and is a member of his group. Tarakai is not on a good terms with Mahmood Khan and is in close contact with PM Imran Khan through Atif Khan.
The eighth de-facto chief minister is Ajmal Wazir, who got the position of spokesperson of the chief minister despite resistance and opposition from the governor, the chief minister and provincial ministers. He is considered to be a representative of the real architects of this so-called change. Besides his strong backing, he also been working very hard – which is why his power is increasing day by day.
The latest entry into the list of de-facto chief ministers of KP is Iftikhar Durrani. Till recently, he was a paid worker of the PTI but he impressed Imran Khan so much that he was appointed as a special assistant to the PM on media. He is more known to be interested in financial matters but Fawad Chaudhry, the former minister for information in the centre, was not letting him close to such opportunities.
So Durrani got himself transferred to KP for communications strategy. He has shifted to Peshawar and gives the impression that the prime minister has sent him to monitor the provincial government. Being a representative of the PM, he has become the ninth de-facto chief minister of KP.
With so many multiple power centres, the story of the KP government’s performance is tragic and painful, but the media has focused only on the performance of Punjab, the biggest province, which has only three de-facto chief ministers. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, a rather smaller province, is being run by 10 chief ministers, one real and nine de facto, but the media has turned a deaf ear to its miserable administrative plight.