• Tuesday, April 24, 2018

The Land of Mega Scams?

Discussion in 'Social & Current Events' started by VCheng, Jul 10, 2011.

  1. VCheng


    Sep 29, 2010
    +52 / 27,466 / -4
    United States
    Yes, I know some here will hate Cowasjee with a passion, but some of the material below is quite correct:

    from: This land of mega scams | Opinion | DAWN.COM

    This land of mega scams

    Ardeshir Cowasjee

    IN this ‘world-is-but-a-stage’ that is Pakistan, what is it that visits apathy upon the suffering masses? They silently accept the horrors heaped upon them every day in every sphere of life.

    They are browbeaten into submission, believing that it is not the human beings who sit atop them that are at fault but that divine intervention has so decreed.

    Law and order have fled to the dogs, public utilities have been eaten away (if they ever were there in large tracts of this unfortunate country), education is a dangerous mess churning out hundreds of thousands of brainwashed youths — the future of this land.

    Urban and rural life is almost unlivable for the larger majority, what with inadequate public transportation, a degraded environment, gross over-population, and above all corruption on the rampage, with those who have been elevated by whatever means to positions for which they are grossly unfit leading the field openly, brazenly.

    Why are the people apathetic? Why are they, by and large, silent, except for minor pockets here and there that make no dent in the shamelessness that covers our leadership — both
    in and out of uniform?

    Two items have dominated local news this past week: the NICL land corruption and the killing grounds of Karachi. We have TV anchors spouting any nonsense to boost viewership, political parties who issue hypocritical statements (calling for a ‘peaceful day of mourning’), press commentators, selective NGOs, but nothing is done by the general citizenry to protest in an organised and effective manner against the continual violations of rights. Is democracy merely elections?

    The few who have the courage to act in the public interest are not supported. The government’s defiance and dodging of the Supreme Court’s (SC) orders in numerous cases (actually a negation of the authority that citizens have given the court via Article 189 of the constitution, and thus a defiance and dodging of our civil rights), has not raised a furore.

    Corruption is now accepted as inevitable.

    The NICL mega scam encompasses the ‘who’s who’ of this republic: the prime minister’s son Abdul Qadir, would-be PM Amin Fahim, Interior Minister Rehman Malik (whose intimidatory options for the reinstated-but-suspended FIA investigator, Zafar Qureshi, have been enshrined in the latest SC order), Moonis Elahi (whose acquittal is one raison d’être of the tenuous PPP–PML-Q coalition), the NICL chairman and 15 others.

    The land-and-votes turf war between PPP, Sindhi nationalists, MQM and ANP is a grand show with the citizenry as adversely affected, but silent, spectators. Mohajirs, who arrived 64 years ago, are angry about Pathan migration into Karachi. Tellingly, the 1947 population was less than 0.4 million; at the national increase rate, today this would amount to only 2.4 million. The rest of Karachi’s present 18 million inhabitants are migrants.

    It would seem that our rulers and administrators know something we do not. Many of them (parliamentarians, bureaucrats) have escape hatches in the form of dual/foreign citizenships. More are involved in plundering the system before the structure collapses. One such example which has a widespread effect upon all in this republic is the Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC).The bleeding of this vital entity of Pakistan, including the reinstatement of 4,288 superfluous and incompetent employees, was last year given a temporary respite, but the ravaging soon resumed. Corruption sprouted so brazenly that within a week of taking over the petroleum ministry, in mid-April 2011, Dr Asim Hussain appointed a fact-finding committee.

    The committee found degraded corporate governance and chaos in the gas utility. The HR department lacked professionalism, frequently reshuffled key staff (a tactic used when honest professionals refuse to toe the line), made unilateral appointments of cronies and applied discriminatory policies. SSGC’s culture of ‘participatory consultation and collective deliberations’ was rendered impotent, with most decisions taken at the top or by tuft-hunters.

    The managing director, Dr Faizullah Abbasi, had appointed a retired engineer, Hashim Arbab (relative of a former Sindh chief minister), as consultant to the project and construction department. Then, in violation of SC directives barring the reappointment of retired people, he was rehired as senior project director in the deputy MD grade, in charge of three lucrative departments. Consequently, existing deputy MDs became redundant and the entire management structure was demoralised.

    Informed of the widespread looting over the past year, the committee cursorily probed a Rs186m ‘emergency contract’ for the rehabilitation of gas pipelines that were allegedly damaged during the July/August 2010 floods in Sindh. Reports of these exposed pipelines only emerged in February 2011 although floodwaters had receded in November 2010.

    Permission for ‘negotiated tendering’ with four out of 19 pre-qualified contractors, in violation of Public Procurement Rules 2004, was given by the MD in late March 2011.

    The committee recommended numerous improvements in SSGC processes, including the retention of consultants on a project basis only, and the sacking of Hashim Arbab. Dr Hussain went a step further: in mid-May 2011, against strong opposition, he also removed Dr Faizullah Abbasi.

    An endemic problem that must be urgently tackled by the new MD is unaccounted for gas (UFG), basically comprising leakage and collusive theft. SSGC has filed a case in the high court against Ogra’s limitation to five per cent of UFG margins, instead of the 7.5 per cent applied for. The auditor-general had pointed out that Ogra’s October 2010 determination
    allowing Sui Northern a seven per cent UFG has caused a loss to the exchequer (in addition to the cost of the gas) of Rs2.87bn in Gas Development Surcharge. This SSGC story, the NICL case and Karachi’s killing grounds may well have dangerously nasty repercussions, as may many of the other purposeful debasements and thievery of public assets. We must awaken.

  2. Pioneerfirst

    Pioneerfirst FULL MEMBER

    Mar 20, 2011
    +0 / 441 / -0
    Pakistan is a money making machine for Zardari and his friends, a new operator of this machine is being trained at Cambridge University UK,known as Bilawal Bhutto Zardari.
    There should be a UN watch dog which should help developing countries to get their looted wealth back from Swiss Accounts.