Saturday, April 24, 2010


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Iqbal Tareen

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Musharraf paid $ 1785 for $900,000 Com. plot in Lahore

PPP's 2003 Chargesheet against Army Corruption Posted: Oct 19, 2007 Fri 10:57 am

An article by A.H. Amin in The South Asia Tribune (Issue No 54, August 10-16, 2003) posted on the Pakistan Peoples Party website, reproduced below, accuses senior military officers of massive corruption.

Apart from General Musharraf the article also mentions the current front-runner for caretaker prime minister, Gen. (Retd.) Jehangir Karamat.

Lahore High Court
Massive Charge Sheet Against Pakistan Army
By A.H. Amin - The South Asia Tribune - Issue No 54, August 10-16, 2003
ISLAMABAD: The Lahore High Court in Pakistan is facing a legal and a practical dilemma: What to do with the petition which charge sheets the Pakistan Armed forces and lists details of massive kickbacks and corruption done by Generals, Air Marshals and Admirals.

The petition has been filed by a lawyer in public interest but its contents are so explosive, the High Court Judges cannot touch it. The LHC, under tremendous pressure of the Army regime, is almost helpless in even admitting or hearing the petition, let alone give a verdict against the Army.

The main charges mentioned in the petition include:
- Air Chief Marshal Abbas Khattak (retired) had received Rs180 million as kickbacks in the purchase of 40 old Mirage fighters

- Air Chief Marshal, Farooq Feroz Khan was suspected of receiving a five per cent commission on the purchase of 40 F-7 planes worth $271 million

- In 1996, the Army bought 1,047 GS-90s jeeps, at a cost of $20,889 per unit. The market value of a jeep then was only $13,000. According to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), Pakistan’s main accountability organization, some senior Army officers made Rs. 510 million in the deal.

- One hundred and eleven Army men got 400 plots in Bahawalpur and Rahimyar Khan districts at throwaway prices, paying Rs. 47.50 per kanal (1/8th of a acre) as against the actual price of Rs15,000 to Rs20,000 (1US$=Rs. 56). Another 35,000 kanals were distributed among them.

- Six respondents got 400 kanals in the Punjab while former NAB chairman Lt. Gen Mohammad Amjad was allotted a two-kanal plot on the Sarwar Road in Lahore for just Rs. 800,000 - payable in installments over 20 years. The market value of this plot was Rs. 20 million.

- General Pervez Musharraf acquired a commercial plot worth Rs 20 million at DHA in Lahore for just Rs. 100,000, payable in 20 years. "As mentioned in the report of defense services director-general, a loss of Rs 5 billion was incurred due to such allotments."

- The Army awarded a contract for the purchase of 1,000 Hino trucks at $40,000 per unit while the local Gandhara Industries had offered trucks of the same specification for $25,000 a piece. In the purchase of 3,000 Land Rover jeeps in 1995, Army officials allegedly received around Rs. 2 billion as kickbacks.

- The Army management at WAPDA raised the power tariff 13 times during the last three years besides purchasing electric meters at Rs. 1,050 a piece against the open market price of Rs. 456, causing a loss of Rs 1.65 billion to the national exchequer.

- A former military regime sold the Pak-Saudi Fertilizers for Rs. 7 billion and earned a Rs 2 billion commission on the deal.

- In 1996, the Pakistan Navy spent Rs. 13 million on installing air-conditioners at the Islamabad Golf Club without any justification.
Apart from this petition some other major scams involving serving or ex members of the military junta are as follows:

- Ex Army chief General Jahangir Karamat took kickbacks of more than US$ 20 Million from Ukrainian tank company for purchase of 300 Ukrainian tanks for Pakistan Army through a middleman named as Colonel Mahmood , a brother tank corps officer of Karamat . Former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif sent the present chief of the WAPDA Major General Zulfiqar, then serving in ISI, to Ukraine and Azerbaijan to investigate the scam.

- General Zulfiqar compiled a complete report of the transaction and the bribes given. But the Army tried to buy him out by rewarding him with the post of WAPDA Chairman and promoting him to the rank of a three star General. The then Army Chief, General Jahangir Karamat was forced to resign, based on the threat that if he did not, he would be charged for corruption.

- Many road contracts were given to a firm Hasnain Construction company without any public tenders by the recently removed Railways and Communication minister General Qazi. The company, owned by a relative of General Pervez Musharraf’s son, was also awarded the lease of a lucrative real estate in Lahore for construction of a Golf Course under frontmanship of Palm Country Golf Club, Singapore. The relative of General Musharraf admitted publicly that he was working for a commission to use his contacts and influence for the company.

- Prime commercial land developed in Defence Housing Authority Karachi was leased at dirt heap rates to McDonalds operated by Amin Lakhani by the then Corps Commander, Karachi Lt. General Afzal Janjua.

- The Army’s coercive organ NAB struck various under the table deals with various individuals accused of high profile economic crimes in addition to arm twisting NAB defaulters, into joining the present government. These include the present Prime Minister Zafarullah Jamali and at least one fourth of all elected legislators.
Where does the military virtue of a defense outfit stand in these circumstances? Is 2003 not a year fit to publish its obituary? Our military virtue died, trampled below the treacherous wheels of overpriced military trucks and overpriced Chinese aircraft and defective Atlantique planes that crash in our waters because of dubious maintenance.

Yes all this has served one important development purpose. Sons of ex-subedars, ex-clerks and ex-assistant political agents have done well, climbing from relatively simple life styles to grand luxuries propelled by phenomenal assets. All came to clean the Augean stables and all departed richer. The only exception was General Yahya Khan who whatever his drawbacks at least did not have the mind of a petty shop keeper.

Clausewitz, the great philosopher of war described “Military Virtue” of an Army as the corporate spirit which forms the bond between bravery, enthusiasm and espirit de corps. Clausewitz further defined military virtue as a quality which drives an Army in a similar way as genius makes a military commander illustrious.

Military virtue in words of Clausewitz could be generated in two ways, i.e. by a succession of military campaigns and victories or by military training activity carried to the highest pitch. The more a general demanded of his troops in terms of dedicated military activity in peace, the surer he would be that his demands in war would be properly answered. In short military virtue is the fuel that is supposed to drive an Army in war.

With the above premise in mind and keeping in view our present history it can be safely concluded that military virtue of the Pakistan Army as an institution witnessed erosion from 1958 once the party started that made sons of Risaldar majors and Assistant Political Agents progress into industrial tycoons. It was a joy ride. Men who had one green suit to wear, in the words of General Tajammul, became the tycoons of Pakistan. It was the beginning of prosperity for few and the beginning of the end of military virtue of a previously Spartan and clean military machine.
The second military junta of Pakistan was led by the only Army chief not from humble background and this ensured that the Pakistan Army was kept away from cheap consumerism and avaricious lust for real estate.

The second great dinner party started in 1979 when thanks to Soviet invasion of Afghanistan a heaven-sent opportunity arrived in shape of US military aid for the third military junta of Pakistan. Stingers were flown in by the big daddy for the obedient son and these were sold in the open market by silent soldiers. Thus new business empires were created. The Zia junta as a whole did roaring business and the result is that at least four major tycoons of Pakistan today including present commerce minister have direct links with the Zia junta.

Where does building 90 acres of a welfare colony known as Creek City with the cheapest shack for Rs. 6 million fit in? Did the military junta begin the occupation for such sublime purposes in 1958 or 1999? Where does developing 62 acres of land in prime commercial real estate in Islamabad fit in? Is this the business of a Navy that was miserably shut up in a mouse hole in Karachi Port in 1971 War? True that kickback may have been taken, but at least Admiral Mansur bought a good submarine for the Navy. But for whose welfare is the Navy undertaking a project 1500 kilometers from the nearest sea?

What began as an idealistic journey ends with the shady deals around creeks in Karachi which the Navy failed to defend in 1971 and a military junta which wants to rule this country for eternity.

And in this messy situation, the subservient Lahore High Court has been asked to sit on judgment with the sprawling mountains of charges, some even admitted publicly by the Army. God help the poor Mr. Justices of the superior court.
The writer is a retired Pakistan Army Officer and a Defence Analyst who has written a number of books on defence and security matters.
Source: html
Accessed 19 October 2007

As part of global fight against corruption and power abuse this Blog is dedicated to transparency in public and private governance including executive, judicial, and legislative branches of government and political, media, civil society, and faith based organizations in Pakistan. Please feel free to report any incident of corruption and/or abuse of power to be published in this blog. Each person remains accountable for the content of his or her posting.

The Editor

Monday, June 29, 2009

Rs. 83 Billion loss caused to exchequer, says NAB

June 25, 2009

The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has submitted to the Justice Bhagwandas Commission a report on the wrongdoings it says have been committed by the government functionaries and oil industry people in the pricing of petroleum products causing a loss of Rs83 billion to the nation over a period of five years.

The Supreme Court constituted a few months ago the high-level commission led by former SC judge Justice Rana Bhagwandas to hold a probe into the fixing of oil prices and to suggest measures to plug loopholes in the pricing mechanism to ensure fair prices of petroleum products to consumers.

The apex court had taken serious notice of the petroleum ministry’s non-cooperation and instructed the government to provide all information to the commission so that it might reach a judgment.

The NAB report that covered petroleum pricing mechanism between June 2001 and June 2006 was originally submitted to the then president Gen Pervez Musharraf and prime minister Shaukat Aziz on June 13, 2006 by the then NAB chairman Lt-Gen (retd) Shahid Aziz.

The report was never made public but the NAB chairman was removed unceremoniously shortly after it was submitted to the presidency and the prime minister.

The NAB report has now been provided to the Justice Bhagwandas Commission which is expected to submit its final report to the apex court by June 30.

According to a former deputy chairman of NAB, Maj-Gen Muhammad Siddique, senior management of “Pakistan State Oil Company Limited (PSO) and others are involved in massive misappropriation/misuse of authority and forgery in the import of HSD (high speed diesel) and its subsequent sale in the country and … committed the offence of corruption and corrupt practices” as defined in relevant laws.

The report prepared by a three-member investigation team and exclusively available with Dawn concluded that “it is sufficiently evident that (functionaries in the) ministry of petroleum in collusion with the Oil Companies Advisory Committee (OCAC), oil industry and Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) have engaged themselves in corrupt practices for generating colossal undue financial gains for refineries and OMCs at the cost of public and economy as a whole”.

It said the federal cabinet in June 2001 entrusted the role of oil price fixation to OCAC under monitoring by the director-general of oil but none of the directors-general performed the task of monitoring and some of them even expressed ignorance about the cabinet decision. The entire price fixation by OCAC “remained non-transparent/dubious and the DG Oil/Ministry did not play any role, violating the cabinet decision”.

As a result of faulty policies, the profits of Shell Pakistan, Caltex and PSO increased by 232 per cent, 281 per cent and 252 per cent between 2001 and 2004-05. Likewise, the profits of Attock Refinery, National Refinery, Pak Refinery and Parco jumped by 4331 per cent, 3578 per cent, 1717 per cent and 597 per cent, respectively, between 2001-02 and 2004-05.

The report said that a loss of over Rs11 billion was caused to the exchequer because of a redundant oil pricing formula for petrol (motor spirit) while another Rs34 billion loss was caused due to wrongful addition of premiums on the import parity prices of petrol and high speed diesel between July 2001 and April 2006.

Likewise, the report pointed out that the petroleum ministry failed to cap the distribution margins of the OMCs and dealers when the petroleum prices touched the roof and provided a benefit of Rs9 billion to the OMCs and dealers between December 2004 and May 2006.

“The ministry despite having assured the ECC in the summary of capping the margins, failed to cap OMCs’/dealers’ margins resulting in their exorbitant profit margins,” the report said.

It calculated a financial impact of more than Rs18 billion that was `erroneously’ earned by the oil marketing companies and dealers in five years because the OCAC charged commissions even on government taxes, particularly on 15 per cent GST, that was clearly in violation of laws.

The report said that a loss of another Rs6 billion was caused to the government by “illegal removal of 40 per cent upper cap of profits” to the refineries, making a total loss of Rs82.90 billion.

It said under the federal cabinet decision, the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) was established in March 2002, requiring the government to immediately transfer monitoring and regulatory function of petroleum prices to Ogra. However, the transfer of regulatory role to Ogra “was delayed by the ministry for more than four years. The gas regulation and licensing function were transferred to Ogra, but POL pricing was withheld for four years”.

Similarly, “the deemed duty in the guise of tariff protection was allowed to refineries without seeking specific legal approval/issuance of SRO”. —By special arrangement

As part of global fight against corruption and power abuse this Blog is dedicated to transparency in public and private governance including executive, judicial, and legislative branches of government and political, media, civil society, and faith based organizations in Pakistan. Please feel free to report any incident of corruption and/or abuse of power to be published in this blog. Each person remains accountable for the content of his or her posting.

The Editor

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Streamlining Pakistani Police Force

Aslam Pervaiz Abro
Shikarpur, Sindh
June 28, 2009

Just a day before the arrival of dreaded long march spearheaded by Nawaz Sharif, the Federal Government issued a notification on 15 March 2009 to raise the salaries of Islamabad police, giving them lucrative incentives and other perks. On 16 April Chief Minister of the Punjab also made a similar announcement to increase the salaries of the Punjab Police. The domino effect of these commendable announcements pervaded to rest of the provinces with NWFP CM announcing to double the salaries of provincial police. The Prime Minister in his recent visit to Karachi also declared that salaries of Sindh police would be equalized to that of Punjab Police.

This has brought about instantaneous jubilations and exuberance among police officials since their long awaited demand-cum-desire has been/would be fulfilled. It is axiomatic that salary of police is incommensurate to the services they render risking their lives to secure the safety of public. Ask a policeman patrolling the highway at midnight whether it is raining or freezing cold, you will learn how tough his job is. The fundamental objectives of increase in the wages of police are to boost their morale, minimize the chances of corruption, and ensure their commitment to the profession to yield maximum output. Now the question arises: will the sole supplement in remunerations and perks achieve these goals? Though it is a step towards the right direction, still a lot needs to be done to streamline the functioning of police force.

It is unfortunate that that our police are one of the world’s most corrupt civilian forces. Chiefly due to corruption and malpractice, the police do not have a decent image in the eyes of a common man. The victim either requires to grease the palms of SHO or apply the influence of a politician just to lodge a FIR. Corruption and politics are institutionalized in the department, devouring it like termite. From District Police Officer to SHO/PP incharge, the postings are politically motivated. The SHO has to make corruption not only for himself but also to supply the booty to his seniors. Some times a DPO claims to be honest and does not accept corruption money from his SHO, but he targets government funds and budget which he shows to have consumed on paper with practical nothingness. Where a policeman is accustomed to hundreds thousands of rupees of corruption money, can a mere increase of few thousands in his legitimate wages wean him away from extortion? It is not likely to uproot his propensity to corruption.

The kind of training imparted to the police officials is a practical joke. Still the firearm training is given with old and outdated rifles. Majority of the police training centres where officials from the rank of constable to inspector are trained, exist since the colonial period with same infrastructure, equipments and training methodology with subsequent minuscule changes. There have been several incidents where the criminals outplayed the trained policeman, i.e. attack on Sri Lankan cricketers expose police’s professionalism when they were being killed like ducks by the terrorists. Discipline in the police force is too lax, almost extinct.

Intelligence aspect of policing remains pathetically neglected. There is apathy among the police officials to get posted to District Information Branch since it is not a lucrative place to work in. Those who are posted there by order seldom remain on duty; hence it is out of question to keep a watch on the movement and activities of suspected persons.

Having raised their pay it is now imperative that there should be strict check & balance, proper auditing of police funds, and most importantly separation of politics from the department and posting of the DIGs, DPOs & SHOs on merit. As long as corruption and politics are there, it is fruitless to expect police to work well. A serious attention should also be given to training of policeman. These days the terrorist and criminals possesses such lethal and sophisticated weapons that our policemen may not have even seen. The training centres should be upgraded. Apart from basic training and promotion course, the department should organize training workshops and courses to enhance the professionalism of police officials.

Information and intelligence aspect of policing should be accorded due importance. The information collected from different sources should be carefully analyzed and given to operation wing to forestall the crime. The entire police department is in disarray and needs overhauling to put it on right track, but raising of salaries is indubitably a move to right direction.


As part of global fight against corruption and power abuse this Blog is dedicated to transparency in public and private governance including executive, judicial, and legislative branches of government and political, media, civil society, and faith based organizations in Pakistan. Please feel free to report any incident of corruption and/or abuse of power to be published in this blog. Each person remains accountable for the content of his or her posting.

The Editor

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Shikarpur: a deserted city

Aslam Pervaiz Abro

June 26, 2009

Once a dignified commercial centre of past providing routs for transportation of Indian goods to Western India and Central Asia, Shikarpur carries a history of cultural heritage, hospitality, and civilization. The town was found by Bahadar Khan Daudpotras whose ancestral linage goes up to Abbasids in 1617 AD after Mughal Emperor, Aurangzeb Aalmghir had conferred upon him a vast jagir from Lakhi to Khanpur.

The city had earned fame throughout subcontinent on account of its aesthetic beauty, excellent administrative setup, academic institutions for high learning, well-endowed hospitals treating and accommodating patients from far flung areas, underground drainage system, brick-paved roads, delicious achhar, and famous but, extensive woodwork in houses having intricately carved timber façades. The fortification wall and eight gates had made the city impregnable of any hostile onslaught. Because of its perfume industry and the then modern buildings, the city was called Paris of the East.

Despite having such a rich and enviable history Shikarpur projects a view of no less than a misery-struck, backward and underdeveloped village in this modern age. The city has lost its past glory and has only the old history to boast about. Burgeoning rural-urban migration, mismanagement and maladministration, poorer attention of government, rampant crime, law and order situation and specially the tribal clashes are the factors leading to the current sorry state of affairs of the district. Owing to virtually no basic amenities of life in the adjoining villages, the tribal clashes that have swallowed thousands of lives of innocent people, and the atrocities of local Wadderas, the villagers are forced to leave the villages and settle in the suburbs of the city. They build the houses without proper planning in line with the residential structure in the city and resultantly a lot of mess is created.

The tribal clashes have broken the backbone of economic and social structure of the entire district. The antagonism, especially between two major castes/tribes Mahar and Jatoi that started in early 90s has yet been irreconcilable despite several Jargas, some under the auspices of government. These clashes have triggered the law and order situation and an open display of arms in the name of self-protection by the people of the respective tribes. Some people argue that these clashes actually serve the interest of the chieftains of these tribes. Whoever the beneficiary may be, the ultimate sufferers are the innocent people who have so far lost their lives and their near and dear ones in these clashes.

Today, life and limb of a common man is not secure. A journalist of a Sindhi news paper who raised the voice of truth and right was gunned down in 2003 and his killers are still at large. Looting and kidnapping for ransom has been a routine. The risk of being looted or kidnapped is very high, especially at night on Shikarpur-Sukkur and Shikarpur-Larkana roads. Even the judges have not been spared. Recently, the security was beefed up by the Rangers that provided auxiliary patrolling force to the police, thus crime ratio spiraled down to certain extent since current DPO Khadim Hussain Rind took over the charge.

Corruption, misappropriation and embezzlement of government funds on several annual and other development programs have consigned the city to wrenched condition. The annual budget of the district for the year 2008-09 was Rs.2395.867 million. The fate of the city would have been different if the budget had been spared of embezzlement and utilized properly. The tenders for construction of the roads and other development projects are awarded by the concerned EDOs to their favorite contractors or to those who have an ability to bribe the stakeholders. Resultantly the roads constructed with substandard material erode with no time precipitating more troubles for the local population. These dilapidated roads have been constructed so many times with inferior material that the layers upon layers of gravels and pebbles have raised the roads several feet above actual land level pushing down the houses and other historical monuments.

The city has turned into ruins and does not look to be a district from any aspect.
The basic responsibility of putting the things in order is of District Nazim and the bureaucrats but they seem to have no concern for the city and turn a blind eye to the massive corruption. The horse and cattle shows organized by Nazim do not serve the city as much investment of efforts on other important issue directing affecting the common man. More reprehensibly, the educated and literate section of the city does not raise their voice vociferously against this blatant injustice. In fact, it is the feudalistic-psyche that the inhabitants of the city are obsessed with; in the case of stakeholders “plunder the city and loot its wealth”, and for citizens “shut your mouth and closes your eyes to avoid the brunt of Bhotaar”. But this should no longer be the attitude. Whereas the local government system introduced by military dictator in 2001 may have served or damaged the country in general and Sindh in particular since most of the Nazims are either relatives or cronies of the politicians of national level, it has very badly affected Shikarpur as is evident from its pathetic state.

At the moment a mega project named Rehabilitation and Improvement of Urban Drainage Scheme (RIUDS) is underway in the city. The project was started in 2007 and the estimated cost of the entire project is Rs.382.978 millions. The pace of the construction work is as slow and tortoise. The tender of this project was awarded to the local contractors that do not have any profile of doing any mega project. Today, around two years have passed, not a 20% of the project has yet been completed. The land has been dug up and heaps of sewage and mud are spreading all round the city and contractors have no idea how to manage the things properly.

Almost every street is inundated with drain-water and stinking with sewerage-waste that threaten to germinate fatal epidemics. Once I happened to travel with the District Nazim’s brother (who is also PML-Q MPA in Sindh Assembly) in the same flight and had a chance to get to know his views on RIUDS. He said, “initially it was planned to award the tender of the RIUDS to some reputable construction company from Karachi. But due to the insistence of two former PML-Q MPAs of Sindh Assembly , who are our allies in district government, the tender of the project was awarded the to local contractors.” It is deplorable that a larger interest was compromised on the altar of saving political nexus and pleasure of allies. At the moment the city is in shambles while corruption, maladministration and lawlessness run high. I request the government to control these demons and take corrective measures to save the city from further disaster.

As part of global fight against corruption and power abuse this Blog is dedicated to transparency in public and private governance including executive, judicial, and legislative branches of government and political, media, civil society, and faith based organizations in Pakistan. Please feel free to report any incident of corruption and/or abuse of power to be published in this blog. Each person remains accountable for the content of his or her posting.

The Editor

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Forensic Analysis of Corruption

by: Dr. Shimail Daud

We all complain about corruption and how its a malice for the society. But it is interesting to note that how it gets everyone involved and gradually you become part of the sinking ship.

When a crime occurs the affected party goes to the law enforcement agency which in this case is usually the civil police of the area. They try to file a FIR with the police. Usually the police has a very interesting self protective mechanism at hand. First deny that the crime occurred, if the complainant is persistent then try to stir the situation that the blame would fall on any party so that the complainant keeps on pursuing the wrong direction. But you have to remember in the process of confusion the FIR never gets lodged due to premise that the situation and facts are not clear. Who do you think is the beneficiary in this of course the culprit who has ample time to get away or fix his circumstances to the effect that he would not be apprehended by any one. The other beneficiary of course is the police representative who by entangling the situation can make a living out of it by extorting money from both sides. The funds keep on flowing till the manipulation continues.

Supposedly you are an average person minding your own business lets say you run a store in the city or town. One of these days a car gets stolen from the parking space in front of your shop. The next day you find out that your poor guard that was performing his duties of guarding you and your property last night has been detained by the local police officer for questioning. The investigation should begin from the local area as the normal protocol would have it. Yes so now you find out that you and your guards don’t have any clue and neither are they responsible for the car lifting but since the complainant does not have any where to unleash his wrath its your turn to pay the price. What do you do? What every other bloke would, pay the uniformed person (oops sorry in civil clothes these days) in order to stay out of this chaotic mess.

So what can we learn from this. Most of the people are not corrupt from birth and have loving human nature. However when the system enforces a perverse incentive for people to save their skin, business and loved ones from the ill intentions of the unguided it becomes a learned behavior. This negative behavior by any societies definition becomes ingrained and innate as more feedback comes back to the new in the negatively filled society.

I would put it that everyone has to pay one way or the other for the weaknesses in our system and people who manage it and we pay it through our lost property, loss of life, morbidity and of course by the disturbance and harassment that comes with it.

We all need to stand up in our own way and little that we can do outside the system that can break the cycle. But my message is that spread the positive message of resisting and if everyone of us does a little bit to resist the cummulative impact comes out huge. Can you do it for I am!

(experiences from personal life!)

Pakistani media face a crisis of ethics

Tom Hussain, Foreign Correspondent

Last Updated: June 16. 2009 12:36AM UAE / June 15. 2009 8:36PM GMT

Pakistani TV cameramen are seen next to a soldier of Pakistan's army holding a Rocket Propelled Grenade near Loisam town in the Bajur tribal region. Emilio Morenatti / AFP ISLAMABAD // Pakistan’s news media is coming under increasing fire for its questionable ethics, not from its usual critics in the government, but from within its own ranks.

At the heart of the debate that has been raging for months on journalists’ blogs such as and, is the widely perceived pro-government bias of many popular current affairs programme hosts and newspaper columnists.

Often, the host and columnist are, in fact, one and the same, a coincidence that a growing number of journalists find disturbing because of the extraordinary influence and subsequent room for abuse this blurred line affords.

“The leading political chat show hosts all open their shows with statements like ‘today, we will create a consensus’ or ‘today, we will establish …’. In fact, they are declaring their intention to stuff their own political agenda down the guests’ throats, failing which they invariably humiliate them,” said Zafar Malik, a former head of news and current affairs at two cable news channels, CNBC Pakistan and Samaa.

Like many journalists who took up their trade during the unforgiving military dictatorship of Gen Zia-ul-Haq in the 1980s, Mr Malik is saddened by the decline in ethics that has accompanied a rapid expansion in the number of privately owned news channels since 2002.

Ironically, the decision to open the floodgates was taken by Pervez Musharraf, Pakistan’s then -military dictator, who concluded that appeased media proprietors would prove useful allies in his subsequent quest to extend his extra-constitutional rule.

Far from being naïve, he had every reason to believe the strategy would work.

The state had at its disposal a formidable array of carrots with which to buy the loyalty of journalists, including quotas of cut-price residential plots in government and military property developments that, on average, guarantee the recipient an instant 400 per cent ¬return on investment.

Such above-board perks – the plot scheme was sanctioned by the journalists union – were supplemented by covert incentives, including large sums of cash provided by the intelligence agencies during times of political crisis; several anchors said they were offered three million rupees each before the February 2008 general elections to be sympathetic to pro-Musharraf candidates.

“There is no dearth of corrupt people in the Pakistani media. Some are corrupted with plots, some with overseas junkets, and some are on the payrolls of intelligence agencies and political parties, but there is no accountability for any of them,” said Ansar Abbasi, investigations editor of The News, an English newspaper.

However, corruption of the media – a strategy pursued with equal vigour by democratic governments before and after the Musharraf regime – was doomed to failure because of the intense competition between the channels Mr Musharraf had helped to create. Ultimately, the news media played a decisive role in forcing him to resign last year and his successor to the presidency, Asif Ali Zardari, to reinstate the country’s chief justice in March.

The channels and their newspaper associates (cross-media ownership is the norm), it seemed, had just cause to celebrate their success in stirring the public conscience into upholding the independence of the judiciary.

But their subsequent coverage of the militant insurgency in north-west Pakistan has since exposed shortcomings, particularly a tendency to perpetuate a sense of crisis in the rush to be first to break the story, a process that more often than not ignores the “three-source confirmation” rule of objective reporting.

A typical example was the terrorist storming of a police training school in Lahore in March, when channels boosted the number of victims to 27 before retreating to the actual figure of eight, plus three militants.

“The media blows everything out of proportion” is a quote that has become attributable to many of Pakistan’s avid television watchers and, ironically, has given rise to the new “News, responsibly” slogan of PTV News, the state channel.

An inadvertent but positive outcome of the recent boom in the Pakistani media is that younger, more idealistic journalists have earned rapid promotions and it is they who have begun to challenge the corruption and one-upmanship undermining their profession.

Mohammed Ahmed Noorani, a reporter for The News, helped set the tone this year by telephoning a top Urdu newspaper columnist and asking him to confirm or deny allegations that he had accepted bribes in cash and kind from the government. While the story was never published, he posted a recording of the apparently inebriated columnist’s abusive response on the Web that instantly became a rallying cry for others.

Mr Abbasi, his senior colleague at The News, took the next step by issuing a public statement of regret for having acquired residential plots in government schemes and returning the title deeds, prompting several other high profile journalists to ¬follow suit.

Optimists see this as a harbinger of better things to come, but concede that change will be slow.

“The point is that the more you open up, the less room for manoeuvre there will be for journalists with vested interests,” said Nadeem Malik, a current affairs host for Aaj News. “I think the media is heading in that direction, but it needs more time and qualitative competition to attain ethical maturity.”

Monday, June 15, 2009

Pak Ministry of Defence Contractors involved in deception and misappropriation

Contractors involved in misappropriation: ministry asked to stop making purchases

Business Recorder
1st April 2009

ISLAMABAD (April 01 2009): The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of National Assembly on Tuesday directed Ministry of Defence Production to stop buying from contractors involved in deception and misappropriation. The PAC meeting chaired by its chairman Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan reviewed the audit reports of the ministry for the year 2005-06.

Audit reports revealed that a loss of Rs 24.960 million was incurred to the government due to two contracts of skimmed milk powder in Pakistan Mission at Paris. It showed that one company failed to provide 500 ton milk powder within stipulated period of time, while 138 tons milk powder out of total 189 provided by the other company was unfit for human consumption.

Nisar directed the ministry to improve the system for awarding the contracts and blacklist the companies failing to deliver. The ministry was also asked to give due importance to the observations of audit authorities.

Earlier, the audit authorities besides other reports informed the PAC panel about unauthorised investment of Rs 90 million government money in profit and loss term deposit scheme by Pakistan Aeronautical Complex, Kamra. Chairman Pakistan Aeronautical Complex, Kamra said that the fund was utilised as it was not meant to be used immediately.

Nisar said that rules and regulations must be followed in any case. He directed the concerned authorities to regularise the matter through Ministry of Defence Production within one month. He also directed Secretary Ministry of Defence Production to ask all the departments under him to inform him about all the legal cases related to contracts with different firms. He also asked him to revisit the contracting system so that in future no contractor can deceive the ministry.

Transparency International Pakistan on Corruption

Transparency International Pakistan
5 C, 2nd Floor, Khy-e-Ittehad, Phase VII,
DHA, Karachi
Wednesday 3rd June, 2009
Media Contacts: Karachi
Syed Adil Gilani
Tel: 021-5390408-9
Cell: 0321-8229086
Fax: 021-5390410

Global corruption survey finds growing distrust of business Political parties and the Civil Service are perceived on average to be the most corrupt sectors around the world Berlin / Brussels, Karachi 3 June 2009 – The private sector uses bribes to influence public policy, laws and regulations, believe over half of those polled for 2009 Global Corruption Barometer. The Barometer, a global public opinion survey released today by Transparency International (TI), also found that half of respondents expressed a willingness to pay a premium to buy from corruption-free companies.

“These results show a public sobered by a financial crisis precipitated by weak regulations and a lack of corporate accountability,” said Transparency International Chair, Huguette Labelle. “But we also see that the public is willing to actively support clean business. What is needed now is bold action by companies to continue strengthening their policies and practices, and to report more transparently on finances and interactions with government.”

The Barometer, with more than 73,000 respondents drawn from 69 countries and territories around the world, also found the poor to be disproportionately burdened by bribe demands. And it found that government efforts to combat corruption are generally perceived as ineffective, in addition to high levels of perceived corruption in political parties, parliaments and the civil service.

Syed Adil Gilani, Chairman Transparency International Pakistan said that the resistance towards anticorruption measures from the public servant is has pushed Pakistan to its present position as one of the most corrupt country and also perceived to be a breeding ground of terrorists. Corruption in spending the US $ 11 billion aid given by US from 2002 to 2007 for fighting terrorism, has not only failed , but infact it has caused suicide bombing, which has never occurred before 2002.

Political parties and the civil service are perceived on average to be the most corrupt sectors around the world

Figure 1 Single institution/sector perceived to be most affected by corruption, overall results

Source: Transparency International Global Corruption Barometer 2009. Percentages are weighted.

Fieldwork was conducted between October 2008 and March 2009. As a public opinion survey, the Barometer reflects the views of a representative sample of each country’s population aged 16 and over In each country, the polling method was based on local conditions. Methods included face to face, telephone and online interviews.

Government anti-corruption efforts seen as ineffective
Most of those polled also felt that existing channels for making corruption-related complaints were ineffective. Fewer than one in four who paid a bribe in the past year lodged a formal complaint, demonstrating serious deficits in the perceived legitimacy and effectiveness of channels for reporting and addressing bribery. “Governments must listen closely to what ordinary people are reporting or face the consequences of an increasingly alienated and distrustful citizenry,” said Labelle.

Echoing the findings of past editions of the Barometer, 68 percent of respondents saw political parties as corrupt, and 29 percent saw them as the single most corrupt institution in their country. The civil service and parliament trailed political parties, perceived by 63 and 60 percent of respondents respectively as being corrupt. The media, while not perceived as clean, scored best with just over 40 percent of respondents labelling the sector as corrupt and with only 6 percent seeing it as the single most corrupt domestic institution.

Reasons given for not presenting a formal complaint about bribery

Source: Transparency International Global Corruption Barometer 2009. Percentages are weighted.

Reasons given for not presenting a formal complaint about bribery
Source: Transparency International Global Corruption Barometer 2009. Percentages are weighted.

Public demand for greater integrity in government and business
The tragically familiar stories of this year’s Barometer are the negative perceptions of public institutions and government anti-corruption efforts, and low-income households saddled with petty bribe payments for ostensibly free services. New this year was the increasingly critical view of the private sector and a public motivated to pay a premium for clean business. The 2009 Barometer makes clear that both the private and public sectors have a great deal of work to do to win back the public trust.

Media contacts:
In Pakistan
Syed Adil Gilani
Tel 5390408

Crores of Rupees withdrawn by TM Khan District Coordination Officer

2 - 3 Crore Pak Rs. withdrawn from Banks under fictitious Heads by DCO (District Coordination Officer) of Tando Mohammed Khan i.e. Mr. Farooq Ahmed Laghari few days prior to ending of Fiscal Year in connivance with EDOs (Executive District Officer).

#2. Where has so many water Coolers given for Schools in my District
vanished thru & by corrupt HST (High School Teacher) level Haji Ashraf Memon who holds charge of Entire Education of TMK Dist.

Mushtaq T.
Tando Mohammed Khan
June 13, 2009