CHITRAL: In China, students caught cheating in college entrance exams are awarded seven years imprisonment. In Pakistan cheating in exams is considered a normal practice and even examiners are lenient on it. Some examiners even help cheating after getting gratification. So much for a conservative muslim society. Result is that we have high degrees but low knowledge and low moral base. In Pakistan, imprisonment should be announced for cheaters and death sentence for examiners helping in cheating. We shall prosper then onward, Insha Allah. .. CN report, 07 Aug 2020
.. by Mir Wazir Khan
The world is commemorating 75-years anniversary of 75-years old ‘Little Boy’. In most of the world’s cultures, little boy is a name for someone within the age of early adolescent. However, 75-years ago in July 1945, the United States nuclear scientist gave the name of ‘Little Boy’ to its first nuclear bomb which they were planning to drop over Japan shortly.
The Nazi Germany had surrendered in May 1945; but the war was extremely bloody over the Pacific front between the forces of the US and Japan. The US’ efforts for invasion of Japan by land through amphibious assault by sea had failed and the US was losing thousands of troops on daily basis. The large number of body-bags returning to the US angered the people and leadership of the US and forced them to think seriously for ending the war by all means possible.
During the war the US was engaged in the development of a nuclear bomb under the supervision of Robert Oppenheimer and the project was named Manhattan Project. The project reached its culmination on July 16, 1945 when a nuclear bomb was detonated for the first time in human history. The detonation took place in the desert of New Mexico at 5:29 am. After the successful experimentation of its first nuclear detonation, the first nuclear bomb to be used against Japan to end the war was code-named ‘Little Boy’.
August 6, 1945 was chosen as a date to use the bomb and Hiroshima was selected as the city for the catastrophe. A B-29 bomber of the US Air Force with Colonel Paul W. Tibbet as its chief pilot were to operate the flight for the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. For the special nuclear bombing mission, the flight of the B-29 bomber was code named as Enola Gay in honor of the mother of Col. Paul W.Tibbet.
The nuclear bombing flight took off from US military base from North Field of Northern Mariana Island in the Pacific that was housing major US airpower against Japan. The airbase was around six hour’s flight away from Hiroshima. A 12-person crew boarded the B-29 along with the silent ‘Little Boy’. The project director of the Manhattan Project, Maj. Gen. Leslie B.R Groves wanted to photograph the take-off for the coming generations to see. So the airfield was illuminated with flashlights to take photographs of the take-off. The colonel-pilot Paul W. Tibbets was instructed to take out his head from the cockpit window of the bomber and to wave to the assembled viewers who were none other than senior people of the Manhattan Project and senior military personnel of the USA.
The bomber flew for about six hours towards its unfortunate target with the ‘Little Boy’ sleeping. Capt. Williams armed and assembled the bomb during the six hour flight (a nerve- wrecking mission given the possibility of its mid-air explosion). Capt. William’s assistant 2nd Lt. Morris removed the safety devices of the bomb (another unbelievably dangerous feat) to get it ready for dropping about an hour before it could be released above the chosen target.
The B-29 bomber arrived at the target—the city of Hiroshima- at an altitude of 32333 feet. High altitude was chosen for the flight because the Japanese, due to shortage of fuel, were reluctant to scramble and engage enemy aircrafts at high altitude. The Japanese were not aware that that particular bomber was on a special mission. At 8:15 am on August 6, 1945 the bomb was released from an altitude of 31,060 feet. The bomb detonated above the predetermined site of the city at an altitude of 1968 feet. A doomsday scenario enveloped the city of Hiroshima. Around 80000 died and 70000 were injured in a matter of minutes. The Japanese determination and resistance was shaken. Col. Paul W.Tibbets, the aviator for the first nuclear bombing, in an interview said that he was not sorry for his action as he was doing his assigned duty of a bomber pilot and was acting under the rightful command of his superiors and in service of the nation. He rose through the ranks of US Air Force and retired at the rank of Brigadier-General. After retirement, he worked for aviation companies and died on November 1, 2007 at the age of 92. Before his dead he had asked for no funeral and headstone fearing that opponents of nuclear weapons may use his tomb as a place of protests. His body was cremated and ashes thrown into English Channel.
Two days later from the first nuclear bombing, on August 9, 1945 another nuclear bomb code-named ‘Fat Man’ was dropped over Nagasaki. Japan surrendered on August 15, 1945 and World War II ended with alarming message for the world. Fearing the enormous destructive power of the nuclear bomb, other countries also commenced preparation to acquire the same at any cost. Thus preparation for World War III has begun immediately after the termination of World War II. The ex-Soviet Union become the next nation to possess the ‘Little Boy’. Presently, there are about twelve countries (seven declared and five undeclared) to be in possessions of ‘Little Boys’. Now the nuclear weapons are in a more advanced and destructive shape. It doesn’t need six-hour flight to drop a single nuclear bomb. Rather the Intercontinental ballistic missiles, submarine-launched ballistic missiles and long-range nuclear bombers can destroy planet Earth several times during the span of six hours. May God save us from any nuclear apocalypse and grant wisdom and sagacity to world leaders to say ‘No’ to nuclear weapons! .. Mir Wazir Khan, Chitral, 06 Aug 2020
Hyderabad — Muslims, who can’t sacrifice sheep or cattle on Eid-ul-Azha this time due to the Covid-19 situation, can donate the equivalent amount to the poor, according to a decree issued by a leading Islamic seminary in Hyderabad.
With less than four weeks to go for the festival of sacrifice and Covid-19 cases continuing to rise in Telangana, especially in Hyderabad, Jamia Nizamia issued a ‘fatwa’ or decree that if animal can’t be sacrificed due to the pandemic situation, the amount equivalent to the cost of the animal can be donated to poor relatives, the destitute or madarsas.
“No deed is dearer to the Almighty Allah than sacrifice between 10th and 12th Zul Hijjah. Keeping this in view, every person who has the means should make every effort to do the sacrifice. If it is not possible to do sacrifice by 12th Zul Hijjah, the amount equivalent to the cost of the animal or share (in the cattle) can be donated to poor relatives, destitute or those seeking Islamic education,” reads the ‘fatwa’ issued by Jamia’s chief mufti, Maulana Mufti Mohammad Azeemuddin. .. read from Source
CHITRAL: By now there should be no doubt in any body’s mind that we in Pakistan generally live in an unscrupulous society, at least in financial matters, where any one who gets a chance in any way tries to make money trampling scruples, ethics and honesty.
A person in Chitral (Shakeel) narrated a very disheartening and mind boggling account to this scribe. Shakeel said he went to a cloth seller to buy some cloth for Eid dress. He knew the shopkeeper from before and asked him to give him the cloth at a good price i.e taking minimum profit. The shopkeeper gave him the cloth and charged him four hundred rupees. Just then another customer entered the shop and without much ado chose the same cloth of the same measurement. When he asked the price, the shopkeeper quoted him fifteen hundred rupees. The customer happily paid and went away with the cloth. When Shakeel asked the shopkeeper “why did you charge the customer fifteen hundred rupees, whereas you charged me only four hundred, the answer was “If I had quoted the price as four hundred rupees he would not have bought it considering it too cheap”.
The above little quote from everyday life in Chitral, reflects life all over Pakistan — Nothing is straight, nothing is honest. Whether it is the shopkeeper or the shopper, both are sailing in the same boat.
It does not take funds or grants or aid or budget to improve governance in the country. Governance whether it be in official matters or public and private lives of the people. It only needs resolve and commitment from the government, using the mosques, religious preachers, media etc and above all setting personal example flowing down from the top, to get out of the quagmire of immorality we are in. .. CN report, 28 July 2020
.. by Raoof Hasan
“Without strong watchdog institutions, impunity becomes the very foundation upon which systems of corruption are built. And if impunity is not demolished, all efforts to bring an end to corruption are in vain.“ Rigoberta Menchú
Imagine a country
– where a parliamentarian would demand on the floor of the House that the services of fake degree and fake license-holder pilots should not be terminated;
– where a convict is allowed to travel abroad for medical treatment by merely signing a stamp paper of nondescript value;
– where the courts would repeatedly block the executive branch from performing its constitutional functions on one plea or the other, and where they routinely bail out alleged criminals to escape the investigation of the corruption they are accused of;
– where judges are caught taking dictations over the telephone; where fabrications, distortions, and downright lies adorn the screens for hours every evening without a check by the regulatory body;
– where key state institutions have been reduced to a cacophony of skeletons making a mockery of their very existence;
– where, instead of coming forth with evidence to nullify the allegations, a sitting judge of the apex court would take recourse to petty technicalities to save his skin, with other judges of the bench acting as accomplices; or where the guilty roam free and the innocent are caged.
– where state interests are compromised in lieu of advancing personal, profit-based relations; where political parties are run as family fiefdoms committed to ensuring state capture by a few to eternity;
– where merit is forfeited to enable family members and associates to occupy key positions in the government;
– where democracy is only apparel deceitfully used to hide cruel and despotic indulgences;
– where a sitting Prime Minister would help an alleged criminal escape the law in his official plane;
– where members of a former ruling family, duly declared absconders, unashamedly keep claiming their innocence;
– where the entire executive and judicial organs of the state are helpless before the marauding inroads that a property tycoon made by “putting wheels to his files” and getting away with plundering the holdings of the poor;
– where proven criminals step out of courts with beaming smiles and victory signs; where politicians operate as mafias and businesses as cartels; where bureaucrats are criminally politicised, judiciary has become a vehicle for providing relief to criminals and state institutions are used to perpetuate defilement of the constitution, rules and procedures.
Imagine a country where the word of God is hostage in the hands of a fleet of obscurantist merchants of religion.
And, worst of all, imagine a country where all this is done without remorse, without shame. That country is your country. That country is my country. That country, unfortunately, is Pakistan.
It is not what Pakistan was conceived for becoming, or how its founding fathers would have imagined it would evolve into. But, that is what it has become, and a large number of people may yet be convinced that it is the right thing to have happened.
It is as if we are numb to a million wrongs that afflict this country. It is as if we are blind to felonies, constantly driven by getting our needs fulfilled irrespective of the methods employed or the instruments used. All which is self-interest-driven of the powerful is construed as fair. However, if the same is done by ordinary people, we are quick to become moral vigilante brigades and raise accusatory fingers in their direction. In other words, we accentuate the malady that doing a thing the wrong way is the exclusive right of the beneficiary elite.
This is how deep the malaise has penetrated through layers and layers of the societal fabric with no hope in hell that it may, at some point in time, be reversible. In fact, with every passing day, this thought process is digging its tentacles deeper with the whole society standing on the sidelines watching in total and criminal silence. It is not a few odd people who have gone astray. By deliberately exercising our ‘right’ to stay silent, we have all become accomplices in this crime spree.
Look at our institutions. Look at the judiciary and the way it is conducting itself, letting criminals simply walk away; or the NAB with virtually no convictions to show by way of performance; or the financial institutions failing miserably in expanding the taxpayers’ base and trying to extricate more from the ones who are already captive in their hands; or regulatory bodies facilitating non-conforming organisations in expanding their illicit networks. These are symptoms of an inherently dishonest and diseased system which works by criminalising all annals of governance.
The state institutions have become impediments in the way of every possible effort to clean up things with the judiciary repeatedly obstructing the executive branch of the state by exercising its right of issuing intrusive injunctions, thus stalling all potential corrective measures. The adjudication in favor of the sugar mafia is only the latest example of this morbid penchant. Then there are a large number of hirelings employed by the previous governments who are still positioned in various institutions to continue the spree of malpractices of the past and block the path of reform in every possible way.
The extent to which this system has been bludgeoned by the corrupt beneficiary elite, it no longer remains fit to run the country. It is a piece of stinking rubbish that does not even deserve a bin to be thrown into. It has lost its relevance in the context of the challenges which have emerged as a consequence of how it has been manipulated through decades for the sake of raising illicit empires on the carcasses of the poor and the impoverished communities.
It has been distorted beyond recognition, beyond reform. Irrespective of a number of negative perceptions that prevail currently, some real and some fictional, this system has to be replaced by something more suited to the needs of the society which is intrinsically exploitative in nature, and where the rights of the weaker segments have to be ensured by the state beyond any prospect of exploitation by the gangs of crony beneficiary elite.
This system is to be so designed that, and I quote Angel Gurria here, “integrity, transparency and the fight against corruption should be part of the culture. They have to be taught as fundamental values”. Alongside that, there should be strict enforcement mechanisms to implement conformance to these basic strictures and tenets. It is then that we would begin to erect the edifice of a fair, just, and equitable state to ensure that the welfare, safety, and security of its people, particularly its marginalized communities, is not left at the mercy and discretion of the crony beneficiary elite.
This decrepit system is sinking in the poisonous juices of its own making. It is now for the people to do the rest. They are the guardians of the state and they must make a move to transform it into a beneficent and welfare outfit where all are treated equally and where the exploitative instruments are driven out of the realm of governance.
Let us see the people rising to the call of their conscience. They should perform the last rites of this rotten system. Otherwise, it is them and the deluge which advances their way!
The writer is a political analyst and the Executive Director of the Regional Peace Institute. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org; Twitter: @RaoofHasan.
CHITRAL: Among the many ills that ail our country, is the absence of an efficient and fair judicial system. Instances of legal cases being dragged on for generations are not rare in Pakistan. It appears that no government since independence has paid heed towards the improvement of our judicial system. Jokes, puns and sarcasm abound regarding the weakness of the justice system in Pakistan.
Whereas there may be many suggestions regarding improvement of the judicial system, one suggestion if implemented would not only turn around the deliverance of justice in Pakistan but would also reduce the load on the courts which are full of ‘no go’ cases being filed by every Tom Dick and Harry, and many on the instigation and prodding of lawyers, who have nothing to loose trying their shenaniganism, in the current system.
As per the new suggestion any lawyer who files a frivolous case on behalf of a party and looses the case, the lawyer along with the case filer party should be punished severely. If this law is implemented there would be 80 percent less cases in the courts and those who file a petition need to be pretty sure and confident about what they are doing. At present there is a heavy load of non-serious cases in the courts. The example of the illiterate Sikh judge is a gleaming road for our Judges. .. CN report, 24 July 2020
.. by Prof Rahmat Karim Baig
This write up is intended to clarify certain misgivings that have been hatched by a gang of hunters who have been involved in the genocide of wild life especially ibex and markhor in the hills of Chitral. It is not a new development. It was also busy even in the reign of the rulers of Chitral i.e. before 1954 but such poachers were fined heavily but today due to the reconnaissance of wild life watchers the mafia has taken to novel tactics. The wild life division of Chitral has to watch a very large area of mountains and a small number of watches cannot reach every nook and corner of the district. VCC/ VCSDO Zondrangram appreciates the efforts and determination of the Wild life division Chitral to eradicate the nefarious activities of the ‘shikari mafia’ of Zondrangram where few care for wild life or environmental degradation and that is the real tragedy and the members of the mafia have already collected rifles of mass destruction, carried them deep into the Roshgol valley where the massacre of ibexes is carried out and these hidden rifles are in the high altitude caves inaccessible to wild life staff. Some writers put the blame on the wild life watchers but it is not true and the network of the ‘shikari mafia’ is in fact, not their fault. The KP Forest/ Wild life department should increase the number of watchers and make concerted efforts to bridle the shikari mafia and fines should be much higher than at present.
I have to clarify a misconception forwarded by certain individuals about the work of Snow Leopard Foundation based at Islamabad who works with UNDP for the conservation of the endangered specie of snow leopard. As a member of the United Nations Pakistan is a signatory and bound to extend protection to the endangered species which is found in the northern mountains of the country. The same kind of efforts are made in China to increase the population of Panda which is also included in the endangered species. The SLF works with UNDP and receives funding via the Ministry of Environmental Protection of the Federal government. The members of the shikari mafia look at the intervention of the SLF with suspicious eyes as it feels that in case they make their presence in certain areas then the mafia may face difficulty in their nefarious designs ( killing ibexes) and may fail to bag ibex and markhor so they have stepped up their efforts to attract public attention by spreading false and fake stories of violation of traditional use of pastures. They tell lies and a mass propaganda of novel varieties are heard every other day about such interventions – all of which is baseless, false, fabricated and calculated expediency to misguide innocent and illiterate public and stake holders of the pastures. This shikari mafia is working for vested interests and is destroying precious wild life and has to be controlled at any cost. The attack on the rep. of SLF and policemen by hooligans with sticks at Zondrangram police chowki, is highly condemnable and a blemish on the community of that area. Individuals like Mr. Sultan Wazir, Mr. Nizar Wali Shah etc. are mature persons and responsible citizens of the country and should not play the role of devil’s advocates, must have concerns for Environmental issues of the 21st century; and must abstain from supporting ‘shikari mafias’ and gangs even if they belong to their villages or ethnic groups. This shikari mafia is a dangerous virus for the future of our community who must be curbed and discouraged. The poisonous complex of the past must not be nurtured by educated people but everyone must look towards the future instead of trying to reintroduce the curses of the past which existed under the umbrella of the despotic rulers. .. Prof. Rahmat Karim Baig, Chitral 08 Jul 2020
Truth be told. We owe it to the country.
CHITRAL: Dear Sir, Through your esteemed online news service, I would like to recommend to the Parliament of Pakistan to make a law which bans all Heads of State, Heads of Government, Heads of Armed forces and Heads of Supreme Judiciary, from migrating/settling abroad after retirement. Their exiting for abroad after retirement only shows they do not love their motherland from their heart. All such claims by them when in power are just a hoax.. Also a strict accountability of their assets before taking office and after leaving office should be a part of the law. Unfortunately this needs to be done due to the serious trust deficit that exists in Pakistan. Thanks .. Ehsanullah, Chitral 03 July 2020.
.. by Mir Wazir Khan
Imran Khan has been the centre of many debates and discussion ever since he made a political party (Pakistan Tahreek-e-Insaaf) and entered into the murky waters of Pakistani politics in 1997. Some considered Imran Khan as the last ray of hope for progress and positive changes in Pakistan. While others, mostly his political opponents, considered him as an opportunist seeking the approval of those in the establishment for grabbing power. With around twenty years’ political struggle, he finally succeeded in making himself and his party a power to be reckoned with and a qualified alternative to fill power vacuum created by the two main political parties—the PPP and the PML (N).
The Musharraf era (1999-2008) and the next 10- years of PPP (2008-2013) and PML(N) (2013-2018) again failed to secure stability and progress for Pakistan on sustainable basis. The sociopolitical and economic problems of the country were further multiplied. The lives of the vast majority of the population, for all practical purposes, became wretched due to poverty and price-hike. Preferential governance style, perks and privileges for the powerful, lack of rule of law and massive corruption stories of those in highest power corridors looked like Pakistan is a conquered country and her conquerors are free to do anything with it.
It was in a situation like this that the people of Pakistan saw Imran Khan and his party as the last ray of hope for the recovery of the country and wellbeing of her people. Though Imran Khan had scored some remarkable successes in the past having won the Cricket World Cup for Pakistan in 1992 as Captain and having established a good Cancer Hospital through collection of donation and charities show peoples’ confidence in his leadership and management. Beside, Imran Khan is also considered as someone who is not greedy for money and his life is almost free from stains of corruption.
Imran Khan needs to do something tangible for the socioeconomic betterment of the people. He needs to work in the areas such as eradication of corruption, assurance of rule of law and equality before the law, reform and restructuring of existing institutions of the State to make them functional for and accountable before the people. Political and institutional reforms should be his first and foremost agenda so that systematic justice is made available to the people of Pakistan without any regard to their social status. Presently, the general atmosphere of law and order and administration of justice is such that people wait decades for redressing of their grievances. Highhandedness and crimes of heinous nature can only be seriously pursued if the Prime Minister himself takes notice or the Supreme Court exercises its Suo moto powers regarding such cases. Modern nation-states are very large in size with populations in hundreds of millions. For running such a large and populous states, institutions have been established on modern lines across the world. These institutions function under the delegated powers and are responsible to discharge their duties assigned to them by the Executive, Legislative and Judicial branches of the State. If a Police Station and its Station House Officer do not function properly under the law and rules then the District Police Officer of the district cannot deliver properly on on-going basis; let alone, the prime minister, president or chief justice taking notices of all wrong-doings and doing all the follow up for administration of justice and that too on long term basis. There are millions of cases and grievances of the people and for their redressal there are millions of employees and hundreds of institutions working. The prime objective should be to make these institutions functional and purposeful for the people. It is easier said than done and making our institutions vibrant is the most daunting task for any leader. But it is here that we need leadership to show their performance and it is here that our future and the future of our generations are staked. Without reforming the existing institutions, our reliance on direct notices and intervention by high-ups will yield no better results for the majority of the population on long-term basis.
Imran Khan is enamored with the working of the city state of Madina of the Prophetic era of the early 7th century. There is no doubt that governance and administration of justice in the city state of Madina was a great progressive achievement of the Muslims of that times. The governance of the city state of Madina was exemplified by justice, truthfulness, simplicity, fairness, tolerance, communion and equality before the law in an age where the great Roman and Persian Empires treated their common subjects as slaves and chattels. The reasons of Madina being the model in those times and its being a model even today is that the city-state had in its fold great, honest and God-fearing people who were the companions of the Prophet. For them this mundane world was like an encampment in their journey towards afterlife and eternity. The considered love of money as the root cause of all evils and never accumulated ill-gotten money. Do we have those kinds of people in our midst now and how and by whom the Madina Model can be modeled in today’s Pakistan? Looking at our print and electronic media and hearing news of corruption and plunders by those who are responsible for our wellbeing and progress and who are guardians of our State, it is feared that we may not be subjected collectively to God’s wrath and displeasure!
From sociological point of view, too, we have come a long way and passed considerable time from that era. In the time of the city state of Madina, the population was very small. The entire Muslim population of Madina and its surrounding areas would have been less than a million. Life was simple and was not as complex as it is today. Education and military services were for the purpose of propagation of Islam’s message of justice and social transformation. Hence, service in education and military department were voluntary without any regular daily or monthly remunerations. There was no concept of paid teachers and soldiery. Given the prevailing situation, it is very difficult to replicate the Madina model exactly in the same way as it was some 1400-year ago. From where we will bring those upright and honest people to run the affairs of the present large-size States on Madina model! The best way to emulate the Madina Model is to get inspiration from the founding principles of the city state of Madina such as rule of law, equality before the law, justice, liberty, fraternity, brotherhood, simplicity and strict adherence to the Islamic laws both in our individual and collective lives. Islam, in the times of city state of Madina, was considered a complete code of life with equal importance given to rights of God (huquq-ullah) and rights of the people (huququl- ibaad). An individual’s performance in his/her professional life, his/her dealings with fellow humans and his/her overall public conduct reflected the teachings and commandments of his/her religion. To achieve the serenity and grandeur of our predecessors (aslaaf), we need to strengthen our educational systems to inculcate the ethics and morals of Islam in our youth. We should prepare many generations of students who are caring, compassionate, tolerant, honest, simple, chivalrous and magnanimous individual to enable us to build a model of Madina’s city state. There is no doubt that the way Islam spread in the first one hundred years (610-711) was mainly because of the success of the Madina Model. But we should not just focus the military aspect of Islam’s dominance over the Byzantine and Persian empires. We should also take examples of good governance, brotherhood, pluralism and social justice from the Madina Model.
Till such time we achieve our objective of honest human resource development to enable us to build Madina-type state, we should search and study the successful functioning of states in contemporary times and copy their best practices. Unfortunately, in terms of justice, rule of law and fair play, large Muslim States in Africa and Asia such as Algeria, Sudan, Egypt, Indonesia, Pakistan, Iran and many other have not been able to develop inclusive forms of governments with proper constitutional ways for change of governments. Riots and revolutions occur with every succession and change of government like what happened in Syria, Egypt, Libya, Sudan and Algeria. Therefore, we need to look somewhere else particularly toward Europe for best practices in governance and statecraft. Scandinavian countries such as Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland and Switzerland, Spain, United Kingdom and Portugal in Europe can offer some clues about the importance of rule of law and equality before the law for overall national progress and development. .. Mir Wazir Khan Awi, Chitral 27 June 2020