Alas! Dishonesty and Pakistanis have become synonyms

Published on: 02/08/2019 | Comments: 1 comment 

Dishonesty has become so much ingrained in our society that now we have virtually started liking it . Because nowhere are Pakistanis taught or preached against dishonesty, it has become a norm in the society and only those among us remain honest who do not get a chance to be otherwise.

Senate is the highest August institution of Pakistan. If it’s members who should be examples for us cheat in secret balloting and this is not the first time, they always do that, how can we expect a common Pakistani to be honest. A national emergency movement needs to be launched emphasizing honesty (Sadaqat and Amanat) on every forum and platform, at home, in schools, in mosques and madrassas, in offices, on TV, on social media and everywhere. The example has to be at the top and be made to travel down. .. CN report, 02 Aug 2019

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Pakistanis prove secret ballot is not for them

Published on: 01/08/2019 | Comments: No comments 

Chitral: The secret balloting carried out for a no confidence motion against the sitting Chairman Senate proved a misnomer as have all previous secret balloting in Pakistan proved. The opposition had a clear majority in the upper house but when the voting result came out almost a dozen ‘horses’ had defected in the dark.

Not that the opposition is any more principled than the ruling party. In fact they are all specks of the same dust. If it were the opposition in power they would have done the same thing. Might is authority in this country and principles and scruples are but for those who do not get a chance to flout them.

As honesty and integrity are not taught to Pakistanis at any stage and in any forum, rather unscrupulousness is tacitly approved as a norm in the society, the practice of secret ballot for any purpose should be done away with in Pakistan and people should be asked to show guts and openly declare their support for whomever they want to. .. CN report, 01 Aug 2019

 

Comment 2

Some people argue that secret ballot is good because voters can vote according to his/her conscience. Surprisingly, it has been observed the conscience is somehow always towards the powerful. We never hear secret ballot voters voting for the underdog however true he/she may be on principles. This means there is no element of conscience in secret balloting. It is pure horse trading and should be abolished soon. .. Altaf, Ahmad 04 Aug 2019

Comment 1

When everybody is complaining of horse trading in secret balloting, why don’t they unanimously change the procedure to open voting. The constitution can be amended in ten minutes for it, if the parliamentarians want to. .. Ghias uddin, 03 Aug 2019

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Pakistanis legalize Rs1 trillion foreign assets in amnesty scheme: report

Published on: 25/06/2019 | Comments: No comments 

DUBAI: Pakistan nationals have legalized their assets worth Rs1 trillion in foreign jurisdiction including Rs346 billion in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), highest in a foreign country, Khaleej Times said in a report.

The assets whitened by Pakistanis in UAE, accounting for over one-third (34.5 per cent) of the total whitened foreign assets in the Assets Declaration Scheme, the paper said.

Overseas Pakistanis have expressed their trust over the amnesty scheme launched by the PTI government.

Switzerland with its Rs114.8 billion legalized assets was next highest to the UAE, the report said.

While in the UK Rs89.7 billion, Singapore Rs87.3 billion and British Virgin Islands Rs48.9 billion assets were whitened, Director General for international tax at Federal Board of Revenue Dr. Muhammad Ashfaq Ahmed said in an interview with Khaleej Times.

He said most of the foreign assets owned by the Pakistanis is parked here that?s why we chose this place to send the message to Pakistani nationals across the world that they have less than one week to benefit from tax amnesty and declare all their undeclared assets.

?On a bilateral arrangement, the UAE and Pakistan share full details of the property. As far as bank details are concerned, they are shared automatically,? FBR official said.

The purpose of the amnesty scheme, which will end on June 30, 2019, is to allow the non-documented economy?s inclusion in the taxation system to trigger economic revival and growth by encouraging a tax compliance in the economy, Ahmed had earlier said while addressing the community and media personnel in Dubai.

He revealed that some reports indicated a massive informal economy, estimated to be around 80-90 per cent of the formal GDP.

?Hence, the government decided to give a new lease of life to economy and introduced amnesty. All the overseas Pakistanis have to declare their earnings being generated in Pakistan and file tax returns,? he said.

He said it is an era of transparency and developed countries have ended secrecy jurisdictions and developed a framework for sharing information of their residents? assets in those countries.

?Last year, Pakistan received information from 28 countries and UAE was one of them. This year, we are going to receive from 71 countries. In the next two to three years, the number could go beyond 100 countries with whom Pakistan will exchange this information,? he said.? ..? Source

Emotional instability, a big problem with Pakistanis

Published on: 02/06/2019 | Comments: No comments 

Chitral: Emotional instability and nervous frailty is a latent weakness in Pakistanis as a nation, and it shows up so many times on so many occasions now and then. Whether it be a cricket match when people loose their cool on watching the game on TV, Jump into rapturous joy when the batsman hits a sixer and the next moment shower him with abuses when he gets out on the next ball.

Similarly when faced with tough times of sorts Pakistanis loose their cool and start behaving erratically. In the current month of fasting when blood sugar levels are low in the day there have been cases reported of a man murdering his brother over a trivial argument while sitting in Etikaf. Similarly there have been reported murder cases during Ramazan when the murderer was fasting. It has nothing to do with religion. All it has to do with is the weak nerves leading to loss of control over emotions due to reduced sugar levels.

The reason for overall weakness of nerves and emotional instability is most related to the overall poor standard of nutrition provided to the people. Adulterated and poor quality foodstuff? have replaced nutritious food and coupled with smoking cigarette and using naswar etc have contributed to weaken the nervous system.

A national study should be conducted by psychologists and nutritionists on the exact causes of the weak emotional health of the nation and suggest measures to address the problem .. CN report, 02 Jun 2019

Pakistanis always looking for jackpots, bonanzas, shortcuts

Published on: 19/05/2019 | Comments: No comments 

Chitral: The prime minister of Pakistan had in a television interview a month ago given an injection of euphoric hope to the people about the imminent discovery of Oil in the Arabian sea. Since then Pakistanis had started day dreaming. A state minister had gone to the extent of exclaiming in ecstasy that within months there would be more employment generated than the people available to fill the jobs. The exhilaration has just turned into a typical ‘high and dry phenomenon’. Hopes of becoming oil sheikhs dashed and the rainbow of petrodollars being replaced by the dark clouds of a ravaging real dollar, we Pakistanis need to do some serious introspection now.

dream

Nations are not built on speculation or quick fix methods or onetime bonanzas or whiff of a magic wand. Consistent struggle and starting it from grassroots upwards is the way to build a nation. A lengthy and grueling process cannot be replaced by shortcuts.

Maybe the failure of the attempt to find oil reserves is a blessing in disguise. May be the? Almighty wants us to rely on ourselves rather than banking on treasure finds. Singapore and Japan have no oil. Rather they have no natural resources, yet they are the most prosperous and stable countries in the world. Nigeria has abundant oil, yet it is poor and in shambles for lack of an efficient governance system. Similarly, the richly endowed oil wells of Iraq and Libya could not save them from disaster.

We in Pakistan need to improve our governance system. We need to focus on establishing a fair society, uphold human rights, grant freedom of expression to the people, ensure social justice and efficiency in overall governance. Money shall follow as a by product. With the existing pathetic state of affairs, no amount of oil discovery can help us. Nigeria is an example. .. CN report, 19 May 2019?

Pakistanis among the top 10 angriest people in the world

Published on: 30/04/2019 | Comments: No comments 

The Gallup 2019 Global Emotions Report is out with a list of countries where the people were most stressed, worried, or angry in 2018.

According to the report, Pakistanis are among the angriest people in the world. Pakistan ranked 10th?on the list, as 38 percent of its population declared to have experienced a lot of anger.

Moreover, the angriest population in the world is from Armenia with 45 percent of its people feeling angry. Iraq remained the second angriest nation with 44 percent, followed by Iran and Palestine with 44 and 43 percent respectively.

Most Angry Populations in 2018
Country Experienced Anger %
Armenia 45
Iraq 44
Iran 43
Palestinian Territories 43
Morocco 41
Turkey 40
Niger 39
Chad 38
Libya 38
Pakistan 38

Turkey also made the list with 40 percent of its population experiencing anger.

In the list of most stressed nations of 2018, Greece stood the top with 59 percent of its people feeling stressed. The US also made the list, becoming the 7th?most stressed nation with 55 percent of its population feeling stressed.

Most Stressed Populations in 2018
Country Experienced Stress %
Greece 59
Philippines 58
Tanzania 57
Albania 55
Iran 55
Sri Lanka 55
United States of America 55
Uganda 53
Costa Rica 52
Rwanda 52
Turkey 52
Venezuela 52

Gallup 2019 Global Emotions Report

Gallup Global Emotions Report measures the intangible aspects of human life, i.e., feelings and emotions that never make it to the economic indicators like GDP

Most Worried Populations in 2018
Country Experienced Worry %
Mozambique 63
Chad 61
Benin 60
Iran 59
Portugal 59
Cambodia 58
Niger 58
Togo 58
Brazil 57
Guinea 57
Tunisia 57

The report includes positive and negative experience indexes and lists the countries accordingly. The positive experience index asks people if they felt well-rested, respected, and jolly yesterday. It also asks people if they learned or did something new or enjoyed their day yesterday.

The negative experience index asks people if they experienced any physical pain, worry, sadness, stress, and anger the day before the survey.

The 2019 report took into account adult citizens from around 142 countries and areas in more than 151,000 interviews in 2018. As per this report, 71 percent of people across the world experienced a lot of enjoyment a day before the survey.

The country that marked the highest Positive Experience Index score is Paraguay with a score of 85 while Chad had the highest negative experience in the world with an index score of 54.? ?.. Source

 

Pakistanis hide Rs 43 trillion assets abroad

Published on: 08/08/2018 | Comments: No comments 

ISLAMABAD: The authorities probing into the illegal foreign accounts and properties of thousands of Pakistanis disclosed on Tuesday that the volume of hidden assets stashed by Pakistani nationals in different tax havens abroad stood at $350 billion (Rs43 trillion).

Interestingly, the authorities also revealed, for the first time, that only accounts, properties worth Rs1,003 billion (US$8.1 billion) were declared by over 5,300 entities, individuals under the amnesty scheme 2018 in the past three months.

?By the close of Amnesty Scheme 2018 on July 31st, 2018, declarations from 5,363 entities (individuals/companies) had disclosed foreign assets worth Rs1,003 billion (US$8.1 billion), with major share of declared assets located in the UAE.

“The properties, account holders in other tax-haven countries benefited only marginally from this scheme,? revealed the confidential detailsrevealed the confidential details submitted to the Supreme Court. The declared amount of US$8.1 billion is around 2.3% of overall illegally parked amount,accounts worth US$350 by thousands of Pakistanis who allegedly violated the national laws by establishing their assets abroad.

?The total volume of Dubai properties is over Rs4, 240 billion with annual investment and growth of Rs220 billion where Pakistani property agents, investors are counting them as over 5,000 individuals, entities,? suggested the details Geo News exclusively collected from the Federal Investigation Agency, State Bank of Pakistan, Federal Board of Revenue, Security Exchange Commission of Pakistan, Finance Division and other financial institutions.

The shocking details also revealed that the British government has listed Pakistan among top three money laundering source countries after Nigeria and Russia. The institutions have also cited reference of the British National Crime Agency 2018 Report. About the top tax heaven, the institutions have also claimed that Pakistanis stashed US$100 billion in the United Kingdom and United States of America with additional millions of dollars parked in the real estate sectors. They have quoted findings of Shabbar Zaidi of the AF Ferguson, Pakistan in this report. An estimated, over US$200 billion was stashed by Pakistanis in Switzerland, revealed the report, quoting statement of Micheline Calmy-Rey/Swiss Foreign Minister in 2014.

It was also revealed that millions of dollars were also stashed by hundreds of Pakistanis in Hong Kong, British Virgin Island, Bahamas Channel Island Seychelles and other tax havens for corporate vehicles involved in money laundering. About the reasons for poor control over money laundering and difficulties in investigation, the institutions have told the apex court that weak legislative instruments remain a stumbling block to take action against these Pakistanis who violate national laws while stashing billions of rupees abroad illegally.

The FIA says the Foreign Assets Declaration Regulation, 1972 is a non-declaration and not defined as a predicate offence and the authority is not authorized to investigate.

Drawing the attention of the top court the FIA cited the Foreign Exchange Regulation ACT, 1947, Income Tax Ordinance 2001, Section 111-(4) that protects the sources of unexplained income from foreign remittance as well as the Pakistan Economic Reforms ACT 1992, Sections 4 and 5 that protects sources of unexplained income from foreign remittance. About the international laws creating hurdle in the investigations, the institutions informed the court that the United Nations? Convention against Corruption 2004 did not authorize the FIA to take action against the under question property holders.

Similar is the case with the United Nations? Convention against Trans-National Organized Crime 2000 (FIA not an Authorized Agency ) and OECDs Multi-lateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance on tax matters, 2011, including Automatic Exchange limited by ITO and PERA.

It was also informed that all institutions are facing multiple challenges for execution of Mutual Legal Assistance (MLA) request and recovery of stolen assets of Pakistani citizens placed in the foreign jurisdictions. The main challenges included: non?provision of autonomy in operations and financing, lack of any legally binding international instrument, lack of legally binding bilateral/multilateral treaties between states, consumption of excessive time for technical assistance by the foreign states for drafting of requests for MLA in accordance with their domestic legal framework, non-uniformity of international cooperation laws in foreign jurisdictions particularly in dual criminality cases and number of channels involved in foreign jurisdictions before the requests of MLA reaches its desired agency, legal office for further evaluation and technical guidance for any eventuality.

The special committee probing illegal foreign accounts, properties of Pakistanis held over seven meetings with representation from Ministries of Finance, Foreign Affairs, Interior, FBR, NAB, FIA, IB and SECP. They all have discussed the initiatives taken to both forestall the unchecked outflow of foreign exchange as well as to trace and bring back undeclared and ill-gotten assets held abroad by Pakistani citizens.? .. Source

Are Pakistani Shops Selling Flour with Plastic and Rubber in Them?

Published on: 31/01/2018 | Comments: No comments 

?Recently, some videos surfaced online which claimed that the flour used in Pakistani homes and restaurants contains rubber and plastic. They implyied that these two substances are what makes it elastic and sticky.

Understandably, that video went viral. People also started accusing food companies of providing substandard flour to the masses.?The truth, however, is another matter entirely.

Saima Rasheed, a registered dietitian has clarified that those reports and claims are wrong. She explained the whole thing in an interview to a private channel and said that reports of rubber and plastic present in flour products are wrong.

Plastic is Not There

Dr Saima told that the plastic-looking material that we observe in those viral videos is actually gluten, which?is naturally present in wheat and other crops.

She explained the whole process for extracting gluten from flour dough. Saima said that if you take the dough and wash it under a faucet, the wheat flour will wash away, leaving behind a plastic-like material. That plastic-like material is a naturally occurring protein found in many seeds.

Gluten actually helps the dough stay together. Doctor Saima also said that the reason corn/maize flour doesn?t hold together is because it lacks gluten.

Rest assured, your flour may or may not contain other pollutants. But plastic or rubber is definitely not present in your roti, biscuits or pizza.

Source

Asghar Khan, one of the greatest Pakistanis, passes away

Published on: 05/01/2018 | Comments: 1 comment 

Chitral: One of the greatest Pakistanis to grace this soil, Air Marshal Asghar Khan, passed away in Islamabad on Friday 05 Jan 2017 at the age of 96. An icon of honesty, bravery, uprightness, and steadfastness, Asghar never sacrificed his principles after joining politics and will be remembered as the most successful politician of Pakistan where standing by principles is concerned. He spoke his heart like no man in Pakistan can dare, and digested it, because of his impeccable and unchallngeable reputation of being honest and forthright.

According to an obituary published in daily ‘Dawn’website:-
“Air Marshal retired Asghar Khan, the first native commander-in-chief of the Pakistan Air Force (PAF), passed away at the age of 96 on Friday morning in Islamabad, a spokesperson of the PAF said in a statement.

Khan, who became the youngest head of PAF at the age of 35, passed away after a long illness. His funeral prayers will be offered on Saturday in Abbottabad.

“Air Marshal Asghar Khan headed the PAF diligently and with courage. With his leadership capabilities, he played a vital role in transforming the PAF into a modern air force,” Air Marshal Sohail Khan was quoted as saying in PAF’s press release.

“Air Marshal Khan had [a] good character, great commitment and professional capability,” he added.

Chief of Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa paid tribute to the late fighter in a message posted on Twitter by military spokesman Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor, calling him “iconic”.

“COAS expresses his grief on demise of ex Air Chief, Air Marshal Asghar Khan, retired. An iconic soldier who will be remembered for his historic contributions for laying foundations of a strong Pakistan Air Force. May Allah bless his soul. Amen.”

PTI Chairman Imran Khan also shared a message of condolence on Twitter: “Saddened to learn of Air Chief Marshal Asghar Khan’s death early this morning. He transformed the PAF and was a man of steadfast principles and integrity. My prayers and condolences go to his family,” the PTI chief said.

A PAF veteran-turned-politician

Khan, a former politician and a World War II veteran fighter pilot, was born in Jammu and Kashmir in 1921. He originally served as an officer in the British Indian Army.

In March 2017, the PAF Academy in Risalpur was named after Khan as a tribute to the veteran.

In the era of Field Marshal Ayub Khan, the former head of the PAF spearheaded a movement with the intent to have Zulfikar Ali Bhutto released from jail.

He also served as the president of Pakistan International Airlines. In 1970, Khan founded Tehreek-i-Istaqlal, a secular political party. In 2012, the party was merged with the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI).

Renowned columnist Ardeshir Cowasjee, in an?article published in July 2002, wrote of Khan’s time as a politician: “As an old-time officer and a gentleman to his fingertips, as an honest man of moderate means, and as a man who genuinely wished to do good by the poverty-stricken, uneducated of this country, there was no way, no way at all, that Air Marshal Asghar Khan could succeed as a politician of Pakistan, given the environment, the atmosphere that prevails and the mindset of the majority.”

Asghar Khan case

In 1996, Air Marshal Khan had filed a human rights petition in the Supreme Court of Pakistan, accusing the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency of doling out money to a group of politicians in the 1990s.

The case was initiated by the air marshal after Benazir Bhutto’s interior minister, retired general Naseerullah Babar, had disclosed in the National Assembly in 1994 how the ISI had disbursed funds to purchase the loyalty of politicians and public figures so as to manipulate the 1990 elections, form the Islami Jamhoori Ittehad (IJI), and bring about the defeat of the PPP.

16 years after the petition was filed, the?Supreme Court in its judgement?? penned by then Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry ? ruled that the 1990 general elections had been polluted by dishing out Rs140 million to a particular group of politicians only to deprive the people of being represented by their chosen representatives.

The court had, however, thrown the ball back to the then PPP government by directing it to take necessary action under the Constitution and law against former army chief retired Gen Aslam Beg and former director general of Inter-Services Intelligence retired Lt Gen Asad Durrani for their role in facilitating the group of politicians and political parties to ensure their success against their rivals in the 1990 elections.

In May 2017,?PTI announced its decision?to file in the Supreme Court a petition seeking implementation of the already decided and famous case”.

.. CN report, 05 Dec 2017