Category Archives: Andher Nagri, Chopat Raaj

71 Pages of Confusion

The Supreme Courts detailed verdict in the Prime Ministers Contempt of Court Case, has created more confusion than clearing up the existing confusion; whether the Prime Minister stands disqualified, or is liable to being disqualified from the Majlis-e-Shoora, remains a mystery that a layman can never solve alone. Being just such a layman, I turned to the experts.

According to Justice (R) Wajihuddin Ahmed; the Supreme Court will only give findings on the contempt of court case. It will not state that the Prime Minster stands disqualified – because the clause for that is present in the constitution (Article 63(1)g).

I further asked, whether the matter will now go to the Speaker to decide whether 63(1)g applies or not. His response, in his opinion, Article 63(2) does not apply because it states “If any question arises whether a member of Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament) has become disqualified from being a member, the Speaker or, as the case may be, the Chairman shall, unless he decides that no such question has arisen, refer the question to the Election Commission within thirty days and should he fail to do so within the aforesaid period it shall be deemed to have been referred to the Election Comission.”

I asked why Article 62(2) did not apply. The retired Justice explained, that a question has not arisen a conviction verdict has already been given. Therefore the 30 day time period for the Speaker to ponder over the issue is irrelevant.

On an interesting note, he added, that the Supreme Court had sent the short order to the Speaker as well as the Election Commission, and it is most likely that the complete verdict will also be sent to the Election Commission. Why is this point so interesting ? Because it gives way to the question… “Does the Speaker need to send the matter to the Chief Election Commissioner, or will the Election Commission proceed against Prime Minister GIlani?”

For my second opinion I turned to Senator, Barrister Farogh Nasim. Having himself seen the full verdict I asked him whether Para 71 starting from its last sentence – which speaks of the verdict given on the 10th of January 2012, now stood validated since the Prime Minister was convicted on the 28th of April 2012. (For the readers benefit, the said para (starting from its last sentence) is reproduced below)

…. The Respondent was put on notice through Option No.2 in the order dated 10.01.2012 (Ex.P22) of the possible consequences of non-compliance of this Court’s direction and the relevant portion of that order reads:

“5.          This brings us to the actions we may take against willful disobedience to and non-compliance of some parts of the judgment rendered and some of the directions issued by this Court in the case of Dr. Mobashir Hassan (supra). This Court has inter alia the following options available with it in this regard:

 ………It may not be lost sight of that, apart from the other consequences, by virtue of the provisions of clauses (g) and (h) of Article 63(1) read with Article 113 of the Constitution a possible conviction on such a charge may entail a disqualification from being elected or chosen as, and from being, a member of Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament) or a Provincial Assembly for at least a period of five years.”

My question to the Barrister was : After the 26th April conviction, should the words “may entail a disqualification” be read without the “may” ? He concurred with Justice Wajih on the note, that after the Prime Ministers conviction article 63(1)g does apply, and if the Speaker does forward the matter to the Election Commissioner within 30 days, it will be deemed as forwarded.

While both agreed, that Prime Minister Gilani should morally step down, Farogh Nasim is of the view that the detailed verdict in its self does not disqualify the Prime Minister; while Justice Wajih maintains that there is no reason for the Verdict to even state – that the Prime Minister has been disqualified, because it is already stated clearly in the Constitution. I on the other hand, a Layman, am still confused.

*The Author is not a Legal Expert. The opinions of the legal experts mentioned are as stated : “Opinions”. Therefore any plans you may have of wanting to sue me, should stand nullified thanks to this disclaimer.

Confined in Chains, The Future is Dark..

Children at the Madrassa Zakariya, 5 days after the Raid

An unannounced visit to any of Pakistan’s Government Hospital’s will explain without doubt, why there are thousands of Quacks, Spiritual Healers, Pirs, and so called Gifted Individuals playing with the lives of millions in Pakistan.

A Sindh Police raid on the 12th of December at a Madrassa in Sorabh Goth, freed dozens of boys and young men, who were until then being subjected to gross Human Rights Violations – under the pretext that they were being Cured.

Those freed, claimed to be locked up for various reasons. Some for being supposedly possessed, while others for drug addictions. Most had been brought to the ‘Isla’hi Markaz’  or Correctional Center,  by their Parents, to be Cured (or fixed).

During the Media Frenzy that Monday night, conflicting stories of Taliban visit’s and Militant training, Beatings and brutal living conditions resonated on TV sets, from Islamabad to Karachi & beyond.

“My father took me to several spiritual healers who said I was a victim of black magic,” claimed Azmat Ulla, speaking to AFP.

The reason such ‘Isla’hi Marakiz’ exist, is because they provide a cheaper alternative for Pakistan’s poorest – taking care of those with learning difficulties, mental illness & drug problems – than having to lock up the patient or care for him, at home.

Religious seminaries – attached to mosques – are the only schools & sometimes permanent shelters for the poorest children. It is estimated that two million boys are educated in Pakistan’s 15,000+ madrassa’s.

It was now Friday, 5 days had passed since the Police raided Madrassa Zakariya but to my surprise, Wali Muhammad the crying 6 year old whose face was carried by many global publications (and was aired to millions of households), was still at the Madrassa.

Traumatized by Monday’s events Wali Muhammad became hysterical when he saw the Policemen accompanying me. It took a lot of talking before he finally calmed down and smiled for a picture.

When he spoke, he did not describe the madrassa as a Chamber of Torture, where he was being held against his will. Instead he seemed, quite at home. He wasn’t alone either, about a dozen young boys crowded around us when the Police had stepped away.

The temporary Headmaster of the madrassa Mufti Amin Jaan argued, that local news channels had done a great disservice to Pakistan. He said he was sad, that now the world was talking about Pakistan, about how young boys were being indoctrinated for Jihad, when it was not true.

"Curse Upon the Liars - Area Residents"

The local SHO gave credence to the story. According to him, no militant traces were found from the premises, no literature of any kind – which is the norm – instead the only texts found at the madrassa were copies of the Holy Quran, and Ahadees of the Prophet (PBUH).

While Mufti Amin Jaan argued that the ‘Isla’hi Markaz’ was a seperate entity from the madrassa; where regular lessons were conducted, and no body was locked up. His defense does not remove the scars that Wali Muhammad and dozens of other young children will live with for years to come, having seen others locked up like animals.

The sad part is, countless more will experience first hand or witness similar brutality that was practiced at Madrassa Zakariya by Mufti Dawood.

It will take nothing short of a miracle before Pakistan can provide state care for those in the grip of drug addiction, evil spirits or muscle spasms. Until then, the locking up of those “in need of medical attention” will continue; and many Mufti Dawood’s will provide ‘Isla’hi Marakiz’ like the Chamber of Torture seen on TV.

Confined in Chains, the Future of Pakistan is Dark. Without them, it may be Darker.

PIA : [Monkey] Business As Usual

PIA 747 & US AIR FORCE ONE

Pakistan International Airlines has been in dire straits for a very long time. The reasons behind it are many, but one thought process that exists amongst the fat men that are running the national airline is the most disturbing. They have this idea that no matter what happens; PIA will not be shut down, will not be privatized, and therefore they can use and abuse PIA like a motel room they have rented for a few hours.

The most interesting monkey business that has come to light is one concerning the 747 fleet. According to PIA’s own website, “The Boeing 747 is often referred to as “Jumbo Jet”, [and] is the world’s most iconic and recognizable jet airplane. This 4 engine long haul wide-body airplane has a two deck configuration. PIA operated two variants of 747 family which includes 747-300 and 747-200 Combi.”

According to Pilots, Aviation Experts, and Airplane fans the world over, the 747 has played a major role in making the air transport industry what it is today. While many world airlines have moved on; inducting the latest model of Boeing or Airbus aircrafts in their fleet, there still remain hundreds in active service.  However as stated on PIA’s website “At present due to its capacity, 747-300 fleet is mostly deployed to cater high density requirements like carrying intending pilgrims to and from Saudi Arabia.”

It is interesting to note, that from PIA’s current fleet comprising of B777 variants, A310’s, ATR’s, and the 747’s; it is the 747 that is the only profitable aircraft.

According to the actual aircraft profitability report for the year 2009 and 2010 the 747 family was the only profitable aircraft contributing 2.08 billion rupees and 2.36 billion rupees respectively to PIA’s receipts.

Going by the recent performance audit report of PIA for the period 2008-2010; it was brought to light that PIA management is in the process of cannibalizing/scrapping these national assets – the 747’s are fully owned by PIA – it was also pointed out that PIA has recently sold as scrap, one its 747’s for a paltry sum of 10.3 million rupees. While the details of the sale were requisitioned by the audit party that same were not furnished even after constant reminders.

The 747 in question was inducted in PIA’s fleet in 1999, after having flown for 12 years by Cathay Pacific.  There was some monkey business that went down in its purchase, but that I shall save for another day. The aircraft flew with PIA from 1999, till 2008 when it was stored at Sialkot, due to high operating and maintenance costs. The “Jumbo” in question was finally parted out in 2011 at Karachi.

In PIA’s performance audit report it is clearly stated that “Audit would like to know why PIAC opted to sell off an airworthy aircraft whose operating cost is the least when compared to other aircrafts in PIAC’s fleet, because it is wholly owned by PIAC.” The same report also states that “comparative statement sheet listing all the bidders who took part in the tender process and the bid price of each participant was requisitioned, but the same was not provided to audit till the close of audit.”

The audit report raises many questions regarding feasibility studies and whether PIA looked at the possibility of converting the aircraft into a freighter (as done by Air China). However none of these questions have been addressed by the management of Pakistan International Airlines.

It seems PIA will in the near future completely phase out its 747 fleet, the only fleet that is owned fully by PIA and therefore is the cheapest to operate. Yet in this year’s Hajj operation PIA did not fly its own 747’s and instead leased older versions of the same that has cost the airline between 5 and 8 million dollars. According to PALPA president Suhail Baloch had the faulty engines been repaired in time PIA could have saved 6.9 million dollars (approximately 600 million rupees).

Whether PIA’s management continues to live in a fool’s paradise and leases newer aircraft under the pretext of them being more fuel efficient, I cannot say for certain. However I would like to end my rant for today, with some facts about another 747, the Air Force One – the designated aircraft of the President of the United States of America.

The US Presidents “Air Force One” is also a Boeing 747.  In fact there are 2 units of the said aircraft bearing tail numbers 28000 (inducted in Aug 1990) and 29000 (inducted in Dec 1990).  While these aircraft have been specially configured to the needs of the President, the choice of the 747 as “Air Force One” in its self says a lot about the aircraft’s standing. It may also be of interest that the 2 Air Force One (tail number 28000 and 29000) will be phased out in 2017, the aircraft would by then be 27 years old.

Just for comparisons sake, the 747 PIA cannibalized and sold for scrap was 23.8 years old when PIA laid it to rest. The US Air Force One is 21 years old and will continue to serve as Air Force one till 2017, and lastly the 747’s I wrote about earlier – are 25 years old.

May Sense Prevail… !!

PIA : All is [NOT] Well !!

PIA Collage

Thank God you fly in a Plane !!

Post Hajj; PIA has started bringing home the Haji’s. Delay’s ranging anywhere between 2 and 10+ hours, it is only understandable why the pilgrims are most unhappy with… the not so “great people to fly with.”

Waiting for PIA’s MD, Nadeem Yusufzai; I asked if I could stroll around the magnificent Head Office. With its fountain aquariums, multiple open plan coffee bays, canvas layered ceilings, I forgot for a moment that I was at the offices of PIA, an airline that is as far from its motto, as I am from the moon.

When I finally met Mr. Yusufzai he was accompanied by the ‘fat men’ from Shakespeare’s Julius Ceaser; one of them fell asleep five minutes into the interview. I could see this was going quite well.

Seated in the MD’s Guest Lounge, I inquired how he saw this year’s Hajj Operation. Not expecting him to admit mistakes, he was first critical of those who had drummed on, that PIA’s Hajj operation would be a complete failure. Then he started to compare PIA to Pakistan Railways… Hello !! Apples & Oranges ?!?

When asked why PIA had to rent the pair of 747-200 series aircraft from Hellenic Imperial Airways, the MD responded that one of PIA’s Aircraft, a 747-200 Combi-Freighter (AP-BAK) had developed corrosion and therefore they had to rent the two aircraft [a story that PIA’s Engineering department rubbished], he then went on to state how lucky PIA was that they got these Aircraft in the first place.

I was a little unmoved, considering we had two 747’s sitting in our Hangars (AP-BGG and AP-BFV), and 4 engines from AP-BFX that was scrapped earlier this year. The MD responded that 3 engines had gone for repairs and the aircraft in the Hangar were there for due maintenance; questioning me if it would have been better to fly those aircraft without maintenance, putting passengers at risk. Well obviously not Mr. MD, but don’t you think it would have been smarter to have these repairs done sooner?

Why am I making the engines such a bone of contention? Because had we not leased these 747-200’s from Hellenic, we would have saved 400 million rupees in rent for the 400 hours that PIA MD Nadeem Yusufzai says they (SX-TIC & SX-TIE) have already flown.

It was interesting that on some points I was better versed than the MD, as he put it; my questions were coming across as bouncers he was having difficulty facing.

This comment came, when I asked why AP-BFV, an aircraft that recently went for Section 41 Modification in Garuda Indonesia was inoperable due to missing engine parts. The only Response, “Kabhi Parts nikaal laitay hain”.

A few more questions confirmed, the MD wasn’t on top of his game as far as the 747’s were concerned, and it was probably better to inquire about the problems, the electronic media had been ranting about, and the returning pilgrims had identified. Why were the flights so Late?

I was really thrown off my footing when the MD claimed only 7 flights out of 250 were late. Yes, after hearing this I too, wondered if the Haji’s and the Pakistani Electronic media had been lying.

According to Mr Yusufzai, 4 PIA Aircraft had been standing at the Saudi Airport, and it wasn’t PIA’s fault the Haji’s weren’t on time. He blamed the Muallim, and the Maktabs. Then came the excuse of teething problems, which according to the MD happen every year.

Responding to the delays faced by the Pilgrims, MD PIA Nadeem Yusufzai said; Delay’s happen, sometimes its immigration, sometimes due to flat tires, adding that Pilgrims went on Camelback and on foot before, they should be thankful, now they travel in Airplanes…

At this point I said thank you, because I could take no more.