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Invisible Blinkers By   Brig(R)  Saleem Qamar Butt

Invisible Blinkers


Brig(R)  Saleem Qamar Butt

The moment one lands back from a developed country at any airport in Pakistan, one gets an uncanny feeling of chaos, mismanagement, dishonesty, rudeness, pollution and lawlessness…..all antonyms to values otherwise expected to prevail in an Islamic country where everyone claims to be a pious and holier than holiest Muslim. 

One is compelled to ponder as to why people in majority behave so bad living here or even those who live abroad and soon after touching home base, behave in the same appalling manners. Our airports, railway and bus stations, all public places and traffic on roads is perhaps one of the worst display in the world and speak volume about our poor education system and overall poorest grooming as human beings or members of a civilized society. Ironically, nothing seems to be done either by the government or by non-government institutions to arrest these negative practices.

While our religion puts so much emphasis on piety, cleanliness, truthfulness, doing good things and stopping self and others from evil practices, discipline, politeness and on helping the needy, why then people apparently performing all Islamic duties (haqooq Allah) and visibly following five main pillars of Islam, falter so badly on performing duties as a useful and sober member of society (haqooq-ul-ibad)? There is no short answer though; yet, a shallow dive into this matter reveals that most of us are wearing ‘invisible blinkers’, that keep us from considering a situation rationally or suffering from a phenomenon akin to a pair of flaps attached to a horse’s bridle, one beside each eye, to keep the horse from looking anywhere but straight ahead…..focused on self preservation and progress alone. What causes these invisible blinkers’ attachment to our eyes that causesmunafqat’, ‘double-dealing’ or ‘hypocrisy’? I posed this question to an Islamic scholar and he gave an out of the ordinary answer. According to him, “if a person willingly, knowingly or unknowingly eats forbidden or Haram, his/her sense of judgment on sifting right from wrong is taken away by Almighty as a punishment” something similar to ‘summun bukmun….!’

However, in societies like Japan or Singapore where religion is not so much visible, Islamic virtues and values are best seen in practice and hypocrisy is almost extinct. It is said that ‘poverty has no religion’….but our society defies this proverbial truth too because the rich class is more corrupt and duplicitous than poor people. The honest minority is facing enormous frustration as corruption infested society makes it almost impossible to remain free from ill practices one way or the other. No amounts of dua or prayers seem to work to put the rail back on tracks as far as Pakistan’s difficulties and challenges are concerned. Nevertheless, sometimes most complex challenges have simple solutions.

If we can follow the dictum, charity begins at home, we may find the silver lining sooner than expected. In Germany and Japan after second world war and in Central Asian Republics after independence from former Soviet Union in early 90s, the institution of Mothers and teachers played the main role in grooming and educating the children and youth to rise as shining stars of hope and prosperity of nations and results achieved by these countries in all fields in a short span of time are too obvious to neglect. If we can choose and elect the right leadership, who can provide people universal free education system, well-groomed mothers and highly qualified teachers, we can achieve in a decade what we have missed in the last seven decades. The training of trainers through Japanese and German teachers at the national level on a massive scale and raising the status of teachers in the society needs to be accorded a high priority. Our highly educated women resource need to be galvanized to undertake to groom of mothers as being practiced in Ladies Clubs in military circles. Inclusions of sports in all educational institutions must be made compulsory for the inculcation of sportsmen spirit and to ensure mental and physical health. A political party that can include these simple and basic grassroots level steps in its manifesto may be given preference for electing our government instead of lofty but hollow slogans. We as a nation have to strive hard to get rid of invisible blinkers. 

Allah only helps those who help themselves; therefore, we have to bell the cat ourselves rather than expecting in vain miracle happening by mere inactive prayers.

* Brigadier(R) Saleem Qamar Butt, SI (M) is a student of International Relations, Defence and Warfare Studies with expertise in Executive Management, Military & Intelligence Diplomacy, Strategic Analyses and Forecast.


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Pakistan’s progress is slow due to corruption and incompetence in country: CJP

Pakistan’s progress is slow due to corruption and incompetence in country: CJP


Pakistan’s steps toward progress and prosperity are being slowed down by corruption and incompetence, said Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali on Saturday.

Addressing the Azad Kashmir Judicial Conference 2016 at a reception here, the chief justice said the country could be put on the path to progress and prosperity by eliminating corruption and incompetence.

He said 60 percent of cases had been pending with the high court’s for a long time and the main reasons for the backlog were incompetence, negative thinking, and corruption in government departments.

He said 20 percent cases were pending in the courts due to mala fide intentions, egotism and the case for case trend.

He said judges were the servants of the masses and not their rulers.  He said the attitude of judges towards the parties should be positive, God-fearing, tolerant and amicable during the hearing of cases.

He further added that peace was impossible without a judicial system and that self-accountability was inevitable for good governance. “Since judges perform a sacred duty, their attitude should be positive in the courts,” he said.

Justice Jamali said improvement could be brought in the judicial system through the use of the latest technology and there was also a need to benefit from the experiences of other countries in this regard. He said corruption and incompetence were eating the country like termites.

Justice Jamali said Kashmiris must be allowed to exercise their right to self-determination in accordance with the UN resolutions. He said the Muslim countries were facing conspiracies from outside while inside they faced chaos.

He said the bar was an important part of the judicial system and therefore the duties of its members were manifold.

“Creation of an effective society is impossible without flushing out basic social ailments,” he added.  He said it was the responsibility of judges to change their attitude and fulfill the requirements of the Constitution and the law.

He urged the bar to cooperate with the judiciary in order to improve the judicial system.

CJP urged the bar not to pressurise judges so that the court proceedings could be completed in a pleasant atmosphere.   Chief Justice of Azad Jammu and Kashmir also addressed the conference.


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Dollar flight: SBP chief spills the beans







Dollar flight: SBP Chief Spills the Beans


By Shahbaz Rana

October 2, 2013













































“Some $25 million are flowing out of the country in briefcases through Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad airports,” says Governor SBP Yaseen Anwar.


ISLAMABAD: State Bank of Pakistan Governor Yaseen Anwar has said that around $25 million are smuggled out of the country every day ($9 billion annually) in briefcases through country’s three major airports – a statement that hints at the presence of drug barons and indicates the volume of black money moved from and within Pakistan.


“Some $25 million are flowing out of the country in briefcases through Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad airports,” said Anwar on Tuesday while recording a testimony on reasons behind the massive devaluation of local currency against the US currency in front of the Senate Standing Committee on Finance. Awami National Party’s Senator Haji Adeel had flagged the issues of smuggling of dollars and money laundering.


The amount that is annually smuggled out of the country is far larger than what the country will borrow from the IMF under a three-year $6.7 billion bailout package. The capital flight through illegal channels speaks volumes about the country’s administrative and governance affairs and underscores the presence of smugglers, drug barons and existence of a huge black economy.


According to country’s leading expert in narco-terrorism and the global heroin economy, Dr Ikramul Haq, large parts of the black market needs are met from the proceeds of the drug dealings. He said the drug racketeers were using Dalbandin-Iran-Turkey route to supply drugs to Europe and were bringing in cash, luxury goods and arms into the country. Dr Haq further explained that this cash was then sold in black markets and those who wanted to whiten these funds converted the rupee into dollars, which were then shifted to safe havens via Dubai. He said the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) officials, posted at the airports, were also involved in this dirty business.


Dr Haq said drug barons also remitted their money through banking channels and the Pakistani authorities did not even ask questions about the source of remittances. He further disclosed that counterfeit dollars were also available in Pakistani markets. Dr Haq’s statement on dirty drug money being used appeared to carry weight as the total formal flows were not even sufficient to finance annual import bill. The country is receiving about $14 billion in remittances and another over $25 billion in export receipts. As against about $40 billion receipts, the total annual import bill is over $44 billion. The difference is bridged either from SBP reserves and borrowings from international lenders.


The SBP governor said that the central bank was trying to control the smuggling of dollars and would soon sign a memorandum of understanding with the FIA. He also said that reports of suspicious transactions were monitored regularly. “People from the US treasury come every month to monitor transactions, but they cannot pick anything except some transactions taking place at Chamman and FATA,” Anwar said. He said there were flaws of enforcement and convictions in the country’s anti money laundering laws and to plug these amendments were proposed in anti terrorism act.


In last few days, the rupee significantly shed its value against the US dollar, putting a question mark on the role of the SBP. Anwar disclosed that Finance Minister Ishaq Dar was in touch with him when the rupee was depreciating – a statement that confirmed that the SBP did not enjoy operational independence. “We intervened in the market by taking certain steps , apart from other measures that were taken,” the governor disclosed in response to a question whether the SBP used foreign currency reserves.


The committee chairperson Nasreen Jalil said SBP could not satisfy the parliamentary panel and its performance remained poor. “When the currency is attacked no central bank can control the damage,” the governor insisted.


Published in The Express Tribune, October 2nd, 2013.


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