Nov 11, 2012

General Election in Pakistan for next 5 years (2013-18) & Economic Syndrome

We have been accustomed to see the same faces since long, the same character painting faces, dragging similar manifesto, pretending to be the crusader of the country and countrymen and elevating that if elected in coming election they will get rid of anarchy and chaos in which the country has been engulfed.

General elections date yet to be announced officially; however the Current National Assembly (NA) will be dissolved on or before March 18, 2013, on this date NA will complete its constitutional tenure of 5 years from its first session of National Assembly elected in 2008 elections.
Pakistan recent economic report presenting a very gloomy & groaning picture includes heavy debt burden, widened budget deficiency, mounting corruption & extremely bad governance, unmanageable lawlessness, money-extortion, target killing, kidnapping & ransom, precipitated foreign investment, closure & flight of industries from Pakistan to other states due to serious Electricity & Gas outage (a lifeline for people and the industry) was supposed to tackle on war-footing – No obvious concrete decision - every passing day shortfall multiplying.

Further, withholding macro-economic activity, declining foreign exchange reserves, constant devaluing Pakistani Rupees to American dollar, no recognizable development works during four and half years tenure of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), tussle in between institutions and incoherent among provinces are the factors has pushed the economy at the verge of disaster said by different national & international bodies including the World Bank, NAB’s chairman & Transparency International Pakistan (TIP).
Referring the recent election in America - In Pakistan the approach of the people is quite different than the thoughts of American who does not consider the things emotionally & their measurement to weigh the electoral candidates are their competency & closeness with country’s economic policy and ability for correctness being the first and foremost criteria to judge the candidacy contesting in General election. American does not consider persona of a candidate, belongs or ancestral attachment as we do in Pakistan,

In Pakistan ‘election’ is very little on merit, visibly it is heredity. Even the small party can’t survive unless merges with the big wigs or falls in political creed of feudalism or has stake with the family of high rank or political statutre who have been ruling the country though we talk about meritocracy, fairness and transparency with the believe to complete 5 years terms for sustain democracy in Pakistan.

It refers son of Fehmida Mirza who elected for Sind Assembly (March 2nd 2012). There was not anyone else other than son of the former MPA and speaker eligible to be given the ticket.

Apart from, there is a lack of education where people do not have sense and feelings to differentiate in between right and wrong. They blindly casting votes or they do what the community & influential lords ask them in given constituency and voter acts like a robot to put stamp on given electoral sign shown by crafty candidate.

The country having population approx.190 million but only about 84 million Pakistanis have been included in the recently released final electoral rolls (FER-2012), leaving one in seven people without the right to vote.

Free, fair, impartial & transparent election - Despite local police & govt. functionaries’ duties at polling booth and cordoning the area for security reasons yet Frontier constabulary (FCs) & Armey are also called upon to entail further safety to conclude peaceful election - Besides, diplomatic request from European countries to visit and monitor the electoral process.

However notwithstanding such electoral strategy the ‘right to vote’ goes null and avoid when voters cast their votes considering demographic, cast, political creed & ancestral association etc. a suppression in a society where we live.

Now the political parties in Pakistan have been active and asking their workers to start campaign for General Election – Go door to door and convince people to cast their vote said by Nawaz Sharif in his recent speech at Raiwind Lahore.

Skyrocketing speech, stuffy to-do list, sugarcoated words, provocative language and allegation for opponents are on the top. Maligning and mudslinging to show that ‘my hands are cleaned and others are with full of dirt’ has been a common practice, though it is more in South Asian countries yet scribe noticed also during recent election campaign in America in between two nominated president Barack Obama & Mitt Romney.

Convincing people that I am the real lover of the country and countrymen & I will do everything for you which the current govt. has failed - Exposing opponent as a criminal and looter of the county while he himself is the big cheater & plunderer of national wealth which the people of Pakistan has witnessed already – a general phenomenon of politicians..

It is a general trend for every politician while doing electoral visits they want to be chaste and honest but only after he is out of office. But when in power, minister install a taxi meter outside their cabin, clocking up running account of payments that go into their private pockets said by a columnist.

If we go through the federal budget presented by Finance Minister (FM) Hafeez Sheikh in June (2012), he was unaware to give an accurate figure to the nation, he remained uncalculated throughout and quoted all manner of figures and made all sort of predictions about where key macroeconomic variables will stand at the end of June next year (2013)

It’s hard to take any figure or prediction seriously – Will revenue be X or Y, growth rates A or B, budget deficit C or D?  The only things that can be said with certainty is that govt. now almost invariably underestimate expenditures and overestimate revenues until reality inevitably intervenes and painful revision is required, mentioned by Finance Minister during his budget reading. (Dawn 3rd June 2012)

In fact the FM himself was unaware or he was intentionally hiding the facts and figure. He had no knowledge that what will be the budget deficiency rate for outgoing financial year (despite remaining in the govt. for four and half years). Will it be 5-1/2% or 7-1/2% If the status of a federal budget goes like this we can’t expect & consider the govt. as competent. Not only was this, FM had nothing to showcase before the nation if economic reforms proved productive.

The PPP manifesto in 2008 was 5Es i.e. employment, education, energy, environment and equality. How much PPP did score in implementing and attained goal up to what extent is the eye-opener to be realistic and can be resilient for next election. .   

Here we analyze the economy status starting from 2008 to mid-2012, irregularities in every economic sector are obvious, the profile is very shaky and depressing. It looks that gradually the control over multiple economic fronts PPP has been losing its grip and resulting a big yawn in revenues and liability is imminent.

Again the Foreign exchange reserves, rising debt-burden, export and import, balance of payment, status of fiscal and monetary policy two important avenues where govt. possibly brings economies stability and prosperity to the country. Current business conditions and the long-term outlook for growth of the nation's gross domestic product (GDP), the level of unemployment and the level of inflation are the major elements of macroeconomics which FM did not highlight while presenting national budget in June 2012.

The study encompasses social, political and economic status of the country where unbridled corruption has marred the face of politics in Pakistan not only the performance of govt. has pushed the country on the brink of bankruptcy but most of the state-owned institutions have lost its integrity rather proved failure in discharging their onerous responsibility to serve the people. The reason assigned that govt. did not patronize the institution so how the institution will move further to serve people.

It refers Pakistan Railway who burst that we are not given diesel from Pakistan State Oil (PSO) so how the train will move, when contacted PSO, the authority (PSO) replied that billions of amount are due to Govt. so how PSO can supply diesel to Pakistan Railway unless their bills are cleared. This is one instance of Pakistan Railway who stopped their services and later restored after a heavy hue and cry in media.

Efforts from Supreme court of Pakistan - Supreme Court of Pakistan took lead to purge society with plague of economic corruption and cleansed the Parliament with other constitutional errors by disqualifying 11 MNA & MPA for holding dual nationality & fake degrees; fake income tax return submitted to Election Commission in 2008 General election - Opening the cases of illegal appointment, selection without merit, premature promotion, transfer and degradation, misappropriation & forgery cases in different govt. institution.

Dismissal of Prime Minister - Dismissal of Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani (in office) disobeying Supreme Court instruction for not writing letter to Swiss authority against President Mr. Asif Ali Zardari to reopen the graft case of $60 million dollar an old NRO order which was suspended by Swiss authority when Asif Ali Zardari had assumed office in 2008. However in 2009 the Supreme Court overthrew the NRO, a political amnesty that had frozen investigations into the president and other politicians ordered to reopen the case.

The allegations against President Zardari date back in 1990s, when he and his late wife, former premier Benazir Bhutto were suspected of using Swiss bank accounts to launder $12 million allegedly paid in bribes from the company who was seeking customs inspection contracts.

Letter to Swiss authority - Though the letter to Swiss authority has been dispatched through foreign ministry of Pakistan as per contents advised by Supreme Court yet there is no certainty that the letter will not prey for time-bar followed by Swiss authority constitution (press report 5th Nov 2012)

Saying of President of Pakistan - Transparency and accountability are two pillars on which a corruption-free edifice rest –I got this candid-extract from Benazir Income support program where President of Pakistan pledged to support. If we take this word as a ‘solemn affirmation’ then there should not have any corruption in the country but in practicality is quite reversed rather nauseating and disgusting.

Nawaz Sharif involvement in huge corruption - The trends to loot & undermine the national economy does not stick to Mr. Asif Ali Zardari (President of Pakistan) but Mr. Nawaz Sharif (Opposition leader in current assembly) also has been perpetrating massive corruption with socking and immoral acts during his premiership. He also has been plundering national wealth, subjugating and exploiting for satiation.

However the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has started investigations against the Sharif-Brothers in$32 million money laundering a press report.
Nawaz Sharif and his cronies have been concentrating their political engagement with the only motive to plunder Pakistan’s wealth being their sole agenda. NAB spokesperson Zafar Iqbal further added that Nawaz Sharif expanded his business empire by misusing his authority as Chief Minister Punjab and Prime Minister Pakistan. And in order to gain financial benefits, he even manipulated laws and changed policies.

How ruthlessly Nawaz Sharif dogged and played with the constitution of the country, he did what he wanted and suits him and his family without caring the needs of poor segment living around his castle, needs a bread, a glass of cleaned water, a place to live, school for their poor children, electricity and gas lines in the territory who still use jungle wooden to fuel for cooking. Are they blind or unaware with the painful condition where the basic needs are inaccessible to the inhabitants?

Is it not shamelessness that Nawaz Sharif made a paradise an Empire in Raiwind Lahore on the cost of Pakistan money said by an angry senior citizen, criticizing over NAB press report?

Likewise, in a bid to avoid accountability, the Nawaz Sharif Government amended “The Ehtasaab Act” and made it effective from “1990″ instead of “1985″ as proposed in the original text of the “Ehtasaab Act” prepared by the interim government of caretaker Prime Minister (Late) Mairaj Khalid (1996-97). And by bringing this change he cunningly saved his tenure of Chief Minister Punjab (1985-88) from accountability.

PML-N leader Nawaz Sharif made financial gains of $418 million during his twice stints as Prime Minister of the country, according to a book entitled Capitalism’s Achilles Heel by Raymond W Baker. The book is a dossier on the corruption of most dominated political families in the history including Nawaz Sharif that how they misappropriated the national exchequer for their own benefits and did not do anything for the betterment and advancement for their own people.
According to the book, at least $160 million were pocketed by Nawaz Sharif during his first stint as the Prime Minister in the 1990, from a contract to build a highway from Lahore, his home town to Islamabad, the nation’s capital.

Current corruption rate in the country - Current corruption rate in the country as per NAB chairman being enjoyed by govt. authority ranging Rs.6-7 Billion per day. Adding that during PPP regime 4-1/2 years the unbridled corruption has tuned at Rs.8.5 Trillion or USD $94.0 Billion as per Transparency International Pakistan (TIP) reports.

How the country can attend the basic needs of their people upon whose vote the leaders arrived into the assembly but instead to help the masses they are stuffing their own pocket said NAB chairman. As per TIP the real impact of corruption in the country’s economy is far more than what is generally estimated or what is formally uncovered.

As per one American analyst - Pakistan does not need even a single penny from outside if their political leaders bring the looted amount back to the country & even it can pay off its trillion amount of debt. There is a need to check the menace of corruption and bind legally such fraudsters to return the national wealth (to national valet) so that Pakistan's shabby economy can stand and move ahead to progress and prosper without reliance on heavy indebtedness.

There has been no check on corruption as the anti-corruption institutions like the National Accountability Bureau and Federal Investigation Agency instead of checking corruption have been siding with the corrupt. These institutions have been helping the corrupt to get off the hook by distorting and mutilating the evidence in favor of the influential accused said by NAB chairman.

The below figure given by TIP says that massive corruption is an explosion for the country heightening every passing year during the tenure of PPP govt. a tremendous bang for the country. Rs390 billion in 2008 - Rs450 billion in 2009 - Rs825 billion in 2010 and Rs.1100 billion in 2011 under the present regime - the total of identified cases of corruption comes at Rs.2, 765 billion.
In addition, TIP further reported that Finance Minister (of present regime) himself confirmed corruption in FBR of over Rs500 billon per year making total Rs.2, 000 billion.

Auditor General of Pakistan pointed out Rs315 billion corruption in 2010 - Public Accounts Committee recovered Rs115 billion in 30 months till 2011 - Circular debt is Rs190 million - KESC was given Rs55 billion illegal benefits per annum since 2008

The state owned enterprises like PSO, PIA, Pakistan Steel, Railways, SSGC, SNGC are eating away Rs150-300 billion per annum - Tax to GDP ratio in 2008 was 11%, which in 2011 has reduced to 9.1% instead of being increased.

Debt burden - Pakistan’s federal government’s debt obligations have almost doubled during the tenure of the incumbent government of Pakistan People’s Party. Latest official statistics show that the country’s debt has mushroomed to Rs12.37trn as of end August 2012.

In June 2008, the central government’s total debt stood at Rs6.1trn. Over the next four years and two months, a sum of Rs6.3trn has been added to the center’s debt: it currently stands 103 per cent higher than the level in June 2008.

The sharp rise in the debt burden has been attributed to rupee depreciation and large budget deficits incurred due to heftier power subsidies and interest payments on debt stock.

Debt servicing - For the current fiscal year, the government has estimated spending of Rs1.2trn in servicing debts and repaying foreign loans, according to the finance ministry. The amount to be spent on debt servicing and foreign loan repayments is roughly half of projected tax revenues for the current fiscal year, which indicates significant stress on the budget due to reckless domestic borrowing.

Currently, the government is financing development projects by borrowing money from commercial banks and printing more currency: the means adopted are not only inflationary, but are also adding to the debt burden indirectly as well.

As per SBP (state Bank Pakistan) that ballooning debt has heightened the risks of refinancing the debts already held.

A recent report released by the IMF warns of similar implications. The IMF has forecasted that the country’s gross financing needs for the current fiscal year will come to about 31 percent of GDP, which comes to roughly Rs7.4trn.

Short term borrowing - According to the SBP, short-term borrowings have risen to Rs4.13trn as of end August 2012 - an increase of Rs2.5trn or 152.4 percent since June 2008.

Domestic debt - Meanwhile, domestic borrowing has increased to Rs7.8trn since 2008 - a sharp surge of 137.8 per cent or Rs4.5trn.

External debt - External debt during the last four years has also risen by almost 65 percent. As against external obligations of Rs2.8trn in June 2008, the central government’s total external debt (excluding the IMF loan) has now swelled to Rs4.6trn according to the central bank.

 International lending agencies like the Asian Development Bank and the World Bank are urging the government to implement meaningful reforms aimed at getting the economy back on track.

Foreign exchange reserves - As per State Bank of Pakistan, Pakistan’s foreign exchange reserves declined by $56 million to $14.333 billion during the week ended October 26 from $14.389 billion a week ago.
Analyst fear that the reserves would drain further in the coming days on account of high international oil prices and large external debt repayments. Steep fall in foreign exchange reserves and value of the rupee might have serious impact on the outcome of the forthcoming general elections.

And this is not the only negative indicator as the rupee that is on the continuous decline for the last three years has lost its value further and settled at 96 a dollar which is a cause for serious concern to the people as rupee-dollar parity stood at 58 or 60 throughout the tenure of the Musharraf Government despite different odds and challenges

Foreign exchange reserves with commercial bank - The foreign exchange reserves held by commercial banks also declined by $33 million to $4.527 billion as against $4.560 billion a week ago

Inflation & unemployment - Inflation is hitting people hard and unemployment rate is on the rise due to lack of investment and closing down of industries on account of law and order situation and energy shortages.

Export status - The current govt. taking credit for remarkable increase in exports but everyone knows that it is not because of increase in productivity or volume but merely because of increase in unit price in the international market fetching more money for our exports.

Import status  - The present Government has allowed liberal imports and that is why import bill is assuming staggering dimensions and it is because of remittances by overseas Pakistanis that the economy is still standing on its feet.

Electricity and gas outage - Regular Electricity outage from 12-16 hours on daily basis and disruption of gas supply across the country despite assurance form Govt. that menace of load shedding very soon will be ended

A general status of Rural Punjab & Sindh province - Most of the town/ units & Taluka are still without Pukka Road - No sewerage system - No cleaned water to drink, dwellers still fetching water from long distance or they have combined tube well to meet their needs - No electricity & gas lines, people still using cow-dung for fuel to cook. No govt. hospital into a radius of 100 kilo meter to meet any emergency resulting loss of human lives.

 School status in Punjab - In interior Punjab school is there, inaugurated by MPAS or MNAs their engraved names are visible but school has been just a name. In some area boundary wall is there but no table & chair - Broken window pan - Swinging electrical circuit board and wires - School are without door and window - Damaged wall - Peeling off plastered from ceiling giving life threat - Number of teacher and student are very minimal – In some area empty school without student and teacher, keeping cattle inside the school & the Influential of the area parking their vehicles - Harvested crops are also stored it refers video report from one of the private TV channel.

Status of one hospital (Ram hospital in Lahore) - One of the hospital known as Raam Govt. hospital in Lahore (Punjab province) at one bed 2-3 patients sleeps, internal condition of hospital is deteriorated, very shocking at the callous disregard of human lives - Non-availability of medicines - Empty shelves - No incubator - No ventilators - Oxygen apparatus are faulty and un-repaired - No x-ray machine and scanners for patient – Unhygienic - Filthy and stains on the wall & floor, even patient bed sheets & pillow full with stink - Odor in the hall - Stuffed dustbin - Broken stretcher - Malfunctioned medical equipment.

At one bed 3-4 new born babies are slept - Patient care taker pumping a rubber bladder to generate oxygen connected with the nose of the child - No ceiling fan – No exhaust and submerged toilets - This is the terrible condition of Raam govt. Hospital in Lahore, refers an interview with young doctors works in the same hospital covered by private TV channel    

School status in Sindh - Condition of Govt. school in Sindh rural and urban are insignificant, some of the school in urban area has been converted into marriage hall. No teacher no student.

Education sector which has a very hefty envisaged-budgets from Govt. & funded by other donor agency but the status of school across the provinces are pathetic & clumsy has turned into a ghost institution.

The billions of amount-allocated on school-project every year but neither quantitatively nor qualitatively have any changes been noticed. It’s a complete failure - No check and balance where the amounts go?

According to recent report of Sind Ministry of Education – 12,794 school are shelter less – 34,386 are without electricity – 26,669 school does not have four sided boundary wall -23,349 does not have wash room & 25,237 have no access to drinking water. The concerned MNA & MPA needs to look into it and give their constituency a better life instead to seek vote only said by a disappointed teacher who has been approaching repeatedly to local authority for repairing. 

School in Khyber Pakhtunkhawa (former NWFP) - Status of Schools in Khyber Pakhtunkhawa, the number of school closed in the province in 2008-09 was 477 which include 358 girls school - According to report EMIS in 2009 that during 2009-10 the number of closed school were 512 – Refers the record of 2010-11 stood at 417 which further reduced to 350 according to recent report of education department.

The reason of school closure assigned social disputes, illegal occupation of school building, and dispute over employment stated by Provincial Minister Elementary & Secondary Education Sardar Hussein Babak.

During earthquake in 2005, there were 612 schools those were pulled down to clean the area, despite reminder from inhabitants & by MNA/ MPA with federal govt. no action has been taken so far. Boys and girl are studying in the tents & without tents – not mention for capricious weather condition.

The number of such schools was 332 in Mansehra, 153 in Battagram, 62 in Abbottabad, 75 in Shangla. The amount for renovation had been estimated Rs.3 billion by then govt. which still could not approve to reconstruct the bulldozed school (Dawn 14th Aug 2012).

Non-payment of electricity & Gas bills by MNA/ MPA & Govt. Institutions - A chronic issue that electricity bill from Govt. offices/ Ministries offices/ President and Prime minster Houses & Hostels at federal and provincial level are not paid. It tunes to multi-billion of amount are due to the govt. if such recovery is ensured this amount can be utilized to repair the faulty power plant and more power generating unit can be installed in the country - Shamelessness and wantonness of MNAs/ MPAs to pay off their electricity and gas bill so that the curse of electricity may curbed immediately.

Oct 22, 2012

Malala a Pakistani girl (living in Swat-Mingora) targetted by Taliban

It’s good news that Malala Youssef Zai has come
back; she has a natural breathing now, less on ventilator but shame on those who were propagating that clinically Malala is dead. They should understand that Almighty Allah who is the custodian of this universe thinks something else which is beyond our perception – He is the care taker of our lives & death and every Muslims believes in.

Malala 14 & her two classmates were targeted earlier this month by Taliban gunmen when the girls were coming back home from the school bus in Swat-Mingora (her hometown).

Malala got head injuries , treatment were continued in Pakistan military hospital, though bullet was removed form her head but due to deteriorating condition she was flown to UK a hospital (specialized in trauma cases) in Birmingham where she underwent with neurological treatment BBC reporter said.

According to Taliban who accepted the shooting telling that Malala was developing a western culture in the area and they were not expecting the level of revulsion and condemnation which Malala exposed & she went against Taliban CNN report refers.

Malala was living in Swat-Mingora- Before Taliban who said Malala was heading secularism and spreading western education which was not permissible into the eyes of Taliban or against Islam (a typical ideology) developed by Taliban themselves which does not support any divine guide lines mandated in Quran and Sunnah. 
Taliban Islam is incomprehensible; they have introverted & interpreted the Islamic teaching & divine mandates according to their own pattern and belief which has already been objected by every Islamic scholar and among diffident school of thoughts Taliban Islam leads to inhumanity.

Notwithstanding Taliban repeated instructions & imposition of their self-styled Islam in Swat-Mingora, Malala raised her voice through her blogs started first time with BBC Urdu when she was 11.
Malala in her Blogs highlighted “the lives under Taliban” the ruthless behavior of Taliban who closed school and disallowed women to get education, according to them women must stay at home, they will not go in shopping mall & always be in the veil, no marketing no purchasing by women mentioned in her blogs.

Taliban also determined the dress code for women who shall be in full veil from ‘head to toe’ except having two holes before the eyes to see outside otherwise the whole body to be wrapped completely failing which the women will face execution before Taliban Jirga (a committee of influential people in the area who decides the fate of the accused in case of any dis-obedience of the law constituted by Taliban.
No entertainment center or recreation park for anyone, Beard is the identity of the Muslim those who is unbeard does not fall into the parameter of Muslims, closure of all music center & cine theatre, watching & selling CDs/ cassette strictly has been prohibited, the youngster, boys & men to wear ‘Shalwar’ & Qameez (a dress) which must be above to the ankle and below to knee followed with cap. All young men must wear Shalwar & Qameez and whoever wearing Jeans pant are not Muslims and it is against Taliban Islam.

No one has the right to speak before Taliban they are the King of the colonial rule if anybody dares to speak before the King is pronounced death to behead.

Certainly the era and time zone before Taliban will take you back in 20,000,000 BC where the human lives were dependent on animal hunting and the people were shaving their beard and moustache with stones.
Malala not only mentioned the rising atrocities of Taliban in her Blog with BBC Urdu but also she kept running campaign to educate other teen agers living in Swat-Mingora. She has been propagating that education for children are the basic ornament and everybody has right to get education said in her blogs?

She has been convincing others inmates to send their children to school which was the only key to educate people to fight for their rights and get rid of tyranny. No doubt she was an icon of bravery in her home town where girls of her age has been attending school and despite Taliban pressure she kept the educational candle continue to lit.

No doubt an adventurous, heroic and strong willed girl who kept the schooling continued despite Talban uttered restriction who controlled Swat valley in 2007 & banned woman education, closed all school, college in Swat, it’s about 300 schools went closed as per Taliban instructions.
Malala had command on Pashtu-English & Urdu language and such caliber made her more convincing and arduous to speak fluently with visiting govt. officials, NGOs, Media & people at different ranks. Meeting with govt. officials or highlighting the brutalities with the visiting officials in war-toned area is not the crime and anybody who is dying can seek help said by one of the senior citizen discussing over Malala targeting along with her to classmates.

Such openness attributed Malala for international fame for the movement: Education for all” in Swat Mingora (her home town). In recognition of her meritorious work Govt. of Pakistan awarded first National Youth Peace Prize from Pakistan and she was nominated further for noble prize from UN a report from BBC.
Swat which was captured by Taliban in 2007 due to Pakistani military intervention, Taliban were ousted from Swat in 2009 but Malala continued to receive death threats from Taliban said in her Blog where she mentioned that 'I am not going to school'

However atrocity, brutality and barbarism are not the criteria of a civilized society, the era & place where we live is known as cultured & cultivated equipped with optimism, rationalism & realistic approach and it’s our identity where education is the only way which give us a shape that how to live, how to speak, how to respect and how to listen others, these are the bench mark which determines our values and multiplies our dynamic approach instead to besiege by tyrant.

Someone said that it is not Taliban it is TIP, TT, PT – it does not matter, in general it is known as Taliban whatever classification it is, a normal people wants to live with peace and consensus with every factions and institution under the umbrella, ensuring that lives and property are secured and it is the need of the day asking by Swat people who are looking towards Pakistan.

Oct 9, 2012

Dams construction in Sindh & Baluchistan is the need of the day

Party & Politics is the main barrier to build Dam in Pakistan
A report on private TV channel that India constructs Dams on Pakistani water whereas in Pakistan the Dam-construction goes politicized, it refers ‘Kalabagh Dam’ in Sind & ‘Bacha Dam’ in Baluchistan which could not move further because of serious protest & rallies against the project across the province.
The reason behind the suspension of the project is the only politics hurdle that always has been a political intrigue.   

We are well aware that very substantial loss is occurred every year due to heavy floods caused by torrential rains of Monsoon. Billions of amounts of properties, lands and crops are destroyed, thousands of lives and cattle are perished and thousands of people go homeless.

But what we do - except lip service - no concrete policy and decisions are taken that how to curb and control the Flood which eats everyone - widespread-rains & thunder-showers vulnerable low lying areas in Sind, Baluchistan, Punjab, Khyber Paktoonkhawa, Kashmir & Gilgit-Biltistan.

No doubt our political leaders visits the area, different organization, NGO’s, human rights agency at national and international levels goes activated, federal and provincial govt. institution wakes up, start dispatching food, medicines, tents and other necessary items to save flood victims. Relief funds and cheques are also distributed but as soon as the day passes everything goes normal and people forget that the country had encountered with remarkable loss.

No consensus (so far) for a concrete solution that how to handle the persistent Floods the heavy rains of Monsoon which inundates & cripples 1/3 area of the country.

The controversial status of Kalabagh dam, Basha dam and other dams in Indus, Swat and Panjkora rivers are still in abeyance. Why don’t we understand that the dam construction will mitigate the loads-shedding issue which has been a curse for the entire nation?

There is constant power shortage; almost provinces are getting load-shedding for 12-15 hours daily, the power generating deficiency overall amounts up to 12000 MGW. Besides, there is water shortage as ell for agriculture perspective which can be supported if reservoir is constructed.
It means that in the eyes of our leader “The Dam construction is taken as a damn” thing which has no value and unrealistic.

However the controversial attitude at provincial level people believes that role of politicians should be supportive and they should lead the province as a crusader with the motive to get rid of masses from irrelevant suspicion and false believes about dam construction.
They should take masses in confidence and give them a positive & optimistic outlook for the development plan (to build the Dam) instead to mislead and give them a thorny, darkened & gloomy picture. As per impression of a senior citizen (in interior Sind) who quoted that generally our political pundit paints a negative picture about the dam that if it is constructed;

(a)  you will be deprived of your basic right

(b)  your water will be used by others

(c)  you will encounter with severe drought

(d)  you will arrive at the brink of starvation

(e)  your facility and land will be encroached by others

(f)   you and your children will die and from

(g)  your water other will enjoy &

(h)  You cannot cultivate your land etc.
Therefore the leaders need to remove the mindset of the people, the strange and mysterious feelings & obscene image about the dam construction to be turned down.

The idea that why the dam is being constructed – what impacts will it bring & support the inhabitants in terms of their lives, basic needs of the people, economic activity will grow & more room for employment, infrastructure development, induction of advance irrigation facility, more area can come into cultivation, a concrete safety measures to enforce flood deterrent where every year hundred thousands of lives goes dead & hundred thousands of people & cattle are marooned. In short lives and property are completely wiped out in the wake of monsoon rains.
People should know that there are no pre-disaster preparation, a disaster recovery plan indeed required to save the people which is only possible when the dam is built in your area such clarification and convincing speech if delivers then there will be no obstacle to go ahead & start dam building said by the group of people who lost their homes in the current floods.

It is the only leader who first misguided & miss-fed people’s while visiting during election campaign in order to earn vote they did not want to lose the vote bank that’s why they avoided turning down wrong impression about dam.
Of course it’s not an honest and favorable decision in favor of people welfare however for the betterment and advancement of masses political leader will have to come out with positive approach to get the people agreed for not to protest further. It’s a chronic national issue and needs to be resolved amicably with clear vision and mission.

Dam’s construction is meant to control the flow of water in a river, improves navigation, regulates flooding & produces hydroelectric power
One reason is to prevent flooding
Heavy rains are caused water levels in a river to rise - As the river flows downhill, it may overflow its banks, flooding communities located downstream. A dam can prevent this by stopping or slowing rushing water, allowing it to be released at a normal rate.

Dams are built to store water for general use and farming
When a river's flow is restricted by a dam, water often spreads out behind the dam to form a lake or reservoir in the river valley. That water can then be used as needed, preventing water shortages and crop damage during long periods of dry weather. Dams provide clean, pollution free energy

Dams are used to produce electricity
Hydroelectric power is produced as water passes through a dam and into a river below. The more water that passes through a dam, the more energy is produced.

Once a dam is built, an artificial man-made lake is created behind the dam. Electricity is produced by a device called a turbine. Turbines contain metal coils surrounded by magnets. When the magnets spin over the metal coils, electricity is produced. Turbines are located inside dams. The falling water spins the magnets.

Crops irrigation by farmers
Dams are built so that farmers may have water to irrigate their crops, or to provide a source of water for a village or town.

Press Report 23rd Sep 2012
Sind Flood status

This year 2012 if we read the current flood vulnerability, apart from rural areas, flood water inundated urban areas in six major districts of Sindh. District like Jacobabad, Kashmore, Kandkhkot, Shikarpur, Sukkur, Khairpur and Sukkur were hit badly by floods.

Their urban centers had waist-high rainwater, people were wading through it and there were lack of logistic and food compounded the miseries of the rain hit people in the districts.

And as per Sind Rehabilitation Minister Haji Muzaffar Shujra, Sindh’s six districts received ‘record rain-fall’ and this is something nobody can stop “We are now able to dewater 95% areas in those districts” he said and conceded that Jacobabad as the worst hit district.

We suffered badly due to heavy flow of water from Baluchistan, that’s why we have requested the President to direct the Baluchistan govt. to put some system in place in their  own area to avoid problems said Mr. Shujra.

Sind has been hit by three successive disasters since 2010. It was worst flood in 2010 then heavy monsoon in 2011 mainly in districts located on the left bank of the river Indus and now heavy rains in upper Sindh’s districts located on the right bank of the Indus.

Mr. Shujra further stated that threat of climate change is looming large over the region therefore new approach is needed. “The coordination among all the departments to be ensured essentially for an effective response to disaster and pre disaster arrangement to be put in place he contended.

At least 200 villages have been inundated when a breach in the ‘Garhi Hassan canal in Thull Taluka of Jacobabad’ district widened by around 150 feet.

Irrigation department official said the breach had occurred because rainwater from drains of Baluchistan had been released into the canal.

Here we can see that in his entire conversation with the floods victim, (in the presence of press reporter) Mr. Shujra, (Sind Rehabilitation Minster) did not mention categorically that “Dam building” is the only solution to control floods-water for the safety of lives and property of the people, urging only that he will ask President to speak Baluchistan govt. to put some system in place to control his water. 

Are we really serious to build the Dam in Pakistan or one province shifting responsibility to other province?

Press report 23rd Sep 2012
Baluchistan Flood status
Further - Strong current from Jhal Magsi, Naseerabad and Jaffarabad districts of Baluchistan triggered a flood like situation in the Right Bank Outfall Drain at Qambar-Shahdakdkot district and posed a serious threat to Shadadkot town.

Advisor to the Chief Minster on Relief Haleem Adil Sheikh declared emergency in the entire Qambar Shahdkot district said that sever flood is heading towards Sahadadkot.

The advisor said that communication link with three union councils falling between Khirthar area and the Flood Protective Bund (FP Bund) has been severed and the local population has moved to higher places in the mountainous area of Khirthar and to facilitate their shifting, a free ferry service has been started he said.

“The irrigation system in the area has totally been collapsed as the deluge has created a natural calamity like situation”, he added and stressed an urgent need for long term planning to tackle such extraordinary situation in the future.

Haleem Adil (advisor to Chief Minister) further stated that truckload of stones have been rushed to the vulnerable points to plug the breaches reported. “All the department have been put on alert”, he said – Sind Food Minister Nadir Magsi also rushed to the area to monitor the situation he added.

Giving details Mr. Haleem Adil Sheikh mentioned, the damage caused by the recent rains and flooding in Shahdadkot, that over 1,747 villages have submerged affecting 243,249 villagers.

He said about 60,000 acre of standing paddy crop has been devastated and 34,884 houses been damaged. “At least 14 people have died another 31 injured and 573 cattle have perished in rain-related-incident in Qambar Shahdadkot district, he said.

He said that both RBOD III and Khirthar canal are flowing parallel to each other and described this as serious situation. He said 16 MAF (million acre feet) water is approaching from Baluchistan to Sind and flowing in an area stretched over 100 kilometer in two directions.

Standing crops suffered a loss of Rs.18 billon after torrential rains and heavy flood devastated about 19 per cent areas of Nasirabad and Jaffarabad districts in Baluchistan. This was disclosed at the meeting held in Dera Murad Jamali to review the flood situation in two districts.

The irrigation secretary said that 1.3 million acre of land has been affected in two districts causing a loss of about 18 billion to farmers and growers.

The Nasirabad Commissioner said Jhal Magsi & Kachhi districts have also been affected by the rains & flooding.

In the entire episode of Baluchistan flood situation Mr. Haleem Adil Sheikh Advisor to Chief Minister did not use the word “dam needs to be constructed being the only mandatory solution to absorb heavy torrential rains and flooding in the region which is eventually going ahead towards Sind or vice versa”. Similarly the authority in Sind also did not specify that how to tackle the floods –the heavy monsoon rains causes billion of amount damages to the province every year.

It’s crying need of the day to arrive at conclusion by both provinces (Sind & Baluchistan) for Dam construction in both provinces so that a permanent solution of this disaster can be arranged.

The following comparison for “Heavy Floods history in Pakistan from 2010 to 2012” giving us an understanding that up to what extent every year we get a national loss.

Flood crisis 2012  
Pakistan floods began in early September 2012, resulting from heavy monsoon rains in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Upper Sindh, Southern Punjab and Baluchistan regions of Pakistan.

However as per survey report published by NDMA for “‘Flood-affected areas’ The National Disaster Management team visited and surveyed flood-affected areas in every nook and cranny of the country and gathered a substantial data, as well as provided essential relief commodities to the affected people.

In its statistical report the NDMA revealed that the three units of the federal government — Sindh, Punjab and Baluchistan – have been severely hit by the recent torrential rains and floods.
According to the NDMA statistics, 4.7 million people have been hit in the three provinces, with Sindh being the worst-affected with 3.1 million people reportedly hit.

A total of 428 people lost their lives in three provinces, with Sindh’s casualties totaling 222 people dead, besides the many seriously injured. A total of 400,000 houses have collapsed in the provinces. Out of these 300,000 houses belonged to Sindh alone.
Besides, cattle and crops cultivated on thousands of acres has been washed away with the heavy monsoon rain and flood that hit Sindh

Flood crisis 2011
The 2011 Sindh floods began during the Pakistani monsoon season in mid-August 2011, resulting from heavy monsoon rains in Sindh, Eastern Baluchistan and southern Punjab.

The floods caused considerable damage; an estimated 434 civilians were killed, with 5.3 millio­n people and 1,524,773 homes affect­ed. At least 1.7 million acres of arable land was inundated as a result of the flooding

The flooding followed the previous year's historic 2010 Pakistan floods, which devastated the entire country. Unprecedented torrential monsoon rains caused severe flooding in 16 districts of Sindh province.

Flood crisis 2010
The 2010 Pakistan floods began in late July 2010, resulting from heavy monsoon rains in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Sindh, Punjab and Baluchistan regions of Pakistan and affected the Indus River basin. Approximately one-fifth of Pakistan's total land area was underwater, approximately 796,095 square kilometers (307,374 square miles).

According to Govt. the floods directly affected about 20 million people, mostly by destruction of property, livelihood and infrastructure, with a death toll of close to 2,000.

The monsoon season (July- August) of 2010 wrought devastating, widespread floods in Pakistan.

The UN called it the "worst (natural) disaster in the UN's history". Massive floods inundated the length of the country, destroying lives, livelihoods, property, crops and livestock.

About 20 million people were affected in the natural disaster and 1.7 million houses were damaged or destroyed, said the UNHCR.

The flood also wiped out more than 2.2 million hectares of arable land, depriving rural communities of food and resources, said the Red Cross.

In conclusion I will say that our ruling elite should take it serious to build the Dam in given provinces to avoid of further loss to the country.