BOARD’S APPROVALS IN MY BELOVED HOMELAND PAKISTAN

By Muhammad Javed

  1. FIA is investigating, as usual for final outcome never to see light of the day, the alleged sale of a PIA flying A-310 aircraft to a German museum for peanuts and without approval of the PIA Board.  The aircraft in question first flew with its crew to Malta without any government permission to take part in a film shooting.  While reports, as appearing in the press, suggest that the sale was under an Agreement after PIA first advertised its sale, the aircraft has gone to Germany.  The PIA spokesman, as usual has refuted this saying no absolute sale has so far been made for which, PIA Board’s approval is needed and that would be obtained.
  2. Long gone are the days when people at top helm of affairs needed any prior approvals before doing anything.  Since quite some time, first what one wants to do is done and then, if had any time, “asks” the competent authority to sign as approval on the dotted lines.
  3. Overseas Pakistanis Foundation (OPF) advertised both in local and foreign newspapers about its Beach City Housing Scheme for Overseas Pakistanis at Karachi Hawksbay.  Sales Brochures and Application Forms were sold at Pakistani Embassies abroad.  I purchased the Form at a high cost. Three days later Jamat-e-Islami Senators roared in the Senate that their party would not allow the Government to establish in the name of Overseas Pakistanis “عیاشی کا اڈا  “ at the Karachi beach. The Overseas Pakistanis Federal Minister who was also the Chairman OPF Board, present at the time in the House then and told the House that he was not aware of at all about the project.   OPF was establishing the project in collaboration with a private hand and, as such, the Karachi Development Authority immediately had granted approval for that.  When this scandal surfaced, it transpired that “a ten percent” had interest behind it as such OPF without approval of the Board and the knowledge of its Minister announced it pulling money from people like me.  I approached the Federal Ombudsman, who ordered OPF to refund the money charged. It is about 20 years I have not got the money; my two colleagues died waiting for refund.
  4. Presenting the Budget, the then Finance Minister in the National Assembly announced Gold & Silver Cards for those who sent a certain amount of remittances through banking channel.  One of the incentives announced on the floor of the Assembly was that the holders of Gold Cards would be invited as official guests in all national functions held by the Pakistani Embassies in that country.  I never got any invitation. On my enquiry, the OPF informed me that though it was announced on the floor of Assembly but the Finance Ministry “later” did not approve for inviting holders as guests.
  5. My general knowledge, of course academic knowledge, was that it is the House and the legislators sitting in that House before whom a Minister presents the budget proposals, and it is the House which approved the announced steps, not at all any Finance Ministry.  With this clarification by the OPF, I learnt and later so frequently got experience that budget is present just to fool the mostly semi iterate members and relayed live only to fool the masses.
  6. This senior citizen has many more such “Board stories” but limitation of space.

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