Friday, July 24, 2015

Metros And Danish Schools

Metros and Daanish schools are the pet projects of Punjab Chief Minister and billions of rupees have been spent on them. Two recent news reports are showing another picture of these projects.
The title of first report is “Daanish school building crumbles within a year of opening”. According to the report within a year of its inauguration by Punjab Chief Minister in 2013, the building started crumbling, with major cracks in walls and beams and leaking pipes and roofs – forcing management to close down its two dining halls.
A report by the Chief Minister Inspection Team, which investigated the faults and causes says: “The errors (cracks) that have appeared in these buildings are of serious and unique nature and cannot be rectified with confidence. Precious lives are at stake, which cannot be left to chance”. Thus partial closure of the residential school has been ordered by the Daanish Schools Authority.
The report has also raised serious concerns about soil survey, building and structural design, material used in the buildings and non-supervision of the work, terming all these factors major causes of the start of collapse of the building that had cost the nation Rs698m within a year.
According to another report after recent rains the underground metro bus stations of Rawalpindi/ Islamabad Metro at 6th Road and I.J. Principal Road were inundated with rain water and created problems for passengers as escalators went out of order. Rain also exposed the poor drainage system on elevated roads.
At the Committee Chowk to Warris Khan Section of the metro bus, the contractor was still installing drainage pipes and work is still going on in the Liaquat Bagh Section.
The above reports show the manner in which projects are conceived and implemented in Punjab.  We remember what earlier happened to Sassty Roti project. Is there any authority in Pakistan that can take notice of robbing tax payers of their money on extravagant and badly conceived projects and stop the plundering of county’s resources.

Tasneem Hameed

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

In respose to an article of Bakhtawar Bilal Sufi in Dawn

 Hats off to Bakhtawar Bilal Sufi for having the courage although being himself a lawyer to point out the failure of lawyers to play their role  in the administration of justice in his article ‘Time to Introspect’. It is real fact that the lower judiciary is in a terrible shape after the lawyer’s movement. Lawyers having smelled power, encouraged by the former Chief justice of Supreme Court  Mr iftikhar Chaudhry started considering themselves above the law. One remembers the way they treated fellow lawyers Naeem Bokhari and Ahmed Raza Qasuri and assaulted Ministers Tariq Azeem and Farooq Sattar and when they were booked the honorable chief justice quashed the cases. Although the former chief justice used to take suo moto action on flimsy matters and was very sensitive about the dignity of superior court judges, he always looked the other way when lower court judges were being humiliated by the lawyers. Now lawyers are more found on strike than in courts on issues ranging from personal to international. They never use Sunday to strike for their noble cause. In addition to harassing judges they have started taking justice in their own hands by helping criminals escape after cancellation of their bails. Here, I am reminded of an abstract of my satirical article written three years back about the lower judiciary:
"These courts follow the Rule Of Law(ers). Lawyers have developed an effective system of overseeing that the law(er) takes its own course, followed by the courts. A system of collective wisdom of judges, lawyers, court officials and the willing case parties is successfully administering justice. The courts although constitutionally report to the superior courts, they have dotted reporting relationship with the Bar Associations/Councils".
I hope that the lawyer’s community will rise to the occasion at this important juncture of our history and devote themselves to the rule of law and become soldiers of justice instead of any chief justice.

Tasneem Hameed