Tuesday, August 30, 2011
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Saturday, August 27, 2011
By Shamsul Islam Naz
FAISALABAD, Feb 2: The City District Government ...
Administration hit by officers’ transfer: Manipulation alleged
FAISALABAD, Feb 2: The City District Government Faisalabad has yet to overcome the teething troubles due to which people have been facing a great deal of inconvenience.
The Lyallpur Town Administration is in a particularly difficult situation in the wake of ‘manipulation’ of transfers by the tehsil municipal officer and the four town officers during the last one month.
The Lyallpur Town and three other towns — Jinnah, Iqbal and Madina — emerged after widening up of the tehsil municipal administrations of Saddar and city and the creation of the City District Government before the local elections of 2005.
As many as 38 union councils, including 16 of the rural areas, have been made part of the Lyallpur Town having a population of 717,710, including 310,617 in rural areas.
Almost all the major functions like municipal waste management, environment, health, garden and engineering, town planning and infrastructure development have been assigned to the CDGF with the abolition of the TMAs in consonance with the Local Government Ordinance of 2005.
The local government assumed the functions immediately after its formal functioning, but the expenses of petroleum of vehicles and their maintenance, bills of electricity and other expenses were to be borne by the Lyallpur Town — the ‘mother town’.
Trouble started in the town when nazim-elect Rana Zahid Mahmood announced that he would not allow any of the functionaries of his town to indulge in any malpractice or receive commissions from contractors or ask daily-wagers to do work other than official. The nazim launched a vigorous campaign against commercial area encroachments and removed huge publicity boards from the city areas, which blocked the way of ‘bribery’ for the town employees.
Rana Zahid also established a secret network for monitoring the town officials and to restrain them from receiving bribes from the public by pressuring them on one pretext or the other.
All senior functionaries of the Local Government Department deputed in the Lyallpur Town, who were mainly responsible for streamlining the functioning of the town in planning, finance, taxation, engineering and civic development, got themselves transferred in the last one month, leaving the town in the lurch.
Town Municipal Officer Salahuddin has been transferred from the Lyallpur Town and posted as joint registrar of the Cooperative Societies Punjab just a couple of days ago.
It is pertinent to mention that the transfers had been sought immediately after the town Administration had announced that it would present the budget for the six months of 2006.
Mujeebuz Zaman Sahmi, Town Officer Finance, was arrested by the Anti-Corruption Department for his alleged involvement in corruption and abuse of power. Ali Imran and Rana Naseem, town officers of planning and coordination, and infrastructure and services, respectively, have been posted in the city district government. While Naeemullah Warraich, town officer (regulations), has been given a post in Lahore.
The town nazim confirmed that all the four town officers and the TMO had been transferred and no replacement had been made.
Meanwhile, District Coordination Officer Azam Suleman Khan is learnt to have sent a message to the Local Government and Rural Development provincial secretary to urgently appoint the officers or at least give additional charge to the district officers to run day-to-day affairs of the town and save it from absolute disorder.
SAFMA Central Secretariat’s clarification on a TV Show by Dr Shahid at Express TV
This is with reference to a recent debate between Mr Zaid Hamid and Ms Marvi Sirmed that we are constrained to issue the following clarification on behalf of SAFMA:
a) The debate in the Shahid Nama of Express TV was against some professional ethics as the “accused” (SAFMA) was not represented in the said program despite the facts that the whole debated was focused on SAFMA. This is unfortunate and against professional ethics that despite SAFMA’s caution against hurling of malicious and defamatory allegations by one Mr Zaid Hamid in the absence of SAFMA representative, some allegations of highly grave nature were hurled by the same accuser whom we have issued a legal notice.
b) Whatever Mr Hamid said against SAFMA was atrocious and unfounded and is libel.
c) On the other hand, despite her clarification that she is not a member of SAFMA, whatever Ms Marvi Sirmed had said is being wrongly treated as if they were SAFMA’s views. She had neither any right to represent SAFMA nor had any brief from SAFMA to defend or represent SAFMA. Ms Marvi Sirmed is entitled to have her views as Mr Hamid. This is utterly wrong to say that SAFMA or Mr Sirmed Manzoor sent Ms Marvi to the debate while it has so many senior journalists to defend itself and will do so for which it is quite capable of doing at any forum and at any level.
d) A lot of debate is going on in various kinds of media on SAFMA, We welcome difference of opinion and its diversity. But can neither indulge in mud slinging nor take it lying down. We have been advised by our senior colleagues to firmly keep on the legal course against defamation that we have taken and not to give much importance to the accusers. In this regard whatever is being expressed by even various SAFMA members in their individual columns/comments are their personal views they are entitled to have.
e) SAFMA both at the national and regional levels have journalists from various backgrounds and viewpoints, including hawks and doves pro or against this party/ideology or the other. In Pakistan and India we have both doves and hawks who agree to have talks. In Bangladesh we have journalists from both the contending parties and groups of journalists’ bodies. In Sir Lanka we have both Sinhala and Tamil journalists. Same is true about Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal and Afghanistan.
f) SAFMA has focused on two issues: a) Media its freedom and development; b) Conflict resolution, peace and regional cooperation while strengthening the SAARC process. SAFMA and its affiliates, such as South Asia Media Commission, have been in the forefront of the struggle for media freedom and will remain steadfast whatever the price. SAFMA is for peaceful settlement of all bilateral disputes, including Kashmir and various border disputes between other countries of the region, water and trade issues between the member countries of SAARC. Indeed SAFMA National Chapters do and must represent their views on various national issues, they are not bound to follow the viewpoint of their governments if they are not conducive to peace. SAFMA has often been caught in the crossfire of the wars of various agencies and conflicting nationalistic rhetoric and have been accused of being an agent of this agency or that. But we are proud to claim that we are agent of none other than the larger interests of our people and the cause of peace and a free media that we are firmly committed to. All our audits of accounts are available for anyone interested in our sources of revenues.
g) On various issues facing Pakistan, our SAFMA National chapter is strongly committed to a prosperous, strong, peaceful, democratic and federal Pakistan, even though its members are entitled to have their respective views.
h) At the regional level SAFMA has played a significant role in building confidence between Pakistan and India, Pakistan and Afghanistan, India and Bangladesh and Bhutan and Nepal, etc. SAFMA is the only body in the region which undertook exchange of journalists across the LoC and helped evolve a consensus on travel documents across the LOC which resulted in people to people contacts and trade between the divided Kashmir. SAFMA recognizes differences between the two neighbors and is consistent in supporting peaceful means to resolve all differences between the two countries. (At his personal level the Secretary General is determined to help bring peace in the subcontinent regardless of opposition from various quarters in the two countries. He is also committed to the right to self-determination of all the people, including Kashmiris which also includes Azadi from both not acceptable to India and Pakistan.
i) Lastly SAFMA office bearers do not need any certification from any one for their patriotism and love for their motherland. They will remain steadfast against extremism, jingoism, terrorism and can’t be pressurized by anyone however powerful. Notions of Peace, Progress and Democracy will continue to be the motivating emblems in our efforts for a better South Asia and a democratic Pakistan.
South Asian Free Media Association (SAFMA)
Friday, August 26, 2011
August 11, 2011 ISLAMABAD: At Chandni Chowk i...