District Development Package (DDP) of Punjab 2021-22

This piece is in response to Mr. Hasaan Khawar, SACM to the Chief Minister Punjab, who has recently tweeted that District Development Package (DDP) is a game-changer for Punjab. Well, it is not a game-changer.

Budget 2020-21 was prepared with mockery in the name of ‘Development’. Punjab – like KPK – has made one of the stupidest budgets (particularly development portfolio) in years.

A quick look.

Hundreds of thousands of new schemes – tagged under DDP – were included in ADP 2021-22 of Punjab; to make parliamentarians happy. Most of these schemes were non-feasible and against the set rules of development criteria.

For example, a school is proposed near another school (instead of revamping the old one) so that the parliamentarian of the region can cut the ribbon of the new building right before the next general elections.

Similarly, a health facility is being established right within the vicinity of a DHQ or Tertiary Hospital. To cut ribbon. Before election.

And even the calculation is messed up. There are around 20 DDP schemes in ADP 2021-22 which are regarding “Establishment of Trauma Centers” across Punjab. The cost of Trauma Center should be same (at least somewhat). But, no. One trauma center is being established for Rs.50 million while another one is being established for Rs.500 million. Same is the case with schools, BHUs, RHCs, roads, etc. There is no homework and there is no planning.

You remember there were talks of “angry parliamentarians” and “forward block” in Punjab during April-May 2021? This DDP was designed to make them happy. Now they all have something to look forward to cut ribbons around the next General Elections.

With these DDP schemes in ADP 2021-22 worth billions of rupees, CM Office of Punjab directed the Administrative Departments and Local Administrations of the province to approve all the schemes below Rs.50 million by July 21st, from Rs.50 to 400 million by July 31st, and above Rs.400 by August 31st. Even if the schemes were non-feasible.

PC-Is (which is a document of a scheme / project with its complete scope of work, costing, financing, etc.) were prepared within days. Copying one PC-I and pasting it to other 100s. Commissioners and Deputy Commissioners approved (originally approved, principally approved, or pathetically approved) schemes in wholesale. One after another. With or without PC-Is. With or without feasibility. With or without availability of lands / sites. Because they had no other direction from the top, and mostly, the bureaucrats have no ground to stand on.  

There is an online portal called SMDP of P&D Board of Punjab. All the Secretaries, Commissioners, and Deputy Commissioners were in race to mark their schemes as “approved” on the portal. They were approving schemes on Eid-ul-Azha days as well. Don’t be surprised. They were approving schemes without DDC / DDWP meetings.

This is Punjab at the moment. With a stick in the arse, bureaucrats were running around the directions of the CM.

What will this huge DDP portfolio lead to?

Billions will be wasted. With unplanned PC-Is and hassled approvals, long-term results are going to be scaring. Ugly structures with repetitive scope of work and with duplication in equipment and HR; Punjab’s development is going to be hurt in the long-run (technically called: MTDF which is the throw-forward to finance these schemes in future).

This is happening in all 32 departments of Punjab, which fall under the “charismatic” leadership of Planning & Development Board.

Do you know what is the difference between Parliamentarians and Bureaucrats? Nothing. One is cream (expired) and the other is power elite. Both with poor IQ and least concern for the general public. Usually hand-in-hand with the tax-payers money being wasted like this.

Let me give you another example.

Consider the land is free. On a 10 marla plot, you can construct a brand new home, with properly furnished baths and bedrooms, at a cost of Rs.1 crore. Rs.1 crore is a huge amount when you make your own home.

Now come to a government dispensary. Again, the land is free. For a one room dispensary with one shelf, a toilet, a couple of doors, and basic furniture; it will cost Rs.1 crore.

A simple single storey building with a couple of rooms, toilets, and a passage; will have a cost of over Rs.5 crores.

Huge briberies from contractor to SDO to XEN to SE to Chief to all the ugly ducklings in and around the Secretariat move in a discreet manner. That’s the only thing that moves from bottom to top in a swift and sincere manner. With huge corruption, even the newly established structures look old and are ready to leak as soon as there’s Monsoon.

News says that development budget of the province has increased from Rs.337 billion in 2020-21 to Rs.560 billion in 2021-22. But it is not development based on feasibility studies. It is just more. More allocations. More releases. More opportunities. More corruption. More generation of wealth. More ribbons. And more everything.

Random Numbness (April 2021)

Welcome. It’s been a while since numbness; so this will be a long one. Fasten your seatbelts and brace for impact.

The PM was on TV a few days ago. Uttering crap and bickering like usual. Selling religion, as it sells. But then he went farther and talked about rape, parda, fahashi, and stuff. Don’t want to go in details as you must have heard and digested that already. Some of you must have agreed with him as well.

Don’t want to get personal with him, and won’t; but this man is the finest hypocrite we have ever produced. The finest. He can bend in any direction for his selfish reasons.

Right now, he is not even a PM but he is having the media time, PM house, and other benefits of the PM. That is all that he has wanted for 22 years. 22 years he sold something and in the end was purchased by those who were the ugliest in his (earlier) view.

Ugly man to sit on top. Loves lecturing. A tasbeeh in hand. Pictures of offering Namaz. Talking about state of Medina. And that’s all that he has to offer.

What he said about rape and temptation was his ugly side of consciousness. I bet he doesn’t believe it himself because this is not the way he lived and this is not the way his kids are living.

Kids – both genders – are not safe here. Kids under the age of 5 are raped and murdered routinely here. Graves are not safe. Dead bodies are not safe. How come parda as an argument? Temptation?

What we need is a complete re-hauling of our education system. We need to teach sex education with evolutionary syllabus which will offer different content to students of different age groups. We need actual history to be part of the curriculum; where we need to accept our mistakes. We need curriculum on inter-faith harmony to make this land more feasible to live for humans.

Anyway. No one can talk sense here except the senseless men.

Do you know how much the establishment of a hospital costs? A state-of-the-art – well equipped –public hospital of 200-beds costs around Rs.4-5 billion. That’s the same amount which was wasted on a parade of 23rd March. On 25th March. The day was 24th March.
And it wasn’t a defense day. Anyway. It was a Republic day. But then the constitution was torn out and Ayub happened who undid Fatima Jinnah.

Too fast for historical duffers.

And that was all intentional, but my description is numb – under anesthesia – and is unintentional.

The other day, National Assembly – Patriotic Assembly – approved a bill against ‘intentional’ disrespect of forces. Intentional. Like PM’s temptations.

Do you know when such bills are needed? When you are pathetic to the core. Now tell me, what can we talk about? Cement? Cereals? Serials? Songs? Movies? DHAs? Construction? Logistics? Textiles? Sugar? Fertilizers? Housing schemes? Parade? War? Missing people? Not missing people? Half buried people?

You can talk unintentionally only. Mumble. Act as if you have dozed off and are talking sense while not in senses. Like a Guy Ritchie character where you are absolutely unnecessary.

And what about those who lick all day?

I have a friend – in disguise – who defends the government and its selectors like a rotten soul. Shouldn’t he get some award? Like Tariq Jamil and Mehwish Hayat were awarded – though for opposite reasons? I wish my friend gets some award.

Medal of honor se yaad aya that SSP Jawad Qamir got Sitara-e-Shujaat for his work. He killed a family after all. Remember Sahiwal massacre? Yes, that guy was awarded too. This is approval of state terrorism. Just when you think this stage can not fall further, it does. Next year, they may award Rao Anwar for good use of bullets and Ehsan Ullah Ehsan for his escape. Who knows?

And Ali Zafar was awarded too. He is, till now, accused in a sexual harassment case. His award should have been deferred at least. But we have this mockery of stuff. We have awarded those who didn’t deserve it. Hamayun Saeed got it too. Why not my friend?

By the way, POTUS did wrong. They invited 40 PMs and ignored ours who did the billion tree – bullion tree – tsunami bluff. Maybe they do some research. Like satellite images and comparative data. Cacophony though. PM and I, both were not happy with that.

We need investment of Rs.1 billion for marketing of 1 billion trees. That’s the plan now.

And the mockery doesn’t end here. PM approves a thing as a PM and then rejects it as someone else. Then he asks himself and talks to himself and then comes up with a final decision. But one thing is there. Kashmir is discarded. Militarily and officially.

Now remember you standing in the sun after Jumma prayer for the sake of Kashmir. Remember those days? It never was about you or Kashmir.

Kashmir is a business.
A cash cow.
Cash for Pakistan.
Cow for India.

A little about PDM.

It has fallen from grace. They stood for something which is the root-cause of all the problems in Pakistan. They took pizza by the name and threw it off the shelves. They stood tall against threats. But then, PPP stepped back. PPP has always done that since the murder of Z. A. Bhutto. The legacy it has, since 1988, is of a sell-out. They sold Karachi to Rangers and made it a perpetual burning hell – where generals like Naseerullah Babar and SSPs like Rao Anwar – went on killing sprees without a show-cause.

A day will come when tables will turn. See, PPP is in the lap now. Like PTI is. Like PML-N was. Like PML-Q always is. So, tables will turn. Though the lap will remain the same. And all the current NAB and FIA cases will be closed, and new ones will open.

The day Imran Khan will take a stand – the same stand he had for decades till he sold himself out – will be the day he is taken to the courts. He will be taken for his foreign funds, BRT, tsunami, and every single blunder he has made. Dozens of cases are ready to make his life miserable, if he will take a stand. So, he won’t. But he may.

No one knows what comes to mind and what is uttered after a snort.

So, the lap is the same and it’s all about the lap and lap dance.

Have you seen an actual lap dance, by the way? I have. Once. That too in Dam Square of Amsterdam.

Next time, His Highness intends to ask the dancer to come in uniform and dance on my lap. And history will witness His Highness, as the first one who will change the lap.

Bajwa Leaks

“Ask Agriculture Department”. That’s where it ended when Shahzad Akbar had nothing else to say. Well, that was precise and accurate. Like Faisal Vawda with a boot on the table. Demonstrating political history – and present – of Pakistan.

How did Sharif go abroad? Why is that even a question? Yes, PTI’s government in Punjab recommended it and PTI’s government in Federal nodded at the departure. But it was Agriculture Department. Ass always.

Sheikh Rashid – press conference minister of the state – has reiterated a zillion times that it was establishment. But he also claimed that PM IK didn’t know about it.

Well, what does he know? For international matters, boys go to meet MBS. Boys talk to Bill Gates. Civil bodies are only to represent where they can’t go. Like UN. Or Summits.

Yet ECP is here. Ballots are here. Votes are here. A whole democratic setup is here. To keep you busy with a democratic presence.

Zia introduced Sharif in the 1980s. Sharif took federal. Dismissed. Took federal again. Dismissed. Treason. Deal. Went abroad. Came back. Took federal a third time. Dismissed. Deal. Abroad.

See the pattern. He ruled for around 9 years as PM. Never completed his term. Did all the dirty work for the establishment. And as soon as he got the confidence to impose civil supremacy… dismissed. Followed by treason. Followed by corruption. Followed by deal. Followed by a visit abroad. Followed by another selection.

Meanwhile Bajwa, the CPEC-Bajwa, is on Twitter. Businesses abroad. Papa John’s Pizzas with 133 restaurants. Prados. Mansions. Properties. Bajco. Worth somewhere around US$100 million.

That would be around PKR 17 billion. Just 17. Billion.

But it’s not Panama Leaks or Dawn Leaks. It’s Bajwa Leaks. He’s not a PM to be taken out by the collar or a journalist to be cleaned up.

So why so serious? Will you mourn every single island in Australia? Or every single acre? Or every single farm house? Or every single housing scheme? Or every single marriage hall? No.

We have other things. To grieve. To weep.

We have Hayat Baloch. Like we had Sahiwal. And Naqibullah. And hundreds of thousands of others. Begging for basics. Striving to breathe. Do we care if this or that is in federal? No. Because nothing changes.

They are all in one boot. Or boot on them. Or whatever.

Why to care about the every single leaf when we have this beauty of diversity?

We have Julie Khan. The trans-vocalist. She dared to defame Pakistan with truth. So lies were invented to book her and humiliate her. She had been violently treated in the past too but she didn’t learn. Hopefully, she’ll learn now.

Then we have dead bodies. Falling here and there. Like leaves in autumn. Will we mourn about every fall on each fall? No.

Then we have people going missing all of sudden. And their not-so-nationalist parents being prized with national awards. Like Joyo.

But we do insist to be that voice that shakes whatever podium it gets.

Let’s see another pattern.

Wherever there are foreign funds, there are boys. Locust. Covid-19. Floods. Earthquake. CPEC. And stuff.

So, you should be rational enough to rise above the dust to see a macro picture.

Or you can keep on proving your sect, your religion, your caste, your language, and your political party. This or that. Waste of time.

Read لَكُمْ دِينُكُمْ وَلِيَ دِينِ.

For you is your religion, and for me is my religion. Move on. Rise.

Don’t take nationalist salad or religious sauce anymore. Ask for pizza. Where’s your slice?

It’s Papa John’s Pizza by the way. There is papa. And there is pizza. Those who consider them as ‘papa’ won’t ask for pizza. Even a bacon pizza will become holy and sacred.

All you need to be is Faez. Not Faiz. It will be a struggle for better Pakistan and better future for future generations.

Rise yourself above all the petty things. Above the dirt. Above the dust. Above the noise pollution. And then you will be able to see the root cause of all the problems around you. It’s pretty uniform.

Together we Stand! Together we shall See!

From the ending of 2012 to the beginning of 2013, the predictions of Mayan Calendar and Doomsday proved to be true for Pakistan. Apart from having a victorious cricket tour of India, Pakistan faced gruesome crisis. American drones were continuously thrown on innocent people on western border. LOC on eastern border is shaped into a before-war scenario. Within the borders, situation is further bloodcurdling. Killing of Shias in Quetta/Hazara got bloodier, threat to lives of Punjabis are higher in Baluchistan, target killing in Karachi didn’t take a break yet, and suicide bombings in Peshawar have increased in last some days.

Destruction has become fate of Pakistan. From north to south, the whole country seems to be covered in shroud. Game of pimps has started in political affairs of state as elections are approaching. Tahir-ul-Qadri is on his way to Islamabad for restoration of constitution in relevance to elections, which seems to be a complete drama. Altaf Hussain just attacked his “political drone” by targeting Quaid-e-Azam. Imran Khan is still with unfinished agendas and party. PML-N is Punjabing in their Punjab by not speaking in national crisis which makes them coward. Lastly PPP, it never cared and doesn’t give a damn about anything.

Internally and externally, Pakistan is totally shattered at the moment. There is nothing developmental or cultural on which we can be proud of. Pick up the newspaper or click on any channel, we see dead bodies, blast news, drone attacks, victims, victims’ families, death, hunger… and yet no one is speaking for change, apart from political stakeholders.

We can easily blame it on America or India for atrocities happening in Pakistan. There is no doubt that certain events lead us to this belief, but the real problem is within ourselves. Is Pakistan so weak that anyone can intrude? Is Pakistan so naïve that foreign agendas can jeopardize the whole country?

At present there is one organization which appears to be most benefitting; i.e. military. Pakistan Army is now being called by protesters to hold emergency in Baluchistan. Many are advocating martial law over the country. Words and actions of Tahir-ul-Qadri reject all political parties and favor the army. Army is again playing “big daddy” role while sitting behind the curtain.

Calling army would be another smack on wounded Pakistan. Army has failed miserably, within or without politics, in FATA, western borders, and northern areas. It has failed miserably in dealing with messy situations of Raymond Davis, OBL Operation, attacks on GHQs, dealing with drones, and missing people in Pakistan. From Musharraf to Kayani, there is nothing about army to be proud of. Calling them for help would be welcoming another disaster.

I don’t have any conclusion as I don’t know who is loyal, honest and right for this country presently. Many believe Khan, others believe Sharif and another crowd believes Qadri. Honestly speaking, I don’t think anyone of them is good but may be Khan or Sharif, together, can be the best option. They should unite for the sake of Pakistan and clear all this mess of violence, burglary and corruption.

Even in the worst case scenario, I don’t believe that Pakistan will have to lose its region. I also don’t believe that it will be defeated by any external or internal powers. May be we have to sacrifice more, so what. We are sacrificing before its creation. It is dream of our Iqbal, a reality of our Quaid and “oonthni” of Prophet Saleh A.S. as mentioned beautifully by Ashfaq Ahmad. No one can tell the future of Pakistan but we are sure it is not depressing. We are hopeful and we are struggling. Hoping it best in words of Faiz;

We shall see

Certainly we too, will see; we shall see

The day that has been prophesized
The one written on the Tablet of Fate
We shall see
When all crowns will fly
When all thrones will fall

Then only Allah’s name will remain
Who is unseen, yet ever seeing
Who is the sight, as well as the scene
When the anthem of truth will be raised
Who I am too, And so are you

And the people of God will rule
Who I am too, And so are you

We shall see
Certainly we too, will see; we shall see
We shall see

I Am Hazara!

I was mother of a son till yesterday when a bomb blast took this privilege of life from me. My son lost his life in this attack. Unfortunately, I am not alone. See there! these are all mothers and sisters who have lost their loved ones. These are all those who have a reason not to smile for rest of their lives.

I don’t know what my son did, what was his crime, what did he do to be killed brutally? I know he was Shia, but is it a crime?

Someone has killed my motherhood. That someone calls himself a Muslim, I know. How dare he can call himself a Muslim when he cannot call himself a human? Who gave him this right? Who the hell gave him this duty to kill? Who is he? How can I curse him? Oh Rabba!

With all other ill-fated families, I am not burying my son. For the sake of our breathing ones, we are taking this bold step of not burying our non-breathing ones until we get a promising word of justice. We want protection. Your silence has killed my son; now speak with me to stop this genocide. If you have a reason, talk to us. You can teach us, you can argue; but you cannot kill us.

Prophets didn’t kill people. Companions of Prophets didn’t kill people. They were used to preach through harmony and peace. In the worst cases, they were used to leave. They never killed. They never started genocide.

I remember how my Prophet PBUH treated Abu Jahl when he reached height of disrespect. My Prophet PBUH just changed his way. He PBUH didn’t kill Abu Jahl.

What is the reason behind your killing? How you encourage someone to this worst level of act against humanity?

Do you use money? Shame!

Do you blackmail? Shame!

Do you use religion? Shame!

Do you use Islam? SHAME!

How dare you use my religion to kill my son?

Before yesterday, I was full of motherhood, love, harmony and peace. Since yesterday, I have become a body who is cursing everything around her. I wish all the mothers die before seeing their motherliness lying in front of them with such brutality. I wish I would have died before yesterday.

This is the body of my son. Yes this is his blood. This is blood of a Muslim, a Muhammadi, a Husseini, a Pakistani and a martyr. I’m not burying him till I get a promising word of safety for all other sons around. You cannot imagine at what stage of life I am now as I myself never thought of it. I never thought that this life will take me to this verge of obscurity. But here I am standing with my dead son.

I will leave quietly as soon as you will give me justice. I will leave when you guarantee the protection of my people. Then I will bury my son. I will leave this road. I will go back to my home where I have enough space and life to grieve.

Please give me justice and let my son have a proper burial. You didn’t treat him right when he was alive. Please treat him right when he is no more. Stand beside and speak with me!