Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Addicted to Games

While the state of governance under Musharraf leaves much to be desired, in Balochistan - which is caught in the grip of a festering insurgency - has reached its own level of absurdity.

A recent news article revealed that the Musharraf-appointed chief minister Jam Yousaf is obsessed by adolescent pastimes. The Chief Minister of Balochistan, it appears, is addicted computer games and playing with his mobile phone.

The News tells us that

Official sources have confirmed that usually meetings convened in the Chief Minister House, Quetta, are delayed because Jam has to finish his computer game first.

“Everyone in the Balochistan government knows this. Our chief minister has got hundreds of computer game CDs,” a source said, revealing that Jam Yousaf also has a keen interest in the mobile phone sets. According to a provincial secretary, on more than one occasion he saw the chief minister taking photos with his cellphone during official meetings.

And then he is also absent from his post most of the time:

There are also many in the province who are not comfortable with the chief minister’s outstation visits. “Most of the time you will find him out of the province,” a source said, adding that he (the chief minister) goes for a meeting to Islamabad or Karachi but does not return for many days.

The source said the official record of the Balochistan government would amply show this trend of the chief minister. A weeklong absence, it is said, is a routine.

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On a more serious note it is believed over 80% of the development funds provided to Balochistan end up in the pockets of these Islamabad-picked politicians and bureaucrats. There is so much money to be made that ministers – many of them JUI Maulanas – cling on to their posts with fervent passion, making a complete mockery of their leader Fazlur Rehman’s threats to resign from the assemblies.

One semi-literate Maulvi-cum-Minister, for instance, is rumoured to have recently purchased two luxury flats in London. Just what our 'religious politician' plans to do in that capital of Western 'iniquity' is a question no one has dared yet ask him.

The News report gloomily continues:

Although governance is a problem throughout Pakistan, Balochistan is said to be one province where the government is extremely weak. Generally, postings and transfers against lucrative posts at all levels, it is said, are made by the concerned authorities only after the right palms are greased. The JUI Maulanas are also more interested in postings/transfers than the development of the province or to address the real problems of Balochistan.

Rules, regulations and policies remain irrelevant while making appointments. Average field tenure of officers is said to be eight months. Citing a few examples of strange appointments, a source said the incumbent chairman of the Balochistan Development Authority is a BS-19 officer whereas it is a BS-21 post. The DCO Quetta is also a BS-21 post but the incumbent is in BS-18. Balochistan is also unique to have a DCO on contract whereas in the chief minister’s home district – Lasbela — the DCO is a corporation employee, who neither belongs to the federal civil service nor the provincial civil service. DCO Gwadar is a rare example for the reason that he has not only completed his three-year tenure but has overstayed for at least one more year and is still continuing.

According to a source from Quetta the richest beneficiary of Balochistan’s provincial windfall is by convention the chief minister.

And so, as the Chief Minister plays his PC games, the crores must surely be falling into his lap.

In the meantime Balochistan burns…



4 comments:

mountainman said...

Our "installed" leaders play fiddle while Balochistan burns. Using a computing metaphor, there must be some self-executing file with our powers-that-be which allows them to install one incompetent person after the other in Balochistan with little difficulty while cleaning the virus of Baloch nationalism from the land. I dont remember if we discussed this particular incident on your blog but last year BBC Urdu reported that an agency goon in plainscloth gave the worthy CM an abrupt shut-up call in the middle of his interview with the BBC correspondent apparently because the CM was boasting that the government had used gunship helicopters in attacking Baloch insurgents.

Ahmed Bhaila said...

on a slightly funny note what does he play
Balochistan Raider
Grand Theft Auto: Sibi City Stories

aas said...

Well its nice to see that its not women, alcohol, drugs or some obssesion with a luxurious trinket that keeps this guy from doing is job.

Games are cool but most(99 percent) of Pakistani politicians should be tried and sentenced to death for their corruption and theft and ineptitude.

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