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Saturday, 2 July 2022

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 183 of 2022

1721hrs:

At midday today we surpassed the half yearly mark of 2022 viz. 182 days x 2 = 364 + 12 hours.

This has by far been our most consistent run of daily weblogging since we began weblogging in 2008. We are well on course this year to beat the peak of 330 daily entries in 2019. 

Remember that 2022 would have had an 100% record of daily weblogging, if not for the 4 complete days that I spent in Kotli jail during March.

....

It was also Day 27 of our 'Public Policy Workshop' at Maqbool Bhat Shaheed Square in Dadyaal, where we sit in 'court' between 0800hrs and 1000hrs every morning without fail. We also hope to maintain this momentum for 365 days, without a break.

.... 


Friday, 1 July 2022

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 182 of 2022

2108hrs:

I did begin to sit down to write at 2020hrs but.......connectivity issues....

As it rained last night in healthy quantity, the electricity has predictably become more present than absent. 

I've hinted before that Pakistan has an unhealthy reliance on hydropower-ed electricity (particularly from our territory) and its selfish - coupled with myopic - strategy has created havoc with the environment - particularly in the last few years - such that the natural flow of water is not increasing enough in summer - despite the melting of glaciers - thus a reliance on rain to aid the water flow into these hydropower projects.

Rain deprives us of electricity when it comes - because of weak infrastructure - but once it recedes, the additional flow of water creates more power generation, leading to more electricity for us.

I will give you a widely quoted figure of roughly how much electricity is produced in AJK and how much we need:


 

Thursday, 30 June 2022

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 181 of 2022

2218hrs:

I'm just breezing through an academic collection of work on our territory: 'Society and Politics of Jammu and Kashmir' edited by Serena Hussain and published by Palgrave Macmillan 2021 at Cham, Switzerland. I find it refreshing that some academic measurement is being made of what the people here - on the ground in particular and those striving in some manner in the diaspora - go through to get their voice heard or written about, when the structure of statecraft is so heavily stacked in favour of India and Pakistan, crafted with such dexterity that only the British could possibly conjure up.

At first glance, it also makes me feel that I'm missing out on something somewhere.

Whatever it is, it is what I need to address as part of my daily routine.

....  

Wednesday, 29 June 2022

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 180 of 2022

2303hrs:

The heat is a stiff challenge. 

Now that we haven't seen rain for a few days, the electricity is playing up again and we are witnessing about 12 hours of load-shedding, just like we were before the few days of rain.

We are essentially suffering because of a greedy and myopic neighbour, who wants to use the hydro powered electricity of this territory (which is expensive to build but whose running costs are minimal) and what it produces in its own territory (Tarbela is its major source), to try and fulfill the electricity needs of its own country, while always trying to give us as least supply as it thinks we can tolerate.

If Pakistan were to try and supply electricity to everybody it would have to buy oil or gas based electricity, which it would have to use foreign currency to do so, which it doesn't have in sufficient supply. It has already borrowed way beyond its ability to repay, from the rest of the world.

Thus, despite Pakistan producing at least 10 times more than our own need for electricity - from our territory - it still strives to deprive us of our need, for over 12 hours a day.

When it rains, the immediate short term effect is that the electricity goes because the transmission infrastructure is weak. However, once the rain subsides there is more water to power the hydro power projects built in our territory. This increases the supply of electricity in the short term but only until the water levels recede.

This is the pattern we have witnessed over the past few weeks.

These large hydro projects, involved uprooting many people (our people, not the people of Pakistan) and they have had a disastrous effect on the environment too. Boring long tunnels to divert rivers is one such example. Given the natural altitude decline from our territory to the plains of India and Pakistan and given the abundant sources of water flowing down from here; many relatively smaller - run of the river - electricity generating projects could have been created.  

They would have been environmentally friendly and people wouldn't have been uprooted on the scale we have witnessed. 

However, our neighbour being greedy and myopic - as declared at the outset of today's weblog - has made us sacrifice ourselves for its behaviour. Mega projects enable mega corruption (not so easily possible on smaller projects) and so what if our people have to pay the price? A few religious anecdotes about big brother in Islam etc. is usually sufficient to appease our people, or what usually transpires is that our people also get corrupted to emulate their Pakistani brothers in Islam. 

The relatively strong exploit the weak. The Pakistanis exploit AJK and GB. The Pakistani sponsored power elites in our territory then exploit the weaker amongst us.

Our own resources are used to exploit and subjugate us.

This vicious cycle repeats itself from generation to generation.

Our motivation is to break this cycle and make our people productive enough to genuinely compete with the rest of the world, based on what should be our competitive advantages bestowed by nature upon us. 

To not be unproductive rent/commission seekers, a haven for black money and terrorism or a destination for bad loans.

AJK and the rest of JKA - including GB - would do well to stop emulating Pakistan. 

....

    

Tuesday, 28 June 2022

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 179 of 2022

2141hrs:

Plugging away....

....

What happened yesterday evening in Muzaffarabad should be an eye opener for the remaining few people whose eyes have remained shut over Pakistan's crimes in reference to Jammu Kashmir & Allied areas.

....


Saturday, 25 June 2022

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 176 of 2022

0718hrs:

Consistency is being maintained - like never before in my 17 year career here - in search of that compound effect.

....

The following story is gory but it does happen in our territory:


English translation of the Urdu text above:

27 year old lady Haseena Bibi and her 18 month old innocent flower (child) were killed by 4 people, assisted by 4 others.

End of translation....

I'll try and summarise the story too, which can be read in Urdu at the link above.

Paalri in Dawaarian, which is in the Neelam Valley is where this gory incident happened.

....

This is an important development in the story of Asmaad Aslam, the young boy who accidentally crossed over the LOC from Tithrinote, Hajeera in November last year: 

 

.... 

Friday, 24 June 2022

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 175 of 2022

2040hrs:

The fight continues, with relish....

....

Here's the much anticipated comprehensive video interview of Malik Waseem Kashmiri conducted by myself a few days ago:


Title and description was as follows:

Malik Waseem Kashmiri vs The State of AJK 

The land and people of Jammu Kashmir & Allied areas (JKA)

If we tolerate the strong occupying the weak inside our territory, then how do we reason with external occupiers?

Large or small, occupiers are occupiers.  

A comprehensive video interview of Malik Waseem Kashmiri by Tanveer Ahmed, in reference to the land of Sardar Singh and Ratan Singh in Naluchi, Muzaffarabad.

A comprehensive written report on this 'test case' will also be published very soon.

....

Meanwhile, DC Muzaffarabad is trying his best to trace Malik Waseem and get him illegally arrested once again, to prevent him from agitating for his rights.

....

We are reminding both our public as well as the institutions built courtesy of that public that cleaning our environment is a basic requirement for civilisation:


Here's the text describing the embedded video above:

Waste management, soil management, water management and human/data management at Maqbool Bhat Shaheed Square - Dadyaal

If it succeeds in this square it will succeed throughout the c.85K square miles of JKA.

Slavery is a curse and freedom doesn't come without getting your hands dirty.

....

Thursday, 23 June 2022

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 174 of 2022

0621hrs:

Bringing regular - and hopefully - increasingly positive changes in one's daily routine at the age of 50 brings much change in one's body. It feels as if a whole circuit board is being changed. 

Long may this continue.

.... 

I know - we Muslims - get very emotional and furious when it appears that somebody has insulted our holy prophet (peace be upon him). We do it by instinct because of our love and devotion but we must take heed of the following examples from our beloved prophet's own life:
  

.... 

There was always likely to be a sharp turn in matters related to Malik Waseem Kashmiri versus the State of AJK. I've been studying this 'test case' since the middle of December last year. In fact, I dedicated a folder for this issue and began collecting evidence on all matters related to it, on the 13th of December 2021.

There was a twist yesterday and it is just ballooning as an issue, with more thrust than at any point since Malik Waseem and his family were evicted on January the 17th 2022, from Sardar Singh and Ratan Singh's land in Naluchi, Muzaffarabad; that they had occupied as refugees from the other side of JKA (Kupwara) in 1949. after migrating in 1947.

The man on the ground representing the 'strong arm of the law' was Deputy Commissioner (DC hereon) Muzaffarabad Nadeem Janjua, who used all available tools in the British colonial manual to allegedly detain, intimidate, harass, torture, beat and blackmail Malik Waseem and his family.

He was following orders from the Supreme Court of AJK, claimed he and almost every other asset of the 'governance system' in Muzaffarabad. 

Yesterday morning, news reached most parts of AJK that a stolen car (from Lahore last year) with government of AJK number plates, was in the 'custody' or 'use' of DC Muzaffarabad.

According to the following video report by a Pakistani news channel, namely City 41:



From 05:46 in the video....
 
DC Muzaffarabad is clearly implicated as 'custodian' of this stolen vehicle. The presenter also mentions that DC (Muzaffarabad) implored the owner to not publicly disclose this information; that the stolen vehicle with government of AJK number plates, was found in the DC's 'custody'.

On the contrary, DC Muzaffarabad Nadeem Janjua issued the following press note, yesterday too:


In this press note, DC Muzaffarabad Nadeem Janjua claims to have nothing to do with this stolen vehicle and considers it to be a cunning conspiracy against him and the 'honourable' office that he holds. He finishes by declaring that he is in the process of taking stern 'penal' action against all these 'conspirators'. 

I wonder what action he should anticipate, if he is found guilty in a responsible court of law? 

Will the endemically corrupt governance system in the State of AJK - even as much as investigate - his alleged 'misuse of authority' on an increasing list of alleged crimes? 

Or in the words of a learned co-citizen: Will anybody investigate the Pakistani TV channel City 41?

Remaining with yesterday, DC Muzaffarabad summoned Malik Waseem's elder brother Malik Naeem to his office - on the pretext that he wanted to show him some shelters (fabricated building structures) -  for the alternative land that the government of AJK had arranged, as compensation for Malik Waseem and his family (which incidentally is already disputed by two other parties). 

DC Muzaffarabad Nadeem Janjua

Leaving aside for now the legal basis for this contrived agreement (blackmail according to Malik Waseem), DC Muzaffarabad is alleged to have kept Malik Naeem restricted to the former's office all day and ended with open threats to the latter. Ranging from, "Bring your brother Malik Waseem here or else I will make all hell break loose on your family once again," to "This time I detain your brother, I promise you that you will never ever see him again," to "Go get lost, you will not get any land" and "Go to Modi, where you belong!" etc.

Meanwhile, this is how Malik Waseem may have felt on January the 17th 2022:

....

Meanwhile,  the following was a protest outside national press club Islamabad today, by students in response to Punjabi students conducting a lethal attack on Kashmiri students at Qaid e Azam University a few days ago. They demanded that the attackers be immediately arrested:


....

 

Wednesday, 22 June 2022

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 173 of 2022

2029hrs:

Some positive developments today at Maqbool Bhat Shaheed Square - Dadyaal.

The local municipality (Baldiya) has begun taking serious steps to clean the square and keep it clean. I've been picking up rubbish for the past 17 days and today municipality workers have positively changed their approach too by also coming to pick up the remaining rubbish, rather than simply sweeping the rubbish under foliage once a week, as they used to do. 

I'm told that the fixed bin that I requested a few days ago is also arriving soon.

....

Tuesday, 21 June 2022

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 172 of 2022

0733hrs:

The weather has transformed over the past few days, which has had a positive impact on our electricity supply. It now rains every day compared to the very hot and dry weather we witnessed in the preceding days and weeks beforehand.

Meanwhile, today is Day 16 of our daily 2 hour workshop at Maqbool Bhat Shaheed Square - Dadyaal. We are trying hard to get the local municipality (Baldiya) to fulfill its cleaning duties of the public square.

....

Students from AJK are a minority in Pakistan's universities where they have a 1% quota (despite our relatively larger input into Pakistan's economy)  and where they are denied most of what other communities are given. For example, it is reported that no 4 students from AJK can converge together on a university campus, they cannot create their own union, society or club and they cannot promote their own ideas or culture. It is believed that the following violence which left many of our students seriously injured - one in a critical condition - and led to their possessions being looted from their hostel accommodation, erupted due to a disagreement over entitlement to hostel accommodation:
 

.... 

Monday, 20 June 2022

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 171 of 2022

0716hrs:

When one sits to write, some themes automatically come to mind. Yet, it is more important to ensure that all aspects of public life in AJK are given due attention. They can broadly be divided into 4 categories, in my opinion:

1) Security
2) Governance
3) Economy
4) Culture

....

The following is a reminder of what the basic requirements of civilisation are:


Here is what is written in the intro to this video embed:

Taraqi aur taaqat ka raaz:

Safai, safai aur safai se aghaaz!

Maqbool Bhat Shaheed Square - Dadyaal

A translation of the first two sentences is in order:

The secret of power and development:

Begins with cleanliness, cleanliness and cleanliness!

....

Sunday, 19 June 2022

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 170 of 2022

0720hrs:

Very engaged on a matter for the past few days......all such matters require one to be fully absorbed to dig out clarity. 

Clarity is what opens up space for justice. Ambiguity is the most potent weapon of the corrupt, certainly in this 'neck of the woods'.

....

Saturday, 18 June 2022

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 169 of 2022

0659hrs:

Thankfully, we have achieved some respite over power outages since yesterday!

I can now begin concentrating on other immediate needs and concerns, all related to governance of course.

....

We decided to monitor the electricity supply again today (for the 4th day in a row) when we recognised it dropping again!

1205hrs: Electricity goes

1416hrs: Electricity returns

1641hrs: It departs again

1701hrs: It returns again

1801hrs: It goes again

1901hrs: It returns 

2342hrs: It departs once again

0000hrs: Monitoring ends....

Total:

- Thus, in 12 hours of monitoring between (1200hrs to 0000hrs/midnight) we received 491 minutes of 720 minutes possible. 

- That is, 8 hours and 11 minutes received out of 12 hours. 

Percentage of electricity received today: 68.2% (0% low voltage)

Percentage of electricity received yesterday: 80.9% (0 low voltage)

Day Before Yesterday: 20.1% of which 4% was low voltage

Day Before The Day Before Yesterday: 51.7% of which 11.5% was low voltage

Thus, we can bring the current electricity monitoring process to a close for now. At least, until the next such crisis re-emerges. We can give a (mean) average to the last 4 days of monitoring thus: 55.3%

It can be safely assumed that when we are hit with such crises in AJK, we are unlikely to receive much more than 12 hours of electricity in 24 hours a day. This is an example from Dadyaal, the richest subdivision (tehsil) in AJK and amongst the most affected by the building of the Mangla Reservoir in the 1960s. The situation in other parts of AJK becomes much bleaker, the poorer that subdivision is. 

It should also be remembered that the territory of AJK produces more than 10 times its own need, in terms of hydro powered electricity. This is but one prime example of how and why we are occupied by our Muslim neighbours to the west viz. Pakistan.

....

Friday, 17 June 2022

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 168 of 2022

0708hrs:

As anticipated, our electricity supply is dwindling by the day....

By midnight this morning, it had been absent since 1934hrs yesterday evening (4 hours and 26 minutes).

As I tried to sleep regardless - at around midnight - I remembered the following before I woke at 0600hrs this morning.

0007hrs: The electricity flickered on for a split second before disappearing again (It has now been gone for 4 hours and 33 minutes at a stretch!)

0011hrs: It flickered for a split second once again.

I do vaguely recall the electricity coming at around 0200hrs (after more than 6 hours). I also remember it coming and going before I woke at 0600hrs.

0604hrs: Electricity returned

0610hrs: Electricity disappeared again.

0632hrs: It returned

0643hrs: It went again

It is now 0718hrs at the time of writing and we are without electricity. Of course this affects our whole way of life, not least the water supply which relies on being pumped in by an electric motor.

0745hrs: I left home and it hadn't returned yet.

1020hrs: I returned home after my 2 hour daily stint at Maqbool Bhat Shaheed Square and the electricity was running.

1101hrs: The electricity departs

1109hrs: It returns

1151hrs: It goes

1156hrs: It returns

1910hrs: It goes (this the longest period of electricity supply received in many a day! 7 hours and 14 minutes uninterrupted)

1913hrs: The electricity returns

1929hrs: It goes again

1938hrs: It returns

2103hrs: It goes

2200hrs: It returns

2353hrs: It leaves us once again.

At midnight, I had to close monitoring for the day, in order to obtain some much needed rest.

Overall, a marked improvement in electricity supply was noticed today. Here's the stats:

Total:

- Thus, in 15 hours and 25 minutes of monitoring between (0600hrs to 0745hrs) and (1020hrs to midnight) we received 748 minutes of 925 minutes possible. 

- That is, 12 hours and 28 minutes received out of 15 hours and 25 minutes. 

Percentage of electricity received today: 80.9% (0 low voltage)
Yesterday: 20.1% of which 4% was low voltage
Day Before Yesterday: 51.7% of which 11.5% was low voltage
.... 

Thursday, 16 June 2022

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 167 of 2022

0735hrs:

Continuing our monitoring of electricity supply in Dadyaal:

0001hrs: Electricity disappeared

Soon after I feel asleep and woke at 0600hrs to find that there was no electricity but it was raining thankfully. No doubt during the night it came and went a few times but I obviously was unable to monitor it.

0704hrs: It returned.

0711hrs: The electricity disappeared again.

As I leave home around 0745hrs and remain out in the field till 1000hrs I couldn't monitor the electricity during this period; not until I returned home at 1020hrs and found there to be no electricity.

1030hrs: It came but at a low voltage

1036hrs: The voltage normalises

1044hrs: Electricity disappears

1050hrs: It returned for just 3 seconds

1059hrs: Electricity returns

1130hrs: It leaves us again

1134hrs: It returns

1159hrs: It goes again

1259hrs: It came again

1303hrs: It went

1307hrs: Electricity returned

1314hrs: It left again

1323hrs: It returned

I then retired for my afternoon nap....at c. 1330hrs

I got up again at 1630hrs....in between no doubt it came and went a few times

1648hrs: It disappears again

1857hrs: It returned after more than 2 hours

1934hrs: It went again and didn't return until over 6 hours later the next morning.

A dark evening!

Total:

- Thus, in 12 hours and 25 minutes of monitoring between (0600hrs to 0745hrs), (1020hrs to 1330hrs) and (1630hrs to midnight) we received 150 minutes and 3 seconds of 745 minutes possible. 

- That is, 2 hours 30 minutes and 3 seconds received (of which 6 minutes were of low voltage) out of 12 hours and 25 minutes. 

Percentage of electricity received today: 20.1% of which 4% was low voltage. 
Yesterday: 51.7% of which 11.5% was low voltage

....

Wednesday, 15 June 2022

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 166 of 2022

0708hrs:

It is without a doubt that the governance system around us - AJK son of Pakistan son of Imperial Britain - is rapidly disintegrating. The electricity we are receiving in the highest revenue generating tehsil (subdivision) of AJK (namely Dadyaal) is dwindling by the day. It is now easily less than 12 hours a day and the voltage is also rapidly deteriorating. There is no longer sufficient current to run a fridge and the ceiling fan also turns at a speed barely enough to generate a superficial breeze.

Not a day passes when we see multiple examples of our forests being burned out. All other aspects of governance have a similar gory tale to tell.

....

It was somewhat refreshing to read the following document:


Here's the comment that I made after reading it:

Thank you Jonathan. I found that quite insightful in some respects. I would just say among other important criteria for successful mediation in conflict resolution; the two that are most important in my opinion (and experience of over 17 years of uninterrupted on the ground action-oriented research in Jammu Kashmir & Allied areas) are genuine & representative inclusion of the affectees of conflict in any process and for that process to not be bound in time, it should be for the long haul, until resolution.

Meanwhile, I hope you are keeping well? We met quite a long time ago, one evening at a coffee shop in Islamabad, Pakistan.

End of comment....

The document above can be accessed on LinkedIn here.

....

Today I'll provide you a real-time insight into our electricity woes in AJK and specifically in Dadyaal, as I sit literally sweating on my keyboard:

1500hrs: Electricity arrived

1532hrs: Electricity departed

1646hrs: Electricity arrived (albeit at a very low voltage, not enough to make the ceiling fan spin at any reasonable speed!)

1718hrs: The voltage perked up to its regular voltage!

1753hrs: Electricity departed once again

1922hrs: Arrived

2034hrs: Gone

2044hrs: Returns

2111hrs: Gone....and its raining

2132hrs: Returns as rain recedes

2144hrs: Gone again

2153hrs: Back again

2202hrs: Gone yet again

2300hrs: The electricity returns once again and remained until midnight.

Total:

- Thus, in 9 hours of monitoring between 1500hrs and midnight we received 279 minutes of 540 possible. 

- That is, 4 hours 39 minutes received (of which 32 minutes were of low voltage) out of 9 hours. 

- Barely half, which would average out to be around 12 hours out of 24.   

Percentage of electricity received: 51.7% of which 11.5% was low voltage. 

....

Earlier in the evening in Dadyaal, there appeared to be the first real protest against the power shortages meted out to this territory, despite producing more than ten times its need. There was a protest a couple of weeks ago but that was mild and brief. This was fiery, reports tell me.

....

Yes, the following is as absurd as it is true in the 'water kingdom' of Asia:


....

Meanwhile, I fired the following shot on Facebook, which I can't embed here - except as an image - but anyone can reach the link here



....

Tuesday, 14 June 2022

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 165 of 2022

0656hrs:

Day 9 of our 'Public Policy Workshop' between 0800hrs and 1000hrs at Maqbool Bhat Shaheed Square in Dadyaal.

In pursuit of realising the proverb, "the early bird gets the worm".

....

We did consider it apt to make a video of how we're spending these 2 hours every day here:



....

Students in Muzaffarabad stage a protest against the abundant forest fires raging throughout AJK, organised by Jammu Kashmir Mahaz-e-Istiqlal (JKMI):



....

Monday, 13 June 2022

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 164 of 2022

2054hrs:

Shaping well....

....

I managed to fulfill a promise today to the following victim (amongst countless victims of Mangla Dam) to share his story with the world:


....

Sunday, 12 June 2022

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 163 of 2022

0717hrs:

It seems true that humans work most efficiently when they operate their daily lives like clockwork - organising themselves like a machine - after all, isn't the human body a complex machine that thrives on order?

Where balance is maintained and productivity realised through controlling the emotions and making them adapt to various regular tasks at hand.
.... 

What a picture!

....

Saturday, 11 June 2022

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 162 of 2022

0643hrs:

Hard work always pays off if one is patient and persistent enough. Though admittedly, it appears to be a foreign trait for most of our people, especially in the context of selfless pursuits. They can quite understand it if it is related to selfish pursuits though. Indeed, the latter is even celebrated!

Day 6 without interruption at Maqbool Bhat Square in Dadyaal.

....
 

Friday, 10 June 2022

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 161 of 2022

0736hrs:

A few steps forward can be followed by a few steps back but we have to keep on driving ourselves forward. Its the overall journey that matters. 

Despite everything, today is Day 5 of our 2 hour 'Public Policy Workshop' - between 0800hrs and 1000hrs - at Maqbool Bhat Shaheed Square in Dadyaal. No interruptions or complications so far.

.... 

Further disturbing news of intensifying occupation of AJK:

Translation of above tweet:

According to sources, the Pakistani navy and airforce have been alloted 6 kanaals (0.75 or 75% of an acre) of land for a resthouse in Sudhan Gali - Bagh, the province of Jammu in the State of Jammu Kashmir.

End of translation....

....

Raging forest fires in AJK. The following example is of Pateeka:

 


....

Thursday, 9 June 2022

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 160 of 2022

2139hrs:

It was an early start today too but I couldn't write the entry in time before proceeding for my daily shift at Maqbool Bhat Shaheed Square in Dadyaal.

It has rained this evening after many a day. All hail the Lord of the heavens.

....

This example of uncontrollable forest fire in Smaahni has been raging for the past 2 months:


....

Wednesday, 8 June 2022

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 159 of 2022

0517hrs:

Day 3 of a 2 hour routine (0800hrs to 1000hrs) at Maqbool Bhat Shaheed Square in Dadyaal. Scene of the most impactful event yet ref. 21 August 2020.

Picture 1 of 2 (of Facebook post):

Picture 2 of 2 (of Facebook post):


We had difficulties embedding the above post in one go as it seems Facebook has changed its embed settings. You can go direct to the post here. For those who don't want to or can't go directly to the aforementioned link, here's the text related to the post:

Urdu:

بہت بہت شکریہ سب دوستوں کا بھی اور سب  دشمنوں کو بھی نیک تمنائیں پیش خدمت ہیں۔

 کوئی ایسا مسلہ نہیں جو میز پر حل نہ ہو سکے۔

 اگر دوستوں کو اس میز کی ضرورت ہے تو مقبول بٹ شہید چوک ڈڈیال آپ کی منزل ہے

English:

Many many thanks to all friends and warm regards to all foes too.

There is no such issue that cannot be resolved at the table.

If friends need this table then Maqbool Bhat Shaheed Square Dadyaal is their destination.

End of text....

....

This is why I talk of waste management. The following dreadful example is of Mirpur, sometimes described as mini England:



....

Tuesday, 7 June 2022

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 158 of 2022

0740hrs:

Today is Day 2 of a new beginning and if it all goes well - as always intended - we will reach the finishing line within a year.

Its a genuine early start today, even though I retired just after 0300hrs and couldn't sleep a wink until I got up at 0700hrs.

....

Earlier, in the earliest hour of today's date was posted the following on Facebook:



The embedding feature appears to have been restricted on Facebook, though one can go directly to the post from the hyperlink before the image above. Meanwhile, for those having difficulty reading the text in the image, here it is:

Photographing oneself drinking kahwa (green tea) as a monthly ritual for freedom, to build a world-wide coalition that ensures that no human being is forcibly bonded to another human, ideology or country. 

We - the inhabitants of Jammu Kashmir & Allied areas (JKA) - should pledge to the world that what we want for ourselves is not what we will deny to others, under any circumstances.

#LetKashmirDecide

#JKAPoliticalSolutions

#WaterManagement

#DirectDemocracy

#GeopoliticalNeutrality

End of text....

.... 

It is important that we give as much attention to Gilgit Baltistan as possible. Whatever we feel in terms of slavery here in AJK can be multiplied many times over for the hapless aspiring citizens of what can be arguably described as the most strategic of regions in Jammu Kashmir & Allied areas (JKA).

Here are a couple of insights courtesy of the Twitter platform:


Translation of tweet:

Efforts to appropriate (dishonest seizure) land in a disputed territory have sped up while the government of Gilgit Baltistan and responsible institutions are silent.

In the historic and geographically strategic area of Ghizer - near the highest polo ground in the world - the Chitral Scouts have taken their construction to its final stages, in order to complete their occupation of the area .  

End of translation....

Another example of why governance and State structures must be by the locals and for the locals, otherwise responsibility cannot be defined and accountability cannot be executed:

 

Translation of tweet:

 Enmity towards Education is not Acceptable!

Due to absence of teachers the helpless children (supposed to be studying at) Government Middle School Upper Jaglot (in GB) have taken to the streets to demonstrate themselves!  

Will anybody come out to help these children?

End of translation....

....

Monday, 6 June 2022

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 157 of 2022

0655hrs:

An early start or a late finish?

Today is the latter but from tomorrow onwards we hope it will always be the former.

....

Sunday, 5 June 2022

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 156 of 2022

2209hrs:

Battling on despite many hurdles. Hot weather and lack of electricity to name a couple.

.... 

Saturday, 4 June 2022

Friday, 3 June 2022

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 154 of 2022

1714hrs:

The change process should be mathematical too. Assessing political representation and the decision to enact legislation on behalf of the public is ultimately mathematical too.

The same with public policy, hence our 4 x 4 x 4 recurring formula.

.... 

Thursday, 2 June 2022

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 153 of 2022

2023hrs:

Straining at the leash........is a metaphor applied to humans too. There is a particular context in the case of the people of JKA too. 

....


Wednesday, 1 June 2022

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 152 of 2022

2301hrs:

A lot of infighting, denying each other their rights, exploiting each other and trying to silence each other can sometimes appear to be the norm amongst our people. Most of our energies are wasted on such exercises that we have little energy left to focus on understanding the national straightjacket we have been put in, since 1947.

....  

Tuesday, 31 May 2022

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 151 of 2022

2258hrs:

Doing the work of an academic but without being recognised or paid as such would be unthinkable for most I presume, otherwise there would be many more of us. 

In an unnecessarily complex freedom struggle such endeavours are absolutely necessary.

.... 

Monday, 30 May 2022

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 150 of 2022

2345hrs:

It is hard work but human beings are capable of much more than they generally think.

Learning and discussing public policy.

The chowk (square though these are generally a circle in our region) has been defined as the best place so far.

However, corruption is a major barrier along with the weather.

.... 

Sunday, 29 May 2022

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 149 of 2022

0658hrs:

Battling on....

.... 

The following is pasted from a disturbing case study that I finalised today to bring focus on a much neglected aspect of governance in AJK:

 Corrupt Educational Institutes aid Corrupt Societies

A Case Study of the University of Kotli - AJK

By Tanveer Ahmed: an independent action-oriented public policy researcher working un-interrupted on the ground in AJK since 2005 - 29 May 2022

 

Introduction

Ever since this writer inadvertently returned to his motherland from the UK in 2005, he has always considered it his duty to study and research all prima facie allegations of corruption (and particularly the misuse of public money and authority) in the territory of AJK; taking practical limitations of time, resources and energy into consideration - whenever requested to do so by any aggrieved party - as a matter of public interest. Such reports and case studies are always conducted without the expectation of favour or reward from the aggrieved or elsewhere and with the intention of upholding the concepts of transparency, accountability and meritocracy - without exclusion or discrimination - as indispensable tenets of modern day governance in the 21st century.

These matters have added significance in our territory considering our ambiguous constitutional status since 1947 and the absence of institutional frameworks (locally, regionally and globally) to address our plight.

As public agency we take an integrated public policy approach to remedy both our internal dilemmas of governance and our outstanding 'national question' externally, with the exclusive assistance of our public in general (irrespective of their personal affiliations or opinions) - both at home and in the diaspora - while utilising solely peaceful, ethical, legal and democratic means. The areas we cover in our action-oriented research on AJK in particular (and JKA in general viz. Jammu Kashmir & allied areas) are broadly categorised and contextualised as security, governance, economy and culture.   

The case of Sardar Sajjad Ahmad Khan of Danna in Kotli, lecturer of mathematics at Kotli University (and his alleged victimisation, for raising a multitude of questions related to corruption at Kotli University over the past few years, comes directly under this purview). Despite numerous attempts on his part, he has apparently failed to motivate the chancellor of the university (who by tradition is the president of AJK and also the chairperson of the mechanism devised for resolving internal conflicts within the university, namely the senate) to set up a 5 member inquiry commission, to comprehensively assess all claims and counter claims by Sajjad Ahmad and his adversaries at the university, in particular the Vice Chancellor (VC or VC Kotli hereon) Dr. Syed Dilnawaz Ahmad Gardezi. The former contends that matters rather than improving have further deteriorated over time.

As the allegations directly implicate the VC for academic/administrative and financial corruption, it is understood that the conscience of Lecturer Sajjad could not be appeased, hence this appeal to the wider public to address the future of their children and society at large. He feels with intensity that if the sole university in the largest district of AJK (in terms of population Kotli has over 800,000 inhabitants and it also has the largest diaspora in the whole of JKA) is unaccountable for its conduct, there is little scope for reform and progress in a society already ravaged by endemic corruption. There appears to be darkness even where there should be light.  

Prima facie and after interviewing Sajjad Ahmad, then by perusing the documents provided by him to this writer, it appears that the lecturer did take pains to resolve these matters of corruption within the institutional framework of the university (namely the senate chaired by the chancellor/president of AJK) but did not succeed (despite 4 attempts) and thus he felt compelled - in public interest - to take his grievances to the judiciary as well as the media; because something far more substantial than just the image of the university was at stake. The existence of the nation and society itself is also at stake, if what Lecturer Sajjad alleges to be true.

Ultimately, as ample previous examples of public interest in AJK suggest, whereby the authorities are unable to address the just demands of activists, in consequence of which activists are arrested or tortured in a multitude of ways to prevent them from further protesting; it may be alleged that instead of paying heed to his concerns over corruption, the university removed Sajjad Ahmad from his post last month - on the 14th of April 2022 - after 17 years of uninterrupted service.

He possesses substantial documentary proof to support his allegations and for the purpose of balance and clarity, some of the counter allegations against him will also be cited. We would also keenly welcome any form of written response from the university authorities themselves and in equal measure would be eager to add that to this case study in due course.     

 

Background

in September 2006 Lecturer Sardar Sajjad Ahmad Khan began employment at the Kotli campus of the University of Azad Jammu & Kashmir (AJK) in Muzaffarabad, the capital of AJK. He was transferred to the University of Kotli when it came into existence in May 2014, hitherto it had been a campus of AJK University since 1981.

Besides teaching, Sajjad Ahmad had worked in various administrative roles including hostel warden for 7 years, head of mathematics for 4 years, local controller of examinations, first purchase officer of the University of Kotli, coordinator for affiliated colleges and in charge for the timetable of the whole university.

Furthermore, Lecturer Sajjad became a member of the university senate (the apex forum for resolving all university related matters) from 2017 to 2020 (wherein these woes and internal conflicts appear to have emerged or accelerated), he was a member of the academic council, a member of the first statutes committee and he was also a member of the university calendar compilation committee. Apart from the aforementioned, Sajjad Ahmad had also been a member of various departmental purchase, examination and disciplinary committees.    

According to Lecturer Sajjad, there were no problems before he became senate member in 2017 and before he began raising issues of administrative and financial corruption at the university. Current VC Dr. Dilnawaz Gardezi took up his position at Kotli University in September 2017 and initially the relationship between him and Lecturer Sajjad was quite productive. The latter was given some responsibilities by the new VC and upon successful completion the new VC even wrote appreciation letters to Sajjad Ahmad for his work.   

That was until the first senate meeting under VC Gardezi’s tenure in March 2018, when Lecturer Sajjad began raising issues of concern within the university, that the VC started turning against him. It was all mutual recriminations after that. According to Sajjad Ahmad, from thereon every meeting was followed by spiteful letters written by the new VC to the maths lecturer.

 

Details

Some important dates are being put in chronological order so that the reader can gradually assess the mutual recriminations that took place between Lecturer Sajjad Ahmad and university staff led by VC Dr. Dilnawaz Gardezi.

11/09/2019

Lecturer Sajjad wrote a letter to the registrar of the university (who also acts as secretary of the senate too) entitled: “Corruption, nepotism, changing and concealing of official records, gaining personal benefits by misusing official positions in the University under the cover of administration”.

Sajjad Ahmad alleged that the VC had exploited the rules of service to pay himself an extra amount to the tune of 7 million rupees. An ex faculty member Dr. Asad Hussain Shah acts as dean of the faculty of sciences despite this role being withheld by the VC, that he – Dr. Shah - is still being paid a salary over the past few years despite an order to stop his pay, under direction of the Higher Education Commission (HEC) of Pakistan. Lecturer Sajjad alleges that the directions of the senate have been ignored in this regard. Despite a committee being formed by the chancellor to recover unmerited allowances paid to staff, the matter remains pending in reference to the University of Kotli. Furthermore, the above cited Dr. Asad Hussain Shah collected funds for the university from the UK in 2018 but didn't deposit those funds in the university account and this matter was also concealed from the senate, according to Sajjad Ahmad. Dr. Asad visited the UK this year (2019) too and the question arises as to who is assigning these 'duties' to him? The allegation of extra allowances paid to staff recurs within this letter. In addition, an illegal tender for 2.7 million rupees worth of furniture was given in 2017/18 which was allegedly of such cheap quality that it broke even before reaching the classrooms, apparently this was also concealed from the senate.   

23/09/2019

Letter written by university (deputy registrar) on behalf of VC to Lecturer Sajjad entitled “Non-compliance of orders and irresponsible and irrelevant stance as a member of Senate”:

Allegations revolved around questioning Sajjad Ahmad's authority to ask the registrar about his duties and responsibilities, questioning undue payments of salaries of university officials, approaching the judiciary, illegally attending meetings of review committee and claiming expenses for attending such, designing and performing official tours without any assignment from the university and claiming expenses for such, that when his bill for such was refused by the treasurer (Dr. Sabahat Akram) he abused her and then kicked her table before forcing her to pay, that Lecturer Sajjad received 940,000 rupees for an international conference in 2016 but did not submit expenditure details, making himself unaccountable at faculty of sciences and creating intrigue against other teaching staff, stealing official files of the university and providing them to outside sources. encouraging others to file petitions in court against the university and finally accusing him of abnormal or defiant behaviour while describing him in so many words as being of ‘unsound mind’ to perform his duties.

At the end of this letter Lecturer Sajjad was reminded that his duties were simply to teach and research on his subject, nothing else. He was also warned that his "actions" may lead to the secession of his senate membership and disciplinary action under efficiency and discipline (E & D hereon) rules of the university, could be taken against him.        

Letter reference: RO/3050/2019

16/12/2019

Senate meeting

As senate member Lecturer Sajjad explained to the chancellor that the latter had written him a letter and that he – Sajjad – had attended in that light. Sajjad Ahmad asked the chancellor to first decide whether he – Sajjad – was fit to sit in the senate meeting because the VC has described him as mad. In response, the chancellor asked Sajjad Ahmad to write to him and that he – the chancellor - would personally look into the matter.

24/12/2019

Under University Act Section 32 explanation was sought from VC (by senate/chancellor). However, according to Lecturer Sajjad the VC has a habit of subduing files that put questions to him. Meanwhile, according to Sajjad the VC is tampering with Sajjad’s service file. Lecturer Sajjad had already brought issues to the chancellor's attention twice before but instead of forming a committee to investigate VC's actions taken against Sajjad Ahmad, an ‘authorised officer’ was instated by the VC to discipline Sajjad Ahmad.

26/12/2019

A letter was written by AJK president's secretariat (doubling as chancellor's office) referencing the appeal by Lecturer Sajjad against the derogatory remarks passed by VC Kotli in his letter dated 23/09/2019, while enclosing the self-explanatory appeal by the lecturer too. Comments were sought from the VC by the chancellor.

According to Lecturer Sajjad; VC has not responded to above till date.

11/08/2020

Senate meeting

In it Lecturer Sajjad reminded the chancellor that no action had been taken on his request. He was assured by the chancellor (promised in front of the senate) that an independent inquiry would be conducted.

25/11/2020

Professor Dr. Muhammad Ali Vice Chancellor of Qaid e Azam University in Islamabad, Pakistan (VC QAU hereon, was assigned as ‘authorised officer’ by VC Kotli) who directly wrote a ‘Show Cause Notice’ letter to Lecturer Sajjad (without due procedure and contrary to the rules set out in the University Act) and alleged the following acts of misconduct according to university employees efficiency and discipline (E & D) statutes 2018:

i)              That he misused his powers as a member of the university senate.

ii)            That he was responsible for irregularities in purchasing matters.

iii)           That he used social and print media to defame the university and its authorities.

iv)           That he published official records on social media.

v)             That he was guilty of misconduct and indiscipline by giving oral and written orders without authority. Also, that he failed to respond to letters, queries or provide explanations demanded by higher authorities.

vi)           That he was involved in unlawful conduct according to AJK Government Servant Conduct Rules 1981.

vii)         That his conduct was unauthorised under the AJK Legislative Assembly Act XVIII of 2016.

Lecturer Sajjad was warned that these violations amounted to gross misconduct and could result in his dismissal from service. He was also informed that there was no need to hold a formal inquiry as there was sufficient material on record to establish his misconduct, citing the E & D statutes quoted above and Chapter 1 Section 6 (sub-titled ‘Inquiry Procedure to be Observed by the Authorised Officer’) sub-section iii. VC QAU also gave the mandatory 14 day opportunity for Lecturer Sajjad to respond else an ex parte (one-sided/in his absence) decision be made against him.  

19/02/2021

Lecturer Sajjad Ahmad put a writ petition before (the High Court) that if the registrar and treasurer are being promoted from BPS (Basic Pay Scale) 20 to 21 then he should be promoted from BPS 18 to 19 on the basis of “Equality before law”. When I queried this from Sajjad Ahmad he explained that he had a made a general proposition, not just for himself. That is, if some people are being promoted without fulfilling criteria then that should apply across the board. It appears that there at least 10 staff members seeking promotion from BPS 18 to 19.   

22/02/2021

In a letter from VC QAU to VC Kotli the former conveys that he had sent a show cause notice to Lecturer Sajjad which he claims was never replied to or rebutted before the set deadline. Then a reminder was sent which was responded to by a legal notice through Sajjad Ahmad's lawyer. Subsequently, a personal hearing was arranged for Lecturer Sajjad before VC QAU on 15/02/2021 which the former chose not to attend. In light of above, he was suspended from duty for 3 months for what VC QAU described as "the absolute disregard for official proceedings by Mr. Sajjad."  

The above actions of VC QAU and Lecturer Sajjad’s (apparent failure) to respond were deciphered as follows:

It is understood that VC Kotli and VC QAU were friends from their postgraduate student days at a university in Wales (United Kingdom), where they were both pursuing their PHDs. Given that it appears VC Kotli wanted to avoid any scrutiny upon his own conduct he decided to appoint VC QAU as an ‘authorised officer’ to discipline or bring Lecturer Sajjad into ‘line’. However, the latter pre-empted this through legal proceedings, informally briefed VC QAU at length on how and why he was being victimised. VC QAU felt he was in no position to take action against VC Kotli but at the end of the letter referenced on this timeline, he suggested a ‘Higher Power Committee’ be formed to comprehensively assess claims and counter claims of all concerned parties, including the allegations made by Sajjad Ahmad.

Subsequently, it is alleged by Lecturer Sajjad that VC Kotli – as per habit – kept this report of VC QAU hidden for many months before Sajjad Ahmad was finally able to obtain a copy of it.

11/10/2021

Lecturer Sajjad wrote a letter (typed in Urdu) to the chancellor of the university entitled, “Appeal reference higher power committee recommended by authorised officer Professor Dr. Muhammad Ali VC QAU Islamabad (Pakistan)”.

Explaining that he is being hounded by the VC for the past 3 years, he references the letter written by the chancellor to the VC on 26/12/2019, where the former asked for an explanation. Sajjad Ahmad reiterates that the VC has a habit of burying such letters from the chancellor and then begins tampering with the service (record) files of his (Lecturer Sajjad’s). He reminded the chancellor that he had written twice before in this regard to the chancellor but instead of a committee being formed to address complaints against the VC an ‘authorised officer’ is deputed to question his own (Sajjad’s) complaints. The VC describes him as mad and an ‘authorised’ officer is also deputed against him. Lecturer Sajjad reminded the chancellor that despite an order of suspension from the High Court (in reference to the disciplinary action being taken by the university against the lecturer) and despite the lapse of more than two years since he began requesting a formal inquiry commission in reference to VC Kotli, nothing has been done, rather that he – Sajjad Ahmad – is being victimised for raising such issues.    

In the next paragraph, Lecturer Sajjad highlights the contradictory statements of the VC in reference to the allegation that he – Lecturer Sajjad - is of unsound mind. In the defamation suit at the district and sessions court pursued by Lecturer Sajjad the VC denied in court that he had written any such letter or even being aware of such a letter. The VC added that if any such letter had been written by the office (of the registrar presumably) he was not responsible for it. While on the same matter – viz. the allegation that Lecturer Sajjad was of unsound mind – while responding to the chancellor in writing, the VC had explained that action is being taken against Lecturer Sajjad under E & D statutes, the report of which would be presented in the senate, the very letter that the VC had denied knowledge of in court.

Further on in the letter Lecturer Sajjad pointedly puts the question to the chancellor that: Is the VC not duty bound to follow the chancellor’s orders? Is tampering of the record, writing false applications from a bogus platform and taking them to the senate permissible? Can formal action not be taken against the VC for unjustly using his position and authority for personal gain?

Sajjad Ahmad felt he was being mentally tortured because he’d exposed the administrative and financial corruption of the VC, registrar and treasurer; in his capacity as a member of the senate.

He re-appeals to the chancellor to set up an inquiry committee under section 8 (5A) of the University Act. He also reminds the chancellor that whenever he – the chancellor - writes to the VC or registrar’s office for an explanation, they subdue that letter and then immediately and against procedure begin writing letters to Lecturer Sajjad, asking for explanations. That Sajjad Ahmad had approached every forum possible (including legal) but in his opinion the VC lies, pretends, puts on an act or provides false tampered records. That he had sent evidence before and was sending further evidence attached to this letter.

Attached were details about overpaid salaries of various staff, a letter (dated 30/09/2019) from in charge faculty of sciences Dr. Asad Hussain Shah to Dr. Amaan Ullah Dar in reference to the latter’s leave for Canada without a notification of approval of said leave. There was a letter noting his absence dated 01/11/2019 from the deputy registrar.

29/11/2021

VC Kotli under section 5 (1) of E & D statutes 2018 appointed Dr. Ghulam Nabi Acting Director QEC (Quality Enhancement Cell) as an ‘authorised officer’ against Lecturer Sajjad. Note that this was the second time that VC Kotli set up an ‘authorised officer’ to ‘discipline’ Lecturer Sajjad, after the first - namely VC QAU - ultimately suggested a higher power committee to comprehensively investigate all claims and counter claims from all sides, similar to what Sajjad Ahmad was demanding all along. Allegedly, this didn’t suit VC Kotli and thus he deputed another ‘authorised officer’, closer to home so to speak. The letter notifying of such was sent out by registrar Dr. Faheem Ghazanfar (ref. no. Admin/8132-35/2021)

Allegations:

Discussing university corruption in the media (both print and social), making illegal and unauthorised correspondence with other government offices without permission of competent authority. At the end of the letter it was alleged that Lecturer Sajjad had failed to give online lectures to his students during the Covid outbreak and abused those who enquired of such.   

Counter allegations:

Lecturer Sajjad writes about other matters of corruption not so far covered in this report. For example, “University becoming a white elephant…many classes not being conducted throughout year…salary payments for non-existent teachers…and tampering of minutes taken during senate meeting/s etc.”

Meanwhile, Sajjad Ahmad was asked to respond to these allegations by 16/12/2021.

On the same day an order was passed by the VC according to a letter issued by registrar Dr. Faheem Ghazanfar (ref. no. Admin/8126-30/2021) that Lecturer Sajjad was suspended from duty, for what the VC described as subversive activities. 

31/01/2022

Lecturer Sajjad wrote a handwritten Urdu letter to Dr. Ghulam Nabi (new ‘authorised officer’ appointed by VC) making clear that he had no confidence in the inquiry being conducted against him, neither did he – Sajjad Ahmad – have confidence in Dr. Ghulam Nabi as an ‘authorised officer’ and cited the High Court too as being engaged on this matter. He also mentioned about the issue of BPS (Basic Pay Scale) 21 being dealt with in the Ehtesab (Accountability) Bureau and that he could not rely on Dr. Ghulam Nabi to be impartial. Lecturer Sajjad also felt these continuous inquiries were trying to divert/deflect matters away from the issues that he - Sajjad Ahmad - had been raising. He finished by saying that he also had the option of taking these one sided inquiries to court.

05/04/2022

A writ petition was made in the High Court (under article 44 of interim constitution 1974) in reference to the impugned order and letter dated 29/11/2021 which Lecturer Sajjad wanted quashed and set aside, as being without lawful authority and jurisdiction. Further, that VC Kotli be restrained from initiating disciplinary proceedings against the petitioner (Lecturer Sajjad), arguing that VC is not the appropriate authority to discipline a lecturer (of scale 18) of the university and that it was the senate that had such power under the University of Kotli Act.

He contended that under section 10.5(d) of the University of Kotli Act the senate reserves power to exercise against university teachers – on account of it being the competent authority - whereas no such agenda item has been included in the senate meeting to date. Lecturer Sajjad’s lawyer also argued that Dr. Ghulam Nabi can also not send a show cause notice to him in light of E & D statutes 1988.

On the other hand, the legal advisor appearing on behalf of respondents (for VC and Dr. Ghulam Nabi etc.) contended that the show cause notice was issued on the basis of charges placed before the senate and the senate had approved to start proceedings under E & D rules. Further, that the competent authority took action as chief executive officer under section 10(2) of university statutes and is thus authorised to take necessary measures and VC has all powers prescribed for this purpose; including administrative control over officers, teachers and other employees of the university. Further, that the petitioner had no right to invoke the extra ordinary jurisdiction of this court as inquiry is in process and thus writ petition is premature.

The judge reasoned that appropriate course for the petitioner was to file his reply and face inquiry proceedings and invite a decision by the university authorities. He also pointed out that filing an appeal before the senate is also available to the petitioner.   

07/04/2022

Two days after above court decision:

A 'Show Cause Notice' letter (ref no. PS/326/2022) was sent to Sajjad Ahmad by VC Kotli. Lecturer Sajjad was notified that Dr. Ghulam Nabi - the ‘authorised officer’ appointed to collect evidence against the lecturer - had recommended to proceed against him under section 4 (b) (iv) of E & D statutes. Lecturer Sajjad was also notified that the report was presented on 18th January 2022. Finally, he was asked to appear in person at the VC Secretariat on 13 April 2022, while being given 7 days to explain his position.

13/04/2022

Lecturer Sajjad Ahmad wrote a handwritten Urdu letter to the VC entitled 'Show Cause Notice' referring to such a notice written by the university on 07/04/2022 which quoted E & D rules, whereas the lecturer considers the appropriate and competent authority to deal with these matters as the senate. He also quotes his case being heard in the High Court.

He wrote a separate handwritten Urdu letter entitled, “Receipt of report authorised director Dr. Ghulam Nabi”.

In this he references the 'Show Cause Notice' notification/letter received by him on 07/04/2022 (ref no. PS/326/2022), that he hadn't received a copy of the report cited in that letter and makes a request for it so that he may formally respond to it.

Order issued by registrar (ref. no. Admin/1839-44/2022) referring to a report by registrar (Dr. Faheem Ghazanfar) and Dr. Ghulam Nabi who was appointed (by VC) as an ‘authorised officer’ to probe the allegations against Sajjad Ahmad for recommendation under Efficiency and Discipline (E & D) statutes of the university. He was thus removed from service under the aforementioned statutes 1988 4 (1) (b) (iv) with effect from 14/04/2022, subject to the approval of the senate. 

25/04/2022

Lecturer Sajjad writes once again to the chancellor, appealing under section 32 of University Act 2014 against order number Admin/1839-44/2022, dated 13/04/2022.

He reminds the chancellor of his victimisation for exposing corruption in the university. That on 11/09/2019 he had written details about this corruption on the direction of the senate. That on 29/09/2019 a letter was written to him on the direction of the VC that he was abnormal and of an unsound mind. That on 24/12/2019 he made an appeal against this in the senate and this was followed by a letter from the chancellor to the VC, where an explanation was sought. That on 11/08/2020 Lecturer Sajjad reminded the senate in a meeting that no action had been taken on his appeal. In response, the chancellor promised there and then that an independent inquiry would be launched but when the minutes of the senate meeting were published, an ‘authorised officer’ had been deputed against him – Lecturer Sajjad - and action under E & D began, notwithstanding the allegation that he was of unsound mind (and thus if so how would such action be appropriate?). Time moved on without a response and an inquiry against Sajjad Ahmad was taken up by VC QAU which he managed to get suspended from the court. When no action was taken in response to the VC’s derogatory remarks about him he had filed a defamation suit, proceedings of which are still running in court.

VC QAU had also recommended a higher power committee. Lecturer Sajjad had repeatedly requested such from the chancellor too to investigate the allegations of corruption. On 30/11/2021, as a result of his persistence in pursuing the allegations of corruption and by adding some false allegations against Sajjad Ahmad, the latter was suspended and also banned from entering the university, by VC Kotli. He describes that when he arrived at the university gate that day the security officer and his team were very aggressive with him and they even cracked the windscreen of his car. Consequently, in the presence of other senior faculty members he made a formal complaint to the deputy commissioner (DC Kotli). In the same order VC had made Dr. Ghulam Nabi an ‘authorised officer’.

In response to what he describes as an ‘unconstitutional act’ by the VC, Lecturer Sajjad filed a writ petition in the High Court and appealed that under section 10 (5d) of the University Act the VC does not hold such power. This authority presides with the university senate and to date no list of allegations against him have been set as an agenda item. In light of this, the High Court suspended this order on 02/02/2022. Thereafter, when the university gave its stance that the order is being processed through the senate and is thus at a premature stage, the judge took that into consideration and dismissed the case on 05/04/2022.

Lecturer Sajjad then approached the Supreme Court on 12/04/2022 where the case is running. Earlier, on 07/04/2022 a show cause notice was received by him from the VC. It stated that Dr. Ghulam Nabi had submitted a report on 18/01/2022 in which it was suggested that Lecturer Sajjad be removed from service. That Lecturer Sajjad had 7 days to respond and that he present himself before the VC on 13/04/2022. On the aforementioned date, two applications were presented to the VC by Sajjad Ahmad that neither from the inquiry officer or from the VC did he – Sajjad - receive a copy of the report, hence he should kindly be provided that copy so that he may submit a formal response. In the other application he explained that according to E & D statutes the VC cannot take action or demand a personal hearing. That this prerogative lies with the senate, he re-asserted.

Later, on the same day viz. 13/04/2022 the VC gave the order for Lecturer Sajjad’s removal from service. Even according to the show cause notice there were still two days left.

It is also to be noted that, on order dated 30/11/2021 it was clearly written that allegations against Lecturer Sajjad were made after the report of ‘authorised officer’ (1st) VC QAU and that ‘authorised officer’ (2nd) Dr. Ghulam Nabi would now investigate allegations and give recommendations on matters after that previous report; but all the allegations in the report in the registrar’s office were two years old! These very allegations had been presented to VC QAU too! However, Lecturer Sajjad clarified that because the VC QAU’s report was not to their liking as he seconded Sajjad’s opinion that a high power committee be established, this didn’t please VC Kotli. Thus, the latter deputed another ‘authorised officer’ of his own liking to obtain the report he desired, without taking any further action as claimed.

Lecturer Sajjad stated his absence of confidence in Dr. Ghulam Nabi in writing and appealed to the VC to stop this action. The lecturer had in various meetings of the senate repeatedly stated that Dr. Ghulam Nabi’s promotion to BPS 21 was against rules and regulations and whereby he had not received that promotion.

Thus, all the above clarifies – in Lecturer Sajjad’s opinion - that whatever action VC has taken against him was on account of personal enmity and convenience, to cover his own corruption. The VC has extended himself beyond his mandate, his order was illegal and against the rules and should thus be quashed.

Other details of alleged corruption by university staff, according to lecturer Sajjad:

-       For a mere 12, 10 or even 5,000 rupees (in bribes) university staff are playing with the future of our children.

-       On Eid and other holidays, university vehicles are used by drivers for their own personal use. This also extends from day to day whereby university employees or their relatives use these vehicles for their personal use.

-       New vehicles were bought by the university in 2014, 2017 and 2020, unwarranted according to lecturer Sajjad.

-       In the two years duration of the Covid pandemic no significant studies/lessons were provided to the students, yet they were charged fees. Furthermore, students were not transported during this period but we still charged transport fees. Same with library fees and Internet fees etc.

-       According to the university audit report – 1,31,92,120 (almost 13.2 million rupees) which amount to - 1 crore, 31 lakh, 92 thousand and 120 rupees - extra public money was taken by VC Kotli (for himself presumably).

-       According to Lecturer Sajjad VC Kotli tried to change the above report. Apparently, he has two of his fellow tribesman (from the Gardezi family) in the audit team. There is also a member of the Gardezi family in the Ehtesab (Accountability) Bureau too. Along with Director of Administration Saleem Gardezi, it is alleged that they collude on securing employment opportunities in the university too.  

-       Lecturer Sajjad opines that because Dr. Ghulam Nabi didn’t obtain promotion to grade 21 because of him, this was a major reason for his dismissal from service. Further, that Dr. Ghulam Nabi still has false and stolen publications among his ‘credentials’.

-       Critical responsibilities at the university of Kotli (registrar with administration and treasurer with finance) are alleged to have been given by the VC – according to his liking – in order to manage and protect his corrupt behaviour. Furthermore, the female made treasurer by the VC was despite her being a contract employee (namely Dr. Sabahat Akram), who has taken 927,000 rupees in additional wages too.

-       Lecturer Sajjad considers the VC’s connections to be so powerful in the bureaucracy that the latter ‘even out’ most matters (serious allegations of corruption) before they reach the stage of an inquiry commission being invoked by the chancellor. Sajjad Ahmad would be keen to elaborate on such matters if indeed an inquiry commission is set up.

-       The lecturer nevertheless gives some examples of how controversy over corruption is stifled whereby some people are given some money and managed, some are given a job and managed, some are given an all-expenses paid trip to the Neelam Valley and managed while others are given a share from a development project and managed etc. 

-       The case of Dr. Amaan Ullah Dar has been touched on earlier in this report (Page 8) whereby it is alleged by lecturer Sajjad that he spent a year in Canada but was still paid wages. It is further alleged that the VC reinstated him in his earlier position upon return and pocketed a substantial amount of those wages himself. 

-       In another bizarre case of corruption, it is alleged that a female lecturer has been absent from her post at the University of Kotli for two years and has been in Rawalpindi (Pakistan), where she is allegedly running a private boutique. That she has deputed someone else - on ‘contract’ - to teach in her place, apparently with the knowledge of the VC. It is understood that the relevant dean and department have written repeatedly to summon her for her absence but without avail, as her father (a retired district and sessions judge) allegedly helps out the VC in matters related to the judiciary.

-       The university inducts Masters and MPhil students but facilities for them are non-existent. Even chairs and tables are few and far between, there is no water to drink and the bathrooms are in a despicable condition.

-       The university ground is also an interesting case: The university administration has embezzled funds for it from various angles on four occasions! It is alleged that the current registrar appointed by VC took a cheque of 18 lakhs (18,00,000 rupees) in 2017/18 for the ground, which he cashed through his own private account! Lecturer Sajjad adds that the VC made him registrar as a reward or rather so that the VC can in turn blackmail the registrar into making appointments according to the VC’s liking. Another example of corruption in the name of the university ground was provided by a contractor named Furqan of Bhimber who submitted an application to the Accountability Bureau as well as the VC, that the university administration had cashed a forged cheque in 2017. The VC didn’t act on the complaint except to use the matter against those who complained, alleges Sajjad. Matters proceeded to the local print media whereby the VC categorically gave a statement that not a single rupee of corruption was committed and that these allegations were all lies.

-       There are actually about 2,800 students at the University of Kotli whereas its VC says that we have 7,000, as projected to HEC for the purposes of funding. Note that a portion of funding comes from the HEC while the rest is obtained from students in fees etc.

-       Lecturer Sajjad Ahmad is adamant that he is barely skimming the surface of corruption at the university. It is much uglier below the surface, he contends. As with all allegations submitted by Lecturer Sajjad, he asserts that documentary evidence is also available.

 

Conclusion

It is without doubt that we live in a society with endemic corruption and being part of a constitutionally ambiguous territory where the local people’s (public) reference has been deliberately ignored from the outset – since 1947 – despite claims to the contrary by all concerned; including the departing colonial power Britain (now formally described as the United Kingdom), India, Pakistan, China, the United Nations, the political leadership on either side of Jammu Kashmir & Allied areas (JKA) and even we the people do not give due importance to the learned opinions of each other. This means we are fooling ourselves about our ability to stand with any moral or ethical stance in front of the world. We cannot have a principled stand if we possess no principles of our own. If the weak cannot stand behind ‘right is might’ they have no ground to compel those stronger than them to do so. We are also disabling ourselves from competing economically with the world, let alone compete in science and technology.

Heavy introspection is needed and being honest about our own performance in every field is most important. This is where educational institutes play a fundamental role and this is where most attention and investment in time, energy and resources is required.

The saga of alleged corruption at Kotli University is not unique to that institution but we can utilise the experience of this case study to begin understanding its depth and the various forms it takes. It is very clear that a lot more research and inquiry is needed to get to the bottom of this malaise and tackle it from its roots.       

Lecturer Sajjad has felt that he has been fighting alone for four years to invoke an inquiry commission and he’s been advocating for such despite being a government employee, which makes his struggle all the more remarkable considering that such employees have relatively much more at stake compared to the average activist in society. Not only does one risk the loss of a secure income, they are also victimised by their own peers, castigated by their own family and friends for bringing up matters that are so common that they are irredeemable and thus not worth the risk of losing a secure income over.

Selfishness is promoted to such an extent in our society that one is automatically considered mentally retarded and from a different world if they as much as show a hint of selflessness. This also negates the need of educational institutes in such a society, except for purely commercial purposes of course. There are always two sides to a coin and nature operates on the co-existence of opposites. No matter how much darkness there is in a society, there will always be advocates of light. For every action there will always be a reaction.

Lecturer Sajjad qualifies his stance by his professed motivation to save his institution and society. He has gone further than most of his peers in this profession and apart from the rest of society, students and their parents must stand with him, if indeed everything that he is alleging and professing is true.

It is also clear that Lecturer Sajjad did try and resolve these matters behind closed doors in full anticipation of their detrimental effect on society. Perhaps this is an indication of how deep corruption is in our society, that perpetrators feel immune from any prospect of wrath, irrespective of whether it comes from society or from the Almighty who created us all.

According to Lecturer Sajjad there have been some consequences that may force the university authorities to re-think their stance. He describes that where there used to be over 200 student applications for each department, they now have only 12 students who have applied across 6 departments at Masters level, according to entry test statistics.

Other lessons from this case study include the pattern of mutual recrimination in our society, the ambiguity of authority, the lack of moral courage or ethical power of those higher up to admonish or prosecute those below them for wrongdoing, except of course when someone like Lecturer Sajjad tries to expose the whole edifice of corruption within a given institution. How such people are isolated and made an example of to deter others from emulating them, is notable.

What probably began as an objection to the unmerited promotion of 3 members of staff (from BPS 20 to 21) where the selection board did not recommend them but they tampered with the record to show that they were recommended, has opened up a hornet’s nest of deep rooted corruption in educational institutes throughout AJK. In this particular case, an explanation by Lecturer Sajjad that their case should be referred to the HEC so that their credentials can be checked. That is what was agreed and consequently the HEC gave a report against them.

At the time, Lecturer Sajjad along with some other members of staff went to court at their own expense but the VC did not accept any court rulings or the senate’s advice. According to Sajjad Ahmad the VC considered himself accountable to nobody. What probably began as the lecturer trying to maintain his self-respect has spiralled into a much needed crusade against endemic corruption.

Everything that happens is ultimately inevitable. What goes around comes around.

If public money is treated with such contempt, what is the value of that public?

The public needs to answer that question themselves, to the satisfaction of their conscience and their declared belief in the Almighty.

Meanwhile, the tussle in court is taking place on two counts with a third front opening soon too:

A defamation suit in the High Court – next date 27/06/2022

Challenging suspension/disciplinary action by university at Supreme Court – next date 17/07/2022

In the latter, Lecturer Sajjad Ahmad has asked his lawyer to request the honourable judge to simply direct the chancellor to set up the ‘Higher Power Committee’ as suggested by VC QAU.

Lecturer Sajjad Ahmad will also file another writ in the High Court imminently, to challenge his ‘removal from service’ order.

Finally, the promotion issue of 3 members of staff from BPS 20 to 21 and related to that the promotion of at least 10 members of staff from BPS 18 to 19 is also pending in the university senate.

Links to statutes referenced in this report as well as the report itself can be accessed at: http://tanveerandkashmir.blogspot.com/2022/05/daily-diary-dd-day-149-of-2022.html or type Day 149 of 2022 at: ajkpublicagency.org

End…. 

The report above can also be viewed in pdf format here

Employees (Efficiency and Discipline / E & D) Statutes 2018 can be viewed here

University of Kotli Act 2014 can be viewed here

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Daily Diary (DD) - Day 183 of 2022

1721hrs: At midday today we surpassed the half yearly mark of 2022 viz. 182 days x 2 = 364 + 12 hours. This has by far been our most consist...