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CELL PHONE USE JHANG STYLE - javed - 10-17-2009

The senior and today’s most known and respected columnist Ansar Abbasi in his column writes how the Economist Magazine recently educated his serious readers how a truly honest junior grade Pakistani bureaucrat Mr. Zubair K. Bhatti as District Coordination Office Jhang reduced corruption in his district through a novel but simple technique. Knowing the success the Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif personally met with this young officer, got full details from him and desired his team to implement the same method in whole of the province. Ansar Abbasi tells how the wishes of CM were, however, failed.

2. The simple method adopted by the said young officer Bhatti was that he directed all staff in his district to report daily all transaction of the land sale/purchase and of obtaining copies of land record with telephone numbers of the citizens concerned. He then daily personally contacted at random these citizens, enquired if any unofficial amount they had to pay etc. The Economist writes within a month the corruption in the district fall drastically. The popular European magazine is surprised how the young officer used the mobile phone technology with a new idea.

3. This senior citizen salutes Bhatti but despite his too poor eye sight with the help of his magnifying glass wishes to add that Mr. Bhatti is not alone and not the first one. The fact is if one really wishes to do an honest job for the welfare of the public, no rule, procedure or law becomes a hurdle in his way. The only thing needed is a spirit to work honestly Allah fearingly and judiciously.

4. Early 70s when with the oil boom and Zulfiqar Ali Bhuttoo’s making it easy for anyone to get a passport which till then was a hill top task, the exodus of manpower started. The agents charged huge unwritten fees. There was a company in West Wharf. If my memories are not misguiding me in this old age its name was A.B. Mirza Company. When one was vetted and finally selected for a foreign job, before handing over him passport and ticket, the owner Mr. Mirza would personally meet the selected person and on solemn practical oath would get it verified from the selected person that had not paid to any of his staff anything. Only then the selected was handed over the papers. This is what Bhatti did through mobile but the old man Mirza did it too without any technology.

5. Someone in Lahore complained to the Federal Ombudsman that he was billed for many calls to Karachi whereas he does not have anyone in Karachi to be contacted. The investigation Officer was blessed with God given Bhatti and Mirza style spirit of serving the humanity hence sitting in the office sipping a cup of official team he did not close the case on the ground that the complainant did not provide documentary evidence. The Bhatti styled investigation officer really knowing that the telephone lying on his table installed on official expense was not merely for talking with wife and children but for use in dispensation of justice, picked up the phone, dialed Karachi number, introduced himself with the pleading to the person attending the call to help assistant in arriving at true justice. The Karachi subscriber told the Officer that he had no one in Lahore but his nighbour often gets phone calls from Lahore through this residence phone. This person further apprised the officer that his said neighbour had one relative in Lahore named Haji Sahib. The complainant immediately recognized and told the officer that this Haji Sahib lived three houses away from his and had telephone installed in his own home. The officer then went in depth and found that the neighbour Haji Sahib during the night through an extended hand through the window connected his phone set with complainant’s passing wire. This spirit of practical taking pain in finding the facts at least I can not even dream today.

6. Someone complained that the demand note for a new telephone connection was not being issued to him. The PTCL took the stand that the complainant was living on the right hand side block of the road which lacked underground technical network hence technically installation of phone was not possible. The complainant rebutted it quoting a telephone number which according to him was installed in his area. A hearing was arranged wherein the PTCL submitted its whole record which showed the there existed no working connection quoted by the complainant. To the good luck of the complainant the investigation officer sitting in the Federal Ombudsman office a Allah fearing public spirited Bhatti styled person, This officer knew well he was sitting on the chair of justice and not as a high bureaucrat hence despite being a bureaucrat he did not blindly trust his counterpart bureaucrat and on office file record. Knowing well for what purpose the official phone was installed on his table, the Bhatti styled investigation officer picked up the phone, dialed the number complainant had provided and which to PTCL did not exist. The phone bell on the other side started ringing, someone picked up who lived just near the complainant premises. A phone officially not installed but working in a home is a very deep point to ponder but that is not point here. The point is due to honest working of a real public spirited Bhatti, the complainant got the phone connection and all technical difficulties and non availability of technical net work disappeared in thin air.

7. It is my unshakable belief that there is a special blessing of ALLAH on this land and there are hundreds thousands public spirited Bhattis but unfortunate is today they are not on those seats which matter with public daily matters/problems more particularly this Bhatti commodity is extinct specially the offices which are supposed to deliver true judicious fair justice.