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    A dead dog fell into a well the sole single source of village drinking water. Everyone became worried. Villagers gathered and reached a unanimous decision to fetch dirty water out from the well and put new fresh water which was done and they were now happy. An old wise man pointed "idiots, remove the dead dog which is main cause of pollution of water". We the Pakistanis as a nation are bent upon always to remove dirty water out but not the dead dog from our stinking national well.

    This old story reflashed in my memories reading weekly article of well known economist M.M Aftab (Sunday 20 August 2000) in which talking about depreciation of Pak Rupee says banks have shifted dollars from Pakistan to foreign banks abroad to fetch better profits etc. Talking further about dismaying economy position he quotes one of his businessman friend who says how can he invest more in a country where a person defaulter of merely one month utility bill can be imprisonment. One month bill default and imprisonment?? {He gives reference to Ehtisab Ordinance about which of course the undersigned Pakistani does not know].

    During care taker government of Moneen Qureshi just as a show piece which sort of slogans every new comer raises, a hue and cry was raised about huge outstanding utility bills. People saw for example amounts of lacs of rupees outstanding against single persons towards telephone and electricity bills. When these long lists came in press nation raised a question while ordinary man's utility line becomes dead if second consequetive month bill is not paid how it is possible such huge amount arrears in the first place could accumulate and sin the second place service remained alive.

    Seeing the heavy criticism the kings of these utility organisations thought fit to close the door and open some new doors for their oen welfare. For example the telephone department manufactured and opened a new back door which was it introduced a new undertaking under which landlord of a tenant subscriber undertook in writing that in case a tenant left without paying his telephone bill the landlord will pay it. If ABC a tenant wants to vacate a house and he serves on 01 August his one month advance termination notice under which he will vacate the house on 31st August. The telephone calls the tenant made during August will be metered checked by PTCL mid September and bill of August calls will come sometime mid October. So how can a tenant pay his August bill by 31 August the date of vacating and how can a landlord ensure tenant has paid his August Bill which bill still will come after 45 days.

    Just to quote one piece from many many. A punjab resident complained to Federal Ombudsman that Sui Gas has sent him a bill containing 5 years accumulated arrears gas bill as soon as his tenant left. On investigation it was found the tenant had "created" some link inside the gas company who did not issue for 5 years the bills and kept the utility alive. As soon tenant left and there was no more "grease" coming 5 years bill was issued.

    Since we had never ever been nor would ever be interested or serious in removing dead dog hence we did not do and adopt the right thing that in case arrears of a telephone subscriber accumulated and he became defaulter/absconder the same would be recovered from personal pocket of concerned telephone revenue officer who let the service remained alive despite 2/3 months default and caused damage to nation namely accumulation of unpaid bills. Indian supreme court in its landmark judgement termed that in future if due to any act of a government servant national exchequer gets loss same will be recovered personally from concerned and not from national exchequer.

    Since we are not interested in removing dead dog hence we made the landlord responsible and not the telephone accounts officers. You may ask why? Answer is very simple because bureaucrats are "dear sons-in-law of the nation" how can anything which could cause any harm to them can be done may that he tenure of socialist Benazir, heavy mandated Nawaz or reconstruction era.

    [email protected]

    23 August 2000