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    I am a Pakistani, a true Pakistani and a stupid fool unfit for the society eg while thousands and thousands "Jayalas", "Matwalas" and "Grade-walas" sitting home never paid sitting abroad I regularly in advance paid my TV Radio Licences. I do not know whether it was my honesty or "cowardness".

    2. As stupid and foolish I am, a similar stupid and foolish rule there existed in my beloved Pakistan {Mr. Justice Sardar Iqbal stated rules can be foolish]. This rule in simple language was that out of my clerical salary abroad if I send Rs. 5,000 a month to my father, my father out of this Rs. 5000 cannot pay outstanding Rs. 100 to newspaper hawaker for me and on behalf breach of which fetched both imprisonment and fine". My father can not pay to Railways for booking of my ticket Karachi to Islamabad out of his pocket from the money which I send him monthly. For this railways ticket I myself or my father needs to get an "Invoice" from Pakistan Railways, send it to me abroad, from here I will write to State Bank seeking approval after which I send a bank draft in name of Railway from abroad as per Invoice and only then railways can reserve my ticket. I If my father goes to Railway Station asking the counter for issuance of an "Invoice/Quotation" for his son I am sure my father will be sent to Hyderabad Mental Hospital. I raised this non sense rule when Ombudsman Pakistan on argument of State Bank of Pakistan advised me "citizens should bear such minor inconvenience in the larger interest of the country" as according to State Bank this rule was necessary. Well and good, I obey as it is in the interest of the country.

    3. To avoid the hassle of late receipt or non receipt of utility bills I desired that I may keep a credit balance or pay to telephone department advance amount to cover 6/8 months bills. Sui Gas and electricity people never objected. As telephone in Pakistan is in my name when I send once or twice a year a draft in foreign exchange approximately to cover 6/8 months advance that was mostly returned to me with the advice "ask your parents to deposit the bills" because in such a case PTCL accounts officer had a pain in the neck to enter the draft in register and get it deposited in PTCL Account whereas why should a bureaucrat have inconvenience it should be old parents to go to Bank. I approached the Ombudsman Pakistan who agreed with the argument of PTCL. Thus in other words I am advised officially "ask your 80 plus years mother or father to pay the bill of telephone installed in your name and let them face penalty and imprisonment". So I learnt in this old age exact meaning of an Urdu Phrase translation of which can precisely be "both sides of coins are mine". That is you as a common citizen should bear the inconveience of a Rule in the larger interest of the country and if respecting the same rule gives any office procedural inconvenience to bureaucracy, forget the rule of land but you must send your father and mother to imprisonment but respect convenience of "Gradewalas".

    4. World over telecommunication rates are decreasing. The country where I am presently working has decreased during the last 2 year not merely 4 times international call rates but also local call, installation charges etc. The result is from here calling Pakistan is cheaper than my family calling me from Pakistan. On the other hand rates of telephone charges are continuously being increased by our beloved Pakistan or Pakistan Telecommunication Company. Some time multi-metering is introduced, sometime line rent is increased. And all this is done on the plea of overhead running costs whereas the true facts are these increases are to cover up "leakage" due to burden of "un-official" calls/connections and policies like very recent allowing PTLC Chairmen present and past all, totally free unlimited international calls during life time, after death to wives and so on.

    5. Economy trends world over are changing. New innovative ideas are being brought. For example the telephone company of the country where I am residing now has introduced a pre-paid card against which not merely I can make international call to Pakistan but even my family from Pakistan can now call me through that card. I purchased a pre-paid card of Rs. 1000 here for calling Pakistan. I dictated my wife card PIN Code Number. Now my wife the other day called me from Pakistan through that Pin Code. Thus it means my family will now call me but not pay anything to Pakistan but I will pay here. But under this new wise policy of foreign telephone company is fetching the money from me which was being previously paid by me (my wife or my family in Pakistan) to Pakistan Telecommunication Company. In other simple words it means due to dynamic commercial wisdom the host country telephone people are retaining my earned foreign exchange here (to the extent of telephone calls) which previously I used to send Pakistan and which my family paid to Pakistan telephones.

    6. If such trends keep continue, which I foresee will, I wonder some day the foreign host countries will fetch all my earning, they will charge me here and provide me/my family all facilities back home and I would have no need to worry about my old parents standing in long queues because my country does not accept from me advance credit foreign exchange money towards my telephone bills. Here before going to Pakistan on leave just on telephone I tell them I will be away for 3 months they will not disconnect my phone or just at any counter I will give them Rs. 1000 saying please credit I am going on leave, smilingly they will.

    7. Here point is not convenience of my personal billing here point is policies. A country or a commercial organisation which hates accepting "advance credit" in foreign exchange from a client what else can be the example for a bad need of - according to Pir Sahib Pagara - government advisors themselves need advisers and wise advices.

    [email protected]

    9 September 2000


    Do not use all caps for your subject lines. Gupies pay equal attention to all threads.

    Caps = Yelling.