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FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION - PRACTICAL JOURNEY OTHERWAY ROUND

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    FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION - PRACTICAL JOURNEY OTHERWAY ROUND




    Minister of Information Javed Jabbar recently stated the present government which believes on "overhauling the system" and "reconstruction of the country" recognises the importance and believes on freedom of information and would soon enact allowing public access to information. I am confident and know well both the Minister and his government are sincere in this regard but point is how this goal will be achieved while same old bureaucratic faces in shape of advisers, consultants and secretaries are still there who had never believed nor would ever believe on freedom of information. This bureaucracy is bent upon causing trouble over trouble to the government efforts in rebuilding. Examples can be seen from businessmen first ever long strike which was a "karagharee" of bureaucracy, pulling of kulsoom nawaz car by crane another "karagharee" to popularise her and defame government, new tax scheme is being propagated since months but Forms are still not available - last date is 30 September and Forms would be printed on 23 Sep - Karachi lawyers are reportedly to protest on this delay businessmen community is frustrated on this delay as filling up these Forms require some time - this delay is another "Karagharee" of bureaucracy as end angerness and frustration will go to the face of Government and that is what bureaucracy had always required.

    There is an insurance policy called Emigrants Policy which is a must and a travelling document for workers going abroad for employment. Bureau of Emigrants takes Rs. 500/- from a worker, passes this on to State Life and State Life Issues this policy. Some workers from abroad send Rs. 500 direct to SLIC and get this policy. So thus there are three parties to this insurance namely SLIC, Bureau and policy holder worker. These three one can say are partners or parties to a deal. Recently State Life told under provision of some agreement between it and Bureau of Immigrants, policy cannot be renewed which for the last 20 years was being renewed without any hitch. SLIC was requested to kindly provide a copy of relevant portion of agreement which prohibits renewal of insurance policy and provides for worker's coming to Pakistan on expense of minimum Rs. 40,000 from abroad to pay premium of Rs. 500/-. Reply is thought provoking. It says it is a confidential document. Not full agreement was demanded merely a portion.

    Confidentially of document in which I am also a partner or a party. Wonderful freedom of access to information.

    My beloved Pakistan Ziandabad


    S.A.J

    23 September 2000
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