Report On Dr. Majid’s Visit to Pakistan, July 2005
On my arrival on 1 July 2005 I addressed the Council Of National Affairs, Lahore, on “The Duties of Occupying Powers in Iraq.” The lecture was organised by my doctoral student, Mr. Amanullah Malik (Assistant Prof. at the Punjab University Law College). I was warmly and generously encouraged by the feedback. An eminent journalist and former Member of the Provincial Assembly, Mr. Qayyum Nizami, categorised it an “eloquent presentation” and the Principal of Pakistan Law College, Prof. Humayoun Ihsan, commented that it was full of “professorial analysis.”
The CNA lecture was followed by a mini-reception and then in the same venue (Pearl Continental hotel) a dinner was hosted by the Punjab University Law College faculty. I found the dinner as lavish and enjoyable in the effusively charming and cheerful company of Aman and his learned colleagues (special courage was exhibited by Prof. Shazia who entered the all-male den at the dinner table – needless to say my enjoyment was doubled.)
Amanullah Malik delighted my spirit by highlighting the Gojra Eye Complex (GEC) project at every conceivable opportunity. Accordingly, the lecture at the CAN had a specific 10 minutes slot for me to elaborate the project. The Principal of Pakistan Law College, Prof. Humayoun Ihsan, Jenab Qayyum Nazami and Jenab Tahir Basharat Cheema (Engineer and Statistician) pledged their support for the project. Jenab Tahir Basharat Cheema keenly and with tremendous expedition organised a 90-minute meeting with Nawab Ashaq Hussain Qureshi who is closely involved with the Shaukat Khanam Memorial Hospital, Lahore. Nawab Sahib impressed me by his immense fidelity to integrity and competence. He gave realistic but priceless counsel for composing the “Management Board” for the GEC facility which, he agreed with me, should be the best we could muster.
The Principal of the Punjab University Law College, Prof. Dr. Dil Muhammad, chaired a lecture on 4 July 2005 to the LLM students on “Legitimacy of Detention with reference to the detainees of Guantanamo Bay, Abu-Ghraib and Belmarch Prison.” Dr. Dil Muhammad hosted a lunch at the end of the lecture with the faculty. I positively enjoyed it; particularly the cheerful personality of the senior professor, Shah Sahib.
On Tuesday, 5 July 2005, I met his revered friend, Moazzaz Majid Nazami, Chief Editor of the national daily “Nwai Waqt”, and an article “Guest in Town” in the 7 July 2005 was the direct result of this meeting. Health permitting, Majid Nazami reiterated that he would be the Chief Guest in a fund-raising function to be arranged in Lahore by Mr. Mubeen Qazi, LLM, Advocate, which will be supported by other good people.
In the evening of Tuesday, 5 July 2005, I had the pleasure of dining with my warm friend, Mr. Afzaal Hashmi, Bar-at-Law (Vice President of the Pakistan Tax Bar),along with the Head of the Gujranwala Chambers of Commerce who pledged his potent support for the fund-raising function to be held in Lahore.
Jenab Sarfraz Mahmood (CA) hosted a lunch for me at the Pearl Continental hotel on Wednesday, 6 July 2005. It was delightful to note that Sarfraz Sahib was so optimistic about the GEC that all of his supportive conversation focused on post-construction operations of the hospital.
The Principal of Quaid-i-Azam Law College, Mohteram Naseer Malik, wished me to have a meeting with the faculty because the students were on vacation from any lecture. I could not accede to this request because I was suffering from back pain and was advised to rest. Prof. Naseer Malik also reiterated his support for the GEC project.
On my instigation and insistence, the Gojra Eye Care Trust held its meeting at the Royal Public School, Gojra, Pakistan on Thursday, 7 July 2005 9-10.30 pm (see the attached Minutes of this meeting).
Soon after arriving in Islamabad on 10 July 2005 I spoke to my warm friend Air Martial Masood Akhtar who promised to help in the fund-raising function if and when it is arranged in Islamabad.
On 10 July 2005, Sunday, Ms Nadine Sheikh (the American wife of the Federal Privatisation Minister, Mr. Abdul Hafiz Sheikh) gave me the privilege of meeting her at her home for an hour. She leads a charity in Karachi, Adult Blind Centre). It was most cordial and immensely enjoyable meeting. Ms Nadine Sheikh graciously said, “I shall support the GO Fund. It the Islamabad activists contact me, I may be able to give time to organising a fund-raising event.”
Since the meeting with President Pervez Musharraf on 5 July 2005 as per the formal invitation transmitted to me by a letter of the Director General Shafiq of 18 June 2005 was cancelled, I met Lt. Gen. Hamid Javaid (Chief of Staff of the President House) on 13 July 2005 for about 40 minutes. It was most delectable to have the experience of meeting him in the company of Mr. Abdul Shafiq (Director General) and Dr. Ashraf Zahid - MSC Hons. (Faisalabad), MSC, DSC (USA), Trustee of the Gojra Eye Care Trust. I believe that this event will prove to be a milestone in seeing the Gojra Eye Complex in operation soon. In addition to arranging a 30-minute interview with the PTV, in which I spoke about the GO Fund for 15 minutes, Gen. Javaid Sahib promised as follows:-
1. He gave assurance that the President Musharraf and the Government of Pakistan are willing to give their unequivocal and candid support for this project and shall assist the British DfID in any respect it wishes in processing the grant application for this manifestly pro-Pakistan project. The Grant application, with a copy of the Report on the Feasibility Study, is already with the UK authorities.
2. The President House (most probably under the direction of President Musharraf) will send the Federal Health Minister to Gojra to lay the foundation stone of the eye hospital. (The President as a policy does not go to lay the foundation because a particular project may not be completed.)
3. A call will be made to the Governor of Punjab, Lt. Gen. Khalid Maqbool, requesting him to join the GEC Management Board to give the benefit of his immense authority to the operation of the hospital. Of course, this Board will be exclusively concerned with overseeing of the hiring of staff, purchasing equipment, expanding facilities etc, by panels approved by it.
The next day, 14 July 2005, Lt. Gen. Maqbool gave me the courtesy of a 15-minute call from Lahore when I was still in Islamabad. I most humbly intimated to him that I wished him to be on the Management Board of the Gojra Eye Complex because “he is stuffed with integrity” and is thoroughly a good man.
On 14 July 2005, I met Mohteram Rehmatullah Nazir Khan, Director General, Muslim World League (Rabitah Alamay Islami), International Islamic Relief Organisation, with Dr. M. Ashraf Zahid. He said that he will speak to the Saudi authorities to invite Dr. Ashraf Zahid and me for Omra and arrange one or two meetings of philanthropic Saudis in Jeddah before whom I could set out the details of the GEC. In the evening when Dr. Ashraf Sahib and I met the former Justice Afzal Cheema at his residence, he also promised to write a letter on the same lines to the Saudi Director General in Jeddah. He surprised me that despite his grand age (93), he would have accompanied us and had gone to the meeting with Mr. Khan, if he was told about it.
Employment of Disabled People in Pakistan
On 11 July 2005 I met Lt. Gen. (Retd) Jamshaid Gulzar, Chairman of the Federal Public Service Commission in his office for an hour. He greeted me with touching candour and listened to me with full commitment to ensure the betterment of the disabled candidates for senior civil service posts in Pakistan.
When I had outlined the circumstances hindering the employment of Pakistani disabled people in my meeting with President Musharraf on 30 May 2003, The President had candidly agreed with me that the prevailing situation was “shameful” and that it should be rectified with “fire brigade speed.” In consequence of tens of contacts with the relevant officials, the Cabinet approved a package of reforms on this topic on 4 August 2004. In his meeting with me, Gen. Gulzar brought to my attention the following points:-
1. He agreed with me that the document called “Employment of Disabled People in Pakistan” (promised by me to be drafted) will be designated as a document to which every other rule or regulation of the FPSC should be subjected. Specifically, it will advance a “normative” rather than “enumerative” approach. Under the normative approach “Any civil service post at every level will be available to a person with disability of any type, provided the disability of the candidate does not make impossible the performance of the functions normally associated with that post.” As opposed to the “enumerative” approach whereby posts in the listed departments are available, disabled persons will be eligible to apply for any post in any department, as well as newly created departments, where they meet the criteria.
2. Gen. Gulzar said that he met a batch of disabled candidates and they said that they were computer literate. This meant that they will be permitted to take their examinations by computer. Further, with impressive pragmatism, Gen. Gulzar told me that the disabled candidates (particularly visually impaired persons) will be allowed to take the competition examination by a tape recorder.
3. Gen. Gulzar told me that the disabled candidates (without exception) told him that they did not want any concession and wished to be given equal opportunity to compete with other candidates. I admired their attitude and agreed with Gen. Gulzar that in this perspective the application of any quota in the CSS field is not an issue.
4. A two per cent quota will be applied in respect of posts not dealt with by the FPSC.
5. Gen. Gulzar agreed to instruct one of his subordinates to produce a “Monitoring Report” on the operation of the above reforms in the first year. I wish to report on this issue to President Musharraf and propose the Monitoring Report to cover the period until 31 August 2005 (an earlier cut-off date may be appropriate; I leave this matter to the discretion of the FPSC).
On 13 July 2005 I was interviewed by Radio Pakistan, Islamabad. I took the opportunity to detail these reforms in that interview.