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"Khappe Ya Na Khappe"
By Mir Muhammad Ali Talpur

 

Mir Muhammad Ali Talpur

‘Pakistan khappe’, Pakistan na khappe’ are making headlines but nuances of Sindhi language are being ignored in their usage. The word ’khappe’ has two connotations one being ’want’ the other is ’be sold’, so when you say ’Pakistan khappe’ you also say Pakistan should be sold.

Apparently Mr. Zardari didn’t imply the second connotation when he said ’Pakistan khappe’ because those chanting ’Pakistan na khappe’ were certainly not opposing sale of Pakistan. ThisPakistan na khappe’ slogan needs to be seriously appraised to understand why desire for dismembering Pakistan has emerged in a province which passed a resolution for it. 

The people of Sindh feel threatened, endangered and intimidated by the political flux and the demographic influx here and by them I mean the sons of soil, the Nims, the Kandos and the Khabbars who are neither privileged nor part of political machines which dole out and receive favours. They who are the life blood of Sindh are the most down trodden, neglected and sidelined section of the population.

The governments and so by default political parties of all hues have ignored them and this has now led to emergence of once unknown ’food poverty’ and unemployment in rural Sindh. It implies the breakdown of those social mechanisms which cushioned effects of such calamities for millenniums and this forebodes calamitous mayhem there.

The overall economic situation too is ominous and there is a huge trust deficit between people and government. Recently 50,000 people applied for 250 vacancies in excise dept exposing the scale of unemployment and desperation.  A ban on jobs is aggravating the already bad situation and more so as jobs eventually go to political favourites or those who dole out hefty sums. People are suspicious of all measures.

Sindh like Balochistan has suffered immeasurably but unfortunately its leaders have changed stances according to the exigencies; their actions varying according to their political status; vocal when out of power but forgetting all when in power.

Sindh’s grievances include the unjust NFC award, IRSA’s water distribution, Kalabagh Dam, Greater Thal Canal, secondary status of Sindhi, Thar Coal , Qadirpur gas fields, oil and gas royalty, displacement of centuries old Goths for usurping prime land, unchecked influx of Afghans and others, bringing in of Biharis, allotting land to non-Sindhis and destruction of Sindh’s heritage etc. 

Opposition to KBD and Thal Canal has been unanimous. Though Kalabagh Dam has been shelved but people fear that eventually they will capitulate to the strong pro-Kalabagh Dam, read Punjab and Army, lobby. ’National interest’ is a very convenient tool for those who decide to disregard public opinion. 

Here land has always been distributed and allotted as largesse to military and civil officers with impunity because the hapless people are too meek and the leaders spineless. Respected military analyst Ayesha Siddiqa says, ”The military was given 10 per cent of the approximately nine million acres of land reclaimed due to the construction of the Kotri, Guddu and Ghulam Mohammad barrages in Sindh. The government also gave land to some senior civil bureaucrats, who were the military regime’s partners. After the military’s takeover in October 1958, more land was allotted to army officers in the Guddu Barrage area.” This practice continues unabated under different guises.

Writing in a journal (Newsline) Salam Dharejo, in Sept 2007, said, ”The recent allotment of 12,093 acres to the DHA on the Super Highway adjacent to the Karachi toll plaza is the biggest-ever housing project of the DHA on agriculture land. He adds, ”The land in question is, indeed, ”private” in many respects. More than 10,000 people inhabit 15 different villages. And they are not squatters. These villages have been in existence for 600 years.”  Situated at Deh Khadeji and Abdaar it was sold at the rate of Rs.100, 000 per acre though the going market rate is around Rs. 800,000/ for surveyed and Rs. 400,000/ for un-surveyed land. Displacing people for the windfall profits is absolute injustice.

In an article ’Land and military’ (Dawn, 30th August 2004) then Senator Farhatullah Babar wrote ”It is also worth recalling how the authority forced the provincial government of Sindh to surrender to it 240 acres of prime land at a dirt cheap price…..  But the DHA forcibly occupied 240 acres of government land. The provincial government moved the SHC against it claiming that the market price of the land was Rs 15,000 per square yard for residential and Rs 25,000 per square yard for commercial plots.”,

  He added that after 1999 coup, ”The provincial government was forced to withdraw its ordinance banning the sale of land, withdraw its petition from the SHC and agree to the sale of 240 acres of land to the DHA at a ridiculously low rate of Rs 20 a square yard.” This injustice should now be undone as they rule the roost.

There is hardly a hope because similar practices continue. A recent Dawn report (Sept.6th) said, ”The Karachi Port Trust has leased out 881 acres prime sea-front land to the D H A at a throwaway price. Minister for Ports and Shipping Qamar Zaman Kaira told Senate in a written reply that the land had been given to the DHA on a 99-year lease at a premium of Rs2.5 per square metre and an annual rent of 18 paisa per square metre.” Ridiculously low rate, isn’t it? Political parties conveniently change stances change with change of fortunes.

Unfortunately the present PPP-MQM cooperation is not based on understanding of the gravity of situation but on selfish quid pro quo. Whether the ’khappe or na khappe’ ideology prevails depends very much on the attitude of present dispensation towards Nims and Kandos. If they are ignored and left to their fate then we could see them seek solutions on their own.

Sindh, ominously, is a potential Cyprus in making because the economic and political divide on ethnic lines and urban-rural divide is fast becoming a nightmarish reality. Mental demarcations already exist and some ethnic outfits are arming followers. The rulers can continue to ignore the threat of split at their own risk because if conditions worsen further the divide can become a physical reality and only they will be to blame.  

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PPP eyes on the Nazim-Turned-Tycoons of Sindh

By Momin Bullo

 

Momin BulloIn a latest move, Pakistan Peoples Party government has initiated serious efforts to bring all isolated political heavy weights of Sindh back into party fold before any other party could hook them up. The decision has virtually opened flood gates of criticism for the party & its decision makers & created a sense of deprivation for the workers’ class. Very interestingly almost all those hither to anti-PPP forces in the province voted in favour of Mr. Asif Ali Khan Zardari during September 6, presidential election.

A diehard ‘Jiyala’ based in Thatta on the pre-condition of anonymity expressed, “during past one decade we and the whole party were subjected to ruthless persecution in the hands of Shirazis. Our workers were put behind bars under fabricated charges and they were even denied the right of vote in various elections.”

As a first part of the series of ‘reconciliation’ effort, Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah recently invited Shirazi brothers of Thatta (Shafqat Shah Shirazi, the Zila Nazim and his elder brother Aijaz Shah) reportedly on the advice of Ms. Faryal Talpur and held a detailed meeting in order to explore avenues and decide modalities for their re-entry in PPP at the very cost of workers’ sentiments. Shirazis command tight grip over the affairs of district since 2001 municipal polls. Shirazis captured the seat of Zila Nazim for the second consecutive term with a nominal opposition under a slogan “Allah Razi, Jeay Shirazi” (God is agreed, long live Shirazi). It is alleged that Shirazi have transferred billions of rupees to the middle eastern countries and established a hotel in Dubai. For the Shirazi brothers it is famous that they remember by heart the names of their every male or female voter.

In the wake of devolution plan six more districts were carved out from the existing and old districts like Hyderabad, Larkana, Jacobabad and Dadu in 2005 increasing the total strength to 23 districts to facilitate isolated influential lords who quit PPP conditionally.

Under re-districting and reshuffling of existing constituencies, Dr. Arbab Ghulam Rahim, then Chief Minister of Sindh completely uprooted PPP-led Awam Dost Panel from the district government system and rigged the election at his heart content. As opposed to 2001 municipal polls (in which PPP captured 9 districts out of 16), it could hardly form government in two districts of Nawabshah and Jamshoro districts in 2005 local government elections.

Malik Asad Sikandar, a well known feudal lord of Jamshoro and a one time close associate of President Asif Ali Zardari, too later on changed his loyalties in favour of then Chief Minister Dr. Arbab Rahim leaving behind the lone PPP representative Ms. Faryal Munawar Talpur (sister of Asif Ali Zardari) in the district government system of Sindh.

PPP, soon after coming into power in February elections initiated to upstage the district Nazims of Sukkur (Syed Nasir Hussain Shah), Jacobabad (Begum Saeeda Soomro, mother of Mr. Muhammad Mian Soomro, Chairman Senate of Pakistan) and Muhammad Bux Arijo of Larkana. All the three Nazims managed in retaining their positions through court orders. Altaf Hussain Unnar, former provincial minister and brother of late Ghulam Hussain Unnar (co accused in famous Bukhari case of 90s) was the defecto Zila Nazim of Larkana until he was arrested soon after PPP came into power under a case of murder attempt on the life of Dr. Azra Pechuho (sister of President Asif Zardari).

Syed Nasir Hussain Shah, the maiden Zila Nazim of Sukkur, won the election of 2001 on the ticket of PPP but later on changed his loyalties in favour of then Chief Minister, Ali Muhammad Mahar. This caused serious heart burn among the local PPP leadership including Syed Khursheed Ahmed Shah (present federal minister).

“Except PML (F) district governments all the governments led by independent groupings would be recaptured”, disclosed a Hyderabad-based PPP stalwart.

Jatois of Naushahro Feroze and Mahars of Ghotki, who also gave vote to Mr. Zardari, have reliably been declared as an ‘exclusive’ group. While Magsis of Tando Allahyar, Talpurs of Tando Muhammad Khan, Chandios of Qambar Shahdadkot, Jatois of Dadu, Arbabs of Tharparkar, Mazaris of Kandhkot-Kashmore, Mahars of Shikarpur & Halepotas of Badin are likely to lose the job or change their loyalty. Some political analysts view PPP’s renewed effort to bring feudal lords in its fold as a part of its mission to return back billions of rupees earned through malpractices and got them transferred to foreign banks.

PPP’s initiative to bring back known turn coats into its fold came in the wake of Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif’s covert efforts to harbour all those Zila Nazims turned tycoons.

While others claim that the efforts are based to counter Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif’s desire to strengthen its party in Sindh by wining back the support of these isolated district governments through thick and thin. It is pertinent to note that Dr. Rahila Gul Magsi, Zila Nazim of Tando Allahyar & her brother & former Provincial Minister, Irfan Gul Magsi recently called on Mr. Sharif at his Raiwind residence and reliably held detailed discussion on the matters related to the reorganization of the party in the district. Liaqat Ali Jatoi, who served as Chief Minister of Sindh in 1997-98, under Mian M. Nawaz Sharif as the Prime Minister, has also reliably established contact with Sharif brothers and offered them his support.

Nawab Shabir Chandio, the ailing Zila Nazim of Qambar-Shahdadkot, is the heir of Chandka Jagir and carries unmatchable influence in and around Larkana. His group lost 2008 elections. He left PPP in 2005, when Dr. Arbab Rahim offered him Qambar-Shahdadkot district as a ‘gift’. It was Nawab Shabir Chandio who fought election on PPP ticket against his father (Nawab Sultan Chandio) in 1988. His likely return to PPP will be opposed by none other than a PPP Provincial Minister Mir Nadir Magsi, who belongs to the same district and contested the slot of Zila Nazim against Mr. Chandio.

Saleem Jan Mazari, Zila Nazim of Kandhkot-Kashmore district may also jump on to PPP’s bandwagon in the wake of problems created by the tough bureaucrats planted in the district government. However, Mir Hazar Khan Bijarani, the PPP-MNA from the district may oppose his re-entry in the party. Similarly, Muhammad Arif Khan Mahar, Zila Nazim of Shikarpur & son of Mr. Ghous Bux Mahar, former federal minister, too faces lot of difficulties in the wake of hurdles created by the bureaucracy in his day to day affairs. Shikarpur is the native town of Aftab Shaban Mirani, former Defence Minister and Agha Siraj Durrani, the sitting local government minister and a close comrade of President Asif Ali Zardari.

Mahars of Ghotki enjoy strategic advantage. A vast majority of the clan in habits in and across the border. While, Khalid Ahmed Lund, a former federal minister & pioneer of PPP (patriot), who lost 2008 election merely enjoys influence in three tehseels of Ghotki district.

“If PPP avoided to cull the scattered political heavy weights, it is highly likely that Mian Nawaz Sharif led PML(N) may step in and bring them in his party fold. “Let us see when does the cat come out of the bag”, remarked Imdad Soomro, a senior journalist of Hyderabad.

In a recent move the offices of Zila Nazim Tando Allahyar were occupied by PPP activists. Dr. Rahila Gul Magsi, the Zila Nazim had no option but to knock the door of law courts and at last she was succeeded in registering the case against those involve in the crime, which included Imdad Pitafi, the PPP MPA from the area. Independent analysts view this action as childish and void of political maturity. In the meantime Dr. Rahila Gul Magsi, the Zila Nazim complained that the direct intervention of the provincial government in the affairs of her administration has seriously affected the ongoing development schemes in the area.

 

RESULTS OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT ELECTIONS, 2005

S.N

District

Zila Nazim

Party

1

CDG Karachi

Mustafa Kamal

MQM

2

Thatta

Shafqat Shah Shirazi

Independent

3

Hyderabad

Kanwar Naveed Jamil

MQM

4

Jamshoro

Malik Asad Sikandar

PPP

5

Dadu

Karim Bux Jatoi

Independent

6

Tando M. Khan

Mir Inayat Talpur

PML (Q)

7

Badin

Anwar Halepoto

PML (Q)

8

Tando Allahyar

Dr. Raheela Gul Magsi

Independent

9

Mirpurkhas

Dr. Kaniz Sughra Junejo

PML (F)

10

Matiari

Muhammad Ali Shah Jamote

PML (F)

11

Sanghar

Haji Khuda Bux Rajar

PML (F)

12

Umerkot

Faqir Manghan Mangrio

PML (F)

13

Tharparkar

Arbab Anwar

PML (Q)

14

Nawabshah

Faryal Munawar Talpur

PPP

15

Noshahro Feroz

Ghulam Rasool Jatoi alias Akib Khan

Independent

16

Khairpur

Pir Niaz Hussain Shah

PML (F)

17

Sukkur

Syed Nasir Shah

PML (Q)

18

Ghotki

Ali Gohar Mahar

PML (Q)

19

Shikarpur

Arif Khan Mahar

PML (Q)

20

Jacobabad

Begum Saeeda Soomro

PML (Q)

21

Qambar Shahdadkot

Nawab Shabir Chandio

PML (Q)

22

Larkana

Muhammad Bux Arijo

PML (Q)

23

Kandhkot-Kashmor

Saleem Jan Mazari

Independent

 

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Fungus, the bogeyman
By Anjum Niaz

 

Fungus is a fictional character in a children’s book. His job is to scare people. He belongs to the Society of Bogeymen who prefer stink and sleaze as opposed to ’Mr & Ms Clean.’ Sliminess is their credo. Since life imitates art, Fungus is a good fit for our current cabinet of ministers. Men and women who live on decomposed dirt and stink up the corridors of power. The kingdom of Fungi thrives by attaching itself to the establishment guys. They are the mushrooms, moulds, mildews, smuts, rusts, and yeasts of our society. Why does the man/woman at the top tolerate these types? From Pervez Musharraf to Asif Ali Zardari; from Nawaz Sharif to Benazir Bhutto? You already have the answer.

Asif Ali Zardari - Yousuf Raza Gilani - Pervez MusharrafBut for Raza Rabbani and Sherry Rehman, plus a few old cravens dying for a ministry, Chief Bogeyman Yusuf Raza Gilani’s cabinet makes the people of Pakistan puke. Thanks to the toxic waste Pervez Musharraf left behind  the myth of National Reconciliation Ordinance or the NRO - Asif Ali Zardari sits where he could never have dreamt of sitting last year at this time: He and politics were poles apart; He and Pakistan were two different continents separated by the gigantic Atlantic Ocean, their trajectories never converging as in day and night - When it was day in Islamabad, it was night in Manhattan (Zardari’s home for the past five years). And now Pervez Musharraf, also a card-carrying member of the Society of Bogeymen, has the cheek to tell us that in 60 days the Zardari government will fall and the army will take over. Mr Mischief is throwing a big hint: ’Get ready folks, I’m coming back.’ God forbid!

After Benazir Bhutto’s assassination, we gravitated towards her widower. Pakistanis are a charitable nation and while many were averse to his being the kingmaker, he still became our sovereign. Top diplomats raced to Bilawal House in Islamabad to shake his hands and secure his favours. Fungus, the bogeyman along with many other mendacious Fungi came crawling for jobs and lucrative deals that would make them super wealthy. Zardari’s first two top appointments within the first week in power were that of Hussain Haqqani and Rehman Malik. It was déjà vu all over again. The telltale records, neatly categorized and ready for revelation lying in the basement of the NAB (National Accountability Bureau) were the first casualty last February. The senior jiyalas reportedly went to the basement and personally destroyed them. More shocks were in store with the resurrection of superannuated civil servants Salman Faruqui and Javed Talat. Joint Secretary Siraj Shamsuddin was given a double promotion and overnight jumped to grade 22. The government was ordered to pay him and Salman Faruqui salary of the last ten years which the two gentlemen had ”lost” out when they fled Pakistan after Benazir Bhutto’s second government fell. To make up for the material, physical and emotional ’injury’ inflicted upon these émigrés who had breached our trust and fled, Chief Bogeyman Gilani was instructed to provide them succour. Faruqui’s niece, Sharmeela (who accused Nawaz Sharif’s chief cop Saifur Rehman of sexual harassment) today is the adviser to Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah as is Dr Shahid Masood, the failed PTV head to the prime minister. Thrown in are some oddballs, including a Dubai-based TV anchor, who enjoy the status of ambassadors at large and sponge on poor Pakistan.

The gravy train run by our rulers today would be the envy of any greasy character living in the developed world. He/she would wish they lived in Pakistan where the rulers are loaded and pull out truckloads of money each time they put their hands in the till. Well, that’s the signal we are sending out. When our president goes abroad, he takes along not one, not two, but three planeloads of chamchas. He says he foots the expenses from his own pocket. Strange? Where in the world does a leader live and make his own rules according to his whims. Are we a country or a fiefdom of one person?

I cried when Barack Hussein Obama won. I cried for the Americans who under George W Bush had become the most hated nation in the world. I cried for the people of colour in America who would at last not feel inferior because they were black and brown. It was a defining moment in history and thanks to live TV we all witnessed it. Then I cried some more for Pakistan and its kismet. I cried because our president took an entourage of 240 people to Saudi Arabia to beg money from King Abdullah. I cried when I saw the two disingenuous ’Mirs’ Bajarani and Zehri become ministers. For their stunts against women, they were invited to join the cabinet!

And then I asked myself: if God can change the fortunes of the US by giving them a brand new leader - young, fresh and honest, why was Pakistan being punished with leaders  tried, tested and failed? If the Americans had rejected the Bush doctrine and those propagating it, why couldn’t the Pakistanis have rejected people who plundered the country in the past?

”It will take two hundred years for our politicians to become honest, clean and sincere,” Air Marshal Asghar Khan, 86, tells me at the launch of his book, My Political Struggle. But time is of the essence, I said, we don’t have the luxury to wait. Who knows what will happen two centuries later? We don’t even know if Pakistan will survive the crisis it’s facing today? ”You have to be patient,” said the man who trained and put in place a top class Air Force in 1965 and saved us from defeat at the hands of India. Asghar Khan failed as a politician because he was too honest and too decent a man. ”Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto asked me to join hands with him saying we’ll fool the people and rule over them for the next 20 years. I flatly refused.”

A speaker at the book launch, Asma Jehangir, said in her typically sarcastic tone with a sardonic smile ”Rats of all seasons abound, especially rats bred in the GHQ.” She said that politicians who make a pact with the devil get rewarded, not punished.

But listen to this man: He is hundred percent certain that Army Chief General Kayani will not opt for a martial law even if things get real bad. He is also certain that the ISI is not helping the Taliban as western leaders and their media outlets think. Anyone who brings a bad name to the Pakistan Army is no friend of Australian author Brian Cloughley and that includes Ayesha Siddiqua. ”Military Inc is not a good book. I have taken her head on in my new book. I have interviewed several players who are accused by her of running a financial empire, making the army appear sinister. I have set the record straight.”

Is that the reason DG ISPR General Athar Abbas stayed away from Brian’s book launch? Is that the reason why serving generals were absent? They didn’t want to give an impression that they had authorized the book and covertly facilitated its birth. Retired generals with skeletons in their closets who want us to believe that they are innocent souls and love Pakistan should have been there. But not a single fauji  retired or serving bothered with the launch of Brian Cloughley’s book War, Coups and Terror last Tuesday morning. What’s going on? It’s hard to believe that they didn’t know of the event. Cloughley (pronounced Cluffly) is an old hand at the ins and outs of the Pakistan Army. He has poured his admiration in one book already and this one is no different. He defends the institution like a hawk and loves it like his own child.

Good news: two good men, authors Ahmad Rashid and Shuja Nawaz are in Tampa, Florida at the invitation of US Centcom commander General David Petraeus, working on a strategy for Afghanistan and Iraq. The Indians are green with envy why two Pakistani security analysts have made it to Petraeus list of consultants. Eat your hearts out!

Alas, while our own leaders choose Fungus, the Bogeyman type, foreigners bag the best of our people to serve them. Anyone who can come up with a plan to banish forever the Society of Bogeymen deserves a Nobel Prize. 

(Via Email)

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Pakistan facing piracy flood
By Jamil Bhatti

 

Pakistan is suffering millions of dollars losses due to day by day raising piracy rate which is touching about 84 percent these days.

Over two-thirds of manufacturers feel that the threat to their intellectual property (IP) has grown, resulting in lost sales, lost market share and lower margins around the world including Pakistan.

In music CDs and DVDs the Motion Pictures and the software industry are suffering billion globally in losses annually and also in Pakistan due to piracy. Various studies have found reasonable evidence that most of the piracy is controlled by organized criminals who are also involved in other illegal activities, Paktribune.com reported.

To address this issue, a full day workshop for the media persons focused on ”COUNTERING SOFTWARE PIRACY AS A SOCIAL & ECONOMIC ISSUE” was jointly organized in Islamabad by the Microsoft in IslamabadPakistan. A big number of the active journalists and writers attended the workshop.

The main objective of the interactive workshop for journalists was to raise awareness on the role of media in the fight against software piracy, copyright infringement and to highlight the value of genuine software to consumers, businesses and the national economy. Microsoft took this initiative keeping in mind the hazards and threats posed by software piracy. 

In the inaugural session, smart lady Fariha Shah, Marketing Manager, Microsoft told journalists about the theme of the piracy going to be discussed in the workshop. She derived some examples of piracy from the real life and discussed the issue.

Speakers at the workshop highlighted the value of sharing experience among journalists for protecting intellectual property rights. They noted that protection would encourage investment and facilitate the economies of the country.

Microsoft Citizenship Manager Pakistan Afzal Mirza said that international firms want to make huge investments in the IT sector in Pakistan but they want surety against piracy.

Genuine Software Manager Salman Siddiqui told the journalist that piracy is a global problem and is causing $40 billion loss annually. He said that pirated software is being widely used in Pakistan and the government and private organisations are in the forefront in this regard.

“If use of pirated software is reduced by 10 per cent, it could add $163 million to the gross domestic produce and $23 million could be added to the national exchequer besides foreign firms could make huge investments. According to a survey of the Business Software Alliance, Pakistan’s IT sector was at 62nd position in global ranking which places it behind other comparable economies like India, Bangladesh, Nepal, etc.’ he added.

He further says that Microsoft aims to deploy genuine software technologies in Pakistan and partner with LEA to abolish the presence of pirated software in Pakistan and enable it to evolve as an IT exporting country.

Oxford University Press Managing Director for Pakistan Amina Syed said publications of the Oxford University Press are being published illegally and the government owned ’National Book Foundation’ is also among such publishers while private sector publishing houses are doing so at a large scale.

She said that minimal punishment is awarded by courts while pirates are not being punished because of lacunae in the law. The FIA official said that the compact disk is not the only medium of software piracy, but pirated software are also available through the Internet.

Speakers informed that Bill Gates met with Pervez Musharaf and former Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz in China for this issue but he could not get any encouraging behavior.

The Project Director FIA, Mr. Ammar Jafri who also chaired the workshop praised the efforts of Microsoft Pakistan and emphasized the role of private sector to help local enforcement agencies (LEA) initiate sustained crackdowns against global operators in counterfeit market.

He said that “the fight against piracy is a shared fight and we need to devise strategies where private enterprise collaborates with governmental agencies to effectively eradicate the issue of counterfeit. It is also imperative that media through its wide reach create mass awareness in the consumers who are hoodwinked into buying spurious and sub-standard products.”

“In recent months FIA has taken a number of measures to control counterfeit market in Pakistan and due to these efforts FIA got appreciation from a number of international stakeholders’ he added.

In order to create greater awareness, Microsoft partnered with Anti-Counterfeit and Infringement Forum (ACIF) and Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to highlight the issue of counterfeit trade and piracy and how it affects the economy and the common-man alike.

The Pakistan government has taken a number of important steps to reduce crimes related to intellectual property, copyrights and trademarks. To curb this issue in last year of the Pervez Musharraf’s government the Pakistan parliament passed a bill to protect intellectual property rights.

Feeling the sensitivity of the issue, former President General (retd) Pervez Musharraf approved an ordinance to set up the Intellectual Property Rights Organization, which is under the administrative control of the cabinet division. It is to ensure the implementation of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) laws to protect all stakeholders.

The Trade Marks Registry, Copyright Office and the Patent Office are also part of the organization dedicated to preparing and implementing IPR laws. It would be the responsible for strengthening of intellectual property rights and their development, upgrading, and infrastructure through designated law-enforcement agencies.

In spite of all former actions against criminals, the government could not obtain required results. Even today, a CD or book that retails for $4-6 in the international market may openly be purchased for less than half a dollar in Pakistan. Microsoft is presenting its one software at very cheap rates for 2800 rupees ($34.5) in the market but on the other hand you may buy the same pirated software from any pavement vendor for Rs30($0.37).

But if we generally, Pakistan is not the only country facing a piracy problem even United sate of America is suffering it with the piracy rate of 20 percent and India 62 Percent. The problem can be controlled by effective law enforcement measures and raising people’s awareness. Software efforts along with Pakistan’s efforts in fighting piracy in the country up to now are appreciable. 

 

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