Oh So Orwellian

Zeros are Heroes
Heroes are Zeros

Continuing another Mush tradition and spitting even on Benazir’s policy, PPP honors it’s lowest of the low…
(BTW: Don’t miss out the ironic bit at the end)

Dubious Nominations Belittle National Honours

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

By Umar Cheema

ISLAMABAD: As the president of Pakistan decorates “distinguished citizens” today with prestigious awards, many of the recipients have been dubiously selected for the honour including Law Minister Dr Babar Awan, who is being conferred Sitara-e-Imtiaz in violation of the policy formulated in Late Benazir Bhutto’s second term, reveal documents.

Another person to be awarded “Sitara-e-Imtiaz“, Sohail Mansoor, supposedly the highest taxpayer, will receive the honour without the consent of the Federal Board of Revenue. A well-known beautician, Musarrat Misbah, will receive “President’s Pride of Performance Award” at a time when her NGO — Depilex Smile Again —  has stopped receiving funds from main donor for alleged embezzlement and fraudulent presentation of performance. Two Pakistani cricketers, Younus Khan and Shahid Afridi, are also receiving “President’s Pride of Performance” award at a time when their conduct is mired in serious controversy.

As regards the decision of decorating Babar Awan is concerned, the cabinet division’s document indicates that it has been done against the policy devised by late Benazir Bhutto who had then refused conferring such an honour on her minister, Julius Salik. As the committee finalised the names, it said in a summary that the public office holders are not considered “for the work in the line of their duties”. Although the law minister is ostensibly being awarded “for his scholarly research in the field of Islamic jurisprudence”, it is still in violation of BB’s laid-down policy.

When Julius Salik’s name was considered for Hilal-i-Imtiaz, opposing his nomination, Ms Bhutto had said: “No minister to be decorated as a policy,” mentions the Cabinet summary sent on August 10, 2009 (four days before the law minister was selected for the honour on August 14). However, writing further, Zafar Mahmood, the Cabinet Secretary at the time, wrote in the following line after mentioning Ms Bhutto’s policy: “The Committee felt that the scholarly work done by Dr Zaheeruddin Babar Awan was not in the normal line of his functions hence his name may be considered by the prime minister for conferring the award of Sitara-i-Imtiaz.” However, there is a controversy about the doctorate degree of Babar Awan, [Controversy? There is no controversy. The degree is proven fake, just like “Dr.” Aamir Liaqat’s] who is also facing charges of taking bribe in Haris Steel Mills case.

The deliberation over Sohail Mansoor’s nomination is not different either. The same Summary (U O No 1/1/2009-Awards) of the Cabinet Division states in the next paragraph that the Prime Minister Secretariat in October 2008 had conveyed the approval of the PM for his nomination being the highest tax payer. As his case was placed before the Main Award Committee following PM’s approval, the Committee refused to approve as the FBR “had not sent any nomination for highest tax payer”. The matter was then left at the discretion of the prime minister. As The News contacted FBR’s spokesman, he first sought an hour’s time to confirm the identity of the highest tax payer but later wouldn’t attend the call despite reminders.

As far the case of Musarrat Misbah, she has been sent for the award for recognition of her services in the field of art. Her services with regard to the restructuring of faces of the women burned and acid victims, has won her award and her NGO, Depilex Smile Again Foundation, has been lauded for doing remarkable job in this regard. She’s being awarded with the “Pride of Performance” at a time when her main foreign funding agency has allegedly pulled out its financial support, until certain questions about financial impropriety are addressed.

Talking to The News regarding Babar Awan’s case, the cabinet secretary said that he had “inherited” Babar Awan’s case as the decision was taken by his predecessor, Zafar Mehmood. About Sohail Khan and Musarrat Misbah, he said he would have to look into the record and that this correspondent was “at liberty to express his opinion on the issue”. About the cricket players, he said the allegations levelled against them after their nominations were approved on August 14 last year and their names could not have been pulled out at a later stage.

But what about the real heroes, you ask?
Well here is the “award” being presented to our greatest:

Govt files fresh plea to investigate AQ Khan

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15 Responses to “Oh So Orwellian”


  1. 1 sahar March 24, 2010 at 5:36 pm

    You keep using the term ‘allegedly’ in reference to masarrat misbah. why not write fact rather than just allege that the main donor has pulled out and that DSF is no longer recieving any funds. I would like a name for our apparent major donor and fact proving that infact DSF is no longer getting any donations. Prove what you have said and then you can change the term ‘allegedly’ to ‘actually’.

    • 2 nota March 24, 2010 at 7:24 pm

      @sahar
      Why don’t you write to Jang Group “to set the record straight”.

      But since you seem to know the “truth”, care to inform us who the “main donor” being referred to?

      BTW:Interesting you only have problem with Musarrat Misbah and none of the other “allegedly (;-) ) “dubious”. Does that mean you agree they are in fact “dubious”?

      I also find it very interesting that while you are tying yourself in knots over Ms Misbah, you also have had no words to offer in support of Dr. AQ Khan. What a shame!!!

  2. 3 Rasheed March 24, 2010 at 6:22 pm

    Yes, oh so Orwellian! This is what Orwell wrote about as to how reality can be changed and lies become truth. Noam Chmsky has also written about this phenomenon as to how t manufacture consent by distorting fact and truths.
    The fact remains that Manzar is a sour puss who owes money to Masarrat and Shirin is helping him. He owes money to Masarrat–almost over one crore. Now the partnership has been dissolved. In order not to pay the money he is shitslingign on Masarrat. There are recorded proofs on camera that he offered money to some of the victims to give statements against Masarrat and he was refused. Even then he wasn’t shamed.
    Masarrat’s work for acid and kerosene burnt women is commendable. But we are such a rotten society that instead of appreciating her work, we want gossip about her and area ready to believe crooks. It reflects on us. manzar is a crook and everyone knows that, but worse are crooks among us who are spreading this vicious rumour and supporting him. At least Manzar is out in the open one can counter his allegations and him. But what to do with these stnking two-faced snakes?
    If Masarrat were not clean, she would never hire Earnest & Young as her auditors and a huge section of media and media personalities woudn’t be supporting her. But why would our self-righteous journalists care a bit to find the Truth? They are only interested in moolah or a chaptpati headline.
    Manzar, Shirin, according to some reports even Tehmina Durrani, and all those who are actively involved in this smear campaign, are not actually against masarrat; they are against those acid and kerosene burnt victims who Masarrat is helping to get a life of dignity. Great! That just shows how lowly and rotten we are. Bring it on!
    We, the citizens of Islamic Republic of Pakistan, we Muslims, who think that no one is greater than us , forget that there is God and He is watching.

  3. 5 Amjad May 12, 2010 at 11:39 am

    Pl read about Depilex Smileagain Foundation scam in an article published by the leading newspaper in Pakistan.

    http://www.thenews.com.pk/daily_detail.asp?id=237958

    The Herald says:-

    http://www.dawn.com/herald/feb10.htm

    Also available is a video documentary exposing Masarrat Misbah misuse of funds and victims.

    TOPIC:-DEPILEX SMILEAGAIN FOUNDATION’S MASARRAT MISBAH PLAYS WITH THE SENTIMENTS OF ACID BURN VICTIMS.

    Episode 99 Talash : –
    Part 1: – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PzUL-JHiSrk
    Part 2: – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PN2TalAqfPs&feature=related
    Part3: – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hdHcVa6y1TY&feature=related

    Episode 100 Talash : –
    Part 1: – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Cz1_d3WVx0&feature=related
    Part 2: – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b53ydBssxeU&feature=related
    Part3: – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l4s3zdAN60I&feature=related

    There is no limit to greed. To make money off a human tragedy is criminal.

  4. 8 Sadia May 13, 2010 at 5:44 pm

    Saga continues

    Check what the parent NGO in Italy has put on their website

    http://www.smileagain.it/smileagain/home.html

    The story is that Clarice Felli, the President of Smileagain Italia that gave its name, money and support to Depilex smileagain Pakistan, asked some questions about fund utilisation. In return, CLM, the top legal firm in Pakistan sent Clarice a legal notice, saying you are defaming our clients in Pakistan and we dont feel the need to answer your baseless questions about fund utlisation.

    The Smileagain USA, which was earlier supporting Masarrat, has stopped its operation too. Their legal experts say it is unthinkable in USA for a law firm to go after the critics of a public charity refusing to give fund utilisation figures and instead threatening them with legal notices, and helping the organisation fight cases against Govt to avoid investigation. A charity in USA in answerable to any donor.

    http://www.smileagainusa.org/

    An insider at Depilex Smileagain Foundation says, since both the websites were referred to in Depilex Smileagain Pakistan’s website, therefore the Depilex management has decided to take their own website down. In any case the tall claims it makes can be proved false.

    So keep an eye on

    http://www.depilexsmileagain.com/

    • 9 nota May 14, 2010 at 6:51 pm

      Thanks Sadia! I am going to put here what Clarice Felli had to say at the link you posted:


      COMMUNICATION TO ALL DONORS AND READERS

      Dear Friends, Donors & Well-wishers of Smileagain Italia

      I feel the time has come to share with you that Smileagain Italia is at present going through a very difficult period.

      I have been receiving complaints since 2008 about the unfair management of funds raised by Depilex Smileagain Foundation Pakistan (DSF).The reaction of Masarrat Misbah of DSF and Dr. Losasso of Smileagain FVG to my repeated requests for clarification of certain financial matters has convinced me that both these organizations are in contravention of the nature spirit and objectives of Smileagain Italia.

      DSF have been making fake invoices and has also been falsifying my signatures. However, what has hurt me the most is that the objectives of the Smileagain mission of which the priority was to provide the victims of acid burning with tangible help, have been turned into a business where personal achievements and gratification are the order of the day.

      I am deeply saddened by the present situation. I cannot allow even a shadow of a doubt or any suspicion to be attached to the activities & objectives of my Association.

      It is, therefore, to this end that I commit to protect the principles upon which Smileagain Italia was founded and to clarify the situation at all costs.

      I have commissioned lawyers both in Italy and in Pakistan in order to help me to take appropriate action. Through these lawyers I want to inform all the Italian & Pakistani Authorities & Institutions since they must be made aware and kept abreast of the developing situation and the reactions of both Masarrat Misbah and Dr Losasso.

      I want to express my heartfelt gratitude for all the help and support you all collectively given to Smileagain Italia.

      It is therefore incumbent upon me to keep you all informed and updated on future developments regarding these issues. I am sure this situation will be solved and the good name of Smileagain Italia will be fully restored to its former place.
      The President

      Clarice Felli

      (Rasheed, Sahar: Anything to add?? )

  5. 10 Sadia May 15, 2010 at 10:18 am

    Insider was right. They actually shutdown their website. It is unbelievable. A charity run by a celebrity of Pakistan gets criticised for cheating. And they shutdown their website. Does not give me any confidence in them no matter what they say now.

    Well done Umer Cheema.

  6. 11 Ariyan May 15, 2010 at 2:30 pm

    ACCOUNTS OF A CHARITY

    Here are details of 2008/2009 Accounts as submitted by Depilex Smileagain to the Government through their auditors (Rafaqat Mansha Mohsin Dossani Masoom & Co ) and therefore there is no question of any doubt. (Figures in rupees).

    Administrative and General Expenses 2009
    Staff salaries & benefits 2,265,006.00
    Traveling and conveyance 1,232,725.00
    Patients treatment 895,043.00
    Free camp 268,122.00
    Publicity and advertisement 194,295.00
    Audit fee 75,000.00
    Miscellaneous 72,213.00
    Printing & Stationary 67,257.00
    Legal and professional charges 60,000.00
    Courier and postage 22,317.00
    Repair and maintenance 9,380.00
    Entertainment 9,109.00
    Utilities –
    Internet charges –
    Depreciation 230,173.00

    Grand Total : – 5,400,640.00

    Administrative and General Expenses 2008
    Staff salaries & benefits 1,864,930.00
    Traveling and conveyance 1,498,369.00
    Patients treatment 874,033.00
    Free camp –
    Publicity and advertisement 385,894.00
    Audit fee 75,000.00
    Miscellaneous 48,003.00
    Printing & Stationary 27,235.00
    Legal and professional charges 127,000.00
    Courier and postage 31,228.00
    Repair and maintenance 26,360.00
    Entertainment 32,632.00
    Utilities 30,350.00
    Internet charges 23,100.00
    Depreciation 97,262.00

    Total : – 5,141,396.00

    Capital work in progress 2009
    Civil work 3,070,000.00
    Consultancy charges 1,805,000.00
    Mobilization Advance –

    Grand Total : – 4,875,000.00

    Capital work in progress 2008
    Civil work 1,547,500.00
    Consultancy charges 555,000.00
    Mobilization Advance 322,500.00

    Grand Total : – 2,425,000.00

    Grand Total spent on Construction/Consultancy of civil works:- 7,300,000.00

    The obvious question is that this organization is housed in Depilex Salon, so instead of Depilex supporting and helping the organization set up to help the poor victims, it looks the other way. Look at the management overheads. People should be working as volunteers. We are talking about an NGO. We are talking of hard earned public money. The salary of Masarrat’s husband, Maj retd Masood Haider stands out at Rs 13,80,000/ year. You are paying each year 13.8 lakhs to your executive and spending less than 9 lakhs on victims? Is this justified. And what about the construction figures. We all know hospital in under construction. We know through articles and videos, there is only a boundary wall constructed so far. So we all must be shown in a photograph how much has been achieved in 73 lakhs. Travelling? Conveyance? Salaries? this is ridiculous. We are being told by Masarrat supporters that the vicitms will suffer if we criticise. I look at it differently, how will they maintian their jobs/perks and travel around the globe if this NGO is shutdown.

    The Board of Depilex smileagain is all family board (Masarrat/Father/Uncle).

    To confirm and verify the figures above, visit the SECP registerar’s office in Islamabad.

    And if you are running an NGO, please match these figures and you would be awarded Pride of Performance by our President too for your charitable work.

    (Note:- No Ernst and Younge in SECP Records!)

  7. 12 Mehak May 17, 2010 at 1:10 pm

    I must share this with all of you. Musarat auntie’s interview has been published in Jang’s Sunday magazine, Lahore. 16 May 2010. She has been interviewed by Akhtar Ali Akhtar.

    In answer to a question of where the funding came from for her NGO, she says, all the funds came from my family and friends, and i can categorically and proudly say, none of the funds came from outside Pakistan.

    Is she for real? The Italains are screaming at her for not giving account of the donations she took. She has on record with interviews and articles and TV shows which quote her as saying she gets funds from outside Pakistan.

    Disgusting. I have been to quite a few of of her fundraisers and we were told how the Italians and Americans and UAE people were funding. A few of my close friends worked for her and are sure that this statement could only come after she has shutdown her website. So the proof has gone and you can now lie as much as you like. I am not sure how she explains the bank transactions from outside Pakistan in NGO’s bank account with Standard Chartered Bank.

    I would have been happier if all allegations against Musarat auntie were not true. But now i have no choice but say Musarat auntie is a big liar and a con artist.

    • 13 nota May 17, 2010 at 5:01 pm

      Thanks Mehak for the heads up on the interview. I will post it here when I get a chance to look it up.

      Regarding “she has shutdown her website. So the proof has gone”, I don’t think it matters as long as smileagain.it is up and at least one person shows up at any future fundraiser with a small banner 🙂 Anyways, spread the word through word of mouth whenever you can…

      Here are a couple of programs WAQT did on the subject (Thanks to Amjad for pointing it out):

      Episode 99 Talash , WAQT TV

      Episode 100 Talash , WAQT TV

  8. 14 Mehak May 19, 2010 at 2:47 pm

    I blogged at another site, which is of a very creditable NEWSLINE magazine.The author has also admiited that original article on Musarat’s pride of performance needs to be read in light of material available about Depilex Charity’s doings or misdoings.Pl check

    http://www.newslinemagazine.com/2010/04/pride-of-performance-2010/

    Someone by the name of Maliha has raised a very valid point. Why would Depilex Smilegain send girls for beauty training to Italy when they own a large Beauty and Training Institute themselves in Pakistan. To be honest, never though to this myself. She has given a very plausible explanation.

    I quote:-

    •maliha said:

    Mehak. Thanks you for the comments. As very responsible citizens of this country, we have choice to speak out against wrongdoings or keep shut and let crooks keep looting Pak. I got copy of yesterday’s newspaper and you’r absolutely right. Y she lie like this.
    Pl check
    http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticleNew.asp?xfile=data/theuae/2007/March/theuae_March602.xml&section=theuae&col
    and also see
    http://www.appna.org/?swdrsmileagain
    50,000 Dhirams and US 9000. You can even see the dollar in a box where she stand. And i give just two examples. There are many many more.
    I dont understand how these people lie openly and sleep well at night. And they projct themselves as \Female Icons\ and \Champions of Humanitarian work\. The Presidents and the Ministers and the TV Show hosts portray them as \angels\ of society, just because they posses right connections. Musarat has got more projection in Pakistan and abroad than even Edhi sahb because of her networking. Not a single Salon owner, or Fashion Designr, or TV Host/hostess would have the courage to confront her. They would be scared of her retaliation. Because of her Karachi connections Musarat threatens everyone with MQM, and in all possibility MQM maynot be even aware of this and would never support her misdoings.
    I can’t get over fact that Musarat Misbah owns leading Salon chain Depilex and which has biggest beauty course training institute in Pakistan. She sends 8 acid burn girl vicitms to Italy for beautician training (Uzma mazhar’s Newsline article confirm this), Why? Why were they not trained in Pakistan. For that matter, why were all her vicitms not trained in Pakistan. My husband’s friend who was her accountant and now left the job solved this mystery for me. He said that, if they been trained here, she would not have made money and also not benefitted from the very good local and international press she got. Depilex Smileagain charged all expenses to there charity account for training (tickets/housing/daily alowances) of the victims, and also got them reimbursed from Italy. All money taken in cash from Bank. This is what he called smart double accounting. External auditors at end of the year are more insterestd in managing their workload and their fees and have no time for checking account in detail.
    We Pakistanis have brains. If these work for good things only, our country will Mashallah flourish and if they work for bad things we will get into big big trouble.

    • 15 nota May 19, 2010 at 8:41 pm

      @Mehak
      “Why would Depilex Smilegain send girls for beauty training to Italy when they own a large Beauty and Training Institute themselves in Pakistan.”

      Very valid point indeed! And I see she doesn’t only have more than one here but has one in Dubai as well 🙂

      See also:

      Depilex Institute of Creative Arts and Science, which is one of the Pakistan’s biggest beauty training institutes with the internationally qualified staff. It is also the only institute in Pakistan that has a foreign affiliation with the Chichester College of Arts, Science and Technology (UK)

      And

      Depilex Beauty Clinic offer services and courses in the institute include professional image, sterilization and sanitation, advanced skin care, color theory, Aromatherapy and professional makeup techniques which include skincare, facials, weight reduction techniques, client consultation and skin analysis, caring for the client, massages, manicure and pedicure, waxing, threading, bleach, henna application, personal grooming and many more.

      (source)


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