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)
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: