Tuesday, June 21, 2005

The Colonisation of Pakistan

One would expect the Beeb to get their facts right.
Dubai firm in Pakistan phone sale
Etisalat is not a Dubai firm. It is a telecom monopoly, state owned and operated, in UAE. And now it has stakes in 26% of the only Pakistani concern that actually posted profits. Welcome O Sheikhs. Following on numerous other direct and indirect nosings in the Pakistani state of affairs, you can now snoop on our telcons too. What am I kvetching about anyways? Me, who waited and got a Warid connection. Warid, another one boasting a UAE base. Following on attempts to prove my credit worthiness to yet another UAE based bank, Bank AlFalah. Their rotten services are another story (read: they did not even have to courtesy to tell me my application's been rejected, yeah, don't trust me with your money).
And that is just royal money, let's not even talk about the other powerful groups that have stakes in numerous other mega projects...some days back I saw an ad in the papers about a residential project in Islamabad with a mention of the AlGhurair name.
And I read yet another news item in a newspaper about a new project, a whole new city, by the name of New Dubai

Spadework has started to bring up a new city, to be named as ‘New Dubai’ along the Northern Bypass, to make one of the world’s most modern cities. In order to achieve best results, foreign consultants will be employed in all aspects of housing and infrastructure for the new planned city.

So, you missed out on colonisation back in the 18/19th century. Worry not, our rulers sure are steering us towards another bout of it. That is enlightened moderation. Enlighten the nation in moderate steps. One piece of the pie at a time.
We can't get anything right on our own. It has to have some overseas element to it. Take that you low lives!
Urghhh!!! Excuse the exclamations, I am throroughly riled up.

This city will have all the present modern day facilities - from an international airport to tax-free industrial zone for non-toxic industries.
Brig Nasir giving an outline of the new city said that it will have four towns - China Town, Maktoum Town, Mahatir Town and Faisal Town besides 5-star hotel, filtration, desalination and recycling plants, diplomatic enclave, bus terminals, olympic stadium, middle income group apartments, international trade banking, expo complex, education complex, jurist enclave, graveyard, government officers’ residences - to name a few.

Why China Town? They could not figure out a politically correct Chinese leader's name to honor Pak Cheen Dosti? And they can, in the name of Tameer e Pakistan, go on digging the c**p out of Karachi, truck off all the earth to this new pet project where the powers that be may reside in peace ever after. That an Ivory Tower. Actually I don't mind this idea much, as long as they don't siphon off my tax money for this indecent project. My skeletal frame gets comprehensively jostled on the nightmare that is roads in Karachi. The contents of my cranium are in a state of frequent disturbance from all this, by the tiem the grey matter (and there is plenty of it to go around) gets settled to get work done, it is time to pack up and brave another road journey home. Why can't they work out some decent Mass Transport System. The Urban Transport System sucks, I mean literally sucks money. You pay for an aircon that does not work in the maddening Karachi heat. You pay road taxes for potholes and ditches to wear the life off your car, if you are credit worthy enough to get one leased that is.
Something about a desalination plant too? What next, would then a whole sea be marked out as the Exclusive Economic Zone of this New Dubai? never mind its proximity, or lack of it thereof, to teh sea. With all the perks why should it be land locked city? Perhaps they can ration water supplies to the poor Karachi city and create a huge artificial lake by the city?
Guess my brain content is settling down. Only it is capable of flinging such ideas.

عادت ہی بنا لی ہے، تم نے تو منیر اپنی
جس شہر میں بھی رہنا، اکتاۓ ہوۓ رہنا


rai said...

selling ptcl does seem like bad economics right now because the company ws actually making sum profit but i guess the government freaked out by the competetion and decided to sell it while its still worth sumthing.Still its a shame they cant even run one company succesfully,how will these morons run the whole country

A said...

Haina? So better lease it to the Sheiks?

Virtuous Lady said...

Why can't they, instead of building a new city, improve the ones which are already built?

Knicq said...

I don't know, maybe I am just being the devil's advocate, but privatization of PTCL looks like a good idea.

At least there is a decent amount (20% of our present FOREX reserves) of money coming into the government's coffers, and God knows, the GOP can use any money it can get.

We have beeen a nation of Nationalized entities for almost three decades, and I can't think of any good that has come out of it. All these people worried they would lose jobs with this sale are people who know they are dispensible, in other words not good enough for their posts. No organization should have to carry such liabilities.

Disguised unemployment; people employed for the sake of giving them jobs rather than because of their productivity, and more than necessary people employed, is the worst thing that can happen to a commercial concern.

It (D.E) presets a rosy picture today, but saps the concern as does a parasite its host, and is detrimental for any such organization in the long run. It also encourages incompetence, and breeds unprofessionalism.

We cannot hope to ride into the 21st century on the back of our main communication servcie provider, when it is burdened with incompetence and unprofessionalism. Etisalat is very much a government owned company, but it is also one of the best functioning companies in the region. The argument that PTCL could have been made into an Etisalat like Public Concern is vain and unrealistic. Public Concerns in our country are plagued by what has come to define our public concerns.

Actually, because of its monopoly here, Etisalat's service leaves a little more to be desired, it will be interesting to see them make an extra effort to withstand the competition they will face in Pakistan.

Eventually, this pressure to stay ahead of competition will transform into tangible benefits for the end user, while creating value for Telecom professionals in the country.

I say privatize them all...our people are great workers when they come out here and when they work in privatized concerns, they become insufferable and incompetent in public concerns.

Having said that I am amused by people's concern that our phone lines will no longer be ours...they were never ours children, wake up and smell the coffee.

Hypocrisy Thy Name said...

We are a nation that never learned from history. Government is selling out every national item to foreigners. All the earning of the country will go out and only debts will remain for common man to suffer.

People are buying plots, houses and apartments at exorbitant costs. Where-from they get money is beyond scope of my mind.

Moiz said...

Ya'know what?I kinda agree with Knicq bhai,above...I mean, if privatisation IS the key, & if unfortunately the pakistani diaspora cannot take care of it, then let the sheikhs have it...atleast things improve,so what if the sheikhs get something out of it?Someone has to do it...if not the pakistanis themselves, then koi aur sahi...atleast the sheikhs are better than someone else,come to think of it?!

A said...

VLady: My (sore) point exactly. Do they really need to widen eth gap between haves and have nots by a whole city? That's literally stretching the imagination a bit too far.
knicq: Privatization I have no issues with, my concern is where would the money go? Govt. coffers yes and from there on? I am wide awake without the coffee and your condescending children (Gawd, I though you knew that already) and know that any govt. can, at any point in time, snoop on our telecons. Not 1984esque but could be eerily close. My contention was a could-be right decision taken at the wrong time. PTCL was doing great guns. In a while it would have caught up with this inflated offer from Etisalat. At the moment it was plain bad economics. And see Etisalat work better in Pakistan of all places. Come on, don't you know their mentality? Pakistanis are lowest of the lows, never mind they actually helped emiratis become the economic power house they are today. OK, I may agree with what yous ay on stress levels heightened and work productivity increasing when our ppl work off shore but work at home will never be off shore. Competetion you say, ensures end users, ppl like us benefit? When and for how long were you in pakistan last?
giving out 26% of PTCL means giving out 26% of profits away to an entity that had no use of it. OK, dire need of it. And in the long wrong, what with all this communication boom in the country, PTCL, without any foreign/private help, made enough money to a) justify DE b) match and eventually surpass that obscene amount of money given by Etisalat. I remain riled at what happened.
Do away with DE and what? See a surge in suicides? is the current level of depression not enough? or the worries plaguing an average pakistani not enough that you want the spectre of unemployemnt slice through their lives? You think laying off people would mean more productivity? You can't threat an employee to work better, harder. You inspire them. A company posting profits could have done htat. now, it just means the govt. does not trust their abilities. This knd of mistrust in our abilities as a nation will never lead us out of the present rut, whatever, wherever they come from, govt, public/private sector or the Overseas Pakistanis.
Sir H: This sudden surge in buying capacity boggles my mind as well.
Moiz: Lesser of the two evils you mean? There was no evil in this case. and i am irked that the govt. had to hoist one, however benign it may seem at prenet, on our heads.
yes, I may be getting paranoid, but I hate it when anyone doubts that we as a nation can move ahead. If you can't trust a people, stop identifying yourself as one. end of story.

Saeed said...

Boy-oh-boy-o-boy! are you worked up over this!You should really get married soon...i'm sure the hubby will like the arguments over recent mergers/acquisitions, rather than those over the monthly grocery budget...! ;)

A said...

What tosh! Whoever said that I was not married already? And we regularly have stimulating discussions on important national/international matters, you need not be sure of my wife's likes and dislikes.
Kindly correct your stance.

the olive ream said...

Excellent Blog! Unfortunately, I discovered it only today...took a wrong turn, left at the traffic lights, and I ended up here.

Well blogged!

A said...

OR: All's well that ends well. As long as you ended right, left turns are no matter. ;)
Welcome and hey, thanks.

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