Fears of rigging are unfounded, says new CS of Gilgit-Baltistan

With reporting by Abdul Rehman Bukhari 

Gilgit, April 9: The fears of rigging in elections are unfounded. I have a career spanning three decades which I cannot destroy by getting involved in rigging elections.

These views were expressed by Tahir Hussain, the newly appointed Chief Secretary of Gilgit-Baltistan, while talking to Pamir Times today.

He said that the fears of opposition parties with regards to rigging in the GB elections are unfounded. He vowed to support the election commission in holding free and fair polls in the region.

It is pertinent to note that several political parties have alleged that replacement of Sikandar Sultan Raja by Tahir Hussain is part of a pre-poll rigging plan.

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  1. Agreed, on his saying because he is a well reputed experienced bureaucrat who will never compromise on such things like poll rigging, and surly be supportive for free and fair elections to help out election commission and establishing a good governance in the region, best of luck Sir.

  2. We all GBIANS convey our felicitation and best wishes to Tahir Hussain sab on becoming new Chief Secretary of GB with following expectations:

    1. To ensure transform the GB in true sense, the Quaid ‘s part of Pakistan
    2. To ensure application of good governance principles(Transparency, honesty, responsiveness ,rule of law, accountability, participation ) and to continue the best practices of former well known and popular chief secretaries ( Younus Dhaga & Sultan Sikender Raja who have recorded their name in GB history as good administrators and reformers of GB as well)
    3. To ensure merit in all spheres of life
    4. As executive to be symbol of integration for all districts and citizens of GB regardless of cast, colour, religion and party affiliation.
    5. To ensure proper delivery of services to public through Govt. institutions.
    6. To ensure in placing mentoring and monitoring mechanisms for effective and efficient out put of govt. departments.
    7. To take concrete measures to eliminate and eradicate the corruption from GB as well as from all departments. For this purpose all financial data should be collected from Govt. Employees and even from political leadership as well to avoid illegal earning or unlawful wealth.
    8. To strengthening and empowering the institutions and districts through addressing the emerging issues.
    9. Zero tolerance for corruption and corrupt elements
    10. To strengthening the accountability systems and institutions
    At last but no least we would expect that yours good self ensure proper utilization of Govt. resources (Human & Material) through secretaries and department heads.

    The following areas are more emerging improvement areas that need to be address through developing concrete strategies.

    1. Still some department heads / secretaries are not clear that their role is to ensure delivery of services to public through their staff and department. Most are playing their role as boss not manager while now the nature has changed and role can be expected to be leader not manager as example:
    • Boss Says Do or die but do not say why.
    • Leader says Obey intelligently.
    2. Office routines and timings are not followed by almost in Govt. Offices.
    3. Reluctant and lacking in communication and responsiveness by Department heads and secretaries
    4. No follow up mechanism and setting target to ensure meeting deadlines regarding assigning tasks by their staff and subordinates.

    For further details let me share here some case studies of last five years performance that was put down in pamir times comments as well.

    (Stories of Self Governance 2009- November 2014)

    This has been earnest desire of every well wisher and intellectual of GB to have a peace and development in the area. To achieve this common goal every stake holder need to be on same line and page.

    I was shocked to notice that there is a big gap amongst leadership and professionals of GB. Daily news papers are filled with such types of stories where blaming culture is depicted.

    I would never say who is right and who is wrong. I would do say what is wrong as society reformer or member of civil society.

    Often I have elaborated about good governance principles and needs of its implementations. So far it has improved 0 to 10 percent in some departments. Still it needs to incorporate 90 % in our daily and Govt. Offices routines to streamline the systems. This credit goes to Chief Secretary and his team, if political leadership is co-operating them and encouraging them in streamlining the systems it is also appreciable.

    The development of GB depends on the professionalism of secretaries and visionary leadership of political leaders. To ensure any development in GB both groups need to be on one page to service delivery effectively and efficiently. It seems that both groups are reluctant to accept each other. Ultimately public suffers due to their disintegration and misunderstandings on various development plans and programmes. We expect groups, leadership and management to accept one another and rationalize their difference of opinions through professionally and logically.

    The notion of becoming Boss is no longer regarded and discouraged in modern society. Every administrator needs to become a dynamic leader. Once there was a time when it was said by Boss “Do or die but don’t say why” while leader says “ obey intelligently”. Boss demands respect while leader commands respect.

    It would be dishonesty if I would not share the case studies from both sides. I mean need to change behaviour from both sides.

    • Case study from political leadership side: Ten years ago I got chance to sit for 30 minutes with a well known political figure who was also an MNA.
    • During this time he called more than 30 times to Govt. Officers for posting, appointment, promotions and accomplishment of tasks of his voters. When I observed him closely I asked him that you are the leader of area not individuals when you would develop plans for area, he frankly and politely told me now my speed and memory has become slow, otherwise I was remembered all the important numbers of Govt. executives. This shows that political leadership is compelling the professionals to do illegal and unlawful favour.
    • If the professionals honours such request or phones it means they are also involved in corruption and violating the policies.
    • General findings or improvement Areas from Political Leadership side:
    *Some Political leaders only focus the area of their voters and individuals that needs to be changed. They are the leaders of the area and all people whether any individual has casted vote for him or not. All are his area people. Leader should be beyond of these limitations and boundaries.

    * Some Political leaders work for only party workers that are against the basic human rights.

    * Some political leaders tease and torture the opponent officers and favour the party relevant officers who create disintegration and hates against the leadership and such oppressive officers or individuals become the victim of violence at all stages.

    * Some political leaders compel the officers to do unlawful and illegal work such as granting contractor ship or create a post etc for their favourite people or relatives.

    *Some leaders confine themselves in prejudices like cost, colour, region and ethnic as well. All are leaders of GB and they should be broad minded in launching various development programmes. .i e in educational perspective Diamer district is most back ward especially in female education all leaders should be on same page to develop that area or district.
    * Male students in Diamer =19523 Female students =3394 (Govt. EMIS 2011-12)

    * Male students in Gilgit =20629 Female students =22054

    This comparison shows that to what extent Diamer needs help in education like wise there may be many remotest and backward areas as well that needs to be considered to resolve their emerging issues.

    * We were glad and expecting that we would get constitutional right in GB but now instead of it we are asked to pay the tax. Some MNAS are commenting on it in news papers I would say why they are not raising voice in GB assembly.

    Findings and improvement Areas from professional (secretaries) sides:
    * There is always room for improvement; no body can claim his / her perfection except God’essence. But being professionals it is the duty of executives or officers to be more accountable and fair and transparent in their office routines or assuming duties as they are more learned and skilful member of society compare to a specific time political leader. His professionalism and education demands him or her to be well versed Islamic values as well as universal values. When I shared it more than ten offices I was told it is
    Pakistan you can not expect with us to be streamline the system. I don’t know who have forbidden us to follow the golden principles of Islam that is accountability, tolerance, peace and harmony, equality, fairness, rule of law and transparency these are also universal values and pillars of good governance as well. As professionals, why are violating these principles. Secretaries need to be more accountable and fair in their office routines and same should be expected with their colleagues as well.
    *There is no follow up mechanism of emerging issues. I have some written directives of 4 executives and secretaries for last three years to address the certain issues that are not honoured by their subordinates. These issues are related to basic human rights not personal. I am astonished that what is the usage of these offices, or officers that are not obeyed. It seems that there is no rule of law prevailed in society and amongst staff. If I would mentioned the names of officers or secretaries this would be none- professional approach. My purpose is reform of the systems not harm or defame to the individual; if this tendency would be continue at any stage I would be compelled to public it.
    *Today I was reading that contractors threatened the finance secretary in his office, I would suggest the leaders should discuss the issues with professionals and they should satisfy such groups, if the contractors have completed their task through proper system they should be paid if they have not followed than they should be convinced logically and rationally. Fraud contractors should be Blake listed for whole life. We are also victim of such contractor who had damaged us by using raw material in Khizer Abad Hunza Bridge and that collapsed before its completion.
    We remained suffer for many years. Really it was challenging for all of us that why our people did not raise against defective material. But at the same time prime responsibility lies with professionals and management along with leadership.
    * It was noticed that in offices there are certain people who are working as agent and bargaining with people for jobs and appointments. It is also noticed that some office staff are openly demanding for amount to completing legal task whether it is AGPR or Govt. Offices. If it is reality than, what is the duty of department head? Who is heading that office? In such cases, can we deserve to call Muslim or true Pakistani. I would say never, God will never send his angels to forbade us and make us conscious’ as already in Holy Quran it has been stated that do not become dishonest in dealings of Allah, his prophet peace be upon him, and amongst yours dealing as well.”
    Why we are committing dishonesty as daily I notice that Govt office timing is 8 o clock but no any office opens at 8 , o clock except top management. I was also sharing this with GAD responsible authority why they are deceiving the people through circular to open offices at 8 and close at 4 pm. actually it is not happening.
    The Holy Quran says “.” Why are thou saying that is not be followed by you.”

    The ultimate objective of this detail discussion is to appreciate the good efforts made by all individuals whether that may be from leader’s side or management side.

    All GBIANS were glad on promotion of our chief secretary ( Younus Dahaga) and Shahid ullah baig and congratulate them and they had also certain expectations. Chief Secretary has started to meet at gross root level with force commander to tailoring the gaps. It is good initiative we expect with all secretaries to ensure their surprise visits in departments and villages to get first hand information about their department and staff performance as well. The CM and Governor needs to play their role as moderators to build bridges amongst leadership and management. We also expect that they would extend his full cooperation with chief secretary in streamlining the Govt. systems.
    Thanks for reading and hearing patiently

    Ali Mehr
    Social analyst/ Activist

  3. agreed but take it as a political statement i predict that there will be a rigging cases in the near future, so i demand to do the whole election under the armed forces..

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