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Date Posted: 02:47:49 11/19/05 Sat
Author: Azee
In reply to: JAVED 's message, "HANG THOSE WHOSE NECKS FIT IN" on 06:46:35 01/23/05 Sun

>By Javed - 2002
>In my child hood I read a story that a Badshah
>announced death penalty to a thief. When Jalad tried
>to hang the thief it was found loope of the rope was
>too big while the thief was very thin and his neck did
>not tightly fix in it. The wise Badshah ordered that
>if the neck of thief was not affixing in the knot then
>whose ever neck gets affixed in the knot he may be
>This story refreshed in my seeing last month a
>Directorate General Pakistan Post Office Islamabad
>“Public Notice” for “information OF GENERAL PUNBLIC”
>that under Post Office act of 1898 conveyance and
>delivery of letters is exclusive privilege of Post
>Office and no courier service can indulge in it.
>letter posts only through Post Office VIOLATION OF
>WHICH will fetch prosecution. The very serious
>newspaper DAWN has through its editorial criticised
>that that the Law concerned was more than a hundred
>years old while the world had today changed. The fact
>is world over similar Laws are prevailing to protect
>the local postal system as “letter mail” is the main
>bread and butter line of a postal system. For example
>UAE some 2/3 years took a serious note of couriers
>carrying letters.
>We are a nation of wonderful people. So in this era of
>“National Reconstruction” where we are claiming
>“reforming and overhauling” it will still be the
>common man who will be prosecuted for sending his
>letter by “courier” and not the postal “higher
>executives within the Department” under whose
>blessings, as is a general belief there is a mushroom
>growth of courier services, a courier will accept a
>letter from a common man. About a year back a foreign
>newspaper in its editorial on Pakistan Affairs
>generally commented was the present government any
>different from previous ones and gave an example that
>Secretary of a Ministry under whose tenure in Nawaz
>Sharif era wrong figures were prepared and presented
>to IMF/World Bank causing huge penalty to the country
>was promoted under the present government to Secretary
>It is an old problem banks deduct huge courier charges
>from cheques and dividend warrants and in some cases
>courier charges are more than the amount of dividend
>itself. About 10 years or so back on some similar
>occasion I raised the issue with Federal Ombudsman. My
>argument was that there was a government order to
>state departments like banks, corporations etc to
>patronage state products even with an edge on price
>then why banks were madly using private courier
>services when a very good service “Urgent Mail
>Service” of Pakistan Post Office available on cheaper
>rates then. On the instruction of Federal Ombudsman a
>meeting was conveyed in the office of the demised
>Pakistan Banking Council at Habib Bank Plaza Karachi
>which was attended by representatives of all
>nationalised banks, Pakistan Post Office and Banking
>Council. One may not believe that representative of
>Pakistan Post Office in the meeting from Islamabad was
>not from the dealing department namely “Special
>Services Department” which was dealing with Urgent
>Mail Service” but {if my memories are not misguiding
>me in this old age] an official of “international post
>division” who had nothing whatsoever remotest to do
>with courier service. [When I was serving in Sales &
>Marketing Department of a government controlled
>corporation Karachi, once there was a course
>concerning export. Someone from my department should
>had attended this as we were dealing export. But as it
>happens in government departments a blue eyed totally
>unconcerned cashier from accounts department was
>officially nominated only for the reason to afford him
>an “official tour” and some allowances. I too attended
>the same course but on totally my personal expense
>taking leave as I was interested to increase my own
>personal knowledge).
>Since the representative of Post Office was an
>unconcerned person hence naturally lacked any real
>interest for the department. In the meeting instead
>availing of opportunity to support the demand of a
>citizen who had raised a good point in the larger
>interest of the department, he stated that “he was
>satisfied that his department was getting appreciable
>volume of business from banks”. Whereas the naked fact
>was department had no knowledge, and even today cannot
>have, that how much volume of courier was daily being
>generated by banks out of which how much was going to
>private couriers and how much to Post Office.
>It is generally believed that most of the private
>courier services, except for some real reputed ones
>like TCS DHL etc have no proper network and these
>couriers charge heavily from public but use the
>Pakistan Post Office network for delivering booked
>items. And there perhaps, as is generally suspected,
>allegedly is some invisible blessing hands of some
>postal people on such companies. The private courier
>services spend a major portion of their budget on
>“public relationing” and this public relationing is by
>“keeping happy” people in banks, insurance companies
>etc who are the bulk customers to fetch more and more
>business. How madly the private courier is used or
>patronised by vested interests can be understood from
>one example. Some 6/7 years back a bank in Karachi had
>to pay me Rs. 60/-. For sending me pay order of Rs.
>60/- it utilised a reputed international private
>courier whom bank must had paid at least Rs. 400/-
>plus because at that time I was abroad. This courier
>never delivered me this article. The bank had to issue
>me a duplicate and this time, on my instruction sent
>it under Pakistan Post Office registered mail service
>at Rs. 20/- and it reached me in 5/6 days safely.
>August 1997 during Nawaz Sharif era when all the money
>obtained under “Qarz Uttaro Scheme” was finished on
>luxury trips, never ever previously seen high salaried
>appointments like Chairman PTCL, huge perks in as much
>as allegedly 5 years advance salaries etc, needing
>more money to continue spending a campaign was started
>under the label of “recovering” bad loans. The loans
>recovered were mostly from those who had taken small
>amounts for real business and big sharks never ever
>cared for bullies of arrests etc. July 1997 each bank
>under this campaign issued thousands and thousands of
>letters to people having outstanding loans like yellow
>cab owners etc. ALL THESE LETTERS demanding
>outstanding loans and advising settlement were
>despatched by these banks through courier services
>whereas post office registered mail was much more
>secured. These banks “deliberately” give such letters
>to couriers as more the banks give the business the
>more couriers in return keep them “happy”. It is well
>known a fact since a decade profit on bank accounts is
>decreasing. The reason of which is huge unwise
>expenses by banks which also include unnecessary mad
>use of courier service etc. Since banks had started
>charging in the name of so-called service and
>administration charges under the principle of natural
>justice account holders also have the right to protect
>their own rights namely investment. Accordingly being
>myself an account holder and a citizen drawing the
>attention to an earlier decision re: couriers and
>postal service I approached the Federal Ombudsman
>praying to see this mad use of courier service by
>banks. The Federal Ombudsman very kindly registered my
>complaint and in September 1997, asked the State Bank
>of Pakistan for its comments. Later I never heard any
>progress from Ombudsman Secretariat Karachi despite my
>It is generally believed no wrong whatsoever can be
>done unless there is someone sitting in the concerned
>department helping in the wrong. For example we the
>Karachities know well many mini buses do not ply on
>full length of route. For example U4 Mini bus. Its
>official route was from Ancholi (now from new Karachi)
>to Mahmoodabad but each and every one of us residing
>on this belt have never ever since mid 70 when this
>route started seen any U4 going from Ancholi to
>Mahmoodabad. U4 will ply from Ancholi to Saddar and
>another group of U4s ply only between Saddar to
>Mahmoodabad. No U4 mini bus owner can do this – but
>they are doing this because in the road transport
>their blessers are sitting. Pakistan post office
>through its official net work help spread an illegal
>scheme of “chain money order” early 80s and when it
>was brought to the notice had there not been ‘interest
>of any insider” the wrong should had been accepted but
>it was resisted tooth and nail.
>Pakistan Post Office has started an e-mail service for
>Overseas Pakistanis under which an Overseas Pakistani
>can send his email letter to Pakistan Post Office from
>where it is despatched by the department to addressee
>by mail. This service presently is free as department
>will prescribe its fee later. This is really a very
>good service. Surfing the internet I came across a
>site www.pakmall.com/eletter/ where a heading
>attracted my attention. The private site offers “Mail
>and E-Letter Now - Pakmall Guaranteed E-Letter
>Service” under which an Overseas Pakistani will send
>his letter to the site under the same format as is of
>Pakistan Post Office. On receipt of email letter in
>Pakistan, the site will despatch this letter through a
>private courier (named therein} to the addressee on a
>fee of US$5. Now this site in collaboration with
>private courier is sending letters and department
>despite knowing this that a private courier cannot
>accept “letters” for delivery is silent and this
>silent should not be a.
>Pakistan Post Office is one of the best Government
>Department in Pakistan. When I say this some people
>laugh but true fact is this department still is doing
>a good job compared to many other government
>departments. One can only understand what I say if he
>is a real judicious and realistic person and evaluates
>my words keeping in view that postal department and
>its functionaries have not come “specially from
>heaven” but are from amongst our own general society
>we live in. The people working therein are our
>brothers, cousins, relatives and friends of us – if I
>can leave my seat say in income tax department 30
>minutes before time, or spend half an hour during duty
>sipping tea with a visitor friend why cannot an
>official working in Post Office do the same.
>I have lived abroad. We are a nation who criticise too
>much our traditions, our religion, our nation,
>politicians, government and so on and praise the
>others. We love foreign products whereas many of our
>own indigenous products are of much better quality
>than imported ones. While working in foreign countries
>like in middle east I saw very nice post office
>buildings fully centralised air conditioned, bright
>lights, beautiful counters, different counters for
>different services etc but the service which our
>postal functionaries are giving that I never saw
>abroad. For example our sub post offices comprise
>mostly in a single rented room with a 40 watts bulb,
>without any fan or proper stationary, 30 years old
>stools and chairs for staff, no ball pens and the
>total staff strength 3 or in some cases two {one clerk
>called Asst. Sub Post Master, a clerk and third one
>packer]. This sub post office of 2 to 3 staff right
>from selling postal stamps, envelopes deals with
>insured letters, money orders, utility bills, postal
>insurance premiums, parcels, identity card forms, arms
>licence, food stamps and so on. Can we expect this in
>foreign post offices? Certainly not. In middle east
>what I saw was one counter and one person deals with
>only one item. The person who sells postal stationery
>like stamps envelopes will not register it, for
>registration counter/clerk is separate. For parcel
>separate clerk. Wrong delivery or Mail posted not
>received!!! We the Pakistanis has a psychological
>impact on us about “England”. From England where there
>are modern sorting machines and we take it best postal
>service, I have found letters addressed to a person
>clearly mentioning the country of addressee but being
>delivered and dropped in my post office in middle east
>country only because my post box and post box number
>of real addressee matched. But both at England postal
>staff did not care it was sending the article to a
>wrong country and likewise in middle country postal
>authority did not see letter was destined to another
>country and not to their’s but just seeing the post
>box drop it in the corresponding box. Loss of mail!!
>It is my firm belief that Pakistani postal staff both
>poor Postman and delivery zones staff do not do any
>stealing of mail as is a general conception. The
>stealing of the mail or pilferage from mail is done by
>so-called “censor staff” which is not postal staff and
>posting at which section is obtained by high
>influence. In this era of emails, digital transmission
>of data faxes etc one would be fool enough to send
>censorable stuff by mail. But mail censor department
>has still been kept for certain other “obvious
>interests”. A few years back I raised this issue with
>the request that we the ordinary people have no fear
>of censorship, it may be done on our mail if it is
>necessary in the interest of the country but it be
>done in a proper manner namely that when censor staff
>takes mail from post office it may be counted and
>weighted. After censor has been done post office
>receives censored mail back duly counted and weighted
>and records the difference in weight. Additionally
>censor staff should not take mail away from post
>office premises, rather it sits in a hall where a
>little away from them remain two three senior post
>office officers who keep seeing opening of envelopes
>etc. Censor staff after doing needful officially packs
>and seals the envelope. Post Office Seniors never took
>any interest on my struggle despite the fact it was in
>the larger interest of protecting organisation’s
>image. Matter was referred to Ministry of Interior
>from where there was usual bureaucratic reply of no
>sensible logic.
>One may say one time while I criticise the Pakistan
>Post Office eg its notice to public but on the same
>breath am praising the postal system. The fact is both
>of view are correct. Pakistan Post Office service
>still is much better than many other similar public
>services eg PTCL. And this is only because the
>structure of Pakistan Post Office was put on a very
>concrete footings and despite top management lethargy
>since long due to its sound footing it is still
>working to a good extent satisfactory. The service is
>deteriorating gradually because top management is
>paying more attention in painting a more brighter
>picture than practical work. For example it claims
>today to engage its own aeroplanes for transporting
>mail but has not attention to properly maintain letter
>boxes. Last year the head of postal department was to
>visit some town in Sindh. His tour was, if my memories
>are not misguiding me in this old age, twice postponed
>which can well be appreciated because of some other
>urgent business. But what was strange, as per the news
>item appearing then that “expenses twice incurred on
>preparation of visit thus went waste”. Why should
>there be expenses on preparing inspection visits in a
>debit ridden country?
>I have all the best wishes for our Pakistan Post
>Office. I have practically seen people dedicatedly
>working there but I am much disappointed now seeing
>the trends prevailing now in the senior management who
>appears to have no practical interest rather than
>thinking of new plans like obtaining planes for post
>office – in line we are for the last more than 15
>years hearing from each successive mouth worth of his
>slat turning Karachi into Hon Kong Singapore but in
>practical terms they have failed even to return us
>back our old Karachi let alone making it Hong Kong..
>PS: Whatever above is written based on my memories as
>I feel I do not have any record of above after such a
>long time.

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