Without any formal orders by the Pakistan government or the provincial governments, officers of the Balochistan government have found a fifty per cent cut in their salaries this month on the grounds that they are required to contribute to the Turkey relief aid, as per the report by the Asian Lite.
This comes at a time when the Pakistan government is witnessing a severe economic crisis amid allegations of corruption and coercion of being rampant in the country.
The Asia Lite reported that Grade 19 to 21 officers in Balochistan have protested the unilateral salary cut, saying that they were already facing problems feeding their families, faced by a 33 per cent rise in prices of essential commodities. These salaries were their only source of income. They could not be deprived of their legitimate earnings without any consultation.
A Daily Intekhab report has said the officers have asked if other officers of other grades and provinces were also asked to contribute, or if this was a Balochistan Government diktat. They plan to appeal to the federal government with the suggestion that they could pay one or two days’ salaries, and be spared from the steep 50 per cent salary cut.
Despite severe economic stress, the Shehbaz Sharif Government is trying hard to return the gesture Turkey had made last year when Pakistan experienced nationwide floods. Nine aircraft sorties have been undertaken and 16 containers carrying 162 tonnes of relief material have been rushed so far. This gesture is not without its political sting, which shows Pakistan in poor light, the Pakistan-based publication reported.
Despite severe economic stress, the Shehbaz Sharif Government is trying hard to return the gesture Turkey made last year when Pakistan experienced nationwide floods. Nine aircraft sorties have been undertaken and 16 containers carrying 162 tonnes of relief material have been rushed so far, the Asian Lite reported.
Prime Minister Sharif had announced plans to fly to Ankara and express solidarity with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan when Turkey is mourning thousands of deaths. However, the Turkish Government requested that he postpone his visit since Ankara was very busy dealing with the calamity and the relief operations as per the media reports.
Some media reports have termed this as a ‘snub’ to Sharif who should not be wasting time, money and effort to show goodwill gestures when his own government is fighting a crisis.
While Sharif’s effort may be ill-timed or misplaced, there is no effort at all on the part of his principal critic, former Prime Minister Imran Khan.
Imran Khan had admitted to keeping or buying over at concessional rates, expensive gifts he received from foreign hosts and guests when he was Pakistan’s prime minister. These gifts included an expensive wristwatch gifted by Saudi Crown prince Mohammed bin Salman. A case is before the court arguing that as per government rules, he should have deposited those gifts to toshakhana, the government’s depository since he received them in his official position.
Khan’s wife Bushra Bibi has been caught on secretly recorded audio clips asking a close aide of Khan to dispose of those gifts, and the latter did so in Dubai. The diamond-studded watch was sold for USD two million. (ANI)