Certainty of Impunity in Pakistan

Javed Jiskani Baloch Today, Pakistan presents a very strange scenario of punishment culture where certainty prevails but not of punishment but of impunity. Therefore, Pakistan should ensure new cri…

Source: Certainty of Impunity in Pakistan


Reinventing Governance in Karachi


By Javed Jiskani Baloch

The challenges of crime, terrorism, vandalism, uncleanliness, pollution, lack of civic facilities and underdevelopment in Pakistan’s leading commercial and demographic hub Karachi call for an urgent and appropriate response in which this piece of writing forwards the proposal of establishing Emergency Response Centers to ensure the meaningful presence of governance in the hard-hit city.

Though Karachi is one of the biggest metropole city in the world, yet the Karachites face a number of problems relating to governance. Karachi seems to have been in a constant state of emergency due to the challenges of crime, vandalism, traffic jams, protests, law and order situations, shortfall and breakdown of civic amenities, and similar other kinds of public emergencies. The crisis scenarios of different problems have occupied the news headlines with one major public grievance that when Karachites find themselves in the middle of an emergency like situation, they are left to the mercy of self-help with nonavailability and delay of concerned government departments to respond. Therefore, the systematic, rapid, and timely response on the part of the government to different kinds of public emergencies is need of the hour.

The establishment of emergency response centers in different areas of Karachi to ensure rapid and timely response for making government presence felt by the public will go a long way in reinventing governance, in bridging gap between the government and the people, in building trust and credibility of the government among the masses, and in solving the day to day problems of the people.

The conceived emergency response centres will consist of ten emergency response units of different government departments under one roof of emergency response centre. These departments include the following:

Municipal services for all kinds of logistic provision and maintenance of concerned ERCs buildings and other assets.
Police for responding to all kinds of public emergencies, especially crime and terrorism.

Fire brigade for extinguishing the fire in case of fire emergencies.

Rescue services for all kind of rescue work.
Traffic services for all kind of traffic and parking problems/guidance.

Anti-Encroachment for removing and preventing illegal encroachments.

K-Electric for all kinds of electrical shortfalls, breakdowns, and emergencies.

Karachi water and sewerage board.

Ambulance services for medical aid and transportation of sick, injured or dead.

CCTV control room for monitoring the area.

Each ERC will bear the name of the locality where it would be established for their strategic locations, a satellite survey of the whole city may be conducted with a view to placing ERCs in a way to keep response time within five to ten minutes, maximum. Ideally, it is suggested that at least one ERC should cover one police station area in Karachi. There are more than a hundred police stations in Karachi, so roughly the grand project of the establishment of the ERC for re-inventing governance should consist of hundred ERCs throughout Karachi.

The administration and management of so conceived ERCs may be carried out by its members of the board, representing all the ten departments within it. Its innovative governing body should be composed of the chief of ERC assisted by finance secretary, head of logistics, data analyst and media spokesman. The chief of each ERC is proposed to be selected by Commissioner Karachi from within the representatives of ten departments, not from outside, on the basis of rotation for the period of either six months or one year. The governing body should meet every week on Mondays for reviewing its performance, response, public feedback and also release it.

Social media services like whats-app, twitter, Facebook, Instagram and others may be utilized for offering easy and people-friendly access to all the people who use cell phones and for building an image as well as developing trust among the general masses. For this end in view, the making of web pages with the name, logo, and title of particular emergency response centre.

It is further suggested that community involvement in rescue and emergency works would be of vital public importance for developing trust and credibility of the government through improving its delivery system. Therefore, each ERC is suggested to create its own community of law-abiding, notable and neutral citizens with high credentials and with the patience of serving their localities for peace and progress, within their respective areas.
All employees working within the ERC will draw their monthly salary and other benefits from their respective parental departments. Only utility and fuel bills should be borne by the Municipal department. The final and elaborate modalities in this regard are needed to be developed after thorough discussion and consultation with concerned departments by deputy commissioners and commissioner Karachi who need to champion this cause at this critical juncture of Karachi’s turbulent history.

There has been a grave issue of trust-deficit between the public and the government departments on the grounds of public complaints regarding non-availability, slow response, and ill-organized actions taken by different departments individually in different ways in cases of public emergencies, making no impact at all. Therefore, such a systematic, coordinated, organized and rapid response under one roof in a uniform manner at the time so public emergency will rewrite the new history of good governance in Karachi because the idea of ERC has a great potential to offer best and state of the art model of good governance.


The Cop’s Complaint

Javed Jiskani Baloch

I am a cop who is always cheerful with a tailor-made smile as if I am the happiest since centuries. However, the reality is another way round. I am the saddest one, perhaps. The greatest of all ironies with me is my own apathy towards myself. Anyone can tell me his or her longest story of sorrow, but hardly anyone can hear my tales of broken heart and shattered hopes.

My dear citizen, do you think I have some additional superhuman qualities to fight with fires, bombs, storms, disasters, accidents, sabotage, crime, and terrorism. Certainly not; nor yet have I some extraordinary skills to tackle ever new situations of staggeringly diverse human life. My only strength is my passion for my work.

Despite all limits, I am always for those who find themselves in trouble. But, frankly, I do not like cries and tears nor do I tolerate dying emotions. Astonishingly, I am supposed to be emotionless entity while I am very emotional to the core. However, my job puts me to the hard test of seeing misfortunes and crudities of life from the eye very closest. A doctor can claim to see his or her patient’s whether their mind, heart, and other organs work. But hardly anyone can explain the circumstances that cause people to go astray and deviant.

I am neither a magician nor a juggler. I am a human being. I think, feel, live, and die as do others. I have mother, sisters, brothers, wife, daughters, sons and other nearest and dearest ones who look forward to me for everything one can do while living in a family and society. But my dear you would never believe that for you alone, I have courage and conviction to ignore them, to avoid them, to disappoint them and sometimes to hurt them; however, they love me, they wait for me, they pray for me, and they do a lot for me.

Nothing hurts me the way your attitude towards me does, my dear! We see each other on streets. When happy, you castigate me but when sad you pin your all hopes on me to take you out of the problem you are in. Ironically, you hardly bother for my woes. You believe that I am a second-rate human being masked with the filth of corruption and torture. Considering me a symbol of terror, trouble, agony, and fear, you have no time at all to think as to how my kids live and what the conditions of my household are.

I am living in the times when camera eye sees everything and every human eye watches screens. This cross-seeing can be called media. The industry of propaganda through the protests, rallies, long walks, walk-outs, strikes, write-ups, speeches, articles, news items, editorials, etc has gained greater currency. I am told by many in this industry that now no one can be arrested, detained, tortured and sentenced without a due process of law. Indeed, this is a very good omen. But I can not avail any of such facility to protect my rights and to redress my genuine grievances.

If I resort to the courts of law for the redressal of my grievances, the honorable courts very often refer me to my seniors, considering my complaints as irrelevant. Pathetically, my seniors hardly take my grievances seriously. Here, the game of my survival gets complicated, leaving me with no other option except to resort to the persons in political power structure with a view to getting my due. Undoubtedly, for a tiny entity, like me, everything turns the worst.

Don’t ask, please, about my health. The global health surveys regarding the average life of different people show that the police officials all over the world have the lowest life expectancy because of their being vulnerable to the direct effects of environment, odd duty hours, bad dietary habits and direct exposure to the threats of crime and terrorism. This really haunts me. Sometimes, I feel sheer scarcity of time for my own self, for my kids, for my family, and for my friends. However, I feel very good when I can be of some help to you, my dear common man. This moment makes me realize that I have performed the job of years within hours.

Nothing tires me the way cruel time retires me. I can retire from my job but never ever from my passion for service. The only thing that keeps me inspired, motivated and composed to continue with my hard job is my self-satisfaction to serve the human beings. So is the tale of my torments; so is the story of my agonies; so is the script of my fortune; so is the write-up of my profession and so is the get-up of my entity! Despite all this, I love to be a cop ever and ever again and hence always strive to be a true cop that, indeed, I am.


The Future of Media


J. J. Baloch


The future of media is bright in terms of its basic mission of telling truth, though drastic changes are taking place in the ways of communicating truth to its audiences. Many sceptics believe that social media is future media which, they claim, is more people-friendly, more democratic, more real in real time, more personal, more interactive, freer, more engaging, more sharing, and more appealing. However, the social media is not a replacement of conventional media because it lacks responsibility, professionalism, and authenticity; but it does pose un-comic challenges to the ways traditional media operates.

The future of conventional media appears to be bright but marked with serious suspicions and grave challenges in the wake of developments, taking place in the arena of the internet of things. The big shocks are in store for TV and Newspapers in next five to ten years. On the contrary, the future of digital media or social media is said to be very promising in terms of business, community involvement, good governance, human rights parameters and also environmental considerations. The more digital media rises, the more traditional media gets advanced. Many may object it but social media can’t be a replacement of traditional media which is, by all means, a very responsible and organised media.

Henry Blodget, co-founder, and editor-in-chief of Business Insider, while predicting the future of digital media, says: “Digital media consumption is growing. Everything else is shrinking”. Science and technology are developing digital things more than anything else and people demand things digital more than anything else. People are dreaming of “smart world” in which everything is operated through digits. Cities are getting smarter through their digitisation in developed countries. Henry remarks:” Many cities are already connecting their infrastructure to IoT (Internet of things) devices like sensors and smart meters. But few cities are as far along in that effort as Barcelona.” Urbanisation is facing heavy pressures from growing populations, rising traffic congestion, spreading pollution, mounting street crimes, multiplying domestic violence, aggravating human rights violations and burgeoning terrorism acts which badly needs the civic authorities to find out some smarter ways of planning; so they are going for digitisation as inevitable phenomena.

The internet of things (IoT) has great power to revolutionise everything starting from our home to our business, our cities, our transportation, our communications, our industries and our government. This is affecting revenues generated by traditional media and telephone companies through advertisement, safety, publicity, performance, and also products. Despite all these advances, traditional media adopts the changes very fast by engaging their engineers with journalists to quicken the flow of information in more authentic and reliable way.

What is new to all of is the fact that society is getting mobile or in a much apt sense it is going on mobile, so traditional media is also going on mobile phones as people read newspapers online. Reportedly, the arrival of smartphones, smart watches, smart TVs, smart cars and smart cities have changed altogether the ways we, the humans, have been interacting and sharing information in our societies. According to the Business insider indicators, the estimated access of the global population to the internet is to increase 100 times in next nine years and in 2025 every person on earth will be having ten net connections. This will affect very seriously to everything media in our societies. Henry says: Video, music and digital “print” subscriptions are climbing fast” on social media platforms but the brand ownership still remains with traditional media for authenticity. Source and brand do matter and they matter much more than ever before.

In the area of entertainment, too, social media is trying to overstep traditional media by posting a variety of things to entertain the different segments of our society by addressing their concerns. However, social media don’t have Cinemas to compete with traditional media as laptops and Smartphones are no matches to traditional media TV and Cinema. Through their smartphones, people watch movies, educative videos on different lessons, CCTV footage of disasters and calamities on YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, and many other social networks within seconds. But social media always compromises authenticity as many entries in Wikipedia are false.

Social media claims to be faster and wider in news communication than traditional media. No doubt, Social media is real time mechanism and traditional media does not always follow its posts as news but very often social media shares traditional media contents.

Traditional Media charges for the monopoly of Content; It controls what is to say, publish and make on air when, how and why. For every “W” traditional media charges and enjoys the monopoly of rates also. Lots of government funds are earmarked for this job to be paid to media houses or media tycoons for publicity, advertisement, public welfare and also for clandestine political support. Social media is public media and have no organised mechanism except chit-chat networks, though more interactive but not informative, educative and opinion builders the way traditional media claims to be.

Individuals, companies, corporations, industries, organisations, community groups, political parties, and governments can make their accounts on any social network such as twitter for news, Facebook, and Google for long posts, YouTube for videos and Instagram for photos. You publish, publicise, advertise, on cheaper rates; what you really need for this are two things: a professional operator and an internet connection __ a simple game of thousands, not of millions as is the case otherwise in traditional media.

However, even if organised very well, social media posts can’t be very professional as is the case in traditional media were very seasoned journalists and analysts having experience of years have required wisdom and vision to conduct themselves in a more dispassionate way and communicate in a responsible manner.

Now even traditional media posts their news items on social media taking pictures from their TVs so that it could reach to the maximum viewers. Those who can’t afford TV and print materials like a magazine and other newspapers which cost handsome amount to be bought for any reason. That’s why Henry predicts, ” TV networks will soon feel newspapers’ pain.” Pain is nothing but of the size of audience who can view the content.

People have hardly any time left for buying newspapers or get them booked instead they get news on their smartphones or read e-version of papers online. This is the reason also most of the issue of the paper their digital versions to cope up but as they are not in real time so public avoids and only students and teachers use them for study and research purposes.

In the future freedom of expression will blaze its own trail with fewer controls of different nature but rather freedom of expression will be at its best in next five to ten years due to emerging citizen journalism on social media. In long run, the more freedom, not information anarchy, will benefit traditional media. Conventional media, as we have seen, has been a ‘monologue model’ in which information is relayed to the audience but now day newspapers are available online for comments.

On the contrary, the Social media is a ‘dialogue model” in which you enjoy your inherent power of not only self-publication but also of conversation which is very important, indeed. However, traditional media, in order to cope with this aspect, is shifting to more listening mode that will go a long way in redefining traditional media in a much better way.

Everything is not rosy in a new phenomenon. There are some dangers and challenges innate in meteoric growth of digital media. Real-time minimises real life interactions. The new games of the power of information are being concentrated in few countries or parts of the world who control social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Snap-chat, Instagram, Whatsapp, Flicker, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Viber and many others which have become global with massive penetrations. The realities of media on the ground are globalising monopolies that are destined to create bigger gaps in power and wealth among the people and parts of the world which are already undergoing the disparities caused by capitalism in the backdrop of Industrial Revolution.

Digital experts worldwide believe that after Industrial revolution, the social media revolution is the most powerful influence of technology to change the way humans live on this planet. And After the telephone, Radio and TV inventions, Facebook, YouTube, and many other social media platforms are considered new revolutions in both communications as well as information technologies. Therefore, social media is new media revolution but not threat to traditional media which is to grow much more using social media which is one of the many innovations in opinion industry of media.

WRITER is a Policing educator and practitioner…

Speaking Thoughts


What thrilled my imagination to press my ideas in my words here is my own writer inside me, who made me very anxious to share with rest of the world as to what is going on in my world and words of ideas as well as my emotions.

I come across many facts that keep knocking my mind. Myspaces inside get narrower and suffocated. I can’t keep too many ideas from getting rust and dust. Therefore, perhaps, it tantalizes my conscience as well as creativity to sketch the signature and paint the picture of my thoughts by scanning my mind and my heart on screens that offer accesses to many minds and many hearts to understand and to feel the warmth of ideas and cool breeze of passions for playing the game of words with ideas by attuning them well to changing world of humans and their life scenarios.

I will keep everyone and everything, that grows in my mind, posted here. I will try to get the essence of my conscious heart in a voice, accent, tone, and the way of its own, having a complete spell of originality.

J.J. BAloch

2nd August 2016