After freezing of the accounts of Defense Housing Authority (DHA) by Supreme Court of Pakistan, a wave of propaganda against the institutions running under supervision of Pak army has been observed on social media. This propaganda is aimed at posing Pakistan army as involved in illegal business. Interesting fact is that those websites and forums are on the top in this propaganda that are known as pro-Indian and tools of India. The posts include the selections from Dr Ayesha Siddiqa’s book “Military Incorporate” but astonishing fact is that in this propaganda campaign no one has felt the need to discuss a case under trial in Supreme Court regarding EOBI, whole emphasis of the propaganda is that DHA administration used Housing Societies as a source to mint money; the whole emphasis is on that point that those who retire from Pakistan army has no right to get plots or houses.
There is no doubt that all govt. institutions especially those involved in business should maintain their accounts beyond any suspicions and corruption and abide by the rules and regulations of the state. But the question is that whether it is illegal for those who leave their homes, families, putting their lives on stake just to protect motherland and pride of nation to get plots, homes or other facilities? Does not other countries offer such facilities to their soldiers after their retirement or their widows after their death in war? In order to meet costs of these facilities provided to soldiers armed forces of the whole world run such business institutions, whose earnings are used to look after the families of soldiers as well as retired soldiers. As in the annual budget no amount is fixed for such welfare projects so business wings of armed forces spend lion’s share over the Welfare, not only this they also struggle for the development of budget so that profits increase, accounts are maintained properly, the taxes acquired from the profit in the business are duly deposited in the national treasury, money is invested in such a business where there is lowest possibility of loss. This business is going in all big countries including USA, UK, India etc.
In Pakistan the facility of CMH (Combined Military Hospitals) may be quoted as an example which provide free medical facilities to soldiers and their families for whole life while their service period is 18 years only but due to their service armed forces renders welfare services to them for rest of their lives; the cost of these welfare services are not met from defense budget but from the profits earned by the business being run under supervision of armed forces, Fauji Foundation, CSD and CWC are those departments that have been mentioned in the book of Dr Ayesha Siddiqa and in this regard the propaganda over DHA case is also going on. In fact all of these are departments or businesses that are being run for the welfare of soldiers and their families. Most of the journalists criticizing these departments themselves utilize the facilities provided by Cantt Store Departments (CSD). If they act unbiased one may find hundreds of examples of CSD like stores in other countries as well. In US cantonments there are such stores known as “PX” but non military persons are not allowed to purchase from these stores there. In PX stores from Rolex watches to Mercedes could be purchased on down payment of 25% only. Moreover, the facilities a retired soldier enjoys in USA, UK, Canada, France or other countries our soldiers as well officers could not even imagine them. But in Pakistan the propaganda against Pakistan on each and every dispute has become a fashion which is nothing more than treacherous attempt to destroy own defense line.
|A private housing society developed by a private developer! Who will hold that KINGMAKER ACCOUNTABLE?|
As long as the allotment of plots and agricultural land is concerned against which objections have been raised over the social media, for this purpose a special wing or department of Ministry of Defense during War or peace ensures such facilities for those who earn awards. From Nike to Subedar Major to Second Lieutenant to four star General, a soldier spends 25 to 40 years of his life for the security of his motherland and nation. During this journey some embrace martyrdom and others continue their journey in which on every nook and corner a cut throat exam is awaiting them. Pakistan is fighting war for its existence right from the day of independence. LoC of Kashmir remains active whole year, Kargil like tragedies are routine incidents in Siachen and the war against terrorism is now going on in the whole country. In such a situation the plots, houses or other facilities given to the soldiers getting retired are no act of kindness by the nation. Moreover, after a specific tenure when officers apply for the allotment of houses to Army Welfare Housing Directorate, deduction of cost of house is deducted from their pays. If these deductions are less than the cost of the house at the time retirement than officer had to pay the balance. The purpose behind establishment of DHA was to provide shelter to live in the form of house after retirement to officer.
Now the problem is that whenever foundation of any Defense Housing Authority is laid down in any Cantonment the price of the property before development is much less but after completion of development when the house is allotted to any retired officer due to the security, clean environment, beauty and other facilities our elites jump in the line to buy homes there while the number of houses are too much limited due to which the prices increase manifolds. In such a situation few officers sell down their homes, the profit is received by the owner of the house not DHA and that officer also does not force anyone on gunpoint to buy the house at extra high price. Propagandists call it corruption while, law allows armed forces officer to sell house or plot while the price increases due to large number of buyers as compared to available houses not due to corruption. Look at the example of Karachi, in 1960 when the foundation of DHA was laid down far beyond the city at uninhabited place, at that time no one was aware that a home would cost in millions in 2013 and every big businessman and persons belonging to elite class would consider owning a house at DHA as an honor. Same like situation prevails in Rawalpindi, Lahore etc.
However, in contrast to a strong department like DHA there are such persons who have developed housing societies and earned big profits but have not paid a single penny in the lieu of tax. Some of them have become members of legislator while other have become King Makers on the base of their black money, in front of them courts are powerless nor anyone has courage to hold them accountable. Leaving aside the property dealers, some public representatives have engulfed national wealth in the form of loans while others have transferred national treasury to foreign accounts through Hundi (illegal transfer of currency by passing banks and custom duty). But no one has the courage to speak against them as they are the deciders of the fate of the motherland. Just look at the example of money laying in Swiss accounts that was looted from motherland; if this money is brought back to the country every citizen would be prosperous but WHO WILL DO THIS? Whole country is in the clutches of corruption, at one place you will see black marketers, hoarders, gas mafia, adulterators etc. even holy month of Ramadan is not safe from their looting. The news reports of theft of electricity and gas amounting to trillions is a daily routine but neither any thief has been arrested nor accounts of any looter have been frozen? Look at the result of dispute of the letter to Swiss courts against President Zardari, what is the result? But the accounts of departments being run under supervision of Pak army like DHA are frozen with such remarks, “DHA officials should remember that they are not above the law”. Obviously not only DHA but any citizen, servant or elite of the motherland is not above the law or constitution but the standard of justice should be same for everyone. Department cannot be held responsible for the mistake or mischief of a single person or employee. Especially those departments that are responsible for the defense of motherland.
As long as the case under which accounts of DHA has been frozen is concerned according to many experts Supreme Court has issued ordered only accepting the stance of Additional DG FIA that on the spot no developmental work has been undertaken, only undeveloped land has been sold in the files. While reality is in contrast to this, 90% development work has been completed. Moreover, the land that has been sold to EOBI is located at a very important location due to which its price is increasing by leaps and bounds, so EOBI has not to bear loss but profit. In spite of all this in court considers that element of corruption is present than court should do the justice and listen to the both sides unbiased and those who are responsible for corruption should be punished. Many anti-Pakistan agencies within and out of motherland are always for waiting news against Pakistan armed forces to start their propaganda war and attack credibility of defenders of motherland. Of course DHA is not Pakistan armed forces but a department running under control of armed forces. This is why in order to blame Pakistan army for being indulged in business DHA has been specially mentioned in all the books published within and out of Pakistan according to the American needs for war in Afghanistan. The biggest example is the book of Dr. Ayesha Siddiqa sponsored by USA and others involved in the conspiracies, in the light of this book we cannot separate DHA from Pakistan army…
Written by Khalid Baig,
Date: 21 July 2013.