Karachi made Singapore; many times



  • Not just this 70 old بدھا ہوا ساتھیا, even the well renown researcher and consultant Naeem Sadiq recently stated that for the last 30 years, the National Savings Organisation fed the nation with a nebulous and unending excuse of being busy with computerization its network. In 1983 the DG National Savings (NS) with his band baja on a middle east tour for promoting NS products, addressed the Pakistanis in the packed auditorium of the Pakistan Club Bahrain. He detailed features, rates of profit and significance of each NS product. He had with him no application Forms, no brochures or leaflets. On my raising it, his reply in presence of the Pakistani Ambassador was that “those were under print”. Then why he came; on a shopping spree, I stood up and questioned? The auditorium witnessed a minute pin drop silence on it. My wife from Pakistan sent me a Form for Special Savings Certificates. It was my first salary abroad and I sent my Form to the DG. On return when I received the Certificate, the interest rate payable mentioned o it was less than what the DG had told the audience. At this I wrote a letter to the Pakistan Embassy that it was cheating. Subsequently, I got a letter from the NS that the rate printed on the certificate was “old” the while the applicable one was what the announced. My fair question earned, for ever, the irk of the then First Secretary Pakistan Embassy retired as Joint Secretary Production Division.

    1. Since that 1983 I can’t remember how many times NS announced it was going to introduce saving schemes specifically for Overseas Pakistanis (OPs). In these 33 years, like that of computerization, not even a single sloganed scheme ever has so far seen light of the day.
    2. Yes, one thing NS did and that is on its official website it created a separate general information-section for Overseas Pakistanis (not any special investment scheme). As, each time our rulers more loudly shout they would not “allow” anyone to play with the life and property of the people, practically more miseries the people face, likewise by creating separate section for OPs, the NS created more miseries for them. It was 1986 when there was not just separate section for OPs but also did not exist any websites, me and my wife sent three applications Forms to NS Civic Center Islamabad for opening of our accounts. Within a few days the Center sent us back our account numbers together with separate Cheque and Deposit Books. Since then during 25 years, a dozen of Cheque Books and Pass Books exhausted. Whenever we asked, new ones without any problem came under registered mail including the periodical profits accrued. A year back we applied for transfer of those accounts to NS Gulberg Karachi. It is now about 10 months, the Center Incharge is sitting on our Cheque and Pass Books on the plea that we need to collect personally or through an agent. Even we have to collect personally information re; our new account numbers. An account is a personal confidential item not in most cases to be disclosed to the family or friends. Under the new system, either I authorize some of my friend to collect it from NS Karachi, forward it to me here. When I send to NS with my next deposit, my friend then would collect it again and send me. So my friend and my family would always be aware of each transaction. Or alternate is that next year on my visit I collect it, I send those pass books to NS with my next deposit, for two years Pass Books remain at NS when I collect that again. What a wonderful “development”.
    3. We are very proudly told that as Indians like شوربہ آلو likewise we do. However, no one tells us that the Indians allow their national working abroad to open two bank accounts; one normal savings account and other Non Resident Account with special incentives with added profit. What is in our case. In 80s and 90s, just by sending an account opening Form from abroad, an OP could open a bank account in any Bank in Pakistan. Today no ordinary OP sitting abroad can open his bank account in Pakistan though accounts of Saeed Qazi family can be as alleged by them.
    4. Since some years it has become a fashion of announcing one step or the other in the name of Overseas Pakistanis but practically remaining the same in the Books or Annual Performance Reports. For this purpose new seats are created.
    5. About a year and a half the Federal Ombudsman office with usual pride announced introduction of a new Assan Accounts for Overseas Pakistanis. Assan Accounts saw the birth but doors of these accounts are closed for Overseas Pakistanis. Our job, as usual, finished with announcement and getting praises.
    6. Every scheme for welfare of masses announced since 1972, slogan raised, promise made and repeat made re justice, economy, education, health nowhere materially in any shape can materially be felt by anyone from the masses except having successfully been standing achieved in Government File. For example, going through official files, Karachi during last 30 years have so many times become “Singapore”.
    7. The worst shame is that the Overseas Pakistanis Foundation, a huge organization created some 40 years back on full expense and money of we the Overseas Pakistanis alone, enjoying on perks, has never ever done anything seriously even ever proposed anything in this regard. This senior citizen with 45 plus years rich experience is more than confident that none in this organization even have the iota of idea that an OP today can’t open a bank account from abroad in Pakistan let alone getting some special savings schemes for those on slogan of whose welfare it financially exists. Nothing needs, however, now to be done as remittances boom is over.