It is an inescapable fact that parents love their children the most. They become happy and proud to see their children at high and distinguished places in society. For this, at every stage of their lives, they make some decisions and pursue certain ways amid hopes of brightening their children’s’ future. One of the mostly pursued ways is enrolling their children in schools at very early age.
Surprisingly, in Pakistan-particularly in private schools-, early-aged children are largely found carrying heavy schoolbags on their little back. Some of the prominent reasons for parents get motivated to send their early-aged kids to schools are children’s bright future, their social acceptance, and parents’ self-interests. However, a bulk of scientific studies have revealed that well and efficient development of children has nothing special to do with early schooling.
For example, a study conducted in Finland proposed the age of eight years to get the children enrolled in schools. Supporting this, neuroscientists discovered that playful activities during this age lead to synaptic growth, particularly in frontal cortex. Furthermore, a study in Cambridge University, England, with 130 early childhood experts, found those students, who were admitted in schools at the age of seven, comprehensively strong and problem solvers in comparison to those who got admitted at the age of three or four.
Also, many researches state that early-schooling leads children towards confined creativity. They become unable to exert their inborn competency. Rather, they become like robotic machines which work on predefined commands.
Conclusively, the researches transparently reflect the contrasting view of early-schooling. That is, it may destroy the future of children instead of being bright.
Polluted civil service
The British colonial occupiers recruited locals in civil and uniformed services, because they had a shortage of manpower. It was through these paid servants of HM government that citizens of undivided India were oppressed, while expensive minerals, rare metals and other natural resources were shipped to UK and taxes collected. In the beginning, Raj recruited locals through competitive examinations, but then found it better to laterally recruit willing natives serving in British Indian Army. Those locals who served the Raj loyally were allotted lands and titles which were to be theirs as long as they pleased HM and Viceroy.
Quaid in his 11 August 1947 referred to them as cancer of corruption and bribery which we inherited from India. Although Pakistan became independent in 1947, large majority of these civil servants continued to relish British occupation and were willing to serve their interests, rather than accepting MAJ as Governor General, replacing Viceroy with all powers under Government of India Act 1935. This mindset was sadly witnessed when MAJ orders to march into Kashmir were not obeyed by our men in uniform, who chose to obey a British general. In the beginning all further recruitment for Civil Service was strictly done through competitive examinations, followed by training in academy, while retaining members of ICS who had opted for Pakistan.
One such lateral entry into ICS became Secretary Interior of West Pakistan, holding other important portfolios. Yahya Khan was the first to screen out 1100 corrupt civil servants, followed by ZAB with his 303 list sacked for corruption, including the former Secretary Interior who had irregularly allotted to himself Islamabad’s Hotel Sherazad, which today houses Foreign Office. Zia again started lateral recruitment into civil service, which included his former ADC Major Qamar, who was forced to resign for allegedly smuggling drugs and rehabilitated as DC in superior civil service, finally appointed as Chairman NAB.
If Civil Service is to be reformed, all recruitment must strictly on merit with no lateral entries.
Bringing home looted assets
Our government wants to bring home ill-gotten money stashed abroad. But, doing so requires a lot of innovative thinking and hard work (lacking in our Federal Investigation Agency and National Accountability Bureau. We could learn from India’s experience. Take India’s Punjab Bank 11400-crore financial scam. The fraudsters were foreign-educated and knew how to dupe auditors and Reserve Bank of India to get massive loans and flee the country. India’s enforcement agencies made coordinated efforts to catch the fraudsters abroad _ Enactment of Economic Offenders Bill, filing request under extradition and mutual legal assistance, and so on. Yet, India’s efforts may hit a block. Foreign laws allow indefinite leave to ‘offenders’ until provision of convincing proof of culpability. A fugitive offender may seek political asylum, if he is not entitled to ‘indefinite leave’ to stay in a foreign country. Despite hype about offender Mehul Choksy, Antigua (Caribbean island) declined India’s request for extradition. Before his flight abroad, Choksy obtained a passport without police verification. India’s Central Bureau of Investigation and the Central Board of Direct Taxes are still grappling with how to bring back Mallya, alleged bookie Sanjeev Chawla, and Tiger Hanif. Notwithstanding extradition treaty with UK since 1993, it could get back only one offender. A senior executive of Nirav Modi’s firm has already obtained bail.