Breaking Rules; The New Rule

In the land of pure conscience and its prisoners hardly find any appreciation. Most of the times person who takes any action under the influence of his conscience gets punishment instead of any reward. It is almost a tradition here to inflict humiliation on such people. A recent addition to this culture of humiliation is the case of a senior officer, Taj Mohammad, of the Baluchistan Forest and Wildlife Department (BFWD). He received applaud in the form of a transfer letter when he objected to the violations by foreign persons while hunting houbara bustard.

What sin did Taj Mohammad commit? His crime was his daring to object to the illegal activities and violation of the code of conduct by the Arab dignitaries, which they were supposed to follow during their stay in the province while on a hunting spree for the rare birds in the region.

It is clear that the intention behind his transfer is nothing but not to annoy the Sheikhs while they prey on the endangered species. One should not be surprised to witness such a paranoid reaction from the state. After all, granting the Arab rulers permission and licenses to allow them hunting, according to the present ruling party, is a cornerstone of our foreign policy. It comes as a great surprise to know that our relations with Gulf countries are contingent upon a bird.

Instead of taking corrective measures, the provincial government considered it right to transfer an officer who was performing his duty diligently. Since the provincial government itself is allowing the sheikhs to violate the code of conduct, it’s nothing but to live in fool’s paradise to expect a complete ban from the government of Baluchistan on hunting of the endangered bird.

Attempts to coerce officials who perform their duties with honesty and diligence with transfer letters and making them officers on special duty (OSD) is a dangerous precedent to set. Such actions on the part of the government will for sure discourage those who want to bring a positive change in the country. It is such attitude of those who rule the country that even those who can change the fate of the country are doing nothing for they fear the worst reaction of the state.

Also, the transfer of Taj Mohammad strengthens the common perception that there is no regard for supremacy of law in Pakistan. It validates the opinion that rich can get away with any wrong that they commit while the poor suffer even if their rights get violated. Revocation of the transfer letter will serve the best interest of public service.

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