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A very special daughter of chief justice

Additional marks for Justice Dogar's daughter in F.Sc examination
Nov 26: The story of how the daughter of the chief justice of Pakistan was awarded around 20 additional marks in her F.Sc examination is, in the first case, an example of journalism at its best. While such happenings are not unusual in our country, the skilful exposure of the case illustrates precisely how such nepotism works.

The account of how the story came finally to be published also speaks volumes about our political and social setup and the tendency within it for the influential to act to protect each other and the distorted system that benefits them.

In many nations of the world, a public account of how a candidate's papers were 're-checked', how her grade was jacked up and past rulings of the Supreme Court blatantly violated in the process would have led to an immediate resignation of the chief justice. It is to be seen if this attitude changes in the near future. In the past too, other figures in key places have acted in much the same way. So far the chief justice has denied any role in the sequence of events that led his daughter to collecting additional marks and gaining eligibility to apply to medical colleges, among other institutions. Naturally, no one is prepared to believe this happened all on its own. As the story states, an approach had been made from judicial offices to top people on the Federal Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education.

At one level, the story is an account of a corrupt system that many of us now accept as the reality. A resignation to it can be found everywhere. The argument that because others indulge in wrongdoing, it is ok to do the same can be heard in many places and at many different levels. This attitude is of course a key factor in allowing the system to continue unchallenged. When there is a will, institutions of higher learning based in the private sector have shown, there is a way to ensure merit prevails over all else. When this rule is ignored, the true sufferers, then, are hapless candidates not born in the homes of the powerful. Those who have opined that the story should not have been published as it involves the career of a young woman should perhaps have also turned their attention to the careers of thousands of her peers who received no similar boost.

There is, in the current situation, another dimension to the story. The account of how grades for a privileged child were acquired and how power was abused to do so also reinforces doubts about those who today hold posts at the top of the judicial pyramid. As the controversy over the pre-November 3 judiciary rages on, this only further undermines the authority of Justice Dogar. Both his legal and moral right to call himself the chief justice of Pakistan is now under question. How he conducts himself could either help salvage what judicial integrity remains or leave it crushed totally into the ground in a society where justice and an even playing field are denied to most citizens. The News

Justice Dogar's Daughter Already Admitted to Medical College
In writing about the controversy of Justice Abdul Hameed Dogar's daughter's F.Sc. marks being jacked up I had mused that "neither 640 nor 661 marks in F.Sc. gets you into a medical college, at least not on merit." It seems that I was wrong. It does. And in the case of Farah Hameed Dogar, daughter of Justice Abdul Hameed Dogar, it did!. Not on merit, of course. But who cares for merit when judges have a "special quota." Someone, please tell me why judges need a quota on medical college seats!

The News Ansar Abassi said:

Farah Hameed Dogar, the daughter of the chief justice of Pakistan, whose FSc marks were jacked up, thereby, sparking a controversy, has already been admitted to a medical college against a special quota reserved for judges, although, the same college had refused to entertain her application before her marks were revised by the FBISE.

The earlier refusal of the Islamic Medical College, Rawalpindi, had primarily come because Farah Dogar was in Grade-C with only 641 marks. But only a week after her first attempt, she submitted a fresh application along with a new marks sheet to the college, which accepted her application only because the new result showed her in Grade-B with 661 marks.

Farah Dogar's case file also shows that after the validly-allowed re-checking of her answer sheets and improvement of her original marks from 640 to the previous 641, her file in the FBISE did not move for 20 days. It was during these days when the chief justice's daughter first applied for the entry test in the Islamic Medical College.

However, the file suddenly found wings on Sept 10, 2008 when the then chairman FBISE Commodore (retd) Shamshad, in violation of the board rules, ordered: "Pl have the answer books of this candidate re-assessed."

This order of the chairman came only five days prior to the last date - i.e. Sept 15, which was fixed by the administration of the Islamic Medical College for the submission of applications for the entry test.

Since the deadline was approaching fast, the controller of examination referred the case to his deputy controller examination on Sept 11. This deputy controller on the same day wrote on the file: "Special arrangements may please be made, as directed by the chairman, today" and referred it back to his controller of examinations.

The very next day, on Sept 12, the controller of examinations noted: "Pl call the examiner concerned. Proceed as directed by the CM (chairman)" and sent it back to the deputy controller, examinations, who wrote on the file: "Immediate pl."

On Sept 13, all the examiners concerned were made to attend the controller, examination (Sec) office to reassess her answer sheets. Normally, the answer sheets where the re-checking is required are sent to examiners in sealed envelopes but in this case, the "head examiners" were made to attend the office of the controller of examinations.

After the controversial re-assessment, which resulted in an increase in her marks from 640 to 661, an assistant controller of examinations referred the case to the deputy controller of examinations on Sept 15. The same day the file was moved to the chairman, who granted his approval to the new marks.

The controller of examinations directed the office concerned to prepare the revised marks sheet the same day. The file showed that it was not only prepared the same day but was also handed over to the chairman through the controller of examinations personally. And the same day, the candidate's application along with the new marks sheet reached the Islamic Medical College's admission section, where it was accepted for the entry test.

The candidate took the entry test on Sept 21 along with other candidates. She passed the entry test but could not qualify to get admission on open merit. She was, however, given admission against a quota, which is allocated by the college for sons and daughters of judges under an agreement reached between the university and the Al-Meezan Foundation several years ago.

The Al-Meezan Foundation was created in the old building of the Supreme Court of Pakistan at Peshawar Road, Rawalpindi, for the welfare of judges, both serving and retired. The college management confirmed to The News that one candidate recommended by the foundation was offered admission, provided the candidate had more than 660 marks (first division at least) in FSc and that he/she also passed the entry test.

Meanwhile, a source said for the one-seat quota of judges, some other candidates were also in the run to get admission but luck smiled on the chief justice's daughter. The source asked this correspondent to dig into the matter as to what had happened in the Al-Meezan Foundation and who from amongst the scions of judges higher in merit for the single seat did not get it because of the chief justice's daughter.

Major (retd) Munir Azam, who until recently was associated with the college administration, confirmed to this correspondent that Farah Dogar had initially applied for the entry test but her application was rejected and returned because she did not have the minimum 60 per cent marks.

It was also learnt that the former chairman of the FBISE, Commodore (retd) Shamshad, who enjoyed six years of term as the head of the federal board, is being tipped as chairman of the under formation National Education Regulatory Authority (NERA). However, due to this controversy, the retired commodore is expected to lose the post-retirement government job.

By way of update to yesterday's story, the Federal Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education (FBISE) has now issued a curt rejoinder and has responded to it:

The Federal Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education on Tuesday clarified that the marks of Farah Hameed Dogar, the daughter of the chief justice of Pakistan, were revised along with 200 other candidates.

In a brief press release issued by the controller of examinations after the case exploded in the media, the board said: "The application of rechecking of result is covered by the rules of the board. After declaration of the HSSC Part-II annual examination 2008 result, 1,093 candidates applied for rechecking of their papers. Resultantly, there was no discrepancy in cases of 892 candidates and whereas certain discrepancies were found in the cases of 201 candidates. The case of Miss Farah Hameed Dogar, d/o Abdul Hameed Dogar, was also one of the 201 cases where the results were revised, and revised marks sheets were issued to all students."

Ansar Abbasi adds: The board has again tried to mislead the people as it is correct that in 201 cases results were revised but out of 201 cases, only in one case the examination papers were re-marked and the numbers increased. In the other 200 cases, only errors in adding the total marks were corrected.

The board officials have re-confirmed to me that there was only one case of re-assessment (re-marking) of papers while the other 200 were of recounting and correcting the totals. The board should come clean and state the facts instead of misleading the people. The News stands by its story.

However, thsi story is causing more stir than Justice Dogar might have wanted. Although Education Minister Bijarani (who has his own controversies to worry about) remains silent, the Minister of State for Education Ghulam Farid Kathia seems to have reacted. But a rather interesting reaction it is:

Minister of State for Education Ghulam Farid Kathia conceded on Tuesday that an illegality had been committed in the case of the chief justice's daughter but said no allegation could be levelled against any person at this stage.

Kathia told The News that an inquiry into the issue will be conducted and those found guilty of misuse of power will be punished. To a question, he said no influence, even from the office of the chief justice, could affect the findings of the inquiry or action against the involved persons in this irregularity.

The minister, however, did not give a time period during which his ministry would be in a position to reverse the wrong step.

And that is where things stand right now. Seems like we will be hearing plenty more about this yet.

Adil Najam -

Your Comments
"Justice Chaudry's son, Arsalan failed in the Intermidiate Examination, his result was changed and he got admission in Bolan Medical College in gross violation of merit. Later he was forcefully and illegally inducted as an officer of grade 17 in the Health Department of Balouchistan Government on a non existing post. To please his beloved son who was not happy with his job as a doctor, Justice Chaudry used his influence to get him posted in FIA headquarters against a non existing post . DG FIA protested but the Ministry told him to keep quite lest the CJP gets annoyed. After a while when Doctor Arsalan was not happy serving at FIA, his father ordered the concerned authorities to send him for training at the Police Academy Sihala. On being told that training at Sihala was only meant for formally inducted police officers the CJP got annoyed and conveyed to the authorities that orders of the CJP were final. After a few weeks in Sihala, Doctor Arsalan was ill legally posted to the Punjab Police. At Lahore he started wearing police uniform without having been inducted in the police and gave himself the rank of an SP. IG Punjab protested but was advised to keep quite. The IG was ordered to send Doctor Arsalan for a foreign course to Turkey on which a senior police officer after due selection was supposed to go. The CJP told the Ministry of Interior to induct Arsalan in Police. He was advised that rules did not allow induction of a grade 17 officer in the police without selection through the Fedral Public Service Commission. On this the Chief Justice ordered ill legal promotion of his son to grade 18 with only five months of service where as this grade is earned after a mandatory 5 years of service. Thereafter, he told the establishment to transfer him to Police as he was no more in grade 17. The establishment division objected to the ill legal demand on which the Establishment Secretary was summoned by the CJP at residence in the middle of the night and warned not to obstruct. The CJP visited the PM at his residence , several times, often late at night, for waiver on rules to facilitate Arsalan's induction in the police. On being told that the PM did not have authority, the CJP got very annoyed with the PM. Besides favours to his son there are other serious charges of misconduct against Chaudry. Justice Chaudry is a benificary of the public outrage against an unpopular government. The Supreme Court at that time too refused to investigate charges against a brother judge (on technical grounds). Charges against Justice Dogar are serious and must be investigated, preferably, without involving politics by a non political body. To ensure fair play this body should also look into favours of parental love of Mr Chaudry?"
Name: Saqib
City, Country: Karachi, Pakistan

"i just would like to pay attention towards this farah hameed dogar case and fight against so called parental love. We called here that journalism is independent, is it so..?? no, sometimes it just look like as one sided and intollerant. if they are creating otherness between Ex-chierf justice son arsalan and farah dogar. if its only the matter of system, then there are infinite examples of such happenings in the society.. where people are doing so.. no change wil be done..!! despite of this, it is still somehow digested if they only stand on her marks dispute, but in todays paper, a copy of farah`s examination notebook was this is beyond the limits..and totally towards giving her mental stress and making her unable to continue her studies. whtever farah did, but not on a practical life level, nor any other institutiuon is affected because of her, its the only act what chief justice dogar did regarding her daughter, but wht Mr. Ex-chief justie did?? arsalan was illegally oppointed as grade 17 officer in healh deptt. and then furtherly had promoted to SP in FIA headquarters despite the protest organiztion`s DG. So.. where are the media publications against him now??? wht was he doing as SP in punjab police being realated to medical field?? without FPSC??? there is still alot if difference farah and arsalan`s case.. its the matter of giving additional marks ans that was the matter of illegal posting in federal institutions and wearing police uniform of punjab police..!! "
Name: nida
City, Country: Karachi, Pakistan

" My comment is that u should reduce the recheking fee.thanks"
Name: zia ul haq
City, Country: khanewal

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BZU holds slogan writing competition
Multan: A slogan writing competition among students of the Bahauddin Zakariya University (BZU) held here on Tuesday in connection with the International Day for Elimination of Violence against Women.

The competition was organised by the White Ribbon Campaign Pakistan and BZU Career Development Centre at the university's IMS Hall.

BZU Vice-Chancellor Dr Muhammad Zaffarullah was the chief guest at the competition in which 169 students from various BZU departments participated.

The slogan, Gongian Cheikaan or mute shrieks written by Munaza Rasool, a student of the philosophy department, stood first, while Kiran Zuhra of Gender Studies and Ayesha Romaan of the IMS Department won second and third positions, respectively.

Dr Zaffarullah said there was a need to make efforts to end discrimination against women and to involve every individual as a responsible stakeholder in women's development.

He said the participation of women in socio-economic development of the country was a prerequisite to compete in today's world of globalisation, adding that poverty and ignorance were the root causes of women rights abuse in Pakistan. Dawn

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