Monday, July 13, 2009

Khalid Sultan Cries Uncle

Only three letters with a few signatures and Khalid Sultan buckled under like a wimp. It is a clear win for the residents of the D C Colony. But it was only the first round - just the beginning of the end.

There may be a long drawn out war ahead.

I am afraid Khalid Sultan will not take this defeat with the grace of a gentleman because he is no gentleman. Gentlemen don't break their word of honor once they give it to someone.

He may try to buy some time just to get out of the corner where he finds himself at this juncture.

Today, when the meeting started it soon became clear that there was nothing on the agenda but the three letters - two from residents and the third from Hajji Sana Ullah as patron-in-Chief of the D C Colony welfare Council.

It was a daunting task to address all those concerns and answer all those questions that were raised in those three fiery epistles.

Khalid Sultan found himself completely outwitted and admitting that there was nothing in those letters that he could find objectionable. He confessed that he had been doing things arbitrarily in the past and running the affairs of the society by fiat. But those days were over. Now someone was watching his every move very closely. He had no choice but to go back to the book and follow the rules .

He came to this realization only after he saw the writing on the wall. This time, finally, he had come across a foe who had shown the ability and the will to stare him down.

The only way out for him was to cave in.

One of the Core Group had predicted only yesterday that Khalid Sultan would come begging on his knees.

He has asked for and received the carte blanche from Members of the Managing Committee to go and negotiate with Khawaja Saleh.

Hopefully, this time, he has the intention to be a gentleman. He is going with zero credibility.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Connecting Nothing With Nothing

I have head from a very reliable source that Major Irshad is happy to learn that his resignation from the membership of the Managing Committee has not been accepted - yet. He is gleefully telling everyone who will lend him his ears that he has received a call from Above High - from Khalid Sultan HIMSELF - to come and see him on Monday when the managing Committee is going to hold its meeting.

Some from the Core Group tried, last night, to talk him out of his visit with Khalid Sultan but he is bent upon going back, no matter what. He was told by those who were trying to convince him, in vain, that he was better off staying out as he had already resigned from a seat for which he was not even qualified to begin with as he was no longer a member of the society.

But he is riding a high horse at this point and won't listen to anything sensible.

He is anxious to join the herd, from whom he had self-exiled himself, wishing that Khalid Sultan will apologise for not defending him against verbal and personal attacks of Dr Zafar Chaudhry in the previous meeting.

But he was not sure how he will explain his two other reasons for resigning.

It reminds me T. S. Eliot's great poem The Wasteland in which he talks about "Connecting nothing with nothing".
On the other hand, the Core Group has fired off another salvo - a deadly one. They deposited their letter with Society office yesterday to make sure it greets Khalid Sultan and his camp when they take their seats for the meeting on Monday.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Khalid Sultan's Campaign of Lies Backfires

When I wrote in yesterday's post that Khalid Sultan's empire had struck back clumsily I had no idea that it could be as clumsy as it has shown itself to be.

A whole army of property dealers, camp followers, baggage carriers, cronies and sycophants, headed by Mian Anwarul Haq, Sheikh Binyamin of United Real Estate, and Shabbir Mughal - notorious blackmailer from Kashmir Colony -, was let loose to spread a campaign based on barefaced lies and shameless fabrications that Khawaja Saleh had created a group and they were pushing Khalid Sultan to pack up and leave. These liars were asking residents and plot owners to sign a petition against "some mischievous persons" who were rocking the boat.

They never told prospect signers that in none of the four letters written so far by Residents was such a demand or Khawaja Saleh was trying in any way to dislodge Khalid Sultan from his presidential perch.

On the contrary, it was Khalid Sultan who had asked Khawaja Saleh to join him on the Managing Committee and use his influence and friendship with Chaudhry Ahmad Mukhtar, minister of defence, to move things forward where they had gotten stuck. Khalid Sultan invited Khawaja Saleh to come to Islamabad and arrange a high level meeting in the Defence Department to help on sewerage system in D C Colony. Khawaja Saleh was instrumental to pull this off for Khalid Sultan.

At the time when Khalid Sultan and Khawaja Saleh were working on sewerage issue the residents, on their own and not knowing what these two guys were doing, had written a letter to Arshad Cheema to remind him of his promise he had never kept. Khawaja Saleh was on the redar even at that time.

I have a copy of that letter and names of all fourteen persons who had signed the letter. Khawaja Saleh's name is nowhere to be seen. I am reproducing it here and the original copy can be seen in the office of the society:

Dated: 28 April, 2009

Mr. Arshad Cheema

Secretary P.G.E.C.H.S. Society Ltd.(D.C. Colony), Gujranwala Cantt.

Dear Mr. Cheema

On Sunday, April 12, 2009 while inaugurating couple of businesses in the Satlej Block market of D. C. Colony you addressed the congregated residents and promised them that:
• A campaign to eliminate wild stray dogs from the streets of the colony and to exterminate rampant mosquitoes would start very soon.

• You were also gracious enough to announce publicly that you will start having weekly “formal” meetings with the residents on every Saturday after Maghrib Prayers in the public park.

We, the undersigned, regret to say that after having killed only a few dogs the campaign to eliminate stray dogs was abruptly stopped and ferocious dogs were left roaming the streets to dog the residents and threaten to attack whoever happens to cross paths with them. An incident of dog biting has also been reported since.

The campaign to exterminate mosquitoes was never allowed to even take off. Droves of mosquitoes continue to pest and bug residents and there is an imminent danger of causing life-threatening dengue virus disease and malaria.

Much more to our regret, you showed quite a disregard for keeping your promise to show up for any of the promised meetings either on April 18, or on April 25.

We refuse to entertain the notion that your failure to keep any of your promises or to show up for either of the scheduled meetings stems from your disdain for the well being of the residents of the colony or your lapse was in any way intentional.

But, we expected, and still expect, some courtesy to have us, at least, informed as to the reasons for the lapse. We hope to hear from you soon.

Yours sincerely,

(Handwritten) P.S. You had also agreed on April 12, 2009, that security staff of 35 (about 12 in an8-hour shift) is not sufficient and adequate to cover the security needs of the residents and you promised to immediately increase security staff. We are waiting for any news on this aspect.

- You also agreed to provide us with a community center on temporary basis until permanent is completed.

c.c. Mr. Khalid Sultan, President P.G.E.C.H.S. Society Ltd.(D.C. Colony), Gujranwala Cantt

After Arshad Cheema received this letter and told Khalid Sultan about it he was ordered to call a meeting of the residents in the Sutlej park and invite Khawaja Saleh there and introduce him as a Representative from the residents to be a member of the Managing Committee.

And that is what Arshad Cheema did.

At that meeting when Arshad Cheema introduced Khawaja Saleh as the new representative of the residents and proposed him to be the next member of Managing Committee.

It was one of the members of the Core Group of residents who opposed this decision and told Arshad Cheema and the residents publicly that the residents had their own plan and proposals and they would discuss it if given chance.

At the end of that meeting Khawaja Saleh told the congregation that Khalid Sultan was coming to have lunch with him at his residence and he invited residents to come to that lunch and air their proposals in the presence of Khalid Sultan.

At the lunch meeting Core Group asked for more than fifty per cent representation of residents on Managing Committee (and never asked Khawaja saleh to be a representative on Managing Committee).

Khalid Sultan not only conceded to this demand of fifty per cent representation on managing Committee but also said that there will be sixty per cent representation of residents and as the first step, Khalid Sultan himself proposed Khawaja Saleh to be the first one to go in. Khalid Sultan ordered Arshad Cheema at that lunch meeting to put these decisions in the minutes.

You can see it was Khalid Sultan himself who was anxious to bring Khawaja Saleh on board.

Anyhow, the clumsiness of the Khalid Sultan's campaign of lies is obvious from the fact that one of the signers, who has a very high judicial post, called his good friend Mian Anwarul Haq on phone this morning and told him that he must not forward the letter on which he had received his signatures mischievously, or if he wanted to forward it anyway he must scratch his name and signatures from it, or bring it back to him so he can read it.

Mian Anwarul Haq kept calling Abdurrehman Dar and others who had refused to sign his letter yesterday (and some of those who did) and kept telling them that he had no plans now to forward his letter and he wanted to be buddy buddy with residents and the Core Group - again.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Empire Strikes Back - Clumsily

Looks like the first salvo of the residents has hit the bull's eye. At least, it is proving itself life-threarening. It seems to have caused a real panic in Khalid Sultan's camp.

Khalid Sultan has called a special meeting of the Managing Committee. It is going to be held on Saturday (tomorrow).

Some property dealers and agents, who make their living from crumbs dropped off Khalid Sultan's lavish table, were today calling around other property dealers to come on board against what they think are unruly elements - the residents who have asked Khalid Sultan to open certain documents as the Bye-Laws of the society required.

A property dealer, Mian Anwarul Haq, who is also a government employee but makes money on the side when he gets a call from Muhammad Hussain in the Society Office giving him an inside scoop about some juicy plot, has written a letter saying that "some mischievious persons" are trying to disturb managing Committee. Today he approached some residents and asked them to sign his letter in support of Khalid Sultan. He was snubbed and brushed off by most of the persons he approached.

Farooq Gondal, who was given by Khalid Sultan the lease of the Society grave yard for five years alongwith four shops in Sutlej Market, sent some guys in a white car last night and then this morning to Hajji Sana Ullah's house in Indus Block of the Colony. They wanted to know why he had written a letter to the President of the society against Farooq Gondal's wrong-doings.

Hajji Sana Ullah reportedly told them that he had not written a letter about their wrong doing but he had written the letter to ask Kalid Sultan and Managing Committee that why they were not following the Bye-Laws. They had their own stories, of the corruption of Society employees and Members of Managing committee, to tell. But hajji Sana Ullah was not interested.

The rsidents of the Society were not idle either.

There was another letter, from residents, making rounds of the Colony today. You can call it a second salvo. This letter has been signed by scores of people. I have a copy in my possession and it is being reproduced here:

The President and the Members of the Managing Committee,

The Provincial Government Employees Cooperative Housing Society Ltd., Gujranwala.

C.c. Registrar Punjab Cooperative Societies, The Mall, Lahore.

C.c. Deputy Registrar Cooperative Societies, Opp. Central Jail, Gujranwala.

Dated: July 9, 2009

Subject: Massive and Blatant Violations of Bye-Laws of PGECHS (D. C. Colony)

Respected Sir/Sirs,

The undersigned members of the PGECH Society (D. C. Colony) Gujranwala, hereby, inform you that massive and blatant violations of the Bye-Laws of the said society have been/ are being committed by the President and the Members of the Managing Committee. The Managing Committee has ceased to exist as a legal entity as couple of members no more qualify to be the members of the Managing Committee under one pretext or the other as per Bye-Laws of the said society.

a) Major (R) Irshad Ahmad Chaudhry, Mr. Fazeel Asghar, Mr. Inayatullah Siyal, and Mr. Zia Mahmood and some other persons were/ are not legal members of the said society at the time when they are/ were participating in the decision making by the Managing Committee, the decisions taken in said meetings are to be considered illegal and thus null and void;

b) Some of the Members of the Managing Committee have repeatedly failed to show up for three or more consecutive meetings of the same but they have not been taken off the membership of Managing Committee or replaced by legal members of the society as required by Article 32 (1) and (9);

c) The Secretary of the Society cannot/ “will not exercise his powers as elected Secretary/ Member of the Management Committee if he gets salary” as per Articles 32 (5) read along with Article 39 (2) of the Society Bye-Laws but in direct contravention of the above mentioned Articles of the Bye-Laws ex-secretary was signing checks of huge amounts even though he was a paid employee and so not authorized to do so.

d) According to the Article 35 read along with Article 34 (9) “[I]n their conduct of affairs of society the members of the managing committee shall exercise the prudence and diligence of ordinary men of business and shall be personally responsible for any loss sustained through their gross negligence, carelessness, inefficiency and irresponsibility or through any breach of law, rule or Bye-Law”. This particular Article is invoked since hundreds of millions of Rupees have been misappropriated under your watch and the managing Committee was supposed to “keep an eye over any kind of mis-appropriation” but failed to do so and was to “take criminal action or start civil proceeding” but never did so, hence, you are personally “responsible to make up such losses”;

e) Referring to our letter dated June 29, 2009 received by society office on July 4, 2009 with Diary No. 544/09 we are still waiting for the “registers, books, documents” to be “open to inspection of member, interested in affairs of society” as reads Article 41 of the Bye-Laws of society.

Yours truly,

Residents are making sure this letter is in front of members of the Managing Committee when they take seats around the meeting table tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

What Is Wrong With These Pictures?

What is wrong with these pictures?

Apparently, nothing.

They are simply pictures of two houses that look similar. Sitting back to back in the Sutlej Block of D C Colony, Gujranwala. Exact replicas.

But what you don't see in the pictures is what is wrong with them.

One of them belongs to Arshad Cheema, who recently got out of Secretary's post of D C Colony. The other house is owned by Muhammad Hussain who is an employee, a very influencial one, of the same colony and is still very much there.

These houses not only look similar but they are being built by the same contractor.

The similarities don't end there though.

Their owners helped themselves financially from the same (apparently bottomless) pit of money called in other words: D C Colony. This is all happening under the watchful eyes of Khalid Sultan and his hand-picked Management Committee members who received their own cut before they allowed to let it happen.

They are all stealing from the same cookie jar.

Now some fresh news: I have heard from a very reliable source that the new secretary, Zafar Niazi, is upset that the residents are demanding to see the books as Bye-Laws give them entitlement. He admits that residents' demand is legal but still believes there must not be "undue" interference from lowly residents. There must not be any transparency in Management Committee's dirty dealings, he thinks.

Major Irshad who recently resigned from his seat in the Management Committee has been seen in society's office today. I believe he is being pressurized to take his resignation back. But he has promised residents that his is firm in his decision and he won't become "Abdul Hamid Dogar" again.

We will see.

There is news floating around that a meeting of the Management Committee has been called on Saturday where residents' demands are going to be discussed.

Monday, July 6, 2009

A Friend Betrayed

The meeting of the Management Committee at D C Colony office on June 12, 2009 was a decoy meeting. The real meeting had already been held somewhere else, according to some sources, in Islamabad before this dummy meeting.

In the Islamabad meeting Khalid Sultan decided to betray his friend, Khawaja Saleh.


If you read item # 14 on the agenda of the meeting held at D C Colony office on June 12 you can easily figure out what must have happened in Islamabad.

The heading of the agenda item is: "Addressing The Residents' Demand for Participation In The Affairs Of The Society".

It says:

"Regarding this matter a meeting was arranged between Society President, Khalid Sultan and resident members at the residence of Khawaja Muhammad Saleh. Those present inlcuded Khawaja Muhammad Saleh, Talat Hameed Rathore, Mirza Muhammad Younas, Muhammad Khalid Butt, Arif Mahmood, Younas Butt, Dr. Muhammad Ali, Dr Amjad Chattha, Ziaullah Irfani, as well as Muhammad Arshad Cheema were Secretary of the society.

During the meeting resident members demanded that there must be representation of the residents in the Management Committee and sub-committees be made in which residents must be included. Moreover, the demanded that Khawaja Muhammad Saleh be nominated as a Representative of the residents.

Then the items disposes off the whole matter thus:

Major (R) Irshad Ahmad Chaudhry is already an elected member to represent residents and he regularly brings up the problems of the residents before the Management Committee. The Management Committee has already made organized sub-committees to run the affairs of the society in the best possible way. So there is no need for more sub-committees.

However the matter is brought up before the Management Committee.

Remember this simple explanation was never provided at the meeting arranged at Khawaja Saleh's house. Rather Khalid Sultan had promised that starting this coming December there will be sixty per cent representation by the rsident members and the approval of Khawaja Saleh's induction as a member of the Management Committee will be taken in committee's next meeting. Arshad Cheema was ordered to put these decisions taken at the said meeting in the minutes. It was a done deal.

But that was not to happen.

Khalid Sultan broke the word he had given in presence of everyone at the lunch meeting at Khawaja Saleh's house.

Actually, he had received from Khawaja Saleh what he wanted when he took him for a ride and asked him to use his influence with one of the government department heads and then dumped him.

Khawaja Saleh felt insulted and duped. Rightly so.

Major Irshad, who was bandied as a representative of the residents and made an excuse to keep Khawaja Saleh out, resigned from the management Committee when he heard that a new secretary had been planted only one day after the Management Committee meeting without consulting anyone at the Management Committee meeting on June 12. He was furious that he was not kept in the loop.

He was also upset that Dr Zafar Chaudhry had criticized him and called him as ineffective in the meeting and Khalid Sultan never came to his defence.

Now there is no resident representation in the Management Committee at all. Khawaja Saleh is still out in the cold and livid. Arshad Cheema is enriched and gone. Residents are as helpless as before. The Core Group has more reasons to be enraged.

And Khalid Sultan rules the roost as he did before.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

The First Encounter

Khalid Sultan came to Khawaja Saleh's house ostensibly to listens to and address the concerns of the residents but actually to dangle some carrot before Khawaja saleh.

But the meeting turned into the First Encounter.

Before I tell you what exactly happened there let me fill you in with some background so we are on the same page.

For quite some time residents had been fuming because they had certain grievances against the way things were being run by Khalid Sultan and his sychophants.

Prior to this gathering at 16 Jhelum, Khawaja Saleh's residence, a larger group of residents had coalesced around a core of independent, like-minded, and hard nose critics who had the guts to stand up to a bunch of arrogant, incompetent crooks who were running the society and colony into ground.

This core group spent most of their evenings discussing the latest news emerging from the society office or just shooting the breeze.

One day, this core group was invited to an inauguration of couple of shops at Sutlej Market where then secretary, Arshad Cheema, was chief guest. At that time the group tried to request the secretary to beef up security arrangements of the colony and address some other issues. But, first, Arshad Cheema tried to shoo them off. But when they proved themselves to be hard nuts to crack he acquiesced and promised to have weekly formal meetings with them.

But he never showed up for any of the promised meetings.

The group decided to write a letter to Khalid Sultan informing him of what had transpired/ not transpired.

Lo and behold, Arshad Cheema arranged a meeting in Sutlej Park and proposed that Khawaja Saleh be made a member of the Management Committee on behalf of the residents.

One of the core group told him that the group had their own plan and proposals and they would be discussed at a suitable time.

At the end of the said meeting Khawaja Saleh publicly announced that Khalid Sultan was coming to a lunch meeting at 16 Jhelum and he invited the residents to be there for the meeting.

That lunch meeting turned into the first encounter when one of the residents bluntly told Khalid Sultan and Arshad Cheema that the corrupt ways of Agha Shah Muhammad's days were still being perpetuated at certain level and to certain extent and there must be more than fifty per cent representation of the residents in the management Committee.

That was a grave allegation and a bold proposal. (The resident who had brought this issue up, later, told Khalid Sultan later that he had proof of what he had said in balck and white, in his pocket, if he was interested. Khalid Sultan, obviously, was not interested.)

To cool things off people were called to the lunch table where Khalid Sultan promised that residents would have sixty per cent representation starting in December this year and to start things off in the right direction Khawaja Saleh would be made a member of the Management Committee in the next Committee meeting.

Khalid Sultan asked Arshad Cheema to put these two decisions in the minutes for approval in the next meeting.

I will tell you what happened in the next meeting in my next post. (Probably you can guess it right.)