Thursday, 21 January 2016

David Cameron's Attack on Muslim Women Unjustified

Learning English or any language for that matter is a good thing. However, to threaten a group of individuals that they'll be thrown out of a country because of their language skills is unacceptable and not reflective of a society which encourages equal rights and opportunities for all.
I am not aware of any country which has such a law in place. Can you imagine having to do a language test at airports before entering a country? If we decide to throw out people who cannot speak English, will we do the same to those who lack in Mathematical ability? Maths is also important in one's everyday life. Do we set a certain level of English which is acceptable? Where do we draw the line?
David Cameron's attack on Muslim women makes it clear that this isn't about language skills but this is about singling out a community. There are men and women of other religions and nationalities who struggle with English. Why didn't he mention them?
Our elders came to this country without knowing a word of English yet they managed to establish themselves through hard work and dedication. I am not against the concept of people learning English but I oppose discrimination against those who can't speak it fluently.
A few years ago, I was suffering from a serious back problem. I received help from a Chinese doctor (private) who struggled with the English language. I found it difficult to communicate with her but at the end of the day, she was the one who helped me to recover. The English speaking doctors (NHS) couldn't do much to help me. Therefore, let's not judge people on their language skills alone. There are people who can't speak English well but they make a positive contribution to society.
It's hypocritical of David Cameron to cut funds for English language courses and at the same time, insult those who can't speak the language. It's clear that the Conservatives want to establish a society in which the privileged and educated are given priority at all times. However, Britain is what it is today because of hard working people of all social backgrounds and that includes our elders who worked long and hard hours in factories - making a contribution to Britain, without knowing a word of English.
Sameer Hussain, Dadyal Online. 

Monday, 18 January 2016

Protests as Dadyal's Nadra Registration Office Shutdown

The Nadra registration office in Dadyal has been shutdown by authorities. The decision has angered the community which has led to several protests. Locals will now have to travel to the nearest office in Mirpur city in order to access ID card activation or renewal services as well as general enquiries. The additional cost and time involved in travel will be a significant problem especially for those who struggle to make ends meet.

Sunday, 17 January 2016

Two Women Brutally Beaten by Chaudhary Riyasat in Chattroh

Chattroh, Dadyal
: Chaudhary Riyasat of Chattroh brutally beat two women at their residence. The shocking incident took place after Riyasat's involvement in a divorce settlement case in which it was agreed that a husband would take custody of the child after divorcing his wife. Riyasat was involved in coordinating the settlement which stipulated that the father would take the child to the visit the mother at her residence in Chattroh every Sunday. 

On the first Sunday, problems arose when the father came to collect his son in the evening. On the same day, the mother's aunty had passed away which meant that her parents were not at home. The mother of the child insisted that her parents were on their way home and wanted them to meet her son before he was taken away. However, this angered the father who immediately contacted Chaudhary Riyasat to complain. Riyasat entered the mother's residence and took advantage of the fact that there were only two women at home. He went on to abuse the women using derogatory swear words and snatched the child from them. Riyasat brutally beat the women using sticks which led to them sustaining serious head injuries. The women had to have between 10 to 20 stitches each and are currently hospitalised

Initially, the police were not willing to register an FIR against Chaudhary Riyasat because he has links with influential people. However, an organisation known as 'Anjuman Nada-e-Haq' got involved in the case to support the innocent women, and an FIR has now been registered. But the police won't arrest Riyasat because he has links with senior officials who have given orders to protect him. None of Dadyal's political leaders have spoken up on the issue. 

It seems that the women are in a helpless situation; they have little hope of justice. However, a few prominent members of the community, including renown writer, Wahid Kashir, and social activists, Saleem Butt, Tayyab Aslam and Jamil Ahmed, as well as others, have highlighted the case on social media platforms such as Facebook. They intend to increase awareness of the case so that pressure is built up on the authorities and leadership to take action. They have become the voice of the voiceless and helpless women who are in desperate need of justice. 

Friday, 21 August 2015

Disappointment at the Pakistani Consulate New Office in Birmingham at The Wharf

Over the years, we have come across several stories regarding the poor level of customer service provided by the Pakistani consulate across various cities of UK. Here is a recent example of the poor level of service provided in Birmingham (August 21st, 2015):
I had to collect a passport for a family member and was told by the Pakistani consulate to collect it from their new Birmingham office, located at The Wharf (Bridge Street, B1 2JS). I was also given a document which had a collection time (2-3pm) and date on it.
Fully aware of the the lack of efficiency of the consulate, I decided to double check, to make sure that it was indeed the new office I had to collect the passport from, rather than the old one (Hockley, Birmingham).
My cousin went to the consulate a few weeks ago and was told that from Monday 17th August, all services would be shifted to the new office. I also noticed that a few Facebook friends had shared photos of the inauguration of the new office which took place last week.
I prayed Jumma and rushed out of the mosque and made it to the new office for 2pm because that was the collection time. As I was parking my car, I noticed a school friend who I hadn't seen in years (a major coincidence that his office was next to the new consulate and he happened to be returning from his break).
After a brief catchup, my friend explained that many people have been knocking the doors of the new consulate this week but there is no member of staff around. In fact, the consulate didn't even put a notice up. People were knocking on my friend's door to ask why the consulate was closed, so he decided to put up a notice explaining that the consulate is not open and people should go to the Hockley building instead.
If I didn't bump into a friend, I would have been waiting for an hour or so, thinking they might be running late after Jumma. Many others will have wasted a lot more time than me this week.
Now, the point is why on earth can't they give us a number which they actually answer and why couldn't they have the courtesy to stick up a notice themselves? Or perhaps even have a member of staff at the office to inform people? They clearly told us not to go to the old office and made it clear that we need to go to the new office from 17th August onwards.
There was no communication whatsoever from them, explaining that customers still had to go to the old office despite being told to go to the new one. They have our contact numbers and e-mail addresses in the Nadra database.
So I did go to the Hockley building and was relieved to finally get the passport. I complained to the member of staff who said that the seniors assumed everything could be shifted in a week but it wasn't possible and so on (they have an excuse for everything). But they knew about the move months ago. You do experience problems when moving offices but the fact that you can't be bothered to inform your customers who pay you for your services, is ridiculous.
I have had many other miserable experiences and head aches with the consulate as have many others no doubt. This is just one story which highlights the appalling level of customer service provided. I have heard many other stories which are much more shocking but I thought I'd share this with you all nevertheless.
The introduction of an online booking system is a move in the right direction but it seems that the lack of efficiency and poor quality service will continue overall. I'm glad I didn't have to go to London twice as I did last time but there is still a long way to go if they want to put an end to all this frustration and head ache that one has to put up with when it comes to ID cards and passports. Even when you take all the documents they request, they will ask for some irrelevant document which they won't even look at, just to be awkward.
The world has moved on and organisations are run with efficiency and focus on customer needs, but sadly we are having to put up with the worst level of customer service possible. This is what we get for loving our country and supporting it in every way possible.

Sunday, 16 August 2015

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