Since long more particularly from the era of Shaukat Aziz a tendency erupted that the government organizations having huge funds started investing in “not-so-safe” ventures. In as much as the newspapers alleged a few years back a Registrar of a superior court having kept official money in his personal account or perhaps investing the same in a bank where it was almost lost. A fortnight back the serious newspaper Daily Jang and The News carried an article disclosing how allegedly corruption was prevailing in some of the organizations named therein. One such an organization which collects regular monthly prescribed contributions from the industrial employers for payment to labourers as pension, was alleged to be trying to invest the funds in purchase of a five star hotel in Islamabad. According to the newspaper the hotel owner wants to get rid of the hotel. Some of the government departments in the past have invested into not-so-sound investments causing losses. During the last 10 years whenever there was dive in stock exchange shares (deliberately manipulated) it is a known fact the Government just to keep raising slogans that the economy was boosting, unofficially directed Departments having big funds to invest and buy shares to give artificial life to the exchange as the financial oxygen is regularly provided to the sick PIA.
Overseas Pakistanis Foundation also has a very huge Fund which is not of the government but consists of Overseas Pakistanis (OPs) own contributions. How much it is? it has never been disclosed though I do remember occasionally in the past some voices were raised by some quarters. To the best of my memories in 1997 OPF Convention in Islamabad someone spoke that a brief summary of OPF balance sheet should annually be released for information of those whose money it was namely the OPs. OPF invested in one and only one industrial unit three decades back which unit no body today is ready to buy. Pakistan Post Office some years back wonderfully planned buying its own aero planes for lifting mail. Pakistan Railways a year back floated the marvelous idea of having its own top class hotels after attaining the par excellence in its railway dining car standards. And so on. Had the Government Departments even fractionally been successful in running the industrial units, then the principle of privatization would never had had arisen. The strange game is , for example the Karachi Electric Supply Corporation was sold in the so called name of privatization strangely enough the terms of which sale are not known to the nation automatically suggesting how much transparency was in the deal . Now same voices who earlier advocated for privatization of KESC have started coming up to re-nationalize the KESE which is nothing than that some vested interests in the potentially government controlled KESC would meet their interests and one day, say after 10 years or so, a new summary will come up to re-privatize under further transparent manner. Sometime early 2000s an idea was raised some where to include OPF in privatization process.
I think OPs must also spare some moments to seriously think that their money in shape of OPF funds is lying in huge. One way or the other there must be some watch to ensure its health is sound and that it is breathing smoothly. The Associations, Clubs of Overseas Pakistanis abroad should think over that the OPF members at least annually have a printed shape report about OPF activities in connection with collective-welfare of OPs including a summary of balance sheet. Some where in my mind it is that sometime I approach formally My Lordship Mr. Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Choudhary, Chief Justice of Pakistan as a community interest matter that OPs like me whose money has transformed into a huge fund should have at least a brief balance sheet as in case of putting some money even Rs. 1000 in a stock exchange company I regularly receive annual financial reports. But I wish someway I know if my idea has some weight or I am just a fool thinking like it.