This week 50 years ago: Teachers’ rights, duties and protest – Journal

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Half a century ago, Karachi’s cosmopolitanism was not limited only to the ethnic plurality of its population; it was also the diversity of socio-political ideas that the city adopted over the years that set it apart from the rest of the cities in the country.

For example, on September 19, 1972, it was reported that MP Mir Ali Ahmed Talpur, speaking at a widely attended public meeting on the anniversary of Ho Chi Minh’s death at Theosophical Hall, reminded the people that rights and duties go hand in hand. In Pakistan, he says, people always ask for their rights but never care about duties.

Discussing the efforts of the country’s President Zulfikar Ali Bhutto to solve various problems of workers, laborers and peasants, he hoped that the President would prove himself worthy of the trust that the compatriots had placed in him. He paid tribute to Ho Chi Minh for his historic struggle against imperialist forces, saying that the Vietnamese people under his dynamic leadership had weakened the imperialists and their struggle had become an eternal source of courage and inspiration for small nations.

Another Bhutto hit the headlines on September 20 as the day before Chief Minister Mumtaz Ali Bhutto’s retention was challenged in the High Court of Sindh and Balochistan. According to Dawn, an amended written petition, filed on behalf of Pakistan Democratic Party Chairman Moulvi Mohammad Yousuf, claimed that Sindh’s chief minister had resigned from his post following the language controversy. The resignation submitted to the Governor of Sindh was eventually transmitted to the President of Pakistan. By tendering his resignation, Mr. Mumtaz Bhutto had ceased to remain the Chief Minister under Subsection 10 of Section 104 of the Interim Constitution, he added.

The other issue at the time that was regularly discussed in the media was the nationalization of educational institutions.

On September 22, the Sindh Private Teachers Association staged a peaceful protest outside Memon Masjid and sold newspapers to raise token funds for their cause. They demanded the immediate payment of salaries – most teachers had not been paid for five months by the management of private schools. They insisted that the nationalization of schools be done in a single phase in order to avoid complications and difficulties for a large number of teachers. In another meeting held at the Nazimabad Muslim Girls Secondary School under the auspices of the Karachi Teachers’ Federation, a 12-point demand charter was drawn up. They included: All the rights, benefits and privileges given to college teachers should also be given to those who taught in the schools after the nationalization process ended.

From Wages to Taxes: On September 23, Provincial Minister for Industries, Mineral Development, Excise and Taxation Kasim Haji Abbas Patel paid a surprise visit to the Engine Registration Wing office in Karachi. He disapproved of the prevailing system of tax collection through post offices for vehicles with five seats or less, which led to tax evasion and leakage and the issuance of false certificates. He was of the opinion that collection through regular banks would help put an end to tax evasion.

This shows how old and pretty much unsolved the problem of tax evasion is.

Posted in Dawn, September 19, 2022

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