Friday, 17 Jumada al-thani 1440 | 2019/02/22
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بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

 Pakistan Headline News 08/02/2019

Headlines:

  • Pakistan’s Military Leadership Strives to Secure the US in Afghanistan through Talks, Whilst Ignoring the Pleas of the Muslims of Occupied Kashmir
  • Health Insurance Cards Will Raise Both Health Costs for People and Profits for Insurance Companies and Private Hospitals
  • Back-Breaking Gas Utility Bills Are Because of Pakistan’s Capitalist System

Details:

Pakistan’s Military Leadership Strives to Secure the US in Afghanistan through Talks, Whilst Ignoring the Pleas of the Muslims of Occupied Kashmir

According to its press release dated 4 February 2019, the ISPR reported that, “218th Corps Commanders’ Conference Confirms US Policy for the Region presided by General Qamar Javed Bajwa, Chief of Army Staff (COAS) held at GHQ.” The commanders of the world’s most powerful Muslim army expressed satisfaction over “progress on regional peace initiative especially Afghan reconciliation process.” As for Kashmir the forum “reviewed state of preparedness along Line of Control/ Working Boundary and Eastern Border to thwart any misadventure from across.”

It is an abysmal stance. On the one hand, the military leadership is striving to act as hired facilitators and go out of the way to secure the US a political settlement for their bases, private military contractors and troops after a partial withdrawal. While on the other hand, it considers that it is only when India crosses the Line of Control/ Working Border that it is a misadventure that deserves a response. However, India’s butchering of hundreds of Muslims within the space of a year is not regarded as a misadventure.

It is clear that the military leadership has abandoned the Kashmir issue in favor of India as the US wishes. They have no concern about the blood and honor of the Kashmiri Muslims even though RasulAllah (saw) said, «اَلْمُسْلِمُ أَخُو اَلْمُسْلِمِ، لَا يَظْلِمُهُ، وَلَا يَخْذُلُهُ»A Muslim is a Muslim’s brother. He does not wrong and does not abandon him. (Muslim). They do not regard repeated murders and violations of honor as misadventures deserving a jaw-breaking response even though Allah (swt) said,

﴿إِلاَّ تَنفِرُواْ يُعَذِّبْكُمْ عَذَاباً أَلِيماً

“If you march not forth, He will punish you with a painful torment.” [Surah At-Tauba 9:39]. They justify their spineless inaction using the strategic calculation of military intelligence and command as an excuse even though Allah (swt) assured the Muslims that,

﴿يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا إِن تَنصُرُوا اللَّهَ يَنصُرْكُمْ وَيُثَبِّتْ أَقْدَامَكُمْ

“O you who believe! If you help (in the cause of) Allah, He will help you and consolidate your foothold.” [Surah Muhammad 47:7].  They hold the violation of the Westphalian nation state principle more sacred than neglect of the commandment of Allah (swt) to help the Muslims even though Allah (swt) said,

﴿وَإِنِ ٱسْتَنصَرُوكُمْ فِى ٱلدِّينِ فَعَلَيْكُمُ ٱلنَّصْرُ

“If they seek your help in religion, it is your duty to help them.” [Surah al-Anfal 8:72]

Health Insurance Cards Will Raise Both Health Costs for People and Profits for Insurance Companies and Private Hospitals

Prime Minister Imran Khan at a ceremony in Islamabad on 4 February 2019 launched the first phase of the countrywide Sehat Insaf Card scheme to provide free medical treatment to approximately 80 million people. The card, which falls under the PTI's Sehat Sahulat Programme, was part of a health insurance scheme first launched by the party in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in 2016. In the scheme, citizens can get treatment at private and government hospitals via a health insurance card, whilst the premium of insurance companies shall be paid by the government.

Instead of overhauling the current health facility structure in the country by building high standard and large capacity state hospitals, the regime has left healthcare at the mercy of privately run hospitals and insurance companies. The regime is blindly imitating the capitalist US model, which has failed to secure the rights of the people. A US consumer report in 2007 called, “Are you really covered?” highlights that more than 40% of insured individuals reported that their plans do not adequately meet their needs. Almost all reports state that the insurance plan has failed to improve the overall health of the American people. Typical of capitalism, the masses are neglected for the profits of a few. Health insurances only increase the profitability of private hospitals and insurance companies. The Kaiser Family Foundation reports that health insurance costs are driven not only by the added cost of health insurers making their profits, but also by insurance stimulating the rise of health and administrative costs. Another study by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the Harvard School of Public Health reported that hospital use increased by 30% for those with insurance, with the length of hospital stays increasing by 30% and the number of procedures increasing by 45%. A 2019 paper by Stanford University and Wharton economists found that the expansion of Medicaid, the US government sponsored medical insurance, “produced a substantial increase in hospital revenue and profitability.”

Capitalism has failed to provide free of cost treatment to patients, whilst concentrating wealth in the hands of the owners of private hospitals and insurance companies. Islam alone will solve the problem of health facilities in Pakistan. Islam has declared health as a basic need of the society and the Khilafah must provide free treatment for its citizens regardless of their color, race or religion. RasulAllah (saw) said,

«يَا عِبَادَ اللَّهِ تَدَاوَوْا» “O servants of Allah seek treatment.” During the Battle of Khandaq, he (saaw) came across wounded soldiers and ordered a tent to be assembled to provide medical care. The institution of the “Bimiristan” (Abode of the Sick) was a great relief for the people in the Khilafah state throughout its history. The al-Mansuri Hospital, established in Cairo in 1283, had accommodation for 8,000 patients, with two nursing attendants for each patient. Every patient was provided bedding and vessels for eating. This hospital treated in-patients and out-patients, giving them free food and medicine. In the time of the Khilafah, there were mobile dispensaries and clinics for the proper medical care of the disabled and those living in the remote areas. The neglect of our health is another reminder of the urgent need for us to answer the call of Allah (swt) and His Messenger (saw) by establishing our great Deen to look after our affairs.

Back-Breaking Gas Utility Bills Are Because of Pakistan’s Capitalist System

Petroleum Minister, Ghulam Sarwar Khan, on 2 February 2019 admitted that inflated gas bills were a burden on consumers. He offered them a “relief” by saying they could pay the hefty bills in four equal instalments. The facility, according to the minister, will only be available to the consumers who have received bills of Rs. 20000 or more. The Sui Southern Gas Company Limited (SSGCL) and the Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) had been directed to refrain from cutting gas supply to such consumers for delayed payment.

On 17 September 2018, the PTI government increased natural gas prices by up to 143% to recover Rs94 billion from consumers in effect slashing consumer subsidies. At that time, the regime claimed that 98% percent of domestic consumers will not be severely affected by this increase. It claimed that a 10% and 30% rise for those who use less than 100 mmcfd and less than 400 mmcfd respectively. The regime claimed that only 2% of consumers will be burdened with a hefty rise of 143% in gas prices, who use more than 500 mmcfd. However, in the winter, the consumption of gas increases very significantly as domestic consumers use gas for heating rooms and warming water for ablution, besides cooking food. So, in winter even those consumers who use less than 100mmcfd usually go beyond 500 mmcfd. So, when domestic consumers received their gas bills this time in winter, most were shocked to see that their gas bills were two to three times more than last winter.

The people will never receive any respite under the current capitalist economic system. This economic system ensures that gas is private or state property. Currently, gas wells are either private property or in a private-state partnership. The private company or state charge excessively without regard for the hardship of the people. Private partners in gas break the backs of people to extract profits, whilst the state breaks the backs of the people to pay interest on loans, such that interest comprises three quarters of debt payments. In contrast to capitalism, Islam’s economic system stipulates that gas is public property in which the entire public are partners in its benefit. RasulAllah (saw) said, «الْمُسْلِمُونَ شُرَكَاءُ فِي ثَلَاثٍ الْمَاءِ وَالْكَلَإِ وَالنَّار» “The Muslims are partners in three things, waters, feeding pastures and fire.” (Ahmad). The term ‘fire' here includes all forms of energy used as fuel. In the Khilafah (Caliphate) on the Method of Prophethood gas is neither state nor private property, nor a private-state partnership. Gas will be public property which the state supervises as the representative of the people, so that they fully benefit of its price or its use. This command of Islam’s economic system would bring relief to domestic users, as well as the industrial, commercial and agricultural sectors in the form of affordable prices.

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