Joke of the year

Dr Humayun Huma

Few days ago, I was really astonished to receive an official letter from the Divisional Superintendent of Postal Services in Mardan Division, which is considered a seat of most responsible authority of the Pakistan Post offices from Mardan to Chitral.

I was informed through the letter that my registered packed book (which I had sent in September) from Sheikh Maltoon Post Office, as per their record, had been delivered to the addressee on September 17, 2019 so the case may be considered as closed. The addressee, Mushtaq Shabab, when I contacted on phone, said that he did not receive the book. So, it is obvious that the letter is still on the way or gone astray.

But the postal official stated in his letter that the book had been delivered to its destination and thus my case had been closed. However, this is a one sided and dictatorial decision and cannot be accepted while I consider it as a joke of the year and the Pakistan Post thus ended my case in their opinion but I think it is the beginning of the end.

Let me first narrate a 64 years old story. It was 1956 when my maternal uncle Sultan Alam Khan Khilji sent me an ordinary letter from Bhopal, India, when no Google Earth or, internet was in existence at that time. My uncle wrote on the envelope ‘Baghdad’ instead of Baghdada, my native village, adjacent to Mardan Cantt. Can one believe that letter was redirected from Baghdad with the remarks “It may be Baghdada, a small village in district Mardan, Pakistan” and my father received that ordinary letter after one month.

And now listen to this new story, I sent an important book with certain documents to my friend Mushtaq Shabab, a Peshawar-based renowned journalist and writer who worked as Programme Manager and now is the Secretary of Abasin Arts Council, Peshawar.

The packet was dispatched to him from Sheikh Maltoon Post Office on September 16, 2020 under registered cover. When that packet was not delivered at its destination, I sent a letter to the  Superintendent Postal Services Mardan with a copy of the registry. On October 11, 2019 he asked me to provide the particulars of the addressee. It was just delaying tactics and to linger on the case. I had already mentioned them in the first letter, however, I provided the required information.

My old student Fazl-e-Mabood who served in the Forest Department as an officer, told me that once the service book of his forest guard was lost during the transit through a registered post, it was essential that the service book of a government servant must be transferred through Pakistan Post through a registry and no one was allowed to carry the service book by hand because of risks, security, theft and loss. Many complaints and enquiries were carried out but it came to nothing and we made his service book from his service record of more than 25 years.

Here it is to be mentioned that Murad Saeed, the Minister of State has been made the Federal Minister of Communications by the Prime Minister Imran Khan because of his good performance, so he should take serious notice of this state of affairs.

To conclude, my friend Dr Javed Khattak clearly termed this lame excuse of the Divisional Superintendent as a criminal negligence and Nisar Akhtar, a friend of mine commented that all the institutions had lost all the moral, legal and professional obligations.

The writer is a senior columnist, author, poet, playwright and educationist based in Mardan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. He can be reached at:

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