S.Korea Prosecutor Ready to Indict Impeached President Ms.Park:
Pakistan Supreme Court Sits on Nawaz Sharif Panama Case Judgement
Prosecutor Pushes for Indictment of South Korean President in Samsung Scandal
FEB. 28, 2017
Ms. Park’s presidential powers have been suspended since the impeachment vote in December. The Constitutional Court is expected to rule in the coming weeks on whether she should be reinstated or formally removed from office. Even if she resumes the presidency, her five-year term ends in February, after which she can face criminal charges.
On Monday, Ms. Park’s lawyer, Yu Young-ha, rejected the special prosecutor’s findings, saying his investigation was “politically biased” and “lacking in fairness.” He called the bribery allegation “an absurd fiction.”
But on Monday, Mr. Park, the special prosecutor, who is not related to Ms. Park, said his team found enough evidence that Ms. Park and her confidante, Choi Soon-sil, conspired to collect bribes from Samsung.
On Feb. 28, heindicted Lee Jae-yong,the third-generation scion of the family that runs Samsung, on charges of giving or promising $38 million in bribes to Ms. Park and Ms. Choi. He also added a bribery charge to the case against Ms. Choi, who is already on trial.
Mr. Lee offered the bribes in return for political favors from Ms. Park, most notably government support for a merger of two Samsung affiliates in 2015 that helped him inherit corporate control of the Samsung conglomerate from his incapacitated father, Lee Kun-hee, the prosecutor said.
Acting on Ms. Park’s order, her aides forced the government-controlled National Pension Service, a major shareholder at the two Samsung companies, to vote for the merger, though it was opposed by many minority shareholders and devalued the pension fund’s own stocks there, the prosecutor said.
On Monday, Samsung denied the special prosecutor’s findings.
“Samsung has not paid bribes nor made improper requests seeking favors,” it said in a statement. “Future court proceedings will reveal the truth.”
On Monday, Mr. Park, the special prosecutor, said that the president should also face a criminal charge of abusing official power, saying she conspired with aides to blacklist thousands of artists, writers, and movie directors deemed unfriendly to her government and exclude them from government-funded support programs.
Ms. Park also fired three senior Culture Ministry officials who had been reluctant to discriminate against some of the 9,473 names on the list, the prosecutor said. She demoted and later fired another senior ministry official who had angered Ms. Choi, her friend, by investigating allegations of corruption involving her family, the prosecutor said.
While blackballing unfriendly artists, Ms. Park’s office ensured that pro-government civic groups received special favors, he said.
It asked the Federation of Korean Industries, which lobbies on behalf of Samsung and other big businesses, to provide $5.9 million for those groups between 2014 and 2016, the special prosecutor said. Some of those groups, like the right-wing Korea Parent Federation, have held noisy protests in downtown Seoul calling the critics of Ms. Park “commies.”
Besides Samsung, scores of other South Korean companies were found to have made payments to two foundations controlled by Ms. Choi. But on Monday, the special prosecutor did not recommend further actions against them, and state prosecutors had earlier said that those companies were coerced to donate and were not engaged in bribery.
Ms. Park has repeatedly denied any legal wrongdoing, insisting that she was framed by hostile political forces and that she was not aware of any criminal conspiracy by Ms. Choi. She said she only let Ms. Choi edit some of her speeches and run her personal errands.
On Monday, the special prosecutor said Ms. Park and Ms. Choi had 573 phone conversations between April and October last year using cell phones issued under borrowed names. Of these calls, 127 took place between September, when Ms. Choi left for Germany, and October when she returned home to be arrested.
The prosecutor accused Ms. Park of impeding his investigation. She refused to be questioned by his investigators and also did not allow them to search her office. As a result, he said his team could not fully determine what she was doing at her residence for seven hours in April 2014, when a ferry loaded with hundreds of schoolchildren sank, killing more than 300.
Ms. Park said she was working at the time, getting reports on the disaster. But she has been haunted by lurid rumors, some of them claiming that she was having a romantic encounter or undergoing plastic surgery.
On Monday, the prosecutor said a cosmetic surgeon gave Ms. Park at least five simple face-lifting operations at her residence between 2013 and 2016. Even unlicensed people visited her there to give her nutritional shots and help her with kinesiotherapy and reiki, a form of traditional healing. But investigators could not find evidence that such things took place on the day of the ferry disaster.
1. SUPPORTING ZARDARI (2008-2011)
2. Giving Mujahidin List to India (1997)
3. Secret deal with Musharraf (Copy available on BBC Urdu website)
4. Corruption of 55 Arab Rupees to London (BBC News Documentary)
5. Money laundering 43 Arab Rs to Saudi Arab (Capitalism’s Achilles Heel Book)
6. Corruption of 40 Arab Rs in Motorway (BBC News documentary)
7. Corruption of 25 Arab Rs in Sasti Roti (Daily Express 13.03.2013)
8. Corruption of 13.5 Arab Rs in Yellow Cab Scheme (Daily Jang 29.04.2013)
9. Corruption of 29 Arab Rs in Metro Bus Scheme (Off the Record 05.03.2013)
10. Corruption of 18 Arab Rs in Karachi Shipyard Scam (1998)
11. Attack on Supreme Court (1997)
12. Beating Chief Justice with Shoes (1997)
13. Hudaibiya Paper Mill scam (1996)
14. Corruption of 22 Arab Rs reserved for Electricity Production (Punjab Budget 2012)
15. Secret Deal with Zardari
A few days back, an old acquaintance asked me about the future pattern of Punjab politics in the wake of a scam as big as the Panama Leaks. I told him nothing is likely to effect any change in the existing pattern of Punjab politics. Not a single parliamentarian has raised a voice or threatened to depose the current rulers because ‘the first family’ has off-shore companies and the source of capital invested is shrouded in obscurity. Of course it is corruption. But then isn’t that the way of life in the land of the pure? If it is an art, we have perfected it; if it is a science, we have excelled in it. More worryingly, we have accorded legitimacy to corrupt practices. In fact, we celebrate both corruption and the corrupt. In the Victorian era, man was defined as a symbol of masculinity, white (read Caucasian) and rational with values derived from the Christian faith. If we try to define Pakistani ‘man’, corruption has to be an essential trait that he is bound to carry in order to qualify as ‘man’. He also has to be yaran da yar, (friend of friends) which means a real ‘man’ shows no respect for any law or regulation when it comes to his friends, cronies or sidekicks. Thus in our case, violating the law or even constitution for that matter symbolises how powerful someone is. For the poor, corruption may be a means of climbing the social ladder but for the rich and affluent, corruption is the means to express power. Another acquaintance jestingly said the other day that he has tried to make a payment of a few dollars to get his name included in the list that has emerged out of Panama Leaks. I asked him why he did that, knowing he wasn’t serious. He replied that it was a sign of ‘respectability’; it becomes damn easy to marry off a daughter to a boy from a good family if you can affirm your wealth. Historians (particularly Edward Gibbon) have inferred from the past that when wealth becomes the principal determinant of the values that society respects, the fall of that society becomes inevitable. The same happened with the Romans and they fell, never to rise again. The generation of wealth and even more so its distribution should be carried out through mutually agreed regulations, which the Romans started flouting with impunity, and hence their fall. For the poor, corruption may be a means of climbing the social ladder but for the rich and affluent, corruption is the means to express power. Indeed, it needs no less than a miracle for any nation/civilization to rejuvenate itself. China can be put forth as one rare example. But it too will have to go a long way to match the sole super power, USA. Another of my friends says, “corruption and Pakistan are like two peas in a pod”. His observation seems sweeping, yet it cannot be easily denied. The first and foremost cause of corruption was embedded in the cataclysmic event of Partition. This is depicted in the relevant chapters from the works of Ilyas Chattha, Urvashi Butalia, Yasmin Khan and Vazira Zamindar. Such events as the partition of India are no less than the upheavals of history bringing about the tectonic shift in the established norms of sociology and culture. As a consequence of an event of such magnitude, usually a break from the past (though selective) is intended which causes rupture in the centuries-old tradition. The process of evolution which is usually gradual and steady is markedly disrupted. Such disruptions tear the affected people apart from the socio-cultural norms and practices which have hitherto defined their collective ethos. Every one, in such a scenario, is running for life. En masse relocation and genocide, such as were concomitant to partition, gave a big blow to the sensibility that binds people together. Many living the life of relative deprivation in united India saw Pakistan as a land of opportunities, and came to the newly-founded country for economic gains. In the newly established state of Pakistan, regulatory structures were not in place to check any arbitrary practice aiming to amass wealth or to grab property. Thus the people who could, did all that was possible to secure wealth. Partition catapulted many from rags to riches. These sort of sudden changes contravene the smooth and gradual process of evolution, which people find really hard to come to terms with. Another cataclysmic event was secession of East Pakistan, which gave a big jolt to the morale of the people. The trust in the future of the country was considerably undermined, a ripe situation in which corruption could proliferate. Unfortunately Pakistan’s politics, right from the outset, was marred by inconsistent transitions. One political order was substituted by the other, with the two having hardly anything in common. Hence, the transition was abrupt and instantaneous. Political compromises of the oddest kind were made merely for personal gains. Characters like Ghulam Muhammad, Iskander Mirza and Ayub Khan did not allow institutions to germinate and blossom. The will of the people was not sought, in the first place; if and when elections were held, non-political actors wielded more power than the elected ones. Therefore, institutions remained weak and their fate uncertain. Religious ideology was deployed for self-legitimisation with disastrous consequences. In such a scenario, when state institutions were weakened beyond measure, corruption flourished rampantly. Such political choices made by the Pakistani elite conjured up a social fabric which was amenable to practices which were corrupt to the core. I do believe that a social movement spearheaded by the intelligentsia can stall that trend. But Pakistan’s history fails to register the existence of any social movement aimed at raising awareness among the people about such an issue of wider significance. So, thus far, there is no hope for a corruption-free Pakistan.
This is Nawaz Shareef’s third tenure as a Prime Minister of Pakistan and look like he has gained very little in respect to the political maturity, international affairs awareness and leadership vision. In this short blogs i will try to highlight few of his biggest blunders according to my opinion and will try to explain what he did wrong.
Change of Route of Pak-China Economic Corridor
Pak-China Economic Corridor is one of the most forward looking economic project of Nawaz Shareef’s current tenure. In a sense i feel its the need of the hour not only for economy of Pakistan but its security stability and unity. Road not only bring traffic but also economic activity, prosperity to the land and also reduce hatred and terrorism. According to the original plan the economic corridor was suppose to go through Balochistan and KPK into the china. Currently all Pakistan’s infrastructure is present on the eastern side and this economic corridor will provide much needed infrastructure development on the western side. Western side is also the side troubled with terrorism and sense of depravity and this development will increase the harmony and reduce the terrorism.
But recently PML-N decided to change the route and take it through Lahore. Lahore already is over populous and full of infrastructure and this would have created more chaos and congestion to the over crowded city.
Then the mistake over the mistake was the statement they give for the change of route that the security was lacking. There are two problems with this statement. Is PML-N not in government? do they not plan to improve the security? and secondly are the not giving the message that only Punjab is safe.? so are they acknowledging that their government has failed in improving security and have no plan to improve the security.
Thirdly this project is multi billion rather trillion ruppee project once the road is finalized you cant just pick it up and take it somewhere else so one excuse should not over shadow other important gains like giving the strategic depth, development of the western side, improvement of the harmony among people by improving travelling. opening new routes. enabling the development of the under developed areas and so many more benefits.
Cyber Security Bill
Cyber Security Bill is also one of the high level blunder. This is one of the most ill concived bill in which freedom of speech is restricted and this will give rise to more anti-government sentiments. Social Media was one of the few places where government managed to get some support against the dharna politics of Imran Khan Now they are trying to block it and it will hurt them more in the future then gaining them anything in the present. Most form of the criticism is blocked according to this bill.
I am not against having some restrictions but according to the bill even making political cartoons is a crime. The other issue is the government has not given his view. If they have all these points in the bill for some specific reason then they should commnicate to the masses. But unfortunately tnawaz shareef lack of democratic views and keeping quiet s hurting more than serving him
Enactment of Military Courts
This is one of the biggest blunder of internal politics. The PML-N enactment of military courts is a message that government is incapable and cannot fix the judicial system of the country. If we go by this logic then the government should not criticize dictatorship or dictators because they also believe that democratic system has not produced results for Pakistan and therefore dictators should be allowed to the govern Pakistan. There government says that democracy should be given time to strengthen then why not give time and direction and make effort to fix the judicial system of Pakistan also to make it more effective.?
Failure to understand Sindh
Although federal government is considered to be representative of all Pakistan and PML-N also waste no time in saying that it got votes and seats in all provinces o the Pakistan but its hidden thing that PML-N is highly disliked by people of Karachi in unanimity. Looking at various steps of the ruling party PML-N it come as no surprise.
Firstly they have highly incapable president of Sindh PML-N. A president of sindh PML-N can not win his own seat even a provincial seat. He has no backing plus he is notorious. Secondly the the mentality of Karachi voter is highly different then the thinking of Punjabi voter.
Secondly just before the election PML-N included candidates or made alliances with the parties who were notorious and with little support on the ground. After these parties lost they again split from PML-N. So instead of giving exposure to some of their own capable candidate they relied on external unreliable support. Then PML-N Sindh has no voice and even when rarely they make a statement they make a stupid one.
Lack of Foreign Minister
May be in its effort to keep the government size manageable PML-N federal government tried to restrict the number of ministers. But not appointing a dedicated Foreign Minister PML-N just shows that either they are incapable of understanding foreign affairs. ? or they lack a good personality to handle foreign affairs or foreign affairs matters are not in their control. All three meanings shows a blunder and nothing else on PML-N part
They also have some of the worst ministers in IT. Even water and power minister have failed to end load shedding or give a clear vision.
Large delays in Appointing on Key Posts
Nawaz Shareef seems to be incapable of making a decision. Number of key bureaucratic and head of departments post which required agreement with opposition leader like chairman NAB takes a long long time in getting appointment. They get appointed in the end because of strict warnings from the Supreme Court Judges. When a person is incapable of simply appointing key positions with honest and well reputed people in timely fashion then it leaves a big question mark on his decision making skills.
Development of Lahore Karachi Motorway
I am always pro infrastructure projects. but there has to be limit to the amount of such projects especially if its destroying your most fertile land and giving no benefit at all. There are now number of links from Lahore to Multan so developing yet another road from Lahore to Multan for Lahore Karachi motorway is simply like cutting your limb. Pakistan already is facing heaving reduction in agricultural land. We just need to develop the missing roads between Lahore Karachi and should use the existing infrastructure as much as possible.
Without having a dedicated foreign minister its no surprise that PML-N made number of blunders on Yemen Affair. Yemen affair has number of significance. Our trusted friend Saudi Arabia first time asked for help. Nawaz Shareef agreed to provide this help. Suddenly media started maligning campaign against this issue, openly accusing Nawaz Shareef under personal gains helping Saudi Arabia without realizing that our existence is largely thanks to Saudi Arabia help which have never shied from helping us in our time of trouble.
Blunder 1: Government gives no directives to media not malign our trusted friend. (When Musharraf sent NS to Saudi Arabia under the deal he directed media not malign Saudi Arabia in this affair)
Blunder 2:Under pressure from Media and probably Army, Nawaz shareef tried to back track from its commitment and for this calls a joint session. This joint session started talking foul about Saudi Arabia. It is Saudi that helped us when we were put under economic sanctions and its Saudia that has helped monetarily whenever we asked. The joint session speakers started speaking in favor of Iran who deliberately tried to roll back our nuclear program by informing about our help to Iran. Dr. Abdul Qadeer father of Pakistan nuclear capability is penalized because of Iran’s effort.
Nawaz Shareef should have called a meeting with the parliamentary leaders and should have given them directives not to use any foul languages against our trusted Saudi friends
Nawaz Shareef should atleast have told his own party members that they should not take a position against Saudi Arabia.
Blunder 3:Iran FM visited Pakistan and Saudi Arabia also announced to send its representative to Pakistan.. PM after meeting the Iranian FM passes resolution in the join session regarding Yemen conflict which sound n favor or Iranian point of view before even the meeting with the Saudi delegation is held. So a message is sent to our friend that dont come we have already accepted Iran point of view. A country which has number of times violated our sovereignty and killed our soldiers. What a stupid message to give our friend Saudi Arabia.
Blunder 4:When our friends gave a well deserved harsh response to our parliamentary resolution then our Interior Minister who is mostly missing and never found giving a statement on matters related to interior minister gave an even more damaging response. Come on cant the Prime Minister tell his minister to shut up instead of burning to ashes our friendship with the most loyal friends.
Blunder 5:When some section of media highlighted the contribution of Saudi Arabia after our nuclear blast, PML-N finance minister gave a statement in denial of those gifts and concessions and contribution. So now we showed to our friend that we are one undeserving and inconsiderate friend.
Just to wrap up. I feel that Nawaz Shareef is far from the leader the Pakistan needs at this time. His decision making leaves a lot to be desired. He lacks total understanding of foreign affairs. His political skills and political sense are very weak and incapable of developing further. This may turn out to be the bigger threat for PML-N then any other party including PTI