Are we witnessing the last days of Nawaz Sharif? I don’t know so perilous is our situation and so perfidious have our ruling classes become. It can be said with a certain modicum of confidence though that we are witnessing the beginning of the end. How long it takes is anyone’s guess.
Whether Nawaz Sharif stays or goes matters little in the long sweep of things. His departure will cause temporary titillation to many and fuel our loquacious chattering class and chai khanas, but then what? Another election? In this odious system, we will only get another Nawaz Sharif or Asif Zardari. So?
The question that matters most is: are we witnessing the end of our putrid, loathsome political system that throws up gangsters, plunderers, and killers? If that is so, then there is much to celebrate for change for the better is better than no change at all. Hopefully, it will be a change toward a just and egalitarian system that would rid us of this huge gang of thieves who have not only occupied every lever of government but of business and agriculture as well and everything that comes with them. All — repeat all — institutions and regulatory bodies have collapsed: you only have to meet or even see their heads and you will believe me even though they are unbelievable.
The good thing that may come out of Nawaz Sharif’s departure is the process of change to another system. That means changing the Constitution that has been reduced to a joke by repeated governments, legislatures and unelectable goofs masquerading as politicians. That’s all very well, but how can change take place that is good and lasting? Who will do it? The army? Forsooth. They have tried it four times before and not only fallen flat on their faces every time, shining stars and all, but created and left behind many of our greatest problems for us to suffer. Our biggest problems are our political leaders: remember that Bhutto, Nawaz Sharif and Altaf Hussain are all creatures of the army, as are many others. So are the Taliban, Afghan, and Pakistani, as too numerous other terrorist groups. So too the vice-like economic and political embrace of America that has put us into neo-colonialism. Now, fittingly, the army is left to clean up its own mess, to put it politely. Yes, he who makes a mess should clean it too.
Ajit Doval, Head of India’s RAW Spreads Terror in Pakistan
What compounds our problems is that many if not most of these terrorist groups have been taken over by our neighbours to the left of us and to the right of us. To the front of us across the seven seas is our greatest ‘ally’, financier and ‘banker’ of last resort that also uses these neighbours against us. Even worse, they also run many of our politicians in power and outside, media, academia and what have you. All this destabilizes Pakistan further. Worse still, the place is crawling with Indian, Afghan and American spies, many of whom are Pakistanis to boot. Many of our terrorists are foreigners too.
Whose fault is it? Squarely our governments and only our governments for not recognizing right from wrong, for not knowing what is good for us and what is not. It also lies on us the people for getting inveigled into repeatedly ‘electing’ and tolerating such misleading ‘leaders’ and accepting this alien political system that works not for them but for their oppressors. That’s called ‘democracy’ Pakistani style, a ‘democracy’ that only creates civilian dictatorships worse than military dictatorships.
So who can change the system? As world history shows, it has to be “we the people”, if necessary at the point of a sword.
To top it all, there is the Panama scandal that has embroiled Nawaz Sharif and family in plunder and corruption untold. It has been so embarrassing for us that our prime minister, his wife, and children, defended by their courtiers and courtesans like well-trained hounds, that one feels loathe talking about it to foreigners. But talk we must, if nothing else because that’s all we seem to be good at. Thus a desperate people are coming up with all sorts of bizarre but diverting theories. The best is: will Nawaz Sharif lose or will the Supreme Court? If it is the latter then Pakistan loses and we will be left with no civilian institution at all, only the army but for how long without a strong civilian government to back it?
Meantime, Pakistan’s economy is in a steep nosedive from which pulling up is becoming very difficult if not already impossible. But remember that ashes are a necessary precondition for a phoenix to rise.
In all this multifaceted mess Pakistan has reached the inflection point, to put it mildly. No wonder that the military has finally been forced to do what the ‘elected’ governments despised doing: go after terrorists of all ilk countrywide. Thus the military has launched an operation to root out this menace through the length and breadth of Pakistan. They call it, confusingly, ‘Raad ul Fasaad’ which is better spelled ‘Rudd ul Fasad’. ‘Raad’ (or ‘Rudd’) means ‘rejection’ and the Quranic word ‘Fasad’ means discord and disharmony. So it means, literally, ‘Rejection of Discord and Disharmony’.
But it’s not so simple. You cannot get rid of Fasad without getting rid of ‘Fitna’ that causes Fasad. ‘Fitna’ literally mean mischief-maker or mischief-makers. That means getting rid of economic terrorism, people or groups or countries that enable, finance, help, and give refuge etc. to terrorists in their personal and official capacities. That includes Pakistanis and foreigners, individuals, organizations, and governments local and foreign. In Pakistan, our Fitnas are our governments and politicians, many of our seminaries and sermon-spewing mullahs in mosques, some journalists in print and television, academia, the bureaucracy and yes, many people in the military, though it seems the last are declining. And many others.
When they launched anti-terrorist operations in the mountains and countryside, apart from Karachi, they would have known that many terrorists would melt away into the cities, as too India and Afghanistan. But fighting guerilla wars in cities is another kettle of fish. It could cause great destruction and loss of innocent civilian lives. Just look at Aleppo and Mosul: all rubble.
Some wiseacres say that the launching of the countrywide military operation is a hidden coup — a coup behind a veil. Good, because the usual upfront coup will come to a cropper as usual, not because the army as a whole lacks patriotism but because of lack of understanding of how to run a complicated and diverse country like Pakistan. They’re not trained for it.
A useful coincidence is that the army will also be conducting the much-delayed countrywide census beginning next month from March. Perfect time for it not only to count all citizens but also to check all abodes for hidden weapons and terrorists.
I’ll not even try to address the mindless question whether the “army and the civilian government are on the same page”. Patently they are not; else either the prime minister or at least his interior minister would have announced the operation. The prime minister is wasting time gallivanting in Turkey; the interior minister is nowhere to be seen. The prime minister was obviously not even asked; he was just informed and there was precious little he could do about it. That is the fruit of dereliction of duty.
To underline how wonky our priorities have become, most people are taken up with the irrelevant question of holding the final of the cricket Pakistan Super League in Lahore. What will that prove? It will require the waste of time of many law enforcement personnel apart from a colossal waste of money that could be better used in improving the human condition. They think that it will prove that Pakistan is not a terrorism-prone country. Tell that to the sailors. Yes, it will further bloat a lot of already bloated egos and prolong many a job of the unfit, that’s all.
To be sure what’s happening in Pakistan is not in a vacuum. It is part of the great global change that is taking place, the shift of the political, military and economic center of gravity from east to west. Which side the camel sits on and what color the new skin the Leviathan takes remains to be seen, but at the risk of sounding racist, it could be yellow and the world could be eating with chopsticks in the not too distant future. I love China and the Chinese.
Sharif family has owned London flats since ’90s: BBC report
BYHAMID KHAN WAZIR
PTI Spokesman Naeemul Haq says PM will have to surrender before the law of the land The news report by BBC Urdu regarding Sharif family’s London flats has helped the claims of Pakistan.
The news report by BBC Urdu regarding Sharif family’s London flats has helped the claims of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) who now say that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has been left with no option but to surrender before the law of the land.PTI Central Secretary Information Naeemul Haq, in reaction over the BBC Urdu report, has stated that the report has completely exposed the lies of the premier before the nation.He said that the PM could have avoided this humiliation had he not lied before the nation.The BBC Urdu report says that the properties owned by the Sharif family in London’s upscale Park Lane neighborhood were purchased in the 1990s and there has been no change of ownership since then.According to official documents available withBBC Urdu, the four flats were purchased in the name of the Nielsen and Nescoll companies.
Naeemul Haq said that Nawaz Sharif has wasted nine months to provide cover to his lies.
“The PM lied on the floor of the Parliament and before the nation; he changed his lawyers time and again to conceal his lies in the apex court,” he added.
Naeemul Haq said that despite efforts by the ruling party, they have failed to hide the truth from the public.
He said that Nawaz Sharif has no way to escape accountability, adding that the premier and his family did not take those who published Panama Leaks to the court. He said that PTI will see whether the family will sue BBC Urdu for its report.
According to the documents, an official record of companies doing business in the United Kingdom reveals that when Hassan Nawaz established Flagship Investment Ltd in 2001, the address he provided at the time of registration of the company was that of his Park Lane apartment.
According to the report, Neilson and Nescoll purchased the following flats: Flat 17 on June 1, 1993; Flat 16 on July 31, 1995; Flat 16A on July 31, 1995; and Flat 17A on July 30, 1996. There has been no change in ownership since then.
After the Panama Papers were published, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s son, Hussain Nawaz, had accepted the family’s ownership of Nielsen and Nescoll.
Hussain had said: “The Park Lane apartments in London are ours, two offshore companies, Nielsen and Nescoll, own these flats and I am the beneficial owner of these companies, working under a trust held by my sister Maryam Nawaz Sharif.”
Flat 12A is owned by Flagship Investment Company since 2004. Hassan Nawaz is the director of Flagship which was created in 2001, the report added.
ISLAMABAD: Until now we knew that Premier Nawaz Sharif’s children owned two offshore companies — Nescol Ltd and Nielsen Enterprises Ltd — but now a third company, Coomber Group, has cropped up while the Sharif family is struggling to prove the money trail for the purchase of luxury flats in London.
In the documents submitted to the Supreme Court in the Panamagate case, the Sharif family has attached two different deeds where Maryam Safdar is a trustee of her brother’s companies.
On February 2, 2006, Premier Sharif’s daughter signed a declaration with her brother Hussain Nawaz as a trustee in his two companies Nescol and Nielsen. The same day, she signed a similar declaration with him for another company, Coomber Group, in which he owns 49% shares.
This third company is likely to be the focus of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s legal team in the next hearing scheduled for December 6.
After a two-week hiatus when a five-member bench of the apex court resumed hearing on Wednesday, the PTI legal team raised more than 10 questions to establish their case.
Agreeing to some of the arguments put forward by PTI’s lead counsel Naeem Bukhari, some judges observed that the Sharif family was ‘hiding’ facts about the ownership of the offshore companies as some necessary documents still seem to be missing in their replies.
The judges also raised questions on the money trail the Sharif family has so far submitted before the court and pointed out missing links. The missing details included banking transactions or any other channels through which money had been transferred from Dubai to Qatar and then to London to acquire the expensive property in an upscale neighborhood of London.
One of the judges also pointed out that there were two contradictory descriptions on the part of the Sharif family. One was narrated by the prime minister on the floor of parliament, claiming his family had set up a factory in Jeddah in 1999 using money from the Gulf Steel Mills it had established in Dubai, and later the Saudi factory had been sold to buy London properties.
Justice Ijaz ul Ahsan, agreeing with Bukhari’s contention, said that the other narrative came from the written replies the Sharif family has submitted before the court in which the Jeddah factory has no mention and the money trail has been directly established from selling the UAE factory to investments with the Qatari royal family.
An affidavit submitted on behalf of a Qatari prince claims that the London flats had been given in the ownership of Hussain Nawaz in 2006 as part of a business deal against investments made by his late grandfather with his family in the real estate business in the early 1980s.
To substantiate this account, the Sharif family had submitted another affidavit from Tariq Shafi, a cousin of Premier Nawaz who actually owned the business in Dubai in the 1970s. According to him, he was working on behalf of his uncle, the late father of Premier Nawaz. All shares in those businesses in Dubai were sold in 1980, generating 12 million UAE dirhams. The bench observed that Shafi’s signature on the affidavit did not match with the signature on the agreement.
Bukhari contended that despite having a liability of 14 million dirhams to Bank of Credit & Commerce International Dubai (BCCI), the Sharif family had invested 12 million dirhams in Qatar in 1980. He went on to state that there was not a single document produced by the Sharif family to establish how the money had been sent from Pakistan to Dubai, Qatar, Jeddah, and London.
Justice Asif Khosa observed that there was no banking trail of transfer of money from Dubai to London. He, however, asked the PTI counsel to establish that the Sharif family was the owner of these flats prior to 2006.
“If you establish a connection with this property prior to 2006, then the burden of proof will be shifted to other side. Show us the connection as this is your entire case,” Justice Khosa observed. However, he said Premier Nawaz in his speeches talked about the trail of the money as he may forget.
Justice Azmat Saeed Sheikh, who has expertise in white-collar crimes, raised several questions about the money trail of the Sharif family’s London flats. No explanation has been given about how the family had cleared liability to the BCCI. He also observed that there was no explanation from the Sharif family that how had they gotten the money to set up Jeddah Steel Mills.
He was also surprised how the respondents had hidden the name of the owner of the Minerva Officer Limited, which was a shareholder of Nielsen and Nescol in 1994.
“No supportive document has been submitted to establish the ownership of Minerva. Why this information is being hidden from the bench,” Justice Azmat remarked. The judge also observed that the bench was conducting the inquisitorial proceedings in this matter.
Earlier, Bukhari pointed out that Premier Sharif has made contradictory statements regarding the ownership of the London flats. He also stated that the prime minister has evaded tax, adding that Marriam Nawaz Sharif was a dependent and remain a dependent. The Qatari prince’s letter has totally negated the prime minister’s earlier stance.
The case was adjourned until next Tuesday.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 1st, 2016.
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