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Archive for category Pakistan’s Hall of Shame

Third party experiment in choppy waters – Asif Haroon Raja

Third party experiment in choppy waters

Asif Haroon Raja

 

 

In the 73 years political history of Pakistan, the civilians ruled for 40 years and the military for 33 years. While Field Marshal Ayub Khan, Gen Zia-ul Haq and Gen Musharraf ruled for over 10, 11 and 9 years respectively, no civilian ruler completed his/her 5 year tenure. Prolonged military rules made the senior army officers affluent and they made a place in the privileged club. Frequent military interventions bred civil-military tensions and both sides blamed each other for failing to make Pakistan a prosperous country. While the politicians term the military rulers as power hungry dictators and anti-democratic, and hold them responsible for not letting the democracy to grow, the army generals perceive the politicians as corrupt, security risk, and inept having no sense of governance and management. The three military rulers uplifted the GDP to above 7% due to continuity, one window operation, superior management and governance, but were unable to widen the base of education, improve literacy rate, reform the state institutions and establish true democracy. The politicians neither paid any attention to the education, nor reformed the institutions, or improved the tainted political culture. They were satisfied with the British inherited systems and were content in running sham democracy since it  enabled them to break or bend laws and indulge in corrupt practices without any check and balance. The bureaucrats who are the real power wielders and the judiciary played their part in keeping politics in choppy waters.

Three-tiered education system, feudalism, religious divides, secular-Islamic divide, rise of ethnicity and mushroom growth of provincial parties obstructed nationalism and integration of the society. Leadership crisis encouraged India and Afghanistan to exploit these fault lines, fuel regionalism and make use of 5th columnists to disturb law and order or to foment insurgency.  As a consequence, the country kept lurching from one crisis to another and never got politically stabilized, and economically sound. Unstable political and economic conditions, craze for materialism among the elites, ever widening gap between the rich and the poor, insensitivity of the selfish affluent class towards the deprived class, media emerging as the 4th pillar of the state but using its power wrongfully, all these factors deflected the nation away from the golden principles of Islam, and pushed the society towards the satanic path, which degenerated the moral turpitude of the society as a whole. Well-knowing that the hand of law will not touch them because of their influence and power of money, politicized police and bureaucracy and highly defective criminal judicial system, the evildoers commit all sorts of sins and heinous crimes without any fear. 

Irrespective of internal weaknesses and tense external environments, fighting three wars with India and losing the eastern limb, Pakistan’s Rupee value, its GDP, per capita income and overall economy were much stronger than the regional countries till 1990. Starting from 1953, Pakistan extended financial support to Saudi Arabia till mid-1970s. The rot started during the third democratic era of 1990s during which the two competing mainstream parties, PPP and PML-N, indulged in fierce tug of war, nepotism and in corrupt practices. Merit was set aside and loyalty to the ruling party head and not honesty and professional competence became the criteria for selection of senior bureaucrats, police officers, judges and bank managers. Same criteria was applicable for the cabinet ministers and advisers as well as the service chiefs. In a decade, all state institutions were politicized and destroyed. Gen Zia’s hammer in the form of Article 58 2 (b) was liberally used by President Ghulam Ishaq Khan to pack up three governments prematurely on charges of corruption. President Leghari used this axe once in 1996.

Since then, Pakistan’s economy has remained in the doldrums and at the mercy of the IMF and the World Bank. After a good start by the military regime of Gen Musharraf, it lost its shine once it chose to co-opt King’s Party, which was an amalgam of turncoats from all parties. Emphasis was on corruption but the axe of accountability fell upon the opponents of the regime. Kashmir cause was given a setback. National Reconciliation Ordnance (NRO), which brought back, Benazir Bhutto (BB), Nawaz Sharif (NS) and Zardari from abroad were the gifts of Musharraf. Whatever little improvements he made in the economy were washed down the drain during the 4th democratic era starting in 2008.

 

 

 

 

 

Instead of paying attention to institutions building, focus shifted on making compromises both internally and externally. Governed by the dictates of Charter of Democracy signed by NS and BB in May 2006, both PPP and PML-N during their respective five years tenures kept accountability on lowest priority. Emphasis of the two was on keeping USA and India appeased even at the cost of compromising national interests. Both tried to undermine the Army in order to establish civilian supremacy. Lip service was paid to the Kashmir cause and no heed was paid to the degeneration of morals and human values. Comparing the two, performance of PML-N was much better. NS could have completed his tenure as PM and his party could have won again in 2018 had he abstained from his old habit of locking horns with the army chiefs. Trial of Gen Musharraf and his indictment on charges of high treason, coupled with Dawn leaks scandal cooked his goose.     

It is said that when the two-party system failed to deliver and Pakistan began to sink under the massive weight of foreign debts and faltering economy due to declining morality, ever growing corruption and other malpractices and lack of governance, the Establishment decided to bring forward a new party with better credentials. To this end, PTI under Imran Khan (IK) who had a clean record was earmarked, which had taken advantage of the deplorable rule of PPP under Zardari and emerged as a strong third force in late 2011. Elimination of corruption and justice for all were the slogans chanted by charismatic IK which made him popular. His party however, failed to defeat the PML-N in 2013 elections since go-getter Shahbaz Sharif as CM Punjab had performed well and his party was well entrenched in Punjab which makes or breaks governments. Instead of reconciling with his defeat and concentrating on Khyber Pakhtunkhwa where his party had formed a government and preparing for next elections, IK decided to oust PML-N which had gained two-third majority and had formed governments in Punjab and in Baluchistan.

Reason behind his impatience was that the ruling party had begun to deliver and CPEC agreement had become a reality. Letting PML-N to complete its tenure would have made its re-election inevitable. A plan was chalked out by him, Tahirul Qadri (TuQ), Pervez Elahi and Sheikh Rashid at London to stage a sustained sit-in at Islamabad in July 2014 under the premise of massive rigging in elections. Death of 14 supporters of TuQ in Model Town Lahore incident in June that year at the hands of the police energized firebrand TuQ to censure Punjab administration and police, register FIRs and gain sympathies of the people. It fueled the PTI-PAT protestors to undertake road journey from Lahore to Islamabad and stage a dharna at D Chowk. Reluctance of the government to open four constituencies in Lahore district for recounting of votes became the rallying point for the protestors to demand resignation of NS and to hold mid-term elections.

To maximize pressure on the government, various tactics were employed, which included attacks on the Parliament, PM Secretariat and PTV, followed by refusing to pay taxes, resignation by all MNAs of PTI and vicious propaganda war through electronic and social media to degrade the Sharif brothers. NS was demonized as the most corrupt man and IK glamorized as the best man. During the six months sit-in, every night the PTI members and supporters danced and sang on the beat of music arranged by DJ, and the PTI leaders hurled threats and insults on NS and his family. The jollification was abruptly called off after the tragedy in APS Peshawar on December 16, 2014 but the tirade continued relentlessly in the public meetings staged in big cities. Fan-following of IK surged and tussle between followers of PTI named as ‘Youthias’ and of PML-N as ‘Patwaris’ peaked on social media.  

Panama case in April 2017 came as a blessing in disguise for the PTI which was fully exploited to boot out NS. Media hype was created despite the fact that in the list of 450 account holders in the Panama offshore companies, NS name was not there. The seven-member Supreme Court bench under chief justice Saqib Nisar took assistance from the specially formed JIT to probe the accusations of corruption and money laundering. In spite of the 10-volume probe made by the JIT, the court found no trace of corruption, but disqualified NS on charges of holding an Aqama for getting employed in Al-Azizia steel mills at Dubai owned by his son and drawing salary from him during his period of exile. He didn’t mention it in his 2013 tax return since he had not drawn any salary.

PML-N suffered series of reverses which included disqualification of three-time elected NS in July 2017 for not being Sadiq and Ameen, time-bound trial of NS and his children by NAB court supervised by a judge of supreme court, toppling of PML-(N)-NP coalition government in Baluchistan led by Sanaullah Zehri in January 2018, followed by PML-N losing the sure seats of Senate Chairman and Deputy Chairman. Just before the general elections in July 2018, NS was absolved in one case but convicted in the second case and awarded 7 years jail sentence. His daughter Maryam and son-in-law Capt(Retd) Safdar were also jailed. Cases were registered by the law courts against senior PML-N leaders. Under the circumstances, the victory of PTI in July 2018 elections was a foregone conclusion.

PTI senior member Jahangir Tareen (JT) aspiring to become CM Punjab played a key role in inducing sizeable numbers of the electable turncoats from the PPP and PML-N and independents, mostly from South Punjab, to PTI. He was the chief organizer, financier and right hand man of IK. It is said that TLP, GDA and BAP were created to split votes of PML-N. However, despite the gerrymandering, PTI won with a thin margin in the Centre and in Punjab and perforce had to seek alliance with PML-Q, MQM-P and BNP-M whom IK had always censured. Punjab was handed to unknown and unassuming Usman Buzdar due to disqualification of JT by the count on charges of possessing a mansion abroad and holding an account in offshore company which he didn’t declare. The allies and the electables from other parties as well as imported technocrats have created hurdles in the way of reforming the state institutions and carrying out across the board accountability, and in building New Pakistan.

NS in the meanwhile managed to procure bail and get admitted in a hospital at Lahore for medical treatment. Later on he was permitted by the court to go abroad in November 2019 on account of his deteriorating health condition and to return after six weeks once his health improved. On December 17, 2019, Gen Musharraf in exile in Dubai was given death sentence by Islamabad High Court (IHC). Eruption of Covid-19 pandemic in March 2020 kept the government in a spin and NS was forgotten. On 01 September 2020, the court hearing the Toshakhana (State to State Gift Repository) case asked NS to return home in next ten days or else he will be declared an absconder(already declared an absconder). He has now been summoned by IHC in Avenfield and Al-Azizia cases on 22 September. Both the Federal and Punjab governments as well as the NAB are making hectic efforts to get him back but NS is not likely to return soon as long as the doctors treating him do not clear him. NS and Maryam’s indulgence in politics is the reason behind the pressure.

It was optimistically assumed by PTI leaders that after the victory, over 70 legislators of PML-N would jump the ship and join the ruling party, as had been the practice before. PTI leadership was confident that not only they would muster enough political strength in Punjab to get rid of black mailing allies, but would also win local bodies elections comfortably. This assumption proved fallacious, as was the case with several other rosy assumptions. In spite of the relentless propaganda against the Sharif’s and their families and the witch-hunt of PML-N leaders by the NAB, the party remains intact and has not lost its vote bank in Punjab; the two brothers are still popular. It is speculated that in order to meet the threat posed by NS and Maryam, not only NAB has been further pumped up, the new CCPO Umar Sheikh has been inducted in the main political battleground of Lahore to do what other police officers couldn’t do. His services are needed so urgently that his blemished service record was ignored. So much so that instead of accepting the request of the IG Punjab Shoaib Dastagir to post out Umar Sheikh, he was removed from his post and new IG Inam Ghani inducted. 

Reason why the fort of PML-N couldn’t be cracked is that so far the PTI haven’t lived up to its promises and has fallen much short of high expectations of the people. None of the rosy promises have been fulfilled. Instead of improvement, their lives have become more depressed due to high inflation, red tapism, feudalism, nepotism and other mal practices that were committed in Old Pakistan. Governance and financial management are low average due to which prices of basic necessities and unemployment have surged. The rulers are committing the same mistakes and wrongs for which the predecessors were censured. Instead of correcting their shortcomings, they are continuing to blame the former two regimes for their weak performance. Or the danger of 5th generation war is brandished.

Neither the country has been made free of corruption within months as was claimed, nor the wrong practices of public office holders checkmated, or the economic health of the country improved, or a fair and transparent judicial system established. Instead of reducing debt burden it has been increased. Against Rs. 29000 billion debt accumulated in 70 years, Rs. 14500 billion has been added in just two years. Above all, the much trumpeted accountability has become selective and controversial. No accused has been convicted and punished in the last two years. NS is sitting abroad, Zardari is getting bail after bail, and so are other high prized accused. No serial target killer belonging to MQM and PPP has been taken to task. No Mafia has been netted. Terrorists caught inside the battle zones have been released and so is the case with several terrorists awarded death sentence by the military courts. Release of murderer MPA Achakzai in Quetta by the court on account of lack of evidence has disappointed the people. Call for removing the controversial CCPO Lahore on account of his irresponsible statement to the press about the gang rape victim on motorway is getting louder. And so is the call for public hanging or castration of the two rapists as suggested by the PM. Khurram, husband of PTI MPA Abida Raja severely bashed additional session judge Malik Jahangir at a petrol pump in Islamabad. Former is in the lock up and the latter removed from his seat by Islamabad High Court. Street crimes, rapes and robberies have increased and law and order is deteriorating mainly due to defects in investigation, prosecution and criminal justice system.  .   

Secondly, the PML-N voters are convinced that NS was wronged by the judiciary and that IK was empowered by the Establishment. They feel that irrespective of his fault lines, he was making good progress to make Pakistan economically strong and their living condition was much better during his tenure. Naya Pakistan is becoming a nightmare for them. NS has upheld his view that his removal was part of an effort to undermine democracy and civilian supremacy. The dismal performance of the PTI in its two-year tenure, and the growing frustration of the people have encouraged NS, Maryam Nawaz and other senior PML-N leaders to deride the ruling party and seek in-house change or mid-term elections.         

The PTI has not been able to make any headway because the politicized and corrupted institutions, particularly the judiciary, bureaucrats and the police have not been reformed. The flawed electoral system elects the same lot of vultures again and again, but no effort has been made to restructure it and improve the political culture. Without reformation no breakthrough is possible. The large numbers of legislators and senators drawing handsome salaries and plentiful perks and privileges are a huge drain on the national kitty since they remain disconnected from the people who elected them and are more of liabilities than of any use. Imported economic wizards tutored by the IMF/World Bank have failed to draw a sound economic roadmap to steer the country out of the choppy waters. Apart from the socio-economic challenges, failure to provide respite to the marooned Kashmiris in occupied Kashmir locked down since August 5 last year and trampled and molested by 900,000 Indian forces is a cause of embarrassment for the government.

Imran Khan is undoubtedly honest and earnestly want the country to progress. He has the requisite leadership qualities as well as drive and initiative and has the big advantage of unflinching support of the military, president and the judiciary. However, to what good is his honesty and backup support if he has selected a poor team and sticking with it despite knowing that most have skeletons in their cupboards and are letting him down? Usman Buzdar is not changed on the premise that he is simple and honest, but he is a flop and a cause of discomfiture for Imran Khan. Political expediency is coming in his way to pick right men for the right jobs. Art is long and time is running out. While the political parties in opposition pose no threat to him, what should worry him is the growing frustration and resentment of the people. His own party members and fans are getting disillusioned and are expressing dissatisfaction. People are questioning that how Pakistan will be converted into Riyasat-e-Madina when all our systems are western, and so is the way of living of the elite class? Or it is a rhetoric and akin to Bhutto’s concept of Islamic socialism?

Marginal improvements in macro-economic indicators have brought no succor to the people. Unless IK reins in the Mafias, makes the accountability effective, fair and transparent, ends nepotism and restores merit system, implements austerity, brings down the prices of fuel, gas and daily commodities, provide health facilities, cheap and quality education, social services, jobs, homes to the shelter-less, provides security to the people and delivers justice at the doorsteps, his shrinking popularity graph will dwindle further. All this will be possible only when the alien systems are replaced with Islamic laws. 

Additionally, a way out will have to be found to unlock over 8 million Kashmiris, get original status of J&K restored, and put an end to reign of terror launched by Indian forces. Pressure must be maximized upon the UN and the world community to settle the oldest dispute of Kashmir in accordance with the UN resolutions. However, diplomatic offensive alone will not fetch any results. The Far Right in Pakistan are incensed over punishments awarded to Hafiz Saeed and other Jamaatud Dawa leaders on account of fear of getting blacklisted by FATF. They say that neither the Mujahids are allowed to help the Kashmiris in distress nor the government is taking any physical action to put fear into the hearts of the Indian brutes brutalizing Kashmiris. 

Lingering Kashmir dispute is the root cause of growth of religious extremism. Pacifism in the face of offensive activism will not work. One-side appeasement, moderation in war, diplomatic juggling or peace mantra are self-defeating. It will be imprudent to rely on the UN or the dual-faced USA for a solution. We regret the lost opportunities; but fleeting opportunity is once again knocking at our door which may not be there tomorrow. Bold stances of Taliban, China and Iran are recent examples how to deal with cunning and arrogant enemies like USA and UK.

                        

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Archive Article: How Pakistan was Sold for $8 Billion!

 

 

 

 

 

 

ARCHIVE ARTICLE

October 2011

Pakistan Sold for $8 billion?

By

Dr Shahid Qureshi

One can safely say that current ruling Pakistani elite including political, civil, business and military have sold Pakistan as much as for roughly $8 billion worth of assets abroad. This rough estimate is based on the available figures of two leading figures in Pakistani politics Nawaz Sharif & Brothers Limited and Zardari & Co Limited who have properties and assets abroad mainly in the USA, UK, Europe and else where.The others are Chaudhry brothers of PML-Q, ANP leader Asfandyar Wali, Rehman Malik and others also have assets abroad. British national and self exiled MQM-A leader Altaf Hussain is also part of political sharks in terms of assets abroad.The foreign assets of other politicians like Imran Khan and religious parties are not yet reported. But one can not rule anything out. One thing is common among almost all Pakistani politicians and Generals is that all of them have their children or grand children living, studying abroad with foreign nationalities or married to foreign nationals. Hypercritically those who shout the loudest against the US have send their sons and daughters their too.There is another class who has assets abroad and that is members of civil, military establishments and corrupt business elite. They are the protectors of the assets of these politicians. They teach them the tricks of ‘sophisticated bank robberies’, wiping out their bank loans, taking commissions from international firms and safely depositing them abroad. There is a tiny minority in Karachi, who is ready to serve any one and every one in terms of money laundering, playing with the currency exchange rates and provides help in the flight of capital out of Pakistan. They place their members on high positions in the disguise of ‘great community workers’ but in actual fact these people are responsible for funding terrorism and gang warfare in Karachi to all sides. They act as a bank for enemies of Pakistan. Their media channels follow the lines of the enemies of Pakistan in media and psychological warfare. They are the champions of flourishing of ‘black economy’ in Pakistan. That is why we find them in almost each and every financial scandal in the known memory of Pakistani corruption.Most of the above got these properties and assets by robbing Pakistan and selling its sovereignty. The so called business community of Karachi is at the fore front in facilitating the flight of capital abroad and later investments in their projects. They are in the ‘gold circle’ of the current regime and so called elite.They are the real gangsters and worst than target killers. After reading most of JIT (Joint Investigation Team) reports of target killers from Karachi one can safely say these are the poor people living in deprived areas killing around innocent people on the orders of shady elite living in posh areas with guards in big mansions. One can find this so called business community in all shady deals and working as bank for any one and every one especially the nasty neighbours.In London they have readymade business plans for Pakistani crooks and cons with money. Some of them regularly attend religious gatherings and give large sums in charity to get credibility among the clerics. Without knowing the source of the money some clerics do special prayers for them. Some of them are notorious for frequently doing ‘bankruptcies’, insolvencies as well as running special religious TV channels. Well money can buy you anything? That is how they get their people placed on the influential positions with access to sensitive information.This is the small minority of people has held Pakistan hostage to the foreigners just to protect their assets, properties, foreign nationalities and green cards. The freezing of assets of Arab leaders after the Arab spring in the past few months should be a wake up call and lesson for others? The lesson is your money is safer in your own country than a foreign plastic platinum card in your back pockets.   Bashing of Pakistan’s military both as an institution and its generals for both right and wrong reasons is quite fashionable. Pakistan’s military and nuclear assets are the main target of the enemies and so called friends. Pakistan’s army is a voluntary force; everybody can join the army and may be after the 30 years of service an officer become a general, others retires as they go along their careers.“The personal wealth of Pakistani generals is estimated at £3.5m a head’, according to The Guardian’s report, “The plot to bring back Benazir” published on 21st July 2007. The musical chair of politicians and military is harming the existence of Pakistan. The elite of Pakistan are institutionally corrupt and now become an organised ‘mafia’. Scandals of ‘steel mills’, sugar mills, cement; stock exchange has broken the records of previous corruptions. The culprits are from both opposition and ruling party.Few years ago Zardari – Benazir Bhutto assets worth more than $ 2 billion according to Saifurahman and according to NAB figure are around $1.2bn [£ 830m]. Raja Bashir of The Pakistani National Accountability Bureau told The Guardian that, “Ms Bhutto has 26 bank accounts, 14 properties and total assets of one billion sterling pounds abroad. We are very glad that other countries are cooperating with us.”On March 2, 2006, The Dawn newspaper reported that Benazir’s assets in Spain ‘unearthed’, The National Accountability Bureau claimed to have unearthed two more offshore companies and a villa in Spain owned by former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto. A spokesman of the bureau said that judicial authorities of Spain had frozen assets of two Sharjah-based companies, Petroline and Tempo Global Gains, as well as their six bank accounts.The villa worth half million Euros, allegedly owned by Ms Bhutto and her three children, Bilawal Zardari, Bakhtawar Zardari and Asifa Zardari in Playas Del Arenal, Marbella, had also been seized by the High Court of the Valencia province, the NAB claimed. The NAB official said the Petroline Company was owned by Ms Bhutto, former FIA director-general Rehman Malik and Hassan Ali Jafferi and was established in 2000.Nawaz Sharif had no connection with the feudal elite. His family moved from Jati Umra near Amritsar and by 1960 they owned a few modest size factories – iron foundry, ice making, and water pump factory.Some how Mian Sharif managed to reach General Jill, as General Ghulam Jilani Governor of Punjab in General Zia’s regime He literally begged to give a break in politics to Nawaz Sharif. That is how he got into the military’s chicken farm and his factories started laying golden eggs.  Nawaz Sharif was appointed as finance minister of Punjab in 1983.  In 1981 the family business group Ittefaq turnover was Rs. 337 million, but by 1987 it had soared to at least Rs. 2,500 million, that is according to the group’s own accounts. Within four years Ittefaq had become one of the wealthiest private industrial groups in Pakistan. ‘Hard work and grace of Allah’ explained Shehbaz Sharif. One can imagine the miraculous growth in the assets of billions now. Investing in politics is not bad business at all in Pakistan.

 

 

 

 

 

 

According to Asia Week, Rehman Malik current Interior minister and key holder of Zardari’s safe produced 200-page report of MNS’s corruption. The secret document was leaked to the London-based Observer newspaper published details of alleged corruption involving the MNS and his family. According to the report, the Sharif family obtained loans from Pakistani state banks for business purposes and illegally converted the money into foreign exchange worth at least $66 million.According to the report, the Sharif family acquired properties in London through two companies, Nescoll and Nielsen Enterprises, registered in the British Virgin Islands and linked to a bank account in Lahore in the name of a fictitious person: Suleman Zia. The four flats in Avondale House in Park Lane are said to be worth at least £ 750,000, which worth millions of pounds keeping in view the current housing market in London. Not a bad deal!What clinched the appointment for Nawaz Sharif as PM was a word to the presidency by the then ISI chief Lt. Gen Hamid Gull, that the army believed he was a better choice. General Hamid Gull now regrets his misjudgement. Subsequently the President also dismissed him. Nawaz Sharif’s problem was power: a pathological crass compounded by crass incompetence. Nawaz Sharif also seemed to be an ungrateful person. He did not feel any obligation towards president Ghulam Ishaq Khan, nor did he ever say ‘thank you’ to General Hamid Gull’.The smart business minded ‘Abbaji’ late father of Nawaz Sharif invited General Asif Nawaz to his Lahore residence. After a fatherly ‘tête-à-tête’, Abbaji told the new army chief that he was like his son and requested him to take his two sons Nawaz and Shehbaz under his wings: and also told the ‘children’ that they must follow and never disregard the General Sahib’s advice. And one last thing Abbaji said to the General Sahib, as he came to see him out off at the porch of his house, ‘my both children have a Mercedes each, and here is the key to yours; you are like a son to me.’It didn’t work with General Asif Nawaz, he felt offended and therefore, instead of being able to buy the General, Nawaz Sharif had instead lost his respect too.“I sent Ghous Ali Shah to gave a lift home to General Musharraf and inform him that he has been deposed in absence said Nawaz Sharif while addressing a meeting in Manchester in July 2007. How intelligent was to promote engineering corp’s, Kashmiri, General Zia and decorate him with the badges purchased from Sadar Bazar Rawalpindi, MNS must be thinking in his spare time? Majeed Nizami editor of the Nawa-e-Waqt a closest ally of Nawaz Sharif had to remark that they used to regard Benazir Bhutto as a ‘security risk’, it seemed Nawaz Sharif was a greater security risk. He was indeed the worst thing that had happened to Pakistan since independence. Whether it was money, morals or security, the nation found it difficult to trust him. His recent speech at SAFMA attracted lot of controversies. MNS don’t believe in reading and learning?It is interesting that when Pakistani soldiers and Kashmiri freedom fighters were battling against the Indian army on the freezing heights of Kargil, Nawaz Sharif’s business proxies were selling sugar to India . India did not need to import any sugar and yet if Vajpayee had accepted to buy Pakistani sugar it was only to sweeten his relationship with Nawaz Sharif.It is highly significant that when the Kargil crisis broke out both George Fernandez and K S Sudarshan, the former a socialist and India’s defence minister and the later leader of BJP militant wing RSS themselves exculpate Nawaz Sharif of any blame. If the Indians were trying to protect Nawaz Sharif, they must have had very good reasons to do so. It is this selfish and opportunist behaviour that made these leaders make decisions against the interests of Pakistani state? Take the example of US aid to Pakistan and kind of work these people agree to do in return.  More recently angry and sarcastic attitude of Nawaz Sharif against the military is deplorable, when thousands of soldiers have lost their lives while his sons and nephews are doing multi million dollar businesses abroad. Pakistani politicians including Nawaz Sharif can only have moral high ground on others once they prove themselves. That they look after Pakistan’s national interests more than their personal wealth hidden abroad. They don’t take decisions which harm the interests of Pakistan just because their assets could be frozen abroad.The US aid to Pakistan has actually proven to be a ‘rip off and fraud’ by financial terrorists of Wall Steers.  There is no doubt that US has caused more than $70 billion losses to Pakistan since 2001. On the other hand only aided/lend or both $22.87 billion from 1950 to 2010. Most part of that aid actually never arrived in Pakistan as it was paid to your defence and military complexes back in the USA.  This rip off could only be possible if people mentioned above have prostituted themselves for personal interests.  Breakdown of US aid as reported:Total US Aid: $22.87 billion in 60 years & losses to Pakistan: $60 billion1950-1964     2.5bn economic and 500 m military aid1965-1979     2.55 billion economic and 26 million military 1980-1990     5 billion military and economic aid 1991-2000     429 million economic and $5.2 million military 2001-2009     3.6 billion economic and 9 billion military 2009-2015     7.5 billion approved under Kerry Lugar Bill aid mostly non military ($1.5 billion per year)Almost all the regimes of Pakistan have been prostituting with the enemies by deliberately harming the state of Pakistan and following IMF agenda e.g. gas and electric shortages to destroy the industrial infrastructure, Railways and Pakistan Steel. They have ignored the risks and challenges concerning the US lead military occupation of Afghanistan and drone attacks on Pakistan. Pakistan has suffered approximately $70 billion economic, human losses, structural damages to roads and bridges deployed more than 147,800 troops conducting combat operations in the tribal areas along the Afghan border. The Pakistan armed forces has lost more than 3,200 soldiers, with another 6,400 injured. They sustain an average of 10 casualties each day, and approximately 35,000 Pakistani civilians killed by suicide bombers and terrorism.  US policies around the world and especially in Pakistan created refugees and approximately 2 million internally displaced people (IDPs) in SWAT and FATA to further destabilize the country. Millions of people in Pakistan are waiting to be fully rehabilitated; 2.5 million Afghan refugees are a burden on the economy of Pakistan as well as causing social problems. They can’t go back to Afghanistan as US and NATO have occupied Afghanistan and fighting an unwinnable war.One can assume that Pakistani nation suffered both human and financial losses only because this small minority of people have their few billion dollars worth assets in USA, UK, Dubai, Malaysia and Europe. If current regime and political stake-holders in government really sincere with Pakistan, they should bring their money back to Pakistan. They can enjoy their wealth and it will be safe and unfrozen.A bird (dollar) in the hand is much better than two (dollars) in the Bush(land).

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 Justice Saqib Nisar, General Bajwa, and the Hidden Hand          By Saeed A. Malik.

 Justice Saqib Nisar, General Bajwa, and the Hidden Hand         

By Saeed A. Malik.

I have just read an article by Najam Sethi complaining that “the ‘hidden hand’ is everywhere and nowhere at the same time, pushing the plug on dissenters”, and that these dissenters “cannot comment freely on the machinations of the Miltablishment without being roughed up or disappeared” etc.
Reading this I could not help recalling Churchill reading through reports on the Bengal famine and penning on the margin that if the famine was indeed so devastating, “Why hasn’t Gandhi died yet?”
To wit, if so many people were indeed being “roughed up and disappeared” for dissenting, how come Mr Sethi himself, far from being “disappeared”, is so prosperously visible?
It seems all self-styled liberals and bleeding heart democrats who are blind to the plunder and rapacity of the Sharif circus, have nevertheless developed a keenness of the eye to spot a hidden hand at work in every nook and cranny in the country.
Mr Sethi’s litany of woes is a long one which I cannot debunk because this will end up being an exercise of my word against his. But one charge of his can easily be put in the waste bin; that of the allegation that a free comment on the judiciary is laden with a risk of being jailed for contempt!
This allegation is so patently false that it does not bear being ignored. All those given to viewing various TV channels, however minimally, and having the very basic rudiments of honesty about them, have seen the judges being castigated, maligned, or being subjected to outright abuse or threats by a mangy brigade of the Sharif minions, day after day for months. The abuse has become ever shriller because of the obvious restraint of the courts. A growing number of people are finding fault with the judges for this leniency since only one culprit has seen the inside of a jail on the charge of contempt. Thus as his bias relents, even Mr Sethi may be tempted to concede that he was led away by a passing enthusiasm.
And if this enthusiasm was not a mere impulse but a commitment to licking the hand that feeds him, I must admit that this is commendable constancy in a bordello of sellouts. In my book, this puts Mr Sethi solidly in the ranks of such loyal stalwarts as Daniyal Aziz, Talal Chowdhary and Mushahid Hussain etc, who, when it is the season of jumping ship, closed ranks to stand steadfastly behind their leader who has taken their country to the cleaners. Only committed “democrats” can dredge their will, and their conscience [if they have any]  to make such a high minded choice!
As far as the “hidden hand” is concerned, a lot of people are looking for it. They have their eyes on the forty to fifty fidgety legislators who jumped to Musharraf in 2002; then to Zardari in 2008; and then to Nawaz Sharif in 2013. Had the hidden hand been so keenly at work as is being so assiduously suggested, they should have been expected to jump ship at the slightest wave of this hand on 29 July 2017 when Nawaz Sharif was unanimously dethroned by a full bench of the Supreme Court. The news was rife and widespread in the country that this gang heads cocked, waited nervously and long for a signal to come from GHQ. But the signal never came. And though the heads are still cocked, the signal stubbornly refuses to come through.
Thus, by the clearest yardstick of all, the hidden hand theory has failed its acid test. Either the “hidden hand” has lost its efficacy, or it has refused to execute the signal, so that pedigreed ship jumpers have remained in place. 
But by the rules of the conspiracy theory, which Mr Sethi is propagating, there is obviously much to see in the unseen i.e ” because we cant see it, GHQ must obviously be hiding something!”
The one contact between Justice Saqib Nisar and General Bajwa, which almost certainly took place, did so about February 2017. The C.J informed the General that the judgement in the Panama case was due to come soon. He expected some sort of a law and order situation to erupt no matter which way the judgment leaned. He thus wanted to know where the army would stand if such situation came about. General Bajwa, without hesitation, informed him that the army would do its constitutional duty i.e that it will stand at the beck and call of the Supreme Court.
When this news hit Nawaz Sharif, it hit him like a sledgehammer. A general is chosen by him to be the Army Chief, who should have been “his General”, had decided to stand by the Constitution, instead of standing by him! This was enough to send any man reeling. This is where the froth and unbounded venom of our pretty Maryum springs from, and so too the fulminations of her great and unforgivable taint, Safdar.
In such thinking also lies the essence of our “democracy”. Votes mean mandate. And mandate means a license to rob and plunder without let or hindrance. To do away with all such possible hindrances every institution must be brought to heel. Most unfortunately for Nawaz Sharif, his pet dream of having the army led by a poodle in uniform who could be expected to ” sit” and “stay”, has eluded him once again.
 
And having thus far failed in getting a credible narrative going, his minions who have fed off the scraps of his table, invent and propagate ever new theories. That of celestial beings and the hidden hand are the newest he proposes to regale those with, whom his royal depredations have stripped quite literally to the bone.
 There is no trick in the book that Nawaz Sharif and company have not tried to bring the C.J and the COAS to heel. They have tried to disarm the Army Chief by the charms of the Shahbaz-Nisar circus; invited the influence of the Saudis and the Turks and the Americans; Modi pitches in right on cue with some well-timed artillery barrages– but nothing seems to have worked. They have threatened cajoled and tried to bribe. But thus far they have failed in all their efforts. Little wonder then, that Nawaz Sharif and company have finally woken up to the presence of “celestial beings.”
On two grounds indeed there is a reason to suspect that Justice Nisar and General Bajwa may indeed be justly cited as celestial beings. One is that every aggrieved person in the country likes to invoke intervention by either of these two to intercede and rectify the injustices they may be suffering from. In all ages crushed humans have appealed to high heavens to come to their aid when all nearer hopes lie dashed.
The second is that no matter what step Nawaz Sharif and his clowns plan against this duo, somehow news gets to them almost as soon as the latest plan gets off the drawing board. It is known for example that in a fit of exasperation Nawaz Sharif ordered Shahid Khaqan Abbasi to sack General Bajwa. But though the windmill was clearly in the sights of Sancho, and though he may have wanted to do his master’s bidding, his ass failed to move. The onset of this paralysis was, it is believed, directly related to the fact that General Bajwa came to know of the plan almost immediately as it was crafted. And this case of catastrophic ass failure may have saved our democracy. Few asses have done such sterling service to a higher cause merely by the act of failing!
What will ultimately decide if these two high officers of the state will be numbered among celestial beings or among mortals who failed to stand up to the call of the times is the direction they give to their country. To do right by Pakistan they will have to first admit that nothing is more sacred than the state. They will then have to become alive to the fact that Pakistan is actually standing at the very brink of implosion; that the situation today is in no wise less serious than it was in 1971; and that this has been brought about by theft so massive for it to have become catastrophic. All other maladies by which the state is saddled find their root in this plunder. And not least of these is treachery against the state which seems to have become respectable enough for many like Hussain Haqqani and Achazai to be quite openly espousing the cause of the enemy. The obvious question which then arises is where should this put Zardari, Haqqani’s employer, and Nawaz Sharif, who draws strength from Achakzai?
It is for the C.J and the Army Chief to stand by and for the state in such a manner, that in future even the mere suggestion of plunder of the state, should impel the thinker of the thought to run for the exits. And the aim should be to get every looted penny back. As soon as the interim government comes in, lists should be ready to put every suspect on ECL. NAB should immediately be strengthened, with Chaudhary Qamar Zaman to become among the first to be indicted, with his favourites in NAB to follow. All those against whom prima facie evidence of corruption exists should be arrested and jailed pending trial. They need not be abused slapped or tortured. Theft being a crime of moral turpitude, all that needs to be done to them is to put them in C class in jail and to treat them EXACTLY as per the dictates of the Jail Manual. If just this is done, the torrent of money that will issue from these people will become one of the modern wonders of the world for the voluntary return of looted wealth.
And all events, what will vitiate the entire process is, if the powers that be, begin playing favourites.
And the last thing we all expect is that the next elections are as absolutely fair, as it is humanly possible to make them.
P.S. Perhaps it will not be too much to draw the attention of the CJ to the fact that only Ahad Cheema among Punjab’s heavyweights is under detention and is being investigated. Perhaps he will concede to me that this is being too conservative.

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THUG LIFE IN THE IDIOTS REPUBLIC AN EYE OPENER By Simon Templar

 

 

THUG LIFE IN THE IDIOTS REPUBLIC AN EYE OPENER

By Simon Templar

 
The level of public debate is so ill informed in this self-styled fortress of Islam, that if it were not so painful to the educated eye, it would be hilarious.
Illiteracy has been chosen as the best opiate to keep the masses ignorant and at bay by the cunning who are the gleeful beneficiaries of Pakistan kleptocratic so called system.
An exaggerated focus on the lofty, historic principles of a great religion is the other great diversion to keep the masses occupied as the ruler’s loot and plunder.
In a country where every steel mill owner drives sports cars and expensive SUVs, the Pakistan Steel Mills remain shut, bleeding billions of rupees a year.
Does anyone even remember how on the momentous return to full democracy, Asif Zardari plundered $350 million in cash from the PAK Steel Mills using front man Riaz Lalji?
This is what crippled the industrial giant within six months of Zardaris being elected.
Democracy was indeed the best revenge!
A money launderer and Tax Evader as Finance Minister will only appoint similar smaller thugs and facilitators to be the head of Federal Tax Service, The National Bank and the Securities Commission.
The national Airline is being purposefully bled, mal-administered and run into the ground to promote Air Blue owned by Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi.
A relative bodybuilders son is leading the export charge, resulting in declining exports year on year for the last three years
Another relative]s son is in charge of the power ministry, he has given the gift of 12-hour power cuts in rural areas.
Zardari’s Power Base Sind Provincial Assembly has passed a law against anti corruption efforts, he wishes for his loot and plunders to go on unimpeded.

So happy, nay gleeful is this corrupt  lot that they are all joyfully marrying the first loose, ambitious woman that they can lay hands on, Power Minister Khwaja Asif has married Kashmala Tariq, Zardari – Ayan Ali and Ishaq Dar- Marvi Memon

The PML-N lot seem to have a thing for Musharraf’s erstwhile cheerleaders!
Ancient heritage sites are being destroyed to build expensive bus & train tracks giving tremendous kickbacks
Nothing has been done to moderate or regulate the proliferation or activities of religious  Madrassahs across the country
Journalists are openly on the take, peddling blatant falsehoods on TV and in print for a fist full of dollars.
Lie loud, hard and repeatedly and the buffoons will believe you!
There is no mention of population control and the government cannot even carry out a census conclusively
Polio, eradicated around the globe, still rears it’s ugly head in the land of the pure, with medical teams and nurses attempting to administer drops regularly shot at and killed.
While still struggling to produce enough electricity despite all claims, the looming water crisis is not even mentioned by anyone!
The elected wizards making lofty claims have not been able to build a single major dam in the last four decades.
Courts cases drag on for years and decades, but no one thinks of having more judges and an improved legal system to provide effective, transparent and speedy justice
Production of poultry, eggs, sugar, cement, banking, telecom, cars, milk, meat, oil and steel is increasingly concentrated in the hands of a few hundred families, all connected to politics, all growing fabulously rich.
The poor turn to prostituting their daughters, selling their sons and killing themselves such is their misery in this cruel callous system
The government is inefficient to the point of being useless and dispensable.
Even the simple task of garbage collection in this country of 200 million illiterate souls is being done by Turkish companies connected to the ruling family. Payments and kickbacks both being made in dollars abroad!

Every single state enterprise being run by this country’s immoral, shameless ,  corrupt, complicit bureaucrats are inefficient and loss making to the point of being redundant.

 
Civil servants are little more than servile, slimy facilitators, bowing and scraping as they obsequiously pleasing their political masters while feeding off the few grubby crumbs thrown their way.
Yet this blighted lot, the masses want democracy!
 
Dear sirs, who will explain to these morons, that this is NOT a democracy, it is elected KLEPTOCRACY.
Democracy means transparency, efficiency, accountability, service delivery, social development and nation building
If this creaky structure is to carry on, if this geographic entity is to survive with its current borders, it needs a strong man at the top with a few determined good men to sort it out.
Ban and banish anyone who has ever held elected political office over the last 50 years, bring back looted money, empower the civil servants, and clean the mess up.
This is the last chance,  the final hope before this leaky ship goes under, either do it now or rename this blighted land:
“The Idiots Republic of Al-Bakistan”
The writer is a Geostrategic analyst based in Brussels

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ARCHIVE ARTICLE: Gen.Raheel Sharif is reluctant to act on the ‘National Security Breach’ by the Sharifs By Dr. Shahid Qureshi

Raheel Sharif is reluctant to act on the ‘National Security Breach’ by the Sharifs

By

Dr. Shahid Qureshi

I am wondering why Raheel Sharif is reluctant to act on the ‘National Security Breach’ by the Sharifs, currently occupying the Prime Minister House of Pakistan. I have said it before, Sharifs and Zardaris are criminals and would never have hesitated for a single moment to crucify you, had there been any breach within the ‘armed forces or security institutions’. So don’t worry about your post-retirement image as you will not be judged with ‘good guy or bad guy’ image. You will be judged whether you acted at the right time or not.
 
I am sorry to say on the issue of Dawn News Group planted story against Pakistan’s national interests and your indecisive approach is not helping the country. Those who are responsible for this national security breach should have been arrested under the Army Act and put on trial without a moment’s delay. The rest of the criminal mafia would have been running for shelters but your indecisive approach is fueling their confidence that they can get away with it. I would never trust Nisar Ali Khan or Shabaz Sharif let alone you are entertaining filthy Ishaq Dar at your House. I would have checked my crockery and all metallic objects.
 
You must understand that you are not dealing with law abiding politicians but corrupt criminals in disguise of dodgy democracy. People are wondering if you got the hard balls to deal with them or you are just looking in crystal ball about the day of retirement? You are under oath and responsibility to protect the national interests of Pakistan even one minute before you move on.
 
Nawaz Sharif is an Indian asset and continues to play Modi’s games. There are countless occasions when Nawaz Sharif damaged the interests of the state of Pakistan at national and international stages. He and his cronies have humiliated the armed forces of Pakistan and ISI countless times to please the Indians. The whole Sharif empire is built on ‘stolen metals’ bought from gypsies and stolen railways tracks. They have come a long way to the highest office in past 40 years while you were moving from one cantonment to another with your bags, kids and baggage.
 
You got only one RAW agent, Indian Navy officer Kubushan Jadav code name ‘Monkey’. Indian Prime Minister Modi is responding to Pakistan via Nawaz Sharif ‘you got my Monkey but I have Zoo in Raiwind and Islamabad’ with monkeys, donkeys and foxes. I am sure you know that all assets are at work now?
 
Nawaz – Modi both are testing Pakistan Army as part of sinister agenda. Nawaz Sharif and Narender Modi are two sides of the same coin as both want to stretch the armed forces of Pakistan to its limits. Obviously, India is not alone as media reports suggest the US is behind this latest escalation at Line of Control and inside Indian Occupied Kashmir.
 
I wrote sometimes ago that wealth and assets of Pakistani elite and politicians have become a security threat. Panama Leaks and offshore assets of Nawaz Sharif are the last straw on the camel’s back. The corrupt mafias of Pakistan and India who supported Nawaz Sharif and Narender Modi also have an interest in creating a distraction and hype in both countries.
 
The fact of the matter is that Indians have the highest numbers with Swiss accounts and some of those account holders are backing Modi regime too. Panama Leaks are growing beyond the borders of Pakistan.
 
Keep Karachi and Pakistan bleeding is the sinister plan against Pakistan launched by the Indians with the full support of its friends and assets in ruling politicians from Nawaz Sharif, Asfand Yar Wali, Mahmood Khan Achakzai, Altaf Hussain, Farooq Sattar and Asif Zardari. The constant obstructions and hurdles created by the political leadership of MQM-A, PPP Zardari Group, PML-N Ishaq Dar Group are putting lives and limbs at risk of security services, police and soldiers, who are fighting foreign-backed agents and terrorists in Pakistan especially Karachi. All the three parties in power have proved links and interests with foreign agencies and countries. Crimes of MQM-A are heinous and there is no excuse for any politician to ignore the pains and grief they have caused to the families of journalists, religious scholars, students, police, army, and Rangers personnel.
 
The state terrorism inflicted in Islamabad and Rawalpindi on 28th October 2016 by Punjab Police, a mercenary force of Sharifs, has provided images and videos to the Indians to respond and undermine current Kashmir uprising against Indian Occupation. Nawaz Sharif and his brother have provided ‘shelling and beating of common people images and videos’ to the Indian occupying forces in Held Kashmir to justify their illegal actions. Punjab Police is shelling even when there is no one there like its a funny business. This is how assets work. Any doubt?
 
The fact of the matter is that if Israelis and Indians are hands in glove in supporting terrorism in Pakistan and conspiring to disintegrate by using all ‘assets’ why Pakistani politicians and military establishment are in denial to accept that Nawaz-Modi marriage is toxic or their multi-billion dollar businesses abroad are more important than 200 million Pakistanis?
 
(Dr Shahid Qureshi is a senior analyst with BBC and editor of The London Post. He writes on security, terrorism and foreign policy. He also appears as an analyst on Al-Jazeera, Press TV, MBC, Kazak TV (Kazakhstan), Turkish TV, LBC Radio London. He was also international election observer for Kazakhstan 2015, March 2016 and Pakistan 2002. He has written a famous book “War on Terror and Siege of Pakistan” published in 2009. He is a PhD in Political Psychology and also studied Law at a British University)

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