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Posts Tagged Corrupt Politicians

LETTER TO EDITOR : PAKISTAN’S ELECTION COMMISSION ALLOWS FAKE DEGREE HOLDERS TO RUN FOR NEXT ELECTION

LETTER TO EDITOR

March 14th, 2013

 

Fake Degree Cheaters

 

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If the ECP doesn’t enforce itself in such matters, the same cheats and the dishonest persons will once again be able to contest the elections and possibly win also. And, that will be the end of the hopes of the nation of ever getting a clean and honest leadership.

 

 

 

 

Col. Riaz Jafri (Retd)
Pakistan
E.mail: jafri@rifiela.com

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Col. Riaz Jafri (Retd) Pakistan Army: Free & Fair Elections vs Clean Contestants

LETTER TO EDITOR

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February 18th, 2013

 

Free & Fair Elections vs Clean Contestants

 

The CEC has once again assured the public to hold a free and fair elections and this is probably the umpteenth assurance coming from him.  What I am longing to hear from him at least once is that he will ensure that only the clean and honest politicians will be allowed to context the elections.  What is the use of the elections how so ever free and fair those may be if we have to elect from the same corrupt and dishonest lot of the politicians?! Mr. Justice CEC please assure us that only the clean and honest contestants would be there for us to elect from as we do not repeat do not want to elect the same rotten lot of politicians once again.

 

Col. Riaz Jafri (Retd)

Col. Riaz Jafri (Retd)
30 Westridge 1
Rawalpindi 46000
Pakistan
Tel: (051) 5158033
E.mail: jafri@rifiela.com

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CORRUPTION-RAIWIND STYLE

Nawaz Sharif’s Corruption highlighted in Raymond Baker’s book on Dirty Money
Raymond Baker in his book Capitalism’s Achilles HeelDirty Money and How to Renew the Free-Market System tried to understand the dynamics of how dirty money works.

Corruption and criminality run from the top down, with the political class constantly looting the national treasury and distorting economic policy for personal gain. Bank loans are granted largely on the basis of status and connections. The rich stash much of their money abroad in those willing western coffers, while exhibiting little inclination to repay their rupee borrowings. Pakistan’s recent history has been dominated by two families—the Bhuttos and the Sharifs—both merely tolerated by the military, the real power in the country. When it comes to economic destruction, there’s not a lot of difference among the three.

Pages 82-85 of the book cover the section on Nawaz Sharif: While Benazir Bhutto hated the generals for executing her father, Nawaz Sharif early on figured out that they held the real power in Pakistan. His father had established a foundry in 1939 and, together with six brothers, had struggled for years only to see their business nationalized by Ali Bhutto’s regime in 1972. This sealed decades of enmity between the Bhuttos and the Sharifs. Following the military coup and General Zia’s assumption of power, the business—Ittefaq—was returned to family hands in 1980.Nawaz Sharif became a director and cultivated relations with senior military officers. This led to his appointment as finance minister of Punjab and then election as chief minister of this most populous province in 1985. During the 1980s and early 1990s, given Sharif ’s political control of Punjab and eventual prime ministership of the country, Ittefaq Industries grew from its original single foundry into 30 businesses producing steel, sugar, paper, and textiles, with combined revenues of $400 million, making it one of the biggest private conglomerates in the nation. As in many other countries, when you control the political realm, you can get anything you want in the economic realm.
With Lahore, the capital of Punjab, serving as the seat of the family’s power, one of the first things Sharif did upon becoming prime minister in 1990 was build his long-dreamed-of superhighway from there to the capital,Islamabad. Estimated to cost 8.5 billion rupees, the project went through two biddings. Daewoo of Korea, strengthening its proposals with midnight meetings, was the highest bidder both times, so obviously it won the contract and delivered the job at well over 20 billion rupees.
A new highway needs new cars. Sharif authorized importation of 50,000 vehicles duty free, reportedly costing the government $700 million in lost customs duties. Banks were forced to make loans for vehicle purchases to would-be taxi cab drivers upon receipt of a 10 percent deposit.Borrowers got their “Nawaz Sharif cabs,” and some 60 percent of them promptly defaultedThis left the banks with $500 million or so in unpaid loans. Vehicle dealers reportedly made a killing and expressed their appreciation in expected ways. Under Sharif, unpaid bank loans and massive tax evasion remained the favorite ways to get rich. Upon his loss of power the usurping government published a list of 322 of the largest loan defaulters, representing almost $3 billion out of $4 billion owed to banks. Sharif and his family were tagged for $60 million. The Ittefaq Group went bankrupt in 1993 when Sharif lost his premiership the first time. By then only three units in the group were operational, and loan defaults of the remaining companies totaled some 5.7 billion rupees, more than $100 million.
Like Bhutto, offshore companies have been linked to Sharif, three in the British Virgin Islands by the names of Nescoll, Nielson, and Shamrock and another in the Channel Islands known as Chandron Jersey Pvt. Ltd. Some of these entities allegedly were used to facilitate purchase of four rather grand flats on Park Lane in London, at various times occupied by Sharif family members. Reportedly, payment transfers were made to Banque Paribas en Suisse, which then instructed Sharif ’s offshore companies Nescoll and Nielson to purchase the four luxury suites.
In her second term, Benazir Bhutto had Pakistan’s Federal Investigating Agency begin a probe into the financial affairs of Nawaz Sharif and his family. The probe was headed by Rehman Malik, deputy director general of the agency. Malik had fortified his reputation earlier by aiding in the arrest of Ramzi Yousef, mastermind of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. During Sharif ’s second term, the draft report of the investigation was suppressed, Malik was jailed for a year, and later reportedly survived an assassination attempt, after which he fled to London. The Malik report, five years in the making, was released in 1998, with explosive revelations:
The records, including government documents, signed affidavits from Pakistani officials, bank files and property records, detail deals that Mr. Malik says benefited Mr. Sharif, his family and his political associates:

  • At least $160 million pocketed from a contract to build a highway from Lahore, his home town, to Islamabad, the nation’s capital.
  • At least $140 million in unsecured loans from Pakistan’s state banks.
  • More than $60 million generated from government rebates on sugar exported by millscontrolled by Mr. Sharif and his business associates.
  • At least $58 million skimmed from inflated prices paid for imported wheat from the United States and Canada. In the wheat deal, Mr. Sharif ’s government paid prices far above market value to a private company owned by a close associate of his in Washington, the records show. Falsely inflated invoices for the wheat generated tens of millions of dollars in cash.

The report went on to state that “The extent and magnitude of this corruption is so staggering that it has put the very integrity of the country at stake.” In an interview, Malik added: “No other leader of Pakistan has taken that much money from the banks. There is no rule of law in Pakistan. It doesn’t exist.
What brought Sharif down in his second term was his attempt to acquire virtually dictatorial powers. In 1997 he rammed a bill through his compliant parliament requiring legislators to vote as their party leaders directed. In 1998 he introduced a bill to impose Sharia law (Muslim religious law) across Pakistan, with himself empowered to issue unilateral directives in the name of Islam. In 1999 he sought to sideline the army by replacing Chief of Staff Pervez Musharraf with a more pliable crony. He forgot the lessons he had learned in the 1980s: The army controls Pakistan and politicians are a nuisance. As Musharraf was returning from Sri Lanka, Sharif tried to sack him in midair and deny the Pakistan International Airways flight with 200 civilians on board landing rights in Karachi. Musharraf radioed from the aircraft through Dubai to his commander in Karachi, ordering him to seize the airport control tower, accomplished as the plane descended almost out of fuel. Musharraf turned the tables and completed his coup, and Sharif was jailed.
But Sharif had little to fear. This, after all, is Pakistan. Musharraf needed to consolidate his power with the generals, and Sharif knew details about the corruption of most of the brass. Obviously, it is better to tread lightly around the edges of your peer group’s own thievery. So Musharraf had Sharif probed, tried, convicted, and sentenced to life in prison, but then in 2000 exiled him to Saudi Arabia.Twenty-two containers of carpets and furniture followed, and, of course, his foreign accounts remained mostly intact. Ensconced in a glittering palace in Jeddah, he is described as looking “corpulent” amidst “opulent” surroundings. Reportedly, he and Benazir Bhutto even have an occasional telephone conversation, perhaps together lamenting how unfair life has become.

 

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AMB.SAEED QURESHI’S OPINION: Dr. Qadri’s Clarion Call

thumb.phpJanuary 5, 2013

 

 If Dr. Allama Muhammad Tahirul-Qadri can bring about a change for the better in Pakistan, it should be diligently welcomed. Prophet Moses was not from the line of prophets or descendants of Abraham, yet he liberated the enslaved Hebrew (Jews) nation from the mighty Pharaohs, and gave them an identity and land.

Sheikhul Islam Qadri is not an equal to Prophet Moses, nor is he a revolutionary politician in literal sense. Yet his political party Pakistan Awami Tehrik (PAT) that he founded in 1990 outlines the mission “to introduce the culture of true democracy, economic stability, improve the state of human rights, justice and the women’s role in Pakistan”. The PAT also aims to remove corruption from Pakistani politics.

 If the chickens come home to roost, let them. Why there is an uproar that he is a Canadian citizen and that he had forfeited his right to delve in Pakistan’s politics. By living in Canada he has not been doing any fruitless or objectionable activities but spreading the message of Islam and humanism. I am also not ready to buy the argument that he has come to Pakistan with some hidden nefarious agenda at the behest of the powers and elements inimical to Pakistan.

Let us take his words on the face and tend to believe that has come back to Pakistan with a well defined and upright agenda to steer this country out of the dark woods, put it on the right tracks and initiate a movement that might set Pakistan on a desired yet ignored course. If his intentions are exposed as malicious and a ruse to serve the antagonists of Pakistan, then he would be the one to suffer irreparably in reputation. Thereafter he will have no place in Pakistan as a scholar, mystic, or a politician.

I would prefer to forget what he has been doing in the past. What I have to care is what he is going to do for Pakistan and Pakistani nation. Will his clarion call and envisaged mission of setting the things right would galvanize the marginalized and dispossessed people of Pakistan?  Has he the guts and thrust to make the people a valiant force to fight for their rights against the selfish, ravenous leaders, crook bureaucrats, greedy business robbers and defiant enemies of peace and social harmony? Would he emerge as a bulwark against the cult of phony and fraudulent rulers whose only penchant has been to loot and plunder the national wealth, promote nepotism, and nurture all the vices that are attributed to Pakistan and that have turned Pakistan into uninhabitable and dreaded place. 

If through a system of choosing honest leaders, he can seize the bull of bribe and corruption by horns and straighten those who bilked billions by abusing their powers and authority then he should be supported. It is for the first time that a liberal, religious scholar from among the ignorant and fanatic mullahs has opted to achieve a breakthrough that would deliver the nations from the clutches of obscurantism, fundamentalism and orthodoxy. Allama Qadri speaks and vouches for true democracy, human rights, an electoral system free from rigging and hijacked by the moneyed classes and individuals.

The mammoth crowd that came to attend his address at the public meeting at Minar-e-Pakistan on 23 December eloquently vouches the glaring fact that people of Pakistan want a change from the stagnant, unsafe, and egregiously sinister way of life. The life in Pakistan is getting traumatic and miserable and harder for the people.

Dr. Qadri must have come to this empirical and objective conclusion that it is primarily the leadership that can transform the destiny of nation and make it honorable, strong and prosperous. It is the honest leadership that creates a system of governance that is transparent and in accord with the interests of the country and aspirations of the people.

Now the electoral system is not only flawed in Pakistan but it is outright wicked and monstrous. The elections are blatantly rigged. The ballot boxes are not only stuffed with ballots of the strong candidates but the ballot boxes are swapped. The bogus votes are cast without any let or hindrance.

But what makes the electoral system in Pakistan a sheer mockery is that the serfs, tillers, and bonded farm labors cannot vote against the local lords be it a petty landowner or a super duper feudal. Moreover, because of the deprivation, poverty, inferior social status, the votes for a pittance can be easily purchased.

The Thana culture pays its pernicious part. A common man in villages and slums of the cities cannot have enough courage or clout to defy the dictations of policeman who is usually henchmen of mill owner, a retired bureaucrat, a ruthless feudal lord and the government functionaries.

The clan, the biradari system, the family and blood relations, the kinship plays an overwhelming role to tilt the results in favor of corrupt, morally bankrupt, degenerate leaders.

Such elected representatives use their influence and power to enhance their wealth, get lucrative contracts, and benefit their relatives and friends in several ways. They break and bend laws for amassing as much money as he can. In his brazen loot there are other partners that share the booty. It is this spooky and   perverted and wholly faulty system that Dr. Qadri wants to rein in and make it transparent and clean.

Now if PMLN leadership denounces his endeavor as derailing the democratic bandwagon then it is a partisan assessment because a democratic order must spawn and produce honest and patriotic leaders who are dedicated to the welfare of the people and not filling their own coffers already brimming with ill-gotten wealth.

Dr. Qadri has rocked the prevailing rotten system and its proponents and that is why there is cacophonies hue and cry to revile him as being a foreign agent or enemy of democracy and with a hidden agenda aimed at postponing the elections. His mission is somewhat akin to the social activist Anna Hazare of India who single-handed rallied the entire India against the menace and curse of corruption. He may not fully achieve the ultimate objectives of his crusade but at least he has blazed a trail that would serve as a beacon and the first vigorous assault on financial immodesty that is as widespread in India as it is in Pakistan.

Let us hope that Dr. Qadri stands his ground firmly and does not budge under any threat or pressure. If he can assemble half of the promised four million protesters and marchers for his rally in Islamabad, he would have made the dent in the powerful citadels of the corrupt, greedy law breaking, exploitative classes and individuals in power. The rest could be a self propelling trail of landmark developments that might pave way for a Pakistan that we all dream to be. If he is arrested that might open a Pandora box of hazardous ramifications. Is that what the government would expect to postpone the elections to stay in power till the dust settles down? Who knows!

You can also read this and other articles on qureshisaeed50@hotmail.com

 The writer is a senior journalist and a former diplomat.

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Enough is Enough

LETTER TO EDITOR

December 5th, 2012

 

Enough is Enough

 

Every Tom, Dick and Harry of a politician lets go of no opportunity in making fool of the masses in the name of democracy.  Any legit criticism of the govt. or a political party for their plunder and corruption, appalling law and order situation in the country, poor and bad governance, dwindling economy, closure of industries, ever increasing prices of commodities and utilities, unemployment, power and gas shortage, long queues at the CNG stations and yet at the same time their unabashedly shameful and callous extravagant and Nawab like life style, perks and privileges, foreign tours – official and private – Hajjes and every other day Umeras at govt. expense, etc. etc. are projected by them as yet another effort at the weakening of the democracy and usurpation of the rights of those who elect them!  Oh, for God’s sake, why don’t these good for nothing nincompoops and visionless self eulogizing avaricious so called leaders  come out straight that th eir only and only concern is how to either get or remain in power for another five years or so to fill in their family coffers for their coming next seven generations?  Why must they harangue on the hollow words like democracy and all power to the awaam etc. into it?  Why can’t they be honest for a change and admit that all that they are doing and maneuvering is just to get themselves elected and rule over the same hapless awaam whom they promise stars but do not give them even dust to eat once they are returned  to the power?  What a shameless breed of critters they are?

Oh, Allah – the most merciful – when shall You show Your mercy and get us rid of such unethical and greedy persons and bless us with the leaders who could place the wellbeing of the masses and good of the country before their own selves!

 

Someday someone like that will sure be there on our national horizon, ameen.

 

Col. Riaz Jafri (Retd)

Col. Riaz Jafri (Retd)
30 Westridge 1
Rawalpindi 46000
Pakistan
Tel: (051) 5158033
E.mail: jafri@rifiela.com

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