By Syed Haider Raza Mehdi
So finally they emerged. The cockroaches from the woodworks. The JIT investigation forcing them out.
The Four Monkeys. Honorable bootlickers and servants of Nawaz, Maryam, Hassan and Hussain.
You know Nawaz senses he’s in trouble when he brings out his biggest rats and cockroaches, or his biggest artillery and tanks to the front. Depends how charitable you want to be towards this terrible family and those who along with them have looted and plundered this country.
This pack of vultures comprises Kh. Asif of “Koi Sharam Koi Haya fame”, the Empty Suit, Ahsan Iqbal, the “Bond King” Kh. Saad Rafique Samad Bond” and the reluctant fundamentalist, Shahid “LNG” Abbassi.
Khawaja Sharam o Haya sahib has two claims to fame, his perfectly tailored suits and his bile and invective against the Pakistan Army. Now perhaps also a potential interim PM in waiting between a Nawaz disqualification and Shahbaz Sharif taking over as PM till the March 2018 Senate elections. But more of this later.
And with all his intellect and insight, cannot see the plunder and loot of his own PM and sits like a Qawaal, waxing eloquently on the innocence of a corrupt man.
Then there’s the great “the name is Prize Bond, Khawaja Saad Rafique Prize Samad Bond”.
Khawaja sahib is the classic rags to robbery story. From having nothing to becoming a billionaire, he offers, of all his snowflake excuses, winning prize bonds as his source of wealth. And this person nearly joined the PTI but didn’t because he wasn’t promised the title of Vice Chairman.
And then the third witness to the murder, Ahsan Iqbal. He is, what we in the corporate world call an empty suit.
Great communication skills, great ability to suck upwards, possesses all the proverbial con men tricks of sounding very believable and earnest, yet zero competence. His only credential of substance is his Wharton MBA. This indicates that he is clearly smart.
But then he has not done a decent day’s work in his life. A junior engineer in some forgotten small private company. Entered politics because of his mother, Apa Nisar Fatima, a die-hard Jamaathia, and as I’ve heard, a woman of great substance.
She must be appalled, looking down from the heavens at the values espoused by this bearded hypocrite. Taught at some local Pakistani business schools, and that too courtesy of some friends in senior positions in these private universities in Punjab. associated with JI and who he subsequently rewarded for selling their souls.
The last, Shahid Khaqan ‘LNG” Abbasi. The seemingly reluctant fundamentalist, belongs to my alma mater, Lawrence College. And he puts us all to shame. Disgracing the values of truth, honesty and hard work that we have all so devoutly tried to live by. Now having to defend the indefensible, because of the $15 billion Qatar contract and the alleged 20% kickback.
Such are the people who lined up to defend their great leader. and leaving behind the second eleven, poor Danyal Aziz and Talal Chaudhry, starry eyed fans of Maryam Antoinette Safdar, who twirls them around her pretty fingers, and that poor completely clueless, Maryam Aurangzeb!
People advise me to be “objective” when I write about Nawaz Sharif and his corruption. They say that I’m too one sided in my opinions and perspectives. That I should be “fair”.
How can one be “fair” about someone against whom the evidence of corruption, plunder and money laundering is so overwhelming?
How does one remain objective when the PM himself, his sons, his daughter, his Finance Minister, his other ministers and party leaders have themselves lied and given statements which broadcast their guilt to the World?
So how does one write objectively about this family? What should one write when the heart bleeds and the wounds are so fresh?
How does one even begin to see good in people whose hands are stained with the blood, horrors and miseries of the poor and wretched of this nation?
How does one forgive these people who have deliberately and systematically destroyed every single public institution of this country, so that they are not held accountable for their daylight robberies?
How can one write objectively about a person and a family who have sold this country’s unity and sovereignty to its mortal enemy India, so they could enhance their wealth and destroy the last institution standing between them and total power, the Pakistan Army?
To me and the overwhelming majority of Pakistanis, the conclusion is simple.
These people are crooks and criminals. They have bled this nation dry. In 3 decades of misrule and misgovernance, the only people who have benefited is this terribly, evil family.
A family, whose hands are soiled with the blood, miseries and hopelessness of the tens of millions of poor Pakistanis devoid of the basic securities of life, property and health care. People just hopelessly waiting to die like flies in the corridors and grounds of our government hospitals, if they are lucky enough to even get there.
The Sharifs have the blood and curses of people who will never be able to leave the vicious cycle of abject poverty because of a lack of education. People forced into a life of petty crime which in turn fuels the recruitment of soldiers for terror groups.
Of course our military interventions have caused great problems, but never have our military rulers sucked the blood of the nation at such a colossal scale as this family has.
If ever there was a person and a family that deserves to be strung up like a Saddam or a Qaddafi or a Mussolini or a Nicole Ceausescu, it is this. They had the opportunity to turn this country around, but all they did was fill their own person coffers and bank accounts.
Pakistan must not let them get away.
And all these four shameless criminals can come up with is a twisted technicality to defend themselves. As twisted and warped as their values, their upbringing and those of their children and their forefathers.
That “If the Qatari’s statement is not recorded” we will reject the JIT…..”
How could these four put themselves up for so much shame and ridicule, arraigned on a table like the ‘gang of four”, shamelessly and embarrassingly defending what is now an obvious open and shut case?
But what is perhaps most dangerous are the educated, informed, insightful and honest people of Pakistan, who are unable to either see or bring themselves to acknowledge this loot and plunder.
While education is bandied as a panacea for development and a relatively corruption free environment, I struggle with this simplistic argument because of the many decent and honest people who turn a blind eye to the crimes of these so-called leaders.
People who in their personal and professional conduct are above board, but choke up when it comes to Nawaz Sharif or Zardari. And then one finds the inevitable links. A brother, a sister, an uncle, an aunt, a cousin, who are part of the Nawaz gravy train. Or their business ties to the gravy train. And finally the inevitable, Kashmiri, Lahori, linguistic, ethnic, baradari links.
And it is these who I blame above all. The good and the decent, who sell their souls and their self respect to defend the indefensible for a few crumbs today or potential crumbs tomorrow.
And look at the education of this gang of four. What good did it do them?
Ahsan Iqbal went to Wharton, one of the top business schools in the world and yet gets his son elected Chairman of a Local Government of Narowal, so the Iqbal family loot and plunder can now also continue unabashed. And this after giving his son an education at a top North American University. What a fall!
Shahid Khaqan Abbassi attended Lawrence College, arguably the best higher secondary school in the country ( Aitchisonians will of course disagree) teaching its students, honour, dignity and self respect. So did this great institution falter or was their a manufacturing defect?
No idea where Khawaja Sharam & Haya and Prize Bond Saad Rafique got their education. The last one, if at all.
However Kh Sharam& Haya, was a BCCI Bank Manager, so he obviously had some sort of an education. And look at these other fine specimens of educated homo-sapiens. Look at Danyal Aziz, the person who masterminded the Local Government reforms under Gen. Musharraf, slobbering and drivelling at the mouth, disgracing his family and everyone associated with him. For Talal Chaudhry I have nothing to say, except that he reminds me of those whose label is best left unsaid……usually found in the unsavory parts of a city where the night owls prowl.
So education really is not the panacea. Its the value system that people are brought up on that defines their characters which boils down to ones upbringing and parentage or guardianship! But this still does not answer why these same crooks will behave well in one environment and not in another. Why a Pak Army sepoy or NCO or JCO or Officer is much less prone to corruption than say those of equivalent ranks in the Police or the Customs etc?
The answer lies in a society defining “acceptable” and “unacceptable” behaviors and ensuring compliance either through positive reinforcements of merit driven, promotions, reward and recognition or negative consequences of punitive actions?
Why do people drive with a seat belt and within 125 kmh on the Islamabad – Lahore Motorway and not on the GT Road? Because of the consequences!
Why are military personnel, in Pakistan, by and large less corrupt than their civilian counterparts? Because of the severe consequences.
And sadly as these consequences become less and less effective as they rise in ranks, the level of corruption and misuse of power and authority increases, everywhere!
Our nation’s destruction is not only just because of an absence of strong values and lack of education, but about the complete absence of public institutions which hold people accountable for their actions. The entire psychology of human behavior vests and agrees on one single fundamental. People’s behaviors is directly related to the limits imposed by society. So one sees the instant transformation of an ill disciplined mob like madhouse at Lahore and Karachi’s International airports, to a perfectly sane, peaceful and tranquil lot as soon as they land at Dubai airport. Same people. Different environment.
This is true for all societies, even the most so called socially evolved and developed. Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, USA, laid bare the horrors of human behavior, where in this first world country called America, people chopped of fingers from the living and the dead to steal their watches and jewelry, as the state institutions of Law and Order were nowhere to be seen.
How Rwanda, today is a model democratic country after its 2 million deaths in the genocidal conflict between the Hutus and the Tutsis.
It takes very little to move from the Angelic to the Devilish and back to being an Angel. Its called accountability for one’s actions! Ask military cadets 6 hours after joining PMA, and they will tell you what this means!
Accountability at every level of society. For traffic, at schools, at work, and most importantly when occupying Public office. For it is there that the whole scale destruction commences!
So it’s now back to our Supreme Court bench and the JIT investigation report.
From the howling and screeching emanating from the corridors of Raiwind and the bowels of the PMLN, it does appear that the JIT has them by the … (I wish I could complete this sentence, but hopefully people will understand).
Clearly the questions asked and documents showed to the Sharifs, indicates that they have uncovered much more than just the Panamagate money laundering. From what one hears, a major portion of the Sharif’s ill-gotten empire has been uncovered. This is what provoked that comment from the “poor” Princess Maryam Marie Antoinette Safdar “Why are they asking us about our personal wealth?”
This Maryam Safdar statement sits at par if not superior to that attributed to that other tubelight from history. Queen Marie Antoinette, who when watching people from her carriage rioting in Paris sometimes before the French Revolution, asked her adviser, “Why are these people rioting?” “Because they have no bread to eat my lady”, replied the courtier. “Oh”, said Maryam Antoinette Safdar, sorry I mean Queen Marie Antoinette. “Let them eat cake”, she replied and eventually the good people of France, guillotined her.
Such is the anger of the people and the justice of God! And the latter comes through the former!
So now what options are now available to the SC?
The Supreme Court bench can pass a judgment on Nawaz’s disqualification or otherwise as stated in the earlier judgment of the 5 member bench. I quote:
On receipt of report of the JIT, the Bench shall pass appropriate orders in exercise of powers under Article 184(3) read with Articles 187 & 190 of the Constitution relating to disqualification of Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, the Prime Minister of Pakistan, Respondent No.1 as a member of Majlis-eShoora (Parliament),.
Article 184 (3) confers the power and the right on the Supreme Court to pass a judgement on, quote “if it considers that a question of public importance with reference to the enforcement of any of the Fundamental Rights ….”
Article 187 gives the Supreme Court the power and authority, quote, “to issue such directions, orders or decrees as may be necessary for doing complete justice in any case or matter pending before it, including an order for the purpose of securing the attendance of any person or the discovery or production of any document”.
Article 190 empowers the Supreme Court to, quote “….All executive and judicial authorities throughout Pakistan shall act in aid of the Supreme Court……”
Here’s the link to the relevant articles shared above. Articles 184 (3), 187, 190 of the Constitution of Pakistan
The Bench also stated that if found guilty, the process of disqualification will be initiated and respondent number 1, Nawaz Sharif, may be called to explain his position before such an order is passed.
It seems that this may be now what is being anticipated by the Nawaz league. So what are their options?
1. They are setting the grounds to reject the JIT report and any subsequent orders by the Supreme Court to disqualify Nawaz Sharif.
2. In a party meeting they said “Nawaz Sharif will remain PM”, which means they will clearly disobey the orders of the Supreme Court if the SC were to disqualify Nawaz. This would bring them into direct conflict with the SC who will then ask the state institutions under Article 190 to remove Nawaz Sharif. This would then create a crisis and result in violence on the streets and if the army steps in, at the behest of the Supreme Court, the PMLN would term this a “coup” and try and attain martyrdom, which they are so desperately seeking to cleanse themselves.
3. However, if Nawaz goes, after a bit of huff and bluff, my take is that someone like Khawaja Asif will take over as Interim PM for a 6 to 8 week period till Shahbaz Sharif is elected on the vacated NA seat. Not a sure thing, but assuming he is elected, Shahbaz will administer till March to get the Senate majority and elections are then called.
4. Thus, the PMLN is hoping that with a Sharif still in power, the party will not disintegrate as it did in 1999 – 2000 and they will again “win” the election.
This brings us to the “caretaker governments”, where the Sharif’s think they hold the cards!
If a Sharif is still in power, especially Nawaz Sharif, who through some combination of legal technicality or use of money, power, pressure, influence, bribery, coercion and fear is not disqualified, then no one can rid these guys through the current electoral process and this is why!
The current electoral process is totally biased in their favor, legally and constitutionally.
Under Article 224 of the Constitution of Pakistan of the Constitution, the caretaker PM and CMs are appointed by the President and respective Governors in consultation with the outgoing PM (Nawaz or Shahbaz), leader of the opposition (Khurshid Shah) and the outgoing CM’s and their respective leaders of oppositions.
Clearly, given the current situation, one does not see a consensus at the federal or provincial levels between the incumbent PM/CM and respective leaders of opposition.
In that case, Article 224 (a) of the Constitution of Pakistan comes into play. This states, in brief summary, that in case there isn’t a consensus, a committee of government and opposition members will be set up, by the Speaker of the National Assembly / Provincial Assemblies, who will nominate the caretaker PM and CMs.
But here’s the clincher. In case these committees also fail to resolve the issue, which in my opinion is likely to happen, then the matter is referred to the Election Commission of Pakistan for nomination of the caretaker PM and CMs.
And guess who “owns” the current Election Commission?
So what other options do the people have?
Other than ask for a military coup, which in my opinion is an even worse scenario than a Nawaz in power, is for the people to go back to the Supreme Court to seek and ensure a fair playing field prior to the holding of the next elections.
As a minimum they must ask that the Election Commission be above board and using powers under Article 184(3), appoint people of unimpeachable integrity, as they did with the JIT. And to cleanse some key state institutions of Nawaz and Zardari toadies. Provincial Police chiefs, NAB. FIA (these guys seem to be seeing the writing on the wall). SECP; FBR. State Bank etc.
In addition they should be asked to ensure that the fresh census results are reflected in creating new electoral constituencies and demarcating existing ones, by a trusted and competent Election Commission, prior to fresh elections.
And finally and most importantly, under Article 184 (3) nominate the Caretaker PM and CM’s. Again people of unimpeachable integrity and competence.
And to the Army. My humble plea from the people of Pakistan. Please DO NOT take over. Please maintain law and order and If I were Gen. Bajwa I would ask all associated military units and rangers to be drawing up plans to address a potential outbreak of violence, orchestrated by Nawaz and funded and fueled by our “friends from across the borders”.
Please help the Supreme Court implement its orders. And please ensure the holding of fair and free elections by ensuring that ballot boxes are not stuffed. The Presiding officers are on the straight and narrow and the Army is not seen to be taking sides with anybody. Overtly or covertly. Let the fair will of the people be heard!
Dear countrymen. This family is like a leech. They will not leave till they are physically thrown out and eliminated, by legal and constitutional means. They are willing to throw Pakistan into civil war and anarchy to save their power.
It is for us, the People of Pakistan to rise to the occasion, take our destiny in our own hands and support those people, parties and institutions who offer a much better hope and future than these terrible people.
And the Army. Please do your legal and constitutional duty in aid of the Supreme Court!
Otherwise it’s back to the stench and vomit of the Sharifs and the Zardaris and to anarchy and breakdown!
May Allah have Mercy on Pakistan!