Whither the National Action Plan in the aftermath of the Panama Leaks

Here is a solution for Pakistan to survive amid multiple threats from Raw agents, terrorism, extremism, corruption, ineffective judicial system, rule of family legacy besides golden opportunity of CPEC. Ahmad Jawad

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Here is an analysis by Lt Col Iftikhar Ur Rehman s/o Gen Reman Gul, Sword of Honour 39th PMA LC, sent to the publishers titled; “Whither the National Action Plan” in the aftermath of the Panama Leaks:

The Prime Minister of Pakistan has lost the moral authority to govern Pakistan after the damning revelations in the Panama Leaks…. This has a direct and telling effect on the “Nation Action Plan”, the ownership of which in any case has been forced upon the ruling government by the Pakistan Army on an otherwise dithering Prime Minister. The complicity of the mainstream political parties in defending each other is evident by the screaming headlines in today’s papers; “those who tore the constitution are traitors – Zardari”, the statement he makes on the constitution day!. The actual fact is the Constitution of Pakistan is being torn to shreds round the clock through financial scams that cannot be proved in a decayed justice system that can put petty thieves behind bars but cannot convict white collared criminals.  General Raheel Sharif, you have been the first Commander-in-Chief of the Pakistan Army who has been the driving force behind this paradigm shift to clean Pakistan of the scourge of terror. Never before since the 1965 war, has the majority rallied around the Armed Forces of Pakistan like they have after the blood soaked tragedy at Peshawar on December 16, 2014. It is thus a bugle sound for you to put a stop to the “potential” failure of the National Action Plan.  Time is running out in the context of the global and the regional situation, and the military as a first and immediate step, has to be seen as “fair” in dealing with threat to derail the National Action Plan.

Although the National Action Plan should have had more clarity in terms of timelines for short-term and longer term actions with clear responsibilities for “lead” and “support roles”, the plans and actions against “financial terrorism” and “changing the terrorist mindset” are going nowhere because the political leaders of this country are focusing more on siphoning off every penny of taxpayers money to offshore accounts, instead of national building. The most worrying aspect of all this is the perception developing that the military is soft on the ruling party and pushes for stronger and tangible actions against the PPP and the MQM irrespective of the ruling party’s soft corner for our arch enemy India. If Dr. Asim Hussain can go to jail, why the ruling party is allowed to wriggle out of such scams since the past 25 years? While all of this is happening, our soldiers are shedding blood to protect this country at the peril of their sacrifices going waste as politicians are scavenging of what is left in this Country.

The government’s strategy of setting up commissions, investigation committees and forensic audits are just a smoke screen to buy time for the wriggling out of this quagmire that they find themselves in. The only renowned forum for investigating money laundering is the World Bank’s STAR (stolen assets recovery) Initiative, which already has an inquiry against our sitting Prime Minister (http://star.worldbank.org/star/) alleging his ownership of two offshore accounts! This corroborates with the revelations in Raymond David Baker’s Book. Why not commission STAR for this current scam?

The Nation is not going to buy commissions and investigations that are ordered by the PM on whom there are allegations of financial impropriety as the Judicial Commission on Model Town massacre is yet to be made public. The important element of the National Action Plan relating to changing the extremist mindset is taking a beating because of non-poor and non-citizen inclusive governance. Do the people of Pakistan ask for better and cheaper healthcare or for access to quality education, clean drinking water and equal livelihood opportunities or are they demonstrating for “orange trains” and “metro buses”? The distorted priorities are because these scavengers can make more money through such mega projects that benefit a small segment. When there is clamor for investigations by NAB in Punjab, the ruling party talks of “cutting of nails” of NAB? If this is not a “banana republic” type of arrogance then what else is needed to prove it?

The voters have no choices; they vote for PPP, PML or PTI, where all of these parties are tainted to varying degrees. The propaganda machinery that a ruling party wields hoodwinks the electorate time and again. With such clear evidence of the purchase of apartments in London in 1994 with laundered money and now trying to say that these were purchased in 2006 are not buyable anymore. Yet the coteries of ministers come out to shamefully defend a tainted leader. We have stumbled to such depths that it is terrifying.  We are not learning from history. The Mongols were able to sweep Baghdad and end the Islamic Empire because we had rulers that were only interested in bargains with enemies and making hay while the sun shone. Imagine it can happen only in Pakistan. A sitting judge of the Lahore High Court also figures in the Panama Leaks. It was he who quashed all cases against the ruling family in 2015!  A country where none of the over 450 parliamentarians declare their assets to the election commission of Pakistan by dates that are on the website and yet no one has the guts to disqualify anyone. RAW agents are arrested from Ramzan Sugar Mills and not a leaf moves whereas if this has been in any other party’s mill, hell would have broken loose.

These Panama Leaks is a “red alert” for us! The Nation is in an advanced “cancerous stage” and if all those in the corridors of power at present do not undertake a “deep surgery”, we might soon be wailing at the (God Forbid), slow and painful demise of a Nation. While the government is high on rhetoric, key indicators point to a sluggish movement on the “National Action Plan (NAP)”. These are; at the federal and provincial government Levels, we do not appear to be in a state of war, we are acceding space to extremist mindsets such as the venomous speeches against the Army leadership by the congregation at D Chowk of a previously docile religious entity, the apologetic posturing of the government to madrassa oversight and reforms, until recent an ostrich like self-denial about terror or secretarian militant groups in Punjab and absence of concrete steps to plug the money inflow to banned groups.

The most important missing links in the “National Action Plan” (NAP) that are crucial to victory against this diseased terrorist mindset are the following;

• We have not incorporated in the plan how to tackle the root causes that have oscillated brainwashed men towards the extremist narrative. The root causes that anyone can see is poor governance (or rather no governance), wherein instead of garnering resources for the “war effort”, the rulers are diverting resources to projects that should not figure at all while a nation is at war,
• There is no trickle-down effect of the economy to citizens because of reported corruption which the government fails to defend disbursement of circular debts to favorite business partners such as Mansha.
• The legal justice system has completely collapsed. The government does not have the capacity to draw up a “national war plan” that links the immediate “National Action Plan” with longer term plans with timelines for addressing the imbalances in our society, justice and economic systems through an effective across the board “accountability system”;

What is required to be done? The Army under General Raheel Sharif currently has the stature, aura and is seen as a role model image that endears him to the multitudes within Pakistan. Thus, he could be the catalyst that drives the following:

• The immediate resignation of the Prime Minister until he is cleared of financial impropriety;
• The government should immediately declare an “emergency under the constitution” (Article 232) in order to win this war if it accepts the fact that we are indeed at war;
• During the period of national emergency, the National Action Plan should also focus on citizen.

Courtesy: Social Media

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