By Syed Haider Raza Mehdi
Panamagate and the apartments
are symbols of the rot in our society!
They define and manifest the
cancer of total corruption, criminality, loot and plunder by Nawaz and Zardari
and the system they represent. From our early days till today.
Nawaz, and Zardari before him
and all other looters and plunderers, civilian and military, symbolise the
complete meltdown of governance, state machinery, meritocracy and the ability
of public sector institutions to deliver public service.
They define and symbolise what
a system looks like when stuffed with toadies and cronies, who lack both
competence and integrity. But most painfully and sadly,
Nawaz Sharif and his family symbolise the rot and destruction of individual,
familial and societal values in Pakistan.
Here is a person who cheats and
tells lies and a very large segment finds it acceptable. Here's a father who makes his
children his accomplices in crime and teaches them to cheat and lie. Yes!
Teaches them not about truth, honour, integrity, hard work but how to cheat, lie,
money launder, forge documents. And he shamelessly allows them to do so in full
public view. And people still flock to him. His daughter, Princess Tubelight all
the while twittering away religious quotes about him having been
And here is a PM. Somebody in
whom the poor and wretched put their hopes. Here is this amazing person who
will publicly tell lies many times and with that cool, brazen confidence of the
best con men I've seen.
He tells lies on the floor of
the National Assembly, in a nationally televised public address to the Nation,
in countless Cabinet meetings and in scores of political Public gatherings. And
everyone knows he's lying. But there's silence from the people he addresses. A
shameless silence of the slaves! And yet he has the audacity to
say. "Mayra Jurram kia Hay?"
It's like the proverbial lady of the night indignantly questioning
the arresting police officer about the cause of her arrest.
madam" he answers.
"But thats my profession" she replies even more
indignantly. "But tell me what crime have I committed?"
Our PM's indignation is similar. "Corruption? Money
laundering? But that's my profession. Someone please tell me what crime have I
committed?" Asks our PM. And this nation takes it lying down.
And just look at this tragedy;
189 PMLN MNA'S, 38 Federal
Cabinet Ministers, 26 Senators, 312 Punjab MPA’s, 28 Punjab Ministers. And not
one had the spine or an embarrassed conscience or self-respect or even just a
fleeting moment of madness remorse, to resign.
Or in the least come on a TV
talk show and say something like. ..."I love my party and I love Pakistan
but for the sake of our Nation's dignity and self-respect, I think Mr. Nawaz
Sharif should step down”. But nothing except abject, tragic, slavish silence. But
nothing can shame the shameless. For centuries we have been whipped and our
only protest has been to tell the floggers to whip and hit harder and longer!
It’s amazing to see how those who
support him are completely blind to the overwhelming evidence of corruption,
money laundering, and illegal transfer of wealth, lying, cheating, and
misrepresenting information presented against Nawaz over the last one year. Not
one in his party can see how this family has been stripped naked of any form of
self-respect and dignity and their guilt and corruption emblazoned across the
skies for the whole world to see.
Not one public servant or
bureaucrat or police officer at the Federal or provincial levels resigned.
Not one of the 350 plus CEO's
of State run enterprises felt a qualm of guilt and shame and quit.
Not one academic in a State run
university publicly resigned in protest against this man and his family's
Not one crowd of a few thousand
people spontaneously came out on the streets demanding he leave office.
Not one person from the
business community, the Manshas the Saigols, the Habibs and others like them,
especially those who are close to him and the guts to publicly say, Mr. Prime
Minister, I think it's time to go.
A scion of an
"illustrious" business family from Lahore, with close ties to Nawaz, boldly
asserted in an exchange with me that:
apartments are the result of policy failure of successive regimes
That people felt the need
to have assets abroad. And I think the economic crimes of successive
governments are far greater than these stupid apartments......"
As if poor Nawaz was a victim
of the State and had to money launder and transfer and hide his ill-gotten
wealth. I was stupefied!
Not one lawyer association
unanimously backed a call for him to resign. Where is that foul mouthed,
pan chewing Asma Jilani today with her vile poison and invective?
Not one trade or business
association passed a resolution, condemning this evil family and their
corruption. Not one!
And in all this to and fro, we
forget the big picture and the actual act. We forget the loot and plunder. We
forget the total destruction of civilized values. We forget that he and his
family are criminals.But we get bogged down in discussions about "just a
few flats" and "Imran unable to provide x or y" .
Nawaz, Ishaq, Maryam Safdar "Tubelight", Hassan
and Hussain (what a dark stain on the names they carry) have been caught red
handed with their hands in the till. If people still believe in their
innocence, citing painful contorted and torturous arguments and technicalities,
then help us God!
On the contrary, even the
educated and insightful amongst us drag down those brave souls, imperfect they
may be in other ways, big and small, into their filthy gutters. Look at the manner in which
Imran Khan's name is being dragged into this on the issue of his earnings. A
person who singlehandedly forced the Supreme Court to listen to this case. A
person who has presented evidence of nearly twice the amount required to justify
buying his flat is being pilloried next to this evil man Sharif, accused of
Imran brings money in through legal banking channels. This crook
transfers his overseas on the back of Camels, if we are to believe him or money
laundered through the likes of Hudaibiya (what a terrible scar on this great
name from our history) and that evil Rasputin Ishaq Dar. And yet I get the
question. But what about Imran's money trail? What about it? You're
telling me that Imran's bringing money into Pakistan with all evidence and
receipts is the same as this guy's money laundering.
It's a sick society that can
accept this perverted logic. The Sharif family saying this understandable. But
the educated? So we dirty and sully them with dark fabrications. Sowing seeds
of suspicion in the hearts and minds of the common person. And they win again. When. When. When will this
Nation get a Spine? When will we free ourselves from the yokes of mental, emotional
and physical slavery deeply seared into our hearts, our souls and our minds?
Could we only just get few
dozen with some Spine?
Some in the Supreme Court. Certainly two for sure. The
jury on the other three, still out. And just 6 brave JIT souls and the few
others who worked with them tirelessly and fearlessly.
A nation of 200 Million and 8
Spines plus some unsung heroes? Is that all we have?
Or maybe, perhaps the fault
lies in our stars, dear Brutus!