The only way forward


Zaheer Bhatti

The Government striking agreement with the Leader of the Opposition over nomination of the interim Prime Minister and Khurshid Shah vowing to keep the agreed name to his chest much more than appeasing Zardari appears to be designed to stall any attempt to delay holding of the coming national polls as being voiced by scores of political analysts. Unless meant to deliberately misguide the voter, Imran Khan attributing consultations between the Leaders of the House and Opposition to pre-poll rigging, reflected his ignorance of the laid down SOP.
Mr. Clean certainly needs to brush up his knowledge of the procedure in this context if he is to merit any claim to the apex office of the Prime Minister. But more than ensuring timely polls, what seems to be amiss, is some radical steps to nail continuing corruption which has been talked about a lot by the media but little done to address it; worse still the current selective accountability which ironically is benefitting Nawaz Sharif with the latest Press Release by NAB announcing a probe into the insinuated money laundered remittance of 4.9 billion US dollars from Pakistan into the Indian State kitty quoting World Bank sources and naming Nawaz Sharif.
The World Bank promptly denying having named anyone or attributing the transactions to money laundering, Chairman NAB Justice®Javed Iqbal publicly announcing enquiry based on an unauthentic press report which had taken the rounds and was killed a couple of years ago, does not only look to have been ordered in indecent haste but also strengthens Nawaz Sharif’s narrative that only he and his Party were being targeted. Notwithstanding Mian Sahib trying to make political capital out of this episode demanding public apology and resignation of NAB Chairman, the least Justice Javed Iqbal ought to have done is to acknowledge the faux pas rather than insisting on continuing with what shall not hold his outfit in good stead.
Unless the Apex Court in the country plucks courage to take suo moto notice of mass corruption in the country and orders across-the-board accountability by the NAB, the day God forbid may not be far when Pakistan might face insolvency. One needs to look at all shaded deals and transactions of the past with a National Government in place, the Chief Justice must start by ordering NAB to take to task the remaining 400 plus named in the Panama Leaks besides recovering the loot from waivers enjoyed and cases closed down of over eight thousand individuals who had benefited from the infamous Musharraf NRO which had already been declared infructuous by the then Chief Justice Supreme Court in 2010. What also needs to be probed should be why no action since annulment of the NRO had been taken by the agencies of competent jurisdiction against the beneficiaries of the sordid deal.
In a milieu where the outlawed Prime Minister is still harbouring illusions about his personal return to power through an overwhelming mandate to become another Marcos unmindful of his ultimate fate rather than looking to repair and redeem his Political Party, and the reportedly favoured current Establishment bet Imran Khan already seen making familiar overtures to the Imperial Power House and the IMF, one can see what change to expect in more of the same with a different facade. Without mincing any words, let it be stated that unless an Economic Emergency is declared in the country mercilessly slashing extravagant non-development expenditure, and a ban placed on foreign loans in the face of the colossal rising international debt burden and inability to pay back, Pakistan is destined to sink further.
There cannot be a more heartless and inhuman reasoning among others that it is in the interest of the Armed Forces of nations in this region to keep military conflicts alive in order to ensure financing their Establishments heavily. Such pundits have not experienced any kith of their families laying down lives to value human blood, and amounts to an insult to their martyrdom as if their blood was being spilt in vain; in Pakistan’s case not merely other ranks but officers of all ranks up to the top leading from the front and sacrificing every other day in the unannounced multi-pronged war imposed upon Pakistan by the Indo-Imperial nexus to which our leadership merely suffices in paying lip service.
No one is more desirous of peace than the men in khakis as they are the only ones who by their oath are duty-bound to defend and save you and me with their blood in the event of a conflict whether overt or covert. The men in Khaki are paying back far more than what we are spending on them. So let us stop cribbing about them and put our own house in order where insensitivity to extravagance, mal-management and loot and plunder of successive governments is rendering every Pakistani hapless and poorer, with the chosen few prospering at their cost.
Across-the-board accountability and cleansing of the mess must include one and all without exception; be they the Parliamentarians, Executive, Judiciary, businessmen and Industrialist or the men in uniform who should be subjected to thorough scrutiny within a framework of a stringent SOP for the exercise. Holding of another general election merely for continuation of this sham democracy which has come to be synonymous to loot and plunder would amount to maintaining status quo which would be disastrous for the future of the country. Salvation if at all lies in a National Government whose prime duty should be to ensure accountability and cleanse the mess before the next general election or else this country will continue to go down the drain. This is the only way forward.
But who will bell the cat; The President through an Ordinance or the Judiciary intervening to save the future of Pakistan, or will this country be allowed to keep running as it is until it God forbid meets its nemesis!
—The writer is a media professional, member of Pioneering team of PTV and a veteran ex Director Programmes.

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