Pakistan, unfortunately, is a country where a venal, unpatriotic, inept, immoral, convicted and criminal elite is ruling. The ruling elite is not following ethics, rules and the constitution which have been formed to run the functions of the state and system successfully and smoothly. The elite has its own principles, regulations and laws. Everything which protects its corrupt rule, exploitation and loot becomes rightful, legal and ethical in its eyes. While everything, whether it is a law or the constitution, which challenges its corrupt rule, tries to clip its power and hampers its plunder, becomes a conspiracy against the country, democracy, religion and the constitution. To save its power and prestige, the ruling elite changes the constitution, passes new bills, nullifies and abrogates all the laws which are threatening its rule and power.
There are two laws in Pakistan. One law is for the poor, helpless and innocent people while the second law is for the powerful, rich, and cunning rulers. If a poor man steals one loaf of bread to satisfy the hunger of his starving children, the mighty law comes into play with full force. The police treat the thief brutally and harshly. The law convicts the thief and puts him behind bars swiftly. But, if a member of the ruling elite steals the treasure of the country, he is treated with utmost respect and honour. The police and other security agencies become his guards. He is considered as a hero, patriot, redeemer and great leader. In short, he becomes an idol and his cronies, who are themselves corrupt, start to support and worship him.
Nawaz Sharif, an ex-prime minister, who has been ousted from his office by the apex court in the Panama case verdict, is still behaving like a prime minister. Being “a godfather”, he and his family are not abiding by the orders of the court fully. Nawaz Sharif, his daughter and party leaders are constantly speaking against the court and the army.
On October 8, Maryam Nawaz said, “It has been exposed now and the whole world knows that this is not accountability; rather, it has turned into revenge now. I do not need to say anything here, the way things have been going on in the past year-and-a-half has revealed the truth to the nation… We will still appear in court and try the country’s justice system.”
It is very interesting that Hassan Nawaz and Hussain Nawaz are not coming to appear before the court in Pakistan. They will remain in London. It shows the Sharif family has no respect for the Pakistani judicial system.
But, there is no doubt, the Sharif family is still ruling the country. Nawaz Sharif is enjoying the protocol of the prime minister while appearing before the NAB court. A convoy of 40 to 50 cars is with him or his family members when they move in public space. Without any shame and guilt, Nawaz Sharif is enjoying the VVIP protocol at public expense. As if it is not enough, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, who is himself involved in many mega corruption scandals, has called Nawaz Sharif his prime minister. This declaration is a sheer violation of the constitution.
“Godfather” Nawaz Sharif is so powerful that he has again become the president of the ruling party PML-N after the passage of the Electoral Reforms Bill which was introduced and passed in a hurry by parliament. The corrupt ruling elite has changed the constitution to protect Nawaz Sharif’s interests and rule in the country. Without any shame or remorse, parliament has” bulldozed a law that did away with the condition that persons otherwise disqualified to hold public office would not be allowed to lead a political party.”
Nawaz Sharif’s unopposed re-election demonstrates that there is no democratic culture within the party. Although Nawaz Sharif is claiming that he has been punished for protecting the democratic system, there are no democratic values or culture in his own party. It is a bitter fact that parliament has never display “any unusual swiftness for passing laws concerning fundamental rights of the Pakistani people”, as it did to restore Sharif to the party presidency. Although Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi called it a ‘historic day’, many analysts and political opponents feel that parliament has compromised democratic norms just for Nawaz Sharif’s personal gains and interests.
On 8 October, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan said: “Our National Assembly has recently passed a law which says a man who steals and tells lies before the Supreme Court and parliament can be re-elected as the chief of a political party”.
On the other hand, the PML-N government’s ministers are defending the corrupt Nawaz Sharif fully. Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif, who has himself got an Aqama to conceal his corruption, has clearly told the world in America that Nawaz Sharif’s ouster is a conspiracy against the country. Despite acknowledging Nawaz Sharif’s loot and corruption and upholding the apex court’s verdict, Khawaja Asif, without any shame, has indirectly put blame on the army for the removal of Nawaz Sharif. Pakistan’s Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal, who is responsible for the security of Pakistan, has also got an Aqama to protect his own personal interests in Saudi Arabia. Without any shame, he upholds Nawaz Sharif as his leader and criticises the Army and Rangers very severely. After being stopped by the Rangers outside the NAB court , he even threatened to resign. But, he has not resigned yet. And he will not resign in the future because he needs power to protect his own corruption and Aqama.
More appallingly and tragically, Pakistan’s Finance Minister Ishaq Dar is a convicted criminal who has been involved in money laundering and many other grave corruption cases. “He has been unable to explain his own rise in finances from Rs9.11 million to Rs831.70 million – which is an increase of 91 times”. He is still holding the most important ministry in Pakistan . Many analysts believe that Ishaq Dar is an “economic hitman” who is working against the very stability of Pakistan.
Then, there is Qamar Zaman Chaudhry, former Chairman NAB, who is notorious for his corruption. Even the apex court has declared him the most shameless person who is a promoter of corruption rather than a preventer of corruption. In spite of that, Qamar Zaman was given a guard of honour at his farewell function.
Then, another man Saeed Ahmad, a convicted person, is also working as the NBP president. He has also faced jail in Saudi Arabia in a fraud case. Zafar Hijazi, former SECP chairman, another criminal, has changed the record to save Nawaz Sharif.
It is an acknowledged truth when criminals become acceptable, a society, nation and country start crumbling rapidly. The concept of right or wrong vanishes; the system of accountability disappears; the concept of reward and punishment loses its ground; the concept of “might is right” strengthens and all the judicial, ethical and moral systems and national institutions weaken. All this and more is happening in Pakistan- “a land of the pure”.
Justice Asif Saeed Khan Khosa has aptly written on the contempt proceedings against Syed Yousaf Raza Gillani, then prime minister of Pakistan on April 26, 2012:
“Pity the nation that achieves nationhood in the name of a religion
but pays little heed to truth, righteousness and accountability
which are the essence of every religion.
Pity the nation that proclaims democracy as its polity
but restricts it to queuing up for casting of ballots only
and discourages democratic values.
Pity the nation that measures honour with success
and respect with authority,
that despises sublime and cherishes mundane,
that treats a criminal as a hero and considers civility as weakness
and that deems a sage a fool and venerates the wicked.
Pity the nation that adopts a Constitution
but allows political interests to outweigh constitutional diktat.
Pity the nation that demands justice for all
but is agitated when justice hurts its political loyalty.
Pity the nation whose servants treat their solemn oaths
as nothing more than a formality before entering upon an office.
Pity the nation that elects a leader as a redeemer
but expects him to bend every law to favour his benefactors.
Pity the nation whose leaders seek martyrdom
through disobeying the law
than giving sacrifices for the glory of law
and who see no shame in crime.
Pity the nation that is led by those
who laugh at the law
little realizing that the law shall have the last laugh….
Pity the nation that punishes its weak and poor
but is shy of bringing its high and mighty to book.
Pity the nation that clamours for equality before law
but has selective justice close to its heart.
Pity the nation that thinks from its heart
and not from its head.
Indeed, pity the nation
that does not discern villainy from nobility”.