Articles of the year 2006

Character of Democracy
Published on June 02nd, 2006

The two camps of Benazir and Nawaz have signed an agreement to further the cause of democracy and the supremacy of Law in Pakistan, and of the Assemblys. This is truly noble in theory, but the translation into fact remains doubtful, knowing the track record of both leaders, and the motives of both seem highly suspect, and sound more as a mutual immunity-from-prosecution pact.

We the people would like to pose some questions to the Party, and to their leaders.Would the Party open their books of accounts to an audit to be made public, for we the public have a right to know how the monies were collected and how they are being spent.Can the Swiss and other accounts also be declared publicly? And if the ownership of the accounts is denied would the Bhuttos, Zardaris and Sharifs give an open letter to all banks to turn over any accounts where the beneficiaries are the above named or their nominees, to the GOP of Pakistan. A simple letter to Citibank Private Banking is all that is required.A similar case in point is the Surrey Palace. If indeed the ownership has been denied in the assembly, in the Press and in the British Court, we would like to see a specific instruction from the Zardari /Bhutto duo to the trustees of the off Shore company to deliver the title of Surrey Mahal to the GOP, as a display of good faith. After all if it does not indeed belong to them, then the letter will be of no value whatsoever. If these simple points can be acted upon, then and only then could we the public allow their return. We do not mind being ruled, nor being robbed, but not repeatedly. There should be a Hudood ordinance to protect the voters from being raped in this manner.

If instead of insisting that the accountability courts are in fact a political ploy, and there is no substance to the accusations then why should not an independent commission of honest citizens be empowered to examine the evidence. We are at the moment just discussing the financial crimes. Also to be scrutinized are the abuse of authority, and some of the pending murder charges.

A man was injured in a traffic accident and he sued the other party for ten million dollars claiming he could not walk, and was confined to use a wheelchair for the rest of his life. He put on such a good act that the judge ruled in his favour and ordered the insurance company to pay the amount claimed. The insurance paid, but a detective was assigned to follow the victim wherever he went. The man booked himself and his wife on a first class cruise around the world, and he was followed throughout by the insurance agent. After a month or so he called the insurance detective over and said.: " You have been following me for a month, and I hope you are satisfied that my injuries are genuine. But now I am getting homesick, and I shall return back to the States, only we will go via Lourdes. And there my friend you will witness a miracle."This story would be well worth repeating to the Swiss magistrates, apropos of Asif's ailments, for we Pakistanis have many such Healers, and many such shrines. And we believe in miracles for we witness them time and again. And it costs us.On a more serious note, surely as the Swiss courts are known for the swiftness of their justice, so it is a little strange that this affair of the necklace and of the Bank accounts is taking so long. Does the Magistrate not realize that with all the time being consumed in the examination of the evidence, that there are serious misgivings on both sides. The Bhutto side insists that the Court can find no evidence, and the other side claims the judges have been nobbled. Justice delayed is sometimes justice denied, only this time it is the people of Pakistan who may see in the delay a conspiracy theory again. And of course The Hidden Hand.We may yet see their return to Pakistan and reinstatement as a first couple freshly out from the Swiss laundry.