Articles of the year 2010

The Evidencet
Published on November 04th, 2010

Pakistan is already in the midst of a downward spiral in every facet of our lives. The cost of food items, fuel prices, electricity all climbing out of reach of the common man. All compounded with unemployment surrounding us. The burden is becoming unbearable, and even the upper income brackets of Pakistani society are feeling the pinch. In fact all those who are not protected by the state coffers, to pay their petrol and electricity bills will be facing penury at the hands of the services required to live decently. The huge, bloated bureaucracy, keeps helping themselves from State funds, that are meant for development, but are diverted for personal use. Even the floods have been used to inflate bills for the use of the politicians. Stories are rife of 5000 Rs being charged for one deg of rice when the standard deg in Karachi is not more than 1500 Rs. This behavior at a time of the flood crisis is extremely dangerous especially for those at the helm of affairs for these crimes are being recorded, and when the time comes all will come out. The President would do well to take note of the Harrod's cartons and those of his Min of Defence.

Then surely it is time to put the PM on notice to rein in his cabinet officers. Whether the PM realizes it or not, on the books of the State it is the PM that shall be held responsible. On a daily basis, it is the Prime Minister under whose authority the State functions, and is responsible for all the actions of the State. After the eighteenth amendment it is only the Prime Minister that is responsible. Passing the buck elsewhere will not be possible. The routing of all the paperwork is via the office of the Prime Minister, and the President has moved brilliantly, for his prints are not visible, and he was always bound to act on the advice of the Prime Minister. Years from now, the only evidence will point towards the actions of the Prime Minister. So when the Mr Gilani complains that he does not want to go to jail for any reason, he has by virtue of his office been squarely implicated. On accepting the office he takes responsibility with no immunity, for it is only the President that enjoys immunity. When he speaks on the floor of the house insisting that all his actions are taken within the full knowledge of the President, it does not absolve him from the wrongdoing but involves him deeper still.

The Prime Minister has been known to complain that he served a long prison term and was determined not be caught wrong footed this time. It seems as if the prison term has been buried and forgotten. But the dossier keeps getting bigger, and there is no covering immunity. In fact the office of the Prime Minister is even more vulnerable, for the sins of members of the cabinet will also be added to his dossier. As Chief executive he will be held responsible.

The Media is exposing the cases of corruption daily, and the Supreme Court is taking Suo Moto notice, and in some cases charges are filed. In the absence of a vigilant Supreme Court many of these cases would go unpunished. The public is indeed grateful to the Supreme Court, for it seems to be the only organ of the state that seems to be concerned with illegal acts, and does something about it. While the rest of the country continues as if it were the norm.

The evidence is mounting and is being gathered by the watchdogs, and will surface when called forward. The latest scam in the Ministry of Religious affairs has been brought to the notice of the Supreme Court by a member of the Saudi Royal Family, alleging corruption on the part of the Ministry of Religious affairs. To see the Henna-dyed- Hair Minister defend his Ministry on the floor of the National Assembly was quite funny, but the implication for the Ministry of Religious Affairs will have created a stench of corruption which the PPP Government could well do without. All of this will no doubt add to the dossier of misdeeds in the Evidence folder. The PM was present in the House when the Saudi letter was read out so he will be well aware of the goings on of his Ministers. How will the next Government treat these aberrations, or will this Government bring in a new NRO to cover their misdeeds?