Pakistani Elite: Corrupt and Compromised 

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By Dr Shahid Qureshi : –

It is unfortunate that both exiled leaders Benzair Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif have lost credibility on the grounds of compromised integrity and corruption. They both have charged each other with corruption. They both spend millions to collect evidence of corruption against each other. Saifur Rehman Sherlock Holmes of Nawaz Sharif and spy master Rehman Malik former director of FIA and present closet aid of Benzair Bhutto, collected huge evidence of corruption against each other which Musharaf government is going to use in the court. The skeletons are coming out of the closets and every one should be treated fairly in Pakistan. It’s the leaders who let down the nation over and over again.

According to Bhutto government’s investigations the evidence of Sharif family’s corruption is so overwhelming that even a low IQ person can detect super growth in the wealth and assets. Did any one ignore the ‘Law of Conflict of Interests’ first time in Pakistan? Looted national assets and wealth must be returned.

An elite mafia group was/is always in control of Pakistan since its inception. One can easily go mad by just looking at the blunders and mistakes these people have made without taking responsibility of their actions. They got away with real murders in Pakistan (the land of the pure) and looting of national assets. They all look after each other no matter which side of the government they are. They are real gangsters and untouchables.

They are the real blood suckers of the people of Pakistan. Those who should be charged with treason after the independence of both in India and Pakistan for aiding and abetting with the occupiers become the rulers. One looks at the political landscape and sees the faces of their sons and daughters and beyond. This a musical chair of power going on for 60 years.

A senior political commentator said, ‘Pakistan and its politicians are unique; they look after each others in turns, Asif Zaradari become father in prison while his wife was leader of the opposition. I haven’t heard any prisoner serving imprisonment had such exclusive privileges?

In 1983 General Jilani gave break to Nawaz Sharif in politics by appointing him as finance minister of Punjab. Sharifs had no connection with the feudal elite. His family moved from Jati Umra near Amirtasr and by 1960 they owned a few modest size factories – iron foundry, ice making, and water pump factory.

In 1981 the family business group Ittefaq’s turn over was Rs 337 million, but by 1987 it had soared to at least Rs 2,500 million, that is according to the group’s own accounts. Within four years Ittefaq had become one of the wealthiest private industrial groups in Pakistan. ‘Hard work and grace of Allah’ explained Shabaz Sharif. One can imagine the miraculous growth in the assets of Billions in 2007. Investing in politics is not bad business at all in Pakistan.

According to Asia Week, Rehman Malik, Benzair Bhutto’s close ally produced 200-page report of MNS’s corruption. The secret document was leaked to the London-based Observer newspaper published details of alleged corruption involving the MNS and his family. According to the report, the Sharif family obtained loans from Pakistani state banks for business purposes and illegally converted the money into foreign exchange worth at least $66 million.

According to the report, the Sharif family acquired properties in London worth millions of pounds now through two companies, Nescoll and Nielson Enterprises, registered in the British Virgin Islands and linked to a bank account in Lahore in the name of a fictitious person: Sulman Zia. The four flats in Avendale House in Park Lane are said to be worth at least £ 750,000, which worth millions of pounds keeping in view the current housing market in London. Not a bad deal!

10 years ago Benzair Bhutto assets worth more than $ 2 billion according to Saifurahman and according to NAB figure is around $1.2bn [£ 830m]. Raja Bashir of The Pakistani National Accountability Bureau told The Guardian that, “Ms Bhutto has 26 bank accounts, 14 properties and total assets of one billion sterling pounds abroad. We are very glad that other countries are cooperating with us.”

All political and religious parties with one or two exceptions are being run like family business or some kind of spiritual kingdoms. No one is allowed to talk about the change or challenge the leadership and leaders.

Maluna Fazalurehman is also reaping the fruits if his father’s legacy and party has been divided since his demise. Mulana Samiulhaq, leading his own religious faction. Qazi Husain Amhed of Jamat e Islami is ameer (leader) of his party for more than 15 years. JI do have some kind of internal democratic system. It seems people in JI don’t want to change their leader or its leader has never thought of moving on and leaving space for new comers. People have criticised the way politicians have distributed women’s seats in the provincial and national assemblies among their daughter, sisters, nieces and other family members.

People of Pakistan are fed up with the behaviour of politicians. Few years ago Qazi Hussain Ahmed was leading a long march to Nawaz Sahrif’s Palace in Raiwind and calling him corrupt. Now they seem to be hunky dory with Sharif brothers and supporting each other. Mulana Fazur Rehman was enjoying the perks with the Benzair Bhutto government and than started flirting with the Musharaf.

The so called secular parties or regional ethnic parties who claim to be enlightened are no different than others. Leadership is also running in the family and no body from outside the family is allowed to become leader. The poor political workers by convictions like Javeed Hashmi go to jail but leaders go abroad live in posh houses/apartments, fly first class and enjoy life with bunch of cronies in London, Dubai, New York and else where.

I have seen and met much future hopeful Senators, MNAs and MPAs walking around in London and New York. They pick and drop visiting or resident politicians, arrange receptions and than publish their photos in local ethnic papers, beg Pakistani TV workers for a shot. The real winners are self or forced exiled Pakistani politicians.

One security source asked me in London, ‘why these Pakistani politicians have people with criminal records, credit card fraudsters, and bank fraudsters around them? I replied, may be they don’t know about the criminality of these workers? More importantly they don’t need intelligent, honest or hard working political workers instead ‘Loyalty is the Criteria’ and extra points for low IQ for them.

(Dr Shahid Qureshi is award winning senior investigative journalist and writer on international terrorism, security and foreign policy based in London)

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