By Dr Shahid Qureshi : –
It looks like that Wajid Shamsulhasan Pakistani High Commissioner to London did not tell the whole truth to the people that his trip to Switzerland to remove documents from the custody of the Swiss lawyer concerning President Zardari was legal and authorized under the civil servants rules of Pakistan? He is an employee of the government. He claimed to have full authorization from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
According to an email received from Press Counsellor in response to my letter about the above issue on 4th December 2009:
“The High Commissioner has informed that he went to Geneva on the instructions of Foreign Office. Regarding other queries please approach Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Islamabad”.
The questions are (a) what were the actual requests (b) what were the instructions? (c) Since the Swiss lawyer handed over documents to the Pakistan embassy official in Geneva and not to him what was the legitimacy of presence of London High Commissioner a civil servant of Pakistan?
Well following response from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Islamabad contradicts what Press Counsellor wrote to me on his behalf:
“I don’t think the High Commissioner ever claimed that the transfer of the files was authorised by the Foreign Office. As you know NAB is the line organisation and the Foreign Office has only been facilitating in these matters as required and admissible. The High Commissioner has issued a detailed clarification. We have no further comments to make. .”
On 16th December 2009, I wrote to Syeda Sultana Rizvi Press Counsellor again:
“Thank you for the response on the 4th December 2009. I wonder if you could inform us about the handing over of the ‘Swiss Case Documents’ to Pakistani authorities as an urgent request was made by the NAB to have these documents delivered in diplomatic bags with an official escort. As mentioned in your response on 4th December 2009 below, I wrote to the MFA and received an email from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Pakistan who seems to have no knowledge of issuing any instructions or granting permission to HE Wajid Shamsulhasan, London based Pakistani High Commissioner to collect documents from Switzerland kept in the safe custody of a Swiss lawyer acting on behalf of the Government of Pakistan. Please reply. I would appreciate an earliest response.”
As expected I did not get any response from Ms Sultana Rizvi, who has proven to be a curse on Pakistani media community and liability for Government of Pakistan in these crucial times when a competent and shining officer is needed? In sheer frustration I called talented and articulate former journalist and current Deputy High Commissioner Asif Durrani. I told him about my dilemma. Within minutes after 30 hours of wait I received a one line response of my first email from Ms Sultana Rizvi, which did not answer the questions. I have not received any response of my second email sent on 16/12/09 from her until 22/12/09.
Sultana Rizvi’s office is costing poor and needy Pakistanis around Rs.30 million (3-Croers) a year. She is getting $500 (Rs. 42,105.7) entertainment allowance every month!! What are the results? Can some do cost benefit analysis of this office?
I have provided opportunity to the High Commissioner to clear his position. Now it is up to him to judge the competence of his staff and not to complain journalists later and get embarrassed. He has made his own backyard quite messy after reportedly colluding with press section in blacking out some senior British Pakistani journalists just because they exposed the incompetence of the press office and corruption of the government.
It sound like that on the one hand President Zardari is surrounded by crooks like Rehman Malik, Salman Faooqi, Hussain Haqani, and Wajid Shamsulhasan, and on the other hand his ‘dementia’ short term memory loss and ‘inferiority complex’ are becoming more and more problematic? His diabetes and mental health problems are increasing strains on his general health and judgement. None of the people mentioned above have undivided loyalties to Pakistan and probably won’t be able to get a job as ‘security guard’ in Pakistan due to security risks? But only in ‘Zardari Circus’ these clowns could sit on sensitive positions?
Zardari has appointed 14 cronies as ambassadors and high commissioners in USA, UN, United Kingdom, India, Austria, Indonesia, Iran, Syria, Libya, Malaysia, Portugal, Sri Lanka, UAE, and Ukraine. Pakistani career diplomats appointed in rest of the world have minimum 23-40 years experience. London Washington and United Nations are important stations and countries send their best brains for diplomacy? Zardari appointed dodgy characters who don’t go to Pakistan for years and would ultimately move back their London and Washington residences soon?
President Zardari’ s gambling instinct and probably few tips from movie ‘God Father’ is keeping him going. Otherwise any decent and honourable person would have resign by now to face the allegations bravely, clear his name, and come back. He submitted 256 medical and other certificates in the courts to avoid facing trails including a certificate of ‘mental illnesses in British High Courts. No one is stopping Mr Zardari from coming back into politics or power? He might be thinking on these lines but like late Benazir Bhutto he is also surrounded by a ‘corrupt opportunist mafia’. They were the people who made Ms Bhutto take such hasty and compromised decisions like accept NRO deals? She was a decent woman; a good mother and would always be close to my heart. It is been nearly two years and Zardari regime could not find her killers? Why?
In the past so called VIPS from Pakistan only used to come in summers? But now it is all season’s destination of Pakistani ‘filthy rich’ who seem more ‘filthy’ then ‘rich’. On the other hand Pakistan High Commission in the supervision of HE Wajid Shamsulhasan has become like a ‘mini cab office’, where according to reports everything is happening from wheeling and dealing to guarantees of kick backs, real estates deals, mango parties, cocktails parties, to gold jewelry scams ?
According to Jang Media Group reported on 2nd December 2009, Wajid Shamsulhasan (a former employee of the Jang Group) carried out mission in Geneva – secret operation caught on video tape by Geo News TV team.
“The proofs were stuffed in 12 cartons. Earlier then that Swiss lawyer ‘Jack P’ was asked to hand over the proofs. The lawyer refused to oblige, saying that an important personality is accused in these cases and according to Swiss law he could keep this proofs with him for 10 years. The [Pakistan (Zardari)] Government replaced its lawyer and appointed John J. Brunt as the new lawyer who got the proofs from the former lawyer. Pakistan High Commissioner in London Wajid Shamsul Hasan and former Deputy Attorney General Danishwar Malik were given the responsibility to take this proof from new lawyer John J. Brunt and destroy it.
Danishwar Malik arrived in London and along with Wajid Shamsul Hasan reached Geneva [Switzerland] by British Airways flight BA 734 on Sunday evening. Nine AM [Monday, 30 November 2009] was the time agreed to take the documents from the [Swiss] lawyer. They reached the lawyer’s office by the [Pakistan] Embassy’s Nissan car No. 453 CD-GE while keeping their eyes on the surroundings and adopting different routes. After they examined the record of the proofs, the lawyer refused to give them possession of 12 cartons of documents unless they called a responsible officer of the [Pakistan] Embassy. Then a First Secretary of the [Pakistan] Embassy reached there by car No. 253 CD-GE. After one hour, these cartons started shifting from the lawyer’s office to the [Pakistan] Embassy car No. 453 CD-GE.
After its recording, Geo News [television] questioned Wajid Shamsulhasan on what grounds he was carrying those cartons which he received from the [Swiss] lawyer. The visibly perturbed and nervous Wajid Shamsulhasan said he knew nothing about the matter. Asked what he was doing in the lawyer’s office since the morning, Wajid [Shamsulhasan] chose to walk away instead of replying to the question.
Danishwar Malik also expressed his ignorance about the issue when he was asked the same question. He also walked towards Wajid Shamsulhasan, advising the [Geo News TV] reporter to contact the [Pakistan] Embassy staff in this regard. The First Secretary also refused to answer on-camera questions but after an assurance that the camera was switched off, he said he was unaware of the matter. A diplomatic office-holder in a nearby Bar told Geo [News TV] that their cartons contain all the original proofs of the Swiss cases.”
The above mentioned ugly episode of allegedly removing crucial evidence from the offices of a ‘Swiss Lawyer’ by Wajid Sahmsulhassan is the extreme example of ‘mafia work’ of the current Zardari regime. No matter what Mr Hassan has disgraced himself by getting involved in these kinds of shameful activities not for the first time. He is been involved in dealings related to Rockwood Estates (Surrey Palace), which Princess and the Pirates had denied ownership for years? But then one day they accepted the ownership of the ‘Surrey Palace’. Now Zardari and his gang of crooks are making this corruption issue as a moral issue. Time for detoxification and cleansing of Pakistan for good has come.
A senior leader of British Pakistani and Kashmiri community demanded the Prime Minister of Pakistan to appointment a seasoned and professional diplomat in London and not a ‘House Niger’, supposedly mentor of Bilawal Zardari, future ‘Dileep Singh’ of Pakistan”.
(Dr Shahid Qureshi is award winning journalist and writer on foreign policy & security based in London)