In Pakistan, no politicians are punished; they continue providing protection to their cohorts. And so it has been with the current crop.
At last, after much suspense, the all-important conference was called by the Prime Minister (PM), attended by the Chief Minister (CM), governor and important functionaries of Sindh, all under the orchestral eye of the Chief of Army Staff (COAS). The meeting marks the beginning of the assertion of the army’s control over the corrupt state of politics in Pakistan. Words like corrupt, inept and incompetent were being used to describe the Sindh government, aimed at the CM. The road map was laid out and it was made obvious that there would be no deviation and an apex committee would effectively govern. That evening, anchors had a field day adding their spiced comments. The MQM did not even try to interrupt nor put forward any viewpoint.
This is the beginning of the COAS taking control of the downward slide of governance in the country, and the next stop will be Punjab where the situation is equally bad, the only difference being the very powerful spin doctors used by CM Shahbaz Sharif to add gloss to the rotten state of governance. The Model Town massacre is being treated as a closed chapter but it is unlikely that Imran will let matters rest. If the protection of the Shahbaz bureaucracy is removed, all will be exposed. The action to be taken will then depend on the apex committee, which will have to decide according to the law, without preferences. It will soon be evident if the enquiry into the Baldia massacre is started and if the much-awaited action in reining in the criminal activities of the political parties will be carried out. This has now commenced and the high level meeting was the formal opening. The whole nation now awaits the next step. We are sure that cases of blatant corruption — an example being the purchase of the APCs by the Sindh government at 12 crores per piece — surely fall under economic terrorism. The entire population is looking for action in this instance, for it is a direct challenge to the attempts at cleaning up the mess.
The serious fallout is over the state of governance. The laws of nature are quite clear: if one obeys the law, one is rewarded, if not, one is punished. In Pakistan, no politicians are punished; they continue providing protection to their cohorts. And so it has been with the current crop. The Pakistani people wish to see criminals punished, whatever their political affiliations, especially the lawmakers for they have been voted into power to make laws that ensure the wellbeing of the people. Their honesty is thus more sacred than that of the normal citizens. The laws given to us by the British are comprehensive and would give us a good life even by Quranic standards. The politicians, starting with Bhutto, began by first ignoring the laws and then amending the laws to ensure that their followers escaped the net. It is imperative that these criminals be removed from their seats of power for the state of Pakistan can never progress with these criminal elements holding the reins.
By all accounts we are retrogressing and the imminent collapse can be blamed on the corruption of politicians, as indeed was the case at the time of the loss of half the country. The Hamoodur Rehman Commission Report has still not been published (written when Bhutto was still PM). It has been published in India and smuggled copies are available in Pakistan in the grey market. It makes good reading for it allows the reader to judge for himself the scale of corruption and criminal acts that divided a country. This again exposes the political leadership and, in this case, charges of treason could be framed against some of the members of Bhutto’s cabinet or Yahya’s cabinet, who are still alive. This may set a good precedent: to stop any other adventurers from such moves and perhaps disallow the ‘doctrine of necessity’, which was used in the past to prevent the prosecution of these criminals for these violations of the constitution.