The National Quagmire


And the Priorities



Burmese politician and activist Aung San Suu Kyi once said: “It’s not power that corrupts but fear. Fear of losing power corrupts those who wield it and fear of the scourge of power corrupts those who are subject to it.” Isn’t it true for Mian Nawaz Sharif and the Pakistani nation? The Panama Papers were leaked in the first week of April 2016. It’s almost over a month that the jolts and joggles are still felt all over the world but in Pakistan. Many of the world leaders who were named in the papers, unswervingly or in a roundabout way, had to step down and leave the power corridors while few are still resisting to the enormous public pressure of their dominions, nevertheless, there is one matchless case particularly where a person whose family is directly involved in money laundering and he has repeatedly and persistently been asked by the nation and his opposition to answer just few questions but the stubborn sire has refused to answer any question posed by anyone on the pretext that he is not obligated to do so. Obviously, then a thought comes to one’s mind that it’s nothing but the fear of losing power that keeps the gentleman jittery, otherwise he is the same Sharif who in the very early days of Panama Papers leak appeared on state television, to clarify about his carriage.


The scores of analysts, critics and the opposition leaders are active on various forums who have taken him to the task on the Panama issue. Besides their heavy criticism there is a great moral and ethical pressure built up by the armed forces too, who have set example by publicly sharing the proceedings of in-house cleansing. There is a famous saying by Dale Carnegie, “Don’t be afraid of enemies who attack you. Be afraid of the friends who flatter you.” The irony is that the PM is mostly surrounded by advisers who are devoid of any vision, sense or maturity and do not possess the calibre of more than a fifth grader. The thing could have been handled amicably had the PM thought of sailing with the wave. Unfortunately, he has a perpetual nature of always going against the tide, forgetting that every fish is not a trout. Sadly, the only lesson he learnt from his past experiences is that he didn’t learn any lesson. Locking on the horns without realizing his opponents’ strength has always remained his pet habit and he doesn’t need to have a reason for it.


Much has been said and written about his obstinacy vis-à-vis the past events and now in relation to Panama Leaks, nevertheless, it is not the only case. There were more sensitive and alarming events that have happened prior to the Panama Leaks. Narendra Modi’s very personal, unexpected and surprise visit to Pakistan [sic] Jati Umrah, a serving Indian Naval officer Kulbhushun’s arrest with his pants down and then on his tip allegedly the arrest of RAW agents from some sugar mills belonging to the ruling family and many other great blunders. Aren’t you surprised that where the talks about those hazardous cases have gone? No sane is willing to believe that those who have a mandate to show lost sleep for the sovereignty and security of the country have taken it lightly or they have ignored it altogether.


A year ago an article written by Dr Shahid Qureshi, a senior analyst of BBC and journalist based in London, appeared on net and got viral. According to him, “Pakistan is the only country in the world whose rulers have their businesses, assets, wealth, children and grandchildren outside Pakistan in the hands of people who can twist their arms and neck at any time to get what they want”. In his article he quoted a security analyst who disclosed that, “Pakistani agencies have so much evidence of involvement of these politicians in anti-state activities and compromising national interests of Pakistan that they can be hanged within no time”. Besides Zardari, MQM there are names of ANP leaders and some Sindhi nationalist who have been taking money from India allegedly to keep a project of national importance; ‘Kala Bagh Dam’ controversial, Dr. Qureshi categorically mentioned the name of Mian Nawaz Sharif who was provided the suspected audiotapes of conversations between General Musharraf and General Aziz Khan by the Indian High Commissioner in Pakistan. He openly blamed Nawaz Sharif for asking the Indians to furnish him analysis report about Pakistan army and to confirm the identity of Ajmal Kassab as a Pakistani citizen soon after the Mumbai attacks, though he wasn’t the PM or in any other capacity where he could make such careless statement.


Now take a look at others who belong to him or standing by him. His sons Hassan and Hussain Nawaz are accused for writing letters to George Fernandez the Indian Defence Minister for assistance after their dad’s sacking in October 1999 by General Pervez Musharraf. The language what his defence minister Khawaja Asif had used against the armed forces once at the floor of the House is not a secret and the footage is available on various sites. His Information minister Pervez Rashid’s remarks while supporting a private channel is on record that, “we support the people with argument and not with the guns”. prime minister’s stories about business interests in India have another collection that ranges from fancying Ambanis to deal with Indian business magnets Jindals and Mittals. In 2014 he took his son along an official visit to India and also met Indian businessmen including Jindals. Most disappointing fact is that he had time for his corporate affairs but sadly had not few minutes for the Kashmiri leadership of Indian occupied Kashmir.


On the morning of 25 December 2015, Modi made a ‘Breaking Tweet’ about meeting his best friend Nawaz Sharif and the same evening he was in Lahore along with an entourage of 120 un-vetted, not cleared members who went all the way to Jati Umrah as the PM’s personal guests. Modi attended a personal function for a while and gifted an Indian dress to his host’s granddaughter before departure. Till date the agenda or exchange of talks remains a secret.  The opposition and civil society made a loud protest for not taking the parliament into confidence. From where that Indian dress was procured during an unexpected visit is a mystery to be solved.


Then the story of an Indian Navy officer hit the headlines, who was involved in “subversive” activities and was in contact with ethnic and sectarian groups for fueling violence and terrorism in Balochistan and was arrested by the Pakistani intelligence agencies. It was a golden chance to put pressure on the Indian government who was baselessly blaming Pakistan for everything happening in India, from Mumbai to Pathankot. A ripe case was ready to put Indians on back foot, nevertheless, ironically, Nawaz Sharif government criminally remained silent on the issue, until Panama Papers issue flared up and Kulbhushun case was relegated temporarily.


The security agencies didn’t shelve their investigations since it was one of the gigantic catches of espionage history that soon led to the other undercover members of Indian intelligence agency RAW, roaming freely in Pakistan without any security clearance or mandatory police verifications. Some of them who were working in a sugar mill reportedly owned by the Mian family were exempted from the police report on the orders of the high ups. The government was criminally silent on this issue. The special official mouthpieces were instructed to take on Imran Khan and indirectly criticise the army but not to say a word on the Kulbhushun case or the arrest of the RAW agents from the sugar mills which was more like a double jeopardy.


Now a question comes to one’s mind about those who are the custodians of the national security and independence, will they remain silent on these sensitive issues or will they ignore it? One wonders that if at any cost the concerned quarters have overlooked these cases. At least the oath they take bounds them to think beyond protecting a corrupt set up. It shouldn’t be surprising if soon we hear about the carefully framing of a solid treason charge sheet to proceed against the involved culprits. Panama papers may look like a ticking bomb but the betrayal charges are like booby-trap not known where lying.





  1. Khursheed Shah is totally subservient to Zardari. Let there be no doubt after MQM PPPZ will betray this opposition. Some lowlife like Raymond Malik has been assigned by Zardari to the job. This is an insult to the Members and other Parties. Malik knows only one way and that may not be acceptable to many people with dignity. I don’t mean Zardari here.

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