In conversation with Usman Saeed Basra: “PTI has become a Hobson’s choice for many”

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    The downfall of Sharifs is just around the corner

     

    Everybody, I mean everybody, in his heart of hearts knows that Sharifs are corrupt to the bone. It is the first time that their financial corruption has come to the fore

     

    Usman Saeed Basra Rose to prominence among the ranks of PTI like a meteor and is presently one of the most vocal, most visible young leaders from Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf.

    An advocate by profession and a politician by passion, Mr Basra did his LLB from University of Punjab and later completed his Masters in International Relations. Mr Basra has been practicing for the past 14 years after completing his apprenticeship with Justice Ahsan Bhoon and Azim Nazeer Tarar.

    He is Advocate High Court, and had been Member Core Committee, PTI, Member Society for Social Justice law, and Chief Executive of law firm Just and Right Law Company.

    DNA sat with Mr. Basra to have a tit-a-tat with him tolling order to know the goings-on in, outside and around PTI.

    Question: Some very senior lawmakers, especially from PPP, are predicting that the end of PML-N is near. This sentiment seems to have gained momentum, among the opposition at least, since the PM’s appearance at the JIT. Do you agree?

    Usman Saeed Basra: I totally agree with the notion and apprehensions PPP leadership has aired in recent days. However, we have our own understanding of it as well. See, the political vanity of the ruling party coupled with the undemocratic way of rule and a malicious bent towards the institutions has contributed towards the imminent end of once foremost political force in Pakistan. If the institutions of Pakistan a few working at the top of their capacity and without any influence, such scenario won’t be in their benefit.

    In God’s system, every high is bound to see a low. I think the downfall of Sharifs is just around the corner. They’ve attacked SC in the past, then we saw the Dawn leaks saga unfurl right before us. One after the other, things have been going against their well-crafted plans. Everybody, I mean everybody, in his heart of hearts knows that Sharifs are corrupt to the bone. It is the first time that their financial corruption has come to the fore.

    Now, impartial Supreme Court and JIT have golden opportunity to hold them to task. It is a question of when and not if.

    Q: Should the PM’s family, in their worst case scenario, be found guilty of money laundering, etc, what sort of situation do you see developing on the political front?

    USB: Honestly, I was really disappointed when a member of the Bench remarked that if they go down the 62, 63 no body will be spared. I seriously think if that is the case, then so be it. The future of the nation has nothing to do with one person, be it Nawaz Sharif or anybody else for that matter.

    Pakistan is a country of 20 crore people. We have had enough experience of the time tested political parties and see where they’ve led us.

    Minus Nawaz Sharif, minus Shahbaz Sharif, minus any one; it must not hamper the progress of our people. So, even if their worst case scenario pans out, it won’t be of grave consequences as nation transcends any individual.

    In not so distant future the Pakistan Peoples Party will be remembered with the sentence: ‘Once upon a time’. I agree political alliances are part of electoral politics, but seriously I don’t see PPP as relevant enough

     

    Q: Politics is, after all, the art of the possible. Is there any possibility, therefore, that PTI and PPP can eventually be part of a grand alliance meant to take the wind out of PML-N sails, despite Imran Khan’s sentiments to the contrary?

    USB: Honestly, as I see things and from my personal vantage point, in not so distant future the Pakistan Peoples Party will be remembered with the sentence: ‘Once upon a time’. I agree political alliances are part of electoral politics, but seriously I don’t see PPP as relevant enough as recently Imtiaz Safdar Warraich, Firdous Ashiq Away, Nazar Muhammad Honda also jumped ship. In further three or four months, you will see more big wigs joining PTI in droves.

    Let us be clear that these new additions (to PTI) are not out of some sudden awakening but rather more of a Hobsons’s choice. PML-N is not taking them and PPP is all set for oblivion. Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf has got a vote bank in all the constituencies of Pakistan and has a very strong presence.

    They are jumping ship for their political survival. But I don’t see any such alliance in the future as PPP had very little to offer and that too very late.

    Q: Do you feel the JIT, now that it is complaining about interference and non-compliance from various departments, might just be taking its eye off the ball a bit? Or do you think its concerns are justified?

    USB: The concerns aired by many quarters are not only serious but also cast a spell of doubt due to sustained and consistent campaign against members of JIT and even superior judiciary. Every Pakistani, regardless of his or her political affiliation, had an inkling of Sharifs’ corruption for ages.

    The Sharif family has now learned how to maneuver the state institutes for their own benefit, however, this time around things are different as the JIT moved the court over various institutions actually trying to tamper with the record of past cases. These allegations are so brutal, so piercing, that every Pakistani has been able to see the hideous face of Sharif family.

    Once again, I want to stress that the hindrances created by state institutions are real, actual and must be taken seriously as the Sharifs have a proven history of coercion and physically assaulting the entities that don’t play their tunes. Now the Supreme Court has to address the issues and concerns of JIT and take certain steps as this case will set a precedent for all times to come and SC must set a press credentials that’ll last a long time in the annals of history. Supreme Court, during a hearing, had warned Attorney General of Pakistan that he should represent the federation and must abstain from representing the individual.

    Q: A senior leader of PTI was celebrating that now his party will be a political party, not an NGO. You take on it?

    USB: Haha, he must have made this remark in a lighter vein. But on a serious note in order to change this political system we cannot bring people from outside the proverbial box.

    People have a very strong urge for the change, everywhere you look, you see them craving for something novel, something out of the ordinary.

    We need to educate them about the power of vote and how a single vote can usher in a change — a sustainable, worthy change. Since the constituency based system of politics is here to stay despite its flaws and failings, a political party is bound by its exigencies.

    If you ask me, electoral and constituency policy should is the main thing that is devastating democracy in Pakistan.