And those less looked at
Seven persons, twenty-nine ‘fake’ bank accounts, a small bank with a politically connected president and 35 billion rupees worth of suspicious transactions: surely this does not pass the smell test which is why the FIA has made some arrests. Most notable among them is Mr Hussain Lawai, a prominent banker who has remained at the helm of some big organisations and is known to be a confidant of Asif Ali Zardari who happened to be running Summit Bank where most of the accounts in question were opened and allegedly used to launder money generated through kickbacks and bribes. Other influential and controversial personalities are also accused of making use of the same accounts indicating that the entire racket goes all the way to the top of Sindh’s business and political circles.
It goes to the credit of the SBP and FIA to spot the transactions and probe them to reveal the underlying criminal activity. It is however imperative that the evidence at hand is given priority in terms of significance over media coverage that relies on assumptions or political statements by opposition parties on the matter. Unfortunately when it comes to corruption investigations these days a perception of one-sidedness exists. How Nawaz Sharif’s ouster, trial and sentencing have been handled and the subsequent narrative that he has adopted is a major reason for that. The Lawai arrest comes just a week after another close aide of Zardari and PPP leader was arrested by Rangers after a raid at his house in Nawabshah.
Much is being made of the so-called ‘accountability drive’ that has just begun and ‘will not stop’ for anyone. There is no arguing the need for corrupt individuals to be taken to task but when that process is targeted rather than across the board and transparent it defeats the purpose. A closer look at certain individuals in parties that speak of change or within certain ‘untouchable’ institutions might reveal some glaring misappropriations.