Crime and politics


Candid Corner


  • The system is on the verge. Pakistan is on the verge



“It is just as difficult and dangerous to try to free a people that want to remain servile as it is to enslave a people that want to remain free.”

Niccolo Machiavelli


Much has transpired during the last few weeks indicative of further collapse of our professional, legal and moral standards. There is virtually nothing left by way of distinguishing what may be right from what may not be so.
Various statements attributed to the prime minister and some other members of the political bazaar have surfaced, each crudely demonstrative of the regression that has taken a hold of the leadership, the society and their fundamental approach to things. In their pursuit of mundane gains, they have plunged the depths of depravity and insensitivity. Unwilling to own up their utterances, they continue pointing fingers in others’ direction in an inane attempt to deflect responsibility.
The political elite is broadly divided into two segments: the ones who are accused of having indulged in corruption, laundering and such-like crimes at the expense of the state, and the ones who have come with the stated resolve that such people should be held accountable. Apparently, it makes for a credible case where it should not be difficult to take a position.
But, that is not really so. Instead, a conscious effort is being drummed to confuse crime with politics. Or, putting it differently, crime is being politicised so that responsibility could not be fixed and a sympathy vote could still be generated in the name of victimisation.
A broad overview of the trajectory of events tells a damning story. At the beginning, a sitting prime minister made three statements within a short span of a few weeks, each vastly different in content from the preceding one and the last a veritable contradiction of the first two. It should not have been difficult to sift the truth from these packs of gross verbosity, but such an attempt was never made. Instead, arguments were presented before the courts of law that the statements should not be taken on their face value as these were mere political gimmicks. Similarly, proofs submitted in the courts of law to augment their defence were later withdrawn for being untenable.

Pakistan was meant to be more than just a bastion of criminals. It needs to extricate itself from their clutches to move on. Crime and politics cannot be merged to make for a sinister game plan

The children of the former prime minister also came up with their respective versions of where the monies had come from, each different from the other. The onus for providing the trail of the billions which had been invested in various properties and businesses in foreign lands rested with the accused. In hearings spread over one-and-a-half-years, they failed in doing so. This led to the indictment and ultimate award of punishment to the former Prime Minister and his daughter. But, that’s not where it ends.
Instead of submitting before the process of law, and after ignoring repeated calls by the courts, the other guilty members of the family preferred to be declared absconders which they remain to-date. They include two sons of the former prime minister, a son and a son-in-law of the younger brother who was the chief minister of Punjab, and the former finance minister of the regime who was also extended criminal help in escaping from the country by the then sitting prime minister in his official plane.
Since the guilty judgement, there has been an unending spate of vile propaganda perpetrated against the institutions including the military, judiciary and the accountability bureau for their alleged involvement in the wrongful award of punishment to the former Prime Minister and his family members. The head honcho of this gang has now moved a review petition before the Supreme Court for grant of permission to travel to London for treatment.

There are also the Bhutto/Zardaris of Sindh. They, too, have not lagged behind the Sharifs of Punjab and are accused of opening dozens of fake bank accounts to launder huge amounts out of the country. They have managed to remain free by virtue of securing pre-arrest bail, that they claim as a matter of right and which the courts in the province they rule grant without much ado. But, the noose appears to be tightening around their necks and it may not be long before they also end up behind bars.
Having failed at securing judgements ensuring their release, the two families have now opted to purchase these verdicts. It is a known reality that the courts in Punjab are within the grasp of the Sharifs and those in Sindh are controlled by the Bhutto/Zardaris. They use them to satiate their myriad fantasies, the most desirable these days being their continued freedom through pre-arrest bails, protective bails, and the sundry.
This criminal parlance is being complemented by using all forums for agitating the clamour of victimisation, be it Parliament, the courts of law, or people’s gatherings. It is absolutely disgraceful to see a horde of toadies, sycophants and bootleggers whose political interests are linked with those of the accused mafias, and some of whom may also have been complicit in their crimes, all lined up with minds enslaved, inside the institutional domains and outside, advancing frenzied arguments to prove the innocence of their leaders by drumming up the mantra of victimisation.
But the most alarming aspect of the unfurling phenomenon is that the people are conveniently falling prey to these vile machinations. They either don’t understand the palpable falsehood of the narrative, or they opt to ignore it because of the fear syndrome that exists in one form or the other, be it their economic captivity in the hands of a few, the prospect of their physical incarceration, or the disgrace that looms over their families in the shape of threats hurled at those who may choose their own path, even if it be the path of truth.
Pakistan has been taken hostage by the gangs of the two criminal families that have ruled the country. Caught with reams of evidence, they refuse to acknowledge facts and are busy in threatening and corrupting every state institution and rendering the system dysfunctional. Every day, a boorish circus is enacted in Parliament as, instead of debating serious issues that the country faces, they come with a pre-orchestrated agenda to derail the proceedings and stage walkouts.
The system is on the verge. Pakistan is on the verge. Caught in the midst of fast-shifting regional and international dynamics, a concerted effort has been unleashed by these bands of criminals to create internal strife and further aggravate the challenges. The institutions remain silent. The courts continue to pander to their criminal instincts by granting them unprecedented relief. People remain mum. The country continues to suffer and become weaker.
Pakistan was meant to be more than just a bastion of such-like criminals. It needs to extricate itself from their clutches to move on. Crime and politics cannot be merged to make for a sinister game plan. They have to be separated. If Pakistan remains entangled in the stranglehold which has been cast around through interplay of the two, it is only a matter of time before the inevitable deluge – “not with a bang, but a whimper”!