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Pakistan needs forward looking approach

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We have a history to declare somebody traitor and corrupt on our own arguments. In this regard the start was taken from Liauqat Ali Khan, than came Suharwardi, Bhashani, Bhutto, Wali Khan, Mengal,GM Syed, Khair Bux Marri, Benazir Bhutto, Nawaz Sharif and many others under such allegation.

Latest example is of A Pakistan Army officer, Colonel Sohail Abid, who was martyred during an intelligence-based operation against Lashkar-e-Jhangvi in the Killi Almas area of Baluchistan in this month, says a statement from the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) and we feel proud of him. But some groups are putting its blame on Nawaz Sharif statement about Bombay attack and nobody is condemning Lashkar-e-Jhangvi for its terrorist activities.

We need Rousseau and Voltaire, the architect of French revolution to bring change or revolution in Pakistan to correct prevailing injustices with the masses but for this we should have the courage to act like Imam Malik (RU) who went to the king and asked him to drive out the animals from the country who were eating food bringing reduction in food items for the masses. At this King did so but then Imam Malik (RU) pointed towards persons sitting around king and asked what about them as they are also looting people of the country. At this King infuriated and asked to arrest Imam Malik (RU) with lashes where he died as a Shaheed later on.

In Pakistan everybody knows that who the kings are for the last 71 years but we find no ink in our pens to write about such kings and their colleagues.

Pakistan’s political system is now broken: its political parties have remained ineffective, functioning for decades as instruments of two families, the Bhutto’s and the Sharif’s, two clans, both corrupt. Now Imran Khan has emerged as a third force and is busy in adding up those corrupts elements around him who are leaving Bhutto’s and Sharif clans. Voting in Pakistan is intensely personal, with parties gathering votes primarily through allegiance to an individual candidate who is either a feudal or has a proven ability to deliver services.

Pakistan continues to face extraordinary challenges on the security and law enforcement front. The country has suffered greater military, law enforcement, and civilian casualties in fighting extremism and terrorism than almost any other country. In the midst of this difficult security situation, Pakistan’s civilian government remains weak, ineffectual, and corrupt.

However with the blessing of God, Pakistan is now a nuclear state with the contribution of ZA Bhutto who brought nuclear technology to Pakistan and Nawaz Sharif who has been ousted from the government three times. Bhutto was hanged on the backing of USA and Nawaz Sharif is passing through the same process and has been declared already a traitor. Both were civilian PM’s. However only with this fact now India, USA and Israel cannot attack Pakistan.

Nawaz Sharif now declared traitor on his statement on Bombay attack in India and disqualification by Supreme Court on corruption has served as prime minister of Pakistan twice in the 1990s but allegations of corruption and mismanagement of economy led to his ouster from power on both the occasions. His last government in 1999 was dislodged by a bloodless military coup, and Sharif was later exiled to Saudi Arabia. He returned to Pakistan in late 2007. His party won the 2013 national elections, bringing Sharif to power for a record third time in the troubled democratic history of a country that has experienced three military coups.

Nawaz Sharif now finds himself in a difficult situation following the April 2016 “revelations” made by the so-called Panama Papers. Leaked documents show that three of the prime minister’s children had links with offshore companies that owned properties in London.

Pakistan’s Supreme Court disqualified Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif from holding public office and on 28 July 2017 ordered him to step down immediately. The ruling noted that “having failed to disclose his un-withdrawn receivables constituting (overseas) assets” in his nomination papers filed for the 2013 elections and “having furnished false declaration under solemn affirmation….Sharif is not honest…and therefore he is disqualified” to be a member of parliament. The corruption case against Sharif stemmed from leaked financial documents, known as the Panama Papers that also listed three children of the Pakistani leader as holders of offshore accounts and posh London property.

Now in May 2018 another statement of Nawaz Sharif has put him in controversies.
This happened due to an interview done by Dawn’s Cyril Almeida, the journalist whose 2016 exposure of the civil-military divide over militancy – since dubbed the Dawn Leaks – resulted in two PML-N ministers being forced to step down, with analysts suggesting that Sharif’s own disqualification as the PM was also influenced by the leaks.

Now coming to actual culprits i.e Jamaat-ud-Dawa, was put on the United Nations’ list of terrorist organizations earlier this year by Pakistan.

However, for the ruling party, the most worrying aspect of Sharif’s statements is the divide they are creating within the party. Insiders say there are “clear differences” over the matter between Nawaz and his brother Shehbaz Sharif, the current PML-N president and the Chief Minister of Punjab.

Shehbaz Sharif says that the ousted premier’s statement “did not represent party policy”, Nawaz’s daughter Maryam maintains that the remarks were in Pakistan’s “best interests”. That underscores the divide within the family, and in turn the party.

Yet, those close to Nawaz Sharif suggest the timing of his remarks deliberately coincided with the election, coming before a caretaker setup is finalized, so as to summon international watchdogs and prevent any force from rigging the election.

As all the major stakeholders prepare for the election later this year, Sharif knows that he is fighting for survival. Banned by the Supreme Court from contesting the polls, Sharif has a tough road ahead.

This statement can also affect global money-laundering watchdog that has given Pakistan a three-month reprieve to avoid its terror financing watch list, which could pose serious economic challenges to the country.

The FATF “gray list” list now features nine countries – Ethiopia, Yemen, Iraq, Syria, Serbia, Sri Lanka, Trinidad and Tobago, Vanuatu and Tunisia. Bosnia and Herzegovina has been shifted to the “white list.” Pakistan remained on the list from 2012 to 2015.

Pakistan is now set to be ‘gray listed’ by FATF in June if FATF takes such decision, meaning its financial system will be designated a risk to the international financial system because of ‘strategic deficiencies’ in its ability to prevent terror financing and money laundering,” says a report, adding that the Pakistani government “will work with FATF to build an ‘action plan’ to plug the deficiencies identified by the watchdog, which will be put up for approval by consensus in the June session….After that, implementation of the plan will begin, monitored by the Asia Pacific Group, a part of the global FATF network.”

Pakistan now faces three dangers. One is economy, which can come under threat if FATF put Pakistan in to grey list. Second one is external threat. By the grace of God Pakistan is safe now due its nuclear deterrence. Third one is which leadership is going to come up in the coming elections. Bhutto legacy has been drowned by Zaradri and his group, Sharif family survival is also in question and whether Imran Khan with a force of corrupt politicians can emerge as a leader and finally whether we can have a new leadership like we got in Senate as its new Chairman.

But all these scenarios require fair elections due in July 2018. Hence for the time being, we all have to focus on this point so as to move forward.

Chairman Centre of Advisory Services for Islamic Banking and Finance (CAIF), former Head of FSCD SBP, former Head of Research Arif Habib Investments and Member IFSB Task Force for development of Islamic Money Market, former Member of Access to Justice Fund Supreme Court of Pakistan.