Political innocence versus accountability

It is incorrect to suggest that our all politicians are corrupt, looters and plunderers. History is full with such examples though small in numbers where politicians stood up and showed strength of their character and accepted their wrong doings. We have hundreds of political parties but very few stand test of morality. One could never imagine that in Pakistan we have some politicians who having indulged in corruption would come forward and accept their guilt and voluntarily return the looted money.
NAB so far has recovered Rs 363 billion from various categories of people and deposited in the national exchequer, it is not a small amount. Although our memories are very short, but when late Makhdoom Amin Faheem a founder member of PPP when questioned about the source of Rs 4 crore deposited in his bank account showed his ignorance and volunteered to surrender the money to state and he was allowed this option hence no case could be made. He was certainly man of character, he belonged to my constituency and looked after well people of his constituency and out of constituency. There is well known saying that coming events cast their shadows before.
Here I am referring to Makhdoom Jaleeluz Zaman son of late Makhdoom Amin Fahim who was Nazim Taulka Hala was charged of corruption amounting to Rs 15 million as complained by an employee of Taulka Hala, the NAB issued notices but he never responded. Ultimately he was arrested on 01 October 2020. He entered in to plea bargain on 7 October 2020 and returned the entire amount of Rs 15 million and was immediately released. I would rate him great politician of Pakistan who showed tremendous respect for the law of the land and accepted his guilt and deposited full amount of corruption Rs 15 million. Strange enough he did not exercise of portraying a heart patient otherwise who could deny him this facility get admitted in hospital and enjoy 5 star facilities. He chose a most dignified way and got out of trouble in paying alleged looted Rs 15 million. To be very frank Makhdoom Jaleeluz Zaman has created a history in Pakistani politics. It is a lesson for all the leaders of different political parties to emulate what Jaleeluz Zaman has done and come out voluntarily and return the looted money. A graceful exit is always better the getting roughed up rigours of life
Who says we cannot finish corruption. We can do it provided all of us decide not to succumb to undue pressure, accept lucrative offers, accept illegal gratification and finally land up in jail with headlines. Your strength of character is tested when you are under stress; you have done something wrong but lack courage not owning it. It may give you temporary relief but remember the Damocles sword shall always keep hanging over your head and you can never have sound sleep. There will always be unknown fear surrounding you that will keep you disturbed throughout your life. No amount of wealth can remove that fear as it is always present chasing you anywhere everywhere.
This isolated case shows that change is coming in social order people have started realising that looting money is bad by doing so we are depriving the poor people who remain underfed and pay full taxes. Politicians should be discussing its impact on our political culture, although it is not a voluntary case but a plea bargain case but the person returned the entire amount it should be treated in a different category and as suggested punishment given debarring him to hold any public office for 10 years needs review, it will serve a great motivational trend.
History is full of such stories where people preferred to stay in jail rather enter in to respectable plea bargain. Look at Jaleeluz Zaman case, the amount involved was 15 million, he could have negotiated and got relief but he did not exercise that option and paid the claimed out setting up good example of being honest in all respects. NAB equally deserves appreciation in recovering looted money in full without putting additional pressure. NAB as a matter of fact should review punishment of declaring him to hold public office for 10 years as he voluntarily paid the entire amount
We must give politicians the opportunity to excel. The “we” here means the state. The onus is on politicians as well to learn from their mistakes and not resist but offer themselves for accountability. This political phenomenon is taking shape and the next generation will be blessed to have politics that might be accountable.

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