Prime Minister should act before it is too late


22 years struggle is certainly long period of Imran Khan to become Prime Minister of Pakistan but history is full of such examples where people like Nelson Mandella a South African leader spent 27 years in jail in the struggle against apartheid, in 1990 he was released awarded Noble Prize in 1993. His party ANC won the elections and became the first democratically elected President. He served for 5 years and after that never sought reelection in spite of pressure from people but guided his party. He asked his people to forget the atrocities committed on them and move forward and they accepted his philosophy. Pakistan has typical way of politicking; it mostly revolves around personalities and has nothing to do with the common man issues. It is time to follow his advice. Please forget PML N and their past deeds and concentrate on your own agenda
Undoubtedly there has been massive corruption in Pakistan by all the segments of the society; therefore it will be unfair to single out people. It was collective wisdom to loot the country’s resources without any fear of law and accountability. The money has been looted through kick backs in mega projects by keeping highly inflated prices, by flouting PPRA Rules and by making tailor made contracts to suit chosen parties, by creating artificial demands another way of making money, hiring people over and above the requirement at fabulous salaries without any rationale. Although we have Public Account Committee to monitor high expenditures and then we have office of the Auditor General of Pakistan they only pin points the corruption but hardly takes any action. Just to quote an example CAA hired an Information Technology Consultant M/s Riaz Qadeer (RQ Consultants) who use to operate without office, without official email, without qualifications under the method (D) – Single Source or direct selection for a period of two years from January 2, 2012 to Jan 2, 2014 at monthly rate of Rs 550000 with 5% annual enhancement plus free air tickets with boarding/lodging/transport facilities to other cities. In addition, a team of 14 members was appointed on contract to serve RQ Consultant and monthly expenditure of Rs 750000 was being incurred on pay & allowances. The Audit said that hiring of Consultant, who was an employee of PAF and on LPR and 14 number contract employees to serve RQ Consultant was irregular. The appointment without genuine requirement resulted in infringement of rules besides loss of Rs 22.50 million as Hiring of IT Consultant in violation of procurement of Consultancy Services Regulation, 2010 and without requirement was unjustified. Why the audit department did not recover the money from beneficiaries. Why DG CAA, Director Administration and Director Finance was not sacked. Unless people are punished this drama will go on and action replay shall keep happening. In another case CAA wrongfully paid Rs 5.1 million mostly to dummy papers in spite of specific orders of DG CAA to recover the amount from concerned officer and matter may be referred to FIA. Why it was not done? Why Director HR was not punished. Scores of examples can be given from other departments. We have established lot of organization to control corruption, catch culprits but practically it has been seen that corrupts are flourishing. The big agency is NAB followed by FIA and Anti Corruption department. We have Auditor General and auditors in all the organization but loot and plunder is going on unchecked. These days we find large number of past rulers are facing major corruption charges in NAB courts, under investigation by FIA, but the cases are going on and getting multiplied each day with zero result. Chief Justice Supreme Court has also taken notice about NAB handling corruption cases. Each morning we see headlines of major corruption scandals in almost all the leading newspapers only to get ready to get new list next morning. NAB claims to have recovered billions of rupees through plea bargaining factually true also but painfully slow. Bogus accounts have been unearthed to the tune of Rs 101 billion. Hundreds of cases are piled up in NAB, FIA and anti corruption. There seems to be no end to such accounts. Then we have Omni group scandal. There are big names who have looted public money roaming freely and making Victory sign when moving in and out of courts. Question arises you don’t have to hold seminars to find out about corrupt people in the country. The agencies have complete details about each and every individual. There are large number of cases of VIP’s who were arrested and are now on bail. The way these cases are being handled not a single penny can be recovered. They engage big lawyers who are expert in getting adjournments. In action against corrupts is frustrating.
Out of this corrupt only one person Mian Nawaz Sharif has been punished. What a system? That’s not the way to handle corrupt people. What happened to Uzair Baloch? Sharjeel Memon case, Dr Asim corruption case, Asif Zardari case, Riaz Malik etc there is endless list of corruption cases. Only Nawaz and Shahbaz Sharif are facing trials, negation of justice and selective accountability. You have to revolutionize the system so that cases are disposed of without delay. People are no more interested in headlines on corruption they want results. Just one question will there be a day when the looted money can be brought back to Pakistan? If not then at least punish the culprits by establishing special courts in one go as done by Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Corruption cases that are documented should be decided in days instead lingering on for years. If the old system is not changed dream of Naya Pakistan can never be fulfilled and you will not be able to complete your agenda.
While this is happening opposition is getting united under one banner to devise ways and methods to remove the prime minister. Asif Zardari has asked opposition to get ready to bring down Imran. Zardari as we all know is in deep trouble and wants opposition to join hands and Maulana Fazalur Rahman is in the fore front that lost his own seat from his home constituency. It is mainly to divert attention from cases, so it is a bogey threat but should not be taken lightly as you stand on coalition that can slip anytime. Agitation is their right let them do it there will be temporary chaos and confusion doesn’t over react. What is the solution to the problem? Answer is very simple. Do we love Pakistan? If the answer is yes then it has to be proved as such. Two steps are needed to be taken immediately. The first one all corruption cases to be decided within 60 days. Secondly to hold meeting of all the political parties including religious parties and registered with the election commission and arrange live telecast so that people should know the real face of their leaders. One point agenda “How to move forward and end confrontation”. If this does not happen we shall be doing more harm to country rather than doing anything good.Hubert H Humphery 1911-1978 American Democratic Politician and Vice President once said” It is not enough to merely defend democracy. To defend it may be to lose it; to extend it is to strengthen it. Democracy is not a property, it is an idea” Pakistan can do well to remember this.

The writer is a freelance journalist and defence Analyst.