Dirty stables and tainted riders

Pakistani leadership in a nutshell

“I want to be the King of England but not without the women I love,” these are the parting words of Edward-VIII before he abdicated. He reminded Monarch of the largest empire of its time for ten months and twenty one days (Jan 20, 1936 to Dec 11, 1936). He died in exile on May 28, 1972, fourteen years later his beloved Wallis Simpson passed away, both are buried in Windsor Castle. When Ms. Simpson met the king; she was already divorced and married for the second time. She was an American Socialite who was able to hold Edward-VIII in sway. He was later termed as a ‘King of Fools’ during his sojourn in Paris where he lived in seclusion.

Tainted riders can destroy both monarchs and empires as they emerge from dirty stables. Since 1985 Pakistan has been dominated by such riders. Party less elections opened the flood gates of corruption which has gone unchecked for over three decades. Despite their blatant misdeeds they continue to dominate the political arena. Even the party of change has decided to rely on these tainted individuals. Unless the stables are cleaned such riders will keep riding over our future.

As a party of interest perhaps PML-N has the largest numbers of tainted riders who came out of Zia’s dirty stables. I do agree with the tainted heavy weights of the party that their corruption data presented by the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) was not collected in sixty days. Air Marshal (Retd) Asghar Khan has often remarked that the agencies know more about us than we ourselves. Since 1985 till today there must be dossiers on the corruption of all the dirty riders in the arena.

The solution is straight forward. A bill should be passed in the National Assembly for voluntary release of data collected by the agencies since 1985. It is perhaps the most expeditious way forward to clean the stables; only the clean riders will remain rest will be history. I am sure Kaptaan too will have to let go the tainted riders that surround him while he appears on the electronic media otherwise he too will go down in history as another Edward-VIII.

Let there be no illusions, the agencies have it all. A few years back the restored Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) was travelling on the motorway from Islamabad to Lahore. He was stopped for over speeding. Instead of paying the fine for breaking the law he instructed his squad to capture the officer and to release him after crossing the toll plaza. No one knew about this incident except the agencies. Such good work by the hidden eyes should be regularly published for the information of the public.

In the West there is a right to information act. After thirty years even classified information is released. Despite tall claims no such law exists in the country. People are perpetually kept in the dark that is why the tainted riders continue to ride. Recently Kamran Lashari – a celebrated bureaucrat of the country – revealed an interesting fact. While he was Deputy Commissioner in Sukkur, the then Chief Minister Jam Sadiq Ali desired a ‘Jhurlo’ in the elections. He refused to follow the instructions of the CM as such the elections were free and fair. For his defiance he was removed from his position. Such infringements must be reported for correction of our direction.

In USA when classified information about Pakistan was made public there were startling revelations. Reportedly, half of Ayub Khan’s cabinet was on the CIA payroll. While these individuals formulated policies for the country the directions came from their foreign masters. In the fifties and sixties the US Ambassador in Islamabad was considered to be the most powerful foreigner in the country. It has been reported that the Chinese head of the mission has now taken over this role. The tainted riders continue to pile up dirt in the stables from where they came.

The JIT report on Panama gate should be an eye opener. It seems that the party is finally coming to an end. But it should not stop here. Khawaja Saad Rafiq has been very vocal of this fact that the surgery will scar many political players including the Kaptaan himself. PML-N introduced a new approach to politics where making money was part of the package that is why they have decided to fight back without any remorse for their misdeeds. Conflict of interest is not even considered. Blatant misuse of public resources has been a norm for them. Recently 1700 acres of prime agricultural land has been handed over Sahiwal to the power plant much beyond its requirements.

During the misguided industrialisation of Ayub Khan huge tracts of land were allocated for establishing manufacturing plants. With the expansion of cities some industrial units are now being converted into Shopping Malls and residential colonies with huge profits for the owners. For change of land use a fee should be charged to protect public interests.

A paradigm shift is taking place. Not everyone in the country is corrupt as projected by PML-N. Kaptaan himself remains credible. The corrupt are now on the run, hopping from one party to another even Kaptaan will not be able to save them. These dirty riders will take him for a ride as they are well trained in this trait, cleaning of the stables is on the cards no one should come in the way. Leaders like Suharwardy and Bhutto were political heavy weights who were financially clean that is why they had to be physically eliminated. Agencies had no files of corruption on their conduct while in office. Getting rid of the tainted riders will be much easier. Dossiers of their corruption have existed since 1985, they just need to see the light of day for the horse and cattle show to come to an end.