- Expanding the accountability net
“Maybe the members of ISI and MI were included in the Panama Papers leaks case to spice up the probe,” Chief Justice Saqib Nisar remarked, rather curiously, during the hearing of the Rs35 billion fake accounts case. He also, quite rightly, ruled out the intelligence agencies’ participation in a possible JIT (Joint Investigation Team) to probe the white collar crime. Surely the honourable Supreme Court’s time is better spent not debating the merits, or otherwise, of spicing up investigations. Rather it must make every effort, given the circumstances, to speed as well as expand the process of accountability currently underway.
And since this particular case, with all its fake accounts, has thrown up names of the high and mighty, wrapping it up sooner rather than later would also counter allegations of ‘selective accountability’ that made headlines all the way to the election. Corruption through banking channels remains hidden only so long as nobody rats out on a particular party. And once investigators pull at one particular thread, the entire thing unravels without much trouble. Therefore, this case will not only expose which particular people were behind all these fake accounts, it will also give forensic auditors a blueprint to investigate similar cases.
Going forward, accountability is going to be the name of the game. People, in the age of social media, are fast realising that one reason for our critical economic situation is rampant corruption; which unfortunately runs from top to bottom. And unless relevant organs of the state do whatever is required to keep the process of accountability going, there will be visible anger. As things stand, the new government, judiciary, and the army, have all pledged to bring all those who have looted public wealth to justice. Surely this process can be undertaken without the need to spice things up.