- After Nawaz Sharif, Asif Ali Zardari
Zardari’s arrest has once again underlined the reality that there is collusion between the government and the NAB to keep the process of accountability confined to the leaders of the PML-N and PPP alone. As NAB chairman Justice (rtd) Javed Iqbal allegedly told a respectable journalist references are lying in the NAB office against a number of PTI leaders and allies but these are not being pursued simply because if these are taken up the PTI government would fall in 10 minutes which, according to the NAB chief would be against national interest. Statements of the sort which brazenly display a clear tilt in the process of accountability rub away the veneer of even-handedness maintained by NAB.
One expects the PPP to move with a sense of responsibility keeping in view the broader national picture. Mr Zardari faces cases and has been defending himself in the courts so far as a free man. Henceforth he will have to do so from captivity. Like the Sharif brothers he too has preferred to go to jail instead of absconding from the country thus confounding the PTI leadership.
The people are suffering all over the country on account of a government which has proved to be thoroughly incompetent. PM Imran Khan claimed that people don’t pay taxes to dishonest rulers but lost face when his own government collected fewer taxes than its predecessors. He said dishonest rulers initiate tax amnesty schemes, and then got himself knocked down a peg by following in the footsteps of his predecessors. Finding that his tax amnesty scheme got poor response, he took to the media on Monday to exhort tax dodgers and those with hidden wealth to declare assets and pay taxes. According to the recent Economic Survey of Pakistan, during the 11 month tenure of the PTI the government has miserably failed to meet targets in nearly all sectors. The new budget would therefore bring more sufferings to the common man.
The opposition parties need to jointly expose the PTI government inside Parliament and avoid taking to the streets unless the government forces the opposition to do so by rejecting all sense of parliamentary propriety.