- Going after Abbasi while staying in the dark
Accountability SAPM Shahzad Akbar may have timed his fusillade against former PM Shahid Khaqan Abbasi wrongly, for it coincided with the filing of what amounted to a charge sheet against him personally, by Mr Justice Qazi Faez Isa in his case against the reference filed against him in the Supreme Judicial Council. Mr Akbar finds himself in something of a double-bind, for if he does not answer Mr Justice Isa’s questions, which not only address his family but also his qualifications to be accountability czar of a government elected on a slogan of accountability, he will find his credibility eroded. That credibility has not gone very far, especially after his very loud claims against the Sharif family have failed to win much traction, with his occasional outbursts claiming new evidence not validated by convictions in trial courts.
Mr Akbar may be doing himself more harm than good by the extremes to which it seems he is ready to go. The tirade against Mr Abbasi is typical. All his legally trained mind could find in the sugar shortage enquiry commission report was the need to prosecute Mr Abbasi for allowing sugar exports. It is almost as if he has forgotten that the shortage occurred during this government, not its predecessor, and that he sees nothing which would lead to the prosecution of either Mr Jahangir Tareen, the PTI leader already barred from elections by the Supreme Court and blamed for the shortage in the commission’s reports, or of the Prime Minister, Mr Imran Khan, who vetted the decision to allow exports, or of any of the many other characters who had a role in making the decision, or in implementing it.
Mr Akbar is behaving like one of those persons who have done a lot of drumbeating about a perceived evil, and about their ability to do something about it, and who get believed. Now, it seems, Mr Khan has asked Mr Akbar to come good on his claims. Mr Akbar’s attempts are increasingly loud, but increasingly desperate. He should refuse to be any longer a lightning rod to deflect criticism from Mr Khan, and should answer those queries. After all, he should remember, his reputation is at stake, and that is the most important part of anyone’s legacy.