By Junaid Ali Malik
These days, the politics in Pakistan is surrounded by a number of issues. It is precisely a season of accountability where ruling elite is playing its card and judiciary its own. On the other side, establishment is more focused on curbing the menace of terrorism and tackling the pressure and threats majorly from USA, India, and Afghanistan. Amid this situation, institutions like NAB and FBR are playing tricky. Understanding their moves is so hard. NAB, for instance, requested the ministry of interior to enter the name of Finance Minister Ishaq Dar in ECL at a time when he is out of country. Is it possible by the federal government doing so against its own key minister? Moreover, NAB requested at a time when Dar is in London – quite startling. On the other side, Apex Court has given Dr. Asim permission to take a flight abroad to have medical checkup. All these developments are perplexing people.
The high volume of cases is making the already fragile judicial system taking more time to deliver justice. There are more than three hundred people whose names are in Panama Papers. They are to justify their money trail. With the passage of time, new but shocking facts are unfolding. The recent leak of Paradise Papers added more personalities into the list of people who transferred not necessarily ill-gotten money from Pakistan to tax-heavens around the world. There are 134 citizens from Pakistan who got exposed this time. FBR issued notices to only 19 people to kick-off investigation.
Anyhow, the alluring thing is that the process of accountability has been initiated whether the parties like it or not. Institutions have something to work on. Therefore, it can be called the season of accountability. The reality is that things are going on at the right direction. The people involved in Panama and Paradise Papers would have to provide the complete record to prove their innocence. Making the matter simple and justified, everyone involved in these papers should be investigated no matter what it takes to do so.
People should trust the courts. Factually speaking, it is not their trust that is required; the trust of politicians over the judicial system is needed. The judges are working in a democratic set-up unlike the past. Nawaz Sharif is still not ready to accept the authenticity of the accountability process. He still believes that the establishment is playing its political card which has made him disqualified. The politics of 1990s is still under consideration by the federal party. The blame-game seems everlasting. Amid this, the Supreme Court needs to play the vital part of having the cases reach their finishing point at the earliest.
There are dozens of offshore companies that belong to Sharif family, from where its members obtained the money is yet to be fully determined. Still, there are a number of references especially related to Azizia Steel Mills and Hill Metals Establishment, and Hudabiya Paper Mills waiting for due consideration.
The matter is too intricate for a common man to comprehend. Voters of Nawaz Sharif are more worried about his becoming premier again rather than the cases and the money transferred from Pakistan to buy these properties. On the other side PPP, too, is not happy with the system. It is not all set to acknowledge the dependability of the accountability process and terming it vengeance against it.
What is happening in the country is bothersome. The future under these mystified politicians seems bleak as they are baffling the nation. If this keeps on happening, people will fall deeper in the pit of desperation. The nation is puzzled and divided ethically, religiously, and politically. There is a need to unite the nation as Pakistan is facing major challenges at the international level.
Politicians are doing it on purpose. They are not ready to face the courts wholeheartedly. Pakistan has become a battleground where a dominant figure can prove himself innocent when he is not. The people of Pakistan can find hope only by adopting a rational approach at the time of choosing their leaders, and in this regard, they would require enlightening themselves on a war footing instead of blindly following so-called leaders briskly.
*The writer is a political commentator and can be reached at [email protected]