STRAIGHT TALK by Hafeez Khan

The holy month of Ramadhan is over. A month of blessings for those who seek. The devout prayed their hearts out. Our mosques were full. Umra flights were overbooked. All form but where is the substance? Did we stop profiteering? Did we stop lying, cheating or defrauding? Were the streets cleaner? Did counterfeit medicines disappear? Did our work ethic improve? No, it all got worse. When will we end this hypocrisy and face up to the truth?

Our moral compass can’t drop any further. The truth is between mosquitoes, heat and inflation more disturbances are on the way. Maulana Fazal is planning an invasion of lslamabad with Bilawal and Maryam covering his flanks. The Lawyers agitation is about to be launched. The corrupt media is in full swing attempting to undermine the Government. What is all this hullabaloo about? The common Pakistani features nowhere in this scenario except exploiting their emotions. It is the coalition of corrupt
joining hands with the enemies of Pakistan to bring down the Establishment.

Corrupt Mafias who had established total control on the State apparatus and had their succession lined
up, have their noses out of joint because they can’t have their way anymore. They have already milked the country dry. Now their deeply embedded moles are also being taken to task. The Supreme Court has withstood some seriously damaging head winds. Despite that unshakable bastions of corruption have been uprooted. The Army chief chose to uphold the rule of law and would not intervene on behalf of corrupt. The accountability process despite its many shortcomings is moving ahead.

Hussain Haqqani Zardari and his co-conspirator Hussain Haqqani failed to neutralize the Army despite seeking help from the Americans. Nawaz Sharif through Dawn Leaks, Mumbai attack admission, ignoring Kulbashan failed in his endeavors too. The accountability noose is tightening. The Supreme Judicial Council reference is a serious threat to their support network embedded within the state machinery. Hence some serious road blocks are in the making.

I believe Army has cut its budget by 20% this year in view of country’s near comma condition. If
confirmed it’s amazing considering that Indian defense spending on the rise! On top of it, their conviction of corrupt officers who sold the motherland for money, convicted in a surgical strike. No drama surrounded it. It was quick and it was precise.

These days I am in Hong Kong spending time with my buddy Pervez Hussain Syed. They are 4th generation Hong Kong residents. Talking to  their Chinese circle of friends, some of whom are very knowledgeable about the China scene, confirmed to me that elimination of the corrupt in China is done in a similar manner. It is very effective. It has reduced corruption in China drastically.

Why can’t we have similar laws in Pakistan? Stealing from your motherland  is treason. It should be dealt with immediately and harshly. “An acid bath” in the words of my friend Hassan Nisar. Why can’t we have special courts for corruption? Why can’t we make NAB more effective? Why can’t we increase the Judges? Why can’t we strengthen the prosecution?

Hong Kong is city built on the side of a mountain. Over the century multiple stone step paths were built to facilitate the Public to move up and down. A few decades back a public escalator was built from the bottom of the mountain to the top. A -journey that would take an hour got reduced to 7 minutes. This analogy fits beautifully to our need to speed up the accountability process. It needs out of box thinking.

In our present wretched system the corrupt run circles around the legal system. Ishaq Dar fled in a plane arranged by a former PM. Shahbaz Sharif, after enjoying the comfort of Minister’s Enclave under the garb of a silly law called “Production Order” still under investigation of NAB, fled the country. The list goes on.

Finally the State has struck back. The Government has moved to take the bull by its horns. References have been filed against sitting judges with undeclared assets beyond their means. Bull’s eye. But not so quick. Suddenly there are rumblings of a lawyers’ movement akin to the one of Iftikhar Chaudhry. The players are the same. Nawaz Sharif funded the last one, he is able and willing to fund this one.

Growing up, the black coat inspired confidence. It was the sharpness of the argument, the expression of a brilliant mind what earned respect and influence. It was the profession adopted by Muhammad Ali Jinnah. It all deteriorated over time but the process was expedited with lawyers’ movement for Justice Iftikhar. With mob mentality, brawn replaced brain. Judges were beaten up. Touts now lead the processions

This reference is a test case. Lawyers’ agitation seeks “Immunity based on pedigree.” They want to prove judges “good fortunes” are above the law. Justice Isa is a beneficiary of Ifitkhar Chaudry’s one of a kind “Judicial Coup”. After his re-instatement as Chief Justice he became the biggest Mafia Don. At that time President Zardari had very cleverly manipulated and passed the 18th Amendment. He had secured his continuation of loot in Sind and conceded Punjab to the Sharifs for their plundering.

The law was challenged in the courts. Justice Iftikhar used this opportunity to twist the arm of the Government. Under threat to strike down the Amendment, he negotiated a deal where he could throw out all possible challenges to his absolute power by removing 106 sitting judges and replacing them with his cohorts.

The move worked Corruption won, rule of law defeated. It is against this backdrop that lawyer, Kazi Isa, got elevated as a Judge and then the Chief Justice of Baluchistan High Court and then moved to Supreme Court. It was payback time when he buried the Hudaibiya open and shut corruption case against the Sharifs.

Finally he has been netted. He is attempting to make it a public media circus, vigorously supported by the corrupt Mafia of Sharifs and Zardaris and their extensions amongst the lawyers community. The Government should stand firm. Supreme Judicial Council should be allowed to do its work. Coming on the roads should not alter the course of reform in Pakistan. The Coalition of the Corrupt should not succeed.

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