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ThePakPolitics • The beginning os Sharif's endgame : NATIONAL ISSUES
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The beginning os Sharif's endgame

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Unread post Sat Nov 05, 2016 9:27 pm
Mirza Ghalib User avatar
Senior Moderator

The beginning of Sharif’s endgame

The ‘Panama leaks’-related inquiry could well become the first step towards formulating a set of much-needed progressive measures in Pakistan
By Farhan Bokhari, Special to Gulf News
Published: 17:12 November 5, 2016
Gulf News


A supreme court appointed commission in Pakistan will finally seal the fate of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif who has been up against months of increasingly vocal opposition attacks, following revelations of large-scale offshore wealth belonging to his three children, unearthed in the so-called ‘Panama leaks’ scandal.

Given that the process is a judicial one, it would be foolish to predict the outcome of this affair, notwithstanding claims and counter-claims from Sharif’s supporters and the opposition led by former cricket player-turned politician Imran Khan.

But in the past week, the way Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League — Nawaz (PML-N) has used brutal tactics to block opposition protests in Islamabad and its surrounding Punjab province, there is a central question: Whether Sharif is now conclusively locked in an inevitable endgame of his tenure. More than three years after Sharif made history in 2013, becoming the first politician ever to be elected for a third time to a five-year tenure, he is indeed up against formidable odds.

To Imran’s credit, he has kept up the pressure on demanding a full-scale inquiry on the ultimate source of the wealth belonging to Sharif’s children. Imran has pressed his case on the grounds that any conclusion that establishes a ‘paper trail’ and reveals that the money eventually came from Sharif and well beyond his known sources of wealth, must then present grounds for the prime minister to be held accountable.

On the face of it, the Pakistani prime minister and his team have done everything possible to delay the probe. Their eventual agreement to the Supreme Court-appointed commission came about only after Imran threatened to lead activists from his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) or Pakistan Justice Movement to launch a major anti-government protest in Islamabad. And while there is indeed a Supreme Court-directed inquiry now underway, Sharif’s supporters continue to insist that the wealth of his three children had no connection with their father and therefore that should not be ground for the father to be taken to task.

The issue is simply not whether Sharif is the owner of the wealth belonging to his children. There is a larger two-pronged issue at stake.

On the one hand, it is vial to prove that no portion of the wealth belonging to Sharif’s children came from their father. On the other hand, it is also vital to prove that the wealth was not earned by the children with the use of their father’s clout as one of Pakistan’s mainstream politicians.

A conclusive end to the inquiry must also establish the ground rules for future conduct by Pakistani politicians. For long, Pakistan’s politicians have been blatantly complacent over complying with the country’s laws, especially those related to taxes. This has meant that accusations of past wrong-doings of scandalous proportions have often been ignored by successive rulers. Consequently, a major crisis of revenue collection across Pakistan has meant that key segments of the social sector for impoverished Pakistanis, such as education and health care, have been badly neglected.

However, one of the worst manifestations of wrong-doing at the top has been the malicious effect that this has had across Pakistan down to the grass roots. Today, in Pakistan, it is hard to find even a single government-run outfit — such as the police, municipality, department of education or health care — where corruption is not rampant.

In spite of frequent publicity campaigns to draw the attention of the public towards prominent politicians who either pay no tax or only chip in sharply below their dues, Pakistan’s tax collection system remains largely dysfunctional. Successive governments in Pakistan have failed to force the public to pay their taxes owing to the lack of moral authority on the part of the politicians of the ruling parties. Currently in Pakistan, the inquiry that has just been announced by the Supreme Court may not fill the gaps in tax collection immediately, but it certainly marks the first serious step towards a long overdue measure.

In tandem with the Supreme Court proceedings, Pakistan also needs to urgently embark on meeting two equally-compelling challenges.

First, the investigations into the ‘Panama leaks’ needs to be followed up by reviewing a spate of laws that have historically given cover to the elite to conveniently hide their ill-gotten gains. During Sharif’s first tenure as prime minister, which began in 1990, Pakistanis were allowed to open foreign currency accounts within the country without having to reveal the source of their wealth. While there has been some modifications to those laws over the years, the philosophy that drove those laws still remains intact. Today, many affluent Pakistanis consider it their right to ignore the country’s tax laws without the fear of ever getting caught. That mindset needs to change if Pakistan is to begin reforming itself.

Second, exemplary punishments must be handed down to those found guilty of committing economic crimes — notably tax evasion — if Pakistan is to ever begin reforming itself. The virtual absence of any example of the high and mighty being taken to task over financial irregularities has eventually meant that rampant violations are committed across Pakistan without the fear of ever getting caught. In brief, the ‘Panama leaks’-related inquiry could well become the first step towards formulating a set of much-needed progressive measures. At least that should be the hope for the future.

Farhan Bokhari is a Pakistan-based commentator who writes on political and economic matters.

Unread post Sun Nov 06, 2016 12:10 pm
Mirza Ghalib User avatar
Senior Moderator

November 5, 2016
Author: admin
Leak within Leaks : What is the next strategy of Nawaz Sharif?

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By Razi Tahir

LAHORE : Panama Case in Supreme Court seems to be like a clamp for Nawaz Sharif and family. The detailed strategy of PMLN on panama case exposed.

Failure in playing first card by the best political players of Pakistan Mulism league – Nawaz (PMLN) remained useless in front of detailed evidences of a journalist created Anxiety among them. Nawaz Sharif ready to play the next card. Silently exit from the country may be the last option.

Contradictory statements by kitchen cabinet and children of Nawaz Sharif, apparently repeated unsuccessful attempts to defend and no action on International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) statements and facts makes the case crystal clear. The final result of this failure is to fire the Prime Minister. The experienced expert team is still doing its best to get rid of this tension. PML-N must have realized that Supreme Court hands are tied due to initial documents submitted by institutions and the plea of the advocates.

Related : Corruption and corrupt practices, what is the future of Nawaz Sharif?

Senior investigative journalist Asad Kharal ruined all their efforts by revealing that 99.9% of documents are contrary to the facts, he along with copies of the original documents presented itself to support the court. PML-N who has been insisting on contacting Supreme Court instead of sit in is now trying to flee the Supreme Court. First card was to challenge the authority of court in case of TORs and judicial commission by barrister Zafarullah of Watan Party. He is the same person who challenged Pakistan Tehreek e Insaf (PTI) sit in.

Related : Asad Kharal – the whistle blower; sets example of true journalism

On the other side, supreme court has instructed the Nawaz Sharif children to submit their response till Monday. Justice Azmat Shaikh warned the lawyer of PM about the seriousness of the results in case of not submitting the response. PML-N leaders informed the Supreme Court via press conference that no answer is going to be submitted on Monday. It is also important that not only PM’s children but also Ishaq Dar’s children are instructed to submit the remarks.

The sources say that PM may go abroad for treatment in case of any action by the court. He may discharge his authorities and offer someone else to hold the charge of PM under the pretext of illness. The same story was repeated earlier, but this time the case may be different. Supreme Court may announce the verdict in letter and spirit after a fair trial. This is because the nation is observing the trial with a light of hope and is confident of decision based on justice by Supreme Court.


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