Kick Out All the Plunderers


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Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif and his PML-N group were introduced during the 1980s by a military regime, and they lived under the wings of the military for a quite reasonable time. As soon as they gained some political strength, Mian Nawaz Sharif started disliking the military and its agencies treating them the only obstacle in his corruption and his pro-India policies compromising national interests. In fact, Mian Nawaz Sharif always wanted absolute power and commanding role in trade, security and foreign policy affairs as he deemed correct. In an attempt of grabbing absolute power, his relations with the Army had always been conflicting and problematic. Getting no more than 10% genuine electoral supports ever, his views are greatly influenced by his flawed views that he has a strong support base and under that absolutely the wrong assumption he wants to be personalized and family-based decision making in all the affairs mainly to defeat the military. He always puts his own interests above national interests. Now he feels threatened of unprecedented leadership qualities of Gen. Raheel Sharif and increasing influence and popularity of the Army Chief and the military forces. He is in a real sense an enemy of Pakistan.

In a country like Pakistan, where internal and external security threats are so intense, the military cannot be pushed to the sideline. The official standpoint of the PML-N government remained that top military brass and civilian leaders were on the same page, and they had been strong harmony and understanding between them. But unfortunately during almost all of Nawaz Sharif regimes, the Civil-military relations in Pakistan have always a history of discord, delusion, disagreement and intrigue and even today these relations are on an uneven path. Mian Nawaz Sharif and his companions have even launched a series of astonishing verbal attacks against the military leadership. There is perceived complete disconnect in civil-military relations today. There is a multi-billion-rupee nexus between political leaders and crime and terrorism in the country. There is every reason to believe that civilian leadership clearly understands its decreasing weight in the domestic political arrangements.

There are not two opinions that the Army’s popularity is at the climax and still rising because it is performing its professional duties very well and following the merit in all respects – the government has not been able to deliver anything to the masses. Military operations have improved the security situation in the country, but this progress cannot be sustained without matching betterment in governance and administration by the government. An effective implementation of National Action Plan was equal responsibility of all the institutions, but the federal government could not play its proper role in this regard. The PML-N, instead of performing its prime duties, is engaged in political adventurism and continues to neglect the imperatives of controlling terrorism and extremism. The public expression of the Army Chief’s displeasure at poor governance, lack of control over rampant corruption and a lack of a supportive civilian role for the counter-terrorism operations have caused much distress in the PML-N circles. The policy of the military forces going after the facilitators, financiers, and supporters of terrorist and extremist groups has also perturbed the PML-N top leadership.

The Panama papers leaked earlier this month revealing the Prime Minister’s three children having offshore companies and assets of billions of dollars have taken the country by a storm which has created a political turmoil. Some opposition parties have demanded the Prime Minister to step down to conduct a fair inquiry while others are negotiating with the government behind the scene. Opposition parties could not unite on the matter of resignation of PM because some of the leaders from all the parties have also been named in the scam. In fact, our political class as a whole, with a slight exception, is tainted by the same brush. Pakistani brand of ‘Democracy’ which fundamentally lacks the element of accountability is far worse than even a repressive dictatorship. The word ‘Democracy’ has afforded the ruling people a shield under which every crime and every wrong doing becomes justified.

Nawaz Sharif and his cronies have always been working to plunder the national wealth as their sole agenda. After coming into politics with the blessings of Shaheed General Zia-ul-Haq in 1980s, he held the positions of Provincial Minister for Finance, CM Punjab and now third time Prime Minister; since then he has a long history of corruption and money laundering. During his first tenure as Prime Minister between 1990 and 1993, Nawaz Sharif privatized Pakistan’s highly profitable banks, insurance companies, and other key industries. In that privatization process, he earned millions and millions of dollars as kickbacks. Now his family is the owner of over two dozen companies valued at billions of dollars. He brought the free market economy for the first time in the country for his personal gains which otherwise has snatched the last loaf of bread from a common man. After Panama Leaks revelations his credibility as a political leader has been lost, and his government has become completely dysfunctional but, as usual, he is not ready to step down.

Pakistan is ruining. It is governed by most inept, incompetent and corrupt people ever witnessed by an informed nation. The people who should speak truth to the nation are always in anticipation of personal gains. Corruption is growing like cancer, poverty is growing even in the face of dubious economic theories and figures, and we continue to live without adequate power supply. We have a Prime Minister, who has no single appetite to fight corruption or eliminate terrorism– yes, none. No education, No healthcare, No security of life. The nation and its institutions, law and justice, commerce, political governance all appear dysfunctional and self-contradictory. Imagine a campaign that is dominated against the anti-corruption move of the Pak Army. It is really shameful. Our leaders have been robbing Pakistan, and rampant corruption has damaged us beyond repair.

The people of Pakistan have already suffered a lot at the hands of both of the major parties because of their worse governance and unprecedented corruption. History shows Pakistan Army has always been the main stabilizing force of the state. The Pak Army is going through the cleansing of terrorists and the corrupt people in the country with all sincerity and dedication. It is a high time now for the people’s movement to fully support the Army to liberate the country from selfish, corrupt, and dishonest political leaders and their cronies blatantly looting the national exchequer, sucking it absolutely dry, and transferring that stolen wealth to international safe heavens. They are questioning the authority of our Army, but the people are now fully aware of the sacrifices of the Army both in war and peace. There is perhaps no institution of the state from whom Nawaz Sharif did not confront to ensure they comply with his ill wishes, but this should now be over. The state should now win back the confidence of its institutions by showing zero-tolerance to corruption which is the central root of all other evils.

Shaukat Masood Zafar
Shaukat Masood Zafar
A well known freelance columnist writing for daily Pakistan Observer, and several other national and international websites and newspapers. Economy, Politics, and Agricultural & Rural Development are especially areas of his interest.


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