News Analysis |
The Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar paid a surprise visit to a private hospital (Ziauddin Hospital) in Clifton, Karachi, on Saturday. In a shocking development, during the inspection, the CJP found three bottles of liquor in the room of the ex-minister and PPP leader Sharjeel Memon. Surprisingly, Memon’s driver Jan Mohammad told media that the bottles spotted by the CJP did not contain liquor. One of the bottles contained honey while the other contained cooking oil, he claimed.
The incarcerated former minister, his driver and two servants were booked by police yesterday under Section 4 (owning or possessing intoxicant) of the Zia-era law, The Prohibition (Enforcement of Hadd) Order (4 of 1979). The case has been registered at the Boat Basin police station and a three-member team comprising South Zone DIG Javed Alam Odho, South Zone 1 Investigation SSP Abdullah Ahmed and East Zone 1 Investigation SP Shabbir Memon has been formed to investigate the case against the minister and submit the report within a week.
The PPP is in power in Sindh and the police in the province are said to be highly politicized. This case is a test for the leadership of Bilawal Bhutto who claims to be a proponent of rule of law and is passionate for the reforms in existing political system.
Mr. Memon was immediately sent off to Karachi’s Central Jail after the discovery of ‘liquor’ in his room. According to details, an accountability court in Karachi on 5th Feb 2018 indicted Sharjeel Memon and 11 others in a corruption case pertaining to the award of advertisements at ‘exorbitant rates’ through the abuse of power. A team from NAB had taken Memon and his accomplices into custody on Oct 23, 2017, after the Sindh High Court had rejected his bail plea in a corruption case.
On being asked about liquor bottles found in Memon’s room, Asif Ali Zardari said,” What can we say in a country where the chief justice conducts raids? I just know there are thousands of pending cases before the SC which should be pursued.”
Read more: CJP Mian Saqib Nisar visits Karachi
Criminals in Hospitals
In Pakistan, it has become a trend that influential people, as soon as they get arrested, fall ill. The most senior judge of the SC Justice Asif Saeed Khosa had raised the question that why everyone who was arrested by NAB fell ill and remarked that NAB should construct a state-of-the-art hospital to treat those people.
He further said that some people were exploiting the law that allows prisoners with health problems to be transferred to a hospital. “It has become a regular practice,” he claimed. “Medical boards grant favours to people accused of crimes.” Justice Khosa was hearing Sharjeel Memon bail application on December 2017.
Social Media Reaction
Ameer Abbas, a journalist, tweeted and said that “When the patient is Sharjeel Memon & the hospital is owned by another PPP senior member then you can have the “medicine plus” treatment. In this country, if you’re a mighty prisoner than don’t worry because even then you’re entitled with so many privileges”
When the patient is Sharjeel Memon & the hospital is owned by another PPP senior member than you can have the “medicine plus” treatment.
In this country, if you’re a mighty prisoner than don’t worry because even than you’re entitled with so many privileges 👍
— Ameer Abbas (@ameerabbas84) September 1, 2018
Politician Syed Ali Raza Abidi also taunted and said “Watch the magic now. Liquor to turn into honey and hair oil. #SharjeelMemon”
Watch the magic now. Liquor to turn into honey and hair oil. #SharjeelMemon
— Syed Ali Raza Abidi (@abidifactor) September 1, 2018
Barrister Hamza also asked “I keep my honey in a normal jar. Can someone ask #SharjeelMemon if there are any health benefits for storing it in vodka bottles?”
Analysts in Pakistan are not hopeful about the outcomes of the investigation team. The PPP is in power in Sindh and the police in the province are said to be highly politicized. This case is a test for the leadership of Bilawal Bhutto who claims to be a proponent of rule of law and is passionate for the reforms in existing political system.