Imran Jan |
The Honorable Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar has lent enormous credence to Bilawal Bhutto Zardari by declaring that his name shouldn’t be on the Exit Control List (ECL) because he didn’t have anything to do with his father’s businesses. While I have nothing but huge respect for the Honorable Chief Justice of Pakistan, I am deeply saddened by his statement that Bilawal is innocent.
The propagandists and party stalwarts would now spin this to the extreme to wash off all the crimes of this criminal empire led by Asif Ali Zardari and its new face Bilawal. Remember the dancing and the celebrations after the first Supreme Court verdict in the Panama Papers case, which called for the creation of a JIT to investigate thoroughly the assets and money trail of the then Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
A rich Muslim is responsible to help out his or her poor relatives or poor fellow Muslims not because one caused the poverty of others. In Bilawal’s case.
Experienced politicians can spin anything in any direction and the gullible masses believe it. Bilawal has enjoyed the immense wealth, a substantial portion of which was proceed of crime, thanks to the creative ways of his corruption savvy father. I wouldn’t be surprised if I type the word corruption in google and the first name that comes up is that of Asif Ali Zardari.
Bilawal went to expensive schools, lived a luxurious lifestyle. He had been old enough quite long enough to know that his luxurious lifestyle was being paid for by proceeds of corruption. And if morality and ethics were any traits of his personality, he would have questioned his father. But Bilawal thinks; Give me candies, don’t tell me how you got them and democracy is the best revenge. He chose to revel not rebel.
Anyway, that happens in Indian movies. We will stick to realistic arguments. Bilawal chose to stay quiet and enjoyed the great lifestyle, reading about poverty on Facebook and Twitter. The Honorable Chief Justice said that Bilawal didn’t do anything wrong, his father did. Fair enough. However, needless to say, that privilege brings responsibility. And that is even when one has no connection to responsibility.
Say Zakat, a rich Muslim is responsible to help out his or her poor relatives or poor fellow Muslims not because one caused the poverty of others. In Bilawal’s case, however, the correlation is pretty straight; the privilege cannot be divorced from the responsibility resulting from what achieved the privilege. If he is not responsible for the crimes of his father, then why is he entitled to his wealth and politics?
The propagandists and party stalwarts would now spin this to the extreme to wash off all the crimes of this criminal empire led by Asif Ali Zardari and its new face Bilawal.
Either he embraces both the perks and punishment that come with being Bilawal or he must refuse both. He cannot have it both ways. He cannot have his cake and eat it too. Bilawal took up the names of both, his mother and father, the latter one because he can’t escape it and the former one because the brand works. Bilawal is like; I inherit the name, the wealth, the status, the business (PPP), but I don’t want the blame or punishment that comes with them.
That is like two business partners where one tells the other that he would share the profit equally but wouldn’t share the loss at all. Nobody would accept such an arrangement. We do make noise that he is innocent because his father did the magic, but we say nothing about the fact that he should not be the Chairman of the party. I am not opposing the Honorable Chief Justice’s decision that Bilawal’s name should be removed from the ECL, but the idea of justice is betrayed when a towering personality like Saqib Nisar labels him innocent.
To say that Bilawal is innocent is to sanitize the crime of a family in which everyone enjoys the fruits of corruption. The message to future thieves in power is this: steal as much money as you can from this hapless nation but make sure to spend it on your children because they’d be labelled innocent.
The writer is a political analyst. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter @Imran_Jan. The views expressed in this article are author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Global Village Space.