Nasir Azeem |
“Power Corrupts while Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely”
Our political history indicates that ruling elite and those who have been part of our power structure in one way or the other are treated as holy cows & “political untouchables”. These individuals are above any law, neither accountable nor answerable to any institution. It’s not about few political families only but includes bureaucrats, generals, media persons and powerful businessmen as well.
Though the money involved in the scandal looks peanut as compared to the capital that has been laundered from the motherland but still it can become a good tipping point to trigger the process of accountability and to hold rapacious ruling class responsible for their wrongdoings.
Most of us have heard about Panama gate and offshore businesses abroad. Though the money involved in the scandal looks peanut as compared to the capital that has been laundered from the motherland but still it can become a good tipping point to trigger the process of accountability and to hold rapacious ruling class responsible for their wrongdoings. They need to learn the lesson that authority never comes alone but brings responsibility with it.
Judicial verdict & JIT’s formation
On 20th April, after thoroughly going through the matter, the five-member bench of the Apex Court decided to constitute a joint investigation team to examine the saga that started with Panama-based law firm Mossak Fonseka a year ago, to probe the financial dealings of the first family.
Most interesting part of the verdict is that none of the five honorable Judges seemed ready to buy the Qatari story. For them, it is based on hearsay and the Prince himself seemed to be some ambiguity while sharing the details.
Though, it was a split verdict because the two senior most Judges were ready to disqualify the PM on the yardstick of article 62 and 63 but three out of those five decided to provide the respondent’s last chance to prove their innocence & establish the money trail of the London-based flats (if there was any).
Most interesting part of the verdict is that none of the five honorable Judges seemed ready to buy the Qatari story. For them, it is based on hearsay and the Prince himself seemed to be some ambiguity while sharing the details. It’s impossible for Court to accept the letter without questioning its legal status & its admissibility would be in jeopardy without supporting documents.
On the other hand, because of the continuous “insolent” conduct of JIT, those henchmen who were distributing sweets on its formation have now started targeting it. But they need to know that it’s not ordinary JIT but an extended arm of the Supreme Court working under the umbrella of Article 190 of the continuation & enjoys more powers than the PM because heads of the autonomous bodies are not answerable before him. Raising frivolous objections over it indirectly means deliberate assaults on the superior judiciary and this absurd behavior can bring some serious legal consequences.
Media and Opposition’s Role
Legally, now it’s up to the apex court to decide the fate of the people involved in Panama scandal. But when it comes to the political side of the story, there is no ambiguity in the minds of many that mainstream opposition party PTI’s Chief Imran Khan played a tremendous role in keeping the issue alive in the political arena and created awareness on every front against the menace of corruption.
By and large, Imran has emerged as a “Victor” against the PM because, after Panama, it seems that Nawaz has lost the political high moral ground that he used to enjoy against the PPP. In the science of politics, it’s rightly said that “Perception is reality” and today’s political reality is that Panama has exposed them publicly that they are no different from Zardari when it comes to “Money making”.
Whether we agree with Imran Khan or not, the key role he had played so far to bring the members of “ruling elite” before the law can’t be ignored. He on personal level left no stone unturned and did all that was politically and humanely possible. Though he had great contributions in every walk of social life individually, political history will always remember him for this robust and tangible achievement.
By and large, Imran has emerged as a “Victor” against the PM because, after Panama, it seems that Nawaz has lost the political high moral ground that he used to enjoy against the PPP. In the science of politics, it’s rightly said that “Perception is reality” and today’s political reality is that Panama has exposed them publicly that they are no different from Zardari when it comes to “Money making”. So, PM and his henchmen have some genuine causes of concern. In the election year, this is more than enough for Imran to damage “public image” of the incumbent rulers when everyone would be out on the election campaign.Along with opposition, media outlets played an essential role to create awareness among the public to understand the very complicated legal issue.
Nawaz’s Political Waterloo (Panama Panic)
Whether his party members admit it or not but there is no ambiguity that PM is facing one of the worst crisis of his political life which spans over three decades. In retrospect, it seems that PM got three chances to get rid of this mess in the more honorable way. Firstly, when Panama papers were leaked last year, it was high time for him to step down. Secondly, when the political squabble was about to start in the legal arena and lastly when Court decided to form the JIT. Even the split verdict in the much-awaited Panama gate case was enough to provide political “face saving” but PM never bothered to exercise any lifeline.
Being an ordinary student of law, I believe there is no honorable exit for the entire Sharif family but as far as Pakistani politics is concerned there is always a “compromised” way forward and NRO type deals for powerful ruling class. “Doctrine of Necessity” is the ultimate tonic for such grave problems. So, we can say that it’s a tussle between the rule of law versus the law of the rulers.
TRADERS can’t be the leaders
“If you will not take interest in the government affairs, then you are doomed to live under the rule of the thugs” ~Plato
The ultimate lesson, our masses need to learn that traders can’t be the leaders, how a landlord can represent a peasant, is it possible for an industrialist to raise voice for the worker class and imagine relics of colonialism and byproducts of Capitalism fighting for pro-public socialist reforms??? This is nearly impossible. We need to come out of this “Democratic hoax” and though it seems a cliché but before injecting any electoral and political reforms in our system we have to reform our “collective way of thinking” otherwise we as a nation stand as an ignorant, poor post-colonial Asian state, on the brink of economic collapse and being observed as a failed democracy worldwide.
Nasir Azeem is a student of Law. He has interests in Global Political happenings and World History. The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Global Village Space’s editorial policy.