Thursday, July 23, 2009

Shumaila Rana’s Theft Episode

By Saeed Qureshi

In classical Urdu poetry, the beloved or the sweetheart with awesome beauty is habitually callous towards her lover. The distressed lover bemoans that his heart is stolen by a charming yet heartless darling. Shumaila Rana by virtue of her spellbinding beauty and enticing charm could have stolen as many hearts as she wished. But instead, she has allegedly, chosen to thieve the credit cards of another female whose identity is still unknown.

Amazingly, all the MNAs and MPAs roll in money, power and pelf. Judging from their high prolife and exalted clout, Shumaila’s peers and associates must be making money by shovels and buckets. Under the firm conviction that there was not the slightest chance of her being caught, Shumaila’ saw a rare opportunity to go for lavish shopping at the expense of someone else’s money.

Poor lady, perhaps inexperienced in the art of stealing, was caught and caught badly. If there were no Televsion footages and TV stations like GEO, or security cameras, no power on earth could have proven her guilty. The crime if committed looks more heinous with her having the exalted status of a member of provincial parliament. If the leader is corrupt and happens to be a thief what stops from the rest of the community not to follow the leader.

Perhaps, Shumaila did this out of sheer fun or non-challance, because ostensibly she could have never been short of money to buy jewelry for some very urgent matrimony, more specifically of her own. As she explained in a belated TV appearance, she was still unmarried. But the explanation was worse than the actual felonious act. She tried to tell several lies to establish that she did not buy anything nor was she carrying the credit cards of another person. But as shown in the footage she is signing a receipt and everyone knows that receipt of a credit is to be signed after the actual sale. So it’s a double jeopardy: one for stealing the cards and then forging the signatures of the real holders of those cards.

Amusingly, she remained untraced or hidden, for the first few days to explain her part of the story. During her absence from the public view, her uncle tried to explain away the incident as baseless by arguing that she was in the Jewelry shop for the repair of her ring. In the entire footage no one saw any ring. So the whole affair takes a very sordid turn. Besides the larecy, the piles of lies dished out so far, heighten the ugliness of the case.

Her party, MLN has taken a principled stand and has asked her to prove her innocence. Otherwise she will lose her prestigious post, her honor and would be left with a life burdened by a stigma. A social stigma or bad name be it right or wrong, remains like a millstone around the neck of the concerned person for all time to come. Such are the ways of the nature. There is a lesson that even a bad job should be done with care and dexterity. A good job performed with carelessness, occasionally entails harmful backlash instead of the reward. A brief moment’s mistake, unguarded remark or careless joke becomes a lifelong trauma.

Such are our leaders in Pakistan who are bereft of basic human honesty and upright social behavior, let alone serving the nation with integrity and truthfulness. In the recent past, there have been several instances about the assembly members, involved in questionable and debased pursuits. Assembly members mostly come from wealthy and privileged classes. They invest money in winning the seats in the parliament and when elected they devote themselves in the filthy games of nepotism, underhand tactics and corruption of all kinds to fatten their already bulging purses.

Honesty is one virtue that is so deficient in the character of our officialdom, bureaucracy and people’s elected representatives. With a corrupt and deviant leadership, the country and people remain caught in a logjam of inefficiency, disorder and dysfunction. That is what we see in Pakistan.

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