Thursday, November 18, 2010

Cain and Abel

Upright Opinion
November 1, 2010
Cain and Abel
By Saeed Qureshi

Of late, I am somehow developing a symptom of sympathy and support for the president of Pakistan his Excellency Asif Ali Zardari. My change in perception stems from the feelings that why he alone has been singled out for all the crimes and misdeeds under the sun. Truthfully, he is not the only one who amassed wealth by devious means. The question is who else in Pakistan has not done it or if someone gets an opportunity to make extra buck will he or she would spurn or let it pass by unnoticed.

The baleful tradition or scourge of corruption in Pakistan is not confined to a few individuals. It is endemic and has become an integral loathsome part of our culture. There are rank hypocrites among the religious lot that swear upon holy book, sermonize all virtues that they can think of and still run after the ill-gotten money like a dog runs after the chickens.
At least in case of Asif Zardari, he does not exhort nor practice pious platitudes and fall back upon the false pretensions of not doing something that he has already done. One thing is sure, he is not a hypocrite, nor would he point-blank deny that he did not have the money that was earned ostensibly by way of kickbacks or other similar shady means.
I would rather recommend a national enquiry commission that would without discrimination or exceptions dig and investigate the assets and wealth of all the persons suspected of having illegitimate money earned by various dubious means. If the investigation and the follow up legal action is across the board then indeed Asif Zardari should also be brought into the net of accountability and process of enquiry. Otherwise, he should be ignored as others are beyond the net of law.
Otherwise, the whole exercise that either is underway by the courts or based on public recriminations seems Zardari -specific that might be better defined as vendetta. If one man has earned money through unfair means then why the whole focus on him while countless others too are chips of the same bloc.
For instance do we not know that Mian family of Lahore and Chaudhry family of Gujrat are not pious and purified angels or as guiltless as a newborn baby. What about Shaukat Aziz’s colossal economic bungling that filled his coffers to the brim but also brought enormous wealth to others. What about bureaucrats, army generals, ministers, mayors, NGOs, judges, police, and so?
We should be honest to admit that Zardari did not enter the power citadel from the back doors. He was unanimously elected by all the parties in the parliament. It is another matter that he outsmarted the politicians especially Mian Nawaz Sharif for extending support under the oath of implementation of charter of democracy and Murree Accord. It is not the betrayal of Zardari that is questionable. It is primarily the foolishness of Mian Nawaz Sharif and his party affiliates that they placed blind faith into the political deals without preconditions or extracting watertight commitments.
The deceit, duplicity, and trickery are the part of poltical games all over the world. In fact, what was done to Zardari during the Mian Nawaz premiership was adequately repaid in the same currency later by Zardari? No heart burning or allegations of breaking pledges should be leveled by Mian Sahib and other political contenders because in politics it is the end that justifies the means. And in this game of outwitting others political forces Zardari has proven to be exceptionally shrewd and a maverick.
If today Zardari resists an accountability process solely focused on him in a crowd in which no one can claim to have clean hands and above suspicion of making money through foul mean and by misusing authority and political clout, then such a cleansing process should involve all the dirty thugs and looters of public money.
Admittedly, Zardari’ s level of tolerance is exceptionally high as he has not reacted vindictively against his opponents as was done by Mian Nawaz Sharif, Pervez Musharraf and Ziaul Haq. He has rather keeping a low profile, not minding profanities, caricatures, and character assassination all these two years he has been in the presidency.
If he is holding two offices, one of the party chairperson and the other as the president of Pakistan then, this has been the practice by his predecessors and other parties thus far. If the opposition parties so desire as to hold one office, it should have been vociferously advocated and lobbied by their leaders. The 18th amendment was passed by consensus and therefore if the government of PPP with its coalition partners is responsible for this enormous anomaly, the opposition heads are too have to share the blame for this.
However, of late somehow, I have started suffering from a hunch that some supernatural power was behind Asif Ali Zardari and perhaps the Pakistan People Party (Parliamentarian). Otherwise, how would it be possible that in the wake of that colossal multi-faceted mayhem that these guys have created there could not be any protest or reaction from any quarter?
The devastating floods, the growing crippling poverty, the unbridled lawlessness, the perpetually spiking cost of living, the collapse of socio-civic services, the unending nightmares of power blackouts, the unrestrained greed and corruption of all the ministers and bureaucrats have failed to ignite a revolution and send the country and its population up in frenzy and commotion. No one bothers, not even the leadership in and out of power, about the proliferating lawlessness that is swallowing human lives of ordinary people every moment and every day.
Are the people of this country created in the name of Islam, are abandoned by the sustainer and caretaker of the universe and leave them at the callous whims of the heartless and insensate leaders? The invisible powerful forces appear to be on the side of Cain (bad son of Adam) and not Abel (good son of Adam, in this case (metaphorically) the people of Pakistan).
If the people of Pakistan are resigned to suffer in silence and bear all the indignities and deprivations, the Supreme Court helpless to get its verdicts complied with, the political parties indifferently docile not to lead, army not ready to burn its fingers in the Nimrod’s fire, and deities being on the side of the tribe of Cain, then the wishful prayers of a few conscientious Pakistanis who exasperate to see the fiendish nightmare to end, hardly matter.
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