Eid ul Azha, sacrifice of Benazir and Asif Ali Zardari by Abdul Q. Kundi

Eid Mubarak to you and your family. Eid Ul Azha is about remembering the sacrifice of Prophet Ibrahim (AS) and its message for the people. Yesterday sacrifice of Benazir Bhutto came to the limelight after the verdict of an anti terrorist court. Benazir despite being aware of the risks to her life did not hesitate to reach out to the people. Her untimely death was the end of an era of politics of principles and civilized opposition. It was also the death of ideological PPP and birth of an opportunist political party that relies on empty rhetoric and false promises. It is a party disconnected and disjointed from the people and their issues.

After the NAB acquittal, Asif Ali Zardari held a press conference to explain his position about it. His focus was that the cases were politically motivated which means he did not commit any corruption. He also narrated the past grand bargains and felt comfortable that all those deals were done for the benefit of the nation. Last grand bargain was NRO which he justified as a necessary condition to get rid of the uniform of Gen Musharraf.

This press conference raises many questions and I hope PPP politicians will answer it. First question what is the definition of corruption? Is conflict of interest corruption? Is amending tax laws to benefit family members considered corruption? What magical source of income Mr. Zardari has that can get him palaces in Dubai, London, and major cities in Pakistan? Has he paid any taxes on this income? My email reaches our PPP friends too so I hope they will answer these questions rather than deal with friendly journalists that were called out by name by Mr. Zardari and Senator Farhatullah Babar.

Let me tell you a real life story. During 2013 general elections I was campaigning in South Punjab and KP. As a small politician, I don’t move in bullet proof Prados and police escort. So I am always ready to be stopped by the police for their routine check ups. One night while returning from an election event my old car was stopped by Police. Policeman peeped into the car from the driver’s side and after looking at me just said he was hungry and needed some money to buy food. Was he asking bribe? Was it my human responsibility to spare some money for a hungry state official who was seeking voluntary contribution rather than conditioned it to let me go? Knowing the salary of policeman that is really low would it not burden my conscience to say no to a hungry man?

Asif Ali Zardari, Nawaz Sharif, Imran Khan, Jahangir Tareen and a large number of other status quo politicians have been big beneficiaries of Pakistani system. Their legal teams know every loop hole and weakness of the law and exploit it to the fullest. Let me explain this point through some examples. Famous and mega rich builder of Pakistan Riaz Malik has publicly said in an interview with Saleem Safi that he has a business relationship with Asif Ali Zardari. He gifted 1.5 billion worth Bilawal house in Lahore to Mr. Zardari as reported by some media. Then should it not raise questions that he got 1000s of acres of Sind land from the government of Mr. Zardari. Asif Ali Zardari is right he has not done any corruption because the activities he engages in is not classified as corruption by any law.

Gaming the system is not corruption so Mr. Zardari, Nawaz Sharif, General Musharraf or anyone else can confidently say that cases against them were politically motivated. And it does not burden their conscience because they are convinced gaming the system for personal benefits prove they are smart rather than corrupt. FBR is sleeping and should remain sleeping for the benefit of 2% elites that include politicians, generals, judges, bureaucrats, and oligarchs. The rest 98% are illiterate fools in the eyes of Mr. Zardari and others.

I just want to tell Asif Ali Zardari and Nawaz Sharif that throwing dust in the eyes of the people is no longer possible. Also, NRO with establishment will also be no longer accepted by the nation as a compromise between elites. So the only way forward is to hold a limited dialogue that we have proposed. Mr. Zardari is a Phd doctor in politics so I can’t teach him anything in politics. So if he wants to continue with his grand bargain through back door channel then go ahead. He will learn the outcome of it pretty soon.

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