Tag Archives: accountability

Sugar mafia will not escape from responsibility: Shibli – Pakistan | Instant News

Published in March 31, 2021 10:01 am

The sugar mafia will not go unnoticed: Shibli

ISLAMABAD (Dunya News) – Pakistani Senator Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Senator Shibli Faraz said Wednesday that the sugar mafia cannot escape responsibility, even if they belong to any party, including the powerful (PTI) Pakistan Tehreek-e- Insaf.

In a tweet, he blamed speculators and the mafia for creating uncertainty in the market leading to a surge in the price of the sweetener.

He said that Prime Minister Imran Khan has always put the interests of the Pakistani people first. The law will take its course indiscriminately against those who create obstacles in the ongoing relief efforts to the public – will be handled with an iron fist.


image source

Slow paced accountability | Instant News

LLast year, the big petroleum crisis hit Pakistan when, all of a sudden, gasoline disappeared from most refueling stations across the country.

The situation remained like that for several weeks but there was no real reason for this crisis that came from the government side which sparked all kinds of rumors and speculations.

The crisis erupted last May when gasoline prices were slashed by seven rupees a liter after falling international prices due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

After this decision, gasoline disappeared from all filling stations except the state-run Pakistan State Oil station.

The crisis prompted the prime minister to order an investigation and four oil marketing companies were also fined 40 million rupees, but these actions failed to end the crisis. At the end of June, the price of petroleum was unprecedentedly raised by more than 25 rupees for a liter which ended the “shortage” within a few hours. It will take the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) at least six months to submit its investigation report with a government-appointed ministerial committee.

On Friday, Planning Minister Asad Umar announced the recommendations of the ministerial committee before the media.

According to the minister, the prime minister had asked Petroleum Minister’s Advisor Nadeem Babar to step down to allow for a “impartial” forensic investigation.

The secretary of the petroleum division was also transferred to another ministry in this regard.

The planning minister said no faults had so far been detected on the part of the two petroleum ministry officials but they were ruled out to allow for an independent investigation that could not be “influenced” by any quarter.

While Pakistanis want to see those responsible for creating this crisis held accountable, the government’s late decision has raised many questions.

It has been almost a year since the crisis hit the country and millions of rupees are believed to have been siphoned off during an acute “shortage” that continued for several weeks.

Prime Minister Imran Khan, while in opposition, is known for setting extremely high standards for the accountability of high-ranking government officials in such a national crisis. So, the first thing people expect from him is the immediate dismissal of a high ministry official even before any investigation is ordered.

It is strange that after almost a year, the investigation could find no clue as to who was responsible for this crisis and another three months have been attempted to conduct a forensic study.

Moreover, if the government’s current track record in dealing with such questions and subsequent actions is a guide, then one doubts whether any concrete results will ever come out of such an investigation.

The government last year commissioned a joint investigation led by the FIA ​​to investigate the sugar mafia. The report pins show the influential political family that runs the country’s main sugar factory and holds them responsible for the scandal. They are thought to have pocketed more than 100 billion rupees through speculative pricing.

Now that the FIR has been registered against senior political figures from the ruling and opposition parties, it will not be interesting to see if any real effort will be taken to bring the culprit to the books or it is simply political action to deceive the masses.

The current government has launched a massive anti-corruption campaign since accountability is the main agenda in the election campaign.

Unfortunately, despite a lot of pomp and showing that the number of convicts in corruption cases has been neglected.

Now even government ministers have started criticizing the anti-corruption watchdog, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), for its dismal performance. NAB’s work has been called into question even by the courts.

The Supreme Court in one of the key decisions in the case of PML-N Khawaja Saad Rafique and Khawaja Salam Rafiq has noted that the NAB, which was formed during the military rule of President General Pervez Musharraf, was misused due to political engineering.

While the public wants to see corruption cases involving major scandals and influential figures come to a logical end, the government also needs to take the steps necessary to make the accountability process genuine and credible.

Amnesty International in its annual report found that the corruption index has increased in Pakistan. However, the government did not take any action to eradicate corruption or make the entire process credible.

After winning the vote of confidence from the National Assembly, the prime minister in his speech assured the court’s full cooperation on the part of his government in deciding the major scandal. However, the government needs to review the laws that govern this issue and close the loopholes that impede the accountability process.

This goal can only be achieved if the government and the opposition join hands and work together to produce the necessary legislation.

The government needs to tackle the petroleum crisis as a trial case and needs to address the reasons for causing unnecessary delays in fulfilling the legal formalities to bring the matter to court.

Undue delays in investigations, lax prosecution, and the use of political influence are some of the reasons that do not allow such a major scandal to reach its logical end.

Traditionally, as the Supreme Court also pointed out, the process of accountability has been mostly used in Pakistan to sacrifice political opposition.

The government needs to build confidence in the opposition and try to erase the grievances that have stigmatized this accountability process.

With the government halfway through a five-year term and amid growing tensions with the opposition, it is a major challenge to dispel widespread doubts on the accountability process.

PTI is championing the 2018 election with a very popular one-point accountability agenda and will be faced with questions about its performance in fulfilling its promises when it will go to the public to seek their votes in the next election.

Making laws in parliament on issues related to accountability and the fate of mega-corruption will be a major test for the incumbent government ahead of the next election.

The author is a senior journalist based in Islamabad


image source

Accountability circus | Instant News

Hamza Shahbaz finally got out of prison and became a free man after spending more than 20 months in prison. His release features a continuation of the accountability joke in full view since the current government came to power. While several PML-N leaders have been arrested and jailed, the Sharifs are facing the burden of the current witch hunt.

Even before the 2018 elections, Mian Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz were arrested on false charges and sent to prison. Remember the two were in London with Begum Kulsoom Nawaz who was on the death bed when the sentences were announced. But both of them decide to go home and face prison terms.

This is not the end of the persecution of the Sharif family and indeed the PML-N leadership. Within a month after Imran Khan became prime minister, Mian Shahbaz Sharif was also arrested. Possibly the thought was that by apprehending the most prominent member of the Sharif family, the PM would be smooth on government affairs. But the fact is that performance and good governance are a function of competence, quality delivery and quality teams and cannot be achieved by capturing members of the main opposition. Unfortunately, the current setup lacks these attributes – no competence, no quality team and therefore no quality delivery.

Frustrated by his poor performance, Imran Khan focused his attention on his political opponents, especially the PML-N leadership. People were made to believe that these arrests would not only result in punishments but that billions of dollars would be returned as so-called looted wealth. Not a single penny has been found or a single sentence so far – except for Mian Nawaz Sharif in a dubious case that even the government and its accountability agency NAB want to forget. Unfortunately, the verdict remained even though there were charges of violations by the judge.

Despite multiple judgments given by the high court recently, accountability fraud persists. Assessments in cases such as Saad Rafique and his brother, Mian Shahbaz Sharif and several other cases seriously question the credibility of the entire accountability process. However, the government and NAB remained unfazed and unaffected by criticism not only from the judiciary but also from the media and civil society. The Supreme Court even called NAB in the context of ‘political engineering’ which was only aimed at political opposition. Such a statement would embarrass any government, but not this one.

Hamza Shahbaz’s release was not the end of the engineering process. His arrest can no longer be justified under any pretext because the interpretation of the law is very broad. There are other people awaiting their release from detention – especially Mian Shahbaz Sharif. This is not the first time he has been arrested by the current government. He was first arrested in September 2018 and released by order of the Supreme Court which observed that they could not even find out what crime he had committed and for what purpose. Such blatant violations of justice are never seen in a democratic dispensation.

Several other leaders continue to face the accountability process joke. Khawaja Asif, a close aide to Mian Nawaz Sharif, is currently imprisoned for an unknown crime. When no specific charges can be used to arrest any political leader, the black law ‘out of control assets’ is used to arrest any leader. Since August 2018, we have seen prosecutors fail to submit references or initiate trials. The intention in the Khawaja Asif case as well as all other cases involving political opposition was to harass and silence dissenting voices. Such tactics had never worked before, nor would they in the future.

The arrest of Rana Sanaullah is another brutal example of how the current government tries to silence those who have stood up courageously and raised their voice against injustice and uphold democratic values. He was arrested around July 2019 in a brazen narcotics case. The minister in charge, Sheharyar Afridi, announced with great enthusiasm, excitement and conviction that Rana Sanaullah not only carried drugs in his jeep but that he was also involved in the drug trade. Rana Sanaullah was held in prison in the most inhuman conditions and was released after six months. Meanwhile, Sheheryar Afridi has left the ministry since then; and everything was silent as if nothing had happened. So much for the highly touted accountability process.

No one in the opposition or independent media opposes an accountability process, but only fair and comprehensive accountability can ensure a corruption-free Pakistan. Unfortunately, this has not happened for the last two and a half years. This one-sided accountability not only affects the credibility of the entire process but also creates a negative investment climate and seriously damages our democratic values.

Multi-party systems with vibrant opposition are at the heart of democracy, but if the aim is to silence political opposition, it will always lead to the possibility of a one-party state. It is completely at odds with what our constitution envisioned and what the country’s founders wanted: a multi-party functional democracy with government and opposition having an important role to play.

Meanwhile, corruption has increased since this government took over in August 2018. And this is according to Transparency International. Between 2013 and 2018, the corruption index continued to fall. This positive trend has seen a reversal with the PTI government coming to power. So much for all the talk about fighting corruption.

The author is a spokesperson for Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz, and a former governor of Sindh.

Twitter: @Real_MZubair


image source

The so-called accountability holder will be held accountable one day: Shahid Khaqan – Pakistan | Instant News

Published in 16 February 2021 11:39

Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said the Senate vote was bought in 2018.

ISLAMABAD (Dunya News) – Former prime minister and senior leader of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said Tuesday that so-called accountability holders will be held to account one day.

The prime minister previously spoke to the media and said the Senate vote was bought in 2018 and the video is also available. The members of the Provincial Assembly (MPA) who received the money belonged to Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), he said.

Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said the PTI MPA revealed that chief minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa gave money at the speaker’s house, and the speaker is the chairman of the National Assembly today.

The PML-N leader asked Prime Minister Imran Khan to provide an explanation regarding the Broadsheet matter. Nawaz Sharif remains Pakistan’s prime minister three times and no one has the authority to cancel his passport, he added.


image source

PDM wants to stop the accountability process, the governor said | Instant News

LAHORE: Governor Ch Muhammad Sarwar once said that the next Senate Chair would also be from PTI and its allies.

If accountability stops, marches and protests from the opposition will also halt because the mission of the PDM is to stop the national accountability and development process at home, the governor said.

According to a statement issued from the Governor’s Building here on Thursday, Ch Muhammad Sarwar said Prime Minister Imran Khan would not move in the slightest from his stance on transparent accountability, adding for the first time all institutions including the NAB were working with complete independence. He said Prime Minister Imran Khan is determined to end corruption at all levels, but the opposition tends to oppose it for personal gain. He said all opposition protests and threats of long march were also aimed at avoiding accountability. He added that the root cause of all problems including economic instability is corruption. Ch Sarwar said that the government is working to make Senate elections corruption free and the opposition must support the Open vote. “I believe in the Senate elections, the government and its allies will surprise the opposition and the opposition will again face failure,” he added. The governor said that after failing in all fields, the PDM itself did not know anything about the next strategy. The opposition’s goal is to destabilize the country.

All allies including PML-Q are united with the government and are taking practical steps to make the country strong and prosperous while the previous government has provided lip service only, he said, adding Prime Minister Imran Khan believes in political principles and ideology.


image source