By T.H Shah
The production of affidavit by Retd General Asad Durrani in Supreme Court on 24th July 1994 concerning heavy financial chunks lavishly doled out to the politicians during the ruling period of ex president Late Ghulam Ishaq Khan conveys some horrific facts within the current political scene of Pakistan. The affidavit mentions the exact amount generously paid to the politicians which include the heavy political stalwarts like Nawaz Shariff, Begum Abida Hussain, Ghulam Mustafa Jutti and many others considered to be the so-called champion of democracy and fighting for the rights of the poor. To add insult to the injury, Jammate Islami(JI), renowned for its anti American agenda and staunch proponent of establishing Islamic system of rule in the country has not been lagged behind to feather its nest and received five millions rupees from Inter Services Intelligence (ISI).
The affidavit of Mr. Durrani came at a moment when the people have seen unprecedented campaigns launched for expulsion of Rtd. General Pervez Musharraf from the office of presidency as it was the result of public disdain which compelled him on resignation. The statement of Mr. Durrani now confirms the negative role being played by the ISI in political set up of Pakistan and it has gone step further to distort the already distorted image of Pakistan Army amongst the people. Instead of being the protector and guardian of the geographical frontiers, it is looter of public tax money which is spent in spendthrift way to pursue certain political vested interests of particular groups instead of general public welfare. It has become now evident that the responsibility for distorting the political system in Pakistan rests both with politicians and military top brass. There are general feelings among the people that it’s the support and will of the agencies behind a certain political party that bring it into the power but now Durrani has confirmed by giving exact facts and figures of the favouritism as showed in past.
This phenomenon poses many questions over the role of secret agencies as the statement of person who has served in one of the highest echelon of military bureaucracy. It shows that such institutions can cross all legal limits for pursuing certain agenda like one in the form of financial presents to the leaders of political parties in 1994. Extra judicial killings, sudden abductions and disappearance of influential peoples and unexpected victory of some political groups should be understood within the statement of Mr. Durrani. As from political standpoint, it is crime of grave nature committed by military as it trampled the value of the people vote and uniformed the way for putting military stooges in power thus endangering the transparency in electioneering process.
On one hands we have large number of population living below the poverty lines, on the other those on the roost of the affairs, are engaged in playing duck and drakes with the people tax paid money. Irony is that these culprits of the nations are at large and have tremendous influence in the corridors of powers. The failure of the parliamentary system in Pakistan is thanks to the mutual collusion of both political and military circles. It can be confirmed by the contradictions of politicians on bringing the ex Dictator Musharaff to the justice. The culprit who committed high treason with the constitution of Pakistan and left no stone unturned to make the mockery of the third pillar (judiciary) of the state seem going scot-free at the hands of politicians who themselves launched agitation against him. It clarifies the might is right and army once again making its hold strong and providing safe way to Musharraf with the help of politicians. There is absolute lack of unanimous mind-set both in parliament and within the political parties relating to strangulation of ex dictator.
The surprising aspect of General Durrani affidavit is attitude of Jammat e Islami(JI) which considers the western powers particularly United States and Britian responsible for the sorry state of the affairs in Pakistan. Can Jammate Islami explain the share of five million rupees it received from ISI? Being vociferous proponent of imposing Islamic rule in the society and always clamouring for oust of military regime also basked in the sunshine and while taking financial chunks remained unconscious of the teachings of Islam. That is why its five year political rule in NWFP could not produce any far reaching results in bettering the lives of the people.
Who can bring such culprits to justice; military courts, accountability bureau, or judicial bodies? Under existing political set-up the accountability of big fish looks fanciful scheme. What is intensely needed is public sensor which can put strong check on such tendencies and public sensor necessitates education for all. When people are politically conscious, aware of the accurate use of vote, then no one will dare to flout political system or play with the institutions as happens in the European countries.
(The Writer is associated with Press For Peace (PFP) as Director Research. He could be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org )