Pakistani Politics: Dynasticism, Corruption and the Trial of Political Saints

All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others

The transition of power from Musharraf to Zardari was a classic example of George Orwell’s novel “ the Animal Farm”.  This classic novel is an allegory reflecting the events of the 1917 Russian Revolution however; it has a close similarity with Pakistani politics. Animals at Manor farm are tired of serving their human master Jones and therefore revolt at the behest of the old major.  These animals hope to have a brighter future with better education and more food.  Snowball, Napoleon and Squealer formulate a philosophy based on their principals called Animalism resultantly Manor farm becomes Animal Farm. Contrary to their expectations other animals realize that their happiness is short lived as Napoleon seizes power and turns out to be equally tyrant as Mr. Jones.  The novel ends with the ruling elite of animals not only acting but dressing like humans who were once forced out of the farm. Similarly towards the end of Musharraf’s regime both Mr. Asif Zardari and Mr. Nawaz Sharif were of one accord in sending Musharraf away.  Furthermore, the general public was shown a beautiful picture of a new democratic era which actually dawned with extraordinary political corruption and embezzlement.  It is obviously true that dynasty politics is one of the biggest drawbacks in Pakistani politics which actually imprisons the rationality of a huge population.  Corrupt leaders as a result of dynasty politics are again and again given the chance to befool the general public under the pretext of shielding democracy.

At this point in time former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is already convicted whereas Mr. Asif Ali Zardari and Bilawal Bhutto are accused of corruption charges.  Just as in international relations there are no permanent friends or permanent enemies, but permanent interests.  Similarly Pakistani politicians also do not have any permanent friends or enemies but permanent interests.  Surprisingly when JIT came up with its report against then Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif he was openly called a thief by Asif Ali Zaradri.  Furthermore, PPP not only applauded the JIT team but Bilawal Bhutto demanded Nawaz Sharif’s resignation.  However, this time as the JIT report has accused Zardari and his cronies of corruption charges Bilawal in no time began to feel sympathy for Nawaz Sharif.  The same Bilawal who once praised the JIT report now views the charges of assists beyond means as a false accusation.  Ever since the JIT report has been submitted to the Supreme Court PPP has accused the current government of victimizing them as a part of state oppression. Moreover, the JIT report has been labeled as an attempt to completely blot out the role of opposition by paralyzing political parties.  Some political observers considering the fact that Nawaz Sharif ultimately had to step down as a result of JIT now question the fate of the Sindh government.  One view suggests that since PPP has a majority vote in Sindh it would continue to rule even if Zardari is sent to prison and Murad Ali Shah resigns.

Bilawal Bhutto has been severely been criticized from all quarters for averting public attention from NAB cases by accusing the government of having partiality to banned organizations.  Bilawal’s recent statement has formed two camps among analysts.  The first camp believes that the present government must clear its position regarding the three ministers who having been accused by Bilawal for showing support to banned organizations.  The second camp questions PPP for not taking serious action against banned organizations during its last tenure.  However, all Pakistani analysts are of the view that it was not the right time to raise the issue of banned outfits.  Since India and Pakistan are currently experiencing a bad patch in there relations and FATF is concerned regarding money laundering and terrorist financing it was an imprudent statement.

Another problem with dynasty politics is that political workers view their leaders and their descendants as saints therefore they should not be held accountable even for corruption charges.  According to PPP’s perspective, there has not been any sin under the sun of which St. Asif Zardari is not accused of.  From fake bank accounts, to mega money laundering, to huge embezzlement, to illegally occupying sugar mills for his foster brother, the JIT has accused Zardari of massive corruption. However, Bilawal has dismissed all these accusations labeling them a part of political engineering.  Perhaps the only reason for falsely accusing St. Asif Zardari and Bilawal Bhutto is that their opponents are adverse to the unmatched prosperity which only Sindh experiences.   As milk and honey is abundantly flowing in the Thar Desert , the present government would certainly engineer fake cases against Zaradari to stop the prosperity in Sindh.  There is no denying the fact that masses bring politicians into power however in a country like Pakistan dynasty politics is often misunderstood as true democracy.  It is high time that we as a nation come out of the tyranny of Dynasticism and corruption by saying no to corrupt leaders.



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