Panama Leaks and politics
The best approach to understand issues and seek solutions to problems, is scientific, analytical thinking and objectivity that helps focus on issues dispassionately- without involving personal prejudices and biases.
In context of the Panama revelations and the impact it had world-wide, there is no need for anyone getting personal and showing a distasteful behavior. It is important here, to look at constitutional demands and requirements of a democratic order, regarding investments abroad. What does the constitution say on establishing businesses abroad? If there is any requirement of accountability what exactly is its nature? To my mind the significant issue is the source of the money. If it is not public money, there is no issue. If it is public money, the public has the right to raise questions for transparency. This may be an investment within or outside the country. If the money rightfully belongs to a private investor- there should be no questions asked.
Before entering politics a business entrepreneur has to disassociate from enterprise. The alleged involvement of politicians and their families in money laundering and tax evasion is a scar on countries and nations that need to be probed under national and international laws. But it would be rather a complex case of corruption, having no head and tail. At home it would be nothing more than point scoring for the opposing politicians. Looking at this in a positive light, it brings into discussion steps to strengthen the system and urges politicians to act responsibly to safeguard national interests- rising above party politics.
Power politics, pressure tactics, sit-ins and violent ways of protests are not a good reflection on politicians as they impact negatively on social and economic life of the people. The poor are driven to further poverty and there is a heightened sense of loss of employment. Rather than exploiting the mistakes of others the opposition politicians need to learn from their own mistakes. Here, tasteful behaviors are unfortunately diminishing. For this reason the honourable speaker of the National Assembly had to point out to members, directly or indirectly, to show respect. Defensive mindset is only exposing your weaknesses. Blaming others in all modes and moods is not a license for you to win. The real thing is a sincere, concerted effort to diagnose problems and seek solutions that help the country to move forward.
If the allegations are not legally prosecutable, there will be no moral and ethical ground as well to exploit what has been stated in Panama papers. Not only Mr. Nawaz Sharif’s family but all the rest of over 200 Pakistanis who have offshore companies stay out of the domain of any law that could prosecute them. If the investigation takes place it will have to be in the entire 200 plus cases of Pakistanis indicated in Panama Leaks. If Pakistan’s constitution is silent on the matter in question what will be the line of action of the proposed judicial commission headed by the Chief Justice of Pakistan?
There is dire need to strengthen all socio-economic systems within the country, to attract investments from insiders as well as outsiders. If the proposed judicial commission’s scope of tasks is extended to consider causes of lack of investment in Pakistan, it will help us understand major political administrative and legal issues the country faces and lack of concerns where it really matters. What are our priorities in relation to magnitude of host of problems and issues and what are the possibilities for improvements and reform? It is not simply a problem of tax evasion. The whole social system needs to be analyzed and evaluated to bring in change to free the society of its ailments and negative attitudes and behaviours.
As to who is qualified to represent the people in democratic institutions of decision-making and that what should be the relationship between the elite and the electorate still seems to be a question even after 69 years of our existence as a separate nation. With successive elections, things may improve. But this logic does not seem to work in Pakistan. The only solution is to rid the system free of corruption, the corrupt and the corrupt practices. There is immense corruption in development authorities as well. Education sector is no longer free of corruption. Health for the people and all that matters is getting out of the reach of the masses.
Pakistan is at war against terrorists. This speaks loud for the need to improve our systems and manners. Unless we follow some kind of discipline we shall not have unity and faith in our own abilities and capacity to counter all odds and complexities.
Politicizing issues and ignoring what the people need, has become unfortunately, the norm of the state. It is time that the government and elected representatives of the people take tangible measures to help the people in need and distress. Preemptive measures are needed to ensure the writ of the state and rule of law in situations that threaten peace and security of the people and institutions of the state. Strong state and efficient system of governance is vital for good life of the citizen at all times.
Pakistan seeks friendship with all countries, including brotherly neighbor Iran. Foreign office spokesman has rejected the impression that the episode regarding arrest of Indian spy was deliberately staged on Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s visit to Pakistan.
Law enforcement agencies of Pakistan are capable of giving a befitting response to all those who are engaged in hostile activities against our motherland. Pakistan has taken up with five permanent members of UNSC and EU the issue of Indian Spy Yadev’s confessional statement which shows that India’s RAW is involved in spying activities in Pakistan. Before the Yadev statement, Pakistan had submitted dossiers to important capitals of the world and the United Nations. Sharing information with the UN and other forums and different countries is the diplomatic norm.
Pakistan and India don’t have any option other than restoring the process of dialogue. We have always extended cooperation for peace. Investigation of Joint Investigation Team (JIT) formed on the Pathankot incident is underway.
Pakistan and Saudi Arabia have brotherly relations with each other and this relationship will not be impacted by any other country’s bilateral relations. This refers to recent visit of Indian Prime Minister’s visit to Saudi Arabia.
Positive and negative forces, internal and external elements create instability and resilience. A dynamic balance is required through progressive thinking of our legislators, Executive and Judiciary. Objectivity and approaches free of prejudices and biases could remove all barriers in the way of our national resolve to move forward. We need to understand the paradox of contemporary politics in Pakistan. Civil and military authorities have to be on the same page, especially in face of dangers of terrorism, extremism, indifference and selfish motives. All that is wrong must be corrected with sincerity and good intentions. We can overcome all crises through collective and united action as a nation. Politicians have to understand that panama papers cannot divert our attention from the real issues. The major task before our leadership is to play an effective role in tackling paradox of contemporary politics in Pakistan. Politicians have to demonstrate maturity. The need is to display courage and tasteful behaviours.