Shaheryar Azhar, moderator, The Forum
Since everyone (or mostly everyone) assumes that Asif Ali Zardari and other politicians are corrupt no matter if they have not been convicted after 8 to 16 years of trials, scores of suits from stealing a pin to selling one’s mother, from a simple abuse of power to murder of one’s brother-in-law, no also one’s wife, millions of dollars of expenditure for collecting proof by the most ‘powerful’ and ‘honest’ government in Pakistan in trying its hardest to prove their guilt, eleven years of jail without conviction and since none of this matters to such people, a simple refutation from Asif Ali Zardari is worth posting.
These people, in addition as it must now be clear, also believe that such politicians should somehow be punished anyway. How? And by whom? For this they don’t care much – any old illegitimate man in uniform sitting as he always appears to them on a white charger issuing arbitrary justice will do. These proponents of Justice assume guilt without proof or process. The other tragedy is that the issue of corruption, assuming every allegation is correct, dominates political discourse to the exclusion of everything else. Financial corruption to this moderator is simply a social phenomenon (its quantum being tied directly to the inequality and over-all progress of the society) to be dealt with through the political and judicial process in time, not through coups and tearing up the constitution. The most important issue is one of political corruption and illegitimate or extra-judicial assumption and use of power.
Zardari says $60m not returned to his account
Saturday, August 30, 2008
By Hamid Mir
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan People’s Party Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari has challenged his critics to prove that he had $60 million in Swiss accounts which was returned to him after the Swiss case was thrown out.
He promised to pay $30 million to anyone who could prove that he got $60 million back. Talking to this correspondent on Friday, Zardari said it was all malicious propaganda against him as the whole case in the Swiss court was about $2.3 million.
Zardari said the previous regime failed to prove anything against him for eight years and tried to blackmail the PPP through the Swiss cases. When he was told about the recent comments of the Swiss magistrate that investigations should have continued, Zardari claimed that this magistrate retired four years ago and he wrote a biased decision against him just a few days before his retirement after taking some bribe from the previous regime.
“That was the reason the Swiss public prosecutor dropped charges against me because there was no substance in the charges,” he added. He also said there were many politicians, who were filthy rich, richer than him. Some of them are sons of generals but nobody asks them where they got their wealth.
“I belong to a business family, I am not very rich but I am well off. The propaganda against me in the media is an evidence that I don’t have the money to buy people.” The PML-N Quaid Nawaz Sharif also congratulated Zardari on the closure of the Swiss case, which was initiated against him by the PML-N government in 1997. Both the leaders spoke to each other twice on telephone in last two days and discussed possibilities for the revival of their friendly relations.