Saturday, 30 April 2016

Suspension of U.S.Taxpayer funding for the country's F-16 program


We have seen the first tangible outcome of Sharif family's corruption in Pakistan with the suspension of U.S.Taxpayer funding for the country's F-16 program. The family's corruption was discussed in open sessions of U.S. Congress this week and the entire U.S. aid package to Pakistan is in jeopardy because of Senate opposition. Nawaz Sharif had been using Pakistani public treasury funds in massive advertising all over Pakistan, claiming that his name was included "by mistake", an assertion laughed at and ridiculed by all concerned. Earlier, he had gone on television, after being tutored and coached by a team of twenty and after nine rehearsals, to deny the existence of his multiple off shore companies to hide his illegal assets abroad. It reminded me of his earlier dismissal as Prime Minister for corruption by then President Ghulam Ishaq Khan. But unlike this time, he was never allowed to present his case on television. I was in Islamabad during July of 1993 and saw first hand how Sharif was ousted. Shahid Rafi who was MD of PTV at that time, narrated to me minute by minute how army troops had prevented Nawaz speech and enabled President Ishaq speech even without the existence of a coup. Unfortunately, military is supporting Nawaz in the present scenario because of its own vulnerabilities. More Pakistani generals and admirals have Swiss bank accounts than Pakistani politicians have. In the attached photos, Zahoor and Maxim Cartoonist are highlighting the irony of the current situation where the Prime Minister has bribed every member of the Assembly to the tune of one billion rupees using scarce taxpayer funds to prevent a no-confidence move against him. But it is apparent that the military and civilian bureaucracy are totally compromised. Sharifs have been in power in Pakistan especially in Punjab for more than twenty five years with minor interruptions. They have impregnated all the decision makers in judiciary, parliament, bureaucracy, academia, media, and military with undue favors. Top appointees in every institution are beholden to the family for a life of perks and privilege. None will jeopardize his own prosperity and support any movement to oust Nawaz this time. That is why he has already embarked on his re-election campaign for a victory in 2018.
Dr. Mahmud Awan 4/29/16

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