Miss­ing ac­count­abil­ity

The Pak Banker - - 4EDITORIAL - Dr Farid A Ma­lik

THE ba­sic def­i­ni­tion of ac­count­abil­ity is, 'li­able to ac­count'. All de­ci­sions are tied with li­a­bil­ity which is then reg­u­lated by ac­count­abil­ity or re­view of ac­counts. The en­tire sys­tem of ' Jaza' and ' Saza' or ' re­ward' and ' pun­ish­ment' is based on this ap­proach. It is widely be­lieved that power cor­rupts, and ab­so­lute power cor­rupts ab­so­lutely. Only ac­count­abil­ity can check this abuse.

In Pak­istan, only the na­tion is held ac­count­able and has to re­peat­edly face the brunt of poor de­ci­sions im­posed upon them. In a demo­cratic state, rep­re­sen­ta­tives are elected through an hon­est bal­lot which they have to reg­u­larly face. It is termed voter's ac­count­abil­ity. Peo­ples' man­date can­not be over-ruled. A gov­ern­ment that en­ters the cor­ri­dors of power through le­git­i­mate means can then hold all other or­gans of the state ac­count­able. If the process is ma­nip­u­lated by the Khakis and Qazis with the con­nivance of the Ba­boos, then no one can be held li­able to ac­count.

Mys­tery leads to mis­chief; that is why all ac­counts are held se­cret in the coun­try. There is a mas­sive cover up in which all or­gans of the state are in­volved. In the May 2013 elec­tions, elec­toral rig­ging was car­ried out by cor­rob­o­ra­tion of state machi­na­tions. The ag­grieved party ap­proached the elec­tion tri­bunals which were then stopped by the Qazis. In 1997, for­eign ex­change was trans­ferred be­fore the freez­ing of ac­counts, and the names of the ben­e­fi­cia­ries re­main se­cret till to­day. There has been a man­i­fold in­crease in the wealth of in­di­vid­u­als who were elected in the party less elec­tions of 1985. Dur­ing his de­po­si­tion in the La­hore High Court (LHC), one of the mem­bers of this plun­der group stated that win­ning prize bonds were the main source of his phe­nom­e­nal growth.

Loans have been writ­ten off; SRO's is­sued, plots al­lot­ted, lu­cra­tive po­si­tions doled out; yet no names of per­pe­tra­tors are ever made pub­lic. Re­cently, a TV an­chor re­vealed a few names of in­di­vid­u­als whose loans were writ­ten off and there was a big up­roar. There were counter ar­gu­ments and threats which then led to a silent coverup. There were no res­ig­na­tions or apolo­gies. Even­tu­ally it was business as usual.

After the 1999 Mushar­raf coup, the Sharif fam­ily moved to Jed­dah. Some­how they have man­aged to build business em­pires in the UK and Saudi Ara­bia which in­clude real es­tate as well. The fam­ily wealth keeps grow­ing while no ac­counts are ever made pub­lic nor the sources of in­vest­ment re­leased. It­te­faq Foundry in Kot Lakh­pat was na­tion­al­ized in the Bhutto era and con­verted into La­hore En­gi­neer­ing and Foundry Works (LEFO). It was re­turned to the fam­ily in the eight­ies by Gen­eral Zia. The fa­cil­ity was up­graded and did roar­ing business dur­ing the Sharif years in power. To­day, it is shut down and tied in lit­i­ga­tion.

The Thar Coal de­posit in Sindh is one of the largest in the world (175 bil­lion tons). Not a ton of this nat­u­ral re­source has been mined since its dis­cov­ery in 1992. It is lig­nite qual­ity ide­ally suited for above ground gasi­fi­ca­tion. The es­tab­lished ap­proach of min­ing fol­lowed by pro­cess­ing and gasi­fi­ca­tion has not been adopted. In­stead un­der­ground coal gasi­fi­ca­tion (UCG) which is not suit­able for the de­posit has been adopted, and valu­able time and ef­fort has been wasted with no ac­count­abil­ity or in­de­pen­dent re­view. Over 20 bil­lion dol­lars have been in­vested in the nu­clear and de­fense pro­duc­tion sec­tors around Is­lam­abad with no fi­nan­cial or tech­ni­cal au­dits. Sev­eral in­di­vid­u­als have laid claims to the de­vel­op­ment of the nu­clear de­vice, but real play­ers re­main anony­mous. Dr. Ri­azud­din of Is­lam­abad Univer­sity de­signed the bomb while Engr. Mu­nir Ahmed Khan who headed the Pak­istan Atomic En­ergy Com­mis­sion for 18 years and Chair­man Ish­faq Ahmed, were sig­nif­i­cant play­ers. The two names that we mostly hear are Dr. Qadir Khan and Dr. Sa­mar Mubarik­mand, who were only mi­nor play­ers.

In the Bhutto era after the 1971 de­ba­cle and sur­ren­der, it was de­cided to air the sign­ing cer­e­mony at Pal­tan Maidan Decca. Pak­istan Tele­vi­sion (PTV) was swamped with calls to stop the show­ing as it was hu­mil­i­at­ing for the armed forces. The Hamood-ur-Rehman Com­mis­sion re­port has not been pub­lished of­fi­cially. The mys­tery of Tashkent re­mains un-re­solved. De­spite four mar­tial laws and sev­eral de­ba­cles, the Khakis have es­caped ac­count­abil­ity mainly be­cause the po­lit­i­cal lead­er­ship lacks cred­i­bil­ity and stature. The ju­di­ciary took a stand when the chief jus­tice Pak­istan (CJP) was shown the door by the men in uni­form. It was the same ju­di­ciary that had ear­lier taken oath un­der PCO and had al­lowed the usurper to amend the con­sti­tu­tion at will. The en­tire ju­di­cial process has been ren­dered non-func­tional after the lawyers' move­ment. The back­log of cases con­tin­ues to swell and fi­nally mil­i­tary courts have been rec­om­mended. Ba­boos have not fared well ei­ther and blame the politi­cians, Khakis and the Qazis, ig­nor­ing the fact that all sum­maries are pre­pared and moved by them.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Pakistan

© PressReader. All rights reserved.