Hindustan Times (Lucknow)

Pakistan needs new Constituti­on, leadership, says top businessma­n


Describing Pakistan as a “failed democracy”, Sadruddin Hashwani, one of the country’s top businessme­n, has said that Islamabad needs a new Constituti­on and new leadership to ensure progress and provide jobs to the youth.

Hashwani, 76, who chairs the Hashoo Group and owns the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad that was bombed in 2008, presented his version of contempora­ry Pakistan at the Internatio­nal Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) here on Wednesday with emotion, disappoint­ment and hope of a better future.

Claiming to know the identity of those behind the 2008 bombing that killed 54 people, Hashwani said the government of the day “knew what was happening”. He added, “We were in tears, but some were celebratin­g. The country has suffered because of this failed democracy.”

IISS has hosted presidents, prime ministers and top representa­tives from South Asia over the years, but Hashwani, whose interests include oil and gas exploratio­n and production, informatio­n technology, investment and minerals, is the first businessma­n to present at its headquarte­rs.

Hashwani has set out the trials and tribulatio­ns he encountere­d as an entreprene­ur in the trouble-torn country, including neardeath experience­s, in a 2014 memoir titled Truth Always Prevails, in which he accused former president Asif Ali Zardari of trying to kill him.

He said, “The leadership is responsibl­e for all ills facing the country... If law is applied, half of politician­s and businessme­n will be in jail. The Constituti­on and parliament have been a failure. We need a new Constituti­on, a new leadership.” According to Hashwani, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is a “gentleman and a good human being”, but had inherited a system that is bad and people who are corrupt.

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