Selling Pakistan Cheap by Shahid Qureshi

People of Pakistan are very well aware with list of the rich and famous before and after 1947. The miraculous growth in the wealth of politicians, generals, and civil servants is mind blowing? Sharfis who were making water pumps in 1960s and Zardari’s who were selling cinema tickets have become billionaires in few years.

Clock is ticking for 2000 listed corrupt elite of Pakistan and no one knows what is attached with it?

Selling Pakistan Cheap?

By Dr Shahid Qureshi

“How is it going to be legally possible for Pakistan to get the looted billions of dollars back,” a very senior official of an international financial institution who is been approving loans for Pakistan asked me in the House of Lords in London? I told him, “It is very simple western security agencies MI6, CIA and others are very well aware with the (original and fake) names, deposits, bank details, values of the assets of every one, they should release the names of those individuals or companies in the public interest? They should share intelligence on international corruption and money laundering too?.

Pakistan’s total debt is approximately $45 billion and Pakistanis wealth in foreign banks is estimated over $200 billion. Only 45 Pakistanis have deposited $23 billions in foreign banks. “Zardari’s financial advisor Mr Tareen, Shahid Javeed Burki, Shaukat Aziz, Salman Shah, Mian Mohammad Somro are the pimps of the international financial mafia”, said an analyst.

Developing countries should raise the issue of transparency and opening up of the ‘Swiss Banking System’ in the United Nations. It is illegal, unfair, and immoral to provide safe heavens to the looted assets and black money of the developing countries in a country which is a member of the international community or so called tax free Islands?

Obviously corruption is a crime and countries hosting those $billions in their banks and holding assets should automatically investigate and return the looted money to the poor countries? In the current economic climate this issue should be dealt with on the war footings. Those who are holding the wealth of the poor countries must support “Global War Against Corruption”, and return the looted wealth by taking political decisions without delay?

President Musharraf did talk about “return of the loot money” at the International Institute of Strategic Studies in London in 2005. “What are your views about the return of the loot money laundering as President Musharraf mentioned”, I asked late Benazir Bhutto after she signed the fairytale ‘Charter of Democracy’ in London. She said, “Courts should decide”. Obviously she was very well aware with long and exhaustive court systems in many western countries. Third world politicians are mostly good at politicising their corruption? Strangely they don’t enjoy their looted wealth and mostly meet a disgraceful end?

Pakistan’s army is a voluntary force; every body can join the army and may be after the 30 years of service an officer can become a general, others retires as they go along their careers. Unfortunately stoppages in the flow moving on smoothly in Pakistan army surely had affect on the morale of its officers who could not be promoted. Out of 61 years of the life of Pakistan four Generals Ayub Khan, Yayha Khan, Ziaul Haq and Pervez Musharraf ruled over Pakistan and the Armed Forces for 34 years 10 months and 22 days. Dozens of brilliant and outstanding officers were denied promotions due to the politicisation of the chiefs? Apart from all the problems armed forces managed to hanged on with the discipline but for how long is million dollar question?

“After listening to your speech and performance report it seems Pakistan has done everything in the book in the support of war on terror apart from turning into a woman but there is an element of mistrust from other partners”, I asked General (R) Jhangir Karamat Pakistan’s former chief of Army staff at Chatham House, The Royal Institute of International Affairs (RIIA) in London. It is quite clear that Pakistan’s Armed Forces and nuclear assets are the main target of the enemies and so called friends? Things which enemies couldn’t do previously General Musharraf and now President Zardari is doing?

They have mortgaged Pakistan and now making emotional appeals to the people to send foreign exchange which they would loot again? In this economic crisis instead of reducing the public spending President Zardari enlarged his cabinet and now departed on “International Begging Mission” to Saudi Arabia with his 240 cronies who will perform Ummrah on public money, while staff of Pakistan International Airline (PIA) which is chaired by his friend is under investigation by the drug enforcement agency for smuggling 7 kilos of heroin to Saudi Arabia on a Hajj flight PK4403.

“The personal wealth of Musharaf’s key generals is estimated at £3.5m a head. And Musharraf himself, who has a combined salary of £700 a month for his jobs as president and army chief, has acquired a real-estate portfolio worth £5m”, according to The Guardian’s report, “The plot to bring back Benazir” published on 21st July 2007.

People of Pakistan are very well aware with list of the rich and famous before and after 1947. The miraculous growth in the wealth of politicians, generals, and civil servants is mind blowing? Sharfis who were making water pumps in 1960s and Zardari’s who were selling cinema tickets have become billionaires in few years.

Benzair Bhutto assets worth more than $ 2 billion according to Saifurahman and according to NAB figure are around $1.2bn [£ 830m]. Raja Bashir of The Pakistani National Accountability Bureau told The Guardian that, “Ms Bhutto has 26 bank accounts, 14 properties, and total assets of one billion sterling pounds abroad. We are very glad that other countries are cooperating with us.”

In 1981 the Nawaz Sharif’s family business group Ittefaq’s turn over was Rs. 337 million, but by 1987 it had soared to at least Rs. 2,500 million, that is according to the group’s own accounts. Within four years Ittefaq had become one of the wealthiest private industrial groups in Pakistan. ‘Hard work and grace of Allah’ explained Shabaz Sharif. One can imagine the miraculous growth in the assets of Billions in 2008. Investing in politics is not bad business at all in Pakistan.

According to Asia Week, Rehman Malik, Benzair Bhutto’s close ally produced 200-page report of MNS’s corruption. The secret document was leaked to the London-based Observer newspaper published details of alleged corruption involving the MNS and his family. According to the report, the Sharif family obtained loans from Pakistani state banks for business purposes and illegally converted the money into foreign exchange worth at least $66 million.

According to the report, the Sharif family acquired properties in London through two companies, Nescoll and Nielson Enterprises, registered in the British Virgin Islands and linked to a bank account in Lahore in the name of a fictitious person: Sulman Zia. The four flats in Avendale House in Park Lane are said to be worth at least £ 750,000, which worth millions of pounds.

Election commission of Pakistan should demand the submission of the details of foreign bank accounts, assets, properties of all Parliamentarians, advisors, leaders of the political parties’, technocrats and their families. Zardari, Nawaz Sharif, and Musharraf including his cronies had looted and raped the country? If they don’t bring their looted wealth back to Pakistan civil society and people of Pakistan should boycott them for ever.

Clock is ticking for 2000 listed corrupt elite of Pakistan and no one knows what is attached with it?

(Dr Shahid Qureshi is senior award wining investigative journalist and writer on security, foreign policy, and terrorism based in London)

[http://www.dictatorshipwatch.com]

3 Responses

  1. To read more about the developments in Pakistan and the region in general go to http://www.real-politique.blogspot.com

  2. The article of Dr. Shahid Qureshi is really extreme. I mean he wrote in very strategic way.
    By the way, if you don’t mind may i ask how many Shahid Qureshi do you have in your list in Rawal Pindi Pakistan? I’m just only asking because i’m a little bit confused about that name.. i mean so much…

  3. every time i go through with such informative material, i feel so shoked unable to sleep. Mr. Shahid you are right with your every single word. in the last you mentioned about civil society and people of Pakistan. i have no doubt about people of Pakistan, i mean an ordinary man but as far as civil society concerned again only corrupt become part of it because an ordinary has no power to be part of it. So i dont think it will be a solution. Instead theese corrupt should be executed in fromt of firing squad. God Bless my Pakistan.

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