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Thursday, April 2, 2009

Pakistan’s Fake Democracy, Rich Democrats

Fake democrats produce a fake democracy.

This is what our westernized Pakistani elite and some of the self-styled 'liberals' in our media don't understand. A Parliament filled with feudal lords who rape the women of the peasants on their lands and operate secret prisons, and then come to the Parliament in expensive shiny cars and jewelry thanks to political parties where another set of feudals run them as family grocery shops—this is no democracy. I prefer a centralized system of governance led by technocrats committed to economic and political reform ruling for 5-10 years, implementing a plan backed by the Pakistani military in the background.

Here's how our democrats and 'workers' of democracy filed their statement of assets recently.

This information was compiled by the Center for Research and Security Studies in Islamabad. It shows our democrats, all of them, not only lying to the Election Commission about how much money they have but also confident that an important law that punishes the liars will never be implemented.



An overwhelming majority of [Pakistanis is] not prepared to accept that the Prime Minister of Pakistan does not own a home or a plot of land; has no vehicle and has a total bank balance of just Rs. 979,734 ($12,246).

Even more unbelievable are statements submitted by Pakistan's religious leaders including Maulana Fazlur Rahman and his confidants, Maulvi Agha Muhammad and Abdul Ghafoor Haidri, Secretary General of Jamiat-e-Ulma-e-Islam (F).

Maulana Fazlur Rahman owns a house, domestic furniture worth Rs.50,000 but does not have any inherited property or vehicle and a mere Rs. 3,000 in his bank account. Total assets declared by Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haidri are valued at Rs. 650,000 ($8,125). JUI-F's Senator Maulana Gul Naseeb's declared assets stand at Rs. 30,000 only. Maulvi Agha Muhammad declared that he only has Rs. 1,500 ($18.75) in his bank accounts.

The total value of assets declared by Mushahid Hussain Syed, PML(Q)'s Secretary General, stand at Rs. 35,000 ($437).

Former Chief Minister, Punjab, and former Leader of Opposition in the National Assembly, Chaudhry Pervez Ilahi, does not have a car and he has a total of 78 acres of land.

Dr Ayatullah Durrani, PPP's Minister of State for Industries and Production, has no assets (he has mentioned that he operates two bank accounts but failed to declare the balances held in those accounts). Durrani also mentions that he shares the agricultural land with his family and has "no other source of income."

Another legislator of PPP, Jamshed Ahmed Dasti, said that he had no assets or property and operated just one bank account to draw his salary as a parliamentarian.

Federal Minister for Water and Power, Raja Pervez Ashraf, valued his personal luxury vehicles at Rs. 1.5 million.

Pakistan Muslim League-N's MNA, Rana Abdul Sattar, submitted a blank statement and he does not own any property, vehicle, business or any personal belongings.

Ms. Reena Kumari, MNA, Pakistan Muslim League-Functional, just signed the statement but did not mention the details of any of her assets.

Some legislators even claimed that they did not own any property or many of their multi-million rupee properties were gifted to them by "unknown sources."


The Most Interesting Asset's Declaration:

Notably, most interesting of all the statements came from Hamza Shahbaz, son of Mian Shahbaz Sharif, President, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz. Hamaza Shahbaz's statement depicts an asset base in the amount of Rs. 210 million and an equivalent amount of liabilities.

His wife, Mehrunnisa Hamza, has jewelry worth Rs. 2.5 million and an equivalent amount in liabilities.


Pakistani lawmakers have not done any service to their country, democracy or the people of Pakistan. Pakistani parliamentarians need to set examples that ordinary Pakistanis can follow, admire and implement on themselves. If at all the governing elite wants to bring in the culture of rule of law, of which much is talked about, then all of this must begin at home.

Personal accountability must become the first step toward a culture of good governance, and transparency before the people of Pakistan.

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