The following is an excellent programme exposing some of the corruption conducted by Nawaz Sharif by the host of DM Digital, Farhan Aslam, who also used to work for ARY Digital a few years ago.
The report has been divided into six segments. I will offer a short summary of the discussion, followed by the clips themselves.
Nawaz Sharif’s only agenda was to make money. In order to achieve this goal, he formed/changed laws and policies for his personal benefit and expanded his business empire by misusing his authority as Prime Minister.
Interestingly enough and ironically, the PPP played a major role in exposing the corruption of Nawaz Sharif and his family. The Jamaat-e-Islami had also levelled a number of corruption allegations upon Nawaz Sharif. As we know, later Sharif and his cronies also played a role in exposing the corruption of Benazir Bhutto and her PPP. In other words, both Sharif and Bhutto have been busy over the years actively accusing each other of committing corruption.
Nawaz Sharif is widely acknowledged to be a highly incompetent person, with a mediocre I.Q. level. The brain behind him was that of his late “Abba Jee” (‘daddy’) – the mastermind and the main decision maker behind the scene.
In order to consolidate and attain more power, N. Sharif attacked every individual and institutions he felt could get in the way challenge his authority. In order to get rid of the then Chief Justice Sajjad Ali Shah, who was despised by Sharif, the later created divisions among the judges to make life difficult for the Chief Justice. A group of judges refused to acknowledge Shah as the Chief Justice and things got so bad that a number of junior judges put hurdles in the way of the Chief Justice in order to make it difficult for him to carry out his duties. Eventually, Sharif ordered his thugs to attack the Supreme Court in order to prevent the Chief Justice from giving a ruling against him.
The police did nothing to stop Sharif’s thugs as they attacked and entered the Supreme Court. The judges inside the building barely managed to escape. The thugs, led by Sajjad Naseem and Mushtaq Tahir, Nawaz Sharif’s political secretaries, entered the court chanting anti-Sajjad slogans and destroyed the furniture.
Next, consider Nawaz Sharif’s relationship with the press and media. Two examples will suffice. On 8th May 1999, Najam Sethi, a prominent journalist of Pakistan, was arrested by the police on the orders of Sharif. Sethi has committed the crime of annoying Nawaz Sharif by writing a critical essay against him. The police broke into Sethi’s house at around 2 am and beat him up in his bedroom in front of his wife, after which he was transported off to a secret location. The police trashed Sethi’s house, broke the furniture and beat him up quite bad. Sethi was only released after a lot of international pressure had built up against Sharif. Sharif also demanded the Jang Group to get rid of all the journalists who were critical of him. To achieve this goal, Sharif and his cronies used a variety of legal and illegal means to pressure the Jang Group into compliance.
There is probably no institution in Pakistan which Nawaz Sharif did not aggressively confront in order make them comply to his wishes. Besides picking on a fight with the President, the Judiciary and the already restricted/limited media, Sharif also decided to have a confrontation with the army, the only viable institution left in Pakistan. Chief of Army Staff, General Jehangir Karamat, and Nawaz Sharif had a conflict over an issue pertaining to the national security council and both entered into a heated discussion, after which Gen. Karamat had to offer his resignation. Jehangir Karamat thus became the first Chief of Army Staff in the history of Pakistan to have left the army in this prematurely in this manner.
One by one all challenges and potential obstacles were removed from the way by Nawaz Sharif. Ghulam Ishaq Khan, Farooq Leghari, Sajjad Ali Shah, and Jehangir Karamat, as well as others, were all removed from the scene by Sharif.
After the removal of Jehangir Karamat, Sharif appointed Pervaiz Musharraf as the Chief of Army Staff. Some analysts at the time said that Sharif made this decision thinking that Pervaiz Musharraf was an Urdu speaker and did not belong to a Punjabi army family, thus very unlikely to be a threat to Sharif!
Things became sour between Sharif and Musharraf during the Kargil episode. Later, once a relative of Sharif was removed from the army by Musharraf, that was the final nail in the coffin. Sharif then decided to take his revenge and replace Gen. Musharraf with a fellow of his liking who would be controllable (the head of the I.S.I. at the time).
Farhan Aslam also comments upon the ill-advised economic decisions of Sharif which made Pakistan’s situation from bad to worse. Moreover, he comments upon the Sharif family’s personal business empire and how it grew exponentially through questionable means.
I want to share with you some of my personal thoughts relating to one of our former Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif. For a long time N. Sharif, his brother Shahbaz Sharif, and virtually all members of the PML-N, outright denied the existence of a deal between N. Sharif, the Saudi government and Pakistan, according to which N. Sharif would have to live in exile in Saudi Arabia for a period of 10 years, keeping away from politics. That such a deal existed was outright denied by the PML-N folks. Instead, they wanted us to believe that poor N. Sharif had no desire to leave Pakistan; that he was more than willing to stay in prison, but that the Pakistan government forced him to go to Saudi Arabia. I recall S. Sharif and many individuals of his party giving us this version of the event numerous times on a variety of programmes on different Pakistani channels.
Later, after spending around 7 years in Saudi Arabia, N. Sharif requested Musharraf to allow him to leave for London on humanitarian grounds since his son was undergoing medical treatment in London. Musharraf, without delay, gave N. Sharif the permission, but upon the condition that in London the later would abide by the agreement: not to indulge in politics etc.
As we know, N. Sharif, almost from day one, violated his agreement and spoke against Musharraf once he arrived in London and decided not to return to Saudi Arabia to complete the term of his remaining years of exile. Moreover, N. Sharif again reiterated the constant claim of his party members: that, in fact, he was involved in no deal whatsoever and had reached no ‘understanding’ with the Pakistan government to stay in exile in Saudi Arabia for 10 years and that he was actually forced to leave Pakistan.
Subsequently, as N. Sharif began making plans to return to Pakistan, he was contacted by members of the Saudi government and various officials who advised him to abide by his agreement and avoid going to Pakistan. As a result, a mutation occurred in the N. Sharif version of events. Instead of being forced to leave Pakistan, N. Sharif now came out with a new story: that he did have an ‘understanding’ with the Saudi government, but that Musharraf and the Pakistan government had nothing to do with it. That is to say, somehow N. Sharif, while he was in jail, managed to form an ‘understanding’ with the Saudi government – to reside in Saudi Arabia for 10 years – and managed to then come out of jail and fly to Saudi Arabia, with the Pakistan government having no involvement in the entire process. Obviously, this was an unbelievably absurd account coming from an intellectually slow individual, who perhaps thought that he could succeed fooling most Pakistanis thinking they could be as daft as him. This new version did not settle well with most Pakistanis.
Shortly thereafter, as N. Sharif began to receive more and more visits from Saudi officials, as well as a visit from Saad Hariri (son of the late Lebanese Prime Minister Rafique Hariri), another mutation occurred in N. Sharif’s story. This time he finally acknowledged that there was indeed a deal between himself, the Pakistan government, and Saudi Arabia, according to which N. Sharif would have to stay in Saudi Arabia for 10 years and stay away from politics. But, there was a twist in this version: N. Sharif insisted that the deal was for the duration of 5 years and not 10 years! In all these years it never occurred to Sharif and his followers to mention a 5 year deal; the10 year duration was accepted universally by all.
To me this shows that N. Sharif is a confirmed liar, dishonest, and utterly untrustworthy. He had to tell 3 lies to deny a single truth:
- 1. There was no deal/understanding whatsoever; I was just forced to leave Pakistan;
- 2. Yes there was an ‘understanding’, but it was only between me and the Saudi government and the Pakistani government had nothing to do with it.
- 3. Well yes, I had an ‘understanding’ with both the Pakistani and Saudi governments, but it was for a 5 year duration and not 10.
I can’t believe how anyone with elementary intelligence can trust this guy. Think for yourself, if N. Sharif and S. Sharif can tell outright lies over something like this, can we really expect them to do any good for the country if they are ever to assume power (khudana khuwasta, astaghfirullah)? How can anyone trust these liars?
I think people would have sympathised with N. Sharif and his family if he had from the start told the truth: that 1999 was a very difficult time for him, his health was very poor and he was quite scared and worried also on account of his family. Therefore, he decided to appeal, through his family, to the Saudi King for asylum, who in turn approached Musharraf, which then resulted in the agreement between the three: N. Sharif would live in Saudi Arabia for 10 years and stay away from politics. There is nothing morally inappropriate or questionable about this scenario. But, as I explained above, N. Sharif just told three lies in order to deny the truth.
If he can so openly lie about something such as this, imagine what other lies he must be passing relating to his term in office? This would be anybody’s guess.
Consider how embarrassing, shameful and humiliating it was when the Saudi’s approached N. Sharif with a hadith of the prophet (P) emphasising the importance of keeping to ones word and promise. Can you really envisage this unworthy character as a leader and representative of Pakistan? His dishonest conduct would surely lead to the deterioration of the traditionally solid ties between Saudi Arabia and Pakistan.
Not only that, I see no humbleness, humility, and critical self-reflection on the part of N. Sharif and his followers. There is only arrogance coming from him. N. Sharif is in no mood to acknowledge that he made any conceivable mistake while in office (the only ‘mistake’ we might expect him to acknowledge would be his failure to crash the plane carrying the Chief of Army!). This is a very worrying sign for me. One should expect a true leader to accept his/her mistakes honestly, and to then inform the masses that they would not repeat the same mistakes again and ask for apology. It is safe to say that we can never expect this coming from Sharif. Consider also the fact that both the Sharif brothers still deny that they did any wrong when the Supreme Court was attacked by their close thugs. Till this day they outright deny their own complicity and that of their important party members in the court attack fiasco.
In an authentic hadith, the prophet (P) said:
The believer is not stung from (the same) hole twice.(Reported by Abû Hurayrah. Sahîh al-Bukhârî, vol. 4, Kitâb al-Adab, Chapter: Lâ Yuldighu-l Mu’minû Min Juhrin Marratayn).
We have already been stung twice by both N. Sharif and Bhutto. Are we really that eager and desperate to get stung by them for the third time?