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Pakistan Is Being Ruled by Criminals

By       Message Muhammad Khurshid       (Page 1 of 1 pages)     Permalink

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Rulers of Pakistan have been using their money for spreading terror in Pakistan and whole world, but still the United States and United Nations have been extending their support to these corrupt rulers, breaking their pledge that they will never indulge themselves in illegal activities. Pakistan has been losing its credibility both internally and externally. This is the fact that there are still areas in "this land of the pure" where people have been facing hunger and other related problems, but a group of few individuals are busy in accumulating the wealth.

Majority of tribesmen, whose areas have remained as war zone for a lo ng time, have demanded of the U.S. and U.N. to declare the rulers of Pakistan as criminals as they have committed war crimes during last few years. They are still busy in committing the war crimes as people are being detained without any reason. A large number of people have been killed in the torture cell established by the security agencies for torturing the people.

Extreme hunger sometime forces the human beings to search livelihood in the dirt. Small girls in the pictures are searching foods in the dirt. They might be extreme hungry. This world is really strange place.
(Image by Muhammad Khurshid)
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It is difficult to determine what is most troubling about the asset and income declarations of Pakistani parliamentarians: the blatant lying, or the inadvertent admissions of the appalling truth. With the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) releasing the financial declarations made by parliamentarians, what could be seen was a set of documents that should set off every hard-working, tax-paying, law-abiding citizen into a fit of rage. What is abundantly clear from an initial reading of these declarations is that the vast majority of parliamentarians, at the minimum, do not take them seriously or, at worst, believe that the public does not have the right to know how their financial net worth changes during their time in office. Such nonchalance makes a mockery of over 45 million Pakistanis who turned out to vote on May 11 to repose their trust in the people who are now members of parliament.

Given the nature of politics in Pakistan, it is all but inevitable that only the wealthy can afford to run for office. But it is not tolerable for the already-wealthy to enrich themselves at the expense of the exchequer of a poor nation, and these financial disclosures are meant to be a safeguard against such illicit activity: if there is an unusual increase in a politician's wealth, people have the right to ask how it happened. But the process appears to have become a joke. There is absolutely no standard imposed on how the disclosures are to take place. For starters, there is no agreement on whether to use cost-of-acquisition or current market price as the value of an asset. This may sound like a trivial accounting rule, but it matters: land acquired for Rs18 million in the 1970s is worth considerably more than land bought for the same amount today. Politicians seek to obfuscate the true nature of their wealth by using irrelevant and outdated methods of valuing their assets. And some appear to have used different methods in different years to hide what appear to be substantial increases in their net worth.

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Others have not even pretended to follow any modicum of sane accounting rules and entered unjustifiably low valuations for assets that even a cursory evaluation would suggest are worth significantly more. In this, we would like to point out that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's valuations for his considerable assets seem absurdly low. What is troubling is that neither the ECP nor any other government agency has any mechanism for evaluating the accuracy of parliamentarians' claims.

But what is disgraceful is the fact that about half of all legislators in the country have not paid a rupee in income taxes at all, and one in eight have not even registered themselves as taxpayers. Indeed, the party that effectively made anti-corruption its platform -- the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaaf (PTI) -- appears to have done no better than its older, more traditional rivals in terms of parliamentarians who pay their taxes or are registered with the Federal Board of Revenue.

These are not ordinary people and their personal finances are not their private affairs that they have a right to keep secret. These are public officials who ask to be trusted with the nation's purse, and nation demands better accountability of them. If they think they are above disclosing the truth, above respecting the voters enough to be honest with nation, then they deserve to be driven out of office. Pakistan cannot survive without trust in the system of government, and the faith in government cannot be restored unless those who govern Pakistanis live by the same rules as everyone else.


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Muhammad Khurshid, a resident of Bajaur Agency, tribal areas situated on Pak-Afghan border is journalist by profession. He contributes articles and news stories to various online and print newspapers. His subject matter is terrorism. He is also (more...)

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