Illusions of permanence: What goes around, comes around
Recent steps taken by PM Imran Khan have proved that he could go to any extent against his political rivals.
By SHAMSHAD MANGAT
At last NAB has arrested Mir Shakil ur Rahman, chief of the largest media group in Pakistan on the charges of purchasing property illegally some 34 years ago. It was evident from the way NAB was proceeding that the matter will soon end up in an arrest. It is also clear from the outset and the way NAB investigation works that the accused will emerge innocent.
Mir Shakil ur Rehman is charged with purchasing 54 plots from Mian Nawaz Sharif as political bribe and these all plots were interconnected. Mian Nawaz Sharif was chief minister Punjab when these plots were purchased. If the allegation is true, one wonders as to when Nawaz Sharif was elevated to the slot of prime minister, why did he pick a fight with Mir Shakil ur Rehman and his media group which went to the extent that daily Jang was squeezed to only 2 pages.
The journalist organizations fought this battle more than organization of owners of newspapers by staging forceful demonstrations. Later certain forces brought this battle to an end and the Jang group managed to get back on its feet. During that time, Nawaz Sharif did not raise this matter of 54 plots. Had these plots been illegally gotten, Sharif would surely have made arrangements to take them back or at least hold Rahman accountable for the wrongdoing.
Recent steps taken by PM Imran Khan have proved that he could go to any extent against his political rivals. As far as chairman NAB is concerned he is least bothered about his prestige, and accountability in the hereafter. Imran Khan should have played the role of PM Pakistan but regretfully he has emerged as PM of PTI and its allied parties only.
What if the Jang/Geo group supported Mian Nawaz Sharif those who supported PTI outnumber the supporters of Nawaz Sharif in the media.
By materializing the desire of Imran Khan, NAB has proved that all these arrests are being made at the behest of Imran Khan and the day is not far off when people from inside NAB will cry out that they were forced to make this case and who knows just like late Justice Nasim Hassan Shah, conscience of Justice (Retd) Javed Iqbal awakens and he is seen pleading guilty in some “Jawabdeh” program saying all the cases made during the PTI tenure were dictated from the PM Secretariat.
Handcuffs of Mir Shakil ur Rehman will be unlocked by the court for three reasons. First PM Imran Khan showed his bias against Mir Shakil ur Rahman more than once in his public meetings.
Second the advertisements to Jang and Geo group have been suspended since last several months under the directives of PM Imran Khan. These vindictive measures led to depriving hundreds of Jang/Geo group workers of their jobs.
Third over a period of 34 years ever since this property was purchased, neither did FIA take any notice of alleged illegal purchase of property nor did NAB launch any inquiry in this regard.
The lawyers of Jang/Geo group will succeed in proving in the court the personal grudge of PM Imran Khan because earlier former PM Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, former interior minister Ahsan Iqbal were also released after they had proved their arrest was outcome of PM-NAB nexus.
Rana Sana Ullah was also given relief in the light of his plea that personal grudge of PM was behind his arrest.
Mir Shakil ur Rahman has solid ground to prove his innocence in this case and the NAB will not be able to keep him in for very long. However it is Imran Khan who will have to live with the fallout.
As far as chairman NAB is concerned, an abrupt emergence of another video can change his stance. History bears witness to the fact that the past governments which made frivolous cases against political opponents have had to taste their own medicine soon after their time was up.
Those who don’t learn from history only regret it later. It is up to the PM now how long can he act on his whims. But then Habib Jalib once wrote:
“Tum se pehle jo ik shakhs yahan takht nashin tha
Is ko bhi apne Khuda hone pe itna hi yaqin tha”