Beauty and the Beast saga: The clash between Musharraf and Benazir

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The clash between Musharraf and Benazir The press likes her spin of the stories and is sold on her side of the sad saga, little do they realize that behind this tale of beauty and the beast it is the beauty who has her canine buried deep in the jugular of the nation.

 

Is ‘democracy’ all about hand in the till?

 

Democracy by its very nature and definition is ‘for the people by the people and of the people,’ the political leadership in Pakistan and global media on rejection of Bhutto’s nomination papers are pinning the responsibility on the dictator vendetta. The fact is that behind rejection lies the conveniently forgotten plunder saga. The real predicament is that Benazir Bhutto as a prime Minister of Pakistan supervised the structured pilfering of the state exchequer on an unprecedented intensity. Democracy under her became ‘off the people buy the people and fore the people.’  

 

 Today the world media cries why the greatest and ‘mother of all democrats’ is being refused to contest the forth coming election, it is being depicted as the unrefined determination of dictator to subdue popular choice of people, but the real story hidden behind ‘beauty and the beast Musharraf and Bhutto story’ is the ugly story of the beauty’s wealth. Popular choices are not necessarily pious choices. Criminals cannot bypass justice by demanding trials in court of masses. The trials of criminal and monetary misappropriations are conducted by assessment of evidence and not on the will of masses. National exchequer thievery is too sensitive a subject to be understood by ordinary masses of nation where illiteracy rates runs as high as 60%.

 

The global pundits typically surrounded with short span memories forget that Bhutto and other democratic cohorts through their irresponsible fiscal injudiciousness and indiscretion had brought Pakistani to the verge of bankruptcy. It was no less a person but Ardeshir Cowasjee who demanded in late 99 that ‘If this government does not do whatever needs to be done, however correctly or obliquely, to disqualify and debar every man and woman who held elected office from 1988 to 1999 – all collectively responsible for the present state of the nation – from henceforth holding any elected office ever again, history will hold it responsible for the accelerated disintegration of what is left of this country.’ When these rogues are being told to cough up the cash the entire democratic community has come out up in arms to cry about the murder of rights of leaders to present themselves for election to the highest office.

 

In this world of information technology the crimes of Benazir and her husband are widely known. For those interested in the topic, I suggest they switch on their computers, get on to the Internet, click on and open www.levin.senate.gov/issues/psireport2.htm, retrieve and read a US Senate document headed “Minority Staff Report for Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations Hearing on Private Banking and Money Laundering: A Case Study of Opportunities and Vulnerabilities” dated November 9, 1999. I particularly recommend that our judges, our NAB men, and our official prosecutors download and study this document.

Bhutto dilemma- it has nothing to do with democracy; it has more to do with massive corruption undertaken by the Pakistani democrats. The questions needed to be asked is why she is absconding form the courts?

The reasons that the greatest democrat of all papers has been rejected are several; she is an absconder on many counts. Democracy is for her hand in the till of the nation. Imagine any other recognized democrat in the west undertaking even a shade of what Benazir has been accused off and still demands to by pass judicial course of action.

Will these champions of democracy ever accord him credibility; the doors of democracy on these corrupt leaders should close. Nixon due to political corruption never re-gained respect from Americans, Spiro Agnew lost his credibility on monetary scandals and was never ever heard off, similarly monetary scandals have destroyed many a reputations but BB is one person where all stains of misappropriations are cleared under the guise of a lone star struggling to rediscover the loss paradise of democracy. What a sham.

The press likes her stories and is sold on her side of the sad sage, little do they realize that behind this tale of beauty and the beast it is the beauty who has her canine buried deep in the jugular of the nation.

They want her once again imposed on Pakistan so that she may have a treat once again and re-establishes the softer and kinder face of Pakistan on the map of the world once again, the fact is that we all like her gentler and nicer face but she needs to be whiter than Caesars wife to re-established the lost trust with the nation she wronged. Political leaderships can get away with murder sometime but monetary bungling is sure way to destruction the trail of documents and trail of money cripples a person, it is for these glaring reasons BB is out not for the vendetta, she was sentenced for absconding the case, once in power she will bury them deep.

The reasons for her crying hoarse for restoration of democracy and demonstration of street power is to cloud massive corruption under pretext of re-establishing sham democracy, the people verdict will wash her slate clean of all irregularities and once again the criminal gang will be out to ransack and pillage the country at will. If democracy means free for all corruption an re-imposition of BB-Zardari nexus we should rather have benevolent dictator ship that as least keeps their hands way form national; exchequer. That is the power of vote in Pakistan, the rape of the country will start once again under democrats, will those people who are calling for democracy represented by BB will ever allow Tony Blair or George Bush Jr to get away with even minuscule shadows of such crimes or charges? Never, for Pakistan it is always a double standard, even our corrupt democrats if liked by West have to be accepted! What an irony. Imagine Spiro Agnew escaping USA instead of resigning in disgrace and returning after a decade to contest Presidential elections in guise of an innocent great democrat suffering in self-exile that forced him abscond justice, can such a crook be restored in the name of ‘popular will’ if popular will ever by chance becomes so skewed in its choices?  Justice will have to run its course, popular contest and democratic elections are not a counter part of judicial trials.

The 50-page Report details the grimy monetary dealings of seven notorious wheeler-dealers. The Republic of Pakistan has the proud privilege of having one of their own on this august list. The list: Raoul Salinas, former Mexican government official, brother of former president of Mexico; Asif Ali Zardari, former Pakistani government official and legislator, husband of former prime minister of Pakistan; El Hadj Omar Bongo, president of Gabon; Abacha Sons: Mohammad, Ibrahim and Abba Abbacha, sons of General Sani Abacha, former military leader of Nigeria.

Under the sub-title “The Facts”, it is written of Asif Zardari: “The second case history involves Asif Ali Zardari, the husband of Benazir Bhutto, former prime minister of Pakistan. Ms Bhutto was elected prime minister in 1988, dismissed by the President of Pakistan in August 1990 for alleged corruption and inability to maintain law and order, elected prime minister once again in October 1993, and dismissed by the President again in November 1996. At various times, Mr Zardari served as senator, environment minister and minister for investments in the Bhutto government. In between the two Bhutto administrations, he was incarcerated in 1990 and 1991 on charges of corruption; the charges were eventually dropped. During Ms Bhutto’s second term there were increasing allegations of corruption in her government and a major target of those allegations was Mr Zardari. It has been reported that the government of Pakistan claims that Ms Bhutto and Mr Zardari stole over $ 1 billion from the country.”

Listed are details of Zardari’s relationship with Citibank which began in October 1994 “through the services of Kamran Amouzegar, a private banker at Citibank private bank in Switzerland, and Jens Schlegelmilch, a Swiss lawyer who was the Bhutto family’s attorney in Europe and close personal friend for more than twenty years.” Schlegelmilch was invited and came to Karachi for Benazir and Asif’s wedding in 1987 and has paid several visits since then.

The relationships between the account holders, banks, depositors, kickbackers and cover concerns is highly complicated and can only be sorted out by a careful reading of the Report. Hereunder a few excerpts:

“The staff invited Ms. Bhutto to provide additional information on the M.S. Capricorn Trading accounts, but she has not yet done so.”

“During the period 1994 to 1997, Citibank opened and maintained three private bank accounts in Switzerland and a consumer account in Dubai for three corporations under Mr. Zardari’s control. There are allegations that some of these accounts were used to disguise $10 million in kickbacks for a gold importing contract to Pakistan …….”

“Citibank told the Subcommittee staff that, once opened, only three deposits were made into the M.S. Capricorn Trading account in Dubai. Two deposits, totaling $10 million were made into the account almost immediately after it was opened. Citibank records show that one $5 million deposit was made on October 5, 1994, and another was made on October 6, 1994. The source of both deposits was A.R.Y. International Exchange, a company owned by Abdul Razzak Yaqub, a Pakistani gold bullion trader living in Dubai …….”

“The Zardari case history raises issues involving due diligence, secrecy and public figure accounts. The Zardari case history begins with the Citibank Dubai branch’s failure to identify the true beneficial owner of the M.S. Capricorn Trading account. As a result, the account officer in Dubai performed due diligence on an individual who had no relationship to the account being opened. In Switzerland, Citibank officials opened three private bank accounts despite evidence of impropriety on the part of Mr. Zardari. In an interview with Subcommittee staff, Citigroup Co- Chair John Reed informed the Subcommittee staff that he had been advised by Citibank officials in preparation for a trip to Pakistan in February 1994, that there were troubling accusations concerning corruption surrounding Mr. Zardari, that he should stay away from him, and that he was not a man with whom the bank wanted to be associated. Yet one year later, the private bank opened three accounts for Mr. Zardari in Switzerland. Mr. Reed told the Subcommittee staff that when he learned of the Zardari accounts he thought the account officer must have been ‘an idiot’.”

The writer is in Paris, France.

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