Veteran Gravedigger: Saif-ur-Rehman

By Abbas Ather

4 responses to “Veteran Gravedigger: Saif-ur-Rehman”

  1. A Pakistani political dictionary.

    Asif Ali zardari
    A re-incarnation of devil himself because the illiterate, infidel and impious people of Pakistan have elected him as their president.
    A place whose oil and gas is more important than its people. It is also famous for its shura
    for promotion of destruction and prohibition of common sense.
    A tool for prediction of dismissal of democratic government by Taliban loving media prostitutes.
    Dr.shaid masood.
    Indecency, immorality, disinformation and worthlessness.
    A graveyard where fiscal wisdom is buried every day.
    Faruq laghari.
    A famous brother who did what brothers do.
    Gulam ishaq khan.
    My name is beaurocratic treachery and administratative incompetence hate every politician who gets elected.
    Imran khan.
    I like western girls because they fill me with Islamic pride in conquest i like western education, I like cricket another western game i like western clubs. I like western
    Models of fund raising. My children are being educated in west.i do not like their mother anymore because she refused to veil herself. But I love Taliban because I view them as an extension my big ego.
    Hamid gul.
    When they killed Hussein (may god bless him) they made a big mistake. They did not kill his son zain ul abdin (may god bless him).look, I fathered Taliban, they kill everybody.
    They killed women and children, they killed men and animals and almost every living thing. They helped in killing Masoud, Benazir, and ahd karzai.they will kill all of you. What a proud father I am.
    A place where they show porn –videos to young boys in order to make our land a miserable hell.
    Kashaf abbassi.
    a local bitch with international ambitions.
    A province where good king harun Rashid rules without providing food, shelter and
    Justice. Our emperor loves publicity but hates philosophy. Our lion king does not sleep
    Even though public want him to. This is the only way they can save them from his virtues
    But he does not sleep.
    Mutthidda qomi movement.
    A bunch of criminals who view them as saviors of middle classes.
    Pakistan army.
    Ye, people of Pakistan do not dream democracy. I will not let it happen until I live.
    Q –league.
    I have got Bollywood villain and Hollywood actresses as my reputable members.
    I have got Mushahid Hussein who never spoke truth. I have got Shujaet Hussein
    who you cannot accuse of lying because you do not understand what he says.
    I have got tyrant’s nieces to lie on my behalf.
    Talat Hussein.
    An anchor that is good at lap dancing, leapfrogging and lying without any remorse.
    I love to drink blood, eat flesh and grow hair.Imran Khan and Munnawwer Hussein love me
    because I destroy. HAmid gul loves me because I hate jews, hindus, cristians,women, children and off course muslims.i will impose my will upon every creatureof Almighty
    Violently because I enjoying raping every good thing in life.
    Rehman malik.
    I love public statements.
    Shauket aziz.
    I have brought loads of dollars from Pakistan to I not a good employee?
    A place where Taliban, shahid masooud, kashif abbasi, harun Rashid have never been.
    They hate this place because they think it enlightens.
    A thing which establishment tries to suppress but it comes back to haunt them.
    Wasim akram.
    A better bowler than imran khan.imran khan regrets why did he include him in team.
    An official organization run by an ox from pothohar.he has attacked this organization with his horns. There would be no wapda soon.
    X pm.our country has got more than its share of this commodity.
    Nawaz sharif.
    I have neither said nor did an intelligent thing in life but I managed to become prime minister of Pakistan twice. I am also waiting for my third term . see, how far you
    Can get, if you are exceptionally stupid.
    Omer mullah.
    My self- centric ignorance has brought my fall.
    Yousef raza.
    David frost please do not speak fluently.i have got serious learning difficulties.
    Zardari bhai, I am loyal as long as you preserve my interests.nawaz bhai, please do
    Something for prime minister’s power. I do not have courage to speak up.
    Zia ul haq.
    A darkness which extinguished light.a filthy odour which overpowered every perfume.
    A maniac hypocracy which assassinated honesty.

  2. Ehtesab’s ten-year deception Friday, December 18, 2009 By Sadiq Saleem

    The most significant question about accountability was neither asked nor answered during the Supreme Court proceedings about the NRO: If President Zardari has assets of $1.5 billion (which means $1500 million) then why only $73 million in assets were frozen or subjected to litigation abroad? Furthermore, if the case against Zardari was as open and shut as Ehtesab officials and their supporters in the media have claimed then why was it never settled in Swiss courts after ten years of proceedings before the NRO? In most countries white collar cases with a clear paper trail are resolved within a couple of years.

    The terms Ehtesab and accountability were introduced in the Pakistani political lexicon by General Zia-ul-Haq when he cancelled the 1977 election on the basis of the slogan “Pehlay Ehtesab, phir intikhab” (First accountability, then elections). Since then accountability has been a selective political exercise aimed at excluding those not liked by the right wing powers-that-be. The purpose of this particular type of accountability was never to deal with the problem of corruption but to create hype about it. Hence, phrases like “Looti hui daulat qaum ko wapis kee jaye” (Return the looted wealth to the nation) are bandied about without dealing with the substantive legal issues.

    The reason why former Ehtesab supremo, the notorious Saif-ur-Rehman, came up with the figure $1.5 billion as the amount “stolen” by Zardari was that it sounded good in propaganda. Otherwise his Ehtesab Bureau never really identified properties or initiated substantive cases that amounted to that value. The Supreme Court must ask the Ehtesab Bureau’s successor NAB why, if its claim of $1500 million in assets is correct, cases in international courts led to freezing of only $73 million ($60 million in Swiss courts and $13 million in the case of the Surrey Mansion in England).

    No one is arguing that it is okay to have corruption of 60-70 million dollars but not of 1500 million dollars. The point is that the legal situation as described by the Ehtesab Bureau and NAB has been based on deception with political propaganda being its primary aim.

    The corruption cases against Philippines President Marcos were established and settled within 3 years. In case of Pakistani politicians it was either NAB’s incompetence or the possibility that it simply did not have sufficient evidence that the cases have languished for over a decade. NAB officials, like Mr Ghazni Khan, spent a lot of time quietly briefing journalists about corruption allegations so that they continue to have their jobs but the fact remains that their former boss Lt General Shahid Aziz has virtually admitted that the pace of proceedings in NAB cases was determined by political considerations.

    Filing cases in Pakistan was easy, especially after the creation of special accountability court. But for real propaganda some independent action was required internationally. Saif-ur-Rehman’s Ehtesab Bureau discovered international laws against money laundering and filed cases in Switzerland and England to further the impression of “massive” corruption.

    Few Pakistani media organizations could cover proceedings in Switzerland allowing the Ehtesab Bureau or NAB to explain the legal complexities whichever way they liked. The justified distaste for corruption in the country helped. If you create the perception of corruption, people will hate those painted as corrupt even if no court convicts them.

    In case of the Swiss case, the deception in Pakistan has surrounded the notion that it is somehow an independent case. It is not. Money laundering presupposes a crime from which money was obtained to be laundered. It is like charging someone with selling stolen goods. To prove that someone was selling stolen goods the prosecution must first prove that the goods were stolen. In case of the Swiss case against Zardari, the government of Pakistan failed for ten years to get a Pakistani court to convict Zardari of the initial crime of obtaining the money through criminal means. Without such a conviction in Pakistan there could be no case of money laundering in Switzerland.

    The Swiss judicial system is based on the French system and not the British one. Under the French system, a magistrate has to first hold court proceedings to determine whether a case should be tried. For ten years beginning in 1997 the case in Switzerland was before an investigating magistrate. One magistrate decided that a trial could proceed and also imposed a fine. In the Swiss system, paying that fine would have meant accepting guilt and avoiding trial. But Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto and Asif Zardari contested the case and the investigating magistrate’s finding was overturned by the Appeals Court, bringing the case back to a new investigation magistrate. Even if the case had not been folded as a result of the NRO it would still have depended on settling cases in Pakistan.

    Instead of telling the nation the fine points of Swiss law, NAB and its propaganda machine kept on talking about “looti hui daulat” and keeping the nation in frenzy against corruption without NAB doing its actual job of prosecuting cases with vigour. Now the Swiss government has clarified that the case in Switzerland was secondary to the cases in Pakistan. If a Pakistani court recognizes evidence that someone broke laws and made money through corruption, the Swiss court can charge them with laundering the ill-gotten money. In other words, Switzerland cannot try someone for selling stolen good unless the fact of the goods being stolen in the first place has been established.

    The Ehtesab Bureau under Saif-ur-Rehman tried to convict Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto and Asif Zardari in Pakistan with the help of a friendly judge, none other than Malik Abdul Qayyum, whose father also was on the bench that sentenced Zulfikar Ali Bhutto to death. If that conviction had prevailed, the Swiss case could have moved on. But some readers might recall that the Supreme Court of Pakistan overturned Malik Qayyum’s conviction judgment after tapes were produced of his conversations with Saif-ur-Rehman that proved the collusion of the judge with the prosecution. In those taped conversations, Saif-ur-Rehman urged Malik Qayyum to quickly convict Mohtarma and her husband because Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was anxious to see them convicted. Quite clearly, the matter was not about rule of law but about politics.

    The Supreme Court judgment on the NRO reflects a desire to re-establish the writ of law and has been widely welcomed. Hopefully it will also bring to an end the political deception and hype that has accompanied the accountability issue since the days of Zia-ul-Haq.

    It was ironic that most of the key petitioners in the NRO case had a Zia-ul-Haq link. Mr Roedad Khan was the late dictator’s Interior Secretary before serving as incharge of accountability under President Ghulam Ishaq Khan from 1990-1993. He failed to bring any convictions against Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto and Asif Zardari, but has never relented in raising his voice selectively against corruption. Qazi Hussain Ahmed rose to fame as the organizer and founder of Jihad during the Zia-ul-Haq era.

    With the end of the NRO, let us now let the courts settle all outstanding cases of alleged corruption under the able guidance of the chief justice. At the same time let us also understand the politics of the issue. Why are supporters of the Taliban so eager to keep the nation involved with the saga of “looti hui daulat?” Is it to keep the nation distracted from its great challenge of fighting and ending the terrorism that threatens Pakistan and is the lasting legacy of Zia-ul-Haq’s CIA-backed Jihadis’ ideology misadventure? As for the $1500 million dollars, NAB can’t get it back because it doesn’t exist or because NAB is so incompetent that it has not been able to find it in a decade.

    Sadiq Saleem is a businessman and analyst based in Toronto,