It is a well-known fact that whoever is in power in Pakistan, abuses it for personal gains. Unfortunately, it is the political class which gets the bad name while the holy cows belonging to establishment in general and armed forces in particular enjoys the benefits. In the last eight years, the judiciary under Ifitkhar Muhammad Chaudhry has become another holy cow that cannot be touched. The vindictive Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry has left no stone unturned to gobble up power and benefits for himself and his family. Be it jobs, postings and transfers for his son, the highly capable Arsalan Iftikhar or demanding protocol be given to him for his traveling and even using his position to get his children married off in rich and connected families, Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry has done it all. Last year in June 2012, Malik Riaz of Bahria Town came out with proofs against Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry’s son, Arsalan about the money and benefits he had obtained from Malik Riaz. Malik Riaz is on record calling Arsalan a “don” of Pakistan’s judiciary who can get any verdict delivered in your favor or against.
Nepotism and blackmail can only remain strong if you remain attached to power. Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry has done the same. In this most exclusive report, it has come to be known that post victory of Nawaz Sharif in the general elections, he brought about major changes in the aviation sector in general and PIA in particular to stabilize the company and eventually privatize it. One of the efforts was to appoint Shujaat Azeem as his Advisor on Aviation in June 2013. Sweeping changes were made to the Board of PIA. Unfortunately, the one eyed monster Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry hounded him so much for he was dual citizen of Canada and also had been court martialed while serving in Air Force that Shujaat Azeem was forced to resign. Off course the case was in relation to the New Benazir Bhutto International Airport which then went off on a tangent leading to removal of Shujaat Azeem.
But the real story that has been going on is that Arsalan Iftikhar with the current Acting Chairman of PIA, Syed Muhammad Ali Gardezi, had maneuvered the removal of Shujaat Azeem to send a message to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif that leave PIA alone as a few shady deals had to take place before the end of tenure of Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry. As a case in point, just read the news dated July 3, 2013, around the time of hearing of cases against Shujaat Azeem. The highly capable Arsalan was accorded a royal carpet welcome by PIA at Lahore Airport. The likely reason was that the PIA management knows the man in power and his maneuverings.
According to inside information, PIA is currently wet leasing various planes in which up to USD 2 million per month are being netted as a cut by Arsalan and Gardezi. After this, a deal for 5 planes is currently being planned in which PIA is expected to purchase 2005 model planes at USD 47 million each which is quite an inflated figure. One can get 2013 models of the same planes at USD 60 million each. It is expected that easily USD 23-25 million per plane will be made by the parties involved. Question remains, why is PIA buying such old planes and even if it is, why is this being hastily pushed. The answer remains that Arsalan is forcing the deal to be completed and money to be transferred before 11th December, 2013, a day before his father finally by the Grace of Almighty Allah retires. He knows that his power will reduce substantially after the one eyed monster retire and hence the desperation. Such was the power of Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry that an earlier Board constituted by the Government comprising of heavyweights like Mian Mansha, Arif Habib, Aslam Khaliq etc was not allowed to be constituted. Apparently, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif allowed this high handedness of Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry to save the ignominy of hearings on the payment to power companies in which more than Rs. 500 billion were paid out. Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry could have demanded the money be returned by the power companies. In essence, Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry twisted the situation for the gains of his able son.
We would like the mainstream media to highlight this matter as much as possible and stop this major act of corruption and high handedness of Arsalan Iftikhar at the behest of his father, Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry. The Prime Minister should also take steps to stop such transactions else anything good which could be expected from him will never see the light of the day.