Nawaz Sharif steals electricity but vows to fight corruption

PML-N Chief Nawaz Sharif addressing a public gathering during by-elections campaign in constituency NA-123. -APP

According to the sources, Nawaz Sharif addressed party workers on Grand Trunk Road near University of Engineering and Technology. While Nawaz made a case for his own leadership in overcoming the problems of the common man, sources said the electricity provided to the PML-N meeting had been “stolen from WAPDA’s main line”.

A few points worth considering:

1. Instead of admitting their mistake, PML-N leaders have put extreme pressure on the Lahore Electricity Supply Corporation which has in turn suspended a poor Line Superintendent.

2. According to Rana Sanullah, a provincial minister of PML-N with close ties to sectarian terrorists of Sipah-e-Sahaba, electricity theft is a trivial issue.

Here are some news reports and articles on or related to this topic:

Nawaz rally gets power supply from ‘kunda’

Source: Dawn, 02 Mar, 2010

LAHORE: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz found itself entangled in a controversy on Monday that threatened to undermine its claim of occupying the high moral ground, according to a report by DawnNews.

As Nawaz Sharif addressed supporters in the run-up to a Lahore by-election, his large rally was lit up by extensive use of illegal connections using ‘kunda’ (hooks that are attached to live power cables to secure supply without having to pay for it).

Power utility officials told DawnNews that they would estimate the number of units consumed and bill the user based on that, while Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah tried to distance his party and government from this outrage by blaming an unnamed contractor.

PML-N spokesman Siddiqul Farooq told DawnNews that an inquiry would be held to fix responsibility for what was “clearly” a crime.

In a damage-limitation exercise well past midnight, PML-N leader Saad Rafique told a news conference his party was not at fault and that ‘kunda’ connections had been made by the administration to provide security lighting.

Interesting, in the same rally, Nawaz vowed to eradicate corruption form Pakistani society:

Corrupt people will meet their fate, says Nawaz

LAHORE: Corrupt people in the country will ultimately meet their fate, a private TV channel quoted Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz chief Nawaz Sharif as saying on Monday. Addressing a public gathering in the NA-123 constituency, Nawaz called for returning to the people what he called their looted wealth.

Source: Daily Times

The matter is trivial, says PML-N minister:

Illegal electricity connection ‘lights up’ PML-N gathering at NA-123

LAHORE: A public meeting of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz chief Nawaz Sharif in NA-123 was provided “illegal electricity connections”, a private television channel reported on Monday. According to the channel, Nawaz addressed party workers on Grand Trunk Road near University of Engineering and Technology. While Nawaz made a case for his own leadership in overcoming the problems of the common man, the channel said the electricity provided to the PML-N meeting had been “stolen from WAPDA’s main line”. Punjab government spokesman Pervez Rashid refused comment on the channel’s claim. Meanwhile, Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah told the channel that there was “nothing surprising … the matter is trivial”. “The company that arranged the meeting is responsible for the electricity theft rather than the PML-N leadership,” he said. LESCO Chief Azhar Abbas confirmed the electricity theft, and said action would be taken according to the law.

Source: Daily Times

According to Lesco officials:

It is important to recall that the gathering was organised by the PML-N in connection with NA-123 by-polls, which was addressed by none other than the party chief, Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, himself.
Describing the power theft as a national crime, the chief executive officer vowed to take stern action against the culprits.
According Lesco officials, electricity was used while through illegal connections, popularly known as kundas, directly from the electricity poles, and an inquiry would be conducted to probe into the open high-handedness.

Source: The Nation

However, the above is not an isolated incident of corruption in the history of PML-N and the Sharif mafia. Here is a relatively detailed report by Shafiq Awan exposing Sharifs’ double standards:

Double standards of the Sharifs

By Shafiq Awan

Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif is considered “Mr Neat and Clean” and wants the same kind of people around him, especially in the cabinet. That is why he has chosen his team very carefully without relying on any references or recommendations. Moreover, the moment he finds out about a corrupt member in his “team”, he kicks him/her out instantly.

Unfortunately, he has often had unpleasant experiences and has had to welcome some uninvited guests in his party. Nominations from elder brother Nawaz Sharif have always caused a series of scandals for him and his government.

During his last tenure, Mian Mairaj Din (late) was forced to resign as the provincial minister in an alleged power theft case while the same charges were levelled against Prisons Minister Chaudhry Ghafoor in the current cabinet. Although no action was taken against Ghafoor. Only shaking hands with a clenched fist with Chaudhry Ghafoor will not serve the purpose Mr CM.

Mian Mairaj Din was not Shahbaz’s choice but was recommended by Mian Nawaz Sharif. He was charged with electricity theft from his own cinema and eventually told to quit the cabinet gently and asked to resign. Though he had claimed that he had rented out the cinema – which was true – and said the tenant was responsible for the power theft, it wasn’t convincing enough for Shahbaz.

Currently, Punjab Prisons Minister Chaudhry Ghafoor was not Shahbaz’s choice but was from his elder brother’s “quota”. The result was obvious: Ghafoor created scandal after scandal.

His first case happened at the Lahore airport when he was caught scuffling with the Customs authorities to get some of his friends out of the airport without being checked. The second was in the Punjab Assembly where he ‘jumped’ at a female assembly member and snatched a placard. Now he has been charged for electricity theft at his farmhouse.

Ghafoor has denied the charges saying he was unable to pay the bill but kept utilising the service for a year. Technically, this is considered power theft.

Nevertheless, no action was taken against him, as Shahbaz is helpless against his brother who had favoured Ghafoor to take care of their Raiwind palaces while they were in exile.

The facts behind the alleged power theft can be checked by visiting the website of the Lahore Electricity Supply Company and by entering reference number 03122101267056 in the category of rural consumers. You’ll find billing details of Chaudhry Surjan Khan of the Madni Farmhouse, Raiwind, revealing that he has not paid the bill since February 2009. Chaudhry Surjan Khan is Chaudhry Ghafoor’s father.

WAPDA authorities are equally responsible for not taking action. They say Ghafoor always threatened them with his position and got away by saying that he was close to the Sharifs and the power minister.

When the LESCO management was changed, they directed the SDO of the area to cut power supply to the minister’s house. However, the authorities contacted the minister and requested him to pay the bill, who said he could not pay the dues as he was on a visit to the Faisalabad jail. He requested them to not cut power supply to his farmhouse and assured them of paying the bill soon. But the supply was cut off and restored only after he managed to pay the bill.

In November 1998, WAPDA had issued a notice to the late Mian Mairaj Din to pay his electricity bill, to which he complied. But he was not restored to the cabinet. He was forced to resign after a month at the age of 70 and after serving the Muslim League for 50 years.

Those who criticised Rana Sanaullah’s recent visit to the office of the banned Lashkar-e-Jhangvi should know that he did it with the permission of his bosses – the Sharifs – and every wrong done with the bosses’ permission is always right.

MPA Shumaila Rana was ousted in an alleged credit card scam and MNA Haji Pervez lost his seat in an examination fraud case. Another MPA from Gujrat, Haji Nasir, was kicked out by the court for having a fake degree. But the party did not take any action, instead he claimed party ticket in PP-111 by-polls. However, the election tribunal intervened and barred him from contesting the elections.

Education Minister Mujtaba Shujaur Rahman’s late night visits to a farmhouse – in the same lane as that of Chaudhry Ghafoor’s – are also being monitored and he is being warned to avoid them. MNA Abid Sher Ali should also be careful about his late night activities.

PML-N activists question why Chaudhry Ghafoor is immune to any action. If the party can take serious action against its MNAs and MPAs, then why can’t it take action against a cabinet member? Only because he is close to the Sharifs? What is the principled stance of the Sharifs?

Public Accounts Committee Chairman Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan can add another feather to his cap by taking suo motu notice of the minister’s involvement in power theft or the same option is open to PAC Punjab Chairman Chaudhry Zaheeruddin Khan.

Source: Daily Times



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