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

11 responses to “Nawaz Sharif steals electricity but vows to fight corruption”

  1. As per my humble view.

    Sudden GEO TV Breaking news on Electricity Theft was because Nawaz Viciously attacked Army for giving Guard of Honour to Musharraf otherwise Electric Theft was rampant [to hold processions and Naat Khwani] on the occasion of 12 Rabiul Awwal to “Celebrate” Holy Prophet Mohammad [PBUH]’s Birthday. I don’t know why Mullahs celebrate 12 Rabi ul Awwal becasue it was General Zia who started this Drama otherwise it was used to be “Bara Wafat” before Zia because Prophet Mohammad [PBUH] passed away on 12 Rabiul Awwal and laetst Research of Calendar/Calculation proved that Prophet Mohammad [PBUH]’s Birthday was 9 Rabi ul Awwal – more details in Tareekh Ibn Khaldun. Speech of Nawaz Sharif which caused the “Sudden Breaking News on GEO TV”

    LAHORE, March 1: Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N) chief Nawaz Sharif blames army generals for damaging progress of the country by taking it over whenever it starts journey towards economic development. Army intrusions hampered progress, says Nawaz By Our Staff Reporter Tuesday, 02 Mar, 2010,-says-nawaz-230

  2. In the speech he delivered under stolen electricity, Nawaz Sharif had the cheek to say that Musharraf is afraid of coming back to Pakistan. How easily has he forgotten that after his conviction in 2000, he himself was so impatient to run away from Pakistan that he preferred to sign a deal with the same dictator to become Pakistan’s ONLY political prisoner to have spent his sentence in Jeddah’s Suroor Palace.

    They still call him Tiger!

    In the same speech delivered under stolen electricity, NS also criticized politicians for stolen money stashed in their Swiss accounts. How easily has he forgotten that his own accounts in US, UK, Dubai, etc. fall in the same category. Stolen money is stolen money whether in Swiss banks or any other.

    And they still call him clean and Sharif!

  3. Molvis steal electricity in religious rallies. Nawaz Sharif steals electricity in political rallies. Birds of a feather flock together.

    From loha chore to bijli chore, there is a long history of “integrity” and “honesty” of Sharif brothers.

    “Television footage showed that metal hooks had been illegally connected to live wires to secure the electricity supply for the rally.
    The BBC’s M Ilyas Khan in Islamabad says that the rally was covered by all TV channels and almost all of them ran the video footage of the illegal connections, locally called “kunda”.”

  4. A poor line superintendent has been suspended as a scapegoat in order to save Nawaz Sharif and other corrupt leaders of PML-N.

    Shame on Nawaz Sharif and PML-N. Instead of accepting their mistake and apologizing to the nation, they have (ab)used their influence to force LESCO to lay the blame of the electricity theft on a poor line superintendent.

    TMO, LESCO officials responsible for electricity theft in Lahore
    Upadated on: 02 Mar 10 04:28 PM

    LAHORE: The Lahore Electric Supply Corporation (LESCO) considers TMO and LESCO officials responsible for the electricity theft at the public gathering of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N). LESCO sources told SAMAA that investigative committee formed to investigate the matter of the electricity theft at the public gathering of PML-N has completed its investigation. Tehsil Municipal Officer Shalimar town appeared before the committee to record his statement. He admitted his mistake that it was his fault that he didn’t get permission for the usage of the electricity for the public gathering of PML-N.

    LESCO official put the fine of Rs 3000 on TMO. LESCO officials also suspended the Line Superintendent Shalimar town.

    The investigative report states that there is no involvement of PML-N leadership in the issue of electricity theft but LESCO officials are responsible for the issue. SAMAA

  5. According to LESCO’s (so called) inquiry, only 4 bulbs of 500 watts were lit through the stolen electricity.

    LESCO could not count more than 4 bulbs in the picture (shown in the post above) which was published in Dawn and other newspapers.

    ایک سوال پر انہوں نے بتایا کہ مسلم لیگ نون کے جلسے کے لیے ٹاؤن آفیسر نے جو بجلی استعمال کی اس بجلی کے ذریعے پانچ سو واٹ کے چار بلب جلائے گئے۔

  6. Shahbaz Sharif is ‘very rich’, but where did the money come from?
    By Shafiq Awan

    Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif is the richest member of the Punjab Assembly, with multi-million pounds of foreign assets mentioned in his declared assets to the Election Commission of Pakistan.

    The question arises, why are foreign assets mentioned in this declaration, not part of the previous declarations made by the CM? If we go through his declaration before going into exile, we cannot find these foreign assets.

    No authority, including the Federal Board of Revenue, has raised any questions as to how these assets were acquired. Which source of income has helped him add these assets to his kitty? If any ordinary person had made such a declaration, the agencies concerned would have pounced on him and his family. But no one has questioned our politicians about the sources of these overnight rises in their assets. These are ours institutions’ double standards, which grill the common man and facilitate the rich ones.

    In the recent past, Nawaz Sharif, with his signatures, had declared his assets in NA-123 by-elections. Nawaz was shown having not paid any income tax, still no authority or media quarter raised the issue as to how one of the country’s key political leaders was shown living such a miserable life.

    Ahsan Iqbal later defended his boss with the argument that the assets declared by Nawaz were indeed accurate. A statement that was later made all the more suspicious when Siddiqul Farooq said Nawaz’s daily expense was Rs 3.2 million. You can multiply the figures by 365 days, but be assured, no action will be taken against the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) chief.

    Even if we were to buy into Ahsan’s theory, Nawaz’s living style would completely negate that claim. Comparing Nawaz’s asset with living style indicates that he is living beyond his means, which is a crime.

    But alas, rules were made for lesser men.

    If any rules are actually applicable on politicians, then the only example that comes to mind is the non-Punjabi Pakistan People’s Party. In the eyes of our laws, Punjabi leaders are more revered than sacred cows.

    An application was filed with the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) two years back, pleading to probe the Sharif brothers’ assets, including a steel mill in Saudi Arabia and property in London. But, predictably, NAB did not act.

    In January a news agency reported that the Sharifs’ owned properties in London worth millions of pounds, but PML-N hawks were quick to deny the claim and declared it a “character assassination campaign” against the PML-N leadership.

    Appearing on a TV show, Ahsan Iqbal declared the news item the “brain child of the cronies of Musharraf”. However, we now see that Shahbaz Sharif has declared his foreign assets. I am sure Ahsan Iqbal will avoid speaking on the issue now. The FBR, or any other government agency, will probably not bother to hold any inquiry into the source of these declared assets, because such an act would of course be tantamount to “political victimisation”, an allegation that the PPP avoids at all costs.

    The recent power theft at a PML-N election rally and another case of power theft involving Prisons Minister Chaudhry Gafoor was brushed under the carpet. WAPDA authorities have given the PML-N a clean sheet. Although, we all know that if an ordinary person had committed such a crime, he would have been served a severe punishment.

    The PML-N leadership has admitted that the district administration had been assisting in the arrangements of the rally. PML-N MNA Khawaja Saad Rafique, during a TV show, threatened the correspondent and asked him to tender an apology for claiming that the rally had stolen electricity. The power theft was shown live on almost every TV channel, but Mr Khawaja still claims electricity was not stolen.

    The real question is why DCO Lahore Sajjad Bhutta and town municipal officers had come to the PML-N’s rescue. Rafique’s sole objective was to declare that the PML-N was the party of innocents. It would be interesting to see how he defends the electricity stolen by the prisons minister.

    Just recently, an SHO stripped some suspects and publicly tortured. Is the incident – which speaks of a mindset — one of the tenants of good governance?

    The “model” Punjab government did not take any action against the police officers involved in this torture until the media pointed it out and raised the issue.

    If rulers ignore thefts and keep each other free from accountability, then such incidents will become routine. If the rulers will not abide by the law, how can they expect the rest not to follow suite? Good governance should start from one’s own home. The same goes for accountability.

    A PML-N stalwart was right when he said, “If the party starts unmasking the so-called virtuous and ‘valet de chamber’ class, what will it be left with?”\story_4-3-2010_pg7_10

  7. Foot in the mouth

    Thursday, March 04, 2010
    S Khalid Husain

    Great! Nawaz Sharif boomed long and hard on the first day of March, about himself and his brother, and about his party’s high merits, and plugged powerfully, on illegally “borrowed” power, as it turned out, for the PML-N victory in Constituency 123 of Lahore.

    His thunderous words extolling ethics, integrity and righteousness were inspiring, except that they were delivered in a sea of shimmering lights, and through a dozen loudspeakers, all illegally powered with stolen voltage. Somebody in the party must have goofed mightily to cause such thunderous and inspiring words to become so revolting, diluted with the illegality of the lighting and sound arrangements.

    Some time earlier, a PPP minister, at the height of summer power crisis in Karachi, lit up his house and the entire street in the Defence Housing Authority for days like a Christmas tree, for his son’s wedding. His “reason” was that his constituents expect such grandiosity from him and he would lose face with them if he did not indulge in it.

    The worthy member of the PPP government’s federal cabinet was being honest about the reasons for his delinquency. He is a duly elected MNA and he is sensitive to his constituents’ expectations, and if they expect him to light up his house and neighbourhood to celebrate his son’s wedding, who is he not to do so? Never mind if his constituents also expect him to arrange piped water, good roads, healthcare, schools, because all these can wait, a son’s wedding cannot.

    Strange, there was not a moment of load shedding at the site of the glittering and resounding PML-N meeting, even as the rest of Lahore suffered through its share of powerlessness. The liberal use of Punjab government resources and facilities for the PML-N public meeting has been drowned in the electricity pilferage, or kunda, scandal. It was not a reassuring thing to have happened, the party Quaid thundering as if righteousness begins and ends with his family party, and the party unashamedly using resources paid for by taxpayers’ money for party purposes.