ABBOTTABAD: The state has hardly been able to control corruption after 1970 mainly because of a dishonest coterie. This was said by the chief of Tehreek-e-Suba Hazara, Baba Haider Zaman while talking to The Express Tribune on Monday in Abbottabad.
“People want to get rid of the dishonest leadership – this could be done by executing them and confiscating their ill-gotten property,” he said. Zaman was of the view there was no corruption in Pakistan till 1970, till businesspersons jumped into politics and became part of the ruling clique. He added corrupt practices have not only brought a bad name to the country, but also exposed its foundations to damage.
“Just simplify the election rules – make them easy for the common man [to participate] and help contestants present their manifesto on the pattern followed in European countries”, he said. He opposed the existing process of elections and suggested the election commission should install ballot boxes in streets, bus terminals, railway stations, airports, hospitals and jails so people can votes as per their convenience.
Zaman also demanded an enquiry into cases emerging from the Panama leaks and said the culprits of money laundering should be taken to task.
He accused Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif of allegedly being dishonest by concealing his actual assets when he contested twice from NA-12, Abbottabad-II (now NA-18), in 1993 and 1997. He was one of the candidates from the constituency.
He maintained the president, PM, CMs, ministers and bureaucrats were enjoying health care facilities abroad on the money of those who pay their taxes while the latter were dying on a daily basis due to a lack of proper health care services in the country. “They must be barred from going abroad for medical treatment on government’s expenses or [if that would happen then] a common tax payer should also be allowed such facilities.”
He called PTI chief Imran Khan’s slogan of change a failed attempt, saying he was no different from Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz and Pakistan Peoples Party.
“Poor are still dying without proper treatment, health care is inaccessible to the poor, joblessness is on the rise and justice is costly in the courts – is this the change he was fooling the citizens about?”
To a question he said his struggle would continue until Hazara province is created.
He also gave an ultimatum to the ruling parties in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and the Centre to adopt the resolution of Hazara province with the required majority before April 12, 2017 otherwise his party would block Karakoram Highway across Hazara Division for an indefinite period.
“They have enough time to fulfil their promise, but if they continue to cheat the people of Hazara, the workers of TSH would hold a sit-in for an undefined period this time.”
He denied he was repenting for his previous decision to lift blockades from KKH in April 2010 when movement for Hazara province was at its peak. “That was the right decision as it would have created a food shortage, and exposed students, traders, employees and patients to difficulties.”
Published in The Express Tribune, April 19th, 2016.
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