Idon’t think a day has passed without some mention in the papers of the Panama leaks. The only party head that has publicly displayed a relentless keenness to bring the prime minister’s reign to a hasty and inglorious end is Imran Khan. At first he appeared to be going it alone. Then he saw an unlikely ally in the PPP. Actually the party of Asif Ali Zardari has more in common with the Muslim League of Nawaz Sharif, for both politicians have at various times been accused of massive corruption while simultaneously talking about the imperative need for protecting democracy against militarism. The prime minister at first appeared to be a little perturbed. But these days he looks buoyant and cheerful as if he had just received a message by pigeon post that all’s not well in the enemy camp.
Imran Khan doesn’t appear to be sharing tender memories with the leaders of any political parties. In fact, they are all a little wary of him because he doesn’t fit into the traditional groove of Pakistani politics. This is where candidates once they have been elected and joined the Freeloaders Club believe that once they get into a position of power they are expected to accept backhanders in return for favors. If one can ignore the initial contradictions in the testimony given by Imran Khan over his London property, he has repeatedly raised his arms in enthusing benediction and repeatedly uttered threats to the unethical and the crooked in the country.
I am, however, surprised that he hasn’t commented on the dreadful saga of the 10-year-old maid Tayyaba who suffered considerable ill treatment at the hands of Additional District and Sessions Judge Raja Khurram Ali Khan and his wife who is allegedly the more sadistic of the two. It is bad enough that the girl’s father had sold the little mite into slavery. What is worse is that he is supposed to have forgiven the tormenters who burned the girl’s hand more than once and repeatedly beat the victim with a ladle because a broom had disappeared. Now there is a new twist in the episode. Somebody who claimed to be Tayyaba’s father stated before a two judge bench headed by Chief Justice Mian Saquib Nisar that he was completely unaware of any compromise between him and the judge and the judge’s wife. He added that his advocate had informed him that his daughter would be returned to him provided he affixed his thumb print on the affidavit placed before him. The fact that something like this could happen in a country that calls itself the land of the pure and that too in the home of a judge is truly reprehensible.
If Alice was around she would have probably said ‘The case is getting curioser and curioser.’
Prime Minister Nawaz has stated on a regular basis that he is the prime minister of all Pakistanis including the minorities. I presume he is also the prime minister of little girls who are sold into slavery and beaten black and blue.
Among other anomalies there have been a number of cases of reincarnation on the list of the ECP where dead politicians have been shown as being still alive. Well, this sloppiness has been endemic. My favorite case is the one about teachers in ghost schools being paid their salaries on a regular basis.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 15th, 2017.